By: Robert Bishop
Back again, and the Seahawks didn’t exactly set the world afire, but Seattle held on for an ugly win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Despite a mediocre showing from quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks were able to rack up yardage thanks to the individual efforts of second-year receiver D.K. Metcalf, who continues to evolve into an absolute force. Metcalf finished the game with ten grabs for 177 yards, though he had an egregious drop on a would-be touchdown. The Seahawks have a comically easy stretch of the schedule coming up, with multiple games against the laughably-bad NFC East and the New York Jets shortly.
As for the Eagles, Philadelphia was once again undone by the play of quarterback Carson Wentz. It’s been a disaster of a season for Wentz, and not even a match-up against Seattle’s porous secondary spelled relief. Instead, Wentz again showed zero ability to sustain drives, alternating between missing targets downfield or settling for soft completions for little-to-no gain. Wentz has proven to be a superstar in the past, but his play in 2020 is beyond defending at this point. Philadelphia has to be toying the idea of turning control of the offense over to rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts at some point.
Keeping with the quarterback position, despite a win on Sunday, New Orleans has to have some concern surrounding Taysom Hill. Two weeks ago, Hill looked like a superstar, but he managed only 78 yards passing on 16 attempts on Sunday. It was more than enough against a Denver Broncos team literally playing without a quarterback. Still, it was not enough to instill confidence in his ability to be a consistent winner under center. With Drew Brees likely out for another week or two, the Saints either need Hill to prove his first-week success was no fluke or consider promoting Jameis Winston to the starter.
Superstar tight end George Kittle was lost to be lost for the season with a broken foot. Now, with San Francisco remaining in the hunt for a Wild Card spot in the NFC, there is optimism that he could return before the end of the season. Injuries ruined the defending NFC Champions’ opening of the season. Still, San Francisco is slowly getting healthier, and as evidenced by the team’s win over the Rams on Sunday, the 49ers are going to be a tough opponent. Adding Kittle back into the mix to close out the season would make the team that much more formidable for the final few weeks.
On Sunday, with Adam Thielen sidelined, receiver Justin Jefferson took over the role of Minnesota’s top pass-catching option. The breakout rookie did not disappoint. Jefferson caught seven balls for 70 yards and a pair of scores, continuing an incredible rookie season that has seen him perform at an elite level. There’s an argument to be made that, outside of Green Bay’s Davante Adams, Jefferson has been the best receiver in football in 2020. Through 11 games, Jefferson has 52 grabs for 918 yards and six scores. He’s already an elite route-runner and more than capable of making opposing cornerbacks look foolish. Plenty has gone wrong for the Vikings this season. Jefferson’s play has gone very, very right.
Today, after much delay, the Baltimore Ravens appear poised to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens have been dealing with a full-on outbreak of COVID-19, prompting the match-up to have been delayed multiple times from Thanksgiving night. Now, there is still cause for concern the game may not happen, but the NFL seems committed to seeing this through. The Ravens will be without—among others—quarterback Lamar Jackson in the match-up against the AFC-leading, and undefeated, Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens desperately need a win to keep pace in the crowded battle for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. Entering the game, Baltimore sits behind the Browns, Dolphins, and Colts for the playoff berth.