Denver Broncos (3-4) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-6)
Final Score: Broncos 45, Cardinals 10
This Thursday night matchup between the Broncos and Cardinals was ugly from the very beginning. The outcome of this one was mainly driven by the Broncos defense, which caused three interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. They also held running back David Johnson to only 39 yards on 14 carries. Case Keenum was the winning quarterback in this one, finishing with 161 yards for one touchdown, which was thrown to Emmanuel Sanders. With the win, the Broncos end their losing streak and improve to 3-4 on the season.
The Cardinals got off to a rough start as Denver’s Todd Davis intercepted a Josh Rosen pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. That was followed by a touchdown pass from wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to Courtland Sutton and a 53 yard interception return by Chris Harris Jr. to give the Broncos a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Denver piled on two more touchdowns on a 64 yard connection between Sanders and Keenum, along with a one yard run by Royce Freeman, to increase their lead to 35-3 at the half. Arizona’s offense showed their only sign of life in the third quarter with a four yard touchdown pass from Rosen to Larry Fitzgerald. However, that wasn’t near enough as the Broncos ran away with this one, 45-10.
Case Keenum, QB: 14/21, 161 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Phillip Lindsay, RB: 14 rush, 90 yds, 1 TD, 6.4 ypc
Emmanuel Sanders, WR: 6 rec, 102 yds, 1 rec TD, 1 pass TD
Josh Rosen, QB: 21/39, 194 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
David Johnson, RB: 14 rush, 39 yds, 2.8 ypc
Larry Fitzgerald, WR: 4 rec, 40 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Ryan Lippert
Tennessee Titans (3-4) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) (London)
Final Score: Chargers 20, Titans 19
NFL fans in London got a chance to watch a hard-fought matchup between the Titans and Chargers, as it came down to the last minute to determine the winner. Tennessee finally got one of their backs going in the running game as Dion Lewis was running with authority. Philip Rivers continued his stellar play as he helped the Chargers get off to a fast start. The biggest reason the Titans stayed close is that they controlled the game clock, but they couldn’t capitalize on any opportunities. Los Angeles found ways to make plays when they needed it, which helped them win at the end of the day.
Tennessee did have an opportunity to take this game to overtime, but Mike Vrabel opted to go for two after Marcus Mariota drove his team down to score a touchdown to bring them within one point. The Titans had two chances to take the lead because of a Chargers penalty. On both plays they let Mariota throw the ball, but he couldn’t squeeze the ball into his receivers on both tries. This now brings questions about going for two when they had all the momentum going their way. The Titans will need to continue to work on their offense during their bye week to help turn things around. The Chargers enter their bye week on a winning streak and should look to get some of their key players back for their Week 9 matchup.
Marcus Mariota, QB: 24/32, 237 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT; 7 rush, 38 yds
Dion Lewis, RB: 13 rush, 91 yds, 7.0 ypc; 6 rec, 64 yds
Tajae Sharpe, WR: 7 rec, 101 yds
Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers, QB: 19/26, 306 yds, 2 TD
Austin Ekeler, RB: 12 rush, 42 yds, 3.5 ypc; 5 rec, 26 yds
Tyrell Williams, WR: 4 rec, 118 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Cody Manning
Houston Texans (4-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)
Final Score: Texans 20, Jaguars 7
In what was a crucial AFC South matchup, one team showed up and the other seems to be heading towards a downward spiral after a great start to the season. The Texans got out to a 20-0 lead and they never gave it up, while Jacksonville has their own problems to deal with. After a terrible first half by QB Blake Bortles, Doug Marrone decided to bench him in favor of Cody Kessler. Kessler did as well as he could in relief of Bortles, but even the quarterback change wasn’t enough to climb back into this game. Houston did enough to get this win, even if it wasn’t the prettiest done by their side of it.
Kessler almost did bring the Jaguars back into this game. In the middle of the 4th quarter, Jacksonville was marching up the field to attempt to bring it to within one score. Unfortunately, Kessler’s pass bounced right out of T.J. Yeldon’s hands right into Tyrann Mathieu’s for an interception that pretty much sealed it for the Texans. Jacksonville has a lot of problems going on and if it isn’t fixed soon their season will be a major disappointment. Houston has a 4-game winning streak that they are riding and will look to continue that this Thursday night.
Deshaun Watson, QB: 12/24, 139 yds, 1 TD; 7 rush, 13 yds
Lamar Miller, RB: 22 rush, 100 yds, 1 TD, 4.5 ypc
Will Fuller, WR: 6 rec, 68 yds
Blake Bortles, QB: 6/12, 61 yds, 6 rush, 30 yds, 2 lost fumbles (benched)
Cody Kessler, QB: 21/30, 156 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
T.J. Yeldon, RB: 12 rush, 28 yds, 2.3 ypc; 5 rec, 40 yds, 1 TD
Donte Moncrief, WR: 7 rec, 76 yds
Written by: Cody Manning
Carolina Panthers (4-2) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
Final Score: Panthers 21, Eagles 17
Cam Newton has taken some flak for “quitting” at the most inopportune of times before, but nobody can say that after this performance. Down 17-0 at one point, Newton turned the corner in the final 15 minutes, throwing for 201 yards and 2 scores to help his team stun the Eagles in Philadelphia, 21-17. With the win, Carolina keeps their deficit behind New Orleans in the NFC South to half a game. The Eagles, meanwhile, are looking at themselves, trying to figure out how they allowed this to happen and fall into a tie with the Cowboys for second place in the NFC East.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Philadelphia would score 17 points in the second and third quarters. Wentz would find Alshon Jeffery from 14 yards out in the second and rookie tight end Dallas Goedert from one yard out in the third. It was then that Cam was able to rally the troops, and he did so to a great extent. Curtis Samuel got the Panthers’ first score in the fourth quarter on a 14 yard run, and Cam would find Devin Funchess and Greg Olsen in the final minutes to cap the comeback. Wentz would lead the Eagles down to the Carolina 14, but was strip sacked by Julius Peppers, and Carolina edged out the victory.
Cam Newton, QB: 25/39, 269 yds, 2TD; 7 rush, 49 yds, 7.0 ypc
Christian McCaffrey, RB: 7 rush, 29 yds, 4.1 ypc; 6 rec, 51 yds
Devin Funchess, WR: 6 rec, 62 yds, TD
Torrey Smith, WR: 4 rec, 61 yds
Carson Wentz, QB: 30/37, 310 yds, 2TD
Wendell Smallwood, RB: 9 rush, 32 yds, 3.6 ypc
Alshon Jeffery, WR: 7 rec, 88 yds, TD
Zach Ertz, TE: 9 rec, 138 yds
Written by: Joe Carlino
Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1) vs. New York Jets (3-4)
Final Score: Viking 37, Jets 17
With an injured New York wide receiving corps and secondary, this game was an uphill battle from the get-go for the Jets. Dropped passes, missed throws, 4 turnovers, and wide open receivers on the defensive side allowed the Minnesota Vikings to turn a close first half into a dominating performance in the second. The Viking run game has made quite the comeback over the past two weeks. Although the New York held Minnesota to only 88 yards on 24 carries, Latavius Murray’s two TD’s were enough to seal the deal and then some this past weekend. The Jets defense played better than the stat sheet would show, holding strong on their side of the field and forcing four Dan Bailey field goal attempts. New York just couldn’t overcome the turnovers.
Adam Thielen is having a historic performance through seven games with his 7th straight 100+ yard performance, breaking the great Michael Irvin’s record for 100-yard games in a row in the Super Bowl era. It’s his 4th straight game with a touchdown catch and he’s creeping up on the franchise record, which happens to be owned by Vikings legend Randy Moss. On the other side of the field, Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold had an awful performance. He threw 3 interceptions, fumbled the ball twice, and missed on several throws that could have easily added up to a 5th or 6th turnover on the day. Yes, this can somewhat be chalked up to a Vikings defense that has started to learn to thrive without it’s best player Everson Griffen, but Darnold is notorious for being turnover prone throughout his days at USC.
