After another action-packed week of football, here are some stories that caught my attention.
- True-Freshman Caleb Williams continues to shine
After replacing starting quarterback Spencer Rattler, and leading the Oklahoma Sooners to a comeback victory over Texas in the Red River Showdown, head coach Lincoln Riley gave his former five-star prospect the starting role moving forward. In his first start against Texas Christian University Caleb Williams lived up to the hype, passing four touchdown passes and scoring on 41-yard run to close out the 52-31 win.
The following week Kansas was able to keep the Sooners in check, trailing 23-28 going into the fourth quarter. Williams’ poise and awareness was on full display on a crucial 4th down where he stripped the ball from his own teammate to convert for a first down. With Oklahoma sitting at 8-0 heading into the latter portion of the regular season, can Williams keep their undefeated streak intact?
- The Bengals make a statement
The Cincinnati Bengals entered the year with low expectations due to questions raised by Joe Burrow’s health, analysts doubting Ja’Marr Chase’s catching ability and the stability of their offensive line. These critics were quickly silenced as they routed the Baltimore Ravens 41-17 to improve their record to 5-2.
Burrow and Chase put on an offensive clinic, connecting eight times for 201 yards and touchdowns. The Bengals now lead the AFC North with their eyes set on playoff appearance.
- Will the Cincinnati Bearcats make the College Football Playoffs
Even coming off an impressive 9-1 season, with their only defeat being a heartbreaking 24-21 loss to Georgia, no one could have predicted the dominance the Bearcats would show in 2021. After a close win against Navy this past weekend, they remain the #2 ranked team in the nation only behind the University of Georgia.
Sitting at 7-0 with five games left to play in the regular season, the Bearcats need to remain perfect in order to keep themselves in consideration for the four-team playoff. If they succeed in doing so, they will be the first non-power five program to make an appearance.
- No Gruden, No Problem
Two weeks ago, Jon Gruden resigned as the Las Vegas Raiders head coach after emails containing racist, homophobic and sexist comments were released in an investigation of The Washington Football Team. With the Raiders having to elevate Rich Bisaccia to be a first time head coach and the team losing morale coming off a two game losing streak, many wondered if this was yet another lost season for the Silver and Black.
The doubts were quickly put to rest as Raiders defeated their rival the Denver Broncos 34-24, followed by a 33-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles which saw Derek Carr complete 31 of his 34 passing attempts for over 323 yards. Now having the best record in the AFC West, will the removal of Gruden be the spark the Raiders need to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016?
- Tom Brady is timeless
Heading into year 21 of his storied career, Tom Brady continues to go into uncharted territory in the NFL record books. This past weekend he continued padding his Hall-of-Fame resume becoming the first quarterback ever to reach 600 touchdown passes in a dominating 38-3 win over the Chicago Bears.
As he continues to cement these unprecedented feats, his defending Super-Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain a favorite to repeat as champions thanks in part to their 6-1 record. If Tom Brady keeps his form, we could see the 44-year-old collect his eighth Super Bowl ring.