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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

NFL 2018 Week 10 Recap

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 10 Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFL 2018 Week 10 Prequel

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 10 Prequel

Who’s on first? NFL 2018 Week 10 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

 

NFL 2018 Week 9 Recap

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 9 Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFL 2018 Week 9 Prequel

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 9 Prequel

The new ghoulish NFL: The 2018 Week 9 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2018 Week 8 Recap

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 8 Recap

Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans was the Thursday night game. Brock Osweiler again got the start for the injured Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins started 3-0 and faded. The Texans started 0-3 and have not lost since. The Dolphins moved from their own 30 to a 4th and 1 at the Houston 28. Adam Gase decided to go for it. Rather than run the ball, the Dolphins went with a pass and Osweiler threw incomplete. Miami got it back and moved from their 42 to a 4th and 1 at the Houston 24. This time Adam tase decided on a 42 yard field goal. The kick was good, but unnecessary roughness on the defense caused Gase to take the points off the board. On the next play Kenyan Drake ran for a 12 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Dolphins. After a touchback the Texans answered. On 3rd and 1 from the Houston 44, DeShain Watson ent to Fuller for 34 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Lamar Miller got in for a 7-7 ballgame after the first quarter.

On the first play of the second quarter, Osweiler was intercepted by Reid, who returned it 21 yards to the Miami 16. Watson went to Jordan Thomas for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Texans. The Dolphins moved from their 20 to a 3rd and 5 at the Houston 19 with 3 minutes left in the half. Osweiler threw incomplete. Jason Sanders hit a 37 yard field goal to get the Dolphins within 14-10.

In the third quarter after a touchback, Miller ran for 8 yards and then broke free for a 58 yard gain. On 4th and goal at the 2, Bill O’Brien decided to go for it. Watson hit Thomas for the touchdown to make it 21-10 Texans. An exchange of punts had the Dolphins taking over just shy of midfield. Adam Gase went to the bag of tricks. It was Danny Amendola throwing the option pass to Drake for a 28 yard touchdown to get the Dolphins within 21-17. After a touchback the Texans struck quickly. Watson went deep to Will Fuller for a 73 yard touchdown and a 28-17 Texans lead.

The problem for the Dolphins is that they were kicking field goals while the Texans were scoring touchdowns. On 3rd and 11 from the Miami 24, Osweiler threw a pass that resembled the Immaculate Reception but was far less consequential. One receiver briefly caught it, got blasted, saw it doing off another defender’s helmet forward, and land into the arms of Parker for a 46 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 3 from the Houston 23, Osweiler threw incomplete. Sanders hit the 41 yard field goal as the Dolphins trailed 28-20 after three quarters.

Adam Gase tried a surprise onside kick, but it failed as the Texans took over just past midfield. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Watson went deep to DeAndre Hopkins for a 49 yard touchdown to make it 35-20 Texans. The Dolphins moved from their 26 to a 3rd and 4 at the Houston 28. Osweiler threw incomplete. Needing 2 touchdowns, Adam Gase opted for a field goal with 11 1/2 minutes remaining. Sanders hit the 46 yarder to get the Dolphins within 35-23, but their defense could not get a stop. After a touchback, Watson went to Hopkins for 19 yards. Defensive pass interference added 38 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Watson hit Hopkins for the touchdown to ice the game. Houston has won 5 straight games to get to 5-3. Watson only threw 20 passes, completing 16 of them for 239 yards. More importantly, he had 5 touchdown passes with 0 interceptions. 42-23 Texans

Philadelphia Eagles at Jacksonville Jaguars was the Sunday early morning game from London. Forget 2017. These teams came in both 3-4 and desperate. The eagles moved from their 25 to the Jacksonville 37. Carson Wentz was sacked and fumbled. The Jaguars moved from their 28 to a 3rd and 1 at the Philly 32. Carlos Hyde got the carry and lost a yard. Josh Lambo hit the 50 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Jaguars. The Eagles moved from their 14 to the Jacksonville 23. Wentz went to the end zone and was intercepted for a touchback. The Eagles got it back and moved from their 23 to a 1st and goal at the 6. A run went nowhere and then Wentz was sacked. Jake Elliott did hit a 31 yard field goal for a 3-3 game midway through the second quarterback.

The Jaguars reclaimed the lead with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half when Lambo nailed a 57 yard field goal. Philly went 3 and out and the Jaguars got it back at their own 42 with 1:40 left in the half. Blake Bortles hit Cole for 15 yards, but Cole fumbled and Malcolm Jenkins recovered for the defense. The Eagles took over at the Jacksonville 44. For 29 minutes Jacksonville’s defense was solid. The last minute they were not. On 3rd and 11 from the Jags 45, Wentz scrambled for 13 yards. On the next play Wentz went to Dallas Goedert for a 32 yard touchdown and a 10-6 Eagles lead at the break.

In the third quarter a great punt had the Eagles at their own 5, soon facing 3rd and 9 at their own 6. Wentz found Alshon Jeffery for 12 yards. Adams then ran for 21 yards. On 3rd and 2 just past midfield, Wentz hit Matthews for 13 yards. Wentz then found Wendell Smallwood for a 36 yard touchdown as the 5 minute, 95 yard drive had the Eagles up 17-6. After a touchback, Bortles hit Moncrief for 19 and Grinnage for 8. On 3rd and 2 from the Philly 48, Bortles found Grinnage for a 24 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Philly 11, Bortles hit Dede Westbrook for the score. The 2 point try failed as the Jaguars were within 17-12 after three quarters.

The Jaguars got it back at their own 48 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Philly 15 as the fourth quarter began. Bortles then threw 3 straight incompletions. Lambo hit from 33, but the Jaguars still trailed 17-15. After a touchback, Wentz went deep to Matthews for a 36 yard gain. Adams ran for 17 yards and Wentz hit Zach Ertz for a 5 yard touchdown. With 10 minutes left the Eagles led 24-15. After a touchback, the Jaguars moved to a 2nd and goal at the 6. Bortles threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores, Doug Marrone opted for the field goal. Lambo hit from 24, but too many field goals instead of touchdowns had the Jaguars down by 6 midway through the fourth quarter. Jacksonville got it back at their own 27 with 5 minutes left. On 2nd and 2 from the Jags 48, Bortles threw 3 straight incompletions as Doug Peterson won the battle of nondescript white guys named Doug. The Eagles are 4-4 while the Jaguars have fallen to 3-5 with the loss. 24-18 Eagles

Baltimore Ravens at Carolina Panthers — A pair of good teams met, but only one of them showed up. The Ravens made it easy at first, going 75 yards in 11 plays and 7 minutes. Alex Collins ran for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Ravens. After that it was all Carolina. From their own 46, Cam Newton hit Moore for gains of 7 and 18 and Devon Funchess for 18 more. Christian McCaffrey ran for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. On the first play of the second quarter from the Baltimore 31, Collins got blasted and the Panthers recovered at the Baltimore 12 yard line. On 3rd and 9 Newton hit Greg Olsen for the 11 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Panthers.

The Panthers got it back after a great punt on their own one yard line. Newton hooked up with Moore for a 33 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Carolina 38, Newton hit McCaffrey for 8 yards. Then things got bizarre. On 3rd and 1 from the Baltimore 45, Newton lost 9 yards and fumbled. Yet Moore picked it up and raced 37 yards to the Baltimore 17, just like Newton drew it up in the sandlot. Newton threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to McCaffrey to make it 21-7 Panthers with 4 minutes left in the half. A 99 yard drive against one of the best defenses in the NFL proved to be a back breaker. What happened before the half was even more stunning.

After a touchback, John Harbaugh decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from his own 34. Flacco got the yard. On 3rd and 7 from midfield, a 9 yard completion was wiped out by offensive pass interference. On 3rd and 17, Flacco was intercepted. The Panthers moved from their 29, but with 11 seconds left on 3RD and 2 at the Baltimore 44, Newton threw incomplete. 5 seconds remained. Graham Gano won a game a few weeks ago with a 63 yard field goal, and this kick would have been from 62. Riverboat Ron Rivera decided to become conservative Ron Rivera as he opted to punt. Yet Ron Rivera was Riverboat Ron after all. A fake punt saw Heinicke hit Greg Olsen for a 13 yard gain. Olsen quickly got out of bounds with 2 seconds left. Now it was field goal time. Gano nailed the 54 yarder as the Panthers took a 24-7 lead to the locker room. The second half was a formality.

In the third quarter an interception of Flacco set up the Panthers just past midfield. Gano hit a 44 yarder to make it 27-7 Panthers. Flacco did throw a 9 yard touchdown pass to Javorious Allen to get the Ravens within 27-14, but they would get no closer. The Panthers moved 85 yards and Newton ran for a 12 yard touchdown to make it 33-14 Panthers with 10 minutes left in regulation. The 2 point try failed but it didn’t matter. Gano tacked on a 30 yarder with 3 minutes left to make it 36-14 Ravens. Baltimore got a garbage touchdown but fell to 4-4. Carolina is 5-2 in the very competitive NFC South. 36-21 Panthers

New York Jets at Chicago Bears — Sometimes a pair of uninspiring teams can play a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. Cody Parkey missed a 40 yard field goal for the Bears. Chicago got it back at their own 12 and Mitchell Trubisky went deep to Tariq Cohen for a 70 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 bears after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Jets held the ball for 14 plays and 8 1/2 minutes. The Jets managed 51 yards but settled for a 42 yard Josh Myers field goal to trail 7-3 at halftime. In the third quarter the Bears faced 3rd and 10 at their own 45. Cohen ran for 21 yards. 1st and goal at the 9 followed by a pair of incompletions was followed by the Jets jumping into the neutral zone. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Trubisky hit Anthony Miller for the touchdown as the Bears led 14-3 after three quarters.

Chicago got it back at midfield. On 4th and 1 from the Jets 23, Matt Nagy decided to go for it. Trubisky got the yard. Yet on 3rd and 1 from the Jets 13, Howard lost a yard. Parkey hit the 32 yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 17-3 Jets. After a touchback, the Jets soon faced 3rd and 13 at their own 35. Sam Darnold threw incomplete, but unnecessary roughness on the defense kept the drive going. Darnold went to Burnett for 29 yards and hit Chris Herndon for a 16 yard touchdown. The Jets were within 17-10 with 11 minutes left in regulation. There would be no comeback. From the Chicago 21, Trubisky hit Miller for 23 yards and then ran for 12 yards himself. From the Jets 40, Trubisky hit Miller for 10 and Howard did the rest. He ran for 24, 4, and then the final 2 to salt the game away. 24-10 Bears

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals — This was a wild one. The Bengals moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Tampa 20. Marvin Lewis decided to go for it and Joe Mixon got stopped cold. The Buccaneers moved 61 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Yet from the Cincy 18, James Winston went to the end zone and was intercepted. This would be a common theme throughout the day. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter, the Bengals took over at their own 37. Red Rifle Andy Dalton went to Franks for a 32 yard gain and Boyd for a 28 yard gain down to the one. This time Mixon got the yard to make it 7-0 Bengals. In the second quarter the Bengals blew the game wide open.

The Buccaneers moved from their 25 to the Cincy 27. On the last play of the first quarter, Winston was intercepted again by Brown, who returned it 18 yards to the Cincy 42. An interception of Dalton was wiped away when the defense jumped offside. On 4th and 3 from the Tampa 36, Marvin Lewis decided to go for it. Dalton hit AJ Green for 10 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Tampa 9, Dalton hit Tyler Boyd for the score to make it 14-0 Bengals. The Bengals got it back at their own 32. Dalton went to Boyd for 19 yards. Mixon ran for 15 more. Dalton hit Boyd for 26 yards and Mixon ran for the 8 yard touchdown. The Bengals were cruising 21-0.

After a touchback, Winston was sacked. Yet unnecessary roughness on the defense advanced the ball to the Tampa 40. On the next play Winston went to DeSean Jackson for a 60 yard touchdown as the Buccaneers were on the board down 21-6 after the failed extra point. The Bengals soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 25. Dalton threw incomplete but the defense jumped offside. On 3rd and 5 Dalton hit Erickson for just enough. From the Cincy 40, Nixon ran for a 43 yard gain. Dalton then went to Green for a 17 yard touchdown and a 27-6 Bengals lead after the missed extra point. Only 2 1/2 minutes remained in the half. After a touchback the Buccaneers moved to a 1st and goal at the 7. Winston threw 3 straight incompletions. Chandler Catanzaro hit the 25 yard field goal to end the half with the Buccaneers trailing 27-9.

In the third quarter the Bucs quickly faced 3rd and 6 at their own 29. Winston hit Brate for 13 yards. On 2nd and 20 from the Tampa 32, defensive pass interference meant 16 yards and a first down. On 3rd and 13 from the Tampa 45, Winston hit Humphries for 15 yards and Howard for 20 more. Winston went back to Humphries for 16 yards down to the one. Peyton Barber got the last yard as the Buccaneers trailed 27-16. On the next series Winston was intercepted for the third time. The defense held and the Buccaneers soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 10. Winston was intercepted for the fourth time, and this one was a killer. Jessie Bates returned 21 yards for a touchdown. The Bengals were cruising 34-16 after three quarters. However, the Buccaneers found hope in a disheveled homeless guy sitting on the bench. Winston was benched and Ryan Fitzpatrick and his magic beard entered the game. It was Fitzmagic time.

After a touchback, Fitzpatrick fumbled the ball but somehow recovered it and hit Mike Evans for 12 yards. Pierre Barber then ran for 16 yards. Fitzpatrick then hit Godwin for 20 yards.The fourth quarter began with the Bucs facing 3rd and 21 at the Cincy 38. Fitzpatrick scrambled for 18 yards. Needing a ton of points, Dirk Koetter opted for the field goal. Catanzaro hit the 38 yard field goal and the Buccaneers trailed 34-19 with 13 minutes left in regulation. The Bengals went 3 and out and the Buccaneers soon faced 3rd and 14 at their own 28. Fitzpatrick went deep to Evans for a 72 yard touchdown. Just like that, with 10 minutes left, the Buccaneers were within 34-26.

With 3:16 to play the Buccaneers took o ver at their own 12. On 3rd and 1 from their 21, Fitzpatrick went to Evans for 27 yards and Humphries for 17 more. With 1:05 left, it all came down to 4th and 3 from the Cincy 18. Fitzpatrick went to Howard for the touchdown. With one minute left it was time for the critical 2 point conversion. Fitzpatrick hit Godwin. 18 unanswered points had the game tied 34-34.

With 36 seconds left and the Bengals facing 3rd and 1 at their own 33, Walton gained 3 yards as the Bengals took their second timeout. Dalton then went to Green for 23 yards. As the clock ticked down, a killer delay of game penalty on the defense moved the ball to the Tampa 25. Rather than a 49 yard try, it was a 44 yarder that Randy Bullock was attempting with 5 seconds left. Bullock was good as the Bengals got to 5-3 in what may have been Jameis Winston’s final game starting for the Buccaneers. With the trade deadline on Tuesday, it was questionable whether anyone would take him. Fitzpatrick was 11 of 15 for 194 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in less than one half of football. 37-34 Bengals

Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions — The Lions began their first drive at their own 9 yard line. Runs and short passes followed by a pair of incompletions set up 3rd and 10 at the Seattle 39. Matthew Stafford went to Marvin Jones Jr for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Lions. In the second quarter Seattle exploded. On 3rd and 3 from their own 32, Wilson hit Vannett for 16 and ran for 11 more himself. The second quarter began with Wilson hitting Tyler Lockett for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. The Lions fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Seahawks took over at the Detroit 34. Wilson hit David Moore for a 15 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Seahawks. Seattle got it back and moved 80 yards in 12 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 7 from the Seattle 23, Wilson went deep to Moore for 27 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Detroit 12, Wilson hit Ed Dickson for the score to make it 21-7 at halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, the Seahawks began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 5 at their own 43. Wilson hit Vannett for 11 and Moore for 45 yards. Chris Carson ran for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 28-7 Seahawks. Detroit got a garbage touchdown but no more. 28-14 Seahawks

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs — The Broncos actually struck first on a drive starting at their own 19. From their 37, Case Keenum went deep to Emanuel Sanders for a 49 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Philip Lindsay got in to make it 7-0 Broncos. The Chiefs moved from their 37 to a 1st and goal at the 3. A false start hurt the Chiefs. On 4th and goal at the one Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to go for it. Another false start was a killer. Harrison Butker hit the 24 yard field goal. The Chiefs trailed 7-3. In the second quarter Vance Joseph gambled on a 55 yard field goal and Brandon McManus was no good. Taking over at their own 45, the Chiefs immediately took advantage. Patrick Mahomes went to Tyreek Hill for a 40 yard gain and to Travis Kelce for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 Chiefs.

The Chiefs got it back at their own 8 yard line. From the 13, Mahomes hit Kelce for 18 yards, Sammy Watkins for 24 more, and Kelce for 11 more. Mahomes hit Sammy Watkins for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 16-7 Chiefs after the failed extra point. The Chiefs were on their way to a blowout after a touchback as Denver only had 54 seconds to work with. Yet things changed when Keenum scrambled for 9 and then hit Sutton for a 42 yard gain. With 10 seconds left in the half the Broncos faced 3rd and 10 at the Chiefs 24. Keenum went deep to Patrick Crane for the touchdown as the Broncos only trailed 16-14 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Chiefs again tried to put the game away. They began at their own 17. On 3rd and 8 from their own 24, Mahomes hit Hill for just enough. Mahomes then went to Watkins for 24 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Denver 39, Mahomes hit Kelce for 18 yards with 10 more tacked on for roughing the passer. On the next play Mahomes hit Watkins for the 10 yard touchdown to make it 23-14 Chiefs. The Broncos punted on 4th and 19 at their own 10, and disaster struck when a shanked punt of 22 yards had the Chiefs taking over at the Denver 32. On 4th and 1 from the 23, Andy Reid decided to go for it. Pass-happy Andy Reid does not run the ball. However, he now has Mahomes, who hit Hunt for it all as the touchdown had the Chiefs up 30-14 after three quarters. Hunt hurdled a defender and dragged tacklers to the end zone.

Denver tried to make a game of it after a touchback. On 1st and 18 from their own 17, Keenum hit Lindsey for 13 and Lindsey ran for 8 more. Keenum hit Sanders for 16 and Sutton for 21 more. The fourth quarter began with the Broncos facing 4th and goal at the 4. Keenum hit Jeff Heuerman for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Broncos were within 30-20. Mahomes was quickly intercepted, and the Broncos moved from their 39 to a 3rd and 9 at the Chiefs 39. Keenum was sacked and fumbled the ball away. The Broncos got it back and Keenum was intercepted. Needing 2 scores, the Broncos moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Chiefs 18 with 2 minutes left. Keenum threw incomplete twice. McManus hit the 36 yard field goal to get the Broncos within 7 with 1:45 to play. The onside kick failed but by the time the Broncos got the ball back at their own 20, only 4 seconds remained. The hook and lateral lost 4 yards. The Chiefs are 7-1, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 30-23 Chiefs

Washington Redskins at New York Giants — Jay Gruden quietly has the Redskins at 4-2 atop the NFC Least while the Giants are a 1—6 mess. An awful game saw the Redskins facing 3rd and 1 at their own 47 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter. Alex smith hit Harris for 16 yards. From the Giants 25, Adrian Peterson did the rest. He ran for 11, with 5 tacked on for defensive holding, then 2 more, and then for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Redskins. In the second quarter after the Redskins missed a field goal, Aldrick Rosas hit a 37 yarder for the Giants. In the third quarter Dustin Hopkins hit from 53 to make it 10-3 Redskins after three quarters. The fourth quarter began with the Giants facing 4th and 3 at the Washington 32. Pat Shurmur went for it and Eli Manning threw incomplete. The good field position led to Hopkins hitting from 39 to make it 13-3 Redskins with 10 minutes left. The Giants moved from their 14 to 1st and goal at the 4. A run gained one yard and Manning threw incomplete twice. Rosas hit from 21 to get the Giants within 13-6 with 4 minutes left. After a touchback, Peterson put the game away with a 64 yard touchdown to make it 20-6 Redskins. The Giants got a garbage touchdown with 17 seconds left and the onside kick failed. 20-13 Redskins

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers — Emotions ran high in Pittsburgh with the Saturday murder of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Several Steelers past and present took to social media to show solidarity with the Jews. The Steelers even changed their logo to show a yellow Star of David. Yet once the game started, this was a typical Steelers game against the Browns. The Steelers played down to the level of their competition before finally waking up. Joseph hit field goals of 34 and 45 yards to have the Browns up 6-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter Joseph missed a 41 yarder that would have put the Browns up 9-0. At that moment reality set in.

The Steelers soon faced 3rd and 11 at their own 30 in a game the Browns defense was winning. Yet Ben Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 15 yards and then went back to Brown for a 43 yard touchdown. Just like the Steelers led 7-6. The Browns faced 3rd and 8 at their own 44.Baker Mayfield went deep and was intercepted by Joe Haden at the Pittsburgh 13. The Steelers mounted a staggering 16 play, 87 yard drive that took over 7 minutes off the clock. At the 2 minute warning the Steelers were at the Cleveland 42. Ben Roethlisberger hit Juju Smith-Schuster for 19 yards and James Conner added 10 more. With 15 seconds left in the half the Steelers faced 4th and 1 at the Cleveland 4 yard line. Mike Tomlin decided to go for it. Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster for 3 yards and Antonio Brown for the one yard touchdown as the Steelers took a 14-6 lead to the locker rooms.

Things got strange in the third quarter. A good punt pinned the Browns at their own 4 yard line. From the 5, holding on Harrison in the end zone meant a safety and a 16-6 Steelers lead. Nobody fielded the free kick, treating it like a punt rather than a live ball. Rice recovered for the Browns at the Pittsburgh 24. On the next play roughing the passer moved the ball to the Pittsburgh 12. On 3rd and 4 from the 6, Mayfield threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Mayfield got sacked, but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the one again. Mayfield hit Antonio Callaway for the touchdown. The extra poi t was not good as the Browns trailed 16-12.

Yet the Browns defense was exhausted and finally broke. After a touchback, Conner ran for 30 and then 16 more. From the Cleveland 27, Roethlisberger hit Brown for 15. Conner then ran for the 12 yard touchdown to make it 23-12 Steelers. The Browns punted in the fourth quarter and the Steelers had excellent field position at their own 45. Big Ben hit Conner for gains of 14 and 13. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, Chris Boswell hit from 42 to make it 26-12 Steelers. Pittsburgh put the game away with a 10 play, 65 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. On 3rd and 3 from the Cleveland 22, Conner ran all the way for the touchdown to make it 33-12 Steelers at the 2 minute warning. Cleveland got a garbage touchdown but no more. 33-18 Steelers.

Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders — The 2-5 Colts faced off against the 1-5 Raiders in a battle of dreadful teams. Amari Cooper was traded to Dallas and Marshawn Lynch was injured. The first quarter was all Colts. After a touchback, the Colts faced 3rd and 9 at their own 36. Andrew Luck hit Marlin Mack for 11 yards. Luck hit Mo Alie-Cox for a 26 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Colts. The Raiders went 3 and out and the Colts moved 70 yards in 13 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 8, Luck threw incomplete. Adam Vinatieri hit the 26 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Colts after the first quarter.

In the second quarter the game drastically changed. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 27, Derek Carr hit Jared Cook for 9 yards and Brandon LaFell for 15 more. Harris ran for 13 and Carr went to Seth Roberts for a 31 yard touchdown. The Raiders were within 10-7. The Raiders got it back and soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 29. Carr hit Jordy Nelson for 14 yards. From the Indy 39, Doug Martin ran for 13 yards. Carr went to Cook for a 25 yard touchdown. With 6 minutes left in the half the Raiders led 14-10. The Colts mounted a staggering 16 play, 68 yard drive that took nearly 6 minutes. On 3rd and 12 from the Indy 23, Luck hit Pascal for 11 but illegal contact added 5 more. On 3rd and 7 at the Indy 47, Luck hit Inman for 9 yards. Despite 2nd and 4 from the Oakland 7, Luck threw incomplete twice. Vinatieri hit from 25 and entered the record books. That field goal put him ahead of Morton Anderson as the all time NFL leading scorer. Despite holding the ball for over 20 minutes in the first half, the Colts trailed 14-13.

The third quarter began with an illegal shift that had the Raiders facing 1st and 15 at their own 20. Carr hit LaFell for 18 yards and Roberts for 11 more. Martin ran for a 29 yard gain and Jalen Richard added 13 more. On 2nd and goal at the one, Martin got stopped. On 3rd and goal at the one Martin got stopped again. Jon Gruden decided to go for it, and this time he had the right call. Derek Carr had never had a rushing touchdown. He took the quarterback sneak, leapt over the top, and broke the plane of the goal. Initially he was ruled stopped, but Gruden challenged the call successfully. Carr’s first rushing touchdown made it 21-13 Raiders. The offense had shown some life, but they needed their much maligned defense to finally close out a game.

They could not, folding quickly. After a touchback, Mack ran for a 49 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Oakland 20, Luck went to Eric Hebron for the touchdown. Luck hit carlos rogers for the 2 point conversion to tie the game 21-21. after another touchback, the Raiders moved 75 yards in 11 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Martin ran for 10. Carr hit Richard for 9 more. Richard then ran for 10. Carr went deep to Cook for a 30 yard gain. Martin ran for 11 and 4 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Indy 6, Carr hit Lafell for the touchdown. After three quarters the Raiders led 28-21. Yet they were among the worst fourth quarter teams in the league. Could they finally close out a game at home against another bad team?

No. The Colts moved 75 yards in 12 plays and over 5 minutes. On 2nd and 20 from their own 22, Luck hit Inman for 16 yards. On 3rd and 4 Luck hit Doyle for 9 yards. Hines ran for 14 and 4 more, and Luck went deep to TY Hilton for 34 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, needing one stop, the Oakland defense could not get it. Mack ran it in and the game was tied 28-28 with 10 1/2 minutes left. As expected, the Raiders went 3 and out. A shanked 25 yard punt had the Colts at their own 43. So the offense and special teams did their part. Now the defense needed to collapse and make it a trifecta. Mack ran for 6. Luck hit Doyle for gains of 14 and 11. On 2nd and 16 at the Oakland 32, Luck hit Doyle for 17. Luck hit Doyle again for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 35-28 Colts with 5 1/2 minutes left.

One play after a touchback, the meltdown was complete. Martin fumbled and the Colts recovered at the Oakland 27. Mack did the rest, running for 2, 7 with a horse collar tackle adding 9, 6, 2, and on 3rd and goal at the one, the last yard. Luck and Carr had almost identical numbers. Luck was 22 of 31 for 239 yards. Carr was 21 of 28 for 244 yards. They both had 3 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. Carr also had the rushing touchdown. Yet the Colts gashed the Raiders for 222 yards on the ground, 132 by Mack and 78 more by Hines. The only turnover the game late was a killer. The Raiders have a short week before traveling across the Bay to face an equally dreadful San Francisco team. Gruden has a 10 year, 100 million dollar contract. The trade deadline is Tuesday. At this point he may wish to trade 44 players and rebuild around Carr since nobody else on the team can play. A 21-0 fourth quarter collapse had the Raiders acting like themselves again. 42-28 Colts.

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals — Both teams are 1-6 and NFL rules banned this game from being canceled. After 11 minutes of scoreless football, On 3rd and 7 from their own 8, the Cardinals got nailed for a safety. The 49ers led 2-0. I don’t do baseball jokes. Baseball is boring. In the second quarter Phil Dawson hit a 31 yard field goal for the Cardinals. After an interception of Rosen, Robbie Gould responded from 27 as the 49ers led 5-3 at halftime. In the third quarter on 3rd and 6 from their own 45, CJ Beathard hit Marquise Goodwin for a 55 yard touchdown to make it 12-3 49ers after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the 49ers mounted an 11 play, 73 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive. Yet despite 1st and goal at the 4, three straight runs netted only 2 total yards. On 4th and goal at the 2, Kyle Shanahan played it safe. Gould hit from 20. The 49ers led 15-3 only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Arizona faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Josh Rosen hit Gresham for 6 yards. Rosen then went deep to Larry Fitzgerald for 37 yards. Rosen went back to Fitzgerald for the 13 yard touchdown. With 11 minutes left in regulation the Cardinals were within 15-10. The Cardinals got it back at their own 17 with 7 minutes left and moved to their pwn 40 with 5 minutes left. Rosen hit Gresham for 13 yards, but Gresham fumbled and the 49ers recovered. The Cardinals got it back and with 2:07 to play faced 3rd and 10 at their own 27. Rosen hit Fitzgerald for 11 and again for 20. Rosen then hit Kirk for 19 yards. On 2nd and 15 from the Frisco 28, Rosen hit Seals-Jones for 13. On 3rd and 2, Rosen hit Williams for 7. With 34 seconds left, the Cardinals faced 3rd and goal at the 9. The 2 most frustrated groups in history, the Jews and the Arizona Cardinals, were headed for more defeat. Then it happened. Rosen fired over the middle to Christian Kirk for the touchdown. Rosen fired to Fitzgerald for the 2 point conversion, and Fitzgerald emphatically spiked the ball. Josh Rosen got it done. The Jews and Cardinals finally got a win. 18-15 Cardinals

Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams — The unbeaten Rams faced their toughest test of the year as Aaron Rodgers led the Packers in an instant classic. In the first quarter the Packers faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Rodgers went deep to Devontae Adams for 48 yards and Jimmy Graham for 21 yards down to the one. Jamaal Williams got in to make it 7-0 Packers. Green Bay got it back and moved from their 32 to a 4th and 3 at the Rams 23. The second quarter opened with Mason Crosby hitting a 41 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Packers. The Packers were in total control until a great punt pinned the Packers at their own one yard line with 2:47 left in the half. Jones got the carry and got tackled in the end zone for a safety. The Rams took the free kick at their own 28. From their own 40, Jared Goff went to Brandon Cooks for 25 yards and Todd Gurley for 32 yards down to the 3. On 3rd and goal at the one, Goff hit Josh Reynolds for the touchdown with 17 seconds left in the half. The 2 point try failed as the Rams trailed 10-8. The second half was a wild affair.

