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NFL: What We Learned From Week 11

November 20th 2012 04:25
Another tipsy turvy week in the NFL. We saw teams that were dead in the water become playoff hopefuls (Cowboys, Saints, Redskins) while we saw seemingly invincible teams look vulnerable (Bears, Texans, Falcons). The action is going to get very intense from here on out as we push our way through the second half of the season.

Arizona Cardinals- Its official, the Cards are reeling. They put up a good performance against the Falcons, but like the past several weeks could not close the deal. Look for them to be eliminated from playoff contention in a couple weeks.
Atlanta Falcons- It wasnt pretty, but the Falcons are now 9-1 tied for best record in the NFL. Although they have secured many of their wins by seven points or fewer, this team has proved that they can find ways to win.
Baltimore Ravens- Get a huge win against the Steelers to take a two game lead in the division. Moreover, they showed much resolve on the defensive end as they made huge stop after huge stop in the 4th quarter. With Big Ben sidelined, the Ravens have a golden opportunity in the next few weeks to really put a stranglehold on the division lead. The rematch against the Steelers in two weeks will be a huge one.
Buffalo Bills- After a heartbreaking loss to the Patriots last week, the Bills respond with a very nice win against the Dolphins. CJ Spiller had a nice night with 22 carries for 91 yards. With this win, the Bills have STATISTICALLY put themselves in position to compete for a playoff spot.
Carolina Panthers- Another 4th quarter lapse for the Panthers. Up 21-10 with six minutes left, the game was all but won. A perfectly fitting way for the Panthers to lose as they give up two scores in the final six minutes and their offense merely died in OT.
Chicago Bears- The Bears struggling on offense was expected without Jay Cutler. However, it was their D that really let em down. After looking like of one the better defensive units in the past few decades, the Bears D laid a huge egg as they were humiliated by the 49ers. Furthermore, while the Bears D struggled, the 49ers' D looked ironclad as they bested the Bears at their own game. Now tied with the Packers, the Bears' chances at taking the division have taken a serious blow.
Cincinnati Bengals- Pretty convincing thrashing of the Chiefs. Now back at .500 the Bengals have come back to life. Only a game back of the injury-plagued Steelers, the Bengals still have a shot to steal a playoff spot.
Cleveland Browns- Another game where Cleveland seems to have the W only to lose via STUPID penalties. The timely and crushing penalties suffered by the Brown's defense pretty much gave Dallas the game. It is these moronic plays that will keep this team as the joke of the NFL.
Dallas Cowboys- Nearly blew a big game to the awful Browns. Instead, Dallas is back at .500 and have their first pair of consecutive wins of the season. Still watching them play that game has to worry you if your a Cowboys fan. They certainly cant play this way against the Saints or Steelers and expect to come out with a W.
Denver Broncos- Look as dominant as anyone in the AFC. Their defense really is a force to be reckoned with. This was evident as the Broncos defense came up with several take aways in the early stage of the game when their offense was struggling. Having a defense this good to fall back on has to have Peyton's confidence at an all time high and this makes Denver VERY dangerous.
Detroit Lions- Lions stick to their reputation by blowing yet another game. Although they controlled the tempo the entire game, they fell 24-20 to the Packers. This was highly due to timely mistakes down the stretch in the second half.
Green Bay Packers- Green Bay came up with another tough win in Detroit. However, they have been anything but dominant. Although they are now 7-3 this team really hasnt showed that they are true contenders. An ok offense and an ok defense is very seldom a recipe for a super bowl contending team.
Houston Texans- Their defense has been pretty much invincible all year. However, they looked anything but that against the Jags allowing 37 points in an overtime win. To their credit, they were able to overcome a 14 point 4th quarter deficit.
Indianapolis Colts- After playing exceptionally well the past several weeks, the Rookie QB hit a wall against the Patriots. Still at 6-4 the Colts are in good shape to make a run at the playoffs. All that is left to be seen is how Andrew Luck responds to such a mistake ridden loss.
Jacksonville Jaguars- Gave the Texans all they could handle, but in their case an almost win is the best it can get for this group.
Kansas City Chiefs- After giving Pittsburgh all they could handle, the Chiefs get killed by Cincinnati. Way too talented to be this bad. So much for their playoff hopes.
Miami Dolphins- Two weeks removed from being serious contenders to take the division, the dolphins are now 4-6 with little hopes of even making the playoffs. Although their defense was solid, holding the Bills to a field goal on 4 of their 5 trips to the red zone, it was the late mishaps of Ryan Tannehill that did them in.
Minnesota Vikings- Bye
New England Patriots- Looked dominant against the red-hot Colts. They threw up a season high 59 points including two scores on defense.
New Orleans Saints- After that awful 0-4 start, the Saints are finally back to .500. Winners of 5 of their last 6 games, the Saints are red-hot and are back in pursuit of a playoff spot.
New York Giants- Bye
New York Jets- Get a much needed win as they demolish the Rams. Still 3 games back, they will need a lot of help to keep their season alive. A win next week against the Pats is a start.
Oakland Raiders- Killed by the Saints. This so-so team has finally fallen into the 'bad' category.
Philadelphia Eagles- Dead in the water. No Vick, no wins. To add to the trouble, Lesean Mccoy suffered a bad injury. The future is looking pretty dim for Philly.
Pittsburgh Steelers- Without Rothlesberger, the Steelers fell to the rival Ravens and are now two games back of the division leading Ravens. Byron Leftwich played admirably, seemingly in pain the entire second half, but just couldnt make the plays down the stretch. Furthermore, Pittsburg's usually solid offensive line got utterly dominated by the Raven's defense. With Big Ben out at least a couple more weeks, the Steelers are in danger of not only being unable to win the division, but could potentially find themselves out of the playoffs.
San Diego Chargers- Watched their playoff hopes evaporate as they were pummeled by the Broncos. Phillip Rivers and this inconsistent offensive unit has thrown away numerous games and for the third year in a row, this has come back to bite the Chargers in the ass.
San Fransisco 49ers- Even without Alex Smith, the 9ers demolished the Bears. Looks like San Fransisco didnt like all the attention everyone was giving the Bears D. They responded by torching the Bears D and simply and abusing their back up QB. Perhaps we were a little fast in jumping of the San Fran bandwagon...
Seattle Seahawks- Bye
St. Louis Rams- When you get blown out by the struggling Jets, you just stink. This team stinks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Huge comeback win against the Panthers. Down big in the 4th quarter, the Bucs ran off 11 straight points including a crucial two-point conversion with 12 seconds left to push this one into overtime where they eventually won 27-21. Now, winners of their last four, Tampa is in the hunt for a wild card spot.
Tennessee Titans- Bye
Washington Redskins- As always, the skins go as RG3 goes. Luckily, this week he went 14/15 with 4 TD passes in an utter blowout against the Eagles. Now at 4-6 the 'Skins are surprisingly still in the hunt to take the division. Their thanksgiving day match-up with Dallas will have major playoff implications.

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