NFL Week 11: Miami Dolphins QB Dilemma, the Michael Vick Show & Top 25 Questions

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2010

NFL Week 11: Miami Dolphins QB Dilemma, the Michael Vick Show & Top 25 Questions

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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Question and answer, question and answer.  It's a game most of us play during the NFL season.  With Monday Night Football wrapped up, and Week 10 now well and truly in the history books, another installment of the Top 25 Questions is upon us.

    However, although the past 10 weeks have been fairly mediocre, Week 11 fails in comparison.  Michael Vick is now stating his case for an MVP nomination, while the Miami Dolphins are scrambling for a new quarterback, with only two days to go.

    What other news is sparking nationwide debate?

    Chances are this list doesn't even scratch the surface of the hullabaloo surrounding the NFL right now, but if you're looking for some questions to ask this upcoming weekend, look no further.

25. The San Francisco 49ers Story: Too Little Too Late?

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    SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 14:  Troy Smith #49 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass the ball during their game against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park on November 14, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    From a horrid start to the season, to a much more promising second effort, the San Francisco 49ers managed to pick up the scraps on the weekend, notching a close overtime victory over the St. Louis Rams.

    For the most part, if there are any Alex Smith believers left in the world, I suggest you get off the bandwagon now.  With a 23-20 victory in hand on Sunday, new starting quarterback Troy Smith provided the goods for head coach Mike Singletary, throwing for 356 yards and 1 touchdown.

    But as big a division victory as this is for the 49ers, the case remains the same: it really is too little, too late.

    And why is that?

    Aside from the fact that the 49ers record is at a dismal 3-6, the entire NFC West division has already played against San Francisco, and is not looking likely to ease up anytime soon.

    The good news to come from the 49ers latest surge of victories, is the fact that they do sit above the Arizona Cardinals in the division, with a third-place ranking.  Perhaps if by some stroke of luck the 49ers pave the way to a big-time win streak, maybe they can have a respectable season.

    This Sunday, though, the 49ers do battle with the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game that could spell a loss against a big-time opponent.

24.Will the Pittsburgh Steelers Regret Letting Go of Kicker Jeff Reed?

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 31: Jeff Reed #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers attempts a field goal during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on October 31, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images)
    Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images

    The news of Jeff Reed's release has flown under the radar in the past few days, but since Reed's dismal season performance in black and yellow, head coach Mike Tomlin had no other choice but to let go of the team's veteran kicker.

    For some people, including myself, this is a very wacky situation.  In case you don't remember, the Steelers went to great lengths to slap a franchise tag on Reed, and signed No. 3 to a one-year, $2.8 million contract.

    So now, the Steelers have pulled a fast one on all of us, and released one of the Top 10 most accurate kickers in the NFL, after a year full of controversy, weird hairdos, and most importantly, missed field goals.

    Where to now for Reed?

    No one knows for sure.  However, before we even begin to discuss where he might wind up, the Pittsburgh Steelers may regret letting go of a nine-year veteran, especially if replacement kicker Shaun Suisham doesn't live up to expectations.

    Several folks may not see this as a big issue, but as we all saw on Sunday night against New England, field goals can mean the difference between wins and losses.

23. Can We Label Jon Kitna As a Decent QB in the NFL?

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14:  Jon Kitna #3 of the Dallas Cowboys calls a play against the New York Giants on November 14, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 33-20.  (Photo by Jim McIsa
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The New York Giants seemed to impose an impossible task for the Dallas Cowboys last week, but looking back at Jerry Jones' 33-20 victory, perhaps Big Blue isn't all it's cracked up to be in 2010.

    But aside from Tom Coughlin's team, the Dallas Cowboys were impressive on the day.  Under new head coach Jason Garrett, Dallas had no problem putting points on the board, and more to the point, no problem forcing turnovers against such a potent Giants offense.

    However, as fun as it is to credit the entire Cowboys team, one player stood out amongst the rest on Sunday, and his name is Jon Kitna.

    After it was all said and done, Jon Kitna wound up with 327 yards and 3 touchdowns, against one of the league's best overall defenses, who has had no problem grounding quarterbacks like Jay Cutler in recent weeks.

