NFL 8 months ago

NFL: Headlines from Week 11

  • NFL: Headlines from Week 11

    (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Early Super Bowl favourites took one step backwards this past week as injuries and ill-advised plays dominated numerous fixtures. Here are the main headlines coming out of Week 11:

The Cowboys' season is over

If there were any doubts surrounding the Dallas Cowboys' chances without Ezekiel Elliott, the Philadelphia Eagles confirmed them all with their 37-9 victory.

Whether it was the absence of Elliott, or a weakened offensive line playing without all-pro left tackle Tyron Smith, the Cowboys surrendered a 9-7 lead on the way to 30 unanswered points in the second half that leaves them 5-5 on the season.

Though Alfred Morris (17 CAR, 91 YDS) filled in admirably for the suspended Elliott, Prescott struggled to make plays against a vaunted Eagles defence, throwing three interceptions and just 145 yards (18/31).

The loss leaves Jason Garrett's men realistically needing five wins from their last six remaining games if they are to make the playoffs - a task made all the more difficult with divisional matchups against both New York and Washington still to come.

But while this Cowboys team still holds semblance to last season's squad, it seems off-field issues and a highly competitive NFC will see them miss out on amending their playoff woes.

Kansas City in peril

The Kansas City Chiefs were everybody's favourite to come out of the AFC after their 5-0 start to the season featured commanding wins over both Philadelphia and the New England Patriots.

However, after losing four of their last five games, including a 12-9 overtime loss to the New York Giants, it seems this regression might see them fall short of the playoffs altogether.

Andy Reid's creative, multi-faceted offence found little joy against a Giants defence that had conceded 82 points in their previous two games combined.

Alex Smith struggled in and out of the pocket, ultimately finishing 27-of-40 with 230 yards and two interceptions as a spirited Giants team won just their second game of the season.

Despite the loss, Kansas City maintain a two-game lead atop the AFC West at 6-4. And though three of their remaining six games come against divisional rivals, including a resurgent Los Angeles Chargers and unpredictable Raiders team, the Chiefs' playoff hopes remain up in the air.

Cleveland flirting with 0-16 finish

The last team to go a full NFL season without a win was the Detroit Lions in 2008. Simply put, the Cleveland Browns are in genuine danger of joining them.

It's not the case of players giving up, but more so a reflection of their quality falling far too short to that of their competition.

Hue Jackson's men pushed a strong Jacksonville Jaguars team all the way before ultimately succumbing to a 19-7 defeat off the back of poor play-calling correlating with even poorer execution.

While the Browns prevented an 0-16 finish last season with a lone win over the Chargers in Week 16, hopes of another escape dwindle based on their strength of schedule.

Cleveland must face the Cincinnati Bengals, Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers to close out the season, and a win seems highly unlikely given each franchise's respective situations.

How much longer Jackson keeps his head coaching job will attract plenty of attention in the coming weeks, particularly when the former Bengals offensive coordinator occupies one of the worst records (1-25) in franchise history.
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