The 49ers face off against the Arizona Cardinals later this afternoon, but in the meantime we've got an interesting set of morning games for you to enjoy. The 49ers are impacted by some of the action, but the rest of the action provides some more general NFL enjoyment.
The Saints-Titans matchup is the big one as discussed earlier today. The Saints head into Tennessee looking to maintain pace with the 49ers in the battle for the number two seed. The difference between playing that second round game in New Orleans versus San Francisco is huge.
The other big game this morning is Houston at Cincinnati. The Texans are down to their third string quarterback, T.J. Yates, with Jake Delhomme and Jeff Garcia on the bench ready to come in if needed. They are without Andre Johnson this week as he recovers from a hamstring injury. They face a Bengals team that has struggled against good teams, but is still dangerous at home. This is a great opportunity for the Bengals to make some movement in the wildcard race, where five teams (including AFC West division leader) are tied at 7-5 and battling for a single spot behind Pittsburgh.
The rest of the games feature an interesting mix of talent that could be exciting to watch. Atlanta travels to Carolina in what could be a high-flying affair. The Eagles get Michael Vick back as they head down to Miami for a tough game against the recently resurgent Dolphins. I'm also intrigued by the Patriots-Redskins game in Washington. Generally I'm of the opinion that anybody can throw on the Patriots secondary. This week we get a stiff challenge to that theory with Rex Grossman. He could throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns, or he could throw five interceptions. Neither result would surprise me.
We'll be back later this morning with the inactives and then the game thread just before kickoff. In the meantime, enjoy the morning slate of games.