With the race for the playoffs heating up in both the NFC and AFC, the playoff picture becoming clearer and rivalries renewed, Week 11 of the NFL season certainly didn’t disappoint. Here is Decyfr’s roundup of a week that saw a Super Bowl LVII rematch, a late Rams comeback and yet another game-winning performance from C.J. Stroud.
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
Final Score: 26 – 31
David Montgomery continues to show the Chicago Bears the mistake they made by releasing him in the off-season. Playing against his former side, Montgomery took the game by the scruff of the neck with 12 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Motor City team though. With just over three minutes left, Detroit were down by 12 points and the Bears looked set to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly two years. Jared Goff found Jameson Williams on a 32-yard shot to the end-zone. Detroit got the ball back and Goff connected on five passes in two minutes to set up Montgomery’s one-yard touchdown run to complete the comeback. Chicago did have the opportunity to tie the game with 22 seconds left but star defensive end, Aidan Hutchinson, stripped the ball from Justin Fields’ hands for a fumble that was kicked out of the back of the end-zone by rookie first-round offensive tackle, Darnell Wright, resulting in a safety. The Lions are now 8-2 for the first time since 1962 and extend their lead at the top of the NFC North, whilst the Bears move on to 3-8 and stay bottom of the same division.
Player of the Game: David Montgomery, Running Back, Detroit Lions.
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) November 21, 2023
Arizona Cardinals @ Houston Texans
Final Score: 16 – 21
Despite throwing a season-high three interceptions, the impressive performances of rookie quarterback, C.J. Stroud continue to amaze. The rookie had another 300-yard game, with 336 yards in the air for two touchdowns, and a single carry for minus one yard. Running back Devin Singletary also shone through in the Texans’ rushing attack, with 22 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. Rookie receiver Tank Dell led the game in receiving yards with 149 on eight catches for a touchdown. Despite Kyler Murray and the Cardinals mounting a resistance, they were unable to expose the Texans’ defense. Houston move on to 6-4 and sit second in the AFC South whilst Arizona remain bottom of the NFC West with a 2-9 record and face divisional rivals, the LA Rams, next week.
Player of the Game: C.J. Stroud, Quarterback, Houston Texans.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Green Bay Packers
Final Score: 20 – 23
The Los Angeles Chargers’ woes under head coach Brandon Staley continue to worsen, with Sunday’s performance against the Green Bay Packers showcasing their offensive struggles, despite stellar performances from quarterback, Justin Herbert. The Packers lost running back Aaron Jones to a reported leg injury, putting pressure squarely Jordan Love to deliver a Packers win. The 25-year-old quarterback, however, was more than up for the challenge – throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns to receivers Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson, whilst backup running back Jayden Reed had 46 yards and a touchdown on three carries. The Chargers’ dismal season was summed up during their late drive, when first-round rookie receiver, Quentin Johnston, dropped a pass from Justin Herbert inside the 30-yard line with just over 30 seconds left in the game. The next play, Packers defensive tackle, Kenny Clark, blocked another Herbert pass at the line of scrimmage on fourth down – sealing the win for Green Bay. The Chargers now sit bottom of the AFC West whilst the Packers hold onto third in the NFC North, with both teams searching for their fifth win of the season, in Week 12.
Player of the Game: Jordan Love, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers.
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) November 22, 2023
Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams
Final Score: 16 – 17
Matthew Stafford’s grit has long been on display and his performance against the Seahawks showcased that very trait. After taking a powerful hit to the chest on an intercepted flea-flicker, he came off the field hunched in immense pain. When he retook the field late in the fourth quarter, Stafford was a man determined – leading the team to their first fourth-quarter comeback since that historic Super Bowl win against the Bengals in 2021. Stafford ended the game with 190 yards and a touchdown to Puka Nacua. In the last few seconds of the game, the Seahawks had the opportunity to win it with a field goal from 55 yards out. However kicker Jason Myers, who hadn’t missed a field goal all season, sent it wide and the Rams won their first game since Week 6.
Player of the Game: Matthew Stafford, Quarterback, Los Angeles Rams.
Minnesota Vikings @ Denver Broncos
Final Score: 20 – 21
The story of the ‘Passtronaut’ that is Josh Dobbs, has been a fan-favourite this NFL season. Russell Wilson’s recent renaissance, however, became the game’s definitive story. Wilson connected with his receivers for 259 yards and a touchdown, going to Courtland Sutton for the winning score, late in the fourth quarter. Josh Dobbs and the Minnesota Vikings were just as impressive as they have been throughout their miraculous five-game winning streak – with Dobbs throwing for 221 yards and a touchdown as well as rushing one in, on a 10-yard scramble. His best efforts, however, still weren’t enough to eclipse Denver. The Vikings now hold a 6-5 record and remain second in the NFC North whilst the Denver Broncos move up to second in the AFC West – putting them in the hunt for a wildcard spot.
Player of the Game: Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Denver Broncos.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs
Final Score: 21 – 17
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) November 21, 2023
The long-awaited Super Bowl LVII rematch presented the Philadelphia Eagles with an opportunity to avenge their loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. The battle between brothers, Travis and Jason Kelce and the shootout between MVP candidates, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts was at the forefront of this Monday Night Football showdown. Former Georgia Bulldog, D’Andre Swift, led the Eagles’ rushing attack, with some incredible feats of speed and power to attack the second level. The Mahomes and Kelce show was in full-effect with Mahomes connecting with his legendary tight end for a touchdown. The difference between the two teams, however, was the performance of the receivers. Philadelphia’s receivers were on top form, whilst Marquez Valdes-Scantling had a major drop late in the game which would have given the Chiefs the lead and potentially the win. The Chiefs totalled five drops in the game and now have a league-leading 26 this season. Philadelphia move to 9-1 with their playoff position looking likely to be number one in the NFC, whilst Kansas City drop to 7-3 but stay on top of the AFC West.
Player of the Game: D’Andre Swift, Running back, Philadelphia Eagles.
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