NFL 2022 Week 14 Prequel

December 8th, 2022

NFL 2022 Week 14 Prequel

Thursday, December 8, 2022, 8pm

Las Vegas Raiders (-6) at Los Angeles Rams — The Rams have lost six straight and are a 3-9 mess. Matthew Stafford is out for the year. John Wolford and Brice Perkins have been filling in, and the Rams just claimed Baker Mayfield off of waivers. Technically the Raiders are the road team, but Los Angeles often feels like a home game for the Raiders. The Raiders after a 2-7 start have won three straight. The raiders never win easy, so the spread is too high for a team that wins in cardiac fashion. Raiders win but fail to cover

Sunday, December 11, 1pm

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-9 1/2) — Mike White has been more than adequate in place of Zach Wilson, but the Bills are the more talented team. Both teams have a good defense, although the Bills last week lost Von Miller for the rest  of the year. Josh Allen will be fine at home, but the spread is too high given the Jets defense. Bills win but fail to cover

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-6) — The Bengals are coming off an emotional win against Kansas City. The Browns got Deshaun Watson back last week, but Cleveland’s offense was useless in a win over lowly Houston. The Bengals have the weapons and Joe Burrow with Jamarr Chase back means a happy passing attack. Bengals cover

Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys (-17) — The Texans are one of the worst teams in football. The Cowboys blasted Minnesota by 37 points and last week obliterated Indianapolis by 35. The spread is sky high, but the Texans are awful. Dak Prescott has been on fire. Cowboys cover

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-1) — The Vikings are the better team, but the Lions have been improving in recent weeks. The Lions offense does put up a lot of points. Their defense often gives up even more. Kirk Cousins is better than Jared Goff. Dalvin Cook is still solid. Justin Jefferson is for real. This could go either way. This is a playoff game for the Lions. Give them one more chance to show they can win a big game at home. Lions cover

Philadelphia Eagles (-7) at New York Giants — The Eagles have the best record in football while the Giants have cooled off in recent weeks. Given the intense rivalry, the spread is too high for a road team that in recent weeks has won close games. The Eagles did blow out a good Tennessee team, but that was at home. Eagles win but fail to cover.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) — Home field has never mattered in this series. Throw out the records with these teams. Lamar Jackson injured matters, but Tyler Huntley is a competent backup. Pittsburgh’s defense is not that special. In a close game, go with the greatest kicker in the league in Justin Tucker. Upset special, Ravens win outright

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-3 1/2) — The Titans have had some tough losses against some of the best teams in the league. The Jaguars are average at best and inconsistent. Derrick Henry can still run the ball. The Jaguars defense will not stop him. Titans cover 

4pm

Kansas City Chiefs (-9 1/2) at Denver Broncos — The Broncos have a fantastic defense and a pathetic offense. The Chiefs have a phenomenal offense. Walrus Andy Reid is great at calling plays. Nathaniel Hackett is not. Even with Patrick Mahomes, the spread is too high for a road team facing a defense as solid as the Denver defense. Chiefs win but fail to cover

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-3 1/2) — The Seahawks are a good team with a great coach in Pete Carroll. He has revitalized Geno Smith. The Panthers got rid of Baker Mayfield and are putting their trust in Sam Darnold for now. Smith has plenty of weapons in Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and others. Seahawks cover

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers (-3) — The Buccaneers played like garbage for 57 minutes yet somehow did enough in the final three minutes to beat New Orleans. That somehow is Tom Brady. The 49ers have a solid defense, but will have to try and win without Jimmy Garoppolo. Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy managed a win last week over a good Miami team. The defense will need to carry the 49ers. It is hard to bet against Brady. It is even harder to bet against Brady when the alternative is Kyle Shanahan. That 28-3 Super Bowl lead and collapse. Will never be forgotten. Both teams are desperately fighting to make the playoffs. Go with the 49ers defense. 49ers cover

8pm

Miami Dolphins (-3) at Los Angeles Chargers — Tua Tagovailoa has plenty of help on offense and a solid defense along with a coach who is sane. Justin Herbert has no help whatsoever. The Chargers offensive line is bad. The Dolphins defense will be licking their chops. This will not be as memorable as the playoff game from 40 years ago with Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow and Don Strock, but it does matter in terms of the race for the playoffs. Tagovailoa has taken his play to the next level. Dolphins cover

Monday, December 12, 8pm

New England Patriots (-1 1/2) at Arizona Cardinals — The Cardinals have regressed. The Patriots have a competent quarterback in Mac Jones and a coach in Bill Belichick who likes stone age running the ball and defense. Just Belichick over Kliff Kingsbury. Raimondre Stevenson can run the ball. Patriots cover

NFL 2022 Week 13 Recap

December 4th, 2022

NFL 2022 Week 13 Recap

Buffalo Bills (-5 1/2) at New England Patriots was the Thursday night game. Last year each team won on the other team’s field during the regular season before the Bills at home blasted the Patriots in the playoffs. The Bills moved from their own 33 to a 1st and 10 at the New England 28.  Josh Allen then hit Stefan Diggs for 10, but offensive pass interference on Diggs killed the drive. Tyler Bass hit a 48 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Bills. After a touchback, Mac Jones hit Hunter Henry for 9 and Nelson Agholor for 11. On 2nd and 5 from the Buffalo 48, Jones went to non-relative Marcus Jones for the touchdown and the 7-3 Patriots lead.

The Bills took over at their own 18. Allen went to Jared Cook for 14. On 3rd and 9 from the Buffalo 35, Allen threw deep incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 22 yard gain. Cook then gained 28 yards. On the first play of the second quarter, Allen went to Diggs for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 Bills. The Bills got it back at their own 44. Singletary gained 11 and 4. On 3rd and 3 from the New England 38, Allen went to McKenzie for 8. On 3rd and 1 from the New England 21, Singletary gained 2. On 3rd and 3 from the New england 12, Allen hit McKenzie for 4. On 3rd and goal at the 8, Allen hit Greg Davis for the touchdown to cap the 14 play, 56 yard, 8 minute drive. The Bills led 17-7 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half. 

The defenses dug in as the rest of the half and the third quarter were scoreless. Nick Folk missed a 48 yard field goal try for the Patriots to end the half. In the fourth quarter the Bills took over at their own 6 yard line. Runs and short passes meant 3rd and 4 from their own 25. Allen hit Diggs for a pair of 19 yard gains. Cook gained 8, 4 and 3. On 3rd and 4 from the New England 18, Allen hit Diggs for 9. On 3rd and goal at the one, Singletary got in to make it 24-7 Bills only 30 seconds into the fourth quarter. All the Patriots could mister was a 17 play drive that reached the Buffalo 8 yard line before Jones was sacked for a 13 yard loss Folk hit a field goal with 1:53 left, but this game belonged to the Buffalo defense. The Bills are 9-3 while the Patriots are 6-6 on the year. 24-10 Bills.  

Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons — a pair of below average teams tried to keep their respective seasons alive. The Steelers after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the Atlanta 23. Kenny Pickett was sacked to kill the drive. Matthew Wright hit from 46 to make it 3-0 Steelers. In the second quarter the Steelers moved from their own 14 to a 1st and 10 at the Atlanta 27. A run lost a yard and Pickett threw incomplete twice. Wright hit again from 46 to make it 6-0 Steelers. The Falcons moved from their own 26 to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 22. A run lost yards and Marcus Mariota was sacked. Younghoe Koo hit from 50 to get the Falcons within 6-3. The Steelers soon faced 3rd and 4 from their own 31. Pickett connected with Pat Freiermuth for a 57 yard gain. Pickett then went to Connor Heyward for a 17 yard touchdown to make it 13-3 Steelers.

After a touchback, Mariota went deep to London for 37 yards. The Falcons then went backward. Koo hit from 51 to get the Falcons within 13-6. The Steelers after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Atlanta 30. Pickett threw incomplete twice. Wright his hit third field goal from 48 to make it 16-6 Steelers. In the third quarter the Steelers took over at their own 10 and moved 75 yards in 14 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. Yet on 1st and 10 from the Atlanta 14, a pair of offensive penalties killed the drive. Wright hit his fourth field goal from 33 to make it 19-6 Steelers. 

After a touchback, Mariota ran for 9 and Cordarelle Patterson ripped off gains of 7, 11 and 22. Mariota threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Pruitt to get the Falcons within 19-13 after three quarters. The Falcons got it back at their own 26 to start the fourth quarter. They moved 64 yards in 10 plays and took a whopping 9 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 1st and goal at the 10, Patterson got around the end for the touchdown and were an extra point away from their first lead. Yet offensive holding nullified the touchdown. On 3rd and goal from the 10, Mariota threw incomplete. With 5 1/2 minutes left in the game, Arthur Smith opted for the field goal. Koo hit from 28 to get the Falcons within 3 points. The Steelers ground down the clock. A perfect punt pinned the Falcons back at their own 2 yard line with only 39 seconds left. Mariota was quickly intercepted. 19-16 Steelers

Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens — Last year the Ravens were 8-3 before Lamar Jackson got injured and the Ravens lost their last 6 games. This year the Broncos have a great defense but a totally anemic offense. The Broncos moved from their own 17 to a 3rd and 5 at the Baltimore 33. A run lost a yard but Brandon McManus hit from 52 to make it 3-0 Broncos. On the last play of the first quarter, Jackson was sacked and left the game with a bad knee. Tyler Huntley played the rest of the way. In the second quarter the Ravens moved from their own 30 on a 10 play, 62 yard, 5 minute drive. On 3rd and 9 from the Denver 10, a completion gained only 2 yards. Justin Tucker hit from 26 to make it 3-3. The Broncos moved from their own 7 to a 4t and 1 at the Baltimore 23 with 37 seconds left in the half. Nathaniel Hackett decided not to gamble. McManus hit from 41 to make it 6-3 Broncos. In the third quarter an interception of Huntley gave the Broncos a short field at the Baltimore 40. McManus hit from 50 to make it 9-3 Broncos. 

The defenses dug in as the Ravens took over at their own 9 yard line with 6 minutes left in regulation. With 4 1/2 minutes left after failing to convert on 3rd and 1, John Harbaugh gambled on 4th and 1. This was crazy. He was at his own 18. Yet this was not brinksmanship. He went for it. Mark Andrews took the direct snap and got the yard. From their own 21, Huntley hit Andrews for 5 with 15 more tacked on for defensive unnecessary roughness. On 3rd and 5 from their own 46, Huntley threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 17 yard gain. Huntley went to Likely for 12. With 1:06 to play, the Ravens faced 4th and 2 at the Denver 18. Huntley kept it and gained 3. Huntley then hit Drake for 13. Huntley ran for the 2 yard touchdown. after 59 1/2 minutes, the Denver defense finally broke. The Broncos took over at their own 18 with 23 seconds left and 2 timeouts. With 2 seconds left, McManus was brought in for a 63 yard field goal try. His longest previous kick was 61. This kick was center but just short. The broncos suffered another gut-punch loss while the Ravens found out Jackson’s injury was not season-ending. 10-9 Ravens

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears — Last year an enraged Aaron Rodgers told the Chicago Bears fans “I own you! I still own you! This wounded Packers team was the best and perhaps last chance for the Bears to make Rodgers eat his words. Early on the bears moved after a touchback to a 4th and 3 at the Green Bay 22. Cairo santos hit from 40 to make it 3-0 Bears. The Bears got it back and soon faced 3rd and 5  from their own 35. Justin Fields hit Cole Kmet for 10. Fields then escaped through everyone up the middle for an electrifying 55 yard touchdown run to make it 10-0 Bears. 

The Packers from their own 30 moved 64 yards in 13 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. In the second quarter on 3rd and 5 from the Chicago 6, Rodgers threw incomplete. Mason Crosby hit a 24 yard field goal to get the Packers within 10-3. The Bears fumbled the ball to set the Packers up at their own 40. Yet on 4th and 7 from the Chicago 36, Matt LaFleur passed up a 54 yard field goal try and went for it. Rodgers threw incomplete. Fields then went deep to St. Brown for a 56 yard gain. David Montgomery ran for 7 yard touchdown to make it 16-3 Bears with 6 minutes left in the half. The extra point was no good. 

The Packers soon faced 3rd and 8 from their own 27. Rodgers went to Allen Lazard for 11. Dillon ran for 16. On 3rd and 4 from the Chicago 40, Rodgers hit Lazard for 7. Aaron Jones ran for 11 and 7. On 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 13, Jones lost a yard. With 23 seconds left in the half, Matt LaFleur appeared to lose his mind by again going for it rather than taking the sure field goal. On 4th and 4, Rodgers hit Christian Watson for the touchdown as the Packers only trailed 16-10. In the third quarter from their own 28, the Bears moved 62 yards in 12 plays and 8 minutes. Yet 1st and goal at the 9 saw a run lose 5 yards followed by an offensive penalty. Santos hit from 28. Late in the third quarter the Bears had a 19-10 lead.

The Packers soon faced 3rd and 7 from their own 21. Rodgers went to Watson for 15. On the first play of the fourth quarter, a deep incompletion drew a 36 yard defensive pass interference penalty. Dillon ran for a 21 yard touchdown to get the Packers within 19-17. With 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Bears missed a chance to extend the lead when Santos missed a 40 yard field goal try. From their own 30, the Packers moved 56 yards in 13 plays and 7 minutes. On 3rd and 5 from the Chicago 14, Rodgers threw incomplete. Crosby hit from 32 to make it 20-19 Packers. With 3 minutes left and the Bears on the verge of field goal range and a chance at the lead, Fields was intercepted. The Packers took over at their own 32. Rodgers went to Watson for 19. With 1:51 left, Watson ran for a 46 yard touchdown. An extra point would put the Packers up by 8, so Matt LaFleur went big and bold. A 2 point conversion try would lock up the win. Rodgers hit Lewis to put the game on ice. Thanks to 18 unanswered fourth quarter points, Rodgers still owns the Bears. 28-19 Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions — The Jaguars and Lions are both young teams that are slowly moving in the right direction. The Lions put up a ton of points but give up a ton as well. The Jaguars were coming off of an emotional home win over Baltimore. The Jaguars fumbled on the second play from scrimmage and the Lions took over at the Jacksonville 38. Jared Goff hit Raymond for 7 and Wright for 11. On 3rd and 7 from the Jacksonville 13, Goff hit Amon-Ra St. Brown for 12. Jamaal Williams got the last yard for the 7-0 lions lead. After a touchback the Jaguars moved 62 yards in 10 plays. Yet on 2nd and 3 from the Detroit 13, Trevor Lawrence threw incomplete twice. Riley Patterson hit from 31 to get the Jaguars on the board. After a touchback, Goff hit Jackson for 5, st. Brown for 8, Reynolds for 7, and DJ Chark for a big 41 yard gain. Goff hit St. Brown for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Lions after the first quarter.

The game was never competitive. In the second quarter Mike Badly hit field goals of 45 and 47 to make it 20-3 Lions. Patterson hit from 42, but Badly hit his third field goal of the second quarter from 38 to make it 23-6 Lions. The Lions began the third quarter at their own 39 and quickly moved to put the game away. Goff hit Wright for 14 and St. Brown for 13. On 3rd and 9 from the Jags 22, Goff hit St. Brown for 12. On 3rd and goal at the one, D;Andre Swift got in to make it 30-6 Lions. The Jaguars did manage one more touchdown, but nothing more. In the fourth quarter Badly hit his fourth field goal from 44 and Goff capped a 68 yard drive with a 4 yard touchdown pass to St. Brown to complete the blowout. 40-14 Lions

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans — Deshaun Watson had not played football since January of 2020. Nearly 3 years later, he was back from a very lengthy suspension. His first game for the Browns was against his old team that got rid of him for his off the field conduct. On the first play of the game, Kyle Allen set the tone for the worst team in football by throwing an interception. Yet a Browns fumble gave the Texans a short field. Kaimi Fairbairn hit a 44 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Texans. The Browns moved from their own 16 to the Houston 11. Watson went to the end zone and was intercepted. The Texans moved from their own 26 to a 4th and goal at the one. Love Smith went for it and Allen threw incomplete. The Browns defense got the goal line stand and the offense wasted it. Nick Chubb was tackled in his own end zone for a safety to put the Texans up 5-0. 

The Texans defense was pitching a shutout after 26 minutes. The Browns had no offense. Yet one special teams play gave the Browns the 7-5 lead. Donovan Peoples-Jones evaded several horrendous attempts at tackling for a 76 yard punt return touchdown. A perfect punt in the third quarter pinned the Texans at their own one yard line. Allen kept the ball, fumbled it, and Ward recovered it and went 4 yards for a defensive touchdown. The Texans defense was pitching a shutout but the Browns led 14-5. The Texans managed a 35 yard field goal by Fairbairn, but Cade york countered from 43 to make it 17-8 Browns with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. One play after a touchback, Allen was intercepted by Tony Fields, who returned the pick 16 yards for another defense touchdown and a 24-8 Browns lead. York hit again from 42 to make it 27-8 Browns. The Texans defense gave up only 2 field goals. They did not surrender a touchdown. Yet the Browns managed 2 defensive touchdowns and one touchdown on special teams. Watson did very little, but he did not need to do much at all. Houston got a garbage touchdown in a garbage season. 27-14 Browns

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings — Mike White got the start as the Jets and their very good defense tried to slow a Vikings team that had rolled threw much of the regular season so far. An early interception of White gave the Vikings a short field at the Jets 34. The Jets defense held and Greg Jospeh hit a 51 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Vikings. The Jets after a touchback moved to  1st and 10 at the Minnesota 30. White threw 3 straight incompletions. Greg Zuerlein hit from 48 for a 3-3 game. 

In the second quarter the Vikings exploded. On 3rd and 2 from their own 34, Kirk Cousins hit Justin Jefferson for 4. On 4th and 2 just past midfield, Kevin O’Connell went for it. Cousins hit Osborn for 7. On 3rd and 3 from the Jets 30, Cousins hit TJ Hockensen for 6. The second quarter began with the Vikings facing 3rd and 5 at the Jets 19. Cousins hit Jefferson for 10 with defensive unnecessary roughness adding 5 more. Dalvin Cook ran for the 4 yard touchdown to cap the 14 play, 74 yard, 7 minute drive and make it 10-3 Vikings. The Vikings got it back and soon faced 3rd and 2 from their own 22. Cousins went to Jefferson for 4. On 3rd and 9 from their own 27, Cousins ran for 11. Cousins went deep to Jalen Reagor for 38. On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 21, Cousins went to Hockenson for just enough. Alexander Mattison ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 17-3 Vikings with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. After a touchback, Robert Saleh gambled on 4th and 2 from his own 43. White threw incomplete. The short field let Jospeh hit from 41 for a 20-3 Vikings lead with 40 seconds left in the half. 

The Jets could not reach the end zone for long stretches, but they gradually chipped away at their deficit. Zuerlein earned his nickname “The Leg” by burying a 60 yard field goal to end the half. Zuerlein hit again from 36 and 30 in the third quarter. Zuerlein’s fifth field goal from 26 had the Jets within 20-15 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. After a touchback, Cousins hit Mundt for 12 and Hockenson for 13. Cook gained 11. Cousins went to Adam Thielen for 25. On 3r and 6 from the Jets 10, Cousins went to Jefferson for the touchdown to make it 27-15 Vikings with 8 1/2 minutes left. After a touchback, the Jets struck quickly. Knight got around the end for 48 yards. Defensive pass interference added 24 more. On 4th and goal at the one with 6:45 to play, White got in. After 5 field goals, their first touchdown had the Jets back within 5. The Jets got it back at their own 16 with 5 1/2 minutes left and moved 83 yards in 14 plays. On 2nd and goal at the one with 1:54 left, White got stopped. On 3rd and goal White threw incomplete. With everything on the line on 4th and goal from the one, White threw incomplete again. The Jets took their timeouts on defense and got golden field position at the Minnesota 43 with 90 seconds left. With 32 seconds left, the Jets had 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 19. White threw 3 straight incompletions. With 16 seconds left, it all came down to 4th and 10. White went to the end zone and was intercepted at the goal line by Bynum. The Jets were game, but too many field goals dropped them to 7-5. The Vikings swept the AFC East to get to 10-2 on the year. 27-22 Vikings

Washington Commanders at New York Giants — These division rivals came in with almost identical records and legitimate playoff aspirations. An early Giants fumble gave the Commanders a short field at the Giants 48. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Taylor Heinecke threw incomplete. Joey Slye hit from 21 to make it 3-0 Commanders. The Commanders got it back at their own 38. Heineck hit Dotson for 16. Robinson had a pair of 5 yard gains. Heinecke went to Logan Thomas for 11. On 3rd and 4 from the Giants 19, Heinecke went to Terry McLaurin for the touchdown and the 10-0 Commanders lead. 

After a touchback, from their own 40, Daniel Jones ran for 21. On 3rd and 5 from the Washington 29, a completion lost a yard. Graham Gano hit from 48 to get the Giants within 10-3. The Giants got the ball back at their own 19. Jones went deep to Darrius Slayton for 55 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Washington 23, Jones ran for 10. Saquon Barkley ran for a 13 yard touchdown for a 10-10 game. After a touchback, the Commanders moved to a 1st and 10 at the Giants 24.  run went nowhere and Heinecke threw incomplete twice. Skye hit from 42 to make it 13-10 Commanders. The Giants after a touchback moved to a 1st and goal at the 9 with 5 seconds left on the clock. Brian Daboll was not taking any chances. Gano hit from 27 as the teams took a 13-13 tie to the locker rooms.

A fumble early in the third quarter gave he Giants gift field position at the Washington 20. On 3rd and 4, Jones gained 7. Jones hit Isaiah Hodgins for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 20-13 Giants. With 10 minutes left in regulation, Slye missed from 52 for the Commanders. With 3:43 left, the Commanders took over at their own 10. Heinecke hit McLaurin for 11. On 4th and 4 from their own 27, Heinecke went to Curtis Samuel for 20. Heinecke then went to Samuel again for 25 at the 2 minute warning. Heinecke found Dotson for a 28 yard touchdown. With 1:45 left, the game was tied 20-20. The rest of the fourth quarter and overtime were a punt-filled slog as the defenses dug in. A field position game had the Giants taking over at their own 43, but with only 28 seconds left in overtime. Jones hit James for 14. With 5 seconds left, Gano came in for a very long 58 yard field goal try to win it for the Giants on the lsat play of overtime. A few years ago, Gano hit from 63 for Carolina to win against the Giants. Now he was trying to win for Big Blue. His kick was on target but short as the game ended in a tie. 25 years ago these teams ended in a tie where Gus Frerotte accidentally Frerotted himself. 25 years later, another stalemate. 20-20 Tie, OT

Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles — The Titans are a good team, but the Eagles are a great team. The Eagles began facing 3rd and 8 from their own 27. Jalen Hurts went to Smith for 20 and again for 5. Hurts then went to Kenneth Gainwell for 14. Hurts then went deep to Smith for a 34 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Eagles. The Titans soon faced 3rd and 4 from their own 35. Ryan Tannehill threw incomplete but the defense jumped offside. Tannehill then ran for 17. On 4th and 7 from the Philadelphia 40, Mike Vrabel went for it. Tannehill gained 8. On 3rd and 3 from the Philadelphia 25, Tannehill went to Burks for the touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame. 

The Eagles soon faced 2nd and 11 from their own 14. Hurts went to Quez Watkins for 16. Hurts went to AJ Brown for 14. On 2nd and 15 from their own 39, Hurts went to Stoll for 26. On 2nd and 15 from the Tennessee 40, Hurts went to deep to Brown for the touchdown and a 14-7 Eagles lead one minute into the second quarter. The Titans moved from their own 13 to a 3rd and 1 at the Philadelphia 8. A false start was followed by a sack of Tannehill to kill the drive. Randy Bullock hit from 36 to get the Titans within 14-10 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.

After a touchback, Hurts hit Sanders for 8, Watkins for 6, and Still for 8 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Gainwell gained 13 and caught a pass from Hurts for 10. Defensive pass interference on an incompletion added 24 yards. Hurts ran for 4 and then for the 2 yard touchdown as the Eagles took a 21-10 lead to the locker rooms. Mike Vrabel has a tough defense, but the second half was all about Kevin Sirianni’s defense. A 27 yard punt return early in the third quarter set the Eagles up at midfield. Hurts hit Smith for 9, Brown for 5, Stoll for 7, and Brown for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 28-10 Eagles. The Eagles put the game away with a grueling 16 play, 68 yard, 10 minute drive that battered the Tennessee defense into submission. Sanders ran for a 3 yard touchdown with 11 1/2 minutes left to turn a close game into a blowout and get the Eagles to 11-1 on the season. 35-10 Eagles

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams — The defending champion Rams are not mathematically eliminated, but they are done. Matthew Stafford is on injured reserve, ending his season. John Wolford started this game. Early on, Cam Akers had gains of 8 and 7. Atwell added 7. Wolford hit Skowronek for 22. On 3rd and 2 form the Seattle 24, Powell gained 9 and caught a pass from Wolford for 14. Akers ran for a one yard touchdown to cap the 10 play, 77 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive and make it 7-0 Rams. The Seahawks soon faced 1st and 15 from their own 20. Kenneth Walker gained 30. Geno Smith hit Tyler Lockett for 10. On 3rd and 7 from the Rams 36, Smith went to Lockett for the touchdown and a 7-7 game.

The Rams after a touchback moved from their own 33 to a 2nd and 7 at the Seattle 21. A run lost a yard and Wolford then threw incomplete. Matt Gay hit a 40 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Rams. The Seahawks began the second quarter at their own 9 yard line. Smith hit Parkinson for 12 and Noah Fant for 17. Smith went to DK Metcalf for gains of 8 and 25. On 3rd and 3 from the Rams 16, Smith went to Lockett for 12. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Smith went to Fant for the touchdown to make it 14-10 Seahawks. The Rams moved from their own 37 to a 2nd and 7 at the Seattle 27. Wolford was sacked to kill the drive. Gay nailed a 54 yard field goal with less than one minute in the half to get the Rams within 14-13.

In the third quarter, the Seahawks moved from their own 17 to a 3rd and 3 at the Rms 8. Smith threw incomplete and Metcalf was called for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Jason Myers hit the 41 yard field goal to make it 17-13 Seahawks. On the next Seattle drive, an interception of Smith set the Rams up at their own 45. They moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Seattle 8. An incompletion was followed by a sack of Wolford. Gay hit from 32 to get the Rams within 17-16 with 13 minutes left in regulation. After a touchback, the Seahawks moved 67 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 7 from the Rams 8, Smith threw incomplete. Myers hit from 26 to make it 20-16 Seahawks with 6:46 to play in the game. 

After a touchback, Wolford went to Atwell for 18. On 4th and 2 just past midfield with 4 1/2 minutes left, Sean McVay decided to go for it.  Wolford gained 14. Powell added 20. Akers ran for a 6 yard touchdown as the Rams retook the lead 23-20 with 3 minutes left. After a touchback, Smith hit Metcalf for 9 and Fant for 7. Smith went to Fant again for 14. On 3rd and 10 from the Rams 40, Smith went to Lockett for 10. Smith then went to Goodwin for 17. Well within field goal range to tie the game, Pete Carroll went for the win. Smith hit Metcalf for an 8 yard touchdown as the Seahawks reclaimed a 4 point lead with only 36 seconds left. With 10 seconds left, the Rams were down to their last gasp facing 4th and 20 from their own 15. Wolford went deep and was intercepted. The Seahawks got to 7-5 while the Rams only one year after winning it all are guaranteed a losing season. 27-23 Seahawks

Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers — In 1984, Joe Montana and Bill Walsh began a dynasty over Dan Marino and Don Shula. While the stakes for this game were not as high, both teams were in strong playoff position and looking to stay that way. On the very first play from scrimmage after a touchback, Tua Tagovailoa went to Trent Sherfield for a 75 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Dolphins only 10 seconds into the contest. The 49ers moved from their own 17 to a 2nd and 6 at the Miami 19. After an incompletion, 3rd and 6 brought utter heartbreak to the Bay Area faithful. Jimmy Garoppolo was supposed to be shipped out of town with the drafting of Trey Lance. After a drama-filled offseason, Garoppolo was kept on the team as a backup. Lance was the starter, but in Week 2 Lance went down injured and was lost for the season. 

