The weather is getting colder, which means the playoff picture is slowly shaping up. We're starting to separate the frauds from the contenders. As some teams are starting to prepare for their offseason vacation, us fans are embracing the final stretch of the regular season. With six weeks left, let's get into my takeaways for week 11.
IS DEREK CARR ELITE?
Despite the loss, I think many were surprised by Derek Carr's performance against the Chiefs. Surprisingly, Carr has done this all year. With 2,431 yards, 19 TD's, and 3 INTs, Carr has become a dark horse MVP candidate. I'm not saying he's going to win it over Mahomes or Murray, but he definitely deserves some attention.
Although Carr has been mocked for crying on the field or wearing too much eyeliner, it looks like he's finally taking the next step.
He's Gruden's guy. I was always pessimistic about what the Raiders were doing, but the plan is finally paying off.
Their offense always had a big IF attached to it. Many, including myself, were advocating for them to draft a QB. I was wrong about Carr. I didn't think he was going to be the guy moving forward in Oakland/Vegas. Running an offense with a lot of good weapons, I think Gruden can bring them to the next level. They just need to hope Derek Carr plays consistent football like he has this season.
WHY DO THE TITANS AND RAVENS HATE EACH OTHER?
I understand these two teams met in the playoffs last year. Didn't know they both left that game with bad blood.
Before the game, the Titans huddled up at midfield, which John Harbaugh did not like.
I understand Harbaugh getting upset. It's one of those weird football guys "protect our house" move. We all know how sensitive football coaches can get when it comes to disrespecting their turf.
What I don't understand is Harbaugh pissing off Mike Vrabel.
If there's any coach in the NFL I don't want to piss off, it's Mike Vrabel. Did Harbaugh forget how big and scary he is? There's no bigger jock in the NFL than Vrabel. He probably looks at Harbaugh as a football nerd that never played in the NFL.
When it comes to the Ravens as a whole, they're frauds. This could end up being an all-time bad take, but it's fair to say. I understand they're hit with injuries, but Lamar is right. I feel like defenses know what play is coming. Greg Roman, who was the offensive coordinator for the 49ers teams with Colin Kaepernick, had the same issue. Kaepernick came into the league and set it on fire. Once defensive coordinators caught on, it was easier to stop than a wildcat.
COLTS VS. PACKERS SHOOTOUT
Statement win for the Colts. I think people were tinkering on whether they were frauds or not, but what a win for Frank Reich and the boys.
At the half, I thought the game was over. No way in hell did I think Aaron Rodgers was going to give up a two-touchdown lead, despite a shaky start for him in the first half. But Philly Rivers and the boys kept fighting to come out on top in OT.
I felt like the Colts offensive line set the record for most holding penalties in one game. There was a drive where they were called for holding on like 9 of the 11 plays they ran. It was ridiculous and clearly didn't matter at the end of the day for them.
There's no receiver with more highs and lows than MVS. He clearly has the talent to be a great receiver in this league. Everyone knows for every good play he makes, he'll eventually fuck up when it matters most. It's usually a huge drop, but this time it was even more costly.
Here's the high I was talking about:
And here's the low:
It's like finally reaching the top of Mt. Everest only to get kicked down by a Yeti.
I think the Colts are going to run away with the AFC South, but still need to prove to me they can be Super Bowl contenders.
PATRIOTS DIVISON CHAMP STREAK IN LIMBO
Seems like the loss to the Texans was the official nail in the coffin for the Patriots. They still have a chance to make the playoffs, but their impressive division champ streak looks to be over.
If you're someone who is celebrating the fall of the Patriots dynasty, you're a fool. They're going to finish 7-9, draft Zach Wilson or Trey Lance, and dominate the division again. I think Bill has his eyes set on the future. He had a nice little affair with Cam Newton, but after a few dates, Bill is looking for a younger, sexier QB he can fall in love with.
Enjoy it for now. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Patriots fully retool and dominate again next season.
JOE BURROW GOES DOWN
Sucks to see Burrow go down. He was on pace to have one of the best rookie seasons of all time.
If I were Burrow's agent, I'd get him out of Cincinnati. He's not like Andy Dalton where we can let his career die in southern Ohio. Burrow actually has the talent to become a legit starter in this league for a decade-plus.
Also, shoutout Burrow for breaking the news before the rats like Schefter and Rapaport.
Even though it was pretty obvious he destroyed his knee in some capacity, those news feens wanted to be the one to tweet he's out for the year with a torn ACL.
Just hoping for a speedy recovery for Joey B.
Hounder Media Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.