This past weekend, a few NFL games stood out among the Week 10 slate. The Tennessee Titans pulled off a stunning New England Patriots, winning 34-10, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints both put up more than 50 points in their respective victories. With the season several games past its halfway point, the NFL landscape continues to become more clear, and legitimate contenders have started to emerge — some that were preseason favorites, and others that experts dismissed before the season started. With that, let’s take a look at some surprises and disappointments thus far.
The Browns are a good team… sort of
Coming off a 0-16 season, just one win would have been an improvement for the Cleveland Browns — they have three. And after years of poor quarterbacks, the Browns may have finally found a star in rookie Baker Mayfield, who has come in clutch in several games, including some overtime thrillers. While Mayfield has been excellent, his play has been largely overshadowed by the terrible coaching staff, whose play-calling woes hindered Mayfield’s performance and led to a management shakeup. Consequently, Mayfield may need to weather out the storm in hopes that more compatible offensive coaches may come along. The Browns are now in the spotlight after a 28-16 win this week over the Falcons, which cemented Cleveland fans’ hope that Mayfield will be their franchise quarterback for years to come.
The Eagles are not Super Bowl-worthy
Going into the season, the Philadelphia Eagles were considered one of the favorites to win the 2019 Super Bowl. Quarterback Carson Wentz returned from injury, and the team’s offensive and defensive cores remained intact. However, the team has looked terrible on both sides of the ball. With A 20-27 loss to the Dallas Cowboys to drop the team below .500, a struggling quarterback who is still finding his identity, and a defense whose secondary has been burned week after week, the Eagles are in danger of missing the playoffs, just one year after winning the Super Bowl.
What happened to the Patriots?
It was not a pretty game for New England. The Patriots fell behind early and could not really to compete with the Tennessee Titans, who started former Patriots Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis. Going into the bye week with a 34-10 loss, the Pats will need to execute better on both sides of the field. The season does not wait for injuries, so with the Patriots having several injuries, with Gronkowski’s injury being the most prominent, making sure they stay healthy will be a priority.
The Seahawks nearly had it
The fact that the St. Louis Rams are scoring more than 33 points per game may be both a blessing and a curse; while their offense is always in full gear, it might be that the offense is simply making up for defensive woes. After suffering a tough loss against the Saints in week 9, the Rams looked to rebound against their NFC rivals, the Seattle Seahawks. The game turned into a shootout and was decided on the final drive, resulting in a 36-31 loss. The Rams defense looked relatively sloppy, and they let the Seahawks stick with them right until the end. If quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley continue to stay hot and keep up the pace, they have a chance at contending for the title, but the Rams’ defensive play must improve.