Kirk Cousins, QB: 25/40, 241 yds, 2 TD
Latavius Murray, RB: 15 rush, 69 yds, 2 TD, 4.6 ypc
Adam Thielen, WR: 9 rec, 110 yds, 1 TD
New York Jets
Sam Darnold, QB: 17/42, 206 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Isaiah Crowell, RB: 11 rush, 29 yds, 2.6 ypc
Trenton Cannon, WR: 4 rec, 69 yds
Written by: Jack Bourgeois
New England Patriots (5-2) vs. Chicago Bears (3-3)
Final Score: Patriots 38, Bears 31
The Patriots somehow managed a win in Chicago without the help of All-Pro Tight End Rob Gronkowski. On the back of the likely Tom Brady, whose only blemish was a deflected interception, and the unlikely backs of the special teams unit, which had two touchdowns on the day, the Patriots willed themselves to a win. It was no cake-walk though. Mitch Trubisky made it very hard on the Patriots with his arm and his legs. He evaded Patriots defenders in the pocket all day, and ran all over them when he wasn’t throwing. He had help from Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen, who caught 17 balls for 195 yards, and his defense, which had a late stop that allowed the Bears offense to attempt and complete a Hail Mary play that fell just one-yard short of a touchdown as time expired.
New England’s Cordarrelle Patterson fumbled a kick return to set up Chicago’s first touchdown of the game, making the score 10-7. He then made up for it later in the half on a 95 yard kick return touchdown to shrink the lead to 14-17. The game was a back and forth battle of lead changes until Stephen Gostkowski’s third quarter field goal tied the game up at 24 points a piece. A Dont’a Hightower blocked punt that was returned by Kyle Van Noy for a touchdown broke the tie late in the third quarter, and a touchdown catch by James White in the middle of the fourth extended the lead to 38-24. Trubisky brought the game within seven on a Trey Burton touchdown with 4:13 left in the fourth quarter, and was given a shot to tie it with 24 seconds left in the game. The result was a Hail Mary pass that was completed to Kevin White on the 1-yard line, where he was met by about 5 defenders who held him back from the endzone as time expired.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady, QB: 25/36, 277 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
James White, RB: 11 rush, 40 yds, 3.6 ypc; 8 rec, 57 yds 2 TD
Josh Gordon WR: 4 rec, 100 yds
Mitchell Trubisky, QB: 26/50, 333 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT; 6 rush, 81 yds, 1 TD, 13.5 ypc
Tarik Cohen, RB: 8 rec, 69 yds, 1 TD, 8.6 ypc
Trey Burton, TE: 9 rec,126 yds, 1 TD
Written by: George Haraktsis
Buffalo Bills (2-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts (2-5)
Final Score: Colts 37, Bills 5
Frankly, this game was over before it started. The Bills had to march out third-string quarterback Derek Anderson on the road and the results were not pretty. The former Pro-Bowler mustered no touchdowns, three interceptions, and 175 yards passing on the day. Losing LeSean McCoy early in the first quarter to a head injury did not help the Bills’ cause either. On the other hand, the Colts looked fantastic. Luck threw for 4 touchdowns, though only put up 156 yards. This was due in large part to his defense giving him short fields, and the Colts’ ability to lean on Marlon Mack, who had the breakout game of his short career. Without quarterback Josh Allen the Bills are a rudderless boat, and the Colts just so happened to be this week’s iceberg.
The Colts started the game off slow but hit their stride in the second quarter. They scored on three passing touchdowns in the quarter from Luck, two of which came off of turnovers. The first went to T.Y. Hilton after a Charles Clay fumble gave Indy fantastic field position, and the second touchdown came off of a Derek Anderson interception, that was quickly followed up by a Marlon Mack touchdown catch. The half was capped off by a Mike Mitchell INT that put Adam Vinatieri in position to give the Colts a 24-0 lead. The third quarter finally saw the Bills get on the board. They scored a threatening 5 points on a Hauschka field goal and a bad snap that sailed through Luck’s hands and out of his end zone. The game was put firmly on ice after T.Y. Hilton found the end zone again early in the fourth quarter. But the Colts did not stop scoring even with Brissett in the game, has e handed the ball off to Mack with 5:26 to go and the young back found the end zone.
Derek Anderson, QB: 20/31, 175 yds, 3 INT
Chris Ivory, RB: 16 car, 81 yds, 5.1 ypc
Kelvin Benjamin, WR: 4 rec, 71 yds, 17.75 avg
Andrew Luck, QB: 17/23, 156 yds, 4 TD
Marlon Mack, RB: 19 rush, 126 yds, 1 TD, 6.6 ypc; 2 rec, 33 yds, 1 TD
Mike Mitchell, SS: 7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FF
Written by: George Haraktsis
Cleveland Browns (2-4-1) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)
Final Score: Buccaneers 26, Browns 23
In what was a poorly played contest, the Tampa Bay Bucs outlasted the Cleveland Browns in overtime on Sunday. The Bucs gave the Browns several chances to take over the game in regulation, as they surrendered 4 turnovers. The Browns defense came to play, but the offense sputtered until the 2nd half. The biggest play of the day came in overtime, when the Cleveland Browns were poised to get the ball near midfield. Punt returner Jabrill Peppers had a nice return, but he ultimately fumbled the ball before hitting the ground. The Bucs turned the turnover into what ended up being the game winning 59 yard field goal.
The Bucs defense looked much better under new defensive coordinator Mark Duffner. If Winston can figure out a way to clean up his turnovers, the Bucs could make a run at the playoffs this season. The Browns need to find a way to get their offense going earlier in their games, as they have not scored a first quarter touchdown ALL SEASON LONG.
Baker Mayfield, QB: 23/34, 215 yds, 2 TD; 4 rush 43 yds
Nick Chubb, RB: 18 rush, 80 yds, TD, 4.4 ypc
Jarvis Landry, WR: 10 rec, 97 yds, TD
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston, QB: 32/52, 365 yds, 2 INT
Ronald Jones, RB: 6 rush, 13 yds, TD, 2.2 ypc; 1 rec, 15 yds
Mike Evans, WR: 7 rec, 107 yds
Written by: Jake Leicht
Detroit Lions (3-3) vs. Miami Dolphins (4-3)
Final Score: Lions 32, Dolphins 21
The Detroit Lions led from the 1st quarter on and never looked back. Kerryon Johnson has seemingly resurrected a long-lost Lions run game that has been nearly nonexistent since the Barry Sanders days. Though down on the scoreboard throughout the contest, the Dolphins were resilient and continued to fight back offensively. Miami’s biggest downfall was their defense, as they were unable to slow down the Lions on the ground or through the air. Detroit finished with 457 total yards, 24 first downs, averaged 7.1 yards per rush, and only gave up 1 sack on the day. The game’s MVP can be shared across the entire Lions offensive line, which truly put on a clinic Sunday.
As much as we’d all assume Brock Osweiler's play had to contribute to his team's loss, he actually played quite well. The Miami QB has always had NFL caliber arm talent, but his decision making has been what’s plagued his career. So not turning the ball over, completing over 66% of his attempts, and scoring 2 touchdowns takes most, if not all, of the blame away from the 7th year signal caller. Out of the star-studded receiving corps of the Lions, it was no-namer tight end Michael Roberts who scored his 2nd and 3rd TDs of the season on only his 4th catch of 2018. The Dolphins attempted to rally back with a few dime passes from the “Brocktagon” and even saw flashes of the 2017 Kenyan Drake, who had a 54-yard TD run. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough to keep pace with Stafford and company.
Matthew Stafford, QB: 18/22, 217 yds, 2 TD
Kerryon Johnson, RB: 19 rushes, 158 yds
Michael Roberts, REC: 3 rec, 48 YDS, 2 TD
Brock Osweiler, QB: 22/31, 239 yds, 2 TD
Kenyon Drake, RB: 6 rushes, 72 yds, 1 TD
Danny Amendola, WR: 6 rec, 84 YDS, 1 TD
Written by: Jack Bourgeois
New Orleans Saints (5-1) vs. Baltimore Ravens (4-3)
Final Score: Saints 24, Ravens 23
Drew Brees has finally defeated all 32 NFL teams in his career. Coming into the game with the Ravens yesterday, Brees was 0-4 lifetime against Baltimore, and they were the only team he had yet to beat in his career. He needed a little bit of help from Baltimore, and it came from the most unlikeliest of sources, as Justin Tucker missed a game-tying PAT, the first PAT miss of his entire career, and the Saints would escape with a 24-23 victory. On the Ravens side, Joe Flacco played lights out again, and rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson tallied his first career score, a one-yard touchdown run.
Following a Baltimore field goal, both teams would trade touchdowns; Brees found Benjamin Watson from a yard out and Jackson added his sneak-in just before the half. In the second half, Brees and Co. would then score 17 unanswered points to take a 24-17 lead with 2:07 remaining in the game. Flacco would drive the Ravens down the field, and found John Brown from 14 yards out with 24 seconds left. And on the PAT, which probably everyone was expecting to be made, Tucker hit it straight, and a gust of wind appeared to make it sail wide right. The ensuing onside kick would be recovered by Alvin Kamara, and New Orleans escaped with a victory.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees, QB: 22/30, 212 yards, 2 TD
Alvin Kamara, RB: 17 rush, 64 yds, TD, 3.8 ypc; 2 rec, 11 yds
Michael Thomas, WR: 7 rec, 69 yds, TD
Joe Flacco, QB: 23/39, 279 yds, 2 TD
Alex Collins, RB: 11 rush, 38 yds, 3.5 ypc
John Brown, WR: 7 rec, 134 yds, TD
Written by: Joe Carlino
Dallas Cowboys (3-4) vs. Washington Redskins (4-2)
Final Score: Redskins 20, Cowboys 17
The Washington Redskins won consecutive games for the first time this season and beat the Cowboys at home for the first time in six years on Sunday, 20-17. The win vaults Jay Gruden’s team to 4-2 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC East, 1.5 games ahead of both the Eagles and Cowboys (each 3-4). For Dallas, it was a new road trip but same story as they drop to 0-4 on the road this season, once again struggling to score (they have failed to reach 20 points in any of their four road losses). Washington’s defense bundled up Ezekiel Elliott all afternoon, limiting him to just 33 yards on 15 carries, his second-lowest rush-yard total in his career.
The Redskins overcame the absence of key playmakers on offense due to the effort of Adrian Peterson, who churned out 99 tough yards on 24 carries, although it was Kapri Bibbs who got the scoring going with a 23-yard TD reception on their opening drive. A 49-yard TD pass by Prescott to Michael Gallup evened the score at 7 at the half. Down the stretch, however, it was the Washington defense that was the difference. Ryan Kerrigan strip-sacked Prescott when Dallas was inside their own five-yard line, recovered by Preston Smith for an easy scoop-and-score touchdown to put the Redskins up 20-10. After Dallas responded and had the ball in the final minute, down 20-17, Prescott led them into range for a game-tying field goal attempt. However, after an obscure snap infraction call, Brett Maher’s 52-yard attempt hit off the left upright and sent Dallas home still winless on the road.
Dak Prescott, QB: 22-35, 273 yds, TD; 6 rush, 33 yds, TD; 2 FUM (2 lost)
Ezekiel Elliott RB: 15 rush, 33 yds, 2.2 ypc
Michael Gallup, WR: 3 rec, 81 yds, TD
Alex Smith, QB: 14/25, 178 yds, TD; 4 rush, 16 yds
Adrian Peterson, RB: 24 rush, 99 yds, 4.1 ypc
Kapri Bibbs, RB: 2 rush, 13 yds; 4 rec, 43 yds, TD
Ryan Kerrigan, OLB: 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF
Written by: Greg Lehr
Los Angeles Rams (7-0) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
Final Score: Rams 39, 49ers 10
Another game and another outstanding performance from the Los Angeles Rams, who dominated all three phases of the game en route to a blowout victory in San Francisco. Other than points scored, the turnover margin may be the best indicator for wins and losses, and the Rams finished with +4. After 3 takeaways and a blocked punt in the first half, the Rams went into halftime with a 22-7 lead that was never relinquished. The Rams controlled the clock for much of the second half, building on their lead and ultimately showing how far apart these two teams are. With excellent contributions from Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald, this game was never much of a contest.
C.J. Beathard had one of his worst outings since taking over the 49ers quarterback job, adding 2 interceptions and a lost fumble to his already high totals. The entire LA roster contributed to this effort, with Aaron Donald feasting early and often. He punished the offensive line to the tune of 9 total tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 5 QB hits, 4 sacks and a fumble recovery in the game. After Rookie Trevon Young recovered a first quarter fumble, the Rams welcomed back All-Pro kicker Greg Zuerlein back to the lineup who nailed a 35 yard field goal, his first since suffering a groin injury prior to week 2. Todd Gurley took advantage of his opportunities by tacking on another 3 total touchdowns to his already impressive numbers. He is currently on pace to break LaDainian Tomlinson’s single season touchdown record of 31, as TG3 has 14 through 7 games played. This game didn’t qualify as a contest, as it resembled that of a massacre.
