Taking a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.
TB 46, CAR 23
The Buccaneers bounced back from their thrashing by the Saints in Week 9. Tom Brady threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns and ran in a score as well. Chris Godwin (6-92), Mike Evans (6-77, TD), and Antonio Brown (7-69) were the top receivers and Rob Gronkowski (2-51, TD) scored as well. Ronald Jones ripped off a 98-yard touchdown run and ended with 192 yards on 23 carries. Leonard Fournette gained just 19 yards on eight rushes and two receptions for 11 yards in another case of the “hot hand” taking over.
Teddy Bridgewater passed for just 136 yards and two scores against a very motivated Buccaneers defense. He added a rushing score to salvage his fantasy value. D.J. Moore (4-96, TD) was the only receiver with more than 21 yards. Mike Davis ran for just 32 yards on seven carries in this beatdown. The Panthers actually led this 17-10 in the second quarter before the wheels came off. The 7-3 Buccaneers host the Rams this week and the 3-7 Panthers welcome the Lions.
HOU 7, CLE 10
It rained with 25 MPH wind which was more than either team could handle. Deshaun Watson ended with 163 passing yards and one touchdown but ran for 36 yards. Randall Cobb (3-41) and Brandin Cooks (6-39) were the top receivers and Duke was limited to 54 yards on 14 rushes while covering for the inactive David Johnson. It was a yawner of an effort by both teams and each struggled to do much.
Baker Mayfield threw for 132 yards and no scores. Rashard Higgins replaced Odell Beckham and led the team with just 48 yards on three catches. Nick Chubb was back and ran for 126 yards and a score on 19 rushes while Kareem Hunt gained 104 yards on his 19 carries and added three catches for 28 yards. Hunt and Chubb were the only players in the entire game with any notable fantasy stats and that’s exactly how the Browns want every week to transpire. The 2-7 Texans host the Patriots for Week 11 and the 6-3 Browns welcome the Eagles.
WAS 27, DET 30
Washington gave the Lions all they could handle and this game was tied 24-24 with six minutes left when they scored 21 straight points in about 11 minutes on the Lions. Then the Lions took the lead 27-24 with a field goal with just 2:37 left to play. But wait, there’s more. Washington kicked a tying field goal with 16 seconds left for a tying score of 27-27. But wait, there’s more. Washington couldn’t keep the Lions from scoring with only 16 seconds left. Matt Stafford hit a nine-yard completion from his 35-yard line and took a timeout with 12 seconds left. Washington opted for the ill-timed roughing the passer next which game the Lions the ball at midfield. They completed a nine-yard pass to the Washington 41-yard-line where Matt Prater kicked a 59-yard game-winning field goal.
Alex Smith passed for 390 yards but no scores, and Terry McLaurin (7-95) and Logan Thomas (4-66) were the top receivers. Antonio Gibson only gained 45 yards on 13 carries but ran in two touchdowns. McLaurin added a 27-yard run as well. The good news was that Smith threw for high yardage, used nine receivers and still gave McLaurin a big game.
Matt Stafford faced one of the stingiest secondaries in the NFL and still threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns. Marvin Jones (8-96, TD) and Marvin Hall (2-61, TD) were the best wide receivers. D’Andre Swift took the start and gained 81 yards on 16 runs and added five receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. Adrian Peterson only ran four times in the game as Swift shifted into being a workhorse this week. The 2-7 Football Team host the Bengals this week while the 4-5 Lions head to Carolina.
JAC 20, GB 24
This was not a trap game, at least not for the final ten minutes or so. This was yet another slow, “play down to their level” sort of game. Jake Luton threw for 169 yards and one touchdown to Keelan Cole (5-47, TD) while DJ Chark turned in a team-high 56 yards on four catches in the colder, windier matchup. James Robinson ran for 109 yards on 23 carries and added two catches for three yards. The Jaguars didn’t do much, but the Packers mostly played flat and let them stay in the game.
Aaron Rodgers passed for 325 yards and two scores that included a 78-yard touchdown to Marquez Valdes-Scantling (4-149, TD). Rodgers also ran in a score. Davante Adams ended with eight catches for 66 yards and a touchdown but had another 22-yard score called back on a penalty. Aaron Jones only managed 46 yards on 13 runs and caught five passes for 49 yards for a disappointing outing. The 7-2 Packers got away with mailing in the first three quarters and head to Indianapolis this weekend while the 1-8 Jaguars host the Steelers and hope they, too, do not take them seriously.
PHI 17, NYG 24
Well. This ensures that the NFC East is a sad mess this year. Carson Wentz passed for 208 yards and no scores with Richard Rodgers (4-60) and Jalen Reagor (4-47) as good as it got for receivers. Miles Sanders was back and ran 15 times for 85 yards and added ten more on two catches. Boston Scott (3-63, TD) broke open for a 56-yard touchdown run or this would have been an even more lackluster effort.
Daniel Jones threw for 244 yards but made a bigger difference with 64 yards and a touchdown on his nine runs. Darrius Slayton (5-93) and Sterling Shepard (6-47) were the best receivers and Wayne Gallman ran for 53 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries as he replaced Devonta Freeman who was placed on injured reserve. The Giants are more successful running the ball lately – including their quarterback – but the Eagles’ inability to generate much offense is troublesome since Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert (4-33) and even Alshon Jeffery (no targets) are back. The 3-5-1 Eagles play in Cleveland this week and the 3-7 Giants go onto their bye.
DEN 12, LV 37
The Broncos just never really made the plane trip to this loss. Drew Lock passed for 257 yards and one score but had four interceptions. Jerry Jeudy (4-68) and Tim Patrick (4-61) were the top receivers and DaeSean Hamilton (4-33, TD) caught the late fourth-quarter meaningless touchdown. Melvin Gordon only ran for 46 yards on 11 runs while Phillip Lindsay only managed two yards on his four rushes and neither back had a catch.
The Raiders just let the Broncos kill themselves and then rushed in touchdowns off turnovers. Derek Carr only threw for 154 yards and no receiver topped 37 yards or scored. Josh Jacobs ran for 112 yards on 21 rushes with two scores, and Devonta Booker mopped up with 16 carries for 81 yards and two more touchdowns. The 6-3 Raiders barely broke a sweat and host the Chiefs this week. The 3-6 Broncos host the Dolphins this week and even that isn’t much fun anymore.
LAC 21, MIA 29
The Dolphins never trailed and tore off 17 points in the second half to secure this win. Justin Herbert threw for only 187 yards and two scores and Keenan Allen (3-39, TD) led the receivers in yardage. Kalen Ballage ran for 68 yards on 18 runs as the primary back and added five catches for 84 yards as the only notable fantasy play from the Chargers this week.
Tua Tagovailoa won his third game and threw for 169 yards and two scores. he only netted a one-yard loss on six rushes so last week’s 35 rushing yards is the fluke so far. Jakeem Grant (4-43, TD) was the leading receiver and only player with more than two catches. DeVante Parker was held to only 31 yards on two receptions. Salvon Ahmed ran for 85 yards and one score on 21 rushes and no other back ran more than twice. The 2-7 Chargers still lost within a touchdown and host the Jets this weekend. The 6-3 Dolphins head to Denver to see how long this Tagovailoa thing can last.
SEA 16, LAR 23
This was not the shoot-out we wanted and expected. Russell Wilson disappointed with 248 passing yards and two interceptions for the rare down game. He led the Seahawks with 60 yards on eight rushes while Alex Collins (11-43, TD) became the newest primary back . Since the Seahawks take their bye now, both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde should be back for the next game. Tyler Lockett (5-66) led all receivers while DK Metcalf (2-28) finally met his match in CB Jalen Ramsey. Russell Wilson settled for a 57.0 QB rating, so it was a very different sort of game for him.
Jared Goff faced the worst seconday in the
history of the world NFL and while he passed for 302 yards, he had no touchdowns. Josh Reynolds (8-94) was the top receiver and no other wide receiver gained more than 50 yards – a rarity against that secondary. The backfield is back to being three-wide with Cam Akers (10-38), Malcolm Brown (6-33, 2 TD) and Darrell Henderson (7-28, TD) all sharing the workload. It was a Seahawks win, but short of the expected points by both sides. The 6-3 Seahawks return home for a revenge game against the Cardinals while the 6-3 Rams head to Tampa Bay.
SF 13, NO 27
This was a trap game in the making with the 49ers leading 10-0 in the second quarter but then the Saints returned the kick 75 yards and kicked a field goal. And then three Alvin Kamar touchdowns and a field goal later, it was 27-10 and well in hand. The Saints lost Drew Brees for the second half and Jameis Winston only passed for 63 yards. Michael Thomas ended with only two catches for 27 yards. The only notable player was Kamara who ran for only 15 yards on eight carries but scored twice and added a third touchdown on his seven catches for 83 yards. The 49ers offense may be ravaged by injury, but the defense still has a punch.
Nick Mullens passed for 247 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Brandon Aiyuk (7-75, TD) and Jordan Reed (5-62) were the top receivers while no others gained more than 27 yards. Jerick McKinnon was the lead back again when he ran for 33 yards on 18 carries but only added one catch for 13 yards. The 49ers somehow looked formidable for the first quarter but it all fell apart after that. The 4-6 49ers head onto their bye while the 7-2 Saints host the Falcons.
CIN 10, PIT 36
This was an easier win than expected. Joe Burrow only passed for 213 yards and one touchdown to Tee Higgins (7-115, TD) but all other receivers were held below 45 yards. Joe Mixon missed another game but Giovani Bernard only gained 30 yards on eight rushes before they threw in the towel and let Samaje Perrine run the ball seven times for 48 yards when the Steelers no longer cared when they ran the ball. This was a setback in the sense that the offensive progress this season seemed to disappear. It was one of their worst venues of the year though and Bernard is no Mixon.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Diontae Johnson (6-116, TD), JuJu Smith-Schuster (9-77, TD), and Chase Claypool (4-56, 2 TD) handled all the scoring. James Conner only gained 36 yards on 13 carries as the lone disappointment from the Steelers offense. The best part of the game was that the Steelers did not just mail in the win but kept chunking the ball even in the fourth quarter. The 2-6-1 Bengals head to Washington this week while the 9-0 Steelers travel to face the Jaguars.
BAL 17, NE 23
This was a rainy, messy game. And for once, the Ravens passed better than usual, didn’t run much and lost the game. Lamar Jackson completed 24-of-34 passes for 249 yards and two scores with one interception. Willie Snead caught five passes for 64 yards and both touchdowns while Mark Andrews finally showed up with seven receptions for 61 yards but no other receivers did much. Jackson was the leading rusher with 55 yards on 11 runs while Gus Edwards (7-42) and J.K. Dobbins (5-13) never saw much volume. Snead’s second touchdown came with only eight seconds left, so the game wasn’t as close as the score may suggest.
Cam Newton only threw 17 passes with 13 completions for 118 yards and one score. Jakobi Meyers led the Pats with five catches for 59 yards. Both he and Newton threw a touchdown to Rex Burkhead (4-35, 2 TD). Damien Harris ran for 121 yards on 22 carries as the star in the wet victory. Newton would also run in a touchdown as well. This soggy Sunday night game mostly says that the Ravens offense cannot keep up whenever they fall behind and have fewer chances to just run the ball. The 6-3 Ravens host the Titans this week while the 4-5 Patriots head to Houston.
BUF 30, ARI 32
No question which game deserves this recognition. This is why we watch football and play fantasy football.
The Bills led 23-9 midway through the third quarter. All the Cardinals had done was kick three field goals. Finally, Kyler Murray ran in a score and then led drives that ended in two field goals for the 26-23 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The team traded punts and then Josh Allen threw an interception. The Cards did little and punted.
The Bills took over at their 22-yard line with 3:35 left to play. Allen led the team on a 13-play drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs with only 34 seconds left to play for the 30-26 lead.
The Cards took the touchback and started at their 25-yard line.
Murray hit Andy Isabella for 14 yards to the ARZ-39 yard line with 27 seconds left and took a time out.
Murray hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 9-yard gain to the ARZ-48 yard line with 21 seconds left to play and took their final timeout.
Murray hit Larry Fitzgerald with a 9-yard gain to the BUF-43 yard line and he went out of bounds with 11 seconds left.
Murray gets chased out of the pocket, angles over toward the left sideline and throws a desperation lob into the endzone just before getting hit. It falls to DeAndre Hopkins who leapt higher and was better positioned than the three defenders for the touchdown.
The 32-30 lead was locked down when they kneeled on the extra point so that the Bills could not possibly get the ball and return it for a two-point tying play.
Josh Allen passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns, plus ran for 38 yards as the Bills leading rusher. Devin Singletary (4-15) and Zack Moss (7-20) did little to help.
Cole Beasley caught a team-high 11 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, Stefon Diggs ended with ten receptions for 93 yards and a score while John Brown turned in 72 yards on six catches before leaving with an injured ankle. And just to lend a bit of whimsy, Allen also caught a touchdown on a trick play.
Kyle Murray threw for 245 yards and one score and added 11 runs for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Kenyan Drake was a game-time decision and still gained 100 yards on 16 rushes. Chase Edmonds gained 56 yards on eight runs. It was a great game that ended with the “Hail Murray” pass. Football needs those sort of endings. We all probably need it.