Welcome to the Week 10 grades!
If you love drama, then Week 10 might go down as your favorite week in NFL history. There were a total of five game-winning field goals kicked as time expired on Sunday, which is the most for a single day in NFL history.
The Browns, Seahawks, Texans, Lions and Cardinals all won with a kick as time expired. The biggest kick of the day probably came in Baltimore, where Dustin Hopkins capped off a 14-point fourth quarter comeback with a 40-yard field goal that gave the Browns a 33-31 win over the Ravens.
That wasn't the only upset in the AFC North, though. The Bengals, who were favored by a touchdown over Houston, saw their four-game winning streak come to an end when Matt Ammendola hit a 38-yard field goal as time expired to give the Texans a 30-27 win.
With that in mind, let's get to this week's grades, starting with Monday night's shocking game in Buffalo.
Denver 24-22 over Buffalo (Monday)
|Denver pulled off a stunner in Buffalo, and it happened for two big reasons: The Broncos defense bullied the Bills, and Russell Wilson seemed to rekindle some of his lost magic. The defense set the tone for the game by forcing two turnovers in the first seven minutes. Overall, it forced four turnovers while also shutting down Josh Allen, who threw for just 177 yards. As for Wilson, he made several jaw-dropping throws against the Bills, including a fourth-down pass to Courtland Sutton in the second quarter that looked like it had no chance of being completed. ( ) Despite having almost everything going in their favor, the Broncos almost lost due to two botched extra points, but Wil Lutz made up for those by drilling the game-winning field goal. The Broncos were the laughingstock of the league after giving up 70 points to the Dolphins, but now, everyone better start taking them seriously, because they've proven over the past three weeks that they can beat anyone with wins over the Packers, Chiefs and Bills.
|The Bills had an all-time meltdown in this game. The offensive meltdown came from Josh Allen, who was responsible for three of Buffalo's four turnovers on the night. Every time the Bills offense seemed to gain some momentum, it would shoot itself in the foot with a turnover. The defense was the opposite of clutch during a fourth quarter where the Broncos had two scoring drives of more than 50 yards, including the drive that won the game. And then there was the special teams. It looked like the Bills had won the game after Wil Lutz missed a kick as time expired, but he got another shot after Buffalo was flagged for having too many men on the field. There are still seven games left in the season, but following this disastrous loss, this 5-5 team feels like it's in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
Broncos-Bills grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Indianapolis 10-6 over New England in Germany
|It wasn't pretty at times, but the Colts did enough to get the win. Gardner Minshew made clutch throws when he needed to and was able to dance around the pocket to extend plays, including down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Michael Pittman proved to be a key outlet for Minshew in the passing game, and Josh Downs also made a clutch third-down reception on the final drive of the game for the offense as they were killing the clock. Defensively, the unit was able to swarm the Patriots' O-line and sacked Mac Jones five times in the win. A number of those sacks came on third down and killed New England possessions. Dayo Odeyingbo was the star on that side of the ball as he took Jones down three times during the contest. The secondary also forced interceptions on back-to-back Patriots drives to ice the game in their favor.
|The Patriots struggled in every key facet of this game. On offense, they were able to run the football effectively, but beyond that, the unit continues to be inept. The passing game couldn't push anything down the field and an ill-timed fourth-quarter interception by Mac Jones ultimately led to him being benched for the final drive of the game for the New England offense. Meanwhile, the pass protection was abysmal with Jones sacked five times in the first half and a majority of those takedowns coming on third down. The Patriots offense was also 0-4 in the red zone. On special teams, they made a curious coaching decision to not have a punt returner on an Indy kick in the first half, missed a short field goal, and allowed a 42-yard kickoff return that helped the Colts extend their lead in the fourth quarter. Defensively, Gardner Minshew had all day to throw.
Colts-Patriots grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Houston 30-27 over Cincinnati
|Forget about winning rookie of the year, C.J. Stroud might soon be entering the MVP conversation. One week after breaking the single-game rookie passing record, Stroud had another huge game with 356 passing yards and two total touchdowns (one rush, one pass). Although Stroud turned the ball over three times, he more than made up for that by engineering a drive in the final 90 seconds that led to Matt Ammendola's game-winning field goal. Devin Singletary was just as good on the ground as Stroud was through the air with 150 rushing yards on a day where Houston piled up 544 offensive yards, which is the fourth-highest total in franchise history. The Texans defense was equally impressive, shutting down the Bengals for a good chunk of the game while sacking Joe Burrow four times and picking him off twice. It's really starting to feel like this Texans team could end up winning the AFC South.
|Did the Bengals get caught looking ahead to their game this Thursday against the Ravens? It's hard to say for sure, but either way, it felt like they were sleepwalking their way through most of this game. The defense got embarrassed by C.J. Stroud and the Texans offense, surrendering 544 yards, which is the most Cincinnati has given up since 2019. Even Joe Burrow seemed off. The Bengals QB threw two costly interceptions in the fourth quarter. As bad as they were, the Bengals somehow had a chance to win his late, but their defense couldn't stop Stroud in the final minute. They Bengals now only have four days to get their problems fixed before they travel to Baltimore for an AFC North showdown.
Texans-Bengals grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Minnesota 27-19 over New Orleans
|Not only did the Saints lose, but they also lost their starting QB in the game. After Derek Carr got knocked out due to injury, Jameis Winston came in and instantly made this a game by throwing two TD passes in the second half. Of course, when Winston is playing, there's almost always some bad with this good, and there was definitely some bad on Sunday as he threw two interceptions. The Saints defense couldn't figure out how to stop Josh Dobbs, who piled up more than 300 yards of total offense by himself. This was an ugly loss for a team that will now go into its bye week looking to fix all of the problems that were exposed by Minnesota.
|Josh Dobbs might be good enough to lead the Vikings to the playoffs. That statement probably would have sounded crazy a week ago, but not so much anymore. In his first start as the Vikings QB, Dobbs was impressive, throwing for 268 yards and rushing for another 44. He seems to already have a connection with T.J. Hockenson, who caught 11 passes for 134 yards and a TD. The Vikings are suddenly the hottest team in the NFL and there's no reason to think they can't stay hot with Dobbs running the show.
Saints-Vikings grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Pittsburgh 23-19 over Green Bay
|The Packers offense played one of its best games of the year, but it still wasn't great. Green Bay's biggest problem is that the offense couldn't score in the red zone. The Packers scored just one TD on five trips inside of Pittsburgh's 20-yard line. Jordan Love also continues to struggle with his accuracy. Although he looked good at times, he threw two back-breaking interceptions in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the Packers got steamrolled on the ground, which shouldn't be surprising at this point for a team that has now surrendered more than 200 rushing yards in three different games this season (They're 0-3 in those games). At 3-6, it feels like this season is suddenly spinning out of control for Green Bay.
|If seems like the Steelers have finally figured out what works on offense and what works is running the ball. The Steelers ran the ball early and often on a day where they piled up 205 yards and two touchdowns on the ground with Jaylen Warren leading the way (15 carries for 101 yards and a TD). When the Steelers can run the ball, the makes life much easier for Kenny Pickett. The Steelers defense did struggle at times, but they came up with big plays whenever they were needed, including two interceptions of Jordan Love in the fourth quarter. For the ninth time this season, the Steelers won despite being out-gained, but obviously that means nothing to Pittsburgh, a team that has mastered the art of winning ugly.
Packers-Steelers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tampa Bay 20-6 over Tennessee
|The Will Levis hype train came to a screeching halt in Tampa Bay. In his first game since being named the starter for the rest of the season, Levis completed just 48.7% of his passes, and he got sacked four times on a day where Tennessee couldn't move the ball on offense. Levis got no help from a Titans' rushing attack that totaled just 42 yards. The Titans continue to look lost on offense and as long as that happens, it's going to be hard to win games.
|The Buccaneers defense didn't give up single touchdown on a day where they suffocated the Titans' offense. The Bucs kept constant pressure on Will Levis, keeping him uncomfortable for most of the game (They sacked him four times). Offensively, the Buccaneers didn't light up the scoreboard, but they did come up with multiple big plays, which mostly came from Mike Evans, who caught five passes for 143 yards. Rachaad White also came up clutch for the Bucs with 22 touches for 98 yards and a TD. This was a win that the Bucs had to have and now that they got it, they're sitting just a half game behind the Saints in the NFC South.
Titans-Buccaneers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Cleveland 33-31 over Baltimore
|OK, the Browns' performance was far from perfect. But anytime you can overcome two double-digit deficits on the road -- in Baltimore, no less -- you deserve an A. The Browns' defense made up for the splash plays they allowed by coming up with several huge stops in the second half. The biggest play was Greg Newsome II's pick-six of Lamar Jackson that made it a one-point game. On offense, the Browns received a gritty effort by Deshaun Watson, who recorded his biggest win as a Browns player on Sunday. He received plenty of help from wideout Amari Cooper, tight end David Njoku and running backs Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt. He also got a huge assist from Dustin Hopkins, who made up for his missed point-after attempt after Newsome's score by drilling four field goals that included the game-winning kick as time expired.
|Baltimore may never wrap its head around this one. It lost despite holding the Browns to 0 of 3 in the red zone in the first half, getting a 39-yard touchdown run by Keaton Mitchell, a 40-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Odell Beckham, and a fumble on a punt return by former Raven James Proche II that set up Gus Edwards' TD run, which gave the Ravens a 14-point lead less than four minutes into the fourth quarter. So, how did the Ravens lose? By allowing the Browns to put together several time-consuming drives that kept them within striking distance. Instead of closing the door after taking a 31-17 lead, Baltimore's top-ranked scoring defense instead allowed Watson to complete three big passes that included a touchdown pass to Elijah Moore. The Ravens' offense then came up empty on the ensuing drive after Newsome's pick, giving the Browns the ball back with enough time to win the game in regulation, which is exactly what happened.
