NFL Week 11 – 32 Thoughts
With Week 11 in the books, let’s have a quick look around the league to see what has been going on.
Arizona Cardinals: Quarterback? Who needs a quarterback? The Cardinals smothering defense held Detroit to 262 total yards and two field goals. Stats are Stats: Drew Stanton is now 3-1 as Arizona’s starter and his only loss was the game against the Broncos.
Atlanta Falcons: How bad is the NFC South? After losing six of their first eight games, Atlanta is tied for first place after winning their last two games with a record of 4-6. Ugh…
Baltimore Ravens: Since Baltimore’s opponent after the bye week (New Orleans) is under .500, the Ravens should have a decent chance to compete.
Buffalo Bills: Unable to take advantage of two Dolphins turnovers and going only 2 for 6 on red zone attempts, the Bills were left with a tough road loss to swallow. At 5-5, the Bills’ playoff chances are getting slimmer and slimmer.
Carolina Panthers: After throwing two early interceptions, Cam Newton did his best to try to rally his troops against division rival Atlanta. However, the result was an all too familiar loss which, unfortunately for them, was their fifth one in a row.
Chicago Bears: For the first time this season, the Bears won a home game….however; it might be way too late for this team to actually accomplish anything this season.
Cincinnati Bengals: After one of the worst performances in his career, Andy Dalton rebounded by tossing three touchdowns passes against the defensively challenged Saints. The win put the Bengals back into the division lead in the AFC North….for this week anyway.
Cleveland Browns: Penalties and turnovers ended the Browns reign at the top of the AFC North at one week.
Dallas Cowboys: A week off may be just what the doctor ordered for Tony Romo’s ailing back.
Denver Broncos: The Broncos sorely underestimated the Rams who harassed Peyton Manning and beat up the Broncos wide receivers all afternoon. Things didn’t get any easier for the Broncos when Julius Thomas was knocked out of the game with an injured ankle followed by Emmanuel Sanders with a concussion. The Rams ended Manning’s streak of 15 consecutive games with two touchdowns and the never ending streak of running up the score on opponents.
Detroit Lions: The Lions’ four game winning streak came to grinding halt when Detroit ran into the Cardinals’ buzz-saw of a defense. Matthew Stafford was held to 183 yards, his lowest of the season, while getting sacked 4 times. The Lions were overly conservative on multiple 4th and short opportunities and failed on their single attempt in the fourth quarter.
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rogers made the Philadelphia Eagles look like the Chicago Bears.
Houston Texans: The Texans, who lost 4 of their last 5 games, turned to Ryan Mallett and upended the once AFC North Division leading Browns. At 5-5, the season may already be over for the Texans but it will be interesting to see how Mallett plays for the remainder of the season.
Indianapolis Colts: Sunday’s loss against the Patriots might have been the most costly loss of the season with both RB Ahmad Bradshaw and TE Swayne Allen leaving with injuries. Rivalry Notes: In the last three games against New England, the Colts have been outscored 144-66 and given up 593 rushing yards in those three games.
Jacksonville Jaguars: At 1-8, there is not much that a bye week is going to do to help this team between now and the end of the season.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs rode the Jamal Charles train to victory on Sunday when he averaged eight yards per rushing attempt, had 178 total offensive yards, and scored two touchdowns to knock off the defending Superbowl Champion Seahawks. Strange State: Sunday’s game was Jamal Charles first 100 yard rushing game in 2014.
Miami Dolphins: A home game on a short week along with some questionable officiating proved to be a decisive advantage over the division rival Buffalo. As predicted, Tannehill the Serviceable showed up this week which does not bode well on which Tannehill will show up against Denver next week. Team Note: The Dolphins have not allowed a touchdown in their last two home games.
Minnesota Vikings: After taking a 10-0 lead against the Bears in the 1st Quarter, the Vikings were not able to sustain enough offense to beat the Bears….The worse part is that the Bears defense has been historically bad and the fact that the Vikings were not able to take advantage does not bode well for them down the stretch.
New England Patriots: Jonas Gray was the unlikely hero for the Patriots rushing for 199 yards and scoring four touchdowns in his fourth NFL game. Equally impressive was the Patriots ability to shut down the Colts’ running game and make them completely one dimensional. Game Notes: With Sunday’s win Tom Brady is 12-4 against the Colts (3-0 against Andrew Luck).
New Orleans Saints: Another awful Rob Ryan defensive plan doomed the Saints by a Bengals team that was coming off the worst offensive performance by any team in 2014 season. Luckily, because of how bad the NFC South is, the Saints are still tied for 1st place in the division. Game Note: The Saints lost back to back home games for the first time since the beginning of the 2012 regular season…You know…the one where Sean Payton was suspended.
New York Giants: The Giants welcomed back the Eli Manning that we all know…..You remember…the one that throws multiple interceptions. Season Stench: The Giants have lost five straight games since starting the season 3-2.
New York Jets: Rex Ryan gets to spend the bye week wondering how this season may have unfolded if he started Michael Vick over Geno Smith at the beginning of the season. Crazy Stat: Since 2011, the Jets are 8-14 after a win.
Oakland Raiders: The first play from scrimmage was a microcosm of the entire Raiders season…The Raiders fumbled the snap. Rare Company: The Raiders have lost 16 straight games and now have the fourth longest losing streak in NFL History. With a loss next week vs. Kansas City, the Raiders will tie the 2006-2007 Miami Dolphins’ for the third longest losing streak in NFL History (17).
Philadelphia Eagles: All that Sanchez love last week? Over and done with….
Pittsburgh Steelers: A week after losing to the New York Jets, the Steelers bounced back by barely getting by the Titans. The Steelers seem to be making a habit of playing down to their competition and struggle to beat the bottom feeder teams in the NFL.
St Louis Rams: The Rams defense led the way by stonewalling Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense and holding Peyton Manning to the lowest number of points since becoming a Bronco. Fun Note: With Sunday’s win over Denver, the Rams have beaten both the Super Bowl participants from last year.
San Diego Chargers: A win is a win and breaking a three game losing streak is nice….but it was a very unimpressive day against the lowly Raiders.
San Francisco 49ers: Not a very impressive offense performance from San Francisco…but then again they didn’t really need much offense when their defense picked off Eli Manning five, yes FIVE times. Stats are Stats: The 49ers are 7-1 in their last 8 games against NFC East opponents.
Seattle Seahawks: In a game where the Seahawks won the turnover battle (+2), out gained the Chiefs by 74 yards, won the time of possession battle (36 minutes to 24 minutes), and ran 25 more plays than the Chiefs, somehow, for whatever reason, the defending Superbowl Champs lost by 4 points. Total head scratcher.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Amazingly, Lovie Smith has an offensive rookie, WR Mike Evans, who could actually get rookie of the year consideration. It will be interesting to see if Lovie lasts long enough in Tampa to ruin Evans’ career.
Tennessee Titans: Titans made the game interesting for the first three quarters but they were not able to stop the Steelers running attack late into the game. Long Season Continues: The Titans have lost 8 of their last 9.
Washington Redskins: With an extra week to prepare for the woeful Buccaneers, getting blown out at home is inexcusable and should cost someone their job. Robert Griffin III had a particularly awful day getting sacked six times, throwing two interceptions, and almost losing a fumble. Stats of Futility: Robert Griffin III is 1-3 in games he has started this year….the only win coming against the lowly Jaguars……Yuck.