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NFL Week 12 Winners And Losers: Winners (Packers, Brees, Janikowski, More) And Losers (Suh, Reid, More)

In this installment of Thoughts & Observations from Week 12 of the NFL season, we break down the top four winners and the top four losers from the week that was. Have your own thoughts? Let everyone know in the comments section below. But, for now, it's time for some winners and losers.

Greg Jennings and the Packers are 11-0. (AP photo)
* Green Bay Packers: I'm not sold on the Packers being unbeatable this season, not even close. The Packers may end the season undefeated, but doing it against the NFC and the AFC West isn't exactly a murder's row of competition. It might not be until the Super Bowl that Green Bay gets handed its first defeat, which would be their toughest competition of the season. Still, the Packers were impressive in their victory over the Lions on Thanksgiving day, a 27-15 final that wasn't even that close. This was a game I could have easily seen Detroit pulling off the upset, with the home crowd behind them and playing on national television. For a half, the Lions were in the game, but Green Bay took them apart in the second half in an easy win to improve to 11-0. Aaron Rodgers threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns and the Packers defense actually looked like a pro unit for once, forcing three interceptions in the game. As for going undefeated in the regular season, the only test is this week at the Giants. Get past that and the Packers might not be challenged against Oakland, Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit.

Drew Brees. (AP)
* Drew Brees: The Saints quarterback was at his best in beating a desperate Giants team Monday night, throwing for 363 yards and scoring five total touchdowns, including four through the air in a 49-24 victory. The Saints needed the big performance from Brees as the win kept them one game ahead of the Falcons, who defeated the Vikings on Sunday, in the NFC South. Tight end Jimmy Graham deserves mention as well, as he caught five passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. But, of course, it was Brees throwing him the ball. "There's that confidence that players around him have, and obviously we have in him," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "He made some fantastic throws tonight."

Sebastian Janikowski. (AP)
* Sebastian Janikowski: With the way Janikowski is kicking this season it's almost an unfair weapon for the Raiders to have. Janikowski is having the best season of his career and he may have had the best week of his career Sunday against the Bears. The Raiders kicker nailed a team-record six field goals and totaled 19 of the 27 Oakland points in the game. Janikowski made field goals from 40,47, 42, 19, 37 and 44 yards. The Raiders also have the best punter in the game, Shane Lechler, who had a team-record 80-yard punt in the game. Lechler had a net average of 49.2 yards against Devin Hester and the Bears. "Those guys are game-changers," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "There's not many punter-kicker combinations in the league ... there can't be a better one."

Joe Flacco. (AP)
* Baltimore Ravens: John Harbaugh and the Ravens got the victory over Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers on Thanksgiving night and in turn Baltimore retained control of the AFC North. The win also proved the Ravens could not only beat one of the NFC's best teams, but do so in dominating fashion. That, of course, was a victory for the entire AFC as well, as it proved the NFC is second-class citizens in the league, even with the Packers being undefeated. But for the Ravens, this game against San Francisco meant more because of the opponent and circumstance. "I think the No. 1 game plan was to win the Harbaugh Bowl," Terrell Suggs said. "Coach tried to downplay it - act like it's not me against my brother, this is the Ravens vs. the 49ers and let's get win No. 8 and make sure our destiny is in our own hands - but it was really important to him. We as a team went out there and really wanted to win for him."

College GameDay Rewind Week 13: Syracuse Must Fire Jim Boeheim, Jaguars Finally Do Right And Dump Jack Del Rio, Plus College Football

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim should be fired. (AP photo)
The coaching hot seat has risen to intense levels all over the professional and college sports world. While that may not be so uncommon at this time of year, with football seasons reaching their conclusions, the fact the biggest coaching controversy surrounds college basketball is surprising, if not shocking.

Already several head coaches and coordinators have been fired across the NFL and college football, and others are likely to follow over the next few weeks, but the biggest coach in hot water right now is Syracuse head man Jim Boeheim.

If you're unfamiliar with the controversy surrounding Boeheim and the Syracuse basketball program, here is a quick rundown. Three alleged victims have come forward with claims that longtime Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine molested them when they were children. Boeheim immediately fired back at the original two victims who came forward, calling them liars and attacking their credibility. Then, after the third alleged victim came forward and a taped phone conversation from 2002 was provided that had Fine's wife Laurie talking about her husband's alleged sexual interactions with young boys in an indirect manner, Fine was fired and Boeheim backtracked from his comments.

BCS Rankings: LSU And Alabama Will Play For Title, But Oklahoma State Has One Chance Left To Impress

Win or lose SEC title game, LSU could play in BCS title game. (AP photo)
There doesn't appear to be anything now that can stop an LSU-Alabama rematch in the national championship game. The latest batch of BCS rankings came out tonight and the Tigers and Crimson Tide have solidified themselves as the clear first- and second-ranked teams. Oklahoma State is third, Stanford is fourth and Virginia Tech is fifth.

