NFL Week 11 Runaround: Thank Goodness for the Patriots

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NFL Week 11 Runaround: Thank Goodness for the Patriots
NFL-Pats-Colts-017.jpg&c=1&w=525&cs=1"><a href=NFL-Pats-Colts-017.jpg&c=1&w=525&cs=1" style="margin: 0px 8px 8px 0pt; float: left;">Admit it. You missed them.

When the Patriots returned from their bye week with a 56-10 win over the Bills this Sunday, everything was right again in the NFL.

There was the battle of good versus evil, the reason to bring up CameraGate, and the fodder for debates about everything from running up the score to going undefeated.

Last week, we had Joey Harrington leading a fourth-quarter comeback.

The Pats are more than just the best team in the league—they're a lightning rod for criticism, deserved or not.

In Sunday’s game, two fourth-down conversion attempts were lustily booed by Bills fans for presumed piling on. Never mind the fact that New England was giving Buffalo a chance to stop them, risking no points rather than taking a sure three.

Booing is easier—and more fun.

And apparently you can’t have more fun than railing on the Patriots.

John Madden and Al Michaels discussed the fact that CameraGate has been discussed too much, leading to their own discussion of CameraGate. The drive for perfection came up in the first quarter—to say nothing of the pregame coverage.

And we get to do it all over again next week, when Sunday Night Football features the Patriots and Eagles.

The fun part of all this is that everyone has an opinion.

Mine is that New England is the best team ever. Everyone else’s is that the Pats are cheaters, bullies, or just plain annoying.

At least we’ve got something to talk about again.


Team of the Week: Jaguars

Jacksonville did exactly what it was supposed to do Sunday in a win over San Diego.

The Jags ran with authority, threw with conviction, and made the Chargers offense look downright pitiful at times.

David Garrard was better than ever, whipping the ball to receivers and making all the right decisions. If he repeats Sunday's performance every week, the Jaguars offense could become quite a weapon.

Two weeks from now, Jacksonville gets another shot at the Colts. Hopefully they’ve improved enough to make it a good contest.


Bad Team of the Week: Steelers

After flying under the radar for most of the season, the Steelers picked a bad time to fall flat on their face.

Pittsburgh joined the Dolphins as one of just two teams to lose to the Jets this year—and being grouped with the Dolphins under any condition is a very bad thing.

The Steelers were supposed to have the best chance of anyone to upset the Patriots, but after falling to a pitiful New York squad, their chances against New England look bleak.

What’s worse is that the Browns are now one game closer in a division race that's far from over.


Kevan Lee’s Beverage of the Week: Brita-Filtered Water

If drinking filtered water makes me a yuppie, then hand me a sweater vest and call me Cullen.

It’s not that I think I’m too good for tap water—it’s that I think I’m too good for lead poisoning and floaties.

I like my water clean and cold, and my chances of that improve greatly when I take the tap out of the picture. Besides, our tap kinda smells like dishes.


Nap of the Week: Seahawks-Bears, second quarter

Seattle's running game makes me sleepy.


Most Misleading Stat:  Cedric Benson, 8.1 yards per carry

Congratulations are in order for Benson’s not stinking this week. However, apart from two big runs, he was the same old back everyone’s seen all year.


Painfully True Stat: Arizona Cardinals, 247 total yards

Against a bad Bengals D, Arizona’s offense didn’t look all that great.

The Cards' 35 points were helped by two defensive touchdowns that made all the difference in the outcome. The Cardinals are playing better, but their offense will be exposed by the right team.

Premature MVP Ballot

1. Tom Brady: The best thing about Michigan football this year.

2. Randy Moss: He made scoring four touchdowns look easy.

3. Terrell Owens: See above.


Weekly Super Bowl Prediction: Patriots vs. Rams

A two-game winning streak qualifies for near-dominant status in the NFC, where St. Louis is still not out of the playoff picture.

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