Archive for the ‘SPORTS’ Category

NFL 2018 Week 15 Prequel

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 8: NFL 2018 Week 14 Recap

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 8: NFL 2018 Week 14 Recap

The Festival of Lights was beautiful. Now let’s get down to football. This is when the big dogs come out.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans was the Thursday night game. After snapping their 7 game losing streak with a 6-0 victory, Jacksonville reverted back to form in a game that was over from the start. Tennessee from their own 27 moved easily. From the Jacksonville 48, Marcus Mariota hit Lewis for a 29 yard gain. Derrick Henry ran for 14, 2, and then the 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Titans. The Jaguars managed a safety to trail 7-2.

In the second quarter the Jaguars faced 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 5. Kessler gained 2 yards. On 4th and goal at the one, Doug Marrone again decided to go for it. A touchdown would give the Jaguars the lead. Leonard Fournette got the carry and got stopped. Then came the play of the game and perhaps the season. From their own one, the Titans took over. Henry got the carry and went the full Tony Dorsett with a 99 yard touchdown run. This was not speed. It was power, as Henry stiff-armed more than one Jacksonville defender out of the way. The extra point failed but the Titans led 13-2. 

The game was pretty much over. Ryan Succop added a 33 yard field goal to end the half. In the third quarter the Titans moved 68 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 11 from the Jacksonville 28, Mariota ran for 12 yards and Henry ran for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 23-2 Titans. The Jaguars fumbled and Tennessee took over at their own 46. Again they needed only one play as Henry ran for a 54 yard touchdown to make it 30-2 Titans. Henry was a one man wrecking crew, finishing with 238 yards on 17 carries with 4 touchdowns. Jacksonville did get a touchdown in the third quarter and the fourth quarter was scoreless. 30-9 Titans

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs — The number one defense traveled to face the number one offense. After a touchback to start the game, the Chiefs faced 3rd and 8 at their own 38. Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for 17 yards, Conley for 7, Ware for 9, and Kelce for 15 down to the Baltimore 13. Defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Williams got the yard to make it 7-0 Chiefs.

After a touchback, Edwards ran for 8 yards, Lamar Jackson added 21 more, Edwards ran for 7, Dixon added 14 more, Edwards added 11, Jackson gained 9, Edwards added 2, and Dixon ran for the 3 yard touchdown. Baltimore tied the game 7-7 in the second quarter without throwing a single pass. The Chiefs missed a chance to take the lead when Harrison Butker missed a 51 yard field goal try. The Ravens took the good field position and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 11. The drive died at that point but a 28 yard Justin Tucker field goal made it 10-7 Ravens.

A touchback followed by an 18 yard completion from Mahomes to Tyreeq Hill plus a roughing the passer penalty had the Chiefs at the Baltimore 42. On 3rd and 6 from the Baltimore 15, Mahomes hit Kelce for the touchdown to make it 14-10 Chiefs with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Chiefs got it back at their own 19 with 1:36 left. Mahomes hit Robinson for gains of 9 and 17 and Ware for a 31 yard gain. With 10 seconds left in the half, the Chiefs had 3rd and 4 at the Baltimore 6. Mahomes threw incomplete but Butker hit from 24 to make it 17-10 Chiefs at halftime.

In the third quarter the Ravens moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Chiefs 39. John Harbaugh went for it. Edwards got the carry and got stopped cold. Yet on 3rd and 8 from the Chiefs 41, Mahomes was intercepted. From the Baltimore 27, the Ravens kept running the ball smash mouth style. Even on 3rd and 6 from the Chiefs 14, John Harbaugh kept running it. Jackson gained 4 yards, and Harbaugh gambled again on 4th and 2 from the 10. This time Jackson hit Maxx Williams for the touchdown to make it a 17-17 game with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. 

The defenses dominated,, and Mahomes was getting harassed by the blitzing Baltimore defense. With 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation, a 55 yard punt return by Jones had the Ravens at the Chiefs 14 yard line. On 3rd and 5, Jackson hit John Brown for the touchdown. With 4 minutes to play, the Ravens led 24-17 and were smelling upset.  

In a surprising turn of events, pass happy Andy Reid had Ware run three straight times for 6, 3, and 5 yards on 3rd and 1. With 90 seconds left, the Chiefs were down to their last gasp, facing 4th and 9 at their own 40. This time the Ravens did not blitz but they brought pressure with their front four anyway. Mahomes rolled all the way to his right, and just before going out of bounds, twisted his body and threw back across his body to the middle of the field where only bad things happen. Somehow, Hill came down with it, broke some tackles, and got to the sideline for a 48 yard gain. With 53 seconds left the Chiefs were again down to their final chance, facing 4th and 3 at the Chicago 5 yard line.

This time Baltimore brought the house, and Mahomes hit a wide open Williams in the flat for the touchdown and a 24-24 game. Baltimore took over after a touchback. With 44 seconds left from their own 36, disaster struck the Ravens. This time it was Kansas city sending a blindside blitz. Jackson never felt the pressure as he got hit and fumbled. The Chiefs recovered t the Baltimore 23. All they had to do was run down the clock and kick a field goal. With 3 seconds left, Butker came in for the 43 yard try to win it. The kick was no good. Butker’s second miss on the day sent this fine football game into overtime.

The Chiefs won the toss and after a touchback, Mahomes went right to work. He hit Harris for 15 and Hill for gains of 18 and 15. The Chiefs reached 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 12. Then Mahomes got nailed and fumbled. The Chiefs were lucky that Eric Fisher fell on the ball. the Chiefs retained possession but lost 13 yards. With 4:42 left in overtime, Butler came in for a 35 yard try. This time his kick was good. The Ravens would get one chance to tie or win the game.   

On 3rd and 7 from their own 28, Jackson hit Willie Snead for 14 yards. At the 2 minute warning, the Ravens had 2nd and 8 at the Chiefs 45. Then it all unraveled. Offensive holding moved them back. On the next play Jackson was sacked. He was injured on the play. On 3rd and 22, Robert Griffin III had to enter the game under the most impossible of conditions. RGIII threw incomplete twice, including a deep ball where defensive pass interference could have been called. The Ravens fell to 7-6 but still have the tie-breaker wild card advantage. The Chiefs at 11-2 still hold the top seed in the AFC, but they are only one game up in the AFC West with a major division showdown on Thursday. Ugly wins count, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 27-24 Chiefs, OT

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans — The Colts saw their 5 game winning streak snapped with a head-scratching 6-0 loss at Jacksonville. Houston came in winning 9 in a row. The Texans took over at their own 18. DeShaun Watson hit Akins for 13 yards and again for 27 more with another 15 tacked on for unnecessary roughness. On 3rd and 13 from the indy 30, Watson scrambled for just enough. Frank Reich challenged the spot, and it was reversed to 4th and 1. Bill O’Brien decided to go for it, and Watson hit Thomas for 6 yards. Alfred Blue ran for a 3 yard touchdown late in the first quarter for a 7-0 Texans lead. Then in the second quarter, the Colts took over.

Midway through the second quarter, the Colts took over at their own 36. Andrew Luck went bombs away ton TY Hilton for a 60 yard gain. On the next play Marlin Mack ran for the 4 yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie. The Colts got it back at their own 34. Luck went to Eric Ebron for 23 yards, Pascal for 28 more, and back to Ebron for a 14 yard touchdown. The Colts led 14-7 with 3 minutes left in the half. The Colts got it back at their own 11 with 1:15 left. With 26 seconds left the Colts faced 3rd and 10 at their own 38. Luck hit Ebron for 15 and Carlos Rogers for 11 more. Adam Vinatieri drilled a 54 yard field goal to end the half with the Colts up 17-7.

The Texans began the third quarter with a staggering 16 play, 75 yard drive that consumed nearly half the period. On 3rd and 1 from the Colts 44, Watson hit Thomas for 14 yards. On 3rd and 8 at the Indy 28, Watson hit Hopkins for 10. On 4th and goal at the one, Bill O’Brien decided to go for it. Lamar Miller got in and the Texans were within 17-14. The Colts soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Luck hit Grant for 15 yards and Hilton for 8 more. On 2nd and 18 from the Houston 46, Luck went deep to Hilton for a 34 yard gain and then to Zach Pascal for the 12 yard touchdown. After three quarters the Colts led 24-14.

With minutes left in regulation and still needing 2 scores, the Texans faced 3rd and 8 at their own 32. Watson hit Thomas for 9 yards and went deep to Griffin for a 47 yard gain. Watson hit Hopkins for a 7 yard touchdown. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Texans were within a field goal and needed to get the ball back. Bill O’Brien opted against an onside kick and the Colts took over at their own 22. Everything came down to the 2 minute warning. The Texans were out of timeout. It was 3rd and 1 for the Colts at their own 48. Luck barked the hard count, and Jadavean clowned jumped offsides. The 9-4 Texans still lead the 7-6 Colts, as each team won on the other’s home field. Watson was 27 of 38 for 267 yards, one touchdown and 0 interceptions. Luck was a sensational 27 of 41 for 399 yards and 2 touchdowns with one interception. 24-21 Colts

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers  — McCarthy is out and the even blander nondescript Joe Philbin is in. In the first 83 seconds, Matt Ryan went to Julio Jones for gains of 28 and 19 yards. Philbin unsuccessfully used both challenges on those catches. On 3rd and 8 at the Green Bay 26, Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for 10 yards and Jones for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons.

After a touchback Aaron Rodgers came out firing. He hit Brown for gains of 8 and 4 and Randall Cobb for 8 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 45, Rodgers hit Devonta Adams for 21 yards and Valdes-Scantling for 14 more. Rodgers hit Adams for a 7 yard touchdown to make it a 7-7 game. The Falcons missed a chance to take the lead. On 3rd and 7 from the Green Bay 19, Ryan was sacked and fumbled. The Falcons retained possession but the 16 yard loss turned a 37 yard field goal try into a 53 yard attempt. Matt Bryant missed it. After the first quarter, a close game between a pair of underachieving teams turned into a blowout.

The Packers after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Atlanta 23. Rodgers threw incomplete and then was sacked for a 9 yard loss. Mason Crosby hit the 50 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Packers. With 6 minutes left in the half, the Falcons faced 3rd and 4 at their own 14. Ryan was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland, who returned it 22 yards for a touchdown and a 17-7 Packers lead. The Packers got the ball at their own 7 yard line with 2:45 left in the half. A mind-numbing unnecessary roughness penalty gave the Packers some breathing room. On 3rd and 6 from their own 31, Rodgers ran for 16 yards and then again for 21 more. With 26 seconds left in the half on 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 27, Rodgers was sacked. Crosby hit the 48 yard field goal to end the half with the Packers up 20-7.

In the third quarter from their own 28, the Packers quickly moved to put the game away. Another pair of defensive penalties gave the Packers 20 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Atlanta 24, Rodgers hit Cobb for the touchdown to make it 27-7 Packers. Green Bay got it back and faced 3rd and 14 at their own 20. Rodgers hit Adams for 16 yards and Jones for 15 more. Jones then ran for 14 yards and again for a 29 yard touchdown to make it a 34-7 Packers mauling. Atlanta scored twice during the garbage time fourth quarter as the Falcons fell to 4-9. The Packers at 5-7 are still clinging to life. Aaron Rodgers set an NFL record in this game. He has now thrown 368 straight passes without an interception. 34-20 Packers 

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills — Rex Ryan coaches neither of these teams, reducing this to a game between bad teams. On 1st and 20 from their own 17, Josh Allen hit Foster for 18 yards and ran for 8 yards on 3rd and 1. Allen scrambled for a 31 yard gain and then for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills. On their next series the Bills fumbled and the Jets took over at the Buffalo 32. Sam Darnold went to the locker room injured and Josh McCown came in. Jason Myers hit a 47 yard field goal to get the Jets within 7-3. The Bills after a touchback soon faced a 3rd and 4 at the Jets 48. Allen went deep and drew a 33 yard defensive pass interference call. On the next play Isaiah McKenzie ran for a 15 yard touchdown. The Bills led 14-3 after the first quarter, but the game would tighten. 

A 51 yard kickoff return had the Jets taking over at the Buffalo 46. On 3rd and 9 from the Buffalo 45 to start the second quarter, Sam Darnold went deep to Anderson for 25 yards. Yet on 2nd and goal at the one, McGuire lost 2 yard and Darnold threw incomplete. Jason Myers hit the 21 yard field goal to get the Jets within 14-6. The Bills from their own 29 moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Jets 13. A halfback reverse option was incomplete. Steve Hauschka hit the 31 yard field goal to make it 17-6 Bills. After burning the Bills for a 51 yard kickoff return, Roberts returned this one 86 yards to the Buffalo 8 yard line. Trenton Cannon ran for a 4 yard touchdown to get the Jets within 17-13.

Buffalo saw Josh Allen get intercepted. Buffalo got it back and Hauschka came in for a 49 yard field goal try to end the half. The kick was blocked. Despite earlier heroics, this time Roberts fumbled the second half kickoff. The Bills recovered at the Jets 13 but could not get in the end zone. Hauschka hit the 29 yard field goal ago make it 20-13 Bills. The Jets moved from their 35 to a 3rd and 9 at the Buffalo 33. Darnold was intercepted. Yet the Bills did not capitalize. Despite every chance to put the game away, Buffalo didn’t do it.

The Jets faced 3rd and 10 at their own 15. Darnold hit Enunwa for 11 yards. McGuire then ripped off a 34 yard gain. Darbold hit Leggett for 13 yards as the Jets began the fourth quarter at the Buffalo 27. Darnold hit Herndon for 14 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Buffalo 7, Darnold hit Robby Anderson for the touchdown. With 12 minutes left in regulation the Jets had tied the game 20-20. The Bills moved from their 16 to a 1st and 10 at the Jets 38. Offensive holding was costly. Midway through the fourth quarter, Sean McDermott gambled on Hauschka trying a 54 yard field goal for the lead. The kick was no good.

Buffalo got it back with 6:15 to play. From their own 39, Allen went deep to Foster for a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Jets 18, Allen threw incomplete. This time Hauschka’s attempt for the lead was only 36 yards. Despite 2 earlier misses, this kick was good. With 2 1/2 minutes to play in a game they led from the beginning, the Bills led again 23-20. Allen had his chance. Now Darnold would have his.

Roberts returned the kickoff 22 yards with 5 more tacked on for a kicking team illegal formation. The Jets took over at their own 39. On 3rd and 1, McGuire gained 4 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. From the Buffalo 42, Darnold went deep to Anderson for a 37 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Darnold only gained 3 yards. The Bills took their final timeout as Todd Bowles decided to go for it all on 4th and goal at the one. Neither team was going to the playoffs, so why not? McGuire got in and the Jets had their first lead of the game with 1:17 to play. Allen would have his chance to be the hero snuffed out with an interception. 27-23 Jets

New York Giants at Washington Redskins — The Giants began 1-7 but came in winners of 3 out of 4. The reeling Redskins saw both their starting at backup quarterbacks go down with leg injuries. Third stringer Mark Sanchez got the start, with fourth stringer Josh Johnson as his backup. The game was a blowout that was over by halftime. A field scoreless field position game saw a perfect punt pin the Redskins at their own 2 yard line with 3 minutes left in the opening quarter. A run lost a yard. A short pass by Sanchez was intercepted by Riley, who bulled his way forward for a 9 yard touchdown. The Giants led 7-0 after one quarter, and had a second quarter for the ages.

A 23 yard punt return had the Giants taking over at their own 40. Despite 1st and goal at the 3, Eli Manning was sacked for a 14 yard loss. Aldrick Rosas hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Giants. The Giants got it back at their own 22. One play was all Saquon Barkley needed to rip off a 78 yard touchdown run to make it 17-0 Giants. Sanchez was then intercepted by Alex Ogletree, who returned it 18 yards to the Redskins 10 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Manning hit Sterling Shepard for the score to make it 24-0 Giants. 

Big Blue got it back at their own 18. Manning hit Penny for 16 yards. Barkley ran for 6 and then ripped off a 52 yard gain. Manning hit Bennie Fowler for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 31-0 Giants. 1:48 still remained in the half. The Giants got it back at their own 42 thanks to a 15 yard punt return. From the Washington 44, Manning went deep to Evan Engram for a 39 yard gain. Despite 1st and goal at the 5 with 13 seconds left, Manning threw incomplete twice. Rosas hit the 23 yard field goal to end the half as the 27 point second quarter explosion had the Giants up 34-0 at halftime.

League rules prevented the second half from being canceled. In the third quarter the Giants moved 81 yards. Manning hit Shepard for the 11 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, but with the Giants up 40-0, Pat Shurmur seemed unconcerned. Manning had 3 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. Sanchez was a miserable 6 of 14 for 38 yards and 2 interceptions in little more than one half of football. Jay Gruden had seen enough and brought Johnson in to replace Sanchez. Johnson went 11 of 16 for 195 yards, although the entire rest of the game was garbage time. Washington scored twice in the fourth quarter as they fell to 6-7 and the Giants got to 5-8 with the big win. 40-16 Giants

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Last week the Saints had their 10 game winning streak snapped. In this game it was the Buccaneers taking the opening kickoff and going 75 yards. Jameis Winston after a touchback went deep to Mike Evans for a 36 yard gain. Peyton Barber ran for 13 yards and Winston scrambled for 14 more. On 3rd and 9 from the Saints 11, Winston hit Cameron Brate in the front corner of the end zone for the 7-0 Buccaneers lead. 

In the second quarter the Buccaneers missed a 46 yard field goal that would have extended the lead. The Saints took over at their own 36 and moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Bucs 12. Drew Brees threw incomplete and the Saints settled for a 30 yard Wil Lutz field goal to trail 7-3. With 2:22 left in the half, an interception of brees set up the Buccaneers at the Saints 39. A defensive penalty for lowering the head to initiate contact moved the Bucs closer. On 3rd and goal at the one, Winston hit Cameron Brate for the score as the Buccaneers had the stunning 14-3 lead at the Big Sombrero. 

Momentum changed in the third quarter when the Buccaneers punted on 4th and 3 from their own 41. It was blocked, and the Saints took over at the Tampa 30. Mark Ingram ran for 11 and 4 and Brees hit Line for the touchdown. Alvin Kamara ran for the 2 point conversion to get the Saints within 14-11. 

A 20 yard punt return had the Saints getting it back just shy of midfield. Brees went to Lewis for 20 yards. Kamara ran for 8 and caught a pass for 4 on 3rd and 2. With 11:45 left in regulation on 4th and goal at the one, sean Payton decided to go for it. Brees got the yard himself as the Saints led 18-14. The Saints got it back again with great field position at their own 47. On 3rd and 5 Brees hit Thomas for 11 and Watson for 9. Kamara ran for 9 and Ingram ran for the 17 yard touchdown to make it 25-14 Saints. Lutz added a 36 yard field goal with 1:15 left as the Saints got to 11-2 and clinched the NFC South. 28-14 Saints

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins — Tom Brady has had some of his worst games at Miami. This one will be relived forever by anyone who loves football. Brady finished 27 of 43 for 358 yards. Tannehill was 14 of 19 for 265 yards. Both quarterbacks threw 3 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions in this instant classic. 

In this game the Patriots soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Brady hit Josh Gordon for 16 yards and Julian Edelman for 17 more. On 3rd and 3 from the Miami 28, Brady hit Edelman for 4 yards and Cordarelle Patterson for 10 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, James Develin got in. The Patriots led 6-0, but Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point. It would loom large throughout the game. On 2nd and 6 from the Miami 29, , Tannehill hit Devonta Parker for 15 yards. Tannehill then ran for 13 and Frank Gore ran for a 36 yard gain. Tannehill hit Kenny Stills for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-6 Dolphins. The second quarter was a pinball machine of action.

Late in the first quarter the Dolphins punted from their own 33 on 4th and 19. The punt was blocked, and the Patriots took over at the Miami 18. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Brady hit Julian Edelman for the touchdown to make it 13-7 Patriots early in the second quarter. After a touchback Miami struck rapidly. Tannehill hit Stills for 21 yards. The Brandon Bolden ran for a 54 yard touchdown and a 14-13 Dolphins lead. 

After a touchback, Brady hit Rob gronkowski for 17 yards. On 3rd and 10 from their own 47, Brady hit Edelman for 16 yards and then went to Patterson for the 37 yard touchdown to make it 20-14 Patriots. Again after a touchback Miami responded. Tannehill went deep to Stills for a 43 yard gain. Brandon Bolden ran for a 6 yard touchdown as the Dolphins led 21-20. 

After another touchback, Brady hit Gordon for 18 yards and Edelman for 20 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Miami 31, Brady hit Gronkowski for 15 and again for the 16 yard touchdown. The Patriots led 27-21 with 4 minutes left in the half. With 30 seconds left in the half, on 4th and 29 from their own 13, Miami had a punt blocked for the second time in the first half. The Patriots took over at the Miami 15. With 21 seconds left the Patriots had 1st and goal at the 2. Brady threw incomplete twice. On 3rd and goal at the 2, the Patriots took their final timeout. It was a major mistake. 14 seconds still remained. Rather than kick an easy field goal, Belichick went for it all. Brady was sacked and the clock ran out. That was a killer mistake. After a 35 point second quarter, the game cooled in the second half.

In the third quarter, the Patriots missed a chance to get some breathing room when Gostkowski missed a 42 yard field goal. From the Miami 32, defensive holding moved the ball to the 37. Gore ran for gains of 16 and 24 yards. Tannehill then hit Brice Butler for a 23 yard touchdown. The 7th lead change of the game had the Dolphins up 28-27 after three quarters.

With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Patriots took over at their own 31. Brady hit Gordon for gains of 21 and 8 with defensive holding adding 5 more. Brady hit White for 9 yards. Despite 1st and 10 at the Miami 15, a run gains done yard and Brady threw incomplete twice. With 6:45 left in the half, Gostkowski came in for a 32 yarder to give the Patriots the lead. The kick was good and the 8th lead change of the game had the Patriots up 30-28. 

Miami took over at their own 22. On 3rd and 4 from their own 40, Tannehill threw incomplete. With 4 1/2 minutes left, Adam Gase decided to punt. The Patriots took over at their own 27. With 3 minutes left, offensive holding had the Patriots facing 1st and 20 at their own 29. White gained 11 and Brady hit gordon for 12  as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Brady went deep and drew a 41 yard pass interference penalty. With 1:50 to play the Patriots had 1st and goal at the 7. White gained a yard and the Dolphins took their final timeout. A touchdown would put the game out of reach, but running the ball would grind down the clock to almost nothing. 

