2009 NFL Power Rankings: Week 11 | Total Pro Sports
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2009 NFL Power Rankings: Week 11

by: AnthonyP On  Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tags:  2009   Afc   Football   Nfc   NFL   Power Rankings  

Browns Lions FootballWelcome to week 11, the last bend before the mad dash down the home straight of the NFL season, destination playoffsville, population…? Well we know who isn’t getting there (read: Browns and Lions), but with the NFC really sucking right now it’s a wide open race.

On paper, with just a single game separating the duelling parties we should be excited about Denver and San Diego’s surge for the AFC West, but as Sunday showed there is light years between the two and whilst the Broncos slip back, San Diego’s 4th consecutive AFC West title looks more and more inevitable.

In another case of ‘do you remember when we sucked and you were good, and then we totally turned the tables and now we’re ready to mop the floor with the division because you really aren’t as good as you made out at the beginning of the year’, New England pushed 2 games ahead of the AFC East after a win in New York and look set to coast to their annual playoff appearance after abject pressure from teams Shanne Fitzchadchez.

Close on paper AND close in reality is the AFC North where an 0-4 weekend leaves the door open for the Bengals to undo all their good work, the Polamalus to resurge (for the second time this year) and even the marginally crappy Ravens to make a shot at the postseason; being just 2 games off the top spot.

The AFC North may be close, but thanks to perfection, incompetence and a contagious case of Matt Ryanitis (basically where you just hurl turnovers every game) for all those involved, the NFC North and both AFC and NFC Souths look to be heading in only one direction. Well actually three; Minnesota, Indianapolis and New Orleans.

Meanwhile the Cardinals look clinical exterminating nobodies, and the NFC East plays a game of ‘who wants it least’, which would have insanely left the Redskins just 2 games back had Shaun Suisham not hung his team out to dry on Sunday.

In other news, welcome to the milestone club Steven Jackson and Curtis Lofton who reached 1000 yards and 100 tackles in their respective disciplines, and welcome to the IR list Ronnie Brown; done for the season, but if Thursday is anything to go by maybe taming the wildcat won’t be such a bad thing for Miami.

Player of the Week

Wes Welker – Possession guys caught my eye this week, so the TPS Player and Under the Radar Player of the week awards go to Wes Welker and Wes Welker lite. First in my sights is the original Welker who converted 17 Tom Brady targets into 15 catches for 196 yards, as well as forging for a first down on an 11 yard scamper off an end around. The phrase MVP has devolved into a ‘best player’ type year end award, but when you look at the phrase Most Valuable Player in its true form you talking about the player who adds the greatest value to his franchise. It’s no coincidence that New England’s offense looked totally out of sync with an injured Welker sidelined or hampered weeks 2 through 5 (a stretch New England posted a record of 2-2), and they’ve now clicked to put a near perfect 5-1 run together. This guy truly is the Most Valuable Player and if he continues at this steam he’s on track for 160 receptions.

Under the Radar Performance of the Week

Davone Bess – A possession receiver with quick feet, clean routes and a sure set of hands, playing for the Dolphins and keeping their limited offense ticking over. Where have I seen that before? Where Welker left off, Davone Bess has picked up; Thursday night against Carolina, Bess made several astute and athletic catches, averaging a first down every catch and finishing with figures of 6 for 63. Bess kept the offense potent for Miami, and the game just out of Carolina’s clutches; integral.

The Biggest Movers and Shakers

downBaltimore might have run the undefeated champs close, but it wasn’t Baltimore doing the legwork; it was kicker Billy Cundiff. Baltimore’s offense is really abject right now and fall 6.

upMiami climb 4 after a composed performance against a hobbled Carolina on Thursday, as the now Brown-less Dolphins look to be rallying around their impressive young signal caller Chad Henne.

Here’s how the rest of the NFL played itself out in week 11:

