Full10Takeaways – Super Bowl LIV

By Tim Monk @Tim_MonkF10Y

The Super Bowl is done and dusted and the analysis is ongoing for the foreseeable future. Here I take a look at some storylines coming out of the Super Bowl and the 2 teams.

The sizeable difference in talent at the QB position

Patrick Mahomes only needed 1 quarter to obliterate double digit leads held by the 49ers, Titans and Texans in this years playoffs. Mahomes led the Chiefs to 21 unanswered points in the 4th quarter in the biggest game of them all. By doing so, he has put down another bit of tarmac on his path towards Canton.

Image result for jimmy garoppolo patrick mahomes

On the other side, Jimmy Garoppolo went missing in the 4th quarter after doing what he was told for the first 45 minutes. “Jimmy G” seems to split opinion on how good/bad a Quarterback he is; The yay-sayers will point to his winning record as a starter, his TDs and his yards per play. The nay-sayers will point to the scheme, the HC and his supporting cast getting YAC, masking the actual air yards per attempt.

No matter what side of the fence you sit on, there was a gulf in class on the field at the Quarterback position and was essentially what it came down to at Hard Rock on Sunday.

The one big question to be taken from SF though is the state Kyle Shanahan’s belief, trust and allegiance to his handsome Quarterback. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Jimmy G will not be the SF 49ers QB after next season (or maybe even the 2020 season!) if the tendencies of the HC from Sunday’s game are to be any indication of that relationship.

One thing we will learn in 2020 is whether or not Jimmy G can bounce back, whether he’ll thrive under the pressure and the character that the man possesses.

The running back debate

Super Bowl running backs Damien Williams and Raheem Mostert were both undrafted free agents.

One could argue they have ascended into NFL relevance and proved all the critics wrong and are here to stay in the NFL after bouncing around the league trying to find their spot. They recently exchanged jersey’s due to their friendship and appreciation of one another, leading to Mostert actually handing back his exchanged jersey to the Super Bowl winning RB.

@anezbitt on Twitter

Williams was the first player in Super Bowl history to garner 100 rush yards along with a rush and receiving TD. Raheem Mostert was one of the stories if not THE story of the 2nd half of the NFL season culminating in 220 rush yards and 4 TDs in the NFC championship game.

Both these players are on paltry contracts in comparison to the other skills positions on offence and the running back position is undervalued generally by most of the 32 teams in the league.

Despite their efforts in getting their respective teams to the biggest game of them all, they’ll have a tough time persuading each of their front offices for a healthy rise.


Todd Gurley, LeVeon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Melvin Gordon and Jerick McKinnon are all running backs that have been paid handsomely over the past few years and it’s fair to say those investments have not returned the required production relative to the rest of the league. Add in Derrick Henry’s recent quotes of wanting to equal Ezekiel Elliott’s money, it’s very hard for running backs to get their due in this league.

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Deebo Samuel could be a star

One of the stars from the losing side in Super Bowl LIV was Deebo Samuel.

Samuel, a 2nd round pick, enjoyed a stellar first season in the NFL totaling over 1,000 scrimmage yards (inc payoffs) and 6 total touchdowns.

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Erza Shaw / Getty

He may have only mustered 159 of those yards in the postseason and may not have found pay dirt in January, but Deebo Samuel put down a marker in his first season and is a perfect fit for the Kyle Shanahan system due to his rushing ability and his versatility to fulfil a variety of roles in this highly creative offence including as a blocker.

Expect more to come from “Deebo” in 2020.

1 curse laid to rest, 1 still to pacify.

In the NFL there are two well known curses. The Madden Curse and the Super Bowl hangover.

The Madden curse for those that don’t know, stems from an American Football computer game. Each year, a different players sports the spotlight and hits the game’s front cover and bestowed upon them, a curse which has thought to be such a thing, that players have declined the opportunity to appear on it.

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Go back over the past 10 years and you’ll see some of the greatest names to play the sport and the majority will find their way in to the Hall of Fame. They include Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Odell Beckham and Tom Brady. For each season each superstar graced the Madden cover, a mysterious spell was cast over their following season. All but 1 player (Richard Sherman) saw their PFF grade drop from the previous season and as a rule, you were lucky to play all 16 games and in some instances fell off the face of the earth (insert image of Peyton Hillis on a milk carton).

Step forward Patrick Mahomes. The man who can do no wrong.

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The Kansas City QB glowed over the red and yellow background for Madden 20 and has hopefully laid to rest the curse once and for all. But, it was looking dicey for the new prodigy as a dislocated knee injury struck Mahomes down during the regular season. He was able to see the field again fairly quickly and go on to win a Super Bowl win to add to his MVP award last season hopefully allays all the fears from the front cover going forward. Or perhaps we can just continue to keep Mahomes on it forever more and give him the gig full time?

The other curse is a 2-parter: The Super Bowl Curse and the Super Bowl Hangover.

The curse is relating to the team hosting the Super Bowl; No team has ever played the big game in their own back yard. Atlanta and Minnesota, the 2 hosting teams prior to Miami this year were more than equipped to go all the way, only to fail. Minnesota were however, the closest to breaking that curse when they got all the way to the championship game (including the Minneaplois Miracle), eventually losing to Philadelphia.

It’s a 54 year curse that is yet to be broken…on to you Tampa.

Whilst Tampa cannot attribute their poor recent run of form to a Super Bowl appearence, Carolina, Atlanta and most recent sufferers, the LA Rams have all struggled after Super Bowl defeats.

This is known as the Super Bowl hangover.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Some people point to a shorter offseason due to an extended run from the season prior whilst some point to a change in attitude in the locker room, with many players demanding a more lucrative salary and the coaching staff being poached by other teams wanting to taste the same success.

Only 3 teams have managed a Super Bowl win after a Super Bowl loss and whilst the league is aligned to making it difficult to achieve the feat, it seems unexplainable the struggles some teams suffer after an appearance in the big game.

It’s not something the Patriots have had to worry about however, much to the dismay of the other 15 AFC teams.

F10Y 2019 Divisional Playoffs takeaways

by Lawrence Vos (@F10YRetro and @NFLFANINENGLAND)

DID that really just happen?

Photo caption: Rantsports.com

Not sure if I had too much coffee over the weekend and started hallucinating but I swear I just watched an NFL game where the road team went 21-0 by the end of the first quarter, then allowed their opponents to score 28 in the second, before allowing a further 23 second half points, resulting in a 20 point loss. That doesn’t happen in the real world does it? That’s a Madden score when your cousin has unlocked a cheat code after playing possum for a quarter. Believe it or not it was what happened when the Houston Texans travelled to K.C. to take on the Chiefs on Saturday. Not all playoff loses have the same magnitude or embed the same emotional scars, but this game will take a lot of recovery time for the Texans, especially QB DeShaun Watson and head man Bill O’Brien, who will have to take it right on the chin (where incidentally a small family of sparrows have nested).

King Henry looking for more than the rushing crown

Photo credit: David Boclair (SI)

It’s pretty much in the can that Lamar Jackson will win the NFLs Most Valuable Player award for his incredible season, 13 wins in 15 starts and his destruction of the QB single-season rushing record, but in the cold light of day the most valuable player in the entire league is not a Ravens one. Titans RB Derek Henry, with help from a superb offensive line, are all still alive in the playoffs, and will not be daunted by a third consecutive road playoff game. Baltimore’s 14-2 record and number one seed meant nothing on Sunday as Henry ploughed, slashed, pummelled, drove, and executed his will over the Ravens, becoming the first RB in NFL history to have three consecutive 180+ yard rushing games. Already the newly anointed owner of the 2019 NFL rushing crown, and unlikely to get the regular season MVP award, the man with a beavers tail sticking out of his helmet is 120 minutes away from winning a Super Bowl MVP.

4th and own goal 

Photo credit: Billie Weiss/Getty Images

When you enter the playoffs having gone 8-8 of 4th and 1, and the opportunity arrises to go 9-9 on these plays in a home playoff game that you are losing, but only by a TD, then its understandable to be brave. On their own 45 Coach Harbaugh decided to make s statement in the opening play of the second quarter. Problem was Lamar Jackson didn’t get any kind of exquisite block, and he was stuffed for no gain. On the very next play the Titans dialled up a miracle and Kalif Raymond picked up the receiver, or to put it another way the receiver connected with the ball. That two play series effectively ended the game there and then as the Titans didn’t need the last two touchdowns to win – they had the W when they went 14-0 up. Unlike some other AFC team that melted worse than that flying white guy in Raymond Briggs The Snowman the Titans defense stayed strong all game. 

By the time the Ravens packed their playoff bags they managed to fail to convert their second, third and fourth 4th down conversions. 

Miami motivation for revolutionary Ryan

Photo credit: Jeremy Brevard – USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt about it, stats lie. You can make a series of stats paint a masterpiece or a dirty protest, depending on the contextual angle you adopt. Let’s look at Titans QB Ryan Tannehill’s passing output in Tennessee’s two playoff games. In two full contests Tannehill has passed for 160 yards on 15 of 29 completions and thrown an interception. In those same three contests Tannehill has thrown three touchdown passes, gained two wins (his first playoff victories) and thrown the single most important touchdown in the 2019 playoffs. When the former Dolphins passer struck gold, following a Ravens failed 4th and 1, and hit Kalif Raymond (pictured above) for his first post-season catch of his career, it was single-handedly the point the air came out of the Ravens magnificent ambition balloons. After that completion, with just 7 seconds gone in the second quarter, Tannehill only competed three more passes all game, as King Henry and the Titans defense locked down the W. Ryan is now one game from going back to Miami to play in the Super Bowl. Just let that sink in.  

RETRO – The under 100 club 

Photo credit: Malcolm Emmons – USA TODAY Sports

Throwing for under 100 yards as the starting QB (playing the vast vast majority or all snaps) and winning in the playoffs is nothing new. Back in 1974 Terry Bradshaw  the Pittsburgh Steelers signal caller won the AFC Championship against the Raiders and then Super Bowl IX with passing performances of 96 and 96 yards (17 of 36). It gets better/worse as two quarterbacks played every offensive snap of their respective victories whilst managing to throw for under 35 yards. The first time this occurred was unsurprisingly in the 1970s as Bob Griese led the Dolphins to a 27-10 win by going 3-6 for 34 yards. The second time this happened was incredibly in 2010 by none other than Joe Flacco. He led the Ravens to a 33-14 Wild Card win against the New England Patriots. Flacco’s stat line that day was 4 of 10 for 34 yards and 6 runs for 5 yards. 

Can you Adams and Eve it the Pack are back

Picture credit: Clutchpoints.com

The Green Bay Packers have been criticised as the worst 13-3 team ever, barely mustering wins week after week. Now they are the 14-3 Packers after another just about good enough performance against the Seattle Seahawks. One Packers star to shine brightly was WR Davante Adams who led all Divisional Games receivers with 160 yards, on 8 catches. His two touchdowns were the difference makers in the game, and the first time he has caught a pair of six pointers in the post-season. We know the Seahawks secondary is not the finest, after the dissolution of the Legion of Boom. One former legionnaire, the not shy Richard Sherman, now with the San Francisco 49ers, will be licking his lips as he waits for Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams to travel over to the West Coast for the NFC Championship.

A-ROD on the brink of a TITLE SHOT

Picture credit: Jflanland.blogspot.com

Wrestling fan and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wants a chance to pin down his second Super Bowl ring, and after forcing the Seahawks to tap out he is one game away from a title shot. Rodgers will now enter his fourth NFC Championship this weekend, having won his fifth Divisional round playoff contest. He did suit up in the 2007 NFC final but this was in the third year of the apprenticeship he was serving under Brett Favre, and he didn’t get on the field. Rodgers has faced the Bears, Seahawks and Falcons in the conference championship games, and in the three games scored 21, 20 and 21. In his 18 playoff games Rodgers threw his lowest amount of completions (16) in the home win at the weekend, but that doesn’t really matter when you convert 9 of 13 third downs. In his 15th season Rodgers is easily the oldest starting QB left with a shot to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy, can he dial one up from the top rope or will he be suplexed into submission by Bosa and co. ?


Photo caption: Cbssports.com

Amongst all the bonkers momentum shifts, mind bending play calling and chaotic turnovers that took place in the Divisional Playoffs there was one team that emerged from the battlefield like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, mildly perspiration but without a scratch or a bruise on their collective bodies. The San Francisco 49ers looked calm and composed, and with the exception of a late second quarter interception by Jimmy Garoppolo, ruthless in their efficiency. When you hold Dalvin Cook and the impressive rookie Alex Mattison to a team total of 21 yards, execute six sacks, and don’t allow a second half point, you become the Super Bowl favourite. For a team that had not made the playoffs from 2014-2018 this was a statement win and also Jimmy G’s first as a starting QB. He already has two Super Bowl rings without taking a single snap in either big game. Staying in California the Niners now remain the only #1 seed still alive. As someone who lived through a significant period of time of San Francisco dominance, including watching four Super Bowl wins, I’m not sure I can deal with another Gold Run. Might be time for me to take a ‘P’.

RETRO – Divisional playoffs 50 burgers

Photo credit: Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images)

Following the Chiefs firing up the playoffs grill and cooking a 50 burger (51) on the Houston Texans I was curious to see who had served up a similar culinary treat in the Divisional round of the playoffs in the Super Bowl era and scored over half a century. Surprisingly Mahomes and co. were the fifth team to exceed 50 points in the final eight stage (see below). Just imagine being a Jaguars fan 20 years ago as your team went up 41-0 in the first half, in only their fifth season of existence. This was a team that also went 24-0 up early, but unlike the Texans they didn’t take their foot off the playoff points pedal. The opposing QB that day – none other than Hall of Famer Dan Marino.

Jaguars beat Dolphins 62-7 (January 2000) 

Raiders beat Oilers 56-7 (December 1969) 

Cowboys beat Browns 52-14 (December 1967) 

Redskins beat Rams 51-7 (January 1984) 

Chiefs beat Texans 51-31 (January 2020) 


Picture credit: Halilsrealfootballtalk.com

Two big requirement announcements this week, one inevitable, and one on the Andrew Luck scale of shock. Happy trails to TE Antonio Gates who leaves the NFL with the most touchdown catches in league history for his position. Gates was an outstanding route runner, sticky handed and a favourite of Philip Rivers for many years. Gates only won 5 playoff games in his career and bizarrely only scored post-season touchdowns in his first and last of 12 playoff games. The much more surprising news was the retirement of Luke Kuechly the outstanding Carolina Panthers LB. The 9th overall pick of the 2012 has called it a day after 8 seasons, 1,092 tackles and one Super Bowl appearance. Kuechly may have announced his retirement but he does have to make one more decision, does he suit up one last time with his team mate Christian McCaffrey for the 2020 Pro Bowl?


By Lawrence Vos (@NFLFANINENGLAND and @F10YRetro)

It’s the final takeaways of 2019, and the final takeaways of the 2010s so tuck in before it’s all gone and you go Veganuary on Wednesday.

Going out in style – it’s the Law. 

Photo credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

League officials got what they hoped for when they flexed the 49ers v Seahawks game to become the last official contest of the 2010s. The game was an undoubted classic as Russell Wilson, in his 128th consecutive regular season start, again smelt the endzone late, and had an opportunity to win a mammoth game, but he came up inches short as his pass to TE Jacob Hollister was halted at the goal-line by possibly the tackle of the season made by rookie 5th round pick Dre Greenlaw. With that one stop the 49ers clinch the #1 seed in the NFC, a bye and home-field advantage if they continue to progress. Special credit to San Fran FB Kyle Juszczyk for his second half 49 yard catch and run. An absolute beauty of a catch and a big play to stop the Seahawks from stealing momentum. For Seattle, who already secured a playoff berth before this game, they now travel to Philadelphia, to face an Eagles team they already beat just over two months ago in a low scoring scrappy affair 17 to 9. 

Great Scott conquers NFC Least

Picture caption: Nbcsports.com/philadelphia

In a division marred by injuries to all four teams it was fitting that former practice squad tackling target RB Boston Scott was the hero for Philadelphia, as his three scores led the Eagles to a win and the NFC East title. Scott, standing at 5ft 6 inches may have been the smallest player of the field, but his three second half rushing touchdowns were as big as a Rocky Balboa knockout punch for the Eagles fans who now host a luke warm Seattle Seahawks team on Sunday in the second NFC Wild Card contest. Scott only became active in mid-October, and thanks to his versatility he has recorded 23 catches in December alone, and his 138 total yards yesterday was an ideal time to have a career defining game. Admittedly Wentz and company did the hard work in Week 16 when they scrapped and scraped for a win against the Cowboys, but with a current 4 game win streak now taking hold Philly will be confident they can haul their bruised and battered 9-7 carcass over the line in ‘The Linc’ against a team that has lost three of it’s last four. 

If you can’t stand the heat kick out the Kitchens

Photo credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Being a Pre-Season darling and adorning the cover of Sports Illustrated as the next best thing since pre-sliced malt loaf isn’t always a good omen, and for the Cleveland Browns the hype was without doubt a major distraction. A Browns team loaded with talent and first-round draft picks finished the 2019 season 6-10, and a Week 17 loss to the worst team in the league has now cost Freddie Kitchens his job, as he got his marching orders on Grey Sunday, just before Black Monday. Kitchens was promoted to head coach in 2019 to further nurture and develop Baker Mayfield, a plan than fizzled out by season’s end as the former #1 pick saw declines in completion %, yard per pass and touchdowns, and a significant upturn in interceptions, tossing 21 picked-off passes. Along with the Cowboys the Browns were the most disappointing team versus their Pre-Season projections. After the dawn of a new era, the same old formula is back as Cleveland move back into proverbial jail, and certainly do not collect £200 on the way. By way of an update the New York Giants ditched their coach, Pat Shurmer, this morning (Monday 30 December 2019).

The Beaver nicks Chubb’s rushing crown

Photo caption: Reddit.com

Ok, ok no-one actually calls Titans RB Derek Henry the beaver, but ‘that’ hair tail thingy-ma-bob, is hard to ig-gnaw as Henry swam downstream against the Houston Texans for 211 rushing yards and the NFL’s ground gain crown. Henry’s superb season, 1,540 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, included 549 punishing yards in December alone. Henry was the only back to break 1,500 yards rushing, topping the unfortunate Browns second year star Nick Chubb by 46. It did take Henry until being inside the last three minutes of Week 17 to win the title, but boy did he deserve it. With 3:22 left against the Texans, Henry took four handoffs, going 5, 23, 4, and then in absolute style he showed his true talent ripping off a 53 yard dash for a score and the crown. In a season where the Titans won 9-7 for the fourth consecutive year, the first time an NFL team has very done this, the journey is not over as they travel to New England to face a Patriots team who are without a first round bye for the first time since Moses was a lad. The record may be the same as 2018, but thanks to Ryan Tanehill there is an air of excitement in Tennessee that has not been present since the likes of Steve McNair. 

Welcome to the McClub Christian 

Photo credit: Getty Images

It was a bad season in Carolina as the Panthers went 5-11, lost their starting QB Cam Newton to injury and lost their head coach Ron Rivera to a sacking, leaving just one bright spot – the performance of RB Christian McCaffrey. Run CMC became only the third running back to gain 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a regular season. This was the first time the double-decker achievement has been reached in the 21st century. He joins illustrious company, Super Bowl winners Roger Craig (1985) and Marshall Faulk (1999). McCaffrey is a phenom, catching 30% of the teams completions and running 74% of the team ground output. Add 20 total touchdowns and just one fumble and you have pretty much the perfect NFL offensive weapon. It’s just a shame that McCaffrey sits alone in the hangar, alongside a mediocre defense and a mess at quarterback. The Panthers know how to get the best out of Run CMC, lets just hope they fix the signal caller situation in the offseason.  

Jameis shines in the 30 for 30 spotlight

Photo caption: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nobody in NFL history has achieved what Jameis Winston managed in the 2019 season, and to reach the achievement by throwing a game losing pick-six in overtime was truly a special moment in time. The Buccs QB is alone in a club of NFL veterans who have thrown 30 or more touchdowns (33) and 30 or more interceptions (30 exactly) in a regular season. To top it off Winston became the 2019 NFL passing yardage king with 5,109 yards, in the process sending his two top targets, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans to the Pro Bowl. Winston is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. He has traits of greatness, including the ability to completely forget the previous bad play and throw deep dimes. Winston also has the infuriating ability to lose focus and to predetermine a target and lock onto it without processing other safer options. Having made it through 16 games for the first time since 2016 Winston has likely secured himself a future in sunny Florida where the club scene is awesome. Whether anyone joins Winston’s rather special club anytime soon it’s doubtful. 

Packers continue to win ugly 

Photo caption: Matt Ludtke / Associated Press

The Green Bay Packers have not managed to score over 23 points in any of their last four games, but all of them have resulted in wins, and all have led to a #2 seed in the NFC and an extra week to rest up. The last time the Packers had more than the 13 wins they achieved this season was in 2011 when they went 15-1, before being unceremoniously dumped out of the divisional playoffs by Eli Manning and the New York Giants 20 to 37. Following two years of 9 loss seasons the Packers are somehow entering the playoffs quietly. It’s not pretty watching the 2019 Packers as they grind out wins agains inferior opponents – a 5 point win against the Redskins and a 1 and 3 point wins against the Lions. Its remarkable but true that QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown less interceptions in 71 games over the past 5 seasons than Jameis Winston has this year alone. Rodgers needs to back on his double NFL MVP form in the playoffs if Packers are to lift the trophy named after their greatest head coach. 

Patriots are Ge-SICK-i of Fitzmagic

Photo credit: Eric Espada/Getty Images

So much for trying to tank in 2019. No team managed to fail to win less than two games, and for the pre-season flop favourites, the Miami Dolphins, they will pick as far down as 5th in the 2020 draft after winning three of their last five games. The Fins 27-24 upset special against the the Patriots means New England will play a Wild Card game for the first time in a decade. Not content to go quietly into a tropical Florida sunset Ryan Fitzpatrick waited until 24 seconds were left in the Week 17 game to toss his only touchdown, a 5 yard bullet to TE Mike Gesicki who was deep in the middle of the endzone to catch the game winner. Yet again Bill Belichick went deep into the fuzz lined pocket of his evil hoodie to dial up a 38 yard passing touchdown from Tom Brady to Elandon Roberts. Yes that’s Elandon Roberts the linebacker playing a cameo role as a fullback. It wasn’t enough as the Patriots now host the Tennessee Titans in the early hours of next Sunday morning (5 January 2020). The Dolphins win could also change plans significantly for next season as they could do a lot worse than keeping Fitzmagic alive for another season. Let’s just hope they get a better backup than Josh Rosen. 

Late Shaq attack wins sack crown 

Photo credit: Cliff Welch/PR

The fairytale season of Tampa Bay’s OLB Shaquil Barrett had one final chapter to be read out loud before the 2019 season concluded. Three sacks of Matt Ryan later and Barrett secured the season sack crown, pipping veteran All-Pro Chandler Jones by half a sack to win the title 19.5 to 19.0. Ridiculously Shaq had 14 sacks in 61 career games between 2015 and 2018. Barrett spent his first four seasons in Denver playing solid but by no means spectacular football. Now supported by the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul and Vita ’TD machine’ Vea, Shaq turned into an absolute monster pass rusher, gaining sacks in 13 of 15 games played in 2019. His remarkable season included 6 forced fumbles and even an interception. It’s no surprise that Barrett had a sack in all of the games the Buccs won in their 5 game win streak between November and December. I wonder if anyone put a wager on Barrett getting the sack crown back in September – if you did, come and join the Full10 team alongside Adam as a tipster. 

On a little side note I just want to thank Tim for sticking to his bet we made during the season on the Full10 NFL podcast. I said the 49ers were a playoff team, and Tim thought the opposite. I must say I loved my vegetarian special Falafel and pickled chilli pepper wrap as an early New Year treat. Cheers boss.

Full10Takeaways – Week 16

By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)

  • Michael Thomas broke the total receptions in a season record with 1 game to spare as he surpassed Marvin Harrsion’s 144 receptions with his 12 catch effort against the Titans. Thomas will look to extend his 145 catches on the season against the Panthers in week 17.
  • Talking of reception records and the Panthers, Christian McCaffrey broke his own receptions record by a RB with 15 (!) catches against the Colts taking him to 109 on the season, making him the only Rb to do it twice, and he’s done it in consecutive seasons.
  • Staying at RB, Saquon Barkley had a career day both in terms of rushing yards (189) and yards from scrimmage (279) against the Redskins who moved to the current #2 seed.
  • Dion Dawkins became the only player from the Buffalo Bills to catch a touchdown pass in each of the past 2 seasons. He plays Tackle…
  • Jameis Winston tied the season record for pick 6s with 6 and is on course for a 30 TD/ 30 INT season, which would be a league first. He nearly had the pick 6 record all to himself on the 2nd series, but that was called back/ Still has a game against the Falcons to clinch that.

cowboys grounded…

Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliot and the Dallas Cowboys laid a big time egg at Lincoln Financial field, now needing a minor miracle to see any January football this season.

It beggars belief that the Cowboys are able to turn up to games and play as if they’ve been wearing blindfolds all week in the film room. They were smacked 17-9 against a Phildelphia team who had no real weapons at WR, Zach Ertz not playing portions of the game and have struggled all season.

The playcalling was as mind-boggling as ever; the crucial 4th and 8 playcall a fade to Michael Gallup taking a shot at the endzone, one of the lowest % plays available in the playbook. Blake Jarwin only targeted once, Amari Cooper in and out of the game just epitomising the problems they Cowboys have had on the sidelines this season.

Image Credit Brian J Gore.

To add the cherry on top, the Cowboys chartered flight was grounded to mechanical/technical issues leading to a 3 hour delay…oh the irony.

a few things left to clinch…

Week 17 will serve up a treat with the #1 seed in the NFC still there for the taking, culminating in SNF where the NFC West clash between the 49ers and the Seahawks could not only determine the division winner, but homefield advantage and the coveted #1 seed. The Saints and Packers are also hoping to secure that #1 seed too!

In the AFC, things aren’t as juicy but the number 6 seed needs deciding and the Titans with a win will secure it whilst the Steelers will be hoping for a slip up from them coupled with a win against the Ravens who are resting players.

With Chris Carson done for the season and CJ Prosise out with a broken arm, Beast Mode may be once again activated as Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks are both open to the running back joining his former team to help them in the post season.

Wild Card Playoffs - New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks
Image Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The former Bill and Raiders running back enjoyed some big plays as a Seahawk in the post season including that huge run vs the Saints back in 2010. Maybe, just maybe they’ll get another chance to give to him him on the 1 yd line after all.

Week 14 Takeaways

By Euan (@dissy89)

The Cowboys crumble in the Windy City, 31-24. Thursday night football saw the Bears take their 4th win in their last 5 games. Mitchell Trubisky showed his wheels with 63 rushing yards and 244 through the air, providing 4 total touchdowns. Despite being the number one offence in total yards, the Cowboys are now 6-7 as their rollercoaster season continues.

Kareem Jackson showed the Houston Texans made a mistake in letting him go this offseason. Signing a $33million-three year deal with the Denver Broncos, tees up an “avalanche” of early scores to seal a road one, prior to half time. The Houston defence looks out of kilter and Drew Lock made easy work of getting the ball to 9 different receivers, Noah Fant had 120-yards on the day in a 38-24 win.

