The 49ers enjoy a week off following their victory over the Broncos in London as they try to get readjusted to pacific time. This week's byes include the 49ers opponent next week, the St. Louis Rams, which means both teams should be well-rested heading into week two of the 49ers Must-Win World Tour.
In the meantime, we've got a whole host of football to check out today. Everybody will be doing something a little different this week without the 49ers on tv. For those taking a break from football it might be a nice little respite. I, on the other hand, will basically be kicking back with Comcast/Xfinity's NFL Red Zone Channel all day. There are some interesting matchups I wouldn't otherwise get to see, so I'll stick with them for the most part.
In San Francisco we get Arizona at Minnesota at 10am on Fox. Over on CBS we get San Diego at Houston at 10am and Kansas City at Oakland at 1:15pm, a game that the Raiders managed to sell out and get on television. Since their ugly performance against the 49ers, the Raiders have actually played quite well and this should be a pretty interesting matchup. I might even switch over to that game and just us the Red Zone channel for commercials and lulls in action.
In looking over today's matchups, I'd say the best one is the battle for first place in the NFC South between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs have shocked a few folks with their strong start to the season and they'll look to keep things going strong at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons are fairly heavy favorites, at -420 on the moneyline and a spread of -8.5. The Falcons are undefeated at home, but the Bucs are undefeated on the road so we'll see if they can spring the upset.
In the afternoon I'm intrigued by the Colts-Eagles matchup. The Eagles will be rolling Michael Vick back out in the starting lineup, which provides a fun contrast of styles between Vick and Peyton Manning. Philly is a slight favorite (-3, -150 M/L) but this game is truly a toss-up in my opinion. Vick and the Eagles are playing quite well. Then you've got Peyton Manning and the Colts who seem to lose offensive weapons with incredible regularity, and yet the beat goes on and Manning finds a way to win. It's really quite impressive. He's truly one of the great QBs in NFL history.
Two potentially interesting matchups that might fly a bit under the radar would be Chargers/Texans and Giants/Seahawks. The Chargers are fast approaching the time when they get hot while the Texans are reaching the time they fall apart. Just as we've got Daylight Savings Time today to really bring in the winter, the Chargers and Texans are two excellent markers during the season.
I mention the Giants-Seahawks game because the Seahawks are strong at home and weak on the road. We'd like to see the Seahawks lose at home for NFC West playoff purposes, but they should give the Giants a real tough time up in the Emerald City.