Week 10 of the NFL season kicked off Thursday night with undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent leading the Chicago Bears to a narrow home victory in a low-scoring game against No. 1 pick Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers.
The week continued Sunday morning when the Indianapolis Colts beat the New England Patriots in Frankfurt, Germany. Later, the San Francisco 49ers dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars, C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans beat Joe Burrow and the Bengals, and the Cleveland Browns staged a comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens.
Kyler Murray led the Arizona Cardinals past the Atlanta Falcons in his first game back from his ACL injury, and the Detroit Lions won a thriller against the Los Angeles Chargers. To cap things Sunday night, the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the visiting New York Jets in a low-scoring affair.
Our NFL Nation reporters reacted to all the action, answering lingering questions coming out of each game and picking out who — or what — is rising and falling for every team. Let’s get to it.
How do the Raiders maintain momentum under Antonio Pierce with two tough games on the horizon against Miami and Kansas City? Football is an emotional game and riding that wave can carry you to certain heights. But playing solely on that is a recipe for disaster. The Raiders can kick their feet up after beating the New York teams the past two weeks to get back to .500 at 5-5, but executing at a higher level will be their best bet against the Dolphins first.
Stock up after the win: LB Robert Spillane. The middle linebacker preached takeaways all offseason, despite having just two takeaways to his name in a six-year career. Spillane, though, essentially sealed the game with his third interception of the season, picking off Zach Wilson at the Raiders’ 15-yard line on second-and-8, and returning it 25 yards. He also had a team-high seven tackles.
Stock down after the win: RB Josh Jacobs, with a caveat. The All-Pro running back rushed for a season-high 116 yards on 27 carries — his first 100-yard game of the season. But his lost fumble in scoring position in the fourth quarter put the game in serious doubt. — Paul Gutierrez
Next game: at Dolphins (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Should the Jets bench Zach Wilson? Wilson wasn’t the primary reason for the loss, but let’s be honest: Something needs to change. The Jets have gone 11 quarters (36 straight possessions) without an offensive touchdown. He came up small in the fourth quarter, throwing a late interception — the latest example of Wilson’s inability to make a play in the clutch. Coach Robert Saleh probably will stick with Wilson. Unless he performs better, the Jets (4-5) will free-fall the way they did last season.
Stock up after the loss: WR Garrett Wilson. He made tough catches and fought through an elbow injury, finishing with nine catches for 93 yards. He was every bit as good as Davante Adams, one of his idols.
Stock down after the loss: TE C.J. Uzomah. He committed two holding penalties, including one near the goal line that nullified a touchdown run by Breece Hall. All told, the Jets had seven penalties on offense. — Rich Cimini
Next game: at Bills (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Is Geno Smith back? The raw numbers were excellent — 31-of-47 for 369 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter. He then led the winning field goal drive. Smith had a turnover-free day after committing eight over the previous four games. Most importantly, he got Seattle a win. On the flip side, he committed three penalties, including an intentional grounding at the end of the first half that cost Seattle a chance at a field goal. He also missed a few open players, including Zach Charbonnet on a third-and-4 swing pass. Blemishes and all, Smith’s performance will turn down the heat that has been rising during his recent funk.
Stock up after the win: RB Kenneth Walker III. Walker was instrumental. His 64-yard catch-and-run touchdown early in the third quarter gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game, and he helped them ice it with some key runs on their winning touchdown drive. Walker finished with 63 yards on 19 carries and the touchdown catch.
Stock down after the win: Third-down offense. It’s the problem that just won’t get any better. The Seahawks entered Week 10 ranked 30th in third-down conversions, the continuation of a long-standing issue with their offense. They finished 4-of-14 against Washington, though one of the conversions came on the winning drive. — Brady Henderson
Next game: at Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
What now for Washington? The good news is the Commanders clearly have a quarterback to build around in Sam Howell, who makes plays and led two game-tying drives in the fourth quarter. The bad news is that they’re now 4-6 with a bad defense and still face the Dallas Cowboys (twice), Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. Washington needed a lot more progress in Year 4 under coach Ron Rivera. Finding a quarterback won’t be enough reason for owner Josh Harris to continue this regime, not with this defense.
Stock up after the loss: RB Brian Robinson Jr. He caught six passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and rushed eight times for 38 more.
Stock down after the loss: CB Benjamin St-Juste. In the fourth quarter, he was flagged for pass interference on fourth down, committed a facemask penalty on another, allowed a touchdown catch and key completions on the winning drive. — John Keim
Next game: vs. Giants (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Have the Cowboys finally figured out how to get Brandin Cooks involved in the offense? After months in the making, the Cowboys finally showed why they acquired Cooks from the Houston Texans. He had been in his longest slump (seven games) without 50 yards receiving in a game since 2019. He had seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in the first half vs. the Giants. With how CeeDee Lamb is producing (four straight 100-yard games), the Cowboys need a secondary receiver who can make plays. Finally, Cooks had his moment. The Cowboys will need more of that from him.
Stock up after the win: Run game. It has not been what the Cowboys have wanted all year (3.9 yards per carry), but they were able to control the Giants’ front. It might be time to give Rico Dowdle more work, though Tony Pollard was effective enough. The Cowboys had two rushing touchdowns and had 129 yards on the ground in the first half, which was more than they had in five of their first eight games.
Stock down after the win: Red zone offense. While overall the run game was a positive, the first drive showed a season-long flaw. The Cowboys were stopped inside the Giants’ 5-yard line on their first possession with four straight plays from shotgun. It continued a long-standing red zone issue. Go back to last week’s loss to Philadelphia when a fourth-down pass was stopped at the Eagles’ 1. They just haven’t been effective enough running into the end zone. — Todd Archer
Next game: at Panthers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
How does coach Brian Daboll keep this team together in the final seven weeks? It has to be demoralizing to lose in this fashion … again. This was the Giants’ sixth loss of 14-plus points, and they’ve been outscored 89-17 in two losses to Dallas. They weren’t really competitive Sunday, and the frustration was evident on the sideline. Running back Saquon Barkley had an “animated” conversation with Daboll after a turnover on downs in the first half, according to the Fox broadcast. Wide receivers Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard were visibly upset with something on the sideline in the third quarter. Daboll’s biggest test yet will be finding ways to keep this group from fracturing further.
Stock up after the loss: OLB Azeez Ojulari. He returned from an ankle injury and lasted the game. After missing 14 of the team’s previous 22 games, he even made a big fourth-down stop at the goal line on the game’s first possession.
Stock down after the loss: Brian Daboll. This all goes on the coach’s résumé. His offense is incompetent, and they continue to get embarrassed. How is this going to get better? — Jordan Raanan
Next game: at Commanders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Dak shows out with 5 TDs in win
Dak Prescott throws four touchdowns and runs for one as the Cowboys dominate the Giants at home.
Who deserves to be Detroit’s RB1 going forward? When both guys are rolling, who cares? David Montgomery got the start after missing the past two games (ribs), but rookie Jahmyr Gibbs continued to heat up with more experience. Gibbs scored two touchdowns, while Montgomery broke off a 75-yard touchdown in the first half. Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is trying to find ways to split their workload but described it as “a good problem to have right now.”
Stock up after the win: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. The California native put on a show in his return to Los Angeles, becoming the first Lions player since Calvin Johnson to record four straight games of at least 100 receiving yards (Johnson did it eight times in 2012). He ended with a career-best 156 yards on eight receptions. He also scored a touchdown.
