Week 11 saw some of the realities of the NFL rear its ugly head. Joe Burrow, the LSU Heismen trophy winner, number 1 draft pick, and Bengals starting quarterback, tore his ACL and MCL in Sundays game against Washington. Burrow was having a solid rookie season but has been sacked and hit entirely too much. The Bengals signal caller has been sacked 32 times which places him 3rd in the league behind Carson Wentz (40) and Russell Wilson (33). This cause and effect makes you think about how you construct a team around a franchise quarterback. I realize injuries happen in the NFL but not giving the most important player on your roster the proper support seems foolish. We all saw it negatively affect the career of David Carr and currently Carson Wentz. When acquiring a quarterback with a high draft pick or in free agency you should make it your mission to build around that huge investment. Doing so might mean going hard in free agency acquiring offensive lineman, building a strong run game and defense around him, or even sitting him for a year until the rest of your roster is ready. I hope Joe Burrow makes a full recovery because he is an easy guy to root for but during his absence it’s time for the Bengals to get to work to make sure their franchise quarterback can reach his full potential.
TOP 5 ROOKIE PERFORMANCES WEEK 11
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
- QB – Justin Herbert – 6’6” 236 – Oregon – 1st Round pick (6th Overall) vs. New York Jets (W, 34-28)
Game Day Stats: 37-49 Completion / 366 passing yards / 3 touchdown passes / 0 interceptions
Before anybody gets crazy I know it’s the Jets but this was the cleanest game Herbert has played this season. He was accurate, strong in the pocket, and didn’t force throws. He hit his tight end Hunter Henry over the middle, and Keenan Allen/Mike Willams on the outside on his way to a career high 366 yards passing. Early this season, Herbert would rely on his arm under pressure and make some errant throws. Sunday against the Jets blitz he stood in the pocket strong and delivered the ball accurately. Herbert is improving every week which should be scary for the AFC West and the rest of the league.
Performance Rating: 4.50
Next Game: at Buffalo Bills 1:00pm Sunday
2. RB – Antonio Gibson – 6’0” 228 – Memphis – 3rd round pick (66th overall) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (W, 20-9)
Game Day Stats: 17 touches / 104 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown / 5 first downs
Gibson continues to be productive for Washington week in and week out. Against the Bengal he used his sharp cuts and power running style to 5.88 yard average a rush. Gibson doesn’t seem to need a lot of touches to make an impact. He gets his first taste of NFL Thanksgiving football tonight against weak Cowboys defensive tackles. Gibson could be eating the Turkey leg come 7:30 Thursday.
Performance Rating: 4.00
Next Game: at Dallas Cowboys 4:30pm Thursday
3. LB – Isaiah Simmons – 6’4” 238 – Clemson – 1st Round pick (8th overall) vs. Seattle Seahawks (L, 28-21)
Game day Stats: 11 total tackles / 2 tackles for a loss / 1 sack
Simmons finally got the opportunity to play a larger role in the Cardinals defensive schemes. He played a career high 45 snaps and was highly productive. Simmons did a nice job of making tackles in the open field against elusive players such as Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and DK Metcalf. The Clemson product has always been a solid coverage guy and is improving diagnosing plays in the run game. Simmons was my favorite rookie coming into this season and as his playing time increases so will his impact on the Cardinals defense.
Performance Rating: 3.90
Next Game: at New England Patriots 1:00pm Sunday
4. WR – Justin Jefferson – 6’1” 202 – LSU – 1st Round pick (22nd overall) vs. Dallas Cowboys (L, 31-28)
Game day Stats: 3 receptions / 86 receiving yards / 1 touchdown
Despite only 3 catches on Sunday, Jefferson certainly displayed all his abilities on those receptions. On his first catch, Jefferson’s demonstrated his ability to track the ball in the air with an impressive over the shoulder 27 yard catch. Jefferson on his second catch with a defender drapped over him, showed his strength by boxing out the defender and catching the ball with his hands for a 20 yard gain. He closed out his stats by displaying his speed getting behind two defenders for a 39 yard touchdown. Justin Jefferson continues to lead all rookies in league in receiving yards and make big plays for the Vikings.
Performance Rating: 3.90
Next Game: vs. Carolina Panthers 1:00pm Sunday
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
5. RB – CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE – LSU – 5’7” 207 – 1st ROUND (32ND OVERALL) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (W, 35-31)
Game Day Stats: 14 Carries / 69 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns / 6 first downs
The Kansas City Chiefs offense is a constantly looking to add weapons and with the addition of Le’Veon Bell the rich get richer. Clyde Edward-Helaire could start to see his touches go down with the former all-pro on the roster. He made his bid in prime time by punching in two scores. His second touchdown was a highlight as he bounced to the outside and soared through the air (like Jazz getting thrown out by Uncle Phil) over the pylon for 6. Clyde the glide should remain the Chiefs Fresh Prince of Helaire.
Performance Rating: 3.90
Next Game: at Miami Dolphins 4:05 Sunday
NEW YORK JETS
OT – Mekhi Becton – Louisville – 6’7” 364 – 1st Round (11th Overall) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (L, 34-28)
Game day Stats: Played 54 snaps 0 sacks given up
It’s time to give some love to the offensive line. The Jets have done much right recently but picking Mekhi Becton is not one of those mistakes. He has shown great power in his run blocking moving defensive lineman off the line of scrimmage. He also has showed great footwork against pro bowlers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Becton is a mountain of a man but also very athletic which makes it tough for any pass rusher to get around. This is a bright spot for a franchise that is hopeful that Trevor Lawrence wants to be a Jet.
Performance Rating: 3.90
Next Game: vs. Miami Dolphins 1:00pm Sunday
Week 11 2020 Draft Class Match up Results:
Pittsburgh Steelers WR – Chase Claypool vs. Jacksonville Jaguars CB – CJ Henderson
- Henderson was out with an injury and did not play Sunday. Claypool scoring touchdowns is becoming a weekly tradition like Grandma’s Sunday sauce. Winner: Chase Claypool
Washington DE – Chase Young vs. Cincinnati Bengals QB – Joe Burrow
- There is no winner in this one as Joe Burrow will miss the rest of the season with ACL and MCL tear of his left knee. Young did have a forced fumble and knocked down a pass against the Bengals offense. I have been waiting for a Chase Young breakout game maybe a Thanksgiving feast tonight maybe the recipe. Draw
Week 12 2020 Draft Class Match ups:
Atlanta Falcons CB – AJ Terrell vs. Las Vegas Raiders WR – Henry Ruggs
- It’s been solid year for Terrell who has had his bright spots. As for Ruggs besides a couple of big catches in a upset win against the Chiefs, he has been a non-factor in the Raider’s offense.
Week 11 Throwback Draft Class Battle Results:
#1 Picks Battle:
Cincinnati Bengals QB – Joe Burrow vs. Washington – Alex Smith
- Smith got his first win as a starter in over 2 years and played solid. Smith’s comeback story has been inspiring and it could be even more uplifting with a win Thursday vs. the rival Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Winner: Alex Smith
2011 Draft Class:
Houston Texans – DE JJ Watt vs. New England Patriots QB – Cam Newton
- JJ Swat lived up to the moniker Sunday knocking down 3 Cam Newton passes. Cam played well throwing for 365 and a touchdown. These two warrior played their tails off but to victor allows goes the spoils. Winner: JJ Watt
Week 12 Throwback Draft Class Match up:
Best at their Position former 2ND Round picks:
Indianapolis Colts – LB – Darius Leonard ’18 vs. Tennessee Titans RB – Derrick Henry ‘16
- This should be a great match up to watch. In week 10, Henry went over 100 yards but Leonard had 9 tackles and his team won the game. With both team 7-3 and fighting for the division this contest will be crucial. If you enjoy physical football tune in 1pm Sunday to Colts/Titans.
Rookie Play of the Weekend:
- Joe Burrow is out for the Season with ACL & MCL tear
- Colts rookie kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is second in the league with 94 points after 14 point outing against the Packers.
- Jonathan Greenard, an athletic outside linebacker from Florida recorded his first sack of his rookie season for the Houston Texans.
- After recording his first 100 yard game in week 10, Michael Pittman recorded his first touchdown.
Rookie League Leaders:
TD Passes: Chargers – Justin Herbert – 22
Passing Yards: Chargers – Justin Herbert – 2699
Rushing TD: Washington – Antonio Gibson – 8
Rushing Yards: Jaguars – James Robinson – 762
Receiving TD: Steelers – Chase Claypool: 8
Receiving Yards: Vikings – Justin Jefferson: 848
Receptions: Cowboys – Cee Dee Lamb – 48
Total Touchdowns: Steelers – Chase Claypool – 10
Total Tackles: Panthers – Jeremy Chinn – 74
Tackles for a Loss: Panthers – Derrick Brown – 6
Sacks: Washington – Chase Young – 3.5
Interceptions: Cowboys – Travon Diggs & 3 others tied with – 2