The new NFL, in which any team can beat any team anywhere — except Oakland vs. the Patriots in Mexico City — was in rare form this past week.
Of the 13 games last week (not including Thursday night’s tilt), eight road teams won. That’s a lot in any year, but is becoming the norm this season.
One trend is picking against teams that lost their franchise (or semi-franchise) quarterback. Well, this past week there were two games where both teams lost their starting quarterbacks.
In other words, while the season is getting older and teams are supposed to be falling into place — bad, mediocre or good — we get a week like this past one.
There are six teams (Miami, N.Y. Jets, Cincinnati, L.A. Chargers, Oakland and Houston) in the AFC that are 4-6. In most years, those six teams would be longshots to make the playoffs.
But with Tennessee at 6-4 as the best Wild Card team and Buffalo and Baltimore, a pair of ‘juggernauts’ at 5-5, any of those teams might considered in good position to play football in January.
Does Miami, the Patriots’ opponent this Sunday, really have a chance to make the playoffs with a pair of home-and-away games against the Patriots and Bills, to go with games vs. the Broncos and Chiefs? Probably not. But don’t they look more like a 2-8 team?
Doesn’t the 2017 season give credence to not adding more playoff teams?
Other than Oakland, which is going through a tough stretch, and the L.A. Chargers, is there a team there with a chance of winning even at Wild Card game?
Home teams costly
If you chose a lot of home teams this past weekend, like I did, you lost. I picked seven winners out of 13 games, which turned out being just below average.
Of the 10 T-shirt winners this week, all were within one point of the Patriots’ point total (33).
The last two tiebreakers (number of correct selections and random draw) were both needed, with all T-shirt winners having nine or more winners.
Week 11 winners
Howard Farber of Peabody
Nick Lazarakis of Peabody
Blaise Creane of Salem
Gizza Pearson of Beverly
Kevin Knight of Beverly
Leslie Murray of Newbury
Diane Remington of Methuen
Scott F Orencole of Newburyport
Wayne Young of Kingston, N.H.
Robert Tremblay of Salem, N.H.