1. Patrick Mahomes
With his team a surprising 1-2 after two straight nail-biting losses to the Ravens and Chargers, you just knew Patrick Mahomes would respond in a big way in Philly. After last week’s home loss he said the following on Twitter:
A little adversity never hurts #ChiefsKingdom We will be back soon!💪🏽💪🏽
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) September 26, 2021
Soon came on Sunday when Mahomes went 24 of 30 for an 80 percent completion rate, passed for 278 yards and threw five TDs against in a 42-30 drubbing of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Patrick Mahomes NFL ranks through 50 career starts:
Pass yards: 15,370 (1st)
Pass TD: 128 (1st)
QB wins: 40 (T-2nd)
He's UNREAL #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/yQgz8Jd8PX
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 3, 2021
The Magic Man returned to form, relying on his savvy, arm strength and the playmaking ability of wide receiver Tyreek Hill. It was another clutch performance by Mahomes, who looked rather pedestrian in a few of his starts this season. The Chiefs are back on track, Mahomes is lighting the scoreboard up and the football world should be balanced again.
2. Kyler Murray
With all due respect to Mr. Mahomes, Tom Brady, Matt Stafford or any other early MVP favorite, Kyler Murray has been the most dynamic and effective quarterback in the NFL. It’s hard to dispute that when the Cardinals are 4-0 for just the second time in the past 40 seasons. 2012 was the last time Arizona started 4-0, but that was fool’s gold. The team went 1-10 the rest of the way.
Murray won’t allow a collapse of that magnitutde to happen again. The Arizona Cardinals are a real threat to the Lombardi Trophy and it has everything to do with the maturation of the diminutive dynamo, who shredded the high-powered Rams, completing 24 of 32 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns.
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals knock out the Rams.
Arizona is 4-0 🔥 @brgridiron pic.twitter.com/F2DTpitZgX
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 3, 2021
His ability to make plays that aren’t there and the confidence he’s shown from the pocket are a welcome sight in the “Valley of the Sun.”
In the battle of two unbeaten teams, it was Murray Time.
Said NFL analyst Trent Dilfer: “We know about his speed, but he’s also a good passer from inside the pocket. In fact, I don’t think the league has ever seen somebody with his speed and his passing ability.”
I’ve been loving the Cardinals early play this season and from day 1 picked them to win the NFC west or at least be a wildcard. if you’ve been sleeping on Kyler Murray, James Conner, and the Cardinals.. Today’s convincing win over a talented Rams team better wake you up #nfl pic.twitter.com/tK3qEaElC8
— Renee Washington (@ReneePwash) October 3, 2021
The Rams had moved to the top of many lists as the best team in the NFL. That optimism was short-lived as Murray came to town and smacked L.A. with a 37-20 loss at SoFi Stadium, the site of this year’s Super Bowl.
Murray seems to be getting himself real familiar with that stadium. His case for NFL MVP strengthened even more with Sunday’s clean and efficient performance. A quarter of the way through the season the Cards have that look.
3. Dak Prescott
The return of Dak Prescott has given the Cowboys a newfound confidence. Jerry Jones’ franchise is playing better in all three phases. After a tough opening night loss (31-29) at Tampa, the Boys have run off three straight wins. Prescott’s laser-sharp focus and leadership at the quarterback position is the main reason why.
RT if you always believed in Dak Prescott
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/YM3r12ftTw
— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) October 3, 2021
Texas’ favorite quarterback has been pinpoint-accurate throwing short, intermediate and deep routes and his offensive line is giving him enough time to unleash darts at his more-than-capable receiving core. This team missed their cerebral leader last season after he got hurt. Now that he’s fully recuperated, Dallas should romp over the NFC East contenders in short order.
4. Russell Wilson
Even Superman needs a day off from saving the world. Wilson has been bailing out the Seahawks for the better part of the last decade, so he’s allowed to have a mediocre performance r especially if the Seahawks defeat an NFC West division opponent.
It’s never about the numbers with the Supee Bowl-winning quarterback. Just W’s. The bigger story is the Seahawks getting back on track and ending a two-game losing skid with a 28-21 win on the road over the Niners.
Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson won his 100th NFL game today and did it faster than any player in league history ever has. pic.twitter.com/Iqc6pU2TIm
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 4, 2021
Russ went a modest 16-for-23 for 149 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the help he received Sunday and the fact that the line protected him that was good to see.
A team effort for Pete Carroll’s squad was a relief for Wilson, who’s carried this franchise week after week for the past couple of seasons. Despite his game managing on Sunday, Wilson managed to provide a few typical Houdini-like plays that left the 49ers D frustrated. And reminded everyone of why he’s a future first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Duane Brown said he went to Russell Wilson after his spin, escape, TD throw to Swain: “You are a bad m effer.” #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/Z6JnME7UNP
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) October 4, 2021
He’s the consummate pro who never complains about the lack of help given to him. He just brings his hard hat and goes to work. Some believe this will be his final year in the Pacific Northwest.
5. Worth Mentioning
Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts both continue to build their legacies with solid performances on Sunday. Rookie Justin Fields rebounded from a terrible first start and played effectively enough for the Chicago Bears to win.
Justin Fields, what a throw 🤧
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 3, 2021
Stay tuned for next week’s breakdown on the performances of your friendly melanic pigskin pushers.