NFL Week 11 Observations


Find out everything you need to know about each team that played this weekend.  In a three-minute read.

Detroit 18, Oakland 13. 

The Lions are yet another example of “it’s not who you play, it’s when you play them.”  Seemingly after they were all but eliminated from playoff contention and the front office fired, they are now playing good football.  They won’t make the playoffs, but they’ll ruin some other potential playoff berths…..The Raiders renaissance will have to wait at least one more year, as they’ve dropped three straight games.  Derek Carr needs to play better.

Indianapolis 24, Atlanta 21

Everyone on the Colts seems to pick up their game when Andrew Luck isn’t playing.  Indy is back to .500 and they are just as confident with Matt Hasselbeck under center…..The Falcons have dropped four straight games and they look a lot more like the team that lost double-digit games the last two years than the team that started 6-0.  They have no pass rush right now and help is not on the way.

Houston 24, N.Y. Jets 17

T.J. Yates played reasonably well and the Texans defense has stepped up their game in a big way.  Houston has won three straight and is knocking on the door of both the AFC South title and the Wildcard….The Jets aren’t good enough with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, as he continues to regress.  It’s time to switch to Geno Smith.

Tampa Bay 45, Philadelphia 17

Jameis Winston played his best game of the season and he has removed Lovie Smith from the hot seat.  They’ll miss Kwon Alexander over the next month, but they have a real shot at the second Wildcard spot in the NFC….The Eagles have hit rock bottom.  Mark Sanchez can’t run Chip Kelly’s offense and maybe nobody can?  You’ll hear Kelly attached to a lot of college jobs for the next couple of weeks unless the Eagles turn it around.  

Denver 17, Chicago 15

Brock Osweiler had a quarterback rating of better than 100, something Peyton Manning has only done once in his last 12 games.  What are we saying?  Keep starting Osweiler, if for nothing else to find out what you have…..The Bears fought hard without Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Eddie Royal.  That’s better than they did last year with Jeffery and Forte.

Baltimore 16, St. Louis 13

The Ravens lost both Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett for the season.  At least they can now embrace tanking the rest of the season for the betterment of the franchise…..The Rams still have no quarterback, but everyone already knew that.  Will they have a coach at the end of the season?  Only if they’re okay with mediocrity.

Dallas 24, Miami 14

Tony Romo was rusty for much of the game, but a rusty Romo is still the team’s best option by a considerable margin.  The Cowboys are still in the NFC East title race….The Dolphins really needed to win on Sunday to make a run at a Wildcard.  What was supposed to be Ryan Tannehill’s breakout season has many wondering if the team was a little hasty in their rewarding him of his new contract.

Carolina 44, Washington 16

The Panthers are the team to beat in the NFC, even if nobody wants to believe it.  Cam Newton has taken his game to a new level….There was a report that the Redskins are looking to extend Kirk Cousins contract.  They should really look at what’s happened in Miami before doing that.

Kansas City 33, San Diego 3

Andy Reid has his Chiefs playing some of the best football in the league and right now they’re the team that nobody wants to face.  That will change if/when they get in the playoffs….The Chargers are playing out the string, and there will be some major changes in the offseason.

Green Bay 30, Minnesota 13

Aaron Rodgers looked like the league MVP again, after seemingly taking a three-game sabbatical.  Eddie Lacy looked like the Pro Bowler that he once was, and if he can run effectively the Packers could be NFC favorites again….The Vikings can’t beat a good team until Teddy Bridgewater takes some chances with the football.  Think Alex Smith.

Seattle 29, San Francisco 13

The Seahawks have a golden opportunity to capture a Wildcard spot, but they still don’t look anything like the team that won the NFC two years in a row.  Russell Wilson needs to be better….The 49ers put Colin Kaepernick on the IR and he’s likely played his last snap for the team.  Blaine Gabbert is also not the answer, as he’s too quick to check down rather than try to deliver the ball down field.

Arizona 34, Cincinnati 31

The Cardinals look like the most balanced offense in the NFL and Carson Palmer is playing at an MVP level.  They not only haven’t taken a step back without Todd Bowles, but the defense looks just as good.  It would be tough not to pick them to go to the Super Bowl and they would be a tough matchup for New England, assuming they make it….The Bengals lost in prime time, but it wasn’t Andy Dalton’s fault.  That’s a step forward, right?  Cincy has dropped two in a row and now have a little work left to do to secure not only the No. 2 seed, but the AFC North title.

New England 20, Buffalo 13

More injuries at wide receiver for the Patriots as Danny Amendola went down.  Eventually, they’re going to run out of players and it’s already beginning to affect Tom Brady.  Side note: they may finish the regular season 16-0…..It doesn’t look like Tyrod Taylor is good enough to beat good teams and the Bills have to make a better effort to get Sammy Watkins involved in the offense.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.