NFL Notebook: Week 11

Another week down in the 2016 NFL season. A lot occurred with two teams making their case as best in football. A milestone was achieved by a wide receiver, Kirk Cousins balled out against the Packers, Andrew Luck continued his dominance over a divisional foe and a homecoming for one of the all-time greats.

Congratulations to Steve Smith Sr.

In the third quarter of Sunday’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens, Steve Smith Sr. of the Ravens recorded career catch No. 1,000. He became the just the 14th player in NFL history to reach the 1,000-catch plateau. Since coming to the Ravens in 2014, the 5’9” receiver has caught 161 passes. He spent the majority of his career with the Carolina Panthers. Congratulations, Mr. Smith Sr. on one hell of an accomplishment.

Hail to Kirk Cousins and the Redskins

In the offseason, Kirk Cousins was given the franchise tag by the Washington Redskins. So far this season, he has proven why he deserves to be paid the big bucks. On Sunday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers, Cousins and company took full advantage of the Packers banged up defense. Cousins threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns while committing zero turnovers. He was making all the throws he was supposed to, including some deep throws into the wind. He was aided by running back Rob Kelley who rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns. The loss was Green Bay’s fourth consecutive, despite Aaron Rodgers throwing for 351 and three scores. Washington improved to 6-3-1 ahead of the Thanksgiving Day showdown with the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys.

How ‘bout them Cowboys and Da Raiders?

Before the season began, nobody envisioned the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders sitting atop their respective conferences, but here we are. Dallas and the No. 1 ranked offense, led by rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott took down the No. 1 ranked defense in the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 27-17. Prescott threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns, his second-straight 300-yard performance. Elliott, who is the league’s leading rusher, didn’t reach triple digits, but ran for 97. Dez Bryant caught six passes for 80 yards from Prescott, including two touchdown grabs. Oakland was able to come away with a 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans in Mexico City on Monday Night Football. Oakland’s offense was struggling through the first three quarters, but in the fourth, Derek Carr found his groove and threw two of his three touchdowns. The first went to fullback Jamize Olawale, who took the pass 85-yards to pay dirt. Carr’s second was a 35-yard strike to Amari Cooper, which proved to be the game-winning score, capping off a five-play, 85-yard drive which Oakland took over after a pair of controversial calls that went against the Texans. While there is still plenty of football left to play, there is no reason to think these two teams won’t be playing one another in Super Bowl 51.

Titans have no Luck against Colts

The Tennessee Titans have been playing well as of late, with the recent resurgence of the offense led by quarterback Marcus Mariota. However, Andrew Luck got the better of his AFC South rival, improving to 9-0 in his career against the Titans. Luck finished the game with 262 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but also suffered a concussion. Ahead of the Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Luck may not play as he is in concussion protocol. The Titans spotted the Colts a 21-0 halftime lead, and that proved to be the difference maker. Mariota played well yet again, throwing for 290 yard and a pair of scores, but he and the Titans were not match for Luck and the Colts.

Tom Brady returned home

For the first time in his career, Tom Brady returned to the Bay Area where he grew up to face the team he idolized as a kid. He wanted to be a 49er as a young boy after watching Joe Montana and Steve Young light it up and always had a chip on his shoulder for San Francisco not drafting him. He certainly made his former favorite team pay, throwing for 280 yards and four touchdowns in a game where it rained a majority of the time. He didn’t throw an interception and the Patriots rolled to a 30-17 victory. Talk about a great homecoming.

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I am a 2013 graduate of Clarion University with a bachelor's degree in communications and a concentration in journalism. I aspire to be great. I love sports and professional wrestling. Follow me on Twitter @KIngEdward15 and engage in sports talk with me.

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