Week 11 brought another string of last-second wins (Lions over Bears, Browns over Steelers) and one-point finishes (Packers vs. Chargers, Broncos vs. Vikings). Here are the four aftershocks.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert needs help
Herbert has elite skills but not an elite starting record (29-30). Week 11 produced an all-too-familiar result for the star quarterback, with the Chargers losing to the Packers 23-20 due to poor defensive play and costly mistakes on offense.
Green Bay’s Jordan Love had one of the best games of his career, completing 27 of 40 passes for 322 yards and two touchdown passes. Chargers offensive weapons Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler had uncharacteristically poor performances. The former lost two touchdowns after entering the game, and the latter committed a fumble in the red zone in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers have often found themselves on the wrong end of tight games this season, losing by three points or fewer in five of their six losses. In most cases, the mistakes made by Herbert’s teammates are the deciding factor in turning wins into losses.
Don’t count out the Broncos
Sean Payton’s tenure as Broncos head coach couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start, with Denver starting the season 1-5 and losing to the Dolphins by 50 points in Week 3. However, eleven weeks into the season, things are looking good. The 59-year-old coach and his team.
The Broncos are on a four-game winning streak – their longest since 2016 – after beating the Vikings 21-20 in Week 11. With a 5-5 record, Denver is in second place in the AFC West and is in the playoffs. Hunt, just one step away from last place in the conference.
Denver’s defense has improved significantly, causing 12 turnovers on the road over the last three games (including against AFC playoff contenders Kansas City and Buffalo). Quarterback Russell Wilson is playing his best football, ranking third in the NFL in passing touchdowns (19, tied) and passer rating (104.3).
HC Ron Rivera’s time in Washington may be coming to an end
After Washington lost to the Giants again, 31-19, Rivera’s position took on a red shade of command.
New York, which also beat the Commanders in Week 7, didn’t look like a team that would challenge for a top-five draft pick as undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito torched Washington’s defense for 246 yards and three TD passes. Meanwhile, second-year QB Sam Howell looked mismatched, throwing three interceptions and one touchdown.
After losing seven of their last nine games – including three defeats to the Giants and Bears, who are currently playing boast three of the top five picks, i.ein the 2024 NFL Draft — it appears the leadership is on the verge of a complete overhaul. One of the program’s first moves could be to fire Rivera.
Why Aaron Rodgers’ season is over
New York finally made a change at the quarterback position, but it wasn’t the change many Jets fans were hoping for.
HC Robert Saleh pulled the plug on Zach Wilson’s game, placing backup Tim Boyle on the field for the final minutes of the Jets’ 32-6 loss to the Bills. At 4-6, New York’s playoff chances are as unlikely as Aaron Rodgers’ miraculous return from the Achilles injury he suffered in Week 1.
Even Rodgers, a four-time MVP, may not be able to fix New York’s inept offense. The Jets released theirs 14. different Buffalo’s offensive line combination and then gave up five sacks. They scored just one touchdown in the final 15 quarters and had 46 offensive possessions.
Given that the season is in shambles, the Jets would be wise to not rush to bring Rodgers back.