After yet another week of pulsating playoff-like NFL football, it's time to take a look back at some of the most compelling Week 10 match-ups.
Buffalo Bills 22 New York Jets 17
Returning to MetLife Stadium for the first time since the Jets fired him last season, Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills took on the New York Jets in a crucial AFC East match-up. After top-draw defensive displays cancelled out both teams' opening drives, the Bills' offense and special teams exploded in the second and third quarters with two big touchdown plays. But despite the Jets ensuing a nervy finish with the ball in hand and the deficit down to five, the Bills defense were able to step up yet again and negate the threat. As a result, an ecstatic Ryan and his Bills are now 5-4 and in touch with an AFC Wildcard spot.
Detroit Lions 18 Green Bay Packers 16
Up until this weekend the Lions hadn't won a game at Lambeau since 1991. While all credit must go to Jim Caldwell and his now 2-7 Detroit troops, Green Bay's predicament has now taken a more serious turn for the worse. Following recent empty handed trips to both Denver and Carolina respectively, this defeat for the Packers is now their third straight. Regardless of Jordy Nelson's season ending injury doing considerable damage to Aaron Rodgers' 25th-ranked offensive intentions, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy have both failed to replicate their form from last season. As a result, the Packers are now 6-3 and second in the NFC North.
Carolina Panthers 27 Tennessee Titans 10
Another game, another reason for Cam Newton to win MVP. After being matched blow for blow by the Titans, the second half saw the Panthers comfortably take control. Newton was in career best form from the get-go, finding his first 11 targets without fail. In fact, no team has been able to stop him from rushing into the end-zone thus far, such is the quarterback's versatility. But while the defensive likes of Josh Norman, Star Lotulelei and Luke Kuechly continue their perfect Pro Bowl form, the running game on offense continues to make the difference for Ron Rivera's men. The Panthers, courtesy of Jonathan Stewart, have become the first side to rush at least 100-yards in 20 consecutive games since the 1989-90 Chicago Bears. As a result, the Panthers are now 9-0.
Kansas City Chiefs 29 Denver Broncos 13
Nobody was ever questioning Peyton Manning's legacy, nor was anybody ever questioning his achievements. But yet, even after his abysmal weekend, that's still how some people want to look at this. It's time to wake up. This is football and games aren't won based on a player's resume. Manning was beyond atrocious this past weekend and definitely not for the first time. His four interceptions against a terrific Chiefs outfit inevitably led head coach Gary Kubiak to rely on the efforts of Brock Osweiler instead. Latest news coming out from Denver has Manning out of action for at least a week due to injury and, in all honesty, this is probably a good thing. Because with 9 TDs and 17 INTs so far, Manning is fast becoming a problem not even his defense can fix.
New England Patriots 27 New York Giants 26
There's 88 seconds left, you're down by two points and facing 4th-and-10 on your own 20, who do you call? Try Tom Brady. They're calling it the game of the season. With big hits, clutch plays, long touchdowns and late game drama; this one had it all. For the better part of the last decade the Giants have always managed to get the upper hand over the Pats when it mattered most. However this time, with one second left, it was not to be as Stephen Gostkowski kicked the winning field goal. As a result, New England are now 9-0 and continue to replicate their record-breaking 2007 team more and more with each passing week.
Houston Texans 10 Cincinnati Bengals 6
After 10 weeks of football the Cincinnati Bengals have suffered their first defeat of the season. The Texans came into this one off the back of the bye week and looked determined to cause an upset against one of the league's best all-round teams. In a match that featured only one touchdown, courtesy of a one-handed grab by Deandre Hopkins late in the fourth, defense ruled this encounter. Andy Dalton struggled to get going, throwing for just 197-yards, failing to find his targets and routinely overthrowing his passes. The Texans defense on the other hand, led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, were unbeatable in coverage and in the blitz; thoroughly deserving the victory as a result. Additionally, special mention must also be given to back-up quarterback, T.J. Yates. Yates came into the game following Brian Hoyer's concussion late in the third quarter and grabbed the opportunity with both hands, throwing the aforementioned touchdown pass to Hopkins. The win for the Texans now sees them sit level with the Colts atop the AFC South.