Is the Chiefs Offense Again on Type?

NFL Week 10 – Every Sunday, the FO employees sends round emails in regards to the video games that every of us are watching. We share details about the video games that the remainder of the group may not be watching, ask questions, and hold everybody else knowledgeable about which video games they may wish to tune into (if they’ll).

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 signify a normal overview of all of the video games every week. Which means we aren’t going to cowl each recreation, or each essential play. We watch the video games that we, as followers, are enthusiastic about watching, so your favourite workforce’s recreation may not be lined to your fullest needs 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’ve no intention of including new authors solely to cowl each recreation on a given Sunday, nor will we watch a distinct recreation from those that we’re personally enthusiastic about watching simply to make sure that Audibles covers each recreation.

Cleveland Browns 7 at New England Patriots 45

Bryan Knowles: No working backs? Time to get artistic. The Browns simply ran a Wildcat play with two fullbacks—Johnny Stanton and Andy Janovich.

It did not work, however I am right here for the dual-fullback offense. Cleveland scored a few performs in a while a traditional formation, however that is boring. Lengthy reside Nineteen Seventies soccer!

7-0 Cleveland.

Aaron Schatz: D’Ernest Johnson killing the Patriots on the primary drive. Huge blocks by the newly paid Wyatt Teller. Devin McCourty drops an interception on third-and-goal from the two and the Browns make them pay by Mayfield connecting with Austin Hooper on a fourth-down go. 7-0 Browns.

Scott Spratt: Even with Kareem Hunt nonetheless on injured reserve and with Nick Chubb, Demetric Felton, and John Kelly on the COVID listing, the Browns leaned on their working recreation and reached the pink zone with ease on their opening drive. Numerous that comes from the No. 3 run-blocking line with 5.05 adjusted line yards. However Week 10 starter D’Ernest Johnson (2.87) has additionally joined his teammates Chubb (3.63) and Hunt (2.90) within the prime 4 common working backs in yards after contact per try this season. Perhaps the road deserves a few of that credit score, too, however I feel Johnson is an efficient participant who’s a bit caught behind two stars at his place.

Scott Spratt: Hunter Henry simply scored his sixth landing since Week 4, essentially the most amongst tight ends. In the meantime, his 3.3 anticipated touchdowns (OTDs) between Weeks 4 and 9 had been second-most at his place. The Patriots are counting on him within the pink zone such that his scoring streak may proceed. And with Jonnu Smith out injured at present, he may even see much more alternatives to attain.

Aaron Schatz: Patriots first drive clearly attempting to make the most of aggression from Cleveland go rush. Attracts, screens. Hunter Henry fade landing.

Patriots second drive did not want all that as a result of a Kyle Dugger interception put them near the objective line. One Stevenson run and so they’re in. 14-7 Patriots.

Scott Spratt: The Browns possibly ought to have caught to their working recreation! I am unsure what Baker Mayfield noticed on this outdoors throw. Security Kyle Duggar made a simple interception and adopted it with a good return.

The following play, Rhamondre Stevenson ran in a landing to place the Patriots up 14-7.

Bryan Knowles: Since D’Ernest Johnson dominated a lot of that early drive, the Browns have determined to reside in shotgun, and I simply do not perceive it. Mac Jones is dealing, the Patriots simply had their first 99-yard drive in a decade, and the Browns are simply standing there. They’d 84 yards on that first drive, simply 26 since as they’re starting to get boat-raced.

Scott Spratt: Since his first interception, Baker Mayfield has thrown a separate ball proper to J.C. Jackson that the nook could not safe, Mac Jones has led an 11-play, 99-yard landing drive, and D’Ernest Johnson has fumbled and almost turned the ball over deep in Browns territory. The Patriots are up 21-7 with just below 4 minutes left within the first half, and the sport would not really feel that shut.

Aaron Schatz: Patriots take a 31-7 lead and I am fairly shocked. Patriots are dominating the Cleveland defensive entrance on straight-ahead runs after which getting big chunks of yards on screens and reverses. Preserve pondering, “oh, Myles Garrett beat Isaiah Wynn … however it’s a display so by no means thoughts.” Browns offense going nowhere and I imagine they’re 0-for-third down up to now. Even Johnson has been slowed down after that huge first drive.

Bryan Knowles: This recreation is lengthy since over, however I need to report that Jakobi Meyers has lastly, lastly, discovered the tip zone. It took a blowout of Brobdingnagian proportions, however Meyers, who was the all-time chief in receiving yards with no landing reception, has lastly discovered paydirt.

Buffalo Payments 45 at New York Jets 17

Scott Spratt: Jets quarterback Mike White had 500 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns in about 5 quarters as a starter earlier than he harm his hand final week. However he additionally did that work towards the Bengals and Colts, ranked 18th and twenty sixth in go protection DVOA—each are dramatically higher in run protection than go protection. This week’s opponent is a distinct problem. The Payments are No. 1 in go protection DVOA, and so they turned White over on this early interception.

That interception allowed the Payments to begin their second drive in Jets territory. And Buffalo is poised to go up 14-0 nonetheless within the first quarter.

Scott Spratt: A lot for the Mike White expertise. He simply threw his fourth interception at present, and the Payments are taking the frustration of their Jaguars loss out on the Jets. It is 38-3 via three quarters.

Bryan Knowles: I’ll properly should do groups who’ve had two quarterbacks with four-intereption video games for Loser League this week. I imagine 2019 Pittsburgh (Mason Rudolph/Devlin Hodges) and 2012 Arizona (Ryan Lindley/John Skelton) are the one different groups this decade to drag that feat off.

Scott Spratt: Wow, and I assumed I used to be doing good with Jared Goff throwing for simply 40 passing yards.