The Packers took over in the third quarter at their own 27. They moved to a 2nd and 2 at the Rams 26. Rodgers threw incomplete and was then sacked for a 9 yard loss. Mike McCarthy gambled on a 53 yard field goal, and Crosby delivered to make it 13-8 Packers. After a touchback, Gurley ran for 11. On 3rd and 10 from their own 36, Goff hit Everett for 22 yards. Goff went to Gurley for a 30 yard touchdown. Goff hit Gurley for the 2 point try as the Rams had their first lead up 16-13 midway through the third quarter. The Rams got it back at their own 34 and Goff hit Cooks for 17 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Green Bay 42, Goff hit Woods for 12 yards. On 2nd and 19 from the Green Bay 39, Goff hit Woods for the exact amount. Goff hit Reynolds for the 19 yard touchdown as the Rams led 23-13 with only 1:50 left in the third quarter. Yet the pendulum swing back.

On 3rd and 9 from their own 26, Rodgers went deep to adams for a 41 yard gain. Aaron jones then broke off a 33 yard touchdown run as the Packers only trailed 23-20 after three quarters. After a touchback, the Rams soon faced 1st and 10 at their own 38. Goff hit Cooks for a 32 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Green Bay 27, a short pass gained only 2 yards. Greg Zuerlein hit a 43 yard field goal as the Rams led 26-20 with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. After a touchback the Packers struck quickly. Rodgers hit Adams for 15 yards and again for 20. Rodgers then went bombs away to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 40 yard touchdown. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Packers led 27-26. The 1972 Dolphins were preparing to pop the champagne corks that they pop every year when the last unbeaten NFL team loses.

An exchange of punts benefitted the Rams when a shanked Green Bay punt netted only 25 yards and set up the Rams with a short field at the Green Bay 40. On 3rd and 6 form the 36, Gurley ran for 23 yards. Offensive holding killed the drive. Zuerlein came in at the 2 minute warning to try a 34 yard field goal. With everything on the line, Zuerlein delivered. The Rams led by 2, but they had not closed the door. The Packers needed only a field goal to win. Yet Rodgers never got his chance. The Packers fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Rams fell on it at the Green Bay 21 with 1:56 left. On 3rd and 10, with 1:05 left, Gurley showed what it means to be an unselfish team player. The Packers needed a stop. Gurley sliced through and was headed toward the end zone. Yet a touchdown would give the Packers the ball back. Gurley refused to score, purposely falling down after a 17 yard gain at the 4 yard line. Goff took a knee to end it. Rodgers was 18 of 30 for 286 yards and 1 touchdown. Goff was 19 of 35 for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns. Nether quarterback was intercepted. Gurley finished with 114 yards on 25 carries. A playoff rematch would be fantastic. For now, the 1972 Dolphins will have to delay their celebration as the Rams are 8-0 and winning big games the hard way. 29-27 Rams

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings was the Sunday night game. Last year in the playoffs the Vikings led 17-0, fell behind 24-23, and needed a miracle with 10 seconds left. Hoping just to get into field goal range, a deep ball to Stefan Diggs turned into the 61 yard Minneapolis Miracle 29-24 Vikings victory. Now came the long anticipated rematch. The Saints truck first, going 81 yards. On 3rd and 2 from their own 27, Drew Brees hit Thomas for 20 yards. Sean Payton brought in backup quarterback Hill, and Hill went deep to Thomas for a 40 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Brees hit Alvin Kamara for the score and the 7-0 Saints lead.

The Vikings came back 91 yards in 13 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. From their own 9, Kirk Cousins hit Adam Thielen for 14 yards. On 1st and 20 from their own 24, Latavius Murray ran for gains of 12 and 10. On 3rd and 5 just past midfield, Cousins hit Thielen for 14 yards. Cousins then went deep to Diggs for a 31 yard gain down to the one. Ham got stopped and Cousins threw incomplete twice. Mike Zimmer decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. Cousins hit Diggs for the touchdown and the 7-7 tie after the first quarter. The Vikings got it back at their own 35 to start the second quarter. Cousins hit Diggs for 19 and Thielen for 28 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Saints 14, Cousins threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. murray got in. dan Bailey missed the extra point. With 12 minutes left in the half the Vikings led 13-7. Yet from then on, the Saints dominated.

The Saints moved from their own 33 to a 3rd and 3 at the Minnesota 34. Brees threw incomplete, but Wil Lutz hit the 52 yard field goal to get the Saints within 13-10. On the next series Brees was intercepted, and the Vikings moved from their 33 to a 1st and 10 at the Saints 18. Cousins hit Thielen for 4 yards, but Thielen fumbled and the saints recovered. Lattimore returned the fumble 54 yards to the Minnesota 33, with 15 more yards tacked on for unsportsmanlike conduct. With one minute left in the half, Brees hit Kamara for 17 and Kamara then got the last yard on the ground. Rather than a 20-10 Vikings lead, the 14 point swing had the Saints taking the 17-13 lead to the locker rooms.

In the third quarter the Vikings moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at their own 45. Mike Zimmer decided to go for it, and Cousins threw incomplete. With the short field, the Saints moved to a 1st and goal at the 9. On 3rd and goal at the 10, Brees was called for intentional grounding. Lutz hit the 42 yarder to make it 20-13 Saints. The Vikings after a touchback moved to their own 44. Cousins was then intercepted by PJ Williams, who took it 45 yards the other way for a defensive touchdown and a 27-13 Saints lead. The Saints then mounted a 15 play, 60 yard drive that took 8:15 off the clock. With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Lutz hit the critical 42 yard field goal to make it 30-13 Saints. 23 unanswered points had the Saints firmly in command. Minnesota on 4th and goal at the one did get in the end zone when Cousins hit Thielen, but less than 4 1/2 minutes remained. Minnesota got it back at their own 9 with 1:10 to play. They reached midfield but never got the Hail Mary chance or the onside kick. The Saints got their revenge to get to 6-1 as the Vikings fell to 4-3. A rematch would still be worth it, but even though it was not November 1, it was still All Saints Day. 30-20 Saints

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills was the Monday night game. Thurman Thomas had his number returned by the Bills at halftime. 93-year-old Marv Levy and cancer survivor Jim Kelly attended what was a classy display all around. The game was brutal, as the Bills defense gave it everything they had. Stephen Gostkowski hit a 25 yard field goal in the first quarter and field goals of 40 and 38 in the second quarter for a 9-0 Patriots lead. Stephen Hauschka hit from 47 for the Bills and Gostkowski missed from 50 to end the half. In the third quarter Hauschka hit from 51 as the Bills only trailed 9-6. Gostkowski hit again from 25 as the Patriots led 12-6 after three quarters. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, with the Patriots facing 3rd and 6 at their own 19, Tom Brady hit julian Edelman for 26 yards. On 3rd and 8 at their own 47, Brady hit White for 9 yards. Cordarelle Patterson ran for 22 yards and Brady hit Chris Hogan for 20 yards down to the one. White got the last yard with 10 minutes left in regulation to make it 18-6 after the failed 2 point try. Derek Anderson thought he had a 25 yard touchdown pass to Croom and an 18-13 game with 6 minutes left, but on further review the ball hit the ground. On 3rd and 15 from the Pats 30, Anderson was intercepted by Devon McCourty, who returned it 85 yards for the final dagger. The Bills were game, but their offense did not help their defense. Meanwhile, in a rare switch, New England’s defense carried their offense as well in a game much closer than the final score. 25-6 Patriots

NFL 2018 Week 8 Prequel

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 8 Prequel

Trading places: NFL 2018 Week 8 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2018 Week 7 Recap

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 7 Recap

Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals was the Thursday night game. Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and produce a game for the ages. This was not that game. On the second play of the game, Josh Rosen had a pass intercepted and returned 20 yards for a touchdown. The Broncos led 7-0 less than one minute into the game. The Broncos then moved 77 yards with Case Keenum at quarterback. Yet it was Courtland Sutton and not Keenum who threw a 28 yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Sanders to make it 14-0 Broncos. Phil Dawson would get a 43 yard field goal from Phil Dawson to get the Cardinals on the board, but this game was all Denver. On 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 46, Rosen was intercepted again. This time it was Chris Harris returning the interception 53 yards for another touchdown. Two defensive touchdowns had the Broncos up 21-3 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter Denver got it back and needed only one play. Keenum went to Sanders for a 64 yard touchdown to make it 28-3 Broncos. Midway through the second quarter the Broncos moved 70 yards in 15 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Royce Freeman ran for a one yard touchdown with 17 seconds left in the half as the Broncos led 35-3. The second half was a formality. The Cardinals would reach the end zone in the third quarter, but so did the Broncos as Lindsay ran for a 28 yard field goal. Brandon McManus tacked on a 41 yard fourth quarter field goal to complete the blowout. It was a much needed win for Vance Joseph as Denver stopped its 4 game skid. Arizona fell to 1-5 and rookie coach fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy after the game. 45-10 Broncos

Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers was the early morning London game. London has been given some terrible games, but not this one. While it was not terribly exciting, it was competitive. The Titans moved from their 36 to a 2nd and 4 to the Chargers 8. A run lost a yard and Marcus Mariota threw incomplete on 3rd and 5. Ryan succor hit a 28 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Titans. 9 seconds later the Chargers had the 7-3 lead as Philip Rivers went to Tyrell Williams for a 75 yard touchdown. The Chargers then moved 67 yards in 11 plays and 5 minutes. Yet despite 2nd and 7 at the Tennessee 11, Rivers threw incomplete twice. Mike Badgley is now the Chargers kicker, and he hit the 29 yarder to make it 10-3 Charger after the first quarter. The Titans then moved to a 3rd and 2 at the Chargers 15 when Mariota threw incomplete. Early in the second quarter Succop hit from 33 as the Titans trailed 10-6. The Titans got the ball back at their own 5 yard line with nearly 10 minutes left in the half. They took nearly all 10 minutes off the clock. Yet on 1st and goal at the 10 with 30 seconds left on the clock, Mariota was intercepted. The 16 play, 85 yard drive yielded nothing.

In the third quarter after a touchback Rivers made it look easy. He hit Benjamin for 13 yards, Ekeleer for 7 more, and Mike Williams for a 55 yard touchdown to make it 17-6 Chargers. A 37 yard kickoff return with 15 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness.With a short field from the Chargers 42, the Titans soon faced 2nd and 17 at the Chargers 33. Mariota hit Lewis for 21 yards. Derrick Henry got in from the one to get the Titans within 17-13 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Chargers continued the trend of both teams of bogging down in the red zone. Moving from their own 34 to 2nd and 6 at the Titans 10, Rivers threw incomplete twice. Badgley hit the 28 yard field goal to make it 20-13 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Titans moved from their 33 to a 3rd and 7 at the Chargers 33. Mariota threw incomplete. With 8 1/2 minutes left, a 51 yard field goal try by succor was no good.

The Titans got it back at their own 11 with 5 minutes left. On 3rd and 1, Henry gained 3 yards. From the Tennessee 23, Mariota scrambled for 11 yards. Lewis then ran for a 36 yard gain. Mariota then hit Sharpe for a 16 yard gain. With 1:22 to play, on 3rd and 4 from the Chargers 8, Mariota hit Sharpe for 6 yards. With 35 seconds left, a touchdown pass on 3rd and goal at the 3 was reversed to short of the goal line. On 4th and goal at the one, Mariota hit Luke Stocker for the touchdown. Mike Vrabel then decided to go for 2 rather than kick the tying extra point. 2 years ago Jack Del Rio won the balls of steel award for the week when a successful 2 point try gave his team a win. Vrabel gambled and lost as Mariota’s pass was deflected incomplete. It took a lot of guts for Vrabel to make that call, and he should not be pilloried for boldness. Tennessee fell to 3-4 while Anthony Lynn has a 4-2 Chargers team. 20-19 Chargers

New England Patriots at Chicago Bears — This game was ridiculous. The Patriots offense came out putting on an offensive clinic to start the game. After a touchback, Michel ran for 18 yards. Tom Brady then hit Michel for 13 and white for 14 more. On 3rd and 1 at the Chicago 9, Brady hit Julian Edelman for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Patriots. Midway through the opening quarter the Bears moved from their 37 to a 3rd and 7 at the New England 28. Mitchell Trubisky threw incomplete, but Cody Parkey hit the 46 yard field goal to get the Bears on the board. Cordarelle Patterson fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Bears took over at the New England 24. On 3rd and 5 from the 8, Trubisky ran it in to put the Bears up 10-7 after the first quarter. The Patriots fumbled the ball again on the first play of the second quarter, giving the Bears another short field at the New England 36. On 4th and 4 from the New England 30, Matt Nagy decided to go for it. Trubisky hit Burton for 17 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Trubisky threw incomplete. Yet illegal use of hands on the defense meant 1st and goal at the 2. Jordan Howard got in. with 11 minutes left in the half, the Bears had a 17-7 lead.

17 seconds later, the Patriots were back within 17-14. Patterson atoned for his earlier fumble by taking the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a score. New England got it back and moved 64 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Chicago 42, Bill Bellichick decided to go for it, and Brady went to Josh Gordon for a 19 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Brady hit White for the touchdown to put the Patriots up 21-17. In the third quarter, momentum swing again when Cunningham returned the second half kickoff 31 yards with 15 more tacked on for a facemark. Starting at their own 42, the Bears quickly moved to the New England 40. Trubisky then got loose and scrambled for a 39 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Trubisky hit Tariq Cohen for the score as the Bears retook the lead 24-21.

Momentum then swing back again. The Patriots moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 1 at the Chicago 7. Brady was sacked for a 4 yard loss. Gostkowski hit the 29 yard field goal to tie the game 24-24. The Bears moved after a touchback tp a 2nd and 8 at their own 45. Trubisky threw incomplete twice. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter the Bears had to punt. It was blocked, and Kyle Van Not picked it up and raced 29 yards for a score. New England’s second touchdown on special teams had the Patriots up 31-24. The Bears after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the New England 41. Trubisky threw incomplete twice and on 3rd and 10 was intercepted. The Bears got it back at their own 9 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the New England 35. Trubisky went deep and was intercepted at the New England 4 yard line. On 3rd and 2 from their 12, Brady hit White for 10 yards. From the New England 25, Brady hit Chris Hogan for 19 yards and then went deep to Gordon for a 55 yard gain down to the one. On 2nd and goal Brady threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to White. With 8:40 left in regulation the Patriots led 38-24. They had outscored the Bears 31-7 since trailing early, but this game was not over.

The Bears went backward and punted on 4th and 20 from their own 6. The Patriots took over at the Chicago 43 looking to ice the game. On 3rd and 2 from the Chicago 35, where a field goal would end it, Brady had a pass stolen from a receiver and intercepted. From the Chicago 37, Trubisky hit Gabriel for 11 yards. From the New England 47, Trubisky hit Burton for 21, White for 10, and Burton again for the 11 yard touchdown. With 4 minutes to go the Bears were within 7 again. The Bears got it back at their own 20 with 24 seconds left. They needed a miracle. Trubisky hit Miller for 14. With 2 seconds left, the Bears were still at their own 45 yard line. Trubisky hurled it deep and everyone jumped for it. The ending was surreal. White came down with it for the Bears, but he was not in the end zone. The throw only reached the one yard line. All of New England jumped on White and the Bears offense tried to help push him forward. The defense won the battle. The Hail Mary was complete but the Bears came up one yard short. A somber Bill Belichick remarked that the Patriots made a tackle. After starting 1-2, the Patriots have won 4 straight and are now in sole possession of first place in the AFC East for the 8 billionth year. 38-31 Patriots.                                                                                                                                                    

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and play a great game for the ages. This was not that game, as the Bills went with 3rd string quarterback Derek Anderson. After a scoreless first quarter, the Colts exploded in the second quarter. A 15 play, 75 yard, 7 minute drive saw the Colts face 4th and 1 at their own 47. Frank Reich decided to go for it. Mack gained 10 yards. Andrew Luck hit Erik Swoope for a 17 yard touchdown to make it 6-0 Colts after the missed extra point. The Bill reached the Colts 22. Anderson hit Clay for 9 yards but Clay fumbled and the Colts took over at their own 26. Defensive pass interference moved the ball to the Indy 40. Luck went to Rogers for 29 yards and Marlon Mack for a 29 yard touchdown. Mck got the 2 point try to make it 14-0 Bills. The Colts got it back at their own 18 and Mack ran for 23 yards. From the Buffalo 44, Mack gained 18 more. On 3rd and 4 from the Buffalo 5, Luck scrambled and finally found TY Hilton for the touchdown to make it 21-0 Colts with 1:41 left in the half. With 13 seconds left in the half the Bills faced 1st and 5 from the Indy 43. A few more yards meant long field goal range. Instead Anderson was intercepted by Mitchell, who returned it 47 yards to the Buffalo 32. It was Adam Vinatieri hitting a 36 yard field goal to end the half with the Colts up 24-0.

The second half was a formality. In the third quarter the Bills managed a field goal and a safety, but no more. In the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 8 at his own 31, Anderson was sacked and fumbled. Wilson returned it 38 yards to the Buffalo 2. On 3rd and goal at the one. Luck hit Hilton for the touchdown. Anderson was then intercepted, and Moore returned it 4 yards to the Buffalo 20. On the next play Mack ran it in. Anderson threw in one more interception for good measure. As a Bills quarterback in 1992, Frank Reich led a 32 point comeback for the largest comeback win in NFL history. 26 years later, Reich’s team won by 32 points in a game where the comeback never happened. 37-5 Colts

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars — A pair of 3-3 AFC South rivals went at it. Blake Bortles had a miserable game. A Bortles fumble had the Texans taking over at the Jacksonville 36. Fairbairn hit a 44 yard field goal and then hit from 48 for a 6-0 Texans lead. In the second quarter the Texans took over at their own 40. Watson hit Deandre Hopkins for 9 and Lamar Miller added 11 more. Miller ran for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 Texans. In the third quarter a punt pinned the Jaguars at their own one yard line. From their 4, Bortles fumbled again and the Texans took over at the Jags 12. Watson hit Hopkins for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 20-0 Texans. Doug Marrone benched Bortles for Cody Kessler. The Jaguars reached the end zone to avoid the shutout but a scoreless fourth quarter completed the dominating defensive effort by Houston. 20-7 Texans

Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins — Miami started out 3-0 and the entire football world knew it was not real. In the first quarter of this game, the Lions took over at their 36. Johnson ran for 24 yards. On 1st and 25 from the Miami 45, Matthew Stafford went deep to Jones for 26 yards. Stafford hit Michael Roberts for a 15 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Lions. In the second quarter, the Lions began at their own 9. Johnson ran for a 71 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Miami 11, LaGuerrette Blount got stopped. Matt Patricia opted for the field goal. Matt prater hit from 29 to make it 10-0 Lions. Miami got it back at their own 23. Brock Osweiler hit Drake for 5 yards and Wilson for 25 more. On 3rd and 1 at the detroit 38, Osweiler found Gesicki for 27 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Detroit 11, Osweiler only gained 2 yards but illegal use of hands kept the drive going. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Osweiler hit Kenny Stills for the touchdown to get the Dolphins within 10-7. After a touchback the Lions moved 75 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Stafford hit Johnson for 15. On 2nd and 18 from the Miami 31, Stafford hit Roberts for 29 yards. Blount got the final 2 yards as the Lions led 17-7 at halftime.

The Lions continued in the third quarter, moving 65 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Despite 1st and goal at the 9 after a successful fourth down conversion, a run lost a yard and Stafford threw incomplete twice. Prater hit from 28 to make it 20-7 Lions. The Dolphins quickly faced 3rd and 7 at their own 28. Osweiler hit Gesicki for 18 yards and then went deep to Kenyan Drake for a 54 yard touchdown to get the Dolphins within 20-14. The Lions came back and faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Johnson ran for 18 yards and defensive pass interference added 25 more. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Stafford hit Michael Roberts for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Lions led 26-14 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter the Lions moved 65 yards but bogged down in the red zone. Prater hit from 35 to make it 29-14 Lions. After a touchback, Osweiler hit Grant for 19. On 3rd and 11 from the Miami 43, Osweiler threw incomplete but defensive pass interference kept the drive going. On 3rd and 4 from the detroit 24, Osweiler hit Danny Amendola for the touchdown. With 6 minutes left the Dolphins were within 29-21. Adam Gabe’s defense needed a stop and they could not get it. From the Detroit 26, Stafford hit Golden Tate for 22 yards. On 3rd and 7 from just past midfield, Stafford threw incomplete but defensive pass interference kept the drive going. With 1:55 left, Prater came in for a 50 yard field goal try. The kick was good, and the Lions were up by 11. The Dolphins quickly moved after a touchback to a 2nd and 10 at the Detroit 28 with 53 seconds left. Needing 2 scores, Gase brought in Sanders for a 46 yard field goal try before an onside kick. There would be no onside kick as Sanders missed the field goal. 32-21 Lions

Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets — Less than 2 minutes into the game, and the Vikings had a 7-0 lead. From the Minnesota 32, a short completion followed by a 15 yard penalty for lowering the head put the ball on the Jets 46. Boone gained 9 and Kirk Cousins fired to Adam Thielen for a 34 yard touchdown. Late in the first quarter the Jets took over at their own 14. Powell ran for 11 and Sam Darnold hit Cannon for 35 yards. From the Minnesota 37, Darnold hit Anderson for 25 and Chris Herndon for the 12 yard touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Vikings reached the Jets 3 yard line but a false start killed the drive. Dan Bailey hit the 26 yard field goal. The Vikings took a 10-7 lead to the locker rooms. Mike Zimmer and Todd Bowles both know defense. While the first half was a slugfest, the second half was a blowout.

In the third quarter the Vikings took over at their own 36. On 2nd and 16 from their own 42, Cousins hit Thielen for 8 and again for 13 on 3rd and 8. From the Jets 34, Cousins hit Zylstra for 23. Latavius Murray ran for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Vikings. One play later from the Jets 33, Darnold was intercepted. Smith returned it 52 yards to the Jets 9. The defense held but Bailey hit from 22 to make it 20-7 Vikings. Roberts ran the ensuing kickoff 53 yards to the Minnesota 46, but the Jets had to settle for a 55 yard field goal as the Jets trailed 20-10 after three quarters. The Jets began the fourth quarter punting on 4th and 11 from their own 7. Sherels returned it 13 yards to just shy of midfield. Murray ran for a 38 yard touchdown to make it 27-10 Vikings.

The Jets tried to make a game of it. Darnold got in from now yard out to get the Jets within 27-17 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Jets got hit back but Darnold was quickly intercepted to set up the Vikings at their own 39. On 3rd and 6, Cousins went to Thielen for 21 yards and again for a 34 yard touchdown to make it 34-17 Vikings with only 5 minutes left. Darnold was intercepted again and Bailey tacked on a 52 yard field goal to complete the scoring. 37-17 Vikings

Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles — This one was a stunner. The Eagles defense dominated for three quarters. In the second quarter a 74 yard drive was capped off by an 11 yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to Alshon Jeffery to make it 7-0 Eagles. Jake Elliott tacked on a 46 yard field goal for the Eagles. In the third quarter the Eagles mounted a blistering 17 play, 94 yard drive that took nearly 9 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 4th and 1 from the Carolina 3, Doug Pederson decided to go for it. Wentz got 2 yards and then threw a one yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert. The Eagles led 17-0 after three quarters. Their suffocating defense looked like defending Super Bowl champions should look. Then came the fourth quarter that might be talked about all season.

The Panthers began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 1 at their own 29. Cam Newton got the yard. On 3rd and 3 from the Philly 30, Newton hit Moore for 16 yards. Curtis Samuel ran for a 14 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Panthers trailed 17-6 19th 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Panthers got it back at their own 13 with less than 7 minutes to play. From the 17, Newton hit Smith for 14. Newton then scrambled for 8. Newton then went to Byrd for 8 and to Wright for 28 more. Newton found Devon Funchess for an 18 yard touchdown. Newton hit Wright for the 2 point conversion. With 4 minutes left, the Panthers were within 17-14. Pass-Happy Doug Pederson kept passing, and on 3rd and 10 Wentz threw incomplete. With 2 1/2 minutes left, the Panthers got it back at their own 31.

Newton threw 3 straight incompletions. With 2:06 to play, it was 4th and 10. One defensive stop would end the game. Newton under blistering pressure unloaded a prayer before getting belted. Smith caught it, escaped a tackle and got to the sideline for a 35 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 at the Philly 26, Newton found Christian McCaffrey for 22 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Newton hit Greg Olsen for the touchdown. With 1:17 to play, the Eagles started at their own 30 down by 4 points. Wentz went deep and drew a 48 yard defensive pass interference penalty. With 30 seconds to play, everything came down to 4th and 2 at the Carolina 14. Wentz got blown up in the backfield by veteran Julius Peppers. The Panthers recovered the fumble as ron Rivera saw his team pull out a gutty win with 21 unanswered points in as hostile a situation as it gets. The defending champs are 3-4 and left behind a shellshocked home crowd. 21-17 Panthers

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Baker Mayfield is up and coming while Jameis Winston may be on his last legs far too soon. For a pair of not very good teams, they put on a very exciting game. An early punt pinned the Buccaneers at their own one yard line. Pierre Barber was tackled in the end zone by Trevon Coley for a safety and a 2-0 Browns lead. The rest of the half was all Tampa Bay. Chandler Catanzaro hit a 38 yard field goal to make it 3-2 Buccaneers after the first quarter. A 13 yard punt return had the Buccaneer at their own 45. Winston hit Chris Godwin for gains of 15, 12 and 4. On 3rd and 6 from the Cleveland 24, Winston hit Humphries for 10. DeSean Jackson ran for a 14 yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. The extra point was no good as the Buccaneers led 9-2. The Bucs got it back and moved 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. From the Tampa 25, Winston ran for 14 and hit Mike Evans for 14 more. From the Cleveland 47, Winston hit Howard for gains of 10 and 18. On 3rd and 10 from the Cleveland 19, Winston was sacked but illegal contact kept the drive going. Winston ran for a 14 yard touchdown to have the Buccaneers up 16-2 at the break. The Buccaneers turned it over on their next 2 possession, missing a chance to extend the lead. A boring first half gave way to an exciting second half.

On the second play of the third quarter, the Bucs turned it over again as Winston was sacked and fumbled. The Browns took over at the Tampa 26. Mayfield hit Njoku for a 13 yard touchdown to get the Browns within 16-9. After an exchange of punts the Buccaneers moved 73 yards in 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from their own 33, Winston hit Evans for 9 yards. On 4th and 1 just past midfield, Dirk Koetter decided to go for it. Winston hit Cross for 6 yards. On 3rd and 2 at the Cleveland 35, Winston ran for 9 and hit Howard for 24 more. Ronald Jones ran for the 2 yard touchdown as the Buccaneers seemed completely in command up 23-9 after three quarters.

After a touchback, the Browns from their own 35 saw Chubb run for 21 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Tampa 43, Mayfield found Jarvis Landry for 18 yards. On the next play defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Chubb got in and the Browns were within 23-16 with 12 minutes left in regulation. The Browns got it back at their own 20 with 9 1/2 minutes left. On 2nd and 26 from their own 24, Mayfield scrambled for 35 yards. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 2, Chubb got stopped short. On 4th and goal at the one, Hue Jackson decided to go for it. Mayfield got stopped. The defense gave the Buccaneers an inspired goal line stand. The offense gave it right back. They went 3 and out and a short punt was returned by Gabriel Peppers 32 yards to the Tampa Bay 16 yard line. One play later Mayfield fired over the middle to Jarvis Landry. Landry caught it at the one, and stretched the ball over the pylon while on the ground. with 2 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the new version of the Cardiac Browns tied the game 23-23.