Bill Belichick played it safe and it was absolutely the right thing to do. In that situation you don’t even think of throwing the football. After gaining nothing, on 3rd and goal at the 6, Michel gained 2 yards. Critics will wonder why Belichick did not trust one of the greatest NFL players in all time in Brady to pass. Josh McDaniels calls the plays, and in that situation you must run the ball. By the time Gostkowski made the 22 yard field goal, only 16 seconds remained. The Patriots led 33-28. If not for Gostkowski’s misses and Brady’s blunder at the end of the first half, it would have been 40-28. Nevertheless, surely the Patriots could hang on for 16 seconds.

The short kickoff was returned 16 yards to the Miami 31. Only 7 seconds remained. All that was left was the Hail Mary, and nobody knew if Tannehill even had the arm strength to throw it 69 yards. Bill Belichick took defender Devon McCourty out of the game and brought in tight end Gronkowski to defend the Hail Mary. Adam Gase decided that the Hail Mary was not doable. He decided to go with the hook and laterals made famous by Cal knocking over the Stanford Marching Band.

From the 31, Tannehill fired over the middle to Stills, who caught the ball at midfield. As several defenders converged on Stills, he calmly lateraled the ball to DeVante Parker. Parker lateraled the ball to Kenyan Drake, who was near the sideline. Drake advanced from the sideline to the middle of the field at about the New England 30 yard line. Drake expected to lateral the ball again, but noticed that the New England defense had broken down. Drake kept the ball, veered back to the sideline, and it came down to him against Gronkowski. Gronk had a bad angle and stumbled. Drake made it to the end zone as the entire home crowd erupted in celebration. 

There were no flags on the field. The laterals were all backward and legal. It was a Miami miracle. Although this happened on the last night of Hanukkah, there was no word on whether any of the players involved on the final play were Jewish. New England fell to 9-4 and Miami at 7-6 is still alive in the playoff chase. Although league rules require an extra point attempt, the pandemonium made that impossible. Speaking of impossible, the 9th lead change ending in the play of the year will be watched as long as football and televisions exist. 34-33 Dolphins

Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns — The Panthers took over at their own 35. Runs and short passes led to a 3rd and 9 at the Cleveland 24. Cam Newton hit Christian McCaffrey for 20 yards and McCaffrey ran for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. On the very first play from scrimmage after a touchback, Gregg Williams went for it all. Baker Mayfield went deep and hit Brad Perriman for a 66 yard gain. Jarvis Landry ran for a 3 yard touchdown and a 7-7 game. 

In the second quarter the Browns fumbled and the Panthers took over at the Cleveland 17. McCaffrey ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Panthers. After a touchback, the Browns would face 3rd and 17 just shy of midfield. Mayfield went deep to Landry for a 51 yard touchdown and a 14-14 ballgame. 

The Panthers moved from their 18 to a 4th and 4 at the Cleveland 12. Chandler Catanzaro, filling in for injured Graham Gano, hit the 30 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Panthers. After a touchback the Browns moved to a 1st and 10 at the Carolina 31. They got no further but Greg Joseph nailed the 49 yard field goal. 3 times Carolina took the lead and 3 times Cleveland tied it for a 17-17 game at the half.

Defense dominated the second half. In the third quarter Carolina recovered a fumble at the Cleveland 32. They lost 3 yards, attempted a 53 yard field goal, and suffered a killer delay of game penalty before Catanzaro could kick the ball. Ron Rivera smartly opted to punt. Cleveland had to punt it back on 4th and 16 from their own 5. Carolina took over and soon faced 4th and 1 at the Cleveland 45. Riverboat Ron Rivera went for it and Newton hit Thomas for a 9 yard gain and a first down. Yet Thomas then drew a boneheaded unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to move the ball back 15 yards. It was still 1st and 10. Newton was then intercepted, but it was nullified by defensive holding. 

From the Cleveland 46, Newton hit Thomas for 16 yards, this time without incident. McCaffrey then ran for 25 yards. A 3 yard touchdown run was nullified by offensive holding. On 3rd and goal at the 18, Ron Rivera this time had seen enough. He played it safe, called a run that gained 2 yards, and brought in Catanzaro for a 34 yard try for the lead. It was good and the Panthers led 20-17 after three quarters the hard way.

After a touchback, The Browns began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 2 at their own 45. Landry got the carry and gained 51 yards. On the next play Nick Chubb ran for the 4 yard touchdown. Joseph doinked the extra point off the upright no good. With 13 minutes left in regulation the Browns had their first lead of the game up 23-20. The Browns got it back and moved from their 37 to a 4th and 8 at the Carolina 23. Joseph hit the 41 yard field goal to put the Browns up by 6 with 8:45 to play.

Carolina moved 72 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. With 3 1/2 minutes to go, they had 2nd and goal at the 3. Would this be another Cleveland collapse? Moore gained nothing, Newton threw incomplete, and Riverboat Ron Rivera had a big decision to make. On 4th and goal at the 3 with 2 1/2 minutes left, he could kick a field goal and rely on defense. He went for it, a reasonable decision. Newton threw incomplete. The Panthers got it back at their own 35 with 1:07 left. Newton went deep and was intercepted. The reeling Panthers are 6-7 including 5 straight losses. They are 1-6 on the road. The Browns are 5-7. Under Hue Jackson, the Browns won 3 of 40 games. Under Gregg Williams, they have won 3 of their last 4 games. 26-20 Browns

Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers — The Broncos came in winners of 3 straight to get to 6-6 and still alive for a playoff spot. The 49ers came in leading the chase for the worst record and the top draft pick. Some games are just head-scratchers. The 49ers moved 56 yards in the first quarter and Robbie Gould hit a 40 yard field goal to put the 49ers up 3-0 after the first quarter. They got it back at their own 19. On the last play of the quarter from their own 36, Nick Mullens hooked up with George Kittle for a 52 yard game. The second quarter saw the 49ers face 3rd and 2 at the Denver 4. Mullens was sacked. Gould hit from 29 as the 49ers led 6-0.

The 49ers got it back at their own 15. One play was enough for Mullens to connect with Kittle for an 85 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 49ers. With 55 seconds left in the half, the 49ers took over at their own 28. Mullens hit Bourne for 12. From the Denver 45 with 30 seconds left, Mullens hit Kittle for 13 yards and again for 18 more. With 8 seconds left in the half, Mullens hit Pettis for the one yard touchdown as the 49ers had the surprising 20-0 lead at halftime. 

The 49ers slept through the entire second half as Denver tried to rally. In the third quarter a 20 yard punt return had the Broncos taking over at their own 44. On 4th and 1 from the 49ers 33, Vance Joseph had to go for it. Janovich gained 3 yards. On 4th and 2 from the Frisco 22, Keenum went to Patrick for 19 yards. Philip Lindsay ran for the 3 yard touchdown to get the Broncos on the board down 20-7. Denver got it back at their own 8 yard line and moved to a 4th and 3 at their own 44 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Lindsay got the carry and only gained 2 yards.

Mullens was quickly intercepted, giving the Broncos the ball at their own 41. They moved to a 4th and 3 at the Frisco 22 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Keenum completed a pass to Lindsay, but only for one yard. Denver got it back at their own 31 with 6:40 to play. with 5 1/2 minutes left they faced 4th and 7 at the Frisco 24. Keenum hit Patrick for 9 yards. With 4 1/2 minutes left they faced 4th and 1 at the Frisco 6. Lindsay gained 3 yards. On 1st and goal at the one, Keenum threw 3 straight incompletions. On 4th and goal at the one, Keenum hit DaeSean Hamilton for the score. With 4 minutes left Denver was within 6 points. 

With 3 1/2 minutes left, the 49ers faced 3rd and 7 at their own 23. Mullens hit Pettis for 31 yards. With 2 1/2 minutes left, it all came down to 3rd and 3 at the Denver 39 with the Broncos out of timeouts. In a gutsy move, Kyle Shanahan called a pass knowing an incompletion would stop the clock. when you’re 2-10, why not? Mullens hit Taylor for 6 yards and then took 3 knees. At 6-7, Denver’s playoff hopes took a brutal hit. The 3-10 49ers may still get the top pick, but in the NFL, there is no tanking. Everyone wants to win. 20-14 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers — The Bengals are done for the year while the Chargers still have an outside shot at the AFC West crown. After a touchback, Philip Rivers ran for 5 yards and Austin Ekeler added 18 more. Rivers hit Williams for 19 and Ekeler ran for 14 and 15. Rivers hit Keenan Allen for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chargers. The Bengals moved from their own 20 to a 3rd and 8 at the Chargers 34. A short pass from Driskel to John Ross gained only 5 yards. Marvin Lewis decided not to gamble on 4th and 3. Randy Bullock hit the 47 yard field goal as the Bengals trailed 7-3. 

In the second quarter after a touchback, runs and passes moved the Chargers to the Cincy 42. Rivers hit Jackson for 17 yards. Rivers then went to Ekeler for 21 yards and the Chargers began the second quarter with 1st and goal at the 5. Ekeler ran for the touchdown to make it 14-3 Chargers. A short punt would give the Bengals the ball at the Chargers 46. They moved to a 3rd and goal at the one. Driskel got in, but on further review it was ruled short. Marvin Lewis decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. A false start killed the Bengals as they settled for a 23 yard Bullock field goal. They trailed 14-6, and field goals were not going to get it done.

With 1:35 left in the half, a short punt had the Bengals taking over at the Chargers 35. With 20 seconds left in the half, Driskel hit Ross for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed, but the Bengals were within 14-12, which should have been the halftime score. Yet the Bengals could not get to the half. The Chargers had 10 seconds left from their own 32. With one second left from the Cincy 46, Rivers was sacked. Yet the defense jumped offside to give the Chargers one untimed down. Anthony Lynn went with a 59 yard field goal try. Mike Badgley drilled it as the Chargers took a 17-12 lead to the locker rooms.

The Bengals began the third quarter with Marvin Lewis gambling on 4th and 1 from his own 35. Joe Mixon got stopped. The Chargers capitalized on the short field. On 4th and 1 from the Cincy 26, Anthony Lynn went for it and Ekeler gained 2 yards. The drive died at the 13 yard line but Badgley hit the 31 yarder to make it 20-12 Chargers after three quarters.

With one minute left in the third quarter the Bengals moved from their 39 to a 3rd and 5 at the Chargers 28. Driskel threw incomplete. Bullock hit the 46 yard field goal to get the Bengals within 20-15, but again field goals were not going to get it done. The Chargers moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 3 at the Cincy 14. Rivers threw incomplete, but Badgley hit the 32 yard field goal to make it 23-15 Chargers midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bengals moved 79 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes, taking over at their own 21. On 3rd and 6 from their own 48, Driskel hit Bernard for 9 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 39, Driskel threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 9 yard gain. Mixon then ran for gains of 19, 4, and 5 to set up 3rd and 1 at the 2 at the 2 minute warning. Driskel threw incomplete but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the one. Mixon got in with 1:50 left. now it was time to try the tying 2 point conversion. Driskel was sacked and the Chargers still led 23-21.

The Bengals recovered the onside kick, but it only went 9 yards. Plus, an illegal block made matters worse as the Chargers took over at the Cincy 34. Anthony Lynn played it very safe as the Chargers ran 3 straight times. Badgley hit the 45 yard field goal as the Chargers led by 5. The Bengals took over at their own 23 with 43 seconds left. A sack of Driskel left 3rd and 19 with 18 seconds left. With no shot for a Hail Mary, a 9 yard completion ended the game. The Chargers at 10-3 are in strong playoff position and have a major showdown with 11-2 Kansas City on Thursday. 26-21 Chargers    

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together for a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. Matt Prater hit a 47 yard field goal in the second quarter for the Lions. Zane Gonzalez missed from 54. In the third quarter, Josh Rosen completed a pass to Darius Slay, who plays defense for Detroit. The 67 yard interception return touchdown made it 10-0 Lions. The Cardinals did get a field goal midway through the fourth quarter, but Zach Zenner capped a 75 yard drive with a one yard touchdown run for Detroit that iced a game that deserves no further elaboration. It was not a Happy Hanukkah for Rosen. 17-3 Lions

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys — This NFC Least showdown saw Philly winning 2 straight against a Dallas team that had won 4 straight. Most of this game was a slog. Brett Maher hit field goals of 28 yards in the first quarter, 62 yards on the final play of the half, and 21 in the third quarter to make it 9-0 Cowboys with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Maher also missed a 45 yarder in the second quarter. 

The Cowboys were in total control until Dak Prescott made a very bad decision. From his own 9, a deep ball was intercepted and returned by Graham 29 yards to the Dallas 2 yard line.Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for the score. The extra point was no good but the Cowboys led 9-6. After three quarters of a slog, the fourth quarter was a track meet. The Cowboys after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Philly 44. Prescott was sacked and fumbled. The Eagles took over at their own 45. Early in the fourth quarter they had 1st and goal at the 8. They got no closer as Wentz threw incomplete on 3rd and goal. Elliott hit the 26 yard field goal for a 9-9 game with 12 minutes left in regulation.

Dallas faced 3rd and 12 at their own 23. Prescott went to Amari Cooper for just enough. From the Philly 46, Prescott went to Cooper for 13 yards and again for a 28 yard touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Cowboys led 16–9. Yet the final few minutes were a frenzy. With 5 1/2 minutes left, a field position game had the Eagles taking over at the Dallas 47. Wentz hit Jeffery for 12 and Goedert for 26 yards. Wentz hit Goedert for a 3 yard touchdown. The game was tied 16-16 with 3 minutes left, but it was far from over.

One play and 11 seconds later, the Cowboys had the lead again. Prescott and Cooper connected on a 75 yard touchdown to make it 23-16 Cowboys. After a touchback, the Eagles were at the Dallas 44 at the 2 minute warning. Wentz went deep to Nelson Agholor for a 42 yard gain. Wentz hit Darren Sproles for a 6 yard touchdown. For the third time in a game they never led, the Eagles had tied the game at 23-23. 1:35 still remained. The Cowboys moved from their 18 to a 2nd and 6 at the Philly 41 with 21 seconds left. Out of the shotgun, a fumbled snap meant a 6 yard loss out of field goal range. Prescott was then sacked as these bitter rivals went to overtime.

The Cowboys won the toss and went straight to their best player. Ezekiel Elliott ran for gains of 8 and 10. Prescott then hit Schultz for 16 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Philly 40, Prescott hit Cooper for 12 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Philly 19, Elliott got stopped. Jason Garrett had a big decision to make. A field goal would still give the Eagles one chance with the ball. Garrett went for it and on 4th and 1, Elliott gained 2 yards. With 2 minutes left in overtime, it came down to 3rd and 8 at the Philly 15. 

Prescott fired to Cooper. The ball was deflected in the air. Somehow Cooper caught the deflections and waltzed into the end zone. The Eagles never saw the ball as Doug Pederson saw his defending champions fall to 6-7. The Cowboys are now 8-5. Prescott was a ridiculous 42 of 54 for 455 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Elliott had 113 yards on 28 carries. Cooper had 217 receiving yards on 10 catches, with 3 touchdowns. Jerry Jones has a new set of triplets. 29-23 Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders — Despite losing 2 straight, the AFC North leading Steelers were expected to roll over the 2-10 Raiders. Cue ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman. “THAT’s why they PLAY the games.” This was not as special as their AFC Title Games of the 1970s, but it was a heart-stopping football game. Ben Roethlisberger and Derek Carr both threw 2 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. They both completed 25 passes with Roethlisberger only throwing 29 times and Carr throwing 34 times. Carr threw for 322 yards to 282 for Big Ben. This game came down to a stunning final play. It was far from an Immaculate Reception, but it was a surprise.

The Raiders despite their awful record frequently start fast, and this game was no exception. From their 26, Muscle Hamster Doug Martin gained 9 yards and Carr hit Jared Cook for gains of 30 and 19 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Martin got in to make it 7-0 Raiders. Both defenses dug in for the rest of the first quarter.

With 3 minutes left in the opening quarter the Steelers faced 2nd and 7 at their own 36. Roethlisberger connected with James for a 22 yard gain. The second quarter began with the Steelers facing 3rd and 4 at the Oakland 24. Roethlisberger hit McDonald for 8 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 14, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 12 yards. Stevan Ridley ran for the 2 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

The Raiders took over at their own 28. Carr hit Jordy Nelson for 13 yards and Cook for 12 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 45, Carr found Cook for 12. On 3rd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 26, Carr threw incomplete. Daniel Carlson hit the 44 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Raiders. The Steelers after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 16. On 3rd and 9, Roethlisberger was sacked. Boswell missed a 39 yard field goal try that would have tied the game.

Yet as they have done so many times this season, the Raiders self-destructed at key moments. A facemask penalty on a punt return had the Steelers taking over with 3 minutes left in the half at their own 47. Roethlisberger went to Juju Smith-Schuster for a 20 yard gain. With one minute left in the half, the Steelers faced 3rd and 9 at the Oakland 12. Roethlisberger hit McDonald for a 10 yard gain. With 10 seconds left in the half, the Steelers faced 3rd and goal at the one. Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster for the touchdown. Despite neither of them being Jewish, their touchdown on the last night of Hanukkah had the Steelers up 14-10. 

The second half started in shocking fashion. The Steelers had the ball but Roethlisberger was not on the field. Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs was in the game. Roethlisberger had gotten belted in the second quarter and badly injured his ribs. He gutted it out for the rest of the half and even led the team to the lead. At halftime, he told Mike Tomlin he couldn’t go. Dobbs played the third quarter, which was a scoreless slugfest. The Raiders have had a weak defense all year, but on this day they were playing tough football. Sadly, they could not get the stop on the last play of the half which is why they were trailing.

Dobbs did move the Steelers from their 37 to a 4th and 1 at the Oakland 42. Mike Tomlin went for it and Dobbs completed a pass to McDonald, but for no gain. The Raiders moved from their 36 to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 12. On 3rd and 9, Carr hit Nelson for 7 yards, but offensive holding instead meant 3rd and 19. Carr was then sacked and fumbled the ball away, killing the drive. Dobbs was then intercepted at the Oakland 44, but the Raiders could not pick up a first down. 

With 13 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders took over at their own 27. On 2nd and 6, Carr hit Atman for 28 yards. On 2nd and 13 from the Pittsburgh 44, Carr hit Nelson for 8 and Ateman for 7. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 27, Carr hit Nelson for only 7. On 4th and 1 from the 20 with over 8 minutes left, Jon Gruden decided to go for it. He had Carr line up in the shotgun, which should make Raiders fans tear their hair out. Nevertheless, Jalen Richard gained 5 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the 12, Carr hit Nelson for 10 yards. On 2nd and goal from the 3, Carr hit Lee Smith for the touchdown. With 5:20 to play, the Raiders led 17-14. Now their defense needed to close out a win against a backup quarterback who had done nothing.

Except after a touchback, Dobbs was not in the game. Ben Roethlisberger willed himself back on the field. Sports history is loaded with injured heroes who get up and gut out wins. The most notable are Michael Jordan, Willis Reed, Joe Montana and Pete Sampras. Now Roethlisberger was going to add his name to that list. He hit Brown and Samuels for a pair of 13 yard gains. He hit Samuels for 23 and Smith-Schuster for 12 more. An 8 yard completion to Smith-Schuster put the ball on the one. Roethlisberger fired to the back of the end zone to Smith-Schuster, who made a jiggling catch. He appeared to be out of the back of the end zone but officials called it a touchdown. The Raiders had collapsed again and trailed 21-17 with 3 minutes left.

Two years ago Carr willed the Raiders to multiple wins. Anyone who thinks he has lost his ability has lost their minds. After a touchback, Carr hit Richard for 5 and Ateman for 10 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Carr hit Cook for 14. Then Carr went deep to Seth Roberts, who beat the double coverage. A perfectly placed ball went for a 39 yard gain and 1st and goal at the 7 with 1:15 to play. For some reason, Mike Tomlin decided not to take any timeouts on defense until 25 seconds remained. It was 4th and goal at the 6 after a pair of incompletions. It all came down to one play.

It was Derek to Derek, Carr to Carrier. Carr hit Derek Carrier for a 6 yard touchdown as the home crowd erupted in celebration. The Raiders led by 3. A 25 yard kickoff return by Ryan Switzer had the Steelers at their own 30. Only 15 seconds remained. Could the Silver and Black finally close out a game? Roethlisberger threw a 5 yard pass to Washington. 2 defenders converged on Washington. He evaded them long enough to lateral the ball to Smith-Schuster, who got to the sideline and appeared to be pulling out the Immaculate Reception Part II. 

Smith-Schuster was finally forced out of bounds after racing 43 yards for a total gain of 48 yards on the play. 5 seconds remained when Franco Harris scored in December of 1972. 5 seconds remained when Smith-Schuster got out of bounds in December of 2018. The ball was on the Oakland 22. Boswell came in for a 40 yard try to tie the game. Surely, the Steelers would win in overtime. There would be no overtime. The miserable Oakland dirt that has hurt Raiders kickers finally helped the home team. Boswell slipped on the dirt and his low kick was blocked. Happy Hanukkah Mark Davis. Derek Carr is not Jewish, but he pulled off the biggest Hanukkah Miracle since Judah Maccabee. Roethlisberger has never won in Oakland, going 0-4. The Raiders have won 2 of their last 3, and are finally showing some fight. Just win baby. 24-21 Raiders  

Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears is the Sunday night game. The 11-1 Rams have already won the NFC West and the 8-4 Bears are atop the NFC North. The Rams have the offense and the Bears have the defense. This game was all defense. Mitchell Trubisky was intercepted 3 times. Jared Goff was picked off 4 times. In the first quarter an interception set up the Rams at the Chicago 15. They settled for a 27 yard Greg Zuerlein field goal. The Bears reached 3rd and 5 at the Rams 11. Trubisky was sacked. Cody Parkey hit the 39 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter an interception of Goff had the bears at the Rams 4 yard line. Trubisky was sacked and Parkey hit from 31. Sean McVay gambled on a fake punt on 4th and 7 from his own 28. Johnny Hekker hit Everett for just enough. Zuerlein hit from 50 as the teams were tied 6-6 at halftime.

