NFL Game Recaps: Week 6, 2021




NFL Game Recaps of previous weeks and seasons can be found via links at the bottom of the page.


Buccaneers 28, Eagles 22
  • Much was made about Tom Brady’s thumb injury from earlier in the week. That was enough for some sharp money to be placed on the Eagles. That ultimately ended up being the correct betting decision, but for the wrong reason because the thumb didn’t seem to be any sort of factor.

    Brady’s positive health was apparent right away when he went right down the field and scored a touchdown on the opening drive. Brady was nearly flawless in the first half, misfiring on just six of his 26 passes. He then failed to connect on just two attempts following halftime. He finished 34-of-42 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on what appeared to be a miscommunication.

    Brady helped establish a 28-7 lead in the third quarter, but took his foot off the gas enough for the Eagles to ruin the nights of Tampa Bay bettors. The Eagles eventually drew to within six, thanks to the new en-vogue math, but Brady prevented them from ever touching the ball again with some key connections to his receivers in the four-minute drill.

  • The Eagles lost by six, but were not competitive for most of the night. Jalen Hurts, despite what his fantasy points and the final score say, was a disaster. He began the game by skipping a pass to a receiver, then missed Zach Ertz on a third-down overthrow. He followed that up by hurling an interception on a miserable pass toward Quez Watkins. As if that wasn’t enough, Hurts overshot Kenneth Gainwell on third down and then had to see DeVonta Smith break up what could have been an easy interception for a Tampa Bay defender.

    Hurts ended up scoring three touchdowns (one passing, two touchdowns), thanks to garbage time. However, he was just 12-of-26 for 115 yards and an interception otherwise to go along with his 44 rushing yards. While Hurts runs well and works hard, his accuracy is abysmal. There haven’t been any signs of that improving thus far, but he’s still young and has time to get better.

  • The top skill-position player in this game was Antonio Brown, who caught nine passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. O.J. Howard (6-49) also scored, thriving in place of the injured Rob Gronkowski. While they performed well, Chris Godwin (5-43) and Mike Evans (2-27) disappointed those who rostered them. Evans drew an interference flag in the end zone, but that won’t count for fantasy purposes.

  • Leonard Fournette also found the end zone, doing so twice. He rushed for 81 yards on 22 carries otherwise. He also caught six passes for 46 receiving yards. The Eagles had extreme difficulty tackling him.

  • Fournette outgained Miles Sanders, which wasn’t a surprise; the Eagles once again forgot to run the ball. Sanders had just one carry at the half, but then got going in garbage time, finishing with 56 yards on nine attempts.

  • Watkins led the Eagles with 44 receiving yards on three catches. Smith (2-31) was a disappointment, as was Jalen Reagor, who caught no passes, but drew two interference flags. Ertz (4-29) didn’t do much yardage-wise, but scored a touchdown to salvage his fantasy performance.




  • Jaguars 23, Dolphins 20
  • This was an utterly dreadful, mistake-laden game that would have been bad enough had it started at the normal 1 p.m. time. Instead, we had to endure it in the early morning, which made it so much worse.

    The Dolphins appeared as though they were going to run away with a large victory during the early stages of this contest. Tua Tagovailoa was very accurate in his opening drive despite not playing since Week 2. Thanks to a trio of third-down conversions, Tagovailoa capped off the possession by hitting Jayen Waddle for a touchdown. The Jaguars, meanwhile, blew their own scoring opportunities via drops by Dan Darnold and Laviska Shenault, as well as penalties negating big plays, such as a face mask infraction nullifying a 25-yard James Robinson run.

    Jacksonville, however, got its act together eventually. Trevor Lawrence hit some big plays to take advantage of Miami’s injured cornerbacks. The Jaguars took the lead in the third quarter, but the two teams began mirroring each other’s blunders. For example, Lawrence was strip-sacked when his former Clemson teammate, Christian Wilkins, beat Jawaan Taylor. Tagovailoa was immediately picked off when he threw the ball right to cornerback Nevin Lawson. Later, the Jaguars tried an ineffective fourth-and-1 run in the red zone with Robinson that predictably failed. The Dolphins, learning nothing from this, tried a fourth-and-1 near midfield in a 20-20 tie where they gave Malcolm Brown the ball. Brown had no chance; he was stuffed immediately.

    Miami’s decision to give the ball to the worst offensive player on the roster predictably backfired, as the Jaguars were able to set up a 53-yard field goal attempt on a short field when Lawrence hit Shenault with a 9-yard dart. New kicker Matthew Wright connected to give the Jaguars their first win of the year.

  • Lawrence began slowly, but eventually took advantage of the Dolphins missing Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. He finished 25-of-41 for 319 yards, one touchdown and a lost fumble. He made a couple of bad throws, but he was victimized by numerous drops.

  • Lawrence’s sole score went to Marvin Jones, who caught seven of his 10 targets for 100 yards and a touchdown. Shenault (6-54) made a big play on the final drive, but was guilty of a couple of drops.

  • Robinson, as mentioned, failed on a fourth down, but also managed to reach the end zone. He rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He also caught three passes for 28 receiving yards. As noted earlier, Robinson had a 25-yard gain negated by a penalty.

