Published on 22 Nov 2022 8:35 pm (UK Time)
Week 11 in the NFL. Teams are beginning to be eliminated from playoff contention, and the playoff picture is becoming more apparent. Let’s look back at what happened this week.
Over for Rodgers?
It seems like every Green Bay Packers game this season has been interesting. They started their season with a loss to the Vikings, then went on a 3 game-winning streak. Then, an event that I am referring to as “London” happened, which began a 5 game-losing streak. Last week, victory finally returned to Wisconsin as the team beat the Dallas Cowboys and improved their record to 4-6. Could they keep this success up, as they faced the 6-3 Tennessee Titans?
It did not start well for the Packers. On the Titan’s opening drive, quarterback Ryan Tannehill quickly moved the ball down into the Packers’ RedZone. From this, a 14-yard throw from Tannehill was caught by Dontrell Hilliard for a touchdown. The Packers did strike back a few drives later. In an 11-play drive like the Titans before them, Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and company drove the ball into Tenneessee’s RedZone. Then, a 14-yard pass from Rodgers to wide receiver Christian Watson found the house for a touchdown. However, Mason Crosby’s PAT was blocked, giving the Titans a 7-6 lead.
After a long drive from the Titans that stalled on the Packers 4 yard line and lead to a turnover on downs, and the Packers not doing anything in the subsequent drive, it was looking like this game was going to be another boring and dull Thursday Night game. We did see some progress before halftime. Taking advantage of the good field position they were given due to the Packers inability to move the ball towards, the Titans quickly moved the ball up to the 4-yard line. Could they convert this time? Yes, they could. A 4 yard-rushing touchdown from Derrick Henry gave the Titans a 14-6 lead going into halftime.Embed from Getty Images
The second half started with many scores from both teams. It opened with a Packers driver that ended with a 39-line field goal. Then, on the Titians drive, Austin Hooper caught a 3-yard pass from Derrick Henry for a touchdown, but the PAT Missed. 20-9 to the Titans.
The Packers quickly replied. A 8-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Watson was followed by a successful two pint conversion to bring the Tennessee lead to 3 points. Then, another Austin Hooper touchdown imcreaed their lead to 10 points going into the final quarter.
If the game’s 3rd quarter was amazing, the final quarter was a bore fest. No scoring, punts and the occasional failed 4th down turnover were the story of this quarter. When it finally ended, the Titians had recorded a 27-17 win over the Green Bay Packers. Another loss for Rodgers and company is not what he needed. I do think that we need to start asking the question of whether Aaron Rodgers has a future in Green Bay.Embed from Getty Images
With the win, the Titans go to 7-3 on the season, and will face the Cincinnati Bengals next week. The Packers fall to 4-7 on the season and face the Philadelphia Eagles next week on Sunday Night Football. God help them.
The Detriot Bills?
Snow games. Something that all NFL fans enjoy. This week, Western New York experienced heavy snowfall, with the Bills stadium being buried in snow. Due to safety concerns surrounding travel, the game could not be held in Buffalo, and the game was relocated to Detriot, as the Lions were away in East Rutherford, New Jersey (more about that visit later on). So, at technically a neutral venue, who did the Buffalo/Detroit Bills get on against the Cleveland Browns?
The Browns started very well. On their opening drive, a 25 yard pass from Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett found Amari Cooper for a touchdown and the lead. The Bills struggled to respond. When they finally got a drive going, it stalled at the 24 yard line of Cleveland, so Bills kicker Trevor Bass scored a 42 yard field goal. The Browns responded with a 32 yard field goal of their own.
A Jacoby Brissett fumble was scooped up by the Bills defense. What could the Bills do with this? Another field goal, this time from 36 yards. The Bills would finally find the endzone just before halftime. A 5 yard touchdown pass from Bills quarterback Josh Allen to Steffon Diggs gave the Bills a 13-10 lead at halftime.
The Bills had the advantage going into halftime. Coming out of the break, they still had this advantage, as their opening drive in the second half lead to pints. A 56 yard field goal for the bills increased their lead. Cleveland tried to strike back. The next drive took them near the bills RedZone. But, a failed 4th down stopped any sign of comeback. The Bills would then take 4 plays to move the ball 73 yards, ending with a 5 yard run from Devin Singletary to the endzone.Embed from Getty Images
Another Cleveland possession. Another failed 4th down. This time, their 34 yard field goal was missed. Then, on their next two drives, the bills scored 2 field goals one from 49 yards, and the other from 28 yards, to give the Bills a 18 point lead. The Browns would try and come back, scoring two touchdowns on their final two drives. But a Bills field goal in between these touchdowns gave the Bills a 31-23 win over the Browns.
With this win, the Bills improve to 7-3, and keep control of the AFC East. Cleveland falls to 3-7, and faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. The Bills will be staying in Detriot, as they face the Detriot Lions on Thanksgiving next week.
And on the subject of the Detriot Lions.
The Lions maul the Giants
The Detroit Lions have suddenly developed an offense. In their last couple of games, Alternatively, the New York Giants, who are 7-2 remember, are somewhat struggling on offense, mostly relying upon Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones to put points on the board. The Giants defense has had a massive hole in itself lately. Could these holes be fixed in this matchup?
The Giants offensive struggles were seen on their opening drive of the game. A drive that went nowhere, where quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked. Not the best way to start a game. In the country, the Lions started very well. Their opening drive was long and the ball moved right down to the Giants 6 yard line. However, they could not convert their 3rd down on the 12 yard line, and had to settle for a 24 yard field goal.Embed from Getty Images
The Giants responded well to this. The next drive was similar to the Lions previous drive. A long, drive which moved the ball right up to the Lions endzone. However, unlike the Lions drive, the conversion did happen through a 3 yard rushing touchdown from Daniel Jones. Giants’ kicker Graham Ganos PAT attempt was blocked, however, giving the Giants a 3 point lead.