Jacksonville Jaguars 17 at Indianapolis Colts 23

Bryan Knowles: In the event you thought the upset over the Payments can be the beginning of the City Meyer renaissance, properly, uh, assume once more. The Colts have had the ball twice, and Jonathan Taylor is already as much as 93 yards dashing as he is simply slicing via the Jacksonville protection. He simply scored a landing the place he was hit at in regards to the 5 and simply pushed the pile all the best way into the tip zone. The Jags seem to not have a solution for him but.

The Colts have additionally blocked a punt for a landing, and the Jags have 3 offensive yards up to now. So, it is a full three-phase effort for the Jaguars at present. 17-0 Colts, late within the first quarter.

Aaron Schatz: Frank Reich falls into the “kick a discipline objective to go up six” lure on fourth-and-7.

Aaron Schatz: Dayo Odeyingbo sack of Trevor Lawrence and the Colts are saved from the “discipline objective to go up six” lure. And escape with a 23-17 win.

Dave Bernreuther: A final-ditch effort at midfield ends with a Lawrence fumble, so Reich is off the hook and the Colts escape with the win in a recreation I watched in its entirety with out feeling compelled to remark even as soon as.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19 at Washington Soccer Crew 29

Scott Spratt: Tom Brady began this recreation 2-of-5 for five yards and two interceptions. Are we positive he nonetheless has it?

Bryan Knowles: They usually’re reviewing one other one which is perhaps his third interception of the day after the ball bounced off of Chris Godwin’s foot!

The title of “MVP favourite” is a cursed monkey’s paw, is not it?

Scott Spratt: Oh no, Chase Younger might have torn his ACL.

That takes the enjoyable out of a doable Washington upset with the workforce up 16-3 over the Bucs close to halftime.

Carl Yedor: The early slate has been fairly sleepy up till this level, although essentially the most stunning outcome needs to be this recreation. Some sloppiness within the first half from the Buccaneers allowed Washington to take a good lead, however it seems that the sloppiness shifted at halftime over to Washington. Washington’s first drive of the second half resulted in a fast three-and-out due to a sack, after which they narrowly averted catastrophe on their subsequent drive between a fumble that was overturned and a sack placing them down at their very own 2-yard line. Tampa Bay has the ball in good discipline place right here with a robust likelihood to tighten this recreation again up.

Bryan Knowles: Tampa Bay is not rolling over, naturally. The second half has been a discipline place battle, with Washington pressured to punt from the shadow of their very own goalposts. That units up the Buccaneers inside Washington territory, and Brady goes 4-for-4—Godwin, Leonard Fournette, Godwin, Cameron Brate, landing, lead is minimize to 16-13. Tampa Bay starting to shake off the cobwebs; the Soccer Crew actually wants a protracted Soccer Drive of clock-killing Soccer Performs proper about now.

Aaron Schatz: Tampa Bay protection can’t get off the sector on third downs. Washington 7-for-13 up to now. Simply transformed one other one, then obtained DPI ultimately zone on a go 10 toes over the receiver’s head. And landing on the subsequent play, Antonio Gibson. Offensive line pushed him in after he was initially stoned. 23-13 Washington.

Bryan Knowles: And put this one away. Washington simply put collectively a 19-play, 80-yard, 10:19 drive to empty all however 30 seconds off the clock. They finish it with a rating to go up 29-19, and even Tom Brady’s not going to attain twice within the time remaining. What an enormous upset.

New Orleans Saints 21 at Tennessee Titans 23

Bryan Knowles: The final recreation of the early window to get into the tip zone is, in fact, the one I had on my foremost display. Naturally.

The primary 4 drives of this one mixed for a complete of 33 yards and featured the Saints punting twice from Titans territory. That is aggravating, however at the very least you possibly can see what Sean Payton is pondering—his offense, lacking Alvin Kamara at present, is not any nice shakes, however Tennessee? Tennessee has been caught in impartial. On Twitter at present, there is a debate as as to whether Ryan Tannehill is within the worst offensive state of affairs amongst remaining contending groups, with a shoddy offensive line and solely A.J. Brown, who has dropped a number of passes at present, as a playmaking risk. A few of that speak was quieted when Marcus Johnson had a 50-yard catch-and-run, however that was the extent of what the Titans may do on that drive earlier than they settled for a discipline objective. Take out that one play, and the Titans are averaging 2.3 yards per play, which is considerably lower than splendid.

Not that the Saints have been a lot better—Trevor Siemian has been correct, however principally dinking and dunking. He did lastly open one as much as Deonte Harris to get the Saints deep into Titans territory, and a go a couple of performs later to Tre’Quan Smith obtained New Orleans into the tip zone. Missed further level means it is 6-3 early within the second.

Scott Spratt: I by no means would have thought it on the time, however was the Julio Jones commerce a little bit of a catastrophe for the Titans, Bryan? He landed again on injured reserve this weekend after simply 21 catches for his new workforce this season. And the Titans nonetheless should ship a second-round draft choose in 2022 and a fourth-round choose in 2023 to the Falcons for him.

Bryan Knowles: Even on the time, there was a way of “this can be a superb pickup … if Julio can keep wholesome.” It is simply that “if” has develop into a flashing, blinking neon signal. I do not fault the Titans for taking the swing, however yeah, it seems they’ve missed and punched themselves in their very own face.

Scott Spratt: Perhaps I am the dumb one then as a result of I did not have those self same considerations on the time of the commerce. Jones missed half of the 2020 season, however earlier than that, he performed 15 or extra video games the earlier six seasons and famously fell simply 6 yards in need of 1,400 yards in six straight seasons. The person is 32 years outdated, not 35 like DeSean Jackson goes to be in a few weeks. I actually hope Jones can get again to the place he was.

Scott Spratt: Oof, the Saints simply picked off Ryan Tannehill ultimately zone to seem to maintain the rating tied at 6-6 within the ultimate two minutes of the primary half. However Kaden Elliss obtained flagged for roughing the passer for touching the again of Tannehill’s helmet on what in any other case was a textbook quarterback hit.

Bryan Knowles: Your complete pink zone sequence was … one thing else. So as:

  • the roughing the passer penalty to bail out Tannehill’s ugly INT.
  • A run that went out of bounds, stopping the clock.
  • A foul false begin, wiping out a landing catch.
  • Tannehill pressured to scramble up the center, which at the very least forces New Orleans to burn their ultimate timeout.
  • Move interference ultimately zone, giving the Titans first-and-goal on the 1.

From there, the Titans lastly punch it in to get to 13-6. However they took lower than 30 seconds off the clock on six performs, with the Saints having only one timeout all through the sequence. This was not fairly soccer.

Bryan Knowles: The Saints had been scheduled to get the ball to begin the second half, however Deonte Harris fumbled the kickoff and the Titans as an alternative open contained in the pink zone. Groups actually gotta cease working the ball out of the tip zone; take the touchback and get began together with your common offense. The Titans do not precisely transfer the ball effectively (burn the sideways display on first-and-inches on the objective line, please), however Tannehill finds MyCole Pruitt for a rating to stretch the result in 20-6. With the best way the 2 offenses are taking part in up to now, the Saints would possibly properly want to attain this drive, or a 14-point lead can be an excessive amount of for them to beat.

Tom Gower: Titans up 13-6 on the half. Coming in, I assumed this is perhaps extra of a defensive battle between two offenses which will battle to place collectively constant drives. Each groups obtained their first rating largely off one huge play, and the distinction within the recreation at 6-3 (Saints missed their further level) was that New Orleans executed within the pink zone and their extremely ranked pink zone protection (second in landing price) gained towards Tennessee’s highly-ranked pink zone offense (ninth in landing price). However Tennessee obtained one other discipline objective with a pair performs, and with no third-down conversion, however with the Saints lining up with 12 when the Titans lined as much as go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Saints 30. And that final drive earlier than the second half … Gene Steratore got here on and mentioned Jerome Boger’s behind the play, he would not have a superb angle, it is a robust name for him to get proper. And I see that. It seemed worse than it was. Nevertheless it wasn’t roughing the passer. And with the DPI (which was legit in my view), the Titans had been capable of convert that into the lead.

The Saints offense has been type of humorous. They made it into the Titans half of the sector on 4 of their 5 drives, however have a tough time executing and avoiding errors sufficient to place a drive collectively. Trevor Siemian is working at what I consider as rookie/backup processing pace. The Titans had 4 sacks within the first half, and a greater quarterback might not take any of them. That was most evident on the ultimate drive of the primary half, after they had first-and-10 on the Tennessee 35 with a minute left and Siemian took a sack late within the down after scrambling outdoors the pocket moderately than throwing the ball within the path of his tight finish 5 yards away. The Saints ended up with a quasi-Hail Mary state of affairs on the Tennessee 47 with three seconds left after that, getting nothing out of a drive that began promisingly after the Titans took the lead.

And New Orleans fumbled the second-half kickoff, when Tennessee was then capable of convert right into a 20-6 lead. The texture of this recreation has modified loads from the Saints’ would-be interception popping out of the two-minute warning.

Scott Spratt: Left deal with Taylor Lewan took a knee to his leg or arm on a play and needed to come off the sector. On the subsequent play, his backup Kendall Lamm principally obtained thrown into Ryan Tannehill to create a sack. You do not wish to be down any starters towards this Saints defensive entrance.

Bryan Knowles: That Tannehill sack forces a punt and permits the Saints to have the primary prolonged drive for both workforce right here within the second half. The large play? Trevor Siemian discovering Taysom Hill for a 15-yard achieve to take issues throughout midfield. Melvin Ingram, who has develop into the Saints’ all-time main rusher at present, punches the ball in, and the Saints minimize the result in … 20-12, as a result of Brian Johnson has missed one more kick at present.

Bryan Knowles: With 5:30 left within the recreation, trailing by 11 factors, with the ball contained in the 1-yard line, Sean Payton … kicks a discipline objective. I am sorry, what? I assume it technically makes issues a one-score recreation, however I imply, oof.

Bryan Knowles: The Titans cannot drain the final 5:30 off the clock—in actual fact, they solely burn about two minutes off of it earlier than being pressured to punt again to the Saints. The Saints profit from a “taking part in protection” pointless roughness name, however Trevor Siemian carves up the Titans’ go protection, hitting Marquez Callaway for a landing on third-and-13 to carry issues inside two. Which means the Saints should go for the two-point conversion…

… and so they false begin. So that they nonetheless should go for the two-point conversion…

… and it is no good! Saints are nonetheless down two because the goal-line discipline objective comes again to hang-out the Saints. 1:16 left, so the Saints should go onside kick right here.

Tom Gower: So, what to say in regards to the second half of that recreation, or at the very least the ultimate 27 minutes after the Titans took that 20-6 lead? For one, it was just like the offense shifted into Jaguars recreation mode, attempting to see out the sport by working as a result of the Saints offense did not look good. That lasted a few three-and-outs and a New Orleans landing earlier than they obtained their second chunk play of the sport, a superb display to D’Onta Foreman to make it 23-12 after the Saints missed their second further level. However the first landing drive was much more of Trevor Siemian taking part in in rhythm, and after a three-and-out he continued with that. Nothing too spectacular, however this was way more the type of backup efficiency a superb offensive thoughts can win with. However then Payton had that discipline objective down 11, and I anticipated the sport to return all the way down to a failed Saints two-point conversion, and so it did.

Takeaways from this recreation? I discussed Siemian taking part in a lot better the second half, extra the best way he wanted to. Taysom Hill was not as a lot of a function within the recreation as I anticipated; he wasn’t even in in all of the goal-to-go performs the place you would possibly count on him. The Saints moved the ball, however they actually needed to manufacture offense. No Terron Armstead harm, however they did not have that constant of a run recreation, and there is no person like Michael Thomas to take in targets and make performs anyway.

