Week 10 was one of blowouts, with heavyweights like the Saints proving to be too much for the Bengals and the Steelers looking like their old dominant selves in Prime Time.
However, it also included a couple of hard-fought divisional matchups that went down to the wire, with the NFC East looking win open with only sevens weeks left in the season. Time to look at Week 10!
Let’s get started!
Pittsburgh 52-Carolina 14
This one was set to be one of the best Thursday night games so far this year. With both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers rolling as of late, the battle of two offences led by All-Star quarterbacks and solid defences looked to be a promising match.
Cam Newton would need to use his legs in order to succeed on Thursday, with a solid game from Christian McCaffrey additionally needed. Conversely, Ben Roethlisberger would be hoping for another amazing performance from James Conner on the ground to control the game for the Steelers.
The Panthers got on the board first with an impressive opening drive. The drive was led by McCaffrey, who rushed for 60 yards out of the 75 total yards on the drive. It ended with a 20-yard touchdown run by McCaffrey for the 7-0 lead.
It didn’t long for Pittsburgh to answer back, however. In fact, it took just one play as on the next play for the Steelers Roethlisberger hit JuJu Smith-Schuster down the sideline for a 75-yard TD pass and the 7-7 tie.
That’s where the promise for a great evenly matched game died.
It took just as much time for the Steelers to score their next touchdown. Carolina took possession from their own 12-yard line after a holding penalty. Newton dropped back to pass and felt the pressure from TJ Watt in his own end zone, throwing one up down the middle of the field. The pass was intercepted by Vince Williams who took it back to the end zone for the score and 14-7 lead.
After the Steelers defence forced a three-and-out, they drove back down the field in eight plays. Roethlisberger took the team 58 yards down the field and handed it off to James Conner who fought his way for the two yards into the end zone and the 21-7 lead.
Carolina jumped back into the game in the second quarter with Cam Newton and company finding more rhythm. They moved 73 yards on just nine plays capping the drive off with a 25-yard TD pass to McCaffrey. There seemed to be miscommunication in the Steelers secondary as McCaffrey went untouched on the wheel route into the end zone for the 24-14 score.
Once again, unfortunately, it did not last long. Four plays later, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown down the sideline over rookie corner Donte Jackson for a 53-yard TD, pushing the lead out to 31-14. The team took the lead into the half.
After Roethlisberger took the Steelers back down the field adding another TD to Vance McDonald in the back of the end zone giving his team a 38-14 lead, Big Ben took a shot to head from Eric Reid. While the QB was going to the ground on a run Reid came in late contacting the head of Roethlisberger resulting in a penalty and ejection for Reid.
Two plays later Roethlisberger found Jesse James for the 8-yard TD and the massive 45-14 lead. If things couldn’t get any worse, the Panthers fumbled the ensuing kickoff with a Steelers recovery at the Carolina 9-yard line. On the next play, Jaylen Samuels took the dump pass for the 6-yard run with the defender flipping him over into the end zone and the 52-14 lead.
The game for obvious reasons was over long before this point. The Steelers closed out the victory and completed their complete dismantling of the Panthers. The Pittsburgh defence kept the pressure up on Newton all game getting in his face and totalling 5 sacks.
This was not the expected outcome, with both teams seeming like they were headed in the same direction. The Steelers, however, have sent a message with this blowout win that they are in fact not to be taken lightly heading down the playoff stretch.
PIT: B.Roethlisberger: 22/25 328YDs 5TDs J.Conner: 13CAR 65YDs 1TD A.Brown: 6CAT 96YDs 1TD J.Smith-Schuster: 3CAT 90YDs 1TD
CAR: C.Newton: 23/29 193YDs 2TDs 1INT C.McCaffrey: 14CAR 77YDs 1TD 5CAT 61YDs 2TDs
New Orleans 51-14 Cincinnati
The New Orleans Saints have been the best team in the NFL up to this point in the season. Drew Brees has been picking apart defences all year long on his way to becoming the league’s all-time leading passer. They find themselves atop the NFC South at 7-1.
The Bengals were coming off the bye week where an upset win in this one would not just keep them up with Pittsburgh in the AFC North, but also be a huge statement to the rest of the league.
New Orleans struck first on their opening drive, going 75 yards in 15 plays and chewing up over eight minutes of clock. After Brees took his team down to the Bengals 7-yard line, he squeezed one into Michael Thomas who made a beautiful diving catch in the corner of the end zone for the 7-0 lead.
The scoring continued with both teams putting up points on the first three drives of the game. Cincinnati answered the Saints opening score with an 8-play, 75-yard drive led by Joe Mixon who ran for 32 yards. Andy Dalton capped the drive off with a 2-yard TD pass to John Ross for the 7-7 tie.
But Drew Brees took those points right back on his next drive. It only took six plays as Brees hit Mark Ingram for a 27-yard catch and run play, setting up another big play by Ingram. Four plays after his big gain through the air Ingram ran it 28 yards breaking tackles on way to the end zone for the score and 14-7 lead.
The Saints would not be stopped. They ran nine plays on their third drive led by a 14-yard run by Alvin Kamara and an 18-yarder by Mark Ingram. The drive ended with a 4-yard TD run by Kamara pushing the lead out to 21-7.
The piling on continued with New Orleans scoring a touchdown on every single drive of the first half. Brees took his offence 60 yards with a 19-yard pass to Kamara and a 23-yarder to Dan Arnold before Kamara took it in from 1 yard out for the 28-7 lead.
Then, just as the Bengals started to move down the field to the Saints 34-yard line, Dalton threw one to the end zone with it being intercepted by Marcus Williams who took it 78 yards to the Bengals 17-yard line with 8 seconds left in the half. It only took one play but Brees then hit Michael Thomas for the TD and 35-7 halftime lead.
The domination continued into the second half, with the Saints adding a Drew Brees 1-yard rushing touchdown after a Cincinnati turnover on downs and nine more points in field goals. The game would end in a 51-14 blowout final.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints continue to prove they are the best team in the league. Not only do they keep on winning but they’re doing it in dominant fashion. They put up over 500 yards of total offence with a balance of 265 passing yards and 244 rushing. They continue to roll into an 8-1 record while the Bengals are now 5-4 making the next string of games more important.
NO: D.Brees: 22/25 265YDs 3TDs M.Ingram: 13CAR 104YDs 3CAT 58YDs 1TD A.Kamara: 12CAR 56YDs 2TDs 4CAT 46YDs M.Thomas: 8CAT 70YDs 2TDs
CIN: A.Dalton: 12/20 153YDs 1TD 2INTs J.Mixon: 11CAR 61YDs T.Boyd: 3CAT 65YDs
**D.Brees passes Brett Favre for second in all-time touchdown passes
**D.Kirkpatrick left with concussion
Green Bay 31-Miami 12
The Packers found themselves with a disappointing 3-4-1 record halfway through the season and at third place in the division. Aaron Rodgers and company needed a big win at home to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have been quietly floating around the Wild Card spots in the AFC with a 5-4 record. However, they have been without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill as Brock Osweiler has started the last four games.
The Dolphins were moving the ball at an efficient rate moving down to the Packers 14-yard line. A bad snap sent the ball sailing over the head of Osweiler only to be recovered by Green Bay for the turnover.
Green Bay turned that Dolphins mistake into points. Moving down to the Miami 7-yard line with runs and catches by Aaron Jones. The other Aaron on the team, Rodgers then threw a seven-yard dart to Davante Adams into the end zone for the 7-0 lead.
Another fumble led to points, this time it was the Packers mistake. After a Dolphins punt, Tramon Williams fumbled on the return giving Miami the ball back. They would have to settle for a field and the 7-3 score.
Green Bay jumped right back out into the lead after a massive 67-yard run up the middle by Aaron Jones gave the Pack possession inside the five-yard line. Jones then took it the rest of the way for the 14-3 lead. Miami added two more field goals for the 14-9 halftime score.
The Packers would have to punt on their first drive of the second half, only to have it blocked and recovered by Miami. The block did lead to points but just three as they kicked another field goal and for the 14-12 score.
The Packers pushed the lead out on their next drive. Rodgers found Marcedes Lewis for a 30-yard gain followed by a 12-yard run by Jones. Jones took it another 10 yards for the score and 21-12 lead.
It took just two more plays for Miami to give it right back. Osweiler threw one into the hands of Bashaud Breeland for the interception setting Green Bay up at the Miami 12-yard line after a 26-yard return. Rodgers then found Adams for 25 yards just in front of the end zone with Adams skipping his way in for the TD and 28-12 lead.
Green Bay would add another field goal for the 31-12 win. The Packers pulled out the dominating win, one they needed during this up and down season. Both offences put up similar numbers with the Packers only having 83 more yards.
The difference was the Green Bay defence who totalled six sacks on Brock Osweiler on way to the suffocating victory. They forced two turnovers with the fumble and interception leading to Packers points. Their record evens out a little now as they try and back into the playoff picture.
GB: A.Rodgers: 19/28 199YDs 2TDs A.Jones: 15CAR 145YDs 2TDs A.Adams: 4CAT 57YDs 2TDs
MIA: B.Osweiler: 23/37 213YDs 1INT F.Gore: 13CAR 90YDs D.Amendola: 7CAT 72YDs
LA Rams 36-Seattle 31
This NFC West showdown predicted a lopsided game in favour of the Rams. The Seahawks were coming off a loss to the Chargers at Century Link in Week 9, while the Rams lost their first game of the year to the Saints. The Seahawks were sitting in second place at 4-4 while facing a tough schedule ahead, making this one more important.
The Rams offence has been unstoppable this year and looked to run all over the Seattle defence, but in the Week 5 matchup between both teams the Rams only won by two points. This one had the potential to be closer than some may have thought.
The Seahawks scored on their opening drive moving 51 yards in seven plays. Tyler Lockett took off for a 32-yard sweep setting up the 8-yard TD pass from Russell Wilson to Nick Vannett for the 7-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long, however, with LA answering back on their next drive. They ran 10 plays for 86 yards with Jared Goff hitting Robert Woods for 15 yards then Todd Gurley for 20 yards before finding Gerald Everett for the 10-yard TD and the 7-7 tie.
This divisional showdown did not disappoint with Seattle marching right back down the field. They went 75 yards in just five plays helped with a 38-yard run by rookie Rashaad Penny who then capped the drive off with an 18-yard TD run to the outside, his first of his career for the 14-7 lead.
After the Rams added a field goal both teams exchanged a few drives before LA took the ball 86 yards on 9 plays. Todd Gurley picked up 30 yards on the ground before he took it off the edge for the 17-yard TD run and the 17-14 lead which they took into the half.
LA added a field goal early in the second half before Seattle took it back and put up seven. They went 75 yards in nine plays led by Rashaad Penny with 21 yards before Wilson found Tyler Lockett for the 23-yard TD pass and the narrow 21-20 lead.
The Rams answered with a touchdown of their own on the following drive. Goff found Woods for a 35-yard gain before ending the drive with a 10-yard TD pass to Tyler Higbee. After a failed two-point attempt the Rams took a 26-21 lead.
Both teams added a field goal before the Seahawks gave up a costly turnover. Russell Wilson would be sacked from his own 9-yard line. He fumbled on the hit with Dante Fowler recovering. On the next play, Brandin Cooks took the end around rush the nine yards for the score and 36-24 lead.
Seattle made it a game on their next drive with Wilson finding David Moore for 16 yards, Doug Baldwin for 12 and Ed Dickson for 24, setting up at the LA 3-yard line. Mike Davis took it the rest of the way for the score cutting the lead down to 36-31.
The Seahawks defence made a big stop getting the ball back with just over a minute left. After Wilson found Lockett for a 29-yard gain over the middle he took off for a few runs of his own setting up camp at the Rams 35-yard line. With 29 seconds left on a 4th and 10 Wilson threw it to Lockett along the sideline, but the pass sailed over Lockett’s head sealing the 36-31 Rams victory.
Both teams fought hard in this one, but one too many mistakes for Seattle cost them. The Seahawks could not get much of a passing game going through most of this one, finishing with just 141 yards through the air. They continue to run the ball effectively with 273 yards on the ground and stayed in the game right until the end. It just wasn’t enough, especially with the fumble that led to seven points for LA.
The Rams offence continues to roll, as usual, putting up 456 yards of total offence. They own the NFC West and have safety positioned themselves as one of the best teams in the league. The defence which has struggled this year still allowed Seattle to get back into this one but showed more flashes of what they were expected to be. They kept the pressure up on Wilson while forcing the sack-fumble.
LA: J.Goff: 28/39 318YDs 2TDs T.Gurley: 16CAR 120YDs 1TD 3CAT 40YDs B.Cooks: 10CAT 100YDS R.Woods: 4CAT 89 YDs
SEA: R.Wilson: 17/26 176YDs 3TDs 9CAR 92YDs R.Penny: 12CAR 108YDs 1TD T.Lockett: 5CAT 67YDs
**C.Kupp leaves with torn ACL
Philadelphia 27-Dallas 20
The NFC East has been the most wide-open division of the league all year. Coming into this game, Washington sat at the top with the Eagles and Cowboys close behind. The Prime-Time lights looked to shine on two rivals who looked to fight their way back into the race for the East while burying their opponent.
Things started out slow for both teams with them exchanging field goals leading to a 6-3 Dallas lead with 1:33 left in the first half. That was until Dak Prescott took his team down the field for the score. Ezekiel Elliott carried the game for Dallas early, especially on a run where he hurdled over Eagles defender Tre Sullivan.
He found his new receiver Amari Cooper for 15 yards before being sacked leading to a 3rd and 15 with 58 seconds left in the half. Prescott then found Michael Gallup for 25 yards and Cole Beasley for 21 then Allen Hurns for 17 yards setting them up at the Philly 1-yard line with 21 seconds left. Prescott then hurried the offence down to the line and plowed his way through for the score and 13-3 lead at the half.
After a Philly field goal Dallas would attempt to push the lead back out to 10 points with a 6-play 52-yard drive resulting in a 42-yard Brett Maher field goal attempt. However, he pushed it wide-right keeping the score at 13-6.
The Eagles then tied the game just before the end of the third quarter. Carson Wentz completed two passes to Jordan Matthews for a total of 26 yards before he hit Zach Ertz in front of the goal line who took it in for the 15-yard TD and the 13-13 score.
Things continued to roll into the fourth quarter and for the Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott was a workhorse all game long. He helped lead Dallas back into the lead in the fourth quarter. He contributed 54 of the 75 yards Dallas needed to get to the end zone, including a 7-yard TD catch where he trotted into the corner of the end zone for the 20-13 lead.
Philadelphia got those points right back on a 7-play drive where they ate up 74 yards. 51 of those 74 yards came on a bomb down the seam to Nelson Agholor. It set up a first and goal where Wentz then hit Ertz in the end zone tying the game at 20-20.
Dallas was determined to answer back as they marched back down the field on their ensuing drive. Prescott hit Allen Hurns for 23 yards and Amari Cooper for 24 setting up Ezekiel Elliott to take it in from 1-yard out for the 27-20 lead.
Philadelphia took another shot at getting back into the game, but on a 4th and 7 Wentz hit Ertz at the first down stick. However, Ertz did not maintain possession while crossing the line marking him just short of the first down.
The Eagles had another opportunity to tie it late with 53 second left. Wentz moved down to the Dallas 32-yard line with 15 seconds left and no time outs. He hit Ertz for a 23-yard gain over the middle moving down to the Dallas 9-yard line. Ertz would lateral to Golden Tate who was stopped with zeros on the clock sealing the 27-20 Dallas victory.
Dallas puts themselves right back into the playoff hunt tying themselves with the Eagles at 4-5 in second place in the NFC East. Ezekiel Elliott dominated the game with over 180 yards of total offence. With that kind of contribution, this team took on a whole new look as they controlled the pace of play from start to finish.
The Eagles almost fought their way back into it with the second half being much more exciting than the first but ended up just short. This division could be one to watch closely as the playoffs loom closer.
DAL: D.Prescott: 26/36 270YDs 1TD E.Elliott: 19CAR 151YDs 1TD 6CAT 36 1TD A.Cooper: 6CAT 75YDs
PHI: C.Wentz: 32/44 360YDs 2TDs 1INT Z.Ertz: 14CAT 145YDs 2TDs N.Agholor: 5CAT 83YDs
Detroit 22-34 Chicago
M.Trubisky: 23/30 355YDs 3TDs A.Robinson: 6CAT 133YDs 2TDs A.Miller: 5CAT 122YDs 1TD/M.Stafford: 25/42 274YDs 2TDs 2INTs K.Johnson: 14CAR 51YDs 1TD K.Golladay: 6CAT 78YDs 1TD
**M.Jones left with knee injury
Atlanta 16-28 Cleveland
B.Mayfield: 17/20 216YDs 3TDs N.Chubb: 20CAR 176YDs 1TD/M.Ryan: 38/52YDs 2TDs T.Coleman: 11CAR 44YDs J.Jones: 7CAT 107YDs 1TD A.Hooper: 10CAT 56YDs 1TD
Jacksonville 26-29 Indianapolis
A.Luck: 21/29 285YDs 3TDs 1INT T.Hilton: 3CAT 77YDs E.Ebron: 3CAT 69YDs/B.Bortles: 26/38 320YDs 2TDs L.Fournette: 24CAR 53YDs 1TD 5CAT 56YDs 1TD D.Moncrief: 3CAT 98YDs 1TD
Arizona 14-26 Kansas City
P.Mahomes: 21/28 249YDs 2TDs K.Hunt: 16CAR 71YDs T.Hill: 7CAT 117YDs 2TDs/J.Rosen: 22/39 208YDs 1TD 2INTs D.Johnson: 21CAR 98YDs 1TD 7CAT 85YDs 1TD
**L.Fitzgerald passes Terrell Owens for second all-time in receiving yards
Buffalo 41-10 NY Jets
M.Barkley: 15/25 232YDs 2TDs L.McCoy: 26CAR 113YDs 2TDs R.Foster: 3CAT 105YDs Z.Jones: 8CAT 93YDs 1TD /J.McCown: 17/34 135YDs 2INTs C.Herndon: 3CAT 34YDs
Washington 16-3 Tampa Bay
A.Smith: 19/27 178YDs 1TD A.Peterson: 19CAR 68YDs M.Harris: 5CAT 52YDs J.Reed: 4CAT 51YDs/R.Fitzpatrick: 29/41 406YDs 2INTs P.Barber: 13CAR 61YDs C.Godwin 7CAT 103YDs J.Rodgers: 8CAT 102YDs
**L.David left with knee injury
New England 10-34 Tennessee
M.Mariota: 16/24 228YDs 2TDs D.Henry: 11CAR 58YDs 2TDs D.Lewis: 20CAR 57YDs C.Davis: 7CAT 125YDs 1TD/T.Brady: 21/41 254YDs J.Edelman: 9CAT 104YDs J.Gordon: 4CAT 81YDs
**J.Edelman left with ankle injury **D.Allen left with knee injury
LA Chargers 20-6 Oakland
P.Rivers: 18/26 223YDs 2TDs 1INT M.Gordon: 18CAR 93YDs 5CAT 72YDs 1TD K.Allen: 6CAT 57YDs 1TD/24/37 243YDs D.Martin: 15CAR 61YDs J.Cook: 4CAT 52YDs J.Richard: 5CAT 52YDs
NY Giants 27-23 San Francisco
E.Manning: 19/31 188YDs 3TDs S.Barkley: 20CAR 67YDs O.Beckham: 4CAT 73YDs 2TDs/N.Mullens: 27/39 250YDs 1TD 2INTs M.Brieda: 17CAR 101YDs 1TD G.Kittle: 9CAT 83YDs
BYE: Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Minnesota
1.Chiefs (9-1) 2.Chargers (7-2) 3.Broncos (3-6) 4.Raiders (1-8)
1.Patriots (7-3) 2. Dolphins (5-5) 3.Bills (3-7) 4.Jets (3-7)
1. Texans (6-3) 2.Titans (5-4) 3.Colts (4-5) 4.Jaguars (3-6)
1.Steelers (6-2-1) 2.Bengals (5-4) 3.Ravens (4-5) 4.Browns (-6-1)
1.Rams (9-1) 2.Seahawks (4-5) 3.Cardinals (2-7) 4.49ers (2-8)
1.Washington (6-3) 2.Cowboys (4-5) 3.Eagles (4-5) 4.Giants (2-7)
1.Saints (8-1) 2.Panthers (6-) 3.Falcons (4-5) 4.Buccaneers (3-6)
1.Bears (6-3) 2.Vikings (5-3-1) 3.Packers (4-4-1) 4.Lions (3-6)