There were some remarkable individual performances on Sunday that helped remind fans why NFL athletes are amongst the very best in the world. After a full week of anticipation and predictions, the games over the weekend are why people tune into the games globally.
Let’s take a look back at the three most important takeaways from Week 10’s slate of action.
The Vikings Need To Be Taken Seriously
The headline matchup of the day featured two teams that are hopeful to make deep playoff runs in January and February. The Buffalo Bills are expected by most to be standing towards the very end, but the jury was still out on the Minnesota Vikings. Despite entering Sunday’s game with a 7-1 record, many believed that Minnesota was more of a regular season darling than a real threat to do damage in the postseason.
That sentiment may have changed with their impressive 33-30 victory in Buffalo. Granted, the Vikings were extremely fortunate to come away with a win, as it would not have happened if Buffalo executed their center-quarterback snap exchange in the waning moments of the contest. However, Minnesota showed tremendous resilience on the road against one of the best teams in the NFL.
Their effective play was highlighted by the ability of wide receiver Justin Jefferson to make plays over and over again. His ridiculous one-handed grab on 4th down and 18 yards to go with two minutes left in the game will go down as one of the best catches in history. Jefferson appears to be un-guardable, which is a scary thought for opponents down the stretch.
The Raiders Are In Complete Disarray
The Las Vegas Raiders were expected to be a factor in the AFC playoff race this season. They made the postseason in 2021 with a far less talented roster, and added stars like Davante Adams and Chandler Jones into the mix. It seemed like the only direction to go for the team was up.
It turns out that they’ve taken a significant step back, and are not making plays when it matters most. Last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas had a 20-0 lead at halftime, only to end up falling 27-20. It was an embarrassing second half performance that dropped their record to 2-6.
Things went from bad to worse on Sunday, as Las Vegas lost to a team whose head coach literally went from a TV studio to the sideline a few days earlier. The Raiders did not seem to have answers for the Jeff Saturday-led Indianapolis Colts, which is a humiliating indictment on Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels.
Green Bay May Have Landed On A Winning Formula
One of the most discussed teams in the NFL this season has been the Green Bay Packers, and their inability to remain one of the top contenders in the NFC. The aforementioned Davante Adams left the team during the offseason, and the Packers have not been able to string drives together consistently.
It seemed like Green Bay was headed for another lackluster defeat at home against the Dallas Cowboys. However, they did something that most teams don’t down two scores; they continued to run the football.
Forgoing the predictable option of throwing the ball for chunk passing plays, Green Bay continued to rely on running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. The two backs combined to rush for 203 yards, and it might be the method the team uses to control the clock against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night as well.