Here we are in NFL Week 11, and the big question regarding the NFC East remains unanswered.
Who wants it?
Sunday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants is just the latest example of how bad things truly are.
The NFC Least became a free-for-all once the underdog Giants authored Sunday’s 27-17 home triumph over the Eagles.
And in the process, Philadelphia failed to take a commanding lead over the rest of the division. At 3-5-1, Philadelphia remains in first place, barely.
If we combine those three victories with those from the rest of the division, the grand total comes out to 10.
Then there are the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers have almost as many wins (9) as the ENTIRE NFC East combined (10). pic.twitter.com/K7o8CdwJwt
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 16, 2020
Here are some of the NJ sports betting stories to watch this week.
NFC East + NFL Week 11
With three wins apiece, the Giants and Eagles headline the wins pack, while the Washington Football Team and Dallas Cowboys have two each. Any division win looms like gold, and the Giants have two in a row.
The Eagles visit the 6-3 Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Both teams have struggled recently against the spread, with the Eagles 1-2 and the Browns 0-4. But the Eagles would be in the playoffs if they started today, and the Browns would be on the bubble.
The Eagles opened at +3.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook late Sunday night, and that line should be bettable on both sides.
Washington will host the Cincinnati Bengals while the Cowboys visit the Minnesota Vikings.
The G-Men, who are now in second place, have a bye.
DraftKings offers Big Blue a new dose of faith. Two weeks ago, the Giants were +2000 to win the division. Two victories later, and having been the only NFC East team to win during that time, they vaulted to +300.
FanDuel Sportsbook indicated some love for Big Blue on Sunday morning, reporting that the Eagles -4.5 had more spread tickets but the Giants had more moneyline support for the Eagles game. And the Giants backers were prophetic.
Some Week 10 takeaways + a look ahead
The Eagles were gashed on the ground against the Giants. Quarterback Daniel Jones scored on a 34-yard scamper on the opening series. Wayne Gallman tallied on two high-leaping rushing touchdowns. Big Blue rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns.
Philadelphia also sported a strong rushing performance with the return of Miles Sanders, who tallied 85 yards and gave the Eagles a semblance of breakaway speed. Philadelphia did not commit costly turnovers in this game but suffered from bad starting field position.
The opposition run game will be a significant concern for the Eagles against the Browns, because stalwart Nick Chubb returned for Cleveland on Sunday. He not only scored the Browns’ touchdown, but also made the putaway play, a 59-yard burst, to cement Cleveland’s 10-7 victory. Browns bettors took a beating, however, as Chubb deliberately stepped out of bounds to allow the game-ending kneel-downs. Had he stepped into the end zone, the Cleveland -4.5 spread would have been covered.
Chubb and Kareem Hunt give Cleveland the best backfield combination of the league. Each notched more than 100 yards Sunday.
Another reason the rushing game could be prominent concerns Cleveland weather. Gusts of 50 mph two weeks ago and 30 on Sunday resulted in quarterbacks having difficulty throwing the ball. And thus Cleveland, which exceeded 30 points four weeks in a row earlier this season and once scored 49, has been involved in two extremely low-scoring games. The other was a 16-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
For the Giants, NFL Week 11 is the worst time for a bye. They are coming together and are in second place. Darius Slayton made some big late plays for them against the Eagles. Gallman looked excellent in the backfield.
And guess what? Jones has two straight games without a turnover.
New York visits the Cincinnati Bengals after its bye.
The Kyler Murray show opens NFL Week 11
What will Kyler Murray do for an encore when his Arizona Cardinals visit the Seattle Seahawks to open the NFL Week 11 slate on Thursday night?
The ultimate Hail Mary was answered Sunday. For those who missed it, here is the replay.
OH MY 😱
Kyler Murray Hail Mary to DeAndre Hopkins #RedSea
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) November 16, 2020
Murray’s miraculous game-ending play was incomprehensible. On the final play, Murray darted left and hoisted a 43-yard pass to the end zone, and DeAndre Hopkins hauled it in over three Buffalo defenders. It was the play of the year.
It was one of those situations you could sense happening after Buffalo scored a little too early, going ahead 30-26 with 34 seconds remaining. The Bills then declined to hit a squib kick, which would have run another 5-6 seconds off the clock.
As it was, Murray did something unbelievable.
Arizona also squelched its bettors who took the original -3 line by not kicking the extra point, fearing it would be blocked. The final was 32-30. A Hail Mary, yes. A push, no.
Seattle is coming off a 23-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams as the line blocking of the Seahawks collapsed around quarterback Russell Wilson on Sunday. The Cardinals already own one pulsating victory over Seattle this year.
Will the Steelers be 10-0 after Week 11?
The Pittsburgh Steelers, 9-0 for the first time in franchise history, host the Jacksonville Jaguars, who covered -13 handily against the Green Bay Packers and nearly beat them. Pittsburgh throttled the Cincinnati Bengals emphatically on Sunday and continue to have that look of this being a special season.
Prime time spotlight
There will be great games Sunday and Monday nights.
Sunday Night Football features the rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and the only team to defeat them this year, the Raiders. With their 37-12 throttling of the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Raiders have won three straight and have legitimate offensive weapons. Can they harass Patrick Mahomes like they did the first time, a 40-32 triumph in Kansas City?
On Monday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Rams after each team came off scintillating wins. The Bucs obtained a get-healthy breakout from quarterback Tom Brady in a 46-23 win. The Rams prevailed over the Seahawks.
And unlike the NFC East, all four of these teams have winning records.
photo by Associated Press