The San Francisco 49ers confirmed themselves as the team to beat in the NFC with a dominant 37-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers, while the New England Patriots edged out the Dallas Cowboys in a soaking wet arm wrestle.
The 49ers have been the surprise package of the season so far, winning just four games last year but hitting ten wins already as they shut down the visitors en route to going to 10-1 for the season.
Jimmy Garoppolo got far more change out of the Packers defence than counterpart Aaron Rodgers could muster out of the Niners – admittedly the league’s best passing defence this season.
Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes and the 49ers ran in two more while they shut out Rodgers and the Packers in the first half and limited them to just one touchdown all game.
It was a positive start to a fearsome run of fixtures for San Francisco as they travel to Baltimore and New Orleans but on this showing they’ll fancy their chances of proving they are genuine Super Bowl contenders.
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The New Orleans Saints are just behind the 49ers in the NFC standings at 9-2 after they edged out the Carolina Panthers in a dramatic end to their divisional shootout with a Will Lutz field goal as time expired earning a 34-31 victory.
Panthers kicker Joey Slye missed a simple field goal just a couple of minutes before the end of the game, enabling the Saints to take advantage as Drew Brees took them down the field in a classic two-minute drill to set-up the winning kick.
The reigning Super Bowl winners had some awful weather conditions as well as the Dallas Cowboys to deal with as they edged a 13-9 victory as they rain fell in buckets in Foxborough.
Conditions asides, the Patriots’ top-ranked defence shackled the Cowboys’ top-ranked offence magnificently as the visitors failed to find the end zone, and just the one Tom Brady touchdown pass to N'Keal Harry was enough for the Pats to match the 49ers at 10-1.
The Seattle Seahawks are a team to watch as they were too strong for the Eagles in Philadelphia – Rashaad Penny doing a lot of the damage with his career-best 129 yards rushing.
The Seahawks defence is also gathering momentum and menace as they forced five turnovers in their first game back since swarming over the 49ers when inflicting their only defeat of the season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are hanging on in there at 6-5 after a 16-10 victory over divisional foes Cincinnati, while the Washington Redskins got just their second win of the season as they beat Detroit.
Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans ran all over the Jacksonville Jaguars, with the running back piling up 159 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-20 rout.