This week in: American Football – Week 10

Eli "I can't believe that wreckless throw I made was intercepted" Manning

Last Sunday, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots played each other for the first time since the Giants spoiled a perfect season for the Patriots in Superbowl XLII.  Once again, New York came from behind to score the winning touchdown with less than a minute to go in the game – the similarities between the climax of the two encounters have been covered by both Sports Illustrated and ESPN.  What would have concerned me more, if I were a Giants fan, was the interception that Eli Manning threw in the Endzone at the end of the third quarter.  At the time, New York were 10-3 up and were facing third and goal from the five yard line – when the Patriots defensive line broke through and were coming at Manning, the Giants Quarterback tossed the ball up from his back foot, rather than taking the hit and settling for a field goal.  Had he taken the sack and the three points, the Patriots would have trailed by 10 points with little more than a quarter to go.  Instead, seven plays later the game was tied, setting up the dramatic back and forth of the final 15 minutes.  While it ended up being a good win for the Giants, Manning will need to improve his decision-making if they are to make an impression in January’s playoffs.

Elsewhere, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers overcame the Chargers, as well as their own defence, holding on to win 45-38, despite a late rally from San Diego.  The Jets tied the Bills and Patriots atop the AFC East, beating Buffalo in their own stadium; the Ravens completed a season sweep of their fierce rivals, the Steelers, winning by 23-20 in Pittsburgh; and the 49ers defeated the Redskins, moving San Francisco to 7-1 for the season.  The Eagles slipped to three games back of the Giants in the NFC East, as they lost the Monday Night game against Chicago; New Orleans recovered from their previous week’s loss to the Rams, as they beat their divisional rivals, Tampa Bay, at the Superdome.  In the “Suck-for-Luck” contest, Indianapolis moved two steps closer to having the worst record in the NFL this season – the Colts lost at home to Atlanta, while Miami won in Kansas City, giving the Dolphins their first victory of the year.

Week 10 sees eight divisional matchups with many of the teams fighting for first place: the Raiders and the Chargers play on Thursday night, the victor will be top of the AFC West on their own, prior to Sunday’s game between the Chargers and the Broncos; New Orleans and the Falcons meet in Atlanta, the Saints currently have a half a game lead over the team from Georgia in the NFC South; and the 6-3 Steelers travel to Cincinnati to face the 6-2 Bengals.  All of the NFC North teams play each other this week – the Lions are at the Bears, while the Vikings and Packers square off on Monday Night in Green Bay.  The Patriots will be hoping to avoid losing to a New York (or New Jersey) team in consecutive weeks, as they play the Jets at MetLife Stadium; and the Dolphins will be looking to win back-to-back games as they play the Redskins at home, Washington started well and won three of their first four, but they have been beset by injuries and have lost their last five games.


Last week, 7-7; Season  68-62

Home teams in bold

Chargers -6.5 over Raiders

Falcons +0.5 over Saints

Cowboys -5.5 over Bills

Steelers -3.5 over Bengals

Browns -2.5 over Rams

Chiefs -3.5 over Broncos

Titans +2.5 over Panthers

Jaguars -2.5 over Colts

Redskins +3.5 over Dolphins

Cardinals +13.5 over Eagles

Buccaneers +3.5 over Texans

Ravens -7.5 over Seahawks

Bears -2.5 over Lions

49ers -3.5 over Giants

Patriots +1.5 over Jets

Packers -13.5 over Vikings






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