NFL 2014 Week 8 Prequel
NFL 2014 Week 8 Prequel
NFL 2014 Week 7 Recap
In this quarterback-driven league, Aaron Rodgers kept rolling, Drew Brees had an uncharacteristic meltdown, Tom Brady survived despite being out=played, and Kyle Orton gritted out another ugly win that has defined his career. The start to the World Series would get trounced in the ratings by football fans looking to see Peyton Manning try and surpass Brett Favre for the all time touchdown passes record. With that, here is the NFL 2014 Week 7 Recap.
New York Jets @ New England Patriots was the Thursday night game. The woeful Jets went on the road and were expected to be roadkill against the New England Patriots. As ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman reminds us, “That’s why they play the games.”
Tom Brady threw a 49 yard touchdown pass to Shane Vereen less than 90 seconds into the game, but the quick 7-0 Patirots lead did not lead to the expected blowout. The Jets would repeatedly drive the field, but would settle for far too many field goals. Nick Folk hit from 22 and 47 in the first quarter and from 46 in the second quarter to make it 9-7 Jets. Meanwhile, the Patriots scored touchdowns as a 3 yard toss from Brady to Vereen Made it 14-9 Patriots. Folk’s fourth field goal of the first half from 27 got the Jets within 14-12. With only one minute left in the half, Brady moved the Patriots into position for Stephen Gostkowski to hit a 39 yard field goal. As the half expired, the kick was good and the Patriots took a 17-12 lead into the locker rooms. Nevertheless, New England was in a streetlight.
An 11 play, 6 minute drive moved the Jets 80 yards and this time Richardson got in from the one as the Jets led 19-17. The Patriots moved to a 4th and 1 at the Jets 18 where Bill Bellichick played it safe. Gostkowski hit from 36 as the Patriots regained the lead 20-19. A field position game in the fourth quarter had the Patriots starting at the Jets 46. Midway through the fourth quarter, Brady’s third touchdown pass to Danny Amendola for 19 yards put the Patriots up by 8 points.
Geno Smith moved the Jets down the field, as a 10 yard touchdown pass to Cumberland had the Jets within 2 points with 2 1/2 minutes to play. The 2 point conversion try to tie the game failed. The onside kick failed, giving the Patriots the ball at the Jets 46. Yet the Patriots could not put the game away, failing to gain a first down. The Jets got it back at their own 12 with 1:06 to play. Geno Smith became a warrior, moving the Jets into position. With 5 seconds to play, Folk’s fifth field goal try would come from 58 yards out. Would this be the upset of the year?
No. The kick was blocked. Despite the Jets gashing the Patriots for over 200 rushing yards and Smith not turning the ball over, the Patriots improved to 5-2 and the Jets fell to 1-6. The Jets fight hard for Rex Ryan, but as Hall of Famer Bill Parcells says, your record is what it is. Parcells was the coach of the injury-riddled 1999 Jets who began 1-6 but finished 8-8. Rex Ryan will show what he is made of down the stretch. 27-25 Patriots
Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens — Joe Flacco threw a bomb that led to defensive pass interference at the Atlanta 5 yard line. Flacco then threw the touchdown pass to Owen Daniels to make it 7-0 Ravens. In the second quarter Pierce ran it in from one yard out to make it 14-0 Ravens. Justin Tucker hit from 38 yards out to put the Ravens up 17-0 at halftime. Tucker hit from 38 in the third quarter to make it 20-0 Ravens. Matt Ryan would lead Atlanta 90 yards and throw a 10 yard fourth quarter touchdown to Roddy White, but a sack of Ryan for a safety turned out the lights. Baltimore added one more score when Flacco hit Troy Smith for a 39 yard touchdown. 29-7 Ravens
Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills — The Bills saw a promising drive fumbled away in the red zone. Then they got it back and fumbled in their own territory, setting up Minnesota at the Buffalo 27. Blair Walsh hit a 40 yard field goal for the 3-0 Vikings lead. Teddy Bridgewater’s second interception set up the Bills at the Minnesota 26. One play was enough for Kyle Orton to go deep to Sammy Watkins for a 7-3 Bills lead. Bridgewater brought the Vikings back, as a 4 yard touchdown pass to Cordarelle Patterson put the Vikings up 10-7. Buffalo came back again as Dan Carpenter hit a 31 yard field goal to tie the game 10-10. Walsh drilled a 55 yard field goal to make it 13-10 Vikings at halftime.
In the fourth quarter Walsh hit from 33 to make it 16-10 Vikings. Buffalo’s last drive began at their own 20 with 3 minutes left in the game. With 1:18 to play the Bills faced fourth and 20 from their own 40. Orton found Chandler for 24 yards. With 25 seconds left, on 2nd and 20 from the 30, Orton found Hogan for 29 yards. Orton spiked the ball and stopped the clock with 5 seconds left. With time for one play from the 2 yard line, Orton fired to Sammy Watkins for the winning touchdown as the home crowd erupted. 17-16 Bills.
Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears — Ryan Tannehill threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to Clay for a 7-0 Dolphins lead. In the second quarter a Jay Cutler interception was returned deep into the Chicago red zone. Tannehill then found Mike Wallace for a 10 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Dolphins lead at the half. Cutler would lead the Bears on a 12 play, 80 yard, 7 minute drive as a 10 yard touchdown pass to Matt Forte got Chicago within 14-7 in the third quarter. Miami responded with a 13 play, 83 yard drive that took up 7 1/2 minutes as a 2 yard Miller run made it 21-7 Dolphins. In the fourth quarter Cutler was sacked and fumbled, giving Miami the ball in the red zone. Caleb Sturgis hit a 33 yard field goal to make it 24-7 Dolphins.
Forte would score again from one yard out, but a 12 play, 65 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive bled the clock for Miami. The could not get past the one yard line, but by then it did not matter. Sturgis tacked on the 19 yarder to end the scoring. 27-14 Dolphins
New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions — A scoreless opening quarter ended with Matthew Stafford being intercepted, setting up the Saints at the Detroit 29. Drew Brees hit Johnson for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints. Late in the half both teams drove deep into the red zone but and to settle for field goals. Matt Prater hit from 21 and Shane Graham responded from 27 as the Saints took a 10-3 lead into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter Brees hit Stills for a 46 yard touchdown and a 17-3 Saints lead. The Lions responded with a 12 play, 80 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive as Bell got in from the one to get the Lions within 17-10. In the fourth quarter Graham nailed field goals of 48 and 36 yards to have the Saints up 23-10. Yet the Lions got right back within 23-17 when Natthew Stafford found Golden Tate for a 73 yard touchdown combination.
Even Hall of Fame quarterbacks make mistakes. Brees finished 28 of 45 for 342 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but with 3:20 to play Brees gave the game away. An interception set up Detroit at the Saints 14 yard line. On 3rd and goal at the 5 Stafford hit Bell for the winning touchdown with 1:48 to play. With 27 seconds left and the Saints facing 4th and 3 at their 40 needing only a field goal to win it, Brees threw incomplete. Jim Caldwell was so pleased he almost made a facial expression. 24-23 Lions
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers — Aaron Rodgers threw a 59 yard touchdown bomb to Jordy Nelson as the Packers took a 7-0 lead. The Packers got it back and Eddie Lacy ran it in from 5 yards out to make it 14-0 Packers. Green Bay stayed perfect as Starks scored from 13 yards out on their next drive to have the Packers cruising 21-0. In the second quarter Rodgers moved the Packers 94 yards as a 3 yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb made it 28-0 Packers. After a Graham Gano field goal to get Carolina on the board before the half, Rodgers in the third quarter continued the blowout with a 21 yard touchdown pass to Adams to make it 35-3 Packers. Green Bay cruised from there. 38-17 Packers
Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts — A 23 yard field goal had the Colts up 3-0. In the second quarter Ahmad Bradhsaw ran it in from the one to make it 10-0 Colts. In the third quarter Andrew Luck hit Allen for a 32 yard touchdown to make it 17-0 Colts. In the fourth quarter Luck hit Bradshaw for a 10 yard touchdown and Adam Vinatieri hit from 50 to complete the scoring. 27-0 Colts
Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars — An interception of Blake Bortles by Gipson was returned 31 yards to the Jacksonville 17. The Browns lost 5 yards but Billy Cundiff hit from 40 to make it 3-0 Browns. In the second quarter Bryan Hoyer led a 14 play, 76 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive but again the Browns settled for a 22 yard Cundiff field goal to lead 6-0. An interception of Blake Bortles with 3 minutes left in the half gave the Browns a golden chance to expand the lead with a short field. Yet on 4th and 1 from the Jacksonville 24, Mike Pettine decided to go for it and Hoyer threw incomplete. With 90 seconds left, Bortles went wild, as a 31 yard touchdown pass to Robinson put the Jaguars in front. Despite being outplayed for 28 minutes, the Jaguars led 7-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter a sack of Hoyer meant a fumble and Jacksonville’s ball at the Cleveland 25. Josh Scobee hit a 30 yard field goal to make it 10-6 Jaguars. With 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter the Browns fumbled a punt and Jacksonville took over at the Browns 8 yard line. Robinson ran it in on the next play to make it 17-6 Jaguars. Hoyer then threw an interception that set the Jaguars up at the Browns 7. Johnson got in from 3 yards out to finally get the Jaguars their first win of the year. 24-6 Jaguars.
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams — Seattle drove deep but had to settle for a 24 yard Steve Hauschka field goal for a 3-0 Seahawks lead. Cunningham returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to the Seattle 31. Tre Mason ran up the middle for a 6 yard touchdown for a 7-3 Rams lead. The Rams got it back and Austin Davis moved them 74 yards in the second quarter as a 5 yard touchdown pass to Cunningham made it 14-3 Rams. Davis completed his first 8 passes for only 35 yards, but it was enough. When Stedman Bailey returned a punt 88 yards for another Rams touchdown, the jubilant crowd exploded as St. Louis led 21-3.
Hauchka hit a 35 yard field goal late in the half. In the third quarter Russell Wilson led Seattle 82 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes as a 19 yard touchdown run by Wilson got the Seahawks within 21-13. Seattle got it back and Wilson moved them 91 yards, as a 19 yard touchdown pass to Helfet got the Seahawks within 21-19.
The Rams moved 80 yards as Davis hit Kendricks for a 4 yard touchdown. The Rams got breathing room up 28-19 with 5 1/2 minutes to play. Breathing room rapidly disappeared as Wilson mode Seattle 80 yards and found Doug Baldwin for a 9 yard touchdown. With 3 1/2 minutes left Seattle trailed by 2 and needed the ball back to give the Rams another collapse at home against a division rival.
With three minutes left and the Rams clinging to a two-point lead, Jeff Fisher showed that he had cojones of steel. Fisher called a fake punt with the Rams facing fourth and three at their own 18. The gamble worked as the Rams got the first down and ran out the clock. With 1:15 left and the Seahawks out of timeouts, the Rams faced 3rd and 1 at their own 45. Mason got the first down and the game looked over until Mason fumbled. A Seattle recovery and winning field goal would ruin Fisher’s heroism, but after a wild scramble somehow the Rams retained possession. Pete Carroll insisted the Seahawks recovered the ball and replay showed he may have been right. A lot happens at the bottom of a pile, and this time the cursed Rams got a lucky break. 28-26 Rams
Tennessee Titans at Washington Redskins — A battle of terrible football teams saw Kai Forbath hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Redskins. Washington got it back and Kirk Cousins was sacked and fumbled, giving the Titans the ball at the Washington 15. The Titans lost 3 yards and Ryan Succop hit from 36 to tie the Stpur Bowl 3-3. In the second quarter Forbath hit again from 31 to make it 6-3 Redskins. After an interception of Kirk Cousins gave the Titans a short field, Charlie Whitehurst hit Wright for a 14 yard touchdown and a 10-6 Tennessee lead.
With RGIII injured and Cousins playing badly, Jay Gruden benched Cousins at halftime and brought in third stringer Colt McCoy. On the second play of the third quarter, McCoy hit Pierre Garcon on a short pass that went for a 70 yard touchdown and a 13-10 Redskins lead. A fumbled punt to end the third quarter had the Redskins at the Titans 24. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, Forbath’s third field goal from 27 made it 16-10 Redskins.
Charlie Whitehurst then led an 86 yard drive as a 38 yard touchdown pass to Hagan midway through the fourth quarter made it 17-16 Titans. After an exchange of punts Washington took over at their own 20 with 3:15 to play. With 43 seconds left the Redskins faced 3rd and 2 at the Titans 29. McCoy went deep and defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 7. With 3 seconds left Forbath came in for the 22 yarder to win it. The kick was good and the Redskins, with McCoy completing 11 of 12 passes, won the Stupor Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers — Philip Rivers threw a one yard touchdown pass to Phillips for a 7-0 Chargers lead. In the second quarter Jamal Charles ran for a 16 yard touchdown to tie the game. The Chifs got it back and moved 56 yards in 14 plays, taking 9 1/2 minutes off the clock and Rovers cooling his heels on the sideline. Santos hit from 28 to make it 10-7 Chiefs with 3 minutes left in the half. With 55 seconds left in the half the Chargers were at their own 20. With 19 seconds left in the half the Chargers were already at the Chiefs 27. Rivers went deep into double coverage and the ball bounced off a defender before being caught by Antonio Gates for the touchdown. The Chargers took the 14-10 halftime lead.
