The Good The Bad and The NFL
The NFL has designated Sunday’s OAKLAND RAIDERS-NEW YORK JETS matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest is a nod to an earlier meeting that forever changed the way football is consumed. On November 17, 1968, Heidi unexpectedly became part of sports vernacular when East Coast viewers suddenly lost the NBC broadcast of Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE NAMATH’s Jets trying to hold off a Raiders fourth-quarter comeback. While a large portion of the national audience saw the opening scenes of a made-for-TV movie featuring an orphan girl living with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps, Raiders quarterback DARYLE LAMONICA was throwing a 43-yard, go-ahead touchdown to CHARLIE SMITH with 42 seconds left. On the ensuing kickoff, with the Jets down 36-32 and Heidi’s melodious tones airing in most American living rooms, Oakland’s BILL BUDNESS forced a fumble and teammate PRESTON RIDLEHUBER returned it for a touchdown to seal the game. While NBC made a valiant last-second effort to avoid cutting away from the AFL game, several affiliates aired the musical during the Raiders’ comeback. Six weeks later, the Jets got revenge, turning away Oakland at New York’s Shea Stadium in the AFL Championship Game, giving Namath an opportunity to guarantee victory at Super Bowl III.
FLURRY OF TIEBREAKER GAMES ON WEEK 12 SLATE: Week 12 will go down as pivotal in determining the 12 teams that comprise the NFL’s 2019 playoff field in five weeks. That’s because 12 games this week match up teams from the same conference, carrying head-to-head, division- or conference-tiebreaker implications.
First on that list of tiebreaker battles is for first place in the AFC South on Thursday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFN/Amazon), when Houston hosts Indianapolis. In six career primetime games, Texans quarterback DESHAUN WATSON has accounted for 19 touchdowns (16 passing, three rushing) and compiled a 121 passer rating. Watson has at least a 95 rating in two of three career games vs. the Colts.
PACKERS CLASH WITH NINERS ON SNF: Another intriguing intraconference game is on Sunday Night Football in San Francisco (8:20 PM ET, NBC), where the 49ers (9-1) put the NFC’s best record on the line against the GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-2), who lead the NFC North. Over the last 13 seasons, on only five occasions have teams with two-or-fewer losses met this late in a season. The winners of the last two games have won the Super Bowl.
Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON leads the Ravens into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to close Week 12 on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN). The Ravens rushed for 263 yards in their 41-7 win over Houston in Week 11. Baltimore, with 2,038 rushing yards through its first 10 games of the season, is the seventh team since 1970 and first since the 1978 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2,029 rushing yards) with at least 2,000 rushing yards in its first 10 games of a season. The Ravens’ 2,038 rushing yards are the fifth-most through a team’s first 10 games of a season since 1970.
Jackson, who had 86 rushing yards last week, has recorded at least 60 rushing yards in seven consecutive games, surpassing MICHAEL VICK (six games in 2004) for the longest such streak by a quarterback in league annals. Jackson has 1,483 career rushing yards and surpassed CAM NEWTON (1,447) for the most by a quarterback in his first two seasons in NFL history.
With a win last week, the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS secured 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. Those teams meet on Sunday at Gillette Stadium (4:25 PM ET, FOX).
- Additionally, the Patriots (9-1) have the opportunity to win a 10th game and reach 17 consecutive seasons with 10-or-more victories. New England would break a tie with San Francisco, which won 10 games in 16 straight years (1983-98). The Patriots have won at least 10 games every year since going 9-7 in 2002.
- Sunday’s battle also features the NFL’s top offense, Dallas, vs. the league’s top defense, New England. The Cowboys are averaging an NFL-leading 444.6 yards per game while New England is holding the NFL to a league-low 249.9 yards per contest.
CROSBY, RAIDERS RETURN EAST TO MEET JETS: The 6-4 OAKLAND RAIDERS meet the NEW YORK JETS Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) in a contest that features a pair of unique sack artists.
- Raiders rookie defensive end MAXX CROSBY had four sacks in Oakland’s 17-10 win over Cincinnati in Week 11. Since the sack became an official individual statistic in 1982, Crosby became the fourth rookie with at least four sacks in a game, joining LESLIE O’NEAL (five on November 16, 1986), CORNELIUS BENNETT (four on December 27, 1987) and BRIAN ORAKPO (four on December 13, 2009).
- Jets safety JAMAL ADAMS had three sacks in the team’s 34-17 win at Washington last week. Adams, who had two sacks in Week 10, is the third defensive back to record at least two sacks in consecutive weeks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, joining AARON BEASLEY (Weeks 5-6 in 2000) and CARNELL LAKE (Weeks 14-15 in 1997). Adams’ five sacks over a two-week span are tied with Lake (five sacks in Weeks 14-15 in 1997) for the most by a defensive back over a two-game span since 1982. Adams, who leads the Jets with a career-high six sacks, could become the first NFL defensive back to lead his team in sacks since ROMAN HARPER led the Saints with 7.5 in 2011.
Another rookie pass-rusher, Jacksonville DE/LB JOSH ALLEN, has eight sacks through 10 games and is on pace for 13 sacks. Allen and the Jaguars this week travel to play the TENNESSEE TITANS (4:05 PM ET, CBS), who 20 years ago saw JEVON KEARSE establish the NFL’s rookie record with 14.5 sacks in 1999. Allen, San Francisco defensive lineman NICK BOSA (seven) and Oakland defensive end MAXX CROSBY (6.5) lead NFL rookies in sacks this season. The 76 sacks by NFL rookies this year are tied with 2018 for the second-most through 11 weeks in NFL history, trailing only the 1987 season.
NFL SCHEDULE, NOVEMBER 21, 24-25
(All times Eastern)
|Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans||8:20 PM||FOX/NFLN
|Oakland Raiders at New York Jets||1:00 PM||CBS|
|Sunday||Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins||1:00 PM||FOX|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons||1:00 PM||FOX||Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans||4:05 PM||CBS|
|Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills||1:00 PM||CBS||Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots||4:25 PM||FOX|
|New York Giants at Chicago Bears||1:00 PM||FOX||Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers||8:20 PM||NBC|
|Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals||1:00 PM||CBS||Monday|
|Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns||1:00 PM||FOX||Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams||8:15 PM||ESPN|
|Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints||1:00 PM||CBS|
|Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles||1:00 PM||FOX||Byes: Arizona, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota|