No Sleep Till Football

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2011 NFL Football – Week 10 Best Games

A gigantic week in the NFL this week! Week 10 might be the best week of the season so far! There are extremely important games at every turn & each week should show us more & more important contests because the season is starting to head into the home stretch. If the season is broken into quarters, we are midway through the 3rd quarter which means time of the essence. I also think that for the first time in a long while the playoff pictures are going to be pretty interesting. The AFC might have the usual suspects in January, but getting there could be more difficult than expected. The same goes for the NFC with the North trying to get 3 teams in.

It should be a busy day here at the website. I’m going to be posting a lot for the sake of completeness. This week has been one of the busiest of my life so the website has suffered a bit. Hopefully I can catch up today & then get on a more balanced schedule. I know I say that every week, but this time I mean it! REALLY! Keep checking back as I should have my Week 9 power rankings & the playoff pictures after week 8 & week 9. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to do it after week 8, but for the sake of completeness I’ll go ahead & write it. I have it halfway finished anyway so why waste it!?


Dare I say the NFC North is by far the most compelling division in the NFL? Even with the Vikings now that Christian Ponder is starting is looking like a must watch game ever week! For the 2nd week in a row the Bears find themselves at the top spot. The Bears have won 3 straight & now find themselves in the #6 seed if the season ended today giving the North 3 playoff teams. At this point in the season we pretty much know what we are getting. The Bears are going to struggle offensively unless Matt Forte blows up. Detroit has a suspect running game, but their defense is absurdly good. Looking at advanced metrics, Detroit is better offensively & defensively, but I wonder how much momentum & emotion will play a role? The Bears lost to Detroit earlier in the year so maybe there is some revenge going on there. Not only that but Chicago has pretty much defined themselves as potentially the 4th best team in the NFC behind the Lions, Packers & 49ers. A win here by the Bears shows they maybe have leaped into the top tier in the NFC. A loss here says they are still a tick behind, but it also means the Lions really are that good. Tons of implications here & easily the best game of the week. Vegas thinks this game is dead even on a neutral field. BEARS (-3)
Another incredible NFC game. It’s amazing to think that just 2-3 years ago the AFC was so much more dominant against the NFC, but now it almost seems exactly the opposite with the NFC being the better conference. If the season ended today the 49ers would be the #2 seed in the NFC while the Giants would be #3. That flip flops with a Giants win because both teams would be 7-2 with NYG holding the tiebreaker. I don’t think Eli Manning is getting enough credit this season. The guy is on pace to throw for 4750 yards with 30TD against 12INT while completing 63% of his passes. It is Manning’s best year by a wide margin & the Giants are 6-2 to show for it. The problem is that Aaron Rodgers is on pace to throw for 5200 yards with 48TD to only 6INT while completing 73% of his passes. That’s absurd. This will be an interesting game to see how Jim Harbaugh gameplans for Alex Smith. Smith has done a good job playing within himself, but the Giants have arguably the best pass rush in the NFL and it’ll be interesting to see how Smith handles that pressure. In that same vein, it’ll be interesting to see how San Francisco’s defense handles the Giants offense which seems to be firing on all cylinders with a plethora of weapons. The 49ers don’t play the roughest of schedules so to a degree they are always going to be proving themselves this year. A win here not only puts SF at 8-1, but it also gives some thought to the possibility they could get to the Super Bowl. 49ERS (-3.5)
