NFL Week 10: Contenders and Pretenders Revealed as Titans, Cowboys, Seahawks Win


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The Browns won! They finally won! Just kidding. Week 10 of the NFL season, now past the midway point, will begin to show us who are the contenders and the pretenders. We’re going to recap the action, highlighting these matchups. Unfortunately for the Cleveland Browns though, who inexplicably were featured on a primetime game on Thursday (and then the NFL wonders why their ratings are at a new low), they don’t even qualify as a pretender. While rookie superstar Ezekiel Elliot and the Dallas Cowboys are the last one-loss team left in the league, this Browns team runs a real risk at going 0-16.

The Baltimore Ravens, on the other hand, seem to be that sneaky good team that handles business week in and week out. This time, they routed the Browns on the way to a 28-7 victory in the AFC North, doing what they needed to do to beat a team that might never reach the win column this season. Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco was shaky early in the matchup, throwing two interceptions, but then came back to make some clutch throws and spread the ball around to his receivers. He was enjoying himself so much he even decided to take part in the Mannequin Challenge craze:

The Atlanta Falcons’ offensive juggernaut came to a screeching halt against the Philadelphia Eagles, losing 24-15. In fact, the Battle of the Birds had a single touchdown up until late in the third quarter. A bruising running game and timely defense proved to be the Achilles Heel of the Falcons, as Philadelphia relied on running back Ryan Mathews all game to keep Matty Ice on the bench, chewing up the clock as they did so. So are the Falcons still a true contender after this loss?

The Green Bay Packers, usually a perennial powerhouse in the NFC North, were stunned against Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans, who had their way with the Packers defense on the way to a huge upset victory, 47-25. Tennessee implemented a tight end-centric buzzsaw, seeing Mariota continuously hitting Delanie Walker over and over. Green Bay, with their issues on both sides of the ball, can be considered a pretender, but are these young, upstart Titans truly a contender? Their cause will be helped if they keep getting throws like these out of running back DeMarco Murray – wait, throws?!:

The Minnesota Vikings may have a true problem on their hands, losing a fourth straight game, this time to the Washington Redskins, 26-20. The Redskins were unafraid to challenge the Vikings’ secondary, but Minnesota’s offensive woes continue, not able to establish any kind of running game. The Vikings has lost three straight to subpar opponents (and four in a row total) after starting the season off 5-0. That is a recipe for being a pretender:

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, two teams that have combined to take part in 13 of 50 Super Bowls, went at it on Sunday afternoon, and they did not disappoint. This will go down as one of the best games of the 2016 season, with a whopping four lead changes in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter. In the end, the Dallas rookie tandem proved once again to be the deciding factor in a 35-30 victory, as quarterback Dak Prescott made a number of clutch throws late, and rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliot ran roughshod on the Steelers defense, including on this sublime game-clinching scamper:

The New England Patriots were cruising on their way back to the Super Bowl this season, using a vengeful Tom Brady as fuel, but on Sunday night football, they were humbled by a Seattle Seahawks team that came to play. The game came down to a goal line stand, and astoundingly, the Seahawks stopped the usually unstoppable Patriot offense four times to seal the deal, 31-24. It may not have been as great a victory as that Patriots’ win in Super Bowl 49, but the Seahawks definitely solidified themselves as contenders with this one. Quarterback Russell Wilson looked better than he has all year, scrambling around making plays when they were most needed:

Catch up on the rest of Week 10’s final scores and Fantasy Stars in our full scoreboard below.

Baltimore Ravens (5-4) def. Cleveland Browns (0-10) 28-7
Fantasy Star: Joe Flacco – 30/41 for 296 yards and 3 TDs; 2 INTs

Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) def. Carolina Panthers (3-6) 20-17
Fantasy Star: Cairo Santos – 4/4 on Field Goals, 12 total points scored

Houston Texans (6-3) def. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7) 24-21
Fantasy Star: Brock Osweiler – 14/27 for 99 yards and 2 TDs; 3 carries, 23 yards

Denver Broncos (7-3) def. New Orleans Saints (4-5) 25-23
Fantasy Star: Demariyus Thomas – 8 catches, 87 yards, 1 TD

Los Angeles Rams (4-5) def. New York Jets (3-7) 9-6
Fantasy Star: No one, because this was just a terrible game

Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) def. Atlanta Falcons (6-4) 24-15
Fantasy Star: Ryan Mathews – 19 rushes, 109 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 30 yards

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5) def. Chicago Bears (2-6) 36-10
Fantasy Star: Jameis Winston – 23/33 for 312 yards, 2 TDs; 1 INT

Tennessee Titans (4-5) def. Green Bay Packers (4-4) 47-25
Fantasy Star: Marcus Mariota – 19/26 for 295 yards and 4 TDs; 4 carries, 8 yards

Washington Redskins (5-3-1) def. Minnesota Vikings (5-4) 26-20
Fantasy Star: Kirk Cousins – 22/33 for 262 yards and 2 TDs

Miami Dolphins (5-4) def. San Diego Chargers (4-6) 31-24
Fantasy Star: Miami Defense – 4 INTs including 1 Pick-6; 2.5 Sacks

Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1) def. San Francisco 49ers (1-8) 23-20
Fantasy Star: David Johnson – 19 rushes, 55 yards, 1 TD; 5 catches, 46 yards, 1 TD

Dallas Cowboys (8-1) def. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-5) 35-30
Fantasy Star: Ezekiel Elliot – 21 rushes, 114 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD

Seattle Seahawks (6-2-1) def. New England Patriots (7-2) 31-24
Fantasy Star: Russell Wilson – 25/37 for 348 yards, 3 TDs; 3 carries, 6 yards

New York Giants (6-3) def. Cincinnati Bengals (3-5-1) 21-20
Fantasy Star: Eli Manning – 28/44 for 240 yds, 3 TDs, 2 Ints


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