NFL Week 11 open thread

posted at 10:30 am on November 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Oakland and Pittsburgh are two teams heading in opposite directions of late.  The Steelers have struggled, losing to the Patriots at home last week and barely getting by Cincinnati the week before after having started hot in September.  Oakland struggled early but has won three in a row.  The Steelers and Raiders had a fearsome rivalry in the 1970s but their games since have lacked the passion of the classic period.  The Steelers really need to reignite that passion, and they need a big performance from Troy Polamalu, who has had some Achilles tendon problems this week.  Ben Roethlisberger and the offense need to get in sync early and keep the Raider offense off the field.  I’ll pick the Steelers, 22-14.

Last week was a debacle; I went 2-4, and I had to rely on the Bills for one of those wins.  I’m now 33-28, and I’m traveling, so I’m hoping that I turn this around by the time I get home:

  • Lions at Cowboys – The Cowboys have suddenly begun to play again, and the Lions are winless on the road.  Dallas is coming off a big upset win against the Giants, while the Lions lost to the Bills.  I’ll pick the ‘Boys to stretch the Jason Garrett era to 2-0 with a 31-14 win.
  • Packers at Vikings – Brett Favre gets his deep threat back as Sidney Rice returns, but the Packers are fighting for the division lead.  The Pack usually has trouble in the Metrodome, and they’ve lost a couple they should have won this season.  Still, the Packers are a lot more consistent this season, and their defense played a terrific game against Favre the last time.  The Pack should win this one, 27-21.
  • Giants at Eagles – The Giants looked terrible against the Cowboys, and the Eagles demolished the Redskins last week.  I can’t imagine that the two teams would change dramatically enough from a week ago to let the Giants beat Philly.  Eagles will win this one, 33-27.
  • Broncos at Chargers – This week’s Monday night game probably looked like a great scheduling coup before the start of the season.  Now both teams are on the verge of irrelevance.  San Diego has more talent in play, and I’d look for the Chargers to put together a complete effort at home.  Chargers over Broncos, 28-20.
  • Colts at Patriots – I almost never pick against Peyton Manning, but New England and Tom Brady looked pretty tough against the Steelers last week.  The Patriots haven’t lost at home, while the Colts are 2-3 on the road.  Look for a big game from the Patriot defense and a couple of Brady TDs in a 26-17 win.

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GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ladyingray on November 21, 2010 at 10:45 AM

BEARS BEARS BEARS!!!

Who they playing this week?

Greek Fire on November 21, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Greek Fire on November 21, 2010 at 10:48 AM

I would have picked the Bears to win this week, but people would probably have accused me of cheating since they already beat Miami on Thursday night. Would have helped my record, though.

Ed Morrissey on November 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Ben Roethlisberger and the offense need to get in sync early and keep the Raider offense off the field. I’ll pick the Steelers, 22-14.

If this game was in Oakland, the score would likely be just the opposite. Like Ed says, we should know how this game will turn out by the middle of the second quarter. The rest of Ed’s picks look fairly good.

Rovin on November 21, 2010 at 10:52 AM

redskins. sigh

kelley in virginia on November 21, 2010 at 10:54 AM

West of the Mississippi Predictions: (NFC-West)

Seahawks lose to Saints to go 5-5
Rams lose to Falcons to go 4-6
Cards lose to Chiefs to go 3-7

Frank Gore and our new “wonder QB” Troy Smith have another great game, and the Niners beat Tampa to go to 4-6 , leaving them one game out of a first place tie in their division. Not bad after starting 0-5.

Rovin on November 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Keep underestimating Green Bay. Its how I like it.

Their 3 losses are by a combined 9 points, and in the loss to Chicago we made 18 penalties, and STILL only lost by 3.

That’s 9 points away from being undefeated. Show me a team with a smaller margin than that.

jimmy the notable on November 21, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Not a coincidence that the Steelers started losing when Aaron Smith got hurt last year and the same is happening this year. Steelers will need to do some passing to outscore the Raiders. Hopefully Ben only gets sacked 5-6 times.

forest on November 21, 2010 at 11:02 AM

jimmy the notable on November 21, 2010 at 11:02 AM

I just checked, out of curiosity. The only team with a total loss amount near the Packers is the Jets, who have lost by 10 points in 2 games. Where did 9 of those points come from? Green Bay.

jimmy the notable on November 21, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Big Blue!!! hope they redeem themselves from last weeks pummeling.

NY Conservative on November 21, 2010 at 11:10 AM

I’ll be rootin’ for the Steelers today.

Last Week, the Texans found an exciting new way to lose! That Hail Mary was the leading highlight in the NFL. Houston may have a volleyball team if not a football team. According to a sports columnist in the local paper, Coach Kubiak noticed the defense wasn’t progressing over the last two weeks as he thought they were. He is reportedly kicking some butts over half way thru his 5th season! I bet the defense won’t lose the game today! Oh, they’ll give Sanchez over 300 yards, but I’m betting the offense will blow it by throwing Revis a pick 6 for the game winner!

The Texans must run the table for any playoff chance.

cartooner on November 21, 2010 at 11:12 AM

After Washington’s performance last week, I feel unworthy of commenting.

Cindy Munford on November 21, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Fly Eagles Fly!

thebrokenrattle on November 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM

GO RAVENS!!!!

Ed – I’ll pick the Steelers, 22-14.

Sorry Ed, I think it wlll be 24-22…Raiders!

JohnnyD on November 21, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Lions at Cowboys – The Cowboys have suddenly begun to play again, and the Lions are winless on the road.

Who gives a crap? Two lousy teams in the most meaningless game of the day.

Meanwhile, the Bucs will be 7-3 after they beat the 49ers today.

RadClown on November 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Lions at Cowboys – The Cowboys have suddenly begun to play again, and the Lions are winless on the road.

Who gives a crap? Two lousy teams in the most meaningless game of the day.

It’s always a good day when the Cowgirls lose…

ladyingray on November 21, 2010 at 11:52 AM

RadClown on November 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM

America’s Team, Rubber Nose.
History in the making.

OkieDoc on November 21, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Greek Fire on November 21, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Bears shut out Miami 16 to 0 Thursday night. Lets go Bret, wobble in a win for the Viqueens!

jbh45 on November 21, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I’m beginning to hate all things Brett Favre and I’m a Vikings fan.

That being said – he MUST beat the Packers. That is never a question.

gophergirl on November 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM

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Forget NFL.

NASCAR, baby!!!!!!

Go #11!

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hillbillyjim on November 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM

hillbillyjim on November 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, GO STEELERS; and go anybody besides the Pats. Yes, I can pull for the Colts just this once… Yes I Can.

hillbillyjim on November 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM

For anyone interested, here is a better NASCAR leaderboard than the one at NASCARdotcom.

(you can change the gadget at the top to NFL scores, or whatever else you want to keep an eye on using the drop-down at the top left.)

hillbillyjim on November 21, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Raiders vs. Steelers

Welcome back, Raiders vs. Steelers. The NFL and its millions of fans have missed you.

Two storied franchises that have disliked each other since they first met 40 years ago face each other today in what might be the most meaningful game between them since 1984. That season, the last remnants of Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl teams of the 1970s upset the Raiders during the final weekend of the regular season to make the playoffs, and the Steelers went on to reach the AFC championship game.

It’s a rivalry that was kindled by the most miraculous game-winning play in NFL history, the Immaculate Reception in 1972. With Hall of Famers such as Al Davis, Chuck Noll and John Madden, Mean Joe Greene and Franco Harris, Gene Upshaw and Art Shell all playing key roles, the teams faced each other in the playoffs every season from 1972-76.The games were so fearsomely physical, there were frequent allegations of crossing-the-line play and, even, a lawsuit after Noll accused the Raiders’ George Atkinson of being part of the league’s “criminal element.”

For much of the ’70s, it was the NFL’s rivalry beyond all others. Now there are hints it could be percolating again.

