Week 11 of the NFL season was highlighted by close games and important matchups around the league, with several former Bulldogs playing key roles in some of this week’s biggest storylines.
Rodrigo Blankenship, PK, Indianapolis Colts
After trailing 28-14 at halftime, Indianapolis mounted a comeback culminating in a thrilling 34-31 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers. First-year kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was thrust into the spotlight in overtime, hitting a walk-off field goal from 39 yards out to win the game for the Colts. On the day, Blankenship made four of his five field-goal attempts and both extra-point tries to continue what has been an efficient rookie season. With the Colts holding a 7-3 overall record and in first place in the AFC South, Blankenship will continue to play an important role moving forward, especially considering how the offense has succeeded in recent weeks under quarterback Philip Rivers.
Jordan Jenkins, LB, New York Jets
At 0-10 on the season, there have not been many positives for the Jets in 2020. However, they played a talented Los Angeles Chargers team right to the end in a 34-28 defeat. Jenkins had easily his best performance of the season, recording nine total tackles and half a sack. New York now faces a difficult four-game stretch coming up that includes matchups against the Dolphins, Raiders, Seahawks and Rams, with three of those games coming on the road. There are not too many more winnable games left on the schedule, so if they are to avoid a winless season, the Jets will need Jenkins to continue to step up along with the rest of the defense to keep the team in games.
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
With Chubb fully back from injury, things are starting to fall into place for the Cleveland Browns. At 7-3 and fresh off a 22-17 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Browns look poised to make their first playoff appearance since 2002 and post just their third winning season in the last 21 years. This week, Chubb posted 114 yards on 20 carries and was the team’s leading rusher once again. Cleveland seems to perform better when the running game is regularly involved, and the ability to rotate two top-tier backs in Chubb and Kareem Hunt has been a major part of their success this season. With the Jaguars, Giants and Jets still on the schedule, the Browns have a real opportunity to achieve their best record this century.