    Still, somehow Jon Kitna managed to avoid all of this hype, and now the debate springs up as to whether Kitna can be labeled as a decent quarterback in the league.

    To answer this question, Jon Kitna has always been a good quarterback.  With 14 years of experience under his belt, Kitna has made many professional starts in his time, and this recent bout with Dallas, certainly isn't the first.

    Looking past experience though, Kitna is also a very well rounded passer.  It's a large number to swallow, but Kitna's 28,369 career yards are easily complemented with his 169 touchdown passes, that have accumulated with various teams.

    Therefore, knowing all this, yes, we can label Kitna as a decent quarterback, and if he keeps this momentum flowing, maybe the Cowboys won't become the biggest laughing stock since the 0-16 Detroit Lions, in professional football.

22. Will the San Diego Show Get Underway in Week 11?

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    SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 31:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers plays in the game against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium on October 31, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Titans 33-25.  (Photo by Jeff Gross
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    It may not be as big as Avatar or the new Harry Potter movie, but the San Diego Chargers look to open up  a can of wins on their opponents following a Week 10 bye week, that seemingly has Norv Turner's team focused and geared up for the playoffs.

    If you've been keeping a close eye on the AFC West division, then you've probably noticed the obvious fact that the Chargers aren't in first.  Currently the Oakland Raiders sit atop, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs, who both have sustained 5-3 records.

    However, the scary fact is that the San Diego Chargers are coming, and if you are a firm believer n statistics, than the Bolts certainly look to be as good as gold for the next seven weeks in the regular season.

    Ranked fifth in points, first in yards, and second in defense, the San Diego Chargers now head into a barrage of divisional games in the next several weeks, that see the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders all play a quick visit to Qualcomm Stadium.

    So does anything stand in the way of the Chargers force?

    Fortunately for the Raiders and Chiefs, the Chargers ol' AFC rival the Indianapolis Colts may have a thing or two to say about this surge to the top.  In Week 12, San Diego will travel to Lucas Oil Stadium, and face a pivotal game that could make or break their season.

    The Chargers show is very much ready to roll, but at the end of the day, San Diego simply needs to win.  If this factor fails to go through, then the AFC West is up for the taking.

21. When Will Chad Ochocinco Learn His Lesson?

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    CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 08:  Shoes worn by Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on November 8, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Whether it's complaining on Twitter about his performance, promoting his new iPhone application, or attempting to bribe referees, Chad Ochocinco has once again been fined by the NFL for blatant misconduct.

    What's he done this time?

    Nothing out of the ordinary for No. 85, and quite frankly nothing that bad.  However, Chad Ochocinco's gold boots worn during the Bengals Week 9 clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers, has gotten the star wide receiver into some strife by the league commission.

    According to reports, Chad Ochocinco's gold footwear violated the league's uniform policy, and just like Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian, aren't to be worn on the playing field due to flashiness and bright colors.

    It appears right now that Chad Ochocinco is in the wars.  His performance on the playing field is raw and almost embarrassing, and now that he has been fined yet another $20,000 for the wrong cleats, Chad Ochocinco's wallet continues to grow lighter.

    Maybe one day, Ochocinco will learn to keep his mouth shut and just play football; until then, though, his career is destined to be plagued with fines, controversy, and more importantly, criticism by each NFL fan.

20. Darrelle Revis Vs. Andre Johnson: And The Winner Is?

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 31:  Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets reacts against the Green Bay Packers on October 31, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    It may not be the biggest question that NFL fans are pondering ahead of Week 11, but if one thing is for sure, Darrelle Revis vs. Andre Johnson certainly has the implications of a big-time match up looking toward Sunday.

    For Darrelle Revis, this is the second time this season he has had to face a receiver with the last name "Johnson."  In Week 9 against the Detroit Lions, Revis took on Calvin Johnson, who posed a big threat for the mildly disappointing cornerback this year.

    As for Andre Johnson, he too has seen his fair share of bad luck.  The Houston Texans now occupy the bottom spot in the AFC South, and although Johnson has had a decent statistical year, a playoff berth is now becoming less likely.

    Keep an eye on this battle; it should be a dandy.  Darrelle Revis is still searching for his breakout game, and even though the Texans look down in the month of November, Andre Johnson isn't the type of receiver to just give up ahead of the postseason.

19. Should Donovan McNabb Be Benched Again In Washington?

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    LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins waits for play to resume in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    The week kicked off on the right foot for Donovan McNabb, who was delivered with the promising news of being signed to a five-year extension deal with his new team, the Washington Redskins.

    Unfortunately, Monday Night put a damper on this whole situation.  As if the 59-28 scoreline doesn't justify the above statement enough, McNabb's three-interception effort against the Philadelphia Eagles left FedEx Field wondering why Mike Shanahan had chosen to agree to a new deal quite so soon.

    But while pen has been put to paper for the Redskins, this doesn't necessarily mean that Donovan McNabb can't be benched yet again, during the course of this year's regular season.

    In Week 9, head coach Mike Shanahan showed no hesitation to pull McNabb from the game and replace him with backup quarterback Rex Grossman. 

    While this move may always put the Redskins in an even worse position, McNabb's turnover-prone ways have swung the Redskins promising season around, into utter disappointment.

    Right now, no one knows for sure what the Redskins intention is, but if McNabb throws for another four interceptions against the Tennessee Titans in Week 11, then it may be bye-bye to No. 5 for the time  being.

18. Are the Kansas City Chiefs Slowly Fading in the AFC West?

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    DENVER - NOVEMBER 14:  Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up prior to facing the Denver Bronco at INVESCO Field at Mile High on November 14, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 49-29.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Division play has been a strong point for the Oakland Raiders season.  On the opposite end, the Kansas City Chiefs have struggled on a whole other level.

    Rewinding the Chiefs glory weeks, Kansas City seemed destined for the playoffs.  Beating the Chargers and Jaguars are mere highlights of Todd Haley's fantastic year, and with a quarterback who has now excelled, it's obvious to all that the Chiefs are a very different team.

    Like people tend to say though, "All good things must come to an end."  How does this apply to the Chiefs?  By looking at the teams' two recent losses in the past couple of weeks, Kansas City are beginning to slowly spiral down the division.

    I guess the most disappointing factor of Kansas City's latest losses, is the fact that both have come against division opponents. 

    The AFC West was always a hotly contested battle, but when the Chiefs were stopped by the Oakland Raiders in Week 9, and blown out by the Denver Broncos in Week 10, worry has began to soak into the Arrowheads franchise.

    Of course, it isn't time to panic if you're a Chiefs fan just yet.  There is still a lot of football to be played.  However, Kansas City's latest losses resemble the team of a year ago, rather than the competitive "Never give up" style team we've seen this year.

    Nonetheless, this has been a stellar year, and nothing will be taken away if the Chiefs fail to reach the postseason.  Still, the Chiefs are only in second spot in the AFC West, and in prime position to take over in the coming weeks.

17. Has Rob Gronkowski Replaced Randy Moss in New England?

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    PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 14:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 14, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    New England never thought it would be easy to replace star wide receiver Randy Moss, that is until tight end Rob Gronkowski emerged from the shadows on Sunday Night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    If you were unaware of who Rob Gronkowski was prior to Sunday Night, I wouldn't blame you.  First of all, Gronkowski is only a rookie, and secondly, considering the competition on New England's offense, No. 87 was never given a great chance to prove himself early on this season.

    Boy, how he proved us wrong, though.

    On Sunday Night in Pittsburgh, Rob Gronkowski acted as Tom Brady's main target, playing for 72 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Better than these statistics, though, is the very bright future that lays ahead for Gronkowski, now that a big name like Randy Moss is no longer on the roster.

    Some may say that Gronkowski is a one-hit wonder, but in all reality he is a product of Bill Belichick.  Chances are that head coach Mike Tomlin paid a slight amount of attention to the Patriots tight end spot, considering that BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Deion Branch are much more notable players.

    Luckily for New England, Belichick's thinking worked wonders, and now he is left with a player who should develop into a star, under one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

16. Is Houston’s Season One and Done?

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 14:  Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans throws a pass before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 14, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    The battle between Darrelle Revis and Andre Johnson may be intense this Sunday, but judging by Matt Schaub's facial expression in the picture to the left, the Texans' season continues to go from bad to worse this year.

