Oakland Raiders (1-7) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-7)
Final Score: 49ers 34, Raiders 3
Recap: This game went completely differently than I had expected. When the 49ers announced that they were starting third-string quarterback Nick Mullens, I thought that it would get ugly for them. However, Mullens came out and dominated on Thursday night, finishing with 262 yards and three touchdowns through the air. On the opposite end, the Raiders continue to struggle. Their offensive line got dominated as they gave up seven sacks and quarterback Derek Carr was only able to throw for 171 yards. This dominating performance gives the 49ers their second win of the season and puts the Raiders at an embarrassing 1-7 on the season.
The Raiders opened up this game with the first points on a 37-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson. Unfortunately, that would be the only sign of life for Oakland. That field goal was answered with two touchdown passes from Mullens and a Robbie Gould field goal to make the score 17-3 49ers at the half. San Francisco piled it on in the third quarter with a touchdown pass from Mullens to George Kittle and a 52-yard touchdown run by Raheem Mostert. Gould finished it off in the fourth quarter with a 25-yard field goal to give the 49ers an impressive 34-3 victory.
Derek Carr, QB: 16/21, 171 yds
Doug Martin, RB: 11 rush, 49 yards, 4.5 ypc
Jalen Richard: 4 rec, 45 yds
San Francisco 49ers
Nick Mullens, QB: 16/22, 262 yds, 3 TD
Raheem Mostert, RB: 7 rush, 86 yds, 1 TD, 12.3 ypc
George Kittle, TE: 4 rec, 108 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Ryan Lippert
Chicago Bears (5-3) vs. Buffalo Bills (2-7)
Final Score: Bears 41, Bills 9
Recap: This was about as one sided of a contest as we’ll see all year. This Bills team as a whole, especially on the offensive side of the ball, are easily the least talented team in the league. Quarterback Nathan Peterman has become a walking punchline and is widely regarded as the worst QB to play in the NFL in quite some time. Now, when you take a quarterback that averages an interception on over 10% of his throws, and line him up opposite a Bears defense, there’s only one way this could play out. A blowout of epic proportions was inevitable, and that’s exactly what we got.
To Peterman’s defense, he was sacked 4 times, pressured all day long, and two of his three interceptions weren't necessarily his fault. Nonetheless, he finished with a QBR of 8.7, and now has as many career TD’s thrown to the opponent as he does his own team. The Bears put up two touchdowns on defense, one off of an Eddie Jackson 65-yard scoop and score, and another from a bobbled catch that was gifted to Leonard Floyd, who took it to the house. Between Jordan Howard and the new age monsters of the midway, the Bears were up 28-0 at halftime and continued to capitalize off of Buffalo’s 4 total turnovers, converting them into scores, and winning in decisive fashion.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB: 12/20, 135 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Jordan Howard, RB: 14 rushes, 47 yds, 2 TD, 3.4 ypc
Anthony Miller, WR: 5 rec, 49 yds
Nathan Peterman, QB: 31/49, 189 yds, 3 INT; 8 rush, 46 yds, 1 TD
Cory Ivory, RB: 7 rushes, 36 yds
LeSean McCoy, RB: 10 rush, 10 yds, 1.0 ypc
Kelvin Benjamin, WR: 4 rec, 40 yds
Written by: Jack Bourgeois
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5) vs. Carolina Panthers (6-2)
Final Score: Panthers 42, Buccaneers 28
Recap: A game that wasn’t close at halftime came dangerously close to an upset before the Panthers put Ryan FItzmagic to bed. Cam Newton led his team again, keeping pace in the dangerous NFC South. He was assisted by his cavalry of Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen, but also had some great play by his defense. Defensive end Mario Addison had all three of Carolina’s sacks, and Eric Reid had an early interception which basically ended the game early. The Bucs now fall to 3-5, and will now face the Washington Redskins in Tampa next Sunday. Carolina, meanwhile, has a short week of preparation before a Thursday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Following opening drive punts by both sides, Carolina got the first turnover of the contest, when Reid picked off a Fitzpatrick overthrow and returned it to the Tampa Bay 10; Carolina would convert shortly after. The Panthers’ second score was probably the most impressive, as they ran a double reverse jet sweep to Curtis Samuel, who raced through the entire Bucs defense for a 33-yard score (NFL analytics said his total yardage ran was 103.9 yds). After the Panthers scored a franchise record 35 first half points, Tampa Bay would race back to make it a one-score contest. But Cam would find Olsen on a very impressive touchdown to make it a two-score game late. A late heave by Fitzpatrick to Desean Jackson was intercepted by Panthers rookie Donte Jackson, which allowed Carolina to run out the clock.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB: 24/40, 240 yds, 4 TD, 2 INT
Peyton Barber, RB: 11 rush, 31 yds, 2.8 ypc
Adam Humphries, WR: 8 rec, 82 yds, 2 TD
OJ Howard, TE: 4 rec, 53 yds, 2 TD
Cam Newton, QB: 19/25, 247 yds, 2 TD, 11 rush, 33 yds
Christian McCaffrey, RB: 17 rush, 79 yds, 2TD, 4.6 ypc; 5 rec, 78 yds
Curtis Samuel, WR: 2 rec, 25 yds, TD; 1 rush, 33 yds, TD
Greg Olsen, TE: 6 rec, 76 yds, TD
Mario Addison, DE: 5 tackles, 3.0 sacks
Written by: Joe Carlino
Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) vs. Cleveland Browns (2-6-1)
Final Score: Chiefs 37, Browns 21
Recap: This matchup went as expected — another solid win for the Chiefs. The Chiefs were led once again by an outstanding performance from quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He proved once again that he is a serious candidate for league MVP as he finished with 375 passing yards and three touchdowns. On the opposite end, Baker Mayfield led the Browns offense with 297 yards and two touchdown passes, both of which were thrown to running back Duke Johnson Jr. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough, as the Chiefs pulled away to improve to 8-1 on the season, while the Browns dropped to 2-6-1.
The Chiefs’ offensive attack came out strong from the very beginning of the game, scoring the first points of the game on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to running back Kareem Hunt. Kansas City scored two more touchdowns in the first half on an 11-yard pass from Mahomes to Travis Kelce and a 1-yard touchdown run by Hunt. Cleveland kept things close with a field goal and two touchdowns of their own on a run by Nick Chubb and pass from Mayfield to Johnson Jr. to make it 21-15 at the half. The Chiefs pulled away in the third quarter on another touchdown pass from Mahomes to Kelce and a touchdown run by Hunt. The Browns scored a touchdown in the fourth on a pass from Mayfield to Johnson Jr. but it was too little, too late, as the Chiefs pulled away with the 37-21 victory.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes, QB: 23/32, 375 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Kareem Hunt, RB: 17 rush, 91 yds, 2 TD, 5.4 ypc; 50 rec yds, 1 rec TD
Travis Kelce, TE: 7 rec, 99 yds, 2 TD
Baker Mayfield, QB: 29/42, 297 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Nick Chubb, RB: 22 rush, 85 yds, 1 TD
Duke Johnson Jr., RB: 9 rec, 78 yds, 2 TD
Written by: Ryan Lippert
New York Jets (3-6) vs. Miami Dolphins (5-4)
Final Score: Dolphins 13, Jets 6
Recap: Both the Jets and Dolphins offenses failed to show up at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday. Instead, two suffocating defenses playing hard-nosed football made their presence felt. Each unit sacked the opposing team’s quarterback four times, and neither Brock Osweiler nor Sam Darnold could muster a QBR above 26.0 due to the constant pressure each one faced. There was not a single skill player on either side of the ball that recorded 100 yards from scrimmage, making this a snooze-fest for anyone watching. A winner did emerge, and that happened to be the Dolphins. Brock Osweiler was not exceptional, but he didn’t turn the ball over. That cannot be said for Sam Darnold, who threw a staggering four interceptions on the day, Darnold could have had more if not for a few dropped balls by the Dolphins defenders. The Dolphins won this time, but will need to score touchdowns on offense next time if they plan on winning against better teams.
In a day chock full of three-and-outs, it's a surprise that any key plays were made. The game’s opening points were scored after a terrible throw by Sam Darnold landed in the hands of Kiko Alonso. Six plays later, the Dolphins kicked a field goal to make it 3-0. Two more field goals, one made by each team, made it a 6-3 score until late into the third quarter. The Jets had a chance to tie it up early in the fourth quarter but a missed Jason Myers 50 yard field goal failed to tie the game. On the Jets’ next drive, Darnold threw his second pick of the day right into the arms of Jerome Baker, who took the ball 25 yards for a Dolphins score — the only touchdown of the day. With 10 mins left to go and down only 10 points, Darnold was able to march the offense down the field for a FG, but threw two interceptions on his two ensuing drives that put the game completely out of reach.
New York Jets
Sam Darnold, QB: 21/39, yds, 4 INT
Isaiah Crowell RB: 13 rush, 49 yds, 3.8 ypc
Jordan Jenkins LB: 5 tackles, 2 Sacks
Brock Osweiler QB: 15/24, 139 yds
Frank Gore RB: 20 rush, 53 yds, 2.6 ypc
Jerome Baker LB: 5 tackles, 1 Int, 1 TD
Written by: George Haraktsis
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1) vs. Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Final Score: Steelers 23, Ravens 16
Recap: This AFC North rivalry between the Steelers and Ravens is known for always being a hard fought battle for four quarters. Sunday’s game was no different, as the Steelers held on to a slim victory. The Steelers were led by an outstanding game from running back James Conner, who finished with 107 yards rushing and also had a touchdown reception. Baltimore, however, couldn’t seem to get their offense to finish drives, as they only scored one touchdown on a run by Alex Collins. Kicker Justin Tucker kept his team in the game, hitting three field goals. This win was huge for the Steelers, as it puts them at the top of the AFC North with a 5-2-1 record, and drops Baltimore to 4-5, essentially putting them out of contention in the division.
The Steelers offense started off hot in the first half, scoring two touchdowns on passes from Ben Roethlisberger to Conner and Antonio Brown to go into the half leading 14-6. They continued their scoring in the third on a QB sneak by Roethlisberger, which was then matched by Baltimore with an Alex Collins touchdown run. At this point, it was 20-13 Steelers going into the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh got a scare in the fourth quarter as Roethlisberger went down with what at first seemed to be a serious injury. Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs was forced to come in backed up in his own end zone and completed a 22-yard pass to Juju Smith-Schuster to give the Steelers a much needed first down. Roethlisberger was able to come back in the next play and connected on a 51-yard pass to tight end Jesse James two plays later, which set up a 29-yard Chris Boswell field goal. The Ravens made a late field goal to make things interesting but were unable to complete the comeback as the Steelers held on to win 23-16.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB: 28/47, 270 yds, 2 TD, 1 rush TD
James Conner, RB: 24 rush, 107 yds, 4.5 ypc, 7 rec, 56 rec yds, 1 rec TD
Juju Smith-Schuster, WR: 7 rec, 78 yds
Joe Flacco, QB: 23/37, 206 yds
Alex Collins, RB: 9 rush, 35 yds, 1 TD, 3.9 ypc
Willie Snead, WR: 7 rec, 58 yds
Written by: Ryan Lippert
Detroit Lions (3-5) vs. Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) \
Final Score: Vikings 24, Lions 9
Recap: With the Lions trading their franchise quarterback’s favorite target, as well as the team’s most potent 3rd down weapon, Matthew Stafford wasn’t able to overcome the loss of wideout Golden Tate. The Lions offense looked stagnant, putting up both a season-low in points scored (9) and total yards (209). This can’t be solely blamed on the departure of Tate, as the Viking defense has recently seemed to have caught their stride and are playing much better, especially at home. Minnesota held Detroit to 0-3 in red zone attempts and an astonishing 3.0 yards per play. If Minnesota can get back to full strength and have all of their starters on the field at the same time, they can compete with any team in the league.
The biggest performance of the day comes from Danielle Hunter, who accounted for 3.5 of Minnesota’s 10 total sacks (YES, I SAID 10), as well as scoring on a botched Matthew Stafford pitch that sealed the win in the fourth quarter. The Minnesota D-line completely dominated Detroit’s offensive line, which had been playing lights out throughout the month of October. The same team that was able to open up gaping running lanes only a few weeks prior was manhandled by Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson, and recently returned team leader Everson Griffen. On a positive note for Detroit, the blanket coverage of Darius Slay was enough to finally halt the ridiculous 100-yard receiving streak that Adam Thielen had been on since week 1, but his consecutive TD streak still lives on at 6 games in a row. Between the return of Dalvin Cook, Cousins ability to distribute the ball like a point guard, and the Vikings defense, the Tate-less Lions stood no chance.
Matthew Stafford, QB: 25-36, 199 yds
Kerryon Johnson, RB: 12 rushes, 37 yds, 3.1 ypc
Marvin Jones Jr., WR: 6 rec, 66 yds
Kirk Cousins, QB: 18-22, 164 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Dalvin Cook, RB: 10 rushes, 89 yds, 8.9 ypc
Laquon Treadwell, WR: 2 rec, 37 yds
Adam Thielen, WR: 4 rec, 22 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Jack Bourgeois
Atlanta Falcons (4-4) vs. Washington Redskins (5-3)
Final Score: Falcons 38, Redskins 14
Recap: The Falcons win in a 24-point blowout of the Redskins. The Falcons relied on great 3rd down efficiency, converting 10 of their 13 3rd downs. Their defensive line also played well, sacking Alex Smith 3 times and only allowing 79 rushing yards. Julio Jones found the end zone for the first time this season, finishing the day with 7 catches, 121 yards, and a touchdown. Tevin Coleman had 88 rushing yards on 13 carries, as well as 68 receiving yards on 5 catches and 2 receiving touchdowns. For the Redskins, Maurice Harris had 10 catches for 124 yards.
Leading by only a touchdown with 2 minutes and 42 seconds left in the 1st half, the Falcons were able to drive down the field in 7 plays and extend their lead to 14 with 28 seconds left before half. The Falcons then took the 2nd half opening drive 75 yards for another touchdown. The lead ballooned from 7 to 21 before the Redskins were able to take a meaningful snap, and as such they never recovered. However, the play that will get talked about the most is Julio Jones’ 35-yard touchdown. It’s Jones’ first touchdown of the season, and he did it in style by breaking a tackle within the 5-yard line to dive into the end zone.
Matt Ryan, QB: 26/38, 350 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Julio Jones, WR: 7 rec, 127 yds, 1 TD
Tevin Coleman, RB: 13 rush, 88 yds, 6.8 ypc, 2 rec TD
Alex Smith, QB: 30/46, 306 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT; 1 rush, 22 yds
Adrian Peterson, RB: 9 rush, 17 yds, 1.9 ypc
Maurice Harris, WR: 10 rec, 124 yds
Written by: Blake Hymel
Houston Texans (6-3) vs. Denver Broncos (3-6)
Final Score: Texans 19, Broncos 17
Recap: This one ended up being a hard-fought matchup that came down to the last second in the Mile High Stadium. The Texans relied on their Watson-Hopkins connection all afternoon as they were able to connect 10 times for 105 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos defense kept them in this game because of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, among others getting pressure on Deshaun Watson, resulting in four sacks. The only bright spot on Denver’s offense was the emergence of Jeff Heuerman as a reliable target for Case Keenum in their passing attack. Houston’s defense continues to get after the quarterback as J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney have proven they are currently the league’s deadliest pass rush duo.
In the end, this game came down to clock management by Vance Joseph at the end of both halves. He allowed the Texans to have enough time to get a field goal to close out the 2nd quarter and he ended up settling for a 51-yard field goal when he had plenty of time to put his kicker in a better position to win the game for them. The Broncos will enter their bye week with a lot of work to do on their offense as they look to possibly climb back into the AFC wild card race before the season is lost. The Texans are riding a 6-game winning streak into their bye week and will hope to continue the ride as they have created space in their lead to win the AFC South.
Deshaun Watson, QB: 17/24, 213 yds, 2 TD, 6 rush, 38 yds
Alfred Blue, RB: 15 rush, 39 yds, 2.6 ypc
DeAndre Hopkins, WR: 10 rec, 105 yds, 1 TD
Demaryius Thomas. WR: 3 rec, 61 yds (1st game as a Texan)
Case Keenum, QB: 26/42, 290 yds, 1 TD
Phillip Lindsay, RB: 17 rush, 60 yds, 3.5 ypc
Jeff Heuerman, TE: 10 rec, 83 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Cody Manning
Los Angeles Chargers (6-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
Final Score: Chargers 25, Seahawks 17
Recap: Although the scoreboard says otherwise, this game was controlled by the Chargers for the most part. Their offense looked outstanding, as they were led by a great game from running back Melvin Gordon, who finished with 113 rushing yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Philip Rivers also had a solid performance, throwing for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Russell Wilson was the losing quarterback in this one, finishing with 235 yards, two touchdowns, and a costly interception that led to a touchdown. The Chargers are rolling, increasing their record to 6-2, while the Seahawks drop to 4-4.
Seattle started off strong with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Jaron Brown. However, that didn’t phase the Chargers, as they answered with three straight touchdowns with a 34-yard by Gordon and two passes from Rivers to Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams. Los Angeles went into the half up 19-10 and it stayed the same through the third quarter. The key play came in the fourth quarter, as Desmond King picked off a Russell Wilson pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown to give the Chargers a 25-10 lead with 6:44 left in the game. Wilson connected on a touchdown pass to tight end Nick Vannett to make things interesting, but it was too late as the Chargers held on for the win.
Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers, QB: 13/26, 228 yds, 2 TD
Melvin Gordon, RB: 16 rush, 113 yds, 1 TD, 7.1 ypc
Keenan Allen, WR: 6 rec, 124 yds
Russell Wilson, QB: 26/39, 235 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Mike Davis, RB: 15 rush, 62 yds, 4.1 ypc, 7 rec, 45 rec yds
Nick Vannett, TE: 6 rec, 52 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Ryan Lippert
Los Angeles Rams (8-1) vs. New Orleans Saints (7-1)
Final Score: Saints 45, Rams 35
Recap: In a battle between NFC favorites, Drew Brees and the Saints offense ended the the Rams’ unbeaten season. Just when it seemed the Rams would run away from the rest of the pack, the Saints silenced doubters by proving they are ready to enter the Game of Thrones and take the Iron Chair for themselves. This game featured two of the best teams in the league, and Sunday paved the way to a 7-1 record for New Orleans. They maintain a slim lead over Carolina and taking home a key tie breaker that will have lasting implications in the battle for first seed in the conference. The race for home field throughout January has officially begun.
This game certainly lived up to the hype as America’s week 9 game of the week, as two virtually unstoppable offenses combined for 970 yards and 80 points, After an exchange of first quarter scores, It was the Saints’ dominant first half that opened up this game, but a 21 point deficit couldn’t keep the Rams down for long. The Rams fired back, tying the game in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold down Brees as he hooked up with Michael Thomas for a 72 yard dime over the head of Marcus Peters to clinch the game in the final minutes. This was the best game of week 9 and will have implications heading into January. The Saints will be looking towards the final three weeks of the 2018 season, as they will be playing the Carolina Panthers in two of those three contests. It will be an interesting end to the race for the top spot among the NFC contenders.
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff, QB: 28/40, 391 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT, 3 rush, 17 yds
Todd Gurley, RB: 13 rush, 68 yds, 1 TD, 5.2 ypc
Brandin Cooks, WR: 6 rec, 114 yds, 1 TD
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees, QB: 25/36, 346 yds, 4 TD
Alvin Kamara, RB: 19 rush, 82 yds, 2 TD, 4.3 ypc
Michael Thomas, WR: 12 rec, 211 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Jason Feiner
Green Bay Packers (3-4-1) vs. New England Patriots (7-2)
Final Score: Patriots 31, Packers 17
Recap: This was supposed to be an epic shootout between two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever grace the National Football League, but that just wasn’t the case. Aaron Rodgers is a noticeably hobbled and limited version of himself, while the Patriots won with scheme and coaching more so than the greatness of the GOAT known as Tom Brady. Both quarterbacks made some tremendous throws, but neither of them really lit it up out there. It was Bill Belichick’s playcalling and usage of mismatches across the field that won New England this game.
The league’s most talented quarterback failed to score more than 17 points for the second time this season. Now, Aaron Rodgers may have not won it for his team, but Aaron Jones surely lost it for them. At the start of the fourth quarter, tied up 17-17, the Packers were driving just outside of the Pats red zone when running back Aaron Jones coughed up the ball, resulting in a costly turnover. Brady and the Patriots would proceed to dink and dunk and trick-play their way to the endzone. Down seven and needing a score, the Packers would be held to a 3-and-out and the Patriots would only need three plays and one missed tackle for Josh Gordon to score on a 55-yard TD pass. This sealed the deal, as the Packers weren’t able to reignite their offense in one of those late game comebacks that we have become accustomed to seeing Rodgers pull off over the years.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers, QB: 24/43, 259 yds, 2 TD
Aaron Jones, RB: 14 rushes, 76 yds, 1 FUM, 5.4
Jimmy Graham, TE: 4 rec, 55 yds, 1 TD
DaVante Adams, WR: 6 rec, 40 yds, 1 TD
New England Patriots
Tom Brady, QB: 22/35, 294 YDS, 1 TD
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR: 11 rush, 61 yds, 1 TD, 5.5 ypc
James White, RB: 12 rushes, 31 yds, 2 TD, 2,6 ypc; 6 rec, 72 yds
Josh Gordon, WR: 5 rec, 130 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Jack Bourgeois
Tennessee Titans (4-4) vs. Dallas Cowboys (3-5)
Final Score: Titans 28, Cowboys 14
Recap: The Titans and Cowboys went through a turnover fested 1st half until Tennessee was able to put things together in the 2nd half to pull away with the win. Marcus Mariota was able to put together a solid performance after having a questionable first half of the season. Amari Cooper did make a small impact on the Dallas offense but they still couldn’t find any explosive plays to help them get bigger chunk plays. Tennessee’s defense continues to impress as they harassed Dak Prescott all night which led to him making questionable decisions and taking sacks. The Cowboys defense took a big hit and didn’t look the same after Sean Lee left with another hamstring injury.
The biggest play came in the 3rd quarter on a 3rd and 13 when Prescott was getting sacked he tried to fight through it when Jayon Brown was able to strip the ball out of his hands and Wesley Woodyard fell on the ball to give their offense great field position. The Titans capitalized with a touchdown and never looked back after that moment. Tennessee has a chance to get back into the playoff picture but have a big matchup coming up against the Patriots. The Cowboys could be facing a huge letdown year if they fall to the Eagles on Sunday night.
Marcus Mariota, QB: 21/29, 240 yds, 2 TD, 10 rush, 32 yds, 1 TD
Dion Lewis, RB: 19 rush, 62 yds, 3.3 ypc, 4 rec, 60 yds, 1 TD
Corey Davis, WR: 6 rec, 56 yds
Dak Prescott, QB: 21/31, 243 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Ezekiel Elliott, RB: 17 rush, 61 yds, 3.6 ypc, 4 rec, 51 yds
Amari Cooper, WR: 5 rec, 58 yds, 1 TD (1st game as a Cowboy)
Written by: Cody Manning