Stock down after the win: Red zone offense. The Lions came into Sunday ranking 24th in red zone touchdown percentage (48.4%). They missed out on two touchdown opportunities at the goal line in the first half that could’ve given them a comfortable lead entering halftime. On their opening drive, a penalty nullified a 10-yard Jameson Williams touchdown catch, and they failed to convert on a fourth-and-1 on the goal line to start the second quarter. — Eric Woodyard
Next game: vs. Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Will the Chargers’ defense ever be a consistent unit? The Chargers were coming off their two best defensive performances of the season, beating up the struggling Jets and Bears. Outside linebacker Tuli Tuipulotu said they wanted to prove that the two-game stretch wasn’t a fluke against a Lions defense ranked sixth in the NFL in passing and rushing yards per game. But the Chargers did the opposite Sunday, as they allowed 41 points, the highest total they’ve given up all season.
Stock up after the loss: QB Justin Herbert. Herbert’s most recent game was one of the worst of his career statistically: 136 passing yards, his lowest single-game total ever, and no passing touchdowns for the first time since last season. But Herbert bounced back Sunday, throwing for 323 yards — his most since Week 3 — and four touchdowns. His second touchdown was a strike to Jalen Guyton between two Lions defenders that might have been one of the game’s best highlights.
Stock down after the loss: Run defense. The Chargers were tied for the league’s sixth-best run defense (89.8 yards per game) heading into Sunday. But Lions running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery made this unit look amateur. The Lions rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, their most rushing yards in a first half in at least the past 30 seasons. It was also the most rushing yards and touchdowns the Chargers had given up all season. — Kris Rhim
Next game: at Packers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Could Kyler Murray‘s return be the spark the Cardinals need to close out the season? In short, yes. The way he reinvigorated the Cardinals’ offense against the Falcons on Sunday, despite there being kinks to work out, shows that Arizona has what it takes to win a few games down the stretch. The Cardinals have three winnable games against the Texans, Rams and Bears coming up. That could be enough to move Arizona down the draft board and off the first overall pick, which is where they sit now.
Stock up after the win: TE Trey McBride. He set a new career high on Sunday with 131 receiving yards — his first game with more than 100 yards — showing his versatility and ability to make plays after catches, all while becoming one of Murray’s favorite targets.
Stock down after the win: Third-down offense. Arizona’s offense got to third down just 11 times but converted only three of those, which was below the Cardinals’ season rate of 36.5%, identifying an immediate area of focus with Murray back under center. — Josh Weinfuss
Next game: at Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What do the Falcons do now at quarterback? Earlier this week, coach Arthur Smith said he didn’t want to bounce back and forth with his quarterbacks. Taylor Heinicke‘s hamstring injury in the fourth quarter might have complicated — or answered — Smith’s upcoming decision. Desmond Ridder entered the game for the first time since being benched and led the Falcons to a go-ahead touchdown with 2:33 left. Considering Heinicke was struggling all day — 55 yards passing in three quarters — it might be enough to make the switch back.
Stock up after the loss: RB Bijan Robinson. After multiple weeks questioning his usage, Robinson once again became the focal point of the Atlanta offense. He led the team in rushing with 22 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown while also catching one pass for 11 yards and even returning a punt for the first time in his career.
Stock down after the loss: The defense. Atlanta was unable to contain QB Kyler Murray (249 yards passing, 35 yards rushing), missed tackles and struggled to defend the middle of the field as Trey McBride had eight catches for 132 yards. The defense also allowed the winning drive, in part because of Murray’s legs and poor defensive coverage. — Michael Rothstein
Next game: vs. Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Kyler Murray’s epic run sets up winning FG for Cardinals
Kyler Murray escapes pressure and takes off for a 13-yard run for a first down. Matt Prater then kicks the winning FG as time expires for the Cardinals.
Is Devin Singletary the Texans’ lead back? The Texans’ running game has struggled all season, ranking 27th in yards per game (87.0). But Singletary had 150 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, becoming the first Texans running back to rush for over 100 since Week 9 of the 2022 season, when Dameon Pierce ran for 139 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Stock up after the win: WR Noah Brown. The wideout finished with 174 yards and has had back-to-back games with at least 150 yards, joining Andre Johnson (twice) and DeAndre Hopkins (twice) as the only players in Texans history to record two such games in a row.
Stock down after the win: WR Robert Woods. The wideout was one of the Texans’ big free agent acquisitions, signing a two-year, $15.25 million deal, but had only one catch for 15 yards against the Bengals, his second-lowest output of the season. — DJ Bien-Aime
Next game: vs. Cardinals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Is Thursday’s game against the Ravens a must-win for the Bengals? Cincinnati’s chances of winning the division for the third straight season might be riding on its matchup vs. the Ravens. The Bengals entered Week 10 two wins behind Baltimore and missed an opportunity to beat the Texans going into Thursday’s AFC North showdown. A loss to Baltimore (7-3) and Lamar Jackson, who is 7-1 against Cincinnati as a starter, gives the Bengals (5-4, 0-2 division) a steep hill to climb.
Stock up after the loss: WR Ja’Marr Chase. Despite battling a back injury earlier in the week, Chase had five catches on six targets for 124 yards and a touchdown — a 64-yard strike from Joe Burrow in the third quarter.
Stock down after the loss: The pass defense. Even with a fourth-quarter interception to get the Bengals back into the game, Cincinnati gave up 356 yards to Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. — Ben Baby
Next game: at Ravens (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Stroud hits the ‘O-H’ celebration after 8-yard TD in Cincinnati
C.J. Stroud rushes in a touchdown for the Texans and flashes an Ohio State celebration at the Cincinnati crowd.
Are the 49ers back? They sure appear to be. After a month without a victory, they were left wondering whether they were the dominant team that rattled off five straight wins to open the season or the one struggling through a three-game losing streak. The Niners looked refreshed and back to contender status on Sunday. Historically, the Niners have been better later in the season under coach Kyle Shanahan (they’re 32-20 in November, December and January), which is significant given what’s coming. San Francisco’s next four games — vs. Tampa Bay, at Seattle, at Philadelphia and vs. Seattle — will determine its fate in the NFC West and the playoff picture.
Stock up after the win: Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. Much was made of Wilks’ move to the sideline from the booth this week — and maybe that helped — but the bigger improvement came in fundamental areas like the pass rush, tackling and coverage as the defense controlled this game from start to finish.
Stock down after the win: Coach Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan was among the people on the field flagged during a would-be fumble return for a touchdown, but two of the others were rookies, which should give Shanahan a good laugh after this one, considering the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty didn’t alter the outcome. — Nick Wagoner
Next game: vs. Buccaneers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What’s wrong with the offense? It was supposed to take a step forward in coach Doug Pederson’s second season, and it hasn’t happened. Pederson wanted seven more points per game than last season, but the production has been roughly the same entering Week 10. There have been lulls during games and too many turnovers (four against the 49ers), wide receiver Calvin Ridley hasn’t made an impact and the offensive line has struggled in pass protection (five sacks on Sunday). The defense has carried the offense, but when that didn’t happen Sunday, things got ugly. The Jaguars won’t be a legitimate contender if the offense continues to flounder, and it may cost them the AFC South with the Houston Texans rolling.
Stock up after the loss: LB Foyesade Oluokun. He had a career-high two sacks against the 49ers. He’s now one sack shy of his career high for a season (three in 2020). Oluokun led the NFL in tackles the past two seasons and is on pace to finish in the top three again in 2023.
Stock down after the loss: RB Tank Bigsby. The rookie was responsible for his fourth turnover of the season when he had a pass bounce off his hands and get intercepted. That’s the second time that’s happened (also the season opener) to go along with his two lost fumbles. — Mike DiRocco
Next game: vs. Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Why isn’t Kenny Pickett showing consistent improvement? Nine games into his second season, Pickett hasn’t taken the vaunted second-year leap. Against the Packers, Pickett completed just 14 of 23 passes for 126 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. His receivers didn’t help him out at times, including Diontae Johnson, who had a critical drop early in the fourth quarter on Pickett’s best-thrown ball of the afternoon. Instead of getting a chunk play and a first down, Pickett threw another incompletion on the next play to George Pickens, and the offense stalled out when it badly needed a score.
Stock up after the win: RBs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. The running backs scored touchdowns on Pittsburgh’s first two possessions, marking the first time the Steelers have done that in the Pickett era. And in the fourth quarter, Warren and Harris took turns making gains of 20-plus yards.
Stock down after the win: The secondary. The secondary gave up completions of 49, 36, 30 and 23 yards, in addition to a 35-yard touchdown in which Jordan Reed slipped behind Levi Wallace and Keanu Neal. — Brooke Pryor
Next game: at Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Why can’t Jordan Love and Christian Watson connect? Last year, Watson’s emergence in the second half of the season allowed the Packers to make a run at a playoff spot. It has not carried over. Love went for Watson on the final play of the game and was picked off — after Love appeared to slightly underthrow Watson and was picked off in the end zone on the previous drive. Love has 10 interceptions this season, five of them while targeting Watson.
Stock up after the loss: CB Keisean Nixon. Maybe the Packers should think about using the cornerback again on offense after he had another big kickoff return — this time a 49-yarder to open the third quarter, a week after his 51-yard return against the Rams.
Stock down after the loss: Love. The quarterback made it harder on himself by missing two big throws in the red zone, where the Packers went 0-for-2 in the third quarter. He badly missed Luke Musgrave on the opening drive of the quarter, leading to a field goal, and then couldn’t connect with Watson on the second drive, resulting in another field goal. — Rob Demovsky
Next game: vs. Chargers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Keanu Neal thwarts Packers with an end zone INT late
The Packers are driving with a chance to take the lead, but Keanu Neal intercepts Jordan Love’s pass in the end zone.
Can the Browns win the AFC North? Absolutely. The Browns are 6-3 and only a half-game back of the Ravens. Cleveland also has the far more favorable schedule remaining. The Browns have not won a division title since 1989, but after Sunday’s remarkable comeback, they could be in the driver’s seat. The way their defense is playing, the way their offensive line is blocking and the way quarterback Deshaun Watson is finally coming on bodes well moving forward.
Stock up after the win: Watson. The Browns signal-caller threw another pick-six on the opening drive and completed only 6 of 20 passes in the first half, but he battled back to lead the Browns to the game-winning drive in the defining performance of his Cleveland career so far.
Stock down after the win: The secondary. The Browns lost CB Denzel Ward (neck) and S Juan Thornhill (calf) to injuries, though the depleted unit still came through in the fourth quarter — Jake Trotter
Next game: vs. Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
How much will injuries sustained Sunday hurt the Ravens going forward? Baltimore’s lead in the AFC North has now dwindled to a half-game over the Browns and Steelers. But the Ravens may have lost more than that. Two Pro Bowl players — cornerback Marlon Humphrey and left tackle Ronnie Stanley — limped into the locker room and didn’t return. Humphrey went out with an ankle injury late in the third quarter, and Deshaun Watson completed all nine of his pass attempts for 103 yards after he left. Stanley hobbled off the field with a knee injury in the fourth quarter, and he was replaced by Daniel Faalele, who has one career start. It’s unknown how long either one will be sidelined, but it will be challenging for both to be back for Thursday night’s game against the two-time defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals.
Stock up after the loss: S Kyle Hamilton. On the second play of the game, Hamilton tipped a Deshaun Watson pass to himself and returned the interception 18 yards for a touchdown. It snapped Baltimore’s streak of 27 games without a defensive touchdown, which was the longest active one in the NFL.
Stock down after the loss: RB Gus Edwards. He scored a touchdown in his fourth straight game, but he struggled otherwise. Edwards was held to a season-low 24 yards on 11 carries (2.2-yard average). — Jamison Hensley
Next game: vs. Bengals (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Can the Vikings keep winning with Joshua Dobbs? It appears so! A week after leading the Vikings to victory in Atlanta as an emergency quarterback, Dobbs produced an electric first half Sunday against the Saints. He ran for one touchdown, threw for a second and compiled 192 combined rushing and receiving yards. The Vikings have now won two straight games, in which he has played seven of eight quarters. Some of that credit should go to the Vikings’ coaching staff, which has been forced to start a different quarterback in each of its past three games. Dobbs and the entire Vikings offense fell off in the second half, but he appears more than capable of guiding a team that has playoff hopes.
Stock up after the win: TE T.J. Hockenson. He became only the second NFL tight end since 1978 to catch at least 10 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown in a single half, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, despite a rib/oblique injury that has caused him significant pain since he suffered it last week in Atlanta.
Stock down after the win: The running game. It isn’t the first time the Vikings’ running game has struggled. (And to be fair, it did produce 124 yards and two touchdowns despite a concussion suffered by Alexander Mattison.) But the Vikings couldn’t count on it to close out the game. — Kevin Seifert
Next game: at Broncos (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
Has the Saints’ defense regressed? This once-formidable unit has been struggling, and unlike last week against the Bears, it couldn’t mask the issues with takeaways. The Saints gave up more than 130 yards to tight end T.J. Hockenson and struggled with quarterback scrambles for the second straight week. The Saints’ defense has carried the team to wins before, but it’s showing its weaknesses lately.
Stock up after the loss: WR A.T. Perry. The rookie sixth-round pick had his first career catch and first career touchdown as well, leaping up for a jump ball for a 15-yard score.
Stock down after the loss: QB Taysom Hill. One could argue Hill’s lack of usage is on the coaches, but after scoring five touchdowns in three games, Hill had one carry for 6 yards, no passing attempts and two receptions for 17 yards. — Katherine Terrell
Next game: at Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Vikings comes up huge with 2 late INTs to seal win
Mekhi Blackmon and Byron Murphy Jr. come up with clutch interceptions to help the Vikings seal their win over the Saints.
What changed from last week’s loss to this week’s win? After dropping four straight — and surrendering five touchdowns to rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud last week — the Bucs rekindled their missing moxie on defense. They smothered rookie quarterback Will Levis and held running back Derrick Henry to just 24 rushing yards while keeping the Titans out of the end zone. On offense, quarterback Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes, with receiver Mike Evans finishing with 143 receiving yards.
Stock up after the win: The defense. Tampa sacked Levis four times and had nine tackles for loss, while safety Antoine Winfield Jr. notched a fourth-quarter interception.
Stock down after the win: The run game. This one feels nitpicky as Rachaad White had a 43-yard catch and run for a touchdown, but still, the Bucs averaged 2.7 yards per carry, which was below their league-worst 3.1 average entering Sunday. — Jenna Laine
Next game: at 49ers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Will the red zone offense ever improve? Entering the week, the Titans scored touchdowns on only 34% of their visits inside the 20-yard line, and Sunday it didn’t get any better. Tennessee drove down to the Buccaneers’ 9-yard line twice and came away with only six points. It doesn’t appear things will get any better because of protection issues and the team’s inability to get players open in a condensed field. The Titans have now failed to score a touchdown in three games this season.
Stock up after the loss: CB Eric Garror. Garror caught two punts and returned one 15 yards to go along with five tackles, including one for a loss.
Stock down after the loss: The secondary. The Bucs’ wide receivers were easily able to get open throughout the game, making it easy for quarterback Baker Mayfield, who went 18-of-29 for 278 yards and two touchdowns. — Turron Davenport
Next game: at Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Can the Colts make a run? Indianapolis gets back to .500 for the first time in a month, and now the attention turns to what the Colts can do in the weeks to come. Just two of Indianapolis’ seven remaining opponents had a winning record coming into Week 10, putting the Colts in position to make a run if they can stabilize their defense and quarterback play. The Colts will now enjoy a bye, which will allow them to address some lingering injuries before meeting the Buccaneers and Titans in their next two games.
