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NFL Week 10 takeaways: Saints, Steelers tighten division holds

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Saturday on Saints' play: 'It's really special to watch' (1:13)

Jeff Saturday has high praise for the Saints after they defeated the Bengals 51-14 in Cincinnati. (1:13)

The Saints and Steelers cruised to big wins to lengthen their division leads, the Titans made a statement with a win against the Patriots, the Bears locked up another NFC North victory and the Redskins survived with an ugly win over the Buccaneers. In the late games, the Rams hung on to beat the Seahawks, while the Chargers made it six straight with a victory over Oakland.

All that and more in Week 10's biggest takeaways from NFL Nation.

Jump to a matchup:
DAL-PHI | NE-TEN | NO-CIN | ARI-KC | JAX-IND | DET-CHI
ATL-CLE | WSH-TB | BUF-NYJ | LAC-OAK
SEA-LAR | MIA-GB | CAR-PIT


Dallas Cowboys 27, Philadelphia Eagles 20

With their 27-20 win against Philadelphia, the 4-5 Cowboys remain alive in the NFC East, showing a fight that has been missing for portions of this season -- especially on the road, where they were winless in their first four games. Every time the Eagles pushed back, the Cowboys answered with drives that ended in Ezekiel Elliott touchdowns. "We were just at them the whole time," Dak Prescott said. "We're not going to stop regardless of the record. We're moving forward. We've got a great team, as I've always said. With the character of this team, when we're down and down two games, it wasn't over for us. We know the people we have, and we just have to keep moving forward." -- Todd Archer

Time for a Bill Parcells moment with the Eagles. They are what their record says they are: below average. The 27-20 loss to the Cowboys should drill home that the issues that hurt them over the first half of the season aren't going to just disappear, allowing the Super Bowl squad to come back to the surface. This team is in some trouble and has a trip to New Orleans up next. -- Tim McManus


Tennessee Titans 32, New England Patriots 10

Mike Vrabel and the Titans dominated the Patriots in all phases, and they are finding their groove on offense with Marcus Mariota spreading the ball around effectively. Corey Davis' seven receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown show he is trending in the right direction, and Tennessee's defense can build on allowing only 10 points. The Titans now get set for consecutive divisional games against the Colts and the Texans. -- Turron Davenport

The Patriots, who were completely dominated by the Titans, are a battered bunch after starting left tackle Trent Brown (back), top receiver Julian Edelman (ankle) and tight end Dwayne Allen (knee) were knocked out of the game in the second half. While Edelman doesn't look like a long-term concern -- he returned to the sideline late after retreating to the locker room -- the team looked tired and in need of a break. So the bye comes at the right time, but at 7-3 and chasing the 9-1 Chiefs, hopes for the AFC's top seed were damaged. -- Mike Reiss

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1:31

Packers' run game provides new layer for Packers' offense

Ryan Clark and Jeff Saturday discuss the strong performance by Aaron Jones in the Packers' 31-12 win vs. the Dolphins.


New Orleans Saints 51, Cincinnati Bengals 14

The Saints just keep gaining more and more steam every week during their eight-game win streak. They came out roaring Sunday against the Bengals with five touchdowns in the first half and points on every possession until they took a knee to end the game. Now they get two more intense home games against the Eagles and Falcons over the next 11 days. -- Mike Triplett

The Bengals simply can't compete with the best teams in the NFL, and the gap is glaringly obvious after blowout losses to the Chiefs and Saints. The Bengals have to be considering a change at defensive coordinator after they became the first team to give up 500 yards in three consecutive games. Injured starters aren't an excuse, as the defense just looks completely inept right now. The Bengals might have better luck against the struggling Ravens next week. -- Katherine Terrell


Kansas City Chiefs 26, Arizona Cardinals 14

A suddenly potent pass rush gives the Chiefs another reason for optimism for the season's final six games and into the postseason. With Dee Ford, a healthy Justin Houston and productive interior rushers Chris Jones and Allen Bailey, the Chiefs had five sacks of Arizona's Josh Rosen on Sunday and have 31 this season. Jones has at least one sack in each of the last six games. An improved pass rush will be vital on Monday Night Football, when the Chiefs take on the Rams in Mexico City. -- Adam Teicher

