32 things we learned in NFL Week 10: Vikings’ statement in thriller vs. Bills

The 32 things we learned from Week 10 of the 2022 NFL season:

1. Super Bowl 57 preview? The regular season is barely half complete, and the playoffs are a long way off. But whether or not the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills meet again in February, they may have provided the signature game – to date – of the 2022 season. The Vikes’ 33-30 overtime triumph had a little bit of everything.

2. Each team parlayed 13 possessions into more than 480 yards of total offense. Both quarterbacks threw one TD pass but had a pair of picks. Each club was penalized seven times for 64 yards.

3. Playing against his former team for the first time, Bills WR Stefon Diggs snagged 12 receptions for 128 yards.

4. But the man who effectively replaced Diggs in Minnesota, Justin Jefferson, renewed his argument as the league’s premier wideout. He consistently creased one of the league’s elite defenses – finishing with 10 grabs for 193 yards and a TD – and making one of the more miraculous one-handed stabs you’ll ever see.

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5. Jefferson also became the first receiver ever with 20 100-yard games in his first three seasons … and just 2½ in his case. 

5a. His seven career games with at least 150 receiving yards are also the most through three seasons … and just 2½ in his case. 

6. Of course this contest was defined by its final 10 minutes, which spanned the end of the fourth quarter and overtime – the Vikes’ failure to convert on fourth-and-goal for the late lead; Minnesota shockingly going ahead on the next play when Bills QB Josh Allen lost the snap and LB Eric Kendricks pounced on the loose ball for the go-ahead score; Allen engineering a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation – with the benefit of a catch by WR Gabe Davis that should have been disallowed – Minnesota responding with a 12-play, 60-yard drive for a FG to start OT … and the Bills’ last gasp ending with Allen picked off in the end zone by CB Patrick Peterson.

7. The fact Allen even played was no small surprise, Sunday his first action since injuring his elbow at the end of Week 9’s loss to the New York Jets. Tough to say how much that UCL was bothering Allen, who had three turnovers, but there’s no question his MVP chances have taken a major hit amid Buffalo’s two-game slide.

8. The Bills’ hopes of remaining in Western New York for the AFC playoffs have also been significantly damaged. Buffalo began Sunday as the conference’s projected No. 1 seed, which means home-field advantage and a first-round bye. By day’s end, the Bills had fallen to third place in the AFC East and sixth in the conference standings.

9. Meanwhile, Minnesota has won seven straight. At 8-1, the Vikings have the league’s second-best record, their only defeat coming to the still-unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles.

10. Oh, and there’s this: Vikings RB Dalvin Cook > Bills RB James Cook.

10a. The Minnesota Pro Bowler had 146 yards from scrimmage, including an 81-yard TD run, in victory; his rookie little bro rushed for 22 yards for Buffalo.

11. Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown > Bears WR Equanimeous St. Brown.

11a. As you’d probably expect the budding Detroit star outshone his older brother, gaining 121 yards from scrimmage to Equanimeous’ 9 in the Lions’ 31-30 come-from-behind win.

12. Dolphins OLB Bradley Chubb > Browns RB Nick Chubb.

12a. In an on-field matchup of cousins, Miami’s new pass rusher had a half-sack and three QB hits as his team trampled Cleveland 39-17. Nick Chubb managed 81 total yards and a TD but also fumbled as the Browns fell to 3-6.

13. Some serious Buckeye on Buckeye crime in that Bears-Lions game. Chicago QB Justin Fields responded to a 20-yard pick-six by Detroit CB Jeff Okudah with a 67-yard TD sprint, blazing past his former Ohio State teammate for the score.

14. The Bears became the first team in the league’s 103-season history to rush for at least 225 yards in five consecutive games. They’ve won one of them. Fields has run for at least 60 in each, including 147 against Detroit.

14a. Fields is the first quarterback of the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to rush for at least 125 yards in consecutive games. His 325 yards on the ground over a two-game span are another record for his position.

15. What a Sunday for Jeff Saturday. His hiring as the Indianapolis Colts’ interim head coach engendered shock, ridicule, outrage and anger, among other emotions, across the country and NFL itself. But the man who simply accepted a job offer and handled a fraught situation with his signature class ends the week 1-0.

15a. One of the major reasons Saturday’s winning percentage is 1.000 was his decision to return benched QB Matt Ryan to the starting lineup. The former MVP responded with 222 efficient passing yards and a TD plus an uncharacteristic 38 rushing yards as Indy stunned the Raiders in Las Vegas 25-20.

16. And, if nothing else, the Colts may be better off with Saturday than already embattled first-year Silver and Black coach Josh McDaniels, who backed out on the Indianapolis HC job after it was offered four years ago.

17. Remember when the AFC West was lauded as the league’s mega-division after an offseason influx of star power? If the season ended today – it doesn’t – only the Kansas City Chiefs would be playoff bound. Collectively, the division is 17-19 – K.C. (7-2) carrying it.

18. The Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys needed overtime for the first time in their 38-game series. The Pack prevailed in not-so-sudden death 31-28 after Dallas failed to convert on fourth down after getting the first possession of the extra period.

19. TBD if this is the spark Aaron Rodgers and Co. need to salvage their season, but it certainly appears rookie WR Christian Watson is finally ready to add some jet fuel to an offense that desperately needs it. Three of his four catches Sunday went for six while covering an average of 35 yards.

19a. As for Lambeau Field’s faithful … perhaps some faith restored. Yet another win enjoyed with former Pack coach Mike McCarthy on the field.

20. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes took full advantage of Buffalo’s misfortune. He added 331 yards and four TDs to his league-leading passing totals – perhaps vaulting ahead of Allen in the MVP race – as K.C. vanquished the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-17.

20a. The Chiefs, who lost to the Bills in Week 6, took over the top spot in the AFC standings.

21. The NFL’s first regular-season foray into Germany appeared to be an unqualified success. The attendance at Munich’s Allianz Arena – the 17-year-old stadium’s first-ever non-soccer sporting event – was 69,811, seemingly all of those fans still at their seats well after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 21-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the league’s first international matchup of first-place clubs. 

22. The exuberance of the crowd never seemed to wane for the game’s 2-hour, 48-minute duration – though its collective rendition of John Denver’s ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads,’ had to be the highlight.

22a. We also learned from NFL Network’s broadcast that ‘Seeadler’ is the German word for Seahawk, and ‘Seeräuber’ translates as Buccaneer.

22b. Allianz Arena is home to FC Bayern Munich, which has imprinted a different brand of parity on the German Bundesliga, the country’s top soccer division. Bayern has won 31 of the Bundesliga’s 59 championships, including the past 10. So – historically – the field has almost a 50% shot at the crown. 

23. The Bucs’ Tom Brady (258 yards passing, 2 TDs, INT) became the first NFL quarterback to notch wins in four countries (USA, United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany), his others coming as a member of the New England Patriots.

23a. TB12’s 1,210 career passing yards and 12 TD throws outside the U.S. are both NFL records.

23b. “That was one of the great football experiences that I’ve ever had,” the 23-year vet and seven-time Super Bowl champion said of the Germany excursion. 

23c. However, like the Pats before them, the Bucs learned the folly of trying to turn Brady into a receiver.

23d. Solid as TB12’s performance was, the fact Tampa Bay didn’t ask more of him was as big a factor in the win. The Bucs, whose run game had been historically inept through nine weeks, churned out a season-best 161 yards Sunday. Brady’s 29 passes were his fewest since Week 1.

24. The victory was Tampa Bay’s first abroad. The Buccaneers had lost their first three international dates, all in London.

25. The Seahawks lost for the first time with sensational rookie RB Kenneth Walker III (10 rushes for 17 yards Sunday) in the lineup but still go into Week 11 atop the NFC West.

26. The Steelers’ 28-10 mauling of the New Orleans Saints means longtime coach Mike Tomlin now has victories over every NFL team … except Pittsburgh, of course.

27. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine > Jalen Virgil.

27a. No relation, and decent chance you’ve never heard of either wide receiver. But the first two-TD day of Westbrook-Ikhine’s three-year career topped Virgil’s first NFL catch – a 66-yard TD reception from Russell Wilson – as the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans outlasted the Denver Broncos 17-10.

28. Cardinals QB2 > Rams QB2.

28a. Condolences to those who paid their hard-earned money to watch Arizona QB Colt McCoy lock horns with Los Angeles backup John Wolford on a day when Matthew Stafford (concussion) and Kyler Murray (hamstring) were scratched. McCoy won the ‘battle’ of understudies 27-17.

28b. It was only the second time Rams coach Sean McVay lost to Arizona in 13 meetings. 

29. Facing the Houston Texans’ league-worst run defense, probably little surprise the New York Giants fed RB Saquon Barkley a career-high 35 times (for 152 yards and a TD) as they improved to 7-2.

30. With Thursday night’s 25-15 win over the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers moved to 2-3 under interim coach Steve Wilks. With one more victory, he’ll match his total from 2018, his lone year as HC of the Arizona Cardinals.

30a. Since trading RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina is averaging 69 more rushing yards and nearly twice as many TDs on the ground per game.

31. On their last meaningful drive of the game, the Falcons lost 15 yards on four plays, QB Marcus Mariota sacked twice. Oof.

32. Looking ahead to Week 11, the 49ers and Cardinals will meet on ‘Monday Night Football’ in Mexico City to conclude the league’s five-game international lineup for the 2022 campaign.


Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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