Once 5-0 and looking out completely unbeatable, the San Francisco 49ers have instantly dropped three in a row.
Once 1-3, trying dismal and disjointed, Joe Burrow and the Bengals instantly appear like … Joe Burrow and the Bengals.
“I don’t use that word unbelievable anymore,” Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor mentioned after his quarterback’s three-touchdown day in a convincing 31-17 win in San Francisco.
“Because that’s what you come to expect.”
Just not in September, apparently.
The Green Bay Packers nonetheless can’t discover a technique to rating within the first half — 9 factors mixed of their final 5 — and have now misplaced 4 in a row.
“Myself, it’s too bumpy right now,” Jordan Love mentioned. “I need to find consistency in my play.”
The Minnesota Vikings, winners of three in a row after Sunday’s win towards Love and the Packers, worry they’ve misplaced Kirk Cousins for the season.
And for the primary time since Peyton Manning was their quarterback — method again in 2015 — the Denver Broncos beat the Chiefs, snapping Kansas City’s 16-game streak within the collection.
On a sloppy Sunday throughout the NFL that featured the likes of Brett Rypien, Tommy DeVito, Taylor Heinicke, Mitch Trubisky and Tyson Bagent stepping in at quarterback for his or her respective groups — spoiler: none left with a victory — Burrow’s assertion within the Bay Area was probably the most resounding.
The calf harm? History.
Burrow? Back in MVP kind.
The Bengals? Contenders as soon as extra.
Burrow completed with simply 4 incompletions towards the once-vaunted 49ers protection, a unit that’s allowed 852 mixed yards of their final two losses, to the Vikings and Bengals. Burrow carved up San Francisco’s zone many of the afternoon, then when the 49ers switched into man, discovered his favourite goal, Ja’Marr Chase, ultimately zone for a decisive third-quarter landing. It was classic Burrow and classic Bengals — brutally environment friendly, all the time armed with a solution — and it unquestionably places them again within the dialog within the AFC.
As for the 49ers, Brock Purdy threw two second-half interceptions and has now misplaced three straight after successful the primary 10 regular-season begins of his profession. His teammates had his again afterward.
“He’s the reason why we have a chance to win games,” linebacker Fred Warner mentioned of Purdy, saying the protection was guilty for the staff’s current skid. Up subsequent: a much-welcomed bye.
Here’s what else stood out from Week 8:
Give them the ball, see what occurs
All this discuss how offenses are struggling this season, about how scoring has dipped, about how quarterbacks — with uncommon exception — haven’t been as prolific as current years.
While loads of that’s true, so is that this: The league’s greatest broad receivers haven’t slowed down.
Not Sunday. Not for many of this season. In Miami, Tyreek Hill has already eclipsed 1,000 yards simply eight video games in, turning into the primary participant in NFL historical past to take action. The Dolphins accomplished a season sweep of the Patriots, successful 31-17 in Miami.
Hill has been unstoppable for many of his profession, together with his first six seasons in Kansas City. But by his personal admission, he’s by no means regarded this good.
“I am light years ahead of where I was then,” Hill mentioned Sunday, when requested about his Chiefs days.
He’ll face his former staff for the primary time subsequent week in Germany.
NFL receiving leaders
In Washington, Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown grew to become the primary participant in league historical past with 125 receiving yards in six consecutive video games. The Eagles (a league-best 7-1) accomplished a season sweep of the Commanders with a 38-31 win.
And in Dallas, CeeDee Lamb erupted for 9 catches, 122 yards and two touchdowns — all earlier than halftime. “Give me the ball and see what happens,” Lamb mentioned not too long ago. The Rams discovered Sunday what that appears like. Lamb was deadly. The Cowboys saved feeding him. And earlier than the Rams might blink, the rating was 33-3.
The Cowboys (5-2) completed it off 43-20, their fourth win by 20 or extra factors this season.
On a Sunday that noticed a shocking variety of backup QBs take the sphere, the league’s true cream-of-the-crop receivers reminded everybody of their price.
Sometimes, there’s merely no reply for them.
Did the Titans simply discover their quarterback?
It’s all the time too quickly, too impulsive, to make any type of a daring proclamation after a single recreation.
But one begin into Will Levis’ profession in Tennessee, it’s arduous to not assume the Titans could have discovered their subsequent quarterback.
For a 2-4 staff floundering in a little bit of a no man’s land this season — new basic supervisor Ran Carthon needed to inform Derrick Henry they weren’t buying and selling him earlier than Tuesday’s deadline, regardless of inquiries from different groups — the Titans wanted to see one thing from both Levis or second-year QB Malik Willis, who struggled mightily final season as a rookie.
Put merely, with Ryan Tannehill out, they wanted both Levis or Willis to seize ahold of the beginning job.
On Sunday, Levis did.
The second-round choose, who famously tumbled in final spring’s draft, made his NFL debut towards the Falcons, and all he did was throw for extra touchdowns (4) than Tannehill, the Titans’ veteran starter, had all season (two). Levis strutted his monster arm, hitting DeAndre Hopkins for 3 scores, together with one for 47 yards and one other for 61.
“He plays the game like he’s been here before,” Hopkins mentioned of his rookie quarterback.
Thanks to Levis and Hopkins, the Titans moved to 3-4 with a 28-23 victory towards Atlanta. Levis shared snaps with Willis, however Willis by no means tried a cross, used solely in speeding conditions. And because of Levis’ sterling debut — he completed 19-for-29 for 238 yards, 4 TDs and a 130.5 passer score — there’s little query which of the 2 QBs the Titans will flip to shifting ahead.
If Levis continues on this trajectory, and Anthony Richardson returns to the shape he flashed early this season in Indianapolis, the AFC South figures to be quite a lot of enjoyable within the coming years. All 4 groups, together with Jacksonville (Trevor Lawrence) and Houston (C.J. Stroud), appear like they’ve succesful franchise quarterbacks in place for years to return.
Hope, in Carolina.
Fleeting because it may be, it’s one thing.
And this franchise wanted it.
After six consecutive losses to open the 12 months, questions on their resolution on the high of final spring’s draft and a sudden swap in offensive play-caller — coach Frank Reich passing duties off to his offensive coordinator, Thomas Brown — the Panthers wanted one thing to go proper. Anything, actually.
Enough did Sunday.
In a recreation that includes the highest three picks from the latest draft — the primary time that’s ever occurred in NFL historical past — Bryce Young earned his first win as an NFL starter, serving to the Panthers to a 15-13 win towards Stroud, Will Anderson Jr. and the Texans. It averted a 0-7 begin for Carolina, which might have been the franchise’s worst relationship again to 1998.
Young led a 15-play, 58-yard drive throughout the sport’s last 6:17 to arrange Eddy Pineiro’s 22-yard, game-winning subject aim. And with that, each staff within the NFL has no less than one win this season.
“Down one, go out and try to take the game, what else would you hope for?” Young mentioned later.
The Panthers stay skinny on expertise, particularly on the offensive ability positions, however no staff needs to enter November with out a victory.
Are the Jets actually within the early AFC playoff race? (Yes)
“They don’t ask you how, they ask how many,” Jets coach Robert Saleh mentioned after this one, aptly summing up the offensively challenged battle of New York his staff in some way eked out in additional time.
Saleh’s proper. Forget the small print. Toss out the field rating. When your star quarterback, who additionally occurs to be a Hall-of-Famer-in-waiting, is misplaced 4 snaps into the season, you don’t apologize for the wins that comply with.
Four of their first seven, together with three in a row?
Doesn’t matter the way you get them. Doesn’t matter what they appear like. Doesn’t matter if the sport featured simply 4 third-down conversions (in 34 makes an attempt) and 24 punts.
Now, the Jets stay a flawed staff, Zach Wilson a flawed quarterback, however there’s one thing to be mentioned for a gaggle that retains scraping out ugly victories regardless of stunningly lengthy stretches of offensive inadequacy. (Breece Hall’s 50-yard catch-and-run rating within the first quarter Sunday was the Jets’ first first-quarter landing of the season.)
After shedding three in a row after Aaron Rodgers went down, the Jets (4-3) have ripped off three in a row and are — shock — very a lot within the AFC playoff hunt because the calendar flips to November.
Honestly, who had the Jets above .500 at any level after Halloween?
“I don’t even know what happened,” cornerback Sauce Gardner mentioned after the win, admitting that he thought the sport was misplaced. But Giants kicker Graham Gano missed two subject objectives, together with a 35-yarder with 28 seconds left that will have clinched the win. Two 29-yard completions from Wilson have been sufficient to get the Jets in field-goal vary.
It’s additionally fairly spectacular the Giants practically gained a recreation throwing for a grand whole of minus-9 passing yards. After Tyrod Taylor exited the sport within the first half, DeVito, a New Jersey native, took his place however ended up making an attempt simply seven passes, ending with minus-1 passing yard.
Jaguars are heating up
The Jaguars have quietly turn out to be one of many hottest groups in soccer. While Jacksonville actually entered the season with heightened expectations after final season’s playoff run, it stumbled early this 12 months, falling to 1-2 after a humiliating 37-17 Week 3 loss at residence to the Texans.
Then the Jags went to London for 2 weeks and located one thing.
The outcomes since: 5 consecutive wins, leaving them at 6-2 heading into the bye week with a juicy matchup after they return, at residence versus the 49ers. On Sunday, the Jags stopped the Steelers’ win streak, beating Pittsburgh 20-10 behind 292 passing yards from Lawrence and 149 all-purpose yards from Travis Etienne, whose 56-yard catch-and-run landing within the third quarter was the longest play of the day for both facet.
Dating again to final 12 months’s late-season run, the Jags have gained 11 of their final 13 regular-season video games.
Ramsey returns, and the Dolphins preserve rolling
Ninety-four days after Jalen Ramsey injured his meniscus — this was the second day of coaching camp, and preliminary reviews urged he may be out till December — the six-time Pro Bowl cornerback made his Dolphins debut two days shy of Halloween.
He made his presence felt instantly, baiting Patriots quarterback Mac Jones into an interception simply earlier than the half that Ramsey returned 49 yards. It led to a subject aim within the Dolphins’ win, their sixth in seven tries towards their division rival.
“He totally disappointed me,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel joked postgame. “He told me he was going to come back and have a pick six, not a pick field goal.”
“The hype is real when it comes to someone like Jalen Ramsey,” Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa mentioned.
With the win, the Dolphins accomplished a season sweep of the Patriots and improved to 6-2, their greatest begin to a season since 2001.
(Top photograph of A.J. Brown: Patrick Smith / Getty Images)
Source web site: theathletic.com