Plenty of lessons as most teams hit the halfway point of their seasons in this weeks edition of weekly takeaways
Jacksonville Jaguars 22 @ Tennessee Titans 36
The Jaguars players have quit on the coaching staff- This game proved one thing from the Jaguars, they have quit. There was a specific play where T.J. Yeldon caught a screen pass and had blockers in front of him. He slipped and instead of getting up he gave up on the play, almost leaving the ball behind. They got blown out in this game regardless of the score, and much like Yeldon on the screen pass, the entire team has seemingly given up on the season.
DeMarco Murray and Derek Henry form one hell of a duo- These two running behind a solid line in the Music City might be on their way to being the best running back duo in the NFL. Murray showed off his speed while Henry was a bruiser, and the two combined for 37 carries, 183 yards, and two touchdowns. That was good for 4.9 yards per carry, and by the way Marcus Mariota can make plays happen with his legs too.
Washington Redskins 27 @ Cincinnati Bengals 27 (OT)
This game was another example of the decline of the kicker- It’s hard to pin a loss, or in this case a tie, on just one player. Except for in this case as Dustin Hopkins missed two kicks in this game, including a missed 34 yarder in overtime. Not to be outdone, Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed a field goal of his own, but also missed an extra point in the third quarter.
The tie is a part of football and we must live with it- These past two weeks, there has been grumbling from fans and players alike about the tie being a part of football. the tie has always been a part of football, and in a game where there has already been too many changes made to change the face of the game, the tie is not something that needs to be removed from the game. If it does get changed, there needs to be another overtime quarter, no college football gimmicks or anything like it.
New England Patriots 41 @ Buffalo Bills 25
There is no team in the league that can stop the Patriots- Beating the Bills isn’t really what taught us this, Being 7-1 after going four games without their star quarterback is. The Patriots look like they can score at will against anyone, and Brady is on a mission to force the commish to hand him the Lombardi.
The seat may have cooled off, but it is hot once again- After winning four straight and looking like contenders in the AFC East, the Bills are starting to fall off again. Rex Ryan is right back on the hot seat after losing two straight division games, and things aren’t about to get any easier for the Bills. Four of their next five games are the Bengals, Steelers, Raiders, and Seahawks. Anyone smell something burning?
Arizona Cardinals 20 @ Carolina Panthers 30
This is a different Arizona team- Just as it looked like Arizona was going to revert to the team we have all seen the last two years, the last two weeks have derailed them. They have shown flashes on offense and on defense, but it seems they are unable to consistently do both in the same game.
Cam Newton actually has a point- Although getting to the podium and complaining about it probably isn’t the best way to express your concern, the man has a point. Sure Newton is going to get hit more because he is a mobile quarterback, but when he is behind the line he is a quarterback and needs to get treated like one.
New York Jets 31 @ Cleveland Browns 28
Whatever Todd Bowles said to his team a halftime worked- After appearing flat in the first half and finding themselves down 20-7 to the win-less Browns at halftime, Bowles was said to deliver a explicit ridden angry speech that apparently lit a fire under the Jets behinds. They came out and scored 24 unanswered points and only allowed a late touchdown to the Browns with time running out in the fourth quarter. Maybe the Jets need more emotion from Bowles to be successful after all.
Nothing new with the Browns, we already know all we need to know about them- This game was the same old story of the entire season for the Browns. Can’t close games, turn the ball over, and inconsistent quarterback play. Josh McCown had himself a decent amount of passing yards , but threw two interceptions in the second half that aided the Jets in their quest of 24 straight points.
Detroit Lions 13 @ Houston Texans 20
The Lions need to find a better balance between the pass and run- Yes Matthew Stafford is good, but he could be better with a running game. When the game is close for most of the afternoon much like this one, keeping the defense guessing by finding balance is key. The Lions ran the ball just 14 times as compared to 42 passing plays (one sack). The result? Houston held the ball for almost eight minutes longer in the game and won the game.
The Texans are much better at home this season- Proof is in the numbers. The Texans are 5-0 at home this season. Brock Osweiler has thrown eight of his nine touchdowns at home. The Texans need to find a way to win on the road to be successful for sure, but if they are home, don’t bet against them.
Kansas City Chiefs 30 @ Indianapolis Colts 14
No quarterback, no running back, no problem- The Chiefs lost Alex Smith twice in this game as he was diagnosed with a concussion as was breakout running back Spencer Ware. Without both of them for part of this game, Kansas City still took care of business. Doesn’t hurt that Nick Foles is the Chiefs backup who has plenty of experience starting.
Nothing new, another poor performance from the offensive line- The Colts better spend all their off-season money and draft picks on offensive lineman this year, because this is ridiculous. Andrew Luck was sacked another five times this week nd hit the ground even more. How much more punishment is Luck going to have to take?
Seattle Seahawks 20 @ New Orleans Saints 25
Russell Wilson needs to take a week off- This may sound crazy, but Wilson really hasn’t been himself this year. He has suffered multiple injuries, but the way he has been playing isn’t exactly spectacular. Wilson hasn’t thrown a touchdown since week four, and a week off against Buffalo might not be the worst idea to get him healthy for the game against the Patriots in two week, where he is almost certain to need touchdown passes to be successful.
Mark Ingram will no longer be the featured back in New Orleans- He will still be the starter, but the message was clear this week. After fumbling the ball early in the game that the Seahawks returned for a touchdown, Ingram was benched and didn’t see the field again. Tim Hightower filled in quite nicely, and leaning on Ingram will now be a thing of the past.
Oakland Raiders 30 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 (OT)
Derek Carr is in the MVP conversation- Hell not only is he in the conversation, but he may be the focal point of it. After another brilliant performance that saw Carr throw for 513 yards and four touchdowns. The Raiders stand on top of the AFC West, and Carr is the main reason why.
The Bucs lost the most lopsided overtime game possibly ever- Sure the game went into overtime and even looked for a little bit like it might be the second tie of the day, but the Bucs were outplayed big time. The Bucs defense was horrible in this game giving up 626 net yards in this game. If it wasn’t for the Raiders setting the all time record for penalties in a game with 23 for 200 yards, the raiders would have won outright with no OT.
San Diego Chargers 19 @ Denver Broncos 27
Melvin Gordon accomplished something that hasn’t been done in over a year- Week 3 of 2015 was the last time it happened.What was it? The last time the Denver Broncos allowed a 100 yard rusher, it was Jamaal Charles with 125 yards. Although it was masked in a loss Melvin Gordon had 111 yards and 4.8 yards per carry. Quite the resurgent year for Gordon.
With all the talk about the defense in Minnesota, the Broncos remind us all that they are still numero uno- This was a game controlled by the Broncos defense. They scored a touchdown on a pick six and forced Phillip Rivers into three interceptions on the day. Although they allowed their first 100 yard rusher since last season, the Broncos D still ranks supreme.
Green Bay Packers 32 @ Atlanta Falcons 33
When your non-mobile quarterback shares for the lead on the team in carries, there is a problem- Similar to last week’s lesson, but for good reason. The two leaders in carries in this contest were Aaron Rodgers and a rookie fullback. This game saw Aaron Rodgers throw the ball well and appear to be on the right track to finding himself, but without a running game, a quality defense is going to tear them apart.
Matty ‘MVP’ Ice?- Just another day at the office for Matt Ryan as he once again engineered a comeback to lead the Falcons to a late victory. Ryan had 288 yards and three touchdowns on the day, including the game winning strike to Muhamad Sanu with 36 ticks remaining on the game clock. At the halfway point of the Falcons season, Ryan is on pace for a 5,272 yards with 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions. MVP type numbers.
Philadelphia Eagles 23 @ Dallas Cowboys 29 (OT)
The Eagles need to find some help at WR- They traded for youngster Dorial Green-Beckham earlier this season, but didn’t help. Carson Wentz has been solid this season, but drops are plaguing him. Wentz completed 32 of 43 passes, and six of those incompletions were via the drop. Terrell Owens says he is willing to help….
Dak didn’t take advantage of his chance to convince the Cowboys to stick with him over Tony Romo- Not taking away from what Dak has done as a surprise starter for the Cowboys so far this season, but his performance was mediocre at best. Getting Dez Bryant back was a boost to the offense, but completing less than 50% of your passes doesn’t convince the personnel to move on from their franchise quarterback.
Minnesota Vikings 10 @ Chicago Bears 20
The Vikings have lost their mojo- After starting 5-0 and looking like the cream of the crop in the NFL, the Vikings have appeared to lose their mojo, especially on offense. Sam Bradford looked like he was doing just enough to sustain the team while the defense carried the load, but he has taken a beating the last two weeks being sacked 11 times. The offense better find a way to improve the way they play because the Packers are right on their heals now.
Jordan Howard showed the Bears he is the man going forward- Jeremy Langford was finally healthy again, but not used in this contest because of how effective Howard was against a good defense. He showed a good combination of speed and power, and the rookie appeared to outright take over the starting job by gaining 202 yards from scrimmage.