The Browns are no longer the joke of the NFL, but they have suffered heartbreaking losses this year. The Bucs moved to the Cleveland 22. With 4 seconds left, Catanzaro came in for a 40 yard field goal try to win it. The kick was no good. The NFL record for overtime games in one season is five. The Browns were headed to their fourth overtime game in only seven total games. In the extra session the Browns went 3 and out. Winston was then intercepted to set up the Browns at the Tampa Bay 45. With 5 minutes left in overtime, the Browns faced 3rd and 3 at the Tampa 38. It would be a 56 yard field goal try. There would be no attempt as Mayfield took a killer sack. The Browns defense held, and again the Bucs punted. This time Peppers went from hero to goat. He fumbled it and the Buccaneers took over at the Cleveland 48 with 3 1/2 minutes left in overtime. On 3rd and 3 from the Cleveland 41, the Browns invaded the neutral zone. Consecutive sacks of Winston had the Buccaneers facing 3rd and 29 at their own 45. One more stop was all the Browns needed. Winston hit Jackson for 14 yards. Dirk Koetter then brought in Catanzaro, who had missed an extra point and a 40 yarder. This was a 59 yard try. Catanzaro snuck it over the crossbar and inside the upright. Mayfield’s jaw dropped. Hue Jackson got angry. The New Sombrero rocked. 26-23 Buccaneers

New Orleans at Baltimore Ravens — The top scoring offense led by all time NFL passing leader Drew Brees faced off against the top scoring defense that last week registered 11 sacks. The first quarter was scoreless, and the first three quarters were mostly a victory for the Baltimore defense. The first quarter saw the Saints hold the ball for a ridiculous 10 minute drive only to come up with nothing. On 1st and goal at the 4, the Saints fumbled and the Ravens recovered. In the second quarter it was the Ravens with a mind-numbing 17 play, 63 yard 7 1/2 minute drive that did not reach the end zone. Justin Tucker hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Ravens. After a touchback, Brees hit Arnold for 10 and Thomas for 32 more. Brees hit Watson for a one yard touchdown. With 1:50 left in the half the Saints led 7-3. With that touchdown, Brees became the fourth quarterback in NFL history along with Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Tom Brady to have 500 touchdown passes.

Yet after a touchback, the Saints defense that played well for 28 minutes folded during the 2 minute drill. How Flacco hit Snead for gains of 8 and 9. From the Baltimore 42, and short pass to Brown went for a 56 yard gain. With 4 seconds left, it was 2nd and goal from the one. John Harbaugh decided to go for it knowing the Ravens still had one timeout. Lamar Jackson got in and the Ravens led 10-7 at the intermission. In the third quarter the Ravens moved 61 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 47, Jackson again came in at quarterback. Out of the shotgun he gained 4 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Saint 43, Flacco hit Michael Crabtree for 18 yards. Flacco hit Mark Andrews for an 8 yard touchdown as the Ravens led 17-7 after three quarters. Yet the virtual stranglehold their defense had evaporated in the fourth quarter.

The Saints moved 75 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. After a touchback, the Saints soon faced 3rd and 8 at their own 38. Brees hit Thomas for 9 yards. Brees then went to Smith for a 26 yard gain and again for 11 more. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Alvin Kamara got in. The Saints were within 17-14 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Saints got it back at their own 44 and Brees was sacked. On 2nd and 17 from their own 37, Brees hit Watson for 9 and on 3rd and 8 hit Watson again for 10 more. Midway through the fourth quarter the Saints faced 4th and 1 at the Baltimore 18. A field goal would tie the game. Sean Payton decided to go for it and Brees got the yard. Brees threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas to make it 21-17 Saints with 5 minutes to play. The Ravens moved from their 14 to a 2nd and 6 at the Saints 36. Flacco threw incomplete twice. With 3 1/2 minutes left, John Harbaugh passed up a 54 yard field goal and decided to go for it. Flacco threw incomplete again.

With 3:19 left from the Saints 36, rather than run it, Sean Payton stayed aggressive. Brees went deep to Arnold for a 25 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Baltimore 21 with 2:07 left, Brees threw incomplete. Wil Lutz hit the 39 yard field goal to make it 24-17 Saints with 2:03 to play. The Ravens took over at their own 19. A facemark penalty moved the Ravens to their own 34. Flacco hit Snead for 6, Crabtree for 18 and again for 10, Allen for 17 and John Brown for the 14 yard touchdown with only 20 seconds left. The Ravens had tied the game, or so they thought. In his entire career, Justin Tucker had made 222 extra points while never missing one. Now he has. In front of a disbelieving home crowd, the automatic one saw his kick look perfect and out of nowhere veer wide at the last moment. Tucker is one of the best kickers in the game, and he took full blame without excuses in the postgame press conference. Meanwhile, the Saints are 5-1 and Brees is as great as ever. 24-23 Saints

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins — Forget the records when the teams play. In the first quarter the Redskins began a drive at their own 48. Alex Smith hit Kapri Bibbs for a 23 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Redskins. With 3:46 left in the half the Cowboys took over at their own 17. Dak Prescott went deep to Hurns for 20 yards and then threw a 49 yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup for a 7-7 deadlock at the half. In the third quarter after a touchback the Redskins moved to a 3rd and goal at the one. Adrian Peterson got carried and lost 2 yards. Dustin Hopkins hit the 21 yard field goal as the Redskins led 10-7 after three quarters. The fourth quarter was anything but quiet. Late in the third quarter the Cowboys punted on 4th and 12 from their own 9 and the Redskins took over just shy of midfield. Prescott threw incomplete on 3rd and goal from the 7 but Hopkins hit the 25 yard field goal to make it 13-7 Redskins with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Cowboys after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Washington 29. Prescott threw incomplete. Brett Maher hit the 47 yarder as the Cowboys trailed 13-10 with 9:45 to play.

With 5 minutes left, the Cowboys faced 3rd and 14 at their own 10. Prescott got sacked at the goal line and fumbled. Smith picked it up at the one and walked in for the defensive touchdown and the 20-10 Redskins lead. Prescott quickly led the Cowboys 74 yards in 12 plays. With 3:15 to play, the Cowboys faced 4th and 13 at their own 40. One defensive stop would end it. Prescott found Jarwin for a 16 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Prescott got in. With 90 seconds to play the Cowboys were within 3 points. Jason Garrett decided to kick it deep and play defense rather than go onside. With 1:26 left on 3rd and 9 from their own 26, Smith tried to scramble for the first down. He came up 3 yards short, but even worse, he was taken out of bounds. The Cowboys got the ball back at their own 36 with 1:09 left. On 3rd and 10, Prescott hit Cole Beasley for 18 yards. With 3 seconds left, Maher came in for a 47 yard field goal to tie the game. There was movement on the line and the Cowboys celebrated, thinking they now had a 42 yard field goal try. Yet officials ruled a false start on the snapper. Now it was a 52 yard field goal try. It looked good most of the way but then doinked off the upright no good. Jay Gruden quietly has a 4-2 team atop the division as the Cowboys fell to 3-4 in the NFC Least. 20-17 Redskins

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers — The Rams came in the NFL’s lone unbeaten team, but they were facing a desperate 1-5 49ers team that 6 days earlier took Green Bay to the final play of the game. The Dodgers are in the World Series and the Lakers have LeBron James. Yet even in Los Angeles, the world’s entertainment capital, great football attracts attention. The Rams are playing great football. They dispatched their archival in a game that was never competitive. The 49ers fumbled, and the Rams took over at the San Francisco 44. Greg Zuerlein hit a 35 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Rams. In the second quarter the Rams blew the game open. The 49ers fumbled and the Rams took over at the San Francisco 21. Todd Gurley ran for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Rams. The 49ers punted from their own 16 and it was blocked out of the end zone for a safety to make it 12-0 Rams. The Rams took the free kick and Zeurlein hit from 37 to make it 15-0 Rams. CJ Beathard was then intercepted, giving the Rams the ball at their own 40. Jared Goff hit Brandon Cooks for a 10 yard touchdown pass as the Rams were cruising up 22-0.

The 49ers would get a touchdown before the half, but this game was over. In the third quarter Zuerlein hit from 33 to make it 25-7 Rams. Beathard was then intercepted again to set the Rams up at the Frisco 27. Goff hit Reynolds for 19 and Gurley got the last yard to make it 32-7 Rams. The 49ers managed one more field goal but in the fourth quarter the 49ers had to punt on 4th and 16 from their own 3. This time it was not blocked but Natson returned it 36 yards to the Frisco 13. Goff hit Gurley for a 12 yard touchdown to complete the blowout. Sean McVay has the Rams at 7-0. His offense combined with Michelin Man Wade Phillips running the defense still makes them Super Bowl favorites as the hallmark approaches. Great teams win games they should win easily. The Rams are doing this. 39-10 Rams

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs was the Sunday night game. After losing to New England 43-40 on the final play, the previously unbeaten Chiefs were out for blood. The Bengals are a good team, but the Chiefs are a great team. At home and angry, this game was over from the start. 90 seconds into the game, the Chiefs took over at their own 5 yard line. Patrick Mahomes immediately began the aerial assault by hitting Tyreek Hill for a 27 yard gain. Mahomes went to Robinson for 9 and Kareem Hunt for 13 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Cincy 36, Mahomes ran for 9 and Hunt ran for 21 more. Mahomes hit Hunt for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Chiefs would miss a field goal, but in the second quarter kept their foot on the gas pedal. The Bengals fumbled a snap on a punt, letting the Chiefs take over at the Cincy 32. On 3rd and 9, Mahomes hit Hill for 16 and Hunt for the 15 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Chiefs.

The Bengals tried to slow the game down, going 77 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Uzomah for the score. The Bengals were within 14-7, but then the Chiefs offense took the field and kept rolling. They went 77 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 6 from their 40, Mahomes found Ware for 10 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Cincy 22, a neutral zone infraction meant 3rd and 6. Mahomes hit Demetrius Harris for the 17 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Chiefs. The Chiefs got it back at their own 20 with 1:13 left in the half. Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for a pair of 13 yard gains. Mahomes then ran for 23 yards and hit Ware for 22 more. Despite 1st and goal at the 9 with 27 seconds left, Mahomes threw incomplete twice and then completed a pass for one yard. Harrison Butker hit a 26 yard field goal as the Chiefs led 24-7 at halftime. The second half was a Chiefs coronation.

In the third quarter the Chiefs scored on offense when a 75 yard drive was capped by a 2 yard Hunt touchdown run. On the very next play from scrimmage the Chiefs scored on defense when Ron Parker intercepted Dalton and returned it 33 yards to pay dirt. The Bengals kicked a field goal, while the Chiefs juggernaut added another touchdown in the fourth quarter to complete the annihilation. The Chiefs are 6-1, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 45-10 Chiefs

New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons was the Monday night game. Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and play a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. After a scoreless 24 minutes, the Falcons took over at their own 14 with less than 6 minutes left in the half. Matt Ryan hit Hooper for 36 yards and then Hall for a 47 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons. This concludes anything remotely resembling a highlight. Aldrick Rosas hit a 31 yard field goal for the Giants with 50 seconds left in the half. Georgio Tavecchio answered from 40 at the gun to make it 10-3 Falcons. Rosas hit from 36 in the third quarter as the Giants trailed 10-6 after three quarters. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Tavecchio hit from 50 to make it 13-6 Falcons. Midway through the fourth quarter, Tevin Coleman raced for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 20-6 Falcons. The Giants managed to score a touchdown with 5 minutes left, but for some inexplicable reason Pat Shurmur decided to go for a 2 point conversion. O’Dell Beckham dropped it. At the 2 minute warning, Dan Quinn brought in Tavecchio trying a 56 yard field goal knowing a miss would give the hapless Giants a chance. Tavecchio nailed it to make it 23-12 Falcons. Needing two scores, the Giants moved to 1st and goal at the one with one minute left. Yet twice Eli Manning tried to sneak it in and twice he got stopped. without a timeout, the terrible offense killed the Giants. On 3rd and goal Manning fired to Beckham for the score and Barkley ran in the 2 point try. Yet by this time only 5 seconds remained. Like everything else the Giants have tried this year, the onside kick failed. Matt Ryan finished with 379 yards passing and completed his last 18 passes. The Falcons are now at 3-4 while the Giants are a 1-6 mess. 23-20 Falcons

NFL 2018 Week 7 Prequel

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 7 Prequel

Remember to run the damn ball: NFL Week 7 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2018 Week 6 Recap

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

NFL 2018 Week 6 Recap

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants was the Thursday night game. Both teams are struggling, but the Eagles still have far more talent than the woeful Giants. This was expected to be a mismatch from the start, and it was. On the second play from scrimmage, Eli Manning was intercepted, and it was returned 24 yards to the Giants 16 yard line. On 3rd and 7, Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery and the Eagles quickly led 7-0. The Giants did move after a touchback to a 2nd and 7 at the Philly 15, but Manning threw incomplete twice. Aldrick Rosas hit the 33 yard field goal. The Giants trailed 7-3, but the Eagles got going again. A 23 yard punt return had the Eagles taking over at the Giants 44. Wentz hit Jeffery for 17 and Clement gained 14. Clement got the last yard to make it 14-3 Eagles after the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Giants moved from their 32 to a 1st and goal at the 4. A run gained one yard and Manning threw incomplete twice. Rosas hit from 21 to get the Giants within 14-6. The Eagles quickly faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Wentz went deep to Nelson Agholor for a 58 yard gain and then to Zacc Ertz for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 21-6 Eagles. The Giants were kicking field goals but the eagles were scoring touchdowns. Josh Elliott tacked on a 33 yard field goal with 90 seconds left in the half to make it 24-6 Eagles. Rosas missed from 52 with less than 30 seconds left in the half, and Elliott missed from 54 to end the half.

In the third quarter the Eagles moved to put the game away. A 12 play, 75 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive led to 3rd and goal at the one. Wentz hit Jeffery for the score as the Eagles were cruising 31-6. Saquon Barkley did race for a 50 yard touchdown, but the fourth quarter began with Elliott hitting a 30 yard field goal to close out the scoring. With just over 5 minutes left, the Giants faced 4th and 4 from the Philly 5. Manning threw incomplete. O’Dell Beckham screamed at the female official for pass interference that never came. Don’t blame sexism. Beckham screams at everybody. 34-13 Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons — The Bucs added after a 2-0 start and Jameis Winston is now starting again instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Falcons are a head-scratching 1-4 and in desperation mode. Both quarterbacks threw 41 passes, with Matt Ryan completing 31 and Jameis Winston completing 30. Winston threw for 395 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Ryan threw for 354 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 touchdowns. This game went down to the final bizarre play. After a touchback, Winston put on a clinic to start the game. From the Tampa 41, Pierre Barber ran for 28 yards. Winston then hit Chris Godwin for 14. On 3rd and 8 from Atlanta 15, Winston hit Cameron Brate for the touchdown. The extra point failed but the Buccaneers led 6-0. After a touchback the Falcons responded. From the Atlanta 35, Ryan hit Ridley for 15, Julio Jones for 10, and Mohammed Sanu for a 35 yard touchdown to make it 7-6 Falcons.

