NFL 2017 Week 6 Recap

October 15th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 6 Recap

Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers was the Thursday night game. A pair of good football teams with good defenses played a game that started out every bit of the slugfest it was expected to be. Philadelphia reaches the Carolina 35 before Carson Wentz was hit and fumbled the ball away. On the second Philly drive they reached the Carolina 32, aided along by a 21 yard Wentz run. Elliott hit a 50 yard field goal for a 3-0 Eagles lead. However a 21 yard defensive pass interference call on the Philly defense led to a 39 yard Graham Gano field goal and a 3-3 ballgame.

The second quarter began with McCaffrey returning a punt 25 yards to give the Panthers a short field at the Philadelphia 43. Cam Newton ran for a 16 yard touchdown to make it 10-3 Panthers. Late in the half the Panthers faced 3rd and 5 at their own 14. Newton was intercepted to give the Eagles gift field position. On 4th and inches from the 3, Doug Pederson decided to go for it. Wentz gained 2 on the sneak and threw a 1 yard touchdown pass to Zac Ertz for a 10-10 deadlock. With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. With 5 seconds left and the Panthers facing 4th and 12 at the Philly 40, Riverboat Ron Rivera opted against the 58 yard field goal try and the Hail Mary. A pass past the first down marker was incomplete.

The third quarter began disastrously for Carolina. A simple screen pass on 3rd and 4 was bobbled by Stewart and intercepted. The Eagles again took over inside the red zone at the 17. On the next play Wentz had a pass batted high in the air. Yet Wentz smartly batted the ball down incomplete. On the next play Wentz fired over the middle to Ertz for the touchdown and the 16-10 Eagles lead. A defensive penalty on the extra point is normally assessed on the kickoff. Doug Pederson decided to instead go for 2 points from the one. With star Carolina defender Luke Kuechly out injured since late in the first half, the Eagles rammed it in for the 18-10 lead.

Newton then went bombs away into double coverage and was intercepted for the third time. However, a 40 yard defensive pass interference penalty instead gave Carolina 1st and 10 at the Philly 25. Despite 1st at the 5, Carolina could not tie the game. On 3rd and goal a pass in the flat led to a perfect tackle. On 4th and goal at the 2, Ron Rivera played it safe. Gano hit from 20 to get the Panthers within 18-13.

After a touchback, the Eagles moved to a 4th and 1 at the Carolina 30. Pederson decided not to gamble this time. Elliott hit from 48 to make it 21-13 Eagles. Carolina moved the ball again. After Newton barely avoided his third interception again, Gano hit his third field goal from 46 as the Panthers trailed 21-16 after three quarters.

After a touchback, Wentz torched the Panthers. A 20 yard completion to Hollis was followed with a 37 yard deep rainbow to Alshon Jeffery. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Wentz fired a laser to Nelson Agholor, who split the seams and raced untouched for a 24 yard touchdown and a 28-16 Panthers lead.

Carolina kept coming back. On 3rd and 8 from the Philly 4, Newton scrambled up the middle for 9 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the 25, a delay of game penalty should have meant 3rd and 15. Yet long after the whistle blew, a couple defenders leveled Newton. The defensive personal foul put the ball on the 12. Newton scrambled again and at the 3 dove for the pylon. Officials ruled him out at the one, but replay clearly showed the ball broke the plane past the pylon before Newton landed out of bounds. Ron Rivera challenged the call unsuccessfully. Newton then fired to McCaffrey for the score to cap the 7 minute drive. The Panthers were within 28-23 midway through the fourth quarter, but Carolina burned a timeout on losing the challenge.

Carolina held on defense and got the ball back with 6 minutes left. On 4th and 2 at the Philly 45 with 3 1/2 minutes left, Rivera decided to go for it. Yet the Panthers burned a second timeout. Newton fired a sideline pass to McCaffrey for 3 yards. On the next play Newton went for it all. For the third time, he should have been intercepted for the third time. The defender dropped it. Another deep ball was incomplete. On 3rd and 10, another deep ball over the middle finally was intercepted. With 3 minutes left, the Eagles had the ball at their own 11 and the Panthers had only one timeout.

Despite 2nd and 3, another run was blown up in the backfield. On 3rd and 7, a pass to Ertz was dropped. The Eagles would have had the first down. The Panthers got it back at their 31 without a timeout. However, 2:03 remained when the Eagles downed the ball rather than let the clock hit the 2 minute warning.

Newton fired to Kelvin Benjamin for 12 yards. Newton’s 49th pass barely avoided his fourth interception. On 4th and 1 from the Philly 48 with 1:22 left, Newton threw a pass that was caught, but review showed it bounced. The incompletion ended it. The Eagles has 10 penalties for 126 yards. The Panthers had one penalty for one yard. Yet the Panthers fell to 4-2 while the Eagles are a 5-1 team. The only Eagles loss came to unbeaten Kansas City and Walrus Lite Andy Reid. Rivera and Pederson are Reid protégés, which explains the success. 28-23 Eagles

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans — Both teams have a rookie quarterback, but only Houston gave their starter an ounce of help at other positions. Cleveland benched their rookie, as if that will help his development. Early on Fairbairn hit a 40 yard field goal for the Texans and Gonzalez connected from 41 for a 3-3 game. Then reality set in. The Texans moved 87 yards and DeShaun Watson threw a 39 yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller for a 10-3 Texans lead.

Hogan is now playing quarterback for Cleveland. He found Joseph in the second quarter, but Joseph plays defense for Houston. The 82 yard interception return for a touchdown made it 17-3 Texans and the route was on. Houston got it back and moved 71 yards. A one yard touchdown pass from Watson to Miller made it 24-3 Texans at halftime. For some reason the second half was played. Something about league rules.

In the third quarter Hogan was sacked for a safety. Watson then went to Dustin Hopkins for a 3 yard touchdown to cap a 13 play, 65 yard, 6 minute drive. The Texans led 33-3 after three quarters as Hue Jackson wondered what he had to do to win a game before December. The Browns did get a pair of fourth quarter garbage touchdowns, including one on an interception return for a score. It was Watson’s only mistake but did not overshadow his three touchdown passes. Flip the script for Hogan, who had three interceptions that far overshadowed his garbage touchdown. 33-17 Texans

New England Patriots at New York Jets — The Patriots have won 211 games since Tom Brady took over full-time in 2000. The Jets have won 211 games since 1989. The Patriots were supposed to go 16-0 this year and the Jets were supposed to go 0-16. Cue ESPN user-announcer Chris Berman: “THAT’s why they play the games.” Early on the Jets moved 88 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 10 from their own 12, Josh McCown hit Anderson for 23 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Jets 37, McCown scrambled for 16 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the New England 31, McCown went deep to Jeremy Kerley for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, McCown found Sefarian-Jenkins for the touchdown. The Jets led 7-0, and were smelling upset.

The Patriots in the second quarter moved to a 1st and 10 at the Jets 27. Mike Gillislee gained 5 yards and then fumbled the ball away. The Jets moved from their own 22 to a 3rd and 5 at the New England 47. McCown went to Kearse for 16 yards and then threw a dart to Kerley, who split the seams and raced for a 31 yard touchdown. The Jets led 14-0. Then reality set in and order was restored.

The Patriots took over with 10 minutes left in the half at their own 7. Brady went deep to Gronkowski for 25 yards. On 3rd and 7 from their own 38, Brady went to Danny Amendola for 17 yards. From the Jets 25, defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Dion Lewis got in to get the Patriots within 14-7. The Jets soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 36. McGuire got the carry and lost a yard. The Patriots got it back at their own 21 with 3:17 left in the half. Brady went deep and was intercepted, but the Jets went 3 and out. The Patriots then saw Stephen Gostkowski miss a 47 yard field goal.

The Jets were getting every possible break. With 40 seconds left in the half, the Jets had 2nd and 12 just past midfield. McCown was then intercepted to set the Patriots up at their own 37 with 35 seconds left. With 22 seconds left in the half the Patriots were only at the Jets 44. Brady then went deep to Brandon Cooks for a 42 yard gain. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for the 2 yard touchdown with 9 seconds left in the half. The game was tied 14-14, but it was a back-breaker for the Jets.

As expected, the Patriots took the second half kickoff after a touchback and marched 75 yards. Again, the way they did it was crippling. On 3rd and 13 just shy of midfield, Brady hit Cooks for 19 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Jets 33, Brady went to Gronkowski, who took it all the way for the touchdown and the 21-14 Patriots lead. The Jets moved from their own 14 to a 3rd and 1 at the New England 34. Matt Forte got the carry and got stopped. Tod Bowles decided to go for it. On 4th and 1, McCown was intercepted. The Patriots moved from their own 28 to the Jets 6, but offensive pass interference killed the drive. Less than one minute into the fourth quarter, Gostkowski hit from 28 to make it 24-14 Patriots. 24 unanswered points appeared to put the game away, but the Jets were resilient.

The Jets moved from their 25 to the Patriots 4 yard line. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation they had a chance to get right back in it. McCown hit Sefarian Jenkins for the touchdown, and the home crowd celebrated. Yet on further review, the officials ruled that Sefarian-Jenkins lost the ball before it broke the plane of the goal. Instead of a touchdown, it was a fumble and a touchback. The Jets got it back at their own 35 with 6 1/2 minutes left. McCown quickly went deep to Kearse for a 44 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the 7, a pass to Forte lost 3 yards. Chandler Catanzaro hit the 28 yard field goal, but the Jets trailed by 7 with 3 1/2 minutes left.

The Jets held on defense and got it back at their own 27 with 1:53 to play and one timeout. A sack of McCown forced the Jets to take their last timeout. With 1:12 to play the Jets were facing 4th and 12 at their own 25. McCown went deep to Anderson for a 32 yard gain. With 44 seconds left, on 3rd and 10, McCown was sacked. This time on 4th and 16 his deep ball fell incomplete. Evil Hoodie got another win over the Jets to get the Patriots to 4-2 while the Jets saw their 3 game win streak snapped to drop to 3-3. Brady finished 20 of 38 for 257 yards while McCown was 31 of 47 for 354 yards. Both quarterbacks threw 2 touchdown passes but Brady was intercepted once while McCown was picked off twice. 24-17 Patriots.

Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons — This one was a shocker. The Falcons were expected to easily dispatch Miami and its anemic offense. Early on Matt Bryant kicked a 50 yard field goal for the Falcons. Atlanta got it back at their own 10 and easily moved 90 yards. Matt Ryan threw a 40 yard touchdown pass to Hall as the Falcons led 10-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Falcons quickly moved 61 yards. Trevor Coleman ran it in from 6 yards out as the Falcons were coasting 17-0 at halftime. Matt Bryant did miss a 59 yard field goal to end the half, but it was at the time not a concern. The second half left the home crowd as shellshocked as they were when the Falcons blew a 25 point lead in the Super Bowl.

The Dolphins marched 75 yards in the third quarter. They ran 15 plays and held the ball for nearly 9 minutes. Jay Cutler, as maligned a quarterback as any in the league, threw an 11 yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills on 3rd and 7 to get the Dolphins on the board. Atlanta went 3 and out and a shanked punt had the Dolphins just shy of midfield On 3rd and 9, defensive pass interference meant 26 yards.An interception of Cutler was then nullified by a roughing the passer call. Cutler threw a 7 yard touchdown pass to Landry as the Dolphins only trailed 17-14 after three quarters.

With 12 minutes left in regulation the Falcons set up to punt on 4th and 19 at the Miami 42. The snap was fumbled, and the Dolphins recovered at their own 48. On 4th and 2 from the Atlanta 44, Adam Game decided to go for it. Cutler hit Landry for 9 yards. Cody Parker hit a 49 yard field goal to tie the game 17-17 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Atlanta went 3 and out. Miami took over at their own 34. Jay Ajayi ran for a pair of 18 yard gains. On 3rd and 9 from the Atlanta 29, Cutler found Landry for 10. With 2 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Parkey hit from 38 to give the Dolphins the 3 point lead. The Matty Ice moved the Falcons from their 13 to the Miami 26 with 47 seconds left. They were well within Bryant’s range. Matty Ice then went ice cold, throwing an interception at the 6 yard line. Dan Quinn’s defending NFC champions will face a hostile media after this unforgivable home loss. 20-17 Dolphins

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints was ridiculous from start to finish. Early on the Lions faced 3rd and 8 at their own 4 yard line. Matthew Stafford was sacked in his own end zone, fumbled, and Vaccaro recovered for a Saints touchdown and a 7-0 New Orleans lead. The Lions came back and soon faced 3rd and 4 at the Saints 45. Stafford found Golden Tate, who outraced everyone for the touchdown and a 7-7 game. After a touchback, Mark Ingram raced around the end for a 51 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Detroit 20, Drew Brees hit Ted Ginn for the touchdown and a 14-7 Saints lead.

The Saints got it back at their own 8 and Brees did what he does. He found Ginn for 9, Hoomanawanui for 25 and Ginn for 24 more. The drive died at the Detroit 23, but Will Lutz hit a 41 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Saints after the first quarter. With the Lions just past midfield, Stafford was sacked and fumbled. The Saints took over at the Detroit 31. On 3rd and 4, Brees hit Snead for 11 and Ginn for 13. Ingram got in from the one to make it 24-7 with 11 minutes left in the half.

After a touchback the Lions moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Saints 22. Zac Zenner got the carry and got nothing. Jim Caldwell decided not to gamble on 4th and 1. Matt Prater hit the 41 yard field goal to get the Lions within 24-10. Yet the Saints offense kept rolling like it was the glory days of a few years ago. On 4th and 1 from the Detroit 41, Sean Payton decided to go for it. Kamara got around the end for a 6 yard gain. Brees went to Coleman for a 20 yard gain. With 1:48 left in the half, Ingram got in from 2 yards out as the Saints were winning a laugher 31-10.

Lutz hit the ensuing kickoff out of bounds to give the Lions the ball at their own 40. With 26 seconds left in the half the Lions had 1st and goal at the 5. After 3 incompletions left 16 seconds on the clock, Jim Caldwell decided to go for it rather than take the field goal. Stafford hit Darren Fells, who was stopped one yard short of the end zone as the Lions got nothing. In the third quarter Brees shook off an interception as the Saints got the ball back at their own 46. Brees hit Hoomanawanui for a 2 yard touchdown. The Saints led 38-10. Two plays later from the Detroit 27, Stafford was intercepted by Lattimore. He was not the defender in Varsity Blues, but he did return the interception 27 yards for a touchdown. The Saints led 45-10 with 8 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. This game was far from over as the second half was even wilder than the first. Yes, a 45-10 game was not over.

After a touchback, Stafford went to Jones for 38 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Saints 22, Stafford went deep to Jones for the touchdown as the Lions trailed 45-17. The onside kick failed, but on 3rd and 11 from the Detroit 45, a short completion from Brees to Ingram was fumbled. The Lions got it back at their own 39. On 3rd and 5, Stafford hit Jones for 14 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the saints 42, Stafford found Theo Riddick for 12 more. On 3rd and 17 from the Saints 22, Stafford went deep to Fells for the touchdown as the Lions were within 45-24.

With 11 minutes left in regulation, the Saints punted from their own 16. Agnew returned it 74 yards as the Lions were now within 45-31. With 6:47 to play, the Saints faced 2nd and 14 at their own 1 yard line. Brees had his short pass intercepted by Robinson for a 2 yard defensive touchdown. W28 straight points had the Lions within 45-38. The biggest comeback in NFL history was 32 points. The Lion were trying to come from 35 points down and were now within 7 points.

With 5 minutes left in regulation, a fumbled punt by the Lions had them pinned at their own one yard line. They were 99 yards away from a tie game. Stafford went back to pass in his own end zone, and had the ball intercepted by Jordan for the saints second defensive touchdown. Down by 14, 3 plays latter from the Saints 35, Stafford was intercepted again by Vaccaro. Stafford finished 25 of 52 for 312 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Brees finished 21 of 31 for 186 yards,2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. 52-38 Saints

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings — With Aaron Rodgers, the Packers can beat anybody. Midway through the first quarter, Rodgers got drilled by Martellus Bennett. It was a clean hit, and Bennett landed on Rodgers’s throwing shoulder. Brett Hundley played the rest of the way as Case Keenum helmed Minnesota in place of the injured Sam Bradford. The first quarter ended with an interception of Hundley. On the first play of the second quarter, Keenum went to McKinnon for a 27 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Vikings lead.

A shanked 26 yard punt then had the Vikings starting at the Green Bay 22. McKinnon gained 20 yards, but on the next play he fumbled the ball away. Clay Matthews picked it up and rumbled 63 yards to the Minnesota 18. On 3rd and 6, Hundley hit Devontae Adams for the touchdown.  Instead of a 14-0 Vikings lead, it was a 7-7 tie.

From the Minnesota 16, Keenum went deep and drew a 42 yard defensive pass interference call. Keenum then hit Adam Thielen for 11 and Kyle Rudolph for 16 more. McKinnon ran it in to make 14-7 Vikings. With 4 minutes left in the half, Keenum was intercepted to set the Packers up at the Minnesota 38. On 3rd and 6 HUndley found jordy Nelson for 26 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 8. On 3rd and goal, HUndley found Montgomery for the touchdown. Yet on further review the play was reversed to incomplete. Mason Crosby hit the 26 yard field goal with 1:50 left in the half to get the Packers within 14-10. After a touchback the Vikings moved to a 1st and 10 at the Green Bay 30 with 48 seconds left. Yet an offensive facemark followed by an offensive illegal blindside block had the Vikings facing 1st and 40. They would punt.

The second half was all defense. The Vikings moved after a touchback 57 yards in 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Yet on 1st and 10 from the Green Bay 18, the drive just died. Kai Forbath hit the 36 yard field goal to make it 17-10 Vikings. The Packers soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 46. Jones got the carry and got stopped. The Vikings got it back at their own 17. Keenum Found Treadwell for a 25 yard gain. On the first play of the fourth quarter with Minnesota facing 4th and 1 at the Packers 17, Mike Zimmer played it safe. Forbath hit from 34 to make it 20-10 Vikings. Another interception of Hundley led to Forbath hitting from 53 with 11 minutes left. On 3rd and 11 from the Minnesota 12 with 21 seconds left, Hundley was intercepted again. Mike McCarthy has more to worry about than a loss. He lost Rodgers for the season with a broken collarbone as all of Wisconsin wept. 23-10 Vikings

Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens — Mitchell Trubisky played well enough in his very first start last week, a loss on the final play. Baltimore appeared to right the ship last week. Early on Chicago moved the ball well. After a scoreless first quarter, 60 yards in 10 plays led to a 24 yard Connor Barth field goal for the Bears. The Ravens faced 3rd and 6 at the Chicago 26, when a completion to Williams was fumbled away. With the Ravens facing 3rd and 4 at their own 44, Joe Flacco was intercepted. Callahan returned it 52 yards. On 2nd and 11 from the Baltimore 21, John Fox went to the bag of trucks. A halfback option pass from Cohen to Zach Miller went for the touchdown and a 10-0 Bears lead.

With 1:40 left in the half, the Ravens moved from their own 36 to a 1st and goal at the 9 with 23 seconds left. Flacco threw 3 straight incompletions. Justin Tucker hit the 27 yard field goal as the Ravens trailed 10-3 at the break. In the third quarter the Bears moved from their 34 to a 3rd and 7 at the Baltimore 27. Trubisky calmly went deep to Sims for the touchdown as the bears had the surprising 17-3 lead. Yet 14 seconds later the Ravens were in the end zone as Rainey returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown to get within 17-10.

With the third quarter ending, Cohen fumbled to set the Ravens up at the Chicago 39. despite 1st and goal at the 9, the Ravens again bogged down close. Tucker hit from 31 to get the Ravens within 17-13 with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 9 1/2 minutes left, the Bears faced 3rd and 8 from the Baltimore 43. Trubisky was sacked and fumbled and the Ravens took over at their own 43. Two plays after a fourth down conversion, from the Chicago 30, Flacco went deep and was intercepted by Amos. Amos raced 90 yards the other way for a defensive touchdown. Instead of a Baltimore lead, the Bears led 24-13 with 5 1/2 minutes to play.

The Ravens after a touchback desperately moved to a 4th and 4 at the Chicago 31. Needing 2 scores with 3 minutes left, John Harbaugh opted for the field goal. Tucker hit the clutch kick from 50 as the Ravens got within 24-16. John Fox likes to win by running the ball and playing defense. Howard gained 1 and then 8 more as the 2 minute warning came with the Bears facing 3rd and 1 at the Chicago 26. Howard got the carry and lost 2 yards. The Ravens called their final timeout with 1:55 left. Campanaro returned the punt 77 yards for a touchdown. The successful 2 point conversion had the Ravens tie the game 24-24.

The Bears nearly gave the game away in regulation when Campanaro returned another punt 16 yards to the Baltimore 44 with 12 seconds left. Flacco hit Wallace for 16 more yards to the Chicago 40, but the clock ran out before the Ravens could try a winning kick or Hail Mary. In overtime each team punted and the Bears took over at their own 7. Howard went off tackle for a 53 yard gain. On 3rd and 11 from the Baltimore 41, Trubisky found Wright for an 18 yard gain. With 2:11 left in overtime, Barth came in for the 40 yard field goal try to win it. The kick was good, as the Bears got another win against an AFC North squad and the first win for Trubisky. 27-24 Bears, OT

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins — Nobody loses close games like the 49ers. The Redskins moved 75 yards and Kirk Cousins hit Doctson for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Redskins. In the second quarter the Redskins moved 64 yards in 10 plays and nearly 6 minutes. Cousins hit Perine for a 3 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Redskins lead. Bryan Hoyer was benched Washington got it back and moved 55 yards. Dustin Hopkins hit a 48 yard field goal as the Redskins led 17-0. They were on their way to a blowout win.

Late in the half the 49ers moved 75 yards in 11 plays. Carlos Hyde got the last yard to get the 49ers within 17-7 at the break. In the third quarter the 49ers held the ball for nearly 5 1/2 minutes and 12 plays. Robbie Gould hit a 52 yard field goal to get the 49ers within 17-10. The 49ers would miss a chance to get even closer when Gould missed from 47 yards out. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter from the Washington 37, a short pass by Cousins was fumbled by Vernon Davis. Jihad Ward returned it 44 yards for a defensive touchdown. On further review, Ward was ruled down at the one. Hyde got in on the next play and the 49ers had come all the way back for a 17-17 tie.

The Redskins regrouped and mounted a staggering 16 play, 72 yard drive that took 7 1/2 minutes off of the clock. On 2nd and goal at the 2, a run lost a yard and Cousins then threw incomplete. Hopkins hit from 21 as the Redskins reclaimed the lead 20-17 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Washington held on defense and got it back at their own 16 with 8 1/2 minutes left. From the Washington 27, Cousins went deep to Davis for a 51 yard gain. Cousins ran for a 7 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, but with 3 1/2 minutes left the Redskins led 26-17.

On 3rd and 8 from the San Francisco 27, Beatherd found Taylor for 10. Beatherd then went deep to Robinson for a 45 yard touchdown at the 2 minute warning. The 49ers were down 2 and they still had 2 timeouts. The onside kick failed but the 49ers held on defense and got the ball back at their own 20 with 52 seconds left. Without a timeout, they needed only a field goal to win. With 28 seconds left the 49ers had 1st and 10 at the Washington 40. They were on the verge of field goal range. A critical offensive pass interference call killed the 49ers. On 4th and 20 with 9 seconds left, Beatherd went deep and was intercepted to drop the 49ers to an 0-6 mess. 26-24 Redskins

Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars — Both of these teams are up one week, down the next. The Rams lost a heartbreaker at home to Seattle last week while the Jaguars stunned Pittsburgh as their defense racked up 5 interceptions. This was a game of big plays. Pharrell Cooper returned the opening kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead only 14 seconds into the game. After a touchback Leonard Fournette took a handoff 75 yards for a touchdown and a 7-7 game after only 25 seconds of play.

Later on a shanked 16 yard punt set up the Rams at the Jacksonville 45. Jared Goff threw incomplete on 3rd and 2, but Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein nailed a 56 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Rams. After a touchback, Blake Bortles hit Alex Hurns for an 18 yard gain. Marques Lee ran for 17 and Fournette gained 18 more. Bortles went to Chris Ivory for a 22 yard touchdown and a 14-10 Jaguars lead. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Rams took over at their own 34. Goff went to Woods for 22 yards and sammy Watkins for 11 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Jacksonville 23, Goff hit Cooper Kupp for 13. With 22 seconds left in the first quarter, Goff hit Everett for a 4 yard touchdown and a 17-14 Rams lead. The opening quarter saw 31 points. The game drastically slowed over the final three quarters.

With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Jaguars punted from their own 19. Littleton blocked it and Brown recovered it at the Jacksonville 8 yard line. Brown rumbled into the end zone with it for a 24-14 Rams lead . The Jaguars missed a chance to get closer when Myers missed a 54 yard field goal at the end of the half. In the third quarter a Rams fumble gave the Jaguars the ball at their own 48. Myers would hit a 41 yard field goal to get the Jaguars within 24-17 with 5 minutes left in the the third quarter.

The defenses controlled the final 45 minutes. From the Rams 32 midway through the fourth quarter, the Rams did just enough. On 3rd and 6 from the Rams 46, Goff hit Cupp for 22 yards. After 12 plays and 5 minutes, Zuerlein hit a 29 yarder to give the Rams a 27-17 cushion with only 2 1/2 minutes left. Needing 2 scores, Myers came in for another 54 yard field goal try with 1:12 left. Again he missed it and Jacksonville was done. 27-17 Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals — A pair of wildly inconsistent teams played a wildly inconsistent game. Adrian Peterson played his first game for the Cardinals after being traded from New Orleans after only five games. Peterson was under-utilized in New Orleans, but early on in Arizona he was a bell cow. He ran for 8, 8 more, 11 more, and a 27 yard touchdown to cap a 75 yard drive and make it 7-0 Cardinals. The Cardinals got it back and easily moved 86 yards. Own 3rd and 5 from their own 19, Carson Palmer hit Larry Fitzgerald for 29 yards and John Brown for 15 more. After Peterson gained 6 and 17, Palmer hit Niklas for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Cardinals.

On 4th and 4 from the Arizona 39, the Buccaneers decided to punt, pinning the Cardinals back at their own 5 as the first quarter ended. On 3rd and 7 from their own 28, Palmer threw incomplete but defensive offsides gave them another chance. On 3rd and 2, Palmer found Brown for 30 yards, to Fitzgerald for 26 more, and to Fitzgerald for the 11 yard touchdown to make it 21-0 Cardinals. The Cardinals got it back at their 30 and easily moved to 1st and goal at the one. Palmer then fumbled the snap for a 2 yard loss. Two more plays lost a few more yards. Phil Dawson hit the 28 yard field goal for a 24-0 Cardinals lead. with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half, Jameis Winston was pulled for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick moved the Buccaneers from their 25 to a 1st and goal at the 7 with 29 seconds left in the half. On 4th and goal at the 5 Dirk Koetter decided to go for it and Fitzpatrick threw incomplete.

On the second play of the third quarter, Fitzpatrick was intercepted by Antoine Bethea to set up the Cardinals at the Tampa Bay 33. Palmer hit Brown for a 17 yard touchdown. Only 3 minutes into the third quarter, the Cardinals were winning a laugher 31-0. There was no way the Buccaneers could come back. Or could they? After a touchback Fitzpatrick hit DeSean Jackson for 27 yards. On 3rd and 12 from midfield, Fitzpatrick hit Mike Evans for 17 yards. Muscle Hamster Doug Martin gained 27. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Fitzpatrick hit Jackson for the score. The 2 point try failed but the Buccaneers were on the board. They trailed 31-6 after three quarters, but Fitzpatrick was just getting started.

On the last play of the third quarter, Fitzpatrick went deep to Evans for a 41 yard gain to the Arizona 10. On 3rd and goal Fitzpatrick hit Brate for the touchdown. Again the 2 point try failed as the Buccaneers were within 31-12. The Cardinals quickly faced 1st and 20 at their own 15. A short pass from Palmer to Fitzgerald was fumbled. David picked it up and raced 21 yards for a defensive touchdown. With 13 minutes left in regulation the Buccaneers were within 31-20.

The Cardinals reached the Tampa Bay 32 when offensive holding killed the drive. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers were pinned at their own one yard line. Fitzpatrick was intercepted, giving the Cardinals the ball at the one. Peterson banged in to make it 38-20 Cardinals. Yet the game was still not over.

The Buccaneers moved from their 30 to a 4th and goal at the one. Martin got in but again the 2 point try failed. The Buccaneers were within 38-26, but only 3 minutes remained. The onside kick failed, but on 4th and 2 at the Tampa Bay 35, Bruce Arians decided to go for it rather than try the long field goal. Palmer threw incomplete. On 2nd and 9, Fitzpatrick hit Humphries for 27 yards and Evans for a 37 yard touchdown. With 2:02 to play the Buccaneers had cut a 31 point deficit to 5 points. However, the onside kick again failed and with the Bucs out of timeouts, Palmer took three knees and Arizona survived an epic scare. Both quarterbacks threw 3 touchdown passes. Fitzpatrick was 22 of 32 for 290 yards, but he was intercepted twice. Palmer was an efficient 18 of 22 for 283 yards, with one interception. Peterson was the difference, with 26 carries for 134 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one big statement to the rest of the league that he was back. 38-33 Cardinals

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs — Kansas City came in the long unbeaten team, while Pittsburgh got shellacked at home last week due to 5 Ben Roethlisberger interceptions. Last year the Steelers beat the Chiefs twice, including a playoff game in Kansas City where the Steelers hit the Chiefs in the mouth. The Chiefs wanted revenge, but Mike Tomlin again had the Steelers revert to their smash mouth form. Early in the game a shotgun snap sailed over Alex Smith’s head, resulting in a safety for the Steelers. Yet there was confusion on the free kick as the Steelers treated it like a punt rather than a kickoff. The Chiefs recovered the live ball. They ere unable to move, but Butker hit a 46 yard field goal to make it 3-2 Chiefs after the first quarter.

After that the Steelers defense took over. In the second quarter Pittsburgh moved 75 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. LeVeon Bell ran for a 3 yard touchdown and a 9-3 Steelers lead. The Steelers got it back at their own one yard line. They moved 93 yards in 12 plays and almost 7 more minutes. They settled for a 24 yard Chris Boswell field goal and a 12-3 halftime lead, but Pittsburgh was clearly winning in the trenches.

After a scoreless third quarter, the resilient Chiefs came back. They just find ways to win games. 82 yards came quickly as Alex Smith found Thomas for a 57 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Chiefs were only down 12-10. Yet the Steelers this time also struck quickly. 75 yards culminated in Roethlisberger throwing a 51 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. With 3 1/2 minutes left, the Steelers were back up by 2 scores.

From the Chiefs 33, Smith went deep to Hunt for a 29 yard gain and Travis Kelce for 23 more. Yet despite 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 15, Smith threw 3 straight incompletions. Butker hit the 33 yard field goal. The Chiefs were down by 6 but they had all 3 timeouts. With 2:17 to play, Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to kick it deep rather than go onsides kick. The gamble appeared to pay off, especially when Tyreeq Hill returned a punt 32 yards. With 1:42 left, the Chiefs were at their own 44 with one timeout left. On 3rd and 10 from the Pittsburgh 40, Smith was sacked. On 4th and 18 with one minute left, Smith threw deep incomplete. For the third straight time, the Steelers just out-physicaled the Chiefs. The 1972 unbeaten Miami squad popped their champagne corks much earlier than usual this year. 19-13 Steelers

Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders — The Chargers started 0-4 before finally being gifted a win over the 0-5 Giants. The Raiders after a 2-0 start had lost 3 straight. Derek Carr came back after missing one game due to an injured back. If there was ever a game the Raiders could win, this was it. After a Chargers punt, the Raiders took over at their own 10. The first play from scrimmage saw Marshawn Lynch go Beast Mode for a 15 yard gain. The second play saw Carr go deep and get intercepted. The offense has been out of sync for a month. The Chargers are just bad. Despite starting at the Oakland 30, a run went nowhere, Philip Rivers threw 2 incompletions, and Nick Novak missed a 48 yard field goal. This would truly be a battle of who wanted it least.

The Raiders took over at their own 38 and went straight to the ground. Lynch gained 4, 5 and 5 more on 3rd and 1. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 34, Carr hit Michael Crabtree for 7 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 23, Carr went back to Crabtree, who got to the corner and beat the pylon for a touchdown and a 7-0 Raiders lead. After a touchback the Chargers moved to a 4th and 3 at the Oakland 34. Anthony Lynn decided to go for it, and Rivers threw incomplete.

The Raiders were playing terribly on offense, and the only thing saving them was that they were playing the Chargers. Even that luck runs out eventually. With the Chargers facing 3rd and 7 at their own 21, Rivers went deep to Keenan Allen for 28 yards. The Raiders have an awful secondary, and on 3rd and 8 just past midfield, Rivers hit Ekeler for just enough. On 3rd and 9 from the Oakland 22, Rivers hit Allen for 12. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Rivers hit Henry, who was tackled inches shy of the goal line. Anthony Lynn decided to go for it. On 4th and goal from inches away, Melvin Gordon leapt over the top like Marcus Allen used to do in Los Angeles for the Raiders. The 15 play, 82 yard, nearly 7 minute drive tied the game 7-7.

Cordarelle Patterson took the kickoff at the one and returned it 39 yards to the Oakland 40 with 1:34 left in the half. After offensive holding set up 1st and 20 at the Oakland 43, defensive pass interference gave the Raiders 12 yards and 1st and 10 at the Chargers 34. With 8 seconds left on 3rd and 2, Carr went to the end zone incomplete. Georgio Tavecchio hit the 44 yard field goal as the Raiders took a 10-7 lead into the locker rooms.

The Raiders had every chance to put the game away. In the third quarter the Raiders moved from their own 36 in 14 plays. They took nearly 7 minutes off the clock. On 2nd and 7 from the Chargers 15, disaster struck. A short pass from Carr to Lynch bounced off his hands and was intercepted by Pullard. Again, the Raiders had squandered a scoring chance. On their next offensive series on 3rd and 2 from their own 30, a short pass from Carr to Patterson gained only one yard. The Chargers faced 3rd and 9 at their own 31. Rivers hit Williams for 14 yards, but he was hit and fumbled. The Raiders took over just past midfield. On the last play of the third quarter, a 3rd and 5 pass from Carr to Crabtree gained only 3 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter Jack Del Rio decided to go for it on 4th and 2 from the Chargers 41 rather than punt and play field position. Carr threw incomplete.

This time the Chargers took full advantage of the Raiders ineptitude on offense. Rivers hit Henry for 10 and Williams for 11. On 3rd and 6 from the Oakland 34, Rivers hit Williams for 15 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the 14, Rivers hit Melvin Gordon for 8 yards. Rivers threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to Gordon as the Chargers led 14-10 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

This time the Raiders came back quickly. On 3rd and 4 from their own 41, Carr went deep incomplete but the defense jumped offsides. An end around by Patterson saw him out-juke everyone for a 47 yard touchdown. With 8 minutes to play the Raiders retook the lead. Yet long snapper Condo delivered a very high snap and Tavecchio missed the extra point. Tavvecchio has been stellar in place of the injured Sebastian Janikowski, but that missed extra point was a killer. The Raiders led 16-14, but the end was inevitable.

The Raiders held on defense and got the ball back at their own 26 with 6 minutes left. Running down the clock would mean a win. On the first play Carr went to Amari Cooper for 19 yards, but an illegal formation penalty wiped out the gain. On 3rd and 12 the Raiders tried a hook and lateral, but it came up 2 yards short of the sticks. From their own 34, the Raiders punted. Marquette King had been averaging 57 yards per punt on the day, and he delivered a beauty. The Chargers were pinned at their own 8 yard line with 4 minutes left. The Raiders have an awful secondary, but the defense had been carrying the offense all day. Yet when the Raiders needed the defense most, the expected meltdown happened.

Rivers went deep to Henry for a 34 yard gain and back to Henry for 23 more yards. From the Oakland 33, a heavy dose of Gordon buried the helpless and heartless Raiders. He gained 7, 4, 3, and 4 more. The Raiders took their last timeout with 1:40 to play and the Chargers facing 3rd and 3 at the Oakland 15. One stop would at least give the Raiders the ball back with just under one minute to play. Instead, Gordon gained 5 and the Chargers took the clock down to 3 seconds left. From 32 yards out, Novak was perfect. Both teams are 2-4, but the Chargers have won 2 straight and the Raiders have lost 4 straight. The Raiders are a mess in every phase of the game. After going 12-4 last year, they are a shell of what they were. The play-calling is terrible on both sides of the ball. Carr is not getting any help from anyone, anywhere. The Raiders went from Super Bowl aspirations to the AFC West cellar. 17-16 Chargers

New York Giants at Denver Broncos was the Sunday night game. Last week the 0-4 Giants could not even beat the previously 0-4 Chargers at home. Now the 0-5 Giants had to go on the road and take on a very good Denver team. This should have been a blowout. There is no explanation for the early results. The Giants held the ball for 13 plays and 7 minutes, moving 69 yards. Although they settled for a 25 yard Rosas field goal, they established the tone early. In the second quarter the Giants moved 75 yards. Eli Manning hit Evan Engram for a 5 yard touchdown as the Giants led 10-0 in front of a stunned home crowd in the Mile High City. The normally reliable Brandon McManus missed a 35 yard field goal for the Broncos in the first quarter, and a second quarter drive into Giants territory saw Trevor Siemian get intercepted in the red zone.

Midway through the second quarter the Broncos took over at their own 20. Siemian went to Victor Green for 24 yards. Offensive holding had the Broncos facing 2nd and 20 at their own 39. Siemian hit Denarius Thomas for 11. On 3rd and 9 from midfield, Siemian went deep to Thomas in double coverage for a 40 yard gain. Yet 3 incompletions later and the Broncos settled for a 28 yard McManus field goal to trail 10-3. With one minute left in the half and the Broncos facing 3rd and 10 at their own 38, Siemian threw a sideline route. Jenoris Jenkins jumped the route and raced 43 yards for a defensive touchdown in front of a shocked home crowd. Not only did the Giants lead 17-3, but Siemian got hit on the play and walked to the locker room with a bum shoulder. Brock Osweiler finished the half.

The Giants defense continued to clamp down in the second half despite Siemian returning. From the Giants 39, Manning went to Engram for a 21 yard gain. Rosas hit a critical 51 yard field goal to make it 20-3 Giants. Denver moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Giants 35. After an incompletion, McManus came in for a 53 yard field goal try. He missed it wide by a mile. Rosas then had a 49 yard try partially blocked. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Broncos decided to go for it on 4th and 5 from the Giants 45. Siemian hit Thomas for a 6 yard gain, but Thomas had the ball ripped out of his hands by Jenkins. Ei Apple recovered the fumble for the Giants. The Giants punted, Denver fumbled that, and were lucky to retain possession.

With 10 minutes left the Broncos were down to their last gasp, facing 4th and 15 from the Giants 45. Siemian went deep on a play that had no chance. Thomas deliberately drew a defensive pass interference call to give the Broncos 1st and goal at the 8. On 3rd and goal at the 5, a completion to a completion to Bennie Fowler at the goal line saw him wrapped up by 2 defenders. On 4th and goal at the one, Anderson got the carry and got stopped cold. A fired up Steve Spagnuolo praised his defense for the goal line stand with 8 1/2 minutes left. Vance Joseph challenged the call, but replays showed that there was no angle to even see the ball. The call stood.

