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NFL Week 11 - Injured stars and an AFC battle

November 21, 2006|by ROBERT KELLER

Week 11 has brought along some good times, and some bad times mostly good, though. After this week, there are no longer any undefeated teams (as I predicted weeks ago).

The biggest game Sunday was the Dallas Cowboys playing the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts came into the game hoping to take another big victory, but it didn't turn out that way. Before the game, I made a small prediction that Dallas would win by a touchdown, and Dallas beat the Colts 21-14.

This is like what happened last year when the Colts lost their first game. The Colts cracked under pressure, just like this past weekend. The Colts go on to face the Philadelphia Eagles next week, while the Cowboys face the Buccaneers in a Thanksgiving Day game.

Some key games to look for next week are: Philadelphia at Indianapolis, Carolina at Washington, Pittsburgh at Baltimore, and Cincinnati at Cleveland. I predict the following winners: Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and Cincinnati.

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I must give credit to the Redskins for finally benching quarterback Mark Brunell. If they had benched him sooner and put in quarterback Jason Campbell, they might have won more games, but now the team is missing key players. Running back Clinton Portis is out with a broken hand, and wide receiver Santana Moss has an injured hamstring.

The Eagles lost their key player, quarterback Donovan McNabb, for the year after he tore his ACL against the Tennessee Titans. The Eagles should have won this game, but they couldn't. Was it because of their loss at quarterback? Or, was it because the defense didn't stop the Titans offense? Either way, the Titans knew what they were doing and came out on the field confident.

There is a battle brewing for the overall top spot in the AFC. The Colts are still at the top, but the Baltimore Ravens are not far behind. The team with the best record secures home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. At 8-2, the Ravens just need to win their next game, and the Colts need to lose their next game to really create a race. I have a feeling that Baltimore could potentially take the AFC lead away from the Colts. Behind Baltimore in the conference battle are San Diego and Denver. This is going to be a tough battle.

The Super Bowl draws near.

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