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Week 10 NFL takeaways – What to make of the Saints’ and Chiefs’ upset losses



The Saints lost by 17 points to the Falcons. And even with Patrick Mahomes back under center, the Chiefs couldn’t outlast the Titans. The Jets got by the Giants in a Battle of New York, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson piled on offense against an overmatched Cincinnati team and the Browns held off the Bills for their third win.

In the afternoon, Miami upset Indianapolis, and Green Bay made a late stand to beat Carolina in the snow.

All that and more in Week 10’s biggest takeaways from NFL Nation.

Jump to a matchup:

The Titans rediscovered the importance of using Derrick Henry as the focal point of the offense. Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith’s decision to stick to the run despite being down by nine points to Kansas City in the fourth quarter paid off. Henry finished with 23 carries for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee’s win keeps it in the playoff mix and allows the team to get healthy during the bye week. — Turron Davenport

Next game: vs. Jacksonville (4:05 p.m. ET, Nov. 24)

Even with Patrick Mahomes back in the lineup and on top of his game, the Chiefs won’t be able to outscore every opponents. If they don’t clean up their sloppiness on special teams and improve on defending the run, they won’t win the AFC West title for the fourth consecutive season. The Chiefs can be get caught by the 5-4 Raiders, who are a half-game behind and come to Arrowhead Stadium in Week 13. — Adam Teicher

Next game: at L.A. Chargers (8:15 p.m. ET, Nov. 18)

The Falcons, who had a league-low seven sacks coming into Sunday, generated consistent pressure against Drew Brees with six sacks and 11 quarterback hits. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett led the way with 2.5 sacks and five QB hits. The coverage and communication from the defensive backs was solid, and the rushers up front took care of the rest. If the Falcons can rush with such consistency next week at Carolina and the rest of the season, they could be in every game, especially if the offense continues with long scoring drives. — Vaughn McClure

Next game: at Carolina (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

New Orleans needs to figure out how to start faster. The Saints’ stunning loss at home to the Falcons feels like a bit of a one-off, since they won the six previous games. But Brees agreed afterward the Saints do need to be concerned about their uncharacteristic trend of slow starts on offense this season. They have scored a total of 25 first-quarter points in nine games. They need to start setting the tone more in a critical month with three more division games coming up, starting next week at Tampa Bay. — Mike Triplett

Next game: at Tampa Bay (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Bears coach Matt Nagy refuses to change. He opened the doors to Club Dub, the Bears postgame locker room dance party, after Sunday’s victory over Detroit, even though the team had lost four straight coming in and is 4-5 on the year. “I never considered not doing it,” Nagy said. “It’s who we are.” He recalled one year in Kansas City when the Chiefs were 1-5 and found a way to make the playoffs. “I keep reminding myself of that,” Nagy said. The Bears face long odds, but there is no quit in the second-year head coach. — Jeff Dickerson

Next game: at L.A. Rams (8:20 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Life without Matthew Stafford, as expected, was not kind to the Lions. While the stats might appear better than one would think in Jeff Driskel‘s first start with Detroit, the reality is it was a much different offense without Stafford playing for the first time since the start of the 2011 season. It will be a long season for Detroit, who is now close to needing to win out to reach the postseason, if Stafford can’t return soon. — Michael Rothstein

Next game: vs. Dallas (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The Bucs finally found a way to finish. After the Buccaneers surrendered an eight-point lead to the Seahawks last week — their fifth blown lead of the season — and having their secondary called out by coach Bruce Arians for a “disappointing” year, cornerback Jamel Dean made a touchdown-saving interception late in the fourth quarter. “I’m just really elated that we finished,” said quarterback Jameis Winston, who threw two interceptions but delivered three touchdown drives. “That was a really, really ugly win. That was an ugly win. But we found a way to do it.” Arians added, “I can’t be happier for anybody than Jamel Dean. He [won] the game. Last week he [was] the goat. He’s gonna be a hell of a player.” — Jenna Laine

Next game: vs. New Orleans (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)



Ronald Jones II, O.J. Howard and Peyton Barber all fine the end zone for the Buccaneers in a 30-27 win over the Cardinals.

The Cardinals blew an opportunity to inch closer to .500. Arizona’s offense looked impressive at times, with Kyler Murray setting a new mark for consecutive passes by rookie without an interception (211), per the Elias Sports Bureau. However, too many mistakes — including a pick by Murray late in fourth quarter — cost Arizona a win. After the demoralizing loss, the Cardinals now have to gear up to travel to San Francisco for their fourth road game in five weeks. — Josh Weinfuss

Next game: at San Francisco (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Lamar Jackson made his most complete statement that he’s the MVP in the NFL. He became the third player in the past 30 years to record at least three touchdown passes, one touchdown run and a perfect passer rating in a single game. But what everyone will talk about is his highlight-reel 47-yard touchdown run in which he faked out one defender and spun around another. Coach John Harbaugh said: “I said to offensive coaches on the headphones: ‘They’ll be watching that run for decades and decades. That’s one that everyone in the country is going to see by tomorrow afternoon.'” Thanks to Jackson, the Ravens (7-2) won for the fifth consecutive time, closing to within one game of the Patriots (8-1) and the top seed in the AFC. — Jamison Hensley

Next game: vs. Houston (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Almost everything that happened during the Bengals’ blowout loss against the Ravens was part of the bottoming out that comes with the rebuilding process. Rookie quarterback Ryan Finley had some positive moments but also had a couple of costly turnovers that were returned for touchdowns (one fumble lost, one interception). The Bengals went with rookies like Drew Sample and Germaine Pratt in an effort to make progress in their development. And while all of that is necessary to build for the future, it comes at a cost. Cincinnati needed a late field goal to avoid the biggest loss in franchise history. But it was Cincinnati’s 11th straight defeat dating back to last season, which ties the longest in franchise history. The ninth consecutive loss in 2019 makes this the franchise’s worst start since 1993. — Ben Baby

Next game: at Oakland (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

After getting stuffed on goal-to-go on two previous possessions, Cleveland finally broke through in the final two minutes. Cleveland has owned one of the worst red-zone and goal-to-go offenses in the NFL, and those struggles continued Sunday. But with one final opportunity, the Browns kept their season — and faint playoff hopes — alive with a gutsy, 82-yard touchdown drive, concluding with a 7-yard pass from Baker Mayfield to Rashard Higgins. Too often this year, the Browns have found ways to lose. Sunday, they found a way to win. Now, in the span of five days, they have an opportunity to double their season win total, with Pittsburgh coming to town Thursday night. Beat the Steelers, and suddenly Cleveland’s season outlook quickly could begin to change. — Jake Trotter

Next game: vs. Pittsburgh (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday)

This loss may go down as a pivotal moment in Buffalo’s season. The Bills made things interesting for the AFC’s potential wild-card teams after Sunday’s loss to the Browns, adding fuel to the critique that this team’s record is more a result of a weak schedule than anything else. Unfortunately for Buffalo, that “weak schedule” has come to a screeching halt; its next two games against Miami and Denver can no longer be overlooked before a four-game stretch against Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and New England. Now 10 weeks into the season, the Bills are 1-3 against their four toughest opponents and haven’t created any sort of confidence they can beat good teams. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Next game: at Miami (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

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Rams still alive in playoff chase after beating the Bears – Los Angeles Rams Blog



LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Rams’ sideline erupted in celebration as running back Malcolm Brown plowed into the end zone late in the fourth quarter Sunday night, ensuring a 17-7 victory over the Chicago Bears and keeping their playoff hopes alive.

The Rams improved to 6-4, and they now turn their attention to the surging Baltimore Ravens, whom they will host on Monday Night Football on Nov. 25.

Playoff math and scoreboard watching have become part of the Rams’ game-day routine as they keep alive slim hopes for a wild-card spot. The Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings remain ahead in the race. The Vikings won Sunday to improve to 8-3, while Seattle, 8-2, was on a bye.

QB breakdown: Throwing clearly wasn’t part of coach Sean McVay’s game plan with receivers Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks inactive and an offensive line that featured three first-year starters. Quarterback Jared Goff completed 11 of 18 passes for 173 yards and an interception. On the Rams’ second possession, Goff threw a pass that was intercepted by Bears linebacker Roquan Smith. It was Goff’s 10th interception this season but his first thrown from outside of the pocket. Late in the second half, Goff completed a 50-yard pass to Cooper Kupp to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley II.

Gurley tracker: Gurley had his most productive performance of 2019 with a season-high 28 touches for a season-high 133 all-purpose yards. Gurley lost a fumble, his second of the season, on the Rams’ opening play, but he found momentum on their second possession, as he rushed for 16 yards on consecutive carries and caught a 23-yard pass, his longest reception of the season. Late in the second half, Gurley rushed 1 yard for a touchdown, breaking the Rams’ streak of 23 possessions — dating to the third quarter of Week 8 — without a touchdown. Gurley rushed for 97 yards, tying his previous season high, and a touchdown on a season-high 25 carries. He now has gone eight straight games with fewer than 100 scrimmage yards, the second-longest streak of his career. Gurley’s previous high was 101 all-purpose yards, which included 97 rushing yards, in a Week 1 victory over the Carolina Panthers. He had 19 touches in Weeks 2 and 7.

Pivotal play: In the second quarter, cornerback Troy Hill, who took over as a starter when cornerback Aqib Talib was injured and then traded, intercepted a pass by Mitchell Trubisky. The Rams converted the turnover into a 1-yard score by Gurley to take a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. Hill had six tackles and three pass deflections in the game.

Missing in action: Woods was a surprise scratch and did not attend the game because of a personal issue, a Rams spokesperson said. That left Goff without two of his three starting receivers. Cooks was ruled out early in the week, as the Rams continue to closely monitor his recovery from the two concussions he suffered last month. The Rams also played without right tackle Rob Havenstein, who was sidelined because of a knee injury. Rookie Bobby Evans, a third-round pick from Oklahoma, started in his absence.

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How can Patriots get Tom Brady, offense on track? – New England Patriots Blog



PHILADELPHIA — What might get Tom Brady and the New England Patriots‘ offense back on track? With the Dallas Cowboys (6-4) coming to town on Sunday, that is arguably the top question facing the 9-1 team.

Brady didn’t throw a touchdown pass in Sunday’s 17-10 win against the Philadelphia Eagles (5-5), as the offense sputtered for extended stretches. Receiver Julian Edelman threw the team’s lone touchdown, and this marks the first time in Brady’s 20-year career that he played the entire contest and didn’t lead the team in touchdown passes in a game. That covers 317 career starts, including playoffs.

Overall, this is just the fourth time Brady has started a game and didn’t lead the team in touchdown passes. The other three instances were cases when he left injured (2001 AFC Championship Game; 2008 season opener) or was pulled early (Week 17, 2006).

Coach Bill Belichick previously had made the point that with some players returning to action this week (WR N’Keal Harry and TE Matt LaCosse), more reinforcements expected next week (LT Isaiah Wynn) and the continued integration of recently added players (TE Benjamin Watson, WR Mohamed Sanu), it’s very much a developing picture.

It showed against the Eagles, as Brady didn’t look like himself for long stretches of the action.

Describe the game in two words: Defensive turnaround. The Eagles had a 95-yard touchdown drive that chewed up 9 minutes, 33 seconds from the first quarter into the second — which was the longest drive New England has allowed all season. But the Patriots’ defense responded in a big way after that, with a plan that featured a heavy emphasis on covering Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, giving the inconsistent offense time to generate just enough of the momentum it needed (going to tempo at the start of the third quarter provided a temporary spark).

Bold prediction for next week: With 2018 first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn set to be activated off injured reserve and return to his spot at left tackle, the one-dimensional, pass-based offense will finally find its groove with some more balance in the run game. Wynn, if he can stay healthy, is the key piece because he can provide more comfort on Brady’s blindside. Veteran Marshall Newhouse has competed in his place, but Wynn is a decisive upgrade.

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Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray irked by loss — I’m used to winning



SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray was visibly upset after Sunday’s 36-26 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, in which the Cardinals gave up a 16-0 lead in the first half.

It was the Cardinals’ fourth straight loss, dropping them to 3-7-1 as they head into their bye week.

When Murray was asked about the emotions of losing Sunday’s game like the Cardinals did — giving up a touchdown with 31 seconds left after Murray scored the then-go-ahead touchdown with 6:40 left in the game — he paused 10 seconds before answering the question.

“I’m used to winning,” Murray said. “I’ve always won, and then being in situations like when you go up 16 or you’re in position to win and you should win, it’s disappointing.”

Murray lost three games as a starter in college between his season at Texas A&M and his career at Oklahoma, and never lost a game he started in high school.

He lost three games in the NFL by Week 4 of this season and it has started to take a toll.



Kyler Murray shows off the wheels as he gets into the end zone on a 22-yard run.

“I’m a competitor,” Murray said. “I love the game of football so every time I step on the field I’m going to do me. I’m going to go hard for the guys in the locker room. So, that’s really all I can do. Leave it all on the field and we just came up short.”

At one point while he was at his locker after the game, Murray let out a yell of frustration.

But when asked if this game hit harder than others, he said all losses are equal.

“Ah, s—, I don’t know,” Murray said. “A loss is a loss, and we got to get better.”

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