Archive for November, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 10 Recap

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 10 Recap

Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Thursday night game. Two good football teams played, but only one of them showed up. The Panthers started out well with a 75 yard drive. On 4th and 1 from the Pittsburgh 22, Riverboat Ron Rivera decided to go for it. Christian McCaffrey gained 2 yards and on the next play caught a 20 yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton. The Panthers led 7-0, but after that the Steelers blasted Carolina into a little pieces.

One play after a touchback, Ben Roethlisberger went to Juju Smith-Schuster for a 75 yard touchdown to tie the game. Carolina got the ball back at their own 12. Newton was immediately intercepted by Vince Williams, who returned it 17 yards for a touchdown. 2 scores in less than 30 seconds had the Steelers up 14-7. Pittsburgh got it back and moved 69 yards with ease. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for gains of 8 and 6. Smith-schuster ran for 13 yards. From the Carolina 34, James Conner did the rest. Conner ran for 3, 9, caught a pass for 8, ran for 12, and ran for the 2 yard touchdown. The Steelers led 21-7 after the first quarter and never looked back.

In the second quarter the Steelers moved from their own 8 to a 1st and 10 at the Carolina 25. A sack of Roethlisberger stopped the drive, but Chris Boswell hit a 50 yard field goal to make it 24-7 Steelers. The Panthers did come back 73 yards. Newton hit McCaffrey for a 25 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 24-14. However, the Steelers quickly came back. On 3rd and 6 from the Pittsburgh 29, Roethlisberger hit Ryan Switzer for 18 yards. Big Ben then went to Brown for a 53 yard touchdown as the Steelers led 31-14 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Steelers continued the carpet-bombing. On 3rd and 5 from the Pittsburgh 30, Roethlisberger hit Switzer for 13 yards. Conner ran for 13 more. On 3rd and 9 from the Carolina 12, Roethlisberger hit Vance McDonald for the score to make it 38-14 Steelers. Pittsburgh got it back and moved 65 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 8 from their own 37, Roethlisberger hit McDonald for 19 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Carolina 32, Roethlisberger ran for 18 yards with 7 more tacked on for a penalty that got professional anthem protester Eric Reid disqualified. Roethlisberger hit Jesse James for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 45-14 Steelers.

The Panthers then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Steelers the ball at the Carolina 9 yard line. On the first play of the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger hit Samuels for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 52-14 Steelers. Carolina did get in the end zone one more time, but this was a massacre. Mike Tomlin has a 6-2 football team sitting pretty in the AFC North while Carolina at 6-3 lost some ground in the very competitive NFC South. Newton finished 23 of 29 for 193 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. He was also sacked 5 times. Roethlisberger finished a ridiculous 22 of 25 for 328 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. He had a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3, which would be even more impressive if anyone knew how to calculate it. 52-21 Steelers

New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans — Darius Jennings returned the opening kickoff 58 yards to the New England 40. Marcus Mariota then completed a pass fro Davis for 24 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Mariota hit Smith for the touchdown and the 7-0 Titans lead. The Patriots soon faced 3rd and 13 from their own 22. Tom Brady went deep to Josh Gordon for a 44 yard gain. The drive stalled but Stephen Gostkowski hit a 52 yard field goal to get the Patriots within 7-3.

Mariota went to Cory Davis for a 23 yard touchdown as the Titans had the surprising 14-3 lead. The Titans got it back just past midfield. Mariota went to Smith for 29 yards. On 2nd and 5 from the New England 15, Mariota threw incomplete twice. Ryan Succop hit a 33 yard field goal as the Titans had a 17-3 lead after the first quarter.

After a touchback, Brady found Julian Edelman for a 29 yard game. The second quarter began with the Patriots facing 4th and 2 at the Tennessee 12. Bill Belichick decided to go for it. Brady went to white for 11 yards. Develin got the last yard up the gut to get the Patriots within 17-10. The Patriots missed a chance to get closer with Gostkowski missed a 52 yard field goal.

With 5 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Patriots punted on 4th and 6 from their own 13. The Titans fumbled the punt, recovered it, and actually gained 12 yards. A penalty on New England on the play had the Titans taking over at the new England 37. On 3rd and 14 from the New England 41, Mariota hit Davis for 20 yards. On 2nd and 14 from the New England 25, Mariota hit Smith for 12 and Firkser for 11. From the 2, Derrick Henry got a yard and then got another one as the Titans had the 24-10 lead at halftime.

Surely the Patriots would come back in the second half. Not this time. Brady was harassed all day by Tennessee’s defense. A 10 play, 78 yard, 5 minute drive led to a 31 yard Succop field goal to make it 27-10 Titans after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, on 3rd and 7 from the Titans 43, Bill Belichick tried the trick play where Brady becomes a receiver. He caught the ball but stumbled and fell one yard short. On 4th and 1, a killer false start followed by an incompletion ended the drive.

From their own 42, Mariota hit Jennings for 21 yards. From the New England 37, Henry did the rest. He ran for 2, 14, 5, 6, and on a wildcat snap, a 10 yard touchdown to complete the scoring. The Patriots had their 6 game winning streak snapped. To quote ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman, “THAT’s why they PLAY the games.” 34-10 Titans

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts — Andrew Luck went deep to Eric Ebron for a 53 yard touchdown early to make it 7-0 Colts. Blake Bortles came back with a 77 yard touchdown bomb to Dante Moncrief for a 7-7 game. The Colts took over at their own 30 and Luck went deep to TY Hilton for 35 yards and Alie-Cox for 27 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Ebron got around the end and in the end zone for a 14-7 Colts lead.

The Colts got it back at their own 14. On 3rd and 1 from their 23, Wilkins got around the end for a 53 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Jags 12, Luck went to Ebron for his third touchdown and a 21-7 Colts lead. Chark returned the ensuing kickoff 47 yards to the Jags 46. From the Indy 35, Bortles hit Leonard Fournette for 31 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Fournette got in to get the Jaguars within 21-13. Then things got bizarre on the extra point. Josh lamb’s kick was blocked. Walker picked it up and raced all the way the other way for what should have been a 2 point score for Indianapolis. However, a completely unnecessary illegal block at the Jacksonville 10 yard line negated the score.

The Colts came back 75 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd and 3 form their own 32, a defensive unnecessary roughness penalty moved the Colts to their own 47. Another unnecessary roughness call moved the Colts to the Jacksonville 34. Luck hit Inman for 14 and Grant for 6 more. Luck hit Mo Alie-Cox for a one yard touchdown. Marlin Mack rushed for the 2 point conversion as the Colts led 29-13 with 90 seconds left in the half. Indianapolis did nothing the rest of the game.

A 38 yard kickoff return had the Jaguars taking over at their own 40. With 21 seconds left in the half, the Jaguars had 1st and goal at the 10. Bortles threw 3 straight incompletions. Lambo hit a 28 yard field goal to end the half with the Jaguars down 29-16. In the third quarter the Jaguars mounted a staggering 17 play, 75 yard drive that consumed over 8 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 4 from the Indy 30, Doug Marrone gambled on a fake field goal. Cooke completed a pass to O’Shaugnessy for just enough. Frank Reich unsuccessfully challenged the spot and the drive continued. On 3rd and 9 from the Indy 12, Bortles hit Westbrook for 11 and Fournette for the one yard touchdown. Midway through the third quarter, the Jaguars were within 29-23.

The Jaguars got it back and moved from their 39 to a 4th and 3 at the Indy 34. Lambo came in for a 52 yard field goal try. It was no good. Luck was intercepted, but the Jaguars did not capitalize. Jacksonville got it back at their own 41 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Indy 36. A run lost a yard and Bortles threw incomplete twice. Despite earlier misses, Doug Marrone had Lambo try a 55 yard field goal with 4 minutes left in regulation. Lambo drilled it and the Jaguars were within a field goal.

After a touchback, rather than run time off the clock, Frank Reich went aggressive. Luck hit Hilton for a 35 yard gain. With 3 minutes left, on 3rd and 4 from the Jacksonville 34, Luck threw incomplete. Reich decided to have Adam Vinatieri try a 52 yard field goal knowing that even if it was good, it would not close the game out. It was no good and the Jaguars were still only down by a field goal.

From their own 42, the Jaguars moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Indy 35 with 90 seconds to play. Jacksonville was in range for the tying field goal try. Bortles hit Greene for 10 yards. However disaster struck when Greene fumbled and the Colts recovered. Replay showed that Greene’s knee was down before the ball came out. However, the call stood and the Jaguars lost their 5th straight game. The Colts won their 3rd straight after a 1-5 start. 29-26 Colts

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets — Josh Allen is still injured. As for Nathan Peterman, a GoFundMe page has been set up offering him one million dollars to retire. He has one touchdown and 10 interceptions in 4 career games. Matt Barkley got the start and went deep to Foster for a long gain. LeSean Shady McCoy ran for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills.

Buffalo got it back and moved 73 yards in 14 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 6 from their own 47, Sean McDermott called a fake punt. Punter Logan Thomas hit Foster for a 15 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 11, Barkley hit Jones for a 10 yard gain. Jones fumbled at the one yard line, but Croom recovered in the end zone for the touchdown and the 14-0 Bills lead.

In the second quarter, the Bills took over at their own 27. Barkley went deep to Jones for a 33 yard gain. On 4th and 1 from the Jets 31, McDermott decided to go for it. An illegal shift penalty made it 4th and 6. McDermott instead opted for the field goal. Steve Hauschka nailed the 54 yarder to make it 17-0 Bills.

Buffalo got it back at their own 36. On 3rd and 4 from their 42, Barkley hit Jones for 5 yards. From the Jets 29, Barkley hit Holmes for 22 yards. Barkley then threw a tackle eligible to Dion Dawkins for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 24-0 Bills.   The Jets moved from their 30 to the Buffalo 37. An 18 yard run was wiped out by offensive holding. On the next play Josh McCown was intercepted by Milano, who returned it 29 yards to the Buffalo 46. McCoy ran for gains of 5 and 23. Murphy ran for 17 and McCoy added 7 more and then on 3rd and goal got the last yard on a drive without a single pass. The Bills led 31-0 with 90 seconds left in the half.

The Jets inspired the football world with a field goal before the half and a touchdown in the third quarter. Down 31-10, they would be mounting an epic comeback for the ages. No, not really. The Bills mounted a 12 play, 65 yard, 6 minute drive. It culminated in 3rd and goal at the 8 and Barkley hitting Zay Jones for the score to make it 38-10. Buffalo tacked on a fourth quarter field goal to complete the blowout. Barkley finished 15 of 25 for 232 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. McCoy ran for 113 yards on 26 carries with 2 touchdowns. Todd Bowles is on the very hot seat as games like this are why J-E-T-S stands for Just End The Season. 41-10 Bills

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears — Khalil Mack was back from injury but it was the Bears offense that went right to work, going 75 yards. From the Detroit 38, Mitchell Trubisky went to Robinson for 35 yards. Cohen ran for the 3 yard touchdown and the Bears led 6-0 after the missed extra point. The Lions moved from their 25 to a 4th and 2 from the Chicago 40. Matt Patricia decided to go for it and Johnson gained 10 yards. Yet a sack of Matthew Stafford set up 4th and 17 at the Chicago 37. Rather than try a 55 yard field goal, after 10 plays and 6 minutes, Patricia opted to punt.

The Bears took over at their own 9. On 3rd and 4 from their 15, the defense jumped offside. Trubisky then went to Robinson for 27 yards and Braunecker for 20 more. On 3rd and 15 from the Detroit 36, Trubisky went back to Robinson for the touchdown to make it 13-0 Bears.

Trubisky was 14 of 16 for 209 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the first half alone. He had a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3, which would be even more impressive if anyone understood what that meant. In the second quarter the Bears took over at their own 29. From their 33, Trubisky hit Cohen for 17, Burton for 5, and Miller for a 45 yard touchdown. Parkey again missed an extra point as the Bears led 19-0. Stafford was then intercepted, setting up the Bears at the Detroit 18. Trubisky ran for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 26-0 Bears.

The Lions tried to make a game of it. A 14 play, 75 yard drive consumed 7 minutes. Stafford hit Kenny Golladay for 11. On 3rd and 12 from their own 35, Stafford hit Golladay again for 13 and Jones for 14 more. On 3rd and 4 from the 11, Stafford threw incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. On 3rd and goal from the one, Kerryon Johnson got in as the Lions trailed 26-7 at halftime.

In the third quarter a 32 yard pass from Stafford to Jones led to a 52 yard Matt prater field goal to get the Lions within 26-10. The Bears missed  chance to extend the lead when Parkey missed a 41 yard field goal. Stafford immediately fumbled and the Bears took over at the Detroit 21. The Bears got nothing when Parkey’s nightmarish day continued. He missed a 34 yard field goal. In what may be an NFL first, all 4 of his misses were doinked off the upright no good. Most kickers could not purposely hit the upright if they tried, certainly not 4 times. It didn’t matter. A short punt had the Bears taking over at midfield. Trubisky hit Burton for 24 yards and Allen Robinson for a 26 yard touchdown. Trubisky hit Burton for the 2 point try to make it 34-10 Bears after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter Stafford was intercepted again but the Bears did not capitalize. The Lions got it back at midfield. Stafford hit Theo Riddick for 18 and Jones for 12 more. Roughing the passer meant 1st and goal at the 5. Stafford hit Golladay for the score. The 2 point try failed but the Lions were within 34-16 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

A well executed onside kick had the Lions recovering at the Chicago 38. 3 straight incompletions meant 4th and 10. Stafford went to Golladay for 25 yards and Johnson for the 13 yard touchdown. On the 2 point try, Stafford hit Golladay but Golladay was ruled short of the plane of the goal. Replay showed Golladay may have been in, but Matt Patricia unsuccessfully challenged the call. Down by 12, the Lions got it back at their own 20 with one minute left. Short passes left the Lions out of time. On a side note, outside of Angela Lansbury, the coolest women over 90 are Bears owner Virginia McCaskey and Lions owner Martha Ford. 34-22 Bears

  

New Orleans Saints  at Cincinnati Bengals — The Bengals are a good team. The Saints are a great team. After an emotional home win over the previously unbeaten Rams, the issue would be one of a letdown. Not in the era of Sean Payton and Drew Brees. The Saints started with a 15 play, 75 yard drive that consumed 8 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 3 from the Cincy 19, Brees hit Thomas for 9 yards and again for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints. After a touchback Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Boyd for a 23 yard gain. Dalton capped the drive with a 2 yard touchdown pass to John Ross. The game was tied after the first quarter, but it would be over by halftime.

After a touchback, Brees hit Mark Ingram for 27 yards. Brees went back to Ingram for a 28 yard touchdown early in the second quarter to make it 14-7 Saints. The Saints got it back at their own 10. Alvin Kamara ran for 14 yards and defensive pass interference added 11 more. Ingram ran for 18. Brees hit Carr for 12 and Kamara for 13 more.  Kamara ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Saints with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

A short punt had the Saints taking over at their own 40. On 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 43, Brees hit Kamara for 19 yards and Arnold for 23 yards down to the one. Sean Payton brought in the backup quarterback for one play. Kamara got in to make it 28-7 Saints with 90 seconds left in the half. The Bengals moved from their 23 to the Saints 34 with 24 seconds left in the half. Yet there would be no field goal try. Dalton was intercepted by Williams, who returned it 78 yards to the Cincy 17. Only 8 seconds remained in the half. That was enough time for Brees to hit Thomas for the back-breaker as the Saints took a 35-7 lead to the locker rooms.

The second half was a formality. In the third quarter, the Saints faced 3rd and 1 from the Cincy 11. Brees threw incomplete. In an act of mercy, Sean Payton opted for the field goal. Wil Lutz hit from 29 to make it 38-7 Saints. The Saints got it back at their own 38 and Ingram ran for 33 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Ingram got stopped. This time there would be no mercy. Payton went for it and Brees snuck over the top for the score to make it 45-7 Saints.

In the fourth quarter Lutz tacked on field goals of 42 and 41 sandwiched around a Dalton interception to make it 51-7 Saints. Sean Payton benched Drew Brees and brought in Teddy Bridgewater. I guess Brees is not that good. The Bengals got a garbage touchdown from backup quarterback Jeff Driskel. Brees finished a white hot 22 of 25 for 265 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions as the Saints got to 8-1 atop the NFC South. 51-14 Saints.

Atlanta Falcons  at Cleveland Browns — The Browns after an exchange of punts took over at their own 12. Baker Mayfield went to Perriman for a 16 yard gain and Chubb for 13 more. On 3rd and 9 from the Atlanta 38, Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry for 10 yards and Higgins for the 28 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Browns. After a touchback, the Falcons mounted a 14 play, 53 yard drive that took nearly 7 1/2 minutes. Despite one fourth down conversion, an aborted snap on a shotgun from the Cleveland 24 killed the drive. Georgio Tavecchio hit a 40 yard field goal to get the Falcons on the board in the second quarter.

An interception of Mayfield set up the Falcons at the Cleveland 45. Matt Ryan went to Julio Jones for 30 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Ryan hit Jones for the score and a 10-7 Falcons lead. The Browns took over at their 20. Mayfield went to Callaway for 25 yards. On 3rd and 1 at the Atlanta 46, Nick Chubb ran for 11, 4, and 20. Chubb then caught a 13 yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to make it 14-10 Browns. Coming into this game, the Falcons had won 3 straight while the Brows had lost several in a row. Surely the Falcons would stop toying with the Browns and dominate them in the second half. Again, cue ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman: “THAT’s why they PLAY the games.” 

The Falcons began the third quarter from their own 22. On 2nd and 18 from their own 37, Ryan hit Mohammed San for 4 yards. Sanu fumbled and the Browns recovered at the Atlanta 41. Mayfield was sacked and fumbled, but somehow picked up the ball and turned a loss into a 6 yard gain. Mayfield then hit Johnson for 10 and Chubb gained 10 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Atlanta 11, Mayfield hit Duke Johnson for the score to make it 21-10 Browns. The Browns got the ball back at their own 8. Chubb had the home crowd exploding by running for a 92 yard touchdown, the longest touchdown run in franchise history. Atlanta got one garbage touchdown in the fourth quarter but nothing more as Gregg Williams got his first win as Browns coach. 28-16 Browns

Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City Chiefs — On the first play from scrimmage, Patrick Mahomes went to Tyreek Hill for a 38 yard gain. On the second play Mahomes went back to Hill for a 37 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Cardinals mounted a 12 play, 75 yard, 6 minute drive. From midfield, Josh Rosen hit Seals-Jones for 21 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Chiefs 9, Rosen hit David Boston for the score for a 7-7 game.

Steve Wilks knew it would be almost impossible to stop the Chiefs offense, so he tried a surprise onside kick. It failed and the Chiefs took over at the Arizona 38. On 3rd and 13 from the Arizona 19, Mahomes was sacked. Harrison Butker hit a 45 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Chiefs. The Chiefs got it back at their own 18 in the second quarter and moved to a 2nd and 1 at the Arizona 18. However, Hunt lost 3 yards and Mahomes was sacked. Butker hit from 46 to make it 13-7 Chiefs.

The Chiefs got it back at their 27 and kept rolling. Hunt ran for gains of 17 and 13. From the Arizona 40, Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for 10 and Conley for 22 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 14, Mahomes went to Hill for the touchdown as the Chiefs led 20-7. The Cardinals put up much more of a fight than expected. They began the third quarter at their own 39. Runs and short passes moved them to a 3rd and 8 at the Chiefs 13. Rosen threw incomplete but roughing the passer meant 1st and goal at the 6. Johnson got the last yard to get the Cardinals within 20-14.

With 13 minutes left in regulation, the Cardinals took over at their own 17 with a chance for the upset of the year. Rosen hit Johnson for 23 yards. On the next play an attempt at a swing pass was intercepted by big man Justin Houston. The Chiefs took over at the Arizona 31. Hunt ran for 6. Mahomes then hit Kelce for 6 and Hunt for 16. Spencer Ware ran for the touchdown with 10 minutes left in regulation. The 2 point try failed but the Chiefs defense clamped down. Another interception of Rosen sealed Arizona’s fate. Congratulations to Larry Fitzgerald for becoming the 2nd most receiving yards leader in NFL history. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are 9-1, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 26-14 Chiefs

Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — A hideous first half saw Dustin Hopkins hit a 43 yard first quarter field goal for the Redskins. In the second quarter Chandler Catanzaro missed a 30 yard field goal and then later on made a 33 yarder for a 3-3 ballgame. Hopkins hit from 43 again as the Redskins took a 6-3 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter the Buccaneers moved from their own 4 yard line to a 3rd and 7 at the Washington 16. Out of the shotgun, a fumbled snap meant a 14 yard loss. Chandler Catanzaro missed the 48 yard field goal that would have tied the game.

The Redskins took over at their own 38. West Coast Offense dink and dunk game manager Alex Smith threw incomplete but roughing the passer added 15 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Tampa 46, Smith hit Harris for 20 yards. Smith hit Reed for 12 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the 6, Smith hit Josh Doctson for the game’s only touchdown one minute into the fourth quarter. An interception of Ryan Fitzpatrick led to one more Washington field goal to close out the scoring. Tampa Bay fumbled the ball away two more times as the Redskins got to 6-3 atop the NFC Least. 16-3 Redskins

Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders — The 6-2 Chargers were expected to steamroll the 1-7 Raiders. It would be the same thing as every week. The Raiders would start out with promise and then collapse. The Raiders held the ball for 17 minutes to start the game, moving 80 yards in 13 plays. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Jon Gruden had Derek Carr in the shotgun. Coaches who do this should be shot with one. Doug Martin got the carry and came up one yard short. Naturally Gruden decided to go for it. Naturally on 4th and goal at the one, Gruden had Carr in the shotgun. Naturally the Raiders tried a gimmicky lateral run rather than just play smash mouth. Naturally the Raiders got stopped.

The Raiders got it back at their own 41. and moved to a 2nd and 4 at the Chargers 27. Jalen Richard got stopped. On 3rd and 4, again Carr was in the shotgun. He threw incomplete. Carlson hit the 46 yard field goal. The Raiders dominated the first quarter, running 23 plays to only 6 for the Chargers. Yet the Raiders only led 3-0. The inevitable would happen soon enough.

The Raiders got the ball back at their own 26 and moved to a 3rd and 6 at the Chargers 21. Naturally, Carr was in the shotgun. The Raiders were in short field goal range. Even a field goal would put them up 6-0. Instead Carr was sacked by Melvin Ingram for an 11 yard loss. Making matters worse, Carr fumbled. Liuget picked it up and ran 24 yards to the Oakland 40. That was the turning point in the game. Despite the offensive collapse, the defense had not completely collapsed yet. On 2nd and 6 from the 8, Rivers was sacked and then threw incomplete. Badgley hit the 27 yard field goal for a 3-3 game.

With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Chargers were pinned at their own 9 yard line. Now it was time for the defensive meltdown. Rivers hit Gordon for 5 yards and Williams for 31 more. Rivers hit Antonio Gates for 18 yards. With 33 seconds left in the half the Chargers faced 3rd and 6 at the Oakland 19. One stop would keep things calm. Instead the Raiders jumped to make it 3rd and 1. Rivers hit Williams for 3 yards and then Keenan Allen for the 11 yard touchdown. The Raiders trailed 10-3 at halftime, but everyone knew they were finished.

The Chargers began the second half at their own 23. From their 34, a short pass from Rivers to Gordon went for a 66 yard touchdown. The defensive back-breaker was now complete. The Raiders trailed 17-3 with almost the entire second half to play, but this game was over. An interception of Rivers led to nothing. The Raiders moved from their 19 and began the fourth quarter with 2nd and 9 at the Chargers 12. Carr threw incomplete twice. With the entire fourth quarter to play, Jon Gruden inspired nobody by opting for a field goal. Carlson hit from 30 but the Raiders trailed 17-6.

The Chargers ran a 12 play drive that moved 57 yards and bled 7 1/2 minutes off the clock. The defense did keep the Chargers out of the end zone, but Badgley hit the 41 yarder to put the Chargers back up by 14. The Raiders moved from their 21 to a 4th and 5 at the Chargers 19. The Raiders burned a timeout to talk it over. With Carr naturally in the shotgun and no offensive line protection, Carr practically threw it in the dirt as the crowd booed relentlessly. For the second straight week, the Raiders failed to score a touchdown. 20-6 Chargers

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams — Last week the Rams were knocked from the unbeaten ranks. Seattle fought them tough. After a touchback, the Seahawks soon faced 3rd and 8 at their own 39. Russell Wilson threw incomplete but roughing the passer kept the drive going. From the Rams 46, Tyler Lockett ran for 18 yards with 14 more tacked on for a defensive facemark. On 3rd and 4 from the Rams 8, Wilson hit Vannett for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Seahawks.

The Rams came back 86 yards in 10 plays. Jared Goff hit Cooper Kupp for 6 and Woods for 20 more. From the Seattle 30, Goff hit Todd Gurley for 20 yards and Everett for the 10 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. After a touchback, on 1st and 10 from their own 36, Penny went up the middle for a 38 yard gain. Penny then ran for an 18 yard touchdown as the Seahawks led 14-7 after the first quarter.

The Rams moved from their 39 and began the second quarter with 3rd and 8 at the Seattle 17. Goff threw incomplete. Greg Zuerlein hit the 35 yard field goal to get the Rams within 14-10. Midway through the second quarter the Rams took over at their own 14. Gurley ran for 11 and 9. Goff hit Woods for 18 yards. Gurley ran for 10 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 34, Goff hit Cooks for 10 yards and again for 7 more. Gurley got around the end for a 17 yard touchdown as the Rams led 17-14 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Rams moved from their 25 to a 1st and 10 at the Seattle 25. A sack and a false start killed the drive. Zuerlein hit a 37 yard field goal as the 10 play, 56 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive had the Rams up 20-14. Seattle got it back after a touchback and Wilson was quickly intercepted. However, defensive holding kept the drive going. From just past midfield, Penny gained 24 yards with 15 taken away for unsportsmanlike conduct. On 3rd and 11 from the Rams 41, Wilson threw incomplete but this time unsportsmanlike conduct kept the drive going. Wilson threw a 23 yard touchdown to Tyler Lockett as the Seahawk regained the lead 21-20 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.

After a touchback, from the Rams 37, Goff hit Cooks for 14 yards. On 3rd and 15 from the Rams 46, Goff hit Woods for 35 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Goff hit Tyler Thigbee for the 10 yard touchdown to put the Rams back up 26-21. The 2 point try failed. The Seahawks moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 5 at the Seattle 8 yard line. Wilson was sacked. Sebastian Janikowski hit the 33 yard field goal as the Seahawks trailed 26-24 with 10 minutes left in regulation.

Pete Carroll tried a surprise onside kick, but it did not work. The Rams took over at the Seattle 46. Goff hit Woods for 22 yards and Cooks for 15 more. A pair of incompletions meant 3rd and goal at the 9. Goff hit Cooks for 7 yards. On 4th and goal at the 2, a touchdown and extra point would make it a 2 score game. Yet Sean McVay was taking no chances. Zuerlein hit the 20 yard field goal as the Rams led 29-24 midway through the fourth quarter. With 6 minutes left in regulation came the play of the game. The Seahawks faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Wilson went back to pass and had the ball chopped out of his hand by Dante Fowler. A mad scramble ensued and the Rams recovered the fumble all the way at the Seattle 9. One play later cooks got around the end for the touchdown to make it 36-24 Rams.

Wilson led a furious rally, taking the Seahawks 90 yards in desperation mode. Wilson threw a 3 yard touchdown to Davis  with 1:56 to play to get within 5 points. Pete Carroll brought in the punter for what was a shallow kick but not an onside kick. Seattle took all 3 timeouts on defense and got the ball back at their own 25 with 90 seconds left.

Chaos ensued on the first play from scrimmage. Wilson appeared sacked. Then he appeared to shovel pass the ball incomplete to nobody, which would have been intentional grounding. Yet the officials never blew the whistle, and it was treated like a live ball. Aaron Donald recovered the fumble for the Rams, was hit out of bounds, and then returned fire. Officials sorted it out as an incomplete pass and offsetting personal fouls. Seattle dodged the intentional grounding.

On the next play Wilson fired deep over the middle for a 29 yard gain. Wilson then scrambled for an 11 yard gain and raced up to the line and spiked the ball to stop the clock with 37 seconds left. On 2nd and 10 Wilson went for it all and overthrew everyone incomplete as the Rams took their 2nd timeout. Under heavy pressure Wilson threw incomplete again to set up 4th and 10 with 26 seconds left. The Rams took their final timeout.

Wilson had to decide at the last moment to run or pass, and he overthrew Lockett. Sean McVay and Michelin Man Wade Philips have a 9-1 football team, and the coaches all dressed in Army gear for Veteran’s Day pumped their fists. In what was a gut-wrenching week for Los Angeles due to fires and a country bar shooting, the Rams gave Angelenos a brief respite from the pain. If anyone felt healing, then football played its proper role in society in a thrilling finish. 36-31 Rams

Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers — Green Bay was expected to roll, but Miami put up a fight. Early on the Dolphins moved from their 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Green Bay 14. For some reason, Brock Osweiler was in the shotgun. Coaches who use the shotgun in the situation should be shot with one. Osweiler fumbled the snap and the Packers recovered at their own 30. Jones ran for 12 yards, Rodgers gained 7, and Jones got 15 more. From the Miami 26, Rodgers hit Jones for 19 yards and Devontae Adams for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers.

The Dolphins punted on 4th and 4 from their own 30, but the Packers fumbled it and the Dolphins got it back at midfield. Despite 2nd and 8 from the Green Bay 11, Osweiler threw incomplete and then was sacked. Sanders hit the 37 yard field goal, but this problem plagued the Dolphins all day.

The Packers score touchdowns. From their own 29, Jones ran for a 67 yard gain. On the first play of the second quarter, Jones ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Packers. Miami moved the ball well but did not crack the end zone. Sanders hit field goals of 25 and 47 in the second quarter. In the third quarter the Dolphins blocked a punt and took over at the Green Bay 28. Yet for the fourth time they settled for a 40 yard Sanders field goal as the Dolphins trailed 14-12.

Yet Sanders kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, setting up the Packers at their own 40. Rodgers hit Valdes-Scantling for 8 yards and Lewis for 30 more. From the Miami 22, Jones ran for 12 and then for the 10 yard touchdown to make it 21-12 Packers. Osweiler was then quickly intercepted, setting the Packers up at the Miami 12. On 2nd and 23 from the Miami 25 after an illegal crackajack penalty, Rodgers hit Adams for the touchdowns. Each team scored 4 times, but the Packers were scoring touchdowns while the Dolphins kicked field goals. The Packers tacked on a fourth quarter field goal of their own for the final margin. 31-12 Packers

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles was the Sunday night game. The first half was brutal defense. In the first quarter an interception of Carson Wentz set up Dallas at the Philly 38. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Dak Prescott threw incomplete. Maher hit the 25 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. In the second quarter the Eagles faced 4th and 1 at the Dallas 20. Doug Peterson decided to go for it. Adams got the carry and got blasted for a 3 yard loss.

In the second quarter the Cowboys moved 64 yards in 14 plays and 8 minutes.Yet on 3rd and goal at the 4, Prescott got sacked for a 9 yard loss.Maher hit from 31 to make it 6-0 Cowboys. The Eagles moved from their 27 to a 1st and 10 at the Dallas 38. Wentz threw 3 straight incompletions.Doug Pederson gambled on a 56 yard field goal, and Elliott delivered to get the Eagles within 6-3.

After a touchback, with one minute left in the half, the Cowboys faced 3rd and 15 at their own 15. The Eagles made a mistake by taking a timeout on defense. A simple West Coast Offense sideways give up pass from Prescott to Gallups gained 25 yards. Then Prescott hit Cole Beasley for 21 yards. Prescott then hit Hurns for 17 yards down to the one. Prescott got the yard with 15 seconds left in the half as the Cowboys led 13-3.

In the third quarter a short 34 yard punt had the Eagles taking over at their own 45. On 3rd and 7 from the Dallas 8, Wentz threw incomplete. Elliott hit the 26 yard field goal to get the Eagles within 13-6. The Cowboys after a touchback saw Elliott rip off gains of 15 and 35 yards. On 2nd and 8 from the Philly 23, Prescott threw incomplete. On 3rd and 8 out of the shotgun, a disaster on the snap almost meant a 17 yard loss until Prescott turned it into an incompletion. Maher came in for the 42 yard field goal to extend the lead, but it was no good.

The Eagles marched 68 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 11 from their own 44, Wentz hit Mathews for gains of 18 and 12. The Eagles finally got in the end zone when Wentz hit Zach Ertz for a 15 yard touchdown. After three quarters the game was tied 13-13.

After a touchback, Elliott ran for a pair of 4 yard gains and 13 more on 3rd and 2. The fourth quarter began with the Cowboys at their own 46. Elliott caught a pass for 6 yards and ran for 18 more. Prescott then hit Cole Beasley for 15. On 3rd and 2 from the Philly 7, Prescott hit Elliott for the touchdown to make it 20-13 Cowboys with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

The Eagles took over at their own 26. From their 41, Wentz went bombs away to Nelson Agholor for a 51 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Wentz hit Ertz for the score. Midway through the fourth quarter, the game was tied 20-20. After a touchback, Prescott went to schultz for 17 yards and Amari Cooper for 24 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Philly 32, Prescott hit Allan Hurns for 23 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Elliott got in. With 3:19 to play, the Cowboys were back on top by 7.

At the 2 minute warning, the Eagles faced 3rd and 2 at the Dallas 30. A West Coast Offense sideways pass lost 5 yards. On 4th and 7, Wentz threw a pass that was caught at the marker but was ruled short of the first down. After further review, the ruling was confirmed. The Eagles had all 3 timeouts with 1:09 to play.

A pitchout lost yards. A West Coast Offense sideways pass lost more yards. On 3rd and 15 Prescott danced around and went down. The Eagles took their timeouts as only 16 seconds left the clock. The Eagles took over at their own 32 with 40 seconds left. With 11 seconds left they were at the Dallas 32. Rather than go to the end zone, Wentz completed a pass over the middle of the field to Ertz for a 23 yard gain. Trapped at the Dallas 9 with nowhere to go, Ertz tried to lateral without success as the clock ran out.

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers was the Monday night game. These teams played what may have been the greatest game in Monday Night Football history. In 1990. The 49ers won 7-3 and the Giants won the rematch 15-13 in the most brutal NFC Title Game ever played. The rematch 28 years later featured a pair of awful teams. To be fair, they actually played a competitive game.

In the first quarter a 23 yard punt return had the 49ers taking over at their own 46. Robbie Gould nailed a 53 yard field goal for a 3-0 49ers lead. The 49ers got it back and faced 2nd and 12 at their own 6. A pass by Nick Mullins was deflected and doinked in the air and intercepted by Goodson. On 3rd and 8 from the San Francisco 12, Eli Manning hit O’Dell Beckham for the score to make it 7-3 Giants.

After a touchback the 49ers went 75 yards. Mullens hit Greg Kittle for 18 yards. The second quarter began with the 49ers at the Giants 41. Mullens hit Kittle for 22 yards. A defensive facemark on the next play added 10 yards. Matt bread ran for 6 yards and then the 3 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 Giants.

After an exchange of punts, the Giants went 80 yards and 14 plays, taking nearly 7 minutes. The Giants took over at their own 18. A defensive facemark moved them 15 yards. Manning hit Beckham for 13 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the 49ers 45, Manning hit Saquon Barkley for 13 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the 49ers 31, Manning hit Coleman for 11 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the 49ers 20, Manning threw incomplete but defensive pass interference on Richard Sherman meat 1st and goal at the 10. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Barkley only gained one yard. On 4th and goal at the 2, Pat Shurmur took no chances. Alrdick Rosas hit the 20 yard field goal to make it 10-10 with 1:50 left in the half.

On 3rd and 5 from their own 30, Mullins hit Kittle for 18 yards. and Goodwin for 17 yards. With 18 seconds left in the half, the 49ers faced 3rd and 11 at the Giants 31. Mullens hit Goodwin for 13 yards. Robbie Gould ended the half with a 36 yard field goal for a 13-10 49ers lead.

Rosas kicked the second half kickoff out of bounds to set up the 49ers at their own 40. On 3rd and 5 at their own 45, Mullens hit Breida for 19 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Giants 11, Mullens hit Breida for the touchdown to make it 20-10 49ers midway through the third quarter.

The Giants got a spark when the ensuing kickoff was returned 51 yards to the Giants 47. Manning went deep to Beckham for 30 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the 20, Manning went deep again to Beckham for the touchdown. The Giants were right back in it down 20-17. The Giants got it back at the Frisco 47 when the 49ers were penalized for interference on the punt. Shepard got around the end for a 27 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 3 from the Frisco 13, Manning threw incomplete. Rosas hit the 31 yard field goal as the game was tied 20-20 after three quarters.

On the first play if the fourth quarter form just past midfield, Mullens was intercepted. However, the Giants failed to capitalize. With 9 minutes left in regulation, the 49ers took over at their own 34. Breida ran for a 23 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Giants 41, Mullens hit Bourne for 11 yards. With 2:50 to play, on 3rd and 6 from the Giants 15, Mullens hit Bourne for only 3 yards. The Giants took a timeout to stop the clock. Gould hit the 30 yard field goal. After 11 plays, 54 yards, and 6 minutes, the 49ers retook the lead 23-20.

After a touchback, Manning went deep to Engram for 31 yards. At the 2 minute warning after a false start, the Giants faced 3rd and 12 at the Frisco 46. Manning threw incomplete, but defensive holding on Smith meant an automatic 1st and 10 at the Frisco 41. Offensive holding forced the Giants into 1st and 20, but on the next play defensive pass interference got 16 yards back. Manning then went to Barkley for 23 yards. On 1st and 10 from the 12 with 1:15 left, Manning hit Engram for 9 yards. Manning then went to Sterling Shepard for the 3 yard touchdown. With 50 seconds left, the Giants had taken the 4 point lead.

After a touchback, Mullens threw incomplete but roughing the passer moved the 49ers to their own 40. A killer false start penalty forced the 49ers to take their final timeout with 32 seconds left rather than face a 10 second runoff. A short pass over the middle gained 12 yards to the Giants 47 as Mullens spiked the ball with 18 seconds left. Mullens threw a deep ball over the middle. Unable to get out of bounds, the fans watched as it looked like the clock would run out.

Somehow Mullens got everybody set and spiked the ball with one second left at the Giants 23 yard line. Mullens went to the end zone. The ball was thrown out the back of the end zone. There was a flag on the play, and the crowd expected a defensive penalty and one more untimed down. It was offensive holding. The game was over. If ever a man had a right to be vindicated, it was Eli Manning. For a washed up guy, he sure looked heroic down the stretch. 27-23 Giants

NFL 2018 Week 10 Prequel

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NFL 2018 Week 9 Recap

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 9 Recap

Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers — Forget the past. The 1-6 Raiders took on the 1-7 49ers in what should be called, in a tribute to Chris Berman, the Bay of Pigs. The 49ers were starting third string quarterback Nick Mullens, who had never started an NFL game before. Yet the Raiders have no defense, no offensive line, and nothing resembling a football team outside of their quarterback. They are also on their fourth kicker of the year. Early on the Raiders moved from their 25 to a 1st and 10 at the San Francisco 13. A sack and an offensive holding penalty killed the drive. Carlson hit the 37 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Raiders, concluding anything positive to be said about this team.

Mullins’s 1st NFL pass was an 11 yard completion. Then Matt Breida ran for 18 yards and master added 14 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 24, Mullens threw his first NFL touchdown pass to Pierre Gardon to make it 7-3 49ers. The 49ers got it back at faced 3rd and 4 from their 40. Mullins hit Garcon for 7 yards. Mullens then hit Garcon for 25 yards. The second quarter began with the 49ers facing 3rd and 1 at the Oakland 3. Breida got the carry and got caught in the backfield. It didn’t matter. Breida shook the tackle and got the yard. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Mullens hit Bourne for the score to make it 14-3 49ers.

With the 49ers facing 2nd and 4 at their own 26, a run lost 2 yards. Rather than let the clock wind down, the Raiders chose to take a timeout on defense. The theory was to get a stop and get a chance on offense. What about the Raiders defense gave their coaching staff the idea that a stop was possible? On 3rd and 4, Mullins found James for a 53 yard gain. Robbie Gould hit a 39 yard field goal to make it 17-3 49ers at halftime.

The 49ers actually fumbled their first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, but held on the the ball. On 2nd and 12 from their own 23, a pass from Mullens to Greg Kittle went for a 71 yard gain against the lifeless Raiders. Mullens threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Kittle to make it 24-3 49ers. The 49ers got it back at their own 32. From their 48, a run followed by bumbling keystone cops trying to tackle meant a 52 yard touchdown for Mostert. The 49ers led 31-3 after three quarters.

The Raiders lost to the 1-5 Colts and 1-6 49ers in successive weeks. They are awful in every phase of the game. In this game Carr was sacked 6 times. He was benched in the fourth quarter for his own safety. AJ McCarron played the final 12 minutes. On 4th and inches from their own 29, Jon Gruden decided to go for it. McCarron got stopped on the quarterback sneak. Gould hit the 31 yard field goal to wrap up the scoring. 34-3 49ers

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings — Trading away Golden Tate did not help the Lions. Matthew Stafford had bigger problems as his offensive line was overwhelmed by Mike Zimmer’s defense. Stafford was sacked 10 times. A very short opening kickoff was returned 15 yards to the Minnesota 35. On 4th and 2 from the Detroit 37, Mike Zimmer decided to go for it. Kirk Cousins hit Beebe for 13 yards and Latavius Murray for 16 more. Murray then gained 7 and finally got the last yard to make it 7-0 Vikings.

The Lions had a 14 play drive and held the ball for nearly 8 1/2 minutes. They began the second quarter with 1st and goal at the 4. After a false start on 3rd and goal at the 8, Stafford was sacked. Matt Prater hit the 35 yard field goal to get the Lions within 7-3. An interception of Cousins had the Lions starting at the Minnesota 44. Despite 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 12, a pair of sacks killed the drive. Prater again hit from 35 to get the Lions within 7-6. They’d get no closer.

After a touchback, Cook took a handle and raced 70 yards. Cousins hit Adam Thielen for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Vikings. Minnesota got it back at their own 48 with 39 seconds left in the half. Cousins hit Laquon Treadwell for 22 yards. Dan Bailey hit a 39 yard field goal to end the half with the Vikings up 17-6. Zimmer’s defense clamped down in the second half. With 10 minutes left in regulation. A Detroit fumble was returned 32 yards for a Minnesota touchdown to make it 24-6 Vikings. The Lions countered with a mind-numbing 17 play, 69 yard drive that ate up 6 minutes. All they got was another field goal. 24-9 Vikings

Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills — After a scoreless first quarter, the Bears exploded in the second quarter and put the game away by halftime. An unnecessary roughness call on a punt had the Bears taking over at the Buffalo 37. On 3rd and 15, Mitchell Trubisky hit Burton for 26 yards. Jordan Howard ran for a one yard touchdown to start the deluge. Midway through the second quarter the Bills faced 3rd and 9 at the Chicago 34. Buffalo, fumbled, and Eddie Jackson returned it 65 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 Bears.

Nathan Peterman, who is not Jewish, is not the worst quarterback to ever play football. However, he is making a case to be in the discussion. After throwing one interception that Chicago did not convert into points, his next interception was returned 19 yards for a score by Leonard Floyd to make it 21-0 Bears. With 1:46 left in the half, the Bills punted on 4th and 22 from their own 13. Cohen returned it 36 yards to the Buffalo 23. Howard ran for an 18 yard touchdown and a 28-0 Bears lead at intermission. League rules prevented the second half from being canceled. Peterman did add a third interception. 41-9 Bears

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers — Jameis Winston is not the answer, but Ryan Fitzpatrick plays better in relief than as a starter. An interception of Fitzpatrick by Eric Reid was returned 39 yards to the Tampa 10 yard line. Alex Armah ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. Carolina got it back at their own 12. From their 29, Cam Newton hit Christian McCaffrey for 32 yards and Moore ran for 32 more. McCaffrey ran it in from 3 yards out to make it 14-0 Panthers. In the second quarter the Bucs moved 75 yards. Fitzpatrick hit OJ Howard for a 4 yard touchdown to get the Buccaneers within 14-7.

After that Carolina blasted the Bucs to pieces. After a touchback, Newton hit Devon Funchess for 16 yards and Greg Olsen for 23 more. Curtis Samuel ran for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Panthers. The Bucs punted on 4th and 24 from their own 6 and the Panthers got it back at the Tampa 42. McCaffrey ran for a 35 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, McCaffrey got in to make it 28-7 Panthers. Dirk Koetter tried a fake punt on 4th and 9 at his own 26. It failed. Newton went deep to Funchess for 23 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 17, Newton hit Olsen for the score as the Panthers led 35-7.

Fitzpatrick led a furious rally. After a touchback he moved the Bucs to a 4th and goal at the 3 with 15 seconds left in the half. Fitzpatrick hit Howard for the score to get the Buccaneers within 35-14. In the third quarter Fitzpatrick led a 10 play, 84 yard drive helped along by a 19 yard defensive pass interference call. Fitzpatrick hit Humphries for the 5 yard score to get the Buccaneers within 35-21. Tampa got it back and soon faced 3rd and 17 at their own 14. Fitzpatrick hit Chris Godwin for 25 yards, Howard for 31 more, Humphries for the 30 yard touchdown less than one minute into the fourth quarter. 3 straight touchdowns by Carolina were answered by 3 straight touchdowns by Tampa as the Buccaneers only trailed 35-28.

For the second week in a row, the Tampa miracle comeback fell short. After sleepwalking through the second half, Carolina finally woke up. On 3rd and 2 from their own 33, Newton hit McCaffrey and Olsen for a pair of 20 yard gains. On 2nd and 15 from the Tampa 19, Newton hit Curtis Samuel for the clinching touchdown. An interception of Fitzpatrick with 3:45 left sealed it. Fitzpatrick finished 24 of 40 for 243 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Newton was 19 of 25 for 247 yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions as Carolina got to 6-2 and only one game back of the NFC South lead. 42-28 Panthers

Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns — Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired, cheating Haley out of a chance to lose to the previous team that fired him. The Chiefs got the ball at their own 5 yard line. From their own 29, Patrick Mahomes went to Travis Kelce for 21 yards and to Kareem Hunt for a 50 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. After a touchback the Browns moved to a 3rd and 7 at the Chiefs 24. Baker Mayfield was sacked. Joseph hit the 51 yard field goal as the Browns trailed 7-3. Both offenses moved fairly well in the second quarter.

After a touchback, the Chiefs would faced 3rd and 19 at their own 46. Patrick Mahomes found ware for a 25 yard gain to end the first quarter. Mahomes hit Kelce for an 11 yard score to make it 14-3 Chiefs. After a touchback, the Browns moved to a 4th and 2 at the Chiefs 43. Interim coach Gregg williams decided to go for it. Mayfield hit Johnson for a 23 yard gain. Nick Chubb did the rest, catching a pass for 5, running for 12, and running for the 3 yard score. Williams also decided to chase points and go for the 2 point conversion. It failed as the Browns were down 14-9.

After a touchback the Chiefs kept rolling. Mahomes hit Sammy Watkins for 19 yards and Tyreek Hill for a 40 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Cleveland 10, Hunt gained 9 and then got the last yard to make it 21-9 Chiefs. Again the Browns answered. From their own 21, Cleveland moved to a 4th and 1 just past midfield. Again Gregg Williams decided to go for it. The Chiefs jumped and committed encroachment. Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry for 17 yards and Duke Johnson for the 19 yard touchdown. Again Williams decided to chase points and again the 2 point try failed as the Browns were down 21-15 at halftime.

In the second half the Chiefs put the game away. They took the kickoff and marched 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 3rd and 4 just past midfield, Mahomes hit Ware for 21 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Cleveland 29,Mahomes hit Kelce for 16 yards and again for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 28-15 Chiefs. The backbreaker came when the Browns punted and the Chiefs blocked it to take over at the Cleveland 21. Hunt ran for 11 and then the 10 yard score to make it 34-15 Chiefs after the extra point doinked off the upright no good.

The fourth quarter was uneventful as the Chiefs coasted. Mayfield would throw one touchdown followed by a third failed 2 point try. The Chiefs tacked on one more field goal and intercepted Mayfield to seal it. The Chiefs are 8-1 and still atop the AFC, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 37-21 Chiefs

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins — Sometimes a pair of boring teams can come together and produce a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. Neither team scored an offensive touchdown. After a scoreless first quarter, Sanders hit second quarter field goals of 43 and 27 to make it 6-0 Dolphins. Jason Myers hit from 48 to end the half with the Jets down 6-3. In the scoreless third quarter, Myers missed from 50. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Sam Darnold had a pass intercepted and returned 25 yards for a touchdown by Jerome Baker to make it 13-3 Dolphins. Myers nailed a 56 yard field goal with 6 minutes left to get the Jets within 7, but Darnold was intercepted two more times in the final 4 1/2 minutes in a game where even the winning team should burn the tape. 13-6 Dolphins

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens — These teams play hard hitting defensive games and this one was true to form. In the first quarter the Ravens moved 66 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Joe Flacco threw incomplete. Justin Tucker hit the 23 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Ravens. Ryan Switzer returned the ensuing kickoff 31 yards to the Pittsburgh 39. On 3rd and 5 from the Pittsburgh 7, Ben Roethlisberger hit James Conner for the touchdown to make it 7-3 Steelers.

In the second quarter the Steelers moved 75 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Baltimore 41, Mike Tomlin decided to go for it. Big Ben hit Juju Smith-Schuster for a 6 yard gain. Conner ran for 12 and caught a pass for 17 more. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Steelers. Baltimore moved from their 37 to a 3rd and 2 at the Pittsburgh 4. Lamar Jackson came in, but lost a yard. Tucker again hit from 23 but Baltimore was kicking field goals while the Steelers were scoring touchdowns. That was the difference as the Ravens trailed 14-6 at the break,

In the third quarter the Steelers appeared to break the game open by going 75 yards in 15 plays and consuming over 8 minutes. Roethlisberger converted three third downs and got the last yard himself. Boswell missed the extra point but the Steelers led 20-6. This time the Ravens answered, moving 75 yards in 11 plays. On 3rd and 10 from the Pittsburgh 17, Flacco threw incomplete. This time defensive pass interference bailed out Baltimore. From the one, Alex Collins got in as the Ravens only trailed 20-13 after three quarters.

The fourth quarter began with the Steelers at their own 15. An 11 play, 74 yard drive took nearly 6 minutes. On 3rd and goal from the 11, Roethlisberger threw incomplete. Boswell hit the critical 29 yard field goal to put the Steelers up 23-13 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Ravens moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 4 at the Pittsburgh 18. Flacco completed a pass for a one yard loss. Needing 2 scores, the field goal was the only sensible decision. Tucker hit from 37 to get the Ravens within 7 with 5 1/2 minutes left. By the time the Ravens got the ball back at their 24, only 44 seconds remained. They went backward as each team won on the opposing team’s field. Baltimore fell to 4-4 looking up at Pittsburgh. Red zone inefficiencies were the difference. 23-16 Steelers

Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins — The Redskins came in at 5-2 but faced an Atlanta team that had finally begun to find its stride. In the first quarter the Falcons faced 3rd and 7 at their own 22. Matt Ryan hit Mohammed San for 12 yards. On 3rd and 6 from their own 38, Matty Ice hit Hooper for 23 yards and Tevin Coleman for a 39 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons.

In the second quarter The Falcons faced 3rd and 6 at their own 18. Ryan went to Julio Jones for 21 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Washington 32, Ryan went to Hooper for 20 yards. Ito Smith ran for a 12 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Falcons. West Coast Offense Game Manager Alex Smith dinked and dunked the Redskins to an 11 play, 80 yard, 6 minute drive. Smith hit Josh Doctson for a 2 yard touchdown to get the Redskins within 14-7. The Falcons had too much firepower. On 3rd and 10 from their own 25, Ryan hit Sanu for 16 yards. Defensive pass interference added 15 more. On 3rd and 9 from the Washington 40, Ryan went to Calvin Ridley for the touchdown to make it 21-7 Falcons.

The Falcons took the second half kickoff and put the game away. Coleman ran for gains of 9, 16 and 7. Ryan hit Ridley for 10 and Jones for 11. Ryan hit Coleman for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 28-7 Falcons. Alex Smith was not going to dink and dunk his way into overcoming that. The Redskins reached the end zone once more in the third quarter but that was it. The Falcons struck the end zone again in the fourth quarter and added a field goal to complete the blowout. After a 1-4 start, the Falcons are now 4-4 and in the hunt. 38-14 Falcons

Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks — The Seahawks took over at their 25 and went right to work. Carson ran for 15 and 5 and Davis ran for 6 more. After a bunch of runs, Russell Wilson threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown to make it 7-0 Seahawks. The Chargers responded despite starting at their own 6 yard line. Keenan Allen ran for a 28 yard gain. Philip Rivers hit Melvin Gordon for 10 yards and Tyrell Williams for 11 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Seattle 12, Rivers hit Williams for the touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Chargers trailed 7-6. Yet in the second quarter the Chargers took over.

On 3rd and 15 from their own 12, Rivers went deep to Allen for a 54 yard gain. On the next play Gordon ran for a 34 yard touchdown to make it 12-7 Chargers. The 2 point try failed. Seattle missed a chance to get closer when Sebastian Janikowski’s 51 yard field goal try dunked off the upright no good. With 2:05 left in the half, the Chargers took over at their own 35. Rivers hit Allen for gains of 12 and 23 and then threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams to make it 19-7 Chargers.

Janikowski did hit a 44 yard field goal to end the half with the Seahawks down 19-10, but the Chargers brought the defense in the second half. Sturgis missed a 42 yard field goal that would have extended the lead, but it didn’t matter. With 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Desmond King intercepted Wilson and returned it 42 yards to pay dirt. Sturgis missed another extra point, but despite his miserable day the Chargers led 25-10.

Wilson led a 14 play drive that included three 4th down conversions. On 4th and goal from the 6, Wilson hit Nick Vannett for the score. With 1:50 left the Seahawks were within 8 points. The onside kick failed, but Seattle took their timeouts on defense and San Diego took only 16 seconds off the clock. Seattle got it back at their own 22 with 1:33 to play. Wilson hit Vannett for 10 and Tyler Lockett for 9 with 15 more tacked on for roughing the passer. With 5 seconds to play the Seahawks faced 4th and 2 at the Chargers 20. Wilson went to the end zone incomplete but defensive pass interference meant one untimed down from the one yard line. A fable start moved the ball back to the 6. With everything on the line, Wilson threw incomplete as the Chargers got to 6-2 and one game out in the AFC West. 25-17 Chargers

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos — Houston began at their own 25. From their 36, DeShaun Watson went to Jordan Thomas for a 31 yard gain and then again for 18 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Denver 7, Watson hit Thomas for the score to make it 7-0 Texans. Midway through the opening quarter, a facemask penalty on a punt had the Broncos taking over just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 8, Case Keenum hit Sutton for 21 yards. Brandon McManus hit a 44 yard field goal to get the Broncos within 7-3.

The Texans moved 55 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. The second quarter began with the Texans facing 4th and 1 at the Denver 19. Bill O’Brien decided to go for it and Alfred Blue got blasted for a one yard loss. Yet 4 plays later, Denver fumbled the ball right back and the Texans took over at the Denver 22. On 3rd and 4, Watson hit DeAndre Hopkins for the 16 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Texans led 13-3. Denver got it back at their own 13 and struck quickly. Keenum went to LaCrosse for 44 yards and Heuerman for 14 more. From the Denver 24, Keenum hit Heuerman for 10 and Devontae Booker ran for a 14 yard score to get the Broncos within 13-10.

With 1:42 left in the half, the Broncos were pinned at their own 5 yard line. With less than 30 seconds left in the half, Vance Joseph had McManus try a 62 yard field goal to tie the game. It was a desperation move that backfired. The kick was no good, setting up the Texans at the Denver 48 with 18 seconds left. Watson hit Griffin for 13 and Hopkins for 7 more. With 3 seconds left, Fairbairn came in for a more manageable 46 yard field goal try. His kick was good, as the critical 6 point swing had the Texans taking a 16-10 lead to the locker rooms.

In the third quarter, the Broncos moved 81 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. Keenum hit Sutton for 22 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Denver 45, Keenum hit Sutton for 14 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 12, Keenum hit Heuerman for the score. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter, the Broncos led 17-16. The Texans responded with a 13 play, 56 yard, 7 minute drive. The fourth quarter began with the Texans facing 2nd and 9 at the Denver 16. Watson threw incomplete and then was sacked. Fairbairn hit the 37 yard field goal to put the Texans back in front 19-17.

After several punts, Denver took over at their own 14 with 3 1/2 minutes to play. On 3rd and 4 from the Denver 20, Keenum hit Heuerman for 11 yards. With 1:55 to play, the Broncos faced 4th and 1 at their own 40. Keenum hit Heuerman for 3 yards. Offensive penalties had Denver facing 1st and 25 at their own 28. Keenum hit Patrick for 17. On 4th and 8 from the Denver 45, Keenum hit Sanders for 18 yards. With 3 seconds left, McManus came in for a 51 yard field goal try to win it. Against Oakland, McManus kicked the winner on the final play, with a missed extra point giving Denver the one point win. Again, a missed extra point set up the same scenario. However, this time McManus was no good. Houston survived the scare to win their 6th straight game after an 0-3 start. 19-17 Texans

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints — This game is why we watch football. The 8-0 Rams took on the 6-1 Saints. The game was expected to be a shootout, and it was everything along those lines and more. If this was an NFC Title Game Preview, that game will be a ratings blockbuster. Both teams have very good defense that were overwhelmed by their even better offenses.

The Saints started with the ball and went 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Alvin Kamara ran for gains of 5 and 12. Drew Brees hit Thomas for 12 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Rams 37, Sean Payton decided to go for it. Both teams knew they would need a ton of points. Hill gained 9 yards. Brees then hit Thomas for 16 yards. Kamara ran for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints.The Rams began their opening drive at their 29.. Jared Goff went deep to Higbee for a 33 yard gain. Goff ran for 9 to the Saints 27. Todd Gurley did the rest, running for 5, 14, and the 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-7.

The Saints took over at their 25 and Brees went to Smith for 19 yards.From the Rams 35, Brees hit Watson for 17 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Rams 16, Brees hit Kamara for the touchdown to make it 14-7 Saints. Then the Rams had their turn after a touchback. Goff hit Woods for 12 yards and then went deep to Cooks for a 48 yard gain. The second quarter began with Goff hitting Cooks for a 4 yard touchdown. Each team had the ball twice and reached the end zone twice. The game was tied 14-14, and there were no signs of either team slowing down.

Yet games like this do change. The Saints fumbled, and the Rams recovered at the Saints 22. On 4th and 4 from the 16, Sean McVay called a fake field goal. Punter Johnny Hekker carried the ball and was stopped short of the sticks. The Rams challenged the spot unsuccessfully. The Saints took over at their own 13. Brees hit Thomas for gains of 9 and 13 and ran himself 7 yards. From the rams 48, Brees went to Watson for 32 yards. On 3r and goal at the 4, Brees hit Tre’Quan Smith for the touchdown to make it 21-14 Saints.

The Rams after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the Saints 33. Yet a swing pass from Goff to Gurley lost 6 yards. Sean McVay brought Greg Zuerlein in to try a 51 yard field goal with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. The kick was no good.  The Saints took over at their own 41 and Brees hit thomas for 19 yards. Kamara gained 12 and 4 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Rams 24, Brees hit Kamara for 11 and Benjamin Watson for the 13 yard touchdown. With 1:06 left in the half, the Saints led 28-14.

Disaster quickly struck after a touchback as Goff was intercepted. The Saints took over at the Rams 34 with one minute left. On 3rd and 10, Brees ran for 11 yards. Brees then hit Thomas for 14 with 5 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness. Kamara got the last yard. With 26 seconds left in the half, 3 straight touchdowns meant 21 unanswered points. A shootout was turning into a blowout as the Saints led 35-14. This game was far from over.

After a touchback, Goff hit Everett for 15 yards and Woods for 17 more. Unnecessary roughness added 15 more. With 2 seconds left, Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein came in for a 56 yard field goal try. This time he drilled it as the Rams trailed 35-17 at halftime. The Rams began the second half and soon faced 2nd and 13 at their own 20. Goff hit Woods for 19 yards and again for 10 more. Goff went to Cooks for 15 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Saints 33, Goff hit Everett for 13 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Saints 18, Goff hit Malcolm Brown for the touchdown to get the Rams within 35-24.

The Saints moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 7 at the Rams 47. A completion gained only 3 yards. On 4th and 4 from the Rams 44, rather than go for it or try a 62 yard field goal, Sean Payton decided to punt. It took nearly 40 minutes of football, but the game finally had a punt. The Rams took over at their own 16 and Gurley gained 24 yards. Goff then hit cooks for 26 yards and Higbee for 7 more. On 4th and 4 from the Saints 16, Sean McVay played it safe. Zuerlein hit the 35 yard field goal as the Rams only trailed 35-27 after three quarters.

The Saints moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 6 at their own 44. Brees threw incomplete and now the Saints had their second punt on two consecutive possessions. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Rams took over at their own 17. Goff hit Cooper Kupp for 13 yards, Gurley for 5, and Cooks for 15 to midfield. On 3rd and 1 from the Saints 41, Goff went to Kupp for the touchdown. Goff then hit Gerald Everett for the 2 point conversion. Now it was the Rams who put up 21 points and got blackjack the hard way. With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the blowout was back to a shootout at 35-35.

From their own 25, Kamara ran for 17 yards. On 3rd and 10 from their own 42, Brees hit Thomas for 18 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Rams 35, Brees threw incomplete. Sean Payton brought in Wil lutz to try a 54 yard field goal. With 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation in a tie game, Lutz delivered. The Saints led 38-35. The Rams soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 26, a completion only gained 2 yards. With 5 minutes left, for the first time all game, the Rams finally had to punt.

Three plays later, the Saints faced 3rd and 7 at their own 28. The Saints went for it all and first ballot Hall of Famer Brees delivered. He hit Thomas for a 72 yard touchdown. With less than 4 minutes left, the Saints were back up by 10. A 37 yard kickoff return had the Rams taking over at their own 42. On 4th and 2 from midfield after an incompletion, Goff threw incomplete again. In defeat, Goff finished 28 of 40 for 391 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. Brees was 25 of 36 for 346 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. The 1972 Dolphins popped their champagne corks as the Rams were knocked from the unbeaten ranks. They and the Saints have one loss. These teams combined for 80 points. A playoff rematch must happen. Call it the Battle of the Seans. 45-35 Saints

Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots was the Sunday night game. Tom Brady insisted that Aaron Rodgers is better than him. Brady is the master of false humility. A 36 yard kickoff return with 5 more tacked on for a penalty had the Patriots starting at their own 41. From just past midfield, Brady hit White for 14 yards. White ran for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Patriots. The Packers came back 62 yards in 14 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Despite 1st and goal at the 9, a delay of game penalty proved costly. Mason Crosby hit the 29 yard field goal got the Packers within 7-3.

In the second quarter the Patriots moved from their 12. Brady hit Josh Gordon for 29 yards and Julian Edelman for 33 yards. On 1st and goal from the Green Bay 10, a run gained nothing and Brady threw incomplete twice. Stephen Gostkowski hit the 28 yard field goal to make it 10-3 Patriots. The Packers came back with a 13 play, 79 yard, nearly 7 minute drive. Jones ran for 13 yards and Rodgers hit Williams for 16 more. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Rodgers hit Devontae Adams for the touchdown. With less than 5 minutes remaining in the half, the game was deadlocked 10-10.

The Patriots soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 39. White gained 6 yards. From the New England 45, Cordarelle Patterson became a one man band. He gained 10 yards and a defensive penalty added 15 more yards and resulted in Whitehead getting ejected from the game. Patterson then ran for 17, 8, and finally the 5 yard touchdown to make it 17-10 Patriots at halftime.The Packers began the third quarter facing 3rd and 6 at their own 28. Rodgers went deep to Valdes-scantling for a 51 yard gain. On 2nd and goal from the 15, Rodgers hit Jimmy Graham for touchdown and a 17-17 game.

For three quarters, this game was a classic. The Packers took over at their own 7. On 3rd and 1 from their 16, Rodgers went deep to Valdes-Scantling for 24 yards and again for 26 yards. The Packers began the fourth quarter with 1st and 10 at the New England 34. They were in field goal range and were primed to take the lead. Then came the play of the game. Jones got the carry, gained 6 yards, and fumbled. The Patriots recovered at their own 24.

On 3rd and 7 from their own 27, Brady went to Dorsett for 17 yards. From the Green Bay 39, Bill Belichick went to his bag of tricks. Rather than Tom Brady, it was wide receiver Julian Edelman throwing the option pass to White for a 37 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, White got in. With 10 minutes left in regulation, the Patriots led 24-17.

The Packers went 3 and out when on 3rd and 7 from their own 28, Rodgers was sacked for a 9 yard loss. New England got it back at their own 28. A time consuming drive with 8 1/2 minutes left was not in the cards. The Patriots went for the kill shot quickly and got it. Edelman ran for 17 yards. He is normally a wide receiver, but on this day he was a passer and a running back. Brady then went deep to Josh Gordon for a 55 yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

Rodgers finished 24 of 43 for 259 yards with 2 touchdowns. Brady was 22 of 35 for 294 yards and one touchdown. Neither quarterback was intercepted. Yet it is the Patriots who won their 6th straight to get to 7-2 while the Packers have a losing record. The issue is not whether Brady or Rodgers is better. The issue is that Brady has help. Rodgers doesn’t. For the second straight week a Packers fumble took the ball out of Rodgers’s hands, denying him a chance to do what he does. 31-17 Patriots

Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys was the Monday night game. The Cowboys moved from their 25 to a 2nd and 4 at the Tennessee 17. A run lost 3 yards, Dan Prescott threw incomplete, and Maher missed a 38 yard field goal. From their own 28, the Titans soon faced 3rd and 9 at their 39. Marcus Mariota was sacked and fumbled. The Cowboys took over at the Tennessee 15. Prescott hit the newest Cowboy Amari Cooper for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Cowboys. The game got ugly as Tennessee fumbled the ball away again and the Cowboys threw an interception right back.

The Titans then faced 3rd and 9 at their own 21. Mariota went to Taylor for 16 yards. On 3rd and 9 from their own 38, Mariota went to Davis for 17 yards. The Titans began the second quarter at the Dallas 45. On 3rd and 1 at the Dallas 36, Mariota gained 12 yards and Lewis added 12 more. On 3rd and 1 from the 2, Mariota got the yard. Derrick Henry got the other yard to tie the game 7-7.

Midway through the second quarter the Titans faced 3rd and 7 at their own 34. Mariota hit Watson for 12 yards. On 3rd and 10 from their own 46, Mariota went to Jennings for 36 yards and Dion Lewis for the 18 yard touchdown. With 4 minutes left in the half the Titans led 14-7. The Cowboys came back 78 yards in 10 plays. From the Dallas 47, Prescott hit Thompson for 15 yards, Cooper for 15 more, and Allen Hurns for a 23 yard touchdown. The game was tied 14-14 at halftime.

The second half was all Tennessee’s defense. The Cowboys moved from their 18 to a 3rd and 8 at their own 47. After a false start, Prescott was sacked and fumbled. The Titans took over at the Dallas 40. Lewis gained 9, 5 and 3. Mariota hit Jonnu Smith for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 21-14 Titans with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Titans missed a chance to extend the lead by missing a field goal, but it didn’t matter. In the fourth quarter from their own 33, Mariota went to Lewis for a 37 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 at the Dallas 26, Mariota hit Davis for 8 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Dallas 9, Mariota ran for the touchdown to put the game on ice. Dallas did move from their 25 to a 1st and 10 at the Tennessee 13. 4 straight incompletions ended things and had Jerry Jones contemplating whether to fire everything and blow up his stadium for the insurance money. 28-14 Titans

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