    In terms of issues, the Texans haven't been the easiest team to decipher.  With talent oozing out of the starting roster, funnily enough Houston don't feature the same problems that many struggling teams have, with a 4-5 record in hand.

    No, the Texans main problem has been on the defense.  When it comes to defending the run, the Texans are just fine.  Ranked 32nd in run stops, Gary Kubiak's defense has managed to maintain stability in this area of the field.

    When it comes to defending the aerial assault however, the Texans defense is as weak as water.  Ranked dead last in the league, Houston's inability to stop some of the AFC South's top receivers has cost them dearly in the long run this season.

    By answering the question at hand, the Texans season isn't "one and done" just yet.  With that in mind, if the Texans lose to the New York Jets on Sunday, you can pretty much discount Houston from any playoff contention this year.

    Just like Jeff Fisher stated about his Tennessee Titans, "If you're standing still in November, you've got no chance."  Unfortunately for Houston, they fit this mold.

15. Who Will Take Over First Place in The NFC North?

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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 14: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears runs for a first down as Ray Edwards #91 and Madieu Williams #20 of the Minnesota Vikings give chase at Soldier Field on November 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 27-13
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Somehow lost in the NFL's prolific storylines over the weekend was the Chicago Bears big-time win over NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings, which now sends Lovie Smith's crew tied for first in the NFC North.

    If you're the Green Bay Packers, you have to be worried.  Fresh off a bye week, Green Bay travel to the very same Minnesota Vikings; meanwhile, the Bears take a meaningful trip to Miami to take on the up-and-coming Dolphins.

    What may appear scary for the Packers though, is Jay Cutler's newfound form.  As if Week 9 wasn't impressive enough, No. 6 threw for 237 yards and 3 touchdowns on the weekend, edging ever closer to the 2000+ yard mark.

    As for Chicago, they really need to take advantage of every game possible.  On paper, the Packers are back to an extremely healthy state, meaning at the end of the day, Green Bay vs. Chicago on Jan. 2 should wind up to be a classic.

    Who will take over the division?

    It is going to come down to Chicago and Green Bay. So strap yourselves in, if Jay Cutler keeps this impressive style up, and the Packers defense continues to remain the top scoring unit in the NFL, then this will perhaps become a race right to the end of the year.

14. Will the Buffalo Bills Make It Two Wins in a Row?

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 14:  Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills runs against the Detroit Lions at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 14, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    It took 10 weeks and a whole lot of close results, but finally, the Buffalo Bills have notched their first win on the season.

    In a game that always favored the Bills, it was perhaps no surprise to see on Sunday that the Buffalo Bills emerged victorious over Jim Schwartz's black and blue Detroit Lions. 

    What was a surprise though, was running back Fred Jackson's breakout game, that saw the fourth-year player rush for 133 yards and 1 touchdown.

    So now, the big talk flares up.  Sure, the question of Buffalo's win streak is nowhere near as important as, say, the Atlanta Falcons' race for the playoffs, or New England's newfound defense, but if you're a fan of the underdog, than Chan Gailey's team could surprise a few people in the coming weeks.

    Week 11 sees the Bills take on the Cincinnati Bengals, an intriguing game that could see the Bills pull off the upset. 

    Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens has promised bigger and better things this week, but if he plans to stop Buffalo in their tracks, he will have to rely on his defense to contain quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    A 2-8 mark may not be a favorable record at all, yet if you look at how impressive the Bills roster is, it says a lot for 2011.  Cincinnati vs. Buffalo?  It's not a huge game, but if you're making predictions for this week, maybe consider taking the Bills in an upset.

13. What Does the Loss of Scott Fujita and Josh Cribbs Mean for the Browns?

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    BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 26:  Joshua Cribbs #16 of the Cleveland Browns returns a kickoff against the Baltimore Ravens  at M&T Bank Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Browns 24-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Image
    Larry French/Getty Images

    Yep you guessed it, it's injury time again, this time around though, it is the Cleveland Browns who are ailing following the loss of wide receiver Josh Cribbs and star linebacker Scott Fujita.