Dolphins head Coach Brian Flores was enraged with the officials at the Jubilant Jets rushed the field after a disputed call that lead to the field goal. It was a field goal fest as both teams kicked a total of 10-kicks for three, Miami kicker Jason Sanders, kicking 7 for his team. The Jets have now 4 games from five, after starting 1-7 after this 22-21 win.

The Vikings made easy work of David Blough in their 20-7 home win. Dannielle Hunter became the youngest player to reach over 50 sacks and Blough couldn’t escape the grasp of the Minnesota defence as Kurt Cousins and Dalvin Cook combined for a pair of TD’s, as little offence was needed to see out this one as the Vikes now sit at 9-4.

In their 10th win of the season, Green Bay failed to cover the points spread in their 20-15 win against Dwyane Haskins and the Redskins. Terry McLaurin continues to be a bright spot but the Green Bay defence was the real difference maker, forcing a three sacks, three fumbles and an interception in the game.

The Browns won the their second consecutive game since 2002. The return of Andy Dalton wasn’t enough to find a way despite being the more efficient quarterback in the tie. Throwing two picks and only 11 completions, the Cleveland offence found it’s success on the ground and Nick Chubb lead the team with 106 yards and a TD. A Denzel Ward Pick-6 was enough to edge out their 6th win of the season, a final of: 27-19.

The Panthers first game without Ron Rivera wasn’t a turning point as Kyle Allen turned the ball over three times as the Carolina late season slump continues to be a trend. Matt Ryan was effective, throwing for over 300 yards and a pair of TD’s. The Atlanta ground game came alive and Devonta Freeman and Brian Hill combined for 146 and a two scores, in a 40-20 win in the NFC South.

The Jaguars looked to be confined to be planning their off-season vacations for another consecutive year. The Chargers were able to turn round their recent struggles and late losses to file a commanding 45-10 road win. Austin Ekeler put up 213 yards and a receiving touchdown, one of three thrown by Phillip Rivers on the day. The return of Gardner Minshew wasn’t able to give the Jags a spark and may be headed for changes this off-season.

Tampa Bay and the Colts played out a 77 point thriller in Florida. The 38-35 win came at the cost of Mike Evans hamstring injury that looks to have ended his season. Despite throwing four touchdowns, another three interceptions by Winston, now see’s him lead the league with 28 turnovers. Two picks by star linebacker Darrius Leonard and two TD’s from Jacoby Brissett wasn’t enough, in game that saw a kicker not Name Adam Vinatieri kick a field goal, for the first time since 2009.

Ryan Tannehill is now 5-1 as the starter for the Titans, the lethal combination of rusher Derrick Henry appear to be playing at a high level and Tennessee are playing the play-action game expertly. Rookie AJ Brown had 153 yards and two touchdowns in a day that they were too strong for the Raiders in penultimate home game, winning 42-21.

The Steelers are able to still win games with Duck Hodges under centre. The Steelers defence are a fearsome unit, who now have 5 sacks and 2 takeaways in five games this season. Two interceptions by Cornerback, Joe Haden and one from TJ Watt were too much for Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. Pittsburgh were 23-17 winners despite Hodges only throwing for 153 and 57 of them came from the Dionte Johnson touchdown. The Steelers are in the play-off race and few teams would want to face this defence, come the post-season.

The 49ers visits to the Saints was a game for the neural, combining for a total of 94 points. Both defences couldn’t stop the clash of two high powered offences. It appeared the Saints had done enough to take a 1-point lead late on with another imperious Drew Bree’s game-winning drive but it was George Kittle who was to be the hero. By the way of a tugged face-mask, the former Iowa Tight-End set up a Robbie Gould chip shot to seal it at the buzzer.

Lamar Jackson and Baltimore Ravens continue to answer the bell at every occasion. Their defence has now allowed 25-points or fewer in their previous nine games. Limiting the Bills to 4 of 17 on third down on a day where their longest drive was seven plays. The Hayden Hurst 61-yard touchdown in the second half seem to swing the game and despite a late Cole Beasley score, the Ravens win 24-17, to get to 11-2 and look to have secured the no.1 AFC seeding.

The Patriots lost for the first time at Gillette stadium since 2017. The KC defensive front put Tom Brady under pressure and held the Patriots to 16 points and only 169 passing yards. Both Mahommes and Brady threw for a pair of touchdowns and an interception. But Travis Kelce ran in a direct snap and Mecole Hardman caught 48-yard touchdown for the Chiefs. As the Patriots were denied a late pass break-up in the end zone and N’Keal Harry was adjudged to have stepped out of bounds on a touchdown play, when the replay appear to show otherwise. A 22 home-game winning streak ended and the Chiefs appear to be in the chase for the 2nd seed in the AFC.

The Sunday Primetime game saw the the Rams find a way back to form with play action passes and receiver end-arounds. The return of tight-end Tyler Higbee has helped balance the passing attack, putting up 116 yards on the night. Jared Geoff looks comfortable, as the Seattle pass rush couldn’t fluster the LA quarterback and on his way to 293 yards and two TD’s. The Rams defence held Russell Wilson’s Seahawks to only two field goals and are now with a chance to reach the play-offs after looking like a premier team in the NFC, once more

Monday Night Football saw the Giants appear to roll back the years briefly with Eli Manning back in the fold, the Giants lead 17-3 at half time, after a pair of Darius Slayton Touchdowns. The Eagles were able to pass their way back into this despite Alshon Jeffery’s injury. A touchdown in the second half a further grab by tight-end Zack Ertz was enough to let Philldelphia keep pace with Dallas for first place in the NFC East, win a 20-17 over-time win.


by Lawrence Vos (@NFLFANINENGLAND & @F10YRetro)

Appetisers – Bite size NFL news from Week 13

  • Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders was the first NFL kicker to score a receiving touchdown in the regular season since Denver Broncos booted caught a 25 yard TD in 1977 from Punter/QB Norris Weese. 
  • Talking of rare touchdowns Houston’s QB Deshaun Watson’s receiving touchdown was only the third time in the Super Bowl era a QB has thrown 3 tds and caught one. We all know the last one was Nick Foles in the big game in 2018. The other was Bears QB Jim McMahon back in 1985. 
  • The Washington Redskins win was the only one registered by an NFC East this week, just as it was in the division last week too. With four games left the Redskins can still clinch the division crown. 
  • The Bengals finally won a game and became the final team to register a victory in the 2019 season. Their worst ever season finish was in 2002 when they started 1-13 before beating the Saints in Week 16 to then finish 2-14. With their #1 pick in 2003 they drafted Carson Palmer who went on to become the 13th most prolific passer in NFL history.
  • With the Buffalo Bills Thanksgiving win they move just one game behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Considering they have made the playoffs just once since the Milllennium this is their best record after 12 games since 1991, when they went 10-1 before reaching Super Bowl XXVI.
  • In a meaningless game Denver Broncos rookie QB made a winning start to his career with an overtime win against a bad Chargers team. Lock threw for only 134 yards but his two scores were enough. He is the 7th Broncos QB in just over two seasons. 

The top three Week 13 games everyone is talking about

Patriots (10-2) @ Texans (8-4)

You take a look at the final box score and you might be misled to believe the Texans somehow pulled this one out the bag late with some DeShaun Watson body contorting heroics.

Nothing could be further from the truth as the Texans took a 19 point lead with under 10 minutes left in the game before Tom Brady and his faithful servants (James White and Julian Edelman) made the score look respectable. Brady made up late for a first half shocker. The immortal one went 7 of 19 in the opening half with no TDs and one INT, and 15 of 30 in the second, with three scores and no picks.

Brady looked lost in the first 30 minutes and despite being in a dome he looked like he was fighting through a ginormous wind and rain storm.

For the Texans WR Deandre Hopkins was heading for another quiet one, considering his talent, before making a minor bit of NFL history as he ended a 9-play 75-yard Patriots-style drive by passing to none other than Deshaun Watson for the score. This was Hopkins first career completion, his first pass was an interception against the Panthers in Week 4.

Truth be told the Texans dominated for three quarters and the 28-22 final scoreline flattered a flatfooted Patriots team. One ever-present Patriots contributor was WR Julian Edelman who on one third-quarter route managed to wipe out not one but two Texans defensive backs on a downfield block.

The Texans are hitting some form at the right time, and the once invincible Patriots defense finally could not make up for an offense that is looking like the worst it has in 20 years. 

49ers (10-2) @ Ravens (10-2) 

In a game that could become a Super Bowl rematch the 49ers and the Ravens fought of the the wet and blustery conditions to deliver a game that oozed defensive quality and showed flashes of offensive brilliance.

It began with a gutsy 4th down attempt that resulted in a 33 yard TD between Jimmy Garoppolo and rising star WR Deebo Samuel and ended with the number one ice-veined K Justin Tucker driving a soggy pigskin through the dampness for the winning score with no tickets left on the clock.

Both teams only committed one turnover, including a rare fumble lost for MVP in waiting Lamar Jackson. Lamar was bottled up passing, managing just one td and barely over 100 yards, but he did continue his assault on the NFL record books as the first QB in NFL history to have four 100+ rushing games. By the end of Week 14 against Buffalo LJax could be sitting atop the all-time rushing throne by a QB – with three games to spare.

For the 49ers RB Raheem Mostert, who has always had a healthy YPC throughout his career, earned his own damp Wilson branded souvenir with 146 yards on the ground. If this is to be a rematch in Miami in a few months then there will be no complaints. 

Seahawks (10-2) @ Vikings (8-4) 

Monday Night Football and Vikings QB Kirk Cousins added another notch to his unwanted NFL record. Entering the game he had a historically bad 0-7 record on MNF, now it stands at 0-8.

Seattle started slowly as did Russell Wilson who threw his second pick-six of the season on a bizarre attempt that went awry that he tried to bat down that instead went into Anthony Harris’s welcome mitts.

17-10 to the Vikings at the half and all sorts of confidence in the lower room for the road team. That confidence crumbled away as the Seahawks in their colour rush luminous green uni’s went on a third-quarter tear with 17 unanswered points including a 60 yard David Moore catch from Wilson.

Wanting to put the game to bed Rashaad Penny’s second score in just over 10 minutes early in the 4th gave the Seahawks an apparently unassailable 17 point lead. This was where Kirk Cousins woke up, and in under 6 minutes he tossed two TDs, one on possibly the biggest blown coverage of the season to the career underperforming Laquon Treadwell, and one to Santa’s right hand man TE Kyle Rudolph.

With seven minutes left it was a 4 point game. The Vikes D held the Seahawks to a 5 play drive that ended in a punt and with just over 3 minutes left Cousins had the chance to become a hero. It was then he realised that he chokes on MNF and his final two passes, including a 4th down attempt were incomplete.

To add a kick in the balls to the punch in the face received Seattle recovered a late onside kick. Seattle now take over the NFC West and will be determined to stay there for the last four weeks. For the men with purple helmets and red faces they remain a game behind the Packers in the NFC North.

Dessert – somethings light and fluffy to finish the meal 

Who gets to wear the rushing crown?

With four weeks still to go, and a quarter of the regular season left, five RBs have already eclipsed 1,000 yards, and three more have over 980 yards. We also cannot forget that the number nine rusher is none other than QB Lamar Jackson. In other words there are legitimately almost ten players capable of winning the rushing crown. 

Week 13 saw a few rushing milestones met, including Raiders RB Josh Jacobs become the first Raiders rookie to hit the 1k milestone. Elsewhere Titans RB Derrick Henry moved over 1,000 yards too. Vikings RB Dalvin Cook had the opportunity to move to #1 but he got hurt against the Seahawks, and ended up with only 29 yards.

The current king of the hill is Browns second year back Nick Chubb with 1,175 but with the Panthers Christian McCaffrey just 8 yards behind, and the man who lives with a beavers tail poking out the back of his lid, Titans Derrick Henry just 35 yards behind him, its the best rushing race since Norris McWhirter announced Roger Bannister had broken the four minute mile over 65 years ago.

Despite being the third highest fumbler in the league I am going to stick my rather grubby and stubbly neck out and predict Derrick Henry to lift the crown when the season ends. 

A little side note – with their 8 game current win streak the Baltimore Ravens have three of the top five YPA (yards per attempt) players for anyone who has had over 75 carries. Obviously Lamar at 7.0, Gus Edwards at 5.1 and Mark Ingram at 5.0. 

Full10Takeaways – Week 12

By Tim Monk and Lawrence Vos

Garrett of my pub!

Image result for jason garrett
Image Credit: Adam Hunger / AP

Jason Garrett, the bane of Cowboys’s fans since 2011, has come under fire yet again this season for his conservative play calling and coaching decisions. This is mainly in relation to his decision to kick a field goal when down a touchdown with just over 6mins to go in the 4th Quarter.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, and you only actually have to go back 2 weeks where it was exactly the same situation against the Vikings.

Some will point to the fact that despite the conservative nature of playcalling, Dallas has a chance to win the game on their final drive which would have rendered this conversation to be a little less under the spotlight.

However, when you play the better ranked teams or when you are up against it and need a spark, you just have to push down on the throttle. Jason Garrett simply did not do that.

Everyone is aware of the coaches that are more conservative than the Tories (#politicsjoke) and there is a reason why the Dallas Cowboys HC has his own special segment on our NFL podcast to highlight instances of poor HC decisions.

If you switched the coaching staff from both teams, the Cowboys would have won by 30 as the Cowboys have elite talent on their roster worthy of a double digit team. The coaching style and quality of Garrett however, is of a top 3 draft pick team.

This is why they are 6-5 and a middle of the road team and Jerry Jones is not happy. But until he Cowboys move on from Garrett, they will NEVER win a Super Bowl.

Turning on the JETS

Image result for new york jets
Image Credit: Adam Hunger / AP

Yes, the Jets have not had the most formidable of opponents the last 3 weeks but even so, the way they have gone about their business has been impressive and it’s a timely morale boost to their 2nd year QB Sam Darnold.

The Jets 34-3 mauling of the Oakland Raiders was perhaps their most impressive of the three most recent games as the Raiders are legitimate playoff/wildcard contenders and the reason being that they did it on both sides of the ball.

Darnold finished with an impressive 20/29, 315 yards 3TDs and 0 turnovers, a problem that’s dogged him since he has been in the league. He finally got Robby Anderson more involved and Ryan Griffin has been a great addition to the team leading to the front office inking him to a 3 year, $10m deal this week.

Next on the slate is the Bengals and the Dolphins. Expect the Jets to keep rolling not just in the NFL but for the start of your fantasy playoffs too.

Bengals go back to D’oh-lton

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Image Credit: Frank Victores / AP

Zac Taylor has announced that the team will be going back to Andy Dalton as Quarter Back for the rest of the season taking over from Ryan Finley, who started 3 games.

Finley has consistently struggled to push the ball downfield and accuracy has also been an issue with just a 47% completion rate on 87 pass attempts which has accounted for 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and 3 fumbles. He failed to reach 200 yards passing in any of the three games and has a 62.1 passer rating, 17 points below that of Dalton’s this season.

It’s clear that the team who have a 2 game “lead” for the #1 overall pick in 2020 have done their evaluation of Finley and you can expect Finley to never see the field in a Bengals Jersey again unless it’s through injury or suspension.

The low level production filtered through to the players as Tyler Boyd recently expressed his displeasure at a lack of targets from the 2019 draft pick which led to him being fed in the game against the Steelers. Fellow WR AJ Green has been MIA for the season and you have to wonder if their QB selection had anything to do with it, look out for AJ Green to make a miraculous recovery and return to the field catching passes from Dalton.

Stop Interfering!

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 24: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints challenges a play against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter in the game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on November 24, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Image Credit: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Pass Interference became a challengeable element this season after the Saints were, let’s face it, robbed in last year’s NFC title game against the Rams.

This season, it’s not stayed away from the front pages of the NFL news outlets.

PI not being overturned enough, inconsistent ruling on it and has led to many teams, fans and players not understanding exactly what is or isn’t worth challenging.

The game between the Panthers and Saints nearly allowed PI to rear it’s ugly head once more as the Panthers challenged a non PI call which was overturned to a PI penalty. You can imagine how irate Sean Payton was at the overturn, something that has happened on less than 10% of the time so far this year.

The Saints though, were able to overcome with a little bit of Slye help and the win could end up being the difference between the #1 seed or the #2 seed and now gives the Saints huge momentum and morale boost as they look forward to extracting revenge against the Falcons on Thanksgiving night.

Derrick Henry Szn

Image Credit: AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

It’s almost December, that means Christmas is coming.

It also means it’s Derrick Henry time.

In games Derrick Henry has played after November 10, he has racked up a whopping 1493 yards, averaging 5.74yards per carry and scored 16 touchdowns.

He is definitely a polarising player in terms of fantasy football and even at the head coaching level as previous Head Coaches have seemingly refused to put the rock in his hands.

You cannot argue his production as the season wears on though and anyone entering their fantasy playoffs will hope for Henry to continue the trends on the ground.

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Socially inept

Image Credit: Patrick Semansky / AP

On the verge of your first win as a rookie NFL quarterback you can excuse doing a Thurman Thomas and maybe losing your helmet, but to do what the Redskins Dwayne Haskins did was inexcusable. With eight seconds left in the game and the Detroit Lions looking for a miracle Jeff Driskel was picked off for a third time.

Meanwhile Haskins was wandering the sidelines and borrowed a fans ‘cellphone’ to take a selfie. As Haskins was increasing his Insta profile poor old Case Keenum had to run onto the field to take the victory kneel.

We all know crazy things happen at the end of NFL games, but for Dwayne Haskins his pursuit of socialness will far outlast his first professional victory in NFL history. 

Lineman’s dream comes true 

Image Credit: Getty Images

“It was all a dream…” is a famous opening lyric from a Biggie Smalls song, it was also what happened to Tampa Bay Buccaneers DL Vita Vea who hauled in a touchdown pass against the Atlanta Falcons. Talking of biggie size frames Vea became the heaviest NFL player to catch a TD since 1950. at 347lb the behemoth first round draft pick was all kinds of excited when he hauled in the 1 yard score from Jamies Winston.

We all love seeing the big guys get some love and Vea’s score was particularly pleasing and helped the Buccs to gain a win against the in form Falcons.

To compare Vea against one of the most famous big guys to have an offensive cameo every now and then he weighed 12lb more than William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry. 

ABC its as easy as 1-2-3-4-5. 

Image Credit: Michael Reaves / Getty Images

It feels wrong even making a humorous reference to the dethroned King of Pop, but when one commentator blurted out ‘that’s a Jackson Five’ after Ravens QB Lamar Jackson tossed his fifth TD of the game against the Rams it did raise a small chuckle.

LJax is making an awfully convincing march towards the NFL MVP award after yet another jaw-dropping performance both in the air and on the ground. With another blowout victory in the can Lamar could unwind and watch his older backup Robert Griffin III steer the ship in the final period.

By the time we hit the end of the 2019 regular season it’s likely the 2020 NFL Record and Fact Book (well PDF) will need a new #8 annex. 

Making a big moustake

Image Credit: Clutchpoints.com

Down by 32 points at one point against the dictionary definition of an average NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff must be seriously wondering if they made a mistake bringing back Nick Foles into the starting lineup.

Since his return Foles led teams have lost by a combined 42 points. Yes Gardner Minshew had a poor outing at Wembley, but the buzz he generated up to that point was at a Lin-Sanity type level. Nobody I saw walking up Wembley way a few weeks ago was dressed up like Napoleon Dynamite, but there were plenty of Fu-Man-Chu moustaches.

The Jaguars season, currently boasting a 4-7 record, is all but over so why not throw Minshew back in the spotlight. The Jags have three winnable games and two that they could play spoilers. #Unleashthemoustace 

10 carat Gold

Image Credit: Robert Reiners / Getty Images

With 12 weeks in the books only two teams have reached 10 wins. One was predictable and one certainly wasn’t.

In the past 5 seasons prior’s to 2019 the San Francisco 49ers registered 25 wins – averaging five wins and exactly zero playoff performances. Under head coach Kyle Shanahan and most likely the single most impressive offseason the Niners already have the same amount of wins they managed in 2017 and 2018 combined. It’s going to be the single best divisional race to the finish in the NFL as the 49ers will go toe to to with the Seahawks for the division and home field advantage.

Jimmy G and top target TE George Kittle looked magical against the Packers, but the Niners D is the real reason for such a superb season. If only that pesky Russell Wilson wasn’t around San Fran would still be undefeated. Roll on the rematch in Week 17. 

Full10Takeaways – Week 11

By Lawrence Vos (@NFLFanInEngland)

Bite Size NFL news from Week 11 
  • Oakland Raiders rookie fourth round DT Maxx Crosby had a monster 4 sacks against the Bengals to move up to joint 9th in the NFL and 3rd amongst rookies.
  • Sam Darnold had 4 TD passes for the New York Jets in their 17 point win against the Redskins, his first 4 TD day in his 20 game career.
  • Talking of the Redskins they managed their first TD since the 3rd Q against the Dolphins on October 13, thanks to second year RB Derrius Guice.
  • The Atlanta Falcons won their second game in a row whilst only allowing their opponents to get a single-digit score (this week 3 against the Panthers).
  • Minnesota’s 4 point win against Denver is the first time since 2014 a team has come back from 20 or more points at half-time to win a game.
  • With 788 rushing yards Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is ALREADY 7th in the all-time rushing yards gained by a QB in a season. He needs 252 in 6 games to get the crown.
  • Patriots WR Julian Edelman tossed the 2nd TD pass of his career to beat the Eagles. Edelman is one of 15 non-QBs to have a career perfect passer rating.
  • And a final historic appetiser – One former NFL non-QB leads the NFL all-time in passing yards (350), passing touchdowns (9) and interceptions (6) – take a bow Walter Payton. 

What everyone’s tucking in to

Steelers (5-5) @ Browns (4-6) 

The Steelers were on a four-game win streak, and the Browns were in danger of their entire season imploding as we went into this TNF divisional matchup. It was a torrid affair for the eyes, as Pittsburgh QB Mason Rudolph looked dreadful even before WR Ju-Ju Smith Schuster went out with concussion.

This was an old fashioned brutal game that was personified by a hit dished out by Browns safety Damarious Randall on WR Dionte Johnson that caused blood to come out of his ear. The hit could be justified as not a complete head hunt, but what followed was indescribably common assault. The Browns, who rode the storm of an ugly contest were 14 points up as the Steelers mounted a final meaningless drive.

With 14 seconds left Mason Rudolph threw a short pass that gained 11 yards, then all hell broke loose. Rudolph was drilled by DE Myles Garrett. Rudolph then tried to remove Garrett’s helmet and failed. Garrett then managed to remove Rudolph’s helmet and then five seconds later cracked Mason on the top of his skull with the black and gold lid. Steelers C Mike Pouncey reacted immediately and kicked Garrett whilst he was on the ground, pinned to the end-zone by Steelers G David DeCastro. To top it off Rudolph still vocalising his displeasure was knocked to the floor by Browns defender Larry Ogunjobi.

I’ve been watching the NFL since 1985 and I cannot recall an ending like this. Garrett, Pouncey and Ogunjobi were ejected from the game and soon after all received bans, Garrett suspended indefinitely, to definitely include any involvement with the 2019 NFL season.

Using a fist to punch someone in the face is bad enough, take the Andre Johnson Cortland Finnegan fight (Week 12 2010) as an example. A helmet did get ripped off but it was thrown away, to effectively level the playing field.

On Thursday night Myles Garrett used Rudolph’s helmet as a weapon to cause harm. This was not an accident, this was done with intent, albeit with red mist clogging up the former #1 overall pick’s ability to behave rationally.

This insanity has been unpicked by former players, journalists and fans across the globe. Garrett has already broken a quarterback’s leg (Trevor Siemian) this season, but he was not known as dirty. Now he will have the helmet hit follow his career…..that’s when he gets one back. 

Texans (6-4) v Ravens (8-2) 

Billed as the matchup between the two most exciting dual-threat quarterbacks on the NFL (sorry Josh Allen you are a respectable third) this was supposed to be a classic high scoring contest coming down to who had the ball last. Instead we got one team on fire and one team on ice.

Despite a non-scoring first quarter this was not going to be the Houston Texans day as their first three drives ended on a turnover (fumble lost), a failed fourth down attempt and a punt. After an equally frustrating first period Lamar Jackson woke up and went 5-5 including the opening score to the lesser spotted Seth Roberts. From that point on the Ravens flicked a switch that they didn’t turn off until the fourth quarter.

The Ravens got a second TD, LJax to TE Mark Andrews to take a 14-0 lead at the half. When Jackson threw his third TD pass on the opening drive of the third quarter, to RB Mark Ingram II, it was effectively game over.

One play of note in the second half was Lamar’s 39 yard dash on a 2nd and 1. Another entry in the Baltimore QBs MVP application form. The Ravens finished with 263 yards rushing, thanks in part to a 63 yard TD rumble by Gus ‘the mini bus’ Edwards in the late stages. 

Chiefs (7-4) v Chargers (4-7) in Mexico

Philip Rivers saw his season committed to the grave in a country the celebrates the Day of the Dead, as Mexico hosted the final International regular season game of the season. Four interceptions, including one in the end-zone, on a potential game-tying pass was a microcosm of another failing season for a Chargers team that on paper has talent throughout.

The Chiefs Patrick Mahomes was not en-fuego in the air, but some chunky RPO (run pass option) plays yielded chain moving first downs precisely when they were needed. Veteran KC RB LeSean McCoy, who carries the ball in the same way a granny would after collecting a seeded bloomer from their local bakery, was able to take his loaf into the end-zone. He was also targeted 6 times, hauling in 4-28 to outpace KC’s number one WR Sammy Watkins (2-26). Big respect to L.A. RB Austin Ekeler who had 8-108 in the air. His 65 catches only trails leading pass catcher WR Keenan Allen by 5 pigskins.

The Chiefs are still atop the AFC West, and undefeated in the division, but the rather stinky breath of the Oakland Raiders is fresh in the face of those in red and white as the pirates trail by one game and are on a three-game win streak.

Something to finish us off…

Matty Ice cracks top 10 

With his seventh 300+ passing game of the 2019 under his belt Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan moved to number 10 in the all-time regular season passing charts.

The man he happened to pass has a bronze bust in the NFL and CFL Hall of Fame – Mr Warren Moon. Moon in fact has a Super Bowl winners ring, as a Seahawks broadcaster, earned 13 years after he was enshrined in Canton.

Ryan himself will tip over 50,000 yards by the end of this season, having reached 49,383 since his 2008 rookie campaign. Ryan has started 183 games in his career, having missed his first start in since 2009 just a few weeks ago. An absolute model of professionalism, Ryan is Hall of Fame worthy with 313 career TDs and just 142 interceptions. Don’t expect Ryan to run, but be instead mildly surprised that he has darted for 1,225 yards on the ground and 9 scores.

Four Pro Bowls, one All Pro appearance, one NFL MVP and one Super Bowl played is not the most impressive CV of all time, but anyone who reaches 50,000 passing yards, which Ryan will, likely by Week 14, deserves a moment of praise.