While teams like the Packers, Patriots and Ravens continued to flex their muscles as the top teams in the NFL, it was a couple of up-and-coming teams (and their coaches) that were the story in Week 6. No one can say that 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions head coach Jim Schwartz aren't fiery competitors, but I think that everyone can agree that maybe they shouldn't have let it spill onto the field like they did last week.
As most NFL fans have seen by now, following a 49ers victory over the Lions, Harbaugh gave Schwartz an enthusiastic handshake and slap on the back. Schwartz was not happy about that and attempted to start a fight. Needless to say, while unfortunate, it was AWESOME! If I were a 49ers or Lions fan, I would love to see that emotion that shows how much they both care about winning. With both teams at 5-1, their fans have a lot to be excited about.
There are plenty of great games this week even with some powerhouse teams on bye week, including the Patriots and Giants. Here are the Week 7 rankings:
1. New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts
Average Ticket Price: $205.89
Last year, this game would have been one of the most anticipated match-ups of quarterbacks of the entire season. But with Peyton Manning out due to injury, and the Colts 0-5, Saints fans won't be getting the game they hoped for during preseason. No doubt the average price has come down since Manning's injury.
2. Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Average Ticket Price: $158.39
While on paper this game seems like a mismatch, Cardinals fans are no doubt looking forward to the rematch against their Super Bowl XLIII opponent. So far, there have been nearly two times as many orders for this game than the No. 3 Vikings vs. Packers game.
3. Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
Average Ticket Price: $133.04
The Packers have looked almost unstoppable so far this season, going 6-0 and outscoring their opponents by a total of 83 points. Meanwhile, the Vikings are 1-5 and starting rookie QB Christian Ponder for the first time. Well, at least the Vikings are playing at home, so they have that going for them.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears
Average Ticket Price: $132.75
The Buccaneers have been an enigma wrapped in a riddle this year. Although they are tied for the lead of the NFC South division, they have been outscored by a total of 32 points so far this season. After getting blown out by the 49ers in Week 5, the Bucs came back to beat the Saints last week. So, basically I'm saying that anything could really happen in this game against the Bears. And oh, yeah, this game takes place in London.
5. Dallas Cowboys vs. St. Louis Rams
Average Ticket Price: $125.33
Poor Tony Romo, he just can't catch a break. After helping to blow a 24-point lead to the Lions in Week 4, the coaching staff didn't really trust Romo to help seal a victory against the Patriots last week, instead running the ball three times, resulting in no yards and a punt (and ultimately a Tom Brady-led touchdown drive). The team will have a great chance to rebound against the winless Rams.
6. New York Jets vs. San Diego Chargers
Average Ticket Price: $119.89
People like to say that there are no guarantees in the NFL. Well, I challenge that because every week it's a guarantee that Jets head coach Rex Ryan will make an arrogant and/or stupid comment. In this week's edition, Ryan says that if the Chargers had hired him fours ago instead of current Chargers coach Norv Turner, he would have a couple rings by now. So in one sentence he both demeaned Turner and the Jets roster for not being very good the past couple years. Keep it up, Rex!
7. Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins
Average Ticket Price: $112.54
Speaking of Rexes, Redskins QB Rex Grossman's four interceptions last week cost him his starting job in favor of John Beck. Not everyone is in favor of the decision, including former Redskins QB Joe Theismann. Beck makes the 21st starting QB in the last 19 seasons for Washington.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens
Average Ticket Price: $89.42
I'm not sure what ESPN was thinking scheduling a Jaguars home game for Monday Night Football, but here they are taking on what should be a heavily favored Baltimore Ravens. The Jags have scored only 12 points per game (31st in the NFL) and the Ravens have only allowed 14.2 points per game (1st in the NFL). I don't see this ending well.
9. Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons
Average Ticket Price: $84.63
This may be one of the top three games on the field, but it is surprising low in our rankings for a game of this caliber. The Lions are coming off a tough loss last week and the Falcons are trying to rebuild their reputation as a Super Bowl contender. This should be a good one.
10. Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncos
Average Ticket Price: $83.70
This is the marquee match-up of the "Suck for Luck" movement that is sweeping the worst teams in the NFL. The 0-5 Dolphins and the 1-4 Broncos would both love to have Stanford QB Andrew Luck taking snaps for them in 2012. The question is: which team can lose without blatantly showing they are trying to lose?
11. Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
Average Ticket Price: $78.27
The Titans and Texans are both in the hunt for the AFC South Division crown. Last season, Texans RB Arian Foster ran for 143 yards in the first match-up against the Titans for a win, but only 15 yards a month later in a loss. His success could determine the success of Texans.
12. Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Average Ticket Price: $76.10
No team made more news this past week than the Oakland Raiders. The team traded two draft picks for Bengals QB Carson Palmer, who refused to play in Cincy and hasn't played at all this season. The Raiders have playoff hopes that now are directly tied to how Palmer plays.
13. Cleveland Browns vs. Seattle Seahawks
Average Ticket Price: $66.35
On paper, this is the worst game of the week. No good storylines. No real stars. Nothing. Apparently the fans in Cleveland agree.
Come back next Thursday for the Week 8 rankings!
Rankings are based on the average price of tickets sold on the TicketNetwork Exchange as of 10/20/2011 at 4:30 p.m. EST.