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Favre's potential last meeting vs. Packers tops Week 11 stories

  • By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
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From Michael Vick seeking another huge game against a division foe to two of the all-time great quarterbacks squaring off, there's plenty to talk about in Week 11.

Here are the 10 things I will be watching closely:

1. Favre's last stand

The Vikings are down to their last gasp to stay in the NFC North race, and it's also probably the final time Brett Favre will face the Packers. Officials blew two touchdown calls in the Week 7 matchup that created a 14-point swing in favor of the Packers, who won 28-24. Sidney Rice could be back, and Favre has to deliver one of his greatest performances right now!

2. Brady vs. Manning

Two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play meet for the 12th time. Tom Brady is 7-4, including the playoffs, vs. Peyton Manning, but the latter is 4-1 in the last five matchups and has won two in a row at New England.

How about these combined numbers in 2010? They have a 13-5 record with 33 touchdown passes and only 25 sacks in 715 pass plays. Both quarterbacks are in the process of trying to win while their team goes through a youth movement and deals with injuries. The Patriots average 31.8 points a game at home, and the Colts average 26 on the road. This game should have at least six lead changes.

3. What can Vick do next?

Michael Vick played almost the perfect game in dismantling the Redskins. Meanwhile, Eli Manning leads a Giants team that averages 32.5 points a game away from the Meadowlands. In their last three road games -- all wins -- Manning and the Giants have averaged 38.7 points a game. Vick just put 59 on Washington, and the sky is the limit. Vick has yet to throw an interception in the two years he's been an Eagle. Manning has 12 touchdowns in road games.

4. Separation time

After 10 weeks, only 18 teams had a winning record. Since every team has played nine games, there are no teams at .500. This is separation week, and I suspect when the Monday night game ends, we will have no more than 15 teams with a winning mark. The league is starting to clearly divide into contenders and pretenders. As that happens, this is the last chance for teams like the Vikings, Chargers, Texans, and Redskins to get going.

5. Bye beware

This is the last week that teams come off a bye. Keep an eye on those squads, especially if they have a home game. Teams that fit that bill are 13-3 this year. The Saints and Chargers have a chance to improve that mark.

6. Streaks on the line

The Patriots have won 24 straight regular-season home games with Tom Brady under center. The Detroit Lions have dropped 25 on the road. The Titans are 12-0 vs. NFC teams. The 49ers went 0-for-11 on third down last week and won.

7. Rugged West

It doesn't matter if it's the NFC or AFC West, those teams don't travel well. They are 7-29 combined on the road. Oakland visits Pittsburgh, Arizona heads to Kansas City, Seattle is at New Orleans, and Denver goes to San Diego. I could easily see four more road losses.

8. Must-see TV

Texans WR Andre Johnson will face Jets CB Darrelle Revis. Last year, Revis held Johnson to four receptions for 35 yards.

Saints RB Reggie Bush should return to action and his old college teammate, Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu, will be covering him on screens, draws and quick pass routes.

Week 11 matchups to watch
Want to know what matchup you should be watching when your favorite team takes the field this week? Gil Brandt has the answer as he breaks down all the action. More ...

Raiders RB Darren McFadden is going to run into Steelers LB James Farrior more than a few times.

Vikings DE Jared Allen has 4.5 sacks in the last two games and meets Packers LT Chad Clifton. Allen got the best of him last year.

9. Making a name

When I was on my camp tour this summer, no one had anything to say about quarterbacks Colt McCoy, Troy Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, or Jon Kitna. However, they are hot topics in Week 11. McCoy and Smith have energized their teammates and fan bases, Kitna has been a fiery leader and Fitzpatrick reminds me of Rich Gannon.

McCoy, Smith and Kitna might save their coach's job, and a win this week will go a long way toward that cause. The Browns are 1-3 on the road and head to Jacksonville. The Cowboys have a chance at their first home win as they host the Lions. The Buccaneers head to San Francisco to face the 49ers.

10. Get rid of the huddle

I have been saying it for years, that the huddle is a dinosaur and needs to fade away. Look at the teams that use the no-huddle offense and move the ball. No-huddle doesn't mean two-minute drill or pass-happy systems. It means get to the line of scrimmage and run your offense, but first force the defense to show you what they are doing. Look for a no-huddle attack from the Colts, Patriots, Vikings, Jets, Saints, Chargers, and Falcons this week.

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