It’s common knowledge in sports that, if you take care of your own business, you don’t have to worry about anybody else as far as the standings are concerned.
While this is entirely true, getting some help along the way is never a bad thing. This column will be completely dedicated to the results of the other three NFC South teams throughout the season, and hopefully we’ll be able to bask in their failures together.
Unfortunately, there haven’t been very many of those failures this year.
Pittsburgh Steelers 52, Carolina Panthers 21 (TNF)
Week 10 got off off to one heck of a start, with the Steelers continue their hot run in the process of absolutely dismantling the Carolina Panthers in front of a national audience.
Things looked promising for Carolina to start the game — they went 75 yards on nine plays on the opening drive, with Christian McCaffrey totaling 60 yards from scrimmage and a score on that drive alone.
It was all Steelers after that, however. They went 75 yards on one play, courtesy of Juju Smith-Schuster’s explosiveness. The next play was an interception returned for a touchdown courtesy of Cam Newton’s bad decision.
The Steelers would score on their next five drives in a row, and by the time the Panthers defense finally made a stop and forced a punt, the game was well out of hand.
Ben Roethlisberger had a perfect quarterback rating en route to 328 passing yards and five touchdowns. James Conner had 65 rushing yards and a touchdown before exiting early after a possible concussion. Antonio Brown was the leading receiver with 96 receiving yards and a score.
Cam Newton totaled 193 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. McCaffrey led the team in rushing and receiving with 77 and 61 yards, respectively. He tallied three total touchdowns.
The Saints are steamrolling the competition at this point, and they made a statement in Ohio this week. The Bengals looked overmatched and outclassed.
The New Orleans Saints possessed the ball for nine drives, and scored on every single one of those drives. Their first five drives went for touchdowns. Brees hooked up with Thomas, Kamara scored multiple times and it was business as usual for the Saints.
The Bengals displayed some resistance early on, scoring on their first drive to tie it at 7-7, but that would pretty much be it, as Cincinnati wouldn’t score again until the final drive of the game, which was garbage time.
Brees totaled 265 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and no interceptions. Kamara scored the team’s two rushing touchdowns but it was Mark Ingram who led the team on the ground with 104 rushing yards. Michael Thomas had 70 receiving yards and two scores.
Andy Dalton had a rough game — just 153 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions accounted for by the Red Rifle. Joe Mixon had 61 rushing yards, and Tyler Boyd was the leading receiver with 65 receiving yards.
In a defensive slugfest, the Buccaneers put up over 500 yards of total offense and managed to somehow score just three points.
Ryan Fitzpatrick racked up the yardage, moving the ball up and down the field seemingly at will all afternoon. But the Bucs offense also racked up the turnovers, four to be exact. Combine those four turnovers with two missed field goal attempts and you have a recipe for a 500-yard afternoon which culminates in only three points.
The Redskins offense wasn’t good by any stretch either, scoring one touchdown and converting three field goals, but their defense did the job and pushed them over the finish line.
Fitzpatrick had 406 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and one red zone fumble lost. Peyton Barber was Tampa’s leading rusher with 61 yards while Chris Godwin and Jacquizz Rodgers (yes, that Jacquizz Rodgers) each totaled over 100 receiving yards. Mike Evans dropped what would have been a late touchdown catch,
NFC South Standings after Week 10
1. New Orleans Saints (8-1 overall record; 1-1 divisional record) - Next vs. Eagles
2. Carolina Panthers (6-3 overall record; 1-1 divisional record) - Next at Lions
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6 overall record; 1-2 divisional record) - Next at Giants