In the second quarter the Falcons moved 86 yards in 14 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. From the Atlanta 14, Ryan it Ridley for 22. On 3rd and 10 from the Atlanta 36, Ryan hit Hooper for 14. On 3rd and 9 from the Tampa Bay 39, Ryan hit Jones for 10. On 3rd and 11 from the Tampa 19, Ryan threw incomplete but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. Ito Smith ran for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Falcons. A 14 yard punt return gave the Falcons the ball back at their own 42. On 3rd and 7 from the Tampa 37, Ryan went deep to Jones for 28 yards and then to Austin Hooper for a 9 yard touchdown as the Falcons were cruising 21-6. They would not be cruising for long.

With 3 minutes left in the half the Buccaneers took over at their own 48. Winston hit OJ Howard for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Buccaneers within 21-13. Only 19 seconds remained in the half after a touchback, but Matty Ice made the most of them. Ryan hit Hooper for for 14, Hardy for 17, and Jones for 16. Matt Bryant hit a 45 yard field goal to have the Falcons up 24-13 at halftime. The third quarter was fairly quiet. The Buccaneers moved from their 40 to a 3rd and 5 at the Atlanta 11. Winston was sacked and the Bucs settled for a 35 yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal to trail 24-16. The fourth quarter was a wild affair.

The Buccaneers took over at their own 15 to start the fourth quarter. Winston hit Humphries for 12 and DeSean Jackson for 21. On 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 9, Winston hit Godwin for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed as the Buccaneers trailed 24-22. After a touchback, Ryan went deep to Jones for a 32 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 at the Tampa 42, Ryan scrambled for 13 yards. Ryan hit Tevin Coleman for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 31-22 Falcons with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Needing 2 scores after a touchback, Winston hit Jackson for 19 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Tampa 47, Winston threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 3rd and 3 from the Atlanta 41, Winston hit Godwin for 7 and again for 14 and then hit Howard for 15. Winston went to Peyton Barber for the 5 yard touchdown. With 3 1/2 minutes left, the Buccaneers were within 31-29. They needed a defensive stop.

After a touchback, Ryan went to Jones for 18 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Atlanta 45, Ryan went to Hooper for just enough. On 3rd and 2 from the Tampa 39 with 1:53 to play with the Buccaneers out of timeouts, Coleman got the carry. A first down would end it. Coleman got stopped cold. With 1:10 left, Dan Quinn had a big decision to make. A field goal would win the game for the Bucs and send the Falcons to 1-5. Rather than punt or go for it, Quinn had his kicker try a 57 yard field goal. While it is quarterback Ryan who carries the Matty Ice moniker, his kicker Bryant deserves it as well. Bryant leveled the field goal to put the Falcons up by 5.

With one minute left, the Bucs took over at their own 24. The missed extra point early in the game was the difference in the Buccaneers needing a field goal to tie things and instead needing to score a touchdown. Winston hit Jackson for 19, Evans fr 18 more, and Humphries for 19. Winston spiked the ball to stop the clock with 7 seconds left. From the Atlanta 21 without a timeout, Winston would have one or two plays at most. Then came the bizarre decision. Whether it was Winston or Dirk Koetter who made the decision, somebody needs to fess up. A pass to the end zone was the only rational decision. Winston decided to run with the ball. He ran up the middle for 13 yards, threw a wild lateral that was picked up at the Atlanta 5 yard line. Another lateral to a wide open Tampa player could have been the craziest finish since the Stanford marching band. Yet this lateral was fumbled out of bounds and the Buccaneers were done. It’s one thing to try the hook and laterals from your own 20, but from the opposing 20 a simple pass to the end zone is the way to go. 34-29 Falcons

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals — The Steelers always win and the Bengals always lose. Every time it seems times have changed, they have not. The Steelers are the big brother with 6 Super Bowl rings. The Bengals are the sad sack little brother with none. The Steelers came in having beaten the Bengals 6 straight times, including 5 straight times in Cincinnati. Mike Tomlin always outcoaches Marvin Lewis. The Bengals came in 4-1 while the Steelers were only 2-2-1. The Bengals had a chance to make a statement. A field position game and a 36 yard punt had the Bengals taking over at their own 46. On 3rd and 7 from the Pittsburgh 38, Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Uzomah for 10 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Pittsburgh 28, Dalton hit AJ Green for 19 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Dalton hit Tyler Boyd for the touchdown as the Bengals led 7-0 after the first quarter. The Steelers came back 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On the last play of the first quarter, the Steelers faced 2nd and 21 from the Cincy 30. Ben Roethlisberger went to Juju Smith-Schuster for 22 yards. The second quarter began with James Conner running for 7 yards and then the final yard for the score and a 7-7 ballgame.

With 5 1/2 minutes left after a touchback, Roethlisberg connected with Vince McDonald for 26 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 45, Roethlisberger hit McDonald for 11 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 30, Roethlisberger went to Smith-Schuster for 29 yards. Conner again got the last yard to make it 14-7 Steelers with one minute left in the half. That was plenty of time for the Bengals when Erickson returned the kickoff 47 yards to just past midfield, with 5 more yards tacked on for an illegal formation on the kicking team. With 19 seconds left in the half, the Bengals were at the Pittsburgh 14. Dalton fired to the end zone to Boyd for the touchdown as the teams went to the locker room tied 14-14.

In the third quarter the Steelers moved 85 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 1st and goal at the one, Conner got stopped. Then Big Ben threw incomplete. On 3rd and goal from the one, Conner got rocked for a 2 yard loss. Chris Boswell hit the 21 yard field goal as the Steelers led 17-14 after three quarters. It was deja vu all over again in the fourth quarter as the Steelers moved 82 yards in 1 2plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 2 from the Cincinnati 6 yard line with 4 1/2 minutes left, a short pass from Roethlisberger to McDonald lost a yard and was fumbled. The Steelers were saved when Smith-Schuster fell on it. On 4th and 2 at the 6, Mike Tomlin again opted for the field goal. Boswell hit from 24 as the Steelers led 20-14 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. Yet 2 defensive stands by the Bengals had them only down by 6 and gave the offense a chance to win it.

On 3rd and 4 from their own 31 with 3 minutes left, Dalton hit Uzomah for 5. A 14 yard defensive pass interference penalty moved the ball to midfield. Dalton hit Boyd for 16, Green for 23 and again for 7 more. Joe Mixon ran for the 4 yard touchdown The home crowd went crazy as the Bengals led 21-20 with only 1:18 to play. For those thinking the Bengals could close out the game, remember then history of these two franchises. Remember recent history. Remember the playoff game three years ago. The Bengals overcame a 15-0 deficit at home to lead 16-15 with one minute left. A defensive meltdown including 2 defensive personal fouls made Vontaze Burfect infamous as the Steelers by a score of 18-16 victorious.

This was a new year, right? From the Pittsburgh 23, we would soon know. On 3rd and 2 from the Pittsburgh 31, Roethlisberger hit Smith-Scuster for 10 yards with 36 seconds left. On 3rd and 10 from the Pittsburgh 41, Big Ben threw incomplete. Yet defensive holding kept the drive going with 22 seconds left. The Steelers were still at their own 46, not in field goal range. Big Ben hit Smith-Schuster for a 23 yard gain. The Steelers took their first timeout with 15 seconds left. Now they were at the Cincy 31. The winning field goal try would be 49 yards. Boswell never got the chance. Big Ben zipped a pass over the middle to Antonio Brown, who raced to the end zone for a touchdown in front of a shellshocked home crowd that should be used to this by now. With 10 seconds left, it happened again. The 2 point conversion was good. The responding Hail Mary was never close. New year. Same Steelers. Same Bengals. 28-21 Steelers

Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns — The Chargers are perpetual underachievers while the Browns are finally moving in the right direction. After going 1-15 with a win over the Chargers, the Browns went 0-16 by losing to them. This time the game was never close. A 32 yard punt return had the Chargers starting their first drive at their own 43. Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen ran for a pair of 16 yard gains. Gordon ran for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chargers. A field position game in the second quarter had the Browns starting a drive at the Chargers 33. Yet despite 2nd and 6 from the Chargers 15, Baker Mayfield threw incomplete twice. Greg Joseph hit the 33 yard field goal as the Browns trailed 7-3.

The Browns defense had been hanging tough, but Philip Rivers finally broke through midway through the second quarter. From the Chargers 11, Rivers needed only 2 plays to get the 89 yards. Sid Gillman and Don Coryell had to be smiling in different places as Rivers went deep to Williams for 44 yards and again to Williams for a 45 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Chargers. With 2:13 left in the half, the Chargers got it back at their own 23. Gordon gained 14. Rivers then hit Allen for 16 and Gordon for 14 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Cleveland 29, Rivers went to Williams for the touchdown. With 45 seconds left in the half, the Chargers led 21-3.

The Brown would get a field goal before the half but the Chargers put the game away in the third quarter. An interception of Mayfield was returned 33 yards to the Cleveland 10. One play later Gordon ran it in to make it 28-6 Chargers. The Chargers got it back at their own 19. On 1st and 25 from their own 20, Rivers went to Allen for 20 yards. Gordon would run for an 11 yard touchdown on a drive that never reached third down. The Chargers led 35-6 after three quarters and the fourth quarter was a formality. Cleveland would get a garbage touchdown and 2 point conversion and the Chargers tacked on a field goal to complete the scoring. Anthony Lynn has the Chargers at 4-2 while the 2-3-1 Browns are still improved under Hue Jackson despite this setback. 38-14 Chargers

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans — After a pair of tough overtime wins, this time the Texans had a game settled in regulation. The defenses controlled much of this game. DeShaun watson threw a 13 yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins in the first quarter. In the second quarter the Texans blocked a punt and took over at the Buffalo 21. The Texans settled for a 33 yard Kaimi Fairbairn field goal and took a 10-0 lead to the locker rooms. In the third quarter an interception of Watson set up the Bills at the Houston 30. Yet despite 2nd and goal at the 4, Allen threw incomplete twice. Stephen Hauschka hit the 23 yard field goal to get the Bills on the board. The Bills got it back and Allen completed a 39 yard pass. One play later Allen got knocked out of the game. World famous Nathan Peterman came in. Hauschka added a 52 yarder as the Bills trailed 10-6 after three quarters.

Late in the third quarter on 3rd and 1 from their own 34, Watson was sacked and fumbled. The Bills took over at the Houston 32. On 3rd and 11 from the Houston 16, Peterman went to Bay Jones for the touchdown. with 13 minutes left the Bills had the 13-10 lead. Buffalo got it back and held the ball for 6 1/2 minutes. Yet somehow they only moved 34 yards. With 4 minutes left the Texans took over at their own 8 yard line. Watson hit Fuller for 17 yards. On 2nd and 15 from the Houston 20, Watson found Hopkins for 24 and Alfred Blue for 14 more. From the Buffalo 42, defensive pass interference on a deep ball meant 1st and goal at the one at the 2 minute warning. A run lost a yard, a pass lost another yard, and a false start killed the drive. Fairbairn hit from 27 to tie the game 13-13 with 90 seconds to play.

Peterman is known as the guy who completes passes to the other team. Last year he threw 5 interceptions in only one half of football. He is not the worst quarterback to ever start a football game, but he made his case in this game. Peterman completed a pass to Jonathan Joseph, who plays defense for the Texans. The 28 yard interception return touchdown had the Texans up by 7. There was still 1:15 on the clock since Peterman only needed 18 seconds to turn a tie game into a losing one. With 35 seconds left, on 3rd and 6 at the Buffalo 30, Peterman was intercepted again. It is very important for those who care about this stuff to note that Nathan Peterman is absolutely not Jewish. 20-13 Texans

Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins — Ryan Tannehill is inconsistent and frequently injured. Today he was injured. So the Dolphins started Brock Osweiler, who is inconsistent. A horrendous first half saw a first quarter field position game that had the Dolphins facing 3rd and 5 just past midfield. Osweiler went deep to Grant for 25 yards. Osweiler hit Nick O’Leary for a 5 yard touchdown. The defenses took over as the Dolphins led 7-0 at halftime. The second half was as wild as the first half was boring.

The Bears started the third quarter at their own 25 and immediately were a different team. Mitch Trubisky ran for a 28 yard gain. Defensive pass interference added 32 more yards. Trubisky hit Trey Burton for a 9 yard touchdown and a 7-7 game. On 3rd and 7 from the Miami 40, Osweiler was intercepted by Fuller, who returned it 35 yards to the Miami 12. One play later Trubisky hit Allen Robinson for the touchdown to make it 14-7 Bears. The Dolphins would move after a touchback to a 3rd and 6 at the Chicago 32. Osweiler threw incomplete but Sanders nailed the 50 yard field goal to get the Dolphins within 14-10. After a touchback the Bears struck quickly. Trubisky went deep to Gabriel for 54 yards. Tariq Cohen then ran for a 21 yard touchdown to make it 21-10 Bears. Then the game changed again.

The Dolphins embarked on an 11 play, 68 yard drive that consumed 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from the Chicago 7, Osweiler threw incomplete. Sanders hit the 25 yard field goal as the Dolphins trailed 21-13 after three quarters. On 2nd and 7 from the Chicago 28, Trubisky went to Cohen for a 50 yard gain and then to Robinson for 21 more to set up 1st and goal at the 3. Trubisky hit Cohen for the score and the Bears thought they had delivered the knockout blow. Yet offensive pass interference nullified the score. On the next play Trubisky was intercepted in the end zone for a touchback. It was a big momentum shift. On 3rd and 5 from the Miami 25, Osweiler went to Albert Wilson for 28 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Chicago 43, Oswiler went to Wilson for the touchdown. Osweiler hit Kenny Stills for the 2 point try. With 9 minutes left in regulation, the game was tied 21-21. The action was barely getting started.

After a touchback the Bears moved 75 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 2 from their own 33, Trubisky threw incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant 6 yards and the drive continued. On 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 46, Trubisky hit Cohen for 11 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Miami 29, Trubisky went to Allen Miller for the touchdown. With a little over 3 minutes to play, the Bears led 28-21. Only 16 seconds later, the game was tied 28-28. Osweiler connected with Wilson for a 75 yard touchdown to know the game up. At the 2 minute warning the Bears faced 2nd and 14 at their own 32. Trubisky hit Cohen for 11 yards, but Cohen fumbled and the Dolphins recovered at the Chicago 45. One first down would mean long field goal range. Yet on 4th and 6 from the Chicago 41, Adam Tase was not going to risk it all. 34 seconds still remained, so a missed kick or going for it would give the Bears a golden opportunity. Gase punted and the game went to overtime.

In overtime, the Dolphins moved from their 25 to a 3rd and goal at the one halfway through overtime. The Dolphins were inches short of the goal line. A quarterback sneak over the plane would have ended it. Unfortunately, today’s coaches all seem to emphasize strategy and charts and graphs over power and brute force. For future reference, any coach that lines up in the shotgun from inside the opponent one yard line should be shot. Being too cute by half is frustrating. Sometimes basic, textbook football works. Vince Lombardi did not win the Ice Bowl with cuteness. Anyway, out of the shotgun, Kenny Drake got the carry and fumbled. The Bears recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

On 2nd and 25, Howard gashed the Miami defense for gains of 19 and 15. On 3rd and 4 from the Miami 35, Matt Nagy played it very safe. A run up the middle gained nothing. At the 2 minute warning, Cody Parkey came in for a 53 yard field goal to beat his old team. The kick was no good and the game continued. From the Miami 43, Drake redeemed himself by running for 4 yards, taking a pass 15 more yards, and running for 3 more. Osweiler took the clock down to 3 seconds and spiked the ball. On 4th and 1 from the Chicago 29, Sanders came in for a 47 yard field goal to win it. Since overtime was invented in 1974, no NFL season has had more than 2 tie games. There have already been 2 ties in the first 5 weeks. Anyway, Sanders was good, Drake was redeemed, and Parkey was not. Osweiler had his best game as a pro, throwing for 380 yards by completing 28 of 44 passes with 2 interceptions. Trubisky was 22 of 31 for 316 yards and one interception. Both quarterbacks threw 3 touchdown passes. The Bears are 3-2 nd the Dolphins are a surprising 4-2, including 3-0 at home. 31-28 Dolphins, OT

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings — Josh Rosen got his first win in the NFL last week, but at Minnesota and Mike Zimmer’s defense was a tougher test. Early on Zimmer decided to go for it on 4th and 2 from the Arizona 42. Kirk Cousins threw a pass that lost a yard. The great field position allowed the Cardinals to reach 2nd and 7 at the Minnesota 8. Rosen threw incomplete twice. Phil Dawson hit the 26 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cardinals. After a touchback Latavius Murray torched the Cardinals. He ran for a 26 yard gain and then ran for a 21 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Vikings. On the next play from scrimmage David Johnson fumbled and the Vikings took over at the Arizona 32. The defense held but Dan Bailey hit a 37 yard field goal to make it 10-3 Vikings after the first quarter.

In the second quarter an interception of Cousins had the Cardinals taking over at the Minnesota 47. Rosen went deep to Seals-Jones for a 40 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Rosen threw incomplete. Steve Wilks decided to go for it. On 4th and goal at the one, Johnson got the carry and ran into a purple Minnesota brick wall. The Vikings defense was suffocating the Arizona offense. With 4 minutes left in the half, the Vikings faced 3rd and 9 at their own 36. Disaster struck the Vikings fumbled and Budda Baker returned it 36 yards for a touchdown for a 10-10 game. After an exchange of punts, the Vikings faced 3rd and 3 at their own 41 with 55 seconds left in the half. Cousins found Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen for a pair of 17 yard gains. Bailey hit the 48 yard field goal as the Vikings led 13-10 at the break.

The third quarter belonged to Minnesota’s defense as they put the game away. The offense took the second half kickoff and moved 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 13, Cousins hit hielen for the score to make it 20-10 Vikings. Sherels then returned a punt 20 yards to have the Vikings get back at the Arizona 43. Murray ran for a 34 yard gain and Cousins ran for the  7 yard touchdown to have the Vikings in command up 27-10 after three quarters. Arizona did get a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, but went backward when they got the ball back again. With 3 1/2 minutes left on 4th and 25 from their own 42, Steve Wilks chose to punt. The Cardinals never got the ball back. 27-17 Vikings.

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets — 50 years ago these teams played one of the most consequential games in NFL history. While this game was nowhere near as significant, it was still an exciting game worthy of the old AFL. On the second play of the game, Andrew Luck was intercepted by Morris Claiborne, who returned it 17 yards for a touchdown. 12 seconds into the game, the Jets led 7-0. The Colts soon faced 3rd and 8 at their own 27. Luck hit Eric Ebron for 15 yards, Alie-Cox for 34 more, and Marcus Johnson for a 34 yard touchdown. With one touchdown pass to each team, Luck had tied the game 7-7.

The Jets then moved 69 yards in 13 plays, taking nearly 8 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 2 from the Indy 9, Isaiah Crowell got the carry and lost 3 yard. Jason Myers hit the 30 yard field goal as the Jets led 10-7. The Jets soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 33. Darnold was intercepted by Hooker, who returned it 27 yards to the Jets 35. The second quarter began with the Colts reaching 1st and goal at the one. A pair of runs each lost a yard and Luck threw incomplete. Adam Vinatieri hit from 21 for a 10-10 deadlock. On the very next play from scrimmage, Quincy Enunwa fumbled and the Colts recovered at the Jets 41. On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 13, Luck threw incomplete. Vinatieri hit from 31 to make it 13-10 Colts, but after that momentum changed.

On the next Colts series on 3rd and 1 from their own 44, Robert Turbin got the carry and fumbled. The Jets took over at the Indy 43. On 3rd and 7 from the Indy 40, Darnold hit Kearse for 19 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Indy 17, Darnold found Kearse again for 7 yards. Darnold went to Terrell Pryor for a 7 yard touchdown as the Jets led 17-13 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. 2 plays later Luck was intercepted by Williamson, setting the Jets up at the Colts 22 at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 10 Darnold hit Powell for 12, but an ineligible receiver downfield killed the drive. Myers hit from 48 to make it 20-13 Jets with 1:25 left in the half. The Colts went 3 and out and the Jets got it back at their own 28 with 42 seconds left and 2 timeouts. Darnold hit Pryor for gains of 5 and 22, Anderson for 9, and Kearse for 22 more. Darnold spiked the ball with 3 seconds left. Myers hit the 32 yard field goal as the Jets led 23-13 at halftime. The Jets took over in the third quarter and faced 3rd and 5 at their own 33. Darnold hit Pryor for 19. Powell ran for 16. Darnold then found Chris Herndon for a 32 yard touchdown as 20 unanswered points had the Jets up 30-13.

The Colts tried to make a game of it, moving 75 yards. Luck hit Ebron for an 18 yard touchdown to get the Colts within 30-20. Yet the Colts defense had no answers. After a touchback the Jets moved to a 1st and 10 at the Indy 24. on 3rd and 10, a completion only gained half. Myers hit the 37 yard field goal as the Jets led 33-20 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. After a touchback, the Colts faced 1st and 19 at their own 36. Luck hit Carlos rogers for 21 yards. From the Indy 15, a pair of defensive penalties put the ball on the one yard line to start the fourth quarter. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Luck hit Erik Swoope for the touchdown. The Colts were now only down 33-27.

They got no closer. In the fourth quarter Myers hit from 45. After an interception of Luck, Myers hit from 37. After the Colts turned it over on downs, Myers hit his 5th field goal from 45 to make it 42-27 Jets. Luck did throw a 17 yard touchdown pass to Chester Rogers with 1:51 left, but the onside kick failed and Darnold took 3 knees to end it. Darnold finished 24 of 30 for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns with one interception. Luck finished 23 of 43 for 301 yards with 4 touchdowns but also 3 interceptions. The Colts are a 1-5 mess under rookie coach Frank Reich while the Jets have fought their way back to 3-3 for Todd Bowles. 42-34 Jets

Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders in London. In the United States, the Raiders lose in heartbreaking fashion. Overseas, they just get blown out. Derek Carr completed 23 of 31 passes but for only 142 yards. He was also sacked 6 times. The Raiders had every chance to make it a game early on and never did. The Seahawks just made it look easy from the start, moving 82 yards in 14 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 8 at the Oakland 25, Russell Wilson went to Swoopes for 23 yards. Wilson hit Jaron Brown for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Seahawks before Oakland ever saw the ball. As the first quarter was ending, the Raiders faced 3rd and 5 at their own 31. Carr was sacked and fumbled. The Seahawks soon aced 3rd and 5 at the Oakland 19. Wilson hit David Moore for the touchdown as the Seahawks started the second quarter by taking a 14-0 lead. The Raiders mounted a 14 play drive that consumed 8 minutes but only netted 45 yards. Matt McCrane missed a 48 yard field goal. With 43 seconds left in the half, the Raiders faced 4th and inches at the Seattle 41. Jon Gruden decided to go for it. The quarterback sneak was the right call, but it was badly executed. Carr got stopped. The resulting field position let Sebastian Janikowski put the dagger in against his old team. Seabass hit the 44 yard field goal to make it 17-0 Seahawks at halftime. For some reason, league rules and diplomatic relations involving Brexit forced the second half to be played.

The Raiders began the third quarter by facing 3rd and 16 at their own 19. Carr was sacked again and fumbled again. The Seahawks took over at the Oakland 11. The defense held but Seabass hit from 26 to make it 20-0 Seahawks. On the first play of the fourth quarter, facing 4th and 7 at the Oakland 10, Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for the touchdown to make it 27-0 Seahawks. The Raiders mounted a 12 play drive that consumed 7 minutes. Such ball control would be great if they were up by 3 rather than down by 27. After consecutive sacks of Carr, Jon Gruden decided just to avoid the shutout. McCrane hit a 43 yard field goal. Although 8 1/2 minutes remained, the Raiders never got the ball back as the Seahawks showed how to close out a game. The Raiders are a miserable 1-5, and every aspect of the team is fairly dreadful. The 3-3 Seahawks are still fighting hard for Pete Carroll, which is a lot more than the future Raiders of Las Vegas can say. 27-3 Seahawks

Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins — The Panthers have been playing well while the Redskins have not. This was a reversal of fortune. West Coast Offense dink and dunk game manager Alex Smith had his typical dink and dunk game, completing 21 of 36 passes for 163 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Cam Newton was 27 of 40 for 275 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Yet it was the Redskins jumping all over the Panthers from the start. The Panthers fumbled a punt, and the Redskins took over at the Carolina 22. One play later San Francisco castoff Smith found San Francisco castoff Vernon Davis for a touchdown to make it 7-0 Redskins. Washington got it back and moved 64 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 1 at the Washington 45, Jay Gruden decided to go for it in his own territory. Smith got 2 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Carolina 44, San Francisco castoff Smith found San Francisco castoff Davis for 21 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Smith found Paul Richardson for the touchdown and the 14-0 Redskins lead. Newton was intercepted on the next Carolina series. After that series, the Panthers fumbled the ball away. Dustin Hopkins hit a 49 yard field goal in the second quarter to make it 17-0 Redskins.

Carolina tried to rally. From their own 25, Newton hit Christian McCaffrey for 8 and again for 13. Newton ran for 13 and hit Moore for 18. Newton found Devon Funchess for a 23 yard touchdown. Last week Graham Gano was the hero who nailed a 63 yard field goal at the gun for a win. This week he missed an extra point as the Panthers trailed 17-6 at intermission. Gano would hit a third quarter field goal to get the Panthers within 17-9. With 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Jay Gruden again took a bold gamble to spark his team. He brought in Hopkins to try a 56 yard field goal knowing a miss could lead to a tie game. Hopkins delivered and the Redskins led 20-9. Newton brought the Panthers 75 yards and threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith. Newton hit Smith for the 2 point conversion as the Panthers only trailed 20-17 with 8 1/2 minutes to play.

The Redskins moved 64 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 3rd and 6 at the Carolina 11, Smith threw incomplete. Hopkins hit the 29 yard field goal but the Redskins only led by 6 with over 3 minutes left. Newton had time to lead a stirring comeback. 12 plays and 68 yards later, the Panthers had moved from their own 16 to a 2nd and 5 at the Washington 16 with 47 seconds left. Newton threw 3 straight incompletions and the Redskins held on. Josh Norman got revenge against his old team. 23-17 Redskins

Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos — The unbeaten Rams took on a reeling Denver team in the first truly cold weather game of the season. Warm weather permeated much of the country, but it was 25 degrees in Denver with brief snow flurries. Nevertheless, the Rams offense remained red hot and Michelin Man Wade Phillips saw his new defense beat up his former team that he won a Super Bowl with. In the first quarter the Rams moved from their 29 to a 3rd and 6 at the Denver 8. Jared Goff threw incomplete. Cairo Santos hit the 26 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Rams. The Rams got it back and moved from their own 8 to a 3rd and 2 at the Denver 21. Goff threw incomplete and santos hit from 39. The Rams led 6-0, but Denver’s defense was keeping them in the game.

After a touchback, Denver moved to a 2nd and 5 at the Rams 44. Case Keenum went deep to Emanuel Sanders for the touchdown, but the celebration was short-lived. The Broncos were not in the lead. Sanders was ruled down at the one. Making matters worse a taunting penalty on Sanders moved the ball back to the 16. On 3rd and 4 from the 10, Keenum threw incomplete. Brandon McManus hit a 28 yard field goal on the final play of the opening quarter as the Broncos were within 6-3. The Rams finally got going from their own 34. Todd Gurley ran for gains of 29 and 5 and caught a pass for 13 more.On 4th and 1 from the Denver 10, Sean McVay made the decision of the game by deciding to go for it. Gurley got the carry, got the first down, and got the touchdown to make it 13-3 Rams at the half. In the third quarter the Rams faced 3rd and 10 at their own 42. Goff hit Robert Woods for 14 and Everett for 12. On 3rd and 1 from the Denver 23, Gurley ran for 21 yards and then for a one yard touchdown. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter, the Rams had a 20-3 stranglehold lead.

From the Rams 34, Keenum went deep and was intercepted. The Rams took over at their own 6. On 3rd and 6 from their 10, Goff had the ball intercepted right back. The Broncos took over at the Rams 12. From the 22 after offensive pass interference, Keenum went to Emanuel Sanders for the touchdown as the Broncos were within 20-10 after three quarters. The Rams missed a chance to extend the lead when Santos missed a 47 yard field goal try. Denver took over at their own 37 and Keenum went deep to Sutton for 41 yards. Yet despite 2nd and 5 from the Denver 6, Keenum threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores with 9 minutes left in regulation, Vance Joseph opted for the field goal. McManus hit from 24 as the Broncos were now only down 20-13.

