Week 10 Review: Atlanta Falcons headline surprise week
Week 10 always looked like a fascinating week in the NFL on paper. Numerous headline match ups stood out early when the schedule was announced, and made all the better by first nine weeks of action. However, even the games which appeared like they should be simple ended up being stunners. The 1-7 Atlanta Falcons should not have stood a chance in the Superdome. The Tennessee Titans should have been outgunned with the return of Patrick Mahomes. Both of those games ended up being among the most entertaining games of the weekend, thanks to some jaw dropping performances. Let’s take a whistle stop tour around all of the Week 10 action.
Atlanta Falcons 26 - 9 New Orleans Saints
In what was probably the lock of the week the Saints somehow managed to lose to the Atlanta Falcons. New Orleans were looking like the best team in the NFC, and potentially the best in the entire NFL, for a while but this is a really disappointing result. The Saints could not get the run game going and with Matt Ryan having a good game on one ankle, aided by the Falcons run game grinding out plays, the Saints just could not keep up. However, the headline here is that the Falcons defence finally showed up. Six sacks on Drew Brees has Falcons fans everywhere wondering where have they been all season. Unfortunately, it is too little too late for the Falcons but at east they dealt a big blow to the Saints in the race for a bye in the NFC.
New York Giants 27 - 34 New York Jets
No ghosts in this one for Sam Darnold, as he put on a show for the loyal Jets fans. A passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown and over 250 yards through the air is a solid return. Darnold needed a good game this week and he delivered. He also out-rushed Saquon Barkley, yeah you read that right. Jamal Adams showed why he should never have been mentioned in a trade by strip sacking the fumble prone Daniel Jones and returning it for a defensive touchdown. The battle of MetLife goes to the Jets this time.
Buffalo Bills 16 - 19 Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns finally got a home win this season. Odell Beckham still could not get involved but his LSU teammate had a big game this week. Jarvis Landry put nine catches for 97 yards and a score, which was enough for the Browns to get the win. Josh Allen with two rushing touchdowns demonstrated his threat in the red zone, but just couldn’t do quite enough to get the Bills their seventh win of the season. The Browns finally get to three wins and Baker Mayfield has his first game this season with multiple passing touchdowns.
Kansas City Chiefs 32 - 35 Tennessee Titans
The much anticipated return of Patrick Mahomes did not quite go to plan. Mahomes himself was fantastic, as he would throw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns in this one. However, it was not enough and Mike Vrabel’s Titans get their best win of the season so far on a blocked field goal in the dying seconds. Kansas City need to right the ship and quickly, and Ryan Tannehil might just be resurrecting his career right now.
Baltimore Ravens 49 - 13 Cincinnati Bengals
This one was never close. The Ravens took the lead on the opening drive and never looked back. Jackson had another MVP worthy outing with over 200 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air complimented by a 47-yard rushing touchdown. The Bengals are terrible and need the season to finish. The Ravens look like a Superbowl team.
Detroit Lions 13 - 20 Chicago Bears
Finally the Chicago offense has something to shout about. Well maybe not shout but at least get slightly excited about. It took them a while to get going in this one but Trubisky ended up with three passing touchdowns and the win. Detroit missed Matthew Stafford and that rocket arm of his. After starting so well this season the Lions have slipped out of playoff contention. The Bears will be hoping this can kick start their season, but the Rams in LA next week will not be an easy follow up.
Arizona Cardinals 27 - 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In the battle of two number one picks and Heisman trophy winners, Kyler Murray came out on top of this one in every category except the result. Throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns as well as fewer interceptions then Jameis Winston. Winston had yet another game with multiple interceptions, but he did counter it with over 300 passing yards and an all-important victory. Even though he got the win in this one, could we be looking at Winston’s last season as a starter in Tampa Bay?
