Week 10 of the NFL season proved to be an extremely entertaining one.
Sunday’s slate provided a full array of close and exciting finishes as well as the incredible rarity of a 49ers win, leaving the Browns as the only team without a victory this season.
Here’s a look at some of the best headlines from this weekend’s action.
Staley: 49ers win as good as NFC title: The 49ers cruised past the Giants to finally get their first win and, Niners left tackle Joe Staley, the feeling was just as satisfying as his biggest achievement with the team. “I’ve been part of a lot of wins here,” he said. “This win felt as good as winning the NFC championship.”
Rankins: A great day to be me: While it was Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara who piled on the points in the Saints’ blowout 47-10 win over the Bills, defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins had an interception and his first sack of the season. All modesty aside, Rankins said: “It was a great day to be me.”
Clayborn ‘lucked out’: But modesty is something that seemingly comes easy to Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn, whose franchise-record six sacks propelled Atlanta to a 27-7 win over the Cowboys. He said: “I’m no Everson Griffen or somebody like that, my pass rush isn’t as good as (his). But I play the same way every game. It lucked out for me today. I only have one move and it works.”
Dak takes inspiration from Denver response: For Dallas, quarterback Dak Prescott was blunt in his assessment of the Cowboys’ display, but is taking inspiration from their response to a 42-17 loss to the Broncos in Week 2, which they followed by winning four of the next six. “We got our asses kicked. … That’s what happened in Denver,” Prescott said. “We got better from it. We’ll get better from this one as well.”
Jackson takes blame for sneak snafu: It was a bizarre sight, even for the Browns, to see DeShone Kizer try to sneak in from the 2-yard line with 15 seconds left in the first half and no timeouts remaining. The half ended in predictable fashion, with the Browns unable to get another play off before the half of their 38-24 loss to the Lions. Kizer reportedly audibled into the sneak, but coach Hue Jackson, overseeing an 0-9 season, refused to let his quarterback take the fall. “Doesn’t matter (if he audibled),” Jackson said. “It’s on me. To go ’round and ’round about it, I’m not going to do that. Anything that happens with our offensive football team is my responsibility, so that’s on me.”
Lynn slams ‘inexcusable’ loss: What word do you use to describe a defeat that you suffer after leading by three points with two minutes left and then intercepting a pair of passes? After their 20-17 overtime loss to the Jaguars, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn provided the answer. “To me, that was inexcusable.” Tough to disagree with that assessment.
Bridgewater: Emotion got the best of me: In the game of the day, the Vikings beat the Redskins, 38-30. Backing up Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater was active for the first time since the Vikings’ January 2016 playoff loss to the Seahawks following his recovery from a devastating knee injury. The sight of a tearful Bridgewater on the sideline before kickoff was one of the abiding images of the day. Explaining his emotions afterwards, he said: “Opportunities like these don’t come around twice. So, when you get that second opportunity, you cherish it. Today it got the best of me.”
Roethlisberger had no hope for no-look pass: The Steelers needed a big effort from Ben Roethlisberger to turn around a 17-3 deficit in their 20-17 win over the Colts. Big Ben proved up to the task, though, with one of his highlights a no-look touchdown pass to a wide open Vance McDonald. Roethlisberger gets points for style, though he suggested the throw may have been more by luck than judgment. “I thought it was going into the first row of the seats,” he said.
Bennett has ‘vengeance in heart’: Martellus Bennett is controversially back with the Patriots after his public fallout with the Packers, released because of an undisclosed injury he claims to have told the team about. Despite apparently having a torn rotator cuff, Bennett caught three passes for 38 yards in New England’s beatdown of the Broncos, seemingly using Green Bay as motivation: “After trying to get it fixed and getting waived, you’ve got that vengeance in your heart like, ‘All right, that’s how you’re going to do it? F— it, let’s go ball.”