Every week of this season has been filled with drama and been full of season-defining moments, but regular storylines are now also starting to emerge in the NFL as the push for the postseason begins.
Here’s a look back at all of Sunday’s action in Week 10, which saw five games end on game-winning field goals.
New problems in New England
For a franchise accustomed to success, the start of the season has been a terrible one for the New England Patriots.
The Patriots were beaten by the Indianapolis Colts on the international stage on Sunday, falling to a 10-6 defeat in Frankfurt, Germany in the NFL’s final overseas game of the season.
In truth, the game was not the greatest advert for the sport, featuring only one touchdown (a first quarter Jonathan Taylor rush for the Colts), nine punts, two missed field goals and three interceptions.
New England’s record currently sits at 2-8, tied for the worst start in head coach Bill Belichick’s storied career with the team. The 2000 Patriots also opened up at 2-8 in what was Belichick’s first year with the side.
It was Jones’ third benching of the season and he was replaced by second-year player Bailey Zappe, who also had a tough time of it on the field. Zappe went 3-for-7 on throws, including heaving a disastrous pass into triple coverage after a fake spike to end the game.
“Look, I made the decision, that’s what it was,” Belichick added after the game, while also refusing to name a starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. “We’ll deal with next week, next week.”
The Colts are back to .500 with a 5-5 record while the Patriots, in alarmingly unfamiliar territory, have a lot to ponder as both teams head into their Week 11 byes.
Presidential Cowboys offense dismantles the Giants
It was the day Tommy DeVito had dreamed of as the undrafted rookie New York Giants quarterback, who still lives with his parents, was given his first NFL start. However, there was to be no fairytale story as the Dallas Cowboys handled the Giants 49-17 in front of former US President George W. Bush.
Dallas have made the AT&T Stadium one of the most formidable places to visit in the league and won their 12th straight home game – a streak that dates back to last season.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott had a highly impressive showing, going 26-for-34 on passes, throwing for 404 yards and four touchdowns, despite only playing three quarters.
Despite the big offensive disparity, the game began with an up-and-down first quarter for the Cowboys. Their first possession of the game resulted in a turnover on downs, while their second ended in a punt. They scored on their third drive, with CeeDee Lamb rushing into the end zone for six, before Prescott was picked off by Cordale Flott on Dallas’ last possession of the quarter.
in the second quarter the Cowboys rained in three unanswered touchdowns and shutout the Giants in the first half, entering the break with the score at 28-0.
The Giants were shorthanded at multiple positions (DeVito only got the start after backup QB Tyrod Taylor was injured) but failed to put up much of a fight on either side of the ball. Dallas had 640 total yards to New York’s 172, with DeVito only throwing for 86 yards, although he did have two touchdowns to his name on his first NFL start.
The Giants defense, which had some impressive showings prior to their Week 9 humbling at the hands of the Las Vegas Raiders, was particularly porous, allowing a Dallas touchdown on six out of their eight drives from the start of the second quarter until the end of the game.
It has been a long season for the Giants who have a 2-8 record and appear to be in crisis. Conversely, ‘America’s Team’ continues to solidify their credentials as postseason contenders and improve to 6-3.
Joshua Dobbs stars once again
It has been a rollercoaster couple of weeks for Joshua Dobbs.
After spending the first eight games of the season starting for the Arizona Cardinals in the absence of Kyler Murray (who made his long-awaited return on Sunday), the seventh-year quarterback was acquired by the Minnesota Vikings at the trade deadline on Halloween after Kirk Cousins went down with a season-ending Achilles injury.
Despite only having five days to get to grips with his new surroundings, Dobbs led his team to victory in Week 9 without knowing several of his teammates’ names.
He proved it was no fluke in Week 10, even if he did still have to be shown where the home locker room is at the U.S. Bank Stadium.
Against the New Orleans Saints, Dobbs threw for 268 yards (23-for-34 on passes), one touchdown and zero interceptions while also scrambling his way into the end zone for a rushing touchdown in the second quarter.
Dobbs, playing in only his 18th career NFL game despite being drafted in 2017, guided his squad to a 27-19 victory.
The aerospace engineering major has even been given a nickname after his heroics – the ‘Passtronaut.’
It has been a remarkable turnaround for the Vikings – after starting the season 1-4 and losing Cousins and wide receiver Justin Jefferson to injury, they have won four straight games to sit at 5-4. Meanwhile, the consistently inconsistent Saints, who lost QB Derek Carr to injury during the game, fall to 5-5.
Dobbs was not the only Week 9 standout to carry his good form into Week 10. Houston Texans rookie C.J. Stroud put on another offensive masterclass to power his side to a 30-27 victory over Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Stroud made history in Week 9 after producing the most passing yards by a rookie in NFL history.
The second overall pick in 2023 continues to show why he is worthy of his lofty draft position, throwing for 356 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals, along with a rushing touchdown.
Stroud is running away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, but is also playing his way into the Most Valuable Player conversation, aiming to become only the second rookie NFL MVP ever, and the first since 1957.
Full Week 10 Sunday scores
Away vs. home
Indianapolis Colts 10-6 New England Patriots
Houston Texans 30-27 Cincinnati Bengals
New Orleans Saints 19-27 Minnesota Vikings
Atlanta Falcons 23-25 Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants 17-49 Dallas Cowboys
New York Jets 12-16 Las Vegas Raiders
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