#5 Big Ben’s Back
Ben Roethlisberger will be back under center for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. How ready he is to take his first snap in a month remains to be seen. The San Diego Chargers have never — not ever – -won a game in Pittsburgh. They’ve got to see an opportunity here to break that streak — currently standing at a whopping 14 games — and take advantage of a team whose QB is at less than 100%.
#4 New Orleans Saints at New York Giants
The New Orleans Saints started the season in a terrible, bounty scandal induced funk. Then they went on a tear, winning five of the next six and looking good doing so. Three weeks ago the Saints somehow lost their map to the end zone. Unable to put up points by the handful as they had been, they dropped the last two games and averaged just 17 points per game. Can they find their swagger – -and the end zone — against a New York Giants team still stinging from a loss to division rival Washington last week? Or will the G-Men, losers of three of their last four games, find a way to get right on Sunday?
#3 Army – Navy
The Army – Navy Game is one of college football’s most revered traditions. It is one of only two even in the world of college football that gets its own day all to itself. The rivalry goes back to 1890 and has been repeated 112 times. The 113th meeting this weekend lacks a little luster since the Army team is so darn bad, but we suspect that the Black Knights will rise to the occasion and give the Midshipmen a good run for the money.
#2 New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars
The New York Jets quarterback controversy escalated last week — when head coach Rex Ryan benched starting QB Mark Sanchez mid-way through last week’s abysmal performance he inadvertently kicked the ongoing Jets QB saga into a whole new gear. Inserting third-stringer Greg McElroy probably seemed like a safe move. Send a signal to Sanchez without risking him being outshone by backup Tim Tebow, who was out nursing an injury. But when McElroy engineered a game winning TD drive, things went sideways in New York. Sanchez will start this week, but who will finish the season? Who will finish the game?
#1 Pacquiao – Marquez IV
The first meeting between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez was a draw. Pacquiao won the next two. Saturday night will be the fourth, and most likely final, contest between the two, A decisive win for Marquez would erase the futility of the first three. Any win for Pacquiao would put a stamp on the rivalry. Either way, this should be one good fight.