NFL Week 11 Recap

In Football by Emily Staker

Week 11 of the NFL season is coming to a close and for those who felt underwhelmed by last week’s match ups, this week definitely came through with some great games, including overtimes, upsets and a trip to Mexico. 

Thursday night kicked off week 11 with the Steelers against the Titans in a huge game for the Steelers offense. Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster consistently performed to connect with Roethlisberger’s huge passes. Marcus Mariota was not lacking in depth, throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass, but he was lacking accuracy, throwing four interceptions, making this game one of his worst performances of the season. The final score was 40-17. The Steelers are now 8-2 and will play the Packers next, while the 6-4 Titans will face the Colts.

Some games without Aaron Rodgers are certainly going to hurt more than others. For Packers fans, this game was brutal, losing to the Ravens 23-0. The Ravens won over the struggling Green Bay offense with five turnovers, and Brett Hundley was sacked six times. The Ravens had some new players step up, with rookie Marlon Humphrey getting his first career interception, and Alex Collins scored his first touchdown for Baltimore after Humphrey’s pick. A quick interception from Ha Ha Clinton-Dix gave the Pack a spark of hope, but the offense quickly failed to execute. The Packers are 5-5, and the Ravens trail the Steelers at 5-5 in the AFC North.

Just as the LA hype was starting to get a little too real, the Rams blew their hot streak in a surprising 7-24 loss against the Vikings. The Rams offense felt the pain after losing two cornerbacks mid-game in addition to one already inactive prior. This is not meant to discount how good the Vikings are, by any means. Case Keenum had a great game against his former team, throwing 27 for 38 for 280 yards, and no interceptions. The Vikings’ offensive line did a great job blocking and giving Keenum the time to execute deep plays. At 7-3, the Rams are definitely not out of the playoff run, but they need to shake off the loss before they face the 8-2 Saints next Sunday. The Vikings, at 8-2 and leading the NFC North, will play the Lions Thursday morning for the Thanksgiving game.

The other LA team, the Chargers, exploded for 54 points against a lost Buffalo team.  Earlier in the week, the Bills announced that they would be benching QB Tyron Taylor and start rookie Nathan Peterman.  That went as bad as it possible could have as Peterman threw FIVE first half interceptions that led to Taylor replacing him. Injured Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman weighed in on the team’s decision:

It is unclear who will start for the Bills when they take on Kansas City next week. The Chargers who find themselves tied for second in the AFC West take on the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

Houston had a timely comeback in a 31-21 win over the Cardinals. Keeping close tabs on Peterson allowed the Texans to limit the Cardinals offense, a smart move considering third-string quarterback Blaine Gabbert (AZ) threw 22 for 34 and 257 yards, completing three touchdowns. Backup quarterback for Deshaun Watson, Tom Savage, threw two turnovers, causing the Texans to be behind for most of the first half. Finally, Savage threw to DeAndre Hopkins to grab a lead in the third quarter, and the Cardinals were unable to make up the disparity for the rest of the game. The Cardinals, 4-6 will play the Jaguars who are coming off of a win from the Browns this week, while the 4-6 Texans face the Ravens.

The Giants had a huge upset against the Chiefs in overtime with a 12-9 win. The score ought to reveal the messy performances of both teams throughout the game, filled with bad decisions on both sides and a lot of turnovers. This was a much needed win for coach Ben McAdoo, who has faced unrelenting criticism throughout the Giants’ disappointing season. John Jerry, a guard for the Giants was hit with an unnecessary roughness call in the fourth quarter after he head butted a Chiefs linebacker, which was a costly penalty, giving the Giants a third down. Andy Reid advised an unfortunate play in the fourth quarter with six minutes to go, when Smith threw the ball to tight end Travis Kelce, who then proceeded to throw a huge interception. Alex Smith followed up with another interception to Janoris Jenkins, who took the Giants close enough for a field goal. The Giants closed overtime with a touchdown by Roger Lewis. The 2-8 Giants will play the Redskins on Thanksgiving, and the 6-4 Chiefs, who still lead the AFC West, will play the Bills.

The Saints were able to hold onto a major winning streak in an incredibly close game thanks to a very clutch Drew Brees, with 34-31 win in overtime. This was an offensive-dominated game with almost 1,000 yards between both teams, making it the highest yardage of any game this season. Kirk Cousins had a great performance, with a 75 yard drive in the fourth quarter that led to a 7 yard touchdown by Jeremy Sprinkle, giving Washington a 31-16 lead with only six minutes in the game. Drew Brees, with minutes on the clock, answered with a back to back 75 yard and 87 yard plays, both leading to touchdowns for the Saints. New Orleans tied the game up after a two-point conversion, and with a forced fumble in the final moments of the quarter, the game went into overtime. The Saints’ offense delivered holding Washington until they were able to get possession, where they ran the ball close enough to end the game with a 28-yard field goal. Drew Brees earned an ice cold hurricane tonight as the Saints continue 8-2 and sit at the top of the NFC South. The 4-6 Redskins play division rival New York on Thanksgiving.

The Broncos faced the Bengals in yet another loss for the Mile High team, 20-17. Both teams have struggled offensively all season, and fortunately for the Bengals and Andy Dalton, they struggled just a little bit less, enough to clinch a win. Brock Osweiler started the game and threw 23-42 for 254 yards with one touchdown and one interception while Andy Dalton threw 15-25, 154 yards and three touchdowns. Broncos’ Brandon McManus made a huge 45-yard field goal in the third quarter, giving the Broncos a closer trail to the Bengals. A.J. Green led the Bengals in receiving yards (50) and one touchdown, while Demaryius Thomas led the Broncos at 64 and one touchdown, both in the fourth quarter. Denver is now 3-7 and will play the Raiders on Sunday, while the 4-6 Bengals face the Browns.

Oh and by the way, the Browns are still on a losing streak of 0-10. Someone in Cleveland has officially filed for a “perfect season” parade, and that is all I have to say about the Browns.

Tom Brady sigue siendo la cabra, as Los Patriotas defeated Los Raiders high up in Mexico City, 33-8. Brady threw 339 yards, completing 30-37 passes, and threw three touchdowns, while Derek Carr threw 28-49 for 237 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski had a huge game, kicking a 62 yard field goal in the second quarter,  both a 51 and 40 yard field goal in the third quarter, and completing a 29 yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Oakland struggled to score the entire game as they battled against the New England defense, eventually allowing a touchdown by Amari Cooper in the fourth quarter. Marshawn Dinero Lynch led the rushing yards with 67 and 11 carries, trailed by NE’s Dion Lewis who had 10 carries and 60 yards. Brandin Cooks (NE) had 6 receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. The Patriots are 8-2 and will play the Dolphins next Sunday, and the 4-6 Raiders will look to battle the Broncos for the bottom spot of the AFC West.

The Eagles closed out Sunday night against the Cowboys in a battle of the two top NFC teams. The Eagles defense struggled the first half to keep the Cowboys offense at bay, but the offense started off the game strong with a quick 8-play touchdown from Kenjon Barner, but sputtered the rest of the first half. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins continued to put pressure on Dallas’ Dak Prescott, who was forced to continually throw the ball without his go-to rusher Ezekiel Elliot. After halftime, the Eagles started to run away with the guy and finished with a game total of 383 yards for the birds, making Wentz’ chance at MVP even better. Recent trade from Miami, Jay Ajayi had 91 rushing yards for Philadelphia. Dak Prescott had one of his worst games this season, throwing 18-31 for 145 yards. The 9-1 Eagles will play the Bears next Sunday, and the 5-5 Cowboys face the Chargers.

Monday night football will feature a close matchup between the Seahawks and the Falcons. The Seahawks will be playing without top CB Richard Sherman (achilles) and S Kam Chancellor, who will be out the remainder of the season with a neck injury as announced on Sunday. Good news for Seattle, Earl Thomas will be back after three weeks. The Falcons will be playing in Seattle, which is always a disadvantage for an away team, but Seattle is dealing with a large injury roster, and those who remain will have to push extra hard to keep the Falcons at bay.

And, just in time to avoid your loving family, there will be three games on Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!