I love this whole Statement Sunday concept. Not just for the cool content that we put together on NFL.com, but the reality that there are six massive NFL games this week.
To put it another way: The sixth-best game this week easily is better than the second-best game was last week. These games matter.
Each Friday on Fast Forward, I use my nasty Game Rewind habit to look at a big game or two. This time, let's take a look at four:
The Steelers had next to no pass rush against a very poor offensive line. They also couldn't pick up a yard on the ground when they needed to do so. All the movement on the offensive line caught up to the Steelers; they really struggled to identify where pressure was coming from. Expect Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to bring a lot of different looks. The Steelers get rookie guard David DeCastro, a first-round draft pick, on the field for the first time.
This doesn't look like a tough Steelers team in December, which is alarming to see. Linebacker James Harrison has yet to be consistently dangerous. Safety Troy Polamalu is rounding into form, though. The secondary has played well overall, but there were a lot of plays to be made against them last week.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a bright spot. If not for all the drops by his receivers, his numbers would have looked a lot better. He looked like the same guy he usually is.
The Cowboys were extremely lucky to win last week because of all of the Cincinnati Bengals drops. They haven't particularly looked like a playoff team all season, and there isn't much reason to think they will start to now.
This is a fascinating matchup. The Colts' offensive line is banged up and can't protect Andrew Luck at all of late. The Texans have struggled to find a pass rush outside of J.J. Watt. Linebacker Connor Barwin has disappeared.
Houston is thin in the secondary, and Indianapolis has plenty of weapons if Luck can buy some time and recover from some recent accuracy problems. T.Y. Hilton is turning into a huge weapon as a No. 2 receiver. Dwayne Allen is a very underrated tight end. Lavonn Brazil is coming on strong. Colts general manager Ryan Grigson had a great draft.
This isn't the Bears defense we saw early in the season. Linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring) and cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder) are out. Defensive tackle Henry Melton (chest) and defensive end Shea McClellin (knee) are listed as doubtful. The Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks opened huge holes in the running game. Green Bay isn't a running team, but this Chicago defense suddenly is very average. Charles Tillman has been giving up a lot of plays in the passing game, too.
The one bright spot for the Bears: Their offensive line actually has protected Jay Cutler fairly well of late. The Packers have had very little pass rush lately, but they get Clay Matthews back this week.
I've watched every Colin Kaepernick snap. He has had a few negative plays in the last two starts against the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins, but he did not play poorly. Kaepernick's accuracy has mostly been on point. Randy Moss dropped a deep pass against Miami. Otherwise, San Francisco played that game close to the vest. There weren't a lot of plays in the game.
Kaepernick's biggest issue is that he can hold on to the ball too long. The 49ers were very conservative against Miami. The Rams' defense, on the other hand, was very prepared for the 49ers' offense. San Francisco has avoided relying too much on read-option concepts with Kaepernick.
Kaepernick could give the Patriots a lot of problems as a runner because they are so slow at linebacker. Then again, New England also is first in the NFL in takeaways. Kaepernick already has fumbled five times this season.
Apropos of nothing, just watch the Frank Gore play above, and you'll understand why he's my favorite running back of the last decade. Also: This sack by Aldon Smith might be my favorite of the season. That's embarrassing.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.