LA Rams 27 – 17 Jacksonville Jaguars
Right then, where were all the fans at this game? It was pretty obvious that there was a heck of a lot of spare seats in the stadium. A game that was being played by two pretty exciting teams to watch these days. I don’t understand the U.S. fanbase at times, they moan about the fact that games are being taken from them and played on foreign shores, but then don’t turn up on a consistent basis to watch them and fill the stadium(s). Anyway, whatever.
Not that I was aware of it at the time because NFL GamePass Europe continues to be the most ineptly run streaming service and app on the face of the planet these days, but the game started off in explosive fashion. The Jaguars kicked off to the Rams and Pharoh Cooper who returned it 103-yards for a TD. Not to be outdone, the Jaguars ran a run play which saw Leonard Fournette break free and go 75-yards for another TD. So that was 2TD’s in the first 25 seconds and GamePass didn’t allow us to see it live because they suck and should have their contract with the NFL ripped up and thrown away. For me, the GamePass screen was black for the majority of the first quarter, meaning the 24 points that were scored in that time were missed – I’m so very tempted to not bother renewing with this crap service next season as this kind of thing happens every Sunday during the season.
Although I’m supposed to be looking at the LA Rams here, it’s difficult not to comment about Leonard Fournette and about how special a player he is. He’s got it all, speed, power and good moves to break free. Yes, he powers straight ahead quite a lot but even when you think some plays are done he puts on a spin move and off he goes again. My biggest concern has been that, with Blake Bortles not being that good, Fournette was going to have to do it all and end up risking more injuries as well as wear-and-tear on his body because of this. I’m glad to see Chris Ivory has stepped up his game and is contributing whilst taking some of the load of Fournette. Having said that, Fournette did suffer from a sprained ankle late in this game but it’s said he’ll be good to go this coming weekend against the Colts.
Todd Gurley also had a good game as he went for 116-yards off 23 carries which I like more than Fournette’s 130-yards off 21 carries because he got 75 of his yards on the early TD run.
It’s a good job Gurley was consistently good as the passing game didn’t look as good as it has done at times previously this season. A quick look at the stats will show you what I mean as Goff completed just 11 passes from 21 attempts for 124-yards and 1TD. He didn’t throw any interceptions though and was sacked 3 times. Zero sacks would obviously have been better but unrealistic and 3 is pretty good against that Jaguars defence, in my opinion.
I for one am looking forward much more this season to seeing the Rams than I was last year when they came over and lost to the New York Giants.
Green Bay Packers 10 – 23 Minnesota Vikings
The biggest news from this game was the loss of Aaron Rodgers for most likely the rest of the season with a broken collarbone. It was sustained on a play where he’d rolled out of the pocket and so lost all of his QB-protecting privileges and was hit by Vikings LB Anthony Barr after he’d passed the ball away. He hit Rodgers from the side and so landed on him and his shoulder which his shoulder couldn’t take. People are watching the play in slow-motion and having big debates about how Barr could have pulled out of the hit and should have been called for a penalty. I say this is nonsense and the hit was fair and should be watched at full-speed. End of story for me, really.
Even with the loss of Dalvin Cook for the season, I feel that the Vikings still have a very good running game. This was shown again this week with Jerick McKinnon looking great and Latavius Murray contributing as the bigger back. McKinnon is by far the better back out of the two, in my opinion, and should be considered as the starting RB on the team. He’s good in both the run and passing games and should ease the woes of losing Cook somewhat.
Another absence from the Vikings team this week was that of WR Stefon Diggs. No matter as the brilliant Adam Thielen continued to perform. He’s a very good player with a safe pair of hands. Former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell actually stepped up as well by catching all 3 of his targets for 51-yards including a superb one-handed grab in the 3rd quarter.
QB Case Keenum had a steady game, which is all the Vikings want from him, I’m sure. He only threw the one pick and wasn’t sacked at all which is very good considering the offensive line has been looked at as a weak spot on the team.
The Minnesota Vikings’ defence was solid as usual and could very well be the difference at Twickenham as they have the potential to totally dominate and completely shut the poor Cleveland Browns offence down.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 33 – 38 Arizona Cardinals
Not that the New Orleans Saints will regret it as they have two fantastic running backs of their own, but they would (currently) appear to have let a very good player go for very little – a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2018. Adrian Peterson looked like an inspired pickup by the Arizona Cardinals as he ran for 134-yards and 2TD’s on his debut for the team.
Not only do the team now appear to have a running game again after suffering from a non-existent one for the start of the season, but having AP in your backfield also makes your passing game better now that you’re a dual-threat offence again.
On the first few drives of the game, the Cardinals offence looked incredible. AP was busting through the line for long gains and the Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald combination looked great.
The Cardinals went in at halftime up to the tune of 24-0.
A slight concern I would have if I were a fan was the fact that they seemed to take their foot off the gas pedal in the second half, particularly in the 4th quarter. They were up 31-6 by the end of the 3rd quarter but let the Buccaneers score 27 points in the final quarter to bring the score back to 33-38. A win’s a win I guess but that garbage-time comeback (or whatever you want to call it) would annoy me.
So, who’s rushing out to buy their shiny new Adrian Peterson jersey, huh?
As usual, the Cleveland Browns get their own post seeing as I’m a fan of theirs (even though I find them difficult to watch these days). Their post can be found here.