This is the best game of the week in spades.
With the New England Patriots in New Orleans and the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, this week’s best teams are the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.
And while the Broncos are playing better, they also have the second-best record in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at the teams that are in the midst of their best seasons in recent memory.
New England is the reigning Super Bowl champion and one of the greatest teams ever.
They are tied for the league’s best record at 7-0.
The Patriots have won 10 of their past 12 games and are in fourth place in the AFC East.
They also are tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the most points (5,000) and second in total offense (6,527).
They are playing at home for the first time since 2007.
Carolina has been in the middle of a losing streak and is looking for a first-round bye.
The Panthers’ only losses have come at home to the Atlanta Braves and Detroit Lions.
This week’s matchups are: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints, Sunday, 7 p.m.
ET (ESPN) The Falcons have lost seven straight, and are currently tied for ninth place in this week and the NFC South.
They have won just one of their last 10 games.
The Saints are coming off a 37-34 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The Falcons will be without cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (hamstring), safety Tre’Davious White (foot) and running back Tevin Coleman (knee).
Saints coach Sean Payton was quoted as saying the team is trying to get a good feel for its new quarterback.
The Steelers have lost four straight games, and will be trying to avoid another four-game losing streak.
The teams split four games in 2010, including a 31-23 loss to New England in the divisional round.
New Orleans is 7-1 against the Patriots, including two wins over them in the Super Bowl.
The franchise’s longest winning streak of the year was two years ago, when it won 13 of its first 15 games.
They’re coming off their first win over the Falcons, a 42-24 victory in New York on Nov. 2.
This is New Orleans’ best chance to win the Super Cup for the fifth time in the last six years.
Atlanta is 6-3 against the Saints and has won three of its past four.
The team’s lone loss came to the New Orleans Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, a 38-33 defeat in Super Bowl XLIX.
This season has been a struggle for the Falcons.
They were 11-20 during their Super Bowl run, and have dropped four straight.
The Hawks are trying to win a fourth straight division title, and they will have to beat the Saints on Sunday to do so.
Atlanta will be coming off its first win at home since 2003, when they beat the Carolina Cardinals.
The Seahawks are coming into their first game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome since the Seahawks won the title in 2008.
They will be playing without quarterback Russell Wilson (hamstrung), who suffered a broken left hand in the third quarter.
They haven’t won a game in New England since they defeated the Patriots in the title game.
Seattle has won six straight at home against the New York Jets.
The Jets are coming out of a bye week after winning four of their previous five games.
This matchup will be a rematch of the last time the teams played, in Week 5, 2012.
Seattle won 38-23 in New Hampshire.
The season ended with the Seahawks winning the NFC title.
New York has lost four of its last five games, including four straight and the last three in New Jersey.
The Giants are coming back from a 1-5 start to finish 3-0 and third in the Metropolitan Division.
The loss of running back Rashad Jennings (broken right leg) was felt early.
The defense has allowed a league-high 5,000 yards to opposing quarterbacks.
The Eagles will be looking to win their third straight division championship.
The offense has struggled in recent games against New Orleans, but this is their chance to finally turn things around.
New Jersey has won seven straight against Atlanta, including the Superdomes first win in 2011.
This game is the first matchup between the two teams since 2009, when the Eagles defeated the Falcons in Superbowl XLVIII.
The game will be broadcast on NBC.
New Zealand has won eight of its 12 games, with four wins coming against the Falcons and Jets.
They lost 34-24 to the Eagles in Super 16.
This year has been another difficult year for New Zealand, with their team finishing in last place in every major ranking.
The country has won just three games in the first two rounds of the playoffs, losing four straight to the Miami Dolphins and Saints.
The two teams have split four meetings.
The Chiefs are coming to New Orleans for the second time since losing three in a