USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero breaks down all a Week 10 action.
USA TODAY Sports
The NFL has pushed past a midseason indicate and into a final stretch. As teams start to make their postseason pushes, a domain of blunder shrinks even more.
Here are 5 overreactions we’re pulling behind on after Week 10:
New England’s offense can cover adult a defense’s woes
The Patriots attempted to urge Russell Wilson like they had shielded Landry Jones of a Steelers, Brock Osweiler of a Texans, and Cody Kessler and Charlie Whitehurst of a Browns.
That’s a problem.
In New England’s detriment Sunday night, a Patriots invulnerability customarily rushed usually four, three, and even usually dual players on some plays – dropping each other defender in coverage. That works when a defensive line can get to a quarterback.
But New England doesn’t have a arguable pass rush. It lacks another peculiarity cornerback conflicting Malcolm Butler. Trading divided gifted defensive finish Chandler Jones and linebacker Jamie Collins have nude a invulnerability of athleticism during pivotal spots.
Yes, Jones and Collins will both be giveaway agents this offseason, yet they could’ve been used Sunday night to vigour Wilson, and to cover rapid and sleek players, like Seahawks using behind C.J. Prosise, who gained 153 sum yards from scrimmage.
New England’s invulnerability hold opponents in a bend-but-don’t-break mind support progressing this season. And a Patriots, looking brazen during their schedule, should journey to win a AFC East and contest for homefield advantage.
But New England has won a 4 Super Bowls in a Bill Belichick epoch with vigourous defenses. All of those teams finished eighth or aloft in points allowed. This year’s group is ranked sixth with 18.1 points authorised per game, yet it has given adult an normal of 24 points in a final 3 contests.
Relying on Tom Brady this deteriorate competence not be enough.
Aaron Rodgers and a Packers are finished
It’s not looking good. Green Bay is in a bone-fide tailspin.
The invulnerability has been gashed. Receivers have struggled to apart from defenders. And Rodgers looks like a passer who has mislaid confidence. So it’s protected to call it, right? Season’s over?
Even yet they have mislaid 4 of their final 5 games – a integrate in blowout conform after a Titans rocked Green Bay 47-25 Sunday – a Packers have as good a shot as any group in their multiplication to win a NFC North.
That competence sound crazy, yet a Packers are still usually one diversion behind of a Lions and Vikings, both of whom are tied atop a multiplication during 5-4. Minnesota has mislaid 4 in a quarrel and a descent line is a mess. Detroit is surging, yet got off to a delayed start this season.
The Packers, however, have a 2-1 multiplication record while a Vikings and a Lions are stranded during 1-2.
The NFC North has no transparent front-runner, and as prolonged as a Packers come adult with short-term answers to their problems on defense, they should contest for a division.
A low run in a postseason, however, seems far-fetched.
The NFL’s ratings issues have been solved
This was usually what a NFL was watchful for.
The choosing is over, and a line-up of high-profile games helped move in a ratings resurgence. The Cowboys-Steelers conflict was a back-and-forth thriller that presented so many things fans adore to see: rising stars, determined vets, bomb plays, a feign spike, and large offense.
The Seahawks-Patriots matchup to tip Sunday competence have been even better.
And initial ratings numbers uncover that a NFL will get a much-needed strike from Week 10. NBC announced that Seattle’s shun with a 31-24 feat after holding New England in a goal-line mount drew an overnight rating of 14.3, apropos a tip Sunday Night Football promote in 5 years.
But Week 10 should not be noticed as a panacea. It would have been a critical problem if ratings didn’t miscarry with those dual heavyweight matchups.
The NFL still faces poignant questions about a superfluity of a primary time broadcasts. Thursday night’s snoozer between a Ravens and a Browns, for example, was an easy choice for fans to skip. As prolonged as there will continue to be 3 primary time slots, a matchups won’t be means to live adult to a billing.
A spike in penalties and questions about lagging gait of play competence also be branch viewers off. As playoff races tie up, however, inhabitant ratings should rise.
But a many revelation pointer about where a NFL stands with a assembly will come in successive weeks, when there isn’t a new Super Bowl rematch between dual of a tip teams in a league, and another that pits dual franchises abounding with story and a low fan bottom widespread opposite a country.
Time for a QB change in Denver?
It took a blocked additional indicate that was returned behind for a game-winning measure for a Broncos to better a Saints on Sunday. The feat came roughly in annoy of bad quarterback play.
So with strong-armed, first-round rookie Paxton Lynch sitting on a bench, a doubt now becomes either or not a Broncos confirm to dais Trevor Siemian.
Lynch possesses earthy traits Siemian doesn’t. He has a really clever arm. He’s 6-foot-7 and athletic. He’s a contingent destiny of a authorization and has a ability set befitting for manager Gary Kubiak’s offense, that is complicated on rollouts and bootlegs.
But Siemian didn’t get most assistance from his teammates Sunday.
When a Saints brought pressure, Denver’s descent line crumbled and authorised Siemian to get sacked 6 times. The vigour extended over that, as New Orleans strike him 11 times. The Saints’ rush frequently forced Siemian out of a pocket, where he mostly threw divided a round out of bounds. It was tough for him to settle into a rhythm.
He finished 25 of 40 passes for 258 yards, dual touchdowns, yet also threw dual dear interceptions that incited into 10 points for New Orleans.
Siemian doesn’t have a earthy collection of Lynch, yet a Broncos are handling him with during quarterback. And while he positively has to cut down on his mistakes, it’s too early for Denver to blow it up.
The Dolphins are in line for a warn playoff run
Miami deserves a lot of credit.
Head manager Adam Gase, a brazen thinker in a flitting game, has remade a Dolphins into a hard-running, earthy offense behind using behind Jay Ajayi and a healthy descent line. Miami has won 4 games in a row, and would be usually outward of a furious label berth if a deteriorate finished today.
The problem for Miami is a AFC West.
The Broncos (7-3) and Chiefs (7-2) both won on Sunday. The Raiders (7-2) were on a bye. The Dolphins (5-4) are dual games back. With usually dual furious label spots per conference, a built multiplication competence keep Miami on a outside.
The report isn’t too daunting, so a Dolphins could make adult some belligerent in a final 7 weeks. But concerns about a sometimes-leaky delegate could make a intensity postseason run some-more challenging.
The Dolphins competence be a year divided from truly competing for a playoff spot, yet a destiny is splendid in Miami.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.
PHOTOS: Best of NFL Week 10
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