Welcome to Around the NFL, where Cale Berger of Steelers Now will recap early-week action and take a look ahead at some of the most important matchups from the Pittsburgh Steelers perspective.
AROUND THE NFL THIS WEEKEND
Baltimore Ravens 24 Indianapolis Colts 10
After a slow start offensively, Baltimore’s opportunistic defense forced two key turnovers to spur a come-from-behind victory in Indianapolis.
Cornerback Marcus Peters was the difference maker for the Baltimore defense, intercepting a pass and forcing a fumble. The takeaways resulted in two Ravens touchdowns, which proved crucial after the offense produced just seven points in the first half.
Tune in on CBS pic.twitter.com/NPo82KxRtC
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 8, 2020
The Colts offense outgained the Ravens 339 to 266, but the turnovers and going an abysmal 2 for 13 on third down proved to much to overcome. Quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 227 yards, but no touchdowns.
Indianapolis’ stout defense was as good as advertised, holding Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson without a touchdown pass for the first time since Week Seven of last season against Seattle. Jackson struggled in the first half, but completed ten of ten passes in the second and ran for a score to lead the Ravens to the victory.
He was also able to exercise some demons on Sunday, as the win marked Jackson’s first career victory after trailing at halftime. He was 0-6 in such games previously. It was also the Ravens’ first win after trailing at the half since Week Ten of 2016, snapping a 20-game losing streak.
Indianapolis (5-3) will have to bounce back quickly ahead of a date with the Titans on Thursday night. Baltimore (6-2) faces the Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday Night Football.
Kansas City Chiefs 33 Carolina Panthers 31
Another Chiefs win, another record-setting performance by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, as Kansas City outlasted Carolina to win their fourth-straight game.
Mahomes tormented the Panthers as he has so many opponents over his young career, dicing them up to the tune of 372 yards and four touchdown passes. He joined some elite company in the process. Mahomes now has 101 touchdown passes in 40 career games, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (44 games) as the fastest player to reach 100 career touchdown passes in NFL history. He also tied Marino with nine career games with at least 300 passing yards and four touchdown passes, the most such games by a player in his first four seasons in league history.
Speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill was the main beneficiary of Mahomes’ dominance Sunday, catching nine passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Hill now has ten total touchdowns on the season through just nine games. He had seven scores all of 2019.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 8, 2020
Carolina was equally as potent offensively, mainly due to the return of star running back Christian McCaffrey, who had missed the last six games with an ankle injury. With ten catches, 151 total yards and two touchdowns, McCaffrey made some history of his own. Sunday marked his tenth career game with ten receptions, which is the most by a running back in league history.
Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was no slouch either, passing for 310 yards and two scores. He ran for a touchdown as well.
Kansas City (8-1) will hit the bye before making their first-ever trip to Las Vegas to battle the Raiders in two weeks. Carolina (3-6) hosts Tampa Bay next, as they look to notch their first victory since Oct. 11.
Buffalo Bills 44 Seattle Seahawks 34
Bills quarterback Josh Allen tied a career-high in passing yards, as Buffalo won their fourth-straight and handed Seattle their second loss in the last three games.
While Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson may still be the MVP frontrunner, it was Allen that stole the spotlight Sunday with one of the best performances of his burgeoning career, taking full advantage of the atrocious Seahawks pass defense. Allen passed for 415 yards and three touchdowns, posting a 138.5 passer rating. He also ran for a score, his fifth of the season.
Right on target. 🎯
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) November 8, 2020
The Bills needed Allen’s big day too, considering they mustered just 34 yards on the ground. Their 44 points scored were the most since 2016.
Wilson stuffed the stat sheet as well, but committed four costly turnovers the put the game out of reach for Seattle. He was picked off twice and lost two fumbles, which was good enough for the second-most turnovers in a single game for his career. Wilson did throw for 390 yards with two touchdowns and run for another, but he was sacked five times on the afternoon.
Cornerback Tre’Davious White plagued Wilson all game and shined for the Buffalo defense, posting eight total tackles, a tackle-for-loss, a fumble recovery and an interception, his first of the year.
Buffalo (7-2) will look to extend their winning streak at Arizona, while Seattle (6-2) will look to regroup ahead of a pivotal division game against the Rams next week.
Houston Texans 27 Jacksonville Jaguars 25
Houston improved to 2-6 on the season behind an impressive performance by quarterback Deshaun Watson, while Jacksonville found surprising success with rookie passer Jake Luton.
Watson once again succeeded in spite of his depleted supporting cast, dissecting the lousy Jaguars defense for 281 yards and two touchdowns, accumulating a 109 passer rating. Sunday’s win marked his fifth-straight game with over 275 passing yards and at least a 105 passer rating. He is only the fifth quarterback ever to accomplish such a feat.
While not much was expected of Luton heading into his first career start, the sixth-round pick turned heads with an impressive professional debut. The Oregon State product wasted no time Sunday, burning the Houston defense for this 73-yard touchdown strike on his second NFL pass.
Welcome to the NFL, Jake Luton!
— NFL (@NFL) November 8, 2020
Luton finished the day 26 of 38 for 304 passing yards and a touchdown with a pick, while also rushing for a score. Chark was his go-to target, catching seven passes for 146 yards in total with the touchdown.
Watson and the Texans will visit the Browns. Now losers of seven-straight, things will not get any easier for Jacksonville when they visit Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field.
REST OF THE SCHEDULE
- Green Bay Packers 34 San Francisco 49ers 17
- Atlanta Falcons 34 Denver Broncos 27
- Tennessee Titans 24 Chicago Bears 17
- Minnesota Vikings 34 Detroit Lions 20
- New York Giants 23 Washington 20
- Las Vegas Raiders 31 Los Angeles Chargers 26
- Pittsburgh Steelers 24 Dallas Cowboys 19
- Miami Dolphins 34 Arizona Cardinals 31
- New Orleans Saints 38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3
- New England Patriots at New York Jets, Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN