Week 11 in the NFL will complete its last game tonight as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the LA Rams and the roundup of games is showing football fans that anything – and everything – is still possible this season. From blowouts to upsets, the NFL continues to keep everyone entertained. There’s a good chance many sports gamblers aren’t happy with the results of a few of yesterday’s contests, but, if winning were easy, everyone would do it.
Someone put something in the Houston Texans’ Gatorade yesterday. Quarterback Deshaun Watson connected for 344 yards and three touchdowns against the New England Patriots, on the way to building a 27-20 lead with less than four minutes on the clock. Pats tried to get back into the game, but QB Cam Newton couldn’t overcome a determined, but tired, Texans defense and couldn’t find his way to advance a last-minute drive.
The Tennessee Titans met the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore and both teams fought hard from the first play. However, it was Derrick Henry who will go down as the man who saved the day for Tennessee. The Titans and the Ravens went back and forth throughout the game, leaving the score tied at 24 when regulation play ended. Now headed into overtime, it was the running back who, starting at the Ravens’ 30, took a handoff from QB Ryan Tannehill, busted through the defensive line and ran into the end zone for a touchdown and the OT win. That win gave the Titans a little bit of a boost in the AFC South that is going to prove key later on this season.
There isn’t too much to say about the Pittsburgh Steelers/Jacksonville Jaguars (mix)matchup. The Jaguars are not having anything that resembles a decent season, sitting last in the AFC South, and took a beating from QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers yesterday as they were thrashed 27-3. The Steelers are now comfortably on top of the AFC North and remain the only undefeated team in the league this season.
Speaking of thrashing, something got the Carolina Panthers fired up yesterday. That was perhaps P.J. Walker, who was filling in for an injured Teddy Bridgewater as QB. Despite being on the field without their big play-caller and key running back Chris McCaffrey, the Panthers found a lot of help from Walker, who threw for 258 yards on the way to a 20-0 win over the Detroit Lions. The Lions were shut out for the first time since the 2009 season, and are most likely going to be out of the postseason if they can’t find some way to turn things around.
The Washington Football Team pulled off a bitter-sweet win against the Cincinnati Bengals. While it was a huge morale-booster for Washington, it came at the expense of the Bengals QB, Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. He went down in the second half of the game after reportedly tearing his ACL following a big hit. Washington walked away with a 20-9 victory to stay alive in the NFC East, while the Bengals are writing off Burrow for the rest of the season.
Taysom Hill proved why he deserves a spot in the New Orleans Saints lineup. Filling in for an injured Drew Brees, the versatile Hill not only produced winning passes to lead the Saints to a 24-9 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, but he also ran one of those scores in himself. It was his first start under center with the Saints, who are still in first place in the NFC South.
The Cleveland Browns have had a decent season this year, which has shocked more than a handful of fans. That’s one of the reasons they went into yesterday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles as the clear favorites, and running back Nick Chubb made sure his team didn’t let backers down. In a game played in almost constant rain, the Browns walked away with a 22-17 win, but the Eagles can still hold onto bragging rights for one thing. They’re still in first in the NFC East, even if that means sitting on top of a division that includes nothing but teams with losing records.
Patrick Mahomes earned his paycheck in a big way yesterday as he led a last-minute push by the Kansas City Chiefs to take down the Las Vegas Raiders. Needing a touchdown to win the game, Mahomes connected with tight end Travis Kelce under pressure in the final seconds for a touchdown, giving the Chiefs a 35-31 win.
The Indianapolis Colts/Green Bay Packers game was almost a tale of two football games – the first half saw the Colts allow three touchdowns and 28 points, but the second half would keep the Packers to just three. Because of that, the game was forced into OT and the Colts defense rallied once again. OT had just gotten underway when Indianapolis forced Green Bay to fumble. That set up Rodrigo Blankenship to try – and make – a 39-yard field goal, and the Colts walked away with the 34-31 win.
When the 2020 NFL season was first getting underway, the Over/Under predictions were regularly below the final outcome. That has changed somewhat since the season has pushed forward, and yesterday’s games only found five Overs – eight scores were under. The biggest Over margin was the game between the LA Chargers and the New York Jets, with the Jets giving a surprising, but losing, performance that led to a final score of 34-28 – 15 points above the Over/Under. No one had expected the Panthers to give the Lions such a beating, and this missed reaching the Over/Under by 27 points. More of this should be expected as the season runs deeper.