NFL

Week 11 NFL Recap: Contenders vs. Pretenders

By: Jonathan Goad

Week 11 left us with more questions than answers for the remainder of the NFL season. The outcome of many of these games jumbled up the playoff picture. Other teams continued to dominate.

Here’s the recap:

Green Bay Packers          24

Seattle Seahawks            27

While it’s tough to win in Seattle, the Green Bay Packers look less and less like a playoff team, not to mention a Super Bowl contender. Mike McCarthy may be on the hot seat. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are positioning themselves for a potential Wild Card berth.

Dallas Cowboys                22

Atlanta Falcons                 19

Atlanta continues to struggle as well. Their offense is good, but not good enough to outscore everyone. Julio Jones has gone over 100 yards and a touchdown in three straight games. With Washington losing (and losing Alex Smith for the season), Dallas is only one game behind the Redskins for the division lead. Keep an eye on the boys.

Cincinnati Bengals           21

Baltimore Ravens            24

Not having A.J. Green is really hurting the Bengals’ offense. Both teams are still in the hunt for a playoff berth, but Pittsburgh has a hold on the divisional lead. Ravens’ rookie QB, Lamar Jackson made his first career start. Something is going to have to change because he carried the ball 27 times! He did total 117 rushing yards, but for a QB to have that many carries is absurd. He won’t last long in this league if that continues.

lamar jackson

Photo credit to the New York Times

Carolina Panthers            19

Detroit Lions                      20

The Lions upset the Panthers to make things even more muddled. Carolina lost a game on the Saints, but it’s not like they were going to catch them anyway. However, they still currently lead the Wild Card. The Lions, for the most part, are simply playing spoilers for potential playoff teams. With Marvin Jones out, Kenny Golladay saw the Lions’ share of targets and delivered. 

Tennessee Titans             10

Indianapolis Colts            38

Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton tore the Titan defense apart. Both teams trail the Texans by two games, but Tennessee lost Marcus Mariota to injury for an unknown duration. The Colts appear to be determined to get back to the playoffs. With Luck and T.Y. performing like they did in Week 11, they’ll likely be in contention for a playoff spot.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35

New York Giants              38

Can we officially rule that the Fitzmagic is dead? He threw three picks and zero TDs in the loss to the Giants. Plus, Jameis Winston played fairly well in relief of Fitzpatrick. Eli was very efficient, but the Giants relied heavily on Saquon Barkley. He continues to impress.

Houston Texans               23

Washington Redskins    21

The biggest loss wasn’t the on the scoreboard for the Redskins. They lost Alex Smith to a fractured leg. He’s out for the season. That seriously puts the Redskins lead on the NFC East in question. While they do still lead, that could changes quickly with the Redskins relying on Colt McCoy or anyone else. Meanwhile, the Texans move to 7-3 on the season and are playing solid football.

alex smith

Photo credit to Worldwide American Football

Pittsburgh Steelers         20

Jacksonville Jaguars        16

The Jaguars deserved to win this game. Their defense harassed Ben Roethlisberger all afternoon and were in control until the second half of the fourth quarter. The rushing attack from the Jags chewed up the clock for most of the game. However, Big Ben found a way and completed the comeback on a diving reach to the end zone. While the box score doesn’t look great, the Steelers got the stat that counts. The Jaguars, however, look like a shell of themselves from last season.

big ben

Photo credit to PennLive.com

Oakland Raiders               23

Arizona Cardinals            21

The Raiders can’t even tank the right way. They won the game, but it could cost them the number one pick. It would be a total Jon Gruden move to win enough games to not get the first pick just to prove he knows what he’s doing.

Denver Broncos                23

Los Angeles Chargers     22

I’ve hyped up the Chargers for the past several weeks. How do they reward me? By losing to the Broncos. SMH. Maybe they’re not quite as good as we thought. It’s very like Philip Rivers to let hopes get high only to have them crash and burn.

Philadelphia Eagles        7

New Orleans Saints        48

If you’re still doubting the Saints, stop right now. The Saints’ defense, supposedly their weakness, picked off Carson Wentz three times, sacked him three times, and got consistent pressure on him. There’s also Drew Brees who continues to pick apart any defense thrown at him.

Minnesota Vikings          20

Chicago Bears                    25

The Bears won a huge matchup with the Vikings. They now have a secure lead on the division and have to be taken seriously from here on out. Khalil Mack picked up another sack. Take that Raiders!

Kansas City Chiefs           51

Los Angeles Rams            54

Game of the year and quite possibly a Super Bowl preview. However, the Saints would probably have something to say about that. This is exactly how it should have went. Mahomes and Goff dueling it out. There wasn’t a lack of defense either. Both teams turned the ball over plenty. What a way to finish the week.

Lessons learned in Week 11:

  1. The Saints are still darn good and are serious contenders for a championship.
  2. Ditto for the Bears.
  3. Championship teams find ways to win. The Steelers did that against Jacksonville. Wouldn’t that be the until middle finger to Le’Veon Bell?
  4. Oakland didn’t need Khalil Mack this week, but since they’re tanking, he would have advised them to lose.
  5. The Rams and Chiefs did not disappoint scoring 105 points between them. Bravo!
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