NFL Week 11: Recap & analysis (2024)

The Athletic's NFL experts and insiders run through all the latest news, storylines and more.

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Dianna Russini, Mike Jones, Mike Sando and The Athletic NFL Staff

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The Athletic NFL Staff

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NFL Week 11: Schedule, scores, odds and playoff standings

Week 11 is underway after the Ravens beat the Bengals on Thursday Night Football. Check in with The Athletic for all the latest NFL news, game previews, injury updates and analysis.

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  • Live coverage: Eagles def. Chiefs 21-17 on Monday Night Football
  • | Updated standings
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November 20, 2023 at 8:45 PM ESTNick Kosmider·Staff Writer, Broncos

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Broncos safety Kareem Jackson suspended 4 games for hit on Vikings QB Josh Dobbs

Broncos safety Kareem Jackson has been suspended by the NFL for four games without pay after the league ruled his first-quarter hit on Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs was “a serious violation of the playing rules.”

Jackson is expected to appeal the suspension. The appeal will come in front of a hearing officer jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA.

This is the second suspension of the season for Jackson, the 14-year veteran who entered the league as a first-round pick with the Texans in 2010. He was originally suspended for four games as a result of an illegal hit on Green Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave in Week 7, but the penalty was reduced to two games upon appeal.

In the case of both suspensions, Jackson’s recent history of illegal hits worked against him. He was flagged for a head-to-head hit on Las Vegas wide receiver Jakobi Meyers in Week 1, and Meyers exited with a concussion. In Week 2, Jackson was ejected following an illegal hit to the head of Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas, who was also knocked out of the game with a concussion.

Jackson has already been assessed nearly $90,000 in fines and lost $279,000 in wages during his previous two-game suspension.

Read more here.

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November 20, 2023 at 7:20 PM ESTCharlotte Carroll·Staff Writer, Giants

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How hometown hero Tommy DeVito emerged as the feel-good story the Giants needed

During an offseason meetup between New York Giants quarterbacks and wide receivers in Charlotte, N.C., someone broke out a karaoke machine.

It wasn’t long before a self-assured undrafted rookie free-agent quarterback had grabbed the mic, threw on an A Boogie song and started rapping — nailing the verses word-for-word.

“We’re like, ‘Woooah,'” wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson recalled. “He just went up there and killed it.”

By way of explanation, the Giants quarterback who rocked the mic simply said, “(I) like to rock out.”

That’s Tommy DeVito.

Read more here.

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November 20, 2023 at 6:25 PM ESTTashan Reed·Staff Writer, Raiders

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Raiders let prime upset opportunity slip through their grasp vs. Dolphins

The Las Vegas Raiders had an opportunity to pull off the improbable. Few expected them to beat the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday, but after three sloppy quarters from both teams, they were in position to do just that.

Late in the fourth quarter, quarterback Aidan O’Connell and the Raiders offense ended up with two chances to either tie the score or take the lead. Interim head coach Antonio Pierce’s third consecutive win since taking over for the fired Josh McDaniels was right there for the taking. Beating the two New York teams at home was one thing, but winning this game would’ve put it in clear terms that the Raiders were to be taken seriously.

The two drives would start in promising fashion, but each ended with an O’Connell interception in what would become a 20-13 loss. While one can spin going down to the wire with an AFC contender as a positive sign for the Raiders (5-6), that’s not how they are viewing it. As they continue their push to turn the season around, they see it as a game they should’ve won and allowed to slip through their grasp.

Read more here.

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November 20, 2023 at 5:30 PM ESTSaad Yousuf·Staff Writer, Cowboys

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‘Just another day of being a Dallas Cowboy’: Ring of Honor news, getting win No. 7

About 90 minutes before the Dallas Cowboys were set to kick off against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy was getting set for the customary game-day routine of meeting with the game officials.

That’s when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson showed up in his locker room for a surprise visit.

“I love doing everything in front of cameras the whole time,” McCarthy joked. “But it was just awesome seeing them two together.”

Jones and Johnson started to gain traction Sunday when they walked into the stadium together. Any time the two Hall of Famers are seen together, speculation usually follows. Much of that speculation — joking or serious — usually boils down to the one question: When will Jones do the inevitable and put Johnson, the leader of the Cowboys’ 90s dynasty, into the franchise’s Ring of Honor?

Jones finally provided an answer.

Read more here.

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November 20, 2023 at 4:35 PM ESTChad Graff·Staff Writer, Patriots

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Can Patriots edge rusher Matthew Judon name all 38 NFL quarterbacks he’s sacked?