Los Angeles Chargers 24 - 26 Oakland Raiders (Thursday)
With yet another close loss, the Chargers have now lost by just a single possession in every one of their losses in 2019. To be honest, the Chargers should not have kept it this close. Oakland were the better team and intercepted Phillip Rivers three times. Up until one minute to go somehow the Chargers were going to get the win, but the rookie sensation Josh Jacobs broke the heart of what I imagine would be the only Charger fan in the crowd and ran in the winning touchdown. The Raiders are hot on the tail of the Chiefs in the race for the AFC West. Who would have though that 10 weeks ago?
Los Angeles Rams 14 - 17 Pittsburgh Steelers
MINKAH FITZPATRICK. That is all that needs to be said here. Another defensive touchdown and another interception, the game sealing interception no less. Is he the best in season trade ever? Overall, this was yet another dominant display from the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, which has built into a juggernaut through the season.
What has happened to the exciting Rams offense of last year? In their opening eight offensive plays, they punted the ball six times, had one fumble and missed a field goal. Their only score in the first half came from a defensive fumble return, and that was caused by a poor snap from Pouncey.
If the Steelers offense could perform to half the level of their defense, this would be a team pushing for the number one seed let alone just the playoffs. With four wins a row, and their first winning record of the year, the Steelers have managed to pull themselves back into the playoff mix.
Miami Dolphins 16 - 12 Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts have a habit of matching their level of play to the opposition. This gives their fans some hope when they compete against the high flying teams of the NFL, but then when they come up against a poor Miami Dolphins team and play to their level, the fans are rightly annoyed at what they witness. Lucas Oil Stadium was silent for most of the game as the Colts could not get going. Brian Hoyer looked like the career back up he is and the sooner Jacoby Brisset is back the better. Miami are on a hot streak and get their second win of the season, moving them further away from the first overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Carolina Panthers 16 - 24 Green Bay Packers
The snow was falling in Lambeau and the Packers were loving it. With a rushing touchdown in each of the first three quarters, should Aaron Jones be mentioned in the MVP race as well? He out played Christian McCaffrey in this one and tied for the lead in the league in rushing touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers did what he does and kept the Packers in drives that looked like they were stalling on third downs by scrambling around and giving his receivers time to get open. With the Saints slipping up this week the Packers bounce back and stay in the hunt for the number one spot in the NFC. The Panthers are left wondering what might have been had McCaffrey extended the ball on the final play.
Minnesota Vikings 28 - 24 Dallas Cowboys
In a battle of two bona-fide running backs Dalvin Cook got one over on Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott only managed 47 rushing yards and did not find the end zone once. Dak Prescott on the other hand enjoyed one of, if not his best, passing game of the season (397 yards with 3 touchdowns). Then when it all came down to crunch time, the Cowboys hierarchy decided to give it to Elliott who had not been performing well all game and failed to get the yardage needed.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys Kirk Cousins also finally managed to perform well in prime time. His 220 yards and 2 touchdowns was not show stopping, but it complimented Cook and his 97 rushing yards well. The Vikings stay a game back from Green Bay with this win, but the Cowboys are now tied with the Eagles atop the NFC East. The stretch run in both divisions is going to be fascinating.
Seattle Seahawks 27 - 24 San Francisco 49ers
Down goes the last undefeated team in the NFL. In this NFC West matchup the front runner for MVP, Russell Wilson, went toe-to-toe with the best defense in the NFL and on this occasion Wilson came out on top… barely. In a game that had seven turnovers and a field goal from a player who was out on the street last week to take the game to overtime, the Seahawks left Levi’s Stadium with a win. Despite the game being dominated by the defenses it came down to who could make the final big play of the game in overtime.
It looked set for Wilson to take the plaudits until he threw a rare interception and gave the 49ers rookie kicker an opportunity to take the glory. Chase McLaughlin had been solid all day and then with the game on the line he shanked it left. Wilson then marched his troops into position and Myers nailed the game winner. Seattle are now just half a game back from the 49ers and the NFC West joins the rest of the NFC in looking tight.