If last week was any indication with the number of upsets we witnessed, then Week 10 was chock-full of intriguing NFL takeaways that still have us reeling. From an epic Monday Night Football showing between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks to an epic goal-line stand in snowy Green Bay, this week of the NFL season may have been the most chaotic yet.
Are you finally starting to believe in the Oakland Raiders after their big-time win against the Los Angeles Chargers? Can the Chicago Bears salvage their season, still? Or do you have concerns regarding the New Orleans Saints after their shocking loss to the Atlanta Falcons? With both the Saints and Niners losing on Sunday, the door for the number one seed is as open as ever.
Wins and losses are becoming more and more crucial with each passing week as we enter the middle of November. Who will forge ahead and who will be left behind?
Without further ado, let’s dive into five NFL takeaways from the week that was.
Week 10 NFL Takeaways
5. Giving Oakland a Proper Goodbye
Nothing would make Raiders fan happier than one final successful season in Oakland before the move to Las Vegas. And, it appears that Derek Carr and company are aiming towards a playoff push — as either the division champ or a wild card. Which might sound crazy to think of, but with Kansas City hitting a major losing stride, it’s not impossible for the Raiders to catch them…and even surpass them.
Still, you can’t overlook how well this team has been playing under Jon Gruden to get to a game over .500 at 5-4 and look good doing it. Carr is playing at a high level and their defense is getting timely stops — as they did against Philip Rivers on Thursday Night Football when they picked him off to seal the game. This Oakland team still has ways to go, but they’re getting better each week.
Did Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings have their signature win of the season? Perhaps, but what’s more impressive is the complete game they played holding off a Dallas Cowboys team searching for consistency of their own. Game-planning and executing are two different things when you’re trying to stop one of the most feared running backs in Dalvin Cook, but try as they might, Dallas could not.
This Vikings team is humming along at the right time of the season and they’re starting to get noticed by a lot of people. Cousins is beating teams over .500 and can beat you a lot of different ways. They let Dallas hang around but laid the hammer when it mattered most. The sky’s the limit for a team that has yet to sniff the playoffs under Cousins.
3. In Rudolph We Trust
It’s hard to imagine that a team without Ben Roethlisberger under center would be playing winning football into the month of November, but here we are. The Pittsburgh Steelers could’ve been left for dead after facing an insane amount of adversity this season. Yet, at 5-4, they’re very much alive for a possible Wild Card berth. And it all starts and ends with Mason Rudolph.
Matching up against a very good Los Angeles Rams team, Rudolph was efficient enough in throwing for 242 yards and a touchdown to help upset the Rams at Heinz Field on Sunday. However, a high snap did get away from Rudolph leading to a Rams defensive touchdown, but the Steelers did not blink. Instead, they turned it into a gutsy performance that kept their season alive.
2. Goal-Line Stand
Something that had been missing from the Green Bay Packers to truly assert their dominance — and return to greatness — was making Lambeau Field a tough, tough place to play for opposing teams. In a game that saw MVP candidate, Christian McCaffrey, and Kyle Allen go toe-to-toe with Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones, we saw two teams exchanging blows in a snowy game that had a truly epic ending.
With the Panthers needing a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the waning moments of the game, McCaffrey needed one yard to give his team a shot. Instead, a Packers defense that had been reeling in recent weeks, stuffed McCaffrey to preserve their win. Rodgers said that Lambeau Field needed to be a tough place to play and they kept Carolina at bay when it mattered most. With just two home games remaining — and a shot at the number one seed — the path could go through Lambeau Field when it’s all said and done.
1.Undefeated No More
It took until the 10th week of the NFL season, but the San Francisco 49ers have finally suffered their first loss of the season against division rival Seattle Seahawks on a potential Game of the Year candidate on Monday Night Football. In a game where it looked like Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners would take over, possible MVP front-runner, Russell Wilson, would not let his Seahawks be denied on that night.
In a tale of two halves and back-and-forth scoring exchanges, it would take an overtime period to decide the outcome. Most teams know that you cannot give Wilson multiple drives to win a game. After throwing a red zone interception and returning it into Seattle territory, Garoppolo looked flustered and managed to do nothing with the gift.
On their final possession, Wilson escaped a San Francisco rush, marched his team down the field and Jason Myers kicked a 42-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. This game will be talked about for weeks to come and we’ve now witnessed how vulnerable this Niners team has looked. And give way to how good this Seahawks team can be down the stretch.
With the insane amount of NFL Week 10 takeaways we had, the season is sure to get even crazier as the playoff picture begins to take shape as November progresses into the final month of the season.