NFL 2019 Week 11 Recap

November 17th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 11 Recap

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns was the Thursday night game. For 59 minutes and 52 seconds, this game was an old-style defensive head-knocker that represented the best of defensive football. In the first quarter the Browns faced 3rd and 8 at their own 37. Baker Mayfield hit Karim Hunt for 20 yards and to O’Dell Beckham for a 42 yard gain down to the one. Mayfield snuck in the final yard to make it 7-0 Browns. After the Steelers missed a field goal, the Browns marched again in the second quarter. From their 23, Mayfield went deep to Hodge for 41 yard and Jarvis Landry for 25 more. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Mayfield threw incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Mayfield hit Landry for the score to make it 14-0 Browns at halftime. The Browns missed field goals in the second and third quarters. In the third quarter from their own 13, Mason Rudolph threw deep incomplete when Johnson got blasted on a helmet to helmet hit by Randall. Both left the game, Johnson with a concussion and Randall by disqualification. On 3rd and 6 from the Cleveland 46, Rudolph threw incomplete but illegal contact kept the drive going. Defensive pass interference added 38 more yards down to the 3 yard line. Rudolph hit Jaylen Samuels for the touchdown to get the Steelers within 14-7. Yet with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Rudolph was intercepted by Schobert, who returned the pick 20 yards to the Pittsburgh 4 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 8, Mayfield hit Stephen Carlson for the touchdown to ice the game and complete the scoring. A tough Browns win should have been the storyline. Because of the final 8 seconds, the game itself was forgotten.

Rudolph was having a miserable game. He was intercepted 4 times and battered throughout the game. Late in the game he was being sacked mercilessly. After being sacked for losses of 10 and 9, the Browns faced 3rd and 29 from their own 17 with 14 seconds left in a game that was not in doubt. Rudolph was hit again and taken down hard by Myles Garrett. The takedown was rough, but legal. An enraged Rudolph tried to rip off Garrett’s helmet. Garrett retaliated by ripping off Rudolph’s helmet. A couple of Steelers offensive linemen including Maurkice Pouncey tried to intervene to protect Rudolph. Rather than walk away, Rudolph without a helmet charged at the much larger Garrett. At that point Garrett, holding Rudolph’s helmet, lost his mind and swung the helmet at Rudolph, hitting him in the head. Pouncey got Garrett to the ground and repeatedly kicked Garrett in the head, although Garrett had his helmet on. Coaches Freddie Kitchens and Mike Tomlin hugged after the game. Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam apologized to the Steelers. Garrett also apologized. Yet Rudolph stoked the flames by calling Garrett a coward and a bully. Garrett was suspended indefinitely. Pouncey was suspended for 3 games. Rudolph was fined but was not suspended despite his setting all the events in motion. These teams play again in 2 weeks. 21-7 Browns

Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions — Ezekiel Elliott fumbled on the second play of the game and the Lions took over at the Dallas 28. Matthew Stafford is still out with an injured back, so it was up to Driskel to get it done. Scarbrough ran for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Lions. The Cowboys then embarked on a 14 play, 74 yard drive that consumed 7 1/2 minutes. However, on 3rd and goal at the 2, Dak Prescott was sacked for a 10 yard loss. Brett Maher hit the 30 yard field goal to get the Cowboys on the board. Dallas got it back in the second quarter at their own 30 yard line. Prescott hit Michael Gallup for a 23 yard gain. Prescott went to Randall Cobb for 14 yards and to Pollard for a 21 yard touchdown to put the Cowboys in front 10-7. 

In the second quarter Agnew returned a punt 32 yards to give the Lions a short field at the Dallas 45. Driskel ran for 10. On 3rd and 5 from the Dallas 30, McKissic got just enough. Scarbrough ran for 23 yards down to the 2, and Driskel got the deuce for the score to make it 14-10 Lions. After a touchback, Prescott ran for 9 and hit Jarwin for 15 more. On 3rd and 9 from midfield, Prescott went deep to Gallup for 41 yards. Elliott ran for 8 yards and then for the one yard touchdown to make it 17-14 Cowboys.  With 1:48 left in the half, the Cowboys took over at their own 17. Prescott went to Gallup for 10 and deep to Cobb for 49 yards. Prescott then hit Jason Witten for 5 yards. With 30 seconds left in the half, Prescott went to Cobb for the 19 yard touchdown to make it 24-14 Cowboys. After a touchback, the Lions soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 45. Driskel went to McKissic for 11 yards. On 3rd and 14 from the Dallas 48, Driskel went deep to Hall for 39 yards and to Jones for an 11 yard touchdown to get the Lions within 24-21. 

After a touchback, Prescott went deep to Cobb for a 33 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Detroit 23, Prescott gained 7 yards. Yet 3 incompletions later, the Cowboys were settling for a 34 yard Maher field goal to lead 27-21. In the fourth quarter the Cowboys faced 3rd and 3 at their own 38. Prescott hit Witten for 11 yards, Amari Cooper for 16, Pollard for 8 and Schultz for 6. On 3rd and 8 from the Detroitt 17, Prescott went to Elliott for the touchdown. Pollard got the 2 point conversion on the ground to put the Cowboys up 35-21 midway through the fourth quarter. From their own 25, Driskel scrambled for gains of 6 and 23. Driskel went to Danny Amendola for 21 and then to Marvin Jones for the 25 yard touchdown. Matt Patricia for some inexplicable reason went for a 2 point conversion. The try failed and the Lions were down 8 with 6 minutes left. On 2nd and 5 from their own 19, Driskell went deep to Golladay for 34 yards. Yet on 1st and 10 from the Dallas 32, the Lions self-destructed. A sack and a hail of penalties had the Lions facing 4th and 31 at their own 47 with 2:07 to play. Matt Patricia decided to punt and rely on his defense in a game with little defense. On 2nd and 10 from their own 13, Prescott hit Jarwin for 23 yards as the Cowboys ran out the clock. Driskel did not play badly, going 15 of 26 for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns, but Prescott was a lights out 29 of 46 for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns. Neither signal caller was intercepted. 35-27 Cowboys 

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — After a stunning home loss to lowly Atlanta last week, the Saints exploded in frustration and jumped all over Tampa Bay at the start. On their first 2 drives the Saints drove the ball but could not finish their drives. Wil Lutz hit field goals of 44 and 26 yards to make it 6-0 Saints. Jameis Winston was then quickly intercepted, setting up the Saints at the Tampa Bay 16 yard line. One play later, Brees went to Thomas for the touchdown to make it 13-0 Saints. In the second quarter a short punt was then returned 27 yards by Alvin Kamara to set the Saints up just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 2 at the Bucs 43, Taysom Hill got the deuce. On 3rd and 1 at the Bucs 32, Zac Line gained 5. On 3rd and 1 from the Bucs 6, Brees hit Kamara for 3 yards and Jared Cook for the 3 yard touchdown to make it 20-0 Saints.

After a touchback, the Buccaneers tried to make a game of it. Winton hit Logan for 11 yards, Brate for gains of 8 and 7, and Miller deep for a 48 yard gain. On 2nd and goal at the one out of the shotgun, Winston fumbled the snap but the Buccaneers retained possession. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Winston hit Pierre Barber to finally get the Buccaneers on the board. In the third quarter Gay leveled a 55 yard field goal as the Buccaneers were only down 20-10. After a touchback, the Saints faced 3rd and 3 at their own 42. Brees connected with Thomas for a 41 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Tampa Bay 9, Brees hit Kamara for 3 yards and Ted Ginn for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 27-10 Saints. After a touchback, the Buccaneers faced 3rd and 12 at their own 34. Winston went to Godwin for 13, Evans for 14, Miller for 9, and Godwin again for a 30 yard touchdown to get the Buccaneers back within 27-17. Yet with 5 minutes left in regulation and the Buccaneers facing 4th and 10 at their own 33, Winston was intercepted by Marcus Williams, who returned it 55 yards for a defensive touchdown to salt the game away. Winston was 30 of 51 for 313 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 4 killer interceptions. Pinball Wizard Brees was a lights out 28 of 35 for 228 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions to right the ship. 34-17 Saints 

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers — Last week the 1-7 Falcons went into 7-1 New Orleans and shocked the NFL. Now they went on the road again and early on were looking for another big upset. Koo hit a 38 yard field goal but after an interception of Kyle Allen missed another 38 yarder as the Falcons led 3-0. Then Barner summoned his inner Deion Sanders in returning a punt 78 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0 Falcons. In the second quarter after a touchback the Panthers moved to a 1st and 10 at the Atlanta 15. After an incompletion, Allen was intercepted by Moore for a touchback. Ryan went to Julio Jones for 19 and Calvin Ridley for gains of 12 and 26. On 3rd and 4 from the Carolina 5, Matty Ice hit Gage for the touchdown. Yet Carolina challenged the score and it was reversed to an incompletion. Koo hit from 23 to make it 13-0 Falcons. The Falcons got it back at their own 29. Ryan hit Hardy for 13, Jones for 9 and Gage for 18. On 3rd and 16 from their own 49, Ryan went deep to Jones for a 48 yard gain with roughing the passer setting up 1st and goal at the 2. Ollison got in to make it 20-0 Falcons over the stunned home crowd in Carolina. 

In the third quarter the Riverboat Ron Rivera had to go for it on 4th and 5 from the Atlanta 35. Allen was sacked for a 12 yard loss. Then Dan Quinn gambled on 4th and 1 from the Carolina 44. Ryan got the yard and then hit Jones and Ridley for a pair of 11 yard gains and Graham for 12 more. Ryan hit Ridley for the 6 yard touchdown. The 2 point conversion try failed but the Falcons led 26-0. An Uneventful fourth quarter saw the Panthers kick a field goal to avoid the shutout and the Falcons tack on one more field goal. Where was this Atlanta team all year? 29-3 Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts — After suffering a broken collarbone in the season opener, Nick Foles finally returned to action. Gardner Minshew filled in competently as the backup, but Minshew Mania is done for now. This is Foles’s team. There is an unwritten law that a starter does not lose his job due to injury. Yes, there is the Drew Bledsoe exception, but the general rule is why Carson Wentz is in Philadelphia and Foles despite his heroics is in Jacksonville. The Jaguars on their second drive faced 3rd and 4 at their own 46. Foles showed little rust in hitting Westbrook for 15 yards, Oliver for 5 more, and DJ Chark for a 34 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Jaguars. The Colts also got their starter back as Jacoby Brissett returned from injury. Frank Reich went smashmouth as Marlon Mack from the Indy 24 rammed it down the Jags throats for gains of 4, 13, 6 and 16. On 3rd and 10 from the Jacksonville 26, Brissett hit Rogers for 11. Mack then ran for a 13 yard touchdown for a 7-7 game. 

In the second quarter from their own 30, Mack ran for 13. Brissett hit Eric Ebron for 14. Williams ran for 16. Adam Vinatieri hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Colts. In the third quarter the Colts began at their own 23. Brissett hit Johnson for 10. On 3rd and 19 from their own 24, Brissett and Williams connected for a 31 yard gain. Brissett went to Johnson for 17 and Mack gashed the Jags defense for a 20 yard gain. On 4th and goal at the one, Frank Reich decided to go for it. Brissett hit Johnson for the touchdown to make it 17-7 Colts. Another key play came when Doug Marrone decided to gamble on 4th and 4 from his own 44. Foles threw incomplete. With a short field, Rogers gained 6 and Brissett hit Hines for 19. On 3rd and 9 from the Jags 18, Brissett threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 13 yard gain. Brissett ran for the 5 yard touchdown to have the Colts comfortably up 24-7. Needing 3 scores, the Jaguars hopes evaporated at the start of the fourth quarter when Josh Lambo missed a 46 yard field goal. 2 plays later on 2nd and 5 from their own 41, Williams went up the gut for a 48 yard gain. Nyheim Hines ran for a 7 yard touchdown to make it a blowout with the Colts up 31-7. The Jaguars got a garbage touchdown with one minute left, but the 2 point try was returned the other way for a defensive 2 pointer. 33-13 Colts

Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings — Minnesota’s running game and defense were expected to easily dispatch with Denver. Then the game started. An illegal formation on the Broncos on the first play of the game was not a harbinger. On 1st and 15 from their 20, Philip Lindsay ran for 11 yards. Allen is now the quarterback, and he went deep to want for 31 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Minnesota 29, Vic Fangio took no chances. He trusted one of the best kickers in the game rather than run into the teeth of the Minnesota defense. Brandon McManus hit a 47 yard field goal for a 3-0 Broncos lead. Denver got it back at their own 10. Freeman ran for 10 and Allen went deep to Sutton for a 48 yard gain. Defensive pass interference a couple plays later added 24 more yards. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Allen hit Fumagalli for the touchdown to make it 10-0 Broncos. In the second quarter Denver got it back at their own 31 and Vic Fangio went to the bag of tricks. Allen gave it to Sutton, who turned from receiver to quarterback and went deep to Patrick for 28 yards. Sutton then ran for 9 yards and Lindsay added 6 more. On 4th and 1 from the Minnesota 7, this time Fangio went for it. Sutton got the yard. On 3rd and goal at the one, Janovich got in as the Broncos led 17-0. The Vikings then fumbled to set up the Broncos at the Minnesota 17. McManus hit a 29 yard field goal as the Broncos led 20-0 at halftime in front of a shellshocked home crowd in Minnesota. The Vikings even fumbled away the ensuing kickoff but dodged a bullet by intercepting the ball right back. 

After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Vikings finally showed signs of life. Kirk Cousins hit Johnson for a pair of 9 yard gains. On 4th and 1 from his own 45, Mike Zimmer had to go for it. Cousins got the yard. Cousins then went deep to Stefan Diggs for 44 yards. Cousins found Smith for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Vikings within 20-7. The Broncos set up to punt on 4th and 3 from their own 32. Yet Wilson jumped into the neutral zone to give the broncos a first down. On 2nd and 12 from their own 47, Allen went to Patrick for 29 yards. The drive stalled at that point but McManus hit from 41 to make it 23-7 Broncos after three quarters.. 

After a touchback, the Vikings mounted a mind-numbing drive. On 4th and 1 from their own 34 in desperation mode, Cook got 2 yards. On 3rd and 14 from their own 32, Cousins hit Conklin for 20 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Denver 48, Cousins threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 5 yards and an automatic 1st down. The fourth quarter began with the Vikings facing 3rd and 5 at the Denver 27. Cousins went to Diggs for 7 yards. Cook ran for a 3 yard touchdown 90 seconds into the fourth quarter. The 18 play, 75 yard, 6 minute drive had the Vikings within 23-13 after the failed 2 point conversion. Denver soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Fant lost 5 yards and the Broncos punted. 3 plays later on 3rd and 2 from their own 46, Cousins went bombs away to Diggs for a 54 yard touchdown. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Vikings were within 23-20. Denver’s misery continued when McManus missed a 43 yard field goal with 8:15 to play. From their 33, Cousins went to Cook for 21 yards, Johnson for 6, Diggs for 9, and Rudolph for the 32 yard touchdown. With 6 minutes left, the Vikings had come all the way back for 4 point lead. 

Then came what may have been the drive of the year. 19 plays that took up every moment of the clock. A 42 yard kickoff return had the Broncos starting at their own 40. On 3rd and 13 from their own 37, Allen hit Freeman for 14 yards. On 2nd and 13 from their own 48, Allen went to Sutton for 12 yards. On 4th and 6 from the Minnesota 45, Allen went to Fant for 11 yards. On 4th and 6 from the Minnesota 39, Allen went to Patrick right at the sticks and barely kept them alive. With 33 seconds left the Broncos faced 4th and 1 at the Minnesota 15. Allen got around the end for an 11 yard gain. The Vikings took their 2nd timeout on defense. The Broncos were out of timeouts. 10 seconds remained. Allen threw a pair of incompletions, leaving 2 seconds and one final play. With everything on the line and 3rd and goal at the 4, Allen threw incomplete as the Minnesota defense survived with an inspired goal line stand. Cousins was a lights out 29 of 35 for 319 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He was also sacked 5 times. Allen was only 17 of 39 for 240 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but he came out of nowhere and showed heart, guts and character in a thrilling game but a tough loss. For football fans, games like this are what parents point to their children about. Never give up. 27-23 Vikings

New York Jets at Washington Redskins — League rules prevented this game from being canceled. After a touchback to start the gameSam Darnold went to Jermaine Crowder for 8 and Thomas for 9. Leveon Bell ran for 9 and Darnold hit Crowder for 17 and Bell for 12. Darnold went to Brown for the 20 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Jets led 6-0. The Jets got it back and faced 3rd and 5 at their own 43. Darnold went to Thomas for 13 yards. Powell carved up the Redskins for gains of 14, 6 and 17. The second quarter began with the Jets attempting a 30 yard field goal on 4th and goal at the 12. The kick was good, but roughing the kicker caused Adam Gase to take the points off the board with 1st and goal at the 6. Darnold went to Robbie Anderson for the touchdown to make it 13-0 Jets after the 12 play, 62 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. An interception of Darnold gave the Redskins the ball at the Jets 16. On 3rd and 5, Dwayne Haskins was sacked for a 15 yard loss. Dustin Hopkins hit the 44 yard field goal to get the Redskins on the board. The Jets then fumbled the ensuing kickoff to give the Redskins another short field at the Jets 27. Hopkins missed a 29 yard field goal. After 2 consecutive turnovers that cost only 3 points, the Jets rebounded. With 1:18 left in the half, they took over at their own 18. Darnold went to Bell for 21, to Griffin for 45, and to Griffin again for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 20-3 Jets. The pointless second half saw Darnold throw a 29 yard touchdown pass to Crowder in the fourth quarter and an interception of Haskins at the Washington 5. Bell ran for the one yard touchdown and a 34-3 Jets lead. Washington did manage 2 garbage touchdowns long after anyone cared. Democrats and Republicans began emergency hearings on Sunday to impeach Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. 34-17 Jets

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins — Despite winning 2 in a row, the overmatched dolphins got hit in the mouth early in this game. Steve Hauschka hit field goals of 51 and 34 yards for a 6-0 Bills lead. The Bills got it backin the second quarter and faced 2nd and 7 at their own 22. Josh Allen hit Brown for 24, Cole Beasley for 7, and deep to Brown for a 40 yard touchdown for a 13-0 Bills lead. On 2nd and 7 from their own 38, Allen hit Frank Gore for 18 and then ran for a 36 yard gain himself. Steve Hauschka hit a 21 yard field goal as the Bills were cruising 16-0. 

Miami tried to make a game of it. With 5 minutes left in the half the Dolphins faced 3rd and 4 from their own 38. Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Parker for a 50 yard gain. Kenny Ballage ran for a 3 yard touchdown to get the Dolphins on the board. Brian Flores even called a surprise onside kick that was successful. After taking over at their own 47, Fitzpatrick went to Hurns for 20 yards. However, Hurns fumbled and the Bills took over at their own 25. Allen went to Brown for 17 and Singletary gained 21. On 3rd and 9 from the Miami 23, Allen went to Knox for the touchdown as the Bills led 23-7 with 1:23 left in the half. 14 seconds later the Dolphins were in the end zone again as Grant returned the ensuing kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown to get the Dolphins within 23-14. Yet a shanked 30 yard punt in the third quarter gave the Bills the ball at their own 47. Allen went to McKenzie for 16 yards and Beasley for 15 more. on 3rd and 6 from the Miami 18, Allen hit Brown for 7 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Miami 8, Allen scrambled around the end and got in to make it 30-14 Bills. 

From their own 35, Fitzpatrick went to Wilson for 13 and roughing the passer added 15 more on the next play. On 3rd and 1 from the Buffalo 28, Ballage gained 2. Fitzpatrick hit Laird for 12. The fourth quarter began with the Dolphins at the Buffalo 14. Ballage gained 7 and then on a wildcat snap got the 7 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Dolphins were within 30-20. Yet every time the Dolphins came back, the Bills answered. On 2nd and 13 from their own 35, Allen hit Beasley for 12. On 3rd and 1, Allen gained 5. Allen it Brown for 17. McKenzie gained 10 and Singletary added 6. Allen hit Kroft for 6 and Brown for the 9 yard touchdown to lock up the win. 37-20 Bills 

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens — The 6-3 Texans took on the 7-2 Ravens in a  critical showdown. After a scoreless first quarter, the Ravens began the second quarter at their own 10 yard line. Mark Ingram ran for 11 yards. On 1st and 15 from their own 16, Lamar Jackson went to Andrew for 8 yards with a facemark tacking on 15 more. Jackson fired a laser to Seth Roberts for a 15 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Ravens lead. Baltimore got it back at their own 30 and Jackson quickly hit Brown for 17 yards and ran for 12 more. Edwards then ripped off a 25 yard gain. On 2nd and 17 from the Houston 18, Jackson went to Andrews over the middle for the touchdown and the 14-0 Ravens advantage. The Ravens began the third quarter at their own 22 and made it look easy. Jackson hit Ricard for 9. Defensive pass interference added 30 yards. Jackson went to Snead for 10 and then found a wide open Ingram in the flat for a 25 yard touchdown to make it 21-0 Ravens. Deshaun Watson was sacked 5 times in the first half and took more pain in the second half. Justin Tucker hit field goals of 34 and 46 to make it 27-0 Ravens, the latter field goal set up by an interception of Watson. The Ravens began the fourth quarter at their own 29, On 3rd and 16 from their 35, Jackson connected with Andrews for a 51 yard gain. Jackson then went to Ingram for a 12 yard touchdown to make it 34-0 Ravens. Houston eventually reached the end zone to avoid the shutout, but this was another statement to the rest of the league. Gus Edwards made a statement to the Texans with a 63 yard exclamation point touchdown run to cap an 87 yard drive and complete the carpet-bombing. The Ravens are in Super Bowl mode and playing like it. 41-7 Ravens 

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers — Despite being knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten last week an overtime home thriller, the 49ers were expected to be angry and stomp all over the overmatched Cardinals. Cue ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman. “THAT’S why they PLAY the games!” After a touchback the Cardinals faced 3rd and 7 at the Frisco 44. A deep ball incomplete with no penalty was reversed to defensive pass interference to set up 1st and goal at the 3. A touchdown pass was nullified by offensive pass interference. The Cardinals settled for a 26 yard Zane Gonzalez field goal to lead 3-0. The Cardinals got it back at their own 19. Drake gained 7 and Kyler Murray hit Kirk for gains of 9 and 11. On 3rd and 4 from their own 48, Murray went to Kirk for 8. On 3rd and 11 from the 49ers 41, Murray went to Cooper for 23. defensive pass interference added 13 more. Murray went to Larry Fitzgerald for a 5 yard touchdown. Gonzalez missed the extra point but the Cardinals led 9-0. In the second quarter the Cardinals took over at their own 43. Murray ran for gains of 5 and 9. On 4th and 1 from the 49ers 34, Cliff Kingsbury went for it. Murray hit Daniels for 4 yards. Murray then ran for 21 yards. Murray hit Cooper for a 5 yard touchdown as the Cardinals led 16-0 in front of a disbelieving Santa Clara home crowd.