Browns-Ravens grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
San Francisco 34-3 over Jacksonville
|Shame on you if you counted out the 49ers just because of a little three-game losing streak. Brock Purdy and the boys stormed the beaches of Jacksonville off the bye and coasted to a 34-3 blowout victory. Purdy threw three touchdowns, George Kittle caught three passes for 116 yards and a score, and Brandon Aiyuk caught three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, San Francisco got to Trevor Lawrence five times and forced four turnovers. It was never close.
|The Jags entered this week on the longest active win streak in the NFL (5), but a win over the 49ers would be their most impressive victory of the season thus far. Instead, Jacksonville looked completely outmatched in virtually every facet of the game. The Jaguars were held out of the end zone all afternoon, and turned the ball over four times.
49ers-Jaguars grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Arizona 25-23 over Atlanta
|We're 10 weeks into the season and the Falcons still seem confused about what they want to do on offense. After catching heat for not playing Bijan Robinson enough, Arthur Smith gave him plenty of playing time this week, and although his numbers were solid, the problem for the Falcons was that they couldn't throw the ball. (They totaled just 70 passing yards.) The fact that they couldn't throw the ball took away two of their biggest offensive weapons in Kyle Pitts and Drake London. The Falcons played relatively well before folding in crunch time. The Falcons have now lost three straight games. Their season seems to be slipping away.
|The Cardinals couldn't have scripted this game any better: In his first game since tearing his ACL last season, Kyler Murray led Arizona to a win, and he did that by engineering a drive in the final 2:33 that saw him take the Cards 77 yards to set up Matt Prater's game-winning field goal. The biggest benefactor of Murray's return might have been Trey McBride, who finished with 131 receiving yards, becoming the first Cardinals tight end since 1989 to top 100 yards. With Murray back in the lineup, it wouldn't be surprising if the Cardinals win a few more games over the final eight weeks of the season.
Falcons-Cardinals grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Seattle 29-26 over Washington
|The Commanders have played two games since trading away Montez Sweat and Chase Young, and in both of those games they struggled to rush the passer. With almost no pass rush Sunday, Geno Smith was able to pick apart the Commanders defense to the tune of 369 yards and two touchdowns (he was sacked once). If there's a silver lining to this loss, it's that Sam Howell is looking more and more like a true franchise quarterback. Howell, who finished with 312 yards, threw two TD passes in the final eight minutes to keep the game tight. Brian Robinson Jr. was the Commanders' secret weapon in Seattle, totaling 157 yards and a TD on just 14 touches. If the defense had been able to make any stops in the fourth quarter, Washington might have been able to steal this win, but that didn't happen.
|The Seahawks needed someone to step up in the fourth quarter of this game, and that someone ended up being Geno Smith. The Seahawks scored on all three of their fourth-quarter possessions, and that was mostly thanks to Smith, who went off in the game's final quarter by going 11 of 15 for 113 yards and a TD (he threw for 369 yards and two touchdowns in the game). Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were also heroes as they BOTH went over 40 yards receiving in the fourth quarter alone. Jason Myers also had some fourth-quarter magic in him. The Seahawks kicker hit five field goals, including two in the final quarter. If you want to make the playoffs, you have to be able to win games under pressure, and the Seahawks proved in this game that they can perform as well as anyone when the pressure is on in the fourth quarter.
Commanders-Seahawks grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Detroit 41-38 over L.A. Chargers
|The Lions keep proving they deserve to be amongst the NFL's elite, winning a 41-38 shootout against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Detroit put up 533 yards of offense in the win, including 200 yards rushing. The Lions averaged 8.3 yards per play, but the more impressive feat was going for it on fourth down five times -- and converting four of them. Detroit scored on six of eight possessions (not counting end of half) and is getting plenty of production from its offensive rookies -- mainly Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta -- and Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to look unstoppable. The Lions are a contender in the NFC, period.
|The pass defense failed Los Angeles again, as the Chargers allowed 333 yards through the air, which is a big reason why Justin Herbert lost another game where he threw for 300-plus yards. Los Angeles got nearly all it could out of its offense, going 7 of 14 on third down and 3 of 3 on fourth down. Herbert was brilliant and Keenan Allen was even better, but this was another one-score game the Chargers lost. The defense allowed 8.3 yards per play and over six yards per carry, failing to get a stop at any crucial point in the game (the Lions only punted once). The offense is good enough to make the playoffs. The defense isn't, especially when the pass rush is invisible (no sacks and two quarterback hits).