  • The Dolphins didn’t run nearly as well as the Jaguars. Their best running back, Myles Gaskin, rushed just five times for nine yards. Brown had better numbers (5-24), but only because of one lucky run that went for 16 yards. It’s unclear why the Dolphins continue to feed the ball to Brown, considering that he wouldn’t be rostered on most NFL teams. Miami desperately needs a new offensive coordinator.

  • Tagovailoa was nearly the team’s leading rusher, scrambling thrice for 22 rushing yards. He posted solid passing numbers – 33-of-47, 329 yards, two touchdowns, one interception – but wasn’t as good as the numbers indicate. Tagovailoa looked brilliant at times, but made too many mistakes. In addition to his horrible interception, he missed some easy throws, including one third-and-2 attempt where he sailed the ball over his receiver’s head by a mile.

  • With DeVante Parker, Will Fuller and Preston Williams sidelined, Jaylen Waddle dominated the targets, catching 10 passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns. He was outgained only by Mike Gesicki (8-115).




  • Packers 24, Bears 14
  • Packer games can be predictable based on Aaron Rodgers’ demeanor. Rodgers is sometimes guilty of taking games for granted, much like he did in the opener versus the Saints this season. These sorts of contests often result in losses. Conversely, Rodgers can be very engaged in some affairs, and those usually end up in Green Bay victories.

    In this case, it was the latter, as Rodgers vigorously cheered for his defense on the sideline, and when he scored a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, he yelled to the Chicago crowd, “I still own you! I still own you!” Rodgers’ words were true, as he defeated the Bears yet again to preserve first place in the NFC North. Rodgers is now 22-5 versus the Bears.

  • Rodgers didn’t have the greatest passing yardage (195), but he misfired on just six occasions, going 17-of-23. He threw two touchdowns and ran in a third, scrambling thrice for 23 rushing yards. He had another aerial score negated by offensive pass interference in the opening half. That didn’t end up mattering, though I’m sure his fantasy owners would disagree. Rodgers had trouble generating offense to begin the game because two Chicago sacks disrupted his first couple of drives, but the offensive line performed better after that.

  • Davante Adams didn’t catch a touchdown, though he was inches away from doing so in the fourth quarter when one of his feet was barely out of bounds. Still, Adams led the team with 89 receiving yards on four catches.

    With Adams not scoring, Rodgers’ touchdowns went to Aaron Jones (4-34) and Allen Lazard (3-27). Jones rushed for 76 yards on 13 carries, while A.J. Dillon chipped in with 59 yards on 11 attempts.

  • As for the Bears, Justin Fields had a mostly positive game. He made some mistakes, including an early interception which he launched the ball deep downfield, thinking that the Packers were offside. He was correct, but the officials didn’t throw the flag for some reason. This was not Fields’ fault, but he had a similar throw in the second quarter that did not include a potential offsides. Fields should’ve been charged with another interception, but was not because the Green Bay defender was able to get just one foot inbounds. Making matters worse, Fields took a delay-of-game penalty following replay review to knock his team out of field goal range.

    Fields made a couple of other mistakes. He took some bad sacks, and he didn’t see Allen Robinson for a potential deep touchdown. However, Fields played very well at times. He made some confident, accurate strikes, but his best pass showed some tremendous touch. Fields floated a perfect pass to Robinson for a gain of 20 yards in between two defenders on the opening possession. He then drew an interference flag on a deep shot into the end zone to Marquise Goodwin.

    Fields ultimately failed to lead his team to victory when the Green Bay pressure got to him on multiple occasions during his final offensive possession. He went 16-of-27 for 174 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He endured two drops. Fields also ran more than usual, scrambling six times for 43 rushing yards. He played well considering the status of his offensive line. Chicago fans have plenty to be excited about regarding Fields’ future.

  • Robinson didn’t score a touchdown, but he was the Bears’ leading receiver, catching four passes for 53 yards. He wasn’t too far ahead of Cole Kmet (4-49) and Darnell “Mad-Eye” Mooney (5-45), who found the end zone.

  • Khalil Herbert did a great job of replacing the injured David Montgomery and Damien Williams. He rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Herbert ran hard, broke tackles and juked some defenders. He also caught a couple of passes and had a second score negated by a hold. His only blemish was a dropped pass.




  • Colts 31, Texans 3
  • The Colts ended up winning this game in a blowout, but it was a close affair for a while. They led just 10-3 at halftime, which could have been a slimmer margin had David Johnson not lost a fumble near midfield. Despite Carson Wentz connecting on two deep bombs to his receivers, Indianapolis had outgained Houston by just 16 yards by intermission.

    Everything changed in the third quarter when the Texans made a couple of mistakes. The first was a Davis Mills interception in which he didn’t see Darius Leonard. Two plays later, Wentz hit Mo Alie-Cox for a touchdown, converting on the very short field. Soon after, the Texans, now down 17-3, opted to eschew a fourth-down opportunity with two yards to go near midfield. The smart decision would’ve been to go for it, but Houston opted to punt the ball away instead. The Colts took advantage of this poor coaching, as Jonathan Taylor ripped off an 83-yard run to set up his own touchdown versus a dejected defense. Thanks to two plays, the Colts’ 10-3 advantage ballooned to a 24-3 blowout, effectively ending the game.

  • Taylor was easily the MVP of this affair. He rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries. His only blunder was a dropped pass. It’s unclear why, but Taylor had just two attempts in the opening half, but the Colts smartly went to him following intermission.