This game started as NE (-2.5) out in Vegas so the bettors are clearly in the Jets camp on this one! So why not have this as the best game of the week? I’m not sure it’s going to matter who comes out of the AFC. Green Bay is so good it’s sick with Aaron Rodgers playing like the best QB that’s ever lived. People are calling this a battle for 1st place, but it’s only that if the Jets win. If New England & Buffalo win this week then the Bills will once again be in 1st place in the AFC East due to tiebreakers. Before last week the Jets hadn’t won a road game all season, but after a 27-11 sound beating of the Bills, the Jets are now 5-3 being 4-0 at home & 1-3 on the road. They’ve won 3 straight games. The defense is playing out of their minds & the offense is getting better. The Patriots are going in the opposite direction. They’ve lost 2 straight games, the defense is terrible & it appears they’ve abandoned the running game. The Patriots don’t win games this year when they pass pass pass & you can be sure the Jets are going to make it difficult for the Patriots to run meaning NE is going to think Brady needs to win the game himself with his arm. Not a good idea. Then again, New England is going to force Mark Sanchez to beat them. Even if the Patriots lose, they’ll only drop to 5-4, but there isn’t a game on the schedule they’ll lose. That’s 12-4 to end! The Jets are in the same situation except they have a home game against the Giants later in the year. If the Jets lose this one they could wind up 11-5. Will that be good enough for the playoffs? JETS (-2)
The Bengals get NO RESPECT! Despite being 6-2 & at home, Cincinnati is 4-point dogs in their own house which roughly translate to being 10-point dogs if the game was being played in Pittsburgh!! That’s NUTS! It’s obvious why the Bengals are getting any respect. They haven’t beaten anyone outside of the win over Buffalo back in Week 4! Since then they’ve won 4 straight games over the Jaguars, Colts, Seahawks & Titans! EEK! The Bengals did play San Francisco early in the season & lost 13-8. The 49ers defense then isn’t nearly as good as the Pittsburgh defense is today, although age has to be catching up with the Steelers. They are looking older & older. Even still, the Bengals are sending out a rookie starting QB to take on Pittsburgh’s defense. That’s not a promising proposition. On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati’s defense has been great this year, but again they haven’t really played anyone & I think the Steelers have way too many weapons on offense to stop. Antonio Brown has been a gigantic surprise this year giving Roethlisberger a weapon we didn’t expect. If Cincinnati does pull off the win then we might be seeing a changing of the guard. The Bengals will pull to 7-2 with a real shot to getting to 11-5. I don’t know if that will be good enough for the playoffs, but 11-5 for Cincinnati with a rookie QB? That’s an INCREDIBLE SEASON! STEELERS (-4)
The Saints have to be the biggest Jekyl & Hyde team in the NFL this season. They lose to Tampa Bay but then hammer Indianapolis 62-7 the following week. After the Colts they give the Rams their first victory in a 31-21 loss in St. Louis which was incredible. The Saints follow that up by beating the Bucs 27-16. They’ve lost to Green Bay, but have beaten the Bears & Texans. It doesn’t get easier. They now have the Falcons twice, the Lions & Giants. A loss here would put the Saints at 6-4 while the Falcons moved up to the division lead at 6-3. The Falcons on the other hand were a bit front loaded. After starting the season 2-3, they’ve won 3 straight which includes a win over the Lions. If the Falcons win today, they’d be in the driver’s seat to win the South as their remaining schedule is easier & they’d be a half game up on New Orleans within the division. Atlanta has really come together as a team over the last few weeks. Matt Ryan is playing better, Michael Turner has played well & the passing game has opened up with the WRs. Defensively the Falcons are playing much better too with advanced metrics saying Atlanta has a top-10 defense. It’s really an extremely important game for both squads. With the way the NFC North teams are playing, I’m not sure the South gets a team & don’t’ count out the Cowboys just yet. The loser here really finds themselves behind the 8-ball although the remaining schedule for Atlanta is favorable. If the Saints lose then they’ll need to get on a significant run to either win the division or get a wild card. FALCONS (-1)
