The game plan: Giants vs. 49ers are your alternative to watching the AFC West

Thearon W. Henderson - Getty Images

The Giants and 49ers headline Week 6 in the NFL, but what about those other 13 games?

Week 6. By now, you know that your predictions for the NFL were futile. The NFC West is pretty good. The Packers are not, and Big Bird is at the center of the most important presidential election until the next one.

Fortunately, there are a few buoys of sanity for weary fans. The AFC West still stinks. The Giants and 49ers are the teams we thought they would be, and headline Week 6 with a reprise of last season's exciting NFC Championship game.

The best games of the week are as follows:

More: Week 6 NFL power rankings | Odds for all Week 6 games | Week 6 NFL picks

1. New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

Regular season rematches of scintillating playoff games rarely pan out the way the league and the media hope. This game could be an exception to that. Injuries have taken a toll on the Giants, in the secondary, but these teams are very much like the ones that met last January. Both are also playing at or near the same level, too.

2. Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

The 'Boys had a week off to lick their wounds, wipe Jerry's glasses and listen to flowery pep talks from Jason Garrett ... who is not going to get fired, not yet anyway. Tony Romo has thrown eight interceptions. Romo, Ed Reed; Ed Reed, Romo.

3. Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Packers are 2-3. Who saw that coming? Even without help from the replacement refs, this Green Bay team looks like the one that lost to the Chiefs last year as opposed to the one that won 15 other games. A tilt with the Texans looked pretty promising when the schedule came out. Now, it just looks like 6-0 for Houston.

4. Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Jets continue their slow plod toward implosion, though not as fast as the media would have it. They were not embarrassed last week, not wholly. Andrew Luck led the Colts to a dramatic comeback win last week. Compare his no-nonsense, capable approach to quarterbacking to the ticking time bomb that the Jets have at the position.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

5. Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Remember when all the cool kids were picking the Lions to win the NFC championship this year? A measly 25 points per game is a little underwhelming for Detroit's offense. Somewhat more shocking, opponents are scoring more than 28 points per game against the Lions defense, a unit without any hint of a viable secondary. Know what else is pretty shocking? The Eagles scored more than 20 points just once this season. A year after being let down by the defense, it's the only thing keeping the Eagles from another meltdown.

6. New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Seattle returns from a two-game road trip that took some of the luster off the neon. The Seahawks defense suffocated the Packers in their last home game, getting a little help from a historical footnote. The Patriots do not have an easy game on their hands. Seattle has doubtlessly seen the tape from Arizona's win in New England, and they have the defense to pull off the win.

7. St. Louis Rams vs. Miami Dolphins

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

I'm as surprised as you are by the NFC West. Every team in the division has a winning record. The Rams have their first winning record since 2006. Jeff Fisher's defense looks like a real mismatch for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but the Dolphins have shown some resolve lately. Speaking of Fisher, Stephen Ross gave him a helicopter ride as part of his effort to lure him into the head coaching job there. That's your subplot for this game.

8. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Sheesh. It's probably good the Chiefs are getting out of town. If I were them, I'd be as covert as possible about it. Will playing outside the suddenly hostile environs of Arrowhead be the break the Chiefs need? Brady Quinn is going to be there, too, so there's that.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFLN

Yep. Steelers. Titans. Tune in to watch Chris Johnson lay another egg. People will feel stupid for having once called him "CJ2K."


10. Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

Who is Christian Ponder? You probably forgot all about him, unless you're a Vikings fan, until the season started. Ponder has the Vikings rolling, and he should find more than enough room to work against Jim Haslett's secondary. RGIII, if Mike Shanahan can sneak him around the league's concussion rules, makes this a better game. The Vikings' defense won't make his life any easier, though.

11. Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers

Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Ugh, so boring ... both of these teams are a collection of deflated expectations with logos slapped on them. At least there are division implications on the line here. A Broncos' win puts both teams at 3-3 and would give Denver a leg up in the standings over the Chargers, who lead the AFC West.

12. Buffalo Bills vs. Arizona Cardnials

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Together, Mario Williams and Mark Anderson have two and a half sacks. Fortunately for restless Bills fans, wondering about all that free agent cash the team spent on those two pass rushers, they have a date with the worst offensive line in the NFL. The Rams sacked Kevin Kolb nine times last week, only days after the Dolphins sacked him eight times.

13. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Browns' head coach Pat Shurmur is not making any friends in the media. Condescending answers, swearing ... it's pretty clear his time his up in Cleveland. When Jimmy Haslam pulls the trigger is the only question. Meanwhile, team president Mike Holmgren is nowhere to be found. The Bengals are no lock for a win, so the battle of Ohio could be a temporary respite from the madness.

14. Oakland Raiders vs. Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

This game completes the Falcons' march through the AFC West, which helps explain why the team is undefeated. They should still be undefeated after this game, too. Atlanta has a bye week after this and a date with the Eagles, which will give us a better idea about who the Falcons really are. The Raiders are who we thought. Who will the Raiders be in 2013 is the more pertinent question.

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