NFL Week 11 After Action Report (AAR)
It was an ugly weekend for Packer fans. I know, trust me. I believe this loss was the first time the Packers have been shut out at home in 11 years. I’m sad to have witnessed it, but we can only go up from here… right?
Brad was right. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins.
As I predicted the game was competitive, with a meaningless TD going on the board for the Bucs as time expired to make the final margin 10 instead of 3 (no clue why they kicked the extra point there). Tampa finally picked up that elusive first road win of the season to improve to 4-6 and the Dolphins showed us that the 4-2 start was a complete fraud in falling to 4-6. Talk about symmetry!
The Dolphins got some quality minutes from backup Matt Moore who is apparently only capable of competent QB play when entering a game that Cutler started. After Smokin’ Jay left with a concussion, Moore came in and put up a 106.1 QBR with 282 yards and a TD. Yes, the same Matt Moore from that 40-0 TNF debacle against the Ravens in Week 8. No, I don’t have any good explanations either.
On a more dire note, new accusations of sexual misconduct against injured starting QB Jameis Winston broke this week. The allegations stem from an incident in an Uber back in 2016 and seem quite serious. The Bucs’ front office was probably somewhat relieved (if there is any relief to be had in such a somber moment) that the embattled QB is inactive right now with a sore shoulder. Now is the time to move Jameis to IR and officially close the book on his season.
Brad was right about the score, wrong about the QBs. Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans.
Much like the Vegas line indicated, this was a closely contested game that saw Arizona take a lead into the final period. Yesterday I wrote in 5 Things I Think that Tom Savage was among the biggest surprises of the week based on performance versus expectation, but I probably could have mentioned Blaine Freaking Gabbert too. The Jacksonville draft bust (10th overall in 2011) played pretty well considering he started the season third on the Cards’ depth chart and wasn’t given the starting job until late in the week. He made some mistakes, but still kept his team in the game, which is more than most teams expect from their best clipboard carrier.
While Arizona is toast in a deep NFC, the Texans seem to be alive in a mediocre AFC. As the Bills disintegrate before our eyes, there appears to be a slot opening up for a team that can find its way to 8 or 9 wins. I think this is a mirage for the Texans though. Even if Savage has turned the corner, the schedule gods kinda screwed Houston over. In their last six games they have to play each of their division rivals on the road (completely unfair) and they host the Steelers and Ravens who are ahead of them in the AFC standings. At least they get to play SF at home I suppose.
Brad was regrettably right. New England Patriots “at” Oakland Raiders, Mexico City.
The Patriots dominated every aspect of this game improving on their recent run of stout defense as they limited the Raiders to just eight points (which came meaninglessly in the 4th quarter trailing 30-0). Tom Brady and the Patriots offense were absolutely surgical piling 420 yards with no turnovers, two penalties, and just one sack conceded. The New England has it rolling now and, at 8-2, they still (inexplicably!) have five games left against division opponents who they’ve absolutely owned the last 15 years. Don’t be surprised if they enter the playoffs having gone from 2-2 to 14-2. Gawd I hate the Patriots.
Week Eleven Accuracy: 3-0
Overall Accuracy: 19-6
Danny is out of town this holiday week so Brad will be “grading his paper” so to speak.
Danny was wrong. Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers.
Danny had the Packers winning a close one, but he was also under the impression that Alex Collins would start at QB in place of the dinged up Joe Flacco. As it turned out, Flacco came to play and the Packer offense did not. Of particular concern was the performance by Brett Hundley. His lackluster play spawned a column from our resident Green Bay fan titled The Brett Hundley Experiment and got him a dubious mention in 5 Things I Think as well. All this is to say that nobody saw an outing this bad for the UCLA product just seven days after he appeared to have made some progress, helping his team beat the division-rival Bears on the road. Well, it’s gonna get worse before it gets better as this week the Packers stay in the AFC North making a road trip to Pittsburgh for SNF.
Danny was right. Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers.
Danny had the Chargers covering the spread and cover they did! Buffalo rookie Nathan Peterman had a nightmare first NFL start throwing five INTs and was yanked for Tyrod Taylor who played better in relief this week than he did as the starter against New Orleans last time out. As Danny mentioned, by burying Buffalo 54-24, the Chargers keep their playoff hopes alive in the underwhelming AFC. In fact, there are a lot of outlets calling the Chargers a likely playoff team despite sitting at 4-6. Yahoo Sports even posited that LA would win the AFC West if we started the season over! Danny had it first, folks!
Danny was right. Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys.
Danny called for the Eagles to win comfortably and, despite a rocky first half, that’s precisely what happened. Trailing 9-7 at the half, Philly turned it all around and scored the final 30 points to devastate their hated rival and did so without the benefit of a place kicker. Rookie Jake Elliot was concussed on a kick return early in the game which forced Philly to attempt 2-point conversions after each of their four second-half touchdowns. As Danny mentioned, playing without Zeke is impacting the Cowboys deeply. No one misses him more than young their QB, Dak Prescott, who was terrible tossing three interceptions and taking four sacks. Don’t look now Dallas, but the Chargers and their aggressive pass rush are coming to town for Turkey Day!
Week Eleven Accuracy: 2-1
Overall Accuracy: 16-8
Chris was wrong about the winner as injuries plague the Seahawks. Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks.
The Falcons are still dead to me for giving up against the Patriots earlier this year, but they managed to survive on the road against the Seahawks. Richard Sherman was out, Kam Chancellor was out, promising rookie Shaquill Griffin left early, and the Legion of Boom becomes Byron and Jeremy. Despite the sudden collapse of the Seahawks defensive core, the Falcons still struggled offensively. Matt Ryan only threw for 195 yards on 27 attempts, the Falcons running game struggled without Devonta Freeman anchoring the backfield, and Julio Jones continues to have just one touchdown on the year. The Seahawks weren’t any better with Russell Wilson throwing for 258 yards on a whopping 42 attempts and their run game continues to be non-existent (outside Wilson) with J.D. McKissic netting the lion’s share on Monday night. Don’t ask, I don’t know who McKissic is either.
Chris was right. Thank you, Connor. Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears.
Surprisingly, the Lions v. Bears game was one of the better match ups this weekend. Mitch (or Mitchell if you’re his mother) Trubisky wasn’t exactly stellar, but he didn’t throw a pick and had a couple of quality drives to keep his team in the game late. Jordan Howard continues to be the best thing going for the Chicago Bears and their defense has really shown improvement. The Bears were able to get some pressure on Matt Stafford in this game and that’s about all you can hope for when he’s playing this well. Stafford threw for two touchdowns and 299 yards on an efficient 21 for 31 attempts. Late in the fourth quarter, the Bears had the opportunity to force overtime with a field goal but Connor Barth and his placeholder weren’t on the same page and they missed from 46 yards out.
Check out Staley Da Bear as Barth’s kick sails wide right. That reaction seems to sum up the Bears fans feelings on the season as they watch the quarterback circus parade through town followed quickly by a place kicking fiasco. Barth is out, but Cairo Santos hasn’t fared much better.
Chris was wrong about the outcome. Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings are legit. Any talk of sitting Case Keenum in favor of Teddy Bridgewater should be squashed right now. He’s not the flashiest guy around but he gets the job done. He played a tough defense and managed to out-duel Jared Goff in a game where the scoreline looks much more severe than it actually was. This was a close one for most of three quarters but the Vikings defense dug in and was able to win the turnover battle. They created pressure for Jared Goff and allowed only 45 rushing yards on 17 attempts. I’ve been saying all season Todd Gurley is the key to victory for this Ram’s team and he wasn’t able to get going in U.S. Bank Stadium. Despite his struggles, I felt like the Rams had a chance in this one and I still think they’re one of the best teams in the league at this point. Sean McVay will make his adjustments and we’ll get to really see what they’re made of in week 12 against the Saints.