David Johnson had 183 yards from scrimmage, including 98 rushing yards, and the Cardinals' defense sacked Patrick Mahomes a season-high five times and held him to a season-low 249 passing yards. Seeing improvement in those areas could be the spark Arizona needs next Sunday against the Raiders. -- Josh Weinfuss


Indianapolis Colts 29, Jacksonville Jaguars 26

It sounds simple, but it hasn't been easy for the Colts: Protect Andrew Luck and there's a decent chance they'll win the game. Luck has gone four consecutive games without being sacked, the longest streak by any starting QB in a season since Eli Manning in 2010 (five straight games), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Colts are 3-1 in those games. Can the Colts extend the streak next week against the Titans, who were all over Tom Brady in their stunning win against the Patriots? -- Mike Wells

Injuries, inconsistent QB play, lack of playmakers on offense and a suddenly leaky defense have put the Jaguars at risk of not making the playoffs. At 3-6, including 0-3 in the AFC South, Jacksonville will have to play nearly perfect to have any shot at the postseason. The biggest task the coaching staff faces in the next few weeks is making sure the players don't check out. The talk in the locker room was that won't happen, but a five-game losing streak has left them reeling. -- Mike DiRocco


Chicago Bears 34, Detroit Lions 22

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky passed for 355 yards and three touchdowns (148.6 passer rating) in Chicago's NFC North victory over Detroit. The Bears defense is always tough -- especially with pass rusher Khalil Mack back on the field -- but Trubisky raises Chicago's playoff chances to a whole new level when he plays like he did against the Lions. And he'll need to be at his best next week when the Bears host the second-place Vikings on Sunday Night Football. -- Jeff Dickerson

That's three consecutive double-digit losses for the Lions, each looking worse than the last. The offense struggled to move the ball until the score was out of hand, and the defense couldn't stop Trubisky (the Bears scored touchdowns on their first four drives). Had kicker Cody Parkey not missed two extra points and two field goals, Chicago could have reached 40 points. With games against the Panthers, the Bears again and then the Rams over the next three weeks, it won't get any easier for Detroit until the middle of December. -- Michael Rothstein


Cleveland Browns 28, Atlanta Falcons 16

The Browns can feel good about themselves as they enter the bye week with their most impressive win since 2015. No blocked field goals needed. No overtime. No crazy plays. Just sound play on all sides of the ball, especially from quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has completed 69 percent of his passes with a rating of 104.6 in his last four games. -- Pat McManamon

The Falcons don't play with enough consistency to be considered a playoff-caliber team, despite still being in the NFC hunt. Their effort against the Browns, which included a mere 16 points while giving up 427 yards and 28 points, showed that a three-game winning streak leading into Sunday was somewhat fluky. What Falcons team will everyone see next week at home against Dallas? Who knows. -- Vaughn McClure


Washington Redskins 16, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3

The Redskins managed to win despite playing without three starters on their offensive line and missing a starting corner. They have plenty of issues: Their offense does not scare anyone, the run game might suffer behind a makeshift line and their defense has holes. But the Redskins do play with a tough mindset. That's something they'll need to lean on in the final seven weeks because even at 6-3, it's going to get tough for them the next three weeks against Houston, Dallas and Philadelphia. -- John Keim

The Bucs gained 501 yards of offense against the Redskins in a loss that drops them to 3-6. Coach Dirk Koetter said he didn't really have answers. "When you get beat like that, I didn't have a great message [for them]," Koetter said. There could be changes coming at the quarterback and kicker positions. Koetter said he'd consider starting Jameis Winston next week against the Giants after Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions and fumbled. Chandler Catanzaro missed kicks of 30 and 48 yards. -- Jenna Laine


Buffalo Bills 41, New York Jets 10

Matt Barkley provided the Bills with their best quarterback performance of the season in a road win over the Jets. After the game, coach Sean McDermott did not commit to a starter when the Bills return from their bye week against the Jaguars on Nov. 25. Turning back to Josh Allen would be most consistent with the Bills' goal this season of developing their young players, especially considering their 3-7 record offers little to gain toward the postseason by playing Barkley. -- Mike Rodak

Will coach Todd Bowles get fired this week during the bye? Historically, the organization hasn't made in-season changes, but a coaching move seems inevitable. The Jets (3-7) have dropped four straight -- and they're getting worse, not better. There's no logical successor on the staff, so ownership may opt to ride it out with Bowles. -- Rich Cimini


Los Angeles Chargers 20, Oakland Raiders 6

The Chargers improved to 7-2, the team's best record at this point of the season since 2006. The Bolts' six-game winning streak is also the team's longest since 2009, when they won 11 straight to finish the year. The Chargers have now ascended to one of the power players in the AFC, along with Kansas City (9-1), New England (7-3) and Pittsburgh (6-2-1). They will get a chance to play two of those teams later this season, traveling to play the Steelers on Dec. 2 and the Chiefs on Dec. 13. -- Eric D. Williams

Joke I heard in the parking lot today: What did Jon Gruden say when he got those three first-round picks? "Tanks." Get it? No, the Raiders are not tanking the season, even if it feels like it, but after a 20-6 loss to the Chargers, Oakland is 1-8 and heading into a game at Arizona next week that should go a long way toward deciding the No. 1 overall draft pick come next April. -- Paul Gutierrez


Los Angeles Rams 36, Seattle Seahawks 31

The Rams made a stop on fourth down to hang on and improve to 9-1. The defense overcame a sluggish start to shut down Russell Wilson but allowed 273 rushing yards. Now the Rams look ahead to a weeklong trip to Colorado Springs to train at high altitude before facing the high-flying Chiefs in Mexico City, where they'll likely be without receiver Cooper Kupp. -- Lindsey Thiry

The Seahawks need actual victories, not moral ones, to make the playoffs after falling to 4-5. But that shouldn't completely obscure the positives from this game, including rushing for 273 yards despite some injuries on offense. Playing as well as they did Sunday will probably be good enough to beat most of the teams they face over their final seven games, starting with the Packers at CenturyLink Field on Thursday. -- Brady Henderson


Green Bay Packers 31, Miami Dolphins 12

If Sunday's 145 rushing yards and 172 total yards from scrimmage by Aaron Jones doesn't show the Packers that he is their best chance for success, then nothing will. The Packers will need to replicate Jones' effort down the stretch to save their season, and they'll have to do it on the road the next two weeks at Seattle and Minnesota. Green Bay is 0-4 away from Lambeau Field this season. -- Rob Demovsky

The Dolphins are running out of bodies to make a legit playoff run, and it might cost them in the end. Jakeem Grant (foot), DeVante Parker (shoulder) and Bobby McCain (concussion) all suffered injuries. The Dolphins were already down four starting offensive linemen from Week 1, the nine players they've placed on season-ending injured reserve and starting QB Ryan Tannehill, whose status is still uncertain heading into the bye. -- Cameron Wolfe


Pittsburgh Steelers 52, Carolina Panthers 21

If Ben Roethlisberger keeps delivering with quick decision-making behind a high-level offensive line, the Steelers might have their best chance at a Super Bowl since the early Mike Tomlin years. The offense looked comfortable, efficient, even possessed in the win over Carolina. And the defensive pass rush is only improving. The Steelers have two consecutive road games on deck, but with New England's loss to the Titans, they are in position for the No. 2 seed in the AFC. -- Jeremy Fowler

The Panthers were embarrassed in all phases on Thursday night. They were exposed on the offensive line, as Pittsburgh was willing to commit an extra rusher to pressure Cam Newton. Defensively, the lack of a pass rush exposed the secondary, although Ben Roethlisberger did play one of his best games ever. As coach Ron Rivera said, "This s--- happens." The Panthers now travel to Detroit to face the Lions, who are also coming off an embarrassing loss to the Bears. -- David Newton