Early NFL Highlights: Steelers Put Together Ridiculous TD Drive, Dallas Continues To Struggle Against AFC South

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Throughout the day, OutKick is here to deliver the biggest moments from throughout a full afternoon of NFL football. We’ll collect all the best stuff and put it here. Keep checking back for updates!

Dallas doesn’t like facing AFC South opponents

One week after nearly suffering a historic upset at the hands of the Houston Texans (who were 17-point underdogs), the Cowboys were just four-point favorites in Jacksonville. But once again, an inferior AFC South opponents is giving Dallas all sort of problems.

It’s quite different than last week, though. Against Houston, the Cowboys trailed nearly the entire game before a late game-winning drive. This week, they opened a huge lead against the Jaguars before letting them come all the way back and take the lead.

The Cowboys led 27-10 with under five minutes left in the third quarter.

Steelers put together one of the best drives of the NFL season

In a game you probably don’t care much about, the Pittsburgh Steelers are facing the Carolina Panthers. It’s Mitchell Trubisky vs. Sam Darnold. Probably enough side. Unbelievably, the Panthers can tie for the NFC South lead with a win today.

But the chances of that win took a huge hit when their defense just could not get off the field to start the second half.

Justin Fields athleticism stunning Eagles

I’ve been on record many times that I am not a Justin Fields fan. I just don’t think he has enough awareness to be a high-level QB. But that doesn’t mean I don’t realize the guy has freaky athleticism. He can absolutely make electric plays. And boy did he make one against the Eagles.

On a second and 27, Fields not only picks up the first down but get the ball down to the 10. The touchdown was wiped off the board as he stepped out of bounds, but the Bears scored on the very next play. The two biggest underdogs on the board today are the Bears (+8.5) and…

Houston again giving top NFL team all sorts of trouble

Last week, the Texans were 17-point underdogs against the Cowboys. And, they should have beaten Dallas. They failed on a late fourth-and-goal and then allowed the Cowboys to drive 98 yards to win. But they lead nearly the entire game.

And here we go again. The Texans (+14) are all over the Kansas City Chiefs in the early going.

Jets stone Lions on fourth-and-goal but immediately allow punt return touchdown

It’s a game between two teams that desperately need a win. As I wrote in my weekly NFL Watchability article, “The last time both the Jets and Lions were within one game of .500 or better this late in the season was 2013. That year, Detroit finished 7-9 and the Jets ended at 8-8. The 2000-01 season is the last time both squads finished the season with winning records. The last time both these teams made the playoffs in the same season was 1991.

“It seems unlikely the playoffs are in the cards for both teams, mostly because this game is significant. Currently, the Jets have a 33% chance to make the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight. The Lions sit at 25%. A New York win on Sunday bumps the Jets up to 46% and the Lions down to 10%. If Detroit wins, they go up to 40% chance to reach the postseason and the Jets drop to 40%. So yeah, we have late-season football between that Jets and Lions that actually matters. What a world.”

The Jets came up with the first big play of the contest. Detroit marched down the field and look poised to take the lead, but Gang Green’s defense came up with a massive stop.

But, as a go-for-it truther, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point this out. Part of the justification for going for it on fourth-and-goal is that even when you fail, the opponent is backed up. That often leads to a scoring opportunity on the ensuing possession. And that’s exactly what the Lions got.

Zach Wilson is back to starting for the Jets after Mike White was not medically cleared for the contest. New York went three-and-out, which led to the Lions TD.

Desmond Ridder makes NFL debut

After benching Marcus Mariota, the Atlanta Falcons turned to third-round pick Desmond Ridder. Ridder had not taken a snap this season, but he’s thrust into the starting role.

It’s not going very well for the Falcons.

Keep checking back for updates!

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named β€œBrady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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