Like every Monday, we go with the conclusions after the tenth day of NFL football.
From the triumphant return of Cam Newton with the Carolina Panthers, to the great moment that the rookie quarterback of the New England Patriots, Mac Jones, goes through.
1. The Steelers were a concert of mistakes. The defense allowed more than 200 yards rushing and TJ Watt was injured. There’s no question that fumbles were expensive, but today was confirmation of the lack of a succession plan with his quarterback in Pittsburgh.
2. While the Lions had their first game without a loss of the season, Dan Campbell had some very conservative calls before missing the 48-yard field goal. Jared Goff is not the answer for the future and D’Andre Swift should be the central focus of this offense.
3. The Bills offense finally looked like a championship unit again. Stefon Diggs was a nightmare, Matt Breida raised his hand and Spencer Brown solidified the offensive line. The defense generated five losses, and looks like one of the best in the league.
4. It’s time to put to sleep the idea that Mike White, who threw four interceptions, could be the Jets’ savior. Zach Wilson is the most talented quarterback New York has and they have to try to develop their talent. Defense is an absolute sieve.
5. The Titans defense is one of the biggest revelations of the season. They have 27 sacks in the first 10 games, and Jeffery Simmons is a star. If that unit continues to play like this, they will be eligible to win the AFC when they regain health on offense.
6. Like last week, the Saints offense was resting on its laurels before waking up in the fourth quarter but it was too late. Without a healthy Alvin Kamara, New Orleans has no chance to compete; especially with current body of WRs.
7. The Cowboys made it clear that the previous loss was just a bad week. He dominated the offensive line, the connection between Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb is intact and Ezekiel Elliott was effective in the red zone. The next three games will be a good measure for Dallas.
8. Outside of AJ Terrell, I have a hard time finding a lot of talent on the Atlanta defense, which doesn’t pressure anyone. The offensive line leaves a lot to be desired and their receiving corps is decimated without Calvin Ridley. Record says Atlanta is better than it really is.
9. The Colts did their homework against the Jets and Jaguars, but they were far from looking like a candidate. Jonathan Taylor is a star, but Carson Wentz is the most frustrating player in the league. Now the Bills and Buccaneers are coming to see what Indianapolis is made of.
10. The Jaguars offense has an interesting weapon in Jamal Agnew, although they are averaging just 17 points per game. They can at least hold on to the fact that after a poor first quarter, the defense handcuffed the Colts and Jonathan Taylor for the rest of the game.
eleven. Washington played by far its best game of the season. The defense finally looked the way we expected and twice intercepted Tom Brady. The bad news is that Chase Young’s injury would put him out for the rest of the season.
12. It was clear from the start that neither Tom Brady nor the Buccaneers were on their best day, but the most disappointing thing was how Washington closed the game with a series of more than 10 minutes and did not give Brady a chance. Tampa is very undisciplined and they lost Vita Vea.
13. Mac Jones is making the Patriots fans believe more and more. New England can run against anyone, its young quarterback is becoming more comfortable and today he was surgical on third attempts. I said it before the start of the year and I repeat it: Patriots are going to be in the playoffs.
14. The Browns are a roller coaster of emotions. This Sunday they had a performance to be forgotten, they were dominated in the trenches and they failed to pressure Mac Jones throughout the game. When Cleveland has to lean on Baker Mayfield, he doesn’t do well.
fifteen. The Dolphins defense had its best game of the season considering the competition. They were aggressive and ended up boxing in Lamar Jackson and one of the most powerful attacks in the league. The calendar is favorable, but I would not anticipate.
16. Baltimore’s inability to adapt was alarming, and throughout the season, they have shown they have a lot of trouble when Lamar Jackson is under pressure. Ravens remain at the top of the division, but have lost two of the last three games.
17. He returned to Cam Newton, who will surely start next week, and showed how effective he can be in the red zone. Christian McCaffrey looks fresh and if he stays healthy, Carolina could dream of a playoffs, especially since the defense is recovering health.
18. Arizona was a shadow of the team we know they can be, and confirmed the importance Kyler Murray has to the Cardinals. Without it, they are lost. Neither did DeAndre Hopkins play, and although both would return next game, Arizona is no longer the top seed.
19. Beyond experience, it is never easy to be in sync if you don’t practice during the week; Rodgers looked rusty. The good news for him is that the Packers defense looks for real and he posted his first shutout in three years. The bad news is Aaron Jones’ injury.
twenty. Speaking of being rusty, Russell Wilson didn’t look good on his return from injury, completing just 50 percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions. The defense has shown a better face in the last three games and the schedule is accessible, so I haven’t ruled them out yet.
twenty-one. Minnesota wasn’t that complicated. Your best players always have to play the ball more. Justin Jefferson had nine catches and Dalvin Cook 24 carries. I still don’t trust the Vikings, but that way they will have a better chance of winning and fighting for a place in the playoffs.
22. The Chargers did a better job of stopping the running game than in weeks past, but when it mattered most, they couldn’t stop Dalvin Cook. I still think Justin Herbert will be a great quarterback, but he has had the most difficult month of his career.
23. Jalen Hurts had a fantastic first half, the Eagles rushed for 214 yards and DeVonta Smith has scored three touchdowns in the last two games. As if that were not enough, the defense improved through the air and Darius Slay’s touchdown was the turning point.
24. The Broncos defense has a hole in the linebackers and allowed too many freedoms on the ground. The offense was ineffective in the red zone and Melvin Gordon’s fumble ended up breaking the back of a Denver team whose streak of three straight hits was snapped.
25. The Chiefs played their best game of the year, rose to the top of the division and reminded the rest of the league why they will be a candidate even though the year has not been perfect thus far. They were also 6-4 last year and the defense is growing.
26. The Raiders’ biggest disappointment is that it was a divisional duel with the divisional leadership at stake, and they were absolutely dominated by the Chiefs. In 2019 and 2020 they fell in the second half of the season, and I don’t see evidence to show me that this year will be different.