Ben Roethlisberger reflected with pride on an 18-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers as he looks ahead to the next chapter.

There was to be no magical ending for Roethlisberger as Pittsburgh fell to a 42-21 reverse against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round on Sunday.

The Steelers quarterback threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-44 passing, but he also had to watch Patrick Mahomes' brilliance cut open his side and end their postseason bid.

While Roethlisberger has not specifically said he is retiring, he hinted at as much after bidding a tearful farewell to Heinz Field following a Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns.

On Sunday, the two-time Super Bowl winner, who has donned the Steelers' black and gold for his entire career, spoke glowingly of his time in Pittsburgh as he looked back on his time with the franchise.

He said post-game: "Yeah it's tough, but I'm proud to play with these guys. God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city, in Pittsburgh, with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players. 

"And it has just been truly a blessing, and I'm so thankful to him for the opportunity that he's given me.

"Just a bunch of guys that fought for each other, that fought their butts off and just competed. It wasn't always pretty, but there are a lot of games that we found a way. 

"I'm so proud of this group of men and the way they fight for each other, for the black and gold, for our fans. It's just been an honour to play with them."

Roethlisberger's opposite number Mahomes finished with 404 passing yards and five touchdowns, and the veteran heaped praise on his fellow quarterback, who will next face the Buffalo Bills.

Mahomes responded in kind as he congratulated Roethlisberger on his Hall of Fame career.

"[He is] a tremendous player that I have a ton of respect for – the way he plays the game, the competitor that he is," Mahomes said. 

"He's won Super Bowls. He's a guy that I've watched growing up, and I have a ton of respect for him. That's what I told him, that if this is his last game, he did it the right way."

Roethlisberger is now hoping this Steelers team can carry on the legacy he has left behind.

"I've been here a long time, and it's been a lot of fun," Roethlisberger added. 

"Like I said, God has blessed me. We joke about the Browns and going there [in the NFL Draft], but it was meant to be that I was going to wear black and gold. Draft day I had a black suit on with a gold tie.

"I'm just so thankful. I hope that I'm able to pass the legacy of what it is to be a Steeler from Dan Rooney. We all miss him, anyone that knew him misses him. 

"Hopefully I can pass some of that on to some of the guys and they can continue the tradition of what it means to be a Steeler and get passed down.

"Whenever you get a bunch of new guys, once you start to lose some of the old regime if you will, you've got to find ways to pass it down. 

"And we've got some guys in there that will continue to do that. I gave Cam [Heyward] a big hug and told him it's on him now. It's his job to pass it down and to keep teaching and holding guys to the Pittsburgh standard."

As Roethlisberger prepares for whatever the next challenge is that is thrown his way, he remains thankful for the opportunities he has had, including the Steelers' improbable progression to the playoffs following a dramatic end to the regular season.

"We thought last week was going to be the end," he continued. "We didn't know what was going to happen and God blessed me to play another football game. 

"It didn't end the way we wanted it to. But it's a blessing to be able to play this game. I try and tell those guys how lucky we are that we get to play football for a living. We need to count our blessings and understand how lucky we are. 

"We're out there getting beat up and this and that, but we get to entertain millions of fans and throw, catch, run, do what we've all done as kids. That's our job and when we say our prayers thank God for that.

"I don't know if it's emotional because it's the end of the season. I mean, this would be emotional no matter what. We never like to lose and go out and I'll miss these guys. It'll probably really hit me come training camp time."

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes says his side will be ready to win during the playoffs irrespective of whether they claim the AFC's top seeding.

The Chiefs improved their record to 12-5 with Saturday's 28-24 win over the Denver Broncos, which was Kansas City's 13th straight road win against AFC West opposition.

The result means the Tennessee Titans have to beat the Houston Texans on Sunday to move above the Chiefs to claim the AFC's top seed.

"We'll watch the game and everything like that," Mahomes told ESPN after the game.

"We handled our business today. We'll see what happens tomorrow. Regardless we'll be ready to win some football games."

The Chiefs may have clinched the top seed on Saturday had they not gone down 34-31 to the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend, snapping their eight-game win streak.

Mahones, who threw two touchdowns and completed 27 of 44 passes for 270 yards, said the Chiefs needed to improve if they were going to make a long playoffs run.

"We've got to be better. We've got what it takes," Mahomes said.

"We've got everybody in the locker room to do what we want to do but we've got to be better if we want to make a run through the AFC because it's a tough division."

The Chiefs appeared in danger of a loss to the Broncos until ex-Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram's tackle on Broncos running back Melvin Gordon forced a fumble which rookie Nick Bolton scooped and scored from in the fourth quarter.

"That was a heck of a play by Melvin Ingram," Mahomes said. "That's the reason why we got him here. He makes plays like that."

Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes but Missouri rookie Nick Bolton came up with the key play as the Kansas City Chiefs kept their AFC top seeding hopes alive with a seesawing 28-24 win over the Denver Broncos.

Bolton delivered a 86-yard scoop and score to give the Chiefs a lead they would not relinquish in the fourth quarter after Melvin Ingram's tackle forced a fumble from Broncos running back Melvin Gordon.

The result means the Chiefs (12-5) will claim the AFC top seed if the Tennessee Titans (11-5) fail to beat the Houston Texans on Sunday.

The victory was also the Chiefs's 13th straight road win against AFC West opponents.

Mahomes completed 27 of 44 passes for 270 yards with two TD passes for Travis Kelce in the first quarter and Jerick McKinnon in the third. The Kansas City QB also rushed 54 yards from nine carries.

The Broncos, who will finish last in the AFC West with a 7-10 record, were difficult to shake all game, with QB Drew Lock rushing two touchdowns, while running back Gordon scored a 47-yard TD to put them up 20-17 in the third.

The Chiefs found the match-winning play in the fourth quarter as the Broncos closed the nine-yard line after a 10-play drive with Ingram forcing the error and Lock unable to tackle Bolton.

Patrick Mahomes insists he appreciates "this year as much as ever" after the Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up a sixth consecutive AFC West title on Sunday.

Kansas City had never won back-to-back crowns until their current streak, but they became the first side to claim the AFC West title for six straight seasons after a 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quarterback Mahomes completed 23 of 30 passes for 258 yards with three touchdown passes as the Chiefs improved to an unassailable 11-4 record, ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers (8-4) who fell 41-29 to the Houston Texans on the same day

However, at one point it did not seem like this season's title was on the cards after Kansas City were 3-4 at the end of October, which is why the triumph is even more special to Mahomes.

"I do 100 per cent, this year as much as ever," Mahomes responded when asked if he appreciated another divisional success.

"You look at the AFC West [and] every team is still battling for a playoff spot. It's a tough division. We have more goals we want to go after, but this was the first one."

Clark Hunt became the Chiefs' chairman in 2006 and he, too, has been astounded by his franchise's recent dominance.

"I remember in those early years being excited any year when we were in the running to win the division," said Hunt. 

"I never thought about winning the division five or six times in a row."

Kansas City convincingly overcame the underwhelming Steelers as Pittsburgh veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled with 23 of 35 passes for 159 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The Chiefs did so without star tight end Travis Kelce, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and coach Andy Reid was delighted after his side reached the postseason for the eighth season out of nine under his leadership.

"We don't take any of those experiences for granted at all," Reid said. "There's a lot of sweat that goes into this, a lot of effort. 

"I'm proud of our guys, how they handled it. I'm proud of our coaches, how they handled it."

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys blew away the Washington Football Team with six first-half touchdowns as they recorded a comprehensive 56-14 win on Sunday.

Prescott completed 28 of 39 passes for 330 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, as the Cowboys reached 50 points for the first time since Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

The Dallas QB recorded his fourth career game with 300 yards, four passing touchdowns and no interceptions, which is the most by any player in franchise history, going past Tony Romo (three). Prescott remarkably passed for 320 yards by half-time.

The Cowboys also became the first team this season to score in all three facets of the game as they dismantled Washington.

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns in the first half as the Cowboys opened up a 42-7 half-time lead. Elliott had nine carries for 37 yards and one rushing TD, along with one receiving touchdown.

Dallas had good contributions from receivers Amari Cooper (seven receptions for 85 yards and one TD), Dalton Schultz (eight receptions for 82 yards and one TD) and Malik Turner (three receptions for 82 yards and one TD).

Demarcus Lawrence also scored a TD after intercepting Washington QB's Taylor Heinicke's first-quarter pass with Chauncey Golston cleaning up in the end zone for a touchdown after Corey Clement blocked a punt.

The Cowboys, who have clinched the NFC East division earlier in the day after the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 17-13, improve to 11-4 while Washington are 6-9.

 

Burrow blows against Lamar-less Ravens

Joe Burrow was in record-breaking form with the fourth most passing yards in a game in NFL history to lead the Cincinnati Bengals won 41-21 over the Baltimore Ravens, who were without Lamar Jackson.

Burrow completed 37 of 46 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, which was a new franchise record for passing yards as the Bengals claimed a major AFC North win to improve to 9-6 ahead of the 8-7 Ravens on a four-game skid.

The Bengals quarterback also becomes the fourth player in NFL history to have 500 pass yards, four pass touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game, joining Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger and Y.A. Tittle.

Wide receivers Tee Higgins (12 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns) and Ja'Marr Chase (seven receptions for 125 yards) were excellent against the Ravens whose stand-in QB Josh Johnson had two TD passes.

 

Chiefs clinch AFC West yet again

The Kansas City Chiefs became the first team to ever clinch the AFC West title for six straight seasons after a 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw 23 of 30 passes for 258 yards with three TD passes, while Steelers veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger struggled with 23 of 35 passes for 159 yards with one TD and one interception.

Wide receiver Byron Pringle had six receptions for 75 yards with two touchdowns as the Chiefs improved to an unassailable 11-4 record in the AFC West, ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers (8-4) who lost 41-29 to the Houston Texans earlier on Sunday.

The Indianapolis Colts have dominated selection for the Pro Bowl with seven players named for the game due to be played on 6 February in Las Vegas for the first time.

Colts' MVP contender running back Jonathan Taylor was among five players confirmed earlier this week but he was joined by six other team-mates as the full NFC and AFC rosters were revealed on Wednesday.

Indianapolis also had center Ryan Kelly, guard Quenton Nelson, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, linebacker Darius Leonard, cornerback Kenny Moore II and special teams long snapper Luke Rhodes all selected, with the Colts enjoying a run of five wins in six games to sit second in the AFC South.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady had already been named earlier this week for a record 15th Pro Bowl, with Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray and Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers joining him as NFC QBs.

The selected AFC quarterbacks were Los Angeles Chargers' Justin Herbert, Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson and Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes.

The Chiefs and Chargers had six players selected in total, while the Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Bucs all had five representatives.

Four rookies were selected in Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts, Chargers offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons.

The NFC and AFC rosters are determined by a vote of the fans, players and coaches.

Patrick Mahomes says Travis Kelce proved he still has the ability to run past people after the duo combined to secure a dramatic overtime win for the Kansas City Chiefs over the Los Angeles Chargers.

It was a night to remember for Kelce, who finished with 191 receiving yards – a career high for the 32-year-old – and had tied up the game when he caught a seven-yard touchdown pass with one minute and 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Kelce then completed a 34-yard pass from Mahomes, collecting the ball at the 30, side-stepping two tackles and making it to the end zone where he was engulfed by team-mates as the Chiefs earned a 34-28 triumph and a seventh straight win.

Superstar quarterback Mahomes revelled in the game-winning moment and paid tribute to his team-mate.

"I don't think I've ever been part of a walk-off touchdown or anything like that, so to be in that moment, find him underneath and him making such a dynamic play where, I mean, he cut back, ran by people," said Mahomes.

"You think he's old. He can't run by people. But he's still running by people. And he got in the end zone."

Mahomes himself impressed with a season-high 410 yards off the back of 31 of 47 passing, while he had three touchdowns and an interception.

That interception left the Chiefs in a bit of a pickle as it led to the Chargers scoring for a 21-13 advantage in the fourth quarter.

"Obviously it [doesn't feel good] in the moment," he added. "I mean, I promise you I felt as bad as anyone about that throw and that situation, and knew how bad it looked. 

"But you will get another chance and you better be ready for that moment."

Five of Kelce's 10 catches for 142 yards occurred in the fourth quarter and overtime, while his 69-yard reception then resulted in Tyreek Hill's one-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion that left the teams level at 21-21.

Head coach Andy Reid said Kelce proved he still has the speed to mix it with the best in the league.

"Everybody is talking about him losing a step, he looked fast to me," Reid said. 

"His endurance down the stretch for an elder statesman — he's not over the hill — his acceleration is something."

Travis Kelce scored a stunning walk-off touchdown and Patrick Mahomes made history as the streaking Kansas City Chiefs topped the Los Angeles Chargers 34-28 in overtime on Thursday.

Kelce and star quarterback Mahomes combined for a 34-yard touchdown to lift the AFC West-leading Chiefs (10-4) past the Chargers (9-6) in the additional period for their seventh straight victory.

Mahomes – who finished 31-of-47 passing for 410 yards, three touchdowns and an interception – took his tally to 152 touchdowns in 60 NFL games, the former MVP becoming the fastest player to reach 150 combined rushing and passing TDs after eclipsing Hall of Famer Dan Marino (61 games).

The Chiefs rallied in Los Angeles, where the Chargers were fuelled by Justin Herbert – who threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to put the hosts 14-10 ahead at half-time.

After Kansas City's Harrison Butker's field-goal made it a one-point game in the third quarter, the two teams traded touchdowns in a wild fourth period.

The Chargers led 21-13 and 28-21, but the Chiefs responded on both occasions – Mahomes throwing touchdowns passes to Tyreek Hill and Kelce as Kansas City forced overtime.

That Mahomes-Kelce combination proved decisive with less than nine minutes left on the clock in OT after the latter weaved his way through the Chargers' defence to spark wild celebrations.

Hill and Kelce became the first wide receiver/tight end duo in NFL history to each have at least 10 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown in the same game, per Stats Perform.

Patrick Mahomes said the Kansas City Chiefs were motivated in Sunday's crushing victory after the Las Vegas Raiders "disrespected" their logo pre-game.

The Chiefs showed no mercy in a 48-9 demolition of the visiting Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium, where Mahomes threw two touchdowns to help fuel the rout.

It came after the Raiders gathered on Kansas City's logo before the contest and Chiefs star Mahomes addressed the subject following the team's sixth successive victory.

"You definitely don't want people to come into your stadium and disrespect things that you kind of built,'' said Mahomes.

"It gave us a little more motivation to go out there and win against a really good football team that we have a rivalry against that usually is a tough football game.''

Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue gathered his team-mates for a pre-game speech and Chiefs star Tyrann Mathieu added: "I don't think champions really act in that manner."

Las Vegas linebacker K.J. Wright conceded the Chiefs were right to feel annoyed.

"I would have been upset, too, if I was them," Wright said. "Anybody that comes there and do that? And they definitely came out and responded to their anger and we couldn't hold up.

"It was spur of the moment. One guy said, 'Let's go' and we all got to ride together. We all went out there together. We did it as a team and just gave them a little more motivation than we needed to give them."

For the Raiders, it was more of the same against the Chiefs, having become accustomed to losses in this game. They have won just three of 18 games in the rivalry since Andy Reid was appointed head coach of the Chiefs in 2013.

The Chiefs were also determined to continue their dominance against the Raiders, who took a victory lap around Kansas City's stadium last year, having trumped their rivals for the first time since 2012.

"We didn't want them winning here again," Mahomes said. "We went out there and handled business."

Mahomes completed 20 of 24 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns in the rout – moving him third all-time in the most yards thrown by a Chiefs quarterback.

The former MVP was masterful, ending a two-game run without a TD pass by posting a season-best pass completion rate of 83.3 per cent. He stretched his record run to 20 consecutive regular season wins in QB starts in November or later.

The Kansas City Chiefs are making statement after statement as they power towards the postseason, with a 48-9 trouncing of the Las Vegas Raiders just the latest.

Andy Reid's Chiefs were somewhere near their ruthless best in the NFL on Sunday, winning a sixth straight game to improve to 9-4, Patrick Mahomes completing 20 of 24 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns in the rout.

It moved him third all-time in the most yards thrown by a Chiefs quarterback, above Alex Smith, with a total of 17,794 yards.

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 37 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs looked formidable in defense and offense at Arrowhead Stadium.

A fumble on the first play from Josh Jacobs was clinically punished by Mike Hughes as the Chiefs had a dream start, and by half-time they led 35-3.

Curiously, they won and limited their opponents to exactly nine points for a third successive game, after previous successes against the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.

Tyreek Hill went through 1,000 yards receiving for the season as he took four catches for 76 yards to reach 1,030, for his fourth 1,000-yard season in the NFL.

Mahomes was masterful though, the quarterback ending a two-game run without a TD pass by posting a season-best pass completion rate of 83.3 per cent. He stretched his record run to 20 consecutive regular season wins in QB starts in November or later.

For the Raiders, it was more of the same against the Chiefs, having become accustomed to losses in this game. They have won just three of 18 games in the rivalry since Reid was appointed head coach of the Chiefs in 2013.


JACKSON DOWN, BROWNS BOOSTED

Star quarterback Lamar Jackson was carted out of the Ravens' clash with the Cleveland Browns, and it was a day to forget for Baltimore.

A 24-22 loss means they slipped to 8-5 for the season, while the Browns improved to 7-6, bolstering their Wild Card hopes.

Jackson, doubtful pre-game with an ankle sprain, managed only four of four passes for 17 yards before taking a hit and making way for Tyler Huntley (27 of 38 for 270 yards and one TD).

The Ravens, frontrunners in the AFC North, almost pulled off a stunning comeback against their divisional rivals, having trailed 24-6 at half-time, but it proved just beyond them.

Baker Mayfield went 22-of-32 for 190 yards and two touchdowns for the Browns.

NEWTON WOES PERSIST

Cam Newton has now lost 11 straight games as a Carolina Panthers starter and held himself largely culpable for the latest in that long line.

He also became the first quarterback in NFL history with a rushing touchdown in each of his first four games of a season, but Carolina's 29-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons was a sickener for the former MVP.

He had 15 completions from 23 passes for 178 yards, splitting QB duties with PJ Walker, as turnovers and failed drives blighted the day for the Panthers.

Newton said: "Pretty much everything they did, we knew was coming. I've got to do a better job of protecting the football. I hold myself to a high standard to do those things and when it doesn't happen it's just inexcusable.

"We had such a great momentum for those drives and they were just drive killers, game killers in essence

"We were driving on both of those turnovers I had. To be optimistic, you see what we're capable of, but we've got to do it for ourselves."

Patrick Mahomes called for improvements and said the Kansas City Chiefs "expect greatness from each other" despite a record-setting victory over the Denver Broncos.

The Chiefs cruised past the Broncos 22-9 to collect a franchise record 12th straight victory over Denver, a streak dating back to Week 10 of 2015.

Kansas City also extended their winning run to five games on Sunday, despite quarterback Mahomes being far from his best.

The 26-year-old may have rushed for a touchdown on four carries, but he did not throw for a touchdown and was intercepted once on 15-of-29 passing for 184 yards.

Mahomes - who has already thrown 12 picks this season, as many as in his career-high 2018 campaign – was satisfied after yet another Chiefs win but called for improvements across the field.

"I think they know, from me and from all of us, and it's the same towards me as well, it's that they just have to be themselves," Mahomes told reporters. 

"There's nothing they have to do extra. They have the talent, they have the playmaking ability to just continue to go out there and be themselves. I think we'll continue to get better and better. 

"We're still winning football games. We don't want to get lost in that - we're winning a lot of football games, and we're winning by pretty big margins. 

"But we expect greatness from each other. We want to continue to get better as an offense and the defense to continue to get better and hopefully create a great football team."

Mahomes has only thrown for more than 300 yards once in his past six games, while Kansas City have registered over 22 points just once at home this season against the Cleveland Browns.

In their previous five games, the Chiefs have allowed 17, seven, 14, nine and nine points, having given up 29, 36, 30, 30 and 38 in the team's opening five games. 

They are the first franchise in NFL history to have a five-game winning run conceding 25-plus points and a five-game victorious streak allowing less than 20 points in the same season, per Stats Perform.

But 2018 MVP Mahomes insisted all the Chiefs are working on different ways to tighten up plays at both ends, despite Kansas City having an 8-4 record to top AFC West.

"You figure that when you get to, hopefully, the playoffs and kind of try to make a run that guys are going to try to take away those two guys," he added. 

"We'll do our best job of still trying to get them open, scheming them open in different ways. 

"But other guys are going to have to step up, and this week it was running backs out of the backfield. Next week, it might be other receivers, it might be different tight ends. I think we have the guys to do it, we just have to continue to go out there and do it."

The Kansas City Chiefs accounted for the Denver Broncos once again, 22-9 in a record-setting NFL victory as they continued their winning form.

Kansas City had won 11 consecutive games against Denver, a streak dating back to Week 10 of 2015 – the Chiefs had never enjoyed a longer winning streak over an opponent in franchise history.

But the in-form Chiefs eclipsed that streak in an historic victory as they also stretched their winning run in the NFL to five straight games on Sunday.

Patrick Mahomes was far from his best again, but the Chiefs still defeated the visiting Broncos in Kansas City.

Mahomes did not throw a touchdown, instead finishing with an interception on 15-of-29 passing for 184 yards, though he did rush for a TD on four carries.

The former MVP has already thrown 12 interceptions this season – matching his career high from 2018.

Kansas City used a 10-0 opening period to set the tone against the Broncos, with Daniel Sorensen's 76-yard pick-six of Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater putting the result beyond doubt with less than 10 minutes remaining in the final quarter.

In their last five games, Kansas City have allowed 17, seven, 14, nine and nine points, having given up 29, 36, 30, 30 and 38 in the team's opening five games. According to Stats Perform, they are the first franchise in NFL history to have a five-game winning streak allowing 25-plus points and a five-game victorious run allowing less than 20 points in the same season.

Despite an underwhelming Patrick Mahomes performance, the Kansas City Chiefs bailed out their star quarterback in a 19-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Mahomes did not throw or rush for a touchdown on Sunday, the former NFL MVP finishing 23-of-37 passing for 260 yards, an interception and a fumble.

But the Chiefs (7-4) leaned on their defence to take down Dak Prescott and the Cowboys (7-3) for their fourth successive victory.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 63 yards and a touchdown in his return from injured reserve in Kansas City, where Chris Jones and the Chiefs made life difficult for Cowboys QB Prescott.

Prescott was held to 216 yards passing while he was intercepted twice on the road by the Chiefs, whose defence have allowed fewer than 20 points in four consecutive games.

The last time they achieved the feat was a five-game streak from Weeks 11-16 in 2019, and just over a month after that streak they won the Super Bowl.

 

No Murray, No worries for Cardinals

Kyler Murray sat out his third straight game, however, the high-flying Arizona Cardinals still topped the Seattle Seahawks 23-13.

In the absence of their star quarterback due to an ankle problem, backup Colt McCoy stepped up in an impressive performance as he threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns away to the Seahawks in Seattle.

Russell Wilson was outplayed by McCoy in his first home start since finger surgery, the Super Bowl champion completing 14 of 26 passes for 207 yards but no touchdowns, while he sacked on four occasions.

The Cardinals improved to 9-2 as the slumping Seahawks (3-7) lost for the fifth time in their past six games.

Will the NFL return to some form of normality this week? Maybe... or maybe not.

Even in this season of shock results without any clear Super Bowl favourite, Week 10 stood out for its sheer number of upsets.

The defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers were stunned by the Washington Football Team, the Miami Dolphins overturned the Baltimore Ravens and the short-handed league-leading Arizona Cardinals lost to the Carolina Panthers.

When the San Francisco 49ers then beat NFC West rivals the Los Angeles Rams in Monday Night Football, it became the first week in NFL history in which four teams had won by double-digits having entered the week at least four wins behind their opponents.

Week 11 looks no easier to call, and there are plenty of intriguing matchups before even considering the potential for further setbacks for some favourites.

Dallas Cowboys (7-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)

With Patrick Mahomes back on form, two of the best teams in the NFL should be set for a titanic tussle at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

Mahomes, setting aside his shaky displays to that point, threw for 406 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions against the Las Vegas Raiders last week, becoming the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have two games of 400-plus passing yards, five-plus TD passes and no picks in his career.

The 41-14 win represented the league-leading 10th time the Chiefs have scored 40 points in a game since the start of the 2018 season, yet they were topped by the Cowboys, whose 43-3 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons was their biggest since a 48-7 victory over Arizona in 2000.

The Cowboys have gone 5-2-1 all-time previously in games following a win of at least 40 points (including playoffs), but this was an unprecedented success. The team's 29 points in the second quarter in Week 10 were their most in a single quarter of any game in their history.

Indianapolis Colts (5-5) @ Buffalo Bills (6-3)

Neither the Chiefs nor the Cowboys can match the Bills' average winning margin of 26.3 points this year. That is the highest mark in the NFL, having been boosted by last week's 45-17 victory over the New York Jets, their NFL-leading sixth win by 15 or more points.

The Cowboys are ahead of the Bills in points per game, but Buffalo have given up the fewest points per game. The last team to lead on both offense and defense in this regard were the 2005 Colts.

The achievements of this year's Colts team have been rather more modest. Their five wins have come against teams with a combined record of 13-34 (.261).

Still, Jonathan Taylor has excelled, scoring a rushing touchdown in seven straight games – the last NFL player to reach eight was DeAngelo Williams in 2008. In fact, there is rushing talent on both sides of the ball, with the Bills last week having four different players score rushing TDs for the first time in team history.

Arizona Cardinals (8-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (3-6)

Another week, another big NFC West game. The Cardinals' form has tailed away a little since Kyler Murray's injury, but they are still unbeaten on the road and looking to start 6-0 away from home for only the second time in franchise history.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have their starting QB back, but Russell Wilson did little to help their offense against the Green Bay Packers. He was shut out for the first time in his NFL career in his 166th start (including playoffs).

Seattle's problems on that side of the ball did not end there, though. They were held to under 100 rushing yards for a third consecutive game for the first time since the end of the 2016 season, while only twice in the 21st century have they seen such a streak extended to four games.

Whether or not the Seahawks recover this week, history suggests they are likely to be able to stick with the Cardinals. Six of the past 10 meetings between the teams have been decided by three points or fewer.

Elsewhere...

Cam Newton's Panthers face Ron Rivera's Washington, their first meeting since both left Carolina (Newton returned last week). This is the third time since 2010 a former MVP QB has faced the coach he won his award with, following Peyton Manning versus Jim Caldwell in 2015 and Tom Brady against Bill Belichick earlier this season.

The 49ers are now 4-1 when Jimmy Garoppolo's passer rating is above 100.0 this year (141.7 vs. the Rams) and 0-3 when it is not. He was helped last week by a season-high 156 rushing yards, keeping San Francisco's offense on the ball for just over 39 minutes. They should expect more of the same against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have failed to force a turnover in six games this season.

The Cincinnati Bengals need both of their former LSU stars to rediscover some form at the Raiders. Joe Burrow has thrown an interception in five straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL, while Ja'Marr Chase – surely not helped by his QB's struggles – has fallen short of 50 receiving yards in consecutive games after making that mark in his first seven appearances.

The Detroit Lions will hope to learn from next opponents the Cleveland Browns, who have returned to contention since in 2018 becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to end a losing streak of 10-plus games with a tie. Last week, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Lions became the second.

Patrick Mahomes believes the Kansas City Chiefs have their "swag back" after he inspired a 41-14 win at the Las Vegas Raiders with one of the most devastating performances of his career.

Mahomes himself has been deemed to be in the midst of the first major slump of his NFL career, with the Chiefs' inability to light up the scoreboard being blamed on him by many.

Ahead of the meeting with the Raiders, the Chiefs were only ranked 15th for scoring offense at 24.6 points per game, a decrease from sixth and 29.6 last season.

Similarly, Mahomes was on 10 interceptions and 17 sacks prior to Sunday, while his seven yards per throw was a career-low record, but there appeared to be an awakening in Las Vegas.

Mahomes threw for 406 of Kansas City's 516 total yards, while the Raiders managed just 299 in total as they went one of nine on third-down conversions.

Sunday was the second time Mahomes has thrown for 400-plus yards with five or more touchdowns and no interceptions in a game. According to Stats Perform, he is the only quarterback in NFL history to have two such games in his career.

Earlier in the week, the re-circulation of a viral video from 2014 made it to the Chiefs' locker room – in the clip, a high school player says: "I think I've got my swagger back!"

"That was something that was kind of my motto this week," Mahomes said after leading the Raiders demolition, with the Chiefs now 6-4.

"I think the whole team got that swag back. We're going to try to keep that thing rolling."

Nevertheless, Mahomes insists he never doubted the Chiefs would find their groove again.

"We've done [this] before. We've done it these last few seasons, we were doing at the beginning of this season," he continued.

"We were moving the ball and making a lot of stuff happen. We were just turning the ball over. Then we kind of went through a little spell where we weren't making these drives and we were still finding ways to win.

"I knew that we're going to click back into it."

Chiefs coach Andy Reid had a similar line of thought regarding Mahomes himself.

While in the past couple of years he may not have been hitting the heights that saw him become only the second QB in NFL history to throw 50 touchdowns and more than 5,000 yards in a single season back in 2018, Mahomes still led the Chiefs to consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

"It's going to happen," Reid said of Mahomes' apparent slump. "There's going to be a little something that doesn't go your way, and it's important you power through it, stay confident and keep firing.

"That's how he's wired, and you knew he was going to get through the ups and downs just by the way he handles himself."

Page 1 of 6
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.