What We Learned in Week 11 In the NFL:
- The 4th quarter is now known as Tebow Time
- Don’t look now but the Dolphins are on a 3 game winning streak
- Philip Rivers continues to prove me right
- You can’t send a Bungle to do a Steeler’s job
What is a Steeler fan to do on a bye week? Well make fun of the teams that lost of course. Week 11 in the NFL began Thursday night in Denver as the struggling Jets met the red-hot Broncos for a matchup that could be the difference between New York watching or playing in January. The Jets defense completely fell flat against Tebow, who has 3 4th quarter comeback wins in his last 4 victories. I’ll say it again, say what you want about Tebow, the man can win games. Naturally, being in the AFC Worst, at 5-5, the Broncos are now a half game out of the division lead. Don’t count Tebow out of any game, as much as all the NFL “experts” want to preach that his style of game can’t last, this guy can win and his team is behind him. Denver couldn’t have been in the spots they have been in to win games without their defense, but it’s Tebow that’s making the crowd and John Elway stand and cheer.
The Dolphins extended their winning streak to 3 games routing the Bills at home. What had started as a dream season for the Bills has now turned into a nightmare as the Bills have lost 3 in a row being outscored 106-26. The Dolphins defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in 12 consecutive quarters and the Dolphins are playing inspired football after being somewhat of a laughing stock not long ago. After becoming the early favorites in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, the Dolphins are playing sound football on all 3 phases.
The Dolphins defense is getting turnovers and their special teams are making plays. They will play the Cowboys in a Thanksgiving Day matchup that could be dangerous for Dallas. Not only are the Dolphins winning now, but they are winning at home, a feat that seemed almost impossible for the team last season. Going on the road against Dallas in a Thanksgiving game may be a very good test for the Dolphins. Even though a playoff spot is very much out of reach for the boys in teal and orange at this point, the Dolphins look reborn in the last 3 games and are hopefully giving a reason for fans to fill the stadium. Living in Florida, I’ve been to quite a few Dolphins games and I can tell you the Dolphins-Bills rivalry is heated. No doubt there were some Fins fans that went home very happy on Sunday after that win, no matter what their record is.
Philip Rivers, oh Philip Rivers, you haven’t let me down all season. I had just about enough of all of the NFL “experts” including Rivers in their lists of the “elite” quarterbacks in the league before this season even started. Yes, the guy has put up some yards and some impressive stats so far in his career. What he hasn’t put up is any meaningful victories, which counts a hell of a lot more than stats when all is said and done. I’m sure Chargers fans aren’t sitting on their couches now saying, “But Rivers lead the league in passing yards last season!” Rivers now leads the league in interceptions, a league where you have starting quarterbacks like Tebow, Grossman, and Curtis Painter. Yes, that’s right Rivers Lovers; your precious “elite” quarterback throws more interceptions than a quarterback that has yet to win a single game. Rivers didn’t disappoint me again, throwing the game away to the Bears and falling to 4-6 behind Tebow’s Broncos in the division. Those of you who had picked Rivers in your fantasy draft this year thinking it would be a sure thing for some big points; I sure hope you got a good kicker.
Steeler Nation reluctantly cheered for the Bungles in the hopes the Ratbirds would falter yet again and earn their first division loss, but were disappointed to learn that the Bungles were who we thought they were. The Ravens were without Ray Lewis for the first time since 2007, who was sidelined with an apparent camel toe injury. Cincy proved to be a team that looked good and has a promising future with a young quarterback and young wide receiver, but couldn’t match up against the pair of bullies in the AFC North. Dalton made far too many rookie mistakes and the Bungles came up short in Baltimore.
Possibly it was too much to hope that Cincy could go into Baltimore and steal one to shore the Steelers at least a portion of the AFC North lead, but it seemed possible going into it. The Steelers are sitting tied with the Ratbirds for the division, with the boys in purple having the slight edge due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Steelers have no one to blame but themselves. You want to win the division; you have to win your division games, plain and simple. The Steelers will have to finish a full game ahead of the Ravens to win the division and overcome the 2 head-to-head losses. Not an easy task seeing as how both the Steelers and Ravens have relatively identical schedules for the remaining 6 games, each with one more matchup with Cincy and their toughest opponent for both being San Francisico. Steeler fans get to watch Harbaugh against Harbaugh on Thanksgiving night while having their pies or pumpkin rolls wondering if John Harbaugh will get another gatorade shower for beating his little brother.
The Steelers have the Sunday night game against former Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko and the Kansas City Chiefs. If the Steelers enjoyed this bye week, and I’m sure they did, they will need to focus on winning out in order to assure themselves another bye week at the end of the season before the playoffs start. We’re about to get into the heart of the season, the bye weeks are over and the next game you play is always the most important game of the year. I think the Steelers will come off the bye healthy and hungry. Bring it on Week 12!
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