In the third quarter the Chiefs moved 63 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes but again settled for a 40 yard Santos field goal to trail 14-13. The Chiefs got it back t their 30 and moved to a critical 3rd and 5 at the Chargers 15. Alex Smith was sacked, but defensive holding meant an automatic first down. On the first play of the fourth quarter Smith completed the 11 play, 70 yard, 8 minute drive by hitting Sherman for the 11 yard touchdown to make it 20-14 Chiefs. Rivers moved the Chargers 77 yards in 12 plays and 5 minutes, but from the Chiefs 6 yard line threw incomplete twice. Nick Novak hit the 24 yard field goal to get the Chargers within 20-17 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. San Diego got it back at their own 12 and moved to the Chiefs 30. Novak hit the 48 yard field goal to tie the game 20-20 at the 2 minute warning.
The Chiefs took over at their own 8 and game manager Alex Smith showed that he is capable of winning games. He moved the Chiefs to the San Diego 30. With 26 seconds left Carlo Santos came in to break the tie. He barely snuck it over the crossbar and inside the right upright, which was more than good enough. Walrus Lite Andy Reid saw his team get another quality road win. 23-20 Chiefs.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys — In the first quarter Tony Romo led a 15 play, 76 yard, 6 minute drive that culminated with Romo hitting Gavin Escobar for a 15 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Cowboys lead. In the second quarter the Giants moved from their own 29 to a 4th and at the Cowboys 38. Tom Coughlin decided to go for it. Eli Manning threw incomplete but defensive pass interference kept the drive going. Manning hit Odell Beckham for a 9 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
Romo then went deep and the receiver fell down, allowing Prince Amukamara a gift interception that he returned 38 yards to the Dallas 27. Manning went straight for the jugular as he found Fells for the touchdown and the 14-7 Giants lead. Tom Coughlin was so please he almost smiled. Romo then led a 10 play, 80 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. A 19 yard touchdown pass to Terrence Williams tied the game 14-14.
In the third quarter Romo moved the Cowboys 93 yards as a 26 yard touchdown pass to Escobar made it 21-14 Cowboys. In the fourth quarter a Dallas defender ripped the ball out of the receiver’s hands for a first down at the Giants 27. A deep pass from Romo to Dez Bryant went for 24 yards down to the one. DeMarco Murray got the last yard to make it 28-14 Cowboys with 9 minutes left in regulation. Manning moved the ball 80 yards in 11 plays, and on 4th and goal at the 5 hit Beckham for the score. With 5 1/2 minutes left the Giants were within 7 and now needed a stop from the defense.
It never came. DeMarco Murray had over 100 yards rushing for the seventh straight game to start a season, an NFL record. Dan Baley hit the 49-yard field goal with one minute left to lock up the win. 31-21 Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals at Oakland Raiders — In 2006 the Oakland Raiders were 0-5 when they faced the Cardinals at home. The Raiders won 22-9. Would history repeat itself? Early on, no. Arizona moved the ball from their own 12 to a 3rd and goal at the 2. Carson Palmer threw a pass in the flat to Taylor, who was hit well short of the goal line. Taylor somehow kept his balance, and lunged forward. The ball broke the plane of the goal just before his knee came down for a 7-0 Cardinals lead. In the second quarter Palmer threw a 33 yard touchdown to Michael Floyd for a 14-0 Cardinals lead.
The Raiders in the first half had a long punt return to the red zone nullified by a penalty and a long bomb completion ruled incomplete. Yet from the Oakland 42 Derek Carr went deep again for a 55 yard bomb to Brice Butler to the Arizona 3 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 2 at the 2 minute warning, Darren McFadden got in the end zone to get the Raiders within 14-7. Oakland
Oakland got it right back when a Palmer pass was thrown high, deflected, and intercepted by Charles Woodson. With 1:40 left the Raiders tok over at the Arizona 13. The offense went nowhere and the Raiders settled for a 29 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal to trail 14-10. In the third quarter Carr moved the Raiders from their 16 to a 3rd and 2 at the Arizona 35. Under heavy pressure Carr threw incomplete. Seabass drilled a 53 yard field goal dead center as the Raiders trailed 14-13.
The Silver and Black momentum quickly evaporated as 80 yards came easily for the Cardinals. A 4 yard touchdown run by Taylor meant a 21-13 Cardinals lead. The Oakland defense needed stops and never got them as Palmer kept killing the Raiders on third down. Carson Palmer torched his old team as a late field goal sealed the win for the 5-1 NFC West leading Cardinals. The Tony Sparano Raiders have produced as many wins as the Dennis Allen Raiders as Oakland at 0-6 remained the last winless team. 24-13 Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos was the Sunday night game. Peyton Manning needed two touchdown passes to tie Brett Favre for the all-time NFL record and three to break the record. Manning tied the record before the first quarter ended with a 3 yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Sanders and a 39 yard touchdown to Wes Welker. Welker stretched and got just to the pylon for the 14-0 Broncos lead.
In the second quarter the 49ers moved from their 13 to the Denver 4, but Colin Kaepernick threw incomplete twice when his third down pass was just dropped. Phil Dawson hit the 22 yarder to get the 49ers on the board. Denver moved from their 20 to 2nd and goal at the one. History was delayed when Manning tripped over his own offensive lineman’s foot. Manning considered trying to throw it while sitting down on the field but took the sack. On 3rd and goal from the 8, history was made. With 3:15 left in the half, Manning fired to the corner of the end zone and Denarius Thomas just barely got his feet down. Touchdown number 509 gave the Broncos a 21-3 lead as a white horse emblazoned with 509 on it ran across the field. It was the most exciting NFL moment involving a white Bronco since OJ Simpson.
Kaepernick led an 80 yard drive that ended with a 4 yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson to get the 49ers within 21-10 at halftime. In the third quarter Kaepernick was intercepted by Aqib Tali, setting up the Broncos at the San Francisco 40. Manning immediately went deep to Thomas for his fourth touchdown on the night, his 510th overall, and a 28-10 Broncos lead. Manning then turned to the ground game as Ronnie Hillman broke off a 37 yard rushing touchdown and then barreled in from one yard out to make it 42-10 Broncos. Brock Osweiler finished the game, and is currently only 510 touchdowns behind Manning, who finished 22 of 26 for 318 yards, 0 interceptions, and those four touchdowns. 42-17 Broncos
Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Monday night game. This game should have been dedicated to Jeremy Irons as Klaus Von Bulow since it was a total reversal of fortune. The Texans began with a 94 yard drive, going 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes before Ryan Fitzpatric hit Alfred Blue ran the final 11 yards to make it 7-0 Texans. Ryan Bullock added second quarter field goals of 39 and 38 yards, the first set up by sack of Ben Roethlisberger that caused a fumble. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Texans were up 13-0. They then simply self-destructed.
Shawn Suisham hit a 44 yard field goal to get the Steelers on the board. Houston went 3 and out and with 1:46 left The Steelers were at their own 37. Big Ben hit Leveon Bell for 28 yards and then went deep to bryant for the 35 yard touchdown to get the Steelers within 13-10. Houston fumbled the ensuing kickoff, retaining possession at their own 5. From the 6, they fumbled again, giving Pittsburgh the ball at the 3. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for the touchdown. After a touchback, Fitzpatrick was quickly intercepted, giving Pittsburgh the ball at the Houston 8. Big Ben hit Bell for the 2 yard touchdown as4 score and 24 unanswered points in 3 minutes made it 24-13 Steelers at halftime.
The second half was a slog. After a scoreless third quarter, Bullock hit a 31 yard field goal to get the Texans within 24-16. Suisham answered with field goals of 30 and 40 yards to put the game away. Down 30-16, the Texans quickly moved 86 yards late. Fitzpatrick hit Arian Foster for a one yard score with 90 seconds to play. A well executed onside kick saw a mad scramble for the ball that was eventually recovered by Pittsburgh to secure the win. Mike Tomlin teams are resilient, but this was a Texas-sized case of self-destruction by Houston. 30-23 Steelers
NFL 2014 Week 7 Prequel
NFL 2014 Week 6 Recap
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans was the Thursday night game. Sometimes a vastly inferior team can rise to the occasion under the big lights of a national night game. Early on, this was not that game. The Colts had to settle for a 27 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal on their first drive, the closes thing the Texans defense did that resembled a stop. After a surprise onside kick, Andrew Luck threw a 49 yard bomb to TY Hilton. One play later Trent Richardson got the 5 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Colts.
Houston went 3 and out and the Colts took over at their own 44. Luck threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Bradshaw to make it 17-0 Colts. Houston went 3 and out again and on the last play of the first quarter, the Colts faced 3rd and goal at the 4. Luck hit Cory Fleener for the touchdown as the Colts led 24-0 after only 15 minutes of football.
For those who turned off the television before this football game ended, apologize to yourselves and vow to never do it again. In the second quarter Ryan Fitzpatrick moved the Texans 80 yards in 11 plays over 5 minutes. A 4 yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson had the Texans within 24-7. On the next play from scrimmage Luck was intercepted, setting up Houston at the Indy 26. Arian Foster ran for a 12 yard touchdown to get the Texans within 24-14. Luck led a 7 minute drive that had Vinatieri connect from 34 to let the Colts take a 27-14 lead into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter Foster broke off runs of 8 and 34 and then ran it in from 2 yards out as the Texans only trailed 27-21. The Colts got some breathing room when Luck threw a 33 yard touchdown pass to Hilton. The 2 point conversion attempt failed but the Colts took a 33-21 lead into the final quarter. The Texans missed a chance to get closer when Bullock missed a 37 yard field goal to start the fourth quarter. Yet disaster struck the Colts soon after when they faced 3rd and 12 from their own 45. Luck fumbled and JJ Watt picked up the ball and raced all the way for the defensive touchdown. With 11 minutes left int emulation, the Texans only trailed 33-28.
With 8 1/2 minutes left to play, the Colts faced 3rd and 9 at their 46. Luck went deep to Reggie Wayne for an 18 yard gain, but Bill O’Brien successfully challenged the catch. The reversal meant an incomplete pass and a punt. Houston took over at their own 11 and faced 1st and 10 from the Indy 44. Fitzpatrick went deep and Andre Johnson was called for offensive pass interference. 2 plays later Fitzpatrick hit Johnson for 13 yards but Johnson fumbled the ball without being touched. The officials checked to see if it was an incomplete pass, but the call stood as an angry Johnson slammed his helmet down on the sideline with 4 1/2 minutes left.
With the Colts facing 3rd and 6 from the Houston 41, the Texans took their last timeout with 2 1/2 minutes left. Rather than run off the clock until the 2 minute warning, Chuck Pagano put his trust in Luck. Luck’s pass was batted down by Watt as the Texans punted. The Texans got it back with 2:15 left as the decision to throw effectively gave the Texans one timeout at the 2 minute warning. On the downside, the Texans took over at their own 9. From the Houston 22, Fitzpatrick was hit and fumbled. The Colts recovered and finally sealed the victory. 33-28 Colts
Denver Broncos at New York Jets — On the first play of the game Peyton Manning went deep to Denrarius Thomas for a 54 yard gain as Rex Ryan contemplated his next place of employment. Yet the defense held Denver to a 37 yard McManus field goal and a 3-0 Broncos lead. Geno Smith actually completed 8 of his first 9 passes, and a short field from the Denver 47 helped matters. Smith hit Amaro for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Jets.
In the second quarter the Jets fumbled a punt and Denver took over at the Jets 43. The defense held, the Jets got pinned at their own 4, and the Broncos got it back again at the Jets 43. On 3rd and goal at the one Manning hit Denarius Thomas for the touchdown and the 10-7 Jets lead. The Broncos got it back after a touchback with 3 minutes left in the half, and Manning made the Jets pay. A 22 yard touchdown pass to Julius Thomas with 20 seconds left in the half made it 17-7 Broncos.
In the third quarter Manning moved the Broncos 87 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes, with a 4 yard touchdown pass to Thomas giving the Broncos the 24-7 lead. Nick Folk hit a 30 yard field goal near the end of the third quarter to get the Jets within 24-10. With 8 minutes left in regulation the Jets got within 24-17 when Smith on 3rd and goal at the 2 hit Eric Decker for the touchdown.
