NFL Team Grades for Week 11

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystNovember 20, 2017

NFL Team Grades for Week 11

0 of 32

    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Week 11 in the NFL had something for everyone.

    If you're a fan of closely contested games, the early slate was all you wanted. The 1 p.m. games featured a pair of overtimes, a last-second, game-winning field goal and a number of other games that weren't over until they were over.

    If you prefer a little less drama, all you had to do was wait. The late games were mostly blowouts, including dominant performances by the two teams many consider the best in the NFL.

    Now that the dust has (mostly) settled on another week in the NFL, it's time to examine Week 11 and determine which teams aced their latest tests and who flunked out entirely.

    If you'll kindly take your seats, class is in session.

    And take that gum out of your mouth.

Arizona Cardinals

1 of 32

    Tim Warner/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at Houston Texans

    Score: Lost 31-21

    When you enter a road game in the NFL preparing to start your third-string quarterback, it doesn't tend to instill a tom of confidence.

    When that quarterback is Blaine Gabbert, it inspires even less.

    Actually, Gabbert wasn't bad in a 10-point loss to the Texans, completing 22 of 34 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns. He also wasn't great, tossing a pair of costly interceptions.

    If there's a goat in this game, it's Arizona head coach Bruce Arians.

    In the final quarter with his team down a field goal, Arians went for it on fourth down from his own 35-yard line. Tailback Adrian Peterson (who averaged fewer than two yards a carry Sunday) was stuffed, and the very next play, the Texans scored a touchdown that salted away the win.

    Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Arians admitted it was a bad call.

    "It's very simple: I cost our team the game," Arians said.

    It was a game the fading Cardinals couldn't afford to lose, and the next six weeks in Arizona, barring a miracle, are just a matter of playing out the string.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: D+

Atlanta Falcons

2 of 32

    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: at Seattle Seahawks

    Score: Won 34-31

    Not too long ago, the defending NFC champions looked to be in real trouble. After the Atlanta Falcons fell 20-17 to the Carolina Panthers in Week 9, it dropped the team to the .500 mark at the halfway point of their conference title defense.

    Since then, however, Matty and the Ice-ettes have done an excellent job of circling the wagons.

    One week after blowing out the Dallas Cowboys at home, the Falcons traveled to Seattle and gutted out a win in arguably the most hostile place to play in the NFL.

    It wasn’t an especially impressive offensive effort, with the Falcons managing just 279 total yards of offense. But they made plays when they needed to. That was especially true on third down, where the Falcons converted nine of 14 opportunities.

    Speaking of opportunities, the defense capitalized on them early, forcing a pair of turnovers by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson that staked Atlanta to a 14-point lead.

    Of course, that same defense almost gave the game away late, letting Wilson drive Seattle75 yards in less in a minute to get within three and then letting the Seahawks get inside field goal range at the end.

    But Blair Walsh’s 52-yard kick came up short, and at 6-4 the Falcons are in the thick of the playoff hunt.

    Week 11 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: B-

Baltimore Ravens

3 of 32

    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at Green Bay Packers

    Score: Won 23-0

    From a simple glance at the score, it might appear that the Baltimore Ravens solved many of their problems Sunday in blanking the Green Bay Packers. The win got the Ravens back to .500 and placed them in the thick of the wild-card chase.

    Look a little deeper though, and the problems are all still there.

    Simply put, the Ravens are a terrible offensive football team. The Ravens had fewer total yards (219) than Brett Hundley had by himself.

    Brett…Hundley.

    Joe Flacco passed for just 183 yards, threw an interception and was sacked three times. Baltimore picked up a whopping 58 rushing yards on 26 carries.

    The defense, as it usually is, was stout: Baltimore forced five turnovers and piled up six sacks.

    But that doesn’t make the Ravens one bit less offensively challenged. They night be able to beat the paper Packers convincingly, and with a favorable schedule the rest of the way, Baltimore might even sneak into the playoffs.

    But this Ravens team has beaten just one team this season with a winning record, and that was the Packers.

    Once they get there (if they get there), the party’s going to end—quickly.

    Week 11 Grade: B

    Season Grade: C

Buffalo Bills

4 of 32

    Harry How/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at Los Angeles Chargers

    Score: Lost 54-24

    In spite of entering Week 11 with a winning record, Bills head coach Sean McDermott decided earlier this week that a change was needed at quarterback. Out came Tyrod Taylor, and in went rookie Nathan Peterman.

    It would up being a slightly worse idea than New Coke.

    Peterman was 17 lightyears beyond awful in his NFL debut. He completed one more pass to Buffalo receivers (six) than he did to Chargers defenders (five).

    That's right. Five interceptions. In one half of game action.

    Taylor played the second half, but by then the damage was done. A Bills team that was 5-2 not long ago now sits at .500 after three straight losses. In the last two, Buffalo has allowed an average of just over 50 points per game.

    A few weeks ago, there was more than a little discussion about this being the year that the Bills finally, mercifully ended the NFL's longest playoff drought.

    After watching Buffalo in Week 11, I wouldn’t bet on that.

    Week 11 Grade: F-

    Season Grade: C-

Carolina Panthers

5 of 32

    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: Bye Week

    Score: N/A

    The Carolina Panthers might be the best team in the NFC that no one's talking about.

    While surprising first-place teams like the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings have garnered all the ink, the Panthers just keep chugging along. Last week's waxing of the Miami Dolphins lifted Carolina to 7-3.

    The Panthers hung more than 40 points on Miami, but for the most part, the Panthers have been getting it done with defense. Entering Sunday's action, the Panthers ranked first in the NFL in total defense, fourth in passing defense, second in run defense and fourth in points per game allowed. Carolina might have the most consistently good defense in the league. There's no weak spot.

    Coming out of the bye, the Panthers will travel north to face the New York Jets for a tune-up of sorts before a two-game stretch that could determine whether they'll head into the postseason as NFC South champions or a wild card—at New Orleans and a home tilt with the Vikings.

    If that defense continues to excel, I wouldn't bet against them in either game.

    Week 11 Grade: N/A

    Season Grade: B+

Chicago Bears

6 of 32

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Detroit Lions

    Score: Lost 27-24

    There was a time on Sunday when it looked like the Chicago Bears had their sights set on an upset of their NFC North rivals from Detroit.

    Then the Bears went all Chicago and ruined everything.

    It wasn’t a complete loss for the Bears. Tailback Jordan Howard had another excellent game, picking up 125 yards on just 15 carries. Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had a decent game, passing for 179 yards and a score.

    But despite piling up over 200 yards on the ground, the Bears just couldn’t hold a lead, as a defense that sorely misses linebacker Danny Trevathan couldn't get Matthew Stafford and the Detroit offense off the field.

    The Bears obviously aren't going anywhere in 2017, but the performances from some of Chicago's offensive youngsters at least afford some measure of hope for the future.

    But this was a winnable game that only served to hammer home just how far away these Bears really are.

    Week 11 Grade: D

    Season Grade: D

Cincinnati Bengals

7 of 32

    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

    Score: Won 20-17

    Sunday in Denver, the Cincinnati Bengals were outgained nearly two-to-one by the Denver Broncos. The Bengals had just 190 yards of total offense in the entire game. Denver held the ball over 10 minutes longer than the Bengals. The Broncos converted over 50 percent of their third downs.

    But the only category the Bengals led the game in was also the only one that matters: the scoreboard.

    Actually, that's not entirely true. There was one other category where the Bengals were better—the one category more than any other that can propel a team that was clearly outplayed for most of the game to a victory.

    The Bengals had zero turnovers. The Broncos had two.

    Courtesy of Sunday's three-point win, the Bengals now sit at 4-6. It's not a mark to be proud of, but in a down year for the AFC, it keeps Cincy on the fringe of the playoff conversation.

    But the best way to describe the Bengals in Week 11 is that they are a bad team that beat a worse team.

    A ringing endorsement, it ain't.

    Week 11 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: D+

Cleveland Browns

8 of 32

    David Richard/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

    Score: Lost 21-7

    As a fan of the Cleveland Browns, I find myself interacting with other Cleveland fans on social media quite a bit, because misery loves company.

    A good many of those fans have asked for patience where rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer is concerned. They believe the youngster just needs time to develop.

    Seventy-Five years or so might do it.

    Kizer was a turnover machine on a cold, snowy day at the Factory of Sadness Sunday. Not only did Kizer throw two more interceptions (that’s 14 on the year against five touchdowns, but he also fumbled three times and lost two). The third was recovered in the end zone for the touchdown that put the game away.

    The Browns are terrible in every way a team can be terrible. On a day when the defense actually played well, the offense was pathetic. Had the offense done anything, you can bet the kids' college fund that the defense would have given out at the worst possible moment.

    If there's hope to be found anywhere in Cleveland, I don’t see it. All I see is a team barreling toward an 0-16 season and the worst two-year stretch of the last quarter-century.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: The alphabet doesn't have enough letters to express how bad the Browns are.

Dallas Cowboys

9 of 32

    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

    Score: Lost 37-9

    The Dallas Cowboys have a Texas-sized problem.

    For the second game in a row the Cowboys were absolutely blasted in Week 11, falling 37-9 in a game they actually led at the half.

    The same issues that plagued the team a week ago in Atlanta were large and in charge in Dallas.

    Without Ezekiel Elliott, the offense is completely out of sorts. Even though Alfred Morris played relatively well (17 carries, 91 yards), the Cowboys were held out of the end zone. Dallas now has one offensive touchdown over its last two games combined.

    Over that span Dallas has been outscored 64-16.

    Playing behind an offensive line that sorely misses left tackle Tyron Smith, Dak Presott was horrible against the Eagles passing for just 145 yards and turning the ball over four times. The Cowboys had just 225 yards of total offense in the game—10 more than the Eagles had in rushing alone as Philly gashed a Dallas defense without Sean Lee at will.

    The Cowboys had better pray that Smith will be back on Thanksgiving and Lee isn’t far behind.

    Because the team that played Sunday night isn’t beating the Chargers—or anyone else.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: C

Denver Broncos

10 of 32

    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

    Score: Lost 20-17

    It's been 27 years since the Denver Broncos lost six games in a row.

    Check that.

    It had been 27 years since the Denver Broncos lost six games in a row.

    My better half is a Broncos fan. I'd offer her assessment of the state of the team, but my editors rather frown on the use of that sort of language.

    She's got every right to be disgusted. The Broncos hit a new low in losing to a bad Bengals team at home Sunday. There really wasn't one facet of the game where the team played well.

    The run game was nonexistent, averaging less than 3.5 yards per carry. The passing game was blah, with Brock Osweiler throwing an absolute back-breaker of an interception early that was returned 87 yards.

    And while the No-Fly Zone only allowed 154 passing yards by Andy Dalton, it also gave up three touchdown passes.

    The Broncos looked like what they are: a last-place football team.

    Week 11 Grade: D

    Season Grade: D

Detroit Lions

11 of 32

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at Chicago Bears

    Score: Won 27-24

    The Detroit Lions' three-point win over the Chicago Bears Sunday was a microcosm of their entire season so far.

    As has been the case far too often this season, the Lions got off to a slow start, spotting Chicago a 17-7 lead in the second quarter.

    Then Matt Stafford and the Detroit offense came charging back with 17 unanswered points to take a 24-17 lead—that they then turned right around and relinquished before a 52-yard Matt Prater field goal gave Detroit the lead for good.

    At the end of the day, the only stat that matters is the final score, and the Lions got a third straight win they badly needed if they were going to keep pace with the surging Vikings.

    But that doesn't change the fact that the Lions needed all 60 minutes to dispatch a bad Bears team, and if they come out with the same sort of uneven effort next week, Detroit is probably going to get rolled.

    Next week, you see, they play those same Vikings in their most important game of the season to date.

    Week 11 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: B-

Green Bay Packers

12 of 32

    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Baltimore Ravens

    Score: Lost 23-0

    Unless you have a Styrofoam cheese block in your closet, you had to know this was coming. That last week’s win over the Chicago Bears was a mirage. That the Packers, without Aaron Rodgers, were headed for a fall.

    Sunday at Lambeau Field, the Packers didn't just fall. They went screaming over the edge of a cliff into a deep, black abyss.

    The Packers were blanked at home Sunday for the first time since 2006. If it could go wrong, it did. The offense turned the ball over a staggering five times. The offensive line allowed six sacks. Young quarterback Brett Hundley failed to throw a touchdown pass—again.

    The team also lost linebacker Clay Matthews to a groin injury, because when it rains it pours.

    The game was an embarrassment. A disaster. An embaster.

    Never mind the hideous throwback uniforms.

    What it wasn't, though, was rock bottom.

    That comes next week when this mess of a team travels to Pittsburgh.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: C-

Houston Texans

13 of 32

    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Arizona Cardinals

    Score: Won 31-21

    The 2017 season has been an injury-filled nightmare for the Houston Texans. The team's best defensive player and exciting young starting quarterback are already out for the season.

    For a little while at least on Sunday, Houston got to forget about all of that.

    It was a closely contested game most of the way, but Houston was able to emerge from Week 11's home tilt with the similarly banged-up Arizona Cardinals with a 10-point win. Tom Savage actually resembled an NFL quarterback by throwing for 230 yards and two scores. Tailbacks Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman racked up 126 rushing yards between them.

    And then…another injury.

    After peeling off a 34-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that gave the Texans some breathing room, Foreman had to be helped off the field with what's feared (per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com) is a torn Achilles tendon.

    At 4-6, the Texans are still clinging to playoff hopes.

    But at the rate it keeps losing players, the team probably wouldn't be able to field enough guys in January anyway.

    Week 11 Grade: B

    Season Grade: D

Indianapolis Colts

14 of 32

    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: Bye Week

    Score: N/A

    Back in 1776, Thomas Paine wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls."

    Apparently, Paine was a fan of the Indianapolis Colts.

    With the Colts mired in the midst of another lost season (in no small part because of Andrew Luck's injured shoulder) there are plenty of rumblings that big changes are coming. At 3-7. the Colts are off to the worst 10-game start in the Chuck Pagano era, and the general belief is that era will be over at the end of the year.

    Pagano deserves his share of the blame for Indy's struggles, but it's not all on the embattled head coach. The Luck saga's been botched at every turn—including the team's owner inferring that Luck's injury is "inside his head." The re-tooled defense (which was supposed to be improved in 2017) is 29th in yards allowed and dead last in points allowed.

    In other words, the Colts probably wouldn't be a .500 team even if Luck were healthy. And if there is indeed a new guy running the show in 2018, his work's going to be cut out for him.

    Week 11 Grade: N/A

    Season Grade: D

Jacksonville Jaguars

15 of 32

    Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at Cleveland Browns

    Score: Won 19-7

    The Jacksonville defense is no joke.

    Sunday against the winless Cleveland Browns, the Jaguars allowed under 10 points for the sixth time this season—the most in the NFL.

    Jacksonville allowed just 184 yards of total offense for the game. The Jaguars' league-best pass defense surrendered just 134 yards. Jacksonville piled up five sacks and an equal number of takeaways—including a fumble recovery for a touchdown that sealed the deal.

    Yes, it came against the NFL's juiciest tomato can, but it was a dominant defensive performance nonetheless.

    The win, combined with Tennessee's loss in Pittsburgh, vaults the Jaguars into first place in the AFC South by themselves at 7-3.

    The Jaguars offense remains a cause for concern, especially where the passing game is concerned. But this is a good football team that has already pasted the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

    No one's laughing at the Jaguars now. Not one little bit.

    Week 11 Grade: B+

    Season Grade: B+

Kansas City Chiefs

16 of 32

    Elsa/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at New York Giants

    Score: Lost 12-9 (OT)

    Despite the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs had dropped three of four heading into their bye week, there wasn't any panicking around the team. The Chiefs had a tasty matchup upcoming with a one-win dumpster fire of a Giants team, and Andy Reid-coached teams were 16-2 coming out of a bye.

    Make that 16-3. And now it's time to panic.

    The weather in New York didn't do the team any favors, but the Chiefs were awful offensively in an overtime loss to the Giants. Alex Smith tossed a pair of interceptions and posted a putrid passer rating of 61.5. Kareem Hunt was held to 73 yards on the ground. And Travis Kelce turned it over on an ill-advised trick play.

    The Chiefs have gone from an offensive buzzsaw that rolled the New England Patriots in Week 1 to a toothless squad that couldn't find the end zone against arguably the NFC's worst team.

    Yes, Kansas City's still in first place, because the rest of the division has floundered even more.

    But it's getting harder and harder take the Chiefs seriously as a Super Bowl contender.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: B-

Los Angeles Chargers

17 of 32

    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Buffalo Bills

    Score: Won 54-24

    If you showed Sunday’s Bills-Chargers game to someone who had never watched football , they’d think the Chargers were the best team in the NFL.

    They also probably wouldn’t understand 95 percent of what they were watching, but I digress.

    Of course, we know that Los Angeles isn’t the best team in the league. It probably isn’t the best team in the AFC West. The Chargers are a squad that dropped four in a row to open the season.

    However, they absolutely dominated a hapless Bills team at the StubHub Center in front of a raucous crowd of 37 people. The Chargers forced an even half-dozen turnovers, two of which were returned for scores. The Bolts rushed for 146 yards. And Keenan Allen destroyed Buffalo’s secondary to the tune of 12 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

    They have plenty of offensive weaponry. One of the NFL's best one-two edge-rush tandems. A veteran quarterback. And now four wins in their last six games.

    Had you said a month ago that with six games to play, the Chargers would still have a pulse in the AFC West race, you'd have been laughed at. Maybe fitted for restraints.

    Yet here they are, just two back with six to play.

    Week 11 Grade: A

    Season Grade: C-

Los Angeles Rams

18 of 32

    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Los Angeles Rams

    Score: Lost 24-7

    The Los Angeles Rams are one of the biggest surprises of the 2017 season—an offensive juggernaut that had shredded opponents en route to seven wins in their first nine games. But Sunday, the Rams faced their biggest test of the season: a trip to Minnesota to face the 7-2 Vikings.

    The Rams failed that test. Badly.

    Offensively, they were shut down. Jared Goff passed for just 225 yards—his third-lowest output of the season. He also failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 5—when the Rams lost at home to the Seattle Seahawks.

    Things didn't go much better defensively. The Rams allowed over 450 yards of total offense against Minnesota and just couldn't get off the field. The Vikings held the ball for almost 38 minutes in the game.

    One bad loss doesn't erase all the progress the Rams have made this season. But it showed that there's still work to be done.

    The Rams had better do it quick, too. They host the 8-2 Saints in Week 12.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: A-

Miami Dolphins

19 of 32

    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Score: Lost 30-20

    It's quarterback-controversy time in Miami.

    After Jay Cutler was forced from Miami's 10-point loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a concussion, Matt Moore entered and led the Dolphins back, passing for 282 yards and a touchdown.

    Yes, the same Matt Moore who was spectacularly awful a few weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens.

    It's not like Cutler's been any better. The Dolphins entered Week 11 dead last in the NFL in total offense, and Cutler threw three first-half interceptions against the Bucs before getting hurt.

    There were a couple of bright spots for that floundering Miami offense Sunday. Kenny Stills had a huge day, catching seven passes for 180 yards and a score. And tailback Damien Williams peeled off a 69-yard run.

    But outside of that run, Williams and Kenyan Drake combined for 13 yards on 16 carries—which sums up the Dolphins offense well.

    The weird special teams touchdown they gave up late symbolizes their season.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: D

Minnesota Vikings

20 of 32

    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Los Angeles Rams

    Score: Won 24-7

    The Minnesota Vikings entered Week 11 at 7-2, but outside of a 10-point win over the Saints in Week 1, the NFC North leaders didn't really have a statement victory.

    They got one Sunday against the Rams.

    Facing one of the NFL's highest-scoring offenses, the Minnesota defense played its best game of the season, limiting the Rams to just 254 yards of total offense and seven points.

    The offense was even better, rolling over Los Angeles for over 450 total yards. Case Keenum passed for 280 yards and had a passer rating north of 100. Tailback Latavius Murray rushed for a pair of touchdowns. And wideout Adam Thielen had six grabs for 123 yards and a score.

    With Teddy Bridgewater back, there's been no shortage of speculation that Keenum's playing on a short leash—that one bad game might be all it takes to get him the hook.

    That seems silly after Sunday's huge win. One does not fix that which is not broken.

    And right now, the Vikings are most assuredly not broken.

    Week 11 Grade: A

    Season Grade: A-

New England Patriots

21 of 32

    ALFREDO ESTRELLA/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at Oakland Raiders

    Score: Won 33-8

    I'm about to say something that will make many people a tad nauseous, and a few people happy: The New England Patriots look like the best team in football again.

    It's not just that the Patriots beat the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City Sunday. They spanked them relentlessly.

    Tom Brady toyed with the Oakland defense, passing for 339 yards and putting up a gaudy 131.9 passer rating. New England converted half of its first downs, gained 420 total yards of offense and didn't turn the ball over.

    Perhaps even more importantly, a New England defense that was roasted regularly earlier in the season allowed 17 or fewer points for the sixth straight game (and win).

    The Patriots may have stubbed their toes in September, but they're firing on all cylinders now.

    And that's not a notion that will make the rest of the AFC feel warm and fuzzy.

    Week 11 Grade: A

    Season Grade: A

New Orleans Saints

22 of 32

    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Washington Redskins

    Score: Won 34-31 (OT)

    In the modern history of the NFL, no team has ever (per NFL RedZone, which is the best invention since spray cheese) followed losses in their first two games with an eight-game winning streak.

    Until now.

    It didn't look like the Saints were going to accomplish the feat. A defense that had been stout of late sprung a leak against Washington and allowed 31 points. The Saints were down 15 in the fourth quarter.

    Then Drew Brees decided to be Drew Brees.

    He threw for 385 yards Sunday and tossing a pair of late touchdowns that helped New Orleans knot the score. It was also another big day for the Saints' two-headed monster on the ground, with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara piling up 176 yards on just 19 carries.

    That's 9.3 yards per carry, for those keeping score at home.

    There isn't a team in the NFL playing better football right now than the Saints, but a big test awaits—New Orleans is at Los Angeles (Rams), home against Carolina and at Atlanta the next three weeks.

    Pass that test (by going 2-1 or better) and there'll be no question New Orleans is a legitimate contender to do something no one dreamed before the season began: represent the NFC in Super Bowl LII.

    Week 11 Grade: B+

    Season Grade: A-

New York Giants

23 of 32

    Elsa/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Kansas City Chiefs

    Score: Won 12-9 (OT)

    Break out the champagne!

    Prepare the ticker-tape parade!

    The Giants won a game!

    Make no mistake: This was about as ugly as victories get. In a day where a cold winter wind whipped through Met Life Stadium, the Giants and Chiefs combined for a grand total of one touchdown. Eli Manning barely cracked 200 passing yards and had a passer rating of 71.7. The Giants averaged just 3.5 yards a carry on the ground.

    But the New York defense finally showed up, holding the Chiefs out of the end zone and picking off Kansas City three times.

    One three-point win is little consolation for a Giants team that entered this season with hopes of playing in the Super Bowl. Making it to 2-8 is a long way from making it back to the postseason.

    But Sunday's win was New York's first at home this season.

    So at least all those people who froze their butts off Sunday got something out of it besides disappointment.

    Week 11 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: F

New York Jets

24 of 32

    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: Bye Week

    Score: N/A

    Frankly, an argument can be made that the Jets deserve a higher grade than what they've gotten to this point in the year.

    After all, nothing was expected of this Jets team, especially after it spent much of the offseason purging veterans from the roster. This is a team that more than a few pundits predicted wouldn't win a single game this season.

    The Jets didn't get the memo. In fact, after losing their first two games, Gang Green peeled off three straight wins. Two of their four wins came against teams that sported winning records as Week 11 got underway. Five of their six losses have been by nine or fewer points.

    This isn't to say that the Jets are a good team. But they've already exceeded expectations for the season, and opposing teams aren't looking at them as an easy W any longer.

    However, with a brutal stretch coming up after the bye that includes home dates with the Panthers and Chiefs and a trip to New Orleans, this is also a flawed team that could easily be 4-10 in a month.

    In all honesty, it should want to be. All wins accomplish now is costing the Jets draft position.

    Week 11 Grade: N/A

    Season Grade: D+

Oakland Raiders

25 of 32

    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. New England Patriots

    Score: Lost 33-8

    The Oakland Raiders came into Week 11 with a clear edict: Knock off the Patriots south of the border and show that they remain a force to be reckoned with in the AFC.

    From New England's first drive, it was clear Oakland was out of its depth. By halftime, it was 17-0 after the Patriots turned a fumble inside their 5-yard line into a 62-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal.

    Oakland's pass defense was pathetic—again. Tom Brady went well over the 300-yard mark with three touchdowns, and the Raiders are still looking for their first interception.

    As a team. For the season.

    Thanks to Kansas City's Big Apple faceplant, the Raiders are still just two games back in the division with a head-to-head win over the Chiefs.

    But it's getting awfully hard to imagine a Raiders team that can't cover a bed with a sheet making any sort of real noise in the postseason.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: D

Philadelphia Eagles

26 of 32

    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: at Dallas Cowboys

    Score: Won 37-9

    Turn out the lights. The party's over.

    At least where the NFC East is concerned.

    In the first half of Sunday night's tilt with the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles looked a bit out of sorts. Like the team was a touch rusty coming off the bye.

    Either that, or it just felt sorry for the Cowboys.

    In the second half, the team absolutely buried Dallas. The Eagles poured on 30 unanswered points in the second half, scoring touchdowns in just about every way imaginable.

    Quarterback Carson Wentz only threw for 168 yards, but he didn't need to be at his best Sunday. The Eagles piled up 215 rushing yards, limited Dallas to 225 yards total, sacked Dak Prescott four times and pressured the young quarterback into four turnovers.

    It was a dominant performance in every sense and the Eagles' eighth consecutive victory. And it sent a loud, clear message to the conference: The Eagles are coming, they're hungry and a trip to Minnesota next February tops the menu.

    Week 11 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: A

Pittsburgh Steelers

27 of 32

    Don Wright/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Tennessee Titans

    Score: Won 40-17

    The Pittsburgh Steelers came into Week 11 at 7-2—tied for the best record in the AFC. The team had peeled off four victories in a row.

    Make that five.

    The Steelers did more than just beat the Titans Thursday night. They pounded them in the team's most emphatic victory of the season.

    The game featured big performances from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wideout Antonio Brown, but it was the defense's four takeaways and five sacks that were the even bigger story.

    The Steelers were a team long known for their defensive prowess, but that defense had taken a step back in recent seasons. It has returned with a vengeance in 2017. Through 10 games, the Steelers are now allowing just 287.6 yards and 16.5 points per game.

    The Steelers already have a stranglehold on the AFC North. This win puts them in excellent position to also secure a first-round bye as one of the top two seeds in the AFC, given their favorable schedule down the stretch.

    In fact, with the Patriots visiting Heinz Field in Week 15, the Steelers have a real shot at being the No. 1 seed in the bracket.

    Week 11 Grade: A

    Season Grade: A-

San Francisco 49ers

28 of 32

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: Bye Week

    Score: N/A

    There's been good and bad for the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.

    The good was that they notched a victory at home over the reeling New York Giants last week.

    The bad was every other thing that has happened.

    OK, so that isn’t entirely fair. The 49ers have at least been competitive this season, with five of their 10 games decided by three or fewer points. And San Fran hopes to have acquired its quarterback of the future by trading for Jimmy Garoppolo at the trade deadline.

    But the 49ers lost all five of those games. And four others where the average margin of defeat was almost three touchdowns a game.

    Supporters of the 49ers will point out that the team is in Year 1 of a ground-up rebuild. That new head coach Kyle Shanahan and equally new general manager John Lynch need time to build something in the Bay Area.

    But 1-9 is 1-9.

    And 1-9 ain't good.

