December 2019 TYGRRRR EXPRESS South Florida Speaking Schedule

December 2nd, 2019

December 2019 TYGRRRR EXPRESS South Florida Speaking Schedule

Monday, December 2  — Palm Beach County Tea Party Jupiter. Evening.

Tuesday, December 3 — Palm Beach County Tea Party Boca. Evening.

Wednesday, December 4 — Southwest Florida Republican Women in Naples. 11am.

Wednesday, December 4 — Kings Point Republican Club. Delray Beach. 7pm.

Thursday, December 5 — Republican Club of Central Palm Beach County. Evening.

Friday, December 6, 2019 — Collier County Republican Men’s Club. Breakfast.

Monday, December 9, 2019 — Lee Republican Women near Fort Myers at 5:30pm.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 — Americans for Trump in Pompano Beach. Evening.

Monday, December 16, 2019 — Trump Club 45 Palm Beach in Boca Raton. Evening.

eric @ Tygrrrr Express

NFL 2019 Week 13 Thanksgiving Recap

December 1st, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 13 Recap

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions was the Thanksgiving Thursday morning game. Cordarelle Patterson took the opening kickoff 57 yards  to have the Bears starting at midfield. Mitchell Trubisky came out firing, hitting Allen Robinson for 5, Tarik Cohen for 7, Robinson for 9, and Robinson for the 10 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bears. The Lions were down to their third string quarterback. Matthew Stafford was still injured and backup Driskel was not getting it done. David Blough struck quickly. On 3rd and 10 from his own 25, Blough went to Kenny Golladay for a 75 yard touchdown to tie the game. The Lions got it back at their own 22. From their 32, Blough went to Marvin Jones for 19 yards and Golladay for 29 more. Blough hit Jones for the 8 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Lions after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Lions went from their 32 on an 11 play, 61 yard, 5 minute drive. Yet despite 2nd and goal at the 7, Blough threw incomplete twice. Matt Prater hit the 25 yard field goal as the Lions led 17-7 with 3 minutes left in the half.

The Bears soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 40. Trubisky hit Anthony miller for gains of 12 and 10, Wims for 19, and Robinson for 6. With 38 seconds left in the half, on 3rd and 4 from the Detroit 13, Trubisky only gained one yard. Eddie Pineiro hit the 30 yarder as the Bears got within 17-10. In the third quarter Trubisky was intercepted but the Lions failed to capitalize. The Bears got it back at their own 20. Trubisky went to Robinson for 16, Miller for 20, and sims for 6. On 3rd and 10 from the Detroit 42, Trubisky went to Robinson for 12, Miller for 12, and Jesper Horsted for the 18 yard touchdown and a 17-17 game after three quarters. The Lions after a touchback embarked on a 15 play, 70 yard, 9 minute drive. On 3rd and 1 from the Chicago 5, McKissic got stopped. Matt Patricia played it safe at home. Prater hit the 24 yard field goal to put the Lions up 20-17 with 11 minutes left in regulation. With 6 minutes left, the Bears faced 1st and 15 at their own 5. Trubisky hit Miller for 11 and on 3rd and 4 went deep to Miller for 35 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Detroit 34, Trubisky went deep to Miller for 32 yards. Trubisky hit Montgomery for a 3 yard touchdown to put the Bears up by 4 with just over 2 minutes left. The Lions moved from their 17 to a 3rd and 9 at the Chicago 26 with 36 seconds remaining. Blough got buried for a loss of 13 yards. His desperation pass on 4th and 22 was intercepted by Jackson at the 10 yard line to keep Chicago’s faint playoff hopes alive. 24-20 Bears

Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys is the Thanksgiving Thursday afternoon game. Jerry Jones lit into his team after their last loss. At home on Thanksgiving Day, Jerrah had nothing to be thankful for (except for being a billionaire). After a touchback to start the game, the Cowboys looked good on their opening drive. Dak Prescott hit Amari Cooper for 16 yards. Just past midfield, Prescott hit Ezekiel Elliott for20 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Buffalo 22, Prescott hit Cooper for 7 with unnecessary roughness adding 8 more. Prescott hit Jason Witten for an 8 yard touchdown. Less than 4 1/2 minutes into the game, the Cowboys led 7-0. After that Buffalo’s defense dominated.

In the second quarter the Bills took over at their own 15. Josh Allen hit John Brown for 14. Singletary ran for 26 yards. on 3rd and 1 from the Dallas 26, Allen got the yard and then gained 9 more. Allen then went to Cole Beasley for a 25 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. Prescott was intercepted, but the Bills missed a field goal. The Cowboys then fumbled to set up the Bills at the Dallas 39. On 3rd and 1 fro the Dallas 30, Allen got stopped. On 4th and 1 Sean McDermott decided to go for it. Allen fumbled, recovered his own fumble, and gained 3 yards at the 2 minute warning. Steve Hauschka added to his missed field goal with a missed extra point but the Bills led 13-7. The half ended with Brett Maher missing a 35 yard field goal try for the Cowboys. In the third quarter Hauschka did hit a 41 yard field goal to make it 16-7 Bills. Maher missed again from 47. The Bills got it back at their own 37. On 3rd and 3 from their own 44, Allen hit McKenzie for 7, Knox for 5, McKenzie for 18, and Beasley for 11. Allen then ran for a 15 yard touchdown to make it 23-7 Bills. The Cowboys after a touchback moved to a 3rd and goal at the 6. Prescott went to Michael Gallup for the score, but on further review it was reversed incomplete. Jason Garrett went for it and Prescott threw incomplete. The Bills killed the clock with a 13 play, 86 yard, 7 minute drive. Hauschka hit from 26 to make it 26-7 Bills with 8 1/2 minutes left in the game. Dallas got a garbage touchdown but at 6-6 Jerrah is denying that he is going to fire everyone, which means he might. The Bills are 9-3 and winning with tough defense. 26-15 Bills

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons was the Thanksgiving Thursday night game. Three weeks ago the then 1-7 Falcons went into New Orleans and shocked the then 7-1 Saints 26-9. The rematch was the reality check. Nothing brings up NFL history in a Saints vs Falcons game like a blocked punt. It only traveled 8 yards, and had the Saints taking over at the Atlanta 30. Drew Brees hit Michael Thomas for 14, Taysom Hill for 9, and Hill again for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints. Later on the Falcons after a touchback moved to a 4th and 1 at the Saints 2. Dan Quinn went for it and Matt Ryan threw incomplete. The Falcons got it back in great field position. On 3rd and 8 from their own 47, Ryan went deep incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 35 yard gain. On the next play, Ryan hit Jaeden Graham for the touchdown early in the second quarter. Koo missed the extra point as the Falcons trailed 7-6. The Saints moved from their 19 to a 2nd and goal at the 4. Brees threw incomplete twice. Wil Out hit from 22 to make it 10-6 Saints. Koo missed a 42 yard field goal try, setting up the Saints at their own 32. Brees immediately went to Jared Cook for 29 and Alvin Kamara for 10 to the 2 minute warning. Sean Payton brought Hill in at quarterback, which means something tricky. Hill raced for a 30 yard touchdown run to make it 17-6 Saints. 

Koo did hit a 45 yard field goal to end the half, but the second half brought turnovers by the Falcons and field goals by the Saints. Lutz hit from 47 in the third quarter.  Ryan threw consecutive interceptions, the latter of which led to Lutz hitting from 42 in the fourth quarter. Ryan then fumbled, leading to Lutz hitting 45 for a 26-9 Saints lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation. It was the exact reverse of the earlier game. After 3 consecutive turnovers, the Falcons tried to mount a comeback. Ryan threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to Russell Gage. The 2 point try failed but the Falcons were within 26-15 with 3 1/2 minutes left. The onsides kick succeeded. On 4th and 14 from their own 37, Ryan hit Rudley for just enough. With 1:56 left and needing 2 scores, Dan Quinn opted for the field goal try right away. Koo delivered from 43 and the Falcons were within 8. Sean Payton watched in disbelief as the Falcons recovered another onsides kick. On 3rd and 8 from just shy of midfield, Ryan was sacked for a 14 yard loss. Yet defensive illegal use of hands meant a new set of downs. With 38 seconds left, the Falcons faced 4th and 8 at the Saints 44. They still had one timeout left. Ryan was then sacked, and this time it stood. The Superdome crowd finally exhaled. With the win, the 10-2 Saints clinched the NFC South with four games still left to play. The Saints also won the NFC South for the 3rd straight year, the first time anyone in that division has done that. Their loss to Atlanta 3 weeks ago was a blip in the road, and they are still in Super Bowl or bust mode. 26-18 Saints 

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts — Both teams came in 6-5 and one game back of Houston in the AFC South. On the first plat from scrimmage after a touchback, the Titans fumbled and the Colts recovered at the Tennessee 39. On 3rd and 5 from the Titans 23, Jacoby Brissett hit Zach Pascal for 7 yards. On 1st and 15 from the Titans 21, Brissett went to Doyle for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Colts. The Titans soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Ryan Tannehill hit Firkser for 4 yards. On 3rd and 1 from their own 46, Derrick Henry gained 3 yards. Tannehill then went to Davis for 23 and Brown for 13. On 3rd and 8 from the Indy 13, Tannehill went to Humphries for the score and a 7-7 ballgame. 

In the second quarter the story was the nightmarish season of Adam Vinatieri. The most clutch kicker of all time has been struggling. Father Time is undefeated. Vinatieri can be forgiven for barely missing a 55 yard try. It would have been 50 if not for a false start.  A fumble gave the Colts the ball right back, but Vinatieri’s 53 yard try was then blocked. The Colts got it back and moved 80 yards in 11 plays and 6 1/2 minutes from their own 10 to a 1st and goal at the 10. Yet a sack of Brissett killed the drive. Adam Vinatieri hit a 28 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Colts. After a touchback to start the third quarter, Brissett hit Johnson for 11 yards and Pascal for 19 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Titans 42, Brissett went deep to Pascal for 26 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Titans 16, Brissett went to Doyle for 12. Hines got in from the one to make it 17-7 Colts. 

After a touchback, Henry gained 7 and then burst free for a 34 yard gain. On 1st and 20 from the Indy 44, Tannehill hit Brown for 16. Henry then ran for 6. On 4th and 1 from the Indy 13, Mike Vrabel went for it and Henry picked up the first down and the touchdown. The Titans were within 17-14 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. On the first play after a touchback, Brissett was intercepted. Despite starting at the Indy 14, the Titans settled for a 31 yard Ryan Succop field goal to tie the game 17-17. With 5 minutes left in the game, the Colts had moved from their own 10 to a 4th and 10 at the Titans 28. Vinatieri came in for a 46 yarder. For the third time on the day, the kick was no good. For the second time, it was blocked. This time, it was blocked and returned all the way for a touchdown the other way. Shades of Al Del Greco, but this time the Titans were on the winning end of it up 24-17. Two plays later, Brissett went deep and was intercepted by Ryan, who returned it 16 yards to the Indy 44. With 3 minutes left on 3rd and 6, Tannehill went to Kalif Raymond for the 40 yard touchdown to ice the game. 24 unanswered points had the Titans at 7-5 and dropped the Colts to 6-6 on the year. 31-17 Titans 

New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals — For three straight weeks, the Jets won by scoring 34 points. Now they had to play the winless Bengals. The benched Red Rifle Andy Dalton returned to the starting lineup. The Jets began facing 3rd and 6 at their own 29. Sam Darnold hit Robbie Anderson for 12 yards. On 3rd and 1 from midfield, Leveon Bell got the tough yard. On 3rd and 1 from the Cincy 40, Darnold went to Brown for 9 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Cincy 28, a short pass gained only 4 yards. After 13 plays, 51 yards and 6 minutes, the Jets settled for a 42 yard Sam Ficken field goal to lead 3-0. The Bengals took over at their own 38. On 3rd and 4 from the Jets 45, Dalton went to Boyd for 10, Tate for 18, and back to Boyd for a 17 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Bengals.The Jets punted on 4th and 13 from their own 5 and the Bengals took over at the Jets 45 to start the second quarter. Mixon caught a pass for 9 and ran for 3 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Jets 31, Dalton went to Boyd for 17 yards. Yet on 3rd and 2 from the Jets 6, Dalton threw incomplete. The Bengals settled for  24 yard Bullock field goal to lead 10-3. The Bengals got it back at their own 9 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half. Dalton hit Uzomah for 12, Tate for 19 and Uzomah for 16. A 39 yard defensive pass interference penalty made it 1st and goal at the 5. With 1:48 left in the half, Mixon got in the end zone as the Bengals had the 17-3 lead. The Jets did get a field goal before the half, but nothing more. The Bengals added a third quarter safety and field goal to complete the scoring. The Jets in 1980 lost to the 1-15 Saints. They lost in 1991 to the 1-15 Colts. In 2016 they lost to the winless Dolphins and on this day to the winless 0-11 Bengals. The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers popped the champagne corks. 22-6 Bengals

Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers — Desperate for a win at 5-6, the Panthers feasted on woeful Washington. After a touchback, Kyle Allen hit Wright for 14 with unnecessary roughness on the next play adding 15 more Christian McCaffrey ran for 12 and 8 and caught a pass for 12. On 3rd and 3 from the Washington 4, Allen hit Samuel for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. The Panthers got it back at their own 45. Allen went to Moore for 10 and Samuel for 33 more. On 3rd and goal from the Washington 13, Allen went to Moore for the touchdown to make it 14-0 Panthers. Then the game changed. 

The Redskins managed field goals from Dustin Hopkins of 25 yards in the first quarter and 42 in the second quarter to get the Redskins within 14-6. A field position game had the Panthers taking over at their own 2 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half. From their 4, Allen was intercepted by Moreau, who returned it 10  yards to the Carolina one yard line. 3 seconds later Derrius Guice ran it in. The 2 point try failed but the Redskins were within 14-12. A 49 yard field goal try at the end of the half to give the Redskins the lead was blocked. Hopkins did hit from 36 in the third quarter to make it 15-14 Redskins. Washington got it back and faced 3rd and 2 at their own 41. Dwayne Haskins ran for 5 yards. Guice ran for a pair of 8 yard gains and then broke free for a 38 yard gain down to the one. On the next play Guice got in as the Redskins led 22-14 with 9 minutes left. Washington got it back at their own 45 and quickly put the game away. Adrian Peterson ran for 14 and 3. On 3rd and 7 from the Carolina 38, Haskins hit Harmon for 26 and Peterson ran for the 12 yard touchdown. 29 unanswered points had the Redskins up 29-14 with 4 1/2 minutes left. 

The Panthers had a ray of hope when Allen ran for a 17 yard touchdown with 1:51 left and the Panthers recovered the onsides kick at their own 48. Allen hit Moore for 17, Thomas for 6, and on 3rd and 4, hit Moore for 7. Allen went to Moore for a 21 yard gain as the Panthers took their first timeout with one minute left and facing 1st and goal at the one. Twice McCaffrey got the carry and each time he lost a yard as the Panthers took all their timeouts. An incompletion left 27 seconds and 4th and goal at the 3. Out of the shotgun, the snap sailed past Allen. By the time the scrum ended, it was a 23 yard loss. Neither of these teams are going to the playoffs, but after a 1-9 start, interim coach Bill Callahan has won 2 straight. 29-21 Redskins

San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens — The 10-1 49ers took on the 9-2 Ravens in miserable weather conditions. The 49ers began facing 3rd and 7 at their own 29. Jimmy Garoppolo hit Kevin Bourne for 30 yards. On 4th and 2 from the Baltimore 33, Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it. Garoppolo went deep to Samuel for the touchdown to make it 7-0 49ers. The 49ers got it back at their own 16. On 3rd and 6 from their own 31, Garoppolo was sacked and fumbled. Garoppolo was sacked and fumbled. The Ravens recovered at the 49ers 23. Two plays later, Lamar Jackson went to Andrews for  the touchdown to make it 7-7. The Ravens got it back at their own 16. Jackson ran for gains of 11 and 8. Early in the second quarter the Ravens faced 3rd and 3 at the Frisco 27. Jackson threw incomplete but roughing the passer put the ball on the Frisco 13. Jackson ran for 11 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Jackson got in to make it 14-7 Ravens. After a touchback the 49ers moved quickly. Samuel ran for a gain of 20. Garoppolo hit Wilson for 7 and Emanuel Sanders for 8. Mostert then raced for a 40 yard touchdown to make it 14-14. 

The Ravens moved after a touchback to a 4th and 2 at the Frisco 38. John Harbaugh decided to go for it and Jackson hit Hurst for just enough. Yet on 3rd and 8 from the Frisco 12, Jackson threw incomplete. After 13 plays, 63 yards and over 7 minutes, the Ravens at the 2 minute warning settled for a 30 yard Justin Tucker field goal to lead 17-14. Robbie Gould returned from injury, but on the last play of the half his 51 yard field goal try to tie the game was blocked. In the third quarter the Ravens moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 1 at the Frisco 34. Jackson gained 14 yards but then fumbled. The 49ers took over at their own 20 and began a 14 play, 66 yard drive that took 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 1 from the Baltimore 39, Garoppolo got the yard. On 4th and 1 from the Baltimore 29, Kyle Shanahan went for it. Garoppolo threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 13 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Baltimore 14, Garoppolo threw incomplete. Gould hit from 32 for a 17-17 game late in the third quarter. 

A field position game saw the key play late in the third quarter. Koch punted 62 yards and pinned the 49ers at their own one yard line. The Ravens got the ball back on their own 41 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 9 1/2 minutes left, John Harbaugh decided to go for it on 4th and 5 from the Frisco 40. Jackson threw incomplete. The 49ers moved to a 4th and 1 at the Baltimore 35 with 6 1/2 minutes left. Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it. Garoppolo threw incomplete. With 4 1/2 minutes left, Harbaugh gambled big time on 4th and 1 from his own 44. Jackson gained 3 yards. With 36 seconds left on 2nd and 13 from the Frisco 31, Harbaugh made an even more curious decision. He ran the ball, gained nothing, and did not even try to run another play.With 3 seconds left, the Ravens stopped the clock. Justin Tucker is the best in the game, but from 49 yards out in bad weather was a lot to ask. There was no time to run another play in case of a bad snap. With everything on the line, Tucker snuck it just inside the right upright good. Both teams are 10-2 and a Super Bowl rematch would be highly anticipated. 20-17 Ravens

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars — The weather in Florida was beautiful, but the football was ugly. An interception of Nick Foles set up the Buccaneers at their own 31. On 3rd and 1 from their own 40, Pierre Barber gained 6. On 3rd and 9 from their own 47, a pass from Winston to Brad Perriman was initially ruled incomplete. Bruce Arians challenged the call and it was reversed to  13 hWinston then went to Howard for 25 yards. Barber ran for a 15 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Buccaneers. 10 seconds later the Buccaneers were in the end zone again. On 2nd and 10 from his own 25, Foles was sacked and fumbled. White recovered the fumbled and returned it 14 yards for another touchdown. The Jaguars jumped into the neutral zone on the extra point, so Bruce Arians went for the 2 point conversion. Pierre Barber got in to make it 15-0 Buccaneers. In the second quarter the Buccaneers faced 3rd and 7 at their own 20. Winston went to Perriman for 32 yards. Defensive pass interference added 20 more. On 1st and 10 from the Jags 28, Winston was intercepted by Payne, who returned it 26 yards. Yet on further review the call was reversed to an incompletion. On the next play Winston went to Godwin for 27 yards down to the one. Barber got in to make it 22-0 Buccaneers. The Jaguars then punted on 4th and 13 from their own 8, and the Buccaneers took over at their own 46. Winston went to Perriman for 30 yards and Godwin for 12 more. With one minute left in the half, on 3rd and 6 from the Jags 7, Winston threw incomplete. Matt Gay hit the 25 yard field goal as the Buccaneers were winning 25-0 at halftime. Nobody piles up garbage yards and points like the Jaguars, and they did it again in a useless second half. 28-11 Buccaneers

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers — Two weeks after their brawl, these teams played the rematch. Myles Garrett was suspended, as was Maurice Pouncey. Mason Rudolph was benched as third string quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges got the start, On 3rd and 7 from their own 28, Baker Mayfield went to Jarvis Landry for 19 yards and Carlson for 21. On 3rd and 14 from the Pittsburgh 26, Mayfield found Landry on the sideline, and Landry somehow kept his feet inbounds for a 15 yard gain. Despite 1st and 5 from the Pittsburgh 6, Nick Chubb lost a yard, Mayfield was sacked, and on 3rd and 12, Mayfield threw high and incomplete our the back of the end zone. Austin Seibert hit the 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Browns. The Browns got it back at their own 30 and Mayfield hit O’Dell Beckham for 4 and Landry for 11.Nick Chubb ran for gains of 9, 2, 12, 5 and 7. On 3rd and 5 from the Pittsburgh 15, Mayfield went to Hunt for the touchdown. Midway through the first quarter, the Browns were up 10-0. Pittsburgh had only 2 yards of total offense in the first quarter. The Browns were dominating. Then the game changed.

The Steelers faced 3rd and 9 at their own 18 in a game where their offense was going nowhere. Then Hodges went deep and Washington somehow came down with a jump ball for a 31 yard gain. Johnson then gained 17 and Samuels took a pair of wildcat snaps for gains of 7 and 5 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Cleveland 21, Hodges threw incomplete. Chris Boswell hit the 39 yard field goal to get the Steelers on the board with 3 minutes left in the half. The Browns went 3 and out and the Steelers got it back with 1:48 left in the half. Hodges hit Washington for 6, and Cain for 5. From the Pittsburgh 42, Hodges went deep to Jones for a 28 yard gain and then deep to Washington for a 30 yard touchdown. Just like that, it was a 10-10 ballgame. In the third quarter the Steelers faced 1st and 15 from their own 26. Samuels caught a pass for 15 and then ran for 7 and 8. Hodges then went deep to Washington for a 44 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Cleveland 12, Hodges went to the end zone incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Snell got in to make it 17-10 Steelers. The Browns after a touchback moved to a 4th and 1 at the Pittsburgh 40. Freddie Kitchens went for it and Chubb leapt over the top for 2 yards. Yet on the next play offensive holding killed the Browns. On the play after that, Mayfield was sacked and fumbled. The Steelers took over at the Cleveland 46 and had 1st and goal at the 9 to start the fourth quarter. On 3rd and goal from the 11, Hodges was sacked and fumbled, but was lucky that the ball went out of bounds. Boswell hit the 29 yard field goal as the Steelers led 20-10. 

The Browns hung tough. From their own 23 with 10 1/2 minutes left, Mayfield hit Beckham for 19, Chubb for 21, and Harris for 23. Despite 1st and 10 from the Pittsburgh 14, Mayfield threw incomplete twice and then was sacked. Seibert hit the 34 yard field goal to get the Browns within 7 midway through the fourth quarter. 12 seconds later the Browns had the ball back as Hodges threw an airball that was intercepted by Mitchell. He returned it 28 yards to the Pittsburgh 30. Mayfield threw incomplete and then was sacked for an 8 yard loss. Going for it on 4th and 18 with 5 1/2 minutes left was not in the cards. Freddie Kitchens called for a field goal, but he faked it and actually called a punt that pinned the Steelers at their own one. The Steelers gained some key first downs, and at the 2 minute warning with the Browns out of timeouts, it all came down to 3rd and 6 at their own 47. You run the ball in this situation. Every. Single. Time. Mike Tomlin called a pass play. Under heavy pressure, rather than take a sack, Hodges threw incomplete to stop the clock. The Browns had life at their own 20 with 1:45 left. With one minute left on 2nd and 5 from their own 40, Mayfield went deep and was intercepted by his former teammate Joe Haden. Haden returned it 16 yards to the Cleveland 46 and then voluntarily went to the ground to avoid fumbling it back. The loss dropped the Browns to 5-7, still alive in the weak AFC playoff picture. The Steelers after an 0-3 start are 7-5 and very much alive. 20-13 Steelers 

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants — The Packers were supposed steamroll over the woeful Giants. From his own 28, Aaron Rodgers went to Aaron Jones for 7 and then went deep to Lazard for a 43 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Giants 20, Rodgers went to Devontae Adams for 10 and again for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers. The Giants soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 37. Daniel Jones hit Smith for 12 yards and Slayton for 13 more. On 4th and 5 from the Green Bay 33, Pat Shurur decided to go for it. Jones hit Slayton for 8 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Packers 18, Jones went to Sterling Shepard for the touchdown to make it 7-7. The Packers soon faced 3rd and 5 at their own 39. Rodgers ran for 15 and Jones added 9. Rodgers went deep to Lazard for a 37 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Packers. The Giants took over at their own 24 and began the second quarter facing 3rd and 10 just shy of midfield. Jones was intercepted, and the Packers took over at their own 47. A 16 yard completion to Valdes-Scantling on 3rd and 4 led to a 47 yard Mason Crosby field goal to make it 17-7 Packers. 

After a touchback, the Giants soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 29. Jones hit Slayton for 11 yards. On 4th and 1 just shy of midfield, Pat Shurmur went for it. Daniel Jones gained 2 yards. On 4th and 2 from the Packers 41, Shurmur went for it again and Jones gained 2 yards. Yet despite 1st and goal at the 10, a run gained one yard and Jones threw incomplete twice. Aldrick Rosas hit the 27 yard field goal. The mind-numbing 18 play, 66 yard drive consumed 9 1/2 minutes, but the Giants trailed 17-10. In the third quarter it was another 10 plays, 52 yards, and 5 minutes. From their own 21, the Giants moved to a 1st and 10 at the Green Bay 27. A sack of Jones ended the drive. Rosas hit from 45 but field goals instead of touchdowns had the Giants down 17-13. 

After a touchback, Rodgers went to Devontae Adams for 25 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 6 from the Giants 46, Rodgers threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant an 11 yard gain. On 4th and 10 from the Giants 35, Matt Lafleur decided to go for it. Rodgers hit Greg Allison for 15 yards. On 3rd and 2 form the Giants 12, Rodgers hit Adams for 6. On 2nd and goal from the one, Rodgers threw incomplete but defensive holding meant a new set of downs as the fourth quarter began with the Packers one yard away. Jones lost 3 yards. Then a 4 yard touchdown run was nullified by offensive holding. Then a completion lost 3 yards. On 3rd and goal from the 17, one stop would give the Giants hope. Instead Rodgers delivered the kill shot too Adams for the touchdown. The Packers got their last score the hard way but put the game away to get to 9-3 in the NFC North. 31-13 Packers 

Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins — All the Eagles had to do was beat the pathetic Dolphins. As ESPN uber-announcer Chis Berman reminds us, “THAT’s why they PLAY the games!” On the first play of the game after a touchback, Ryan Fitzpatrick was intercepted. Darby returned the interception 16 yards to the Miami 18. On 3rd and 7, Carson Wentz threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Sanders to make it 7-0 Eagles. A shanked 27 yard punt gave the Eagles a short field at the Miami 48. Jake Elliott hit a 48 yard field goal as the Eagles led 10-0. Yet a funny thing happened on their way to an easy victory. The Dolphins showed up to play football.

From their own 16, Fitzpatrick hit Hurns for 7 yards. Then a wildcat snap was taken by Wilson for a 28 yard gain. On 4th and 4 from the Philly 43 with the Dolphins desperately needing a spark, Brian Flores went for it. Fitzpatrick went deep to Parker for the touchdown to get the Dolphins within 10-7. The Eagles moved from their 25 to a 4th and 2 at the Miami 20. Doug Peterson went for it as well but a false start killed the chance. On 4th and 7, Elliott hit the 43 yard field goal to make it 13-7 Eagles. 12 plays, 50 yards and 7 minutes came up short. The Dolphins answered with a 13 play, 75 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive of their own. Fitzpatrick went to Laird for 19. On 3rd and 13 from their own 41, Fitzpatrick went to Parker for a 42 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Philly 14, Fitzpatrick went too Wilson for 9. On 3rd and goal at the 10, Fitzpatrick threw incomplete. The Dolphins challenged that there was defensive pass interference, and they won the challenge to set up 1st and goal at the one. On 3rd and goal at the one, Fitzpatrick threw incomplete. Brian Flores went for it again on 4th and goal at the one. Brian Flores went to the bag of tricks. A direct wildcat snap to Haack led him to throw a touchdown pass to Sanders as the Dolphins led 14-13 with 4:40 left in the half.

After a touchback, Sanders ran for 6. Wentz hit Ertz for 12 and Alshon Jeffery for 14. Sanders ran for 13 and 7 sandwiched around a Wentz completion to Dallas Goedert for 10 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Miami 12, Wentz hit Goedert for just enough. With 6 seconds left in the half, the Eagles faced 3rd and goal at the 15. Doug Pederson gambled that their was time for one more quick play since the Eagles had 2 timeouts. Wentz fired to Arcega-Whiteside for the touchdown and to Nelson Agholor for the 2 point conversion as the Eagles took a 21-14 lead to the locker rooms. Brian Flores began the second half by trying a surprise onsides kick that did not work. The Eagles took over at the Miami 47. Wentz went to Jeffery for 15. On 3rd and 3 from the Miami 25, Wentz went to Goedert for 10 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Miami 10, Wentz hit Jeffery for the touchdown. The Eagles had a 28-14 lead. The game was over. Except it wasn’t.

After a touchback, Fitzpatrick hit Gesicki for gains of 11 and 21, Smythe for 6, and Wilson for 9. Gaskin gained 11. Fitzpatrick went to Parker for the 17 yard touchdown as the Dolphins trailed 28-20 with plenty of time left. The extra point was no good. After a touchback, the Eagles moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Miami 20. Even a field goal would make it a two-score game again. Wentz threw incomplete and on 3rd and 7 was sacked for a 10 yard loss. A 39 yard field goal try was now a 49 yard try, and Elliott’s kick was no good. From their own 39, Fitzpatrick threw incomplete but roughing the passer meant a 15 yard gain. Fitzpatrick then went to Hurns for 12 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Philly 28, Fitzpatrick hit Hurns for 14 and Gesicki for the 14 yard touchdown. On the 2 point try to tie the game, Fitzpatrick was sacked. The Dolphin only trailed 28-26 after three quarters. The Dolphins began the fourth quarter at their own 4 yard line. On 3rd and 2 from their 12, Fitzpatrick hit Gesicki for 21. On 3rd and 4 from their own 39, Fitzpatrick threw incomplete but defensive pass interference added 12 yards. Fitzpatrick then went deep to Parker for 34 yards and to Laird for 11 more. Laird ran for the 4 yard touchdown. This time Fitzpatrick went to Laird and the 2 point conversion succeeded as the Dolphins led 34-28 with 11 minutes left. The Eagles went 3 and out and the Dolphins got it back at their own 17. Fitzpatrick hit Gesicki for 12 and Laird for 6. On 3rd and 10 from their own 40, Fitzpatrick hit Wilson for 13. On 4th and 1 from the Philly 38, Flores went for it again. Fitzpatrick hit Parker for 8 yards. With 3 1/2 minutes left, Sanders came in for a 51 yard field goal try. Sanders drilled it to lock up the win and make it 37-28 Dolphins. Needing 2 scores, the Eagles got a 37 yard Elliott field goal with 1:51 to play and got the ball back at their own 31 with 8 seconds left. Wentz hit Jeffery for 20, but his Hail Mary was intercepted in the end zone. 23 unanswered points produced a shocker that dropped the Eagles to 5-7, yet still only one game back in the woeful NFC Least. 37-31 Dolphins  

