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The Weekly Wipe Up – Week 5 – Oct 7th – Oct 11th

Keep an eye out for this article every Tuesday morning bringing you a brief overview for NFL and fantasy impact, both redraft and dynasty.

Los Angeles Rams 26 @ Seattle Seahawks 17

Lumen Field – Seattle, WA

The Rams finished this game with 476 yards of total offense, a feat they only accomplished once all of last season.  The way Matthew Stafford and the offense is humming, these types of yardage totals seem to be on the table most weeks.  Stafford went 25/37 for 365 yards with 1 TD & 1 INT against the Seahawks on Thursday.  Early in the week, Sean McVay said that he wanted to get Robert Woods more involved in the offense.  He did just that, as Woods caught 12 of his 14 targets for 150 yards.  Cooper Kupp continued being a workhorse as well getting another 7 receptions for 92 yards.  The Rams are playing great on both sides of the ball and head to New York where another win is likely on the horizon against the Giants.

Seattle’s defense has been in a torpid state so far this season.  That is bad news if you’re a Seahawks fan, but makes life easier for those trying to figure out who to start in fantasy.  Fire up anyone playing against them!  The Seahawks (who at the time of this writing have played one more game than anyone except the Rams) are giving up an average of 6.2 yards per offensive play which is the 5th worst in the NFL.  The Seahawks have fallen a long way from the Legion of Boom days.  The biggest story out of this game was the ruptured tendon that quarterback Russell Wilson suffered to the middle finger on his throwing hand.  Wilson had surgery on Friday and his time table to return is 4 – 8 weeks.  Rush to the waiver wire to grab Geno Smith in your superflex leagues if you are so inclined to do so.  With Geno leading the offense, Tyler Lockett should continue to be heavily targeted.  It’ll be interesting to see who D.K. Metcalf’s fantasy value holds up though.  In his two starting seasons with the Jets, Geno largely spread the ball around fairly evenly to most of his receivers with the exception being Eric Decker who received a ton of volume in the slot.  I assume that the run game will be leaned on heavily as well since that is the Seahawks every year standard.  Geno Smith started his career rushing for 604 yards in his first two seasons.  It’ll be interesting to see how much he is going to be involved in the run game, but I expect his usage will put him in the range of being a usable asset for fantasy.

New York Jets 20 @ Atlanta Falcons 27

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – London, England

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please.  This is not a drill.  Kyle Pitts finally did what we all thought he was capable of catching 9 of his 10 targets for 119 yards and a TD against the Jets in London.  QB Matt Ryan honestly didn’t have much choice but to throw to Pitts with WRs Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage both missing this game.  I wonder if this game built trust between Ryan and Pitts and will lead to a bigger target share going forward.  Cordarrelle Patterson had a good day despite heading to the blue medical tent early in this one and being checked for a concussion.  He was cleared to return however and amassed 114 combined yards.  Matt Ryan looked like old school Matty Ice in this one throwing for 342 yards and 2 TDs.  The Falcons were up 20-3 at half in this one and allowed the Jets to sneak back into it with some ugly turnovers. Atlanta heads into their bye week 2-3 and if they can carry their momentum into the next game, gets the Dolphins in Miami.

It could be rookie mistakes, but Zack Wilson is bipolar as an NFL quarterback.  He has flashes of brilliance at some points and looks lost at other times.  This game was set up for Wilson and the Jets to be competitive while facing a bad Atlanta defense with the Falcons down their top two wide receivers.  Instead, the Jets losing by seven is actually much closer than the game actually was.  Wilson was 19 of 32 for 192 and an INT on the day.  Running back Michael Carter continues to be the lead dog in the New York backfield handling 13 touches.  The Jets also head to their bye week and then travel to play the Patriots in New England.

Denver Broncos 19 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 27

Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, PA

The Steelers had a run game today for the first time in a long time and oddly enough, the passing game was elevated because of it.  Najee Harris had a big game rushing for 122 and a TD and adding another 20 yards on 2 receptions, forcing the defense to keep an eye on him.  This opened up the passing game allowing Big Ben Roethlisberger to find receivers for chunk plays down the field.  This wasn’t the Big Ben of old mind you, and he wasn’t completely shredding the defense, but he played the type of game he needs to for this team to be successful.  Chase Claypool (5 for 130 and 1 TD) and Diontae Johnson (2 for 72 and 1 TD) lead the wide receivers in yardage on the day.  So far this season, when the Steelers score more than 20 points, they are 2-0.  When they score less than 20, they are 0-3.  That feels about right going forward.  The defense is always sturdy and will keep Pittsburgh in games.  If the offense figures out how to not be a problem, they could string some wins together.  That being said, things may have gotten tougher for the Steelers offense as JuJu Smith-Schuster injured his should in this one and is reportedly done for the season.

Teddy Bridgewater had to get hot to even make this competitive as the Broncos trailed 24-6 at the end of the third quarter.  He connected with Courtland Sutton and Kendall Hinton on his 2 touchdown passes of the day, but it wasn’t enough to bring Denver all the way back.  Javonte Williams continues to make a bit for lead back duties as he almost doubled Melvin Gordon’s production on one less carry.  Williams did however spike the football after being tackled at the 1 yard line which drew a costly delay of game penalty.  The drive ended in a field goal instead of a touchdown.  The Broncos host the Raiders next week in a game against a Raiders team that has head coach drama going on.  Could be a nice spot for Denver to get back on track.

Detroit Lions 17 @ Minnesota Vikings 19

U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN

I’m going to be saying this a lot this year, but the Lions just don’t have the talent to be successful.    After drafting Penei Sewell, the offensive line was supposed to be a cornerstone of this rebuilding team.  Today, they were undressed all day by the Vikings who only needed to rush four to consistently get pressure on Jared Goff.  It’s worth noting that Taylor Decker still hasn’t returned from injury and has some big shoes to fill, but when your opponent doesn’t need to blitz to wreak havoc on your QB, you have a problem that one player can’t fix.  This game was close on paper thanks to a somewhat silly Alexander Mattison fumble at the end of the game when he was trying to grind out a couple of extra yards when he should have been focused on running out the clock.  The Lions were down by seven with less than two minutes left to go when Mattison put the ball on the ground.  Detroit was able to turn that fumble into a touchdown followed by a gutsy two point conversion that coach Dan Campbell called to either take the lead or lose the game with :37 seconds left in the game.  Minnesota started their possession with :33 second left at their own 18.  Minnesota was able to move the ball 46 yards and still have time to spike the ball with 3 seconds left, allowing kicker Greg Joseph to hit a game winning 55 yarder as time expired.  It was yet another heartbreaking way for the Lions to lose a close game.  

Alexander Mattison continued to fill big shoes as he continues to lead the Vikings backfield with Dalvin Cook still out with an injury.  Mattison carried 25 times for 113 yards.  Minnesota looked good on both sides of the ball as most teams do against the Lions.  Cousins had a nice day throwing for 275 yards with a TD and an INT.  Justin Jefferson was a stud catching 7 passes for 124 yards.  The Vikings travel to Carolina next week in what will be a battle of Minnesota’s offensive vs the Panther’s defense.

Green Bay Packers 25 @ Cincinnati Bengals 22

Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, OH

This was a weird one with five consecutive missed field goals in the 4th quarter and into overtime before Green Bay’s Mason Crosby finally nailed the 49 yard game winner.  Aaron Rodgers went off for 344 yards, 2 TDs, and an INT on the day and moved the ball almost at will.  HIs two touchdowns moved him into 5th on the all time passing TD list, moving past Dan Marino who Rodgers was tied with entering the day.  Aaron Jones rushed for over 100 yards on his 14 carries.  Davante Adams had a career day with 206 yards on 11 catches and a TD on the day.  It was the most receiving yards Adams has posted in a single game.  

