There’s going to be plenty of discussion over the next couple of days on who the quarterbacks will be next week when the Eagles host the Saints.
The question here in Philadelphia is whether the Eagles will turn to Jalen Hurts over Carson Wentz. Down in New Orleans, it’s whether Drew Brees is healthy.
But maybe the Saints don’t need him.
New Orleans improved to 8-0 over the last two seasons without Brees, an interesting record since Brees is, ya know, one of the great quarterbacks of this generation. He’s first all-time in passing yards, second in passing touchdowns (to Tom Brady).
Brees has missed the last three games with cracked ribs, but can come off the injured list this week. Taysom Hill, who might be the most talked about backup quarterback since Steve Young, finally threw a touchdown pass as New Orleans held off Atlanta on Sunday, In fact, he had a pair of them.
Last season, New Orleans went 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater filling in for Brees.
“That’s the position everyone focuses on, but our team’s playing well,” New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. “We’re fortunate to have depth at a number of positions, and that includes quarterback.”
The Saints (10-2) have won nine in a row and are currently the top seed in the NFC. Expect New Orleans to be evasive about who its starter will be against the Eagles given how different Brees and Hill play the position.
One thing is certain. CBS is rooting for Brees to be healthy AFTER the Eagles game. They have the Week 15 Saints game when New Orleans hosts Kansas City.
1-New Orleans (10-2, bye)
7-Minnesota (6-6) at 2-Green Bay (9-3)
6-Tampa Bay (7-5) at 3-L.A. Rams (8-4)
5-Seattle (8-4) at 4-N.Y. Giants (5-7)
1-Pittsburgh (11-0, bye)
7-Indianapolis (8-4) at 2-Kansas City (11-1)
6-Miami (8-4) at 3-Buffalo (8-3)
5-Cleveland (9-3) at 4-Tennessee (8-4)
Winners & Losers
The Patriots overwhelmed the Chargers 45-0 as Bill Belichick improved to 21-5 against rookie quarterbacks since becoming New England’s coach in 2000. He’s lined up to see Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa in two weeks. The five rookie QBs to beat the Patriots are Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Sanchez, Colt McCoy, Russell Wilson and Geno Smith.
Of New England’s six touchdowns, two came on QB sneaks by Cam Newton and two were on special teams (punt return, blocked field goal). The Patriots will stay in Los Angeles and play the Rams on Thursday night. Gotta be a better game than their (zzzzz) Super Bowl two years ago.
Baker Mayfield (334 yards, four first-half TD passes) played his best game of the season as Cleveland (9-3) took another step toward ending the league’s longest playoff drought (18 years) with a solid win at Tennessee. The Browns finish with Baltimore at home, go to New York for consecutive games at the Giants and Jets, before finishing at home against Pittsburgh.
It got so bad in Tennessee that even Derrick Henry fumbled. His first since last December and snapped an impressive string of 375 touches without turning it over.
Rams cornerback Troy Hill has scored touchdowns each of the last two weeks. He returned a fumble against the 49ers last week and had a pick-6 to ice LA’s win over Arizona on Sunday. Before last week, he hadn’t scored a touchdown since his sophomore year at Oregon eight years ago when Chip Kelly was his coach.
If not for that “Hail Murray” win over Buffalo at the buzzer in Week 10, Arizona would be on a five-game losing streak.
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (Salem H.S.) had a strong game after missing last week as a COVID precaution. Taylor ran for 91 yards and took a pass 39 yards to the house for his fifth, and longest, touchdown of the year.
Five players were ejected following several fights between Miami and Cincinnati, including Dolphins wide receiver Mack Hollins (remember him?) Xavien Howard, who notched his league-best eighth interception, was another of Miami’s players to get tossed.
There are eight players with more interceptions this year than the Eagles have as a team. The Birds have three interceptions in 393 pass attempts by their opponents, and none in the last 174 attempts dating back to Jalen Mills’ pick on the Giants’ Daniel Jones in Week 7.
Watching the Giants roll up 190 rushing yards on 31 attempts against the Seahawks defense makes the Eagles choice last week to throw it 45 times and run it 14 against Seattle even more maddening.
The Giants went off as 11-point underdogs with money-line odds around +450.
Always reluctant to say professionals are tanking for a draft pick, but the Jets gave up a 46-yard touchdown to the Raiders with five seconds left to move to 0-12. Henry Ruggs III undressed Jets’ cornerback Lamar Jackson with a hesitation move that Jackson had no business biting on. The Raiders were out of timeouts and any other in-bounds completion but a touchdown would have ended the game. Afterward, Jets safety Marcus Maye criticized defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for calling an all-out blitz and leaving Jackson, an undrafted rookie, all alone on the fateful play.
Jacksonville (1-11), the Jets’ biggest threat for the No. 1 pick, avoided its second win of the season by losing to Minnesota in overtime. The Jags, who also weren’t trying to lose, forced OT by scoring with 68 seconds left and watching the Vikings miss a 51-yard field goal with 18 seconds left. Admittedly, the only folks riveted to these games were the gamblers, and whoever aspires to be Trevor Lawrence’s agent.
Oh my God, no!
ESPN reported that a FanDuel bettor put down $25 prior to the season that the Jets first win would be this week against the Raiders. The odds were 250-1 and would have paid $6,250. Hope the bettor hedged with some money-line action on the Raiders.
Justin Houston (Indianapolis) and Kyle Van Noy (Miami) each had three sacks while Leonard Williams (Giants) had 2.5. All three of their teams won.
Oakland tight end Darren Waller had 13 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns. By comparison, all the Eagles receivers on Sunday had 11 receptions for 188 yards and one touchdown.
Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson (9-121-1) became the fifth rookie to need just 12 games to reach 1,000 receiving yards. Randy Moss (1998), Anquan Boldin (2003), Marques Colston (2006) and Odell Beckham (2013).
They said it
“I couldn’t believe they all-out blitzed us. As soon as I saw it, I was thankful.”
-- Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on what was a relatively easy game-winning touchdown.
“We know we can shock a lot of people.”
-- Giants safety Jabrill Peppers after registering five tackles, two passes defensed and a sack in the upset win at Seattle.
“My emotions right now, I can’t even think straight. I’m just trying to wrap my head around this whole thing on what just happened.”
-- Lions coach Darrell Bevell after watching Detroit rally from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit in his first game as interim head coach.
“I really think he needs to learn [by] being pulled from the game or even let Jalen Hurts start. He needs to have that type of reset button pushed. And why I say that is because he is [paused for effect] an error-repeater.”
-- Tedy Bruschi on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown BEFORE Sunday’s Eagles-Packers game
“Somebody better help on T.Y. Hilton or he’s going to have another one of those 200-yard days.”
CBS analyst Rich Gannon after Hilton put up five catches for 74 yards in the first quarter. Hilton had just three grabs for 36 yards over the final three quarters. It was Hilton’s first 100-yard game in two years.
“If I looked like that good, I’d never have a shirt on.”
Fox analyst Mark Schlereth discussing the chiseled features of Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf.