Every week in the National Football League seems to find some sort of theme that runs through almost every game. For example, Week 10 seemed to have many games that proved that you cannot write off any player or team.
People began to question the New England Patriots before last week's game against the Jets following two straight losses. They questioned whether QB Tom Brady was "losing it," but the Pats proved that they were still contenders, dominating the Jets 37-16. Another quarterback that everyone doubted was Tony Romo, who was nearly perfect against the Bills, winning 44-7. Of course we have to mention the most polarizing player in the league, Tim Tebow. Despite only throwing for 69 yards, Tebow helped lead the Broncos to another win. Tebow is now 3-1 since taking over as the starting QB and the Broncos are only one game back in the AFC West division.
It seems whenever people start to dismiss someone or some team, the teams responds the following week. That's just one of the reasons the NFL is the best sports league in the world.
Also (I know I say this almost every week, but) the NFL season is going by way too fast! Are we really already at Week 11? COME ON!! Ok, well, rather than dwell on the fact that the season is flying by, let's take a look at this week's NFL Game Power Rankings:
1. Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Average Ticket Price: $203.52
Every team in the NFL has shown flaws and weaknesses this season; that is, every team except the Packers, who remain undefeated. Going into their game last week against the Vikings, many thought their defense was going to be their downfall, but they held the Vikings to 266 yards and just seven points. So much for that theory.
2. New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Average Ticket Price: $192.85
Prior to the season, this would be one of those games that everyone would circle on their calendars. Now, the Eagles are 3-6 and look like a dead team. With the Eagles reeling, the Giants will try to avenge last year's devastating home loss to Philly when (stop reading here, Giants fans) DeSean Jackson returned a punt for a TD on the last play of the game.
3. Chicago Bears vs. San Diego Chargers
Average Ticket Price: $181.06
The Bears have now won four consecutive games and are looking like one of the top teams in the NFC. Unfortunately for them, they are in the same division as the Packers, who look unbeatable.
4. New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Average Ticket Price: $178.63
Patriots fans have been looking forward to this game to welcome back QB Matt Cassel, who was traded to the Chiefs from the Pats prior to the 2010 season. Thanks to a hand injury to Cassel, Pats fans will have to watch Tyler Palko (who?) instead, which is a good thing for New England's last-ranked passing defense.
5. Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
Average Ticket Price: $170.16
The Redskins started off the season so promising at 3-1 but have lost 5 straight since, flip-flopping their starting quarterback a couple of times. DE DeMarcus Ware and the rest of the Cowboys defense must be licking their chops to take on the Redskins 27th ranked offense.
6. Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Average Ticket Price: $142.41
The Bengals played tough last week against their AFC North rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers, and this week they will be tested again, this time against their other rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals are still in the hunt for the playoffs and will be hoping that rookie WR A.J. Green's injury doesn't prevent him from playing this Sunday.
7. Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets
Average Ticket Price: $132.91
Pop quiz: How do you prevent Jets All-Pro CB Derrelle Revis from having an impact in a game? Answer: Never throw the ball! That's basically what the Broncos’ game plan was last week against the Chiefs. QB Tim Tebow only completed two (yes, I said two) passes, but the team still won 17-10. It should be interesting to see how Rex Ryan prepares his defense this week.
8. Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers
Average Ticket Price: $83.88
Oh, Detroit. As soon as everyone is ready to anoint you as the next big thing, you go and lose three out of your last four games. Luckily, the Lions will have a chance to get back on track against the 2-7 Carolina Panthers before their heavily anticipated Thanksgiving match-up with the Packers.
9. Minnesota Vikings vs. Oakland Raiders
Average Ticket Price: $81.46
Minnesota was embarrassed last week against Green Bay with RB Adrian Peterson only getting 14 carries. Note to the Vikings: this week against the Raiders, give him the ball more! Peterson is fifth in the league in rushing yards and tied for first with ten touchdowns.
10. Atlanta Falcons vs. Tennessee Titans
Average Ticket Price: $66.11
The Falcons lost in heartbreaking (or head-scratching, depending on how you look at it) fashion last week against New Orleans when in overtime head coach Mike Smith decided to go for it on fourth down on their own 29-yard line and failed. The Saints proceeded to kick the game-winning field goal a couple plays later. Ouch.
11. Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
Average Ticket Price: $61.78
After starting the season so well, the Bills are starting to fold. No time was that more evident than last week's massacre in Big D. Buffalo was defeated in every phase of the game, losing 44-7 while allowing Tony Romo to complete 23 of 26 passes and three touchdowns. Playing the Dolphins is a good place to start turning things around.
12. San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Average Ticket Price: $61.54
The 49ers are surprising everyone this season, beating almost everyone put in front of them. They basically have the NFC West division wrapped up and should be in the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
13. St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
Average Ticket Price: $55.05
Don't expect this to be a high scoring game, as both offenses have anemic passing games. The two teams have combined for 12 touchdown passes this year. By comparison, 14 quarterbacks individually have thrown for more TDs, including Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who has thrown 28 by himself.
14. Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Average Ticket Price: $48.59
This game can't exactly be described as a "can't miss" kind of game. The Jaguars and Browns are both in the bottom third of the league in passing, while both have defenses in the top five in stopping the pass. I would expect a lot of rushing attempts in this one. Yawn.
Come back next Thursday for the Week 12 rankings!
Rankings are based on the average price of tickets sold on the TicketNetwork Exchange as of 11/16/2011 at 3 p.m. EST.