When Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen went toe-to-toe in January’s playoff thriller, it was inconceivable that any sport within the close to future (or any future) would match its madness. Properly, maintain our beer, mentioned the Vikings and Payments on Sunday.
The Payments suffered an identical destiny as they did in that playoff sport, a devastating loss in additional time, this time 33-30. And Josh Allen was simply as distraught as he had been in January. However not as a result of NFL guidelines prevented him from getting the ball in additional time. This time Allen was a central perpetrator within the loss.
Allen’s errors have been a recurring theme however solely a slice of the riveting soccer we skilled within the closing minutes of regulation on Sunday. To summarize the brain-frying motion within the dying phases (not a straightforward job):
— The Vikings are down 27-23 (due to a missed additional level on CJ Ham’s landing) and want to attain a landing to win.
— Over a 12 play, 75-yard drive, Justin Jefferson proves he isn’t human. The receiver catches every thing in his line of sight, irrespective of the variety of defenders. This contains an unbelievable 32-yard one-handed catch on fourth and 18.
— All the hassle is for naught because the Vikings are stuffed on the goalline on a sequence that features a journey by Kirk Cousins and a catch by Jefferson, who’s dominated down on the one-yard line after what was initially dominated a landing. An offsides will get the Vikings nearer however they’re unable to push Cousins over the goalline on fourth down. The Payments are headed for victory once more. (Anxiousness-inducing sufficient for non-Payments and Vikings followers. I can’t think about how the precise followers felt.)
— Then, with 41 seconds left and the Payments main 27-23, comes the unhealthy snap to finish all unhealthy snaps by the Payments at their very own one-yard line. The Vikings smother the free ball within the Payments endzone to take a 30-27 lead (Are you kidding me?)
— Thirty-six seconds is greater than sufficient time for Allen to drive the Payments into field-goal vary (thanks, partly, to a catch that in all probability shouldn’t have stood). Tyler Bass’ 29-yard subject purpose is sweet. We head to additional time! (No method this sport was ending in regulation.)
— Minnesota win the toss and pull off some large positive aspects. Are we going to be disadvantaged of Allen but once more? No method. The Vikings can solely muster a subject purpose. What say you, Payments?
— Allen leads a pleasant drive, choosing up large chunks of yardage together with his toes and toughness. However then he throws the ball right into the hands of Patrick Peterson. Sport over.
It was a crushing blow for Buffalo provided that they’d a 27-10 lead within the third quarter. Allen took the blame for the unhealthy snap when the sport appeared wrapped up, which is a pleasant demonstration of management, however his decision-making when it counted is now a legit trigger for concern. Over the previous two video games, Allen has thrown 4 interceptions, three within the crimson zone, and only one landing. The Payments are 0-2 in that span. At one level this season, the Payments seemed like the very best staff in soccer. Now they’re 6-3 and tied with the New York Jets for second place within the AFC East. (The Jets personal the tiebreaker thanks a greater divisional file).
The one solace for Buffalo was that this wasn’t a playoff sport and Allen was taking part in with a bum elbow, his standing unsure virtually up till kickoff. The quarterback nonetheless showcased his arm energy and athleticism on Sunday: in any case, Allen at 75% remains to be higher than most quarterbacks so long as he can eradicate the psychological errors that plagued him earlier in his profession. The wheels haven’t fallen off in Buffalo – Allen’s elbow will proceed to heal and, sooner or later, stud nook Tre’Davious White will make his 2022 debut – however it’s essential to surprise if this staff is doomed in terms of these enthralling finishes.
As for Minnesota: Good day world, meet the 8-1 Vikings. Many NFL followers weren’t paying a lot consideration to them as a result of the Vikings don’t have the flashiest of quarterbacks. However rattling, can Cousins engineer a comeback. Sunday marked the fifth time this season he has orchestrated a fourth-quarter comeback, tying an NFL file. To do it in Buffalo, down 27-10, with Von Miller coming alive within the second half, is outstanding. The argument that the Vikings’ file was because of dealing with weak groups and a slew of backup quarterbacks can now be dismissed. Minnesota’s solely loss this season is to the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles and, as showcased in Buffalo, there’s loads to love.
MVP of the week
Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Miami Dolphins. Heading into the offseason, the Tua doubters have been lined up for miles. He supposedly didn’t look the half or have the arm energy. The Dolphins ought to have a look at Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, they mentioned. Properly, the apology line higher be simply as lengthy as a result of Tagovailoa put in one more sensational efficiency, main the now 7-3 Dolphins to a 39-17 win over the Cleveland Browns. Tagovailoa was virtually flawless, passing for 285 yards and three touchdowns. Having weapons like Tyreek Hill helps, however Tagovailoa deserves a boatload of credit score for Miami’s surge. His 118.4 passer score this season is the best in NFL historical past by a third-year quarterback.
Video of the week
Tom Brady was attempting to showcase his many abilities for a German viewers, however he was tripped up alongside the way in which. By himself. Brady mentioned he would have tackled the defender and prevented the choose had he not been embedded within the floor. Proper …
Fortunately for Brady, this interception and the one he threw whereas slumming it as a quarterback mattered little within the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ key 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks. The Bucs protection was spectacular within the first half, pressuring Geno Smith at will and holding the Seahawks scoreless. On the opposite aspect of the ball, the Bucs lastly found a working assault with Rachaad White incomes 105 yards on 22 makes an attempt.
The Munich crowd was good. They nailed the wave, belted out Take Me House, Nation Roads, and stayed within the stadium nicely after the sport, swaying, singing and taking within the spectacle that’s the NFL.
Quote of the week
Jim Irsay preened after his unconventional rent of Jeff Saturday labored out in its first week. Based on Irsay, Saturday delegated loads to his assistants who in flip simplified the playbook. The consequence was a 25-20 win over the hapless Las Vegas Raiders and Josh McDaniels, who broke up with Indianapolis earlier than his head teaching stint was to start. The Colts teaching workers made the fascinating transfer to start out Matt Ryan who had been benched since Week 7. Ryan, plus a good offensive line, plus the return of Jonathan Taylor added as much as Saturday being 1-0 as a head coach.
Stat of the week
McDaniels began his head teaching profession 6-0. Since then, he’s 7-24. McDaniels has the Raiders spiraling: they’ve misplaced 4 straight and are taking part in undisciplined soccer. They dedicated 10 penalties for 74 yards on Sunday. Derek Carr began the sport 0-5 however was capable of make changes. Regardless of how you’re feeling concerning the Raiders, it’s price watching an emotional and “pissed off” Carr after the sport. This isn’t a contented franchise.
Elsewhere across the league
— Former Bears wideout Muhsin Muhammad as soon as referred to as Chicago, “the place the place receivers go to die.” Due to quarterbacks like Rex Grossman, Jay Cutler, and Mitch Trubisky (amongst many, many, many others) that assertion has been confirmed true. However now it seems the unimaginable has occurred and, in Justin Fields, the Bears have discovered a quarterback who will not be solely proficient and athletic, but additionally a delight to observe.
The Bears misplaced to the Detroit Lions 31-30 on Sunday however Fields stole the present, significantly on the bottom. One week after placing up 178 speeding yards, Fields ran for one more 147 and was liable for 4 touchdowns. Sadly he added a well timed choose six, however the future appears vivid.
— Aaron Rodgers had some not-so-nice phrases for his head coach Matt LaFleur, who performed it conservative within the closing two minutes of regulation in opposition to Mike McCarthy’s Dallas Cowboys as a substitute of attempting to win. The Inexperienced Bay Packers ultimately received 31-28 in additional time and Christian Watson’s breakout sport helped overhaul a two-score deficit. However Inexperienced Bay are nonetheless simply 4-6 and the quarterback-head coach relationship appears as frosty as ever.
— TJ Watt made his return to the Pittsburgh Steelers after a seven-game absence and instantly had a few tackles. Nook Levi Wallace spoke after the sport about Watt’s mere presence, “affecting every thing.” The Steelers topped the New Orleans Saints 20-10.
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