NFL Week 15

One step closer to the end of the season means teams are one step closer to having their playoff futures finalised. The Green Bay Packers will win the NFC North if they beat the Chicago Bears, who will (at best) have a less-than-100% Jay Cutler, on Sunday evening (1800 – Sky Sports). Next up are 2 teams, both at 7-6, scrabbling around trying to secure one of the 2 wild-card spots in their respective conferences, as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Dallas Cowboys (2125 – Sky Sports). With the New England Patriots having already won their division, the San Francisco 49ers will be eying a win to secure themselves a berth, and with a Seahawks loss, their division as well (0120 Mon am – C4) – could this be a Superbowl preview? The NY Jets have managed to claw themselves to 6-7, and with one of the easiest run-ins, are lining themselves up to sneak a wild-card spot; they take on the Tennessee Titans on Monday night (0130 Tues am – BBC).

NFL Week 14

As you might be aware from Steven Roy’s post, this week is Sky Sports’ rookie-week; so if you’ve not got into NFL, either so far this season or not at all, then this is as good a time and an even better place to start. The Sky show should explain a lot of different aspects of the game and the rules, but anything they don’t quite cover can be posed to our ‘NFL-regulars’. The games they have chosen for this showcase are the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Washington Redskins (1800 – Sky Sports) and the New Orleans Saints playing at the NY Giants (2125 – Sky Sports). The late KO will see the Detroit Lions, who are currently on a 4-game losing streak taking on the somewhat resurgent Green Bay Packers (0130 Mon am – C4). Monday night plays host to a huge matchup between the current top two AFC seeds when the Houston Texans play in New England against the Patriots (0120 Tues am – BBC); a Houston win all-but assures them the #1 spot.

NFL Week 13

We’ve now reached the sharp end of the season – where certain key results will start to seal teams’ playoff places. The Chicago Bears are looking for a healthy again Jay Cutler to keep them in pole-position in their division as they travel to the Seattle Seahawks (1800 – Sky Sports). A win for the Baltimore Ravens and they will clinch a playoff berth (together with a loss for the Bengals and they’ll take the AFC North title); they are hosted by the Pittsburgh Steelers (2125 – Sky Sports). The final 2 matches of come straight out of the NFC East: Late on Sunday, the slumping Philadelphia Eagles will give recovering Mike Vick 2 flack-jackets so that he can try to play at the Dallas Cowboys (0120 Mon am – C4). On Monday night the New York Giants, who have recently been mediocre by their standards, take on the Washington Redskins, who are starting to make their own late bid for the post-season (0130 Tues am – BBC).

NFL Week 12

It’s Thanksgiving! And the NFL holiday-schedule means we get 2 big bites at the week-11 cherry, resulting in a veritable glut of games. We have 3 games on Thursday: Houston Texans at Detroit Lions (1730 – Sky Sports); an iconic game for Thanksgiving, Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (2115 – Sky Sports); and an AFC East rivalry for the ages, New England Patriots at New York Jets (0120 Fri am – Sky Sports). Then on Sunday watch out for RB Adrian Peterson busting through the Chicago Bears’ D as they play the Minnesota Vikings (1800 – Sky Sports). Up second, will new ‘superstar’ QB Kaepernick get a bigger role (if not the starting gig) for the 49ers when they travel to play the New Orleans Saints (2125 – Sky Sports)? The late-KO sees two teams both top of their respective NFC divisions, New York Giants host the Green Bay Packers (0120 Mon am – C4). Finally on Monday night expect a tight game when the Carolina Panthers play the Philadelphia Eagles (0130 Tues am – BBC).

NFL Week 11

With the F1 circus rolling into town, the first round of this weekend’s fixtures will have the USGP competing for our attention – the Green Bay Packers play the Detroit Lions (1800 – Sky Sports). The must-watch (if F1 permits) game of the week is the Indianapolis Colts facing the New England Patriots (2125 – Sky Sports). The last 2 games should come under the heading of QB-Injury-Report: Ben Roethlisberger (out), as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens (0120 Mon am – C4); Big-Ben has a dislocated rib, and his replacement (Byron Leftwich) will be in for a fight against a toughening Ravens team. Then on Monday, with Jay Cutler (out) & Alex Smith (out), the Chicago Bears take on the San Francisco 49ers (0130 Tues am – BBC; now with added studio!!). These two high-flying NFC teams will be without their starting QBs, so expect a tough, ground-and-pound game, in the ‘battle of the back-ups’ – Campbell vs Kaepernick.