Garoppolo had been playing well. Yet only 3 1/2 minutes into this game, Garoppolo was sacked and suffered a broken ankle. He is now also lost for the season. The 49ers 3rd string quarterback is Mr. Irrelevant. Brock Purdy had never started a game. The last person to be drafted usually never makes the team, much less play. Now Purdy was required to manage the game and save the 49ers season. Robbie Gould hit the 47 yard field goal to get the 49ers within 7-3. 

A 20 yard punt return gave the 49ers the ball back at their own 46. On 3rd and 3, Purdy went to Christian McCaffrey for 7. Mason ran for 11. On 3rd and 10 from the Miami 29, Purdy threw incomplete but defensive pass interference added 14 yards. Purdy’s very first NFL touchdown pass went to Kyle Juszczyk for 3 yards and a 10-7 49ers lead after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Dolphins moved from their own 10 on a 12 lay, 65 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. On 3rd and 1 from the San Francisco 17, Tagovailoa was sacked. Jason Sanders hit a 43 yard field goal to tie the game 10-10.

With 2:47 left in the half, the 49ers took over at their own 24. Purdy hit Deebo Samuel for 7 and McCaffrey for 9. On 3rd and 10 from their own 35, Purdy went to George Kittle for 19 and to Jennings for 19 more. Purdy then went to McCaffrey for 18. On 3rd and goal at the 3 with 4 seconds left in the half, Purdy went to McCaffrey for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 17-10 49ers. In the third quarter, an interception of Tagovailoa set up the 49ers at their own 36. They moved to a 1st and 10 at the Miami 23. A run lost 4 yards to kill the drive. Gould hit from 43 to make it 20-10 49ers. Tagovailoa was quickly intercepted again to set up the 49ers at the Miami 25. Yet on 3rd and 5, a completion gained only 2 yards. Gould hit from 36 to have the 49ers up 23-10 after three quarters.

After a touchback, Tagovailoa hit three Hill for 7 and Jalen Waddle for 9. The fourth quarter began with Tagovailoa going to Hill for 19. On the very next play, Tagovailoa went bombs away to Hill for a 45 yard touchdown to get the Dolphins right back in it down 23-17. The Dolphins got it back at their own 10 and moved to a 3rd and 2 at the San Francisco 36 with 6 minutes left in the game. Tagovailoa threw incomplete. Mike McDaniel, the kid coaching Miami, passed up a 54 yard field goal try and went for it. Tagovailoa hit Mike Gesicki for 3, but Kyle Shanahan challenged the catch and successfully had it overturned to an incompletion. The 49ers moved to a 1st and 10 at the Miami 11 when a sack and offensive holding meant 3rd and 31. Gould nailed a key 48 yard field goal to give the 49ers breathing room up 26-17 with 2:03 left. One play after a touchback, Tagovailoa was sacked and fumbled. Nick Bosa delivered the hit and Greenlaw returned the fumble 26 yards for the exclamation point touchdown. For Mr. Irrelevant, it was a Purdy good game. Both teams are 8-4. Time will tell how the 49ers rally around their 3rd string signal caller. 33-17 49ers

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals — The Bengals shocked the Chiefs in Arrowhead in overtime 27-24 in lsat year’s AFC Title Game. One week ago the Bengals went into Tennessee and gutted out a win at Tennessee for the second straight time. Now it was the Chiefs burning for revenge in Cincinnati. The Bengals began facing 3rd and 4 from their own 31. Joe Burrow went to Perine for 11 and Hurst for 9. Perine gained 8. Burrow went to Wilcox for 13 and to Tyler Boyd for 17. Burrow ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bengals. The Chiefs took over at their own 27 and moved 65 yards in 10 plays and nearly 5 minutes. Yet on 2nd and 3 from the Cincinnati 8, Patrick Mahomes threw incomplete twice. Harrison Butker hit from 26 to get the Chiefs within 7-3. The Bengals soon faced 3rd and 2 from their own 34. Burrow hit JaMarr Chase for 7. An interception of Burrow was nullified by defensive pass interference, giving the Bengals 10 more yards. Roughing the passer added 15 more. Perine gained 8 and 10. On 3rd and 8 from the Chiefs 12, Burrow went to Tee Higgins for the touchdown as the Bengals led 14-3 90 seconds into the second quarter.

The Chiefs took over at their own 19. Mahomes went to Gray for 15 and Juju Smith-Schuster for 12. Isaiah Pacheco gained 9 and 2. On 4th and 4 from the Cincinnati 37, Walrus Andy Reid opted against a 55 yard field goal try and decided to go for it. Mahoems hit Smith-Schuster for 5. Jerick McKinnon gained 8, Smith added 12, and McKinnon gained another 11. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Mahomes went to McKinnon for the touchdown to get the Chiefs within 14-10. The Bengals quickly moved from their own 23 to a 3rd and 1 at the Chiefs 4 yard line. Burrow got stopped with 51 seconds left in the half. Zac Taylor decided to go for it rather than take the easy field goal. Taylor got the carry on 4th and 1 and got blown up for a 3 yard loss. The Chiefs began the third quarter facing 3rd and 7 at their own 26. Mahomes hit Marques Vldes-scantling for 42 yards. Mahomes then hit Travis Kelce for 18. On 3rd and 4 from the Cincinnati 8, Mahomes went to Pacheco for the touchdown to make it 17-14 Chiefs. 

After a touchback, the Bengals moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Chiefs 18. Burrow threw incomplete. Evan McPherson hit a 36 yard field goal for a 17-17 game. A 44 yard kickoff return had the Chiefs at their own 47. Mahomes went to Watson for 15. On 3rd and 10 from the Cincinnati 38, Mahomes went to Valdes-Scantling for 29. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Mahomes threw incomplete. Walrus Andy Reid took a big gamble by going for it rather than just kicking the field goal for the lea. Mahoems ran for the touchdown himself to put the Chiefs up 24-17. 

The Bengals after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Kansas City 18 to start the fourth quarter. Anineligible man downfield penalty killed the drive. McPherson hit from 41 to get the Bengals within 24-20. Two plays later, a 19 yard completion from Mahomes to Kelce saw the normally reliable Kelce fumble the ball away. The Bengals took over at their own 47. Burrow went to Perine for gains of 8 and 16. On 3rd and 7 from the Chiefs 26, Burrow hit Perine for just enough. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 14, Burrow hit Boyd for 6. Burrow then went to Evans for the 8 yard touchdown. With 9 minutes left in regulation, the Bengals now had the 3 point lead. 

The Chiefs after a touchback moved 10 plays and took 5 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 3 from the Cincy 33, Mahomes was sacked. Walrus Andy Reid brought in Butker to try a 55 yard field goal try with 3 1/2 minutes left to tie the game. Butker’s kick was wide no good. The Chiefs took their timeouts on defense. At the 2 minute warning, the Bengals faced 3rd and 11 at the Chiefs 28. Zac Taylor went high risk. Burrow hit Higgins for 14. Burrow then took a couple of knees. The Bengals won by the exact same score over the Chiefs as last year. The Chiefs are 9-3 and the Bengals are 8-4. Yet the Bengals have now beaten Tennessee and Kansas City twice in a row. Maybe the Bengals run to the Super Bowl last year was not a fluke after all. 27-24 Bengals

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders — After starting 2-7, the Raiders came in winners of 2 straight. Both of those wins were on the road, and both required overtime. In Week 1, the Chargers smacked them around. Here was the rematch. Coaches Brandon Staley and Josh McDaniels both make terrible decisions. Staley is a psychotic gambler, often going on 4th down when it is not required. McDaniels keeps abandoning the run when the run is working. On the Raiders first drive, McDaniels quickly abandoned the run and the Raiders punted. The Raiders defense harassed Justin Herbert and sacked him multiple times. Yet on the Raiders second drive, McDaniels again abandoned the run. A short completion was fumbled. The Chargers took over at the Raiders 25. On 3rd and 2, Herbert threw incomplete. Rather than take the field goal, Staley insisted on going for it. Herbert only gained one as the Chargers turned it over on downs. 

Yet for the third straight drive, McDaniels stubbornly refused to run the ball. Carr threw 3 straight passes. On 3rd and 5 from his own 21, Carr’s pass was batted in the air and intercepted by Callahan, who returned it 26 yards for a defensive touchdown. In the battle of who wanted it least, the Chargers led 7-0. The Chargers got it back at their own 20 and moved to a 3rd and 5 at the Raiders 15. Herbert was sacked. Dicker hit from 37 to make it 10-0 Chargers. After a touchback, Josh McDaniels kept throwing. Carr hit Davante Adams for gains of 12 and 19. On 3rd and 9 from the Chargers 43, Carr went to Mack Hollins for 14. Yet it was Josh Jacobs who finished things. Last week Jacobs had 303 all purpose yards, including 229 on the ground. On this drive, Jacobs ran for 9 and then busted free for a 20 yard touchdown to get the Raiders within 10-7. The Raiders got it back at their own 21 and moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Chargers 37 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. McDaniels again abandoned the run and Carr threw incomplete twice. Daniel Carlson buried a 55 yard field goal for a 10-10 deadlock with 2:17 left in the half. 

The Chargers after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Raiders 16. Herbert threw incomplete. Dicker hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 13-10 Chargers with 27 seconds left in the half. After a touchback, Carr quickly went to Adams for a 36 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Chargers 34 with 9 seconds left, Josh McDaniels was taking on chances. The Raiders were out of timeouts, so Carlson was brought in for a 52 yard field goal try to tie the game. It was the right call, but the normally sure-footed Carlson sent his kick wide no good. The Chargers began the third quarter at their own 21 and immediately self destructed. Herbert hit Austin Ekeler for 11, but Ekeler fumbled and the Raiders recovered at the Chargers 31. 

One play and 8 seconds later, the Raiders had the 17-13 leadCarr went deep to Adams for the touchdown. The Chargers moved from their own 19 to a 2nd and 5 at the Raiders 34. Herbert threw incomplete twice. From 52 yards out, Dicker was no good. From their own 42, the Raiders struck quickly. Jacobs gained 13. Carr handed the ball to Jacobs again, but this time Jacobs pitched it back to Carr. The perfectly executed flea flicker had Carr go bombs away to Adams for a 45 yard touchdown. Now the Raiders led 24-13. The Raiders got the ball back at their own 20. This time there was a heavy dose of running the football. The Raiders moved 74 yards in 14 plays, taking 8:40 off the clock. The Chargers defense was being pounded into submission. The fourth quarter began with the Raiders facing 3rd and 1 at the Chargers 6. The Raiders were running the ball down the Chargers throats. The Chargers could not stop it. A 31-13 lead would effectively put the game away.

At the worst possible time, as he has throughout this season, Josh McDaniels abandoned the run. Rather than let his bruiser try to get one more yard, a play action pass saw Carr throw incomplete. On 4th and 1, McDaniels played it safe. Carlson hit from 25. The Raiders led 27-13 after 17 unanswered points, but they had failed to slam the door shut. Their problem all year has been FCO, a failure to close out games. That drive was FCO1. The Chargers soon faced 4th and 1 from their own 31. Herbert gained 2. That was FCO2. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Chargers were down to their last gasp facing 4th and 12 from the Raiders 35. Herbert rolled out to his right and went deep to Keenan Allen for the touchdown. Just like that, FCO3 had the Chargers right back in it down by 7 points. 

After a touchback, the Raiders moved to a 3rd and 4 at the Chargers 42 with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Another first down would tighten the screws on the Chargers. It would also get the Raiders within field goal range, and one more field goal would ice the game. Carr went to Adams, and Adams made an acrobatic catch on the sideline for 12 yards. Yet Brandon Staley challenged the catch, and it was reversed to an incompletion. On 4th and 4, Josh McDaniels opted to punt. This was FCO4. The Chargers moved easily from their own 9 to a 3rd and 9 at the Raiders 42 with with 2:52 left. If the Chargers scored a touchdown, Brandon Staley would possibly go for the 2 point conversion like he did last week. This time Herbert threw incomplete. On 4th and 9, Herbert went deep again and threw incomplete again. 

This time the Raiders defense did their job. Now it was up to the offense to close out a game. Josh McDaniels would not be out-thinking himself this time. Jacobs is a battering ram, and he ran for 4 and 6 for a key first down as the Chargers took their timeouts on defense. Jacobs ran for 3 more as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. With the Chargers helpless to stop the clock, Jacobs ran for 3 more. On 3rd and 4, Jacobs only gained 2. While this was technically FCO5, a perfect AJ Cole punt pinned the Chargers back at their own 10 with only 22 seconds left. Herbert hit Allen for a hook and lateral to Ekeler for a 27 yard gain. Yet only 8 seconds remained and the Chargers were still only at their own 37. Rather than throw a Hail Mary, Herbert hit Carter for 14 more. Yet Carter was tackled inbounds as the clock ran out. The Raiders after a 2-7 start have won 3 straight, with the last 2 being on the road against teams with winning records. The Chargers at 6-6 only lead the Raiders by one game. Jacobs again was the difference, bruising his way for 144 yards on 26 carries, an average 5.5 yards per carry. On a side note, the Raiders had 0…yes, 0…penalties in the first half. They finished the game with only 3 penalties for 15 yards. 27-20 Raiders

Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys was the Sunday night game. The Cowboys were the better team and at home, but the way this game ended was indescribable. A field position game had the Colts at their own 47. They moved to a 3rd and 4 at the Dallas 34. Jonathan Taylor only gained one yard. Chase McLaughlin hit the 52 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Colts. The Cowboys took over at their own 27. Dak Prescott hit Tony Pollard for 10 and Dalton Schultz for 11. Ezekiel Elliott gained 10. On 4th and 1 from the Indianapolis 27, Mike McCarthy went for it and Elliott gained 6. On 3rd and 9, Prescott went to CeeDee Lamb for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Cowboys. The Colts took over at their own 21. Taylor gained 5 and 14. Matt Ryan went deep to Pierce for 45. Ryan then went to Dulin for a 14 yard touchdown as the Colts led 10-7 after the first quarter. 

A field position game in the second quarter had the Cowboys at their own 44. Tony Pollard ran for 17. On 3rd and 2 from the Indianapolis 31, Prescott went to Lamb for 22. Pollard ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Cowboys. The Cowboys got it back but an interception of Prescott was returned 31 yards by Gilmore to the Dallas 19. On 2nd and 7, Matty Ice threw incomplete twice. McLaughlin hit the 34 yard field goal to get the Colts within 14-13 with 1:47 left in the half. The Cowboys went 3 and out and the Colts got it back at thrown 27. With one minute left in the half from their own 40, Matty Ice went ice cold. Ryan was intercepted by Hooker, who returned it 26 yards to the Indy 26. On 3rd and 9 from the Indy 13 with 13 seconds left in the half, Prescott went to Michael Gallup for the touchdown and the 21-13 Cowboys lead. In the third quarter the Colts took over at their own 10 and moved 90 yards in 15 plays and 8 minutes. Ryan went to Alec Pierce for a 15 yard touchdown. Jeff Saturday went for 2 and Ryan threw incomplete. Yet the Colts were only down 21-19. For three quarters, this was a close game. The fourth quarter was simply stunning.

The Cowboys moved 75 yards in 10 plays and nearly 5 minutes. One minute into the fourth quarter, Prescott hit Gallup for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 28-19 Cowboys. The Colts took over at their own 27. They immediately fumbled the ball away and Malik Hooker returned the fumble 38 yards for a defensive touchdown. A gadget play on the 2 point conversion try failed but the Cowboys led 34-19. The Colts took over at their own 22. On 3rd and 6 from their own 40, Ryan was intercepted. The Cowboys took over at their own 47. Prescott hit Schultz for 22 and Pollard ran for a 30 yard touchdown as the Cowboys led 40-19. The extra point was blocked. Three plays after a touchback, Ryan was intercepted again. The Cowboys took over at their own 28. On 3rd and 9, defensive pass interference on an incompletion meant a 44 yard gain. Elliott ran for 22, one, and then the 4 yard touchdown to make it 47-19 Cowboys. The Colts took over at their own 23. From their own 41, Ryan was sacked and fumbled. The Cowboys took over at the Indy 29. On 3rd and 4, Davis ran for a 23 yard touchdown. The Colts turned it over on 4 straight possession. The Cowboys obliterated the Colts 33-0 in the fourth quarter alone. These teams met in Super Bowl V, known as the Blunder Bowl. Yet in this game it was the Colts committing all the blunders. Ryan had 4 of the 5 Colts turnovers as the Cowboys scored touchdowns on 5 straight possessions to end the game. Pass-happy Mike McCarthy ran the ball 34 times for 220 yards as the Cowboys got to 9-3 on the year. 54-19 Cowboys

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the Monday night game. Since Tom Brady has come to Tampa, no team has vexed him like the New Orleans Saints. When Dennis Allen was interim coach for one game, his masterful defensive game plan led to a 9-0 Saints win win Tampa and Brady angrily throwing his tablet. After a touchback, The Buccaneers began with a staggering 16 play, 72yard drive that took 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 4, a completion gained only one yard. Ryan Succop hit a 21 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Buccaneers. After that, the Saints defense cracked down. In the second quarter the Saints faced 3rd and 4 at their own 26. Red Rifle Andy Dalton went to Shaheed for 19. On 3rd and 6 just past midfield, Dalton went to Adam Trautman for 20. Dalton then went to Taysom Hill for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Saints. The Saints defense did the rest. Wil Lutz hit a 38 yard field goal with 20 seconds left in the half, a 21 yarder in the third quarter, and a 29 yarder midway through the fourth quarter for a 16-3 Saints lead. The Saints dominated for 57 minutes.

