From a horror show opening to an inevitable benching, to a perfect passer rating, Week 11 of the NFL season had it all.
Thursday Night Horror Show
Week 11 all but ended the season for the Cincinnati Bengals and could prove pivotal for the Baltimore Ravens.
Struggling through injury to open the NFL season, Joe Burrow started to find his groove. The Bengals appeared to be on the up and their history put them in the playoff picture regardless of the current record. Their 34-20 loss to the Ravens leaves them with the division’s worst record.
Added to that, Burrow is out for the rest of the season. The pressure is now on Jake Browning to keep an improving offence ticking over for the remainder of the year.
In July, with Joe Burrow injured and uncertainty surrounding the Bengals backup QB job, Ja'Marr Chase spoke often about his confidence in Jake Browning.
This week, after 76 NFL regular games watching as a reserve, it's Browning's turn to start. pic.twitter.com/sUAsJrHfCN
— Charlie Clifford (@char_cliff) November 20, 2023
Flying under the radar given Burrow’s injury is the fact Baltimore may have lost Mark Andrews for the year.
That was the assumption straight after the game but tests have returned encouraging results with his injury “cleaner” than originally believed. He’s an outside chance of seeing the field again this season but it will require a deep Ravens playoff run.
Cinny is out of the picture as Super Bowl LVIII contenders at $101. Baltimore, however, remains in the hunt despite losing their superstar tight end to be 8-3, on top of the division, and at $10 to go all the way.
Put A Fork In The Jets
The sky is blue. Grass is green. Zach Wilson isn’t an NFL-quality quarterback.
It’s felt inevitable since Aaron Rodgers’ injury that Wilson wouldn’t be up to scratch as his replacement. Still, like the season prior, those in charge thought this was the time it would all be different.
Surprise, surprise, it wasn’t.
The #2 pick in the 2021 NFL draft didn’t make it through the 3rd quarter as the New York Jets were thrashed by the Buffalo Bills 32-6.
Wilson completed only seven of his 15 pass attempts for 81 yards before being marched. While he managed one touchdown, he also threw an interception and was sacked five times. It leaves Wilson with five touchdowns and six interceptions this season. He has thrown 20 touchdowns and 24 interceptions across his 31 career games going 11-19 in the process.
Breaking: The Jets will start QB Tim Boyle vs the Dolphins on Friday, a source told @AdamSchefter.
Zach Wilson goes to the bench. pic.twitter.com/uy9pt2mMna
— ESPN (@espn) November 20, 2023
The Jets held a players-only meeting ahead of Week 11. Robert Saleh followed that up with comments around changes in personnel and scheme in a desperate attempt to help fix one of the worst offensive units in the NFL. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett moved from the sideline to the booth.
None of it worked and now they’re relying on Tim Boyle as $4.65 and +9.5 underdogs against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12.
Boyle has thrown three touchdowns and eight interceptions throughout his 17-game NFL career…
In stark contrast to poor Zach Wilson, Brock Purdy finished Week 11 with a perfect passer rating as the San Francisco 49ers comfortably handled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-14. The win backs up their impressive Week 10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Critics continue to evolve into crickets as Purdy plays a key role in the 49ers Super Bowl LVIII campaign.
He went 21-of-25 passing for 333 yards in this one. With three touchdowns and no interceptions, his performance resulted in a perfect 158.3 passer rating. It’s the first time a 49ers quarterback has finished with a perfect passer rating since Joe Montana in 1989 (16-of-19 for 270 yards and three TDs).
Purdy’s combination with Brandon Aiyuk proved especially fruitful. The pair linked up on five of six targets for 156 yards. All five completions resulted in either a touchdown or first down.
I rewatched this 20 times already and have come to the conclusion that: This might be the best throw in the #NFL this season…
— 49ers & NFL News 24/7 (@49ersSportsTalk) November 20, 2023
Purdy is a growing part of the Most Valuable Player conversation and the 49ers have well and truly recovered from their three-game losing streak ahead of the Week 9 bye to be on the third line of betting in the Super Bowl LVIII markets at $5.50.
Ron Rivera Not In Command For Long
Like Wilson’s benching, it feels inevitable that Ron Rivera doesn’t have long left in charge of the Washington Commanders.
Heading into their game as nine-point favourites against the New York Giants and their third-string quarterback, the Commanders barely gave themselves a chance. The 6-0 turnover battle is the first game with such a disparity since 2017.
Wow! My Washington Commanders turned the ball over six times today and gave the Giants 24 points off turnovers. We lost 31-19.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 20, 2023
There were some positives to come out of the game. The Commanders picked up 403 yards of offence and sacked Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito a whopping nine times. Still, it’s too late in the season for positives. The Commanders were expected to win more than the four games they have so far this season. They were certainly expected to win this one, and win it comfortably.
For Rivera, he’s on thin ice. He needs to find a way for the Commanders to cause an upset of their own as $5.25 and +11.5 underdogs to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 12.
Still Getting A Read On The Lions
We know the Detroit Lions are a good football team.
But how good are they?
They’re 8-2 this season to be 1st in the NFC North and 2nd in the NFC. They rank in the Top 10 across most offensive categories to average 27.2 points per game (2nd).
However, they barely snuck past the Chargers in Week 10. This week, they needed to come from behind to beat the now 3-8 Chicago Bears.
Jared Goff played a stinker to throw three interceptions. As a result, the Lions trailed the Bears by 12 points in the 4th quarter. But Goff did lead the Lions to 17 straight points and a comeback win.
Do we say the Lions displayed their ability to fight back late? Is this another example of their offence being capable of winning games on its own?
Or is this defence that allows 22.9 points per game (22nd) too much of a liability for the Lions to be in the mix to win Super Bowl LVIII at $13?
Dan Campbell has COMPLETELY turned around this Detroit Lions culture
– First time starting 8-2 since ‘62
– Can win a division for first time since ‘93
– #1 offense in the NFL
– 2nd best record in the NFL
– Super Bowl Contenders
— Booner (@boonersports) November 20, 2023
Up against a poor Green Bay Packers defence as $1.27 and -7.5 favourites next week, we need to see Detroit turn the screws defensively if they’re to make a leap towards the Philadelphia Eagles ($4.80), Kansas City Chiefs ($5) and 49ers ($5.50) as Super Bowl LVIII contenders.
Other NFL Week 11 Notes
– The Seattle Seahawks gave away 130 yards in penalties in Week 11. It’s the most by any team in the NFL this season and the most by the Seahawks in a game since 2018.
– Kyler Murray continued to impress in his return from an ACL injury. While his 51 yards on seven runs don’t look that flash, he had a 40-yard carry taken back due to a penalty.
Actually, yes. The Ravens currently have the No. 3 highest run offense DVOA ever through 11 games, trailing only the 1998 Broncos and 1999 Redskins. Immediately behind them are the 2002 Chiefs, 1995 Cowboys, 2005 Chargers, and 2000 Rams. https://t.co/DNKTtdRFRr
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@ASchatzNFL) November 20, 2023
– With 146 yards and a touchdown this week, Tyreek Hill is now alongside Jerry Rice and Andre Johnson for the most games with 140+ yards and a touchdown in NFL history (10).
– DaRon Bland has four interceptions returned for a touchdown this season, tied for the most in a single season in NFL history.
– With his 33 rushing touchdown of his career, Jalen Hurts now has the most of any player in his first four seasons.
TOP 6 SUPER BOWL LVIII ODDS
|TEAM||CURRENT PRICE||LAST WEEK’S PRICE|
|Kansas City Chiefs||$5||$5.50|
|San Francisco 49ers||$5.50||$6|