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NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31432424 A team effort is not enough A+team+effort+is+not+enough NFL

Two of the AFC's biggest powerhouses — the Steelers and the Ravens — look very different without their franchise cornerstones. The Ravens came into Sunday's game with the 27th-best defense in the league and without Ray Lewis. It showed, as they gave up 311 yards in the 13-10 win. Lewis (far left) made the trip to Pittsburgh despite being on the injured reserve-return list with a triceps injury. Without Ben Roethlisberger (with Lewis), whose return date is unknown, the Steelers managed only 177 net yards passing and needed a Byron Leftwich 31-yard run and a field goal to get to double digits. The Steelers (6-4) drop to two games behind the Ravens (8-2) in the AFC North.

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Keith Srakocic - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/19/111812-1-NFL-Lewis-Roethlisberger-OB-G_20121119011336172_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/19/111812-1-NFL-Lewis-Roethlisberger-OB-G_20121119011336172_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31430851 The Saints are playing more like the Saints The+Saints+are+playing+more+like+the+Saints NFL

After an 0-4 start, the Saints are starting to fire on all cylinders. A resounding 38-17 win over the Raiders brought the Saints back to .500 at 5-5. Drew Brees was 20 of 27 for 219 yards and three touchdowns — two of them to Lance Moore. On the other side of the ball, the defense was led by Malcolm Jenkins, who returned a Carson Palmer interception 55 yards for a score. The road won't be easy from here on out. Two of the next three are on the road, including the NFC East-leading Giants and South-leading Falcons.


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Cary Edmondson - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-LN-G3_20121118214415285_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-LN-G3_20121118214415285_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31430850 The hot seat's even warmer The+hot+seat%27s+even+warmer NFL

Have questions about Norv Turner's future ever really stopped? Turner’s offense failed him yet again in a 30-23 loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, dropping the Chargers to 4-6. In fact, until midway through the third quarter the Chargers' D accounted for all of the team's nine points. Philip Rivers completed only 24 of 40 passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Chargers have lost five of their last six and are three games behind the Broncos in the AFC West; the Broncos hold the tiebreaker.

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Jack Dempsey - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-LN-G2_20121118214415286_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-LN-G2_20121118214415286_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31430849 Indy's "Lucky" streak had to run out eventually Indy%27s+%26quot%3BLucky%26quot%3B+streak+had+to+run+out+eventually NFL

Admit it. No one was immune to the "magic" behind Indy's four-game winning streak without coach Chuck Pagano, who has inspired his team to win — and shave their heads in solidarity — while Pagano fought and beat leukemia into remission. But rookie QB Andrew Luck came back down to Earth on Sunday, facing the NFL's highest-scoring team, the New England Patriots. The Pats equaled their single-game scoring record for points in a 59-24 win. Luck was only 27 of 50 with three interceptions — but he did set a rookie record with his fifth 300-yard passing game. His counterpart, Tom Brady, was 24 of 35 for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Pagano is expected to return to the Colts for the team's season finale at home against Houston.

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Charles Krupa - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-LN-G1_20121118214415284_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-LN-G1_20121118214415284_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31437203 Dunkin' Donuts should sponsor the Cardinals Dunkin%27+Donuts+should+sponsor+the+Cardinals NFL

That's right, because they have a hole. Lame joke? Sure, but not nearly as lame as the Cardinals' efforts to find a passer since Kurt Warner's retirement. Neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton has been able to stay healthy or effective. On Sunday, the Cardinals turned to rookie Ryan Lindley in relief of Skelton. A raw talent out of San Diego State, he was supposed to be a developmental QB this year after being drafted in the sixth round. Instead, Lindley (pictured) was on the field, completing only 9 of 20 passes for 64 yards in his NFL debut, a 23-19 loss at Atlanta. The Cardinals were unable to capitalize on five interceptions thrown by Falcons QB Matt Ryan. Got to think Neil Lomax would have found a way to turn those turnovers into touchdowns. Even at age 53.

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Nick Wass - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G8_2012111817291389_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G8_2012111817291389_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31437199 It wasn't going to change It+wasn%27t+going+to+change NFL

Those Eagles fans who have been keeping local sports radio talk show hosts employed by calling for the benching of Michael Vick all season are going to have to find a new schtick. Not a thing changed with Nick Foles behind center on Sunday after Vick suffered a concussion last week. The Eagles still don't protect the quarterback. Vick wasn't taking all those hits because of slow reads or because he holds the ball too long, hoping to make a play with his legs. The Eagles simply don't have good protection schemes. Foles (pictured) was sacked four times and threw interceptions on his first two possessions as the Eagles fell 31-6 at Washington. Fellow rookie Robert Griffin III, meanwhile, was nearly perfect, going 14 of 15, passing for 200 yards. The gulf between the two QBs wasn't nearly as big as the one between the two teams.

