Some thoughts from Sunday’s slate of games:
1) Sunday’s loss to the Chargers officially eliminated the Jets from playoff contention, at least mathematically. Following the Colts win, New York dropped to 0-10 and now has no shot at the postseason, which I’m sure is devastating news to whatever delusional Jets fans who still believed Adam Gase would pull off a coaching miracle to get his club in position to possibly play football in January.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Jets fans can enjoy the fact that Gase still put their team in the record books. With this being week 11, it’s the earliest the Jets have been eliminated from playoff contention, breaking their previous marks of Week 12 in 1996 and 2014.
They’ll now spend the rest of the season looking to play spoiler, with a match-up against the Miami Dolphins up next. The Dolphins just lost a tough one out in Denver, blowing an opportunity to tie the Bill’ record of 7-3. Instead, they fell to 6-4 after benching rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick early in the fourth quarter trailing 20-10. Fitzpatrick managed one drive where the Dolphins got a field goal but ended up throwing the game-ending interception to secure the win for Denver, who improved to 4-6 on the season.
2) One other note from Sunday was the fact we saw Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow suffer what appears to be a season-ending knee injury, which is certainly disappointing news. Burrow was injured just three-minutes into the second half of their match-up against Washington, with the play coming on a 3rd-and-2 at their own 10-yard line. On the play, Burrow was hit both up high and down low, with the quarterback having his plant foot hit on a play where he threw incomplete.
Looking at the replay, the worst part was, his own guy, left guard Michael Jordan, turned around Washington defensive lineman Jerome Cunningham and essentially pushed him in Burrow’s direction. As a result, Jordan fell onto Cunningham, who fell backwards right onto Burrow’s leg.
You could see Burrow’s leg bend awkwardly and he came up holding his knee and was in obvious pain. He was quickly surrounded by players from both his own club and Washington, with the below photo essentially showing the emotion and support for players who tried to comfort Burrow before he was carted off the field.
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) November 22, 2020
Burrow later tried to make fans feel a little better, with the QB Tweeting, “Thanks for all the love. Can’t get rid of me that easy. See ya next year.”
According to Ian Rapoport, Burrow suffered a torn ACL and that “there may be additional damage”. Needless to say, it’s a frustrating end to what had been a promising start. These injuries are never easy and it sounds like Burrow may have a long road ahead of him as he looks to hopefully get himself back on the field in 2021.
3) Most Patriots fans have been hopeful to see Pittsburgh’s perfect start come to an end but the Steelers kept rolling Sunday as they improved to 10-0 on the season with a win over Jacksonville. It sets up what should be quite a showdown on Thursday when they face division rival Baltimore as the Ravens will head to Pittsburgh on a short week. The Ravens lost on Sunday in a tough battle against Tennessee, which should see them fairly hungry heading into this one.
The Steelers are coming off a fairly easy win after they blew out the hapless Jaguars 27-3 for their 10th victory of the season. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdowns and passed for 267 yards and an interception, but their defense also picked off Jaguars QB Jake Luton four times and held him to a 43% completion percentage after he completed just 16-of-37 for 151 yards.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s loss for Baltimore was their second-straight defeat, having also lost to New England a week ago and one would have to believe if ever there was a club poised to spoil a potential perfect regular season for the Steelers, the Ravens would be that team. Another loss would be their third-straight defeat and as much as most of us don’t like them, you’d have to think John Harbaugh should be able to figure out a way to keep his team from dropping three-in-a row in what is definitely a critical game for his club.
As painful as it is, most fans here in New England are likely going to be cheering on Baltimore to quiet Mike Tomlin and Pittsburgh’s players, as it would be worse to see the Steelers match New England’s 2007 regular season finish. The two division rivals play the late game Thursday night to round out the Thanksgiving holiday.
4) Down in New Orleans, it’s just completely shocking to see what’s become of the Atlanta Falcons. With Drew Brees sidelined after suffering fractured ribs and a punctured lung last weekend, the Saints bypassed back-up quarterback Jameis Winston and opted to go with Taysom Hill and he had quite the day in his first start.
Hill finished the afternoon completing 18-of-23 for 233-yards but also rushed for two touchdowns. He was also a threat on the ground after running 10 times for 51-yards and showed himself as the multi-threat player, giving the Saints a different look on offense compared to the normal pocket passer in Brees.
As for Matt Ryan, he was a mess after completing 19-of-37 for 232-yards but was picked off twice and failed to get much going offensively. The Falcons were a dismal 2-of-14 on third down and were 0-of-1 in their lone red zone opportunity. The loss drops Atlanta to 3-7 on the season and it’s just staggering to see how far they’ve fallen in recent years since their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.
To make matters worse, all signs seem to point to this potentially being Matt Ryan’s final season and so far, he hasn’t risen to the challenge, which is unfortunate. Atlanta will try and stop the bleeding next Sunday at home against Las Vegas.
5) Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse for Matt Patricia out in Detroit, games like the one down in Carolina happen. On Sunday the Lions came up empty on the road against the Panthers, getting shut out 20-0 for the first time since October 18, 2009. Dante Culpepper was their quarterback for that one, with the Lions getting blown out by division rival Green Bay in a 26-0 loss. In that game, Culpepper finished 6-of-14 for 48-yards, while Aaron Rodgers threw for 358-yards in the win.
On Sunday, quarterback Matthew Stafford had a rough outing, finishing 18-of-33 for 178 yards and no touchdowns as the Lions went 3-of-14 on third down. But one stat that was pretty staggering was the fact Detroit rushed the football 17 times on Sunday and finished without a single rushing first down and finished the entire contest with just 10 first downs.
This is a club that appears to know the writing is on the wall and it appears that Patricia’s run as head coach is likely coming to an end. It’s unfortunate, because at the end of the day, he may rue the fact that he hitched his hopes to Stafford and it’s likely going to be the reason why he’s looking for work after this season.
Stafford has been inconsistent at best during Patricia’s tenure and to add injury to insult, Stafford suffered a torn ligament in his throwing hand last Sunday in their win over Washington and it likely played a factor in the loss. But the fact they didn’t convert a single rushing first down shows you there are problems offensively and either the effort or the talent is lacking.
Either way, Patricia will likely be the one who will take the fall and it’s unfortunate as he’ll likely join Bill O’Brien as another former Patriots coach looking for work heading into 2021. The Lions need a miracle to turn things around and currently sit at 4-6 and face a short week. They’ll next battle Houston, who will visit the Lions in the first game of the Thanksgiving holiday at 12:30pm ET.
Posted Under: 2020 NFL Season