Sunday NFL Recap, Week 11: Wild finishes in Foxborough and Denver highlight an exciting day around the league

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Canha/CSM/Shutterstock (13631712n) New York Jets punter Braden Mann (7) tries to tackle New England Patriots cornerback Marcus Jones (25) during the second half in Foxborough, Massachusetts NFL Jets vs Patriots, Foxborough, USA – 20 Nov 2022

Sunday NFL Recap, Week 11: Wild finishes in Foxborough and Denver highlight an exciting day around the league

Saints 27, Rams 20

The Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints have been two of the biggest disappointments in the NFL to date, mainly because of two inept and banged-up offenses. New Orleans managed to get on the board first in the Rams’ visit to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a field goal, but it was Matthew Stafford’s 62-yard deep ball to Tutu Atwell that gave Los Angeles a 7-3 lead with four minutes left in the first quarter. The Saints responded early in the second quarter, as Andy Dalton’s 8-yard completion to Juwan Johnson gave them back a 10-7 lead. The Rams, playing without star wideout Cooper Kupp for the foreseeable future, managed to score right before the intermission on wide receiver Allen Robinson’s 6-yard catch to take a 14-10 halftime lead. Andy Dalton threw his second touchdown of the day on the Saints’ first drive of the third quarter, a short strike to Jarvis Landry to move New Orleans back in front 17-14. After the following Rams’ drive came up empty as Matthew Stafford went into the medical tent with an injury, Andy Dalton immediately extended the lead to 24-14 with a deep touchdown pass to Chris Olave. Bryce Perkins took over at quarterback for the Rams, leading a field goal drive to pull Los Angeles within seven – but Andy Dalton and the Saints responded with three of their own to make it 27-17. Rams’ kicker Matt Gay drilled a 58-yarder with just 11 seconds to go to make it 27-20, but New Orleans picked up a much-needed win at home when all was said and done.

Next Week: Los Angeles: at Kansas City, New Orleans: at San Francisco

Falcons 27, Bears 24

The Chicago Bears traveled to Atlanta for Sunday’s game, hoping to make their recent offensive dominance matter, having lost three games in a row despite scoring 29 or more in all of them. The defensive struggles that had done the Bears in of late hurt them immediately on Sunday, as Atlanta drove downfield for an easy opening drive touchdown to Drake London. Chicago continued their hot offensive play of late on their opening drive as well, quickly moving downfield to set up Justin Fields’ tying touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney with six minutes still to play in the first quarter. The Bears grabbed control as the first half continued, taking advantage of two Falcons’ turnovers to score 10 unanswered points, including a rushing touchdown by Justin Fields. Atlanta, needing a jolt of energy, got one immediately following Fields’ score when Cordarrelle Patterson returned the kickoff for a touchdown and set a record with nine different kick return scores in his career. Atlanta added a field goal before the break, tying the game after trailing by double digits in the first half. Both defenses held for much of the third quarter, but Marcus Mariota polished off Atlanta’s drive late in the period with a rushing score to put them ahead 24-17. Chicago would tie the game with eight minutes to go on David Montgomery’s short touchdown run, setting up an exciting potential finish from Atlanta. The Falcons took back the lead with just under two minutes to go with Younghoe Koo’s second field goal of the afternoon at the 1:47 mark. Chicago took over with a chance to tie or go ahead in the final seconds, but a Jaylinn Hawkins interception iced the game for the Falcons, who picked up a huge 27-24 win.

