Teams begin to separate themselves as they prepare for the stretch. Here are the ups and downs from Week 10.
State Your Case
Case Keenum and the Minnesota Vikings made it abundantly clear that this team is for real. Now sitting at 7-2, the Vikes are in control of the NFC North and are easily the most consistent squad in the division. Keenum has earned the right to keep the starting quarterback job this year, even with the return of Teddy Bridgewater. Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs sure are fun to watch!
Let The Good Times Roll
The New Orleans Saints are still lighting up scoreboards as they usually do. After starting the season 0-2 the Saints have reeled of seven straight wins. But, its not just Drew Brees chucking the pigskin around this year. The running game and defense are active participants in their success these days. Mark Ingram is running angry and Alvin Kamara is everything we thought Christian McCaffrey would be. The road to the NFC South title goes through Bourbon Street.
The Atlanta Falcons entered Sunday’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys with a 4-4 record, befitting of their mediocre play thus far in 2017. But, back at home for the first time in three weeks, the Falcons absolutely demolished the under-manned Cowboys. The 27-7 was indicative of just how potent this team can be when they with an identity.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been power-rushing and defense-ing their way to this season. On Sunday, however, Blake Bortles threw the ball 51 times with limited success. Also, leading rusher Leonard Fournette was a non-factor and watched from the sideline during key moments. With all that, trailing 17-14 with just over a minute to go, the Jags rallied to take the game to OT and pull out a victory in the extra session.
Best Catch Of All-Time Ever This Year
Shout out to Washington wide receiver Maurice Harris for this grab. His first catch of the season and it was a gem. Just watch!
A Few Firsts
Also, a tip of the hat to the San Francisco 49ers for notching their first win of the 2017 season. Nobody wants to see a team go 0-16 — at least this off us who have a soul!
And congrats to Brett Hundley for going into Soldier Field and getting the first starting win of his career. Hundley showed tremendous growth the game, stringing together several long drives.
Defy Life Trash Talk
Things should be quite lively around the downtown Fargo office this week! Keyonne Small and Rodney McDaniel — who are Falcons fans — are sure to give Alvin Glymph (Cowboys fan) all he can handle this week. Can’t wait to hear The Defy Life Podcast segment on this one!
That’s Just Burfict
Vontaze Burfict is at it again. After receiving a personal foul for unnecessary roughness,, he followed that up with an ejection for making with an official. Granted, the call was a bit overzealous on the official’s part. But, at some point Burfict has to realize that his reputation allows him little-to-no margin for error in the eyes of the guys in stripes.
For all the time dedicated to the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott — and rightfully so — the more costly absence for Dallas was left tackle Tyron Smith. His replacement Chaz Green gave up five (5!!!) sacks to career mascot for pass-rushing mediocrity, Adrian Clayborn. Dallas, foolishly, waited until the game was well over to remove Green. However, Clayborn did get another sack after Green was replaced.
One Giant Mess
Sooooo…about that 49ers’ win. It really shows how far the New York Giants have fallen this year, as they were on the losing end of that game. The Giants currently sit at 1-8, the franchise’s worst start since the pre-Bill Parcells days. While the Giants organization is one of the more patient in the league, don’t be shocked if there is a major cleaning of house week. It’s THAT ugly!
Bills, Bills, Bills…
The Buffalo Bills are falling back to earth, and their falling hard. Losing to the Saints 47-10 — after an embarrassing Week 9 loss to the Jets — is a sign that the Bills are not the contenders many (yours truly included) made them out to be.
Chargers Find A Way…Again
We talked about this from the Jacksonville perspective. But, the Los Angeles Chargers flat out pissed that game away…thrice! Fumble, punt, interception; the results of the last three Charger possessions, including overtime.
Pats Teams Are Special
The New England Patriots Jumped out to an early lead on the Denver Broncos thanks, due in-large, to its special, special teams. A recovered muffed punt, a kick return TD and a blocked punt were catalysts to an insurmountable Denver deficit.
No More Wire Hangers… or Injuries!
-Falcons running back Devonta Freeman left after sustaining a concussion and did not return.
-Packers rookie running back Aaron Jones suffered a knee injury in the first half of Sunday’s win over Chicago. Also, fellow running back Ty Montgomery was also ruled out after suffering a ribs injury in the second quarter.
-Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett is in concussion protocol after showing symptoms following the team’s loss to Pittsburgh.
-Steelers cornerback Joe Haden left the game after suffering a broken fibula against the Colts. Safety Mike Mitchell was carted off the field with an ankle injury.