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Quitting time: Winners and losers from Week 11

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This was a banner week for quitting and rattling cages in the NFL. LeGarrette Blount pouted his way off the field Monday night after not getting any carries in Tennessee, guaranteeing that he would never touch the ball for Pittsburgh again.

Browns running back Ben Tate hasn't been thrilled with his role in Cleveland, and was summarily let go. Jason Avant criticized Ron Rivera for parking his Riverboat in 2013, and was summarily dismissed by the Panthers. (Rivera says that Avant's comments had nothing to do with the release.)

Niners linebacker Ahmad Brooks essentially quit on his team, taking off his cleats and cutting his ankle tape because he didn't want to be part of a rotation in San Francisco. And Marshawn Lynch called out the Seattle front office in comments to NFL Media columnist Michael Silver, a rare case in which Lynch was about more than just action.

Brooks and Lynch aren't gong anywhere this season because NFL teams have a sliding scale of transaction justice. Brooks and Lynch are too valuable to release, at least until February.

Here are some of the other winners and losers from Week 11:

Andy Reid's Coach of the Year candidacy: OK, so every coach is battling for second place behind Bruce Arians. But the job Reid is doing should not be ignored. The 7-3 Chiefs beat the defending champs in a game in which they lost the turnover battle (2-0) and threw just 16 passes, with just 18 yards gained from their wide receivers.

It's strange to see a Reid-led team win with the running game, including clever uses of De'Anthony Thomas. Reid even made a smart, game-changing challenge Sunday against Seattle. The end of days are near.

New England's chances to win the No. 1 seed: They have beaten the other three AFC division leaders by 70 points combined. That's hard to believe.

The legend of Jonas Gray: Who needs LeGarrette Blount when the Patriots' new power back can score four times on a Sunday night with a surprisingly entertaining straight-ahead style. Gray is so good that he gained two more yards Tuesday to up his total to 201 when a 2-yard loss was correctly taken off the ledger due to an accepted penalty. Plus, anyone that allows us to close the Around The NFL Podcast this way ...

Chris Borland: He's gone from a total unknown to a legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate in the span of a month. He is making as big an impact right now as any linebacker in the league. The 49ers have found foundation pieces in Borland and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch.

Green Bay Packers season ticket holders: At this point, wouldn't it be a surprise if the Packers didn't host a Divisional Round game. (If not the NFC Championship.)

San Diego's clock operator: Oakland wasn't going to get their first victory in nearly a year if they were given two more seconds on Sunday, but give the Chargers' clock operator credit for making sure.

Moving Down


Indianapolis' Confetti Boss: Premature confetti on Sunday night spawned a lot of great jokes on Twitter. If Peyton Manning was still with the Colts, this guy (or girl) would have been chastised publicly after the game.

Seattle Seahawks' urgency: I never expected the Seahawks' season to be on the line in Week 12, but that's how Sunday's game against Arizona feels. A loss would erase any chance to win the division. And if the Seahawks can't win tough games at home anymore, how are the going to win in Arizona, San Francisco and Philadelphia in games still on the schedule?

Cleveland Browns' playoff chances: Week 12 was supposed to be the turning point for this team. Get Josh Gordon back, and things were going to look up for this team. Instead, the Browns are coming off an ugly home loss against Houston with devastating injuries to underrated linebackers Karlos Dansby and Jabaal Sheard.

Anyone that bought an RGIII Redskins jersey: That thing might be out of date as early as next season. It would not be a huge surprise if Griffin is sent elsewhere, unless owner Dan Snyder wants to find a different coach to work with him.

San Diego Chargers: It's rare for a team to make this list after a win, but that's what the Chargers get for producing one of the most unwatchable games of the season coming off their bye.

Jim Caldwell's aggressiveness: The entire Cardinals-Lions game felt like an exercise in finding out what fourth-down situations Caldwell would punt on. (Hint: All of them.)

Saints' home invincibility: All of those winning streaks that dip back into previous years sound impressive -- until you realize this Saints team is a lot more like the 7-9 squad of 2012 that Sean Payton missed out on. (Yes, that season still counts.) The reality is that this Saints squad needed a miracle to beat Tampa at home and now could be facing a three-game home losing streak with Baltimore coming to town.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Sunday game from an action-packed Week 11. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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