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.
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.
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 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.