2011 NFL Week 11 Remix by Lloyd Vance

In the Week 11 Remix, the undefeated Green Packers (10-0) continued their march back to the playoffs and possibly a return trip to the Super Bowl, with a solid win over the pesky Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  One of the game’s biggest plays was QB Aaron Rodgers hitting emerging WR Jordy Nelson for a 40-yard game-clinching touchdown.

With only six weeks left in the NFL Season, the intensity has surely picked-up around the league.  With America’s holiday, Thanksgiving , upon us there are 24 teams with records ranging from 4-6 to 10-0 hoping to be thankful for one of the NFL’s 12 coveted playoff berths come this January.  But there is still is a lot of football left to be played and as shown by earlier season upsets  — Rams over the Saints and the Jaguars over the Ravens — nothing is guaranteed.  So every NFL team better be prepared weekly as the separation into “Contenders” and “Pretenders” continues. Continue reading

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Taking It to the House 2011 NFL Season First Half Awards by Lloyd Vance

It has been a great first half of the 2011 NFL Season for the NFC West Leading San Francisco 49ers (6-1) and their players including OG Mike Iupati and RB Frank Gore.  In fact, the Niners seem to be everywhere in Taking It to the House’s First Half Awards and they appear to be a very strong contender for this season’s second half too

(Philadelphia, Pa) — The 2011 NFL Season, titled “Back to Football”, so far has lived up to former league commissioner Bert Bell’s dream of “Any Given Sunday”.  Parity is everywhere as there are currently 19 teams with winning records and almost every team – except the reeling Manning-less Indianapolis Colts — seems to have a legitimate chance of winning a playoff spot or at the very least producing “W’s” on a weekly basis. 

But nothing in the National Football League should be taken for granted as shown by lower tier teams displaying that they are coming for a fight and not a “show” when facing upper level competition.  Both the Jaguars’ 12-7 win over the Ravens on MNF in Week 7 and the formerly winless Rams 31-21 win over the Saints show just how “even” the NFL really is at this time.

Sure there are the defending Super Bowl Champion undefeated Green Bay Packers and the winless reeling Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins (fighting it out for Andrew Luck) at the other end of the spectrum, but in between there is a whole lot more sorting out to do in the second half of the 2011 season.  Currently there is glut of 14 teams — over one-third of the league including NO, HOU, OAK, KC, SD, ATL, TB, NYJ, CHI, TEN, CLE, PHI, DAL, WAS — stuck between a record of 3-4 and 5-3 so there should whole a lot more exciting action as these teams sort themselves into “Contenders” and “Pretenders” before January brings the pageantry that is NFL Playoff football. Continue reading

Huddle Up Week 4: Comeback Sunday by Jason King

Although it was only the second Sunday with no division games since 1970, yesterday was filled with quality football and memorable comebacks.  The most fascinating comeback of the day came from Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions. 

 Everyone is now officially on the Lions bandwagon.  They overcame a 24-point deficit (the largest deficit overcome in franchise history) to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 34-30.  Tony Romo’s two third quarter pick sixes helped the comeback tremendously, but Matthew Stafford put the team in position to win the game with a gutsy fourth quarter performance.  He was 10 of 17 with 121 yards and 2 touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

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Third Straight Collapse Puts Eagles Season In Limbo by Matt Lombardo

The 49ers overcame a 20-point second half deficit to hand the Eagles their 3rd consecutive loss on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. The 24-23 loss is the Birds third in the NFC and leaves them alone in the NFC East basement. 

Stop me if you’ve heard any of this before.

For the third week in a row the Eagles took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter and for the third week in a row, they came out on the losing end. The 49ers offense, missing its top receiver, and appearing inept overall still managed to overcome a 20-3 halftime deficit to beat the Eagles 24-23. Continue reading

Eagles Six For Sunday: Week 4 vs 49ers by Matt Lombardo

After a disheartening home opening loss to the Giants in week 3, the Eagles enter Week 4’s showdown with the SF 49ers in fourth place in the NFC East and needing a conference win to bolster their playoff resume. Each week, Taking It to The House examines 6 keys for Sunday’s game. This week, yet another new linebacker alignment, Nnamdi Asomugha and the Birds run game are put into focus. 

The Philadelphia Eagles enter Week 4 against the San Francisco 49ers staring down a must-win situation. After back-to-back losses to the Falcons and Giants, the Birds aim to avoid the first 3-game losing streak under Andy Reid since 2007. While the 49ers enter a bunch that’s beleaguered by injuries to key offensive weapons, they still pose a threat to an Eagles team, especially on defense, that’s in search of an identity. Continue reading

A Glimpse At The 2011 NFL Season According To A So-Called Expert: Matt Lombardo

The temperatures have plummeted suddenly into the sixties, leaves are beginning to turn and there’s a certain crispness in the air that can only be broken by the perfect spiral of soaring pigskin. That’s right, the greatest time of the year, football season, is upon us again. Despite a 136-day lockout, the excitement around the NFL is at perhaps its highest levels ever.

As the opener draws closer by the minute, the time for me to sit idly by in hopes of avoiding making a Super Bowl prediction is rapidly drawing to a close. Preseason predictions are rarely worth the paper they’re printed on, but in this upside down world of teams sprinting through a nonexistent offseason, the Lombardi Trophy is truly anyone’s game this season.

Some teams have positioned themselves better than others with free agent acquisitions to finish their journey with confetti falling for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Meanwhile, some teams stood pat in an effort to draw on existing team chemistry to propel them to glory once again. All of these stories, subplots and themes for the upcoming season make for a wild ride for the next six months. Continue reading

2011 NFC Preview By Matt Lombardo

Last season the Green Bay Packers besieged by injuries mounted a late charge in the regular season to enter the playoffs as the NFC Wild Card and later marched to Dallas where they hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. The Packers toppled NFC favorites Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago, who all figure to be contenders in this year’s race, en route to their first Super Bowl Championship since 1996.

The NFC can best be described as a whole, as a conference on the rise. Each division boasts teams that on paper will be much improved from a year ago, and the stalwart favorites all improved in the offseason, be it by making bold additions or simply by taking advantage of the continuity necessary to build on early this season after a lockout wiped away all offseason activities.

Here is a division by division look at the NFC entering the 2011 season. Continue reading