Review and Preview : Week 11

football, news, week 11


On Monday we reviewed the unpredictable world that is the National Football League.

On Tuesday I became Chicken-A-Little-Less-Little and posted a video blog. (AH.)

On Wednesday we learned what having a winning season actually means.

On Thursday I sent a deluge of new resources your way from the updated Resources page (any favorites, ladies?).


Normal Girl Game of the Week

Broncos at Patriots, SNF on NBC

I know, I know. You can roll your eyes all you want at how cliche of a pick this is…but in 20 years, you’ll thank me. How many opportunities do you get to see two of the best quarterbacks in the history of football play each other? And how many more of these matchups will we get to savor before Manning retires? This is a rare and wonderful occurrence, which means I fully endorse turning off your phone, locking the front door, ordering a pizza, stocking the freezer with good ice cream, and hunkering down for the night to bask in the glory of another Manning vs. Brady battle. That’s what I’ll be doing!

Also on the Radar

1. Will the one loss of the Chiefs 2013 season turn into two this week against the Chargers? Survey says no, but then again, who knows. See: Week 11. Anything can happen. The Chiefs will need to avoid the pitfall of being too preoccupied with the Broncos rematch next week, and the Chargers could really use a divisional win to save their playoff hopes after losing three games in a row. This game, like every game, could easily go either way.

2. Far be it from me to put an NFC East matchup on the radar…but this is actually a necessary game to put on the radar. Cowboys at Giants is a classic rivalry game, but more than that, this one could go a long way in deciding who wins the division should it all come down to divisional wins and losses. Dallas has the upper hand right now – 3-0 in-division as compared to the Giants’ 1-2.

3. The Lions will need to fend off the Bucs to regain control of the NFC North on Sunday. It might not seem like a tall order, but the Bucs are coming off of a 2-game winning streak after an 8-game losing streak. They have some momentum going. With the Packers at least having a shot at getting back in the race as they play at home against Vikings, the Lions could really use this win. (And, as a Packers fan, I’ll be the first to say that we could really use this loss. Go Bucs!)

At the Water Cooler : Week 11

football, games, week 11

Think wins and losses were pretty straightforward in Week 11 before the games even started? Think again! It was a week in which we relearned the weekly NFL lesson: you can never assume that you know what you don’t know. Anyone can win at anytime in this league.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (Colts won, 30-27)

The Colts are the definition of a team that can never be counted out. They are the best in the business at the comeback win. Beyond that, they still have yet to lose back-to-back games under second-year head coach Chuck Pagano.

NY Jets at Buffalo Bills (Bills won, 37-14)

The Jets odd-numbered-week win streak came crashing to a halt on Sunday. For whatever reason the Jets seems to struggle to win in Buffalo, and Sunday was no exception. It was a long one for Gang Green.

Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears (Bears won, 23-20 OT)

It seems like the ultimate in irony that a game delayed nearly 2 hours by severe weather would go into overtime. Total time: 6 hours, 19 minutes.

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (Bengals won, 41-20)

The Browns came out with guns blazing, putting up 13 unanswered points in the 1st quarter, and then the game was played backwards in the 2nd quarter. Literally. The Bengals scored 31 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter.

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Buccaneers won, 41-28)

This has to be the low point for Atlanta, right?

Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars (Cardinals won, 27-14)

The Jags scored 14 points in the first quarter…and then decided to be done for the day. And the Cardinals were ok with that!

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (Raiders won, 28-13)

Way to go, Rookie. Raiders rookie backup QB Matt McGloin threw three touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Raiders to the win against the Texans – who could probably use some of that good QB fortune on their side. Keenum was benched, Schuab was booed, mayhem ensued.

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (Eagles won, 24-16)

The losing streak is over: For the first time in over a year, the Eagles won at home. Philadelphians, rejoice! Or complain at a lower level of intensity!

Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers (Steelers won, 37-27)

When FOX switched to this game in the middle of the Redskins at Eagles game, my mom looked up at the TV, saw the Steelers throwback unis, and said, “Is this game sponsored by Honey Nut Cheerios?” It made my day. As did the Steelers handing the Lions an unlikely loss.

San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins (Miami won, 20-16)

Who wants the last wildcard slot in the AFC? Apparently no one in particular, since there are two 5-5 teams and seven 4-win teams who are all in the running for that last spot, Chargers and Dolphins among them.

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (Seahawks won, 41-20)

The last time the Seahawks lost at home it was the night before Christmas…2011. Apparently they were really, really good and Santa put nearly two years of home wins under their tree the next morning.

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (Saints won, 23-20)

The Saints are used to winning by multiple touchdowns at home, but I think they’ll take this hard fought home win against the Niners all the same.

Green Bay Packers at NY Giants (Giants won, 27-13)

This was a game until JPP made a crazy athletic pick six in the 3rd quarter. And then it was over. I’m borrowing hope from the fact that the Giants opened the season 0-6 and still have a shot to make the playoffs (because they play in the NFC East) to help heal the pain of the Packers losing three straight for the first time since Aaron Rodgers’ first year as a starter in 2008.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (Broncos won, 27-17)

Peyton Manning is a walking advertisement for athletic tape right now; his ankles were just about mummified when he took the field last night. But they didn’t take any extra beatings last night, since Manning did not get hit once in the entire game. That’s unreal. Kudos to his quick decision making and Denver’s O-line for keeping the Kansas City defense at bay. The Chiefs will be ready and waiting for a rematch at home in 2 weeks.

New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers (MNF on ESPN)

I am so excited for this Monday night matchup. The Panthers have a real shot to win this one and prove that last week’s win against the Niners wasn’t just a lucky fluke. But then again…who in their right mind would ever count the Patriots out? As Mr. T would say, I pity the fool who underestimates the tandem power of Brady and Belichick.

Bye: Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams

What To Know : After Week 11

Let’s just start by saying: I love the NFL. All weeks, but especially this week. And here’s why.

  1. THREE GAMES went into overtime at the same time on Sunday. I mean, come on. Does it get any better?
  2. Um, yes. It does. Because we get to talk about it.

So, let’s categorize:


  1. Who thought the Texans would need to go into OT against a woeful Jags team? Especially when the Jags starting QB, Blaine Gabbert, went down with an injury mid-game? That they pulled it out in the final minutes of OT on a courageous 4th down attempt by the Jags speaks volumes about the Texans…and not necessarily in a positive way. But a win’s a win! And the Texans steam roll on.
  2. Lesser surprise but still surprising in it’s own right: the Cowboys going into OT with the Browns, who truly had a chance to win this game. But this week, instead of finding a way to lose, the Cowboys found a way to win.
  3. Unsurprising but exciting: the Bucs winning in OT over the Panthers. Watch out for the Bucs, people! They mean business.


The Good:

  1. RG3. Holy goodness, did he ever have a game against the can’t-buy-a-break Eagles.
  2. Matt Schaub threw for over 500 yards on Sunday. Is that even human?
  3. Aaron Rodgers. Even when the offense is having somewhat of an off day, he’s still able to thread the tiniest of needles through practically invisible holes.
  4. Tom Brady. For being Tom Brady.
  5. Ditto, Peyton Manning.

The Bad:

  1. Phillip Rivers, what happened? I don’t understand?
  2. Five interceptions, Matt Ryan? Really?
  3. The entire Cardinals QB lineup. Sorry, guys.
  4. Ditto, Kansas City.

The Ugly:

  1. Nick Foles. The Eagles in general. What a terrible season.


  1. Biggest injury: Rob Gronkowski out for at least the rest of the regular reason with a broken forearm. Bad break (pun intended) for the Patriots, since Gronk is the core of the offense.
  2. Second biggest: Willis McGahee out for the foreseeable future with an MCL tear. Unfortunate for the Broncos, who have really been humming on offense.
  3. Ala Chandler, Could Pittsburgh be more injured? Along with the rest of their roster, backup QB Byron Leftwich is also going to be out for a few weeks with broken ribs. Hello, Charlie Batch!
  4. It’s so odd to not talk about the Packers in this space, but I think they survived a game sans-devastating injury for the first time in forever (Raji ankle injury notwithstanding…let’s hope it’s inconsequential).

What To Know : Week 11

Here’s your go-to guide for Week 11:

GAME OF THE WEEK: Colts at Patriots. Who thought that this would be a great game against two 6-3 teams? Survey says the Pats will come away with the win at home, but you can never underestimate the power of an emotionally charged team. On the other hand, you can never underestimate the power of the Hoodie.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Nick Foles, Eagles backup quarterback. Philly fans were clamoring for him to start anyway, but he’ll be starting for sure on Sunday due to Michael Vick’s concussion. Time to sink or shine!

STORYLINE TO KNOW: The battle of the backups. There are lots of guys out with concussions this weekend, which is a little troublesome for the NFL since they’re actively trying to change the culture of those types of injuries. Nonetheless: Michael Vick, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, and Ben Roethlisberger (the rib/shoulder injury) won’t be playing. The Monday nighter between the Bears and the Niners takes on a whole new meaning with two backups playing in a big game; great chance to evaluate how the teams respond, and it should still be a competitive game.


(Thank you, Pinterest, for these many gifts.)

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Crescent Wrap

Chocolate Peppermint S’mores

Giant Salted Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Christmas Bark

Twix Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars