Thursday, November 19, 2015

NFL AP Poll: Week 11

Last week, for the first time all year, the NFL season really seemed to come to life.  For most of the year, we've just been watching the same old teams roll through the schedule without too much difficulty, but last week we had some upsets (Kansas City wins at Denver? Detroit wins at Green Bay?  Houston beats Cincinnati?), a near-upset (the Giants lost to New England 27-26), and a big-game thriller (Arizona wins 39-32 at Seattle).  It felt like the teams are finally starting to gear up for the end of the year.  Maybe it's the weather.  Maybe it's that we're finally starting to run out of byes.

So now we have only two undefeated teams, and the AP's top 10 looks like this:

1.  New England Patriots:  9-0
2.  Carolina Panthers:  9-0
3.  Arizona Cardinals:  7-2
4.  Cincinnati Bengals:  8-1
5.  Minnesota Vikings:  7-2
6.  Denver Broncos:  7-2
7.  Pittsburgh Steelers:  6-4
8.  Green Bay Packers:  6-3
9.  Buffalo Bills:  5-4
10.  Atlanta Falcons:  6-3

The Dolphins (4-5) won at Philly, but still dropped from 20th to 21st.  Meanwhile, the Redskins (4-5) blew out the Saints, and moved from 23d to 20th.

The NFL's momentum will continue this week, as the schedule is loaded.  Sunday afternoon, at 3:25 Central, the Packers -- now battling a three-game losing streak -- go to Minnesota to take on the first-place Vikings.  Then the Sunday night game features the Cardinals for the second week in a row -- this time they are hosting the 8-1 Bengals.  And on Monday night, the undefeated Patriots host the number-9 Bills.  So that's three pretty good reasons to stay indoors and watch the games.

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