NFL Week 11 Observations

The good, bad and ugly in the NFL from Week 11

The Rams and Chiefs gave us a remarkable show. Rams team web site

What a week of football! We saw some great performances, and we saw some boneheaded decisions that could’ve cost teams playoff positioning. Here’s how I saw it play out:

The Good

-Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson led his team to a 24-21 win over the Bengals. But this isn’t your father’s NFL. While Jackson’s 13 of 19 for 150 yards passing was respectable, his 117 yards rushing on 27 carries was unreal! Welcome to the new NFL where your quarterback will pass 50-60 times, or run it damn near 30 times.

-Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley totaled 152 yards on 29 touches and three touchdowns in their 38-35 win over the Bucs. He’s an all-purpose threat that can win a game rushing or receiving. He did drop Eli Manning’s only incompletion though.

-The Rams and Chiefs played one hell of a game Monday night! The chess match between Sean McVey and Andy Reid was special. It looked more like a Big 12 matchup rather than an NFL game. The Rams pulled out the win 54-51 win. In one of the highest scoring games in NFL history!  

The Bad

-The Raiders own approximately 327 first round picks in the 2019 draft. They could’ve secured the No. 1 overall pick had they not won Sunday against the Cardinals. Trading two of your best players is a sign of tanking. So if you’re going to tank Chucky, tank properly.

-The Falcons and Jags are both in a free fall. Both teams were expected to be Super Bowl contenders but are 4-6 and 3-7 respectively. Injuries have hampered the Falcons, while chemistry issues, and injuries, have hurt the Jags. No matter, both teams should be much better than what their records show.

-The Chargers lost to the Broncos 23-22 on a field goal as time expired. Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers missed Keenan Allen on a third and seven and they decided to punt. This loss will hurt them in the tightly contested AFC. 7-3 puts them in 5th spot in AFC playoff standings when 8-2 could’ve left them with a shot a 1st.

The Ugly

-The Panthers were 6-3, second place in the NFC South, and looking like a contender. That sort of changed when they decided to go for a two point conversion and missed. Cam Newton missed an easy throw. Now they’re 6-4 and within a game of missing the playoffs.

-The Bucs’ quarterback situation has been like a bad game of musical chairs. They have bounced back and forth between Ryan Fitztragic and Jameis No-Winston. Hopefully for their fans, they can move on from both and draft one in the offseason.

-I know I hit on this in my Texans article Sunday, but since we’ve learned the true extent of Alex Smith’s injury. He had to have emergency surgery Sunday not long after the game to repair a broken tibia and fibula. Thoughts and prayers to him and a speedy recovery.

When I look back on football games, I look for certain triggers. Turnover battle, points off turnovers, rushing yards, and time of possession. When I look at playoff positioning, I look at teams that hit their stride late in the season that can remain healthy. Saints, Rams, Chiefs, Steelers, and Bears are the ones I see that are separating themselves right now. I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of this season has in store!   

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome