It’s common knowledge in sports that, if you take care of your own business, you don’t have to worry about anybody else as far as the standings are concerned.
While this is entirely true, getting some help along the way is never a bad thing. This column will be completely dedicated to the results of the other three NFC South teams throughout the season, and hopefully we’ll be able to bask in their failures together.
Unfortunately, there haven’t been very many of those failures this year.
The Bucs haven’t been to the playoffs since 2007 and it feels like they’re no closer to the postseason now than they were when this rebuild first started. The QB carousal between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston has become comical at this point.
Fitzpatrick was benched once again after he threw three awful interceptions, one of them coming back for a touchdown. Those three interceptions came on consecutive drives and Dirk Koetter had finally had enough.
By the time Winston checked into the game, the Giants were leading 24-7. What ensued was four straight touchdown scoring drives by Winston to get within three points before he threw a game-ending interception with 23 seconds remaining.
Fitzpatrick had 167 passing yards, a rushing TD and three interceptions. Winston totaled 199 passing yards, two passing TDs and an interception. Mike Evans was the leading receiver with 120 yards and a score while Payton Barber exploded for 106 rushing yards and a TD.
Eli Manning had another solid game for the Giants, totaling 231 passing yards, two TDs and no interceptions. Odell Beckham Jr. accounted for one those TDs in the receiving game, along with 74 yards through the air. Saquon Barkley was excellent on the ground, with 142 rushing yards and a score of his own.
Detroit Lions 20, Carolina Panthers 19
In what was maybe the most exciting game of the day, the Lions eked out a victory with a big assist from Panthers’ kicker Graham Gano.
As has seemingly been customary lately, the Panthers scored a TD on their first drive of the game, but the Lions immediately matched them with a drive which was pushed on the back of Kerryon Johnson. A series of punts followed before the Lions finally broke through with a 54-yard Matt Prater field goal in the second quarter.
One of the biggest plays of the game happened on Carolina’s first drive of the second half — on 3rd and 10 from their own 6, Newton hooked up with DJ Moore, who broke free of his defender and looked poised to take it all the way. Darius Slay chased him down at the Detroit 12. The Lions would get a stop and Gano would miss the ensuing FG.
Gano would then miss what would have been the go-ahead extra point a few drives later, after Carolina finally broke into the end zone. Matthew Stafford would lead a scoring drive, which culminated in a Kenny Golladay TD immediately afterward.
On the final drive of the day, Newton led the Panthers all the way into the end zone and, down by one point, Ron Rivera opted to go for two and the win. Newton would fire an incompletion against good defense and the Lions would edge it out.
Newton accounted for his most prolific passing game of the season, throwing for 357 yards, three TDs and an interception. DJ Moore exploded for 157 receiving yards and a score. Christian McCaffrey struggled to get going on the ground, accounting for just 53 rushing yards, but he did have 57 receiving yards as well.
Stafford did just enough with 220 passing yards and one touchdown along with no interceptions. Kerryon Johnson had a good game with 87 rushing yards and a score. Kenny Golladay was the leading receiver with 113 receiving yards and the lone receiving touchdown.
This one got ugly in a hurry. The Saints look like they’re the scariest team in the NFC at the moment, and have completely hit their stride at this point in the season.
The score was 17-0 at the end of the first quarter, before the Eagles showcased some resistance in the form of a Josh Adams touchdown run. That would be the end of Philadelphia’s resistance, however, as the Saints would run away it from that point on.
Following an unsuccessful series, The Saints would go on to score touchdowns on their next four consecutive drives and would score points on five consecutive drives. The Eagles may be suffering from the infamous Super Bowl hangover.
Drew Brees paced the Saints with 363 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Mark Ingram was the one on the ground today, with 103 rushing yards and two scores. Alvin Kamara got his touchdown through the air, as well as 108 yards from scrimmage. Tre’Quan Smith had 157 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Carson Wentz, meanwhile, was awful — 156 passing yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. No receiver had more than 48 yards through the air for the Eagles, while Adams did the most damage on the ground with 53 rushing yards and a score.
NFC South Standings after Week 11
1. New Orleans Saints (9-1 overall record; 1-1 divisional record) - Next vs. Falcons (TNF)
2. Carolina Panthers (6-4 overall record; 1-1 divisional record) - Next vs. Seahawks
3. Atlanta Falcons (4-6 overall record; 2-1 divisional record) - Next at Saints (TNF)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7 overall record; 1-2 divisional record) - Next vs. 49ers