Eleven was the most significant number of the week. That figure represents the number of road games that were won during Week 10 (not the number of incomplete passes thrown by Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger). Speaking of numbers, only two teams remained undefeated. The quarterback carousel continued to spin in Pittsburgh. Denver and Green Bay are officially in panic mode. Washington is somehow ½ game out of 1st place in the NFC East. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans suddenly find themselves tied for the AFC South division lead.
Buffalo built a 22-3 lead, that helped guide them to a 22-17 victory over the Jets on Thursday night. The Bills were able to control the game on the ground (148 rushing yards), which also allowed them to win the time of possession battle. Ryan Fitzpatrick (15/34, 193 yards) looked visibly bothered by his thumb injury. For New York’s sake, Fitzpatrick must ride out the pain or else the Jets promising season will be over. Pittsburgh picked up a game on the Bengals in AFC North after a 30-9 whopping they put on the Browns. Steelers’ QB Landry Jones was injured again which forced Big Ben to return one week sooner than expected. Roethlisberger was wearing what looked like a space boot on his right foot, but the added gear definitely didn’t impact his performance as he threw for 379 and 3 TDs in the win.
The Jaguars needed a controversial call to pick up a win against the Ravens 22-20. With no time left on the clock, Jacksonville was inexplicably awarded a 15 yard facemask penalty which allowed Jason Myers the opportunity to drill a 53 yard field goal. The NFL later announced that the call was a mistake, but that won’t provide solace nor ease the Ravens pain. This was the latest example of how bad luck has tripped up the Ravens all season, who have fallen six times by deficits one score or less. Houston’s JJ Watt made headlines with his Christmas Story reference about Andy Dalton, but the real story was the job of the defense in knocking off Cincinnati from the land of unbeatens. The Texans forced two Bengal turnovers and generally kept Cincy off-balanced on offense all night. After the win, the Texans moved into a tie with the Colts for 1st place.
Amid controversy, New England continues to lose big time players, but somehow maintain its winning ways. One week after losing running back Dion Lewis for the season, slot receiver Julian Edelman fractured his foot and will be lost for 6-8 weeks. If there is one team that could make do, its’ New England. But eventually the injuries will have to start taking a toll right? Kansas City kept its playoff hopes alive with a 29-13 thumping over the Broncos in Denver. Peyton Manning was beyond horrible (5/20, 35 yards 4 INTS); so much so that Brock Osweiler made an appearance at QB. Denver fans better get used to seeing Brock because the Broncos immediately released a statement saying that Manning has a torn platar fascia in his foot and will be out indefinitely. If this is how Peyton is going to leave the NFL, it’s a shame because he truly is one of the greatest QB’s of all time. In other news..wait for it…the Dolphins beat the Eagles. Is this really news?
The Redskins moved within 1/2 a game from the NY Giants in the NFC East, after dismantling the New Orleans Saints 47-14. The game was the Redskins best offensive performance this season, totaling 569 yards, even their special teams was perfect on field goals and extra points. On the opposite end, New Orleans’ pitiful display defensively cost Saints D-Coordinator Rob Ryan his job. Now losers of two in a row, the Saints are sitting at the bottom of the NFC South. With upcoming games at Houston and home to Carolina, New Orleans is in danger of playing themselves right out of the playoffs.
Detroit won in Green Bay, 18-16, for the first time since 1991. These are the Lions, so they tried their hardest to lose the game. Matt Prater missed two second half XP’s and Calvin Johnson dropped a sure handed onside kick recovery. Good thing Green Bay is playing their worst football right now, or the historic losing streak would have continued for Detroit. Dallas still can’t get anything going offensively in a road loss to Tampa Bay. QB Matt Cassel was horrible again (19/29, 186 yards, 1 INT). Not only was Cassell putrid, but their running game managed an abysmal 2 yards/carry. Word on the street is that Tony Romo will be returning Week 11. If I were a Cowboys decision maker, I wouldn’t even bother playing him the rest of the year. I would advise him to keep focusing on those surprisingly funny Direct TV commercials. Because at 2-7, their season is all but over.
Carolina remained unbeaten after picking a road win in Tennessee. One week after throwing for 300+ yards and 4 TDs, Marcus Mariota returned to earth (185, 1 INT). Of course, Mariota will be the first to attest that Carolina and New Orleans are much different defenses. The Panthers have a pivotal Week 11 matchup against the Redskins who are sure to be motivated with a chance to move into a tie for 1st place (Giants are on bye Week 11). Chicago went on the road and demolished the Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde reenactment that is the St. Louis Rams 37-13. Jay Cutler (19/24, 258 3 TDs) and Jeremy Langford (see top performances below) were magnificent in the win. For St. Louis, now losers of two straight, the loss has prompted a QB change as the team is moving from Nick Foles and on to Case Keenum to provide a spark.
Minnesota moved into sole possession of 1st place after beating the upstart Raiders 30-14 in Oakland. Adrian Peterson ran for 203 yards in his record tying sixth 200 yard game and Teddy Bridgewater continued to be the ultimate game manager (140, 1 TD). The Vikings will put their undefeated home record on the line next week against the reeling Packers in what is sure to be a classic black/blue division match-up. Arizona blew a 19 point lead, but held on to pick up a road win against Seattle. At 4-5, the Seahawks playoff hopes are hanging by a thread.
Week 10’s Top Performances
- Redskins’ Jeremy Langford – 182 total yards (73 rushing, 109 receiving) 2 TDs in win.
- Redskins’ Kirk Cousins – 20/25, 324 yards 4 TDs in win.
- Steelers’ Antonio Brown – 10 catches, 139 yards, 2 TDs (1 impressive front flip) in a win.
- Browns’ Isaiah Crowell – 8 carries, -5 yards in a loss.
- Saints’ Defense – 514 total yards allowed (not counting special teams), 47 points allowed in loss.
- Cowboys’ Matt Cassel – 19/29, 186 yards 1 INT in a loss.