By Anthony McClean, Editor-In-Chief Emeritus
A fantastic finish in the Valley of the Sun, a battle of MVP’s in cold and rainy Foxboro, and a major throttling in L.A. are a part of the happenings during Week 10 for the Field Generals.
While the some in the NFL breathed a sigh of relief with Patrick Mahomes’ bye week, others are holding their breath for Teddy Ballgame after a knee injury against Tampa Bay.
All of this and a brief “Famous” Jameis Winston sighting in the Bayou.
Let’s take a look.
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina (Loss vs. Tampa)
The day actually started well for No. 5 as he opened the game with 12 straight completions and two touchdown passes as Carolina played to a 17-17 halftime tie. He added a touchdown run on a scramble in the fourth quarter after the Panthers were outscored 12-0 in the third quarter en route to their fifth straight loss. The injury occurred with 5:24 remaining when Tampa Bay edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Bridgewater with a twisting tackle around the knees. An MRI on Monday showed no structural damage in Bridgewater’s right knee. He finished 18-for-24 passing for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed three times for 16 yards and a touchdown.
DeShaun Watson, Houston (Loss at Cleveland)
After averaging just under 30 points a game since Romeo Crennel took over, the offense struggled against the Browns. No. 4 completed 20-of-30 passes for 163 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and a 91.4 passer rating. Watson also added 36 yards rushing on eight carries. Houston’s defense held Nick Chubb to just 57 yards through three quarters, but he erupted in the fourth quarter and finished the day with 126 yards on 19 carries, one of which was a touchdown. However, it was another week of good not being good enough for the Texans.
Russell Wilson, Seattle (Loss at L.A. Rams)
While the defense has been struggling all season in Seattle, the offense was inconsistent on Sunday. No. 3 was running for his life most of the day and it showed as he threw two more interceptions in L.A. In fact, Wilson’s 13 turnovers this season are his most through the first 10 games in his career. He had 11 each in his 2012 rookie season and in 2013. The Seahawks were knocked out of first place in the NFC West, with the Rams and Cardinals now atop of the division with 6-3 records and wins over Seattle. Thursday night’s rematch with the Cardinals looms large.
Kyler Murray, Arizona (Win vs. Buffalo)
Speaking of the Cards, did you turn off the final minutes of the game after Buffalo scored late? You missed a great finish and another stirring chapter being written in Arizona by the law firm of Murray and Hopkins. Not only did the Cardinals overcome a 23-9 third quarter deficit, they kept pace in the now tight NFC West. While the 43-yard, game-winning TD will be the talk of the league for a while, Murray also added to his growing credentials as well. No. 1’s playmaker status was on full display in the victory. Sunday was Murray’s eighth game this season with a rushing and passing touchdown, tying him with Steve Grogan in 1976, Daunte Culpepper in 2002 and Cam Newton in 2011 for the single-season record.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (Loss at New England)
Bad weather or not, the Ravens’ offense is still very inconsistent following their loss in Foxboro. Baltimore had won 10 straight away from home before Sunday night’s loss. Jackson threw two touchdown passes and led Baltimore in rushing (55 yards). But his biggest mistake was his first interception in six prime-time games. It was the Ravens’ first loss on the road since Week 3 of last season. Baltimore is now one of nine teams with at least six wins this season. This is the first instance in which one conference has at least nine teams with six wins through Week 10 since the creation of the AFC and NFC in 1970.
Cam Newton, New England (Win vs. Baltimore)
Behind the running of Damien Harris (121 yards), the Patriots were able to outlast nasty conditions and outlast the Ravens. As for Cam, he was 13-of-17 passing for 118 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for his ninth touchdown of the season. At 4-5, New England’s postseason probabilities are slim. History note: The Patriots were 5-5 during the 2001 season when they went on a tear to capture their first Super Bowl championship. Up next, a reunion with former New England assistant Romeo Crennel and his Houston Texans.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans (Win vs. 49ers)
Last year, it was the aforementioned Teddy Bridgewater who went 5-0 last season when Drew Brees went down. Now the former Heisman Trophy winner has been handed the keys to the Saints’ offense for the time being. Yeah, they’ll probably put Taysom Hill in some packages. But it’s safe to say No. 2 will get the majority of snaps while Brees recovers. In Sunday’s game, Winston completed 6 of 10 passes for 63 yards with zero TDs and zero turnovers. Stay tuned.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Arizona’s Kyler Murray is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era and fourth quarterback in NFL history to rush for a touchdown in five consecutive games, joining Johnny Lujack (six consecutive games in 1950), Tobin Rote (five in 1956) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dutch Clark (five in 1936). Murray has 10 rushing touchdowns this season, which also ties him with the aforementioned Lujack (10) for the most by a quarterback in his team’s first nine games of a season in league annals.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.