We are officially into the second half of the 2020 NFL season, a season many are surprised made it out of the first week. This week had what may very well end up as the game of the year and the head scratcher of the year (we’re looking at you, Pittsburgh). Through it all there were touchdowns and let downs and it’s time to run through them.
Houston Texans 27- Jacksonville Jaguars 25
There was no Minshew Magic to be had in Jacksonville this week, as the Jags’ starter was sidelined with an injury. Rookie pivot, Jake Luton, stepped in and didn’t look overly out of place in this AFC South matchup. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, a seventh straight loss was inevitable as they faced a revived Deshaun Watson-led Texans squad who are playing much better than their 2-6 record.
New York Giants 23- Washington Football Team 20
The injury bug bit another Washington QB’s leg on Sunday afternoon; this time it had its sights set on Kyle Allen. So in came Alex Smith, fresh off of a gruesome injury of his own. But it was just more bad news for the nameless Washington side as Smith managed to commit more turnovers than Danny Dimes to hand the Giants their second win.
Baltimore Ravens 24- Indianapolis Colts 10
Philip Rivers was back to doing Philip Rivers things: throwing picks instead of touchdowns and then making a fool of himself trying to make a tackle. The Ravens shutout the Colts in the second half en route to setting a new record for consecutive games with 20+ points at 31.
Minnesota Vikings 34- Detroit Lions 20
Just as things were starting to look hopeful in Motor City, Dalvin Cook showed up. The Vikings back absolutely cooked the Lions’ defence, putting up 206 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Not only did this game cement Cook as a bonafide star, but it may have marked the end of Matt Patricia’s tenure in Detroit. If you don’t believe me, consider the fact that on Cook’s second TD run, the Lions only had 10 guys on the field…
Tennessee Titans 24- Chicago Bears 17
The Titans’ game plan was clear: give Derrick Henry the ball and hope that he can run to a win. Well, it worked. Henry had as many carries as Tannehill had pass attempts with 21. The Titans also got a boost from newly acquired Desmond King who ran a fumble back for a TD. It was a welcome change of pace for the undermanned Titans, as they comfortably controlled all 60 minutes of football.
Kansas City Chiefs 33- Carolina Panthers 31
Hands up if you had this game going down the last kick of the game. Okay put your hand down you liar. Patrick Mahomes put up astronomical numbers (372 yards and four touchdowns) but his defence just couldn’t seem to solve Teddy Bridgewater and Christian McCaffery, who set the Panthers up to kick the winning field goal as time expired. Mahomes and the Chiefs did breathe a sigh of relief when the kick went wide
Buffalo Bills 44- Seattle Seahawks 34
In what could very well wind up as the game of the year, Josh Allen looked super-human. The young QB deserves immense credit for even taking the field after his grandmother passed away the night before. Despite what he had going on off of the field, he suited up and balled out, making 415 yards and three touchdowns look like a walk in the park. The Bills ate the Seahawks defence for lunch and Allen simply outplayed Wilson, a sentence I never thought I’d type.
Atlanta Falcons 34- Denver Broncos 27
Just as it looked as though we were headed for another Atlanta collapse, they managed to stop the charging Broncos’ comeback to hold on for their third win of the year. Matty Ice looks rejuvenated ever since Dan Quinn was given the boot, but when you’re in a division with the Saints and Bucs, it could be too little too late.
Las Vegas Raiders 31- Los Angeles Chargers 26
There were zeroes on the clock and the Chargers were up 32-21. They lost. It turned out that what appeared to be the game winning touchdown catch wasn’t fully controlled by Donald Parham Jr, fact uncovered after looking at the review from multiple angles. It really was right on script for the hard-luck Chargers, who have been electrified by Jusin Herbert but cannot find ways to win in crunch time.
Miami Dolphins 34- Arizona Cardinals 31
If we learned anything on Sunday it’s that the future is bright for NFL quarterbacks. Two of the brightest young stars, Tagovailoa and Murray, battled in a back and forth shootout in what felt like Tua’s real coming out party. The 2020 third overall pick fired off 248 yards and two touchdowns, a stupendous improvement from last week’s 93.
Pittsburgh Steelers 24- Dallas Cowboys 19
I hope you checked in on your Steelers fan friends at halftime because I have a sneaking suspicion they may have been on the verge of utter capitulation. In what should have been a cakewalk, the Steelers had to grind until the very last play to remain undefeated…against a fourth-string QB. Garrett Gilbert didn’t care that nobody had ever heard of him, he took to the field and played like a pro, finishing with 243 yards, a touchdown, and a pick, all while keeping his team’s chances alive down to a final second Hail Mary.
New Orleans Saints 38- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3
Tampa Bay apparently didn’t like being atop the NFC South seeing as they all but handed New Orleans a mammoth win. The Saints have now swept the season series, meaning they hold the tie breaker heading into the playoffs. And it wasn’t even close. Brees had four touchdowns to Brady’s three interceptions and there could have been a few more. So much for what should have been the game of the year…
So there you have it, all of the action from the ninth NFL Sunday of 2020. Just like the year itself, this week was full of unpredictable plays, mind-boggling results, and questionable decisions. What was your favourite moment of the day?