NFL: Week 10 brutal, adding to the intrigue of Week 11
Week 10 of the 2023/24 National Football League (NFL) regular season was brutal, as 10 of the 14 games were decided by four points or less. The week was a highlight for kickers as at the end of last Sunday’s games, a record was set for the most field goal walk-off wins in any single NFL-week: five.
Which was topped off by another on Monday night.
The Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks all walked off with wins on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Washington Commanders, respectively, thanks to field goals scored as
regulation time expired. And the Denver Broncos added to the record-breaking weekend by doing the same on Monday to the Buffalo Bills.
Not to be outdone, the San Francisco 49ers returned from their bye and broke their three-game skid after dominating the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-3 last Sunday, the clash between the Chargers and Lions provided a smorgasbord of offense for a 38-41 scoreline, while the Dallas Cowboys exerted their dominance over the New York Giants for a second time this season, winning 49-17.
Additionally, the 30-27 takedown of the Bengals by the Texans saw rookie quarterback (QB)
Coleridge Bernard “C.J.” Stroud IV throwing for 356 yards and his leading receiver, Noah Brown, setting a new career high in receiving yards (172) for the second week in a row. Over the last two games Stroud has totalled 826 passing yards, joining Cam Newton — Weeks 1-2 in 2011 — as the only rookies in NFL history with 800-plus passing yards in a two-game span.
The results last weekend now add more intrigue to the mouth-watering match-ups on offer in Week 11, highlighted by the Bengals visiting M&T Bank Stadium last evening to tackle the Ravens. They both came off losses last weekend and kicked off a Week 11 that promises fireworks. Even teams with
losing records are suddenly serious threats to teams with superior winning records. Apart from last night’s game, only two other match-ups this week will see encounters with both teams having winning records, but on the business end of the regular season even a single-win team like the Carolina Panthers can spring a major surprise.
The next encounter between winning teams for Week 11 takes place at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, when the Browns (6-3) entertain the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) early Sunday afternoon.
Coming off big wins over the Ravens and Green Bay Packers, respectively, last week, this match-up had a delicious taste until the midweek announcement that Cleveland’s QB Deshaun Watson was ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury. The Browns have declared that rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (DTR) will start in a bid to lead them past the Steelers. Good luck with that.
The 24-year-old Thompson-Robinson has played in only three NFL games, including one start. In those games he has totaled 130 passing yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He was sacked four times in his only start versus the Ravens – a 28-3 loss — and had been on the inactive list for the past two games, with Phillip “P. J.” Walker Jr serving as Watson’s back-up. Walker, who started two games and subbed off the bench in another for Watson, had six turnovers in those three instances, throwing a late interception that led to a loss to the Seahawks.
The youngster may spring a surprise, but the Browns will have to rely on their top-rated defence, led by Myles Garrett, to get them over the hump. Garrett is a Defensive Player of the Year hopeful and has now reached double-digit sacks for the sixth consecutive season, joining Hall of Famers Reggie White, John Randle, Bruce Smith, Lawrence Taylor and DeMarcus Ware — as well as potential future Hall of Famer Jared Allen — as the only players with at least six consecutive seasons of double-digit sacks.
This may still provide a good watch as JustBet offers the Browns as slight favourites, but the absence of Watson takes the taste down a few notches and the Steelers are expected to pull off an away win.
The other matchup of teams with winning records will close Week 11 on Monday night, and everyone should be dialed in on this one. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) will welcome the team with the best record in the league, the Philadelphia Eagles (8-2), into Arrowhead Stadium for a rematch of last February’s Super Bowl, that wasn’t settled until a last-second field goal (38-35). The Chiefs are 2.5-point JustBet favorites heading into the weekend which should be a good indicator that a lot is expected from the weekend’s closer.
Monday’s game marks the ninth rematch of teams that competed in the previous season’s Super Bowl and the first since 2017, when the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons. The team that captured the prior Super Bowl has won four straight rematches and, over the last six rematches, six of
those teams went on to play in the next Super Bowl: New England Patriots returned in 2017, Seattle Seahawks in 2014, Packers in 1997, both Cowboys and Bills in 1993, and Steelers in 1979.
The Chiefs have played the Eagles a total of 10 times in their series history and the Chiefs have taken six of those games, including the last three, which also accounts for the Super Bowl in February. Both teams are coming off their bye and should be fully rested and ready for action but, prior to their rest-week, the Chiefs bettered the high-flying Miami Dolphins 21-14, and the Eagles edged the Cowboys 28-23.
Since December 1, 2021, including the post-season, Philadelphia has the NFL’s best record (26-5) while Kansas City (26-6) ranks second. However, the offense of the Chiefs has taken a backstep this season, and while they currently share the second-best record in the NFL with the Detroit Lions, there isn’t a Kansas City receiver among the league’s top 50 in yards. However, there is a reason why these teams are atop their respective conferences and if projections are correct, this could be the highest- rated Monday night game of all time……. Are you ready for some football?
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