In late September, we asked players around the New England Patriots locker room about their favorite play of their football career. They provided interesting answers.

But Matthew Judon’s was different. He remembered every sack, he said, so it was hard to pick just one. He knew without a shadow of a doubt, he claimed, which quarterbacks he’d taken down and which he hadn’t.

That seemed like it couldn’t possibly be true. So The Athletic challenged him to name every quarterback he’s sacked in his NFL career.

After a day to sift through dozens of box scores and 66.5 career sacks, we learned that Judon has played 50 games with at least a half-sack and sacked 38 quarterbacks. He once sacked two quarterbacks in one game (he got both Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick of the New York Jets). He’s missing only four starting quarterbacks he’s faced (Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo and Russell Wilson).

This challenge was set for the Friday of Week 4 before the Patriots played the Dallas Cowboys. Judon knew Prescott was missing from his list, he said, so he was eager for the opportunity to add him. I decided to run the story after the Cowboys game to wait and see if Judon got Prescott. But in that game, Judon suffered a biceps injury that required surgery and hasn’t played since. So the story got pushed back. He’s eligible now to be activated from injured reserve, but he’ll probably be out until at least December.

Still, the conversation was enlightening and served as a window into how Judon reflects on his impressive eight-year career. As the Patriots come out of their bye week with a game against the New York Giants looming, let’s see if Judon can name all 38 NFL quarterbacks he’s sacked.

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November 20, 2023 at 3:32 PM ESTJeff Zrebiec·Senior Writer, Ravens

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Ravens' John Harbaugh: 'Outside chance' injured TE Mark Andrews could return this season

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Four days after saying Mark Andrews likely sustained a season-ending ankle injury in the Ravens' 34-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that the injury wasn't as bad as initially feared and there's an "outside chance" the star tight end could return before the end of the season.

Andrews, who was hurt early in the first quarter when he was tackled by Logan Wilson, will spend part of this week in Charlotte, N.C., meeting with renowned orthopedist Dr. Robert Anderson. Harbaugh said that the Ravens should know more about Andrews' timetable when the consultation with Anderson is over.

"Nothing is completely definitive yet, but my understanding in talking to the trainers and the doctors is it wasn’t as bad as initially feared right after the game. It wasn't as bad as it could have been," Harbaugh said in a Monday news conference. "It’s a little cleaner than they thought based on the MRI.

"There might be an outside chance that he could get back at some point in time. We’ll just have to see how it goes. I don’t want to say that’s definitive by any stretch, but there is some optimism."

Asked later about whether a playoff return could be in store for the three-time Pro Bowl selection, Harbaugh declined to speculate. He did express optimism that the 8-3 Ravens, who play the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night, are much better equipped to make up for Andrews' extended absence than they have been in the past.

Second-year tight ends Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar, both fourth-round picks last year, will get more prominent roles. The Ravens also will be counting on their wide receiver group to do more. Andrews was first on the team with six touchdown catches and second to rookie Zay Flowers in both receiving yards (544) and catches (45).

"We have a lot of guys who can step up and make plays - wide receivers, tight ends, running backs," Harbaugh said. "We feel pretty good about the guys altogether who will fill in for Mark Andrews. Mark is such a competitor, such a talent, a superstar player. Impossible to replace him per say. We have to replace him as a group. I really believe we can do it. When he gets back, we’ll just be that much stronger for it, whenever that is."

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November 20, 2023 at 3:29 PM ESTKevin Fishbain·Staff Writer, Bears

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Bears day-after: Matt Eberflus stands by late play calls, FG decision vs. Lions

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Here are a few things we heard from Bears head coach Matt Eberflus the day after the collapse in Detroit.

  • After Justin Fields’ 26-yard run got the Bears in field goal range, the next three plays were runs — including a handoff on third-and-7. Then Cairo Santos’ field goal put them up 12. Normally, that’s enough for a win at that point in the game, but we can question the seemingly conservative calls after a loss. Said Eberflus, “Yeah, we love those plays we had there, even the one on third down. We thought we could pop that for the third down. … He could have had a disconnect on that one but decided to hand it off. I think 34 was there waiting for him. We thought we could pop that one, so that’s where it was.”
  • Eberflus was fine with the decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-inches to go up by nine points, even though the Bears had gone for it twice on fourth down earlier in the game (and converted).
  • The offense couldn’t turn two first-half takeaways into points. Eberflus said they have to be better on third down. The Bears were 2-for-6 on third down in the first half.
  • Dan Feeney was the one who got center reps in practice all week, which is why he came in for Lucas Patrick instead of Cody Whitehair, who was the backup for the guard spots.
  • Eberflus did commend the play from Fields, who had 104 yards rushing and 169 yards passing. He liked how Fields kept his eyes downfield as he took off and was able to make throws before crossing the line of scrimmage, like his touchdown pass to DJ Moore.
November 20, 2023 at 3:25 PM ESTZac Jackson·Staff Writer, Browns

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Browns sign free agent QB Joe Flacco to practice squad

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Joe Flacco is officially in the Browns' facility and a member of the practice squad.

But rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson will remain the Browns' starting quarterback, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Monday. Thompson-Robinson had been the team's No. 3 and emergency quarterback when Deshaun Watson was healthy earlier this month, but Thompson-Robinson started and led what became the game-winning field goal drive in Sunday's 13-10 win over the Steelers to move the Browns to 7-3.

Flacco, 38, worked out for the Browns last Friday and was the team's top pick to join Thompson-Robinson and P.J. Walker in the team's quarterback room following last week's news that Deshaun Watson will miss the rest of the season. Flacco started four games for the Jets last year but outside of a wild rally to beat the Browns in September, he wasn't particularly good. Flacco completed just 57.6 percent of his passes, and the Jets didn't bring him back despite losing Aaron Rodgers in this year's season opener.

So, Flacco was available when the Browns called last week. Now, he'll get acclimated and be an option for the Browns if they have to make another quarterback change in the stretch run.

"Joe's role is to support this team," Stefanski said. "He will be great for that room, great for this team."

The Browns will spend next week in Southern California and practice at UCLA, Thompson-Robinson's alma mater. It's a fair guess that it would take Flacco at least until then to get comfortable enough with the Browns' playbook to be considered as a realistic option to play. In order for the Browns to dress a third emergency quarterback for this week's game, all three would need to be on the active roster. Although Flacco joined the Browns with the obvious expectation that he'll be promoted from the practice squad at some point, the Browns have until the end of the week -- and each Saturday that follows, realistically -- to make that decision.

All three quarterbacks who have started for the Browns have not only won a start, but now all three have led a drive to set up a game-winning field goal. Thompson-Robinson had struggled in the second half vs. the Steelers and threw mostly short passes, but his 15-yard completion to Elijah Moore on the Browns' final drive sparked a run of four straight completions that allowed the Browns to then run and run out the clock ahead of Dustin Hopkins' 34-yard game-winning field goal.

Watson is scheduled to have surgery to repair a broken bone in his throwing shoulder this week.

November 20, 2023 at 2:45 PM ESTJeff Zrebiec·Senior Writer, Ravens

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Ravens WR Odell Beckham Jr. starting to feel like himself again

Asked following Thursday’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals whether he’s experiencing an uptick in speed, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. quipped, “You might have to ask the other teams and see.”

Through 11 games, the Beckham experience has been as advertised for the Ravens. He’s become a locker room leader and helped mentor some of the team’s younger players, including first-round rookie wideout Zay Flowers. He’s made a handful of big plays and drawn some big penalties. He’s battled some nagging injuries, already missing two games and parts of two more. He’s also shown his emotion and frustration when things aren’t going well.

When the Ravens signed him to a one-year, $15 million deal, they were confident Beckham’s route-running ability and savviness would help him get open. They knew he was going to catch the passes that were thrown to him. What they didn’t know is how well Beckham could still run after dealing with significant knee injuries and sitting out the entire 2022 season.

The 31-year-old may not be running as well as he did when he was selected to three straight Pro Bowls during his time with the New York Giants, but he’s shown a nice burst in recent weeks.

Read more here.

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November 20, 2023 at 1:46 PM ESTJames Boyd·Staff Writer, Colts

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Colts TE Jelani Woods suffers ‘setback’ during hamstring rehab

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NFL players usually return from their bye week feeling healthier and rejuvenated, but that is not the case for Colts tight end Jelani Woods. The second-year pro has been on injured reserve since the beginning of the season due to a hamstring injury, and after weeks of saying Woods was “progressing well,” Colts head coach Shane Steichen reversed course Monday.

“Jelani, he actually had a setback with his other hamstring during the rehab,” Steichen said. “So that’s where that’s at right now.”