Rank Team Record Change Comment
1 Indianapolis Colts 10-0 - Despite Baltimore’s best efforts to field goal the Colts to death (they hit 5 on Sunday, AKA all of their points), Indianapolis looked sharp if a little perturbed that they stalled on a game sealing touchdown, settling instead for a game sealing field goal keeping perfection intact. Up Next: @Houston Texans
2 New Orleans Saints 10-0 - The Saints didn’t have too much against Tampa but they’ll still be counting off the days until run stop ace Sedrick Ellis returns, because until then they know their underbelly is looking particularly soft and vulnerable. Up Next: NewEngland Patriots
3 Minnesota Vikings 8-1 - Here is what Minnesota didn’t have last year; when AP doesn’t AP-anize the opposition (24 for 82) – though Chester Taylor did slice them for a further 73 – Tavaris Jackson was never going to put on a peerless 22/25 for 213 and 4TDs. This year they have said weapon, and this year they’re going to be second seeds in the NFC. Up Next: Chicago Bears
4 New England Patriots 7-3 - New England are erm… New England. Any doubts you had about this offense should be eradicated by now, and this defense has just about tilted opposing scores back to the manageable end of the spectrum. Pats and Colts dominating the AFC; what’s all this talk about parity? Up Next: @New Orleans Saints
5 Cincinnati Bengals 7-3 - Don’t worry Cincinnati, I would have thought 19 points, 100 yards rushing and two walk in touchdowns would of been enough to beat the crappy Raiders as well. Just a silly mental lapse, on a day the whole AFC North lost and they could have capitalised. Up Next: Cleveland Browns
6 Pittsburgh Steelers 6-4 - What’s worse than a Ben Roethlisberger concussion keeping him away from the helm of a Polamalu-less Steelers? Charlie Batch busting his wrist, and what’s worse than that? Dennis ‘can’t throw so won’t throw’ Dixon. Up Next: @Baltimore Ravens
7 Dallas Cowboys 7-3 - Dallas were as hot as they come 3 weeks ago, but they’ve cooled considerably and were a Shaun Suisham boot away from being gazpachod on Sunday. As in hot to cold… the soup. It makes sense; trust me. Up Next: Oakland Raiders
8 San Diego Chargers 7-3 up


San Diego encountered little resistance Sunday from what technically amounts to their closest rivals in the division, which really doesn’t bode well for the chances of said division shedding its label of the AFC Worst. San Diego’s front 7 has really upped its game, and their offensive line play is starting to settle down as well. Up Next: Kansas City Chiefs
9 Philadelphia Eagles 6-4 up


Philadelphia looked sharp for about a quarter and a half before slowing to an unceremonious grinding halt. With the offense stalled, they unbelievably left Chicago with an opening that fortunately, Jay Cutler couldn’t convert. Up Next: Washington Redskins
10 New York Giants 6-4 - Two of 2008’s standout stopping units got made to look like fools on Sunday, by – sadly – two really lame offenses to be honest. Luckily for New York, Eli was perhaps the only gleaming gem in a depressing yet entertaining matchup. Up Next: @Denver Broncos
11 Houston Texans 5-5 - Houston have been in the wrong place at the wrong time two weeks in a row now and it’s killing their momentum. Up Next: Indianapolis Colts
12 Arizona Cardinals 7-3 up


Matt Leinart looked good in the preseason, but every time he’s made an appearance this year post-Warner blow up he’s been woeful at best. Greatest preseason-yet-regular-season-choke-artist ever? I think we might just have a winner. Up Next: @Tennessee Titans
13 Green Bay Packers 6-4 - The Packers eased up on defense and left themselves sweating unnecessarily, but they looked pretty tight – yet again – against a weaker opponent with a miserable pass rush. Shocker. Up Next: @Detroit Lions
14 Baltimore Ravens 5-5 down


Having already ‘retired’ and with his contract up at the end of the year I doubt Derrick Mason re-signs, and when you factor in the high likelihood of the mercurial Mark Clayton and anonymous Demetrius Williams also walking at the end of the season, you have to be concerned that yet again the 35 year old Mason was the only serviceable receiver in Baltimore (9 for 142) and that there seems to be no developing weapon for Joe Flacco, who will only have to play more and more catch-up football as this defense continues to fray. Up Next: Pittsburgh Steelers
15 Tennessee Titans 4-6 up


Tennessee are hot right now and there is talk of the playoffs but if they want to get anywhere near the postseason they’ll have to win out, and with San Diego, Indianapolis and Arizona on the schedule that looks like a tough proposition. Up Next: Arizona Cardinals
16 Denver Broncos 6-4 down


Broncos blowing their easy chance at the playoffs… who’d have thunk it?! Wasn’t this the exact reason Mike Shanahan got fired? And can we write on Chris Simms’ gravestone “here lies Chris Simms: marginally worse than an ill prepared Kyle Orton with a broken ankle”? Up Next: New York Giants
17 Miami Dolphins 5-5 up


Wow… a ‘might not make play on Thursday night’ escalated into a ‘done for the year’ for Ronnie Brown, but it’s weird to consider that this team started without a receiving corps, lost its franchise quarterback and then also saw its feature back/pivot around which this whole offense operates go the way of IR and yet still came up trumps against Carolina. You know who sucks… Up Next: @Buffalo Bills
18 Jacksonville Jaguars 6-4 - Why do I write the same thing every time Jacksonville lose/nearly get embarrassed Jack Del Rio? Why? How about one more time: Buffalo suck against the run. Buffalo lack stud defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. You have possible MVP at running back. So why Mr. Del Rio do you wait until you’re sweating late to unleash pocket Herc? Up Next: @San Francisco 49ers
19 Atlanta Falcons 5-5 down


