2011 NFL Week 8 Remix by Lloyd Vance

In one of Week 8’s shockers, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Diego Chargers 23-20 in overtime on Monday Night Football. One of the stars of the MNF win and the Chiefs’ recent 4-game winning streak, that has put them at the top of the “wild” AFC West, is emerging RB Jackie Battle

(Philadelphia, Pa) — The midpoint of the 2011 NFL season is upon us and throughout the league there “should” be a pretty good understanding of who the “Contenders” and “Pretenders” are.  But with 9 more weeks of NFL action ahead of us, other than the Green Bay Packers (7-0) — who are vulnerable too — no one is very sure what is happening week to week in the topsy-turvy National Football League.  Parity is everywhere as there are 19 teams with winning records along with 14 teams bunched between records 3-4 and  5-3.  So buckle up as the second half the 2011 season is about to begin.

And here are some storylines that we will be following in the league’s second half:

  • Can  the Green Bay Packers go undefeated for the entire 2011 season and/or be the first team since Patriots in 2000-2001 to go to back-to-back Super Bowls
  • Can rookie quarterback Cam Newton continue his magic carpet ride towards the Rookie of the Year Award and possibly Peyton Manning’s rookie passing yardage record
  • Are the Steelers, Chiefs, and Eagles truly back after producing winning streaks after some “slow” starts
  • Could it be possible that the Indianapolis Colts will not win a game in 2011 and match the 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16)…. If that happens at least they will get Stanford QB Andrew Luck
  • Which coach currently on the hot seat (Dolphins Tony Sparano, Jaguars Jack Del Rio, Colts Jim Caldwell and others) will be the first one issued their pink slip
  • Will the Niners (6-1) have the NFC West wrapped up by Thanksgiving

In looking at the current NFL standings here’s the breakdown: The “Elite” – Packers (7-0), Steelers (6-2), Lions (6-2), and Niners (6-1); “Teams on the Cusp” — Patriots (5-2), Giants (5-2), Saints (5-3), Ravens (5-2), Bills (5-2), and Texans (5-3);  “Stuck in the Middle” glut of 12 inconsistent teams (records of 4-3 or 3-4), who are caught in the NFL’s parity-filled middle and either need to join the playoff hunt or fall back – Chargers (4-3), Bucs (4-3), Raiders (4-3), NY Jets (4-3), Bears (4-3), Falcons (4-3), Chiefs (4-3), Titans (4-3), Eagles (3-4), Cowboys (3-4), Browns (3-4), and Redskins (3-4);  The “Pretenders”, who are only a shade away from the league’s bottom rung – Seahawks (2-5), Broncos (2-5), Panthers (2-6), Vikings (2-6), and Jaguars (2-5); and lastly  the “Putrid” (i.e. These teams should just skip to the 2012 NFL Draft) – Cardinals (1-6), Rams (1-6 — Got their first win though), Dolphins (0-7), and Colts (0-8)

“Next Man Up” around the NFL 

Cleveland Browns RB Montario Hardesty (calf)
Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (wrist)
Washington Redskins TE Fred Davis (ankle)
Giants CB Justin Tryon (broken forearm — 7th G-Men DB with serious injury)
Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb (turf toe)
Giants WR Hakim Nicks (hamstring)
Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot)
Giants OL David Baas (neck)
Chargers RB Ryan Matthews (groin)
Steelers LB Lamarr Woodley (hamstring)

Week 8 Games

Sunday Oct 30

Ravens (5-2) over Cardinals (1-6), 27-24… In Week 8’s most entertaining game, the Cardinals jumped out to an early 24-3 lead only to see the Ravens post their greastest comeback ever…WR Anquan Boldin get revenge on his old team…Boldin sets up Ray Rice’s 3 short-yardage TDs by getting PI penalties deep in Cardinals territory… Ravens harrassed Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb the whole game…Cundiff kicks GW with no time left on clock…Flacco shows his mettle as BAL gets ready for top of AFC North “business” trip to Pittsburgh in Week 9

Titans (4-3) over Colts (0-8), …. The amazing free-fall of Indy continues…. Hasselbeck has a solid game…. Javon Ringer and Chris Johnson are splitting carries… After another below 50-yard game, CJ2K is now CJ1/2K….TENN is chasing Texans for the lead in the AFC South… Colts move a step closer to Luck… Painter turns the ball over for Colts (2 INTs that lead to TDs)…Bironas kick two 50+ yard FGs

Giants (5-2) over Dolphins (0-7), 27-24…. This one was a nail-biter (Manning to Cruz late wins it) for the the G-Men as they needed a strong game from Eli Manning (31 of 45 passes for 345 yards, 2 TDs and No INTs) and their defense to get the win… the underdog Dolphins fought hard the whole game… MIA quarterback Matt Moore played hard including running the ball….NFC East-leading NYG on a 2-game winning streak, but have to travel to NE and SF coming up

Texans (5-3) over Jaguars (2-5), HOU is off to their best start ever and lead the AFC South…. Another solid game from RB Arian Foster (112 yds and 1 TD) and QB Matt Schaub was efficient… Gabbert and MJD bottled up… Del Rio back on Hot Seat…. HOU only faces 4 more teams with a winning record none with more than four wins

Rams (1-6) over Saints (5-3)…. In a total shocker, the Rams end an 8-game losing streak going back to 2010… backup QB AJ Feeley presses all the right buttons in the Rams first win of the season…S-Jax has 2 TDs and over 100 yds (1st time since 2008)…Rams sack stunned Drew Brews 6 times including 3 by DE Chris Long… Saints get caught looking past STL… MLB Champion Cardinals inspire Rams.. NO now only 1-game ahead of TB and ATL…
Vikings (2-6) over Panthers (2-6)… In the battle of rookie QB’s, Minnesota and QB Christian Ponder came back to beat the Panthers…Cam Newton leads Panthers into range for a game-tying FG, but veteran kicker Olindo Mare misses from 35 yards out…. Ponder got his first NFL win and RB Adrian Peterson was the engine that fueled MIN…AD has 2 TDs (1 rec and 1 rushing)… Allen gets another sack (leads NFL w/ 12.5)

Lions (6-2) over Broncos (2-5)…. This game was a disaster, to say the least, for DEN QB Tim Tebow…. The former Heisman Winner looked tentative, was sacked 7 times, and had a fumber returned for a TD… Suh and the Lions D stiffles Tebow and the Broncos… Houston returns an INT 100-yd TD…Avril has a strip/sack/fumble recorery/TD on one play… Stafford battles back from ankle problems to get the win….

Bills (5-2) over Redskins (3-4), 23-0…The Bills get their first regular season win in Toronto…Shanahan shutout for the first time in his football career…WAS is beat-up and falling apart — now have lost 3 straight…. QB John Beck looks lost for Redskins (sacked 9 times)… big game for F-Jax running the ball….Fitzpatrick is efficient as he hits Scott “All I do is catch touchdowns” Chandler (2 TDs on 2 catches)…Bills tied for first in AFC East w/ NE… Next-up host NYJ

Bengals (5-2) over Seahawks (2-5)…. The hard-to-believe Bengals are currently in 2nd place in AFC North after another win… rookie QB Andy Dalton is not playing like a rookie…CIN survives playing the game w/o suspended RB Cedric Benson…Seahawks are very bad, but they are just good enough to not be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes

Niners (6-1) over Browns (3-4) …. You can almost lock-up the lowly NFC West and throw away the key as SF can clinch by Week 10… Harbaugh’s team rides big back Frank Gore (125+ yds and a TD in 4th straight game) and stingy defense in win over CLE… QB Alex Smith continues his comeback and now is finding Crabtree… Next up NFC East tests @WAS and hosting NYG

Steelers (6-2) over Patriots (5-2)… Steelers go to the air to attack the struggling NE secondary… Couldn’t NE has used Leigh Bodden??… Big Ben throws the ball 50 times for 365 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT…. Steelers survive late Patriots rally as Keisel gets big sack/strip… Polamalu makes a big play “illegally” batting ball out of endzone for a late safety…. Brady (24-35, season-low 198 yds, 2 TDs) is constantly harrassed… Patriots are all finesse and don’t have a running game… Kevin Faulk is back for Pats… Roethlisberger’s WRs Brown and Walker take advantage of Patriots secondary… Steelers wind-the-clock at the end of this one as all Brady can do is watch… PIT win their 4th straight  and now will host BAL in a huge Week 9 showdown game… Patriots will host NYG and it could get ugly

Eagles (3-4) over Cowboys (3-4), 34-7… Attended this one from Linc pressbox…. Eagles end 5-game home losing streak with a dominating win on SNF…LeSean McCoy show (career-high 185 yards, 2 TDs)… Vick is efficient (2 TDs, 0 turnovers)… Babin has 2 sacks… Ware has 4 sacks in loss…Murray was dominant early, but Cowboys abandon run after PHI gets big lead…Romo is hurried and hit often… Reid is now 13-0 after bye week… Reid wins 2 challenges… Eagles win their 2nd in a row and are now in the thick of NFC East race… Cowboys very subdued in lockerroon…. Eagles believe that they now have momentum… Birds have to beat CHI on MNF in Week 9 to show consistency…Eagles DC Juan Castillo says the return of DE Trent Cole was huge…

Monday Oct 31

Chiefs (4-3) over Chargers (4-3), 23-20 in OT… In a sloppy (8 turnovers) back-and-forth overtime game, KC rallied late fueled by Chargers QB Philip Rivers’ late fumble… Rivers hits Brinkley for a crucial 2-point conversion late… KC leans on young RB Jackie Battle, but he can’t move the ball on a crucial 4th quarter 3rd and short… Good return from injury for TE Antonio Gates… Rivers constantly pressured from KC DE Tamba Hali… KC moves to 4-3 to and leads the AFC West via tiebreakers… Rivers shows his moxy, great arm, and mistakes — now has NFL-high 14 turnovers —  on MNF… Rivers fumbles the snap late with SD setting up for GW FG… Chiefs kicker Succoup does it again as he  kicks GW anyway in OT on halloween… Cassel hits some big throws to “Killer B’s” (Baldwin, Bowe, and Breaston)

Byes: Bears (4-3), Buccaneers (4-3), Falcons (4-3), Jets (4-3), Packers (7-0), Raiders (4-3)

9 home teams won including Buffalo Bills who won for the first time in Toronto as the “road” home team

Teams coming off a bye were 5-1 in Week 8

Game Balls

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy — Possibly the best running back in the NFL after 8 weeks.  McCoy had an career-high 185 yard and 2 TDs in Philadelphia’s 34-7 rout of the Dallas Cowboys on SNF.  In the last 2 weeks, Shady had rushed the ball 58 times for over 300 yards and 3 TD’s.  The emerging back has made HC Andy Reid go with a balanced attack as the Eagles (3-4)  have jumped back in the NFC East race after back-to-back divisional wins.

Honorable Mention: Steelers combo Roethlisberger/Mike Wallace, Texans RB Arian Foster, Eagles DE Jason Babin, Ravens LB Ray Lewis, Vikings Adrian Peterson, Rams DE Chris Long, Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bengals rookie QB Andy Dalton

Lloyd’s Lackey

New Orleans Saints — One week after lighting up the Colts by a score of 62-7, in a total breakdown and looking passed an opponent game, the Saints lost badly to the formerly winless St. Louis Rams (1-6).  QB Drew Brees was intercepted twice with one  of INTs being a Pick-6.  The Rams also rang-up 6 sacks as they took away the Saints many offensive weapons.  And on offense, suddenly perenial backup QB AJ Feeley looked like a start against New Orleans’ uninterested defense.

Dishonorable Mention:   Dallas Cowboys, Dolphins HC Tony Sparano, New England Patriots’ running game, Broncos QB Tim Tebow, Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb, Cowboys DC Rob Ryan, Washington Redskins

Standings Breakdown

1 Team ….7-0 — Packers
1 Team…. 6-1 — Niners
2 Teams… 6-2 — Lions, Steelers
5 Teams…. 5-2 — Patriots, Bills, NY Giants, Bengals, Ravens

2 Teams…. 5-3 — Saints, Texans
8 Teams… 4-3  — Raiders, Bucs, NY Jets, Falcons, Bears, Titans, Chiefs,Chargers
5 Teams …..3-4 — Eagles, Redskins, Browns, Cowboys

3 Teams… 2-5 — Jaguars, Seahawks, Broncos
2 Teams … 2-6 — Panthers, Vikings
2 Teams…. 1-6 — Rams, Cardinals
1 Team…. 0-7 — Dolphins
1 Team…..0-8 (AKA…Suck for Andrew Luck Sweepstakes) — Colts

19 Teams with winning records including one undefeated teams (Packers, 7-0, were on a bye this week), other strong contenders [Niners (6-1), Steelers (6-2), Lions (6-2), and Ravens (5-2)], and some absolute the surprises in the Bills and Bengals (both 5-2)

13 Teams with losing including surprises [Eagles (3-4), Cowboys (3-4), and the Manning-less Colts (0-8)]

Remember 11-5 (2008 New Patriots) or 10-6 (Bucs and NY Giants in 2010) does not a guarantee making the playoffs

Division Leaders

AFC North — This is football’s most-competitve division continued to stay that way for the most part(all 3 of 4 teams .500 or better) as the Steelers (6-2) looked like top AFC squad in win over NE, but only have a 1 game lead over Ravens and Bengals (both 4-2) plus CLE is 3-3

AFC South — The topsy-turvy Texans (5-3) got a win to continue their 1-game lead over the Titans (4-3)… Next up are the scrappy Jags (2-5) and the hoping for Luck, Colts (0-8)

AFC West — The “Wild” West as the Chargers, Chiefs, and Raiders are all tied at the top with records of 4-3. Hopefully the sorting out will take place soon as each leader will be playing in some head-to-head games in the coming weeks

AFC East — Look out, the Patriots (5-2) are in for a fight for this division as the scrappy Bills (5-2) are now tied with them and currently hold a head-to-head tiebreaker

NFC North — The NFL’s last undefeated team stayed that way for another week as the defending SB Champion Packers (7-0) were on a bye.  However GB’s lead is down to 2 games as the Lions (5-2) and the Up-and-Down Bears (4-3) are lurking

NFC South — Remember nothing is guaranteed in the NFL and the Saints found that out the hard way.  However New Orleans still does have a 1-game lead over the idle Falcons and Bucs (both 4-3)

NFC West — As crazy as it sounds, the Niners (6-1, with a 3.5 game lead) can clinch this awful division by Week 10.  SF has absolutely nothing to fear from the putrid trio of Seahawks (2-5), Cardinals (1-6) and the Rams (1-6)

NFC East — It ain’t over yet….Sure the NY Giants (5-2) currently have a with a 2-game lead over the rest of the teams Cowboys, Eagles, and Redskins (all are 3-4).  But NYG now has to face some “serious” competition including contenders NE, SF, PHI, NO, GB, and NYJ

How 2010 NFL Playoff Teams are Faring
**Remember for 15 straight seasons there have been at least 5 new playoff teams**

AFC
Steelers (6-2)
Patriots (5-2)
Ravens (5-2)
NY Jets (4-3)
Chiefs (4-3)
Colts (0-8)

NFC
Packers (7-0)
Saints (5-3)
Falcons (4-3)
Bears (4-3)
Eagles (3-4)
Seahawks (2-5)

Current Winning Streaks

Packers — 9 in a row going back to 2010
Niners — 5 in a row

Chiefs — 4 in a row
Steelers — 4 in a row
Bengals — 4 in a row
Bears — 3 in a row
Eagles — 2 in a row
Falcons — 2 in a row
NY Jets — 2 in a row
NY Giants — 2 in a row

Current Losing Streaks

Dolphins — 9 in a row going back to 2010
Colts — 8 in a row
Cardinals — 6 in a row
Redskins — 3 in a row

Upcoming schedules

NFC

ARI (1-6) —   STL, @PHI, @SF, @STL, DAL, SF, CLE, @CIN, SEA
ATL (4-3)  —   @IND, NO, TEN, MIN, @HOU, @CAR, JAX, @NO, TB
CAR (2-6) —    BYE, TEN, @DET, @IND, @TB, ATL, @HOU, TB, @NO
CHI (4-3) —     @PHI (MNF), DET, SD, @OAK, KC, @DEN, SEA, @GB, @MIN
DAL (3-4) —     SEA, BUF, @WAS, MIA, @ARI, NYG, @TB, PHI, @NYG
DET (6-2) —     BYE, @CHI, CAR, GB, @NO, MIN, @OAK, SD, @GB
GB (7-0) —      @SD, MIN, TB, @DET, @NYG, OAK, @KC, CHI, DET
MIN (2-6) —    BYE, @GB, OAK, @ATL, DEN, @DET, NO, @WAS, CHI
NO (5-3) —      TB, @ATL, BYE, NYG, DET, @TEN, @MIN, ATL, CAR
NYG (5-2) —    @NE, @SF, PHI, @NO, GB, @DAL, WAS, @NYJ, DAL
PHI (3-4) —     CHI (MNF), ARI, @NYG, NE, @SEA, @MIA, NYJ, @DAL, WAS
SEA (2-6) —    @DAL, BAL, @STL, WAS, PHI, STL, @CHI, SF, @ARI
SF (6-1) —    @WAS, NYG, ARI, @BAL, STL, @ARI, PIT, @SEA, @STL
STL (1-6) —  @ARI, @CLE, SEA, ARI, @SF, @SEA, CIN, @PIT, SF
TB (4-3) —  @NO, HOU, @GB, @TEN, CAR, @JAX, DAL, @CAR, @ATL
WAS (3-4) —   SF, @MIA, DAL, @SEA, NYJ, NE, @NYG, MIN, @PHI

AFC

BAL (5-2) — @PIT (SNF), @SEA, CIN, SF, @CLE, IND, @SD, CLE, @CIN
BUF (5-2) — NYJ, @DAL, @MIA, @NYJ, TEN, @SD, MIA, DEN, @NE
CIN (5-2) — @TEN, PIT, @BAL, CLE, @PIT, HOU, @STL, ARI, BAL
CLE (3-4)  — @HOU, STL, JAX, @CIN, BAL, @PIT, @ARI, @BAL, PIT
DEN (2-5) — @OAK, @KC, NYJ,  @SD, @MIN, CHI, NE, @BUF, KC
HOU (5-3) — CLE, @TB, BYE,  @JAX, ATL. @CIN, CAR, @IND, TEN
IND (0-8)  — ATL, JAX, BYE, CAR, @NE, @BAL, TEN, HOU, @JAX
JAX (2-5)  —    BYE, @IND, @CLE, HOU, SD, TB, @ATL, @TEN, IND
KC (4-3) —   MIA, DEN, @NE, PIT, @CHI, @NYJ, GB, OAK, @DEN
MIA (0-7) — @KC, WAS, BUF, @DAL, OAK, PHI, @BUF, @NE, NYJ
NE  (5-2) — NYG, @NYJ (SNF), KC, @PHI, IND, @WAS, @DEN, MIA, BUF
NYJ (4-3) — @BUF, NE (SNF), @DEN, BUF, @WAS, KC, @PHI, NYG, @MIA
OAK (4-3) — DEN, @SD, @MIN, CHI, @MIA, @GB, DET, @KC, SD
PIT  (6-2) — BAL (SNF), @CIN, BYE, @KC, CIN, CLE, @SF, STL, @CLE
SD (4-3) — GB, OAK, @CHI, DEN, @JAX, BUF, BAL, @DET, @OAK
TEN (4-3) — CIN, @CAR, @ATL, TB, @BUF, NO, @IND, JAX, @HOU

Week 8 Leaders

Passing
1. P. Rivers SD  367 yds (w)
2. B. Roethlisberger PIT  365 yds (w)
3. E. Manning NYG  349 yds (w)
4. J. Flacco BAL  336 yds (w)
5. T. Jackson SEA  323 yds (L)
6. C. Newton CAR  290 yds (L)
 
Rushing
1. L. McCoy PHI  185 yds (w)
2. S. Jackson STL  159 yds (w)
3. F. Gore SF  134 yds (w)
4. F. Jackson BUF  120 yds (w)
5. A. Foster HOU  112 yds (w)
 
Receiving
1. A. Boldin BAL  145 yds (w)
2. C. Johnson DET  125 yds (w)
3. B. Obomanu SEA  107 yds (L)
3. M. Floyd SD  107 yds (L)
5. L. Robinson DAL  103 yds (L)
6. S. Rice SEA  102 yds (L)
 
TDS   
1. C. Newton CAR  3 TDs (L)
1. M. Stafford DET  3 TDs (w)
1. R. Rice BAL  3 TDs (w)
4. L. McCoy PHI 2 TDs (w)
4. A. Peterson MIN 2 TDs (w)
4. S. Chandler BUF  2 TDs (w) — tied with 9 other players
 
 2011 NFL Season Leaders

Passing Yards  (Dan Marino’s record of 5,084 in 1984 in jeopardy)
 D. Brees 2746
 
Rushing Yards
A. Peterson 798

Receiving Yards  (Jerry Rice’s record of 1848 yds in 1995 is target)
S. Smith 918

Sacks
J. Allen 12.5 

Tackles
P. Angerer 89

Interceptions
C. Woodson 5
 

Looking Ahead to to Week 9

Sunday November 5th

49ers (6-1) at Redskins (3-4) 1:00PM ET (FOX)
Browns (3-4) at Texans (5-3) 1:00PM ET (CBS)
Buccaneers (4-3) at Saints (5-3) 1:00PM ET (FOX)
Dolphins (0-7) at Chiefs (4-3) 1:00PM ET (CBS)
Falcons (4-3) at Colts (0-8) 1:00PM ET (FOX)
Jets (4-3) at Bills (5-2) 1:00PM ET (CBS)
Seahawks (2-5) at Cowboys (3-4) 1:00PM ET (FOX)
Bengals (5-2) at Titans (4-3) 4:05PM ET (CBS)
Broncos (2-5) at Raiders (4-3) 4:05PM ET (CBS)
Giants (5-2) at Patriots (5-2) 4:15PM ET  (FOX)
Packers (7-0) at Chargers (4-3) 4:15PM ET (CBS)
Rams (1-6) at Cardinals (1-6) 4:15PM ET (FOX)
Ravens (5-2) at Steelers (6-2) 8:20PM ET (NBC)

Monday November 6th
Bears (4-3) at Eagles (3-4) 8:30PM ET (ESPN)

Byes: Jaguars (2-6), Lions (6-2), Panthers (2-6), Vikings (2-6)

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