Just a quick note before I jump in to my Top-7 Must Watch Games remaining in the 2013 NFL betting season. Since we won’t know what the playoff implications are heading in to later weeks, I’ll refrain from ranking the games in order of excitement (or whatever). Rather I’m just going to talk about them in the order that they appear on the schedule.
Top-7 Must Watch Games Remaining In 2013 NFL Season
- Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions -6.0 (Week 15 Monday Night)
After the Chargers rallied to beat the Broncos, this became an absolute must-win game for the Ravens who are now perched in the perilous sixth seed with Miami and San Diego pressing. The positive is that Baltimore is starting to show glimpses of their Super Bowl form. Don’t forget that the Ravens and Joe Flacco didn’t thump their way to the big game last year – they earned it by fighting tooth and nail. This can be a resilient team, and they showed that in Week 14 against a Minnesota squad that simply wouldn’t go away. Performing at a high level against a much better NFC North opponent will prove if Baltimore has the stuff it takes to make a run.
The other reason this makes the Top-7 Must Watch Games Remaining list is because nobody really knows what to make of Detroit. Their secondary is atrocious, they fall apart at the worst times in games and – for plenty of reasons -their offence seems stalled in third gear. Either Detroit puts themselves back on the Super Bowl contenders map in this one, or they get wiped off of it by the defending Super Bowl champs. Seems pretty fitting if you ask me.
- Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (Week 16 Early)
This one is fairly obvious. Kansas City just watched Denver lose on Thursday night to Philip Rivers and have a layup of a game in Week 15 against Oakland on Sunday. That sets them up to go barreling down the home stretch with a bye week within reach. Any mentions of them not being a Super Bowl contending team were washed away when they clobbered Washington 45-10 by coming out of the gates fiercely. They can totally set themselves up for a showdown in Week 17 against the aforementioned Chargers in another matchup that will definitely make my Top-7 Must Watch Games Remaining rundown.
I’m also sketched out by the Colts in general, and this could very well be a playoff preview. The Colts are literally limping in to the post season. They’ve already locked up the division, but that doesn’t say much considering the sad state of the AFC South. They still have plenty to clean up offensively and defensively. They won’t take this game lightly. Well, they shouldn’t. I mean…screw it…they look really bad.
- Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (Week 16 Early)
A massive NFC West battle here. Arizona just lost the Honey Badger, which is truly sad news, and have the Titans the week prior. If they win that game, they’ll be in the running to make the Wild Card depending on how the other teams in the hunt fare. And Seattle is becoming a can’t miss team at home once again. The Red Birds from the desert will have to play on the road in the playoffs no matter what. If they can put up a fight in Seattle, we’ll be hearing about Kurt Warner 2.0 talks with Carson Palmer. If that doesn’t tell you unbelievable this season is, then nothing will. And if anyone can figure out how to slow down Seattle using a less-than-stellar defensive roster, it’s Bruce Arians. You won’t be the only one watching this game. Every defensive coordinator in the NFC will be as well.
- New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (Week 16 Early)
Unless Seattle falls flat on its face and loses all three of its remaining games, this will be an outright slugfest for the second seed. New Orleans already owns the tie breaker by virtue of the conference record and their win over Carolina two weeks ago. But the Panthers are not to be taken lightly. A possible shot at the second seed in the NFC with revenge on Carolina’s mind while Cam Newton plays at home? Yes please with all the cherries on top.
- New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (Week 16 Late)
A huge rematch of last year’s AFC Championship awaits us in Week 16 when New England visits the potentially surging Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots have their problems, but they were decent without Gronkowski before and one can only assume that Tom Brady isn’t going to let this hard fought season go to waste. Either Joe Flacco is going to prove he’s a $100M quarterback, and validate his team’s playoff hopes, or he’s going to lose to a quarterback who has earned every dollar throughout his amazing career. I can’t wait for this one. It’s not just a matchup on my Top-9 Must Watch Games left on the schedule. It might be the best of all of them.
- Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (Week 17 Early)
Aaron Rodgers could be back. Josh McCown could be the starter again. Who knows? The Packers are just one game back of the Bears and Lions right now, and could very well keep gunning towards the playoffs by the time this game hits us in the face. Even if the Packers can’t make the playoffs with a win here, there’s a one-hundred percent chance that they’d love to turn Chicago’s post season fantasy in to a nightmare.
- Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (Week 17 Late)
Rounding out this list is one of the last games of the regular season. Kansas could be in striking distance of a division crown, and if they’re not, they could very well shut things down in this one. But San Diego will be – excuse the pun – charging towards the playoffs in this one, while Baltimore dukes it out with Cincinnati earlier in the day. Even still, the Chiefs owe the Chargers payback after losing to them earlier this year in one of Rivers’ best games ever. This could be an outright war.
If this game doesn’t have the implication I’m hoping for, the Niners-Cardinals game would then bump up in value depending on how things shake out over the next two weeks in the NFC. Either way, these are your Top-7 Must Watch Games Remaining in the 2013 NFL season, so mark your calendars and get ready for a wild ride to end one helluva year.