As we approach the halfway point in the regular season, see which teams excelled, and which teams suffered crippling losses this past week.
In what was probably the most exciting game of the season, the Cardinals won an overtime thriller over the previously unbeaten Seattle Seahawks by a score of 37-34 on Sunday Night Football. The Cardinals were down 34-24 with less than three minutes left, but Arizona QB Kyler Murray cemented his status as one of the best players in the NFL with his incredible comeback performance. Murray racked up over 400 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw three interceptions, including a crucial, late game one that set the Cardinals up for the game winning field goal. With their victory, Arizona has established themselves as legitimate contenders in the loaded NFC West division.
Don’t look now, but after an abysmal start to the season, the Detroit Lions are now .500 on the season after a miracle comeback win over the choke-artist Atlanta Falcons. Lions QB Matthew Stafford marched his team down the field with one minute remaining and zero timeouts; connecting with his tight end T.J. Hockenson on the final play of the game, snatching another last second victory away from the Falcons. Suddenly, the critics calling for Lions head coach Matt Patricia to lose his job have gone silent. Keep an eye on Detroit next week as they face off at home versus the (4-2) Colts.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady and the loaded Buccaneers defense once again put on a clinic, dominating the Las Vegas Raiders 45-20. Brady accounted for five touchdowns in the win as the Raiders defense was completely overmatched with all the weapons on the stacked Bucs offense. It only gets better for Brady from here on out from an offensive weapons perspective, as they will welcome former All-Pro and accused sexual assaulter WR Antonio Brown to the team.
San Francisco 49ers
Since being embarrassed at home two weeks ago by the Miami Dolphins, the 49ers have rebounded in a resounding fashion, defeating the Rams and Patriots in consecutive weeks. Although Jimmy Garoppolo did not have a great game, San Francisco’s defense and rushing attack absolutely mauled Cam Newton and the Patriots in Foxboro by a score of 33-6. The niners looked sharp and were clearly the more motivated and dominant team as they handed New England one of their worst home losses in franchise history. San Francisco improves to (4-3) on the season and remains in the running for a wild card playoff berth as we nearly approach the halfway point of the 2020 season.
New England Patriots
We have officially seen the end of the Patriots domination in the AFC. For the first time in 20 years, Patriots fans will get a consistent, pungent taste of losing. New England suffered a humiliating 33-6 defeat to former QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. Cam Newton and the talent-deprived offense looked atrocious and mundane, as the 2020 Patriots look like more of an NFL Draft lottery team rather than a contender. Newton was missing easy throws and the Patriots defense showed zero effort in stopping the 49ers dynamic rushing attack. Head coach Bill Belichick and highly paid offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels have their work cut out for him. It’s safe to say that it would be a surprise if New England was able to make the playoffs this year.
At this point, I don’t know how anyone can trust the Falcons to hold any lead, even if they’re up 100-0 with one second left in the game. It’s like Groundhog Day all over again; Atlanta mismanaged the clock and blew another late fourth quarter lead at home against the Lions. Somewhere, former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is smiling because he can’t finally be blamed for this collapse. All the Falcons had to do was take a knee, run the clock down and kick an easy field goal to win the game. Instead, they handed the ball off to RB Todd Gurley and Detroit let him score to stop the clock. With only one minute left and zero timeouts, the Lions drove all the way down the field (because of course they did) and scored a walk-off game winning touchdown. It’s as if the Falcons are doing everything they can to try and shrink their fanbase.
New York Giants
First year head coach Joe Judge and the Giants missed a golden opportunity to position themselves at the top of the horrid NFC East by squandering a late 11 point fourth quarter lead to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants were up 21-10 and poised to win decisively until Eagles QB Carson Wentz and the offense finally showed up in crunch time to snatch the victory. Judge’s Giants dropped to (1-6) on the season and the questions about whether Daniel Jones is the franchise quarterback for the franchise continue to increase.
It appears that new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has lost the locker room after reports last week surfaced about anonymous Cowboys players saying their coaching staff was unprepared and not putting them in the best position to succeed. McCarthy addressed the team after this report came out and how did his players respond?… with an absolute laughable performance against The Washington Football Team. Washington stomped out the Cowboys by a score of 25-3 and linebacker Jon Bostic knocked out Dallas’ starting quarterback Andy Dalton with a dirty hit. Dallas did not respond back to the dirty hit despite all their talent and instead just rolled over and took the butt whooping. Star running back Ezekiel Elliot did not fumble after fumbling twice last week, but he did drop a pass that ricocheted right off his hands and into a Washington defender for an interception. Once again, Dallas is underachieving and “the accident waiting to happen” has indeed happened already in 2020.
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