The Titans offense actually struggled. They could not run the ball with any consistency, could not salt the sport away within the two-minute drill. Their two landing drives (a) began within the pink zone and (b) required a fourth-down conversion and a foul roughing the passer to negate an interception. They could not convert third downs to remain on the sector, hitting one other of my recurring factors. And also you’d hope a very elite protection, like that they had performed the final couple weeks, would not quit what the Saints did at present. However New Orleans in all probability had a superb plan for go protection, Siemian wasn’t sacked within the second half, and so they discovered some success going after certainly one of Tennessee’s weaker protection gamers in Chris Jackson (who, to his credit score, performed very properly final week). However the Titans nonetheless obtained a win, and all wins, even the not-so-great ones, rely the identical within the standings.

Atlanta Falcons 3 at Dallas Cowboys 43

Bryan Knowles: What does the chart say about going for 2 when up 31 factors? And does that qualify for taunting below the brand new NFL guidelines?

(Dallas has a 36-3 lead late within the second quarter after a blocked punt. The Falcons taking part in way more just like the thirty first workforce in DVOA moderately than the seventh seed within the NFC.)

Scott Spratt: I used to be typing up a 28-3 Falcons joke, however the Cowboys scored once more earlier than I may even end. That is robust. It is 36-3 Cowboys on the half.

Bryan Knowles: Alright, do the Cowboys have a selected grudge towards the Falcons? Whereas I feel we’re all in favor of groups going for it on fourth-and-short contained in the 5-yard line, possibly not a lot together with your beginning quarterback working a boot whenever you’re sitting on a 33-point lead. Dan Quinn revenge recreation?

Detroit Lions 16 at Pittsburgh Steelers 16 (OT)

Scott Spratt: Dan Campbell took over the offensive play calling for the Lions at present and has referred to as 21 run performs towards eight go performs. That appears on model and has the Lions up 16-0 over the Steelers early within the third quarter.

Bryan Knowles: The Detroit Lions have a lead, I repeat, the Detroit Lions have a lead.

With Ben Roethlisberger out with COVID, the Steelers offense hasn’t accomplished a lot—that they had an early landing drive aided by the most effective play in soccer (the underthrown DPI) and one other penalty-aided drive which ended with a 20-yard discipline objective (boo!), however they’ve principally accomplished bupkis outdoors of that. The Lions, after taking the primary quarter off, have begun to climb again. Kalif Raymond arrange their first landing on a protracted punt return, they managed a 20-yard discipline objective on the final play of the half (boo, however much less so), after which it is Godwin Igwebuike slashing via the center of the Pittsburgh protection to provide Detroit the lead. Who? Igwebuike was a security who had transformed to working again in preseason. Perhaps he has discovered his true calling!

Further level was missed, so it is simply 16-10, Lions. However that is one thing!

Scott Spratt: The Steelers offense hasn’t accomplished a lot? Can I curiosity you in a 26-yard Mason Rudolph scramble, Bryan? I am outraged nobody clipped it on Twitter. Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t had a carry that huge since 2010.

Bryan Knowles: I discover that no, a 26-yard Mason Rudolph scramble doesn’t curiosity me, surprisingly sufficient! Nevertheless it’s actually true he has flashed some wheels—an 11-yard scramble simply following that one as Rudolph will get the Steelers contained in the 5!

… after which he throws three straight incomplete passes, bouncing and overthrowing and tipped. Simply ugly, ugly stuff. So we have now one more sub-25-yard discipline objective (boo!) and the Lions nonetheless have the lead.

Scott Spratt: Lions punter Jack Fox drew a working into the kicker penalty on what appears to have been a stellar appearing job. These 5 yards put the workforce in a fourth-and-inches on their very own 34-yard line. And Dan Campbell went for it and transformed it with a fullback carry. Campbell is such a enjoyable coach. I hope he can get his squad its first win at present. It is 16-16 midway via the fourth quarter.

Aaron Schatz: Lions’ backup kicker simply honked a 48-yard would-be game-winner within the rain.

Dave Bernreuther: I am positive I used to be as excited as everybody else when this one ended up in extra time, the place the standard of play has remained distinctive in these components. Not going to lie, although: I discover it endlessly amusing that even with the advantage of an additional interval, Jared Goff may not prime 100 passing yards. (Crap, they’re getting the ball again; I in all probability jinxed it.)

Ryan Santoso, the Lions kicker, is giving me severe Eighties Sean Landeta vibes with that moustache and the quantity 5. A single-bar facemask would actually full the look.

A tie can be becoming, however I am with others right here in rooting for Dan Campbell to get one. I make enjoyable of him loads however I really like his aggression and man have they been unfortunate.

Scott Spratt: Substituting for an injured Austin Seibert, kicker Ryan Santoso missed an extra-point try that might have gained the Lions this recreation in regulation. And now in extra time on a kick that may give the workforce its first win…

Not even shut. I do know it is raining, however you are breaking Dan Campbell’s spirit, guys.

Bryan Knowles: Seven possessions in extra time. Punt, fumble, missed discipline objective, punt, punt, fumble, out of time.

Dan Campbell ain’t going 0-17! Pop the cork, 2017 Browns.

Scott Spratt: I feel it is price calling out that the Lions pressured a Pat Freiermuth fumble when he was a yard away from getting out of bounds and giving Chris Boswell an actual shot at a game-winning discipline objective on the finish of extra time. Nice effort, Lions!

Carolina Panthers 34 at Arizona Cardinals 10

Scott Spratt: The battle of Colt McCoy and P.J. Walker began about the way you’d count on: with a strip-sack. Haason Reddick simply recorded his 9.fifth sack of the season (revenge recreation!), and the Panthers take over within the pink zone lower than two minutes into the sport.

Bryan Knowles: Cam Newton shouldn’t be beginning; he hasn’t had time to soak up the complete playbook. However he has had time to study the goal-line package deal. He is available in for P.J. Walker on the objective line and rushes in for a rating. Similar to outdated occasions in Carolina!

Scott Spratt: The Cardinals had been capable of carry Christian McCaffrey down simply in need of the objective line on first-down catch-and-run. And the Panthers simply introduced Cam Newton in on a goal-line package deal.

Newton is noticeably greater than linebacker Isaiah Simmons. It is 7-0 Panthers. I am so completely happy.

Vince Verhei: I used to be flying this morning. Acquired dwelling proper earlier than the 4 p.m. video games to search out the home had no energy. Thankfully it got here on straight away, however it seems that Cam Newton has scored for Carolina, which implies my energy should have been out for … what, three years?

Scott Spratt: The Cardinals simply went for a fourth-and-1 from their 42-yard line, and I am fairly positive Colt McCoy misplaced yards on a quarterback sneak. I’ve by no means seen that earlier than! It is Panthers soccer in Cardinals territory with Carolina already up 7-0 within the first quarter.

Bryan Knowles: To date, Cam Newton has touched the ball twice, and the Panthers have scored two touchdowns. Fairly good effectivity, there.

Scott Spratt: Cam Newton simply threw a laser landing to Robby Anderson. That is so wonderful. He is not even beginning!

Carl Yedor: One other fast landing off a brief discipline involving Cam Newton. Newton scoring steadily towards a robust Cardinals workforce? Have we been transported to the 2015 NFC Championship Sport?

Scott Spratt: Per the published, the Panthers had scored only one landing of their final 35 possessions earlier than scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions with Cam Newton at present.

Vince Verhei: It is 23-0 at halftime and this one seems over. As nice because the story of Superman Returns has been, the true hero for Carolina has been Christian McCaffrey. He is as much as 90 yards on solely 10 carries with a protracted of 15—I rely six positive factors of 10 yards or extra on a fast scan via the play-by-play. He additionally leads the workforce with seven catches, albeit for under 39 yards.

James Conner, in the meantime, has two carries for 3 yards. Did he get harm and I missed it?

Scott Spratt: Conner is not harm, Vince. The Cardinals have simply landed in second downs of the next yardages to go: 9, 6, 11, 9, 4, 10, 20, and 10 yards. You possibly can’t run whenever you’re continuously behind the sticks.

Vince Verhei: You might be allowed to run on first downs too, Scott. Belief me, I am a Seahawks fan, I do know this.

Scott Spratt: Carolina banned first-down runs after they fired John Fox. Or possibly that was a fever dream?

Scott Spratt: Perhaps Conner is not working loads as a result of the Panthers reside within the Cardinals backfield. I am unsure if this was imagined to be a handoff or play-action go, however Shaq Thompson blew it up both approach and obtained a sack.

Colt McCoy additionally suffered an damage on that play, and so Chris Streveler is in at quarterback. However this recreation is already determined at 31-3 late within the third quarter.

Minnesota Vikings 27 at Los Angeles Chargers 20

Dave Bernreuther: My girlfriend, who is sort of by no means off on Sundays, is dwelling watching with me at present, and contributed this perception after I converted to the beginning of this one: “this recreation jogs my memory of an Easter basket.”

She’s not improper.

Scott Spratt: The Vikings obtained to a second-and-goal from the 1-yard line halfway via the second quarter. And so with Dalvin Prepare dinner taking part in, you’d determine they might simply ram it in towards the league’s thirty second -anked run protection. Nope! Kirk Cousins threw a fade over Justin Jefferson’s head and out of bounds, after which the Vikings held on one other go that at the very least did develop into a landing earlier than the penalty wiped it away. It is like offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak needs Mike Zimmer to yell at him. Or possibly he realizes one thing that I did not till simply now: the Vikings rank sixth in passing offense DVOA and twenty ninth in dashing offense.

Bryan Knowles: However the Vikings’ failure within the pink zone is shortly forgotten. Justin Herbert throws an interception to Eric Kendricks on the Chargers’ first play after the following kickoff, and a go to Justin Jefferson, dragging Chargers with him, will get into the pink zone. From there, the Vikings do lastly give Dalvin Prepare dinner a couple of touches, however it’s a Cousins-to-Tyler Conklin go that provides the Vikings the landing and the 13-3 lead late within the second quarter.

Bryan Knowles: All through the primary, oh, quarter-and-a-half, the Chargers’ offense had accomplished nothing. The interception was one factor, however they hadn’t transformed a 3rd down but, and had been in lengthy sufficient down-and-distances that they could not even realistically try a fourth down. However lastly Los Angeles has entered the sport, sparked by Justin Herbert scrambling for 17 yards simply earlier than the two-minute warning … and an enormous go interference name to place the Chargers into the pink zone. Larry Rountree finally ends up plunging the ball into the tip zone, and the Vikings lead has been minimize to 13-10. Is there a workforce that feels much less snug with a double-digit lead than the Minnesota Vikings?

Scott Spratt: I nominate the Falcons, Bryan, however it’s shut.

Bryan Knowles: And, certainly, the double-digit Vikings lead is a factor of the previous. Los Angeles takes the second-half kickoff and simply launches down the sector, with huge passes to Keenan Allen and Donald Parham busting the Vikings’ protection broad open. And eventually, the Chargers succeed on some third-down conversions, together with Herbert threading it into Austin Ekeler between two defenders on the objective line for the go-ahead landing. Seems, when the Chargers can hold the ball of their arms, they’ll make issues occur. It is 17-13 Chargers early within the third.

Bryan Knowles: Probably the most aggressive recreation of the afternoon retains going backwards and forwards, with huge catches by Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen serving to drive the Vikings to a go-ahead landing. It amuses me that the Vikings handed the ball to Dalvin Prepare dinner 3 times contained in the 6 for no outcome—Prepare dinner’s agent has been yelling on Twitter about how the Vikings want simply feed Prepare dinner the rock close to the objective line, and properly, no. As a substitute, it is Conklin who catches a floater from Cousins on fourth-and-1 to provide the Vikings the 20-17 lead.

Bryan Knowles: Nicely, take again a bit of what I mentioned about Prepare dinner because the third time’s a allure—the third time the Vikings have a goal-to-go drive, they hand it to Prepare dinner, and this time he does break the aircraft. It is a 27-17 lead with 9:30 left. That is sufficient time for the Chargers, however they should get going now.

Bryan Knowles: To place a capper on this one. Down two scores, Brandon Staley pulled a Sean Payton and kicked a brief discipline objective to make issues a one-score recreation. I give him a bit of extra slack than Payton as they had been on the 6, not the 1, and the sector objective made it a seven-point recreation, not an eight-point recreation, however nonetheless, an uncharacteristically timid transfer from an aggressive coach. It doesn’t matter, nevertheless, because the Chargers merely by no means obtained the ball again. The Vikings went for it on fourth-and-2 and Prepare dinner’s second effort was sufficient to select up the primary down on the two-minute warning. With no timeouts left for Los Angeles, the Vikings are going to simply kneel this one out. Enormous win for Minnesota.

Philadelphia Eagles 30 at Denver Broncos 13

Bryan Knowles: DeVonta Smith simply completely Mossed Patrick Surtain, clambering throughout him for a landing. This Jalen Hurts-to-Smith connection is a begin, one thing the Eagles would possibly properly be capable of construct round.

10-0 Eagles late within the first.

Aaron Schatz: Vic Fangio has been extra aggressive this yr and he simply went for fourth-and-1 on the Philly 23. I feel Melvin Gordon had it and I used to be able to cheer one other profitable fourth-down go however then Gordon had it stripped. Darius Slay picked it up and ran all of it the best way again for a landing to provide the Eagles a 27-13 lead.

Seattle Seahawks 0 at Inexperienced Bay Packers 17

Vince Verhei: Seahawks-Packers video games have a historical past of weirdness—the Fail Mary and the 2014 NFC Championship Sport come to thoughts. This one seems no completely different. First drive, Russell Wilson scrambles away from a sack and positive factors a primary down on third-and-6. The ball is noticed, and the chains are moved. However there’s an damage timeout for a Inexperienced Bay defender, and through that pause, the ball is re-spotted, the chains are moved BACK, it is fourth-and-1, and naturally Pete Carroll punts. If the play was challenged and/or reviewed, none of that was defined to the viewers at dwelling. That is certainly one of three punts within the first quarter for Seattle, one other of which—talking of weirdness—got here after a flea-flicker tight finish display misplaced 6 yards.

Thankfully for the Seahawks the rating remains to be zero-zero. The Packers have additionally punted twice, and in addition missed a discipline objective after Rasheem Inexperienced obtained a sack on a three-man rush. Wilson and Aaron Rodgers are each taking part in at present, however neither has accomplished a lot within the first quarter-hour.

Vince Verhei: Packers lead 3-0 at halftime as Seattle’s protection has accomplished all kinds of bending however little or no breaking. Inexperienced Bay’s final two drives gained a complete of 131 yards however solely three factors as the primary led to a 27-yard discipline objective and the second on a Rodgers incompletion on fourth-and-2 from the Seattle 34.

Seattle’s offense has been a lot worse. Their first 5 drives all led to punts, together with one drive that began at their very own 49. On the final drive of the half, it seemed like they’d get to attempt a 50-some-yard discipline objective for the tie, however a holding penalty moved them out of discipline objective vary, and a Hail Mary attempt fell incomplete.

Seahawks positively fortunate to be down by only a discipline objective, however each secondaries are taking part in very properly. The Packers are simply smothering DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who’ve a mixed complete of two catches for 8 yards. Packers receivers have higher numbers—Davante Adams particularly, with 5 catches for 66 yards—however the Seahawks are forcing numerous negative-ALEX throws and making their tackles.

Bryan Knowles: One in all our speaking factors on the podcast this week was whether or not Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers would seem like themselves after their layoffs. To date, not a lot—however Wilson, if something, seems worse. He simply threw an unpleasant interception ultimately zone in a recreation the place the Seahawks are down simply three factors. Reviews had been that he was rehabbing 19 hours a day. That might imply, mathematically, that he was sleeping for simply 5, so would possibly I recommend he get some sleep earlier than subsequent week.

Vince Verhei: This is video of that interception. It was actually a horrible throw, however I ask you to observe it carefully, with the sound up, and draw your personal conclusions.

Bryan Knowles: And, to not be outdone, Rodgers’ safety breaks down on the opposite finish of the sector, and he blindly fires one proper to Jamal Adams ultimately zone. This recreation has been … properly, one thing else.

Vince Verhei: Simply to level out how unlikely that play was, that is Adams’ first interception with the Seahawks, and simply the third of his profession. Packers proceed to maneuver the ball—principally with working again screens on that drive—with out getting factors.

Scott Spratt: Who throws a shoe? Actually?

On a extra sober word, Aaron Jones suffered a knee damage, and early indications are it may very well be dangerous. However the Packers endured on what turned a 10-play landing drive, the one a type of this recreation. It is 10-0 Packers early within the fourth quarter.

Vince Verhei: Extra Seahawks-Packers weirdness: Seahawks make a run cease to carry up third-and-short, however Carlos Dunlap will get a 15-yard foul for chucking a Inexperienced Bay participant’s shoe downfield.