The first half was all defense. So was the second half. The Rams began the third quarter at their own 13 yard line. Todd Gurley lost 5 yards. Then came the play of the game. Goff was sacked in the end zone for a safety and the Bears led 8-6. The Bears took the free kick at their own 19 and moved to a 3rd and goal at the 2. Matt Nagy may look like a boring nondescript guy, but he runs an exciting offense. He brought defensive players in to play offense. Trubsisky faked a handoff to a defensive tackle and threw a tackle eligible to 

Sowell. His first ever catch put the game away, as both defenses dominated the rest of the way. This game had Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary approving and Deacon Jones scowling in football heaven. As Singletary said, “This is when the big dogs come out.” 15-6 Bears

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks was the Monday night game. A few years ago the Seahawks survived a road playoff win at Minnesota 10-9. This game was even more brutal and much closer than the final score. Sebastian Janikowski’s 37 yard field goal in the second quarter was the only score for 45 minutes as the Seahawks led 3-0 after three quarters. The Seahawks had 1st and goal at the one with 16 seconds left in the half. Russell Wilson threw a horrendous interception that he was lucky was not returned the other way for a score. In the third quarter Minnesota went for it on 4th and 1 at the Seattle 40. Latavius Murray got stopped. A 31 yard defensive pass interference penalty led to Janikowski hitting a 35 yarder as the Seahawks led 6-0 with 13 1/2 minutes left in regulation. 

Minnesota moved to a 4th and goal at the one with 9 minutes left. Mike Zimmer decided to go for it and Kirk Cousins’s pass was broken up in the end zone incomplete. Minnesota got it back at the Seattle 41. With 5 1/2 minutes left Dan Bailey came in for a 47 yard field goal try. Bobby Wagner leapt over the line and blocked it. From the Seattle 39, Wilson scrambled and gained 40 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, after over 57 minutes of 0 touchdowns, Chris Carson got in. Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for the 2 point conversion to make it 14-0 Seahawks. The exclamation point came when Justin Coleman returned a fumble 29 yards for a score to make it 21-0 Seahawks. Minnesota got a garbage touchdown to drop to 6-6 as Seattle got to 8-5. Wilson finished 10 of 20 for only 72 yards and one interception. Pete Carroll just wants to win. This was not the Purple People Eaters or the Legion of Boom, but it was pretty close. 21-7 Seahawks

Hanukkah 2018 Night 5: NFL 2018 Week 14 Prequel

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 5: NFL2018 Week 14 Prequel

THIS IS WHEN THE BIG DOGS COME OUT!

Big Dogs come out: NFL 2018 Week 14 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

Hanukkah 2018 Night 1: NFL 2018 Week 13 Recap

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 1: NFL 2018 Week 13 Recap

New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys was the Thursday night game. This one belonged to the defense. The Cowboys owned the first half. Brett Maher hit a 26 yard field goal to start the scoring. Dan Prescott then hit Ezekiel Elliott for a 16 yard touchdown to cap an 85 yard drive and make it 10-0 Cowboys after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Cowboys mounted a staggering 16 play,70 yard drive from their own 2 that consumed over 9 minutes. They settled for a 46 yard Maher field goal and a 13-0 halftime lead. Dallas had the ball for 22 minutes in the first half.

The third quarter belonged to the Saints. Wil Lutz hit a 33 yard field goal to cap a 10 play, 60 yard, 5 minute drive. A 10 play, 88 yard drive including a successful fake punt culminated in Drew Brees hitting Keith Kirkwood for a 30 yard touchdown. The Saints were within a field goal after three quarters. They never got it. On a night dominated by defense, an interception of Brees sealed the upset Dallas win. The Saints fell to 10-2 while the Cowboys are at 7-5 and now atop their division. 13-10 Cowboys

Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers — Nothing says December football like snow in Green Bay. A field position game saw a scoreless first quarter. In the second quarter a 24 yard punt return had the Packers taking over at the Arizona 35. On 4th and 4 from the Arizona 13, Mike McCarthy passed up a 31 yard field goal try and decided to go for it. Aaron Rodgers hit Devonta Adams for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers. Arizona came back 75 yards in 11 plays and 7 minutes. Edmonds ran for a 6 yard touchdown to tie the game. Green Bay used up the final 4 1/2 minutes of the half. This time Mike McCarthy put his faith in Mason Crosby, who hit the 32 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Packers at halftime.

The Cardinals were a 2-9 warm weather team playing a rookie quarterback on the road. Nobody told them that. In the third quarter from their own 13, Kirk ran for 23 yards and caught a 37 yard pass from Josh Rosen. Despite 2nd and 9 from the Green Bay 26, Rosen threw incomplete twice. Zane Gonzalez hit a 44 yard field goal for a 10-10 game.

Arizona got it back and from their own 35, Rosen ran for 33 yards and Edmonds added 29 more. Edmonds ran for an 8 yard touchdown as the Cardinals had the stunning 17-10 lead. With 11 minutes left in regulation the Packers took over at their own 5 yard line. On 3rd and 4 from their 11, Rodgers hit Adams for 11 yards. Valdes-Scantling then ran for 21 yards. From the Arizona 27, Rodgers hit Adams for 19 yards. Jones ran for an 8 yard touchdown and a 17-17 game with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

With 4 1/2 minutes left a sack and a penalty had the Cardinals facing 3rd and 23 at their own 12. One stop and the Packers would give Rodgers a chance to do what he does. Instead Rosen went deep to Larry Fitzgerald for a 32 yard gain. With 1:41 left, Gonzalez came in for a 44 yard field goal try to give the Cardinals the lead. The kick was good. There was no way a 2-9 warm weather team was going to go on the road into snowing Green Bay and win. Surely Rodgers would get it done.

With 1:05 left the Packers faced 4th and 5 at their own 30. Rodgers hit Jimmy Graham for 7 yards. With 15 seconds left from the Arizona 40, Rodgers found Randall Cobb for 9 yards. with 9 seconds left, Rodgers went deep incomplete. Now it was 4th and 1 from the Arizona 31 with 3 seconds left. Crosby came in to tie the game from 49 yards out. The kick was no good. The crowd was shellshocked. The only things not frozen were the red hot seats of Mike McCarthy and Mason Crosby. Later that night, despite being in his 13th season with a Super Bowl ring, Packers President Mark Murphy fired McCarthy and named Joe Philbin interim coach. For Josh Rosen, it was a sweet way to start Hanukkah. 20-17 Cardinals

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans — One week after losing team founder and owner Bob McNair, the Texans grieved the loss of favorite son and former President George Herbert Walker Bush. Meanwhile, the Houston offense kept rolling. A 13 play, 63 yard drive took 7 minutes. Kaimi Fairbairn hit a 35 yard field goal to start the scoring. Houston got it back and mounted a 10 play, 82 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. Deshaun Watson hit Jordan Thomas for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Texans.

In the second quarter Baker Mayfield was intercepted by Cunningham, who returned it 38 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 Texans lead. Mayfield was then intercepted again, leading to a 42 yard field goal and a 20-0 Texans advantage. Fairbairn would connect again from 48 as the Texans led 23-0 at halftime.

The second half was a formality. Nick Chubb would run for a 2 yard touchdown in the third quarter for the Browns, but Fairbairn then drilled a 53 yard field goal as the Texans were cruising up 26-7.  Fairbairn hit from 38 with 6 minutes left in regulation to make it 29-7 Texans. Cleveland got one garbage touchdown but nothing more. After an 0-3 start, the Texans have won 9 straight games. 29-13 Texans

Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons — The Falcons held the ball for 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes, but settled for a 44 yard Matt Bryant field goal to make it 3-0 Falcons. Baltimore after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 15 from the Atlanta 18. A pass only gained one yard, but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. On the next play Lamar Jackson ran around the end and got to the pylon for a 13 yard touchdown and a 7-3 Ravens lead.

In the second quarter the Ravens began a drive just past midfield. On 4th and 7 from the Atlanta 46, Jim harbaugh called a fake punt. Punter Koch hit Moore for 21 yards. Yet from the Atlanta 22, Jacksongot hit and fumbled. Vic Beasley returned it 74 yards the other way for a defensive touchdown and a 10-7 Falcons lead. Yet Atlanta could not get their offense going. Justin Tucker hit a 41 yard field goal to end the half and tie the game. In the third quarter the Ravens moved to the Atlanta 3 yard line but Jackson threw incomplete on 3rd and goal. Tucker hit from 21 to make it 13-10 Ravens.

Jackson got hit and left the game. Robert Griffin III led a 14 play, 60 yard, 8 minute drive. Tucker hit a 45 yard field goal as the Ravens led 16-10 after three quarters. Jackson cleared concussion protocol and returned. In the fourth quarter a 13 play, 55 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive led to a 47 yard Tucker field goal. Midway through the fourth quarter the Ravens led 19-10. After a touchback, Matt Ryan got sacked and fumbled. Young returned it 11 yards for a score as the Ravens led 26-10. Atlanta did get a touchdown but not the 2 point conversion. Baltimore has won 3 straight games with Jackson. John Harbaugh will have a big decision to make when Joe Flacco returns from injury. 26-16 Ravens

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Tampa Bay marched 75 yards in 11 plays and 5 minutes. Jameis Winston hit Adam Humphries for 11 yards and again for 5 more. Winston hit Chris Godwin for 10 yards. Winston then ran for gains of 6 and 18 sandwiched around a 17 yard run by Peyton Barber. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Winston fired over the middle to Humphries for the score to make it 7-0 Buccaneers. An interception of Cam Newton off a deflected pass gave the Buccaneers a short field. Cairo Santos hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Buccaneers.

Carolina got it back at their own 27. From their 39, Christian McCaffrey ran for a 53 yard gain. On the next play Newton hit McCaffrey for an 8 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 10-7. With one minute left in the half an interception of Newton set up Tampa at the Carolina 32. With 13 seconds left in the half, on 3rd and 11 from the Carolina 13, Winston hit Godwin for the score to make it 17-7 Buccaneers.

In the third quarter after a touchback, the Panthers moved to a 3rd and 7 at the Tampa Bay 9 yard line. A touchdown was nullified by offensive holding, killing the drive.Graham Gano hit a 37 yard field goal to get the Panthers within 17-10. The Buccaneers soon faced 3rd and 7 from their own 28. Winston threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 12 yard gain. On 3rd and 11 from their own 39, Winston hit Godwin for 18 yards. On 1st and 20 from their own 47, a defensive pass interference call on a deep ball meant 1st and goal at the one. Barber got in to make it 24-10 Buccaneers.

The Panthers came back 92 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 3rd and 7 from their own 11, Newton hit McCaffrey for 15 yards and Moore and Thomas each for gains of 11. McCaffrey ran for 18 and Samuel added 8 more. Newton hit Devon Funchess for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 7 after three quarters.

Defense dominated the fourth quarter. The Panthers took over at their own 26 with 1:05 left and 0 timeouts. On 2nd and 1 a swing pass failed to gain the first down or get out of bounds. Only 13 seconds remained with the Panthers at their own 44. The Hail Mary failed but a defensive penalty gave the Panthers one more shot. Ron Rivera took out Cam Newton and brought in backup Taylor Heinecke for the final Hail Mary try. This time it reached the end zone but was batted down. The Panthers lost their fourth straight game, with Newton throwing 4 interceptions in this game. 24-17 Buccaneers

Chicago Bears at New York Giants —Chase Daniel got the nod again in place of the injured Mitchell Trubisky. Early on from deep in his own territory, Daniel had a swing pass intercepted by Alec Ogletree, who bulled over Daniel for an 8 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Giants lead. The Bears came back 70 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Giants 48, Matt Nagy decided to go for it. Tarik Cohen gained 8 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Giants 35, Howard gained 22 yards. Daniel hit Shaeen for a 2 yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie.

In the second quarter the Bears moved 74 yards. From their own 26, howard ran for 25 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Giants 45, Daniel threw incomplete but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. On 3rd and goal at the one, Howard got stopped. Matt Nagy decided to go for it. Hicks got in to make it 14-7 Bears. Then the game changed. With 1:15 left in the half the Giants took over at their own 43. On the last play of the half, Aldrich Rosas drilled a 57 yard field goal. The Giants only trailed 14-10 at halftime and had momentum.

In the third quarter the Giants moved 75 yards and Pat Shurmur went to his bag of tricks. O’Dell Beckham took an end around and threw a deep option pass to Sterling Shepard for a 49 yard touchdown and a 17-14 Giants lead. The Giants got it back at their own 40. On 3rd and 5 from the Chicago 30, Eli Manning hit Saquon Barkley for 17 yards. Defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Barkley got stopped twice and Manning threw incomplete. On 4th and goal from the one, Pat Shurmur decided to go for it. Manning hit Beckham for the score as the Giants led 24-14 and were smelling upset.

In the fourth quarter the Bears moved to a 1st and 10 at the Giants 13. Penalties killed the drive. Cody Parkey hit  36 yard field goal to get the Bears within 24-17 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Bears took over at their own 2. They quickly fumbled the ball, giving the Giants the ball at the Chicago 13. Rosas hit the 37 yard field goal. With 1:53 left the Giants led 27-17. They celebrated the upset win. They celebrated way too early.

After a touchback, the Bears moved to a 4th and goal at the 3 with 1:15 left. Needing 2 scores, Matt Nagy opted for the field goal. Parkey hit the 21 yarder to get the Bears within 27-20. A perfectly executed onside kick had the Bears taking over at their own 47. Daniel went to Cohen for 14 yards. With 17 seconds left, the Bears faced 4th and 3 at the Giants 32. They needed a miracle and got one as Daniel went to Cohen for 23 yards. An incompletion left 3 seconds. Daniel threw incomplete again but defensive pass interference meant the Bears would get one untimed down from the one yard line.

Rather than go textbook run or even play-action pass, Matt Nagy went to the bag of tricks and called perhaps the craziest play ever with the game on the line. A double reverse option pass led to Anthony Miller hitting Cohen for the score. 2 scores in the final 75 seconds had the teams going to overtime tied 27-27. For the second straight week the Giants had blown a fourth quarter lead, but this time they still had a chance to win.

After a touchback, The Giants moved from to a 2nd and 3 at the Chicago 23. A run lost 3 yards and Manning threw incomplete. Rosas came in for a 44 yard field goal try to give the Giants the lead. The kick was good. 6 minutes remained in overtime, but Chicago would get a chance with the ball. On 4th and 7 from their own 28, Daniel hit Robinson for 10 yards. With 3 minutes left in overtime, on 4th and 8 from their own 40, Daniel went deep incomplete. The Bears fell to 8-4 while the Giants have won 3 of 4. They did it the hard way, but they got the upset. 30-27 Giants, OT

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins — After a touchback to start the game, Ryan Tannehill went to work. He hit Kenny Stills for11 yards and Brice Butler for 5 more. A roughing the passer call tacked on another 15. Tannehill on 3rd and 9 hit Devontae Parker for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Dolphins.

The Bills began the second quarter at their own 45.From the Miami 41, LeSean Shady McCoy ran for 12 and Josh Allen ran for 11 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Miami 18, defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 4. On 2nd and goal from the 15 after a holding penalty, Allen hit Jones for the touchdown. Steve Hauschka missed the extra point as the Bills trailed 7-6. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Bills fumbled a punt and the Dolphins took over at the Buffalo 36. On 3rd and 7 from the Buffalo 19, Ryan Tannehill hit Frank Gore for 10 yards. Tannehill hit Kenyon Drake for a 3 yard score to make it 14-6 Dolphins at halftime.

Hauschka hit a 32 yard field goal in the third quarter to get the Bills within 14-9 in a badly played game. Allen was intercepted, but Tannehill gave the interception right back. The Bills took over at their own 17 to start the fourth quarter. Allen scrambled for 28 yards and then hit Thompson for 12 more. Allen then went to Zay Jones for a 25 yard touchdown. Allen went to Jones again for the 2 point conversion as the Bills led 17-14 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, from the Miami 37, a defensive pass interference penalty moved Miami 25 yards forward. Drake then ripped off a 20 yard gain, with a defensive taunting penalty moving the ball to the 11. After a failed run, Tannehill hit Stills for a 13 yard touchdown. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Dolphins had regained the lead by 4 points. After a touchback the Bills moved to a 1st and 10 at the Miami 24. Consecutive sacks of Allen had the Bills facing 4th and 23 at the Miami 37. With 3 1/2 minutes left, Sean McDermott had Hauschka try a 55 yard field goal to get the Bills within one point. The kick was no good.

Buffalo got it back with 2 1/2 minutes left at their own 10. Allen went deep to Foster for 27 yards, to McCoy for 11, and deep again to McKenzie for 23 more yards. With 1:10 to play, the Bills faced 3rd and 11 at the Miami 30. Allen went deep to Jones for a 24 yard catch to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Yet officials reviewed the catch and reversed it to an incompletion. On 4th and 11, mayhem ensued. Allen ran for his life under heavy pressure, escaped everyone, zigged and zagged, ended up to his left, and threw across his body to the right. Jones was wide open in the end zone. There was nobody near him. The ball was under thrown but catchable. Jones had to go from the back of the end zone to the front of the end zone. He dove and dropped the ball. He just dropped it. Miami got to 6-6 with the dumbest of dumb luck. 21-17 Dolphins

Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals — Red Rifle Andy Dalton is now on injured reserve for the year as Jeff Driskel started his first NFL game. After a scoreless first quarter, in the second quarter Denver took over at their own 45. On 3rd and 10 from the Cincy 44, Case Keenum went to Donte Booker for a 30 yard gain. Lindsay ran for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Broncos with 1:56 left in the half. After a touchback, Cincinnati quickly moved to a 1st and goal at the 7 with 30 seconds left in the half. Intentional grounding killed the drive. Randy Bullock hit a 35 yard field goal as the Bengals trailed 7-3 at the break.

In the third quarter the Bengals fumbled a punt and Denver recovered at the Cincinnati 33. Two plays later Keenum went deep to Chris Sutton for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Broncos. The Bengals moved to the Denver 30, but Driskel went deep and was intercepted. The Broncos took over at their own 15. On 3rd and 6 from their own 19, Keenum hit Sutton for 16 yards. On the next play Lindsay got around the end for a 65 yard touchdown and a 21-3 Broncos lead. The Bengals tried to rally, moving 75 yards. Driskel threw a 30 yard touchdown to Core as the Bengals trailed 21-10. They would get no more as Denver tacked on a fourth quarter field goal. Once left for dead, Vance Joseph has seen Denver win 3 straight to get to 6-6 and alive for a playoff berth. 24-10 Broncos

Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions — The 10-1 Rams faced a 4-7 Lions team ready for a fight. In the first quarter the Rams moved 74 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd and 4 from the Detroit 6, Jared Goff threw incomplete. Greg Zuerlein hit a 24 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Rams. The Lions moved 65 yards in 10 plays in the second quarter and faced 3rd and 2 at the Rams 7. a swing pass from Matthew Stafford lost 3 yards. Matt Prater hit a 28 yard field goal for a 3-3 game.

After the Lions failed to capitalize on an interception of Goff, the Rams moved 71 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 7 from the Detroit 8, Goff hit Woods for the score to make it 10-3 Rams. The Rams got it back at their own 32 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Detroit 29. Goff threw 3 straight incompletions. Zuerlein hit the 47 yard field goal to make it 13-3 Rams at halftime.

In the third quarter the Lions recovered a fumble and took over at the Rams 47. On 1st and goal at the 4, a run lost 5 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 9, a touchdown pass was nullified by offensive pass interference. Prater hit a 29 yard field goal to get the Lions within 13-6. Matt Patricia called a surprise onside kick that did not work. The Rams took over at the Detroit 38. On 3rd and 2, Todd Gurley got stopped. Sean McVay opted for the field goal and Zuerlein delivered from 48 to make it 16-6 Rams.

After a touchback from the Detroit 38, Stafford went to Toilolo for a 39 yard gain. Stafford hit Theo Riddick for 12 yards and to Decker for the 11 yard touchdown. After three quarters the Lions only trailed 16-13. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, a sack of Stafford forced a fumble that Ebukam recovered at the Detroit 24. Gurley ran for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 23-13 Rams. After a touchback and needing 2 scores, the Lions moved to a 1st and 10 at the Rams 15. A pair of runs each lost a yard and Stafford then threw incomplete. With 3 minutes left, Matt Patricia opted for the field goal. Prater hit from 35 to get the Lions within 23-16.

The onside kick failed and the Rams faced 3rd and 3 at the Detroit 38 with 2:44 left.Gurley then showed why he is not only a legitimate MVP candidate but the league’s most unselfish player. For the second time this season, Gurley gave up a chance at a touchdown. He broke through the line and was on his way when he stopped at the one yard line and allowed himself to be tackled. This forced the Lions to take their final timeout. By the time Gurley ran for the 2 yard touchdown, the Lions were left with only 1:54 rather than 2 1/2 minutes. The Rams at 11-1 have the NFL’s best record. 30-16 Rams

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars — The Colts came in winners of 5 straight to get to 6-5 against a reeling Jaguars squad that had lost 7 straight. Yet this game was all defense. Josh Lambo hit a 30 yard field goal with 2 minutes left in the half and a 37 yarder with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 1:51 left the Colts took over at their own 15 and moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Jags 29 with 15 seconds left. Luck went to the end zone incomplete. With 9 seconds left, Luck inexplicably threw a short pass that gained only 4 yards. Despite being near the sideline, officials ruled the receiver inbounds as the clock ran out. 6-0 Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders — The Chiefs cut Kareem Hunt after video showed him punching a woman. Meanwhile, the 9-2 Chiefs were supposed to punch the daylights out of the helpless 2-9 Raiders with ease. On the first play of the game from the Chiefs 22, Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for a 24 yard gain. Kelce fumbled and the Raiders recovered at their own 44. 16 seconds into the game with a fired up home crowd, and the Raiders were in business. On 4th and 1 from the Chiefs 47, Jon Gruden decided to keep the crowd fired up by going for it. Muscle Hamster Doug Martin gained 10 yards. However, offensive holding negated the run and made it 4th and 11. The Raiders were out of business and punted. A shanked 22 yard punt had the Chiefs starting at their own 35.

This time the Chiefs struck quickly. Tyreeq Hill ran for 33 yards. Defensive pass interference added 26 more yards. Mahomes hit Kelce for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Raiders then fumbled and the Chiefs recovered just past midfield. Harrison Butker hit a 29 yard field goal as the Chiefs led 10-0 after the first quarter. The Raiders moved from their own 38 in the second quarter to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 28. Deandre Washington got the carry and fumbled. The Chiefs recovered at their own 30. 12 plays and 6 minutes later, Butker nailed a 50 yard field goal to make it 13-0 Chiefs.

The Raiders were desperate to not get blown out. After a touchback, Martin gained 7 yards and Derek Carr went deep to Jared Cook for 29 more yards. On 3rd and 13 from the Chiefs 42, Carr hit Seth Roberts for 16 yards and Harris for 9 more. With 1:12 left in the half, on 3rd and 5 from the 7, Carr threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Martin got the yard. The 11 play, 75 yard, 6 minute drive had the Raiders within 13-7.

Only 55 seconds were left in the half. A defensive stop would actually make this a competitive game. From the Chiefs 18, Mahomes hit Conley for 5 yards and Kelce for gains of 25 and 8. With 12 seconds left, the Chiefs were only at the Oakland 44. It didn’t matter. Mahomes went deep to Robinson for a 38 yard gain with 7 seconds left. Mahomes then went to Kelce for the 6 yard touchdown. The extra point try was blocked but the Chiefs led 19-7 at halftime.

In the third quarter after a touchback the Raiders moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 34. Carr was sacked and fumbled, but the Raiders retained possession. Dan Carlson hit a 50 yard field goal to get the Raiders within 19-10. The Chiefs moved after a touchback to a 3rd and goal at the one. Ware got the carry and got stopped. It was now 4th and goal at the one. Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to go for it. The whole world knows he passes in that situation. One stop would send the crowd into overload. Instead Reid actually called another run and Ware got in to make it 26-10 Chiefs.

The Raiders got it back at their own 32. Carr hit Jordy Nelson for 6 yards and Cook for 20 more On 3rd and 4. Jalen Richard ripped off a 23 yard gain. Carr hit Cook for a 24 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Raiders were within 26-16. The Raiders held on defense and got the ball back at their own 34. Richard ran for a 17 yard gain but fumbled the ball away. The Chiefs took over at their own 48. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 41, Mahomes went to Kelce for 28 yards and to Demetrius Harris for a 13 yard touchdown. After three quarters the Chiefs had their biggest lead of the game up 33-16.

As awful as the Raiders are, they did not quit. After a touchback, Martin ran for gains of 7, 4 and 17. Carr hit Nelson for 13 yards. On 3rd and 4 at the Chiefs 28, Carr hit Nelson for 9 yards. Richard ran for a 16 yard gain. Carr hit Smith for a one yard touchdown. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders were within 33-23. The Raiders held on defense and soon faced 2nd and 12 at their own 44. Defensive pass interference added 17 yards. Carr hit Nelson for 20 and Marcell Ateman for a 9 yard touchdown. With 6:46 to play the Raiders were only down 33-30. A defensive stop could actually give the Raiders a chance for the upset of the year.

It was too much to ask. After a touchback, Mahomes ran for 8 yards with defensive holding adding 5 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 43, Mahomes threw incomplete but the Raiders had jumped offsides. On 3rd and 5 from the Oakland 29 with 2:14 left, one more stop would give the Raiders a chance. Mahomes went to Kelce for a 25 yard gain. With 1:54 left, it all came down to 3rd and goal at the 2. The Raiders needed one stop. Instead, Mahomes hit Conley for the touchdown to make it 40-30 Chiefs.

Carr furiously led the Raiders down the field. With 30 seconds to play the Raiders had 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 26. Needing 2 scores, Jon Gruden decided to go for the field goal immediately. Carlson hit from 44 to get the Raiders within 7 points. The onside kick failed and the Raiders were done. Both quarterbacks threw 38 passes. Carr completed 29 of them for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mahomes completed 23 of them for 4 touchdowns. Neither quarterback was intercepted. The Raiders are 2-10, and Jon Gruden still has a shot at the top draft pick. The Chiefs are 10-2 with a shot at home field throughout the playoffs, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 40-33 Chiefs.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans — This was a tale of 2 games. The Jets moved from their own 39 to the Tennessee 36 before the drive stalled. Jason Myers drilled a 54 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Jets. On 3rd and 4 from their own 31, Marcus Mariota was intercepted by Trumaine Johnson. Johnson took it 31 yards for the score as the Jets led 10-0. In the second quarter the Jets mounted a 14 play, 59 yard, 7 minute drive. Myers hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 13-0 Jets. The Jets then blocked a punt and took over at the Tennessee 18. They went backward but Myers hit from 43 as the Jets were dominating 16-0 with less than 3 minutes left in the half. Then the game totally changed.

Mariota moved the Titans from their own 32. At the 2 minute warning on 3rd and 1, the Jets jumped offsides. From the Jets 48, Mariota went to Davis for 22 yards. Mariota then ran for 14 yards. Finally he hit Anthony Firkser for a 12 yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked but the Titans were within 16-6 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Jets took over at their own 40. Myers would hit a 39 yard field goal. His fourth kick of the day made it 19-6 Jets. After a touchback, Mariota hit Sharpe for 28 yards and again for 20 more. From the Jets 24, Mariota hit Smith for 13. Derrick Henry ran for 12 yards and then got the last yard to get the Titans within 19-13. The Jets then mounted a 15 play, 55 yard drive that consumed nearly 7 1/2 minutes. Yet for the fifth time on the day, they had to settle for a field goal. Myers hit again from 39 as the Jets led 22-13 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter it was the Titans moving the ball but settling for field goals. From their own 36, they moved to a 1st and goal at the 5. A pair of runs by Mariota went nowhere and then he threw incomplete. Ryan Succop hit a 24 yard field goal to get the Titans within 22-16 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Tennessee got it back at their own 35. Mariota went deep to Taylor for a 55 yard gain. Yet a pair of incompletion sandwiched around a sack again left it up to Succop. He hit from 33 as the Titans trailed 22-19 with 5 1/2 minutes left.

With 90 seconds to play, the Titans were facing 2nd and 10 at their own 14 yard line. Mariota was sacked, but defensive illegal use of hands stopped the clock and kept the drive going. Mariota then scrambled for 25 yards, fumbled, recovered his own fumble, and saw 15 more yards tacked on due to a defensive facemark. Mariota then hit Firkser for 25 yards. With 36 seconds left, it all came down to the Titans facing 3rd and 7 at the Jets 11. Mariota hit Davis for the score. Josh McCown had his Hail Mary intercepted as mike Vrabel saw his Titans get to 6-6. Todd Bowles experienced another agonizing loss in what may be his last year with the Jets. 26-22 Titans

Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots The Patriots began their first drive on their own 19 yard line and went right to work. On 2nd and 15, Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman for 13, Chris Hogan for 18, Cordarelle Patterson for 24, and Ronnie Burkhead for 15. Edelman took an end around 15 yards down to the one. James Develin got in to make it 7-0 Patriots. The Patriots moved from their 25 to the New England 22, but a sack of Kirk Cousins was followed by Dan Bailey missing a 48 yard field goal.

In the second quarter the Patriots moved 68 yards in 15 plays and took nearly 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and goal at the one, Brady threw incomplete. In a surprising move at home, Bill Belichick decided not to go for it. Stephen Gostkowski hit the 20 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Patriots. With 1:52 left in the half the Vikings took over at their own 26, Cousins hit Stefan Diggs for 24 yards and Kyle Rudolph for 23 more. With 15 seconds left, Cousins hit Adam Thielen for a 5 yard touchdown. Despite being dominated, the Vikings only trailed 10-7 at halftime. In the third quarter Gostkowski missed a 48 yard field goal. The resulting field position led to Bailey making a 39 yard field goal. with 2:20 left in the third quarter, the game was tied 10-10.

After a touchback Brady went to Josh Gordon for 24 yards and Rob Gronkowski for 15 more. James White ran for 12 yards and Brady went back to Gordon for a 24 yard touchdown to put the Patriots up 17-10 after three quarters. The fourth quarter began with Edelman returning a punt 23 yards to midfield. Defensive pass interference added 20 yards. With 11 minutes left in regulation, Develin ran for a 2 yard touchdown to put the game on ice. The Vikings are 6-5 while the Patriots at 9-3 are in a strong playoff position. 24-10 Patriots

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks — The NFC’s nastiest rivalry in recent years is now just a case of a good team beating up on a bad team. In the first quarter the Seahawks moved 74 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Russell Wilson hit Jaron Brown for the touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Seahawks led 6-0 and never looked back. In the second quarter Seattle got it back at their own 43 and struck quickly. Wilson connected with Tyler Lockett for a 52 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 Seahawks. The 49ers then fumbled a punt and the Seahawks recovered at the Frisco 33 with 1:51 left in the half. On 3rd and goal at the one, Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for the score as the Seahawks led 20-0.

The 49ers did get a field goal before the half, but it didn’t matter. Lockett returned the second half kickoff 84 yards to the Frisco 20. One play later Rashaad Penny ran for the touchdown to make it 27-3 Seahawks. The 49ers did reach the end zone to get within 27-10 after the three quarters, but this game was a Seattle carpet-bombing. Seattle moved 88 yards. The fourth quarter began with Wilson Brown for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 34-10 Seahawks.

Nick Mullens did come right back with a 75 yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis to get the 49ers within 34-16. Seattle responded with a 6 1/2 minute drive that ended with a 40 yard field goal by Seabass to make it 37-16 Seahawks. After a touchback, the 49ers moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Seattle 5 with 4 minutes left. Mullens was intercepted by Bobby Wagner, who returned it 98 yards for a touchdown the other way to complete the mauling. Seabass missed a 2nd extra point, but when you win by 4 touchdowns it can get overlooked. Mullens was 30 of 48 for 414 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Wilson was only 11 of 17 for 185 yards. Yet he also threw 4 touchdown passes with 0 interceptions. Seattle is 7-5 and Pete Carroll has them on the right path. 43-16 Seahawks

Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers is the Sunday night game. The Chargers are always talked about as the real deal until they lose a game like this. They go on the road in cold weather and fold like the Southern California boys they are. Respect is earned, and much of this game was the Steelers beating the Chargers up. Until they weren’t. The Chargers moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Pittsburgh 34. Anthony Lynn opted for the 52 yard field goal try, and Mike Badgley was no good.

Pittsburgh took over at their own 42. From the Chargers 47, Ben Roethlisberger went deep to Antonio Brown for a 46 yard gain. James Conner got the last yard to make it 7-0 Steelers. A short 36 yard punt gave the Steelers a short field at the Chargers 48. On 3rd and 7 from the Chargers 29, a deep ball drew defensive pass interference and put the ball on the one. Conner got in again. The extra point was no good but the Steelers led 13-0.

The Chargers ron faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Philip Rivers went to Keenan Allen for 9 yards and Williams for 14 more. Rivers then went to Travis Benjamin for a 46 yard touchdown as the Chargers only trailed 13-7 after the first quarter. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half, a fumbled punt had the Steelers taking over at the Chargers 34. Boswell hit a 48 yard field goal to make it 16-7 Steelers.

With 1:35 left in the half, the Steelers took over at their own 9 yard line. Conner ripped off a 20 yard gain. Roethlisberger hit Juju Smith-Schuster for 16 yards. With 30 seconds left in the half, the Chargers faced 3rd and 4 at the Chargers 45. Defensive pass interference moved the ball 17 yards and left 17 seconds. Big Ben went to Antonio Brown for the 28 yard touchdown. The Steelers led 23-7 at halftime, and the game appeared over. It seemed silly at the time, but the missed extra point that had the Steelers up by 16 instead of 17 would loom large later on.

In the third quarter the Chargers took over at their own 12 yard line. On 3rd and 2 from their 20, Rivers went to Allen for 21 yards. On 2nd and 14 just shy of midfield, Rivers went to Williams for 20 yards. On 3rd and 14 from the Pittsburgh 35, Rivers went to Williams for 18 yards. Rivers hit Allen for the 10 yard touchdown. A 24-7 game would have meant an extra point try and a 24-14 game. However, a 23-7 game meant a 2 point conversion try. Rivers hit Antonio Gates and the Chargers only trailed 23-15 after three quarters.

The play of the game came with 13 minutes left in regulation. The Steelers were punting on 4th and 24 from their own 16. Desmond King returned it 73 yards for a touchdown. Rivers went to Allen for the 2 point conversion. Rather than trail 24-21, the Chargers had tied the game 23-23. One minute later the Chargers got it back at their own 21. Rivers hit Allen for 14 and Justin Jackson ran for 18 more. Rivers then hit Jackson for 19 yards. Jackson ran for the 18 yard touchdown. With 8 minutes left in the game, 23 unanswered points had the Chargers up 30-23.

The Steelers took over at their own 22. From their 26, Big Ben hit James for 7 and Brown for 15. With 6 minutes left the Steelers faced 4th and 1 at the Chargers 43. Mike Tomlin decided to go for it and Conner got 2 yards. Unnecessary roughness a couple plays later tacked on 15 more yards. Roethlisberger hit Jaylen Samuels for a 10 yard touchdown to tie the game 30-30 with 4 minutes left.

From their own 25, Rivers hit Ekeler for 10 yards and Allen for 12 more. Jackson gained 11. With 1:12 to play, the Chargers faced 3rd and 4 at the Pittsburgh 34. At that distance it would be a 52 yard field goal try. Rivers hit Allen for 12 yards. With 3 seconds left, Badgley came in for a 39 yard field goal try to give the Chargers a stunning road win. Badgley swung his leg, and pandemonium ensued.

The kick was no good. It appeared to be just over the top of the upright, but at the last moment was just outside of it. However, the Steelers had jumped offsides. Badgley would get a second chance from 34 yards out. This time the kick was blocked and nearly returned for a Pittsburgh touchdown. However, the Steelers had again jumped offsides. Badgley had a third chance, this time from 29 yards out. The kick should have been blocked, but the defender got such a jump that he dove past Badgley, who kicked it behind him. This time the kick was dead center. Besides, the Steelers were offsides for a third time anyway.

Rivers finished 26 of 26 for 299 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Roethlisberger was 29 of 45 for 281 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. The Steelers fell to 7-4 and barely in the AFC North lead. They have lost 2 straight games and were one Jacksonville collapse away from 3 straight losses. The Chargers got to 9-3 and only one game back in the AFC West. Again, respect is earned. On this night, the Chargers finally earned some by winning a big cold weather road game against a good team. 33-30 Chargers

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles was the Monday night game. This was a competitive football game for three quarters. After a touchback, Carson went hit Zac Ertz for 11 yards and the Eagles were rolling. Runs and short passes led to a 6 yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to Golden Tate and a 7-0 Eagles lead. In the second quarter the Redskins moved from their 39 to a 1st and 10 at the Philadelphia 16. Penalties moved the Redskins back to a 3rd and 30, and they were lucky to escape with a 44 yard Dustin Hopkins field goal to trail 7-3. Colt McCoy was not so lucky. 2 weeks after Alex Smith was lost for the year with a broken leg, McCoy suffered the same cruel fate. Third stringer Mark Sanchez played the rest of the game.

Washington got it back at their own 10 and needed only one play to take the lead. Who said Adrian Peterson is washed up? Certainly not the defenders he blew by on the way to a 90 yard touchdown run and a 10-7 Redskins lead. The Eagles moved from their 22 to a 4th and goal at the one. Doug Pederson decided to go for it. Adams got the carry and got blasted for a 2 yard loss. Yet the Redskins offense wasted the goal line stand and the Eagles got the ball back at the Washington 40. Darren Sproles ran for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Eagles with 1:46 left in the half. Sanche moved the Redskins in position for a 47 yard Hopkins field goal with seconds left. The Redskins trailed 14-13 at halftime and after a scoreless third quarter.

The Eagles took over at their own 15. Adams ran for 18 yards. Wentz hit Clement for 23 yards and Ertz for gains of 8 and 5. The fourth quarter began with Wentz hitting Jordan Matthews for a 4 yard touchdown. For reasons somebody somewhere understood, Doug Pederson went for the 2 point conversion. Wentz hit Golden Tate to make it 22-13 Eagles. Sanchez was then intercepted, setting up a 46 yard Jake Elliott field goal to make it 25-13 Eagles. Elliott tacked on a 44 yarder to complete the scoring. Both teams are 6-6 and one game back in the NFC Least but moving in opposite directions. 28-13 Eagles

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Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions was the Thanksgiving Day morning game. Mitchell Trubisky was injured, so Chase Daniel got his first start since 2016 and his third NFL start in his entire career. After a scoreless first quarter, the Bears began the second quarter facing 3rd and 3 at the Detroit 42. Daniel hit Burton for 4 yards, but Burton fumbled and the Lions returned the fumble 20 yards to the Chicago 40. On 4th and 1 at the Chicago 16, Matt Patricia decided to go for it. Matthew Stafford hit Bellmore for 5 yards. LeGarrette Blount ran for a 4 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Lions lead.

Chicago responded after a touchback and moved to a 3rd and 9 at the Detroit 22. Daniel threw incomplete. Cody Parkey hit a 40 yard field goal to get the Bears within 7-3. Chicago got it back at their own 35 with 2:10 left in the half. . Daniel hit Taylor Gabriel for gains of 11 and 7, Anthony Miller for 26 yards, Mizzell for 11 yards, and Mizzell again for the 10 yard touchdown with 40 seconds to spare. For some odd reason Matt Nagy decided on an unnecessary 2 point conversion. The try failed and the Bears led 9-7 at halftime.

With 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Lions took over at their own 20. From their 28, Stafford went deep to Kenny Golladay for a 43 yard gain and Theo Riddick for 21 more yards. Blount ran for the 4 yard touchdown. This time Detroit went for 2 and didn’t get it as the Lions led 13-9 after three quarter.

The Bears took over at their own 18. Daniel hit Tarik Cohen for 9 yards with 15 more tacked on for roughing the passer. On the last play of the third quarter with the Bears facing 3rd and 3 just shy of midfield, Daniel hit Gabriel for 8 yards. Daniel began the fourth quarter hitting Cohen for 7 yards, with 15 more tacked on for a facemark. Daniel then hit Cohen for the 14 yard touchdown to put the Bears up 16-13 only 80 seconds into the fourth quarter.

After a touchback, the Lions moved 73 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Stafford hit Golladay for 11 yards. On 3rd and 3 from their own 44, Stafford hit Golladay again for 23 yards. Midway through the fourth quarter, on 3rd and 1 from the Chicago 2, rather than play smash mouth, Matt Patricia opted to pass. Stafford threw incomplete. On 4th and 1 form the 2, Patricia decided not to go for the win. Matt Prater came on for the 20 yard field and tied the game 16-16. Down the stretch, Lions fans had to feel good. The Bears had a guy who never played. The Lions had their veteran quarterback.

The Lions got it with 6 minutes left at their own 41. Stafford then threw a perfect pass to Eddie Jackson. Problem: Jackson plays defense for Chicago. In front of a stunned home crowd, Jackson returned the interception 41 yards for the touchdown to put the Bears up by 7. The Lions got it back after a touchback and moved 64 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. With 1:11 left on the clock, the Lions faced 3rd and 9 at the Chicago 11. Stafford went to the end zone and found Kyle Fuller. Problem: Fuller plays defense for Chicago. The Lions fell to 4-7 while the Bears climbed to 8-3 atop the NFC North. 23-16 Bears

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys was the Thanksgiving Day afternoon game. The Cowboys made it look easy early on, going 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 3rd and 5 from their own 30, Dan Prescott hit Amari Cooper for 7 yards and Olawale for 10 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Washington 47, Prescott hit Cooper for 11 yards. From the Washington 23, Ezekiel Elliott ran for 7 and then the 16 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Cowboys. A field position game saw the Redskins take over midway through the second quarter at their own 47. With Alex Smith out for the year, Colt McCoy got the start. McCoy went to Vernon Davis for a 53 yard touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame.

The Cowboys came back 65 yards in 14 plays in 5 1/2 minutes. With 1:48 left in the half they had 1st and goal at the 4. After an incompletion, Prescott was sacked for a 13 yard loss. Brett Maher hit the 28 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Cowboys at halftime.In the third quarter, a field position game was broken open when Trey Quinn returned a punt 30 yards to have the Redskins starting at the Dallas 25. McCoy hit Quinn for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 13-10 Redskins. The extra point was no good. After that, the Cowboys took over.

After a touchback they quickly moved 75 yards. Prescott hit Cooper for 11 yards. Elliott ran for gains of 16 and 8. Prescott then went to Cooper for a 40 yard touchdown and a 17-13 Cowboys lead. Dallas got it back at their own 9 yard line and delivered a backbreaker. Prescott found Cooper on the sideline, and he broke a tackle and outraced everyone for a 91 yard touchdown and a 24-13 Cowboys lead. McCoy as then quickly intercepted, setting up the Cowboys at the Washington 17 with 90 seconds left in the third quarter. The Cowboys began the fourth quarter with 3rd and goal at the 5. Prescott ran it in himself to have the Cowboys comfortably in front 31-13.

The Redskins tried to make a game of it and got a spark when a very short kickoff was returned 44 yards to the Dallas 44. McCoy hit Josh Doctson for 17 yards and ran for 11 yards itself. Kapri Bibbs got the last yard to get the Redskins within 31-20 with a full 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Dallas moved from their own 22 to a 4th and 1 at the Dallas 33 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining. Jason Garrett decided to go for it, but Elliott was stopped cold. The Redskins moved from their 33 to the Dallas 36, but McCoy went deep and was intercepted at the Dallas 14 with 4 1/2 minutes left.

With 4 minutes left and the Cowboys facing 3rd and 10 at their own 14, Jason Garrett surprisingly called a pass play. Prescott threw incomplete, allowing the Redskins to preserve the last timeout. The Redskins took over at their own 46 with 3:50 to play. They drove to a 3rd and 3 at the Dallas 13 with 1:22 to play. McCoy threw incomplete. Needing 2 scores, Jay Gruden went for the field goal. Dustin Hopkins hit the 31 yarder to get the Redskins within 8 points. The onside kick failed and that was it. Both teams are 6-5 but moving in opposite directions. Washington has lost 2 straight while Dallas has won 3 straight. They turned it around by realizing who their best player was and feeding him the d@mn ball. Running the football has the Cowboys tied with the Redskins atop the NFC Least. 31-23 Cowboys

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints was the Thanksgiving night game. This is normally a great rivalry game, but for whatever reason the Falcons are totally out of sync and the Saints are clicking on all cylinders. The stats were very misleading. Matt Ryan finished 35 of 47 for 377 yards. Brees had a very pedestrian game by his standards, finishing only 15 of 22 for 171 yards. Yet Brees now has a running game. In a mind-numbing decision, the Falcons won the coin toss and Dan Quinn deferred. Who in their right mind lets Brees touch the football first at home? After a touchback to start the game, Alvin Kamara ran for 18 yards. Brees hit Darnold for 9 and Kamara ran for 9 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Atlanta 36, Brees hit Thomas for 8 yards and Tommy Lee Lewis for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints.

