Looking back at Week 11 of the NFL season:
1. The Los Angeles Rams-Kansas City Chiefs game lived up to its hype as it turned into a wild shootout won by the Rams, 54-51. It was the first NFL game in which both teams scored over 50 points. Although it was hailed as a look at the NFL going forward and even though all the rules now favor the passing game, it doesn’t mean this a formula for the future. The teams combined for 95 passes, which led to mistakes and turnovers and gave it the feel of a 7-on-7 passing drill. Kareem Hunt of the Chiefs had just 14 carries and Todd Gurley of the Rams just 12. It remains to be seen if abandoning the run like that will become popular in the league.
2. No team has repeated since the New England Patriots won after the 2003-2004 seasons, and it now seems unlikely the Philadelphia Eagles are going to repeat this year. A 48-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints left them with a 4-6 record and makes it unlikely they will make the playoffs, much less repeat as champions. They will have to try to regroup next year. The Eagles are still only two games back in the NFC East but don’t look like a team ready to go on a run. New Orleans, meanwhile, boosted its record to 9-1. The Saints and the Rams are the only two teams with just one loss.
3. When Lamar Jackson started for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, he became the fifth rookie quarterback drafted on the first round this year to start in his rookie season. That has never happened before. Jackson had an impressive debut, recording 267 total yards – 150 passing and 117 rushing – in a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Jackson was the fifth quarterback taken on the first round and the last to start, but he made the most of his first opportunity.
4. The Houston Texans became the first team since 1970 to start off 0-3 and then reel off seven consecutive victories. They beat the Washington Redskins, 23-21,with the help of rookie safety Justin Reid’s 101-yard interception return for a touchdown, the second-longest for a rookie in league history. The rookie record of 103 yards was set almost a century ago in 1926 by Pete Barnum of the Columbus Tigers against the Canton Bulldogs. The Redskins not only lost the game, but they also lost quarterback Alex Smith for the season with an injury on the 30th anniversary of the day when Joe Theismann suffered his gruesome, career-ending broken leg. The Redskins at 6-4 are now only a game ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, who beat the Atlanta Falcons, 22-19. The Redskins will now turn to backup Colt McCoy against Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.
5. Andrew Luck continues his remarkable comeback as he threw three touchdown passes in the Indianapolis Colts’ 38-10 victory over Tennessee. He has now thrown for three or more touchdown passes in seven consecutive games. The only players to have longer streaks are Tom Brady with 10 in 2007 and Peyton Manning with eight in 2004. Both were named the AP’s MVPs in those years. Luck has now thrown 161 touchdown passes in 80 career games. The only other two quarterbacks to throw for 160 or more in 80 games are Aaron Rodgers (160) and Dan Marino (182). It is a remarkable return for Luck since there were fears last year his career was in jeopardy.