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Master Level Plays  

Six videos that explain NFL Week 10

Each week on "Master Level Plays," we highlight some of the best performances and moments from the previous Sunday.

We've waited all season for this.

At long last, Sunday belonged to Tavon Austin, the first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams who scorched the Colts' defense to the tune of 310 all-purpose yards in a 38-8 crushing of Indianapolis. Averaging 52 yards per touch, Austin flamed Indy with a 98-yard punt-return score, a 57-yard touchdown reception and an 81-yard catch-and-run that showed just how dangerous the rookie can be in open space.

It took the Rams far too long to unleash their young pass-catcher. But if St. Louis can flip this switch on a weekly basis, the NFC West has a problem on its hands:

Speaking of the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers learned the hard way that Riverboat Ron means business.

Ron Rivera's Carolina Panthers won their fifth straight after gritting out an old-school, 10-9 win over Jim Harbaugh's bunch at Candlestick. The knock on the Panthers -- that they've feasted on has-beens and lesser teams -- is bunk. Carolina hasn't allowed two touchdowns in a game since Week 5. On offense, Rivera's midseason epiphany has led to a weekly helping of unorthodox and daring decisions. The old Rivera would have folded on this critical third-down play with the game on the line, but Riverboat Ron (and his sidekick, the suddenly freaky Mike Shula) went for the throat:

The Seahawks were operating at full power Sunday, winning 33-10 against a Falcons team crumbling fast and hard. Russell Wilson has spent this season on the run behind a patchwork offensive line, but Seattle's starting behemoths are on the mend. At receiver, the loss of Sidney Rice affects what the Seahawks can do vertically, but the play of Golden Tate -- morphing into a clutch pass-catcher with the ability to carve up opponents in space -- is complemented by young Jermaine Kearse, who did his job on the receiving end of this razzle-dazzle offering from Wilson:

Nick Foles has a passer rating of 133.3 or higher in three of his four starts this season, and his 10 touchdown passes over the past two weeks are tied for second most in NFL history. Foles has been aided during this statistical hot streak by the play of wide receiver Riley Cooper, who accounted for 102 yards and two scores in Sunday's 27-13 win over the Packers. Cooper's five touchdowns and clutch play over the past two weeks has Chip Kelly's offense singing again:

Who doesn't love a Hail Mary? The quarterback -- in this case, Andy Dalton -- heaves a prayer into the ether. His receiver -- A.J. Green -- just happens to be in the right place at the right time as the far-flung ball returns to earth.

"Luck," Green said. "All luck."

Sometimes, that's all it is:

Drew Brees was otherworldly Sunday night, having his way with a Dallas defense that gave up a franchise-worst 625 yards in a 49-17 loss to New Orleans. The Cowboys allowed an embarrassing 242 yards rushing, and Brees did the rest, throwing for 392 yards and four scores as the Saints amassed an NFL-record 40 first downs.

The raging tire fire left Dallas owner Jerry Jones to rethink his January firing of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, as he acknowledged: "It doesn't look good right now."

No, Jerry. It sure doesn't:

The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped every Week 10 game. Click here to listen and subscribe.

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