The Falcons fumbled, but the Saints gave it right back when Brees was intercepted. The Falcons took over at the Saints 39 yard line. Yet on 2nd and 6 from the Saint 7, Ryan was sacked for a 7 yard loss. The Falcons settled for a 32 yard Matt Bryant field goal to get on the board, but that was not going to beat the Saints. The Saints moved 71 yards in 15 plays and 8 1/2 minutes. With 9 minutes left in the half the Saints had moved to a 3rd and 2 at the Atlanta 4 yard line. Brees threw incomplete and Sean Payton decided not to go for it. Wil Lutz hit the 22 yarder to make it 10-3 Saints.

Midway through the second quarter, the Saints got it back at their own 42. From the Atlanta 42, a defensive pass interference penalty moved them 16 yards closer. On 3rd and 4 from the Atlanta 20, Kamara ran for 8 yards and Brees hit Austin Carr for a 12 yard touchdown to make it 17-3 Saints. The Falcons moved from their 25 to a 1st and 10 at the Saints 32 with 26 seconds left in the half. Ryan hit Julio Jones for 15 yards, but Jones fumbled and the Saints recovered. The Falcons got a break to start the third quarter with a kickoff return to their own 40. Yet on 4th and 2 from their own 48, Dan Quinn in an act of desperation decided to go for it even though there were 28 minutes of football left. Ryan threw incomplete.

The Saints took over after an exchange of punts at their own 30. Kamara gained 2 and 9 and Brees went to Watson for a 20 yard gain. Kamara ran for 9 more and Mark Ingram added another 5. Brees went to Dan Arnold for a 25 yard touchdown to make it 24-3 Saints. The Falcons came back 79 yards in 13 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. They had to go for it on 4th and 2 from their own 47, and this time Ryan hit Hooper for 4 yards. Despite 1st and goal at the 2, Ryan threw incomplete twice and Smith got stopped for no gain. Dan Quinn again had to go for it and this time Ryan hit Calvin Ridley for the touchdown. The Falcons were within 24-10 after three quarters, but there would be no comeback.

An interception of Ryan early in the fourth quarter set up the Saints at the Atlanta 22. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Brees hit Keith  Kirkwood for the touchdown. With 9 1/2 minutes left, the Saints were cruising up 31-10. On the next Atlanta drive, they moved 58 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 12 from just shy of midfield, Ryan hit Jones for 21 yards. On 4th and 10 from the Saints 30, Ryan hit Ridley for 27 yards. Yet Ridley fumbled and the Saints recovered with 4 minutes left. Atlanta eventually got a garbage touchdown, but they fell to 4-7 while the Saints are sky high at 10-1. Ryan was sacked 6 times, Brees only once. Each quarterback was intercepted once, but Ryan threw for 2 touchdowns while Breezes added 4 of his own. The Saints added 150 yards on the ground. They are a complete team. 31-17 Saints

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals — Baker Mayfield went right to work from the Cleveland 22 and hit Nick Chubb for  23 yard gain. From the Cincinnati 42, Mayfield hit Johnson for 23 and Callaway for 9. From the 10, Chubb gained 2, 7 and the one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Browns. The Bengals had a field goal blocked, setting up the Browns at their own 44. Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry for 14 yards, Higgins for 24, and Callaway for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Browns.

The Browns began the second quarter at their own 4 yard line. On 3rd and 3 from their own 11, Mayfield hit Landry for 9 yards. On 3rd and 11 from their own 19, Mayfield went to Callaway for 21 yards. On 3rd and 1 just shy of midfield, Mayfield went to Njoku for 24 yards, again for 21, and a third time for a 6 yard touchdown as the Browns led 21-0 in front of a shellshocked crowd in Cincinnati. An interception of Red Rifle Andy Dalton had the Browns taking over at their own 41. Chubb ran for 4, 7 and a loss of 2. On 2nd and 12 from midfield, Mayfield hit Calloway for 19 and Njoku for 9. From the Cleveland 22, Chubb got stopped on 2nd and 1 and 3rd and 1. Gregg Williams decided to go for it. On 4th and 1, Chubb got the yard. On 3rd and 3 from the Cincy 14, Mayfield hit Chubb for the touchdown as the Browns were up 28-0.

With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Bengals finally got going from their own 25. On 2nd and 20 from their own 37, Dalton scrambled for 21 yards. Joe Mixon ran for 32 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 5 Dalton threw incomplete but defensive offsides gave the Bengals another chance. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Dalton hit John Ross as the Bengals trailed 28-7. On the third play of the third quarter, the Bengals faced 1st and 20 at their own 34 after a tripping penalty. Out of the shotgun, the ball sailed past Dalton and the Browns recovered 27 yards later to have 1st and goal at the 7. Mayfield hit Fells for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 35-7 Browns.

from just shy of midfield, Ryan hit Jones for 21 yards. On 4th and 10 from the Saints 30, Ryan hit Ridley for 27 yards. Yet Ridley fumbled and the Saints recovered with 4 minutes left. Atlanta eventually got a garbage touchdown, but they fell to 4-7 while the Saints are sky high at 10-1. Ryan was sacked 6 times, Brees only once. Each quarterback was intercepted once, but Ryan threw for 2 touchdowns while Breezes added 4 of his own. The Saints added 150 yards on the ground. They are a complete team. 31-17 Saints

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals — Baker Mayfield went right to work from the Cleveland 22 and hit Nick Chubb for  23 yard gain. From the Cincinnati 42, Mayfield hit Johnson for 23 and Callaway for 9. From the 10, Chubb gained 2, 7 and the one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Browns. The Bengals had a field goal blocked, setting up the Browns at their own 44. Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry for 14 yards, Higgins for 24, and Callaway for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Browns.

The Browns began the second quarter at their own 4 yard line. On 3rd and 3 from their own 11, Mayfield hit Landry for 9 yards. On 3rd and 11 from their own 19, Mayfield went to Callaway for 21 yards. On 3rd and 1 just shy of midfield, Mayfield went to Njoku for 24 yards, again for 21, and a third time for a 6 yard touchdown as the Browns led 21-0 in front of a shellshocked crowd in Cincinnati. An interception of Red Rifle Andy Dalton had the Browns taking over at their own 41. Chubb ran for 4, 7 and a loss of 2. On 2nd and 12 from midfield, Mayfield hit Calloway for 19 and Njoku for 9. From the Cleveland 22, Chubb got stopped on 2nd and 1 and 3rd and 1. Gregg Williams decided to go for it. On 4th and 1, Chubb got the yard. On 3rd and 3 from the Cincy 14, Mayfield hit Chubb for the touchdown as the Browns were up 28-0.

With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Bengals finally got going from their own 25. On 2nd and 20 from their own 37, Dalton scrambled for 21 yards. Joe Mixon ran for 32 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 5 Dalton threw incomplete but defensive offsides gave the Bengals another chance. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Dalton hit John Ross as the Bengals trailed 28-7. On the third play of the third quarter, the Bengals faced 1st and 20 at their own 34 after a tripping penalty. Out of the shotgun, the ball sailed past Dalton and the Browns recovered 27 yards later to have 1st and goal at the 7. Mayfield hit Fells for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 35-7 Browns.

The Bengals tried to make a game of it, scoring two touchdowns with one missed extra point to trail by 15 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. On their next 2 possessions they turned it over on downs. Hue Jackson had a miserable run as the Browns head coach. After recently being fired, he returned to his former job as the offensive coordinator of the Bengals. On this day, he would not get his revenge. The Browns snapped their streak of 25 straight road losses, one shy of the NFL record. 35-20 Browns

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers — The defenses dominated early on. The Panthers moved to a 4th and 2 at the Seattle 5. Riverboat Ron Rivera decided to go for it. Can Newton took the snap and are up inches short. Carolina got it back and again moved from a 3rd and 2 at the Seattle 4. Christian McCaffrey got the carry and lost 3 yards. This time Ron Rivera opted for the field goal. Graham Gano hit from 26 to make it 3-0 Panthers. In the second quarter the Seahawks moved 60 yards in 12 plays. On 3rd and 8 from the Carolina 15, Russell Wilson threw incomplete. Sebastian Janikowski hit the 33 yarder for a 3-3 game.

A field position slog had the Panthers taking over at their own 47. Newton went to McCaffrey for 14 yards. Samuel ran for a 25 yard gain. Moore ran for 7 and Newton hit Samuel for a 7 yard touchdown as the Panthers led 10-3. The Seahawks soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for a 27 yard gain and Madden for 28 more down to the Carolina one. Carson banged his way over the plane of the goal for the score as the game was deadlocked 10-10.

The Panthers took over at their own 33 and moved to a 1st and goal at the 10 with 90 seconds left in the half. A completion lost 3 yards, and on 3rd and 10 a short pass gained only 3 yards. Gano hit from 25 to make it 13-10 Panthers at halftime. In the third quarter the Panthers moved from their 28 to a 1st and 10 at the Seattle 18. Newton went to the end zone and was intercepted for a touchback. From their own 20, Carson gained 15. On 3rd and 12 from their own 33, Wilson went deep to DJ Moore for a 54 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the Carolina 12, Wilson went to Lockett for the touchdown to make it 17-13 Seahawks.

After a touchback, Newton hit Samuel for 10 and Moore for 13 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Seattle 44, Newton ran for  9 yards. Newton then hit McCaffrey for 23 yards down to the Seattle 12. The Panthers fumbled but retained possession. On 2nd and 10 Newton threw incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. McCaffrey got in as the Panthers led 20-17 after three quarters. Seattle came back with a 14 play, 63 yard drive that consumed 7:15 off the clock. On 4th and 1 from the Carolina 13, Pete Carroll decided to go for it. Carson got the yard. On 3rd and 10 Wilson threw incomplete. Seabass hit the 30 yard field goal. With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation, a pair of teams fighting for their playoff lives were tied 20-20.

After a touchback, McCaffrey gained every single yard on the next Carolina drive. He ran for a 59 yard gain on then ran for 15 more. On 1st and goal at the one, he tried to go over the top and was hit and fumbled. Luckily for Carolina, Greg Olsen fell on it at the two. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Newton hit McCaffrey for the touchdown. With 7 minutes left, the Panthers led 27-20.

After a touchback, Seattle had their turn. Wilson hit Lockett for 13, Dickson for 9 and Doug Baldwin for 11. With 3 1/2 minutes left, it all came down to 4th and 3 at the Carolina 35. One stop and the game was over. Instead, Wilson went for it all and hit Moore for the touchdown. In front of a stunned Carolina crowd, for the fourth time the game was tied 27-27.

Carolina moved from their 21 to a 3rd and 7 at the Seattle 37 with 1:50 to play. Newton hit Moore, but only for a 3 yard gain. Seattle took their last timeout. Ron Rivera decided to go with the 52 yard field goal try, knowing a miss would give Seattle good field position and enough time. Gano came in, and his kick was no good, just wide by a hair. Seattle took over with 1:40 left at their own 42.

With 1:07 left, Seattle faced 3rd and 5 from their own 47. One defensive stop would give Carolina another chance. Wilson rolled out, and a defensive breakdown left an open Lockett. Captain Munnerlyn begged for help that did not arrive as Lockett caught the bomb for a 43 yard gain down to the Carolina 10. Pete Carroll had Wilson take a couple knees to take the clock down to 4 seconds. Seabass came in for the 31 yarder as Gano looked on helplessly. Janikowski drilled it dead center. McCaffrey finished with 237 total yards, all for naught. Newton was a white hot 25 of 30 for 256 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Wilson was 22 of 31 for 339 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Both teams are 6-5 and out of reach for their respective division crowns, down by 4 games with 5 left. Seattle would hold a playoff wildcard tie-breaker. 30-27 Seahawks

Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills — One year after making the playoffs, Doug Marrone and Sean McDermott both entered this game with 3-7 teams. The Bills began at their own 25. From their 36, Josh Allen went to Kelvin Benjamin for a 32 yard gain and to Croom for 11 more. McKenzie ran for a 6 yard touchdown to cap the 75 yard drive and put the Bills up 7-0. Buffalo got it back at their own 14. From their 25, Josh Allen went bombs away to Foster for a 75 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Bills.

The game changed in the second quarter as the Jaguars moved 74 yards in 11 plays and 6 1/2 minutes, mostly on the ground. Leonard Fournette gained 7 yards, Carlos Hyde ran for 6 and 10. From the Buffalo 39, Fournette ran for 16 and Hyde added 11 more. On 3rd and 3 from the 5, Fournette ran for the touchdown to get the Bills within 14-7. Jacksonville got it back and faced 1st and 15 at their own 21. Fournette gained 14 and Westbrook ran for a 43 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Fournette got in again for a 14-14 game.

In the third quarter the Jaguars took over at the Buffalo 47 and soon faced 3rd and 10. Blake Bortles was sacked but defensive holding kept the drive going. From the Buffalo 30, Bortles went deep to Dante Moncrief for what at first was ruled a touchdown. Officials ruled the ball down at the one as a brawl broke out. Buffalo’s Lawson was ejected. So was Jacksonville’s Fournette. After a false start, Bortles threw a 7 yard touchdown to Westbrook. Again the touchdown was nullified, this time by offensive holding. Bortles was sacked again and this time it stuck. On 4th and goal from the 24, Josh Lambo came in for a 42 yard field goal try. It was no good.

Momentum quickly swung back the other way as the Bills took over at their own 32 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter. A 5 yard completion was followed by a 15 yard facemark penalty tacked on. On the last play of the third quarter, Allen went to Foster for 19 yards with another personal foul for unnecessary roughness adding 15 more. 30 penalty yards killed the defense. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Allen ran up the middle himself for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 21-14 Bills.

The defenses dug in and with 5 minutes left a great punt had the Jaguars pinned at their own 2 yard line. Bortles was intercepted by Poyer at the Jacksonville 18 yard line. On 3rd and goal at the 3, a run lost a yard. Steve Hauschka hit the 22 yard field goal as the Bills led 24-14 with only 3 minutes left. Bortles rallied the Jaguars 70 yards, throwing a 13 yard touchdown to Westbrook with 1:20 to play. The onside kick failed and the Jaguars were done, with the earlier missed field goal the difference. Jacksonville has lost 7 straight games. 24-21 Bills

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens — After finally getting another win last week, Oakland was supposed to get blasted by Baltimore. Lamar jackson got the start for an injured Joe Flacco. The Raiders began at their own 19. From their 21, Derek Carr hit Seth Roberts for 10 yards. Roberts thaen took a reverse around the end for 11 more yards. Carr then hit Smith for 9 yards. On 3rd and 1 at the Baltimore 37, Muscle Hamster Doug Martin got the carry and got stopped. Jon Gruden decided to go for it on 4th and 1. A play action pass allowed Carr to hit a wide open Smith for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and goal from the one, Martin got the carry, went airborne, and confusion ensued. The Ravens came up with the ball and thought they had a fumble and a touchback. After that initial ruling, on further review it was clear Martin broke the plane of the goal before losing the ball. The touchdown put the Raiders up 7-0.

The Raiders frequently score on their first drive and then do nothing the rest of the game. The Ravens moved from their 31to a 3rd and 7 at the Oakland 29. Jackson threw incomplete. Justin Tucker hit the 47 yard field goal to get the Ravens within 7-3. Rather than run the ball and try to establish an identity, Gruden kept passing and Carr threw 3 straight incompletions. The Ravens moved from their 27 to the Oakland 47, but on 3rd and 8 Jackson threw incomplete. 

In the second quarter the Raiders got it back at their own 9 yard line. A 34 yard completion to Seth Roberts was nullified by offensive pass interference on Roberts. The offense was doing nothing, the defense was hanging on, so it was time for an Oakland special teams breakdown. Jones took a punt straight down the sideline 70 yards for a touchdown to put the Ravens up 10-7.

The Ravens got it back at their own 14. From their own 19, Jackson went deep to a wide open Andrew for a 74 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 7. A delay of game was followed by a defensive stand. Tucker hit the 28 yard field goal. The Ravens led 13-7.

Baltimore got it back at their own 30. On 3rd and 10, Jackson threw a pass and the tip drill came into play. 3 Raiders tipped it in the air before a 4th Raider, safety Reggie Nelson, finally intercepted. Despite starting at the Baltimore 43, the Raiders could not take the lead. Carr hit Jared Cook for 16 yards. Carr went to Cook again for a 24 yard gain down to the Baltimore 3 yard line, but offensive pass interference wiped out the gain. Daniel Carlson did hit a 42 yard field goal as the Raiders only trailed 13-10 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Ravens went down the field again and Jackson went for it all. A well defended ball was deflected in the air by the defender and intercepted in the end zone by Gilchrist for a touchback.

In the third quarter the Ravens sought to put the game away. They moved 75 yards in 13 plays and 7 minutes. Runs and short passes had the Ravens facing 3rd and 3 at the Oakland 20. Montgomery ran for a 15 yard gain and Jackson ran for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 20-10 Raiders. Oakland lacked the talent to come back. This game was over.

On 2nd and 7 from the Oakland 28, Carr nearly had the ball knocked out of his hand. He stayed in the pocket, went deep, and with help from a fallen defender hit Seth Roberts for a 44 yard gain. From the Baltimore 16, Carr under pressure threw a prayer to Cook, who while falling down somehow kept his foot off the chalk and made a one-handed acrobatic catch for the touchdown. With 5 minutes left in the third quarter, the Raiders were only down 20-17. However, these are the Raiders.

First came the defensive meltdown. Baltimore took over at their own 29. Jackson hit Boyle for 10 yards and Montgomery for 6 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Oakland 43, Montgomery ran for 6. On 3rd and 5 from the Oakland 32, Jackson hit Hurst for just enough. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 18, the defense jumped offsides. On 3rd and goal at the 8, with the defense needing one stop to keep it a one score game, Jackson hit former Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree for the touchdown. Crabtree was traded before the season started. He is one of many ex-Raiders burning their old team in the Jon Gruden 2.0 era as the Ravens led 27-17 with 11 minutes left in regulation.

Then came the offensive meltdown. The Raiders took over at their own 20 and had to go for it on 4th and 8 from their own 38, Carr was sacked and fumbled. The ball was actually fumbled forward five yards, and Terrell Suggs picked it up for the defense at the Oakland 43 in the middle of the field. The Raiders must have fallen asleep because Suggs got all the way to the sideline and practically crawled down the field for the clinching touchdown. The Raiders fell to 2-9 with another fourth quarter meltdown while the Ravens at 6-5 are still alive in the playoff hunt. 34-17 Ravens

San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Ryan Fitzpatrick is back on the bench as Dirk Koetter turned to Jameis Winston. Tampa took over at their own 27. On 3rd and 8 from their own 40, Winston went deep to Mike Evans for a 42 yard gain. Winston hit Chris Brate for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Buccaneers. In the second quarter the 49ers moved 79 yards in 5 1/2 minutes. Nick Mullens hit Matt Breida for 9 yards. Greg Kittle ran for 10 and caught a pass for 11 more. Breida ran for gains of 11 and 21. Mullens hit Pettis for a 13 yard touchdown. Robbie Gould doinked the extra point off the upright no good as the 49ers trailed 7-6.

The Buccaneers moved 53 yards in 12 plays and 5 minutes. Yet on 3rd and 8 from the San Francisco 22, Winston threw incomplete. Cairo Santos hit the 40 yard field goal to make it 10-6 Buccaneers. The Buccaneers got it back at their own 41 with 1:37 left in the half. With 9 seconds left and the Buccaneers facing 3rd and 7 at the Frisco 21, Dirk Koetter decided not to take a shot at the end zone. Santos hit the 39 yard field goal to make it 13-6 Buccaneers at halftime.

In the third quarter the 49ers moved from their own 16 to a 2nd and goal at the one. Breida got the carry and got stopped. On 3rd and goal inches short of the goal line, Mullens took the quarterback sneak and again got stopped. Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it. On 4th and goal at the one, a false start killed the try. Gould hit the 23 yard field goal as the 49ers trailed 13-9. After a touchback, Winston hit Evans for 34 yards. Defensive pass interference added 23 more. Barber ran for a 2 yard touchdown. The 49ers missed their chance to tie the game and the Buccaneers now led 20-9.

The Bucs got it back at their own 15. Winston hit Chris Godwin for 15 yards, Auclair for 8 more, Humphries for 6, Desean Jackson for 14, and Godwin for 11 on the last play of the third quarter. The fourth quarter began with Winston hitting Humphries for a 28 yard touchdown to turn a close game into a blowout. 27-9 Buccaneers.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles — The Giants began the game facing 3rd and 9 at their own 26. Eli Manning hit Ellison for 10 yards and O’Dell Beckham for 10 more. From midfield, sequin Barkley ripped off a 26 yard gain. Manning hit Barkley for a 13 yard touchdown. Pat Shurmur inexplicably went for a 2 point conversion that failed as the Giants led 6-0. The Eagles took over at their own 29. Adams ran for a 52 yard touchdown that was called back due to a holding call. The Giants got it back at their own 6 yard line and moved all the way to a 1st and goal at the 10. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 7, Manning threw incomplete. Aldrick Rosas hit the 25 yard field goal to make it 9-0 Giants. Rosas hit from 51 in the second quarter as the Giants led 12-0 in front of an angry home crowd.

The Eagles finally got going and moved from their 30 to a 3rd and 2 at the Giants 23. Carson Wentz kept it and lost a yard. Josh Elliott hit a 42 yard field goal to get the Eagles on the board down 12-3. The Giants struck back quickly after a touchback. Manning went to Ellison for 20. Barkley ran for 4 and then ripped off a 51 yard touchdown to make it 19-3 Giants.

This time after a touchback the Eagles finally made a game of it. From their 30, Wentz hit Zac Ertz for 24 yards and Alshon Jeffery for gains of 9 and 11. Defensive pass interference tacked on 13 more yards. Wentz hit Ertz for the 15 yard touchdown. Clement ran in the 2 point conversion as the Eagles only trailed 19-11 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Giants went backward as far as 3rd and 18 tab their own 2. They punted from their 6 and the Eagles took over at the Giants 47. The eagles moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Giants 5, but a false start killed the drive. Elliott hit the 28 yard field goal to get the Eagles within 19-14 after three quarters. The Eagles for it back to start the fourth quarter at their own 39. Wentz went to Clement for a 23 yard gain. Adams did the rest, running for 15, 11, 3 and the one yard touchdown. Adams ran for the 2 point conversion. With 10 minutes left in regulation, 19 unanswered points had the Eagles up 22-19.

The Giants finally got going, moving from their 22 to a 2nd and 5 at the Philly 12. Barkley gained one yard and Manning threw incomplete. Rosas hit the 29 yard field goal with just under 7 minutes left for a 22-22 tie game. The Eagles responded after a touchback. Wentz hit Jeffery for 21 yards, Ertz for 10 more, Nelson Agholor for 12 to the Giants 30 at the 2 minute warning. Doug Pederson played it very safe with 3 straight runs that took the clock down to 22 seconds. Elliott came in for the 43 yard field goal try. The kick was good. The Giants took over at their own 34 with 16 seconds left. With 5 seconds left from their 38, Manning did not have the arm for the Hail Mary. The hook and lateral had no chance as the Eagles beat the Giants for the 5th straight time. Philadelphia is still clinging to life with a 5-6 record. 25-22 Eagles

New England Patriots at New York Jets — The Jets began at their own 20 after an exchange of punts. Jose McCown hit Herndon for a 19 yard gain and Isaiah Crowell for 19 more. On 3rd and 7 from the New England 41, a completion only gained 3 yards but roughing the passer added 15 more. On 3rd and 3 from the New England 16, McCown hit Jermaine Kearse for the touchdown as the Jets had the surprising 7-0 lead. The Patriots came right back after a touchback. Tom Brady went to Josh Gordon for 23 yards, Chris Hogan for 20 more, and on 3rd and 12, to Rob Gronkowski for a 34 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

After that the defenses dug in. In the second quarter Stephen Gostkowski hit a 34 yard field goal for the Patriots. Josh Myers drilled a 55 yarder at the end of the half for a 10-10 ballgame. In the third quarter the Patriots moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Jets 11 Bill Belichick decided to go for it and Cordarelle Patterson gained 2 yards. After that Brady threw 3 straight incompletions. Gostkowski hit the 32 yarder to make it 13-10 Patriots. The Jets moved from their 25 to a 2nd and 6 at the New England 20. McCown threw incomplete twice. Myers hit from 38 for a 13-13 game with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.

After a touchback, the Patriots struck quickly. Brady hit Chris Hogan for 27 yards. James White ran for 27 more. Brady hit Julian Edelman for the touchdown as the Patriots led 20-13 after three quarters. Early in the fourth quarter, the Patriots took over at their own 20. Michel ran for a 33 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Jets 47, Brady found Gordon for 17 yards and Edelman for 16 more to set up 1st and goal at the one. On 3rd and goal from the one, Michel got in. With 9 minutes left the Patriots had a comfortable two touchdown lead. At the 2 minute warning, the Jets faced 3rd and 2 at the New England 4. They need a score and an onside kick recovery. McCown threw incomplete twice and the Jets were done. After a 3 quarter street fight, the fourth quarter was the cold dose of reality. 27-13 Patriots

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Chargers — Last week both of these teams lost by a field goal on the final play of the game at home. The Chargers were undone by a relatively weak Denver team while Arizona was stunned by Oakland. Nevertheless, Arizona came in 2-8 with the Chargers at 7-3. Arizona began facing 3rd and 3 at their own 31. Josh Rosen hit Seals-Jones for 5 yards Kirk for 17 more. David Johnson ran for 11 and on 3rd and 1 from Chargers 27, gained 2. Rosen then went deep to Larry Fitzgerald for a 25 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Cardinals lead. A 26 yard punt return had the cardinals getting it back at the Chargers 44. On 3rd and 5 from the Chargers 12, Rosen threw incomplete. Phil Dawson hit the 30 yard field goal as the Cardinals had the surprising 10-0 lead.

King returned the ensuing kickoff 40 yards to the Chargers 42 yard line. Philip rivers went deep to Travis Benjamin for a 27 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 9 to start the second quarter, Rivers hit Williams for the touchdown to get the Chargers within 10-7. The Chargers fumbled on their next series, setting up the Cardinals at the Chargers 35. Arizona got nothing when Dawson missed a 46 yard field goal. The Chargers after a sack of Rivers faced 2nd and 17 at their own 29. Rivers hit Antonio Gates for 18 yards with 15 more tacked on for a facemask. Rivers hit Keenan Allen for 11 yards and Melvin Gordon ran for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Chargers.

Rosen was quickly intercepted, setting the Chargers up at the Arizona 31. On 1st and 20 from the Arizona 29, Rivers hit Culkin for 24 yards. Gordon ran for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 21-10 Chargers. The Chargers got it back at their 20 with 1:45 left in the half. Rivers hit Allen for 8, Ekeler for gains of 9 and 11, Williams for gains of 4 and 10, Ekeleer for gains of 3 and 5, and Allen for a 20 yard gain on 3rd and 2 down to the Arizona 2 yard line with 8 seconds left in the half. Rivers then hit Williams for the dagger as 4 touchdowns in the second quarter had the Chargers up 28-10.

The Chargers sought to immediately put the game away in the third quarter. From their 23, Gordon gained 5 and Rivers hit Allen for 16. Gordon ran for gains of 7 and 4. A busted play set up 2nd and 20 at the Chargers 45. Rivers hit Ekeler for 14 and again for 8 to convert 3rd and 6. Jackson ran for gains of 19 and 5. Rivers hit Benjamin for 5 yards and Allen for the 4 yard touchdown as the Chargers led comfortably 35-10. The Chargers got it back at their 27 and moved to a 4th and 1 at the Arizona 15. Anthony Lynn showed no mercy. Ekeler took a pitchout 13 yards and then got the last 2 yards himself to make it 42-10 Chargers.

Rivers in less than three quarters was a ridiculous 28 of 29. That’s right, only one incompletion. He threw for 259 yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. To keep him healthy, Anthony Lynn gave him a clipboard. With the Chargers up by 32 points, Geno Smith came in to finish the game and the Chargers tacked on a fourth quarter field goal. The Chargers got to 8-3, one game back of Kansas City in the AFC West.   45-10 Chargers

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts — Both teams came in 5-5, but it was the Colts winning 4 straight and the Dolphins reeling. Ryan Tannehill returned after being injured for 5 games, replacing Brock Osweiler. From the Miami 25 to start the game, Frank Gore ran for 7 yards. Tannehill hit Smythe for 21 yards and Danny Amendola for 13 more. Tannehill went to Drake for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Dolphins. After a touchback the Colts struck back. Marlin Mack ran for gains of 16 and 7. Andrew Luck hit TY Hilton for 21 yards, Wilkins for 17 more, and Eric Ebron for the 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-7.

With 6 minutes left in the half, the Colts faced 3rd and 4 at their own 33. Luck ran for it and slid short of the sticks but a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty kept the drive going. On 4th and 1 at the Miami 39, Frank Reich decided to go for it. He opened up the bag of tricks as backup Jacoby Brissett threw a 4 yard pass to Luck the quarterback turned wide receiver. Luck quickly returned to playing quarterback and hit Hilton for a 24 yard gain down to the one. Luck on the play-action pass fired over the middle to Doyle for the touchdown and the 14-7 Colts lead with 1:44 left in the half.

After a touchback, Miami struck immediately. Tannehill went deep to Carroo. The defender had position but somehow missed the ball. Carroo broke free and raced for a 74 yard touchdown and a 14-14 game with one minute left in the half. The final minute was ridiculous. Luck was intercepted. Miami fumbled it back. Luck went deep, and was intercepted again all in a 17 second span. 

In the third quarter the Dolphins partially blocked a punt, setting themselves up at the Indy 42. On 3rd and 3 from the Indy 11, Tannehill threw incomplete. Jay Sanders hit the 29 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Dolphins. The Colts moved to a 3rd and 7 at the Miami 20. Luck was sacked and fumbled. The Colts retained possession but with a 10 yard loss. Adam Vinatieri came in for the tying field goal that was now 48 yards instead of 38 yards. The kick was blocked.

The Dolphins took over at their own 38. Frank Gore ran for gains of 10 and 5. The fourth quarter began with the Dolphins facing 2nd and 4 at the Indy 34. Gore ran for a 23 yard gain and after a loss, Drake went straight up the gut for a 14 yard touchdown. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Dolphins led 24-14. The colts moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 8 at the Miami 28. Luck threw incomplete. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Vinatieri hit a 46 yarder to get the Colts within 24-17.

The Colts got it back midway through the fourth quarter at their own 11 yard line. Luck hit Hines, who looked like he was going out of bounds, stayed inbounds, and raced back to the middle of the field for a 19 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from their own 39, Luck connected with Hilton for a 36 yard gain. From the Miami 25, Hines gained 9 and 4 and Luck hit Eric Ebron for the score. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the game, it was tied 24-24.

Unnecessary roughness on Miami on the touchdown and holding on the kickoff return had the Dolphins pinned at their own 6 yard line. The Colts got the ball back at their own 42 with 2 1/2 minutes to play. At the 2 minute warning it all came down to 3rd and 9 from the Indy 43. Andrew Luck was about to be sacked by two defenders as the pocket collapsed. He ducked under the sack, stepped up, and found  a wide open for a gain. Hines then ripped off a 14 yard gain. With 3 seconds left, Vinatieri came in for a 32 yard try to win it. The most clutch kicker of all time was good, as the Colts win their 5th straight to get above .500 and send Miami below it. 27-24 Colts

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos — The Steelers moved the ball but made uncharacteristic mistakes. First, Chris Boswell missed a 48 yard field goal try. The resulting field position allowed Brandon McManus to make a 41 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Broncos. The Steelers then moved from their 25 to the Denver 24. On the first play of the second quarter, Ben Roethlisberger hit Xavier Grimble for a 23 yard gain. Grimble fumbled at the one out of the end zone for a touchback. With 6 minutes left in the half, the Steelers finally got on the board when Boswell hit a 41 yard field goal for a 3-3 game.

After a touchback and a neutral zone infraction, Pittsburgh had 1st and 5 at their 30. Lindsay ran for a 32 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 at the Pittsburgh 33, Case Keenum hit Booker for 6, LaCosse for 17, and Lacosse again for the 10 yard touchdown as the Broncos led 10-3 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. After a touchback the Steelers moved to a 2nd and goal at the 2 with 30 seconds left in the half. Big Ben threw incomplete and then completed a pass to Juju Smith-Schuster for not gain. On 4th and goal at the 2 with 3 seconds left, Mike Tomlin opted for the field goal as the Denver crowd celebrated the defensive stand. They would not be celebrating for long. Tomlin called a fake, the snap went directly to Boswell, and he threw a perfect pass to a wide open Villaneuva for the tackle eligible and a 10-10 halftime game.

Roethlisberger had over 200 yards passing in the first half yet the only touchdown came from their kicker. On the first play of the third quarter, Big Ben went bombs away to Smith-Schuster. Yet the ball was overthrown and bounced off Smith-Schuster’s outstretched fingers incomplete. A great punt then pinned the Steelers back at their own 3 yard line. Roethlisberger went bombs away again and this time Smith-Schuster caught the ball, split the defenders, and stunned the Denver home crowd with a 97 yard touchdown as the Steelers led 17-10.

The Steelers got it back at their own 23 and moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Denver 47. They had all the momentum, but it was very fleeting. Roethlisberger was intercepted by Chris Harris, who returned 15 yards to the Pittsburgh 43. Keenum went deep to Emanuel Sanders for a 38 yard gain and then again for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 17-17 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. After an exchange of punts, the Steelers moved from their 37 to a 1st and 10 at the Denver 40. Roethlisberger was sacked for a 6 yard loss. On 2nd and 16, Big Ben hit James Conner, who twisted and weaved through the defense for a 23 yard gain. Yet he had the ball punched out, and the Broncos recovered the fumble as the third quarter ended.

From the Denver 21 to start the fourth quarter, Lindsay ran for 9 and Freeman added gains of 5 and 4. On 3rd and 5 from the Denver 40, Keenum hit Hamilton for 13 yards. Lindsay ran for 18. Keenum hit Heuerman for 15 and Sanders for 14 more. Lindsay ran for the 2 yard touchdown as the Broncos retook the lead by 7 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. 

After an exchange of punts, Pittsburgh began their last possession with 4 1/2 minutes left at their own 44. They moved to a 1st and goal at the 3 at the 2 minute warning. With one minute left, it all came down to 3rd and goal at the 2. Roethlisberger faked the handoff, and fired to the middle end zone into traffic where nothing good ever happens. The ball was intercepted, as the Broncos hung on for the shocking win. 2 straight wins have them still barely alive at 5-6 while Pittsburgh fell to 7-3 with the loss. 24-17 Broncos

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings was the Sunday night game. In the first quarter the Packers moved from their own 32. Adam Jones ran for 11 yards. On the next play, defensive pass interference added 26 more yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Minnesota 22, Jones gained 4 yards. Rodgers threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Devonta Adams to make it 7-0 Packers. After a touchback, Cook gained 9 and Kirk Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph for 9 more. From midfield, Cousins hit Stefan Diggs for 24 yards and Cook for the 26 yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie after the first quarter.

After a touchback, Rodgers hit Brown for 15, Kendricks for 8, and St. Brown for 23 yards. Jones gained 9 and Rodgers hit Adams for 6 to end the first quarter. The Packers began the second quarter at the Minnesota 14. Rodgers hit Jones for 8 and Jones ran for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Packers. After a touchback Minnesota came back again. Cousins hit Rudolph for 17 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Minnesota 45, Cousins hit Rudolph for 10. On 3rd and 5 from the Green Bay 40, Cousins hit Diggs for 10 and again for the 30 yard touchdown. With 11 minutes left in the half it was 14-14.

The defenses stiffened and the Vikings missed a couple chances to take the lead before halftime. With 5 1/2 minutes left before halftime, the Vikings faced 3rd and 1 at the Green Bay 29. Latavius Murray got the carry and lost a yard. Dan Bailey missed the 48 yard field goal try. With 3 seconds left in the half, Bailey made a 51 yard field goal. However, a false start forced Bailey to try again from 56. This time he was no good. Earlier in the year these teams were tied after four quarters of regulation and still tied after overtime. Now they were tied after one quarter and tied at the half.

A key play in the game came midway through the third quarter. The normally overly cautious has been stung in the media for being overly cautious. He decided to gamble on 4th and 1 from his own 44. The pass-happy McCarthy even ran the ball. Jones got stopped for no gain. The short field allowed the Vikings to move to a 3rd and 7 at the Green Bay 10. Cousins was sacked, but this time Bailey made the 35 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Vikings. A sack of Rodgers had the Packers punting on 4th and 22 from their own 13. A 20 yard punt return with 5 more tacked on for a kicking team illegal formation had the Vikings starting at the Green Bay 31. Diggs took an end around 12 yards, so Mike Zimmer called the same play again. Cook took an end around 5 yards. Cousins hit Adam Thielen for the 14 yard touchdown as the Vikings led 24-14 after three quarters.

The Vikings got the ball back at their own 7 yard line and held the ball for 7 minutes. On 3rd and 5 at the Green Bay 29, Cousins was sacked for an 8 yard loss. With Bailey having already missed twice, Mike Zimmer was not going to try a 55 yard field goal. Zimmer punted, the Packers fumbled it, and the Vikings recovered at the Green Bay 15. On 4th and 2 from the 7, Zimmer decided to go for it since a touchdown with 5 minutes left would put the game away. Cousins had his pass batted down.

From the 10, Rodgers hit Jimmy Graham for 25 yards and again for 9 more. A sack of Rodgers set up 3rd and 10 from the Green Bay 35. Rodgers went deep to Adams for 36 yards and again for 9 more. Yet on 2nd and 1 from the Minnesota 20, pass-happy Mike McCarthy would not run the ball. Rodgers threw a West Coast Offense dink and dunk sideways pass incomplete. Then on 3rd and 1 Rodgers went for it all, had a wide open receiver, and overthrew him as the ball was juggled and dropped. Needing 2 scores, on 4th and 1, McCarthy went for the field goal. Mason Crosby hit the 38 yarder to get the Packers within 7.

The onside kick failed and the Packers took over at the Green Bay 41 with 2:19 to play. On 3rd and 6 at the 2 minute warning and the Packers out of timeouts, Mike Zimmer opted against a safe run which could have meant a 50+ yard field goal try. Zimmer went with a pass knowing an incompletion would stop the clock. Cousins fired a laser over the middle for the first down and then took a couple knees. Cousins finished with 334 yards passing to 198 for Rodgers. The Vikings are 6-4 and very much alive while the Packers are 4-6 and on the brink of elimination. After 13 years in Green Bay, fairly or not, Mike McCarthy’s hot seat is scorching. 24-17 Vikings

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans was the Monday night game. The Texans entered the game with heavy hearts due to the death of team owner Bob McNair on Saturday. He founded the team that began play in 2002 and was the only owner the team has ever had. He brought football back to Houston when Bud Adams moved the Houston Oilers to Tennessee and changed their name to the Tennessee Titans. Those teams played on this night.

The Titans moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 9 at the Houston 20. Marcus Mariota hit Firks but only for 7 yards. On 4th and 2 from the 13, Mike Vrabel decided not to gamble. Ryan Succop hit the 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Titans. The Titans got it back at their own 31 and struck quickly. Derrick Henry ran for 8 yards. Mariota then went deep to Smith for a 61 yard touchdown. The Titans led 10-0, but after that the game changed.

The Texans took over from their 38 after nearly fumbling away the kickoff. Lamar Miller ran for 21 yards. After gaining one yard, Miller then ripped off gains of 15 and 12. Deshaun Watson then threw a 12 yard touchdown pass to Thomas to get the Texans within 10-7. A 25 yard punt return allowed the Texans to get it back at their own 40. Watson went deep to DeAndre Hopkins for a 28 yard gain. Watson then hit Thomas for 12 yards. On the first play of the second quarter, Watson then ran for the 15 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Texans.

Tennessee moved the ball from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Houston 3 yard line. This time Mike Vrabel decided to go for it. Stocker got the carry and got stopped stone cold. One play later the game completely changed. Miller got the handoff, broke a couple tackles near the line of scrimmage, got to the sideline, and was off to the races for a 97 yard touchdown. The 14 point swing had the Texans up 21-10 rather than down 17-14.

With 55 seconds left in the half, a miserable drive had the Titans punting on 4th and 34 from their own 9. The Texans took over with 45 seconds left at their own 38. Watson hit Akins for 8 and then went deep to Hopkins for 24 more yards. Watson scrambled up the middle for 5 yards but the final 18 seconds of the clock kept ticking. Watson rushed everyone up to the line and spiked the ball to stop the clock with one second left. Kaimi Fairbairn hit the 43 yard field goal as the Texans took a 24-10 lead to the locker rooms.

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans was the Monday night game. The Texans entered the game with heavy hearts due to the death of team owner Bob McNair on Saturday. He founded the team that began play in 2002 and was the only owner the team has ever had. He brought football back to Houston when Bud Adams moved the Houston Oilers to Tennessee and changed their name to the Tennessee Titans. Those teams played on this night.

The Titans moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 9 at the Houston 20. Marcus Mariota hit Firks but only for 7 yards. On 4th and 2 from the 13, Mike Vrabel decided not to gamble. Ryan Succop hit the 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Titans. The Titans got it back at their own 31 and struck quickly. Derrick Henry ran for 8 yards. Mariota then went deep to Smith for a 61 yard touchdown. The Titans led 10-0, but after that the game changed.

The Texans took over from their 38 after nearly fumbling away the kickoff. Lamar Miller ran for 21 yards. After gaining one yard, Miller then ripped off gains of 15 and 12. Deshaun Watson then threw a 12 yard touchdown pass to Thomas to get the Texans within 10-7. A 25 yard punt return allowed the Texans to get it back at their own 40. Watson went deep to DeAndre Hopkins for a 28 yard gain. Watson then hit Thomas for 12 yards. On the first play of the second quarter, Watson then ran for the 15 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Texans.

Tennessee moved the ball from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Houston 3 yard line. This time Mike Vrabel decided to go for it. Stocker got the carry and got stopped stone cold. One play later the game completely changed. Miller got the handoff, broke a couple tackles near the line of scrimmage, got to the sideline, and was off to the races for a 97 yard touchdown. The 14 point swing had the Texans up 21-10 rather than down 17-14.

With 55 seconds left in the half, a miserable drive had the Titans punting on 4th and 34 from their own 9. The Texans took over with 45 seconds left at their own 38. Watson hit Akins for 8 and then went deep to Hopkins for 24 more yards. Watson scrambled up the middle for 5 yards but the final 18 seconds of the clock kept ticking. Watson rushed everyone up to the line and spiked the ball to stop the clock with one second left. Kaimi Fairbairn hit the 43 yard field goal as the Texans took a 24-10 lead to the locker rooms.

The Texans moved from their own 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Titans 43. Bill O’Brien decided to go for it and Watson hit Hopkins for 5 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Houston 29, O’Brien decided not to go for it. A field goal would make it a 3 score game, and Fairbairn delivered from 47 yards out to make it 27-10 Texans.

With 2 minutes left in the third quarter a 16 yard punt return had the Titans starting just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 7 from the Houston 48, Mariota went deep to Davis for the touchdown as the Titans trailed 27-17 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Texans took over at their own 40. From the Tennessee 46, Watson scrambled for 34 yards and then threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Thomas to salt the game away. Houston won their 8th straight game as Bob McNair smiled from heaven. 34-17 Texans 

NFL 2018 Week 12 Thanksgiving Prequel

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 12 Thanksgiving Prequel

Happy Thanksgiving: NFL 2018 Week 12 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

 

NFL 2018 Week 11 Recap

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 11 Recap

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks was the Thursday night game. From the Fail Mary to Matt Hasselbeck’s ill-fated prediction to the crazy onside kick in the NFC Title Game, these teams have produced some thrillers. They again produced a fine football game. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson both completed 21 passes, with Rodgers throwing 30 passes for 332 yards and Wilson 225. Both signal callers threw 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

On the first play from scrimmage, the Seahawks fumbled and the Packers took over at the Seattle 29. Aaron Jones ran for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers. The Packers missed a chance to extend the lead when Mason Crosby missed a 47 yard field goal. The momentum swing led to Sebastian Janikowski hitting a 39 yard field goal to get the Seahawks within 7-3. Packers struck again quickly after a touchback. Rodgers went to Robert Tonyan for a 54 yard touchdown as the Packers led 14-3 after the first quarter.