I grew up in this era living in Sacramento. What this author doesn’t write about is the incredible offenses both of these teams had in the 70’s: The Raiders had “the Snake”, Kenny Stabler, and an all star receiving corps of sprinter Cliff Branch, along with Hall of Famer’s Freddy Biletnikoff and Dave Casper, (the friendly Ghost). Mark van Eeghen was the Raiders premier running back who could run bruising shots straight up the middle or go outside with quality cuts.

The Steelers likewise had a powerful offense in Bradshaw, Stallworth, Swann and company. There were times when Franco Harris just couldn’t be stopped.

Let’s face it, when these two teams were in their prime in the 70’s, no one looked forward to playing them during the season—they were THAT GOOD, on both sides of the ball.

Rovin on November 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Rovin on November 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Not to mention for the Raiders, Hall of Famers:
George Blanda, Jack Tatum, Gene Upshaw, Willie brown,
Jim Otto, and Art Shell.
Oh, and they had a guy named Daryle Lamonica, too.

OkieDoc on November 21, 2010 at 12:43 PM

The Steelers likewise had a powerful offense in Bradshaw, Stallworth, Swann and company. There were times when Franco Harris just couldn’t be stopped.

Let’s face it, when these two teams were in their prime in the 70’s, no one looked forward to playing them during the season—they were THAT GOOD, on both sides of the ball.

Rovin on November 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM

It’s nearly impossible to think of those teams and times without thinking about Mean Joe Greene and that iconic Coca-Cola commercial.

hillbillyjim on November 21, 2010 at 12:43 PM

It’s nearly impossible to think of those teams and times without thinking about Mean Joe Greene and that iconic Coca-Cola commercial.

hillbillyjim on November 21, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Dat makes me cry…

ladyingray on November 21, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Favre must lose!

Metanis on November 21, 2010 at 1:19 PM

The Steelers have struggled, losing to the Patriots at home last week…

Losing is too nice a term. :)

scrubbiedude on November 21, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Come on, Colts.

cs89 on November 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM

The Steelers have struggled, losing to the Patriots at home last week…

Losing is too nice a term. :)

scrubbiedude on November 21, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Rush Limbaugh said it best, and he was actually at that game-only one team showed up, and it wasn’t the Steelers.

They remind me of the Patriots teams of the 70s and 80s who couldn’t for the life of them beat the Dolphins. They finally got that monkey off of their back in their first Super Bowl season. I think the Steelers will be able to do the same, but they may have to wait until Brady retires for any hope at beating the Pats regularly.

Peyton Manning has one chance to beat the Pats today-go pass crazy. The Pats’ pass defense is terrible. And Manning may have to do that anyway, because Joseph Haddai is not playing today.

Oh, and Geaux Saints! Welcome back to Reggie Bush.

Del Dolemonte on November 21, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Pretty good first half in the Steelers game…

ladyingray on November 21, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Wonder if we’ll ever know what Roethlisberger said to Semour

Rovin on November 21, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Geeze, the penalties are bad!!!!

ladyingray on November 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM

How ’bout them Brownies! Winning again…

Del Dolemonte on November 21, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Take that, haters!!!!!

ladyingray on November 21, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Who needs Michael Vick, when u have John Kitna?

deedtrader on November 21, 2010 at 3:59 PM

NFL is kinda like politics. There are black positions and white positions.

PrezHussein on November 21, 2010 at 4:02 PM

One of the Raiders hit Big Ben.

I would like Favre to play for Dallas…oh wait they have drama with Romo.

Never mind.

IlikedAUH2O on November 21, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I watched the Steelers game until See B.S. cut away. To that point I think it was one of the worst officiated games I’ve seen in a long time. The Steelers should be contacting the league on Moday to complain.

Also I wonder what kind of fine Seymour will get for his assault on Rothlisburger.

BillyGoatGruff on November 21, 2010 at 4:08 PM

How ’bout them Brownies! Winning again…

Del Dolemonte on November 21, 2010 at 3:30 PM

They lost . You don’t know much do you?

