The NFL certainly had its share of thrills over the weekend, as three teams (Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings) erased 14-point fourth-quarter deficits in pulling off victories -- a first in NFL history. All those teams were, coincidentally, in the NFC North.
There have been 46 games this season in which a team has come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter, the second most through the first 10 weeks in NFL history. Teams have overcome a deficit of at least 10 points to win or tie 31 times, tied with 1987 and 2020 for the most such games through the first 10 weeks of a season all-time.
The 2022 season has been a crazy one through 10 weeks, and the madness continued this weekend. What did we learn about each team in Week 10? Here's one thing that's worth mentioning.
Welcome back James Conner: The Cardinals have missed the running back who scored 18 touchdowns last season and earned a three-year contract extension as a result. In his second game back from a chest injury, the Cardinals made sure to feature Conner with Kyler Murray out.
Conner had a season-high 21 carries for 69 yards and scored two touchdowns while also having three catches for 17 yards. The 86 scrimmage yards were also a season high, and Arizona was 3 of 4 on red zone opportunities (above the 60% season average, which was 11th in NFL).
Having a healthy Conner will be a valuable asset for the Cardinals offense going forward, especially once Murray comes back.
Marcus Mariota to Kyle Pitts is a lost cause: Fantasy football owners know how irrelevant Pitts has been all season. He hasn't been able to click at all with Mariota, as Pitts was targeted eight times yet had just two catches for 28 yards in the loss to the Panthers.
Pitts has been targeted by Mariota 15 times in the past two games. He has just four catches for 55 yards, so clearly something between him and Mariota isn't working out. There has been too many games where Pitts has been a non factor, an atrocity for a receiving tight end as good as he is.
Pitts has 25 catches for 313 yards and two touchdowns through nine games. Would those numbers be better if Desmond Ridder was the quarterback?
The Bills rely on Josh Allen too much: Allen is one of the best quarterbacks in football, but even the best players have slumps once in a while. Allen is currently in a funk, completing just 58.8% of his passes for 753 yards with three touchdowns to six interceptions over his past three games (67.2 rating). The Bills are 1-2 in those starts, relying on Allen's play to bail them out of trouble.
Buffalo needs to get other aspects of the offense going instead of banking on Allen every possession. Why not try running the football more with Devin Singletary and James Cook, giving them an opportunity to thrive in an offense that should set them up for success. Both players combined to average 4.5 yards per carry with three rushing touchdowns, so they can get the job done.
Allen can win the Bills a Super Bowl, but he shouldn't be the only option.
The offensive line has stepped up since the Christian McCaffrey trade: Since the Panthers moved on from the McCaffrey era, the offensive line has paved the way for a run attack that has averaged 159.5 yards per game on the ground. It also has allowed just three sacks over that four-game span, a sign the unit has significantly improved from earlier in the year.
D'Onta Foreman has immensely benefitted from the offensive line improvements, recording 79 carries for 389 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and four touchdowns in those four games -- during which the Panthers have gone 2-2.
Carolina still doesn't have a quarterback, but the Panthers can get a much clearer evaluation of the ones to keep around because of the offensive line keeping them upright. The Panthers may have a building block for the future.
Justin Fields is sustaining success: Over the past month, it's been clear Fields is a superstar in the making. Creating success is one thing, but sustaining it is another.
How's this for an encore after setting the single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback in the regular season? Fields became the first player in NFL history with two-plus rushing touchdowns, two-plus passing touchdowns and 100 rushing yards in a game. He's the first quarterback in NFL history with 140-plus rushing yards in back-to-back games.
Fields has four straight games of 60-plus rush yards and a rushing touchdown, which is tied for the longest such streak by a QB in NFL history. He's already one of the most dynamic players in the league and is getting better by the week.
What happened to the run game?: The Browns entered Week 10 averaging 164.6 rushing yards per game, third best in the NFL. The Browns only had 112 rushing yards in Sunday's loss to the Dolphins, never finding a rhythm throughout the game.
Kareem Hunt is supposed to be the best No. 2 running back in the NFL, yet had just six carries for nine yards. He has just 26 carries for 67 yards (2.6 yards per carry) over the past four games. His struggles have attributed to the Browns having just 14 carries for 30 yards in the first half of Sunday's loss, but Cleveland just hasn't been as effective in the run game as in years' past.
Perhaps that changes when Deshaun Watson returns.