Midway through the second quarter the 49ers decided to start playing football. After a touchback, a short pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to James went for a 57 yard gain. Garoppolo then went to Juszczyk went for 14 more. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Garoppolo went to Dwelley for the touchdown to get the 49ers within 16-7. The 49ers got it back and moved from their 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Arizona 16 with 39 seconds left in the half. A touchdown pass to Dwelley was nullified by offensive holding as the 49ers settled for a 43 yard Chase McLaughlin field goal to trail 16-10 at the break. The 49ers got it back at their own 16 to start the third quarter. Garoppolo hit Coleman for 37 yards with 15 more added on for roughing the passer. On 1st and 15 from the Arizona 22, Garoppolo went to Juszczyk for 19 yards. Garoppolo hit Dwelley for a 5 yard touchdown as the 49ers took the lead 17-16 with the difference being the missed extra point. 

The 49ers in the third quarter moved from their own 37 to a 3rd and 5 at the Arizona 12. Garoppolo was then intercepted by Hicks, who returned it 48 yards to the San Fran 47. Despite 1st and 10 at the San Fran 25, the drive died at that point. Gonzalez hit from 43 to put the Cardinals back in front 19-17. The 49ers after a sack of Garoppolo faced 2nd and 17 at their own 18. Garoppolo hit Mostert for 8 and on 3rd and 9 went to Samuel for 26 yards and Bourne for 19 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 9, Garoppolo hit Juszczyk for 7 yards. Garoppolo hit Bourne for the 2 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the 49ers led 23-19 with 12 minutes left in regulation after the 10 play, 75 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. From their own 22, the Cardinals answered. Murray found Kirk for 8. Drake gained 12 and 2. On 3rd and 2 from midfield, Drake gained 4. On 2nd and 6 from the Frisco 28, Drake gained 22. Murray then got around the end for a 22 yard touchdown. The 10 play, 78 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive put the Cardinals back on top 26-23 with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation.  

The 49ers moved from their own 33 to a 3rd and 7 at the Arizona 24, certainly in field goal range. Garoppolo threw a pass that was high and off the mark that was deflected and intercepted by Thompson, who returned it 18 yards to his own 25 with 4 1/2 minutes left. The 49ers got it back at their own 35 with 2:02 to play. Garoppolo hit Bourne for 7 and Samuel for 11. Garoppolo ran for 7, hit Goodwin for 5, Samuel for 7, and on 3rd and 3 from the Arizona 28, hit Dwelley for just enough. Garoppolo then went to Wilson for a 25 yard touchdown. With 30 seconds to play, the 49ers had the lead 30-26. The Cardinals quickly fumbled the ball away trying to do the hook and laterals, but they had all their timeouts. They took them on defense. With 6 seconds left the 49ers faced 4th and 1 at the Arizona 21. Coleman got the carry and got blasted for a one yard loss. On the last play of the game, another attempt at the hook and laterals was fumbled and returned for a meaningless touchdown for non-gamblers. It was tough, but the 49ers got to 9-1 the hard way. 36-26 49ers 

New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles — Two years ago the Eagles shocked the Patriots in the Super Bowl in an offensive shootout. The rematch was physical defensive game. On the first play of the game after a touchback, defensive pass interference on the Patriots meant a 49 yard gain for the Eagles. Yet despite 2nd and 3 from the New England 19, a false start and a pair of Carson Wentz incompletions had the Eagles settling for a 42 yard field goal by Elliott to lead 3-0. The Eagles got it back at their own 5 yard line. On 3rd and 2 from their own 13, Wentz hit Sanders for 4 and Zac Ertz for 9. From their own 32, Wentz hit Nelson Agholor for 5 and Dallas Goedert for 21 more. On 3rd and goal at the 5, confusion reigned. Wentz fired to Goedert for a touchdown. Jones insisted he had an interception for a touchback. Officials ruled the play a touchback. on further review, it was reversed to a touchdown and a 10-0 Eagles lead early in the second quarter. The 16 play, 95 yard drive consumed 9 1/2 minutes. 

However, it did not break the backs of the Patriots. The Patriots dominated the rest of the half but could not reach the end zone. Nick Folk had field goals of 35, 22 and 39 after a Philadelphia fumble as the Patriots only trailed 10-9 at the intermission. The Patriots took the second half kickoff and took over at their own 16. From their own 30, Tom Brady went to Philip Dorsett for 10 and Burkhead for 30 more. On 3rd and 11 from the Philly 15, Bill Belichick went to his bag of tricks. Brady got it to Julian Edelman, who threw the option pass to Dorsett for the touchdown. James White ran for the 2 point conversion to make it 17-10 Eagles in the third quarter. Although pretty much the entire second half remained, the defenses dug in. The Eagles took over at their own 6 yard line with 4 minutes left and Wentz found Agholor for 29 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the New England 45, went hit Agholor for 19 yards. On 4th and 10 at the New England 26, Wentz went for it all. Agholor had the defender beat and tried to make a juggling catch in the back of the end zone. he couldn’t haul it in and the Eagles turned it over on downs with one minute left. The Eagles had all 3 timeouts and used them on defense. On 4th and 1 from his own 35, Bill Belichick did not even think about going for it. The Eagles took over at their own 12 with 34 seconds left. A 30 yard completion and a spike left 2 seconds. From their own 42, Wentz’s Hail Mary was knocked down at the 5 yard line incomplete. The Eagles were game but ran out of time as the Patriots got a tiny measure of revenge that they’ll deny they were seeking. Nobody believes them. 17-10 Patriots

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders — In 1993, the 6-4 Raiders traveled to face the 0-10 Bengals and lost 16-10. This year the Raiders came in 5-4 and in danger of believing their own hype against the 0-9 Bengals. The game was in Oakland, but the this is the exact type of game the Raiders lose. The Bengals came in losers of 11 straight games dating back to last year when they defeated…you guessed it…the Raiders. If the Raiders ever wanted to be taken seriously, they had to win games like this one without difficulty. Nothing comes easy for the Raiders, even with the Bengals missing receiver AJ Green and Paul gentler coordinating against his former team. The Raiders slept through most of the game. When the Bengals faced 3rd and 10 at their own 44, Finley was blown up for an 11 yard loss and fumbled. The Raiders recovered at the Cincy 28. On 1st and 10 from the Cincy 17, Josh Jacobs gained 10 yards but then had the ball chopped out of his hands. The Bengals took over at their own 15. Joe Mixon quickly ran for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from midfield, Jordan jumped into the neutral zone. On 3rd and 1, Finley hit Uzomah for 3 yards. On 4th and 3 at the Oakland 36, the Bengals decided to go for it. Finley hit Tyler Eifert for 18 yards. On 2nd and goal at the 7, Finley threw incomplete but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 3. Mixon ran it in as the Bengals led 7-0. The 12 play, 85 yard drive took 6 1/2 minutes as the Raiders looked totally inept. 

The Raiders finally woke up in the second quarter from their own 9 yard line. From their 10, Derek Carr hit Williams for 24 yards, Deandre Washington for 6, Tyrell Williams for 20 and Washington for 8. On 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 38, Carr went deep to Hunter Renfrow for 27 yards. On 1st and 15 from the Bengals 16, Carr when to Darren Waller for 14 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 2, Carr found a wide open Foster Moreau for the touchdown to tie the game 7-7. The Raiders got it back at their own 20. Jacobs ran for 10. Carr went to Williams for 21 with 15 more tacked on for roughing the passer. Jacobs ran for 9 and 5, caught a pass for 3, and ran for 5 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Bengals 12, Carr hit Renfrow for 10. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Carr scrambled, found nobody, and headed for the end zone. He dove over the pylon for the score to put the Raiders up 14-7 with 1:37 left in the half. The 80 yard, 10 play drive was efficient.

Despite leading, the Raiders were not playing well overall against a winless team with a rookie coach and a backup quarterback. They dodged a bullet when Bullock missed a 53 yard field goal on the last play of the half. In the third quarter on 3rd and 4 from their own 44, Carr fired over the middle into a crowd and was intercepted at the Oakland 45. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 22, Finley threw incomplete. Bullock hit a 40 yard field goal as the Bengals only trailed 14-10 midway through the third quarter. The Raiders went 3 and out and the Bengals had 2nd and 6 at the Oakland 41. Finley threw incomplete twice and the defense held. Yet the offense was doing nothing. Again, the Raiders would be leading a game after three quarters. Again, they would be in a fight for survival in the fourth quarter. 

The Bengals punted on 4th and 15 from their own 10 after a sack of Finley. The Raiders took over at their own 34. Carr fired over the middle to Waller for a 32 yard gain. Jacobs then ran for gains of 15 and 4. On 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 9 with 12 minutes left in regulation, Carr took a timeout. These are plays that improving teams either use to put games away or let bad but hungry teams linger around. The Raiders never put games away, Carr avoided a tackler and fired a pass that was high but caught by Renfrow, who came up inches short. Jon Gruden decided to go for it. It was time for the Raiders to send a message. Either they were serious orb they weren’t. The entire world knew Jacobs was getting the ball. Except it was Ingold who got the carry and banged up the gut on 4th and 1 from the 4 for a 3 yard gain. Now it was 1st and goal at the one. The Bengals jumped offsides, but the officials inexplicably called a false start. Nothing was going to come easy for the Raiders. On 2nd and goal from the 5, Carr lobbed a fade to the end zone. The defender pilled the receiver to the ground yet pass interference was not called. A short pass set up 4th and goal at the 2. Gruden brought out the field goal team. Carlson hit the 20 yarder as the Raiders led 17-10 with 9 1/2 minutes to play, but they had not closed the door. Not even close.  

After a touchback, Finley scrambled for 17 yards. A sack of Finley had the Bengals facing 3rd and 19 at their own 47. Finley fired over the middle to Auden Tate, who hung on to the ball for a 20 yard gain. Tate got blasted and was down for what seemed like forever as players on both teams looked on with concern. Tate was taken off the field on a stretcher. His courageous catch gave the Bengals the first down. The Raider Nation clapped when he was taken off the field. Even in a close game in the fourth quarter, football is not life and death. Play resumed and on 3rd and 4 from the Oakland 27, a pass in the flat to a wide open receiver was dropped. On 4th and 4, the Raiders took their 2nd timeout on defense. Finley went for it all into double coverage and near the goal line it was just broken up incomplete. With 5 minutes left, the Raiders had yet another chance to put close the game out. Good teams make sure the other team does not get the ball back. 

A run lost 2 yards. On 2nd and 12, a hookup from Carr to Waller gained 29 yards but was nullified by offsetting penalties. Carr did it again, firing to Waller for 23 yards and this time the play stood. A couple carries by Jacobs forced the Bengals to burn a pair of timeouts. With 3:18 to play the Raiders faced 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 48. Carr found Jones for a 13 yard gain as the Bengals took their last timeout with 3:10 to play. All the Raiders had to do was run the ball 3 straight times and take the clock down to 1:15. Just don’t do anything to stop the clock. Instead, offensive holding on 2nd and 12 was the worst of all possible worlds. It stopped the clock and forced the Raiders into 3rd and 12 with 2:21 to play. A run took the clock down to the 2 minute warning, but it was 4th and 8 instead of 3rd down. A field goal try would be 51 yards. If Daniel Carlson would do his job, the game would be locked up. If not, the Bengals would have it at their own 40. In a shocking move, Jon Gruden decided to punt. He shook his head in disgust when it went into the end zone for a touchback. With 1:54 let and 0 timeouts, Finley was sacked by Maxx Crosby for a 9 yard loss. Under heavy pressure from his own goal line, Finley went deep and was intercepted by Trayvon Mullen. It was hideously ugly, and far more difficult than it should have been. Yet the Bengals remained winless and the Raiders under Jon Gruden are 6-4 with no apologies needed. Al Davis never cared about statistics. Even his great teams made it difficult on themselves. Just win baby. 17-10 Raiders

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams was the Sunday night game. Both teams were great last year and are mediocre this year. The Bears began this ugly game with Eddie Pineiro missing a 48 yard field goal. One play later Todd Gurley fumbled the ball back to the Bears. The Bears then passed up a 49 yard field goal try an Matt Nagy went for it on 4th and 9 from the Rams 31. Mitchell Trubisky threw incomplete. Jared Goff was the  intercepted. Pineiro then missed another field goal from 47. In the second quarter Greg Zuerlein did hit a 38 yarder to make it 3-0 Rams. An interception of Trubisky set up the Rams at their own 44. On 3rd and 5 from their own 49, Goff went deep to Cooper Kupp for 50 yards down to the one. Todd Gurley got in to make it 10-0 Rams at halftime. In the third quarter the Bears took over at their own 20. Trubisky hit Miller for 8, Gabriel for 4, and Miller for 16 and 9. On 2nd and 10 from the Rams 29, Trubisky hit Gabriel for 15 and Tariq Cohen for the 14 yard touchdown as the Bears only trailed 10-7 after three quarters. Midway through the fourth quarter the Rams took over at their own 29. From their 31, Goff went to Reynolds for 18 yards. Goff had a 51 yard touchdown pass to Reynolds nullified for an illegal formation. However, on 3rd and 7 from the Chicago 48, Goff hit Reynolds for 26 yards and Everett for 20. Brown ran it in from the 5 to ice the game with 3 1/2 minutes left. The Rams at 6-4 are still alive while the 4-6 Bears are on the brink. Even worse, Trubisky was benched with 3 1/2 minutes left in favor of Chase Daniel. The Bears insisted Trubisky had a hip injury. Nobody believed them. 17-7 Rams

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico was the Monday night game from Mexico City. The Chargers moved the ball well throughout the game but often stalled in the red zone. Early on they moved from their own 23 to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 12. The drive died and Mike Badly hit a 27 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chargers. Badgley then missed from 40. After Patrick Mahomes threw an interception, the Chargers moved from their 29 to the Chiefs 25. Philip Rivers threw an interception right back. Rivers then threw another interception in the second quarter that was returned by Mathieu 35 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 6. One play later, LeSean Shady McCoy ran it in to make it 7-3 Chiefs. After a touchback the Chargers moved to a 1st and goal at the 8. Rivers then threw 3 straight incompletions. Badgley hit from 26 to get the Chargers within 7-6, but wasted opportunities were killing them. Harrison Butker hit a 41 yard field goal for the Chiefs with 1:43 left in the half, but Badgley answered from 49 to end the half with the Chargers only down 10-9.

Mahomes can only be contained for so long, and the Chiefs offense exploded in the third quarter. On 2nd and 13 from their own 22, Mahomes and Yelder connected on a 23 yard gain. Yelder then fumbled and King returned it 34 yards to the Chiefs 12. However, defensive illegal use of hands gave the Chiefs the ball back at their own 27. On 3rd and 2 from their 35, Mahomes scrambled for 20 yards. Mahomes then hit Sammy Watkins for 15 and McCoy for 16. McCoy then ran for 6 yards and fumbled, but the ball was knocked by a  defender right back to him. Williams ran for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 17-9 Chiefs. A short 35 yard punt had the Chiefs taking over at their own 46. Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for 11, Hardman for 6 and 9, and Kelce for a 23 yard touchdown to have the Chiefs up 24-9.

After a touchback, the Chargers tried to make a game of it. Defensive pass interference moved the ball 25 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 45, Rivers hit Keenan Allen for 7 yards. Another defensive pass interference penalty added 27 more yards. Rivers then threw a 7 yard touchdown to Allen. Rivers found a wide open receiver in the back of the end zone for the 2 point conversion as the Chargers only trailed by 7 after three quarters. The Chargers defense hung tough, but the offense gave them no help. On 3rd and 10 from their own 17, Rivers went for it all and was intercepted at the Chiefs 33 with 4 minutes left. With 2:21 to play and the Chargers out of timeouts, everything came down to the Chiefs facing 3rd and 4 at the Chargers 42. You run the ball in this situation. Every. Single. Time. Mahomes went back to pass, but took the sack so the clock would run down to the 2 minute warning. The Chargers were alive, taking over at their own 9 yard line with 1:53 left. On 4th and 4 from their own 15, Rivers hit Hunter Henry for 10. On 3rd and 15 from their own 25, Rivers went bombs away into double coverage and Mike Williams came down with a miracle 50 yard catch. The Chargers were at the Chiefs 25 with 44 seconds left. Rivers went to Austin Ekeler for 11 yards and raced to the line and spiked the ball to stop the clock. 24 seconds remained and the Chargers had 2nd and 10 at the Chiefs 14. Rivers went to the end zone and threw his fourth interception for a touchback. The Chargers fell to 4-7 and the brink of playoff elimination, with all 7 losses coming by one score. The 7-4 Chiefs remain on top in the AFC West, making Andy Reid a most pleased Walrus Lite indeed. 24-17 Chiefs

NFL 2019 Week 11 Prequel

November 17th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 10 Recap

November 10th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 10 Recap

Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders was the Thursday night game. For the final time since 1960, these old AFL rivals played in Oakland. It was the final night game in the history of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. Next year the Raiders move to their new palace in Las Vegas. For 60 minutes, the Raiders and Chargers played a game that honored the legacies of Sid Gilman, Al Davis, Don “Air” Coryell, Dan Fouts, Ken Stabler and Jim Plunkett. Derek Carr and Philip Rivers went blow for blow. Entering the game it was the Chargers with the good defense and the Raiders with the league’s worst pass defense. This game featured shocks from beginning to end. 

The Chargers took over at their own 19. On the first play of the game, Rivers went to Austin Ekeler for a 23 yard gain. The fourth play of the game had the Chargers facing 3rd and 14 at their own 38. Rivers went deep and was intercepted by Karl Joseph. Yet defensive pass interference away from the play by Trayvon Mullin nullified the interception and gave the Chargers 17 more yards. From the Oakland 33, Rivers went deep and was intercepted again by Erik Harris at the Oakland 10 yard line. Harris weaved his way through traffic and returned the interception 59 yards to the Chargers 31 yard line. This time the interception stood. On 3rd and 8 from the Chargers 17, Carr was sacked by Melvin Ingram. Daniel Carlson hit the 40 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Raiders. The Chargers got it back at their own 20. From their own 46, Rivers was intercepted again by Harris. This time Harris evaded a tackler and made it down the sideline for a 56 yard touchdown. The much maligned Raiders defense staked them to a 10-0 lead, but their usually high octane offense was doing nothing. It was only a matter of time before the Chargers offense struck back.

The Chargers took over at their own 23 and Keenan Allen got around the end for 18 yards. The second quarter began with the Chargers facing 3rd and 1 at midfield. Melvin Gordon got the carry and got stopped. The Raiders celebrated, but Anthony Lynn decided to go for it. DJ Watt got the carry and got the yard. Rookie Clelin Ferrell jumped offsides twice on the drive. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 5, Rivers hit Allen for 3 yards. On 3rd and gal at the 2, Rivers went to Hunter Henry for the touchdown to get the Chargers within 10-7. The Raiders got it back at their own 11. On 3rd and 2 from their 19, Jalen Richard got stopped cold. The Chargers got it back with a short field just past midfield. Rivers went to Gordon for 25 and Henry for 13 more. On 1st and goal at the 7, Rivers was intercepted by Harris for the 3rd time in the first half. Yet for the 2nd time in the half, the interception was nullified. For the 3rd time in the half, the defense jumped offsides. This time it was Maxx Crosby who got the early jump. On 1st and goal at the 3, Gordon ran it in. With 4 minutes left in the half, the Chargers had a 14-10 lead.

The Raiders offense took over at their own 24 after having done nothing for 26 minutes. Carr went to Josh Jacobs for 17 yards. Defensive pass interference on the next play added 10 more yards. On 3rd and 11 from midfield, Carr went to Jones for 10 yards. At the 2 minute warning, Jon Gruden decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from the Chargers 40 yard line. Ingold banged ahead for 3 yards. Carr then went to Darren Waller for 6 yards, Richard for 13 more, and Deandre Washington for another 9 yards. With 21 seconds left, the Raiders faced 3rd and 1 from the Chargers 9 yard line. The Raiders still had a timeout left, so a running play was a reasonable assumption. Instead Carr rolled out and found Ingold in the flat. Ingold stretched and got the ball past the pylon for the touchdown to give the Raiders the 17-14 halftime lead. 

The Raiders got the ball to start the third quarter and soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 30. Carr went to Renfrow for 14 yards with a defensive facemask penalty adding 15 more yards. Carr then went deep to Waller for 27 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the 4, when a run would have been completely reasonable, Jon Gruden again went with the pass. Carr threw incomplete. With a chance to make it a 2 score game, the Raiders settled for a 22 yard Carlson field goal to lead 20-14. The Chargers punted on 4th and 12 from their own 7 and a short 36 yard punt had the Raiders with gift field position at the Chargers 43 yard line. On 3rd and 1 from the Chargers 34, a run would have been completely reasonable. Jon Gruden went with the run and Washington got stopped for no gain. Rather than go for it on 4th and 1, Gruden brought in Carlson for a 53 yard field goal try. It would still make it a 2 score game. Instead, the kick was no good. 

