New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints:
This was a close game throughout. Once again, it was a slow start, resulting in no points in the first quarter from either side. However, QB Daniel Jones had an impressive 52-yard pass to WR John Ross (who was on his season debut) in the second quarter on the only play of the series. The TDs continued to be exchanged, as QB Jameis Winston scored his own to TE Juwan Johnson. The Giants, at this time, could not keep up and Jones threw an interception to end the half at 7-7.
Coming into the second half, the Saints only took three plays to score with gadget QB Taysom Hill (an eight-yard rush). This came right off of a 58-yard pass by Winston to WR Marquez Callaway. After a 23-yard FG by the Giants, the Saints came back to score with Hill again (on another eight-yard rush) to start the fourth quarter with a 21–10 lead. After what looked like a loss for sure, the Giants were able to inch their way back with another large pass, this time a 54-yard TD by RB Saquon Barkley. Finally, following Jones running in the two-point conversion and a Saints punt, the Giants were able to tie the game with a 48-yard FG with only 36 seconds left in the game! They were able to secure their first win of the season after taking the Saints to overtime, Barkley sealed the deal with a six-yard rushing TD. The final score was 27-21 NYG.
My Key Player: RB Saquon Barkley (13 carries, 52 yards rushing, one rushing TD, five receptions, 74 receiving yards, one receiving TD).
Washington Football Team @ Atlanta Falcons:
The first quarter was a slow one as, again, we had a matchup between two lower-tier teams in the league. The Falcons only walked away with a 25-yard FG by K Younghoe Koo. The start to RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson’s day began with a five-yard rush and a four-yard reception, followed by a four-yard rush and a 10-yard reception, but then we were treated to a special 42–yard TD pass to him from QB Matt Ryan. This was just the beginning of what was a huge day for him, but more on him later. However, the combination of WR Terry McLaurin and QB Taylor Heinicke came right back with a 33–yard TD of their own. The Washington TD train kept going, as RB Antonio Gibson was able to come right back on the next drive and score a TD of his own (a two-yard rush). The score, going into the half, was 17–13 with the Falcons leading, as Patterson got a 12-yard receiving TD (his second of the day).
Coming out of the half, both teams got to score a TD each. WR/RS DeAndre Carter was able to return the kickoff for a 101-yard TD for WFT (K Dustin Hopkins missed the PAT, though), while Patterson caught a 14-yard TD pass from Ryan, which marked his third TD of the day (Ryan, however, failed to convert on the two-point conversion to WR Olamide Zaccheaus). On the third total drive of the quarter, Washington scored a 21-yard FG. The third quarter ended with four drives total, with the WFT TD and ATL FG drives taking up the majority of the quarter.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the scoring continued but stopped in the middle of it. The Falcons finished their last drive in the third quarter drive to start off with a seven-yard pass to RB Mike Davis. After forcing Washington to a three-and-out, the Falcons found themselves punting the ball right back. The one–two punch of Heinicke and McLaurin struck again for a TD pass of 17 yards, but Washington still found themselves down 30–28 due to a failed two-point conversion from Heinicke to TE Ricky Seals-Jones. The WFT defense did an excellent job by forcing another three-and-out to give their offense one last chance to score with the ball. In seven plays, Washington did just that on a broken play, where Heinicke found his outlet in RB J.D. McKissic. McKissic took the ball to the end zone on the play, which resulted in a 30-yard TD. It was a great last-effort dive to get in there, which ultimately won them the game. Despite the Falcons’ efforts with 33 seconds left on the clock, Ryan was not able to score this time around.
My Key Player: QB Taylor Heinicke (23/33, 290 yards, three TDs, five rush attempts, 43 yards). Finishing this game without a turnover and being able to recover off of a busted play gave the QB our honors.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs:
The Eagles took the lead early in the game twice, which may half caught the Chiefs off-guard, but Abs just thinks they just may have been temporary setbacks and not something too worrisome for the Chiefs to handle. The scores came off a 29-yard FG and a three-yard TD from QB Jalen Hurts to TE Dallas Goedert, and they were sandwiched between a one-yard receiving TD by RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. However, after the initial 10 points, the Eagles could not score more than 25-yard FG from K Jake Elliott in the half. Meanwhile, the Chiefs scored two more TD passes, one to WR Tyreek Hill and another to TE Jody Fortson. Going into the half, the Chiefs led 21–13, which wasn’t so bad for the Eagles honestly. It was still a one-score game (granted that the Eagles could convert for two points), so Abs felt like the game was still in the Eagles’ hands.
In the third quarter, it was a bit slower again, as the Eagles kicked their third FG of the game (a 31 yarder). Meanwhile, the Chiefs scored their fourth TD, this time with a short, one-yard run by RB Darrel Williams. It was not until the fourth quarter that the action began to pick up again, with each team scoring 14 points in the quarter. The final score saw the Chiefs winning 42-30.
The Eagles seemed to figure out ways to score even with the injuries that they sustained, even though one was in garbage time. It will be interesting to see how the team will continue to adjust after this game. Noticeably, Abs thought that the offensive line (except for LT Andre Dillard) held up quite nicely, even though the Chiefs did have three sacks on the day. This is because he thought that this makeshift OL would be a walking turnstile like it was last season due to the injuries, so he is happy (as much as one can be for a now 1-3 team) that at least the OL didn’t completely screw the game over for Philly.
Two things that they will have to figure out how to fix are scoring consistently and avoiding penalties. After scoring 32 points in the season-opener against ATL, they only combined for 32 points against SF and DAL. It was refreshing to see at least 30 points on the board for Philadelphia, even though it was ultimately not enough. And don’t get Abs started on penalties… Just read this article and look at these stats to get the whole picture (which is very bleak, by the way)…
My Key Eagles Player: QB Jalen Hurts (32/48, 387 yards, two TDs, eight rushes, 47 rushing yards). ~400 passing yards in a loss is a great outcome for a young QB, who was also the leading rusher for the team. Coming out of the game with no turnovers will certainly help his cause too.
Special shout-out to QB Patrick Mahomes (24/30, 278 yards, five TDs, one INT, five rushes, 26 yards), who is my Player of the Game. Abs would also like to give a shout-out to WR Tyreek Hill for his 186-yard, three-TD performance on 11 receptions.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers:
One of these teams was undefeated, while another one was trying to prove they are who they are. Carolina came into this matchup without star RB Christian McCaffrey. That didn’t seem to be a problem for long, as QB Sam Darnold was able to rack up two rushing touchdowns himself in the first half. Dallas continued to flip the switch on their high-power offense rushing and passed for large amounts of yards when needed. RB Ezekiel Elliot was able to punch the ball in at the 1–yard line to put up the first points of the game on the board. They were lucky to do so, as it was on a drive that could have ended with a fumble at the beginning of it, only to be bailed out by QB Dak Prescott recovering it and rushing for 15 yards (it was a first-and-20 after a pass interference penalty). After Darnold’s first rushing TD, Prescott led his team downfield and finished with an 18-yard TD pass to TE Blake Jarwin. However, it hurt the team the most when a two-point conversion to TE Dalton Schultz was overturned, so the Panthers got a 14–13 lead when Darnold got his second rushing TD. The scoring trend ended after that drive, and the score would remain the same at the half.
After the Panthers began the half with the ball, on a drive that ended up with a missed 54-yard FG, the Cowboys pulled off a short drive and scored a TD to WR Amari Cooper on a 35-yard catch. The Cowboys dominated the third quarter, scoring 20 unanswered points in total. TE Dalton Schultz was able to redeem himself, scoring on a six-yard TD on another short series (but there was yet another missed two-point conversion, this time to WR CeeDee Lamb). The third TD of the quarter was by WR Cedrick Wilson for 23 yards. One of the most impressive parts of the quarter was CB Trevon Diggs walking away with two interceptions, which just further justifies what I (along with Mr. Jerry Martinez and Kyle McNulty) said about his skills in our defensive players on rookie contracts series for the Cowboys.
Going into the fourth quarter, it seemed like the Cowboys packed their bags a little too early, only walking away with a 37-yard FG by K Greg Zuerlein. WR DJ Moore got the TD that he deserved after his performance last Sunday on a six-yard pass from Darnold. After a three-and-out from the Cowboys, Moore caught yet another TD pass, this time for eight yards. However, when it counted the most, the Cowboys were able to run out the clock and win their third game in a row, while also handing Carolina their first loss of the season. The final score was 36-28 DAL.
My Key Player(s): For the first time this season, we will have co–players of the game from the NFC East side of things (we had two players of the game in the Chiefs-Eagles game, as mentioned above):
- RB Ezekiel Elliott (143 yards, 20 rush attempts, one rushing TD). Even on a day where QB Dak Prescott was able to score four TDs through the air, Zeke gets our nod here. He truly looked like his old self out there, not only on his long rushes but in his blocking ability as well. It seemed like OC Kellen Moore is finally getting the best out of his running back, and this will only propel Dallas further.
- CB Trevon Diggs (Two INTs, four total tackles, two PDs). Though it did not show in the stat sheet, the Panthers respected Diggs all game long. The two times that QB Sam Darnold may have forgotten he was there, Diggs took advantage and intercepted him. He now has five INTs total in the last four games, which will be very helpful for a defense that is trying to change their reputation from last season.
NFC East Standings
Dallas Cowboys (3–1)
Washington Football Team (2–2)
Philadelphia Eagles (1–3)
New York Giants (1–3)
- Cover Picture: https://studentunionsports.com/what-is-wrong-with-the-nfc-east/
- Statistics: Yahoo Sports: a) https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/new-york-giants-new-orleans-saints-20211003018/, b) https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/washington-football-team-atlanta-falcons-20211003001/, c) https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs-philadelphia-eagles-20211003021/, d) https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/carolina-panthers-dallas-cowboys-20211003006/
- News: https://www.profootballrumors.com/– a) https://www.profootballrumors.com/new-york-giants-rumors-news, b) https://www.profootballrumors.com/washington-football-team-news-rumors, c) https://www.profootballrumors.com/philadelphia-eagles-rumors-news, d) https://www.profootballrumors.com/dallas-cowboys-news-rumors
- Injuries: a) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/NYG/new-york-giants/injuries/, b) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/WAS/washington-football-team/injuries/, c) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/PHI/philadelphia-eagles/injuries/, d) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/DAL/dallas-cowboys/injuries/
Edited By: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.