  • While Wentz hit some deep passes, he had trouble connecting on half of his attempts. He went 11-of-20 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. He made just one terrible pass, heaving the ball way behind Alie Cox in Houston territory. Wentz went mostly to T.Y. Hilton, who was making his 2021 debut. Hilton caught all four of his targets for 80 yards despite playing about just half the snaps.

  • Wentz’s touchdowns went to Parris Campbell (1-51) and Alie-Cox (1-28). Michael Pittman saw his role reduced with Hilton back on the field, as he caught just two passes for 35 yards. Campbell left early with an injury.

  • Mills, meanwhile, was not as bad as some expected him to be, but he didn’t play well either. He began the game well when he escaped the pocket on a third-and-5 and found Nico Collins for a gain of 10. There were some other positive moments, as Mills frequently advanced the ball to midfield, but those bright spots were overshadowed by the negative plays. In addition to the aforementioned interception, Mills missed Brandin Cooks for a touchdown because he tossed a helpless duck. He also should’ve thrown four interceptions rather than two. Mills was lucky there was a dropped pick in the red zone despite the pass being telegraphed. Another possible interception was negated by replay review on a fourth-down try during another trip to the red zone.

    Mills went 29-of-43 for 243 yards and two interceptions, though only one pick, which was discussed earlier, was made while the game was still in doubt. The second came on a late desperation heave. That said, this output could’ve been much worse for Mills had the other two interceptions stood. Mills does not resemble an NFL-caliber quarterback to me.

  • Cooks had his usual strong performance, catching nine of his 13 targets for 89 yards, though he would’ve caught a touchdown from a better quarterback. He was well ahead of the next receiver, Collins (4-44).

  • The Texans usually don’t run the ball well, but did so in this game. Mark Ingram rushed for 73 yards on 18 carries. Phillip Lindsay (7-39) appeared to fumble in the first half, but replay review negated it. David Johnson was also nearly guilty of a fumble, but replay review saw that the pass was incomplete.




  • Rams 38, Giants 11
  • The Giants had a glimmer of hope in this game when it was announced that Daniel Jones somehow cleared concussion protocol after taking a brutal hit versus Dallas last week. Jones was going to miss Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay, but he at least had Kadarius Toney at his disposal. Jones and Toney connected on a trio of early receptions at the very beginning of the game, as they teamed up to score three points on the opening possession. Remarkably, Toney caught those three passes on just his first six snaps.

    And then, Toney suffered an injury and left the game after playing those six snaps. The Giants, who held a 3-0 lead, were outscored 38-0 from that point forward until New York finally managed to get a touchdown in garbage time.

    While the Giants struggled following Toney’s departure, the Rams’ offense couldn’t be stopped. Matthew Stafford misfired on just six occasions, going 22-of-28 for 251 yards, four touchdowns and an interception made just prior to halftime. Los Angeles was so far ahead that Stafford had to throw the ball just six times in the second half.

  • It should be no surprise that Cooper Kupp led the Rams in receiving. He caught nine of his 12 targets for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Robert Woods and Darrell Henderson also scored. They each caught two passes for 31 and 29 yards, respectively.

  • Speaking of Henderson, he had a big performance as both a runner and receiver. He scored twice, once on the ground while rushing for 78 yards on 21 carries.

  • While Henderson dominated, Devontae Booker could never find any running room. He mustered just 41 yards on 12 carries. Making matters worse for Booker, Elijah Penny vultured a touchdown late in the game.

  • Jones, as discussed earlier, struggled after Toney left the game. He finished 29-of-51 for 242 yards and three interceptions. His first pick occurred when he didn’t see safety Taylor Rapp. The second was just a horrible pass in the 2-minute drill prior to halftime. The third was a telegraphed ball.

  • Despite Toney leaving the game in the middle of the first quarter, he finished third on the team in receiving with three catches for 36 yards. Sterling Shepard (10-76) and Dante Pettis (5-48) finished ahead of him.




  • Chiefs 31, Redskins 13
  • There’s no reason the Chiefs should have been trailing at halftime in this game. By intermission, they had outgained the Redskins by 74 yards, averaging three more yards per play. They punted just once prior to halftime, and they had entered the red zone on three occasions, compared to one visit by the Redskins. Yet, they trailed 13-10 when the teams entered the locker room.

    The Chiefs once again made sloppy mistakes to ruin things for themselves. Of the three red zone trips, two resulted in no points. One drive concluded when a pass bounced off Tyreek Hill’s hands and into the arms of a Washington defender, mirroring a turnover that happened against the Chargers in Week 3. Later, Mahomes fumbled a snap and then tried to throw the ball away to avoid a sack. Instead, the ball popped into the air, allowing the Redskins to snatch the pick. These weren’t even Kansas City’s only turnovers of the opening half; Mecole Hardman also lost a fumble around midfield.

    The Chiefs, however, were able to get their act together in the second half. They stopped making mistakes, and they were able to force the Redskins into nothing but scoreless drives. A missed Washington field goal helped, but they were able to force an interception when a defensive lineman made an inexplicable David Tyree-type catch when the ball was thrown right to him.

  • It took a while, but Mahomes was able to piece together a quality stat line. He went 32-of-47 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, though only one pick was his fault. He also scrambled thrice for 31 rushing yards.

  • Despite Hill’s horrible blunder, he managed to catch nine passes for 76 yards and a touchdown, finishing only behind Travis Kelce’s eight grabs for 99 yards. Hill missed a couple of drives in the middle of the game when he aggravated his quad injury, but he returned to action eventually. He also fell down on the opening possession, which nearly resulted in another Mahomes interception. Kelce hurt his arm in the fourth quarter because of some friendly fire, but he didn’t miss many snaps. Mahomes’ other touchdown went to Demarcus Robinson (3-46).

  • Darrel Williams also found the end zone, getting there twice in his first start this year. Williams tallied 62 yards and the two scores on 21 carries.

  • Williams outgained both Redskin running backs, as Antonio Gibson was taken out of the game because of the second-half deficit. Gibson mustered just 44 yards on 10 carries, losing a fumble in the process. Like Kelce, he got hurt in this game, but managed to remain on the field after missing some snaps. However, he was outgained by J.D. McKissic (8-45), who caught eight passes for 65 receiving yards. Gibson, conversely, dropped a pass. He was standing on the sideline without his helmet throughout the fourth quarter.

  • McKissic led the Redskins in receiving, barely edging out Ricky Seals-Jones (4-58), who caught the team’s only touchdown. Terry McLaurin struggled, hauling in just four balls for 28 yards.

  • Taylor Heinicke simply was not good enough to keep pace with the Chiefs in what had to be a shootout, even with the Kansas City players making several mistakes. Heinicke went 24-of-39 for only 182 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He could have thrown a couple of other picks, as his ineffective rainbows were off the mark. This was an easy matchup, yet he just couldn’t deliver. It’s clear by now that Heinicke can’t be a starter in the NFL. Luckily for the Redskins, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be back soon.




  • Vikings 34, Panthers 28
  • Given how many mistakes the Panthers made in this game, they should’ve never been in a position to win. They dropped countless passes in this contest, and Sam Darnold didn’t exactly help matters when he threw an interception in the early stages of this contest as a result of panicking in the pocket and heaving a horrible pass. After D.J. Moore lost a fumble near midfield, all hope seemed lost for the Panthers, who trailed 28-17 in the fourth quarter.

    Even after a field goal to trim the deficit to eight, the Panthers didn’t have much hope. They had a fourth-and-10 on their own 4-yard line with less than two minutes and a single timeout remaining. They were stuck in this fourth down because of drops on three consecutive plays to begin the possession, yet Darnold hurled a miraculous 41-yard pass to Ian Thomas. Following yet another drop, this time by Moore, Darnold went back to Moore on a fourth-and-6, and the receiver came up with a terrific over-the-shoulder catch. Robby Anderson was also able to redeem himself following a drop earlier on the possession by scoring a touchdown. With a shovel pass to Tommy Tremble, the Panthers were successful on the two-point conversion, tying the game at 28.

    The Vikings wanted to eschew overtime, and Kirk Cousins made his best effort when he avoided a sure Brian Burns sack to put his team in field goal range. However, Greg Joseph whiffed from 47 to force the extra session.

    With both defenses gassed, it seemed as though the winner of the coin toss would prevail, and that was Minnesota. Sure enough, the Vikings moved the chains down the field via Dalvin Cook runs before Cousins threw the decisive score to K.J. Osborn.

  • Cousins went 33-of-48 for 373 yards and three touchdowns. He was terrific for the most part, though he missed Justin Jefferson for a deep touchdown in the opening half.

  • Jefferson’s fantasy owners will be fretting the missed touchdown because their receiver caught eight passes for 80 scoreless yards. They watched as Adam Thielen (11-126) and Osborn (6-78) reeled in touchdowns. Jefferson was also guilty of an early fumble that set up a Carolina touchdown.

  • Cook was a monster. He was huge in overtime, just as he was throughout the entire afternoon. He rumbled for 140 yards and a touchdown on 29 attempts.

  • As for the Panthers, their stats weren’t nearly as pretty. Darnold was nowhere near close to completing half of his passes, going 17-of-41 for 207 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Don’t blame him entirely for that poor completion percentage; he endured so many drops. Here’s the full breakdown:

    Moore dropped a pass in the beginning of the second quarter. Anderson then committed a drop on a deep pass. Anderson followed that up with two more drops with both being on third down. One occurred in the red zone. Chuba Hubbard then dropped a pass in the flat. All of these drops occurred in the second quarter alone!

    Sadly, that was not it. There were four drops on the final offensive drive. Moore saw the ball slip through his hands on a deep route. Hubbard and Anderson followed that up with drops on short tosses. Moore followed that up with yet another one.

    Darnold still deserves some blame – his interception was terrible, and he lost a fumble on a strip-sack – but he can’t be criticized all that much because he endured nine drops. Besides, he was at least able to give his team a chance to win with his brilliant final offensive drive. Still, it’s worth noting that Darnold was 8-of-23 for 94 yards after the third quarter. He also was guilty of two delay-of-game penalties, with one occurring because he tried to call two timeouts in a row, which is not allowed.

  • Moore and Anderson had many drops, though Moore still had a respectable stat line; he caught five passes for 73 yards, but lost a fumble and dropped three balls. He also drew a defensive holding penalty. Anderson, conversely, snatched just three of his 11 targets for 11 yards because of four drops, though he made up for it with a touchdown and an earlier drawn pass interference flag.

