Jason Bryden’s Top Five NFL Matchups: Week 8

By Jason Bryden
Assistant Sports Info Director

Green Bay (4-3) at New York Jets
An important interconference game between two teams with Super Bowl aspirations will take place on Sunday at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Packers scored a 28-24 victory over the Vikings last Sunday. Green Bay reversed a 17-14 Minnesota lead to take a 28-17 lead in a 59-second span in the third quarter on a touchdown by wide receiver Greg Jennings and pick six by lineback Desmond Bishop. The Packers held off a last minute Vikings drive to get the win. The Jets had a bye in Week 7, but have won five in a row including a 24-20 triumph in Denver in Week 6. New York is in the midst of three out of four-game stretch against NFC North opponents. The Jets lead the all-time series 8-2 including a perfect 4-0 at home.

Tennessee at San Diego
If the Chargers want to win their fifth straight AFC West title, they will need to get a win against the Titans on Sunday. Tennessee trailed 19-10 early in the fourth quarter, but scored the final 27 points to tally a 37-19 win over Philadelphia last Sunday. Wide receiver Kenny Britt had 225 yards on seven catches and scored three touchdowns in the win. San Diego rallied from 23-6 to 23-20 versus New England, but the game-tying field goal hit the post and the Chargers dropped to 2-5 despite outscoring their opponents by 28 points. San Diego leads the all-time series 24-16-1, but Tennessee has won three of four playoff meetings including the first two AFL Championship Games in 1960 and 1961.

Minnesota at New England
Will the streak end? Will Brett Favre’s streak of 315 games (291 regular season, 24 playoffs) come to an end this week as the Vikings travel to take on the Patriots? Favre fractured his ankle in two places in the Vikings 28-24 loss to the Packers on Sunday night. Favre threw three interceptions which led to 14 Green Bay points. If Favre is out, Tavaris Jackson will play at quarterback. Jackson led the Vikings to the NFC North title in 2008. The Patriots held off the Chargers 23-20 on Sunday despite being outgained 363-179. However New England forced four San Diego turnovers. The Patriots lead the series 6-4 and have won the prior two meetings.

Pittsburgh at New Orleans
The last two Super Bowl winners will go at it on Sunday night at the Superdome as the Steelers (XLIII) play the Saints (XLIV). Pittsburgh comes off of a 23-22 win at Miami as they benefited from a premature touchdown call and got to keep the ball even though it looked like Miami recovered a fumble in the end zone. On the next play, the Steelers kicked the winning field goal. The Steelers did get 131 yards and a touchdown from wide receiver Hines Ward. The Saints were stunned at home by the Browns 30-17 as Cleveland returned two interceptions for touchdowns at the expense of New Orleans as the Saints committed four turnovers in the loss, despite outgaining the Browns 394-210. Pittsburgh leads the overall series 7-6.

Houston at Indianapolis
The Colts will look to avenge a 34-24 loss in Week 1 to the Texans on Monday night in Indianapolis. Both teams come off of byes in Week 7. The Texans got 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns from running back Arien Foster in the Week 1 victory as Houston beat Indianapolis for just the second time in its history. In Week 6, Houston rallied from 31-21 in the fourth quarter to top Kansas City 35-31. In the Colts’ Week 1 loss, quarterback Peyton Manning had 433 passing yards as he threw for three touchdowns and completed a team record 40 passes. Indianapolis leads the all-time series 15-2 and is a perfect 8-0 at home.

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