Week 10 was all about offense. The winning team averaged over 28 points per game during the week; of course that’s not counting the Rams/Jets game. Week 10 also featured a battle of the two quarterbacks with the highest rookie winning percent in NFL history (min. 8 starts). Without further adieu let’s get to the recaps.
Baltimore vs Cleveland: Thursday night football is getting to the point that it is unwatchable. Since Week 2, there has only been one game (Week 6 San Diego vs. Denver) that was decided by eight points or less. This game continued the trend of horrible entertainment as Baltimore scored 22 unanswered to beat the Browns 28-7 and take over first place in the AFC North. Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco (3 TD passes) had his best game of the season and did a nice job spreading the ball around by completing passes to nine different receivers. Cleveland is now 0-10 which is their worst start since 1950. This season can’t end soon enough for Browns fans.
Green Bay vs Tennessee: Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota entered the game having thrown the most touchdowns in the NFL since Week 5. Both quarterbacks came to play in this one, but Tennessee got more out of its’ defense and knocked the Packers off 47-25. Mariota (see below) has been on fire in recent weeks and the Titans running game picked up 162 yards (5.4/carry) with Demarco Murray leading the way with 123 yards. Green Bay fell to 1-3 on the road and suddenly find themselves on the outside looking in for a playoff berth. Questions have started to swirl about head coach Mike McCarthy’s job security. Perhaps it is time for a different voice in Green Bay?
Minnesota vs Washington: It’s definitely panic time in Minnesota as the Vikings fell to the Redskins 26-20. After starting 5-0, the Vikings have now lost four straight games joining the 2009 Giants and the 89′ Rams as the only three teams since the 1970 merger to accomplish such a feat. Sam Bradford did enough to keep Minnesota in the game but the lack of balance on the ground is what’s hurting the Vikings. The next game (against Arizona) is about as close to a must win for Minnesota as can be.
Chicago vs Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay used a second half explosion to surge past Chicago 36-10. The win was the first at home for the Bucs as Jameis Winston tossed a pair of touchdowns in the game. Tampa also gained a game on division-leading Atlanta and are now only 1.5 games out of first place. Bears fans are calling for a change at quarterback but that’s not happening. As bad a Jay Cutler was, Matt Barkley or Connor Shaw are much worse.
Kansas City vs Carolina: With 20 seconds to go in the game and deep in their own territory, Ron Rivera decide to not run out the clock and try and get the Panthers into field goal range. The strategy back fired as wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin got the ball stripped away from him by Chiefs’ cornerback Marcus Peters. The end result was a Cairo Santo game-winning field goal. The Chiefs (7-2) comeback victory moved them into a tie for first place with the Oakland Raiders. The Panthers entered the game winning two in a row and seemed to have momentum. Talk about bursting the bubble.
Atlanta vs Philadelphia: Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz led the Eagles to the first come from behind victory of his career 24-15. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan tossed a 76-yard touchdown to take a fourth quarter lead, but Wentz proceeded to lead the Eagles on 65-yard game winning drive. Much of the credit goes to running back Ryan Mathews who had his first 100 yard game since Week 3 of last year. The Falcons will enter their bye week losers of three of its last five, while the Eagles (5-4) head to Seattle for a huge Week 11 matchup.
Los Angeles vs New York Jets: This was a throwback game in the sense that not much happened in the air and most of the damage was done on the ground (combined 264 rushing yards). Although, not sure if this game was about dominating defenses or terrible offenses but the Rams beat the Jets 9-6. The Rams defense did batter Jets rookie quarterback Bryce Petty with 8 hits, 3 sacks and an interception. The Rams are still in the playoff race and have decided to give the reins to Jeff Goff. Time will tell if it’s a good move or not.
Denver vs New Orleans: Talk about premature celebration. New Orleans scored a touchdown from quarterback Drew Brees, who connected with receiver Brandin Cooks for a game-tying touchdown. But on the ensuing extra point attempt, the improbable happened. Denver’s Will Parks returned the extra point attempt 84 yards for the deciding 25-23 victory at the Superdome. The Saints dropped a winnable game at home while the Broncos were able to keep pace with AFC West leading Kansas City and Oakland.
Houston vs Jacksonville: It’s literally amazing that the Houston Texans find themselves in the thick of a division title with the abysmal play of quarterback Brock Osweiler. Osweiler (99 yards) has felled to crack the 200 yard mark for three straight games. The only saving face in this one was that he didn’t throw and interception. If the Texans, currently leading the AFC South with a 6-3 record, can get even competent play from Osweiler they have a chance to do some damage in the playoffs.
Miami vs San Diego: San Diego came into the contest winners of three of its last four (against playoff contenders no less) but let a game go against a very beatable Dolphins team, 31-24. The difference in this game was turnovers. Charger quarterback Phillip Rivers threw for over 300 yards, but four costly turnovers ended up doing the Chargers in.
Dallas vs Pittsburgh: Dallas rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes to lead the Cowboys to a 35-30 road victory over the Steelers. Elliot (see below) took a screen pass and darted through the Steelers’ defense for an 83-yard game-winning touchdown. What he and fellow rookie Dak Prescott have done is nothing short of amazing. And with the win, the Cowboys became the only eight-win team in the NFL and are in the driver’s seat for a bye in the playoffs. For the Pittsburgh, they’ve lost four in the row and can’t seem to pull out a victory. At least they play in the AFC North and have not yet played Cleveland.
Arizona vs San Francisco: Quarterback Carson Palmer (379 yards) led the Cardinals to a 23-20 victory over the hapless 49ers. Arizona running back David Johnson had his worst rushing game of the year (55 yards, 2.9/carry) but Palmer turned in perhaps his best game of the season. For the 49ers, they thought they had issues with Colin Kapernick’s political stance. How about the play on the field as they dropped to an NFC worst 1-8.
Seattle vs New England: In a potential Superbowl rematch, the Seattle Seahawks put the brakes on the hottest team in the NFL 31-24. Seattle’s Russell Wilson looks healthy finally (348 passing yards, three TDS) and seems to have finally developed a chemistry with former all-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham. This could might end up being bad news for the rest of the NFC and potentially the NFL.
Cincinnati vs New York Giants: Monday Night Football was the opposite of the Thursday Night game as the Giants won a thriller against the Bengals 21-20. This game looked like a shootout early as the Bengals Andy Dalton and the Giants Eli Manning both were flawless to start the game. Things however settled down a bit and this turned out to be one of the better games on the season. The Giants moved to 6-3 while the Bengals dropped to 3-5-1.
- Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) – 209 total yards, 2 TDs in a win over Pittsburg.
- Marcus Mariota (TEN) – 295 passing yards, 4 TDs in a win over Green Bay.
- Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – 12 catches, 133 yards in a win over the SF.
Honorable Mentions: LeVeon Bell (134 totals yards, 9 catches, 2 TDS); Ryan Mathews (149 total yards, 2 TDs); Aaron Rodgers (371 passing yards, 3 TDs; 27 rushing yards 1 TD), Antonio Brown (14 catches, 154 yards, 1 TD), Delanie Walker (9 catches, 124yards, 1TD), Dustin Hopkins (four second half field goals).
- Brandon Marshall (NYJ) – 4 catches (7 targets), 15 yards in loss to Los Angeles.
- Jonathan Stewart (CAR) – 39 rushing yards in a loss to Kansas City.
- Jay Cutler (CHI) – 182 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INT in a loss to Tampa Bay.