The Broncos caught a break when the Giants fumbled the ball back to Denver at the Giants 20. However, officials reversed the call and ruled that the runner’s knee was down. Replay confirmed this.  Denver got it back and again entered the red zone as the clock ticked down. From the Giants 13, Siemian fired a perfect pass through double coverage to Heuerman. A sure interception was somehow caught for the touchdown. The Broncos were still down by 10 and only 4 minutes remained.

The onside kick failed and Ben McAdoo played it very safe. On 3rd and 9 from the Denver 40, Darkwa got the carry, broke off the left tackle side, and gained 19 yards. On the next play the Giants fumbled the handoff but retained possession as the clock reached the 2 minute warning. Rosas tacked on one more field goal to complete the dominating win. When the dust settled, it was the winless Giants who were no longer winless in the biggest upset of the year. Without injured O’Dell Beckham and suspended Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Giants won with heart and guts. For Denver, this was just a head-scratcher. Siemian threw for 375 yards, but it was all in desperation mode. In 1986, the Giants blasted the Broncos in the Super Bowl. In 1998, the 13-0 Broncos saw their unbeaten season go up in flames at a 5-8 Giants team. Every decade or so the Giants just beat them up. 23-10 Giants

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans was the Monday night game. Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and play a thriller for the ages. This was not that game. Ryan Succopy hit a 48 yard field goal to get the Titans on the board first. Adam Vinatieri hit from 36 and Succop responded from 32 to give the Titans a 6-3 lead after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Colts moved 73 yards and Jacoby Brisett hit Doyle for an 8 yard touchdown and a 10-6 lead. Each team then mounted a 12 play drive as Succop hit from 40 and Vinatieri answered from 25 to give the Colts a 13-9 lead at the break.league rules required that the second half not be cancelled.

In the third quarter Marcus Mariota was intercepted by simon,  who returned it 26 yards for a defensive touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Colts led 19-9. Succop hit from 48 to get the Titans within 19-12. A Colts fumble set the Titans up at the Colts 31. Mariota connected with Ryan Mathews for a 27 yard gain. Despite 1st and goal at the 4, the Titans again did nothing. Succop’s fifth field goal from 23 yards out got the Titans within 19-15. In the fourth quarter the Titans embarked on an 87 yard, 15 play drive that ate up 8 1/2 minutes. Finally they cracked the end zone as DeMarco Murray got in from 3 yards out for a 22-19 Titans lead. Despite returning the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the Titans 40, the colts settled for a 52 yard Vinatieri field goal and a 22-22 tie midway through the fourth quarter.

After a touchback, Mariota hit Eric Decker for gains of 10 and 11. Mariota then went deep to Taylor for a 53 yard touchdown. With 5 1/2 minutes left, the Titans had a 29-22 lead. After a touchback the Colts moved to the Tennessee 22. On 2nd and 10, a fumble was recovered by the Titans. On further review, the call was reversed to an incomplete pass. With 2 1/2 minutes left, on 4th and 1 at the Titans 13, Chuck Pagano called a naked bootleg. Brissett rolled out. While he was tackled short of the marker, he shifted the ball and stretched it past the marker before going out of bounds. The officials ruled him short, Pagano challenged the call, and the call stood. At the 2 minute warning on 2nd and 8, Derrick Henry gained just enough. Everything came down to the Titans facing 3rd and 5 at their own 28 with one minute left and the Colts out of timeouts. Henry got the first down, tight-roped the sideline, stayed inbounds, and raced all the way for a 72 yard touchdown to put the game away. 36-22 Titans

NFL 2017 Week 6 Prequel

October 12th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 6 Prequel 

NFL 2017 Week 6 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2017 Week 5 Recap

October 8th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 5 Recap

New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the Thursday night game. The Patriots may not be the same team as in past years, but did anyone really expect them to roll over and drop to 2-3? In the first quarter Tom Brady shook off an early interception to move the Patriots from their own 2 to a 3rd and 5 at the Tampa Bay 9. Brady threw incomplete but Stephen Gostkowski hit the 27 yard field goal for a 3-0 Patriots lead. 13 plays, 89 yards and 7 minutes came up short of the end zone.

I the second quarter the Buccaneers moved 68 yards in 11 plays and 5 minutes. Muscle Hamster Doug Martin got in from the one to make it 7-3 Buccaneers. The Patriots came back 75 yards and Brady hit Chris Hogan for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 Patriots. With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half Danny Amendola returned a punt 40 yards, with 15 more tacked on due to unsportsmanlike conduct against the Buccaneers. The Patriots took over at the Tampa Bay 27. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Brady only gained one yard. Gostkowski hit from 23 to make it 13-7 Buccaneers at the intermission. From the Tampa 22 with only 35 seconds left, Jameis Winston did enough to give Nick Folk a 56 yard field goal try to close out the half, but it was no good.

In the third quarter the Patriots moved from their own 6 to a 2nd and 4 at the Tampa 27. Brady threw incomplete twice but Gostkowski hit his third field goal from 45 yards out to make it 16-7 Buccaneers. Much of the second half was hideous and unwatchable. Yet the Buccaneers moved in the fourth quarter from their own 3 yard line to a 3rd and goal at the 3. Winston ran for the touchdown but it was nullified by offensive holding. With 5 1/2 minutes left and needing 2 scores, the home crowd was shocked when Folk missed a 31 yard field goal.

New England quickly went 3 and out and the Bucs got it back at their own 26. On 3rd and 15 from the New England 47, Winston hit DeSean Jackson for 29 yards and Chris Brate for the 18 yard touchdown. With only 2:09 left, the Buccaneers were within 16-14. The onside kick failed, and the Patriots took over at the Tampa 37. The Buccaneers only had one timeout plus the 2 minute warning, but they held on defense. Gostkowki hit the 48 yard field goal. The Patriots led by 5 with 1:10 to play after a touchback, but the Buccaneers had a chance to pull off the upset.

Winston quickly went to Jackson for 24 yards. On 2nd and 15 from their own 44, Winston hit Humphries for 20 nd Brate for 17 more. Winston spiked the ball as 3 seconds remained with the Buccaneers at the New England 19. With everything on the line, Winston threw over the middle into traffic at the goal line. The ball was well defended and fell incomplete. Winston finished 26 of 46 for 334 yards and one touchdown without being intercepted. Brady finished 30 of 40 for 303 yards, one touchdown, and 0 interceptions. With the win, Brady tied Peyton Manning and Brett Favre for most regular season wins of all time. 19-14 Patriots

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants — In 2004, Eli Manning refused to play for the Chargers. This was a desperate attempt to create a story line for anyone to care about. A pair of winless, witless teams played as the San Diego Orange County Chargers of Los Angeles played the New York Giants in New Jersey. In the first quarter with the Chargers facing 3rd and 7 from their own 7, A fumbled shotgun snap went out of the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 Giants lead. Later in the quarter the Giants moved 64 yards. Darkwa ran to daylight for a 23 yard touchdown to make it 9-0 Giants. In the second quarter the Chargers moved 77 yards. Philip Rivers hit Melvin Gordon for a 6 yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 9-7.

Late in the half Rivers threw a bomb to a wide open receiver, who dropped the ball in the end zone. After a couple more dropped touchdown passes, a field goal was tried. South Korea phenom Koo is gone, and Nick Novak returned to his former team. Novak hit from 20 to make it 10-9 Chargers at halftime in the Stupor Bowl. In the third quarter the Chargers moved down the field. Rivers went to the end zone and was intercepted for a touchback. The Giants came back 80 yards. Eli Manning threw a 29 yard touchdown to Lewis for a 16-10 Giants lead.

The Chargers came back 92 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. Rivers hooked up with Henry for a 25 yard touchdown. Novak doinked the extra point off the upright but it went through good to make it 17-16 Chargers after three quarters. The Giants quickly came back 75 yards. Early in the fourth quarter Manning went to O’Dell Beckham Jr. for a 48 yard touchdown. The 2 point conversion try failed but the Giants led 22-17.

The Giants went 3 and out and the Chargers got it back with 9 minutes left at their own 39. Melvin Gordon ran for 16 yards. With 6 minutes left on 3rd and 10 from the Giants 23, Rivers hit Keenan Allen for 15 yards. Yet despite 1st and goal at the 8, Rivers threw 3 incompletions. With 5 minutes left, Anthony Lynn decided not to go for it. He went for the field goal and decided to trust his defense. After a false start Novak hit from 31 to get the Chargers within 22-20.

With 4 minutes left the Giants faced 3rd and 7 at their own 23. All the Giants had to do was not give the game away. In the Stupor Bowl, they did exactly that. Manning was sacked and fumbled. The Chargers took over and quickly faced 3rd and 9 from the Giants 10. Rivers hit Gordon for the touchdown. anthony Lynn surprisingly decided not to go for the 2 point conversion as the Chargers led by 5 with 3 minutes left. The Giants moved from their 24 to a 1st and 10 at the Chargers 48. On 4th and 10 with 49 seconds left, Manning was intercepted. The Chargers finally have a win while Bob McAdoo has an 0-5 squad. To add insult, O’Dell Beckham Jr. was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a severe leg injury. 27-22 Chargers

Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals — Red Rifle Andy Dalton threw a 77 yard touchdown pass to AJ Green for a 7-0 Bengals lead. Steve Hauschka then hit a 31 yard field goal to get the Bills on the board. Randy Bullock countered from 30 in the second quarter to make it 10-3 Bengals. With 5 minutes left in the half, Dalton was intercepted by Micah Hyde, who returned it 13 yards to the Cincy 23. On 3rd and 10 from the 12, Tyrod Taylor hit Brandon Tate for the touchdown and a 10-10 ballgame. In the third quarter the Bengals dodged an interception of Dalton but not a fumble by Green in the red zone. The Bills moved from their 29 in position for a 38 yard Hauschka field goal and a 13-10 Bills lead.

The Bengals came back 75 yards and Joe Mixon ran for a 5 yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 17-13 Bengals. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Brandon Tate returned a punt 40 yard to the Cincy 24. Unsportsmanlike conduct on the Bengals had the Bills starting on the Cincinnati 12 yard line. The Cincinnati defense had an inspired stand, holding the Bills to a 28 yard Huaschka field goal as the Bills still trailed 17-16 with 9 minutes left. The Bengals moved 59 yard in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Bullock hit from 29 to put the Bengals up by 4 with 3 1/2 minutes left. On 3rd and 15 from the Buffalo 20, Taylor was intercepted to get Marvin Lewis and the Bengals a desperately needed win. 20-16 Bills

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns — On the last play of the half, Chandler Catanzaro nailed a 57 yard field goal for a 3-0 Jets lead in a game that deserved no further explanation. NFL rules required the second half be played. Hue Jackson benched Shawn Kizer for Kevin Hogan, who led a 75 yard third quarter drive. Hogan threw a 21 yard touchdown pass to Njoku for a 7-3 Browns lead. The Browns got it back at their own 21, but the momentum they had quickly shifted when Hogan was intercepted. The Jets took over at the Cleveland 13. Josh McCown threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to Sefarian-Jenkins for a 10-7 Jets lead.

The Browns again moved the ball and had a 4th and 2 at the Jets 4 with 13 minutes left in regulation. Hue Jackson decided to go for it. Isaiah Crowell got the carry and gained only one yard. The Jets then moved 97 yards. McCown hit Jermaine Kearse for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Jets in a game that should be forgotten forever. The Browns moved 86 yards and struck quickly when Johnson took a screen 41 yards for a touchdown with 1:49 left. The Browns were out of timeouts, and when the onside kick failed the Browns dropped to 0-5. Meanwhile, the Jets who were supposed to go 0-16, won their third straight to get to 3-2 under Todd Bowles. 17-14 Jets

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers — Despite being a preseason Super Bowl contender, the Steelers have struggled against inferior teams this year. The inconsistent Jaguars should have been a tuneup. Chris Boswell hit a 29 yard field goal for the steelers in the first quarter, but Jacksonville’s defense toughened up. Late in the first quarter an interception of Ben Roethlisberger was returned 15 yards to the Pittsburgh 47. In the second quarter Leonard Fournette ran for a 2 yard score to make it 7-3 Jaguars. Boswell hit a 34 yard field goal in the second quarter as the Steelers surprisingly trailed 7-6 at break time. In the third quarter the Steelers moved 73 yards in 14 plays and 6 minutes. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 2, Big Ben threw incomplete. Boswell hit from 20 as the Steelers led 9-7. Yet the rest of the game produced a shocker.

Pittsburgh got it back and from their own 33, Roethlisberger was intercepted by Smith, who returned it 28 yards for a Jacksonville touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Jaguars led 13-9. Pittsburgh then faced 3rd and 17 at their own 34. Roethlisberger had a pass deflected and intercepted again by Church, who returned it 51 yards for another defensive score and a 20-9 Jaguars lead. The Jaguars got it bak at their own 4 yard line to start the fourth quarter. They moved 67 yards in 13 plays, and took 8 minutes off the clock. Jason Myers hit a 47 yard field goal in the rain to make it 23-9 Jaguars.

After another Roethliberger interception, the defense held and the Steelers moved from their own 14 to the Jacksonville 28 with 3 1/2 minutes left. Roethlisberger went to Antonio Brown for the touchdown, but offensive holding killed the Steelers. Two plays later Roethlisberger was intercepted at the goal line again. The Jaguars too over at their own 2 yard line. On 3rd and 2 at the 2 minute warning, Leonard Fournette raced up the middle for a 90 yard touchdown in front of a shellshocked home crowd. Mike Tomlin is not used to seeing his squad get blown out, especially at home. The win was so thorough that Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin almost smiled. Blake Bortles threw only 14 passes, completing 8 of them for 95 yards, 0 touchdowns and one interception. Roethlisberger finished 33 of 55 for 312 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. 30-9 Jaguars

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins — The Dolphins barely avoided consecutive shutouts due to an anemic offense, but Tennessee gave up 57 points last week. Something had to give. DeMarco Murray fumbled to give the Dolphins the ball at the Tennessee 42. That was enough for Parkey to hit a 41 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Dolphins. Matt Cassel was in for an injured Marcus Mariota, and Cassel spent his time getting belted. A sack of Cassel resulted in a fumble that was returned 38 yards by Jones for a Miami touchdown. Replay showed that Cassel’s arm appeared to be going forward but the call stood for a 10-0 Dolphins lead. In the second quarter Jay Ajayi fumbled and the Titans took over at the Dolphins 24. Miami lost 3 yards and Ryan Succop hit a 45 yard field goal to get the Titans within 10-3. In the third quarter the Titans moved 69 yards. Cassel hit Supernaw for an 11 yard touchdown and a 10-10 game.

The third quarter ended with the Dolphins taking over at their own 42. On 3rd and 10 from the Titans 20, Jay Cutler hit Thomas for a 15 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Cutler hit Landry for the touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Dolphins led by 6 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. After that the defense clamped down. With 19 seconds left the Titans took over at their own 7. Two plays left them 74 yards short of the end zone. Cassel finished 21 of 32 for 141 yards and one touchdown without an interception. Cutler was 12 of 26 for 92 yards and one touchdown and one interception. The game film was burned for the sake of football. 16-10 Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together for a thrilling game. This was not that game. Adam Vinatieri hit a 52 yard field goal for the Colts and Robbie Gould countered from 28 for a 3-3 game in the first quarter. In the second quarter Vinatieri hit from 23 and Gould answered from 43 for a 6-6 game at the half. For some reason, the second half was not cancelled. In the third quarter Vinatieri hit from 38 to make it 9-6 Colts. The Colts got it back at their own 40 and finally the game saw a touchdown. Mack ran for a 22 yard score to make it 16-6 Colts. In the fourth quarter Gould hit his third field goal from 40 yards out, but the Colts struck again. A 75 yard drive was capped off with Jacoby Brissett running for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 23-9 Colts.

The 49ers came back 79 yards. Brian Hoyer hit Juszczyk for a 6 yard touchdown to get the 49ers within 23-16 midway through the fourth quarter. The 49ers got it back at their own 11 with 5 1/2 minutes left. Hoyer went to Kittle for a 27 yard gain. Om 3rd and 10 from their own 38, Hoyer hit Pierre Garcon for 13 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Indy 40, Carlos Hyde got stopped cold. Kyle Shanahan had to go for it with 2:47 left. Rather than run the ball, Shannon called a high risk pass play. Hoyer hit Kittle for 19 yards. With 24 seconds left, on 4th and goal at the 5, Hoyer hit Kittle for the touchdown as Chuck Pagano wondered why he wanted to bother with this Andrew Luck-less squad.

If ever a game did not deserve overtime, this one was it. The Colts began overtime and quickly faced 3rd and 9 at their own 26. Brissett threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 3rd and 10 from the Indy 31, Brissett hit Dante Moncrief for 15 and TY Hilton for a 46 yard bomb to set up 1st and goal at the 8. Brissett was then intercepted in the end zone by Armstrong, who ran it back to the San Francisco 28 yard line. The Colts held on defense and soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 24. Brissett hit Moncrief for 7. Marlin Monster Mack broke free for a 35 yard gain. With 1:43 left in the extra session, Vinatieri came in for a 51 yard field goal try to win it. The most clutch kicker of all time was good as the 49ers remained winless. 26-23 Colts, OT

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles — Arizona is not the same team from two years ago. They are older, creakier, and in trouble. Philadelphia jumped all over them from the start in the Carson Bowl. A 10 play, 54 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive was capped with Carson Wentz hitting Burton for a 15 yard touchdown to start the deluge. Warner then returned a punt 76 yards to the Arizona 15. On 3rd and 6, Wentz threw an 11 yard touchdown to Zac Ertz to make it 14-0 Eagles. Wentz then threw a 59 yard touchdown pass to Troy Smith to make it 21-0 Eagles.

In the second quarter the Cardinals woke up. A 10 play, 75 yard drive saw Carson Palmer throw a 13 yard pass to John Brown to get the Cardinals within 21-7. A chance to get closer saw a 51 yard field goal try by Phil Dawson blocked to end the half. The second half was a formality. Elliott hit a 36 yard field goal to make it 24-7 Eagles. Wentz then hooked up with Nelson Agholor for a 72 yard touchdown and a 31-7 Eagles lead. Elliott added a 28 yard field goal as Wentz finished 21 of 30 for 304 yards and 4 touchdown passes with one interception. Doug Peterson has quietly assembled a good football team in the NFC East. 34-7 Eagles

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions — The defenses dominated early as Matt Prater hit a 30 yard field goal for the Lions and Graham Gano answered from 21 for a 3-3 ballgame. In the second quarter the Lions moved 78 yards in 5 1/2 minutes, helped along by defensive penalties. Zenner got in from the one to make it 10-3 Lions. The Panthers soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34 when Cam Newton went deep to Ed Dickson for 57 yards. Newton then hit McCaffrey for a 6 yard touchdown and a 10-10 deadlock.

Carolina got it back and went 73 yards in 11 plays. Newton hit Devon Funchess for a 10 yard touchdown and a 17-10 Panthers advantage. In the third quarter the Panthers moved 75 yards as the Panthers broke the game open. Newton hit Kelvin Benjamin for a 31 yard touchdown to make it 24-10 Panthers. Matthew Stafford was then sacked and fumbled, setting up Carolina at the Detroit 23. Gano hit a 44 yard field goal to make it 27-10 Panthers.

Stafford did throw a 4 yard touchdown pass to Darren Fells to cap a 69 yard drive with 6 minutes left in regulation to get the Lions within 27-17.  The Lions got it back with 4 minutes left and struck quickly. On 3rd and 2 from the Carolina 45, Stafford hit Abbrederis for 25 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Carolina 20, Stafford hit Fells for the touchdown as the Lions got within 3 points. With 2 1/2 minutes left and the Lions out of timeouts, everything came down to Carolina facing 3rd and 9 at their own 24. Riverboat Ron Rivera decided not to run the ball, punt and play defense. Newton found Benjamin for a 17 yard completion to let the Panthers run out the clock. Rivera has a 4-1 football team while Jim Caldwell saw his squad drop to 3-2 with the loss. 27-24 Panthers

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams — Both teams have solid defenses and the Rams offense is much better than in past years. After a scoreless first quarter, the Rams struck in the second quarter. 79 yards in 10 plays saw Tavon Austin run for a 27 yard touchdown. The Rams fumbled a punt to set the Seahawks up at the Rams 30, but from the 15, Russell Wilson was intercepted. Johnson returned the interception 69 yards to the Seattle 19. The defense held but Greg Zuerlein hit from 35 to make it 10-0 Rams. The Seahawks then moved 75 yards in 15 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. Wilson hit Jimmy Graham for a 4 yard touchdown to get the Seahawks within 10-7. Despite the ensuing kickoff going out of bounds, the Rams went nowhere from their own 40 and the Seahawks took over at their 25 with 1:34 left in the half. On 3rd and 12 from midfield, Wilson hit Thomas Rawls for 14 yards. Blair Walsh hit a 48 yard field goal to end the half in a 10-10 tie.

In the third quarter Walsh hit a 49 yard field goal to put the Seahawks up 13-10. In the fourth quarter turnovers killed the Rams. With 6 minutes left from just past midfield, Jared Goff was intercepted. The defense held. With 3 minutes left from the Rams 43, Goff was sacked and fumbled. Sheldon Richardson returned the fumble 20 yards to the Rams 20. With 1:12 left, on 4th and 2, Pete Carroll called a timeout and then lined up to go for it rather than kick the field goal. It was a bluff, the Rams did not bite, and the false start meant a 35 yard field goal try for Walsh. The kick was good and the Seahawks led by 6.

After a touchback the Rams had one last chance. Goff went deep to Higbee for a 35 yard gain and to Woods for 20 more to the Seattle 20. Goff spiked the ball with 17 seconds left. On 3nd and 10 Goff fired to the end zone to a wide open Cooper Kupp. It bounced off of his fingertips with 8 seconds remaining. Kupp should have caught the ball as it was now 4th and 10. One play, Goff vs the Legion of Boom. Goff went to the end zone into double coverage. It was not even close as it fell incomplete. Both teams are 3-2 as the NFL learned that the improved Rams are not at the next level yet and the former champion Seahawks are not finished yet. 16-10 Seahawks

Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders — The Raiders without Derek Carr are an 0-16 team. He willed the Raiders to a 12-4 record last year, papering over a horrendously bad secondary and questionable schemes by Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr. With EJ Manuel out in place of Carr, it was over from the start against a Baltimore team getting blown out by everyone else. On the first play from scrimmage, Joe Flacco went deep to Mike Wallace for a 52 yard gain. Mayle ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Ravens. On 1st and 10 from the Oakland 42, Manuel completed a swing pass to Jared Cook. Cook fumbled it and Smith returned the fumble 47 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 14-0 Ravens lead less than 4 minutes into the game.

The Raiders after a touchback finally got going and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 12. A run lost 2 yards and a pair of incompletions ended the drive. After 6 minutes, the Raiders settled for a 32 yard Georgio Tavecchio field goal to trail 14-3. The Ravens kept rolling, as 75 yards came easily. The Ravens began the second quarter facing 3rd and 5 at the Oakland 16. The defense expected a pass, and instead Allen rushed for just enough with help from a very generous spot. On 3rd and 1 from the 2, Allen got the yard and on the next carry got the other yard to make it 21-3 Ravens.

The Raiders soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Manuel hit Cook for 17. Olawale rumbled for 11 more. Manuel went deep to michael Crabtree for a 41 yard touchdown as the Raiders were within 21-10. Yet the defense had no answers. From the Baltimore 38, Flacco went deep to Wallace again for a 54 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Flacco threw incomplete. Justin Tucker hit the 22 yard field goal as the Ravens led 24-10.

This time, on 3rd and 9 from the Oakland 26, Manuel got belted for an 8 yard loss. The Ravens got it back at their own 37 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half and all 3 timeouts. With 33 seconds left in the half, Justin Tucker came in for a 61 yard field goal try as the Raiders took a timeout on defense. John Harbaugh changed his mind on 4th and 7 and decided to punt. With the Raiders pinned at their own 5 yard line, they were lucky to get to the half only down 14 points. They would get the ball to start the second half.

In the third quarter each team went 3 and out twice. The Raiders then faced 3rd and 5 at their own 40. Manuel went to Seth Roberts for a 22 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Baltimore 21, Manuel hit Crabtree, who stretched the ball just past the first down marker. On 3rd and 9 from the 13, Manuel scrambled and shook off a hit to gain 10 yards. On the next play Marshawn Lynch banged in from 3 yards out to get the Raiders within 24-17 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Ravens soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32, Flacco got belted but only after completing a 13 yard pass to Brad Perriman. On 3rd and 8 from the Baltimore 47, Flacco went deep to Wallace for a 27 yard gain. At this point Wallace had 3 catches for 133 yards, because the Raiders have no secondary. One minute the crowd is back in the game and just like the, the Raiders were on their heels again to start the fourth quarter. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 3, Flacco threw high out the back of the end zone incomplete. Tucker hit from 21 to culminate the 12 play, 72 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive and make it 27-17 Ravens.

The Raiders soon faced 3rd and 8 at their own 27. Manuel hit Seth Roberts for 12 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Baltimore 44, Manuel’s pass to Jared Cook was dropped. With 9 minutes left, down 2 scores, and a defense not playing well, Jack Del Rio demoralized the home crowd by punting. After a touchback, the Ravens repeatedly ran the ball up the middle against the pathetic Oakland defense. 54 yards, 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes led to a 44 yard Tucker field goal an a 13 point lead for Baltimore. The Raiders took over without a timeout and only 2 1/2 minutes left.

The Raiders will not go 0-16 because of their 2 wins to start the season. However, 3 straight losses have this team reeling at 2-3. With Carr in the lineup, the Raiders have plenty of problems. The secondary is awful, Marshawn Lynch is not getting the yards, the offensive line is not blocking well, and the receivers especially Amari Cooper drop far too many passes. Without Carr, despite Manuel playing reasonably well, the Raiders have zero chance to beat anybody. Last year people said the Raiders were no longer losers. This year, at this moment, the Raiders are losers. 30-17 Ravens

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys — Last year Aaron Rodgers outdueled Dak Prescott in a 34-31 Green Bay playoff thriller in Dallas. The rematch saw the Cowboys drive 75 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Prescott hit Cole Beasley for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Cowboys. After a touchback, the Packers came back 75 yards. Rodgers hit Devontae Adams for a 10 yard touchdown. The extra point failed as the Packers were within 7-6. In the second quarter the Cowboys moved 75 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Prescott hit Beasley again for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Cowboys. A sack of Rodgers had the Packers punting on 4th and 26 from their own 9. The Cowboys took over at their own 43. On 3rd and 5, Prescott scrambled for 21 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Green Bay 20, Ezekiel Elliott got stopped Jason Garrett decided to go for it. Prescott gained 2 yards. Prescott hit Dez Bryant for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 21-6 Cowboys.

The Packers moved 75 yards in 13 plays and over 5 minutes. Jones ran for a 7 yard touchdown. The extra point failed but the Packers were within 21-12. In the third quarter after a touchback the Packers moved to a 1st and goal at the 3. Jones lost a yard and Rodgers threw incomplete twice. Mason Crosby hit the 22 yard field goal to get the Packers within 21-15. Green Bay got it back and moved 88 yards in 14 plays and nearly 8 minutes. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson for a 10 yard touchdown to put the Packers up 22-21.

Now it was time for Dallas to regroup. They moved 50 yards, and Dan Bailey hit a 43 yard field goal with 11:45 left in regulation for a 24-22 Cowboys lead. The Cowboys quickly got it back but disaster struck. On 2nd and 7 from the Dallas 15, a short pass bounced off of Terrence Williams’s hands straight into the arms of Randall. Randall returned the interception 21 yards for a touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Packers led 28-24 with 10 minutes left in regulation.

The Cowboys stayed calm and patiently played smash mouth football. With 3 minutes left in the game, the Cowboys faced 3rd and 5 at the Green Bay 24. Prescott hit Cole Beasley for what was called a first down. Mike McCarthy challenged the spot, and the call was reversed to 4th and 1 at the 20. Elliott got the carry and appeared stopped short. Yet this time Jason Garrett challenged the spot, and it was again reversed to a first down as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 11, a perfectly executed fake handoff saw Prescott keep it himself for the touchdown. The staggering 17 play, 79 yard drive took 8:45 off the clock. The Cowboys led by 3 points but the Packers had Rodgers, 1:13 left, and one timeout to work with.

After a touchback, Rodgers hit Devontae Adams for 14 yards and Martellus Bennett for 14 more. With 45 seconds left from the Dallas 47, Mike McCarthy shocked everyone by calling a draw play. Jones ran for 15 yards and got out of bounds with 39 seconds left. Now the Packers were in field goal range. Yet on 2nd and 10 McCarthy tried another running play that gained only 2 yards, forcing the Packers to take their last timeout with 30 seconds left. On 3rd and 8, Rodgers was nearly sacked, which would have pushed the Packers out of field goal range. Yet he escaped, gained 18 yards to the Dallas 12, and got out of bounds with 21 seconds left. Rodgers did it again. A perfectly thrown pass to Adams was the winning touchdown with 11 seconds left. The only thing better than this game with 5 fourth quarter lead changes would be a rematch in the playoffs. 35-31 Packers

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans was the Sunday night game. In the first quarter the Chiefs went 64 yards in 15 plays and took 8 minutes. Butker hit a 35 yard field goal. In the second quarter the Chiefs went 65 yards in 11 plays in 6 1/2 minutes. Butker hit from 42 to make it 6-0 Chiefs. The Chiefs got it back and moved 62 yards. On 3rd and 11 just shy of midfield, Alex Smith hit Travis Kelce for 20 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the 8, Smith hit West for the touchdown to make it 13-0 Chiefs early in the second quarter. A Houston fumble set up the Chiefs at the Houston 26. Butker hit from 41 to make it 16-0 Chiefs.

The Texans repeatedly tried to make a game of it and the Chiefs repeatedly countered. The Texans moved 75 yards and DeShaun Watson hit Deandre Hopkins for a 6 yard touchdown to get the Texans within 16-7. After a touchback, the Chiefs took over with 1:49 left in the half. From the Chiefs 44, Smith hit Kelce for a 26 yard gain with 15 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness. Smith hit West for a 4 yard touchdown as the Chiefs took a 23-7 lead into the locker rooms.

In the third quarter the Texans moved 78 yards. Watson hit Fuller for a 9 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed as the Texans trailed 23-13. In the fourth quarter the Chiefs moved 58 yards in 10 plays. Butker hit his fourth field goal from 35 yards out to make it 26-13 Chiefs. The Texans came back 70 yards. A 48 yard touchdown bomb from Watson to Fuller had the Texans only down 26-20 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

There would be no comeback as the Chiefs turned out the lights. The Chiefs moved 70 yards as Smith hit Thomas for a 10 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Chiefs led 32-20. The backbreaker came when the Texans punted and Tyreeq Hill returned it 82 yards for a touchdown to make it 39-20 Chiefs With 3 1/2 minutes left. Fuller returned the ensuing kickoff 49 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Chiefs 34, Watson went deep too Hopkins for another touchdown to get the Texans within 39-26 after the failed 2 point conversion. The onside kick failed, and the Chiefs tacked on Butker’s fifth field goal from 49 yard out to make it 42-26 with just over one minute left.

Houston did get one more touchdown on the game’s final play to make the score look close. Watson finished 16 of 31 for 261 yards and 5 touchdowns while Smith was 29 of 37 for 324 yards and 3 touchdowns. Neither signal caller was intercepted. The Chiefs remained the only unbeaten team in the NFL at 5-0, rendering Andy Reid one happy Walrus Lite. For the Texans it was misery. This game featured injuries on both sides, including to a Chiefs player on the opening kickoff. The worst injury was a broken leg to J.J. Watt, who is now out for the year. 42-34 Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears wasthe Monday night game. Mitchell Trubiaky got his first NFL start and Sam Bradford played injured. The first half was as hideous as it gets. In the first quarter Bradford was sacked for a safety to make it 2-0 Bears. Just before the 2 minute warning with the Bears at their own 20, Trubisky fumbled the ball away. Kai Forbath hit a 26 yard field goal for a 3-2 Vikings lead at the half. For some reason, the second half was not canceled.

In the third quarter the game finally improved as Bradford was benched for Case Keenum. The Vikings moved 75 yards and Keenum threw a 13 yard touchdown to Kyle Rudolph to make it 10-2 Vikings.

The Bears needed some trickery to spark life into their team. On 4th and 6 from the Minnesota 38, John Fox called a fake punt. O’Donnell hit Cunningham for the touchdown to cap the 75 yard drive as the Bears were within 10-9.

Minnesota took over at their own 18 and struck quickly. McKinnon raced for a 58 yard touchdown to make it 17-9 Vikings after three quarters.

From their own 21 the Bears came back again. Trubisky threw a 20 yard touchdown to Zach Miller early in the fourth quarter. Trubisky rushed for the 2 point conversion himself for a 17-17 ballgame.

Late in the game from the Chicago 10, Trubisky was intercepted, giving the Vikings a short field. Forbath hit the 26 yarder to win it with only seconds left. 20-17 Vikings

NFL 2017 Week 5 Prequel

October 5th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 5 Prequel

NFL 2017 Week 5 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

There is no solution regarding Las Vegas

October 5th, 2017

There is no solution regarding Las Vegas

The aftermath to Las Vegas: The answer is to do nothing

NFL 2017 Week 4 Recap

October 1st, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 4 Recap

Chicago Bears at Green Packers was the Thursday night game. In protester news, nobody cares about overprivileged spoiled brats. Now back to football. The real news is not news at all. The Packers are a good team and the Bears are a bad team. Sometimes a bad team can go on the road and shock a good team in a thrilling upset. This was not that game. The Packers easily moved 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. Aaron Rodgers threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Devontae Adams for a 7-0 Packers lead. One play after the ensuing kickoff touchback, Mike Glennon was sacked and fumbled. The Packers took over at the Bears 3 yard line. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for the touchdown and the quick 14-0 Packers lead. In the second quarter Glennon was intercepted by Haha Clinton-Dix, giving the Packers the ball at their own 40 yard line. Rodgers went deep to Jordy Nelson for a 58 yard gain. One play later Jones got in from 2 yards out to make it 21-0 Packers. For some reason, John Fox did not quit given that his team certainly had.

Despite dominating the game, the Packers got bored during the 2 minute drill and eased up. From the Chicago 28, Glennon hit Thompson for 14 and Zach Miller for 29 more. With 12 seconds left in the half, the Bears faced 3rd and 2 at the Green Bay 5 yard line. Glennon hit Wright for the touchdown to get the Bears within 21-7. In the third quarter the Bears moved from their 28 to a 1st and 10 at the Green Bay 29. After 3 Glennon incompletions, a missed 47 yard field goal try kept wasted the drive.

The Packers took over at their own 37. On 3rd and 8 from the Chicago 40, Rodgers hit Bennett short of the sticks. Mike McCarthy decided to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Chicago 33. Rodgers hit Nelson for a 5 yard gain.On 3rd and 1 from the 19, Jones got around the end for an 11 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 6, a touchdown pass from Rodgers to Adams was nullified by offensive holding. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 16, a give-up short pass saw the Bears commit a mindless defensive unnecessary roughness penalty. On 1st and goal at the 4, Rodgers hit Nelson for the touchdown for a 28-7 Packers lead. The Bears quickly faced 1st and 20 at their own 39. Glennon was intercepted by Brice, setting up the Packers at the Chicago 42. On 3rd and 6 Rodgers went deep to Cobb for a 26 yard gain. On the first play of the fourth quarter the Packers faced 3rd and 6 at the Chicago 8. Rodgers hit Nelson for the touchdown for a 35-7 Packers blowout lead.

The Bears then turned to ball control, moving 75 yards in 15 plays. They took 9 minutes off the clock. It would have been perfect had they not been down by 28 points. When the Bears cut the gap to 21 points, Rodgers was benched. Actually, Mike McCarthy just wanted to see what the back up quarterback could do up by 21 with 6 minutes left. Rodgers finished 18 of 26 for 179 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. 35-14 Packers

 

New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins was the Sunday morning London game. A hideous football game may make the bored British return to soccer. With just over one minute left in the half of a scoreless game, the Dolphins punted on 4th and 20 from their own 12 and the Saints took over at midfield. Will Lutz hit a 43 yard field goal on the last play of the half for a 3-0 Saints lead. For some reason the second half was played. In the third quarter the Saints moved 77 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Drew Brees hit Thomas for a 3 yard touchdown and a 10-0 Saints lead after three quarters. In the fourth quarter Lutz hit from 45 and Brees led an 11 play, 87 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. Brees hit Kamara for a 12 yard touchdown to complete a game that deserves not one more word of description. 20-0 Saints

Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots — The defenses dug in early on as Stephen Gostkowski hit a 41 yard field goal for the Patriots and Graham Gano countered from 32 for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter the Patriots moved 74 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Tom Brady hit Chris Hogan for a 2 yard touchdown and a 10-3 Patriots lead. The Panthers quickly came back 75 yards as Cam Newton hit Fozzy Whitaker for a 28 yard touchdown and a 10-10 tie. The Patriots moved 57 yards in 12 plays for 5 minutes, but settled for a 35 yard Gostkowski field goal and a 13-10 Patriots lead.

Carolina took over at their own 16 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half. On 3rd and 8 from their 18, Newton hit Devon Funchess for 13 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Carolina 43, Newton went deep to Kelvin Benjamin for a 43 yard gain. Newton hit Funchess for a 10 yard touchdown with 30 seconds left in the half for a 17-13 Panthers lead. 26 seconds was enough time for Tom Brady after a touchback. With 11 seconds left the Patriots faced 3rd and 1 from their own 34. Brady went deep to Hogan for a 26 yard gain. Gostkowski then leveled a 58 yard field goal as the Patriots were down 17-16 at the intermission.

Any momentum the Patriots had quickly evaporated once the third quarter started. The Panthers moved 68 yards in 11 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Newton hit Funchess for a 16 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Panthers led 23-16. The Panthers got the ball back and began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 4 at their own 42. Newton went deep to Benjamin for a 39 yard gain. Newton ran the final 7 yards himself up the middle as the Panthers and the 30-16 lead.

After a touchback, the Patriots were down to their last gasp as they faced 4th and 3 at the Carolina 38 with 10 minutes left. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 13 yards and Dorsett for 17 more. Dion Lewis raced around the end and got to the corner pylon for an 8 yard touchdown to get the Patriots within 30-23. Carolina went 3 and out and a 35 yard punt had the Patriots taking over just past midfield. The Patriots moved to a 2nd and goal at the one where Mike Gillislee was stopped and Brady threw incomplete. With 3:14 to play on 4th and goal at the one, Brady found Danny Amendola for the touchdown and a 30-30 game.

With 2:23 to play the Panthers faced 3rd and 7 at their own 27. Newton was sacked for an 11 yard loss as the jubilant Patriots got ready for another comeback win. Yet defensive illegal use of hands instead kept the Panthers going. Jonathan Stewart gained 15 yards. With 1:05 left and the Panthers facing 3rd and 3 at the New England 46, Newton hit Funchess for 5 yards. Defensive holding added 5 more yards. With 4 seconds left Graham Gano came in for a 48 yard field goal try to win it. Gano? Ga-Yes! Brady finished 32 of 45 for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns without an interception. Newton went 22 of 29 for 316 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception. Yet it is Ron Rivera with a 3-1 Panthers football team while Bill Belichick only has a 2-2 squad. 33-30 Panthers

Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys — Early on the kickers led the scoring as Dan Bailey hit from 34 for the Cowboys and Greg Zuerlein responded from 49 for a 3-3 ballgame. In the second quarter the Cowboys moved 81 yards in 15 plays and took 8 minutes to do it. Das Prescott hit Ezekiel Elliott on 3rd and 7 for a 10 yard touchdown and a 10-3 Cowboys lead. Cooper returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards to the Dallas 35. However the offense squandered the field position. Zuerlein hit from 44 to get the Rams within 10-6.

After a touchback, Alfred Morris raced for a 70 yard gain to the Rams 5. Elliott ran for the one yard touchdown to make it 17-6 Cowboys. The Cowboys were in control until they fumbled a punt and the Rams recovered at the Dallas 18. Jared Goff hit Cooper Kupp for a 7 yard touchdown to get the Rams within 17-13. Dallas came back 75 yards and Prescott hit Brice Butler for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 24-13 Cowboys. After a touchback the Rams took over with 1:51 left in the half. With 18 seconds left in the half and the Rams facing 3rd and 1 at the Dallas 37, Todd Gurley gained 6 with a rare defensive delay of game penalty tacked on. Zuerlein hit from 44 to end the half with the Rams within 24-16.

The Rams were kicking field goals rather than scoring touchdowns, but when Zuerlein hit his fourth field goal from 30 yards out, the Rams were only down 24-19. The Los Angeles defense got a stop and the Rams took over at their own 10. Gurley ran for gains of 16 and 7. Goff hit Brown for 14. On the next play Goff went deep to Gurley for a 53 yard touchdown and a 26-24 Rams lead after three quarters. The fourth quarter began with the Rams facing 3rd and 11 at their own 11. Goff hit Woods for 19 yards and Kupp for 15 more. Defensive pass interference added 25 more yards and Goff hit Kupp for another 24. Yet despite 1st and goal at the 10, Goff threw 3 incompletions. With 12 minutes left in regulation Zuerlein hit his fifth field goal from 28 yards out to make it 29-24 Rams.

Dallas quickly faced 3rd and 9 at their own 32. Prescott was sacked and fumbled as the Rams took over at the Dallas 29. The defense held but Zuerlein hit his sixth field goal from 43 yards out as the Rams led 32-24 with over 9 1/2 minutes left. After a touchback the Cowboys struck quickly. Prescott hit Cole beasley for 12, Dez Bryant for gains of 12 and 18, and Hanna for a 28 yard touchdown to get the Cowboys within 32-30. Chaos ensued on the 2 point conversion try. Prescott ran it in, but offensive holding nullified the score. Prescott then threw incomplete, but defensive holding nullified the stop. On the third try, Prescott was intercepted and this time it stood.

The Rams held the ball for 12 plays and over 5 minutes. They moved from their own 17 to a 3rd and 4 at the Dallas 14 with 2:12 to play. A touchdown would put the game out of reach. Gurley got the carry and lost a yard as the clock reached the 2 minute warning. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein hit his seventh field goal, a 33 yarder, to put the Rams up by 5 points. With 36 seconds left, the Cowboys faced 4th and 10 at the Rams 48. Prescott hit Elliott, but he was tackled inches short of the sticks as the Rams turned it over on downs. Michelin Man Wade Phillips celebrated a win against one of his many former teams. Despite having to turn over most of their game checks to pay California taxes, the Rams will take the win. Jerry Jones is debating whether to blow up Jerryworld Stadium for the insurance money. 35-30 Rams

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings — A defensive struggle meant a scoreless first quarter. In the second quarter the Lions moved 82 yards in 15 plays, taking 8 minutes to do it. Detroit settled for a 29 yard Matt Prater field goal and a 3-0 Lions lead. The Vikings moved 81 yards in 11 plays and Cook ran it in from 5 yards out as the Vikings took a 7-3 lead into the locker rooms. The Detroit defense took over the third quarter. They forced a fumble and took over at the Minnesota 47. That was enough for Prater to hit from 37 to get the Lions within 7-6. On the ensuing play from scrimmage, another fumble had the Lions taking over at the Minnesota 29. Abdullah got in from 3 yards out. Matthew Stafford hit Jones for the 2 point conversion to put the Lions up by 7. After that the Detroit defense clamped down. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Vikings faced 3rd and goal at the 3. Case Keenum was sacked for an 11 yard loss and then threw incomplete. Jim Caldwell was so pleased with the win that he almost made a facial expression. 14-7 Lions

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans — This game on paper looked exciting In reality it was a blowout from the start. On the third play of the game with the Titans facing 3rd and 6 at their own 26, March Mariota was intercepted. The Texans took over at the Titans 43. DeShaun Watson went deep to Ellington for a 35 yard gain and Miller ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Texans. Houston got it back and moved for a pair of 76 yard drives. Watson hit Hopkins for an 8 yard touchdown and in the second quarter hit Fuller for a 16 yard touchdown as the Texans raced to a 21-0 lead.

The Titans finally woke up and moved 75 yards. Mariota ran for a 34 yard touchdown as the Titans trailed 21-7. Houston responded by holding the ball for 6 minutes and 12 plays. Fairbairn hit a 50 yard field goal to make it 24-7 Texans. Tennessee came back 75 yards and Mariota ran for a 2 yard touchdown as the Titans were only down 24-14. The ensuing kickoff was taken at the goal line and returned to the Houston 42. From the Tennessee 46, a deep ball drew defensive pass interference and put the ball at the one. With 1:20 left in the half, Watson got in himself. The extra point was no good as the Texans led 30-14. Both quarterbacks traded interceptions before the half ended.

Things got worse for the Titans as Mariota left the game with a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, The Texans moved 75 yard in 14 plays, taking 8 minutes off the clock. Watson hit Fuller for the 10 yard touchdown to make it 37-14 Texans. In the fourth quarter the blowout turned into a carpet-bombing. The Texans moved 73 yards and Watson hit Miller for an 8 yard touchdown and a 44-14 Texans lead. Fairbairn added a 40 yard field goal and Cole returned an interception of Matt Cassel 25 yards for a touchdown to make it 54-14 Texans. Another turnover in the red zone could have led to 60 points, but perhaps the Texans engaged in the mercy rule. Fairbairn hit from 33 to complete the biggest win in Texans history. 57-14 Texans.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets — The Jaguars moved 61 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes as Blake Bortles hit Leonard Fournette for a 10 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Jaguars lead. One play later the game was tied in controversial fashion. Powell ran for a 75 yard touchdown. It appeared he was tripped up by a defender, fell down, got up and ran untouched. The refs ruled that Powell was never touched, and there was no whistle. The score was upheld for a 7-7 game. The Jaguars came back 75 yards in 13 plays and more than 7 minutes. Jacksonville settled for a 30 yard Jared Myers field goal for a 10-7 Jaguars lead. Chandler Catanzaro hit a 45 yarder for a 10-10 tie. With 12 seconds left in the half, Catanzaro came in for another 45 yard try but this one was no good.

In the third quarter McGuire raced for a 69 yard touchdown run as the Jets had the 17-10 lead. With the Jaguars at their own 31, Blake Bortles was intercepted by Ealy, giving the Jets the ball at the Jacksonville 7 yard line. The Jets went nowhere but Catanzaro hit the 26 yarder to make it 20-10 Jet after three quarters. The fourth quarter began and the Jaguars soon faced 3rd and 2 at the Jets 29. Bortles completed a pass to Grant, which lost 5 yards. Myers missed a 52 yard field goal.

The Jets quickly moved from their 42 to a 1st and 10 at the Jacksonville 14 with a chance to put the game away. A swing pass was dropped, but there was no whistle. The ball was thrown backward, making it a lateral and a live ball. Jack picked it up and raced 81 yards for a defensive touchdown. These are the Jets. With 10 1/2 minutes left, the Jaguars were within 20-17. With 3 1/2 minutes left and the Jets facing 3rd and 6 at their own 34, Josh McCown was intercepted to give the Jaguars the ball at the Jets 35. These are the Jets. At the 2 minute warning, from the Jets 23, Bortles hit Leonard Fournette, who raced to the end zone. Yet offensive holding nullified the touchdown. These are the Jaguars. Despite 1st and 3…yes 1st and 3…from the Jets 16, the Jaguars could not crack the end zone. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Bortles threw incomplete. Myers hit the 22 yard field goal with 45 seconds left. With 21 seconds left McCown fumbled in his own territory but the Jets retained possession.

If ever a game did not deserve overtime, this one was it. With 1:50 left in overtime, the Jaguars punted on 4th and 11 at their own 2. Justin Kerley fielded it at the Jacksonville 47 and gained 7 yards to have the Jets starting at the Jacksonville 40 yard line. Yet after the play, the boneheaded move of the week was the difference. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting on Paul Posluszny instead had the Jets starting at the Jacksonville 25. On 4th and 8 with 32 seconds left, Catanzaro came in to win it from 41 yards out. The kick was good as Posluszny prepared for the wrath of Shad Khan and Captain grumpy Tom Coughlin. Meanwhile, Todd Bowles was supposed to have an 0-16 team that would tank the season. The Jets are 2-2. There is no tanking in football. 23-20 Jets, OT

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns — Those insisting on boycotting professional football can still watch this game, since there is nothing professional about these winless teams. Naturally, the opening quarter was scoreless. Shawn Kizer had a pass deflected and intercepted to give the Bengals a short field. On the first play of the second quarter with the Bengals facing 3rd and 6 at the Cleveland 7, Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit AJ Green for the touchdown and the 7-0 Bengals lead. The Bengals got it back and moved 88 yards in 13 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. Dalton hit Kroft for a 3 yard score and a 14-0 Bengals lead. A simple swing pass from Dalton to Giovanni Bernard went for a 61 yard touchdown and a 21-0 Bengals lead. In the first half Dalton was 17 of 18 for 215 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.

There was no reason to play the second half but NFL rules required it. Randy Bullock hit a 41 yard field goal to extend the lead. The Bengals then moved 83 yards in 10 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Dalton hit Kroft for a 16 yard touchdown as the Bengals led 31-0. Dalton finished 25 of 30 for 286 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Kizer finished 16 of 34 for 118 yards, 0 touchdowns and one interception. Kizer came out, Hogan came in, and led the Browns to a garbage touchdown. Hue Jackson is 1-19 as Browns coach, including 0-4 this year. Marvin Lewis finally saw the Bengals win this year, but they only get to play the Browns once more this year. 31-7 Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens — The Steelers held the ball for a staggering 16 play, 84 yard drive that took 10 1/2 minutes off the clock. Yet Pittsburgh had to settle for a 30 yard Chris Boswell field goal for a 3-0 Steelers lead. In the second quarter the Ravens punted on 4th and 16 from their own 4, giving the Steelers the ball at the Baltimore 46. Boswell hit from 49 to make it 6-0 Steelers. The Ravens then fumbled the ball away to give the Steelers the ball at the Baltimore 28. On 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 7, LeVeon Bell ran for 6 and then banged out the final yard to make it 13-0 Steelers. A tight game was blown open when the Steelers moved 70 yards late in the half. Ben Roethlisberger hit Smith-Shuster for an 11 yard touchdown. The 2 point conversion try failed but the Steelers led 19-0 as the Ravens missed a 62 yard field goal try to end the half.

The Steelers began the third quarter facing 3rd and 6 at their own 20. Big Ben was intercepted, giving the Ravens the ball at the Pittsburgh 18. On 3rd and 10 Joe Flacco was sacked. The Ravens settled for a 42 yard Justin Tucker field goal to finally get on the board. The Steelers wasted a drive when Boswell missed a 44 yard field goal try. From the Baltimore 34, Collins ran for a 50 yard gain. Flacco then hit former Pittsburgh speedster Mike Wallace for the 16 yard touchdown. Initially West’s 2 point conversion run was ruled good but on further review he was short as the Ravens trailed 19-9. They would get no closer. The Ravens moved from their 14 to a 4th and 12 at the Pittsburgh 47. Flacco was then intercepted, giving the Steelers the ball just past midfield. Bell did the rest, gaining 7, 21, and eventually the last yard with 2 1/2 minutes left to lock up the win. Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh have played defensive thrillers over the years, but right now Pittsburgh is just the better team. 26-9 Steelers

Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons — Buffalo’s defense came ready to play as the first quarter was scoreless. Matt Bryant hit a 28 yard field goal for a 3-0 Falcons lead, but then the Buffalo offense finally got going. Tyrod Taylor threw a 9 yard touchdown pass to Matthews to cap a 77 yard drive and make it 7-3 Bills. The Falcons moved 78 yard and Devonta Freeman ran it in from one yard out for a 10-7 Falcons lead at halftime. In the third quarter with the Falcons facing 3rd and 9 at their own 47, Matt Ryan was sacked and fumbled. White picked it up and raced 52 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 14-10 Bills lead. The Bills then led the most mind-numbing drive of the year. 19 plays. 82 yards. 11 1/2 minutes off the clock. With 12 minutes left in regulation on 4th and goal at the one, Sean McDemott decided to go for it. Then came the killer false start. After all of that, they settled for a 24 yard Steve Hauschka field goal to make it 17-10 Bills.

After a touchback, Coleman gained 26 yards. Freeman gained 16 and 4 and Ryan hit Coleman for a pair of 10 yard gains. Midway through the fourth quarter on 3rd and goal at the 3, Ryan hit Hardy for the touchdown and a 17-17 game. After a touchback, Taylor went deep to Clay for a 34 yard gain. With 4:48 to play on 4th and 7 from the Atlanta 38, McDermott took a big gamble. He brought Hauschka in for a 56 yard field goal knowing a missed kick would set up Atlanta for the win. Hauschka nailed it and the Bills led 20-17.

The Falcons appeared right back in it when Roberts returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards to the Buffalo 42. Yet on 3rd and 17, Ryan was intercepted. Micah Hyde returned the interception 37 yards to the Atlanta 35 with 3 1/2 minutes left. The Bills went nowhere and the Falcons used their 3 timeouts on defense. On 4th and 12, McDermott again trusted Hauschka with a 55 yard pressure kick. Again Hauschka rewarded McDermott’s trust. With 3 minutes left the Bills had a 6 point lead, but left the door open for Matty Ice.

On 4th and 4 from their own 31, Ryan hit Williams for 8 yards. With 54 seconds left, on 3rd and 1 from the Buffalo 10, Ryan threw incomplete. With 49 seconds left and everything on the line on 4th and 1, Ryan threw incomplete again. Buffalo in consecutive weeks got quality wins from supposedly superior teams. Dan Quinn saw the last unbeaten NFC team of down to defeat in a stunning home loss. 23-17 Bills

New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Early on this game was all Buccaneers. A field position game had the Bucs starting at their own 44. From the Giants 42, Rodgers ran for 36 yards and Jameis Winston hit Mike Evans for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Buccaneers. The Giants moved from their own 25 to a 4th and 4 at the Tampa Bay 30. Ben McAdoo decided to go for it and Eli Manning threw incomplete. Winston hit Rodgers for 12 and then went deep to Howard for a 58 yard touchdown. Nick Folk missed the extra point but the Buccaneers led 13-0. The Buccaneers were on their way to a route in the second quarter when Folk missed a 46 yard field goal. After that momentum slowly changed.

The Giants moved from their 36 to a 3rd and 1 at the Tampa Bay 12. Shane Vereen got the carry and got nothing. This time McAdoo took no chances. Rosas hit the 30 yard field goal try as the Giants were finally on the board down 13-3. Big Blue got it back at their own 38. Manning hit O’Dell beckham for 15 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Tampa Bay 39, Manning hit Sam Shepard for 19 yards. Manning then ran for a 14 yard touchdown to get the Giants within 13-10 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Buccaneers soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 37. Winston hit Humphries for 10 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Giants 32, Winston went to Evans for the touchdown. Yet on further review, the Bucs had to settle on 1st and goal at the one with 48 seconds left. Rodgers lost a yard and Winston threw incomplete twice. On 4th and goal at the 2, Dirk Koetter opted for the field goal. Folk hit from 20 as the Buccaneers led 16-10 at the break.

The Bucs moved in the third quarter after a touchback to a 3rd and 4 at the Giants 30. After fumbling the snap and retaining possession, Folk’s nightmarish game continued as he missed a 49 yard field goal try. From the Giants 39, three straight short third down conversions led to Manning hitting Gallman for a 4 yard touchdown. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Giants led 17-16. A chance to extend the lead as the fourth quarter began failed when Rosas missed a 43 yard field goal try for the Giants. With 10 1/2 minutes left in this ugly game, the Buccaneers faced 4th and 2 at the Giants 35. With Folk having already missed 2 field goals and an extra point, Koetter decided to go for it. Winston threw incomplete.

With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation, a shanked 15 yard punt had the Buccaneers taking over at their own 43. On 2nd and 5, Winston connected with Humphries on a 38 yard gain. Winston then went to Brate for the 14 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Buccaneers led 22-17 midway through the fourth quarter. After a touchback, Manning went deep to Beckham for a 42 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Tampa Bay 28, Manning hit Evan Engram for 10 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Manning hit Ellison for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Giants had a 23-22 lead with 3:15 to play. The Buccaneers took over at their own 25.

Winston hit Humphries for 6, ran for 7, and hit Evans for 14. With 90 seconds left and the Buccaneers facing 3rd and 1 at the Giants 39, Winston went deep to Brate for a 26 yard gain. The Buccaneers bled the clock and brought in Folk for a 34 yard try to win the game. Folk tried to miss it, but somehow got it just within the upright. The Giants fell to 0-4 with the loss. 25-23 Buccaneers

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers — Early on it was all Eagles. The Eagles moved 68 yards and Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Eagles. A pair of 11 play, 5 1/2 minute drives of 65 and 58 yards saw Elliott hit field goals of 45 yards in the first quarter and 40 yards in the second quarter to make it 13-0 Eagles. One play later the Chargers were right back in it as Philip Rivers connected with Williams for a 75 yard touchdown to get within 13-7. After that Elliott hit from 53, Koo responded from 28, and Elliott hit from 47 in the third quarter to make it 19-10 Eagles after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter both teams moved 75 yards. Ekeler ran for a 35 yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 19-17, but Smallwood responded from 3 yards out on 3rd and goal to put the Eagles back up 26-17 with 9:15 to play. After a touchback the Chargers soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 39. Rivers hooked up with Keenan Allen for a 50 yard gain. Rivers hit Henry for a 4 yard touchdown as the Chargers were back within a deuce with 6:45 to play.

