As expected, Sunday’s NFL lineup offered thrills and excitement, as well as some expected results. Even some of the less noteworthy games still saw at least a few awe-inspiring moments, making the day’s ticket completely worth it. Things are beginning to shape up on the road to the Super Bowl.
If the Dallas Cowboys thought that the New Orleans Saints couldn’t survive without quarterback Drew Brees, they were grossly mistaken. The 3-0 team moved to 3-1 at the hands of Teddy Bridgewater and a stellar offense that wasn’t holding anything back. The Saints improve to 3-1 with the 12-10 victory and are beginning to show why they were the odds-on favorite to head to the Super Bowl even before the season got underway.
The Kansas City Chiefs extended their record to 4-0 when they took down the Detroit Lions, but it was a win that almost wasn’t. The Lions put on a really good show to keep the Chiefs fighting until the bitter end, but, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was just too much. The 34-30 game almost went to the Lions, which is a good indication of how organized the team has become.
The New England Patriots also advanced to 4-0 when they eliminated the Buffalo Bills in typical fashion. A late-game interception caused the Bills to stumble, forcing them to a 16-10 loss and a 3-1 record. The defensive squad of the Pats proved to be especially nimble and on the ball, which was important since the offense is still just trying to get its act together.
The Atlanta Falcons are not spreading their wings. They’re off to a 1-3 start after taking another loss yesterday, this time to the Tennessee Titans, who have now improved to 2-2 on the season. The Marcus Mariota-A.J. Brown connection for the Titans proved vital to the team’s success and that combination will certainly be seen in future games, as well. The Titans were on fire, securing their second win by a score of 24-10.
The Cleveland Browns appear to have developed an entirely new life compared to last season. Taking on the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens (now 2-2), the Browns held absolutely nothing back on offense or defense, leading to an incredible 40-25 win. Odell Beckham Jr., the team’s star wide receiver and the man the Ravens thought they needed to stop, performed exceptionally well. He had the Ravens concentrating their efforts on him, allowing quarterback Baker Mayfield to find open targets elsewhere.
The future of Cam Newton is starting to come into focus, and it isn’t pretty. The first-string quarterback of the Carolina Panthers has been sidelined with a sprained foot the past two weeks, which just happens to coincide with the only two games the team has won this season. The Panthers, with quarterback Kyle Allen calling plays, improved to 2-2 when they defeated the Houston Texans 16-10 yesterday, and Allen is most likely going to be around for much longer.
When the Oakland Raiders were preparing to take on the Indianapolis Colts, they knew they would need to launch a charge from the first kickoff if they were to control the game. The strategy worked and, four quarters later, they were celebrating a 31-24 victory that was possible because of a strong running game. The Colts, on the other hand, is not developing its defense very well this season, and that’s going to hurt them next week against the Chiefs.
The LA Chargers, like most teams so far this season, walked all over the Miami Dolphins, who were probably glad when the final quarter expired. The Chargers set the pace of the game from start to finish, eventually only allowing the Dolphins to add ten points to the 16 it has for the entire season. That wasn’t even close to the 30 the Chargers put on the board.
In one of the highest scoring games so far in the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought everything it had to the field in order to beat the LA Rams. Down 1-2 before the game, the Bucs are now even after destroying the Rams 55-40, giving the LA team its first defeat of the season.
When the first half of the Jacksonville Jaguars-Denver Broncos game ended, it looked like Denver might actually have a chance. Fate wasn’t on the team’s side, though, and the Jags came out blasting in the second half. A 26-24 loss pushed the Broncos to 0-4 on the season and things aren’t looking good.
The Philadelphia Eagles picked up a win that they really needed when they overcame the Green Bay Packers, 34-27. It was definitely an offensive win, as the Eagles’ defense struggled to thwart a passing game.
Other games were almost exactly what was expected. The Chicago Bears overcame the Minnesota Vikings 16-6, the Seattle Seahawks were all over the Arizona Cardinals to win 27-10 and the New York Giants showed off against the Washington Redskins to take the victory by a score of 24-3.