San Diego at New Jersey
Series: Chargers lead 19-13-1
Last Meeting(s): San Diego wasted a first round bye following the 2009 season when they lost to the Jets 17-14 in a divisional playoff game. San Diego out-gained the Jets 344 to 266, but turned the ball over twice, committed 10 penalties, and gave up a 53-yard touchdown run to Shonn Greene in the fourth quarter.
Streak(s): Since 2002, the Jets are 4-2 in the series, including two playoff wins. The last time the Jets beat San Diego at home was November 1991, when they cruised to a 24-3 win. That is one ugly box score. Bob Gagliano and John Friesz each threw a pick for San Diego. The game’s leading rusher was Blair Thomas with just 76 yards and the leading receiver was Rob Moore with just 74 yards. Browning Nagle even saw some action. This home losing streak is actually only two games, even though it’s been over 20 years since the last win.
Chicago at Tampa Bay
Series: Bears lead 35-18
Last Meeting(s): These former NFC Central foes haven’t met much since realignment. In 2008, Tampa Bay topped Chicago 27-24. Brian Griese and Kyle Orton, who had been teammates in Chicago the previous season, combined to throw five interceptions, one of which (Orton to Gaines Adams) was taken back for a touchdown. Griese attempted 67 passes as the Buccaneers overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and won in overtime.
Streak(s): None. They’ve split the last two in Tampa and the last two in Chicago. Jay Cutler won in his only game against the Bucs (2008, as a Bronco) and Josh Freeman has never played the Bears.
Seattle at Cleveland
Series: Seahawks lead 11-5
Last Meeting(s): In 2007, the Browns won a Derek Anderson-Matt Hasselbeck shootout 33-30 in overtime. Actually, Anderson didn’t do much; Jamal Lewis had four rushing touchdowns. Hasselbeck was only slightly better; he threw two touchdown passes, but most of Seattle’s points came off special teams: three Josh Brown field goals and a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown by Nate Burleson.
Streak(s): Seattle’s last win in Cleveland was 9-6 thriller in September 2001. Not a very interesting series.
Atlanta at Detroit
Series: Lions lead 23-10
Last Meeting(s): In Week 1 of 2008, Matt Ryan won his first ever start when the Falcons beat Detroit 34-21 at the Georgia Dome. Ryan only attempted 13 passes, but his very first one was a 62-yard touchdown to Michael Jenkins. Atlanta jumped out to a 21-point first quarter lead and never looked back.
Streak(s): These teams have alternated wins for the last eight meetings dating back to August of 1997. If that holds up, it’s Detroit’s turn. Detroit only has a winning record against five current NFL teams (they’re .500 against three other teams). Their best winning percentage is against Cleveland (14-4), second best is against Atlanta.
Denver at Miami
Series: Dolphins 11-4-1
Last Meeting(s): Miami’s 26-7 win in 2008 left both teams at 4-4 halfway through the season. Chad Pennington threw a pick and the Dolphins didn’t run the ball very well, but Will Allen returned an interception for a touchdown and Dan Carpenter hit four field goals. Jay Cutler had over 300 yards passing and two touchdowns…but also threw three interceptions.
Streak(s): Miami has won the last two and five of the last six, the first win in that stretch coming in September 1999. Denver has never won in Miami in seven tries.
Houston at Tennessee
Series: Titans lead 13-5
Last Meeting(s): The home team won both games in 2010. Last November, the Texans beat Tennessee easy, 20-0. Less than a month later, the Titans won the rematch, 31-17. Rusty Smith was the loser for the Titans, Kerry Collins was the winner. Arian Foster had 143 yards rushing in the Texans win, 15 in the loss.
Washington at Carolina
Series: Redskins lead 7-2
Last Meeting(s): After an 0-3 start, the Panthers beat Washington 20-17 in Week 5, righting the ship and steering towards an 8-8 finish. The Redskins were up 17-2 in the third quarter, but Carolina scored the game’s last 18 points. This was a Jake Delhomme-Jason Campbell battle.
Streak(s): Carolina has won two of the last three after Washington won the series’ first six games. Washington’s last win in Charlotte came in 1998, with Trent Green leading the way to a 28-25 final score. One of the teams has scored 17 points six times in this series (the Redskins have scored 17 in four straight games against Carolina), and the final score has been 20-17 four times.
Pittsburgh at Arizona
Series: Steelers lead 32-23-3
Last Meeting(s): In February 2009, the Steelers beat the Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl 43. The Cardinals have changed a little since then: the only player who threw a pass, attempted a rush, or caught a pass for Arizona that day who remains on the team is Larry Fitzgerald (even Karlos Dansby, who intercepted Ben Roethlisberger, is gone).
Streak(s): The Steelers have won three of four from 1997 and 2009. The Steelers’ last road win over the Cardinals was a 24-21 win in 1979…in St. Louis (yes, Pittsburgh was technically the “visitor” in the 2009 Super Bowl).
Kansas City at Oakland
Series: Chiefs lead 54-48-2
Last Meeting(s): Getting swept by the Raiders in 2010 was no obstacle to winning the AFC West for Kansas City. The Raiders won the first meeting 23-20, in overtime, in Oakland in Week 9. The second win came a little easier; the Chiefs had already clinched the AFC West and, in Week 17, took a 31-10 beating at the hands of the Raiders for their only regular season home loss.
Streak(s): Oakland has won five of the last seven. Carson Palmer’s last game against Kansas City was a 17-10 win in December 2009. It feels odd to not have more to say about such a long rivalry but…
Green Bay at Minnesota
Series: Packers lead 51-48-1
Last Meeting(s): The Packers swept the Vikings in 2010, winning 28-24 in Week 7 and 31-3 in Week 11. The Vikings still had Brad Childress, Brett Favre, and Randy Moss for the first game, and Minnesota had the ball at the Packers’ 20 yard line with 28 second left in the game. Favre threw the ball over Moss’ head in the back of the end zone and that was that. Favre’s three second half interceptions didn’t help. The second time around, Aaron Rodgers torched the Vikings and threw four touchdowns at the Metrodome.
Streak(s): Minnesota has had two three-game winning streaks since 2000, but Green Bay has mostly owned the series since the turn of the century. The Packers are 14-9 since the start of the 2000 season, with one of those losses coming in the playoffs. Rodgers is 3-3 against the Vikings.
St. Louis at Dallas
Series: Rams lead 15-14
Last Meeting(s): In 2008, the 1-4 Rams beat the 4-2 Cowboys 34-14 at the Edward Jones Dome. Steven Jackson had 160 yards and three touchdowns. Marion Barber had a decent game, gaining 100 yards and scoring a touchdown, but Brad Johnson threw three interceptions.
Streak(s): Over the last nine meetings, dating back to a December 1986 Rams win, the teams have alternated wins, and it is Dallas’ turn. The Cowboys and Rams met in the playoffs eight times between 1973 and 1985, each winning four times.
Indianapolis at New Orleans
Series: Saints lead 6-5
Last Meeting(s): Another most recent matchup this week is a Super Bowl. The Saints beat Indianpolis 31-17 in Super Bowl 44. As I say each week: Peyton Manning played in that game.
Streak(s): The Baltimore Colts beat the Saints in 1967, 1969, and 1973. The two teams didn’t play again for thirteen years, and by then the Colts were in Indianapolis. From 1986 to 2001, the Saints won all five games. The Colts have won 2 out of 3 since then.
Baltimore at Jacksonville
Series: Jaguars lead 9-7
Last Meeting(s): The Ravens won in Baltimore 27-7 in Week 17 of 2008. Ed Reed had two picks and La’Ron McClain had two touchdowns.
Streak(s): After losing the first eight games in this series (when they were AFC Central foes, Jacksonville swept Baltimore every year from 1996-1999), the Ravens have won seven of the last eight (2000 to 2008). Still, Baltimore’s last win in Jacksonville came in November 2001.