Our NFL Week 11 Awards

By David McDonnell

Before we embark on another set of fixtures, lets give out our Week 11 gongs.

Offensive Player of the Week: Tony Pollard (Cowboys)

Defensive Player of the Week: Maxx Crosby (Raiders)

Rookie of the Week: Jack Sanborn (Bears)

Touchdown of the Week: Cordarrelle Patterson

Smash of the Week: Deron Payne (Commanders)

Mahomes and Herbert duel it out 

Week 11 Review column 

By David McDonnell 

With another week almost in the bag, we got a Sunday day filled with some cracking matches and late drama, as the cream of the NFL continues to rise to the top. 

One of the most compelling games and the one I am going to start with this week was the late prime-time kick-off between the Chiefs and their division rival LA Chargers, as two of the best two quarterbacks in the game Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert dueled it out for four entertaining quarters.

Chiefs v Chargers 

Herbert’s performances have also been trending upwards as he has been getting healthier recently and he got not one, but two major boosts before kick-off when both his top receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen returned to the starting line-up. This certainly helped the former Oregon Duck QB produce his best performance of the season. 

He was sizzling throughout and on his first drive, he gave Allen his first catch of the season before throwing a 50-yard bomb to Joshua Palmer, who has started to make a name for himself in the interim.

Kansas City started the contest by scoring on each drive but the Chargers defence kept getting them off the field on key third downs. The visitors had to wait until the start of the second quarter when Mahomes found his favourite target on Travis Kelce, who high-stepped into the endzone. 

A pattern was beginning to emerge with the team in possession retaking the lead and that would continue throughout. Austin Ekeler finished off a second quarter drive before Cameron Dicker kicked the home Chargers into a 13-20 half-time lead. 

The teams continued to battle it out in the trenches and it took until the first play of the fourth quarter when Mahomes found Kelce on the 10th play of another long drive and the tight-end ran in along the right side his second six-pointer to put his side in front once more. 

With the game in the balance coming down the stretch, there were two turnovers. First Allen fumbled but three minutes later his teammates bailed him out by retaking possession. 

I have been saying for a number of weeks that Herbert should use his legs to pick up first downs and he was excellent at running in college and he must have been reading my column because he started to do just this on his last drive.  He then found Keenan Allen along the right sideline, and the returning wideout did incredibly well to haul in the ball to bring the play to the 16-yard line. 

Herbert then found Palmer with a dart into the endzone as the Chargers took a late lead with 1.46 remaining.

The challenge was laid down and taken up by Mahomes and the best quarterback in football didn’t disappoint. He was electric on that final drive, picking up first downs with his arms and legs before finding Kelce, who took it into the endzone for the winning touchdown, his third of the night. 

It was a terrific contest and interestingly that victory made it 25 consecutive wins in November and December for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. For me, with their future Hall of Fame talents in Mahomes and Kelce is rich form, they are my Superbowl favourites. 

Preview Predictions

Cowboys v Vikings

In my preview column on Saturday, I took three swings on how three of Week 11 match-ups would turn out. So like a baseball player, let’s see what my batting-average is this week! 

Firstly I tipped Dallas, which I rarely do, because of how unconvinced I still am by the then 8-1 Vikings, despite all the acclaim that came their way last week for having the joint-best record in football. 

I understood the adulation that came their way after their superb win against Buffalo in Week 10 and it was way over the top and i felt the team would find it difficult to get their feet back on the ground after such an incredible high. Seven days later, Minnasota got demolished 40-3 at home by the Cowboys and the Super Bowl contending Vikings of last week looked just as untrustworthy as the Vikings of every other year.

Dallas were very impressive and their D-line didn’t give Kirk Cousins room to breathe. By the third quarter they had seven sacks and Kevin O’Connell took his QB out of the firing line and put in Nick Mullins, as the game was over as a contest. The Vikes need to reset quickly for a Thanksgiving home game on Thursday versus the New England Patriots. On the night, all the Cowboy stars came out to play, with Tony Pollard shining brightest with 189 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, with this the pick of the bunch. 

He could have had four but Zeke managed to gobble up two from close range.

My second prediction was that Buffalo would bounce back after two losses on the trot, despite having to travel in snowy conditions to play a home game in Ford Field in Detroit, against an unpredictable Browns. 

The Bills were trailing to an Amari Cooper touchdown in the second quarter when head coach Sean McDermott publicly having words with his star receiver Stefon Diggs, who was clearly upset for not having been targeted all game. With 14 seconds left in the first half, Josh Allen found Diggs unmarked at the back of the endzone for Buffalo’s first lead of the contest.  They would go on to win more comfortably than the  23-31 final scoreline suggests. 

So, two for two so far and my third hot-take was that the New York Jets would win in Foxboro for the first time in over a decade and end their highly embarrassing 13 consecutive losses against their hated division rival the New England Patriots. My belief was that their defensive front would stop the Pats rushing attack and Zach Wilson would be the man to lead them to victory. 

During the game, both defences balled out against the two sophomore QBs with the Jets. Gang Green tallying five sacks of Mac Jones, while the Patriots held Wilson to a miserly -2 yards of offence in the second half. It goes to show that missing half your offensive line and your starting running back against a Bill Belichick defence is never ideal. 

However, with the scores a lowly 3-3 in the fourth quarter, Wilson had the ball with 90 seconds remaining in the contest. Could he lead his side down the field to kick a late field goal to win the contest?

It turns out he couldn’t and when the Jets punted back to the Patriots with 13 seconds left, Marcus Jones took it to the house for an 84-yard winning touchdown. 

So my predictions fell short of a clean sweep and as Meat Loaf used to sing ‘Two Out Of Three Aint Bad.’

Lions v Giants 

A man who went three-for-three yesterday was Lions running-back Jamaal Williams. Anyone who watched Hard Knocks in pre-season will remember him from this speech. 

Well, Williams doesn’t just talk the talk and he scored a hat-trick of touchdowns from close range to become the leading touchdown scorer in the NFL this season with 12. He has found a brilliant thunder and lighting tandem with running-back DeAndre Swift, as Detroit continue their excellent run of late.

Dan Campbell’s charges are now also three-for-three from their last three matches.

This was a surprisingly large defeat for a New York Giants team that were outplayed throughout and Daniel Jones had a game to forget by throwing a pair of interceptions to rookie standouts Aiden Hutchinson and Kerby Joseph. It leaves the Giants with a record of 7-3 and they have four days until they play the 7-3 Dallas Cowboys in an NFC East prime-time Thanksgiving match-up.  

There will be pressure on both teams to win especially with the resurgent Commanders snapping at their heels in a division that has proven to be the strongest in the NFC.  Washington had a comfortable sixth win of the season away to the Texans and they led 20-0 at halftime, thanks to a pair of TDs from Kendall Fuller and Curtis Samuel.  

Ron Rivera confirmed that Taylor Heinicke would continue as starter as Carson Wentz now returns for selection and when asked what Heinicke had shown to be named ahead of  Wentz, Ron replied emphatically: “Winning!” With their defensive line really stepping it up , who knows just how good they might be when Chase Young adds his talents to the line in the coming weeks. 

Bears v Falcons 

This was another cracking contest that had a NFL record to boot when Cordarrelle Patterson ran home his ninth kick-off return of his long and varied career in sensational style.

The former wide-receiver has enjoyed the best years since he came to Atlanta but it was great to get a reminder of the threat he used to be as a specialist returner early in his career at Minnesota.

Justin Fields and Marcus Mariota went toe-to-toe all game and the sides were level many times throughout.  With three minutes to play and the scores tied at 24-24, the Falcons had possession and Mariota took his side up the field for Younghoe Koo, potentially the special teams ‘Player of the Season’, to kick the winning score. Fields had almost two minutes for a late reply but a deflected pass was intercepted to secure an Atlanta win. 

The Bears are a coming team with a lot of young talent and although highly competitive, are finding it difficult to win.  They have a great running game but also in Fields, the most sacked QB in the league so they may need to restructure their O-line to better protect their blossoming superstar.


Another two very engaging contests in the late window were divisional match-ups in the AFC West and North. 

There was no coach in the NFL that needed a win this week more than Josh McDaniels and his players duly obliged. Russell Wilson had a decent game for Denver, completing 24 out of 31 attempts on a day when Raiders defensive-end Maxx Crosby wreaked havoc. He was dominant all game with six tackles, two sacks and even managed to block a field goal. 

The Raiders won it in style when Derek Carr found his best friend Devontae Adams, who finished with 141 receiving yards and two touchdowns including this walk-off winning score on the first drive of overtime.

In the AFC North, Joe Burrow was in top form throwing for 355 yards and four touchdowns in a game that was right in the mix until the final quarter as Cincinnati managed to put a bit of daylight between themselves and the Steelers. Tee Higgins also excelled with nine catches for 148 yards, while running back Samaje Perine finished the day with three receiving touchdowns.

If and when Ja’Marr Chase returns, this is going to be a very difficult team to stop and the Bengals are certainly emerging as a dark horse contender from the AFC.

Cincinnati are now 6-4, just one win behind the Ravens at the top of the AFC North. Lamar Jackson ran in the only touchdown in their fourth-quarter win in a punt-fest against the Panthers. 

The Rams season is petering out and they lost Matt Stafford to concussion for the second time in a matter of weeks in their loss to the Saints.

Lastly, the Philadelphia Eagles got back to winning ways to go 9-1 to now have the outright best record in the NFL. 

It looked for a long time that Jeff Saturday might remain undefeated as the Colts head coach and they led for most of the contest. In fact Indianapolis were winning by six points when Jalen Hurts got the ball back with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. 

The Colts almost got the Eagles off the field after stopping Hurts on a third and two but for a flag thrown down the field for a foul on Sanders and a new set of downs. The in-form quarterback made them pay and tied the game with 90 seconds remaining by running in from close range. A late Jake Elliot PAT was the winning kick as they won 17-16. 

Later tonight we have a divisional match-up between the Cardinals v the 49ers. Watch out for our MNF preview out later on today!!!