Barring a huge upset in the SEC title game, and that might not even matter at this point, two teams from the same conference will play for the national championship. LSU is No. 1 and has a perfect score in the BCS rankings. The Tigers have one game left, the SEC championship against No. 14 Georgia. Win that game and LSU plays for the championship. Even with a loss, the Tigers will still most likely finish in the top two of the rankings and will play for the title.

Jets Analysis: Breaking Down AFC Playoff Chase, Including Jets Chances Against Bengals, Titans, Broncos

Plaxico Burress, Dustin Keller and the Jets got a big win. (AP photo)
The biggest outcome for the Jets Sunday was, of course, their own. The thrilling 28-24 victory over the Bills keeps them alive in the AFC wild card hunt, which appears to be sixth-seed or bust this season. But aside from handling their own business, which included knocking the Bills out of the logjam of teams who entered the week at 5-5, things did not go in their favor in Week 12.

We'll start with the game that mattered most. With the victory over the Bills the Jets remain in the hunt for the wild card. A loss would have been killer, as they would be a full game behind three teams and two games behind the Cincinnati Bengals, who currently hold the sixth-seed, in the playoff chase. The Jets also effectively ended the season of the Bills. Buffalo was 5-5 coming into the game, so the Jets took care of one of their chief rivals, as they dropped to 5-6.

Over in Cincinnati, the Cleveland Browns gave the Jets and their fans hope by leading the heavily-favored Bengals 20-10 late in the third quarter. A victory by the Browns would have been huge for the Jets, as the Bengals would have dropped a game and would have joined the new logjam of teams at 6-5. But the Browns couldn't hold the lead and the Bengals won on a field goal in the final minute. So, the Bengals are 7-5 and hold the six-seed as of right now. Depending on the Steelers' result against the Chiefs late tonight, that could change. But, either way, their victory keeps them a game ahead of the Jets. As I've written the past few weeks, the Bengals are key in the Jets' hopes of reaching the postseason.

Over in Tennessee, the script was the exactly the same for the Jets and their fans. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were leading the Titans 17-10 in the third quarter and 17-13 in the fourth quarter. The Titans were the third team at 5-5 to take the field during the early games Sunday, so a loss here would drop them a game behind the Jets and two games behind the Bengals. But the Titans didn't do the Jets any favors, scoring 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat the Bucs 23-17. The victory by the Titans keeps them in the chase with the Jets at 6-5.

Over in San Diego, the game may have started in the four o'clock hour, but you guessed it, the script stayed the same. The Chargers, who themselves were in desperate need of a victory, led the game 13-10 in the final moments before the Broncos kicked the game-tying field goal and then won in overtime. This was a frustrating game for Jets fans, as the Broncos again couldn't find any kind of offense until late in the game and still found a way to win with Tim Tebow at quarterback. With the win, the Broncos join the Jets and Titans at 6-5. The worst part of this victory by Denver is they own the tiebreaker over the Jets. The Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers continued their horrible play this season, falling to 4-7 and effectively ending their season.

On a side note, coach Norv Turner shouldn't last the season in San Diego. The Chargers should end that union this week based not only on the season as a whole but by how Turner called the game to set up the potential game-winning field goal in overtime. The biggest boneheaded call came on a third-and-six play from the Denver 31. The Chargers called a run to Mike Tolbert that ended up losing four yards. It turned a potential 48-yard field goal into a 53-yard attempt. With the call, the Chargers showed they were content to kick a 48-yard field goal to win a game in overtime. That is pure stupidity. Now, the Chargers are out of the playoffs and Turner will most likely be out of a job.

The day as a whole may not have been perfect for the Jets, but two teams on the fringe were knocked out of position, and the Jets solidified their own spot for one more week. There are five more games to be played, so there is plenty of time to make a move for all the teams still in the playoff hunt.

Next week, the Jets travel to Washington to take on the Redskins (4-7). The Titans travel to the Bills, who just fell to 5-6 after losing to the Jets. The Broncos have the easiest game of the week, taking on the Vikings (2-9) in Minnesota. The most important game of the week has the Bengals traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. If the Steelers hold onto their halftime lead Sunday night against the Chiefs, they would be 8-3 and hold the first wild card spot in the AFC playoffs. They would be one game ahead of the Bengals and two over the Jets, Titans and Broncos. If the Steelers somehow lose to the Chiefs, it would open up the possibility for another wild card spot to fight for. The Steelers would be 7-4, tied with the Bengals and one game ahead of the trio of 6-5 teams.

The other interesting thing to note in the playoff bracket is the two wild card teams would have a great shot at advancing in the postseason. Figuring the Ravens and Patriots own the first two seeds in the playoff bracket, that would leave the Raiders and Texans as the final two division winners. Those two would then play, based on talent and probably some hope as well, the Steelers and the Jets. The Steelers would be favored over the Raiders and the Jets would be favored over the Texans (who lost another quarterback today when Matt Leinart was possibly lost for the season.)

So, yes, these wild card spots are immensely valuable beyond the simple reward for making the playoffs.

The road may not have gotten easier for the Jets, but the only thing that matters is the team is still in the conversation. After losses to the Patriots and Broncos had the team reeling, that is huge.

Jets Defeat Bills: We Hand Out Game Balls (Final Drive, Plaxico, Keller, Maybin, More) And Game Falls (Revis, Cromartie, Sanchez)

We're handing out game balls and game falls after the Jets saved their season with a exciting, nerve-racking victory over the Buffalo Bills, 28-24. The Jets are 6-5 and remain alive in the hunt for the sixth and final wild card spot.

The Game Balls
Santonio Holmes celebrates his touchdown. (AP photo)
* The Final Drive: Save for one ill-timed shovel pass, the final drive of the game for the Jets' offense was season-defining and, better yet, season-saving. The Jets took over at their own 18 with 5:44 to play and down 24-21. Conventional wisdom says the Jets would get no more than two cracks on offense with that much time left, considering a quick, failed Bills drive followed a quick, failed Jets drive. But the Jets decided right away this drive would be it for them and their playoff chances. Coach Rex Ryan and the Jets were going to either win or lose the game on this possession. That meant there would be no sense of urgency. There would be no rushing to the line of scrimmage. There would be no throwing the ball downfield for no reason. The Jets were playing to win the game. Of course, that was a risky move considering the Jets and quarterback Mark Sanchez had struggled all day long on offense. The gamble, however, paid off in a big way, as Sanchez and company drove the ball downfield, going 67 yards in 12 plays, and ultimately scored the go-ahead touchdown on a beautiful roll-out and pass from Sanchez to Santonio Holmes in the end zone. This was the best the Jets have looked in weeks and it couldn't have come at a better time. Sanchez needed a big drive for his plummeting confidence. In the end, he got his ninth career game-winning scoring drive. Sanchez, Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Patrick Turner all came up with big plays on a must-have scoring drive. The drive and subsequent victory was more meaningful considering the Bengals and Titans both pulled off late, comeback wins themselves. A loss by the Jets would have killed their playoff hopes. The Jets and Titans are now 6-5 and trail the Bengals at 7-4 by a game. The Bills are all but eliminated at 5-6. The Broncos, at 5-5, are playing a late game against the Chargers (4-6). The Jets need a win by the Chargers. Either way, this final drive allows everyone to continue to follow the playoff chase for at least another week.

Week 13 College Football Picks: No. 3 Arkansas At No. 1 LSU, Alabama At Auburn, Ohio St. At Michigan, More

Wisconsin will beat Penn State Saturday. (AP photo)
Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
Last Week: 3-4 (spread); 3-4 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 3-4 (spread)
This Season: 47-36-1 (spread); 64-20 (overall); 5-3 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season: 47-36-1 (spread)

No. 3 Arkansas at No. 1 LSU, 2:30 p.m., CBS
The Skinny: We get an early college football treat Friday afternoon as this BCS mega-showdown goes down. LSU is the best team in the nation, and a case could be made, if the Tigers beat Arkansas, they shouldn’t even have to play a BCS championship game. After all, LSU has beat all comers this season, and shouldn’t have to play another game to prove it’s the nation’s best. Of course, that will never happen. Arkansas could put itself in the national title game with a victory over LSU. If the Hogs do win, all hell will again break loose in the BCS. The Pick: LSU (-13.5) wins it 38-24.

NFL Week 11 Winners And Losers: Winners (Stafford, Locker, More) & Losers (Giants, Bears, Bills, More)

In this installment of Thoughts & Observations from Week 11 of the NFL season, we break down the top four winners and the top four losers from the week that was. Have your own thoughts? Let everyone know in the comments section below. But, for now, it's time for some winners and losers.

Matthew Stafford three five touchdowns. (AP photo)
* Matthew Stafford: The Carolina Panthers led the Detroit Lions 24-7 in the second quarter and 27-14 at the half, so it appeared Cam Newton and company were about to deliver a big shot to the Lions' playoff hopes. But Stafford and the Detroit offense wasn't about to go down quietly. Stafford led the Lions to three straight touchdowns to take the lead, and after Newton brought the Panthers back to tie it again, Detroit sealed the game with two more touchdowns in the final minutes to close out a comeback victory. Stafford threw five touchdown passes in the game, with the game-winner coming with 2:32 to play. The Lions have a huge matchup on Thanksgiving (when was the last time we could have written that?) against the undefeated Green Bay Packers, so going in on a winning note was almost a necessity to keep that big-game feel. Stafford made it happen for the Lions Sunday against the Panthers.

