The Titans topped the Packers 27-17 Thursday night time as Ryan Tannehill went 22-of-27 passing for 333 yards and two touchdowns to outduel reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Derrick Henry, seemingly constructed for the brisk Green Bay climate, added 87 yards and a rating on the bottom, totaled 45 receiving yards and even threw a jump-pass landing of his personal to tight finish Austin Hooper.
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Tennessee improved to 7-3 with the win, rising its lead within the AFC South, whereas Green Bay dropped to 4-7, falling an astounding 5 video games behind Minnesota within the NFC North. With six losses within the final seven video games, it seems the Packers may be simply who we thought they have been: a bad team.
But wait — there’s way more to Week 11 nonetheless to come back. Can the Eagles bounce again after their first lack of the season? How will the transfer to Detroit have an effect on the Browns-Bills sport? Will the Vikings hold it rolling when the Cowboys come to city? The Athletic’s Mike Jones, Mike Sando and Ben Standig dish on what they’ll be watching Sunday and Monday.
Four groups have byes this week: the Jaguars, Dolphins, Seahawks and Buccaneers. Which of these groups do you see as probably the most harmful within the second half of the season?
Jones: It’s a coin toss between the Bucs and the Dolphins for me. Obviously, the Dolphins are rolling proper now, having gained 4 straight to succeed in 7-3. You simply hope that the layoff doesn’t diminish a few of that momentum. But as a complete, that crew is enjoying very nicely. The Bucs seemingly are gaining some momentum as nicely, having gained two straight to succeed in 5-5. They have a second-half slate that appears favorable with San Francisco and Cincinnati being the one opponents with profitable data left amongst their last seven video games. The Dolphins have the 49ers, Bills, Jets and Patriots, and you may’t fairly rely out the Packers but both.
Sando: Very troublesome query. It could possibly be the Bucs, considerably surprisingly, as a result of they’ve the clearest path for profitable their division and we all know Tom Brady will constantly carry out at a excessive stage when supported adequately. I feel Miami is probably the most intriguing of the three, however there are some questions on how the high-flying cross offense will operate within the December chilly with video games at Buffalo and New England. Seattle is fascinating as a result of Pete Carroll’s groups steadily enhance, and there’s good younger expertise that’s nonetheless coming collectively, however we nonetheless have to see Geno Smith carry out over a full season. I like all three of these groups down the stretch.
Standig: Put me down for the crew with the most effective wager to make the playoffs. That’s proper, the Buccaneers. Sure, the Dolphins and Seahawks lead their respective divisions, however they each have reputable challengers. Tampa Bay’s 5-5 file is underwhelming, nevertheless it has gained two consecutive video games, and that’s ok to guide this division. Then think about Tom Brady — for all of the old-timer discuss, the 45-year-old is second within the NFL with 2,805 passing yards — the crew’s big-game expertise and the third-easiest remaining schedule per Football Outsiders, and it’s onerous seeing how the Bucs don’t attain the postseason for a 3rd consecutive 12 months. And neglect simply making it. Tampa Bay has higher Super Bowl possibilities than these different groups, per Football Outsiders, and the seventh-best possibilities general.
Updated NFL playoff picture: Which teams have growing concerns entering Week 11?
Following their first lack of the season Monday night time, the Eagles (8-1) journey to Indianapolis on Sunday to face the Colts (4-5-1). Will this be a bounce-back sport for Philadelphia, or has Jeff Saturday found a winning combination with Matt Ryan and firm?
Jones: Washington had a superb sport plan and executed it nicely. But the Commanders additionally caught the Eagles on an evening when Philly exhibited some uncharacteristic struggles. So, I search for the Eagles to bounce again in opposition to the Colts. Indy beat the Raiders, who’re a large number. Don’t get too excited.
Sando: I lean towards Philadelphia delivering a actuality examine to the Colts. The Raiders struggled to have an effect on Matt Ryan final week. Philly ought to do a greater job of creating him uncomfortable. The Eagles are the higher, extra dynamic crew and that must be evident on the sector.
Standig: I watched in individual as Washington ran for 152 yards in a shocking win over Philadelphia on the heels of the Eagles permitting 168 and 144 yards on the bottom of their earlier two video games. None of these groups has a operating again like Jonathan Taylor. The Saturday experiment acquired means an excessive amount of derision, and the Colts are 4-3-1 with Matt Ryan starting. Therefore, the decision right here is … the Eagles. I’m not somebody who noticed them as a juggernaut even at 8-0, and the run protection is worrisome. However, they’re much more gifted throughout the board than the Colts, and coach Nick Sirianni ought to have the total consideration of his gamers this week.
NFL contenders’ defensive flaws: How worried should Eagles, Bills and Cowboys be?
Like the Eagles, the Bills (6-3) are coming off a tricky loss and are hoping for a get-right sport Sunday in opposition to a lesser opponent — of their case, the Browns (3-6). The sport has been moved to Detroit due to the unhealthy climate anticipated in Buffalo, however will Josh Allen get again on monitor, or are there greater issues for the Bills to deal with?
Jones: The Bills shall be fantastic. His coaches simply have to do a greater job of assuaging the stress on him and serving to him understand he doesn’t should play hero ball each single down. That’s why he has thrown 4 pink zone interceptions within the final two video games: He’s forcing issues. Yes, he’s a fantastic expertise and a tremendous playmaker, however he wants to search out higher stability. Sometimes, it’s OK to throw the ball away.
Sando: Josh Allen will get again on monitor and Buffalo nonetheless has greater issues to deal with. Allen is having to do an excessive amount of for the Bills these days. He can carry the offense, however when he has to do it on a regular basis, you’re going to see some higher-risk performs with destructive outcomes. Allen has 24 turnovers in his final 21 begins, probably the most he’s had in any 21-start interval for his profession. He wants to make use of higher judgment, however he may use some assist from his offensive line, scheme, floor sport and extra. His issues are an extension of these issues, to some extent.
Standig: Buffalo is the decision even after back-to-back losses. The offense wants some fine-tuning, however it is going to take a while to really feel higher concerning the floor sport so Allen isn’t pressured into some questionable choices. Speaking of operating assaults, the placement shift to Detroit is nice information for the Bills because the Browns have energy again Nick Chubb and a fierce offensive line.
One of Sunday’s most intriguing matchups pits Robert Saleh and the Jets (6-3) in opposition to nemesis Bill Belichick and the Patriots (5-4) in Foxboro. How do you see this one enjoying out?
Jones: The Patriots gained the final sport after Belichick’s defense did what it usually does in opposition to younger quarterbacks. You’d hope that Zach Wilson can study from a few of his struggles the final trip, however we haven’t seen quite a lot of consistency from him, so it’s onerous to say. I consider the Jets can beat the Patriots. But I wouldn’t be stunned if New England pulls off the sweep.
Sando: I’m leaning towards the Jets incomes the break up within the season collection. When the groups performed three weeks in the past, New England gained 22-17 on the power of its largest single-game EPA benefit on particular groups since 2020 Week 13 in opposition to the Chargers. That form of factor may occur once more, nevertheless it’s unlikely. I’ll financial institution on the Jets protection having fun with a fair higher matchup benefit than the Patriots protection will get pleasure from.
Standig: This isn’t a classic Patriots crew, and the Jets have a barely higher file, however that is one thing of a measuring stick sport for New York on the street. The Quinnen Williams-led protection is inflicting chaos, and the Jets are 4-0 away from MetLife Stadium. Still, Belichick is on the opposite sideline and has loads of J-E-T-S pelts on the wall from over time together with one from three weeks in the past. If Zach Wilson avoids youthful gaffes, this feels just like the time for Saleh to direct his group previous its AFC East rival.
Buckley: Sunday’s Jets-Patriots game a rare matchup between rivals in the playoff hunt
The spotlight of the late-afternoon time slot Sunday must be the Cowboys (6-3) squaring off with the stunning Vikings (8-1) in Minnesota. Are the Vikings for actual, or do you anticipate Dallas to indicate on the street that it’s nonetheless one of many NFC’s high groups?
Jones: The Vikings confirmed us every little thing we wanted to know final week. Their protection pressured Josh Allen into errors, their offense made the gotta-have-it plays when it mattered most. This is an excellent soccer crew that also is barely scratching the floor. The Vikings win once more.
Sando: Minnesota is for actual within the NFC and will win this sport with home-field benefit on its facet. But it’s by no means that easy with the Vikings! We’ll in all probability see seven lead adjustments within the last 90 seconds. This rivalry is known for Roger Staubach’s Hail Mary to Drew Pearson in 1975. Maybe the Vikings can reenact the 1980 “Miracle at the Met” Hail Mary with a Kirk Cousins deep ball to Justin Jefferson in honor of the Tommy Kramer-to-Ahmad Rashad play.
Standig: The Vikings are absolutely the kings of the comeback this season, and Justin Jefferson is a receiving monster. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are 2-2 of their final 4 video games and haven’t defeated a crew with a profitable file since Week 3. Yet it’s Dallas that’s rated fourth in DVOA, nicely forward of the Vikings (17). While I purchase Minnesota’s resume, I don’t assume it’s three video games higher than Dallas. Let’s go together with the Cowboys on the street.
What is probably the most fascinating storyline of Week 11 that we haven’t but mentioned? What are you personally most excited to see?
Jones: It’s not typically that we contemplate the Lions intriguing, however I discover myself actually interested in what’s occurring there. They’ve gained back-to-back video games in opposition to divisional opponents. They’re nonetheless simply 3-6, however for some motive, it looks like they may be placing issues collectively. And I’m curious if the Giants are nearly as good as their file suggests. They bounced again from their loss to Seattle by beating Houston, and at 7-2, they’ve already gained extra video games than they’ve within the final 5 years. Can they choose up win No. 8?
The coaching magic behind the NFL’s most surprising turnaround
Sando: Justin Fields main the Bears into Atlanta, two years after the Falcons bypassed deciding on him (or any quarterback) with the fourth choose within the 2021 draft. Atlanta had its causes for choosing tight finish Kyle Pitts at No. 4, however the determination was debatable. Fields’ current emergence comes because the Falcons are fielding questions on whether or not they’re contemplating a quarterback change (they’re sticking with Marcus Mariota).
Standig: Commanders-Texans. Yep, I’m going with the least engaging sport on the complete NFL slate. Washington is now 3-1 in quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s 4 begins, together with Monday’s upset at Philadelphia, since Carson Wentz suffered a fractured finger. The lone defeat in that stretch got here to one-loss Minnesota regardless of holding a 10-point lead within the fourth. Ron Rivera boldly acquired Wentz this offseason. The logical name is the coach turning back to Wentz when he’s activated off IR. However, the Commanders are responding to Heinicke’s underdog vibes, Terry McLaurin is morphing into an alpha receiver, the protection is flying and a 1-7-1 Houston crew presents an opportunity to keep up momentum. Unless Washington blows this one, I’m undecided how Rivera tells Heinicke he’s not QB1.
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(Illustration: John Bradford / The Athletic; images: Grant Halverson, Mike Stobe, Stephen Maturen / Getty Images)