JC's Take: NFL Week 11 Review
Hello everyone! Welcome back for my review of this past weeks action from the NFL!
-Before I start, I just want to quickly cover some breaking wrestling news from last night. The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, and defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Title. I absolutely love this. First because it adds a spark to WWE TV. Second, I like the Miz and think he is a rising star in the company. Plus with John Cena "gone", the WWE needed to do something to get people's attention. I'll cover this more next week, but I just wanted to touch on it briefly here. And you of course have to give credit to The Miz. The guy was a lifelong wrestling fan who worked hard to get where he is today. Congrats to him!
Team of the Week: New York Jets
-I didn't really know who to give this to this week, so I decided to give it to the team that once again pulled out a late victory. The Jets had a lead, lost it, then regained it in the final minutes of their game against Houston. There's been lots of talk as to if the Jets are an elite team with all of these last minute wins. My take is this: good team find ways to win. Whether those wins are blowouts or last second, they win no matter what. The Jets have been finding ways to win the last few weeks. This game and the Lions game, the opposing team handed them the win on a silver platter. But the Jets are going to be in trouble when they have to play tougher teams down the stretch, or in the playoffs. They have the talent to be an elite team, but they need to bring that talent for a full 60 minutes every Sunday.
Game of the Week: New England 31 Indianapolis 28
-Of course, who wouldn't expect another Manning/Brady game to be filled with some last minute drama? The Patriots looked to be running away with the game early, going up 14-0 early, then 31-14 in the fourth. But Peyton was able to take advantage of a young Patriots defense and bring the score to 31-28, then started to drive his team late for a FG or wininng TD. But Manning was forced to alter his throw late due to the pass rush, and it ended up in the hands of Pats DB James Sanders. I didn't mind Peyton throwing, but in that situation he might have been better off double clutching and bringing the ball back down, or throwing it away. The Patriots have proven in the last two weeks that they are the best team in the AFC. And while I said I'd never bet against Peyton, I do think he was trying too do a bit too much on Sunday.
Goat of the Week: Vince Young, QB Tennessee Titans
-So Vince Young hurt his thumb in Tennessee's loss to Washington. Apparently he wanted to go back in, but told no one he could. The Titans lost, and Young threw a temper-tantrum after the game. He threw his pads into the stands, then left the locker room in street clothes only minutes after the game finished. His former college teammate Mike Griffin tried to stop him, but he still left. Fisher immediately said after the game Young was no longer starting QB, and then announced yesterday Young would be going on IR. Young siad that he was a competitor and that's why he was so upset. That's a bad excuse. Young has had maturity problems for years. And now it's causing a rift in the Titans organization. Owner Bud Adams supports Young, but it seems that Fisher has had it with him. Adams said the two have to work it out, but that almost seems unlikely. If I was a betting man, I'd say one of them is gone in the off-season. And you thought Randy Moss would be the troublemaker for the Titans these last two weeks.
Other NFL Notes
-So Brad Childress is finally gone in Minnesota. You had to know it was coming the second the Vikings game was over. With the hot water Childress is already in, you don't go out and lose 31-3 at home to your hated rival the Packers. It's weird how a coach can go from the NFC Championship game one year to being fired mid-season the next. Childress has made some questionable decisions over the past year. They won't admit it, but there was clearly some rift between Childress and Brett Favre. Add that to the failed experiment of Randy Moss, and it was just too much to overcome. Who the next coach of the Vikings will be remains a mystery. Interim coach Leslie Frazier has been a finalist for a handful of jobs in the past, and he may very well earn the right to get the job full time. A lot will depend on the Vikings stadium lease which is up in 2011. With Favre not coming back next year, a new coach will be going into a situation he would like: being able to come in and bring the guy he wants to play QB.
-Talk about a team self-destructing on their own, look no further then the Cincinnati Bengals. Up 28-7 on the Bills early in the 2nd quarter, you would have thought the game was over. But the Bills came roaring back, outscoring the Bengals 42-3 the rest of the game. If you're looking for a coach to get canned next, it could be Marvin Lewis. They play Thanksgiving night against the Jets, and another humiliating loss may be too much. To go from AFC North Champions to 2-8 is bad, especially considering they did not lose any major pieces in the off-season, and actually added some key pieces on offense in Terrell Owens and rookie TE Jermaine Gresham. Marvin Lewis won't be back under any circumstances next year anyways, so owner Mike Brown may just decide to get rid of him early.
-Richard Seymour was fined $25,000 for his punch on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. The fine seems a little light for the circumstances. Big Ben did look like he could have possibly been saying something to Seymour, which caused the punch to be thrown. Big Ben did sell the punch like a champ. He probably got that from his years of watching pro wrestilng. But I believe the punch just came out of frustration from Seymour. Big Ben had just thrown a TD to put the Steelers up 21-3. The Raiders were out to prove themselves as for real, but instead were steam-rolled.
-A team that is playing well but seems to be getting no attention for it is the Jacksonville Jaguars. They're 6-4 and currently in first place in the AFC South. They've won three in a row. David Garrard once again looks like the QB Jacksonville was paying him too be. Maurice Jones-Drew is finally getting his touches and finding the end zone. And the defense is doing its job to keep the Jags in the game. They have a tough final stretch starting this week in New York against the Giants, but they could be in it til the end. It's a shame that the Jags fan base doesn't care more.
-The Philadelphia Eagles won the battle for NFC East dominance Sunday night against the Giants. That game, especially late was full of fumbleitis. Neither team could hang on to the ball. And Eli Manning might need some sliding lessons from Derek Jeter. The Eagles are playing some good football, possibly the very best other than the Super Bowl year under Andy Reid. With Mike Vick, they're a dangerous out in the playoffs.
1. Atlanta Falcons (8-2, #1 last week)- No change at the top this week. The Falcons stayed hot by beating a Rams team that plays well at home.
2. New England Patriots (8-2, #2)- They're the best team in the AFC. They've beaten two other top teams the last two weeks. Just what you'd expect from this team.
3. NY Jets (8-2, #3)- They pulled out another late comeback. Sooner or later they'll have to play a full 60 minute game in order to win.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3, #4)- They could be the best team in the NFC. They did beat the Falcons by 14 a few weeks ago.
5. Baltimore Ravens (7-3, #5)- They took care of a bad Panthers team. The defense scored twice, which should give them an added boost of confidence.
6. Green Bay Packers (7-3, #6)- If you're a coach on the hot seat, you don't want to play the Packers.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3, #7)- They bounced back nicely after their Sunday night embarrassment. Hopefully for them, the Bills aren't a trap game.
8. New Orleans Saints (7-3, #8)- No changes in the Top 8 this week. The Saints look to finally be back at Super Bowl form.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3, #12)- That was a great shutout by the Bucs defense. They keep winning, which means they keep their playoff hopes alive.
10. Chicago Bears (7-3, #13)- The Bears defense took advantage of Tyler Thigpen. Now they have a huge showdown next week against Philadelphia.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4, #17)- They're playing the best football in years in Jacksonville. Now they need to keep it up despite a tough schedule down the stretch.
12. Indianapolis Colts (6-4, #9)- I know I said I'd never bet against Peyton, but he may be trying to do too much for this team.
13. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4, #16)- They rebounded nicely at home after the blowout in Denver. If they win the AFC West, they'll be a tough out in Arrowhead.
14. San Diego Chargers (5-5, #19)- Phillip Rivers continues to play out of his mind. I'd find it hard to give somebody else the MVP over him.
15. NY Giants (6-4, #10)- Injuries may comeback to haunt the Giants down the stretch. Especially if they are without top WR Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks for a few weeks.
16. Oakland Raiders (5-5, #11)- They didn't start their stretch run the way they hoped. Hopefully they can rebound and find their offensive rhythm again.
17. Miami Dolphins (5-5, #14)- The offense got shut down by the Bears. Another loss and they can kiss any playoff hopes goodbye.
18. Washington Redskins (5-5, #23)- Huge rebound win on the road against Tennessee. They keep their playoff hopes alive.
19. Tennessee Titans (5-5, #15)- The organization is at a crossroads. How this Fisher/Young/Adams dilemna plays out will be key to their future.
20. Seattle Seahawks (5-5, #18)- A division leader ranked only at #20? Yep, that's how bad the NFC West is.
21. St. Louis Rams (4-6, #20)- The Rams played a team this week that they want to be in a couple years. A team with a young franchise QB and solid RB.
22. Dallas Cowboys (3-7, #27)- Jason Garrett has them playing some good fooball. Maybe he is the long-term answer their as head coach.
23. Houston Texans (4-6, #21)- That secondary could be the worst football has seen in a long time. You can't get burned like that two weeks in a row.
24. Cleveland Browns (3-7, #22)- They've come back down to reality the last couple weeks. But they're still playing competitive football, which is all you can ask.
25. Buffalo Bills (2-8, #31)- They showed no quit in Cincinnati. They're a few playmakers on defense from being 5-5 or 6-4 at this point.
26. San Francisco 49ers (3-7, #24)- And that shutout may have finally ended the 49ers chances in the NFC West.
27. Denver Broncos (3-7, #25)- By the Broncos standards, expect them to blowout their opponent next week.
28. Arizona Cardinals (3-7, #28)- Could Larry Fitzgerald's days in Arizona be numbered? If their serious about re-building they just might.
29. Minnesota Vikings (3-7, #26)- How Leslie Frazier handles this team in the final weeks could determine not only his coaching future for the Vikings, but for the rest of the league as well.
30. Detroit Lions (2-8, #29)- Already hoping next year was here.
31. Cincinnati Bengals (2-8, #30)- Talk about a team quitting on their coach.
32. Carolina Panthers (1-9, #32)- Can you throw a football? Then John Fox wants you as his QB this week!!!
Coaches on the Hot Seat Power Rankings!!!
1. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati- Could be gone as early as this weekend.
2. John Fox, Carolina- He's counting down the days until he can finally pack his things from his desk.
3. Gary Kubiak, Houston- This was suppose to be the Texans year, now it's Kubiak's last.
4. Mike Singletary, San Francisco- A shutout loss at home with an underachieveing team puts him here.
5. Jeff Fisher, Tennessee- The longest tenured coach in football better hope Bud Adams picks his side.
AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
1. New York Jets (8-2)
2. Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4)
5. New England Patriots (8-2)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)
7. Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
1. Atlanta Falcons (8-2)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3)
3. Chicago Bears (7-3)
4. Seattle Seahawks (5-5)
5. New Orleans Saints (7-3)
6. Green Bay Packers (7-3)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
8. New York Giants (6-4)
Three Games I'd Like to See Next Week
Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons- Battle for NFC Supremacy
Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears- Of course these 2 teams would have something to say about that.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Baltimore Ravens- Can the Bucs finally beat a legit team?
That's all for today. Week 12 picks tomorrow.
Until next time,