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff, QB: 18/24, 202 yds, 2 TD
Todd Gurley, RB: 15 rush, 63 yds, 2 TD, 4.2 ypc; 4 rec, 23 yds, 1 TD
Brandin Cooks, WR: 4 rec, 64 yds, 1 TD; 1 rush, 7 yds
Aaron Donald, DT: 9 Tot tackles, 6 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 FR
San Francisco 49ers
C.J. Beathard, QB: 15/27, 170 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT, 2 FUM (1 lost); 2 rush, 13 yds
Matt Breida, RB: 5 rush, 15 yds, 3 ypc
George Kittle, TE: 5 rec, 98 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Jason Feiner
Cincinnati Bengals (4-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)
Final Score: Kansas City Chiefs 45, Cincinnati Bengals 10
This game was never close. The Kansas City Chiefs absolutely gas pedaled the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. Kareem Hunt looked utterly unstoppable, as he put the ball in the end zone on three different occasions. Per the norm, Pat Mahomes looked like one of the most electrifying players in the NFL. The way he was able to move in the pocket and give his receivers time to get open down the field was impeccable. On the other hand, the Cincinnati Bengals completely melted down on Sunday Night Football. It looked like they were a JV team playing the Varsity team in an intersquad scrimmage.
The Chiefs have a real opportunity to make a Super Bowl run this year. They have a dynamic offense with playmakers all over the field. If their defense comes around, the sky is the limit for them. The Bengals have officially hit a crossroads in their season. They are either going to figure out these kinks, or they are going to fall flat on their face. If the Bengals cannot make the playoffs this year after their hot start, this may finally be the season that Marvin Lewis loses his job.
Andy Dalton, QB: 15/29, 148 yds, TD, INT
Joe Mixon, RB: 13 rush, 50 yds, 3.8 ypc; 3 rec, 1 yd
A.J. Green, WR: 7 rec, 117 yds
Kansas City Chiefs
Pat Mahomes, QB: 28/39, 358 yds, 4 TDs, INT
Kareem Hunt, RB: 15 rush, 86 yds, TD, 5.7 ypc; 5 rec, 55 yds, 2 TDs
Tyreek Hill, WR: 7 rec, 67 yds, TD
Written by: Jake Leicht
New York Giants (1-6) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-4)
Final Score: Falcons 23, Giants 20
This game was not as close as the 3 point margin would indicate. Initially, both offenses, while putting together the beginnings of strong drives, were not able to put points on the board until the Falcons scored a touchdown with 4:51 left in the second quarter. Despite this, the Falcons’ passing attack looked strong, as Matt Ryan effectively utilized the play-action, especially to his favorite target Julio Jones. Ryan also proved clutch in this game, completing his last 18 passes to give the Falcons some breathing room. The Giants offense, on the other hand, was yet again stagnant for most of the game, even against the decimated Falcons defense. While Eli Manning did total almost 400 yards, the Giants’ first touchdown did not come until 4:47 was left in the contest. Drives often stalled, as New York’s offensive line gave up 4 sacks this game. Perhaps most importantly, Barkley had a less than stellar performance, only rushing for 43 yards on 14 carries. Overall, despite the close score, the Falcons were clearly the better team in this game, both offensively and defensively.
The moment that turned the tide for this game occured on Atlanta’s first scoring drive in the 2nd quarter. Ryan completed a 36 yard pass to tight end Austin Hooper, and then followed up with a 47-yard dime of a touchdown pass to Marvin Hall on a double play-action pass. The teams then traded field goals, but the game again blew open with a 30-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman with 7:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Giants definitely made a few questionable calls in the game. Instead of taking a field goal on a nice drive early in the third quarter, the Giants (unsurprisingly) floundered on 4th and 1 at the one yard line. This defensive stop by one of the league’s worst defenses was a big momentum boost for the Falcons. In addition, the Giants oddly decided to go for a 2 point conversion after scoring their first touchdown of the game. Overall, the Falcons seemed to be on the positive side of most of the game-changing moments in this contest.
New York Giants
Eli Manning, QB: 27/38, 399 yds, 1 TD
Saquon Barkley, RB: 14 rush, 43 yds, TD, 3.1 ypc; 9 rec, 51 yds
Odell Beckham Jr., WR: 8 rec, 143 yds, TD
Sterling Shepard, WR: 5 rec, 167 yds
Matt Ryan, QB: 31/39, 379 yds, 1 TD
Tevin Coleman, RB: 11 rush, 50 yds; 2 rec, 32 yds
Julio Jones, WR: 9 rec, 104 yds
Written by: Phillip Salmo