It’s that time of week again where we break down everything NFL Sunday had to offer. This week was a buffet from buffoonery to brilliance as we saw the NFC West get a heck of a lot more interesting and the Steelers coasted to yet another win. All that and more lined up for you down below!
Cleveland Browns 10- Houston Texans 7
Yes, that’s a score from after 60 minutes of football, granted, one played in atrocious weather. The Browns were bolstered by the return of Nick Chubb, who scored the team’s lone touchdown after spending four weeks on IR. As for the Texans, not even the weather could excuse their lackluster offensive performance. Watson went 20/30 for 163 yards but simply seemed out of sync with his receivers, and the run game looked like it was sputtering uphill all game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 46- Carolina Panthers 23
The Bucs wasted no time in righting the ship after their humiliation at the hands of the Saints last week. Not only was Brady back to throwing touchdowns instead of picks, Tampa turned back to their running game after attempting a league-history low five rushes in that blowout. Once Ronald Jones ran in his 98-yard TD, it was hard to imagine them abandoning the run ever again. Carolina’s Teddy Bridgewater was mediocre before exiting the game in the fourth with a knee injury, and after seeing P.J. Walker, the Panthers must be praying that Bridgewater’s knee is okay.
Detroit Lions 30- Washington Football Team 27
Regardless of the outcome, the very fact that Alex Smith was under centre to start the game cemented him as the league’s Comeback Player of the Year. To his credit, he kept his team in it to the very end with his 390 passing yards, but Lions’ kicker Matt Prater knocked the winning three points through the uprights as time expired.
New York Giants 27- Philadelphia Eagles 17
Everybody remembers Daniel Jones falling on his face on a breakaway run just a few weeks ago, but today Jones seemed set on giving people a different image. The Giants’ QB got his revenge on the long run by scurrying for the 38-yard score. The rest of the game was a very NFC East kind of game: remarkably unremarkable.
Green Bay Packers 24- Jacksonville Jaguars 20
It was a little too close for comfort for Cheese Heads everywhere as the Packers barely got by the bumbling Jags. Even more frustrating for the Pack is that they almost did it to themselves. Green Bay handed Jacksonville 10 points off turnovers, and an absent-minded holding call erased a touchdown and replaced it with a field goal. All seemed to be forgotten in the final few plays as the Packers finally came alive to thwart Jake Luton’s attempt at the upset of the week.
Arizona Cardinals 32- Buffalo Bills 30
It was a Hail Murray kind of day for the Cardinals in what was an exhilarating showdown of young talent. It was the Bills who first thought to have secured a last minute victory when Josh Allen hit Stefon Diggs in the endzone with just 39 seconds left on the clock. But on Master’s Sunday, it all came down to the birdies. Kyler Murray and the Cards got the ball back and told Western New York to sit down as Murray tossed a 43-yard bomb into the rock-solid hands of DeAndre Hopkins with 11 seconds left in the game.
Miami Dolphins 29- LA Chargers 21
Don’t look yet but the Miami Dolphins are poised to challenge the Bills for the AFC East title. The Fins extended their winning streak to five games with the win over the embattled Chargers (who cannot seem to buy a win at this point) and are showing no signs of slowing down. Especially when you consider that their next three opponents (Broncos, Bengals, and Jets) are a combined 5-21-1. All signs point to a Week 17 battle of Allen and Tagovailoa for the division title.
Las Vegas Raiders 37- Denver Broncos 12
Drew Lock is NOT the answer to the Broncos endless quarterback carousel post-Peyton’s retirement. The 24-year old pivot threw four picks and a single touchdown. To be fair, not everything falls on Lock’s shoulders. He did run in a touchdown that would have made it 13-0 Broncos, but it was called back for a holding call on TE Noah Fant. The next play was Lock’s second pick of the game, and the end of Denver’s positive play.
LA Rams 23- Seattle Seahawks 16
The NFC West has officially become the most interesting division in football as three of its four teams (sorry San Fran) are tied at 6-3. The Seahawks looked like they might run away with things early in the year, but back to back losses have drastically altered the picture. Surging in the other direction are the Rams, who have quietly improved off of last year’s woes. Goff had one of his better showings of the season, racking up 302 yards, and more importantly no turnovers, while calmly leading his team right into the division mix.
Pittsburgh Steelers 36- Cincinnati Bengals 10
Big Ben may be 38 but on Sunday afternoon he played like he was 24 and in the prime of his career. His 333 yards and four touchdowns eased the Steelers past the Bengals and onto 9-0. He did all this while being away from team facilities all week due to being put on the COVID-19 list. Nonetheless, he continued to connect with Schuster and Claypool, and even found a new stud-target in Diontae Johnson, who had six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.
New Orleans Saints 27- San Francisco 49ers 13
An upset looked to be in order as the 49ers jumped out to a 10-0 lead. That was until the Saints scored 27 unanswered points despite losing Brees for the second half. Not to be dramatic, but based off of Winston’s body of work, should Brees’ injury prove significant, the Saints may have to say goodbye to any deep postseason hopes.
New England Patriots 23- Baltimore Ravens 17
Allow me to (potentially prematurely) dub this one the upset of the year. Nobody, including Patriots faithful gave Newton and the Pats a shot in hell at pulling this one off but a Jakobi Meyers’ touchdown pass, J.C. Jackson’s sixth pick in five games, and Damian Harris’ monster night on the ground not only kept New England in the game, but helped them remain in control. The weather that had caused a delay in the first game of the week had made its way to Boston come nightfall and wrecked havoc for both QBs all night long, which should have played into Baltimore’s hand with a human joystick like Jackson under centre, but alas, it was the Belichick’s boys who prevailed.
And that’s all she wrote for the tenth iteration of Sunday football in the NFL. The entertainment and story lines were there right down to the final play of the final game, setting up a wealth of interesting story lines for Week 11.