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's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.


Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome