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Titans titanic, Mahomes brilliant, and Russ has a rough day: Winners and losers from Week Ten in the NFL

By Stuart Dick

Published: 12:07, 18 November 2021

Week 10 in the NFL provided its share of both shock results and predictable thrashings, as well as a gritty, hard-fought tie between of Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dallas’ bruising defeat of Atlanta will have been called by many, as will have Buffalo’s demolition of New York Jets. However, Washington’s win at Tampa Bay and Baltimore’s loss to Miami were jaw-dropping upsets.

Kansas City finally hit form at last with a commanding 41-14 win over Las Vegas, while Green Bay had its first shutout since September 2018 in a 17-0 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

The New England Patriots remain in touch with Buffalo at the summit of AFC East after their 45-7 thrashing of the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, Arizona missed a golden opportunity to take total command of the NFC West, falling a blowout to the Carolina Panthers.

Here are our winners and losers from a wild Week 10 in the NFL:


Patrick Mahomes

2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs returned to their potent best in Kansas City’s 41-14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Mahomes showcased his incredible quality, completing 35 of 50 pass attempts, for 406 yards and five touchdown passes – two of them to All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill – and ending the day with a stellar (and personal best since Week 4_ passer rating of 127.6.

It has been a season of struggle for Mahomes, relatively speaking. The former Texas Tech Red Raider came into Sunday night’s game with 20 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 2,534 passing yards – modest numbers for one of the game’s greats.

With the Chiefs beginning the season 3-4, many considered this the end of their AFC dominance. However, after three weeks (and three victories) and Week 10 defeats for their division rival Denver Broncos and the LA Chargers, the Chiefs are once again in a familiar spot – atop the AFC West.

On a personal note, this was Mahomes’ NFL-record-tying third career game with over 400 passing yards and five or more touchdown passes.

Cam Newton

Speaking of former MVPs…

Cam Newton returned this week to the Carolina Panthers, the team that drafted him #1 overall in 2011, and with whom he won the NFL’s 2015 MVP award.

After being released by the New England Patriots late in the preseason, Newton spent the first half of the regular season without an NFL job.

The former Auburn signal caller scored his first touchdown for the Panthers since Week 13 in 2018, some 1,078 days earlier. Less than four minutes into the game, on his first snap of the game (he did not start, but was used situationally), Newton waltzed into the end zone from two yards out to put the Panther up 7-0 against the then-8-1 Arizona Cardinals.

On Carolina’s next drive, Newton came in to throw a two-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson, to put Carolina up 14-0. The hosts raced to a 23-0 halftime lead, and ultimately defeated the now 8-2 Cardinals by a 34-10 score.

Newton looked very happy to be ‘home’, and a starting nod could be just around the corner for the 32-year-old as the Panthers ramp up their pursuit of Tampa Bay and New Orleans in the NFC South race.

Minnesota Vikings

After a maddening run of five defeats to playoff contending teams by a combined total of 18 points, the Minnesota Vikings finally won a close game against strong opposition, defeating the Los Angeles Chargers in a 27-20 thriller at SoFi Stadium. That they did so without five defensive starters – including All-Pro safety Harrison Smith – and promising young center Garrett Bradbury makes the victory all the more impressive.

The Vikings controlled the game, spending 36:15 in possession of the football, compared to  just 23:45 for the Chargers. Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes to tight end Tyler Conklin and running back Dalvin Cook, while star wide receiver Justin Jefferson matched his 2021 season high with nine catches (for a whopping 143 yards), having recorded just five over the previous two games combined.

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NFC East

With the New York Giants out of action, the three other NFC East outfits all picked up victories as Dallas thumped Atlanta 43-3, Philadelphia overcame Denver 30-13 and Washington shocked Tampa Bay 29-19.

A week after suffering their worst defeat of the season – a 30-16 home loss to Denver in which they trailed 30-0 – the runaway division-leading Cowboys demolished the resurgent Falcons at AT&T Stadium. Cornerback Trevon Diggs bolstered his case for the Defensive Player Of The Year award with league-leading eighth interception, while Dak Prescott led the offense to 43 points, most notably hooking up with wide receiver CeeDee Lamb for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Broncos in Denver thanks to continued dominance from their rushing attack. The Eagles racked up 214 yards on 40 carries on Sunday, led by running backs Jordan Howard and Boston Scott, who had 83 and 81 yards, respectively. Meanwhile, rookie wideout DeVonta Smith caught four passes from Jalen Hurts, two of which went for touchdowns.

However, the day’s most impressive victory came from the Washington Football Team, who defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers at FedEx Field. Behind a pair of first quarter interceptions of Tom Brady by William Jackson III and Bobby McCain, two rushing touchdowns for running back Antonio Gibson, and an astounding game-killing 20-play drive in which they kept the ball out of Brady’s hands for virtually the entire fourth quarter, the WFT put forth a spectacular performance.