NFL Week 10

After (me) getting confused by two lots of changing time-zones over the last two weeks, hopefully everything’s correct this time... The still unbeaten Atlanta Falcons are hosted by divisional rivals New Orleans Saints in our first match on Sunday (1800 – Sky Sports) – what makes this game even more of a must-watch; it’s a must-win for the Saints. Next up two teams who are having a tough time of it (QBs especially) as the Philadelphia Eagles play the Dallas Cowboys (2125 – Sky Sports). Finally on Sunday, two teams with 7-1 records do battle when the Houston Texans take on the Chicago Bears (0120 Mon am – C4) – expect strong offensive and defensive performances from both sides. On Monday night, a fast rising team host another who are at the forefront of the race for the First Pick in the 2013 Draft; the Kansas City Chiefs play at the Pittsburgh Steelers (0130 Tues am – BBC).

NFL Week 9

After this weekend, every team will be at least halfway through their schedules, and situations are starting to get serious. The first game is the Carolina Panthers taking on the Washington Redskins (1700 – Sky Sports) – last year’s all-action multiple-threat rookie QB Cam Newton faces off against this year’s (possibly better version) in RGIII. Another top-level QB-battle is on the cards when the Pittsburgh Steelers play the NY Giants (2015 – Sky Sports) – both have also have strong defences meaning this game will be a top-level matchup all round. The late-night game sees ‘America’s Team’ the Dallas Cowboys travel to the still undefeated Atlanta Falcons (0020 Mon am – C4) – will this be the weekend that the Falcons meet their match? Our Monday game is the New Orleans Saints hosting the Philly Eagles (0030 Tues am – BBC) – Eagles’ QB Mick Vick is close to losing his starting job, so will be looking to play up against a tough Saints’ D.

NFL Week 8

This season’s Wembley-Game has arrived, and it promises to be a corker! The New England Patriots are being hosted by the St Louis Rams (1800 – Sky Sports). Ok, so St Louis isn’t hosting the match in its truest sense, but they are the ‘home team’. The Rams are coming off a tough game against the Packers – their defence took a pounding, and the challenge this week will be similar. The Patriots have had by their standards a bumpy start to the season – on the way to being 4-&-3 they dipped below .500 for the first time in a regular season since 2002. London games always have a great atmosphere – ohh, and next year there are 2! Also this weekend: Giants @ Cowboys (2115 – Sky Sports), Saints @ Broncos (0120 Mon am – C4), and 49ers @ Cardinals (0130 Tues am – BBC).

NFL Week 7

Even though a chunk of decent teams are on a Bye, it doesn’t mean that quality of this weekend’s match-ups are diminished in the slightest. The first match sees 2 teams that are streaking away from the rest of the AFC as the Baltimore Ravens play at the Houston Texans (1800 – Sky Sports) – the injury-plagued Ravens might just be the underdogs this time. The must-not-miss game this weeks is where the NY Jets take the short trip to the New England Patriots (2115 – Sky Sports) – the Pats should beat a freewheeling Jets team, but stranger things have happened. Another interdivisional game finds the AFC North’s Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (0120 Mon am – C4). Our Monday night game is an encounter that any zoo would draw huge crowds for as the Lions take on the Bears (0130 Tues am – BBC) – Grrrrrrrr!!

NFL Week 6

This is the week where teams start to pull away and seasons start to be defined. The ‘early’ game features the Detroit Lions, who need to start playing to their potential, at the Philadelphia Eagles, with their ‘fumble-y QB’ Mike Vick (1800 – Sky Sports). Up second are 2 NFC-Championship contenders when then New York Giants play the San Francisco 49ers (2115 – Sky Sports). The late-ko has the Houston Texans hosting the Green Bay Packers (0120 Mon am – C4); where Aaron Rogers will probably be looking to abandon the run in an attempt to overturn the yet-undefeated Texans. Monday night sees an all-AFC West showdown with the San Diego Chargers travelling to the Denver Broncos (0130 Tues am – BBC), and should be an offensive slug-fest, regardless of the strengths of either defence.

NFL Week 5

With the first quarter of the regular season in the books, teams should be all-warmed-up by now. First up on Sunday, the Battle of Pennsylvania enters another chapter, with the Philadelphia Eagles playing at the Pittsburgh Steelers (ko 1800 – Sky Sports); watch out for the Steelers, they should be fresh after their bye-week. Next is a quarterback-battle for the ages; Tom Brady faces his old nemesis Peyton Manning as the Denver Broncos travel to the New England Patriots (2125 – Sky Sports). The late kick-off sees the New Orleans Saints host the San Diego Chargers (0120 Mon am – C4); finally, with the Bolts on TV, I won’t be watching a different game to everyone else! Our late game on Monday has the Houston Texans at the NY Jets (0130 Tues am – BBC); key injuries to the Jet’s defence, and the standard of their QB play, suggests they are in for a hiding.

NFL Week 4

First up on the NFL-Sunday we have the New England Patriots travelling the short distance to play the Buffalo Bills (1800 – Sky Sports). Pats will want a win – this is the first time in years they’ve had more losses that wins – currently at 1-2. The second kickoff will see Drew Brees try to prevent his New Orleans Saints going 0-4 when playing at the Green Bay Packers (2115 – Sky Sports). Sunday’s late kickoff sees the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the New York Giants (0055 Monday am – C4)– where Eagles QB Vick has something to prove. The ‘Monday night’ game has the Chicago Bears at the Dallas Cowboys (0130 Tuesday am – BBC) – should be a matchup worth ruining your Tuesday for.

NFL Week 3

Another NFL-weekend is upon us – one that should be full of action. First up on Sunday we have the New York Jets at the Miami Dolphins (1800 – Sky Sports). Next the Houston Texans travel to play the Denver Broncos in the thin air at Mile-High (2115 – Sky Sports). Peyton Manning will need to start the game better, rather than gifting turnovers in the first quarter, if he wants a win. Later still we have the Baltimore Ravens hosting the New England Patriots (0120 – C4). Our last matchup of the weekend is on Monday night (Tuesday morning); the Green Bay Packers play at the Seattle Seahawks (0130 – BBC red button / online) – which could look ‘easy’ for the Packers, but as one NFL-pundit put it, is a ‘tough game in disguise’.

NFL Week 2

After an action-packed first weekend, we should expect nothing less from the second. First up we see the Carolina Panthers hosting the New Orleans Saints (1800 – Sky Sports) – can the interim to the interim head-coach of the Saints get a handle on nuances of running an offence? Then (2105 – Sky Sports) Washington Redskins at the St Louis Rams – will rookie QB RG3 start 2-0? Finally for the Sunday, we have the San Francisco 49ers playing the Detroit Lions (0120 – C4) – can Calvin Johnson overcome the ‘Madden-Curse’? Our last game of the weekend is on Monday night / Tuesday morning, and sees Atlanta Falcons against the Denver Broncos (0130 BBC (red-button / online) – if you want to watch Peyton Manning to turn gridiron into a game of chess, then this is the game for you.

NFL Week 1

Monday night / Tuesday morning sees the final two matches of the opening weekend of the 2012 NFL season. Both matches of this double-header are big inter-divisional rivalries in the AFC. First up is a matchup from the AFC North: Baltimore Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens will want to make up for not making the Superbowl last season, after missing out so cruelly in the AFC Championship game last season. Our second matchup sees the AFC West’s San Diego Chargers travelling up the west coast of California to face the Oakland Raiders. The scheduling has picked us two great games for the first Monday Night Football, and the BBC are kindly showing them for us online / on the red-button.

Indianapolis Colts at the Chicago Bears

This is the first Sunday of the new NFL season and our first chance to judge which teams will contest Superbowl 47 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans in February. The Colts started last season as one of the top teams but an injury to star quarterback Peyton Manning turned their season into a disaster. The one benefit of this is that they got first pick in the NFL draft of new players and chose Andrew Luck who is a young QB with a big reputation and becomes Manning's replacement. The Bears have not made the playoffs in the last two seasons and have shuffled some of their management and signed Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall from the Miami Dolphins. It will be interesting to see if either of these teams are serious contenders or face a longer recovery process.