When Drew Brees injured his hand in Week 2, alarms went off all over New Orleans, as the Saints Super Bowl aspirations were immediately put in doubt.
With an injury timetable that spanned anywhere from four to six weeks, the goal become clear for the Saints. Just try to keep the season afloat by winning a few games, before Brees returns for the playoff push.
Well we are now three weeks removed from the injury and the Saints have not lost a game behind backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
While the Saints were winning games prior to this week, Bridgewater wasn’t inspiring a ton of confidence. Especially last week, when the Saints won a 12-10 defensive grudge match against the Dallas Cowboys.
However this week, Bridgewater had his best game yet, torching the Buccaneers defense for 31 points with four touchdown passes.
One thing that has been a constant since Bridgewater got this opportunity to play is his appreciation for being on the field.
This is because Bridgewater’s career was in question just over three years ago, when he suffered a gruesome knee injury that required complete reconstructive surgery.
After the game today, Bridgewater alluded to that injury, explaining how glad he is to be able to still walk, much less play football at an elite level.
With the victory New Orleans is now 4-1 on the season and are sitting in first place in the NFC South. The Saints will travel to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars next week to try to increase their lead in the division.
San Francisco 49ers Remain Undefeated After Beating the Rams on the Road
It may be time to take the San Francisco 49ers seriously as the favorite to make it to the Super Bowl out of the NFC.
San Francisco is the only undefeated team left in their conference, with the New England Patriots being the only other team in the NFL without a loss this season.
Sunday they played against the defending NFC champs, the Los Angeles Rams, and beat them in convincing fashion.
The Rams put together a touchdown on their opening drive, marching down the field with ease.
After the plays were no longer scripted though, L.A. could not do anything against the stout defense of the Niners. San Francisco held Jared Goff to just 78 yards passing and the Rams offense to a total of just 157 yards.
When it came to San Francisco’s offense, they really did not do anything that impressive. But when you have a championship-caliber defense, sometimes all you have to do is not get in the way.
Jimmy Garoppolo may not be winning an MVP this year, but if he keeps managing the game for the 49ers and gets them victories, it really doesn’t matter.
San Francisco should have no problem remaining undefeated next week, when they travel to Washington to play the lowly Redskins.
Jets Collect First Win of the Season in Sam Darnold’s Return to the Lineup
The New York Jets came into this season with high expectations after making big splashes in free agency that included revamping their defense and adding a dynamic playmaker in running back Le’Veon Bell.
They had aspirations of competing with the New England Patriots in the division, behind the play of second-year quarterback Sam Darnold. But after a narrow one-point lose in Week 1, the Jets season was derailed.
That is because Darnold was ruled out of the linuep indefinitely with mono. In the three weeks without Darnold, the Jets lost every game and looked to be heading towards another miserable season.
This week, Darnold finally returned to the lineup though and he has sparked some hope in the Jets otherwise futile 2019-20 season.
Darnold led the Jets to an early lead, scoring a touchdown on their second drive.
Then with just over three minutes left in the half, Darnold hit the type of big play that Jets had been sorely missing in his absence, connecting with Robby Anderson on a 92-yard touchdown strike.
The Jets ended up taking a 21-6 lead into the second half, as they absolutely stunned the Dallas Cowboys, who were clearly expecting an easy win.
Dallas did outscore the Jets 16-3 in the second half, but the damage had already been done and New York escaped with their first victory of the season.
You truly can’t underestimate the value of the quarterback position in the NFL, as it can completely change the fortunes of your team.
Darnold’s teammates were glowing about him after the game, as the return of the young quarterback seems to have lit a fire under the Jets.
The question is going to be if this is too little, too late, with the Jets already losing four games to start their season.
New York will get a great test next week when they play the New England Patriots. If they come away with a win in that game, we will have to start to take the Jets seriously.
On the other hand, this is another embarrassing loss for the Dallas Cowboys, who have now lost three straight games after opening the season 3-0.
The Cowboys will return home next week for a Sunday Night Football matchup against their chief division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles.
A loss in that game could spell disaster for Jason Garrett and the Cowboys.
Seattle Seahawks Come Back to Beat the Cleveland Browns in Back-and-Forth Affair
When they took the field against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns looked like a completely different team than the one that got blown out by the San Francisco 49ers six days prior.
Baker Mayfield once again looked like the quarterback that set the rookie touchdown record last season, as he got the Browns out to a 20-6 lead early on in the second quarter.
Cleveland had gotten off to a fast start when Dontrell Hillard returned the opening kick 62 yards. The Browns quickly drove the ball down the field and Nick Chubb scored the first touchdown of the game.
Seattle responded with a touchdown of their own, but missed the extra-point attempt.
Mayfield then rushed for a touchdown of his own on the Browns next drive.
Mayfield then hit Ricky Seals-Jones on a beautiful touchdown pass on the Browns third drive of the game, as everything was coming easily against the Seahawks.
From that point on though, Seattle’s defense began to tighten up and Cleveland would not find the end zone again until the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks blocked a punt and intercepted two of Mayfield’s passes, completely changing the momentum of the game.
Seattle cut their deficit going into the second half to just two points, when Russell Wilson hit Jaron Brown for a touchdown pass with 22 seconds remaining in the first half.
Wilson hit Brown with another touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Seahawks their first lead of the game at 25-20.
The turning point in the game came at the start of the fourth quarter with the Browns trying to score in the red zone. On a fourth-and-goal, Jarvis Landry caught a pass but fumbled trying to extend the ball over the goal line.
The Browns caught a huge break though, as the Seahawks were flagged for having 12 men on the field. Cleveland had another chance to punch the ball in and Nick Chubb was about to do just that when the whistle was blown.
Browns HC Freddie Kitchens made the questionable decision to challenge the previous play, hoping that Landry had crossed the plane before the fumble. The call would not be reversed though and the Browns turned it over on downs.
Cleveland was able to score a touchdown on the ensuing possession, but failing to score initially could have cost them greatly.
Wilson ultimately drove his team down the field for another touchdown, marking his third fourth quarter comeback of the season six weeks in.
In doing so, Wilson continues to make his early case to be this year’s MVP. Wilson completed 23 of his 33 passes for 295 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 31 yards and an additional touchdown.
The Seahawks hung on to beat the Browns 32-28 and advanced to 5-1 on the season. Seattle will square off against the Baltimore Ravens next week, in what should be an ultra-competitive affair.
Meanwhile the Browns season just keeps getting more difficult. After dropping to 2-4 with this loss, Cleveland will have to face the New England Patriots next week.
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