Week 11 Recap
By Mitch Canzano
Week 11 is usually a make it or break it week for many NFL teams. Such is the case this year, with teams like the New York Jets having near must win games. Oh, and the entire AFC South trying to win what might be the worst division in the history of the league.
Key Injuries: Joe Flacco-BAL (Torn ACL, MCL, out for season), Justin Forsett-BAL (fractured arm, out for season), Colin Kaepernick-SF (shoulder, out for season), Devonta Freeman-ATL (concussion, DTD), Brian Hoyer-HOU (concussion, week to week), Charcandrick West-KC (hamstring, DTD), Darrelle Revis-NYJ (concussion, DTD), Marshawn Lynch-SEA (abdomen, week to week)
Teams on Bye: NYG, PIT, CLE, NO
*records before week 11
Titans (2-7) @ Jaguars (3-6) –
Final Score: 13-19
The highlight of this boring Thursday night matchup was the Jaguars honey mustard colored “Color Rush” jerseys that they sported against the Titans baby blue unis. A close game throughout, the difference making play was a punt return by Jags return man Rashad Greene for 62 yards that brought the Jags in the red zone with just a few minutes left. Blake Bortles zinged a pass to newly acquired TE Julius Thomas for the go ahead score late in the 4th quarter in what ended up being the game winning score. The Jags win a big inter-division game and now have 10 days rest before their next game
Broncos (7-2) @ Bears (4-5) –
Final Score: 17-15:
Brock Osweiler’s first career start was not a bad one. However, his solid stats may be a bit misleading against a soft defense that the Bears sport. Coming off a tough loss in which Peyton Manning was hurt, the Broncos needed this win to stay in contention for 1 seed in the AFC as they hunt for home field advantage and a bye game. Meanwhile, the Bears season is over, and they’re just trying to play spoiler now. With Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery both inactive, the Bears offense didn’t stand much of a chance against the Broncos outstanding defense, despite 2 straight weeks of strong efforts from running back Jeremy Langford. The Broncos unsurprisingly took home the W in a fairly close game.
Raiders (4-5) @ Lions (2-7) –
Final Score: 13-18
This game featured two disappointing teams in a game that doesn’t really mean anything. Both teams are more or less out of playoff contention, so this game was irrelevant to the common fan. Derek Carr looked to continue his strong season to date against a horrid Lions team however he struggled to pick it up and that, along with a strong day from Matthew Stafford led to a morale boosting victory for the Lions.
Colts (4-5) @ Falcons (6-3) –
Final Score: 24-21
The Colts come into week 11 as one of the previously mentioned “make it or break it” teams, as going into the week, they were tied with the Texans for 1st place in the AFC South. A win, especially after a Jaguars win on Thursday, was huge for this team as they head into the final stretch of the regular season. For the Falcons, they looked to continue on their solid campaign however couldn’t put together a well rounded offensive attack after leading rusher Devonta Freeman was forced out of the game with a concussion. The Falcons didn’t have an answer to Matt Hasselbeck (23/32 213 yds 2 TD 2 INT) and took a tough loss at home.
Jets (5-4) @ Texans (4-5) –
Final Score: 17-24
This was a big game for the Texans, who are in the same situation as the Colts. The Texans were taking on a desperate and struggling New York Jets team who is also fighting for their playoff hopes. Backup QB TJ Yates started in Brian Hoyer’s absence and played well against a strong Jets defense. The Jets had yet another brutal day on the offensive side of the ball and that cost them in a deflating loss to the Texans.
Buccaneers (4-5) @ Eagles (4-5)
Final Score: 45-17
This game was a blowout that nobody really expected. The Bucs offense was clicking all day long as Doug Martin rushed for 235 yards and Jameis Winston tied the rookie record for TDs in a game with 5 touchdowns, all to different players. Developing chemistry is huge for a young team like the Bucs and for them to manhandle the Eagles on the road is a big boost for that team. The Eagles on the other hand took their worst loss of the season on what seems like the nail on the coffin on a terribly disappointing 2015 season for Philadelphia.
Redskins (4-5) @ Panthers (9-0) –
Final Score: 16-44
The wheels keep on turnin’ for this Panthers squad as they continued the undefeated streak and become 10-0. In a game that perhaps many Washington fans thought they could pull of an upset after an inspired week 10 performance from Kirk Cousins were disappointed with a lackluster day. Cam Newton threw for 5 TDs in the 1st half in what was a career game in that regard. Thought to many this game was never in doubt, the Panthers yet again made it clear that they are legitimate with a blowout win.
Cowboys (2-7) @ Dolphins (4-5) –
Final Score: 24-14
In an absolutely must win for the Cowboys, quarterback Tony Romo returned to action after breaking his clavicle and missing 7 weeks. The Cowboys lost all 7 games and the locker room seems like a mess around there. The Dolphins are also basically playing spoiler now as they fell to 4-6 with the loss. The Cowboys pulled out a gutsy win on the road, and continued their push the to the playoffs, if Tony Romo’s got anything to do with it.
Rams (4-5) @ Ravens (2-7)
Final Score: 13-16
Both these teams are out of playoff contention and this game is very irrelevant to the playoff picture. However, 2 major injuries added insult to injury for the Ravens. Early in the game Justin Forsett snapped his arm and was immediately taken out and ruled out for the rest of the year. As well, and more importantly, QB Joe Flacco tore his ACL and MCL on the final series of the game vs the Rams.
Chiefs (4-5) @ Chargers (2-7) –
Final Score: 33-3
Evidently, this game wasn’t ever a contest. From the beginning the Chiefs were all over the Chargers in all aspects of the game. In fact, defensive lineman Dontari Poe became the heaviest player in NFL history to score a rushing when he pounded a ball into the end zone from the 1 yard line. The Chargers miserable season continues with yet another big loss.
Packers (6-3) @ Vikings (7-1) –
Final Score: 30-13
The biggest game of the season thus far for these 2 teams came Sunday, as they battled it out for the top spot in the NFC North. Green Bay came in struggling of recent, having lost their last 3 games. Heading into a freezing cold Minnesota, they knew they were in for a heck of a game. Eddie Lacy came back up to par with a 22 carry, 100 yard performance against a strong, underrated, Minnesota defense. The Vikings came in winners of 5 straight, so they definitely had some confidence against a struggling Green Bay team. However, the Green Bay defense shut down Minnesota all day and won by a convincing 17 point difference.
49ers (3-6) @ Seahawks (4-5) –
Final Score: 13-29
In an unfortunate rematch of the 2012 NFC Championship game, these two now subpar squads faced off at CenturyLink for a little bragging rights. It’s gonna take a lot for the Seahawks to turn into a playoff team and with tensions boiling over a bit recently, it’ll be interesting to see if they can get their confidence going after a win over a bad team like the 49ers.
Bengals (8-1) @ Cardinals (7-2) –
Final Score: 31-34
In a terrific prime time matchup between two elite teams, it was the offenses that shined the brightest as both teams traded points throughout the shootout. It was late in the game though where it counted, as kicker Chandler Catanzaro knocked through a 32 yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining to seal a big win over a tough Bengals squad. The Bengals have now dropped 2 straight and sit at 8-2 going into next week vs the Rams.
Bills (5-4) @ Patriots (9-0) –
Final Score: TBD
Week 12 Quick Preview:
PHI @ DET
CAR @ DAL
CHI @ GB
NYG @ WAS
MIN @ ATL
STL @ CIN
NO @ HOU
TB @ IND
MIA @ NYJ
SD @ JAX
OAK @ TEN
BUF @ KC
ARI @ SF
PIT @ SEA
NE @ DEN
BAL @ CLE