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Nick Wass - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G2_2012111817283385_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G2_2012111817283385_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31437196 It's all in the timing It%27s+all+in+the+timing NFL

Sure, a passing game relies on the quarterback's ability to get in sync with his receivers. But in this case, we're talking about timing of the schedule. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who had completed less than half his passes five times this season, hit at a 75 percent clip Sunday (15 of 20). And the Jets won 27-13 at St. Louis to snap a three-game losing streak. It was no coincidence Sanchez (pictured) got healthy against the Rams. They haven't forced a turnover in five games, matching the longest such streak the NFL has seen since 1950, according to STATS LLC. Nothing like a comfort zone to improve a QB's accuracy.

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Tom Gannam - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G4_2012111817283383_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G4_2012111817283383_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31437195 It isn't getting better in KC It+isn%27t+getting+better+in+KC NFL

Once regarded as the toughest place for opponents to play, Arrowhead Stadium has become the toughest place for home fans to show their faces. The paper bags are plentiful. The stadium was half-full Sunday. Many Chiefs fans wore black in protest, a statement to ownership that the team is being mismanaged. And airplanes flew overhead with banners calling for the ouster of general manager Scott Pioli. The fans are putting on a better show than the team, which dropped to 1-9 with a lifeless, 28-6 loss to Cincinnati. Those fans who uncovered their eyes saw Peyton Hillis fumble, the team's 31st turnover of the year. That's more than three turnovers a game. Maybe a few giveaways for those fans would get them back in the seats.

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Ed Zurga - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G5_2012111817283381_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G5_2012111817283381_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31437200 Bucs play all 60 minutes Bucs+play+all+60+minutes NFL

Remember that brouhaha when rookie Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano had his defense charge the Giants on a kneel-down play? Schiano (pictured) shrugged, said his teams would play until the final whistle and then did the same thing the following week against the Cowboys. There was a lesson in there that paid off Sunday. The Buccaneers were down by 11 points with less than six minutes in regulation, only to rally for a 27-21 overtime victory at Carolina. Quarterback Josh Freeman was masterful in directing the Bucs 80 yards on seven plays in 50 seconds with no timeouts left, connecting with Vincent Jackson with 12 seconds left to set up a game-tying two-point conversion. The Panthers have lost fourth-quarter leads in five losses this season. Doubt that would be the case if Schiano was on their sideline instead of the opposite one.

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Bob Leverone - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G1_2012111817283380_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G1_2012111817283380_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31437197 Pity poor Justin Blackmon Pity+poor+Justin+Blackmon NFL

The Jaguars receiver had his breakout game with 236 yards on seven catches. But Blackmon happened to choose a Sunday in which Houston's Andre Johnson (pictured) took his All-Pro ways to a new level. The playmaker of all playmakers on the talented Texans offense, Johnson had 14 receptions for 273 yards, both career highs. And Houston needed every last catch to avoid a monumental upset, winning 43-37 in overtime. Johnson, naturally, had the game-winning honors, turning a screen pass from Matt Schaub into a 48-yard touchdown. Blackmon had to settle for being part of the first pair of opposing receivers to reach 200 yards in the same game.

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Brett Davis - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G6_2012111817283382_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G6_2012111817283382_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31437201 Rodgers has a new favorite Rodgers+has+a+new+favorite NFL

The Green Bay Packers will be riding a five-game winning streak into their playoff rematch next week against the New York Giants. Wide receiver Randall Cobb (pictured, No. 18) is no small reason. He has 32 receptions during those five wins, providing a steady target for quarterback Aaron Rodgers during a time the Pack's receiver corps was in flux because of injuries. Cobb matched his season high Sunday with nine catches as Green Bay survived a tough divisional road game, 24-20 at Detroit. Cobb had the go-ahead touchdown in the final two minutes. And it came with big-threat receiver Jordy Nelson back from injury, an indication Rodgers will keep looking his way.

Highlights
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Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G7_2012111817285187_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G7_2012111817285187_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 11 31437198 Jerry Jones isn't completely crazy Jerry+Jones+isn%27t+completely+crazy NFL

Sure, the Cowboys' owner is a bit, uh, eccentric. But he's not out of touch with reality. There's a reason he has stood by troubled receiver Dez Bryant — Jones puts a premium on talent. Jones turned a deaf ear to those who said the headaches outweighed anything Bryant might bring to the table. The jury — excuse the term, Dez — is still out on which camp is right, but Bryant bolstered Jones' argument in a big way Sunday. He pulled in 12 receptions for 145 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys' otherwise lackluster 23-20 overtime victory vs. Cleveland. The Cowboys, noted for blowing leads, this time surged back from a 13-0 halftime deficit. Of course, with Bryant the day's not a complete success until he has gotten through the postgame celebration without incident, too.

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Brandon Wade - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G3_2012111817283384_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/11/18/111812-NFL-lessons-EN-G3_2012111817283384_107_80.JPG
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