Kevin Smith. (AP)
* Kevin Smith: I hate to pick two individual players from the same team for the "winners" list, but I had to make an exception here. Smith was out of a job two weeks ago when his former team, the Lions, brought him back for another go-around. When Jahvid Best took control of the position last season Smith found himself the odd man out, and out of work, but an injury to Best gave Smith another chance. And man did he take advantage of the opportunity. Smith ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-clinching scamper from 19 yards out to help the Lions beat the Panthers. He will start against Thursday against the Packers. "There are a lot of great stories in the NFL, but you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a better one right now than Kevin Smith," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "I knew that in this league, if you are available and you have talent, you'll get a chance," Smith said. Smith made the most of his.

Matt Moore. (AP)
* Matt Moore: Here's a shocker - the left-for-dead Dolphins have won three games in a row and quarterback Matt Moore is a main reason for the resurgence. Moore threw for 160 yards and three touchdowns in a complete annihilation of the slumping Buffalo Bills Sunday. The Dolphins led the game 28-6 at the half and cruised to a 35-8 win over their AFC East rival. Moore is making a case to remain the starting quarterback for the Dolphins, and at the very least, if he keeps winning, the team won't have the chance to "Suck for Luck" anymore. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a virtual lock to be the top draft choice this coming April and the Dolphins were thought to be one of his major pursuers. Moore may force Miami to think about a different direction. "Guys around me are making big plays and making it easy for the quarterback," Moore said. "It's such a good feeling."

Jake Locker. (AP)
* Jake Locker: The Tennessee Titans may not have gotten a victory Sunday against the Falcons, losing 23-17 on the road, but they may have gotten something more important. An injury to starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck paved the way for Locker to prove what he can do on the field. And Locker did not disappoint. The former Washington passer took over late in the third quarter and almost pulled off a tremendous comeback. Locker threw two touchdown passes to turn a 23-3 deficit into a one-possession game late. Unfortunately, the Titans defense couldn't make a final stop in the game, allowing the Falcons to run out the clock after converting a big third-down to seal the deal. But Locker was everything Hasselbeck wasn't in the game, the biggest being the fact he gave Tennessee hope. There should be no question going forward, Locker is the future and present for the Titans, who still have playoff hopes this season.

College GameDay Rewind Week 12: Making Sense Of BCS Title Game Chase, Bill Belichick Is Classless Again & Mariano Rivera Is Greatest

LSU is the clear No. 1 team in the nation. (AP photo)
Thanks to Oregon coach Chip Kelly and his gross mismanagement of the game clock in the closing minutes of a loss to Southern Cal, the rematch no true college football fan wanted to see is almost a guarantee to happen. LSU and Alabama, barring any upsets, will play for the national championship.

That, of course, would be a rematch of their regular season game, which ended with LSU beating Alabama 9-6 in the most boring overtime game in history. Now we’ll most likely be getting to watch Field Goal Fest II on the biggest stage of them all. Oh, joy.

But Brad, you might be asking the computer screen, if not Alabama against top-ranked LSU, then who deserves to play for the national title? The quick answer is no one. The long answer is … well … no one. That’s no fun, however, so here are the contenders to play LSU for the national crown.

BCS Rankings: LSU And Alabama Set Up For Rematch In National Championship, But Arkansas And Oklahoma State Are Still Alive

LSU remained No. 1 in the latest BCS standings. (AP photo)
The BCS standings came out tonight and the first three teams aren't surprising: No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Arkansas were the easy choices at the top of the board. Oklahoma State, even though it lost for the first time Friday night against Iowa State, was a higher-than-expected fourth. Virginia Tech, the team I pegged in the fourth-slot, was fifth.

Even though the odds favor a rematch between LSU and Alabama in the BCS national championship, the Cowboys' ranking opens the race up just a bit. It's very unlikely Oklahoma State slips into the national title game, even with one or two upsets in the final weeks, but anything is possible, especially with the BCS computers having the Cowboys ranked No. 2.

Jets Analysis: Jets Playoff Hopes Improve After Games Go Their Way

The Bengals losing to Baltimore was big for the Jets. (AP photo)
I'm not sure if this should count as a great day or a frustrating one for the New York Jets and their fans. With the Jets' playoff hopes severely dented after a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos Thursday night, Rex Ryan's crew needed a host of things to happen today to regain their place among the wild card possibilities.

First, the Jets needed the Ravens to beat the Bengals Sunday afternoon, as Baltimore owns the tiebreaker over New York, meaning the Bengals would be the easier team to jump for the sixth-seed. The Ravens came through with a 31-24 victory, holding off Cincinnati deep in Baltimore territory in the final moments. The victory by Baltimore puts them into a first place tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers at 7-3 each. The Ravens own the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh. Cincinnati falls to 6-4, which is one game ahead of the Jets for the sixth wild card spot.

