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Article:NFL Week 11 Observations

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After Week 11, what most have known became pretty much evident to all: the New York Giants are the best team in the NFL.

No disrespect to the Tennessee Titans, but the Giants are a more complete team and beating far superior teams week-in week-out. Yesterday was no different.

With the prospect of throwing into 30-mile-per-hour winds on a cold, gusty afternoon in the Meadowlands, the Giants decided to run its top ranked rushing offense against the Ravens’ top ranked rushing defense.

The result was 207 yards rushing for the G Men, as they beat down Baltimore at its own game.

Defensively, aside from a few drives from an impressive rookie signal caller (Flacco), New York limited the McGahee/Rice combo to 19 carries for 37 yards and forced two interceptions, one being taken back to the house.

In Washington last night, the Cowboys took another step closer to “righting the ship.”

Tony Romo came back and led Dallas to a 14-10 victory in the Nation’s Capital. A few things impressed me in this one.

The defense played a very tough game and CB Terrance Newman’s return really solidified the pass defense; offensively, Romo was able to sustain longer, more effective drives in the second half and actually wore out Washington’s defense with a demoralizing six minute-plus drive to end the game.

Marion Barber had a lot to do with that last drive, but Romo made a few big plays on 3rd down. With San Francisco and Seattle on the plate next, the Cowboys should be 8-4 when they head out to Pittsburgh.

As for the Eagles, I’ll sum it up quickly: The only thing worse than losing to the 1-8 Bengals is tying them. Reid loves to pass the ball as evidenced by his 60/40 pass-to-run ratio, but over the long haul this is a formula for mediocrity. And sitting at 5-4-1, mediocre is just what the Eagles are.

The Panthers kept its site on the #2 seed in the NFC with a 31-22 victory over the Detroit Lions. While the two headed monster (Williams and Stewart) ran for over 250 yards, Delhomme struggled once again and they’ll have to get him fixed if Carolina has serious intentions about going to a Super Bowl.

The Bucs kept pace as well with a 19-13 win over Minnesota. It wasn’t the prettiest of contests, but they did what you had to against a one dimensional Vikings’ attack; plug the holes to stop Adrian Peterson and force Frerotte to beat you. Once again, Frerotte wasn’t able to do so.

Switching conferences, let’s head to the sleeper in Pittsburgh.

Man, that was a boring game.

It was 8-7 through three quarters and ended up 11-10 before the most exciting play in the game took place. And if you don’t think it was exciting, ask millions of people who had placed bets in Vegas. On the final play of the game, the Chargers threw a short pass to Tomlinson who lateraled it back to a player who in turn lateraled it back before S Palumalu scooped it up and returned it for a TD. Why was this significant? It would’ve given Pittsburgh a 17-10 victory and they would’ve covered the 5.5 point spread. Instead, the refs called an illegal forward pass (which didn’t exist) and the game ended in a one-point victory.

So Pittsbugh gets screwed in terms of tie breakers at the end of the season should it come down to that because points are one of the indicators, and millions of fans who bet on the Steelers walked away with a worthless ticket.

The Titans (mentioned above) scored 21 unanswered points to beat the 4-6 Jaguars down in Jacksonville. Collins threw two long TD passes and Tennessee’s defense tightened up in the 2nd half to help move them to 10-0. They’re not going perfect in 2008, but they will be tough to beat in the AFC. The defense is excellent and they do just enough on offense to win.

The Dolphins moved to 6-4 for the season. While beating the hapless Raiders 17-15 isn’t much to write about, when you think how far this team has come since its anemic 1-15 ‘07 campaign, it’s actually very impressive.

I don’t think Miami will make the playoffs as the Jets seem to be hitting their stride right now and the Pats won’t go down without a fight, but their schedule is all lined up for a strong finish so you never know. Who would have thought that after Week 7, when the Bills moved to 5-1, that with a loss tonight vs. Cleveland they’d be sitting in the cellar of the AFC East.

Lastly, come the Denver Broncos. They moved to 6-4 yesterday and took a commanding two-game lead in the porous AFC West. It took everything they had to get the W in Atlanta, but Cutler tossed a late game TD to seal the deal. Now they just have to hope that the Chargers continue to find ways to lose football games and they’ll hoist the AFC West banner before they get ousted in the 1st round of the playoffs.

www.profootball101.org


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