NFL Game Recaps: Week 5, 2019

Seahawks 30, Rams 29
  • Russell Wilson said his team had to “find a way” to win this NFC West battle. He mentioned this in an emotional post-game interview where he said he wanted to win for former owner Paul Allen, who was honored tonight. The Seahawks certainly found a way, as a number of things favored them to give them a slim victory over the defending divisional champions.

    The Seahawks were aided on their game-winning drive with a roughing-the-passer infraction on Clay Matthews. It was a completely bogus penalty, even worse than the one Matthews was flagged for in last year’s Week 2 defeat against the Vikings when he was with Green Bay. The Seahawks continued the drive, with Wilson ultimately hitting Chris Carson on fourth down in the end zone. It was nearly an incompletion, as Carson bobbled the ball as soon as it reached him. Luckily for Seattle, there was no defender near Carson to disrupt the catch, which allowed Carson to reel in the touchdown. The Seahawks then failed to go up by three on the conversion attempt – failing to cover in the process – which opened up an opportunity for the Rams to win with just a field goal.

    The Rams’ next drive saw Jared Goff’s pass ricochet off the hands of Gerald Everett, with the ball falling into diving safety Tedric Thompson’s arms. The officials ruled the play incomplete, but Pete Carroll challenged and won; Thompson was credited with the unlikely interception.

    The Seahawks gave the Rams one more chance because of a terrible third-and-2 call in which Wilson dangerously pitched the ball back to Tyler Lockett, who lost eight yards. Los Angeles used the extra opportunity to move the ball to field goal range. However, because of a ridiculous delay of game, a 39-yard try turned into a 44-yard attempt for Greg Zuerlein, who pushed the kick wide right. Somehow, some way, Seattle hung on to improve to 4-1.

  • Though Wilson made a big mistake on the minus-8 pitch on his final drive, he had an amazing game. He misfired on just six occasions, going 17-of-23 for 268 yards and four touchdowns. He also scrambled eight times for 32 rushing yards. Wilson was his usual, terrific self. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate if Patrick Mahomes slows down for some reason.

  • In addition to Carson, Wilson’s touchdowns went to Lockett (4-51), D.K. Metcalf (2-44) and David Moore (1-10). While Lockett had a solid fantasy performance, it should have been better. Lockett, despite having a very easy matchup, was targeting on just four occasions. A better coaching staff would find a way for Wilson to get the ball to Lockett more often.

    Lockett was second on the receiving list, right behind tight end Will Dissly, who continued his upstart campaign with four catches for 81 yards. Dissly made a highlight-reel grab on an over-the-shoulder catch where he pinned the ball to his facemask.

  • Carson had a strong game on the ground to add to his receiving touchdown. He gained 118 yards on 27 carries. He should’ve had 119 or 120, as the Seahawks eschewed a fourth-and-inches try right before halftime. They opted for a 48-yard field goal, which kicker Jason Myers missed. This set up a Rams touchdown drive right before halftime. The decision to kick rather than go for it was an insanely stupid one, as the Seahawks had a better chance of converting fourth-and-inches than seeing Myers drill a 48-yarder. This was one of many mistakes the Seattle coaching staff made in this contest. Another one was a very dubious challenge by Carroll on an obvious Brandin Cooks catch.

  • Speaking of Cooks, that 29-yard reception was his only catch of the night. He left the game with an injury, allowing Everett to go off. The talented tight end hauled in seven balls for 136 yards. He and Cooper Kupp, who snatched nine of his 17 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown, were the two Rams who eclipsed the century receiving mark. Robert Woods (5-48) was third on the list.

  • As for Jared Goff, he once again posted pretty stats, going 29-of-49 for 395 yards, one touchdown and the Thompson interception referenced earlier. Goff made some amazing throws in this game, but he also made several mistakes. There was one sequence in which Goff missed an open receiver and then was nearly pick-sixed on the following play. He also had to be responsible for the delay-of-game infraction at the end that had a hand in causing Zuerlein to miss the decisive kick.

  • There was some good and bad from Todd Gurley as well. Gurley had some explosive runs and scored twice, but he ultimately finished with just 51 yards on 15 carries. He had 18 touches in total, which was far less than his average from last year before he got hurt. Gurley also fumbled in the red zone, with Jadeveon Clowney getting the strip and recovery.

  • Bengals 26, Cardinals 23
  • This was billed as a matchup between two of the worst teams in the NFL, but despite what the final score says, these teams weren’t close for most of the afternoon.

    The Cardinals led 23-9 in the fourth quarter, as the Bengals couldn’t do anything offensively. They mustered just 90 net yards of offense in the opening half despite battling one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Excluding the opening drive, the Cordy Glenn-less Cincinnati offensive line couldn’t do anything to generate offense for the team, while the defense couldn’t seem to tackle Kyler Murray, who ran circles around them.

    Murray was spectacular in this game. Granted, he also was going up against a horrible defense, but his offensive line is in shambles. Thus, he deserves credit for this victory, especially in the wake of his final drive. Murray floated in a spectacular pass to David Johnson and then had a long scramble to put kicker Lil’ Zane Gonzalez in field goal range.

    Murray finished 20-of-32 for 253 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown, but he scrambled in for one, as he rushed 10 times for 93 yards on the ground. This includes a fourth-down conversion early in the afternoon where Murray was able to run into the end zone.

  • While Murray had a solid fantasy performance, the same can’t be said for David Johnson. The starting back rushed for 91 yards on 17 carries and led the team in receiving (3 catches, 65 yards), but he lost four targets to Chase Edmonds for some reason. He also saw a touchdown vultured by Edmonds, so this was a very frustrating day for any Johnson owners, though it’s worth noting that Johnson made two spectacular sideline catches during this game.

  • Larry Fitzgerald’s owners weren’t very happy either. Despite having a great matchup, Fitzgerald caught six passes for only 58 yards. Don’t blame Fitzgerald for any of this; the Cardinals were simply ahead throughout and didn’t need to throw for most of the second half. Murray attempted just 14 passes following intermission.

  • Moving on to the Bengals, Andy Dalton was a dreadful 4-of-10 for 22 yards at intermission. There was some promise on the opening drive, as the Bengals entered the red zone thanks to several great Joe Mixon runs, but Auden Tate dropped a touchdown, and Cincinnati didn’t have much success until garbage time.

    Garbage time actually transformed into real action, as the Bengals somehow tied the game with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. It seemed as though Arizona ran out of gas, and Dalton was able to take advantage of this by going 23-of-28 after intermission. However, a final drive by Arizona ruined the comeback party for the Bengals.

    Dalton finished 27-of-38 for 262 yards and two touchdowns. The stats look nice, but Dalton played poorly for most of the afternoon. To be fair, however, his offensive line is ravaged by injuries, and he’s missing two of his top three receivers.

