Five takeaways from Week 10 of the NFL

Eddie Otto Roar Guru

By Eddie Otto, Eddie Otto is a Roar Guru

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    New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is still a joy to watch. (dbking / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

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    We are now ten weeks deep into the NFL season. Here are my five takeaways.

    1. Patriots solve problems other team’s don’t
    New England’s early season issues seem like a distant memory at the moment as they reached 7-2 with a comfortable 41-16 victory at Denver.

    Tom Brady had a 3-7 record at Denver during his career, and had amazingly lost to Denver more times than he had any of the Patriots’ Divisional rivals in the Dolphins, Jets and Bills. We have seen a lot of big injuries to date change the direction of NFL team’s seasons.

    However, the Patriots are the best in the business at solving problems, and figuring out a way to mix and match without some of their leading players on both sides of the ball.

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

    (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    This confirms why they were a prohibitive Super Bowl favourite coming into the 2017 season. Tom Brady has often said he wants to play until he is 45, and right now he still looks as good as ever at age 40.

    Brady is averaging a tick under 300 yards per game but, more importantly, has a staggering 19 touchdowns to two interceptions as he continues to defy people who think he will begin to fall off a cliff with age. A sixth Super Bowl title is well within his reach.

    2. Saints’ statement of intent at Buffalo
    A few weeks ago, the Saints seemed like nothing more than a nice story of a team that was overachieving and in the hunt for a playoff berth. Now they have won seven straight, and look like a front-runner for the Super Bowl this season after demolishing the Buffalo Bills 47-10 in Buffalo on Sunday.

    Many, including myself, doubted the Saints could go into a cold weather environment and produce that sort of dominant display. However, they are a side firing on all cylinders at the moment.

    Drew Brees has been relied upon far too often in the Saints past three 7-9 seasons and, despite his elite play, he couldn’t cover up a terrible defence and the lack of a running game.

    However, now their twin running backs of Mark Ingram and explosive rookie Alvin Kamara are savaging teams on the ground, and the Saints’ defence is creating turnovers and big plays as they look like running away with the NFC South title.

    New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees

    (dbking / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

    3. Giants’ mess gets worse
    Just when you thought the New York Giants’ season couldn’t get any worse, they went and got bowled out by the winless 49ers 31-21 in San Francisco on Sunday. Despite being a two-time Superbowl winning quarterback, Eli Manning has never been consistently elite, and he appears to be in permanent decline at the age of 36 this season.

    While their offensive line is shaky, and some of Manning’s targets have been consigned to the injury bench, the Giants haven’t scored more than 30 points in a regular-season game since the last week of the 2015 campaign, and some of that must fall on him.

    Coach Ben McAdoo’s job is now in serious jeopardy after the Giants made the playoffs last season during his first year in charge. Several players have already made anonymous grumblings against the regime in New York, and it appears changes are inevitable for a club that has imploded to a 1-9 record after having playoff aspirations coming into the season.

    4. Jaguars eyeing first playoff berth since 2007
    The Jacksonville Jaguars are eyeing their first playoff appearance since 2007 after clinging on to a 20-17 overtime victory over a typically self destructing Los Angeles’ Chargers side.

    The Jaguars have been a mess of futility in recent years, having failed to win more than five games in a season since back in 2011. The Jaguars haven’t had a winning record since that 11-5 playoff season in 2007, and only once have they managed an 8-8 record back in 2010.

    The Jaguars are now 6-3 and, with the Colts and Texans falling apart, only the Titans appear capable of challenging them for the AFC South Divisional crown. The Jaguars have built their foundations this season on a young, brash defence that is verging on being elite.

    The Jaguars have given up more than 20 points just twice this season, and forced a key turnover with a fumble late in Sunday’s come-from-behind victory against the Chargers.

    Blake Bortles remains a concern at quarterback and the Jaguars will have to prove they can produce more offence if they want to edge their way towards an AFC South title and playoff berth.

    5. Cowboys fail first test without Elliott
    The looming suspension of Ezekiel Elliott finally hit home for the Cowboys on Sunday, as Dallas were thumped in their first game without their star running back 27-7 at the Falcons.

    The Cowboys had been rolling of late, having stuff the Chiefs, as well as blown away the 49ers and Redskins, as they seemed to be on the upswing after a patchy start to the season.

    American footballer and Dallas Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott

    Dak Prescott was the man who would have felt Eliott’s loss the most, as he was sacked a remarkable seven times, as the Falcons ran roughshod over the Cowboys offensive line with Adrian Claiborne recording an amazing six sacks.

    The Cowboys are now 5-4, and with Elliott out for another five games, might have to set their sights on winning a wildcard berth, with the Eagles running away with the NFC East sitting pretty at 8-1.

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