One defensive stop would give the Chargers a chance to win their first game. I was not meant to be. On 2rd and 2 from the Philly 47, Clement got just enough. On 3rd and 1 at the Chargers 42, Clement gained 4. On 3rd and 1 from the Chargers 29, LaGuerrette Blount gained 15 as the Eagles ran out the clock. The only team to start 0-4 and make the playoffs was the Chargers. However, on the 25th anniversary of that team, it is important to remember that they were in San Diego, not Los Angeles. 26-24 Eagles

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals — The only two players to show up for most of this awful game were the two field goal kickers. Robbie Gould hit from 49 in the first quarter for the 49ers. In the second quarter Phil Dawson hit from 29, Gould responded from 39, and Dawson answered from 43 for a 6-6 halftime game. The second half was just as awful. In the third quarter Gould hit from 47, Dawson answered from 50, and Gould countered from 48. In the fourth quarter Dawson answered from 32 for a 12-12 game. The 49ers got the ball to start overtime and held the ball for 17 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. They moved 73 yards but settled for Gould’s fifth field goal. The 49ers led by 3 but the Cardinals had one chance with the ball. After a touchback, Carson Palmer hit Ellington for a pair of 11 yard gains and to John Brown for gains of 17 and 28. A 25 yard touchdown pass to Brown was ruled out of bounds. Brown’s toe landed on the white chalk. Offensive holding meant 2nd and 20, but on the next play defensive pass interference meant 1st and 10 from the Frisco 27. With 30 seconds left in overtime, Palmer went over the middle to Larry Fitzgerald for the only touchdown of the game. Fitzgerald is a Hall of Famer on and off the field, and he did it again to keep the 49ers winless. 18-15 Cardinals, OT

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos — One week after the Oakland offensive line spent more time on protesting than blocking, a road game against their hated rival was just as awful. After each team went 3 and out, the Broncos faced 2nd and 11 at their own 11. Trevor Siemian hit Benny Fowler for a 17 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Denver 31, Siemian hit Fowler for 18 yards, Derby for 29, and Derby again for the 22 yard touchdown and the 7-0 Broncos lead against the hideous Oakland secondary. The Broncos got it back at their own 11 and Siemian continued to torch the Raiders. On 3rd and goal at the 5, a false start killed the drive. Brandon McManus hit the 28 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Broncos.

In the second quarter the Raiders moved from their 32 to a 4th and 1 at the Denver 31. Jack Del Rio became a hero in 2016 with his gambling ways, but the 2017 team is just not coming through for him. Marshawn Lynch got stopped cold. The Raiders got the ball back at their own one yard line. Derek Carr hit Smith for 11 yards. On 3rd and 6 from their own 16, Carr hit Jalen Richard for 20 yards. On the next play, Al Davis had to be smiling somewhere as Carr went deep to Johnny Holton for a 64 yard touchdown bomb. It was not Jim Plunkett to Cliff Branch, but the thoroughly outplayed Raiders were only down 10-7 at halftime.

The Denver defense dominated the second half and knocked Carr out of the game with an injured back. Without Carr, the Raiders are an 0-16 team. He was walking around, so hopefully it will not be a repeat of the 2016 nightmare. McManus hit field goals of 36 and 46 in the third quarter and surprisingly doinked a 29 yarder off the upright in the fourth quarter no good after the Raiders had a fake punt blown up. The Broncos led 16-7, while the Raiders with EJ Manuel had no chance.

Or did they? With 8 1/2 minutes left and the Raiders at their own 7, Manuel hit Cordarelle Patterson for 11, Jared Cook for 28, Seth Roberts for 22, Amari Cooper for 8, and Patterson for 4 to set up 1st and 10 at the Denver 20. Then came 3 straight incompletions, because Cooper and Jared Cook dropped perfectly thrown balls. Cook dropped a touchdown pass. Meanwhile, the Raiders also burned their final timeout. Georgio Tavecchio hit the 38 yard field goal to get the Raiders within 16-10 with 5 1/2 minutes left.

The Raiders held on defense and got the ball back at their own 42 with 4:16 to play. A 9 yard completion to Olawale saw him bang over a pair of defenders. On 3rd and 1 from the Denver 38 saw Olawale will his way to 2 yards at the 2 minute warning. After a false start and a near interception, Manuel went deep to Cooper, who was double covered. The ball was intercepted by Simmons and the Raiders were dead. Denver got to 3-1, Oakland dropped to 2-2, and the good news was that the Raiders would now play 3 straight home games. The bad news is if Carr is unable to play, it will not matter. 16-10 Broncos

Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks is the Sunday night game. Although both of these teams came in 1-2, there was no way the Colts with backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett was going to go on the road and take down the Legion of Boom. Cue ESPN user-announcer Chris Berman: “THAT’s why they play the games.” Defense dominated early as a 44 yard Blair Walsh field goal got the Seahawks on the board first. Later on Russell Wilson tried to pass from his own end zone and barely got rid of the ball before going down. Chuck Pagano challenged the call and on further review, Wilson’s knee was down for a sack, a safety, and the Colts getting within 3-2. In the second quarter Brissett threw a perfect pass to Justin Coleman, who plays defense for Seattle. The 28 yard interception return touchdown made it 10-2 Seahawks.

Yet the Colts responded with a 12 play, 80 yard, 7 minute drive. On 3rd and 13 from their own 48, Brissett found TY Hilton for just enough. On 3rd and 1 from the 2, Robert Turbin got the yard. On the next play Turbin got the final yard for the score. The 2 point conversion failed but the Colts were within 10-8. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half, Wilson was intercepted to give the Colts the ball on their own 45. On 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 46, Turbin gained 2. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 40, Brissett hit Turbin for just enough. Brissett hit Dante Moncrief for an 18 yard touchdown as the Colts had the surprising 15-10 with 23 seconds left in the half. With 13 seconds left and the Seahawks at their own 44, Wilson went deep to Percy Richardson for a 37 yard gain. It was all for naught as Walsh missed a 37 yard field goal to end the half.

The Seahawks began the third quarter facing 2nd and 12 at their own 14. Wilson threw incomplete but defensive illegal use of hands gave Seattle new life. A defensive unnecessary roughness penalty followed by a 21 yard completion to Richardson led to a 3rd and 2 at the Indy 34. Carson gained 11 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Indy 23, Wilson scrambled up the middle for a 23 yard touchdown to make it 17-15 Seahawks. A defensive illegal formation on the extra point had Pete Carroll taking the extra point off the board to try a 2 point conversion from the one. A perfectly executed play action pass had Wilson hit a wide open Doug Baldwin for an 18-15 Seahawks lead. Seattle got it back on their own 6. On 3rd and 7 from their own 36, Wilson was intercepted by Hooker, who returned it 29 yards to the Seattle 24. The defense held but a 40 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal had the Colts had the game tied 18-18.

After a touchback the Seahawks faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Wilson hit Carson for 7 yards and Jimmy Graham for 33 more. McKissic ran around the end for a 30 yard touchdown and a 25-18 Seahawks lead. On the next play from the Indy 22, disaster struck the Colts immediately. Brissett was sacked and fumbled. Bobby Wagner returned the fumble 21 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 32-18 Seahawks lead after three quarters. The Seahawks began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 9 at their own 27. Wilson went deep to Tyler Lockett for a 41 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Indy 20, Wilson hit Graham for 14 and non-relative Luke Willson for a 6 yard touchdown to turn a tie game into a blowout. Seattle added the exclamation point with an 84 yard, 11 play, 7 minute drive that was capped off by a 27 yard touchdown pass from Wilson to McKissic. 46-18 Seahawks

Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs was the Monday night game. Nobody wins ugly like the Chiefs. The Redskins went right to work after a touchback. Kirk Cousins threw a 44 yard touchdown bomb to Terrelle Pryor for a 7-0 Redskins lead only 3 minutes into the game. The Chief went 3 and out, lost 7 yards, and punted to give the Redskins the ball near midfield. They moved easily and had 2nd and goal at the 2. Kelley got stopped, and on 3rd and goal Cousins only gained one yard. On 4th and goal at the one, Jay Gruden opted for the field goal to make it 10-0 Redskins. Yet after 14 plays and 7 1/2 minutes to only go 50 yards, it was a victory for the Chiefs defense.

The Chiefs moved from their 17 to a 3rd and 7 at the Washington 31. Alex Smith was sacked to push the Chiefs out of field goal range. The Redskins moved to a 3rd and 2 at the Chiefs 42, but Cousins threw incomplete. With 5 minutes left in the half the Chiefs took over at their own 27. On 3rd and 8 from the Chiefs 41, the Redskins jumped offsides. On 3rd and 3 Smith hit West for 9 yards. From the Washington 38, Smith hit Conley for 21 yards at the 2 minute warning. On the next play Smith hit Travis Kelce for the 17 yard touchdown. Despite being dominated, the Chiefs were only down 10-7.

Things got even more bizarre when the Chiefs got the ball back with 1:05 left at their own 17. On 3rd and 7 from their own 20 with 36 seconds left, Smith fumbled the snap out of the shotgun. Smith picked it up and raced 37 yards. Smith then hit Kelce for 20 yards to make it 1st and 10 at the Washington 28 with 20 seconds left. Smith threw incomplete twice. With 10 seconds left on 3rd and 10 and without a timeout, Walrus Lite Andy Reid opted for the field goal rather than try one more play. From 46 yards out, Butker was no good.

The Chiefs did not lose momentum despite the miss. They began the third quarter at their own 21. From the Chiefs 46,  defensive horse collar tackle followed by a 20 yard completion to Kelce and 9 more yards for roughing the passer meant 1st and goal at the 9. On 3rd and goal at the 1, Smith threw incomplete. Yet the defense jumped offsides and gave the Chiefs another try. This time Smith got in himself. Defensive penalties killed Washington as the Chiefs led 14-10. After a touchback the Redskins struck very quickly. Cousins went deep to Vernon Davis for a 69 yard gain. Cousins hit Grant for the 3 yard touchdown to make it 17-14 Redskins.

After a touchback the Chiefs led a 13 play, 68 yard drive that took 7 1/2 minutes. Yet on 3rd and 9 from the Washington 13, Smith threw one of his famous West Coast Offense dink and dunk passes short of the marker. Butler hit the 26 yard field goal as the third quarter ended with the teams tied 17-17. The Chiefs quickly got it back at their own 20 with 13 minutes in regulation and led an even longer drive, going 14 plays and 66 yards in over 8 minutes. On 3rd and 5 from the Washington 14, Smith again threw one of his famous West Coast Offense dink and dunk passes that gained 0 yards. Butler hit the 32 yard field goal to make it 20-17 Chiefs with only 5 minutes remaining.

After a touchback the Redskins soon faced 3rd and 8 at the Washington 43 with 3 1/2 minutes left. Cousins scrambled for 10 yards. With 1:15 to play, the Redskins were sitting pretty with 2nd and 2 at the Chiefs 22. Thompson gained nothing and the Redskins burned a timeout with 57 seconds left rather than let the clock run down. Cousins then threw to the end zone for Doctson. It was the winning touchdown, or it would have been had Doctson not dropped it when he came down in the end zone. It was right there and the Redskins didn’t take it. Dustin Hopkins hit the 40 yard field goal for a 20-20 ballgame. However, the Redskins left 47 seconds on the clock. The entire football world knew what would happen next.

From the Chiefs 29, Smith went to wilson for a 37 yard gain and to Conley for 10 more. With 8 seconds left, Reid again brought his kicker in on 3rd down to try a 43 yarder rather than try and run one more play. This time Butler nailed it and the Chiefs had the win. just for good measure, the Redskins fumbled on the hook and laterals on the kickoff. Justin Houston picked up the fumble and returned it 13 yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs win ugly, but at 4-0 they are the only unbeaten team in the NFL. Andy Reid is not a Supermodel. He does not care about style points. At 4-0, he is one happy Walrus Lite. 29-20 Chiefs

Yom Kippur test for liberal Jews

October 1st, 2017

Yom Kippur test for liberal Jews

A Yom Kippur challenge for liberal Jews

NFL 2017 Week 4 Prequel

September 27th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 4 Prequel

NFL 2017 Week 4 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

Reject NFL protesters without boycotting the NFL

September 27th, 2017

Reject NFL protesters without boycotting the NFL

Let football be football: Boycotting the NFL is wrong

NFL 2017 Week 3 Recap

September 24th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 3 Recap

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers was the Thursday night game. Sometimes a pair of boring teams can come together and play a very exciting game. This actually was that game. Four days after a solid defense could not make up for an anemic offense, the 49ers flipped the script. This game was so beautiful that even the Thursday night Teletubbies uniforms the players wore looked beautiful. Jared Goff finished 22 of 28 for 292 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Bryan Hoyer was 23 of 37 for 332 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Early on it looked like the 49ers would get blown out again. On the first play from scrimmage, Hoyer was intercepted by Robey, who returned it 25 yards to the San Francisco 3 yard line. Todd Gurley scored on the next play for a 7-0 Rams lead only 12 seconds into the game, but it was Hoyer’s last mistake of the game.

The 49ers got it back at their own 19 yard line. The 49ers would have to punt on 4th and 2 just shy of midfield, but the Rams were offside on the punt. The 49ers soon faced 3rd and 4 at the Rams 40, and Hoyer hit Breida for 12 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Rams 9, Hoyer scrambled for the touchdown himself. The 14 play, 81 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive made it a 7-7 ballgame. The Rams came back and faced 3rd and 7 at their own 28. Goff was sacked for a 12 yard loss, but defensive holding kept the drive going. From the Rams 37, Goff went deep to Woods for a 31 yard gain and Carrier for 17 more. On 3rd and 2 from the San Francisco 7, Goff hit Gurley for the score to make it 14-7 Rams.

The 49ers again took over at their own 19 and soon faced a 2nd and 8 from the Rams 39. Mostert got the carry and fumbled the ball away. The Rams took over at their own 32. After gains of 10 and 5 by Gurley, Goff hit Woods for 21 yards. On the first play of the second quarter, Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein hit a 48 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Rams. After a touchback, the 49ers moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Rams 43. Hoyer threw incomplete and the 49ers punted. The Rams fumbled the punt and the 49ers had a golden chance when they recovered at the Rams 12. They squandered the chance as a pair of offensive penalties moved them backward. Robbie Gould hit a 36 yard field goal to get the 49ers within 17-10.

The Rams went 3 and out and the 49ers took over at their own 23. Hoyer went deep to Juszczyk for a 34 yard gain. On 3rd and 17 from midfield, Hoyer hit Pierre Garcon for an 18 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Rams 26, Hoyer was sacked for a 4 yard loss. Gould hit a 48 yard field goal to get the 49ers within 17-13 with 3:45 left in the half. After a touchback, the Rams moved down the field. From their own 41, Goff hit Sammy Watkins for a 22 yard gain. With 1:24 left in the half, the Rams faced a critical 3rd and 3 at the San Francisco 30. Goff hit Cooper Kupp for a 13 yard gain and Woods for 13 more. Gurley ran it in from yards out as the Rams took a 24-13 lead to the locker rooms in a game where the offenses were just getting warmed up.

After a touchback to start the second half, the Rams immediately went to work. On 3rd and 1 from their own 34, Gurley gained 5. On the next play Goff went deep to Watkins for a 47 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the San Francisco 9, Goff threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. The Rams had a chance to put the game away. After a false start, a short completion set up 2nd and goal at the 2. Gurley gained one yard, and on 3rd and goal at the one, Gurley was stopped. On 4th and goal at the one, Sean McVay decided to kick the field goal. Zuerlein hit the 19 yarder for a 27-13 Rams lead, but after 10 plays, 74 yards and 6 minutes, they left the door open.

After a touchback, Hoyer hit Garcon for a 19 yard gain with 15 more tacked on for rushing the passer. Initially the call was incomplete, but Kyle Shanahan successfully challenged the call. On 3rd and 10 from the Rams 23, Hoyer hit Robinson for 17 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Carlos Hyde gained 5 yards, but from the one he got stopped on 2nd and 3rd and goal. On 4th and goal at the one, Shanahan made the call that McVay did not. Shanahan went for it, and Hyde got the ball again. No tricks, no surprises, just smashouth football. Hyde got in and the 49ers were within 27-20.

The Rams soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Goff hit Watkins for 15 and Woods for 9 more. From the Frisco 34, Goff hit Woods for 25 yards. Tavon Austin ran it in, but on further review was ruled down at the one. It was still 1st and goal due to a horse collar tackle. Twice Gurley got the carry and twice he got stopped. This time McVay did not have to make the toughest of calls. On 3rd and goal at the one, Goff hit Watkins for the touchdown. After three quarters the Rams led 34-20, but this game was far from over.

On the last play of the third quarter, Hoyer went deep to Goodwin for a 50 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Rams 17, Hoyer hit Hyde for a 5 yard gain and Taylor for 11 more. From the one, Hoyer hit Greg Celek for the score. With 13 minutes left in regulation the 49ers were right back in it. However, in a game of key plays, the normally automatic Gould missed the extra point as the 49ers were down 34-26.

After a touchback, Gurley immediately broke free for a 29 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the San Francisco 46, Goff hit Gurley for a 27 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the 13, Goff hit Watkins for the touchdown. with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Rams had a comfortable 41-26 lead. That comfort would not last for long. In a game dominated by the offenses, a rare pair of defensive stops led to a pair of punts. The 49ers got it back at their own 36 with 6 1/2 minutes left.

Hoyer immediately went deep to Pierre Garcon for a 59 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 5. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Hoyer hit Taylor for the touchdown. With 5 minutes left to play the 49ers were within 41-33. Shanahan decided not to go onside, instead opting to kick it deep. The 49ers got an immediate break when the Rams fumbled the kick and the 49ers recovered at the Rams 29. On 3rd and 3, Hoyer hit Garcon for 7 and Goodwin for 12 more. On 1st and goal at the 3, Hyde gained 2. After an incomplete pass, Hyde failed to get in on 3rd and goal. Again, the game saw a crucial 4th and goal at the one. 2:17 remained in regulation. Again, Shanahan planned nothing flashy. This was pure attitude time. Hyde got the carry and got in for the touchdown.

Gould’s earlier extra point miss was now looming large. Instead of trying the tying extra point, the 49ers had to try a 2 point conversion to tie the game. Despite a valiant comeback, this time Hoyer’s pass to Taylor fell incomplete. The 49ers were still down 2 points, and needed an onside kick. This time Gould delivered a beauty and the 49ers recovered at midfield. With 2:10 to play, the 49ers had a chance to pull off a stunning comeback. At the 2 minute warning, the 49ers faced 3rd and 10. Hoyer hit Taylor for 11 yards, and the 49ers were within very long field goal range. However, offensive pass interference on Taylor nullified the gain and instead put the 49ers back to 3rd and 20 at their own 40. After an incompletion, on 4th down, Hoyer was sacked. On 3rd and 10 at the 49ers 31 and San Francisco out of timeouts with 53 seconds left, one stop would give them one more chance. Gurley ran for 20 yards and that chance evaporated. The game 49ers fell to 0-3 while the 2-1 Rams were lucky to survive. The real winners were the fans, who got treated to a thrilling Thursday night football game. 41-39 Rams

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars was the Sunday morning London game. Both teams kneeled for the national anthem but only one team got up. Apparently the Ravens were not protesting. They were surrendering before the game started. This is what happens when you spend more time practicing politics than football. As for the Jaguars, nobody can figure them out. The first week they look resurgent, then last week they look like the same old Jaguars, and this week Blake Bortles plays like he is headed toward Canton.

Early on after Jared Myers kicked a 23 yard field goal to get the scoring started, Jacksonville got the ball back and moved 80 yards. Bortles hit Mercedes lewis for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Jaguars. Again Baltimore could not move the ball and again Jacksonville put points on the board. A 45 yard field goal by Jared Myers in the second quarter made it 13-0 Jaguars. Midway through the second quarter Joe Flacco was intercepted, setting the Jaguars up at the Baltimore 28. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Bortles hit Alex Hurns for the score and the 20-0 Jaguars lead. Jacksonville got it back at their own 23 with less than 3 minutes left in the half and kept rolling. A pair of defensive penalties including a 29 yard infraction for pass interference had the Ravens facing 3rd and 3 at the Baltimore 11. Bortles threw incomplete but Myers hit from 29 as the Ravens led 23-0 at halftime.

In the second half the blowout continued. Another interception of Flacco had Jacksonville taking over at the Baltimore 32. Two plays later Bortles threw a 30 yard touchdown to Mercedes Lewis to make it 30-0 Jaguars. On the next series, a Baltimore fumble was returned 52 yards to the Baltimore 2 yard line. Two plays later Bortles hit Lewis for a 4 yard touchdown and a 37-0 Jaguars lead. Doug Marrone poured it on. At the end of the third quarter with the jaguars facing 4th and 1 at their own 35, Marrone called a fake punt. Grant took the direct snap and raced 58 yards, as the Jaguars now had 1st and goal at the 3. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Fournette scored to make it 44-0 Jaguars.

Flacco was benched for Ryan Mallett, who finally led one garbage touchdown drive to get the Ravens on the board. Flacco finished 8 of 18 for 28 yards, 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Bortles was 20 of 31 for 244 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Steve Biscotti stood by his players kneeling for the anthem but probably will not stand for too many 44 point deficits in games. As for Jacksonville, Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin was so pleased at the blowout win that he almost smiled. 44-7 Jaguars

Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts — A pair of bad teams played, with Jacoby Brissett filling in for Andrew Luck. In the first quarter the Colts moved 70 yards in 10 plays. Brissett ran for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Colts. The Browns took over after a touchback to start the second quarter. From the Cleveland 35, DeShaun Kizer went deep to Kenny Britt for a 35 yard gain. Johnson ran for a 19 yard touchdown and a 7-7 game. After that the game turned lopsided.

The Colts quickly moved 75 yards and on 3rd and 2 from the Cleveland 7, Brissett ran again for the touchdown to make it 14-7 Colts. The Colts got it back and soon faced 2nd and 12 at their own 1 yard line, but it did not matter. 99 yards came easily. Rather than play it safe and run, Chuck Pagano got aggressive. Brissett went deep to Donte Moncrief for a 34 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Colts 39, Brissett connected with TY Hilton on a 61 yard touchdown and a 21-7 Colts lead. The next time the Colts got it back with a short field at the Cleveland 45. Defensive pass interference on Julius Peppers moved the ball 34 yards. Frank Gore ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 28-7 Colts

Late in the half the Browns tried to make a game of it as Kizer led them 75 yards in 10 plays. Njoku got in from the one as the Browns trailed 28-14 at the break. The second half was supposed to be a formality. After a scoreless third quarter, a 33 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal in the fourth quarter had the Colts up 31-14. The Browns tried to make a game of it, quickly moving 75 yards in 10 plays. Kizer hit Njoku for a one yard touchdown to get the Browns within 10 points.

The Browns got the ball back with 4 minutes left in that their own 30. On 3rd and 1, Kizer hit Johnson for 6 yards. On 4th and 10 from the Indy 39, Kizer threw incomplete. However, defensive pass interference meant 1st and 10 at the 23. Kizer got in from one yard out and the Browns were within a field goal with 2:08 to play. However, they were out of timeouts. The onside kick failed. The Browns got it back with 23 seconds left at their own 9 yard line. With 9 seconds left from their own 5 yard line, Kizer’s Hail Mary was 58 yards short of the end zone and intercepted. Hue Jackson has an 0-3 team while Chuck Pagano got his first win of the year. After blowing a 10 point fourth quarter lead last week, the Colts barely managed to avoid another collapse. With the way this season has gone they will take it. 31-28 Colts.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears — Mike Tomlin announced that the Steelers would stay in the locker room for the national anthem. Apparently they stayed there for most of the game. Early on the Steelers fumbled a punt, setting the Bears up at the Pittsburgh 29. Howard ran for a 3 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Bears lead. The Steelers finally woke up in the second quarter and moved 77 yards in 13 plays, taking over 7 minutes off the clock. Ben Roethlisberger, who is not Jewish and did not celebrate Rosh Hashanah, threw a 7 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown for a 7-7 ballgame.

In the third quarter, the Bears moved 75 yards in 5 minutes. Mike Glennon hit Shaheen for a 2 yard touchdown as the Bears led 14-7. Then with 6 seconds left in the half, things got wild. Chris Boswell lined up for a 35 yard field goal try that was anything but routine. The kick was blocked, and Cooper picked it up for the Bears and raced the other way. After running it 70 yards he fumbled the ball at the one out the back of the end zone for a touchback instead of a touchdown. On further review, Cooper was ruled down at the one. John Fox decided to go for it as the Bears were given one untimed down due to a penalty on Pittsburgh. Fox watched helplessly as a false start moved the Bears back to the 6. The Bears settled for a 24 yard Connor Barth field goal to lead 17-7 at halftime.

The Bears were in control but after an exchange of punts in the third quarter, the Bears fumbled at their own 25 and the Steelers recovered at the Chicago 16. On 3rd and 6 from the 12, Big Ben scrambled for just enough. On 3rd and goal at the one, Roethlisberger threw incomplete. Yet defensive holding killed the Bears. On the next play Leveon Bell got in to get the Steelers within 17-14. After a touchback the Bears moved to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 25. They then soon faced 3rd and 31 and would punt again.

With 9 minutes left in regulation, the Bears faced 3rd and 7 at their own 12. Glennon was managing the game, but winless teams find ways to lose. Glennon was intercepted, setting the Steelers up at the Chicago 21. Give the Bears defense credit. On 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 14, Big Ben threw incomplete. Chris Boswell hit the 32 yard field goal for a 17-17 game. Both defenses dug in and the game went into overtime. The new overtime rules shortened the extra session from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. Yet it took less than 90 seconds to settle matters.

Perhaps the Steelers protested the overtime period. Maybe they thought the game ended after four quarters because nobody expected the Bears to be competitive. Maybe they just forgot to come out of the locker rooms. Whatever the reason, the Bears took over at their own 26. On 2nd and 9, Cohen got the carry and appeared to run for a 73 yard touchdown to end the game. On further review it was only a 36 yard gain since Cohen stepped out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 37. It didn’t matter. Howard ran for an 18 yard gain and on the next carry ran for the 19 yard touchdown. The Steelers are no longer unbeaten and the Bears are no longer winless. Not every Steelers player boycotted the national anthem. Allejandro Villanueva is a former Army Ranger. He stood with his hand over his heart. The rest of the Steelers had no heart on the field or off it. 23-17 Bears, OT

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets — This game was expected to be hideous, and it lived down to expectations. After a scoreless first quarter, in the second quarter Chandler Catanzaro hit a 40 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Jets. After more than 28 minutes of unwatchable football, one play of excitement somehow occurred. Josh McCown went deep to Anderson for a 69 yard touchdown and a 10-0 Jets lead. In the third quarter a short punt had the Jets starting just past midfield. On 3rd and 1 from the Miami 28, McCown hit Thomas for 15 yards and Matt Forte ran for 12 more down to the one. Powell got in as the Jets had a shocking 17-0 lead.

In the third quarter the Jets moved 45 yards in 13 plays and took 7 minutes to do it. They settled for a 22 yard Catanzaro field goal but still led 20-0. Miami Dolphins fans threatened a boycott over the national anthem, and by national anthem they meant Jay Cutler and the entire Miami offense. on the last play of the game, the Dolphins scored to avoid being shut out. Meanwhile, it was a sweet win for embattled Todd Bowles. Those who had the Jets going 0-16 were proven wrong. 20-6 Jets

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills — Bills players said they were triggered by President Trump’s comments about football. They should be triggered about not making the playoffs this entire century. The Bills last made the playoffs in 1999, the longest drought in the NFL. When people think of Denver and Buffalo, the think of football in cold weather. It was 88 degrees at kickoff, but there were no climate change riots during the national anthem.

Early on the Broncos moved 53 yards in 12 plays and 5 minutes. Brandon McManus hit a 38 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Broncos. In the second quarter the Bills moved 74 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Tyrod Taylor hit Andre Holmes for the touchdown to make it 7-3 Bills. Denver came right back. On 2nd and 3 from their 28, CJ Anderson ran for 32 yards, with 15 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness. On the next play, roughing the passer moved the ball to the Buffalo 12. One play later, Jamal Charles dragged everybody with him for the touchdown and the 10-7 Broncos lead.

After that the teams traded field goals. Steve Hauschka hit from 49 for a 10-10 game. McManus hit from 35 to give the Broncos the lead again, but Hauschka drilled a 55 yarder to end the half with the teams tied 13-13. In the third quarter McManus answered again from 28 for a 16-13 Broncos advantage.

The Bills came right back from their own 31. Taylor hit O’Leary for a 31 yard game and Matthews for 25 more. A 6 yard touchdown pass to Clay broke the string of field goals and put the Bills up 20-16 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Broncos went backward and faced 2nd and 23 from their own 12. Trevor Siemian was intercepted, and the Bills had a golden opportunity at the Denver 32. LeSean Shady McCoy ran for 18 yards, but offensive holding negated the play and pushed the Bills out of field goal range as they squandered the opportunity.

As the third quarter was ending, Vance Joseph took a very big gamble. With the Broncos facing 4th and 2 at their own 31, Joseph called for a fake punt. It was blown up in the backfield for a 4 yard loss. Buffalo failed to move the ball but the fourth quarter began with Hauschka nailing a 53 yard field goal to make it 23-16 Bills. Denver then moved from their 38 to a 1st and 10 at the Buffalo 24 with 11 minutes left in regulation. Again the Buffalo defense came up big as Siemian was intercepted again.

The Bills took over at their own 38. On 3rd and 5, Taylor scrambled for 7 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Denver 46, a very controversial call took place. Taylor threw incomplete and got nailed by Von Miller. The hit was legal, but Miller was not flagged for the hit itself. He offered an outstretched hand to Taylor. When Taylor reached for it, Miller pulled his hand away. Kids used to yell “psyche” on the playground when doing this. This drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Miller and moved the Bills into field goal range at the Denver 31. More importantly, they kept burning clock. On 3rd and 6 from the Denver 27, Taylor found McCoy for 7 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the 12, McCoy gained 3. With 1st and goal at the Denver 10, Sean McDermott played it safe and bled the clock. Hauschka hit the 27 yard field goal with just over 3 minutes left to lock up the big win. Taylor finished 20 of 26 for 213 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Siemian was 24 of 40 for 259 yards but 2 costly interceptions without a touchdown. 26-16 Bills

Houston Texans at New England Patriots — Early on Danny Amendola returned a punt 33 yards just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 13 from their own 46, Tom Brady went bombs away to Cooks for a 44 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for the touchdown. The Patriots led 7-0, but the expected rout did not materialize.

The Texans moved 57 yards and Fairbairn hit a 39 yard field goal to get them on the board. A field position game followed by a short punt had the Teams taking over at the New England 44. DeShaun Watson hit Miller for 15 yards and then went deep to Ellington for the 29 yard touchdown and the 10-7 Texans lead. The second quarter began with the Patriots facing 4th and 5 at the Houston 37. Bill Belichick decided to punt and play field position. The strategy paid off as Watson was soon intercepted by Gilmore, setting the Patriots up at the Houston 12 yard line. After a defensive holding call, Brady hit Chris Hogan for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Patriots.

The Texans moved 55 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Fairbairn hit a 40 yard field goal to get the Texans within 14-13. Two plays later from the New England 28, Brady got belted in the pocket and fumbled. Jadavean Clowney picked up the ball and raced for a 22 yard touchdown. The Texans led 20-14. Brady gave up and said football was just not for him anymore. No, not really. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the half and the Patriots facing 3rd and 10 at their own 36, Brady went to Danny Amendola for a 17 yard gain. On the next play Brady went deep to Hogan for a 47 yard touchdown to make it 21-20 Patriots.

The Patriots took over at their own 19 to start the third quarter and struck quickly. From their 39, Brady found Hollister for 19 yards and then went deep to Brandon Cooks for a 42 yard touchdown. Brady’s fourth touchdown pass had the Patriots up 28-20. Yet the Texans would not go away. The Texans after a sack of Watson faced 2nd and 22 at their own 34. Watson fumbled but the Texans were lucky to retain possession on the sack. Watson is a rookie, and he stayed calm enough to throw a 35 yard touchdown to Griffin. Watson came back to Griffin for a 12 yard touchdown. With much of the entire second half to play, Bill O’Brien smartly opted against the 2 point conversion try as the Texans trailed 28-27.

After a touchback the Patriots moved to the Houston 34. Yet Brady was sacked and fumbled. The Patriots retained possession but 2nd and 9 was now 3rd and 21. On 4th and 13 from the Houston 38, Belichick again decided to punt rather than try the long field goal. The Texans soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 23, and Watson hit Ellington for just enough. On 3rd and 1 from their 39 to start the fourth quarter, Foreman gained 4 yards. From the Houston 46, Watson hit Foreman for a 34 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Patriots 13, Watson threw incomplete. Fairbairn hit the 31 yarder as the Texans led 30-28 with 12 minutes left in regulation and were smelling upset.

Twice the Texans defense stopped the Patriots, including an inspired run stop on 3rd and 1. With 6 minutes left the Texans took over at their own 33 with another chance to put the game away. Offensive pass interference had them facing 1st and 20, but Watson connected with Foreman for a 23 yard gain. With 2 1/2 minutes to play, the Texans faced 3rd and 1 at the New England 18. A touchdown would ice the game. Miller got the carry and did not make it. The Patriots took their second timeout. On 4th and 1, Bill O’Brien had a major decision to make. If he goes for it and doesn’t make it, the Patriots need only a field goal to win. Yet with Tom Brady on the sideline, you have to go for it. O’Brien played it conservative and Fairbairn hit the 36 yard field goal. The Texans led 33-28, but the Patriots had one timeout plus the two minute warning plus the greatest quarterback of his generation.

Offensive holding had the Patriots facing 2nd and 20 at their own 15. Brady hit Gronkowski for a gain of 8 and on 3rd and 12 a gain of 15. With 90 seconds left on 1st and 10 from the Houston 44, Brady was sacked and fumbled. The Patriots survived and retained possession. With 54 seconds left in regulation the Patriots faced 3rd and 18 from their own 48. The Texans were smelling blood. So was Brady. He did it again.

A 27 yard completion to Amendola was followed by a 25 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Cooks. The 2 point conversion to Cooks put the Patirots up by a field goal with 23 seconds to play. after a touchback, Watson hit Deandre Hopkins for a 21 yard gain. With 3 seconds left from the Houston 46, Watson unleashed the Hail Mary. It was long and deep enough, but intercepted by Harmon. Watson is a rookie, but he finished an impressive 22 of 33 with 301 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. He also threw 2 interceptions including the final play. Brady was spectacular, going 25 of 35 for 378 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. As amazing as Brady is, blame for the loss has to go to Bill O’Brien for not going for it on 4th and 1. If the Texans convert, they run out the clock and Brady never sees the ball again. 36-33 Patriots

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers — The Saints were supposed to be a team in decline with no defense. The Panthers were supposed to have a revitalized defense. As ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman reminded us for 30 years, “That’s why they play the games.” The theme of this game early on was ball control. The Panthers held the ball for over 8 1/2 minutes, moving 61 yards in 15 plays. Yet on 3rd and 4 from the Saints 8, Cam Newton was sacked. Graham Gano hit a 32 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Panthers. The Saints responded 75 yards in 13 plays, taking 6 minutes of clock to do it. They finished their drive as Drew Brees threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Thomas to make it 7-3 Saints. In the second quarter the Panthers moved the ball again, but again had to settle for a 48 yard Gano field goal to trail 7-6.

Midway through the second quarter, Newton was intercepted to set up the Saints at the Carolina 24. On 3rd and 8, Brees hit Thomas for 11 yards and Coleman for the 11 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Saints. The Saints got it back and moved 54 yards in 10 plays in under 5 minutes. Will Lutz hit a 33 yard field goal for a 17-6 Saints lead. In the third quarter the Saints quickly moved 75 yards. Brees hit Ted Ginn for a 40 yard touchdown as the Saints led 24-6 in front of a shocked Carolina home crowd.

The Panthers moved from their 25 to a 4th and 5 at the Saints 35. Riverboat Ron Rivera forsake his name and decided to punt. Things then appeared to get worse for Carolina when they took over at their own 17. Newton was sacked and fumbled. The Panthers were lucky to retain possession at their own 7. The Saints almost put the game away, but on 2nd and 20, Newton hit Funchess for 19 yards. On 3rd and 1 McCaffrey gained 2 yards. From the Carolina 28, Newton went deep to McCaffrey for a 66 yard gain. On the next play Newton ran for a 3 yard touchdown as the Panthers got within 24-13 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter the Saints put the game away. Lutz hit a 50 yard field goal to make it 27-13 Saints. New Orleans got it back with a short field at the Carolina 35. Kamara ran for a 25 yard touchdown run to complete the blowout in front of a stunned home crowd. Brees was 22 of 29 for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cam Newton was 17 of 26 with 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The Saints are no longer winless and the Panthers are no longer unbeaten. 34-13 Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings — Tampa Bay was supposed to be the improving team on the rise, but early on it was Minnesota with the edge. Case Keenum filled in for the injured Sam Bradford, but it did not matter. Early on the vikings moved 75 yards and Cook got in from the one for a 7-0 Vikings lead. The Buccaneers did move 53 yards but settled for a 40 yard Nick Folk field goal to trail 7-3. In the second quarter the Vikings moved 76 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. Keenum hit Wright for the 2 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Vikings. The vikings got it back at their own 8 yard line and Kennum…yes, Case Keenum…led a 92 yard drive. A 17 yard touchdown pass to Diggs had the vikings up 21-3 at the intermission.

Keenum kept firing. A 59 yard touchdown pass to Diggs in the third quarter had the Vikings up 28-3. At this point the Viking scouted as the Buccaneers tried to rally. with a short field at the Minnesota 46, Jameis Winston threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Brate to get the Buccaneers within 28-10. The Vikings then held the ball for 6 1/2 minutes, moving 73 yards in 14 plays. They settled for a 20 yard Kai Forbath field goal for a 31-10 Vikings lead. The Bucs came back 75 yards quickly, as Winston hit DeSean Jackson for a 25 yard touchdown and a 31-17 Buccaneer deficit.

Yet early in the fourth quarter with Tampa Bay at the Minnesota 44, Winston was intercepted by Sandejo, who returned it 36 yards. The Vikings took over at the Tampa Bay 35. Forbath hit a 37 yard field goal with 8 1/2 minutes left to lock up the win. 34-17 Vikings

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions — Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan are good friends, but they are also opposing quarterbacks on unbeaten teams. Jim Caldwell was on the hot seat a couple years ago, now he just signed a new contract extension. Caldwell was so pleased that he almost made a facial expression. Kidding aside, Caldwell’s calm demeanor sometimes obscures the fact that he turned the perennial losers into winners. Also credit Marcia Ford, who stuck with Caldwell and has been rewarded. The 90 year old matriarch has far less patience than her late husband, and the team has responded.

Early on it was the Falcons moving 75 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons. Atlanta got it back and moved 53 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 2 from the Detroit 7, Ryan was sacked. Matt Bryant hit a 36 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Falcons. The Lions finally got on the board with a 55 yard Matt Prater field goal, but the Falcons kept rolling. 64 yards and 5 1/2 minutes culminated in Devonta Freeman running it in from one yard out to make it 17-3 Falcons. Prater would hit a 40 yard field goal to get the Lions within 17-6.

The Falcons were in control, but this was not Matty Ice’s best game. He went ice cold as an interception was returned 37 yards by Glover Quinn for a touchdown to get the Lions right back in it down 17-13. Atlanta rebounded to tack on a 48 yard Bryant field goal before the half to lead 20-13. In the third quarter a 27 yard punt return had the Falcons taking over at the Detroit 41. Brady tacked on a 40 yarder to make it 23-13 Falcons.

The Lions showed resiliency at home in a comeback win and they fought back again for their fans. Stafford led a 12 play, 75 yard drive that took nearly 7 minutes. A 12 yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate had the Lions within 23-20. Ryan was then intercepted again, setting up the Lions at the Atlanta 21. On 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 12, Stafford threw incomplete. On 4th and 1 Jim Caldwell opted for the field goal. After a delay of game penalty, Prater hot from 35 to tie the game 23-23.

The Falcons showed resiliency as well. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Ryan threw a 40 yard touchdown pass to Gabriel to put the Falcons up 30-23. After a touchback the Lions soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Stafford hit Tate for 18 yards. With 12 minutes left in regulation on 4th and 8 from the Atlanta 38, Jim Caldwell gambled on a 57 yard field goal. Prater has the NFL record of 64 yards, and he nailed this one to get the Lions within 30-26.