    Similar to the Buffalo Bills, the Browns 2010 season spells trouble for 2011.  Already this year, head coach Eric Mangini has seen great success from quarterback Colt McCoy, and the Browns wheel of upsets has already rolled over the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots this year.

    Sticking with the upset theme though, the Cleveland Browns failed to pull off the three-peat in Week 10, losing out to the New York Jets in a very thrilling overtime period, that saw Santonio Holmes capture the game winning score.

    The bad news doesn't stop there for Cleveland.

    During the game's course Eric Mangini saw two players fall before his very eyes, one of whom is Josh Cribbs, the Browns go to kick returner. 

    On the fortunate side, the Browns have signed veteran Clifton Smith, however the news on Cribbs' toe injuries is still unclear.

    On the flip side, linebacker Scott Fujita is also battling with a knee injury and "Could be out for a little while," according to coach Mangini.

    As for what this means for the Browns, well, it could be a disastrous situation.  Josh Cribbs isn't the most valuable player to the Browns, but Scott Fujita's defensive presence will be sorely missed against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

    Both of these injuries don't appear to be overly serious, but they may put an end to the Browns upset ways as of late. 

12. Are the Atlanta Falcons the Favorite To Represent the NFC in the Super Bowl?

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons yells to his offense against the Baltimore Ravens at Georgia Dome on November 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Thursday Night feels like an eternity ago for most NFL fans.  Just to refresh everyone's memory though, the Atlanta Falcons were successful in toppling AFC North giant the Baltimore Ravens, in a 26-21 victory on the night.

    Following on from the Falcons win, was the very next step in Mike Smith's plan: the New York Giants loss.  Prior to Week 10 many people had considered the Giants the best team in the NFC, but now that a Dallas Cowboys loss has exposed the Giants a little, NFC bragging rights are now the Falcons to keep.

    Going forward, Atlanta take on the St. Louis Rams on Sunday afternoon.  The Rams are fresh off a close loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week, but are still a force that has the ability to provide an upset of their own.

    Still, the Falcons mean business this year.  If you're a fantasy football fanatic, chances are you've gone to great lengths to gain Roddy White, while at the same time Matt Ryan remains one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the league.

    Favorite to represent the NFC?

    I hate to jump the gun, but it's hard to argue with a 7-2 record.

11. Can Kyle Orton Equal His Impressive Week 10 Performance, Against San Diego?

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    DENVER - NOVEMBER 14:  Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos greets his teammates as they enter the field to face the Kansas City Chiefs at INVESCO Field at Mile High on November 14, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 49-2
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    If you thought Jay Cutler was the only surprising quarterback to have a big day in Week 10, think again, because Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton provided Mile High with the goods in more ways than one against the Chiefs.

    At the end of the day, Kyle Orton finished the game with 296 yards and 4 touchdowns.  More to the point though, was the fact that Orton managed to guide the Broncos to their third win on the year, over such a potent AFC West division rival.

    Those of you voting for the Pro Bowl this season, put aside silly team bias, because it would be a real shame to see a player like Orton miss out.  Yes, the Broncos have struggled immensely this season, but in regards to the positives, Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd have been phenomenal this year.

    Adding the icing on the cake in Week 10 was running back Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 106 yards on the day, and finally added some form of run game to the Broncos offense.

    A true team effort unfolded against the Chiefs, and Mile High was left wondering where this all came from. 

    To answer their question, it all came from quarterback Kyle Orton's fingertips.

10. When Will Rex Ryan’s Offense Come Together As A Team?

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    CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 14:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets looks for a receiver as Damien Woody #67 looks on against the Cleveland Browns  at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 14, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    There are several things that can convince a fan that their team is performing poorly, but when you nearly avoid defeat against the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns consecutively, big-time questions begin to swirl in relation to the offense.

    Meet the new-look Jets, a team who was supposed to be one of the best offensive teams in the league this season.  Mark Sanchez was supposedly a well-developed passer, and with Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and LaDainian Tomlinson, Rex Ryan has appeared to have formed a super team in the AFC East.

    That couldn't be further from the truth.

    Okay, to be fair to the Jets, they've still had a great year.  LaDainian Tomlinson has found a new identity in The Big Apple, and Dustin Keller's season continues to reach dizzying new heights in just about every game.

    Unfortunately though, these are the only two standouts on the Jets offense this year.  And where has it all gone wrong?  Basically in the passing game, as Mark Sanchez has struggled to remain accurate, consistent and most importantly, in touch with his offense in the past two months.

    If we take a quick look at New York's 2009 season, it could be said that all of this inconsistency from Sanchez won't mean much. 

    Last year, the Jets as a team carried Sanchez to the AFC Championship Game, and although New York have just scraped by in the past two weeks, they are still a threat in the AFC.

    But before New York even attempts to reach the big dance anytime soon, Mark Sanchez must undergo some self-improvement.  Interceptions and sacks have been prevalent lately, and even though Sanchez started the year strong, he has quickly fell back into his old groove.

    Time is luckily on Sanchez's side, even though the schedule is not.  We'll see who the real Mark Sanchez is in the next two months, but for now, he really isn't doing enough to help out the Jets' playoff chances.

9. Will Brett Favre Be Benched in Minnesota?

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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 14: Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings looks over the Chicago Bear defense before taking the snap from Jon Cooper #68 at Soldier Field on November 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 27-13.  (Photo by Jona
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    It's not the first time Brett Favre has cracked the Top 10, and nor will it be the last.

    Yes, here we are again facing the weekly Brett Favre saga, that puts into the possibility of the old-timer being benched by head coach Brad Childress, for one reason or another.

    This time around, Brett Favre may be getting benched for performing poorly.  Week 10 saw No. 4 pass for his usual three interceptions against the Chicago Bears, and since then reports have begun to form in regards to Favre's "soreness" experienced past the midway point of the season.

    Those of you who are following this story, there is no doubt that you have your own opinion on this matter.  But if you are neutral or just plain tired of hearing the same old controversy, Brad Childress now needs to make the decision between benching his starter or allowing him to play.

    Whichever option is best is, of course, debatable.  On one hand, Favre gets some much-deserved rest, while on the other Tavaris Jackson steps in, and he is about as predictable as the weather at times under center.

    Chances are this story will fizzle out like it always does and result in Favre starting, and with Minnesota facing Green Bay in Week 11, it would almost be lame to see Favre out of action, against his former team in his new hometown.

8. Are the New York Giants Pretenders in the NFC?

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14:  Chris Snee #76, Eli Manning #10, and Rich Seubert #69 of the New York Giants walk off the field after losing the ball on a fumble in the fourth quarter against of the Dallas Cowboys on November 14, 2010 at the New Meado
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    This time last week we were debating whether or not the New York Giants were the best team in football.  A week later, we are now discussing if the G-Men are the ultimate pretenders in the NFC East this season.

    To find reason behind this speculation is easy.  New York's turnover-filled loss against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday has highlighted the very kinks that head coach Tom Coughlin still needs to iron out, and now that wide receiver Steve Smith is out with a pectoral tear, who knows where New York are heading in coming weeks.

    As for the label of "pretenders" it is quite a harsh statement to brand a team with, after being so dominant on defense all season. 

    New York, who have maintained a commendable place in the league's defensive rankings, have managed to ground several quarterbacks this year, and are once again feared for their hard-hitting ways.

    But on Sunday, this physical presence was nonexistent.  New York's defense was a little quiet, and on offense, Eli Manning grew frustrated and fragile constantly attempting to put points on the board against a resilient Cowboys outfit.

    We'll wait and see where this storyline heads, and will not be the first time that New York have turned out to be something they're not. 

    For now, it is only one loss, and even the best teams make mistakes.  What matters is how New York turns around, and attempts to rebound in the face of adversity.

7. What Does an Injury to Hines Ward Mean for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

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    PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 14:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks off of the field with help from the training staff after injuring himself during the game against the New England Patriots on November 14, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsy
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Jeff Reed wasn't the only player the Pittsburgh Steelers lost during the week, as star wide receiver Hines Ward was hit hard in the game's opening stages, and escorted off the field with no return forthcoming.

    Following up from Ward's head clash with Patriot defenders, team doctors reported that Ward had indeed sustained a concussion on Sunday Night, and would need monitoring throughout the week before playing in Week 11's fixture.

    So what's the news on Ward's status?

    Breathe a sigh of relief Steelers fans, because Hines Ward looks probable to play this Sunday afternoon against Oakland Raiders. 

    "It's football. You get your bell rung,"  Hines Ward said. "It's my body. I feel like if I want to go back out there, I feel like I should have the right."

    Hines Ward isn't one to jump to conclusions, and at the same time he isn't one to miss out on action. 

    It was tough to see his consecutive games with at least one catch streak broken on Sunday Night, but hey, at least Ward will be eligible for the Raiders game this weekend.

6. Is Chris Johnson Finally Back To His Best In Tennessee?

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    SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 31:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans is pursued by Seyi Ajirotutu #89 of the San Diego Chargers in the game at Qualcomm Stadium on October 31, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Titans 33-25.  (Photo by
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    They say big-name players often step up for their teams when the chips are down, and if the statement was ever second-guessed, Chris Johnson certainly proved it true during Week 10.

    For those of you thinking "Hold on, the Titans lost," you would be correct.  Giving credit where credit is due, the Miami Dolphins took it to Tennessee on the weekend, and even with two of their best quarterbacks out, Tunatown managed to notch a 29-17 victory.

    But even the Dolphins return to form can't overshadow Chris Johnson's big day.  To some, 117 yards and 1 touchdown may be small statistics (especially for Chris Johnson), but it now appears the star rusher is finally returning to his 2009 ways.

    Hopefully for the Titans' sake, Chris Johnson can keep this play up, because God knows that Tennessee need him at his best.  Currently the Titans are walking the fine line in the AFC South, and with the Colts now battling at their best, Tennessee must remain in the second spot to try and achieve a wild-card berth.

    Chris Johnson's led the way before, and he will most likely do so again.  Still, 2010 hasn't been his best season, and now that Vince Young is being questioned, who knows what will unfold in the next few weeks.

5. Can the Green Bay Packers Sweep the Minnesota Vikings?

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    GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 07: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field on November 7, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 45-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Brett Favre and the Vikings play host to the 6-3 Green Bay Packers this weekend, a team who is fresh off a Week 10 bye week, and looking to assert themselves into a potential playoff picture behind big-name quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

    Just for the record, good news hasn't exactly flowed for the Packers this season.  Injuries to Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and Mark Tauscher have plagued Green Bay, and quite frankly, all three of Mike McCarthy's losses could have been avoided if his roster was totally healthy.

    Finally though, the Packers received the green light on Monday.  Green Bay's roster looks to be a lot healthier, and after Mike McCarthy expressed his criticism of the NFL's rather late bye week scheduling, the Packers are fit and ready to possibly sweep the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

    It's a game that is always a must-watch, and the Packers offense is heating up at the right time following a blowout win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9. 

    Better yet, with Brett Favre bench talk still flaring up, the Packers may have an easy task on their hands, if the old-timer sits out of this important affair.

    As already noted, the NFC North is up for grabs, and expect the Chicago Bears to be watching this game with great delight on Sunday afternoon. 

    In Green Bay's case, they just need to keep playing impressive defense, and with Clay Matthews running away with the Defensive Player of the Year Award, this is a case of easier done than said.

4. When Will the Real Randy Moss Stand Up This Season?

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 14:  Wide receiver Randy Moss #84 of the Tennessee Titans makes a catch against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on November 14, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Sticking with the theme of the Tennessee Titans for a moment, one of the most important questions still lingering on fans' minds, is in regards to Randy Moss, and whether he will ever break out with his new team this season.

    Just like Moss' time in Minnesota, No. 84 caught one pass against the Dolphins on the weekend.  Whilst I am aware that this statistic is partially due to Vince Young's poor play, Randy Moss failed to make an impact in a game, that would normally have his name written all over it.

    Now, to quote Slim Shady, when will the real Randy Moss stand up?

    If we were to gauge a guess right now, one could easily say never, or at least not this season.  To put a time frame on it though, this weekend's game against the Washington Redskins could be Moss' calling card, considering that Mike Shanahan's defense is ranked 31st in pass yards.

    One of these days, Moss will explode, and we'll all forget the past.  Until that day occurs, Randy Moss will only be referenced for his previous performances, which unfitting enough, aren't overly flattering.

3. Was There An Off-Field Issue in Dallas, Prior to Wade Phillips’ Firing?

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    GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 07: Head coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys complains to a referee during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 7, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 45-7.  (Photo by
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    A funny thought occurred to me during Sunday's game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, and that thought was in reference to Wade Phillips, who had recently been fired by "America's Team."

    Upon watching the Cowboys onslaught of the Giants, Dallas appeared to be a totally different team on the field.  Jon Kitna was throwing well, the receiving corp was making big plays, and for once the Cowboys defense was forcing turnovers: an uncanny feature of this season.

    Then after Dallas' on-field performance, the camera flashed to new head coach Jason Garrett.

    Had Jason Garrett inspired this miraculous turnaround overnight?  Had Garrett provided the motivation for such a struggling team?  Or, more than likely, were the Cowboys playing in spite of Wade Phillips, during his reign as head coach?

    In all realism, we'll probably never know the answer to this question.  Although, it does seem funny that the Cowboys can light a spark underneath them straight away, when a new coach is in power.

    We shall see if the Cowboys were a fluke in Week 10, when they take on the Lions at home this week.  Until then, ponder this Wade Phillips scenario; it isn't all that ludicrous at all.

2. Will Tyler Thigpen Start at QB For the Miami Dolphins?

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    ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02:  Quarterback Tyler Thigpen #16 of the Miami Dolphins  during a preseason game at Cowboys Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Miami's good luck turned to bad luck this past Sunday, when new starting quarterback Chad Pennington was helped off the field after only two simple snaps under center.  Yet again, Pennington's pesky shoulder injury has flared up, and now looks to sideline Pennington for good this year.

    As if the injury bug hadn't bitten hard enough, Chad Henne was the next to go.  After throwing an incomplete pass, Henne also hit the turf and suffered a knee injury late in the third quarter and never returned to the game.

    Next in line beneath Pennington and Henne, was Tyler Thigpen, a very experienced player who has never received much recognition for his work.  In 2008 under the Kansas City Chiefs, Thigpen threw for 2,608 yards and 18 touchdowns, with a struggling team who barely featured a decent wide receiver at all.

    So now, the Dolphins look to Tyler Thigpen, who has reportedly been taking practice snaps this week, in possible preparation for the Dolphins Thursday Night game against the Chicago Bears.

    Before you jump to conclusions though, Miami have also signed Patrick Ramsey, and may choose to utilize him on Thursday Night.

    If Miami are smart, they will choose Tyler Thigpen, simply due to the fact that he knows the offense, and did a remarkable job of steering the Dolphins ship to a win over Tennessee on the weekend.  Yes, Patrick Ramsey has his pros and cons, but Tyler Thigpen deserves a chance.

1. Is Michael Vick a Legitimate Shot for the MVP Award?

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    LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his second touchdown with team mates Nick Cole #59 and Jeremy Maclin #18 against the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo b
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    If you've been living under a rock for the past two days, welcome to the Michael Vick MVP talk: a small debate that has arisen from Vick's monster game against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

    As we speak, Michael Vick's game day jersey is being flown to Canton, to be placed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Why is that?

    How does 333 yards and 4 touchdowns sound?

    Believe it or not, Michael Vick has really placed himself in the MVP talk this season, and funnily enough, he truly sits above Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in regards to nomination points.

    But before we can graciously hand the award to a player that was deemed as "NFL trash" several years ago, one minor thing may stand in his way. 

    The first is Vick's injury that sidelined him for a handful of weeks.  The second is the fact that many people believe Vick hasn't beaten a worthy opponent this year.

    Whatever your opinion is of Michael Vick's MVP plea, Week 10 has at least placed him in the ballot box.  Whether or not No. 7 wins it is another story, but while we're on the topic, there are seven weeks to go for Vick to convince us all.

    No one expected it, and chances are Vick didn't, either.  Many yards and touchdowns later though, and Michael Vick is staring down the barrel at his first MVP award in his near 10-year career as a professional quarterback.