The Chargers faced 3rd and 10 at their own 43. Rivers was sacked and fumbled. The Raiders had every chance to recover the fumble, but the Chargers retained possession after a 14 yard loss. The Raiders got the ball back at their own 32 rather than inside the Chargers 30. Jacobs ran for 14 yards, with defensive holding setting up 1st and 5 at the Chargers 47. Yet a sack of Carr killed the drive. A 30 yard punt gave the Chargers the ball at their own 17 yard line. The momentum swing was inevitable. Rivers went for the bomb and hit Williams for a 45 yard gain. Gordon then ripped off a 24 yard gain. On 2nd and 2 from the Oakland 6, the Chargers were ready to take the lead. Then Gordon got trapped for a 4 yard loss. Then came a delay of game penalty on the offense. The Chargers had to settle for a 27 yard Badgley field goal and a 2017 deficit after three quarters.

The Raiders began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 6 at their own 34. Carr hit Tyrell Williams for 12 yards. Yet on 3rd and 4 from the Chargers 48, Carr was sacked to end the drive. The Chargers took over at their own 20 and Rivers was quickly sacked. Yet on 3rd and 4 from their own 26, Rivers hit Allen for just enough. On 2nd and 11 from their own 31, Rivers threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 12 yard gain. On 2nd and 15 from their own 38, Rivers went to Allen for a 26 yard gain. Defensive pass interference on the next play added 8 more yards. Rivers threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to Ekeler. The Raiders had every chance to put the game away and didn’t do it. Instead the Chargers had a 24-20 lead with 4 minutes left. The 12 play, 80 yard drive took 8 minutes off the clock. The Raiders defense was exhausted. It would be up to the offense to try and bail them out. Carr worked the 4 minute drill to perfection in the first half. Now he had to do it again with the game on the line.

The Raiders took over at their own 25. Carr hit Richard for 11, Renfrow for 10, and Richard for 10 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. On 2nd and 10 from the Chargers 40, Carr went to Renfrow for 13 yards and Richard for 9 more. With one minute left in the game, the Raiders faced 3rd and 1 at the Chargers 18 yard line. They took their first timeout to talk things over. For the billionth time, it would be perfectly reasonable to run the ball in this situation. It would be completely sane to give your bruiser running back the ball and let the battering ram get the yard. Jon Gruden did exactly that. Jacobs banged through the line, got the first down, and made it all the way to the end zone for an 18 yard touchdown. The Raider Nation erupted in celebration as they took a 2 point lead. Elation soon turned to deflation as Carlson missed the extra point. 2 years ago, the Raiders at home trailed the Chargers by 4 points in the fourth quarter. The Raiders got the go ahead touchdown but missed the extra point. On the final play of that game, the Chargers kicked a field goal for a 17-16 Chargers win. This game was setting up for another gut-wrenching Raiders loss in nearly identical fashion. One field goal would make it 27-26 Chargers. All Rivers had to do was take down the 32nd ranked pass defense.

After a touchback, Rivers threw 3 straight incompletions. One more defensive stop would end things. Rivers threw incomplete and the Raiders celebrated with 37 seconds left. The celebration was premature as defensive holding on Mullen meant an automatic 1st down. This was the same Mullin who’s penalty early in the game negated an interception. The defensive collapse was inevitable. Except it wasn’t. Rivers again threw 3 straight incompletions. With 20 seconds left, it again came down to 4th and 10. Rivers had already been intercepted 4 times, but only 2 of them stood. Rivers went deep and was intercepted for the 5th time. Joseph had an earlier interception negated, but this one stood. Rivers’s 3rd interception again had the Raiders celebrating with 16 seconds left. Yet the Chargers still had all 3 timeouts left. From their 35, Jacobs gained 5 yards and the Chargers took their first timeout. Jacobs is a battering ram, and on the next carry he gained 5 more yards and the clinching first down. 

Another agonizing loss dropped the Chargers to 4-6 on the season. Meanwhile, the Raiders have willed their way to a 5-4 record. They have upcoming games against winless Cincinnati and a one-win Jets team that lost to previously winless Miami. If the Raiders can get to 7-4, the unthinkable could be an actual possibility. One year after going 12-4, the Raiders have a shot of making the playoffs. A loss to either Cincinnati or the Jets would quickly eliminate that thought. However, nobody except the team that participated in Hard Knocks thought the Raiders would be 5-4. This team is clearly built Jon Gruden tough, and the guy who likes to pound the rock has his bruiser to do it. Jacobs finished with 71 yards on 16 carries. Most importantly, Jacobs got the winning touchdown. While Carr was sacked 3 times, the Oakland defense sacked Rivers 5 times and intercepted him 3 times, with 2 more interceptions nullified.Harris had 2 of those interceptions. Jacobs and Harris are 2 of the biggest feel-good stories in football, and they gave it their best in the final night game at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. Anyone who thinks football is all about money needed to watch Jon Gruden hug everyone in the Black Hole within his reach. Chucky loves the Raider Nation, and they love him. 26-24 Raiders 

Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans — Patrick Mahomes was back, and the Chiefs were expected to roll over the overmatched Titans. Cue ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman. “THAT’s why they PLAY the games!” The Chiefs made it look easy early on. From the Chiefs 31, Mahomes went to Sammy Watkins for 10. On 3rd and 9 from their own 42, Mahomes went to Tyreek Hill for 19 yards. Damien Williams added 15 more. Despite 1st and 24 from the Titans 38, Mahomes went to Travis Kelce for 16 and Hill for 7. On 3rd and 1 from the Titans 15, Mahomes went to Hill for 2 more. Mahomes threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Kelce to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Titans fumbled and the Chiefs took over at the Tennessee 20. Yet the defense held the Chiefs to a 30 yard Harrison Butker field goal. The Chiefs led 10-0, but it was a key stand. 

In the second quarter the Titans took over at their own 27. Ryan Tannehill went deep to Raymond for a 52 yard gain. Tannehill then hit Anthony Firkser for a 9 yard touchdown to get the Titans within 10-7. The Chiefs moved from their own 15 to a 1st and 10 at the Titans 44. The Chiefs fumbled and Rashaan Evans recovered for the defense. Evans returned the fumble 53 yards for a defensive touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Titans led 13-10. After a touchback, the Chiefs moved to a 3rd and 9 at the Titans 29. Mahomes hit Williams, but only for 6 yards. Butker hit from 41 for a 13-13 tie.

The Chiefs in the third quarter faced 3rd and 4 at their own 29. Mahomes hit Hill for 9 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Titans 40, Mahomes threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. Mahomes hit Hill for an 11 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Chiefs led 19-13. The Titans struck back immediately. On 2nd and 4 from their own 32, Derrick Henry broke free for a 68 yard touchdown run. Just like that, the Titans were back up 20-19. 

After a touchback, the Chiefs moved to a 4th and 2 at the Titans 43. Walrus Lite Andy Reid went for it and Mahomes hit Williams for 10 yards. Yet on another 4th and 2 from the Titans 25, this time Andy Reid opted for the field goal. Butker hit from 43 as the Chiefs led 22-20 after three quarters. The Chiefs got it back at their own 21 and struck quickly. On 3rd and 9 from their 37, Mahomes went to Mecole Hardman for a 63 yard touchdown. With 12 minutes left in regulation, the Chiefs led 29-20. 

Needing 2 scores after a touchback, the Titans faced 3rd and 10 at their own 34. Ryan Tannehill scrambled for 12 yards. Henry added gains of 12 and 3. On 2nd and 7 from the Chiefs 39, Tannehill hit Brown for 17 yards. Tannehill ran for 7 and Henry added 14 more down to the one. Henry got in as the Titans were within 29-27 with 6 1/2 minutes left. The Chiefs moved from their 26 looking to close the door. Williams ran for 10 and 2 and Mahomes went deep to Hill for 39 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Titans 21, Mahomes went for it all and threw incomplete. Butker hit the 39 yard field goal. With 3:14 to play, the Chiefs led 32-27. The craziness of this game was just beginning in a very wild finale. 

After a touchback, the Titans faced 4th and 17 at their own 32 with 1:55 to play. Tannehill threw incomplete and it appeared the Titans were dead. With 1:36 to play it came down to 3rd and 2 at the Tennessee 24. A first down would end it. The entire world knows you run the ball in this situation. Instead pass-happy Andy Reid went with the pass and Mahomes was sacked for a 5 yard loss. The Titans took their final timeout with 1:27 left. Butker came in for a 47 yard field goal try to make it an 8 point game. The snap was fumbled. Punter and holder Dustin Colquitt tried to throw the ball but it became an incompletion and intentional grounding. With 1:21 to play, the Titans were very much alive at their own 39 yard line. 

Tannehill scrambled for 18 yard and hit Firkser for 20 more. With 23 seconds left in the game Tannehill went deep and hit Adam Humphris for the touchdown as the home crowd went crazy. Tannehill ran for the 2 point conversion. The Titans had the 3 point lead, but Mike Vrabel decided to go with a short kickoff rather than kick it deep. A 19 yard kickoff return had the Chiefs taking over at their own 38 with 17 seconds left. Mahomes went to Robinson for 23 yards as the Chiefs took their 2nd timeout with 10 seconds left. Mahomes hit Robinson for 5 more yards. With 6 seconds left the Chiefs tried to sneak in one more play. Mahomes quickly threw incomplete. With 3 seconds left, Butker came in for a 52 yard field goal try to tie the game. This time the Chiefs got the snap down. It didn’t matter. The kick was blocked as the Titans got the stunning home win. 446 yards passing by Mahomes was not enough. The previously superhuman Chiefs have fallen to 6-4, only 1/2 a game ahead of Oakland in the AFC West and rendering Andy Reid a most displeased Walrus Lite indeed. 35-32 Titans

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns — The 6-2 Bills were supposed to ride their defense to a win over the fading Browns. Again, cue Chris Berman. “THAT’s why they PLAY the games!” The Brows after a touchback marched right down the field. Nick Chubb ran for 21 yards. Baker Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry for 12, Karim Hunt for 7, Landry for 18, and Landry once more for a 17 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Browns led 6-0. The defense reigned supreme early on. The Bills moved from their 20 to a 4th and 4 at the Cleveland 39. Sean McDemott went for it and Josh Allen threw incomplete. Cleveland embarked on a 14 play, 58 yard drive that consumed nearly 7 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 2 from the Buffalo 41, Freddie Kitchens went for it and Mayfield hit Harris for 16 yards. Chubb ran for 24 yards to set up 1st and goal at the one. Mayfield threw incomplete but defensive pass interference again made it 1st and goal from the one. Chubb lost a yard and then gained the yard back. On 3rd and goal at the one, Mayfield threw incomplete but another defensive pass interference call again meant 1st and goal at the one. Again Chubb got stopped. Again Mayfield threw incomplete. On 3rd and goal from the one, again Chubb got stopped. On 4th and goal from the one, a determined Freddie Kitchens decided to go for it. On the 8th try from the one, Chubb got blown up in the backfield for a 2 yard loss. Sean McDermott celebrated the best defensive stand not involving a Buddy Ryan defense. Instead of being up 14-0, the Browns still only led 6-0. 

The Bills in the second quarter took over at their own 24 and went straight to the ground. Singletary gained 9, Frank Gore added 3, Allen ran for 12, and Singletary added 8. On 3rd and 2 from the Cleveland 44, Allen went to Knox for 12 and Foster for 20 more. Allen ran for a 10 yard touchdown to put the Bills up 7-6. The Browns soon faced 3rd and 4 from their own 29. Mayfield hit O’Dell Beckham for 16 and Chubb ran for 16 more. Mayfield hit Landry for 10 and Chubb ran for another 12. The Browns were very good at getting down to the one but that last yard was a nightmare. On 2nd and goal Chubb again got blasted for a 2 yard loss. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Mayfield threw incomplete. Freddie Kitchens decided to go for it on 4th and goal from the 3, but a false start killed that. It was probably for the best. From the 8, even Kitchens was not crazy enough to go for it again. Austin Seibert hit the 27 yard field goal as the Browns led 9-7 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. From their own 26, the Bills moved to a 1st and 10 at the Cleveland 16 with 34 seconds left in the half and one timeout. Allen threw 3 straight incompletions. Steve Hauschka came in for a 34 yard field goal try with 20 seconds left to give the Bills the lead. It was no good, as both teams wasted opportunities in the first half. The second half was even more brutal.

In the third quarter, the Browns were pinned at their own 8 yard line. Tremain Edwards got nailed in the end zone for a safety and a 9-9 ballgame. The Bills could not take advantage of the free kick and the Browns took over at their own 15. On 3rd and 9 from the Buffalo 47, Mayfield hit Beckham for 14 yards. Despite 2nd and 6 from the Buffalo 29, Mayfield threw incomplete twice. This time Seibert hit the 47 yard field goal to put the Browns ahead again 12-9. The Bills moved from their 25 to a 4th and 4 at the Cleveland 36. Sean McDermott opted against trying the tying field goal from 54 yards out. He decided to go for it. On the last play of the third quarter, Allen threw incomplete. 

The defenses dug in, and with 9 minutes left in regulation Roberts returned a punt 22 yards to the Cleveland 48. With a short field, Allen hit Knox for 21 yards. On 1st and 20 from the Cleveland 37 after a holding penalty, Allen went to Cole Beasley for 26 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Cleveland 11, Allen fumbled but the Bills somehow recovered the ball and retained possession at the Cleveland one yard line. Allen got the last yard himself. With 5 1/2 minutes left, the Bills had the 16-12 lead. Now it was up to their stout defense to close it out. Cleveland took over at their 18. Mayfield hit Beckham for 13 yards. On 2nd and 7 from the Cleveland 35, Mayfield was hit and fumbled. The Bills returned it for what they thought was the 30 yard clinching touchdown. Instead the score was reversed to an incomplete pass. On 3rd and 7, Mayfield found Hunt for 9 yards. Chubb ran for 21 yards. At the 2 minute warning the Browns had 2nd and 6 at the Buffalo 31. Mayfield went to Landry for 24 yards and to Seibert for the 7 yard touchdown. With 1:44 left the Browns were up by a field goal. 10 seconds later t he Bills faced 3rd and 8 at their own 27. Allen went to Brown for 21, and McKenzie for 11. With 26 seconds left, the Bills had 3rd and 4 at the Cleveland 35. Allen went deep and threw incomplete. After taking their final timeout, the Bills brought in Hauschka for a 53 yard field goal try to send the game into overtime. In a game where both teams missed multiple chances, Hauschka was again no good as the Browns survived in cardiac fashion. 19-16 Browns

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and play a great game. This actually was that game. Jameis Winston was immediately intercepted to set up the Cardinals at the Tampa Bay 37. Zane Gonzalez hit a 37 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cardinals. Gonzalez hit the ensuing kickoff out of bounds to set up the Buccaneers at their own 40. On 3rd and 15 from their own 35, Winston hit Jones for Ronald 17 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Arizona 44, Winston was sacked but defensive holding on Patrick Peterson kept the drive going. Winston was sacked again and fumbled but the Buccaneer retained possession. On 2nd and 15, Winston again went to Jones for 17 yards and to Mike Evans for 19 more. Jones ran for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Buccaneers. In the second quarter each team drove the ball but settled for a field goal. Gonzalez hit from 54 for the Cardinals and Matt Gay answered from 30 for a 10-6 Buccaneers lead. 

The Cardinals got it back at their own 4 yard line. Kyler Murray ran for a 32 yard gain and then went deep to Isabella for 17 more yards. At the 2 minute warning, the Cardinals faced 3rd and 2 at the Bucs 41. Murray was sacked for a 3 yard loss. The Buccaneers took a timeout on defense with 1:20 left. That move backfired when Cliff Kingsbury decided to go for it on 4th and 5 from the Bucs 44. Murray hit Larry Fitzgerald for 11 yards and then to Christian Kirk for the 33 yard touchdown. With one minute left in the half, the Cardinals led 13-10. That was enough time. After a touchback. Winston hit Evans for 17, Godwin for 6, Howard for 5, Ogunbowale for 11 and Howard for 26 to set up 1st and goal at the 10 with 12 seconds left in the half. Winston went to Howard for the touchdown as the Buccaneers took the 17-13 lead to the locker rooms.

The Cardinals began the third quarter moving from their 18 to a 4th and 1 at the Tampa Bay 23. Cliff Kingsbury went for it and Murray threw incomplete. The Bucs soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 33. Jones gained 11 yards and Winston went to Evans for 27 yards. A sack of Winston stalled the drive, but Gay hit the 45 yard field goal to make it 20-13 Buccaneers. After a touchback, the Cardinals needed less than 30 seconds to tie the game. Murray went to Kirk for a 69 yard touchdown and a 20-20 game. Late in the third quarter the Buccaneers faced 3rd and 11 at their own 10. Winston was intercepted to give the Cardinals gift field position at the Tampa Bay 20. Murray went to Johnson for 8 yards and Johnson fumbled the ball back to the Buccaneers at their own 11 as the game remained tied after three quarters. 

On the last play of the third quarter the Buccaneers faced 3rd and 12 from their own 9. Winston scrambled for a 26 yard gain. On 2nd and 15 from their own 30, Winston went to Miller for 28 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Arizona 40, Winston went to Godwin for 10 yards. A sack and a penalty stalled the drive, but Gay hit a 41 yard field goal to put the Buccaneers up 23-20 with 9 1/2 minutes left. After a touchback, the Cardinals saw 3 straight incompletions by Murray mean punting on 4th and 10 from their own 36. Cliff kingsbury called a fake punt, and Lee found Cooper for a 26 yard gain. Defensive pass interference on the next play meant 25 more yards. Murray hit Kirk for a 15 yard touchdown as the Cardinals led 27-23 midway through the fourth quarter. An interception of Winston had the Cardinals set up at their own 44. They were in the driver’s seat with a 1st and 10 at the Bucs 15 with 4 1/2 minutes left. Then Murray was intercepted at the 8 yard line. The Buccaneers were 92 yards away and had 3:40 to work with. Winston immediately went deep to Godwin for a 49 yard gain. Defensive pass interference added 16 more. Barber ran for 14 yards. At the 2 minute warning on 2nd and 10 from the Arizona 13, Winston threw incomplete. Yet under the new rule, officials reversed the non-call to defensive pass interference, meaning 1st and goal at the one. On 3rd and goal at the one, Peyton Barber got in to put the Buccaneers up by a field goal. After a touchback, 1:43 remained. With 10 seconds left on 2nd and 20 from their own 38, Murray threw incomplete. The Cardinals had the game but blew it, as Bruce Arias beat his former team. 30-27 Buccaneers

New York Giants at New York Jets — Normally this game is for bragging rights, but this might be the first time in awhile where FDNY, NYPD, and New Yorkers everywhere declare these teams to be New Jersey’s problems. Next Yom Kippur, the Jets and Giants both need to atone for this horrendous season. Sometimes a pair of terrible teams can actually put on an exciting game. This actually was that game. The first quarter was all Jets. After a touchback, runs and short passes had the Jets facing 3rd and 11 at the Giants 46. Sam Darnold had previously hit Denarius Thomas for 16 yards, and ow he hit Jamison Crowder for 18. On 3rd and 1 from the 8, Montgomery got stopped but the defense jumped offsides. Darnold ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Jets. The Giants punted on 4th and 20 from their own 8 and a 17 yard return had the Jets at midfield. On 4th and 1 from the Giants 41, Adam Gase decided to go for it. Wesco gained 2 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Giants 23, Darnold went to Crowder for the touchdown to make it 14-0 Jets.

The second quarter was all Giants. On 3rd and 9 from their own 26, Jones hit Fowler for 11 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Giants 37, Daniel Jones threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 15 yard gain. Jones then went to Ellison for 31 more yards. Jones threw a 5 yard touchdown to Darius Slayton to get the Giants within 14-7. The Giants got it back and soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 42. Jones hit Slayton for 8 yards to midfield. Jones was sacked for a 10 yard loss, but defensive holding instead meant a 5 yard gain. On 4th and 4 from the Jets 39, Pat Shurmur decided to go for it. Jones went to Slayton for the touchdown. For some reason Shurmur opted to go for the 2 point conversion. The try failed as the Giants trailed 14-13 at halftime. The Giants got it back and at the 2 minute warning Shurmur for some bizarre reason gambled on 4th and 1 at his own 39. Jones got stopped. Yet the Jets only gained 3 yards and Sam Ficken missed a 54 yard field goal try.

The Giants in the third quarter quickly faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Again the Giants fumbled and Jamal Adams returned the fumble 25 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 21-13 Jets lead. After a touchback, the Giants soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 39. This time Jones went to Golden Tate for a 61 yard touchdown. Pat Shurmur decided against chasing the points and again going for 2, but it id not matter as Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point. Instead of a tie game the Giants trailed 21-19. The Giants got it back and faced 3rd and 3 at their own 43. Jones went to Saquon Barkley for 22 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Jets 36, Jones hit Slayton for 14. On 3rd and 3 from the Jets 15, Jones went to Tate for the touchdown. This time Shurmur went for 2 and Jones hit Fowler for the conversion. With 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Giants led 27-21. 

The Jets got it back at their own 19. On 2nd and 6, Powell ran for 13 yards. On 3rd and 7 from their own 39, Darnold ran for 24 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Giants 35, Darnold went deep incomplete. Ficken nailed the 53 yard field goal as the Jets trailed 27-24 after three quarters. The Jets got it back at their own 30. Darnold went to Leveon Bell for 11 and Crowder for 25. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Darnold went deep incomplete but a 33 yard defensive pass interference penalty put the ball on the one. Bell got in as the Jets retook the lead 31-27 only seconds into the fourth quarter. The Giants offense kept going nowhere and the Jets got it back at their own 7. On 3rd and 1 from their 16, Darnold hot Wesco for 15 and Thomas deep for a 47 yard gain. The drive stalled but Ficken hit from 35 to put the Jets up by 7 midway through the fourth quarter. The Giants were a disaster, and with 2:40 left had to punt on 4th and 19 from their own 3. They got it back at their own 16 with only 18 seconds left. There were no miracles as both Gang Green and Big Blue have 2 wins on the year. 34-27 Jets

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints — The 1-7 dumpster fire Falcons had zero chance to go on the road and beat the 7-1 Saints who are in Super Bowl mode. If ever there was a time for Chris Berman devotees to say it, this game is exactly what it means when he says, “THAT’S why they PLAY the games!” Younghoe Kool hit a 37 yard field goal for the Falcons and the Saints moved to a 3rd and goal at the 2. Drew brees was sacked and the Saints settled for a 29 yard Wil Lutz field goal and a 3-3 game. The Falcons soon faced 3rd and 8 at their own 27. Matt Ryan hit Ridley for 10 and Gage for 9 more. On 4th and 4 from the Saints 44, with nothing left to lose in a season gone wrong, Dan Quinn decided to go for it. Ryan scrambled for 5 yards as the first quarter ended. The second quarter had the Falcons facing 3rd and 3 at the Saints 32. Hill only gained 2 yards, but illegal use of hands on the defense added 5 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Saints 14, Matty Ice threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. Ryan threw an 8 yard touchdown as the mind-numbing 17 play, 75 yard, 8 minute drive and the Falcons up 10-3. Koo added a 36 yard field goal to make it 13-3 Falcons with 90 seconds left in the half, but the Saints clawed back. Lutz hit from 47 on the last play of the half and from 28 in the third quarter to get the Saints within 13-9. 

Yet in front of a shellshocked Superdome home crowd, it was the Falcons dominating the fourth quarter. After a touchback, Hill ran for 15, 4, and one. On 3rd and 5 from their own 45, Ryan threw incomplete but another defensive illegal use of hands penalty killed the Saints. From midfield, Ryan went to Ridley for 15 and Julio Jones for 13 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Saints 20, Ryan ran for just enough. On the first play of the fourth quarter and facing 3rd and 8 from the Saints 10, Ryan went to Gage for the touchdown and the 20-9 Falcons lead. Too tacked on field goals of 48 and 30 as the Saints turned it over on downs on their final 3 possessions. For offensive guru Sean Payton and pinball wizard Brees, this was a stunner. Any given Sunday. 26-9 Falcons

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals — The Ravens were coming off an emotional win over previously unbeaten New England. They had to guard against winless Cincinnati. This is NOT why they play the games. Goliath beat up David and took his lunch money in a game that was over by halftime. After a touchback, Lamar Jackson on the first play of the game went to Brown for a 49 yard gain and followed that up with a 19 yard completion to Mark Andrews. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Jackson went to Andrews for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Ravens. After a touchback, Jackson and Ingram ran for a pair of 9 yard gains. On 4th and 3 from the Cincy 44,John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Jackson hit Andrews for 4 yards. From the Cincy 36, Jackson went to Boyle for 35 yards down to the one. Ingram got the yard to cap the 12 play, 75 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive and make it 14-0 Ravens. The Bengals did manage a field goal in the second quarter, but the Ravens kept rolling. After a touchback, Jackson hit Hurst for 14 and Boyle for 25. Jackson found Andrews for a 17 yard touchdown to make it 21-3 Ravens. With Red Rifle Andy Dalton on the bench and Finley in his place, he moved the Bengals after a touchback to a 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 15. Finley then found Marcus Peters. Problem: Peters plays defense for the Ravens. His 89 yard interception return touchdown and the Ravens up 28-3. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that league rules prevented the rest of the game from being canceled.

The Bengals did get a touchdown before the half, but it did not matter. The Bengals began the third quarter by fumbling the ball away. The Ravens began at their own 36. Jackson ran for a 47 yard touchdown that put the Ravens up 35-10. The Bengals then turned it over on downs for another short field for the Ravens at the Cincy 33. On 3rd and 8 from the Cincy 20, Jackson hit Marquise Brown for the touchdown and the 42-10 Ravens lead. The Bengals fumbled the ball away again and Tyus Bowser went Sha-na-na the other way for a 33 yard defensive touchdown to make it 49-10 Ravens after three quarters. The Bengals mounted a furious rally in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal to cut a 39 point deficit to 36 points. The Ravens are 7-2 and looking super. The 0-9 Bengals are in a stupor. Jackson threw only 17 passes, completing 15 of them for 223 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 65 yards on 7 carries and one touchdown. He also had a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3, which would mean more if anyone knew what that meant. 49-13 Ravens

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers — This was just a couple of good football teams playing a competitive game. A field position game had the Panthers taking over at their own 47. Kyle Allen went deep to Moore for 38 yards.. A 2 yard touchdown pass from Allen to Curtis Samuel to make it 7-0 Panthers. After a touchback, a 20 yard defensive pass interference penalty had the Packers on the move. Aaron Rodgers hit Kumerow for 11. On 3rd and 9 from the Carolina 39, Rodgers hit Lazard for 19 yards and Devontae Adams for 15 yards. Aaron Jones ran for a 5 yard touchdown for a 7-7 ballgame. After a touchback, Christian McCaffrey ran for 4 and Allen added 8 more. McCaffrey ran for 19 and Allen hit Greg Olsen for 16. On the first play of the second quarter, Joey Slye hit a 50 yard field goal for a 10-7 Panthers lead. The Panthers got the ball back in great field position but fumbled the ball away to set the Packers up at their own 48. Jones ran for 5 and Rodgers went deep too Adams for 37 yards. Rodgers ran for 7 yards down to the one and Jones got the last yard to make it 14-10 Packers. The Packers got it back and faced 3rd and 13 at their own 7. Rodgers threw incomplete but roughing the passer kept the drive going. On 3rd and 6 from their own 26, Rodgers went deep to Graham for a 48 yard gain. With 19 seconds left in the half the Packers had 1st and goal at the 2. Then came a false start. Then a touchdown pass to Graham was reversed to an incompletion. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Rodgers threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Only 2 seconds remained in the half. The 49ers went for it. Williams got the carry and got blown up in the backfield for a 3 yard loss. 

The Packers opened up the game in the third quarter. On 2nd and 26 from their own 9, Rodgers went deep too Adams for 38 yards. Jones then ran for a 28 yard gain. Rodgers went to Kumerow for 12 yards. Jones ran for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 21-10 49ers. The Panthers moved from their own 8 to a 1st and 10 at the Packers 11. After an incompletion, Allen went to the end zone and was intercepted for a touchback as both teams drove down deep and came up snake eyes. The Packers marched all the way to a 1st and 10 at the Carolina 23. On 3rd and 10, a killer offensive holding penalty followed by a sack meant a 52 yard field goal try. A killer illegal formation penalty on the defense brought it down to 47 yards. Mason Crosby delivered as the Packers led 24-10 after three quarters. Carolina got it back at their own 18. McCaffrey gained 14. The fourth quarter began with the Panthers facing 3rd and 9 at their own 33. Allen hit Olsen for 15, Samuel for 15 more, and Wright for 21. McCaffrey ran for the 3 yard touchdown. Riverboat Ron Rivera inexplicably went for a needless 2 point conversion that failed as the Panthers trailed 24-16 with 12 minutes left. The Panthers got it back with 2:24 to play at their own 11 yard line as heavy snow came down in Green Bay. Allen hit Samuel for 15. On 3rd and 2 from their own 34 at the 2 minute warning, Allen hit Moore for 7. On 3rd and 5 from the Green Bay 34, Allen hit Olsen for 9. With 55 seconds left on 4th and 10 from the Packers 25, Allen hit Moore for 12 yards. With 13 seconds left on 4th and 1 from the Packers 4, Allen threw incomplete but defensive offsides meant 1st and goal at the 2 and 8 seconds left. Allen threw incomplete as 3 seconds remained. One final play for everything saw McCaffrey get the carry. 18 plays and 88 yards came the hard way. The Panthers celebrated, thinking McCaffrey had scored. Officials ruled him stopped short as the Packers survived this fine football game. Carolina fell to 5-4 while Green Bay is 8-2 and winning with defense. 24-16 Packers

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears — The Black and Blue division gave us a typical old school NFC North slugfest. The Lions move from their own 20 to a 3rd and goal at the 4. Driskel played in place of an injured Matthew Stafford, and he threw incomplete. Matt Prater hit a 22 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Lions. In the second quarter a short field led to Prater hitting from 54 to make it 6-0 Lions. Then the Bears took over. Matt Nagy made the ballsiest call of the year that would have gotten him Barry Switzered had it failed. He gambled on 4th and 1 from his own 29. Montgomery gained 2 yards and it sparked the whole team. With 25 seconds left in the half, the Bears faced 2nd and 5 from the Detroit 18. Mitchell Trubisky hit Ben Braunecker for the touchdown. The Lions defense went from a shutout to trailing 7-6 at halftime. The Lions took over in the third quarter. After nearly fumbling the ball away, Trubisky found Robinson for 33 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Detroit 31, defensive pass interference added 22 yards. Trubisky went to Tarik Cohen for a 9 yard touchdown. The extra point failed but the Bears led 13-6. An interception of Driskel gave the Bears golden field position. On 3rd and 9 from the Detroit 24, Trubisky found Taylor Gabriel for the touchdown to make it 20-6 Bears. Midway through the fourth quarter from their own 19, Driskel hit TJ Hockensen for gains of 17 and 11 and deep to Kenny Golladay for a 47 yard touchdown. With 6 minutes left the Lions were back within 7. Detroit got it back at their own 48 and with 2 1/2 minutes left faced 4th and 1 at the Chicago 36. Driskel hit McKissic for 7 yards but offensive pass interference meant 4th and 11. Driskel then threw incomplete. The Lions got it back at their own 10 with 1:41 left. With 7 seconds left it all came down to 4th and 7 from the Chicago 25. Driskel went to the end zone and threw it out the back of the end zone incomplete. 20-13 Bears

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts — Even with Jacoby Brissett out and Brian Hoyer in, the Colts were expected to roll over the Dolphins, who were just happy to win last week and avoid going 0-16. Again, “THAT’S why they PLAY the games!” A Miami fumble set up the Colts just past midfield. Yet on 2nd and goal from the 9, Hoyer was intercepted for a touchback. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s magic beard hit Hurns for 14, Parker for 20 and laird for 6. Sanders hit a 47 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Dolphins. Another interception of Hoyer was returned 32 yards to the Indy 12. On 3rd and 9, Fitzpatrick ran for the 11 yard touchdown as the Dolphins took the 10-0 lead to the locker rooms in front of a shocked Indy home crowd. In the third quarter the Colts drove to the red zone twice but settled for Adam Vinatieri field goals of 25 and 39 yards to trail 10-6. On the first play of the fourth quarter, an interception of Fitzpatrick set up the Colts at the Miami 34. Hoyer hit Johnson for 9 and Rogers for 11. On 3rd and 7 from the 8, Hoyer hit Hines for 7 and Jack Doyle for the one yard touchdown. Vinatieri missed the extra point but the Colts led 12-10 with 11 1/2 minutes left. Sanders hit a 48 yard field goal with 5:45 left to put the Dolphins up 13-12. An immediate interception of Hoyer led to another 48 yarder from Sanders for a 4 point Miami lead with 3 1/2 minutes left. The Colts faced 3rd and 8 at their own 27 and Hoyer hit Rogers for 20 yards. With one minute left, the Colts had 1st and 10 at the Miami 16. After 3 straight incompletions, everything came down to 4th and 10 with 38 seconds left. Hoyer completed a pass to Eric Ebron, but only for an 8 yard gain as the shocking upset gave the Dolphins their second straight win. 16-12 Dolphins

Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers — This was a brutal game dominated by the defenses. 15 seconds into the game, the Rams had a defensive touchdown and a 7-0 lead when a fumble was returned 26 yards to the house by Dante Fowler. Late in the first quarter the Steelers faced 3rd and 7 at their own 41. Mason Rudolph went deep to Johnson for 30 yards. On 2nd and 20 from the Rams 39, Rudolph was intercepted but defensive pass interference meant 19 yards. Rudolph hit James Washington for 13 and again for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, a Steelers fumble set up the Rams at their own 38. Yet with 1:44 left on 3rd and 7 from their own 41, a Rams fumble was returned 43 yards by Minkah Fitzpatrick for a score. Each team had a defensive touchdown as the Steelers led 14-7. 

In the third quarter Greg “the leg” Zuerlein missed a 56 yard field goal for the Rams. Then Jared Goff on the next 2 series was intercepted. The Rams finally moved from their own 8 to a 2nd and 4 at the Pittsburgh 8. Yet Todd Gurley lost 4 yards and Goff threw incompelte. Zuerlein hit from 30 to get the Rams within 14-10. In the fourth quarter the Steelers were pinned at their own 5. Rudolph was buried in the end zone by Aaron Donald for a safety as the Rams trailed 14-12 with 12:40 to play. The Rams failed to take advantage of the free kick. Instead the Steelers from their own 25 led a 14 play, 60 yard drive that ate up 8 minutes. With Mike Tomlin brought out his steel balls. He gambled on 4th and 1 from his own 34 knowing he’d be crucified in the media if the Steelers lost. Rudolph hit Edmunds for 6 yards. Chris Boswell hit a 33 yard field goal to put the Steelers up by 5. The Rams got it back at their 34 with 2 1.2 minutes left and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 30. Goff then threw 4 straight incompletions. The Rams took their timeouts on defense and got it back at their own 40 with one minute left. With 20 seconds left, on 1st and 15 from their own 42, a short pass by Goff was deflected and intercepted by Fitzpatrick. The Steelers started 1-4 but have won 4 straight. Nobody gets more out of less than Mike Tomlin. The defending NFC champions are also 5-4 and in serious trouble. 17-12 Steelers

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys was the Sunday night game. 3 minutes into the game, Jason Garrett brought in Brett Maher to try a 57 yard field goal for the Cowboys. The kick was no good and the Vikings took control. On 2nd and 11 from their own 46, Kirk Cousins hit Dalvin Cook for 12 yards. On 1st and 15 from the Dallas 47, Cousins went to Cook for 27 yards with 10 more added on for a facemask. Mattison ran for 9 yards and Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Vikings. The Vikings got it back and faced 3rd and 5 at their own 15. Cousins went to Stefan Diggs for 11 yards. On 3rd and 4 from their own 32, Cousins hit Laquon Treadwell for 10 yards. On the next play Cousins went to Cook for 30 yards, with roughing the passer adding 14 more yards. On 3rd and 1 at the Dallas 5, Cook gained 2 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Cousins hit Rudolph for the touchdown to make it 14-0 Vikings. 

In the second quarter momentum changed when a short 32 yard punt set the Cowboys up at the Minnesota 48. On 3rd and 12 at midfield, Dan Prescott went to Amari Cooper for 20 yards and to Michael Gallup for a 23 yard touchdown to get the Cowboys within 14-7. The Cowboys got it back at their own 17. Prescott hit Cooper for 12 yards. On 3rd and 12 fro their own 27, Prescott went to Gallup for 15 yards. On 3rd and 3 just shy of midfield, Prescott went to Jarwin for 26 yards. At the 2 minute warning on 3rd and 7 from the Minnesota 22, Prescott went to Randall Cobb for the touchdown  to tie the game 14-14. 

After a touchback Cousins went to Rudolph for 7, Cook for 8, and Smith for 7. On 3rd and 3 from the Minnesota 47, Cousisn went to Diggs. Initially ruled incomplete, it was reversed to a 27 yard completion. On the last play of the half, Dan Bailey hit a 26 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Vikings. After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Vikings faced 1st and 10 at their own 37. Cousins hit Johnson for 10 and Cook got around the end for a 23 yard gain. Despite 1st and goal at the 10, a run gained one yard and Cousins threw incomplete twice. Bailey hit a 27 yard field goal to make it 20-14 Vikings. After a touchback, Prescott went to Ezekiel Elliott for 12 and Jason Witten for 9 with unnecessary roughness adding on 15 more. Prescott hit Cooper for 13. On 3rd and 8 from the Minnesota 24, Prescott went to Cobb for 12 and Cooper for the 12 yard touchdown. Midway through the third quarter the Cowboys had the 21-20 lead.

The Vikings soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 29. Cousins hit Johnson for 15 yards. From the Dallas 46, Cook got around the end for 14 and Mattison for around the end for 12. Mattison ran for 3 more and then for 16 down to the one. On 3rd and goal at the one, Ham lost a yard. With 2 seconds left in the third quarter, Mike Zimmer decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the 2. Cook ran for the touchdown to cap the 13 play, 75 yard, 7 minute drive. Cousins hit Rudolph for the 2 point conversion as the Vikings led 28-21 after three quarters. The Cowboys began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 14 at their own 21. Prescott went to Cobb for 20 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Minnesota 35, Prescott was sacked for a 15 yard loss. However, defensive holding kept the drive going. Prescott went to Cobb for 24 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Yet a run gained one yard and Prescott threw incomplete twice. With 10 minutes left Maher hit from 23 to get the Cowboys within 4 points. The Cowboys got it back at their own 6 yard line with 4 1/2 minutes left. They moved to a 2nd and 2 at the Minnesota 11 with 1:33 to play. Elliott got stopped. On 3rd and 2, Elliott got blown up for a 3 yard loss. The Vikings took their 1st timeout on defense with 44 seconds left. On 4th and 5 from the 14, Prescott threw incomplete. The Vikings ran 3 straight times to force the Cowboys to take their timeouts on defense. With 24 seconds left, the Cowboys had one last shot from their own 46. With 3 seconds left, on 4th and 1 from the Minnesota 45, Prescott threw the Hail Mary to the end zone. Kearse intercepted it for a touchback as the Vikings got to 7-3 by being Mike Zimmer tough. The loss dropped the Cowboys to 5-4 and in trouble. 28-24 Vikings  

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers was the Monday night game. The NFC’s nastiest rivalry is back. This game was mostly a defensive head-knocker that ended up an instant classic and perhaps the game of the year. The 8-0 49ers and 7-2 Seattle Seahawks went blow for blow. The 49ers began facing 3rd and 10 at their own 25. Jimmy Garoppolo hit Kendrick Bourne for 16 yards. On 3rd and 5 from their own 46, Garoppolo was intercepted, but defensive holding nullified the pick. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 45, a completion only gained 5 yards but defensive pass interference meant an automatic first down. On 3rd and 5 from the Seattle 25, Chase McLaughlin hit a 43 yard field goal. Veteran Robbie Gould is injured, and mcLaughlin just joined the team. The Seahawks went 3 and out and the 49ers took over at their own 17. Garoppolo went to Samuel for 30 yards. Coleman ran for 22 more yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Seattle 10, Garoppolo went to Bourne for the touchdown. The 49ers led 10-0 after the first quarter and were dominating, but then this game of big defensive plays changed.

After 27 minutes, the 49ers still led 10-0. Seattle had no offense. The 49ers had 2nd and 7 at their own 23. Garoppolo got belted and fumbled. Jadavean Clowney picked it up and ran 10 yards for a defensive touchdown to get the Seahawks within 10-7. Tyler Lockett then returned a fumble 20 yards to the San Francisco 39. On 1st and 10 from the Frisco 27, Russell Wilson hit DK Metcalf for 26 yards. However, near the goal line, Metcalf had the ball ripped out of his hands by Tartt. Officials ruled it a fumble and recovery by the 49ers. The Seahawks fumbled again in the third quarter, setting up the 49ers at their own 44. On 4th and 2 from the Seattle 33, Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it rather than try a 51 yard field goal with a new kicker. Garoppolo threw incomplete. Midway through the third quarter the 49ers took over at their own 30. From their 41, Garoppolo went deep and was intercepted by Diggs, who returned it 44 yards to the Frisco 16. Under heavy pressure, Wilson somehow lobbed a 3 yard touchdown pass over the middle to Jacob Hollister to put the Seahawks up 14-10. After a touchback, the 49ers faced 2nd and 18 at their own 32. Garoppolo got nailed again and fumbled again. Clowney made the hit and Ford recovered at the Frisco 24 for the Seahawks. Chris Carson ran for a one yard touchdown. The Seahawks led 21-10 after three quarters. Now they had all the momentum. This thriller was far from over.

The Seahawks began the fourth quarter at their own 20 looking to put the game away. Instead from their own 35, Wilson got leveled and fumbled. Somehow the ball bounced in the air straight into the arms of one of Wilson’s own offensive linemen. However, big man with football was not prepared for it. Before the lineman could get to the ground, he had it knocked out of his hands. DeForest Buckner picked it up and ran 12 yards for a defensive touchdown. With 12 minutes left in regulation, Kyle Shanahan decided to go for he 2 point conversion. Garoppolo went to Bourne successfully. The 49ers were within 21-18 in a game where both teams had a defensive touchdown. The 49ers got it back at their own 31. From their 35, Garoppolo went to Samuel for 24 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Seattle 21, Garoppolo threw incomplete. McLaughlin came in for the 39 yard field goal try to tie the game. The kick was good for a 24-24 battle with 6:17 left in regulation. Again, this thriller was still far from over.

