Greetings, Earthlings. Let’s get to it.
On the same day that New Edition reunited with all six members for the first time in eons at the American Music Awards—yes, that warrants an official holiday in and of itself—Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor glanced in the mirror while brushing his teeth and muttered, “I think I’m gonna fuck up the Buffalo Bills today.”
And with a wave of his magic
wand stiff arm, that’s exactly what happened shortly thereafter.
It’s one thing to gobble up 204 yards from scrimmage (185 on the ground, 19 more in the air), but it’s another thing entirely to also run up five touchdowns (four on the ground, one in the air) against the third-best rushing defense in the NFL. It’s the type of beautiful disaster that no one saw coming from the second-year running back, but it also makes complete sense after you realize what kind of havoc Taylor has been orchestrating against helpless defensive coordinators all season.
Suffice to say, he did fuck up the Bills 41-15—and the AFC East just got even more interesting because of it.
“When J.T. turns on the jets, he’s gone,” Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox said of his teammate. “Like the one play at the goal line, I’m blocking and I just turn my head and I just see him flying through the air like a superhero.”
The Colts’ (6-5) beatdown on Sunday not only secured their fifth win in six games, but Taylor set a franchise record after he became the first player in NFL history to score five touchdowns in a regular-season game against a team that’s No. 1 in points allowed entering that week.
SPOILER WARNING: Buffalo is no longer ranked first in points allowed.
“The Colts’ offensive identity is all of us all together,” Taylor said. “Everything that you saw today was the culmination of the defense getting the ball back to us, creating turnovers, and then the offense being on one accord—being able to communicate no matter what front, what pressure they bring, being able to execute.”
He’s also drawing considerable buzz for MVP consideration, which a running back hasn’t won since Adrian Peterson was snatching souls back in 2012.
“He’s sending a message to the league,” teammate Nyheim Hines said. “He’s a complete back. [...] If there’s any skill position [for MVP], Jonathan Taylor needs to be in it. Him and [Los Angeles Rams receiver] Cooper Kupp. J.T. is the first in line for a non-quarterback player.”
Unfortunately for Snoop Dogg’s Pittsburgh Steelers, Jonathan Taylor wasn’t the only running back who caught the Holy Ghost yesterday, as the Los Angeles Charger’s Austin Ekeler spent his Sunday baptizing linebackers to help save his team from yet another embarrassing fourth-quarter implosion.
Ekeler poured in 115 yards from scrimmage (65 in the air, another 50 on the found) along with four touchdowns of his own to help dismantle the Steelers 41-37 during Sunday Night Football.
“It was definitely a special night,” he said. “I was able to take advantage of what I had in front of me and, you know, ended up getting it in the end zone.”
Moral of the story: That ground and pound ain’t nothing to play with.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Cameron Jerrell Newton made his triumphant return as a starter for the same team that left him for dead last summer, and it’s safe to assume he was pretty excited about it:
Unfortunately for him, the Washington Football Team (4-6) wasn’t particularly enthused by his showmanship, so they made it their mission to ruin the 2015 MVP’s return to Bank of America Stadium when they faced off against the Carolina Panthers (5-6) on Sunday.
Cam sure as hell had his moments—take this touchdown, for instance:
But in the end, he got outplayed by Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who delivered 206 passing yards and three touchdowns against the best pass defense in the entire league.
Sure, Heinicke previously played in Carolina for a season back in 2018, but Sunday’s 27-21 win was all about coach Ron Rivera, who spent nine seasons with the Panthers—with Newton executing his offense.
“I felt good. I really did,” Rivera said after Carolina fans showered him with cheers before the game. “It was fun. And it would’ve been disappointing if it went the other way.”
Thankfully for Washington, Newton only returned to the Panthers 10 days ago. So his lack of familiarity with the playbook was key to Washington being able to spoil the three-time Pro Bowlers homecoming.
“Being able to get completions is something that every two-minute offense is predicated off of,” Newton said. “It’s just the little minute things that come down signals and things like that. I have to get in the book and really get a grasp on it.”
Despite the fact that Cam has now lost nine straight starts with the Panthers going back to the 2018 season, Carolina coach Matt Rhule insists that the best is yet to come.
“I thought Cam was excellent,” Rhule said. “From where we are, being a week into it, I thought he did a nice job.”
- The refs, who thought Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire pointing at a defender somehow warranted a taunting penalty:
- The Chiefs, who then proceeded to shake those hating-ass refs off at the end of the game with a celebratory dance:
- Backup quarterbacks Colt McCoy (Arizona Cardinals) and Tyler Huntley (Baltimore Ravens), who filled in admirably for Kyler Murray (sprained ankle) and Lamar Jackson (illness):
Catch y’all next week.