Next Week: Chicago: at NY Jets, Atlanta: at Washington

Bills 31, Browns 23

Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills was originally supposed to be played in Buffalo, but the largest snowfall in the history of western New York forced the game to be moved to Ford Field in Detroit. Buffalo fans nonetheless purchased more than 50,000 tickets, building an indoor home-field advantage for the Bills. Cleveland put together an excellent opening drive anyway, pushing downfield quickly for an Amari Cooper score that put them ahead 7-0 early. Each team would kick a field goal as the first half progressed, giving Cleveland a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. Buffalo got a field goal back to make it 10-6 but were visibly frustrated on the sideline with their play in the early going. Finally, as the half expired, the Bills put together their best drive of the day – finished off by a touchdown catch by Stefon Diggs – to take a 13-10 lead into the break. Buffalo added a third field goal on their first drive of the second half, moving ahead 16-10 in a surprisingly low-scoring game. Buffalo extended their lead with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter, as Devin Singletary’s 1-yard touchdown run put them up 22-10. The Bills blocked Cleveland’s field goal attempt with 90 seconds to go in the third, parlaying it into a field goal and a 25-10 advantage. After Buffalo kicked a fifth field goal of the afternoon on their next drive to go ahead 28-10, Cleveland finally responded with Amari Cooper’s second touchdown of the day to pull back within 12. Buffalo added a field goal at the two-minute mark to make it 31-16, which would prove more than enough despite the Browns’ last-ditch touchdown to Donovan Peoples-Jones. Buffalo improves to 7-3 on the season with the win and will play in Detroit again on Thursday against the Lions.

Next Week: Cleveland: vs. Tampa Bay, Buffalo: at Detroit

Eagles 17, Colts 16

The Indianapolis Colts’ hiring of Jeff Saturday has come under criticism from many within the media, but the Colts’ road win in Las Vegas was a convincing case that perhaps Saturday was the right guy. The Colts’ opening drive against the Philadelphia Eagles added to that case, as multiple big plays by Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor eventually led to Taylor’s rushing touchdown and a 7-0 Indianapolis lead. Both defenses settled in for most of the half, allowing just a field goal apiece as Indianapolis went into the break with a 10-3 advantage. The Colts immediately carried their momentum into the second half as well, stripping Jalen Hurts of the ball just 15 seconds into the third quarter for a quick red zone chance. The Colts made good of the opportunity with another field goal to extend their lead to 10, but Philadelphia quickly responded with a better drive of their own. Jalen Hurts found Quez Watkins for a touchdown with 13 minutes to go in the game, making it 13-10 Indianapolis. After back-to-back fumbles by stars Jonathan Taylor and A.J. Brown, Indianapolis took back the football with just over nine minutes to go trying to protect their lead. The Colts managed a field goal to make it 16-10 but ultimately paid for letting the Eagles hang around. Philadelphia scored with less than two minutes to play, taking a 17-16 lead on Jalen Hurts’ scramble into the end zone. The Colts’ two-minute drill drive was shut down in short order on downs, preserving Philadelphia’s ninth win in comeback fashion.

Next Week: Philadelphia: vs. Green Bay, Indianapolis: vs Pittsburgh

Patriots 10, Jets 3

The New England Patriots and New York Jets had byes in Week 10 ahead of Sunday’s matchup in Foxborough. This game was delayed about 10 minutes by power-related issues at Gillette Stadium. Both defenses played well early, yielding only a field goal each as the game progressed into the second quarter. New England kicker Nick Folk missed a field goal as the half approached, ensuring a 3-3 tie at the break. The festival of punts continued throughout the second half with yet another Nick Folk missed field goal mixed in, and the game remained 3-3 heading into the final moments. The New York Jets, seeking a game-winning drive in the final moments, would eventually settle for a punt with less than 30 seconds to play. Thinking they’d at least taken the game to overtime, Patriots’ punt returner Marcus Jones had other ideas as his 84-yard touchdown return – the first punt return touchdown anywhere in the NFL this season – won the game for New England, 10-3. The win ties New England with the Jets, keeping all four teams in contention to win the AFC East heading into the home stretch.

Next Week: New York: vs. Chicago, New England: at Minnesota

Lions 31, Giants 18

The Detroit Lions and New York Giants both entered the 2022 season with relatively low expectations, but it was New York entering Sunday who had exceeded them greatly with a 7-2 mark. Detroit, whose offense typically carries them when they do win, put together a solid opening drive leading to a field goal and a 3-0 lead on the road at Metlife Stadium. The Lions’ issue, of course, has been their defense – and on the Giants’ opening drive, they moved downfield quickly with a Daniel Jones’ rushing touchdown capping the drive, and after a missed extra point by Graham Gano, New York had a 6-3 advantage. Detroit took back control of the game in the second quarter, as running back Jamaal Williams punched in scores on two straight possessions for a 17-6 Lions lead at halftime. Williams’ huge day continued in the third quarter when his third touchdown of the afternoon extended the Lions’ advantage to 24-6. The Giants offense, dormant for most of the chilly afternoon at Metlife Stadium, finally responded with a Matt Breida rushing score with just over 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter – but after Gano’s second missed extra point of the day, Detroit’s lead held at 24-12. The Lions’ rushing attack continued to dominate from there, as D’Andre Swift’s touchdown scamper all but put the game away at 31-12 with six minutes to go. Daniel Jones found Richie James for a score in the final moments to make it 31-18, but the game was well in hand for Detroit before then. The score would hold the rest of the way, giving the Lions their second straight road win.

Next Week: Detroit: vs. Buffalo, New York: at Dallas

Ravens 13, Panthers 3

The Baltimore Ravens came out of their bye in somewhat better health than they entered it, getting back Mark Andrews on offense for the Carolina Panthers’ visit to M&T Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon. Both defenses controlled the game in the first half, as the game remained scoreless approaching halftime. Baltimore eventually managed a field goal before the break, taking a 3-0 lead into the half after seven combined punts defined the first two quarters. The defensive struggle continued in the second half, although Carolina kicked a field goal of their own in the third quarter to tie the game. Baltimore finally worked their way deep into Panthers’ territory with just under 10 minutes to go but would settle for Justin Tucker’s 65th consecutive made field goal to put them ahead 6-3. Baltimore finally broke through for the game’s first touchdown on their next drive, a 1-yard push by Lamar Jackson to make it 13-3 with just over seven minutes to go. Carolina, seeking one final desperation drive for a score in the final minutes, took the ball deep into Baltimore territory – but after Baker Mayfield’s pass was intercepted by Jason Pierre-Paul, the Ravens ensured they’d take home a win at home.

Next Week: Carolina: vs. Denver, Baltimore: at Jacksonville

Raiders 22, Broncos 16 (OT)

The 2022 season has been a struggle for both the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos, who met for their second divisional matchup of the season Sunday afternoon at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium. After getting a stop on defense, Denver’s often anemic offense found the end zone first on Kendall Hinton’s 32-yard reception to make it 7-0. After a Brandon McManus field goal pushed Denver’s lead to 10-0, the Raiders offense finally hit paydirt with five minutes until half – a deep pass from Derek Carr to Davante Adams to make it 10-7. Denver, looking to extend their lead before halftime, drove deep into Raiders’ territory late – but after Maxx Crosby blocked Brandon McManus’ last-second field goal attempt, the game would remain 10-7 at the break. After missing his first field goal of the season in the first half, Daniel Carlson made one in the third quarter to tie the game back up at 10. The two teams would exchange field goals again as the second half wore on, leading to a 13-13 tie with seven minutes to play. Brandon McManus made his third field goal of the late afternoon on Denver’s next drive, placing them in the lead once again at 16-13 with three and a half minutes to play. After each team punted within the next 90 seconds, Las Vegas took over with 1:43 to play in the fourth quarter down 16-13. The Raiders would drive the football down inside the Denver 10-yard line but ultimately settled for a tying field goal with 16 seconds to play. The game went to overtime moments later, and Las Vegas won the coin toss and took the ball first. Derek Carr and the Raiders’ offense took full advantage of the opportunity, hitting two big pass plays – one to Foster Moreau and one to Davante Adams – the latter of which won the game from 35 yards out, 22-16. The overtime win puts both clubs at 3-7, tied for the cellar in the AFC West.

Next Week: Las Vegas: at Seattle, Denver: at Carolina

Bengals 37, Steelers 30

The Cincinnati Bengals, fresh off a bye in Week 10, traveled to Pittsburgh for Sunday’s shadow with the division rival Steelers hoping to get revenge for their Week 1 loss. Cincinnati would get on the board early on the road, as Evan McPherson’s 45-yard field goal put the Bengals up 3-0 with nine minutes to go in the first quarter. Pittsburgh responded with a field goal of their own by backup kicker Matthew Wright, tying the game up just minutes later at 3-3. Both offenses turned it up a bit from there, starting with Bengals’ running back Samaje Perine’s 29-yard touchdown catch and Steelers’ running back Najee Harris’ acrobatic touchdown run to tie the game at 10-10. Cincinnati struck again on their next drive, Perine’s second touchdown of the game to put the Bengals up 17-10 with less than seven minutes to go in the half. Pittsburgh would answer right back on their next drive, continuing a high-scoring first half with a 24-yard touchdown connection between Kenny Pickett and Tee Higgins to tie the game. Pittsburgh would take the lead before halftime, picking off Joe Burrow in the final minute to set up a short drive and a Matthew Wright 30-yard field goal to make it 20-17. The Bengals responded midway through the third quarter, as Joe Burrow targeted Trenton Irwin for a 1-yard touchdown throw for a 24-20 lead. As Cincinnati began driving downfield with an opportunity to extend their lead, T.J. Watt made one of the most impressive plays of the NFL season with an interception at the line of scrimmage of Joe Burrow. Pittsburgh turned the opportunity into three points the other way, pulling within a point at 24-23 with 4:28 to play in the third. The Bengals started taking the game over from there, scoring 10 unanswered points on an Evan McPherson field goal and Samaje Perine’s third touchdown reception of the evening to make it 34-23. Cincinnati’s defense came up with a big fourth down stop with less than four minutes to go in the game, and Evan McPherson drilled another field goal to extend the lead to 37-23 with three minutes left. Pittsburgh put together a scoring drive in the final moments, as Najee Harris scored his second touchdown of the day – but it was far too little too late, as Cincinnati managed a season split and held just one game behind the Ravens in the AFC North.
Next Week: Cincinnati: at Tennessee, Pittsburgh: at Indianapolis

Chiefs 30, Chargers 27

The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers have had a knack for playing incredibly competitive games of late, and few anticipated that Sunday night’s matchup would be any different. The offensive fireworks were on full display in the first quarter; the Los Angeles Chargers’ opening drive touchdown, a 50-yard pass to Joshua Palmer, was straddled by two Kansas City field goals for a 7-6 L.A. lead just nine minutes into the action. Los Angeles made it three straight combined possessions with a field goal on their next drive, sending the game into the second quarter with the Chargers ahead 10-6. The beat went on early in the second quarter, as Patrick Mahomes connected with tight end Travis Kelce for another Chiefs score – this one to go ahead, 13-10. After the first two punts of the game on the next two drives slowed the scoring briefly, Austin Ekeler capped off yet another strong drive with a short rushing touchdown to make it 17-13 at the 3:31 mark of the first half. Los Angeles would add yet another field goal in the final moments, extending their lead to 20-13 at the break. Kansas City struck first in the second half, as Harrison Butker’s third field goal of the night made it 20-16 in the third quarter. Kansas City finally broke through to pull back in front early in the fourth quarter, as Travis Kelce wove through the defense for a 32-yard touchdown and a 23-20 lead. After fumbles by both teams, it was the Chargers finding their way into the end zone next with just 1:46 to play on Joshua Palmer’s second touchdown catch of the night for a 27-23 lead. One hundred six seconds is an eternity for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, though, and he’d find Travis Kelce for yet another touchdown and the lead with 31 seconds to spare. Justin Herbert tried to make a deep pass to get Los Angeles closer to field goal range, but Chiefs’ linebacker Nick Bolton caught a tipped interception to preserve both Patrick Mahomes’ undefeated career record in divisional road games and Kansas City’s stranglehold on the AFC’s top seed.

Next Week: Kansas City: vs. LA Rams, Los Angeles: at Arizona

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