Week 11 was a brutal week in many ways, leading off with Alex Smith’s gruesome injury. But lets take a look at what else happened in that game, and others on the early slate as I post my notes from the Game Pass Rematches. (I usually focus on the early slate games the most, as there are too many to follow closely during that slate, plus usually my Bengals are playing in that slot and I focus on them.)
Texans @ Redskins
- Jordan Akins had a nice third down conversion on the Texans first drive. His snap count isn’t high, but he could be more of the offense going forward. The Texans used a third-round pick on him this year.
- Lamar Miller found plenty of room to run early in the first quarter.
- Pump fake freezes the safety on the Hopkins touchdown.
- J.J. Watt lost a sack due to defensive holding in the secondary.
- Coutee was open on Watson’s 2nd quarter interception, but he couldn’t get any power on the throw.
- HOU follows up their second INT with a sack, which ultimately leads to a missed field goal.
- Alfred Blue getting a lot of work early in the third quarter.
- Hopkins catch + fumble in the third quarter kills the first drive of the third quarter – pretty close call, reviewed, “.. the call stands …” – not a case of the call being confirmed.
- Watson’s footwork was bad on both of his interceptions.
- Twice had to settle for field goals after getting the ball inside the 10.
- Michael Floyd with back-to-back targets on their second drive. The first a drop along the sidelines, the second a catch that finished with a “down-by-contact” ruling.
- Fumble/sack wiped out by a defensive holding to maintain third drive – would have been fourth-and-long. Instead, the drive ends with Adrian Peterson’s touchdown run.
- Trey Quinn is the latest product from the Deceptive Speed Industry.
- Vernon Davis had a bad drop in the second quarter, killed the fourth drive.
- Adrian Peterson put the ball on the ground in the second quarter, but a Redskins OL beat three Texans to the ball. But … the drive ended in Alex Smith’s pick-six.
- Another INT in the 2:00 drill, deep in WAS territory.
- The sack that created Smith’s injury also pushed WAS out of field goal position.
- Colt McCoy ran a keeper on the first play after Smith’s injury.
- Demaryius Thomas was open on an end zone target, didn’t connect, but defensive holding wiped out the entire play.
- McCoy converts a big 4th-and-1 at the start of Q4 on a naked bootleg. He then had another scramble in the red zone for another first down, which led to Peterson’s second touchdown.
- Huge defensive holding penalty on Josh Norman inside of the 2:00 warning on 3rd-and-5. The Redskins had to kill two timeouts and lost a full minute, which essentially killed any chance of calling a play in the middle of the field on the final drive.
Titans @ Colts:
- First drive killed by a sack on 3rd-and-8 in plus territory, winded up punting from the Colts’ 42.
- First play involving Derrick Henry is a pass, which he promptly drops.
- 4th drive – the Titans ran Dion Lewis into the pile on 3rd-and-1, no good. Why not use Henry in that spot?
- Titans drives in the second quarter: INT, 3-and-out, 3-and-out, then Mariota gets hurt in the 2:00 drill. Meanwhile, the Colts went FG, TD, TD.
- Jackson gets called for PI on the next play after giving up the long touchdown to Hilton.
- Horrible INT by Blaine Gabbert in the third quarter, combined with a facemark by Sharpe gave the Colts the ball on the TEN 21.
- It was way too late in the game to matter, but the Titans were unable to recover a Hines fumble in the third quarter, with it going out of bounds instead.
- The Colts were attacking Adoree Jackson from the get-go.
- Chester Rogers punt return TD called back by a late hold – still net 41 yards.
- Interesting to see Hines got the Colts inside the 5, but Marlon Mack still got the TD.
- Gimmick play on 3rd-and-goal from the 9 – the Ebron pass – was well-defended.
- T.Y. Hilton roasted Adoree Jackson in man coverage on the big play touchdown.
- Only an unnecessary roughness penalty allowed the Titans to score before the half.
- Jacoby Brissett came into the game with a whopping 12 minutes left.
Steelers @ Jaguars:
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- 3rd-and-1 sneak on the first drive fails miserably.
- Smith-Schuster had a drop – not a great throw, but catchable – on 2nd/6 on the Steelers second drive. Would have been a first down in Jax territory but instead resulted in a punt.
- Steelers with three punts and then an INT on the second play of their fourth drive.
- Really bad throw by Ben on his second INT – overthrew Brown by five yards.
- Antonio Brown’s first catch didn’t come until the last minute of the first half, on a throwaway drive.
- Steelers accepted a holding penalty to force 3rd/12 rather than 4th/1. It paid off, with a sack.
- Ben’s third INT overturned due to a RTP call – very sketchy, in my opinion. The drive then was enhanced by an unnecessary roughness call. But Jalen Ramsey still bailed out the Jags with an INT that held.
- Great job by Antonio Brown to move to open space on his touchdown – unscripted aspect of the play.
- Steelers failed to convert on 4th/6 with 6:00+ minutes left, down 10, on a Conner drop/breakup. Even more astounding that they won this game.
- James Conner drop of what should have been a touchdown. But it had the added benefit of running more clock.
- Second week in a row that Keelan Cole had zero targets – only 16 snaps.
- Really good grind-it-out run by Fournette to continue the Jags’ third drive on 3rd/2.
- Jags run on 3rd/10 on the same drive from the 36 – essentially playing for the FG, which they converted.
- They did a better job of integrating Carlos Hyde in the offense, at least in the first half. He had a handful of good runs up the middle in the second quarter.
- Really lucky conversion on 3rd/9 on 4th drive, deflection from O’Shaugnessy to Westbrook behind him. They still had to settle for a third FG in a row after a sack.
- Bortles was lucky not to immediately throw an INT right back to PIT after Ben’s second INT put them in good field position. Nonetheless this was a wasted possession.
- Fournette took off from the 3 on his touchdown – pretty sweet leap. Lame that it took a review on the spot to get the TD right, though.
- This game was very similar to the home loss to the Titans – they almost never took shots downfield.
- Took back-to-back sacks after having the ball on the PIT 39. Another wasted opportunity to put PIT away.
- Four consecutive three-and-outs to essentially end the game.
- Facemask call to wipe out the fourth INT was super-obvious.
Cowboys @ Falcons:
- Amari Cooper wasn’t on the field for the first two plays.
- Big screen pass play with Zeke on the Cowboys. He’s had 20 targets the last three games, including eight against the Falcons, and already 56 on the season, more than his previous two years.
- Cole Beasley with a really bad drop on 1st/G on the first drive. Should have been a TD – instead, the Cowboys had to settle for a FG.
- Cowboys got really lucky – Elliott fumbles on 3rd/1 with 4:00 in the 3Q, but his own OL recovers and gets a first down on the play. It continued a drive where Prescott eventually ran for a TD.
- Cowboys commit an unnecessary roughness penalty on punt return when they would have had the Falcons pinned inside the 15, up 7. This occurred before the Falcons’ game-tying drive.
- Big 3rd/5 conversion on game-winning drive on comeback route to Michael Gallup.
- Michael Beasley later has the big catch on a crossing route to put them in field goal position.
- Matt Ryan was nearly picked off on the opening play – a middle screen gone wrong.
- Julio Jones dropped a ball on the DAL 10 on the first drive. Falcons had to punt two plays later.
- Austin Hooper had a bad drop on the Falcons’ third drive. They went back to him the next two passes.
- After taking a sack on 3rd/7, ATL punted from the DAL 38. Yuck. Would they normally do that if it weren’t Matt Bryant’s first game back from an injury?
- Huge hit *by* Julio Jones to break up an INT. One could argue that Jeff Heath, the safety on the play, was a “defenseless receiver” but that’s never going to get called. Either way, it saved a drive for ATL which ultimately led to a FG.
- Calvin Ridley had alligator-arms on Matt Ryan’s INT. Maybe too much zip on a pass in close quarters, though.
- Empty backfield on 3rd/2 from the DAL 3, incomplete pass. Settled for a chip-shot FG, down 10 at the time.
- Julio’s touchdown was a great individual play – just beat the defender (Awuzie) in hand-fighting, in man coverage.
Panthers @ Lions:
- Cam was on fire on the first drive. Constantly hitting receivers in stride, especially D.J. Moore twice, but also Devin Funchess for 23 yards. Funchess dropped a sure touchdown on 1st/G, however.
- Christian McCaffrey got the carry from the 4 on 2nd/G, did well to get it inside the 1.
- Second drop by Funchess was a little tougher, but costly – would have converted third down, on a long play.
- Cam got picked off right before halftime when he made a bad read and forced a ball in to Curtis Samuel.
- Third sack of Cam came on 3rd/2 from the DET 4. Leads to Graham Gano missing from 34.
- Another instance of the Panthers trusting McCaffrey – he converts on 3rd/1 late in Q3.
- Down 13-7, less than 1:00 in Q3, Funchess again can’t come up with 3rd/8 attempt. He argued for PI on this one.
- Moore both made tacklers miss and broke through tackle attempts.
- Really great adjustment in the air by Curtis Samuel on his touchdown.
- The Panthers only used one timeout on last defensive sequence – I would have called a second one on the 3rd down stop.
- Moore beat Darius Slay on the final touchdown.
- The Lions doubled Olsen on the 2-point conversion, then McCaffrey after Funchess got pushed out of the back of the end zone. Jarius Wright was the only receiver open on the play and Cam just missed him. Hated the play design because there was never a time when Cam could have run it.
- Kerryon Johnson is still a little uncertain where to go in the passing game – on first drive he was in the same area as the targeted receiver and got chastised for being there.
- But he was awesome running the ball. You can see why he needs (er, needed might be more accurate following his injury) more touches.
- Twice in the first half the Lions were able to sack Newton on third down to kill drives.
- Luke Willson has oven mitts for hands.
- #PuntToWin alert – the Lions punted on the first drive of Q3 from the CAR 42. All that glorious field position was wiped out by D.J. Moore’s great individual effort on 3rd/10 from the CAR 6 afterward.
- Huge conversion from Stafford to Golladay on 3rd/15 with 6:24 left in Q4 – 30+ yards.
- Amazing throw/catch on Stafford to Golladay, also on 3rd down.
Buccaneers @ Giants:
- Fitzpatrick stuffed on QB sneak on 4th/1 from Giants’ 6-yard line on their first drive. Shades of the game against the Redskins.
- Peyton Barber ran really well early in this game.
- Killer INT in the 2:00 drill – the Bucs had driven to the Giants’ 30 prior to that, thanks to 25 yards in penalties.
- Forced sidearm throw on the pick-six. No business throwing that ball. Have to throw it away – I’d say learn to throw it away, but (a) we all know, Fitzpatrick went to Harvard!, and (b) he’s too old to learn that by now.
- Mike Evans catch wiped out by his own OPI. Next play, though, Adam Humphries wipes out a 1st/30 on one play.
- Ugh, third INT was an arm punt into the end zone on 2nd/2. Totally unforced. Well-earned benching for Fitzpatrick.
- Winston was so lucky on the fumble/touchdown, recovered by Mike Evans.
- Winston’s INT came on essentially a Hail Mary. However, on a previous drive, one that ended with Adam Humphries’ touchdown, twice he had throws batted and bobbled by the Giants.
- Barkley went completely uncovered on first touchdown catch.
- Well-executed reverse with Beckham on the second drive.
- Gallman wide-open on a pass to the flat. Do they ever cover the RB on pass plays?
- Barkley looked a little shaken up on his second touchdown, and Gallman came in to take the subsequent series.
- Eli’s one miss actually cost them in the 2:00 drill – Barkley was open.
- Great hands by Beckham on his touchdown catch.
- Coleman actually looked pretty good on kick returns and had a catch in the passing game.
- Janoris Jenkins got destroyed on Mike Evans’ second touchdown but he also thought he had help.