  • The top receivers remaining – Tyler Boyd and Tate – both caught touchdowns. Boyd ended up with a monstrous game despite catching one ball in the opening half. He hauled in 10 of his 14 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown. Tate, conversely, needed the score to salvage his fantasy outing (3 catches, 26 yards), especially after dropping his first potential touchdown. This was one of two drops he had on the afternoon.

  • Mixon had a decent afternoon despite trailing throughout. He gained 93 yards on 19 carries and also caught a 16-yard pass. The offensive line blasted open enormous holes on the opening drive – Mixon tallied 60 rushing yards on the initial possession alone – but the Cardinals clamped down on the run after that.

  • Bills 14, Titans 7
  • The CBS announcers praised Josh Allen prior to halftime. They noted that the concern regarding Allen thus far in his career has been his accuracy, but they gushed about how accurate he was in the opening half, and rightfully so. Allen had connected on 17 of his 21 attempts, accumulating 146 yards and a touchdown in the process, and yet he was even better than those stats indicate because of his four incompletions, two were dropped, while the other two were thrown away because of pressure. Allen did a great job of moving the chains, save for one exception where he was stuffed on a fourth-and-2 sneak. Buffalo took a 7-0 lead into the locker room as a result, albeit with some fortune from a pair of Tennessee missed field goals.

    However, the mistakes surfaced in the second half. Allen made a miserable error in the third quarter when he threw the ball late across his body. The pass was intercepted, which set up a touchdown for the Titans, who were able to even the game up at seven. Allen also took some bad sacks.

    Tennessee had a chance to establish control of this game, but killed itself with mistakes. Derrick Henry rushed into the end zone to take the lead, but that touchdown was negated by a hold. Later on the same drive, Marcus Mariota appeared to take his team in front with a touchdown pass, but he was ruled beyond the line of scrimmage when he released the ball. No worry though; the Titans still had a chance to get the lead with a field goal, but the kick was blocked because the attempt had an unnecessarily low trajectory. This was one of four missed kicks by Cairo Santos on the afternoon. He ended up costing the Titans 12 points in total, which was five points more than the margin in this game. One kick wasn’t even close from 36. It’s difficult to envision him keeping his job after this dreadful performance.

  • Allen ended up finishing 23-of-32 for 219 yards, two touchdowns and the aforementioned interception. He also scrambled for 27 yards. Allen played a strong game overall, save for the one blunder and his tendency to take some bad sacks. That said, his penchant for taking those sacks had to do with the fact that the offensive line lost Mitch Morse and Cody Ford to injury.

  • Allen’s touchdowns were thrown to backups, spoiling what could have been a great fantasy afternoon for John Brown, who caught five passes for 75 yards otherwise. One of those backups was Duke Williams, who had an impressive preseason. He was just activated from the practice squad. He already has become a fan favorite, earning some “Duuuuukes” from the many Buffalo fans in the stands.

  • Devin Singletary sat out once again, allowing Frank Gore to handle most of the workload. Gore rumbled for 60 yards on just 14 carries. He had some nice runs late in the game, including one where he broke a tackle to pick up a key first down. Singletary is expected to be back next week.

  • Going back to the Titans, Mariota was inches away from two touchdowns. I mentioned the pass in which he was beyond the line of scrimmage. He also appeared to score on a rush, but was ruled down inches of the pylon. Henry flopped into the end zone on the ensuing play.

    Mariota, as a result, had a very disappointing fantasy performance. He was 13-of-22 for only 183 yards, though he was hurt by several drops. This shouldn’t have been a surprise, as he was battling one of the top defenses in the NFL.

  • Henry didn’t do very much outside of the touchdown. He rushed for 78 yards on 20 carries. As mentioned earlier, he nearly scored a second time, but a hold negated that.

  • Aside from backup tight end Jonnu Smith, who caught a 57-yard pass on a screen, Tennessee’s leading receiver was Adam Humphries (4-30), who dropped a pass on third down. Corey Davis (2-28) and A.J. Brown (2-27) also disappointed, though Brown was robbed of the aforementioned touchdown in which Mariota was over the line of scrimmage. Davis made a nice block to spring Henry on a long run.

    Delanie Walker (1-10) had a deep catch wiped out by a hold, then dropped a pass on third down.

  • Saints 31, Buccaneers 24
  • Jameis Winston’s 50-point performance seemed like it occurred ages ago when this game was being played. The Buccaneers struggled off their impressive victory in Los Angeles, as this final result isn’t indicative how lopsided this affair was.

    The Saints may have won by just seven, but this was a double-digit margin for most of the second half. New Orleans nearly doubled up the Buccaneers in yardage, outgaining Tampa, 457-252, and that’s with a garbage-time touchdown drive included. The Saints defense simply suffocated Winston. They appeared to force him into a couple of interceptions, but both picks were negated by penalties, including one by Winston’s own delay-of-game infraction. Winston also had some possible interceptions that were dropped, while a fumble of his was recovered by a teammate.

    Winston finished 15-of-27 for 204 yards and two touchdowns, but he had just 58 yards at halftime. He was an absolute mess in this game, and it was a discouraging sight to see after he had made some big improvements in the preceding weeks.

  • Both of Winston’s touchdowns went to Chris Godwin, who continued his monster 2019 campaign with seven catches (on nine targets) for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Godwin did all of the work, as Mike Evans was blanked by Marson Lattimore. The stud corner has a history of erasing Evans, and that’s exactly what happened in this contest. Evans didn’t catch a single pass on any of his three targets.

  • It was frustrating to see the Buccaneers give Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones an equal workload. Jones had just one more carry (9-8), outgaining Barber, 35-32. Barber stole a touchdown away from Jones. I don’t understand why Bruce Arians continues to use Barber when he should be giving all the touches to Jones. It was very clear that Jones was the superior runner, as he had some special runs. He impressively slipped a tackle for a gain of 15 yards, then had a nifty 13-yard burst right after that. He later converted a fourth-and-1 and a third-and-2 on the same drive.

  • The Saints, meanwhile, improved to 4-1, and their only defeat came when Teddy Bridgewater was not prepared to play against the Rams. Bridgewater has improved each week, and he was stellar in this game. Battling a weak Tampa secondary, Bridgewater nearly completed all of his passes, going 26-of-34 for 314 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. The pick – a pass thrown behind Alvin Kamara – was one of Bridgewater’s only three mistakes on the afternoon, with the others being an overthrow of Jared Cook in the end zoneand a dropped interception. However, Bridgewater was able to bounce back from the near-pick to convert a third-and-10. Bridgewater had so many terrific throws that the crowd constantly chanted, “Ted-dy! Ted-dy!” in the second half.

  • Two of Bridgewater’s touchdowns went to Michael Thomas, who reeled in 11 of his 13 targets for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas was terrific, and no other Saint accumulated more than 42 receiving yards.

    Bridgewater’s other scores went to Cook (4-41) and Ted Ginn (2-35). Cook took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit by cornerback Carlton Davis, who was rightfully ejected. Fortunately, Cook was able to remain in the game.

