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Monday, December 9, 2019

10 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 11

Week 11 saw the first team of the season mathematically eliminated from playoff contention — sorry, Bengals fans, we know you were holding out hope. While that’s not exactly a surprise, it does illustrate that we’re getting to the part of the season where teams are going to start facing a lot of mathematical must-wins to keep their playoff hopes alive in any realistic sense.

With high stakes come high expectations, and some people can’t reach those. Here are ten big disappointments from Week 11.

Mitch Trubisky, Matt Nagy, Bears

Trubisky had another listless showing for the Bears and was replaced by Chase Daniel with just over three minutes to go in a 17-7 loss. The Bears and Matt Nagy said the QB had a hip injury, though skeptics will question whether that information is a coverup for a benching in the latest lackluster performance by the former No. 2 overall pick. The conversation NBC showed Nagy having with Trubisky will only further the speculation that this was a benching. Whatever the case, Trubisky is just not getting the job done in Chicago, and many will question the timing of the move. Many viewed it as Nagy’s way of trying to pin the blame on his quarterback. Both Trubisky’s play and Nagy’s handling of it were disappointing.

Kyle Allen, QB, Panthers

Maybe the Falcons defense did discover something last week, or maybe Allen was just awful. Maybe it’s both. Whatever the reason, Allen demonstrated that he does not look like the future of the Carolina Panthers or any other team. Allen was sacked five times and picked off four times, frequently missing his targets. This was not a fluke, either; Allen just has not shown any real ability to consistently get the job done.

Dan Snyder, owner, Redskins

Snyder is no stranger to criticism, but Sunday was definitely one of the lower points of his ownership. The Redskins were blown out by a Jets team that has struggled all season, and it happened at home, too. It ended with what was left of the home fans chanting “sell the team” in a mostly empty stadium. They did it so loudly it could be heard on the television broadcast. Snyder may be incapable of feeling embarrassment by this point, but if he isn’t, that ought to do it.

Cincinnati Bengals’ offense

Note to Cincinnati: draft a quarterback. Ryan Finley, held to just 115 yards against one of the league’s lesser pass defenses, is clearly not it, and neither is Andy Dalton. Basically everyone except for Joe Mixon disappointed against the Raiders on Sunday, with only Auden Tate clearing 25 yards receiving. The fact that this came in a winnable game against a vulnerable opponent only makes it worse. There should be no expectations for Finley and the Bengals the rest of the way. They might not win a game.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles

Often a target of ire for Eagles fans, Agholor did himself no favors whatsoever on Sunday. Targeted nine times, he only caught four of them for 40 yards. One of those failed connections will haunt Eagles fans more than the others. Carson Wentz heaved up a pass toward the end zone in the final minute that was more or less on target for Agholor. While not an easy catch by any means, Agholor had it on his hands but could not reel in the game-tying touchdown. The criticism is only going to intensify as a result.

Denver Broncos

This should have really been over when the Broncos led 20-0. They have a good enough defense to hold off the Vikings, and their offense, while not great, shouldn’t have been totally stuffed the rest of the way. Both of those things happened and they lost 27-23. Quarterback Brandon Allen was shaky, and the defense could not consistently get off the field. In the end, Denver gave Kirk Cousins a signature performance, but left themselves with many questions going forward.

Nick Foles, QB, Jaguars

Rust probably played a role here, but whatever the case, Foles did not give the Jaguars the boost they would’ve hoped for in a 33-13 loss. He missed receivers and actually looked worse than Gardner Minshew for large portions of the afternoon. He faced a good defense and had not played since Week 1, so it’s probably unfair to pass blanket judgment on Foles for this start. That doesn’t make it any less underwhelming.

O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers

Howard has tried all season to come up with a breakout performance, but he hasn’t been able to do it. His one target from Jameis Winston was bobbled and intercepted by the Saints, and that was the end of Howard’s day. Cameron Brate replaced him from there and made ten catches. Howard has talent and athleticism and shouldn’t be in this spot, but he is, and he might be for a while, especially with Brate breaking out.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans

The much-hyped matchup between Watson and former college rival Lamar Jackson turned out to be a bust. Jackson ran roughshod over a helpless Houston defense, while Watson was battered by a relentless Baltimore defense. He was limited to 169 yards, failed to score a touchdown, and also took six sacks. It was the worst game of his NFL career. That’s a credit to the Baltimore defense, but an unfortunate bust on an exciting matchup.

Detroit Lions’ defense

The Lions actually played well offensively. Backup quarterback Jeff Driskel was competent enough to keep Dallas worried for much of the day. However, the Lions’ defense is the entire reason the team is not a contender. Dallas posted 509 yards of total offense, led by Dak Prescott’s 444 yards passing. Dallas got whatever it wanted throughout the entire game, and the Lions lost again despite a decent offensive performance.



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