Greetings all, I apologise for the lack of posting I will try my upmost to make up for this in the coming weeks. This week has been full of outstanding performances and phenomenal games and in all the game that I have seen, I have concluded that this may be the best draft class of the century so far. Eclipsing the dream 2004 draft of Alex Smith, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Phillip Rivers and Big Ben etc. Quarterbacks such as Allen, Darnold and Baker Mayfield are an example of the intriguing future of the NFL. However, none of them were even the top prospect. Saquon Barkley, Running Back for the New York Giants continues to outperform himself every week and stands to only improve. He is the Giants best relief receiver and best rusher they have had ever, according to Nate Burleson.
Saquon and his Giants routed the once leaders of the NFC East with a 40-16 win over the Redskins in Washington. Barkley reached over 1,000 yards rushing and was a decent threat catching out of the backfield. The Giants were without Odell Beckham Jr (Bruised Quad) but did not trouble without him. The Offensive Line were strong for most of the game and showed signs of improvement. Mark Sanchez, who was just been brought in off the waiver to assist in the issues with the Redskins QB issues, has only caused more issues. Sanchez was intercepted twice in the game and was replaced by Josh Johnson, who did mildly better and threw for a TD and 1 INT. The Giants Defence showed vast signs of improvement especially, Alec Ogletree, who has shone for the defence in the last couple of games. My MVP of the week goes to Saquon Barkley who ran for 170 and caught for 27 in 4 receptions.
Another game which was full of potential was the Bills against the Jets. Sam Darnold, top rated QB of the Draft class, was up against the strongest arm out the draft in a while, Josh Allen. Allen seems to be a more polished article due to the amount off game time and lack of competition. Both rookies showed great composure inside and outside the pocket. Although, Allen seems to be more polished in his passing and turns the ball over less. Darnold and the Jets ran out the winner son this occasion 27 to 23 due to their superior success running the ball.
The Browns and the Panther splayed out an interesting showdown. Baker Mayfield showed off why he is the #1 overall pick. Him and Jarvis Landry were superb in their motion play and connection all over the field. The Panthers were decent and had a decent defensive display led by Luke Kuechly. The running game by McCaffrey was impressive and a sign of better things to come for the panther if they can level out their threats all over the field.
An interesting showdown between the Indianapolis Colts between the Houston Texans took place. The Texans displayed a great offence by all players. The Offensive line was really a great asset to the team. Watson had plenty of time to go through his reads and make throws that helped his team stay in this game right the way through. Andrew Luck was a tremendous game as he is getting into the groove of playing regular NFL games. T.Y. Hilton did well downfield against the famed Houston defence.
A match which was highly anticipated was the Ravens against the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes continues to be a star of the league and carried his team to a 27-24 overtime victory over Lamar Jackson’s Ravens who are undergoing a revival after Lamar Jackson stepped up to the plate when Joe Flacco when onto the IR. Although, the Kareem Hunt issues didn’t seem to have too much of an effect on the Kansas City Chiefs as Spencer Ware ran for a respectable 75 yards in a game against the top defence. Tyreek Hill deserves a special mention for his tremendous playmaking ability and improvisation.
The Miami Dolphins shocked the Super Bowl runners up although the Patriots were still quite good for the most part of the game. Tom Brady was accurate in his passing and his release was quick and required him to move as little as possible in the pocket. Julian Edelman was his favourite target with 9 receptions. He stood out and produced some great catches and moves. The Patriots on the last play had a tactical blunder when they stuck in Gronkowski at safety to stop the deep ball threat of the Dolphins. However, the circus play that then ensued marked one of the moments of the season so far. WR Drake wrongfooted Gronk to take the game away from New England. The game ended 34-33 and this dealt a blow to the Patriots in the run in.
Other interesting match ups included a shock for the Steelers as they were beaten by the Raiders 24-21. Jared Cook shone in that game. Also, the Chargers won against the Bengals. Phillip Rivers is having the year of his career and making the Chargers really looking like a playoff side. John Ross, the fastest player to come through the combine ever, was a positive influence in the absence of AJ Green.
This week has also provided us with plenty of disappointments. The LA Rams put in a dreadful display in their 15-6 loss to the Chicago Bears. Jared Goff throwing for 4 INT’s. Atlanta losing out to Green Bay 34-20 further showing us how the mighty Flacons of 2017 have fallen. Julio Jones showing us he’s not done yet and he isn’t down and out yet.
The Titans are showing us there is no stopping the Tennessee train. 30-9 against the Jaguars (including a magnificent 97-yard run) shows us just how far they’ve come. Derrick Henry scored 4, yes 4 Touchdowns in this game. Sacksonville need to learn how to retain their amazing defensive skillset they had 12 months ago. Jalen Ramsey needs to keep a lid on the trash talk and the D-Line needs to sharpen up and get to the QB.
MNF was a crunch wildcard playoff between the Seahawks and the Vikings. It ended 21-7 to Seattle with mistakes from either side but an uneventful first 3 quarters. In the 4th quarter, we had messed up Redzone plays leading to INT’s botched Field Goals and two touchdowns (one a fumble). Vikings are starting to falter and I’m starting to think that they will need to have more than a Minnesota miracle to get beyond December.
The New Orleans Saint are poised to continue their success this season with the 28-14 road win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Humphries was fantastic for the Bucs, being a good influence on the Offence and I must mention Carl Nassib, DE signed from Cleveland at the start of the season. He did a solid job off the edge. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram did a fantastic job from the backfield.
The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 29-23 in Overtime after Amari Cooper capped off an incredible night of work, which included 217 yards receiving and 3 TDs, with an overtime TD to win the game for them. The Cowboys were stuttering on offence early on but improved as the game drove on. Carson Wentz and his Eagles were left flightless after they grinded themselves into overtime when a costly error by the D led to a stroke of luck and an easy score for the Dallas offence.
The only other games that happened in week 14 were Denver v San Francisco and Arizona Cardinals against the Detroit Lions. Ending 14-20 and 3-17 respectively. The two players I must highlight from these four teams were both 49ers. Nick Mullins and George Kittle were outstanding for the 49ers against their elite Bronco D opponents. Josh Rosen showed flashes of potential, but he needs to develop and adjust more to the pace of the NFL.
Overall, I’d say it’s been an eventful week. But what I can say is… the future of the NFL looks bright and we can guarantee many more weeks like this. Be sure to check back for your dosage of NFL action.
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This blog will delve into the happenings around the NFL each week. We, at the Craigavon Cowboys know how much passion our followers have for the game of American Football and will aim to distribute a unique perspective on all the action of the past 7 days.