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals — The Rams have fallen to 6-5, but facing woeful Arizona was the tonic they needed. After a touchback to start the game, Jared Goff hit Woods for gains of 6, 25 and 14 and the Reynolds for 9. The Rams settled for a 27 yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein to lead 3-0, but they were just getting started. Zuerlein missed from 41 on their next series, but the offense kept rolling. From their own 19, Goff hit Woods for 19 and Tyler Higbee for 26. On 2nd and 14 from the Arizona 40, Goff hit Woods for 11 and on 3rd and 3 hit Cooper Kupp for 14 more. The second quarter began with Goff throwing incomplete on 2nd and goal from the 4, but roughing the passer meant 1st and goal at the 2. Goff went to Higbee for the touchdown to make it 10-0 Rams. The Rams got it back at their own 18 and Todd Gurley ran for 8 and 3. Goff went to Reynolds for 20, Woods for 18, and Higbee.for 21. Gurley ran for 11 and then for the one yard touchdown to make it 17-0 Rams. The Rams got it back with 1:53 left in the half at their own 22. On 3rd and 5 from their 27, Goff went to Kupp for 27 yards On 2nd and 18 from the Arizona 40, Goff went to Kupp for the exact amount. On 3rd and 3 from the Arizona 15 with 4 seconds left, Sean McVay ran out of time to try one more play. Zuerlein hit from 33 as the Rams took a 20-0 lead to the locker rooms. The Rams put the game away in the third quarter with a 92 yard drive. On 3rd and 7 from the Arizona 10, Goff hit Kupp for the score. Murray then had a pass intercepted by Rapp, who returned it 31 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-0 Rams. The Cardinals got a garbage touchdown in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout. 34-7 Rams

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos — Drew Lock started his very first NFL game, and the Broncos came to life. On 3rd and 4 from their own 26 to start, Lock hit Hamilton for 5 yards. Lock hit Beck for 11. Lindsay ran for 15 and 8. On 3rd and 2 from the Chargers 35, Lock hit Heuerman for 7. On 3rd and 8 from the Chargers 26, Lock went to Cortland Sutton for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Broncos. On 3rd and 5 from their own 30, Philip Rivers was intercepted to set up the Broncos at the Chargers 18. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Lock hit Sutton for the score to make it 14-0 Broncos. The Chargers mounted a 14 play, 63 yard, 6 minute drive in the second quarter from their 25 to a 4th and 7 at their own 39. They punted, but roughing the punter kept the drive going. The Chargers reached a 2nd and 6 at the Denver 12. Rivers threw incomplete twice. Mike Badgley hit from 30 to get the Chargers on the board. However the Chargers then fumbled a punt, setting up Denver at the Chargers 21. Brandon McManus hit from 31 to make it 17-3 Broncos. 

The Broncos defense dominated the first half but got lazy at the very end. With 52 seconds left from their own 23, Rivers went deep to Williams for 52 yards and to Austin Ekeler for a 30 yard touchdown as the Chargers only trailed 17-10 at the break. After a scoreless third quarter, the Chargers took over to start the fourth quarter at their own 38. Rivers went to Ekeler for 11 and deep to Keenan Allen for a 36 yard touchdown. With 12 minutes left in regulation the game was tied 17-17. Lock was quickly intercepted, giving the Chargers the ball at the Denver 38. On 3rd and 4, Rivers was sacked for a 5 yard loss. Anthony Lynn gambled on a 55 yard field goal try with 8 minutes left. Badgley doinked it off the upright no good. The Broncos took over at their own 45. On 3rd and 12 from the Chargers 34, Lock had Hamilton wide open across the middle. Hamilton dropped it. With 4 1/2 minutes left, McManus came in for a 52 yard field goal try. The kick was good and the Broncos led 20-17. 

With 2:22 to play and the Chargers with all 3 timeouts, Anthony Lynn decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from his own 34. The Chargers burned one timeout to talk it over. Melvin Gordon got the first down but a false start killed the gain. On 4th and 6, the Chargers went for it again. The defense jumped offsides, but the officials called another false start. On 4th and 11, the Chargers went for it again. Rivers went for it all and Mike Williams made a spectacular catch for a 38 yard gain to the Denver 38 at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 1 from the Denver 29, Rivers completed a pass for no gain. With 52 seconds left, Anthony Lynn decided to go for it on 4th and inches rather than try the tying field goal from 46 yards out. It was an attempt to get the Broncos to jump offsides, and the Denver defense didn’t bite. With 19 seconds left, Badgley came in to try and tie it. The kick was good as these teams were tied 20-20 and headed to overtime. Only 9 seconds remained. The Broncos were at their own 28. Surely they were going to take a knee. Lock threw a bomb incomplete for the sole purpose of drawing defensive pass interference. The defense complied. The 37 yard penalty was enough for McManus to try a 53 yard field goal. His kick dunked off the upright and nobody knew if it was good or not. The play was blown dead as the Chargers called timeout. Given a second chance, McManus was good. Both teams are 4-8 and out of playoff contention. Give credit to Vic Fangio for giving rookie Lock a chance to win his very first game. 23-20 Broncos

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs — After losing by 31 points at the Jets, the Raiders were expected to get stomped on for the 8 billionth straight time at the Chiefs. This is not why they play the games. The Raiders moved from their own 14 to a 2nd and 12 at their own 36. Derek Carr was then intercepted by Mathieu, giving the Chiefs a short field at the Oakland 47. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 38, LeSean Shady McCoy ran for 3. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 24, Patrick Mahomes went to Tyreek Hill for 17 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Mahomes threw incomplete. However, the defense jumped offsides. Mahomes hit Williams for the 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. 7 seconds later the Chiefs had the ball again as the Raiders fumbled the ensuing kickoff. The Chiefs took over at the Oakland 24. On 3rd and 1, Williams got stopped. Walrus Lite Andy Reid went for it on 4th and 1 from the Oakland 15 and Williams got stopped again. The Raiders even moved from their own 15 to a 2nd and 3 at the Chiefs 33. Yet a false start and an incompletion had the Raiders out of field goal range. The Raiders got it back and moved from their 27 to and moved to a 4th and 1 at the Chiefs 40. Jon Gruden went for it. Rather than go up the middle, Davis went laterally and got nothing. 

Despite all their screwups, the Raiders were only down 7-0. Yet as expected, the roof caved in. With 9 minutes left in the half on 3rd and 2 from their own 48, Mahomes hit Hill for 13 and Travis Kelce for 11. On 3rd and 11 from the Oakland 29, Mahomes threw incomplete but defensive holding on Lawson kept the drive going. Lawson had a rough game, dropping an easy interception with nobody around him. Mahomes then hit Hill for 11 and ran for the 13 yard touchdown himself to make it 14-0 Chiefs with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Raiders took over at their own 26. On 2nd and 8 from their own 40, Carr threw over the middle and Thornhill jumped the route. Thornhill took it 46 yards for a defensive touchdown to make it 21-0 Chiefs, officially ending the game with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half. For good measure, with one minute left in the half, Daniel Carlson missed a 44 yard field goal by a country mile that would have put the Raiders on the board. 

Oakland’s misery continued in the third quarter. The Chiefs took over at their own 34. On 3rd and 6 from their 38, Mahomes hit Hill for 8. On 3rd and 11 from their own 45, Mahomes threw incomplete. A very questionable roughing the passer call kept the drive going. Even without it, the Raiders were offsides. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 32, another Chiefs touchdown was nullified by holding. Harrison Butker hit a 50 yard field goal to make it 24-0 Chiefs. The Chiefs got it back at their own 36 and made it look easy. Mahomes went to Kelce for a 47 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 15, Mahomes was intercepted in the end zone by Trayvon Mullin. Yet on further review, defensive pass interference on Mullin gave the Chiefs 1st and goal at the 3. McCoy ran it in easily for a 31-0 Chiefs lead. The Raiders embarked on a 13 play, 60 yard 7 minute drive. Despite 1st and 10 from the Chiefs 14, Carr threw a pair of incompletions sandwiched around a one yard loss. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Carlson hit a 34 yard field goal just to avoid the shutout. 

To add to Oakland’s humiliation, the Chiefs went on a 14 play, 75 yard drive that consumed 9 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 20, the defense again entered the neutral zone. On 3rd and 3 a run went nowhere but human penalty machine Mullin was called for unnecessary roughness. He is the new Stanford Routt, good for 1 or 2 dumb penalties per game. Thompson ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 38-3 with 5 1/2 minutes left. The Raiders did get a garbage touchdown with 45 seconds left to avoid going 2 straight games without one. For some reason the Raiders went for 2, and the Chiefs delivered the exclamation point by taking it the other way for a defensive 2 pointer of their own, 

The Raiders outgained the Chiefs for most of the game. The Chiefs had less than 200 yards of total offense in the third quarter. Josh Jacobs had over 100 rushing yards in the first half until a loss put him below 100. The Chiefs defense is as deceptive as ever. They give up a ton of yards but force turnovers that prevent the yards from becoming points. The Chiefs are 8-4 and have a stranglehold on the AFC West. The 6-6 Raiders are not eliminated from playoff contention, but 2 straight games without a touchdown is not encouraging. Jon Gruden has a team that is young and dumb. They will get better. 40-9 Chiefs

New England Patriots at Houston Texans was the Sunday night game. The 10-1 Patriots have been winning with defense but Tom Brady has been frustrated with the offense. The 7-4 Texans were trying to maintain their slim AFC South lead. The Patriots moved 69 yards in 14 plays and 7 minutes. From their own 26, they reached 2nd and goal at the 5. Brady threw incomplete twice. Kai Forbath hit the 23 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Patriots, but after that Houston’s defense hit New England in the mouth. An interception of Brady set up the Texans at the Patriots 21. On 3rd and 3, Deshaun Watson went to Johnson for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Texans. Houston got it back and moved 88 yards in 13 plays and 7 minutes. From their own 21, Watson hit Fells for 10. On 3rd and 1 from their 31, Carlos Hyde gained 4. From their 45, Watson hit Akins for 19, Hopkins for 13, Johnson for 9, and Fells for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Texans in the second quarter. In the third quarter the Patriots moved from their own 7 to a 4th and inches at the Houston 42. Bill Belichick went for it and Brady threw to Mohammed Sanu, who dropped it. On 3rd and 7 from their own 45, Watson went to Kenny Stills for 20. One play after a 35 yard touchdown bomb to Fuller was reversed incomplete, Watson went bombs away again to Stills and got the 35 yard touchdown to make it 21-3 Texans. 

After a touchback, the Patriots soon faced 3rd and 17 at their own 28. Brady went to Watson for 23 yards. A pair of offensive penalties had the Patriots facing 1st and 30 at their own 31. Brady calmly went deep to Julian Edelman for a 44 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 at the Houston 16, James white gained 4 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Houston 12, Brady went to a wide open White in the flat for the touchdown. Kai Forbath is the fourth kicker the Patriots have had this year, after their third kicker went out with an appendectomy this past Wednesday. The extra point was no good as the Patriots trailed 21-9 after three quarters. After a touchback and a defensive holding penalty, Johnson ran for 13 and 1 and caught a pass for 8. On 3rd and 6 from their own 48 after a false start, Watson hit Hopkins for 10 and again for 27. On 1st and goal from the 6, Bill O’Brien went to the bag of tricks. A double handoff followed by an option pass from Hopkins to Watson went for the touchdown. The star quarterback now had a touchdown reception and the star receiver had a touchdown pass to make it 28-9 Texans. The 75 yard drive took nearly 5 1/2 minutes off the clock and left only 10 minutes to play. 

The Patriots moved 75 yards in 13 plays but took over 6 minutes to do it. By the time Brady hit White for an 11 yard touchdown, only 3:42 remained. The 2 point try failed as the Patriots were within 28-15. The Patriots got it back with 2 1/2 minutes left but at their own 6 yard line. James White gained 15 but then lost 3 yards as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 13 from their own 18, Brady went to Meyers for 21. Brady found James White, who faked going out of bounds and took advantage of a lazy defensive tackling effort to gain 36 yards. Brady then went to Edelman for a 20 yard touchdown. With 50 seconds left, the Patriots were within 6 points. The onsides kick was a good one and the only person who had a shot was on New England. Holden got a hand on it for the Patriots but could not haul it in as it went out of bounds before he could secure possession. It was a scare at the end but the the Texans at 8-4 lead the AFC South by one game. Meanwhile, the 10-2 Patriots only lead the AFC East by one game. They are no longer the top AFC seed, since Baltimore owns the tie-breaker over them. 28-22 Texans

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks was the Monday night game. A pair of very good football teams played a very good game as the 8-3 Vikings took on the 9-2 Seahawks. The Vikings took over at their own 17 and Kirk Cousins hit Dalvin cook for 9 and Ham for 36 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 29, Stefan Diggs got around the end for 27 yards. Cook got the final 2 yards to make it 7-0 Vikings. After a touchback, Russell Wilson hit Penny for 8 and 7 and on 3rd and 4 from their own 35 hit Gordon for 10 and David Moore for 5. On 3rd and 3 from the Minnesota 20, Wilson hit DK Metcalf for 19 yards. Chris Carson got the last yard to cap the 14 play, 75 yard, 8 minute drive and make it a 7-7 game. In the second quarter, the Seahawks took over at their own 7. From their 22, Wilson had a pass deflected and intercepted by Harris, who returned it 20 yards for a defensive touchdown to make it 14-7 Vikings. The Seahawks rebounded from their 27 to a 2nd and 9 at the Minnesota 11 with just over one minute left in the half. Wilson threw incomplete twice and Myers hit a 29 yard field goal to get the Seahawks within 14-10. With 34 seconds left in the half the Vikings faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Cook got the yard. With 22 seconds left from their own 35, Cousins hit Cook for 15, Kyle Rudolph for 11, and Diggs for 10. Dan Bailey hit the 47 yard field goal to end the half with the Vikings up 17-10. 

In the third quarter from their own 29, Carson gained 4 and 6. On 3rd and 1 from their own 48, Wilson hit Metcalf for 8. Unnecessary roughness on the next plat added 15. Carson then ran for 25. Penny ran for 4 and then for the one yard touchdown to tie the game 17-17. Minnesota got the ball back at their 22 and Cook immediately fumbled. The Seahawks took over at the Minnesota 26. On 3rd and 1 from the Minnesota 17, Penny gained 3 yards. On 2nd and 7 from the Minnesota 11, Wilson threw incomplete twice. Myers again hit from 29 as the Seahawks had the 20-17 lead with less than 6 minutes left in the third quarter. Seattle got it back at their own 24. Carson ran for 4 and 7. On 3rd and 5 from the Seattle 40, Wilson went for it all and found Moore for a 60 yard touchdown bomb to make it 27-17 Seahawks as the third quarter ended. The fourth quarter began with more nightmares for Minnesota. A short pass by Cousins was bobbled by the receiver and fell right into the arms of a diving Tre Flowers. The Seahawks took over at the Minnesota 25 with a chance to deliver the kill shot. Penny gained 10 and then took a dumpoff pass up the middle for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 34-17 Seahawks. 

The Vikings responded only 41 seconds later. After a touchback, Cousins went to Mattison for 17 and then went bombs away to Laquon Treadwell for a 58 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Vikings were within 34-24. Minnesota held on defense and the Seahawks had to punt on 4th and 3 from their own 32. Pete Carroll grabbed his big steel balls and called a fake punt. Homer took it around the end for a 29 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Minnesota 35, Wilson fired to Metcalf past the first down marker. Metcalf got blasted by 2 defenders and coughed up the football and the Vikings recovered. Somehow, the officials called it an incomplete pass. Mike Zimmer properly challenged the call. Metcalf clearly made a football move. It was a fumble, and the officials agreed, reversing the call with 9 1/2 minutes left. From his own 28, Cousins got leveled just as he was throwing and a duck somehow floated to Rudolph for a 17 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from their own 45, Cousins went deep incomplete but drew a 30 yard defensive pass interference call. Mattison gained 15 yards and 8. On 2nd and goal at the 2, Mattison got blasted for a one yard loss. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Cousins threw high but Rudolph made a leaping one-handed catch in the back of the end zone. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Vikings were only down 34-30. Bailey missed the critical extra point no good.  

After a touchback, Hollister ran for 8 and Penny added 6 and 4. Although the running game was working well, Pete Carroll decided to go for another kill shot with 5 minutes. left. On 2nd and 6 from their own 43, with all kinds of time, Wilson was sacked for a 13 yard loss. On 3rd and 19, a West Coast Offense dink and dunk give-up pass gained 15 yards. Minnesota would have a shot for a comeback as they got it back at their own 16 with 3 1/2 minutes left. Cousins fired too Rudolph for 19 yards. With 2 1/2 minutes left on 4th and 3 from their own 42, Mike Zimmer decided to go for it. Cousins threw incomplete. The Vikings still had all 3 timeouts plus the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 1 from the Minnesota 33, Carson banged ahead for 11 yards as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Minnesota only had one timeout left. Seattle could take the clock below 30 seconds left. With 1:08 to play, the Seahawks faced 3rd and 7 from the Minnesota 19. A run gained only a couple yards. The Seahawks set up a field goal try and Myers delivered from 36 with 21 seconds left. The Seahawks led by 7, but Minnesota would have one last desperate chance. The ensuing kickoff was picked up by a big man who should not be running with the football. The big man fumbled it and the Seahawks recovered at the Minnesota 31 to finally put the game away. The Vikings at 8-4 are one game back of Green Bay in the NFC North. Seattle with the win is tied at 10-2 with San Francisco, but Seattle as of now owns the tie-breaker and is the two seed in the NFC with New Orleans in the top spot. A rematch of this game would be well deserved. 37-30 Seahawks

NFL 2019 Week 13 Thanksgiving Prequel

December 1st, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 12 Recap

November 24th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 12 Recap

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans was the Thursday night game. These 6-4 teams fought for the AFC South lead and played like it. Late in the first quarter the Texans faced 3rd and 6 at midfield. Deshaun Watson hit Deandre Hopkins for just enough. On the last play of the first quarter the Texans faced 3rd and 13 at the Indy 47. Watson went deep to Fells for 24 yards. The second quarter began with the Texans facing 3rd and 4 at the indy 17. Watson threw incomplete. Kaimi Fairbairn hit a 35 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Texans. Yet the next time the Texans got the ball back at their own 35, Watson was immediately intercepted to give the Colts a short field at the Houston 42. Frank Reich went straight to the ground game and Williams gained 5, 2 and on 3rd and 3, 7. Hines gained 18 and 6 and Jacoby Brissett ran for the 5 yard touchdown. Without a single pass, the Colts took the 7-3 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half. 

After a touchback, it was Bill O’Brien on 2nd and 5 from his own 30 going to the ground game. Johnson ran for gains of 19 and 4. Watson hit Fuller for 15. On 2nd and 13 from the Indy 35, Watson went bombs away and hit Hopkins for the touchdown. With 1:53 left in the half, the Texans led 10-7. The Colts took over at their own 24. Brissett hit TY Hilton for 8 and 5, to Eric Ebron for 14, to Hines for 5, and to Ebron again for 14 on 3rd and 5. With 20 seconds left on 2nd and 10 from the Houston 30, Brissett hit Doyle for 12 yards. However, with only one timeout left the Colts let the clock run down to 2 seconds before taking it rather than running another play. Adam Vinatieri hit the 36 yard field goal as the teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked 10-10.

The Texans in the third quarter moved after a touchback to a 4th and 3 at the Indy 34. Bill O’Brien went for it rather than try a 52 yard field goal. Watson threw incomplete. Frank Reich kept the ground going and Williams ran for 12, 5 and 3. On 3rd and 2 from the Houston 46, Brissett hit Doyle for 7. Hines then ran for 5, 8, 2, 7, and on 3rd and 1 form the Houston 17, 2. Williams did the rest, running for 2 and then the 13 yard touchdown. A drive with only one pass had the Colts up 17-10 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. After a touchback, Watson went deep to Fuller for a 51 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 12 from the Indy 26, Watson’s completion to Johnson only gained 8 yards. Fairbairn hit the 36 yard field goal but the Texans trailed 17-13 after three quarters.

