The Miami Dolphins travel to Buffalo to take on the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night to start Week 11 in the NFL. This is going to be an important game for both teams. In fact, it is so important that it will be mentioned in more detail as one of the games that you should be watching this week. With that said, what games should you be watching this week if you are looking for some match-ups?
Miami At Buffalo
Let’s start with the Thursday night game. The 4-5 Dolphins are traveling to Buffalo to take on the 3-6 Bills. While this wouldn’t seem to be a game worth watching, there are some playoff implications for the winner and the loser.
If Buffalo wins, they would be 4-6 headed into a game against the Indianapolis Colts. They would also tie the Dolphins at 4-6 as well as have a tie-breaker in head-to-head games won. This is important because the Bills are chasing the 6-3 Colts for one of two wild card spots in the AFC.
If Miami wins, they will play themselves right into the thick of things in the AFC. At 5-5, they would potentially be only one game behind Indianapolis. They would also be within shouting distance of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Depending on how things break record-wise, the Bills or Dolphins could use this game to springboard themselves into the playoffs. Buffalo has the luxury of a weaker schedule with only one game remaining against a team with a winning record. Without a doubt, this is the most interesting game between losing teams this week.
Indianapolis At New England
The Colts need a win to prove that they are a contender in the AFC. If they lose, they open the door for Buffalo, Miami and a host of other teams hovering around .500 to make a move for a playoff spot. If the Colts win, they would move to 7-3 and potentially cement themselves a place in the playoffs with six games remaining.
For Indianapolis, they need to throw the ball a lot. The Patriots have one of the worst defensive backfields in the league. Even though the Patriots have averaged over 30 points a game this season, they have struggled to put teams away because they cannot stop the pass.
On the other side, Tom Brady is simply going to have to limit his mistakes. As long as he plays turnover free football, the Patriots should have no problem marching up and down the field on a young and talent starved Colts defense. This game could certainly be a shoot-out.
If you are a fan of the Dolphins, Bills or Chargers, this will be a must-see game for sure. However, this could also be a mini-rivalry as Luck and Brady may have a few seasons to do battle against each other. It may feel like old times when the Colts and Patriots meet.
Chicago At San Francisco
Both teams could be without their starting quarterbacks as both Alex Smith and Jay Culter suffered concussions in their Week 10 games. That means that Colin Kaepernick and Jason Campbell could be making their first starts of the season. Even if both Smith and Cutler are able to play, a head injury can be aggravated at any time.
While Campell was a starter in previous years for the Raiders and Redskins, Kaepernick would be making his first career start. The good news is that both quarterbacks are good on their feet and can make plays while on the move. This should give them more time to avoid costly sacks and turnovers.
The Niners are going to want some clarity after settling for a 24-24 tie against the St. Louis Rams last week. For that to happen, Frank Gore is going to need to run the ball early and often against what is a stout Chicago defense.
For Chicago, they will need to lean on Matt Forte and Michael Bush to take some pressure off of Campbell. It also wouldn’t hurt if the Bears defense would step up and score another touchdown or two. The only question is whether or not the Bears can actually beat a good team. Chicago has already lost to the likes of the Packers and Texans. Can they beat an elite team such as the Niners on the road?
This is a guest post submitted by Don Phan. Don currently writes sports content for blogs part-time and is with Fanatics Inc. full-time as a marketing associate. Fanatics is a leading retailer of licensed NFL merchandise and is a premier source for officially licensed Bears and 49ers gear.