The Bengals didn’t have a bad game.  QB Joe Burrow threw for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Unfortunately he added two INTs on the day as well.  Burrow also went to the hospital after the game to have a throat contusion examined.  That doesn’t sound awesome.  Bengals guard Xavier Su’a also missed this game after being placed on IR with a knee injury.  This Cincy o-line isn’t great with everyone healthy, let alone when you start adding injuries.  If Burrow were to miss time, Brandon Allen is his back up.  I wouldn’t trust Allen in fantasy behind that lack of protection.  Jamarr Chase continues to be a breakout star and added another 159 yards and a TD to his young resume.  The Bengals will look to get right against the Detroit Lions next week.

Miami Dolphins 17 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45

Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, FL

As of writing this (post week 5 Sunday, pre Monday game), the TB Buccaneers are ranked #2 in total offense in the NFL and the Ravens would need about 500 total yards to catch them Monday.  The Dolphins are 31st in the NFL.  Tampa Bay has the 17th ranked defense in the league.  Miami is 30th.  The Buccs turnover differential is +3, the Dolphins are -2.  If you look at these stats and project them onto a football field, that’s what we got Sunday.  Miami was simply outclassed in every facet of the game.

QBs

Tom Brady – 30/41 for 411/5 TDs

Jacoby Brissett – 27/39 for 275/2 TDs/1 INT

This is where it starts.   Tom Brady is the greatest of all time and seems to aging like a fine wine.  I don’t think I need to talk much about the level he is playing on right now, but it doesn’t seem fair surrounding him with this many weapons.  Jacoby Brissett played fine but he put some throws on tape that left you scratching your head and that usually the experience you’re going to get with him.  

RBs

Leonard Fournette had 67 yards and a TD on 12 carries for the Buccs.  Those 67 yards were 28 more rushing yards than all ball carriers combined for Miami.  Tampa Bay also had 54 more yards from other rushes on the day.  Both backfields added a boost to their teams pass game as well.  In fact, this is the one offensive area where Miami outshined TB.  Miami running backs combined for 150 receiving yards and 2 TDs on the day including 10 catches for 74 yards for Myles Gaskin.  Tampa Bay backs recorded 72 yards of their own and this stat area was by no means a shortcoming for the Buccs. 

WRs & TEs

Miami’s best non-running back pass catcher on the day was Preston Williams with 60 yards receiving.  The Buccs had three receivers finish with a higher total including Antonio Brown who more than doubled it with 124 yards and Mike Evans who was just shy of doubling it with 113 yards of his own.  

If Iron Mike Tyson were to have a bare knuckle boxing match with Billie Eilish and you could somehow project that on to a football field, you’d have 2021 Dolphins @ Bucs.  The Dolphins travel to London to face Jacksonville next week and TB visits Philly.

New England Patriots 25 @ Houston Texans 22

NRG Stadium – Houston, TX

This game was much closer than I expected as QB Davis Mills played like a man possessed but still came up short in his bid to upset the Patriots.  Mills threw for 313 yards on 21 completions and 3 touchdowns.  It was hard to predict this type of performance after the four interception outing Mills had last week.  The story to keep an eye on for fantasy is WR Chris Moore.  Called up from the practice squad on Saturday and caught all 5 of his targets for 109 and a TD on Sunday.  Moore is a six year NFL veteran and I don’t believe this is going to turn into a long term fantasy add, but Mills is still developing trust with his receivers and it’s possible that Moore becomes that guy for him, as long as he keeps his spot on the game day roster.  I don’t think there are major takeaways from this game, but it’s possible that the Texans can carry some momentum into next week when they take on the Colts.

Hunter Henry might be starting to earn his $37.4 million contract.  The former Chargers TE caught 6 of his 8 targets for 75 yards and a TD.  The Patriots and rookie QB Mac Jones spread the ball around too much to trust Henry as an every week starter though and even when the TE matchup looks good for the Pats, it’s possible those targets go to Jonnu Smith.  Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson mostly split carries with Harris having almost double the yardage output.  Harris did however leave the game with a chest injury in the fourth quarter and if he misses time, Stevenson could have the backfield mostly to himself.  Worth keeping an eye on if you need a running back for fantasy next week.

New Orleans Saints 33 @ Washington Football Team 22

FedEx Field – Landover, MD

Game Reviewed by Joe you can find him at @JoeJ_Clark on Twitter

Well alright.  Looks like I may have been wrong when I’ve been repeatedly saying here at Toilets to Titles that the Saints offense is all smoke-and-mirrors based on the TDs they were putting up this season due to their defense getting the ball for their O, and in good field position to boot.  QB Jameis Winston put up 4-TDs on 15/30 for 279-yards, along with 26 yards on the ground; Kamara put up a total of 122 yards rushing and receiving along with 1-TD, and WR Marquez Callaway had a very nice game with 4-receptions for 85-yards and 2-TDs.  The Saints defense played their stout role like they’ve been doing this season in getting 2-sacks and 2-INTs, which helped the Saints move to 3-2 on the season.

Washington, your defense needs help in the secondary.  The Washington defense will be very very good one day and are not that far away, but it is clear by this point that the secondary clearly does not match the potent talent that they have in the front seven.  QB Taylor Heinicke had his worst performance this season with a line of 20/41, 248-yards, 0-TDs, and 2-INTs — but I want to point out that Heinicke has had a nice season overall, and I don’t want to walk away from him in this piece on a negative note because he doesn’t deserve it.  RB Antonio Gibson had a nice game with 20 carries for 60-yards and 2-TDs on the ground and 12 yards receiving, while star WR Terry McLaurin was held to 46 yards on 4-receptions out of 11-targets (ouch).  Washington fell to 2-3 on the season.

Philadelphia Eagles 21 @ Carolina Panthers 18

Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, NC

This is a game that neither team should walk away feeling great about. However the Eagles get the win and it doesn’t matter how you win as long as you win right? So I guess they are happy however as an impartial observer it was hard to watch.

Both teams averaged under 5 yards per pass, the Eagles had 6 penalties for 60 yards, while the Panthers had 9 for 69 yards. There were 4 interceptions (1 to Hurts, and 3 to Darnold) and 2 fumbles (both by the Eagles).

It felt after Stephon Gilmore signed with the Panthers that the team (at least externally) were planning for their Superbowl birth. Which is ridiculous when you think they are coming off a loss. However their offence seemed constantly out of rhythm all day. Chuba Hubbard (24 rushes, 101 yards, 5 receptions 33 yards) did an admirable Christian McCaffrey impression however he was really a lone spark on offense.

I would like to spend more time on this game to understand what exactly the issues were with the Panthers as Darnold seemed to be dumping off all day so it’s hard to know whether the Wide Receivers couldn’t get open or he just didn’t have time (the Eagles Defensive Line was excellent all day).  D.J Moore ended up with only 42 yards on 5 receptions however was still the teams leading receiver.

Sam Darnold’s 3 picks were all questionable, the all seemed to be curl routes where the defender (Darius Slay had two of the picks) just jumped in front of the Receiver so it’s always hard to know who is responsible for that however the offense seemed gimmicky and failed to do much positive at all.

For the Eagles Hurts struggled with only the two rushing touchdowns rescuing his day. Jordan Mailata playing at Right Tackle struggled mightily which didn’t help Hurts at all, and their rushing attack struggled. Bizarrely on the final drive of the game when the Eagles needed only a first down to end the game Miles Sanders ran out of bounds twice to stop the clock which really was a good snapshot of the game.

The Panthers had a safety (it should have been a touchdown as a horrible snap sailed passed Hurts where 3 Panthers could have fallen on it before it went out the back of the end zone), recovered a fumble, had an interception, and forced a turnover on downs with 5:38 left in the game and failed on all occasions to generate meaningful points (and on turnover on downs after a 3 and out their punt was blocked which led to an Eagles score).

The Eagles walk away with a win and a team that has a fantastic wide receiver in Devonta Smith (7 for 77 yards however it felt like he had a larger impact) and strong offensive line can really work on growing and improving knowing they are sitting on possibly 3 first round picks in 2022.

For the Panthers they need to focus and regroup as their promising season has taken a turn for the worse.

