The Ravens gained a crucial win this past Sunday in their quest for their third consecutive AFC North title and their sixth consecutive playoff berth.
The Eagles won again, the Redskins lost and the Cowboys got destroyed, yet Dallas is still in first place (3-0 in the NFC East).
What’s more evidence that the NFC is unpredictable is that the Giants (3-6) are two games out of first place with seven left to play. The Giants host the Cowboys in Week 12.
But as for this week, there are a lot of good games scheduled. Six of the 15 games this week will be divisional matchups. Week 11 also means the expected return of Seattle’s Percy Harvin.
The Chiefs take will take their 9-0 record to Denver to face the 8-1 Broncos on Sunday Night Football, yet in my opinion that isn’t even the game of the week.
Before we get to that, here are my top five teams as Week 11 begins.
1.) Kansas City Chiefs (9-0, 1-0)
Their defense is relentless and their offense is efficient. Jamaal Charles is scary fast, and until Alex Smith really messes this thing up, you have to give him props.
2.) Denver Broncos (8-1, 2-0)
Ho hum, another four touchdowns for Peyton Manning last week. He’s currently on pace to complete 466 passes for 5,776 yards and 59 touchdowns this season. If he were to reach those marks in yards and touchdowns, he’d set new all-time records.
What’s really impressive is that if Manning does throw for 59 touchdowns this season, he’ll be only 11 behind Brett Favre on the all-time list.
With a quarterback like that, who needs a defense?
3.) New Orleans Saints (7-2, 2-0)
Speaking of Hall of Fame quarterbacks, did you see the clinic Drew Brees put on for the Cowboys last Sunday night? Dallas was hopeless, as are most teams playing in primetime in New Orleans.
The Saints ran for 242 yards on 38 carries (6.4 yards per attempt). Furthermore, out of the 80 plays they ran, half were first downs (those 40 first downs set an all-time record).
Their defense, despite multiple key injuries, is still playing well and ranks 7th overall.
4.) Seattle Seahawks (9-1, 3-0)
A home scare against Tampa Bay was quickly forgotten after they dismantled the Falcons last week in Atlanta. The Seahawks, in case you hadn’t figured it out, are for real.
You may not care for Richard Sherman’s trash talk or Pete Carroll’s excessive enthusiasm, but you have to respect them. They’re in line for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which is a daunting thought for their opponents.
5.) Carolina Panthers (6-3, 2-0)
The Carolina Panthers, I believe, are still getting better. Their defense is giving up a minute 12.8 points per game and Cam Newton, despite his mistakes, is as athletic a quarterback as there is in this league.
They are one game behind the Saints with two head-to-head matchups yet to come.
After their home game Monday Night against the Patriots, we’ll know if the Panthers are legitimate contenders or not.
Game of the week: 49ers (6-3, 2-1) at Saints (7-2, 2-0), Sunday November 17, 4:25 P.M. on FOX
You remember the phrase “bounty gate?” The 49ers do.
On the night of January 13, 2012, the night before the Saints played their divisional playoff game in San Francisco, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams gave his defense this speech (parental discretion advised due to profanity).
As you now know, controversy, fines and suspensions ensued.
This also marks the first time the 49ers will play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome since, you guessed it, Super Bowl XLVII. It’ll be interesting to see how they react to being back in that stadium.
Ravens playoff picture: The Ravens are currently the 10th seed in the AFC and are one game back of 6th place Jets (5-4), with a head-to-head matchup still to come (Week 12).
Baltimore has already beaten two of the three teams ahead of them (Cleveland, Miami).
The Colts (currently the 3rd seed) are just two games in front of the Ravens with a record of 6-3.