Around the League: 5 Big Stories in the NFL This Week
Wow, what a week for quarterbacks in the NFL! Drew Brees surpassed Peyton Manning for the league’s all-time passing record, and the upcoming Sunday Night Football matchup features the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all-time) Tom Brady against this year’s red-hot sensation, Patrick Mahomes.
Here are “5 Big Stories in the NFL” entering Week 6:
Butch Dill via AP
Saints QB Drew Brees: “You Can Accomplish Anything in Life You’re Willing to Work For, Right?”
Drew Brees entered Monday night’s Redskins-Saints game at The Superdome in New Orleans needing only 201 passing yards to surpass Peyton Manning (71,940) for the NFL record for Most Career Passing Yards.
He soared past Manning in style by connecting on a 62-yard touchdown pass to rookie Tre’Quan Smith in the second quarter. Saints fans, teammates, and coaches celebrated with Brees as the game was stopped to recognize Brees’ monumental achievement.
Brees’ wife, Brittany, and their three sons and daughter were waiting for him on the sideline. In a moment caught on camera for all the national audience to see, Brees hugged and kissed his wife and kids. Then he told his three young boys: “Hey, boys. How ‘bout your Dad? I love you guys so much. You can accomplish in life you’re willing to work for, right?”
Brees not only smashed an NFL record, he melted the hearts of fans everywhere!
Oh yeah, the Saints also won the game, 43-19.
The 39-year old Brees who is playing in his 18th season finished the game with 363 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. He now sits atop the NFL record books with 72,103 passing yards.
The Top 5 All-Time Leading Passers in NFL history are: Drew Brees (72,103); Peyton Manning (71,940); Brett Favre (71,838); Tom Brady (67,418); and Dan Marino (61,361).
Ed Zurga via AP
Brady to Host Mahomes and Undefeated Chiefs on Sunday Night Football
The quarterback who is fourth on the all-time passing list, Tom Brady, will share the Sunday Night Football field in Foxboro this weekend with the hot, young sensation of 2018: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.
This matchup is easily the most anticipated game of the weekend. The Chiefs (5-0) are the only undefeated team in the AFC. The Patriots (3-2) are tied with the Dolphins for first place in the AFC East.
Mahomes is playing like an NFL MVP. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns and piled-up 1,513 passing yards in the first five games of 2018, his first season as a starter.
“He’s got a great arm, a fabulous arm, can throw the ball out of the stadium,” Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick says of Mahomes. “No matter where it goes, it gets there pretty quickly. He can rip it.”
The ratings for Sunday Night Football are going to be through the roof this weekend because fans around the league will be excited to see the NFL’s new young gun (Mahomes) match wits with the GOAT (Brady) and the league’s top mastermind (Belichick).
NFC East Update
For the first time since December, 2013, all four teams in the NFC East lost on the same weekend.
The Cowboys (2-3) lost in overtime at Houston. The Redskins (2-2) fell to Drew Brees and the Saints on Monday Night Football.
Butch Dill via AP
The Eagles (2-3) lost at home to the Vikings. And the Giants (1-4) lost at Carolina in record-setting style.
Entering Week 6, no team in the NFC East has a winning record. That’s good news for the Cowboys who lost a tough game to the Texans, yet still remain tied with the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles for second place in the division, just a half-game behind the first-place Redskins.
The Eagles and Giants have a short week. They meet on Thursday Night Football at Met Life Stadium. The Cowboys host the Jaguars on Sunday at AT&T Stadium. And the Redskins host Cam Newton, Graham Gano, and the Carolina Panthers.
Why would we list the name of kicker Graham Gano…?
Jason E. Miczek via AP
Gano Ties NFL Record for Longest Game-Winning Field Goal
The Giants lost in crushing, historic fashion on Sunday at Carolina. Panthers kicker Graham Gano kicked a 63-yard game winning field goal, giving the Panthers a 33-31 comeback win. The kick tied Tom Dempsey (Saints, 1970) for the longest game-winner in NFL history. Overall, the longest field goal ever kicked in an NFL game is 64 yards (Matt Prater, Broncos, 2013).
But 63 yards should be no big deal for Gano. He grew up in Florida and successfully kicked field goals of 64 and 65 yards in high school. He also connected on a 71-yard field goal in high school, but it was negated by a penalty.
Winslow Townson via AP
Eagles Lose Top Running Back for the Season
The Eagles offense is struggling this season, even with the return of Quarterback Carson Wentz from a knee injury. Now the Eagles will be without their top running back the rest of the season. Jay Ajayi suffered a torn ACL in the loss to the Vikings and was placed on Injured Reserve.
The Eagles are hoping to have veteran running back Darren Sproles back on the field soon; he’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury.