NFL 2017 Week 15 Recap

December 17th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 15 Recap

Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts was the Thursday night game. Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and produce a great game for the ages. This was not that game. Denver’s quarterback carousel started with Trevor Siemian, who was quickly intercepted to set the Colts up at midfield. Jacoby Brissett ran for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Colts. Denver moved after a touchback to a 1st and goal at the Indy 7. On 3rd and goal, Siemian was sacked and a delay of game meant 4th and goal at the 22. The normally reliable Brandon McManus missed the 40 yard field goal try. In the second quarter Adam Vinatieri hit a 45 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Colts.

Siemian left the game with an injured shoulder and Brock Osweiler played the rest of the way. After a touchback, Denver moved to a 4th and 2 at the Indy 33. Vance Joseph decided to go for it and Osweiler hit Emanuel Sanders for 3 yards. A short pass to Devontae Booker saw Booker hurdle over a defender and race for a touchdown. The highlight reel score was nullified by offensive holding. Yet on 2nd and 16, Osweiler hit Sanders for 17 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the colts 18, Osweiler scrambled for the touchdown as the Broncos got within 10-7 with 1:19 left in the half. In the third quarter the Colts moved 54 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 3 from the Denver 21, Brissett threw incomplete. Vinatieri hit from 39 to make it 13-7 Colts. Yet after that it was all Broncos.

Denver needed 5 minutes to move 79 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Indy 46, again Vance Joseph went for it. Osweiler through incomplete but defensive holding on Wilson meant an automatic first down. Osweiler threw a 22 yard touchdown pass to Latimer as the Broncos had their first lead of the game up 14-13 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. Denver got it back at their own 33 and struck quickly. Osweiler went deep to Heuerman for a 54 yard touchdown. In an odd decision, vance Joseph went for a 2 point conversion. Osweiler hit Latimer for the 2 pointer and the Broncos led 22-13. Denver got it back at their own 16 to start the fourth quarter and held the ball for 16 plays and over 9 1/2 minutes. After moving 62 yards, McManus hit a 40 yard field goal to complete the scoring with 5 minutes left. With 4 minutes left, Indy’s last chance had the facing 4th and 1 at their own 45. Brissett threw incomplete and the Colts were done. After the season, Vance Joseph and Chuck Pagano might both be fired. On this night, it was a good win for Joseph and sweet vindication for Osweiler. 25-13 Broncos

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions was the Saturday afternoon game. The Lions came in 7-6 and still alive in the playoff hunt. Detroit moved the ball well on their first 2 drives but had to settle for a pair of Matt Prater field goals of 48 yards in the first quarter and 31 yards on the first play of the second quarter for a 6-0 Lions lead. The Lions on their third drive moved 92 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes and this time finished the drive. On 3rd and 8 from their own 10, Matthew Stafford threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 2nd and 26 from their own 22, Stafford hit Theo Riddick for 8 yards. On 3rd and 18 from their own 30, Stafford went deep to Marvin Jones for a 58 yard gain as Jones just out-jumped the defender. On 3rd and 1 from the 3, Stafford hit Jones for the touchdown to make it 13-0 Lions. A 90 yard kickoff return for Chicago to the Detroit 14 was wiped out by a penalty. With 18 seconds left in the half, the Bears caught a break. The Lions faced 3rd and 15 at their own 15. Just trying to run out the clock, Riddick fumbled the ball away. Mike Nugent hit a 41 yard field goal as the Bears within 13-3 at halftime.

Disaster immediately struck Chicago in the third quarter. Facing 2nd and 8 at their own 22, Mitchell Trubisky was intercepted, setting the Lions up at the Chicago 41. On 3rd and 4 from the Chicago 35, Stafford hit Golden Tate for 10 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 16, Stafford hit Amir Abdullah for 8 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 8, Stafford hit Eric Hebron for the touchdown to make it 20-3 Lions. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter the Bears had moved to a 3rd and goal at the 5. Trubisky fired over the middle to the end zone and was intercepted, ending any chance of a competitive game. By the time the Bears reached the end zone, only 2 1/2 minutes remained in regulation. In the battle of the toughest old women in America, 92 year old Martha Ford saw her squad beat 94 year old Virginia Halas McCaskey’s team. This may be the end of the line for John Fox, While Jim Caldwell was so pleased at seeing Detroit get to 8-6 that he almost made a facial expression. 20-10 Lions

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs was the Saturday night game. The Chiefs started the season 5-0 while the Chargers began 0-4. Yet both teams entered this game 7-6 atop the AFC West. The Chiefs held the ball for 9 minutes on a 15 play, 82 yard drive. On the last play of the first quarter, Harrison Butker hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chiefs. In the second quarter 80 yards came easier. On 3rd and 2 from their own 36, Alex Smith threw a 64 yard touchdown bomb to Tyreeq Hill to make it 10-0 Chiefs. The Chargers did move 75 yards in 10 plays. Melvin Gordon on 3rd and goal ran for a 2 yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 10-6 at the 2 minute warning. The extra point was no good. The Chiefs quickly moved from their 23 to the Chargers 34 with 12 seconds left in the half. Butker’s 52 yard field goal try was good, but the Chargers had called timeout just before the kick. Butker’s second attempt hooked wide at the last moment no good. The Chargers took over at their own 44 with 7 seconds left. Rather than try a 63 yard field goal with 2 seconds left, it was Hail Mary time. It was knocked down incomplete.

In the third quarter the Chargers took over at their own 12 yard line. A short pass from Rivers to Gordon went for a 49 yard gain. Rivers then hit Hunter Henry for 14 more yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Chiefs 25, Rivers went to Keenan Allen for 15 yards. Rivers then threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates to culminate the 88 yard drive and give the Chargers their first lead up 13-10. The Chiefs soon faced 3rd and 5 at their own 36 and caught a break when the Chargers jumped offside. On 3rd and 3 at their own 48, Smith hit Kelce for 7 yards. On 3rd and 1 at the Chargers 36, Hunt banged through  tackler and gained 17 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 10, Smith executed the option and Kareem hunt gained 6 yards. Smith threw a 3 yard touchdown to Hunt to cap the 12 play, 69 yard, 7 minute drive and make it 17-13 Chiefs. Rivers then went deep and was intercepted by Marcus Peters. Peters returned the interception 62 yards to the Chargers 6 yard line. On 2nd and goal at the one, a false start pushed the Chiefs back. On 3rd and goal at the 6, a pass to Hunt was dropped and ruled incomplete. Andy Reid challenged the call unsuccessfully. Butker hit from 24 to make it 20-13 Chiefs after three quarters.

The Chargers began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Rivers hit Austin Ekeler for a 7 yard gain, but Ekeler fumbled the ball and the Chiefs recovered. The Chiefs took over at their own 44. With 11 minutes left in regulation Butker came in for a 51 yarder to extend the lead. This time Butker was good as the Chiefs led 23-13. After a touchback, the Chargers moved to a 3rd and 8 at their own 46. Rivers hit Travis Benjamin for 7 yards as a great open field tackle by Marcus Peters denied the first down. Going for it on 4th and 1 with 8 1/2 minutes left, Rivers faced heavy pressure and was intercepted again at the Chiefs 35. Hunt ran for 23 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Chargers 37, Smith threw incomplete but a very late flag for defensive pass interference meant 1st and 10 at the Chargers 31. Hunt then ran for another 21 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 5 with 4 minutes left, Andy Reid played it safe and kept it on the ground. Hunt went straight up the middle and put the dagger in for the touchdown as the Chiefs put the game away. The Chiefs got to 8-6 and have beaten the Chargers 8 straight times including the season sweep this year. The Chargers at 7-7 are still mathematically alive but in deep trouble. 30-13 Chiefs

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills — The Desperation Bowl had the 6-7 Dolphins at the 7-6 Bills. The Bills moved 81 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. LeSean Shady McCoy ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills. Twice Miami moved the ball and twice they had to settle for Cody Parkey field goals. Parkey hit from 28 and in the second quarter from 41 to get the Dolphins within 7-6. After that Buffalo took over. The Bills moved 75 yards and Tyrod Taylor hit McCoy for a 16 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Bills. Buffalo got it back and moved 80 yards. Taylor ran for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 21-6 Bills at the half. The third quarter began with Cutler being intercepted twice. Steve Hauschka hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 24-6 Bills. The Dolphins got a break with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation with a 26 yard yard punt return and 13 more yards for a horse collar tackle to put the Dolphins at the Buffalo 13. Kenyon Drake got in from the one to get Miami within 24-13. With 5 minutes left on 3rd and 2 from the Miami 31, McCoy lost 5 yards. Sean McDermott opted to punt rather than try a long field goal. Despite 2nd and 3 from the Buffalo 8 with 51 seconds left, Cutler threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores, Adam Game went with the field goal. Parkey hit from 26 and the Dolphins recovered a perfectly executed onside kick. Yet Cutler then threw his third interception to seal things. The Bills are 8-6 and alive while the 6-8 Dolphins are done. These teams meet again in the season finale. 24-16 Bills

Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers — The 7-6 Packers are clinging to playoff life, but Aaron Rodgers has finally returned from injury. The 9-4 Panthers are tied for the NFC South lead and had to ignore controversy swirling around owner Jerry Richardson. The Panthers began by moving 85 yards in 15 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. Cam Newton hit Chris McCaffrey for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. The Packers answered by going 75 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Rodgers hit Devonta Adams for for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. In the second quarter the Panthers moved 61 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. This time they settled for a 33 yard Graham Gano field goal to make it 10-7 Panthers. With 1:55 left in the half, the Packers took over at their own 42. Rodgers hit Adams for 13, non-relative Richard Rodgers for 9, and Randall Cobb for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Packers at the half.

Carolina took over in the second half. In the third quarter the Panthers moved 73 yards. Newton found Greg Olsen for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 17-14 Panthers. An interception of Rodgers gave Carolina  short field just past midfield. On 3rd and 6 from the 12 Newton threw incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 9. Newton threw incomplete to the end zone, but Ron Rivera challenged the call. It was reversed to a touchdown pass to Byrd to make it 24-14 Panthers. Late in the third quarter the Packers moved from their own 43 to a 2nd and 4 at the Carolina 10. Rodgers threw incomplete twice. Mason Crosby hit the 28 yard field goal to get the packers within 24-17 after three quarters.

After a touchback, the Panthers moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Packers 23 early in the third quarter. Newton hit Olsen for 10 yards and Byrd for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 31-17 Panthers. After a touchback the Packers moved down the field. On 4th and 5 from the Carolina 38, Rodgers hit Cobb for 12 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Carolina 21, Rodgers was sacked. On 4th and 14 from the 30, Rodgers was sacked again. Green Bay got it back at their own 24. Rodgers hit non-relative Richard Rodgers for a 24 yard touchdown to make it a 7 point game with 2:48 to play. The onside kick did the job and the Packers recovered it at their own 48. With 1:55 left the Packers were out of timeouts but very much alive with 1st and 10 at the Carolina 38. Rodgers completed a 10 yard pass to Allison, but Allison fumbled the ball away and the Panthers recovered to lock up the hard fought home win. Rodgers finished 26 of 45 for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns, but also with 3 interceptions. Newton was 20 of 31 for 242 yards with 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Green Bay at 7-7 is done for the year barring a miracle while the 10-4 Panthers are still tied atop the NFC South. 31-24 Panthers

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns — The 7-6 Ravens faced the winless Browns. The Ravens moved 62 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. Justin Tucker hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Ravens. With the Browns facing 3rd and 8 at their own 17, DoShone Kizer was intercepted to set up the Ravens at the Cleveland 40. On 2nd and goal at the one Joe Flacco threw incomplete as a pass to the end zone was ruled to have hit the ground. Alex Collins was stopped on 3rd and goal. John Harbaugh decided to go for it. On 4th and goal at the one, Collins got the carry and got blasted in the backfield. Cleveland took over at their own 4. Isaiah Crowell broke free for a 59 yard gain. Kizer scrambled for 8 and 9 and Duke Johnson ran for a 12 yard touchdown. 96 yards came without Kizer throwing a single pass as the Browns led 7-3 early in the second quarter.

After a touchback, Flacco went deep to Mike Wallace for 30 yards. The 11 play, 75 yard, 5 minute drive saw Flacco run for a 2 yard touchdown on 3rd and goal to make it 10-7 Ravens. A Cleveland fumble set the Ravens up at the Cleveland 45. Flacco went deep to Watson for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Ravens. The Browns did get a 45 yard field goal from Gonzalez to end the half down 17-10, but the Ravens took over in the second half. Midway through the third quarter from the Cleveland 4, Kizer was sacked and fumbled. Williams recovered for the defense at the one and took it in to make it 24-10 Ravens. Tucker tacked on a 43 yard field goal for a 17 point Ravens lead after 3 quarters. The fourth quarter was scoreless as Kizer threw another interception in the Baltimore end zone that could have made a game of it. The Browns are 0-14 and the 8-6 Ravens are still alive. 27-10 Ravens

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars — Jacksonville came in 9-4 and one game up in the AFC South.In the first quarter they moved 78 yards in 13 plays and 7 minutes. Tommy Bohanon got in from the one to make it 7-0 Jaguars. The Jaguars got it back at their own 41 and began the second quarter facing 3rd and 5 at the Houston 10. Blake Bortles threw incomplete but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. Bortles hit Jaydon Mickens for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Jaguars. Jacksonville got it back and moved 63 yards. Bortles hit Mickens for a 14 yard touchdown on 3rd and 6 to make it 21-0 Jaguars. With 1:49 left in the half, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a punt had the jaguars taking over at the Houston 45. Josh lamb hit a 38 yard field goal with 56 seconds left in the half to make it 24-0 Jaguars. Houston could not even make it to the locker rooms. On 3rd and 10 at their own 25, TJ Yates was intercepted to set up the Jaguars at the Houston 45 again. Bortles went deep to Mickens for a 41 yard gain. After a false start, Bortles hit Cole for a 9 yard touchdown as the Jaguars were romping 31-0 at halftime.

The second half was just a formality. The Texans avoided the shutout when Yates hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 25 yard touchdown. Borltes responded with a 73 yard pass to Coles to set up a one yard touchdown run by Bohanon to make it 38-7 Jaguars. In the fourth quarter Grant ran for an 8 yard touchdown to complete the carpet-bombing. Bortles finished 21 of 29 for 326 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The Jaguars got to 10-4 and have clinched a playoff spot for the first time in a decade. Captain Grump Tom Coughlin was so pleased by the win that he almost smiled. 45-7 Jaguars

Cincinnati Bengals at Minnesota Vikings — Marvin Lewis announced that after 15 years with the Bengals, he will leave after the season. Minnesota came in 10-3 with a chance to clinch the NFC North. It was all Vikings from the start. The Vikings moved 75 yards and Latavius Murray ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Vikings. Red Rifle Andy Dalton then completed a pass to Kendricks, who plays defense for the Bengals. Kendricks returned the interception 31 yards to the house for a 14-0 Vikings lead. Marvin Lewis decided to go for it with the Bengals facing 4th and 1 at their own 38. Bernard got the carry and got stopped cold, leading to a 53 yard Kai Forbath field goal and a 17-0 Vikings lead after the first quarter. For some reason the rest of the game was played. In the second quarter the Vikings moved 77 yards Case Keenum hit Shawn Diggs for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 24-0 Vikings at halftime. in the third quarter Forbath tacked on a 35 yard field goal to make it 27-0 Vikings. In the fourth quarter the Vikings moved 83 yards. Keenum hit Kyle Rudolph for the one yard touchdown to make it 34-0 Vikings.

Normally when a game is so lopsided, nobody cares about backup quarterbacks entering the game. AJ McCarron, the husband of Miss Alabama, replaced a benched Dalton. For Minnesota, it was different. Mike Zimmer gave Keenum some rest and the Minnesota crowd roared when Teddy Bridgewater took the field for the first time in nearly 2 years. A devastating knee injury nearly ended his career, and it was great to see him on the field. Bridgewater’s first pass should have been caught, but it bounced off a receiver’s hands for an interception. The crowd was still happy to see Bridgewater. The Bengals got a garbage touchdown to avoid the shutout as Minnesota got to 11-3 and clinched the NFC North. 34-7 Vikings

New York Jets at New Orleans Saints — The jets have fought hard all year but are out of the playoffs at 5-8 and without the injured Josh McCown. The Saints at 9-4 came in tied atop the NFC South. Again, the Jets gave a superior opponent all they could handle. The Saints moved 71 yards early but settled for a 23 yard Will Lutz field goal to lead 3-0. The Saints got it back and moved 82 yards in 13 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Mark Ingram got in from the one to make it 10-0 Saints after the first quarter. After a touchback the Jets took 7 minutes off the clock and used 12 plays to do it. Powell ran for a 2 yard touchdown to get the Jets within 10-7. After another touchback it was the Saints that moved down the field. Drew Brees hit Alvin Kamara for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Saints. With 1:22 left in the half from the Saints 17, Brees was intercepted to set up the Jets at the Saints 11. Yet the defense held and the Jets settled for a 29 yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal as the Jets only trailed 17-10 at the half.

In the third quarter the Jets moved from their own 34 to a 1st and goal at the 8. Yet a run went nowhere and Bryce Petty threw incomplete twice. Catanzaro hit from 26 as the Jets trailed 17-13. The Jets got it back, Petty was intercepted, and the Saints moved to the Jets 13. Yet a short pass was fumbled away at the 7. The Saints got it back and moved from their 45 to the Jets 32. A deep touchdown pass bay Brees was overruled and changed to an incomplete pass. On the first play of the fourth quarter with the Saints facing 3rd and 9 at the Jets 31, a 16 yard completion was again fumbled away by the Saints as the Jets defense kept them in the game. The next time the Saints got it back and faced 3rd and 7 at their own 39. Brees found Thomas for 17 yards and again for 20 more. Brees hit Thomas for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 24-13 Saints midway through the fourth quarter.

The pesky Jets did not go away. With 3 1/2 minutes left they took over at their own 30. On 3rd and 7, Petty hit Hansen for 24 yards and Natson for 19 yards. From the saints 24, a deep incomplete pass drew defensive pass interference and 1st and goal at the 2. Petty Hit McGuire for the touchdown to get the Jets within 24-19 with 1:50 to play. The onside kick was a good one but the Saints were lucky to see it go out of bounds just before the Jets fell on it. From midfield, Mark Ingram put the game away by racing for the clinging touchdown. The 10-4 Saints are still tied atop the NFC South. 31-19 Saints

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants — The 11-2 Eagles can clinch a 1st round bye with a win. They have already clinched the NFC East. Carson Wentz is out for the year so it is up to Nick Foles to get it done. The 2-11 Giants fired Ben McAdoo. Steve Spagnuolo is the interim coach. This was supposed to be a blowout. Cue ESPN legend Chris Berman: “THAT’s why they play the games.” The Giants moved 75 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the one, Orleans Darkwa went up the gut and broke the plane of the goal. The extra point was blocked but the Giants led 6-0. The Eagles came back after a touchback and Foles threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery to make it 7-6 Eagles. The Giants came back 75 yards in 10 plays and Eli Manning hit King for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 13-7 Giants after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Giants got it back at their own 20. Manning went deep to Sterling Shepard for a 67 yard touchdown. In front of an elated home crowd, the Giants led 20-7.

Midway through the second quarter Doug Pederson decided to go for it to spark his team with the Eagles facing 4th and 1 at the Giants 44. LaGuerrette Blount got the carry and got stopped cold. The Giants had all the momentum but soon gave it away. They faced 3rd and 10 at their own 45. Manning was intercepted by Darby, who returned it 37 yards to the Giants 20. On 3rd and 8 Foles hit Jay Ajayi for just enough and then hit Zac Ertz for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Eagles within 20-14. The Giants went 3 and out and had to punt from their own 29. The punt was blocked, and the Eagles took over at the Giants 18. On 3rd and 5 Foles went to Burton for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 21-20 Eagles. The Giants took over at their own 25 with 2:15 left in the half. On 3rd and 2 Shane Vereen gained 17 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 5 from the Philly 24, Manning hit Shepard for 11 yards. With 36 seconds left and the Giants facing 3rd and 7 at the Philly 10, Manning threw incomplete. Aldrick Rosas hit from 28 as the Giants led 23-21 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Eagles held the ball for 64 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Elliott hit a 28 yard field goal as the Eagles retook the lead 24-23. The Giants went 3 and out and a short 34 yard punt and the Eagles taking over at their own 41. Ajayi ran for 22 yards and caught a pass for 32 more. Foles hit Nelson Agholor for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 31-23 Eagles. The Giants again could not get a first down and went to punt on 4th and 4 from their own 26. The Eagles committed a critical neutral zone infraction to give the Giants a first down. From the Giants 43, a short pass from Manning to King saw him get past everybody for a 57 yard touchdown. The Giants were within a 2 point conversion try of tying the game. Manning was sacked as the Giants trailed 31-29 after 3 quarters.

In the fourth quarter the Giants moved from their own 19 to a 4th and 6 at the Philly 29. With 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation Rosas came in for the 48 yard field goal try to give the Giants the lead. In the first half the Eagles special teams blocked a punt and a Rosas extra point. This time with the lead on the line they blocked the field goal. The Eagles took over at their own 38 and held the ball for 7 1/2 minutes and 14 plays. On 3rd and goal at the 12, the Eagles tried to put the game away. A pass from Foles to Smith only gained 10 yards. On 4th and goal at the 2 Doug Pederson took no chances. Elliott hit the 20 yard field goal, but with 4 minutes left the Giants were alive only down by 5 points. The Giants moved from their own 20 to a 1st and goal at the 9 with a full minute to play. The defense stiffened. On 4th and goal at the 6 with 48 seconds left, a false start was followed by Manning throwing incomplete. Yet the Giants still had all 3 timeouts left. They got it back at their own 27 with 13 seconds left. With 8 seconds left from their own 35, rather than try a short pass and a Hail Mary, the hook and laterals fooled nobody. It was a nail-biter, but the 12-2 Eagles clinched a 1st round bye. 34-29 Eagles

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins — Early on Blaine Gabbert got nailed, fumbled, and the Redskins took over at the Arizona 6. Kirk Cousins threw a 5 yard touchdown to Jamison Crowder to make it 7-0 Redskins. The Cardinals mounted a staggering 16 play, 60 yard drive that took nearly 10 minutes off the clock. After all of that the Cardinals settled for a 40 yard Phil Dawson field goal to trail 7-3. In the second quarter the Redskins came back quickly 63 yards. Cousins found Bibbs for a 36 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Redskins. The Cardinals moved the ball well all game but bogged down in the red zone. Dawson hit a 35 yard field goal to get the Cardinals within 14-6. At the 2 minute warning, the Cardinals faced 1st and goal at the 9. Blaine Gabbert was intercepted, and the Redskins took over at their own 41. The Redskins quickly fumbled it right back to the Cardinals at the Washington 33. With 10 seconds left in the half, Gabbert spiked the ball to stop the clock with the Cardinals the Washington one yard line. Gabbert then threw incomplete twice. On 4th and goal at the one with 4 seconds left, Bruce Arians decided to kick the field goal despite the Cardinals successfully converting  4th and 1 earlier on this very drive. Dawson hit from 19 but the Cardinals trailed 14-9 at halftime.

A short kickoff to start the third quarter saw the Redskins have nobody in position to field it as the Cardinals recovered at the Washington 22. Yet on 3rd and 4 Gabbert threw incomplete. Dawson hit his fourth field goal from 34 to get the Cardinals within 14-12. After an exchange of punts the Redskins held the ball for 6 minutes and moved 11 plays and 88 yards. They moved from their own 6 to a 3rd and goal at the 6. Cousins threw incomplete. Dustin Hopkins hit the 24 yard field goal to make it 17-12 Redskins. In the fourth quarter it was more of the same. The Cardinals moved from their own 39 to a 2nd and 3 at the Washington 14. A run went nowhere and Gabbert threw incomplete. Dawson hit his fifth field goal from 32 as the Cardinals were within 17-15 with 11 minutes left. After an exchange of punts, a field position game had the Redskins taking over at the Arizona 44. On 3rd and 5 from the Arizona 14 seeking to put the game away, Cousins threw incomplete. Hopkins hit from 32 to put the Redskins back up by 5. At the 2 minute warning the Cardinals began their last chance at their own 48. With 37 seconds left, the Cardinals had 1st and 10 at the Washington 21. One touchdown was what the Cardinals needed, but instead Gabbert threw 4 straight incompletions. Both teams are 6—8 and done for the year. 20-15 Redskins

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks — The 9-4 Rams took on the 8-5 Seahawks for control of the NFC West. Seattle had beaten the Rams in Los Angeles and were expected to sweep the series at home. The first half was a shocker as the Rams blasted the Seahawks into little pieces. On the first 2 drives that Rams quickly moved to the red zone but settled for field goals. Greg Zuerlein hit from 36 and 31 to make it 6-0 Rams. The first one was set up by a Seattle fumble that set the Rams up at the Seattle 40. The second came from the Rams starting at midfield. Seattle then punted on 4th and 20 from their own 10 and Pharaoh Cooper returned it 53 yards down to the one. Todd Gurley got in to make it 13-0 Rams. In the second quarter, the Seahawks punted on 4th and 15 from their own 8 and Cooper returned it 26 yards to the Seattle 36. Gurley ran for a one yard score to make it 20-0 Seahawks. Russell Wilson fumbled and the Rams took over at the Seattle 39. On 3rd and goal at the one, Jared Goff hit Woods for a one yard touchdown to make it 27-0 Seahawks. The Seahawks punted on 4th and 29 from their own 27 after a 23 yard sack fumble of Wilson. The Rams took over with yet another short field at the Seattle 47 with 1:19 left in the half. On 3rd and 20, Gurley raced for a 57 yard touchdown as the Rams led 34-0 at halftime in front of a shellshocked home crowd in Seattle.

