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Week 11 Recap

NFL Week 11 Recap with Matt Lownes

It is officially Thanksgiving week! That means we have three Thursday games on a holiday where you get to eat and drink all day. What a time to be alive.

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Seahawks fend off Cardinals

This past Thursday, Week 11 started with the Seattle Seahawks were able to fend off a late comeback attempt from the Arizona Cardinals, pushing them to 7-3 and giving them a half game lead in the NFC West pending Monday Night Football. I was genuinely impressed with the Seahawks defense, as they only gave up 21 points.

DK Metcalf is an absurd talent, and he showed off his skills on Thursday catching three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. While the Cardinals are a much better team in 2020 than 2019, they are most likely still not ready to compete for a Super Bowl.

Texans stun Patriots, Broncos shock Dolphins

Former Bill Belichick assistant Romeo Crennel led his Texans team to a 27-20 victory over the Patriots. The Patriots playoff chances really took a hit with this loss, and they have no one to blame but themselves. Between Tom Brady not returning and having the most players drop out of the season due to COVID, the Patriots simply are not that talented.

They have lost some very close games, but the fact is they are just not that good. I do not expect the Patriots to make the playoffs, although the Dolphins losing certainly helped the Patriots.

The Dolphins had to bench Tua Tagovailoa after he went 11-20 with 83 passing yards, but was also sacked six times. I am not looking into this that hard because he had a bad game and got hit a bunch. Brian Flores did the right thing by taking him out and giving the Dolphins a better chance to come back in the game with Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Dolphins blew a chance to go 7-3 and if they can beat the Jets next week they will be 7-4 and have a pretty good shot at the playoffs. Tua will have growing pains. I would not look too much into this.

Browns beat Eagles, Panthers shutout Lions.

The Browns are 7-3 after beating the Eagles 22-17 in a rainy game on Sunday. The Browns defense intercepted Carson Wentz twice, and Baker Mayfield did just enough to get his team the victory. My issue with the Browns is they do not seem to trust Baker Mayfield right now, and if put in a position where he needs to win the game, I am not confident he can do that.

The Browns are a run-first team right now, but if you can stop their running game, Baker is going to have to throw to beat you.

Former XFL star quarterback P.J. Walker got the start for the Panthers and they beat the Lions 20-0. The Lions are really bad and Matt Patricia should be fired. The Panthers will be a very good football team in a year or two, as they have already outperformed most pundits’ expectations for their team. Detroit had not been shut out in over a decade.

Titans/Henry run over Ravens in OT

The Titans beat the Ravens behind the running attack of Derrick Henry….again. For the second time in 2020, the Titans did exactly what everyone thought they would do – run with Henry and throw play action. Henry had the game-winning OT run, giving him 133 yards in total on the day. I do not think the Ravens are capable of winning it all this year, as their offense is stale and defense doesn’t come up big when it needs to.

The Titans on the other hand, can go as far as their run game allows them to.

Taysom Hill starts, beats Flacons

Taysom Hill haters need to start apologizing! Hill went 18-23 for 233 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He looked much better than many, including myself, expected him to look. The Saints defense also stepped up big with eight sacks and two interceptions of Matt Ryan.

It is far too early to say Taysom Hill is a future franchise quarterback once Drew Brees retires, but while Brees mends his ribs/lung injuries, the Saints seem to be fine with Taysom Hill under center. Can they win a Super Bowl with Taysom Hill? Probably not, but they do have Jameis Winston if needed. I for one am excited about the versatility in the Saints offense sans Brees.

Cowboys comeback, beat Vikings, Chargers hold-off Flacco/Jets

The Vikings and Cowboys traded leads throughout their game, only for the Cowboys to win and give them a tie for second place in the NFC Least. The Vikings defense should be embarrassed after giving up 31 points to the Cowboys, while Kirk Cousins played really well other than the final drive.

Cousins went 22-30 with three touchdowns and zero interceptions, a performance that should have gotten Minnesota the win. Both of these teams should start to focus on 2021, although the Cowboys are technically in a spot where they can win their division.

The Chargers offense looked awesome against the Jets, as Justin Herbert went 37-49 for 366 yards and three touchdowns. The Chargers defense played poor as they gave up some big plays to the Jets, including a bomb from Joe Flacco to Breshad Perriman. Good news for Jets fans: the team is 0-10 and still in first place for the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Colts Get Miracle win over Packers

The Packers are 95-4 all time with Aaron Rodgers after having a lead of 14-plus points. The Colts, including yesterday, gave the Packers two of those four losses. The Packers could not get anything going in the second half, only having one scoring drive against the league’s best defense. The Colts are fun to watch but also extremely stressful. They are the definition of a playoff team that probably has no shot at winning a Super Bowl.

Nevertheless, Indy got an incredible win over the Packers, including a forced fumble in OT to set up a game-winning kick. At 7-3, both teams should make the playoffs, which means Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers will once again be playing football in January.

Raiders score late, Chiefs win later.

The Oakland Raiders are a damn good football team that unfortunately left too much time on the clock for the world’s best quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. After Jason Witten caught a go-ahead touchdown after the two minute warning, Mahomes and the Chiefs offense flawlessly went down the field, when he found a wide open Travis Kelce for the go-ahead touchdown with less than 30 seconds left.

If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is that you cannot give Mahomes more than 30 seconds to win the game. In fact, I am willing to say the Raiders should have just let the Chiefs score on the 1st play of the drive, put the ball back in Derek Carr’s hands and try to win with more time. Yes, it’s not a safe move not is it smart, but eventually a team will do this and it could cost the Chiefs a win.

MNF Preview

The Los Angeles Rams travel to Tampa Bay to play the Bucs on Monday Night Football. The Rams defensive line will try to be more successful then they were against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl two years ago. While Tom Brady and the Bucs look to get off to a fast start on offense, I think this game will be closer than expected.

It really comes down to turnovers. Whichever team can force more should win this game, but as of right now I have the Bucs winning 31-21 over the Rams.

2021 NFL Draft

Today I want to focus on Tennessee offensive lineman Trey Smith. The guy is a beast and will immediately make an NFL offensive line better. I think Smith should be the first interior lineman drafted, as he is just a power blocker up the middle, often creating massive holes for his running backs.

While Tennessee has not had success, they have produced some great NFL talent over the years, and Smith will be another one. Smith has played both guard and tackle at Tennessee, but is more of a guard at the NFL level, and should be a starter as a rookie. If your team needs an interior lineman, Smith is arguably the best one available in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Life Advice

Thanksgiving will be different this year, but eat as much as you can. That is the advice. Enjoy your meals. Have a great week everyone!