Now into mid-November, the National Football League has again avoided any serious weather conditions at today’s outdoor venues. The skies are overcast at most locations, but no snow or heavy rain is expected today and the Sunday night game will be played under the dome in Las Vegas where the Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who opened the 2021 season with an upset win in Buffalo and then lost three straight games, have righted their ship with four consecutive wins. One might expect Pittsburgh to extend their winning streak to five games today when they host the winless Detroit Lions. The Steelers have a chance to pull even with the AFC North Division leading Baltimore Ravens, who were upset on Thursday night in Miami.
But, the Steelers task got a little tougher when it was announced yesterday that Pittsburgh Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is lost for this game under Covid protocol. The Steelers did not specify whether Roethlisberger tested positive for the virus or was a close contact of someone who was infected. According to the league’s Covid-19 protocols this year, vaccinated players are not required to quarantine if they are a close contact.
Coming off Covid protocol on Saturday is another star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. The leader of the Green Bay Packers missed last week’s game in Kansas City and the Chiefs ended the Packers seven game winning streak, a run that began after Green Bay was blown out on opening day by the New Orleans Saints, 38-3.
Without Rodgers, backup Jordan Love was only able to guide the Packers to one score, a late touchdown that trimmed Kansas City’s winning margin to 13-7. The Packers currently hold a bulge in the NFC North Division race where their closest competitors are the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, teams that have won only three games this season.
Green Bay hosts the Seattle Seahawks today and Pete Carroll’s squad welcomes back their blue-chip quarterback, Russell Wilson. After starting 149 consecutive games for the Seahawks Wilson missed the last three games for Seattle after being injured during a Week Five home loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Also from the quarterback injury chronicles, the Arizona Cardinals return Kyler Murray to his starting spot after he was sidelined last week. In his absence, the Seahawks won an important division game against the San Francisco 49ers with Colt McCoy leading the Arizona attack.
Rookie quarterback Mac Jones is having the best of it among the five highest rated quarterbacks drafted in the first round this year. Selected before him were Trevor Lawrence, the first pick in the draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars; Zach Wilson, picked second by the New York Jets; Trey Lance, who the San Francisco 49ers tabbed with the third pick and Justin Fields, who the Chicago Bears took with Jones still on the board.
Jones was selected by the New England Patriots with the 15th pick in the first round.
So, how does the quarterback that was the fourth selected in the draft end up having the best season over the three chosen before him?
He went to New England.
Did anyone really think that Lawrence was going to turn around a Jaguars team that won only one game last season? Or that Wilson was the answer in New York while the Jets have so many other problems? Lance hasn’t yet been a starter except when Jimmy Garoppolo has been sidelined with an injury in San Francisco.
Is Jones really the cream of the crop or simply benefiting from an organization that seems to know how to develop young quarterbacks? Is it the organization that is succeeding in New England this season with Jones behind center, or would Lawrence, Wilson or Lance be having the same success playing for Bill Belichick?
And a side note here, how can Jones trip and then grab an ankle and twist it sending Panthers defensive end Brian Burns to the sideline with an injury that looked really dirty and not get a penalty or fine for the action? This, in the same week that Chicago Bears defender Cassius Marsh was flagged for what appeared to be an overreach on the field for taunting and then get fined by the league almost $6,000 for the infraction?
While Jones has had a solid rookie season, today he meets another top quarterback, Baker Mayfield, who was the first pick in the 2018 draft. Jones has had a solid run, but the more experienced franchise quarterback has the edge today.
The public has checked in with their three favorite plays of the day beginning with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9½) over Washington, followed by the Buffalo Bills (-13) over the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans (-3) over the New Orleans Saints.
The Qoxhi selections for Week 10 are now posted on this site and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s first kickoff, that game will be added to the play list by 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.