BCS Chaos: Chip Kelly Coaches Oregon Out Of BCS Title Game With Embarrassing Final Drive, Sets Up Alabama Vs LSU Rematch

Thanks to Chip Kelly, Oregon dropped its chances at a title. (AP photo)
I don't know what's worse, the embarrassingly bad clock management by Oregon coach Chip Kelly during the final drive against Southern Cal Saturday night, or the fact his terrible coaching means Alabama will play LSU for the national championship. Both are so horrifying I can't pick which one is worse.

First, let's get to Oregon's 38-35 loss to Southern Cal at home Saturday night. After an almost miraculous fumble recovery on defense as USC was driving for a game-clinching touchdown, the Ducks took over at their own 14 with 2:54 to go and three timeouts to use. Oregon was in the midst of an unbelievable comeback, as the deficit was cut from 38-14 to a one-field goal game. Oregon drove downfield and got the ball to the Southern Cal 20 before attempting a potential game-tying kick.

Iowa State Beats Oklahoma State: It's Chaos In BCS As Cowboys' Loss Opens Title Game Spot For Alabama, Oregon

Iowa State brought chaos to the BCS Thursday night. (AP photo)
If you weren't paying attention to the college football scene Friday night, you missed a shocking result that sent the entire BCS into a state of chaos. While that may seem commonplace this time of year, this shock wave delivered a sonic boom to the entire Big 12, while giving sudden hope to two programs previously left for dead.

No. 2 Oklahoma State entered its Friday night road game against Iowa State with a 10-0 record, the first time in program history that mark had been reached. More importantly, the Cowboys were guaranteed the opportunity to play for a national championship if they could win their final two games of the season. Two weeks from now, Oklahoma would be coming to town for the biggest game in Oklahoma State history. That would be the one and only challenge left in this dream season for the Cowboys.

But Iowa State wasn't ready to roll over and watch the coronation of Oklahoma State. In double overtime, the Cyclones knocked the Cowboys off their perch with a shocking 37-31 victory. Oklahoma State's season is now over. Brandon Weeden's Heisman candidacy is now over. And, oh yeah, the Oklahoma Sooners' season is over too. Oklahoma needed Oklahoma State to win this game to set up the final matchup in the regular season finale. If the Sooners played and beat an undefeated Oklahoma State squad, they could find themselves jumping to the top of the class among one-loss teams.

Well, goodbye to that. Oklahoma's done. You might as well give Iowa State two victories tonight, because they ripped the heart right out of the chests of both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

Iowa State also gave life to Alabama and Oregon, a pair of one-loss teams that were hoping for any slither of possibility to make it back into the national title picture. Oregon helped both team's cases last week by knocking off undefeated Stanford. Top-ranked LSU beat both Alabama and Oregon this season, but the Tide lost on their home field, while the Ducks lost on neutral soil. That should give the edge to Oregon.

LSU, as I've written here before, should in no way be forced to play and beat Alabama a second time when the Tigers already beat the Tide as four-and-a-half point underdogs on the road. It's just not fair to LSU. Oregon, on the other hand, played more or less a road game against the Tigers on the opening weekend of the college football season in Dallas. The Ducks have rolled since then and should deserve a rematch with LSU if things stayed the same.

Of course, unless there is a change in the BCS standings, Alabama appears to be the favorite to slip into the title game over Oregon. It might not be right, but it's the most likely outcome right now. All that could also change in a heartbeat, as Oregon could easily lose to Southern Cal Saturday night, just like Alabama could fall at No. 24 Auburn in its season finale.

Chaos has ensued in the BCS and it's not even Saturday afternoon yet. Only in college football.

Week 12 College Football Picks: Southern Cal At Oregon, Nebraska At Michigan, LSU At Ole Miss And More

Michigan will defeat Nebraska Saturday afternoon. (AP photo)
Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
Last Week: 5-2 (spread); 6-1 (overall); 1-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 4-3 (spread)
This Season: 44-32-1 (spread); 61-16 (overall); 5-3 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season: 44-32-1 (spread)

Southern Cal at No. 4 Oregon, 8 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: Oregon, as predicted right here, upset Stanford on the road to not only knock the Cardinal from the unbeaten list, but put itself back into the national title picture. If Oklahoma State or LSU stumbles over the final weeks of the season, Oregon could slip into the title game over Alabama. It won’t be easy, but a victory here over Southern Cal would be another step toward that goal, not to mention a spot in the Pac-12 championship game. USC ranks second in the conference in run defense, but Oregon is fifth in the nation in rush yards. The Pick: Oregon (-14.5) wins it 45-28.