If Matt Ryan could of spring boarded his outstanding 08 rookie campaign into the most impressive fledgling quarterback career since Ben Roethlisberger way back in 2004, instead he’s become an inconsistent mess with a myriad of turnover problems. Get your head screwed on Matt! Up Next: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
20 New York Jets 4-6 down


New York are just insane with their play calling. Their studly front 7 and all pro secondary can’t be blamed if Rex Ryan decides putting the ball in the hands of Mr. INT to the San-Man-Zee is a smarter move than running 30+ times with their workhorse back. Up Next: Carolina Panthers
21 San Francisco 49ers 4-6 down


The 49ers barely flustered Aaron Rodgers which is going approaching the fat chick at the end of the night because you used to be hot before you mutilated yourself be crashing your bike 4 weeks ago, and then still getting rejected. Look deep and you’ll find insightful commentary on offensive vs. defensive line pressure somewhere in that metaphor. Real deep. Up Next: Jacksonville Jaguars
22 Washington Redskins 3-7 up


We know Jason Campbell isn’t much interested in playing football, neither has Washington’s offensive line, running backs or receivers, but now their kicker has given up?! A heroic defensive effort was put on the skids as Shaun Suisham missed two very makeable efforts. Up Next: @Philadelphia Eagles
23 Chicago Bears 4-6 - I can’t believe that Chicago were actually in the possession to win this game, because they really didn’t deserve to. Matt Forte’s legs go dead on contact and he has none of his 08 swagger, whilst Jay Cutler had some criminal overthrows. Up Next: @Minnesota Vikings
24 Carolina Panthers 4-6 down


…Carolina suck! I mulled over the idea preseason that the loss of Maake Kemoeatu would make this team susceptible to the run, but 119 yards to a clapped out Ricky Williams?! Ouch. Up Next: @New York Jets
25 Seattle Seahawks 3-7 - When the opposition can bench their quarterback at the start of the fourth, you know you’ve had a bad day. This score could have literally been anything. Up Next: @St. Louis Rams
26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-9 - Josh Freeball turned up again throwing 3 INTs and fumbling which haunted another otherwise impressive outing from the 3 game veteran. Up Next: @Atlanta Falcons
27 Kansas City Chiefs 3-7 up


Kansas City might not be able to beat the Raiders, but they sure can put a licking on the Steelers. I don’t get it either, but somewhere in between Ben Roethlisberger getting hurt and Troy Polamalu sitting on the sidelines Matt Cassel put together a decent drive – his first of the season, so congratulations Matt! Up Next: @San Diego Chargers
28 Buffalo Bills 3-7 down


I really hope this game plan of ‘get TO the ball no matter what’ is an anomaly, because in all reality TO will be gone next year and what do Buffalo have left on offense? No quarterback, no offensive line, a flaky run game and Lee ‘all or (more often than not) nothing’ Evans. Up Next: Miami Dolphins
29 Oakland Raiders 3-7 up


Let me tell you the scaaaaary tale of Emily Rose Gradkowski. There once was a serviceable backup who had limited playing time in Tampa before getting the nod over an overpaid, overweight, first overall bust, who played a mediocre game of football until the ghost of Peyton Mannings past, present and future possessed his body and he led one of the worst football teams to lace their cleats to a chilling 79 yard game winning drive featuring an impressive 4th and 10 conversion against the toughest team in football. Spooky, yet bizarrely reality. Up Next: @Dallas Cowboys
30 Detroit Lions 2-8 - Turns out two negatives make a positive. What the hell happened?! Did the NFL pull both franchises together and say “sorry guys. We have some Arena teams that would like a crack at the NFL, so can you guys not play defense and pad out your season stats to realistic levels?”.It was like Manning and Brady slugging it out last week, but in slow motion… and way way worse. Up Next: Green Bay Packers
31 St Louis Rams 1-9 down


Matt Leinart obviously needed the Rams to cover the spread, but other than Steven Jackson and Oshi Atogwe there is little light in the dark Rams tunnel.Up Next: Seattle Seahawks
32 Cleveland Browns 1-9 - I talked about this game being reminiscent of Brady and Manning slugging it out last week, so follow my logic on this: Manning has Reggie Wayne and a perfect record, Tom Brady has Randy Moss and three Super Bowls, Matthew Stafford has Megatron and a win on Sunday, and Brady Quinn has Mo Massaquoi, 9 losses and a girly arm. Oh and how stupid was Eric Mangini to call a timeout and allow a red hot Stafford to return to the game from injury just in time to hurl the over-clocked winning touchdown. Mike Holmgren? Yes please. Up Next: @Cincinnati Bengals

Be sure to check back next week with our NFL Power Rankings post week 12.