"The Stack" 9-23-18
Josh Allen threw one touchdown, ran for two more and hurdled Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr in the middle of the field as the Buffalo Bills pulled off the stunner of the day, thumping the Vikings 27-6.
The Stack is back on this Monday and I am convinced that no one knows anything about the NFL. Not me, not you, nobody. I mean, who would have ever thought that the Buffalo Bills would not only pick up their first win of the season against Minnesota Vikings, but to do it on the road and absolutely embarrassing the Vikings is stunning. The Detroit Lions thoroughly beat Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots? What gives?! Let’s get to some recap and reaction in “the stack” for today, Monday, September 24th:
Saints 43 Falcons 37
What an absolutely bananas game this was. Offenses trading blow for blow. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan played sensational throwing for five touchdowns, three of them going to rookie Calvin Ridley. But Saints quarterback Drew Brees kept matching him and like Ryan a week ago, Brees had two rushing touchdowns including the game-winner in overtime when he dove over the pile and extended the ball over the goal line. This came on the heels of the game-tying touchdown where he juke two Falcons linebackers. Alvin Kamara had 15 receptions and was phenomenal once again. What an instant classic. Big win for the Saints on the road putting the Falcons in some trouble.
Broncos 14 Ravens 27
Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum had some struggles in this one. The Broncos defense also struggled against the Baltimore Ravens running backs. Alex Collins and Buck Allen each had a touchdown (Allen had two) as the Ravens took care of the Broncos to hand them their first loss.
Bengals 21 Panthers 31
Don’t know entirely if the injuries the Cincinnati Bengals had to running back Joe Mixon and defensive end Michael Johnson were the main reasons why the Bengals lost this one, but they certainly didn’t help. Andy Dalton had four interceptions while Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had a big day with a couple of rushing touchdowns and Christian McCaffrey had nearly 200 yards rushing as the Panthers beat a previously undefeated Bengals team.
Giants 27 Texans 22
My Super Bowl pick is in total disarray. They start slow, they were sloppy with turnovers and their defense has been largely unimpressive. Give credit to the Giants though. Eli Manning played well and Saquon Barkley scored a touchdown as well. OBJ finished with 109 yards receiving and the team overall outplayed the Texans pretty much all game long. A bad loss for the Texans who have now lost nine games in a row.
Titans 9 Jaguars 6
What a defensive struggle this was. A week after looking fantastic against the New England Patriots, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles looked anything but. Not having running back Leonard Fournette didn’t help either. Marcus Mariota came in and really battled his butt off for the Titans. His teammates notice and they appreciated it. Make that three wins in a row for the Titans over the Jaguars since the beginning of last season.
49ers 27 Chiefs 38
Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes looked really good right away throwing three touchdowns in the first half, but was largely complacent in the second half. The main story in this one though is that 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hurt his knee late in the fourth quarter. A torn ACL is likely. Big blow to Jimmy G and the 49ers team.
Raiders 20 Dolphins 28
The Raiders started off really well with Derek Carr hooking up with Jordy Nelson on a long touchdown, but for a third straight week, the Raiders withered away in the second half. They just cannot hang onto a second half lead. The Dolphins used some creativity on offense and picked apart the Raiders secondary in route to the big win. The Dolphins are 3-0 and the Raiders are now 0-3. Ouch!
Bills 27 Vikings 6
Stunning, absolutely stunning. The roughing the passer penalty against Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph on the first drive of the game on third down changed this game to a degree. Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen took advantage and took control of the game from there, outplaying Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Allen had three touchdowns (one passing and two receiving) while Cousins had two fumbles and interception. The Vikings offensive line was awful and the Bills overall were ready to play. The bounces went their way. This was as ugly a loss for the Vikings as they have had in the Mike Zimmer era.
Colts 16 Eagles 20
As predicted here on Friday, sure shooting, Carson Wentz in his first start back from a torn ACL suffered last December hooked up with rookie tight end Dallas Goedert. It was an NDSU-SDSU connection. Wentz and the Eagles struggled the rest of the day, but their defense came up with a huge stop late sacking Andrew Luck to help preserve the win. This Eagles team will only get better.
Packers 17 Washington 31
Washington running back Adrian Peterson owns the Packers. He has run all over them in this career and he did it again on Sunday rushing for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers once again got off the a slow start and the Packers defense couldn’t stop Alex Smith and company. It was a big win for Washington and a puzzling loss for the Packers. What’s more puzzling? Roughing the passer penalties. Clay Matthews, (as if you needed a guess) was called for another roughing the passer penalty that he and head coach Mike McCarthy vehemently disagreed with. Supposedly the right call was made, but who the hell knows?
Chargers 23 Rams 35
The battle for L.A. went to the Rams who put up over 500 yards of offense in this one. Robert Woods had a big day especially with over 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The Chargers were game and were close, but couldn’t quite get the job done. This Rams team is the real deal.
Bears 16 Cardinals 14
This was a pretty ugly game. The Cardinals started out hot early with Sam Bradford throwing a touchdown and the Cardinals jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Khalil Mack and the Bears defense took over after that. Eventually, Bradford would be replaced by rookie Josh Rosen, because Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said his team needed a spark. It wasn’t enough so the Cardinals remain winless.
Cowboys 13 Seahawks 24
The Seattle Seahawks just know how to win their home openers. Make it ten in a row now. Earl Thomas was fantastic with a couple of interceptions and the offense eventually did enough. The Cowboys are not good. Dak Prescott once again threw for under 200 yards. There are issues for both teams, but at least the Seahawks won the game.
Patriots 10 Lions 26
The Detroit Lions didn’t just beat the New England Patriots. They thoroughly outplayed them. They kept the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands. Brady threw for only 133 yards. The Patriots couldn’t stop the Lions from, wait for it, rushing the football. Finally, for the first time in four-and-a-half years, the Lions have a rusher who ran for over 100 yards. Rookie Kerryon Johnson had over 100 yards rushing. It was a remarkable win for the Lions. Matt Patricia wins his first game of his coaching career and the student took down the master, the master being Bill Belichick.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8:15 PM ET ESPN MNF
The drama in the Steel City is overshadowing the greater point that this football team is currently winless and their defense is not very good. That’s not good news when facing a Buccaneers offense that has been lights out so far this season. Can Fitzmagic (Ryan Fitpatrick) continue his remarkable run? I say yes.
Prediction: Bucs 38 Steelers 30
Coming up Tuesday: Thoughts on Tiger, MNF recap, college football and more.