Lions-Chargers grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
|The Giants got smoked by the Cowboys for the second time this season. They have been outscored by Dallas 89-17, which is the worst score differential versus a single team in a season since 2007, when the Patriots beat the Bills by 77 total points in two meetings. Dak Prescott got whatever he wanted through the air as did CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks. Allowing over 600 yards of total offense, even with injuries, is horrendous. The Giants have some ginormous issues on both sides of the ball that will take an offseason overhaul to fix.
|The Cowboys did whatever they wanted offensively. Dak Prescott totaled 404 passing yards, four touchdowns and an interception on 26 of 35 passing. Receivers CeeDee Lamb (11 catches for 191 yards and a TD plus a 14-yard rushing TD) and Brandin Cooks (173 receiving yards and a TD on nine catches) became the first duo in Cowboys history to each have 150 receiving yards and a touchdown in the same game. The Cowboys' 640 yards of total offense rank as their second-most in a game in team history. Mike McCarthy confirmed postgame that he left Lamb in with the second team offense in the fourth quarter to get the final catch and 8 yards necessary for him to become the first player in NFL history with 10 catches and 150 receiving yards in three consecutive games. It was that kind of day for Dallas. The only reason it's not an "A+" here is because the Cowboys allowed two touchdowns against a team that entered Week 10 averaging an NFL-worst 11.2 points per game.
Giants-Cowboys grades by Garrett Podell (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Las Vegas 16-12 over N.Y. Jets
|If the Jets could finish a drive, they might have been able to win this game. In the first quarter alone, the Jets drove inside of the Raiders' 35-yard line THREE different times, but they were forced to settle for a field goal on all three drives. In the second half, it was more of the same: The Jets got into Raiders territory three times, but only scored three total points. When the offense can't make big plays, it's hard to win in the NFL. It's also hard to win when you can't stop the run and the Jets had trouble slowing down a Raiders rushing attack that totaled 148 yards with 115 of those coming in the second half. This was brutal loss for a Jets team that didn't trail at all over the first three quarters.
|Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce is now 2-0 and a big reason for that is because this team looks completely rejuvenated under him. Defensively, the Raiders didn't completely stop the Jets, but they did hold them out of the end zone. Robert Spillane also came up with the one of the biggest plays of the night when he picked off Zach Wilson late in the fourth quarter. Offensively, the Raiders have simplified things under Pierce by giving the ball to Josh Jacobs more often. Jacobs had at least 25 carries for the second straight week after only hitting that number once in eight games with Josh McDaniels. Aidan O'Connell wasn't perfect, but he did throw a TD pass to Michael Mayer that proved to be the game-winner. With Pierce running things, the Raiders are back at .500, but staying there won't be easy with the Dolphins and Chiefs in the next two weeks.
Raiders-Jets grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
|The Bears defense must have gotten a pep talk from the 1985 Bears because they played like them on Thursday night. In what was easily their most impressive game of the season, the Bears shut down the Panthers' offense, holding them to just 213 yards and six points. They kept constant pressure on Bryce Young, who was sacked three times on a night where the Bears also held the Panthers to just 43 yards on the ground. Offensively, this game was all about revenge as two former Panthers players -- DJ Moore and D'Onta Foreman -- accounted for more than 50% of Bears' offensive output with the duo gaining 150 of Chicago's 295 total yards. Foreman was especially good with 92 scrimmage yards while also scoring the game's only touchdown. The offense did struggle at times and the special teams did give up a punt return TD, but the defense played so well that none of that mattered.
|It took 10 weeks, but the Panthers might have finally hit rock bottom. That's the only way to describe it when you have the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft (Bryce Young) and he gets outplayed by an undrafted free agent (Tyson Bagent). The Panthers' only TD in this game came on a punt return on a night where the offense never came close to scoring. Young struggled with his accuracy, especially during a first half where the Panthers put up just 97 yards of offense. Carolina only had one offensive drive in the entire game that made it inside Chicago's 20-yard line. The Panthers defense played well enough to keep this close, but Carolina couldn't steal the win here because the offense sputtered for nearly the entire game. The Panthers also made some questionable coaching decisions, especially on their final offensive drive, which ended with Eddy Pineiro falling short on a potential game-tying field goal from 59 yards away with just 95 seconds left to play
Bears-Panthers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)