Here's what we learned from Sunday's Week 10 slate of games:
Dallas Cowboys 27, Philadelphia Eagles 20
1. The Cowboys survived a fourth-quarter scoring onslaught and last-second red-zone heave to pull even with the defending . Though Dak Prescott had one of his most efficient games of the season, Dallas moved the ball best when Ezekiel Elliott was its carrier. Elliott rumbled for a near-season-high 151 rushing and scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to seal the season-saving victory. Hurdling defensive backs and hitting holes with ease, Zeke played in the spirit of his rookie campaign. On the other side of the ball, Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith made Cowboys fans forget to play who Sean Lee was, filling in dutifully for the injured Dallas captain. Vander Esch's game-high 13 tackles and first career interception were the sideline-to-sideline product hustle and exceptional speed. The rookie linebacker's best play of the night – and there were many – came in a third-and-2 Vander Esch beat two Eagles back to the top. Drive to the following play, and a last-gasp six-play drive.
2. Philadelphia's trade-deadline acquisition of the Golden Tate did not pay dividends out of the gate. The YAC master caught a ball on the Eagles' first drive and fielded punts in his debut, but saw just 18 offensive plays and four targets. Play not the hinder Carson Wentz's play down the stretch. The Philly QB was bothered by Dallas, especially by Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods. Wentz's connection with Zach Ertz was as strong as ever. A tight-end racked-up season-high 14 receptions for 145 yards and two scores Wentz's go-to An unstoppable red-zone threat, Ertz has recorded at least 10 receptions for the fourth time this season. But perhaps there lies the problem. When the Eagles went searching for a Sunday evening game, they could not find one. Save for one long run from Josh Adams, Philly averaged 2.8yards per carry. The Eagles called just 16 rushing plays to 46 passing plays. Last season's Super Bowl-bound Birds boasted to compelling one-two punch of Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount to hammer opponents. This season's Eagles have no such ground threat, render them unable to create manageable third downs or take pressure off of their injury-prone quarterback and offensive line. Below .500 with the league's second-toughest schedule remaining, the Eagles are no longer soaring toward the postseason.
3. Speaking of trade-deadline wideouts, Amari Cooper (75 yards) was just one of many Cowboys. With Philadelphia missing three nights in the evening (Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby), Dallas' maligned receivers on open spaces in the Eagles secondary. Cooper, Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz each recorded two receptions and at least one of over 10 yards. The Cowboys picked up 14 first down through the air and went 8-for-16 on third down. Two boys and two boys, two men, two boys and two boys, two boys and two boys. Prescott played with the United States in the mid-October demolition of Jacksonville. The 4-5 Cowboys will need more of that efficiency in the passing game.
– Jeremy Bergman
Los Angeles Rams 35, Seattle Seahawks 31
1. Rams running back Todd Gurley rebounded in emphatic fashion from Week 9's performance where the New Orleans Saints limited him to 79 total yards. Offense, so goes the Rams' gurley proved once again. The elite running back with the Seahawks, pounding out 120 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Gurley ripped off chunks of yards, averaging 7.5 yards to carry, and produced 40 yards receiving on three catches for a complete game. Gurley also placed himself among the NFL's all-time greats by scoring a touchdown in his 10th straight game on the season.
With his TD run in the 2nd quarter of today's game, @RamsNFL RB Todd Gurley (@ TG3II) joins @ProFootballHOF Lenny Moore (1964), O.J. Simpson (1975) & Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch (1951) as the only players in @NFL history with a TD in each of his team's 10 games to start a season pic.twitter.com/x731WjUkf1
– NFL345 (@ NFL345)
November 11, 2018
With Gurley, quarterback Jared Goff completed 28 of 39 passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns. Goff topped the 300-yard passing mark for the sixth time this season. Brandin Cooks paced the receiving corps with 10 catches for 100 yards, while Robert Woods chipped in with four catches for 89 yards. Cooper Kupp totaled five catches for 39 yards before leaving the game with a knee injury. The initial concern is that he returned to ACL, NFL Network Insider reported Ian Rapoport. The Rams improved to 9-1 to the heavyweight matchup against the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City on Monday Night Football. With a win over the Chiefs and a Seahawks loss this Thursday, L.A. can clinch a second consecutive NFC West title.
2. The Rams entered Week 10 with just 45 penalties on the season, the second-fewest in the league, and averaging five per game. But head coach Sean McVay's team was plagued with 10 uncharacteristic infractions, including five personal fouls for 102 total yards against the Seahawks.
Rams defensive end Dante Fowler, who accounted for a 15-yard facemask penalty and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike infraction, made up for his late mistakes in the game. Quarterback Russell Wilson, and ultimately recovered the loose ball at Seattle's 9-yard line. The Rams at the end of the game with the Rams at 36-24 cushion before holding on for the win. While the penalties did not cost the Rams in what was a close game, the lack of the disciplines kept alive and led to touchdowns. Los Angeles is well-coached, though, I know Sunday could not be anomaly and not cause for alarm.
3. Despite the loss, the Seahawks continue to send a message to the rest of the league. Seattle basically shrugged off to stout Rams defense en route to pounding out an eye-popping 273 yards rushing on the game, marking the sixth straight week the offense had 150 yards or more on the ground. Rookie Rashaad Penny led the way with a breakout game, totaling a career-high 108 yards rushing, adding a touchdown on 12 carries. Quarterback Russell Wilson, who completed 17 of 26 passes for three hundred and six touchdowns, also had an exception contest on the ground. Nevertheless, the loss dropped the Seahawks to 4-5 on the season, including two losses to the Rams in the NFC West.
– Herbie Teope
Los Angeles Chargers 20, Oakland Raiders 6
1. Los Angeles team – you know, the one with the dynamic offense, the dual-threat running back and the souped-up defense – the Chargers are taking care of business and getting a legitimate claim as the most complete team in the Southland. The Bolts won their sixth game in a row Sunday afternoon, handling the Raiders with lethal patience. After the first of the season, the Chargers stayed the course, feeding their beast (running back to Melvin Gordon) and pulling away from the Raiders with two touchdowns on either side of halftime. Thundand Oaks, but Gordon proved to be a problem that could not have been more Gordon totaled 165 yards on 23 touches and made multiple Raiders miss on a game-sealing 66-yard TD catch-and-run. In the second quarter, Gordon broke at least three tackles on a fourth-and-1 sweep left to extend what would be L.A.'s first scoring drive. Gordon is the perfect avatar from this Chargers team.
2. Ten days of rest and self-reflection paid off for Oakland's defense, which is one of the most dangerous offenses. The Raiders held in Los Angeles to the lowest point total this year and allowed to season-low. 335 total yards, thanks to an improved pass and interior line. Veteran pass rusher Bruce Irvin. Oakland sacked Philip Rivers just once but good pressure from Maurice Hurst, Shilique Calhoun and Clinton McDonald. The Raiders defense could be made up of spare parts, but they're making it work.
Now if only Derek Carr and Oakland's sluggish offense had picked up the slack. The Raiders were not bad between the 20s, but shrunk when they entered L.A. territory. Oakland made five trips inside the Chargers' 30-yard line on Sunday and came away with just six points. The last venture ended in the fourth quarter with Oakland down two scores. This is a team, with seven games remaining in the season to disservice to its supporters. Making matters worse, Martavis Bryant suffered a season-ending knee injury, limiting Carr's options going forward to Jared Cook, Jordy Nelson and a sock puppet.
3. Chargers special teams update. Rookie kicker Michael Badgley made all four of his kicks in Oakland (two FGs, two XPs). He remains perfect on the season. The bad news? THERE. was run on a first-quarter fake punt run from Raiders rookie Johnny Townsend who scampered 42 yards down the left sideline at RB1 speed (20.48 mph, for Next Gen Stats) to extend an early drive. THERE. was thankfully bailed out by the Raiders' unimaginative red-zone play-calling later in the march.
– Jeremy Bergman
Tennessee Titans 34, New England Patriots 10
1. The student took down the Sunday teacher in stunning fashion. In the game the Titans are likely to be a testament to the fact that they are flying. Mike Vrabel's defense harassed Tom Brady early and often, getting a few breaks with some early miscellaneous (Josh Gordon dropped passes, for example) and taking advantage of early stops. Tennessee came out of his corner swinging and landed to a punch on the Patriots, taking a 17-3 lead into the second quarter. In the end, it was the classic turn-to-Derrick-Henry approach that helped the Titans ice things, riding the big back to the clock. "It was a team" win for the Titans, who outplayed the patriots on both sides of the ball, throwing Tom Brady out of rhythm and attacking with unseen aggression on offense. It produced Tennessee's most emphatic win of 2018.
2. Marcus Mariota was better than he was in the middle of October, throwing with confidence and precision and scrambling for yards when needed. Mariota found Corey Davis for a beautiful early touchdown, took shots down the sidelines and made decisions with conviction. Marietta of October, with a masterpiece, a teacher and a teacher, a master at the piano, with a master's degree in the performance of the masters in an efficient manner that kept the Titans 'offense moving and the ball out of the Patriots' hands . He is a member of the team and he is a member of the team who is a member of the team. It was extremely refreshing to see from a team that looked lost in recent weeks.
3. This is not an excuse, but injuries did not hold the Patriots back. Separate points of this game. Josh Gordon's finger injury contributed to a handful of drops. Julian Edelman left for the locker room with the patriots But above all, the Patriots were simply outplayed by a team that kept the game hungrier than a starved junkyard dog. Titans threw a strong early punch and maintained the lead built by such a start. They harassed Brady so much, he simply did not look like himself at all. If these two meet again, though, I'm not sure I'm not going to be on the Titans after Sunday. It's a good start, though.
– Nick Shook
Green Bay Packers 31, Miami Dolphins 12
1. The Green Bay Packers finally leaned on Aaron Jones. The bruising, explosive running back rewarded Mike McCarthy with a career-high 145 rushing yard day on 15 carries, for 9.7 yards per tote, with two scores. The versatile back chipped in 27 yards on three receptions. In the first half, Jones accounted for 128 of the Packers 207 total yards. A barbwired cannonball, Jones owns a quick first step that allowed him to zoom through the big holes of a porous Dolphins defense. His blastoff 67-yard run set up the Packers second touchdown of the day – a drive in which Jones accounted for all 71 yards and the score. After splitting reps most of the season, Jones saw 72.2 percent of snaps and out-carried Jamaal Williams 15 to three. With Jones rolling, Aaron Rodgers did not have to take the load, throwing for just 199 yards and two TD toxes to Devante Adams (4/57/2) up-and-down offense. Hopefully, Sunday's work is an indication of how the packers will handle the rotation for the stretch run.
2. Winners score touchdowns. Losers settle for field goals. The Dolphins moved the ball early against the packers. Miami's red zone offense was disastrous. A botched snap fumble on the opening drive killed at promising start. The Dolphins then settled for the field goals any time they got within scoring position. The drive that epitomized the Dolphins was a 14-play possession that took 7:34 off the clock, in which Miami drove inside the 30-yard-line. A sack, however, led to a punt. Waste. Brock Osweiler had a little chance to stretch the field (six sacks taken). The dink-and-dunk quarterback then tossed to backbreaking interception on a deep-out route. Frank Gore was the bright spot for the injury-ravaged Dolphins offense, generating 90 yards on 13 carries (6.9 YPC). Gore to break an NFL record with 14 straight seasons with 500-plus rushing yards. The ageless wonder is the best thing going for the Dolphins.
3. The victory kept the Packers in the postseason at 4-4-1 with upcoming games at Seattle and Minnesota, which will go a long way in determining how the NFC playoffs positioning shakes out. With three division games left, Green Bay needs to be run with the Bears, who is currently leading the NFC North. The Dolphins Head Into The Parker (shoulder). The Dolphins sits at 5-5 AFC playoff race. Depressing days like Sunday, however, do not shine positive on Miami's outlook.
– Kevin Patra
Cleveland Browns 28, Atlanta Falcons 16
1. This was the on-field drama Browns fans have waited eons for. Sunday marked a day of definitive growth for Baker Mayfield, who showed off his arm with some of the craftiest throws we've seen yet from the first-overall pick. The rookie authored a perfect first half, completing all 12 of his passes to nine separate targets. Nick Chubb, the ultra-rugged runner who lashed the Falcons for 176 yards and repeated dragged defenders for extra real estate. Absolutely the real deal, Chubb brought the house down into the second half with a franchise-record 92-yard touchdown blast. Meanwhile, who would have guessed the most creative play-caller on Cleveland's staff was not the exiled Hue Jackson or Todd Haley – but Freddie Kitchens? The fill-in coordinator kept the Falcons on their toes with the three-back formations with the Mayfield under-center, tight ends lined up behind the quarterback and a fluid mixture of clock-chewing runs and rapid-strike passes. Kitchens has reworked the playbook to give. On the whole, the most complete game from these young browns – on both sides of the ball.
2. The Falcons took advantage of Cleveland's lone in the first half, and the ill-fated option pass from Dontrell Hilliard that missed his target – Baker Mayfield – and fell into the arms of the safety Damontae Kazee, who rumbled 33 yards to set up to a quick Atlanta scoring toss from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones to build 10-7 lead. Tight end Austin Hooper caught four passes before Ryan (38-of-52 passing for 330 yards and two scores) connected with a wideout, the result of a browns. Julio Jones piled up 107 yards, but was played to a minimum by the Browns (3-6-1). The Falcons made a killer A young man with a ball in the middle of the third quarter when Mohamed Sanu lost the ball stretching for extra yardage after a catch, a gaffe that set up Mayfield's third touchdown of the day off an 11-yard strike to Duke Johnson for the 21-10 lead. Cleveland 1-yard line in the final quarter.
3. Sunday serving as an ultra-effective recruiting advertisement as general manager John Dorsey searches for Cleveland's next coach. The talent is there, just waiting for the right leader to step into this team towards the promised land. The Falcons, meanwhile, can barely afford another misstep after sinking to 4-5 on the year with a rugged, road-heavy remaining slate featuring the Cowboys, Saints, Packers and Panthers. In a stocked NFC South, the Falcons realistically need to go 6-1 down the stretch.
– Marc Sessler
Indianapolis Colts 29, Jacksonville Jaguars 26
1. It was at that of two halves for Indianapolis' scorching offense and Jacksonville's reeling defense. The Colts' 29 first-half points were their best since 2014, with Andrew Luck joining Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to three games in six consecutive games. We've always been wondering how to do reasonable protection, a solid supporting cast and an offensive guru. A sack shutout for a fourth straight game.
While Blake Bortles played with an effective ball-control attack in the second half, Kenny Moore just as the Jags had reached the game-tying field goal.
2. Released by the Lions in March, Eric Ebron has been one of the most productive free-agent acquisitions. Luck's red-zone security blanket scored three first-half touchdowns, including a 53-yard catch-and-run with an athletic pylon dive as the finishing move. Through nine games, Ebron has amassed 10 touchdowns and 463 yards on 39 receptions compared to three touchdowns and 217 yards on 23 catches for all of Detroit's tight ends combined. To be fair to the Lions' decision-makers, Ebron had lost his confidence, needed a fresh start and was two more than $ 8 million in his option year. Now he's on peace to threaten Rob Gronkowski's tight-end record of 18 total touchdowns, set in 2011.
3. Bortles can not be blamed for the latest setback in Jacksonville's five-game funk. He played a Sunday game, unfurling a pretty touch pass to Donte Moncrief for an 80-yard score and otherwise checking into a chain-moving attack led by Leonard Fournette. 2.2 yards on 24 carries, but was a factor in the passing game with 56yards on five receptions. 29 touches. Fournette finished with 109 touches and a pair of touchdowns.
The defense, on the other hand, was as soft-temperature butter for the bulk of the afternoon, prey to blown coverages, pre-snap confusion and undisciplined penalties. It's hard to believe this in the Outsiders' advanced metrics a year ago.
– Chris Wesseling
Chicago Bears 34, Detroit Lions 22
1. Matt Nagy's offseason plan coalesced in an explosive, entertaining the touchdown fiesta in the demolition of a division rival. Mitchell Trubisky enjoyed the best game of his career. Protected well against limp Lions pass rush, Trubisky did a phenomenal job getting through his progression and tossing pinpoint darts in stride to streaking receivers. The second-year quarterback came out of the gate on fire, completing 14 of 16 passes for 208 yards, two TD passes and a scoring run on four first-half touchdown drives. The Bears were offense, they experienced just three thirds down the entire first two quarters. Tru finished with a career-high 355 yards passing, three TD tosses, and a 148.6 QB rating. It's no coincidence that Allen Robinson's return from injury coincided with Trubisky's bombardment. The receiver was no match for the Darius Slay-less Lions secondary. AROM burned corners off the line and frequently galloped through open space, generating transpondencies of 36 yards (TD), 35 yards, 27 yards and 26 yards (TD). With a healthy Robinson, thriving rookie Anthony Miller (5/122/1), Swiss Army Knife weapon Tarik Cohen and Trubisky's weekly improvement, Nagy's offense is surging into the second half of the season. Sunday, it was no contest versus a weak Lions defense.
2. Entering a vital three-game stretch, the Bears with a dominant performance on both sides of the ball. Chicago's defense stuck to Lions receivers, who could not generate an iota of separation against a stingy Bears secondary. Vic Fangio's league-leading defense in turnovers forced three more (2 INTs, fumble) and sacked Matthew Stafford six times. Khalil Mack returned from the quarterback twice. Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith continues to play impressively, gobbling up 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, a sack, and a PBU. With Smith's improved coverage, the Bears defense does not have a glaring weakness.
Against the Bears D, Stafford continued his head-scratching season. In what's becoming a weekly occurrence, inability to generate early scores. Detroit's offense did not display the capability of sustaining drives. Sans the chain-moving Golden Tate, the Lions do not have an identity.
3. While the Lions (3-6) dimming hopes, on the Soldier Field of the Grass, the Bears put the division on notice with the Sunday's domination. With four more NFC North games down the stretch – including a rematch with Detroit on Thanksgiving – Nagy's squad will need to stack similar performances. Cody Parkey kicked the biggest negative for the Bears in Week 10. The veteran booter clanged four tries off the upright – two PATs and two field goals (41 yards, 34 yards). After a third-quarter touchdown, the Bears opts to keep Parkey on the sideline, instead, converting to two-point try. The misses did not bite the Bears this week, but they were against that with an actual pulse.
– Kevin Patra
Washington Redskins 16, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3
1. The two-faced character of the Redskins' defense showed its stingy side even if the Bucks were their own worst enemy. After getting sent to the woodshed last week against the Falcons, Washington (6-3) found success in capitalizing off the Buccaneers' mistakes in what was a bend-but-don't-break effort in repelling Fitzmagic. An incredible diving on the edge of the end zone by Josh Norman on Tampa Bay's first possession foreshadowed the Sisyphus-like effort that plagued Tampa Bay the entire game. Incredibly, Tampa Bay (3-6) was awarded to a single field goal despite a total of 501 total yards of offense. Two interceptions, two lost fumbles and a pair of missed field goals in a five-point set-up, three-wheeled, three-wheeled, two-wheeled, three-wheeled, two-wheeler, two-wheeler and two-wheeler. The Redskins' front seven augmented Tampa's woes, but it was just just another player in what was a world of frustration for the Buccaneers.
2. Alex Smith, unsurprisingly, put in another measured performance that was accentuated by brief moments of awesome. He finished the game with a ho-hum line of 19-of-27 passing for 178 yards and a touchdown. He zipped a few steps while helping the Redskins steadily away from the scoreboard, including a nice 6-yard laser to a stretching. It was a fairly strong effort considering the Redskins were working with some new faces on the offensive line after last week's injuries. Adrian Peterson had a game of previous matches, finishing with 68 yards on 19 carries. While Smith and Peterson provided a steady offensive heartbeat for the Redskins, Dustin Hopkins provided the bulk of the scoring. He kicked a pair of 43-yard field goals and added to 26-yarder. Jamson Crowder and Paul Richardson out of injuries and a fresh-faced O-line tasked with making it all work, the Redskins offense Bucs.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick has made a habit out of the loss category. He completed 29 of 41 passes for 406 yards in the loss. After the game, Bucks coach Dirk Koetter told reporters and called plays Sunday for the first time all year. It worked for the most part until the team got onto the Redskins' side of the field. It was another frustrating performance for a Buccaneers team that can not generate any consistency on offense. Koetter said he was mulling over or not to start Jameis Winston next week, but that probably will not fix what ails the Bucs. Fitzpatrick's two interceptions stung, but the lack of a game in combination with two lost fumbles and Chandler Catanzaro missing two of three field-goals attempts (30 and 48 yards) are game-breakers in close contests. Koetter keeping his job was one of the biggest post-Christmas surprises of the 2017 season. His future in Tampa Bay looks decidedly bleak unless the Buccaneers can be played on the last six weeks of the season.
– Austin Knoblauch
New Orleans Saints 51, Cincinnati Bengals 14
1. On a day to the end of the armed forces, the Saints channeled a little bit of the armed forces and performed flawlessly with military precision en route to their consecutive eighth win, the longest streak in the league.
Bengal defense. The Saints produced points on their first nine possessions, totaling 509 yards and 33 first downs on the game. New Orleans also averaged 6.9 yards per play while holding a massive 39:46 mark in time of possession compared to the Bengals' 20:14.
Quarterback Drew Brees led the charge, completing 22 of 25 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns, adding a 1-yard touchdown run. Wide receiver Michael Thomas paced with two catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Brees and Thomas made a mark on the NFL record book, too. Brees moved into second place on the all-time touchdown passes list ahead of Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Thomas set the record for most career catches through his first 40 games, a mark previously held by New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (266).
Meanwhile, Sunday also saw running back Mark Ingram total 162 yards (104 rushing) and touchdown. When the Saints have Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who have totaled 102 yards (56 rushing) and two touchdowns, they are going to be against the Bengals, this offense presents a major headache for defensive coordinators. As a team, the Saints totaled 244 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 47 carries.
The Saints improved to 8-1 on the season and opened a two-game lead over the Carolina Panthers in the NFC South.
2. On a team full of offensive stars, one of the most underrated storylines on the Saints offense to be back up quarterback Taysom Hill.
The Saints continue to use Hill as a weapon, but its ability to be used as a blocker. One play in the first half stood out. A line of scrimmage, and at the snap, with a Kamara on a screen pass. Hill, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 221 pounds, locked up with a Bengals defender and helped seal the edge for Kamara to gain positive yards.
The backup quarterback, who also contributes on special teams, simply can't be viewed as a gadget when he consistently makes football plays. Give credit to Saints head coach Sean Payton for finding ways to get playmakers on the field because how many NFL coaches would utilize their backup signal-caller like the Saints do?
3. The Bengals entered the game ranked at or near the bottom of the league in numerous defensive statistical categories, a recipe for disaster against one of the league's top offenses.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis' defensive unit simply had no answer to stop the high-powered Saints. And the defense, which allowed an opponent to top 500 total yards for a second consecutive game, got no help from the offense.
Quarterback Andy Dalton completed 12 of 20 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown, but the Saints picked off Dalton twice and sacked him four times. Dalton finished the game with a 61 passer rating.
Sunday's loss dropped the Bengals to 5-4 on the season.
— Herbie Teope
Buffalo Bills 41, New York Jets 10
1. The Bills (3-7) unleashed an offensive onslaught on the Jets only the Minnesota Vikings could have ever seen coming. With Matt Barkley making his first NFL start since the 2016 season for a Buffalo team mired in a comatosed state since rookie Josh Allen suffered an elbow sprain nearly a month ago, Sunday's performance by the Bills looked like something ripped from the NFL's bizarro world dimension. As strange as it is to fathom, the Bills did indeed jump out to a 31-3 halftime lead. Barkley made a ghost town out of "New Jack City" and LeSean McCoy looked like his 2011 self. It was the kind of gridiron beatdown that left the Jets' secondary throwing up their arms in frequent frustration while reminding the Buffalo faithful that Week 3's impressive performance against the Vikings wasn't necessarily a fluke. Barkley wasn't on the roster for the Bills' first win of the season, but he looked as comfortable in Buffalo as a Niagara Falls tour guide despite signing on just 13 days ago. Barkley made an immediate impact, connecting on a 47-yard pass to Robert Foster on the first play from scrimmage before McCoy scampered in for his first touchdown of the season on the next play. From there, Barkley completed 15 of 25 passes for 232 yards and two TDs in an impressive performance that even featured a big-boy touchdown on a 7-yard pass to offensive tackle Dion Dawkins. Pretty impressive for a QB who didn't even manage a snap during his time with the Cardinals last year before losing the Cincinnati Bengals' backup QB job to Jeff Driskel over the summer. All things considered, there's no need to rush Allen back onto the field now that the Bills have a better option than Nathan Peterman at the ready.
2. It's anyone's guess as to whether the Jets (3-7) will retain head coach Todd Bowles beyond this season, but Sunday's performance could be exhibit 1A in the argument for new leadership. The Jets' passing defense, which entered the game ranked 13th in the league, looked completely lost in the first half against a Bills team that ranks dead last in passing. Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne were almost helpless in preventing Zay Jones from enacting some sort of second coming of Andre Reed. Jones and Foster caused chaos throughout the game with Jones finishing with eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown and Foster adding 105 yards on three catches. New York also gave up a total of 212 yards on the ground with its defensive line giving up big runs to McCoy throughout the game. Offensively, the Jets were a dud. Josh McCown, who was filling in for injured starter Sam Darnold, couldn't string drives together for a team that went a forehead-slapping 1 for 12 on third downs. McCown completed a very backup-like 17 of 34 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions. While Bowles' future is tied closely to Darnold's future development, the other 52 matter, too. Surrendering 41 points to a Bills team that had only scored 96 points through the first nine weeks certainly won't help the claim that Bowles deserves a fifth season in Florham Park.
3. LeSean McCoy told reporters this week he knows time is running out on his chance to expand on his "legacy," and the running back responded with his best game of the season. McCoy churned out 113 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. The Jets struggled throughout the afternoon to contain the 30-year-old running back, who added instant balance to the Bills' attack. McCoy is still on pace to post the lowest numbers of his career, and the Bills sorely needed to find a way to get him to produce more. Sunday's performance goes a long way in helping McCoy and the Bills begin their claw back to respectability.
— Austin Knoblauch
Kansas City Chiefs 26, Arizona Cardinals 14
1. Arizona produced one drive that served as proof that we all aren't insane. It was early, a 12-play, 75-yard march, and it ended in a touchdown pass from Josh Rosen to David Johnson. It was well-balanced, efficient and included attainable down-and-distance situations throughout. Finally, the Cardinals (2-7) were looking like we all thought they should. But then, the usual issues crept back into focus. Rosen was harassed on nearly every play. The Chiefs (91-) sacked him five times, with four coming as a result of just a four-man rush. Kansas City logged a pressure on 54.5 percent of pass drops. That's not good for the Cardinals, and a tired tale in Arizona for a team that has a promising young quarterback but needs to protect him much better.
Lost in this was the play of Johnson, who rushed 21 times for 98 yards and a touchdown, and also led the Cardinals in receiving with seven grabs for 85 yards and another score. He didn't quite look like a gamebreaker Sunday, but he was the clear focal point of the offense for the first time in a long time.
2. Credit the Cardinals defense for being the first opposing unit to play as if it had studied each of Kansas City's games from this season. Arizona blew up a few staples of the Chiefs' offense throughout the game (a shovel pass to Travis Kelce ran into a brick wall of defenders), and even a hurdle attempt by Kareem Hunt that looked all too familiar was stopped dead in its tracks by Budda Baker, who wouldn't be fooled by another highlight attempt. That helps explain the stat line that was much more pedestrian from the Chiefs than we're used to this season. It's encouraging for the Cardinals, but the offense didn't do enough (per usual) and a chance at a massive upset fell short.
3. We'll spend just one point on the Chiefs this week because they're just doing more of the same. Arizona had small blips that showed a defense that's better than average, but much like last week against Cleveland, or every week for that matter it was just too much for an opponent to handle. Arizona cut Kansas City's lead to 20-14 in the fourth, but Justin Houston then rushed, read a screen drop, deftly slid back and intercepted Rosen's pass that was intended for Johnson. The Chiefs quickly turned the ensuing possession into six points and it was over from there. This was one of Kansas City's least impressive wins, but even then, it still came rather comfortably.
— Nick Shook