As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the NFL, it was another shortened Sunday. It was filled with both heart warming returns, gut-wrenching endings, and quite a few coaching conundrums. read on to get all caught up on the week that was across the league.
Houston Texans 30- Jacksonville Jaguars 14Embed from Getty Images
The only people around the league who miss Bill O’Brien right now are everyone in the AFC South. It’s not hard to imagine the Jaguars pulling this one off if O’Brien was still at the helm of the front office and the field. Instead, Deshaun Watson and Co had a quick return to form and made easy work of their division rivals.
Baltimore Ravens 27- Cincinnati Bengals 3
In case you were in need of a throwback, the Ravens and Bengals obliged with a scoreline familiar to seasons past. Rookie QB Burrow was ineffective at best while the Baltimore offence had a field day with the bumbling Bengals defence.
Carolina Panthers 23- Atlanta Falcons 16Embed from Getty Images
The Panthers pulled themselves over .500 against the laughing stock of the NFL. It’s probably too little too late but the Falcons fifth loss of the season was the final straw for ownership, who wasted no time firing both head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff hours after the final whistle. Atlanta hasn’t done much of anything since scoring those 28 infamous points in Super Bowl LI, causing many to feel as though this decision should have come a few losses sooner. The question is now if the team can start finding wins as opposed to miraculous ways to lose.
Las Vegas Raiders 40- Kansas City Chiefs 32
They say all good things must come to an end, but nobody was expecting Kansas City’s unbeaten run to end like this. For the first time in recent memory, Mahomes was outplayed by the opposing quarterback, which was a big reason why Carr and the Raiders snapped the Chiefs’ run at 13 wins. Adding insult to injury was the monster defensive game put on by the Raiders, who seemed to figure out the key to stopping Mahomes: a relentless, elite pass rush.
Arizona Cardinals 30- New York Jets 10Embed from Getty Images
Jets fans have never been overly offensive to anyone in the league, at least not to the extent of some fan bases around the league (yes, we’re looking at you Philly) but they now have every right to make a scene over how their football team is being handled. With the inept start they got off to, many were expecting Gase to be the first coach to be let go. With the changes made in Houston and Atlanta, he may not be the first, but he certainly could be the next. While he may not have much to work with in terms of talent, there comes a point where something’s gotta give, and it’s not as if he’s been making the best use of talent he does have. A fifth straight loss on the year, this time to the up-and-coming Cardinals presents a case for being Gase’s last game at the helm.
Pittsburgh Steelers 38- Philadelphia Eagles 29
O Canada, do we have a new football star! Rookie sensation Chase Claypool made the league look North as he went off for four touchdowns in the Steelers’ Sunday victory. Credit to the Eagles for sticking around as long as they did, but the writing was on the wall as they lined up a struggling LB on Claypool (who already had three touchdowns) with the game on the line.
LA Rams 30- Washington 10Embed from Getty Images
Regardless of the result, this game might go down as the comeback story of the year as we finally got to see the return of Alex Smith, nearly two years after a nearly career-ending leg injury. It may have been the worst opponent for him to face as it meant he was going up against Aaron Donald, but he finished the game no worse for wear. The other story from Sunday was Jared Goff looking like the quarterback that got his team to the Super Bowl, with 309 yards in the air, two touchdown passes, and a touchdown run.
Miami Dolphins 43- San Francisco 49ers 17
No, that’s not a mistake, a team really scored 43 points in this matchup and it really was the Dolphins. If this game was two weeks ago, the 49ers could chalk it up to missing their starting QB. But Garopolo was back under centre this week, at least for a half. Jimmy G was pulled at halftime after throwing two picks in his return. A game like this one certainly shows just how valuable a player like Bosa is to this squad, who let Fitz rekindle his magic to the tune of 350 yards.
Dallas Cowboys 37- New York Giants 34Embed from Getty Images
The Cowboys may have secured the win in a hard fought game against the Giants, but the cost at which it came may not have been worth it. In a moment not suggested for the weak of stomach, Dak Prescott’s season ended with an ankle injury. The early reports suggest that the star QB would be out 4-6 months, meaning it is time for the Red Rifle, Andy Dalton, to fire it up down in Texas, something he couldn’t do in Cincy.
Cleveland Browns 32- Indianapolis Colts 23
Do you remember the last time the Browns started a season 4-1? Don’t worry if you don’t, it was 26 years ago. At that time, Bill Belichick was their coach and Nick Saban the GM. Oh and current coach Kevin Stefanski was 12. Mayfield put up a season high 247 yards against the number one ranked defence, as the team took another step towards the level everyone thought they would reach last season, in which they acquired their star wideouts, Beckham and Landry.
Seattle Seahawks 27-Minnesota Vikings 26Embed from Getty Images
Just give Russell Wilson the MVP Award and call it a day at this point. No matter the situation, the calmness and skill of the Seahawks pivot has been pivotal to his team’s undefeated start. Regardless of the situation, whether they’re down late or in a tight race, Wilson cooks up the perfect play to put his team in a position to win, Seahawks’ faithful’s blood pressure be damned.
That’s it for this week’s Sunday Sprint! Hopefully next week will see a full slate of games, but we can rest assured knowing that whatever action happens, we will not be without highlights, bloopers, and some sarcasm-friendly material.