Stock up after the win: DL Dayo Odeyingbo. He led a ferocious pass rush, recording a career-high three sacks that matched his season total coming into the game.
Stock down after the win: DT DeForest Buckner was playing through an injury and facing numerous double-teams, but the Colts could have used a bit more playmaking from him in the run defense with the Patriots rushing for a season-high 167 yards. — Stephen Holder
Next game: vs. Buccaneers (Sunday, Nov. 26, 1 p.m. ET)
Is this rock-bottom? The Patriots are 2-8 heading into their bye, and the inconsistency and overall ineptitude of the Mac Jones-led passing attack is holding them back. Jones’ fourth-quarter interception was a crusher. The weak passing game overshadows some of the other good things the Patriots do, such as playing inspired defense and running the ball as consistently as they have all season Sunday. It also magnifies other mistakes, such as aggressive coaching decisions, like calling for an all-out punt rush that backfired, a missed 35-yard field goal and poor kickoff coverage.
Stock up after the loss: LB Jahlani Tavai. The fifth-year linebacker got his hands on the football in the third quarter, allowing CB Myles Bryant to intercept it, marking the second week in a row he has helped create a turnover to help keep the team in a game.
Stock down after the loss: QB Mac Jones. It’s not always his fault, but he was sacked five times in the first half. He was lit into by offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien on the sideline in the third quarter before throwing a terrible fourth-quarter interception and being replaced by Bailey Zappe. — Mike Reiss
Next game: at Giants (Sunday. Nov. 26, 1 p.m. ET)
Jonathan Taylor punches in 4th-down TD for Colts
Jonathan Taylor takes the handoff on fourth down and bounces it to the outside for a 1-yard Colts touchdown.
Has Tyson Bagent started his last game of the season? The rookie quarterback has a 2-2 record in place of Justin Fields, who is getting close to returning from a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand. If Fields is healthy, he will be the starter against Detroit in Week 11, according to coach Matt Eberflus. Thursday’s win wasn’t pretty, and there are plenty of moments Bagent can learn from as he continues to develop as an NFL quarterback, regardless of whether the Panthers game was his last start of the 2023 season.
Stock up after the win: CB Kyler Gordon. The nickel corner’s intensity was contagious on defense. Gordon allowed 16 receiving yards, accounted for a pass breakup and notched a team-high six tackles (two tackles for loss) against the Panthers.
Stock down after the win: WR Velus Jones Jr. The second-year receiver was benched and replaced by Equanimeous St. Brown, who was activated off injured reserve prior to the Panthers game. Jones’ season-long struggles, which resulted in him being a healthy scratch, make him a prime candidate to create an opening on the 53 when they activate Khalil Herbert off IR. — Courtney Cronin
Next game: at Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Will there be changes on offense before they face the Cowboys? Coach Frank Reich didn’t make any changes before the Thursday night game because it was a short week. He left it open for next week, and the offensive line is where he’ll likely start. The inside rush has disrupted the running and passing game most of the season, even with right guard Austin Corbett back in the lineup. It wouldn’t surprise if center Bradley Bozeman was moved to guard and another player inserted at center.
Stock up after the loss: WR Mike Strachan. The coaching staff has been high on the 6-foot-5 practice squad player, so he was elevated to the 53-man roster for this one. He had only one catch, but it was for 45 yards.
Stock down after the loss: QB Bryce Young. He didn’t throw any interceptions like he did the previous week, but he easily could have had three or more. He had barely over 100 yards passing through three quarters and only 185 for the game with no touchdowns. — David Newton
Next game: vs. Cowboys (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)