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NFL Week 11 overreactions and reality checks: Are Cowboys a contender again? Are Vikings as good as record?

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This week in the NFL has certainly shown us something about the league. The Dallas Cowboys thrashed the Minnesota Vikings on the national stage, while the Philadelphia Eagles improved their lead in the NFC East and the New York Giants surprisingly lost to the Detroit Lions.

Sunday’s roster also featured a brutal New York Jets loss to the New England Patriots and another ugly win for the Baltimore Ravens. Despite all this, little has changed in the NFC or AFC playoff picture since Sunday’s games.

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When the afternoon games were over, a lot of conclusions could be drawn, but where is the truth and where is the overreaction? Let’s analyze them:

The Cowboys are the second best NFC team.

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Overreaction or Reality: reality

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A 37-point win over the Vikings should be enough to convince the NFL how good the Cowboys are. Minnesota came into this game with seven straight wins and a league-leading record. All Dallas did was get the Vikings to three points in a game that was never close.

Tony Pollard put on a superstar performance (the first player in Cowboys history to hit 50-plus rushing yards, 100-plus receiving yards, and 2-plus touchdowns in a game) while the defense held Minnesota 183-plus yards and 1-of-11 on the third down. .

The Cowboys are a very good football team that had problems with the Packers. They’re two games behind the Eagles in the NFC, but Dallas shows why Philadelphia is the only team in the conference that’s ahead of them.

A final score of 40-3 over an 8-1 away team is proof enough.

Vikings are not as good as their track record shows.

Overreaction or Reality: overreaction

A crushing loss to the Cowboys reduced the Vikings to 8–2 for the season. Minnesota is the first team in NFL history to be 8-2 or better after 10 games with a negative (-2) point difference. Which begs the question: How good are Vikings?

Minnesota is leading 7-0 in one-game games this season, having won the last seven games by a single point. The Vikings are good in close games, but against the Eagles and Cowboys (two teams in the NFC with seven-plus wins), their loss margin is 64-11.

The Vikings may not be as good as the Eagles and Cowboys, but close wins must mean something. They’re going to win the NFC North and get a playoff home game, but they’re not at the level of the Eagles and Cowboys right now.

Good team, but is Minnesota good? Time will tell.

Jalen Hurts is one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL.

Overreaction or Reality: reality

What does Hurts have to prove at this point? Not only does the Eagles quarterback rank in the top five in several major statistical categories, but he also wished his team could beat the Colts in a game that Philadelphia couldn’t win for three and a half quarters.

The Eagles made their first double-figure comeback in the fourth quarter since Week 15 of the 2010 season (43 attempts) thanks to Hurts rushing eight carries for 49 yards and a touchdown (game winner in third and goals from 1: 20 left). ). Hurts also got 3 of 5 for 38 yards and a touchdown in the quarter (123.3 rating).

The Hurts continue to be the MVP of the NFL’s top-scoring team. This season, he is one of the top five quarterbacks in the league.

Justin Fields is not a clutch defender

Overreaction or Reality: reality

As impressive as Fields is, his performance in the fourth quarter isn’t worth bragging about. In the fourth quarter and overtime, Fields completed 57.4% of his passes for 291 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. His 60.0 passer rating is 33rd out of 34 qualified quarterbacks this season.

Fields set up another fourth-quarter interception in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, this time the Bears trailed 27–24 with 1:13 left. After losing to the Lions the week before, Fields threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown that allowed Detroit to return.

Fields does have 236 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime (6.74 yards per carry), but his passing game limits the impact he can have with his feet. The Bears quarterback is still learning, but the numbers show he’s a little short of getting to the next level in his position.

The Ravens will be the #1 seed in the AFC.

Overreaction or Reality: overreaction

Baltimore barely beat a struggling Carolina team at home on Sunday, improving its record to 7-3 for the year while leading by double figures in all 10 games. The Ravens are a very good team, but it took them three defensive passes to stop the hitters, who only had 308 yards that day.