  • Alvin Kamara didn’t find the end zone, but he still eclipsed the century mark for total yardage. He rushed for 62 yards on 16 carries and also caught six of his seven targets for 42 receiving yards.

  • Vikings 28, Giants 10
  • The two star Viking receivers complained throughout the week about their diminished stats, so the team made an effort to get the ball to them as much as possible. In the first half alone, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs combined for eight catches for 145 yards and a touchdown, as Minnesota established its dominance over the Giants.

    Kirk Cousins was able to deliver the ball to them perfectly, as he misfired on just four instances prior to intermission. Cousins did what he does best – torch bad teams. The Giants spent the entire afternoon taking bad angles, missing tackles and blowing coverages. Cousins was very impressive as a result, but this was very predictable. Cousins seldom prevails versus winning teams, and he tends to choke in big moments. He was not battling a winning team, nor was he in a big moment. He was terrific as a result – 22-of-27, 306 yards, two touchdowns – but this victory will just be a Band-Aid over the flesh wound that is Cousins’ fully guaranteed contract with the Vikings.

  • Thielen will get mad at Cousins again in the future when the Vikings battle a good team. For now, he’ll be happy. Thielen finished with seven catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Diggs (3-44) did very little by comparison, but he won’t say anything following a win. If he posts a poor stat line when the Vikings lose to their next tough opponent, I imagine he’ll be the one voicing his displeasure.

  • Dalvin Cook trampled the Giants quite easily, eclipsing 200 total net yards. He rushed for 132 yards on 21 carries, while catching all six of his targets for 86 receiving yards. Cook was his usual, eletric self, save for a lost fumble inside the Giants’ 5-yard line. He didn’t find the end zone, but the touchdowns will come again soon.

  • I was concerned about Daniel Jones going up against Mike Zimmer, and my worries were proven to be warranted. Jones had some nice moments in this game, but he seemed frazzled by the Vikings’ stalwart pass rush at times. He was able to move the chains effectively between the 20s on numerous drives, but almost always bogged down in the red zone. Some of this was because of Zimmer’s scheming, but Jones deserves some of the blame as well. For example, he missed a wide-open Sterling Shepard for a touchdown in the third quarter that could have made this a one-score affair. This occurred after Jones missed Shepard for a deep touchdown on the opening drive.

    Jones finished 21-of-38 for only 182 yards, one touchdown and an interception. The pick wasn’t really his fault, as it was a desperation heave at the end of the game. However, he was lucky he wasn’t intercepted earlier when he threw a ball into double coverage. Jones didn’t scramble very much for some reason, running only thrice for 12 yards. This was his worst game by a mile thus far, but this was expected.

  • Despite Golden Tate’s return to the lineup, the leading receiver for the Giants wasn’t Tate, Sherpard or Evan Engram. It was someone named Darius Slayton, who caught four passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. I would not expect this sort of production going forward.

    Tate didn’t do very much, snatching three passes on six targets for 13 yards. Shepard (5-49) was unlucky with the missed touchdown, while Engram (6-42) saw the most targets with 11.

  • Giants backup running back Wayne Gallman suffered a concussion, so it was up to Jon Hilliman to carry the load. Hilliman gained 20 yards on nine carries. He might be the team’s starter this Thursday night, but isn’t a recommended addition with the Patriots on the docket.

  • Eagles 31, Jets 6
  • There was never a realistic chance Sam Darnold could play this game, and as a result, there was never a realistic chance the Jets could beat the Eagles. New York was down big at the start, as a Jordan Howard touchdown and then a pick-six on a Luke Falk telegraphed throw gave the Eagles a quick 14-0 lead in the opening quarter.

    The score remained 14-0 for a while, as the Eagles consistently shot themselves in the foot with penalties and dropped passes. Fortunately for them, they were battling a team that was so uncompetitive that they couldn’t convert a single third down in the opening half. Soon enough, Zach Ertz plunged into the end zone prior to halftime, giving the Eagles an insurmountable 21-point advantage.

  • Carson Wentz had a very disappointing fantasy performance. He was 17-of-29 for 189 yards and a touchdown, and he didn’t have to run more than twice for five rushing yards. This was simply the byproduct of a positive game script – i.e. the Eagles having the lead in millennial language – as the Eagles established an early advantage with rushing and defensive scores, which meant that Wentz didn’t have to throw very much. When adding in the fact that a bunch of penalties resulted in long-yardage situations and negated completions, it’s not much of a surprise that Wentz didn’t do much on the stat sheet.

    Wentz, at the very least, made a heady play early on when he picked up an errant snap in the red zone. He scooped up the ball and threw the ball at a receiver’s feet. This saved the opening touchdown drive for Philadelphia. This wasn’t the only time when Wentz did something remarkable, as he somehow ducked a defender in the pocket to find Ertz for a big gain.

  • Wentz’s sole touchdown went to Ertz, who also led the Eagles in receiving with five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Alshon Jeffery (6-52) wasn’t far too behind. DeSean Jackson will return soon to add another element to Philadelphia’s offense.

  • Howard saw four more carries than Miles Sanders, 13-9. Howard outgained Sanders by a wide margin, 62-15, and scored the aforementioned touchdown. However, Sanders was the bigger factor in the receiving game, catching four balls for 49 receiving yards.

  • Meanwhile, the Jets are hardly worth talking about, as Falk is not a viable NFL quarterback. He was a disaster, going 15-of-26 for 120 yards and two interceptions, one of which went back for six. This was the first of Eagles’ two defensive touchdowns, with the other coming via Falk’s fumble in the second half. Despite this, Falk was lucky the afternoon didn’t go worse for him; he fumbled in the opening quarter, but a teammate of his recovered. He then saw another potential interception dropped by the Eagles.

  • Le’Veon Bell is the only Jets skill player who needs to be discussed. Bell, despite being surrounded by garbage, nearly hit 100 total yards. He rushed for 43 yards on 15 carries, while catching seven of his nine targets for 45 receiving yards.

  • Patriots 33, Redskins 7
  • It seems strange to even write this, but for a while, it seemed as though the Patriots would lose to the Redskins. They surrendered a long touchdown to a scrub third-stringer where their defenders didn’t seem interested in tackling, and they failed on multiple short-yardage situations, including a fourth-and-1 on a trick play. The Patriots stalled often on their drives in the first half, so they were lucky the Redskins couldn’t do much except for the long touchdown rush mentioned earlier.

    Things appeared to change when the Redskins made a crucial mistake. Down only 9-7, slot receiver Trey Quinn fumbled in his own territory. The Patriots were set up with a red-zone try, yet couldn’t do anything with their great field position, as Tom Brady floated a weak interception into the end zone.

    Then, everything completely turned around in the second half. Brady, who took numerous sacks throughout the first half, suddenly had improved pass protection. He was able to tear apart the Redskin pass defense as a result, and New England ran away with a blowout victory.

    Brady finished 28-of-42 for 348 yards, three touchdowns and an interception overall. I don’t think Brady’s balky calf bothered him too much in this game. It may have been a factor when he couldn’t sidestep passes, and he had a poor throw to Josh Gordon where he missed the talented receiver deep downfield, but Brady was pretty accurate for the most part. I’d say I would be worried about Brady’s outlook in Week 6, given the short work week, but he’ll be battling the Giants, who are even worse defensively than the Redskins.

  • Only one of Brady’s touchdowns went to a regular player. That was Julian Edelman, who snatched all but one of his nine targets. His eight receptions went for 110 yards and the score. Edelman also drew a pass interference flag, though the call was bogus and should’ve been overturned by replay review. Josh Gordon (5-59) was next on the stat sheet, but his stats were limited because Brady overthrew him for what should’ve been a long touchdown. Meanwhile, Phillip Dorsett left early with an injury.

  • With Brady limited and Rex Burkhead out, I expected James White to have a big performance. He caught six passes for 46 receiving yards on top of his 26 rushing yards, but he saw a touchdown get vultured by Brandon Bolden. Sony Michel also scored, as he rushed for 91 yards on 16 attempts. Oddly, Michel was targeted thrice in the passing game. Michel converted all of those attempts for 32 receiving yards.

  • As for the Redskins, they couldn’t generate much offense following the weird touchdown run at the beginning of the game. Excluding that play, they had just 155 net yards. Colt McCoy was predictably dreadful, going 18-of-27 for 119 yards and an interception, which occurred because his intended target ran the wrong route. It’s also worth noting that McCoy’s pass protection was abysmal. He had no chance.

  • Terry McLaurin was a surprise active in this game, but it didn’t matter. He couldn’t get open against New England’s terrific secondary. He caught three passes for 51 yards, leading the team. No other Redskin had more than 17 receiving yards.

  • Washington had no running game to speak of either. Adrian Peterson mustered just 18 yards on seven carries, while Chris Thompson (4-21) added in five catches, but for only 17 receiving yards. Peterson’s highlight was a tough, 5-yard run in which he moved the Redskins away from their own goal line, but that was it.

  • Texans 53, Falcons 32
  • Will Fuller’s big day was coming, and you could see it from a mile away. Fuller had posted underwhelming stats throughout the first four weeks of the season, but had gotten very unlucky with some overthrown passes that could have gone for deep touchdowns. Deshaun Watson finally clicked with Fuller today, though battling Atlanta’s incompetent defense helped.

    Fuller had a monstrous performance, catching 14 of his 16 targets for 217 yards and three touchdowns. What’s crazy is that Fuller was inches away from scoring five touchdowns. He was tackled inches shy of the goal line on two occasions, and Houston scored after that without Fuller being involved. Thus, with better luck, his stat line would have been 14 catches, 219 yards and five touchdowns, which would have been one of the greatest performances from a receiver in NFL history.

    Still, it was great enough to give the Texans a 21-point victory. This game was never close, though the Falcons made things a bit interesting toward the end when the Texans muffed a punt. It didn’t matter at all though, as their defense couldn’t get a stop whatsoever. The Texans nearly had 600 net yards of offense, averaging 8.8 yards per play (compared to 5.5 by Atlanta.)

  • Watson was brilliant, misfiring on just five occasions. He went 28-of-33 for 426 yards and five touchdowns. Watson has been hot and cold this year, which has been determined by his offensive line’s ability to block. When Watson has had time versus weaker defenses, he’s been lethal. When he’s been under siege by tougher stop units, he has struggled. The Falcons couldn’t even contain Marcus Mariota last week, and Watson provided a much greater challenge.

  • Excluding Fuller, Houston’s leading receiver was none other than DeAndre Hopkins, who caught seven of his eight targets for 88 yards. Hopkins had a nice game, but he couldn’t be dominant with Fuller doing all of the damage.

  • The Texans tried to rush the ball, but Carlos Hyde did a poor impression of a running back. He mustered just 60 yards on 21 carries, but salvaged his fantasy day with a touchdown. He also fumbled, deep in his own territory, but was very fortunate that a teammate of his recovered. I keep saying this every week, but the Texans need to get Duke Johnson more involved. Johnson was predictably more explosive, as he was able to burst for 59 yards on nine attempts. He’s also a great receiver out of the backfield, but saw only one target for some reason.

  • As for the Falcons, this was yet another instance in which Matt Ryan generated some great stats in garbage time. Ryan ended up 32-of-46 for 330 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, a pick-six at the very end of the game. Ryan was lucky not to be intercepted earlier on an errant throw, just prior to halftime. However, as long as Atlanta’s defense continues to be terrible, Ryan will post great numbers.

  • Ryan’s scores were thrown to Calvin Ridley (5-88), Mohamed Sanu (5-42) and Devonta Freeman, whom I will get to in a second. Two prominent Falcons who couldn’t reach the end zone were Julio Jones (3-42) and Austin Hooper (6-56), though Hooper scored on a two-point conversion. Jones’ poor afternoon was very disappointing. He skied for a great-looking reception early, but barely did anything after going to the sideline following the play.

  • Freeman was once again effective as a receiver out of the backfield, catching all five of his targets for 40 yards and a touchdown. However, he couldn’t get going on the ground; he mustered only 30 yards on 11 carries.

  • Raiders 24, Bears 21
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: Did the Bears show up drunk to this game? I don’t understand how they could possibly lose to the Raiders with the whole Khalil Mack revenge narrative favoring them.

  • Before we get into the game recap, we need to clear up some incompetence by the national media regarding the Khalil Mack trade. This information comes from NFL general managers, and we reported it in our video from the Super Bowl last February.

    Since the trade happened, the media has been roasting Jon Gruden for trading Mack away, but general managers at other teams have told us that Gruden did not have a choice. The reason he had to agree to it is bad contracts that were given out by previous Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis. The Raiders signed Derek Carr to a fair-market contract that has him making more than $20 million per season. But Oakland signed the interior of its offensive line to contracts totaling $30 million annually for Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson. An extension with Mack would average over $20 million a year. So if the Raiders signed him, they would have been on the hook for $70 million dollars per year for just five players on their roster. No team in the NFL can carry that and have the money to address other key positions and depth.

    Hence, when Davis said that the Mack trade was his fault, he was telling the truth because he approved those contracts and spending that boxed in Oakland. I know from being a beat writer covering Gruden in Tampa, Gruden would never throw ownership under the bus publicly and is more than willing to take the bullets for an owner he really likes in Davis.

    The Falcons just became the first team in the NFL to break the barrier and have two players making more than $20 million per year, but there are many reasons why teams have avoided doing that. In my final 2019 NFL Mock Draft, I had the Raiders taking Johnathan Abram, Josh Jones and Trayvon Mullen, plus wrote that Clelin Ferrell could be the pick at No. 4 if Quinnen Williams was gone. We know Oakland well, so this information on the Mack trade is the truth. Now, on to the action in London.

  • Oakland dominated the first half, but the Bears rallied and caught a lot of breaks in the final two quarters to put them in position to win. However, Gruden and his staff out-coached Matt Nagy and Chicago to steal a win in London. This was a tough loss for the Bears, falling to 3-2 in the ultra-competitive NFC North, while the Raiders strengthened their playoff hopes by improving to 3-2 this season.

    The Raiders had a promising first drive get knocked out of field goal range by a Richie Incognito penalty, but on their second drive, they slammed the ball down the throat of the Chicago defense by running Josh Jacobs and their other backs. Jacobs ended the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run. Quickly on the ensuing drive, Chase Daniels threw a terrible pass right to Oakland linebacker Nicholas Marrow for an interception that set up the Oakland offense at the Chicago 24. Kyle Fuller got caught holding in the end zone, and DeAndre Washington ran the ball into the end zone behind a great block by Darren Waller (4-39) for a 14-0 lead. The Raiders tacked on a field goal to go up 17-0 at halftime.

    To open the third quarter, the Bears caught some breaks to get back in the game when an errant pitch was recovered by Chicago at the Oakland 15. Lamarcus Joyner was called for a holding on Allen Robinson in the end zone, and that set up a short rushing touchdown for David Montgomery. The Bears’ offense finally came alive with a 32-yard pass to Anthony Miller (4-52) and then a short touchdown pass to Allen Robinson. Tarik Cohen put the Bears in position to take the lead with a 71-yard punt return. Daniel found Robinson in the front corner of the end zone for a leaping touchdown grab to give the Bears a 21-17 lead.

    Robinson had a taunting penalty, and a 52-yard return by Trevor Davis (4-42) put Oakland into Chicago territory, but Davis fumbled the ball away at the Bears’ 1-yard line to protect Chicago’s lead. Raiders cornerback Darryl Worley picked off Daniel in Chicago territory, but incompetent officiating called terrible a roughing the passer on Maurice Hurst to take the interception away.

    Late in the fourth quarter, the Raiders pulled off a fake punt for a first down and then a 23-yard pass to Foster Moreau and a conversion to Hunter Renfrow moved the ball inside the 25. A 16-yard pass to Moreau set up a first-and-goal at the 2-minute warning. Jacobs dived over the top for the score, andd the extra point made it 24-21 with 1:57 remaining. After getting to midfield, Daniel threw a terrible pass on a miscommunication with Anthony Miller for the game-sealing interception by Gareon Conley.

  • Carr finished completing 25-of-32 passes for 229 yards. With Tyrell Williams out, Moreau led the Raiders in receiving with four receptions or 46 yards.

  • Jacobs was chosen with one of the picks the Raiders got for Mack and led them to the win with 123 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.

  • Daniel was 22-of-30 for 231 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

  • The Raiders’ defense shut down David Montgomery and the Bears’ ground attack, as Montgomery had 25 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown.

  • Robinson was really the only offensive player on the Bears who had a good game, recording seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

  • To make matters worse for Chicago, stud defensive lineman Akiem Hicks suffered an elbow injury in the first quarter and left the game.

  • Panthers 34, Jaguars 27
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: This was a frustrating game for any Jaguar bettors (i.e. me). Despite the Jaguars scratching and clawing their way back from a huge deficit as a result of the Christian McCaffrey runs, they surrendered a front-door cover at the end on a long touchdown by Carolina’s backup running back. Ugh!

  • The battle of the backup quarterbacks saw these two playoff contenders slug it out with three fumbles by Gardner Minshew spoiling an excellent game as a passer versus a good defense. Christian McCaffrey dominated the Jacksonville defense and showed why he is a top contender for MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. Big plays by McCaffrey allowed Panthers backup quarterback Kyle Allen to reach 4-0 as a starter with Carolina, improving to 3-2 on the season.

  • The Panthers took the opening drive down the field with some superb play calling by Norv Turner using Curtis Samuel (3-19 receiving, 2-25 rushing), D.J. Moore, and McCaffrey. To end the drive, McCaffrey had a highlight-reel run, flying over a tackler and flipping into the end zone for the score. Minshew responded right away with two passes to D.J. Chark, including a 37-yard touchdown. The Panthers really struggled to cover Chark without Donte Jackson, and Chark is playing like a legit No. 1 receiver for Jacksonville.

    Late in the first quarter, Minshew fumbled a handoff that Eric Reid recovered at the Jaguars’ 24. A few plays later, Kyle Allen hit McCaffrey after he burned Myles Jack in man coverage for an 18-yard touchdown.

    Early in the second quarter, the Panthers’ defense came alive when Mario Addison bull rushed Andrew Norwell into Minshew to cause a fumble that was scooped by Brian Burns and returned 56 yards for a touchdown. The Jaguars got moving with Minshew connecting on passes to James O’Shaughnessy (3-57) for 35 yards and Dede Westbrook (7-82) for 30 yards. To end the drive, Minshew found Chark for an 11-yard score. Allen responded with a 52-yard pass to Moore, but Calais Campbell blocked the field goal and the Jaguars took advantage of the short field to get their own field goal and make it 21-17 Carolina at halftime.

    Early in the third quarter, McCaffrey took a run up the middle and went untouched 84 yards for a touchdown. Minshew responded with two 31-yard passes to Chark, and at the goal line, Leonard Fournette dived over the top to cut the Panthers’ lead to 28-24 still early in the third quarter.

    The Panthers put together a long fourth-quarter drive, as the Jaguars’ defense was getting shredded by McCaffrey on the ground and through the air, but the Jaguars got a stop on fourth-and-1 inside their 5-yard line to protect being down by four. Fournette took off on a 41-yard run, and that set up a field goal to cut the Panthers lead to one.

    Late in the fourth quarter, McCaffrey was hobbled and gassed, but Carolina’s ground game kept moving with rookie Reggie Bonnafon (5-80), who took off on a 59-yard touchdown run. Joey Slye missed the extra point to keep the Panthers ‘lead at seven.

    Minshew moved the ball into Carolina territory, but Brian Burns came through with a strip-sack that was recovered by Marquis Haynes. The Jaguars had one more chance starting at their own 5-yard line with 1:45 remaining. Minshew moved the ball into Carolina territory before the Panthers’ defense slammed the door for the win.

  • McCaffrey had another legendary performance with 176 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns rushing and six receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown as a receiver.

  • Allen was 17-of-30 for 181 yards and a touchdown. Moore led the Panthers in receiving with six catches for 91 yards.

  • Minshew was 26-for-44 for 374 yards with two touchdowns through the air, plus he ran for 42 yards on seven carries. Minshew was phenomenal, but his three lost fumbles proved to be the difference in the game.

  • Chark caught eight passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He was awesome for Jacksonville.

  • Fournette ran for 108 yards on 23 carries.

  • Ravens 26, Steelers 23
    By Chet Gresham – @ChetGresham

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: I find it ridiculous that Mason Rudolph had to walk off the field after his injury because the cart broke. How can that possibly happen, and why wasn’t there a backup?

  • The 1-3 Steelers hosted the 2-2 Ravens in a huge game for both AFC North teams. Baltimore had lost two in a row as its defense had hit a big slump, while the Pittsburgh finally won last week, but against an awful Bengals team. The Steelers’ defense came to play with three interceptions and five sacks, but their offense, led by third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges in the end, could not get the job done. Marlon Humphrey punched the ball out of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s grasp and recovered it in overtime, giving Justin Tucker yet another opportunity, which he capitalized on to give the Ravens a 26-23 victory to move them into first place at 3-2, for now.

    This game was filled with ups and downs, as the Ravens took an early advantage by intercepting an ill-advised Jaylen Samuels pass then turning that around for a four-yard Mark Ingram touchdown run to take a 10-0 lead. Samuels had run the Wildcat a few times last week against Cincinnati successfully, but this week was a different story, which cost Pittsburgh big.

    The Steelers struck back with a Mason Rudolph-to-JuJu Smith-Schuster 35-yard touchdown to make it 10-7, but the Ravens hit back with a Lamar Jackson-to-Marquise Brown 11-yard touchdown to make it 17-7. The good news for the Steelers at this point was that Rudolph was opening up their offense. Instead of dinking and dunking, Rudolph pushed the ball downfield, giving Pittsburgh more options. He wasn’t great by any means, but it was a step up from his play so far this season.

    The Ravens and Lamar Jackson looked like they might cruise after the Brown touchdown, but instead Jackson threw an interception on his next drive and then was sacked twice on the following drive. He was sacked again and threw another interception on his next drive, and then their next possession ended in yet another interceptions. In those four drives, Jackson was sacked three times and threw three interceptions on just four pass attempts. The Pittsburgh defense swarmed him, but Jackson has been careful with the ball to start his season, throwing just two interceptions on his first two games, but now over his last two, he’s thrown a total of five.

    Between their defense hassling Jackson, the Steelers’ offense kicked a field goal and then took Jackson’s last interception and turned it around for an 87-yard drive that ended on a James Conner 1-yard touchdown run to give them a 20-17 lead. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, toward the start of that drive, Mason Rudolph was knocked completely unconscious by an illegal hit from Earl Thomas. Rudolph was able to regain consciousness, but his body moved in ways humans aren’t supposed to after the hit.

    Rudolph’s departure brought in Devlin Hodges, who played well for an undrafted third-string quarterback, finishing off the drive for a touchdown and setting his team up for two more field goals, one off of his 20-yard scramble.

    Lamar Jackson was able to get his game back on track after that horrible run of interceptions by moving his team down the field with two minutes left, setting up a game-tying field goal by Justin Tucker.

    The Steelers won the overtime coin toss and decided to give the ball to Baltimore. Mike Tomlin believed more in his defense than his offense, which makes sense in this circumstance. It might have worked too, as the Steelers sacked Jackson and forced a three-and-out, but in the end, it was Marlon Humphrey’s great play to punch the ball out of Smith-Schuster’s grip that won the game for the Ravens.

  • Broncos 20, Chargers 13
  • The Broncos were the best 0-4 team we had seen in a long time, as they were screwed out of two potential victories with roughing-the-passer penalties on final drives. In a last-ditch effort to salvage their season, they went into San Angeles and dismantled the Chargers, leading throughout the entire afternoon.

    In addition to Denver’s roughing penalties, they’ve also had several infractions negating big Phillip Lindsay gains. The Broncos finally went an entire game without having one of Lindsay’s long runs negated, so the results were predictable: The explosive runner had a monstrous game. Lindsay rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries, which includes a 32-yard burst in the opening half to set up a score. Lindsay, who also helped in the passing game – four catches, 33 receiving yards – had a key run late in the game. Denver was faced with a third-and-14 with the Chargers threatening late. Lindsay took the ball and rushed for 13 yards. That didn’t get the first down, but it put the Broncos into field goal range. Brandon McManus’ conversion put Denver up 10, sealing the victory.

  • With the Broncos running the ball so well – Royce Freeman rushed for 61 yards on 13 attempts – Joe Flacco didn’t have to do much. Flacco attempted just 20 passes overall and nine in the second half. He made it count for the most part, though Courtland Sutton did most of the work on his 70-yard touchdown reception.

    Flacco prevailed, but made some mistakes. He was strip-sacked when his team was up 14-0, and then he tossed an interception from his own end zone. The pass was tipped, but there was no reason for Flacco to be so reckless in that situation with the Broncos nursing a lead. It didn’t end up mattering, however, as the Chargers turned the ball over several plays later.

  • Excluding Sutton, who caught four passes for 92 yards and the aforementioned touchdown, no other Bronco had more than 33 receiving yards. In fact, only three – Sutton, Lindsay, Jeff Heuerman – registered more than 10 receiving yards.

  • Even though the Broncos were well ahead throughout the afternoon, Philip Rivers wasn’t able to accumulate much garbage-time stats, which had to frustrate his fantasy owners. Rivers’ offense moved at a snail’s pace as usual, which contributed to his meager 211-yard performance.

    Rivers finished 32-of-48 for only 211 yards and two interceptions. The first pick was an overthrow, while the second occurred on a heave into the end zone following Flacco’s interception. He was nearly picked a third time, but a defender dropped the ball. Rivers spent the entire afternoon checking down because he didn’t trust his shoddy pass protection.

  • Rivers checked the ball down so often that Austin Ekeler logged a ridiculous 15 receptions for 86 yards. He led the Chargers in receiving, finishing just ahead of Mike Williams (6-74). Williams appeared to hurt his back on a failed sideline catch – he was down for a while – but he managed to remain in the game.

    Keenan Allen was third on the Chargers’ receiving list. He had a horrible game, catching four passes for only 18 receiving yards. He was guilty of a drop. Chris Harris erased him.

  • Melvin Gordon made his return to action following his holdout. His first game was a bust, as he was restricted to 31 yards on 12 carries. He was stuffed on a third-and-1 run.

  • Packers 34, Cowboys 24
  • When the Cowboys were winning their games in September, it was obvious that they weren’t being challenged very much. The quarterbacks they played in their wins were Eli Manning, Case Keenum and Josh Rosen, and two of them have been benched since. The best quarterback they battled all year was Teddy Bridgewater, so Aaron Rodgers was an obvious step up.

    It was quite apparent that the Cowboys didn’t have an answer for Rodgers, who was able to torch the Dallas defense despite not having his best receiver, Davante Adams, at his disposal. But because Rodgers was such a threat, the Cowboys couldn’t concentrate at all on Aaron Jones, who absolutely trampled them.

    Jones had a terrific afternoon, rushing for 107 yards and a whopping four touchdowns on just 19 carries, while also catching seven of his eight targets for 75 receiving yards. Jones had punishing runs all afternoon, with Dallas looking helpless to stop him. This has to be a concern for the Cowboys, whose run defense hasn’t been tested yet because they’ve mostly been ahead versus bad teams all year.

  • Rodgers, meanwhile, didn’t have a great fantasy performance because Jones plunged into the end zone on four occasions. Rodgers was far better in real life, going 22-of-34 for 238 yards. His receivers dropped a couple of his passes, so Rodgers’ numbers should have been better. He was simply unlucky as far as the touchdowns were concerned.

  • Excluding Jones, Green Bay’s receiving leader was Jimmy Graham, who hauled in three balls for 41 yards. Graham was Rodgers’ most reliable weapon not named Jones, as both Geronimo Allison (2-28) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (1-18) made mistakes. Allison dropped two passes, while Valdes-Scantling enraged Rodgers by running the wrong route on one occasion.

  • Before moving on to the Cowboys, it’s worth noting that the Packers suffered a slew of injuries. Center Corey Linsley suffered a concussion, while safety Darnell Savage also left the game. Edge rusher Za’Darius Smith exited the contest on three separate occasions. Kevin King had to leave the field twice. The silver lining is the Packers have one extra day to heal up before their Monday night battle versus Detroit.

  • The Packers entered this game with some worries about their run defense, but that wasn’t exactly tested because they had a huge lead throughout. Ezekiel Elliott rushed just 12 times, picking up 62 yards and a touchdown in the process. He also caught two passes for 29 receiving yards. Getting the ball to Elliott just 14 times – no matter what the score – is not a winning formula.

  • Paying Dak Prescott lots of money isn’t one either. Prescott finished with some pretty stats – 27-of-44, 463 yards, two touchdowns – but this was very misleading. Almost all of Prescott’s yardage came in garbage time, as Prescott was stuck on 134 yards at halftime.

    Prescott’s main problem was that he committed way too many turnovers. His first interception wasn’t his fault because it was the result of an Amari Cooper drop, but he telegraphed his next pick. His third and final interception occurred because he threw behind Michael Gallup. Though one pick wasn’t Prescott’s fault, he should have thrown two more interceptions. One possible pick was negated by a penalty, while another was dropped.

    Prescott has shown that he’s not a very good quarterback when conditions around him aren’t perfect. That’s certainly the case now with both tackles being injured. Tyron Smith was already out, while La’el Collins left the game early when he aggravated his back injury.

  • Cooper had a remarkable afternoon, and not all of that was the result of garbage time. Cooper reeled in 11 of his 14 targets for 226 yards and a touchdown, and it’s worth noting that he had 110 yards by halftime. Cooper was responsible for an interception, as mentioned earlier, but that was his only blemish on the afternoon.

    Meanwhile, Gallup looked healthy in his return from injury. He caught half of his 14 targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. Randall Cobb (3-53) failed in a revenge spot, dropping two balls.

  • Colts 19, Chiefs 13
  • If you were to tell me that Patrick Mahomes would be limited to just 10 points against a defense missing its star linebacker and both starting safeties, I would’ve had you committed to the nearest mental ward. However, that’s exactly what happened, as the Chiefs suffered a loss despite being a double-digit favorite.

    Don’t blame Mahomes, however, as he wasn’t quite himself. He suffered a foot injury in the second quarter when he was hit by friendly fire from Cameron Erving. Mahomes couldn’t move around after that, and he wasn’t nearly as accurate. The Chiefs didn’t score a single point following this injury.

    Making matters worse, Mahomes wasn’t the only Kansas City player who got hurt. Sammy Watkins left the game early when he aggravated his injury. Guard Andrew Wylie left the game as well, and his backup, Ryan Hunter, couldn’t block whatsoever. Two starting defensive linemen – Chris Jones and Xavier Williams – were also knocked out. It was a bloodbath, and yet the Chiefs nearly prevailed.

    Down 16-10 in the fourth quarter, Mahomes found Byron Pringle on a third-and-28 for a 27-yard gain. Suddenly, the Chiefs had some life with about five minutes remaining. However, a run was stuffed by Justin Houston, who screamed at the Kansas City sideline. This ended the game, as the Colts kicked a field goal on a short field to take a 19-10 lead with 2:30 left on the clock.

  • Mahomes finished 22-of-39 for 321 yards and a touchdown. It’s remarkable that Mahomes was able to still eclipse the 300-yard barrier despite playing on one leg and missing his top two receivers. Still, Mahomes is going to have to heal up for the Chiefs to reach their potential. Luckily for them, no one is going to threaten them in the division.

  • With Tyreek Hill and Watkins both out, someone named Byron Pringle led the team in receiving with six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. He had one fewer target than the team leader in that regard, Travis Kelce, who caught four of the 10 balls thrown his way for 70 yards. Kelce had an eventful evening to say the least. He was nearly responsible for two fumbles that were ruled drops, then was interfered with in the end zone, but no penalty was called. This was one of so many dubious instances of poor officiating throughout the game.

    Elsewhere in the Kansas City receiving corps, MeCole Hardman (4-79) and Demarcus Robinson (3-31) were both big-time disappointments, though they didn’t have much of a chance with Mahomes limping around for most of the night.

  • The Chiefs couldn’t really run the ball because Andy Reid forgot to. Damien Williams handled the entire workload and mustered just 23 yards on nine carries. He also caught three passes for 15 receiving yards, but dropped a touchdown. LeSean McCoy, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found, save for a fumble on a 21-yard reception. He didn’t log a single carry for some reason.

  • Indianapolis, meanwhile, certainly did not forget to run frequently. In fact, the Colts rammed the ball down Kansas City’s throat, and the Chiefs couldn’t do anything about it because of their two missing defensive linemen. Marlon Mack tallied 32 yards on 29 carries, while Jordan Wilkins (7-28) was robbed of a touchdown by a penalty that didn’t affect the play.
  • Speaking of running the ball, that’s exactly how Jacoby Brissett achieved his sole score. He went 18-of-29 for 151 yards and an interception otherwise. The pick was a bad one, as he didn’t see Tyrann Mathieu. Brissett was very efficient otherwise, though he didn’t take too many chances.

  • Indianapolis’ leading receiver was a running back, as Nyheim Hines logged four catches for 46 yards. T.Y. Hilton (4-37) saw constant double teams, which would explain his meager stat line. Deon Cain (1-7) drew a 53-yard interference flag.

  • 49ers 31, Browns 3
  • I thought there was a chance the 49ers would look ahead to next week’s battle against the Rams, but they were on a mission to make a big statement in this game. They dominated the Browns from start to finish, making the public favorite to win the Super Bowl look like an AAF team.

    The 49ers crushed the Browns in almost all aspects. Beginning with the offense, they established the rush right away when Matt Breida broke free for an 83-yard touchdown run on the 49ers’ first offensive play from scrimmage. San Francisco gave the Browns a heavy dose of Breida and Tevin Coleman throughout the night, and Cleveland had no answer for that. Breida ended up tallying 114 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries, while Coleman rumbled for 97 yards and a score on 16 attempts.

    Meanwhile, the defense put heavy pressure on Baker Mayfield, who looked very rattled at times. Nick Bosa took advantage of the Browns’ poor offensive line, sacking Mayfield twice and recording a forced fumble. Bosa was robbed of a third sack, as it was clear that Mayfield’s knees were down, yet the officials ruled that Mayfield released a pass that was eventually called intentional grounding.

