Week eleven was highlighted by close games and huge performances by quarterbacks. Seven games were decided by 10 points or less. As for quarterbacks, Tony Romo returned for the Dallas Cowboys. Romo passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-14 win over the Miami Dolphins. Other huge quarterback performances included Cam Newton’s (career high) five touchdowns against the Washington Redskins in a 44-16 drubbing. Bucs rookie James Winston also passed for five touchdowns in a 47-14 over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals are red hot: both winners of four straight. The Chiefs destroyed the Chargers, 33-3 while the Cardinals handled the Bengals, 34-31 on Sunday Night Football. The NFL has been a revolving door due to injuries and yet another plagued a starting quarterback as the Raven’s Joe Falco suffered a torn ACL in a 16-13 win over the Rams. His season is over.
Speaking of injuries, Peyton Manning was sidelined for the Broncos-Bears matchup opening the door for Brock Osweiler. The fourth season quarterback delivered passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns in a 17-15 win over the bears. Osweiler is set to start this Sunday in a huge matchup against the undefeated New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
Two teams remain undefeated: The Patriots and Panthers.
New England Patriots (10-0): Tom Brady wasn’t great but he and the Patriots were good enough in their 20-13 win over the Bills. In the biggest of games, players step up. That’s what Danny Amendola did hauling nine receptions for 117 yards in the win.
Carolina Panthers (10-0): The Panthers engulfed the Redskins running game holding Washington just 14 yards. Cam Newton is running away with the MVP award literally and figuratively as he avoided defenders to throw career-high five touchdowns and 262 total yards in a 44-16 win over the Redskins.
Arizona Cardinals (8-2): Four straight wins for the most complete team in football. The Cardinals sacked Andy Dalton four times along with forcing three fumbles in their 34-31 win over the Bengals. The Sunday Night Football game ball went to Carson Palmer who passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns. Palmer has thrown for 300+ yards in three of the last five games.
Cincinnati Bengals (8-2): The Bengals didn’t catch enough breaks in their 34-31 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday Night Football. The offense line and running game must help Andy Dalton out more. The line allowed four sacks while the run game only averaged 3.5 yards a clip. Defensively, Cincinnati applied no pressure to Carson Palmer as he shredded them with 317 yards and four touchdowns. On to the Rams.
Denver Broncos (8-2): Sitting Peyton Manning might be the solutions to the Broncos season…wait…WHAT? Yes! Back-up Brock Osweiler looks likes Denver’s future at QB as he passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in 17-15 win over the Bears. Also a revamped running game led by Ronnie Hillman’s 102-yard performance has Denver heading to a huge Sunday Night Football against New England with confidence.
Green Bay Packers (7-3): In the words of Aaron Rodgers: Packers fans, relax. Green Bay looked relaxed, composed and relentless as they romped Minnesota, 30-13. Aaron Rodgers passed for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Also, running back Eddie Lacy returned with a vengeance rushing for 100 yards in his first game back.
Minnesota Vikings (7-3): A week after Adrian Peterson’s 203 rushing day he was brutally silenced by a strong Packers defense. “All Day” rushed for just 45 yards while Teddy Bridgewater was sacked six times in a 30-13 thumping to the Packers. A second place finish in the NFC North looks inevitable at this point.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4): Bye-Week. Pittsburgh will be Seattle this Sunday.
Atlanta Falcons (6-4): Atlanta lost a head-scratcher to the Indianapolis Colts, 24-21. Matt Ryan has four interceptions in his last three games: all losses. But what’s even stranger? The sudden disappearance of Devonta Freeman. Once a running back stud, the Florida State alum has suddenly been non existent in the Flacon’s offense rushing for just 12 yards the previous game and only 45 this game before being knocked out with a concussion.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-5): After a disastrous 1-5 start, Kansas City is red-hot winning four straight. Due to the emergence of two playmakers. Alex Smith has thrown four touchdowns in the last four games while running back Charcandrick West has averaged 36 total touches over 137 yards per game and four total touchdowns. The Chiefs defense has also been outstanding ranking ninth in the NFL and showing that stat as they trounced the Chargers, 32-3.
Buffalo Bills (5-5): Running back LeSean McCoy had another strong outing against a tough Patriots defense accounting for 123 all-purposed yards and a touchdown. The rest of the Bills: not so much. Sammy Watkins and Tyrod Taylor were both duds as Buffalo fell to New England, 20-13.
