Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Week 11: Bye bye, bye

Did you notice something ominous this week? There were 16 games; every team was in action. That means the bye weeks are over, which means the end is in sight. And with six weeks to go, Down and Distance has climbed to second place in the picks league, thanks to a league-best 13-3 record in Week 11. (As of Tuesday, however, the standings still say 14-2. Everyone appears to have gotten credit for picking the Steelers.) Meanwhile, it's Thanksgiving Week, and I'm as busy as you are. So we'll be really brief.


Tampa Bay 31, Atlanta 7
Turns out Joey Harrington was not the problem, and Byron Leftwich was not the answer. How many times do they have to reinvent the wheel in Atlanta?

Cleveland 33, Baltimore 30 (OT)
I don't care what he said over the P.A. Referee Pete Morelli looked at the replay -- or at least had someone else look -- to determine whether Phil Dawson's kick made it through the uprights at the end of regulation. By rule, field goals are not supposed to be subject to replay review. It's refreshing to see a ref, for once, say: Fuck the rules, I'm gonna get it right.

Green Bay 31, Carolina 17
The score was only this close because the Packers, with another game in just four days, put it in neutral early on.

Houston 23, New Orleans 10
Regardless of how poorly Reggie Bush played (very), it would be a stretch to say that this game demonstrated why the Texans were right to choose Mario Williams with the top draft pick in 2006 rather than Bush. But what the hell. Williams is a nice guy; if it makes him feel better, I've got not problem.

Indianapolis 13, Kansas City 10
The Colts need a lot more than just getting Dallas Clark back.

Jacksonville 24, San Diego 17
Two teams moving in opposite directions. I think everyone is willing to admit they were wrong about David Garrard. Will we soon be saying the same about Philip Rivers? We might, unless Norv Turner starts working his QB magic. Or maybe stops working it.

Minnesota 29, Oakland 22
With Adrian Peterson injured, Chester Taylor puts on a rushing clinic. Imagine how good this team will be next year with Derek Anderson at quarterback.

Philadelphia 17, Miami 7
Miami's only points came on an 87-yard punt return by Ted Ginn Jr. Look, it's not Ginn's fault that the Dolphins wasted a first-round pick to acquire his third-round talent, but even when he does something good, it just underscores the fact that the Dolphins had -- and still have -- needs far greater than a kick returner.

N.Y. Giants 16, Detroit 10
Seemed like it was gonna be a good game. Wasn't.

Dallas 28, Washington 23
The Redskins always play Dallas pretty close. Unfortunately, on Sunday the only Cowboy they didn't play close was Terrell Owens. Um, you know that when he sprints past the safeties, there's no one else back there, right?

St. Louis 13, San Francisco 9.
Down by 7 with less than five minutes left, the 49ers needed a touchdown but kicked a field goal rather than go for it on fourth down. That left them down by 4, which means they still needed to score a touchdown. Now you know why they've lost eight straight.

Seattle 30, Chicago 23
Could these really be the past two NFC champions?

New England 56, Buffalo 10
There's very little left to say. From the final score, it looks like the Pats ran it up on the Bills, but they didn't. They could have easily scored 90 points. Easily. Buffalo didn't even play a bad game. This is just ridiculous.


Arizona 35, Cincinnati 27
The Bengals have now come full circle: from shitty to plucky to dangerous to disappointing to shitty again. And the Cardinals? In two weeks, they host the Browns. If you had predicted before the season that Cleveland-Arizona could be a good game, they'd have put you on some kind of watch list.

N.Y. Jets 19, Pittsburgh 16 (OT)
The press loves Mike Tomlin, so you're probably not going to hear them say this, but: He's not doing a very good job getting his team ready for road games. Three times the Steelers have lost on the road to teams they should have beaten: the Cardinals, the Broncos and now the Jets.

Denver 34, Tennessee 20
So the word has gotten around the league that the best way to play the Titans is to make Vince Young beat you with his arm. Unfortunately for Tennessee on Monday night, Young's arm was just fine, but his receivers were beating themselves with their hot, buttered fingers. Tony Kornheiser wasn't as bad as usual this week, though there was an interminable shaggy-dog story about a Broncos players-only meeting that seemed to take up the bulk of the first quarter. Learn the conventions of television, Tony: If you're telling a story and have to pause while a play is run, just start right back in on the story. You don't have to recap the whole damn thing every time you get interrupted. We were all here 15 seconds ago. We remember what you were saying.

SEASON: 107-53 (66.9%)
(2006 through Week 11: 96-64, 60.0%)
(2005 through Week 11: 105-55, 65.6%)

Down and Distance's exclusive KA-POWER RANKINGS are back for their third year. The product of a simple formula, the rankings have predicted 10 of the last 17 Super Bowl winners. Further, 14 of the last 17 Super Bowl winners finished the regular season No. 1 or No. 2 in the KA-POWER RANKINGS system. Unlike with other, lesser rating systems, no opinion is involved in formulating these rankings. None. Teams are ranked on a centigrade scale, with 100 representing the NFL's strongest team and 0 its weakest. Don't like where your team is ranked? Blame science. (Key: W11 = This week's ranking. W10 = Last week's ranking. POW = KA-POWER centigrade score)
1 1Patriots 100.001719Vikings 37.48
2 2Steelers 80.941816Redskins 35.83
3 3Colts 77.421917Saints 32.68
4 4Packers 73.152020Bengals 32.56
5 5Cowboys 67.522122Bears 31.64
6 6Seahawks 61.382224Raiders 28.49
710Bucs 58.682326Ravens 27.62
8 8Giants 52.932423Panthers 26.94
911Jaguars 50.922525Chiefs 26.27
1012Eagles 48.512628Jets 22.07
11 9Chargers 48.162730Broncos 21.67
12 7Titans 46.302821Bills 18.51
1315Cardinals 42.562929Dolphins 16.56
1413Lions 41.993027Falcons 16.45
1514Browns 40.943131Rams 7.92
1618Texans 39.47323249ers 0.00
Teams eliminated this week from Super Bowl championship consideration (what?): Bills, Chargers, Redskins. Teams previously eliminated: Dolphins, Rams, Jets, Falcons, Bengals, Texans, Raiders, Bears, Vikings, 49ers, Broncos, Cardinals, Eagles, Ravens, Chiefs, Panthers, Saints.

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