Tennessee Titans 37 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 19

TIAA Bank Field – Jacksonville, FL

Game Reviewed by Andrew you can find him at @AndrewCampey on Twitter

If you saw the score you would think that the Titans had their way all day and to a certain extent they did however the score probably doesn’t do the Jaguars justice. They played ok which is about all you can expect from a young team. Trevor Lawrence showed promising signs of becoming a true franchise quarterback (23/33 273 yards 1 TD 1 Interception (to end the game), 28 yards and 1 TD) and James Robinson continued to punish his doubters with 12 carries, 110 yards, and a touchdown in the first half alone.

Their defense while missing some top quality talent battled hard all day especially their defensive line. What doomed Jacksonville was basic execution issues and questionable coaching. James Robinson only had 6 second half carries despite the Titans showing little ability to stop him. Laviska Shenault had an amazing 58 yard play in the third quarter which makes you wonder why he only say 3 targets all day. There kicking issues continued with their kicker missing an extra point and a field goal. They were the first team to go without a Field Goal in 4 games since 1992, So perhaps it’s even longer after 5.

For the Titans they did what good teams do. They stuck to their strengths (a guy called Derrick Henry rushed for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns if he’s on your waivers then pick him up and immediately leave that crappy league) and won comfortably. Tannehill was ok without having to do much and they got lucky on a fumble recovery to start the game that resulted in a touchdown. It felt like the Titans were a 10 point better team on the day so the score flatters them slightly. I would be worried if I was them about facing quality opposition (such as Buffalo next week).

The Titans receivers were disappointing with no one catching more than 3 passes however 7 players caught at least one. Henry didn’t receive a target which was a bit disappointing. Dan Arnold continues to get targets at Lawrence’s safety blanket (8 targets, 6 Receptions, 64 yards), depending on who the quarterback is Jacksonville’s next game against Miami could be interesting to watch.

Chicago Bears 20 @ Las Vegas Raiders 9

Allegiant Stadium – Paradise, NV

As a Lions fan, I hate to be too kind to the Bears, but this was a nice confidence builder type game for the rookie QB.  They aren’t asking Justin Fields to do too much, the backs are running hard and opening up the field for the passing game, and the defense is doing the heavy lifting.  Fields threw for just 111 yards on Sunday but also for his first career touchdown in the Bears victory.  Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams salted away the day rushing for a combined 139 yards.  The defense did the rest and shut down what had been a prolific offense up until this point.  The road does get tougher for the Bears the next couple weeks though as they play Green Bay next week and follow that up with Tampa Bay.

 Jon Gruden is officially out as the Raiders coach.  His racist comments that were released from a 2011 email, are appearing to be just the tip of the iceberg.  In a New York Times article, further emails are coming to light that are of a misogynistic and homophobic nature.  All of this is breaking almost as I write this on Monday night.  The team who was already feeling the backlash from the original racial emails, has to figure out where they go from here.  The players could respond with resolve to play hard for the interim coach or they could choose to mail it in from here out.  From a fantasy perspective, I don’t think there is need to worry about anything yet.  This team is however in crisis mode and could have some up and down weeks.

Cleveland Browns 42 @ Los Angeles Chargers 47

SoFi Stadium – Inglewood, CA

Game Reviewed by Andrew you can find him at @AndrewCampey on Twitter

This was probably the game of the week as it had a bit of everything. Hard to believe it was 3-7 at the end of one quarter however it had more to do with the length of the Browns drives. However this game had one of the most exciting play by plays you will ever see.

Punt – Chargers
Field Goal – Browns
Touchdown – Chargers
Touchdown – Browns
Touchdown – Chargers
Turnover on Downs – Browns
Punt – Chargers
Touchdown – Browns
Fumble – Chargers
Field Goal – Browns
(Half time)
Touchdown – Browns
Touchdown – Chargers
Punt – Browns
Punt – Chargers
Punt – Browns
Touchdown – Chargers
Touchdown – Browns
Touchdown – Chargers
Touchdown – Chargers
Turnover on Downs – Browns
End of Game

So that’s 10 Touchdowns and 2 Field Goals by my count and the smartest/weirdest play of the season. Austin Ekeler was at the 3 yard line and did not want to score as the Chargers wanted to drain the clock as Cleveland had no more time outs. However the Cleveland defense dragged him over the line for a touchdown so they would get the ball back. With no timeouts left the Browns couldn’t get the final score and hence lost however for a neutral fan it was a great game.