    Week 11 Grade: N/A

    Season Grade: F

Seattle Seahawks

29 of 32

    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: vs. Atlanta Falcons

    Score: Lost 34-31

    After losing in heartbreaking fashion at home to the Atlanta Falcons, many fans will blame Seattle Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh for missing a 52-yard field goal as time expired.

    But it wasn't Walsh's fault Seattle lost.

    Others will blame an injury-ravaged Seahawks defense that couldn't get off the field on third down.

    That wasn't it either.

    The Seahawks lost because they were once again their own worst enemy.

    There was a bizarre fake field goal with seven seconds remaining in the first half and no timeouts left that failed miserably. There were once again far too many penalties—nine for 106 yards. And two Russell Wilson turnovers that led to 14 points for Atlanta.

    The Seahawks just don't have the same margin for error without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, no run game to speak of and a piecemeal offensive line.

    They can't survive that many unforced errors.

    At 6-4, Seattle is still a factor both in the NFC West and the conference as a whole. Wilson nearly willed the team back almost single-handedly.

    But the Seahawks have now lost two at home and failed to capitalize on the Rams loss in Minnesota.

    And they have no one to blame but themselves.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C+

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30 of 32

    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at Miami Dolphins

    Score: Won 30-20

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the most disappointing teams of 2017. Much was expected of the team after what was viewed as a successful offseason. The P-word was tossed around quite a bit in regard to the Bucs.

    For much of this season though, the only P-word being used to describe Tampa was putrid.

    Sunday’s 10-point win (which was essentially a three-point win—a bizarre special teams touchdown at the end of the game skewed the score) doesn’t fix all that ails the Buccaneers. The offense is still inconsistent, at least in part because quarterback Jameis Winston is hurt.

    The defense (a unit which has struggled in a big way) also let the Dolphins back into the game in the second half, although the five takeaways Tampa had were a huge factor in the game.

    The hard truth is that Week 11 win aside, the Buccaneers all but surely aren’t making the playoffs in 2017.

    But this victory will at least allow them to kid themselves about the possibility a little longer.

    Week 11 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: D+

Tennessee Titans

31 of 32

    Don Wright/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: at Pittsburgh Steelers

    Score: Lost 40-17

    The Tennessee Titans entered Week 11 with an opportunity to send a message. With a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Titans could join the seven-win club and establish themselves as a legitimate contender, not just in their division, but in the AFC as a whole.

    That message apparently got lost in the mail.

    The Titans didn't just lose to the Steelers. They got waxed. Offensively, Tennessee was stymied on the ground, managing just 52 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Marcus Mariota had one of the worst games of his career, throwing four interceptions.

    Things weren't much better defensively. To their credit, the Titans did a good job of bottling up Le'Veon Bell. But they had no answer for Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, who combined for three touchdowns through the air.

    One ugly loss doesn't mean Tennessee isn't a good football team. It's still in the running in the AFC South.

    But if Thursday's game was a measuring stick for the Titans against the best of the AFC, they came up way short.

    Week 11 Grade: D-

    Season Grade: C+

Washington Redskins

32 of 32

    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: at New Orleans Saints

    Score: Lost 34-31 (OT)

    There are defeats. There are crushing defeats. And then there's what happened to the Washington Redskins in New Orleans on Sunday.

    If the Redskins were going to keep their fading postseason hopes alive and get their season back on track, they needed a win over the red-hot Saints on Sunday.

    And for a time, it looked like Washington was going to pull it off. Thanks to 322 passing yards from Kirk Cousins and 117 yards on the ground from rookie Samaje Perine, the Redskins were sitting on a 31-16 lead in the fourth quarter.

    It didn't hold. After playing well for 3.5 quarters, the Washington defense decided it was nap time and allowed Drew Brees to toss a pair of touchdown passes and knot the score.

    Believe it or not, it was worse than just losing the game.

    In the third quarter, Washington tailback Chris Thompson, who's been the team's best offensive player this year, was carted from the field with what Nick Shook of NFL.com reported is a season-ending fractured fibia.

    Thompson was leading the Redskins in rushing and receiving entering Week 11.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: D+