League rules prevented the second half from being canceled. In the third quarter frustration boiled over and a Seattle player was ejected to set the Rams up with yet another short field at the Seattle 46. On 3rd and 10 from the Seattle 14, Goff hit gurney for the touchdown to make it 40-0 Rams. Seattle got one touchdown to avoid the shutout, and the only score in the fourth quarter came when Russell Wilson was called for a penalty in his own end zone for a Rams safety. The Rams are 10-4 and the Seahawks are 8-6. The NFC West is all but wrapped up, while the Seahawks are in a precarious playoff position. 42-7 Rams

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers — The 10-3 Patriots took on the 11-2 Steelers in a game where a Pittsburgh win would all but lock up home field throughout the playoffs for the Steelers and a Patriots win would give them temporary control of the top seed. With heavy rain coming down, these heavyweights slugged it out in a game the Patriots usually win. The Patriots moved 77 yards quickly and easily. On 3rd and 1 from their own 45, the Patirots got a break when Brady threw incomplete but the Steelers jumped offsides. From midfield, Brady went deep to brandon Cooks for a 43 yard gain. Rex Burkhead got in from the one to make it 7-0 Patriots. The Steelers came back 69 yards. Ben Roethlisberger hit Rogers for an 18 yard touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame. In the second quarter, both teams moved the ball but could not reach the end zone. Chris Boswell hit a 51 yard field goal for the Steelers and Stephen Gostkowski countered from 32 for a 10-10 deadlock. The last drive was the difference in the first half. The Steelers held the ball for 15 plays and 78 yards, sucking over 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Big Ben hit Martavius Bryant for the touchdown as the Steelers led 17-10 at the intermission.

The Steelers would have to win without Antonio Brown, who left injured in the first half and did not return. In the third quarter the Patirots moved 75 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Pittsburgh 16, Bill Belichick decided to go for it. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 10 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Brady hit Brandon Cooks for the touchdown. Gostkowski missed the extra point as the Patriots trailed 17-16. With 4:40 left in the third quarter the Patriots faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Under heavy pressure, Brady was intercepted by williams, who returned it 13 yards to the New England 22. On 3rd and 1 from the 13, Roethlisberger hit Xavier Grimble for 8 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 5. On 2nd and goal at the 3, Bell got off tackle and banged in for the touchdown. With 90 seconds left in the third quarter the Steelers led 24-16.

The Steelers began the fourth quarter at their own 3 yard line. While they ended up punting, they took 7 1/2 minutes off the clock. The Patriots took over midway through the fourth quarter at their own 28. On 3rd and 1 from their own 37, Dion Lewis gained 12 yards. On 2nd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 44, Brady went deep for a 41 yard gain. However an illegal touch meant an incomplete pass. On 3rd and 3 Brady went deep incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant a 23 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Pittsburgh 21 after a pair of deep incompletions, Brady was sacked for a 7 yard loss. Gostkowski hit the 46 yard field goal as the Patriots trailed 24-19 with 4 minutes left in the game. Did anyone really think the Steelers would win this game?

On 3rd and 4 from their own 25, a short pass by Big Ben came up one yard short. The Patriots took over at their own 23. Brady went deep to Gronkowski for a pair of 26 yard gains and to Gronk again for 17 more. On 1st and goal at the 8, Dion Lewis ran for the touchdown up the middle. Brady hit Gronkowski for the 2 point conversion. With one minute left, the Patriots had a 3 point lead. The ending will be argued about for decades. From the Pittsburgh 21 a short pass to Smith-Schuster saw him escape tackles at the sideline, cut back to the middle of the field, and run out of gas after a 69 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 10. With 30 seconds left, Big Ben fired over the middle to James for the touchdown as the home crowd erupted in celebration.

It was not to be. The officials began the Patriots dynasty with the Tuck Rule and again the Patirots were bailed out by the refs with a terrible call. The call was changed to incomplete. While the ball did move, James’s hand was clearly under it. The touchdown was taken off the board. With 28 seconds left, the outcome was inevitable. A short pass inbounds gained 3 yards, saw the clock run, and left the Steelers panicking. With 9 seconds left, Big Ben faked a spike, fired over the middle, and saw the ball to Darrius Hayward-Bey ricochet like a pinball into an interception by Harmon. Apparently the Steelers never watched the Super Bowl between New England and Seattle. same play, same awful result. With home field throughout the playoffs on the line, the officials gave the game to the Patriots. Rather than 12-2 Pittsburgh cruising and 10-4 New England possibly even using a first round bye, both teams are 11-3 and New England holds the tie-breaker. 27-24 Patriots

Tennessee Titans at San Francisco 49ers — The Titans came in 8-5 and one game out of the AFC South lead but with question marks. The 49ers were only 3-10 but have won 2 in a row and look much improved under Jimmy Garoppollo. In the firs quarter the 49ers twice drove into Titans territory but did not reach the end zone. Robbie Gould hit field goals of 38 and 48 to make it 6-0 49ers. In the second quarter Ryan Succop hit from 40 to get the Titans on the board. The 49ers then had a mind-numbing 17 play, 85 yard drive that took over 8 1/2 minutes. This time the 49ers finished it as Garoppollo hit Celek for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 13-3 49ers. The 49ers got it back and again drove to a 1st and goal at the 10, but this time after 10 plays came up short. Gould hit his third field goal from 28. The 49ers had a commanding 16-3 lead with 90 seconds left in the half but they let up. From the Tennessee 21, Marcus Mariota hit Davis for 10, Eric Decker for 13, and Rishard Mathews for 27 with 15 more  tacked on for roughing the passer. Mariota hit Mathews for 25 more and then threw a 4 yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker as the Titans only trailed 16-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Titans moved 62 yards in 14 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 5 from the San Francisco 13, Mariota threw incomplete. Succop hit from 31 as the Titans were within 16-13. Tennessee got it back at their own 16. On 3rd and 1 from their own 25, Derrick Henry gained 10 yards. On 3rd and 4 from their own 45, a completion to Mathews gained 21 yards. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Titans faced 3rd and goal at the 8. Mariota fired over the middle to Mathews for the touchdown and the 20-16 Titans lead. Fro their own 17, Garoppollo went deep to Celek for a 41 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 11 from the Titans 22, Garoppollo was sacked for a 10 yard loss. Gould bailed the 49ers out with a 50 yard field goal as the 49ers trailed 20-19 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

The 49ers got it back at their own 13 with 6 1/2 minutes left. Garoppollo fired over the middle to Bourne, who split the seams for a 54 yard gain. Garoppollo then hit Kittle for 19 more. Penalties killed the 49ers, including one that negated a touchdown. On 4th and 25 from the Titans 30, Gould hit a big 48 yard field goal, his fifth of the game. With just over 3 minutes left the 49ers led 22-20. After a touchback, the Titans faced 4th and 1 at their own 47 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Mariota got 2 yards. With 1:12 to play, Succop came in for a 50 yard try. It was good and the Titans led 23-22. Yet the 49ers still had 1:07 left from their own 25. Garoppollo hit Taylor for 7 and then zipped a pass to Kittle for a 24 yard gain. Garoppollo then fired to Goodwin for 14 more. With 3 seconds left, Gould came in for a 45 yard try to win it. He was good, 6 for 6 on the day. The 49ers won their 3rd straight while the Titans lost their second straight to drop to 8-6. The division title is almost out of reach and their hold on the playoffs at all is tenuous. 25-23 49ers

Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders was the Sunday night game. The 7-6 Cowboys and 6-7 Raiders are both in a desperate situation, but only one team acted like it early on. The Cowboys moved easily after a touchback to  1st and 10 at the Oakland 35. On 3rd and 10 Dak Prescott was intercepted, setting the Raiders up at their own 30. Oakland went 3 and out. Dallas moved from their own 32 to a 3rd and 8 at the Oakland 27. Prescott threw incomplete. Dan Bailey hit the 45 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. Despite being given a 1st and 5 and 2nd and 1, Oakland again failed to gain a first down. Carr found a wide open Crabtree on 3rd and 3, and the off the mark but very catchable pass was dropped. Oakland had only 7 yards of total offense in the first quarter. The Cowboys moved from their 35 because the Raiders may be the only team ever called for an illegal block on the kicking team rather than the receiving team. On 2nd and goal at the 4 to start the second quarter, Prescott threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Smith went up the middle for the touchdown. The Cowboys led 10-0. While 44 minutes remained in the game, it appeared over.

Cordarelle Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards to the Oakland 37, but holding moved it back to the Oakland 10. 2 more penalties had them facing 1st and 17 at their own 3. On 3rd and 7, Carr scrambled for just enough and the Raiders finally had a first down. On 3rd and 5 from their own 25, Carr hit Crabtree for 12 yards. crabtree fumbled but luckily somehow recovered it himself at the Oakland 39. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 41, a completion to Crabtree left 4th and 1. Jack del Rio punted and the Cowboys took over at their own 10. With the Cowboys facing 3rd and 11 at their own 9, Prescott threw incomplete. Yet defensive holding kept the drive going because the Raiders really are that dumb. On 3rd and 12 from the Dallas 12, Prescott found Jason Witten for 13 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Dallas 24, a sure interception for TJ Carrie was just dropped. However, at least the Raiders had held. Rather than a short field at the Dallas 40, the Raiders took over at their own 31 with 3 minutes left in the half.

On 3rd and 1 from their own 40, Carr snuck for the yard. Runs and short passes moved the Raiders to a 1st and 10 at the Dallas 24 with 27 seconds left as the Raiders took their 2nd timeout. A 13 yard completion to Jared Cook gave the Raiders 1st and 10 at the Dallas 11, but they had to take their final timeout with 14 seconds left. Carr fired over the middle to Jared Cook in the end zone for the touchdown. Yet offensive pass interference took the score away. Another incompletion left 3 seconds. Georgio Tavecchio came in for a very makable 39 yard field goal. In a half where everything went wrong, Tavecchio missed it. The Raiders sucked in all 3 phases of the game, yet were somehow only down 10-0.

The Raiders thought they had a spark of life when Cordarelle Patterson returned the second half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Naturally, holding on the return had the Raiders starting at their own 10 yard line instead. Carr fired to Jalen Richard for 11 and Marshawn Lynch gained 11 more. On 3rd and 4 from the Oakland 38, a false start made it 3rd and 9. Carr fired to Deandre Washington, who banged between 3 defenders for a 10 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Oakland 47, Carr scrambled and ran for a 32 yard gain. A pitchout to Lynch went for an 18 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 3. Carr threw a fade to Crabtree, and he out-jumped the defender to finally get the Raiders on the board. The 90 yard, 11 play, 7 minute drive had the Raiders right back in the game down 10-7.

The Cowboys took over at their own 15. On 3rd and 9 from their 16, Prescott was hit by Bruce Irvin as he threw. A wobbly duck was intercepted by TJ Carrie, who got up and raced 22 yards for a Raiders touchdown. Yet Carrie was ruled down by contact. The Raiders had the ball at the Dallas 22 with a golden opportunity to take the lead. 3 plays netted one total yard as the Raiders squandered another opportunity. Tavecchio came in for another 39 yard try. This was a hideous knuckleball that somehow cleared the cross bar for a 10-10 tie. The Cowboys soon faced 3rd and 11 at their own 24. Prescott went deep incomplete. The Raiders had all the momentum. It soon evaporated.

On 4th and 11 from their own 24, Jason Garrett called a fake punt. Punter Jones ran for a 24 yard gain. On the next play came a flea flicker, but it fell incomplete. Another incompletion could have been 3rd and 10 but as expected, defensive pass interference instead meant 1st and 10 at the Oakland 47. On 1st and 20 from the Oakland 44, a completion to Dez Bryant followed by awful tackles went for 19 yards. Prescott then faked a handoff and took it himself 16 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 8. From the 5, Prescott bought time and scrambled up the middle himself for the touchdown as the third quarter was ending. 75 yards and 11 plays took 5 minutes. The Cowboys led 17-10. Now it was time to see if the Raiders had any heart at all to come back.

Patterson took the kickoff and returned it 44 yards. He had it punched out of his hands but the Raiders were lucky that the fumble rolled out of bounds. Oakland had excellent field position at their own 47. The third quarter ended with the Raiders facing a critical 3rd and 9. The fourth quarter began with Carr getting hit as he threw and somehow floating a pass to Seth Roberts for a 28 yard gain. Jason Garrett challenged the call. There was no way to definitely overturn it, but Raiders fans never breathe easy. The call stood, Dallas lost a timeout, and the Raiders had 1st and 10 at the Dallas 24. On 3rd and 4 from the 18, Carr rolled out and hit Crabtree for 6 yards. On 2nd and 10, Carr threw incomplete but illegal contact on the defense meant 1st and goal at the 8. After an incompletion, Lynch banged up the middle and the pile carried him down to the two. On 3rd and goal Carr fired to the corner to Crabtree for the touchdown. The 10 play, 53 yard, 5 minute drive had the game tied 17-17 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Dallas took over after a touchback. An end around lost 4 yards and offensive holding had Dallas facing 2nd and 24 from their own 11. On 3rd and 19, Prescott fired to Cole Beasley for 16 yards. This time there was no fake punt. Holding on the return had the Raiders starting at their own 15 with 8 minutes left in regulation. with the season the line, they had a chance. On 3rd and 4 from their own 21, a pass to Cook was dropped. 3 and out, and the Cowboys got it back at their own 30 with 6 1/2 minutes left. On 3rd and 10, Prescott fired over the middle to Witten about a half yard shot of the sticks. The officials called it a first down and Jack Del Rio challenged the call. Officials reversed the call to 4th and 1. Jason Garrett kept its offense on the field and gambled on 4th and 1 from his own 39. Prescott kept it himself and appeared stopped. The officials then did something bizarre, trying to invent a new way to give Dallas a first down. They tried to fit a folded piece of paper between the nose of the ball and the yard marker. The Raiders celebrated yet it was called a first down anyway.

The rest was predictable. Prescott went deep to Bryant for a 40 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 5. On 3rd and goal from the one, 1:53 left as the Raiders took their first timeout. Alfred Morris got stopped and the Raiders called their 2nd timeout with 1:46 left. On 4th and goal at the one, the only sensible decision was to kick the field goal. The 19 yard kick was good, the Cowboys had the lead, but the Raiders still had life. The inspired goal line stand would give the Raiders offense a chance to tie or win the game. Naturally, a hold on the return had the Raiders starting on their own 11. 1:38 remained and the Raiders had one timeout.

Carr fired to Seth Roberts for a 19 yard gain. 3 incompletions meant 4th and 10 from the Oakland 30 with one minute left. Down to the last gasp, Carr went for it all deep to Crabtree, and the ball fell incomplete. Defensive pass interference meant a 55 yard gain and 1st and 10 at the Dallas 15 with 51 seconds left. Carr went to Patterson for 7 yards. An incompletion to the end zone left 3rd and 3 at the 8 with 39 seconds left. Then came the play that defined the entire Oakland season. Carr scrambled and easily had the first down. He would have had 1st and goal at the one. He tried to stretch the ball and instead fumbled the ball past the pylon. Carr thought he had a touchdown. Instead it was a touchback. One yard separated both teams being 7-7 from Dallas being 8-6 and alive and the Raiders dropping to 8-6 and being dead. The Raiders have lost some sickening games, but this may have been the sickest. 20-17 Cowboys

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the Monday night game.

NFL 2017 Week 15 Prequel

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NFL 2017 Week 15 Prequel

Hanukkah Football: NFL 2017 Week 15 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2017 Week 14 Recap

December 10th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 14 Recap

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons was the Thursday night game. The 9-3 Saints had a chance to expand on their one game division lead while all but wrecking things for the 7-5 Falcons. These teams are evenly matched, and this game went down to the wire as expected. In the first quarter Will Lutz hit a 34 yard field goal for the Saints and Matt Bryant answered from 28 for the Falcons for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter the Falcons moved 90 yards in 15 plays and 8 1/2 minutes. Devontae Freeman got in from the one to make it 10-3 Falcons. Yet the Saints came back 66 yards and Drew Brees hit Lewis for a 26 yard touchdown and a 10-10 deadlock at the 2 minute warning. With 14 seconds left in the half and the Falcons at the Saints 42, Matt Ryan was intercepted by Lattimore, who returned it 33 yards to the Atlanta 29. With 4 seconds left, the Saints lined up for a 47 yard field goal try for the lead. Yet an illegal formation penalty on the Saints meant a 10 second runoff and ended the half. That mistake would come back to bite the Saints.

On the first play of the third quarter from the Atlanta 24, Ryan was quickly intercepted. The Saints took over at the Atlanta 29. Brees hit Mark Ingram for 21 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Brees hit Thomas for the touchdown to make it 17-10 less than 2 minutes into the third quarter. The Falcons moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 6 at the Saints 9. Ryan threw his third interception. With 2 minutes left in the third quarter, Atlanta took over at their own 31 and moved to a 3rd and 4 at the Saints 8 with 10 minutes left in regulation. This time Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for the touchdown and again the game was tied 17-17 after the 11 play, 7 minute, 69 yard drive.

Atlanta got it back at their own 28 and Ryan hit Sanu for 22 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 7 at the Saints 47, Ryan hit Julio Jones for 14 yards. Bryant drilled a 52 yard field goal to give the Falcons the lead with 3:45 to play. The Saints moved from their 20 to a 4th and 1 at the Atlanta 24 with 1:55 left. Brees gained the 2 yards. with 90 seconds to play the Saints were at the Atlanta 11. They had plenty of time to go for the win and even a field goal would tie the game. Brees went to the end zone and was intercepted by Hill for a touchback. The Falcons almost fumbled the ball back trying to run out the clock, but were lucky enough to retain possession. Ryan took a couple knees as the Falcons got to within one game of the Saints in the topsy-turvy NFC South. 20-17 Falcons

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills — The Bills are 6-6 and fighting for playoff survival. They were at home for the game and with the elements as snow came down hard. Tyrod Taylor was out injured and in came Nathan Peterman, whose only start a few weeks ago saw him throw 5 interceptions in one half of football. For those who love the Canadian Football League, this game resembled the Grey Cup given the blizzard. Twice the Bills faced 4th down the Indy 38 but trying a 56 yard field goal in these conditions was impossible. Joe Webb came in at quarterback for one play and threw incomplete. Nathan Peterman threw incomplete on the other try. Adam Vinatieri knows hot to make big kicks in the snow, but he missed a 33 yarder in this game. On 4th and 5 from the Buffalo 32, the Colts punted. With 1:36 left in the half the Bills took over at their own 20. LeSean McCoy gained 23 yards and then ran for 25 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Indy 29, Peterman went deep to Kelvin Benjamin for a 21 yard gain. With 30 seconds left in the half, Peterman went to Benjamin for an 8 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Bills lead.

Neither team could do anything in the snow. The fourth quarter began with the Colts facing 3rd and 2 at the Colts 30. Brissett threw incomplete and Chuck Pagano decided to go for it with field goal conditions impossible. Brissett threw incomplete again.

The Colts got it back at their own 23 with 11 minutes left and had the drive of the year. On 3rd and 8, Frank Gore gained 9. On 3rd and 10 from their own 34, Brissett hit TY Hilton for just enough. On 4th and 4 from midfield, Brissett hit Hilton for 10. On 4th and 6 from the Buffalo 36, Brissett scrambled for 8 yards. The Colts held the ball for 19 plays. They moved 77 yards. They took 10 minutes off the clock. Brissett threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Doyle. With 1:16 to play the Colts were down 7-6 and Chuck Pagano decided to go for 2. Brissett hit Doyle and the Colts erupted with an 8-7 lead. Yet it was all for naught as offensive pass interference nullified the try. Now Pagano had Adam Vinatieri try a 43 yard extra point to tie the game. Vinatieri is the king of pressure-packed kicks, winning 2 Super Bowls on the final play. He is known as the guy who hit the 45 yard field goal in the Tuck Rule blizzard game 15 years ago. This extra point try was knuckleball that started out wide and somehow curved back inside the uprights. The game was tied 7-7.

The crowd was in a state of shock, and they would get even more shocked after a touchback. Joe Webb was quickly intercepted by Clay. The Colts took over at the Buffalo 28 with 52 seconds left. A run took the clock all the way down and with 6 seconds left Vinatieri had another 43 yard try. This field goal for the win started inside and hooked outside no good. The Blizzard Bowl would be going into overtime. In the extra session the Bills moved from their own 24 to a 4th and 1 at the Indy 41, taking nearly 6 minutes to do it. Sean McVay angered the home crowd by deciding to punt and play field position. The defense held and the Bills got it back with 2:25 left. At the 2 minute warning the Bills faced 3rd and 6 at their own 39. In the snow, Webb went deep to Thompson, who somehow caught it for a 34 yard gain. With 1:39 left in overtime and Steve Hauschka warming up on the sideline, the Bills faced 3rd and 4 at the Indy 21. A 39 yard field goal try was iffy at best. Hauschka never had to find out. LeSean Shady McCoy got the carry up the middle, and with help from a great pancake block by Richie Incognito, raced to the end zone. The Bills did snow angels in the end zone as they survived to get to 7-6. It was another gut-wrenching loss for the 3-10 Colts but a thrilling winter wonderland classic football game for fans everywhere else. 13-7 Bills

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants — Eli Manning received a standing ovation by the fans, which is rare on a 2-10 team. He returned to his starting job without the fired Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese. On the first play from scrimmage the Giants fumbled, but retained possession. The Cowboys would lead a staggering 16 play, 73 yard drive that took nearly 8 minutes. Yet despite 1st and goal at the 4, a pair of Dark Prescott incompletions ended the drive. Dan Bailey returned from injury and hit the 21 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. The Giants then countered with an even more mind-numbing drive. New York Giants football has always been 3 yards and a cloud of dust. They moved 62 yards in a whopping 17 plays and took 9 1/2 minutes to do it. After all of that they settled for a 39 yard Aldrick Rosas field goal for a 3-3 game. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the half the Giants took over at their own 32. From their own 44, Manning went deep to Evan Engram for a 35 yard gain. Manning threw a one yard touchdown pass to Ellison to make it 10-3 Giants just before the 2 minute warning. After a touchback, Prescott went to Terrence Williams for 10 and to Dez Bryant for 11 more. From midfield, a short pass from Prescott to Bryant went for a 50 yard touchdown as the teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked 10-10.

The third quarter was scoreless as the inspired Giants were smelling upset. With 8 minutes left in regulation the game was still tied as the Cowboys were facing 3rd and 2 at their own 26. Then came the play that changed the game. Prescott threw a short pass to Cole Beasley that went for a 54 yard gain. On the next play Prescott went to Jason Witten for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 17-10 Cowboys. After a touchback the Giants moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Dallas 46. Manning threw incomplete and with 4:42 to play, whoever the Giants interim coach is decided to punt and trust his defense. With 4:20 to play the Cowboys were facing 3rd and 3 at their own 19. Prescott threw a short pass to Smith, who split the seams and raced for an 81 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Cowboys led 23-10. Manning was quickly intercepted, setting up Dallas at the Giants 21. On 3rd and 4 from the 15, Smith ran for the touchdown. 20 unanswered points in less than 5 minutes turned a slugfest into a blowout. The 7-6 Cowboys are still alive as Prescott finished 20 of 30 for 332 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interception. Manning finished 31 of 46 for 228 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He will not be getting a standing ovation next week. 30-10 Cowboys

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — The 6-6 Lions faced 3rd and 3 at their own 33 after an exchange of punts. Matthew Stafford hit Theo Riddick for 27 yards, Eric Ebron for 10, and Darren Fells for 23 more down to the 2 yard line. Theo Riddick got in to make it 7-0 Lions. The Buccaneers came back 75 yards in 14 plays and 5 minutes. Muscle Hamster Doug Martin got in from the one to make it 7-7. In the second quarter Jameis Winston was intercepted, setting up the Lions at the Tampa Bay 46. On 3rd and 4, Stafford hit Ebron for 7. On 2nd and 20 from the Tampa baY 43, Stafford went deep to Marvin Jones for a 38 yard gain. On the next play Stafford hit Golden Tate for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Lions. In the third quarter Winston was intercepted, but the defense held. On the next series Winston was sacked and fumbled. setting up the Lions just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 11, Stafford went to Jones for 17 yards. On 2nd and 8 from the Tampa 33, Stafford threw incomplete but roughing the passer moved the ball forward. On the next play Riddick ran for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Lions.

The Buccaneers moved 75 yards in 10 plays. One minute into the fourth quarter on 3rd and goal at the 2, Winston threw

a touchdown pass to OJ Howard to get the Buccaneers within 21-14. The Bucs got it back at their own 28 with 10 minutes left and moved quickly. On 3rd and 10 from their own 42, Winston went deep incomplete but a defensive pass interference call meant a 40 yard gain. Barber ran for a 16 yard gain down to the 2. On the next play Winston hit Wester for the touchdown. with 8 minutes to play the Buccaneers had come back to tie the game 21-21. Each team held on defense and the Lions took over at their own 23 with 3 minutes left. Stafford hit Ebron for 9 and Riddick for 18 to midfield at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 2 from the Tampa 42, Stafford hit Kenny Golladay for 6. After a false start pushed them out of field goal range, Stafford hit Golden Tate for 14 yards. With 25 seconds left Matt Prater came in for a 46 yard field goal try to win it for the Lions. The kick was good as Detroit got to 7-6 to keep their playoff hopes alive while the Buccaneers and to eat another loss. Winston was 26 of 38 for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns while Stafford was 36 of 44 for 381 yards and one touchdown. Each quarterback was intercepted twice. Jim Caldwell was so pleased with the win that he almost made a facial expression. 24-21 Lions

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs — This showdown of 6-6 teams was fir first place in the AFC West. Things could not have started worse for the Raiders as they went 3 and out and a terrible punt had the Chiefs taking over at their own 42. That was enough for Harrison Butker to hit a 53 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chiefs. After a touchback, Marshawn Lynch banged over defenders for a 27 yard run. Yet on 3rd and 4 at the Chiefs 41, Derek Carr threw deep to nobody and the Raiders punted. the Chiefs took over at their own 14 and the Oakland defense returned to its inept ways. The entire world knows Alex Smith will throw short passes but the defense lost interest in making tackles. A short pass to Harris gained 25 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 41, Smith gained 2 yards. On 3rd and 16 from the Oakland 45, Smith hit Tyreeq Hill for 18 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 28, Smith only gained 6 but defensive holding on Navarro Bowman kept the drive going. A short pass from Smith to Travis Kelce followed by terrible attempts at tackling went for a 16 yard touchdown on the last play of the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter out of the shotgun, Kareem Hunt ran for a one yard touchdown and a 10-0 Chiefs lead to cap the 14 play, 86 yard, 7 minute drive.

The Raiders had no interest in making a competitive game out of it as they quickly went 3 and out. From their own 37, Smith went deep to Wilson for a 36 yard gain. Despite 2nd and 5 at the Oakland 11, a pair of Smith incompletions meant a 29 yard Butker field goal to make it 13-0 Chiefs. After a touchback the Raiders moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Chiefs 33. A pitchout to Deandre Washington gained 9 yards, but Amari cooper had his leg rolled on and was taken off the field injured in a cart. On the next play Carr got drilled as he threw and the duck was intercepted. On 3rd and 1 from their own 33, Smith hit Kelce for 8 yards and then went deep to Hill for a 44 yard gain. A 10 yard touchdown pass to Kelce was nullified by an ineligible man downfield. Butker hit a 33 yard field goal as the Chiefs led 16-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Chiefs after a touchback saw Smith hit Kelce for 20. Butker hit his fourth field goal from 40 yards out as the Chiefs led 19-0 in a game that should have been cancelled at that point. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, Smith threw incomplete on 3rd and 5 and the Chiefs finally had to punt for the first time. On the first play from scrimmage the Raiders fumbled the ball away. On the next play from scrimmage Alex Smith threw it right back for an interception. It didn’t matter as the Raiders punted on 4th and 14 at their own 5. Hill returned the punt 13 yards and the Chiefs took over at the Oakland 38. Hunt ran for 7 and 17 and West ran for a 13 yard touchdown as the Chiefs took a 26-0 lead with smith not even raising his arm to throw a pass.

After over 3 quarters of miserable football, the Raiders tried to make the finals core look respectable. They moved 67 yards and got a garbage touchdown with a 22 yard run up the middle by Lynch in a garbage season to avoid the shutout with 9 minutes left. They even recovered the onside kick at the Chiefs 43. On 4th and 7 from the Chiefs 29, Carr went deep to Jared Cook for the touchdown. Carr hit Crabtree for the 2 point conversion as the Raiders were within 11 points midway through the fourth quarter. The even got a stop on defense and got the ball back at their own 12 with 2:12 to play and one timeout plus the 2 minute warning. With 46 seconds left the Raiders had 2nd and 5 at the Chiefs 38. Needing 2 scores, a 56 yard field goal try was not the wisest move. Carr went to the end zone for Crabtree. In a season gone wrong, it bounced off of his hands and was intercepted. The Chiefs got to 7-6 and the Raiders dropped to 6-7. The Raiders lose virtually every tie-breaker in the AFC and are all but done from a playoff standpoint. The Chiefs came into this game 1-6 in their previous 7 games, but were lucky enough to be playing the Raiders, who cannot seem to beat anyone except the league’s worst teams with backup quarterbacks, and only at home. 26-15 Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans — Fairbairn drilled a 55 yard field goal to give the Texans the 3-0 lead. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the half Robbie Gould hit a 52 yarder to tie the game 3-3. After that both offense picked up. The 49ers got it back at their own 32. Jimmy Garoppollo went deep to Juszczyk for a 29 yard gain and back to Juszczyk for 31 more yards. Carlos Hyde got the last 2 yards to make it 10-3 49ers with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. At the 2 minutes warning the Texans faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. TJ Yates was in for Tom Savage, and Yates gained 15 yards. On /3rd and 10 from the Houston 46, Yates hit Deandre Hopkins for 15 yards. From the Frisco 32, Yates hit Hopkins for a 25 yard gain and then again for a 7 yard touchdown to get the Texans within 10-9 with one minute left. The extra point was no good. From the frisco 21, Hyde ran for a 31 yard gain and Garoppollo hit Robinson for 18 more. Gould hit a 35 yarder to end the half as the 49ers took a 13-9 lead into the locker rooms.

In the third quarter the Texans moved 75 yards quickly as Yates threw a 29 yard touchdown pass to Hopkins to make it 16-13 Texans. After a touchback, the 49ers moved to a 1st and goal at the 7. Groppollo threw 3 incompletions and the 49ers settled for a 25 yard Gould field goal for a 16-16 tie. The 49ers got it back and soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 19. A short pass from Garoppollo to Greg Celek went for 61 yards. On 1st and 20 from the Houston 24, Garoppollo went to Bourne for 18 and to Celek for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 23-16 49ers with 2 minutes left in the third quarter. With 6 minutes left from the Houston 21, a short completion from Yates to Hopkins was fumbled and the 49ers recovered at the Houston 32. With 4 minutes left Gould came in for a 41 yard try to put the game away. He was the hero last week with 5 field goals and this week he made 4 more. The kick was good and the 49ers are slowly building something. 26-16 Texans

Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns — The 6-6 Packers are trying to survive until Aaron Rodgers returns. Playing the winless Browns helps. The Packers took over at their own 26. They lined up to punt on 4th and 2 from their own 46, but Mike McCarthy alley a fake. Whitehead gained 7 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 38, Brett Hundley threw incomplete. McCarthy went for it and this time Hundley hit Randall Cobb for 8 yards. Hundley then threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to Williams to make it 7-0 Packers. The Browns finally got Josh Brown back after a 4 year suspension last week. From the Cleveland 16, DeShone Kizer went deep to Gordon for a 38 yard gain and again for an 18 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. In the second quarter the Browns faced 2nd and 18 at their own 22. Kizer found Coleman for 20 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Green Bay 37, Kizer hit Gordon for 13 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Green Bay 25, Kizer went to Coleman for 18 and to Johnson for the 7 yard touchdown as the Browns led 14-7 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Packers moved from their 19 to a 3rd and 1 at the Cleveland 10. A run got stopped and Mike McCarthy went for it. On 4th and 1 Hundley kept it himself and got stopped. From the cleveland 12, Isaiah Crowell ran for an 18 yard gain. Kozer hit Johnson for 15 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Packers 43, Crowell ran for a 37 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Kizer Coleman for the touchdown. With 3 minutes left in the third quarter, the Browns had a 21-7 lead. The Cleveland Browns led 21-7 after 3 quarters. To describe the ending would be sickening for those who root for underdogs.

After a touchback the Packers moved 75 yards in 13 plays and 5 minutes. After getting stopped twice, on 3rd and goal at the one Williams got in the end zone. The Packers were within 21-14 with 13 minutes left in regulation. Cleveland took over at their own 20 and soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 43. Crowell only got one yard and the Browns punted. The Browns held on defense and after a touchback soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 37. The Packers only had one timeout left. A first down would move the Browns ultra-close to that first win. Kizer fired to Njoku for a 7 yard gain and the Dawg Pound erupted in celebration. Mike McCarthy challenged the catch, risking his last timeout and all but guaranteeing a Cleveland win if the challenge failed. Yet officials reversed the call to an incompletion, and the Browns had to punt.

Dustin Colquitt boomed  53 yard punt to the Green Bay 10, but Davis returned it 65 yards to the Cleveland 25. These are the Browns. At the 2 minute warning on 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 16, HUndley gained 2. With 36 seconds left the Packers faced 3rd and 2 at the 6. Hundley gained 5 yards to the one. The rest was inevitable as Hundley hit Devontae Adams for the touchdown. Mike McCarthy took no chances and went with the extra point. The kick as good. For over 59 1/2 minutes the Browns had the lead. Now the game was going into overtime tied 21-21. Cleveland got the ball first in overtime and soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Kizer went back to pass, retreating further and further back. He then made the boneheaded decision to try and throw across his body with a guy bearing down on him. He got hit as he threw and the ball went straight up into the air, the shortest Hail Mary in years. It was intercepted as the Packers took over at the Cleveland 42. On 3rd and 2, Hundley hit Adams for 8 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Cleveland 25, a short pass from Hundley to Adams went all the way for the touchdown. 20 unanswered points got the Packers to 7-6 and sent the Browns reeling to 0-13 one year after starting 0-14. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired Sashi Brown after last week’s loss but insisted Hue Jackson would be returning in 2018. John McKay’s Bucs started 0-26 but then won 2 straight. So Hue Jackson going 1-27 before this game was worse. Now he is 1-28, even worse than the last 2 seasons of the Jets under Rich Kotite. For the second straight week, the Packers won on an overtime touchdown. 27-21 Packers, OT

Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals — The 5-7 Bengals are a bunch of undisciplined head cases, and they began with a punt and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to set up Chicago just shy of midfield. Howard ran for a 21 yard touchdown to make it 6-0 Bears. The extra point doinked of the upright no good. The Bengals came back 72 yard and Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Brandon LaFell for a 14 yard touchdown and a 7-6 Bengals lead. The Bears moved 73 yards in 10 plays. A 15 yard touchdown pass by Mitchell Trubisky was nullified by an illegal block on the offense. The Bears settled for a 34 yard Mike Nugent field goal in the second quarter made it 9-7 Bears. Chicago got it back at their own 5, moved back to their 3, and Trubisky hit Shaheen for an 18 yard gain. Chicago held the ball for over 8 minutes and moved 86 yards in 15 plays. Despite 2nd and 1 at the Cincy 9, a run went nowhere and Trubisky then threw incomplete. On 4th and 1 on the road with nothing to lose, John Fox went with the field goal. Nugent hit from 27 to make it 12-7 Bears.

In the third quarter The Bears took over at their own 24. On 3rd and 5 from the Cincy 42, Trubisky hit Wright for 9 and Sims for 19 more. Trubisky ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 19-7 Bears. The Bengals then faced 3rd and 7 at their own 36. Dalton was intercepted, setting up the Bears at the Cincy 43. Howard gained 14, 4, and 14 again. On 3rd and 1 at the Cincy 2 to start the fourth quarter, Trubisky threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Trubisky hit Shaeen for the score to make it 26-7 Bears. Chicago got it back and moved 80 yards. Howard ran for an 8 yard touchdown as a close first half turned into a blowout. John Fox has seen his team improve and may keep his job in 2018. Marvin Lewis may be at the end of the line after 16 seasons in Cincinnati as the Bengals fell to 5-8 and cannot stop getting killer defensive penalties. Trubiski was a solid 25 of 32 for 271 yards without an interception. Dalton was a horrendous 14 of 29 for 141 yards and one interception. Each quarterback threw one touchdown pass. 33-7 Bears

Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers — The 10-2 Vikings took on the 8-4 Panthers. Case Keenum went deep and was intercepted. Stewart then ran for a 60 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. The Vikings came back 75 yards in 10 plays and Keenum hit Kyle Rudolph for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. Carolina came back 89 yards in 14 plays and over 7 minutes of clock. Facing 3rd and 16 at their own 23, a short pass only gained 5 yards but a defensive facemask kept the drive going. On 2nd and 6 from the Minnesota 27, Cam Newton went deep to Devon Funchess for a 22 yard gain. The second quarter began with the Panthers facing 3rd and goal t the one. Stewart got in to make it 14-7 Panthers. Minnesota would move from their 26 to a 3rd and 7 at the Carolina 16. A short pass from Keenum to Adam Thielen only gained 4 yards. Kai Forbath hit the 30 yard field goal to get the Vikings within 14-10 with 5 minutes left in the half. Minnesota got it back at their own 32 with 2 1/2 minutes left and moved to a 1st and goal at the 4 with 25 seconds left. After a pair of incompletions, Keenum went to Thielen for the touchdown. Yet on further review, officials reversed that to an incompletion as well. Forbath hit the 22 yarder to get the Vikings within 14-13 at the break.

In the third quarter the Panthers moved 75 yards in 10 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Newton hit Funchess for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 21-13 Panthers. Disaster immediately struck after a touchback. Keenum was hit and fumbled and Mike Adams recovered to set up the Panthers at the Minnesota 31. The defense held but Graham Gano hit a critical 41 yard field goal to make it 24-13 Panthers midway through the third quarter. A punt would pin the Panthers back at their own 2 yard line, and a 29 yard punt return had the Vikings starting the fourth quarter at the Carolina 30. Yet a sack of Keenum meant 4th and 16. Mike dimmer had Forbath try a 54 yard field goal, and the kick was no good. Minnesota got it back and moved from their 13 to a 2nd and 7 at the CAROLINA 26. keen was then intercepted with 9 minutes left.

Zimmer’s defense again held and the Vikings got it back at their own 27 midway through the fourth quarter. From the Minnesota 48, a short pass from Keenum to Adam Thielen saw Thielen get through everybody for a 52 yard touchdown. Keenum hit Bell for the 2 point try. With 5 1/2 minutes left the Vikings were only down 24-21. The Panthers soon faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. A short pass by Newton was intercepted by Sandejo, who returned it 34 yards to the Carolina 6 yard line. It looked like Newton had totally blown the game. This time it was Ron Rivera’s defense that came up big. A run went nowhere and after a Keenum incompletion, he was sacked. Forbath hit the 27 yard field goal. With 3 minutes left the game was tied 24-24.

Newton was the goat of the moment, but at the very same spot he became the hero. On 2nd and 5 from the Carolina 30, a perfectly executed fake handoff so Newton himself run for a 62 yard gain to the Carolina 8. On 3rd and goal at the one, Stewart got in to put the Panthers back up by 7. Minnesota took over at their own 22 with 1:41 left. Keenum was sacked, and then threw 3 straight incompletions. Minnesota fell to 10-3 but is still firmly in command of the NFC North. The loss stopped their streak of 8 straight wins. The Panthers got to 9-4 and again tied for the NFC South lead. A rematch of this game in the playoffs would be well worth the price of admission. 31-24 Panthers

Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Chargers — The Chargers entered the day 6-6 in a 3 way tie atop the AFC Worst division. The Chargers started out moving 60 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. They settled for a 33 yard Travis Coons field goal to lead 3-0. The Chargers got it back at their own 8 yard line and moved 92 yards in 10 plays. Philip Rivers hit Henry for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Chargers. After a touchback, Kirk Cousins was immediately intercepted to set up the Chargers at the Washington 29. On 3rd and goal at the 3 Rivers threw incomplete, but Coons hit the 21 yarder to make it 13-0 Chargers. In the second quarter the Redskins moved 77 yards. Cousins hit Vernon Davis for a 23 yard touchdown. The extra point failed but the Redskins were only down 13-6. After that reality set in. On the very next play after a touchback, Rivers went to Williams for a 75 yard touchdown to make it 20-6 only 11 seconds after the Redskins scored. Coons would add a 36 yard field goal as the Chargers were winning a laugher 23-6 at the break. The second half was a formality. A 55 yard third quarter drive ended with Melvin Gordon running for a one yard touchdown to make it 30-6 Chargers. In the fourth quarter Rivers did have a pass intercepted and returned 96 yards for a touchdown by Breeland, but a 17 point loss is not much better than a 31 point loss. After starting 0-4 the Chargers have rocketed upward going 7-2 since to be tied atop the AFC West. 30-13 Chargers

New York Jets at Denver Broncos — The Jets came in a desperate 5-7 while the Broncos had lost 8 straight and were eliminated weeks ago. It was all Denver. They moved 62 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. Brandon McManus hit a 31 yard field goal to start the scoring.The Jets quickly faced 3rd and 11 at their own 24. Josh McCown was sacked and fumbled, the set the Broncos up at the Jets 20. Trevor Siemian went deep to Denarius Thomas for the touchdown to make it 10-0 Broncos. Denver added a 53 yard McManus field goal in the second quarter to lead 13-0 at the break. In the third quarter Denver moved 68 yards in 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Janovich got the final yard to make it 20-0 Broncos. McManus added a 40 yard field goal in the fourth quarter to complete the shutout as Denver finally got a win and knocked the Jets to the brink of playoff elimination. They also knocked out McCown with a broken hand as Bryce Petty finished the game. 23-0 Broncos

Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals — Tennessee came in 8-4 against a Cardinals team not going anywhere but home. Yet Arizona hung tough for much of the game. After a scoreless first quarter, a short 33 yard Arizona punt had the Titans starting at midfield. On 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 41, Derrick Henry got the yard. On 3rd and 9 from the Arizona 25, Marcus Mariota hit Eric Decker for 11 yards. Henry ran for the 6 yard touchdown as the Titans led 7-0 at halftime. In the third quarter Phil Dawson hit a 47 yard field goal as the Cardinals only trailed 7-3. Midway through the third quarter Mike Mularkey gambled on a fake punt with the Titans facing 4th and 1 at their own 35. Seems to the direct snap and got nailed. Initially it was called a first down but Bruce Arians challenged the spot and it was reversed to a turnover on downs. The Cardinals had 3rd and 1 at the Tennessee 3, but a run up the middle lost 2 yards. Dawson hit the 23 yarder as the Cardinals trailed 7-6. The Titans moved from their own 28 to the Arizona 27. Mariota went over the middle and was intercepted by Williams. The Cardinals moved from their own 16 to a 3rd and 4 at the Tennessee 22. After Blaine Gabbert threw incomplete, old reliable Dawson came in for the 40 yarder to give the Cardinals the lead with 12 minutes left in regulation. This time Dawson was no good.

It was deja vu all over again as the Cardinals got it back at their own 15 and moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Tennessee 14. A run went nowhere and Gabbert threw incomplete. This time from 32 yards, Dawson was good and the Cardinals led 9-7 with 6 minutes left in the game. On the next play after a touchback, Mariota was quickly intercepted again. with unnecessary roughness tacked on, the Cardinals had 1st and goal at the 7 with a golden opportunity to slam the door shut. The only thing that got slammed was Gabbert for a sack. Dawson hit the 35 yard field goal as the Cardinals led by 5 with 3:50 to play. A sack of Mariota left the Titans facing 4th and 18 at their own 29 with 2:11 to play. Mike Mularkey decided to punt and trust his defense since Tennessee had all 3 timeouts. On 3rd and 8 from their own 27, Gabbert was sacked. The Titans got it back at their own 22 with 0 timeouts. Mariota threw 4 straight incompletions and the Titans were done. The loss dropped them to 8-5, in strong position for a wildcard but one game out of the division lead. The 6-7 Cardinals are still mathematically alive. 12-7 Cardinals

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams — Division leaders came in for a key NFC battle as the 10-2 Eagles took on the 9-3 Rams. It was the first meeting between the top 2 picks in the 2016 Draft, as Jared Goff went one spot before Carson Wentz. On the 3rd play of the game with the Eagles facing 3rd and 5 at their own 30, Wentz was intercepted by Webster to set the Rams up at the Philly 37. Todd Gurley ran for a 30 yard gain and then a 2 yard touchdown as the Rams led 7-0 less than 2 minutes into the game. After that the Eagles exploded. After a touchback, Wentz hit Clement for a 28 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Rams 40, Jay Ajayi gained 9. Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for 15 more. Wentz hit Captain Morgan Brent Celek for a 5 yard touchdown to make it a 7-7 ballgame. The Eagles got it back at their own 12 and moved 88 yards in 11 plays. Wentz hit Burton for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Eagles. In the second quarter it was deja vu all over again as the Eagles moved 80 yards in 11 plays. Wentz went to Burton on 3rd and 8 for an 11 yard score as 21 unanswered points had the Eagles up 21-7. That drive was helped along by Doug Peterson deciding to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Rams 31. Wentz hit Nelson Agholor for 18 yards.

The Rams soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 25 when a short pass from Goff to Cooper Kupp gained 64 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the 6, Goff hit Cupp for the touchdown as the Rams were within 21-14. Late in the half with the Rams facing 3rd and 3 at their own 25, a short Goff completion gained just enough. Doug Peterson challenged the spot and it was reversed to 4th and 1 at the 2 minute warning. The Rams punted and the Eagles took over at their own 16 with 1:49 left. On 3rd and 11 at their own 30, Wentz went deep to Smith for a 46 yard gain. with 23 seconds left the Eagles had 2nd and goal at the 4, but Wentz threw incomplete twice. Elliott hit the 22 yard field goal as the Eagles led 24-14 at break time.

In the third quarter the Rams took over at their own 29. Gurley ran for 17 and 5 and caught a pass for 20 more. Goff then went to Kupp for 23 yards. Goff threw a 1 yard touchdown pass to Watkins as the Rams got within 24-21. The Eagles quickly went 3 and out as Went threw incomplete with the Eagles facing 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Jones’s punt was blocked by Thomas and recovered by Countess, who returned it 16 yards for a touchdown as the Rams now had the 28-24 lead. After a touchback, momentum shifted again as the Eagles moved to a 3rd and 7 at their own 42. Wentz went deep to Worry Smith for a 24 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the Rams 33, Wentz threw incomplete. Yet a mindless unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the defense for taunting after the play was the difference between a 51 yard field goal try and 1st and 10 at the Rams 18. On 3rd and 3 from the 11, Wentz hit Agholor for 6 with unnecessary roughness meaning 1st and goal at the 2. A touchdown run by Wentz was nullified by offensive holding. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Wentz threw incomplete. With 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Doug Peterson went big and bold and decided to go for it. With all kinds of time, Wentz saw a man right in his face and threw a pass over the middle that was somehow snared by Jeffery for the score. Jeffery somehow got his fingertips to keep it from hitting the ground as the Eagles led 31-28 in this thrilling football game. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Wentz was knocked out of the game with a knee injury and did not play the fourth quarter.

After a touchback Gurley ran for a 21 yard gain and Goff hit Reynolds and Watkins for a pair of 15 yard completions. The fourth quarter began with Gurley running for a 4 yards, then 8 yards, and then the one yard touchdown to make it 35-31 Rams. Nick Foles was one a phenom for the Eagles. Now he is the backup. From his own 20, he fumbled his first snap, piked it up, and gained 14 yards. The Eagles moved to a 1st and 10 at the Rams 25, but a pair of incompletions followed by a  2 yard pass and the Eagles settling for a 41 yard field goal try. Elliott was good and the Eagles trailed 35-34 with 10 minutes left in regulation. The Rams took over at their 20. from their own 35, Goff was sacked and fumbled. The Eagles took over at the Rams 25. Elliott hit a 54 yard field goal but a leverage penalty on the Rams had Doug Peterson take the points off the board. They would settle for a 33 yard Elliott field goal anyway. They Eagles led by 2 but the Rams had less than 4 minutes to work with instead of 6 minutes. With zero urgency, a pair of runs did nothing as 90 seconds ticked off the clock. Goff threw incomplete on 3rd and 10. Sean McVay decided to punt and trust his defense.

The Eagles took over at their own 21 with 2:02 to play. On 3rd and 8, Foles hit Agholor for a key 10 yard gain. The Eagles took the clock down to 7 seconds. On fourth down, Doug Peterson decided to punt from the Philly 37 rather than have Foles run around and use up the time. The Rams called a fair catch with one second left at their own 24. The hook and laterals play saw one of the laterals taken in the air by the defense and returned 20 yards for a touchdown. The Eagles got to 11-2 and the Rams fell to 9-4 but still one game up in the NFC West. Goff finished 16 of 26 for 208 yards and 2 touchdown without an interception. Wentz went 23 of 41 for 291 yards, 4 touchdowns, and the one early interception in only 3 quarters of work. A rematch between these teams with Goff and Wentz at the helm would be a fine playoff option, but it will not be happening. After the game it was announced that Wentz tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. They will have to try and win it all with Foles. 43-35 Eagles

Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars — Both teams came in 8-4 and are winning in opposite ways. Russell Wilson is carrying Seattle and their injury-riddled defense. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have a tough defense known as Sacksonville. The first half was all defense. Josh Lambo hit a 38 yard first quarter field goal as the Jaguars led 3-0 at halftime. Things went crazy in the third quarter. On the second play of the second half with the Seahawks facing 2nd and 20 at their own 15, Wilson was intercepted to set the Jaguars up at the Seahawks 42. Blake Bortles hit Marques Lee for 13 yards and Westbrook for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Jaguars. After a touchback the Seahawks soon faced 2nd and 12 at their own 45. Wilson went deep to Doug Baldwin for a 43 yard gain. Yet despite 2nd and 8 from the 10, Wilson threw incomplete twice. Blair Walsh hit the 28 yard field goal to get the Seahawks on the board. The Jaguars fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Seahawks recovered at the Jacksonville 25. Wilson went deep to Baldwin for a 26 yard touchdown. 2 scores in less than 60 seconds meant a 10-10 ballgame.

Then things got even wilder. On the very next play from scrimmage after a touchback, Bortles went deep to Cole for a 75 yard touchdown. 14 seconds after the game was tied, the Jaguars were back up 17-10. Seattle quickly went 3 and out when on 3rd and 3 from their own 32, Wilson was sacked. The Seahawks had to punt, and Mickens returned it 72 yards to the Seattle one yard line. Leonard Fournette got in as the Jaguars led 24-10. Jacksonville got it back and held the ball for 7 1/2 minutes and moved 65 yards in 13 plays. Lambo drilled a 51 yard field goal as the Jaguars had a commanding 27-10 lead with 10 minutes left in regulation. Then things got wild and crazy in the other direction in this game of big plays.

16 seconds after the Jaguars upped their lead to 17 points, Wilson went deep to Paul Richardson for a 61 yard touchdown bomb to get the Seahawks within 27-17. The Jaguars moved 54 yards into the red zone. On 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 13, Fournette lost a yard. The Jaguars settled for a 32 yard Lambo field goal to lead 30-17 with 4 minutes left. Less than 30 seconds later Seattle was in the end zone again. On 2nd and 5 from their own 26, Wilson went bombs away to Tyler Lockett for a 74 yard touchdown. the Seahawks were within 6 points.  with a full 3 1/2 minutes to play.  On 3rd and 13 from their own 22 after a false start, a runny gained 3 yards. Seattle got it back at their own 42 with 2 1/2 minutes to play and 2 timeouts plus the 2 minute warning. With 2:17 left and the Seahawks facing 4th and 9 at their own 43, Pete Carroll decided to go for it. Under heavy pressure Wilson threw deep incomplete. On 3rd and 11, the Seahawks were one stop from getting the ball back. Fournette ran off tackle for a 14 yard gain and Seattle was done. The Seahawks at 8-5 are still in contention for the wildcard while Jacksonville at 9-4 is now one game up in the AFC South. Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin was so pleased with the win that he almost smiled. 30-24 Jaguars

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Sunday night game. The 7-5 Ravens were in the playoff hunt but had to go on the road to face the 10-2 Steelers, who were recovering from a brutal game with Cincinnati. Ryan Shazier was severely injured in that game. His spinal nerve was hit and he may never play football again. Steelers wore decals with his number 50 on it as a tribute to him. The Steelers were also without Juju Smith-Schuster, suspended one game for his hit on Vontaze Burfect. The Ravens moved from Their own 17 to a 3rd and 4 at the Pittsburgh 30. How Flacco went deep and was intercepted by Davis at the 6 yard line. Davis returned the interception 35 yards as the Steelers took over at their own 41. On 3rd and 2 just shy of midfield, LeVeon Bell gained 2. On 3rd and 1 from the Baltimore 29, Bell gained 9. A short pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Bell went for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Steelers. In the second quarter the Steelers moved 90 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 3 from the Baltimore 34, Big Ben went to Antonio Brown for a 28 yard gain. From the 11, defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Bell got in to make it 14-0 Steelers.

Baltimore soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 30. Alex Collins gained 9 yards. Flacco hit Allen for 20 yards. Flacco then went deep to Moore for a 30 yard touchdown to get the Ravens within 14-7. Pittsburgh quickly faced 3rd and 4 at their own 18. Big Ben hit Rogers for 8 yards. On 2nd and 6 from the Pittsburgh 30, Big Ben went deep to Brown for a 43 yard gain. A sack of Roethlisberger ended the drive but Chris Boswell hit a 52 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Steelers. Baltimore took over at their own 15. Flacco hit Mike Wallace for 18 yards and Collins for 37 more. Collins ran for an 18 yard touchdown at the 2 minute warning to get the Ravens within 17-14. Pittsburgh took over after a touchback. With 46 seconds left the Steelers faced 3rd and 15 at their own 41. Roethlisberger went to Rogers for 16 yard and to McDonald for 18 more. That was enough for Boswell to hit from 43 to end the half with the Steelers holding a 20-14 lead.

In the third quarter the Ravens faced 2nd and 8 at their own 27. Flacco went deep to Wallace for a 40 yard gain. The drive stalled but Justin Tucker hit a 47 yard field goal to get the Ravens within 20-17. Baltimore got it back at their own 40. Collins ran for 9 and Flacco went to Jeremy Maclin for 19 more. Flacco hit Allen for 12 and Collins ran for 17 yards down to the one. Allen crashed in up the middle to put the Ravens up 24-20 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Baltimore got it back at their own 26 and Collins ran for a 21 yard gain with 15 more tacked on for defensive late hit out of bounds. Flacco went deep and drew defensive pass interference for a 31 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Flacco hit Ricard for the touchdown.In front of a shocked home crowd, the Ravens led 31-20 with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter.

Pittsburgh took over at their own 14 and moved all the way to a 2nd and 5 at the Baltimore 6. Roethilsberger threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores, Mike Tomlin opted for the field goal. Boswell hit from 24 to get the Steelers within 31-23 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Pittsburgh got it back and quickly faced 3rd and 10 at their own 33. A short pass to Roethlisberger went for a 57 yard gain. Defensive pass interference put the ball on the one with 9 1/2 minutes left. Roethlisberger looked around, bought time, and threw across his body to Nix for the touchdown. On the 2 point try Big Ben threw a fade to the corner that was incomplete, but defensive pass interference gave the Steelers another try from the one. Bell went laterally and got stopped as the Steelers trailed 31-29.

A strong kickoff return had the Ravens starting at their own 44. On the next play a personal foul on the defense for picking up a receiver and slamming him to the ground moved the Ravens 15 yards to the Pittsburgh 41. On the next play a run lost 4 yards. On 2nd and 14, defensive pass interference added 20 yards as tempers were flaring after every play. On 3rd and 2 from the Pittsburgh 17, Collins gained 9 and Allen ran for the 8 yard touchdown. The critical extra point was good as the Ravens led 38-29 wit 6:44 to play. Pittsburgh took over at their own 32. On 2nd and 5 Roethlisberger went to Brown for gains of 22 and 11 and to Bell for 10. On 3rd and 1 from the Baltimore 11, Bell appeared stopped but evaded tacklers and somehow made it all the way to the end zone. With 3 1/2 minutes left the Steelers were within 38-36.

The Steelers had all 3 timeouts as the Ravens faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Flacco fired over the middle on a pass that was deflected in the air incomplete. The Steelers got it back at their own 17 yard line with 2 1/2 minutes left and all 3 timeouts needing only a field goal to win it. Big Ben got sacked by Terrell Suggs for a 9 yard loss as a short pass had the Steelers facing 3rd and 14 at the 2 minute warning. Roethlisberger fired to James for a 17 yard gain. On 3rd and 5, Roethlisberger went deep to Brown for a 35 yard gain. Although Brown got out of bounds at the Baltimore 30, the Steelers were forced to take a timeout anyway with one minute left. They were already in field goal range, so after a safe run Baltimore took their second timeout on defense. Under heavy pressure Roethlisberger threw a a pair of off balance passes that Pittsburgh was lucky to see fall incomplete. With 46 seconds left, Boswell lined up for a 46 yard field goal to give the Steelers the lead. The kick was good and the Steelers were up by a point.

After a touchback Baltimore had 42 seconds, one timeout, and Justin Tucker’s cannon of a leg. Flacco threw over the middle to Maclin, and he got blasted, forcing the Ravens to take their last timeout. Flacco hit Wallace for 14 yards and then spiked the ball to stop the clock with 21 seconds left. Flacco went deep to Maclin, who could not get both feet down inbounds. On 3rd and 10 with 16 seconds left. Flacco scrambled, was hit and fumbled, and was lucky that the ball went out of bounds. With 7 seconds left, the Ravens were prepared to line up for a final 4th down Hail Mary. However, the officials ruled that the sack of Flacco kept the clock going and the game was over. This was a wild one. The Steelers clinched the AFC North at 11-2 while the Ravens at 7-6 are fighting for their playoff lives. Both quarterbacks threw 2 touchdown passes with Flacco throwing one interception and Roethlisberger one. Flacco finished 20 of 35 for 269 while Roethlisberger had a game for the ages. He set a franchise record by throwing 66 passes, completing 44 of them for a ridiculous 506 yards. Antonio Brown had 11 catches for 213 yards. The Steelers went up by 14, got outscored 31-6 to trail by 11, got within 2, trailed by 9, and scored the final 10 in a game for the ages. 39-38 Steelers

 

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins was the Monday night game. The Patriots are always better than the Dolphins. Almost every year the Patriots are winners and the Dolphins are losers. Yet for some reason Tom Brady frequently has his worst games at Miami. This year the Patriots came in 10-2 and AFC East champions again while the Dolphins were 5-7 and on the brink of playoff elimination again. In the first quarter the Dolphins moved 69 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes, getting a 30 yard field goal from Cody Parkey to start the scoring. Brady was then immediately intercepted, setting the Dolphins up at their own 40. Parkey hit a 44 yard field goal as the Dolphins led 6-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Patriots took over just shy of midfield. On 2nd and 7, Brady went to Dion Lewis for a 20 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Miami 23, defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 3. Ronny Burkhead ran it in from there to make it 7-6 Patriots with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half. Yet after that, the Dolphins took over.

From the Miami 20, Jay Cutler went to Anthony Fasano for 17 yards and deep to Kenyon Drake for a 47 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the New England 13, Cutler went to Drake for 8 yards and to Jarvis Landry for a 5 yard touchdown. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Dolphins had a 13-7 lead. After a touchback the Patriots moved to a 3rd and 3 from the Miami 29 with 46 seconds left. A short pass gained only one yard, so Bill Belichick let the clock tick down to 6 seconds. Stephen Gostkowski hit the 46 yard field goal as the Patriots trailed 13-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Patriots quickly faced 3rd and 16 at their own 14. Brady was intercepted by Howard, who returned it 29 yards to the New England 46. On 3rd and 4 from the Patriots 40, Cutler hit Kenny Stills for 11 yards. Cutler then went deep to Grant for a 25 yard touchdown to make it 20-10 Dolphins. The Patriots faced 3rd and 1 at their own 29 and Brady threw incomplete, forcing a punt. The Dolphins soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 27. Cutler went deep incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant a 21 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 at the Patriots 46, Cutler hit Parker for 11 yards. Drake then got around the end for a 31 yard gain. Cutler hit Landry for the 4 yard touchdown as the Dolphins led 27-10 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

As the third quarter was ending, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Miami had the Patriots starting at their own 47. With 13 minutes left in regulation, Brady hit white for the touchdown to get the Patriots within 27-17. Yet if the Dolphins were supposed to collapse, nobody told their defense. The Patriots went 3 and out on their next 3 possessions. With 2 1/2 minutes left and still down 27-17, the Patriots took over at their own 23. Brady went deep to Cooks for a 38 yard gain. On the next play roughing the passer added 15 more yards. With 1:24 left the Patriots had 1st and goal at the one. Yet illegal motion followed by offensive holding pushed the Patriots back to 2nd and goal at the 15. Brady threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores, the field goal was the only option. Gostkowski hit the 33 yard field goal to get the Patriots within 7 points with 53 seconds to play.

The onside kick did not go 10 yards as again a weak Miami team knocked off mighty New England. The Patriots fell to 10-3, one game out of the race for home field in the AFC. The Dolphins are 6-7 and still mathematically alive. Jay Cutler went 25 of 38 for 263 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Tom Brady went 24 of 43 for 233 yards, one touchdown, and 2 interceptions. Football fans everywhere have no idea how this keeps happening with a Miami team that rarely beats anyone else when it matters. 27-20 Dolphins

NFL 2017 Week 14 Prequel

December 8th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 14 Prequel

This is when the NFL big dogs come out: NFL 2017 Week 14 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2017 Week 13 Recap

December 3rd, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 13 Recap

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys was the Thursday night game. Both teams came in fighting for survival at 5-6. Washington dominated early statistically but turnovers kept the game scoreless after the first quarter. After tat it was all Dallas. In the second quarter an 11 play, 59 yard, 6 minute drive culminated in Dat Prescott hitting Jason Witten for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Cowboys. On 3rd and 4 from their own 24, Kirk Cousins was sacked and fumbled to give Dallas the ball at the Washington 19. Dan Bailey hit a 24 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Cowboys. Special teams came in big again as Switzer returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-0 Cowboys.

Washington tried to make a game of it. They moved 75 yards at the end of the half and Cousins hit Grant for a 20 yard touchdown to get the Redskins within 17-7. After a scoreless third quarter, the Cowboys pretty much put the game away. An 11 play, 71 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive had the Cowboys facing 3rd and 5 at the Washington 13 to start the fourth quarter. Prescott hit Dez Bryant for the touchdown to make it 24-7 Cowboys. Washington came back 87 yards and Cousins hit Josh Doctson for a 14 yard touchdown to get the Redskins within 24-14 with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Yet Dallas came back with a 10 play, 75 yard 6 1/2 minute drive to slam the door shut. On 3rd and 10 from the washington 17, Prescott went deep incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Alfred Morris got in on the next play to make it 31-14 Cowboys with 5 minutes left. With Washington facing 4th and 10 at their own 25, Cousins was intercepted to put Dallas at the Washington 11. On 3rd and goal from the one Smith got in to complete the blowout. 38-14 Cowboys

Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons — The Atlanta offense matched up against the Minnesota defense as these elite teams jockeyed for position. For three quarters this was a defensive bonelock. The Falcons had a 16 play, 58 yard, 7 1/2 minute first quarter drive but settled for a 38 yard Matt Bryant field goal to lead 3-0. In the second quarter the vikings moved 53 yards in 5 minutes and Case Keenum hit McKinnon for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Vikings. Bryant hit from 36 and in the third quarter from 47 to make it 9-7 Falcons. The Vikings moved 89 yards in 15 plays and took almost 8 1/2 minutes to do it. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Keenum hit Kyle Rudolph for a 6 yard touchdown to put the Vikings up by 5. With 9 1/2 minutes left the Falcons took over at their own 29 and moved to a 4th and 4 at the Minnesota 27. Dan Quinn decided to kick the field goal trust his defense. The normally reliable Bryant was no good from 45. With 4 minutes left and the Falcons out of timeouts, the Vikings faced 3rd and 4 at the Atlanta 43. Keenum hit Adam Thielen for a 22 yard gain and Minnesota ran out the clock. Atlanta dropped to 7-5 and Mike Zimmer now has a 10-2 squad winning with capable quarterback play and ferocious defense. 14-9 Vikings

Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens — A pair of teams fighting for their playoff lives at 6-5 met in a game that only one team showed up for on time. Justin Tucker hit a 38 yard field goal to open the scoring for the Ravens. In the second quarter Baltimore exploded. From the Baltimore 33, Joe Flacco went deep for a 66 yard bomb to Watson. On the next play Flacco hit Watson for the one yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Ravens. The Lions then faced 3rd and 7 at the Baltimore 41. Matthew Stafford was sacked and fumbled, and the Ravens took over at the Detroit 36. Flacco went dee to Mike Wallace for a 23 yard gain and hit Ricard for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 17-Ravens. Tucker tacked on a 46 yard field goal to have the Ravens up 20-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Lions finally got on the board when a 4 yard touchdown run by Theo Riddick capped a 75 yard drive. Detroit got it back and again moved 75 yards. Green ran for a 6 yard score. Matt Prater, who had already missed a field goal, missed the extra point as the Lions trailed 20-13. In the fourth quarter the Ravens moved 74 yards. Collins ran for a 7 yard touchdown and the Ravens had a 27-13 lead. Yet the Lions quickly came back 75 yards. Stafford went deep to Marvin Jones for a 46 yard gain and to Roberts for 23 yards down to the one. Stafford hit Bellmore for the one yard touchdown as the Lions were within 27-20 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

There would be no comeback. A 29 yard kickoff return had the Ravens taking over at their own 44. With 7 minutes left Tucker drilled a key 51 yard field goal to make it 30-30 Ravens. From the Detroit 28, disaster quickly struck the Lions. First Stafford was sacked for an 8 yard loss. On the next play he was intercepted.by Humphrey, who returned it 18 yards to the Detroit 31. Stafford injured his hand on the play. Meanwhile, Collins ran for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 37-20 Ravens. Stafford’s back is Rudock, and with 2 1/2 minutes left he had an interception returned 45 yards for the touchdown exclamation point. The Lions are 6-6 and in deep trouble while the 7-5 Ravens are very much alive in the weaker AFC. 44-0 Ravens

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills — The 6-5 Bills were going to knock off the 9-2 Patriots and finally end the NFL’s longest playoff drought. Then reality set in and the game started. In the first quarter the Patriots moved 59 yards in 14 plays and 6 1/2 minutes but settled for a 50 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to lead 3-0. In the second quarter the defensive struggle continued. Gostkowski hit field goals of 31 and 39 surrounding a 49 yard Stephen Hauschka kick as the Patriots took a 9-3 lead to the locker rooms. In the third quarter the Patriots moved 70 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes. Rex Burkhead ran it in from the one to make it 16-3 Patriots. New England got it back and moved 78 yards. Burkhead ran for a 14 yard touchdown to make it a Patriots blowout. New England is 10-2, Buffalo is 6-6, and Tyrod Taylor was knocked out and replaced with Nathan Peterman. Peterman had 5 interceptions in one half of football a couple weeks ago. This week he did no harm or help. 23-3 Patriots

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears — In the 1980s this game was for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Now it is the Stupor Bowl. The 49ers held the ball for 14 plays, moving 60 yards in 7 minutes. They settled for a 33 yard field goal to make it 3-0 49ers. The bears came back 59 yards and Mitchell Trubisky hit Dontrell Inman for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Bears. In the second quarter the 49ers moved 66 yards but again stalled in the red zone. Gould hit from 28 to get the 49ers within 7-6. Special teams got the Bears in the end zone again as Cohen returned a punt 61 yards to the house to make it 14-6 Bears. The 49ers moved the ball all game but kept bogging down in the red zone. An 11 play, 58 yard drive took 5 1/2 minutes. Gould hit from 35. A staggering 16 play, 70 yard drive took 8 1/2 minutes in the third quarter. Gould hit again from 34 as the 49ers were within 14-12. With 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation the 49ers took over at their own 8 yard line. Jimmy Garoppolo hit Goodwin for 13 yards. On 3rd and 9 just shy of midfield, Garoppolo hit Taylor for 33 yards. With 8 seconds left in regulation, Gould came in for the 24 yarder to win it and get revenge against his former team Gould was good, and this was as big as Joe Montana going 92 yards in the Super Bowl. No, not really. 15-14 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers — The Bay of Pigs has returned, and so has Jameis Winston from injury. Early on the buccaneers moved 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Winston hit Brate for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Buccaneers. The Packers held the ball for 7 1/2 minutes and moved 61 yards in 14 plays but settled for a 37 yard Mason Crosby field goal to trail 7-3. With 10 minutes left in the half the Buccaneers punted from their own 45. The punt was blocked and the Packers took over at that spot. Williams ran for a 25 yard gain and Brett Hundley added 14 more. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Williams got in to give the Packers the 10-7 lead. The Packers after a touchback quickly moved the Green Bay 30. Winston was then sacked and fumbled, and Lwry returned it 62 yards for a defensive touchdown to make it 17-7 Packers.

The Buccaneers held it for long stretches but a pair of drive died in the red zone as Murray hit from 36 before the half ended and from 30 in the fourth quarter to get the Buccaneers within 17-13. The Bucs got it back and moved 78 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. This time they finished the drive as Winston hit Brate for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 20-17 Buccaneers with 6 minutes left in regulation. After a touchback, the Packers faced 3rd and 2 at their own 44. Hundley ran for a 14 yard gain. On the next play he hit Devontae Adams for 14 with roughing the passer adding 14 more. Yet on 3rd and 1 at the Tampa Bay 5, pass-happy Mike McCarthy refused to run the ball. Hundley threw incomplete. McCarthy at home decided not to gamble. Crosby hit the 22 yard field goal for a 20-20 tie at the 2 minute warning. The game went to overtime and the Packers won the toss and soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 34. Hundley ran for 7 yards and then ran for 18 more. From the Tampa Bay 20, Jones got around the end and ran for the touchdown as the Bucs never got the ball. Green Bay is 6-6 and still alive. 26-20 Packers, OT

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars — Sometimes a bad team goes on the road and shocks a good team for a major upset. This was not that game. In the first quarter the Jaguars moved 80 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Blake Bortles hit Marques Lee for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Jaguars. In the second quarter Jacksonville moved 57 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2minutes. They settled for a 30 yard Josh Lambo field goal to make it 10-0 Jaguars. The Colts had their turn to move 69 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. A 27 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal got the Colts on the board. Yet the jaguars came back 75 yards in 12 plays and 5 minutes. Bortles hit Cole for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 17-3 Jaguars. In the third quarter the Jaguars moved 67 yards and Leonard Fournette ran for a 5 yard touchdown as the Jaguars led 24-3 in a laugher.

The Colts tried to make a game of it. 75 yards came easier this time as Jacoby Brissett went to TY Hilton for a 40 yard touchdown to get the Colts within 24-10. Yet the Jaguars kept milking the clock, going 81 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. The settled for a 23 yard Lambo field goal but the Jaguars had a comfortable 27-10 lead after three quarters. lamb tacked on a 39 yard field goal in the fourth quarter as Jacksonville got to 8-4 with the win. Bortles was 26 of 35 for 309 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin was so pleased with the win that he almost smiled. 30-10 Jaguars

Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and play a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. In the first quarter the Broncos faced 3rd and 10 at their own 5. Out of the shotgun, a fumble on the snap went out of bounds in the end zone for a safety to make it 2-0 Dolphins. In the second quarter Brandon McManus hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-2 Broncos. After that Miami blew the game open. Miami moved 75 yards and Jay Cutler hit Julius Thomas for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 9-3 Dolphins. Trevor Siemian was then intercepted by Howard, who returned it 30 yards for another touchdown to make it 16-3 Dolphins at the half. In the third quarter Cody Parkey tacked on a 37 yard field goal to make it 19-3 Dolphins.

Miami was in total control, but Jay Cutler was then intercepted by Simmons. Simmons took it 65 yards for a defensive touchdown. The 2 point try failed as the Broncos trailed 19-9 in a game where each quarterback threw a touchdown pass to the opposing team. Miami came back 61 yards and Kenyon Drake ran for a 42 yard touchdown to make it 26-9 Dolphins. Miami blocked a punt but did not capitalize. However, Trevor Siemian was intercepted on a short pass to set the Dolphins up at the Denver 23. One play later Cutler went deep to Kenny Stills for another touchdown to make it 33-9 Dolphins. Adam Gase then showed he is determined to be the least classy coach in the league since Greg Schiano’s reign of error in Tampa. Up 24 in the fourth quarter, he called an onside kick just to run up the score on his former team. A fumbled punt gave Miami a safety to complete the blowout. Meanwhile, Denver is a mess. 8 straight losses gave them a 3-9 record while Miami at 5-7 is barely alive. 35-9 Dolphins

Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets — The Chiefs came in reeling at 6-5 after a 5-0 start while the Jets were 4-7 and hanging by a thread. Yet the Jets have fought hard all season and today was no exception. The first quarter was a track meet that reminded people of the old AFL. first the Chiefs moved 75 yards. Alex Smith threw a 22 yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Jets punted and Tyreeq Hill returned it 24 yards to the Jets 36. One play later Smith went deep to Kelce for the touchdown to make it 14-0 Chiefs.

The Jets came back 75 yards and Powell ran for a one yard touchdown to get the Jets within 14-7. The Jets got it back and moved 68 yards. Josh McCown got the last yard as the game was tied 14-14 after a wild opening quarter. In the second quarter the Chiefs moved 68 yards. Harrison Butker hit a 36 yard field goal in a game with little defense as the Chiefs led 17-14. The Jets rapidly came back 75 yards in 10 plays. McCown hit Matt Forte for an 11 yard touchdown as the Jets led 21-17 at halftime. In the third quarter the Jets led a mind-numbing 18 play drive that went 72 yards and took 9 1/2 minutes off the clock. Yet despite 2nd and 3 at the Chiefs 9, McCown threw incomplete twice. Chandler Catanzaro hit a 27 yard field goal to make it 24-17 Jets. Yet despite a 24-3 run, momentum would change again.

After 13 years of being a West Coast Offense Dink and Dunk Game Manager, Alex Smith began this season throwing deep balls. Yet he returned to game manager mode and the Chiefs regressed. On this day he began raining bombs again. A 79 yard touchdown pass to Hill had the Chiefs tie the game 24-24 only 9 seconds after the Jets had the 7 point lead. The Jets retook the lead on a 47 yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal and extended the lead in the fourth quarter. They moved 58 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. They settled for a 38 yard Catanzaro field goal to make it 30-24 Jets. Yet the Chiefs came back 69 yards. Smith threw his fourth touchdown pass, a 40 yard bomb to Hill that made it 31-30 Chiefs with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

The Jets soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 29. McCown hit Hansen for 12 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 44, McCown hit Kearse, who broke free for a 51 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 5 with 6 minutes left. On 3rd and goal at the 7, a short pass by McCown left 4th and goal at the 3 with 4 minutes left. Todd Bowles went for the field goal. Catanzaro hit the 21 yarder to make it 33-31 Jets, but the Chiefs only needed a field goal. Except, there was laundry on the field. Unnecessary roughness for an illegal hit on the center meant 1st and goal at the one. Bowles took the points off the board. On 3rd and goal at the 4, McCown threw incomplete but again the Chiefs were caught cheating. Defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 2. The Chiefs took their last timeout on defense with 2:20 to play and the Jets facing 3rd and goal at the one. McCown got in up the middle and the Jets had the touchdown. On the 2 point conversion try McCown was chased all the way back to his 25 yard line before throwing up a prayer that fell incomplete. Yet defensive holding on Reggie Nelson gave the Chiefs another try from the one. Marcus Peters was also called for unsportsmanlike conduct for throwing the penalty flag into the stands. Given another chance, a perfectly executed pitchout to McGuire was successful as the Jets led by 7.

After a touchback, the Chiefs soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 37 with 1:48 left. Smith went deep to Hill for a 40 yard gain. With one minute left the Chiefs faced 2nd and 6 at the Jets 19. Yet there would be no comeback as Smith threw 3 straight incompletions. Andy Reid has seen his team totally collapse with 6 losses in 7 games to fall to 6-6. The Jets at 5-7 actually have a shot at the playoffs as well. 38-31 Jets

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans — Houston was hanging by a thread at 4-7 while Tennessee at 7-4 was in a strong playoff position. A fumbled punt early on had the Texans taking over at the Tennessee 41. On 3rd and 9 Tom Savage hit Andre Ellington for 29 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the 12, Savage threw incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the 5. On 3rd and goal at the 5 Savage threw incomplete. The Texans settled for a 23 yard Fairbairn field goal on a day where close was not good enough. In the second quarter the Texans moved 87 yards. Savage hit Anderson for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Texans. They were smelling upset, but not for long.

Tennessee moved 75 yards in 10 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Marcus Mariota ran for a 9 yard touchdown to get the Titans within 10-7. Ryan Succop hit a 43 yard field goal as the teams were deadlocked 10-10 at halftime. In the third quarter the Texans moved from their own 26 to a 1st and goal at the 9. A run went nowhere and Savage threw incomplete twice. Fairbairn missed a 28 yard field goal, leaving the game tied and the Texans deflated. Tennessee soon faced 3rd and 8 at their own 22. Mariota went to Delanie Walker for an 18 yard gain. On 4th and 1 from the Houston 27, Mike Mularkey decided to go for it. Derrick Henry gained 3 yards. On the next play Mariota went deep to Walker for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 17-10 Titans on the last play of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Texans moved 57 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. Despite 1st and 10 at the Titans 24, offensive holding and a pair of Savage incompletions left Bill O’Brien with a big decision to male. With 4:42 left on 4th and 10, O’Brien decided to try a field goal and trust his defense. Fairbairn hit from 42 to get the Texans within 4 points. The Titans went 3 and out and the Texans got it back on their own 28 with 2:47 to play. On 2nd and 5 Savage hit Sanderson for a 25 yard gain. With 1:54 left the Texans faced 4th and 4 at the Tennessee 36. Then left tackle Allen had a meltdown. 3 straight times the Texans tried to run a play and 3 straight times he was called for a false start. On 4th and 19, Savage avoided a sack and somehow found Steven Anderson for a 22 yard gain. Yet on the next play from the Titans 29, Savage went to the end zone and was intercepted. The Texans took their last timeout on defense as everything came down to the Titans facing 3rd and 5 at their own 25 with one minute left. Henry got around the end and raced all the way for the score to ice the game, get the Titans to 8-4, and effectively eliminate the 4-8 Texans. 24-13 Titans

Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers — Last year the 0-14 Browns beat the Chargers for their only win of the season. This year the Browns come in 0-12 but to make lightning strike against the lightning Bolts twice would require winning on the road this time. After a scoreless opening quarter, Travis Coons hit field goals of 41 and 40 for a 6-0 Chargers lead in the second quarter. After 27 minutes of hideous football, the Browns faced 3rd and 1 at their own 44. DeShone Kizer went deep to Josh Gordon for a 28 yard gain. it was Gordon’s first NFL game action since the 2013 season after a series of suspensions. Kizer then threw a touchdown pass to Njoku as the Browns led 7-6. The Chargers got it back at their own 21 with 1:49 left in the half. Rivers was sacked and fumbled, but the Chargers retained possession. On 2nd and 19 from their own 12, Rivers threw a short pass to Benjamin that went for a 39 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 44, Rivers hit Henry for 8. On 3rd and 8 from the Cleveland 34 with 20 seconds left, Rivers hit Melvin Gordon for 14. On 1st and goal at the 4 with 9 seconds left, Rivers threw incomplete. With 5 seconds left, Anthony Lynn played it safe. Coons hit from 22 and the Chargers led 9-7 at intermission.

In the third quarter the Chargers moved 78 yards in 10 plays. this time they finished the drive as Rivers hit Keenan Allen for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 16-7 Chargers. The Chargers got it back and moved 66 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. Coons hit his fourth field goal form 27 yards out as the Chargers led 19-7 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Browns moved 58 yards in 11 plays to a 1st and 10 at the Chargers 17. Yet 3 incompletions later, the Browns had to settle for a 35 yard Gonzalez field goal. With 12 minutes left in regulation the Browns were down by 9 points. The Chargers wasted a 44 yard kickoff return. On 4th and 7 from the Cleveland 35, Anthony Lynn opted to punt. The Browns moved 90 yards from their own 4 to a 1st and goal at the Chargers 6 yard line. Offensive holding soon lead to 3rd and goal at the 15 with 5 minutes left. Kizer was then sacked bu Joey Bosa, who forced and recovered the resulting fumble. Kizer threw an interception with 80s seconds left as the Browns remained winless. The 6-6 Chargers started the season 0-4 but are now tied atop the AFC West. 19-10 Chargers

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints — A pair of 8-3 teams came in to battle for the NFC South lead as the Saints offense squared off against the tough Carolina defense. The Saints moved 70 yards in 11 platys and Alvin Kamara ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints. The Panthers came back 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. Jonathan Stewart got in from 2 yards out for a 7-7 ballgame. The Saints took over at their own 16 in the second quarter and mark Ingram raced for a 72 yard gain. Kamara added 9 more and Ingram got the 3 yard touchdown as the Saints led 14-7. The Panthers soon had to punt on 4th and 4 from their own 31. Palardy fumbled the snap and then tried to throw a pass. This was not Garo Yepremeian but it was an incompletion and a short field. On 3rd and 5 from the Carolina 26, Drew Brees completed a pass for only 2 yards. Yet unsportsmanlike conduct on Julius Peppers kept the drive going. On 3rd and 8 from the 10, Brees hit Thomas for the touchdown to make it 21-7 midway through the second quarter.

The Saints got it back and with 4 minutes left in the half faced 2nd and 2 at their own 34. Brees hit Hill for 11 yards, but Hill fumbled and the Panthers took over at the Saints 45. On 3rd and 4 from the Saints 21, Cam Newton hit Chris McCaffrey for the score as the Saints were only down 21-14 at halftime. In the third quarter the Saints moved 67 yards. Kamara ran for a 20 yard touchdown to put the Saints up 28-14. In the fourth quarter the Panthers moved from their own 28 to a 2nd and 6 at the Saints 12. Newton threw incomplete twice. With 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation, on Rivera went for it and a swing pass gained only 5 yards. With 9 minutes left the Saints punted on 4th and 12 at their own 5. The Panthers fumbled the punt and the Saints recovered at the Carolina 47. Will Lutz hit a 31 yard field goal with 6 minutes left to lock up the win with a 31-14 Saints lead. Newton did throw a 24 yard touchdown pass to Devon Funchess with 4 minutes left, but it was too little, too late. The Saints now have the NFC South lead. 31-21 Saints

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals — Arizona came in barely alive at 5-7 while the Rams were a very healthy 8-3. Early on it was all Rams. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein drilled a 56 yard field goal to start the scoring. On the first play from scrimmage after a touchback, Blaine Gabbert was intercepted to set up the Rams at the Arizona 23. On 3rd and 7, Jared Goff hit cooper Kupp for 10. On 3rd and goal at the 4, a completion set up 4th and goal at the one. Sean McVay decided to go for it and Goff hit Everett for the touchdown. Zuerlein missed the extra point as the rams led 9-0. With the Rams at the Arizona 30, Goff was intercepted. Yet 3 plays later with the Cardinals facing 3rd and 9 at their own 41, Gabbert had it intercepted right back by Alexander Ogletree. Ogletree returned it 41 yards for a score to make it 16-0 Rams after the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Cardinals came back. The Cardinals moved 67 yards and held the ball for 6 minutes. Penny got in from the one to get the Cardinals within 16-7. Arizona got it back and moved 70 yards. Gabbert threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald. The extra point was blocked but the Cardinals were only down 16-13. The Rams took over at their 20 and moved to a 2nd and 2 at the Arizona 5 with 14 seconds left in the half. Todd Gurley gained only one yard. Goff gained 2 on 3rd and 1 but 1st and goal at the 2 left only 4 seconds left. Sean McVay played it safe and Zuerlein hit from 20 to make it 19-13 Rams at the break.

Midway through the third quarter a 30 yard punt return by Cooper had the Rams starting with another short field at the Arizona 30. On 3rd and 6 Goff hit Gurley for 9 yards. Goff hit Sammy watkins for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 26-13 Rams. The Cardinals moved from their 18 to a 1st and 10 at the Rams 32. Yet a sack of Gabbert followed by 2 incompletions ended the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Phil Dawson nailed a 54 yard field goal to get the Cardinals within 26-16. With 11 minutes left in regulation Dawson lined up for a 45 yard try to get the Cardinals within 7 points. The kick was blocked, and the Rams took over at their own 42. Goff connected with Gurley on a 33 yard completion. On 4th and 1 from the Arizona 6, Sean McVay took no chances. Zuerlein hit from 24 to put the Rams back up by 13 with 6:15 to play.  Zuerlein hit one more from 41 to complete the scoring. The Rams at 9-3 still lead the NFC West. 32-16 Cardinals

New York Giants at Oakland Raiders — The Giants came in 2-9 but their only two wins came over AFC West teams. For the first time since 2004, Eli Manning was benched. After 210 straight Manning starts, Ben McAdoo decided to go with Geno Smith. The Raiders came in 5-6 and fighting for survival and without the suspended Michael Crabtree and the injured Amari Cooper. This was a battle between dumb and dumber. The Giants went 3 and out and punted. Jalen Richard fumbled the punt but the Raiders were lucky to keep the ball at their own 40. On 3rd and 1, Marshawn Lynch carried it right up the gut and broke through for a 51 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Raiders lead only 2 1/2 minutes into the game.

Late in the first quarter the Giants faced 3rd and 3 at their own 33. A neutral zone infraction gave the Giants their first 1st down of the game. On 3rd and 5 at their own 43, Smith hit Evan engram for 15 yards and again for 29 more. on 3rd and 3 at the Oakland 6, Smith hi Sam Shepard for 5 yards. As the first quarter ended, Orleans Darkwa got the last yard for a 7-7 game. The second quarter saw the Raiders soon face 3rd and 2 at the Giants 46. Lynch only gained one yard and Jack Del Rio decided to go for it. Lynch got it again and got blasted for a one yard loss. With 9 minutes left in the half the Giants faced 3rd and 5 at the Oakland 29. Smith was sacked by Bruce Irvin and fumbled. Navarro Bowman recovered it as the Silver and Black dodged a bullet on defense.

The Raiders soon faced 1st and 15 at their own 27. Carr hit Seth Roberts for an 18 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 just shy of midfield, Carr hit Cordarelle Patterson for 12 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Giants 40, Carr hit Clive Walford for 10. Jack Del Rio again went for it on 4th and 1 and again gave it to Lynch. This time lynch banged ahead for 10 yards. Yet the drive died right there. Georgio Tavecchio hit the 39 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Raiders with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Giants went 3 and out and a perfect punt pinned the Raiders back at their own one with 1:56 left in the half. After gaining a first down, the Raiders inexplicably called a timeout rather than let the clock run down. Inside your own red zone is not the time to get aggressive and the Raiders had to punt with 49 seconds left from their own 20.

Disaster struck as Marquette King saw that his punt was about to be blocked. It was a jailbreak up the middle, and King just went down to avoid a blocked punt. The Giants took over at the Oakland 9 with 46 seconds left in the half. A neutral zone infraction moved the ball to the 4. The Raiders were trying to give the game away. Luckily for them the Giants refused to take it. Smith was sacked by Khalil Mack, who ripped the ball out of Smith’s hands for another fumble turnover. Somehow the Raiders survived to lead 10-7 at halftime.

Each team punted in the third quarter and the Raiders then moved from their own 13 to a 2nd and 6 at the Giants 37. Carr threw incomplete twice. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter, JaCK del rio opted against a 55 yard field goal try and against going for it. The punt inspired nobody but King pinned the Giants back at their own 4 yard line. The Raiders got it back with excellent field position and soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 43. Carr hit Seth Roberts for 7 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 4 from the Giants 44, Carr hit Johnny Holton on a perfectly thrown slant pass. Holton had a 14 yard gain but was then stripped of the ball. The Giants recovered the fumble at their own 27. The Oakland defense held again. On the last play of the third quarter, Jalen Richard fumbled a punt return for the third time but all three times the Raiders retained possession. Oakland began the fourth quarter at their own 21 yard line.

Carr hit Cordarelle Patterson for a 19 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Giants 46, Carr hit Lynch, who juked a couple defenders and dragged the pile for a 21 yard gain. Carr then went to Johnny Holton, who somehow got both toes down on both feet inbounds for a 16 yard gain. On 1st and goal at the 9, Deandre Washington ran up the middle for the touchdown. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders had a 17-7 lead. For once they needed to finish a game against  weaker opponent. The Raiders never do that. The Giants faced 3rd and 1 at their own 21. Darkwa got 2 tough yards. On 2nd and 2 from their own 31, Smith threw a short pass to Shepard for a 47 yard gain to the Oakland 22. Smith threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to Engram. With 5:20 to play, the Giants were right back in down 17-14. As expected, the Raiders failed to shut the door in allowing the 88 yard drive.

From the Oakland 32, a swing pass to Patterson saw him bounce to the outside and race for a 59 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Carr fired over the middle to Holton, who got blasted at the goal line and fumbled. However, Holton broke the plane of the goal before losing the ball and the officials confirmed it was a touchdown. With 3 1/2 minutes left the Raiders led 24-14. However, they never put games away. The Giants moved from their own 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 36 at the 2 minute warning. A pair of incompletions followed by a neutral zone infraction left 3rd and 5. Smith was sacked. Needing 2 scores, Ben McAdoo brought in Rosas to try a 52 yard field goal. It was good and the Giants were within 7 points.

The onside kick failed, and the Raiders took over at the Giants 48 with 1:37 to play. Yet the Giants still had 2 timeouts. Everything came down to 3rd and 1 at the Giants 39 as the Giants took their last timeout. Washington got the carry and gained 2 yards to finally end things. The Giants are 2-10 and counting the days until Ben McAdoo is fired. The Raiders have won consecutive games to get to 6-6 and a 3 way tie with Kansas City and the former team from San Diego atop the AFC West. Next week the Raiders have a division showdown at Kansas City. The Raiders have been winning in hideously ugly fashion, but Al Davis’s maxim is still true. Just win baby. 24-17 Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks was the Sunday night game. The Eagles came in with the league’s best record at 10-1, but the 7-4 Seahawks had the 12th man rocking before kickoff. Early on the Seahawks moved 53 yards in 12 plays and 5 minutes. Blair Walsh hit a 46 yard field goal for a 3-0 Seahawks lead. Late in the first quarter the Seahawks took over at their own 15. Russell Wilson hit Vannett for an 18 yard gain Davis for a 23 yard gain. Defensive pass interference added 19 yards to the Philadelphia 16 and defensive holding added 5 more yards. Wilson hit JimmyGraham for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Seahawks after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Eagles had a staggering 16 play, 75 yard drive that took 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 6 from the 11, a short Carson Wentz pass gained only 3 yards. Elliott hit the 26 yard field goal to get on the board.

In the third quarter after a touchback the Eagles marched down the field and soon faced 1st and goal at the 4. On 2nd and goal at the 6, Carson Wentz ran up the middle but at the one yard line got hit and fumbled the ball through the end zone for a touchback. The Eagles thought they had tied the game but the call stood. Instead the Seahawks moved to a 3rd and 10 at the Philly 48. Wilson went deep to Doug Baldwin for a 47 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for the touchdown to make it 17-3 Seahawks. The Eagles quickly moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 3 at the Seattle 25. After Wentz threw incomplete, Doug Peterson decided to go for it. Wentz threw incomplete again.

The Eagles got it back and began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 13 at their own 16. Wentz went deep to Nelson Agholor for a 51 yard gain. Then on 3rd and 14 from the Seattle 27, Wentz went deep to Agholor again for the touchdown. With 12 minutes left in regulation the Eagles were only down 17-10. Seattle soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 30. Wilson found Baldwin for 10 yards. On 3rd and 8 from their own 42, Wilson ran for 6, lateraled to Davis, and saw him pick up another 17 yards. Although the lateral appeared backward, Doug Peterson refused to challenge whether it was a forward lateral. Then came a flea flicker and Wilson hit Vannett for 21 yards. Wilson then hit McKissic for a 15 yard touchdown as Seattle was back up by 14 midway through the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia moved from their own 29 to a 2nd and 6 at the Seattle 40. Wentz threw incomplete twice, and with less than 6 minutes left on 4th and 6, the Eagles went for it and Wentz threw incomplete again. On 3rd and 4 from their own 46, Wilson was sacked for a 12 yard loss. The Eagles got it back at with 3 1/2 minutes left. On 4th and 6 at their own 25, Wentz hit Clement for a 23 yard gain. On the next play Wentz went for it all and threw into double coverage in the end zone. He was intercepted by Byron Maxwell at the 2 minute warning to put the final nail in the coffin. Pete Carroll has an 8-4 football team only one game back in the NFC West. The Eagles at 10-2 are still 4 games up in the NFC East but are now tied atop the NFC rather than standing alone. 24-10 Seahawks

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals was the Monday night game. The 9-2 Steelers took on the 5-6 Bengals in a game where the script is always the same. The Steelers always win and the Bengals always lose. The Bengals find a way late to blow it. Always. 2 minutes into the game, Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted to set the Bengals up at the Pittsburgh 44. On 3rd and 2 from the Pittsburgh 17, Red Rifle Andy Dalton threw incomplete. Randy Bullock hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Bengals. The Bengals got it back at their own 15. Dalton hit Uzomah for 21 yards and the Bengals moved 85 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 8, Dalton hit AJ Green for the touchdown as the Bengals led 10-0 after the first quarter. Midway through the second quarter the Bengals took over at their own 22. On 3rd and 16 from their own 30, Dalton hit Green for 17 yards. on 3rd and 7 from midfield, Dalton hit Boyd for 12. On 3rd and 11 from the Pittsburgh 15, Dalton hit Green for the touchdown. With only 30 seconds left in the half, the Bengals led 17-0. They would finally get the monkey off their back. Remember, these are the Bengals.

With 26 seconds to work with, the Steelers took over at their own 17. Roethlisberger hit LeVeon Bell on a short pass that picked up 33 yards. A deep ball drew a 38 yard defensive pass interference call. Chris Boswell hit a 30 yard field goal to get the Steelers within 17-3 at halftime. In the third quarter the Bengals took only one minute to go 3 and out and the Steelers took over at their own 22. Bell ran for gains of 16, 1 and 5. On 3rd and 4 at their own 44, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 11 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Cincy 39, Big Ben scrambled for just enough. 2 plays later a short pass from Big ben to Bell went for a 35 yard touchdown to get the Steelers within 17-10. Two plays after a touchback, Dalton threw a 61 yard touchdown pass to Green. Before anyone could say 24-10, offensive holding nullified the score. On 3rd and 16 from their own 33, Dalton hit LaFell for 27 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Pittsburgh 26, a short pass from Dalton to Boyd only gained 3 yards. Bullock hit from 41. The Bengals led 20-10 after three quarters. They were finally going to exorcise the demons. Remember, these are the Bengals.

The Steelers began the fourth quarter at their own 7 yard line. With 12 minutes left in regulation, the Steelers faced 4th and 1 at their own 36. Mike Tomlin decided to go for it. A stop would all but end the game. Bell gained 9 yards. On 2nd and 6 just shy of midfield, Big Ben threw deep incomplete but drew a 30 yard defensive pass interference penalty. These are the Bengals. Boswell hit from 37 as the Steelers only trailed 20-13 with 10 minutes left. Pittsburgh got it back at their own 20 with 8 minutes left. On 2nd and 5 Big Ben threw incomplete but roughing the passer added 15 yards. On 2nd and 16 from their own 34, Roethlisberger hit Brown for 24 yards and Bell for 18 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Cincy 19, Roethlisberger hit James for 13 yards. On the next play Roethlisberger went to Brown for a 6 yard touchdown. With 4 minutes left the game was tied 20-20. The conclusion was inevitable.

The Bengals faced 3rd and 2 at their own 20. With everything on the line, Dalton was sacked for a 3 yard loss. The Steelers took their second timeout on defense. A 42 yard punt had the steelers starting at their own 41 with 2:42 to play. Bell gained 9 and 3. Roetholisberger hit Martavius Bryant for 12 and Bell for 11 more. With 4 seconds left, Boswell came in to try a 43 yard field goal to win it. The Bengals jumped offsides. Now it was only a 38 yard try. These are the Bengals. The kick was good, and the same bunch of head cases that blew the playoff game a couple years ago blew this game as well. Marvin Lewis saw his bunch of undisciplined basket cases drop to 5-7, while the Steelers at 10-2 remained tied atop the AFC. These are the Bengals. 23-20 Steelers

TYGRRRR EXPRESS December 2017 Florida Speaking Schedule

December 2nd, 2017

TYGRRRR EXPRESS December 2017 Florida Speaking Schedule

Saturday, December 2, 2017 — Redeye flight from Los Angeles to Detroit

Sunday, December 3, 2017 — Morning flight from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Monday, December 4, 2017 — Palm Beach Tea Party Jupiter in South Florida. Evening. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 — Palm Beach Tea Party Boca in South Florida. Evening. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 — West Palm Beach Kiwanis Club in South Florida at Noon. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 — Palm Beach Tea Party Wellington in South Florida. Evening. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017 — Boca Raton Sunrise Rotary Club in South Florida. 7:30am. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017 — North Lake Tea Party North of Orlando, Florida. 7pm.

Friday, December 8, 2017 — Lakeland Kiwanis Club Between Tampa & Orlando, Florida at Noon. 

Monday, December 11, 2017 — Kissimmee Rotary Club near Orlando, Florida at noon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 — Daytona Beach Kiwanis Club in Florida at Noon. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 — Cape Coral Rotary Club in Southwest Florida. 8am. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 — North Port Rotary Club in Southwest Florida. 11:30am. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 — North Dade Republican Women in Miami, Florida. Evening. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017 — SE Volusia GOP Club in Florida at 11:30am. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 — Venice Sunrise Rotary Club near Sarasota at 7am. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 — Lutz Rotary Club near Tampa, Florida at 11:45am. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017 — Palm Beach Rotary Club in South Florida at Noon. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 — Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club near Fort Myers, Florida 7:15am. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017 — Rotary Club of the Villages North of Orlando in Florida at 7am. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017 — Pinellas Park Kiwanis Club near Tampa, Florida at 11:45am. 

Friday, December 29, 2017 — Flight from Orlando Florida home to Los Angeles.

eric 

NFL 2017 Week 13 Prequel

November 30th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 13 Prequel

Eli Manning gets sacked — NFL 2017 Week 13 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2017 Week 12 Recap

November 26th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 12 Recap

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions was the Thanksgiving morning game. The Lions had the Thanksgiving Day tradition and the star quarterback, but Minnesota had the better record and a tough defense. Case Keenum has been far more than a game manager, and again he came out smoking. The Vikings moved 80 yards in 14 plays and 7 minutes. Keenum hit Kyle Rudolph for a one yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked but the Vikings led 6-0. Two plays later Matthew Stafford fumbled and the Vikings took over at the Detroit 39. Keenum completed a short pass to McKinnon that went for a 31 yard gain. At the Detroit 9, McKinnon fumbled it, Adam Thielen picked it up at the 3, and took it in for another Minnesota touchdown. Officials reversed the call and moved the ball back to the 9, but it didn’t matter. On the next play Keenum ran it in to make it 13-0 Vikings.

The Lions finally got going in the second quarter, moving from their own 17 to a 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 14. Stafford then threw 4 straight incompletions, including a do-over on 3rd and 10 due to offsetting penalties. The Lions settled for a 32 yard Matt Prater field goal to get on the board down 13-3. Minnesota moved from their own 8 to 1st and 10 at the Detroit 27. A pair of runs actually lost 8 yards. Kai Forbath came in for a 53 yard field goal, but the snap was awkward and another kick was blocked. Detroit went 3 and out and Minnesota took over at their own 26 at the 2 minute warning. Keenum connected with Kyle Rudolph for a 34 yard gain. A completion to Wright gained 14 with 5 more tacked on for defensive delay of game. Keenum then went deep to Rudolph for a 22 yard touchdown as the Vikings took a commanding 20-3 lead.

After a touchback the Lions had 37 seconds to work with. Stafford went deep to Kenny Golladay for a 41 yard gain.. On the next play defensive pass interference added 22 more yards. On the next play a facemark added 6 more yards. Stafford then hit Marvin Jones for the 6 yard touchdown with 10 seconds left in the half as the Lions were only down 20-10 at halftime. After a touchback to start the third quarter, Latavius Murray raced for a 46 yard gain. McKinnon added runs of 16 and 11 and Murray scored the 2 yard touchdown. Only 2 minutes into the second half, the Vikings were back up 27-10 without Keenum having to throw a pass.

After a touchback the Lions moved to a 3rd and 9 at midfield. Stafford found Jones for 16 yards. Despite 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 14, a run went nowhere and Stafford threw incomplete. On 3rd and 10 Stafford went to Darren Fells for the touchdown. Yet on further review, the call was reversed to an incomplete pass. Prater again hit from 32 as the Lions were down 27-13. Detroit got it back at their own 28 and moved to a 2nd and 2 at the Minnesota 27. Yet Stafford threw incomplete and then was sacked. This time Prater was good from 50 as the Lions trailed 27-16 after three quarters.

The fourth quarter began with a sack of Keenum followed by a very questionable taunting penalty against Keenum. He threw the ball in disgust after the sack while he was on the ground, and it inadvertently hit a defender, resulting in unsportsmanlike conduct. The Vikings punted on 4th and 27 from their own 8. Jones returned the punt 17 yards to set up Detroit at the Minnesota 39. On 3rd and 14 from the 43, Stafford went deep and threw into double coverage. Jones came down with it for the spectacular touchdown. The Lions were only down 27-23, but Stafford was down. His knee got rolled into on the play. It was clearly an accident, as the defender was pushed into Stafford by an offensive lineman. Stafford walked to the sideline limping.

Minnesota moved from their own 21 to a 2nd and 7 at the Detroit 34. A run lost 3 yards and Keenum threw incomplete. Mike Zimmer decided against a 55 yard field goal try given 2 earlier blocked kicks. He punted and the Lions took over at their own 9 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Stafford stayed in the game. On 3rd and 3 Stafford hit Golden Tate at the sticks, but Tate made a mistake. Rather than go to the ground, He tried to make a move to gain more yards. He ended up giving up the first down, and on 4th and 1 from their own 18, the Lions had to punt with 6 1/2 minutes left.

Minnesota soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 40. Keenum hit Diggs, who stretched and dove for the first down marker as he was being tackled and made it by the nose of the football. On 2nd and 14 from the Minnesota 43, Keenum went to Diggs for a 37 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 8 from the Detroit 18, Keenum threw incomplete. Forbath hit from 36 to make it 30-23 Vikings. Yet the Lions were very much alive after a touchback with 3:42 to play and one timeout. On 4th and 8 from their own 27, Jim Caldwell decided to go for it with 3 minutes left. Stafford threw high and the ball was deflected and intercepted by Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes returned it 21 yards to the Detroit 16.

At the 2 minute warning the Lions faced 3rd and 4 at the Detroit 10 with the Lions out of timeouts. A first down would end the game while even a field goal would lock up the win. Mike Zimmer took no chances, and Murray gained 2 yards as the clock ticked down. Forbath came in with 1:15 left for a 26 yard try to win it. It was a Thanksgiving miracle! The kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown as the home crowd went wild! Except there would be no miracle. The reason this kick was blocked was because the defender jumped offside by a mile. That gave Minnesota a first down to run out the clock. Mike Zimmer has more than just a 9-2 football team. Minnesota has a stranglehold on the NFC North, up 3 games on Detroit. Plus, Minnesota in a span of 5 days had quality wins over good teams. The Lions fell to 6-5 with the loss. 30-23 Vikings

Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys was the Thanksgiving afternoon game. Early on the Chargers dominated statistically but not on the scoreboard. The Chargers moved from their own 13 to a 4th and 3 at the Dallas 17 after a Philip Rivers incompletion. Nick Novak missed the 35 yard field goal, and injured himself on the play. 70 yards meant 0 points for the Chargers. The Chargers got it back at their own 7 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Dallas 13 as the first quarter ended. The second half began with a low snap getting past Rivers in the shotgun for an 11 yard loss. On 4th and 13 from the Dallas 16, Anthony Lynn did not have a kicker. The punter on the sideline was practicing field goals and missed the net from 3 yards out. That was enough for Lynn to opt against a field goal and go for it. Rivers hit Austin Ekeler, but Ekeler came up one yard short. This time it was an 89 yard drive and 0 points.

The Chargers got it back at their own 30 and held the ball for 7 minutes. On 4th and inches from the Dallas 39 out of the shotgun, Rivers threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 3rd and 4 from the Dallas 29, Rivers found Henry for 22 yards. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 9, a completion to Ekeler gained only 5 yards as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Novak came back out to try a 22 yard field goal. The kick was good and the Chargers led 3-0, but he Novak was still in obvious pain. Meanwhile, the Chargers defense was suffocating the Dallas offense. In the third quarter the Chargers again moved the ball well from their own 23, holding it for 6 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 3, this time the Chargers finished the drive. Rivers hit Henry for the touchdown. Novak missed the extra point and crumpled to the ground in agony. The Chargers led 9-0 but knew they could not rely on the kicking game.

From the Dallas 34, the Cowboys finally got some offense going.  Yet on 3rd and 3 from the Chargers 34, one mistake killed them. A perfectly executed fake handoff saw Dat Prescott take the quarterback keeper and race untouched all the way to the end zone. The cameraman and everyone else was fooled. Yet offensive holding nullified the score and pushed the Cowboys out of field goal range. They ended up punting. The Chargers moved from their own 8 easily. Melvin Gordon ran for 6 and caught a pass for 16 more. Rivers connected to Williams for 31 yards. Rivers hit Allen for 13 and then went to Williams for a 27 yard touchdown. The punter made the extra point as the Chargers had a commanding 16-0 lead after three quarters.

On the last play of the third quarter, with the Cowboys facing 3rd and 2 at their own 27, Smith gained 3 yards. Two plays later, a 34 yard defensive pass interference call had the Cowboys in scoring position. On 3rd and 6 from the Charges 26, Prescott hit Dez Bryant for 18 yards. Smith got the last 2 yards as the Cowboys finally were on the board. The 2 point try failed as the Cowboys were down 16-6 with 13 minutes left in regulation. 2 minutes later, Dallas was cooked. After a touchback, the Chargers soon faced 3rd and 6 at the Dallas 42. Rivers went to Allen, who evaded several pathetic attempts at tackling. By the time he reached the end zone, the only drama was the extra point. The punter missed it but the Chargers led 22-6.

On 2nd and 3 from the Dallas 32, Prescott went deep to Williams, who split the seams for a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Chargers 21, Prescott rolled out and hit Jason Witten for 8 yards. On the next play, Prescott went for Cole Beasley but Desmond King jumped the slant route. King faked out Prescott and raced or a 90 yard defensive touchdown. The Cowboys were now cooked and stuffed. Yes, the punter missed another extra point. No, it did not matter. Midway through the fourth quarter the Chargers led 28-6. On the next series Prescott was intercepted again. The Cowboys have lost 3 straight and the Chargers have won two straight. Both teams sit at 5-6, but that only matters in the AFC. In the NFC, that is far out of the playoff picture. One year after going 13-3, Jerry Jones may launch a military war against the NFL for the loss of his suspended running back Ezekiel Elliot. Of course, Elliot does not play defense. On this day, neither does anyone on Dallas, as Rivers went a lights out 27 of 33 for 434 yards and 3 touchdowns without an interception. Prescott was 20 of 27, but for only 179 yards, 0 touchdowns, and the two killer interceptions. 28-6 Chargers

New York Giants at Washington Redskins was the Thanksgiving night game. Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and produce a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. After nearly 26 minutes of nearly wretched scoreless football, Aldrick Rosas hit a 30 yard field goal for the Giants. With 13 seconds left in the half Nick Rose answered from 28 for a 3-3 game. League rules prevented the second half from being canceled. In the third quarter the Redskins began a drive from midfield. On 3rd and goal from the 15, Kirk Cousins hit Crowder for the touchdown to make it 10-3 Redskins. With 3 minutes left in the third quarter, the Redskins faced 3rd and 18 at their own 47. Cousins completed a pass to Janoris Jenkins, who plays defense for the Giants. Jenkins returned the interception 53 yards for a score. With Cousins throwing one touchdown pass to each team, the game was deadlocked 10-10 after three quarters.

With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Washington took over at their own 40. On 3rd and 3, Cousins was sacked. However, defensive holding kept the drive going. On 3rd and 6 from the Giants 33, Cousins hit Crowder for 17 yards. With 3 1/2 minutes left, Cousins completed the 5 minute drive by hitting Josh Doctson for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 17-10 Redskins. With 2:19 to play the Giants had to go for it on 4th and 3 at their own 32. Eli Manning was sacked and fumbled, and the Redskins recovered at the Giants 19 yard line. 3 straight Perine runs was followed by Rose hitting a 33 yard field goal to lock up the win. Manning tossed in a late interception for good measure in a game that nobody outside of Washington should be thankful for. 20-10 Redskins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons — Atlanta seems to be finding its groove just in time. Yet early on the game was a defensive struggle. Patrick Murray hit a 36 yard field goal for the Buccaneers and Matt Bryant responded from 49 for a 3-3 game after the first quarter. In the second quarter Dan Quinn went to his bag of tricks to spark the offense. Rather than Matt Ryan, it was wide receiver Mohammed Sanu going deep to Julio Jones for a 51 yard touchdown bomb off the gadget play to make it 10-3 Falcons. Atlanta got it back and 72 yards came easily. This time it was Ryan throwing a 25 yard touchdown pass to Jones for a 17-3 Falcons lead. Patrick Murray hit a 27 yard field goal to get the Buccaneers within 17-6 with 1:37 left in the half. That was plenty of time for Matty Ice, and Bryant hit a 36 yard field goal to have the Falcons cruising 20-6 at intermission. The Falcons kept rolling in the third quarter, moving 78 yards. Tevin Coleman ran for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 27-6 Falcons.

The Buccaneers finally cracked the end zone by going 75 yards in 10 plays. Barber ran it in from 2 yards out but the Buccaneers were still down 27-13. The Bucs finally held on defense and the offense moved 80 yards. One minute into the fourth quarter, Barber got in from the one and the Buccaneers were only down 27-20. From the Atlanta 22, Ryan went deep to Jones for a 24 yard gain. Yet on 1st and 10 from the Tampa 23, disaster struck. Ward gained 10 yards, fumbled the ball, and Brent Grimes returned it 37 yards to the Tampa Bay 42. Rather than put the game out of reach, the Falcons were on their heels with 11 minutes left in regulation. The Bucs moved to a 4th and 1 at the Atlanta 18 midway through the fourth quarter. Dirk Koetter decided to go for it and Fitzpatrick threw incomplete. The Bucs needed a stop on defense and could not get one. On 3rd and 8 from their own 36, MatT ryan hit Jones for 24 yards. With 3 1/2 minutes left and the Buccaneers out of timeouts, the Falcons faced 3rd and 1 at the Tampa 31. Ward gained 14 yards and Coleman ran for a 14 yard touchdown to lock up the win. The Falcons got to 7-4 as Jones had a whopping 253 yards receiving. 34-20 Falcons

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals — Cincinnati came in one of six 4-6 AFC teams. They had to beat winless Cleveland to maintain a realistic shot at the playoffs. Early on the Browns moved 66 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. A 27 yard Zane Gonzalez field goal made it 3-0 Browns. The Bengals came back 75 yards and Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Boyd for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Bengals. In the second quarter the Bengals moved the ball at will but settled for Randy Bullock field goals. Bullock hit from 31, 49 and 21 to make it 16-3 Bengals. An illegal block in the back nullified a punt return touchdown by Adam Pacman Jones that would have extended the lead. Cleveland moved deep but settled for a 21 yard Gonzalez field goal to get within 16-6. Cleveland’s misery continued in the second half. The Bengals moved 78 yards in 10 plays and Dalton hit Kroft for a one yard touchdown to make it 23-6 Bengals.

The Browns have fought hard all year and came back in this one as well. They held the ball for 6 minutes and moved 59 yards in 10 plays. Yet a perfectly thrown ball to the end zone was dropped, which is what happens to winless teams. Gonzalez hit the 39 yard field goal as the Browns trailed 23-9. With 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Browns took over at their own 11. On 3rd and 10 from their own 28, DeShone Kizer went deep to Kenny Britt for 38 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Cincy 25, Hue Jackson knew the Browns had to go for it. Isaiah Crowell gained 2. On 4th and goal at the 3, Kizer executed the quarterback draw perfectly and got in. With 7 minutes left the Browns were still alive down 23-16. Yet the defense could not get a stop when it mattered most. 75 yards came easily and Joe Mixon ran for an 11 yard touchdown to get the Bengals to 5-6 and keep the Browns winless. 30-16 Bengals

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts — Tennessee came in 6-4 and one game out of the AFC South lead. All they had to do was get past the woeful Colts. Early on the end zone was elusive. Ryan Succop hit field goals of 29 and 45 yards to make it 6-0 Titans. In the second quarter Adam Vinatieri hit from 26 and 28 for a 6-6 game. An interception of Marcus Mariota game the ball back to the Colts at the Tennessee 34. Frank Gore ran for a 14 yard touchdown straight up the middle to make it 13-6 Colts at the half. In the third quarter the Colts held the ball for 7 minutes and moved 55 yards in 13 plays. They settled for a for a 42 yard field goal and a 16-6 Colts lead. Yet bad teams find a way to lose, and the Colts are a bad team.

From their own 17 late in the third quarter, a pitchout was fumbled by Marlin Mack and recovered by the Titans at the Colts 4 yard line. Mariota threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker to get the Titans right back in it down 16-13. From the Tennessee 23, Derrick Henry caught a pass for 10 yards and ran for 10 more. Mariota hit Davis for a 19 yard gain. Henry ran for gains of 14, 9 and 2. DeMarco Murray got the last yard to complete the 77 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. With 6 minutes left in the game the Titans led by 4. The Colts went 3 and out and the Titans got it back with 4 minutes left at their own 28. With 2:49 left everything came down to the Titans facing 3rd and 5 at the Colts 36. Mariota hit Murray for 8 yards and the Titans ran out the clock. At 7-4, Mike Mularkey has his team in strong playoff contention in the weak AFC. 20-16 Titans

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs — The Bills started 5-2 and then lost 3 straight, including the Nathan Peterman experiment that produced 5 interceptions in one half of football. Tyrod Taylor started this game against the reeling Chiefs, who have lost four of five since a 5-0 start. Buffalo moved 58 yards and Taylor hit Jones for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills. Early in the second quarter Steve Hauschka tacked on a 34 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Bills. Later on Hauschka would miss from 52. Harrison Butker made his 45 yard field goal try. Despite not getting a first down or crossing midfield for more than 27 minutes, the Chiefs were only down 10-3. With 9 seconds left in the half, Hauschka came in to try a 56 yarder. He drilled this one as the Bills took a 13-3 lead into the locker rooms as the home crowd booed.

The Chiefs began the third quarter at their own 15 after mustering only 57 yards in the first half. They faced 3rd and 16 at their own 19 and Alex Smith threw deep incomplete. Yet defensive offsides meant 3rd and 11. Smith went deep to Travis Kelce for a 25 yard gain. Momentum shifted as Tyreeq Hill ran for 16 yards and Smith hit Wilson for a 19 yard touchdown to get the Chiefs right back in it down 13-10. After a touchback, Taylor connected with Clay for a 33 yard gain with 15 more tacked on for a facemeask. The Bills then went backward but Hauschka bailed them out with a 49 yard field goal to put the Bills up by 6. The fourth quarter was a defensive war of attrition. With 3 minutes left on 4th and 4 from the Buffalo 46, Smith threw incomplete. The Chiefs held on defense and with 1:25 to play had 3rd and 8 at the Buffalo 36. Neither quarterback had 200 yards passing but neither one was intercepted. Then when it mattered most, Smith was. White returned the interception 63 yards to the Chiefs 10 to lock up the win. Both teams are 6-5 as andy Reid tries to figure out what has gone wrong with this season. 16-10 Bills

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots — Sometimes a bad team can go on the road and shock a good team in an upset for the ages. This was not that game. The Dolphins came in as one of six 4-6 AFC teams, and they were overmatched from the start. The Patriots made it look easy from the start. A 75 yard drive culminated in a 2 yard Ronnie Burkhead run to start the deluge. The Patriots got it back and moved 88 yards. Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski from 5 yards out to make it 14-0 Patriots after the opening quarter. The Dolphins got a break in the second quarter when a shotgun snap sailed past Tom Brady and was picked by Jones for a 14 yard fumble return and a defensive touchdown. The Dolphins were right back in down 14-7, but the Patriots quickly got rolling again. 78 yards came easily as Burkhead ran over defenders. He ran it in fro the one to make it 21-7 Patriots. The Dolphins did get a 28 yard Cody Parkey field goal to get within 21-10 and had a chance to cut the deficit further when they intercepted Tom Brady. Yet despite moving down the field, Matt Moore went to the end zone and the ball was intercepted back.

In the third quarter the Patriots ended anything remotely resembling suspense. They moved 77 yards quickly and Brady threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski for a 28-10 Patriots lead. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Patriots had 4th and 1 at the Miami 25. Bill Belichick went for it and Burkhead was stopped for a 2 yard loss. The Dolphins then faced 4th and 2 at their own 35 and Adam Tase had to go for it. Moore went deep to Kenny Stills for a 28 yard gain. Moore hit Drake for an 8 yard touchdown to get the Dolphins within 28-17 with 11 1/2 minutes left to play. Miami got it back and with 9 minutes left faced 4th and 11 at their own 38. Case went for it again and this time Moore thew incomplete. Dion Lewis on 3rd and 1 ran for a 25 yard gain and Brady hit Brandon Cooks for the clinching touchdown. Brady’s fourth touchdown pass all but ended Miami’s playoff hopes. 35-17 Patriots

Carolina Panthers at New York Jets — The 7-3 Panthers came in one game back in the NFC South while the 4-6 Jets were one of the six 4-6 teams playing survivor in the AFC. The Jets have hung tough in most of their games. Early on Graham Gano hit a 40 yard field goal for the Panthers and Chandler Catanzaro countered from 31 for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter Carolina got going and moved 86 yards. Cam Newton ran in the final yard himself to make it 9-3 Panthers. Gano missed the extra point but would hit a 33 yard field goal from the same distance to make it 12-3 Panthers. The Jets got a break. A 33 yard touchdown bomb from Josh McCown to Robbie Anderson appeared to have been juggled. By the time Anderson got control, he was out the back of the end zone with 2 defenders draped all over him. Doug Peterson unsuccessfully challenged the call and the touchdown stood to get the Jets within 12-10.

In the third quarter McCown rolled his right, directed traffic, and went bombs away to a wide open Anderson for a 54 yard touchdown and a 17-12 Jets lead. The Panthers quickly faced 3rd and 10 at their own 25. Newton went deep to Devon Funchess for a 35 yard gain. On 4th and 2 from the Jets 32, Ron Rivera decided to go for it rather than try a 50 yard field goal. Newton threw incomplete, but the Jets jumped offsides. On the next play Newton went to McCaffrey, who dragged tacklers for a 26 yard gain down to the one. Jonathan Stewart got in for a 2 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Panthers led 18-17 after three quarters.

The Jets moved 74 yards in 10 plays and began the fourth quarter with 1st and goal at the one. Running the ball was a foreign concept to this team, as Todd Bowles had his quarterback throw 3 straight times. On 2nd and goal the Jest thought they had a touchdown, but officials changed it to an incomplete pass. On 4th and goal at the one, Bowles decided to go for the field goal. Catanzaro hit the 19 yarder and the Jets led 20-18, but it was a killer missed opportunity. The Jets held on defense and got the ball on their own 46. They had a chance to grind out some clock and get an upset win. Then they remembered that they are the Jets. McCown was sacked and fumbled. Luke Kuechly picked it up and raced 34 yards for a defensive touchdown. Newton got in for the 2 point conversion to make it 26-20 Panthers. With 10 minutes let the Jets punted. Clay returned it 60 yards for another touchdown as the Panthers led 32-20 over the self-destructing Jets.

The Jets soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 25. McCown scrambled for a 22 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Carolina 45, McCown went deep to Anderson for 28 yards and to Kearse for 14 more. McCown hit Kearse for the 3 yard touchdown. With 5 1/2 minutes left the Jets were only down 32-27. After a touchback, the Panthers faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34 with 4 minutes left. Stewart gained 2 yards. With 2:17 to play and the Jets out of timeouts, the Panthers faced 3rd and 11 at the Jest 38. Newton threw incomplete, but a mindless roughing the passer penalty kept the drive going. Gano hit a 45 yard field goal to put the Panthers up by 8. With 2 seconds left the Jets had the ball at their own 38. Rather than throw a Hail Mary, McCown opted for a 12 yard pass. These are the Jets. 35-27 Panthers

Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles — The Eagles came in with the best record in the NFL AT 9-1 while the Bears were 3-7. A shanked Chicago punt went only 34 yards and set up the Eagles at the Chicago 44. On 4th and 1 from the Chicago 35, Doug Peterson decided to go for it. Jay Ajayi gained 2 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Chicago 31, Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for 14 yards and Zac Ertz for the 17 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bears. The game then got ugly. Mitchell Trubisky was intercepted, but the Eagles fumbled the ball back on the return. On the next Eagles series they fumbled the ball away. Cairo Santos missed a 54 yard field goal to set the Eagles up at their own 44. In the second quarter Wentz threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor to make it 14-0 Eagles.

After that Trubisky fumbled in the end zone, but the Bears were lucky enough to retain possession at their own one. On 4th and 17 from their own one, the Bears punted and the Eagles took over at the Chicago 45. On 3rd and 1 from the Chicago 23, Went was sacked. Elliott hit the 45 yard field goal to make it 17-0 Eagles. Late in the half Wentz led a brilliant 13 play, 69 yard drive. Wentz fired over the middle to Jeffery for an 8 yard touchdown with 9 seconds left in the half for a 24-0 Eagles romp. The Bears had 0 first downs and only 33 yards of total offense in the first half. League ruled banned the cancellation of the second half. The Bears kicked a field goal and the Eagles got one more gift touchdown when their own wide receiver fumbled the ball forward and Agholor fell on it for the Eagles in the end zone. The Eagles are 10-1 and winning in dominating fashion. 31-3 Eagles

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers — Seattle as usual had the better team but the 49ers always play them tough despite their awful record. Russell Wilson was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage. Blair Walsh missed a field goal for Seattle as the first quarter was scoreless. The second quarter saw the 49ers start at their own 20. CJ Beathard was called for intentional grounding. On 2nd and 21 from their own 9, Beathard was intercepted by Bobby Wagner, as the Seahawks took over at the Frisco 16. McKissic ran for 14 yards and Wilson ran for the 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Seahawks. With 48 seconds left in the half, the 49ers faced 3rd and 2 at their own 41, Beathard went to Taylor for a 29 yard gain. Robbie Gould hit a 38 yard field goal to end the half with the 49ers only down 7-3. In the third quarter the 49ers moved 51 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Gould hit from 42 as the 49ers were right back in it down 7-6.

Just as quickly, the Seahawks opened up some breathing room, going 71 yards. Wilson hit Vannett for a 17 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Seahawks. The Seahawks got it back and moved 63 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Wilson hit Jimmy Graham from one yard out for a touchdown and a 21-6 Seahawks lead. Seattle’de defense did the rest. A short field starting at the Frisco 45 led to a 34 yard Blair Walsh field goal to put the game away with 3 1/2 minutes left. With just over one minute to play Beathard was knocked out of the game. Jimmy Garoppolo came in for the first time as a 49ers quarterback. Taking over at the Seattle 18, Garoppolo hit Louis Murphy for a 10 yard garbage time touchdown. Seattle remains in strong playoff position with the win. 24-13 Seahawks

New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams — The Saints came in winners of 8 straight against a Rams team that lost last week to drop to 7-3. Early on it was the Rams going 59 yards and Jared Goff hitting Sammy Watkins for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Rams. Los Angeles got it back and moved 51 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein hit a 50 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Rams. New Orleans got back in it when Alvin Kamara ran for a 74 yard touchdown to get the Saints within 10-7. The Rams got it back at their own 14 in the second quarter. On 2nd and 11 from their own 40, Goff went deep to Cooper Kupp for a 53 yard gain. Goff hit Reynolds for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Rams and cap the 86 yard drive. Will Lutz hit a 50 yard field goal to get the Saints within 17-10. On the last play of the half, Zuerlein came in for a 63 yard field goal try. He is The Leg, but his kick was short.

In the third quarter the Rams moved 59 yards and Zuerlein came in for a much more makable 46 yard try. He was good and the Rams led 20-10. The fourth quarter began with Zuerlein hitting from 49 to make it 23-10 Rams.  Both teams moved the ball into the red zone but could not close the deal. After a touchback the Rams had to go for it on 4th and 5 from the Rams 38. Drew Brees hit Kamara for a 33 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 4, Brees only gained one yard. Sean Payton opted for the field goal and Lutz hit from 21 to get the Saints within 23-13 with 10 minutes left. Goff was then intercepted but the Saints went 3 and out. The Rams took over at their own 25. 13 plays later on 3rd and 5 from the Saints 8, Goff threw incomplete. Zuerlein hit from 26 as the Saints led 26-13 with only 2 1/2 minutes left.

Needing 2 scores after a touchback, Brees found ted Ginn Jr for 15. On 3rd and 1 just shy of midfield, Brees hit Ginn for 11 and then again for 25 more. Brees went to Kamara for a 15 yard touchdown. The Saints were within 6 with 1:45 left but they were out of timeouts. The onside kick failed and Goff took 3 knees. Sean McVay hugged Michelin Man Wade Phillips as both teams are now 8-3. A rematch of this game would be a very exciting playoff contest. The Saints saw their 8 game win streak snapped as they dropped into a tie atop the NFC South while the Rams are still one game up in the NFC West. 26-20 Rams

Jacksonville Jaguars at Arizona Cardinals — Jacksonville is 7-3 and winning with defense. The Cardinals ere down to third string quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Phil Dawson hit field goals of 34 in the first quarter and 42 in the second quarter to make it 6-0 Cardinals. The Jaguars punted in the second quarter on 4th and 24 from their own 11. Williams returned it 20 yards to the Jacksonville 41. On 3rd and 4, Gabbert hit Seals-Jones for 6 yards. Gabbert then connected with Seals-Jones for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 Cardinals with 4:44 left in the half. Josh Lambo hit a 43 yard field goal to finally get the Jaguars on the board with less than 30 seconds left in the half. Early in the third quarter Dawson answered from 48 to make it 16-3 Cardinals.

Jacksonville quickly faced 2nd and 12 at their own 23. Bortles had been bottled up all game but he hit Cole for 24 yards. On the next play rouging the passer moved Jacksonville to the Arizona 38. Bortles then scrambled for a 28 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Bortles scrambled, fumbled, and recovered his own fubmle to set up 4th and goal at the one. Doug Marrone decided to go for it midway through the third quarter. Bortles scrambled and got in as the Jaguars were only down 16-10. After three quarters of routine football, the fourth quarter got crazy.

With 12:20 to play the Cardinals faced 3rd and 10 at their own 15. Gabbert was sacked and fumbled, and Calais Campbell returned the fumble 10 yards for a touchdown as the team known as Sacksonville led 17-16. After a touchback Gabbert came back. On 3rd and 4, Gabbert got just enough. From the Arizona 48, Gabbert went deep to Jeron Brown for a 52 yard touchdown. Gabbert hit Larry Fitzgerald for the 2 point conversion to make it 24-17 Cardinals with 9 minutes left. Grant returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards to the Arizona 38. Bortles scrambled for a 17 yard touchdown and a 24-24 game midway through the fourth quarter.

Arizona moved from their own 16 to the Arizona 41. Gabbert was then intercepted at the Jacksonville 42 with 3 1/2 minutes to play. 3 plays later the Jaguars faced 3rd and 6 at the Arizona 38 in long field range with 2:47 left. Bortles then was intercepted as Arizona took over right before the teams traded interceptions at their own 41. On 3rd and 3 Gabbert threw a 2 yard pass as the Jaguars took over at their own 10 with 1:14 left. Jacksonville went 3 and out and the Cardinals got it back at their own 39 with 16 seconds left. Gabbert hit Williams for 10 and Foster for 12. Foster made an acrobatic catch to get his feet inbounds and secure the ball. Bruce Arians brought in old man Phil Dawson for a 57 yard field goal try to win it. Dawson blasted it through the uprights. One second remained but the hook and laterals ended uneventfully. It was sweet redemption for Gabbert against his old team as the Jaguars dropped to 7-4 and a first place tie in the AFC South. 27-24 Cardinals

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders — The Broncos fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who until last year was the Raiders offensive coordinator. Ken Norton Jr. was fired as defensive coordinator of the Raiders. The Raiders at 4-6 were hanging on for dear life in the AFC while the 3-7 Broncos had lost 6 straight. Paxton Lynch started for the Broncos in a game where temper flared early. Both teams went 3 and out to start. 3 minutes into the game with the Raiders facing 2nd and 6 at their own 24, all hell broke loose. Marshawn Lynch gained 5 yards, and a routine 3rd and 1 never happened because a fight broke out away from the play. Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib have a personal history from last year, and they both threw punches and were ejected. Oakland also lost Gabe Jackson to ejection for bumping into an official during the right. With Chris Harris getting hurt a few plays earlier, Denver was without its 2 best cornerbacks. So on 3rd and 15 from their own 15, Derek Carr hit Seth Roberts for 20 yards. Yet on 3rd and 1 from their own 44, Lynch lost a yard. The Raiders got it back at their own 46 and a roughing the passer penalty moved them to the Denver 39. They went backward and punted.

Late in the first quarter with the Raiders at their own 29, Carr nearly got his head taken off and fumbled the ball. The Broncos recovered at the Oakland 24. On the first play of the second quarter the Broncos faced 3rd and 6 at the Oakland 20. Lynch found Booker for the touchdown and the Broncos celebrated. However, on further review Booker was ruled down at the one. On 1st and goal Booker got stopped. On 2nd and goal Lynch rolled out and had a pass bounced off two defenders before falling into the arms of defender Navarro Bowman. Bowman was laying on his back, but for the first time all season, the Raiders had an interception. 357 passes against their defense without one was an NFL record as was, making it 11 weeks without a pick. The drought was over and the Broncos squandered a golden opportunity.

The Raiders were determined to keep running the football. Deandre Washington gained 5 and 11 yards. From the Oakland 37, Carr fired over the middle to Lynch for a 20 yard gain. On the next play a defensive face mask put the ball on the Denver 24. Carr hit Smith for 12 and Jalen Richard got around the end for an 8 yard gain. Carr lobbed a fade to the corner of the end zone for Amari Cooper, who caught it for the touchdown. With 8 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Raiders led 7-0. Denver went 3 and out when on 3rd and 5 form their own 30 Lynch got belted to the ground. A short punt of 37 yards and the Raiders starting at their own 48.

Lynch had gains of 4 and 5 sandwiched around a 9 yard run by Washington. From the Denver 23, Carr fired over the middle to Cooper, who got rocked in between 2 defenders. Cooper stayed on the ground. He eventually walked off, but would be in concussion protocol and out for the rest of the game. With Cooper and Crabtree both out, it was imperative for the running game to do even more. After a pair of Carr touchdown passes were waived off, the Raiders faced 3rd and goal at the one. Lynch banged in off the left side to make it 14-0 Raiders with just under 3 minutes left in the half. The much maligned Oakland defense held again and another poor punt had the Raiders getting it back with 2:19 left in the half at their own 40. They wasted the opportunity but Marquette King pinned the Broncos back at their own one yard line to end the half. Denver had only 54 yards of total offense in the first half, with Lynch accounting for 22 yards passing.

The third quarter started ugly for Denver. Lynch was sacked and fumbled but he fell on it himself. Denver punted on 4th and 20 from their own 27 and the Raiders took over at their own 34. On 3rd and 10 from their own 47, Carr went bombs away to Johnny Holton for a 47 yard gain. On the next play Carr fired over the middle to Jalen Richard for the 6 yard touchdown. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter the Raiders led 21-0. Denver soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 23. Lynch fired a quick pass to Emanuel Sanders. Sanders was short of the sticks. Vance Joseph challenged the spot unsuccessfully. Making matters worse, Lynch pulled a hamstring on the play and was done for the day. On 4th and inches Joseph decided to punt.

The Raiders on 3rd and 1 at their own 43 gave the ball to Lynch, and he lost a yard. The Raiders punted and the Broncos took over at their own 6 yard line. With Brock Osweiler inactive, Trevor Siemian came in the game. 3 plays and 0 yard later the Raiders had the ball back at their own 32. Carr hit Cordarelle Patterson for 12 yards A holding penalty negated an 8 yard run for a first down by Lynch as the third quarter ended with Denver having 3 first downs and 66 yards of total offense, including 12 yards in the third quarter. Marquette King was killing the Broncos with his punts, as they again took over at their own 7 yard line.

Siemian hit Green for 16 yards and went to Taylor for a 34 yard gain. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation the Broncos faced 4th and 7 at the Oakland 25. Anyone who has ever watched the Raiders knows they do not put teams away. Siemian went deep to Latimer for the touchdown as the Broncos were down 21-7 after the 93 yard drive. Now it was time to see if the Oakland offense would give the ball right back rather than lock up the win. Vance Joseph called a surprise onside kick and Keith McGill fell on it for the Raiders at the Denver 48. One first down would mean long field goal range. Of course, a run lost 4 yards. Yet On 3rd and 12 with rain coming down hard, Carr rolled out and found Lynch, who raced for a 26 yard gain and a key first down. Despite 1st and 10 at the Denver 14, a pair of penalties pushed the Raiders back. With 6 minutes left, Georgio Tavecchio came in for a 35 yard field goal that would lock up the win. He missed it, because the Raiders never put teams away.

Denver faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30 and Siemian hit Denarius Thomas for 6. On 3rd and 10 from the Denver 36, Siemian hit Jamal Charles for 11. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 37, Siemian hit Latimer for 15. Siemian then went deep to Bennie Fowler for the 22 yard touchdown. As expected, the heartless Raiders found a way to let Denver get within 7 points. A short kick was misjudged and the Raiders were backed up to their own 13 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Denver had all 2 timeouts plus the 2 minute warning. Lynch then lost 3 yards, followed by a 5 yard gain. With 2:24 left and Denver out of timeouts, the Raiders faced 3rd and 8 at their own 15. Rather than run it again, new offensive coordinator Todd Downing went with a high risk pass knowing an incompletion stops the clock. Under heavy pressure, Carr lobbed a ball to Patterson, who broke tackles for a 54 yard gain. Carr took three knees. Despite a hideous effort in many areas, the Raiders at 5-6 are only one game out of the AFC West lead. Denver’s 7th straight loss dropped them to 3-8 and effectively ended their season. 21-14 Raiders

Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Sunday night game. With Brett Hundley in place of Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have lost four of five and had no chance to go on the road and knock off the 8-2 Steelers. Martavius Bryant returned the opening kickoff 38 yards to the Pittsburgh 41. On the first play from scrimmage Ben Roethlisberger went deep to Antonio Brown for a 20 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the 14, Roethlisberger hit James for 10. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Bryant only got half of it. On 4th and goal at the one, Mike Tomlin decided to go for it. Big Ben hit Xavier Grimble for the touchdown to make it 6-0 Steelers. Chris Boswell missed the extra point. an unnecessary roughness penalty had the Packers taking over at their own 40. On 3rd and 5 from the Pittsburgh 43, Hundley was sacked and fumbled. However, defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. 2 plays later Hundley went deep to Randall Cobb for a 39 yard touchdown and a 7-6 Packers lead.

After a touchback the Steelers faced 3rd and 8 just shy of midfield. Roethlisberger was intercepted by Randall. 2 plays later the Packers faced 3rd and 9 at their own 46. Hundley found williams, who outraced everyone for a 54 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Packers. In the second quarter the Steelers faced 3rd and 5 at their own 40. Roethlisberger went deep to Antonio Brown for a 39 yard gain. Big Ben hit Bryant for a 17 yard touchdown. Roethlisberger hit Brown for the 2 point conversion and a 14-14 tie midway through the second quarter.

The third quarter began with the Packers at their own 24. On 3rd and 1, Williams gained 5 yards. On 3rd and 3 from their own 45, Hundley went deep to Devontae Adams for a 55 yard touchdown and a 21-14 lead. For a supposed bad quarterback, Hundley had 3 touchdown passes all at least 39 yards. Pittsburgh had 2nd and 7 at the Green Bay 41 when offensive holding pushed them back. Then Roethlisberger was intercepted again to give the Packers a short field at the Pittsburgh 45. On 1st and 10 from the Pittsburgh 31, Hundley was sacked twice. Mike McCarthy decided to have Mason Crosby try a 57 yard field goal. It was a desperation move, although maybe there was symbolism in Heinz Field and the number 57. Crosby missed the kick by a mile to give the Steelers the ball at their own 47. Roethlisberger hit LeVeon Bell for gains of 12 and 15 and to Brown for 11. Roethlisberger hit Brown for the one yard touchdown to tie the game 21-21 after three quarters.

The Steelers began the fourth quarter at their own 45. Bell gained 14 yards, but 2 plays later Bell Coughed it up and the Packers recovered at their own 34. 3 straight Hundley incompletions took only 13 seconds and the Packers punted it back. A sack of Roethlisberger had the Steelers facing 2nd and 20 at their own 22. Roethlisberger hit Bell for 14 and on 3rd and 6 hit Rogers for 11. On 2nd and 13 from their own 44, Roethlisberger hit Bell for 12 and on 3rd and 1 Bell gained 11. Big Ben then went deep to Brown for a 33 yard touchdown to give the Steelers the 28-21 lead with 9 minutes left in regulation.

The Packers took over at their own 23. Hundley found Richard Rodgers for 25 yards and Cobb for 12 more. A 12 yard completion to Adams led to a critical 3rd and 1 at the Pittsburgh 18. Hundley fired a swing pass to Nelson, who appeared stopped, He stretched the ball past the first down marker as he was going down for a key 2 yard gain. With 3 1/2 minutes to play the Packers faced 3rd and 12 at the 18. A swing pass to Cobb gained only half of it. Mike McCarthy decided to go for it. On 4th and 6 from the 12 with 3 minutes left. Mike Tomlin decided to bring the house and McCarthy had to burn Green Bay’s timeout to change the play. Hundley fired to Adams for an 8 yard gain. On 1st and goal at the 4, a draw play to Williams went for a touchdown. The Packers moved 77 yards in 12 plays and took over 6 1/2 minutes off the clock. With 2:02 to play the game was tied 28-28. It was very important that the ensuing kickoff take at least 2 seconds off the clock to avoid giving the Steelers an extra timeout at the 2 minute warning.

The kickoff went to the end zone, and the Steelers had their extra play. Roethlisberger hit Rogers for 6 and Brown for 13 more. A completion to Bell gained 10 yards to the Green Bay 46. 3 straight completions was followed by 3 straight incompletions as the Steelers had to punt. The Packers got it back at their own 18 with 80 seconds to play. Hundley got belted to the ground by TJ Watt for a 6 yard loss. On 2nd and 16 a short completion saw a blunder by Williams when he ran out of bounds. When a 3rd and 13 pass gained only 4 yards, Mike Tomlin called his last timeout as the Steelers got the ball back at their own 29 with 17 seconds left. Roethliberger went deep to Brown for a 25 yard gain. It appeared Brown did not get both feet down but the officials said he did. Another 14 yard completion to Brown went to the Green Bay 33. With 4 seconds left, Chris Boswell came in for a 53 yard field goal try to win it. Boswell was good and the home crowd erupted in celebration. Mike McCarthy beat Mike Tomlin in the Super Bowl, but on this night Tomlin got the win as the Steelers got to 9-2 on the season. Hundley was 17 of 26 for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. Roethlisberger was intercepted twice, but he was also 33 of 45 for 351 yards and 4 touchdowns. The defeat was especially bitter for much maligned Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who used to hold that job in Pittsburgh. 31-28 Steelers

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens was the Monday night game. Both teams were fighting for playoff survival and in desperate need of their offenses helping their defenses. The Texans got the ball at their own 10 and held it for 5 1/2 minutes. On 2nd and 10 from the Houston 37, Tom Savage completed a pass for only 2 yards, but unnecessary roughness for mindlessly slamming the receiver to the ground added 15 yards. On the next play Savage went deep to Andre Ellington for a 29 yard gain. On 3rd and 16 from the Baltimore 23, savage threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 19 yard gain. Miller ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Texans.

Baltimore could not get any offense going and in the second quarter a field position game had the Ravens starting at midfield. They had to punt on 4th and 6 at the Houston 41. John Harbaugh called  fake punt and punter Koch threw a perfect pass to Moore for a 22 yard gain. Allen ran for a 10 yard touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame. Houston took over at their own 28 and soon faced 3rd and 2 at the Baltimore 45. Savage went over the middle and was intercepted, setting Baltimore up at the Houston 46. On 4th and 1 from the Houston 37, John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Collins got the carry and gained 29 yards. On the next play out of the shotgun, Collins took it up the middle for the 8 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Ravens.

The Texans held the ball for 13 plays and 5 minutes, moving 68 yards after a touchback. Savage converted 3 times on 3rd and 9 or more. At the 2 minute warning the Texans faced 2nd and goal at the 4. A pass lost 3 yes and then on 3rd and goal savage threw incomplete. Fairbairn hit the 25 yard field goal and the Texans trailed 14-10. From the Baltimore 17 with 1:43 left, Danny Woodhead ran for 10 yards and Joe Flacco gained 11 more. Flacco found Watson for 16 yards and Mike Wallace for gains of 9 and 2 to set up 1st and 10 at the Houston 35 with 24 seconds left in the half. Flacco threw 3 straight incompletions, but Justin Tucker nailed the 53 yard field goal to make it 17-10 Ravens at halftime. The second half belonged to the defenses.

In the third quarter the Texans moved 65 yards in 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. From their own 17, runs and short passes got them to a 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 13. Yet an offensive holding penalty killed the drive. Fairbairn hit from 36 to get the Texans within 17-13 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Baltimore countered with a 10 play, 5 1/2 minute drive that started just past midfield. Yet on 3rd and 7 from the Houston 13, Flacco threw incomplete. Tucker hit from 31 to make it 20-13 Ravens with 11 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, the Texans soon faced 1st and 10 at their own 36. Savage went deep to Deandre Hopkins for a 39 yard gain. Yet despite 2nd and 4 at the Baltimore 19, Bill O’Brien decided on abandoning the run at a critical time. A pair of incomplete passes ended the drive. Fairbairn hit from 37. Again the Texans failed to reach the end zone and failed to tie the game, trailing 20-16 with 8 1/2 minutes left. Baltimore went 3 and out and the Texans took over at their own 43 with 6 1/2 minutes left. From the Baltimore 44 with 5 minutes left, Savage was sacked and fumbled. The Ravens again started just past midfield. Houston took their timeouts on defense and Tucker hit a 49 yard field goal to put the Ravens back up by 7 with 3 minutes left. After a touchback in a game where both teams kicked 2 second half field goals, Houston needed a touchdown. On 2nd and 1 from t heir own 34, Savage was intercepted again. The Ravens got to 6-5 while the Texans fell to 4-7 and the brink of playoff elimination. Houston has gone 9-7 the last 3 seasons but would need to run the table to do so again. Meanwhile, Baltimore is very much alive as a wildcard. 23-16 Ravens

NFL 2017 Week 12 Prequel

November 23rd, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 12 Prequel

Thankful for America and Thanksgiving Football: NFL 2017 Week 12 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2017 Week 11 Recap

November 19th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 11 Recap

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Thursday night game. Tennessee came in 6-3, but going on the road and taking on 7-2 Pittsburgh was a tall order. Both teams like to play smashmouth, but the Steelers got aggressive early on. 75 yards came quickly as Ben Roethlisberger threw a 41 yard touchdown bomb to Antonio Brown to make it 7-0 Steelers. Tennessee quickly faced 3rd and 8 at their own 27. Mariota went deep and was intercepted by Hilton. Hilton returned it 26 yards to the Tennessee 24. Pittsburgh faced 3rd and 5 from the 8, and Big ben threw incomplete. An offensive facemark moved the Steelers back 15 years, but Chris Boswell nailed the 41 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Steelers.

Tennessee took over at their own 32. On 3rd and 6 after a delay of game, Mariota hit Ryan Mathews for 8 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Pittsburgh 22, Mariota hit Davis fro 15 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Mariota scrambled and got crunched right at the goal line. The ball broke the plane and the Titans were within 10-7. The Titans got it back in the second quarter and moved from their 33 to a 4th and 8 at the Pittsburgh 30. Ryan Succop’s 48 yard field goal try to tie the game was partially blocked.

Midway through the second quarter, the Titans moved from their own 2 yard line to a 1st and 10 at midfield. However, a short pass by Mariota was then intercepted by Chris Sensabaugh, who returned it 32 yards to the Tennessee 20. The defense held, but Boswell hit a 28 yard field goal to make it 13-7 Steelers with 90 seconds left in the half. Tennessee went 3 and out used only 20 seconds. The Steelers got it back at their own 33 with 1:11 left and one timeout. From the Pittsburgh 41, Big Ben hit Brown for a 17 yard gain. Brown had the ball jarred loose forward, and his teammate Martavius Bryant recovered it for the Steelers at the Tennessee 32. The ball should have been moved back to the spot of the fumble since it was a forward fumble in the final 2 minutes of a half. Yet the officials forgot that the Holy Roller rule had been in place for decades. The extra 10 yards was enough for Boswell to connect from 50 to make it 16-7 Steelers at halftime.

The Titans started the third quarter with a bang. On the first play from scrimmage, Mariota went deep to Matthews for a 75 yard touchdown to get the Titans within 16-14. After a touchback, Roethlisberger hit Brown for 12 yards, LeVeon Bell for 6, James for 11, and Bell for 14. On 2nd and 10 from the Titans 31, Big Ben threw incomplete but roughing the passer kept the Steelers going. On 3rd and 11 from the Titans 17, Big Ben hit Juju Smith-Schuster for 12 yards. Roethlisberger then hit Brown for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 23-14 Steelers.

After a touchback, Mariota went deep to Delanie Walker for a 42 yard gain. On 1st and 10 from the Pittsburgh 17, Mariota fired to the end zone and found a wide open Delanie Walker. The normally reliable Walker dropped it. On 3rd and 4 from the 11, Mariota was sacked for a 15 yard loss. Succop nailed the 44 yard field goal, and with only 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Titans only trailed 23-17. Yet mistakes killed the Titans, and in the fourth quarter the Steelers turned a tight game into a route.

After a touchback on 3rd and 10 from their own 25, Roethlisberger hit Bryant for 20 yards and Smith-Schuster for 18 more. On the first play of the fourth quarter, on 3rd and goal at the one, Roethlisberger hit James for the touchdown to make it 30-17 Steelers. Pittsburgh got it back just shy of midfield. Roethlisberger went to Brown for 23 yards. Defensive pass interference on the next play added 13 more yards. Roethlisberger threw a 10 yard touchdown to Brown to make it 37-17 Steelers.

Mariota would throw two more interceptions, one leading to a 26 yard Boswell field goal. From the Tennessee 22, a classy Mike Tomlin took Big Ben out and brought in Landry Jones to take a knee rather than run up the score. Despite getting it back with 44 seconds left, Mike Mularkey decided not to risk any injuries on either side. He had Mariota take a knee as well. Rarely does a losing coach get a hero’s welcome, but Tennessee defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau was the longtime defensive coordinator for Pittsburgh. He is the godfather of the zone blitz that turned Pittsburgh into Blitzburgh. After the game, many Steelers players came over to give him lengthy hugs. Roethlisberger and Lebeau were overheard telling each other that they loved the other one. Lebeau’s defense had a rough night, but on this night it was just the better team winning at home. 40-17 Steelers

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears — The Bears moved 70 yards in 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. The drive stalled at the Detroit 5 yard line but Connor Barth hit the 23 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Bears. Matthew Stafford was then sacked and fumbled, giving the Bears the ball at their own 45. A 50 yard run by Howard made it 1st and goal at the 5. Mitchell Trubisky hit Shaheen for a one yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Bears. Early in the second quarter Trubisky fumbled and DJ Hayden picked it up and raced 27 yards for a defensive touchdown to get the Lions within 10-7.

Yet the Bears came back 78 yards in 5 1/2 minutes. Jordan Howard ran for  12 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Bears. The Lions came back 86 yards. Stafford found a wide open Marvin Jones for a 28 yard touchdown to get the Lions within 17-14. Detroit got it back and moved 72 yards easily before the half. Stafford hit Amir Abdullah for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 21-17 Lions. The third quarter was scoreless. In the fourth quarter, the Lions moved 54 yards in 12 plays and held the ball for 7 minutes. Yet a sack of Stafford had the Lions settling for a 27 yard Matt Prater field goal to lead 24-17. The Bears came back 78 yards in 5 minutes. Tarik Cohen ran for a 15 yard touchdown and a 24-24 game with 5 minutes left in regulation.

The Lions soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 31. Stafford went to Jones for a 17 yard gain. Stafford went to Eric Ebron for 22 more yards. With 1:40 to play, Prater came in for a 52 yard field goal to give the Lions the lead. Prater was dead center good. With 28 seconds to play the Bears faced 4th and 13 at their own 38. Somehow Trubisky under heavy pressure scrambled for a 19 yard gain. Trubisky then hit Inman for 15 more. With 8 seconds left Barth came in for a 46 yard field goal to tie it. The kick was no good, and John Fox saw his team lose a heartbreaker. Jim Caldwell was so excited after the win that he almost made a facial expression. 27-24 Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns — The 6-3 Jaguars faced the winless Cleveland Browns. The Browns returned the opening kickoff past midfield. They wasted the opportunity. Later on Telvin Smith intercepted DeShone Kizer to set up the Jaguars at the Cleveland 33. On 3rd and 3 Blake Bortles found Marquise Lee on a swing pass for a 17 yard gain. A perfectly executed play fake led to a 10 yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Marcedes Lewis to make it 7-0 Jaguars. In the second quarter Josh Lambo hit a 38 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Jaguars. The Browns came back 66 yards and Kizer hit Johnson for a 27 yard touchdown as the Browns only trailed 10-7 at halftime.

Defenses dominated the second half as snow came down. Lambo hit a 39 yard field goal to make it 13-7 Jaguars with 3 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 1:48 to play and the Browns facing 3rd and 10 at the Jacksonville 40, Kizer was sacked and lost the ball. Initially ruled downy contact, it was reversed to a fumble. Jacksonville took over at their own 44 but the Browns had all 3 timeouts. Cleveland’s defense played well all game and held again. The Browns got it back at their own 20 with 1:24 left. KIzer was sacked and fumbled. The Jaguars recovered in the end zone for a clinching touchdown. These are the Browns, as Hue Jackson searches for answers. Tom Coughlin was so pleased with the win he almost smiled. 19-7 Jaguars

Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers — Early on Brett Hundley threw a 33 yard completion to Devontae Adams to get the Packers in the red zone. Hundley went to the end zone and was intercepted. Later on Hundley went deep and was intercepted by Eric Weddle to set up the Ravens at their own 40. On the first play of the second quarter, Justin Tucker hit a 43 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Ravens. The Packers then fumbled the ball away to set up the Ravens at the Green Bay 42.  Tucker hit a 39 yard field goal to make it 6-0 Ravens at halftime of this ugly game.

A strong kickoff return to start the second half saw Moore bringing it 35 yards to the Baltimore 41 for the Ravens. Joe Flacco went deep to Mike Wallace for a 21 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 Ravens. A fifth Green Bay turnover in the form of a fumble meant another short field and another Tucker field goal with 4 minutes remaining. With just over 2 minutes left another Hundley interception was the 6th Packers turnover, giving the Ravens the ball inside the Green Bay 5 yard line. Another touchdown completed the demolishment of a Packers team that Mike McCarthy is trying to hold together with ductape. 23-0 Ravens

Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans — After a scoreless first quarter, the Texans capped a 12 play, 89 yard, 7 minute drive with a 7 yard touchdown pass from Tom Savage to Lamar Miller to make it 7-0 Texans. Later on Savage was sacked by Buddha Baker, who also recovered the fumble to set the Cardinals up at the Houston 17. On 2nd and 13, Blaine Gabbert went to Larry Fitzgerald for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, Savage was intercepted by Patrick Peterson. who returned it 22 yards to the Houston 15. Gabbert hit Seals-Jones for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Cardinals. Fairbairn hit a 34 yard field goal to get the Texans within 14-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Texans moved 74 yards. On 3rd and 8 from their own 38, Savage connected with Deandre Hopkins for a 34 yard gain. On the next play Savage went to Hopkins for a 28 yard touchdown to put the Texans up 17-14. Houston got it back at their own 3 but punted it to give the Cardinals the ball at the Houston 48. On 3rd and 13 from the Houston 43, Gabbert went to Nelson for 15 yards. On the next play Gabbert went deep to Seals for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 21-17 Cardinals after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter the Texans moved 75 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 8 from the Arizona 25, Savage went deep to Anderson for a 22 yard gain. Foreman ran in a 3 yard touchdown to put the Texans back on top 24-31 with 13 minutes left in regulation. With 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Bruce Arians decided to go for it with the Cardinals facing 4th and 1 at his own 35. Adrian Peterson got the carry and lost a yard. One play later Foreman got around the end for a 34 yard Houston touchdown to put the game on ice. Gabbert threw an interception with 2 minutes left to extinguish all hopes. 31-21 Texans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins — For some reason this game was played. Early on Damion Williams raced for a 69 yard run to have the Dolphins in business. Jay Cutler went to the end zone and was intercepted by Justin Evans. After the touchback, Ryan Fitzpatrick moved the Bucs to a 3rd and 6 at the Miami 12. Fitzpatrick threw incomplete and the Buccaneers settled for a 30 yard Patrick Murray field goal to lead 3-0. The Dolphins came back 90 yards. Cutler hit Jarvis Landry for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Dolphins. An 11 play, 59 yard, 5 minute drive led to Murray hitting from 30 to get the Buccaneers within 7-6 early in the second quarter.

On 3rd and 10 from the Miami 25, Jay Cutler was then intercepted by Juan Alexander, who returned it 20 yards to the Miami 10 yard line. A facemark moved the ball to the 5. Fitzpatrick hit Howard for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 13-7 Buccaneers. On 2nd and 18 from the Miami 17, Cutler was intercepted for the third time by Rolando McClain, who returned it 6 yards to the Miami 25. On the next play Fitzpatrick went to the end zone to Howard, but the touchdown was nullified by offensive holding. A third down pass was dropped, and Murray missed the 42 yard field goal as the Dolphins dodged a bullet.

However, another Miami turnover saw a fumble recovered by the Bucs at the Miami 37. Fitzpatrick went deep to Mike Evans for a 29 yard gain and to DeSean Jackson for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 20-7 Buccaneers at halftime. thE dolphins began the third quarter at their own 22 without Cutler, who was in concussion protocol. On 3rd and 10 from their own 32, Matt Moore went deep to Landry for a 49 yard gain. Defensive pass interference then made it 1st and goal at the one. Yet a touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano was nullified by offensive holding. On 3rd and goal at the 3, a false start was followed by an incompletion. Cody Parkey hit the 26 yard field goal to get the Dolphins within 20-10.

It was deja vu all over again as the dolphins soon faced 3rd and 13 at their own 18. Moore went deep to Kenny Stills for 45 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Tampa 35, Moore found Landry for 22 yards. Yet on 3rd and 7 from the 8, a false start followed by an incompletion meant another field goal. Parkey again hit from 31 as the Dolphins trailed 20-13. in the fourth quarter 74 yards came easy as Moore threw a 61 yard touchdown bomb to Stills for a 20-20 game with 3 minutes left in regulation. It looked like the Bucs had blown another one.

After a touchback, Fitzpatrick went to Evans for a 17 yard gain and to Godwin for gains of 14 and 24 more to the Miami 20 with one minute left. Both teams took all 3 timeouts and Murray came in for a 35 yard field goal try to win it with 7 seconds left. Murray was good, but next came the laterals and everything but the Stanford Marching Band. It was a touchdown, but not by the Dolphins. They went backwards and the Buccaneers recovered in the Miami end zone for a score that only gamblers care about. Tampa Bay has won 2 straight in hideous fashion while the Dolphins are just hideous. 30-20 Buccaneers

Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings — Both of these teams came in 7-2 as the Rams offense squared off against the tough Minnesota defense. The Rams moved 75 yards. From the Minnesota 6, Todd Gurley got the carry and barreled over defenders, muscling his way just past the plane of the goal for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Rams. A sack of Goff would have the Rams punting on 4th and 19 from their own one. The Vikings took over at the Rams 30. Early in the second quarter the Vikings faced 3rd and 5 from the Rams 13. Case Keenum hit Kyle Rudolph for just enough. Latavius Murray ran for the 8 yard touchdown to make it a 7-7 game.

Minnesota missed a chance to get the lead when a 48 yard field goal try by Kai Forbath was no good. The Rams saw an opportunity go up in flames when Cooper Kupp caught the ball at the Minnesota one yard line and had it ripped out for a killer fumble. In the third quarter Forbath had a 39 yard field goal try doing off the upright no good. Yet Minnesota’s defense stayed strong and the Vikings offense finally finished a drive. 11 plays, 71 yards and 6 minutes saw Murray get the ball at the 2 and somehow in a crowd stretch the ball over the pylon for a touchdown and a 14-7 Vikings lead.

With 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation of this defensive slugfest, the Vikings took over at their own 7. On 2nd and 7 Keenum threw incomplete, but a very controversial roughing the passer penalty on Aaron Donald moved the ball to the Minnesota 25. One play changed the game. From the Minnesota 35, a a swing pass to Adam Thielen saw Thielen spin away from a tackle and race 65 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7 Vikings. Minnesota added one more field goal. Sean McVay will not panic with a 7-3 team, while Mike Zimmer has to be pleased with his defense. 24-7 Vikings

Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants — Ben McAdoo had nothing to lose as the head coach of a 1-9 team that lost to previously winless San Francisco last week. In this game he called a fake punt that worked, which led to a halfback option pass that was intercepted. Yet the Giants caught a break when an Alex Smith shovel pass was mishandled and deflected into the arms of big Snacks Harrison for an interception to set up the Giants at the Chiefs 26. Despite a couple of dropped passes, defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Orleans Darkwa got in to make it 6-0 Giants. The extra point was missed.

The Chiefs soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 34. Alex Smith scrambled for just enough. On 4th and 5 from the Giants 32 with heavy winds making field goals difficult, Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to go for it. Smith has had his toughness questioned, but he scrambled, dove in the air, got belted by a pair of defenders, and made the first down by a yard. On 2nd and 19 from the Giants 35, Smith went to Travis Kelce for 21 yards. Yet after 15 plays, 61 yards, and over 9 minutes with the ball, the Chiefs settled for a 31 yard Harrison Butker field goal to get within 6-3. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, Butker hit from 31 again for a 6-6 game.

The Chiefs win ugly with a turnover-forcing defense and a quarterback that excited nobody but does not make mistakes. Yet with 6 1/2 minutes left, Smith was intercepted. The defense got the ball back but the Chiefs were pinned at their own 5 yard line. With 2:18 to play from the Chiefs 18, Smith went back to pass and was intercepted again. The Giants took over at the Chiefs 23 with 2:07 left. On 3rd and 6 from the 8, Eli Manning threw incomplete, allowing the Chiefs to preserve their last timeout. Rosas hit from 26 to make it 9-6 Giants.

The Chiefs took over at their own 26 with 90 seconds to play. Smith was intercepted again as the Giants celebrated. However, defensive pass interference had the Chiefs gaining 8 yards. Smith then went deep to Kelce for 32 yards. With 16 seconds left, the Chiefs had 1st and 10 at the Giants 12. Smith threw incomplete and then was forced o scramble. He gained 7 yards but the Chiefs had to call their final timeout. On 3rd and 3 from the 5 with 5 seconds left, Andy Reid took no chances. Butker hit the 23 yard field goal for a 9-9 tie. The Chiefs find ways to win ugly. The Giants find ways to lose ugly. Now came overtime, and the inevitable Giants loss and ugly Chiefs win.

The Giants held on defense and took over at their own 18. They methodically moved to a 4th and 5 at the Chiefs 36 with 2:12 left in overtime. With winds blowing and Aldrick Rosas having missed once on this day, Ben McAdoo did not want to try a 54 yard field goal. With everything on the line and yet nothing to lose on the season, McAdoo went for it all. As expected, confusion reigned. Manning went deep to Lewis. He caught the ball at the 2, and rolled into the end zone. The Giants thought they had a win. Officials ruled down by contact at the 2. The Chiefs thought the ball hit the ground incomplete. on further review, the catch stood but it was not a touchdown. From the 2, Manning took a knee to center the ball. From 23 yards out, Rosas was good and the Giants had the shocking win. After a 5-0 start, the Chiefs have lost 4 of 5 in the suddenly awful AFC West. One woman knew the Giants would win. She was the mom of one Giants player, and she preferred to remain anonymous. 12-9 Giants

Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints — Early on the Saints faced 3rd and 16 deep in their own territory when Drew Brees went deep and was intercepted by DJ Swearinger to give the Redskins a short field. Nick Rose hit a 38 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Redskins. Will Lutz answered with a 52 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. After a touchback, Kirk Cousins hit Josh Doctson for 14 yards. From midfield, Perine ran for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the 16, Cousins went to Thompson for the touchdown to make it 10-3 Redskins. The Saints came back 80 yards as Mark Ingram raced for a 36 yard touchdown to make it 10-10.

After a touchback, the Redskins moved to a 4th and 6 at the Saints 39. Jay Gruden decided to go for it and Cousins threw a perfect dime to Vernon Davis for a 26 yard gain. Perine got in from the one to make it 17-10 Redskins. Washington got it back and moved from their own 8 to a 3rd and 7 at the Saints 33. Cousins was intercepted, but on further review it was incomplete. On 4th and 7, a 51 yard field goal try never happened due to a killer false start, forcing a punt. Gruden’s conservatism backfired as the Saints quickly moved 69 yards in 10 plays during the 2 minute drill. Lutz hit from 29 as the Saints trailed 17-13 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Saints held the ball for 5 1/2 minutes, including a 4th and 1 conversion at their own 44. Yet when they decided to go for it on 4th and 4 from the Washington 37, a killer delay of game penalty forced a punt. The Redskins took over at their own 6 yard line. On 4th and 1 from their own 15, Jay Gruden called a fake punt. Yes. From his own 15. It worked as the Redskins gained 5 yards and Gruden avoided becoming the second coming of Barry Switzer. On 3rd and 7 from the Saints 40, Cousins went deep to Grant for the touchdown as the Redskins had the surprising 24-13 lead after the 94 yard drive.

With 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Saints got the ball back just shy of midfield. Kamara ran for a 24 yard gain. The drive immediately died but Lutz hit from 42 to get the Saints within 24-16 with 9 1/2 minutes left. The Redskins soon faced 2nd and 6 from their own 29. Cousins went deep to Davis for a 36 yard gain. Perrine then ran for gains of 9, 17 and 2. Cousins hit Sprinkle for a 7 yard touchdown. With 6 minutes left the Redskins had a commanding 31-16 lead.

The Saints still had their pinball wizard. After a touchback Drew Brees hit Coby Fleener for gains of 5 and 25. On 3rd and 2 from the Washington 37, Brees found Ted Ginn Jr for 7 yards. Brees then went deep to Fleener for 24 yards and to Hill for the 3 yard touchdown. With just under 3 minutes left the Saints were within 31-23. With 2:38 left and the Saints out of timeouts, the Redskins faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. A first down would end the game. Perine got the carry and lost a yard. The Saints were still alive, but they got the ball back at their own 13 with 1:53 to play.

Brees went deep and was immediately intercepted, but illegal use of hands again kept the Saints alive. Brees then went to Thomas for 17 yards, to Ginn for 18 more, and to Fleener for 29 more to the Washington 18 with 1:11 left. Brees then went to Kamara for the touchdown. On the 2 point conversion, Kamara ran it in as the Game was tied 31-31. After a touchback, Cousins quickly moved the Redskins into long field goal range. With 30 seconds left on 1st and 10 from the Saints 34, Cousins threw incomplete. Yet intentional grounding on Cousins pushed the Redskins out of range. On the final regular season play Cousins was sacked and fumbled as the game went to overtime.

The extra session did not last long. Washington needed one minute to go 3 and out and give the Saints the ball at their own 39. Mark Ingram broke free for gains of 20 and 31 to set up 1st and goal at the 10. Sean Payton took no chances and immediately brought in Lutz. From 28, Lutz was good as the Saints won their 8th straight game in thrilling fashion. For the Redskins, it was a total collapse. 34-31 Saints, OT

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers — The Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999. That year the team destroyed their season and subsequent seasons by benching Doug Flutie for Rob Johnson. In 2017 the Bills started 5-2 but dropped 2 straight. After getting blown out last week at home, Coach Sean McDermott made a very questionable decision. He benched Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman, who has never started an NFL game. He played a game for the ages.

Peterman’s 1st interception was returned 59 yards for a touchdown by Toomer to make it 7-0 Chargers. On 3rd and 8 from the Buffalo 11, Peterson’s second interception by Chris Hayward had the Chargers with a short field. Nick Novak missed a 46 yard field goal. From the Buffalo 36, Peterman handed the ball off. LeSean Shady mcCoy ran for 37 yards and then for a 27 yard touchdown. The game was now 7-7, but Peterman could not hand off the ball on every play.

The Chargers moved after a touchback to a 2nd and 7 from the Buffalo 16. Philip Rivers threw incomplete twice, but Novak hit from 33 to make it 10-7 Chargers. Buffalo took over at their own 24. On 3rd and 19 from their own 40, Peterman was intercepted for the third time in the first quarter. The Chargers took over at the Buffalo 46. Early in the second quarter Rivers went deep to Keenan Allen for a 21 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Chargers. The Bills took over at their own 14 and Peterman was immediately intercepted for the fourth time. The Chargers took over at the Buffalo 15. Rivers hit Allen for the 2 yard touchdown to make it 24-7 Chargers.

The Chargers got it back and moved from their 24 to a 2nd and 9 at the Buffalo 10. Rivers threw incomplete twice but Novak hit from 28 to make it 27-7 Chargers.  A shanked 29 yard punt had the Chargers taking over at their own 43. On 3rd and 9, Rivers found Allen for 17 yards. Rivers then went deep to Allen for 29 yards and Melvin Gordon ran for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 34-7 with just over one minute left in the half. From the Buffalo 44, that was enough time for Peterman to throw his 5th interception in the first half. The Chargers took over with 35 seconds left at their own 46. Novak hit from 39 to end the half as 30 unanswered points made it 37-7 Chargers at halftime.

In the third quarter the Chargers moved form their 25 to the Buffalo 10. Novak hit from 28 to make it 40-7 Chargers. In the least surprising move of the year, Peterman was benched at halftime as Jews prayed he was not Jewish. Tyrod Taylor came in, but the Bills needed Frank Reich. Taylor was then hit and fumbled, and Melvin Ingram returned it 39 yards for a defensive touchdown. The Chargers led 47-10, the exact score of Buffalo’s loss last week. This time Buffalo’s offense scored again, but their defense gave up a 21 yard touchdown run by Ekeler to make it 54-17 Chargers. Buffalo’s defense gave up 101 points the last 2 weeks. Nathan Peterman will forever be a Trivial Pursuit question. The Bills got one more garbage touchdown but lost their third straight and at 5-5 are barely alive in the weak AFC that includes the 4-6 Chargers. 54-24 Chargers.

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos — Denver has lost 5 straight, and John Elway called his team soft. Early on the Bengals punted from their own 34. The punt was blocked, and the Broncos took over at the Bengals 29. On 3rd and 3 from the Cincy 4, Brock osweiler threw in the flat and was intercepted in the end zone by Kirkpatrick, who raced the other way. Kirkpatrick got tired on the runback, and without being touched, inexplicably fumbled the ball at the Denver 15. A wild scramble ensued as Kirkpatrick fell on it at the Denver one and rolled into the end zone. After a lengthy discussion by the officials, it was ruled neither a touchdown or touchback. The Bengals retained possession at the one as Kirkpatrick had a 103 yard interception return without a touchdown. These are the Bengals. Yet on 3rd and goal at the one, Red Rifle Andy Dalton found Kroft for the touchdown. Ryan Bullock missed the extra point as the Bengals led 6-0.

After a touchback the Broncos faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Osweiler went deep to Latimore for 21 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Cincy 22, Vance joseph decided to go for it. CJ Anderson gained 3 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the 11, Booker gained 3 yards. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Anderson got in the end zone to make it 7-6 Broncos. The Bengals began the second quarter facing 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Dalton went to Boyd for 5 yards and to Brandon LaFell for 29 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Denver 29, Dalton went deep to Erickson for the touchdown to make it 13-7 Bengals. The defenses dug in, and a 61 yard field goal try by Brandon McManus to end the half was blocked.

A good punt in the third quarter pinned the Bengals at their own one. They punted it back and Denver took over at the Cincy 44. On 3rd and 7, Osweiler hit Demarius Thomas for 9 yards.. McManus hit a 45 yard field goal to get the Broncos within 13-10. In the fourth quarter the Broncos moved from their own 8 to their own 41. Anderson then fumbled, and the Bengals took over at the Denver 44 with 12 minutes left in regulation. On 3rd and 5, Dalton hit Erickson for 13 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Denver 18, Dalton went to AJ Green for the touchdown. With 9 minutes left in regulation the Bengals had some breathing room up 20-10.

The Broncos soon faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Osweiler hit Thomas for a 17 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Denver 47, Osweiler found Thomas for 14 more. Osweiler threw a 17 yard touchdown pass to Thomas as the Broncos were right back in it down by 3 with 5 minutes left in regulation. Cincinnati soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 37. A perfectly executed fake handoff saw Dalton take the naked bootleg 6 yards for a key first down. Inexplicably on 1st and 10, the Bengals came out throwing and an incompletion stopped the clock. On 3rd and 6 Dalton threw incomplete again, but the Bengals were bailed out by defensive pass interference to make it 1st and 10 at the Denver 38 with 3:10 left. The Bengals then had Joe nixon run 3 straight times for a total of negative one yard as the clock hit the 2 minute warning.

The Broncos took over after a touchback with 1:50 left and 0 timeouts. On 4th and 4 from the Denver 26, Osweiler threw a catchable ball that was dropped. The Broncos lost their 6th straight to drop to 3-7 while the Bengals at 4-6 are still alive in the woeful AFC. 20-17 Bengals

New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders in Mexico — The Raiders are a talented team with very dumb players. They drop passes, and the secondary cannot stop anyone. Derek Carr is getting no help. In Mexico, the Raiders made it easy for New England from the start. The Raiders started strong on the ground, but on 3rd and 4 from the Oakland 43, a promising drive died when a short pass was just dropped. The Patriots took over at their own 13 and Tom Brady repeatedly killed the Raiders on 3rd down conversions. On 1st and 10 from the Oakland 28, Ronny Burkhead fumbled. Despite Raiders being all around the ball, the Patriots recovered for an 8 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Oakland 24, Brady threw incomplete but defensive holding meant a fourth 3rd down conversion. Brady hit Dion Lewis for a 15 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Patriots.

On 3rd and 11 from the their own 35, Carr went deep to Johnny Holton. The ball bounced off of bolton’s hands and was intercepted. In the second quarter the Raiders moved from their own 13 to a 3rd and 9 at the New England 42. Carr found Cooper just short of the sticks, but offensive pass interference on Cooper killed that drive. One play after a touchback, Brady went deep to Brandon Cooks for a 52 yard gain against the woeful Oakland secondary. On 3rd and 11 form the Oakland 17, Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 14 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Brady hit Danny Amendola for the touchdown to make it 14-0 Patriots with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Raiders ground game was still running strong, and the Raiders moved from their own 25 to a 1st and 10 at the New England 15 with 44 seconds left in the half. Carr hit Seth Roberts at the 3 yard line, but rather than secure the ball Roberts tried to fight for an extra nothing and lost the fumble. The Patriots took over at their own 7 yard line with 33 seconds left, and now it was time for the defense to match the offense in lack of heart. Lewis ran for 20 yards. Brady hit Amendola for 18 and Gronkowski for 10 more. On the last ply of the half, with the high altitude, Stephen Gostkowski drilled a 62 yard field goal to make it 17-0 Patriots.

There was no need to play the second half except for league rules requiring it. Brady went deep to a wide open Cooks for an easy 64 yard touchdown to make it 24-0 Patriots. Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie should reach out to high schools and see if anyone can play pass defense because the Raiders secondary does not. Ken Norton Jr. is the current defensive coordinator who for some reason has not been fired. Gostkowski nailed a 50 yard field goal to make it 27-0 Patriots.

The Raider punted on 4th and 6 from their own 39. A running into the kicker penalty had the Raiders facing 4th and 1. Jack Del Rio decided to go for it. The entire world knew Olawale was getting the football, and that included the New England defense. The Patriots took over with the short field. Gostkowski hit from 40 to make it 30-0 Patriots.

In the fourth quarter the Raiders were just trying to avoid the shutout. On 4th and 6 at midfield, Carr hit Michael Crabtree for 15 yards. On 1st and 10 from the New England 30, Carr threw incomplete. A dumb unsportsmanlike penalty on Holton pushed the Raiders back 15 yards. On 3rd and 18 from the New England 38, Carr fired complete to Cordarelle Patterson for a first down, but officials called it incomplete. Jack Del Rio challenged the call, and replay clearly showed Patterson catching it cleanly. Officials reversed the call to make it 1st and 10 at the New England 16. On 3rd and 3 from the 9, Carr fired to Cooper, who stretched the ball over and hit the pylon cleanly. With 11 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders were down 30-8 after Carr hit Crabtree for the 2 point conversion.

The heartless Oakland defense gave away yards, although a roughing the passer penalty on Khalil Mack was ridiculous. Tom Brady has always gotten favorable calls. Gostkowski hit a 29 yard field goal to complete the humiliation. Several dropped passes had the Raiders facing 4th and 10 at the New England 38. Carr hit Jared Cook for just enough. On 4th and 3 from the New England 21, Carr threw incomplete and the Raiders ended as badly as they had begun. At 4-6, The Raiders are on the brink. Forget the Tuck Rule. These Raiders just suck. 33-8 Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboy was the Sunday night game. The Cowboys returned the opening kickoff 61 yards to the Philadelphia 37. That was enough for Mike Nugent to hit a 48 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. After a touchback Carson Wentz spread the ball around. From the Dallas 26, Wentz went to Barner for 22 yards. Warner ran it in from the 4 to make it 7-3 Eagles. The game turned into a street fight. Mike Nugent hit from 27 to get the Cowboys within 7-6. Jake Elliott missed from 34 at the end of the first quarter. Nugent hit from 47 with one minute left in the half to make it 9-7 Cowboys.

After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Eagles faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Wentz hit Captain Morgan Brent Celek for a 28 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from Dallas 37, Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for 18. Clement ran for 8 and then for an 11 yard touchdown. Clement ran in the 2 point try to make it 15-9 Eagles. The Eagles got it back at their own 10. Jay Ajayi ran for a 71 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the 11, Wentz hit Smith for the touchdown. Wentz hit Jeffery for another 2 point conversion to make it 23-9 Eagles.

The Eagles got it back at their own 15. On 3rd and 1, Wentz gained 6 yards. The fourth quarter began with the Eagles facing 3rd and 2 at their own 38. Wentz hit Jeffery fro 10 yards. On 4th and 5 from the Dallas 17, Doug Pederson decided to go for it given an injury to the kicker. Wentz fired over the middle to Jeffery for a touchdown. The 2 point try was fumbled short of the goal line but with 12 minutes left the Eagles had a 29-9 stranglehold on the game. Prescott then went back to pass, fumbled, and Bradham returned it 37 yards to turn the once close game into a 35-9 Eagles blowout. Wentz hit Burton for the 2 point conversion. The Eagles are 9-1 and have a 4 game stranglehold on the division ahead of the 5-5 Cowboys. 37-9 Cowboys

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks was the Monday night game. The Seahawks last week lost Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman for the season, but they still had the 12th man. This was just a very good football game between two very good teams. Roberts returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to have the Falcons starting at their own 48. On 3rd and 5 Matt Ryan hit Hardy for 9 yards.  From the Seattle 26, Matty Ice went deep and drew defensive pass interference in the end zone. Coleman got in from the one to make it 7-0 Falcons.

Tyler Lockett gashed the Falcons throughout the game, and he returned the ensuing kickoff 47 yards to the Atlanta 40. Two plays later Russell Wilson was intercepted by Trufant, who returned it 40 yards to the Seattle 38. On 3rd and 7 from the Seattle 16, Ryan hit Hardy for 11. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Ryan hit Mohammed San for the touchdown. The Falcons led 14-0, but this game of big plays was just getting started.

Lockett returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards to the Seattle 35. Wilson hit Paul Richardson for 10 and Lockett for 14 more. On 3rd and 14 from the Atlanta 31, Wilson hit Lockett for 10 with tripping on the defense adding 10 more. Wilson hit Jimmy Graham for a 4 yard touchdown to get the Seahawks within 14-7. The second quarter began with the Seahawks facing 2nd and 13 at their own 20. Wilson got belted and fumbled. Clayborn had 6 sacks last week, and this week he returned the fumble 10 yards for a defensive touchdown to make it 21-7 Falcons.

Lockett took the kick at the goal line and returned it 39 yards. Seattle moved to a 3rd and goal at th3 2. A completion from Wilson to Graham was inches short of the goal, but offensive pass interference moved the ball back to the 12. After an incompletion, Blair Walsh hit a 30 yard field goal to get the Seahawks within 21-10. Atlanta fumbled the ensuing kickoff at the Seahawks recovered at the Atlanta 11. On 3rd and 11 from the 12, wilson hit Graham for just enough. 3 straight tries from the one yielded nothing. Pete Carroll decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. Wilson took the ball, rolled out, and then raced into the end zone to get the Seahawk within 21-17 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Atlanta moved from their 29 to a 1st and 10 at the Seattle 25 at the 2 minute warning. However the drive died there. With just over one minute left in the half Matt Bryant hit a 44 yarder to put the Falcons up 24-17. Lockett returned the kickoff 39 yards to the Seattle 41. The Seahawks quickly moved to a 4th and 1 at the Atlanta 17 with 7 seconds left in the half. Pete Carroll decided to try a fake field goal, and it was blown up in the backfield for a 4 yard loss.

In the third quarter the Falcons moved from their 28 to the red zone. On 2nd and 4, a a sack of Wilson meant an 8 yard loss. This time from 37 yards out Walsh did try the field goal, and it was good to get the Seahawks within 24-20. The Falcons came back from their own 24. On 3rd and 8 from their own 46, Ryan scrambled around the end for a 14 yard gain. From the Seattle 25, Ryan went deep to Toilolo for a touchdown to make it 31-20 Falcons in the middle of the third quarter.

After a touchback, the Seahawks soon faced 3rd and 12 at the Atlanta 42. Wilson scrambled for a 13 yard gain. Yet from the Atlanta 16, Wilson was sacked for a 12 yard loss. Walsh hit the 46 yard field goal, but the Seahawks were kicking field goals while the Falcons were scoring touchdowns. The Seahawks trailed 31-23 after three quarters.In the fourth quarter the Falcons moved to a 1st and 10 at the Seattle 37, but moved backward. On 4th and 12 Dan Quinn opted to punt rather than try a 57 yard field goal. The Seahawks faced 3rd and 1 at their own 19 and Baldwin through incomplete. Pete Carroll unsuccessfully challenged the call.

Atlanta took over at their own 38. On 3rd and 6, Ryan went deep to Julio Jones for a 29 yard gain. Ward ran for a 17 yard gain to make it 1st and goal at the 5. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Coleman got the carry and appeared to have a touchdown. However, replay showed his arm was down with the ball short of the goal line. On 4th and goal at the one, with only 4 minutes left on the road, Dan Quinn smartly opted for the field goal. Bryant hit the 19 yarder to make it 34-23 Falcons.

Needing 2 scores after a touchback, the Seahawks moved rapidly. Wilson scrambled for 16 yards and hit Graham for 11 more. An unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense moved Seattle to the Atlanta 29. Wilson went deep over the middle to a wide open Doug Baldwin for the touchdown. Wilson fired to Graham for the 2 point conversion as the Seahawks were within a field goal with a full 3 minutes left. Seattle still had one timeout plus the 2 minute warning, so Pete Carroll rightly decided to kick it deep rather than go onside. Atlanta took over at their own 15. At the 2 minute warning, everything came down to Atlanta facing 3rd and 3 at their own 28.

Ryan went back to pass and was sacked by Sheldon Richardson. The clock ticked down, but the Seahawks were still alive. They took their last timeout with 1:55 left. The Seahawks got the ball back at their own 25 with 1:45 to play. Wilson hit Graham for 11. On 3rd and 5 rom the Seattle 41, Wilson scrambled up the middle for 10 yards. A pair of shorts passes kept the clock running but the Seahawks caught a major break when a defensive injury stopped the clock with 30 seconds left. On 3rd and 3 from the Atlanta 42, Wilson hit Richardson for 8 yards and Wilson rushed up to the line to spike with 7 seconds left.

After initially deciding to go for it, Pete Carroll brought in his struggling kicker to try and tie the game. From 52 yards out, Walsh was dead center but just short. This would be a fine playoff rematch, but Blair Walsh might not be playing in it. He missed 3 field goals a couple weeks ago and the key miss when he was with Minnesota in their playoff loss to Seattle. Atlanta nearly gave this one away like they did the Super Bowl, but luck saved them. 34-31 Falcons