The second quarter began at their own 38. Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for 14 yards and Tyler Lockett for 13 more. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Wilson hit Baldwin for the score to get the Seahawks within 14-10. Seattle got it back at their own 30. Wilson went deep and drew a 48 yard defensive pass interference penalty. Wilson then hit Vannett for 17 yards down to the one. Chris Carson got the yard and the Seahawks led 17-14 with less than 3 1/2 minutes in the half.

After a touchback, Rodgers hit Jones for 15 yards and again for 22 more. Rodgers went to Devontae Adams for 11 yards. From the Seattle 24 with 44 seconds left in the half, Rodgers hit Jones with a perfect strike to put the Packers up 21-17. Seattle got it back at their own 17. With 2 seconds left in the half on 4th and 1 from their own 43, Wilson for some reason threw a 15 yard pass rather than a Hail Mary.

In a scoreless third quarter, the Seahawks moved from their own 3 yard line all the way to a 1st and 10 at the Green Bay 19. Wilson was sacked, and a false start had Seattle facing 3rd and 26. A give up run made the field goal try easier and Janikowski hit a 43 yarder to get the Seahawks within 21-20 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

The Packers soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 26. Rodgers went deep to Adams for 57 yards. The key play of the game and the Packers facing 3rd and 5 at the Seattle 12. A touchdown would give the breathing room. Rodgers was sacked. Crosby hit the 36 yard field goal as the Packers led 24-20 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Seattle soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Wilson hit Lockett for 18 yards and then went deep to him again for 34 more yards. It came down to 3rd and 9 at the Green Bay 15. Wilson hit Ed Dickson for the touchdown. With 5 minutes left, the Seahawks reclaimed the 3 point lead, with Crosby’s earlier miss being the difference.

On 3rd and 2 from their own 33, Rodgers threw incomplete. With 4:20 still to play, Mike McCarthy decided to punt and trust his defense. Wilson ran for 8 yards to gain a key first down. Davis ran up the middle to get the final first down as the Packers never got the ball back. Pete Carroll saw his squad get above .500 while McCarthy’s squad is below it. 27-24 Seahawks

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions — Carolina started out going 90 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 5 from their own 15, Cam Newton hit Wright for 14 yards, Moore for 13 more, Devon Funchess for 23 more, and back to Moore for another 29 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Newton hit Greg Olsen for the score to make it 7-0 Panthers. The Lions came back 72 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. Matthew Stafford hit Kenny Golladay for 9 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Carolina 34, Stafford went back to Golladay for 13 yards. From the Carolina 21, Johnson ran for one, 12 and then the 8 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. 

With 4 minutes left in the half the Lions took over at their own 16. They moved to a 1st and 10 at the Carolina 36. Stafford threw 3 straight incompletions. Matt Prater drilled a 54 yard field goal to lead 10-7. In the third quarter Newton went to DJ Moore, who made an acrobatic catch at the sideline, evaded tacklers, got back to the middle of the field, and gained 82 yards inside the Detroit 10. Yet on 3rd and 2 from the 4, Newton was sacked for a 10 yard loss. Then Graham Gano, who had made 28 in a row, doinked a 34 yarder off the upright no good.

The Lions moved from their 24 to a 3rd and 7 at the Carolina 14. Stafford threw incomplete but Prater hit from 32 to make it 13-7 Lions. The Panthers began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 9 at their own 9 yard line. Newton hit Funchess for 16, Samuel for 17, Olsen for 8, Moore for 10, McCaffrey for 9, Samuel for 13, and again to Samuel, who made an acrobatic catch for a 12 yard touchdown. With 9 1/2 minutes left the game was tied 13-13. Gano missed the extra point.

The Lions soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Stafford hit Theo Riddick for 17 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 15 from the Detroit 45, Stafford went deep to Golladay for 36 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Carolina 19, Stafford went back to Golladay for the touchdown. With 5 minutes left in regulation, the Lions led 20-13.

With 2:44 left after an exchange of punts, the Panthers took over at their own 25. Newton immediately went deep to Christian McCaffrey for 34 yards and to Samuel for 12 more. Newton then hit Wright for 21 yards and Moore for the 8 yard touchdown. With 1:07 to play, the Panthers were about to tie the game. Then Riverboat Ron Rivera decided otherwise.

Yes, Gano, had missed a 28 yard field goal and an extra point. However, this seemed more a statement of boldness than a lack of confidence in the kicker. Rivera is bold, but this was big time. He went for the 2 point conversion with the game on the line. Newton dropped back, had all kinds of time, and misfired. He had the receiver, but the throw was off incomplete. The onside kick failed. As is his nature, Rivera took the heat for the call. 20-19 Lions

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens — Baltimore moved 75 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. With Joe Flacco out, Lamar Jackson got his first NFL start. Jackson ran for 12 yards to start. On 3rd and 4 from the Baltimore 45, Jackson ran for 21 more. Alex Collins ran for a 21 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Ravens. A field position game had the Bengals beginning the second quarter at their own 43. On 3rd and 7 from their own 46, Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Boyd for 29 yards and Joe Mixon for 21 more. Mixon got in from the one to make it 7-7.

Justin Tucker hit a 28 yard field goal and then drilled a 56 yarder to end the half with the Ravens up 13-7. In the third quarter Jackson had a pass intercepted and returned 22 yards to the Baltimore 32. Dalton hit Mixon for 11 and Uzomah for 16 more. Dalton hit Lengel for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 14-13 Bengals.

Baltimore then faced 4th and 1 at their own 45. Jackson took it himself and hit a brick wall. The Bengals took over and soon faced 3rd and 4 at the Baltimore 39. Dalton hit Boyd for 5 and threw a jump ball to the end zone that appeared intercepted but was caught by John Ross for the 22 yard touchdown to make it 21-13 Bengals.

A sack of Jackson had the Ravens facing 2nd and 17 at their own 13. Jackson hit Willie Snead for just enough. On 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 38, Edwards gained 17 yards. Jackson hit Moore for 14 yards and ran for 7 more himself. Edwards ran for an 11 yard touchdown and also for the 2 point conversion. The third quarter ended with the game tied 21-21.

The Ravens began the fourth quarter at their own 39. On 3rd and 7 from their 42, Jackson hit Andrews for 19 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Cincy 34, Edwards gained 15 yards. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 4, Jackson lost 2 yards. Tucker hit the 24 yard field goal to give the Ravens the 3 point lead with 8 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, the Bengals faced 3rd and 12 at their own 33. Dalton went to Boyd for 32 yards. With 4 minutes left, Randy Bullock came in for a 52 yard field goal to tie the game. The kick was no good. The Bengals got back at their own 10 with 2:45 left. Dalton hit Uzomah for 20. With 1:46 left, on 4th and 3 from their own 47, Dalton threw incomplete as both teams are 5-5 in the standings. 24-21 Ravens

Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons — A pair of overrated underachievers met. In the first quarter the Cowboys moved 85 yards in 15 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Dan Prescott threw incomplete. Maher hit the 21 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. Atlanta in the second quarter moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 4 at the Dallas 23. Matt Ryan threw incomplete. Matt Bryant hit the 41 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. Bryant hit again from 45 late in the half and Maher answered from 50 in the third quarter for a 6-6 ballgame. Yet a third field goal from Bryant from 53 yards had the Falcons up 9-6 after three quarters. After 45 minutes of field goals, the fourth quarter plenty of action.

On 3rd and 1 from the Dallas 34, Elliott got 2 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Dallas 45, Elliott fumbled but Collins recovered for a 2 yard gain. From the Atlanta 41, Prescott hit Amari Cooper for 17 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Atlanta 21, Prescott hit Cole Beasley for 17 more. Prescott took it himself for the 4 yard touchdown to cap the 14 play, 75 yard, 8 minute drive. The extra point was no good but the Cowboys led 12-9 only 40 seconds into the fourth quarter.

The Falcons moved from the quarter mark to the mid stripe when Ryan was intercepted by Vander Esch, who returned it 28 yards to the Atlanta 31. Elliott ran for 8 yards and then burst free for the 23 yard touchdown to make it 19-9 Cowboys with 12 1/2 minutes left.

After a touchback, the Falcons moved to a 3rd and 2 at the Dallas 3. Ryan threw incomplete. Bryant hit the 21 yard field goal to get the Falcons within 19-12 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Atlanta got it back at their 32 with 4 minutes left. Coleman gained 13. On 3rd and 9 from their own 46, Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for 11 yards. Ryan then went deep to Julio Jones for a 34 yard touchdown and a 19-19 game with 1:52 to play.

After a touchback, the Cowboys faced 3rd and 5 from their 30. Prescott went to Gallup for 10 and Elliott for 11 more. Prescott then went to Cole Beasley for 19 yards to the Atlanta 30. With 3 seconds left, Maher came in for a 42 yard try to win it. Maher was good, Jerrah celebrated, the Cowboys got to 5-5, and the Falcons fell to 4-6 under Dan Quinn. 22-19 Cowboys

Houston Texans at Washington Redskins — Houston came in riding a 6 game win streak. The texans moved 68 yards in 10 plays, but on 3rd and 3 from the Washington 5, DeShaun Watson threw incomplete. Fairbairn hit the 23 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Texans. Houston got it back at their own 31. Watson hit Deandre Hopkins for 16 yards. Miller added 15 more on the ground. Watson hit Hopkins for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Texans.

In the second quarter Washington took o er at their 25. Alex Smith went to Reed for 24 yards and Harris for 13 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Houston 34, Smith was sacked by JJ Watt and fumbled. However, defensive holding kept the drive going. The second quarter began with Adrian Peterson running for a 3 yard touchdown to get the Redskins within 10-7.

Alex Smith has been derided as a West Coast Offense dink and dunk game manager, but on the upside he does not make mistakes. On this day, one too many short passes bit him. Looking for a touchdown, he was intercepted at the goal line and saw it go 100 yards the other way. The Texans led 17-7 and would have led by more if not for a missed field goal. Things got worse for Smith. Midway through the third quarter, the Redskins faced 3rd and 9 from the Houston 24. Smith was sacked for a 13 yard loss and was injured on the play. He was carted off the field with a serious ankle injury.The sack pushed the Redskins out of field goal range.

The Texans got it back at their own 13 and disaster struck. Watson was intercepted to set up the Redskins at that spot. There was a Colt McCoy sighting. Apparently he is the redskins backup quarterback. He ran for 4 yards and threw a 9 yard touchdown pass to Hopkins to get the Redskins within 17-14. After a touchback, a short pass from Watson to Coutee went for a 40 yard gain. Despite 1st and goal at the 6, Watson was sacked and threw incomplete twice. Fairbairn hit the 33 yard field goal to put the Texans up 20-14 after three quarters.

Washington got it back at their own 33. McCoy hit Doctson for 12 yards and Reed for 7 more. The fourth quarter began with the Redskins facing 3rd and 1 at the Houston 46. McCoy threw incomplete. Despite the entire quarter to play, Jay Gruden decided to go for it. McCoy gained 5 yards. From the Houston 22, McCoy ran for 15 yards. Peterson ran for the 7 yard touchdown and the Redskins had the 21-20 lead with 12 minutes left in regulation.

The Texans took over at their own 27. Watson hit Coutee for 4 and Hopkins for 10 more. Alfred Blue ran for 6 and another 16. On 3rd and 20 from the Washington 47, Watson hit Thomas for 11 yards. Midway through the fourth quarter, Fairbairn came in for a 54 yard field goal try to give the Texans the lead. The kick was good and the Texans led 23-21.

A sack of McCoy had the Redskins punting, and a short 31 yard punt had the Texans starting at their own 42 with 4 1/2 minutes left. With 1:41 to play, the Texans faced a critical 3rd and 7 at the Washington 29. The Redskins were out of timeouts. A first down would end the game. Bill O’Brien played it safe rather than risk an incompletion to stop the clock. Miller gained 2 yards. With 56 seconds left, Fairbairn came in for a 45 yard field goal try to extend the lead. The kick was no good. Now the Redskins needed only a field goal to win.

With 52 seconds left from their own 35, McCoy scrambled for 9, spiked the ball to stop the clock, and on 3rd and 1 hit Quinn for 11 yards. After spiking the ball again, McCoy threw incomplete twice. With 8 seconds left and 0 timeouts, on 4th and 10 from the Houston 45, Jay Gruden had a major decision to make. He could try a sideline pass for the first down, throw a Hail Mary, or try a 63 yard field goal. He opted for the field goal and brought in Hopkins. Fairbairn looked on helplessly. Hopkins hit it dead center but well short as the Texans survived to win their 7th straight game after an 0-3 start. 23-21 Texans

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars — Jacksonville throttled Pittsburgh twice last year, including in the playoffs. Yet this Jaguars team came in losers of 5 straight. The first half belonged to the defense. In the second quarter Josh Lambo hit field goals of 48, 38 and 43 for a 9-0 Jaguars lead. In the third quarter the Steelers moved from their 45 to a 1st and 10 at the Jags 11. Ben Roethlisberger went to the end zone and was intercepted for a touchback.

From their 20, Leonard Fournette ripped off a 26 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 just shy of midfield, Blake Bortles hit Chark for 10 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 34, Bortles scrambled for 10 yards and hit Fournette for 20 more. From the 4, Fournette got half and then the other half. With 2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Jaguars were dominating 16-0. For the third straight game they were going to thrash Pittsburgh. To paraphrase Chris Berman, “That’s why they play the ENTIRE game.”

The Steelers quickly faced 2nd and 9 from their own 22. Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown for a 78 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed, but the Steelers were within 16-6 after three quarters. Jacksonville’s offense went into a shell in the fourth quarter, relying on the defense. Pittsburgh moved from their 29 to a 4th and 6 at the Jags 43 with less than 7 minutes left. Big Ben threw incomplete.

Pittsburgh got it back at their own 20 with 5 minutes left and needing 2 scores. On 2nd and 5, a short pass came up one yard short but a facemark penalty on Jalen Ramsey moved Pittsburgh to their own 44. While neither Roethlisberger or Juju Smith-Schuster are Jewish, they connected on 3 straight passes for gains of 9, 21, and 9 again. With 2 1/2 minutes to play, Roethlisberger hit Vance McDonald for an 11 yard touchdown. The Steelers were still alive down 16-13.

After a touchback, Doug Marrone played it very safe. He ran the ball 3 straight times. Bortles was in more than game manager mode. He was not even allowed to throw it at all. He threw the ball only 18 times all game, completing 10 for an anemic 104 yards without a touchdown or interception. On 3rd and 5, Marrone ran it in for only a one yard gain. A short 37 yard punt gave the Steelers the ball back at their own 32 with 1:50 to play and one timeout.

Big Ben hit James Conner for 6 yard and then connected again with Smith-Schuster for a 35 yard gain to the Jags 27. The Steelers were well within field goal range but wanted more. Roethlisberger went to Brown for a 25 yard gain. On 1st and goal at the 2, Roethlisberger spiked the ball to stop the clock with 22 seconds left. He then went to the end zone and was intercepted again. The Jaguars and their home crowd celebrated. They shouldn’t have. A facemask penalty nullified the interception and gave the Steelers 1st and goal at the one with 15 seconds left. Roethlisberger threw incomplete, but defensive holding meant first down again. Roethlisberger took matters into his own hands. He rolled out with a defender waiting. Roethlisberger made a move and dove for the end zone. Just before his knee came down, he stretched the ball barely over the plane of the goal.

With 5 seconds left, Roethlisberger pulled out a miracle with 20 unanswered points in front of a shellshocked home crowd. Last year at home Roethlisberger was intercepted by the Jaguars 5 times. Many football fans thought he was washed up. Today the Jaguars again intercepted him 5 times, although 2 of them were called back by penalty. Roethlisberger finished 27 of 47 for 314 yards, with 248 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter. He also threw the 2 touchdowns. The bitter 6th straight loss had the Jaguars at 3-7 while the Steelers are 7-2. This was a tough win. This was a Roethlisberger tough win. This was a Mike Tomlin tough win. This was a Pittsburgh tough win. 20-16 Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together for an exciting game. This actually was that game. The Giants got their second win of the season with an inspiring Monday night win and hosted the reeling Buccaneers. The Giants began at their own 37. From their own 48, Eli Manning went deep to O’Dell Beckham for 41 yards. Manning hit Saquon Barkley for a 6 yard score to make it 7-0 Giants. The Giants got it back at their own 5 yard line. Barkley ran for gains of 9 and 10. Manning hit Ellison for 12 and Fowler for 10. Beckham took an end around 11 yards and Manning hit Gallman for 21 more. Early in the second quarter, Barkley ran for a 6 yard touchdown to cap a 12 play, 95 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive to make it 14-0 Giants.

The Buccaneers got it back at their own 36 and Ryan Fitzpatrick hit mike Evans for 24 yards. Pierre Barber gained 9 and Fitzpatrick hit OJ Howard for 20 more. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Barber only got half of it. Dirk Koetter decided to go for it. On 4th and goal at the one, Fitzpatrick rolled out and got in himself to get the Buccaneers within 14-7.

Fitzpatrick ended the half with an interception and began the third quarter with another one. The latter one proved costly as Alex Ogletree returned it 15 yards for a defensive touchdown to make it 21-7 Giants. From the Giants 32, Fitzpatrick went to the end zone and was intercepted again by Riley, who returned it 40 yards to the Giants 40. Aldrick Rosas hit a 52 yard field goal to make it 24-7 Giants.

A desperate Dirk Koetter benched Fitzpatrick and brought in Jameis Winston. To the surprise of everyone, he played well. It helped that from the Tampa 26, Peyton Barber ran for 9 and then broke off a 28 yard run. Winston hit Chris Godwin for 17 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Giants 18, Winston went to Evans for 10 yards. Then came some dumb luck. From the 6, the Buccaneers fumbled. Yet Evans recovered in the end zone for a touchdown to get the Buccaneers within 24-14 just like they drew it up on the playground sandlot.

The Giants took over at their own 29. Manning went deep to Beckham for a 27 yard gain. Barkley had gains of 14 and 13 as the fourth quarter began. On 3rd and 5 from the 8, Manning went to Beckham for the touchdown. With 13 minutes left in regulation, the Giants had 31-14.

Winston led a furious comeback from the Tampa 23, hitting howard for 24 yards. Barber ran for 12 and Winston hit Godwin for 19 more. Unsportsmanlike conduct on the defense meant 1st and goal at the 5. Barber ran it in to get the Buccaneers within 31-21 with less than 10 minutes left to play. The Giants went 3 and out and the Bucs got it back at their own 30 midway through the fourth quarter. Winston hit Evans for 25 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Giants 39, Winston hit Desean Jackson for 7 yards and Howard for 24 more. Winston then found Adam Humphries for an 8 yard touchdown. With 5 minutes left the Buccaneers were within 31-28.

Yet the problem with the Buccaneers is they have no defense. On 2nd and 8 from their own 35, Manning fired to Evan Engram, who split the middle seams for a 54 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the 2, Barkley got in. The Giants led 38-28 with 4 minutes left, but unsportsmanlike conduct on the Giants had the Buccaneers taking over at their own 34.

Winston hit Humphries for 13 yards. on 3rd and 1 from the Giants 44, Winston gained 3. Winston then went deep to Evans for a 41 yard touchdown. With 2:22 to play, the Bucs were back within a field goal. With both teams out of timeouts, Dirk Koetter had to try an onside kick. It failed and the Giants took over at their own 44. Tampa Bay got it back at their own 20 with 23 seconds left. Winston went deep and was intercepted. Fitzpatrick was 13 of 21 for 167 yards, 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Winston was 12 of 16 for 199 yards, 2 touchdowns, and the interception at the end. Manning was sensational, throwing only 18 passes and completing 17 of them for 231 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Manning was told he was washed up. He’s led the Giants to two straight wins in fine form. 38-35 Giants

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts — Both teams got off to slow starts and improved. Tennessee thrashed New England and Dallas in successive weeks. The 1-5 Colts won three straight entering this game. This game was all Colts. In the first quarter Carlos Rogers returned a punt 74 yards but it was nullified by an illegal block late. The Colts still took over at the Tennessee 33. On 3rd and 7 form the 30, Andrew Luck hit Doyle for 7 yards and Pascal for 11 more. On 3rd and 1 from the 3, the defense jumped offside. Marlin Mack got the last yard to make it 7-0 Colts.

The second quarter began with an interception of Marcus Mariota that set up the Colts at their own 6. They moved to a 2nd and goal at the 4, but Luck threw incomplete twice. Adam Vinatieri hit the 22 yard field goal to make its 10-0 Colts. The Colts got it back at their own 13 and soon faced 3rd and 3 from their 20. Luck hit Inman for 12 and then went bombs away to TY Hilton for a 68 yard touchdown to make it 17-0 Colts. Indy got it back at their own 15. Defensive pass interference moved the ball 35 yards to midfield. From the Titans 38, Luck hit Hines for 20 and Wilkins got around the end for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 24-0 Colts.

The Titans got a field goal before the half, but it did not stop the beating. Mariota was injured at the end of the half. With Blaine Gabbert playing the second half, this game was over. In the third quarter and interception of Gabbert had the Colts at theTitans 21. On 3rd and 3, Luck hit Hilton for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 31-3 Colts. In the fourth quarter Luck threw a 7 yard touchdown to Inman to cap a 13 play, 85 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive and make it 38-3 Colts. The Titans got a garbage touchdown but it was the Colts winning their 4th straight as both teams are 5-5 in the weak AFC South. 38-10 Colts

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers — The Broncos are a bad team at 3-6. The Chargers are a good team at 7-2 with 6 straight wins. In the first quarter the Chargers moved the ball well but could not crack the end zone. Badgley hit field goals of 46 and 45 yards to make it 6-0 Chargers.

An unnecessary roughness penalty on the ensuing kickoff moved the Broncos up to their own 30. To start the second quarter, on 4th and 5 from the Denver 47, Vance Joseph gambled on a fake punt. Wadman hit Janovich for a 12 yard gain. On the next play Lindsay raced for a 41 yard touchdown to put the Broncos up 7-6. Rivers was then intercepted to set up Denver at the Chargers 46. Yet on 4th and 1 from the Chargers 14, Vance Joseph decided to go for it. Lindsey got stopped.

From their own 16, Philip Rivers hit Keenan Allen for 10 yards. On 3rd and 7 from their 29, Rivers went to Melvin Gordon for a 32 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Denver 33, Rivers went to Williams for 29 yards. Rivers hit Allen for the 4 yard touchdown as the Chargers took a 13-7 lead to the locker rooms. After a touchback to start the second half, Rivers went to Williams for 19 yards. From the Denver 45, Ekeler got around the end for a 17 yard gain. Rivers hit Antonio Gates for a 6 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Chargers led 19-7

Denver hung tough. The Chargers moved from their 22 to a 3rd and 9 at the Denver 35. Rivers was intercepted by Von Miller, who returned it 42 yards to the Chargers 18. Lindsay ran for 8 and Freeman ran for 7 and then the 3 yard touchdown to get the Broncos within 19-14. In the fourth quarter the Broncos took over at their own 27. A facemark penalty on the defense tacked on 15 yards. From the Denver 46, Case Keenum hit Chris Sutton for a 39 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the 8, Keenum hit Lindsay for 6. On the next play a wildcat snap to Lindsay got the 2 yard touchdown. The point try failed but the Broncos led 20-19 with 12:20 to play in the game.

The Chargers came back from their own 28 and moved to a 3rd and 15 at the Denver 26. Rivers hit Gordon for 14 yards. With 6:47 to play, Anthony Lynn had a big decision to make. On 4th and 1 from the Denver 12, he played it safe and went with the field goal. Badgley hit from 30. The Chargers led 22-20, but Denver had life. Their offense went nowhere but at the 2 minute warning, the Chargers had a chance to put the game away. On 3rd and 7 from the Denver 48, Rivers threw incomplete. Denver still had life.

The Broncos took over with 1:51 to play at their own 8 yard line. Case keen hit Heuerman for 5 yards and then to Emanuel Sanders for a 38 yard gain. With 20 seconds to play, the Broncos faced 3rd and 7 at the Chargers 46. This was it. Keenum went deep to Chris Sutton for a 30 yard gain as the Broncos raced to beat the clock. It ticked down and Keenum spiked the ball with 2 seconds left. Brandon McManus only needed to make a 34 yard field goal for the shocking upset. He did. As Chris Berman says, “THAT’s why they PLAY the games.” 23-22 Broncos

Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals — Both teams are horrible, but the Raiders are worse. They are bad at everything, and on the occasions they lead, they collapse when it matters most. On the second play of the game, Josh Rosen was intercepted by Gareon Conley, who returned it 28 yards to the Arizona 33. Muscle Hamster Doug Martin gained 9 yards. Derek Carr went deep to Jared Cook for a 23 yard touchdown. The Raider sled 7-0, but they frequently look good on their first drive before going downhill.

A 32 yard kickoff return had the Cardinals at their own 36. David Johnson gained 5, 4, 4, and 3. Edmonds ran for 8 and 6. On 3rd and 7 from the Oakland 18, Rosen went to Larry Fitzgerald for the touchdown to tie the game 7-7. As for the first quarter was ending, the Cardinals faced 3rd and 5 at their own 41. A short pass from Rosen to Kirk could have been stopped well short of the sticks. Yet a mistackle in this year of ineptitude meant a 59 yard touchdown and a 14-7 Cardinals lead.

The Cardinals got the ball back and quickly faced 2nd and 8 at their own 39. Rosen went deep and had a ball deflected into the air and intercepted by Karl Joseph. The secondary is the worst part of the Raiders, yet in this game Paul Guenther’s secondary had 2 interceptions in the first half. The Raiders took over at midfield. Jon Gruden used to win games by pounding the rock. This year he has just not run the ball enough. In this game he played power football.

Martin ran for 11, 7 and 10. Then Deandre Washington ran for 10. On 3rd and 3 from the Arizona 5, Carr hit Brandon LaFell in the front corner of the end zone for the touchdown for a 14-14 game.

In the third quarter the Raiders kept running the ball. After a touchback, Jalen Richard ripped off a 24 yard gain, then ran for 4 more yards, and caught a pass for 16 yards. Yet the Raiders lose games because of stupid mistakes. On 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 22, a false start was followed by a sack of Carr. Dan Carlson bailed the Raiders out with a 49 yard field goal for a 17-14 Raiders lead.

The Raiders got the ball back and soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 41. Carr went to LaFell for a 24 yard gain. An unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense moved the ball to the Arizona 12. On 3rd and 1 from the 3, Washington got the yard. Rookie left tackle Kolton Miller was injured on the play. However, if the Raiders could just finish a drive, they’d be up 24-14. They couldn’t. On 1st and goal at the 2, they had a false start. On 3rd and goal at the one, Washington got the carry. Rather than leap over the top, he went straight into a brick wall and lost a yard. After 12 plays, 63 yards, and 7 1/2 minutes, Carlson hit the 21 yard field goal as the Raiders led 20-14. Arizona had only 13 total yards in the third quarter, yet the Raiders as they always do left the door open.

Then came the inevitable fourth quarter. From the Arizona 20, Johnson gained 10 yards. On the next play up the gut he ripped off a 53 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 17, the Raiders needed one stop. They couldn’t get it. Rosen hit Kirk for 12 and Fitzgerald for the 5 yard touchdown. With 5 minutes left in regulation, the Cardinals led 21-20. The Raiders had blown it AGAIN.

Naturally, the Raiders malfunctioned on offense. Two runs gained a combined one yard, allowing the Raiders to help run out the clock while they ere losing. After a deep incompletion, the Raiders punted with 3:50 to go. All they needed to do now was collapse on defense and the game would be over. It didn’t happen. The Cardinals on 3rd and 9 from their own 41 saw Rosen throw incomplete, stopping the clock. 3:16 still remained. The Raiders had life. Then a perfect pinned the Raiders at their own 3 yard line.

Carr threw 3 straight incompletions, including a third down pass that should have been intercepted but was dropped. With 2:50 to play and 2 timeouts plus the 2 minute warning, Jon Gruden chose to punt and trust his beleaguered defense. Asking them to get stops on consecutive possessions was too much to ask. The Cardinals took over at the Oakland 44.

Yet if the Raiders re the dumbest team in the league in terms of ability to self-destruct, the Cardinals might be second. Johnson lost 2 yards. Then he gained 4 yards, but a mind-numbingly stupid unnecessary roughness penalty on the offense after the play was over had the Cardinals facing 3rd and 23. Also, it stopped the clock. On the next play, Johnson broke free for a 57 yard touchdown. The collapse was complete. The Raiders had blown it again.

Not this time. Offensive holding wiped away the score. Now it was 3rd and 26 again. A give up run gained only one yard and took the clock to the 2 minute warning. At least this time the Raiders took over at their own 20 with 1:53 left and 0 timeouts. There was no time to run the ball. Carr had to do what he did 2 years ago with regularity: win games with heroics.

Carr hit Atman for 9 yards and Jared Cook for 2 more. He then spiked the ball to stop the clock with 1:07 left. Dinking and dunking was not going to get it done. The Raiders needed what Jon Gruden calls chunk plays. Carr went deep to Atman for 32 yards to the Arizona 37. On 3rd and 10, it was now a 55 yard field goal try with a 4th string kicker. The Raiders needed more yards but a sack would kill them. With everything on the line, Carr found Seth Roberts for 20 yards as the clocked ticked down. Carr raced up to the line as the clock kept ticking. He spiked the ball with 2 seconds left. Carlson came in to try a 35 yard field goal.

The Raiders were 1-8. The Cardinals were 2-7. In 2006, the Raiders went 2-14 but beat the Cardinals. In 2010 the Raiders went 8-8 and missed 9-7 because they lost to the Cardinals went Sebastian Janikowski missed a 32 yard field goal on the final play.

Carr finished 19 of 31 for 192 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. More importantly, the Raiders ran for 152 yards. Rosen was an awful 9 of 20 for 136 yards, but he had 3 touchdowns and 2 touchdowns. There is tanking in other sports. For a pair of bad teams, they certainly played all out for this win.

There is no tanking in football. Sure, the Raiders could purposely lose to guarantee the top draft pick. That dishonors everything about football. The Raiders are awful, but they had not quit. Jon Gruden and Derek Carr now needed this kicker to do his job, stop the bleeding, and avoid another gut punch. The kick was good. Carr and Gruden hugged. This was a long time coming. To the Raider Nation who never gave up and still watch every week, you are the true fans. This win was for you. There will be more wins in the future. Savor this one. 23-21 Raiders 

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints — The Eagles are the defending champions, but this year it’s the Saints looking like Super Bowl contenders. It was never a contest. The Saints moved from their 23 to a 3rd and 4 at the Philly 22. A short pass only gained 2 yards, but Wil Lutz hit the 38 yard field goal to start the deluge. The Saints got it back and moved 86 yards in 11 plays and 5 minutes. On 3rd and 9 from their own 15, Drew Brees hit Kirkwood for 10, Hill for 16, Thomas for 30, Kirkwood for 19, and Carr for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Saints after the first quarter.

Carson went deep and was intercepted at the Saints 16 yard line. Alvin Kamara ran for 16 yards. Brees hit Arnold for 23 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 2 from the Philly 42, Brees hit Smith for 9 yards and again for 8 more. Mark Ingram ran for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 17-0 Saints. The Eagles did move 75 yards. Adams ran for a 28 yard touchdown to get the Eagles within 17-7. After that it was all Saints.

The Saints got it back at their own 16 again. From their 19, Brees went to Smith for 22 yards and Thomas for 30 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Philly 24, Brees hit Smith for 9 and again for the 15 yard touchdown to make it 24-7 Saints at halftime. In the third quarter the Saints moved 70 yards. Brees hit Thomas for a 23 yard touchdown to make it 31-7 Saints. Doug Peterson decided to go for it on 4th and 5 at the Philly 41. Wentz threw incomplete. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Brees threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. Ingram got the one yard touchdown as the Saints led 38-7 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter the Saints took over at their own 13. Brees went deep to Smith for 38 yards. On 4th and 7 from the Philly 38, Sean Payton decided to go for it. Brees went deep to Kamara as the Saints were delivering a carpet-bombing up 45-7. They tacked on a field goal. For some reason went was still in the game. With 30 seconds left in the ultimate of garbage time, Wentz went to the end zone and was intercepted. The Eagles are 4-6 and will have to run the table just to have a shot at the playoffs. As for the Saints, Sean Payton and Drew Brees have done this before. They are 9-1 and looking scary. 48-7 Saints

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears was the Sunday night game. This was old-time NFC North smash mouth football that would have made the Purple People Eaters and the Monsters of the Midway proud. It was also a battle for the NFC North lead. Early on the Bears moved from their own 21 to a 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 15. The drive stalled and Cody Parkey hit the 33 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Bears.The Vikings then fumbled, but the Bears gave it back with an interception.

In the second quarter the bears faced 2nd and 11 at their own 17. Mitchell Trubisky hit Allen Robinson for 12 yards, Taylor Gabriel for 8 more on 3rd and 5, and scrambled himself for 6 more. Trubisky threw an 18 yard touchdown pass to Anthony Miller. He then went to Jay Bellamy for the 2 point conversion to lead 11-0. With 5 minutes left in the half the Bears moved from their 36 to a 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 25. The drive against stalled. Parkey hit from 41 as the Bears led 14-0 at the half the hard way.

An interception of Trubisky set up the Vikings at the Chicago 31 in the third quarter, but all they could muster was a 36 yard Dan Bailey field goal. The fourth quarter began with the bears fumbling and the Vikings again receiving gift field position at the Chicago 29. Again, they were held to another 36 yard Bailey field goal as the Vikings trailed 14-6.

The Vikings got the ball back again with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, but this time they were at their own 11 yard line. Cousins was intercepted by Jackson, who returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. Again, Matt Nagy decided to go for the 2 point conversion. Trubisky hit Shaheen for the score as the Bears led 22-6. For those wondering why he kept going for 2, it could be because his kicker doinked 4…yes 4…kicks off the upright no good last week.

From the Minnesota 26, Cousins hit Sean Diggs for gains of 9, 6, 13, and 4. Cousins then hit Robinson for 11. On 3rd and 10 from the Chicago 30, Cousins threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 10 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 13, Cousins went to Robinson for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed, but roughing the passer gave the Vikings another try. This time Cousins went to Adam Thielen and the Vikings were within 22-14 with 5 minutes left. If the defense could get a stop, they had a chance.

With 4 minutes left, on 3rd and 8 from their own 27, Trubisky hit Robinson for 17 yards and a key first down. Unnecessary roughness on the defense on the next play was a killer. On 3rd and 4 from the Minnesota 30, rather than play it safe, Nagy got aggressive. A run would have forced the Vikings to use their last timeout. Trubisky threw incomplete. On 4th and 4 with 2:48 left, Nagy had to trust his shaky kicker. From 48 yards out, Parkey delivered to put the Bears up by 25-14.

Needing 2 scores, Cousins desperately moved the offense, going 75 yards in 11 plays. With 90 seconds left the Vikings had 1st and goal at the 10. They still had their last timeout. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Cousins fired to Diggs for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed as the Vikings trailed by 5. The onside kick failed as the Bears got to 7-3 while Mike Zimmer saw his Vikings fall to 5-4 with the loss. 25-20 Bears

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams was the Monday night game. The 1958 NFL Championship Game was dubbed “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” 60 years from now, that label might belong to this game. This is why we watch football. The NFC Title Game Preview saw the Rams lose to the Saints 45-35. The AFC Title Game Preview saw the Chiefs lose to the Patriots 43-40. This was a legitimate Super Bowl Preview. Both teams came in 9-1, and they gave NFL fans a game for the ages. Originally scheduled for Mexico City, this game had to be moved to Los Angeles due to problematic conditions with Azteca Field.

The statistics in this game were mind-boggling. 105 total points. Both teams scored over 50 points. Quarterbacks Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes combined for 10 touchdown passes. Each of them had a passer rating over 117 and over 400 yards passing. The teams combined for 1001 yards. 35 points were scored in the fourth quarter alone. There were even 3 defensive touchdowns. Yes, at the very least, this deserves consideration as the greatest regular season ever played, or at least the most exciting. So let’s get to this full tilt pinball machine disguised as a football game.

The opening kickoff was a touchback, and it seemed like the only play where nobody scored. From the Rams 44, Goff hit Brandon Cooks for 30 yards. Goff hit Robert Woods for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 6-0 Rams after the missed extra point. The Rams got it back at their own 17. From the Rams 27, Goff hit Reynolds for 14, Higbee for 16, and Woods for 25. On 3rd and 11 from the Chiefs 19, the Chiefs jumped offsides. On 3rd and 6 Good hit Cooks for 8 yards and Josh Reynolds for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 Rams.

After a touchback the Chiefs came back Kareem Hunt ran for 27 yards. Mahomes went deep to Tyreek Hill for 20 yards and again for the 25 yard touchdown to get the Chiefs within 13-7. The Rams moved from their 16 to a 1st and goal at the 6. The second quarter began with the Rams facing 3rd and goal at the 5. Goff threw incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Walrus Lite Andy Reid challenged the call. Penalties cannot be challenged, but what can be challenged is whether the pass was tipped. On further review, the pass was tipped, meaning pass interference does not occur. So instead, it was 4th and goal at the 5. Greg Zuerlein hit the 23 yard field goal to make it 16-7 Rams.

The Chiefs came back after a touchback and moved to a 3rd and goal at the one. Hunt went around the end but got stopped for a one yard loss. On 4th and goal at the 2, Andy Reid decided not to gamble. Harrison Butker kicked the 20 yard field goal to get the Chiefs within 16-10. 3 plays later the Rams faced 3rd and 13 from their own 22. Goff was sacked by Bailey, who got the trifecta. The sack forced a fumble and Bailey recovered it at the Rams 21. One play later, Mahomes hit Hunt for the touchdown as the Chiefs had their first lead of the game up 17-16. It was the first lead change of the game.

The Chiefs got it back at their own 3 yard line. From their 22, disaster struck. Mahomes got belted and fumbled. Samson Ebukam returned it 11 yards for a defensive touchdown. The second lead change of the game had the Rams up 23-17 as both quarterbacks gave up a fumble that led to a touchdown. 1:50 still remained in the half. From the Chiefs 31, Mahomes hit Kelce for gains of 5 and 8, Conley for 5, and Kelce deep for a 37 yard gain. With 13 seconds left, the Chiefs faced 3rd and 4 at the Rams 8. Mahomes hit Conley for the score. The extra point was no good. It was only fitting that this heavyweight bout was tied 23-23 at the break. The second half was even crazier. Normally the pace slows down in these games. In this one it accelerated.

The Chiefs in the third quarter quickly moved from their 29 to a 1st and 10 at the Rams 25. Mahomes was then sacked and fumbled again. By the time the Rams recovered the ball, it was 29 yards the other way as the Rams took over at the Chiefs 46. On 3rd and 10, a completion from Goff to Reynolds gained only 9 yards. Wade Phillips is a great defensive coordinator, but this was not a game for Sean McVay to rely on the defense. Both teams needed to keep scoring, so McVay decided to go for it. Goff hit Higbee for 7 yards, Higbee fumbled it, recovered it himself, and gained 5 more yards. Goff then hit Higbee again for 15 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Goff ran for the touchdown to make it 30-23 Rams.

The Chiefs got it back at their own 36. A series of runs and short passes moved the Chiefs to the Rams 38. Mahomes then went deep to Kelce for 33 yards and again for the 4 yard touchdown. Midway through the third quarter, the game was tied 30-30. These teams were just getting warmed up. From the Rams 35, Goff hit Todd Gurley for gains of 19 and 13. On 3rd and 11 from the Chiefs 34, Goff hit Cooks for 13 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Chiefs 20, Gurley only gained 5 yards. Zuerlein hit the 33 yard field goal as the Rams led 33-30 late in the third quarter. Immediately after a touchback, Mahomes was intercepted by Ebukam, who returned it 25 yards for a defensive touchdown as the Rams led 40-30 after three quarters.

Very late in the third quarter, with the Chiefs facing 2nd and 9 at their own 25, it appeared disaster struck the Chiefs again. Mahomes was sacked again, fumbled again, and Littleton returned it 17 yards for another defensive touchdown. The Rams were an extra point away from what may have been an insurmountable 47-30 lead. Luckily for the Chiefs, officials reversed the score and ruled that Mahomes’s arm was going forward. The Chiefs punted and the Rams did likewise. The Chiefs took over 90 seconds into the fourth quarter still down 40-30 at their own 9 yard line.

Mahomes went to Kelce for 7, Hill for 11, and then went bombs away to a wide open Hill for a 73 yard touchdown. The Chiefs were within 40-37 with 12 minutes left. The Rams soon faced 3rd and 11 at their own 14. Goff got hit, fumbled, and Bailey grabbed it for a 2 yard touchdown. The third lead change of the game with 11 minutes left made it 44-40 Chiefs.

After a touchback, Gurley gained 5. Goff went to Reynolds for 27 yard and Woods for 36 more. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Goff went to Gerald Everett in a game where the only one who didn’t score was Jim Everett. The fourth lead change of the game with 9 1/2 minutes left had the Rams back up 47-44. Each team then went 3 and out as the Chiefs took over with 6 1/2 minutes left.

On 3rd and 9 from their own 36, Mahomes scrambled for 7 yards. On 4th and 2 from their own 43 with 4 1/2 minutes left, Andy Reid came to the same conclusion as his counterpart on the other sideline. Relying on the defense, despite some great plays on both sides, was not in the cards in this game. Reid had to go for it. Mahomes hit Kelce for 18 yards and Robinson for 14 more. A defensive penalty for lowering the head to initiate contact meant 1st and goal at the 10. Mahomes went to Conley for the touchdown. The 5th lead change of the game had the Chiefs up 51-47. There was still 2:47 left on the clock.

The Rams soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 26 with 2:09 left. Goff went to Cooks for 22 yards. From midfield, Goff went to Higbee for 10. On the next play Goff went deep to Everett for a 40 yard touchdown. The 6th lead change of the game had the Rams back up by a field goal. However, the Chiefs still had 1:49 to work with in a game where neither team tried to run down clock.

On 3rd and 10 from their own 26, Mahomes went to Hill for 26 yards. On the next play, Mahomes went deep and was intercepted by his former teammate Marcus Peters. The Rams had the ball at their own 35 with 90 seconds left. However, the Chiefs had all 3 timeouts. Had the Rams run the ball 3 times, the Chiefs would have used all 3 timeouts. Despite having a potential league MVP in Gurley (to be fair many of the players on these teams could be the MVP), Sean McVay turned into Mike Martz. He did not even try to run the ball even once. Yes, with 90 seconds left, he kept passing.

With help from a false start and an incompletion that stopped the clock, the Chiefs prevented a first down. Game like these rarely mention punters, but Rams punter Johnny Hekker boomed a 68 yard punt. For the second time in the fourth quarter, Hill tried to return it from deep inside his own 10 yard line rather than allow a touchback. Trying to make something happen, the Chiefs ended up starting at their own 12 yard line with 50 seconds left. The Chiefs took their last timeout with 25 seconds left at their own 26. Mahomes went deep, and for the second time in the last 2 minutes of the game, he was intercepted again. The game no viewer wanted to end finally did end. There would be no overtime.

Mahomes went 33 of 46 and Goff finished 31 of 49. Mahomes threw for 478 yards and Goff added 413 of his own. Mahomes threw 6 touchdown passes. Yes, 6 touchdown passes and his team lost. He also had 5 turnovers, 3 interceptions and 2 fumbles. Again, the last 2 interceptions were during desperation time. Goff had 4 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions, although he did also lose 2 fumbles. Mahomes was sacked 3 times, Goff 5 times. Mahomes had the slight edge in quarterback rating 117.6 to 117.1, which nobody understands. A Super Bowl rematch would be a ratings blockbuster. Again, THIS is why we watch football. Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk led the Greatest Show on Turf, but even they had to marvel at this game in Los Angeles. 54-51 Rams   

NFL 2018 Week 11 Prequel

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 11 Prequel

Azteca Stadium out. NFL 2018 Week 11 Preview and Bettor’s Guide