The Texans got it back at their own 14. Watson went to Hopkins for 11 yards as the third quarter ended. Hyde then ran for a 33 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 at the Indy 33, Johnson gained 3. Watson then went deep to Hopkins again for a 30 yard touchdown. With 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Texans were back up by a field goal. Midway through the fourth quarter, with 3 minutes left in regulation, the Colts faced 4th and 7 at the Houston 47. Brissett scrambled right near the sticks but came up inches short. At the 2 minute warning, the Texans faced 3rd and 4 at the Houston 47. Watson went to Fuller for 11 yards as the Colts took their second timeout. On 2nd and 9 from the Indy 41 with the Colts out of timeouts and 1:48 left, Watson ran for 6 yards but then fumbled. The Colts thought they had their miracle but somehow Watson got the ball back. With 3 seconds left the Texans faced 4th and 3 at the Indy 35. Bill O’Brien was not going to risk a blocked punt or field goal try. Watson scrambled and threw the ball out of bounds to end the game. These teams deserve a playoff rematch. 20-17 Texans 

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles — A shanked 27 yard punt had the Eagles starting at the Seattle 43. Yet on 1st and 10 from the Seattle 11, a run gained one yard and Carson Wentz threw incomplete twice. Elliott hit the 28 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Eagles. The Seahawks after a touchback struck quickly. Russell Wilson went to Hollister for 21, DK Metcalf for 17, and Michael Turner for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Seahawks. Early in the second quarter an interception of Wentz had the Seahawks at their own 17. On 3rd and 6 from their own 21. Wilson went deep o Moore for a 31 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Philly 45, Wilson hit Josh Gordon for 10 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Wilson threw incomplete. Myers hit the 24 yard field goal as the Seahawks led 10-3 midway through the second quarter. After that the Seattle defense clamped down. Late in the third quarter the Seahawks took over at their own 12. The fourth quarter began with them facing 3rd and 1 at their own 21. Chris Carson ran for 6 yards. On 3rd and 11 from their own 26, Wilson threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 1st and 20 from their own 42, Penny ran for a 58 yard touchdown with 12 minutes left in regulation to put the game away. The Eagles finally reached the end zone with 20 seconds left. The insides kick failed. 17-9 Seahawks

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns — League rules prevented this game from being canceled. On the first play from scrimmage after a touchback, Baker Mayfield hit Nick Chubb for a 32 yard gain. 2 plays later Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry for 18 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Miami 18, Mayfield threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 3 yards and a new set of downs. On 3rd and 2 from the Miami 7, mayfield went to Landry for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Browns. Cleveland got it back at their own 40. On 3rd and 1 from the Miami 40, the Dolphins entered the neutral zone. On the next play Mayfield went deep to O’Dell Beckham for a 35 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Browns. In the second quarter after Brian Flores called a fake punt that didn’t work on 4th and 7 from his own 42, the Browns took over at the Miami 44. On 2nd and 14 from the Miami 25, Mayfield threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 20 yard gain. On the next play Mayfield hit Landry for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 21-0 Browns. Ryan Fitzpatrick was then intercepted and the Browns took over at their own 27. On 3rd and 3 from their own 34, Mayfield hit Landry for 9 and Beckham for 16. On 3rd and 8 from the Miami 37, Mayfield hit Beckham for 15. Then came a 16 yard defensive pass interference penalty. Kareem Hunt ran for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 28-0 Browns with one minute left in the half. 

The Dolphins tried to make a game of it. The got on the board with a 36 yard field goal on the last play of the half. In the third quarter an interception of Mayfield set up the Dolphins at the Cleveland 46. On 3rd and 3 from the Cleveland 39, Kenny Ballage got just enough. on 3rd and 6 from the Cleveland 32, Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Parker for 21 yards  and Mike Gesicki for the 11 yard touchdown to get the Dolphins within 28-10. After a touchback the Browns reached a 1st and 10 at the Miami 21. Yet on 3rd and 9 Mayfield was sacked for a 7 yard loss. Austin Siebert then missed a 46 yard field goal. The Dolphins soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 36. On 3rd and 10 a completion gained one yard, but unnecessary roughness on the defense kept the drive going. Fitzpatrick then hit Parker for gains of 10 and 15. On 3rd and goal from the 8, Fitzpatrick ran it in himself. The third quarter ended with the Dolphins only down 28-17 and thinking miracle comeback.

The fourth quarter brought the reality check. A pair of long drives brought field goals of 40 and 26 by Siebert to put the Browns up 34-17. An interception of Fitzpatrick set up the Browns at the Miami 38. Nick Chubb ran for 17 yards. Mayfield had an interception returned 58 yards, but unnecessary roughness on the defense instead meant 1st and goal at the 8. Chubb ran for 3 and then the 5 yard touchdown to make it 41-17 Browns with 3 1/2 minutes left. Miami got a garbage touchdown to continue their garbage season. 41-24 Browns

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills — The Bills racked up huge yards, including a 17 play, 9 minute drive and an 11 play, 6 minute drive. Yet the Bills settled for field goals from Steve Hauschka of 29 yards in the first quarter and 23 yards in the second quarter for a 6-0 lead. The second half kickoff was short and returned 25 yards to set up the Bills at their own 41. On 3rd and 11 from their own 40, Josh Allen went to Foster for a 24 yard gain. Singletary ran for 8 and 10. On 3rd and 10 from the Denver 18, Allen went to Cole Beasley for the touchdown to make it 13-0 Bills. The Broncos did manage a field goal in the third quarter, but the Buffalo defense did the rest. The Broncos in the fourth quarter punted on 4th and 19 from their own 2 yard line. A 12 yard punt return with 15 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness had the Bills taking over at the Denver 31. On 2nd ad 13, Allen went deep to John Brown for the 34 yard touchdown to lock up the win. 20-3 Bills

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals — The winless Bengals fought hard against their division opponent. A field position game in the second quarter had the Steelers taking over at the Cincy 48. On 2nd and 21 from their own 41 after a holding call, Mason Rudolph went to Cain for a 35 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 5 from the Cincy 8, Rudolph threw incomplete. Chris Boswell hit the 26 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Steelers with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Bengals took over at their own 31 and struck quickly. Finley ran for 7 yards. Finley then went deep for a 47 yard gain at the 2 minute warning. Finley then went to Boyd for the 15 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Bengals. In the third quarter the Steelers took over at their own 17 and struck quickly. Rudolph was out and third string quarterback Hodges was in. Hodges hit Samuels for 11. On 2nd and 17 from their own 21, Hodges went deep to Washington for a 79 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 Steelers. The Bengals took over at their own 23 and Joe Mixon ran for 9 and 14. On 2nd and 7 from the Pittsburgh 12, an offensive holding call killed the drive. Randy Bullock hit the 27 yard field goal for a 10-10 deadlock after three quarters. 

The fourth quarter had the Steelers facing 3rd and 8 at their own 31. Hodges threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 8 yards. On the next play defensive pass interference meant 26 more yards. With 12 minutes left in regulation, Boswell hit a 47 yard field goal to make it 13-10 Steelers. After a touchback toe Bengals moved to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 30. Finley hit Boyd for a 22 yard gain, but Boyd fumbled. Minkah Fitzpatrick recovered at his own 6 yard line and returned it 36 yards for the Steelers. Pittsburgh punted but got it back at the Cincy 43. On 3rd and 1 from the Cincy 34, Snell ran for a 21 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Cincy 8, Hodges threw incomplete. Boswell hit the 26 yard field goal to put the Steelers up by 6 with 3:15 left. The Bengals soon faced 2nd and 2 at their own 29. Finley was sacked and fumbled and the Steelers recovered at the Cincy 21 with 2:47 left. At the 2 minute warning with the Steelers facing 2nd and 6 at the Cincinnati 17 and the Bengals out of timeouts, Snell ran for 13 yards to put the game away. The Bengals were game, but they remained winless. Meanwhile the Steelers, who began 0-3, have willed themselves with a third string quarterback to a 6-5 record. They are Mike Tomlin resilient. 16-10 Steelers 

New York Giants at Chicago Bears — After a scoreless first quarter, in the second quarter the Bears punted on 4th and 18 from their own 8. The Giants took over at the Chicago 42. Sterling Shepard ran for a 22 yard gain. Daniel Jones hit Smith for a 3 yard touchdown for a 7-0 Giants lead. The Giants had plenty of attempts to expand the lead. Jabril Peppers returned a punt 40 yards to the Chicago 29. On 2nd and 5, Jones threw incomplete twice. Aldrick Rosas missed a 42 yard field goal. Then a shanked Bears punt went only 13 yards, setting up the Giants at the Chicago 48. On 3rd and 1 from the Chicago 21, Saquon Barkley lost 4 yards. Then at the 2 minute warning Rosas missed again from 43 yards out. After 28 minutes of lifelessness, the Bears got going from their own 33. Mitchell Trubisky hit Anthony Miller for 16 yards. Tarik Cohen ran for 13. Trubisky hit Miller for 14. With 16 seconds left in the half, on 3rd and 5 from the Giants 8, Trubisky threw incomplete. Eddie Pineiro hit the 26 yard field goal as the Bears trailed 7-3 at the half. 

Rosas’s struggles continued as he kicked the second half kickoff out of bounds to set up the Bears at their own 40. Trubisky went to Robinson for 23 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Giants 37, Trubisky was sacked but defensive holding kept the drive going. On the next play Trubisky went to Allen Robinson for a 32 yard touchdown to put the Bears up 10-7. The Bears got it back at their own 6 yard line. Trubisky went deep to Robinson for 49 yards and Miller for 22 more. Yet despite 2nd and goal at the 6, Trubisky threw incomplete twice. Pineiro hit from 24 to make it 13-7 Bears. Then Jones did for the Giants what he does. From the Giants 23, he was sacked and fumbled. The Bears took over at the Giants 3 yard line. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Trubisky got in. The extra point was no good but the Bears led 19-7. An interception of Trubisky had the Giants starting out the fourth quarter at midfield. On 4th and 4 from the Giants 44, Pat Shurmur went for it and Jones threw incomplete. 

With 9 minutes left the Giants took over at their own 3 yard line. Jones hit Golden Tate for 6 and Shepard for 5. Jones ran for a 26 yard gain. Jones then hit Slayton for a 19 yard gain. Barkley ran for 22 more. With just over 4 minutes left the Giants faced 4th and 18 from the Chicago 23. One defensive stop would end it. Instead Jones went to Tate for the touchdown as the Giants only trailed by 5 points. The Giants took their timeouts on defense. On 3rd and 1 from their own 34 the Bears tried to put the game away. Montgomery lost a yard. The Giants got it back at their own 6 yard line with 3 1/2 minutes left. On 4th and 4 from their own 12, Jones went to Slayton for 17 yards. On 4th and 4 from their own 35 with 1:43 left, Jones threw incomplete. It was ugly, but the Bears got the win. 19-14 Bears

Oakland Raiders at New York Jets — The Raiders offense moved well at the start, knowing they had a chance to tie for the AFC West lead. On 3rd and 11 from their own 24, Derek Carr hit Jalen Richard for 18 yards and Hunter Renfrow for 11 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Jets 43, Carr avoided a sack, stepped up in the pocket, and fired over the middle to Tyrell Williams for 12 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Jets 29, Carr found Renfrow, but he just dropped it. On a cold, rainy, windy day at the Meadowlands, Daniel Carlson hit the 48 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Raiders. This concluded anything resembling a Raiders highlight. After a touchback the Jets made it look easy. Sam Darnold went to Leveon Bell for a 23 yard gain and to Robbie Anderson for 24 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 16, Darnold hit Denarius Thomas for 8 and then again to a wide open Thomas for the 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Jets. Except it wasn’t. Offensive pass interference negated the score. On 3rd and goal from the 6, Darnold rolled out fired to the end zone low and incomplete. Sam Ficken hit the 24 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. 