Jets Analysis: Jets Loss To Broncos Allows Others Back Into AFC Wild Card Chase, Hurts Own Chances

Mark Sanchez and the Jets allowed the Broncos back in it. (AP photo)
Last week it was the AFC East that was thrown away after the Jets were embarrassed at home by the New England Patriots. This week it could be an AFC wild card spot that is thrown in the thrash after a bewildering defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos.

Not only did the Jets lose to the Tim Tebow-led Broncos, but they allowed a host of other teams back into the playoff chase, including a Denver team that now holds the tiebreaker over New York. We'll learn a lot more after a Sunday of NFL action, but here is the latest in the Jets chances of making the playoffs.

Jets Lose To Broncos: We Hand Out Ton Of Game Falls After Shocking And Embarrassing Loss To Broncos

We're handing out game balls and game falls after the Jets embarrassed themselves again Thursday night, falling to the Denver Broncos, 17-13. The Jets are 5-5 and put a serious dent in their hopes for a wild card spot in the AFC.

The Game Falls
Plaxico Burress and Brian Schottenheimer. (AP photo)
* Jets Football: This is the most embarrassing loss I can remember in this new era of Jets football. How does this team lose to a terrible Denver Broncos team with an even worse quarterback? How does the Jets defense allow Tim Tebow to drive a team 95 yards for the game-winning touchdown? How does the Jets offense score just 13 points, including the lone touchdown on a fumble recovery by an offensive lineman? There's a lot of questions, but almost no answers. The aftermath here doesn't bring forth the anger that followed the loss to the Patriots last week, this is more utter disbelief. What isn't in doubt right now is the Jets just aren't a good football team. At 5-5 on the season, the Jets are suddenly on the outside looking in for a wild card spot. The only thing that can save the season is the weak schedule awaiting the team. The Jets can realistically win every single game on the schedule. Then again, the Jets could probably lose every single game left on the schedule. The offense and Mark Sanchez looked like the clueless Broncos all game long. We'll get to Sanchez in detail shortly, but for the first time in his time as quarterback of the Jets, I'm ready to agree he has regressed this season. He has been terrible the last two weeks, and more or less, the entire season. The offensive line is full of holes, the biggest being Wayne Hunter, a pathetic excuse for an offensive tackle. The safeties, Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard, were embarrassingly bad again. Leonhard, who is probably the most overrated player in Jets history, missed what could have been a safety on the Broncos' game-winning touchdown drive. If the "great" Leonhard makes a simple tackle, the Jets win the game. Smith has no idea had to play the game. The special teams were bad again, with a Joe McKnight fumble crippling a drive that could have started at the 40. It was bad on the sideline as well. Rex Ryan had a bad game, including failing to call a timeout with 1:40 to go in the first half, and then blitzing Tebow on his 20-yard, game-winning touchdown run. We wrote before the season started that this Jets team was nowhere near the talent level of the two previous seasons. Right now, that's exactly the case. To make the playoffs, the Jets would almost assuredly have to win five out of the final six games. Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

GameDay Live: NWC At Eastern

 NW Catholic 25, Bristol Eastern 0 
Northwest Catholic Indians      7   12   0   6 —  25
Bristol Eastern Lancers            0   0    0   0 —  0

LAST SCORING PLAY: Northwest Catholic's Anthony Carter scores on an 11-yard run.

GameDay Live: Plainville At Rockville

Plainville 40, Rockville 8
Plainville Blue Devils     20   7   13   0 — 40
Rockville Rams               0   0    0    8 — 8

LAST SCORING PLAY: Rockville's Devin Charles scores on a 50-yard run.

Plainville at Rockville open thread for comments and questions is below in the comments section.

GameDay Live: Canes At Manchester

New Britain 18, Manchester 6
New Britain Hurricanes     6   6    0   6 — 18
Manchester Indians           0   0    6   0 —  6

LAST SCORING PLAY: New Britain's Malique Jones scores on a 1-yard run.

New Britain at Manchester open thread for comments and questions is below in the comments section.

GameDay Live: Simsbury At Knights

Southington 14, Simsbury 8
Simsbury Trojans                 0   8   0   0 — 8
Southington Blue Knights    6   0   8   0 — 14

LAST SCORING PLAY: Southington's Corbin Garry scores on a 57-yard run.

NFL Week 10 Winners And Losers: Winners (Romo, Smith, More) And Losers (Smith, Reid, Ravens, More)

In this installment of Thoughts & Observations from Week 10 of the NFL season, we break down the top four winners and the top four losers from the week that was. Have your own thoughts? Let everyone know in the comments section below. But, for now, it's time for some winners and losers.

Tony Romo had a big game against Buffalo. (AP photo)
* Tony Romo: The wild, up-and-down season for the Cowboys quarterback continued Sunday afternoon. Romo, who is great one week and terrible the next, was the former in a rout against the Buffalo Bills. Romo started the game 11-for-11 with three touchdowns in a little over a quarter and simply had to manage the game from there in an eventual 44-7 home win. We all know the heat Romo takes each and every week, probably more than any quarterback not named Mark Sanchez or Eli Manning, and some of it may be unwarranted, but when you can't consistently put together a winning performance on a big-market team, you can't expect anything less. So, this spot in the "winners" column comes with an asterisk, as in we'll see what the Cowboys quarterback does next week against the Redskins. With all that, Romo still nearly had a perfect game against Buffalo, finishing 23-for-26 for 270 yards and three touchdowns, and perhaps more importantly, will be able to enjoy a week without questions surrounding his ability.

Alex Smith beat the Giants. (AP)
* Alex Smith: The San Francisco 49ers came up with a statement victory over the New York Giants Sunday night, improving to 8-1 and sending notice to the rest of the league they will be hard to beat this season. Smith, the much-maligned quarterback for the team, didn't have to do much against the Giants, but he's just fine being labeled a "game manager," saying after the win he just managed the team to a victory. Smith went 19-for-30 for 242 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also rushed for 27 yards on six carries. And Smith did all that without star running back Frank Gore, who was injured on the first play of the game. "It was a big win for us," Smith said after the game. "As we continue to win we're getting on a bigger stage, and that's exactly what we want, we want to continue to climb and get on bigger stages. That's it. You're as good as your record, and you're as good as your last game. And we beat a really good football team."

Marshawn Lynch. (AP)
* Marshawn Lynch: The Seahawks running back has been forgotten on a national stage since getting traded to Seattle last year. But Lynch sent a reminder to everyone that he's still a big-time player after a tremendous performance against the Baltimore Ravens. Lynch rushed 32 times for 109 yards and a touchdown against a great Ravens defense, but it was his play on third-and-five with the game on the line that was most impressive. Lynch caught a short pass, shy of the first down marker, and had Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson standing in front of him. Lynch made both look silly on a quick move, and gained the first down to set up the Seahawks for a huge upset over the Ravens. "He made like he was out there in the backyard playing against some of his cousins or something," Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. "He made a great move." Lynch also became the first Seahawks back since early in the 2008 season to have back-to-back 100-yard games.

Big win for Big Ben. (AP)
* Pittsburgh Steelers: After already losing twice to the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers couldn't afford to lose on the road against another conference foe Sunday afternoon. The surprising Cincinnati Bengals had the chance at home to put the Steelers in a position to fight for their playoff lives, but Pittsburgh's defense came up with a big interception late to momentarily regain control of the AFC North. With the Ravens losing to the Seahawks, the Steelers took over first place in the division at 7-3. The Bengals and Ravens are both 6-3. If the Steelers lost this game, they would have been 6-4, the Bengals would have been 7-2 and the Ravens 6-3. In that situation, with the Steelers having lost twice to the Ravens and once to the Bengals, the wild card would be the most realistic route to the playoffs. Now, the Steelers are back in position to win the division and, if that fails, are all but guaranteed a wild card berth, unless the team completely goes in the tank over the final six weeks of the season. So, yes, this win was huge for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jets Analysis: Breaking Down Jets Impossible Chances To Win AFC East And More Realistic Wild Card Route

Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan and the Jets are focused on Wild Card. (AP photo)
Immediately following a humiliating loss, it's easy to overreact and go to the extreme in any kind of analysis. There was no shortage of that Sunday night as the Jets were embarrassed by the New England Patriots in a battle for the AFC East, including right here. The biggest thing said and written was the Jets threw away their chance to win the division and will have to battle for the wild card from here on out.

After just nine games, that may seem a little premature. But in this case, a day later, that's still exactly what the Jets are going to have to do - grab one of two wild card berths. The division was lost at the Meadowlands Sunday night, there's no other way to look at it.

Jets Lose To Patriots: Handing Out Plenty Of Game Falls (Entire Team, Sanchez, More) And Just One Game Ball As Jets Throw Away AFC East

We're handing out game balls and game falls after the Jets embarrassed themselves on Sunday Night Football, falling to the Patriots, 37-16. The Jets are 5-4 and all but threw away their chances of winning the AFC East this season.

The Game Falls
The Jets gave away the division Sunday. (AP photo)
* Jets Football: The first "game fall" goes to the entire organization for coming up small in yet another game that would give them the clear advantage in the AFC East. Last year the Jets came into Foxboro seeking to put the Patriots away and claim the division, but the end result was a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Patriots. Sunday night was the same exact circumstance, only this game was at home and the Jets were the favorites. The Jets failed again, getting embarrassed in every phase of the game. The offense, defense and special teams were all terrible. It's even more embarrassing considering how bad the Patriots are this season. New England has the worst defense in the NFL, allowing more than 400 yards per game. Coach Rex Ryan said before the season he was challenging the rest of the league to beat the Patriots this season. Well, in a half-season, the Bills, Steelers and Giants have all beaten the Patriots. The Jets? They've had two cracks at the Patriots and both times didn't come close. The AFC East is all but gone now, as the Patriots have the easiest remaining schedule in the league, with just a game at Philadelphia where a loss could happen. That would mean even if the Jets run the table, they would still lose the division. The good news going forward for the Jets is their remaining schedule is chock full of bad teams as well. The Jets play at Denver, vs. Buffalo, at Washington and vs. Kansas City. Those four should all be victories, which would put the Jets at 9-4. The next  three would be tougher, at Philadelphia, vs. Giants and at Miami. At the least the Jets should be 10-6 at the end of the season. Hopefully, that gets them into the playoffs.

College GameDay Rewind Week 11: BCS Title Picture Clears After Boise, Stanford Fall, How To Fix UFC on FOX, Mayweather Vs Pacquiao, More

Oregon eliminated Stanford from the title picture. (AP photo)
For a random Saturday night, there was a ton of marquee events happening in three different sports, all of which had championship implications. It all added up to a great night to be a sports fan.

We’ll start in college football where No. 7 Oregon took on No. 4 Stanford in a primetime showdown with national title implications. Stanford was undefeated and held the longest win streak in the country. Oregon had one loss and was looking to get back into the title picture by knocking off star quarterback Andrew Luck and the Cardinal.

On this night, Oregon proved Stanford wasn’t ready for primetime, dismantling the Cardinal and lighting up the scoreboard for 53 points in an easy win. The Ducks most likely won’t get the chance to play for a national title, as one-loss Alabama would get the nod if it came down to it, but Oregon did prove Stanford didn’t belong in the discussion as one of the best teams in the country.

GameDay Live: Holy Cross At St. Paul

 Holy Cross 49, St. Paul 24
Holy Cross Crusaders          7   14   14   14 — 49
St. Paul Falcons                    3    3     6   12 —  24

LAST SCORING PLAY: St. Paul's Elijah Parks scores on a 1-yard run.

GameDay Live: Newington At Conard

 Conard 61, Newington 13 
Newington Indians         0    0   13    0 — 13
Conard Chieftans          27  14   6   14 — 61

LAST SCORING PLAY: Conard's Ty Hollens scores on a 31-yard run.

GameDay Live: BE At Wethersfield

 Wethersfield 14, Bristol Eastern 6 
Bristol Eastern Lancers      0   6    0   0 —  6
Wethersfield Eagles            0  14   0   0 — 14

LAST SCORING PLAY: Wethersfield's Marquis Bawl scores on an 80-yard kick return.

Week 11 College Football Picks: No. 7 Oregon At No. 4 Stanford, Nebraska At Penn State, TCU At Boise St., More

Oregon will upset Stanford Saturday night. (AP photo)
Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
Last Week: 4-3 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 4-3 (spread)
This Season: 39-30-1 (spread); 55-15 (overall); 4-3 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season: 40-29-1 (spread)

No. 7 Oregon at No. 4 Stanford, 8 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: The Pac-12 gets the national stage to itself Saturday as its two marquee teams play with BCS positioning on the line. Undefeated Stanford needs to make a statement in its toughest and perhaps only true test of the season. One-loss Oregon is hoping a victory on the road vaults it back into the title picture, however unlikely that is. It adds up to yet another great night of college football. QB Andrew Luck will have no problem putting up points for Stanford, but Oregon, led by RB LaMichael James, can match point for point. The Pick: Oregon (+3.5) wins it 38-35.

GameDay Live: Bloomfield At Berlin

Berlin 17, Bloomfield 12 
Bloomfield Warhawks      0   6    0    6 —  12
Berlin Redcoats               0   11   6    0 — 17

LAST SCORING PLAY: Bloomfield's Patrick Modest scores on a 37-yard pass from Michael Campbell.


GameDay Live: Manchester at Knights

Southington 17, Manchester 8
Manchester Indians              0   0    8   0 — 8
Southington Blue Knights    0   3   14   0 — 17

LAST SCORING PLAY: Southington's Corbin Garry scores on a 45-yard run.

GameDay Live: Weaver At Plainville

Plainville 52, Weaver 8
Weaver Beavers              0    0   0    8 — 8
Plainville Blue Devils      13  20  12   6 — 52

LAST SCORING PLAY: Weaver's Lawrence Lloyd scores on a 28-yard run.

GameDay Live: E.O. Smith At Central

Bristol Central 42, E.O. Smith 14
E.O. Smith Panthers       0   7    0   7 — 14
Bristol Central Rams      6   8   21  7 — 42

LAST SCORING PLAY: Bristol Central's Tim White scores on a 40-yard run.