  • Chuba Hubbard also found the end zone, gaining 61 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. He caught just one pass, thanks to his two drops.




  • Ravens 34, Chargers 6
  • This was billed as one of the top matchups of the week, as a pair of 4-1 teams were set to battle each other in a game that could determine seeding in the AFC playoff race. Many were betting on the Chargers because of their shootout victory over the Browns last week, but Baltimore came away with a victory in a game that was completely lopsided.

    The biggest problem for the Chargers in this affair was that they couldn’t stop the run. This has been a problem that has plagued them all season, but it was especially apparent in this contest because the Ravens have nothing but decrepit players at running back. Despite this, the underwhelming trio of Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and Le’Veon Bell combined for 115 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Freeman, who has been a shell of his former self for several seasons now, led the way with 53 yards and a score on nine attempts.

    The 115 rushing yards, by the way, didn’t even account for Lamar Jackson’s runs. Jackson scrambled eight times for 51 rushing yards. Jackson didn’t quite have the passing performance he generated Monday night because the Ravens didn’t need it from him. Leading by double digits for almost the entire afternoon, Jackson attempted just 27 passes, including 12 after halftime. Jackson, who barely saw any pressure throughout the afternoon, went 19-of-27 for 167 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions, only one of which was his fault; it occurred because he didn’t see the linebacker. Jackson’s second interception occurred when Rashod Bateman (4-29) had a ball bounce off his chest and into the arms of a San Angeles defender. Jackson nearly had a second score, but a ball bounced off Marquise Brown’s fingertips.

  • While the Ravens had plenty of success moving the chains, the Chargers had major problems generating any sort of offense. They scored just one touchdown, and that came on a short field following the aforementioned Jackson interception.

    Justin Herbert simply had a miserable performance. He had issues with the blitz, which carried over from his second-half struggles versus the Raiders in Week 4. His receivers didn’t help him with some drops. Herbert went 22-of-39 for only 195 yards and an interception, which was the result of him failing to fit the ball through a tight window. He nearly threw a second pick, but Keenan Allen had to commit offensive pass interference, dragging down cornerback Anthony Averett to prevent the pick.

  • Herbert barely had any time in the pocket, which is one of the reasons why Mike Williams caught just two passes for 27 yards. Of course, it didn’t help that Williams was limited by his injury and also dropped a pass on third down. Allen (5-50) led the team in receiving. Herbert’s sole touchdown went to Jared Cook (4-25), who was guilty of a drop as well.

  • The other problem for the Chargers was their inability to establish the run. The Ravens have a terrific ground defense, which clamped down on Austin Ekeler, limiting him to just seven yards on six carries. Luckily for his PPR owners, he caught four passes for 48 receiving yards.

  • The top fantasy player in this game was Mark Andrews, who caught five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Brown, conversely, hauled in four balls for just 35 yards. As noted earlier, he missed out on a touchdown because of a drop.




  • Bengals 34, Lions 11
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: Dan Campbell called out Jared Goff after the game, which may not be totally fair. Outside of T.J. Hockenson, who is Goff supposed to throw to downfield? Then again, maybe there’s something to be said of a quarterback who throws the ball away on fourth down.

  • Both teams had reason to be pleased after this game even though the Bengals dominated the Lions. With the Jaguars winning in London, Detroit is in pole position to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Cincinnati, for its part, gets back into the win column to keep pace in the AFC playoff race.

  • The Bengals’ opening drive moved into Detroit territory with a key conversion to Tee Higgins (3-34) and some runs by Joe Mixon. To cap the drive, Joe Burrow found Chris Evans wide open for a 22-yard touchdown. Late in the first quarter, Burrow threw too high for Ja’Marr Chase, and the tipped pass was snatched by Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye. Amon-Ra St. Brown, however, was stripped of a catch, which turned into a Bengals interception by Logan Wilson.

    The offenses were struggling overall, but just before halftime, Burrow connected with Chase for a chunk gain to grab a field goal that gave Cincinnati a 10-0 lead at the half. The Lions had some potential big plays in the first half, but Jared Goff threw some passes off the mark and didn’t see some wide open receivers.

    Early in the third quarter, the Bengals went for a fourth-and-1 and hit a backdoor screen pass to Mixon. Some great blocks by Chase allowed Mixon to get the final yards needed for a 40-yard touchdown. Burrow later hit Chase for a 53-yard reception, and that set up a short touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah. The Bengals pulled their starters midway through the fourth quarter.

  • Burrow completed 19-of-29 passes for 271 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

  • Mixon ran for 94 yards on 18 carries and caught five passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.

  • Chase had four receptions for 97 yards.

  • Goff completed 28-of-42 passes for 202 yards and an interception.

  • D’Andre Swift ran for 24 yards and a touchdown over 13 carries, and he also caught five passes for 43 receiving yards.

  • T.J. Hockenson logged eight catches for 74 yards.




  • Raiders 34, Broncos 24
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: It was unclear to me how the Raiders would respond in the wake of Jon Gruden’s firing. It’s easy to see that in hindsight, but it was clear early in the game that they were playing hard for their former head coach.

  • The Raiders were playing their first game without head coach Jon Gruden after the NFL league office forced him out, and the Las Vegas team played inspired football. The NFL league office put on display their corruption with Gruden’s firing, but the good coaching staff that Gruden put together guided the Raiders to their fourth win of the season and a huge road victory over a division rival to help the Raiders improve their playoff positioning. Las Vegas offensive coordinator Greg Olson called a fabulous game, and Derek Carr was lethal. Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley dialed up the pressure on Teddy Bridgewater and forced him into a plethora of turnovers. It was a fabulous debut for interim head coach Rich Bisaccia.

  • The Raiders’ opening drive was was superb, with Carr tossing a 48-yard touchdown to Henry Ruggs, who burned Ronald Darby. Denver responded with its first opening-drive touchdown since December of 2019, a span of 25 games. Bridgewater found Tim Patrick (3-42-1) from 25 yards out. Carr responded with a 25-yard pass to Hunter Renfrow that put Las Vegas in position for a long field goal and 10-7 lead.

    At the end of the first quarter, the Broncos went for a fourth-and-1 and the pass was picked off by Brandon Facyson. While the Raiders took over at midfield, Carlson missed a field goal to bail out the Broncos. In the final minute of the first half, Carr led a five-play, 82-yard drive in less than 30 seconds that ended with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Kenyan Drake. That gave the Raiders a 17-7 lead at the half.

    Early in the third quarter, Josh Jacobs took a screen pass for 29 yards. Kenyan Drake (4-34-1) then finished that drive by darting up the middle of the Denver defense for an 18-yard touchdown. The Broncos got moving with a 30-yard run from Javonte Williams, but the drive stalled, and they settled for a field goal to cut the Raiders’ lead to 24-10. After getting the ball back, Bridgewater scrambled and Solomon Thomas punched the ball out from behind. The Raiders recovered the fumble just across midfield. While under heavy pressure, Carr threw a pass off his back foot, and Ruggs made a phenomenal falling catch for a 40-yard gain. A couple of plays later, Jacobs ran up the middle for a short touchdown and a 31-10 lead.

    Early in the fourth quarter, Denver moved down the field with big completions to Noah Fant and Kendall Hinton. To end the drive, Courtland Sutton pushed through a few tacklers to get a 14-yard touchdown. Carr came up clutch again on a third-down conversion, lofting in a beauty to Bryan Edwards that hit him in stride for a 51-yard reception. The drive stalled, but Carlson hit a field goal to make it 34-17.

    The Raiders put the game out of reach midway through the fourth quarter when Trevon Moehrig snagged his first NFL interception and returned it across midfield. It was a terrible pass by Bridgewater as he had a clean pocket and didn’t needs to throw the ball. In garbage time, Bridgewater threw a touchdown pass to Noah Fant, and Denver recovered an onside kick. Johnathan Abram soon intercepted Bridgewater to clinch the victory for Las Vegas.

  • Carr was 18-of-27 for 341 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Jacobs had 16 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown plus made one catch for 29 yards.

  • Ruggs led the Raiders with three receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Darren Waller caught five passes for 59 yards.

  • Bridgewater completed 35-of-49 passes for 334 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He also lost a fumble. Maxx Crosby was a monster, harassing Bridgewater all game. Crosby totaled three sacks, six tackles and a tackle for a loss.

  • Javonte Williams (11-53) and Melvin Gordon (10-50) ran well at times.

  • Fant (9-97-1) and Sutton (8-94-1) played well for Denver.




  • Cardinals 37, Browns 14
  • Earlier in the week, it seemed as though the Cardinals were in worse shape than the Browns. Rodney Hudson and Chandler Jones were ruled out; Kyler Murray was noted as having a shoulder injury in practice; and Kliff Kingsbury would miss this game with a minor illness. Sharp money came in on Cleveland, driving the spread from -2.5 to -3.5.

    Things changed as kickoff approached, however. Murray was fine; the Cardinals had some cornerbacks returning from injury; and the Browns were the ones with major injuries. The Browns entered this game missing both of their tackles, and their offense was pitiful as a result. They had no chance of blocking J.J. Watt and the rest of the Arizona front, as the Cardinals dominated this game from start to finish.

  • Murray’s noted injury seemed like nothing more than a myth, as he was terrific versus a tough Cleveland defense. Murray saw some pressure, but was able to avoid it with his mobility. He only scrambled for six yards on seven attempts, but his legs were crucial in this game as far as his ability to move around the pocket was concerned. Also, it’s worth noting that he had a rushing touchdown negated by a hold.

    Murray ended up throwing a touchdown on the same drive his running score was negated, so it didn’t end up being consequential. Murray torched Cleveland’s secondary with ease, going 20-of-30 for 229 yards and four touchdowns in windy conditions. The only problem for Murray in this game was some botched snaps by the backup center. There were three snaps that went awry, so that’ll need to be cleaned up because Hudson is on injured reserve.

  • DeAndre Hopkins bounced back from some dud fantasy performances, catching three balls for 55 yards and two touchdowns. He also drew an interference flag. A.J. Green (5-79) and Christian Kirk (5-75) caught passes in the end zone as well.

  • The Cardinals had some nice runs versus the Browns, including Chase Edmonds’ 40-yard scamper. Edmonds ran just four times for 46 yards, while James Conner tallied 71 yards on 16 attempts.

  • Anyone would’ve bet that Kareem Hunt would have led the game in rushing yards, thanks to Nick Chubb’s absence. However, that was not the case. Hunt was limited to 66 yards on 14 carries, as Watt and company smothered him at the line of scrimmage. Making matters worse for Hunt, he suffered a non-contact leg injury late in the game and was carted into the locker room.

  • With the running game not working very well, Baker Mayfield never had a chance behind his injury-ravaged offensive line. Mayfield took five sacks, which is not a number that’s indicative of how much pressure he faced. On one of the sacks, which resulted in a lost fumble, Mayfield hurt his shoulder and had to enter the blue tent. He returned to action, but it’s not clear if he was healthy.

    Mayfield finished 19-of-28 for 234 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, which was a horrible pass behind his target. He also lost two fumbles. Mayfield is someone who draws lots of criticism from the media and public, but it’s hard to blame him, given the offensive line woes.

  • The lone bright spot in Cleveland’s offense was Donovan Peoples-Jones, who caught four passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Odell Beckham Jr., who caught five passes for 79 yards, got hurt in this game, but was able to return to action. However, he dropped a pass on fourth down when the Browns were down two scores in the second half.




  • Cowboys 35, Patriots 29
  • The Cowboys prevailed in overtime, but for the longest time, it seemed as though the Patriots would win this game. They were up 14-10 at halftime, and that lead was 21-20 in the final few minutes when Dallas began driving down the field. A hold moved the Cowboys out of field goal range, but Dak Prescott scrambled one yard shy of the first down. Greg Zuerlein attempted a 51-yard field goal, which was missed.

    All the Patriots had to do was run out the clock, but Mac Jones threw the ball on second down despite Bill Belichick being overly conservative in this game. The ball bounced off a receiver’s hands and into the arms of Trevon Diggs, who scored on a pick-six. Dallas went up five as a result.

    Just when all hope seemed lost, Jones bounced back on the very first play on the ensuing drive when he delivered a dime to Kendrick Bourne, who made a double move on Diggs. With a two-point conversion, the Patriots took a 29-26 lead.

    The Cowboys appeared to have a chance to tie, but a personal foul infraction put Dallas into a third-and-25. However, the Patriots inexplicably permitted the Cowboys to pick up 24 yards, allowing them to hit a 49-yard kick to send the game to overtime. The Patriots won the coin toss, but a conservative second-down run ruined the opening drive. The Cowboys retained possession and moved close to field goal range. Prescott didn’t want to settle for the kick, however, hitting CeeDee Lamb for a 35-yard touchdown to win the game, shattering the hearts of Patriot fans and the bank accounts of those who bet on the home underdog.

  • Prescott was brilliant in this bad-beat game, going 36-of-51 for 445 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, which occurred on an early throw that resulted in a deflection tossed into the end zone. He also lost a fumble while trying to sneak into the end zone in the second quarter. Prescott was terrific otherwise, as he may have moved himself into second in the MVP race behind Kyler Murray.

  • Lamb was a monster, snatching nine of his 11 targets for 149 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score. He outgained Amari Cooper by a mile; Cooper hauled in five balls for 55 yards. Dalton Schultz (5-79) finished in between, though his owners had to be frustrated when Blake Jarwin vultured a touchdown, snatching the score on a 1-yard reception, his only catch of the evening.

  • It was a rough contest for Ezekiel Elliott, who mustered only 69 yards on 17 carries. The Patriots’ run defense set the tone early, stuffing Elliott on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 on the opening drive. Elliott, however, helped his PPR owners with seven catches for 50 receiving yards.

  • The Patriots had more success moving the chains on the ground. Damien Harris dashed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, while Rhamondre Stevenson gained 23 yards and a late score on five attempts. Stevenson blew a blitz pick-up, but caught three passes for 39 receiving yards.

  • Jones was very accurate in this game, going 15-of-21 for 229 yards, two touchdowns and the aforementioned interception. He didn’t misfire in the opening half, and one of his six missed connections was a Nelson Agholor drop. Jones is just a rookie, but the Patriots need to trust him more. New England had 90 seconds remaining prior to halftime, but didn’t even try to muster any offense. Later in the game, Jones wanted to make an adjustment, but the Patriots wasted a timeout because they didn’t trust Jones. New England went on to kneel at the very end of regulation when it had 25 seconds and a timeout. It’s difficult to criticize Belichick because he’s the greatest coach in NFL history, but he was way too conservative in this game.

  • Bourne was the Patriots’ leading receiver, though his 75-yard touchdown was his only catch. Jakobi Meyers (5-44) appeared to score his first career touchdown to put the Patriots up 21-7, but a penalty negated the score. Meyers ended up with five catches for 44 yards, though he ironically found the end zone, but only for a two-point conversion.




  • Steelers 23, Seahawks 20
  • The Seahawks looked like they were going to get blown out of the water. They had nothing going on during the opening half. They were losing 14-0 at intermission, as they produced just 65 net yards of offense compared to 177 for the Steelers. Pittsburgh was in complete control of this game.

    However, Seattle made some amazing adjustments at halftime. The team began blasting open huge running lanes for Alex Collins. The Irish dancing running back mustered just 19 yards in the opening half, but eventually bulldozed his way for 101 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. His excellent rushing ability opened up easier throws for Geno Smith. Before the Steelers knew it, the Seahawks tied the game at 17, and then once again at 20 when the two teams exchanged field goals near the end of regulation.

    The Seahawks won the opening coin toss in overtime, but it didn’t matter because T.J. Watt made it known that he was the best player on the field. Seattle drove to near midfield, but Watt sacked Smith on third-and-4. Following a Steelers punt, Watt got to Smith again, strip-sacking him this time. Devin Bush recovered the loose ball, setting up Chris Boswell’s decisive 37-yard field goal.

  • Watt had to save the day because the Steelers were generating nothing offensively in overtime. They managed to score just six points in the opening half, thanks to their porous offensive line. Ben Roethlisberger barely had any time to throw, which is why he generated only 229 yards on 40 pass attempts. He completed 29 of them and threw a touchdown, but he was dinking and dunking most of the evening. He lost a fumble on a play that resembled the Tuck Rule, and he also should’ve thrown an interception in the fourth quarter, but Jamal Adams dropped a pass that would have won the game for the Seahawks.

  • Najee Harris had issues finding running lanes as well. Harris mustered just 81 yards on 24 carries. He did his best work as a receiver out of the backfield, catching six of his seven targets for 46 receiving yards and a touchdown.

  • Harris was outgained by just two Steelers: Diontae Johnson (9-71) and rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth (7-58). The latter caught all of his targets, while Johnson dropped a pass, though that reportedly was his first drop of the season. Conversely, Chase Claypool struggled with just two catches on seven targets for 17 yards. He was flagged for offensive pass interference.

  • Going back to the Seahawks, Smith did a fine job of managing the game in the second half, but ultimately cost his team with the lost fumble. He went 23-of-32 for 209 yards and a touchdown. He faced enormous pressure for most of the evening, though not as much when Collins began dominating.

  • D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett predictably saw diminished receiving totals because of Russell Wilson’s absence. Metcalf did fine, catching six balls for 58 yards, while Lockett secured just two receptions for 35 yards.


  • Titans 34, Bills 31
  • Sean McDermott will be heavily criticized for the decision he made at the end of this game. Down 34-31, his team was stuck in a fourth-and-inches situation on the Tennessee 3-yard line with 22 seconds remaining. When McDermott put his offense on the field, I believed he was trying to get Josh Allen to draw the Tennessee defense offside. It would ultimately fail, resulting in a kick to send the game to overtime. Instead, Allen took the snap and tried to sneak for the first down. The sneak inexplicably failed, giving the Titans the victory.

    McDermott’s plan didn’t work, but I didn’t mind it. It was effectively like going for two in a tie game. McDermott was going for the win, and given how well Tennessee was moving the chains in the second half, he likely would’ve lost in overtime had the Titans won the coin toss. He was taking matters into his own hands. His own hands failed him, but the gutsy call should be admired because many NFL coaches are too conservative.

  • Allen’s failed sneak spoiled what was a spectacular night. He threw the ball 47 times, yet misfired on just 12 occasions. He made a couple of mistakes – he didn’t see an open Emmanuel Sanders for a touchdown, and he had a potential interception that was dropped – but he played well enough for his team to win, or rather come within an inch of a victory.

    Allen finished 35-of-47 for 353 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The pick wasn’t really his fault, as he released the ball while his arm was being hit. Allen had a dream matchup versus an inept and injury-ravaged secondary, and Allen’s fantasy owners were able to benefit from his performance.

  • Allen’s three scores went to Stefon Diggs (9-89), Cole Beasley (7-88) and someone named Tommy Sweeney (1-1), who won a sextet of DraftKings players $200,000. Sanders didn’t reach the end zone, but he should have. He caught five passes for a team-leading 91 yards.

  • Devin Singletary and Zack Moss split touches exactly evenly, with both getting 10. Singletary rushed for 25 yards on five carries and caught a quintet of passes for 16 receiving yards. Moss did more work on the ground, rushing for 24 yards on eight tries.

  • Derrick Henry, as expected, was the best non-quarterback fantasy producer on the field. He blew by Buffalo’s entire defense in the opening half for a 76-yard touchdown. That set the tone for his 143-yard, three-touchdown evening. He reached these numbers on just 20 carries. He also caught two passes for 13 receiving yards.

  • Ryan Tannehill had a shaky start to the evening, going 4-of-12 in the first half, which included an ugly interception where he confused man and zone coverage. However, he was on fire following intermission, leading numerous scoring drives. He finished 18-of-29 for 216 yards, one rushing touchdown and the pick. He was guilty of just three incompletions in the second half.

  • One reason why Tannehill struggled to start the game was that A.J. Brown didn’t log a single catch in the first half. Brown was feeling sick before the game, and it showed, as he had a towel around his head on the sidelines. However, he was a monster following halftime. He ended up with seven catches for 91 yards. Julio Jones (3-59) was the only other Titan with more than 27 receiving yards. It’s worth noting that Jones made a phenomenal catch in this game, snatching a pass that bounced off Micah Hyde’s head while tapping both feet inbounds and falling out of play.

  • The dark cloud over Tennessee’s upset victory was that several players suffered injuries, including Caleb Farley and Taylor Lewan. Farley was carted off the field with a knee injury, while Lewan was strapped to a backboard in what was a horrifying sight.


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



    Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23


    2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21


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