The Rams went into pure power football mode, moving 72 yards in 13 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Gurley ran for 9, 0, and then on 3rd and 1 got the yard. Woods gained 12. Gurley ran for 3 and then ripped off a 26 yard gain. Brown ran for 5. With the running game working perfectly, Sean McVay called a pass play. Goff was sacked for an 8 yard loss. McVay gets some latitude because the Rams are unbeaten, but too many coaches call high risk pass plays when running the ball is working. On 3rd and 13 at the Denver 27, McVay again went bold rather than run and kick a field goal. Goff hit Woods for a 19 yard gain. At this point from the 8 yard line, McVay kept it on the ground. Santos hit the 21 yard field goal as the Rams led 23-13 with only 3 minutes left. Keenum did lead the Broncos 77 yards and hit Demaryius Thomas for a one yard touchdown with 1:22 to play. The onside kick failed and the Rams remained unbeaten. They showed they can win flashy, but they can also play smash mouth when necessary. They are a complete team in every sense of the word. 23-20 Rams

Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys — The Jaguars are not that bad and the Cowboys are not that good. This was just one of those games. Brett Maher hit a 50 yard field goal for the Cowboys to start the deluge. Dallas got it back at the Jacksonville 48. On 3rd and 5 from the Jacksonville 43, Dak Prescott hit Cole Beasley for 15. Prescott ran for a 17 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Cowboys. Dallas got it back to start the second quarter at their own 16 and just kept running. Ezekiel Elliott gained 7, Prescott added 7, and Elliott ran for 20 more. From the Jags 31, Prescott hit Gathers for 14 and Beasley for the 17 yard touchdown to make it 17-0 Cowboys. Dallas got it back and embarked on a staggering 16 play, 78 yard drive that consumed 7 1/2 minutes. The Cowboys were set up to punt on 4th and 1 just shy of midfield. Yet the Jaguars had too many men on the field so the Cowboys kept the ball. On 4th and 1 at the Jags 37, Jason Garrett this time decided to go for it. Elliott got 2 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the 30, Prescott hit Beasley for 18. On 3rd and 7 from the 9, Prescott hit Beasley for the touchdown and the 24-0 Cowboys lead at the half.

The second half was a formality. Blake Bortles did throw a 34 yard third quarter touchdown pass to Dede Westbrook to avoid the shutout, but this game was all Cowboys. Maher hit a 46 yard field goal in the third quarter. An interception of Bortles led to Maher hitting again from 32 in the fourth quarter. On the next play from scrimmage after a touchback, the Jaguars fumbled and the Cowboys took over at the Jags 31. Elliott ran for 21 and after a delay of game ran for a 15 yard touchdown to complete the blowout. Both teams are 3-3, but going in different directions. 40-7 Cowboys

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans — These teams have played brutal defensive head-knocker football games over the years. These slugfests were often close games. Not this time. Despite Ray Lewis and Ed Reed long being retired, John Harbaugh’s defense belted Mariota. He was sacked 11 times, while only completing 10 passes. The Titans had 7 first downs. Everybody hit Mariota except Tony Siragusa. In the first quarter Baltimore mounted a suffocating 17 play, 94 yard, 9 minute drive. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Joe Flacco hit Michael Crabtree for the touchdown. In the second quarter the Ravens took over at their own 48. Alex Collins ran for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Ravens at halftime. The Ravens took the ball to start the third quarter and mounted a 12 play, 78 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. Collins ran for the 2 yard touchdown. This was old-school Ravens football. Get a lead and unleash the defense. Steve McNair would not have survived this kind of beating. Mariota had no chance. 21-0 Ravens

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots was the Sunday night game. The Chiefs came in 5-0 and having beaten the Patriots two straight times, including blasting them in New England in last year’s opener. Yet every time this century the Patriots are discounted, they respond with fury. After a touchback to start the game, the Patriots faced 3rd and 3 at the Chiefs 40. Tom Brady threw incomplete and Bill Belichick made the surprise decision to go for it only 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Brady threw incomplete again. The good field position allowed the Chiefs to score first when Harrison Butker hit a 42 yard field goal. After a touchback, the Patriots moved to the Chiefs 30. Stephen Gostkowski hit from 48 for a 3-3 game.

The Chiefs took over at their own 23 and the first big break in the game came. Patrick Mahomes was intercepted by Donta Hightower, who returned it 27 yards to the Chiefs 4 yard line. The Patriots scored the touchdown when Michel ran it in as New England led 10-3. A very short kickoff had the Chiefs taking over at their own 45. Mahomes went to Kareem Hunt for 25 yards. On 2nd and 4 from the Chiefs 24, rather than run the ball, pass-happy Walrus Lite Andy Reid kept passing. Mahomes threw incomplete twice. Butker hit from 42 to get the Chiefs within 10-6 after the first quarter.

The Patriots came back 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 10 from the Chiefs 17, Brady went to Julian Edelman for the touchdown. Edelman missed the first 4 games with a suspension, and his return has been important. The Patriots led 17-6. The Chiefs moved 69 yards in 11 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Yet on 2nd and goal from the 4, pass-happy Walrus Lite Andy Reid kept passing. One pass lost 2 yards and on 3rd and goal Mahomes threw incomplete. Butker hit from 24 as the Chiefs trailed 17-9. The Patriots moved 75 yards late in the half. At the 2 minute warning on 3rd and goal from the one, Michel got in the end zone. The Chiefs were kicking field goals while the Patriots were scoring touchdowns. After a touchback the Chiefs quickly moved to a 1st and 10 at the Patriots 15 yard line with 4 seconds left in the half. Rather than try a 33 yard field goal with a kicker who was 3 for 3, pass-happy Walrus Lite Andy Reid kept passing. Mahomes went to the end zone and was intercepted by Harmon for a touchback. The Patriots led 24-9 at halftime. The game completely changed in the third quarter.

On the 3rd play of the third quarter with the Chiefs facing 3rd and 2 at their own 33, Mahomes went deep to Kareem Hunt for a 67 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Chiefs were within 24-16. The Patriots mounted a 12 play, 65 yard drive that took 6 minutes. Despite 1st and goal at the 6, a run gained one yard and Brady threw incomplete twice. Gostkowski hit from 24 as the Patriots led 27-16. The Chiefs had their turn and moved from their own 37 to a 3rd and 2 at the New England 12. Mahomes threw incomplete. Butker hit the 30 yarder as the Chiefs were within 27-19. After a touchback, a pair of Brady incompletions had the Patriots facing 3rd and 10 at their own 36. Brady was sacked and fumbled. The Chiefs took over at the New England 29. Mahomes hit Sammy Watkins for 15 and Tyreeq Hill for the 14 yard touchdown. Walrus Lite Andy Reid is frequently criticized for his decision-making, but he made a very important decision that was the right one. Rather than go for the 2 point try to tie the game, he kicked the extra point. The Chiefs trailed 27-26 after three quarters, but chasing points in the middle of a game is the wrong course of action

After a touchback, Brady hit Edelman for 21 yards as the Patriots began the fourth quarter at their own 47. Yet on 3rd and 6 from the Chiefs 21, Brady threw incomplete. Gostkowski hit from 39 as the Patriots led 30-26. Then came the Chiefs special team. From the goal line, Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards. He was caught from behind at the last moment but the Chiefs had 1st and goal at the 3. On 3rd and goal at the one, the entire world knew that pass-happy Walrus Lite Andy Reid was going to pass. Mahomes threw a fade pass that appeared overthrown, but a sliding Tyreeq Hill made the catch and kept his feet from touching the white chalk. Hill may not have been the primary receiver on the play, but a 24-6 second half run had the Chiefs up 33-30 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, Brady hit White for 9 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the New England 34, Brady went deep to Chris Hogan for a 42 yard gain. Brady went back to Hogan on the next play for 19 more yards down to the 5. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Brady appeared to be sacked. Yet somehow he escaped, scrambled up the middle, and dove over the goal line for the touchdown. Now the Patriots had retaken the lead 37-33 with 5 1/2 minutes to play. Replay showed that rookie Braylon Speakes clearly had Brady dead to rights, but that he let go of Brady to avoid a penalty. Perhaps he thought Brady had thrown the ball already. It was another example of why trying to make the game safer is a delicate balance as fear of penalties leads to defensive errors.

On the next Chiefs series Mahomes threw a mom on third down off of his back foot. He was lucky his under thrown ball was not intercepted. The Chiefs had not punted all game, but with 4 minutes left in regulation they did. The Patriots took over at their own 21. Rather than run down the clock, now it was Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels getting aggressive. Brady went to Rob Gronkowski, and Gronk stiff-armed a defender and threw him out of the way for a 42 yard gain. The Chiefs took their first timeout on defense with 3 1/2 minutes left. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 33, Brady threw incomplete. Edelman had it in his hands but dropped it. Belichick had Gostkowski try a 50 yard field goal knowing a miss would have the Chiefs in position for a win. Gostkowski delivered and the Patriots led 40-33 with 3:15 to play.

12 seconds later, the game was tied again. Are? You? Kissing? Me???!!!!!! On 1st and 10 after a touchback, Mahomes went bombs away to Hill for a 75 yard touchdown. With 3 minutes left, the NFL had a 40-40 game. At the 2 minute warning, the Patriots faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. A short un of 2 yards kept the drive going. With everything on the line, Brady went deep to Gronkowski for a 39 yard gain. The Chiefs only had one timeout left, so they were helpless on defense. With 3 seconds left, Gostkowski came in for a 28 yarder to win it. The kick was good and the game of the year had everything but overtime. The 41 year old Brady ran across the field to congratulate the 23 year old Mahomes, as the Chiefs were knocked from the rails of the unbeaten. Mahomes finished 23 of 36 for 352 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Brady went 24 of 35 for 340 yards, one touchdown, and 0 interceptions. After 2 straight losses to Andy Reid, Bill Belichick got the better of him this time. An AFC Title Game rematch would be well worth the price of admission. Brady is winding down but as good as ever. Mahomes is scary good and will be for quite some time. Last year the 5-0 Chiefs collapsed to 6-6. Don’t be fooled by this loss. The Chiefs even in defeat are for real. The Patriots barely survived them in New England. They would not want to face them in January in Kansas City. 43-40 Patriots

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers was the Monday night game. Both offenses shot out of the gate, with very little defense to be found. After a touchback, CJ Beathard found Goodwin for 17 yards, Juszczyk for 9, and Bourne for 22. Matt Breida ran for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 49ers only 4 minutes into the game. The Packers took over at their own 23 and on the first play from scrimmage, Aaron Rodgers went deep Valdes-Scantling for a 60 yard gain. Jones ran for 16 yards and Montgomery ran for a2 yard touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame. The 49ers fumbled the ensign kickoff and the Packers took over at the San Francisco 34. Despite 2nd and 9 from the 49ers 11, Rodgers threw incomplete twice. Mason Crosby shook off last week’s nightmarish performance to hit a 29 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Packers

The Packers took over at their own 21. From their 34, Rodgers went deep to Jimmy Graham for a 54 yard gain. Rodgers hit Devontae Adams for a 9 yard touchdown to male it 17-7 Packers. The 49ers took over at their 22 and came right back. From their 33, Beathard went bombs away to Goodwin for a 67 yard touchdown to get the 49ers within 17-14. All of this was still in the first quarter.

Green Bay returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards to the San Francisco 28, but it was called back by a penalty. In the second quarter the 49ers took over at their 20. Beathard hit Juszczyk for 21 yards, but Juszczyk fumbled and the Packers recovered at the San Francisco 44. Despite 1st and 10 at the San Francisco 21, pass-happy Mike McCarthy kept passing. Rodgers threw 3 straight incompletions. Crosby hit the 39 yard field goal to make it 20-14 Packers. A 25 yard return on the kickoff had the 49ers at their own 35. Beathard hit Kittle for 9 yards. Mostert ran for a 26 yard gain. Beathard then went deep to a wide open Goodwin for a 30 yard touchdown. With 6 minutes left in the half, the 49ers had a 21-20 lead. The 49ers got it back at their own 40 and ended the half with Robbie Gould hitting a 46 yard field goal for a 24-20 49ers lead.

After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Packers soon faced 1st and 10 at their own 37. Rodgers rolled to his right, and with his feet off the ground found Valdes-Scantling for a 30 yard gain. The drive died there, but Crosby nailed a 51 yard field goal dead center to get the Packers within 24-23. The 49ers after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 2 at the Green Bay 26. Beathard threw incomplete. Gould hit from 44 to make it 27-23 49ers. The 49ers got it back at their own 18 and moved 58 yards in 10 plays in 5 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from the Green Bay 24, Beathard threw incomplete. With 13 minutes left in regulation, Gould hit from 42 to make it 30-23 49ers.

After a touchback, the Packers moved to a 3rd and 10 at the San Francisco 11. Rodgers could not find anybody and scrambled for 7 yards. Mike McCarthy decided to go for it and Rodgers threw incomplete midway through the fourth quarter. The 49ers went 3 and out and the Packers got it back in excellent field position at their own 48 with 5 1/2 minutes left. A pass lost 3 yards and a sack of Rodgers meant 3 and out. With 4 minutes left, Mike McCarthy opted to punt and trust his defense in a game with very little defense. The 49ers took over at their own 19. Kyle Shanahan learned nothing from his Super Bowl loss with Atlanta a couple of years ago. He kept trying to pass the ball from deep in his own territory rather than run it. A sack of Beathard meant another 3 and out and the Packers getting the ball back at their own 42 with 3 minutes left. What could possibly go wrong?

Rodgers went deep to Adams for a 42 yard gain. At the 2 minute warning, the Packers faced 3rd and 6 at the Frisco 16. Rodgers floated a perfect pass just over the outstretched fingers of the defender into the arms of Adams for the touchdown. The teams were tied 30-30 as the 49ers took over at their own 47 with 1:49 left thanks to a personal foul call on the Packers. On 3rd and 3 at the Green Bay 46 with 1:13 left, a short completion and one more first down could have meant long field goal range. Instead Kyle Shanahan got greedy. A deep ball was intercepted by King at the Green Bay 10 yard line with 1:07 left.

Montgomery ran for 14 yards, but with 49 seconds left the Packers faced 3rd and 15 at their own 19. Overtime seemed almost certain. Rodgers was sacked, but a questionable illegal contact penalty on Richard sherman kept the drive going. Rodgers then scrambled up the middle for 21 yards as the clock ticked. The Packers had no timeouts so Rodgers spiked it with 20 seconds left. Rodgers went to Adams for 8 yards. with 15 seconds left, the Packers faced 3rd and 2 at the Frisco 47. Rodgers went to Brown for 19 yards. With 10 seconds left, a field goal try would have been 46 yards. Yes, Crosby was awful last week, but he was fine this week. McCarthy wanted it closer. Rodgers had to go sideline, and he hit Adams for 19 yards. Now from the 9 yard line with 6 seconds left, it was only a 27 yard try. For some mindless reason, McCarthy called one more play. Rodgers quickly threw it out of bounds to leave 3 seconds. Crosby came in, and the kick was good. Last week’s goat was this week’s hero. Beathard finished 16 of 23 for 245 yards 2 touchdowns, and one interception. Rodgers was 25 of 46 for 425 yards and 2 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. 33-30 Packers