It then got very bad for the Giants. After 3 drives that went nowhere, Jones was then intercepted (which these days is rare). The Lions gained possession near the Giants red zone. From this good field position, they converted, as Jamaal Williams scored a 4 yard rushing touchdown to give the lead back to the Lions. Williams would find the endzone again before halftime, to give the Lions a 17-6 lead at halftime.
The Lions began the second half in the same way in which they ended the first half. Quarterback Jared Goff and company again drove the ball down to the Giants 1 yard line.hen, Williams scored a 1 yard touchdown to further increase the Lions lead. Things would go from bad to awful for the gioants soon after, as Jones was intercepted again by the Lions defense. Luckily for them, the Lions could not convert this into a score.
The Giants would be next to score in the beginning of the 4th quarter. A 3 yard Matt Breida rushing touchdown halved the Lions lead. But again, Gano missed his PAT. Another mistake for the Giants.Embed from Getty Images
Another mistake would happen a few plays later, when the Giants offense would fumble the ball , which was scooped up by the Lions, who would convert their decent field position into another touchdown. The Giants would score a final touchdown near the end the game, but fail a 2 point conversion,. This was all irrelevant, as the Lons recorded a convincing 31-18 win over the Giants.
With this win, the Lions go to 4-6 on the season, while the Giants fall to a still impressive 7-3. Next week, both teams play on Thanksgiving. The Lions play their annual home thanksgiving game, this year against the Buffalo Bills, while the GIants travel to the 7-3 Dallas Cowboys.
Sunday Night Football this week was between the 7-2 Kansas City Chiefs and the 5-4 Los Angeles Chargers. How did this game go?
Kansas City had the opening possession for this game and from this game the game the opening score. A long drive from quarterback Patrick Mahomes and company stalled at the Chargers 15 yard line. It was then kicker Harrison Butker who scored the 33 yard field goal to give the Chiefs the lead. The Chargers quickly came back. a 50 yard pass from quarterback Justin Herbert from Joshua Palmer and found the endzone to give the Chargers the lead.
In the next two drives, both teams scored a field goal. It was the Chief who would break this pattern. A 4 yard tocuhdown pass from Mahomes to Travis Kelce gave the Chiefs the lead again.Embed from Getty Images
Their lead would not last long, as Austin Ekler scored a 1 yard rushing touchdown. Los Angeles increased their lead before the half, as they scored a 21 yard field goal to give them a 20-13 lead at halftime.
Like the first half, it was a Chiefs field goal which opened the scoring in the second half. Then, another long drive which took most of the third quarter ended in a score fo rt he CHiefs. A 32 yard pass from Mahomes to Kelce gave Travis his second touchdown of the game and the Chiefs the lead.Embed from Getty Images
The majority of the 4th quarter can be described in one word. Parity. The Chargers fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Chiefs. On their drive, the Chiefs fumbled the ball only for it to be recovered by the Chargers. With this possession, the Chargers drove the ball down the field to score a touchdown, through a 6 yard pass from Herbert to Palmer. This made it a one-possession game. No for very long though.
The Chiefs quickly moved the ball down the field, and for the third time this match, Mahomes found Kelce for the touchdown and the win, as Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 30-27. With this win, the Chiefs improve to 8-2, while the Chargers fall to 5-5. Next week, Kansas City face the Los Angeles Rams, while the Chargers travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals.
The Foxborough, MA Festival of Kicking
The New York Jets are having a good season. But could they finally beat the New England Patriots?
I occasionally refer to periods where there are move kicks that pass as a “Festival of Kicking”. This was literally that. Every single drive in the game ended in a kick. I will highlight the non-punts for you. At the beginning of the second quarter, Patriots kicker nick FOlk scored a 24 yard field goal. On the very next drive, Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein scored a 45 yard field goal to tie things up at 3-3.Embed from Getty Images
It took until the end of the game for another score to happen. A 84 yard punt return by the Patriots gave them a 10-3 victory in a game where no offensive power was on display. Both teams move to 6-4 on the season Next week, The Jets welcome the Chicago Bears, while the Patriots play the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving. I will be thankful if we do not get a game like this ever again.
What happened in the other games this week?
-In a game that was closer than everyone thought it would be, a late field goal from Younghoe Koo gave the Atlanta Falcons a 27-24 victory over the Chicago Bears
-After their shock loss last week, the Philadelphia Eagles faced another challenging game against the Matt Ryan-led Indianapolis Colts. The Colts had the lead for the majority of the game, but a last-minute touchdown from Jaylen Hurts gave the Eagles a 17-16 win, and one hand on the playoffs.
It took until the fourth quarter for the Ravens to wake up and score a touchdown, as the Baltimore Ravens beat the Carolina Panthers 13-3
The Washington Commanders beat the Houston Texans 23-10. This was expected and Houston needs to seriously rebuild their side to be at least somewhat competitive.
Andy Dalton scored 3 touchdowns and threw for 260 yards as the New Orleans Saints beat the Los Angeles Rams 27-20
The Las Vegas Raiders needed overtime to neat the Denver Broncos 22-16. Former Green Bay Packers player Davante Adams scored the overtime winner at Mile High
In what was on paper a very competitive matchup, the Dallas Cowboys destroyed the Minnesota Vikings 40-3.
Joe Burrow was again in good form scoring 4 touchdowns, as his Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 37-30
In the final International game of the year held in Mexico City, Jimmy Garoppolo scored 4 touchdowns, two of them with George Kittle as the San Fransico 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 38-10
So, that was week 11. Week 12 is Thanksgiving, with 3 very good games on Thursday, and the Eagles-Packers on Sunday night. Happy Turkey Day.