NFL 2016 Week 6 Recap
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers was the Thursday night game. Despite losing last week to fall to 4-1 and Gary Kubiak in the hospital, Denver and their backup coach were expected to take the 1-4 Chargers and finally put Mike McCoy out of his misery. As ESPN’s uber-announcer Chris Berman reminds us, “That’s why they play the games.” Early on Philip Rivers led a 12 play, 75 yard, 7 minute drive and hit Henry for a 5 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Chargers lead. In the second quarter a staggering 18 play, 75 yard drive consumed 10 minutes off the clock, yet the Chargers settled for a 37 yard Josh Lambo field goal and a 10-0 lead. A fumbled punt had the Broncos starting at the San Diego 11, but the offense did nothing. Brandon McManus hit a 29 yard field goal as the Broncos trailed 10-3 at halftime.
The second half was even uglier. The only player who did anything in the third quarter was Lambo. He connected from 21, 31 and 32 for a 19-3 Chargers lead. In the fourth quarter Russell Okung was called for holding in the end zone. The safety gave the Chargers a 21-3 lead. San Diego has led in all 5 of their games, and blown leads in 4 of those games. Midway through the fourth quarter Trevor Siemian hit Fowler for a 5 yard touchdown as the Broncos got within 21-10.
Denver got it back at their own 37 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chargers 20. Siemian hit CJ Anderson, who bounced off a pair of bad tackles and scored the touchdown. It appeared the Broncos were right back in it and the Chargers were collapsing again. Yet offensive holding nullified the touchdown. On the next play Siemian got belted for a 10 yard loss. On 2nd and 30 from the Chargers 40, a short pass to Denarius Thomas saw him get blasted and fumble the ball. The Chargers recovered at their own 29 with 3 1/2 minutes left. The Broncos used their timeouts on defense and got the ball back with 3 minutes left. Needing 2 scores, McManus hit a field goal with 27 seconds left and followed it up with a perfect onside kick as the Broncos took over at their own 46. On 4th and 1 from the San Diego 45 with 8 seconds left, Simian’s Hail Mary was far short of the end zone and knocked down. The Chargers finally failed to blow a game as the Broncos have now lost two straight. 21-13 Chargers
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots — This game was surprisingly competitive for awhile. Early on Tom Brady threw a 32 yard pass to Rob Gronkowski, but the Patriots settled for a 46 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal. In the second quarter, Red Rifle Andy Dalton completed passes of 22 and 14 yards to AJ Green & ran the final 2 yards himself for a 7-3 Bengals lead. Cincinnati’s defense was playing well as the Patriots were backed up to a 3rd and 18. Yet a personal foul on the defense gave the Patriots another chance, and you don’t do that with Brady. He went to Hogan for 39 yards and then to White for a 15 yard touchdown as the Patriots led 10-7 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Bengals marched 80 yards and Dalton hit Brandon LaFell for a 5 yard score to make it 14-10 Bengals. Cincinnati got it back deep in their own territory. Dalton was sacked in the end zone by Donte Hightower for a safety as the Patriots were within 14-12. After the free kick, Brady hit Gronkowski for 38 yards and then for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 19-14 Patriots. New England got it back and it was practically deja vu. Brady hit Gronk again for 38 yards and this time hit White for the 4 yard touchdown. Despite the missed extra point, the Patriots led 25-14 after three quarters.
Early in the fourth quarter Dalton hit Boyd for 30 yards as the Bengals faced a critical 3rd and 2 at the New England 7. Dalton threw incomplete and Marvin Lewis opted for the field goal. Mike Nugent hit from 25 as the Bengals were within 25-17. The Patriots then held the ball for 6 1/2 minutes and moved 62 yards in 12 plays. Stephen Gostkowski hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 28-17 Patriots. New England finished the Bengals off when Laguerrette Blount ran it in from one yard out ti complete the scoring. Tom Brady finished a white hot 29 of 35 for 376 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. 35-17 Patriots
Baltimore Ravens at New York Giants — A pair of struggling inconsistent teams struggled and played inconsistently. Early on the Ravens moved into the red zone but settled for a 23 yard Justin Tucker field goal to lead 3-0. The Giants fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Ravens recovered. West got in from one yard out as the Ravens led 10-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Giants moved from their 20 to a 3rd and 24 at the Baltimore 24. Eli Manning went to Lewis for the touchdown as the Giants trailed 10-7 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Giants moved 72 yards in 15 plays and 5 minutes, but could not crack the end zone. A 1st and goal run lost 2 yards and Manning threw incomplete twice. Josh Brown hit the 21 yard field goal to tie the game 10-10. The Giants got it back and soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 20. manning was intercepted, giving Baltimore the ball at the Giants 27. A sack of Joe Flacco killed the drive, but Tucker hit from 39 to make it 13-10 Ravens. This time the Giants needed only one play and 12 seconds. Manning went deep to O’Dell Beckham, who did what he does. The 75 yard touchdown put the Giants up 17-13 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter Tucker hit a 35 yard field goal and Brown countered from 31 as the Giants led 20-16. With 4 1/2 minutes left the Ravens faced 4th and 1 at their own 34. John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Rather than bang it up the middle, Flacco went deep to Aiken for a 22 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Giants 38, Flacco threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie meant 30 more yards for the Ravens. On 3rd and goal from the 2, just before the 2 minute warning, West got in and the Ravens led 23-20. With 1:36 to play, the Giants now faced 4th and 1 at their own 34. Ben McAdoo put the ball in the hands of his best players. Manning threw a quick pass to Beckham, who burned everyone for a 66 yard touchdown and a 4 point Giants lead.
Baltimore took over at their own 32. With 22 seconds left on 4th and 5 from the Giants 39, Flacco threw incomplete. Yet roughing the passer g ave the Ravens 1st and 10 at the Giants 24 with 15 seconds left. A pair of incompletions and a delay of game meant 3rd and 15 from the 29 with 7 seconds left. Flacco’s final Hail Mary was incomplete. Hall of Famer Bill Parcells would probably look at Beckham and say that we should not put him in the Hall of Fame just yet. Maybe we should. When you play like that, you can have multi-colored dreadlocks and get away with it. Flacco was 26 of 48 for 307 yards without a touchdown or interception. Manning was 32 of 46 for 403 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. 27-23 Giants
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints — Early on this game was all Saints, as everything came easy in the Big Easy. The Saints went 75 yards and Coby Fleener marched into the end zone from 2 yards out for a 7-0 Saints lead. The Saints got it back and were pinned at their own 7 yard line. On 3rd and 4 from their 13, Drew Brees found Cooks for an 87 yard touchdown as the saints led 14-0 after the first quarter. Lewis then returned a punt 59 yards to the Carolina 29. Brees hit Thomas for a 9 yard touchdown as the Saints were rolling up 21-0. After an interception of Cam Newton, the Saints moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Carolina 35. Ingram got the carry and got stopped. On 4th and 1, after initially planning to go for the kill shot, Sean Payton went with the 53 yard field goal try. It was no good, and momentum swung.
Graham Gano hit a 42 yard field goal to get the Panthers on the board. Carolina got it back and Newton hit Devon Funchess for a 17 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 21-10. However, Will Lutz hit a 33 yard field goal at the end of the half to give the Saints a 24-10 lead.
In the third quarter the Panthers eventually moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Saints 17 when Newton threw incomplete. Riverboat Ron Rivera decided to go for it. Newton threw incomplete, but defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Newton hit Dickson for the score as the Panthers were within 24-17. Brees kept firing. After hitting Thomas for 23 yards, he fired a laser to Fleener over the middle. Fleecer split the seams and raced for a 50 yard touchdown to make it 31-17 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter began with the Panthers facing 1st and 10 at the Saints 34. Again Newton went deep and again defensive pass interference had the Panthers one yard away. Stewart got in on the next play and the Panthers were within 31-24. Carolina got it back at midfield after an interception of Brees and Stewart again got in from the one. The Panthers thought they had tied the game, but Gano stunningly missed the extra point as the Panthers trailed 31-30.
Sean Payton and Drew Brees do not do ground and pound. Brees kept firing and brought the Saints back again. 75 yards came quickly. After a touchback, Brees went deep to Cooks for a 49 yard gain and an 8 yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Hill had the Saints up 38-30 with 6 minutes left. Newton drove the Panthers from their 22 to the Saints 35. Newton went deep incomplete but defensive pass interference put the ball on the two. Newton got around the end and in. Newton hit Funchess for the 2 point conversion and the game was deadlocked 38-38 with 3 minutes left.
At the 2 minute warning, the Saints faced 3rd and 9 at their own 26. Brees found Cadet for just enough. With 26 seconds to play, the Saints faced 3rd and 7 at the Carolina 40. Brees hit Cook for 6. On 4th and 1, Lutz came in for a 52 yard field goal with 16 seconds left. It was a knuckleball, and somehow was good. Newton finished 27 of 47 for 322 yards and 2 touchdown passes. However, Carolina after going 15-1 last year is a 1-5 mess this year. Brees finished a ridiculous 34 of 49 for 465 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Each quarterback was intercepted once. 41-38 Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins — The Steelers are a good team. The Dolphins are a bad team. As ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman reminds us, “That’s why they play the games.” Early on Franks hit a 30 yard field goal for a 3-0 Dolphins lead. yet Darrius Hayward-Bey rumbled 60 yards for a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger hit Leveon Bell for the 2 point conversion as the Steelers led 8-3 after the first quarter. Given the anemic Miami offense, that should have been enough. Yet on this day, it was the Pittsburgh offense that went ice cold.
In the second quarter Ryan Tannehill hit gray for a 53 yard gain and Franks hit from 23 to get the Dolphins within 8-6. On the next play from scrimmage after a touchback, Big Ben was intercepted. Miami settled for a 30 yard Franks field goal and a 9-8 lead. The Dolphins held on defense, and got it back and soon faced 3rd and 7 at the Pittsburgh 41. Tannehill Landry for a 39 yard gain and Williams got it from the one to make it 16-8 Dolphins at halftime.
In the third quarter the Dolphins moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Pittsburgh 5. Arriun Foster lost a yard, and Franks had his 24 yard field goal try blocked. It didn’t matter. Big Ben was intercepted again. Ajayi broke off a 33 yard run and his one yard touchdown made it 23-8 Dolphins after three quarters. In the fourth quarter on 4th and 1 at the Pittsburgh 31, Adam case went for the field goal. From 50, Franks again was no good. With 4:20 to play the Steelers were pinned at their own 3 yard line. Roethlisberger moved the Steelers. On 3rd and 10 from the Miami 47, Big Ben hit Bell for 18 and Hamilton for the 23 yard touchdown with one minute left. Yet the onsides kick failed. Ajayi raced for a 62 yard touchdown and Miami had the stunning upset. 30-15 Dolphins
Jacksonville Jaguars at Chicago Bears — Sometimes a pair of horrendously bad teams can play a thrilling game. This was not that game. In the second quarter Connor Barth hit a 36 yard field goal and Howard got in from one yard out for a 10-0 Bears halftime lead. Barth hit from 24 as the bears led 13-0 after three quarters. All they had to do was continue to hold off the lifeless Jacksonville offense. At the end of the third quarter, the Jaguars faced 3rd and 7 at the Chicago 47. Blake Bortles threw incomplete, but a roughing the passer penalty gave the Jaguars another chance.
Bortles hit Alex Hurns for 29 yards. Chris Ivory got in from one yard out to start the fourth quarter as the Jaguars only trailed 13-7. Jacksonville got it back but Bortles was sacked and fumbled. Despite taking over at the Jacksonville 28, the Bears settled for a 32 yard Barth field goal to lead 16-7 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Jaguars got it back and moved into the red zone. Josh Myers hit from 30 as the Jaguars only trailed 16-10 with 5 minutes left. With 3:18 to play, the Jaguars got it back at their own 22. They needed less than 30 seconds as a quick pass from Bortles to Benn went for a 51 yard touchdown. Now the Jaguars were up by a point. With one minute left and facing 4th and 10 from the Jacksonville 48, Bryan Hoyer threw incomplete and the Chicago collapse was complete. Bears fans quickly turned to thinking about the Cubs. 17-16 Jaguars
San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills — Blaine Gabbert has been benched, and some mod squad leftist political activist named Colin Kaepernick was brought in to face off against Rex Ryan’s defense. Kaepernick should have stayed on his knees on the sideline rather than play this game. He took a beating. Early on a Buffalo fumble led to a 33 yard Phil Dawson field goal as the 49ers led 3-0. The Bills came back 75 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes as LeSean Shady McCoy ran it in from 4 yards out for a 7-3 Bills lead. In the second quarter Kaepernick threw to Torry Smith for a 53 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 49ers. The Bills came back 75 yards again and McCoy ran it in from 12 yards out for a 14-10 Bills lead. Phil Dawson hit a 48 yard field goal and Dan Carpenter responded from 40 as the Bills took a 17-13 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter the Buffalo offense moved at will 75 yards again. Tyrod Taylor hit Hunter for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 24-13 Bills after three quarters. Early in the fourth quarter Dawson hit from 47 to get the 49ers within 24-16. What had been a close game then got blown wide open.
