NFL Week 11 takeaways
The whole NFC East is still alive
The Eagles lost to Cleveland, while the Giants, Cowboys, and Washington all won to improve to 3-7. This means that Philly (3-6-1) is just barely in first place by half a game. This division has been awful all season, but with six weeks left, each team has a chance to claim the division.
The Colts own the South
Indy followed up an impressive win in Tennessee with a win over the Packers. Last week, I called them the best team in the AFC South, and they further cemented that claim with a comeback victory over one of the NFC's best. While their offense could improve, the Colts' defense will make a huge difference down the stretch.
The Raiders are better than I've been giving them credit for
Last week, I said the Raiders were the best competition for the Chiefs in the AFC West. While I fully meant that as a complement, there was also some hesitation behind it. I didn't think Vegas could replicate its previous performance, but the Raiders proved that they could be becoming a legitimate threat to Kansas City.
We could see a Thanksgiving firing
We've seen two coaches fired so far this season: Bill O'Brien in Houston and Dan Quinn in Atlanta. On Thursday, Houston could possibly put an end to another regime. The Detroit Lions have only gotten worse since Matt Patricia arrived, and things seemed to hit rock bottom on Sunday. The Lions not only lost, but were shut out by a struggling Carolina defense and made an offense full of backups look like the Greatest Show on Turf. The mandate from ownership was "great improvement and contend for the playoffs," but Detroit seems to be doing the exact opposite; getting blown out by the good teams and either winning at the last second or losing to bad teams. A loss on Thanksgiving would drop them to 4-7 on the year and could (should) give ownership the motivation to let Patricia and GM Bob Quinn go.
The Broncos could be a spoiler
The Miami Dolphins went into Denver on Sunday looking for their sixth consecutive win. Instead, Denver rose to the challenge and pulled out a victory against a playoff team. While it is pretty unlikely that Denver makes a run to the playoffs itself, the Broncos play four games against playoff-hopefuls the rest of the season. If they can play well enough in those games, they could create some interesting scenarios as the season winds down.
We need to see the Titans and Ravens play every year
These teams are perfect entertainment. From pregame altercations to instant classics, these matchups are exactly what fans are looking for. They have similar philosophies and great players on each side of the ball.. On Sunday, they seemed destined to play to a draw, until Derrick Henry broke off a 29 yard TD run to end things. Can't wait to see these two play again (whenever that may be.)
The Bengals are (even more) toast
Clearly, the Bengals weren't going anywhere, but they suffered a huge loss in Sunday's game. After finding some promise in their passing game, rookie quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a horrific knee injury and is out for the remainder of the season. Backup Ryan Finley replaced him during the game and did not look nearly as good. We'll see if he can improve with a full week of practice, but I wasn't encouraged by what I saw.
The good news is that the Eagles are still in first place in the lousy NFC East. But here's the bad news: That lead has now dwindled to just a half game, and Philly has lost four of their last six games. Carson Wentz has no help on offense, and, even if he did, he continues to be a turnover machine. The schedule only gets harder with games against the likes of Seattle, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Arizona, before wrapping up with two increasingly important divisional games.