The Seahawks faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Carson initially was stopped, but lunged forward for 2 yards. Wilson went to Hollister for 11. On 3rd and 6 just past midfield, Wilson went to Josh Gordon for 13 yards. With 1:55 left, the Seahawks faced 3rd and 1 at the Frisco 27. A first down would let the Seahawks take the clock all the way down and attempt the winning field goal. Yet rather than go smash mouth, Pete Carroll’s offensive coordinator decided to play out of the shotgun. Marshawn Lynch was retired, but the odd play calls remained. The Seahawks did hand it off, but out of the shotgun Carson was blown up in the backfield for a one yard loss. After initially flirting with going for it, temporary insanity gave way to reason. Jason Myers hit the 46 yard field goal with 1:45 left to put the Seahawks up 24-21. Yet they did not close the door. The 48ers still had 1:39 to work with at their own 26 with one timeout. On 3rd and 10, the Seahawks jumped into the neutral zone. On 3rd and 5, Garoppolo hit Dwelley for just enough. Garoppolo then went to Coleman for gains of 16, 6 and 5. A great tackle inbounds forced the 49ers take their last timeout with 18 seconds left. From the Seattle 37, a field goal try would be 55 yards. Kyle Shanahan decided to call one more play, and it was a dangerous move. Garoppolo fired over the middle to Samuel for 8 yards as the clock ticked down. Garoppolo spiked the ball with 7 seconds left. McLaughlin came in for a 47 yard try to tie the game. Again, this was his very first game with the 49ers. Again, the kick was good. At 24-24, if ever a game deserved overtime, this one was it. Did we mention this game was a thriller?

The Seahawks won the toss and soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Wilson hit Gordon for 14 yards. Wilson miraculously escaped a sack, but a horrendous in the grasp whistle had the Seahawks facing 3rd and 16 at their own 40. Wilson scrambled around and found Turner for a 28 yard gain. Wilson then went to Hollister for 13 yards. Carson gained 5 more. One week after winning in overtime with a touchdown, the Seahawks were on the verge of slamming the door shut again. On 2nd and 5 from the Frisco 14, the 49ers defense needed a miracle. They got one. Wilson threw into double coverage and was intercepted by GreenLaw at the 4 yard line. Greenlaw returned the interception 47 yards just past midfield. It was the first red zone interception for Wilson in his entire career. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 45, Garoppolo hit Mostert for 7. Now it was the Seahawks on the ropes needing a miracle as the 49ers were in field goal range. On 3rd and 2 from the Seattle 30, Mostert got the carry and came up inches short. Officials reviewed the spot and got it correct. On 4th and inches, Kyle Shanahan did not even think of going for it. He brought in McLaughlin for a 47 yard field goal try to win it and keep the 49ers undefeated. This time the kick was no good, not even close. McLaughlin hooked it by a mile. 

With 3 minutes left in overtime the Seahawks took over at their own 37. At the 2 minute warning, the Seahawks faced 3rd and 2 at their own 45, Wilson threw incomplete. On 4th and 2, Pete Carroll did not even consider going for it. A punt had the 49ers taking over at their own 20. After a pair of incompletions set up 3rd and 10, Garoppolo went for it all and had Samuel deep for the bomb. At the last moment the play was spectacularly broken up by Griffin for an incompletion. The 49ers punted and the Seahawks took over at their own 36 with 1:25 left in overtime. On 3rd and 3 from their own 43, Wilson scrambled for 18 yards. Wilson found Metcalf for 8 and Carson ran for 7 more to the Frisco 24. Although 30 seconds still remained, Pete Carroll made the very questionable decision of not trying to gain any more yards. With  4 seconds left, Myers came in to try the winning field goal. 42 yards is not enormous, but it is not automatic either. After a timeout to ice him negated the first kick, Myers tried again. The kick barely snuck inside the upright. Good! The 1972 Miami Dolphins popped their champagne corks as the last NFL unbeaten team fell. These teams played an NFC Title Game for the ages 6 years ago. A rematch this year would be the best way to ring in 2020 football. 6 years ago Richard Sherman made the play for the Seahawks. This time he was on the losing end with the 49ers. The NFL’s 100th season gave us another reason why we love football. 27-24 Seahawks, OT 

NFL 2019 Week 10 Prequel

November 7th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 9 Recap

November 2nd, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 9 Recap

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals was the Thursday night game. The Arizona Cardinals gave the unbeaten 49ers all they could handle. On the first play from scrimmage from their own 29, Kenyan Drake ran for a 36 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the San Francisco 34, Kyler Murray was sacked. However, a horse collar tackle kept the drive going. Drake ran for a 4 yard touchdown as the Cardinals led 7-0 less than 3 minutes into the game. Then reality set in.

A field position game had the 49ers taking over at their own 41. On 3rd and 3 from the Arizona 30, Jimmy Garoppolo went to George Kittle for the touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame. In the second quarter the 49ers got it back at their own 24. Garoppolo went to Emanuel Sanders for gains of 20, 32 and 12 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Arizona 7, Garoppolo hit Bourne for the touchdown to make it 14-7 49ers. The 49ers got it back at their 20 and Matt Breida ran for 5 yards and then broke off a 31 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Arizona 40, Garoppolo hit Kittle for 7 yards. Breida ran for 19 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Arizona 10, Garoppolo threw incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the 5. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Garoppolo hit Kittle for 8 yards. With 4 seconds left in the half, on 4th and goal at the one, Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it. Garoppolo hit Sanders for the score as the 49ers took a 21-7 lead to the locker rooms.

The Cardinals took over at their own 17 in the third quarter. Murray went to Larry Fitzgerald for 20 yards and ran for 9 more himself. Drake tacked on another 8 yards and caught passes from Murray for gains of 21 and 17. Murray threw a 9 yard touchdown pass to Johnson to get the Cardinals within 21-14. After a touchback, Garoppolo went to Kittle for 23 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Arizona 46, Garoppolo hit Sanders for 22 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Arizona 21, Garoppolo hit Dante Pettis for the touchdown. After three quarters, the 49ers had a 28-14 lead. Arizona mounted a fourth quarter rally.

Taking over at their own 7, Murray ran for 21 yards. Kirk and Drake ran for a pair of 8 yard gains. Drake caught a pass for 7 and ran for 11 more. With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation and needing 2 scores, Zane Gonzalez hit a 36 yard field goal to get the Cardinals within 28-17. With 5 minutes left, the Cardinals faced 2nd and 8 at their own 12. Murray went to Andy Isabella for an 88 yard touchdown that electrified the home crowd in the desert. Murray hit Drake for the 2 point conversion. All of a sudden, the Cardinals were within a field goal. Cliff Kingsbury decided to kick it deep. With 4 1/2 minutes left, the 49ers faced 3rd and 11 at their own 25. Garoppolo hit Sanders for 16 yards. Wit 2 1/2 minutes left the 49ers faced 3rd and 3 at their own 48. Coleman got just enough. Kingsbury challenged the spot and lost, burning a crucial timeout. At the 2 minute warning with the Cardinals out of timeouts, the 49ers faced 3rd and 9 at the Arizona 48. The entire football world knows you run the ball in this situation. Every. Single. Time. You do not even think of throwing the ball since an incompletion saved 40 seconds. Shanahan went for it all. Garoppolo hit Dwelley for 11 yards and the nail in coffin. That is why Shanahan is the coach and the rest of us are not. The Cardinals were game, but the 49ers did just enough to remain unbeaten. 28-25 49ers

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars in London was the Sunday early morning game. The first half belonged to the defenses. Kaimi Fairbairn hit a 52 yard field goal in the first quarter or the Texans. In the second quarter the Texans embarked on a 14 play, 80 yard drive that consumed 8:14 off the clock. From the Houston 20, Deshaun Watson ran for 5 and hit Kenny Stills for 13 more. On 3rd and 3 from the Houston 45, Watson hit Johnson for 8 yards. On 4th and 2 from the Jacksonville 39, Bill O’Brien decided to go for it. Watson hit Akins for 12 yards. Darren Fells ran for a one yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Texans led 9-0. The Jaguars did manage a field goal before the half, but the second half was all Houston. Fairbairn hit a 42 yard field goal in the third quarter. Later on Carlos Hyde ran for a 48 yard gain followed by a 21 yard pass from Watson to Deandre Hopkins. Duke Johnson ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 19-3 Texans. An interception of Gardner Minshew in the fourth quarter set up 1st and goal at the 3. Watson went to Hopkins for a one yard touchdown to complete the blowout. 26-3 Texans

Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills — The horrendous Redskins went up against the very good Bills with no surprises. In the first quarter the Bills faced 3rd and 3 at the Washington 47.Josh Allen hit McKenzie for gains of 11 and 9. Singletary ran for 17 and 2 and Allen hit Cole Beasley for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills. Steve Hauschka hit from 42 to extend the lead and Dustin Hopkins answered from 29 in the second quarter to get the Redskins within 10-3. A 66 yard kickoff return by Roberts had the Bills taking over at the Washington 39. Singletary ran for 9, Frank Gore added 4, Singletary tacked on 4 and 7, and Gore added another 6. On 3rd and 4 from the 9, Allen hit Knox for 8 yards. 3 times from the one, Frank Gore got stopped. Sean McDermott went for it on 4th and goal at the one, and Allen got in to make it 17-3 Bills. The Redskins hung tough as Hopkins hit field goals of 33 in the second quarter and 39 in the third quarter to get the Redskins within 17-9. They would get no closer. A short punt on 4th and 19 from their own 4 had the Bills taking over with a short field at the Washington 46. Allen hit Brown for 17 yards. On 3rd and 18 from the Washington 37, Allen went to Brown again for 23 yards. Singletary ran for a 2 yard touchdown as the Bills got another win with just enough offense and a throttling defense. 24-9 Bills

Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers — An ugly first half saw the Titans miss a field goal and the Panthers throw an interception that led to nothing. Joey Slye hit a 35 yard field goal for the Panthers in the second quarter, followed by a Titans fumble that led to nothing. Then came the Titans Ryan Tannehill throwing an interception, setting up the Panthers at the Titans 15. On 4th and 2 from the 7, Riverboat Ron Rivera decided to go for it. Kyle Allen hit Christian McCaffrey for the touchdown to make it 10-0 Panthers.The Panthers midway through the second quarter took over at their own 10. Allen went to Samuel for 20, Moore for 13, and Greg Olsen for 6. On 3rd and 1 from their own 47, Allen hit McCaffrey for 3 yards. On 3rd and 14 from the Titans 37, Allen hit Moore for 18 yards. Allen went to Samuel for the 12 yard touchdown with one minute left in the half. the Titans missed another field goal as the Panthers led 17-0 at halftime.

The Titans began the third quarter at their own 33. Derrick Henry ran for 9, 7, 2, 12, and 2. On 2nd and 13 from the Carolin 40, Tannehill scrambled for 25 yards. From the Carolina 15, Henry ran for 7 and then the 8 yard touchdown to get the Titans on the board. The Tennessee defense held and the Panthers set up to punt on 4th and 4 from their own 36. Ron Rivera called a fake punt and Jones gained 5 yards for a key first down. From the Tennessee 33, Allen went to Moore for 32 yards. McCaffrey got the last yard as the Panthers led 24-7. The Titans tried to make a game of it from their own 6 yard line. On 3rd and 2 from their 14, Tannehill hit Humphries for 25 yards and Brown on 3rd and 7 from their own 42 for 35 more yards. Tannehill went to Henry for the 23 yard touchdown as the 94 yard drive had the Titans within 24-14 less than one minute into the fourth quarter.

The Panthers took over at their own 17. McCaffrey ran for 3 and caught a pass for 10. On 3rd and 12 from their own 28, Allen hit Moore for 14 yards. On the next play McCaffrey broke free for a 58 yard touchdown run to have the Panthers up 30-14 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. A quick interception of Tannehill led to a missed field goal that would have locked up the win. Instead the desperate Titans marched 61 yards in 10 plays. Tannehill ran for a 10 yard touchdown with 2:49 to play to get the Titans within 10 points. The critical 2 point conversion try failed. The Titans took their timeouts on defense and got the ball back only 20 seconds later. They moved from their 14 to a 3rd and 3 at the Carolina 26 with 52 seconds left. Needing 2 scores, Mike Vrabel brought out Ryan Succop for the 44 yard field goal try. For the third time on the day, Succop was no good as he dunked it off the upright. Remember Paul Maguire. “I hate kickers. They should be paid $50 a game.” Time will tell if Ryan Succop will be a Titan next week. 30-20 Panthers

Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles — Cody Parkey double-doinked away a playoff win, and now the Bears wanted revenge. They would not get it. Elliott hit 28 yard field goals in the first and second quarter for a 6-0 Eagles lead. The Eagles got it back at their own 42 and made it look easy. On 3rd and 5 from the Chicago 42, the Bears jumped in the neutral zone. On 4th and 1 from the 38, Doug Peterson decided to go for it. Carson Wentz threw incomplete but roughing the passer kept the drive going. Wentz hit Zac Ertz for  25 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Eagles led 12-0. The Eagles began the third quarter at their own 16. Wentz went to Alshon Jeffery for 11 yards and Howard added 17 more on the ground. On 3rd and 6 from their own 48, Went found Ertz for 9 yards. On 2nd and 8 from the Chicago 41, Wentz hit Ertz for 14 with unnecessary roughness adding 14 more. On the next play Howard ran for the 13 yard touchdown. The Eagles were comfortably in front 19-0, but that comfort would not last.

After a touchback, Montgomery ran for 7, 4 and 2. Mitchell Trubisky then went deep to Gabriel for a 53 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Montgomery got in to get the Bears within 19-7. The Bears began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 8 at their own 44. Trubisky hit Gabriel for 13 yards, Montgomery for 30 more, and Cordarelle Patterson for another 5. Montgomery got the last yard as the Bears were within 19-14 with 13 minutes left in regulation. After an exchange of punts, the Eagles took over with 8:39 to play at their own 11. On 3rd and 3 from their 18, Wentz hit Jeffery for 13 yards. On 3rd and 12 from their own 29, Wentz hit Sanders for 15 yards. On 3rd and 3 just past midfield, Wentz hit Ertz for 4 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Chicago 44, Wentz hit Dallas Goedert for 16 yards. 16 plays and 69 yards bled over 8 minutes off the clock. By the time Jake Elliott hit the 38 yard field goal to extend the lead to 8, only 25 seconds remained. The short ensuing kickoff was fumbled by the Bears and recovered by the Eagles. 22-14 Eagles 

Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs — Hank Stram was not around to tell Len Dawson to keep matriculating the ball down the field. Instead it was Walrus Lite Andy Reid guiding back up Matt Moore. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 38, Moore went to Travis Kelce for 7 yards. Moore then went deep to Tyreek Hill for a 40 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Vikings answered with a 12 play, 75 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. On 3rd and 3 from their own 32, Kirk Cousins threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 3rd and 7 from their own 40, Cousins went to Laquon Treadwell for 26 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Chiefs 21, Cousins hit Treadwell for 13 yards. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Cousins hit Johnson for the score to make it 7-7. In the second quarter the Chiefs mounted a staggering 17 play, 85 yard drive that consumed 9 minutes. Yet the Chiefs settled for a 24 yard Harrison Butker field goal to lead 10-7 with 1:42 left in the half. Minnesota took over at their own 32 and moved to a 2nd and 1 at the Chiefs 15 with 40 seconds left in the half. Cousins threw incomplete twice and Mike Zimmer gambled on 4th and 1. Cousins hit Smith for 4 yards. Yet 3 straight incompletions by Cousins had the Vikings settling for a 29 yard Dan Bailey field goal and a 10-10 tie at the break. 

Mike Hardman took the second half kickoff for the Chiefs at the goal line and returned it 34 yards but then fumbled it away as the Vikings took over at the Chiefs 38. On 1st and 20 from the Chiefs 32, Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph for 15 and on 3rd and 4 went to Abdullah for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 16-10 Vikings. The extra point was no good. The Chiefs took over at their own 3 yard line. From their 9, Damien Williams broke free for a 91 yard touchdown. The home crowd erupted in celebration as the Chiefs led 17-16. The Chiefs got it back at their own 34. From their 45, Moore went to Sammy Watkins for 30 yards. Yet the drive stalled after that. Butker hit from 45 yards out to put the Chiefs up 20-16 after three quarters. After a touchback to start the fourth quarter, Cousins hit Smith for 15. Dalvin Cook ran for gains of 12 and 7 and Stefan Diggs added 12 more. Cousisn hit Cook for 22 yards and Rudolph for the 3 yard touchdown as the Vikings reclaimed the lead 23-20 with 11 minutes left in regulation.

With 5 1/2 minutes left the Chiefs faced 3rd and 7 at their own 29. Moore found hill for 11 yards and then went deep to Hill again for a 41 yard gain. Then the Chiefs self-destructed. Williams lost 3 yards. On 3rd and 13 from the Minnesota 22, Moore was sacked and fumbled. The Chiefs retained possession after a 14 yard loss. with 2 1/2 minutes left, Andy Reid brought in Butker for a 54 yard field goal try. The kick was good and the game was tied 23-23. The Chiefs defense sacked Cousins as the Vikings went 3 and out. On 4th and 17 from their own 18, a disastrous punt by Colquitt went only 27 yards. The shank had the Chiefs taking over at the Minnesota 45 with 1:55 to play. Again Moore was sacked. Again he fumbled. Again the Chiefs retained possession but with an 11 yard loss. On 2nd and 21 from their own 44, Moore found Kelce for 17 yards. On 3rd and 4, Moore found Hill for 13 more and spiked the ball to stop the clock with 3 seconds left. Butker came in again for a 44 yard try to win it. Butker was good, and nobody was more relieved than Matt Moore. The Chiefs are still atop the AFC West, making Andy Reid a most relieved Walrus Lite indeed. 26-23 Chiefs

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins — The one win Jets took on the winless Dolphins. The Jets initially faced 3rd and 6 at their own 29. Sam Darnold hit Crowder for 18 yards. The Jets went for it on 4th and 2 from the Miami 32. Darnold hit Denarius Thomas for 15 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Miami 12, Darnold hit Crowder for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Jets. In the second quarter the Dolphins exploded. Miami took over and faced 2nd and 7 at their own 42. Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Williams for 17, 26, and on 3rd and 10 from the Jets 12, for the touchdown to make it 7-7.  The Dolphins got it back and faced 2nd and 18 at their own 8 yard line. Fitzpatrick hit Gesicki for 17 and on 3rd and 1 found Alex Hurns for 8 yards. On 3rd and 8 from their own 45, Fitzpatrick hit Gesicki for 12. Unnecessary roughness on the next play added another 15. Fitzpatrick went to Parker for a 17 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Dolphins. Miami got it back at their own 44. On 3rd and 2 from the Jets 48, Fitzpatrick went to Gesicki for 34 yards. Fitzpatrick hit Williams for a 5 yard touchdown. 3 straight touchdown drives had the Dolphins up 21-7 with 1:51 left in the half.

A 78 yard kickoff return had the Jets starting at the Miami 18. On 1st and goal at the 2, a touchdown pass was reversed incomplete. On the next play, Darnold was intercepted at the one. On the next play Fitzpatrick went nowhere and on further review lost a yard for a safety. The Jets took the free kick 25 yards to midfield. Ficken nailed a 52 yard field goal to end the half with the Jets only down 21-12. In the third quarter the Dolphins missed a field goal and Ficken connected from 40 to get the Jets within 21-15. The Dolphins from their own 24 embarked on an 11 play, 68 yard drive that took nearly 6 minutes. On 2nd and goal at the 3, Fitzpatrick threw incomplete. On 3rd and goal a run lost 5 yards. Sanders hit the 26 yard field goal to give the Dolphins some breathing room up 24-15 after three quarters. With 6 1/2 minutes left, Brian Flores opted against a 57 yard field goal try on 4th and 8 at the Jets 39. A great punt had the Jets pinned at their own 7. One play later came the safety as the Dolphins led 26-15. Miami could not take advantage of the free kick but another great punt had the Jets at their own 8. A sack had them backed up to their 2 yard line. Needing 2 scores, they desperately moved down the field, gaining 8 yards on 4th and 1 from their own 17. With 35 seconds left they had 1st and 10 at the Miami 11. Darnold threw 3 straight incompletions. Ficken hit the 29 yard field goal to make it an 8 point game, but the onside kick try failed. Brian Flores finally got his first win as an NFL head coach, the same number of wins Adam Gase has with the Jets this year as J-E-T-S again stood for Just End The Season. 26-18 Dolphins

Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers — Both teams early on drove deep but could not punch it in. Adam Vinatieri hit from 25 for the Colts and Chris Boswell answered from 21 for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter the Colts took over at their own 37. Jacoby Brissett hit Wilkins for 6 and Pascal for 18 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Pittsburgh 34, Brissett hit Campbell for 27 yards. From the 12, Brissett got rolled up by his own offensive lineman and left the game injured. Brian Hoyer came in and on 3rd and goal from the 11 hit Doyle for the touchdown to make it 10-3 Colts. The Colts got it back at their own 35 and moved to the Pittsburgh 20. Hoyer went for it all and Micah Fitzpatrick returned it 96 yards the other way for a defensive touchdown and a 10-10 deadlock. Hoyer stayed unfazed after a touchback and the Colts moved again. Hoyer found Hines for 21, Doyle for 6, Campbell for 8, Rogers for 4, and Pascal for the 14 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Colts led 16-10. The Steelers only had 37 seconds to work with from their own 20. With 7 seconds left in the half they were still at their own 47. Rudolph went to McDonald for only 5 yards, but a mindless unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense allowed for one untimed down. Boswell nailed the 51 yard field goal as the Steelers only trailed 16-13 at intermission.

In the third quarter the Colts moved from their 35 to a 3rd and 4 at the Pittsburgh 35. After Hoyer threw incomplete, Frank Reich decided to go for it. Hoyer was blown up for an 8 yard loss and fumbled. The Steelers took over at their own 46. On 3rd and 4 from the Indy 48, Rudolph hit Samuels for 9 yards. An unnecessary roughness penalty a couple plays later had the Steelers in the red zone. On 3rd and 5 from the Indy 14, Rudolph hit Samuels for 7 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Rudolph hit McDonald for the touchdown as the Steelers led 20-16. The Steelers got it back but were pinned at their own one yard line. On 3rd and 3 from their 8, Rudolph was sacked and fumbled. A mad scramble ensued in the end zone as the Steelers fell on the ball. Nevertheless it was a safety to get the Colts within 20-18. The Colts fumbled the free kick and the Steelers recovered at the Indianapolis 17 yard line. The defense held and the Steelers settled for a 33 yard Boswell field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to lead 23-18.

The Steelers got it back and soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 28. In a game of miscues, a short completion was fumbled and the Colts took over at the Pittsburgh 30. On 4th and 2 from the Pittsburgh 4 with 8:43 to play in regulation, Frank Reich decided to go for it. Hoyer hit Carlos Rogers for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Colts led 24-23. After a touchback, Rudolph went deep to Washington for a 40 yard gain. Defensive pass interference added 24 more yards and set up 1st and goal at the 7. Rudolph threw incomplete twice sandwiched around a run that lost a yard. Boswell hit the 26 yarder to make it 26-24 Steelers, but 6 1/2 minutes still remained. With 2 1/2 minutes left, the Colts took over at their own 15. On 3rd and 10, Hoyer went deep incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 35 yard gain to midfield. Hoyer then found Pascal for 19 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Pittsburgh 22, Marlon Mack lost 3 yards. With 1:11 to play, Adam Vinatieri came on for a 43 yard field goal try wit everything on the line. Last week the most clutch kicker in NFL history won a game for the 29th time in his career. This week he missed as badly as a field goal can be missed. It was not totally his fault. Everyone knows the job of the holder is to make sure the laces are out. On this kick, the laces were in. Ray Finkle is Lois Einhorm. Lois Einhorn is Ray Finkle. Meanwhile, Mike Tomlin is still Mike Tomlin, willing a losing squad into a 4-4 record with his typical toughness and grit. 26-24 Steelers

Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders — After 49 days away, the Raiders finally returned home. A game that was expected to be a shootout early on played to script. The Lions easily moved after a touchback to the Oakland 27. Matthew Stafford fumbled and the Raiders recovered at their own 32. Josh Jacobs ran for 7, 4, and 17. Deandre Washington added 5 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Detroit 22, a ball that was fumbled was picked up by Derek Carr  and completed to Hunter Renfrow for an 8 yard gain. Jacobs did the rest, gaining 9, 3, and then the 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Raiders. After a touchback, Johnson gained 9 and 3/ Stafford went to TJ Hockensen for 14 yards. From midfield, Stafford went deep to Jones for a 47 yard gain. On rd and goal at the 2, Stafford had a receiver wide open in the flat but threw it just too far. It bounced off the receiver’s hands incomplete. The Raiders thought they dodged a bullet but they celebrated too early. Matt Patricia decided to go for it. On 4th and goal, Stafford fired over the middle to Jones for the touchdown and the 7-7 game. 

The Raiders got it back at their own 36 and Carr immediately went deep to Darren Waller for a 31 yard gain. On 3rd and 12 from the Detroit 24, Carr threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 5 yards and an automatic first down. On 3rd and 5 from the Detroit 14, a disastrous snap out of the shotgun went past Carr for what could have been a 20 yard loss. Somehow he was able to throw the ball away incomplete. Daniel Carlson hit the 32 yard field goal to put the Raiders up 10-7 early in the second quarter. Yet Oakland’s defense was helpless. On 1st and 20 from their own 17, Stafford found Jones for just enough. On 1st and 20 from their own 41, Stafford went bombs away and found Kenny Golladay for a 59 yard touchdown to put the Lions up 14-10. 

The Raiders moved after a touchback to a 2nd and 2 at the Detroit 34. Washington lost a yard and Carr under heavy pressure threw incomplete. Jon Gruden decided to go for it on 4th and 3 from the 35 rather than try a 53 yard field goal. Carr had a receiver but threw high and off the mark incomplete. Stafford continued to carve up the Oakland defense in moving the Lions to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 20. Stafford went for it all and had single coverage, but Worley had the position and made the acrobatic interception for a touchback. The Raiders soon faced 1st and 18 at their own 12. Carr hit Tyrell Williams for 12 yards. On 3rd and 3 from their 27, Carr found Waller for 21 yards. On 3rd and 12 from their own 46, Carr found Williams for 14 yards. On 1st and 10 from the Detroit 40, Jacobs ripped off a 16 yard gain. On 2nd and 6 from the Detroit 20, Carr hit Renfrow for 17. Jacobs summoned his inner Marcus Allen and dove over the top, just reaching over the pylon for the score. The Raiders led 17-14 with just over one minute left in the half. With 30 seconds left in the half the Lions had 3rd and 10 at the Oakland 47. One first down would mean long field goal range. Instead the beleaguered Oakland defense sacked Stafford for a 13 yard loss. Jon Gruden decided not to stop the clock and force a punt, letting the half run out.

The Raiders began the third quarter punting on 4th and 3 from their own 38.Yet Jon Gruden called a fake punt. Carrier took the handoff 27 yards around the end. Yet on 3rd and 2 from the Detroit 27, Carr went deep incomplete on a ball that was barely deflected away at the last moment. Carlson’s 45 yard field goal try was no good, although it appeared to be just inside the upright. The Lions soon faced 3rd and 13 at their own 32. Stafford fired a laser over the middle between 2 defenders for a 15 yard gain. McKissic ran for gains of 8 and 13. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Stafford threw incomplete. Matt Prater hit the 23 yard field goal to tie the game 17-17. The Raiders took over at their own 20. Carr hit Jones for 9. and Jacobs added 5 more. On 3rd and 6 from their own 38, Carr went deep to Williams for a 22 yard gain and to Marcel Atman for 34 more yards. The fourth quarter began with the Raiders facing 3rd and goal at the 3. Carr threw incomplete but offsetting penalties gave the Raiders another chance. Carr fired over the middle to Foster Moreau for the touchdown as the Raiders again led 24-17. The issue would be if they could close out a game.

The Lions moved from their 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 39. This time the defense held as Stafford threw incomplete on 3rd and 10. Matt Patricia decided against a 57 yard field goal try and punted. The Raiders got lucky when ineptness on the punt coverage meant a touchback instead of being pinned at the one. It didn’t matter. On 3rd and 7 from their own 23, Carr was sacked for a 10 yard loss. The Lions took over at their own 35 but on 3rd and 3 from their 42, Stafford threw incomplete. Yet again the Raiders could not take advantage as Carr threw incomplete on 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 34. From the Detroit 37, this time Stafford made it look easy. Stafford hit McKissic for 7 and Hockensen for 19.Stafford then went deep to a wide open McKissic for a 26 yard touchdown. With 5:16 left the game was tied 24-24. 

After a touchback, Carr went deep to Jalen Richard for a 31 yard gain. Richard then ran for gains of 7 and 5. Carr then went back to Richard for 23 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Carr rolled out fired to Renfrow, who somehow got both feet inbounds and secured the ball for the touchdown. The Raiders were back up by 7 with 2:04 to play. Yet the defense had no answer for Stafford. From the Detroit 23, Stafford hit Jones and Mckissic for a pair of 7 yard gains. Then came defensive holding. On 3rd and 10 from their own 42, Stafford went deep to Golladay for 24 yards. On the next deep ball, defensive pass interference meant a 26 yard gain and 1st and goal at the 8. Stafford then tried to run it in but got crunched by two defenders at the 4 yard line. On the next play out of the shotgun, Stafford fell down, got up, and was tackled around the feet for a 10 yard loss as the Lions took their final timeout with 25 seconds left. On 3rd and goal from the 14, Stafford fired to Thomas over the middle for a 13 yard gain down to the one as the clock kept ticking. Jon Gruden took a timeout on defense even though the Lions seemed disorganized. On 4th and goal at the one, with everything on the line, Stafford fired over the middle high and incomplete. Carr lined up and then threw a pass out of bounds rather than risk a fumble at his own goal line. At one point these were the 2 highest paid quarterbacks in football, and they played like it. Stafford was 26 of 41 for 406 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. Carr was 20 of 31 for 289 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Jacobs finished with 120 yards on 28 carries. The Raiders never make it easy, but Al Davis said it best. Just win baby. On this day, the Silver and Black did. 31-24 Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks — A wild first quarter began immediately after the opening touchback. Jameis Winston hit Mike Evans for 17 yards. Jones gained 10 not he ground and Winston went back to Evans for 21 more yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Seattle 17, Winston threw incomplete but roughing the passer meant 1st and goal at the 8. On the next play Jones ran it in to make it 7-0 Buccaneers. After a touchback, Russell Wilson hit DK Metcalf for 11 and Tyler Lockett for gains of 12 and 18. Wilson then went to Chris Carson for 13 and Lockett for the 19 yard touchdown for a 7-7 game. The Buccaneers got it back and faced 3rd and 3 at their own 38. Winston hit Evans for 6 yards and again for 12 more. Defensive pass interference added 16 yards to the Seattle 25. Winston hit Auclair for 11 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Seattle 15, Winston went to the end zone. The ball was batted up in the air and miraculously caught by Perriman for the touchdown as the Buccaneers led 14-7. The Seahawks missed a 47 yard field goal in the second quarter, and the Bucs offense kept rolling. Defensive pass interference helped move the ball 10 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Seattle 40, Winston hit Evans for 11 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Settle 25, Winston hit Godwin for 18 yards. Winston went to Evans for the 5 yard touchdown as the Buccaneers had the 21-7 lead in front of a stunned 12th man in Seattle. 

With 1:43 left in the half, the Seahawks took over at their own 40. Wilson hit Lockett for 10 yards to midfield. From the Tampa Bay 39, Wilson went deep and defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Wilson went to Hollister for the touchdown. The extra point was doinked off the upright no good but the Seahawks were within 21-13. A 50 yard field goal try by the Buccaneers was no good as the half expired. In the third quarter the Seahawks took over at their own 15. Carson raced for a 59 yard gain. Wilson then went to Hollister for 22 yards down to the one. On 2nd and goal from the 2, Wilson hit Lockett for the touchdown and Metcalf for the 2 point conversion for a 21-21 game. Then came the field goal kickers.

After a touchback the Buccaneers moved easily to a 1st and 10 at the Seattle 20. Winston scrambled for the touchdown, but offensive holding nullified the score and killed the drive. Gay hit a 41 yard field goal to make it 24-21 Buccaneers. After a touchback, the Seahawks faced 2nd and 22 from their own 30. Wilson went deep to Lockett for 30 yards and to Willson for 16 more as the third quarter ended. The fourth quarter began with Seattle facing 2nd and 5 at the Bucs 19. Wilson threw incomplete twice. Myers hit the 37 yard field goal to again tie the game 24-24. The Seahawks got the ball back but fumbled. However, the Buccaneers fumbled it right back and the Seahawks returned it 36 yards to the Tampa Bay 15. Despite 1st and goal at the 4, a run went nowhere and Wilson threw incomplete twice. Myers hit from 22 to make it 27-24 Seahawks with 8 1/2 minutes left. The Buccaneers took over at their own 29. Winston hit Evans for 25 yards. Jones ran for 15 and 4. Despite 2nd and 6 from the Seattle 27, a run went nowhere and Winston threw incomplete. Gay hit from 45 for a 27-27 game with 5 1/2 minutes left. 

This time the Seahawks responded quickly. On 2nd and 7 from their own 28, Wilson went to Lockett for 19 yards. Wilson then went bombs away to Metcalf for a 53 yard touchdown. With 4 1/2 minutes left, the Seahawks led 34-27. After a touchback, Winston went to Ogunbowale for 12 yards and to Evans for 23 more. At the 2 minute warning, the Buccaneers faced 4th and 5 at the Seattle 35. Winston scrambled for just enough. Winston then hit Jones for 12 and Evans for 17 down to the one. Ogunbowale got in. With 46 seconds left this thriller was tied 34-34. After a touchback, Wilson went to Metcalf for 18 and ran for 21 more himself. With 3 seconds left, on 3rd and 1 from the Tampa Bay 22, Myers came in for the 40 yard field goal try to win it. The kick was no good. This fine game was going to overtime. Seattle got the ball in overtime first. After a touchback, Wilson hit Moore for 12 and Carson for 15. On 3rd and 6 from the Tampa Bay 35, Wilson went deep to Metcalf for 29 yards. On 2nd and goal from the 10, Wilson went to Hollister, who just barely broke the plane of the goal before his knee touched down. It was a touchdown, and the Buccaneers never saw the ball in overtime. Winston was 29 of 44 for 335 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wilson was 28 of 42 for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns. Neither quarterback was intercepted in this instant NFL classic. 40-34 Seahawks, OT

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos — Early on the Broncos faced 3rd and 8 at their own 39. With Joe Flacco injured, the backup quarterback is Allen. He scrambled for gains of 11 and 9. On 3rd and 11 from the Cleveland 40, Allen found Sutton for 19 and again for the 21 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Broncos. A field position game had the Browns starting the second quarter at the Denver 40. Yet on 3rd and 3 from the Denver 21, Hilliard got stopped for no gain. Seibert hit the 39 yard field goal to get the Browns within 7-3. Yet only 14 seconds after a touchback, Denver was in the end zone again. A short pass from Allen to Fant went for a 75 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Broncos. Cleveland quickly faced 2nd and 4 from their 30. A completion from Baker Mayfield to Callaway went for 41 yards. On 3rd and 14 from the Denver 33, Mayfield scrambled for 16 yards. Yet on 3rd and 5 from the Denver 12, Mayfield threw incomplete. Seibert hit again from 30 as the Browns trailed 14-6. The Broncos quickly fumbled and the Browns recovered at the Denver 18. Yet despite 1st and goal at the 4, Nick Chubb lost 5 yards and Mayfield threw incomplete twice. Seibert hit from 27 to get the Browns within 14-9. Denver took over at their own 32 and Lindsay ran for a 40 yard gain. Despite 2nd and 7 at the Cleveland 25, Allen threw incomplete twice. Brandon McManus hit the 43 yard field goal to make it 17-9 Broncos. With 1:47 left after a touchback, runs and short passes led to a 3rd and 8 at the Denver 32. Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry for 13 yards. Seibert hit his fourth field goal from 30 yards out to get the Browns within 17-12. 

With 5 minutes left in the third quarter, the Broncos took over at their own 5 yard line. Freeman ran for 6. Allen hit Fant for 16 more. On 3rd and 1 from their own 36, Allen hit Sutton for 10 and Fant for 24 more. On the next play Philip Lindsay raced for a 30 yard touchdown and a 24-12 Broncos lead after three quarters. The Browns responded. On 3rd and 1 from their own 33, Chubb gained 3 yards. Mayfield then went to O’Dell Beckham for 27 yards. Chubb gained 11. On 3rd and 7 from the Denver 19, Mayfield threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 9. Mayfield went to Landry for the touchdown as the Browns were within 5 again with 11 minutes left in regulation. Cleveland got it back at their own 12 and moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Denver 25. Chubb got the carry and got blasted for a 3 yard loss. Freddie Kitchens went for it on 4th and 4 rather than kick a field goal and play defense. Mayfield’s pass was broken up incomplete. From the Denver 29, a wildcat snap to Lindsay gained 16 yards. Lindsay smartly fell down inbounds so the clock would hit the 2 minute warning. With Cleveland out of timeouts, the game was over. 24-19 Broncos

Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Chargers — The Chargers were supposed to be overmatched but they started the game with a 15 play, 84 yard drive that took 8 minutes. Despite 1st and goal at the 10, the drive stalled. Badly hit the 29 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chargers. The Chargers got it back and faced 1st and 20 at their own 31. Rivers connected with Williams for a 56 yard gain. After that the Chargers moved backwards and settled for a 40 yard Badgley field goal to lead 6-0. With 4:21 left in the half the Chargers took over at their own 8 yard line. Again the Chargers moved into the red zone with a 1st and 10 at the Packers 14 with 21 seconds left. Offensive holding killed the drive. Badgley hit from 34 as the half expired with the Chargers holding the upraising 9-0 lead. In the third quarter Badgley hit his fourth field goal from 43 to make it 12-0 Chargers. Things got worse for the Packers when they punted on 4th and 16 from their own 19. The punt was partially blocked, and the Chargers took over at the Green Bay 27. On 3rd and 3 from the Green Bay 6, Melvin Gordon gained 5 and then got the last yard for the score. After all field goals the Chargers finally had a touchdown and a stranglehold 19-0 lead. Green Bay did manage a field goal, but it didn’t matter. In the fourth quarter on fourth and goal at the one, Anthony Lynn opted for the field goal. It was good, but the defense jumped offsides. This time Lynn took the points off the board and went for it. Gordon got in to make it 26-3 Chargers. By the time the Packers reached the end zone, it mattered even less in this shocking upset. 26-11 Chargers

New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens was the Sunday night game. The Patriots came in undefeated but the one team that has given Bill Belichick and Tom Brady fits this entire decade has been the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore jumped all over New England from the start. On 3rd and 5 from their own 30, Lamar Jackson hit Brown for 6 yards. Mark Ingram ran for 13 and Jackson went back to Brown for 26 yards. On 4th and 3 from the 6, John Harbaugh decided on the field goal. The Patriots jumped into the neutral zone, resulting in 1st and goal at the 3. Jackson got in on the next play to make it 7-0 Ravens. The Patriots went 3 and out and the Ravens moved from their 25 to a 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 21. The drive died at that point but Justin Tucker hit a 39 yard field goal for a 10-0 Ravens lead. New England punted again and the Ravens got it back at their own 23. From their 35, Ingram broke free for a 53 yard gain. On the next play Edwards ran for a 12 yard touchdown as the Ravens led 17-0 only one minute into the second quarter.

New England again went 3 and out and punted on 4th and 1 from their own 40. They finally got a break when the Ravens fumbled a punt and the Patriots recovered at the Baltimore 20. Brady went to James White for 16 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Brady went to Mohammed Sanu for the touchdown to get the Patriots within 17-7. After a New England fumble was reversed to down by contact, a Patriots punt had the Ravens pinned at their own 6 yard line. From their 11, Ingram gained 5 but fumbled. Again the Patriots had a short field at the Baltimore 19. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Brady went over the middle and Ear Thomas made a diving deflection at the goal line for an incompletion. Nick Folk hit from 22 to get the Patriots within 17-10.  The Patriots got it back at their own 18 with 1:43 left in the half. Brady went to Ben Watson for 6 yards with 15 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness. Brady then went to James White fro 30 more. On 3rd and goal at the 6, White topped over his own lineman but was not touched and got up and wriggled for 5 yards down to the one. On 4th and goal from the one with 10 seconds left, Bill Belichick opted for the field goal. Folk hit from 19 as the Patriots were within 17-13. 

After a touchback to start the third quarter, , the Patriots moved to a 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 30. Brady threw a swing pass to Edelman, who got stood up ad  had the ball ripped out by Onwuasor. Marlon Humphrey picked it up and strutted the whole way holding the ball up for a 70 yard defensive touchdown and a 24-13 Ravens lead. After a touchback, Rex Burkhead ran for a pair of 6 yard gains. Brady then went to Sanu for 11 yards and Watson for 18 more. White ran for gains of 7, 8, 6 and one. On 3rd and 3 from the Baltimore 12, Brady hit Edelman for 7 yards. White ran for 4 and then for the one yard touchdown to get the Patriots right back in it down 24-20. After what seemed like forever, the Baltimore offense finally took the field again. 

Needing to give their defense a rest, Baltimore’s offense rose to the occasion. On 3rd and 5 from their own 24, Jackson went to Andrews for 18 yards. On 4th and 4 from the New England 38, John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Jackson hit Willie Snead for 7 yards. On 2nd and 11 from the New England 32, Jackson hit Brown for 16. On the first play of the fourth quarter, a perfectly executed fake allowed Jackson to find a wide open Nick Boyle in the flat for the touchdown. Tucker missed the extra point, but the Ravens led 30-20. The Patriots after a touchback quickly moved to a 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 48. After a pair of incompletions, Brady on 3rd and 10 went for it all and was intercepted by Earl Thomas, who returned the interception 24 yards to the Baltimore 32. 

Jackson led the best drive of his young career. On 3rd and 4 from his 38, the defense jumped offsides. On 3rd and 4 just shy of midfield, Jackson hit Ingram, who s tased inbounds and tiptoed along the sideline for 18 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the new England 30, Jackson threw incomplete but illegal use of hands on McCourty kept the drive going. Jackson hit Ingram for 11 and ran for 9 more himself. On 3rd and goal at the one out of the shotgun, Jackson tried to keep it himself up the middle. At first he was completely stopped, but his own offensive lineman Orlando Brown pulled him forward. The 6 ft 8, 345 pound wedge of beef got Jackson over the plane of the goal. The 14 play, 68 yard drive consumed over 9 1/2 minutes. With 3:12 to play, the Ravens put the dagger in. Baltimore was robbed of a win in the 2007 season where the Patriots went 16-0. Baltimore was robbed in the 2011 AFC Title Game when they lost at New England 23-20. Baltimore comfortably throttled New England 33-14 and 28-13 in the 2009 and 2012 AFC playoffs. On the same day Miami avoided going 0-16, New England saw 16-0 go up in smoke. Once again, it is the Miami team from 1972 posing champagne corks as the only perfect team in NFL history. For Baltimore, it was a statement win. 37-20 Ravens

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants was the Monday night game. As awful as the Giants are, they gave the Cowboys all they could handle. On the first play of the game, an interception of Dak Prescott gave the Giants 1st and goal at the 8. These being the Giants, they kicked a 21 yard field goal. The Cowboys responded with a 35 yard field goal of their own for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter Maher missed from 54, giving the Giants excellent field position at their own 44. Daniel Jones ran for 16 and hit Evan Engram for 12. On 3rd and 14 from the Dallas 18, Jones went to Golden Tate for 17 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Jones hit Latimer for the touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Giants led 9-3. A Cowboys fumble gave the Giants the ball at their own 20. They moved to a 1st and 10 t the Dallas 12. Yet on 3rd and 5 from the 7, Jones threw incomplete. Aldrick Rosas hit from 25 to make it 12-3 Giants. After a touchback, Ezekiel Elliott ran for 15 and 3. Prescott went to Jarwin for a 42 yard touchdown as the Cowboys only trailed 12-10 with 52 seconds left in the half. That was enough time for Jones to throw an interception and set the Cowboys up at the Giants 39. Maher hit from 52 to make it 13-12 Cowboys at halftime. A Giants fumble in the third quarter meant another short field and a 28 yard Maher field goal to make it 16-12 Cowboys. A 41 yard kickoff return set up the Giants at their own 48. They moved to a 3rd and 7 at the Dallas 10, but a completion netted only 2 yards. Rosas hit from 26 but the Giants still trailed 16-15 after three quarters due to the missed extra point. 

