Sunday Night Football featured a potential Game of the Year candidate between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Instead, we got a potential season-defining blowout and a game that ultimately might have a major factor in the NFC playoff picture.
GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM:
SAINTS 38, BUCCANEERS 3: The Saints handed Tom Brady the worst loss of his career in a 38-3 drubbing on Sunday night. While people will hyper-focus on Brady’s destruction on Sunday night, a greater issue is at hand after Sunday’s events. The New Orleans Saints are now the top seed in the NFC and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Buccaneers….should they even need it.
Perhaps the most stunning element was the porous nature of Tampa’s offense. Brady was intercepted three times and was largely uncomfortable the whole night. The Saints only amassed three sacks but they pressed the six-time Super Bowl winner plenty on Sunday night.
I mean, does this look like a guy that is comfortable to you?
Of course, the Saints are not ones to handle wins in a humble fashion (among the many reasons they have terrible football karma). Sean Payton and ex-Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston whooped it up in the locker room during the postgame celebration.
Speaking of Winston, he gets the last word here:
STEELERS 24, COWBOYS 19: Once Pittsburgh got the Dallas deficit to 13-9 at halftime thanks to a 59-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, the writing was on the wall for the ‘Pokes. Give credit to Garrett Gilbert, who almost found a way to knockoff the NFL’s last unbeaten team.
Watching this game did make me wonder what the Cowboys’ record would be playing the way they did on Sunday versus the Eagles and Redskins. Alas, they will probably press on with Andy Dalton whenever he returns.
As for the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger banged up both knees but still managed to erase a 13-point first half deficit. The Steelers are now 8-0 for the first time in team history.
CHIEFS 33, PANTHERS 31:
The Panthers do a lot of things that annoy Kansas City’s defense. They don’t take dumb chances. They don’t get baited into a shootout. They play methodical football with some playmakers sprinkled in.
Carolina jumped out to a 14-3 lead. However, they ran into the same problem most teams do – Patrick Mahomes. The 2018 NFL MVP had another splendid effort on Sunday. He threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. The 8-1 Chiefs had to scratch and claw again for a victory.
Kansas City’s last loss was on came on November 10, 2019 to the Tennessee Titans. We’ll see if they can catch Pittsburgh in the race for home-field advantage. The Chiefs will head to the bye week and then face four out of five games on the road. Sheesh.
THE ELECTRIC FACTORY, JUST DIFFERENT:
BILLS 44, SEAHAWKS 34: Seattle’s lead in the NFC West is down to one game after the Bills dropped 44 on them. Sometimes it feels like during the “Russell Wilson FOR MVP” campaign (he’s not by the way but we’ll discuss at a later point), a major plot point is getting lost. The 6-3 Seattle Seahawks arguably have the worst defense in the NFL.
Seattle’s defense ranks last in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed – a deadly combo for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. The Bills did what any good team what do in this situation – take full advantage.
Josh Allen threw 415 yards and three touchdowns, which stunned a certain head coach. According to Pete Carroll, the Bills were going to try to resurrect the famous Electric Company. The AFC East leaders had different plans.
YOU CAN CALL ME, AL(BERTO):
RAVENS 24, COLTS 10: How in the blue hell is this play deemed an interception by Baltimore’s Marcus Peters:
Not sure what is worse here….the fact that this got overturned (!!!!) or Alberto Riveron’s explanation.
Regardless, Sunday was an uphill climb for the Indianapolis Colts. The turning point came when the Colts were leading 7-0 and on the move into Ravens territory. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor fumbled and Baltimore’s Chuck Clark returned it 65 yards for a score. Baltimore scored 17 of the game’s next 20 points after the scoop and score.
GIANTS 23, WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM 20: The 2020 NFC East presented in a single clip:
DOLPHINS 34, CARDINALS 31: The good news? Kyler Murray became the fourth quarterback ever to throw three touchdown passes and rush for one in consecutive games. It’s a rather bizarre list – Daunte Culpepper, Dak Prescott, and some dude named Joe Montana.
The bad news?
The Cardinals had no answer for Miami’s opportunistic play. Tua Tagovailoa threw 248 yards and two scores while the Dolphins defense picked up another defensive score. The back and forth contest saw Miami take a three-point lead. Set to send it to overtime, Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez came up short a 49-yard field goal try.
Tough loss for the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Miami is right in the thick of the AFC playoff race.
RAIDERS 31, CHARGERS 26: The Chargers have lost nine straight games to AFC West teams. Not even the wondrous talents of Justin Herbert can save this team. Remember, when the Chargers were a double-digit win team? That was all of two seasons ago.
FALCONS 34, BRONCOS 27: Everyone in the surrounding Atlanta area thought the Falcons would blow this game too, right? The Falcons have some chopping to do before the sneak into the playoff race, but they have somewhat turned things around thanks to interim head coach Raheem Morris.
TEXANS 27, JAGUARS 25: Take out a piece of paper and write down everything you know about Jaguars quarterback Jake Luton. I’ll wait.
VIKINGS 34, LIONS 20: Dalvin Cook is a beast. The Vikings star posted 252 yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns in the win over Detroit. Cook became the first running back since Emmitt Smith to rush for a touchdown in his first seven games of the season.
TITANS 24, BEARS 17: How did we get conned into thinking the Bears were good? Heading into the weekend, the Bears were 27th in points scored and 29th in yards. Because of Chicago’s utter futility, the Titans were never truly in danger in this game.
PATRIOTS 30, JETS 27 (MONDAY NIGHT): This was better than 95% of the primetime games this season.