My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_
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The Good – Indianapolis quiets down Kansas City.
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs. Colts win 19-13.
The Colts came ready to play on Sunday night. They walked into Arrowhead Stadium and put the high-flying Chiefs on lock. Patrick Mahomes ended the night with another 300 yard game, but he finished just 22 of 39, with one touchdown, and was sacked four times.
Mahomes has seemingly looked unstoppable for Kansas City this season. This offense has continued to put up a lot of points without star receiver Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs hit a brick wall on Sunday night, producing only 13 points in a loss at home.
Under defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, The Colts have primarily used zone coverages. They have found success running Cover 2, where the two safeties split the field in two, and each cover a deep half. The cornerbacks and linebackers defend everything underneath, and the defense has a chance to stop a lot of quick and intermediate throws.
Patrick Mahomes has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league against zone, so the Colts changed up their play-calling for this game. Indy ran more man coverage than I have ever seen them run, in recent years. Without Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs receivers struggled to get separation, limiting their big play ability.
The Colts excellent defensive game plan powered them to a huge road win. Putting clamps on the Chiefs will earn their defense a lot of respect. And have they found the blueprint for stopping Andy Reid and the guys?
The Bad – The Dallas Cowboys’ defense. Stopping the run continues to be a problem.
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys. Packers win 34-24.
All offseason we’ve heard about how great this Cowboys defense is. The media has fallen in love with Cowboys’ linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. I’ve heard and read some discussion about these two already being the best linebacker duo in the national football league. After another defensive collapse in a prime time spot, I’m going to hesitate on putting them in the hall of fame just yet.
The Cowboys were coming off a good defensive performance against the Saints in Week 4, allowing 12 points on four field goals. Green Bay was coming off a loss to Philadelphia, so Dallas had an opportunity to make a statement within the conference. A win would have meant a 4-1 record with a Week 6 matchup against the New York Jets.
Instead of wrecking havoc at home, the defense folded. The Packers offensive line smacked the Boys’ front seven around. Running back Aaron Jones was the star of the night, totaling 182 yards from scrimmage and scoring four touchdowns.
Jones is a very good football player, but he should not have dominated this football game. The Cowboys run defense has failed them in big spots before. Let’s not forget the 273 rushing yards they allowed during the divisional playoff game in 2018 against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Cowboys are certainly one of the most talented defenses in football. Their speed on that side of the football allows them to defend a variety of offensive schemes. That speed doesn’t solve everything though, and they need to do a better job of controlling the line of scrimmage and making stops against the run.
The Ugly – The Browns get punished by the Niners.
Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers. 49ers win 31-3.
After a big divisional win against the Baltimore Ravens, the Browns looked like they were headed in the right direction. The running game got going, and Baker Mayfield played well enough for the team to come away with a big win in week 4.
Running the ball against the 49ers is a different beast, and the Browns offense found that out the hard way on Monday Night Football.
When the running game isn’t working, it often takes a superhero performance from the quarterback, to come away with a win. Mayfield hasn’t played at that level all season, and Browns fans should begin to worry.
Mayfield ended the night with just 100 passing yards while throwing two interceptions. He has now thrown twice as many interceptions (8) as he has touchdowns (4) on the season. For a team that was expected to contend, this ain’t gonna cut it.
Beyond the stats, Mayfield is having serious issues on the football field. He’s not reading Cover 2 well, he’s holding the ball too long, and he has a terrible tendency to drift to his right on EVERY passing play. Defensive coordinators are picking up on this, and making his life hell.
Baker Mayfield is still a young player and has time to develop. Based on his recent performances, their coaching staff has a lot of work to do. The Browns’ schedule isn’t doing them any favors, as they face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6.
Underrated Performance – Will Fuller, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans
The Texans passing game is on fire! Will Fuller went ballistic! 14 catches, 217 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Fuller is a weapon, man.