Chargers’ Herbert faces another disappointment in Week 11 aftershocks
Week 11 delivered yet another slate of last-second victories (Lions over Bears, Browns over Steelers) and one-score finishes (Packers vs. Chargers, Broncos vs. Vikings). Here’s a look at four aftershocks.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert needs help
Herbert has elite skills but not an elite starting record (29-30). Week 11 provided an all-too-familiar result for the star quarterback, with the Chargers falling to the Packers 23-20 due to poor play on defense and costly mistakes on offense.
Green Bay’s Jordan Love turned in one of the best games of his career, completing 27-of-40 passes for 322 yards and two touchdown passes. Chargers offensive weapons Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler had uncharacteristic poor performances, with the former dropping two walk-in touchdowns and the latter committing a red-zone fumble in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers have routinely found themselves on the wrong side of close games this season, losing by three points or fewer in five of their six losses. More times than not, blunders made by Herbert’s teammates are the deciding factor that turn victories into defeats.
Don’t count the Broncos out
Sean Payton’s tenure as Broncos head coach could not have gotten off to a worse start, with Denver beginning the season 1-5 and losing by 50 points to the Dolphins in Week 3. Eleven weeks into the season, however, things are looking up for the 59-year-old coach and his team.
The Broncos are on a four-game winning streak — their longest since 2016 — after a come-from-behind 21-20 victory over the Vikings in Week 11. At 5-5, Denver is second in the AFC West and in the playoff hunt, just a game out of the conference’s final spot.
Denver’s defense has vastly improved, forcing 12 takeaways over the past three games (including against AFC playoff contenders Kansas City and Buffalo). Quarterback Russell Wilson is playing some of his best football, ranking third in the NFL in passing touchdowns (19, tied) and passer rating (104.3).
HC Ron Rivera’s time in Washington may be up
Rivera’s hot seat has reached a Commanders-red shade after Washington lost again to the Giants, 31-19.
New York, which also beat the Commanders in Week 7, hardly looked like a team that’s tanking for a top-five draft pick, as undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito torched Washington’s defense for 246 passing yards and three TD passes. Second-year Commanders QB Sam Howell, meanwhile, looked overmatched, throwing for three interceptions and one touchdown.
After losing seven of their past nine games — including three losses to the Giants and Bears, who currently boast three of the top five picks in the 2024 NFL Draft — the Commanders look to be approaching a complete rebuild. One of the first moves on the agenda may be to fire Rivera.
Why Aaron Rodgers’ season is over
New York finally made a change at quarterback, but it wasn’t the switch many Jets fans are holding out hope for.
HC Robert Saleh pulled the plug on Zach Wilson, putting in backup Tim Boyle for the closing minutes of the Jets’ 32-6 loss to the Bills. At 4-6, New York’s playoff chances are as unlikely as Aaron Rodgers’ miraculous return from a Week 1 Achilles injury.
Even Rodgers, a four-time MVP, may not be able to fix the New York’s inept offense. The Jets trotted out their 14th different offensive line combination in Buffalo and subsequently gave up five sacks. They have scored just one touchdown in their past 15 quarters and 46 offensive possessions.
With their season in shambles, the Jets would be wise to not rush Rodgers back.