Up The Gut: Week 11

By Shaun Morash

The Watercooler

                  None of us should have been rooting for the end of Peyton Manning’s career, but we all now need to face the reality that it is over for 18. The excuse in the offseason was injury, and Peyton would be just fine. That injury, however, was a telltale sign that Manning’s body was breaking down. Now it officially has.

The entire offseason situation with bringing Manning back was unfair to new Head Coach Gary Kubiak. Manning was not made for his offense, as crazy as that sounds. Now Gary Kubiak will get his chance, thanks to an injury, to implement the offense he wants, an offense Brock Osweiler can run. The public assumption is if Manning takes a few weeks off with his foot injury, then he will be raring to go refreshed for one last playoff run. If the offense is clicking under Osweiller, with the defense as good as it has been, how could you possibly give the ball back to Peyton Manning? John Elway and Gary Kubiak may ultimately get backlash if this happens, but it will not only be better for the long term, but perhaps better for the short term as well in Denver.

Ten Yard Gain

1- Patriots-Giants was the NFL’s best game of the year. Intrigue of a close 1st half. This was followed by a potential upset with lead changes a plenty in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. The Giants once again laid the blue print for how to beat New England. Can the Giants possibly use this like they did in 2007 to make an unexpected run?

2-Julian Edelman being lost until the post season will be a major blow to the Patriots offense. Losing Dion Lewis hurt, losing Solder hurt, losing Edelman though is by far the biggest blow to the Patriots since Rob Gronkowski was hurt heading into Super Bowl 46.

3- The Nick Foles era in St.Louis appears over. With the Rams still in the wild card mix, but teetering on falling distantly behind, the Rams are turning to Case Keenum. Rarely do two teams both win on a trade, but I can’t remember two teams losing big time on a trade the way the Rams and Eagles have with the Nick Foles deal.

4- Chip Kelly once again over thought himself and tried to show the world what a genius he was by having Sanchez throw a duck into the end zone when the team was in field goal territory in the 4th quarter. Chip Kelly will be the death blow to this Eagles team in 2015. He still hasn’t grasped that he is coaching against professional defenses.

5- The Dallas Cowboy went 0-7 without Tony Romo. Yet, too many people believe they can run the table with Romo returning this week. The quarterback is the most important part of a football team. However, if you have a good team you find a way to go 2-5 at a minimum in a 7 week period without your starter, Dallas has far bigger roster problems than just the fact Romo was out.

6-Rex Ryan’s overreaction in celebrating his team holding on for dear life vs the Jets Thursday night was an utter embarrassment. In fact the whole night was. Rex fed into his return game, and had the never to tell the media the game wasn’t about him. If that was the case Rex, then decline the invite to do an entire game open surrounding you.

7- I was wrong to tell Packers fans to relax last week. I was even more wrong to pick them to romp the Lions on Sunday. The Packers struggles are real. They make the NFC completely wide open come playoff time, for anyone, in any seed, to make a run to Santa Clara.

8- One of the most swept under the rug reports in the NFL this week centered on the fact Brian Hoyer had “memory loss,” with his concussion Monday Night. When we as fans hear a player has a concussion and roll our eyes and think they are soft is they don’t play the following week we look ignorant. Imagine having memory loss and running back out on a field ever again, let alone a week or two later?

9- Andy Dalton whining about JJ Watt’s post game trash talking comments is quite alarming. Any franchise quarterback that gets dissed would laugh that off. Brady, Manning, Rodgers, literally any of them, except for Andy Dalton? Just when I was starting to become a believer in the Bengals, loss or no loss vs Houston, Dalton sucked that out of me by speaking that way.

10- To close out the Ten Yard Gain we bid farewell to Rob Ryan who is once again gone from a team as their defensive coordinator. While we should never truly root for somebody to lose a job, to lose their livelihood, we can all rejoice in knowing we won’t have to have constant shots of him on the sideline like he is an accomplished Head Coach.

Five Games To Chew On

5 Cuban Sandwiches Game of The Week: Cowboys @ Dolphins- The Miami Dolphins find themselves hanging on by a thread in the AFC Wild Card picture, needing to at least win their home games to have the belief they can rally. The Cowboys are done, but somehow folks in Texas think they aren’t if Romo can run the table. We will find out Sunday if the Cowboys problems go deeper than simply missing Romo for 7 weeks.

4 Boston Cream Donuts Game of the Week: Bills @ Patriots- We all were juice up for these two team’s 1st meeting of the year. The Patriots ultimately shut up the mouthy Bills. This game is different however. The Patriots are coming off perhaps their most emotional game of the year and are beginning to spring leaks, mainly due to the injury to Julian Edelman. This is a much bigger game for the Bills, and I suspect another close game for New England in the 4th quarter.

3 Orders of Carolina Pulled Pork Game of the Week: Redskins @ Panthers- Carolina has to lose sooner or later, right? The Redskins come in as confidently as the franchise has been since RG3’s rooky year in December. The Panthers defense can make Kirk Cousins look like he should look, or perhaps this is the ultimate slip up game for Cam and the crew at home.

2 Chimichanga’s Game of the Week: Bengals @ Cardinals- Thank goodness for flexing Sunday Night Football games. We now get this solid game in primetime. The Cardinals are tough at home, but come off a huge divisional win. This will be a real test for the Bengals will on a short week off a loss. We aren’t sure which one of these two teams, if any, is an actual Super Bowl contender, but we may have a better idea when this game wraps up.

1 Juice Lucy Game of the Week: Packers @ Vikings- At 6-3 the Packers shouldn’t hit the panic button. At 6-4 and two games behind in their division they should. This is a huge game for Green Bay to get its mind right. The Vikings can look at this game as a bit of house money. A win for Teddy Bridgewater will have some wondering if Minnesota may actually be the best team not named the Panthers in the NFC.

My Picks

I am having a brutal 3 week stretch. I went 0-3 last week to drop my once vaunted record to 18-13.

Bucs +5.5 @ Eagles- Mark Sanchez showed signs of not being prepare doff the bench last week. He simply is not good enough to bear anyone by a touchdown right now. The Bucs are pesky and are feeling confident after a tight win vs the Cowboys. I expect a tight game and an eagles win by no more than a field goal. The Eagles haven’t convinced anyone they are ready to beat up an inferior opponent and won’t start here.

Broncos +1 @ Bears- Chicago is playing much better and surprising many. Jay Cutler, however, has a chance to really turn the ball over vs this opportunistic Broncos defense. Denver will rally around the young Brock Osweiler, and the Broncos offense may actually look crisper. This game will be won by turnovers Cutler loses that battle here.

Raiders -1.5 @ Lions- The Raiders home loss to the Vikings disappointed me. Vegas is begging you to take the Lions off of a win in Green Bay by making them home dogs here. I’m not buying it. The Lions have stunk all year, now they are going to put together a two game win streak over two teams better than him? No way, no how, Oakland grabs a big time road victory and cover.

Football Food of the Week

Upon request from CBS Sports Radio’s own Jay Berman, we will give you a throwback Football Food of the Week. This one was a smash hit from Week 2 of last season:

Buffalo Chicken Balls. I must give credit to my neighbor, and lifelong Packers fan, Richie who brought these to my home last Sunday. Essentially what these are, are Buffalo Chicken dip, battered and fried into perfectly crispy balls. Jam packed with flavorful Buffalo Chicken, melted cheese’s and ranch. The crispness to this is so key; you need a nice firm ball so that it does not fall apart in one bite. I have attached the recipe here. You better make these Sunday if you love life. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buffalo-chicken-dipping-balls/

Thanks for reading and enjoy Week 11. You can Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS

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