Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes

NFL Midweek Update: Mahomes is majestic, Vikes are humbled


Week 11 in the NFL produced more sensational performances as Patrick Mahomes continued his epic run of form and the Dallas Cowboys exposed the Minnesota Vikings with a brutal beatdown.

Mahomes cemented his new position as NFL MVP favourite with a terrific performance in a 30-27 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football.

Dallas meanwhile was utterly dominant on both sides of the ball in routing the Vikings 40-3 in Minneapolis.

Our Midweek Update is designed to give you the intel and context you need when betting against the spread or putting together your NFL parlay picks.

Here are some of the major storylines right now.

NFL Injury Report

Justin Fields in action for the Chicago Bears
Justin Fields in action for the Chicago Bears

Pro football is a brutal game, played by powerful athletes at devastating speed. No wonder then that injuries play a massive part in determining which teams come out on top each February.

Here are some of the major injuries to hit the headlines in Week 11:

Justin Fields (QB, Chicago Bears): This could be bad news for NFL punters who have been feasting on Fields every single week in 2022 with their prop bets. The Bears QB has been incredible on the ground with 834 rushing yards and 7 TDs - his ability to destroy opposing defenses with his legs is next level. But Fields reportedly suffered a dislocated non-throwing shoulder during Sunday’s 27-24 loss in Atlanta, and his status for this weekend’s trip to the New York Jets is uncertain.

Wan’Dale Robinson (WR, New York Giants): Robinson is gone for the year, just as he was starting to become a key weapon for Giants QB Daniel Jones. Wan’Dale tore his ACL in Sunday’s 31-18 home loss to the Detroit Lions. It was one of a string of injuries suffered by the Giants during that game and now they must visit Dallas on a short week for Thanksgiving. Welp.

Kyle Pitts (TE, Atlanta Falcons): A terrible season for Pitts fantasy lovers hit a new low when the TE suffered an MCL injury during Sunday’s win over the Bears. He has been placed on IR and will miss a minimum of four games, with surgery a possibility.

Ronnie Stanley (OT, Baltimore Ravens): Stanley left Sunday’s win over Carolina with an ankle injury, having only recently returned from almost two years out with another ankle problem. Losing him again would be a huge blow for the Ravens, but HC John Harbaugh says the injury is “trending in the right direction”. Fingers crossed for a player who had quickly returned to top form.

Christian Darrisaw (OT, Minnesota Vikings): This is a big one for the Vikes coming off that horrific loss to the Cowboys on Sunday. Their brilliant LT Darrisaw suffered a concussion during that game and is out for the Thanksgiving night showdown with New England. Bad news with NFL sack leader Matthew Judon about to hit town.

Joe Mixon (RB, Cincinnati Bengals): Cincy duly got a win in Pittsburgh on Sunday, but it came at a cost with starting RB Mixon leaving the game early with a concussion. He is now a doubt for this weekend’s pivotal trip to Tennessee to face the Titans.

Matthew Stafford (QB, Los Angeles Rams): Stafford is back in concussion protocol just three days after leaving it, following another injury during Sunday’s loss in New Orleans. Worrying times for the QB, whose Super Bowl champion team is now in freefall at 3-7 after losing four straight. The Rams are a 15 (FIFTEEN)-point underdog for Sunday’s trip to Kansas City.

Jeff Okudah (CB, Detroit Lions): The Lions were impressive in defeating the Giants 31-18 in New York, but they lost CB Okudah in the process with a concussion. He will now likely miss the Thanksgiving Day matchup with Buffalo. Bad news with Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis et al ready to unleash fury.

David Andrews (C, New England Patriots): The Pats appear to have dodged a bullet after it turned out the thigh injury Andrews suffered during Sunday’s win over the Jets was not season-ending. He could return later in the year, particularly if the Pats make the post-season.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB, Kansas City Chiefs): Likely to miss multiple weeks after suffering what appeared to be a high ankle sprain in the win over the Chargers. Fortunately for KC, rookie Isiah Pacheco is starting to make the position as starting RB his own.

Kadarius Toney (WR, Kansas City Chiefs): Toney is in a new city after that trade from the Giants, but he still can’t stay healthy. Just as he was starting to find a role in the Chiefs offense, he suffered a hamstring injury during the win over the Chargers. The severity of it, as yet, is unknown.

NFL Odds: Stock Rising

Tight end Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs
Tight end Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs

Week 11 delivered more fantastic performances which had a significant impact on the betting lines. Here are some of the displays which really jumped out:

Travis Kelce (TE, Kansas City Chiefs): Already the best tight end in the NFL, but Kelce just continues to be terrific at the age of 33. On Sunday he yet again destroyed the Chargers in SoFi, catching 6 Patrick Mahomes passes for 115 yards and 3 TDs, including the late game winner. Kelce is an unstoppable force, no matter how many defenders are asked to cover him.

Jonathan Allen (DT, Washington Commanders): Allen spent most of Sunday in the Houston Texans backfield during a dominant performance. He registered a pair of sacks, and pressures on 17.6% of pass rushing snaps, as the Commanders ground out a 23-10 win. This team appeared out of the playoff picture a few weeks ago but now it is right back in the hunt. A fearsome defensive front is also about to get even better with the return from injury of Chase Young.

Tee Higgins (WR, Cincinnati Bengals): Cincy needed its other receivers to step up after Ja’Marr Chase went down, and this week it was Higgins carrying the load in a 37-30 win in Pittsburgh. He caught 9 Joe Burrow passes for 148 yards - 8 of them for first downs.

Treylon Burks (WR, Tennessee Titans): The Titans are finally getting what they hoped for from Burks when they drafted him in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft. The big wideout caught 7 passes for 111 yards in the impressive defeat of Green Bay on Thursday Night Football.

Chris Olave (WR, New Orleans Saints): Olave is having a terrific rookie year and he caught 5 more passes for 102 yards and a score in the win over the Rams. He has been a rare bright spot in a disappointing season so far for the Saints, racking up 760 receiving yards already.

Trevon Diggs (CB, Dallas Cowboys): The knock on ballhawk Diggs has always been that he gives up too many big plays with his penchant for gambling to create turnovers. He’s changing perceptions in 2022 though, with the latest evidence coming in that beatdown of the Vikings. Diggs went up against Justin Jefferson on 25 snaps, and gave up just 33 yards. Stellar.

Chris Jones (DT, Kansas City Chiefs): Most of the headlines in Kansas City are created by Patrick Mahomes and the offense. Don’t sleep on DT Jones though, who is one of the league’s most dominant interior forces along the defensive line. He took over the win over the Chargers with five pressures and a sack - despite being double-teamed for most of the night.

NFL Playoff Scenarios: Who makes the post-season?

Patrick Mahomes pictures in action for the Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes pictured in action for the Kansas City Chiefs

It’s never too early to start talking about playoff scenarios, so here we are. If the post-season began today, these teams would be playing on:

AFC

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 7-2
  2. Miami Dolphins 7-3
  3. Tennessee Titans 7-3
  4. Baltimore Ravens 7-3
  5. Buffalo Bills 7-3
  6. New England Patriots 6-4
  7. Cincinnati Bengals 6-4

NFC

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 9-1
  2. Minnesota Vikings 8-2
  3. San Francisco 49ers 6-4
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-5
  5. Dallas Cowboys 7-3
  6. New York Giants 7-3
  7. Seattle Seahawks 6-4

NFL Game of the Week: Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans

  • Time: 18:00 UK, Sunday
Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrows
Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow and the 6-4 Bengals head into Nashville for a key AFC matchup with the 7-3 Titans on Sunday as both teams ramp up their bids for post-season berths.

Burrow has continued to put up big numbers despite the absence of his WR1 Ja’Marr Chase, throwing for 355 yards and 4 TDs in last Sunday’s win in Pittsburgh.

Now Cincinnati bids to repeat last season’s road playoff win over the Titans, and they will do so as a 2-point favourite against Mike Vrabel’s perennial overachievers.

Tennessee claimed the number 1 seed in the AFC in 2021 and is challenging to do exactly the same again, once more despite a ton of injuries. They are just tremendously coached, execute well and of course have the runaway train that is Derrick Henry in their backfield.

The Titans are coming off a hugely impressive win in Green Bay on Thursday Night Football, a game in which QB Ryan Tannehill starred by passing for 333 yards and a pair of scores.

If Kansas City and Buffalo are the class of the AFC then these two are absolutely in the next tier and this one could well be a dress rehearsal for another playoff showdown come January.


Safer gambling

We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.

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