One minute later the Jets defense got a big stop when Denver failed to convert on a run on 3rd and 1 from their own 15. The Jets would get another stop on defense but a good punt pinned the Jets at their own 5 with one minute left. On 3rd and 14 from their own 1 with 23 seconds left, Smith was intercepted by Aqib Talib, who returned it for a 22 yard touchdown to put the game out of reach. The 1-5 Jets have not given up, fighting hard for Rex Ryan. It will not be enough to save him. 31-17 Broncos
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns — Pittsburgh moved to the Cleveland 2 yard line but settled for a 20 yard Shawn Suisham field goal. In the second quarter Pittsburgh set up for another field goal but fumbled the snap. Bryan Hoyer then went deep to Cameron for 42 yards and Crowell ran it in from the 5 to make it 7-3 Browns. Hoyer then went back to Cameron for a 51 yard touchdown as the Browns led 14-3. Cleveland got it back and Hoyer moved the Browns 85 yards in 11 plays and 5 minutes. Tate ran it in from 5 yards out to make it 21-3 Browns.
In the third quarter the Steelers faced 4th and 17 from the Cleveland 37. Mike Tomlin decided to punt rather than try a 55 yard field goal. Cleveland drove the field and Billy Cundiff hit a 40 yard field goal to make it 24-3 Browns. Ben Roethlisberger was then intercepted, setting up Cleveland at the Pittsburgh 39. Tate ran for a one yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 31-3 Browns. Johnny Clipboard can wait. This is Bryan Hoyer’s team, and for once the Cardiac Kids made it easy. This win was a statement. The Browns are a good team. 31-10 Browns
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans — The Jaguars are one of only two winless teams, but the Titans may be almost as bad. Jacksonville moved 80 yards and Johnson got in from one yard out to make it 7-0 Jaguars. With Jake Locker still injured, Charlie Whitehurst moved the Titans to the 3 yard line but on 3rd and goal Whitehurst was sacked. Ryan Succop hit the 25 yard field goal to get Tennessee on the board. Whitehurst moved the Titas again late in the half. At the 2 minute warning from the Jacksonville 23, Whitehurst found Hunter for 22 yards. Battle got the last yard to malt i.e. 10-7 Titans at halftime.
In the third quarter Tennessee marched down the field but on 4th and 2 from the 3 had to settle for a 21 yard Succop field goal to lead 13-7. The fourth quarter began with Succop’s third field goal from 42 yards as the Tennessee defense did the rest. With 4 1/2 minutes left the Jaguars reached the red zone but a critical fumble by Cecil Shorts at the 16 doomed Jacksonville.
With 2:43 left the Jaguars were back at their own 17. Bortles led a furious rally. With 43 seconds to play the Jaguars faced 3rd and 15 from the Titans 20. Bortles threw a touchdown pass to Harbor. Down by 2, the Jaguars executed a perfect onside kick, taking over at their own 42 with 36 seconds left. On 3rd and 2 from the Tennessee 37 with 12 seconds left, Gud Bradley decided on the 55 yard field goal rather than risk a possible bad snap on fourth down. The kick was blocked and the valiant Jaguars remained winless. One can question Bradley’s decision given the long kick but the heart of Blake Bortles is beyond question, even in defeat. 16-14 Titans
Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins — 80 yards came easy as Aaron Rodgers torched the overmatched Miami defense. A 9 yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson made it 7-0 Packers. The ensuing kickoff was returned 54 yards just past midfield. Miami settled for a 48 yard Caleb Sturgis field goal to get within 7-3. The Dolphins blocked a punt, giving them the ball at the Green Bay 16. On 4th and goal from the 1, Joe Philbin decided to go for it. Knowshon Moreno got blasted for a 2 yard loss. In the second quarter Ryan Tannehill was intercepted, setting up the Packers at the Miami 36. Mason Crosby hit a 43 yard field goal to make it 10-3 Packers at halftime.
In the third quarter Tannehill moved the Dolphins 80 yards as an 11 yard touchdown pass to Landry deadlocked the game 10-10. Rodgers brought the Pack back as a 5 yard touchdown to Randall Cobb made it 17-10 Packers. One minute into the fourth quarter Larry Miller capped off an 80 yard drive with a 5 yard touchdown run to tie the game 17-17. Green Bay went nowhere and Miami now had the momentum, moving the ball straight down the field. Tannehill threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace for a 24-17 Dolphins lead with 9 1/2 minutes left.
Rodgers moved the Packers but with 4 minutes left he threw incomplete on 3rd and 6 from the Miami 12. With 4 minutes to play, Mike McCarthy decided against going for it. He trusted his kicker and his defense. Crosby hit the 30 yarder to get the Packers within 4. Green Bay held on defense and got it back at their own 40 just before the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 9 Rodgers was sacked and fumbled, but the Packers kept the ball. On 4th and 10, Rodgers hit Nelson for 18 with one minute left. On 3rd and 10 from the Miami 30 Rodgers hit Starks for just enough.
With 6 seconds to play the Packers faced 1st and goal at the 4. The Miami faithful could only watch helplessly as Rodgers hit Quarless for the touchdown. Miami was game, but Rodgers is as good as it gets. People talk about warm weather teams struggling to play in cold weather. Give the Packers a ton of credit for traveling East for an early game and winning a tough game in relentless Miami heat. 27-24 Packers
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings — The Vikings may never have their star running back ever again, but the Lions were without Reggie Bush and Calvin Megatron Johnson. They did have Matthew Stafford, who led the Lions 80 yards. Stafford hit Riddick for a 9 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Lions lead. Last week Alex Henery missed 3 field goals, costing Detroit the game. He was cut and replaced with former Denver kicker Matt Prater, who was cut for violating the league’s alcohol abuse rules and getting suspended. To start the second quarter, Prater missed a 50 yard field goal. Teddy Bridgewater would fumble and then with only 45 seconds left in the half throw a critical interception. Detroit took over just shy of midfield, and this time Prater hit from 52 to make it 10-0 Lions at halftime.
In the fourth quarter Jarrett Bell capped off a 14 play, 60 yard, 8 minute drive with a one yard run to make it 17-0 Lions. Minnesota finally got on the board when Blair Walsh hit a 40 yard field goal with 5 minutes remaining. They got nothing more. 17-3 Lions
Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals — Cam Newton led a 15 play, 86 yard drive that consumed over 9 minutes off the clock. A 3 yard touchdown pass to Benjamin made it 7-0 Panthers. Red Rifle Andy Dalton moved the Bengals 69 yards in 14 plays in 6 1/2 minutes, with a 5 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Tate tying the game 7-7. Cincinnati got it back and one play and 15 seconds later Giovanni Bernard broke off an 89 yard touchdown run to make it 14-7 Bengals. Both teams mounted long drives that ate up clock but did not come anywhere near the end zone. Graham Gano hit from 39 for Carolina and Mike Nugent hit from 44 for Cincinnati as the Bengals took a 17-10 lead into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter Dalton had Cincy on the move as the Bengals faced 3rd and 9 from the Carolina 26. Dalton was then intercepted by Cason, who returned it 80 yards to the Cincy 10. Whittaker ran for a 4 yard touchdown to tie the game 17-17. Later on Newton quickly moved Carolina 77 yards, running the final 12 himself for a 24-17 Panthers advantage. The fourth quarter began with the Panthers missing a golden opportunity to expand the lead when Gano missed from 38. Dalton threw a 34 yard touchdown to Mohammed Sanu to tie the game 24-24 with 12 minutes left in regulation.
Newton led a 12 play, 80 yard drive that consumed 7 minutes of valuable clock. Newton hit Greg Olsen with 5 minutes left to put Carolina up 31-24. Seconds later the game was tied again as Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to the Carolina 3. Hill ran it in ad with 4 1/2 minutes left the game was again tied 31-31.
On 3rd and 13 from the Carolina 29 with 3 1/2 minutes left, Newton was intercepted. Cincinnati took over at the Carolina 24. Hill ran for a 22 yard touchdown, but offensive holding nullified the score and killed the drive. Nugent hit a 38 yard field goal to put the Bengals up 34-31 with 2:12 to play. After a touchback, Newton moved the Panthers. On 4th and 2 from the Cincy 43 with 50 seconds left, Newton gained 5. Gano hit a 44 yard field goal as time expired to tie the game 34-34.
In overtime, the Bengals got the ball first after a touchback and mounted a drive. On 3rd and 7 from the Carolina 21, Dalton was sacked. After 13 plays that took 6 1/2 minutes, Nugent hit the 42 yard field goal. The Bengals had the lead, but Carolina was still allowed one chance with the ball. The Panthers also moved it well. On 3rd and 10 from the Cincy 44, Newton completed a pass just short of the marker. However, defensive holding meant an automatic first down. On 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 23, a completion again came up one yard short. Riverboat Ron Rivera was not gambling this time. He opted for the field goal, and Gano hit from 37 to tie the game 37-37. The Bengals had just over 2 minutes left to try and win it.
A key roughing the passer penalty gave the Bengals 1st and 10 at the Carolina 16 with 34 seconds left in overtime. Marvin Lewis played it very safe, having Dalton take a knee and center the ball while allowing the clock tick down to two seconds. Nugent came in for the 36 yarder to win it. He missed it wide as this fine football game that was tied 7 times ended in a tie. 37-37 tie, OT
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills — In the second quarter, an interception of Kyle Orton and then defensive pass interference on Buffalo set up a one yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Wright to make it 7-0 Patriots. Orton hit Woods for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. Just before the 2 minute warning Orton was sacked and fumbled, setting up new England at the Buffalo 24. Gostkowski hit a 42 yard field goal after the defense held to make it 10-7 Patriots. With 14 seconds left in the half the Bills were just trying to run out the clock. CJ Spiller fumbled and the Patriots recovered at the Buffalo 42. After a quick Brady completion, Gostkowski drilled a 3 yard field goal to make ti 13-7 Patriots at halftime.
In the third quarter Brady went deep to Tyms for a 43 yard touchdown to make it 20-7 Patriots. Orton led the Bills on a 13 play, 80 yard, 7 minute drive that saw Fred Jackson get in from the one to get Buffalo within 20-14. The Patriots got some breathing room when Gostkowski’s third field goal from 40 made it 23-14 Patriots. In the fourth quarter the Patriots iced it with a 12 play, 80 yard, 6 minute drive. Brady hit LaFell for an 18 yard touchdown and a 30-14 Patriots lead wit 8 1/2 minutes left.
With 6 minutes left Orton hit Hogan for an 8 yard score and a successful 2 point conversion got the Bills within 30-22. The Patriots were then pinned at their own 7 yard line. Needing a stop, the Bufflow defense could not get one. With 3 minutes left, Brady threw a 44 yard touchdown pass to LaFell to ice the game. 37-22 Patriots
Baltimore Ravens at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Justin Forsett broke off a 52 yard run and Joe Flacco hit Troy Smith for a 15 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Ravens lead. Mike Glennonwas intercepted, setting up the Ravens at the Tampa Bay 22. On 3rd and goal from the 9, Flacco hit Smith for another touchdown. Baltimore got it back at midfield and on 3rd and 8 from the 17, Flacco hit Aiken for another touchdown and a 21-0 Ravens lead early on. Baltimore got it back at their own 43 and soon faced 3rd and 9 at the Tampa 19. Deja vu all over again saw Flacco’s fourth touchdown pass to Campanaro for a 28-0 Ravens lead in the first quarter.
In the second quarter Flacco went deep to Steve Smith for a 56 yard touchdown and a 35-0 Ravens lead. Baltimore tacked on a field goal for a 38-0 halftime advantage. For the second time this season, the 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers resembled their 1976 orange creamsicle expansion team. John McKay certainly would have favored the execution of this team, despite a few second half points. 48-17 Ravens
Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons — A 52 yard Matt Bryant field goal got the Falcons on the board first. In the second quarter, Robbie Gould answered from 25 to make it 3-3. Jay Cutler then threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Morgan to make it 10-3 Bears. A 12 play, 83 yard drive set up a 28 yard Gould field goal and a 13-3 Bears halftime lead. In the third quarter Matt Ryan threw a 41 yard touchdown pass to Smith to get the Falcons within 13-10. Atlanta got it back and Bryant nailed a 54 yard field goal to tie the game 13-13. After a touchback, Cutler went deep to Jeffery for a 74 yard gain. Matt Forte got the 6 yard touchdown run. The extra point was blocked but the Bears led 19-13.
When it mattered most, the Bears won the battle in the trenches and played smash mouth. A 15 play, 87 yard drive took 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. When Forte ran it in from 9 yards out and added the 2 point conversion, Chicago had sealed a big road win. 27-13 Bears
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders — The dink and dunk Dennis Allen nightmare is finally over. Tony Sparano is not Jon Gruden, but at least he opened up the playbook and allowed Derek Carr to throw the ball. Carr had his shackles removed, and showed what he could do against a far superior AFC West rival. On the third play of the game, with the Raiders facing 3rd and 7 from their 23, Carr went deep to Holmes for a 77 yard touchdown bomb. Al Davis smiled in heaven as the Raiders led 7-0.
Philip Rivers is having a great year and 80 yards came easily. On 3rd and 4 from the Oakland 39, Rivers threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 3rd and 5 from the Oakland 29, Rivers went deep to Eddie Royal for the tying touchdown.
In the second quarter Rivers led a 13 play, 85 yard drive that took 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Rivers Floyd for the touchdown to put the Chargers up 14-7. The Raiders took over at their own 24 On 3rd and 8, Darren McFadden gained 12. On 3rd and 7 from the San Diego 42, Carr went deep to Holmes for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the 6, Carr fired a laser over the middle to James Jones for a 14-14 tie. The Raiders held on defense and got it back with 5 minutes left in the half at their own 17. Carr moved them all the way to the San Diego 35 with 4 seconds left. Sebastian Janikowski came in for the 53 yarder, but it was no good wide. Despite 5 dropped passes, the Raiders seem to finally be a pro football team.
In the third quarter the Chargers moved from their 20 to the Oakland 21. Consecutive penalties on the offense killed the drive. Nick Novak leveled a 54-yard field goal, but a third offensive penalty nullified the score. On 4th and 35 from the Oakland 46, Mike McCoy went for a fake punt. Safety Eric Weddle took the direct snap and threw a bomb. The pass was actually caught, but out of bounds for an incompletion. Carr quickly fired a bullet over the middle to Brice Butler, who outraced everyone for a 54 yard touchdown and a 21-14 Raiders lead midway through the third quarter.
The Chargers took over at their 20. On 1st and 10 from the Chargers 47, Rivers went deep as Malcolm Floyd and Charles Woodson both jumped for it. Floyd caught it for a 44 yard reception at the Oakland 9. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Rivers hit Antonio Gates to tie the game 21-21 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Raiders squandered great field position on their next drive but the Chargers were pinned back deep to start the fourth quarter. The Raiders got it back at midfield against a team that has given up 0 fourth quarter points all season.
Carr hit Marcel Reece for 11 and McFadden gained 12. Maurice Jones-Drew added 10. Carr’s fourth touchdown pass was a 6 yard toss to Andre Holmes to put the Raiders up 28-21 with 10 minutes left in regulation. Rivers rapidly moved the Chargers from their 20 to a 1st and goal at the 9. At that point the defense held. Novak hit the 30 yarder but with 6 minutes left the Raiders clung to a 28-24 lead. Now it was up to the offense to finish the game and finally get the team a win.
Instead, the Raiders went 3 and out. The play calling was fine, but a critical intentional grounding penalty took only one minute off the clock. A 64 yard punt was ruined by a long return that had the Chargers starting at the Oakland 39. The Chargers just rammed it down the Raiders throat as the defense that had stopped the run all game had no answers when it mattered most. At the 2 minute warning, the Chargers faced 2nd and goal at the one. As competitive as the Raiders were, it seemed that another loss was on the horizon as Brandon Oliver leapt over the top to put the Chargers ahead. The extra point was blocked but that was only because the Raiders jumped offside. On the second time the Raiders jumped again. On the third try the kick was good and the Chargers with the 31-28 lead would be kicking off from their 45 instead of their 35. The Raiders had only one timeout.
Carr had been magnificent all game, but all looked lost when Carr was hit and fumbled. Instead a personal foul on the defense moved the Raiders to their own 35. A pair of completions had the Raiders at the San Diego 45 with 1:20 to play. Derek Carr went for it all as Butler and Verrett for the ball. Verrett came down with the interception at the 5 yard line. It was a valiant effort, but the Raiders lost to fall to 0-5. At least they know they have a phenomenal quarterback. Give him some receivers who can catch, and he will win games.
While the Raiders remained winless, these are no longer the Dennis Allen dink and dunk losers. Derek Carr was magnificent, throwing a 77-yard touchdown bomb on the third play of the game. Carr threw for 282 yards and four touchdown passes despite his receivers dropping five passes. Down by three with one minute left, Carr went for the bomb and was intercepted at the five-yard line when the defender ripped it from the receiver’s hands. The Raiders finally have a real leader. He was outdueled by Philip Rivers, who threw for 313 yards and three touchdown passes. Not since Jim Plunkett and Dan Fouts have these teams given America a game that Sid Gillman, Don “Air” Coryell and Al Davis could love. 31-28 Chargers
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks — The Cowboys have the offense and the Seahawks have the defense, but early on it was about special teams. Steve Hauschka hit a 33 yard field goal to get Seattle on the board first. Then the Seahawks blocked a punt. Doug Baldwin got the block and Mike Morgan returned it 25 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 Seahawks lead. Tony Romo did move the Cowboys 80 yards as a 2 yard touchdown pass to Escobar got the Cowboys within 10-7.
The second quarter began with the Cowboys at there own 5 yard line. Romo led a staggering 15 play, 71 yard drive that took nearly 10 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 4 from the Seattle 24, Romo went deep incomplete. Dan Bailey hit the 42 yarder to tie the game 10-10. Dallas got it back at their own 20 with 3 minutes left in the half. Against the vaunted Legion of Boom, Romo moved Dallas brilliantly. He was not afraid to go after Richard Sherman. From the Seattle 43, one play after converting on 3rd and 14, Romo went deep to Dez Bryant for 23 yards. An additional 10 yard penalty on Sherman for tripping meant 1st and goal at the 10. On 3rd and goal at the 3 with 24 seconds left in the half, Romo found Jason Witten for the 17-10 Cowboys advantage at halftime.
In the third quarter the Cowboys fumbled a punt, and Seattle took over at the Dallas 14. Russell Wilson ran for a 9 yard touchdown to tie the game 17-17. On the next series the Cowboys fumbled it away again, giving Seattle the ball at the Dallas 20. The defense held, and Hauschka hit the 33 yarder to put the Seahawks up 20-17. Romo went deep again and found Williams for a 47 yard gain to the Seattle 39. The drive stalled and with one minute left in the third quarter, Jason Garrett boldly called on Bailey for a 56 yard field goal try. Bailey rewarded his coach by blasting the Cowboys into a 20-20 tie.
A field position game in the fourth quarter had the Seahawks with another short field at the Dallas 42. Hauschka hit a 48 yard field goal with 8 1/2 minutes to play to make it 23-20 Seahawks. Dallas took over at their 20 and soon faced 3rd and 20 from their own 31. Romo went deep to Terrence Williams for a 23 yard gain. DeMarco Murray did the rest, running for 25, 6, and the final 15 yards for the score. With 3 1/2 minutes left the Cowboys had the 4 point lead and were smelling upset. With 2:40 to play and facing 4th and 6 from their own 23, the Seahawks took their last timeout. Wilson threw incomplete and the Seahawks were all but dead. All the Cowboys had to do was grind down the clock.
In an absolutely brain-dead act on third down with 1:12 to play and Seattle out of timeouts, Dallas committed an offensive penalty that stopped the clock. Bailey kicked the field goal for a 7 point lead, but because of the penalty the Seahawks got it back with just over one minute left rather than perhaps only 20 seconds. Seattle began at their own 15 without a timeout. Wilson went deep and was intercepted by Rolando McClain as the Cowboys finally locked up the win and got to 5-1 by shocking the defending champions on their home field. 30-23 Cowboys
Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals — Carson Palmer returned from injury. A field position game eventually saw the Cardinals start at the Washington 41. On 3rd and 13 Palmer found Malcolm Floyd for just enough and then went back to Floyd for the 20 yard touchdown. In the second quarter Kirk Cousins connected with DeSean Jackson on a 64 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. A 28 yard Kai Forbath field goal put the Redskins up 10-7. Palmer moved the Cardinals 85 yards, hitting Larry Fitzgerald for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Cardinals. Forbath hit a 43 yarder just before the half as the Redskins got within 14-13.
In the third quarter Palmer led a 14 play, 69 yard drive that consumed 7 1/2 minutes. The drive stalled in the red zone, but Catanzaro hit from 33 to make it 17-13 Cardinals. early in the fourth quarter Cantazaro hit from 49 to make it 20-13 Cardinals. On the next play from scrimmage the Redskins fumbled and the Cardinals took over at the Washington 27. Catanzaro hit a 37 yarder make it 23-13 Cardinals 23-13 Cardinals.
With 8 1/2 minutes left, the Kirk Cousins was intercepted, setting up the Cardinals at the Washington 35. Despite Catanzaro kicking well, Bruce Arians chose to punt rather than try a 53 yard field goal. With 4 minutes left on 3rd and 3 from the Arizona 42, Cousins was intercepted again. Arizona went 3 and out and Cousins hit Pierre Garcon for a 5 yard touchdown with 2:15 to play to get the Redskins within 23-20.
The onside kick failed but the Redskins got it back at their own 14 with 30 seconds to play. Cousins threw his third interception in the final 8 1/2 minutes, and this one was returned by Johnson 28 yards for the clinching touchdown. Cousins had 354 yards passing but the picks killed the team. Palmer was 28 of 44 for 250 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for the first place 4-1 Cardinals. 30-20 Cardinals
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles was the Sunday night game. Nick Foles moved the Eagles early and often. Chris Parkey hit a 31 yard field goal to get the Eagles on the board. The Eagles got it back and Foles moved them 81 yards in 10 plays. A 15 yard touchdown pass to Zac Ertz made it 10-0 Eagles. In the second quarter a short punt had the Eagles starting at the Giants 47. Foles hit Casey for a 26 yard touchdown. Darren Sproles then returned a punt 43 yards to have the Eagles starting at the Giants 43. Parkey hit from 45 as the Eagles led 20-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter An interception of Foles set up the Giants at the Eagles 21. On 4th and goal at the 3, Manning threw to Victor Cruz, who dropped it. Cruz then crimped to the ground and left with what appeared to be a serious injury. To make matters worse, the Eagles moved 97 yards as Darren Sproles raced for a 15 yard touchdown to complete the whitewashing and get the Eagles to 5-1 tied atop the division. 27-0 Eagles.
San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams was the Monday night game. The Rams came out with a wave of emotion on Monday Night Football. 11 plays, 80 yards and 7 minutes later on 3rd and goal from the one, Cunningham crashed in to make it 7-0 Rams. Late in the first quarter a San Francisco fumble was recovered by the Rams at the 49ers 45. Austin Davis hit Kendricks for a 22 yard touchdown as the Rams led 14-0.
Phil Dawson hit a 54 yard field goal midway through the second quarter. Yet the 49ers were mostly lifeless and pinned at their own 5 with 1:50 left in the half. With 27 seconds left in the half and a Raucous Rams crowd screaming for the defense, the 49ers faced 3rd and 6 from their own 20. Colin Kaepernick went deep to Brandon Lloyd for an 80 yard touchdown. Although the Rams led 14-10 at the break, all the air had been sucked out of the building. In the second half, the 49ers and their superior talent overwhelmed the deflated Rams.
The 49ers took the second half kickoff and moved 80 yards again. On 3rd and 1 from the Rams 11, Kaepernick hit Anquon Boldin for the touchdown and the 17-14 49ers lead. With 20 seconds left in the third quart and the 49ers having moved from their 22 to the Rams 32, Kaepernick went deep again and found Michael Crabtree for his third touchdown pass and a 24-14 49ers advantage.
The 49ers missed a chance to extend the lead when the Rams mounted an inspired goal line stand, stopping San Francisco on 4th and goal from the one with six minutes to play. With 2 1/2 minutes left Greg Zuerlein hit a 38 yard field goal to get the Rams within 7. The onside kick failed but Jeff Fisher’s defense got the ball back. The Rams were at their own 9 with 1:05 to play. There would be no miracle as it was Jim Harbaugh’s defense that clamped down. Davis was intercepted by Johnson, who returned it 20 yards to lock up the gritty comeback win. 31-17 49ers
The NFL must remove Katy Perry from Super Bowl halftime show
NFL 2014 Week 6 Prequel
NFL 2014 Week 5 Recap
The Oakland Raiders had the week off, giving them a chance to forget the Dennis Allen era and count down the minutes until Tony Sparano is replaced by Jon Gruden. Most of the rest of the league did what the Raiders failed to do during the Dennis Allen, play professional football. With everybody wearing pink to honor breast cancer awareness month, the NFL gave fans some fantastic finishes that would have made the people at Alcoa proud. Here is the NFL 2014 Week 5 Recap
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers was the Thursday night game. Eddie Lacy broke off runs of 18 and 29 yard and Aaron Rodgers threw an 8 yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb to make it 7-0 Packers. Late in the first quarter Rodgers went deep to Jordy Nelson for a 66 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Packers lead. In the second quarter Christian Ponder was intercepted by Julius Peppers who raced 49 yards for a 21-0 Packers lead as the route was on. Another Ponder interception set up the Packers at the Vikings 20. Rodgers hit Adams for the 11 yard score and there 28-0 Packers lead.
In the third quarter Lacy broke off 11 and 10 yard touchdown runs to make it 42-0 Packers. This game told the world what we already knew. Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the game and Ponder is one of the worst. Ponder did lead a furious rally with the Vikings that fell just short by 32 points. Not having your star running back and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on the road means having no chance. 42-10 Packers
Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers — A 79 yard punt return for a touchdown by Brown had the Panthers up 7-0 early. After an interception of Jay Cutler, Carolina soon fumbled it right back to set up Chicago at the Carolina 28. Cutler hit Matt Forte for the 10 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. It was deja vu all over again as on the next series it was Newton who fumbled, giving Chicago the ball at the Carolina 13. On 3rd and 7 Cutler scrambled for the 10 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Bears.
In the second quarter the Bears got it back and Cutler threw a 25 yard touchdown to Jeffery to make it 21-7 Bears. Newton moved the Panthers 75 yards and threw a 9 yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with only 12 seconds left in the half to get the Panthers within 21-14. In the third quarter the Panthers moved 86 yards in 10 plays as Ogbannaya got in from the one to tie things 21-21. Robbie Gould then hit a 45 yard field goal to give the Bears the lead. With 6 minutes left in regulation Cutler was intercepted, giving Carolina gift field position at the Chicago 32. Newton threw incomplete on 3rd and 4 but Graham Gano hit from 44 to make it 24-24 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the game.
Chicago took over after a touchback and Forte immediately fumbled the ball away, giving Carolina gift field position at the Chicago 23. On 3rd and goal from the 6, Newton hit Olsen for the score to give Carolina the lead with 2 1/2 minutes to play. On 4th and 21 from the Chicago 34, Cutler was good for one more turnover as he was sacked and fumbled. Chicago gave this game away, and an underachieving Carolina team was gracious enough to accept the win. 31-24 Panthers.
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans — Jake Locker came back from injury determined to prove he is not Christian Ponder or Blaine Gabbert. An 11 yard touchdown pass to Wright made it 7-0 Titans. In the second quarter Locker led the Titans 80 yards, running the final 11 himself to make it 14-0 Titans. Billy Cundiff hit a 38 yard field goal to finally get the Browns on the board down 14-3. Locker moved the Titans from their 20 to a 3rd and 7 at the Cleveland 21. Locker threw incomplete, but roughing the passer meant an automatic first down. However, once again Locker went out injured. Charlie Whitehurst went in and threw the 11 yard touchdown to Wright. The Titans led 21-3, but once again Locker showed he could not stay healthy. The Titans struck again when Whitehurst hooked up with Hunter for a 75 yard touchdown to make it 28-3 Titans.
While the Titans backup kept the trains rolling, Cleveland backup Johnny Clipboard stayed on the sideline. Bryan Hoyer moved the Browns 90 yards as a one yard touchdown pass to Dray had the Browns down 28-10 at halftime. A 42 yard Billy Cundiff field goal in the third quarter got the Browns within 28-13. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation the Browns blocked a punt for a safety to get within 28-15. The Browns took the free kick and moved 67 yards in 10 plays. A 17 yard touchdown pass to Benjamin had the Browns within 28-22 midway through the fourth quarter.
Tennessee took over at their 22 and faced a critical 4th and 1 at their own 42. Ken Whisenhunt took a major gamble and went for it rather than punt. He will be second-guessed for years to come and derided as the next Barry Switzer, but he was trying to give his team a spark. Whitehurst went for the quarterback sneak and hit a brick wall, giving Cleveland the short field. Hoyer hit Benjamin for the 6 yard touchdown with 1:10 to play. 26 unanswered points gave the Browns the one point lead. After a touchback, Whitehurst got the Titans to their 43 before he was sacked. With 10 seconds left on 3rd and 16, White Hurst completed a pass but the receiver could not get out of bounds. Bryan Hoyer has the 2014 version of the Cardiac Kids making Brian Sipe fans proud and keeping Johnny Clipboard on the sideline. As for Locker, he seems to be made of paper. 29-28 Browns
St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles — The Eagles are known for their high octane offense but it was special teams that got Philadelphia on the board after only 23 seconds. A blocked punt was returned 10 yards for a touchdown by Chris Maragos for the 7-0 Eagles lead, the second straight week the Eagles scored that way. The Eagles got it back and moved into position for 26 and 27 yard Parkey field goals and a 13-0 lead. Austin Davis moved the Rams 84 yards in 11 plays over 6 1/2 minutes as an 8 yard touchdown to Quick got the Rams within 13-7. Nick Foles moved the Eagles 80 yards as a 9 yard touchdown to Riley Cooper with 30 seconds left in the half had the Eagles up 20-7.
The third quarter saw the Rams at their own 11, Davis was sacked and fumbled, and Thornton picked it up for another Eagles touchdown and a 27-7 lead. Foles would throw a 24 yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin as the Eagles cruised 34-7 late in the third quarter. These Eagles never make anything easy.
Cunningham ran for a 14 yard touchdown at the end of the third quarter as the Rams trailed 34-14. The Eagles soon faced 3rd and 5 from their own 48. Foles ran for 14 yards but then fumbled, giving the Rams the ball at their own 38. Austin Davis threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt to get the Rams within 34-21 with 9 minutes left in regulation. The Rams got it back at their own 25 and 75 yards came quickly. Davis hit Quick for a 5 yard touchdown with 4:40 to play as the Rams were within six points. The Eagles punted again and the Rams were pinned at their own 7 with 1:47 to play. Davis found Quick for a 43 yard gain to midfield, but after that incompletions doomed the Rams as Philadelphia hung on. 34-28 Eagles
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants — Eli Manning moved the Giants 83 yards and 11 plays in 5 minutes as a 3 yard touchdown pass to Reuben Randle made it 7-0 Giants. The Falcons came back 80 yards as a 10 yard Stephen Jackson run tied the game 7-7. The Giants fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Falcons recovered at the Giants 21. Big Blue held on defense at the 3 as the Falcons settled for a 20 yard Matt Bryant field goal and a 10-7 lead. Josh Brown hit a 49 yarder with 3:40 left in the half to tie it 10-10. Matt Ryan moved the Falcons to a 2nd and goal at the 2 with 15 seconds left in the half Matty Ice then went Ice Cold as a pair of incompletions meant a 20 yard Bryant field goal and a 13-10 Falcons halftime lead.
In the third quarter the Flacons struck quickly as Ryan went to Smith for a 74 yard touchdown and a 20-10 Falcons lead. The Giants moved 80 yards and Williams got the last 3 to get the Giants within 20-17. The Giants got it back in the fourth quarter and moved 81 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Atlanta 15 with 10 minutes left in regulation, Manning hit O’Dell Beckham for the touchdown to make it 24-20 Giants.
After a 28 yard Atlanta punt, the Giants took over at their own 45. Josh Brown hit a 50 yard field goal to make it 27-20 Giants with 5 minutes left. Atlanta soon faced 4th and 1 at their own 29 with 4:40 to play. Mike Smith decided to go for it and Ryan was sacked back at the Atlanta 19. Brown hit a 26 yard field goal just before the 2 minute warning to lock up the win. The Giants keep gutting out wins for Tom Coughlin while the Falcons keep struggling on the road. 30-20 Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints — A field position game and the Saints starting at their own 40, and the Saints twice moved into the red zone. Twice Drew Brees threw incomplete and Shane Graham hit the 30 and 29 yarders to make it 6-0 Saints. In the second quarter the Saints got in the end zone as a 15 yard touchdown pass to Pierre Thomas put New Orleans up 13-0. With 2 minutes left in the half the Buccaneers finally got on the board when Murray drilled a 55 yard field goal. Brees was then intercepted, Setting up the Bucs at the Saints 40 with 1:20 left in the half. On 3rd and 7 from the 20, Mike Glennon went deep to Louis Murphy for the score as the Buccaneers only trailed 13-10 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Bucs moved 80 yards as a 9 yard run by Brad Rainey had the Buccaneers with the shocking 17-13 lead over the Saints. The home crowd became even more shocked when Brees was intercepted by Lansanah, who returned it 33 yards for another Buccaneers touchdown and a 24-13 Buccaneers lead. The Saints finally woke up as Brees moved them 63 yards in 12 plays with a 5 yard touchdown to Cadet getting the Saints within 24-20 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. Glennon then moved the Buccaneer s81 yards in 10 plays and 6 1/ minutes, with a 9 yard touchdown pass to Herron making it 31-20 Buccaneers early in the fourth quarter.
The Saints fought back as Pierre Thomas raced around the end for a 27 yard touchdown with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The 2 point conversion failed, but the Saints would soon get their deuce anyway. Glennon fumbled, forcing the Bucs to face 3rd and 29 form their own one. Glennon went back to pass and was sacked for a safety. The Saints were within 31-28 with 6 1/2 minutes left as they awaited the free kick.
A short kick had the Saints starting at their own 40 Shane Graham hit a 44 yarder to tie the game 31-31 with 2 1/2 minutes left to play. The Bucs punted, and with 24 seconds left the Saints had 3rd and 10 at the Tampa 49. Rather than set up the field goal, Brees went for it all deep and was intercepted.
In overtime the Saints got the ball at their own 20. Brees hit Marquis Colston for 21 yards. On 3rd and 10 Brees threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 3rd and 9 from the Tampa 42, Brees hit Watson for 11. From the Tampa 31, Robinson did the rest, running for 5, 6, 2 and the 18 yard touchdown to end the game. Brees was 35 of 57 for 371 yards and 2 touchdowns with the 3 interceptions as the Saints got to 2-3 and saved their season. The Bucs are much improved under Mike Glennon, but bad teams find a way to lose. In 2002 the Bucs lost to the Saints in overtime but went on to give Tampa Bay it’s only Super Bowl trophy. Not this year. 37-31 Saints, OT
Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys — The very first game in Texans history in 2002 saw them beat the Cowboys 19-10 behind David Carr. 12 years later these teams both looked like expansion teams early on. Ryan Fitzpatrick had the Texans moving before completing a pass to Orlando Scandrick, who plays defense for the Cowboys. Dallas moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Houston 12 until DeMarco Murray coughed up the football. In the second quarter it was the Cowboys fumbling a punt that led to the Texans failing to capitalize. With 11 seconds left in the half Dan Bailey hit a 33 yard field goal as the Cowboys led 3-0 in a hideous game.
In the third quarter the Texas moved 71 yards and Arriun Foster ran for a 15 yard touchdown as the Texans led 7-3. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter Dallas finally struck in a big way as Tony Romo went deep to Williams for a 43 yard touchdown and a 10-7 Cowboys lead. Dallas was driving again at the start of the fourth quarter when Romo was intercepted at the goal line. Houston went 3 and out a 38 yard punt return with 15 more tacked on for a personal foul had the Cowboys starting at the Texans 30. Romo hit Dez Bryant for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Cowboys with less than 10 minutes to play.
Houston moved 76 yards in 13 plays, but needed 7 1/2 minutes to do it. Fitzpatrick converted on 4th and 2 from the Dallas 31, but threw incomplete on 3rd and 4 from the Dallas 11. With 2 1/2 minutes left, Bill O’Brien opted for the field goal. Bullock hit the 29 yarder to get the Texans within 17-10. Dallas went backward and the Texans got it back at the 2 minute warning at the Dallas 45. Two completions by Fitzpatrick quickly moved the ball to the Dallas 6 . Arriun Foster took it in and the game was tied with 40 seconds to play. Romo moved the Cowboys in position to win it, but Bailey’s kick from 53 at the gun was wide no good.
The Texans got the ball to start overtime after a touchback and 2 plays later were at midfield facing 2nd and 4. Yet Fitzpatrick threw incomplete on 3rd and 2 and Houston punted. Dallas took over at their own 10. On 3rd and 1 from the 19, Murray gained 11. On 3rd and 8 from the 32, Romo went deep to Bryant, who made an acrobatic juggling catch with a man in his face for a 37 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Houston 31, Jason Garrett brought in Bailey for a 49 yard field goal rather than try to gain more yards. The decision was questionable but Bailey delivered. This would not be the week that Jerry Jones fires everyone and blows up Texas Stadium for the insurance money. One day after Yom Kippur, Adolf Hitler was smiling as his beloved Romo got America’s and the Fuhrer’s team the win. 20-17 Cowboys, OT
Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions — As the first quarter was ending Matthew Stafford threw a 9 yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate for a 7-0 Lions lead. EJ Manuel was benched before this game in favor of underrated veteran Kyle Orton. In this game Orton was intercepted by Mathis, who returned it 41 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Lions lead. Buffalo would reach a 3rd and 3 at the Detroit 17, but Orton fumbled the snap for a 10 yard loss. Dan Carpenter hit the 45 yard field goal to get the Bills on the board trailing 14-3. Late in the third quarter Buffalo faced 4th and 1 at the Detroit 7 after Fred Jackson only got half on 3rd and 2. Doug Marrone played it safe on the road and Carpenter’s 25 yarder got the Bills within 14-6.
