As usual this weekend sees a plethora of great games for gridiron fans.
Cayman enthusiasts have their choice of all sorts of meaningful matches on Sunday from 12noon Cayman time until 7pm.
The three games that stand out to this reporter are the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons, the Houston Texans against the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots against the Denver Broncos.
The Niners are coming off an impressive 35-0 beat-down of the St. Louis Rams last week.
Thus far the 3-1 club have shown they have the versatility on offense and the toughness on defense (especially stopping the run) to be a contender.
Atlanta meanwhile have done well for themselves near the top of the NFC South with an exceptional passing game steadied by Matt Ryan.
Even without Frank Gore, San Francisco flashed a solid rushing attack and that spells trouble for the Falcons.
Whoever controls the run game should win this match. Due to Atlanta’s funk on the ground the edge goes to the Niners in a thrilling 14-10 win.
Meanwhile the Texans are riding high this season with an offense that continues to find ways to score.
On paper the side has always looked vaunted but finally Schaub, Johnson and Slaton are playing as good as advertised.
What has always given Houston a chance against the better teams has been their defense, in particular a relentless pass rush steadied by a tireless worker in Mario Williams.
Warner and the Cardinals are struggling to find their groove and until Arizona gets clicking this should be a 27-17 win for Houston.
The Patriots and Broncos are coming off great weekends in which they beat some good defensive teams.
Tom Brady showed great poise in the pocket against a ravenous Baltimore pass rush while Brandon Marshall made big play after big play against the Cowboys.
Denver’s defense is good but it’s going to be put to the test by a robust New England passing game.
This game hinges on the play of the secondary for both clubs and right now the Patriots get a slight edge 36-33.