There’s a lot riding on this week’s NFL slate after notable schedule and coaching changes. Several milestones could also be surpassed should those players on the verge of records come out guns blazing.
There’s even a playoff scenario at stake, as the Rams can clinch the NFC West division title with a win over the Chiefs on Monday after a Seahawks loss to the Packers on Thursday.
Here’s what to look for in Week 11 action:
1. Business still booming for Antonio Brown
Steelers veteran Antonio Brown may rank second on the team in receiving yards behind second-year wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, but he’s on the verge of another remarkable milestone that goes beyond his franchise.
Brown has 790 catches for 10,600 yards and 69 touchdowns in his nine-year career, including 690 yards and 10 scores this season. With 10 more receptions Sunday against the Jaguars, he will become the third player in league annals with at least 800 catches in their first nine seasons.
The players with at least 800 receptions in their first nine career seasons in league history:
|Player||Team||Receptions in first 9 seasons|
|Torry Holt||St. Louis Rams||805|
2. Andrew Luck on the comeback campaign
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has bounced back after dealing with a nagging shoulder injury that forced him to miss the entire 2017 season.
Now fully healthy, he ranks second among quarterbacks in 2018 with 26 touchdown passes and has thrown for at least three in each of his past six games, the third-longest streak within a single season in NFL history.
Entering this week, Luck has 158 touchdown passes in 79 games over his seven-year career. With two more Sunday against the Titans, Luck could join Dan Marino (182) and Aaron Rodgers (160) as the only players with at least 160 touchdown passes in their first 80 career games.
3. Ezekiel Elliott nearing elite status
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has impressed in his first three seasons despite a suspension and subsequent legal battle off the field.
Elliott has 4,339 yards from scrimmage and 31 touchdowns through 34 career games. If he can manage 161 yards from scrimmage Sunday against the Falcons, Elliott will join Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James as the only players in NFL history with at least 4,500 scrimmage yards and 30 touchdowns in their first 35 career games.
|Eric Dickerson||L.A. Rams||4,731||38|
4. Phillip Rivers in Hall of Fame company
Chargers veteran Phillip Rivers is tied for fourth among quarterbacks in 2018 with 21 touchdown passes and has thrown for at least two scores in each of L.A.’s first nine games.
When facing the Broncos this week, Rivers can become the sixth quarterback in league history to throw at least two touchdown passes in each of his team’s first 10 games to start a season.
Players with the most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes to begin a season:
|Quarterback||Team||Year||Consecutive Games with TD|
*AP NFL MVP that year
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
5. Quarterback clash: Patrick Mahomes vs. Jared Goff
Two of the league’s best — and youngest — quarterbacks will square off in what is sure to be a high-octane showdown Monday night at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Chiefs second-year QB Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 3,150 passing yards and 31 passing touchdowns, though he’s tied for ninth in the league with 26 sacks. Meanwhile, Rams third-year QB and former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff ranks second with 3,134 yards.
The Rams and Chiefs are on pace to be 2 of the 3 best offenses in terms of yards per play since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. pic.twitter.com/BsZD2gmgKK
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 14, 2018
The matchup is just the fifth time since 1970 in which opposing teams each had one or fewer losses in Week 11 or later. With both teams 9-1 and featuring two of the most productive offenses in the league, the contest easily is one of the most anticipated games of the season and could serve as a preview of Super Bowl 53.
|Nov. 12, 2018||Chiefs (9-1) at Rams (9-1)|
|Nov. 17, 2013||Chiefs (9-0) at Broncos (8-1)|
|Nov. 29, 2007||Packers (10-1) at Cowboys (10-1)|
|Dec. 3, 1990||Giants (10-1) at 49ers (10-1)|
|Nov. 27, 1977||Baltimore Colts (9-1) at Broncos (9-1)|