No Sleep Till Football

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2011 NFL Football – Week 11 Best Games

After last week’s plethora of meaningful games, Week 11 is a little dry. There are some intriguing match-ups, but unfortunately for the NFL, I’m not sure any game this week is going to be able to match the intensity that Denver & NY Jets gave us Thursday night! I guess Tampa Bay beating Green Bay on a last second FG or a last minute 103-yard kickoff return might do the trick, but outside of that, Tim Tebow provided all the dramatics we could possibly want for Week 11. Let’s get after it!

ROAD ANALYSIS HOME
I think Cincinnati should have beaten Pittsburgh last week, but given how the Jets & Bills are playing, the Bengals might only be facing Tennessee as competition for the 6th & final playoff spot in the AFC. If the season did end today the Bengals would be in the playoffs. I don’t think Cincinnati has to worry about beating Baltimore or Pittsburgh. Even if they go 0-4 against these two teams & win the rest of their games, they’ll be 10-6 which probably should be good enough for a playoff spot assuming Tennessee can come in at 9-7. What gets really interesting is that Cincinnati probably will draw Houston in the #3/#6 matchup. Without a healthy Matt Schaub, the Bengals are probably favored to win that game which would put the Bengals into the divisional round! With Baltimore coming off a loss to Seattle, I think they’ll pull out a home win here if for no reason other than the Ravens are still a solid team, but the Bengals & Andy Dalton have become the story of the AFC North. Here is a little wrinkle for you. If the Ravens lose this game, then they’d be on the other side of Cincinnati meaning the #6 seed. Assuming Denver gets the #4 seed, a Baltimore loss today could be the difference between playing Houston & Denver. I don’t think anyone wants to see Tebow right now. RAVENS (-7)
If Atlanta wants to make the playoffs then they have to start winning games. Last week’s loss to New Orleans didn’t knock them completely out of the picture, but Chicago, Detroit, & Dallas are going to make hard pushes to get the final two playoff spots & Atlanta is almost certain to have another loss when they go to New Orleans to play. The Titans find themselves in a bevy of good luck with Houston QB Matt Schaub going down with injury. Maybe Houston’s running game is so good that it won’t matter that Matt Leinart is taking snaps, but if Tennessee wins today they’ll be 6-4. Looking at the rest of their schedule, they could easily win out except for the game against New Orleans putting them at 11-5. At 7-3, the Texans could have losses coming up against Tennessee, Atlanta & Cincinnati. They also play a road game against Jacksonville & a home date against Carolina. These are all wins if Schaub is playing. Except he won’t be. This is a great game that both teams need badly. FALCONS (-6.5)
If the Bears are for real and they are motivated to play then they should handle San Diego easier than they handled Detroit last week. The Bears a puzzling team and I’m really looking forward to seeing them play Green Bay in Week 16 to see how good they really have become. Winners of 4 in a row & 5 of their last 6, the Bears are at worst this season an 11-5 team & that’s assuming they lose their road games against Denver & Green Bay. Assume they beat Denver & you have a 12-4 Bears team that should be a lock for the #5 seed in the NFC. As to San Diego a couple of things stick out. After starting 4-1, the Chargers have lost their last 4 games, but all 4 games have been by 7 points or fewer. San Diego’s best case record is 8-1. Given the nature of the close losses, you have to consider the season Philip Rivers is having! He’s been next to awful this season which could very well be the difference. The Chargers could still win the West, but they need to start winning. Today might be too much for them however. BEARS (-3.5)
Washington is in the tank, but when the Cowboys & Redskins do battle it almost always seems like must watch television especially for an ardent COWBOYS HOMER like myself. Dallas should roll to a victory here even in the nation’s capital, but you never know what kind of Tony Romo you are going to get. Because Washington stinks, I’m guessing Romo will be playing out of his mind while Dallas cruises to a victory. The Cowboys play some sucky teams at this point & should win their next 3 games getting to 8-4. What’s really interesting is that the Giants probably beat Philadelphia this week, but then they play the Packers & Saints in back-to-back weeks meaning they could be 7-5 when they head to Dallas in Week 14! This game should be a blowout, but it has meaning going forward for both the Cowboys & Giants, plus it’s a rivalry game & you never know which Romo you are going to get! COWBOYS (-7)
This shouldn’t even be a game, but I think it becomes interesting because Cam Newton is showing he can make plays at the NFL level and also because Detroit is in free fall having lost 3 of their last 4 games. It doesn’t seem likely that Ndamukong Suh and the defense will allow Cam Newton to run roughshod over them all game long, but the Lions need to get back to winning football games especially considering how well the Bears are playing & that Chicago has to be favored to finish 12-4 at this point. With 3 losses, the Lions still have two games against the Packers & a game against the Saints. If they win out but lose those 3 games they’ll finish 10-6. Will that be good enough to get a Wild Card slot? If the Cowboys take care of business at home but lose to the Giants on the road they’ll finish 11-5. Detroit’s one saving grace could be New York’s very difficult schedule down the stretch. A 10-6 record might get it done, but they need to get by Carolina today and get back on the right track. LIONS (-7)
This game shouldn’t be close as Philadelphia will be without both Michael Vick & Jeremy Maclin. The game is important for a lot of the same reasons I pointed out above in the Detroit paragraph & the Dallas paragraph. The Giants need all the wins they can handle at this point because the schedule gets infinitely tougher after this game. This game is also interesting because Andy Reid might be coaching for his life. The Mike Vick experiment was a horrible one. He can’t stay healthy & effective. The DeSean Jackson situation is a mess & Philadelphia is dealing with injuries of their own kind. I don’t think Vick is the answer so it won’t matter who coaches the Eagles even if Reid is a goner. Still, these NFC East matchups are pretty sweet and you never know what’s going to happen. GIANTS (-5.5)
Green Bay should put the hammer down, but now every week for Green Bay becomes about chasing history. Green Bay could definitely finish the season 16-0. If they take care of business in Lambeau then they are 14-2 at a bare minimum. The only concern for the Packers is Weeks 12 & 13 where they play back-to-back road games against he Giants & Lions. I don’t think either team can beat Green Bay, but I also think the Giants have a team that could give Green Bay trouble. I think Dallas is somewhat built this way too. The Bucs are headed towards 6-10/7-9 city which has to be considered a disappointment after last year’s 10-6. It shouldn’t be really. Tampa didn’t beat anyone last year in a meaningful game. Getting a tougher schedule was going to result in some regression. This is still a young football team, but not good enough to beat Green Bay! PACKERS (-14)
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November 20, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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