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NFL winners and losers: Chiefs look small in slender win over Giants

Monday Night time Soccer replace

In case you didn’t have a grip on how the mighty have fallen, Monday Night time Soccer had you lined. The Chiefs, perennial AFC powerhouses, are actually struggling to beat the New York Giants, a group that entered Week 8 with a 2-5 file and never a lot to indicate for it.

This isn’t imagined to occur, not for Kansas Metropolis, and it actually underscores how misplaced this group is. I don’t care that their file is now 4-4, that they may simply make a run and discover their manner into the playoffs — it simply looks like a lackluster, middling season from a group that ought to be reaching a lot extra.

The Chiefs’ greatest problem, because it has been as season, is protection. It’s a testomony to how good their offense is that this group can in some way nonetheless compete in any respect whereas giving up 27.5 factors per recreation (twenty fourth within the league), 269.8 yards by way of the air (twenty fourth) and 121.8 yards on the bottom (twenty first). There is no such thing as a defensive space this group is aggressive in, but their hold hanging round.

That was an unsightly, dangerous recreation on Monday. Kansas Metropolis was bailed out by errors from New York, and nonetheless solely received by three. I’ve no religion on this group.

THE COWBOYS DIDN’T HAVE DAK PRESCOTT! I’m opening at the moment with main emphasis, as a result of this entire scenario deserves it. Now, when you assume meaning I’m about to extol the virtues of Dallas, a group that firmly seems in command of the NFC, nicely you’re solely partially appropriate.

There is no such thing as a doubt that the Cowboys are actually, actually good — that goes with out saying. You’ll be able to’t stroll right into a primetime recreation, with out your franchise QB, and nonetheless win, all whereas shutting down a top-tier offense with out the power to go all the best way. I’ve mentioned simply how good Dallas is earlier than, so think about {that a} win, and we’ll transfer on.

The actual story of Sunday Night time Soccer is the hapless Vikings, who simply can’t get out of their very own manner — and haven’t been in a position to for years now. The difficulty is there appears to be completely no accountability from the Minnesota entrance workplace to try to appropriate these points, and whilst somebody with no canine in that battle, it’s maddening.

Once you look on paper the Vikings have one of the vital gifted rosters prime to backside within the NFL. Kirk Cousins is oft maligned, and that i’ll admit he’s not my favourite quarterback, however he’s ok to win video games. The offense additionally has the most effective operating backs within the NFL in Dalvin Prepare dinner, and two of one of the best beginning receivers with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. On the opposite facet of the ball we’ve a protection that’s recorded 22 sacks this season, making Minnesota one of many prime cross speeding groups within the NFL.

In actually some other group this may all be a recipe for fulfillment, not a group falling to 3-4 in a nationally televised recreation to a backup quarterback. That is the Minnesota Vikings expertise, and that is what’s marred the group for a lot of the Mike Zimmer period.

Failure to execute, penalties that present an absence of self-discipline, needlessly conservative play calling, and persistently taking part in up and all the way down to opponents have been the hallmarks of the Zimmer period. It’s like Minnesota by no means performs their very own model of soccer, however quite depends on whoever they’re towards to set the tone — like a baby on a leash being led by way of Disney World. When gifted gamers lastly present the power to interrupt free, Zimmer pulls them again in to stroll at a snail’s tempo in a league the place everybody else is sprinting.

Vikings followers know this beautiful ache, and might level out dozens of examples from the previous — however let’s simply have a look at this season to witness this phenomenon. This group has performed a number of the greatest within the NFL. They performed the Cardinals shut, took the Bengals to additional time, beat the Seahawks when Russell Wilson was taking part in.

In addition they misplaced to Browns, had been pushed to the restrict by Detroit, wanted additional time to beat the hapless Panthers. Now they’ve dropped a recreation to a gifted Dallas group, however led by a veteran undrafted free agent who had been lower and re-signed by the group he simply led them to victory.

This sort of inconsistent, up and down play, “good towards the nice, dangerous towards the dangerous” play is inexcusable within the NFL. It’s led to Zimmer and his employees teaching scared, typified by their love of third down display passes that no person within the stadium thinks will decide up a primary, and infrequently ever do.

Most egregiously is how the Vikings employees by no means appears to belief their soccer gamers to make performs. Check out Cousins’ passing chart from Sunday evening, courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats.

These are 35 cross makes an attempt, TWO of which had been 20 yards or extra by way of the air. Towards the Cowboys extra performs had been drawn up that had Cousins throw behind the road of scrimmage (11) than 10 yards downfield (7). I don’t care when you’re the most important hater of Kirk Cousins on this planet, that’s completely asinine to have any group belief their offense so little.

No less than Justin Jefferson remains to be excelling despite his offense, not due to it — as a result of these routes from Week 6 towards the Lions are laughable for a 6’1 receiver with 4.43 pace.

We’re witnessing extraordinarily gifted gamers withering and dying on this unhappy, damaged Minnesota system. This group will by no means excel with teaching in place that trusts “system” a lot greater than gamers that athletes by no means get to carry out in service of a super.

Loser: Jaguars

I do know it’s punching down, however at this level I’m not even certain Jacksonville is aware of learn how to play soccer — or what number of gamers ought to be on the sector.

That is completely on City Meyer, although I’m certain he’ll discover somebody to shift the blame to. Any pleasure over this group’s win in Week 7 was washed away by getting blown out by Geno Smith.

Winner: Geno Smith

This has been the 12 months of Geno Smith, and by that, I imply — a 12 months by which we keep in mind Geno Smith remains to be within the NFL. Russell Wilson’s harm has given us the pleasant upshot of attending to see Smith once more, and it’s at all times good to really feel younger once more.

Smith received his first NFL win since 2014 in Seattle’s victory over the Jaguars, who had been good sufficient to oblige Geno by refusing to play any efficient protection. Smith completed 20-for-24, 195 yards and two touchdowns, with one other on the bottom. It was an amazing recreation in its personal proper by Smith, and an amazing story.

Loser: Regardless of the hell Carson Wentz was making an attempt to do right here

All of us have the odd mind fart infrequently, however this was unimaginable. Wentz wasn’t terrible on Sunday, however goodness was he horrible when it mattered probably the most. This interception unquestionably price Indianapolis the sport.

The one vibrant spot was Colts mascot Blue, who couldn’t even on the missed kick in additional time.

Loser: My religion within the Bengals

What the hell was that? I discussed final week that I’ve felt like a demise knell to groups as quickly as I begin shopping for in. Heck, I even actively avoided gushing over Cincinnati to stop them falling fate to this.

“To save lots of myself the embarrassment as soon as once more I’ve chosen NOT to provide Cincinnati props, which truthfully Bengals followers ought to thank me for. I’m a kiss of demise.”

Then y’all come out and lose to the Jets. Credit score to New York, as a result of clearly Robert Saleh is aware of learn how to coach and is the precise man for the job. His group retains taking part in onerous even with the season successfully being over, however nonetheless I don’t assume anybody had “beating the Bengals” on their Week 8 bingo card.

I’ve completely no concept who to purchase into relating to the AFC. The Payments are the lazy reply, however I imply, they struggled manner an excessive amount of towards the Dolphins and have but to essentially play a prime tier group besides the Titans, who they misplaced to — and the Chiefs, who’re frankly a multitude this season.

Cincinnati was imagined to be that magic unicorn to return out of the AFC North and educate me learn how to belief and love once more. Now that’s all in tatters.

Winner: Your complete Eagles’ floor recreation

Beating the Lions isn’t precisely the form of monumental achievement that deserves to have epic poems written about it, however nonetheless that floor recreation deserves some main props.

No one stuffed themselves, however everybody ate. The right buffet when you ask me.

Jalen Hurts: 7 carries, 71 yards
Boston Scott: 12 carries, 60 yards, 2 touchdowns
Jordan Howard: 12 carries, 57 yards, 2 touchdowns

Only a nicely rounded meal.

Winner: Cam Newton

Clearly accidents suck, however you greatest imagine Cam Newton was sitting at house a contented man realizing that his telephone ought to ring this week. Unquestionably one of the best quarterback sitting at house proper now with out a group, Newton may simply land on the Saints this week and be a part of the playoff push, which is perhaps further candy contemplating the Panthers are struggling and Sam Darnold left throughout Carolina’s win over Atlanta with a concussion.

Newton has the potential uncommon pleasure in lifetime of not answering a drunk dial from an ex dying to have you ever again, then put up on Insta with the hottie you’re with now. Needless to say the Panthers and Saints have a recreation left on January two which could possibly be for a playoff spot, and hoo boy do I like that drama.

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