Steichen added that he does not know whether or not Woods’ latest injury is season-ending, but with seven games left, it has become a very real possibility that Woods may not suit up for his sophom*ore campaign. Aside from playing, Woods has yet to even practice this season.

Last year, Woods totaled 25 catches for 312 yards and three TDs as a rookie. The former third-round pick, who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 253 pounds, had his best game with two catches for two TDs, including the game-winner, in an upset of eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City.

Woods was excited to take another step forward this season under former Eagles offensive coordinator and first-year head coach Steichen, who’s known for making tight ends a focal point in his offense. But that step, at least for the moment, will have to wait.

“He’s very detailed – very, very, very detailed,” Woods said of Steichen in April. “So the way I talk to him about planting on a crossing route or something like that, he can just decipher. He was like, ‘Yeah, your toe was pointed wrong. … That just tells you your leverage was wrong,’ and then he just trickles off. … He’s a big, big football guy.”

November 20, 2023 at 1:41 PM ESTJosh Kendall·Staff Writer, Falcons

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Falcons' Arthur Smith confirms decision to start QB Desmond Ridder

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Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith confirmed his decision Monday to go back to Desmond Ridder as his starting quarterback. Ridder was benched at halftime of Atlanta’s Week 8 game against Tennessee, and veteran Taylor Heinicke started the last two games for the Falcons.

However, Heinicke suffered a hamstring injury in Week 10 against the Cardinals and remains limited in practice. That’s only part of the reason Atlanta is turning back to Ridder, though.

“We have a lot of confidence in Des,” Smith said. “We think the last couple of weeks he has handled it really well, and I think the reset will be very beneficial for him.”

Ridder, a third-round pick out of Cincinnati, has started 12 games in Atlanta and has a career record of 6-6. He has completed 64.8 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and six interceptions.

“I think he’s done a really good job of taking advantage of what could be perceived as a major negative and trying to turn it into a positive for not just the short term but for the rest of his career,” Smith said.

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November 20, 2023 at 1:39 PM ESTDavid Lombardi·Staff Writer, 49ers

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49ers All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga out for season with torn ACL

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USA Today Sports

All-Pro 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga's season is over, as testing confirmed an ACL tear. Coach Kyle Shanahan reported the news on Monday morning. The good news for Hufanga is that testing detected no other structural damage to his right knee, so the clean ACL tear does create a recovery timetable that has the safety returning in time for the 2024 season opener.

The 49ers will turn to rookie Ji'Ayir Brown to start in Hufanga's place. Brown delivered in replacement duty after Hufanga went down late in the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brown, who was the only player in college football to notch 10 interceptions over the past two seasons, picked off a Baker Mayfield pass to help seal the 49ers' 27-14 win. He also broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans on a critical fourth down.

Shanahan said that Hufanga had turned his play around after he'd hit a lull — along with the rest of the 49ers' secondary — during the team's three-game losing streak. Now, Hufanga will hit the rehab path. The 23-year-old be entering his fourth year in the NFL next season — his final season under contract with the 49ers.

November 20, 2023 at 1:36 PM ESTNick Kosmider·Staff Writer, Broncos

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NFL evaluating hit by Broncos S Kareem Jackson on Vikings QB Josh Dobbs

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The NFL is looking into the hit Broncos safety Kareem Jackson made on Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs on the third play of Sunday’s game and weighing potential discipline, Denver coach Sean Payton acknowledged Monday morning.

The play happened during Jackson’s first game back following a two-game suspension that was levied by the NFL after an illegal hit on Green Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave in Week 7 that resulted in the safety’s second ejection of the season.

“I talked to Kareem already this morning. There’s nothing you can do except wait,” Payton said Monday. “We’ll see where it goes.”

On the play, Dobbs was running to his left after taking a pitch from tight end T.J. Hockenson, who took the snap from under center after motioning from the right. As Dobbs cut up field, the ball being ripped away by linebacker Baron Browning, Jackson lowered his head and launched toward Dobbs, appearing to contact the quarterback just below the chinstrap with the crown of his helmet.

There was no penalty called on the play, but Dobbs briefly entered the blue medical tent on Minnesota’s sideline before returning to the field on the next possession.

“I do know he took a pretty good shot to the helmet on the play,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said after the Broncos’ 21-20 victory.

Jackson drew his first illegal hit penalty in Week 1, when he was called for targeting Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Jakobi Myers. In Week 2, Jackson was ejected for an illegal head-to-head hit on Logan Thomas. Both Thomas and Myers suffered concussions.

When the league announced Jackson’s suspension following the Week 7 hit on Musgrave — it was initially a four-game penalty before being reduced on appeal — vice president of football operations Jon Runyan noted in a letter to Jackson that his punishment was the result of multiple violations of player-safety rules.

Leading up to Sunday’s game, Jackson said he was still unclear as to what constituted an illegal hit. He said multiple phone conversations with Runyan provided little clarity.

“I’m unsure as to how I play the game going forward,” Jackson said. “Because like I said, I’m still going to be in those situations two to three times every week. So, for me, just try to lower my target and don’t end up in the same situation.”

November 20, 2023 at 1:05 PM ESTMatt Barrows·Senior Writer, 49ers

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49ers S Talanoa Hufanga out for season with torn ACL

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirms that safety Talanoa Hufanga has a torn ACL.

Shanahan says it's a clean tear -- no meniscus tear involved.

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The Athletic NFL Staff

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Jets benching QB Zach Wilson, will start Tim Boyle vs. Dolphins: Sources

The New York Jets (4-6) are benching quarterback Zach Wilson and will start Tim Boyle moving forward, league sources said. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Boyle, whose first start will be the Jets’ Black Friday game against the Miami Dolphins, took over for Wilson in the third quarter of Sunday’s 32-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
  • The 29-year-old is in his fifth year in the NFL and has appeared in 18 games (three starts).
  • Wilson went 3-6 as a starter for New York this season and threw six touchdowns against seven interceptions.

Read more here.

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November 20, 2023 at 12:30 PM ESTMike Jones·Staff Writer, NFL

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NFL head coaching candidates for 2024

A number of NFL head coaches are on the hot seat as the regular season enters the stretch run. The pressure on Brandon Staley and Ron Rivera certainly is mounting after the Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) and Washington Commanders (4-7) each slid further away from the playoff conversation after losing winnable games Sunday. And the same can be said for Frank Reich, whose Carolina Panthers (1-9) continue to flounder and got blown out by the Dallas Cowboys.

Over the final seven weeks, owners and team presidents of struggling teams will assess their situations while monitoring the work of the top offensive and defensive coordinators, as well as a few college head coaches. If those teams decide to make a change, they will then form lists of desired candidates to interview.

This year’s crop of head coaching talent is expected to feature a number of familiar names. Some, like Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores, have prior head coaching experience. Others, like the Detroit Lions’ Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn, are looking to turn impressive bodies of work as coordinators into promotions.

Here’s a rundown of the top potential candidates on teams’ radars, listed in alphabetical order.

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November 20, 2023 at 11:30 AM ESTJourdan Rodrigue·Staff Writer, Rams

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Rams say they’ll learn from Sunday’s win, so here are some lessons

Music boomed and thudded through the Los Angeles locker room just minutes after a missed field goal by Seattle secured the Rams’ fourth win of the season, their first in November since 2020.

The celebration was tinged with some relief: The Rams scored just 17 points Sunday in their 17-16 effort, another sub-20-point outing for a team averaging only 19.5 points per game (No. 22 in the NFL) under its offensive-minded coach and veteran quarterback.

“There’s a lot of things that we can learn from, offensively,” coach Sean McVay said. “But it sure feels good to be able to do that after a win.”

Read more here.

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The Athletic NFL Staff

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Live coverage of Chiefs-Eagles on Monday Night Football

The Chiefs and Eagles are set to face off in a Super Bowl LVII rematch on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN and streaming on NFL+ and ESPN+.

Get ready for the matchup and follow along throughout the game with The Athletic's team of experts and insiders here.

November 20, 2023 at 9:30 AM ESTMichael-Shawn Dugar·Staff Writer, Seahawks

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Seahawks melt down vs. Rams, as tougher tests loom

Defeating Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams had already proven tough enough for the Seattle Seahawks over the years, even before a series of self-inflicted issues sealed their fate Sunday at SoFi Stadium. That is what makes this most recent loss, a 17-16 nail-biter, even more frustrating for the Seahawks, who were looking to stay neck-and-neck with the rival San Francisco 49ers atop the division.

It wasn’t just that McVay’s defense held Seattle’s offense to 3 points in the second half and a 33.3 percent conversion rate on third down (5 of 15). Nor was it just the fact that quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ offense scored 10 points on their final two drives to take the lead with 1:31 remaining. Yes, the Seahawks will lament all of that on their flight home.

But what will really sting is how often Seattle (6-4) got in its own way, particularly on the final two drives of the game.

Read more here.

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