FOUR QUARTERS: NFL WEEK ELEVEN WITH VERGE

So much happens during one singular week in the NFL. How could one possibly cover everything thing that goes on from the NFC East to the AFC West, from Thursday to Monday, from injury wire to biggest fantasy implications?

Verge tries to wrap up each game and blanket the important storylines in only four sentences, or four quarters. Week eleven is over, let’s get to it.

Thursday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers 7 – Cleveland Browns 21

Myles Garrett on-field assault and suspension aside, the Browns continued to keep their season alive with a win over the Steelers. That being said, Cleveland still has a lot of work to do if they want to make the postseason.

Pittsburgh remains ahead of their division rival, the Mason Rudolph ran offence is average at best. Baker Mayfield still hasn’t found his 2018 rhythm yet and he and his many offensive weapons still have lots of room for improvement.

NFL Sunday

Dallas Cowboys 35 – Detroit Lions 27

The Lions season is over. Matt Patricia will most likely miss the playoffs in his second season in Detroit after another loss and another missed start from Matt Stafford.

As for the Cowboys, although the defence was torched at times by Jeff Driskel, Dak Prescott should start being mentioned in MVP talks. He finished with 444 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win.

Jacksonville Jaguars 13 – Indianapolis Colts 33

Nick Foles has returned. Unfortunately for the Jags, it didn’t translate into a much-needed victory over a division rival.

Foles looked fairly solid in his first game back since week one but the Colts defence was too much to handle. Jacoby Brissett played plenty well enough in a return of his own.

Buffalo Bills 37 – Miami Dolphins 20

Josh Allen’s 3 passing and single rushing touchdown could not have come at a better time for the Bills offence. Granted it was while facing the Dolphins.

In all fairness to Brian Flores’ team, Miami has played much better football during the middle third of the season, a stretch that even includes two wins. The Dolphins kill two birds with one stone: remain competitive while continuing to tank.

Denver Broncos 23 – Minnesota Vikings 27

The Broncos lost a 20 point lead on the road and pretty much ruined any chance of seeing the playoffs. A bitter pill to swallow no doubt, but possibly a blessing in disguise for Denver.

Meanwhile, Minnesota and Kirk Cousins kept pace with Green Bay during the Packers bye week in the NFC North race. The Vikings would argue they have two MVP candidates of their own in Cousins and Dalvin Cook, or at least comeback player of the year.

New Orleans Saints 17 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34

It may be time for the Bucs to admit to themselves that their Jameis Winston problem is past the salvaging point. Four more interceptions moved Tampa Bay to 3-7, which truthfully just improves their draft position.

Whether the Buccaneers decide to take a QB in the draft or in free agency, it’s time for management and head coach Bruce Arians, to be honest with themselves. Maybe they will sign the other New Orleans QB who defeated them in week 5, Teddy Bridgewater.

New York Jets 34 – Washington Redskins 17

First things first, Sam Darnold played one of his best games as a pro in the win over Washington. He threw 4 passing touchdowns and even though he continues to be plagued by turnovers, this is a sign of improvement for the Jets QB.

Dwayne Haskins hasn’t been so fortunate as his time as a Redskins starter. The situation is so dire he was seen and heard pleading for his offensive lineman to help protect him better, and it doesn’t appear as the circumstances will improve.

Atlanta Falcons 29 – Carolina Panthers 3

The honeymoon phase for yet another young backup QB turned starter is over. Gardner Minshew’s ended in London followed by his benching and Nick Foles being reinstated, and now it’s Kyle Allen’s turn.

He threw four interceptions in the loss to Atlanta. Carolina may want to rethink the previous possibility of trading Cam Newton because Allen’s play the past few weeks have been anything but franchise QB material.

Houston Texans 7 – Baltimore Ravens 41

What was expected to be a heavyweight matchup and a possible AFC Championship game preview turned out to be a completely one-sided affair, advantage Baltimore. The Ravens smoked the Texans by more than 30 points and further solidified Lamar Jackson’s MVP run.

Houston continues to be a perplexingly inconsistent team. Deshaun Watson and co. have had every opportunity to run away with the AFC South and wasted another chance to do just that.

Arizona Cardinals 26 – San Francisco 49ers 36

The San Francisco 49ers won a very important bounce-back game. The home victory helped them not only hold onto the NFC West lead but the lead for the whole NFC as well.

Jimmy Garappolo continues to grow into the franchise QB that his team hoped he’d be when they traded for him. He passed for over 400 yards and 4 touchdown passes.

Cincinnati Bengals 10 – Oakland Raiders 17

Kyler Murray has one rival competitor for the offensive rookie of the year when the season ends, Josh Jacobs. Oaklands first year running back had yet another solid performance.

Jacobs has been the definition of consistent and given Oakland’s chances of a playoff birth, he might even be in the driver’s seat for the award. What a difference it’s been for Derek Carr to truly have help in the backfield.

New England Patriots 17 – Philadelphia Eagles 10

Even with the leagues easiest upcoming schedule including two games against the Giants and one against the Dolphins, the Philadelphia Eagles are in trouble. They were shut out in the second half and lost 17-10.

Carson Wentz picked the worst time imaginable to play his worst game of the season. A loss like this may have been the fatal blow to an Eagles team with Super Bowl or bust expectations.

Chicago Bears 7 – Los Angeles Rams 17

These four words are the only words the Rams have wanted to hear all season: Todd Gurley is back. He rushed for 97 yards, matching his season-high from week one and aiding Jared Goff in yet another miserable performance for the fourth year QB.

Unfortunately for the Chicago Bears, the Mitchell Trubiskey of 2018 hasn’t returned and it may be a sign that he’s not coming back. The UNC product was benched, possibly ending his run as the Bears starting QB for good.

Monday Night Football (Mexico City)

Kansas City Chiefs 24 – Los Angeles Chargers 17

Monday nights affair was a difficult one for Chargers fans and management alike. It may be the end of the Philip Rivers era, as the veteran QB had another performance he’d like to forget.

It appears the longtime LA, once San Diego, starting quarterback will end his career on a low note as well as finishing his time in the NFL without a Super Bowl victory. His four interceptions brought his season total up to 14, and the Chargers front office may want to start thinking about drafting their next franchise QB in 2020.