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Patriots-Steelers tilt highlights dog days of midseason

A week ago, I braced you for what looked like a slate of some potential blowouts, and shaky football, powered by all of the neophyte quarterbacks thrust onto the starting scene. Unfortunately, I have to continue the theme this week.

Over a span of 17 weeks, some schedules will rise above others. These, my friends, are the dog days of the midseason. But trust me, better times are ahead. Two of this week's three division games come from within the AFC South, which has not been a bastion of great football itself.

It is what it is. It's still the NFL and even last week, when on paper things didn't seem all that promising, we still had plenty of wild finishes and even games that were difficult to watch at times (Broncos-Dolphins) greatly rewarded those who hung in there for all 60 minutes, plus overtime.

With that in mind, let's give this week a chance. Even though it might be loaded with finger sandwiches (remember, games here are rated as either a footlong, a six-inch, a pita or a finger sandwich), by golly, 15 finger sandwiches equals a footlong! And some of those finger sandwiches are going to turn out to have double meat, extra condiments and perfectly grilled peppers and onions, that we never realized were there in the first place until we've finished consuming it.

So mangia, mangia, everyone! (Oh, and it's the bye week for the Falcons, Bears, Packers, Jets, Raiders and Buccaneers.)

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @jasonlacanfora.

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