New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement, ending one of the NFL’s most dominant and colourful careers.
The Hollywood scriptwriters must have been hard at work prior to the hugely anticipated clash between the offense-crazy Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.
Originally slated for Mexico City, the poor state of the surface caused a switch of venue to Los Angeles.
There was a pre-game tribute to victims of the Borderline shooting and the victims and first responders of the wildfire crisis. The Los Angeles community responded and on the field it was the Chiefs showing signs of nerves, giving up a whopping ten penalties in the first quarter.
After trailing 13-0, quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs hit Tyreek Hill for a 25-yard touchdown. They took the lead on another Hill touchdown only to surrender it when Samson Ebukam retrieved a Mahomes fumble to score for the Rams.
At half-time the scores were 23-23 and the furious offense only intensified in the second half.
No sooner did Rams quarterback Jared Goff run in a touchdown to go up 30-23 than the Chiefs hit back through tight end Travis Kelce. The Rams took the score to 40-30 when Ebukam scored his second intercept touchdown for the Rams.
The last quarter was frantic, Chiefs going ahead 51-47 including a 73-yard touchdown reception to Hill. But the Rams, cheered on by 77,002 Los Angelenos, scored one more time, Gerald Everett completing a 40-yard touchdown reception inside the final two minutes.
This was one blockbuster that exceeded the hype. The 54-51 result was the third highest scoring NFL game of all time and it was the first time two teams had scored over 50 points in a game.
Seattle Seahawks hosted the Green Bay Packers on Thursday. The Seahawks couldn’t have started worse, turning over possession on their first play from scrimmage leading to a Green Bay touchdown after just 74 seconds.
Green Bay made it 14-3 after a massive throw by a scurrying Aaron Rodgers found Robert Tonyan for a 54-yard touchdown.
After copping an early pounding from the Packers’ defense, the Seahawks ground out a touchdown off a seven and a half minute drive to trail by three.
The second half was much tighter, Packers ruing a missed opportunity when a stunning 57-yard throw from Rodgers to Davante Adams could only be converted into a field goal.
Trailing by four, Seattle got the job done when quarterback Russell Wilson found Ed Dickson for a touchdown to win 27-24.
The stats bear out the opposing styles of the teams: Rodgers out-passed Wilson by nearly 100 yards but the Seahawks rushed for 173 yards to only 48 by the Packers.
Seahawks go to 5-5 while Green Bay are 4-5-1.
Washington Redskins hosted the high-flying Houston Texans at FedEx Field. Houston were leading 10-7 and defending near their own line when an errant pass by Redskins’ quarterback Alex Smith was intercepted by Justin Reid who ran it all the way for a 101-yard touchdown that put the Texans up 17-7 at the half.
In the third quarter disaster struck for the Redskins when Alex Smith was sacked, fracturing two bones in his leg and ending his season.
Colt McCoy took over as quarterback and helped put the Redskins up 21-20 in the final quarter only to go behind to a 54-yard Kai’imi Fairbairn field goal.
With eight seconds on the clock, Redskins’ kicker Dustin Hopkins took an improbable 63-yard field goal attempt which fell short.
The 23-21 victory was Houston’s 7th win in a row.
Chicago Bears are one of the traditional football teams, but why were they wearing orange jerseys in their divisional matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field?
Despite the uniform, the Bears put in a dominant display, one Anthony Miller touchdown leading to a memorable canoe paddling celebration,
The Bears defense was tough, and in the third quarter, defensive back Eddie Jackson scored a touchdown off an interception that put them ahead 22-6.
Two late touchdowns to the Vikings brought them back into the game but Chicago had done enough to win 25-20.
Chicago at 7-3 have a one and a half game lead over the Vikings at the top of NFC North.
Baltimore Ravens hosted the Cincinnati Bengals. With Lamar Jackson starting at quarterback for the injured Joe Flacco, the Ravens went to their running game, picking up 265 rushing yards compared to just 48 for the Bengals.
The Ravens won 24-21 thanks to a fourth quarter field goal by Justin Tucker.
Both teams are 5-5, two wins behind Pittsburgh in the NFC North.
In an AFC South matchup, Indianapolis Colts blew away the Tennessee Titans 38-10 on the back of a rampaging performance by wide receiver TY Hilton, who picked up 155 yards and two touchdowns. The Colts have now won four straight and are back in the playoff picture.
New Orleans Saints keep rolling along. In their 48-7 thrashing of Philadelphia Eagles Drew Brees passed for 363 yards with four touchdowns.
Denver Broncos upset the Los Angeles Chargers 23-22 on the road. A Brandon McManus field goal with time expiring clinched the victory. Denver are 4-6 and the Chargers are 7-3.
The divisional leaders after week 11 are:
AFC: Kansas City (9-2), Pittsburgh (7-2-1), New England (7-3), Houston (7-3)
NFC: LA Rams (10-1), New Orleans (9-1), Chicago (7-3), Washington (6-4)
Week 11 saw the Saints take another step towards the Super Bowl and Pittsburgh dislodge the Patriots in second place in the AFC.
But it was in California where the greatest drama was played out. And though the Rams might have bloodied the Chiefs’ noses, nobody will be surprised, or indeed disappointed, if these teams contest the Super Bowl.