Well, this 2017 NFL season sure does continue to bring the entertainment, even if the overall product is down from seasons past with injuries. Week 11 was no exception as the Saints and Vikings continued their dominance, and where Connor Barth was finally put out of his misery.
From impressive quarterbacks to dominant defenses and dismal quarterback play to Connor BARF, we’re breaking down the good and the bad from this week in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at the winners and losers in Week 11 of the 2017 NFL season:
The NFL is a funny league. It’s also been a surprising season, complete with former Rams QB Case Keenum lighting it up for the playoff-bound Minnesota Vikings, without their star rookie running back but with an impressive defense. While Keenum’s numbers aren’t flashy — 27-for-38 for 28o yards and a touchdown — his performance continued a solid streak that leaves Teddy Bridgewater on the bench. And if Keenum keeps this hot streak up, we won’t be seeing Bridgewater anytime soon.
New York Giants
What is it about the New York Giants and winning games they shouldn’t have won? The Giants’ only two wins this season have come against AFC West opponents that should’ve destroyed them. Only the Giants’ 12-9 victory over the Kansas Chiefs feels even more impressive as it’s become blatantly obvious that coach Ben McAdoo has lost his team.
New Orleans Saints
Even when it seems as if the Saints are headed for their third loss of the season, they’ve shown how resilient this squad is this season even when they’re down. The Saints marched down the field with a Kamara touchdown — and a two-point conversion — to tie the game in the final minutes and force overtime. After getting a stop on defense, the Saints once again drove down the field to kick the game-winning field goal. This is a very good football team. They’re balanced, they’re potent, and they’re gunning for the top of the NFC.
The Los Angeles Chargers were the latest team to take it to the once-promising Buffalo Bills in a 54-24 ass-kicking. The Chargers defense certainly had a day with six takeaways, as well as two defensive touchdowns. The Chargers defense picked off Bills rookie QB Nathan Peterman 5 times in the first half alone, and they later added another pick of Tyrod Taylor to bring their total to 6. This was just embarrassing for the Bills.
It’s amazing that this is Brown’s first appearance on our winners list this season. But Brown showed why it’s stupid to ever doubt him in an impressive 40-17 beatdown of the Tennessee Titans. Brown caught 10 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns. While JuJu Smith-Schuster might’ve stolen the limelight this season with his breakout rookie campaign, Brown continues to prove why he’s one of the best in the business.
Tom Brady is like a fine wine: He only gets better with age. The 40-year old Patriots QB put on a clinic in New England’s 33-8 manhandling of the Oakland Raiders. Brady completed 30-of-37 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns. That’s how Brady rolls.
Anytime you shut out a team at home, that’s impressive. But the Baltimore Ravens defense made the day a living hell for the QB not-named-Aaron-Rodgers, Brett Hundley, who showed that his impressive showing against the Bears the previous week might’ve been a fluke. The Ravens sacked Hundley six times, intercepted him three times, and recovered three fumbles. I know they were playing the Packers, but those are some impressive numbers. Not to mention the Ravens shut out the Packers. At Lambeau.
Well, this wasn’t the spark that the Buffalo Bills had been hoping for when they benched Tyrod Taylor — because their defense wasn’t a problem in the slightest (eye roll.) Bills rookie QB Nathan Peterman got the start for Sunday’s atrocity against the Chargers, where he tossed five interceptions. IN THE FIRST HALF. Not an ideal result. And not exactly an ideal situation to put your young QB in.
Connor Barf, I Mean Barth, No I Do Mean Barf
Former Bears kicker — God that feels good to say — was perfect on the season with field goals 39 yards or less. But 40 yards out, not so much. Connor Barth, no Connor Barf’s latest snafu came in Sunday’s game against the Lions after rookie QB Mitch Trubisky drove his team down the field — again — to set up a game-tying, overtime-forcing field goal. But I ask you tell me what Bears fan actually believed Barf was going to make that field goal from 47 yards out? And Barf didn’t just miss it, he wasn’t even close. The look on poor Mitch Trubisky’s face said it all. Welcome to the Bears, kid. Also, welcome to unemployment, Barf.
Before there was Nathan Peterman, there was Marcus Mariota’s performance against the Steelers on Thursday Night Football. The Titans QB struggled against a tough road environment and errant throws, which resulted in four interceptions in a 40-17 beatdown by Pittsburgh. Not Mariota’s finest performance.
Green Bay Packers
I’m living for a season where the Green Bay Packers are living on our losers list. The Packers, that won their first game of the season the previous week against the hapless Bears, were shut out at Lambeau. And Brett Hundley proved that he’s no Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers or any decent quarterback. Sorry, you can’t play the Bears every week, Packers.
It just wasn’t Jay Cutler’s day on Sunday. The Dolphins quarterback tossed 3 interceptions in the first half against the Buccaneers. But as if that wasn’t enough, he also exited the game due to a concussion. The good news is that backup Matt Moore already proved he’s only good in mop-up duty rather than entering a week as a starter where teams gameplan for him.
I mean, you had to have known that the Dallas Cowboys were in for a long evening going up against their divisional opponent and the NFL’s best team, the Philadelphia Eagles. But while the Cowboys were able to keep it close in the beginning, the Eagles soon unleashed holy hell upon a Cowboys team that continues to struggle without its prized left tackle and running back. Plus, Dak Prescott looking very rookie-ish without the help he was afforded last season.
If there’s one constant in the NFL, it’s that the Cleveland Browns will always disappoint. The Browns’ latest disappointment came in a 19-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, where the Browns managed to find a way to lose again. The sad thing is that the Browns defense isn’t that bad. But their offense, hopeless. Who else is already wondering how the Browns are going to screw up their two top 10 draft picks come April?