Lots of fantasy points to be had obviously. Baker Mayfield 23/32 305 yards 2 touchdowns, Nick Chubb 161 yards 1 touchdown, Kareem Hunt 61 yards 2 touchdowns, David Njoku 149 yards 1 touchdown. For the Chargers Justin Herbert 26/43 398 yards, 4 touchdowns, Austin Ekeler 17 carries 66 yards 2 touchdowns, 53 receiving yards 1 touchdown, Mike Williams 165 yards 2 touchdowns, Keenan Allen 75 yards.

This is the game to watch if you’ve got some free time this week!

New York Giants 20 @ Dallas Cowboys 44

AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX

Game Reviewed by Andrew you can find him at @AndrewCampey on Twitter

When I heard about the line for this week I expected the Cowboys to comfortably beat the Giants. It felt that people were accepting the “Daniel Jones is good now!” narrative but ignoring the Cowboys Defense is good narrative. However this game was NOTHING like I expected. Playing the team that he was injured against last year Dak Prescott looked more apprehensive than he has all season and threw an Interception on the games opening drive. Despite starting just past midfield the Giants couldn’t capitalise and ended their drive with a missed 54 yard field goal attempt.

The Cowboys then marched all the way to their 12 yard line before having to settle for a field goal. On the next drive Saquon Barkley stepped on a defenders foot and his day was over as his foot quickly ballooned in size. Causing issues for the Giants. The Cowboys managed to get two touchdowns to one in the first half however the Giants touchdown was costly. On 3rd and Goal at the 1 Daniel Jones ran out looking for the corner and was hit by two Cowboys. He was very groggy and was almost immediately ruled out with concussion. So for the rest of the game it was the Mike Glennon and Devontae Booker show (just what everyone hoped for!).

So the Giants were without their left tackle, starting Quarterback, and starting Running Back. So as a Giants fan you would have to almost be proud of what they did considering the limitations thrown at them. Kadarius Toney went ballistic both on football wise 189 yards on 10 receptions and mentally by punching a Cowboy and getting ejected. Showing that his biggest issue will be above his shoulders however he’s clearly not the bust some were suggesting. Glennon looked ok. If they were out full strength this could have been one of the upsets of the round.

In the end the Cowboys got a solid win and nobody will be happier to move on then Dak Prescott he ended with 302 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception however he seemed off (he even mentioned so after the game), Ezekiel Elliot 110 yards, 1 touchdown (and a second receiving) and Tony Pollard 75 yards were both excellent, and CeeDee Lamb (84 yards 1 touchdown), Dalton Schultz (79 yards), Amari Cooper (60 yards 1 touchdown) were all good for they day.

On defense Trevon Diggs continues to play cornerback like few others can, he tracks the ball in flight better than his opponent and almost had two more interceptions (he did have one). He has more interceptions than 27 teams! The Cowboys defense would be disappointed they didn’t get much pressure on the Giants while the Giants defensive line did a decent job of collapsing the pocket for Prescott.

The Cowboys walk away with the win and now have a 2 game lead in their division while the Giants at 1-4 could lay claim to being the second best team currently in the NFC East however that now rests on the health of their stars.

San Francisco 49ers 10 @ Arizona Cardinals 17

State Farm Stadium – Glendale, AZ

Game Reviewed by Joe you can find him at @JoeJ_Clark on Twitter

When your opponent limits what is deemed to be your strengths, can you still persevere?  It’s a test for any team, but definitely for a young up-and-coming team entering the ranks of the big boys coming out of September with an undefeated record.  Well, the Cardinals faced that against a very tough and seasoned divisional opponent in the 49ers and passed that test.  Arizona — unsurprisingly — has been one of the highest scoring teams to date this season coming into today’s game averaging 35 points each week, but held onto for a 17-10 victory before their home crowd.  Arizona’s stellar young QB, Kyler Murray, was held to a pedestrian line of 22/31, 239-yards, 1-TD (and only 1 yard rushing on 7 attempts), while the only Cardinals WR to have much of an impactful day was Deandre Hopkins (6/87/1-TD).  Their rushing game was not much to write up about either going for a total of 94 yards combined with 1-TD.

