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NFL Sunday TV Viewing Guide

Do you have DirecTV and the NFL Sunday Ticket package?  Do you work at, or spend your Sundays at, a bar that does?  Do you have a laptop computer so that you can watch scores while watching the game?

Well, here you go.  This is the first installment of your NFL Sunday TV Viewing Guide.  This is to let you, the Chargers fan, know how to plan your day and which games to keep an eye on.  I'll also add in the reasons to watch, and any potential storylines.

1pm EST Games to Watch

There are six(!) games that you should keep an eye on as you settle into that groove on your couch this Sunday.

  • Broncos at Colts - This is simple enough.  The Chargers have a 1 game lead in the AFC West.  If the undefeated Colts can keep their winning streak going, that lead can either stay at one (with a SD loss) or grow to two (with just 3 games left).  The Colts are the best regular-season team in the league, and they absolutely love playing at home.  Their starters will go because they're still playing for that playoff bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The only possible reason for concern is that Peyton Manning does not play his best football against 3-4 defenses.
  • Jets at Buccaneers - Chargers fans could use a Tampa Bay victory, and there's reason to believe it may happen.  The Jets are starting backup QB Kellen Clemens, and the young Bucs have been playing decent football since Josh Freeman took over as the starting QB.  A good game by Freeman, as well as TB winning the turnover battle, and Raymond James Stadium will be rocking.
  • Bengals at Vikings - The Bolts main competition at this point of the season is Denver and Cincinnati.  Cincy has the same record as San Diego, and both teams are competing for the last available playoff bye.  A win against the Bengals next week would certainly help the Chargers chances, but there's no harm in getting started this week.  The Vikings will also be a good barometer for just how good the Bengals are, and will hopefully find some holes in a very good Bengals defense.
  • Dolphins at Jaguars - I really don't know how this factors in, but it does.  A Jacksonville win helps the Chargers clinch the playoffs just that much quicker.  I've found the Dolphins to be a fun team to watch this season, and Chad Henne looks like he could be a heck of a QB in the future.  The Jags have been a roller-coasted of a team all season, but they appear to finally be playing good football every week.

Anyone notice anything?  Those are probably the four most important non-Chargers game for Chargers fans this week, and we're rooting for all home teams.  I feel good about that.

  • Panthers at Patriots - This time we're rooting against the Patriots (what else is new?).  Stories swirling out of New England this week lead me to believe that this locker room will either explode, or everyone will suddenly get on the same page and become a winning football team.  Even though Matt Moore is playing QB for the Panthers, an outright chemistry explosion for the Patriots leaves any and all possibilities on the table.  I don't recommend watching this one, but definitely keep an eye on the score.
  • Lions at Ravens - Chargers fans should be rooting for the Lions.  Yikes.  I think Dante Culpepper is going for this one instead of Matthew Stafford, which is good news for the Lions and Calvin Johnson.  I don't expect this to be a blowout by any means, but the Ravens basically need to win out to make the playoffs so they'll be playing with a monstrous chip on their shoulder.

4pm EST Game to Watch

  • Chargers at Cowboys - If you needed me to tell you this, you've found your way to the wrong blog.  There's no need to watch them, but I'll be rooting for wins by the Raiders (against the Redskins) and the Rams (against the Titans) just as a way to see the Chargers future opponents get a little bit weaker.