Indianapolis Colts (5-5): The Colts went to 3-0 with Matt Hasselbeck starting at the quarterback position as Indianapolis downed Atlanta 24-21. The Colts vet threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Seattle Seahawks (5-5): The Seahawks spanked 49ers, 29-13. Seattle has owned this rivalry winning its fifth straight Sunday, this time through running back Thomas Rawls. The rookie back accounted for 255 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, along with putting Marshawn Lynch out of job. The futures bright for the Central Michigan alum and the Seahawks if he’s starting.
New York Giants (5-5): Bye-Week. The Giants will face the Redskins Sunday.
New York Jets (5-5): The “vaunted” Jet defense gave up threw touchdowns and sacked T.J. Yates just once, in a 24-17 loss to the Texans. The offense wasn’t to sharp either as Ryan “I am still hurt Coach” Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions, fumbled, and was sacked three times. Up next, a rested Dolphins team. Ouch.
Houston Texans (5-5): DeAndre Hopkins has made a serious case for the best receiver in the league. Facing one of the best corners in Darrelle Revis, Hopkins made a statement hauling in five receptions for 118 yard and two touchdowns. He’s good and so are the Texans who beat the Jets, 24-17.
Oakland Raiders (4-6): Okay so what happened to Oakland’s offense? It was non-existent against the Detroit Tigers in their 18-13 loss. The Raiders only mustered 214 yards and coughed the ball up three times. At least their defense is good, right?
New Orleans Saints (5-5): Bye-Week. The Saints will face the Texans Sunday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5): The Bucs offense exploded Sunday as they torched the Eagles, 45-17. Jameis “Famous” Winston passed for a career-high five touchdowns and Doug Martin rushed for a career-high 235 yards. While Tampa Bay’s defense blitzed Philadelphia with three interceptions and three sacks.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6): Winner of their last two of three, the Jaguars are slowly building a solid team through a beast defense the nice progression of Blake Bortles. Jacksonville sacked Tennessee four times and Bortles passed for 242 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars 19-13 win over the Titans.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-6): R.I.P Eagles defense. I thought the Saints defense was bad, but the Eagles might be worse. Philadelphia gave up 521 and Chip Kelly’s turnover-prone quarterbacks struggled again in a 45-117 loss to the Bucs.
Chicago Bears (4-6): And Jay Cutler is back to normal. So is the Bears offense as they only scored 15 points and Cutler threw another interception in a 17-15 loss to the Broncos. Chicago’s defense was awful too giving up 389 yards in the loss.
Dallas Cowboys (3-7): Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincy was quoted saying Tony Romo is the “Savoir” of their season. He might be right; the Cowboys are 3-0 with Romo at quarterback and he delivered in his return passing for 227 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys 24-14 over the Dolphins.
Miami Dolphins (4-6): Miami has one win at home. Which mean’s they didn’t win on Sunday versus the Dallas Cowboys. The Dolphins lost 24-14 largely due to a lack of offense. Miami barely surpassed 210 yards while their defense gave up 386. I know people this Miami team can give you bigger migraines than the heat there.
Washington Redskins (4-6): Kirk Cousins was sacked five times, threw an interception and virtually had no run game (14 total yards) in the Redskins 44-16 loss to the Panthers. Washington is winless on the road.
St. Louis Rams (4-6): Did I mention the Rams have no offense? St. Louis scored 13 in their 16-13 loss to the Ravens. Rams rookie sensation Todd Gurley was silenced as well held to just 66 yards off 26 carries in their defeat.
San Francisco 49ers (3-7): Bye-Week. San Francisco will face Seattle this Sunday.
Detroit Lions (3-7): Back-to-back wins for the Lions, this time an 18-13 over a solid Raiders team. Detroit held Oakland to just 214 yards while they produced 375 yards in the win. Matt Stafford passed for 282 yards in the win.
Tennessee Titans (2-8): The Titans lost a close one (19-13) to the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. The Good: Rookie Marcus Mariota passed for 231 yards and is having a solid year. The Bad: he was sacked four times in the loss.
Baltimore Ravens (3-7): The Ravens defense channeled their defenses of old as they shut down the Rams. Baltimore forced five fumbles and held Todd Gurley to just 66 yards off 26 carries. Joe Flacco suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the 16-13 win over the Rams. It will be significantly hard tow in football games without him at the helm.
Cleveland Browns (2-8): Bye-Week. The Browns will face the Raves Sunday.
San Diego Chargers (2-8): Bye-Week. San Diego will face Kansas City this Sunday.