Five games to watch in the NFC West


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Ian from Federal Way, Wash., writes: What are the home games for each NFC West team you are looking forward to this year?

Mike Sando: Without knowing how the season will unfold -- or unravel, for some teams -- my top five would include:

  • Week 3: Colts at Cardinals. Arizona gave up six touchdown passes against Brett Favre on Sept. 27, 2008. Peyton Manning takes his shots at an upgraded Arizona secondary in this Sept. 28 matchup.

  • Week 6: Cardinals at Seahawks. A statement game in the division. Seattle needs to defend its home turf in this matchup, while Arizona would make a compelling statement by winning twice in a row at Qwest Field.

  • Week 10: Bears at 49ers. Mike Singletary faces his former team.

  • Week 13: Vikings at Cardinals. Arizona was no match for Minnesota at home in December last season. What about this time?

  • Week 14: Cardinals at 49ers. San Francisco lost a tough one at Arizona on Monday Night Football last season. Rematch time.

The Rams didn't make the cut, but that was to be expected given their 5-27 record over the last two seasons. They need to earn back respect from the NFC West.

Update: Let's throw the Week 1 game between the 49ers and Cardinals onto the list somewhwere. Nice little tone setter. Thanks to those who pointed it out.