There are weird weeks in the NFL and then there are weeks like this one. Crazypants would be a good way to describe Week 11.
We’d like to think that’s a good thing – keeps us on our toes.
Val is back and in top fighting shape, ready to rock your world with the “need to know” on these bamboozling games.
Here’s what we thought about week 11 in the NFL…
Miami (22), Buffalo (9) – Miami QB Ryan Tannehill made a lot of mistakes in the first half, but recovered nicely in the second to lead the Dolphins to victory. Bills QB Kyle Orton looked like an upgrade from EJ Manuel a few weeks ago, but the harsh reality is he is a back-up. The Bills are finding themselves in a quarterback conundrum if Orton or Manuel can’t get the job done.
Atlanta (19), Carolina (17) – Panthers QB Cam Newton is having a rough season – he threw two picks and was forcing throws. He did throw two touchdowns to put the Panthers ahead after a thirteen point deficit. However, the Falcons scored a field goal to win the game and a 4-6 record now puts them in first place in the NFC South.
Chicago (21), Minnesota (13) – The Bears won their first home game of the season with wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey dominating the Vikings defense. Both Good Jay Cutler and Bad Jay Cutler made appearances. Vikings rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater had a rough game. The electronic game clocks on the field also kept malfunctioning and the referees had to keep time on the sidelines. This did not make the coaches happy.
Houston (23), Cleveland (7) – Here’s what J.J. Watt did – caught Texans QB Ryan Mallett’s first NFL touchdown pass (Watt’s fourth touchdown of the year, the most in a season by any defensive lineman since 1948). He also caused a fumble, had a sack, and recovered another fumble. Now, he did get a flag for hitting the punter, one which led to a Cleveland touchdown. Ryan Mallet ran a lot of no huddle plays and looked comfortable in Coach Bill O’Brien’s scheme, more than likely from him time with him in New England. The Browns just couldn’t repeat their dominant performance from week 10.
Kansas City (24), Seattle (20) – This game had lots of play-off implications – Kansas City’s win combined with Denver’s loss put them in a tie for first place in the AFC West. The defending world champion Seahawks are going to be in a fight until the end of the season to just make the play-offs. Running back Jamaal Charles continues to carry the Chiefs as their wide receivers only gained 18 yards in this game (Jamaal ran for 178). Seattle’s defense didn’t have any QB hits or sacks – they are not performing at the high level they were last year.
Cincinnati (27), New Orleans (10) – Whiplash alert! This looked like a completely different Bengals team then the one from last week that was embarrassed by the Browns on Thursday Night Football. Bengals QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green both had stellar games. Cincinnati is now back in first place in the AFC North division after only two wins in the previous seven weeks. New Orleans has been known for their home field advantage but they have now lost back to back home games after winning eleven consecutive games in the Superdome. Neither their defense nor offense are living up to expectations.
San Francisco (16), New York Giants (10) – It’s amazing that San Francisco only won by six points when Giants QB Eli Manning threw five (5!) interceptions. 49ers pass rusher Aldon Smith returned from his suspension and made an immediate difference for their defense. The Giants new offensive coordinator’s play-calling is getting predictable. This loss basically eliminated them from play-off contention. Their bright spot is rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham, who made some crazy catches.
St. Louis (22), Denver (7) – Didn’t see this one coming. This is the fewest amount of points Peyton Manning has been limited to in a decade. Rams QB Shaun Hill took over starting duties after Austin Davis was benched last week. Rams rookie running back Tre Mason became the first running back to post 100 yards against the Broncos defense. It was the Rams defense that was the most impressive – they pressured Manning, deflected passes, and picked off two throws. Denver was the victim of a lot of injuries – tight end Julius Thomas left the game with an ankle injury, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders went out with a concussion, and they did not active their rookie wide receiver Cody Latimer, which left them with limited options. Wide receiver Wes Welker needed to step up but only caught four balls for 28 yards. The Broncos run game is in trouble with RB Ronnie Hillman having a foot sprain and Montee Ball reinjuring his groin.
Tampa Bay (27), Washington (7) – The Bucs may not have a lot of wins (only 2, as a matter of fact) but they do have rookie wide receiver Mike Evans. He had 209 yards and two touchdowns, and is the first rookie receiver to have three consecutive games of 100 yards and one touchdown since 1998. Washington QB RG3 had a tough game. He was sacked six times, and missed a lot of throws. Then his coach publicly called him out for his poor performance in his press conference, which created more drama in DC. Ouch.
San Diego (13), Oakland (6) – The Chargers had running back Ryan Mathews back from injury, which did bring life back to their run game. Their QB Philip Rivers hurt his knee and apparently has a bad rib injury. Many think Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr will be the best rookie QB of his class, but he’s being asked to carry an offense that doesn’t have much talent. Oakland has no ground game. What they do have is a superstar in rookie pass rusher Khalil Mack. The Raiders remain winless thus far this season.
Arizona (14), Detroit (6) – The Cardinals have the league’s best record at 9-1. Back-up Arizona QB Drew Stanton is the starter with Carson Palmer out for the year with a torn ACL. Arizona’s defense kept the Lions in check – they did not let Detroit wide receivers Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron) or Golden Tate have an impact on the game. The Lions only managed two field goals and were shut out in the second half of the game, and did not let Joique Bell get their run game going.
Green Bay (53), Philadelphia (20) – If you want to talk about home field advantage, check out the Packers: They have jumped out to leads of 30-3, 45-0, 38-3 and 42-0 in their last four home games. They have topped 50 points in consecutive games for the first time in their 93-year franchise history. QB Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown-to-interception is 31:0 over his last thirteen home games. Their defense has steadily improved since the beginning of the season. Eagles QB Mark Sanchez had a disappointing game after last week’s start against the Panthers. Neither team was able to establish their run game.
New England (42), Indianapolis (20) – The Patriots ran the ball for 234 yards – 201 of these came from Jonas Gray, who was promoted from the practice squad only a few weeks ago. He ran for four touchdowns – he became the first player to rush for as many touchdowns as the rest of the NFL in week 11. The Patriots defense limited Colts wide receivers to just ten catches. The Pats are averaging 40.5 points per game since they were embarrassed by the Chiefs in week 4.
Pittsburgh (27), Tennessee (24) – On a positive note for the Titans, rookie Zach Mettenberger (their third quarterback of the season) had a pretty good game. The real star of the game was Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell – he ran for 204 yards and one touchdown. He helped Pittsburgh come back from an eleven point deficit in the fourth quarter and burn the clock down to end the game.
Simply said, we need more Facebook friends. Come join our cult…er…we mean, like us.
– Val (and sorta-kinda-not-really-I-just-proofread-but-my-picture-is-in-this-post-so-I’ll-include-my-name) Michelle