What believe we realized so far in Week 10? FOX Sports activities’ workers of NFL writers joined forces to bring perception and evaluation from all the blueprint in which thru the league.
In this weekly memoir, we’ll articulate you what we noticed, what we heard and what to motivate an behold on subsequent.
Indulge in we underestimated Josh Dobbs this complete time?
It be laborious to direct a future NASA scientist nicknamed The Passtronaut would be underestimated at anything else he places his wise mind to, nonetheless presumably that is the case with unusual Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs.
Dobbs, who graduated from Tennessee with a 4.0 GPA in aerospace engineering, has had just a few stops all the blueprint in which thru the league throughout his four-year profession — eight, to be valid. He bounced between note squads and active rosters, fitting within the build he may presumably additionally along the vogue. It came about this season, when Dobbs started the year as the Arizona Cardinals‘ starting quarterback with Kyler Murray unruffled injured. Arizona knew Murray may presumably maybe be abet. So did Dobbs. And he knew when that time came, his time may presumably maybe be up within the desert.
But he did now not count on Kirk Cousins rupturing his Achilles and Minnesota being in dire want of a quarterback correct sooner than the trade closing date. The Cardinals and Vikings got the deal completed — for peanuts, mind you — and Dobbs performed hero in Week 9, coming in for the injured rookie Jaren Hall within the first half of all trusty now. Minnesota obtained thanks to head coach Kevin O’Connell playing are residing-action Madden and Dobbs having the soccer IQ he does. The two worked in tandem to create an complete quarterback: O’Connell the one who knew the draw, Dobbs the one who may presumably additionally attain it.
Obvious, by the level Dobbs started the sport on Sunday against the Contemporary Orleans Saints, he had sooner or later had the likelihood to throw to his receivers in note. His offensive line knew his cadence and his IDs, exams, and so forth. Dobbs even got to know his teammates’ names. But whenever you believe you studied a week is ample time to get fully up to the designate, I essentially believe news for you: It be no longer.
Dobbs internalized the sport thought. The 28-year-extinct realized the language. He did an ultimate job standing up within the pocket, making natty choices and improvising when he desired to. But O’Connell became as soon as unruffled making issues more uncomplicated on his unusual signal-caller. He designed a sport thought that differed honest a minute from those Cousins ran. Namely, O’Connell known as designed runs for a cellular quarterback. To construct a drastic adjustment to your blueprint and sport thought per a unusual player’s ability dwelling in a week indubitably intended hours of extra work within the govt. heart. It be no easy feat.
So, while we may presumably additionally honest believe underestimated Dobbs, we may presumably additionally honest believe underestimated Kevin O’Connell great extra. —Carmen Vitali
C.J. Stroud deserves a ton of credit. But DeMeco Ryans deserves Coach of the three hundred and sixty five days consideration
As spectacular as C.J. Stroud has been — he is getting MVP buzz as a rookie! — DeMeco Ryans deserves to be a number one candidate for Coach of the three hundred and sixty five days.
In his first year as Texans head coach, the previous 49ers defensive coordinator is the chief at the forefront of a resurgent Houston team that continues to atomize preseason expectations. At 5-4 thru Week 10, the Texans believe already surpassed their gain complete from each of the past three seasons. They’re over .500 for the first time since beating the Jaguars within the 2021 season opener. They’re a playoff contender, at the present conserving the closing AFC wild-card predicament and in contention for an AFC South title.
Personnel upgrades believe helped, nonetheless the Texans’ defensive front has additionally vastly improved with Ryans — a previous Pro Bowl linebacker and linebacker coach — as playcaller. Houston allowed a league-worst 170.2 dashing yards per sport last season. The team is permitting trusty over half of of that this year (93.6 dashing yards allowed per sport), ranking within the league’s high eight.
Houston’s secondary performed greater last year, nonetheless Ryans has the protection performing enormously greater in key metrics comparable to factors allowed (17th; twenty seventh last year) and red-zone efficiency (tied for 11th; tied for 21st last year).
Texans gamers appear to feed off of Ryans’ vitality. He has the complete team within the abet of him. He is gotten every person to aquire into his SWARM (special work ethic and relentless mindset) mantra, which stresses invent, aggression and heart of attention among all gamers.
I safe one of many very most practical issues Ryans has completed since turning into head coach became as soon as to no longer trusty hand Stroud the starting job. There became as soon as a legit quarterback competition between Stroud and Davis Mills within the summer season. The No. 2 overall pick wasn’t named the starter till after the preseason finale, great later than the choice rookie first-spherical quarterbacks. Ryans made Stroud construct the job, which dwelling the tone for the team from the leap. — Ben Arthur
49ers, Brock Purdy return to dominant solutions off bye week
Humbled by a three-sport losing hump, the San Francisco 49ers sooner or later appeared like a team that would additionally gain a Colossal Bowl again in a 34-3 road victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Second-year skilled Brock Purdy’s leap-abet efficiency became as soon as at the heart of San Francisco’s turnaround.
After no longer turning the ball over as soon as throughout San Francisco’s 5-0 story to commence up the year, Purdy had six turnovers throughout his team’s three-sport losing hump. But against Jacksonville, the Iowa Reveal product became as soon as abet to playing efficient soccer. He completed 19-of-26 for 296 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 148.9 passer ranking. Purdy dialed up eight passing plays of 20-plus yards, along side a deep shot to tight end George Kittle for a 66-yard touchdown.
Based mostly fully on Subsequent Gen Stats, Purdy became as soon as compelled on a profession-high 53.6% of his dropbacks nonetheless completed 6 of 13 passes for 120 yards and a glean beneath tension.
Most critically, Purdy did now not turn the ball over.
“I came into this sport with a clear mindset of, Man, I’ve got dudes spherical me, got a large protection, be natty with the ball and construct plays,” Purdy told newshounds after the sport. “Play free in phrases of cutting it unfastened, nonetheless all while unruffled playing interior the blueprint and being natty with the ball. That is the build I became as soon as at. And I’ve got to motivate playing like that transferring ahead.”
San Francisco additionally got an improved efficiency from the protection. With Stride Young playing his first sport since the trade, the 49ers sacked Trevor Lawrence five instances, forced four turnovers and held the Jaguars to season-lows in complete yards (221), dashing yards (59) and first downs (12).
San Francisco’s six wins had been by an common of 22 factors per contest. —Eric D. Williams
Rico to the rescue? Dowdle deserves a shot to motivate the Dallas dashing assault
Dak Prescott is on fire and so is the Dallas Cowboys offense. He is even started to beget an array of weapons within the passing sport beyond CeeDee Lamb. But there is unruffled one thing lacking: The Cowboys have not had great of a dashing assault this season.
So maybe it’s time to provide Rico Dowdle extra of a gamble.
With Tony Pollard unruffled struggling to catch the create he had sooner than he tore his ACL at the end of last season, Dowdle got his most action of the season on Sunday within the Cowboys’ 49-17 blowout of the Contemporary York Giants. And he made the most of it, dashing for 79 yards and a touchdown on trusty 12 carries — a worthy 6.6 yards per flee.
He impressed Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, too.
“He runs so damn offended,” McCarthy mentioned. “It be beautiful.”
The Dallas dashing assault may presumably additionally use a minute extra of that madden, even though Dowdle may presumably additionally be now unable to being the team’s workhorse trusty but. At the least, the previous undrafted free agent out of South Carolina (2020) omitted most of the past two seasons with hip and ankle accidents.
But he indubitably confirmed he is in a position to extra work than he is been getting. And maybe he may presumably additionally increase a working sport that had averaged trusty 82 yards per sport over the past four weeks.
“That is the young man we noticed as a rookie,” McCarthy mentioned. “Some gamers … battle thru an damage fragment. In most cases they’ve one or two issues abet-to-abet. That’s essentially trusty his mission. You are seeing a young man sooner or later get some opportunities. I’ve the least bit times been high on Rico. It be superior to sight him believe some success.”
His success is amplified because of Pollard trusty hasn’t been the same player. He has an complete of 163 dashing yards in those four games. Even on Sunday, against a struggling Giants protection, he carried the ball 15 instances for completely 55 yards.
Pollard became as soon as speculated to be the bellcow within the Cowboys’ backfield this season. It became as soon as a chubby reasons why they were so willing to let Ezekiel Elliott bound with out an evident replacement on the roster. But Pollard can not attain it by myself. He has trusty 529 yards thru 9 games so far and is averaging a profession-low 3.9 yards per lift.
That’s no longer execrable, nonetheless clearly, he may presumably additionally use a minute motivate. It be time to sight if Dowdle is in a position to giving him and the dashing assault the increase it so clearly needs. —Ralph Vacchiano
The honeymoon fragment for Will Levis as the Titans’ starting quarterback is over. He had his worst efficiency among his first three games in Sunday’s 20-6 loss to the Bucs, which dropped the Titans to three-6. The 2nd-spherical rookie had a forty eight.7% completion rate for 199 yards and no touchdowns with an interception and a 53.3 passer ranking.
But that is no longer about Levis. Obvious, he threw some harmful passes and may presumably’ve made a greater decision right here or there. But right here is basically about Tennessee’s inability to give protection to him. The Bucs had four sacks, 13 quarterback hits and 27 pressures on Levis.
Obviously, the Titans’ offensive line became as soon as hurting. Proper guard Daniel Brunskill (ankle) became as soon as slothful and offensive address Nicholas Petit-Frere (shoulder) became as soon as positioned on injured reserve, knocking him out for at the least four games. But healthy or no longer, Tennessee’s O-line has struggled mightily in circulate safety all season. The Titans ranked third-worst in adjusted sack rate entering Week 10 (10.6%), according to FTN Files. If truth be told, it’s been a prime mission since 2021.
Taking Peter Skoronski No. 11 overall this year may presumably additionally honest unruffled be trusty the tip of the iceberg for the Titans this offseason. Their offensive line needs an complete makeover, starting at left address. Heart-broken offensive-line play can damage Levis’ trend if the team permits it to persist. — Arthur
Montez Sweat appears like a distinction-maker for the Bears
The Chicago Bears took a mountainous risk at the trade closing date, sending what figures to be a high 2nd-spherical pick to Washington in alternate for defensive end Montez Sweat. The 27-year-extinct became as soon as on an expiring contract, that means Chicago completely had him locked up for the following 9 games.
A pair of days later, the Bears inked him to a four-year, $98 million extension that incorporated the 2nd-most guarantees at his predicament ever — all sooner than he had even performed a down within the navy and orange. Sweat has by no means had a double-digit sack season. He is additionally benefited from playing along a line of defense in Washington that incorporated All-Pro-caliber gamers Jonathan Allen, DaRon Payne and (when he became as soon as healthy) Stride Young.
Yes, Sweat is a effectively-rounded edge defender, nonetheless would he be as productive, if no longer extra, with out those gamers spherical him? Would per chance well he be “the man” in Chicago on a weaker defensive front?
If Thursday night became as soon as any indication, the acknowledge is yes. Sweat had eight pressures in his 2nd sport for Chicago. The last time a Endure had that many in a single sport became as soon as Robert Quinn in 2020. And while Sweat did now not get a sack, Chicago had its third multi-sack sport of the year, tallying three sacks of Carolina quarterback Bryce Young. Sweat gave the impact to construct the gamers spherical him greater.
The completely caveat right here is that the Bears’ opponent became as soon as certainly the Carolina Panthers, arguably the worst team within the league correct now. Carolina’s offensive line in particular has been hit laborious with damage and has in most cases lacked cohesion. The finest check will approach subsequent weekend against the Detroit Lions, nonetheless so far, Sweat is off to a correct commence up. —Vitali
Protection unruffled a thorn in Brandon Staley’s aspect for Chargers
Defensive guru Brandon Staley and the Los Angeles Chargers allowed the Detroit Lions to remodel 4-of-5 fourth-down makes an strive, along side one on the closing pressure that allowed Detroit to motivate the ball away from a hot Justin Herbert and L.A.’s offense.
Detroit kicker Riley Patterson made a 41-yard field just as time expired for a 41-38 Lions victory in a shootout at SoFi Stadium.
Staley became as soon as employed as L.A.’s head coach three years within the past in fragment for his defensive acumen, nonetheless as soon as extra, his protection performed itsy-bitsy against a potent offense.
The Bolts allowed Detroit quarterback Jared Goff to throw for 333 yards and two scores in his return to SoFi Stadium. Goff performed his first five NFL seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. The Chargers additionally allowed 200 dashing yards — David Bernard Law 1st viscount montgomery of alamein led the vogue with 116 yards and a glean on trusty 12 carries.
“Now we should get abet to work and heart of attention on fundamentals,” Staley told newshounds after the sport. “The basics of playing protection commence up at the road of scrimmage, playing blocks, leveraging the soccer, tackling after which staying linked in coverage. We did now not flee effectively ample as of late, did now not cover effectively ample. And it begins with me.”
The Chargers give up an NFL-worst 291 passing yards per contest and believe allowed opposing offenses to realize at the least 30 factors three instances this season. The Bolts additionally allow a league-worst 22.8 first downs a sport and 7.51 yards per play, No. 31 within the NFL.
Even in games when Herbert plays effectively, the protection would now not attain ample to allow his effort to contrivance a gain. The Oregon product completed 27-of-40 for 323 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception in his team’s loss to the Lions.
With L.A. at 4-5 and in hazard of lacking the postseason, issues should trade immediate for Staley and the Chargers, who creep to face the Inexperienced Bay Packers in Week 11.
“There had been games the build now we believe no longer place up ample factors and there had been chubby games the build we place up some factors,” Herbert mentioned after the sport. “But we play as a team. We gain and lose as a team. In all three phases, we imagine in a single but one more. We imagine in this team, this coaching workers.” —Eric D. Williams
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The Packers believe skills, nonetheless they want some changes — Joe Barry among them
The Inexperienced Bay Packers lost in Pittsburgh by a 23-19 margin. But it absolutely wasn’t thanks to young quarterback Jordan Indulge in. He threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns. He additionally had two interceptions, nonetheless one came on a desperation strive at the end of the sport. Indulge in mustn’t be faulted for that.
The valid memoir is the same because it’s been, even predating Indulge in: the Packers protection is expressionless, uninspired and ineffective. With seven first-spherical picks at its disposal, this became as soon as speculated to be a unit that Indulge in may presumably additionally count on while he stumbled on his groove. That hasn’t been the case all season. The Inexperienced Bay bustle protection allowed 3.6 yards sooner than contact on Sunday, according to ESPN. That became as soon as the Steelers‘ 2nd-most within the past three seasons and that they had approach into the sport ranked twenty eighth, averaging trusty 2.0 yards per flee sooner than contact.
The Packers at the present execrable twenty third in dashing yards per sport allowed with 124. Their circulate protection is within the head 10, which is a itsy-bitsy silver lining. But also to to their struggles stopping the bustle, Inexperienced Bay additionally is no longer giving Indulge in extra probabilities by rising turnovers. They execrable nineteenth in interception rate. They believe the third-fewest takeaways within the league with trusty eight. That’s a regression from even last year, the build they completed 11th with 24 on the season.
The Packers’ defensive unit is transferring within the inaccurate route and there has to be some accountability taken. Even a future Hall of Famer struggled to construct up for the defensive struggles last season. What likelihood does a prime-year starter believe? That’s no longer what needs to trade. For the most fragment, nor is it the personnel on the sphere. The Packers believe the answers within the locker room. They trusty should bring in somebody who can get the most out of what they already believe — and defensive coordinator Joe Barry hasn’t proven he is the one to understand it. —Vitali
Bucs getting impact from beginners on protection
Tampa Bay’s protection took a mountainous step ahead in Sunday’s 20-6 gain over the Titans, and beginners performed a chubby goal within the tension constantly utilized to rookie quarterback Will Levis.
First-spherical DT Calijah Kancey and third-spherical edge rusher Yaya Diaby each had two tackles for loss, and Diaby had one of four Bucs sacks on the day. When the Titans were at the Bucs’ 6-yard line early within the fourth quarter, making an strive to construct it a one-glean sport, it became as soon as Kancey who dropped Derrick Henry for a three-yard loss, keying a red-zone end that forced Tennessee to choose on for a field just.
“I belief he became as soon as a keeper after we got him,” coach Todd Bowles mentioned of Kancey’s continued emergence. “But I safe he is correct scratching the ground. I safe there is great extra in him.”
Kancey is the first NFL rookie to believe just a few tackles for loss in abet-to-abet games since the Cowboys’ Micah Parsons and the Dolphins’ Jaelen Phillips each did so in 2021.
Joining Kancey and Diaby for the first time became as soon as Markees Watts, an undrafted rookie from Charlotte who’d been slothful for all of the Bucs’ first eight games this season. He stumbled on out Friday he may presumably maybe be active for the first time, straight after the “p-squad steal,” an end-of-week exercise wherein he in most cases goes extra laborious, vivid he is no longer playing on Sunday.
“As soon as I get out of steal, I’m sore, my legs are unnecessary, and I get a name from Coach: ‘You are up,'” he mentioned. “I became as soon as like, ‘Oh my God, what believe I completed?’ But I became as soon as livid.”
Watts performed sparingly nonetheless made a huge impact within the fourth quarter — he stunted interior and hit Levis as he became as soon as throwing, sending the ball high up for an effortless interception by Antoine Winfield. Gape the highlights of the protection’s “row the boat” birthday party within the end zone; Watts gets there late and trusty lays on the ground in disbelief that he no longer completely performed, nonetheless additionally helped the team pull out a gain in his debut.
“I trusty thanked God and laid there,” he mentioned. —Greg Auman
It no longer about the X’s and O’s, it’s all about the “Jimmies” and “Joes”
Must you are questioning how Antonio Pierce has immediate transformed the Las Vegas Raiders into a winner following Josh McDaniels’ departure, the secret lies in adhering to an age-extinct adage that prioritizes gamers over schemes.
While some coaches imagine in programs, schemes, and tactics, the NFL is a matchup league with the most efficient gamers routinely figuring out the final consequence of games. As a previous player, Pierce understands this premise and has advised his coaches to construct their sport plans all the blueprint in which thru the Raiders’ blue-chip gamers to augment their chances of winning games.
“The main couple plays were correct to him. Secure the ball in his hands, get him going. Must you’ve got got one of many most efficient receivers within the sport, I’m no longer dull. I know who to get the ball to,” Pierce mentioned postgame.
The simplistic attain sounds like a thought plucked from a high faculty coach, nonetheless it absolutely is an effective approach that has helped the Raiders submit abet-to-abet wins since Pierce took over as the intervening time head coach. The head coach has place the ball within the hands of Adams and Josh Jacobs (53 carries, 214 flee yards and two scores) to regular an offense that lacked an identity beneath his predecessor despite the immense skills and doubtless of the lineup.
Though the Raiders should discover a vogue to realize extra factors to knock off elite teams, placing the ball in their most efficient gamers’ hands forces opponents to construct refined choices when defending the Silver-and-Shaded. With the Raiders’ complementary gamers benefitting from the extra attention on Jacobs and Adams, the offense has a longtime pecking negate that ends up in a greater rhythm and circulate.
The protection has additionally benefitted from the “construct all the blueprint in which thru the gamers” tactics employed by Pierce. Maxx Crosby is prospering as a “one-man level to” this season, nonetheless the Raiders believe given him extra freedom to assault from a good deal of deployments. As well to, he has challenged the leisure of the protection to match the Pro Bowler’s vitality on the sphere.
As a relentless employee bee with a non-end motor, Crosby outworks opposing blockers at the level of assault, the utilization of his superior dimension, power, and vitality to wear them down as a bustle-stopper and circulate rusher. With the athletic defender in a position to attacking from anyplace along the road, the Raiders believe created and exploited favorable matchups with stunts, games, and blitzes that consequence in splash play opportunities for Crosby and others at the road of scrimmage.
Interested in how effectively the team has replied to the sport plans tailored to the strengths of their blue-chip gamers, Pierce’s “Jimmies” and “Joes” tactics may presumably additionally honest unruffled be copied by others having a see for a spark. —Bucky Brooks
This memoir became as soon as compiled by:
AFC South reporter Ben Arthur (@benyarthur)
NFL analyst Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks)
NFC South reporter Greg Auman (@gregauman)
AFC East reporter Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis)
NFC West reporter Eric D. Williams (@eric_d_williams)
NFC East reporter Ralph Vacchiano (@RalphVacchiano)
NFC North reporter Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV)
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