NFL Week 10 grades: Ravens get 'A+' for rolling Bengals, Seahawks get a 'B+' for upset of 49ers
Here are the Week 10 grades for every team that played on Sunday and Monday
With the Ravens coming off a huge win over the Patriots in Week 9, no one would have been surprised if Baltimore had overlooked the winless Bengals this week, but that's not what happened, thanks in large part to Jackson, who threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns in the Ravens' 49-13 win over Cincinnati. Oh, and he also rushed for 65 yards and another touchdown.
Basically, the Bengals had no answers for Jackson, who ran circles around the Cincinnati defense. Actually, they weren't technically circles; they were spin moves, as you can see on the 47-yard touchdown below that Jackson had in the third quarter.
A wild Week 10 is almost in the books and there's a lot to go over. Fortunately Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break everything down on the latest episode of the Pick Six Podcast. Listen to the full show below and be sure to subscribe right here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Forget his legs though, because Jackson did most the offensive damage in this game with his right arm. The Ravens quarterback was on fire to start the game. Not only did he open things up with a 49-yard pass to Marquise Brown on Baltimore's first play from scrimmage, but he completed his first 11 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
As if the Ravens offense wasn't scary enough, offensive coordinator Greg Roman showed off a few new wrinkles in his playbook that other teams are now going to have to study when they watch the Ravens on film. The craziest new play from the Ravens came out of a three Heisman backfield that featured Jackson, Mark Ingram and Robert Griffin.
Baltimore ended up running an option out of the formation, which went for a 12-yard gain by RG3.
With Jackson looking more and more comfortable every week, the Ravens offense has suddenly turned into the most unstoppable unit in the NFL, and with a defense that's playing almost just as well, the Ravens are looking like the Super Bowl favorite in the AFC.
Baltimore 49-13 over Cincinnati
|If the Bengals learned one thing in this game, it's that Ryan Finley definitely isn't the answer at quarterback. The rookie had a disastrous first start against the Ravens that included handing Baltimore two touchdowns. Not only did Finley throw an 89-yard pick-six in the first half, but he also lost a fumble that the Ravens returned for a touchdown in the second half. The Bengals season basically reached rock bottom on Sunday, which is saying a lot for a team that seems to hit a new rock bottom every week. |
|Lamar Jackson might have stolen the show this game, but the Ravens didn't even really need him on Sunday, and that's because Baltimore's defense outscored the Bengals by themselves (14-13). The Ravens defense came up with multiple big plays in this game, including an 89-yard pick-six by Marcus Peters and a 33-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Tyus Bowser. Marquise Brown also had a big game for Baltimore with four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.|
Chicago 20-13 over Detroit
|With Matthew Stafford out due to a back injury, the Lions weren't expected to do much in this game, but they still kept it close thanks to a defense that forced the Bears to punt nine times in this game. The problem for the Lions though is that Jeff Driskel couldn't really move the ball against Chicago's defense. The Lions had four three-and-outs against the Bears and struggled to move the ball for most of the second half. Although Driskel only made one big mistake -- a third quarter interception -- that mistake proved to be costly after the Bears turned it into a touchdown just three plays later. That TD put the Bears up 20-6 and ended up being the game-winning score. |
|The Bears offense got off to an ugly start with by going three-and-out on three of their first four possessions, but then Mitchell Trubisky caught fire. Seriously. The beleaguered quarterback led three straight touchdown drives in this game, with the most impressive one coming in the final minutes of the first half. The three scoring drives ended with Trubisky throwing a touchdown pass to three different players. Although it once seemed like the Bears were left for dead in the playoff race, they could sneak back into things if they can continue to get consistent play from Trubisky, who finished 16 of 23 for 173 yards. |
Cleveland 19-16 over Buffalo
|The Bills offense and defense both played good enough to win, but Buffalo was let down by its special teams. Kicker Stephen Hauschka missed two big field goals, including a 53-yarder that would have tied things up with just 17 seconds left to play. Hauschka also missed a 34-yarder in the second quarter that was equally costly. Defensively, the Bills did struggle to stop the run, which has been the story of their season. The Bills went into this game surrendering more than 150 yards per game over the past three weeks and the Browns almost hit that, finishing with 147 yards. |
|Baker Mayfield might have saved Freddie Kitchens' job in this game. With the Browns trailing 16-12 in the fourth quarter, Mayfield led the Browns on an 82-yard drive that didn't end until the quarterback threw a seven-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins with just 1:44 left to play. The quarterback's heroics overshadowed a disastrous performance by Kitchens, who struggled with his play-calling in the first half. The worst part came when Cleveland was unable to score from the Bills' 1-yard line on one drive, despite getting seven chances. The Browns defense also came up big, stopping the Bills on two different fourth down attempts in the game. |
|The Giants put this game in the hands of Daniel Jones, and the plan almost worked as the rookie quarterback threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Giants, Jones wasn't perfect, as he fumbled three times, including one that the Jets returned for a TD in the third quarter. Offensively, Jones got zero help from his team. The Giants offensive line couldn't protect him -- he was sacked six times -- and the run game never got going as Saquon Barkley was held to just one yard on 13 carries. |
|If Sam Darnold was seeing ghosts on Sunday, they were all friendly. The Jets quarterback got off to a hot start against the Giants, who went into the game with one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Darnold completed his first seven passes for 63 yards and led the Jets to a touchdown on each of their first two possessions. The Jets receivers had a field day against the Giants with Demaryius Thomas (84 yards) and Jamison Crowder (81 yards) both coming up big. Of course, the biggest play of the game for the Jets came from Jamal Adams, who took the football right out of Daniel Jones' hands and proceeded to return the fumble for a touchdown.|
Tennessee 35-32 over Kansas City
|Overall, the Chiefs played well against the Titans on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns, and the offense had zero problems moving the ball against this Titans defense. The Chiefs defense performed well for the most part, but did allow Derrick Henry to go off for 188 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs would have come away with a win if they executed when it mattered most. There was a miscommunication on the botched field goal with under two minutes left, the defense allowed the Titans to take the lead four plays later and then they allowed Joshua Kalu to get through the line and block the game-ending field goal attempt, which would have sent the game to overtime. Plain and simple, the Titans outplayed the Chiefs with the game on the line.|
|I'm not sure how many people other than Will Brinson were confident in picking the Titans over the Chiefs this week. With Patrick Mahomes coming back and then Tennessee having just lost by double digits to the Carolina Panthers, it didn't exactly seem like it was the right recipe for a big Titans win. What impressed me most about the Titans on Sunday was how they held in there. There were times where it seemed like Mahomes was about to run away with things, but the Titans answered big plays with big plays and then came through by blocking a field goal with the game on the line. Ryan Tannehill was great, throwing for 181 yards and two touchdowns. It seemed like he got more comfortable as the game wore on, and he even took matters into his own hands by tucking and running on several occasions. Derrick Henry was a beast, as he rushed for a season-high 188 yards and two touchdowns. There are not many running backs in the NFL better than him when he's at his best|
Chiefs-Titans grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Atlanta 26-9 New Orleans
|Atlanta played a near-perfect game against New Orleans and didn't look like a 1-7 club. The Falcons rushed for 143 yards after averaging just 69 yards on the ground per game heading into Week 10. That allowed them to dominate time of possession and let Matt Ryan have a relatively clean pocket all afternoon. Defensively, they were able to get after Drew Brees early and often, sacking him six times. Where has this team been all season? |
|As much as the Falcons simply played well against the Saints, New Orleans didn't do themselves any favors either. They were billed as one of the least penalized teams in the league heading into this game, but were called for 12 penalties for 90 yards in this loss. Those infractions either completely derailed their offensive possessions or led to the Falcons scoring points. Call me crazy, but that's not exactly ideal if you want to win the game. |
Falcons-Saints grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tampa Bay 30-27 over Arizona
|The Cardinals did enough to beat the Buccaneers, but turnovers and a lack of running game were costly. The Cardinals received nothing from David Johnson and Kenyan Drake as the pair combined for just 37 yards on 15 carries. Johnson had just five carries for two yards in his first game back from knee and ankle injuries that caused him to miss two games. He also fumbled the ball on his only catch of the day with the game tied 20-20 in the third quarter. After Jameis Winston threw his second interception, Johnson fumbled two plays later at the Buccaneers' 11-yard line, giving the ball back to Tampa Bay and taking away a minimum of three points. The second turnover was Kyler Murray's interception at the Buccaneers 8-yard line with Arizona holding a 27-23 lead with 3:47 left. Two turnovers deep in Buccaneers territory cost Arizona the victory. |
|Hard to give the Buccaneers too much credit for this one since the Cardinals did what they could to lose it, but a win is a win. The Buccaneers still had three turnovers, but also forced two Cardinals turnovers with Arizona in the red zone, taking a minimum of six points off the board. The final takeaway was the Murray interception that led to the 92-yard drive, which resulted in the winning touchdown. Jameis Winston went just 1 for 3 on the winning drive, but a 49-yard pass to Chris Godwin established the momentum for the Buccaneers to have the winning score. Ronald Jones also had eight catches for 77 yards as the Buccaneers used the screen game and took plays underneath to move the chains. The Buccaneers offense is even more dynamic with Jones on the field; he should be the starting running back the rest of the year. |
Cardinals-Buccaneers grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Pittsburgh 17-12 over L.A. Rams
|The Rams' offense, while it did many things wrong, notably failed to get the ball to Cooper Kupp, who recorded 220 receiving yards in the Rams' last game. Los Angeles could not buy a third down conversion, as it went 1-14 on third down attempts for the game. The Rams also failed to fully utilize Todd Gurley, who had just 14 touches. And while their defense played winning football for most of the day, Los Angeles allowed the Steelers to stretch their lead to five points while milking eight minutes off the clock late in the game. The Rams were also unable to overcome their 10 penalties for 95 yards.|
|While the Steelers' offense was anything but perfect, they made the necessary plays while getting a career game from receiver James Washington, who set career highs with six receptions for 90 yards and a score. The Steelers' defense, was, quite simply, dominant, as Pittsburgh forced four turnovers that included two from Minkah Fitzpatrick, who returned a fumble 43 yards for the go-ahead score. His interception off of Joe Haden's deflection with 20 seconds left put the game on ice. Kicker Chris Boswell continues to be clutch, hitting a 33-yard field goal that stretched Pittsburgh's lead to five points with under three minutes left.|
Rams-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Green Bay 24-16 over Carolina
|Just like the Packers deserve all the ribbing they get for their pass defense, Carolina needs to be reminded again and again that its run "D" is bad. Straight-up bad. But you know what? On a day Christian McCaffrey was uncharacteristically "quiet" (meaning still productive, just not historically good), Kyle Allen had a really good showing, on the road, at Lambeau, in the snow. His red-zone pick was costly, but he made up for it with a lot of late, encouraging throws. Carolina's not dead yet.|
|Their defense needs some serious work, unless you want to blame the snowy conditions for them nearly allowing Kyle Allen to lead an improbable fourth-quarter comeback. Other than that, though, Matt LaFleur's offense looked very balanced and polished. Aaron Rodgers wasn't superhuman against the Panthers, but he never had to be thanks to Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams and Green Bay's O-line paving the way. They aren't always the prettiest team, but they're darn good.|
Panthers-Packers grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Miami 16-12 over Indianapolis
|It wasn't necessarily a great performance. It certainly didn't look good. But a Dolphins team that is tanking just went into Indianapolis and beat a Colts team that is competing for a division title. That's why they're getting an A+. They had no business winning this game, but they managed to gut it out. The defense deserves most of the credit. Not only did they pick off Hoyer three times, but they also held the Colts to only 3.8 yards per carry. The Dolphins came into the game allowing 402.4 yards and 32 points per game. They limited the Colts to 300 yards and 12 points even though their offense turned the ball over twice. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, a second straight win pretty much takes them out of the running for the top pick in the draft. But give Brian Flores credit for winning two more games than we expected. They've allowed only 30 total points the past two weeks.|
|Yes, Frank Reich has been dealt a difficult hand as he's been forced to pivot to Jacoby Brissett and now Brian Hoyer, but even with their third option at quarterback, so much more was expected of this Colts team against the least talented team in football. They fell into a 10-0 hole thanks to two interceptions by Brian Hoyer in the first half -- one of which came in the end zone -- which the Dolphins turned into 10 points. While the Colts did at least manage to take a brief lead in the fourth quarter, they responded by allowing the final six points of the game with Hoyer throwing his third interception along the way. It was a truly horrific performance by the Colts' offense against a defense that entered the week ranked dead last in DVOA and points allowed per game. Were they shorthanded? Yep. But they were going up against a team that is in the process of tanking and they somehow let them leave with a win.|
Dolphins-Colts grades by Sean Wagner-McGough (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Minnesota 28-24 over Dallas
|It was a statement win for the Vikings, who beat a division-leader on their own field to keep pace with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. The reason they didn't land an A here is simple: they let the Cowboys back into the game. After jumping out to a 14-0 lead to start the game, the Cowboys scored 14 unanswered points to make it a game going into the half. Ultimately, the Vikings were able to continue gashing the Dallas defense to stave off a loss, and they did it without Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen. Dalvin Cook had a field day in Dallas with 183 total yards, and now Minnesota is on to the next game with a smile on their face.|
|This game began as a stone cold F for the Cowboys, who again suffered a slow start and looked unprepared for what the Vikings were going to do. Credit them for battling back on the heels of a potent game by Dak Prescott and his receiving corps -- led by Amari Cooper and his toe tag antics -- but the decision to continue running Ezekiel Elliott into a brick wall continually put them behind the sticks. It was all Prescott could do to keep the Cowboys in the game, but the defense couldn't get off the field, losing the time of possession battle in a major way and then going on to lose the fight because of it. |
Vikings-Cowboys grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Seattle 27-24 over San Francisco
|The Seahawks used some Russell Wilson magic to get to overtime, and then they used some more of it to pull off the upset in San Francisco. Wilson wasn't perfect against the 49ers -- he lost a fumble and threw an interception -- but he came up big every time the Seahawks needed him to, including an 18-yard scramble on third down in overtime that set up Jason Myer's game-winning field goal. Although Wilson had a magical game, he didn't have to win this one on his own. The Seahawks quarterback also got plenty of help from a Seattle defense that forced three turnovers, including a fumble return for a touchdown by Jadeveon Clowney in the first half.|
|The 49ers defense sacked Russell Wilson five times and forced four turnovers, but it wasn't enough to overcome sloppy play from the team's offense. Jimmy Garoppolo turned the ball over three times, which was especially costly, because the Seahawks ended up scoring 21 points off those three turnovers (two lost fumbles and an interception). Despite the offensive struggles, the 49ers had a chance to win this in overtime, but kicker Chase McLaughlin shanked a 47-yard field goal attempt.|
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