With only two teams on bye, fans of the NFL were treated to a massive slate of games that included plenty of surprising results along with some big wins. Statement wins by the Cowboys, Broncos, Chargers and Patriots highlighted yesterday’s action around the NFL. I zoned in on those four teams because they’re the four victories that stuck out to me as most impressive or most significant. Dallas was at home (“home”) against the Texans, battling to be 4-1 for the first time in I don’t know how long. Despite a bit of sloppy play that included multiple turnovers, the Cowboys were able to redeem themselves in overtime to take home the victory over their in-state rivals. How crazy is it to think that the Cowboys have one of the best records in the league built off a solid running game and defensive stops? Also, how crazy is it to think that Peyton Manning now has 500 (yes, five hundred) touchdown passes for his career? But more importantly, the Broncos bounced back from their loss to Seattle and won impressively over the Cardinals, who were undefeated before the game took place. Surprisingly enough it was Denver’s first impressive win of the season, something that the rest of the AFC needs to fear going forward. How much momentum can the Broncos gain? Speaking of momentum, how about the Chargers? If the game were played on a neutral field, I would take the San Diego Chargers over any other team right now. Yes, that’s right, the Chargers are the best team in football right now. The latest victims are the Jets, who were on the wrong side of a lopsided shutout yesterday. Speaking of victims, what about anyone who was doubting Tom Brady or the Patriots? Scrutinized to no end for the entire week, New England responded in great fashion against the Bengals in front of the home crowd. And it was a surprisingly raucous crowd and a Patriots team that was fired up from start to finish.
Of course we have to specify which players stood out the most yesterday. It’s an easy week for me, partly because records were achieved and partly because i’m going to use this platform to be a bit of a homer. I attended Cowboys-Texans game and was fortunate enough to sit next to some particularly obnoxious Texans fans. It felt very good to gloat after the Cowboys won the game but first things first. Peyton Manning’s day as a whole wasn’t that impressive but he did record his 500th TD pass so he gets the performance of the day award; Romo dodging JJ Watt followed by a huge TD pass gets the play of the day. Romo’s Houdini-like skills highlighted the game for me and made the price of admission worth it. But that wasn’t the only impressive play of the day as we have tons of honorable mentions form yesterday’s games. Logan Thomas’ pass to Andre Ellington was about the most impressive throw of the day and the run afterwards was also nice. If this Panthers reverse goes for a score, then it gets play of the day but I still love it just for the block by Cam Newton. Antone Smith appeared the break the sound barrier after his catch and run against the Giants. Plenty of impressive catches highlighted by Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Travis Benjamin and Brandon Lloyd all deserve praise as they are some of the best plays that we saw yesterday. Can’t forget to mention Khiry Robinson’s run as he bowled over some Buccaneers players to win the game in overtime. Lots and lots of big plays in an entertaining day of NFL action that was overall good television.
Tonight we have the Seahawks (-7) in the nation’s capital to take on the Redskins. Washington looked terrible against the Giants last week, but it was a Thursday night game and those tend to exaggerate bad teams looking a bit worse than they really are. But still, all signs point towards a rout by Seattle as they are coming off a bye week.