After a touchback, Pollard gained 10 with illegal use of hands adding 5 more. Prescott hit Randall Cobb for 10 to midfield as the third quarter ended. On 3rd and 7 from the Giants 47, the Giants entered the neutral zone. On 3rd and 2, Prescott hit Cobb for 4 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Giants 31, Prescott gained 11 with another defensive illegal use of hands adding 5 more. Prescott then went to Michael Gallup for the 15 yard touchdown to make it 23-15 Cowboys with 12:40 left in regulation. The Giants came back quickly from their own 24. A short pass from Jones to Saquon Barkley went for a 65 yard gain to the Dallas 11. Jones then threw 3 incompletions as the Giants settled for what seemed like their billionth field goal. Rosas hit from 29 as the Giants were within 23-18. The Cowboys took over at their own 11. On 3rd and 6 from their 15, Prescott threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 26 yard gain. On 3rd and 12 from the Giants 45,  one defensive stop would give the Giants a chance to win it. Instead, Prescott went deep to Amari Cooper for the touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Cowboys had pretty much put the game away. With 6 minutes left, on 4th and 16 from their own 15, the overmatched Giants surrendered and punted the ball away. The Giants got it back and with 22 seconds left faced 1st and 10 from the Dallas 24. Jones was sacked. Again. He fumbled. Again. The Cowboys Lewis recovered and raced 63 yards for the exclamation point. These are the Giants. 37-18 Cowboys

NFL 2019 Week 9 Prequel

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NFL 2019 Week 8 Recap

October 27th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 8 Recap

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings was the Thursday night game. The Vikings were 16 point favorites against the hapless Redskins as Kirk Cousins and Adrian Peterson each hoped for revenge against their respective old team. Firs the teams exchanged fumbles. Then they exchanged field goals. In the first quarter Dan Bailey hit from 50 for the Vikings. In the second quarter Dustin Hopkins hit from 21 to tie the game. Bailey then hit from 29 and Hopkins answered from 30 for a 6-6 game at the 2 minute warning. After a touchback, Cousins went to Dalvin Cook for gains of 5 and 15, Johnson for 16, and Cook again for 31 yards. With 7 seconds left in the half, the Vikings faced 3rd and goal at the 4. The Vikings had 2 timeouts remaining, giving Mike Zimmer plenty of flexibility. With everyone expecting a pass, Zimmer called a run up the middle. Cook got to the goal line and just barley broke the plane of the goal for a 13-6 Vikings lead at the half. The second half was all defense and field goals. In the third quarter Bailey hit from 27 and Hopkins answered from 43 to get it back to  a7 point game. Bailey hit again from 40 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation to lock up the win as Mike Zimmer’s defense did the rest. 19-9 Vikings 

New York Giants at Detroit Lions — Daniel Jones fumbles a lot. This time in the first quarter he was hit and fumbled. Dennis Kennard returned the fumble for a touchdown and a 7-0 Lions lead. The Lions got it back and soon faced 3rd and 8 at their own 31. Matthew stafford went deep to Danny Amendola for 25 yards and then went bombs away to Marvin Hall for a 49 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Lions lead. The Giants got it back at their own 12 yard line. On 3rd and 3 from their 19, Saquon Barkley got just enough. Jones then went to Evan Engram for 18 yards. On 3rd and 4 from their own 46, Jones went to Golden Tate for 18 yards early in the second quarter. Barkley ran for 9 and 5 and Jones went to Slayton for a 22 yard touchdown to get the Giants within 14-7. 

The Lions missed a chance to extend the lead when a 53 yard field goal try by Matt Prater was no good. The Giants took over at their own 43. Jones hit Fowler for 12 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Detroit 34, Penny gained 3 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the 28, Jones went deep to Slayton for the touchdown. Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point as the Giants trailed 14-13. The Lions soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 26. Stafford found Kenny Golladay for a 16 yard gain. On 3rd and 17 from their own 35, Stafford found Johnson for 13. At the 2 minute warning, the Lions punted on 4th and 4 from their own 48. Yet a running into the kicker penalty meant a 5 yard gain and a 1st down. Prater nailed a 52 yard field goal for a 17-13 Lions lead at the half. 

The Lions took the second half kickoff and right to work after a touchback. Stafford hit Amendola for 15 yards. On 3rd and 8 from their own 44, Stafford went deep to Golladay for 25 yards and Amendola for 12 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Giants 9, Stafford again went to Golladay for the touchdown. The 10 play, 75 yard, 6 minute drive had the Lions up 24-13. The Giants quickly faced 2nd and 8 at their own 24. Jones went to Barkley for 38 yards. Jones then went to Tate for 13 yards, and unnecessary roughness on the defense on the next play added 10 more yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Detroit 10, Jones threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive alive. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Jones hit Evan Engram for the score. The 2 point conversion try failed but the Giants were within 24-19.

The fourth quarter began with the Lions at their own 20. Stafford went to Jones for 6 yards and Johnson gained 14 more. Stafford went to Golladay for a 41 yard touchdown to give the Lions some breathing room up 31-19 with 12 minutes left in the game. The Giants moved from their own 9 yard line to a 1st and 10 at the Detroit 43. Jones was sacked and again fumbled. The Giants retained possession but it was a 10 yard loss. Jones was then sacked again. On 3rd and 26 from his own 41, Jones hit Gallman for 20 yards. With 6 1/2 minutes remaining, Pat Shurmur opted against a 57 yard field goal try and decided to go for it. Jones threw incomplete. Now it was the Lions moving backward due to consecutive sacks of Stafford. On 3rd and 25 from their own 24, Stafford found Golladay for 14 yards but Golladay fumbled. with 5  minutes left the Giants took over at the Detroit 38. With 3 1/2 minutes left the Giants faced the and 11 from the Detroit 14. Again Shurmur passed up a field goal try and Jones threw incomplete. By the time the Giants did reach the end zone, only 1:19 remained. The onsides kick failed. 31-26 Lions

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans — The Buccaneers immediately moved to a 1st and goal from the 4. A run went nowhere and Jameis Winston threw incomplete twice. Gay hit the 22 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Buccaneers. Yet on their next series Winston fumbled and the Titans recovered at the Tampa Bay 10 yard line. One play later Ryan Tannehill went to Smith for the touchdown and the 7-3 Titans lead. Winston was then intercepted by Malcolm Butler, who returned it 23 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 6. On 3rd and goal, Tannehill went to Sharpe for the touchdown to make it 14-3 Titans. Then the game changed in the second quarter.

Gay hit field goals of 48 and 24 to get the Buccaneers within 14-9. A strong kickoff return had the Titans at their own 45. On 3rd and 7 from the Tampa Bay 26, Tannehill was sacked for a 6 yard loss. Cody Parkey did hit the 51 yard field goal to make it 17-9 Titans with 1:15 left in the half, but it was temporary relief. Winston hit Evans for gains of 13 and 14. On 3rd and 17 from their own 45, Winston went deep to Evans for a 46 yard gain. With 15 seconds left in the half, the Bucs had 3rd and goal at the 9. Winston again went to Evans for the touchdown. The 2 point conversion failed but the Buccaneers were right back in it down 17-15. In the third quarter Derrick Henry fumbled and the Buccaneers recovered at their own 44. Winston went deep to Evans for a 43 yard gain. Winston threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to Evans. This time the 2 point try succeeded as Winston hit Chris Godwin for the conversion to make it 23-17 Buccaneers. 

With 5 minutes left in the third quarter, the Titans took over at their own 8 yard line. on 3rd and 11 from their own 25, Tannehill was intercepted. However, defensive pass interference meant a 17 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Tampa Bay 24, Tannehill threw incomplete. Parkey hit from 42 to get the Titans within 23-20 after three quarters. The Titans got it back one minute into the fourth quarter at their own 10 yard line. Tannehill hit Smith for 17 yards and Humphries and Davis for a pair of 8 yard gains. On 3rd and 4 from the Tampa Bay 47, Tannehill hit Sharpe for 5 yards. Henry ran for 15 and Tannehill hit Humphries for 13 more. On 3rd and goal from the 8 Tannehill hit Brown for the touchdown. The 12 play, 90 yard, 7 minute drive had the Titans up by 4 midway through the fourth quarter. Winston was sacked and fumbled again and the Titans recovered at the Tampa 36. with 3:45 left, on 4th and 2 from the Bucs 28, Mike Vrabel called for a fake field goal. It was a bold call that didn’t work as Kern got stopped for no gain. The Bucs moved to a 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 32 at the 2 minute warning. Pierre Barber got the carry and got stopped cold. The Bucs got it back at their own 24 with 42 seconds left and 0 timeouts. From their 36, Winston went deep and was intercepted. 27-23 Titans

Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago Bears — The Bears moved the ball at will against the Chargers but could not crack the end zone in the first half. First Eddie Pineiro brought back nightmares of Cody Parkey for bears fans when Pieniro doinked a 33 yard chip shot off the upright no good. In the second quarter Pineiro would connect from 22 and 25 to give the Bears a 6-0 lead. After a touchback, Philip Rivers hit Green for 10 yards and went deep to Williams for a 43 yard gain. Melvin Gordon ran for a 19 yard touchdown. After trailing the entire half, the Chargers led 7-6 just before the 2 minute warning. Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, on 2nd and 3 from their own 30, Montgomery broke free for a 55 yard gain. Chicago tried to give the drive away but the Charges kept committing defensive penalties. 30 seconds still remained in the half and the Bears had 1st and goal at the one after a very questionable defensive pass interference penalty since the ball could not have been caught. Trubisky threw incomplete. The Bears had no timeouts but 25 seconds. On 2nd and goal, Montgomery got stopped. By the time Trubisky spiked the ball to stop the clock, one second remained. On 4th and goal at the one, Matt Nagy opted for the field goal. Pineiro hit the 19 yarder. Even with the Bears leading 9-7 at halftime, the hometown crowd booed the inept Chicago offense. 

The Bears took the second half kickoff and atoned for their earlier failures. Montgomery carried 5 straight times for gains of 8, 5, 5, 3, and a tough 2 on 3rd and 2 from the Chicago 46. On 3rd and 1 from the Chargers 43, a run got stopped. Matt Nagy decided to go for i and Trubisky hit Miller for 8 yards and then went deep to Robinson for 31 yards. Montgomery finished the 11 play, 75 yard, 7 minute drive with a 4 yard touchdown run for a 16-7 Bears lead. After a touchback, it was the Chargers embarking on a 14 play, 73 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. Yet the same Chargers who couldn’t gain one yard last week couldn’t convert 2nd and goal at the 2 into a touchdown. Rivers threw incomplete and then Austin Ekeler got stopped. Anthony Lynn decided not to gamble. McLaughlin hit the 20 yard field goal to get the Chargers within 16-10. An interception of Trubisky was returned by Hayward 37 yards to the Chicago 20. Yet the Chargers went backward. On 3rd and 14, Rivers went to the end zone and Keenan Allen dropped the potential game leading touchdown pass. It was well defended. McLaughlin then missed a 42 yard field goal with 11 minutes left in regulation. The Bears were trying to give the game away and the Chargers would not take it.

The Bears took over at their own 32 and disaster struck again. From their 42, Trubisky was sacked and fumbled. The Chargers again had gift field position at the Chicago 26. On 2nd and 10 a completion only gained 3 yards but a defensive facemask aded 12 yards. On the next play Rivers went to Ekeler for an 11 yard touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Chargers led by one point. The Bears embarked on an 11 play drive that took 6 minutes. From their own 16, they moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Chargers 37. In long field goal range for the led, Montgomery lost 3 yards. Then on 3rd and 10 Trubisky took a sack. With 2:04 left the Chargers got the ball back at their own 46. Running the ball is how you run out the clock. That is why it is called running out the clock. Instead Rivers was sacked for a 6 yard loss. On 3rd and 12 from their own 13 Rivers found Hunter Henry near the sticks. Perfect textbook tackling kept Henry inches from the first down as the Chargers had to punt.

In the battle of who wanted it least, the Bears would have one more shot from their own 35 with 90 seconds to play. Trubisky went to Tony Gabriel for 22 yards and to Robinson for 9 more. With 53 seconds left, from the Chargers 32, Trubisky almost tripped over his own offensive lineman. Somehow he escaped a sure sack and scrambled for an 11 yard gain. The Chargers took their final timeout on defense with 43 seconds to play. A field goal try would only be 40 yards. Rather than try and get a few yards closer, Matt Nagy made a questionable coaching decision in a game of head-scratching decisions on both sides. Nagy had Trubisky take a knee and not even try to gain more yards on the ground. With 3 seconds left, Pineiro came in for a 41 yard try to permanently erase the Ghost of Cody Parkey. The kick was no good. Anthony Lynn and Philip Rivers could not even manage a smile, offering sighs of relief in winning a game both teams deserved to lose. Quote the late Paul Maguire: “I hate kickers. They should be paid $50 a game.” 17-16 Chargers

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons — Pete Carroll and the Seahawks had the benefit of playing a reeling Falcons team in full collapse. Matt Ryan was out injured as 16 year veteran Matt Schaub got the start for Atlanta. Schaub once had a streak of throwing an interception for a touchdown several games in a row. In the first quarter Jason Myers hit a 42 yard field goal for the Seahawks and the Falcons soon faced 4th and 1 at the Seattle 33. Dan Quinn went for the field goal and Matt Bryant missed from 51. After the miss, the Seahawks took over at their own 41 to start the second quarter. Penny ran for gains of 9 and 17. Russell Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for 14 yards. Chris Carson gained 12 and 3, and Wilson hit DK Metcalf for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Seahawks. Schaub was then intercepted by Kendricks, setting up the Seahawks at he Atlanta 46. On 3r and 3 from the 39, Carson ran for 19 yards and then added 4 more. Penny ran for gains of 12 and 3 and Carson got the last yard for a 17-0 Seahawks lead. Bryant had another field goal try from 53 yards, and he missed again to set the Seahawks up at their own 43. From the Atlanta 47, Wilson went to Locket for 20 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Atlanta 27, Wilson went back to Lockett for 20 more yards and hit Metcalf for a 2 yard touchdown with less than 30 seconds left in the half. With the Seahawks up 24-0, Dan Quinn debated whether to coach the second half or join Pete Carroll’s staff again.  

The Seahawks slept through most of the second half as the Falcons mounted a furious rally. After a touchback, Schaub went to Hooper for a 35 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 36, Jadavean Clowney entered the neutral zone. On 3rd and 1, Freeman lost a yard. On 4th and 2 from the Seattle 32, Clowney jumped into the neutral zone again. Brian Hill rushed for a 23 yard touchdown. Schaub hit Ridley for the 2 point conversion as the Falcons were within 24-8. Atlanta got it back at their own 37 and moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Seattle 21. Schaub was sacked to kill the drive. Bryant hit a 47 yard field goal to get the Falcons within 24-11. Atlanta got it back at their own 14 and moved to a 1st and goal at the 8 with 13 minutes left in regulation. Schaub hit Freeman for 7 yards but at the one yard line Freeman was hit and fumbled the ball. The Seahawks took over at their own 6. From their 9, Wilson hit Lockett for gains of 19 and 12 and Moore for 23 more. On 3rd and 11 from the Atlanta 39, Wilson hit Locket for 13. However, offensive pass interference instead meant 3rd and 21. Wilson went to Hollister for 12, enough for Myers to drill a 54 yard field goal to make it 27-11 with 6 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, Schaub found Gage for gains of 10 and 17, Hardy for 15, and Hooper for 14. On 3rd and 5 from the Seattle 19, Clowney jumped offsides for the third time.On 3rd and 4 from the Seattle 8, Schaub hit Jones for 7 yards. Schaub then hit Hooper for the one yard touchdown. With 3 minutes left, the 2 point try failed. The Falcons were within 27-17, but it was still a two score game. Pete Carroll played it very safe, with 3 runs up the middle to force the Falcons to take their timeouts on defense. The Falcons got it back at their own 14 with 2:36 to play. With 1:17 to play the Falcons had 1st and 10 at the Seattle 19. Needing 2 scores, Dan Quinn decided to immediately try the field goal. Bryant was good from 37 but the onsides kick failed and the Dirty Birds were cooked. Schaub was a ridiculous 39 of 52 for 460 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wilson was only 14 of 20 for 182 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Yet it was the Seahawks who got the win after their 24-0 early lead allowed them to coast. 27-20 Seahawks 

New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars — Leonard Fournette ran for a 66 yard gain and Gardner Minshew hit Cole for a 6 yard touchdown. Josh Lambo missed the extra point as the Jaguars had the 6-0 lead. The Jets then embarked on a 12 play, 93 yard drive that consumed nearly 8 minutes. On 3rd and 1 from their own 16, Sam Darnold hit Ty Montgomery for just enough. Darnold then hit Griffin for 23 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Jacksonville 47, Leveon Bell got stopped. Adam Gase decided to go for it and Powell went up the gut 2 yards. Darnold then hit Anderson for 13 yards and to Griffin for a 24 yard touchdown and a 7-6 Jets lead. On their next series Darnold was intercepted. 2 plays later, on 2nd and 7 from their own 30, Minshew went deep to Conley for a 70 yard touchdown and a 13-7 Jaguars advantage. 

In the second quarter the Jaguars embarked on a mind-numbing 17 play, 84 yard drive that consumed 9 minutes off the clock. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 6, Fournette was stopped for a 5 yard loss. Lambo hit the 29 yard field goal and tacked on a 43 yarder to end the half with the Jaguars up 19-7. The Jaguars moved the ball again in the third quarter but could not reach the end zone. On 2nd and goal from the 6, Minshew threw incomplete twice. Lambo hit from 24 to make it 22-7 Jaguars. After a touchback, Darnold hit Crowder for 16 and Thomas for gains of 9, 8 and 6. The Jaguars began the fourth quarter at the Jets 33. Smith gained 13. On 2nd and 16 from the Jags 26, Darnold went to Thomas for 23 and to Ryan Griffin for the 3 yard touchdown. Darnold hit Griffin again fort he 2 point conversion as the Jets were within 22-15 with a full 13 minutes left in regulation. The Jets got it back but a killer offensive penalty had them facing 2nd and 24 at their own 9. Darnold was intercepted by Bouye, who returned it 25 yards to the Jets 24. On 3rd and 10, Minshew hit Fournette for 15. On 3rd and goal at the 8, Minshew hit DJ Chark for the touchdown to lock up the win with 4 minutes left. Another interception of Darnold sealed it. 29-15 Jaguars

Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills — Jake Elliott hit a 37 yard field goal in the first quarter for the Eagles. After a touchback the Bills faced 3rd and 8 at their own 41. Josh Allen it Brown for 9 yards with roughing the passer adding 15 more. Allen then ran for 13 yards with a defensive unnecessary roughness penalty moving the Bills close. On 3rd and goal form the 14 to start the second quarter, Josh Allen rolled out and found Cole Beasley for the touchdown and the 7-3 Bills lead. Buffalo’s stout defense was again playing well but getting little help from the offense. On 3rd and 2 from their own 28, Allen was hit and fumbled and the Eagles recovered at the Buffalo 24. On 3rd and 1 from the 15, Carson Wentz gained 2 yards. Wentz hit Dall Goedert for a 2 yard touchdown. Doug Peterson likes to go for 2 point conversions in odd situations that don’t call for it. This time his gamble paid off and the Eagles led 11-7 with 25 seconds left in the half Buffalo actually had a shot at a 53 yard field goal to end the half, but Steve Hauschka missed it.  

Two plays into the third quarter, the Eagles struck again. Sanders raced for a 65 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Eagles led 17-7. The Bills soon faced 3rd and 14 at their own 21. Allen went deep to Brown for 19 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Philly 46,Allen went to Beasley for 21 yards. On 3rd and 13 from the Philly 28, Allen went to devin Singletary for the touchdown. The extra point was blocked as the Bills trailed 17-13. The Eagles took over at their own 32 and Wentz went deep to Alshon Jeffery for a 38 yard gain. On 2nd and 17 from the Buffalo 37, Wentz went to Howard for 15 and to Jeffery for 3 on 3rd and 2. Scott ran for a 4 yard touchdown for a 24-13 Eagles lead. Down by 2 scores late in the third quarter, Sean McDermott made the very questionable decision to go for it on 4th and 10 at the Philly 29 rather than try a 47 yard field goal. Allen threw incomplete. The Eagles began the fourth quarter at their own 17. The Bills have won all year with defense but in this game West Coast dink and dunker Doug Pederson went smash mouth. On 3rd and 5 from their own 22, Wentz gained 13.  On 3rd and 10 from their own 35, Wentz gained 11. Howard ran for 20 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Buffalo 21, Wentz hit Zac Ertz for 18 yards. Jordan Howard ran for the 3 yard touchdown. The Eagles gashed the Bills for 218 yards rushing on 41 carries. They just plain hit the Bills in the mouth. 31-13 Eagles

Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams in London. The winless Bengals put up a fight in a tough first half where both teams moved to the red zone but could not seal the deal. Greg Zuerlein hi from 23 yards in the first quarter to give the Rams the lead. Bullock answered from 28 at the start of the second quarter for a 3-3 game. The Rams got it back at their own 8 yard line. On 3rd and 6 from their own 12, Jared Goff went to Cooper Kupp for 32 yards and again for 23 more. Goff then went to Reynolds for a 31 yard touchdown and a 10-3 Rams lead. After a touchback, the Bengals soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 45. Red Rifle Andy Dalton threw incomplete. The decision was to go for it and Joe Mixon gained 2 yards followed by a 13 yard gain. Bernard then ran for 25 yards. Dalton hit Mixon for a one yard touchdown to tie the game 10-10 and complete the 11 play, 75 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. After a touchback, the Rams struck back quickly when Sean McVay went to the bag of tricks. A double handoff reverse flea flicker led to a pass from Goff to Kupp for a 65 yard touchdown and a 17-10 Rams lead. The Rams took the third quarter kickoff and marched 75 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd and 4 from their own 31, Goff hit Kupp for 15. On 3rd and 10 from their own 46, Goff went deep to Kupp for 40 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 5, Todd Gurley ran for 2 and then the 3 yard touchdown. The defense controlled the final 25 minutes. Michelin Man Wade Phillips had to be pleased when a garbage touchdown with 5 seconds left was overturned. 24-10 Rams 

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints — Teddy Bridgewater went 5-0 in relief, but now the pinball wizard Drew Brees was back. The Saints have been winning with defense. Arizona put up a fight in the first half. Wil Lutz missed a 47 yard field goal for the Saints early on. Zane Gonzalez connected from 31 for the Cardinals. In the second quarter Lutz hit from 26 for a 3-3 game. The Saints for it back at their own 29 and Brees and Thomas connected for gains of 28 and 16 yards. Latavius Murray did the rest, running for 7, 10, and the 8 yard touchdown to make it 10-3 Saints. Gonzalez hit again from 31 yards out with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half as the Cardinals only trailed 10-6. A close game in the third quarter was undone by a horrendous coaching decision by rookie Cliff Kingsbury. He summoned his inner Barry Switzer. After an interception of Brees, Kingsbury decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from his own 30 yard line. This is not college football. This is the NFL, which Jerry Glanville reminded us stands for “Not For Long” if you make decisions like that. Edmonds got the carry and got stopped by the tough Saints defense. 

With a short field, on 3rd and 7 from the Arizona 27, Brees went to Harris or 9 yards and to Murray for the 15 yard touchdown to make it 17-6 Saints. Gonzalez would hit his third field goal from 50 yards out to get the Cardinals within 17-9, but the Saints turned out the lights in the fourth quarter. On 2nd and 9 from their own 26, Brees went deep to Ted Ginn for a 28 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 37, Brees went to Hill for 29 yards. Whenever Taysom Hill is in the game, Sean Payton is up to something. Yet this time Hill was the receiver and not the quarterback. Brees hit Hill fort he 5 yard touchdown to make it 24-9 Saints with 13 minutes left in regulation. The Saints got it back and delivered the exclamation point. From their 27, Murray gained 28 yards. Brees went deep to Hill for 36 more. Brees then hit Thomas for the 9 yard touchdown to turn a close game into a blowout. Pinball Wizard Brees was 34 of 43 for 373 yards with 3 touchdowns and one interception. 31-9 Saints

Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts — John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are retired. Jacoby Brissett and Joe Flacco can both throw the ball, but this was a defensive slugfest. The Broncos mounted a staggering 17 play, 86 yard drive that took 7:45 off the clock. On 1st and goal at the 3, rather than  run the ball, 3 straight Flacco incompletions meant a 21 yard Brandon McManus field goal. Denver then mounted a 13 play, 73 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. Yet 2nd and 4 from the Colts 9 was followed by a run that last 2 yards and an incompletion. McManus hit from 29 to make it 6-0 Broncos with one minute left in the half. From their own 20, Brissett hit Eric Hebron for 9 and Hines for 20. Old Man Adam Vinatieri on the last play of the half drilled a 55 yard field goal to get the Colts on the board. The Broncos quickly went to work in the this quarter after a touchback. Flacco went to Chris Sutton for a 25 yard gain to midfield. On 1st and 15 from the Indy 33, the defense jumped offsides. On 1st and 10, Flacco threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 24 yard gain. Royce Freeman ran for the 4 yard touchdown as the Broncos had a 13-3 lead on the road.

After a touchback, the Colts moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Denver 27. Brissett threw incomplete twice. Vinatieri hit from 45 yards out to get the Colts within 13-6. Denver went into an offensive shell, and the Colts took over at their own 32. Brissett went to Dotle for 19 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Denver 40, Brissett went back to Doyle for 16 more. On 2nd and 6 from the Denver 20, Brissett threw incomplete but roughing the passer meant 1st and goal at the 10. On the next play Marlon Mack ran it in. The most accurate clutch kicker of all time, Adam Vinateri missed the extra point as the Colts trailed 13-12 after three quarters. The defenses dug in and the Colts began their final drive at their own 11 with 1:48 to play. Brissett scrambled near his own goal line and dangerously came close to being sacked for a safety. Somehow he avoided the disaster and fired deep to TY Hilton for a 35 yard gain. 2 plays later a 5 yard completion to Hines saw an extra 15 yards tacked on for a horse collar tackle. With 22 seconds left in regulation, Old Man Vinatieri came in for a 51 yard field goal try to win it. The most clutch kicker of all time kicked the game winner in 2 Super Bowls, won a game in a blizzard, kicked a 55 yarder in this game, and missed an extra point. On this kick, he was good to send Vic fang’s Broncos to another agonizing loss. 15-13 Colts  

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans — The Raiders began the decade with consecutive road wins at Houston, including one on the day after Al Davis died. This time the dearly departed was legendary cornerback Old Man Willie Brown. The players and coaches are new. Every time the Raiders took the lead, the Texans answered. Each team punted twice and the Raiders soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 35. Derek Carr fired a laser over the middle to Hunter Renfrow, who slipped through two tackles and raced for a 65 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Raiders and cap a 95 yard drive. Carlos Hyde after a touchback ran for 9 and 5. From the Houston 44, Deshaun Watson went to Darren Fells for a 23 yard gain. Watson went to Johnson for a 12 yard touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame. 

The Raiders in the second quarter took over at their own 30. Deandre Washington ran for a pair of 6 yard gains. Carr hit Renfrow for 8 yards to midfield. Josh Jacobs ran for 23 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Houston 21, Carr hit Jones for 15 yards and Darren Waller fr an 8 yard touchdown to complete to 10 play, 70 yard drive and put the Raiders up 14-7. The Texans moved from their own 21 to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 16. Hyde was tackled for a 6 yard loss. Kaimi Fairbairn hit the 33 yard field goal to get the Texans within 14-10 at halftime. After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Texans moved to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 11. Hyde lost a yard and Watson was sacked for a 10 yard loss. Fairbairn hit from 40 and the Texans were within 14-13.

The Raiders soon faced 3rd and 5 at their own 28. Carr went deep to Tyrell Williams for a 23 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Houston 46, Carr went deep to Williams for the touchdown. The Raiders led 21-13 midway through the third quarter, but this is a team that still does not know how to finish games. The Texans took over at their own 23. Watson hit Johnson for 8 and Hopkins for gains of 7 and 13. On 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 42, Watson hit Hopkins for 7. On 3rd and 6 from the Oakland 31, Watson hit Johnson for just enough. Hyde ran for 8. He then fumbled on the next carry but the Texans somehow maintained possession and faced 3rd and 1 at the Oakland 16. Watson ran for 4. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Watson hit Darren Fells for a 4 yard touchdown to get the Texans within 21-20 and cap the 15 play, 77 yard, 8 minute drive.

The Raiders after a touchback continued to move the ball well, reaching a 2nd and 6 at the Houston 24. Josh Jacobs ran well all day with a bad shoulder, but his next carry lost a yard. The Raiders burned a timeout that would loom larger later. With 11 minutes left in regulation, on the critical 3rd and 7, Carr threw incomplete.  Daniel Carlson hit the 44 yard field goal to make it 24-20 Raiders, but their defense could not stop Watson the whole second half. There was zero reason to think they would when it mattered.

After a touchback Watson threw incomplete. However, a horrendous roughing the passer call on Maxx Crosby gave the Texans 15 yards. Replay showed Crosby clearly held up as he should. On 3rd and 7 from the Oakland 46, with the defense smelling a rollout by Watson, instead it was Hyde getting the carry. He had been bottled up all game but gained 10 yards on this carry. Hyde then gained another 9 yards. Watson scrambled for 10. On 1st and goal from the 9, Watson rolled out as he had done the whole second half. He appeared to be sacked, somehow escaped the sack, took a knee to his eye, spun around, and while being tackled threw a one-eyed touchdown pass to Fells. The Raiders were in shock and disbelief. With 6 1/2 minutes left, the Texans had their first lead of the game up by a field goal.

The Raiders offense plays well with a lead but is miserable when trailing. The first team to get a stop would win, and it seemed inevitable that the Raiders offense would falter when it mattered.After a touchback, Jacobs gained 8 yards and Carr hit Williams for 22 yards to the Houston 45. One more first down meant long field goal range. Jacobs ran for 12 yards, but offensive holding on Richie Incognito killed the drive. On 3rd and 16 just shy of midfield, Carr went deep to williams. Despite clear pass interference, Gruden did not throw the challenge flag for fear of losing another timeout. He opted to punt with 4 minutes left despite the fact that his defense was helpless against Watson. With 2:23 left the Raiders took their final timeout. On 2nd and 7 just shy of midfield, Watson rolled out and totally appeared corralled. Somehow he short-armed a sideways pass to Fells, who somehow hauled it in with one arm without the ball hitting the ground. Once again, the Raiders had collapsed in the fourth quarter. 27-24 Texans

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers — Kyle Allen has been unbeaten in relief, but this week the Panthers ran into a buzzsaw at the unbeaten 49ers. Dominating from the outset, they started with 3rd and 5 from their own 30. Jimmy Garoppolo hit Greg Kittle for 7 yards. Matt Breida ran for 11. Tevin Coleman ran for 22 and Garoppolo went to bread for 15 more. Garoppolo hit newly acquired Emanuel Sanders for a 4 yard touchdown and a 7-0 49ers lead. Garoppolo was intercepted on his next series, leading to a short field and a Carolina field goal. After that, the 49ers obliterated the Panthers. On 2nd and 11 from their own 24, Garoppolo hit Kittle for 12. Unnecessary roughness 2 plays later added 15 more yards. Coleman ran for a 19 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 49ers. An interception of Allen gave the 49ers a short field at the carolina 27. Breida ran for 17 and Garoppolo hit Coleman for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 21-3 49ers early in the second quarter. With 2:15 left in the half the 49ers faced 3rd and 4 at their own 43 Garoppolo hit Sanders for just enough. After the defense jumped offsides, Coleman raced for a 48 yard touchdown. For somer eason up 27-3, Kyle Shanahan went for a 2 point conversion. That was the only thing that failed for the 49ers. 

The Panthers tried to make a game of it in the third quarter. Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked for a safety. The free kick was returned 26 yards to just shy of midfield. Christian McCaffrey ran for a 40 yard touchdown. Allen hit Samuel for the 2 point conversion as the Panthers were within 27-13 with plenty of time left. The rest was all 49ers. After a touchback, on 2nd and 4 from their own 43, Garoppolo went to Kittle for 25 yards. Samuel caught a pass for 8 yards and then ran for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 34-13 49ers. Richard Sherman then intercepted Allen and returned it 21 yards to the Carolina 10. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Garoppolo threw incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Coleman got it in to make it 41-13 49ers. Allen was then intercepted by Nick Bosa, who returned it 46 yards to the Carolina 9. Robbie Gould hit a 20 yard field goal for a 44-13 49ers carpet-bombing.After the Panthers turned it over on downs at their own 41, the 49ers needed one play to get what former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci calls a 50-burger. Mostert got the carry and the touchdown. This 49ers team is not winning with West Coast Offense dink and dunk finesse. They are tough, physical, and winning with hard running and tenacious defense. 51-13 49ers

Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots — The Patriots still have not broken the all time blowout record of 73-0 set in 1940. At home against the Browns, it looked early on like they might. The Patriots began facing 3rd and 6 at their own 31. Tom Brady went to Philip Dorsett for 33 yards. Evil Hoodie Bill Belichick decided to go for it on 4th and 7 from the Cleveland 33 rather than try a 51 yard field goal. Brady hit Julian Edelman for 10 yards. Despite 2nd and goal at the 2, Sony Michel got stopped and Brady threw incomplete. This time Belichick opted for the field goal and Mike Nugent hit from 20 to make it 3-0 Patriots. Two plays after a touchback, Nick Chubb fumbled and Donta Hightower returned it 26 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 10-0 Patriots lead. The ensuing kick was kicked out of bounds, setting up the Browns at their own 40. One play from scrimmage saw Chubb run for a 44 yard gain to the New England 16 but fumble the ball away again. The Browns got it back at their own 21 and again it took one play for the Browns to turn it over for the third consecutive series. Baker Mayfield was intercepted by Guy, who returned it 5 yards to the Cleveland 11. Two plays later Brady hit Edelman for an 8 yard touchdown as the Patriots led 17-0 after the first quarter. 

Surprisingly, the Browns hung in there and tried to make a game of it in the second quarter. From their own 46. Chubb ran for 6. Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry for 13 and O’Dell Beckham for 7 more. Chubb ran for 6 and 1, and Mayfield went to Harris for the 21 yard touchdown to get the Browns within 17-7. The Browns got a further jolt of energy when they blocked a 29 yard Patriots field goal attempt. In the third quarter Seibert hit a 38 yard field goal as the Browns only trailed 17-10. Could the shocking upset be possible? no. On 3rd and 10 from their own 16, Brady and James White Connected on a 59 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 16, Michel gained 2. Brady then went to Edelman for the 14 yard touchdown to make it 24-10 Patriots. Midway through the fourth quarter, Nugent hit a 29 yard field goal to lock up the win and keep the Patriots unbeaten Cleveland aded one more field goal to complete the scoring as Bill Belichick got his 300th win against his old team that fired him. Belichick trails only Don Shula and Papa Bear George Halas in all time wins. 27-13 Patriots

Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs was the Sunday night game. 42 years ago brought us Vince Lombardi, Lamar Hunt, Hank Stramm, Bart Starr and Max McGee. On this night there was Aaron Rodgers but not the injured Patrick Mahomes as Matt Moore came out of retirement to start. The Packers took over at their own 33 and made it look easy at the start. On 3rd and 9 from the Chiefs 45, Rodgers went deep to Kumerow for 34 yards. On 1st and 20 from the Chiefs 21, Rodgers hit Aaron Jones for 17 and again for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers. The Packers on their next series punted on 4th and 23 from their own 5. An 18 yard punt return had the Chiefs taking over at the Packers 30. All they did was lose a couple yards and see Harrison Butker miss a 50 yard field goal. The Packers took over at their own 40. Rodgers went deep to Jones for a 50 yard gain and then to Lazard for 9 more down to the one. Williams got the yard up the gut to make it 14-0 Packers.

Momentum changed in the second quarter. The Chiefs began at their own 11. On 3rd and 4 from their own 17, Williams gained 8 yards. Moore found Travis Kelce for 18 yards. On 3rd and 12 from their own 46, Moore hit Tyreek Hill for 14 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Green Bay 31, Williams gained 2 yards. Moore then went deep to Travis Kelce for a 29 yard touchdown to get the Chiefs within 14-7. The Chiefs got it back and soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 41. Moore went to Sammy Watkins for 11, to Hill for 18, and to Hardman for a 30 yard touchdown to tie the gam 14-14. The Chiefs got it back at their own 16. From their 22, Moore went to Kelce for 7, Hill for 21, Hardman for 25, and LeSean Shady McCoy for gains of 10 and 5. Despite 2nd and 5 at the Green Bay 10, Moore threw incomplete twice. Butler hit a 28 yard field goal as the Chiefs led 17-14 at halftime. Then the game changed again.

The Packers took over in the third quarter at their own 11. Rodgers went to Lazard for 14 yards. On 3rd and 10 from their 38, Rodgers hit Graham for 11 yards. Williams then gained 14 yards on the ground. The Packers were clicking with 1st and goal at the 6 when they took a costly delay of game penalty. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Rodgers was sacked for a 10 yard loss. The 15 play, 72 yard drive took 8 1/2 minutes off the clock, but settled for a 35 yard Mason Crosby field goal and a 17-17 game. One play after a touchback, McCoy fumbled and the Packers took over at the Chiefs 27. to start the fourth quarter. Rodgers scrambled for gains of 15 and 9 and then on 3rd and 1 hit Williams for a 3 yard touchdown. Rodgers managed to float a perfect pass just before 2 defenders took him to the ground. One minute into the fourth quarter, the Packers had regained the lead 24-17.

After a touchback, Damian Williams ran for 8, caught a pass for 4, and ran for 9 more. Moore hit Hill for 8 and Watkins deep for gains of 25 and 10 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 8, Moore threw incomplete but an illegal use of hands penalty instead meant 1st and goal at the 4. Williams ran it in on the next play to cap the 10 play, 75 yard, 5 minute drive. With 9 minutes left in regulation, this fine football game was tied 24-24. This time the Packers struck back very quickly. On 2nd and 2 from their own 33, Rodgers threw a West Coast Offense dink and dunk pass to Jones, who raced past everybody for a 67 yard touchdown to put the Packers back in the lead. The Chiefs took over at their own 22. They moved to a 3rd and 3 at their own 40. Moore threw incomplete and Andy Reid with 5:13 to play opted to a punt. A perfect punt by Dustin Colquitt pinned the Packers back to their own 2 yard line. 

The Ghost of Vince Lombardi smiled as the current pass-happy Packers played smash mouth football. They actually once in awhile run the ball on Green Bay. Jones gained 6, 2, and on 3rd and 2, a critical 4 yards. Then he ran for 9 as the Chiefs took their first timeout with 2:52 to play. Jones then ran for 5 and another first down as the Chiefs burned their 2nd timeout. After 5 straight carries by Jones, Williams got the carry and gained 2 yards as the Chiefs took their final timeout with 2:41 to play. It was back to Jones for 3 yards as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Everything came down to 3rd and 5 at the Green Bay 33. While Aaron Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks of his generation, the entire football world knows you run the football in this situation. Every. Single. Time. Instead, Rodgers lined up in the shotgun with an empty backfield. An incompletion would give the Chiefs an extra 40 seconds. Instead, Rodgers threw an 8 yard completion to Jones to put the game on ice. This is why the entire football world is not a football coach. The Packers are 7-1 and a serious Super Bowl contender. Moore played well, but after a 4-0 start the Chiefs have lost 3 of their last 4 games, with all 3 losses coming at home. This makes Andy Reid a most concerned Walrus Lite indeed. 31-24 Packers

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Monday night game. The Steelers survived with their 3rd string quarterback and this week got their backup Mason Rudolph back from a concussion. The Dolphins are on pace to be the worst team in NFL history, but have been competitive with Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard at quarterback. Early on it was all Miami and the dumbest Steelers fans were calling for Mike Tomlin’s scalp despite 0 losing seasons. Rudolph was intercepted to set up the Dolphins at the Pittsburgh 26. Fitzpatrick went to Wilson for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Dolphins. Tomlin gambled on 4th and 6 from the Miami 37 and Rudolph threw incomplete. The Dolphins then marched 63 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 14 from their own 43, Fitzpatrick went to Parker for 15 yards. From the Pittsburgh 25, Fitzpatrick went to Williams for 11 and to Allen Hurns for a 12 yard touchdown as the Dolphins led 14-0 after the first quarter in front of a stunned home crowd. Then came the reality check.

In the second quarter the Steelers faced 3rd and 11 at their own 5 yard line. Rudolph hit Johnson for 12 yards. James Conner ran for gains of 8 and 11. On 3rd and 5 from the Pittsburgh 41, Rudolph went deep to Juju Smith-Schuster for 34 yards. The drive stalled after that but Chris Boswell hit a 42 yard field goal to get the Steelers on the board. An interception of Fitzpatrick with 1:13 left in the half set up the Steelers at midfield. On 3rd and 12, Rudolph went to Smith-Schuster for 17 yards. With 17 seconds left in the half, the Steelers faced 3rd and 20 from the Miami 45. Just trying to get in field goal range, a short pass from Rudolph to Johnson went for the touchdown. The gut punch had the Steelers within 14-10 at halftime, but the game was over at that point. The Steelers missed a field goal in the third quarter, but another interception of Fitzpatrick on a deep ball had the Steelers at their own 3 yard line. From their 6, Rudolph went to Smith-Schuster for 17 yards. On 2nd and 20 from their 13, Rudolph went to Washington for 21 yards. Conner gained 14 and 8. On 3rd and 8 from the Miami 38, Rudolph hit Johnson for 11 and Smith-Schuster for a 26 yard touchdown to put the Steelers up 17-14 after three quarters. At the end of the third quarter, the Dolphins went for it on 4th and 1 from the Pittsburgh 47. Fitzpatrick got the yard but Pittsburgh successfully challenged the spot and go the ball back. Rudolph went to Johnson for 13 and Conner gained 11. On 1st and 20 from the Miami 38, defensive pass interference added 25 yards. James Conner ran for a 9 yard touchdown and a 24-14 Steelers lead with 12 minutes left. Miami fumbled 2 more times and Pittsburgh tacked on one more field goal as 27 points kept the Dolphins winless. 27-14 Steelers

NFL 2019 Week 8 Prequel

October 24th, 2019