Hey why did the NFL destroy those tapes anyway?

Bwwahaha don’t answer I am just tweaking you.

CWforFreedom on November 21, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Oh, and Geaux Saints! Welcome back to Reggie Bush.

Del Dolemonte on November 21, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Spoke too soon-Reggie isn’t even dressed, he’s in street clothes on the sideline. Oh well, at least he had a visit with Pete Carroll before the game!

Del Dolemonte on November 21, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Hey why did the NFL destroy those tapes anyway?

CWforFreedom on November 21, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Probably for the same reason that the Boston newspaper that broke the “cheating” story later retracted it and apologized for printing it in the first place?

Or it could be because their competitor newspaper also exposed the former Patriots employee making the “cheating” claims as a fraud and a liar?

Question for you now. What is Tom Brady’s record against the Pittsburgh Steelers?

PS, Cleveland was winning that game today until 1:16 in the 4th quarter. Shows what I know!

Del Dolemonte on November 21, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Jets luck will run out in Foxboro.

Maybe they can gin up some *new* scandal in time. Won’t matter though.

Just saw the replay on Seymour, heh.

Not sure why he was ejected. Benji was running his mouth and Seymour knocked him on his keyster.

Seems natural to me, QB runs his mouth at DT/DE he gets “Ben-slapped”. Actions have consequences … oh wait, not for Big Ben.

reaganaut on November 21, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Who needs Reggie Bush? Drew Brees is slicing and dicing Pete Carroll’s clan, 21-6.

Del Dolemonte on November 21, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Somebody please put a slobberknocker on Tom Brady. I’m sick of the Patriots and that schmuck genius of a coach. Belichick is a phenomenon, but not a nice one. I hate to pull for the Colts, but… GO COLTS.

hillbillyjim on November 21, 2010 at 5:20 PM

As a Packer fan in Minnesota this win was glorious. I wish I had a shirt made up with nothing but the final score. 31-3!

closetgop on November 21, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Texans lost in their patented fashion: Folding defense in the final seconds of the game! Now there is NO chance for playoffs (oh, I know, the math geeks will say “not so fast” but). Maybe a new coach next year? And then another 5 year building plan…sounds like the old Soviet Union.

cartooner on November 21, 2010 at 6:07 PM

A crappy day in sports, except for the fact that I didn’t throw a game-losing interception.

Probably because I wasn’t playing, ya reckon?

Oh well, back to the silliness; Giants/Eagles could be interesting…

hillbillyjim on November 21, 2010 at 7:32 PM

The dog killer is ON THE AIR!!

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on November 21, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Some fun facts:

1. The Brownies forced 6 turnovers, including 4 interceptions, of the team that needed a last second Hail Mary last week. One of the picks was thrown by Jax RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who later ran in the winning TD.

2. Drew Brees eclipsed Archie Manning’s Saints franchise alltime record for passes.

3. The crappy Patriots pass defense picked Peyton Manning off 3 times. But the Pats player of the day was the pride of North Platte, Danny Woodhead, who had a great 36 yard ramble to help keep a drive going.

Del Dolemonte on November 21, 2010 at 8:28 PM

How about da Bucs? Peter King picked them to go 2-14, and they are 7-3, despite having the youngest lineup in the NFL. Picked up Blount and Mike Williams out of the garbage bin and have a genuine franchise QB with a bunch of 4Q comebacks.

johnboy on November 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

As a Packer fan in Minnesota this win was glorious. I wish I had a shirt made up with nothing but the final score. 31-3!

closetgop on November 21, 2010 at 5:54 PM

I’m with ya on this — great win for our boys. Schadenfavre again!

Mr. D on November 21, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Can anyone think of a reason Farve wasn’t pulled from the game?

Dasher on November 21, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Anyone else notice how the WillAims Wall on the viQueen D-line has crumbled this year without their StarCaps masking agent?
Better living through modern chemistry indeed.

HammerNH on November 22, 2010 at 10:09 AM