The Best Week of the 2022-2023 NFL Season

Ethan Engellau

Sports, Editor

Week Ten showcased a plethora of excitement with the first NFL game ever played in Germany, the game of the year between the Viking and Bills, Jeff Saturday proving all the haters wrong, Aaron Rodgers showing emotions and the end of the Eagles’ undefeated run.

The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers squared off at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. Allianz Arena typically hosts soccer club FC Bayern München with the capacity of 70,000 seats. Sunday was different with history in the air; the NFL had three million requests for tickets. The first quarter of this game started out slow as both teams punted on their first drives. The Seahawks would go on to punt on all their first-half drives. The Buccaneers began to progress on their second drive after a big 29-yard throw from Tom Brady to Mike Evans, but Ryan Succop would miss a 52-yard field goal, keeping the game scoreless.

 At the start of the second quarter, however, Brady would complete another long throw for a 31-yard touchdown, this time to Julio Jones. Leonard Fournette would cap off their following drive with a 1-yard touchdown run putting Tampa Bay up 14-0 at half. Despite the touchdown, Fournette seemed to have lost his lead back spot to Rachaad White as White carried the ball 22 times for 105 yards while Fournette managed 14 carries for 57 yards.

The second half was a different story as Seattle flashed its competitive side as it has many times this season. They scored on three of their four second-half drives and forced Brady to throw two interceptions. If not for a Geno Smith fumble on the Tampa Bay nine-yard line late in the third quarter, the Seahawks may have celebrated the first NFL victory in Deutschland, but the Buccaneers bested them in the end: 21-16.

Justin Jefferson is HIM. Jefferson is second in the league in receiving yards, behind only Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins, helping the Vikings to an 8-1 record and an overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills 33-30. This game was a shootout from start to finish. Every time it seemed something positive happened for one team, the other team answered. Jefferson caught the first touchdown of the game on a 22-yard strike from Kirk Cousins. The Bills responded with a five-yard rushing touchdown by Devin Singletary. Singletary would add his second touchdown of the first quarter seven minutes later with a one-yard rush. Buffalo seemed to be pulling away towards the end of the first half, after a 11-yard touchdown grab from Gabe Davis put the Bills up 24-10 at the half. 

An 81-yard rushing touchdown by Dalvin Cook, with a minute and a half left in the third, sparked the Vikings into hyperdrive as they began to fight back. Stefon Diggs made a miraculous one-handed catch at the end of the quarter, but this too would be answered by Minnesota when the play of the year was made by none other than Justin Jefferson. Fourth and 18, two minutes to go, down 27-23, Kirk Cousins threw an interception to Cam Lewis, or did he? Jefferson snatched the ball out of Lewis’ hands with one of his and reels in the catch. Somehow this ball never hit the ground and resulted in a 32-yard catch. This catch is now being compared to Odell Beckham Jr.’s notorious 2014 one-handed catch against the Cowboys as the catch of the century. Unfortunately for Minnesota, Cousins was stuffed on the one-yard line on a quarterback sneak to give the ball back to Buffalo with less than a minute remaining. This game just kept on giving viewers more and more as a muffed snap by Josh Allen was recovered by linebacker Eric Kendricks and resulted in a touchdown, forcing Buffalo to drive down the field and get into field goal range and fast. The Bills were up to the challenge as a 20-yard incompletion ruled a catch by Gabe Davis that went unreviewed proved critical in Buffalo sending the game to overtime. 

The Vikings were able to kick a field goal on their first possession in overtime. The Bills seemed to be surging down the field in response until Josh Allen was intercepted by Patrick Peterson on a deep shot that would’ve won the game for Buffalo. This was the game of the year.

Jeff Saturday, a former six-time Pro Bowl center for the Indianapolis Colts was hired last week as the new head coach of the Colts to much chagrin from the media. Saturday has in recent years worked as an analyst for ESPN and has minimal coaching experience, none of which is above the high school level. This didn’t stop Saturday and the Colts from winning his debut on Sunday with a 25-20 victory over the Raiders. Just three weeks after the announcement that Sam Ehlinger would be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, Matt Ryan was back on the field with a new regime in town. The true path to victory was the return of Jonathan Taylor; the superstar running back ran for 147 yards and a touchdown, only his second 100-yard rushing game of the season. The season is all but over for Las Vegas, but for a Colts team that seemed destined for the same fate, Jeff Saturday may be their saving grace.

Disgust, anger, confusion and irritation. These are the emotions we have seen gloss over Packers back-to-back MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers this season. On Sunday against the Cowboys, we saw pure joy amidst a 31-28 overtime victory for Green Bay. The major problem for the Green Bay offense with the loss of Davante Adams has been that Rodgers has no receiver to rely on. The past two weeks, however, Christian Watson has begun to step up. Watson ended this game with 107 yards and two touchdowns. Watson added two more touchdowns this past Thursday against the Titans on Thursday Night Football.

Dallas is now 2-2 with Dak Prescott at quarterback this season while they enjoyed a 4-1 record with Cooper Rush. Prescott continues to prove time and time again he is not clutch, and so far he has not lived up to the massive contract he fought so hard to obtain.

Taylor Heineke was seen emulating Kirk Cousins on the flight out of Philadelphia Monday night. Heineke was adorned with the diamond and gold chains of his teammates, a pair of glasses and a Busch Light in his hand. The celebration was a result of the Commanders party crashing the Eagles’ perfect season, leaving Lincoln Financial Field with a 32-21 victory. Terry Mclaurin deserves a lot of the credit, as the underrated receiver proved when given the targets and opportunity, he is top tier, hauling in eight catches for 128 yards. The Commanders appeared to be the better team throughout the game, winning the possession battle with 81 total plays to the Eagles’ 47 and the turnover battle with four to Philly’s two. Two of these turnovers in the fourth quarter were vital to the Eagles’ downfall. Dallas Goedert suffered a shoulder injury and a missed Facemask call on his way to fumbling the ball on the Philadelphia 31-yard line, gifting Washington a field goal that stretched their lead to five. In the ensuing drive, Quez Watkins reeled in a 50-yard catch but had the ball punched free while attempting to run after the catch, which was again recovered by the Commanders. The final nail in the coffin came with a minute and 45 seconds remaining in the game as Heineke appeared to be scrambling on third down and seven, when he suddenly kneeled down, causing Haason Reddick and Brandon Graham to dive tackle him on the ground, making contact with his head and knocking him over. Roughing the Passer was called, and Washington griddied off the field with a win.

Categories: Sports

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