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ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 21: Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts avoids a tackle by A.J. Epenesa #57 of the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Highmark Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
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Overreactions, Exaggerations & Just The Plain Out Truth – Week 11

(Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

Week 11 is in the books and we have some fresh faces at the top of a few divisions.

The New England Patriots have staked claim to the throne of the AFC East, while the Kansas City Chiefs have officially taken control of the AFC West with their victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

The AFC North is as tight as possible with every team winning this week except the Pittsburgh Steelers and each of the teams still to play one another at least once. Week 11 saw a few more teams on paper take losses and of course a few blow outs. Let’s take a look back at the week’s action….

Overreactions

Taysom Hill will suit up as full time QB within next 2 weeks: The New Orleans Saints have lost three in a row since the injury of Jameis Winston against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In those three games the Saints have been lead by Trevor Siemian at quarterback without any of the services of Taysom Hill.

Hill who had been hampered by a foot injury over the last several games before returning to action against the Philadelphia Eagles this past week has been mostly a gadget type weapon for the team over last few years at the qb position, also filling in as the backup to Drew Brees over the same time period.

Since the injury to Winston the Saints have chosen to predominantly play Siemian at the position but after three losses and a fully healthy Hill, that should change. Siemian has lead the Saints to slow starts in all three losses and hasn’t thrown for 300 yards once, while picking up a lot yards and td passes in garbage time.

I suspect Hill who just signed an extension with the Saints that could reach up to $95 million will be seeing a bit more time at the quarterback position. The Saints take on the Bills this week in a difficult matchup at home and if nothing can be accomplished by the offense who is undermanned due to injuries, Hill should be starting the next game.

We are watching the last few games of either Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson or both as a member of the Seattle Seahawks organization: Since returning to action after missing several weeks due to a dislocated finger Wilson in two games has thrown for no touchdowns and two interceptions while leading his teams to losses in each game.

With a 3-7 record and floating at the bottom the NFC West division, this team is just about done when it comes to post season aspirations.

Prior to the start of the season, Wilson had reserve about joining the team for his eleventh season and voiced his thoughts all throughout the offseason, even going as far as to state a few other teams he would love to play for.

Pete Carroll who has been the constant variable along Wilson for the Seahawks since 2010, turned 70 in September and has been coaching since 1973. Eleven years together is quite a long time and a great feat to accomplish in the NFL.

A relationship not many can say they have experienced in pro football. With all that being said, I believe this may be the end of that marriage for one of two and maybe both. Odds are not in either’s favor and with the team playing at a level that most in Seahawks fans have come to not expect, a cleaning of the house may be in order.

Plus when you take a look at the complete situation, we almost seen a split from Wilson this past offseason. Something has to change and it will.

Exaggerations

Dolphins could be 7-7 after the next three weeks: Yes that’s right, the Dolphins, the same team who once was 1-7, and who had lost seven games in a row could be staring a record of 7-7 in the eye after Week 14 of the season.

The Dolphins take on the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants and Jets in the next three weeks, certainly not a rough gauntlet at all. With the running game coming together and Tua Tagovaila fighting through injuries but yet still playing, this team could run the table the next few games.

Who would of ever thought?

Johnathan Taylor is the leader in the MVP race: Dak Prescott missed a few games, Kyler Murray has as well. Dallas just got whooped and held to nine points by the Chiefs, Derrick Henry who hands down was the leader of the conversation just a few weeks ago is done for the season with a foot injury, Aaron Rodgers missed a game due to Covid protocol and has had a few off nights, while Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Tom Brady have all had numerous misfortunes this season.

Which brings me to the leader in the house, Indianapolis Colts running back Johnathan Taylor.

Taylor fresh off a 185 rushing yard, 5 touchdown game(1 TD was receiving) has accumulated 1,122 rushing yards on the season. That leads the NFL up to this point and barring injury he will probably will continue to lead the league in rushing when the season is over.

He has 13 touchdowns and is second in carries in the league. The surging Colts are suddenly looking like a team that wants to compete in the post season and Taylor looks to be the bell cow they are hitching their wagon too. If Taylor leads the league in rushing, the Colts earn a berth in the postseason and he crosses the end zone line 20 plus times, it will be hard to see how Taylor wouldn’t be the MVP of the season, even though the NFL has a lust for always naming a QB the MVP.

Bills vs Patriots games against each other will determine AFC East: The New England Patriots have come out of nowhere, literally. With a five game winning streak, a shutout of the Atlanta Falcons (not hard to do) combined with a loss by the Buffalo Bills to the Indianapolis Colts, the Pats are riding high and have now taken over first place in the AFC East division.

Buffalo meanwhile has been up and down throughout the season, sometimes looking dominant while sometimes leaving everyone scratching their heads to what happened.

The Bills have the number one ranked defense though they just gave up 41 points to the Colts and have the better quarterback out of both of the two teams as of right now. New England has played one more game than the Bills sitting at 7-4, while the Bills have already had their bye, sitting at 6-4.

Both of the teams have winnable games on paper, as the Patriots end the season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins, while Buffalo still has to play the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets. With all that each team has achieved and all they still must face, the division really comes down to the two matchups between the two teams on December 6th and December 26th.

Beginning in Buffalo on the 6th, the winner of the first game will have a leg up on the other with another three weeks to play the second matchup but If one team can sweep the season series it’s over.

The AFC East comes down to head to head action, we could almost let these two teams play the next two weeks and let them determine who would win the division by the end of November.

The Truth

Pittsburgh Steelers tie helps, not hurts: We’ve seen in the past where some players who have taken place in a game that ended up in a tie, didn’t even know you could tie.

It happened again this year when Steelers rookie Najee Harris spoke post game after his team the Steelers played their way into a tie with the Detroit Lions in week 10, that he did not know a NFL game could end up in a tie.

Ties are pretty rare in the NFL even though they happen and what most don’t understand is they are actually better than losing. The winning percentage is higher in the grand scheme of things and even though it looks a bit funny visually, it plays out for a better record in the long run.

The Steelers who lost this past week sport that “1” in the third column and it really may help their cause when it’s all said and done.

The Zach Ertz trade was a great move by the Arizona Cardinals: Since the minute Zach Ertz has suited up for the Arizona Cardinals, it’s been a match made in heaven. Ertz who caught a touchdown in his first game as a member of the Cardinals versus the Houston Texans, caught another two touchdowns this past week in the Cardinals victory over the Seahawks.

Ertz has been a redzone machine for the team and has added yet another dimension to a team that has play makers all over the field. The Cardinals struck gold when they made the deal and it’s paying dividends every week.

Teams Missing the playoffs: As seen above it’s the end of an era in Seattle, stick a fork in them as we know it and for this year. The Seahawks will not be making a postseason appearance this year.

Sitting at 3-7 on the year, there’s no way they win 6 of 7 or 7 of 7. As for the Dirty Birds, the way I see it, the Atlanta Falcons are 4-6 heading into week 12, with games against Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Buffalo still to come, the latter two on the road.

That’s 4-9 in my eye, which means the best they could do is reach 8-9. They would have to run the table on the other four games with two of those coming against the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints, yea that’s probably not going to happen. Go ahead and chalk the Falcons season up.

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