There weren’t a lot of things to be surprised about in Week 11 of the NFL season. Only two of this weekend’s games didn’t go “according to plan” and even those games could not be viewed as complete shockers. For the first time in weeks, I don’t have a weekly theme, because I followed my own advice from the previous week. I made smart picks, using my football knowledge, and gut feeling about each team. Still, I was able to learn a few things from the NFL this week.


AFC NORTH (Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns)

• Baltimore knows how to show up for the competition that they deem worthy. It’s crazy that a team who can brag about beating the Jets, Texans, Bengals, and Steelers twice…..also has to hang their head about losing to the Titans, Jaguars, and Seahawks.
• Cincinnati plays in one of the deeper divisions in the AFC, and yet, on Sunday they started a half a game off the lead. This young team is very good, and very legit.

AFC EAST (New England Patriots, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills)

• Each season, we see young players who cry about getting contact extensions, basically because their Rookie contracts don’t line up to their skills and stats. Thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick, you can throw that argument away. He got paid, and has been stinking things up ever since.
• Rex Ryan is more interested in making commercials, movies, and ESPN interviews, than he is in getting his team prepared for the week.
• Reggie Bush really is a good RB. He just needed to find a good fit. Which only leaves me even more confused, because how could any RB be more productive under this offense versus being under Drew Brees and his arsenal of targets?

AFC SOUTH (Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans)

• Peyton Manning’s injury has had a greater ripple-effect than expected. We knew it would alter the Colt’s offense. We didn’t know it would alter their defense. We also thought that every other team in the division would be clawing at the opportunity to claim the top spot. That hasn’t happened. Instead, they have become the worst division in football.

AFC WEST (San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos)

• The Chargers know how to score points. The problem is that they don’t know how to win.
• Before his passing, many said Al Davis was one of the worse Owners and terrible for football. While we were talking, what he was really doing was building a good, young team. They arguably lost their best player (so we thought) to Free Agency, and their QB to injury. And yet, they are playing good football every game, and have some credible wins.
• It doesn’t matter how you win….just win. And when you only have 16 games to do it….you better find a way. Tebow doesn’t have all the tools to be a Hall of Fame QB in this league, but he knows how to win. (as a side note, I think defenses get completely ignorant when playing against him. He completed 2 of 6 passes the previous game. He slings the ball like he is playing sandlot football. He has an empty backfield at the end of the game, needing a TD to win. What do you think he’s going to do?)

NFC NORTH (Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions)

• Green Bay just knows how to win. They have been in a few competitive games this year, and they simply know how to keep composure, stay the course, and WIN.
• I swear the Lions are an Arena Football League team! As much as they have tried to build a strong, young defense over the past few years….their success is still based on scoring points. AND A LOT OF THEM!
• Chicago and Jay Cutler have finally developed into what we have been expecting them to be for years. (it’s too bad that looks to come to an end after Sunday’s game)
• Minnesota should start making decisions now. Is Christian Ponder the man of the future? Should they use your Top 5 Draft Pick to rebuild their defense or add to the offense, because that’s the route they’re headed.

NFC EAST (Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins)

• Somehow, the Dallas Cowboys have become the New York Yankees of the NFL. They come into each season with a million expectations placed on them. But as soon as we leave them alone, and stop talking about them, they start playing pretty good football.
• When we expect the Eagles to win, they stink. When we expect them to lose, they win. Internally, I think they have more drama than some of the lower teams of the league. They just have more talent
• The Giants blew a big opportunity on Sunday! At home, with the chance to basically end the season for their division rival. No Vick to chase after! And a chance to take sole possession of 1st place in their division! Now they are tied with Dallas, and while the Cowboys’ schedule gets much easier, New York has the Saints, Packers, Jets, and Dallas (twice) to deal with.

NFC SOUTH (New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

• Cam Newton continues to show that he can play at the NFL level. They only need a few more pieces around him. Other than a few games, they have either held big leads or late leads in each of their losing efforts.
• The purpose of a salary cap is to make sure teams stay on an even playing field. When you have MILLIONS to spare in your salary cap and you don’t use it for whatever crazy reason, you get the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS. Coach Morris has believed for the past 2 seasons that he his team has all the right pieces already in place, and he is wrong!

NFC WEST (San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals)

• San Fran just needed the RIGHT leader. They added a few pieces on “O” and “D”, but a change in PHILOSOPHY was exactly what they needed.
• St. Louis was held from signing Sam Bradford to the largest contract in NFL history. They still gave him a hefty one. I guess they expected him to throw the ball to himself, and jump on defense to defend the other team. Where’s the help?

  1. […] My Pick: COWBOYS (Dallas seemingly got their swagger back once we all left them alone. Read “WHAT I THINK I LEARNED FROM THE NFL THIS WEEK: Week 11” Dallas is back toed for 1st place in the NFC EAST. If you look ay their schedule, as […]

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