Week 5: Bills Blow Out Chiefs on Sunday Night

compiled by Andrew Potter

Every Sunday, the FO workers sends round emails concerning the video games that every of us are watching. We share details about the video games that the remainder of the group won’t be watching, ask questions, and preserve everybody else knowledgeable about which video games they may wish to tune into (if they will).

On Monday, we compile a digest of these emails and produce this function. By its nature, it may be disjointed and dissimilar to the opposite articles on the positioning.

Whereas these emails are usually written with Audibles in thoughts, they don’t symbolize a regular assessment of all of the video games every week. Meaning we aren’t going to cowl each sport, or each vital play. We watch the video games that we, as followers, are considering watching, so your favourite crew’s sport won’t be coated to your fullest wishes and even in any respect. (In case you are a Seahawks or Patriots fan, you’re in all probability in luck; in case you are a Lions fan, not a lot.) We now have no intention of including new authors solely to cowl each sport on a given Sunday, nor will we watch a unique sport from those that we’re personally considering watching simply to make sure that Audibles covers each sport.

New York Jets 20 “at” Atlanta Falcons 27 (London)

Carl Yedor: At present is perhaps Kyle Pitts’ welcome-to-the-NFL sport for folks not following the Falcons notably intently. With Calvin Ridley out, Pitts has been Matt Ryan’s most-targeted receiver by three drives and has been fairly productive already, catching 5 passes for 58 yards, one landing, and three different first downs. There have been some huge chunk performs, and it is clear that Ryan already trusts him. Positive, it’s in opposition to the Jets and going down in London, however Pitts could possibly be in line for a monster sport right here.

Tom Gower: Falcons up 20-3 on the half, and the rating precisely displays the relative effectiveness of the 2 groups. Zach Wilson is 5-of-13 for 42 yards. His throws appear perhaps a bit late, and his ball placement hasn’t been nice. His interception in all probability match each of these classes. Even in opposition to Atlanta, the Jets run sport is not near sustaining sufficient to make up for that.

The Pitts statline is a part of an Atlanta plan that has revolved round utilizing the tight ends to assault the Jets protection quite than a major position change for Pitts that I’ve seen. The opposite fantasy notice is that Cordarrelle Patterson is taking part in a better share of the working again snaps after final week’s three-touchdown efficiency. I took a take a look at a couple of sport and a half of the Falcons offense this week and bought actually annoyed watching Mike Davis (enjoyable reality: between Davis and Michael Carter, this sport featured the 2 worst backs in the league by Subsequent Gen Stats’ Rush Yards Over Expectation/try this season), so I am not shocked by that.

Jets bought their first landing of the sport after an extended kickoff return by Tevin Coleman to start out the third quarter, although, so a Falconsing is unquestionably nonetheless in play.

Scott Spratt: In protection of my guys Mike Davis and Michael Carter, this sport additionally options the seventh- and ninth-worst groups in adjusted line yards. There’s blame to go round!

Rivers McCown: My solely response to this sport is: The Titans protection should be actually, actually dangerous.

Scott Spratt: I will check that concept, Rivers with, an ill-advised Jaguars passing sport DFS stack!

Denver Broncos 19 at Pittsburgh Steelers 27

Scott Spratt: Was Ben Roethlisberger taking part in possum this entire time??

The 50-yard bomb to Diontae Johnson will get the Steelers an early 7-0 lead.

Scott Spratt: Lest we get carried away, that 59-yard Chase Claypool reception solely went about 6 yards within the air. Roethlisberger might should dine out on that 50-yard Johnson bomb for some time.

Bryan Knowles: Getting late early for the Broncos, right here. Roethlisberger is discovering open receivers on Denver blitzes, and the Broncos’ defensive position is simply getting destroyed, surprisingly.

Denver lastly bought a cease, holding Pittsburgh to a discipline objective—however they bought known as for leverage, giving Pittsburgh new life. Roethlisberger then hits an absolute laser to Chase Claypool in the long run zone, it is 24-6 Pittsburgh after their first drive of the second half, and this one is just about within the books.

New Orleans Saints 33 at Washington Soccer Crew 22

Bryan Knowles: Saints followers are getting the traditional Jameis Winston efficiency right now! The Saints have had two drives up to now. On the primary, Winston compelled a ball over the center, and Holcomb bought a reasonably straightforward interception to arrange Washington for an early discipline objective. On the second, Winston took a deep shot to Harris, who had gotten previous everybody for a 72-yard rating. By no means boring when Jameis Traditional exhibits up. 7-3 New Orleans early.

Vince Verhei: Winston provides the ball again to Washington on a sack-fumble. So…

  • Unhealthy interception
  • Lengthy landing
  • Sack-fumble

It is the Jameis hat trick!

Aaron Schatz: Jameis Winston simply ended the primary half with a 49-yard Hail Mary to Marquez Callaway.

He is having essentially the most Jameis Winston sport of all time. An interception, a strip sack, and two deep touchdowns. In the meantime, the Washington secondary continues to battle. (Name again to this week’s Derrik Klassen Movie Room.)

Dave Bernreuther: Did I learn that Taysom Hill was carted off the sector on this one? In order that signifies that we nonetheless have a full half of fine/dangerous/attention-grabbing Jameis on faucet, uninterrupted.

Vince Verhei: Sort of loopy that Washington is shedding right here, as they’ve principally regarded superb after they’re not, , giving up mile-long touchdowns. However they’ve had two possessions in scoring vary that ended with no factors: a foul Taylor Heinicke interception within the pink zone, and a curious choice to go for it on fourth-and-10 (once more, with Heinicke at quarterback) quite than attempt a 52-yard discipline objective. I believe they’d have a hefty lead in success price right now, however many of the crucial performs have gone New Orleans’ method.

Vince Verhei: You might argue the Saints have been fortunate to be forward going into the fourth quarter, however they have been fairly clearly the superior crew within the last quarter-hour. They intercepted Heinicke to arrange Winston’s third landing go, and although Heinicke rebounded to steer a landing drive, Winston responded with maybe his finest drive of the day as New Orleans goes 75 yards in eight performs and Winston finishes it together with his fourth scoring go. That is a 33-22 lead, and that proved to be the ultimate margin.

Tennessee Titans 37 at Jacksonville Jaguars 19

J.P. Acosta: The Jaguars have been helped by an enormous 63-yard James Robinson run to arrange a landing, then missed the additional level, making it 7-6 Titans. Can I’m going check out to be the kicker?

Scott Spratt: The Jaguars did enter the week with 7.9 factors beneath common on their discipline objective and further level makes an attempt. That is almost three fewer factors than the next-worst crew.

J.P. Acosta: The Titans are driving seeking to lengthen their lead earlier than halftime after Jaguars kicker Matthew Wright was quick on a 53-yard discipline objective. The Jaguars have not made a discipline objective since final 12 months.

Vince Verhei: Derrick Henry takes a sweep to the correct and it is such a simple 13-yard acquire that he is bought an offensive lineman desperately trying to find somebody to dam. Subsequent play he simply goes proper up the intestine, barely touched, for a 9-yard landing run. Titans now up 31-13 early within the third because the Jaguars defenders are racking up the enterprise choices.

J.P. Acosta: Myles Jack happening with a again damage was a sign to simply run at this Jaguars protection.

Tom Gower: This felt like a classic 2020 Titans sport, with a extremely good offense doing greater than sufficient to make up for a protection that wasn’t superb. That was positively the sensation I bought when the Titans constructed a 24-13 halftime lead.

Their first landing was a bit lucky, an in depth catch/fumble vs. incompletion that stayed a fumble and a defensive landing. After the Jaguars tied the sport (or would have in the event that they weren’t a part of the league-wide casual ban on additional factors right now) on an extended James Robinson run—which was a change up from final week’s Titans protection getting gashed on go performs—and an alternate of punts, we have been off to the races. Huge completions on crossers to Jeremy McNichols and A.J. Brown arrange Derrick Henry’s first rating. An enormous go to Marvin Jones and a Tavon Austin damaged tackle-and-run arrange a landing on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to Jacob Hollister. MyCole Pruitt landing catch when the Jaguars protection fully busted on overlaying him. A few good Robinson runs arrange an extended discipline objective try, simply quick. Deep go to Chester Rogers units up a shorter discipline objective try, made.

After which the Titans did what they did not do final week, taking the second-half kickoff and ending off a foul crew that they need to have crushed. Key to that drive have been three third-down conversions: one to Marcus Johnson, simply activated off injured reserve; one to A.J. Brown; and the third Tannehill together with his legs. It drew the headlines final week as a result of it led to kicking discipline targets, however the Titans had been a poor third-down crew for the remainder of the season. It wasn’t fairly over at that time; the Jaguars would reduce it to 31-19 and really briefly to 31-25 earlier than Trevor Lawrence’s landing was overturned by replay and their second fourth-and-goal from a yard away failed to succeed in the tip zone.

I really feel like I ought to have some type of grand pronouncement to make, both a Titans replace after final week’s missive or a declaration about The State of City Meyer or How Good Trevor Lawrence Is Destined To Be, however I actually do not. Meyer’s press conferences actually actually REALLY sound like a coach who’s not used to shedding and unsure the right way to deal with it. Lawrence is a proficient participant on a foul crew, and that is tremendous for now and so far as it is sensible for me to go right here.

J.P. Acosta: In case you thought Jets-Falcons in London was dangerous soccer, I current to you: the 0-5 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the 1-4 Miami Dolphins in London subsequent week.

Dave Bernreuther: I’ve been a morning particular person for a number of years now, however that matchup makes me wish to return to my “sleeps til midday” days.

Inexperienced Bay Packers 25 at Cincinnati Bengals 22 (OT)

Derrik Klassen: I am unsure why Inexperienced Bay is so dead-set on throwing the ball proper now. I imply, positive, they’ve Aaron Rodgers, however this Cincinnati protection has in all probability been overrated all season and the Packers have been working the ball down their throats on the primary drive. The Bengals’ go rush would not look too shabby proper now, both. Assume the Packers could be finest served to lean on the run sport and get some screens/play-action going off that—they’re sometimes fairly good at that.

Dave Bernreuther: The Bengals are getting after it up to now right now, limiting Aaron Rodgers to a 2-of-7 begin and making him uncomfortable. The newest of these throws deserves recognition for being incredible however incomplete, I feel, simply due to how freakishly tough it was. On third down, a strong-side rush flushed him out to his left, and close to full velocity and beneath duress, he squared his shoulders completely and threw only a dart with out setting his toes, deep down the sideline, positioned the place solely the tightly coated Robert Tonyan may presumably have caught it.

Tonyan did not catch it, after all, lacking by mere inches, however that was a jaw-droppingly good throw on the transfer. I am unsure I’ve ever rewound an incomplete go as a lot as I’ve that one.

Bryan Knowles: After, let’s say, a sluggish begin to this one (4 punts and a Chidobe Awuzie interception make up the primary 5 drives), Cincinnati will get on the board first. The Packers’ pink zone protection is, let’s say, considerably comfortable, as Samaje Perine discovered huge room on back-to-back performs to get the Bengals into the pink zone. I am unsure 5-yard cushions make lots of sense from the 5-yard line, however then I am not an NFL defensive coordinator.

Cincinnati 7-0 on the finish of the primary quarter.

Bryan Knowles: We questioned on the podcast on Thursday simply how actual the Cincinnati protection is, and particularly how actual their cornerbacks are. Effectively, they’d finished a superb job in opposition to Aaron Rodgers by 1 / 4 and alter, with the returning Awuzie making an awesome interception earlier to squelch a Packers risk. However on that final drive, there was a large brainfart in protection. I’d recommend, on third-and-12, that you need to have no less than somebody inside 10 yards of Davante Adams. Probably a number of somebodies! However I suppose that is why I am not an NFL defensive coordinator. That goes for 34, and units up AJ Dillon for a landing a number of performs later…

… however the Packers miss an additional level. What’s within the water right now? 7-6, Bengals, early within the second quarter.

Scott Spratt: After Mason Crosby pulled one other additional level after the Packers’ first landing, I needed to look it up. I consider the report for essentially the most missed (and blocked) additional factors in a single week is 12 in Week 11, 2016. At the least that is essentially the most in my database going again to 2009, which covers the total period of longer additional level distances. We’re big-time on tempo for a brand new report up to now right now.

Dave Bernreuther: Possibly an awesome incompletion is all a quarterback must get rolling; on the following drive, after a Bengals rating that I missed, Rodgers is an ideal 6-for-6 passing.

Then once more, as Bryan factors out, they left Davante Adams fully uncovered over the middle of the sector. That is additionally the sort of factor that may get a quarterback rolling.

Derrik Klassen: Bengals dealing with an honest pass-rush unit and hastily they can not shield … bizarre! Passing sport seems to be principally ineffective up to now each time they’ve tried to do something apart from fast sport, which is partly as a result of Joe Burrow underthrew a deep ball that Ja’Marr Chase bought open on. Nonetheless, two sacks by the primary half when their sport plan has largely averted holding onto the ball within the pocket is regarding.

Dave Bernreuther: Adams being wide-open on that one play apart, the most important motive that the Packers began to maneuver the ball appears to be that they acknowledged the best way the sport was going and began transferring Rodgers round extra deliberately; I counted no less than three designed bootlegs on the landing drive, they usually’re in Bengals territory once more after a completion to (a coated, this time) Adams with all the play transferring left to proper. Nonetheless appears sort of international to me to see a Packers offense that adapts, even with the only of ways. The drive stalled on the following sequence after a run that went nowhere and a failed completion, however Crosby makes a kick this time, which supplies the Packers the lead.

Scott Spratt: Phew. I noticed Joe Burrow was down after taking a shot as a runner—slide, Joe!—however he seems to be like he is strolling OK on the sideline. We can’t know for positive if he is concussed for a sequence because the Bengals are punting, however hopefully disaster averted.

Scott Spratt: Davante Adams has 112 receiving yards up to now within the first half. That is his most yards in a primary half since … Week 7 final 12 months. He is so so good.

Scott Spratt: Replace on Joe Burrow: he is tremendous.

Bryan Knowles: Davante Adams is as much as six catches, 117 yards, and a rating. That is a reasonably good day! … there’s nonetheless a minute left within the first half.

Adams has 9 targets. No different Packers receiver has a couple of; the one Packers participant with a couple of apart from Adams is AJ Dillon. May I recommend, gently, that the Bengals focus their protection on Adams, particularly when he is close to the tip zone.

However as I am typing this, the Bengals fireplace again. Disaster certainly averted, as Joe Burrow is again in, and he simply uncorked one to Ja’Marr Chase; a 70-yard rating to get issues again to 16-14 Packers as we head to the half. After each groups stalled out within the first quarter, issues have gotten fairly thrilling right here.

Vince Verhei: To be honest, Bryan, even after they have coated Adams, he has caught the ball anyway. Take his scoring seize. The play-by-play simply says 5-yard landing on second-and-2, ho-hum. However take a look at this catch:

That is superb protection, however Adams makes a superhuman play to raise, catch the ball over the defender, and hit the bottom. Only a nice play in a half that has been filled with nice performs. I do know Adams has discovered some holes in zone, however I’ve been impressed by the performs Cincinnati’s defenders have made in protection and in go rush after they have had the prospect. Similar for the Packers—their go rush has actually come alive right now. However each groups even have wonderful quarterbacks and wideouts, so the scoring totals are nonetheless pretty excessive. Among the finest-played video games I’ve seen this season, and I can not wait to see what they do within the second half.

Vince Verhei: This sport guidelines. The Bengals’ protection just isn’t horrible right here, however Adams will get a step behind them, and Rodgers’ go is inch-perfect for an enormous acquire.

However the Bengals maintain there and Inexperienced Bay kicks a discipline objective for a 22-14 lead. Adams is as much as 186 yards early within the fourth; his career-high is 196.

Bryan Knowles: I am unsure utilizing Joe Burrow as Cam Newton and having him run attracts on fourth-and-2 is essentially the very best use of him, particularly when he has already been banged up right now, however do not knock success. After holding the Packers to a discipline objective within the pink zone, Burrow marches Cincinnati down the sector, with what have gotten routinely nice passes to Ja’Marr Chase. Some nice strikes to keep away from stress, too. The landing, nevertheless, was only a nice play by Joe Mixon, juking Shemar Jean-Charles out of his boots. The 2-point conversion is nice, and we now have a 22-all ballgame with 3:27 left!

Vince Verhei: Joe Burrow has no concern. Tore up his leg final season, took a large hit on a scramble within the first half, however when the Bengals have a fourth-and-2 simply throughout midfield, he retains the ball on a quarterback draw and dives ahead, simply getting sufficient to maneuver the chains.

