Dak Prescott has done it again. That’s five games to start his career without an interception, and he’s closing in on the NFL record. Not bad for a 4th round draft pick out of Mississippi State who people were doubting 10 months ago, and then even more after he got a DUI before the NFL Draft.
All he’s done filling in for Tony Romo: 4 TDs, 69% completions (tied for 4th in the NFL), 7.9 yards per attempt (7th in the NFL), and zero interceptions. He’s rushed for three TDs. His interception-less streak is historic:
Some saw the Prescott-Romo thing developing a week ago; the rookie’s flawless performance against the Bengals will lead to many more discussions tomorrow. Dallas is 4-1, currently the 2nd playoff seed in the NFC. Prescott’s biggest road test to date: at the Green Bay Packers next week. Then there’s a bye week, and after that, it was the target date for Romo to return to his starting job.
It’s going to be a fun week in Dallas with a lot of questions from the media.
Tom Brady is Back, and Has a New Weapon
For all the talk about bad QB play in the NFL this season, it was refreshing to see Tom Brady came in and do this to Cleveland: 28-of-40, 406 yards, 3 TDs and a QB rating of 127.7. It was as close to flawless as you can get. His dual tight end look was in full effect: Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski were targeted 15 times, caught 11 passes, and three for TDs. Up next, the Bengals limp in to New England, fresh off a beating at the hands of Dak Prescott.
Back to the Basics
Three weeks ago, the Bills were 0-2 after a bad home loss to the New York Jets. They fired their offensive coordinator, Greg Roman. Buffalo’s owner met privately with some players. Rex Ryan was a dead coach walking.
Since then? Three straight wins, and the reason is the focus on the running game, led by LeSean McCoy:
vs Arizona: 17 carries, 110 yards, 2 TDs
at New England: 19 carries, 70 yards
at Los Angeles: 18 carries, 150 yards
McCoy hadn’t topped 60 yards in his first two games of the season, both Buffalo losses.
Joey Bosa Shines, Even Though It’s Same Old Chargers
held out longer than any other player taken in the 1st round of the 2016 draft. San Diego – as usual – was quibbling over a few dollars, and even though he signed on the eve of the season, there was concern Bosa’s rookie year would be lost.
In Bosa’s NFL debut, he sacked Derek Carr twice, and had three tackles for a loss in a 34-31 loss. It was a dominant performance, especially when you consider the pass rushing menace on the other side of the field, Khalil Mack, only has one sack so far in five games.
Brock Osweiler Struggles, Again
Osweiler was very bad again for Houston Sunday, struggling against the nastiest defense in the NFL, Minnesota. Osweiler was 19-of-42 for 184 yards, and he was sacked four times. If the Texans still had Ryan Fitzpatrick or Brian Hoyer, Osweiler could be looking at a benching.
The $72 million man has plenty of weapons at his disposal – Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, and they just spent another early-round pick on a receiver, Will Fuller.
So how did the Texans go 1-for-13 on 3rd down, and average just a paltry 3.6 yards per play against Minnesota? Entering Sunday, the Texans were 28th in ypp. They play the Colts with first place in the AFC South on the line next week.
Atlanta Uses Its Running Backs to Catch Denver
A good sports debate: Who has the best cornerbacks in the NFL? One could argue the Broncos, with Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, are tops. The Falcons knew that, and as such, brilliantly adjusted their game plan to attack … the linebackers. Atlanta’s running backs had a significant speed advantage, and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s plan worked perfectly: Tevin Coleman had four catches for 132 yards and a touchdown; Devonta Freeman caught three for 35 yards.
According to ESPN, Atlanta’s running backs had 180 receiving yards, tops in the league since the Chiefs went over 200 in 2013. At 4-1, the Falcons have now beaten the two teams from last year’s Super Bowl in consecutive weeks. And handily, too.
Andrew Luck Shines Late
Luck did it again, putting on a show in the 4th quarter and carrying the Colts to victory over the Bears. Indianapolis isn’t healthy defensively, and right now, the team is basically Luck and Ty Hilton.
Luck’s 4th quarter numbers are staggering so far this season: 583 yards (more than any other quarter), 67% completions, 7 TDs and one interception. The quarter in which he has the highest rating? You guessed it: He’s got a 115.2 rating in the 4th quarter.
Where Luck ranks in 4th quarter passing through five games:
QB Rating: 4th
You can blame the front office. You can blame the play calling. You can definitely blame the defense (Brian Hoyer threw for 397 yards and two TDs in a near-perfect game … except for missing a wide open Alshon Jeffery on the game’s final play.)