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NFL Points: Week 11

Lots to talk about in this pre-Thanksgiving edition of the points…Make some room, everyone! The Colts have arrived at the gala of the defeated, albeit fashionably late. Nine wins into the 2006 campaign Peyton Manning submitted his most undistinguished effort of the season, and Indianapolis bowed to the Cowboys at Texas Stadium, 21-14. For the second straight year all the geezers from the ’72 Dolphins can work their annual champagne session into the carousals of the holiday season. Bottoms up Indy!

The Cowboys, meanwhile, can now start looking at the bigger picture, after finally putting a little space between components in the win-loss column. At 6-4, Dallas is in striking position with an elite defense and potent running game; a content and productive T.O., and a quarterback meriting the title of “leader”.

Tony Romo will be starting his first Thanksgiving-day game Thursday against Tampa Bay. After he and Bill Parcells beat the Bucs they will have an additional three days to prepare for a rematch with the Giants in New York. That game should mark the return of Michael Strahan, as well as informally crown the NFC East champion (especially since Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb is finished for the season with a torn ACL). Not to be missed…

Game of the week for the second consecutive Sunday involved the San Diego Chargers. How many times in NFL-history can a team say it came from 17 points down to win on the road and had a skill player score four back to back games?? (I’m serious; I don’t know the answer, and can’t afford Elias) Either way, what LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers did last week in Cincinnati and last night in Denver is remarkable.

This is the best team in the league right now. San Diego is notorious for fading down the stretch, but this year its schedule is very manageable. If the Chargers are going to trip it won’t be until the middle of December when they face the trio of Denver, Kansas City and Seattle (the former two at home). In sum, this bodes well for San Diego’s pursuit of the second-bye in the AFC…

Hmm, speaking of the prospective second-bye reminds me what a big misstep the Patriots took in dropping to the Jets last week (read: winning hoards of divisional games represents the building blocks of any second-best team in the AFC). Simply put, in this conference you can’t lose more than one game in-division and have a odds-on shot at that elusive second-bye. That said, geez did New England put a physical hurting on the Packers (35-0) at Lambeau Field. They gave quarterback Aaron Rodgers a broken foot. And the only reason Rodgers was playing to begin with was because Tedy Bruschi damaged nerves in Brett Favre’s right elbow, forcing football’s truest iron man out of a game for only the fifth time in his career (he’s started 251 straight games).

It’s pretty clear the Patriots plainly refused to lose three games in a row, fine. But where was all that fire last week against the Jets? In the words of the translator representing “Santori Whiskey” in Lost in Translation, the Pats should have had a little “mow intensity” against the Jets, and a tad bit less against Green Bay. Here’s to hopin Favre starts number 252 next Monday night in Seattle…

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Elias #

    FYI, The Chargers are the first team in NFL history to make 17 point comebacks in back-to-back games. holla.

    November 21, 2006
  2. chrisarc #

    Agree on SD, they’re not the best team in the world but they are most definitely making it work. In my opinion the fate of that team rests on Jammer and Cromartie in their defensive backfield. They can win shootouts when they need to, but if those two can’t handle basic coverages then LT can score 6 TD’s a game and it might not matter.

    Disagree on Dallas. Marion Barber and Julius Jones are good but when they play teams that can stop the run they are both very ordinary. I can possibly see them sneaking into the postseason but not without some other sort of dramatic upheaval before January followed by another round of “re-focusing” by TO, Tuna, et al.

    The Pats beat a very bad team yesterday. When you’re in a slump, GB is a great cure for what ails ya.

    That being said, this team can’t go playing GB for the rest of the season. Although it’s not that far off (Detroit, Houston, Tennesee in the last 6 games) though the other half of that schedule, Da Bears, Da Jags and Da Phins (no, not taking anything in-division for granted anymore this season) are going to really show what this team is made of…..and we’d all better just pray that it’s something stronger than we saw in Foxborough last week.

    November 21, 2006

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