Since the NFL is a quarterback league, it is probably not surprising that the spotlight – for better or worse — was on the quarterbacks last week.
—Patrick Mahomes had the best moment in the spotlight as he led a game winning drive in the last minute and a half to give the Chiefs a victory over the Raiders, who left Mahomes too much time when they scored the go ahead touchdown with just over 90 seconds left.
—On the other hand, Cincinnati rookie wunderkind Joe Burrow had the worst moment in the spotlight as he suffered a season ending against Washington. The injury raised questions about whether the Bengals had done enough to protect Burrow and whether he made a mistake by not refusing to play for them the way Eli Manning did when he was drafted by San Diego.
—With Burrow out, the Bengals lost to Washington, which had veteran quarterback Alex Smith at the helm. Just two years ago, Smith suffered a season ending leg injury that not only threatened his career but his life. Smith made it all the way back with that victory.
—P.J. Walker got his first start for the Panthers and a lot of help from the defense as the Panthers blanked the Lions. The loss dropped the Lions to 4-6 and raised more questions about the job security of coach Matt Patricia.
—Tayson Hill got his first start in New Orleans in place of injured Drew Brees and Hill made the move by coach Sean Payton look good by leading the Saints to a victory over Atlanta.
—Carson Wentz continued to struggle as the Lions lost to Browns to fall to 3-6-1. That still puts them in first place over three 3-7 teams in the NFC East.
—Bill Belichick and the Patriots continue to miss Tom Brady as they fell to 4-6 with the loss to Houston. Belichick was 5-13 before Drew Bledsoe got hurt in 2001 and Brady took over. He’s 4-6 since Brady left so that adds up to a 9-19 mark. Even if you add in his 10-5 record with Matt Cassel, he is 19-24 without Brady in New England. And offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is also getting roasted. Tough times may be ahead for the Pats.
—Meanwhile, Brady struggled against the Rams, throwing two picks and having problems with the deep ball in the loss to the Rams. Age may finally be catching up with Brady.