Winners and losers of 2023 NFL Week 11: Packers and Texans hold on to Chargers, Steelers fall apart

Winners and losers of 2023 NFL Week 11: Packers and Texans hold on to Chargers, Steelers fall apart

Another week of NFL action is approaching the books. And Week 11 was already full of improbable headlines: the Bears and Raiders nearly pulled off upsets against would-be contenders, the Browns remained atop the AFC North with Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center, and the Giants notched six takeaways to upset the leaders.

Which players, coaches and teams deserve the most praise (or criticism)? Here are the big winners and losers of Week 11:

Winner: Brooke Purdy

Remember when everyone said he was “found out”? Give us a break. No, the Buccaneers aren’t world-beaters, but they’re not terrible on defense either. And Purdy walked everywhere, giving him three TDs with no picks for the second week in a row. The 49ers aren’t an ideal contender, but do they have a polished young signal caller at the helm of their offense.

Loser: Robert Saleh

It was bad enough that he waited too long to pull the plug on Zach Wilson’s “experiment.” But for Wilson to literally stomp him on the sidelines in the middle of an ugly loss to the rival Bills, and then, trailing 29-6 and facing an even steeper drop to below .500 while Aaron Rodgers soaks it all up, finally turns into Tim Boyle? What is the actual trend here? The Jets’ mismanagement at QB has been evident for weeks — months even — but it was on full display in their decisive loss to Buffalo.

Everyone’s talking about Micah Parsons, but not enough people are talking about Bland, who read Bryce Young like a Sunday book to tie the NFL’s single-season record for pick-sixes and record an interception for the fourth time this year. Bland’s shot-making is a pivotal part of the defense that gave Dallas another blowout win, boosting ‘America’s Team’ to 7-3 on the season.

Pittsburgh remained on the win streak throughout most of 2023, despite consistently being outmatched on the offensive side of the ball. On Sunday, the chickens finally came home to roost, as the Browns, led by Dorian Thompson and Robinson, edged out Kenny Pickett and Co. in clutch. You can only ask too little of your QB for so long. Even the Steelers’ best weapon, Jaylen Warren, was a reminder of how much the team has relied instead on the sluggish Najee Harris, who managed 2.9 yards per carry in Sunday’s defeat.

He and the Packers were mostly written off heading into Sunday’s game, and it remains to be seen if their pairing will thrive long-term. But against a desperate-looking Chargers team that was without Aaron Jones for much of the day, the beleaguered young quarterback exuded confidence, especially down the stretch. 322 yards and two scores put Green Bay back in the “W” column but more importantly, it restored some confidence in its future.

Loser: Chargers

While Jordan Love and the Packers answered the call, Brandon Staley and the Bolts fell short when it mattered most, which is not surprising but downright disappointing. Justin Herbert’s seemingly perfect last-minute strike summed up this season, as rookie Quentin Johnston dropped a goal that could have decided the game. This mistake was an indictment of the Chiefs for lineup construction, an indictment of Staley for another game that was too close, and an indictment of the entire organization.

It’s fair to question the impact of an almost 30-year-old cornerback after an extended injury layoff. But without Ramsey, the Dolphins may not be able to survive the feisty invaders. His first pick of the day, a dunk to Aidan O’Connell, gave Miami new life. The second, a quick pass from the end zone on a deep punt, prevented a Las Vegas comeback. The Dolphins clearly have some issues as they look toward a playoff run, but Ramsey’s ball skills have them nervous in the backfield.

Loser: Frank Reich

Just weeks after handing the play-call to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, Reich suddenly regained his duties for Week 11, yet the Panthers managed just 10 points in a blowout loss to Dallas on Sunday. The Cowboys are a different team in a different stage of the rivalry, but with Panthers owner David Tepper already running out of patience, and QB Bryce Young once again struggling to control the ball, Reich’s job security could be less so.

Rookie standout CJ Stroud threw more snaps against the Cardinals (3) than he had all prior season, yet DeMeco Ryans’ squad stood tall to come away with a 21-16 win, improving to 6-4 on the year. That’s the mark of a resilient franchise — and certainly a very different one than what we’re used to in Houston. Then again, the Ryans may be a year away from a legitimate tour, but Stroud, Tank Dale and all the other youngsters on board can’t be ruled out.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *