Sunday, November 20, 2011

11 Things I Know I Know: Week 11

Here are 11 Things I Know I Know:

1. I know the Lions are back. After losing three of their last four, worries started to creep into the minds of the Detroit faithful.

To start today's game, Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions in his first eight passes and saw his team fall behind 24-7 in the opening 20 minutes. Time to panic? Nah. Detroit cut the lead to 13 by halftime and outscored Carolina 35-8 in the second half behind five Stafford touchdown passes.

Detroit hosts Green Bay on Thursday and might have the best chance of giving the Packers their first (only?) loss of the season.

Kevin Smith - apparently resurrected from the dead over the last two weeks -
had over 200 yards from scrimmage on Sunday

2. I know the Cowboys are dangerous and could find themselves in first place if the Eagles can pull off a mini-miracle tonight against the Giants. (Side note: Huge shout out to Mark Herzlich, starting his first NFL game tonight. Congratulations.)

You can never fully trust Tony Romo...or completely count him out. He's about as polarizing an athlete as anyone not named Tim Tebow, and he has the Cowboys sitting at 6-4 as they head into their Turkey Bowl against Miami. Speaking of Miami...

3. I know the Dolphins will be playing spoiler for the rest of the season. Their last six games are against teams with legitimate playoff aspirations: at Dallas, vs Oakland, vs Philadelphia (humor me), at Buffalo, at New England, and vs the New York Jets. If you want to be playing meaningful January games, do not take Miami - winners of three straight - lightly.

4. I know the slate of Thursday games will be the best tripleheader in Thanksgiving history.

I talked about the Green Bay / Detroit and Miami / Dallas games already. I didn't even touch on Brother Bowl, San Francisco at Baltimore. All three of these games have deep playoff implications.

Also, if you need to find me for some reason on Thursday, search my couch between the hours of 12:30 and 11pm and you have a 99.9% chance of success.

5. I know I was more impressed with the Bengals than I was with the Ravens despite the fact they lost. Cincinnati and Gingy Andy Dalton went into Baltimore and gave them all they could handle. Baltimore needed a late fourth quarter red zone stop to seal the seven-point victory. The Bengals did this all without their best offensive weapon, AJ Green.

6. I know the Jets have nine lives. The loss to Denver means winning the AFC East is out of the question. However, they are only a game out of the final Wildcard spot thanks to losses from all of their closest competitors, most notably Cincinnati. They have three very winnable games on the horizon (vs Buffalo, at Washington, and vs Kansas City). If they win those three, New York will almost assuredly be at least tied for the Wildcard lead since the Bengals have games at Pittsburgh and against Houston over the next three weeks.

7. I know the Chargers are the best team in NFL history to ever have lost five straight games in one season. This team is making the playoffs despite being two games under .500 through 10 games. They are about to rip off three or four straight wins to get themselves back into the race.

8. I know Bears will play a huge role in determining which team wins the AFC West? Chicago knocked off the Chargers today, visit Oakland next week, then host Kansas City in two weeks, and finally travel to Denver in three weeks. Crazy scheduling that a team in the NFC North plays another division's teams in four consecutive weeks.

9. I know Dante Stallworth now has as many touchdowns to his name since 2008 as he does murdered people: 1. The guy should be in jail, not having "Hail to the Redskins" sung to him.

10. I know anyone in favor of #DeathToTheBCS (should first get behind me in line and then) root for Arkansas to knock off LSU on Friday. If that happens, the top three teams in the current BCS standings - LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas - will have each beaten each other once and lost to each other once.

Behind them are some less-than-incredible-one-loss teams:

Stanford - Got smoked at home by Oregon
Oklahoma State - Lost as 30 point road favorites at Iowa State
Virginia Tech - Lost at home to Clemson
Boise State - Lost at home by one point to TCU on a last minute two-point conversion (for my money, the "strongest" loss of the one-loss teams)

Then come the 11-0 Houston Cougars.

Excited about any of those matchups? Me neither.

11. I know the Patriots will beat the Chiefs 44-13 on Monday Night Football. Billy B will love running up the score on his old protege Todd Haley. No Matt Cassel, no Jamaal Charles, no chance.

"11 Things I Know I Know" is my feeble attempt to trump the untrumpable's Peter King and his "10 Things I Think I Think" which happens to be my favorite article each week.

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