Can't stop the run: The run defense is a major issue in Dallas, a gaping hole in a talented unit. Dallas allowed 207 rushing yards to Green Bay in Sunday's loss, the second consecutive game the Cowboys allowed over 200 rushing yards.
Aaron Rodgers only needed to throw the ball 20 times against a run defense that allowed 5.3 yards per carry on 39 attempts. Over the past two games, Dallas has allowed 447 yards on 82 carries (5.5 yards per carry). Micah Parsons can't rush the passer because he has to play linebacker to give the Cowboys a chance at stopping the run.
This is a major issue in Dallas, no matter how much the Cowboys try to brush it off.
Penalties are just as bad as the offense: Another week the penalty tracker was up for Denver, as the Broncos had eight penalties for 50 yards in Sunday's loss to the Titans. Of course, the majority of these penalties are happening pre-snap, but they just aren't getting corrected (on the coaching staff).
The Broncos lead the league in penalties (78) and penalty yards (651). The 8.67 penalties per game are easily the most in the league, a full penalty more than Arizona (7.40). The 3.89 pre-snap penalties per game are also the most in the NFL.
Again, this is on Nathaniel Hackett for not getting this problem fixed.
Amon-Ra St. Brown is back: Hard to believe the Lions' best receiver had his first 100-yard game since Week 2, as St. Brown finished with 10 catches for 119 yards in Sunday's win over the Bears. St. Brown was getting back into the swing of things after a concussion in Week 7, having 21 catches for 243 yards over the past three weeks.
All St. Brown needs is a touchdown catch for the first time since Week 2, but that will be hard with Detroit's wide receiver depth severely challenged.
Amazing what happens when you run the ball: The Packers should have been doing this from day one, yet it took a five-game losing streak and a season on the line to run the ball with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. The 207 rushing yards were huge for the offense, in that it set up the big-play explosiveness the Packers have been seeking all year.
Aaron Rodgers only completed 14 passes, but had just 20 attempts. He threw for 224 yards, averaging 16 yards per completion and three touchdown passes. Christian Watson was the recipient of those three touchdown passes -- 58, 39, and seven yards. Those were the big pass plays Green Bay has been seeking.
The Packers can thank committing to the run game for that. They should probably stick to it.
Red zone issues continue to be a problem: The Texans have just a 44% conversion rate on red zone attempts, which is 31st in the NFL. When it comes to scoring touchdowns in the red zone, the offense is inept.
Houston had six trips to the red zone in Sunday's loss to the Giants, scoring only one touchdown and committing two turnovers (fumble and interception). That 17% conversion rate plays a major different in a 24-16 game, a reason why Houston has just one win on the year.
Davis Mills is 29th out of 34 qualified quarterbacks in red zone passer rating (82.8), which is part of the red zone woes. The Texans won't be benching him, so perhaps the answer is to get the run game more involved in between the 20s.
Ankle problems appear no more for Jonathan Taylor: Maybe Parks Frazier had a lot to do with it, but Taylor looked like the best running back in football again. Taylor finished with 22 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Raiders, showcasing his gamebreaking speed again with his 66-yard touchdown run in third quarter to give the Colts the lead.
The Colts ran the ball 27 times and dropped back to pass 31 times, a healthy balance for an offense that relies on Taylor and the offensive line to dictate the flow of the game. Perhaps a healthy Taylor is the difference, or an inexperienced coaching staff may actually know how to get the most out of their best players.
Kicking problems remain in Jacksonville: The Jaguars have had an issue finding a kicker all season and settled on Riley Patterson at the beginning of the season. Jacksonville went through kicker after kicker before settling on Patterson. Matthew Wright was released and Ryan Santoso and Andrew Mevis were brought in. After those two didn't work, Elliott Fry had a shot at the kicker job before being released for James McCourt.
Patterson was the choice to start the year after McCourt was left go. Patterson's been solid this year, but has missed three field goals in the past two weeks -- including two Sunday that cost Jacksonville an opportunity to get back in the game against Kansas City.
The 77.8% field goal conversion rate is 25th out of 35 kickers in the NFL. The Jaguars will probably stick with Patterson, but their kicking game remains a problem.
Kadarius Toney already making an impact: Amazing what happens when Toney is with a coaching staff that knows how to use him. The Chiefs have utilized Toney to his strengths, and it took him just two games for him to play a significant role in the Chiefs offense.
