Unlike much of the first half of this season, Week 7 of NFL action somehow was pretty predictable. For Week 8, we've got another impressive lineup of high-priced NFL contests that are worth the ticket price. Let's dive right into the top 5 matchups:
Think Robert Griffin III is a good draw? His presence in Pittsburgh is playing a huge hand in jacking prices up - so much so that this matchup is 89% more expensive than the average Steelers home game. Not to mention that this is now Pittsburgh's second most expensive home game behind only their game against the Eagles two weeks ago.
Obviously Steelers fans love Ben Roethlisberger and co. at home, where they rarely lose, but the sensational rookie RG3 is clearly adding value to this event. Not only does RG3 bring extra excitement and make this a more competitive game, but also he gives Redskins fans reason to chase down expensive road games like this one. Not surprisingly, this just happens to be Washington's most expensive road contest of the year, as RG3 and co. will attempt to avoid a two-game slide and shock the NFL with a win over the Steelers.
This is an interesting matchup between arguably the best team in the league right now (Chicago), and a team that is simply floundering and even just fired their GM. This comes in as the second most expensive game for the Bears due to how successful they've been (just one loss), and is 6% more expensive than the average Bears home game. The price may be up, but no Chicago fan will be balking about admission due to how good the Bears are playing right now, as well as the likelihood that they continue winning this week.
As for Carolina, this is easily their most expensive road game, both because Chicago is an elite team at the moment and because it's a crucial game that could define the remainder of their 2012 season. Cam Newton and the offense have been ineffective and now are wearing their bitter emotions on their sleeve, which could either present Chicago a tough challenge, or blow up in their own faces.
The Broncos are winning again, are tied for the AFC West lead, and Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are about to wage war. You don't really need much more explanation for this game being 48% more expensive than the average Denver home game, and it's no shocker that this contest is the Broncos' most expensive home contest of the year, either.
The Broncos and Saints don't have elite records at the moment, but both teams are gaining steam as the Broncos are now atop their division and New Orleans has won two straight after starting the season 0-4. One issue for both squads is that neither team boasts an elite defense, which also makes it extremely likely that we're headed for a classic shootout between two of the game's top gunslingers. Needless to say, the Saints are riding into their most expensive road game of the year, and this one has a great chance to live up to the hype, as well as the price of admission.
As if the first meeting between these two bitter NFC East division rivals didn't garner enough hype, the second showdown of 2012 is arguably even hotter. This game is currently selling for 43% more than the average Cowboys' home game, and is actually the second most expensive home game behind only a December matchup with the Steelers later in the year.
This shouldn't be a surprise, as Dallas never has any trouble getting fans in the seats, and is now in position to sweep the defending champion Giants, while also gaining first place in the division.
All of this adds up to this game also being New York's most expensive (and arguably most anticipated) road game of the year, while as a whole this division rivalry is now up 20% in price from last year's battle in Dallas, compared to +57% from the 2010 meeting.
This game is more about Dallas due to their recent inconsistency, and the fact that a season sweep of New York would put them in full control of their own destiny when it comes to the division and a run for the playoffs. I don't expect Eli Manning and the Giants to lie down and let the Cowboys run away with this one, but Dallas is tough at home, and should be more than ready for a tough battle.
5. Dolphins @ Jets - Sunday @ 1:00pm | Avg Price: $275 | Get-in Price: $99 | Weekly Trend: +22%
The Jets narrowly fell to 3-4 last week by the hands of the New England Patriots, but their loyal fan base isn't about to give up on them just yet. Their week 8 showdown with division rival Miami Dolphins comes in as the second most expensive Jets home game of the year, and is actually 10% more expensive than their average home game.
Some many wonder why based off of both teams behind .500 or lower in the standings and not having elite offenses, but look no further than an classic AFC East divisional battle to do the math on this one.
Ryan Tannehill, Reggie Bush and even the hope for a more extensive Tim Tebow sighting adds to the draw of this one, which could vault one of these two teams back into contention for the division crown.
This game happens to be just the 4th most expensive Miami road game, while overall is 49% more expensive than last year's battle in New Jersey, and just +4% from their 2010 matchup.
Whether it's a division meeting with serious repercussions or a star-filled matchup, this week's top-five priced games aren't likely to disappoint.
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