NFL 2021: Week Ocean's Eleven

Not a lot of news this week. OBJ signed with the Rams, a run of “upsets” make things more interesting (who would think the Titans would be tied for the best record in the NFL), and Covid is still an issue. On the last one, it sounds like the NFL will be strengthening their Covid protocols around Thanksgiving. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joey Bosa are the new big names who will miss this weekend’s games.

Meanwhile, LeVeon Bell gets cut, Chase Young is done for the season, Saquon Barkley mght be back, and Cam Newton might get the start for the Panthers.

Quiet week, so here’s your games this week:

Thursday, November 18, 2021

New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons (+5.5, 46.5)



New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5, 43.5)
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (+3.5, 45.5)
Washington Football Team @ Carolina Panthers (-2.5, 43.5)
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills (+7, 49.5)
Detroit Lions @ Cleveland Browns (-10.5, 46)
San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5, 46.5)
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans (-10.5, 45.5)
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (+2.5, 49.5)
Baltimore Ravens @ Chicago Bears (+6, 45)


Cincinnati Bengals @ Las Vegas Raiders (PK)
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (+2, 50.5)
Dallas Cowboys @ Kansas City Chiefs (PK)


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5, 48)


New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-11.5, 50.5)

Thursday’s game is interesting as a chance to reflect on Bill Belicheck. After so many “he can’t do it without Tom Brady” hot takes, the Patriots are 6-4 with a rookie QB. Impressive. Even more impressive, the dude is clearing $18 million a year, making him the highest paid coach in the US. Other than that, it’s not likely going to be a fun game.

Of the early Sunday games, Packers/Vikings should be interesting. I think the Vikings are better than their 4-5 record, and their losses came by 3, 1, 7, 3, and 4 points. I like them as a surprise playoff team this year. Hopefully they won’t start the run until after this weekend. Colts/Bills will be a better game than people expect, but I’m not sure what to make of either team. And if you need a good nap, I’ll prescribe the Dolphins/Jets game.

Cowboys/Chiefs is the game of the week. Two high powered offenses with Super Bowl potential in a pick ‘em matchup. Should be fantastic. Sunday night’s matchup could be interesting. Will Ben play? Will the Chargers miss their best defensive player? These are two competent NFL teams going head to head in a big game. Worth a watch.

Just skip the Monday night game. Maybe re-grout your bathroom instead. You know it needs it.

So, what should you do with your Monday night? Where did all the NY driven Mike White hype go? Can we just go ahead and transfer it to Cam’s return to Carolina? Does anyone care that I had to put a word in front of the number of this week because I couldn’t come up with a good phrase starting with Eleven?

Let’s hear from you.

Kind of, if I’m being honest. But playing fair – as opposed to asking google for help – I can’t think of anything either.

EDIT: Even cheating I can’t find anything. At least, cursory Google and IMDb searches didn’t turn up anything interesting.

The best I could come up with was Elevenses, and while I love me some Tolkien, I thought it would just be confusing.

Hopefully Peyton and Eli are doing Monday night again this week. It’s brutal having to watch these Giants games.

Green Bay is limping towards the bye week. Aaron Jones joins the sideline cast with Za’Darius Smith, Jaire Alexander, and Josh Myers on the “we’ll be back eventually, but definitely not today” list. With seemingly half of the damn defense out or on IR all year, Joe Barry has worked an absolute miracle keeping the defense together. Shit, they’re possibly a top 5-10 defense, and that’s the replacements. That said, they’re a middling defense against the rush, and Dalvin Cook is ready to pull a Minnesota Vikings RB game and break all the hearts and ankles. Hopefully Kenny Clark continues his Superman impression with everyone else out and the defense can give the offense time to warm up before being too far behind; Green Bay has scored in the first quarter once since September.

With the only Packers RB being AJ Dillon (Packers owner), I’d prefer this game being outside in the high 30’s of Green Bay; but you play who you play, when you play, where you play. My consolation is that the Vikings get to experience the thunder in Lambeau in January, at night. Quadzilla’s gonna HURT defenders in that game. Rodgers played well enough last week, but didn’t seem as impactful as I would hope - the Mahomes-style falling-down chuck at the endzone for an interception hurt - a lot. But that was last week, and Rodgers has shown himself to have a short memory. And it’s the Vikings - the only NFCN team who can possibly back up the shit their fans talk.

Personally, healthy teams straight up on a neutral field, the Vikings don’t stand a chance. But when an offense predicated on the ability to run loses their number one rusher, and the defensive talent is on life support, and the game’s in Minnesota? Should be a good one, but closer on the field than on the scoreboard. Optimism reigns supreme - I’ll take Packers by more than a touchdown and numerous articles next week about Mike Zimmer on the hot seat.

Can we talk about the utter resurgence of De’Vondre Campbell? Guy came in on a one year prove-it deal for $2m, and is arguably the best ILB in the league. I can’t remember the last time I was impressed by interior linebacker play in Green Bay, but this dude is legit. Absolutely ridiculous.

I love that he calls himself “self-employed” now. This dude is cool. :slight_smile:

Aaron Jones is also an owner now.

Someone did the rough math. Considering the number of stock sales - and thus owners - and the transitive property of Aaron Rodgers (Packers) owning the Bears fanbase, each Green Bay owner owns roughly 1.4 Bears fans.

You know, I’ve been wondering: What would be the implications if Packers stock behaved like real stock - it paid dividends, was allowed to rise and fall, be bought and sold, etc.? Would be fascinating to see GBP stock going up and down on the NYSE. Spiking to $800/share if the Packers won the Super Bowl; plummeting to $70/share if Green Bay went a winless 0-17.

You’ll never top “Ten-donitis” anyway :wink:

You could have gone festive an used Eleven Pipers Piping, or channeled your inner Hobbit with Elevenses. Which, considering the pre-holiday weekend nature of the week might have been spot on.

Interesting season and week for the Vikings.

They’re sitting at 4-5 with a few flashes of looking like a pretty dang good team. But on the other hand they have a couple ugly losses (including to the Dak-less Cowboys) and barely eked out wins against Detroit & Carolina, flat out bad teams who gave them all they could handle.

If they can somehow beat Green Bay (or at least appear competitive) they’ll have a decent shot at a wildcard spot in the playoffs, but if they just get blown off the field by the Packers, that 4-6 record will look way worse than it is.

I mean, my Bengals really should have beaten Green Bay, until the kickers happened. And of course, with the madness of this season with anyone’s team looking great one weekend then losing to the Jets the next, anything can happen.

Any given Sunday is truer this season than as long as I can remember.

Sounds like maybe the Bucs aren’t 100% vaccinated.

“Ruiz said he was unable back in July to find a fake vaccination card for Brown, who had told those around him that he was worried about the vaccine’s potential negative effects on his body. A few weeks later, however, Ruiz said Brown showed him fake vaccination cards, which the wide receiver told Ruiz he had purchased for himself and Moreau. They were sitting on Brown’s dining room table, Ruiz said. It was just days before the start of Bucs training camp.”

Potential negative effects? The vaccine couldn’t make him any dumber.

Brown’s lawyer: "“One of the worst parts of the pandemic has been a movement to cast doubt on our country’s vaccination programs with baseless, vindictive tabloid gossip.”

See, these bad people are casting a shadow on America’s vaccine program, not Antonio Brown. :thinking:

Apparently there’s a new Hard Knocks season broadcasting now on Showtime, covering the Colts in-season starting from week 10. The show is supposed to go as long as the Colts go, so they’ll stay with them for any potential playoff games.

Has anybody checked it out? Worth watching?

Well, I was right that watching the Thursday night game was not fun. I do like the Patriots ability to take away your best player (Kyle Pitts has 2 catches) on defense and to have a balanced, solid (but not amazing) offense with unspectacular players. Mac Jones is as advertised: great game manager capable of running a pro offense well. We will see if he develops beyond that.

Atlanta’s defense gets points for good effort, but their offense isnt good. It will be interesting to see how Matt Ryan is viewed when he retires. He’ll likely be top 6 in career yards passing and top 15 in passer rating. He’s a better, but far more unlucky, QB than Eli Manning.

Luck would be very low on my list of reasons the Falcons choked away a 20+ point second-half lead in the Superbowl.

By contrast, Eli was the second most important contributing factor for both recent Giants Superbowl wins. (Also in contrast to Big Ben, who didn’t contribute at all to his first Superbowl win. And, for that matter, big brother Peyton didn’t really contribute to his ring with the Broncos.)

While it’s certainly true that Ben didn’t play great in his first Super Bowl, i think it’s important to remember that he was brilliant in the three road playoff wins that got them to the super bowl that year.

Your desire to boil down almost 450 total games played to just 3 is unsurprising.

Your desire to ignore championships (or dismiss them as “luck”) and focus on regular season passing stats is equally unsurprising.