Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) vs. New England Patriots (4-1)
Bengal fans may want to take this article with a grain of salt…and an aspirin. A loss this week and the Bengals would equal their loss total from a year ago. The Bengals started last season on an eight-game winning streak, yet here they are, in danger of missing out on the playoffs. While it is still very early in the season, the Bengals are third in their division, currently two wins behind the Steelers, and while they can still earn a playoff berth as a wildcard, they will need a win over the perennial NFL juggernaut Patriots in order to start building momentum. Look for the Bengals to try to recapture the superb run game they had last season. Meanwhile, arguably the most hated quarterback who stands up during the national anthem, Tom Brady, will be under center for the Patriots. Coming off of a four-game suspension, Brady unleashed his bent up frustration on the hapless Browns last week, and it’s safe to say that his inner flames have not yet begun to quiver. Brady passed for 406 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first game of the season. This will be a dogfight and could very well make or break the Bengals season.
Seattle Seahawks (3-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-1)
This will definitely be an entertaining game to watch as the Falcons boast the league’s highest-scoring offense (175 points), and the Seahawks wield the 3rd best defense (54 points allowed). Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is enjoying the best season of his career thus far, with 12 passing touchdowns to just 2 interceptions, and averaging 348 yards per game. The 1,740 passing yards accumulated by “Matty Ice” ranks first in the entire league. Standout wide receiver Julio Jones, on the other hand, is struggling through a statistically deceiving year. If you take away his incredible 300 yard game against the Panthers, Julio has averaged a pedestrian 54.3 yards per game, and will have to contest with the legendary Legion of Boom. While the L.O.B. Seattle defensive secondary isn’t what it was in 2013, they are still taking balls and making names for themselves. The Seahawks are fresh off of their bye week, and while their cocky secondary looks to lockdown Atlanta’s receivers, they will also need an answer for the Falcons boisterous running game. In the end, this could prove to be a war of nutrition, as both teams head into the game with few key injuries.