The Good, The Bad And The NFL
To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated Sunday’s NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest pairs the teams from two previous Super Bowls. In Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota, the Eagles and quarterback NICK FOLES orchestrated a critical touchdown drive that drained 7:01 off the fourth-quarter clock. On that 14-play, 75-yard march, Foles completed 8 of 10 passes, including an 11-yard scoring strike to ZACH ERTZ as Philadelphia retook a lead it would not relinquish in a 41-33 triumph over New England, the Eagles’ first NFL title since 1960 and first-ever Super Bowl championship. Just before half, Foles caught a 1-yard TD pass from TREY BURTON, branding the phrase “Philly Special” into Super Bowl lore. The Patriots (613) and Eagles (538) combined for a Super Bowl record 1,151 net yards. Thirteen years earlier, on February 6, 2005, at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, the Patriots captured their third Lombardi Trophy over a four-year stretch, a 24-21 win over the Eagles. New England linebacker and current Titans head coach MIKE VRABEL caught a 2-yard touchdown from TOM BRADY to break a 7-7 tie in the third quarter. Game MVP DEION BRANCH, who had 11 receptions for 133 yards, set up that touchdown with three key grabs. TEDY BRUSCHI and RODNEY HARRISON had fourth-quarter interceptions in the first Super Bowl ever to enter the final stanza in a tie game.
WATSON-JACKSON SHOWDOWN MARQUEES WEEK 11: Two of the NFL’s most exciting young quarterbacks square off Sunday when the HOUSTON TEXANS meet the BALTIMORE RAVENS (1:00 PM ET, CBS). Last week, Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON recorded his second 2019 game with a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, and became the second player in NFL history (BEN ROETHLISBERGER, 2007) to post two 158.3 passer ratings in the same season. He also added a career-long 47-yard touchdown run in Baltimore’s win at Cincinnati. The Texans’ DESHAUN WATSON earlier this season posted his own 158.3 rating, in Week 5, and became the first player ever to pass for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game.
Watson enters Week 11 ranked fourth in the NFL with a 107.1 passer rating, while Jackson is ninth with a 101.7 mark. Sunday’s matchup is the second time in NFL history that two starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 with a passer rating of 100-or-better will square off in Week 11 or later. The first was a year ago this week, November 19, 2018, when JARED GOFF (113.0 rating, 24 years, 36 days old) and the Rams defeated PATRICK MAHOMES (117.4 rating, 23 years, 63 days old) and the Chiefs, 54-51.
AFC WEST CLUBS CLASH SOUTH OF BORDER: The NFL returns to Mexico when the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS host the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN). Estadio Azteca, which is 7,201 feet above sea level, will host a regular-season NFL game for the fourth time (also 2005, 2016 and 2017).
Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES, who makes his 26th career start this week, has 8,007 career passing yards, the most by a quarterback in his first 25 starts in NFL history. Mahomes, who has 68 career touchdown passes, also surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (65 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his first 25 career starts in NFL history.
DEFENSES TURNING OFFENSIVE: Since the beginning of 2018, the CHICAGO BEARS and the LOS ANGELES RAMS are tied for second in the NFL with seven defensive touchdowns. Those clubs clash in Los Angeles (8:20 PM ET, NBC) on Sunday Night Football. The BALTIMORE RAVENS lead the NFL with eight defensive touchdowns since the beginning of 2018, while the NEW YORK JETS also have seven, tied with the Bears and Rams.
Overall in Week 10, despite only 13 games on the schedule, NFL teams combined to score nine defensive touchdowns, the most since Week 6 of 2017 (10 defensive touchdowns).
DOLPHINS ON WINNING STREAK: There’s always hope in the NFL. The MIAMI DOLPHINS host the BUFFALO BILLS on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) with an opportunity to win a third consecutive game. The SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS were the most recent team to open a season with seven-or-more consecutive losses and then win three-or-more games in the same season. The 49ers in 2017 began 0-7 but won their final five games. Now, just two years later, San Francisco owns a share of the NFL’s best record at 8-1.
PATRIOTS BID FOR 19 STRAIGHT: With a win on Sunday at Philadelphia (4:25 PM ET, CBS), the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS can move to 9-1 and clinch a 19th consecutive winning season. In NFL history, the only team to string together at least 19 winning seasons was the DALLAS COWBOYS, who assembled a streak of 20 winning campaigns from 1966-85.
Among the other three major professional league sports, a franchise has authored 19-or-more consecutive winning seasons on only seven occasions: New York Yankees (39, 1926-64), Montreal Canadiens (32, 1951-52 to 1982-83), Boston Bruins (29, 1967-68 to 1995-96), New York Yankees (27, 1993-2019), Detroit Red Wings (24, 1991-92 to 2015-16), San Antonio Spurs (22, 1997-98 to 2018-19) and Utah Jazz (19, 1985-86 to 2003-04).
MARGIN OF VICTORY IS SHRINKING: With a season-high six teams on their byes this past week, the NFL played just 13 games. Eleven of those 13 games were separated by one possession (eight points or fewer). In 36 games this season, a team has won or tied after trailing in the fourth quarter.
NFL SCHEDULE, NOVEMBER 14, 17-18
(All times Eastern)
|Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns||8:20 PM||FOX/NFLN
|New York Jets at Washington Redskins||1:00 PM||FOX|
|Sunday||Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers||4:05 PM||FOX|
|Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens||1:00 PM||CBS||Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders||4:25 PM||CBS|
|Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers||1:00 PM||FOX||New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles||4:25 PM||CBS|
|Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions||1:00 PM||FOX||Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams||8:20 PM||NBC|
|Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts||1:00 PM||CBS||Monday|
|Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins||1:00 PM||CBS||Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers+||8:15 PM||ESPN|
|Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings||1:00 PM||CBS|
|New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 PM||FOX||Byes: Green Bay, New York Giants, Seattle, Tennessee|