2020 NFL Week 11 Recap

A so-so start, a dream come true, a nightmarish injury and Rob Woodfork predicts Aaron Rodgers’ next team. You don’t want to miss the NFL Week 11 Recap.

Rams 27
Bucs 24

There was a lot to like about this game: The NFL’s first all-Black officiating crew. Tom Brady completing a pass to himself on the 20th anniversary of his NFL debut. Jared Goff and his receivers connecting so many times they made MNF history. This was the breakthrough Sean McVay was looking for and if Goff can cut down the picks, the NFC West belongs to L.A.

And let’s not read too much into Tampa Bay’s loss. The Bucs tried hard to change up their primetime mojo but they’re simply a tired team limping their way to the latest bye week in NFL history (Week 13). Once they take their beating from the Chiefs, their final four games are very winnable and who knows how the Saints close out without Drew Brees. Brady’s Bucs will be fine.

Chiefs 35
Raiders 31

No victory lap for Gruden’s Grinders this week.

You’d think this would have happened before now, but Patrick Mahomes threw his first go-ahead touchdown pass in the final two minutes of regulation to avoid a sweep at the hands of the hated Raiders — a game that was much closer than you’d expect given the state of the Vegas defense and Kansas City’s added motivation. But Andy Reid still improves to a dominant 19-3 coming off a bye week (incidentally, this is three straight years they’ve beaten the Raiders after their bye), and Las Vegas still looks like a legit playoff contender.

Cowboys 31
Vikings 28

Well, we can’t blame Kirk Cousins for this one. Minnesota’s defense watched Andy Dalton drop dimes in his return to the field, and special teams was a total letdown. The Vikings aren’t done just yet, but they don’t deserve a spot in the playoffs with a dud like this.

Packers 31
Colts 34 (OT)

I don’t know what it is about Indianapolis, but for some reason, Aaron Rodgers’ best tends not to be enough when he plays there. Just something to consider when he becomes a Colt in 2022, when he’s cast aside for Jordan Love. Remember you heard it here first.

Jets 28
Chargers 34

Apparently, the Jets are the only thing worse than the Chargers late in games. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and Gang Green has been eliminated from playoff contention (which, if we’re being really honest, initially happened when they hired Adam Gase).

You know the saying, “Don’t talk about it, be about it?” The Jets may not be talking about tanking, but they certainly be about it.

At least Jets fans get to see Frank Gore still be incredible.

Dolphins 13
Broncos 20

Miami’s five-game win streak and Tua’s bid for history came to a screeching halt in Denver, but coach Brian Flores did the right thing by saving his young QB’s life — he took six sacks — and seeing if Fitzmagic could bail them out. The Fins will be fine thanks to back-to-back games against the winless Jets and Burrow-less Bengals.

Bengals 9
Washington 20

Washington’s first regular season win over Cincy since 1991 comes with an asterisk, because it probably doesn’t happen without Joe Burrow’s devastating knee injury. But Chase Young silenced his critics (for now), Alex Smith has his first win as a starting QB in two years and the Burgundy and Gold have a chance to go to bed Thanksgiving night atop the NFC East. Man, what a season.

Titans 30
Ravens 24 (OT)

Baltimore looks done. I get that the Ravens defense was without Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams, but the playoff rematch with Tennessee — bookended by a chippy, tone-setting pregame altercation and some postgame shade — was a stunning revelation that Baltimore is a third-place team that lacks the physicality that made it a juggernaut in 2019. Their season is over if they can’t find their mojo in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, Derrick Henry became the first player in NFL history to run for an overtime touchdown twice in one season, leading Tennessee to an 11-point comeback that continued an incredible league-wide trend. We might remember this game as the one that vaulted the Titans into the postseason and kept the Ravens home for the holidays.

Steelers 27
Jaguars 3

So much for a trap game.

Undefeated Pittsburgh certainly stayed light on their feet, as the defense generated more turnovers (4) than points allowed, and Chase Claypool leapt to the front of the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation by becoming the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to catch 10 touchdowns in his first 10 games. A Thanksgiving sweep of the Ravens won’t just lock up the AFC North — it’ll bring talk of an undefeated season from a whisper to a roar.

Eagles 17
Browns 22

Philly fumbled away any chance of staying undefeated against Cleveland in this millennium, and, more importantly, any chance at running away with the lousy NFC East. If Doug Pederson doesn’t bench Carson Wentz, the Eagles’ only Super Bowl-winning coach will be the one fired much sooner than anyone expected.

Meanwhile, the Browns look like a physically imposing playoff contender, riding the Nick Chubb-Kareem Hunt train right into the AFC wild card picture. Cleveland’s favorable remaining schedule leads me to believe they’ll stay there.

Falcons 9
Saints 24

He certainly didn’t look like Steve Young, but Taysom Hill was good enough to lead New Orleans to a big win in the bayou that keeps the Saints undefeated in a competitive division. All Hill has to do is protect the ball against losing teams the next three weeks and this team will enter the Dec. 20 game against the Chiefs at 11-2.

Patriots 20
Texans 27

Cam Newton, whose pregame attire was vaguely familiar, had a helluva duel with Deshaun Watson, showing no signs of a post-COVID “stagnant thought process” and posting his best passing day as a Patriot. If #1 keeps playing like this, I wouldn’t write off New England just yet.

Lions 0
Panthers 20

Carolina won with an XFL quarterback living his dream thanks largely to a young defense that handed Matthew Stafford the first shutout loss of his career. Matt Rhule’s Panthers might be pretty damn good in a couple years.

Cardinals 21
Seahawks 28

Russell Wilson indeed kept swinging, and this time went turnover-free and thrived under duress to improve his sterling record to 9-1 on Thursday nights and 28-8-1 in primetime (best among starting QBs since 1950). But this game was won with Seattle’s much-maligned defense finally playing to its capabilities and holding Kyler Murray to a season-low 15 rushing yards (which is apparently the key to beating Arizona). If the Seahawks D keeps this up, Seattle may not lose another game this season.

Rob Woodfork

Rob Woodfork is WTOP's Senior Sports Content Producer, which includes duties as producer and host of the DC Sports Huddle, nightside sports anchor and sports columnist on WTOP.com.

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