The story in this game with the Cardinals defense, which has not been getting the recognition that their sexy offense has been getting (and well deserved).  Their D stat line does not read as anything too spectacular — 2 total sacks and 1-INT, but they held a potentially potent 49ers offense to 10-points.  Their defense as a whole has let up a combined 95 points in 5 games, and combined with a total of 157 points that they put up on offense that is a point differential of +62 points in the Cards favor.  The only team beating them in that department so far are the Buffalo Bills with a +90 differential (and who are still playing the Chiefs as I write this).  The Cardinals offense is the identity of this team, but don’t sleep on their defense.  The Cardinals remain the only undefeated team this season at 5-0. 

As for the 49ers, I thought that rookie QB Trey Lance had a very nice outing in starting for the first time.  Yes, he had 0-TDs while throwing for 1-INT but he put up 192 yards passing on 15/29 while running for 89 yards for a total of 281 combined yards.  Keep in mind that Lance only had one full time year as the starter at a small college program (North Dakota State) which was two years ago (before he took the COVID exemption in 2020, I believe).  One year starter from a small program, but he oozes potential and showed that in today’s game.  And he’s surrounded by quality offensive talent with a head coach/offensive guru in Kyle Shanahan who knows what he’s doing.  The 49ers offense overall was held quiet, although Deebo Samuel had a rushing touchdown.  But I think the story for the 49ers is that their young and very raw QB, Trey Lance, put up a respectable first game, and I think it bodes well for his development curve.  Lance is in a good situation, unlike many (if not most) other first-year QBs who are put in positions of having to develop surrounded by a young cast that is also developing on rebuilding teams.  So I say “well done,” young Mr. Lance.  The 49ers fall to 2-3 on the season.

Buffalo Bills 38 @ Kansas City Chiefs 20

GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO

Game Reviewed by Andrew you can find him at @AndrewCampey on Twitter

Regardless of what you think of the Bills competition up to this point I think we can consider their defense elite after crushing the Chiefs. The first quarter was a bit unexpected as we only saw one touchdown and a field goal for a 7 – 3 scoreline however the Chiefs had a drive starting with 2:55 left in the first which ended with a touchdown and 10 minutes left in the 2nd. This 10-7 lead would be the last time the Chiefs would lead for the game. The Bills only took 5 plays on the very next drive to score a touchdown and added a second touchdown and field goal while limiting Kansas City to a field goal to have a 24-13 lead.

The second half started with three punts until the Chiefs day started to really unravel. A short pass to Tyreek Hill bounced off his hands right to a waiting Micah Hyde who took it back for a touchdown. After getting the ball back the Chiefs marched down until they had first and goal from the 8. On a short pass intended for Mecole Hardman, Gregory Rousseau the Bills excellent 1st round rookie got his hand up and not only managed to knock it in the air but also catch it for Mahomes second Interception for the day.

With the game essentially out of hand (the Bills led 38-20) Mahomes fumbled the snap which was recovered by the Bills to end a day the Chiefs would rather forget.

Much like people have said about Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is it time to question who makes the Chiefs go Mahomes or Tyreek Hill (the answer is obviously no) as Hill was held to 78 total yards and it has created questions again regarding what exactly the Chiefs are if you remove Hill’s big play ability which several teams have done this year. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was injured in the 3rd quarter and will need to be monitored this week (X-Rays were negative) however he only had 13 rushing yards at the time. The Chiefs had 120 total yards with 61 of them coming from Mahomes.

