by Chris Foster
After sitting down and watching football literally all day on Sunday, it often leaves me with several reflections on the day’s events. In this piece every week, I will chronicle those reflections.
What A Sunday of NFL Games- I am sure you have heard, but the NFL ratings have been down this season. Well, what they needed was a rash of good ball games to fix that, and on Sunday that is exactly what the NFL got!
- Denver 25- New Orleans 23
With 1:22 to go and the Saints set to go up by a point this happened….
And I know, there are a thousand grainy footage shots that might show his foot on the sideline chalk, but it doesn’t matter now. What a finish!
- Dallas 35- Pittsburgh 30
This game was incredibly fun to watch. From the start, the stars came to play, Leveon Bell, Dez Bryant, Big Ben, Dak, Antonio Brown! It was awesome, but the last 2 minutes were some of the best football we might see all year. Back to back to back scores filled with drama have the makings of one of the best games of the season.
Here is how it started.
And right when it looked like the Steelers had maybe taken control, Dak and Dez did this!
Then, after Dallas took the lead on an Ezekiel Elliot run, Big Ben dials up the fake spike to who else, Antonio Brown!
So the Cowboys get the ball back with under 40 seconds to go, drive the field down to the 32 yard line and the game basically ends like this….
What a game!
- Seattle 31- New England 24
In a rematch of the SuperBowl from two years ago, another Patriots-Seahawks game ends at the one-yard line. It was the Doug Baldwin and LeGarrette Blount show for most of the night. Both had 3 touchdowns! Yet, when it came down to it again, the Seattle Seahawks were able to make a 4 down stand near the 1-yard line to keep the Patriots out of the end zone. The stand finished with a questionable no-call in the corner of the end zone as Brady lofted a pass up for Gronk. For what it is worth, I think it was a good no call. Gronk engaged Kam Chancellor as much as Chancellor held him. If you are a ref, you have to eat the flag in that situation.
There were other great games as well. The Packers- Titans game was entertaining, Redskins- Vikings, and the Panthers and Chiefs. We will touch on each of those games below!
Ryan Mathews- I thought Doug Pederson said that Darren Sproles was the lead back after week 9. Coach speak nothing but coach speak. Ryan Mathews carried the ball 19 times for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns on Sunday and quite frankly looked good doing it. He averaged over 5 yards a carry and was effective at the goal-line. I mentioned earlier in the year that I wanted nothing to do with the Philadelphia Eagles backfield, and I think that might still be true. Even though Mathews had a big day, both Darren Sproles and Wendall Smallwood also had big days. Going forward, I believe the production of the Eagles backfield will be inconsistent and frustrating and I don’t think I want anything to do with it!
Chief Defense on a Superbowl Hangover- Man, what has happened to the Carolina Panthers. Since their SuperBowl appearance, the Panthers are 3-6 and look to be in total disarray. On Sunday, the Panthers had a 17 point lead against the Chiefs and then a couple of unbelievable defensive plays by Kansas City turned that around. The first was an incredible interception and return by Eric Berry.
The Chief, who had struggled the whole day offensively, finally tied the game at 17 with under a minute remaining. I just knew that Cam and Kelvin would lead a drive down the field and give Graham Gano a shot to win the game. Yet, the Chiefs defense struck again, this time it was Marcus Peters with a play that would literally change the game.
After they retrieved the punted ball from the stands, the Chiefs were able to hit a game-winning field goal and give the Panthers loss #6 on the season. It is hard to believe that the Panthers have fallen off this far.
Marcus Mariota and the Exotic Smashmouth- That title sounds like a Harry Potter sequel. The Exotic Smashmouth hit new levels on Sunday when the Titans absolutely drubbed the Green Bay Packers by 3 scores. Marcus Mariota zipped through the air throwing for 4 touchdowns on Sunday. He also had help from his backfield mate DeMarco Murray who threw for a touchdown as well.
That is a great combination, especially when you own both Murray and Delanie Walker in a league. The Titans had their way with the Packers the entire game. The Packers have now lost 3 games in a row and fall to 4-5. They have to get things figured out quickly if they want any shot of making the playoffs.
The Sinking Ship- Yikes, we talked about this last week, but now after a 5-0 start, it looks like the ship is sinking with a gaping hole in the side of the stern. The Vikings went from being one of the best stories in football this season to the one you have to grimace while watching. They had a chance on Sunday as they drove in Redskin territory late in the game and Sam Bradford took two sacks to end any chance of a Viking comeback. At some point, do they begin to look somewhere other than Bradford?
And The Play of the Week, it belongs to Jameis Winston!
Have a Great Monday Y’all!