The Falcons moved from their 25 to the Detroit 19. Looking to put the game away, Ryan was intercepted for the fourth time. Slay returned the interception 37 yards to the Detroit 45. The Lions failed to capitalize as the teams exchanged punts. With 3 minutes left on 4th and 10 from their own 31, Caldwell again decided to punt and trust his defense. The Lions had all 3 timeouts as the Falcons took over at their own 37. A penalty on the Falcons had them facing 3rd and 12. A completion from Ryan to Julio Jones left Atlanta one yard short. On 4th and 1 from their own 46, Dan Quinn took not chances. The Falcons punted and the Lions took over at their own 11 with 2:23 to play.

Stafford is the NFL’s highest paid player, and he went right to work. He hit Tate for 15 yards and Jones for 29 more. An 11 yard run by Stafford had the Lions facing 1st and 10 at the Atlanta 18 with 1:10 to play. Time was no longer an issue. Yet offensive holding followed by offensive pass interference pushed the Lions back to 1st and 30 from the Atlanta 38. Things got worse with 40 seconds left when a deep ball by Stafford was intercepted by Alford in the end zone for a touchback. The Falcons celebrated, but their celebrations was premature.

Defensive holding nullified the interception. The Lions had 1st and 10 at the Atlanta 33. Stafford hit Jones for 14 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the 19, Stafford threw his third straight incompletion, but again the Falcons could not celebrate. Defensive pass interference on Trufant meant 1st and goal at the one with 19 seconds left. The Lions were out of timeouts but they had more than enough time for 3 or 4 plays to gain one yard. A pair of incompletions left 12 seconds on the clock. On 3rd and goal at the one, the play that will be talked and argued about all season took place.

Stafford fired to Golden Tate, to stretched the ball just past the plane of the goal line. The Lions celebrated. Stafford had pulled out another spectacular win and the home crowd went wild. Then total chaos reigned. The officials ruled that Tate was down short of the end zone. Replay showed a touchdown, but the officials said no. The Lions then thought they had 4th and goal inches away, but this was not the case either. Since Tate came in bounds, the officials declared a 10 second runoff. Since the clock would have expired anyway with Tate being inbounds, officials declared the game over. Just like that in front of a shellshocked home crowd, the Lions lost. Some will say the controversy is great because it is long past time the NFL do something controversial. No, not really. The Falcons and not the Lions were the 3-0 team in a highly debatable finish. Stafford finished 25 of 45 for 264 yards and 1 touchdown instead of 2. He was not intercepted. Ryan was 24 of 35 for 294 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. On Any Given Sunday, it was Al Pacino saying you have to fight for that inch. on this Sunday, that inch separated wining from losing. 30-26 Falcons

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles — This game was insane. For three quarters it was dull as dishwater. The fourth quarter was ridiculous. The Giants came in a surprising 0-2 as they could not get their offense going. The Eagles were not much better, but in the second quarter a staggering 18 play, 90 yard drive consumed over 9 1/2 minutes off the clock. LaGuerrette Blount banged in from the one for a 7-0 Eagles lead. With the half ending, Ben McAdoo decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. 2 plays earlier an Eli Manning touchdown was reversed to down at the one. Darkwa got the carry and ran into a brick wall. The Eagles defense jubilantly left the field after the goal line stand. In the third quarter the Eagles Elliott missed a 52 yard field goal. The Eagles got it back and Carson Wentz hit Zac Ertz for a 3 yard touchdown on 3rd and goal to cap a 54 yard drive and make it 14-0 Eagles. The Giants moved to a 4th and 2 at the Philly 13. Again McAdoo went for it and Manning threw incomplete. This hideous slog of 14 points through three quarters featured a combined 37 points in the fourth quarter as a dull game ended in thrilling fashion.

A short punt had the Giants starting the fourth quarter at their own 45 yard line. Finally the Giants struck pay dirt. Manning hit Darkwa for 11, Brandon Marshall for gains of 14 and 18, and O’Dell Beckham for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Giants within 14-7. The Eagles took over at their own 29. A short pass was immediately fumbled away and the Giants took over at the Philly 33. dark gained 20 and Manning hit Beckham for the 4 yard touchdown. 11 minutes still remained, but a 14-0 game was now 14-14. The Giants got it back at their own 22 midway through the fourth quarter. On 2nd and 9, a short pass by Manning to Sam Shepard went for a 77 yard touchdown.

21 straight points had the Giants up 21–14, but the chaos of this game was just starting. After a touchback, Wentz hit Smith for gains of 8 and 14. A defensive pass interference call on a deep ball meant a 36 yard gain to the Giants 15. On the next play Clement got around the end for the touchdown and a 21-21 game with 5:40 to play. Again, the craziness was far from over.

After a touchback, Manning hit Shane Vereen for 15 yards. On 2nd and 20 from their own 30, Manning hit Shepard for 16. On 3rd and 4 Manning threw incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant a 28 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Philly 18, a 7 yard gain was wiped out by a costly delay of game penalty. After an incompletion, the Giants settled for a 41 yard field goal by Rosas. The Giants led 24-21 with 3:11 left.

After a touchback, Smallwood caught a pass from Wentz for 9 and ran for gains of 20 and 9. With one minute left on 3rd and 7 from the Giants 28, Wentz threw incomplete. Rookiekicker Elliott came in to try and hit the pressure 46 yarder to tie the game. He was good and it was 24-24. Another touchback had the Giants taking over with 51 seconds left.

A pair of offensive penalties left the Giants facing 3rd and 15. A completion to Evan Engram left the Giants one yard short. From their own 34 with 19 seconds left, McAdoo was not taking any chances. Yet a shanked punt went only 28 yards. With 13 seconds left the Eagles were at their own 38. Doug Peterson is one of those West Coast Offense dink and dunk guys, but 4 yard passes were not going to get it done. After an incompletion, Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for a 19 yard gain. With one second left, the Eagles were at the Giants 43. Doug Peterson decided not to have Wentz try a Hail Mary. He brought his rookie kicker in to try a 61 yard field goal. Elliott leveled the ball through the uprights as the home crowd went crazy. The Giants remained winless while the Eagles have a new hero in their rookie kicker. 27-24 Eagles

Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans — The Seahawks defense may start boycotting the NFL if they do not get help from their offense. After a scoreless first quarter, the Titans twice moved into the red zone and twice did not reach the end zone. A 11 play, 61 yard drive ate up 5 1/2 minutes. A 12 play, 49 yard drive ate up 6 1/2 minutes. The Titans settled for Ryan Succop field goals of 24 and 37 yards to take a 6-0 lead. With 4 minutes left in the half, the Seahawks punted on 4th and 19 from their own 16. Jackson took it, split the seams, and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Before the Titans could celebrate being up 13-0, an illegal block nullified the return.

After 28 hideous minutes, the Seahawks took over at their own 14. Russell Wilson went deep to Doug Baldwin for a 36 yard gain to midfield. Wilson then went deep to CJ Prosise for a 46 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Wilson hit Baldwin for the touchdown. Just like that the Seahawks led 7-6. Yet that left the Titans 1:09 to work with from their own 24. Marcus Mariota moved the Titans to the Seattle 29. Succop hit his third field goal from 47 yards out as the Titans led 9-7 at the break. In the third quarter the Seahawks moved 75 yards and Wilson hit Carson for a 10 yard touchdown. The Seahawks led 14-9, but after that, Tennessee exploded. The Seattle defense had held them to field goals, but now came the touchdowns.

A 55 yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Ryan mathews gave the Titans the 16-14 lead. Tennessee got it back at their own 46 and Mariota went to Smith for a 24 yard touchdown for a 23-14 Titans advantage. The Titans got it back at their own 25 and needed only one play and 15 seconds. DeMarco Murray followed a convoy of blockers and weaved through the middle of the field for a gorgeous 75 yard touchdown. After three quarters, the Titans were winning big 30-14.

In the fourth quarter the Seahawks fought back. They moved 75 yards and Wilson hit his non-relative Willson for a 27 yard touchdown. Pete Carroll went for the 2 point conversion and the pass was incomplete. The Seahawks trailed 30-20. The Titans stayed calm, and moved 58 yards. Succop hit his fourth field goal of the day, a 35 yarder that had the Titans up 33-20 with 10 minutes to play.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Pete Carroll made a questionable decision. The Seahawks faced 4th and 22 at the Tennessee 28. Down by 13, Carroll passed up a very makable 46 yard field goal try and had Wilson throw a Hail Mary to the end zone. It was well defended and fell incomplete. Seattle got it back at their own 28 with 5 minutes left. On 4th and 6 from the Tennessee 46 with 3:20 left, Wilson looked like he was going to be sacked. Somehow he threw a duck just before going down and found Tyler Lockett for a 14 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Titans 11, Wilson scrambled for 3 yards as the clock reached the 2 minute warning. Wilson hit Richardson for an 8 yard touchdown with 1:50 to play. Seattle was within 6 but needed an onside kick. It failed.

With 11 seconds left the Titans had to punt on 4th and 3 from the Seattle 40. Seattle was called for 12 men on the field. Pete Carroll couldn’t believe it as Mike Mularkey celebrated. Wilson was 29 of 49 for 373 yards and 4 touchdowns, but it was not enough. Mariota was 20 of 32 for 225 yards and 2 touchdowns. Neither signal caller was intercepted. The Titans are 2-1 while the Seahawks are a 1-2 head-scratcher. 33-27 Titans

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers — Nobody wins ugly like the Chiefs. Nobody loses winnable games like the Chargers. Philip Rivers decided to protest the national anthem by refusing to throw the ball to his teammates. Instead he repeatedly played pitch and catch with the opposing defense. From his own 16, Rivers was quickly intercepted. The Chiefs took over at the Chargers 43. On 3rd and 1, Alex Smith gained 4 and then threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to Tyreeq Hill to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Chargers moved from their 23 to  3rd and 8 at the Chiefs 36. Rivers was intercepted again and Peters returned it 38 yards to the Chargers 34. Smith found Wilson for a 6 yard touchdown as the Chiefs led 14-0.

The Chargers quickly faced 2nd and 12 at their own 9 Melvin Gordon gained 6 and Rivers hit Keenan Allen on 3rd and 3 for a 6 yard gain. On 3rd and 13 from their own 21, Rivers hit Williams for a 14 yard gain. On 2nd and 12 from their own 33, Rivers went deep to Travis Benjamin for a 44 yard gain. On the next play Gordon ran for an 11 yard touchdown. The Chargers trailed 14-7 after the first quarter, but the game soon turned into a defensive slugfest.

Rivers began the second quarter just like he began the first quarter. On 3rd and 8 from his own 34, he was intercepted. The Chiefs took over at their own 47. On 4th and 13 from the Chargers 33, Cairo Santos missed a 51 yard field goal. Yet roughing the kicker gave him another chance from 34 yards out. He made it and the Chiefs led 17-7. Koo answered with a 29 yarder on the last play of the half as the Chargers trailed 17-10. An unwatchable, entirely forgettable half so only one play worth mentioning. At the 2 minute warning, with the Chiefs at their own 31, Kareem Hunt raced for a 69 yard touchdown to seal the win. With 23 seconds left and the Chargers at the Chiefs 2 yard line, a Rivers completion lost 2 yards. New City, same winless Chargers. The Chiefs are 3-0, and Andy Reid is one happy Walrus Lite. 24-10 Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers — There was no way the winless Bengals would go into Green Bay and win. Cue Chris Berman again: “That’s why they play the games.” The Bengals moved 79 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit AJ Green for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bengals. Aaron Rodgers brought the Packers back 60 yards. Rodgers hit Kendricks for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-7 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter it was the Bengals moving 60 yards and Dalton hitting Giovanni Bernard for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Bengals. Rodgers was then intercepted by Jackson, who returned it 75 yards for another touchdown as the Bengals led 21-7 at the half against a shell-shocked Wisconsin crowd.

In the third quarter the Packers moved 75 yard and Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson for a one yard touchdown to get Green Bay within 21-14. In the fourth quarter the Packers drove deep but settled for a 28 yard Mason Crosby field goal to trail 21-17. The Bengals countered by going 63 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 1 from the Green Bay 27, a run lost a yard. They settled for a 46 yard Randy Bullock field goal to put the Bengals up 24-17.

The Packers took over at their own 25 with 3:46 to play. Rodgers hit Allison for 17 yards. With 3 minutes left on 3rd and 9 from their own 43, Rodgers hit Allison again for 11 yards. The Bengals defense desperately needed a stop to pull off the upset, but could not get one. With 54 seconds left, on 3rd and 1 from the Bengals 13, Ty Montgomery gained 6 yards. From the 3 yard line, Rodgers fired a laser to Jordy Nelson for the touchdown. With 17 seconds left, the game was tied and headed for overtime.

In the extra session, the Bengals went 3 and out. The Packers soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 21. One more stop and the Bengals would get the ball back. It was not going to happen. Rodgers went deep to Allison for a 72 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 7. Rodgers took a knee to center the ball. Crosby came in for the 27 yarder. There would be no upset. These are the Bengals. They lose games. There is nothing Marvin Lewis can do with this winless team. As for the Packers, they have Aaron Rodgers. He wins games for Mike McCarthy. 27-24 Packers, OT

Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins is the Sunday night game. Owner Mark Davis, Coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr stood for the national anthem. The offensive line did not. They should have spent less time protesting and more time blocking because Carr was sacked 3 times early on and a few more times later. Kirk Cousins completed 15 of his first 16 passes for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carr started 3 of 7 for 23 yards and an interception. It was an ugly first half for the Silver and Black. On the second play from scrimmage, Carr was intercepted on a deep ball. The Redskins took over at their own 33. On 3rd and 6, Cousins hit Vernon Davis for a 26 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Oakland 22, Cousins went to Thompson for the touchdown and the 7-0 Redskins lead.

The defense kept the Raiders in the game as the Oakland offense could not get anything going. With 10 minutes left in the half, the Raiders faced 3rd and 1 at the Washington 48. Rather than run the ball, out of the shotgun Carr was intercepted again. The Redskins took over at their own 28. The defense finally broke. On 3rd and 6 at the Oakland 25, Cousins hit Crowder for just enough. On 3rd and 9 from the 18, Cousins hit Davis for the touchdown. With 4 minutes left in the half the Redskins led 14-0.

The Redskins began the third quarter facing 3rd and 8 at their own 27. Cousins hit Chris Thompson for a 19 yard gain. On 2nd and 20 from the Washington 28, Cousins hit Thompson for 16. On 3rd and 4 Cousins hit Thompson again for just enough. On the next play Cousins went deep to Doctson for a 52 yard touchdown. David Emerson was right there but totally mistimed the jump. Rather than knock the ball away he went for the interception and gave up a score instead as the Redskins led 21-0.

The Raiders did nothing right, but the Redskins gave the Raiders every chance to get into the game. Dustin hopkins missed a 52 yard field goal, giving the Raiders the ball at their own 42. On 3rd and 3, a swing pass to Seth Roberts lost two yards. The Raiders punted, and got another break when the Redskins fumbled the punt. The Raiders recovered at the Washington 18. After losing 3 yards, Carr hit Jared Cook, who stretched the ball past the pileon for the score. The Raiders were within 21-7.

The Redskins soon faced 3rd and 9 from their own 26. The Raiders were now fired up and had a chance to make a game of it. Cousins scrambled for 12 yards, but offensive holding meant 3rd and 19. One stop and the Raiders would have great field position. Instead, a simple swing pass to Thompson went for a 74 yard gain. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Hopkins hit a 23 yard field goal to make it 24-7 Redskins.

The Raiders received another break. With the Redskins facing 2nd and 8 at their own 11, Perine fumbled and Cowser recovered. The Raiders had 1st and 10 at the Washington 12. On the next play defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 4. Then came 3 straight incompletions on a night when nothing worked. Georgio Tavecchio hit the 22 yard field goal to get the Raiders within 24-10 with 12 minutes remaining, but it was a clear victory for the defense.

After a touchback, Cousins hit Crowder for a 30 yard gain. Thompson then ran for gains of 8 and 7. Mack Brown added gains of 11 and 6. Hopkins hit a 28 yard field goal with 6 minutes left to lock up the win. At the 2 minute warning, the Raiders had less than 100 yards of total offense. The defense gave up over 400 yards of offense. The Raiders were beaten badly in the trenches as the offensive line never gave Carr time to throw. The Raiders were knocked from the unbeaten ranks in a big way. 27-10 Redskins

Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals was the Monday night game. Both of these teams came into this season with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations only to stumble badly in the first couple weeks.   In the first quarter the Cardinals moved 82 yards in 5 minutes. They made it look easy as Carson Palmer hit Brown for a 25 yard touchdown and the 7-0 Cardinals lead. After that, little came easy for them. The Cardinals began the second quarter facing 3rd and 5 at the Dallas 10. Palmer hit Brown again for the touchdown, but before the Cardinals could celebrate a 14-0 lead, offensive holding on Jerald Veldheer nullified the score. Things got worse when normally reliable Phil Dawson missed a 36 yard field goal.

The Cowboys were doing nothing on offense but a field position game had the Cardinals punting on 4th and 15 from their own 5 yard line with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. A 21 yard return had the Cowboys starting at the Arizona 33. Das Prescott ran for a 10 yard touchdown with 1:16 left in the half for a 7-7 ballgame. In the third quarter it was again field position that had the Cardinals punting on 4th and 6 from their own 11. Dallas took over at the Arizona 46. From the Arizona 35, Ezekiel Elliott ran for a 20 yard gain and Prescott hit Dez Bryant for the 15 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Cowboys.

The field position game reversed as the Cowboys punted on 4th and 10 from their own 11 and the Cardinals took over at their own 46. Palmer went deep to Larry Fitzgerald for a 37 yard gain and back to Fitzgerald for a 15 yard touchdown. With 3:20 left in the third quarter, the teams were tied 14-14.

The fourth quarter began with another key field position switch. With the Cardinals facing 3rd and 1 at their own 13, Palmer threw incomplete. A punt had the Cowboys taking over at midfield. On 3rd and 3 from the Arizona 43, Prescott hit Cole beasley for 4 yards. Prescott then went deep to Brice Butler for a 37 yard touchdown and a 21-14 Cowboys lead with 12 minutes left in regulation. After a touchback, the Cardinals soon faced 3rd and 18 at their own 33. Palmer went deep to Fitzgerald for 24 yards. Two more third down conversions had the Cardinals facing 1st and 10 at the Dallas 19 looking to tie the game. Yet 3 straight Palmer incompletions had the Cardinals settling for a field goal try. This time Dawson hit from 37 as the Cardinals trailed 21-17 with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Yet 16 plays went for nothing more than that.

After a touchback, Prescott appeared to go to Butler for a 75 yard touchdown. On further review it was a 53 yard gain down to the Arizona 22. Three plays later Elliott followed up a 7 yard run with an 8 yard touchdown run. With 5 minutes left the Cowboys had an 11 point lead. After an exchange of punts, the Cardinals got it back at their own 13 with 3 minutes left. Palmer furiously led them down the field. With 1:11 to play and needing 2 scores, the Cardinals had 1st and goal at the 5. After a pair of incompletions, the third down pass was inexplicably short of the marker. The clock ticked down to 40 seconds as the Cardinals faced 4th and goal at the 2. Bruce Arians decided to go for it, and Palmer there over the middle incomplete. Both quarterbacks finished with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Prescott only threw 18 passes, completing 13 of them for 183 yards. Palmer threw 48 passes, completing 29 of them for 325 yards. Yet it was Dallas that got the win as Jason Garrett’s squad got to 2-1. Meanwhile, the 1-2 Cardinals could be in real trouble. 28-17 Cowboys