That is a recent set of downs for Inexperienced Bay on the Seattle 27. It takes Inexperienced Bay seven performs to cowl the remainder of the sector, however on third-and-goal AJ Dillon strikes the pile throughout the objective line and we have now a landing. A ten-point lead with greater than 10 minutes to go might not sound insurmountable, however given the efficiency of Seattle’s offense at present it could as properly be 100-0.

I really feel like including that lots of Inexperienced Bay’s incompletions have been drops—Rodgers has performed higher than his ultimate numbers will point out. Wilson’s worst incompletions have been horrible overthrows. He is taking part in, however it’s laborious to imagine he is at 100%.

Carl Yedor: As I recall, Wilson did the no-sleep factor when he was rehabbing his knee and ankle accidents in 2016, and it took some time for him to get again to one thing resembling full energy that yr (I might guess someplace round November-ish after sustaining the ankle damage in Week 1). It would not shock me if Wilson performs higher with extra time post-injury in higher climate than Seattle is dealing with at present, however the issue is that Seattle has a really skinny margin for error given the opening they discover themselves in. They can make the playoffs at 9-8 relying on what occurs with the remainder of the groups they’re competing with for the ultimate seed within the NFC, however that can be an actual problem contemplating that they nonetheless have two video games towards Arizona and one towards the Rams on the schedule. This one is not formally over but, however with how the offense has been taking part in, issues are fairly grim.

Bryan Knowles: And to probably put a capper on this one, Wilson bombs a shot to the tip zone which is just barely overthrown, however that is sufficient for the Packers to select him off ultimately zone a second time.

Carl Yedor: And as I ship that, Wilson throws his second interception of the day on a deep ball supposed for Tyler Lockett. Seattle wants a cease ASAP or this one is simply over.

Aaron Schatz: Each time I see this recreation, Inexperienced Bay has all of Seattle’s receivers lined. Wilson would not have numerous locations to go together with the ball. Simply launched it deep to Tyler Lockett however there have been two defenders proper with him and one got here down with the choose. Nonetheless 10-0 Packers.

Scott Spratt: The Packers had improved from the sixth-worst defensive DVOA in Weeks 1 to six to the seventh-best defensive DVOA in Weeks 7 to 9. And I feel that latter break up goes to enhance some extra after this efficiency.

Tom Gower: Wilson hasn’t been spectacular. It looks like he has been reluctant to take deep photographs, and hasn’t been correct on shorter throws. And with how a lot time the Seahawks have spent in shotgun, it looks like his finger’s lower than that both. He is not Carson Wentz on two sprained ankles towards the Titans earlier this season, however it would not look like he has added a lot to the offense even earlier than you account for poor choices like the tip zone interception.

Simplifying the Packers offense to the productiveness of the non-Adams receivers feels a bit too easy. However the Packers offense has struggled this recreation and the non-Adams receivers have accomplished little since One in all Marques Valdes-Scantling’s 4 Good Performs a Month helped produce the primary discipline objective try (no good). As famous earlier, it was the run recreation and screens moderately than receivers that had been the first drivers of the primary (and thru 58 minutes, solely) landing of the sport.

And popping out of the two-minute warning, AJ Dillon powers it via to essentially end this recreation. With Aaron Jones out with a knee damage, reportedly a sprain MCL that may probably value him a pair weeks, it is helpful to have a reliable backup to your lead runner.

Vince Verhei: My spouse simply requested what’s improper with Seattle’s offense and I simply mentioned “the whole lot.” If you get shut out, it is on everybody—quarterback, receivers, linemen, working backs, tight ends, coaches. I’ve mentioned earlier than the Seahawks with out Wilson are usually not a superb workforce. Now it appears like, if something, I used to be overrating them.

Inexperienced Bay’s protection put Seattle within the coffin, however AJ Dillon nailed the lid shut. His second dashing landing makes it 17-0, and he moved the chains repeatedly with a bunch of quick, efficient runs. Additionally broke free for an enormous 50-yard catch-and-run. That is 123 receiving yards for Jones and Dillon as Seattle stays unable to cowl working backs.

Scott Spratt: With Aaron Rodgers’ getting COVID and Aaron Jones injuring his knee the final two weeks, Packers normal supervisor Brian Gutekunst may come in any respect the critics like myself for disparaging his 2020 draft technique. Or he may if Jordan Love hadn’t performed so poorly final week.

Vince Verhei: There was a struggle late and a bunch of penalties because the Seahawks misplaced all their composure, risking damage and suspension in a pointless brawl, and the Soccer Gods took pity on me and knocked out my energy once more. I hope you all loved the Pete Carroll period, as a result of I am actually beginning to imagine it is on its final legs.

Carl Yedor: It positively appears like issues have run their course in Seattle for Carroll, Vince. Wilson appears prone to need out once more based mostly on what occurred final winter, and Carroll’s decision-making probably is not going to enhance any time quickly. Seattle’s lacking its first-round choose, however on the intense aspect this quarterback class would not appear to be shaping as much as be something particular, making that lack of a choose seemingly more cost effective. Regardless, I do not assume Carroll ought to be concerned in making the choice on the subsequent quarterback anyway. Rip the Band-Help off.

Scott Spratt: Pete Carroll completed over .500 yearly between 2012 and 2020 and gained at the very least 10 video games every of these years besides 2017. What have you ever accomplished for me these days, Pete?

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 41 at Las Vegas Raiders 14

Aaron Schatz: It is early however the Raiders don’t appear to be taking part in that two-high protection that everybody is utilizing to cease Patrick Mahomes. They’ve had a single excessive security on most performs aside from the third-and-10 on the primary drive.

Scott Spratt: The Chiefs obtained off to an excellent begin to this recreation extending a drive 11 performs to attain a landing on their second possession and holding the Raiders to only one new first down on their first two drives. However after the second Raiders punt, it seemed like Chiefs returner Mike Hughes misplaced a fumble. The Chiefs’ yr from hell continues.

Aaron Schatz:

Punters may cause fumbles too!

Aaron Schatz: Fumble results in a Raiders landing after a protracted catch by Bryan Edwards and a protracted and really legitimate DPI flag drawn by Edwards. Then Hunter Renfrow slipped on his route whereas chopping, recovered, and caught a landing previous Charvarius Ward anyway. 7-7.

Scott Spratt: Wow, even when the Chiefs block a punt it goes 42 yards.

Aaron Schatz: Chiefs offense seems good up to now. Within the battle between “reversion to long-term traits” and “our third-string proper deal with goes to be killed by Maxx Crosby,” the reversion is successful. Mahomes has tossed a few lengthy bombs however the Chiefs are principally taking runs and stuff beneath. Travis Kelce seems like himself once more. Screens are doing a superb job of neutralizing the Raiders go rush. Chiefs simply transformed on fourth-and-1 from the three, then the Raiders forgot to cowl Tyreek Hill on the objective line after they all went for the play-action pretend and Mahomes simply lofted it over the protection and proper into Hill’s arms. 17-7 Chiefs.

Scott Spratt: Patrick Mahomes has overthrown a few open receivers ultimately zone tonight or the Chiefs can be successful by greater than their present 17-7 margin within the waning seconds of the primary half.

Tom Gower: Chiefs up 17-7 on the half, however that is the most effective, most fluid the Chiefs offense has seemed in all probability this season. Understanding the offensive matchup, Kansas Metropolis has made numerous use of the display recreation. Mahomes additionally hasn’t been big-play searching like he has gotten in bother with this yr. Earlier than the ultimate two minutes of the primary half, he solely had three passes listed as “deep” within the play-by-play: one vertical path to Tyreek Hill in man (good protection on the play by Brandon Facyson) and a few finish zone photographs, one on the finish of a play the place the first was lined from the Raiders 21.

However with that reversion to previous seasons has been Derek Carr’s reversion to previous seasons. He accomplished his first 9 passes, however these netted simply 62 yards. Exterior of a 27-yard achieve to Bryan Edwards on their landing drive, it has all been quick, quick, and shorter. What’s made Carr so a lot better this season has been his willingness to assault downfield moderately than do a Teddy Bridgewater-plus impression, and that has been absent tonight. Perhaps it is simply the lack of Henry Ruggs, possibly the Chiefs are actually taking that away (stranger issues have occurred), I am unable to inform. However I would count on the Raiders, who’re getting the ball to begin the second half, to have a deep shot referred to as to DeSean Jackson on their opening collection.

Aaron Schatz: Chiefs had stored Raiders to three.7 yards per play within the first half and the query was whether or not the Raiders offense actually labored with out Ruggs. No extra. Raiders simply chop via the Chiefs on their first drive of the second half. Zay Jones for 22 yards, then Bryan Edwards open over the center, Tyrann Matthieu did not recover from far sufficient to cease him deep, and Edwards goes 37 yards for the rating. 17-14 Chiefs.

Aaron Schatz: Oooh, the Chiefs had Anthony Hitchens working with Edwards on that play. That is not a superb look. Beat him simply, and Matthieu because the deep assist did not recover from sufficient.

Scott Spratt: After I noticed this play in actual time, I assumed DeSean Jackson simply threw the ball straight at Tyrann Mathieu just like the Waterboy did to the opponent that insulted his mom.

It seems Rashad Fenton punched the ball out. Not fairly as humorous, however that was nonetheless a loopy play. And one which lastly broke proper for the Chiefs, who erased a possible scoring drive and now have the ball up 24-14 late within the third quarter.

Aaron Schatz: There are such a lot of Chiefs followers right here at Allegiant Stadium that a large cheer went up after the Darrel Williams deep landing. I could not inform if it was a landing or an interception, as a result of I am unable to inform which group of followers is cheering.

Rivers McCown: If I had been the Raiders I might have merely thought of catching the interceptable balls the opposite Chiefs opponents did.

Scott Spratt: OK, I clearly cannot make any extra jokes about dangerous Chiefs luck after that final sequence.

  • On a third-and-7, Mahomes threw 40 yards down the sector however over the pinnacle of an open Tyreek Hill and out of bounds.
  • Punter Tommy Townsend faked a punt and threw a completion for a brand new first all the way down to Marcus Kemp.
  • Mahomes threw a go up for grabs ultimately zone that Raiders security Trevon Moehrig simply dropped.
  • Mahomes stepped up within the pocket to keep away from stress and threw one other leap ball. This time, Darrel Williams secured the catch for a 38-yard landing.

The Chiefs are up 34-14 now and this one is just about over early within the fourth quarter.

Aaron Schatz: Raiders punted on fourth-and-5 from their very own 37 down 20 with 11:57 left, so yeah, that is in all probability ballgame.

Tom Gower: I do not know what stood out extra to me about this recreation: the Kansas Metropolis protection taking part in properly (or at the very least properly sufficient towards the Raiders offense to close them out within the second half, with the caveats) or Gus Bradley’s obvious absolute refusal to alter from his Cowl-3 base to undertake a two-high protection scheme like all people else has performed towards Kansas Metropolis this yr in serving to restrict them. This seemed like a classic Chiefs offensive efficiency at the very least partially as a result of it was a classic—i.e. not tailored—defensive efficiency by the Raiders. Disappointing from a recreation competitiveness watchability perspective, however it was type of enjoyable to see Kansas Metropolis seem like enjoyable Kansas Metropolis once more. Now Bradley’s outdated boss Dan Quinn subsequent week, I do not assume he’ll be fairly so insistent on taking part in the best way he used to play, as a result of he has proven this yr he’ll play the best way that is smart for his workforce. I am already trying ahead to that matchup.

compiled by Andrew Potter


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