    The one area in which the 49ers didn’t dominate was special teams, as their holding issues caused Robbie Gould to miss a field goal and get another kick blocked. However, the 49ers recovered a muffed punt for good measure midway through the fourth quarter, nullifying one final possession for Mayfield.

  • There were two dark clouds over the 49ers’ blowout victory. One was the injury to fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who left the game in the second half with a knee. Juszczyk is very instrumental in San Francisco’s rushing attack, so the team won’t be as potent without him.

    The second worry for San Francisco is Jimmy Garoppolo, who had a very middling performance. Garoppolo made some nice throws and finished with quality stats – 20-of-29, 181 yards, two touchdowns – but he was inaccurate at times because he threw the ball off his back foot on several occasions. Garoppolo is the one main question mark on the 49ers, but if he improves, San Francisco will have a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl.

  • Garoppolo was robbed of a third score when Dante Pettis dropped a potential touchdown. Pettis was a huge disappointment, catching only one of his three targets for 11 yards. He trailed 49er wideouts Marquise Goodwin (3-41) and Kendrick Bourne (2-24). Of course, George Kittle led the team in receiving yardage with six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.

  • Pettis was far from the only disappointing receiver to play this game. Odell Beckham began the game by completing a 20-yard pass to Jarvis Landry, but he did nothing as a pass-catcher, logging just two receptions for 27 yards, all while dropping a ball in the process. The 49ers smothered him and made sure he wouldn’t do anything, and Mayfield had no answers when targeting anyone else besides Landry (4-75). Antonio Callaway (0 catches) was guilty of one of Mayfield’s interceptions because he tipped up the ball near the goal line, which floated into the arms of a San Francisco defender.

  • Mayfield finished with two interceptions and a lost fumble. The first pick was the result of an underthrow. Mayfield was atrocious overall, failing to complete half of his passes. He went 8-of-22 for 100 yards and the three turnovers. His accuracy was abysmal, and he was flustered by San Francisco’s heavy pressure. He finished with negative fantasy points in some leagues, and a friend of mine even lost his fantasy matchup solely because Mayfield gave him negative points.

  • Given that the Browns were trailing throughout, Cleveland didn’t get a chance to establish Nick Chubb. The dynamic back still gained 87 yards on 16 carries, thanks to a 37-yard burst in meaningful action.

  • For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.

    Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

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    2014 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 24
    2014 NFL Week 9 Recap - Oct. 31
    2014 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 6
    2014 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 13
    2014 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 20
    2014 NFL Week 13 Recap - Nov. 27
    2014 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 5
    2014 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 12
    2014 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 19
    2014 NFL Week 17 Recap - Dec. 29
    2014 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 4
    2014 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 11
    2014 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 18
    Super Bowl XLIX Live Blog - Feb. 1
    Super Bowl XLIX Recap - Feb. 2

    2013: Live 2013 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2013 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
    2013 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 17
    2013 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 24
    2013 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 1
    2013 NFL Week 5 Recap - Oct. 8
    2013 NFL Week 6 Recap - Oct. 15
    2013 NFL Week 7 Recap - Oct. 22
    2013 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 29
    2013 NFL Week 9 Recap - Nov. 4
    2013 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 11
    2013 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 18
    2013 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 25
    2013 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 2
    2013 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 9
    2013 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 16
    2013 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 23
    2013 NFL Week 17 Recap - Dec. 30
    2013 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 6
    2013 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 13
    2013 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 20
    Super Bowl XLVIII Recap - Feb. 3
    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Blog - Feb. 2

    2012: Live 2012 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2012 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
    2012 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 17
    2012 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 24
    2012 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 1
    2012 NFL Week 5 Recap - Oct. 8
    2012 NFL Week 6 Recap - Oct. 15
    2012 NFL Week 7 Recap - Oct. 22
    2012 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 29
    2012 NFL Week 9 Recap - Nov. 5
    2012 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 12
    2012 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 19
    2012 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 26
    2012 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 3
    2012 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 10
    2012 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 17
    2012 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 24
    2012 NFL Week 17 Recap - Dec. 31
    2012 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 7
    2012 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 14
    2012 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 21
    Super Bowl XLVII Recap - Feb. 4
    Super Bowl XLVII Live Blog - Feb. 4

    2011: Live 2011 NFL Draft Blog - April 28
    2011 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 12
    2011 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 19
    2011 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 26
    2011 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 3
    2011 NFL Week 5 Recap - Oct. 10
    2011 NFL Week 6 Recap - Oct. 17
    2011 NFL Week 7 Recap - Oct. 24
    2011 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 31
    2011 NFL Week 9 Recap - Nov. 7
    2011 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 14
    2011 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 21
    2011 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 28
    2011 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 5
    2011 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 12
    2011 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 19
    2011 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 26
    2011 NFL Week 17 Recap - Jan. 2
    2011 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 9
    2011 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 16
    2011 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 23
    Super Bowl XLVI Live Blog - Feb. 6

    2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
    2010 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 8
    2010 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 9
    2010 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 13
    2010 NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 20
    2010 NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 27
    2010 NFL Week 4 Review - Oct. 4
    2010 NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 11
    2010 NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 18
    2010 NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 25
    2010 NFL Week 8 Review - Nov. 1
    2010 NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 8
    2010 NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 15
    2010 NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 22
    2010 NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 29
    2010 NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 6
    2010 NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 13
    2010 NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 20
    2010 NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 27
    2010 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 3
    2010 NFL Week 18 Review - Jan. 10
    2010 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 17
    2010 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 24
    Super Bowl XLV Live Blog - Feb. 6

    2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
    2009 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 10
    2009 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 10
    2009 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 14
    2009 NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 21
    2009 NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 28
    2009 NFL Week 4 Review - Oct. 5
    2009 NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 12
    2009 NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 19
    2009 NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 26
    2009 NFL Week 8 Review - Nov. 2
    2009 NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 9
    2009 NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 16
    2009 NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 23
    2009 NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 30
    2009 NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 6
    2009 NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 13
    2009 NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 20
    2009 NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 27
    2009 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 4
    2009 NFL Week 18 Review - Jan. 11
    2009 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 18
    2009 NFL Week 20 Review - Jan. 25
    Super Bowl XLIV Live Blog - Feb. 7

    2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2008 NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 4
    NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 8
    NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 15
    NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 22
    NFL Week 4 Review - Sept. 29
    NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 6
    NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 13
    NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 20
    NFL Week 8 Review - Oct. 27
    NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 3
    NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 10
    NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 17
    NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 24
    NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 1
    NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 8
    NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 15
    NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 22
    NFL Week 17 Review - Dec. 29
    NFL Wild Card Playoffs Review - Jan. 4
    NFL Divisional Playoffs Review - Jan. 11
    NFL Championship Sunday Review - Jan. 19
    Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog