NFL Week 10: What we learned
Vikings 34, Redskins 27
In Minneapolis, a huge offensive first half from the Redskins was overshadowed by timely scores and staunch defense from the Vikings. Christian Ponder stood out, throwing two touchdowns and running for another before leaving the game with a dislocated shoulder. He is expected to return next week.
Eagles 27, Packers 13
In Green Bay, an early injury to backup quarterback Seneca Wallace thrust former 49ers quarterback Scott Tolzien into the game, and his inexperience showed. His counterpart, Nick Foles, had an impressive outing once again, tossing three touchdowns on 12-of-18 passing. The Eagles improved to 5-5 and are tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East.
Steelers 23, Bills 10
In Pittsburgh, the Steelers dominated the Bills from the second quarter on. Amidst rumors he will ask for a trade this offseason, Ben Roethlisberger effectively led the Steelers from start to finish, turning in an impressive game that was not reflected by his stats. Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel returned from injury and showed significant rust, allowing the Steelers defense to completely control Buffalo.
Seahawks 33, Falcons 10
In Atlanta, the Seahawks turned in another dominant performance, thumping the Falcons from the opening kickoff. The usual suspects performed well; Russell Wilson had an efficient game with two touchdowns and no turnovers and and Marshawn Lynch posted 145 yards and a touchdown. Seattle improved to 8-1 and is firmly in the NFC driver's seat.
Rams 38, Colts 8
In Indianapolis, the Rams walloped the Colts in the week's most surprising outcome. Andrew Luck threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions as the Rams' relentless front seven harassed him all day long. Rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin exploded for 314 total yards and three touchdowns, showing flashes of the talent that got him drafted high in the first round.
Ravens 20, Bengals 17 (OT)
In Baltimore, the Ravens won an overtime thriller after a wild end to regulation. The Bengals converted a hail mary when James Ihedigbo tipped the pass up in the air and it fell directly into the waiting hands of A.J. Green. In the overtime, Cincinnati failed to convert a fourth down in long field goal range, surrendering the ball to Baltimore, which won on a field goal.
Jaguars 29, Titans 27
In Nashville, the Jaguars earned their first win of the season, never trailing against the Titans. The Titans appeared to be looking ahead to their Thursday night matchup against the Colts, as they allowed the Jags their most points yet this season, and never looked motivated or ready. Tennessee lost its quarterback Jake Locker for the season in the malaise.
Lions 21, Bears 19
In Chicago, Calvin Johnson scored two second half touchdowns to vault the Lions over the Bears. In the process, Johnson broke Herman Moore's franchise record with his 63rd touchdown. In his return from injury, Jay Cutler suffered another ailment, this time a high ankle sprain. Cutler is listed as week-to-week, but will not start in week 11.
Giants 24, Oakland 20
In East Rutherford, the Giants won their third straight contest behind a solid run game and ball-hawking defense. Andre Brown performed well in his first game of the season, posting 115 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 30 carries. Eli Manning's struggles continued, but his efforts were enough to down a struggling Raider team.
Panthers 10, 49ers 9
In San Francisco, the Panthers gutted out a victory in a defensive struggle. Both offenses were slowed by stellar defense, but Carolina found the end zone, which proved to be the difference maker. The win gave the Panthers a signature victory over a strong team as they make a playoff push. The 49ers lost Vernon Davis to concussion, which hampered the offense considerably. He is being evaluated per NFL protocol and could miss more time.
Cardinals 27, Texans 24
In Glendale, the Texans lost their franchise-worst seventh straight game when a shaky offense met a staunch defense. The Cardinals defense scored on the first play from scrimmage when Case Keenum fumbled and Matt Shaughnessy scooped it up for the score. The Texans hung tough, keeping the game close throughout, but fell short due to poor second half play.
Broncos 28, Chargers 20
In San Diego, the Broncos won their first game without coach John Fox behind four touchdowns from Peyton Manning and improved to 8-1. Demaryius Thomas added three touchdowns and looked as good as any wide receiver in the league. The Chargers fell to 4-5, and lost ground in their chase for a wild-card spot.
Saints 49, Cowboys 17
In New Orleans, the Saints routed the Cowboys thoroughly. Drew Brees threw for four touchdowns and 392 yards as the Saints set an NFL record with 40 first downs. The Cowboys offense sputtered against former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, as Dallas fell to 5-5. They are now tied for first in the NFC East.
Buccaneers 22, Dolphins 19
In Tampa, the controversy-plagued Dolphins fell to the winless Buccaneers in a slow, largely uninteresting matchup. The Bucs' backfield woes continued, as they lost promising running back Mike James indefinitely. After surrendering the lead late in the third quarter, Tampa Bay secured the lead and their first win with a Bobby Rainey one-yard touchdown run.