After a touchback, the Raiders moved to a 3rd and 8 from the Jets 34. Then came a false start to take the Raiders out of long field goal range. On 3rd and 13, Carr found a wide open Williams over the middle. Williams dropped it. A good punt pinned the Jets are at their own 4 yard line. Sam Dranold appeared to be sacked for a safety but somehow found Bell for 17 yards and Crowder for 15 more. He hit Griffin for 12. Bell then ran for 12 and caught a pass for 12. On 2nd and 5 from the Oakland 9, Darnold was sacked for an 11 yard loss. Yet a horrendous roughing the passer call instead meant 1st and goal at the 4. Maxx Crosby sacked Darnold cleanly and the flag was not on him. Another defender was flagged despite not even touching Darnold. He was trying to dive over the pile. Darnold ran for a 4 yard touchdown on the next play to make it 10-3 Jets. After a touchback and a sack of Carr, the Raiders faced 2nd and 17 from their own 18. Josh Jacobs ran for 15. On 3rd and 2 Carr hit Darren Waller for 15 and 19. Yet on 3rd and 2 from the Jets 25, a short pass from Carr to Renfrow saw Renfrow get blasted on a helmet to helmet hit. Renfrow was down for a bit, but no penalty was called. Carlson’s 43 yard field goal attempt looked dead center until the heavy wind blew it wide no good. 

The Jets faced 3rd and 7 at their own 36. Darnold had trouble with a low snap out of the shotgun, yet still fired a laser between 2 receivers for a 14 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 43, Darnold went to Robbie Anderson for a 31 yard gain. Despite 1st and 10 from the Oakland 12, a run lost 3 yards and Darnold was sacked. Ficken hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 13-3 Jets. Things got worse for the Raiders when a punt was returned 26 yards with 15 more tacked on for a late hit by the punter. Yes, the punter got penalized. Despite 1st and 10 at the Oakland 25, this time the Jets went backward. A 20 yard completion from Darnold to Ty Montgomery was nullified by offensive holding. The 48 yard field goal try by Sam Ficken was barely no good. The Raiders were only down 13-3 at halftime, but in the third quarter the wheels totally came off. 

The Jets took over in the third quarter at their own 19 and made it look easy. Bell ran for 6 and 5. Darnold fired over the middle to Berrios on a crossing route, and Berrios split the seams for a 69 yard gain down to the one. Darnold then found a wide open Griffin in the flat for the touchdown to make it 20-3 Jets. The Raiders got it back at their own 16. On 3rd and 2 from their own 38, Jacobs appeared to have the first down with a great second effort. Yet he was marked inches short of the first down. Jon Grudend decided not to challenge the call. On 4th and 1 Ingold got the carry and got stopped short again. This time Gruden did challenge the call even though the third down run was a much better bet. The call stood and the Jets had another short field at the Raiders 39. Adam Gase called a reverse flea flicker and Darnold went deep too Anderson for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Darnold went to Anderson for the touchdown to make it 27-3 Jets. The Raiders took over at their own 13 and disaster struck immediately. A short pass was deflected in the air. Brian Poole made a one-handed interception and returned it 15 yards to the end zone, dragging Renfrow with him. With 2 minutes left in the third quarter and down by 31, Jon Gruden had seen enough. He benched his starts Carr and Jacobs for their safety. Mike Glennon came in and fumbled the first two snaps from center. The fourth quarter was scoreless as the Raiders fell to 6-5, one game behind archival Kansas City before their showdown next week. The Jets after a 1-7 start have won 3 straight. 34-3 Jets

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints — The 8-2 Saints needed to put away a reeling 5-5 Panthers squad to maintain the pace for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. On 3rd and 3 from their own 32, Drew Brees hit Michael Thomas for 4 and again for 13. On 3rd and 11 from their own 44, pinball wizard Brees hit Ted Ginn for 30 yards. Latavius Murray ripped off a 26 yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 Saints. The Panthers fumbled a punt and the Saints took over at the Carolina 27. Brees hit Smith for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Saints. After a touchback, Kyle Allen hit Greg Olsen for 13 yards. Samuel ran for 10. Allen then went for it all and hit Moore for the 51 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 14-6. The extra point was no good. The Saints kept moving after a touchback to a 1st and 10 at the Carolin 19. Yet on 3rd and 9, Brees was sacked. Wil Lutz hit the 41 yard field goal to make it 17-6 Saints. 

The Panthers after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the New Orleans 27. Yet on 3rd and 10, a completion only gained 4 yards. Joey Slye hit the 41 yard field goal to get the Panthers within 17-9. Carolina got it back at their own 32. On 3rd and 16 from their own 39, Allen was sacked for a 10 yard loss. Yet roughing the passer instead meant a 15 yard gain. With 8 seconds left in the half, the Panthers had 2nd and goal at the 9. Allen went to Christian McCaffrey for 8 yards as the Panthers took their last timeout with 3 seconds left. With time for one play from the one yard line, Riverboat Ron Rivera went for it. McCaffrey got in. The 2 point try failed but the Panthers were only down 17-15. 

The second half was even more exciting. The Saints took over at their own 38. Brees went to Alvin Kamara for 12 yards. Unnecessary roughness on the defense on the next play added 15 more. Brees went to Jared Cook for a 20 yard touchdown to put the Saints up 24-15. After a touchback the Panthers moved to a 1st and 10 at the Saints 34. Allen threw 3 straight incompletions. Slye nailed the 52 yard field goal to get the Panthers within 24-18. After a touchback, Brees went to Kamara for 12. and 5 and Cook for 20. Kamara ran for a 30 yard gain. Brees went to Thomas for a 3 yard touchdown. With 5 minutes left in the third quarter the Saints had a comfortable 31-18 lead. They would not be comfortable for long. 

On 2nd and 11 rom their own 28, Allen went deep to Moore for a 52 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Saints 13, Allen went to Moore for 5 yards. McCaffrey ran for a 4 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Panthers were within 31-24.  after three quarters. Early in the fourth quarter on 3rd and 15 from their own 29, Brees was intercepted at midfield. McCaffrey ran for 7 and Samuel added 13. Defensive pass interference meant a 29 yard penalty and 1st and goal at the one. Allen threw incomplete, Armah got stopped, and on 3rd and goal McCaffrey lost a yard. With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Ron Rivera went for it on 4th and goal at the 2. Allen went to DJ Moore for the touchdown for a 31-31 gain. After a touchback, the Saints moved to a 3rd and 1 at their own 45. Brees threw to Taysom Hill, but for no gain. Sean Payton gambled on 4th and 1 in his own territory. Kamara got blasted for a 2 yard loss as the Panthers had a short field with 6 1/2 minutes remaining. 

With 2 1/2 minutes remaining the Panthers faced 3rd and 3 at the Saints 5. Allen threw incomplete but Ron Rivera challenged the call, insisting their was defensive pass interference. On further review Rivera won his challenge. The Panthers had 1st and goal at the 3 and were in the driver’s seat. How ironic it would be if the Saints lost a game because of a new rule added specifically to satiate their own fan base after last year’s NFC Title Game loss. McCaffrey lost a yard. Rather than keep running it to force the Saints to take their timeouts, Allen threw incomplete. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Allen was sacked for a 6 yard loss as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Slye came in for the 28 yard chip shot to give the Panthers the lead. No good! From his own 20, Brees did what he does. After a sack to set up 2nd and 16 from his own 14, Brees hit Thomas for 14 and Kamara on 3rd and 2 for 4 more. With 37 seconds left the Saints still had 3rd and 6 at their own 36. Brees went to Thomas for 24 yards. with 26 seconds left from the Carolina 40, Brees went to Kamara for 16. Kamara then ran for 9 yards. Brees spiked the ball to stop the clock with 3 seconds left. Lutz came in for his 33 yard chip shot to avoid overtime. Lutz was good where Slye was not as the Saints got to 9-2 and dropped the Panthers to 5-6 in a great divisional matchup. 34-31 Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons — The suddenly revitalized Falcons began the game after a touchback with a 53 yard bomb from Matt Ryan to Graham. Calvin Rudley then ran for 15 more. Despite 1st and goal from the 7, Ryan threw 3 straight incompletions. Koo hit the 25 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Falcons. Jameis Winston threw a deep ball that was intercepted but the defense bailed him out. The Buccaneers got it back at their own 3 yard line. On 1st and 11 from their 2, Winston scrambled for 12 yards. On 2nd and 6 from their own 29, Winston went deep to Godwin for a 71 yard touchdown as the Buccaneers had the 7-3 lead. Another interception of Winston gave the Falcons the ball at the Tampa Bay 19. On 3rd and 4, Ryan ran for 8 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Ollison got in to make it 10-7 Falcons.

In the second quarter the Falcons punted on 4th and 28 from their own 8. The Buccaneers got it back just shy of midfield. Winston went to Godwin for 22 yards. On 2nd and 21 from the Atlanta 40, Winston went deep to Godwin for 30 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Winston hit Godwin for the touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Buccaneers led 13-10. The Buccaneers got it back at their own 5. On 3rd and 7 from their own 8, Winston went deep to Perriman for a 44 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the Atlanta 47, Winston connected with Mike Evans for 17 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Atlanta 29, Winston went to Godwin for 26 yards. Winston hit Vea for a one yard touchdown. Again, Gay missed the extra point but the Buccaneers led 19-10 at the break. After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Buccaneers faced 3rd and 9 at their own 26. Winston scrambled for 24 yards. Ogunbowale gained 12 and Jones added 25. Ronald Jones ran for a 4 yard touchdown. After missing 2 extra points, Matt Gay had this extra point try blocked. Despite Gay’s miserable day, the rest of his team was doing well as 3 straight touchdowns had the Buccaneers up 25-10. 

The Falcons got the ball back at their own 44. Ryan went to Ridley for 17 yards. On 3rd and 15 from the Bucs 44, Ryan threw incomplete but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. Yet a pair of offensive holding penalties had the Falcons facing 2nd and 28 at the Tampa Bay 36. The Falcons settled for a 40 yard Koo field goal to get within 25-13. The Buccaneers moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 4 at the Atlanta 14. Winston threw incomplete. Gay was terrible on extra points but he hit the 32 yard field goal to put the Buccaneers up 28-13 with 13 minutes left in regulation. After a touchback the Falcons had to go for it on 4th and 4 at midfield. Ryan hit Gage for 5 yards. Despite 1st and 10 from the Tampa Bay 14, Ryan was sacked to kill the drive Needing 3 scores with just over 8 minutes remaining, Dan Quinn opted for the field goal. Koo hit from 38 to get the Falcons within 28-16. With 3 minutes left the Falcons had to go for it on 4th and 5 at their own 15. Ryan was sacked and fumbled. Ndamokung Suh ran for the 6 yard touchdown to ice the game. Gay even made the extra point to make it 35-16 Buccaneers. Atlanta got a garbage touchdown in a puzzling home loss after 2 weeks of big road wins. 35-22 Buccaneers

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins — A pair of bad teams played a game nobody cared about. The Redskins fumbled to give the Lions a short field at the Washington 38. Matt Prater missed a 39 yard field goal. Dustin Hopkins did hit a 28 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Redskins. Prater answered from 24 in the second quarter for the Lions in a 3-3 game where both teams drove deep but bogged down in the red zone. 15 seconds later the game’s first touchdown came as Steve Sims returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a score as the Redskins led 10-3. The Lions answered with Stafford throwing an interception and on their next series Stafford fumbling. The Redskins took over just past midfield and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Detroit 12. Consecutive false starts killed the drive. Hopkins hit the 37 yard field goal as the Redskins led 13-3 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

With one minute left in the half, the Lions got the ball at their own 42. Defensive pass interference added 8 yards to midfield. Prater hit a 49 yard field goal to end the half with the Lions down 13-6. After a touchback to start the third quarter, Scarbrough ran for 11, 2, and then 30. On 3rd and 5 from the Washington 27, Driskel hit James for 7. On 3rd and 2 from the Washington 12, Driskel went to Thomas for the touchdown for a 13-13 game. In the fourth quarter the Redskins punted on 4th and 22 at their own 9. The Lions took over at midfield. On 3rd and 3 from the Washington 43, Driskel hit Jones for 8 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Washington 20, Driskel went to Thomas for 12 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Driskel threw incomplete. Prater hit the 21 yard field goal to put the Lions up 16-13 with 12 minutes left in regulation. 

With 5 1/2 minutes left, the Redskins took over at their own 22. Dwayne Haskins hit Adrian Peterson for 22 yards and McLaurin for 15 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Detroit 32, Peterson gained 2. On 3rd and 4 from the Detroit 24, Haskins threw incomplete. Hopkins hit from 42 for a 16-16 game with 1:49 left. After a touchback, the Lions faced 3rd and 9 at their own 37. Driskel was intercepted by Dunbar at the Washington 46 with 48 seconds left. With 26 seconds left on 3rd and 5 from the Detroit 38, Haskins hit McLaurin for a key 17 yard gain. The Redskins inexplicably took their final timeout with 16 seconds left rather than let the clock go down to about 4 seconds. Hopkins hit the 39 yard field goal to give the Redskins the lead with 14 seconds left. Driskel threw in another interception for good measure on the final desperation play that fell 69 yards short of the end zone. 19-16 Redskins

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans — The firs half was a slugfest. In the second quarter the Titans took over at their own 27. Derrick Henry ran for 11 and 8. On 3rd and 4 from their own 44, Ryan Tannehill hit Humphries for 6.. Tannehill went to Davis for 24 and then ran for a 21 yard touchdown himself to make it 7-0 Titans. Josh Lambo hit a 49 yard field goal for the Jaguars, who only trailed 7-3 at halftime. Yet after a tough first half, the Titans exploded in the third quarter. They started from their own 36 to start the second half. From their 47, Tannehill went to AJ Brown for 36 yards. Defensive pass interference added 16 more down to the one. Tannehill went to Dennis Kelly for the touchdown to make it 14-3 Titans. The Titans got it back at their 26 and 11 seconds later Derrick Henry had a 74 yard touchdown run to make it 21-3 Titans. The Jaguars fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Titans recovered at the Jags 7 yard line. Henry ran it in to make it 28-3 Titans. The Titans got it back at their own 20. From their 35, Tannehill went to Brown for a 65 yard touchdown and a 35-3 Titans lead. 28 points in 8 minutes turned a close game into a blowout. The final 22 minutes were garbage time. The Jaguars scored a couple touchdowns but a failed onside kick led to Tannehill rushing for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 42-17 Titans with 10 minutes left. The Jaguars added a field goal for some reason as the 6-5 Titans are alive for a playoff spot. 42-20 Titans

Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots — In brutal weather with hard rain coming down, points came at a premium. The Cowboys missed an opportunity in the first quarter when Maher had a 46 yard field goal try blocked. Special teams killed the Cowboys On 4th and 12 from their own 30, the Cowboys punted and the Patriots blocked it and took over at the Dallas 12. Tom Brady hit Harry for a 10 yard score. The game’s only touchdown had the Patriots up 7-0. A quick interception of Dak Prescott gave the Patriots another short field at the Dallas 29. Nick Folk hit a 44 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Patriots early in the second quarter. The rest belonged to the kickers. Maher hit from 46. Folk missed from 46. Maher hit from 27 to get the Cowboys within 10-6. Folk missed again from 48 to end the half. Folk hit from 42 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 6 minutes left on 4th and 7 from the Patriots 11, Jason Garrett opted for the field goal. Maher hit the 29 yarder to again get the Cowboys within 4 points. At the 2 minute warning the Cowboys faced 3rd and 1 at their own 35. Rather than run, a short pass was nullified by a questionable tripping penalty. On 4th and 11 Prescott fired to Amari Cooper over the middle for a 20 yard gain. Yet on further review, the ball hit the ground. The Patriots ran out the clock. 13-9 Patriots

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers was the Sunday night game. This battle of titans between the 8-2 Packers and the 9-1 49ers was a mismatch from the start. 2 minutes into the game the Packers faced 3rd and 10 from their own 25. Aaron Rodgers was sacked and fumbled. Nick Bosa recovered it and returned 6 yards to the Green Bay 2 yard line. Coleman got in on the next play to make it 7-0 49ers. The 49ers got it back just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 5 from the Green Bay 46, Garoppolo was sacked. However, illegal use of hands on the defense kept the driving. Chase McLaughlin hit a 29 yard field goal to make it 10-0 49ers. In the second quarter the Packers moved from their own 20 to a 4th and 1 at the Frisco 28. Jones got the carry and ran into a red brick wall. With 6 minutes left in the half, the 49ers took over at their own 32. Garoppolo went to Greg Kittle for gains of 18 and 22. With 3 minutes left it was still a 10-0 game, but then the 49ers exploded. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 9, Garoppolo threw incomplete. McLaughlin hit the 27 yard field goal to make it 13-0. The 49ers got it back at their own 39 with 1:49 left. On 2nd and 6 from the Green Bay 42, Garoppolo went to Samuel for the touchdown to make it 20-0 49ers with one minute left. The 49ers got it back at their own 48 with 11 seconds left. Garoppolo went to Kittle for 22 yards. McLaughlin hit from 48 to end the half with the 49ers up 23-0. 

In the third quarter the Packers took over at their own 35. On 4th and 4 from the Frisco 48, Rodgers hit Williams for 15 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Frisco 9, Rodgers gained only 5 but unnecessary roughness meant 1st and goal at the 2. Rodgers hit Devontae Adams for the touchdown and Adams again for the 2 point conversion to get the Packers within 23-8. After a touchback, Garoppolo hit Kevin Bourne for 14 and then went deep to Kittle for a 61 yard touchdown as the 49ers led 30-8 after three quarters. The Packers after a touchback to a 4th and 8 to the Frisco 27. Rodgers was sacked. In the fourth quarter the 49ers took over at their own 31. On 3rd and 10 Garoppolo for 13. On 3rd and 4 from midfield, Garoppolo went to Mostert for 22 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 20, , Coleman gained 5. Mostert ran for the 15 yard exclamation point with 5 minutes left. 37-8 49ers

Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams was the Monday night game. The Rams were a great team last year but are only a good team this year. The Ravens were a good team last year and a great team this year. This game was over by halftime. A 20 yard punt return had the Ravens starting at their own 45. Mark Ingram broke off runs of 10 and 4. Lamar Jackson ran for 16 and 6. On 3rd and 1 from the Rams 16, Edwards gained 4 on a drive that still had not seen a pass. On 3rd and 4 from the Rams 6, Jackson went to Brown for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Rams. The ravens got it back at their own 39. Ingram ran for 19 and Edwards gained 10 and 3. On 4th and 1 from the rams 23, John Harbaugh ran for it. Jackson gained 5 and then hit Brown for the 18 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Ravens. The Rams went on a 15 play, 61 yard, 7 minute drive, but on 2nd and 5 from the Baltimore 7, a false start and a sack killed the drive. Greg Zuerlein hit a 32 yard field goal in the second quarter, but the Ravens kept rolling. On 3rd and 6 rom their own 29, Jackson hit Seth Roberts for 13. From the Rams 30, Jackson fumbled a shotgun snap, picked it up, and raced 35 yards down to the one. He fell down without being touched, since the only person who could stop him was him. Ingram got the last yard to make it 21-3 Rams with 5 minutes left in the half. The Rams moved to a 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 22, but on 3rd and 10 Goff was sacked. Zuerlein hit from 46 at the 2 minute warning as the Rams trailed 21-6. The Rams defense needed a stop, and they couldn’t get it. 

On 2nd and 4 from their own 31, Jackson hit Andrews for 7 with defensive unnecessary roughness adding 15. Jackson gained 12 and Hill added 11. Jackson hit Roberts for 16 and Snead for the 7 yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in the half to make it 28-6 Ravens. Baltimore quickly put the game away in the third quarter after a touchback. On 3rd and 8 from their own 38, Jackson hit Andrews for 38 yards. Edwards gained 11. On 3rd and 6 from the Rams 7, Jackson hit Ingram for the touchdown to make it 35-6 Ravens. The Ravens got it back and used the rest of the third quarter on a mind-numbing 17 play, 78 yard drive that took 9 minutes. They took over at their own 22. On 3rd and 9 from their own 34, Jackson hit Roberts for 10. On 2nd and 24 from their own 47, Jackson ran for 10 and then 5 more on 3rd and 14. They set up to punt on 4th and 9, but the Rams defense was flagged for too many men on the field. That made it 4th and 4 at the Rams 33. John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Jackson hit Boykin for 15 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Rams 12, Jackson hit Brown for 5 as the third quarter ended. On 3rd and goal at the 7 only 17 seconds into the fourth quarter, Jackson hit Snead for the touchdown. After barely more than three quarters, Jackson had completed only 15 of 20 passes for 169 yards, but with 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He also had 95 yards rushing, just behind 111 for Ingram but with half the carries. The Ravens as a team gashed the Rams defense for 270 yards on the ground, again in only three quarters. Robert Griffin III played the fourth quarter. Michelin Man Wade Phillips had no answers for Jackson. To be fair, nobody else seems to be able to figure out Jackson either.  45-6 Ravens

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger Cats was the Sunday Canadian Football League (CFL) 2019 Grey Cup Championship. 33-12 Blue Bombers

NFL 2019 Week 12 Prequel

November 24th, 2019

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