Football Games to Watch This Weekend [Opinion]
The weekend is here…and that means FOOTBALL! Here are the games that I think will be the ones to watch:
UTEP MINERS (1-3) AT EAST CAROLINA (2-2) 5p.m. CW
Utep opens its 8th season in C- USA at East Carolina on Saturday. Don’t let the Miners record fool you, this is a very confident group that has been tested by some good teams. The Miners were outscored 21-3 in the second quarter and fell behind 23-6 against Wisconsin before stringing together 13 consecutive points to pull within four (23-19) midway through the fourth quarter. And don’t forget that Utep’s hard hitting defense knocked Monte Ball out of the game. East Carolina struggled in the 2nd half in a loss to North Carolina last week. If the Miners can put together a complete game, they should win.
#25 BAYLOR (3-0) AT #9 WEST VIRGINIA (3-0) 10 a.m. FX
West Virgina finally begins play in Big 12 with a ranked Baylor team coming to town. This could be a high scoring game as Baylor and West Virginia rank fifth and tenth respectively in scoring offense, averaging a combined 98.6 points per game. The Mountaineers have a Heisman hopeful in quarterback Geno Smith. Baylor has a defense that is ranked 116 in the nation so it could be easy pickings for him. However, Baylor features an offense that can go toe-to-toe with the Mountaineers if the game turns into a shootout.
#12 TEXAS (3-0) AT OKLAHOMA STATE (2-1) 5:50 p.m. Fox
Texas needs to win this game if they want to be taken seriously. After two years of inconsistent quarterback play, the Longhorns may finally have found their guy as David Ash threw for a career-high 326 yards and four touchdowns in his last game against Ole Miss. But Texas’ biggest challenge this week may be for the defense going against an OSU offense that leads the nation in total yards and scoring.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-2) AT BUFFALO BILLS (2-1) 11 a.m. NBC
Consecutive, last-minute defeats to Arizona and Baltimore make this game extra important for New England. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and receiver Wes Welker have looked sharp, but they could be challenged by the Bills’ revamped defense. Buffalo will be without injured running back C.J. Spiller, but they could see the return of running back Fred Jackson. Reserve back Tashard Choice gained 91 yards last week after Spiller was hurt. The success of the Buffalo running attack is key in keeping Brady off the field.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (0-3) AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (1-2) 2:25 p.m. FOX
To me this is the game of the week. The loser of this game will find it hard to make the playoffs. (Especially the Saints) New Orleans has struggled to make plays this season. To get their first win, the Saints will have to beat a Packers’ team still angry over a disputed call that resulted in a loss to the Seahawks on Monday night. With the NFL’s second-best pass rush, the Packers’ defense will look to pressure New Orleans’ quarterback Drew Brees. Green Bay will rely on quarterback Aaron Rodgers to pick apart a Saints’ defense that has just two takeaways in three games.
N.Y. GIANTS (2-1) AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (2-1) 6:20 p.m. NBC
Philadelphia looks to shake off last week’s dreadful loss to Arizona. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick had little time to pass behind a weak offensive line, a trend that could continue against the Giants fierce pass rush. The Eagles are leading the league in turnovers so that could be a factor in the game. The turnovers are so bad that there has been talk about benching Vick if they continue. New York can be unbeatable when quarterback Eli Manning gets comfortable and has time to make his throws. The Eagles defense will attempt to create pressure and force the Giants to play from behind.
CHICAGO BEARS (2-1) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (2-1) 6:30 p.m. ESPN
The Bears will need to protect quarterback Jay Cutler against the Cowboys’ top-ranked defense. Dallas struggled on offense for the second straight week. The best thing for the Cowboys is if they can make Jay Cutler frustrated as the Green Bay Packers did. The Cowboys’ offense has generated just 15.7 points per game thus far, tied with Philadelphia for last in the NFL. The Cowboys need to start scoring touchdowns when they get into the red zone if they want to win this game and Cutler has to stay cool for the Bears to win.
Enjoy the games!