Seemed like kind of a strange week, or maybe it's just the world. But there were some ugly blowouts, some ugly close games, and one of the more entertaining games with a fantastic finish you'll ever see. Fantasy-wise, it was a rough one -- a lot of low-scoring matchups and points on benches. Hope you won more than you lost.
Eagles at Giants: This game was no less brutal to watch than the Thursday night meeting a couple of weeks ago. Strange to say, but the Giants look like the better team right now. Better on defense, less sack-and-mistake-prone on offense. Daniel Jones made some big plays, including a touchdown run (where he did not fall down), another one (erased by a penalty) and then a late bomb to Darius Slayton that pretty much sealed the win, setting up a field goal that made it a two-score game. Carson Wentz was off-target on a lot of throws, and both Travis Fulgham and a possibly rusty Miles Sanders dropped passes (twice for Sanders; Fulgham's was at least a little off-target). Not much to say; somebody has to win the NFC East and the 3-7 Giants look like a legit possibility.
Jaguars at Packers: Jacksonville used a long pass interference on a play to DJ Chark, a long punt return touchdown, and some ill weather to keep this one close throughout. But there was just enough Aaron Rodgers and Packers defense to get the win. Davante Adams left briefly with an ankle injury but returned, and scored. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had his second straight good week, which will have people putting him in lineups next week -- and Allen Lazard will finally return and MVS will do nothing. Nice game for James Robinson, mildly disappointing for Aaron Jones (with Rodgers running in a score) in what seemed to be an ideal matchup.
Football Team at Lions: Entertaining game in which Matthew Stafford finally prospered in a good matchup, with 3 touchdown passes. Alex Smith brought Washington all the way back from 24-3, with a big game by Terry McLaurin and touchdowns by both Antonio Gibson (2) and J.D. McKissic -- sometimes things go how you expect, Detroit is a great team to put running backs up against these day. A foolish penalty by Washington helped Detroit avoid overtime; clutch 59-yarder by Matt Prater to win it. Good day for most players you started.
Texans at Browns: Weather was so nasty for this one there was a half hour weather delay. It certainly affected scoring, although maybe the Browns defense is getting a little better as things go (they stuffed Houston on a goal-line sequence early on). Big game for Nick Chubb in his return; Browns weren't going to pass this ball much even if there was no wind. Chubb stepped out of bounds intentionally rather than scoring a second touchdown late to enable the Browns to run out the clock, and all the talking head chuckled about those with Chubb on their fantasy teams cursing. Hey, at least Chubb had a big game for them. Personally I'm more upset about the garbage points I could have got from Deshaun Watson and company had Chubb scored. Next time score, man; going up 10 in the final minute would have been plenty, this was not a Gurley-like scenario. Saw a stray news item somewhere that the Texans could make Romeo Crennel their full-time coach. Why? Sorry to those I didn't advise shy away from Deshaun Watson (of course, there were similar questions regarding Aaron Rodgers, and he did fine).
Bucs at Panthers: Early on in this one Ronald Jones lost a fumble. He took a helmet shot on the play but had lost the ball beforehand, and the refs didn't call it anyway. You might have expected he'd find a spot on the bench while Leonard Fournette had a good day, but not; Jones scored on a 98-yard touchdown and nearly went for 200 yards in a big, resounding win. The unexpectedly good play by the Panthers defense early in the season seems to be going away lately. Not a great showing for their offense either, most notably Mike Davis. Teddy Bridgewater left with a knee injury.
Chargers at Dolphins: First meeting of these two talented young quarterbacks to Tua Tagovailoa, in part because Miami, strangely enough, has the better of the two defenses. Salvon Ahmed was the main runner, which always seemed possible and became more certain once Jordan Howard was inactive. Dolphins don't care much for Howard. Chargers got some late production from Justin Herbert late, including a Keenan Allen score, but were out of sorts all game. Taking the Dolphins seriously to win the AFC East has commenced.
Broncos at Raiders: Denver was severely outclassed in this one, and it certainly starts with the quarterback position. I think we can say for certain that Drew Lock won't be starting here next season. Raiders are cruising toward a playoff spot and hey they beat Kansas City convincingly already. Impressive. Big game for Josh Jacobs. Rough one for everything Broncos.
Bills at Cardinals: Game of the Day. Not often you see both quarterbacks make impressive game-winning touchdown throws in the final 35 seconds. Josh Allen's didn't hold up, but an impressive drive and game for the third-year passer. But second-year passer Kyler Murray launched an even more spectacular one, finished with an incredible DeAndre Hopkins catch. You've probably seen it, so instead I'll mention that Kenyan Drake returned to the starting lineup and had twice as many carries as Chase Edmonds, answering that question. All three Buffalo receivers had good games; running backs did nothing.
49ers at Saints: 49ers don't have much going for them these days. Brandon Aiyuk and Jordan Reed had decent games, and there wasn't really anyone else to reasonably start. Muffing two punts isn't the way to win games in the NFL, either. Alvin Kamara, mocking those of us who took Michael Thomas with the No. 4 in drafts, continued to pile up huge numbers. Drew Brees got hurt after a big sack, leading to Jameis Winston coming in to finish things. JaMycal Hasty broke his collarbone, alas.
Seahawks at Rams: Rams are playing very good defense right now, and Russell Wilson is uncharacteristically forcing things. Maybe trying to win with fourth and fifth string running backs, as the Niners and Seahawks are attempting these days, really doesn't work so well. Yeah Ok the Dolphins are. Anyway, big defensive game for the Rams, and Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson scored all the touchdowns, but Cam Akers had 10 carries -- it's a three-man backfield again, hurrah. Jalen Ramsey shutting down DK Metcalf probably the most notable shocker from this one. Seattle was undefeated not so long ago. Now they're 6-3 and face the Cardinals on Thursday.
Bengals at Steelers: Here was the Steelers team that didn't show up and was very fortunate to get by Dallas last week. Ben Roethlisberger using all his receivers (all three scored, that won't happen often) and the Steelers defense putting the clamps on the Bengals offense. Eventually Pittsburgh will get a tough matchup, but not this week (home against Jacksonville). Bengals don't do much of anything well on defense and the Steelers controlled this one throughout, and yet James Conner still had a quiet game. Tee Higgins has taken over as the Bengals' best wideout pretty quickly.
Ravens at Patriots: Methinks AFC teams will regret not burying the Patriots a little more securely the first half of the season. These aren't the Patriots of past years but they can still do the little things to win games they should lose (Jets) and games where the other team is better (Ravens). Nice game for Damien Harris, though of course Rex Burkhead scored the touchdowns. Cool trick play touchdown by Jakobi Meyers, rewarding those who started him even in a tough matchup based on last week's game. Pretty much worthless outing for all things Ravens, outside of Lamar Jackson and I guess Mark Andrews, though probably a lot of people benched him.
Monday, Monday:Seems a little early in the year for a meaningless Monday night game. I guess one of these teams might sneak into the playoffs somehow, but it won't do it proudly. I'm interested in seeing the Bears running game without David Montgomery, and think Cordarrelle Patterson is a worthwhile dice-roll. And seeing if anyone can slow down Dalvin Cook; Bears maybe have the defense that can limit him. Maybe. Vikings 23, Bears 17.