2011 NFL Week 13 Remix by Lloyd Vance

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice was this week’s game ball winner for his 200-yard rushing effort in a dominating win over the Cleveland Browns

The third quarter of the 2011 NFL Season is completed and there is not much time left for teams to either join the San Francisco 49ers and the undefeated Green Bay Packers in the playoffs or step aside.  I love this time of the year as desperation is in the air for everyone in the NFL with jobs and playoff berths both on the line in equal numbers.  After 13 weeks of NFL play, there are still the “Have’s” (7 teams with 8 wins or more including the league’s only undefeated team — Green Bay Packers,12-0) and the “Have Nots” (10 teams with 4 or less wins, who are now basically spoilers). 

But a good portion of the league (15 teams) are still caught in the parity-laden middle with records ranging from 7-5 to 5-7 including former 2010 playoff teams – NY Jets (7-5), Atlanta Falcons (7-5), Chicago Bears (7-5), Seattle Seahawks (5-7), and KC Chiefs (5-7).  So with only four games remaining for teams there is little time left for the “Contenders” and “Pretenders” to sort themselves out — 10 playoff berths remaining.

In looking at the current NFL standings here’s the breakdown: The “Elite” – Packers (12-0), Niners (10-2), Saints (9-3), Steelers (9-3), Ravens (9-3), Texans (9-3), and Patriots (9-3); “Strong Playoff Contenders” — Broncos (7-5), Raiders (7-5), Cowboys (7-5),  Falcons (7-5), NY Jets (7-5), Bears (7-5), Lions (7-5) and Titans (7-5); “Middle of the Road” teams that will soon be either in or out of the playoff hunt — Bengals (7-5), NY Giants (6-6),  Seahawks (5-7), Cardinals (5-7), Chargers (5-7), Chiefs (5-7) and Bills (5-7); and lastly the “Ugly” (See you at the 2012 NFL Draft) – Eagles (4-8), Bucs (4-8), Panthers (4-8), Dolphins (4-8), Browns (4-8), Redskins (4-8), Jaguars (3-9), Vikings (2-10), Rams (1-11), and Colts (0-12)

“Next Man Up” time around the NFL 

Chiefs QB Kyle Orton (broken finger)

Bears RB Matt Forte (MCL – 2 to 6 Weeks)

Bucs QB Josh Freeman (shoulder)

Packers RB James Starks (ankle)

Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring)

Lions RB Kevin Smith (high ankle)

Lions TE Brandon Petitgrew (neck)

Eagles safety Colt Anderson (ACL – season)

Rams QB AJ Feeley (fractured thumb)

Week 13 Games

Thursday

Seahawks (5-7) over Eagles (4-8), 31-14… Andy Reid is further on the “Hot Seat” as Birds lose their 2nd game in a row… V.Y looks terrible (4 INTs)… RB Marshawn Lynch powers the Seahawks (149 rushing yds)… PHI WR DeSean Jackson sulks

Sunday

49ers (10-2) over Rams (2-10), 26-0… Shutout win that clinchs NFC West for rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh… Willis banged-up… Niners tough “D” knocks out Rams QB AJ Feeley… Alex Smith has a rating over 100

Broncos (7-5) over Vikings (2-10), 35-32… Late INT leads to another close win for Tebow and the Broncos… Prater kicks GW FG… Tough afternoon for Vikings rookie QB Christian Ponder… Tebow now 6-1 as starter… Timmy Terrific was 15-20 for 204 yds passing… DEN wins 5th in a row.

Cardinals (5-7) over Cowboys (7-5), 19-13… Cowboys snapped 4-game win streak… Dallas HC Jason Garrett inexplicably “ices” his own kicker… rookie Danny Bailey misses 2 FGs including potential GW… Romo has a big day but shows bad clock mgt at end of game… Solid game for Kolb as ARI stays in Wildcard hunt.

Chiefs (5-7) over Bears (7-5), 10-3 … Chiefs — snapped a 4-game losing streak… What an ugly game where QB’s Palko and Hanie were putrid… Only TD a Hail Mary catch in the endzone by RB Dexter McClusters before halftime… Bears lose RB Matt Forte (MCL)…Bears in trouble without Cutler as Hanie (sacked 7 times and picked 3 times.. Lovie Smith says no to adding veteran Donovan McNabb

Dolphins (4-8) over Raiders (7-5), 34-14 … Dolphins bounce back from their Thanksgiving loss by beating OAK… Another big game for MIA RB Reggie Bush (over 600 rushing yds for first time in career).. win their Raiders — 3 in a row

Jets (7-5) over Redskins (4-8), 34-19… Rex Ryan’s squad is starting to show some teeth again…NYJ win their 2nd game in a row… Big game for RB Shonn Greene (3 TDs)… Sanchez hits Santonio Holmes for another big TD

Packers (12-0) over Giants (6-6), 38-35… This one was the game of the week in my opinion… GB QB Aaron Rodgers and NYG QB Eli Manning locked-up in an epic high-scoring game… Rodgers leads the Packers to the win with a late drive that sets up Crosby GW FG… Coughlin loses two challenges…Packers D allows Giants WR Victor Cruz to have a big game

Panthers (4-8) over Buccaneers (4-8), 38-19 … Panthers now have won 2 in a row… rookie QB Cam Newton scores 3 TDs running to break Steve Grogan’s 1976 single-season record of 12… The Bucs continue to slide after playing well earlier in the season (5th straight loss)

Patriots (9-3) over Colts (0-12), 31-24… After jumping out to a 31-3 lead, the Patriots had to hold-off the scrappy winless Colts… Another big game for QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski (3 TDs including 2 receiving to tie Mackey and Winslow’s TE record)… WR Matthew Slater makes his debut at safety (7 TKLs, 1 fumble rec)

Ravens (9-3) over Browns (4-8), 24-10… In a rather easy AFC North win, BAL dominates the reeling Browns… Ravens defense had another “nasty” performance… Story of the game was Ravens RB Ray Rice who ran for a career-high 204 yards and 1 TD

Steelers (9-3) over Bengals (7-5), 35-7… Another workman victory for the surging Steelers…Big Ben made some timely throws… Polamalu returns from concussion-like symptoms…WR Andre Brown making a bid to be WR1 on team… Steelers D frustrates Bengals rookie QB Andy Dalton

Texans (9-3) over Falcons (7-5), 17-10 … TJ Yates wasn’t spectacular, but he got the win in his first NFL start… Andre Johnson returns then hurts hammy again… Texans No. 1 defense breathes a sigh of relief after ATL rookie WR Julio Jones drops potential game-tying TD

Titans (7-5) over Bills (5-7), 23-17… CJ2K is back as he rushes for over 150 yards and 1 TD (3rd 100-yd game in last 4)…Solid workman win for the Titans… Veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck looks good and his O-line is even better.

Saints (9-3) over Lions (7-5), 31-17… On Sunday Night Football, New Orleans dominates at home again (now 6-0)… Even without Suh, DET continues to have discipline problems… Too many penalties for “overzealous” Lions… Brees moves closer to Marino’s record… Saints move the ball around to their many offensive weapons including emerging TE Jimmy Graham… Saints defense harrasses Lions QB Matthew Stafford into INTs

Monday December 5

Chargers (5-7) over Jaguars (3-9),38-14… Chargers ended 5-game losing streak with a rather easy win over the hapless Jags…. Rivers doesn’t throw an INT for first time this season… Big night for visiting Chargers, but is it too much, too late

  • All four NFC East teams lost in Week 13

Game Balls

Ravens RB Ray Rice — Showed Pro Bowl and playoff potential as the “little back that could” kept on going and going. Little Ray rushed for a career-high 204 yards on 29 carries and added a TD in the 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Honorable Mention: Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb, NY Jets RB Shonn Greene, Cardinals RB LaRod Stephens-Howling, Panthers QB Cam Newton, Dolphins LB Kevin Burnett, Dolphins RB Reggie Bush, Chiefs RB Dexter McClusters, Broncos QB Tim Tebow, Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, Titans RB Chris Johnson, NY Giants QB Eli Manning, NY Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Patriots WR/S Matthew Slater

Lloyd’s Lackey

Cowboys HC Jason Garrett — How in the world are you going to ice your own kicker in a crucial game-winning kick situation.  Of course rookie kicker Danny Baily made the kick that didn’t count and missed the potential GW (49 yards) after Garrett stupidly called an unneeded timeout.  The Cowboys could have take a 2-game lead in the NFC East, but the Princeton grad definitely over thought this situation.

Dishonorable Mention: Bears QB Caleb Hanie (sacked 7 times, 3 INTs, and 0-2 starting record), Detroit Lions (Still Undiscipline w/o Suh — 3 more post-whistle penalties), Eagles QB Vince Young (4 INTs including a crucial Pick-6), Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (Sulking Petulant player), Redskins QB Rex Grossman (8th consecutive game with an INT) and Cowboys kicker Danny Bailey (Missed 2 FGs including potential GW)

Standings Breakdown

1 Team ….12-0 — Packers

1 Team…. 10-2 — Niners

5 Team… 9-3 — Ravens, Steelers, Saints, Texans, Patriots

9 Teams… 7-5 — Bears, Lions, Bengals, Falcons, Cowboys, Raiders, Titans, Broncos, NY Jets

1 Teams…  6-6 — NY Giants

5 Teams…. 5-7 — Bills, Chargers. Chiefs, Seahawks, Cardinals

6 Teams… 4-8  — Bucs,  Browns, Eagles, Redskins, Dolphins, Panthers

1 Teams…. 3-9 — Jaguars

2 Teams … 2-10 — Vikings, Rams

1 Team…..0-12 (AKA…Andrew Luck Sweepstakes) — Colts

  • 13 Teams with winning records including one undefeated team (Packers, 12-0), other strong contenders [Niners (9-3), Ravens (9-3), Steelers (9-3), Texans (9-3), and Patriots (9-3)], plus some reeling “winning” teams (Lions, Bears, and Bengals — all 7-5)
  • 1 team stuck at .500 with a record of 6-6, but the NY Giants still have a solid chance of catching the Cowboys (7-5) as these two teams play twice in the season’s last 2 weeks
  • 15 Teams with losing including surprises [Chargers (5-7), Bucs (4-8), Eagles (4-8) and the Manning-less Colts (0-12)]
  • 6 Teams stuck in the NFL’s Parity Wasteland (5-7 to 6-6)…. It will interesting to see if any of these teams can jump back in the playoff hunt in the next 4 weeks
  • After their “big” Week 9 win over the Patriots, the NY Giants are mired in a 4-game losing streak
  • Remember 11-5 (2008 New England Patriots) or 10-6 (Bucs and NY Giants in 2010) does not guarantee making the playoffs

Division Leaders

AFC North — This division continued to be a two team race as the Steelers and Ravens both won to move to 9-3 (BAL holds head-to-head tiebreaker).  The Bengals (7-5) are still in the mix for the AFC’s 2nd wildcard spot, but is very tight.

AFC South — The division-leading Texans (9-3 w/ 2-game lead), led by back-up QB TJ Yates, stayed comfortably at the top with only 4 games left.   The Titans (7-5) are not only trying to chase the Texans, but they also are in the hunt for the AFC’s 2nd Wildcard.

AFC West — This division probably will go down to Week 17 as the Broncos (7-5) and Raiders (7-5) are tied at the top.  And the “Wild West” could get more interesting with the Chiefs and Chargers lurking at 5-7.

AFC East — The division-leading Patriots (9-3) seem to be hitting their stride at the right time of the season.  The NY Jets (7-5) are trying to catch the Pats, but they have run out of chances with bad early season losses.  Also lurking are the red-hot Dolphins (4-8) and reeling Bills (5-7)

NFC North — The NFL’s last undefeated team, the Packers (12-0) found a way to get a big win over the NY Giants in the last minute of the game to clinch at least a playoff berth .  After GB, the Bears and Lions (both 7-5) are fighting mad to be the NFC’s Wildcard teams

NFC South — The division-leading New Orleans Saints (9-3 with 2-game lead) seem to ascending at the rignt time and a loss by the second-place Falcons (7-5), moved the Saints closer to the playoff “Promise Land”. 

NFC West — The Niners (10-2) clinched this division with a solid win over the hapless Rams.  Now the Niners have to get their team ready for the “real” games in the playoffs.  Still hoping for a playoff miracle are the Seahawks and Cardinals (both 5-7).

NFC East — What an “ugly” division!  Funny how when the season started back in September, that everyone said the NFC East was so mighty.  Well… this thing is still wide-open after all four teams lost in Week 13.  The Cowboys (7-5) still have a 1-game lead, but they host the second-place NY Giants (6-6) in Week 14.  After DAL and NYG, the Eagles and Redskins (both 4-8) still have a mathematical chance

How 2010 NFL Playoff Teams are Faring

**Remember for 15 straight seasons there have been at least 5 new playoff teams**

AFC

Steelers (9-3)

Ravens (9-3)

Patriots (9-3)

NY Jets (7-5)

Chiefs (5-7)

Colts (0-12)

NFC

Packers (12-0)

Saints (9-3)

Bears (7-5)

Falcons (7-5)

Seahawks (5-7)

Eagles (4-8)

Current Winning Streaks

Packers — 13 in a row going back to 2010

Texans — 5 in a row

Broncos — 5 in a row

Saints — 4 in a row

Patriots — 4 in a row

Ravens — 3 in a row

Steelers — 3 in a row

Cardinals — 2 in a row

Panthers — 2 in a row

NY Jets — 2 in a row

Titans — 2 in a row

Current Losing Streaks

Colts — 12 in a row

Bucs — 5 in a row

Vikings — 4 in a row

Bills — 4 in a row

NY Giants — 4 in a row

Jaguars — 3 in a row

Eagles — 2 in a row

Bears — 2 in a row

Lions — 2 in a row

Browns — 2 in a row

Upcoming schedules

NFC

ARI (5-7) —   SF, CLE, @CIN, SEA

ATL (7-5)  —   @CAR, JAX, @NO, TB

CAR (4-8) —    ATL, @HOU, TB, @NO

CHI (7-5)  —     @DEN, SEA, @GB, @MIN

DAL (7-5) —     NYG (SNF), @TB, PHI, @NYG

DET (7-5) —     MIN, @OAK, SD, @GB

GB (12-0) —      OAK, @KC, CHI, DET

MIN (2-10) —    @DET, NO, @WAS, CHI

NO (9-3) —      @TEN, @MIN, ATL, CAR

NYG (6-6) —    @DAL (SNF), WAS, @NYJ, DAL

PHI (4-8)  —     @MIA, NYJ, @DAL, WAS

SEA (5-7) —    STL (MNF), @CHI, SF, @ARI

SF (10-2) —    @ARI, PIT, @SEA, @STL

STL (2-10) —  @SEA (MNF), CIN, @PIT, SF

TB (4-8) —  @JAX, DAL, @CAR, @ATL

WAS (4-8) —   NE, @NYG, MIN, @PHI

AFC

BAL (9-3) — IND, @SD, CLE, @CIN

BUF (5-7) — @SD, MIA, DEN, @NE

CIN (7-5) — HOU, @STL, ARI, BAL

CLE (4-8)  — @PIT (TNF), @ARI, @BAL, PIT

DEN (7-5) — CHI, NE, @BUF, KC

HOU (9-3) — @CIN, CAR, @IND, TEN

IND (0-12)  — @BAL, TEN, HOU, @JAX

JAX (3-9)  —    TB, @ATL, @TEN, IND

KC (5-7) —   @NYJ, GB, OAK, @DEN

MIA (4-8) — PHI, @BUF, @NE, NYJ

NE  (9-3) — @WAS, @DEN, MIA, BUF

NYJ (7-5) — KC, @PHI, NYG, @MIA

OAK (7-5) — @GB, DET, @KC, SD

PIT  (9-3) — CLE (TNF), @SF, STL, @CLE

SD (5-7) — BUF, BAL, @DET, @OAK

TEN (7-5) — NO, @IND, JAX, @HOU

Week 13 Leaders

Passing

1. M. Stafford DET  408 yds (L)

2. C. Ponder MIN  381 yds (L) 

3. A. Rodgers GB  369 yds  (w)  

4. D. Orlovsky IND  353 yds  (L) 

5. E. Manning NYG  347 yds  (L) 

Rushing

1. R. Rice BAL  204 yds (w)

2. C. Johnson TEN  153 yds (w)

3. M. Lynch SEA  148 yds (w)

4. R. Matthews SD 112 yds (w)

5. A. Foster HOU  111 yds (w)

5. W. McGahee DEN  111 yds (w)

Receiving

1. P. Harvin MIN  156 yds (L)

2. P. Garcon IND  150 yds (L)

3. D. Thomas DEN  144 yds (w)

4. R. Meachem NO  119 yds (w)

4. V. Cruz NYG  119 yds (L)

TDS   

1. A. Rodgers GB  4 TDs  (w)

1. C. Newton CAR  4 TDs  (w) 

3. E. Manning NYG  3 TDs (L)

3. C. Ponder MIN  3 TDs  (L)

3. P. Rivers SD 3 TDs (w) — tied with 4 others

Looking Ahead to Week 14

Thursday December  8

Browns (4-8) at Steelers (9-3) 8:20PM ET (NFLN)

Sunday December 11

Buccaneers (4-8) at Jaguars (3-8) 1:00PM ET (FOX)

Chiefs (5-7) at Jets (7-5) 1:00PM ET (CBS)

Colts (0-12) at Ravens (9-3) 1:00PM ET (CBS)

Eagles (4-8) at Dolphins (4-8) 1:00PM ET (FOX)

Falcons (7-5) at Panthers (4-8) 1:00PM ET (FOX)

Patriots (9-3) at Redskins (4-8) 1:00PM ET (CBS)

Raiders (7-5) at Packers (12-0) 1:00PM ET (CBS)

Saints (9-3) at Titans (7-5) 1:00PM ET (FOX)

Texans (9-3) at Bengals (7-5) 1:00PM ET (CBS)

Vikings (2-10) at Lions (7-5) 1:00PM ET (FOX)

49ers (10-2) at Cardinals (5-7) 4:05PM ET (FOX)

Bears (7-5) at Broncos (7-5) 4:05PM ET (FOX)

Bills (5-7) at Chargers (4-7) 4:15PM ET (CBS)

Giants (6-6) at Cowboys (7-5) 8:20PM ET (NBC)

Monday December 12

Rams (2-10) at Seahawks (5-7) 8:30PM ET (ESPN)

Lloyd Vance is the Editor  for Taking It to the House , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).  Lloyd can be reached on Twitter @lloydvance_nfl

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