NFL Takes, TooAthletic Takes

The first weekend of October saw blowout and nail biters, cheap shots and defensive battles, with many teams beginning to find their way while other teams took a difficult step backwards.  Now that the first Sunday in October is officially in the NFL records books, here is a recap of all the weekend’s action.

Philadelphia 31 (3-2), NY Jets 6 (0-4):  The only highlight for Jets fans was the seeing the team break a streak of 33 possessions without a touchdown, a score that game in garbage time and after the Eagles dominated this contest from start to finish.  The hometown fans finally saw their Eagles play well, albeit against a team that is hard pressed to score; nevertheless, the win moves Philadelphia back over .500 after their 2-0 start, giving them a chance to resume their pursuit of the Cowboys in the NFC East.

Carolina 34 (3-2), Jacksonville 27 (2-3):  Christian McCaffrey was a one-man wrecking crew against the Jaguars today, posting 176 yards on just 19 carries, with two of them seeing the start finish in the end zone.  The duo of Gardner Minshew  and Leonard Fournette did all they could in their first defeat since Cam Newton left the starting lineup, as the QB tossed for 374 yards and two scores and the RB added another TD and 108 yards on the ground, but fell short on the road.

Minnesota 28 (3-2), NY Giants 10 (2-3):  Daniel Jones had his first bad game as an NFL starter, and the Vikings took advantage of a team that is likely to play as inconsistent as their quarterback in 2019.   Kirk Cousins was efficient and effective in throwing for 300 yards and two TDs while Dalvin Cook’s 136-yard day on the ground was enough to run the Giants back under .500 and ending their two-game winning streak.

Houston 53 (3-2), Atlanta 32 (1-4):  The good news for Atlanta is that Matt Ryan tossed three touchdown passes in this game, the bad news for Falcons fans is that Deshaun Watson was the better quarterback on the field, throwing for the same number of touchdowns as incomplete passes, FIVE, while putting up 426 yards in the air in the day’s highest scoring game.    

New Orleans 31(4-1), Tampa Bay 24 (2-3):  The hot and cold Bucs were cold again on defense as Teddy Bridgewater continues to impress in place of Drew Brees as Saints quarterback.  The four touchdown passes Bridgewater threw were all needed to hold off Tampa Bay while Jameis Winston did just enough to keep his team in the game, but not enough to help them get over .500 and capitalize on last week’s win over the Rams.   

Buffalo 14 (4-1), Tennessee 7 (2-3):  Josh Allen did just enough for the Bills in tossing two touchdown passes while the Bills Mafia saw their defense travel well and bounce back after their loss to New England last week.  Marcus Mariota had no answers in this defensive battle as the Titans drop their third in four games.  Buffalo is a real contender in the AFC while Tennessee will likely need a new quarterback come 2020. 

Arizona 26 (1-3-1), Cincinnati 23 (0-5):  Kyler Murray used his arm and legs to put up 346 yards of total offense, including a running touchdown as the “Air-Raid” offense finally scored their first victory of the season.  It was a field goal on the game’s final play that saw the Bengals fall to 0-5 as only 46,012 fans were in attendance to see Cincinnati rally to time the game before losing and moving one step closer to the top pick in next year’s NFL Draft.   

New England 33 (5-0), Washington 7 (0-5):  Tom Brady looked young again against Jay Gruden’s lifeless defense as he tossed three touchdowns and for 348 yards in the nation’s capital.  One 65-yard touchdown run was the only offense Washington put on the board in this lopsided affair the Jay Gruden watch continues this week for a team that clearly has already mailed it in.       

Baltimore 26 (3-2), Pittsburgh 23 (1-4):  Mason Rudolph was knocked out cold in this game by Earl Thomas, who was taken to the hospital with a concussion; yet the Steelers did all they could in forcing this game to overtime before falling to the Ravens, who broke their two-game losing streak.  Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson had three INTs in this game, but did enough to move his team back over .500, keeping them atop the AFC North for another week.   

Oakland 24 (3-2), Chicago 21 (3-2):  Raiders offensive lineman Richie Incognito was trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons during this game after a cheap shot late hit early in this game; however, the Raiders end their three-game road trip with a win in London over Khalil Mack and the Bears.  The Bears used a 21-point third quarter to take a four-point lead they couldn’t hold as a late touchdown sealed the win for the Silver and Black.     

Denver 20 (1-4), LA Chargers 13 (2-3): Two red zone possessions and a missed field goal resulted in no points and a punt return was the only way the Chargers found the end zone in this game.  Joe Flacco was the better quarterback in this game, putting up the first 17 points, while Philip Rivers left me wondering if he has enough left in the tank to make it back the playoffs again in his career.

Green Bay 34 (4-1), Dallas 24 (3-2): The Lone Star on the field during this game had a the first name of Aaron, but not the last name Rodgers; instead it was Packers running back Aaron Jones who stole the show, scoring four rushing touchdowns.  The visitors from the frozen tundra build leads of 24-0 and 31-3 before the Cowboys started their ill-fated comeback that died when Dallas missed a late field goal.  It would seem that the Dak Prescott stock is still falling as the Cowboys falls back into a tie with Philadelphia for first place in the NFC East.

Indianapolis 19 (3-2), Kansas City 13 (5-1): The Colts defense showed the NFL how to defeat Patrick Machines.  By making the pocket dirty and sacking Mahomes four times.  It also helps if you limit his possessions, which the Colts’ Marlon Mack did by running the ball 29 times for 132 yards.  The worst performance of Patrick Mahomes career lead to his first loss of 2019; and for Indianapolis, the Jacoby Brissett era continues to progress nicely as the Colts remain tied stop the AFC South.

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