Clash of the titans: Divison and conference showdowns between heavyweights highlight week

10/19/14 by Matthew S. Vandriak

Two of the top teams in the AFC clash, while two other AFC teams in need of a win will meet. Plus a key NFC division battle and an NFC matchup between two division leaders as well as a big inter-conference matchup headline the NFL schedule for Week 7.
Cincinnati at Indianapolis: Two teams streaking in opposite directions meet in this one. The Colts, after losing their first 2 games of 2014 have won their past 4. The Bengals, after starting 3 and 0, have lost and tied in their past 2 games. Of more concern for the Bengals is they've given up 80 points in those games. The defense will have to better this week against the NFL's leading passer in Andrew Luck. Luck has thrown for 1,987 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading a Colts offense that is tops in the NFL in yards per game as well (444 yards per contest). More bad news for Cincinnati is leading receiver A.J. Green is expected to miss his second straight game due to injury. Two WR's who are playing are coming off of big games. T.Y. Hilton caught 9 passes for 223 yards and a TD in the Colts win over Houston in Week 6. Mohammad Sanu stepped up big in Green's absence for the Bengals last week, making 10 catches for 120 yards and a score. The Bengals have won the past two matchups between these teams.
Carolina at Green Bay: Perhaps October should be renamed "Packtober", since Green Bay has won 15 of their past 16 October games. This game will pit two division leading teams against each other, and features two QB's who are having phenomenal seasons so far. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 1,419 yards and 15 TD's, with just one interception thrown. Carolina's Cam Newton has racked up over 1,400 yards in total offense in 2014. Rodgers great season has helped Jordy Nelson be the NFL's leading receiver, with 43 catches for 632 yards and 5 TD's. Injuries could loom big for both teams though. Packers starting CB Sam Shields will miss the game, while Carolina could be without leading receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who is recovering from a concussion.

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NY Giants at Dallas: Dallas will be looking for their 6th straight win in this NFC East clash. The Cowboys offense is firing on all cylinders in 2014. DeMarco Murray leads the NFL in rushing with 785 yards and 6 TD's, while QB Tony Romo has passed for 1,510 yards and 11 TD's. The Giants had won 3 in a row prior to last weeks loss to Philadelphia. But a bigger loss in that game was leading receiver Victor Cruz, who sustained a season ending injury. Rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. will start in Cruz's place. Rookie RB Andre Williams will make is second consecutive start, as the Giants will be without leading rusher Rashad Jennings again. The Cowboys swept the Giants in 2013, winning both games last season.
San Francisco at Denver: Peyton Manning will be looking to make history in this big inter conference matchup. Manning needs 2 touchdown passes to tie Brett Favre for the most in NFL history. Manning has thrown for 1,530 yards this season and 15 TD's against just 3 interceptions. Colin Kaepernick comes in off a great week, passing for 343 yards and 3 TD's in the 49ers win over the Rams last week. For the season Kaepernick has put up almost 1,700 yards in total offense. The 49ers are looking for their 3rd straight win, while the Broncos are trying to remain perfect at home. San Francisco may be without LB Patrick Willis, who was injured last week. The Broncos will be without leading rusher Montae Ball for the second straight week due to a groin injury.

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