Archive for December, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 15 Recap

Sunday, 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

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 15 Prequel

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

NFL 2017 Week 14 Recap

Sunday, 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

Friday, 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

Sunday, 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

Saturday, 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.

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