It was another exciting week in the NFL during week ten as we witnessed: The NFL's first ever game in Germany, the potential game of the year, and the last undefeated team in the league take their first defeat. Furthermore, we saw the young stars of the NFL continue their domination for some and their growth for others, while some veteran players suffered from brutal injuries. Before week eleven beings with the Packers hosting the Titans, let's take a final look at week ten in the National Football League.
Top Game from Week 10:
Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills
Two of the NFL’s best met in Buffalo on Sunday for what was this week's most highly anticipated matchup. The NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings traveled to Highmark Stadium to take on MVP frontrunner Josh Allen, and the preseason Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills. The game lived up to the hype and even exceeded the expectations of many, as it is now being viewed as the game of the year so far this season. There was non-stop action from the beginning to the dramatic finish of this cross-conference matchup. Buffalo controlled the game for the majority of the first half, going into the locker room with a 24-10 lead over Minnesota. They continued to control the game in the third quarter as well as they expanded their lead to 27-10 with under two minutes to play. The Vikings trimmed the lead in just one play after All-Pro Running Back Dalvin Cook broke free for an eighty-one-yard touchdown. The two teams went into the final period with Buffalo leading 27-17 with possession of the ball. The fourth quarter is when we witnessed several dramatic turns. It started with the Bills marching inside the ten-yard line and being turned away after Patrick Peterson intercepted Josh Allen’s pass on fourth down. After a thirteen-play drive, the Vikings cut the deficit to four points as Fullback C.J. Ham rumbled into the endzone from three yards out, but Kicker Greg Joseph missed the PAT. Minnesota’s defense stood tall once again, forcing a three-and-out on Buffalo’s ensuing possession; which gave Kirk Cousins and the offense the ball back with 3:26 remaining. Buffalo's defense looked as if they were going to be able to secure the game-winning stop until star receiver Justin Jefferson came down with the catch of the year and one of the greatest catches in the history of the NFL. It appeared that the defender was going to come away with an interception, or at least a pass breakup until Jefferson stole the ball from him with just one hand while falling to the ground. In a miraculous play, Jefferson and the Vikings were given a new set of downs and new life. Cousins and Jefferson connected on two more pass attempts that drive; first to give the Vikings a first and goal from the three-yard line, then again to give them one play from the one-yard line on fourth down following a sack. Kevin O'Connell decided to dial up a QB sneak for Cousins and the offense, hoping to push into the endzone and take the lead with under a minute to go. But, once again Buffalo’s defense withstood the test, stuffing Cousins at the goal line and giving the ball back to Allen and the offense. The game seemed to be over, as long as Allen and the Bills could get out of their endzone and create enough space to kneel the ball. Fittingly so, they were unable to do exactly that. Before trying to plunge forward out of the endzone, Allen was never able to get a good grip on the football. The ball became loose in the endzone and in dramatic fashion Minnesota’s Eric Kendricks recovered, giving the visitors from the NFC a 30-27 lead with forty-one seconds left. But the tension didn’t ease after that either. Buffalo, with zero timeouts, was able to drive down and kick a game-tying field goal with two seconds left, sending the game to overtime. Jefferson and his squad won the toss and elected to receive to begin the overtime period. Utilizing both the run and the passing attack, the offense was able to get down to Buffalo’s two-yard line. Yet, just like they did all day, the Bills' defense bent but didn’t break. After forcing a loss on first down and sacking Kirk Cousins on second-and-goal, they pushed the Vikings offense back to the fifteen-yard line for third down. Upon an incomplete pass, O'Connell sent out Greg Joseph for a go-ahead field goal. After a successful kick, O’connell’s team was back on top 33-30. In just six plays, Buffalo was into the RedZone, looking for a game-winning touchdown. Until on second down when Allen tried to force the ball to Gabe Davis in the endzone. Veteran Patrick Peterson made another play, securing his second interception of the day and sealing another come-from-behind victory for his team. In a game that had so many twists and turns and jaw-dropping plays, it’s hard to imagine any matchup will surpass this one as the NFL’s game of the year.
Christian Watson WR, Green Bay Packers
Watson has had an up-and-down rookie campaign thus far, both missing time with injuries and still having to earn his way onto the field. The Packers were forced to turn to their second-round receiver due to several injuries at the position. Watson may have earned himself a bigger role with his breakout performance Sunday versus the Cowboys. Hauling in three touchdowns including the first of his career; while also recording one-hundred and seven yards and four catches, Dallas’ stout defense had no answer for Watson. With teammate Romeo Doubs out for Thursday’s game and Randall Cobb’s availability uncertain, Watson could continue to see an expanded role.
Justin Fields QB, Chicago Bears
We are currently witnessing Justin Fields’ breakout. The second-year QB has separated himself from the other signal-callers in his draft class this year and has shined using both his arm and his legs. Fields passed for one-hundred and sixty-seven yards and two touchdowns during Sunday’s loss to the Lions and was able to run for one-hundred and forty-seven yards and two more touchdowns. In back-to-back weeks, Fields has tallied over three-hundred total yards and scored four touchdowns. Since Matt Eberflus and the Bears have decided to focus more on Fields’ ability as a runner, he’s shown more comfortability and overall improvement as the franchise QB.
Jeff Wilson Jr. RB, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins recently acquired Jeff Wilson after a trade with the 49ers just before the trade deadline, reuniting him with his former coach, Mike McDaniel. In his second game since joining Miami, Wilson was given the bulk of the reps. Wilson carried the ball seventeen times for one hundred and nineteen yards and was able to find the endzone once as well. The veteran back made an impact in the passing attack too, finishing with twenty-four yards on two total catches. Miami has been able to add a new explosive element to its offense with the addition of Wilson.
Justin Jefferson WR, Minnesota Vikings
Justin Jefferson further strengthened his case for the league’s best receiver with his incredible performance on Sunday. Posting a new season high of one-hundred and ninety-three yards, while also bringing in a touchdown, Jefferson made plays time and time again in the biggest moments of the game. The LSU product recorded ten catches, many of them coming on the last few drives of both regulation and overtime. Another historic performance for Jefferson, who is arguably the NFL’s most talented player.
Jonathan Taylor RB, Indianapolis Colts
Jonathan Taylor looked like the 2021 version of himself this week against the Raiders. In what has been a struggle for Taylor and the Colts' offense, the star Running Back may have started a potential turnaround for his team. The 2021 All-Pro ran for just under one-hundred and fifty yards (147) and rumbled into the endzone once on a sixty-six-yard scoring run. It was Taylor’s first touchdown since week one of the season. With the former second-rounder seemingly back to 100%, he could be in for an explosive finish to his 2022 campaign.
CeeDee Lamb WR, Dallas Cowboys
Despite taking a tough loss in overtime to the Packers, Lamb shined on Sunday. The 2020 first-round pick posted a new season-high in both receptions (11) and receiving yards (150) while also recording his first game with multiple touchdowns. Lamb has been one of several beneficiaries of the return of franchise QB, Dak Prescott. Since Prescott’s return, Lamb has totaled over seventy receiving yards in each of the last three games and has scored in two of the last three. Dallas’ star combination looks as if they’re in top shape as they make a run at an NFC East title.
Christian Kirk WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite the loss to Kansas City, Kirk continued to show the doubters why he was worth the large contract he received in the off-season. Kirk finished with a season-high nine catches and turned in his second game of the season with over one-hundred receiving yards. Kirk also tallied two touchdowns in the game, his second appearance of the season with multiple touchdowns. The former second-round pick continues to prove his value as Trevor Lawrence’s favorite target and is on pace for his best season thus far of his career.
Cooper Kupp WR, Los Angeles Rams
Kupp suffered an ankle injury late in the game during the Rams’ week ten loss to the Cardinals. The seriousness of the injury was originally unknown. However, it was reported on Tuesday that Kupp would undergo surgery on the injured ankle and be placed on the injured reserve, sidelining the All-Pro receiver for at least the next four games. It’s clear how big of a loss this is for the Rams, who have already struggled mightily on offense this season. Now without their best receiver, they’ll have to look elsewhere for Kupp’s production.
Dallas Goedert TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles Tight End, Dallas Goedert, was placed on the injured reserve after suffering a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter during Monday night’s loss against Washington. Losing Goedert will be tough for the Eagles who currently sit atop the NFC at 8-1. Goedert is second on the team in receiving yards and is tied for the second most receiving touchdowns. With the 2018 second-rounder out for the next four games, the Eagles
Shaq Leonard LB, Indianapolis Colts
The three-time All-Pro linebacker has been plagued by a back injury all season. The injury delayed the start of Leonard’s season and has continued to keep him out of the lineup on occasion. It was announced on Tuesday that Leonard underwent a successful procedure on his back, but he is expected to miss the remainder of the season. The Colts placed him on injured reserve, almost completely shutting the door on what has been a frustrating season for the star Linebacker.
Leonard Fournette RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fournette exited Sunday’s game against the Seahawks with a hip injury and did not return. But, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday that the former number four pick is “likely” to return in week twelve, as Tampa Bay is on a bye during week eleven. It appears that Fournette avoided a long-term injury, which is huge for Tampa as they continue to fight for a playoff spot.
Jerry Jeudy WR, Denver Broncos
Denver has been one of several teams to suffer from bad injury luck this season. Not much changed Sunday as receiver Jerry Jeudy went down on the first play of the game and did not return. Jeudy was said to have had an ankle injury and underwent an MRI on Monday according to ESPN. Jeudy may have avoided a serious injury as Denver has not placed him on the injured reserve, yet his status for week eleven is unknown. The Alabama product is currently listed as Questionable and did not practice on Thursday.
Khalil Herbert RB, Chicago Bears
Bears backup Running Back, Khalil Herbert, sustained a hip injury late in Chicago’s loss to the Lions on Sunday. As a result of the injury, Chicago placed Herbert on injured reserve on Tuesday, which will keep him out for the next four games. However, Head Coach Matt Eberflus said that he does not believe that Herbert’s injury will end his season. The Bears will turn to starter David Montgomery and Quarterback Justin Fields to carry one of the NFL’s best rushing offenses during Herbert’s absence.
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Schuster took a hard hit to the head early in Sunday’s victory over the Jaguars and did not return to the game after being diagnosed with a concussion. In what was a scary scene for JuJu and the Chiefs, their newly acquired receiver was thankfully able to walk off the field on his own. Smith-Schuster will have to work through the NFL’s concussion protocol before returning to the field. He is currently listed as Questionable for week eleven and did not practice on Thursday.
Zach Ertz TE, Arizona Cardinals
Ertz left Sunday’s game against the Rams with a knee injury and did not return to the game. The seriousness of Ertz’s injury was originally unknown, but after further evaluation, it was announced that the injury will end his season. Ertz will undergo surgery on the injured knee and will look to prepare for the 2023 season. Ertz was leading the team in both receptions and receiving touchdowns before the injury.
Emmanuel Ogbah DE, Miami Dolphins
Ogbah went down with what was originally said to be an elbow injury during Sunday’s victory over the Browns. After being further evaluated, the team announced that Ogbah would be placed on the injured reserve and miss the rest of the season due to torn Triceps. Miami’s depth defensively and on the defensive line takes a hit yet again, as they’ve lost another starter due to injury.
*All stats and injury updates were received from ESPN’s Stats & Info. Department and ESPN sources