Orton moved the Bills 74 yards in 10 plays as a 2 yard touchdown pass to Gragg and a 2 point conversion by Fred Jackson tied the game 14-14 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. A defensive slugfest saw the Lions take over at their own 11 with one minute left. A completion to Tate went for 55 yards. With 26 seconds left, Alex Henery came in for the 50 yard field goal to win it. The kick was wide, no good. With 21 seconds left, Buffalo took over at their own 40. Orton found Sammy Watkins for 20 yards. With 9 seconds left, on second down, Doug Marrone brought Dan Carpenter in for a 58 yard field goal try. Carpenter blasted the daylights out of the ball as the Bills got the stunning road win. Nobody wins ugly like Kyle Orton. The guy just wins. 17-14 Bills
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts — The Ravens defense channeled the ghosts of Ravens defenses past in stopping the Colts on 4th and 1 from the Baltimore 21. Yet one play later last week’e hero Steve Smith fumbled the ball right back. Adam Vinatieri hit the 38 yarder to make it 3-0 Colts. In the second quarter the Ravens moved from their own 4 all the way to 3rd and 1 at the Colts 3. When a run failed to get the first down, John Harbaugh decided to go for it on 4th and 1. Joe Flacco was sacked for an 11 yard loss. The Colts then moved 70 yards in a staggering 20 plays that consumed 9 1/2 minutes off the clock. After going from their own 14 to the Ravens 6, a touchdown pass was nullified by a holding penalty. Vinatieri hit from 34 t make it 6-0 Colts with 35 seconds left in the half. That was enough time for Justin Tucker to hit from 52 as the Ravens trailed 6-3 at the break.
In the third quarter Flacco was intercepted, setting up the Colts at the Baltimore 33. On 3rd and goal from the 6, this time Luck threw the touchdown pass to Allen for a 13-3 Colts lead. The fourth quarter began with the Colts fumbling a punt, setting up the Ravens at the Baltimore 12. The Ravens went nowhere and settled for a 27 yard Tucker field goal to trail 13-6. Luck moved the Colts 80 yards and scrambled for the final 13 himself to make it 20-6 Colts with 9 minutes to play. The Ravens came right back 80 yards, aided by a defensive pass interference call for 25 and a Flacco completion to Jones for 30 more. Justin Forestt got the final 11 yards as the Ravens were back within seven midway through the fourth quarter.
Luck led the Colts on a drive that reached the Ravens 8 yard line at the 2 minute warning. Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled, giving the Ravens one last chance at their own 11 with 1:49 left. A sack of Flacco moved the Ravens back to their own 3. On 4th and 3 from the 18 Flacco hit Owen Daniels for 18. With 32 seconds left, on 4th and 3 from the Baltimore 43, Flacco went deep incomplete. It was hideous, but the Colts got the win. 20-13 Colts.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars — Jacksonville ran 15 plays and held the ball for over 8 minutes, yet somehow only moved the ball 43 yards. A 43 yard Josh Scobee field goal put the Jaguars up 3-0. In the second quarter Shawn Suisham answered with a 24 yarder to tie the game 3-3 when the Steelers lost yards on 3rd and goal at the 4. At the 2 minute warning the Steelers faced 3rd and goal at the one. This time Ben Roethlisberger hit Palmer for the touchdown as the Steelers led 10-3. Blake Bortles quickly moved the Jaguars to 1st and 5 at the Pittsburgh 12 before several incompletions and a delay of game meant a 35 yard Scobee field goal and a 10-6 Jaguars deficit at halftime.
Scobee hit from 36 in the third quarter to get the Jaguars within 10-9. With 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Bortles blundered and reminded the fans of Blaine Gabbert. Bortles was intercepted by McCain, who returned it 22 yards for a score to give the Steelers an 8 point lead. Jacksonville had two more chances but could not move the ball. Pittsburgh with 4 minutes left pounded it on the ground and ran out the clock. 17-9 Steelers
Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos — Drew Stanton has come out of nowhere to lead the Cardinals, but Peyton Manning brought the reality check. Stanton led the Cardinals to the Denver 9 but settled for a 33 yard Catanzaro field goal. 12 plays and 80 yards later, Manning found Julius Thomas for a 7 yard touchdown to put the Broncos up 7-3. Catanzaro hit a 48 yarder to get Arizona within 7-6.
In the second quarter 80 yards came quickly for Denver as Manning hit Denarius Thomas for a 31 yard score to make it 14-6 Broncos. Manning did throw a pair of second quarter interceptions, the second one giving the ball to Arizona at the Denver 5. Ellington ran it in to get the Cardinals within 14-13. Yet with 1:18 left in the half and Denver at their own 14, one Manning deep ball to Thomas meant an 86 yard touchdown and a 21-13 Broncos lead at the midpoint.
Kicker Matt Prater’s suspension was up but so was his time as the kicker of the Broncos. The guy who broke the record for longest field goal last year was replaced by rookie McManus. McManus hit a 44 yarder in the third quarter to make it 24-13 Broncos. Stanton was hurt in the third quarter. With Carson Palmer still injured, third string quarterback Logan Thomas got the nod. Thomas went deep to Ellington has one play and 13 seconds produced an 81 yard touchdown that got the Cardinals within 24-20. One minute into the fourth quarter, McManus hit a 41 yarder to make it 27-20 Broncos.
In the fourth quarter Manning turned out the lights, as an 80 yard drive ended with his fourth touchdown pass. The 12 yarder to Thomas made it 34-20 Broncos midway through the fourth quarter. A short punt meant a short field at the Arizona 46, and Manning made the Cardinals pay. Thompson ran 8 yards up the middle to complete the scoring. Manning finished a ridiculous 31 of 47 for 479 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
He became the second quarterback to throw for 500 touchdowns. Six more touchdowns and Manning will break Brett Favre’s record of 508 touchdown passes. 41-20 Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers — 20 years ago this game was a thriller as Steve Young lost to Joe Montana. Ever since then the Chiefs have taken in stray 49ers quarterbacks, although Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Alex Smith might be the same person. Smith led the Chiefs 81 yards in 12 playsand 6 1/2 minutes as a 2 yard touchdown pass to Kelce made it 7-0 Chiefs.
Phil Dawson hit a 31 yard field goal to get the 49ers within 7-3. In the second quarter Santos hit from 42 as a drive that consumed nearly 7 1/2 minutes meant only a field goal and a 10-3 Chiefs lead. Dawson responded by hitting from 55 to get the 49ers within 10-6. Colin Kaepernick is the first 49ers quarterback in awhile that does not dink and dunk. He led the 49ers 93 yards in 13 plays in over 6 1/2 minutes as a 9 yard touchdown pass to Johnson had the 49ers up 13-10 going into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter a 28 yard San Francisco punt set up the Chiefs at their own 42. Smith hit Thomas for a 17 yard touchdown to put the Chiefs up 17-13. Kaepernick brought the 49ers to the red zone, but the drive went backward. On 4th and 24, Dawson nailed his third field goal from 52 yards out as the 49ers trailed 17-16 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Kaepernick moved the 49ers 71 yards in 13 plays in 7 minutes. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the 49ers faced 4th and 1 at the Chiefs 27. Jim Harbaugh decided not to risk a timeout by challenging the spot of the ball. He trusted Dawson, who made his fourth field goal from 45 to put the 49ers back in front 19-17. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Chiefs faced 3rd and 1 at their own 32. The entire football world knows that pass happy Andy Reid will not bring in a wedge of beef to ram it up the gut. The expected West Coast Offense pass was batted down and the Chiefs punted.
The 49ers do have a battering ram, and a steady dose of Frank Gore led to a 4th and 2 at the Chiefs 36. Again Harbaugh trusted Dawson with a fifth field goal try from 54, but this time the Chiefs blundered badly. 12 men on the defense meant an automatic first down and more smash mouth football from Gore. With 2:12 to play, Dawson hit his fifth field goal from 30. The 49ers had the 5 point lead, but the Chiefs still had life. Smith had a chance to win it late but threw an interception. Dink, dunk, death. 22-17 49ers
New York Jets at San Diego Chargers — A tale of two quarterbacks had Philip Rivers throwing for 244 yards in the first half alone while Geno Smith had 27 yards passing. In the first quarter Rivers led an 11 play, 90 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive that culminated in an 8 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates. To start the second quarter, Rivers was intercepted but the Jets fumbled it right back on the next play at the Jets 20. On 3rd and goal from the 12, Rivers hit Gates for another touchdown. Rivers then led a 12 play, 91 yard drive that consumed nearly 7 minutes. Oliver ran it in from the 15 as the Chargers cruised to a 21-0 intermission lead.
Smith ended the first half with a Hail Mary interception and Michael Vick began the third quarter. Rivers again moved the Chargers 90 yards as a 9 yard touchdown pass to Oliver had the Chargers up 28-0.
Rivers may not be the league MVP as some think, but if the Jets do not get quarterback play soon, Rex Ryan will be a defensive coordinator next year along with his brother Rob rather than the Jets head coach. He may not even get that since his defense gave up three drives of 90 yards or more in one game. For those who loved field goals, the Chargers added one. 31-0 Chargers
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots was the Sunday night game. Those who stopped watching football in 2000 seemed to think that this was the game that would signal a changing of the guard. The Evil Empire of Football would finally be vanquished. Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick would lose control of the team, Tom Brady would be traded, and the Bengals would finally show they could get a quality road win and get to the next level. Those who have been watching football this century knew that would not happen.
Brady moved the Patriots 80 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. Shawn Ridley plunged in from one yard out to make it 7-0 Patriots. The Bengals did drive to the Patriots 34, but Mike Nugent missed a 52 yard field goal. Taking over at their own 42, New England soon faced 3rd and 8 at the Cincy 44. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 27 yards and Wright for the 17 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Patriots.
In the second quarter Cincinnati reached a 3rd and 3 from the Patriots 6, but a run gained only one yard. Nugent hit from 23 to get the Bengals within 14-3. The Patriots answered with a 48 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to lead 17-3 with 1:13 left in the half. That was enough time for the Bengals to self-destruct. The kickoff was taken deep in the end zone and brought back to the 9. The first play from scrimmage was a 20 yard completion followed by a fumble that the Patriots recovered at the Cincinnati 25. Brady hit Gronkowski for 19 but with 12 seconds left in the half the Patriots faced 4th and goal at the one. The crowd did not like it, but Bellichick took the points as Gostkowski’s 19 yarder made it 20-3 Patriots at halftime.
A 47 yard punt return by Adam Pacman Jones in the third quarter had the Bengals starting at the Patriots 37. One play was all Red Rifle Andy Dalton needed to go deep to Mohammed Sanu for the touchdown to get the Bengals within 20-10. The Patriots responded by moving from their 14 to a 3rd and 16 at the Bengals 35. A perfectly executed draw play to Shane Vereen gained 19 yards. Brady then found Gronkowski for the 16 yard touchdown and a 27-10 Patriots lead. The roof then officially caved in on the Bengals when they fumbled the ensuing kickoff, allowing Arrington to pick up the fumble and return it 9 yards for another touchdown and a 34-10 Patriots mauling.
Dalton did throw a 17 yard touchdown pass to AJ Green to get the Bengals within 34-17, but by the start of the fourth quarter the Patriots were already facing 3rd and 3 at the Cincy 5. A pass to the end zone was dropped but Gostkowski’s third field goal from 23 yards out had the Patriots comfortably ahead 37-17. Midway through the fourth quarter Goskowski’s fourth field goal from 47 made it 40-17 Patriots. Gostkowski’s fifth field goal from 35 yards completed the blowout and served notice to the rest of the league. 43-17 Patriots
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins was the Monday night game. Seattle jumped on Washington from the start, as Russell Wilson threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Kearse for a 7-0 Seahawks lead. In the second quarter Steve Hauschka hit a 40 yard field goal to make it 10-0. Wilson scrambled for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 17-0 Seahawks.
Washington struck back quickly as Kirk Cousins went to DeSean Jackson for a 60 yard touchdown bomb to get the Redskins within 17-7. In the third quarter the Redskins moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Seattle 9. After Cousins failed to convert on the quarterback sneak, Jay Gruden opted for the field goal. Kai Forbath hit from 27.
With the Seahawks clinging to a 17-10 lead, Seattle faced fourth and one at the Washington 32 with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Carroll called a fake field goal that worked and led to the clinching touchdown. Carroll has a brass pair and is another reminder that coaches at the NFL level should go big or go home. Coaching scared is surrender, and Carroll is fearless. Carroll’s move also shows that even as the defending champions, Carroll has avoided complacency. His bold gamble led to Wilson hitting Lynch for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 24-10 Seahawks.
Cousins brought the Redskins back, hitting Roberts with a 6 yard touchdown to get Washington within 24-17 with 3:40 to play. With 2 1/2 minutes left, Seattle faced 3rd and 4 at midfield. Rather than run the ball and force Washington to use their last timeout, Carroll again went bold and called a pass play. A short pass to Lynch gained 30 yards and set up a 43 yard Steve Hauschka field goal with 21 seconds left to ice the game. 27-17 Seahawks
NFL 2014 Week 5 Prequel
Oakland Raiders end the Dennis Allen reign of error
No more dinking and dunking!
NFL 2014 Week 4 Recap
Two teams traveled to London in a desperate attempt to get their coach fired. The rest of the league played serious football games. With that, here is the NFL 2014 Week 4 Recap.
Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders — If the NFL does not start offering better games in London, the hooligans in Wembley Stadium may burn down America again and party like it’s 1814. The losing coach in this game was expected to fire their coach. As expected Derek Carr started the game running the Dink and Dunk with Dennis Allen West Coast Offense that does nothing but lose games. However, early on the short passes actually led to a drive.
On the first play from scrimmage from the Oakland 26, a short pass to James Jones went for 30 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Miami 42, Carr hit Vincent Brown for 9. On 3rd and 6 from the Miami 29, Carr hit Holmnes for 14. A 12 yard gain by Darren MecFadden brought the ball to the Miami 3 yard line. Carr hit Leonhardt for the touchdown as the Raiders led 7-0 early on. Ryan Tannehill led the Dolphins from their 30 to a 3rd and 8 at the Oakland 23. Tannehill then threw incomplete as the Dolphins settled for a 41 yard Caleb Sturgis field goal to trail 7-3.
The Raiders kept dining and dunking, and soon faced 3rd and 1 from their own 45. Olawale got the carry and got nothing as the Raiders punted. Miami took over at their own 9, and 91 yards was a formality. Tannehill found Brad Hartline for a 35 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Oakland 32, Tannehill hit Mike Wallace for 16. As the second quarter began, Tannehill went back to Wallace for the
13 yard touchdown and the 10-7 Dolphins advantage. Dennis Allen was tempted to order a 2 yard pass play but was reminded that first Miami had to pick the ball off. The Raiders went 3 and out.
Miami took over at their own 37 and ran the ball easily against the listless Oakland defense. On 4th and 1 from the Oakland 8, Joe Philbin decided to go for it. Miller got the carry and all the yardage as the touchdown made it 17-7 Dolphins. The Raiders took over at their own 12, ran 3 plays for a total of one yard, and punted. Miami fumbled the punt, giving Oakland a gift at their 43. Intentional grounding on Carr meant 3rd and 28 as the Raiders punted again.
Miami took over at their own 10 with 6 minutes left in the half and made it look easy against the pathetic Raiders defense. At the 2 minute warning Miami was already at the Oakland 18. Tannehill then went to Dion Sims for the touchdown as the Dolphins led 24-7. Dennis Allen was not fired at halftime, and his game plan for the second half was to have Derek Carr throw 30 passes, each exactly 2 yards in length.
Miami began the second half at their own 28 and quickly moved to 3rd and goal at the 5. Tannehill threw incomplete but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 2. The Dolphins then fumbled for a touchback. The Raiders took the gift, gained 0 yards, and saw Carr get intercepted by Grimes, who returned it 32 yards to the Oakland 3. This time Miller made up for his fumble by scoring from the one as the Dolphins led 31-7. Tannehill was already 19 of 23 for 241 yards and two touchdowns in barely more than one half of football.
Down by 24 points, Dennis Allen was determined to coach his last game of football his way. He continued his completely unsuccessful and uninspiring dinking and dunking as Carr moved the Raiders from their 20 to the Miami 30. A fumbled snap somehow went backward 20 yards, where it was picked up Cortland Finnegan. Finnegal raced from midfield to the end zone for a defensive touchdown as the Dolphins now led 38-7.
In what the Raider Nation hoped would be Dennis Allen’s last misfortune, Carr tweaked his ankle and was replaced with Matt McGloin. Like Carr, McGloin has talent. Like Carr, McGloin has a terrible coach. Anyway McGloin went deep and was intercepted by Wilson, who returned it 46 yards. With a personal foul on Oakland added, Miami took over at the Oakland 16. Another touchdown pass by Tannehill was nullified by a penalty and Tannehill was then intercepted. At this point the game could not end fast enough for the people of England and Raider fans everywhere.
McGloin quickly moved the Raiders 90 yards, throwing a 22 yard touchdown pass to Holmes. The Raiders tend to get touchdowns during garbage time, given that most of their play is garbage. The Raiders trailed 38-14 as 8 1/2 minutes remained in the Dennis Allen reign of error. McGloin was intercepted again.
Entering this game the Dolphins were a mess. Joe Philbin was still only a few games removed from the bullying scandal. This week he undermined Tannehill by refusing to publicly commit to him. The best way for Philbin to save his job was to play a team that was coached far worse. Dennis Allen obliged. Allen was allowed to board the flight home from London, but not much more than that. At 0-4, Mark Davis fired Allen Monday night. 38-14 Dolphins
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears — 8 months ago these teams regrouped to the location of the Week 17 bomb that allowed Green Bay to knock Chicago out of the playoff chase. The home crowd was ready for payback. Early on Jay Cutler moved the Bears 80 yards and 15 plays over 8 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and goal from the 6 Cutler hit Brandon Marshall for the 7-0 Bears lead. From the Green Bay 19, Rodgers came out firing, hitting his non-cousin Richard Rodgers for a 43 yard gain. Eddie Lacy carried it in from the 2 to make it 7-7.
The Bears took over at their own 20 and Marc Trestman decided to go old school Chicago smash mouth against the Green Bay’s suspect run defense. On 4th and 1 from the Green Bay 35 Trestman decided to go for it. Cutler fumbled the snap, got it back, ran for 15 yards, and saw 10 more tacked on after a defensive personal foul . The second quarter began with the Bears on the one yard line, but a critical false start penalty had the Bears settling for a 23 yard Robbie Gould field goal and a 10-7 Bears lead. Rodgers brought the Packers right back with a 78 yard drive that culminated in a 3 yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson and a 14-10 Packers lead. Cutler had his turn moving the Bears 80 yards in plays in 6 1/2 minutes. An 8 yard touchdown pass to Jeffery put the Bears back on top 17-14 with 4 minutes left in the half.
Marc Trestman called a surprise onside kick that led to a wild scramble. Green Bay eventually recovered at their own 39 and Rodgers kept the pressure on. On 3rd and 7 from the Chicago 22, Rodgers went deep to Randall Cobb for the 21-17 Packers lead with one minute left in the half. After a touchback, Cutler fired at will. With 14 seconds left, the Bears took their last timeout facing 1st and goal at the 9. Cutler fired to the goal line complete, where Bennett met 3 defenders. Bennett insisted the ball just stretched past the goal line, but the referees disagreed. The clock ran out as the Bears came away with nothing. The halftime gun seemed to be the only thing that could stop either offense.
Green Bay moved at will to start the third quarter after a touchback and soon faced a critical 3rd and 7 from the Chicago 34. Rodgers went deep to Adams for the touchdown but offensive holding nullified the score. Mason Crosby would drill a 53 yard field goal to make it 24-17 Packers. Cutler brought the Bears right back from the Chicago 15 to a 1st and 10 at the Green Bay 24. A short pass was intercepted by Clay Matthews, who had a clear path to the end zone the other way. Yet the hobbled Matthews was chased down after a 40 yard gain at the Chicago 35. On 3rd and 9 from the 11, Rodgers scrambled around inside the pocket and fired a laser to Nelson for the 31-17 Packers lead. Cutler was then intercepted by Sam Shields, who returned it 62 yards to the Chicago 11. Rodgers hit Cobb for the 3 yard touchdown as the close game became a blowout. 38-17 Packers
Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens — After 13 years in Carolina, Steve Smith returned to get revenge against them. Early in the second quarter the Ravens faced 3rd and 2 from their own 39. Joe Flacco went deep with a ball that was deflected by one receiver straight to Smith, who caught it in stride and raced for a 61 yard touchdown and the 7-0 Ravens lead. Cam Newton brought the Panthers back 80 yards as a 28 yard touchdown pass to Benjamin tied the game 7-7. The Ravens came back quickly 80 yards the other way as an 11 yard touchdown run by Justin Forsett meant a 14-7 Ravens lead. Baltimore got it back and Flacco went back to Smith for a 21 yard touchdown and a 21-7 Ravens lead.
In the third quarter Flacco needed 5 minutes to move the Ravens 80 yards in 10 plays. This time a 24 yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith had the Ravens up 28-7. Newton moved the Panthers from their 17 to a critical 3rd and 3 at the Baltimore 11. Newton fumbled the snap, as the Panthers were lucky enough to retain possession and settle for a 37 yard Graham Gano field goal as Carolina still trailed 28-10. In the fourth quarter the Ravens moved 80 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes as Taliaferro got the last yard to make it 35-10 Ravens. Baltimore tacked on a field goal as Steve Smith got his revenge in a big way. 38-10 Ravens
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans — A 31 yard Dan Carpenter field goal in the second quarter made it 3-0 Bills. A fumble by Houston gave Buffalo the ball just past midfield. EJ Manuel hit Sammy Watkins for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Bills. With one minute left in the half Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 35 yard touchdown pass to Hopkins as the Texans got within 10-7. On the first play from scrimmage after a touchback to start the third quarter, Fitzpatrick was intercepted again. Yet on 3rd and 3 from Houston 12, EJ Manuel returned the favor in a big way. JJ Watt intercepted Manuel and ran 80 yards for a defensive touchdown as the Texans now had the 14-10 lead.
After Buffalo went 3 and out, Fitzpatrick moved Houston to the red zone before settling for a 441 yard Bullock field goal and a 17-10 Texans lead. A field position game in the fourth quarter saw Bullock drill a 55 yard field goal to give the Texans some breathing room up 20-10 with 11 minutes left. One play forms cribbage later that breathing room was gone. Manuel hit Williams for an 80 yard touchdown as the bills were only down 20-17.
Houston moved the ball again but Fitzpatrick fired incomplete on 3rd and 2 from the Buffalo 32. Bullock again hit a long field goal from 50, but the Texans only led by 6 with 5 minutes left. Buffalo went 3 and out, held on defense, and got the ball back at their own 29 with 1:42 to play. With 1:14 left on 1st and 10 from the Houston 41, Manuel went deep and was intercepted at the 15. One year after going 2-14, the Texans under Bill O’Brien are now 3-1. As for the Bills, the NFL’s longest playoff drought is on the verge of being extended again. 23-17 Texans
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts — After a Titans fumble set up the Colts at the Tennessee 38, Andrew Luck went deep to TY Hilton down to the one. Trent Richardson carried it in to make it 7-0 Colts. A surprise onside kick was recovered by the Colts at the Titans 44. On 3rd and goal from the 7 Luck hit Allen for the score to make it 14-0 Colts. With Charlie Whitehurst starting for the frequently injured Jake Locker, long odds became even longer. WhiteHurst was intercepted in the second quarter to set up a 31 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal and a 17-0 Colts lead. Ryan Succop would get the Titans on the board with a 36 yarder but Vinatieri responded from 30 to have the Colts cruising 20-3.
The Colts got it back with one minute left in the half. Yet from their own 22, rather than go to the locker rooms, Luck was intercepted. WhiteHurst threw a 7 yard touchdown as the Titans only trailed 20-10 at halftime. It is hard to criticize Chuck Pagano for getting aggressive in a game where everything was working. Unfazed, Luck in the third quarter moved the Colts 91 yards. A 28 yard touchdown to Reggie Wayne had the Colts up 27-10. Indy got it back and a 33 yard defensive pass interference penalty set up a 2 yard touchdown pass from Luck to Fleener as the Colts were cruising 34-10. Bishop Sankey would score on a 2 yard run to get the Titans within 34-17. Luck put the Titans out of their misery by hitting Ahmad Bradshaw for a 15 yard touchdown to end it. Luck finished 29 of 41 for 393 yards, four touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. 41-17 Colts
Detroit Lions at New York Jets — Early on Geno Smith moved the Jets 71 yards in 14 plays in 6 1/2 minutes. The drive died at the 9 as the Jets settled for the 27 yard Nick Folk field goal to lead 3-0. Matthew Stafford brought the Lions back and Alex Henery connected from 51 for the 3-3 tie. In the second quarter the Lions took over at their own 17. On 3rd and 10 from the Detroit 41, Stafford went deep to Jeremy Ross for a 59 yard touchdown and a 10-3 Lions lead. Jim Caldwell was so pleased he almost made a facial expression. A field possession game had the Lions at the Jets 47 with just over one minute left in the half. Stafford lacerated the Jets defense and threw a 16 yard touchdown pass to Eric Ebron for a 17-3 Lions lead
The Jets closed the gap to 17-10 in the third quarter when Smith moved New York 74 yards in 11 plays and hit Eric Decker for the 11 yard touchdown. Stafford brought the Lions back on a 14 play, 90 yard drive that consumed 7 1/2 minutes. Stafford got the final yard himself fon the first play of the fourth quarter or the 24-10 Lions lead. Smith was then intercepted, but Henery missed a 52 yard field goal. Smith then fumbled but the Lions again did not capitalize. Chris Johnson broke off a 35 yard touchdown run to get the Jets within 7 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Jets got it back but went 3 and out when Smith threw incomplete on 3rd and 2. Gang Green needed a stop and could not get one as Stafford scrambled for the clinching first down. The hot seat under Geno Smith is quite cool compared to the inferno burning Rex Ryan’s posterior. 24-17 Lions
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers — On the third play of the game facing 3rd and 16 from their own 14, Ben Roethlisberger was sacked and fumbled. Tampa Bay recovered at the 9 and Mike Glennon through a 7 yard touchdown to Mike Evans for the quick 7-0 buccaneers lead. Pittsburgh went 3 and out and a strong punt return had Tampa at their own 45. Murray would hit a 50 yard field goal as the Buccaneers had the 10-0 lead in front of a very surprised home crowd.
Pittsburgh moved the ball from their 20 to the Tampa 7 but no further as a 25 yard Shawn Suisham field goal got the Steelers within 10-3. Pittsburgh got it back at their own 40 and Big Ben moved the Steelers. On 3rd and goal from the 11 Roethisberger hit Antonio Brown for the touchdown to tie the game 10-10.
Pittsburgh got it back at their own 7 and led a 93 yard, 13 polay drive that ate up 7 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Tampa Bay 45, Mike Tomlin went for it and Big Ben got 2 yards. A 27 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown put the Steelers up 17-10 with 5 minutes left in the half.
The Buccaneers began the third quarter by moving 80 yards, as a 3 yard Doug Martin touchdown run tied the game 17-17. Big Ben brought the Steelers back 80 yards in 10 plays as a 5 yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller had the Steelers back on top 24-17. In the fourth quarter Glennon moved the Bucs from their own 8 to the Pittsburgh 9. Glennong then threw incomplete twice as the Bucs settled for a 27 yard field goal to trail by four with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation.
The Buccaneers got it back at their own 25 midway through the fourth quarter. By the 2 minute warning the Buccaneers had 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 14. After a failed halfback option pass and a pair of incompletions, it all came down to 4th and 10. Glennon went to the end zone for Vincent Jackson, but the pass was high and bounced off of Jackson’s outstretched hand.
The Buccaneers held on defense and a terrible punt gave the Buccaneers another chance with 40 seconds left from the Pittsburgh 46. Glennon fired over the middle to Murphy, who split the seams and got down to the five yard line. Glennon hurried everyone to the line and spiked the ball with 15 seconds left in front of a shellshocked home crowd. On 3rd and goal, under heavy pressure, Glennon fired to a diving Jackson, who made the catch with 7 seconds left. One week after falling behind 56-0, the Buccaneers showed a ton of heart. As for the Steelers, this was an epic meltdown. This game is why the NFL is the best sport on earth. As uber-announcer Chris Berman says, “That’s why they play the games.” 27-24 Buccaneers
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers — The Blake Bortles era began, and the first play from scrimmage saw him throw incomplete. The second play from scrimmage saw a running play resulting in a fumble. A sack of Philip Rivers allowed Jacksonville to escape the turnover without giving up points. Jacksonville took over at their own 9 and Bortles led them to a 4th and 1 just past midfield. Gus Bradley decided to go for it as Bortles the quarterback sneak and gained nothing. That led to a 33 yard Nick Novak field goal and a 3-0 Chargers lead.
Jacksonville history was made when Bortles led a 68 yard drive. Early in the second quarter, on 3rd and goal from the one, Toby Gerhart got past the goal line to put the Jaguars up 7-3. Rivers came back with a 47 yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal to make it 10-7 Chargers. Jacksonville got it back at their 24. On 3rd and 5 from the Chargers 46, Bortles went deep to Hurns for a 44 yard gain. A 2 yard touchdown pass to Jacobs was Bortles’s very first touchdown pass as a starter as Jacksonville led 14-10. Rivers came right back again as a 43 yard touchdown pass to Royals had the Chargers up 17-14 at halftime.
Bortles completed 15 of his first 18 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, but it was Rivers playing lights out in starting 20 of 24 for 284 yards and three touchdowns. In the third quarter Rovers moved the Chargers 80 yards again, with a 24 yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Floyd putting the Chargers up 24-14. In the third quarter Bortles threw his first interception as a starter setting up San Diego at the Jacksonville 40. On 3rd and 1 from the Jaguars 14, Rivers fumbled. The Chargers retained possession and Novak hit the 34 yarder to make it 27-14 Chargers.
In the fourth quarter Rivers moved the Chargers from their 20 to a 3rd and 3 at the Jacksonville 5. Rivers threw incomplete but after 14 plays, 75 yards and 5 1/2 minutes, Novak hit from 23. An interception of Bortles with less than 4 minutes left welcomed Bortles to the NFL most inhospitably and allowed Novak hit from 37 to complete the scoring. 33-14 Chargers
Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers — A sack of Colin Kaepernick had the 49ers punting on 4th and 25 from their own 2. The punt was blocked and recovered for an Eagles touchdown and a 7-0 Philly lead. Kaepernick then moved the 49ers 69 yards in 14 plays, taking almost 9 minutes to do it. Yet from the Philly 10, a sack of Kaepernick had the 49ers settling for a 29 yard Phil Dawson field goal to trail 7-3.
In the second quarter Kaepernick threw a 55 yard touchdown pass to Frank Gore to put the 49ers up 10-7. Yet on the next series Kaepernick was intercepted by Jenkins, who returned it 53 yards for a touchdown and a 14-10 Eagles lead. Special teams continued to kill the 49ers as Darren Sproles returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. Despite 0 offensive points, the Eagles had the 21-10 lead. Dawson hit a 51 yard field goal with one minute left in the half to get the 49ers within 21-13.
In the third quarter Nick Foles got hit and fumbled, setting up the 49ers at the Philly 23. On 3rd and 15 Kaepernick was sacked, but defensive holding gave the 49ers life. On 3rd and 11 from the 12, Kaepernick hit Johnson for the touchdown as the 49ers got within 21-20. The 49ers got it back at their own 36 and Gore ran for a 28 yard gain to set up Dawson from 46. Dawson was good and the 49ers had the 23-21 lead with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Chip Kelly made a curious coaching decision. Kaepernick threw incomplete on 3rd and 3 from the Philly 24, but the 49ers were called for offensive pass interference. Rather than make it fourth down, Kelly accepted the penalty to try and push the 49ers out of field goal range. On 3rd and 13, Kaepernick ran for 16 yards. Yet on 3rd and 2 a critical elay of game penalty forced the 49ers to kick Dawson’s fourth field goal anyway. Dawson was good from 31 as the 49ers led by 5 with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation.
The Eagles had 5 first downs in the first half and none in the third quarter. They did not cross midfield on offense for the first 55 1/2 minutes. Yet from their own 9, Foles finally moved the Eagles. On 3rd and 14 from the San Francisco 39, Foles threw to Jeremy Maclin, who made a leaping one-handed grab for a 17 yard gain. Jim Harbaugh unsuccessfully challenged the call, costing the 49ers their last timeout with 3:12 to play. Another completion meant the sixth Eagles first down on the drive and 1st and goal at the 6 yard line. The 2 minute warning came with the Eagles facing 3rd and goal at the one. On 4th and goal Foles could have run for it but threw high and incomplete. The Eagles used their timeouts and got it back one more time, but on 4th and 24 Foles was intercepted as the 49ers finally proved they could win in Santa Clara. 26-21 49ers.
Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings — Teddy Bridgewater is now the starter with Matt Cassel on injured reserve and out for the rest of the season. A certain running back for the Vikings was not playing, but a backup runner named Asiata was playing. Asiata scored from 3 yards out to make it 7-0 Vikings. Matt Ryan moved the Falcons 80 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes, with a 24 yard touchdown pass to Roddy White tying the game 7-7. A strong kickoff return had the Vikings starting at their own 47. Asiata would run it in again from 6 yards out as the Vikings lord 14-7.
In the second quarter Ryan moved the Falcons 61 yards in 13 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. A one yard touchdown pas to DiMarco tied the game 14-14. Bridgewater brought the Vikings back 80 yards, scrambling the final 13 yards himself to put Minnesota up 21-14 at the 2 minute warning. Minnesota got it back with 1:25 left in the half at their own 15. Mike Zimmer played it safe on the ground but the Falcons could not get a stop. From the Atlanta 7 yard line, McKinnon ran for the touchdown, but the officials reversed the call and ruled McKinnon down at the one. On 3rd and goal from the one with 5 seconds left, Zimmer again played it safe. Blair Walsh hit the 18 yard field goal to put the Vikings up 24-14 at halftime.
In the third quarter Blair Walsh hit a 41 yard field goal to have the Vikings up 27-14. Then Atlanta came back. Ryan hit Devon Hester for a 36 yard touchdown to get Atlanta within 27-21. The Falcons got it back and Antoine Smith got around the right end for a 48 yard touchdown to put the Falcons up 28-27. Bridgewater then led the Vikings 78 yards in the fourth quarter. With 11 minutes left in regulation Minnesota faced 4th and goal at the one. Mike Zimmer decided to go for it and Asiata banged in for the score. Bridgewater hit Ellison for the 2 point conversion to make it 35-28 Vikings.
The Vikings got it back at their own 45 and soon faced a 4th and 6 at the Atlanta 37 with just over 3 1/2 minutes left. Mike Zimmer decided to gamble on a 55 yard field goal rather than punt and play field position. Blair Walsh leveled the kick to put the game out of reach. Ryan was intercepted to set up one more Minnesota field goal and Ryan was intercepted again on the final Hail Mary. 41-28 Vikings
New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys was the Sunday night game. Tony Romo led a 12 play, 80 yard 7 minute drive that culminated in a 12 yard touchdown pass to Williams for a 7-0 Cowboys lead. After a missed Saints field goal, Dan Bailey hit a 51 yard field goal in the second quarter to make it 10-0 Cowboys. Drew Brees then had a pass deflected and intercepted. Two plays later DeMarco Murray ran it in from 15 yards out for a 17-0 Cowboys lead. Dallas kept the offense going full throttle as Romo hit Williams for a 23 yard touchdown pass to have the Cowboys up 24-0 at halftime.
The Saints finally moved the ball in the third quarter but a promising drive died at the 12 yard line. A field goal cut the deficit to 24-3, but the Cowboys on this night just manhandled the Saints. Murray raced for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 31-3 Cowboys after three quarters.
Brees led a rally as touchdown passes of 12 and 13 cut the gap in half. With 6 minutes left Sean Payton gambled on a fake punt that didn’t work. On 3rd and 9 from the Saints 38, Romo found Jason Witten for 16 yards to keep the clock moving. On 3rd and 6 from the 18, Romo hit Dez Bryant for the clinching touchdown with 3:40 to play. 38-17 Cowboys
New England Patriots at Kansas Chiefs was the Monday night game. Both of these teams have underachieved this season, but the Chiefs are very tough at home in the night games. This game was no exception. Alex Smith led the Chiefs 11 plays and 73 yards in 6 minutes, with Jamal Charles running it in from 2 yards out to open the scoring. In the second quarter Kenneth Davis broke off a 48 yard run. Smith hit Kelce for 33 yards and Charles for the 5 yard score to make it 14-0 Chiefs. On the last play of the half the Chiefs tacked on a field goal.
The Patriots misery continued in the second half. Brady was sacked and fumbled, giving the Chiefs the ball at the Patriots 9. Smith found Charles for the 8 yard touchdown to make it 24-0. Brady was then intercepted by Smith, who returned it 34 yards to the Patriots 13. A field goal made it 27-0 Chiefs. The Patriots finally got on the board late in the third quarter when mistackles turned a short pass to Brandon LaFell into a 44 yard touchdown and a 27-7 Patriots deficit.
The Chiefs soon turned out the lights with an 11 play, 80 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive. After one touchdown was called back, on 3rd and goal from the 2 Smith hit Kelce for the touchdown. An interception of Brady was returned by Abdullah 39 yards for another touchdown and a 41-7 Chiefs lead. It had to be humbling for Brady after such a distinguished career to watch Jimmy Garoppolo throw a garbage touchdown. 41-14 Chiefs