Season's second half features great games as playoff races heighten
With Week 9 finished and 130 of the NFL's 256-game regular season now in the books, we're almost exactly halfway through the story in 2011. The second half of the season shapes up as an intriguing and wide-open affair, with 20 of the league's 32 teams still playing .500-or-better ball, and 18 clubs either in first place or within two games of the lead in their division.
With so much having changed from our preseason preconceptions of what would constitute must-see games in the second half -- anything involving the Colts is to be missed, while who can tell how far upstarts like Cincinnati and San Francisco might go? -- it's time for a reframing of the glamour matchups that remain among the final 126 regular season games. The subplots shift on a weekly basis in the NFL, but here's a projection of the 25 games that will matter most: