NFL Week 9 Game Rankings: Hard to beat Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning – CBSSports.com

Denver Broncos

Brady and Manning meet again in a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game. (Getty Images)

Last week was Statement Week for pretty much every team in the league that needed a win.

Can that continue again?

Every potential contending team that was under extreme duress to win — Seattle, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Buffalo — won. Even those that simply couldn’t really afford to lose to weaker opposition, like Detroit and Cleveland, got the job done. Then there’s Chicago. The Bears imploded in New England and is sinking to new depths.

But you get the prevailing sentiment that comes into this week. The team that needed the game most, in almost every instance, won in Week 8 — whether it was a blowout or hard-fought. This week there aren’t nearly as many cases where one team that’s in the playoff mix really has its back against the wall and needs to prove something.

With six teams on the bye — the Lions, Falcons, Packers, Bills, Bears, and Titans — there is a dearth of divisional games. There are three total, although two of them are humdingers — Ravens at Steelers and Saints at Panthers. And, in the coveted 4:25 p.m. (EST) slot, which always dominates ratings, we have on what might be the regular-season game of the year on CBS — possibly the final meeting between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

So why don’t we get right to the footlongs on that note, my friends.

Footlong

at New England Patriots

Denver at New England
Sunday, Nov. 2, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Why To Watch: I’d have a significantly more difficult time trying to come up with reasons not to watch this game. And honestly, I can’t come up with one. It’s a battle for the first-overall seed …read more

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