Derek Carr, Justin Herbert dueling Monday night – The Denver Post

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Derek Carr, Justin Herbert dueling Monday night – The Denver Post

Game of the week

Las Vegas at LA Chargers

Big Monday game between the 3-0 Raiders (plus-3 1/2) and 2-1 Chargers. Las Vegas has an average of the best 471 yards in the league, aided by two overtime wins. But we’re going with Bolt’s quarterback Justin Herbert throwing a late touchdown.

Chargers 27, Raiders 23

End of the week

Tampa Bay in New England

During Tom Brady’s time in New England, the number of times the Patriots were at least a seven-point underdog was: None. The Buccaneers are a seven-point favorite and it’s easy to bet on Brady’s mentality. He wants to dismantle his old team.

Buccaneers 42, Patriots 20

Anger of the week

Detroit in Chicago

The Bears put offensive football back in Cleveland’s loss last week, finishing with 47 yards (the second-lowest in the team’s history since 1940). The scoreless Lions (plus three) are now better and coach Dan Campbell takes his first win.

Lions 19, Bears 7


All around the NFC: Tom Brady returns to New England at the height of his all-time record

Kyusung Gong, The Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) smiles before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, September 26, 2021 in Inglewood, California.

Brady nears record. Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady will face New England for the first time since leaving the Patriots in March 2020. Brady needs 68 passes to become the NFL’s all-time leader, a record currently held by Drew Brees (80,358). The top five are Brees, Brady (80,291), Peyton Manning (71,940), Brett Favre (71,838) and Philip Rivers (63,440). A win would also place Brady with Brees, Manning and Favre as the only quarterbacks to beat all 32 teams. Additionally, on the Tampa Bay milestone front, Rob Gronkowski needs 16 yards to climb to fifth by making a tight finish (currently at 8,558).

Dallas “D” is a little better. Dallas’ new defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, has already made a big impact on the Cowboys’ defense… sort of. They lead the league with eight takeaways and are in first place with a plus-five margin in sales. The Cowboys had 23 takeaways in 16 games last year. But they go into Sunday’s home game against undefeated Carolina who ranks 26th in most yards allowed (402.0) and second-worst pass defense (331.7). Takeaways, however, cover up a lot of warts.

Surprising Cardinals. Is Arizona real? The Cardinals are 3-0, outperforming their opponents 103–65, including 69–27 in road wins over Tennessee and Jacksonville. They don’t rush well (3.9 yard average), but six players have at least 10 catches, and quarterback Kyler Murray has a passer rating of 113.4 (four interceptions, however). The next three games will help call the Cardinals a contender or also-runner – at the Rams (Matthew Stafford plays out the lights), vs. San Francisco (who is blocking Nick Bosa?) and at Cleveland (who is blocking Myles Garrett?).


Around the AFC: Time to Win for Kansas City in Philadelphia? Yes.

Charlie Riedel, The Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, September 26, 2021 in Kansas City, Mo.

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