Week 12 (November 23):
- Tentative game: Indianapolis @ San Diego
- Prospects: A 5-4 team against a 4-5 team that just broke a losing streak. With the Colts potentially on the mend, this game might not be completely out of it.
- Likely protections: Eagles-Ravens (Fox) and Jets-Titans (CBS).
- Other possible games mentioned on Wednesday’s Watch and their records: Panthers (7-2)-Falcons (6-3), Giants (8-1)-Cardinals (5-3), Patriots (6-3)-Dolphins (5-4)
- Impact of Monday Night Football: I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC and the NFL are waiting on this game… a Cardinals loss sinks them to four losses and makes the Giants game look potentially lopsided, giving the edge to the Panthers-Falcons divisional matchup, while a win keeps the larger average record alive.
- Analysis: A Cardinals win on Monday night would really help their chances, but the late date of that game means the other games are more important. The Giants beating the Eagles on Sunday night might actualy give NBC and the league pause as the Cardinals game could start looking slightly lopsided, but both teams losing wouldn’t have saved it anyway. However, the game’s in-division importance for the Cardinals should offset that. I had said if the Giants won Giants-Cardinals is probably in, and the Panthers and Falcons would both need to win to force NBC and the NFL to at least consider waiting for Monday Night, but that’s exactly what the Panthers and Falcons did. If NBC was forced to choose before Monday Night, they would probably pick Giants-Cardinals just because the Giants are more recognizible than any of the other three nobodies. Still, Panthers-Falcons is a divisional rivalry…
- Final prediction: New York Giants @ Arizona Cardinals (if the Cardinals win tonight) OR Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (if the 49ers win tonight). (And if you’re not watching the game, the latter is very plausible.)