Packers Bye Week Primer and Open Thread: What to Watch While the Packers are Off

Leon Halip

What football games should you watch while the Packers are on a bye this Sunday?

This will be the first Sunday without Green Bay Packers football in a month, and it will be the last until the end of 2013. The Packers are hopefully resting up, doing some scouting on their divisional and other future opponents, and most importantly getting healthy. But what should you do while they're relaxing this weekend?

That's easy: watch football.

But what will you be able to watch today? Well, if you're in Wisconsin, here are your options:

Noon kickoffs
CBS: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings (in London)
FOX: Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

Late games
FOX: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Denver Broncos

If you're not in Wisconsin, head over to 506sports.com to check out your local coverage map.

Tonight's Sunday Night Football game is the New England Patriots versus the Atlanta Falcons.

So that's all well and good, but what if you have NFL Sunday Ticket and have all the games at your disposal? What's actually worth watching? Well, don't consider any of the CBS games - they're all bad this week. Baltimore-Buffalo or Cleveland-Cincinnati? Ugh.

The FOX slate is much better though. Bears-Lions is certainly an interesting game with big divisional implications, but the best early game should be the Seahawks at the Texans. I still think that Houston can play much better than they have so far this year, and a test against the top team in the NFC should bring it out of them. Plus, for Wisconsin Badgers fans, there's the Russell Wilson vs. J.J. Watt factor. Yeah, I know, they never actually played together at Wisconsin, but it's a minor curiosity nonetheless.

For the late games, Philly-Denver is probably your best bet for an entertaining game, if only because Peyton Manning and company might run up 50 points on that Eagles defense. I'll also be interested to see how Chip Kelly's offense handles operations at high altitudes in Denver.

In any case, here's the full schedule of Sunday games this week. Watch accordingly, and feel free to use this as your Bye Week Open Thread.

Game Kickoff Time (CDT) Network
Ravens vs. Bills 12 noon CBS
Bengals vs. Browns 12 noon CBS
Colts vs. Jaguars 12 noon CBS
Steelers vs. Vikings 12 noon CBS
Bears vs. Lions 12 noon FOX
Giants vs. Chiefs 12 noon FOX
Seahawks vs. Texans 12 noon FOX
Cardinals vs. Buccaneers 12 noon FOX
Jets vs. Titans 3:05 PM CBS
Eagles vs. Broncos 3:25 PM FOX
Redskins vs. Raiders 3:25 PM FOX
Cowboys vs. Chargers 3:25 PM FOX
Patriots vs. Falcons 7:30 PM NBC

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