Now they face the Falcons for the second time in three games and have a chance to make amends for their loss in Atlanta. The late-game mistakes by QB Drew Brees and Coach Sean Payton were costly in that defeat, so they must be more reliable this time around.
Montana’s successor may have thrown for more touchdowns in Super Bowl 29, but no quarterback performance can quite compare to what Montana did to the Broncos in Super Bowl 24. Against Denver’s top-ranked scoring defense (14.1 points per game) Montana set, at the time, a Super Bowl record for touchdowns while also earning a quarterback rating of 147.6 and completing 13 consecutive passes.
Each week, national NFL writer Mark Maske ranks the league’s 32 teams. This week, the New England Patriots take advantage of the rule book and a questionable late-game decision by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to move back into the No. 1 spot. Pittsburgh stays in the top five despite the loss but is now looking up at the Panthers and Vikings, who look like the class of the NFC. Speaking of which, the L.A. Rams jump three spots after their destruction of the Seahawks in Seattle. And the Jaguars, now with double-digit wins for the first time since 2007, clock in at No. 5 with a return to the playoffs just a few weeks away.
Their shockingly lopsided victory in Seattle reestablishes the Rams as a top NFC contender. They went 2-2 in their four recent games against the Vikings, Saints, Eagles and Seahawks, and they close the regular season against the faltering Titans and the rebuilding 49ers. A 12-win season is well within reach.
What happened to the defense against the Giants? The secondary was carved up by Eli Manning, and the pass rush was nonexistent. The good news was the play of fill-in QB Nick Foles, who took over for the injured Carson Wentz and threw four TD passes. But the Eagles did not look like a Super Bowl team Sunday, and it had nothing to do with Foles.