|Notes and Observations Week 11: Defense Leads Battered Patriots to Victory Over Bills 20-13||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win Despite Cannon’s Assassination Attempt on Brady||Patriots and Bills Set To Do Battle on Monday Night Football||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots vs. Rex|
Just under two months remain in the season. All teams have won a game now, though Kansas City has yet to lose. Ed Reed has been waived by the Texans. Carolina has been making noise. Detroit is in sole possession of the NFC North late in the season for the first time in some time. The Wildcard races remain very tight as well. In fact, there are logjams aplenty in the NFL, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, November 12:
Seattle marched into Atlanta and delivered a 33-10 statement win to reassert themselves atop the NFC. By combining offense and defense the way they do, Seattle makes it quite difficult for any team to make headway on any side of the ball. And at 9-1, it’s tough for any team in the NFC to argue.
With a 49-17 drubbing of Dallas, New Orleans maintains their hold on #2 in the NFC. Even Marques Colston started helping out again with the offense. Rob Ryan isn’t necessarily an elite defensive coordinator, but he has given the defense some good ideas in the past few weeks to back up Drew Brees and co. It’ll be really tough to crack that defense enough to keep up with such a potent offense.
Detroit picked up a rare win in Chicago to claim sole possession of the NFC North. San Francisco was disappointed by Carolina at home in a defensive battle, but the defensive effort there was more than enough to keep confidence in San Francisco, especially with how good the Panthers have been. Detroit has given up nearly twice as many points as Carolina, so they need to be careful or Colin Kaepernick will be able to regain his dynamic form and take advantage in Detroit.
Dallas was knocked back to .500 (5-5) in rough fashion against the Saints. The aforementioned Panthers yet again showed off their defensive prowess in San Francisco. With the problems Dallas has been having much of the season, look for Carolina to emerge victorious.
Kansas City remains unbeaten after resting up during a bye, which they’ll need if they’re to come out on top in Denver next week. Defense is winning Kansas City games, which makes it all the more important for them to improve their offense to make sure they can support their defense against teams like Denver.
The Patriots are coming off a bye week, which will give them some extra time to continue to bring their offense together on the same page. They might want to work on their defense too just in case they can’t sustain an elite offense for weeks on end, but the Pats have been pretty successful in the past few years with that.
New York is at #6 following a bye week, and still hasn’t put together a streak, winning or losing, all season long, alternating wins and losses in every game. Indianapolis was throttled at home by the Rams 38-8, though that was a single game. With the Jets only 1-3 on the road, we’ll give Indy a pass for the Rams, as Andrew Luck and TY Hilton continue to impress overall.
It’ll be tough for the fourth seed, having to face either Denver or Kansas City in all likelihood. Cincinnati hasn’t lost at home yet, so they have that going for them. The Bengals, however, have lost their last two games by a combined five points, both in difficult fashion in overtime. If that keeps up, there won’t be any way Cincinnati can keep up with Denver’s offense.
Tags: Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, NFL Playoffs, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks