Week 10 winners, losers: Saints implode in stunning loss; Eagles win without playing

Lorenzo Reyes


Published 6: 16 AM EST Nov 11, 2019

Week 10 in the NFL was nothing if not unpredictable, with a 13-point underdog in the Atlanta Falcons pulling off an upset against a powerful division foe, and three one-win teams pulling out victories. Many of those outcomes shook up the postseason standings.

Here are this week’s winners and losers.


Lamar Jackson’s MVP campaign: One of the delights of the season so far has been watching Russell Wilson and Jackson outdueling each other each week. And with Wilson playing Monday night, it was Jackson and the Ravens who owned Sunday. They trampled the Bengals, 49-13, and Jackson scored four total touchdowns and accounted for 288 total yards. He became just the second player in NFL history, joining Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2007, to have two games in one season with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. The MVP race, right now, appears to be a two-man race, and Jackson might have done enough against Cincy to take the lead.

Oakland Raiders: Not only did they come up with a huge victory against the division-rival Chargers on Thursday night, but they got some help from the Titans. With Tennessee beating the Chiefs, 35-32 — on a potential game-tying field goal that was blocked — the Raiders (5-4) are now just a half-game back of first place in the AFC West. Even better for Oakland? It has two very winnable games versus the Bengals and at the Jets, before a massive Week 13 showdown against Kansas City. The rest of the remaining schedule is so favorable in fact, ranking 31st in the NFL, that even if they drop that Chiefs game in Arrowhead, the wild card is still a possibility for coach Jon Gruden in his second season back with Oakland.

Philadelphia Eagles: They were on bye, but they won, no question about it. With the Cowboys dropping their game to the Minnesota Vikings, 28-24, the Eagles got a huge boost. Now, both Philadelphia and Dallas are tied atop the NFC East at 5-4, though the Cowboys do currently hold a tiebreaker because they beat the Eagles 37-10 in Week 7. The Eagles should be well-rested off their bye, their secondary should (finally) be nearing full health and the biggest boon for them is their schedule. They do have the Patriots and Seahawks in consecutive weeks coming up. But after that, they face the Dolphins (2-7), Giants (2-8), Redskins (1-8), Cowboys and then the Giants once again.

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Mitchell Trubisky: He and Bears coach Matt Nagy had been on the “Losers” side of this list in the past two weeks, so we have to give them a nod when they perform well. Trubisky bounced back in a big way in a 20-13 victory against the Lions. While he did start slowly, with Chicago crossing into Detroit territory for the first time in the game with 1: 55 to play in the first half, Trubisky turned it on. He finished the game 16 of 23 for 173 yards and three touchdowns. He helped snap a four-game losing streak. Those three scores were more than he had, combined, during the losing skid. But now he must be consistent. Looking at the drive chart from the game, aside from the three consecutive TD series, Chicago punted in each of their nine other possessions and gained just 56 yards on 34 plays. Seven of their 12 drives were three-and-outs.


Cowboys’ late-game issues: Clock management blunders and questionable play calls have become a bit of a sore subject for Cowboys fans, and Sunday night’s loss against the Vikings was more of the same. The Cowboys were marching down the field on what could’ve been a potential game-winning drive. It started at Dallas’ own 6-yard line with 4: 34 to play, but Dak Prescott carved through the Viking secondary to the tune of six of seven passing for 79 yards. Then, facing a 2nd-and-2 from Minnesota’s 11-yard line, running back Ezekiel Elliott got stuffed up the middle for no gain. On the following play, they ran Elliott left, and he lost three yards. Not only did the rushes let too much time run off the clock, they got the ball out of Prescott’s hands, despite his clearly being the more reliable weapon Sunday night. Then the coaching staff told receiver Tavon Austin to fair catch a punt, despite having yards and yards of turf to work with. This loss, paired with the one against the Jets in Week 6, could prove to be fatal for Dallas’ postseason hopes.

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Sean McVay: Forget a Super Bowl hangover, the defending NFC champs have bigger problems. The Rams lost to the Steelers, 17-12, and continue to suffer from some issues that — with each passing week — seem to be too significant to mend. Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles rushing game have disappeared. The Rams rushed for 88 yards against Pittsburgh and now average 96.2 per game, well below their average of 139.4 from last season. The defense just isn’t making nearly as many plays as it did last season. After ranking third in the league with 30 takeaways last season, L.A. has just 14 through nine games. Worst yet, the team’s turnover margin has gone from plus-11 last year to minus-2. And no number matters more than their record of 5-4, which, as things stand now, has them on the outside looking in of the playoff picture.

Pat Shurmur: There was a feeling that the loser of the game between the Jets and the Giants would be in some serious trouble. After the Giants fell, 34-27, Jets (2-7) coach Adam Gase might have bought himself some more time in his gig. Shurmur, on the other hand, dropped to 7-19 (.269) in two and a half seasons with the Giants. Reporters noted that Giants co-owner John Mara looked upset after the game and didn’t even acknowledge their presence. The Giants (2-8) now enter their bye week. And even though the franchise typically avoids making in-season changes to coaches and executives, Shurmur might be a candidate to join his predecessor Ben McAdoo in being fired before the end of a season. The Giants defense is a mess, star running back Saquon Barkley has been erased behind an ineffective offensive line, and it seems like the team can’t go one game without committing a turnover, ranking worst in the NFL with 24.

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New Orleans Saints: They haven’t been on this side of the list very much this season, but the Saints self-imploded in a 26-9 loss against the Falcons, who entered Sunday 1-7. Now, New Orleans is 7-2, and it has dropped from the No. 2 seed in the NFC. New Orleans was undisciplined, gifting Atlanta six first downs via penalty. The Saints committed 12 penalties overall. They couldn’t sustain drives, converting just three of 12 third-down tries. And they had to settle for field goals, failing to score a touchdown on three red zone visits. Many of these mistakes are self-enforced. The Saints can recover and fix them. But if this costs them seeding in the postseason, it’s an inexcusable midseason loss the Saints have sometimes become known for. 

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.

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