Toney had two carries for 33 yards, including a 32-yard run that set up a Patrick Mahomes touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the second quarter. He totaled 90 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, including four catches for 57 yards.
The Chiefs have big plans for Toney in this offense, as the pass-catching group continues to get deeper as the season goes on.
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Another week not ready to play: Do the Raiders really need to be motivated to smell blood? Vegas faced a head coach and play-caller who never had their roles in an NFL game before, as Jeff Saturday and Parks Frazier were only on the job for six days prior to Sunday's win.
How did the Raiders start the game? Seventeen plays for 33 yards and no points on their first four possessions, punting three times and turning the ball over on downs on the fourth possession.
This is solely on Josh McDaniels, who probably shouldn't be a head coach in this league. Inexcusable to lose to a team with a situation like Indianapolis, yet Vegas found a way to make Colts owner Jim Irsay look like a genius for a week.
The depth on this team is really being tested: The Chargers offensive line already was without Rashawn Slater, and it didn't have Trey Pipkins, either, after he was ruled as a game-day inactive. Foster Sarell (who had just five special teams snaps to his name in the NFL) started, so passing much wasn't an option with a quarterback who has banged up ribs.
The Chargers don't have Keenan Allen or Mike Williams at wide receiver, and starting tight end Gerald Everett left the game with a groin injury in the first half. All Justin Herbert has is Austin Ekeler, Josh Palmer, DeAndre Carter, and a banged up offensive line.
It's amazing this team stays in games and has an over .500 record.
Sean McVay did no favors for his backup QB: The Rams already can't run the ball, but they let a quarterback who had 42 career regular season passes to his name throw the ball 36 times. Sean McVay called only 17 designed run plays in a game with John Wolford as his quarterback.
The results were disastrous in dropping back 40 times and running the ball 17 times, as the Rams had just 256 yards of offense and averaged 4.3 yards per play. Wolford was 24 of 36 for 212 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The Rams can't run the ball, but they should have at least tried to do so with Wolford at quarterback. What was the worst that could have happened?
The Jeff Wilson trade looks brilliant: Mike McDaniel brought Wilson into his offense after he wanted out of San Francisco, as the Dolphins gave up only a fifth-round pick for him. This trade looks like a major steal.
Wilson already appears to be the featured back in Miami, having 17 carries for 119 yards and touchdown in Sunday's win over the Browns (7.0 yards per carry). In just two games with the Dolphins, he has 26 carries for 170 yards (6.5 yards per carry) and a score.
With Wilson in Miami's backfield, the Dolphins have another dynamic weapon on what appears to be the best offense in the NFL. This deal may get Miami a Super Bowl title.
Red zone defense shines in brightest of moments: The Vikings entered Week 10 with the worst red zone defense in the NFL, giving up touchdowns on 78.95% of opponents' trips to the red zone. Sunday's matchup against the Bills continued the process, as Buffalo scored on three of their first four trips in the game.
The Vikings clamped down on the final three trips, with two red zone interceptions by Patrick Peterson and just three points allowed. Duke Shelley also had a pass breakup before Peterson sealed the game in overtime with his interception of Josh Allen in the red zone.
The weakness of the Vikings turned into a strength in the final minutes of Sunday's win. Holding the Bills to 42.9% in the red zone is a massive confidence boost for this defense.
Andy Dalton is no better than Jameis Winston: The Saints don't have a quarterback, evident by how poor Dalton has played since he was named the starting quarterback after throwing three consecutive interception to close the first half several weeks ago.
Dalton in the three games since? He's completed 67.4% of his passes for 613 yards with four touchdowns to three interceptions for an 89.0 passer rating. The Saints have averaged just 15.7 points in those games.
Probably doesn't matter at this point, but the Saints don't have a quarterback. They also don't have that potential top-five pick (traded to the Eagles) to get it.
Extra linemen to help Saquon Barkley was the right move: If Barkley is going to get a season-high 35 carries, bet Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka are going to set the star running back up for success. The Giants ran packages with seven and eight offensive linemen to pave the way for Barkley to run for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Since the Giants are limited at tight end, it makes sense to use the extra offensive lineman as a strength. This could set up the playaction pass going forward, especially with how well Daniel Jones is throwing the ball.
With run defenses in the NFC East struggling (Eagles and Cowboys), there's a good chance the Giants showcase this package with NFC East matchups on the horizon.
The run defense continues to get carved up: This was a concern after a Week 9 win over the Texans, and the Commanders decided to replicate what Houston did by running the ball downhill against a run defense that badly misses Jordan Davis. The Commanders ran the ball 49 times for 152 yards, the most any team has run against the Eagles since 2004.
The Eagles had the ball for just 6:11 in the first half, the lowest in any half for Philadelphia since 2001. The defense couldn't get a negative rushing play and failed to force a third-and-long situation, which is why Washington's 12 third-down conversions are the most against Philadelphia since at least 1991.
Philadelphia faces Jonathan Taylor, Aaron Jones, Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley and Justin Fields over the next five weeks. The run defense needs to make adjustments quick.
Kenny Pickett is throwing the ball downfield: Pickett took a significant beating in Sunday's win over the Saints, getting sacked six times. That might be worth the price for the Steelers to actually open up the downfield passing game, as Pickett's 6.63 yards per attempt were the highest since he's been named the starter.
While the completion percentage was lower (60%), Pickett had 250 total yards (199 passing, 51 rushing) and a rushing touchdown. The run game opened up and Pickett was able to make more opportunities with his legs.
Coming out of the bye week, it was nice to see Pittsburgh open up the offense. Perhaps this continues going forward.
Another running back option is back: It's easy to forget how productive Elijah Mitchell was in his rookie season. Mitchell has been out since Week 1 with a sprained MCL, yet returned in Week 10 to the tune of 18 carries for 89 yards -- leading all the 49ers running backs.
The 49ers already have plenty of stars on offense, now Mitchell and Christian McCaffrey form one of the best backfields in football. This isn't even accounting for Kyle Shanahan uses Deebo Samuel on run plays.
Mitchell and his fresh legs will be huge for the 49ers in the second half, becoming another player opposing defenses have to stop.
Third-down defense took a step back: The Seahawks have been one of the worst third down defenses in the league, but Sunday's struggles were even bad by their standards. Seattle allowed 10 of 15 third down conversions in Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay, as the 66.7% conversion rate is significantly higher than the 44.5% allowed on the year.
Part of the issues are stopping the run, as Seattle is 27th in the league in run defense -- allowing 140.9 rushing yards per game. Allowing 161 yards to an historically bad run offense like the Buccaneers doesn't help, either.
This is an aspect the Seahawks have to correct coming out of the bye week, or they'll lose the NFC West lead.
The run offense isn't historically bad anymore: In an unexpected turn of events, Tampa Bay's run game was the driving force behind a victory. The Buccaneers ran for a season-high 161 yards in Sunday's win over the Seahawks, including an even more surprising 22 carries for 105 yards from rookie Rachaad White. Getting the start in place of Leonard Fournette to spice up the run game, White had the Buccaneers' first 20-yard run of their season along with two crucial runs on Tampa Bay's final drive to preserve the victory.
Tampa Bay came into Sunday's game averaging just 60.7 rush yards per game, and just 47 per game over the past three weeks. With the 161 rushing yards Sunday, that average went up to 70.7 -- a surprising development over what we've seen the past few weeks.
Perhaps the Buccaneers can actually run the football and become a threat in the NFC after all. This can't be a one-week thing.
Defense is still elite despite all the missing starters: The Titans were missing six defensive starters heading into this game: Jeffery Simmons, Bud Dupree, Kristian Fulton, Amani Hooker, Zach Cunningham, and Harold Landry (injured before the year). Elijah Molden left early with an injury to make matters worse.
Tennessee showed why the defense is one of the best in the NFL, allowing just 10 points in Sunday's win over Denver. The Titans held the Broncos to 4.3 yards per play and 4 of 17 on third down, holding the Broncos scoreless in the second half.
Denver had six possessions in the second half, punting the ball five times and totaling just 101 yards and averaging 2.8 yards per play. Tennessee was down seven starters and still held Denver scoreless in the final 30 minutes. This defense is elite.
Time of possession battle will help this team win games: What the Commanders were able to do to keep the Eagles off the field was genius. Washington had the ball for 40:24, the most against Philadelphia since 2015 (Chip Kelly's final season).
Why were the Commanders able to control the clock? Positive runs on first and second down and clutch throws in third-and-manageable situations from Taylor Heinicke. The Commanders don't need a big-play offense to score points, but they just have to dictate the pace of the game.
This strategy won't work every week, but it will keep Washington in football games. On Monday night, it was enough to hand the Eagles their first loss of the season.