Yesterday was most certainly not the most entertaining Sunday of NFL games ever played.
I believe that we’re way more critical these days of the quality of football every single week because more of us have far more access to the games in our homes than ever before. That being said, with two less teams on a bye than last week, the games were not as enjoyable to watch, outside of that thriller between the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills. It may not have been the most crisply executed game, but it would make a person keep their delivery driver outside until the game went to commercial break.
What Week 10 did provide was some superstar efforts. Football is the ultimate team game, but part of what makes the viewing experience so rewarding is when among that mass of people on the field, an excellent athlete separates himself as better than the others.
The best part about yesterday’s games was watching these three players go to work:
Justin Fields may never again have to pay for beef in the Chicagoland area
Football fans of a certain age will never forget that 2002 overtime game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons. That was the day that Michael Vick treated the NFL like he did Florida State in the second-ever BCS National Championship Game. His game-winning 46-yard touchdown run gave the Falcons the victory, along with 173 yards rushing and three total trips to the end zone on the day. The next week, he had the misfortune of playing against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl defense, but even the following week, against the 5-9 Seattle Seahawks, his performance wasn’t near his legendary effort against the Vikings.
Fields has been dazzling for a month, and these last two games have him looking like quarterback Chicago Bears fans have dreamed of at Christmas for 100 years instead of sugarplum fairies dancing in their heads. That breathtaking 61-yard touchdown run he had against the Miami Dolphins last week, he knocked the wind out of viewers again yesterday by topping it with a 67-yard scamper for a score. Two consecutive weeks of 100-plus yards rushing, accompanied by two or more passing touchdowns.
The Bears lost again, but their roster construction would lead a reasonable person to believe that the front office isn’t counting wins this season. For 2022, Fields leaping tall buildings in a single bound is just fine.
Jonathan Taylor, welcome back
What a week for the Indianapolis Colts. Jim Irsay went rogue for the second time in four weeks, and received far less pats on the back. He was praised for lashing out against Daniel Snyder. Firing his head coach and replacing him with Jeff Saturday, however, made the Colts the worst kind of trending topic.
Podcasts, articles, pregame shows, all panned the Colts for hiring a head coach with no college coaching experience, much less professional. Jeff Saturday was a consultant for the Colts, but was spending much of his time on ESPN.
Irsay gave him the job, and now the Colts are 4-5-1 on the season. Surely he and Saturday feel great about the win over the Las Vegas Raiders, but it was Jonathan Taylor who made it happen.
A 2021 First-Team All-Pro performer, had struggled this season. He has also missed some time at various points, but he returned from his Week 9 absence with a vengeance. That 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter didn’t salt the game away for the Colts, but it was their longest play of the day by far and did give them the lead. The longest run of Matt Ryan’s career was helpful, but it was the 147 from Taylor that have taken the Colts from disaster to playoff hopeful in just a few days.
Justin Jefferson won the whole day
Sam Fels has you covered for analysis about the play that I am going to knight “The Snatch.” But for as great as that 4th and 18 play was, Jefferson contributed much more for the Minnesota Vikings in their 33-30 win against the Buffalo Bills.
The Vikings would eventually turn the ball over on downs after his spectacular play, even after he caught two more passes on the drive. That final one was originally ruled a touchdown but after review Jefferson was ruled short of the end zone.
A fever dream sequence followed and the Bills and Vikings would go to overtime. During the Vikings’ offensive possession that resulted in a field goal, Jefferson tallied two more receptions and drew a defensive pass interference penalty.
He played like was made of velcro and the football stuck to him like it was purchased at Toys-R-Us. Jefferson totaled 193 yards receiving on the day, and every play was necessary for the Vikings to leave western New York with a victory. There are many reasons to question whether or not the Vikings are Super Bowl contenders. However, what should never be questioned is Jefferson. His performance was as dominant as any quarterback’s has been this season.
Original source here
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