Tennessee Titans

After defeating New Orleans 23-21 on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans – already in total command of the AFC South – took command of the entire conference. With their now-8-2 mark, the Titans now hold at least a one-game advantage over the Buffalo Bills and the Baltimore Ravens, who are each 6-3 and with a game in hand, and a full two-game edge over the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots.

Without the prodigious talent of All-Pro running back Derrick Henry, the Titans were outdone by the Saints in terms of passing yards, rushing yards and first downs. However, they prevailed where it matters most: on the scoreboard.

Wide receiver Marcus Johnson stole the show with five receptions for 100 yards, while quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for one score and ran for another. Meanwhile, defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons recorded two sacks on the afternoon.

Tennessee’s is in excellent position to clinch the conference’s top spot, already holding tie-breakers over fellow contenders Buffalo and Kansas City, with two games remaining against the 1-8 Houston Texans, and one apiece remaining against the 2-7 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 3-6 Miami Dolphins.


Mike White

It was an afternoon to forget for New York Jets quarterback Mike White. The momentary hero who led Gang Green to a stunning upset of the Cincinnati Bengals tossed four interceptions in a 45-17 pounding at the hands of the Bills. Buffalo’s secondary feasted on the fourth-year quarterback, with Jordan Poyer, Taron Johnson, Tre’Davious White and Levi Wallace all taking turns picking off Brown.

White’s performance was so brutal that Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh pulled him from the game, in favor of veteran Joe Flacco, who threw the Jets’ only passing touchdown to rookie wideout Elijah Moore in the game’s final minutes.

In all likelihood, White will now return to the bench, with Flacco assuming the starting role until #2 overall pick Zach Wilson is ready to return from injury. That could potentially be as early as Week 12 (28 November), when the Jets visit the Houston Texans.

Parity, what parity?

Week 10 was the week of blowouts with eight of 14 games finished with a winning margin of 17 points or more. Buffalo, New England and Dallas scored 45, 45 and 43 respectively in their wins, while giving up a mere 27 points between them.

Elsewhere, Carolina upset the #1 NFC seed Arizona 34-10, while the San Francisco 49ers upset the Los Angeles Rams 31-10 on Monday Night Football.

As previously mentioned, Kansas City routed the Las Vegas Raiders 41-14, and the Philadelphia Eagles (30-13) and Green Bay Packers (17-0) secured three-score victories over Denver and Seattle respectively.

Seattle Seahawks

Speaking of Seattle, it was an evening to forget for the Seahawks as they were shut out for the first time in the Russell Wilson era during their 17-0 defeat at Lambeau Field.

Wilson struggled against a fierce Green Bay defense, throwing for just 161 yards and two interceptions while only completing 50% of his 40 pass attempts. The Seahawks failed to score for the first time since a 24-0 loss to Pittsburgh in 2011 – Tarvaris Jackson was the quarterback on that occasion.

The Seahawks amassed just 208 yards of total offense – 133 through the air and 75 on the ground, at a measly rate of 3.5 yards per play. Six punts and three sacks added to the misery.

At 3-6, the Seahawks now sit at the bottom of the NFC West, behind not only the Rams and Cardinals, but the 49ers as well.

Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers

Detroit and Pittsburgh played out a 16-16 tie at Heinz Field on Sunday, in a game that was neither a defensive battle nor a thriller for the offensive aficionados. This was merely one average team and one bad team, playing bad football.

Steelers’ backup Mason Rudolph – starting at QB in place of veteran Ben Roethlisberger – easily outduelled former #1 pick Jared Goff (though neither was remotely impressive), while rookie running back Najee Harris topped 100 yards, but needed 26 carries to do so. On the bright side, defense lineman Cameron Heyward tallied a pair of sacks.

For Detroit, D’Andre Swift ground out 130 yards on a whopping 30 carriers, while his fellow running backs, Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson, stole the show with touchdown runs of 42 and 28 yards.

Odell Beckham Jr

Released by the Cleveland Browns and picked up by the Los Angeles Rams, Odell Beckham Jr’s latest career move has been all over the headlines.

Beckham started his career with the New York Giants in brilliant fashion, with three consecutive 1300-yard seasons. However, Odell fell out with the Giants, and was traded to Cleveland in 2019. After injury-plagued two-year stint in Cleveland, which culminated in his father vocally complaining on social media about a lack of targets in Cleveland, Beckham was let go and landed in Los Angeles. Things did not immediately improve in his Rams debut in San Francisco, as Beckham caught just two Matt Stafford passes, for 18 yards, and the Rams suffered their third defeat of the season, on Monday Night Football.


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