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New York Giants at New England Patriots was the Thursday night game. In two Super Bowls, the heavily favored Patriots were shocked by the underdog Giants. Tom Brady is still playing, and last week passed Brett Favre to become third in all time passing yards. In the first 40 seconds of this game, he passed Peyton Manning to move into second place. He still trails Drew Brees by 3,000 yards. The two Super Bowls involved Eli Manning miracles. In this contest, Manning was on the bench. Daniel Jones is now the Giants quarterback. For over three quarters, this was actually a competitive game. Then reality set in. 

The Patriots moved from their own 28 to a 3rd and 1 at the Giants 19. Sony Michel got the carry and got stopped. Evil Hoodie Bill Belichick decided to go for it and Michel got stopped again. The teams traded punts and then traded interceptions. Late in the first quarter, the Giants punted from their own 19. The punt was blocked by Bolen and recovered by Winovich, who returned it 6 yards for a special teams touchdown and a 7-0 Patriots. In the second quarter the Giants took over at their own 25. At their 35, Jones was intercepted by Harmon, who returned it 27 yards to the Giants 20. On 2nd and 15 from the 25, Brady went to Meyers for 23 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Brandon Bolden got in to make it 14-0 Patriots. 

After a touchback, the Giants struck quickly. From their 36, Daniel Jones went to Golden Tate for a 64 yard gain. After another touchback, the Patriots quickly faced 2nd and 12 at the Giants 48. Brady was sacked and fumbled, and Golden returned the fumble 42 yard. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the half, the game was tied 14-14. 

Sony Michel ran the ball 4 straight times, and the Patriots faced 3rd and 6 at their own 41. Brady went to James White for 8 yards, Meyers for 23 more, Julian Edelman for 4, White for 7, White again for 5, and White one final tie for 11 yards down to the one. With 30 seconds left in the half, Nugent got the last yard foe the score to make it 21-14 Patriots. In the third quarter another interception of Jones led to a missed field goal. The Patriots on their next series turned it over on downs. It was a close game as the Giants faced 3rd and 9 at their own 33 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Giants fumbled and Kyle Van Noy returned it 22 yards for a score to make it 28-14 Patriots.  The Patriots got it back at their own 37 and Michel quickly ran for 13 and 4 yards. From the Giants 39, Brady went deep to Edelman for a 36 yard gain. Brady ran for the last yard himself to complete the scoring. 35-14 Patriots

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London was the Sunday early morning game. On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Jameis Winston was intercepted, setting up a 49 yard Joey Slye field goal to make it 3-0 Panthers. A punt would pin the Panthers at their own one yard line. On 3rd and 4 from their 7, Kyle Allen hit Moore for 6 and Greg Olsen for 16. A defensive facemask added 15 and Allen hit Curtis Samuel for 21 and Moore for 23. On 3rd and goal at the one, Allen got stopped. Riverboat Ron Rivera gambled on 4tha nd goal at the one and Christian McCaffrey got in for a 10-0 Panthers lead. The second quarter began with the Panthers fumbling a punt and the Buccaneers recovering at the Carolina 37. Winston went to Howard for 30 yards and Ronald Jones ran for a 5 yard touchdown to get the Buccaneers within 10-7. Yet an interception of Winston set up the Panthers at the Tampa Bay 36. On 3rd and 6 from the 32, Allen hit Moore for 7 and McCaffrey for a 25 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Panthers. Despite Slye missing a 60 yard field goal try to end the half, the Panthers were in command. 

In the second half the Panthers quickly put the game away. On 4th and 1 from the Tampa 28, this time Ron Rivera played it safe. Slye hit the 46 yard field goal to make it 20-7 Panthers. Winston was quickly intercepted by Luke Kuechly, who returned it 25 yards to the Tampa 8. On the next play Samuel ran for the touchdown to make it 27-7 Panthers. After a Bucs field goal, the Panthers marched 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from the Tampa 27, Allen went to Moore for 16 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Allen hit Samuel for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 34-10 Panthers. Carolina coasted from there. The Bucs did manage to reach the end zone twice, but Slye tacked on one more field goal in a game that was not as close as the score. After an 0-2 start, Allen has led the Panthers to 4 straight wins. Winston threw for 400 yards, but that was misleading. He completed 30 of 54 passes with one touchdown and a miserable 5 interceptions. 37-26 Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens — The Ravens are good and the Bengals are awful, but Brandon Wilson returned the opening kickoff 92 yards fr a touchdown as the Bengals led 7-0 only 12 seconds into the game. After that the Ravens took over. They moved 75 yards easily. Lamar Jackson ran for a 36 yard gain and then for a 21 yard touchdown to tie the game. Baltimore got it back and went 66 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes. From their 34, Jackson ran for 14 yards and then hit Mark Ingram for 11 more. On 2nd and 14 from the Cincy 45, Jackson hit Andrew for 20. After a false start, Jackson went to Boykin for 18 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Cincy 4, Edwards gained 3 and Ingram got the last yard for a 14-7 Ravens lead. After the first quarter the defenses dug in. Justin Tucker hit a 40 yard field goal to start the second quarter and put the Ravens up 17-7. Randy Bullock countered from 22 to end the half with the Bengals within 17-10. Tucker hit from 49 on the last play of the third quarter to make it 20-10 Ravens. Baltimore in the fourth quarter mounted a mind-numbing 18 play, 83 yard drive that took 9:46 off the clock. Despite 2nd and goal at the 2, the Ravens settled for a 21 yard Tucker field goal to make it 23-10 Ravens with 3:46 left in regulation. By the time Red Rifle Andy Dalton ran for a 2 yard touchdown to cap a 12 play, 75 yard drive, only 90 seconds remained. The onside kick failed and the Bengals remained winless. 23-17 Ravens

Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns — The Seahawks and Browns both talk, but the Seahawks back it up. Early on the Browns looked good. Hilliard returned the opening kickoff 74 yards to the Seattle 23. Nick Chubb returned for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Browns. After a touchback, Russell Wilson hit Willson for 5 and Bellore for 20 to midfield. On 3rd and 2 from the Cleveland 42, Wilson went to DK Metcalf for 30 yards. On 2nd and 14 from the cleveland 16, Wilson ran it in himself. The extra point was no good as the Seahawks trailed 7-6. Cleveland took over at their own 31 and soon faced 4th and  at the Seattle 38. Freddie Kitchens decided to go for it. Baker Mayfield went deep to Jarvis Landry for 27 yards. Mayfield ran for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Browns. Cleveland got it back at their own 8 and needed only 3 plays to go 92 yards. Mayfield hit O’Dell Beckham for 9. Chubb ran for a 52 yard gain. On the first play of the second quarter, Mayfield went to Ricky Seals-Jones for a 31 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, but the Browns were rolling 20-6. Then reality set in.

Jason Myers hit a 38 yard field goal. The Seahawks then blocked a punt and took over at the Cleveland 20. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Wilson threw incomplete. Pete Carroll went for the field goal and Myers hit from 20 to get the Seahawks within 20-12. Mayfield was intercepted, but the Seahawks could not capitalize. The Browns then moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Seattle 10 with 1:36 left in the half. Mayfield went to the end zone and was intercepted again. Seattle took over at their own 12. Wilson went to Chris Carson for 4 and Moore for 14. Wilson scrambled for 11 and then hit CJ Promise for 15 and Tyler Lockett for 22. With 22 seconds left in the half, the Seahawks faced 3rd and 5 at the Cleveland 17. Wilson went to Jaron Brown for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed, but instead of trailing 27-12 or even 23-12, Cleveland mistakes had he Seahawks within 20-18. The second half was inevitable.

In the third quarter, the Browns fumbled and the Seahawks recovered at their own 42. Wilson hit Willson for 11 and Carson ran for 25 more. Wilson hit Moore for 11 more. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Wilson went to Brown for the touchdown. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter, the Seahawks had their first lead of the game up 25-20. The Seahawks got it back and fumbled and the Browns took over at the Seattle 45. On 4th and goal at the one with 10:44 left in regulation, Freddie Kitchens again decided to go for it. Earlier in the drive, Cleveland converted on 4th and 3 from the Seattle 23. Mayfield went to Landry, who fumbled. Chub recovered it, but short of the goal line. Seattle was penalized for having 12 men on the field. Given another chance, Kitchens went for it again. This time Chubb lost a yard. Despite the goal line stand, Seattle had to punt on 4th and 11 from their own 1. Dickson shanked a 23 yard punt. Chubb then ran for 21 yards and then for the 3 yard touchdown. Mayfield hit Harris for the 2 point conversion. With 9 minutes left the Browns led 28-25. Yet the Browns defense could not hold the lead. On 2nd and 5 from their own 26, Wilson hit Metcalf for 12. 2 defensive penalties added 20 more yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 21, Wilson hit Lockett for gains of 5 and 15. Carson got the last yard to put the Seahawks back up by 4 points with 3 1/2 minutes left. Mayfield was quickly intercepted again to end any hopes of a comeback. Seattle is 5-1 and playing Pete Carroll team ball. 32-28 Seahawks

Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs — Normally the Chiefs get off to a slow start, take the first quarter off, and then explode in the second quarter to obliterate their opponent. Last week they were knocked from the unbeaten ranks in stunning fashion at home. This game was an even bigger surprise. The Chiefs began at their own 9 yard line. On 3rd and 6 from their own 13, Patrick Mahomes and Williams connected for a 52 yard gain. Penalties had the Chiefs facing 3rd and 21 at the Houston 46. Mahomes went to Tyreek Hill for the touchdown. Ho hum, Chiefs up 7-0. The Texans fumbled and the Chiefs took over at the Houston 18. Harrison Butker hit a 41 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Chiefs. The Texans did manage a 44 yard Kaimi Fairbairn field goal to get within 10-3, but the Chiefs offense kept rolling. On 3rd and 8 from their own 12, Mahomes threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference meant a 15 yard gain. Mahomes then hit Hill for 9 and Travis Kelce for 18 more. McCoy ran for 15 yards. Mahomes hit Hill for 11 and Damien Williams for the 14 yard touchdown. After one quarter, the Chiefs led 17-3. This game was over. 

Except it wasn’t. In the second quarter it was the Texans who exploded in front of a shocked home crowd at Arrowhead. Carlos Hyde ran for gains of 5, 9 and 11 on 3rd and 1 from the Houston 48. Deshaun Watson hit Fells for 15 yards and Duke Johnson for an 11 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Texans trailed 17-9. The Chiefs moved from their 19 to a 1st and 10 at the Houston 32. Mahomes went for it all and was intercepted for a touchback. Watson went to Coutee for 23 ya, Hyde for 14, Akins for 12, Deandre Hopkins for 6, and Coutee for 2 to set up 4th and 1 at the Chiefs 23. Bill O’Brien decided to go for it and Watson hit Hopkins for 7 and Johnson for 9. Hyde ran for the 2 yard touchdown to get the Texans within 17-16 with 3 minutes left in the half. Then there was chaos. With 1:44 left in the half, Butler missed a 50 yard field goal. With 39 seconds left on 4th and 1 from the Chiefs 40, O’Brien went for it. Watson went for it all and was intercepted for a touchback. Mahomes was then sacked and fumbled, and the Texans recovered at the Chiefs 3 yard line with 23 seconds left. Watson ran for the touchdown as a shellshocked home crowd saw the Texans leading 23-17 at halftime.

Four minutes into the third quarter, momentum swing again when Fairbairn missed a 46 yard field goal to extend the lead. Te Chiefs took over at their own 36. From the Houston 49, McCoy ran for 17 tyards and Mahomes hit Kelce for 16 more and Hardman for another 10. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Mahomes went to Hill for the score. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Chiefs had the 24-23 lead. The Texans moved from their own 23 to 1st and goal at the 8. On 3rd and goal at the 12, the third quarter ended with Watson again being intercepted for a touchback. The Texans got it back at their own 7 to start the fourth quarter. From their 16, Hyde ran for 9. Watson hit Akins for 23 and Fuller for 13. Watson ran for 7 to midfield and Johnson gained 9, 15 and 3.On 2nd and 15 from the Chiefs 19, Watson hit Fells for 18. Watson got the last yard and hit Hopkins for the 2 point try to put the Texans up by 7 with 6:17 left. The Chiefs went 3 and out and the Texans got it back with 5 minutes left at their own 37. Watson hit Hopkins for 18. With 2 1/2 minutes left and the Chiefs out of timeouts, the Texans faced 3rd and 1 at the Chiefs 25. Hyde lost 2 yards. At the 2 minute warning, on 4th and 3 from the 27, a 45 yard field goal would lock up the win. Instead Bill O’Brien put on his big boy pants and risked it all. He went high risk with a pass play. Watson hit Hopkins for 8 yards and took a couple knees. O’Brien would have been pilloried had the Chiefs tied the game. Yet it was the Chiefs losing 2 straight at home to make Andy Reid a most concerned Walrus Lite indeed. 31-24 Texans 

New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars — This was a brutal football game. In the first quarter a short punt had the Saints taking over at the Jacksonville 37. Wil Lutz hit a 47 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Saints. In the second quarter a 66 yard, 13 play drive went no further than the 4 yard line. Josh Lambo hit a 22 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. In the third quarter, an interception of Gardner Minshew allowed the Saints to move from their 40 but no further than the Jacksonville 3 yard line. Lutz hit from 21 to make it 6-3 Saints. Jacksonville moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 2 at the Saints 10. Minshew was sacked and Lambo hit from 32 for a 6-6 deadlock after three quarters. The Saints faced 1st and 20 at their own 15. Teddy Bridgewater went to Thomas for 26 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Jacksonville 44, Taysom Hill ran for 19 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Bridgewater went to Jared Cook for the only touchdown of the game and a 7 point Saints lead with 12 minutes left. With 9 minutes left on 4th and 2 from the Saints 40, Doug Marrone went for it and Minshew threw incomplete. The Saints ran the final 6 minutes off the clock. Bridgewater was far from spectacular but he managed the game perfectly and let the defense turn out the lights. Bridgewater is 4-0 as a starter as Sean Payton has a 5-1 football team winning with defense rather than offense. 13-6 Saints

Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings — Two years ago the Eagles crushed the Vikings in the NFC Title Game. Minnesota responded by bringing in Kirk Cousins. While that has not worked out well, this game was sweet vindication for him and his team. After a touchback, the Vikings faced 3rd and 13 just past midfield. Cousins went to Adam Thielen for 20 yards. Dalvin Cook ran for 15 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Philly 7, Cook ran for one. Mike Zimmer challenged the spot and won as it was ruled a 2 yard gain and a first down. Cousin hit Thielen for a 6 yard touchdown for a 7-0 Vikings lead. The Vikings got it back at their own 44 and Dan Bailey hit a 39 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Vikings. In the second quarter the Eagles did get a field goal of their own but the Vikings needed only 2 plays after a touchback to strike back. Cousins went to Minneapolis Miracle hero Stefan Diggs for a 52 yard touchdown to make it 17-3 Vikings. Doug Pederson then gambled on 4th and 2 just past midfield. Carson Wentz threw incomplete. On the next play Cousins went to Stefan Diggs for a 51 yard touchdown to make it 24-3 Vikings.  

The Eagles tried to make a game of it. After a touchback, Howard ran for 9. Wentz hit Goedert for 11 and 7. Wentz ran for 16. Wentz went to Miles Sanders for a 32 yard touchdown to get the Eagles within 24-10. In the third quarter the Eagles quickly faced 2nd and 7 at their own 28. Wentz went to Nelson Agholor for 23 and Sanders for 45 more. Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for a 3 yard touchdown to get the Eagles within 24-17. A short punt had the Eagles getting it back at their own 45. Wentz hit Jeffery for 26 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Minnesota 21, West Coast Offense guru Doug Pederson called a West Coast Offense dink and dunk pass. It lost a yard. Elliott hit a 40 yard field goal to get the Eagles within 24-20. 

Close was not good enough. The Vikings soon turned out the lights. After a touchback, Cousins hit Diggs for 13 and 8 and Johnson for 16. Diggs gained 8 and Cook ran for 6 and 5. Cousins hit Thielen for 8 and Diggs for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 31-20 Vikings. The Vikings got it back at their own 12 in the fourth quarter. From their 16, Cousins went to Smith for 29 yards. Mattison ran for 35 more. Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph for 13. Cook ran for a one yard touchdown to put the game on ice. The Eagles added another fumble and an interception for good measure. Wentz was 26 of 40 for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cousins was a sensational 22 of 29 for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns. Each quarterback was intercepted once. Diggs had 167 yards receiving on 7 catches with 3 touchdowns. 38-20 Vikings

Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins — These teams played in 2 Super Bowls, but this was the Stupor Bowl. Jay Gruden was fired and Bill Callahan took over on an interim basis. After a scoreless first quarter worthy of two winless teams, the Redskins took over at their own 7 yard line. Even the field was awful as the game had to be stopped in the second quarter for turf repair. Adrian Peterson ran for gains of 5, 18, 9, 25 and 3. Case Keenum then threw a 25 yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin to make it 7-0 Redskins. Late in the half Sanders hit a 39 yard field goal as the Dolphins trailed 7-3. In the third quarter it was more Peterson, with gains of 5, 8 and one. On 3rd and 2 just past midfield, Keenum threw incomplete. However, a defensive facemask meant 15 yards. Keenum went to McLaurin again for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Redskins. A second interception of Josh Rosen set up the Redskins at the Miami 34. On 2nd and goal at the one, Keenum fumbled but the Redskinsr retained possession at their 3. On the next play Keenum threw incomplete. Keenum threw incomplete. Dustin Hopkins hit the 21 yard field goal to make it 17-3 Redskins after three quarters. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Callahan gambled on a 55 yard field goal try to all but put the game away. It was no good and the Dolphins clung to life. Brian Flores benched Rosen and brought in Duck Dynasty Chabad Rabbi Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard. 

Drake ran for gains of 9 and 5. From the Washington 33, Fitzpatrick hit Walton for 18 yards. Kalen Ballag ran for a one yard touchdown to get the Dolphins within 17-10 with 11 minutes left in regulation. This horrendous game of almost all punts saw the Dolphins take over at their own 25 with 2:02 to play. Fitzpatrick went deep to Gesicki for 30 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Washington 37 with one minute left, Fitzpatrick ran for 5 and hit Hurns for 11 more as the Dolphins took their final timeout with 26 seconds left. With 6 seconds left, the Dolphins were at the Washington 11. Fitzpatrick hit Devante Parker for the touchdown. The Dolphins were an extra point away from overtime. Instead Brian Flores decided to go for the 2 point conversion and the win. While it’s hard to argue with a winless team doing this, the Dolphins were at home and had all the momentum. Overtime would have been a good call. The 2 point try failed when Fitzmagic’s magic ran out and his pass was incomplete. Callahan got the win, while Flores still waits for his first win. Peterson had 118 yards on 23 carries for 5.1 yards a carry in an otherwise horrendous game. 17-16 Redskins

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams — The 49ers were unbeaten, but they had yet to face a real test. This week was supposed to be a reality check. It was, but for NFL fans around the league. The 49ers punted and the Rams took over at their own 44. Brown ran for 9, 10, 7 and 9. Robert Woods ran for 8 and Brown ran for 5 more. Woods ran for an 8 yard touchdown to put the Rams up 7-0 without a single pass attempted. The Rams offense took the final 51 minutes off. After a touchback, the 49ers faced 3rd and 8 at their own 38. Jimmy Garoppollo was sacked, but defensive offside meant 3rd and 3. Garoppolo went to Greg Kittle for 10. Matt Breida ran for 5 and caught a 17 yard pass. Garoppolo hot Pettis for 19 and Tevin Coleman ran for a 2 yard touchdown for a 7-7 game. After a scoreless second quarter, the 49ers dominated the second half with just enough offense and relentless defense. The Rams fumbled the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. The 49ers took over at the Rams 17. On 3rd and goal at the one, Garoppolo got in the end zone to make it 14-7 49ers. Robbie Gould missed a 55 yard field goal to end the half but hit from 25 in the third quarter and  34 in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring. The defending NFC champion Rams are 3-3 under Sean McVay while Kyle Shanahan has a 5-0 football team that is for real. 20-7 49ers

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals — A pair of bad teams can sometimes come together and play an exciting game. This actually was that game. The Falcons took over at their own 20 and Matt Ryan went to Julio Jones for 17 yards. On 3rd and 11 from their own 36, Ryan went to Hooper for 19 yards. Devonta Freeman ran for 15. On 3rd and 10 from the Arizona 30, Ryan was sacked. Yet Terrell Suggs jumped offsides. On 3rd and 5, Ryan threw incomplete. Yet Chandler Jones jumped offsides. Freeman ran for 7 and 4 and Ryan hit Calvin Ridley for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons. After that the Cardinals took over.

From their own 22, Kyler Murray completed a pair of 6 yard passes On 3rd and 10 from their own 34, Murray hit Sherfiel for 38 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Atlanta 25, Murray only gained 4. Zane Gonzalez hit the 39 yard field goal to get the Cardinals on the board. The Cardinals got it back and soon faced 1st and 17 at their own 7. Chase Edmonds gained 5 and Murray hit Larry Fitzgerald for 18 more. On 3rd and 1 from their own 39, Murray gained 2. On the first play of the second quarter, Murray went deep to Byrd for a 58 yard gain down to the one. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Murray hit Edmonds for the touchdown to make it 10-7 Cardinals. The Cardinals got it back at their own 21 and struck quickly. David Johnson gained 17 yards and caught a pass for 30 more. Murray then went to Edmonds for 31 yards down to the one. Johnson got the yard for the touchdown and the 17-7 Cardinals lead. 

The Falcons did mount an 11 play, 64 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive but stalled at the Arizona 11. Matt Bryant hit the 29 yard field goal to get the Falcons within 17-10. The Cardinals quickly came back 71 yards in 15 plays. On 3rd and goal from the 4 with 4 seconds left, Kliff Kingsbury decided not to risk one more play. Gonzalez hit from 22 to make it 20-10 Cardinals at the half. The Cardinals took the second half kickoff and marched 64 yards. From their 36, Murray ran for 15 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 8 from the Atlanta 48, Murray threw incomplete but illegal contact kept the drive going. On 4th and 2 from the Atlanta 35, Cliff Kingsbury decided to go for it. Murray hit Clay for 6 yards. Murray threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Maxx Williams to have the Cardinals up 27-10. Yet then the game changed again.

After a touchback, the Falcons moved to a 1st and 10 at the Arizona 29. However, the drive stalled and Bryant hit a 44 yard field goal to get the Falcons within 27-13. The Falcons got the ball back at their own 7. On 3rd and 1 from their 16, a wildcat snap to Mohammed Sanu and a handoff to Freeman gained 14 yards. Ryan then hit Hooper for gains of 12 and 22, Ridley for 12, Freeman for 11, Gage for 6, and on 3rd and 4 from Arizona 7, a touchdown pass to Freeman. After three quarters, the Falcons were within 27-20. The Falcons got it back at their 17 one minute into the fourth quarter. On 3rd and 2 from their 25, Ryan hit Jones for 8, Ridley for 23, and Hooper for 30. With 11 minutes left in regulation, Ryan hit Hooper for the 6 yard touchdown. The game was now tied 27-27, and about to get even more exciting.

A short 35 yard punt with 15 yards reversed for fair catch interference had the Cardinals taking over at the Atlanta 45 midway through the fourth quarter. A horse collar tackle meant 15 more yards for the Cardinals. On 3rd and 5 from the Atlanta 14, Murray hit Johnson for the touchdown. With 5 minutes left the Cardinals led again 34-27. Now it was time for Matty Ice. After a touchback, Ryan hit Sanu for 15 and Jones for 22. Freeman gained 9 and 5. Ryan hit Sanu for 9 more. With 1:53 left from the Arizona 12, Ryan went to Freeman for the touchdown. Another coach went for 2 on this day and lost. Dan Quinn took no chances and brought in Bryant for the extra point to tie it. The kick was no good as the home crowd erupted in celebration. Bryant is a great kicker, but he just blew it. With 2 timeouts left, Quinn decided to kick it deep rather than go onsides kick. The Falcons took their last timeout on defense with 1:45 left as the Cardinals faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Murray scrambled and got just enough. Officials upheld the first down as the Falcons plummeted to 1-5 on the season. Both quarterbacks were sensational in a game where neither one was intercepted. Murray was 27 of 37 for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns and a 128.2 rating. Ryan was a lights out 30 of 36 for 356 yards and 4 touchdowns and a 144.9 rating. This game deserved overtime, but one missed extra point prevented that. 34-33 Falcons

Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets —Despite losing 2 straight after a 3-0 start, the Cowboys were supposed to roll over the winless Jets. However, the Jets played September without Sam Darnold, who was out with mononucleosis. The Jets with Darnold are a different team. The Jets took over at their 17 and benefitted from a 20 yard defensive pass interference call. On 3rd and 4 from their own 45, Darnold went to Crowder for 24 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Dallas 24, LeVeon Bell got just enough. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Darnold only gained 4 but a horse collar tackle meant 1st and goal at the 2. Bell got in for a 7-0 Jets lead. The Cowboys did get a 50 yard Brett Maher field goal in the second quarter, and had a chance to take the lead with a 3rd and 1 at the Jets 6. Ezekiel Elliott got the carry and lost a yard. Jason Garrett decided to go for it and on 4th and 2 Dak Prescott lost another yard. One play and 12 seconds later, the Jets led 14-3 when Darnold connected with Robby Anderson for a 92 yard touchdown. The Jets got it back at their own 35 at the 2 minute warning. From their 39, Darnold hit Griffin for 11 yards to midfield, Thomas for 33 yards, Griffin for 5 more, and with 27 seconds left in the half, Griffin one more time for a 5 yard touchdown. The Gang Green home crowd was rocking as the Jets had the 21-3 lead.

The Cowboys clawed back before the half even ended. With 16 seconds left on 3rd and 1 from their own 34, Prescott hit Michael Gallup for 17 and Jason Witten for 5. On the last play of the half, Maher drilled a 62 yard field goal. In the third quarter the Cowboys marched 61 yards in 14 plays and over 7 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Prescott went to Witten for the touchdown. Yet offensive pass interference away from the play nullified the score. Maher hit his third field goal from 32 to get the Cowboys within 21-9. An interception of Darnold led to a fourth field goal try from 40 yards out less than one minute into the fourth quarter. Yet this time Maher was no good. The Cowboys got it back at heir 16 and Prescott went to Tavon Austin for 16 yards with roughing the passer adding 15 more. On 3rd and 3 from the Jets 46, Prescott hit Wilson for 5 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Jets 40, Prescott hit Witten for 16 and Gallup for 11 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Jets 5, Elliott got in to get the Cowboys within 21-16. With 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation, this had the makings of another Jets collapse.

From their own 23, rather than grind down clock, the Jets got aggressive. Darnold went deep to Crowder for 30 yards and too Anderson for 18 more. With 3 1/2 minutes left, on 3rd and 4 from the Dallas 20, Darnold threw incomplete. Sam Ficken hit the 38 yard field goal. The Jets led by 8, but they had not closed the door. After a touchback, the Cowboys faced 3rd and 8 at their own 39 with 1:56 left. Prescott threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 13 yards. Prescott hen hit Elliott for 12. On the next play Prescott threw incomplete but another defensive pass interference call meant 24 more yards. Then it was consecutive offensive penalties that had the Cowboys facing 1st and 27 from the Jets 29. Prescott threw incomplete but another defensive pass interference meant 13 more yards and another first down. On 3rd and 2 from the Jets 8, Prescot went to Elliott for 4 yards. Prescott ran for the 4 yard touchdown. With 43 seconds left, the Cowboys were a 2 point conversion away from tying the game. Prescott threw incomplete. The onsides kick failed as the Jets hung on for their first win. As for the preseason Super Bowl hype around the Cowboys, they are a 3-3 team that lost to the previously winless Jets and struggled for much of their win over winless Miami. Jerry Jones may start making everyone at Happy Valley uncomfortable again. Jerrah shelled out big bucks, and he is not getting results. Jason Garrett, beware the dreaded vote of confidence. 24-22 Jets

Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos — The previously winless Broncos finally got Vic Fangio his first win as an NFL head coach last week. Now they faced a bad Titans team. Sometimes 2 bad teams can come together and play an exciting game for the ages. This was not that game. Brandon McManus hit a 31 yard field goal in the first quarter and a 53 yarder in the second quarter as the Broncos took a 6-0 lead to the locker rooms. In the third quarter on 3rd and 9 from their own 15, Marcus Mariota was intercepted to set the Broncos up at the Tennessee 41. Joe Flacco hit Freeman for 19 and Hamilton for 13. Phillip Lindsay from 2 yards out ran for the gam’s only touchdown. With 5 minutes left in regulation McManus hit a 48 yard field goal to complete the scoring. Mike Vrabel benched Mariota and brought in Ryan Tannehill, who threw in another interception for good measure. This is not the Denver defense that won it all 4 years ago, but on this day it was suffocating. 16-0 Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers was the Sunday night game. Starter Ben Roethlisberger is out for the year. Backup Mason Rudolph was out with a concussion. Mike Tomlin was down to his third string quarterback as Devlin Hodges started his first NFL game. One week after losing at home to previously winless Denver, surely the Chargers would show up against a 1-4 wounded Pittsburgh team. No. These are the exact games the perpetually underachieving Chargers lose. 5 minutes into the game, A sack of Rivers meant a fumble and a 9 yard touchdown return by Devin Bush to make it 7-0 Steelers. 2 minutes later an interception by Bush had the Steelers at the Chargers 40. On 3rd and 4 from the Chargers 34, Hodges hit James Conner for 12 yards. On 3rd and from the Chargers 16, Hodges hit Conner for just enough. On the next play Conner ran for a 12 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Steelers. In the second quarter the Steelers moved 86 yards in 14 plays, taking over 9 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 8 from the Chargers 26, Hodges went to Conner for the touchdown as the Steelers led 21-0 in a Los Angeles soccer stadium that felt like a Pittsburgh home game. The Chargers missed a 43 yard field goal to end the half while the Steelers in the third quarter moved 73 yards in 13 plays and 7 minutes. Despite 1s and goal at the 2, Conner got stopped twice and a shotgun snap on 3rd and goal was fumbled. The Steelers retained possession and Chris Boswell hit the 20 yard field goal. After three quarters, the Steelers led 24-0.

The Chargers went into hurry up mode with 3 minutes left in the third quarter from their own 9 yard line. The fourth quarter began with the Chargers facing 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 16. One minute later it was 4th and 14. An exasperated Anthony Lynn went with the field goal to avoid the shutout. Chase McLaughlin hit from 38. Hodges went for the kill shot from midfield and was intercepted. The Chargers took over at their own 30. Rivers led a furious rally, and midway through the fourth quarter the Chargers faced 3rd and goal at the 5. Rivers hit Hunter Henry for the score to get the Chargers within 24-10. With 4 minutes left the Chargers got it back at their own 21. With 90 seconds left Rivers threw an 11 yard touchdown pass to Hunter to get the Chargers within 7 points. The onsides kick failed and the Steelers took over at the Chargers 45. Yet on 4th and 1 from the Chargers 36, Mike Tomlin went ultra conservative. No going for it. No field goal. He punted, and a perfect punt pinned the Chargers at their own one yard line with one minute left and 0 timeouts. Rivers went deep and was intercepted. There was a  Chargers game where a 24-0 first half against the Raiders turned into a 28-24 game. Of course, it was the Chargers who blew that game. This time they just came up short after taking most of the first three quarters off. Rivers was 26 of 44 for 320 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Hodges was a game manager 15 of 20 for 132 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Hodges got his first win as both teams are 2-4. Yet 2 straight home losses exposed the Chargers for what they have been for nearly 6 decades. 24-17 Steelers

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers was the Monday night game. A few years ago the Lions led 20-0 and had the lead after 60 minutes. However, an untimed down and one Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary miracle later, it was the Packers with the 27-23 win. Some things never change. The Lions began a their own 23. On the first play from scrimmage, Matthew Stafford went deep to Kenny Golladay for a 66 yard gain.Yet on the next play out of the shotgun Stafford fumbled the snap for a 5 yard loss. Matt Prater hot a 28 yard field goal for a 3-0 Lions lead. TheLions got it back at their own 26. Again, on the first offensive play, Stafford went deep to Hall for a 58 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the 9, Stafford hit Golladay for 6 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Johnson got stopped. Matt Patricia went for it. On 4th and goal, Kerryon Johnson got in to make it 10-0 Lions. The Packers fumbled and the Lions took over at their own 32. On 3rd and goal at the 2, the Lions suffered a delay of game. Then on 3rd and goal at the 4, Stafford threw incomplete. Prater hit from 22 early in the second quarter as the Lions were all over the Packers 13-0. Then came reality.

The ensuing kickoff was kicked out of bounds. Despite 1st and 20 at their own 30, Rodgers hit Greg Allison for 21 yards. On 3rd and  6 from the Detroit 45, Rodgers hut Kumerow for 7. On 3rd and 5 from the Detroit 33, Rodgers threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 4th and 5 from the 13, the Packers lined up for a field goal. Yet the defense had too many men on the field, giving the Packers 1st and goal at the 8. These are the Lions. Rodgers hit Jamaal Williams for a 5 yard touchdown to get the Packers within 13-7. The Packers got it back at their own 6 and moved to a 1st and goal at the 10. Yet offensive holding killed the drive. Mason Crosby hit a 37 yard field goal to end the half with the Packers down 13-10. In the third quarter the Packers moved from their 22 to a 3rd and 2 at the Detroit 30. Rodgers threw incomplete. Crosby hit the 48 yarder to tie the game 13-13 only 2 1/2 minutes into the second half.

The Lions could not reach the end zone again. They started a drive at the Green Bay 25 but settled for a 41 yard Prater field goal to lead 16-13. Prater hit again from 51 to expand the lead. Early in the fourth quarter an interception of Rodgers gave the Lions another short field at the Green Bay 43. Again the Lions failed to get a first down. Prater hit his fifth field goal from 54 yards out for a 22-13 Lions lead with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Too many field goals, not enough touchdowns. Green Bay took over at their own 21. Jones ran for 9 and Rodgers hit Lewis for 25 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Detroit 45, Rodgers was sacked for an 11 yard loss. Yet a controversial illegal use of hands penalty on Trey Flowers meant an automatic first down. On 3rd and 5 from the Detroit 35, Rodgers went to Lazard for a touchdown. With 9 minutes left the Packers were within 22-20. 

The Lions after a touchback faced 2nd and 6 at their own 41. Stafford threw incomplete. Green Bay took over at their own 18 with 6:46 to play, and Rodgers used every second of it. Jones gained 5 and Rodgers hit Lazard for 12. Rodgers ran for 12 to the Green Bay 49. At the 2 minute warning, the Packers had 2nd and 8 from the Detroit 37. Rodgers went to Lazard for 15 yards. The Lions called their final timeout on defense with the Packers facing 3rd and 4 at the Detroit 16. Even if the Packers scored, the Lions would get the ball back. Except they would not. Rodgers threw incomplete but another illegal use of hands penalty on Flowers killed the Lions. The call was very questionable as Flowers somehow managed not to go crazy at the call. The automatic first down allowed the Packers to take the clock down to 2 seconds. Williams ran threw an open hole because the Lions were trying to let him score. Williams knew this and voluntarily went to the ground at the 3 yard line. Crosby came in for the 23 yard try to win it. It was a chip shot, a gift. The Lions needed a miracle. They did not get one. The kick was good. Lions fans can blame the refs, but the Packers were already in field goal range when the second call on Flowers happened. The Packers did not lead the game until the final play. The Packers are 5-1 and winning tough games. Crosby wanted to celebrate by doing the Lambeau Leap into the end zone, but he knew he was too small to make the jump. His teammate spotted him and got him over the railing into the seats where fans mobbed him. It was a sweet funny moment for the NFL and for Crosby, whose wife recently battled cancer. As for the Lions, Rodgers did it to them again. 23-2 Packers

NFL 2019 Week 6 Prequel

October 11th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 6 Prequel

NFL 2019 Week 5 Recap

October 8th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 5 Recap

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks was the Thursday night game. The Seahawks quickly faced 2nd and 18 at their own 17. The Seahawks then fumbled and the Rams took over on the Seattle 33. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein hit the 47 yard field goal. Zuerlein tacked on a 32 yarder for a 6-0 Rams lead. After a touchback the Seahawks faced 2nd and 11 just shy of midfield. Russell Wilson went deep to Dissly for 38 yards and to Tyler Lockett for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 7-6 Seahawks. In the second quarter the Seahawks took over at their own 27. Wilson hit Lockett for 17 and then went DK Metcalf for a 40 yard touchdown and a 14-6 Seahawks lead. The Rams fumbled, but the Seahawks missed a field goal. The Rams got it back at their own 38 with with 1:33 left in the half. Jared Goff hit Woods for 9, Everett for 6, Woods again for 8 and Cooper Kupp for 15. On 3rd and 10 from the Seattle 24, Goff threw incomplete but roughing the passer moved the ball to the 12. With 6 seconds left in the half, the Rams faced 2nd and 6 from the Seattle 9. Goff hit Kupp for the touchdown as the Rams trailed 14-13 at the break.

After a touchback to start the third quarter, Goff went to Everett for a 30 yard gain. Goff then went to Higbee for gains of 15 and 20. Todd Gurley ran for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 20-14 Rams. Seattle punted, pinning the Rams back at their own one yard line. Seattle got it back at the Rams 47. Wilson hit David Moore for a 10 yard touchdown and a 21-20 Seahawks lead. After a touchback Cooks ran for a 27 yard gain. Goff hit Higbee for 12 and Everett for 32 yards down to the one. Gurley got in for the touchdown. Sean McVay went for the 2 point conversion but it failed, as the Rams led 26-21 after three quarters. 

The Seahawks after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 7 at the Rams 14 to start the fourth quarter. Offensive holding followed by an incompletion meant a 42 yard Jason Myers field goal. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were within 26-24. The Rams faced 3rd and 8 at their own 27. Goff went to Cooks for 29 yards. On 3rd and 13 from the Seattle 47, Goff went to Kupp for 26 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Seattle 18, Goff threw incomplete. With 9:15 left in regulation, Zuerleing hit from 36 to make it 29-24 Rams.

After a touchback, Wilson hit Lockett for 12 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Rams 43, Chris Carson gained 3 yards. Roughing the passer on the next play added 15 yards. Carson ran for 14. With 2 1/2 minutes left, it came down to 4th and goal at the 5. Wilson hit Carson for the touchdown. The Seahawks were back up 30-29, but the Rams had timeAfter a touchback, the Rams quickly faced 3rd and 10 at their own 36. Goff was intercepted and the Seahawks thought they had the win. However, the Rams still had their timeouts and the 2 minute warning. With 1:57 left on 3rd and 2 at the Rams 43, one first down would end the game. Pete Carroll went to his bag of tricks and called for Lockett to run an end around. Lockett was tackled for an 8 yard loss as the Rams still had life. The Rams took over at their own 7 yard line with 1:50 to play and 0 timeouts. Goff hit Everett for 9, Woods for 11, Kupp for gains of 9 and 11, and Everett for 28 yards. With 30 seconds left, the Rams had 1st and 10 at the Seattle 30. With 15 seconds left, Zuerlein came in for the 44 yard try. With everything on the line and having already made 3 of 3 field goals, Zuerlein’s kick was…no good! He hit it wide as the Seahawks survived a thrilling game with multiple lead changes. At 4-1, the Seahawks sit atop the NFC West as the Rams have lost two straight after a 3-0 start. 30-29 Seahawks

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers — The years go by, but this AFC North rivalry is a constant. Forget the records. Bitter hatred combined with mutual respect makes for a tough, physical close game where home field is nonexistent. These teams set the expectations so high, and they kept being met. Early on Baltimore took over at their own 41. Justin Tucker hit a 27 yard field goal for a 3-0 Ravens lead. Pittsburgh got the ball back at their own 12. Mason Rudolph was the quarterback but Mike Tomlin called a wildcat snap to Samuels, who was quickly intercepted. Baltimore took over at the Pittsburgh 15 and Mark Ingram ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Ravens. The Steelers soon faced 2nd and 5 at their own 30. Rudolph hit Washington for 21 yards and then threw a 35 yard touchdown pass to Juju Smith-Schuster  to get the Steelers within 10-7.  

Baltimore soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Edwards got 2 yards. On 3rd and 2 from their own 44 out of the shotgun, Edwards gained 6 yards to midfield as the second quarter began. On 3rd and 9 from the Pittsburgh 35, Jackson went to Andrews for 24 yards and to Marquise Brown for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Ravens. Baltimore got it back and faced 3rd and 11 at their own 11. Jackson was intercepted, setting up the Steelers at the Baltimore 16. Yet on 2nd and 1 from the 7, another wildcat snap to Samuels lost 5 yards. The Rudolph was sacked for an 11 yard loss. Chris Boswell hit the 41 yard field goal to get the Steelers within 17-10  with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half. With 33 seconds left in the half and the Ravens facing 2nd and 13 at their own 19, Jackson was intercepted again. The Steelers took over at the Baltimore 25. With 7 seconds left and 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 11, Rudolph threw incomplete. Boswell hit the 29 yard field goal as the Steelers trailed 17-13 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Ravens moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Pittsburgh 44. John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Jackson fumbled the snap but somehow recovered it and got the yard. It was all for naught as Jackson went deep on the next play and was intercepted for the third time by Devon Bush at the Pittsburgh 13. The Steelers faced 3rd and 11 at their own 12. Rudolph found Washington for a 26 yard gain, but at a heavy cost. Although 15 more yards were tacked on for roughing the passer, Rudolph was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Hodges was the third string quarterback. On 3rd and 8 from the Baltimore 32, Hodges hit Johnson for 13 yards. Mike Tomlin then went to the bag of tricks. Another wildcat snap to Samuels saw him lateral the ball to Johnny Holton. All the trickery gained 4 yards. Hodges then went the traditional route and completed a pass to Vance McDonald for a 14 yard gain down to the one. James Conner got in the end zone as the Steelers led 20-17 after three quarters. 

After a touchback, the Ravens soon faced 3rd and 7 from their own 44. Jackson hit Will Snead for 9 yards and again for 23 more as the fourth quarter began. Offensive holding in the red zone meant 3r and 12 from the Pittsburgh 14. Jackson hit Edwards for only 6 yards. Tucker hit the 26 yard field goal for a 20-20 game with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. A field position game favored Pittsburgh when Baltimore had to punt on 4th and 10 at their own one yard line. Pittsburgh took over at the Baltimore 45. Hodges ran for 21 yards with defensive holding adding 5 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Baltimore 13, a pass from Hodges to Samuels lost 2 yards. Boswell hit the 33 yard field goal as the Steelers had the 23-20 lead with 2 1/2 minutes remaining.

Baltimore on 2nd and 8 from their own 27 saw Jackson complete a pass for no gain. Yet roughing the passer meant 15 more yards for Baltimore. On 3rd and 1 from the Pittsburgh 35, Jackson gained 5 yards. With 20 seconds left the Ravens faced 3rd and 10 from the Pittsburgh 30. Jackson went deep incomplete. With 10 seconds left, all eyes were on Tucker as he came in for a 48 yard field goal try to tie the game. The best kicker in the game did his job. It was only fitting that these teams again went to overtime. 

The Steelers won the coin toss, but Mike Tomlin made a very odd decision. He became the first coach in NFL history to intentionally win the overtime coin toss and defer rather than take the ball. Tomlin’s reasoning was that the defenses had outplayed the offenses most of the game. Had Baltimore won on the first drive, Tomlin would have been pilloried. His decision appeared vindicated when the Ravens ran 3 plays and lost 4 yards. The Steelers got the ball back at their own 32 with a chance to win outright. Yet on 2nd and 7 from their 35, a 10 yard completion from Hodges to Smith-Schuster saw disaster when Smith-Schuster fumbled. The Ravens recovered at the Pittsburgh 34. After 3 safe runs, Tucker came in for a 46 yard try to win it. Again Tucker was good, as the Ravens remained atop the AFC North. 26-23 Ravens, OT

Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders in London — On the same day Jon Gruden was hired to coach the Raiders, there was another hiring with zero fanfare. Gruden was given a press conference worthy of a presidential press conference. Meanwhile, some nondescript bald white guy named Matt Nagy was hired to coach the Bears. Yet it was the Bears who went 12-4 with coach of the year Nagy while the Raiders fell to 4-12 under Gruden. This was the game where Khalil Mack would get revenge against his old team. Even with Chase Daniel filling in for an injured Mitchell Trubisky, The Bears defense would obliterate the Raiders offense. Cue ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman: “THAT’s why the PLAY the games!”

The Raiders moved from their own 25 to a 1st and 10 at the Chicago 28 with runs and short passes. A run went nowhere and Carr then threw incomplete. On 3rd and 10, Derek Carr hit Jalen Richard for 7 yards. Yet an idiotic unnecessary roughness penalty against Richie Incognito led an angry Jon Gruden to punt rather than try a 54 yard field goal. The Raiders got the ball back at their own 10 yard line. Josh Jacobs ran for 3, caught a pass for 6, and on 3rd and 1 broke free for  21 yard gain. Carr hit Deandre Washington for 10 more yards to midfield. On 3rd and 6 from the Chicago 46, Carr hit Carrier for 20 yards.  On the first play of the second quarter, Jacobs ran for the 12 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Raiders. On 3rd and 5 from their own 29, Daniel was intercepted and the Raiders took over at the Chicago 24. Washington ran for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Raiders. The Raiders got the ball back at their own 49 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chicago 19. Jacobs lost a yard, but the real killer was again Incognito. His second mindless penalty was for a chop block, as the Raider Nation wondered why he was on their team. Daniel Carlson hit a 41 yard field goal. The Raiders had a 17-0 halftime lead, which shocked pretty much everyone who had seen these two teams last year.

The problem with the Raiders is they never finish a game. They do not play a complete game. They played a fantastic first half, and were two Incognito penalties away from possible leading 24-0 or even 28-0. Yet the inevitable collapse was predictable. The only surprise was how severe it was. The Raiders usually lose these games in the final moments. This time they fell apart immediately after halftime. On 2nd and 4 from their own 31, Carr fumbled and Mack recovered at the Oakland 14. Defensive pass interference on the next play moved the ball to the 5. David Montgomery ran it in from the one to get the Bears within 17-7. The bears got it back at their own 11. On 2nd and 8, Daniel hit Miller for 10 yards. On 3rd and 9 from their own 24, Daniel hit Burton for 11 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 41, Daniel went deep to Miller for 32 yards. Daniel hit Allen Robinson for a 4 yard touchdown as the Bears were within 17-14. The Raiders punted again, and Tarik Cohen returned it 71 yards to the Oakland 16. Daniel then hit Robinson for the touchdown. The Raiders had failed in all 3 phases of football as the Bears led 21-17 after three quarters.

Despite the complete meltdown, the good news for the Raiders was that they had the entire fourth quarter to play. A 52 yard kickoff return by Davis with 5 more added on for Chicago being offsides on the kickoff had the Raiders taking over at the Chicago 35. Only one minute into the fourth quarter, the Raiders had 1st and goal at the 3. Carr hit Davis for 2 yards. Davis then fumbled at the one yard line and the bears recovered at that spot. These are the Raiders. On 3rd and 8 from their own 3, one stop would give the Raiders great field position. Instead, Daniel went to Robinson for 32 yards. By the time the defense held, the Raiders got the ball back midway through the fourth quarter at their own 3 yard line.

Jacobs ran for a 15 yard gain, but on 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 20, a pass from Carr to Carrier gained only 2 yards. On 4th and 6, Jon Gruden opted to punt. Yet a running into the kicker penalty made it 4th and 1 from the Oakland 27. With 6 minutes still to play, going for it was not an option. Instead Gruden called a fake punt. Harris gained 4 yards. He did fumble and the Bears recovered, but before the Raider Nation could spit pirate blood, the call was overturned to down by contact. The Raiders kept the ball. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 40, Carr went to Moreau for 23 yards. Carr then found Hunter Renfrow for 12 more yards. Carr went back to Moreau for 16 yards as the clock hit the 2 minute warning with the Raiders facing 1st and goal at the 2. This time Gruden didn’t outthink himself. He went basic smash mouth, and his bell cow Jacobs got it in for the touchdown. The Raiders had the 3 point lead. 

After a touchback, the Bears moved to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 47 with 90 seconds to play. One more first down would mean long field goal range. Not this time. Not on this day. After an incompletion, Daniel went deep and was intercepted by Gareon Conley. From the Oakland 26, Jacobs got 3 straight carries to force the Bears to burn their timeouts but only gained 9 yards. With 21 seconds left, the Raiders punted on 4th and 1 from their own 35. The Bears took over at their own 20 with 13 seconds left. With 3 seconds left, on 3rd and 3 from their own 27, Daniel was sacked for a 9 yard loss. This could have been a fluke win, but Jon Gruden turned the Raiders around the first time he coached them. 5 years from now this game could prove to be a turning point. Attack the Raiders all you want, but they are a 3-2 football team. At this moment, they are winners of 2 straight games, neither of which we’re in their home stadium. 24-21 Raiders

Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and play an exciting game. For three quarters this was not that game. By the end of the game, this was that game. In the first quarter the Bengals moved from their own 30 to 2nd and goal at the 4. A run lost a yard and then Red Rile Andy Dalton threw incomplete. Randy Bullock hit the 23 yard field goal for a 3-0 Bengals lead. The Cardinals took over at their own 32 and moved to a 4th and 2 at the Cincy 6 yard line. Cliff Kingsbury decided to go for it. Kyler Murray ran for the touchdown as the Cardinals had the 7-3 lead after after the first quarter. Then came endless field goal attempts. In the second quarter Zan Gonzalez missed from 37 but then hit from 23 to make it 10-3 Cardinals. Randy Bullock hit from 48 to get the Bengals within 10-6. The Cardinals moved to a 1st and goal at the 2 with 13 seconds left in the half. Murray threw to Larry Fitzgerald for no gain and then had to spike the ball with one second left. On 3rd and goal Kingsbury played it safe and Gonzalez hit from 20 to make it 13-6 Cardinals. In the third quarter the Bengals moved to a 3rd and goal at the 5, but Dalton threw incomplete. Bullock hit from 23 to get the Bengals within 13-9. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, Gonzalez hit from 22. In a game where both offenses bogged down near the goal line, it was the Cardinals with the 16-9 lead.

After endless field goals, a boring game got crazy. From the Arizona 22, Murray hit Fitzgerald for 11. Murray ran for 12 and David Johnson added 8 more. From the Arizona 46, Murray went to Johnson for 17 yards. on the next play Chase Edmonds ran for a 37 yard touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Cardinals had a 23-9 lead. From their own 21, Dalton hit Auden Tate for 9 and Joe Mixon for 16 more. Dalton hit Willis for 12 to the Arizona 36. Dalton then went to Boys for 13, Willis for 9, Uzomah for 8 down to the one. Dalton hit Tate for a 2 yard touchdown to get the Bengals within 23-16 within 4  minutes left. Cincy held on defense and got the ball back at their own 19 with 3:41 to play. Dalton went to Boyd for 29 yards and again for a 42 yard touchdown. At the 2 minute warning, the game was tied 23-23. The Cardinals had collapsed again, but now they have leadership. After a touchback, Johnson ran for 8 and caught a pass for 24 yards. Murray then scrambled for 24 more yards. With 2 seconds left, Gonzalez came in for the 31 yard field goal try to win it. The kick was good. 26-23 Cardinals

Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers — Try finding a single person who thought Gardner Minshew and Kyle Allen would be starting this game. They both got 0-2 teams to 2-2 and put on an exciting game in this one. Carolina took over at their own 22. Samuel ran for 16 and a defensive facemark on the next play added 15 more. Christian McCaffrey ran for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. Jacksonville quickly struck back after a touchback. Minshew went to DJ Chark for 20 yards, Westbrook for 15 more, and back to Chark for a 37 yard touchdown in a 7-7 game that was just heating up. Later in the first quarter from the Jacksonville 20, Minshew fumbled and Eric Reid recovered for the Panthers at the Jacksonville 24. Allen went to McCaffrey for an 18 yard touchdown as the Panthers led 14-7 after the opening quarter. The Jaguars moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 6 at the Carolina 34 early in the second quarter. Then came another fumble, and this time Brian Burns took it all the way for a 56 yard defensive touchdown. The Panthers had a 21-7 lead, but the Jaguars would claw their way back.

From the Jacksonville 17, Minshew and O’Shaughnessy hooked up for a 35 yard gain. Minshew then went to Westbrook for 30 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Carolina 11, Minshew went to Chark for the score as the Jaguars got within 21-14. Carolina soon faced 3rd and 13 at their own 24. Allen went deep to Moore for a 52 yard gain. Yet on the next play, a fumble out of the shotgun meant a 12 yard loss. Riverboat Ron Rivera gambled on a 56 yard field goal with 3 minutes left in the half. Joey Slye’s kick was blocked. The Jaguars took over at their own 46. Josh Lambo hit a 35 yard field goal with one minute left in the half as the Jaguars only trailed 21-17. The wildness continued in the third quarter as McCaffrey broke free for an 84 yard touchdown to make it 28-17 Panthers. Yet the Jaguars kept coming back. After a touchback, Minshew hit O’Shaughnessy for 18 yards. On 2nd and 16 from the Jacksonville 37, Minshew went to Chark for a pair of 31 yard gains. Leonard Fournette crashed in from the one to get the Jaguars back within 28-24. With 12 minutes left in regulation, the Jaguars took over at their own 7 yard line. Fournette ran for a 48 yard gain. Despite 1st and 10 at the Carolina 20, a run gained nothing and Minshew threw incomplete twice. With 6 minutes left, Doug Marrone decided to kick the field goal and trust his defense in a game that had little defense. Lambo hit from 28 as the Jaguars were only down 28-27.

Needing a stop, Jacksonville could not get one. On 3rd and 1 from their own 34, Allen hit Moore for 7 yards. On the next play Reggie Bonnafon raced for a 59 yard touchdown. Slye missed the extra point as the Panthers led by 7 with 3 1/2 minutes to play. After a touchback, Minhew quickly moved the Jaguars to a 1st and 10 at the Carolina 39 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Yet Minshew was sacked and fumbled and the Panthers took over at their own 45. Jacksonville held on defense but a great punt pinned the Jaguars at their own 5 yard line with 1:45 left. On 3rd and 10, Minshew hit Conley for 26 yards and Chark for 11 more as the Jaguars took their last timeout with one minute left. Minshew went to Chark for 13 and Westbrook for 6. On 3rd and 4 from the Carolina 39, Minshew hit Lee for 5 yards. With 10 seconds left from the Carolina 34, Minshew went to the end zone for the tying touchdown and was intercepted by eric Reid. Yet defensive illegal use of hands gave the Jaguars one more untimed down from the Carolina 24. Minshew threw incomplete and the Carolina defense had survived. Minshew was 26 of 44 for 374 yards and 2 touchdowns, but also had the costly fumbled. Allen was 17 of 30 for 181 yards and one touchdown, but in a game where neither quarterback was intercepted, Allen was happy to get the win. 34-27 Panthers 

Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants — The Giants have a new quarterback but not much talent around him. The Vikings have the running game and the defense, but questions swirl around quarterback Kirk Cousins. Yet the outcome of this game was never in doubt. Minnesota quickly moved after a touchback to a 1st and 10 at the Giants 13. Cousins was sacked for a 9 yard loss to kill the drive. Dan Bailey hit the 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Vikings. Minnesota got the ball back at their own 2 yard line. On 3r and 8 from their 4, Cousins hit Adam Thielen for 10 yards, Cook for 15, Stefan Diggs for 8, and Johnson for 23. On the first play of the second quarter on 3rd and 4 from the Giants 15, Cousins went to Thielen for the touchdown to make it 10-0 Vikings.

A 52 yard kickoff return had the Giants taking over at midfield. Jones went to Darius Slayton for a 35 yard touchdown to get the Giants within 10-7. They would get no closer. Dan Bailey hit a 48 yard field goal to make it 13-7 Vikings. Minnesota then marched down the field again but the Giants caught a break when Dalvin Cook after a 19 yard run fumbled and the Giants took over at their own one yard line. Their offense then gave up a safety to make it 15-7 Vikings. The Vikings took over after the free kick and faced 1st and goal at the 2. Cousins threw incomplete, a run lost a yard, and Cousins was then sacked for an 11 yard loss. Bailey hit the 32 yard field goal. The Vikings led 18-7 at halftime, and the Giants were lucky they were not down 27-7. 

In the third quarter the Giants moved from their 25 to a 1st and goal at the 6. A short pass lost 2 yards and a run lost 2 more yards. Jones then threw incomplete. Aldrich Rosas hit the 28 yard field goal, but unnecessary roughness on the defense gave the Giants a new set of downs and 1st and goal at the 5 as Pat Shurmur took the points off the board. It didn’t matter. Jones was sacked for a 10 yard loss and Rosas hit the 32 yard field goal. The Giants still trailed 18-10. Minnesota quickly turned out the lights. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Giants put the ball at midfield. Cook ran for a 41 yard gain. Cousins hit Thielen for the 9 yard touchdown to make it 25-10 Vikings. Minnesota tacked on a fourth quarter field goal to complete the scoring. 28-10 Vikings

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins — The Patriots are a great team. The Redskins are an awful team. For those looking for an upset to shock the world, look elsewhere. Steven Sims ran for a 65 yard touchdown and the Redskins actually had a 7-0 lead. Then reality set in. From the New England 25, Tom Brady went to Ryan Izzo for 29, LaCosse for 22, Sony Michel for 15 yards, and Julian Edelman for the 6 yard touchdown. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski is on injured reserve, and his replacement Mike Nugent missed the extra point. Nugent did hit second quarter field goals of 37 and 23 in a first half where Brady was intercepted twice. Despite only leading 12-7 at halftime, the Patriots turned out the lights in the second half. In the third quarter facing 3rd and 5 at their own 30, Brady hit James white for 21 yards and Brandon Bolden for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 19-7 Patriots. From their own 12, Brady went to Edelman for 15. Sony Michel ran for 25. Brady went back to Edelman for 31 more. Michel ran for the 14 yard touchdown to make it 26-7 Patriots. In the fourth quarter Brady hit Izzo for a 10 yard touchdown to complete the blowout as the 5-0 Patriots are only 11 games from another unbeaten regular season. As for Washington, Jay Gruden was fired on Monday with the Redskins an 0-5 mess. Democrats and Republicans are desperately looking for ways to begin impeachment proceedings against Daniel Snyder. 33-7 Patriots

New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles — The Jets are awful, and no improvement seems on the horizon. The Eagles put this game away early, taking over at their own 47. On 3rd and 1 from the Jets 44, Jordan Howard gained 15 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Jets 19, Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for 13 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Howard got in to make it 7-0 Eagles. On 4th and 1 from the Philly 47, the Jets went for it. A pass was intercepted and returned 51 yards for a defensive touchdown by Nathan Gerry for a 14-0 Eagles lead. In the second quarter the Jets missed a field goal and then Falk was intercepted to set the Eagles up at the Jets 42. Wentz hit Zach Ertz for an 11 yard touchdown as the Eagles led 21-0 at halftime. League ruled prevented the second half from being canceled. The Eagles added a field goal in the third quarter to lead 24-0. The fourth quarter began with the Eagles fumbling a punt, allowing the Jets one touchdown. Yet the Jets returned the favor when Orlando Scandrick returned a Jets fumble 44 yards for a defensive touchdown to complete the blowout. Again, J-E-T-S stands for just end the season. 31-6 Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints — Despite the home field and the better team even with backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the Saints faced all they could handle from the Buccaneers. The Saints moved from their 36 to a 3rd and 6 at the Buccaneers 11 yard line. Bridgewater threw incomplete. Wil Lutz hit the 29 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Saints. The Saints got it back and faced 3rd and 8 at their own 24. Bridgewater was intercepted by Bunting, who returned it 14 yard to the Saints 20. After a sack of Winston, he responded with a 26 yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin for a 7-3 Buccaneers lead.

In the second quarter after a touchback, the Saints faced 3rd and 7 at their own 40. Bridgewater hit Michael Thomas for 18 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Bucs 16, Alvin Kamara got just enough. Bridgewater then went back to Thomas for the 14 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 Saints. The Buccaneers after a touchback moved to 2nd and 9 at the Saints 29. Winston as sacked and fumbled, but the Buccaneers retained possession with a 6 yard loss. Matt Gay hit a 42 yard field goal and the teams were deadlocked 10-10 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

After that Sean Payton’s offense began clicking, although dumb luck helped. On 1st and 20 from their own 15, Bridgewater threw incomplete but a defensive personal foul resulting in a disqualification kept the drive going. On 3rd and 6 from their own 34, Bridgewater hit Thomas for 8 yards and Kamara for 11 more. Taysom Hill came in at quarterback for one play and gained 11 yards. Bridgewater came back in and hit Hill for 26 yards. Bridgewater then went to Jared Cook for the 9 yard touchdown with 30 seconds left in the half for a 17-10 Saints lead. In the third quarter, the Saints quickly exploded after a touchback. Bridgewater went deep to Thomas for 42 yards and then to Ted Ginn Jr. for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 24-10 Saints.

The Buccaneers went on a staggering 17 play, 75 yard drive that took over 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. Ball control is fine when you’re winning, but the Bucs were losing. On 4th and 1 from the Saints 39, Bruce Arians went for it and Winston hit Godwin for 14 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Peyton Barber got in to get the Buccaneers within 24-17. In the fourth quarter the Saints answered with a 13 play, 91 yard drive that ate up 6 1/2 minutes. Ball control is fine when you’re winning, and the saints we’re winning. On 3rd and 10 from their own 9, Bridgewater hit Thomas for 20 yards. The fourth quarter began with the Saints facing 3rd and 3 at their own 36. Bridgewater hit Kamara for 8 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Tampa Bay 47, a halfback option pass from Kamara to Hill gained 13 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Tampa 27, Bridgewater went to Kamara for 15 yards and to Thomas for the 15 yard touchdown to put the Saints up 31-17 With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. By the time the Buccaneers scored a garbage touchdown, only 13 seconds remained. The onside kick failed, 31-24 Saints

Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans — The Falcons took over at their own 34 and Matt Ryan hit Julio jones for 14 yards. On 3rd and 8 from midfield, Ryan went to Jones for 20 yards with 15 more tacked on for roughing the passer. Ryan hit Mohammed San for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons. After a touchback the Texans faced 3rd and 7 at the Atlanta 47. Deshaun Watson fumbled the shotgun snap but recovered it and somehow ran for a 15 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 29, Watson hit Akins for 21 yards and Will Fuller for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-7.

The Falcons moved from their 26 to a 3rd and 4 at the Texans 17. Ryan threw incomplete and the second quarter began with a 35 yard Matt Bryant field goal made it 10-7 Falcons. Bryant kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds to set up the Texans at their own 40. Watson went to Deandre Hopkins for 14 yards.   On 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 35, Carlos Hyde gained 2 yards. Watson then went to Will Fuller for a 33 yard touchdown. Kaimi Fairbairn missed the extra point but the Texans led 13-10. The Texans got it back at their own 8 yard line. On 3rd and 3 from their own 26, Watson connected with Fuller for a 36 yard gain. Fairbairn hit a 50 yard field goal for a 16-10 Texans lead with 4 minutes left in the half. Atlanta took over at their own 18. Ryan went to Jones for 8 and Ridley for 16. On 3rd and 1 from the Houston 47, a wildcat snap to Sanu led to Devontae Freeman gaining 21 yards. A facemark penalty added 15 more yards. On 3rd and 5 from the 9 with 22 seconds left in the half, Ryan went too Freeman for the touchdown. The Falcons led 17-16 at halftime, but a competitive game became a blowout in the third quarter.

In the third quarter the Texans quickly faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Watson went deep to Coutee for a 51 yard gain. Hyde ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 23-17 Texans. Houston got it back at their own 34 and Watson ran for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Atlanta 7, Watson threw incomplete. Fairbairn hit a 26 yard field goal for a 26-17 Texans lead. Houston got it back at their own 12 and a roughing the passer call moved them 15 yards. On 1st and 20 from their own 17, Watson went to Fuller for 32 yards and Hopkins for 29 more. From the Atlanta 12, Watson went to Fuller for 11 yards. After going backward, Watson hit Darren Fells for an 8 yard touchdown as the Texans led 33-17 after three quarters. Every time the Falcons tried to get closer, the Texans answered.

The fourth quarter began with the Texans fumbling a punt and the Falcons recovering at the Houston 16. On 4th and 2 from the 8, Dan Quinn had to go for it and Ryan hit Sanu for 7 yards. On 3rd and goal from the one, Matty Ice snuck it in. Ryan hit Hooper for the 2 point conversion to get the Falcons within 33-25. The Texans took over at their own 19 and Hyde ran for gains of 10 and 4. Watson went to Hopkins for gains of 20 and 10. From the Atlanta 37, Johnson gained 24. On 3rd and 9 from the Atlanta 12, Watson hit Fells for the touchdown to make it 40-25 Texans.

Atlanta quickly came back 75 yards, but by the time Ryan threw a 29 yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley to get the Falcons within 40-32, only 3 1/2 minutes remained. Another kickoff went out of bounds to again have the Texans at their own 40. On 3rd and 5 from the Atlanta 44, Watson went to Fuller for the touchdown to make it 47-32 with less than 2 minutes to play. In desperation mode Ryan moved the Falcons after a touchback to a 1st and 10 at the Houston 35 with 24 seconds left. Ryan was the  intercepted by Tashaun Gipson, who ran the other way 79 yards for a defensive touchdown exclamation point. Falcons owner Arthur Blank after the game said that Dan Quinn was not being fired. Meanwhile, Watson was a sensational 28 of 33 for 426 yards, 5 touchdown passes, and 0 interceptions. He had a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating, which would mean more if anyone understood what that was. 53-32 Texans

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans — This game was about defense. A field position game had the Bills taking over at their own 40 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half. Josh Allen hit Brown for 11, TJ Yeldon for 4, and on 3rd and 4 hit Williams for 11. Allen then went to Brown for 21 and Lee Smith for the 8 yard touchdown. With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half the Bills led 7-0. Tennessee remained scoreless when Cairo Santos missed a 36 yard field goal try late in the half. An interception of Allen in the third quarter set up Tennessee at the Buffalo 38. On 3rd and 6 Marcus Mariota hit Humphries for 9 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Derrick Henry got stopped but the defense jumped offsides. Given another chance, Henry got in for a 7-7 game midway through the third quarter. With 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation the Titans thought they had the lead when Mariota threw a touchdown on 3rd and goal from the 11. Yet he was across the line of scrimmage. Things got worse when Santos had his field goal try from 33 yards out blocked. A sack of Allen had the Bills facing 2nd and 14 at their own 19. Allen scrambled for 6, but unnecessary roughness on the defense meant a gift first down. Allen then went to McKenzie for 46 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Titans 7, Allen hit Duke Williams to put the Bills up by 7 with 9 1/2 minutes left. With 6 1/2 minutes left on 4th and 4 from the Buffalo 35, Mike Vrabel gambled on a 53 yard field goal try. For the third time, Santos was no good. Tennessee got it back but with 4 1/2 minutes left faced 4th and 5 at their own 25. Vrabel opted to punt and trust his defense. After Yeldon gained 11, Frank Gore gashed the Titans for gains of 11, 19, 4 and 3. With 1:50 left and the Titans out of timeouts, it all came down to 3rd and 3 at the Titans 24. Allen gained 5 as the Bills gutted out another tough defensive win. 14-7 Bills 

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers — The Broncos came in winless but the Chargers play down to their competition. After a touchback, Denver jumped all over the Chargers from the very first play. Joe Flacco went to Heuerman for a 26 yard gain. Patrick Lindsay ran for 21 yards and then 12 more. Lindsay ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Broncos. Denver got it back and soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 20. Flacco went to Courtland Sutton for 12 yards. On 2nd and 12 from their own 30, Flacco connected with Sutton for a 70 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Broncos. The rest of the half was ugly. Philip Rivers was intercepted, the Broncos fumbled it back, the Chargers missed a field goal, and the Broncos Brandon McManus made a 40 yard field goal to make it 17-0 Broncos. With 6 seconds left in the half, the Chargers faced 4th and goal at the one. Anthony Lynn decided to go for it. Rivers threw a pass to Austin Ekeler, who fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a touchback. 

In the third quarter the teams traded interceptions, but special teams made it a closer game. Desmond King returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown to get the Chargers on the board. Vic Fangio decided to have McManus try a 54 yard field goal, and it was no good. The resulting field position led to Chase McLaughlin hitting a 45 yard field goal. with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Chargers were within 17-10. With 3:20 left from the Denver 31, Lindsay broke free for a 32 yard gain. With 1:55 left and the Broncos facing 4th and 1 at the Chargers 28, Vic Fangio decided not to go for it. McManus came through on the 46 yard field goal for a 20-10 Broncos lead. Needing 2 scores, there was not enough time. McLaughlin hit a 32 yard field goal with less than 10 seconds left. The insides kick failed and Vic Fangio got his first win as an NFL head coach. 20-13 Broncos

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys — America keep’s hearing about Dallas as a potential Super Bowl team, but Aaron Rodgers owns the Cowboys. An early interception of Dak Prescott had the Packers at the Dallas 47. Rodgers went to Valdes-Scantling for 18 and Aaron Jones for 11 more. Jones ran for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers. The Packers got it back at their own 11, and Rodgers went to Jimmy Graham for 23 yards and Carson for 8 more. From just past midfield, Rodgers went to Tonyan for 23 yards. Jones ran for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Packers. In the second quarter the Packers added a field goal while the Cowboys missed one for a 17-0 Packers halftime lead. The third quarter was more of the same as the Packers began with a 3rd and 4 at their own 48. Rodgers went to Jones for 12 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Dallas 32, Rodgers hit Greg Allison for 22. Jones ran for a 5 yard touchdown and a 24-0 Packers lead. The Cowboys did manage a field goal, but the Packers kept rolling from their own 21. Jones took a wildcat snap 15 yards. Defensive pass interference added 39 yards. Rodgers hit Lewis for 15 and Kumerow for 9 down to the one. Jones got in from there and the Packers led 31-3 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Prescott tried to lead a furious rally and a comeback for the ages. He threw a 40 yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup with 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter to get the Cowboys within 31-10. One minute into the fourth quarter a 2 yard Ezekiel Elliott touchdown had the Cowboys within 31-17. Yet on the next series from their own 34, Prescott was quickly intercepted by King, who returned it 15 yards to the Dallas 29. At that point Green Bay coasted and a 38 yard Mason Crosby field goal put the game out of reach. Prescott added one more touchdown but it was not enough. Prescott finished 27 of 44 for 463 yards and 2 touchdowns, but 3 killer interceptions. Rodgers was 22 of 34 for 238 yards without a touchdown or interception. Aaron Jones finished with 107 yards on 19 carries with 4 touchdowns. 34-24 Packers

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs was the Sunday night game. After getting throttled at home by Oakland, the Colts had no chance on the road at invincible Kansas City. The pinball offense would take out the weak defense. Again, the Swami Chris Berman reminds us that “THAT’s why they PLAY the games!” Harrison Butker did hit a 29 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chiefs to cap the opening drive, but the Colts defense fought hard all game. The offense then moved 70 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Runs and short passes moved the Colts to the Chiefs 36. Marlon Mack ran for a 30 yard gain.  Jacoby Brissett ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Colts. After a touchback, Mahomes hit Pringle and Robinson for a pair of 12 yard gains. On 3rd and 7 from the Indy 48, Mahomes went to Travis Kelce for 17 yards. On 2nd and 16 from the Colts 37, Mahomes went to Kelce again for 18 yards. The second quarter began with the Chiefs facing 3rd and 18 from the indy 27. Mahomes was not superhuman on this night, but he was on this play as he scrambled forever and found Pringle for the touchdown and the 10-7 Chiefs lead. The Colts would not reach the end zone again, but they would not need to. 

Adam Vinatieri would hit a 32 yard field goal for a 10-10 tie. With 18 seconds left in the half the Colts would again be on the move with a 3rd and 1 at the Chiefs 14. Brissett threw incomplete and Frank Reich took no chance on the road on 4th and 1. Vinatieri again hit from 32 and the Colts had the surprising 13-10 halftime lead. After a scoreless third quarter, Frank reich gambled on 4th and 1 from the Chiefs 39 one minute into the fourth quarter. Mack gained 3 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Chiefs 27, reich gambled again. Brissett gained 2 yards. Yet on 2nd and 2 from the Chiefs 5, Wilkins lost 8 yards. Vinatieri hit from 31 to make it 16-10 Colts midway through the fourth quarter. With 6 minutes left the Chiefs faced 3rd and 28 from their own 7. Somehow Mahomes found Pringle for 27 yards. On 4th and 1 from their own 34 with 5 minutes left, pass happy Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to go for it. He actually ran the ball. Williams lost a yard.Vinatieri hit his fourth field goal from 29 yards out to make it 19-10 Colts with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. The Chiefs needed 2 scores, and managed to get to 1st and goal at the 8 with 1:40 to play. Yet a pair of incompletions was followed by a 10 yard sack go Mahomes. Butker hit the 36 yard field goal, but the onside kick failed. Mahomes played on a bad ankle all game, but he made no excuses. He is human after all. The Chiefs were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten, making Andy Reid a most displeased Walrus Lite indeed. 19-13 Colts

Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers was the Monday night game. Every time the Browns demand they be given the benefit of the doubt, they remind us that they lack consistency. One play and 11 seconds were enough for Matt Breida to run for an 83 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 49ers. One more play was enough for Baker Mayfield to be intercepted. Later in the first quarter the 49ers took over at their own 26.  Mostert ran for 6 and Greg Kittle added 18 more to midfield. A facemask had the 49ers on the move and Goodwin ran for 15 more. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Jimmy Garoppolo hit Breida for the touchdown to make it 14-0 49ers. The Brows did manage a field goal, but another mayfield interception set up the 49ers just past midfield. Garoppolo hit Kittle for 13 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Cleveland 27, Kyle Shanahan went for the kill. Tevin Coleman gained 8 and then ran for the 19 yard touchdown as the 49ers took a 21-3 lead to the locker rooms. A pointless second half saw the 49ers move the ball 90 yards on their first drive of the third quarter. Garoppolo went to Kittle for a 22 yard touchdown. The 49ers tacked on a fourth quarter field goal as the Browns kept wondering why they don’t get more respect. They have yet to earn it. Meanwhile, the 49ers are a very quiet 4-0, their best start in 30 years. 31-3 49ers

NFL 2019 Week 5 Prequel

October 8th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 5 Prequel

NFL 2019 Week 4 Recap

September 29th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 4 Recap

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers was the Thursday night game. The shootout began when the Packers took over at their own 11. An unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense put the ball on the 26. On 2nd and 1 from their own 35, Aaron Rodgers went deep o Devonta Adams for a 58 yard gain. Aaron Jones ran for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers. Green Bay got it back at their own 10 and mounted a 15 play, 78 yard, 8 minute drive. The second quarter began with the Packers facing 2nd and 7 from the Philadelphia 12 yard line. Rodgers threw incomplete twice. Mason Crosby hit the 30 yard field goal for a 10-0 Packers lead. Then the game changed.

A 67 yard kickoff return had the Eagles taking over at the Green Bay 34. Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for a 6 yard touchdown to get the Eagles within 10-7. The Packers soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 24. Rodgers and Adams combined on a 40 yard gain. However, on 3rd and 2 from the Philadelphia 13, Rodgers threw incomplete. Crosby hit from 31 to make it 13-7 Packers. Crosby hit the kickoff out of bounds to allow the Eagles to take over at their own 40. A roughing the passer penalty had the Eagles on the move. On 3rd and 2 from the Packers 26, Wentz hit Zac Ertz for 12 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 5, Wentz ran for 2 and hit Dallas Goedert for the 3 yard touchdown to put the Eagles on top 14-13. Rodgers was then sacked and fumbled, setting up the Eagles at the Green Bay 17. Jordan Howard ran for a one yard touchdown. The Eagles led 21-13 with one minute left in the half.

Then momentum changed again. The Packers took over at their own 30. Rodgers hit Adams for 11. With 30 seconds left, the Packers faced 3rd and 6 from midfield. Rodgers went deep to Allison for 31 yards and spiked the ball to stop the clock with 9 seconds left. Rodgers the calmly went to Geronimo Allison for the 19 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Packers were within 21-20 at halftime. 

The Eagles took over at their own 24 in the third quarter. Wentz hit Ertz for 9 and Hollins for 13 more. From the Green Bay 44, Wentz hit Jeffery for 16 and Howard for the 20 yard touchdown. For some bizarre reason, Doug Peterson decided to go for 2 to make it a 9 point game. Wentz threw incomplete and the Eagles led 27-20. The Packers took over at their own 28. Rodgers scrambled for 14 yards. On 3rd and 7 from their own 45, Rodgers hit Valdes-Scantling for 26 yards. Rodgers went to Graham for the 14 yard touchdown. This wild game was tied 27-27 after three quarters.

After a touchback, Sanders ran for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Green Bay 34, Wentz went to Jeffery for 16 yards. The fourth quarter began with Howard running for another 16 yards and then the 2 yard touchdown as the Eagles led by 7. The Packers moved 78 yards in 12 plays and 5 minutes. With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Packers had 1st and goal at the one. Then came the Ghost of Marshawn Lynch. The entire football world knows you run the ball from the one yard line. Yet West Coast Offense dink and dunkers just cannot help themselves. The new Packers coach is a West Coast Offense dink and dunker. It does not matter that Aaron Rodgers is perhaps the best quarterback in the game. You run the d@mn ball. Instead, Rodgers threw 4 straight incompletions and the Packers got nothing. The Packers got it back with 5 minutes left at their own 11. With 30 seconds left in the game, the Packers had 2nd and goal at the 3. The Packers learned nothing. Rather than run the ball, Rodgers threw over the middle into traffic. What could possibly go wrong? The pass was deflected and intercepted. Dink, dunk, death. 34-27 Eagles

Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans — Kyle Allen threw 4 touchdowns in his first start in place of the injured Cam Newton. In this game the Panthers moved from their 14 to the Houston 24. Allen was sacked and fumbled. The Texans recovered but did not capitalize. A shanked 19 yard punt had the Panthers getting it back at the Houston 41. Despite 2nd and 5 at the Houston 30, a run went nowhere and Allen then threw incomplete. Joey Slye hit the 48 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Panthers. Kaimi Fairbairn missed a 52 yard try that would have tied the game. Fairbairn did hit from 37 in the second quarter for a 3-3 game. After an exchange of turnovers, the Panthers took over at their own 46. On 3rd and 4 from the Houston 48, Allen went deep to Wright for 27 yards and Christian McCaffrey for 18 more. McCaffrey ran for the 3 yard touchdown to make it 10-3 Panthers with one minute left in the half. In the third quarter the Panthers fumbled and the Texans recovered at the Carolina 18. Deshaun Watson ran for a one yard touchdown and a 10-10 game after three quarters. 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, Slye drilled a 55 yard field goal for a 13-10 Panthers lead. With 4 minutes left in regulation, a Houston fumble was recovered by Carolina at the Houston 33. Slye hit a 26 yard field goal for a 6 point Panthers lead with 28 seconds left. With 4 seconds left from the Carolina 47, Watson launched the Hail Mary. It fell incomplete. 16-10 Panthers 

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens — Cleveland traveled to Baltimore for their annual @ss- kicking. This time the Browns moved the ball 84 yards on 11 plays and consumed 8 1/2 minute of clock. From the Cleveland 16, Baker Mayfield found Jarvis Landry for 16 yards. On 3rd and 8 from their own 42, Mayfield threw incomplete but illegal contact kept the drive going. On 1st and 25 from their own 42, Mayfield hit Brown for 18 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 35, Mayfield hit Hilliard for 19 more. On 3rd and 3 from the Baltimore 9, out of the shotgun mayfield hit Seals-Jones for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Browns. The Dawg Pound brought their defense, but with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half an interception of Mayfield set up the Ravens at their own 42. Lamar Jackson ran for 29 yards. At the 2 minute warning, Jackson hit Boykin for the 9 yard touchdown and a 7-7 game. Cleveland took over at their own 13. A short pass from Mayfield to Landry went for 65 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Baltimore 8, Freddie Kitchens decided to go for it. Mayfield got the yard. With 16 seconds left, on 3rd and goal from the 6, Mayfield threw incomplete. Austin Seibert hit from 24 as the Browns had the 10-7 halftime lead in front of a stunned Baltimore crowd. The crowd would be in shellshock by the end of the game. Justin Tucker hit a 41 yard field goal in the third quarter for a 10-10 game, but after that it was all Cleveland.

On 2nd and 8 from the Cleveland 27, Mayfield went deep to Seals-Jones for 59 yards. Nick Chubb ran for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 17-10 Browns. After a touchback the Ravens moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Cleveland 32. Mark Ingram gained 6 yards but fumbled and the Browns recovered at their own 26. It was the turning point in the game. Nick Chubb ran for 17 and 5. On 3rd and 5 from their own 48, Mayfield hit seals-Jones for 14. On 2nd and 15 from the Baltimore 43, Mayfield hit Landry for 12 and on 3rd and 3 hit him again for 29 yards. Chubb ran for the 2 yard touchdown for a 24-10 Browns lead after three quarters.

Every time the Ravens came back in the fourth quarter, the Browns answered. Baltimore moved 75 yards in 14 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 8, Jackson hit Mark Andrews fr the touchdown. John Harbaugh for some reason went for the 2 point conversion and Ingram ran it in to get the Ravens within 24-18. 16 seconds later the Browns were in the end zone again. On 1st and 15 from their own 12, Chubb raced for an 88 yard touchdown as the Browns led 30-18. The 2 point try failed. With 9 minutes left John Harbaugh went for it on 4th and 3 from his own 31. Jackson threw incomplete, leading to a 43 yard Siebert field goal to make it 33-18 Browns. Jackson was intercepted each of the next two series, the second of which set up the Browns at the Baltimore 39. Dontrell Hilliard ran for a one yard touchdown to put the Browns up 40-18 with just over 2 minutes left. Baltimore got a garbage touchdown, but no more. If losing badly at home in Week 1 was a statement, then winning big over their most hated rival on the road was uneven bigger one. Maybe the Brows are for real. 40-25 Browns

Washington Redskins at New York Giants — Daniel Jones won his first NFL start last week. This week the Giants moved from their own 32 and soon faced 3rd and 17 from the Washington 39. Jones hit Gallman for 15. On 4th and 2 from the Washington 24, Pat Shurmur decided to go for it. Out of the shotgun, Jones hit Shepard for 5 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Washington 15, Jones hit Shepard for 13. Jones threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to Gallman to make it 7-0 Giants. The Giants got the ball back at their own 6 yard line. On 3rd and 2 from their 14, Jones hit Evan Engram for 12 yards. On 3rd and 9 from their 27, Jones was sacked but defensive holding kept the drive going. Jones then found Shepard for a 23 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Washington 37 to start the second quarter, Jones hit Slayton for 5, Shepard for 7, and Gallman for 22. Gallman got the last yard  for the touchdown to make it 14-0 Giants. 

Jones was intercepted twice in the second quarter. After the second one, the Redskins moved to a 1st and goal at the one. A pair of incompletions sandwiched around a run that lost 2 yards meant Dustin Hopkins was hitting a 21 yard field goal. The Giants came back and actually had 1st and goal at the 2 with 7 seconds left in the half. Jones threw incomplete followed by offensive pass interference. Alex Rosas hit a 30 yard field goal for a 17-3 Giants lead. Imagine if either team tried to run on 1st and goal. The second half was hideous. The only score was a 32 yard touchdown pass from Dwayne Haskins to Jabril Peppers, who plays defense for Big Blue. Congress after the game announced that they were beginning impeachment hearings against Daniel Snyder and Jay Gruden. 24-3 Giants

Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins — 38 years after a playoff game for the ages, these teams played a forgettable game. The Chargers were 16 point favorites over a Miami team that has improved every week from losing by 49, then by 43, and last week by 25. After a touchback the Chargers moved to a 3rd and 4 a the Miami 21. Philip Rivers threw incomplete. After a delay of game, Long hit the 44 yard field goal for a 3-0 Chargers lead. The Dolphins soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Out of the shotgun, Josh Rosen hit Williams for 25 yards, O’Leary for 9 more, and Parker for a 34 yard touchdown. The Dolphins up 7-3 finally had their first lead of the entire season. The Chargers on 2nd and 5 from their own 30 saw Rivers hit Watt for 21 with 15 more added on for the defender lowering the head to intimate contact. On 3rd and 4 from the Miami 28, Rivers went to Kendricks for 13 and to Pope for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 Chargers. 

In the second quarter Sanders hit a 30 yard field goal to tie the game 10-10, but he then missed a 50 yard try that would have given the Dolphins the lead. The Chargers moved from their 40 to a 3rd and 9 at the Miami 33. Rivers hit Patton for 15 yards and Austin Ekeler for the 18 yard touchdown with 43 seconds left in the half to make it 17-10 Chargers. On the last play of the half, Sanders from 52 missed again. The Chargers put the game away in the second half as the Dolphins had their third straight scoreless second half. A staggering 16 play, 66 yard drive consumed 10 1/2 minutes of clock and was capped with a 45 yard Long field goal for a 20-10 Chargers lead. In the fourth quarter, a one yard Ekeler plunge on 3rd and goal made it 27-10 Chargers. An interception of Rosen led to one more field goal. In four games the Dolphins have been outscored 153-26, and are 12 games from ignominy. 30-10 Chargers

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts — Derek Carr smartly led a 10 play, 75 yard, 6 minute drive to start the game. Hard running by Josh Jacobs and short passes moved the chains. The Raiders did not have a single third down on the drive. On 1st and 10 from the Indianapolis 18, Carr fired a gorgeous floater over the defender and Moreau made the leaping catch. The defender tried to wrestle the ball away but Moreau held on to it for the touchdown and the 7-0 Raiders lead. Carr was 6 of 6 on the drive. The Colts went 3 and out when a 3rd and 11 pass was deflected away at the last possible moment. A short punt had the Raiders taking over at their own 40. One play and 10 seconds later the Raiders were in the end zone. An end around by Trevor Davis saw him burst through the hole and race for a 60 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Raiders. Jon Gruden pumped his fist. Davis only joined the team one week ago in a trade from Green Bay.

The Raiders held again on defense as the Colts went backward. Everything was going right for the Raiders, but they could not handle prosperity. Out of the shotgun, a simple handoff exchange from Carr to Jacobs was fumbled, and the Colts recovered at the Oakland 22. Marlon Mack rushed for 18 yards. Jacoby Brissett hit Doyle for a 5 yard touchdown to get the Colts within 14-7. The Raiders did not quickly fold. From their own 24, Jacobs ran for 8 yards and 3 more on 3rd and 2. Carr hit Darrel Waller for 17 yards. Jalen Richard gained 13 and Carr hit Waller for 15 more. The second quarter began with the Raiders facing 3rd and 8 from the Colts 19. Carr found Tyrell williams in single overage in the end zone and Williams came down with it for the touchdown and the 21-7 Raiders lead. Williams became the second player in Raiders history behind Swervin Mervyn Fernandez in 1989 to have a touchdown reception in his first 4 games with the team. 

The Colts moved from their own 25 to a 3rd and 3 at their own 47. A 9 yard run by Wilkins was wiped out by offensive holding. On 3rd and 3 again, Brissett hit Doyle for 5 yards. A late hit by talented head case Vontaze Burfect meant a 15 yard gain. Burfect was ejected, which did not help an Oakland defense that is suspect as it is. On 2nd and goal at the 5, Marlon Mack got blasted for a 4 yard loss. Adam Vinatieri hit the 26 yard field goal to get the Colts within 21-10. In a game where both teams were plagued by multiple dropped passes, the Raiders dodged a couple late bullets. An interception for a touchdown was waved off when Carr’s pass hit the ground before being picked off. The Colts moved into the red zone and then fumbled the ball away. On the last play of the half, Vinatieri barely missed a 57 yard field goal try wide. 

In the third quarter the Raiders took over at their own 10. Jacobs caught a pass for 9, ran for 10, and then caught another pass for 20. On 3rd and 9 from midfield, Carr hit Hunter Renfrow for 8 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Indy 42, Jon Gruden went for it and went smash mouth. Ingold got the yard. 

On 3rd and 9 from the Indy 39, Carr hit Williams for 18. On 3rd and goal from the 8, Carr went to Williams in the end zone to deliver the knockout blow. Williams dropped it. It was right in his bread basket. Daniel Carlson hit the 26 yard field goal. The staggering 16 play, 82 yard drive bled over 9 minutes off the clock. The Raiders led 24-10 after three quarters, but they did not put the game away. 

With 9 minutes left, Frank Reich decided to go for it with the Colts facing 4th and 2 at their own 18. One stop would end the game. Hines gained 4 yards. On 3rd and 8 from their own 38, Brissett went to Pascal for 23 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Brissett hit Chester Rogers for the touchdown. With 5 1/2 minutes left, the Colts were within 24-17. The Raiders never finish games. After a touchback, the Raiders faced 3rd and 5 at their own 41 with 3:17 to play. A false start killed the drive. The Colts got it back at their own 15 with 2 1/2 minutes left and a chance to tie things. The Raiders do not finish games. With 2:09 from their own 25, Brissett was intercepted by Erik Harris, who raced down the sideline 30 yards to pay dirt. It was Brissett’s first interception of the entire season, but it was a dagger. The Raiders led 31-17. On 2nd and 15 from their own 20, Brissett went to Pascal for 28 yards. On 4th and 6 from the Oakland 48, one stop would end the game. Brissett went to Eric Ebron for the touchdown. The Raiders do not finish games. 1:10 still remained, but the Raiders managed to recover the onside kick to preserve the road win and keep their season alive with a 2-2 record. Next week they travel to London. 31-24 Raiders

Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions — The Lions started out hot. On 3nd and 5 from their own 30, Matthew Stafford found Kenny Golladay for a 33 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 2, Stafford was sacked for a 5 yard loss. Matt Prater hit the 25 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Lions. Harrison Butker missed a 35 yard field goal that would have tied the game. From the Detroit 26, a defensive facemark penalty on a run put the ball at midfield. On 3rd and 9 from the Chiefs 44, Stafford went to Jones for 33 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Chiefs 5, Stafford with the pocket collapsing fired over the middle to TJ Hockensen for the touchdown and the 10-0 Lions lead. For the third straight week the Chiefs started slowly. So far that has yet to matter. 

The Chiefs moved from their own 14 to a 1st and goal at the 4. Yet a West Coast Offense dink and dunk pass lost 3 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Mahomes threw incomplete. Butler hit the 23 yard field goal to get the Chiefs on the board. The Chiefs got it back at their own 30 and LeSean Shady McCoy ran for 39 yards. Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Chelsea for 14 more. On 3rd and goal at the one, McCoy got it for a 10-10 deadlock with 4 minutes left in the half. The Lions moved from their own 21 to a 2nd and 1 at the Chiefs 25. Stafford threw incomplete. A run went nowhere. A 4th and 1 gamble by Matt Patricia was done in by a false start. Matt prater hit the 49 yard field goal to make it 13-10 Lions with one minute left in the half. After a touchback, that was more than enough time for Mahomes. He went deep to Sammy Watkins for 19 yards and deep again to Williams for 30 more. Butker hit the 44 yard field goal to end the half with the game tied 13-13. 

The Chiefs fumbled the second half kickoff, setting the Lions up at the Chiefs 36. On 2nd and goal at the 5, a touchdown pass was reversed to an incompletion. On 3rd and goal Stafford was sacked and fumbled the ball back to the Chiefs, who took over at their own 18. From their 29, the Chiefs fumbled the ball back to the Lions again at the Chiefs 28. McKissic ran for a 26 yard gain with a facemask setting up 1st and goal at the one. Then came the play of the game. Johnson took it up the middle, fumbled the ball, and Breeland picked it up at the goal line for the Chiefs and raced 100 yards the other way. The play stood on review as it was the Chiefs with the 20-13 lead in front of a shocked home crowd, not the Lions. 

The Lions showed composure and drove into position for Prater to try a 53 yard field goal. Prater delivered and the Lions were within 20-16. The Chiefs then fumbled the ball away yet again and the Lions took over at the Kansas City 45 yard line. Johnson ran for 12 and Stafford added 11 more. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Stafford hit Golladay for the touchdown as the Lions had the 23-20 lead after three quarters and were smelling upset. After a touchback, Mahomes hit Kelce for 16 yards. Roughing the passer added 15 more. The fourth quarter began with the Chiefs facing 2nd and 12 at the Detroit 46. Mahomes went to Kelce for 10, and Kelce lateraled the ball to McCoy for another 23 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Detroit 9, Mahomes ran for 7. Williams ran for the one yard touchdown to put the Chiefs on top 27-23 with 12 minutes left in regulation. 

The Lions took over at their own 21 with 6:42 to play. Runs and short passes had the Lions at the Chiefs 43 with 3:19 left. Stafford went deep to Hall for a 34 yard gain. Stafford hit Golladay for a 6 yard touchdown. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Lions had the 30-27 lead. All the defense and to do was stop the superhuman Mahomes. The Chiefs took over at their own 21. Mahomes went to Williams for 11. With 1:55 left the Chiefs faced 4th and 8 at their own 34. One stop would end it. Mahomes scrambled for 15 yards and then hit Kelce for 18 more. With 20 seconds left in regulation the Chiefs were one yard away. With everything on the line, Darrel Williams got in the end zone. The heartbreaking loss knocked the Lions from the unbeaten ranks. The Chiefs are 4-0 and finding new ways to win every week behind their pinball offense, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 34-30 Chiefs

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills — Both these teams came in 3-0, but if the Bills were to be taken seriously, they had to win this game. Josh Allen was intercepted by Devin McCourty, who returned it 19 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 9, Tom Brady went to James White for 14 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Buffalo 30, Brady went to White for 26 yards. Bolden ran around the end for a 4 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Patriots led 6-0. The Bills soon had to punt on 4th and 14 from their own 33. The punt was blocked by Jackson and recovered by Slater at the 11. Slater took it the rest of the way for the touchdown and the 13-0 Patriots lead. New England got it back and sought to quickly put the game away. A 16 play, 93 yard drive consumed nearly 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Brady went to the end zone, but it would not be 20-0 Patriots. Brady was intercepted by Micah Hyde in the end zone for a touchback. The turnover changed the complexion of the game.

Steve Hauschka hit a 46 yard field goal to get the Bills on the board. On the last play of the half, a 49 yard try by Hauschka was no good. The third quarter began with a touchbackJosh Allen went to TJ Yeldon for a 23 yard gain and again for 19 more. Allen hit Cole Beasley for 16 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Frank Gore got stopped. Sean McDermott went for it. Allen got the yard himself as the Bills were within 16-10. Late in the third quarter an interception of Allen set up the Patriots at the Buffalo 42. On 3rd and 6, Brady went to Josh Gordon for 31 yards. Yet the defense stiffened. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Brady hit Dorsett for only 5 yards. Gostkowski hit the 23 yard field goal to put the Patriots up by six after three quarters. Defense dominated the fourth quarter, and the Patriots knocked Josh Allen out of the game. Backup Matt Barkley had the Bills backed up to their own 14 with 3 minutes left. With 90 seconds to play the Bills had a 3rd and 9 at the New England 39. Evil Hoodie Bill Belichick brought the house, and Barkley was hit as he threw. A floater in the air was intercepted by Jamie Collins. The Bills are for real, especially on defense, but the Evil Empire is the one that remained unbeaten. 16-10 Patriots

Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons — 3 minutes into the game, Marcus Mariota connected with Brown on a 55 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Titans. The Falcons took over at their own 15 and were helped along by a 32 yard defensive pass interference penalty. From the tennessee 47, Matt Ryan went deep to Hooper for a 28 yard gain. Smith got the last yard on the ground for a touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame. On 3rd and 15 from their own 20, Mariota went to Davis for 16 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Atlanta 36, Mariota hit Humphries for 9 yards. Derrick Henry ran for 16 and Mariota hit Brown for the 11 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Titans. In the second quarter the Titans took over at their own 38. Mariota went deep to Brown for a 28 yard gain. Cairo Santos hit a 45 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Titans. The Falcons moved from their 27 to a 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 39. Dan Quinn went for it and Devontae Freeman lost a yard. Derek Henry ran for a pair of 5 yard gains to midfield. Mariota then went to Davis for 22 yards, Henry for 8, and and back to Davis for a 23 yard touchdown and a 24-7 Titans lead. With 30 seconds left in the half, Matt Bryant missed a 32 yard field goal. Bryant did hit from 42 early in the third quarter to get the Falcons within two scores. After that the Tennessee defense clamped down. 24-10 Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams — The defending NFC Champs were supposed to at home steamroll the overmatched Buccaneers. To quote ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman, “THAT’s why they PLAY the games.” The Buccaneers took over at their own 40 and Jameis Winston found Chris Godwin for 17 yards and Brate for 13 more. Winston went back to Godwin for another 18. Pierre Barber ran for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Buccaneers. Another interception of Goff early in the second quarter set the Buccaneers up at midfield. Winston found Howard for 12 and Godwin for 30 more. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Winston hit Godwin for the touchdown to make it 14-0 Buccaneers. Yet another interception of Goff gave the Buccaneers 1st and goal at the 9. One play and 7 seconds later, Winston went to Godwin for the touchdown. 3 interceptions led to 3 touchdowns and a 21-0 Buccaneers lead. 

The Rams finally got going. Goff found Woods for 9 and Everett for 15. From the Tampa 37, Goff hit Everett for 14 with defensive pass interference adding 10 more yards. Todd Gurley ran for a 13 yard touchdown to get the Rams within 21-7. The Rams got it back at midfield. Goff went deep to Woods for 37 yards. Goff hit Everett for a 5 yard touchdown as the Rams were within 21-14. The Buccaneers came back 75 yards in 11 plays after a touchback. On 3rd and 7 from their own 39, Winston hit Godwin for 14 yards. Roughing the passer added 15 more. On 3rd and 3 from the Rams 23, Winston hit Godwin for 11. Jones ran for a 5 yard touchdown as the Buccaneers led 28-14 with 52 seconds left in the half. The rams kept coming back. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein lived up to his namesake, drilling a 58 yard field goal to end the half. Zuerlein hit from 44 after a 14 play, 6 minute drive to get the Rams within 28-20.

Yet on this day, Bruce Arians saw his team take the biggest Tampa two step since the days of Pewter Power. Arians trusted Gay with a 58 yard field goal try of his own in the third quarter, and Gay delivered to make it 31-20 Buccaneers. Goff’s fourth interception set up the Buccaneers at their own 47. Winston found Godwin for 17. Jones ran for 10 and caught a pass for 12.On the first play of the fourth quarter, Winston hit Brate for the 13 yard touchdown. The Buccaneers led 38-20. Goff did lead a 75 yard touchdown drive as the Rams scored with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation to get within 38-27. Yet Michelin Man Wade Phillips could only watching horror as his normally stout defense got torn asunder. On 2nd and 5 from their own 33, Winston went deep to Mike Evans for a 67 yard touchdown. With 9 minutes left in regulation, the Buccaneers had a commanding 45-27 lead with 11 1/2 minutes left.

Yet these are the Buccaneers. The Rams faced 2nd and 20 at their own 15. Goff hit Cooper Kupp for 10 and on 3rd and 10 went to Reynolds for 22 yards. Goff hit Gurley and Cooks for a pair of 12 yard gains. On 3rd and 10 from the Tampa Bay 29, Goff and Kupp connected on another touchdown. With 9 minutes left, the Rams were within 45-34. Three plays later after a touchback, the Buccaneers faced 3rd and 9 at their own 12. Winston threw a horrendous sideline pass that was intercepted by Marcus Peters, who returned it 32 yards for a defensive touchdown. The 2 point try failed but with over 8 minutes still remaining, the Rams were within 45-40. 

The Buccaneers soon faced 3rd and 6 from their own 29, Winston hit Evans for 12 yards. On 2nd and 6 from the Rams 48, Winston found Godwin for 18 yards. Jones then broke off a 24 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 6 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. At this point there was no reason for Winston to even raise his arm. A couple conservative runs forced the Rams to use their timeouts on defense. A pointless West Coast Offense pass was completed far short of the end zone. Last week Matt Gay was the goat, and we do not mean greatest of all time. He missed a 34 yard kick one the final play of a one point loss at home. This week with just over 2 1/2 minutes left he had a 21 yard kick. He made it as the Buccaneers led 48-40. The Rams moved after a touchback to a 1st and 10 at the Bucs 36. The Bucs had the talent to screw this up. However, offensive pass interference made it 1st and 20. On the next play Goff was sacked for a 14 yard loss by Barrett and fumbled. Ndomakung Suh pucked up the fumble and rumbled 37 yards to finally put the game away. Bruce Arians does not have to go the full John McKay and oversee his team’s execution. This was hardly the stuff of Brooks, Lynch, Sapp and Barber, but it was a win. This was anything but Buc Ball. Goff threw 68 passes…yes 68…passes. He completed 45 of them for 517 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, the interceptions killed him and the fumble was the final dagger. Winston was 28 of 41 for 385 yards, 4 touchdowns, and one interception as the Rams were knocked from the unbeaten ranks in stunning fashion. 55-40 Buccaneers

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals — After a stunning blowout home loss last week, Seattle quickly rebounded and tore apart Arizona early and often. The Cardinals ddi not help matters by missing a 43 yard field goal early. Jason Myers hit a 33 yard field goal to start the blowout. Two plays later after a touchback, Tyler Murray was intercepted by Jadavean Clowney, who returned it 27 yards for a score to make it 10-0 Seahawks. In the second quarter the Cardinals drove to the red zone, but settled for a 33 yard Zane Gonzalez field goal. The Seahawks soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Russell Wilson ent to John Brown for a 32 yard gain and then went to Tyler Lockett for 28 more. Wilson hit Dissly for the 9 yard touchdown to make it 17-3 Seahawks. Gonzalez missed another field goal from 48, while Myers connected again from 24 to have the Seahawks cruising 20-3 at halftime. The second half was pointless. Murray did run for a 9 yard touchdown with 10 1/2  minutes left in regulation, but it was not enough. The Seahawks answered with a 15 play, 75 yard drive that took over 8 minutes. CJ Prosise ran for a 9 yard touchdown to complete the scoring. 27-10 Seahawks

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears — This was an old-style NFC North slobberknocker that would have made George Halas proud. It certainly pleased his 96 year old daughter Virginia McCaskey happy, despite the early knockout of Mitchell Trubisky. Backup Chase McDaniel led the Bears on this day. A 10 yard touchdown pass to Tarik Cohen in the first quarter was enough. The rest of the way the Bears added field goals and suffocating defense. Eddie Pineiro connected from 25 to end the half and from 38 and 30 in the third quarter for a 16-0 Bears lead. These are not the 1985 Bears since they did give up a late garbage touchdown, but they are very good. 16-6 Bears 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos — 23 years after Jacksonville shocked Denver 30-27 in one of the great playoff upsets in NFL history, these teams played a far less consequential game. The Broncos took over at their 47 and made it look easy. Patrick Lindsay ran for 28 yards and Joe Flacco hit Nick Fant for the 25 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Broncos. The Jaguars moved 68 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. Despite 2nd and 7 at the Denver 8, an incompletion as followed by a one yard pass. Josh Lambo hit the 25 yard field goal to get the Jaguars on the board. The Broncos began the second quarter facing 3rd and 7 at their own 34. Flacco hit Freeman for 15 yards and Emanuel Sanders for 39 more. Flacco hit Christ Sutton for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Broncos. Brandon McManus tacked on a 33 yard field goal for a 17-3 Broncos lead with 4:20 left in the stoned Colorado air. 

With 49 seconds left in the half, the Broncos had 1st and 10 at the Jacksonville 33. Another field goal would have made it 20-3 Broncos. Instead the game changed when Flacco was intercepted by Harrison, who returned it 31 yards to the Denver 43. Lambo hit from 40 to end the half with the Jaguars down 17-6. The Jaguars got it back and Gardner Minshew led a staggering 16 play, 75 yard drive that took a mind-numbing 10 1/2 minutes. Leonard Fournette ran for 13 and 8. On 3rd and 14 from the Denver 43, Minshew hot Cole for 19 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Denver 15, Fournette gained 2 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Denver 7, Minshew hot Armstead for the touchdown. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Jaguars were within 17-13 before Denver even touched the ball in the second half. The Jaguars got it back at their own 7. Fournette broke free for an 81 yard gain. Minshew hit O’Shaughnessy for an 18 yard touchdown to cap the 93 yard drive in only 3 plays and put the Jaguars up 20-17 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Jaguars mounted a 13 play, 78 yard drive that took 7 minutes. Yet on 3rd and 7 from the Denver 16, Minshew threw incomplete. Lambo hit from 34 to put the Jaguars up by 6 with 3 minutes left, but they left the door open. 

After a touchback, Flacco hit Emanuel Sanders for 16 and Sutton for 27 more. Flacco then went to Sanders for 27 yards. Flacco hit Sutton for the 8 yard touchdown. The critical extra point was good, and after giving up 20 straight points, the Broncos led by a point. After a touchback, 90 seconds still remained. Minshew was sacked for a 7 yard loss, but a roughing the passer penalty on Von Miller kept the drive going. Minshew was in serious pain after being hit low but refused to come out of the game. Minshew went to Westbrook, who fought through tacklers and got out of bounds for a 32 yard gain. Minshew then hit Conley for 17 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 10 with one minute left. Rather than take a couple of knees, Doug Marrone watched the worst offensive play calling since Kyle Shanahan in the Super Bowl and Chip Kelly anywhere. Minshew kept lining up in the shotgun, perhaps because of his playing injured. That would be the only explanation to avoid getting a coach fired. An offensive holding penalty turned a 28 yard field goal try into a 38 yard try into the wind.  Fournette gained 5 of those yards back and Lambo came in for the 33 yard try with 4 seconds left. The kick was good as Vic fangio and Denver’s winless misery continued. 26-24 Jaguars

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints was the Sunday night game. Last year in Dallas the Cowboys won a defensive bonelock over the Saints 13-10. This game was just as brutal. In the first quarter, an interception of Teddy Bridgewater set up the Cowboys at their own 46. Despite 2nd and 9 at the Saints 10, Dak Prescott threw incomplete. Brett Maher hit the 28 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. The second quarter belonged to Wil Lutz. On the first play of the second quarter he connected from 40 to tie the game. Then he hit from 42 to give the saints the lead. With 90 seconds left in the half the Saints recovered a fumble at the Dallas 44. With 4 seconds left and the ball on the one, a quick pass was incomplete. With 2 seconds left, Sean Payton opted for the field goal. Lutz hit from 19 as the Saints led 9-3. In the third quarter the Cowboys moved 84 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 2 from the Dallas 36, Prescott threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 5 yards. On 2nd and 12 from the Saints 37, Prescott went to Barwin for 35 yards. Ezekiel Elliott ran for a one yard touchdown as the Cowboys led 10-9 midway through the third quarter. The Saints responded with a 15 play, 67 yard, 9 minute drive. On 3rd and 7 from the Dallas 13, Bridgewater only gained 5 yards. On 4th and 2 from the 8, Sean Payton opted for the field goal. Lutz hit from 26 and the Saints led by 2 points only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter. 

The defense clamped down. With 5 1/2 minutes left the Saints tried to run out the clock. On 3rd and 1 from their own 47, Alvin Kamara gained 9. On 3rd and 1 at the Dallas 35, Kamara gained 2 yards as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. The Cowboys had all 3 timeouts. On 3rd and 8 from the Dallas 31, the only sensible move was to run the ball and force the Cowboys to take their last timeout. The worst possible call would be a pass play. Bridgewater went back to pass and was sacked for a 16 yard loss out of field goal range. The Cowboys took over at their own 14 with 1:45 left. The Saints faked an all out blitz. Prescott was sacked for an 11 yard loss. On 3rd and 12 from their own 12, Prescott hit Amari Cooper for 14 yards. With 17 seconds left, the Cowboys faced 3rd and 20 at their own 16. Prescott fired over the middle to Randall Cobb for a 32 yard gain and raced to the line to spike the ball and stop the clock. Two seconds remained. The Saints were expected to keep everybody back deep. Instead, they brought a corner blitz. Prescott did not have time to roll out and throw it as deep as he wanted. Instead he got blasted as soon as the Hail Mary left his hand. It was intercepted at the New Orleans 13 yard line as the Cowboys were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten. Both teams at 3-1 lead their respective divisions. 12-10 Saints

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Monday night game. Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and produce a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. A Pittsburgh fumble set up the Bengals at the Pittsburgh 15. Randy Bullock hit a 28 yard field goal as the Bengals led 3-0 after the opening quarter. The rest was all Pittsburgh. A field position game had the Steelers taking over in the second quarter at the Cincinnati 46. On 3rd and 2 at the Cincy 21, Mason Rudolph went to James Conner for the touchdown and the 7-3 Steelers lead. After a touchback the Bengals moved to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 18. Red Rifle Andy Dalton was sacked and fumbled and the Steelers recovered. Chris Boswell hit a 29 yard field goal as the Steelers led 10-3. In the third quarter the Steelers put the game away. After a touchback, on 3rd and 5 from just past midfield, Mason Rudolph hit Samuels for 14 yards. From the Cincy 23, Mike Tomlin twice in a row called Wildcat snaps. Samuels hit Conner for 21 yards and then ran the last 2 yards himself to make it 17-3 Steelers. A shanked 29 yard Bengals punt had the Steelers at the Cincy 43. Rudolph went deep to a wide open Diontae Johnson for the touchdown. After a fourth quarter interception of Dalton, Boswell tacked on a 49 yard field goal to complete the scoring and get the Steelers their first win of the year. 27-3 Steelers

NFL 2019 Week 4 and Rosh Hashanah Prequel

September 29th, 2019

Mark Zuckerberg keeps banning me for being a Trump voter

September 29th, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 3 Recap

September 22nd, 2019

NFL 2019 Week 3 Recap

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars was the Thursday night game. The Jaguars were supposed to be a dumpster fire. Nick Foles is out injured for half the season. Jalen Ramsey wants to be traded. Doug Marrone has supposedly lost the locker room. Then the game started. Less than 2 minutes into the game, the Titans fumbled a punt and the Jaguars recovered at the Tennessee 7 yard line. One play later Gardner Minshew threw the touchdown pass to James O’Shaughnessy to make it 7-0 Jaguars. Jacksonville got it back at their own 38. From just shy of midfield, Minshew hit Westbrook for 28 yards and DJ Chark for the 22 yard touchdown. After less than 9 minutes, the Jaguars led 14-0. From there, the defense just clamped down. Josh Lambo added a 40 yard field goal in the third quarter. Tennessee did avoid the shutout when derrick Henry reached the end zone with 12 minutes left in regulation. It was too little, too late. Lambo tacked on a 48 yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to complete the scoring. 20-7 Jaguars

Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers — John Elway was the hero when these teams met in 1997 in the Super Bowl. Now he is the president of a terrible Broncos team. 75 yards came easy as Aaron Rodgers went deep to Valdes-Scandling for a 40 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers less than 3 minutes into the game. In the second quarter the Broncos mounted a 15 play, 77 yard drive that consumed 8 1/2 minutes. Joe Flacco kicked tings off from the Denver 23 with a 16 yard completion to Chris Sutton. On 3rd and 3 from their own 46, Patrick Lindsey ran for 8, 9, 2, and caught a pass for 5. On 3rd and 3 from the Green Bay 28, Flacco got just enough. From the Green Bay 4, Lindsay began the second quarter by running for 3 and then the final yard for a 7-7 game. Mason Crosby hit a 42 yard field goal to put the Packers in front again and Brandon McManus answered from 30 to tie it again 10-10. That came when Denver had a 15 play, 63 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. However, on 3rd and goal at the 2, Flacco was sacked for a 10 yard loss.

With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, a key play came when the Broncos faced 1st and 10 at their own 18. Flacco was sacked and fumbled, and the Packers recovered at the Denver 5 yard line. Jones lost a couple yards but then ran for the 7 yard touchdown to put the Packers up 17-10 at the break. The Broncos began the third quarter facing 3rd and 2 at their own 33. A 4 yard completion was fumbled and the Packers took over at the Denver 37. Rodgers went to Valdes-Scantling for 9 and then deep to Vitale for a 27 yard gain down to the one. Jones got in for a 24-10 Packers lead. 

The Broncos embarked on another long drive of 12 plays, 75 yards and 6 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the one, Flacco threw incomplete. Vic Fangio decided to go for it and Lindsay got in. McManus doinked the extra point off the upright no good as the Broncos trailed 24-16. Denver got it back and moved from their own 3 to a 2nd and 7 at the Green Bay 38. Flacco was then intercepted. In the fourth quarter the Packers moved 51 yards in 11 plays but took 7:40 off the clock. Crosby hit the 41 yard field goal to lock up the win with 6 minutes left. The Packers are 3-0, and for the third straight week Aaron Rodgers did not have to carry the team. As he keeps smiling and reminding us, the Packers have a defense. 27-16 Packers 

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles — The Eagles were supposed to easily at home dispatch a woeful Detroit team. Then the game started. Early on the the Eagles moved from their 24 to a 3rd and 6 at the Detroit 7. Carson Wentz threw incomplete. Elliott hit the 25 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Eagles. 14 seconds later the Lions had a 7-3 lead when Agnew returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. After a touchback, Wentz hit Zac Ertz for 23 yards. Howard ran for 11, 6 and 2. On 3rd and 2 at the Detroit 33, Sanders ran for 9. On 3rd and 6 from the Detroit 20, Wentz scrambled for 19 yards. Howard got the last yard to make it 10-7 Eagles after the first quarter. Momentum completely shifted in the second quarter.

After a touchback, the Lions embarked on a 13 play, 75 yard, 7 minute drive. On 3rd and 1 from their own 34, Johnson gained 2. On 3rd and 10 from their own 44, Matthew Stafford hit Kenny Golladay for just enough. On 3rd and goal at the one, Stafford threw incomplete but the defense jumped offsides. One minute into the second quarter, Johnson got the yard for the score to make it 14-10 Lions. With 5 minutes left in the half the Eagles fumbled and the Lions took over just shy of midfield. Mckissic got around the end for a 44 yard gain. Yet despite 1st and goal at the 7, Johnson gained nothing and Stafford threw incomplete twice. Matt Prater hit the 25 yard field goal to make it 17-10 Lions. At the 2 minute warning the Eagles fumbled again, and Slay returned it 38 yards to the Philly 22. Prater hit a 33 yard field goal as the Lions took a 20-10 lead to the locker rooms.

A field position game in the third quarter had the Eagles taking over at the Detroit 47. On 3rd and 5 from the Detroit 20, Wentz hit Agholor for the touchdown to get the Eagles within 20-17. The Lions soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Stafford went deep to Jones for 27 yards. On 2nd and 15 from the Philly 34, Stafford hit Danny Amendola for 22 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Stafford hit Jones for the 12 yard touchdown to give the Lions some breathing room up 27-17. With 11 minutes left in regulation on 2nd and 8 from their own 22, Wentz went deep to Sanders for 33 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Detroit 23, Wentz threw incomplete but roughing the passer meant 12 yards and a new set of downs. These are the Lions. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Wentz hit Agholor for the score. With 7 minutes left, the Eagles were within a field goal.

With 2:25 left, the Eagles were down to what should have been their last gasp on 4th and 8 from their own 22. Wentz scrambled but only gained 6 yards. Detroit celebrated and took over at the Philly 28 with 2:18 left. On 3rd and 10, Stafford threw incomplete. The Eagles preserved 2 of their timeouts. These are the Lions. Prater came in for the 46 yard field goal try with 1:53 left to extend the lead. The kick was blocked. The Eagles took over at midfield with 1:39 to play needing only a field goal. These are the Lions. On 4th and 5 from the Detroit 45, Wentz went deep to Agholor for a 25 yard gain in field goal range. Yet offensive pass interference on Darren Sproles nullified the catch. With 50 seconds left, on 4th and 15 from the Philly 45, Detroit needed one stop. Wentz went for it all and had Arcega-Whiteside in the end zone with a well thrown ball. These are the Lions. Arcega-Whiteside dropped it! He had the defender beat and just dropped it. Better to be lucky than good sometimes. 27-24 Lions

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs — The only hope to stop the Chiefs pinball offense was the Ravens top notch defense. The Ravens moved with a 14 play, 84 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive. On 4th and 3 from the Chiefs 9, John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Lamar Jackson gained 7 yards. Mark Ingram got the last 2 yards for the score. John Harbaugh went for the 2 point conversion but didn’t get it. The Ravens led 6-0 after the first quarter. Last week the Chiefs trailed 10-0 after one quarter and exploded for 28 second quarter points. This week the second quarter was deja vu all over again.

From their 25, LeSean Shady McCoy ran for 12 yards. Then Patrick Mahomes began the bombing campaign with a 21 yard completion to Travis Kelce. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Mahomes threw incomplete. However, a horse collar tackle penalty meant a new set of downs. On 3rd and goal at the one, McCoy began the second quarter by getting in the end zone for a 7-6 Chiefs lead. Knowing he would need points, John Harbaugh gambled on 4th and 2 from his own 47. Jackson threw incomplete. Mahomes quickly hit Hardman for 14 and then threw an 18 yard touchdown to Robinson for a 14-6 Chiefs lead. The Chiefs got it back at their own 4 yard line. From their own 17, Mahomes went bombs away to Hardman for an 83 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Chiefs led 20-6 with 3 minutes left in the half. The Chiefs got it back at their same spot at their own 17 with 1:18 left in the half. On 3rd and 2 from their own 25, Mahomes hit Kelce for 6 and Robinson for 18. On 3rd and 5 from the Baltimore 46, Mahomes hit Kelce for 19 yards.  Harrison Butler hit the 42 yard field goal as the Chiefs led 23-6 at the break. Last week the Chiefs coasted in the second half. This week they did again, but Baltimore did not.

After a touchback to start the second half, Baltimore ran it down Kansas City’s throat. Ingram gained 9 and 4 and Edwards gained 15 and 13. On 3rd and 3 from the Chiefs 27, Jackson gained 8. After all those runs, Ingram ran for the 19 yard touchdown. Only one pass was attempted, and it was incomplete. The Ravens were within 23-13. Later on walrus Lite Andy Reid went for it on 4th and 1 from the Baltimore 41. Out of the shotgun, the snap was fumbled and the Ravens took over on downs. The Chiefs got it back at their own 20 and Mahomes went to Sammy Watkins for 36 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Baltimore 28, Mahomes was intercepted but defensive pass interference meant 1st and 10 from the Baltimore 15. Mahomes hit McCoy for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 30-13 Chiefs after three quarters.

The Ravens moved 75 yards in 13 plays trying to make a game of it. On 2nd and 22 from their own 28, Jackson hit Boyle for 11 and Brown for 18 on 3rd and 11. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, on 4th and 5 from the Chiefs 27, Jackson went deep to Roberts for 25 yards. Ingram ran for the one yard touchdown. The 2 point try was unnecessary but John Harbaugh tried it again and it failed again as the Ravens trailed 30-19 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Justin Tucker hit a 39 yard field goal to get the Ravens within 30-22 with 6 1/2 minutes left, but Butker answered from 36 with 4 1/2 minutes left to make it 33-22 Chiefs. Baltimore got it back at their 30 and Jackson led a furious rally. Jackson ran for a 9 yard touchdown with 2:01 to play. Again the 2 point try failed. Instead of being down 33-31 and needing only a field goal to win, the 3 failed 2 point tries had the Ravens down by 5. It did not matter. With 1:51 left and Baltimore out of timeouts, it all came down to the Chiefs facing 3rd and 9 from their own 37. In this case you run the ball every single time. Every. Single. Time. Yet pass-happy Walrus Lite Andy Reid has a superhuman at quarterback, and Mahomes hit Williams for the 16 yard completion to seal the win. The Chiefs at 3-0 have already pretty much locked up the AFC West, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 33-28 Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills — In the 1980s, this game mattered. The Bills moved from their 27 as Josh Allen hit Frank Gore for 13 and Brown for 11. On 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 45, Allen hit Jones for 23 yards with 11 more tacked on for roughing the passer. Allen hit Knox for the one yard touchdown. Sean McDermott went for 2 and Allen hit Cole Beasley for the conversion to make it 8-0 Bills. Steve Hauschka hit second quarter field goals of 34 and 45yards as the Bill took a 14-0 lead to the locker rooms. Hauschka did miss from 62 on the last play of the half.

In the third quarter the teams traded interceptions as the Bengals took over at the Buffalo 22. Red Rifle Andy Dalton got in from the one to get the Bengals within 14-7 after three quarters. The Bengals got it back at their own 18. Joe Mixon ran for 14 yards. Dalton then hit Trevor Boyd for 14, John Ross for 15, and Tate for 7. The fourth quarter began with the Bengals facing 3rd and 4 at the Buffalo 33. Dalton hit Boyd for gains of 11 and 8. On 3rd and 1 at the Buffalo 13, Mixon gained 12. On 1st and goal at the one, Dalton fumbled and the Bills recovered. However, the Bills jumped offsides. Given another chance, Dalton hit Mixon for the touchdown and a 14-14 game with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. 

The Bengals got it back and soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 16. Dalton went to Boyd for 26 yards.  and to Mixon for 33 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Buffalo 25, Dalton threw incomplete. Bullock hit the 43 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Bengals with 5 minutes remaining. The Bills soon faced 2nd and 3 from their own 29. Allen hit Knox for a 49 yard gain. With 1:50 to play, on 3rd and goal at the one, Gore got in to put the Bills back up by 4 points. After a touchback, Dalton quickly moved the Bengals to a 3rd and 5 at the Buffalo 28 with 12 seconds to play. Dalton went deep and had the ball tipped by the receiver and the defender before being intercepted by White at the 10 yard line. Buffalo went from a 2-0 team nobody believes in to a 3-0 team nobody believes in. 21-17 Bills

Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts — The first half was almost all Colts. Adam Vinatieri shook off the first 2 weeks and drilled a 49 yard field goal for a 3-0 Colts lead. They got it back at their own 7 yard line. Jacoby Brissett hit TY Hilton for 6 and Marlon Mack ran for 14 more. Brissett then went deep to Hilton for 26 yards with 15 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness. On 3rd and 5 from the Atlanta 27, Brissett hit Eric Ebron for 9 and Zach Pascal for the 18 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Colts. Matt Ryan went for the home run ball and was intercepted. The Colts managed a 15 play, 94 yard, 8 1/2 minute drive without scoring a touchdown. They took over at their own 3 and moved to a 1st and goal at the one. Brissett threw incomplete, but defensive holding made it 1st and goal at the one again. A run lost 2 yards and Brissett threw incomplete twice. Adam Vinatieri hit the 21 yard field goal to make it 13-0 Colts in the second quarter. After an Atlanta field goal with 2:20 left in the half, the Colts took over at their own 36. On 3rd and 9 from their own 37, Brissett threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 13 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 31, Brissett lost 2 yards but the Falcons had 12 men on the defense. With 9 seconds left from the Atlanta 4, Brissett hit Hilton for the touchdown as the Colts were up 20-3 at halftime.

Momentum quickly changed in the second half. On 3rd and 8 from their own 27, Ryan hit Mohammed san for 16. From the Indy 47, Ryan hit Julio Jones for 34 yards and Austin Hooper for the 13 yard touchdown to get the Falcons within 20-10. The Falcons got it back at their own 22 and Matty Ice led a staggering 16 play, 78 yard drive that took 10 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 10 from their 22, Ryan hit Jones for 15. On 3rd and 12 from their own 35, Ryan hit Jones for 21. On 3rd and 10 from the Indy 44, Ryan hit Sanu for 12 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Indy 35, Ryan hit Calvin Ridley for 6. One minute into the fourth quarter on 3rd and goal at the 2, Ryan hit Hooper for the score to get the Falcons within 20-17.

The Colts soon faced 2nd and 15 at their own 20. Brissett hit Alie-Cox for 16. On 3rd and 5 from their own 41, Brissett ran for 6. On 3rd and 10 from the Indy 47, Brissett threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 39, a short completion to Pascal went for 35 yards. Mack ran for the 4 yard touchdown to put the Colts up 27-17 with 8:40 to play. The Falcons took over at their own 29. On 1st and 20 from their own 30, Ryan hit Sanu for 10 and Jones for 12. On 3rd and 11 just past midfield, Ryan threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 15 more yards. Ryan then went to san for 16 with roughing the passer adding 9 more. Ryan hit Jones for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Falcons within 3 with 4 minutes to play. With 1:56 to play the Falcons took their final timeout as the Colts faced 3rd and 4 at the Atlanta 27. You run the ball every single time in that situation to drain the clock. Every. Single. Time. Instead Frank reich wanted to pass, and Brissett hit Doyle for 11 yards and the clinching first down. That is why Reich coaches and I do not. 27-24 Colts

Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings — After splitting their first two games at home, the Raiders began a brutal road stretch. 20 years ago, the 1999 Oakland Raiders went into Minnesota early in the season and shocked the heavily favored Vikings 22-17. Minnesota was one year removed from their 15-1 season, but Rich Gannon got the job done. Now Derek Carr, the new all time Raiders passing leader, had his chance. It was no contest. Four years ago Mike Zimmer’s defense belted the Raiders, and they did so again. On 3rd and 9 from their own 25, Cousins threw incomplete. Yet defensive holding on Gareon Conley kept the drive going. Cousins threw a 35 yard touchdown to a wide open Adam Thielen for a 7-0 Vikings lead. The Vikings then moved 79 yards in 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 18 from their own 13, Cousins hit Cook for just enough with roughing the passer adding 15 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 46,  Cousins hit Stephan Diggs for 5 with a facemark adding 15 more. On the first play of the second quarter, Dalvin Cook ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Vikings. Carr was then intercepted, setting up Minnesota at the Oakland 30. On 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 22, Cousins hit Cook for 12. On 3rd and goal at the one, Thielen got in on the ground to make it 21-0 Vikings. NFL rules required that the rest of the game be played.

On 3rd and 11 from the Oakland 24, Carr hit Darren Waller for 30 yards. From the Minnesota 29, Carr and Josh Jacobs executed a perfect flea flicker. Carr went deep to JJ Nelson for the touchdown to get the Raiders within 21-7 midway through the second quarter. Then ended the illusion of a competitive game. The Raiders moved from their own 9 late in the half to a 3rd and 6 at the Minnesota 48. Carr threw deep incomplete. Minnesota put the game away in the third quarter with a 10 play, 92 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. On 3rd and 6 from their own 12, Cousins hit Thielen for 11 yards. Cousins went deep incomplete, but defensive pass interference on Karl Joseph meant 24 more yards. On 2nd and 15 from the Oakland 31, Cook gained 15 and Mattison ran for 6 and then the 10 yard touchdown to make it 28-7 Vikings. In the fourth quarter Dan Bailey hit field goals of 50 and 24 sandwiched around a 51 yard Daniel Carlson field goal try that dunked off the upright no good. That wasted a 14 play, 6 1/2 minute drive. The Raiders did get a late garbage touchdown, which reflected their overall performance. The Raiders crushed the Vikings 32-14 in the 1976 Super Bowl, which is of little consequences to the Raider Nation on this awful Sunday 43 years later. 34-14 Vikings

New York Jets at New England Patriots — The Patriots won their 2 games by a combined 73 points. The Jets lost by one point and then got blown out by 20, with both of those games at home. The Patriots were 21 point favorites. Sometimes a horrible team can go on the road and shock the world by beating a great team. This was not that game. The Patriots moved 88 yards. On 3rd and 1 from their own 42, Rom Brady went to Izzo for 41 yards. Sony Michel ran for a 5 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Patriots led 6-0. The Jets punted on 4th and 23 from their own 12 and the Patriots took over at the Jets 45. 3 play later Brady went to Phillip Dorsett for a 25 yard touchdown and a 13-0 Patriots lead. The Patriots got it back and faced 3rd and 9 at their own 42 with 2:14 left in the first quarter. Brady hit Julian Edelman for gains of 15 and 14. Brady began the second quarter hitting Meyers for 18, Rex Burkhead for 7, and on 3rd and goal at the 3, Edelman for the touchdown to make it 20-0 Patriots. NFL rules prevented the second half from being canceled. In the third quarter an interception led to a Patriots field goal. The Patriots got it back at their own 40. On 3rd and 22 at the Jets 32, Brady hit Josh Gordon for 28. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Burkhead ran it in to make it 30-0 Patriots. The only people who cared at this point were the gamblers. Yes, the Patriots got bored and the Jets got a couple garbage touchdowns, one in each quarter, to defeat the spread. At least the Jets did not commit a butt-fumble as J-E-T-S stood for Just End The Season. 30-14 Patriots

Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys — The Dolphins lost home games by 49 and 43 points. Would this be the week they lost 100-0? In the first quarter the Dolphins missed a 47 yard field goal. Brett Maher then hit a 28 yard field goal for the Cowboys. Dallas got it back and faced 3rd and 20 at their own 47. Dan Prescott hit Jason Witten for 33 yards. Prescott hit Amari Cooper for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Cowboys. The Dolphins fought hard, but despite 2nd and goal at the 3, a pair of runs yielded nothing. Jason Sanders hit the 22 yard field goal and again from 33 as the Dolphins only trailed 10-6 at halftime. They even had a chance to take the lead. With 30 seconds left and 1st and goal at the 7, they fumbled the ball away. Then reality really set in. In the third quarter the Cowboys faced 2nd and 9 at their own 26. Prescott went to Smith for 33 yards, Randall Cobb for 20, and Cooper for the 19 yard touchdown to make it 17-6 Cowboys. Dallas got it back and easily moved 76 yards. From midfield, Prescott hit Ezekiel Elliott for 12 and Cooper for 18. Prescott ran for the 8 yard touchdown to make it 24-6 Cowboys. With less than 4 minutes left Tony Pollard ran for the 16 yard exclamation point touchdown. Jerry Jones was so pleased with the win that Jerrah is letting the staff return next week. The Dolphins are 13 games from 0-16 and the Cowboys are 3-0 and 13 games away from flaming out in the playoffs. 31-6 Cowboys

New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — League rules prevented the cancellation of this game. Eli Manning was benched as the Daniel Jones era began. After a touchback, Pierre Barber gained 7 and Jameis Winston hit mike Evans for 18 to midfield. On 4th and 1 from the Giants 41, Bruce Arians decided to go for it. Barber got 3 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Giants 21, Winston hit Evans for the touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Buccaneers led 6-0. The Giants came back 57 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes, but bogged down in the red zone. On 3rd and 8 from the Bucs 18, Jones threw incomplete. Alex Rosas hit the 36 yard field goal to get the Giants on the board. After a touchback, Winston and Jones connected on a 41 yard completion. On 3rd and 5 from the Giants 29, Winston went to Brad Perriman for 6 yards and Howard for 18 more. Winston hit Evans for the 3 yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked as the Buccaneers led 12-3. 

In the second quarter the Giants moved 75 yards in 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 5 from their own 30, Jones scrambled for 11. On 3rd and 3 from the Tampa Bay 42, Jones threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 10 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Tampa Bay 26, Jones hit Saquon Barkley for 19 yards and then ran the final 7 yards himself to get the Giants within 12-10. After that the Buccaneers exploded.

After a touchback, Winston went deep to Evans for a 55 yard gain. Despite being 0 for 2 on extra points, Gay nailed a 47 yard field goal. The Bucs moved on their next series from their 29 to a 3rd and 7 at the Giants 9. Winston was sacked and fumbled, but on further review it was changed to an incomplete pass. Gay hit from 27 to make it 18-10 Buccaneers. The Giants then fumbled and the Buccaneers recovered at the Giants 41. Winston threw 8 yard completions to Ogunbowale and Godwin and then went to Evans for the 20 yard touchdown to make it 25-10 Buccaneers with 86 seconds left in the half. The Buccaneers got it back at their own 20 with 36 seconds left and were just going to run out the half. Instead Jones ran for 25 yards. Winston hit Evans for 15 more. On the last play of the half, Gay drilled a 52 yard field goal to make it 28-10 Buccaneers.

The game changed again in the third quarter. One play and 12 seconds into the third quarter, a short pass from Jones to Evan Engram went for a 75 yard touchdown. Jones hit Shepard for the 2 point conversion. Just like that the Giants were within 28-18. The Giants got it back at their own 20. Shepard ran for 19 and caught a pass for 8 more. From midfield, Jones went deep to Slayton for a 46 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Jones hit Shepard for the touchdown to quickly get the Giants within 28-25. Winston has a problem with interceptions, but Jones has a problem with fumbling. The exchange of turnovers had the Buccaneers at the Giants 42. The Buccaneers moved to a 3rd and 2 at the Giants 5. Looking to put the game away, Barber got stopped. Gay hit the 23 yard field goal to make it 31-25 Buccaneers with 6 minutes left. The end of this game would be insane.

With 3:16 to play, the Giants took over at their own 25. On 2nd and 5, Jones found Slayton for 21 yards and Shepard for 36 more. With 1:16 to play, it all came down to the Giants facing 4th and 5 at the Bucs 7 yard line. Jones went back to pass, had a wide open lane up the middle, and raced up the gut on the quarterback draw untouched to the end zone. The extra point was good and the Giants led by a point. Perhaps they scored too early. After a touchback, Winston went to Godwin for 20 yards. Then with the entire world knowing Winston would throw deep, Winston went deep to a Evans for a 44 yard gain. Winston spiked the ball to stop the clock with 13 seconds left. A field goal would be only 29 yards. The Buccaneers took an inexplicable delay of game penalty, but with 4 seconds left it was still only a 34 yard field goal try. The snap and hold were fine. The kick was no good. Gay did not hit straight. Bruce Arians was in shock as he buried his head in his hands and wondered why he came out of retirement. Eli Manning hugged his successor with the same dignity showed him 15 years earlier by Kurt Warner. Welcome to the NFL, Daniel Jones. 32-31 Giants 

Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals — Cam Newton was out with an injured foot as Kyle Allen got the start. Who the hell is Kyle Allen? By the end of the day, the entire NFL was asking that question. On Carolina’s first offensive series, on 3rd and 5 from the Arizona 15, Allen was sacked and fumbled and the Cardinals took over at their own 26. Kliff Kingsbury had to smile as Kyler Murray led a 14 play, 74 yard drive that consumed almost 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from their own 32, Murray ran for 7 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Murray fired to Larry Fitzgerald for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Cardinals. In the second quarter, the NFL heard a very different tale about Kyle Allen.

First came an 11 play, 75 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. Allen hit Samuel for 12. On 3rd and 5 from the Carolina 46, Allen hit Greg Olsen for 13. From the Arizona 40, a 6 yard completion as followed by a 15 yard horse collar tackle penalty. On 3rd and goal from the 5, Allen hit Samuel for the touchdown to tie the game 7-7 one minute into the second quarter. The Cardinals embarked on a 15 play, 53 yard drive that took 6 minutes. Yet despite 1st and 10 from the Carolina 15, the drive died. Zane Gonzalez hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Cardinals. Carolina needed only 3 plays to take the lead. On 2nd and 5 from their own 30, Allen went to Christian McCaffrey for 18 yards. With 49 seconds left in the half, Riverboat Ron Rivera went to his bag of tricks. Forget conservative offense without the star quarterback. Rivera went for it all, and Allen went deep to Moore for a 52 yard touchdown to give the Panthers the 14-10 halftime lead.

An exciting third quarter saw the Cardinals facing 2nd and 20 at their own 35. Murray went to Fitzgerald for 23 yards and to Byrd for 13 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Carolina 20, Murray ran for 17 and hit David Johnson for the 3 yard touchdown to make it 17-14 Cardinals. After a touchback, Allen went to Olsen for 20. On 2nd and 8 from the Arizona 39, Allen went to wright for 33 yards. Allen hit Olsen for the 3 yard touchdown to put the Panthers back on top 21-17. Arizona moved from their 21 to a 4th and 1 at the Carolina 37. Bruce Arians went for it and the direct snap to Johnson gained 2 yards. Yet the defense held after that. Gonzalez hit the 47 yard field goal as the Cardinals got within 21-20 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. 

Yet only 2 plays later the Panthers and struck again. From the Carolina 16, McCaffrey ran for 8 yards. Then he broke free for a 76 yard touchdown run to make it 28-20 Panthers. 2 plays later Murray was intercepted, setting up the Panthers at the Arizona 22. On 3rd and 5 from the 17, Allen hit Samuel for 14 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Allen threw his fourth touchdown pass. The touchdown to Olsen had the Panthers up 35-20 only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter. An interception Murray with 5 minutes left set up Carolina again at the Arizona 22. Slye hit the 36 yard field goal to put the game out of reach. Murray finished 30 ofn43 but for only 173 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Allen was 19 of 26 for 261 yards and 4 touchdowns with 0 interceptions and a passer rating of 144.4 that nobody understands. Welcome to the NFL, Kyle Allen. 38-20 Panthers

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks — Pinball Wizard Drew Brees was out injured for several weeks and Teddy Bridgewater would be Sean Payton’s guy with Taysom Hill always available for trick plays. The Seahawks defense was expected to feast on the Saints offense. “That’s why they play the games,” says ESPN Swami Chris Berman. 3 minutes into the game, the Seahawks punted on 4th and 20 from their own 15. Harris returned it 53 yards for a special teams touchdown and a 7-0 Saints lead. The Seahawks got it back and faced 3rd and 5 at their own 41. Russell Wilson went deep to Tyler Lockett for 32 yards. Chris Carson ran for 16 more. Wilson hit Lockett for the 8 yard touchdown. The game was tied 7-7 after the first quarter, but after that, it was All Saints Day 2 months early.

The Seahawks in the second quarter faced 2nd and 6 at their own 8. Carson ran for a 23 yard gain, but Eli Apple chopped the ball out of his hand. Bell recovered it and returned it 33 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 13-7 Saints lead. Wil Lutz missed the extra point. Late in the half with the Seahawks facing 3rd and 1 at the Saints 41, Carson got stopped. Pete Carroll went for it on 4th and 1 and this time Carson lost a yard. At the 2 minute warning, the Saints faced 3rd and 5 at their own 47. Bridgewater hit Thomas for 14, Cook for 7, Kamara for 3, and Kamara again for the 29 yard touchdown. The saints scored a touchdown in all 3 phases of the game to lead 20-7 at halftime. In the third quarter the Saints moved 75 yards in 12 plays and over 7 minutes. On 4th and 4 from the Seattle 35, Lutz missed a 53 yard field goal but an illegal formation on the defense meant 5 yards and a key first down. On 3rd and 4 from the Seattle 24, Bridgewater hit Thomas for 15 yards. On 2nd and goal from the one and 3rd and goal from the one, the Saints could not punch or sneak it in. Sean Payton went for it. On 4th and goal at the one, Bridgewater hit Thomas for the touchdown as 20 straight points had the Saints up 27-7 after three quarters in front of a shellshocked home crowd 12th man in rainy Seattle.  The Seahawks got a couple garbage touchdowns in the fourth quarter but gave up a touchdown as well. On the final play of the game from the Saints 4 yard line, the Seahawks got a third garbage touchdown to make the score look respectable. This was a blowout. The Saints hit the Seahawks in the mouth. 33-27 Saints

Houston Texans at Los Angeles Chargers — Early on the Texans fumbled and the Chargers started with golden field position at theHouston 15. On 3rd and 2 from the 7, Philip Rivers hit Keenan Allen for the touchdown and the 7-0 Chargers lead. The Chargers got it back at their own 13 and moved to a 1st and goal at the 6 early in the second quarter. Jackson ran for the touchdown, but before you say 14-0 Chargers, the score was nullified by offensive holding. Long hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Chargers, but it was a key play in the game. The Texans soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Deshaun Watson went deep to Kenny Stills for 38 yards. On 2nd and 12 from the Chargers 16, the snap out of the shotgun was fumbled. Watson the  picked it up and went to Darren Fells for the touchdown to get the Texans within 10-7. With 1:39 left in the half, the Chargers took over at their own 11. Rivers went to Williams for 20 and defensive pass interference on the next play added 22 more yards. On 3rd and 12 from the Houston 38, Rivers hit Williams for 13 yards. Rivers went to Allen for the 12 yard touchdown with 22 seconds left in the half to make it 17-7 Chargers. Kaimi Fairbairn missed a 56 yard field goal to end the half.

Momentum changed in the second half. In the third quarter a 23 yard punt return had the Texans taking over at their own 45. On 3rd and 14 just past midfield, Watson hit Deandre Hopkins for 15 yards and Fuller for 30 more. On the next play Carlos Hyde ran for the 3 yard touchdown to get the Texans within 17-14. The Chargers moved from their 26 to a 3rd and 4 at the Houston 29. Rivers was sacked and fumbled, and the Texans took over at their own 27. A roughing the passer penalty had the Texans on the move. On 3rd and 3 just past midfield, Watson went to Hopkins for a 34 yard gain. Watson then went to Akins for a 15 yard touchdown as the Texans led 21-17 after three quarters. 

The Texans got it back at their own 18. From the Houston 47, Watson hit Akins for the 53 yard touchdown with 9 1/2 minutes left. The extra point was no good but the Texans led 27-17. The Chargers moved from their own 25 to a 2nd and 1 at the Houston 24. Rivers threw incomplete. On 3rd and 1, a run lost a yard. Anthony Lynn went for the field goal needing 2 scores. Long hit from 43 as the Chargers were within 7 midway through the fourth quarter. The Chargers got it back at their own 16 with 4:19 to play. With 30 seconds left the Chargers and 3rd and 4 at the Houston 24. Rivers fired to Williams for 17 yards. Yet offensive holding was a killer. With 11 seconds left, on 4th and 14 from the Houston 34, Rivers went deep incomplete. The overachieving Texans did what they do. The underachieving Chargers did what they do. 27-20 Texans

Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers — Big Ben Roethlisberger is out for the year and Mike Tomlin has to play his backup Mason Rudolph for the entire season. As Tomlin reminded everyone, nobody gets sympathy in the NFL. Jimmy Garoppolo threw a pair of first quarter interceptions that gave the Pittsburgh offense a pair of short fields. All the Steelers could muster was a pair of Chris Boswell field goals from 46 and 26 to make it 6-0 Steelers. In the seconds quarter the 49ers added 2 more fumbled that the Steelers could not capitalize on. Despite 4 turnovers by the 49ers, the Steelers only got the 6 points out of it. Robbie Gould hit a 24 yard second quarter field goal as the 49ers trailed 6-3 at halftime. NFL League rules required that even hideous games have to be played in their entirety. 

In the third quarter it was Rudolph getting intercepted, and the 49ers taking over at the Pittsburgh 38. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 25, Garoppolo hit Bourne for 22 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Wilson got in to make it 10-6 49ers. 3 plays later the Steelers had the lead again. On 3rd and 4 from their own 24, a short pass from Rudolph to Juju Smith-Schuster, who is still not Jewish, went for a 76 yard touchdown and a 13-10 steelers lead. The 49ers soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Garoppolo ran for 2 yards and hit Samuel for 20 yards. From the Pittsburgh 16, Garoppolo hit Pettis for for 12. Wilson ran for the 12 yard touchdown to make it 17-13 49ers after three quarters. The Steelers after an exchange of punts took over at their own 19. Conner ran for 10. Then defensive pass interference meant a 32 yard gain. Rudolph then went deep to Johnson for a 39 yard touchdown. With 10 minutes left in the game, another lead change had the Steelers up 20-17. 

The 49ers fumbled the ball but the Steelers fumbled it back, setting up the 49ers at the Pittsburgh 24 with 5:20 to play in the game. At the 2 minute warning, the 49ers faced 3rd and 11 from the Pittsburgh 14. Garoppolo threw incomplete but a killer defensive holding penalty kept the drive going. Garoppolo hit Pettis for the 5 yard touchdown with 1:15 to play to put the 49ers up by 4 in this topsy turvy game. With 37 seconds left the Steelers faced 4th and 12 at their own 20. Rudolph threw incomplete and the Steelers remained winless. They fought to the end, but a loss is just that. 24-20 49ers

Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns was the Sunday night game. The Rams offense was supposed to steamroll Cleveland, but the Dawg Pound came prepared for a street fight. As swami Chris Berman reminds us, “THAT’s why they PLAY the games.” The first half was defense. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein hit a 53 yard first quarter field goal for the Rams. In the second quarter Siebert connected from 23 to tie the game. With 5 minutes left in the half, Zuerlein missed from 48. With 28 seconds left in the half, the Rams faced 3rd and 10 at their own 36. Jared Goff was sacked and fumbled. The Browns Schobert recovered the fumble and returned it 21 yards to the Rams 17. Siebert hit from 35 to end the half with the Browns up 6-3. 

In the third quarter the Rams went 75 yards in 10 plays. From the Rams 40, Goff hit Cooks for gains of 19 and 16. From the Cleveland 20, Goff hit Cooper Kupp for 13. On 3rd and goal at the 11, Goff hit Cupp for the touchdown and the 10-6 Rams lead. The Browns came back 75 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from the Cleveland 31, Baker Mayfield hit O’Dell Beckham for 5 yards. On 3rd and 13 from the Rams 46, Michelin Man Wade Phillips sent an al out blitz. Mayfield went to Nick Chubb or 30 yards. Defensive pass interference on the next play put the ball on the one. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Mayfield hit Harris for the touchdown and the 13-10 Browns lead after three quarters. 

An interception of Goff led to nothing when the Rams defense forced a punt. The Rams got it back at their own 28. Goff went to Cooks for 23 yards and to Kupp for 21 more. The fourth quarter began with the Rams are the Cleveland 20. Sean McVay went to hit bag of tricks. Goff handed it to Kupp, who raced around the right end and handed it to Woods, who reversed field and went around the left end for a 17 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Goff hit Kupp for the touchdown as the Rams regained the lead 17-13 with 13 minutes left in regulation. The Browns moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 9 at the Rams 40. Mayfield through incomplete and Freddie Kitchen decided to go for it with 9:19 to play. A run…yes, a run…gained only 2 yards. The Rams from their 38 soon saw 3rd and 10 at midfield. Goff gained only 7 yards, but unnecessary roughness added 15 more. On 4th and 1 from the Cleveland 19, Sean McVay took no chances. Zuerlein hit from 37 to make it 20-13 Rams with 6:40 left. 

The Browns had to punt on 4th and 18 from their own 2, but an interception of Goff gave the Browns the ball back with 2 minutes left at midfield. On 3rd and 15 from their own 45, Mayfield went to John Johnson for a 27 yard gain. Mayfield then fired to Ratley for 16 yards with roughing the passer on Aaron Donald adding 5 more. With 41 seconds left the Browns had 1st and goal at the 4. Three incompletions later had the Browns down to their last chance with 33 seconds left as the Rams took their final timeout on defense. Under heavy pressure, Mayfield threw a prayer to the end zone with a receiver and defender wrestling for it. The defender won and the Rams had the interception. The Browns were game. They went toe to toe with the defending NFC champs but fell one play short in a fine football game. 20-13 Rams

Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins was the Monday night game. After a touchback to start the game, the Bears moved to a 3rd and 9 at the Washington 36. Mitchell Trubisky was sacked for a 14 yard loss back at midfield. It was the only thing that would go wrong for Chicago on this night. While they did not win 73-0, this game was over by halftime. On Washington’s 3rd play from scrimmage on 3rd and 9 from their own 21, Case Keenum was intercepted Haha Clinton-Dix. The 37 yard interception return for a touchdown had the Bears up 7-0, and they never trailed. In the second quarter the Redskins had 2nd and 6 at the Chicago 11. On 3rd and 9 at the Chicago 14, Keenum was sacked for an 11 yard loss. The 43 yard field goal try was no good. The Bears then marched 67 yards in 11 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Trubisky hit Taylor Gabriel for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Bears. One play after a touchback and an illegal shift saw Keenum get sacked for an 8 yard loss and fumble. The Bears recovered at the Washington 11. Trubisky hit Gabriel for a one yard score to make it 21-0 Bears. 2 plays later after a strong kickoff return, Keenum was intercepted again. Chicago marched 63 yards the other way. On 3rd and 17 from the Washington 36, Trubisky again went to Gabriel for the touchdown and the 28-0 Bears lead with 43 seconds left in the half. The rest of the game was garbage time as the Bears coasted. Washington got a field goal before the half ended and a touchdown in each of the two final quarters. Chicago tacked on one fourth quarter field goal in a game that was never competitive thanks to 5 Washington turnovers. 31-15 Bears