Teams are beginning to feel the pressure as the season hurtles towards the finish line and not all were up to the challenge in Week 11. While contenders such as the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers strengthened their cases by extending their winning streaks, the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Los Angeles Chargers and the New York Jets balked at the occasion.
Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys rebounded into the win column while the Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots continued to make their cases for playoff berths.
The Los Angeles Rams, in the meanwhile, continued their steady descent into obscurity and the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans met with more misery.
NFL Week 11 Highlights & Lessons Learned
Lions on a Win Streak!
Not only are the Detroit Lions (4-6-0) enjoying their first three-game winning streak since 2017, they also have the longest winning streak in the NFC as a whole – a distinction they share with the San Francisco 49ers after they emerged victorious at the expense of the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
Dan Campbell’s side earned their third straight victory behind a dominant 31-18 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. In so doing, Campbell’s Lions bettered their 3-13-1 record from last season.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 21, 2022
Belichick Owns Jets
Bill Belichick earned his 14th straight win over the New York Jets (and 14th straight in the regular season at Gillette Stadium) as the New England Patriots edged their AFC East rivals 10-3 on a windy, chilly Sunday afternoon in Foxborough. It took a single moment of special teams brilliance in the dying seconds of the game to extract the victory for the hosts, as rookie Marcus Jones galloped for an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 22, 2022
It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win nonetheless. The Patriots improved to a 6-4-0 record on the season and moved into third place in a highly competitive AFC East. What’s more, with all four teams in the division above .500 and jockeying for playoff positioning, the series sweep over the Jets could prove decisive down the line.
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Special Teams Sink Bears
Speaking of special teams play, Cordelle Patterson’s 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown proved to be the catalyst in the Atlanta Falcons’ come-from-behind 27-24 victory over the Chicago Bears. It was Patterson’s ninth career kickoff return for a touchdown, setting an NFL record.
The Falcons (5-6-0) are the surprise package of the NFC South and the wider NFC. They’re in second place in a wide-open division and ninth in the race to the playoffs.
Rams Hit Nadir
Any lingering hope of “running it back” that Sean McVay or his precious Rams might have entertained as they entered Week 11 is likely gone following Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.
It’s hard to see the Rams (3-7-0) turning around their season at this late stage, even if the NFC West is far from decided. The defending Super Bowl champions lost their fourth game in a row for the first time in the McVay era in Los Angeles. But the worst of it is the status of Matthew Stafford, who didn’t finish the game and is being evaluated for a concussion for the second time in three weeks.
Matthew Stafford is headed to the locker room after taking this 2-man sack 😬
Bryce Perkins is now in for the Rams.pic.twitter.com/0Bxaf2BTwL
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) November 20, 2022
Raiders Sweep Broncos … Big Whoop!
Just when you think you’ve seen the worst of the Russell Wilson-inspired Denver Broncos, they find a way to surprise you by sinking even lower, such as losing to the woeful Las Vegas Raiders.
The Broncos led the Raiders for the better part of the game – until they didn’t. Up 16-13 in the fourth quarter and with just shy of two minutes left to clinch the victory, Wilson makes an ill-advised toss out of bounds on a third-down play that effectively handed the ball back to the Raiders with 1:43 left on the clock. It was all the time Derek Carr and Co. needed to tie the game, send it into overtime and then, with the momentum firmly behind them, march into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
All told, the Raiders (3-7-0) won their sixth straight game against the Broncos (3-7-0), including the series sweep this season. Big whoop!
Titans Repeatedly Underestimated
The Tennessee Titans (7-3-0) lack the pizzazz of the Kansas City Chiefs (8-2-0), but they more than make up for it by an unassuming winning run of form that is barely getting the respect it deserves in the markets. For instance, the Titans are the best team in the league right now against the spread with an 8-2-0 ATS record. As well, they’re a solid 4-1-0 ATS as an underdog.
The Titans kicked off Week 11 with a 27-17 upset over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Thursday night, coming through for their backers as the +3-point road underdogs. The win moved the Titans into third place in the AFC standings, behind the Chiefs and Miami Dolphins (7-3-0) and ahead of the Baltimore Ravens (7-3-0) and the Buffalo Bills (7-3-0).