Josh Allen was Josh Allen 15/26 315 yards and 3 touchdowns. As well as 59 yards and another touchdown. He’s clearly at the top of the MVP conversation currently. Diggs was quiet with 69 yards with Dawson Knox (3 receptions 117 yards 1 touchdown) and Emmanuel Sanders (54 yards and 2 touchdowns) being the key targets. Singletary looked ok however ended with a measly 25 yards rushing and -2 receiving. Zack Moss had 37 yards rushing and 55 receiving and importantly out rushed Singletary 11 to 6.

Even at 2-3 the Chiefs are too good to panic however they have work to do. The Bills move forward to the true test of any rush defense next week against Derrick Henry.

Indianapolis Colts 25 @ Baltimore Ravens 31

M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, MD

Game Reviewed by Andrew you can find him at @AndrewCampey on Twitter

Not sure what you can say about this game. Colts fans would have to be horribly disappointed that this one got away. The first half was nothing to write home about with 6 punts and two field goals. The biggest plays were a pass to Jonathan Taylor that went for 76 yards and a touchdown and a sack fumble by Odafe Oweh (I’ve now mentioned him twice in three weeks so you should be paying attention!) on Carson Wentz when the Colts were only 14 yards out. However it felt like a bit of a game in Cruise Control with a 10-3 score line. There was one odd thing to note however as Rigoberto Sanchez the Colts punter tried a 42 yard field goal to end the first half. A flag on Baltimore meant a second kick and on came Rodrigo Blankenship who nailed a 37 yarder. Blankenship was having hip issues however it was not really ever disclosed fully by the Colts.

The second half was a lot more interesting as the Colts only took two plays to go 73 yards for the opening second half touchdown. They then forced a fumble on Lamar Jackson and for a moment it looked like they had an epic team touchdown however Darius Leonards lateral was judged to go forward and so the Colts got the ball at their own 19 instead. It didn’t matter as they scored 6 plays later however it’s clear the referees have no interest in excellent highlight packages as the fumble touchdown was a great one!

This is where the game gets interesting! Blankenship was obviously struggling so the Colts went for two and failed to convert, however they were up 22 to 3 with 3:06 to go in the third so things were looking good. But on the next series the Ravens went 5 plays, 75 yards and a touchdown to Hollywood Brown who you were all down on (and I kept the receipts!), however they went for 2 so we’re at 22-9 with 56 seconds to go in the 3rd.

The Colts then managed to go on a 9 play drive where Blankenship nails a 43 yarder pushing the lead out. Next series however 6 plays, 2:22 minutes touchdown Ravens. They go for two and succeed so we have a 25 – 17 score. The Colts have the ball for 9 plays and 5:09 minutes leading to our man Blankenship again! STILL nobody knows what the deal is however it makes you think they should have gone for one earlier in the game because that might have been important (wink wink) as . . . his field goal is blocked. Calais Campbell dropped Jonathan Taylor for -4 yards on 3rd and 8 and then blocked the field goal to give the ball back to the Ravens with 4:29 to go.

The Ravens march down the field 11 plays, 75 yards and a touchdown AND make the 2 point conversion leaving 39 seconds for a Colts drive. The Colts do manage to get some decent chunks of yardage leading to . . . a BLANKENSHIP field goal (Is he injured? Is he not?) we don’t get an answer however his 47 yard field goal misses to the Left so we’re going to overtime.

The Ravens get the ball, go 68 yards in 10 plays, Hollywood has his second touchdown and the game is over. The Colts have to be bitterly disappointed Wentz 25/35 402 yards, 2 touchdowns no Interceptions, Jonathan Taylor 15 carries 53 yards and a touchdown as well as 116 yards receiving and a touchdown, Michael Pittman 89 yards and a touchdown, Parris Campbell 56 yards, Mo Alie-Cox 50 yards, Zach Pascal 48 yards. They simply left too many points on the board and it killed them.

For the Ravens Lamar Jackson (37/43 442 yards, 4 touchdowns, 62 yards rushing), Mark Andrews (147 yards 2 touchdowns, 2 2 point conversions), Marquis Brown 125 yards 2 touchdowns) were outstanding however they have to consider themselves slightly lucky to get away with the win. It’s incredible to think this early in the year there is now a 3 game gap between these two teams who both looked like they could do great things.

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