Speaking of the Cowboys, Vegas loves them against the Bills! Dallas could find themselves in the 6th seed in the NFC if they beat the Bills while Chicago & Atlanta lose depending on how the tiebreakers shake out. All 3 squads would have the same 5-4 record. Dallas is showing some really bad tendencies over their last 6 games. In those 6 games they’ve beaten Redskins, Rams & Seahawks who have a combined record of 6-18 while they’ve lost to the Lions, Patriots & Eagles who have a combined record of 14-10. As usual the Cowboys are finding themselves in the unfortunate position of hammering bad teams, but losing to good teams. The Bills are in the same position really. They are 2-3 in their last 5 with wins over the Eagles & Redskins who have a combined record of 6-10, but with losses to the Jets, Bengals & Giants who have a combined record of 17-7! The Bills have a great opportunity here to get a win, move to 6-3 & keep pace in the AFC East. The Cowboys are in MUST WIN mode because a loss here moves them to 4-5 & they are OUT of the playoffs at that point. Both teams need this game pretty bad & Dallas is lucky enough to get it at home! COWBOYS (-5.5)
The AFC is really interesting right now & Houston could be in a situation to take advantage of it. In overall team efficiency, The Football Outsiders have Houston as the 3rd best team in the NFL behind #1 Jets & #2 Packers. That’s INSANE to think about, but they have Houston with the 5th best offense & the 7th best defense! That’s also the most balanced team in the NFL! On a 3-game winning streak, Houston is 6-3 & would be the #2 seed in the AFC if the season ended last week. This is the type of game that will be interesting because Houston has a tendency to let down or take games off. Tampa Bay isn’t awful & they are playing at home. Houston should roll here, but if they were to lose, I’m not sure anyone would be extremely surprised either. Given the way New England & Pittsburgh look this season combined with the inconsistency of the Ravens, sprinkled with a bit of Mark Sanchez, the Texans could have a clear path to the Super Bowl. If Houston wins today & takes care of business at home, they should wind up 13-3. Will that be enough to get the #1 seed? Maybe, and if it is then all the heavy hitters in the AFC must come to Houston to win the AFC. A very interesting game for Houston to see if they really are ready for the big time. TEXANS (-3.5)
Even I’m affected by TEBOW MANIA! Kansas City actually started this game as 7-point favorites & that line has since decreased by 4 points! WOW! Is it because Kansas City lost to the then winless Miami Dolphins, or……… IS IT BECAUSE OF TEBOW MANIA!!!!???? From a big picture perspective this game is absolutely meaningless because the AFC West absolutely sucks, but with Oakland beating San Diego on Thurrsday night, a Denver win puts Oakland in the division lead at 5-4, but then Denver, Kansas City & San Diego are all tied at 4-5! If Denver somehow wins the division, can you imagine what will be said about Tebow then!? It almost boggles the mind really. The Broncos can’t beat anyone really good. They have the Jets, Bears & Patriots left on the schedule. Assuming they lose those 3 games & win the rest, the Broncos will finish the season 8-8. Will that be good enough to win the division? If it does happen, Denver would be 4-2 with in the division. You almost have to root for Denver to make the playoffs just for the media reaction. Lost of course in all of this is Kansas City who would be 5-4 & tied with Oakland stop the West with a win here. CHIEFS (-3)
Is Vegas insane? This game started with the Colts as 2-point favorites!? Since the line has moved to Jags (-3), that would be a line of Jags (-9) if the game was being playing in Jacksonville! Here in Indianapolis this game is being labeled as the only game Indianapolis can win. If the Colts can’t beat the 2-6 Jags at Lucas Oil then they really are going to finish the season 0-16. What people forget here in Indianapolis is that Jacksonville has a very good bordering on great defense. Indianapolis has to have one of the most inept NFL offenses in the HISTORY OF THE NFL! how in the world is Indianapolis going to score? Granted, the Jaguars offense is pretty bad in their own right, but they scored 12 points against the Ravens & 13 points against the Steelers. That’s good enough for at least 20 against Indianapolis & how are the Colts going to score 21 when they only score 14.2ppg & are now facing one of the best defenses in the NFL? It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Indianapolis. If the season is tanked, you have to go get the #1 pick which means if Peyton Manning wants to play this year you simply can’t let him. You also have to start playing for the future & Andrew Luck. If #18 can win with a youth movement then fine, but Indianapolis’s window is shut. It’s not because of Peyton, but this season has shows us the reality of just how AWFUL this team is when Manning isn’t under center. The whole team needs rebuilding. JAGUARS (-3)

November 13, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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