Ja’Marr Chase converts a third-and-6 with a pleasant catch on a back-shoulder fade. Joe Mixon takes a handoff up the intestine for what seems to be like no acquire, however he bounces outdoors, jukes Shemar Jean-Charles out of his footwear, and will get into the tip zone for a 9-yard rating.

Scott Spratt: Aaron Jones confirmed off the total working again talent set on this 57-yard run. Be sure you watch to the tip of the clip for a deadly stiff arm.

Vince Verhei: However Cincy’s go rush shuts Inexperienced Bay down after Jones’ “Tremendous Mario with the star” run. Fourth-and-10, Mason Crosby comes on for the 36-yard discipline objective attempt … however he pulls it proper! This after he missed the XP earlier. Bengals take over with slightly greater than two minutes to go, needing only a discipline objective to win.

Dave Bernreuther: Not {that a} discipline objective with 2:12 left was any kind of assure in a 22-22 sport, however Mason Crosby honked it, having already missed an additional level earlier, and now a possession that would/ought to require a landing for Burrow to get the game-winning drive would require solely a discipline objective.

Dave Bernreuther: It is also value stating that that is one in every of TWO (2) 22-22 video games proper now, together with New England-Houston. That, to me, is funner than a Scorigami.

Bryan Knowles: The Bengals get stopped, and choose to attempt a 57-yard discipline objective (?!). It is doinked off the uprights, and now Aaron Rodgers has the ball in a tie sport with 21 seconds left, needing simply 20 yards to get into discipline objective vary. With that a lot time left on the clock, you CAN’T attempt a 57-yarder there…

Dave Bernreuther: I don’t know what to even take into consideration the decision-making course of by Zac Taylor there. I get why he did what he did, however boy was it a danger to be keen to run on third down after which try a 57-yarder, which if (when) missed, provides the ball to Aaron Rodgers on the 47 with time to make a play or two.

And make a play he does, straight over the center to (who else) Davante Adams, simply because the announcers speak about guarding the sidelines.

Irrespective of, although, as a result of Mason Crosby misses once more. That is now three missed discipline targets within the final 2:12 of sport time.

Bryan Knowles: And Rodgers will get these 20 yards, and Mason Crosby will get an opportunity to redeem himself … and he misses AGAIN. We will extra time.

Vince Verhei: What are you doing, Zac Taylor? Third-and-5 on the Inexperienced Bay 42, the Bengals … hand off to Samaje Perine? That features 3 and units up a fourth-and-2, and the Packers name their final timeout with 26 seconds to go. Evan McPherson then misses from 57 yards as a result of IT’S FIFTY-SEVEN YARDS, and his kick hits the upright. That provides Rodgers time for one play to get into discipline objective vary, and he does … however Crosby misses once more, this time from 51, and we will extra time.

Dave Bernreuther: Joe Burrow and Tyler Boyd had a miscommunication that led Burrow to throw it straight to a defender to open extra time. Bringing again reminiscences of Mike McCarthy, the Packers seem completely content material to run it into the road 3 times and kick, as if it is some positive factor … and the primary two runs BOTH go backwards.

When your kicker has three misses already, perhaps truly attempt to rating earlier than you kick once more, gents. Ugh.

Vince Verhei: It is an actual disgrace that this sport that was so nice for the primary 55 minutes however goes to be determined by a sequence of errors. All of the missed kicks and questionable play calling that bought us to extra time, after which on his first go of the additional body, Burrow delivers a “who was he throwing to?” interception proper into the arms of De’Vondre Campbell. Packers get stuffed on first and second down, then ship Crosby out to kick a 40-yarder on third down … AND HE MISSES AGAIN.

Bryan Knowles: So, Mason Crosby’s third miss units up Cincinnati, who has to accept a 40-plus-yard discipline objective … which is doinked off the OTHER upright. What the hell is going on on this soccer sport?

Dave Bernreuther: Effectively, gee, no one may have seen THAT one coming. Crosby misses once more, and the Bengals have a brief discipline now.

Matt LaFleur deserves that end result; Aaron Rodgers, alternatively, most positively doesn’t.

And OK, now that is simply ridiculous … ANOTHER doink on the opposite finish of the sector. That is FIVE missed discipline targets since a number of of the opposite 1 p.m. video games ended!

Vince Verhei: STOP TRYING LONG FIELD GOALS. Fourth-and-inches, and Taylor requires the 49-yard discipline objective as an alternative of going for it. MacPherson pulls it left and simply over the crossbar. Amusingly, he thought the kick was good and began to have fun earlier than studying the tough fact. So now Inexperienced Bay has life for, like, the ninth time.

Dave Bernreuther: Like Bryan, I all the time root for ties. On this case, this might be very true, as a result of neither coach deserves to win … however Aaron Rodgers would not deserve this.

They’re reviewing the spot on the unlikely 16-yard acquire on third-and-16, which appears to be accurately noticed simply shy. So this good lengthy delay is SURE to ease Mason Crosby’s thoughts, proper?

Whatever the ruling, the considered a discipline objective should not even be getting into LaFleur’s thoughts proper now.

OK good, seems to be just like the offense is popping out. I would not be shocked to see the arduous depend faux right here although…

Vince Verhei: Third-and-16, Randall Cobb takes a contact catch over the center and hangs on. It’s totally shut, however after an extended replay assessment it is dominated wanting the road to realize, mentioning fourth-and-inches. Inexperienced Bay tries to get the Bengals to leap, however we hit the two-minute warning, and Crosby is seemingly going to attempt a 49-yarder … and it is lastly good, and the Packers win.

Effectively that turned out to be a totally insane sport.

Bryan Knowles: Nobody stops Mason Crosby on 4 consecutive kicks! Packers win one of many stupidest endings in NFL historical past. Not the stupidest, thoughts you, however within the dialog.

Aaron Schatz: I do know Crosby hit the sector objective. I nonetheless suppose they need to have simply run an Aaron Rodgers sneak on fourth-and-inches. The percentages of that working have been higher.

Carl Yedor: That extra time interval made my mind damage. Simply complicated choice after complicated choice. Why did Cincinnati successfully turtle up on offense after they felt they have been “in vary” for the potential game-winner (that they missed)? Why did Inexperienced Bay nonetheless belief Crosby after his horrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad stretch? Nothing is sensible, however Inexperienced Bay wins to maneuver to 4-1.

Vince Verhei: There are few issues in soccer I hate greater than coaches who name performs like 50-ish-yard discipline targets are computerized. That sport was FULL of that sort of factor.

Philadelphia Eagles 21 at Carolina Panthers 18

Vince Verhei: That is the Sam Darnold I used to be pondering of once I picked the Panthers to get the primary total draft decide.

Eagles had a fourth-and-goal landing nullified by a penalty and settled for a discipline objective and a 3-3 tie.

It is clear the Panthers are higher than I assumed they have been going go to be, however Darnold will not be. Curious to see in the event that they find yourself sticking with him after the 12 months.

Scott Spratt: Sam Darnold threw a foul interception deep in his personal territory, which gave Jalen Hurts the ball within the pink zone. However after throwing quick twice, Hurts simply missed out on touchdowns to DeVonta Smith on consecutive performs—first a completion simply wanting the tip zone after which a would-be landing worn out by an offensive go interference penalty for an unlawful decide.

It is simple to latch onto the 44 penalties the Eagles had by 4 weeks, 11 greater than every other crew. However I am going to additionally level out that Jalen Hurts has accomplished simply 38.1% of his pink zone passes in his profession, simply the bottom amongst present quarterbacks with 50 or extra such makes an attempt. The low-average depth of goal passing sport works between the 20s however not up to now close to the tip zone.

Bryan Knowles: Only for the report, I consider the bottom yards per completion mark in NFL historical past (with no less than 10 completions) belongs to Dan Pastorini, at 4.0 in 1972.

Jalen Hurts is at the moment 12-for-20 for 35 yards, or 2.9 yards per completion.

Scott Spratt: I am fairly positive Panthers defensive coordinator Phil Snow was prepared for the Eagles display sport, Bryan.

Vince Verhei: The Eagles offense, everybody:

Scott Spratt: There is a streaker on the sector in Carolina. That is essentially the most thrilling factor up to now on this sport.

Vince Verhei: Even the streaker was boring—he had denims on! If you are going to streak at NFL sport, go all the best way with it!

Scott Spratt: That is weak. My dangerous. I used to be judging the thrill by announcer Greg Olsen’s tone of voice.

Dave Bernreuther: Possibly Olsen was excited as a result of he is one in every of them. There are dozens, you know. Dozens!

Vince Verhei: Quite a lot of kickers have been having dangerous days, however Jake Elliott hits a 58-yard discipline objective on the first-half gun to chop the Carolina result in 15-6 at halftime. He might win particular groups participant of the week by default.

That was a five-play, 44-yard drive that was by far Philadelphia’s better of the day, which makes the half-time scenario … attention-grabbing? As dangerous because the Eagles have regarded on offense up to now, they really have extra passing yards than Carolina if you happen to embody sacks, though it has taken them many extra performs to get there. It feels just like the Panthers ought to have put the nail within the coffin right here a number of instances over, nevertheless it’s nonetheless solely a nine-point sport with half-hour to go. I definitely do not suppose that Philadelphia will come again, however the door has been left open for it to occur.

Scott Spratt: The Eagles lastly had a possibility to attain a couple of minutes into the third quarter after a punt return to midfield and third-and-5 conversion to DeVonta Smith. However on the run after that catch, Smith fumbled on a Donte Jackson Peanut Punch. The Panthers did not do something with that subsequent possession, however the discipline place has reset with the Eagles nonetheless down 15-6.

Scott Spratt: That is two turnovers on as many performs for the Eagles. Donte Jackson regarded like an uncovered receiver tapping toes to remain inbounds on an interception on the left sideline. Clearly Jackson is upset the Panthers preserve buying and selling for brand new cornerbacks.

Scott Spratt: And there is one other horrible Sam Darnold decide. This sport just isn’t fairly.

Vince Verhei: I’ve this sport on one display proper subsequent to Packers-Bengals and the distinction between the 2 is jarring. It is arduous to consider they’re taking part in the identical sport.

Bryan Knowles: Hey, Jalen Hurts lastly hit a go greater than 3 inches downfield! A play after Carolina almost returned a fumble for a landing (Hurts’ arm was going ahead, though it was shut), Hurts finds a wide-open Quez Watkins for 53 yards, organising a rating a pair performs later. That one play is a 3rd of Hurts’ passing yards right now, however he is effectively away from historic catastrophe at this level.

Carolina nonetheless leads 15-13, however it’s a must to really feel they need to have put the Eagles away way back. They’ve let Philly cling round, and we now have a contest.

Vince Verhei: The Panthers have spent all day playing around and at the moment are in severe danger of discovering out. Third-and-10, Quez Watkins will get on their own downfield for a acquire of 53. (Watkins is now as much as three catches for 48 yards with an extended of 53, which, huh.) That units up Jalen Hurts’ landing on a quarterback sneak and the Carolina lead has been reduce to 15-13. The margin proper now’s the protection when the Panthers simply watched the Eagles snap the ball into the tip zone.

Scott Spratt: The Eagles have been again in enterprise down 18-13 in Panthers territory with 5:35 left. However going for a fourth-and-4, Jalen Hurts made an inaccurate go that Zach Ertz bought a hand on however could not corral. It is a turnover on downs.

Scott Spratt: Effectively that was fast. The Panthers went three-and-out instantly with a would-be conversion drop on third down. After which the Eagles blocked the punt. The Eagles are proper again in Panthers territory with 3:53 left.

Scott Spratt: Jalen Hurts finally ran in a landing after the blocked punt, and he did the Cam Newton Superman transfer together with his shirt. He perhaps ought to save that for one in every of his defenders as a result of they’ve fully carried his crew right now.

The Panthers have two and a half minutes to reply with a discipline objective to tie or landing to win. However they have not moved the ball in any respect within the second half.

Scott Spratt: Darnold threw his third dangerous interception to provide the Eagles the ball again simply previous the two-minute warning. The Panthers have three timeouts, however they can not transfer the ball on offense so it would not appear prone to matter.

New England Patriots 25 at Houston Texans 22

Aaron Schatz: This was alleged to be a defensive battle, however each groups rating on their first drives. Houston’s opening drive was greater than 10 minutes lengthy, solely 4.4 yards per play, however they transformed three third downs and a fourth all the way down to preserve it going for a very long time. Some good screens, rookie hand-holding kind stuff, though credit score to Davis Mills for a superb go on the landing to Anthony Auclair. Patriots opening drive additionally regarded robust; their makeshift offensive line regarded fairly good in opposition to this below-average Houston defensive entrance. James Ferentz seems to be the weak hyperlink up to now; bought beat on a Damien Harris stuff on the line. A lot of runs, a few good, correct Mac Jones passes. Went Wildcat on the final play and Damien Harris went in on energy for the landing. Each kickers missed additional factors so we’re at 6-6.

Aaron Schatz: This go by Davis Mills actually ought to have been picked off, and the Patriots defender misjudged it, after which the opposite defender took a poor angle and one way or the other Chris Moore goes all the best way for a 67-yard landing. After which Kai’mi Fairbairn misses his second additional level, so it’s 12-6 Texans.

Dave Bernreuther: That play made me suppose I used to be watching a school soccer sport, Aaron. Underthrown, a receiver simply going up and profitable it whereas the defenders whiff, after which a long term after the catch for what, apparently, is Moore’s first landing in three years. That was not a superb search for the Patriots protection.

Cale Clinton: The Patriots working backs’ fumble woes proceed. Damien Harris regarded like he had a landing, however a superbly timed Peanut Punch simply earlier than the objective line freed the ball unfastened earlier than Harris may break the airplane. Houston recovered the ball in the long run zone. It was dominated a landing on the sector, and to be sincere I wasn’t positive that decision would get overturned. The one goal-line digital camera angle was obstructed by some Texans gamers. I did not suppose there was sufficient to overturn, however a tie sport turns right into a touchback.

Aaron Schatz: Texans offensive line is dominating the Patriots protection in display blocking right now. Simply bought 15 yards on a third-and-16 display to David Johnson, then went for it on fourth down and transformed with a slant to Brandin Cooks.

Cale Clinton: The Texans have transformed two fourth downs on this drive, the second of which was a 40-yard pickup by Chris Conley. I can not make sense of this. How is identical protection that saved Tom Brady in verify every week in the past now facilitating the Davis Mills coming-out occasion?

Aaron Schatz: Lack of stress is among the issues for the Patriots protection right now, however they did lastly get some within the pink zone, sacking Davis Mills twice and resulting in a discipline objective. Nonetheless, permitting Davis Mills to finish this many passes is a humiliation.

Cale Clinton: Stuff you would not suppose could be stated within the 12 months 2021: the Houston Texans are placing on an absolute clinic.

Mac Jones throws a back-breaking interception on the opening drive of the half. First play of Houston’s drive, the Texans run the ol’ flea flicker for a landing.

Cale Clinton: I perceive the Patriots are primarily lacking their complete offensive line, however that is the worst Mac Jones has regarded as a starter. Jones has one interception up to now, however he has gotten fortunate on a handful of different potential interception alternatives. On the throws he has made, Jones has did not hit a single receiver in stride.

That being stated, New England simply caught a MASSIVE break. The Texans punter lined up beneath middle on fourth-and-2, then dropped again to quick-punt. He booted the ball into his personal offensive lineman’s head, sending it horizontal and out of bounds contained in the Texans’ personal 40.

Aaron Schatz: The Patriots’ makeshift offensive line is definitely defending Mac Jones fairly effectively right now. That was alleged to be their weak spot, and it is not near being the explanation they’re shedding. The blocking on screens leaves one thing to be desired although. They simply had two straight screens on second-and-9 (lack of 3) after which third-and-12 (acquire of 4). Kicked a discipline objective, now 22-15 Texans. However can the Patriots—and I can not consider I am penning this—maintain down Davis Mills for the remainder of the sport?

Aaron Schatz: Patriots come again to tie it at 22-22. Thanks to the Texans for the sector place. On fourth-and-4, as an alternative of going for it, they introduced out Kai’mi Fairbairn for a 56-yard discipline objective. What made them suppose Fairbairn, who has missed two additional factors right now, was going to hit from 56? That was a transparent alternative to go on fourth down. It is arduous to criticize David Culley an excessive amount of given how aggressive he has been earlier than this, however I feel that was a mistake. Anyway, Pats get the ball on their very own 46 and get a few good runs up the center from Damien Harris (behind blocks by David Andrews, the one common beginning lineman left) and a few passes to an open Hunter Henry, together with the landing on the left aspect of the tip zone.

Aaron Schatz: Patriots escape with a 25-22 win. The final drive was powered by an extended 24-yard run by Brandon Bolden and a roughing the passer penalty on a head-to-head hit on Mac Jones. Some folks say there is no such thing as a such factor as an ethical victory. I do consider in ethical victories, and final week’s loss to Tampa Bay was an ethical victory. This sport was an ethical loss. The Patriots protection was awful. They need to have gone on the market and dominated Davis Mills, and as an alternative he carved them up—principally with scheme, to be sincere, lots of display passes and the flea flicker after which additionally nice catches on not-so-smart passes just like the Chris Moore play. But in addition some good throws, they usually did not convey sufficient stress in opposition to Mills. They did cease the Houston working sport, I am going to give them that. Between the Stephon Gilmore commerce and this week’s efficiency, I now not consider that the Patriots protection can lead this crew to a wild-card slot. I feel they’re caught with a mediocre 12 months that is based mostly round constructing Mac Jones’ profession. Oh effectively.

Rivers McCown: I wrote about this game, as is my curse.

The miserable factor about that is that for two.5 quarters that was in all probability a 95% end result for the roster that the Texans had. They killed it on fourth downs, they bought performs from Mills that they hadn’t earlier than, they bought huge turnovers. They did nearly every part however truly run the ball effectively. However they’ve so little margin for error that they can not even soak up a single dangerous choice.

Miami Dolphins 17 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45

Bryan Knowles: Jacoby Brissett is questionable to return with a hamstring, and Tua Tagovailoa just isn’t lively. The depleted Tampa Bay secondary might discover themselves coping with Reid Sinnett, who I consider is a participant Madden randomly generates in 12 months 10 of a franchise.

Dave Bernreuther: I really like Jason Pierre-Paul, and generally it amazes me that he is nonetheless within the league, taking part in at a excessive stage. Huge fan.

However protection, at the same time as an uncommon wrinkle, is not one thing try to be asking him to do; Myles Gaskin ran a route out of the Dolphins backfield that was completely fitted to the Bucs’ go rush, leaving him one-on-one with JPP. That is a simple landing, even for a backup quarterback.

However now even that quarterback is damage, so … the Bucs are in all probability going to get away with that one.

Detroit Lions 17 at Minnesota Vikings 19

Bryan Knowles: Chunk these kneecaps! Minnesota was in run-out-the-clock mode, however the Lions compelled an Alexander Mattison fumble contained in the Vikings 20 and simply scored a landing with lower than 40 seconds left. Down seven, that ought to tie the sport…

… however Dan Campbell retains his offense on the market, goes for 2, and the Lions take the lead 17-16! Love, love, LOVE the decision for a crew that is not going wherever this season.

Bryan Knowles: Choke on these kneecaps! With lower than 30 seconds left, the Vikings drive down the sector and kick a 54-yard discipline objective to win the sport. The Good Unhealthy Crew goes down but once more.

Vince Verhei: Whereas none of us have been watching, D’Andre Swift scored what seemed to be a game-tying landing … however trailing 16-15 with 37 seconds to go, they go for 2 and the win. And Goff hits KhaDarel Hodge for the conversion and the 17-16 lead!

However 37 seconds is all of the Vikings want. Adam Thielen will get catches for 21 and 19 yards and Gregory Joseph hits the 54-yarder for the 19-17 win. Fairly a battle of Good Unhealthy Groups right here.

Aaron Schatz: The Lions made a foul choice to attempt for 2 and the win. When the clock has run all the way down to zeroes, you’ll be able to attempt for 2 and have a 50-50 shot at profitable the sport. When there’s time left on the clock, the opposite crew goes to get the ball and you’re encouraging them to be aggressive if you happen to rating the 2 factors. It is not a 50-50 shot at profitable the sport. In case you miss the 2, you lose. In case you make it, you continue to would possibly lose if the opposite crew can get the ball into discipline objective vary. Which is what the Vikings did, they usually win the sport.

Aaron Schatz: Simply wish to add this tweet to the tip of our Detroit-Minnesota dialogue, as a result of poor Lions.

Cleveland Browns 42 at Los Angeles Chargers 47

Bryan Knowles: Nifty little tight finish display to Donald Parham will get the Chargers on the board. We slam screens on a regular basis right here—and for good motive—however this was a well-designed one, with Keenan Allen and Stephen Anderson offering Parham a convoy as he rumbles 22 yards for the rating. Good little play design there, and the Chargers take a 7-3 lead late within the first.

Bryan Knowles: The Browns simply forgot all about Mike Williams. The cornerback handed him off to the protection, the protection moved up, and Williams was broad open for a 72-yard landing go. Tristan Vizcaino missed the additional level (one other one!), so it is only a 13-10 Chargers lead, however oofdah, that was not a superb search for Cleveland’s protection.

Scott Spratt: I am unsure which play is extra Chargers. First there was the deep 72-yard Justin Herbert landing go to Mike Williams. Then there was the Tristan Vizcaino pulled extra-point try. In internet, the Chargers are up 13-10 early within the second quarter.

Has anybody been retaining observe of the full missed additional factors? I bought confused by all of the missed discipline targets within the Bengals-Packers sport.

Vince Verhei: Browns take a 10-7 lead after a pair of lengthy, 70-plus-yard drives. A lot of speeding by each Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, with David Njoku doing many of the receiving harm. Baker Mayfield has solely needed to throw 5 passes, however he accomplished all 5 of them.

However then the Browns blow protection on Mike Williams, who will get unfastened for a 72-yard landing on third-and-10. After which, on a day when each kicker within the league sucks, after all Chargers Particular Groups are going to Chargers Particular Groups—they honk the PAT, so that they solely lead 13-10. That is 4 lead adjustments already early within the second quarter.

Bryan Knowles: Cleveland hasn’t punted but, failing on a fourth-and-2 contained in the pink zone earlier within the second quarter. However the benefit of going for fourth deep is which you can get the ball again in good discipline place in case your protection holds up and, certainly, the Chargers go nowhere however backwards, and the Browns get the ball again at midfield. Once more, the Chargers drive a fourth down, this time contained in the 5, and once more the Browns go for it—and this time, it pays off, with Kareem Hunt bowling in to provide the Browns a 17-13 lead with a minute left within the half.

Vince Verhei: The Browns are rapidly turning into my favourite crew to observe. Down 10-13, they’ve a fourth-and-2 on the LAC 17, however they flip down the sector objective and go for it. Mayfield’s go is correct, however Odell Beckham drops it. Their protection forces a three-and-out on a sack by Malik McDowell (who injures himself on the play, as a result of he’s Malik McDowell) and Cleveland quickly finds themselves with a fourth-and-1 on the LAC 3. First, they attempt to get the Chargers to leap, which serves two functions: it’d get them a free first down, and if not, it is burning clock contained in the two-minute warning. The Chargers do not soar, so Cleveland calls timeout. Then they nonetheless go for it, and Hunt scores from 3 yards out. Browns now up 17-13, as much as 112 yards and 7 first downs on the bottom.

Vince Verhei: After which Austin Ekeler fumbles and McDowell recovers, and the Browns get a discipline objective on the gun for a 20-13 lead. They’re getting the ball first within the second half too.

Vince Verhei: On their first drive of the second half, Cleveland rapidly will get to a third-and-3, however makes use of my favourite underused NFL play name, the rollout, to transform with a completion to Donovan Peoples-Jones. That retains the drive alive and units up Nick Chubb’s “magnificent” (per Kevin Harlan, the very best play-by-play man on TV) 52-yard landing run and a 27-13 lead.

Aaron Schatz: The Chargers’ dangerous particular groups are about extra than simply punting or missed discipline targets. They’ve returned three kickoffs up to now right now and bought to the 15, 15, and 16 with them. The primary one was returned from the 1 they usually in all probability may have let it bounce into the tip zone. The opposite two they positively didn’t have to return. Cease taking kickoffs out of the tip zone except your identify is Cordarrelle Patterson.

Aaron Schatz: Brandon Staley burnishing his analytics bona fides even additional by going for it on fourth-and-7 from the Browns 22 (transformed with a go to Keenan Allen) after which going for 2 down eight after Justin Herbert ran within the landing on his personal. So it is 27-21 Cleveland. Browns lacking Denzel Ward on that drive, I consider he is out the remainder of the sport.

Vince Verhei: The Chargers meet aggression with aggression. Fourth-and-2 at their very own 24, they hand off to Ekeler for a acquire of 9. Fourth-and-7 on the Cleveland 22, Herbert hits Keenan Allen for a 12-yard acquire. Herbert finishes the drive by scrambling for a 9-yard landing. After which L.A. goes for 2, with Herbert hitting Parham for the conversion. That is three performs on one third-quarter drive that every would have been unthinkable so early just some years in the past.

Vince Verhei: Offenses quieted down late within the third. Browns punted after a first-down holding penalty put them behind the sticks. Cleveland’s go rush then began beating Herbert up, as Myles Garrett smashed him for a sack and Takk McKinley leveled him (cleanly) on an incompletion. That units up a fourth-and-17 for L.A. with Chargers (presumably) about to punt on the primary play of the fourth quarter.

Dave Bernreuther: In case you thought “I guess after leaving Mike Williams uncovered for an extended rating, the Browns will bear in mind to place somebody on him” earlier, effectively, dangerous information: the Browns simply let Mike Williams run uncovered by their protection for the best 47-yard landing you may ever see.

Kevin Harlan known as that one “spectacular” too, which type of cheapens the Chubb run earlier, I feel.

Aaron Schatz: That is broad, broad open.

Bryan Knowles: However, after all, the sport is now not tied, as Mayfield hits Njoku for a 71-yard catch-and-rumble, and it is again to a 35-28 Cleveland lead.

Hell of a sport up to now.

Vince Verhei: Extra fourth-down aggression from L.A. Fourth-and-4, Herbert chucks it deep to Williams and attracts a 33-yard DPI on A.J. Inexperienced. Fourth-and-8, Herbert hits Allen for a acquire of 20. Ekeler runs within the rating on first-and-goal from the 4, the additional level is nice, and we’re tied 35-35 with half the fourth quarter to go nonetheless.

Dave Bernreuther: What a deal with to get to observe these entrance places of work/teaching staffs on this enjoyable shut sport after the un-fun shut sport in Cincinnati earlier. In a spread a lot nearer to the sector objective than any of the dangerous kicks in that one, Staley leaves the Charger offense out on the sector for a fourth-and-EIGHT. Now, everyone knows that is nonetheless a superb name, however having the balls to do this at that distance remains to be a little bit of an eyebrow raiser.

Regardless of a holding flag that might have given them the primary down anyway, Herbert fires one in there to Keenan Allen for a 20-yard acquire. And the soccer gods smile on the Chargers. 35-35 in one other sport the place I do not actually wish to have to observe both crew lose.

Bryan Knowles: Oh no, the missed additional level theme of the day comes again on the worst time! The Chargers punch proper again, however now they’re down 42-41 with 3:15 left in opposition to a crew who is aware of the right way to drain some clock. What a horrible time for some Chargering.

Dave Bernreuther: OH COME ON.

Vizcaino simply missed what I consider is the NINTH additional level of the day, and his personal second.

That is not how this sport ought to finish!

Aaron Schatz: One other lengthy drive, Austin Ekeler scores. I tweeted that the best way these offenses are taking part in, the Chargers ought to simply take into account going for 2. They in all probability have a a lot better than 50-50 shot of creating it. That is totally different from the scenario on the finish of the Lions-Vikings sport, as a result of the Browns have to be aggressive on the following drive it doesn’t matter what since there are greater than three minutes left. As an alternative, Tristan Vizcaino honks the additional level. So it is 42-41 Browns.

Dave Bernreuther: Is Harlan proper? There have been truly 9 in simply the early window, making that the eleventh of right now and twelfth of the week together with Thursday evening? Ugh.

Vince Verhei: Oh, my goodness. On a day when the offenses have dominated, how do you run a give-up draw on third-and-10? I do know working the ball is what Cleveland does finest, however they don’t seem to be THAT good. So the Browns go three-and-out and the Chargers take over close to midfield earlier than the two-minute warning.

Aaron Schatz: Shocked. Given their analytically oriented teaching workers, I’d have anticipated the Browns to go for the kill on offense. I am actually shocked on the draw.

Dave Bernreuther: I am with Vince—after taking the shot downfield (by no means thought I would see the day the place Mayfield confirmed impeccable pocket presence however then miss the throw), why run that? Come on.

The Chargers begin at midfield and of their first play earlier than the two-minute warning decide up a bit play and are on the 19. The Browns nonetheless have all three timeouts, so the Chargers cannot simply burn the clock. This sport can solely finish a technique: Chargers rating, two-point conversion, and the Browns nonetheless one way or the other tie. That may set us up properly for a FG-FG-touchdown extra time to provide us the highest-scoring sport ever.

Make it so, soccer gods!

Aaron Schatz: Ekeler simply tried to cease himself on the 1 on a run and the Browns grabbed him and pushed him into the tip zone on function in order that the Chargers must give the ball again to the Browns offense! Chargers go for 2 and fail, so we’re at 47-42 Chargers. 1:31 left for Baker Mayfield and the Browns to come back again.

Bryan Knowles: Hah! Austin Ekeler was making an attempt his hardest to not rating, and the Browns protection was making an attempt their hardest to push him in. I like it. Soccer is loopy.

Dave Bernreuther: That is superb. It is the precise reverse of the Bengals sport with the teaching (ignoring that draw). First Ekeler slides wanting the tip zone when he may have scored. At first-and-goal on the two, he will get it once more, runs into visitors, and … the Browns carry him into the tip zone!

However a assessment overturns the two-point conversion, and my highest-scoring sport ever dream is lifeless.

Vince Verhei: Video of the Browns pulling Ekeler into the tip zone in opposition to his will.

Vince Verhei: If that wasn’t go interference on the Chargers on Cleveland’s Hail Mary attempt, then we will say for positive that refs won’t ever name go interference on a Hail Mary. Mark Webb Jr. was simply wiping dudes out like a bowling ball.

Dave Bernreuther: One in all lately they’ll truly resolve that they may make that decision, Vince, and it should find yourself deciding a sport by creating an untimed down on the 1.

(Cynic/jerk prediction: it will occur in opposition to the Bucs.)

Tom Gower: Hey, there was that Lions-Browns sport in 2009 the place the Browns have been known as for pushing Calvin Johnson, if I recall accurately, out of the tip zone on a Hail Mary. That was solely from 32 yards out, however that is roughly what you have to do: have a receiver with an affordable probability at making the catch (usually not true) and forestall him from even presumably doing so legally.

Dave Bernreuther: We now have been speaking about DPI on Hail Mary passes right here however one factor I feel warrants some questioning: Did Mayfield and/or the Browns screw up by being too methodical earlier in that drive?

Vince already identified that the Harlan/Inexperienced sales space is criminally underrated, they usually have been on prime of this because it was taking place. With none timeouts, they have been dinking and dunking to start out that drive. They even bought bailed out slightly bit by an damage and L.A. timeout.

Consequently, they have been on the 46 with 27 seconds left. After the spike, they went straight into chuck-it-deep mode. And that appeared perhaps a bit early to me too; I assumed there was time to run one other play to get nearer so you can run a traditional play and nonetheless conceivably rating.

Have been the early-drive choices a mistake?

Vince Verhei: You are positively proper about that Dave. Cleveland’s play calling on their final two drives was weird.

San Francisco 49ers 10 at Arizona Cardinals 17

Bryan Knowles: Trey Lance’s first drive ends with a reasonably dangerous interception—an overthrow, when he had an open working lane in entrance of him and an open (…ish) receiver to hit. Adrenaline, or poor accuracy? Name it 50/50 there. The Cardinals haven’t wanted good discipline place to attain this 12 months, however hey, they don’t seem to be going to look a present horse within the mouth. It is not Kyler Murray, although—it is working in all places, with Chase Edmonds, James Conner and Rondale Moore crossing up the 49ers left, proper, and middle. Unhealthy tackling, dangerous angles, and simply an excessive amount of velocity. Cardinals take an early 7-0 lead.

Bryan Knowles: We simply had a 96-yard drive adopted by a 93-yard drive. Complete factors? Three, as Trey Lance was stuffed on fourth-and-inches, and the Cardinals needed to accept a discipline objective contained in the 5-yard line. Do not see THAT fairly often.

Vince Verhei: Final week I famous that lots of Lance’s success got here on fourth downs, and that might not be sustainable sport after sport. Thus far right now, Lance and the 49ers are 0-for-2 on fourth downs.

Bryan Knowles: The 49ers have finished a greater job transferring the ball on offense than Arizona—they’re averaging 5.8 yards per play to Arizona’s 5.1—however fourth-down failures and a few key holding penalties have saved them off the scoreboard.

Till now, that’s. The 49ers have begun attacking the perimeters with their working sport, and Arizona is backpedaling some. Deebo Samuel simply lined up within the backfield, took a pitch, and scored, and it is a 10-7 Cardinals lead late within the third quarter. We’ll see if the Cardinals can truly kick that offense into the gears we now have seen over the primary quarter of the season.

Bryan Knowles: One factor that is going to be true of the Trey Lance 49ers: fourth-down makes an attempt. We now have criticized Kyle Shanahan, repeatedly, for punting or kicking discipline targets on makeable fourth downs in the course of the Jimmy Garropolo period. With Lance beneath middle, Shanahan simply known as his fourth fourth-and-short play name.

… three of them have failed, and Arizona has the ball again now, however I recognize the thought, no less than.

Vince Verhei: So Deebo Samuel bought a speeding landing when he lined up at tailback and took a straight pitch, no trickery concerned. In the meantime, Trey Sermon is wholesome and has zero carries. Do I’ve that proper?

Bryan Knowles: You are proper, Vince; it has been the Elijah Mitchell present. Depend one for BackCast, zero for the 49ers’ entrance workplace.

Scott Spratt: I do not agree with that, Bryan. Getting a extremely good working again out of a third- and a sixth-round draft decide is nice worth. Who cares what the order was? Different groups have been going to take Sermon earlier than the sixth spherical, and the 49ers nonetheless landed Mitchell by ready.

Bryan Knowles: Effectively, we’ll conform to disagree on Sermon’s worth at this level, and the truth that the 49ers did not seize a nook with their Day 2 picks stays an issue,

Working example: DeAndre Hopkins has been doing very well in opposition to Josh Norman right now! After the 49ers fail on one other fourth-down try, Arizona lastly capitalized, hitting Hopkins twice to get into the pink zone after which into the tip zone, giving Arizona a 17-7 lead with 5:13 left.

New York Giants 20 at Dallas Cowboys 44

Vince Verhei: Dak Prescott is a stud and Daniel Jones has been taking part in very effectively recently, so I assumed this one would possibly flip right into a enjoyable shootout. That could be very a lot not what has occurred. On the finish of the primary, Jones has thrown incomplete on all 4 of his passes. Prescott has had hardly any extra success (3-of-8 for less than 20 yards) and extra disasters (an interception and a fumbled snap inside the ten that was recovered by New York). The excellent news for Dallas is that they’ve Ezekiel Elliott, whose 57 speeding yards are the most important motive Dallas has been in scoring vary twice. The dangerous information for New York is that they do not have Saquon Barkley, who was carted to the locker room with an ankle damage after solely two carries.

Aaron Schatz: Cowboys dominating this sport on the bottom up to now. Sixteen carries for 98 yards up to now, not counting a Dak Prescott scramble. Enormous blocking on the correct aspect from Zack Martin and Terrance Steele. However they slowed down within the pink zone twice, and the second time they turned it over with a blown snap, so it’s nonetheless solely 3-0. Saquon Barkley rolled his ankle; it is terribly swollen and he is finished for the sport for the Giants.

Aaron Schatz: Prescott lastly made the massive go play. CeeDee Lamb ran previous James Bradberry down the correct sideline on third-and-8 and Prescott hit him in stride for a 49-yard landing. Dallas offensive line is de facto pushing across the Giants defensive entrance right here. 10-0 Cowboys.

Aaron Schatz: Daniel Jones begins 1-for-9. The one completion was a 43-yarder the place he simply chucked it as much as Kadarius Toney and Anthony Brown from the Cowboys slipped and fell, permitting Toney to catch it proper on the sideline. Aside from that go, Cowboys protection is dominating. However that go was sufficient to get the Giants into discipline objective vary so 10-3 Cowboys.

Aaron Schatz: Giants offense lastly will get going with not simply passes to Toney however runs and an 18-yard acquire to Evan Engram. They get all the way down to the objective line and Devontae Booker will get stuffed twice. Third down, they bare boot with Daniel Jones and he finally ends up colliding with Jabril Cox helmet-to-helmet. (Jones initiated the contact as a runner, so no penalty.) Jones is seemingly very shaken as much as the purpose the place he was carted off, not your regular concussion. Giants run fourth-and-goal from the 1 and Booker goes excessive so this sport is 10-10 however the Giants are nonetheless getting outplayed total and they should do the remainder of this with Mike Glennon and Booker as an alternative of Jones and Barkley.

Scott Spratt: The Giants had already misplaced Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones to an ankle damage and concussion, and now the Cowboys noticed Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper damage on consecutive performs within the pink zone. Elliott regarded like he damage his hip, maybe touchdown humorous as he fell on a primary down marker laying on the bottom. For Cooper it might have been a hamstring. Elliott got here again in two performs later is clearly tremendous since he simply high-stepped his method into the tip zone to place the Cowboys up 24-13.

Scott Spratt: On the very subsequent play, Trevon Diggs expanded his league-leading interception whole to 6, choosing off a deep Mike Glennon try. There are nonetheless a couple of minutes left on this third quarter, however with Jones sidelined, this sport feels completed.

Scott Spratt: The silver lining of the Giants’ myriad accidents has been additional alternatives for rookie receiver Kadarius Toney. And whereas Toney has a status as a gadget participant and was ostensibly a slot receiver fill-in for Sterling Shepard at the beginning of the day, he has 160 yards on eight catches by a bit greater than three quarters and added that manufacturing on quite a lot of routes and displaying a various talent set. My favourite was this sideline seize.

Toney additionally simply took a Wildcat snap at quarterback and almost punched in a landing. As an alternative, the Giants turned the ball over on downs when Glennon threw incomplete on a fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line.

Aaron Schatz: Good no-call on that fourth down, as Toney’s toes bought tangled with the defender and he fell down however not due to DPI.

Scott Spratt: Toney bought as much as 176 receiving yards, however he simply ended his evening by throwing a punch.

All instructed, right now’s sport went actually poorly for the Giants.

Chicago Bears 20 at Las Vegas Raiders 9

Scott Spratt: Justin Fields has taken a number of pictures to the ribs and now simply had his leg caught as Yannick Ngakoue pulled him down for a sack from behind. He simply went to the sideline for a least a play, so it is Andy Dalton time, no less than for now.

Scott Spratt: Fields is again three performs later, however this calls for an in depth eye. He is taking lots of abuse behind that undermanned Bears offensive line.

Scott Spratt: The Bears have run all around the Raiders to construct their 14-3 lead. The previous crew has 87 speeding yards on 5.1 yards per carry with their working backs. It is a bit of a shock due to how dangerous we take into account their offensive line, which can be down starter Germain Ifedi after an damage right now. However they’ve been a lot worse in go safety with a 12.9% adjusted sack price (thirty second) than whereas run-blocking (4.05 adjusted line yards, twentieth). Maybe the speeding will likely be sufficient for the Bears to tug an upset in Las Vegas.

Tom Gower: Then again, no less than the Chargers did not return a punt out of their very own finish zone like new Chicago Bears returner Jakeem Grant did! He made it to the 18, however returning a punt from 3 yards deep seems like concerning the dumbest choice you can also make.

Vince Verhei: Derek Carr has horrible speeding DYAR yearly. Joey Bosa publicly questioned his toughness after the Monday evening sport. Now he runs a sneak to transform a third-and-1 early within the fourth quarter, however he is damage. It seems to be very scary, with gamers surrounding him in a circle, taking a knee. He finally walks off, that means it is Nathan Peterman time. Peterman will get them to fourth-and-inches and Carr tries to return to the sector to run the sneak earlier than Jon Gruden pulls him again. Peterman runs the sneak as an alternative and converts. Then Carr takes the sector to take the snap on first down, however the Bears are difficult the spot on the Peterman sneak. These calls are nearly by no means reversed, however this late within the sport and with a 14-3 lead, I can not be too mad at Nagy for making an attempt that right here.

Anyway, that was all a really bizarre sequence of occasions.

Vince Verhei: That bizarre Carr exit-and-entrance was a part of a 16-play landing drive that ended with Josh Jacobs working it in on first-and-goal from the 1. Raiders go for 2, however Carr is sacked, so Bears nonetheless lead 14-9.

Buffalo Payments 38 at Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 20

Scott Spratt: The Payments are profitable the 50/50 breaks early on this sport. They held the Chiefs to a discipline objective on a 17-play opening drive, after which they scored a landing themselves on their first drive. In the meantime, on the following kickoff, the Payments compelled a Byron Pringle fumble and recovered it. The Payments have an opportunity to open a 14-3 lead late within the first quarter. I simply do not know if it pays to construct an enormous lead on the Chiefs and drive Patrick Mahomes to air it out to catch up.

Aaron Schatz: As an alternative, Josh Allen takes endlessly to eliminate the ball on third down and picks up intentional grounding making an attempt to keep away from the sack, and the Payments do not even get a discipline objective out of the deal.

Scott Spratt: In hindsight, that positively appears worse, Aaron.

Vince Verhei: By four-plus video games, Allen definitely has regressed to … effectively, not almost as dangerous as he was in his first two seasons, however not almost nearly as good as he was in 2020 both. He has actually been fairly mediocre this 12 months, however not many have seen as a result of the Payments are blowing groups out each week. I definitely would not say that they are profitable regardless of him, however he hasn’t been the driving drive behind their success both.

J.P. Acosta: I’d like to see his numbers on deep passes this 12 months, as a result of it seems like he hasn’t linked as typically. I additionally suppose the offense not having a real working sport outdoors of him is hurting the offense

Aaron Schatz: Josh Allen on passes of 20-plus air yards:

2020: 86.9% DVOA, 43% completion
2021 by Week 4: 49.5% DVOA, 39% completion

Not as a lot distinction as you would possibly anticipate.

Scott Spratt: Aaron and Bryan are too quick for me, however I am going to plug that FO+ affords a passing effectivity device that permits you to run numerous superior passing splits, together with on deep makes an attempt.

Vince Verhei: Chiefs get a landing after Travis Kelce, then Tyreek Hill, then lastly Mahomes movement beneath middle.

I’m wondering if anybody has ever urged a pink zone play to Andy Reid and been instructed “no?” How goofy would one thing should be that he would refuse to attempt it?

Bryan Knowles: Effectively, they may recommend giving Clyde Edwards-Helaire the ball within the pink zone often. Looks like Reid has stated “no” to that!

Aaron Schatz: You have been asking about deep passes, J.P.? Allen simply accomplished one to Emmanuel Sanders for a 35-yard landing, proper over his shoulder.

Vince Verhei: OK, that was 2020 Allen on the lengthy landing to Sanders. Nice throw.

J.P. Acosta: He clearly reads the threads.

Aaron Schatz: The thriller for me is what the Kansas Metropolis protection is doing in a different way that has made them a lot worse than final 12 months. I perceive that Chris Jones is out tonight, and Daniel Sorensen has declined. Frank Clark has missed a pair video games. However it’s principally the identical gamers with the identical methods because the protection that completed twenty second in DVOA final season.

J.P. Acosta: I feel it is also a decline in of their play on the second stage. Their linebackers have not been good in any respect this season.

Aaron Schatz: I imply, have been their linebackers any good final season? That was already the weak spot of the protection, I feel. I assume it’s simply extra of a weak spot this 12 months.

Rivers McCown: They spent all the cash on the offensive line and just one draft decide from 2021 is on the roster—linebacker Nick Bolton. I feel it is usually a case of simply anticipating enchancment from youth and never discovering any, however I am open to the concept that Steve Spagnuolo has a inform now.

J.P. Acosta: I feel it is particularly a evident weak spot when you’ll be able to’t get go rush like they may final 12 months. This 12 months they’ve been particularly dangerous, however the defensive position play has additionally taken a step again.

Vince Verhei: I feel that is the important thing. Protection in soccer actually is symbiotic, and every part pertains to every part else. So even a tiny drop in go rush could make dangerous go protection a lot, a lot worse than it regarded the 12 months earlier than.

Vince Verhei: In the meantime, as a lot as we joke about gamers or groups being found out after a number of years of success, it actually does really feel like Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have been found out. You play deep zone protection, you encourage as many quick completions and runs as you’ll be able to, and also you hope they make sufficient errors to maintain them out of the tip zone. It is not excellent—they nonetheless have 13 factors on the half, nothing to sneeze at—nevertheless it limits their capability to simply run you off the sector, and you’ll inform they’re annoyed. It is halftime they usually have already run for 100 yards, nearly 6 yards per carry, and it is like … so what? Mahomes is finishing barely half his passes with a couple of 5-yard common. You may take that any day.

On the opposite aspect, Josh Allen’s statline is sort of insane. He is solely 7-of-14 passing … however these seven completions have gained 219 yards! And he is bought 41 yards on 4 rushes on prime of that! In actual fact, each quarterbacks are main their groups in speeding proper now. Do not see that usually, although I am positive it is extra frequent lately than it has been earlier than.

J.P. Acosta: It is fairly insane how the Chiefs have performed offensively tonight. It is like, it hasn’t been dangerous, nevertheless it’s been lots much less explosive. The Payments have compelled them to be affected person and take the beneath stuff.

Scott Spratt: Fairly daring to assert a Chiefs offense that was simply main soccer by 4 weeks with a 41.1% DVOA has been found out, Vince. Are you saying that groups perceive what the Chiefs try to do offensively even when most if not all of them cannot cease it?

Vince Verhei: I am saying that groups know which tactic works finest in opposition to Kansas Metropolis. I’m not saying that each crew can have the identical success with that tactic that Buffalo has tonight, however I do suppose just about each crew will likely be higher off taking part in as conservatively as attainable on protection, with little man protection and even much less blitzing, and I feel all of them know that. We talked about this slightly bit on the finish of the Audibles Tremendous Bowl thread, however Tampa Bay fully switched up their defensive scheme in opposition to Kansas Metropolis, going from very aggressive to very conservative, and that (together with Kansas Metropolis’s skeleton crew offensive line, and the flexibility of Tampa Bay’s defensive position to dominate these backups) is the most important motive they shut down an offense that has regarded in any other case unstoppable ever since Mahomes took over.

However no, not each protection can simply say “we’re working Cowl-2 all evening” and hope to succeed like Buffalo has. Based mostly on what the Payments have finished tonight, and the performs we noticed Ben Roethlisberger and Davis Mills make right now after they have been NOT taking part in Buffalo, it is turning into clear to me that this Payments protection actually is one thing particular.

J.P. Acosta: I feel Mitchell Schwartz put it one of the best ways:

Aaron Schatz: Mahomes is clearly off his sport tonight—Seth Walder says he at the moment has a -11% CPOE in line with Subsequent Gen Stats—and he has short-hopped plenty of throws. He was proper on course to Tyreek Hill although simply now. Too dangerous Hill let it go proper off his fingers and into the fingers of Micah Hyde for a pick-six, and now it’s 31-13 Payments. Payments’ defensive DVOA goes to be fairly loopy contemplating the opponent changes for holding down the Chiefs mixed with what they did to the Texans and the truth that the Texans now appear like a greater offense than they did every week in the past due to what they did to the Patriots right now.

Tom Gower: It has been a really dangerous evening for Chiefs proper sort out Lucas Niang, with the newest lowlight that Gregory Rousseau pink zone interception.

Rivers McCown: I feel the Chiefs will likely be tremendous in the long run, and there have been loads of dangerous defenses that bought sizzling after a foul begin and scooted nearer to common.

I feel the Payments are scary.

Tom Gower: Sooner or later, we’ll have to start out being critically involved concerning the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. I am going to in all probability begin in the event that they lose and/or surrender 30 to Washington subsequent week, as a result of, whereas it is a lengthy season, you have to generally win video games to make the postseason and beating groups that are not superb is an efficient strategy to get wins, and we noticed with the Buccaneers final 12 months it is attainable to lose nearly each sport you play in opposition to good groups within the common season and nonetheless win the Tremendous Bowl.

Aaron Schatz: I will guess that the Chiefs are going to be No. 1 in offense nonetheless, even after this efficiency. The losses to the Ravens and Chargers have been shut. This was the primary ass-whipping. And we all know that offense is extra predictive and constant than protection. I feel the Chiefs will make the playoffs, and I do not suppose their protection will likely be this dangerous all 12 months lengthy. However they definitely are now not the favorites. The Payments have the clear lead for the No. 1 seed, taking part in the very best soccer within the convention with the best remaining schedule.

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