From Beginning To End
I can’t remember a time in recent memory of what was a good matchup on paper, ending up being a complete beat down as a result. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were trending in the right direction and I was looking forward to seeing them make a case to be the favorites to win the NFC South. That didn’t happen as the New Orleans Saints punched them in the face, figuratively, from start to finish. They scored 38 unanswered points and allowed a field goal late to the Bucs. This was a statement game from New Orleans and they proved why they are and will be the favorites in the NFC South going forward. I just couldn’t turn away knowing what I was seeing. It was quite a sight to see.
Tua vs. Kyler
This was the most intriguing matchup of the week. Miami with their rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa going up against Arizona with an up and coming star in QB Kyler Murray. Neither disappointed in their performances. Aside from Murray’s fumble that resulted in a defensive touchdown for Miami, he was sensational. Throwing for 283 yards and 3 touchdowns, while rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown. Tua on the other side had 248 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. He did rush for 35 yards, but was selective and didn’t try to overdue it. That’s not to say Murray wasn’t selective in his rushing attempts. He’s just that good. Miami ended up winning, but Arizona shouldn’t be seen as a slouch. They are a playoff contender with Murray doing what he did. Tua is a good quarterback and could be a great one. Time will tell, but right now the Dolphins could be a playoff team in the end.
There Is A Flaw
Normally when a team as talented as the Kansas City Chiefs rushes the ball only 11 times, it will result in a loss. That didn’t happen against the Carolina Panthers, but it was close. It was almost as if the Chiefs just gave up running the ball, but that wasn’t the case. Carolina figured out how to shut it down. Any good defense will figure out how to expose an opponents weakness. For Kansas City their biggest weakness on offense is their running game. If they can’t get a consistent rush going, it means that Patrick Mahomes will need to be perfect, which he was with 4 touchdown passes and 372 yards passing. However, what I saw was no balance in a close game for the most part. Carolina’s largest lead was 14-3 and Kansas City’s was 26-17. Time of possession was overwhelmingly in the Panthers favor by 16 minutes. That’s a bad recipe for a team that needs to keep their defense fresh for better opponents on the near future.