As Week 11 of the NFL season comes to an end, playoff races are heating up across the league. This week featured important divisional matchups, and close battles among teams fighting for a spot in the postseason.
TNF Injury Fest
Week 11 kicked off on Thursday Night Football, with the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in a battle of AFC North teams. While the Ravens came away with the 34-20 victory, the game itself was not the main story in this one.
Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow exited the game in the second quarter with a season-ending wrist injury. The injury is a torn ligament in his throwing wrist, according to Bengals head coach Zac Taylor.
A glimpse of what Joe Burrow is dealing with on what the team now says is a right wrist injury: pic.twitter.com/nOW3qR0RhR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 17, 2023
With Burrow out of the game, the Bengals offense could not do much. Backup QB Jake Browning led the final seven drives of the game for the Bengals, putting up just 10 points, with only two drives over 22 yards.
Burrow was not the only star player to go down Thursday. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews also suffered a season-ending injury. The All-Pro pass-catcher left the game after a tackle from linebacker Logan Wilson, a play on which Andrews suffered a cracked fibula and an ankle ligament injury, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Former MVP Lamar Jackson was also injured during the game. Jackson appeared to hurt his ankle after a tackle in the first quarter, and seemed to reinjure it as he limped off the field in the third. Although he did not miss any snaps, Jackson’s injury will be something to keep an eye on moving forward for an 8-3 Ravens team.
Browns Edge Steelers in Defensive Battle
The other two AFC North teams squared off on Sunday, in a game that featured very little offense. Each team scored just one touchdown, with the Browns coming away with a 13-10 win.
After trailing 10-0 at the half, the Steelers came out fast in the third quarter. On the second play of the opening drive, running back Jaylen Warren found a seam and took off with an explosive 74-yard touchdown run.
The offenses remained in a stalemate for most of the game, with the next score coming midway through the fourth quarter on a Chris Boswell field goal, tying the game at 10.
The Browns would eventually get the ball with 1:18 to go in the game and the score still even. Rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson led a 48-yard drive, capped off by a game-winning Dustin Hopkins field goal.
— NFL (@NFL) November 19, 2023
Rams Rally to Beat Seahawks
The Rams snapped a three-game losing streak on Sunday with a one-point win against the Seahawks.
Seattle built a 13-0 lead to start the game, thanks to a DK Metcalf touchdown and a pair of Jason Myers field goals. With nine seconds remaining in the first half, Rams QB Matthew Stafford found Puka Nacua in the endzone to cut the Seahawks lead to 6.
After not scoring in the third, the Rams found themselves down two possessions again. Trailing 16-7 with 12 minutes to go, Stafford and company went on a long touchdown drive to bring the lead back to two. On the ensuing drive, Seahawks QB Drew Lock, filling in for the injured Geno Smith, threw a ball up for grabs, resulting in an interception. The Rams went on another long drive, capped off with a Lucas Havrisik field goal to take a 17-16 lead.
The Seahawks would have one final chance, on a 55-yard field goal attempt from Jason Myers. Myers, who had not missed a field goal since Oct. 2, pushed it right, giving the Rams the win.
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2023
Broncos Ride to Win on SNF
Both the Broncos and Vikings were riding winning streaks into to Sunday Night Football.
After starting the season 1-4, the Vikings were the hottest team in the NFL, winning five straight.
The Broncos were heating up as well, winning three straight games, including victories over the Chiefs and Bills.
Sunday night’s game was an evenly-matched, back-and-forth affair. The Vikings led 10-9 to the half, with the only touchdown coming on a three-yard pass from QB Josh Dobbs to tight end Josh Oliver. Dobbs then gave the Vikings an eight point lead in the third quarter on his 10-yard touchdown run.
After Broncos kicker Will Lutz drilled his fifth field goal of the game, and Vikings kicker Greg Joseph made his second, the score was 20-15 in favor of Minnesota.
With 3:17 to go, Russell Wilson led Denver’s offense down the field on a 10-play, 75-yard drive. The drive ended with a leaping touchdown grab from wide receiver Courtland Sutton, to put the Broncos up 21-20.
Dobbs and the Vikings were stopped on the game’s final drive, giving the Broncos their fourth straight win.
Monday Night Football
Week 11 concludes with a Super Bowl rematch Monday night. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles will travel to Kansas City, looking to exact their revenge on Mahomes and the Chiefs.