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Diner morning news: a month of questions

November winds will make rough seas for some teams. Michael Lombardi

Print This October 30, 2009, 10:53 AM EST

QUOTE: “To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.” -- Henri Poincaré

Week 8 of the NFL season, and it’s time for serious football and serious questions about every game. This weekend in the Sunday Post, we’ll honor the men who died on the Edmund Fitzgerald as they sailed through the gales of November on Lake Superior.

When I was in the league, we used the Edmund Fitzgerald as a metaphor for facing the pending aversions that always happen in the month of November. Using the words from the Gordon Lightfoot song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” we wanted to make it to Whitefish Bay without sinking. Captain Ernest McSorley’s transmitted words from the ship where, “One of the worst seas I've ever been in.” For some teams, November football can be the worst of times.

There are many key games this weekend, and many questions to be answered in each. Don’t forget, this Sunday morning the Post will break down all the games, along with news and notes from around the NFL.

Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens

Forget about seeing the Baltimore Ravens defense of old; that won’t happen this year. But they need to play well in the red zone. The winner of this game will be the team that plays well in that phase of the game.

Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills

The Texans need to dominate the game, but if the gales of November are blowing off the lake, can Houston quarterback Matt Schaub throw the ball well enough?

Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears

Another Great Lakes matchup, as Michigan battles Erie. The main question for the Bears: Can Lovie Smith, the head coach and defensive coordinator, get his front lined up correctly and playing defense?

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

The biggest game of the year for the ‘Boys. It will either prove they’re consistent or they’ll play to the level of competition. Can they defeat a team they’re clearly better than — especially a bad road team?

St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions

The Rams have to feel they can win this game, especially if Daunte Culpepper is the starter. Matthew Stafford was playing well, but can he build on his early success when he comes back?

San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts

With a week to prepare, can Alex Smith move quickly enough to make the tough throws? The Colts’ run defense was not very solid in St. Louis last weekend.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Rematch game this week as the Jets’ run defense without Kris Jenkins will be tested. Can the Jets play against a physical team after losing their most physical player?

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

In Philadelphia, it doesn’t seem like Giants-Eagles week with all the talk of the Phillies and the World Series, but this game will be great. Can the Birds protect the passer, and do they have the ability to function well enough on offense if Brian Westbrook doesn’t play?

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers

Which Raiders team will show up — the good one that plays hard all the time, or the bad one that doesn’t care? Another home AFC West loss for the Chargers puts their playoff chances solely in the wild card category.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

Can Vince make plays throwing the football, or will his inconsistent play blend with the inconsistent play of the Titans?

Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals

Jake Delhomme is still the starter in Carolina? Never thought that would happen after last week.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

The Packers must go all out to win this game -- fake punt, trick plays, whatever it takes. They must protect well to win.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

America will see the sparkling play of the Saints that’s been successful because of their execution, not their design. Fun team to watch, but the Falcons can keep pace. Can the Falcons find a way to lead at the half?

Check back Sunday morning. Love the comments and hope to see you at the Dolphins-Jets game this weekend.

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi

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