75 yards was a piece of cake for the resurgent Buffalo offense. McCoy’s third touchdown from 18 yards out made it 31-16 Bills. The 49ers fumbled on the next play, and a 22 yard penalty on San Francisco put the ball at the 49ers 5 yard line. One play later Tyrod Taylor hit Woods for the touchdown to make it 38-16 Bills. Buffalo got it back and Gillislee ran for a 44 yard touchdown to complete the blowout. Watching Rex Ryan’s defense beat up the 49ers mod squad quarterback was almost as fun as watching George W. Bush’s American Army kick Saddam’s @ss. 45-16 Bills
Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions — A pair of up and down teams met as Jim Caldwell’s offense played chess with Jeff Fisher’s defense. These teams traded blows in a very good football game. in the first quarter, both teams had 75 yard drives. Matthew Stafford hit Marvin Jones for a 7 yard score. Case Keenum responded with a 20 yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt for a 7-7 game after the first quarter. in the second quarter Keenum led an 11 play, 84 yard, 6 minute drive and got the last yard himself. Stafford led a 14 play, 75 yard, 8 minute drive and hit Roberts for the 2 yard touchdown and a 14-14 halftime game.
In the third quarter it was the Lions going 60 yards and Stafford hitting Anquon Boldin for a 4 yard score for the Lions. The rams came back 75 yards and Keenum hit Kendricks for a 15 yard score and a 21-21 game after three quarters. In the fourth quarter it was the Rams moving 80 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes and Keenum hitting Britt again from 9 yards out. Then Stafford hit Golden tate for a 23 yard score to cap a 13 play, 84 yard, 8 minute drive. A game that was deadlocked after each of the first three quarters was deadlocked 28-28 with 6 minutes left in regulation.
Detroit finally held on defense and got the ball back at their own 39 with 5 minutes left. On 3rd and 1, Stafford hit Bolden for 11 yards. On 3rd and 13 from the Rams 29, Stafford hit Tate for 12 yards. On 4th and 1 from the 17, Matt Prater came in for a 34 yard field goal with 90 seconds left to give Detroit the lead. The kick was good. Two plays later Keenum in a mistake free game, Keenum was intercepted. Keenum finished a lights out 27 of 32 for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns, but the one interception was the killer. Stafford finished 23 of 31 for 270 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Jim Caldwell was so pleased, he almost made a facial expression. 31-28 Lions
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans — A pair of bad teams played as the hungry Browns were desperate to get their first win for Hue Jackson. Early on Marcus Mariota capped a 75 yard drive but hitting Ryan Matthews for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Titans. Cody Parkey hit field goals of 45 and 37 yards as the Browns trailed 7-6 after the first quarter. In the second quarter Mariota hit Kenny Wright for a 48 yard touchdown and a 14-6 Titans lead. Yet Kessler brought the Browns back 94 yards and hit Terrell Pryor for a 7 yard score as the Browns only trailed 14-13 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Titans moved 70 yards and DeMarco Murray ran it in from 3 yards out to make it 21-13 Titans after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Titans moved 80 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. Mariota hit Anthony Fasano for a 15 yard touchdown as the Titans led 28-13 with only 6:45 left to play. Yet the Brown mounted a furious comeback.
With 2:10 to play, Kessler hit Pryor for a 5 yard touchdown. Yet Hue Jackson made the very curious decision to go for 2. Kessler threw incomplete and the Browns trailed 28-19. Even though the onside kick succeeded, the 2 point try fail made it all for naught. On 3rd and goal from the one with 30 seconds left, Johnson got it. Instead of being down 8 and going for 2 to tie it, the Browns were down by 9 and needing 2 scores. They kicked the extra point and lost by 2 when the next onsides kick went out of bounds. 28-26 Browns
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins — Early on it was Kirk Cousins needing only 3 plays to move the Redskins 71 yards. Cousins hit Crowder for a 16 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Redskins lead. In the second quarter the Redskins moved 90 yards and Cousins hit Vernon Davis for 13 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Redskins. The Eagles could not get on the board with offense, so special teams and defense bailed them out. Smallwood returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a score to get the eagles within 14-7. Malcolm Jenkins then returned an interception of Cousins 64 yards for another touchdown and a 14-14 game. Cousins regrouped and calmly led a 13 play, 75 yard drive to close out the half. Jones got in from one yard out as the Redskins led 21-14 at the intermission.
The second half was all defense, with each field goal kicker hitting a kick twice. Dustin hopkins hit from 32 for the Redskins in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Caleb Sturgis hit from 38. Hopkins responded from 50 and Sturgis answered again from 28 to keep it a 7 point game with 5 1/2 minutes left. With 2:06 to play, the Eagles faced 2nd and 6 form the Washington 42. Carson went was then sacked for consecutive 9 yard losses. On 3rd and 7 from their own 26, Jones ran for a 57 yard gain to let the Redskins run out the clock. 27-20 Redskins
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders — The Raiders are improved, but they always struggle against Kansas City, especially at home. The curse of Marcus Allen has long expired, but the Raiders seem to be the only team that cannot stop Alex Smith. His dink and dunk West Coast Offense fails against the rest of the league, but somehow the Raiders cannot figure out plays that fans at home know are coming. Jalen Richard returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to the chiefs 46. Derek Carr hit Amari Cooper for gains of 11, 19 and 11 yard again. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Carr hit Andre Holmes for the touchdown. The Raiders led 7-0 only 3 minutes into the game that began with hard rain. The Raiders took the remaining 57 minutes off.
Oakland held on defense and got the ball back at their own 19. From their 29, Carr went deep and was intercepted at the Chiefs 43. Ware ran for a 2 yard touchdown for a 7-7 game. In the second quarter, the Raiders moved from their 22 to a 4th and 6 at the Chiefs 34. Jack Del Rio opted for the field goal, and from 52 yards out, Sebastian Janikowski was no good. With good field position at their own 42, the Raiders melted on defense. Jamal Charles ran for a 17 yard gain and for a 4 yard touchdown. Cairo Santos missed the extra point, but the Chiefs led 13-7. The Raiders moved from their 24 to a 4th and 5 at the Chiefs 32 after Carr threw incomplete. This time Jack Del Rio passed up the 50 yard field goal try and went for it. Carr threw incomplete again.
The Chiefs moved from their 32 to a 3rd and 1 at the Oakland 18. Ware got the carry and lost 2 yards as the Raiders called timeout with 28 seconds left. From 38 yards out, Santos was no good as each kicker missed a first half field goal. The Raiders took over at their own 28 with only 25 seconds left. Carr hit Cooper for gains of 9 and 15 and Clive Walford for 20. Carr hurried to the line and spiked the ball with one second left. Janikowski came in for a 46 yarder. This time Seabass was good. The Raiders trailed 13-10 at halftime, but they had all the momentum.
That changed rapidly as the Chiefs began the third quarter moving 75 yards easily. From the Oakland 48, ware raced for a 45 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Andy Reid went to his bag of tricks. Defender Donte Poe came in as a fullback. Poe got the carry and the touchdown as the Chiefs led 20-10. The Raiders went 3 and out and a 50 yard punt return had the Chiefs at the Oakland 36. A short pass from Smith to Ware gained 30 yards. The only reason the game was not a bigger blowout was because Smith’s sinking and dunking usually loses the Chiefs points. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Smith threw one of his typical West Coast Offense passes that was complete for a 2 yard loss. It is called the forward pass for a reason, but Smith likes his sideways passes. Santos hit the 22 yard field goal as the Chiefs led 23-10 after three quarters.
With 10 minutes left in regulation, Santos hit from 44 to complete the scoring as the Raiders offense was awful the entire second half. A win would have gotten the Raiders to 5-1 and sole possession of first place for the first time since 2002. Instead they fell back into a first place tie with Denver, only half a game ahead of Kansas City. The Raiders are much improved, but they ere not nearly as good as their 4-1 record coming into the game. The secondary is a mess, and on this day the run defense was pretty bad as well. The Raiders 4 victories came by a combined 12 points because of late game heroics by Carr. Relying on him every week is too much to ask. He needs help on the defensive side of the ball and he is not getting it. Losing at home to sinking and dunking is unacceptable. 26-10 Chiefs
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks — Dan Quinn faced off against his former team as the league’s best offense squared off against the league’s best defense, the Legion of Boom. Late in the first quarter, the Falcons faced 3rd and 5 at their own 14. Matt Ryan was sacked and fumbled, and the Seahawks recovered at the Atlanta 9. One play later Michael ran for the touchdown and the 7-0 Seahawks lead. In the second quarter Matt Bryant hit a 33 yard field goal to get the Falcons on the board. Yet the Seahawks came back with a 75 yard drive and Collins got in from 2 yards out to make it 14-3 Seahawks. A field position game gave the Seahawks the ball back at the Atlanta 45 at the 2 minute warning. Steve Hauschka hit from 42 to have the Seahawks up 17-3 at halftime.
The game completely changed in the third quarter. The Falcons took the second half kickoff and went 75 yards. Ryan threw a 36 yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones to get the Falcons within 17-10. Seattle went 3 and out and Atlanta came back 79 yards. Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for a 10 yard touchdown and a 17-17 game. Seattle failed to convert on 3rd and 1 from their own 45, and Pete Carroll opted to punt. The Falcons took over at their own 3 yard line. Ryan hit Hardy for 11 yards, Jones for 24 more, and Toilolo for a 46 yard touchdown. 21 unanswered points turned a 14 point halftime deficit into a 24-17 Falcons lead after three quarters.
The Seahawks began the fourth quarter moving from their 26 to a 1st and goal at the 10. A run went nowhere and Russell Wilson threw incomplete twice. In a stunner, Hauschka missed a 29 yard field goal with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Seattle got it back with 8 1/2 minutes left at their own 30. On 3rd and 6 from the Atlanta 47, Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for 10 yards. A 17 yard defensive pass interference penalty led to Michael running it in from one yard out with 5 minutes to play. Yet the game would not be tied as Hauschka’s nightmarish day continued. The extra point was blocked as the Seahawks trailed 24-23.
Rather than try and run down the clock, Dan Quinn stayed aggressive, calling three straight pass plays. Ryan targeted his best receiver against the Seattle defense, and the defense won. A pass for Jones was intercepted by earl Thomas at midfield with 4 minutes left. At the 2 minute warning, Hauschka came in for a 44 yard field goal. This time he was good, and the Seahawks and the lead at the 2 minute warning. After a touchback, Ryan threw 4 straight incompletions. On 4th and 10, his pass to Jones was defended by Richard Sherman. Quinn exploded on the sideline, demanding a pass interference call. Sherman pointed out after the game that the officials had let the players play all day. This was not Sherman taking on Michael Crabtree in the NFC Title Game, but it could be a future NFC Title Game preview. Jones is a superstar, but on this night Sherman had the last laugh. Boom. 26-24 Seahawks
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers — It is one thing for Dak Prescott to play well at home. To go into Green Bay against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, that is another story entirely. Prescott went right to work, as a 75 yard drive culminated in him hitting Cole Beasley for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Cowboys. Green Bay’s offense has not been in sync for long stretches this year, and they did not finish drives on this night either. Mason Crosby hit 37 yard first quarter field goal and a 43 yarder in the second quarter to get the Packers within 7-6. Dan Bailey hit from 44 for a 10-6 Cowboys lead.
With 2:15 left in the half, the Packers faced 4th and 5 at the Dallas 38. Mike McCarthy decided to go for it and Rodgers threw incomplete. Green Bay got it back near midfield and again could not move the ball. With one minute left in the half of a close game, a good punt had the Cowboys pinned at their own 3 yard line and just trying to get to halftime. On 3rd and 1 from the 12 with 45 seconds left, Whitehead ran for a 26 yard gain. With better field position, Prescott went deep to Terrence Williams for a 42 yard gain. On the next play Prescott went to Brice Butler for the 20 yard touchdown. 97 yards in only 5 plays and 90 seconds had the Cowboys up 17-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter Rodgers was intercepted, leading to a 22 yard Bailey field goal and a 20-6 Cowboys lead. Rodgers then led a 12 play, 74 yard drive that consumed over 6 1/2 minutes. On 1st and goal from the one, Rodgers fumbled and the Cowboys recovered. The Packers got it right back when Prescott threw a pass on 3rd and 8 from the Dallas 6 that was intercepted. Yet despite Green Bay having 1st and 10 at the Dallas 16, a run went nowhere and Rodgers threw incomplete twice to open the fourth quarter. Crosby hit from 34 but the Packers were still down 20-9.
Dallas soon faced 3rd and 1 from their own 34. Rather than play it safe, Jason Garrett unleashed Prescott, showing a ton of trust in the rookie that has totally been earned. Prescott went deep to Whitehead for a 35 yard gain. Prescott hit Beasley for a 4 yard touchdown and a 27-9 Cowboys lead. Midway through the fourth quarter Rodgers finally got the Packers in the end zone, but nothing else. Bailey tacked on one more field goal from 32 yards to complete the decisive Dallas road win. The Cowboys are 5-1, and Prescott is living up to his preseason hype as the next breakout superstar. Meanwhile, the Packers have some serious questions on offense. 30-16 Cowboys
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans was the Sunday night game. Early on it was all Colts. Adam Vinatieri hit a 41 yard field goal in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Andrew Luck hit Doyle for a 22 yard touchdown. Adam Vinatieri tacked on a 37 yard field goal as the Colts led 13-0. Nick Novak hit a 27 yard field goal to get the Texans on the board down 13-3 at the half. In the third quarter the Texans moved 82 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. Miller got in from the one. Novak missed the extra point as the Texans trailed 13-9. With one minute left in the third quarter, the Colts faced 4th and 1 at the Houston 8. Chuck Pagano decided to go for it and Luck was sacked for a 5 yard loss. Yet 2 plays later Brock Osweiler was intercepted at the Houston 20. Two plays later, Luck began the fourth quarter by scrambling for a 14 yard touchdown and a 20-9 Colts lead. Midway through the fourth quarter Vinatieri hit a 36 yard field goal. The Colts led 23-9, and the game appeared over.
After a touchback, Osweiler finally got going. On 3rd and 9 from midfield, he hit Deandre Hopkins for 10 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the 10, Osweiler hit Miller for the touchdown. The Texans were within 23-16, but only 2 1/2 minutes remained. The Colts self-destructed on offense as a sack of Luck had the Colts punting on 4th and 21 from their own 10. The Texans got it back at their own 47 with 1:50 to play. Osweiler needed only 3 plays. He hit Miller for 16 and Fiedorowicz for 11 and again for a 26 yard touchdown. With 49 seconds left in regulation, the game was tied 23-23 thanks to 2 touchdowns in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
A very short kick was returned 10 yards to the Indianapolis 32, and Luck quickly hit Rogers for 18 yards to midfield. From the Houston 48, an 11 yard completion had the Colts in very long field goal range. Yet on further review the call was reversed incomplete. Luck threw incomplete on 3rd and 8 and the game went into overtime. The Colts moved from their 26 to a 3rd and 3 at their own 47. Again Luck took a sack, this time for a 9 yard loss. The Texans took over at their own 33. From the Indy 48, Osweiler went deep to strong for a 36 yard gain. Bill O’Brien took no chances at this point. Osweiler took a knee to center the ball and Novak nailed the 33 yard field goal on second down. 20 unanswered points had mercurial Colts owner Jim Irsay wishing he had fired everyone last year. 29-23 Texans, OT
New York Jets at Arizona Cardinals was the Monday night game. Last year these teams were a combined 23-9, yet they entered this contest a combined 3-7. It was a mismatch from the start. In the first quarter one play and 12 seconds was enough time for David Johnson to run for a 58 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Cardinals lead. Nick Folk hit a 39 yard field goal for the Jets in the second quarter, concluding all Jets highlights. Johnson capped off an 11 play, 75 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive with a 2 yard touchdown run as the Cardinals led 14-3 at halftime. In the third quarter Johnson ran for another 2 yard touchdown to culminate a 14 play, 68 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. Bruce Arians was eschewing the typical quick strike offense for smash mouth football and a 21-3 Cardinals lead after three quarters. In the fourth quarter it was a 14 play, 89 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive that had Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd for the 9 yard final touchdown. Todd Bowles has a 1-5 mess of a team. Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched in the fourth quarter for Geno Smith, who fumbled once and was intercepted once. Johnson finished with 111 yards on 22 carries and 3 touchdowns. This was a beatdown. 28-3 Cardinals