NEW YORK — Another NFL Sunday is in the books and it was filled with more unexpected outcomes.
The most glaring upset Sunday was the Carolina Panthers dominating Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs 21-3, just days after trading away all-pro running back Christian McCaffrey.
Meanwhile, the Giants kept it going with another win to get to 6-1 on the year.
And, the Chiefs bounced back in a big way from a loss to the Bills last week as they defeated the 49ers 44-23 in San Francisco.
There were only four upset wins on Sunday, somewhat of a dull number compared to what we've been used to this season. Those upsets were the Giants over the Jaguars (Jacksonville was favored by three points), the Seahawks over the Chargers, Panthers over the Bucs and the Commanders over the Packers.
Let's check out some of the top storylines from Sunday's NFL action.
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Giants move to 6-1 with win at Jacksonville
The New York Giants just keep winning and are looking like a force in the NFC, at least thus far. When the Giants got to 3-1, we thought it may have been a fluke. When they got to 5-1 after back-to-back wins over the Packers and Ravens, we were scratching our heads. Is it time to admit the Giants are for real?
A comeback win over the Jaguars on Sunday made it four-straight for Brian Daboll's crew, and the first-year head coach is setting himself up well in season one.
The NFC East is a gauntlet right now as the Eagles are undefeated, the Giants are 6-1 and the Cowboys are 5-2. It was one of the worst divisions in football last year, but things have changed.
The New York Giants' latest nail-biter came down to the final play — and the final few inches before the goal line.
The Giants defended like wily veterans, no surprise given the way their season has gone. They've grown accustomed to playing — and winning — close games.
Safeties Julian Love and Xavier McKinney stopped Jacksonville receiver Christian Kirk at the 1-yard line with no time on the clock, preserving a 23-17 victory over the Jaguars in which Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones each ran for more than 100 yards. The Giants (6-1) matched their best start since 2008 and handed the Jaguars (2-5) a 19th consecutive loss in cross-division games.
“I’m never really happy,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said. "It's always on to the next week. I’m glad we won. But like I say every week: There's certain things to clean up. This week is no exception.”
New York became the first team in NFL history to start 6-1 or better and have each of its first seven games decided by one possession. The Giants' six victories have been by a combined 27 points, with none of those won by more than eight.
Bucs fall to Panthers 21-3
The Tampa Bay Bucs continue to be in shambles in the first part of the season. After a shocking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, the Bucs dropped another game where they were heavily favored to win on Sunday with a 21-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers were starting PJ Walker at quarterback and were without their former all-pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who they traded to the 49ers on Thursday night.
Tom Brady and the Bucs offense was shut down by the Panthers, scoring zero touchdowns.
The defeat left the seven-time Super Bowl champion searching for answers.
“No one feels good about where we’re at," Brady said. “No one feels good about how we played or what we’re doing. We’re all in it together, and we have to pull ourselves out of it.”
Brady was 32-of-49 passing for 290 yards. One of those incompletions came when a wide-open Mike Evans dropped what would have been a 64-yard touchdown on the third play of the game.
Brady hasn't had a losing record this far into a season since the 2002 New England Patriots dropped four straight games to fall to 3-4. Brady has never been under .500 after eight games.
“He’s like super competitive and I could see it in his eyes that he was (upset),” Panthers defensive end Brian Burns said. “It feels great to hold the GOAT to three points.”
Bucs coach Todd Bowles said his team has to “be grown men” and accept the loss and get better.
“We’re going to see how many people can handle adversity, and it’s about as dark as it’s going to be right now,” Bowles said.
The win gave the Panthers something to celebrate — finally.
Chiefs offense lights up 49ers defense in San Francisco
How about that for a bounce back? If there was any question the Chiefs aren't still in the top tier of current NFL teams after their loss to Buffalo last week, that was certainly squashed on Sunday.
The Chiefs put up 44 points on the road against the 49ers to win 44-23 in a blowout on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes threw for 423 yards and three touchdowns as the Chiefs got whatever they wanted through the air.
“I think we like playing when we're down,” defensive lineman Chris Jones said. “I guess we like challenging ourselves at this point. No one got rattled. We came together as a team.”
Mahomes got off to a rough start in this Super Bowl rematch with his early interception putting Kansas City (5-2) in a 10-0 hole but that once again proved to be no problem as he led the Chiefs to touchdowns on six of the next seven drives.
Mecole Hardman scored on two TD runs and an 8-yard catch, Justin Watson caught a 4-yard TD and JuJu Smith-Schuster finished it off with a 45 yard catch and run. Clyde Edwards-Helaire also scored on a 16-yard run as the Chiefs had their most productive offensive game of the season.
“To go out against defense like this and show that we can still be explosive and have those big plays, I think that will bode well for us as the season goes on and people don’t know where it’s going to come from,” Mahomes said.
The comeback improved Kansas City to 13-9 with Mahomes when falling behind by at least 10 points with the most memorable coming in a Super Bowl win over the 49ers (3-4) following the 2019 season.
The Niners dropped back-to-back games despite getting a boost from the addition this week of running back Christian McCaffrey, who had 62 yards on 10 scrimmage touches in his San Francisco debut.
But San Francisco settled for three field goals and came up empty on another chance when Jimmy Garoppolo threw an interception at the goal line before Kansas City ran away with it in the second half.
“We definitely had our chances,” defensive end Nick Bosa said. “It’s a great team and and we gave them too many easy ones.”