The Ravens have the easiest schedule in the NFL and are only one game behind the Chiefs in terms of the best record in the AFC, so it’s possible to get home advantage. We need to see the Chiefs stumble two more games before Baltimore can get into that conversation.

Don’t be fooled, the Ravens have a chance to take first place in the conference. Crime must at some point become a reality.

James Cook will pull Josh Allen out of the crisis

Overreaction or Reality: reality

Allen can work his way out of depression on his own, but playing Bills on the run will certainly help. Cook stirred up offense Sunday with 11 carries for 86 yards, part of a running game that ended with 171 yards and an average of 5.2 yards per carry.

The bills should give Cook more commitment in the future, or at least use him as a running back committee with Devin Singlety. Allen was 18 of 27 for 197 yards and missed a few shots on Sunday, but he had no losses.

While Allen is funky, he is too good a player for this slump to last. A commitment to Cook and more involvement with football will help Allen stretch.

Taylor Heinicke will lead the Commanders to the playoffs

Overreaction or Reality: overreaction

The Commanders did their job against the Texans Sunday: Heinicke completed 15 of 27 passes for 191 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions (77.9 rating). Although the overall score is unimpressive, Heinicke did not turn the ball over and Washington leads 4-1 with him as the starting quarterback.

The Commanders trail the 49ers in the playoff finals (San Francisco plays Monday), but they are 6-5 and have kept their season going 1-4. They have two games ahead of them against the giants, but first they have to take care of the falcons.

If the Commanders can clear the Giants, this conversation will be revisited. In fact, it is still too early to make this statement.

The Jets will have to send Zach Wilson to the bench.

Overreaction or Reality: reality

Wilson makes it impossible for the Jets to make the playoffs every week. The Jets quarterback hit 9 of 22 for 77 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions (50.8 rating) as the Jets scored just three points in a loss to the Patriots. Wilson also had the fewest completions, passing yards, and lowest completion percentage in a game that season.

The Jets got 103 yards in the game – and only two in the second half! Only Kenny Pickett has a lower passer rating among qualified quarterbacks than Wilson, who ranks last in the league in completion percentage (55.6%).

The Jets have a great roster with elite defense, and Wilson is costing them a playoff spot. Joe Flacco or Mike White could be better at this pace.

The Rams are the worst defending Super Bowl champion in history.

Overreaction or Reality: reality

Los Angeles fell to 3-7 for the year after an embarrassing loss to New Orleans on Sunday, a game that Matthew Stafford walked out of when he was being assessed for a concussion. This is the worst start for the defending champion after 10 games, when he drew against the 1999 Broncos and 1987 Giants.

John Elway retired after the 1998 season and Phil Simms was injured in the second week of the 1987 season and was out for several weeks, giving these teams a poor start. What’s the Rams’ excuse?

Stafford missed the game, but he’s been at a low level all year. The Rams can’t pick a running back (not that they have a good option), and the offensive line is in decline. The defense is also not good enough to compensate for the problems in the attack.

Not only will this team not make the playoffs, but they will finish last in the division.

Injuries could cost Giants playoffs

Overreaction or Reality: reality

For the third game in a row, the Giants looked mediocre. This usually happens when a team loses so many players – Adori Jackson, Fabian Moreau, John Feliciano, Tyre Phillips, Jason Pinnock and Van’Dale Robinson – in one game. The Giants were already without Aziz Ojulari, Evan Neal and Xavier McKinney to start Sunday’s game.

As a result, the Lions lost, leaving New York two games behind Philadelphia in the division race and finishing third in the NFC East. The Giants are 1.5 games ahead of the Commanders for a playoff berth but have to play twice against Washington and Philadelphia.

If the Giants don’t have these key players, they could be in serious trouble without their starting quarterback, starting right tackle, backup right tackle, starting center, starting safety, backup safety, and starting wide receiver. They have a chance with healthy Daniel Jones and Sakwon Barkley, but can they survive this NFC East challenge?

How they perform against the Commanders in two of their next four games will decide the entire season and the playoffs.


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