The Ravens dominating Houston, the Patriots winning a Super Bowl LII rematch, and so many more incredible stories were sadly overshadowed by something that should have nothing to do with the sport of football. On Thursday night, on an insignificant play to end a decided game between two non-contending teams, what should’ve fizzled out as trash-talking and chest-puffing turned much uglier. Mason Rudolph pursued confrontation with Myles Garrett, despite David Decastro’s attempted mediation. This episode ended when Garrett used Rudolph’s helmet as a weapon and struke Rudolph in the head. Garrett has been known as a great teammate everywhere he has been. One can only hope that, if granted a second chance by the league, he proves that this was a fluke in an otherwise admirable career.
Week 11 Recap
Ravens 41, Texans 7
Before Sunday, never had Deshaun Watson lost by more than two scores in his whole football career, an absurd statistic that had to come to an end some day. Maybe a playoff opponent would win by 17 on their way to a Super Bowl win or maybe a team would be on their way to beating the Texans by 10 until a last second touchdown makes it more than two scores. Surely, a second-year quarterback wouldn’t beat Watson’s Texans by 34 in the regular season. Lamar Jackson enjoys defying expectations; Sunday was no different.
Falcons 29, Panthers 3
After coming into their Week 10 matchup against the Saints at 1-7, the Falcons have beaten two divisional opponents in a row. Calvin Ridley looks like he’s ready to do more than complement Julio Jones. Atlanta’s defense picked off Kyle Allen, who had impressed coming off the bench this year, four times. Panthers’ running back, Christian McCaffrey, was allowed 191 yards from scrimmage but was held out of the end zone, as was the rest of the Carolina squad. The Falcons have looked like an absolutely different team over the past two weeks.
Vikings 27, Broncos 23
20-0 at halftime was a believable line prior to this game, in favor of the Vikings, of course. However, in this week’s edition of “We Actually are Very Bad at Predicting NFL Games,” the 3-6 Broncos dominated the first half against Minnesota. Brandon Allen threw for 240 yards with one TD and one INT. That was decent, but ultimately futile against Kirk Cousins’ 319 yards, three TDs and no picks. The Broncos defense was true to form, holding Dalvin Cook to 26 yards on 11 carries. The defense continued to do their part late and gave the Denver offense a chance at a game-winning drive, which stalled with three incompletions to run out the clock with only four yards away from scoring.
Week 12 Preview
Raiders at Jets, Sunday 1 p.m.
Both of these teams are slowly finding their personality, and as they do, they’re both becoming more fun to watch. The Jets are largely paying for pride, and the Raiders have had a chip on their shoulder all year. To make this more interesting, the Raiders have maneuvered their way into a tie for the division lead with the Chiefs. The Raiders have a very favorable schedule the rest of the year, except for their huge matchup with the Chiefs next week. There is huge potential for the Raiders to look past the Jets in anticipation of their clash with the Chiefs. If that happens, expect this game to be incredibly entertaining.
Packers at 49ers, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
Week 12’s biggest game showcases the Packers visiting Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers bounced back from their first loss with an ugly win over the Cardinals last week. This matchup sets up nicely as a matchup between the leaders of the potential best two divisions in the league. Both teams play up to big moments on both offense and defense. Bottom line is someone has to lose this game, but the loser of this one can save face by keeping it close.
Ravens at Rams, Monday 8:15 p.m.
The Rams are likely the least-predictable team in the league this year. From beating the Saints by 18, to losing to the Bucs by 15, we simply never know what we’ll get when McVay’s squad takes the field. A very tough road lies ahead for the Rams in pursuit of a meaningful playoff appearance. The first challenge on this road is Monday night’s matchup, as Lamar Jackson and the Ravens come to town. Jackson is must-watch TV and is building a strong case for MVP. Primetime in LA against the Rams screams “MVP Moment.” Let’s selfishly hope we get just that.