With 3 minutes left in regulation, defensive pass interference on a deep bomb meant 1st and goal at the one. Brady hit Cade Otton for the touchdown to cap the 91 yard drive and get the Buccaneers within 16-10. With 2 1/2 minutes left on 3rd and 17 from his own 18, Dalton went deep over the middle to Hill. Hill had it in his hands until he got blasted to force an incompletion. The Buccaneers had life at their own 37. Brady went to Julio Jones for 5, Chris Godwin for 9, and Cade Otton for 8. Leonard Fournette ran for 10. On 3rd and 6 from the Saints 27, Brady went to Miller for 7. Brady went to Jones for 15. A 5 yard touchdown pass from Brady to Godwin with 19 seconds was nullified by offensive holding. It didn’t matter. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Brady went to Rachaad White for the touchdown. This was Brady magic, but it was also an unforgivable defensive collapse combined with the Saints offense kicking too many field goals and not putting the game away late. 17-16 Buccaneers

NFL 2022 Week 13 Prequel

December 1st, 2022

NFL 2022 Week 13 Prequel

Thursday, December 1, 2022, 8pm

Buffalo Bills (-5 1/2) at New England Patriots — With these AFC rivals, anything is possible especially in cold or bad weather. Josh Allen is better than Mac Jones, but Raimondre Stevenson provides balance. Both defenses are more than competent. The spread is too high for a road team that is facing Bill Belichick and his ability to slow games down to a crawl. Bills win but fail to cover

Sunday, December 4, 1pm

Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons (-1 1/2) — Neither of these teams are playing good football. Marcus Mariota at this point is better than Kenny Pickett. Cordarelle Patterson is a game-breaker. Falcons cover

Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens (-8) — The Broncos are a mess while the 7-4 Ravens have blown fourth quarter leads in all of their losses. The Broncos have a very good defense and an anemic offense. The Ravens do not put teams away and the Broncos losses are one-sore games. The spread is too high given those variables. Ravens win but fail to cover

Green Bay Packers (-2 1/2) at Chicago Bears — Last year Aaron Rodgers screamed that he owned the Bears. If ever there was a year to revoke that claim, this would be it. Rodgers is injured, the Packers are down, and Justin Fields has improved. However, the Bears are not very good either. Despite having bad ribs, Rodgers is determined to play. If this is his swan song in Green Bay, he will find a way to gut out a win over the team he loves to hate. Packers cover

Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions (-1) — The Jaguars just got a huge emotional home win over Baltimore with a gutty two point conversion. The Lions offense rolls but their defense reels. The Jaguars may not have a letdown, but Jared Goff is playing well enough in recent weeks to get the job done at home. Lions cover

Cleveland Browns (-7) at Houston Texans — The Texans are the worst team in the NFL, but the Browns are an uneven team. The high spread is due to the fact that after two years out of football, DeShaun Watson finally returns to the field. Watson will have extra motivation facing the team that benched him. Yet as talented as Watson is, there will have to be some rust. Browns win but fail to cover. Also, the Texans blame the Watson debacle for their decline, giving them incentive as well. Browns win but fail to cover

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings (-3) — The Jets are a good team, but the Vikings are a better team. Outside of one miserable game a couple of weeks ago, the Vikings have been a well-oiled machine on offense. The Jets have a good defense, but at home trust Kirk Cousins finding Justin Jefferson and handing the ball to Dalvin Cook. Vikings cover

Washington Commanders (-1 1/2) at New York Giants — The Giants got off to a strong start but have regressed in the last couple of weeks. The Commanders have gone 6-1 since their 1-4 start. The Commanders defense is shaping up in the image of Ron Rivera and Taylor Heinecke has been more than competent. Daniel Jones can be pressured into mistakes. Go with the hot team. Commanders cover

Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles (-5 1/2) — The Titans suffered another gut punch home loss to Cincinnati. The Eagles are 10-1 but have had close games the last three weeks. If Jalen Hurts can get the Eagles out to an early lead, it may take Derrick Henry out of the game and force Ryan Tannehill to try and beat them. The Titans know how to grind a game in the trenches and keep things close. Eagles win but fail to cover

4pm

Seattle Seahawks (-5 1/2) at Los Angeles Rams — Despite a stunning home loss to the Raiders, the Seahawks still put 34 points on the board. Geno Smith is playing well and has plenty of weapons to choose from. The Rams are an injured mess. Matthew Stafford is out again. Aaron Donald is missing the first NFL in his storied career. Sean McVay is even considering shutting down his top players on both sides of the ball as the season winds down. While these are not the same Rams, McVay and Pete Carroll know each other well and make for a great chess match rather than a blowout. Seahawks win but fail to cover

Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers (-3 1/2) — Tua Tagovailoa and Jimmy Garoppolo both experienced some vindication this year. They both have weapons to spread the ball around. They both have good defenses. This makes for a close game that could come down to the final play. 49ers win but fail to cover

Kansas City Chiefs (-2 1/2) at Cincinnati Bengals — This AFC Title Game rematch has been anticipated since the Bengals stunned the Chiefs in overtime at Arrowhead to advance to the Super Bowl. The Bengals are coming off of a huge emotional win at Tennessee. Patrick Mahomes has more healthy weapons right now the Joe Burrow. The Bengals defense is still tough but betting against Walrus Andy Reid and Mahomes is often unwise. Expect Reid to pull out all the stops. Chiefs cover

Los Angeles Chargers (-2) at Las Vegas Raiders — The Raiders have won two straight games, both in overtime. The Chargers won at Arizona last week when Brandon Staley opted for a two point conversion with only seconds remaining. The Chargers tend to underachieve. Justin Herbert can sling it, but Derek Carr has been superb thanks to significant help from battering ram Josh Jacobs. Jacobs had 303 all-purpose yards last week. The Chargers defense is great on paper but underperforms. Khalil Mack will try to greet Carr early and often, but if Josh McDaniels sticks with Jacobs, the Raiders can win. Upset special, Raiders win outright

8pm

Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys (-9 1/2) — Matt Ryan has taken a beating. Jonathan Taylor has not been himself. Dak Prescott has Tony pollard and Ezekiel Elliott as well as wide receivers who stretch the field. The spread is high, but the Colts offense is too anemic and the Cowboys offense too potent to ignore the mismatch. Cowboys cover

Monday, December 5, 2022, 8pm

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4) — The Buccaneers were on the verge of finding their footing until stumbling last week against Cleveland. The Saints got blanked at San Francisco, but their defense only gave up 13 points. Dennis Allen was interim coach for the Saints when they shut down and shut out Tom Brady in Tampa 9-0. The Buccaneers are the better team, but the Saints defense always gears up for Brady. He is burning for revenge, and the Saints offense is not what it used to be. Buccaneers win but fail to cover

NFL 2022 Week 12 Thanksgiving Recap

November 27th, 2022

NFL 2022 Week 12 Recap

Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions was the Thanksgiving Thursday morning game. The Lions early on faced 3rd and 6 at their own 43. The Bills jumped into the neutral zone. On 3rd and 1, Jamaal Williams gained 6. Jared Goff hit DJ Chark for 15. On 3rd and 8 at the Buffalo 26, Goff hit St. Brown for 12. On 4th and 1 at the 5, it was time for a Dan Campbell gamble. The Bills jumped offside again. Williams ran for a 2 yard touchdown to cap the 12 play, 81 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive to make it 7-0 Lions. After a touchback, Josh Allen hit Greg Davis for 16. On 3rd and 1 from the Detroit 47, Singletary gained 3. Allen ran for 21. On 3rd and 6 from the Detroit 19, Allen went to Isaiah McKenzie for the touchdown to cap the 10 play, 75 yard, nearly 5 minute drive and make it 7-7.

In the second quarter the Lions fumbled and the Bills took over at their own 42. Allen hit Jared Cook and Stefan Diggs for a pair of 8 yard gains. Singletary ran for 19. On 3rd and 2 from the Detroit 3, Allen fumbled the shotgun snap, picked it up at the 8, and ran for the touchdown the hard way to cap the 10 play, 58 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive and make it 14-7 Bills. The Lions soon faced 4th and 1 at their own 33, time for another Dan Campbell gamble. This was not a bluff to get the defense to jump. Campbell went for it and Williams gained 2. Goff hit Raymond for 13 and Mitchell for 22. On 3rd and 3 from the Buffalo 9, Deandre Swift gained 7. On 4th and goal at the one with 1:52 left in the half, of course Campbell was going for it again. Goff hit St. Brown for the touchdown as the high risk, high reward approach tied the game 14-14.

After a touchback, Allen hit McKenzie for 27. The Bills moved to a 1st and 10 at the Detroit 20 with 20 seconds left. Allen threw incomplete twice and was sacked. Tyler Bass hit a 47 yard field goal to end the half with the Bills up 17-14. After a third quarter touchback, the Bills moved to a 1st and goal at the 10. Allen was then intercepted at the 8. On 3rd and 15 from his own 3, Goff was sacked in his own end zone for a safety to make it 19-14 Bills. The Bills failed to take advantage of the free kick as the Lions moved from their own 14 to a 1st and 10 at the Buffalo 11. The drive died there and Mike Badly missed a 29 yard field goal indoors. A 41 yard punt return had the Lions getting the ball back at the Buffalo 35. Defensive pass interference added 13 yards. Jackson ran for 11. One minute into the fourth quarter on 3rd and goal at the one, Goff hit Chark for the touchdown. Dan Campbell went for 2 and Swift got in to make it 22-19 Lions

The Bills took over at their own 10 with 9 minutes left in regulation. Allen ran for 8 and hit Diggs for gains of 8 and 4. Allen hit Dawson Knox for 15. Allen ran for 9 and hit Diggs for 12. Singletary gained 8 and 4. On 2nd and 10 from the Detroit 15, Allen threw incomplete but roughing the passer meant an 8 yard gain and 1st and goal at the 7. Allen hit Diggs for a 5 yard touchdown. The 14 play, 90 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive had the Bills up 25-22 with 2:40 to play. Yet Bass missed the critical extra point. The Lions needed only a field goal to tie the game. After a touchback Goff hit Swift for 14. The Lions moved to a 4th and 1 just past midfield with 1:15 left. St. Brown gained 7. On 3rd and 1 from the Buffalo 33, Goff threw deep incomplete. 32 seconds remained and the Lions had to burn their 1st timeout. Dan Campbell opted for the field goal and Badly delivered from 51 for a 25-25 tie.

After a touchback, the Bills had only 23 seconds to work with. That was enough time for Allen to go deep to Diggs for 36 yards. The Bills took their 1st timeout with 16 seconds left. Allen ran for 3 yards and the Bills toko their 2nd timeout with 13 seconds left. Allen then scrambled for a key 9 yard gain as the Bills took their last timeout with 5 seconds left. Now Bass had a chance to win it, and his kick would be from 45 rather than from 54. Bass was good as the Bills escaped with the win to get to 8-3 on the year. 28-25 Bills

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys was the Thanksgiving Thursday afternoon game. Both teams came in 7-3 but the Giants suffered an embarrassing home loss to Detroit while the Cowboys went on the road and blasted Minnesota 40-3. Early on Mike McCarthy gambled on 4th and 2 from his own 40. Ezekiel Elliott only gained one yard. From that spot, Daniel Jones went to Myarick for 23 yards. Yet 1st and 10 from the Dallas 17 saw a sack of Jones. Then a 24 yard touchdown pass from Jones to Hodgins was nullified by an ineligible man downfield. Then came intentional grounding. On 4th and 32, Brian Daboll gave Graham Gano a shot at a 57 yard field goal try to salvage something out of the drive. Gano delivered and the Giants led 3-0. Dak Prescott was then intercepted bu the Giants did not capitalize.

The Cowboys got it back at their own 7. On 3rd and 4, Prescott went to Michael Gallup for 10. On 3rd and 3 from their own 30, Prescott went to Gallup for 9. Elliott ran for 3 and 22. Prescott went to CeeDee Lamb for a 25 yard touchdown. Elliott ran for a 6 yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to cap the 11 play, 93 yard, 6 minute drive and make it 7-3 Cowboys. The Giants soon faced 3rd and 2 from their own 33. Saquon Barkley got stopped cold but defensive holding meant a new set of downs. On 3rd and 3 from their own 45, Jones went to James for 4. Jones went deep to Darrius Slayton for 44 down to the one. Barkley got the last yard to make it 10-7 Giants. The Cowboys after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the Giants 30. On 3rd and 15 at the 2 minute warning, Prescott was intercepted. The Giants quickly moved from their own 27 to the Dallas 29. Gano hit a 47 yard field goal as the Giants led 13-7 at the intermission.

The Cowboys began the third quarter facing 3rd and 4 from their own 31. Elliott gained 16. Tony Pollard added 13. On 3rd and 7 from the Giants 37, Prescott went deep incomplete. Yet defensive holding meant an automatic first down. On 3rd and 12 from the Giants 24, Prescott hit Lamb for 14. On 3rd and goal from the 15, Prescott went to Dalton Schultz for the touchdown and the 14-13 Cowboys lead. After a touchback, the Giants soon aced 4th and 1 from their own 45. Brian Daboll went for it and Jones’s pass to Barkley was dropped. Prescott went to Lamb for 14 and again for 21. On 3rd and goal from the 6, Prescott went to Schultz for the touchdown to make it 21-13 Cowboys. The Cowboys got it back at their own 20. Prescott went to Lamb for 15 and Ferguson for 30. On 3rd and 11 from the Giants 25, Prescott went to Lamb for 23. Hendershot got in for the 2 yard touchdown. Several Cowboys players jumped into the Salvation Army big red bucket as a close game was now a blowout. 21 unanswered point son 3 straight touchdown drives made it 28-13 Cowboys with 9 minutes left in regulation. The Giants finally got a garbage touchdown with 8 seconds remaining to make the score look respectable. The onside kick failed. 28-20 Cowboys

 

New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings is the Thanksgiving Thursday night game. The Patriots broke a 3-3 tie last week with a punt return touchdown with 5 seconds left. The Vikings were 8-1 before getting obliterated at home 40-3. The Vikings began at their own 20. Kirk Cousins hit Mundt for 13, Justin Jefferson for 7, and Adam Thielen for gains of 16 and 11. On 3rd and 2 from the New England 6, Cousins went to Jefferson for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Vikings. After a touchback, Mac Jones went to Jakobi Meyers for 26. Jones went deep again to Nelson Agholor for a 34 yard touchdown to make it 7-7.

An interception of Cousins by Jones was returned 55 yards to the Minnesota 17. Yet the defense held and the Patriots settled for a 34 yard Nick Folk field goal and a 10-7 lead. In the second quarter the Vikings took over at their own 16 and moved 72 yards in 14 plays and 8 minutes. The Vikings reached 3rd and 5 from the New England 9, but offensive holding killed the drive. Greg Joseph hit a 30 yard field goal to make it 10-10. A 46 y are kickoff return gave the Patriots the ball just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 3 from the Minnesota 30, a completion gained only 2 yards. Bill Belochick decided not to gamble on 4th and 1. Folk hit from 46 to put the Patriots back on top 13-10.

The Vikings faced 3rd and 12 from their own 23. The defense jumped offside. On 3rd and 7, Cousins went deep to Jefferson for a 37 yard gain. Cousins went back to Jefferson for 17 more and to TJ Hockenson for 10. On 3rd and goal at the one with 90 seconds left in the half, Cousins hit Hockenson for the touchdown. Joseph missed a critical extra point as the Vikings led 16-13. After a touchback, the Patriots moved to a 2nd and goal at the 5 with 9 seconds left. Jones threw incomplete, leaving only 3 seconds. Bill Belichick again was not taking any chances. Folk hit from 23 as the game was tied for the third time in the half at 16-16.

The Patriots began the third quarter facing 3rd and 1 from their own 34. Jones hit Parker for 10. On 3rd and 4 from midfield, Jones hit Meyers or 13. Jones then connected with Hunter Henry for a 37 yard touchdown to make it 23-16 Patriots. 13 seconds later the game was tied for the fourth time. Kene Nwangwu took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and a 23-23 game. The Patriots after a touchback moved to a 3rd and goal at the 6. Jones hit Henry for the touchdown, but on further review the play was reversed to an incompletion. Folk hit from 25 to make it 26-23 Patriots. The Vikings took over at their own 17 and moved 65 yards in 14 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. On 2nd and 8 from the New England 9, Cousins was sacked to kill the drive. Joseph hit from 36 as the 5th tie of the game had things at 26-26 one minute into the fourth quarter.

The Vikings got the ball back and faced 4th and 3 from their own 36 with 11 minutes left. Kevin O’Connell opted to punt, but a running into the kicker penalty gave the Vikings 5 yards and a new set of downs. Cousins then went to Dalvin Cook for 8 and deep to Jefferson for 26 more. Cousins went to Thielen for a 15 yard touchdown to put the Vikings back up by 7 with 9 1/2 minutes left. The Patriots looked to tie the game for the 6th time. On 3rd and 1 from their own 34, Jones threw incomplete. With over 8 minutes still left, Bill Belichick opted to punt. The Patriots got the ball back at their own 13 with 4:20 left. They moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Minnesota 30 with 3 minutes left. A completion gained 0 yards and wasted 45 seconds. Then a sack took the clock to to the 2 minute warning. On 4th and 16 from the Minnesota 39, Jones threw deep incomplete. The Patriots got the ball back again at their own 11 with 53 seconds left. A sack of Jones was a killer. The clock ran out with the Patriots at their own 42 before Jones could launch a Hail Mary. The Vikings moved on from last week’s debacle to get to 9-2 on the season. 33-26 Vikings

Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers — These teams met in Super Bowl 50. They have not been good since. Baker Mayfield was benched as Sam Darnold got the start. Both teams came in with only 3 wins on the year. Nearly 10 minutes into a scoreless game, the Panthers lined up to punt on 4th and 1 from their own 38. Steve Wilks gambled on a fake punt. Shawn Chandler took the direct snap and gained 2. Darnold then went to DJ Moore for 26. Foreman gained 15. Darnold went to Moore for a 5 yard touchdown to cap the 11 play, 71 yard, 7 minute drive and make it 7-0 Panthers. Early in the second quarter the Panthers fumbled a punt and the Broncos recovered at the Carolina 27. Kendall Hinton took an end around 13 yards. Yet on 3rd and 2 from Carolina 6, Latavius Murray got blown up in the backfield for a 3 yard loss. Brandon McManus hit the 27 yard field goal to get within 7-3. The Panthers after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 3 at the Denver 23. A run lost a yard nd Darnold then threw incomplete. Eddie Pineiro hit from 42 to make it 10-3 Panthers. On the last play of the half, McManus from 56 yards out was wide no good.

The Panthers took over at their own 28 in the third quarter. Darnold hit Shenault for 14. Chuba Hubbard gained 12. Darnold went to Moore for 20. Foreman gained 9 and 3. The Panthers fumbled but Darnold picked it up and made it one yard to the end zone for a touchdown the hard way. The 10 play, 72 yard, 6 minute drive made it 17-3 Panthers. Pineiro hit a 26 yard fourth quarter field goal and after a Broncos fumble hit again from 36 as the Panthers led 23-3 with 9 minutes left in regulation. The Broncos managed a garbage touchdown with 3:20 to play and even recovered the onside kick, but nothing more. 23-10 Panthers

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns — The Browns began at their own 22. Jacoby Brissett went to Donovan Peoples-Jones for 7, Amari Cooper for 12, and Peoples-Jones again for 9. On 3rd and 2 from the Tampa 46, Nick Chubb ran for 15. Kevin Stefanski then went to the bag of tricks. Brissett pitched it to Kareem Hunt, who lateraled it to Anthony Schwartz. The Zoom Schwartz double lateral reverse play went for a 31 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Browns lead. After a touchback, Roddy White ripped off a 35 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 21, Vaughn ran for 6. On 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 10, Tom Brady fired over the middle to Chris Godwin, who while being tackled stretched the ball just over the pylon to make it a 7-7 ballgame. After a touchback, the Browns moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Tampa 33. Brissett threw incomplete twice. Cade York hit a 51 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Browns. With 4 minutes left in the half, York missed from 39. The Buccaneers moved from their own 29 to a 4th and 4 at the Cleveland 24. Ryan Succop hit from 42 to make it 10-10 at the half.

The Buccaneers took over at their own 20 in the third quarter and Brady went to Mike Evans for 28. Jones gained 15. Brady went to Godwin for 22. On 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 5, Brady went to Kieft for the touchdown and the 17-10 Buccaneers lead. The defenses dug in as the Buccaneers punted on 4th and 20 from their own 10 with 2:20 left in regulation. A 12 yard return gave the Browns a short field at the Tampa 46. Chubb ran for gains go 6 and 28. With 32 seconds left the Browns were down to their last gasp facing 4th and 10 from the Tampa Bay 12. Brissett fired over the middle and David Njoku made a leaping one-handed touchdown catch as the teams went to overtime tied 17-17. After an overtime touchback, the Buccaneers moved to a 3rd and 4 at the Cleveland 47. Brady hit White for 10 and long field goal range, but it was all for naught. An offensive penalty for illegal use of hands killed the drive. The Browns took over at their own 29 with 2:45 left in overtime. Brissett hit Cooper for 17. On 3rd and 4 from the Tampa 48, a defensive breakdown had Brissett go bombs away to a wide open Cooper for a 45 yard gain down to the 3 yard line. With hard rain coming down, even a chip shot field goal was not a guarantee. Chubb took the handoff, appeared stopped, and somehow willed the ball just past the plane of the goal for the touchdown to end the game with only 19 seconds remaining in overtime. 23-17 Browns, OT

 

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars — The Game was delayed 25 minutes by lightning. In the first quarter the Ravens moved the ball fairly easily but bogged down in the red zone. Justin Tucker hit field goals of 27 and 29 yards t make it 6-0 Ravens. In the second quarter the Jaguars recovered a Baltimore fumble at midfield. Trevor Lawrence hit Zee Jones for 12. Hasty ran for 13. Lawrence went deep to Hasty for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 7-6 Jaguars. After a touchback, the Ravens moved to a 1st and 10 at the Jacksonville 37. The drive died there but Justin Tucker leveled a 55 yard field goal to make it 9-7 Ravens. The Jaguars moved after a touchback to a 2nd and goal at the 2. Hasty lost 2 yards as the clock ticked down to 18 seconds. Lawrence threw incomplete. Riley Patterson hit the 22 yard field goal to make it 10-9 Jaguars.

The Ravens began the third quarter at their own 20 and moved to a 3rd and goal at the 5. Jackson got taken down for a one yard loss. Tucker hit from 24 to make it 12-10 Ravens. A Jacksonville fumble gave the Ravens the ball at the Jags 25. Jackson ran for 12 as the third quarter ended. After three quarters of a grind, the fourth quarter was wild. On 3rd and 3 from the Jags 6, Jackson gained 5. Edwards ran for a one yard touchdown as the Ravens led 19-10 with 13 minutes left in regulation. The Jaguars faced 2nd and 15 from their own 20. Lawrence hit Agnew for 17. On 3rd and 2 from their own 45, Lawrence hit Jones for 8. On 4th and 8 from the Baltimore 45, Doug Pedersond decided to go for it. Lawrence went deep to Jones for 27. Lawrence hit Agnew for 8. On 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 10, Lawrence hit Hasty for 9. Lawrence hit Agnew for the one yard touchdown to get the Jaguars within 19-17 with 6 minutes left. The Ravens quickly fumbled, and the Jaguars took over at the Baltimore 16. On 3rd and 10, a completion gained only 5 yards. Patterson hit from 29 to put the Jaguars up 20-19 with 4:19 to play.

The Ravens soon faced 2nd and 20 from their own 15 after offensive holding. Jackson went deep to his non-relative Jackson for a 62 yard gain. With 2:02 to play, Jackson hit Oliver for the touchdown. John Harbaugh went for 2 and Jackson hit Mark Andrews for the conversion to make it 27-20 Ravens. With 1:51 left after a sack of Lawrence, the Jaguars faced 3rd and 21 from their own 14. Lawrence hit Christian Kirk for 16 to set up 4th and 5. ;Lawrence went to Jones for 10. Lawrence went to Kirk for 17. On 3rd and 6 from the Baltimore 39, Lawrence went deep to Jones for 29. Lawrence then fired to Jones for the touchdown with 14 seconds left. An extra point would tie the game. Doug Pederson decided to go for 2 and the win. This was not a bluff. Lawrence went to Jones for the successful conversion. The Jaguars led by one point.

A short kickoff was returned 15 yards by Picard to set up the Ravens at their own 39 with 10 seconds left. Jackson went to Oliver for 12. Two seconds remained. The Ravens were just past midfield. Every other team would be trying a Hail Mary or the hook and laterals. John Harbaugh knows he has the best kicker in the NFL and perhaps the best kicker ever. Last year at Detroit, the Ravens were down by one. The NFL record for a field goal was 64 yards. Tucker was brought in to try a 66 yarder. The kick hit the crossbar and made it over. The ravens won and Tucker etched himself into the NFL history books. This time Tucker was being asked to set a new record from 67 yards out. Again, he is the only kicker who would be allowed to try this kick. As everyone waited, Tucker hit it cleanly. It was dead center. It was just short, no good. The Ravens for the 4th time on the year blew a fourth quarter lead. Jaguars 28-27

 

Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins — Sometimes a really bad team can go on the road and shock a good team in an upset for the ages. This was not that game. Goliath beat up David and stole his lunch money and his girlfriend. Davis Mills was benched in favor of Kyle Allen. The Dolphins moved from their own 34 to a 1st and 10 at the Houston 17. Offensive holding killed the drive. Jason Sanders hit a 45 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Dolphins. The Dolphins got it back at their own 41. Tua Tagovailoa hit Sherfield for 24 and Tyreek Hill for 14. On 4th and 1 from the Houston 12, young kid Mike McDaniel went for it. Tagovailoa fired over the middle to Sherfield for 9. Tagovailoa scrambled everywhere and found Durham Smythe for the touchdown to make it 10-0 Dolphins. In the second quarter an interception of Allen by Vn Ginkel saw Van Ginkel return the pick 23 yards to the Houston 3. Wilson ran it in to make it 17-0 Dolphins. The Dolphins got it back at their own 23 and moved to a 2nd and goal at the 5. Tagovailoa threw incomplete twice. Sanders hit from 23 to make it 20-0 Dolphins. 3 plays later on 3rd and 24 from their own 11, a Texans fumble was returned 16 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 27-0 Dolphins lead. Sanders tacked on a 35 yard field goal to make it 30-0 Dolphins at the half. For some reason, league rules prevented the second half from being canceled. Tagovailoa was taken out late in the third quarter for his own safety as skylar Thompson finished the game. The Dolphins just coasted to get to 8-3 on the year. 30-15 Dolphins

 

Chicago Bears at New York Jets — Zach Wilson was benched in favor of Mike White. Justin Fields was injured, with Trevor Siemian getting the start. After an opening touchback, White hit Wilson for 11, Conklin for 12 and 9, Knight for 16, and Wilson for 13. On 3rd and goal at the 8, White went to Wilson for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Jets. The Bears after a touchback moved to a 3rd and goal at the 4. Siemian threw incomplete. Cairo Santos hit the 22 yard field goal to get the Bears within 7-3. The Bears got it back at their own 29. Siemian hit Chas Claypool for 20. On 3rd and 1 from the Jets 42, Siemian gained 3. Siemian then went deep to Claypool for 31. The second quarter began with the Bears facing 3rd and goal at the 4. Siemian went to Byron Pringle for the touchdown to make it 10-7 Bears. After a touchback, the Jets moved to a 4th and 7 at the Jets 18. A 36 yard field goal try to tie the game went haywire when the holder fumbled the snap.

With 6 minutes left in the half the Jets faced 3rd and 2 from their own 30. White went to Johnson for 16 and then went deep to Wilson for a 54 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Jets. The Jets got it back at their own 27 and moved to a 4th and 2 at the Chicago 39 with 12 seconds left in the half. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein came in for a 57 yard field goal try. In the rain, Zuerlein delivered as the Jets led 17-10. In the third quarter, a 22 yard punt return by Braxton Berrios set up the Jets at their own 47. Knight ran for 8 and 7. Berrios added 10. On 3rd and 4 from the Chicago 22, White went to Moore for the touchdown and the 24-10 Jets lead. The Jets got it back at their own 21. White went to Conklin for 29 and to Knight for 14. Johnson ran for a 32 yard touchdown to turn a close game into a blowout. The fourth quarter was scoreless as the Jets got to 7-4 on the year. 31-10 Jets

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans — This was a rematch of last year’s brutal AFC divisional playoff game where Joe Burrow was sacked 9 times but the Bengals gutted out the 19-16 road win. Both teams started 0-2 but the since then the Bengals have gone 6-2 and the Titans have gone 7-1. Last year was a street fight. So was this game. The Titans eventually took over at their own 46 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Cincinnati 16 to start the second quarter. A pair of Ryan Tannehill incompletions were sandwiched around a run that gained only one yard. Caleb Shudak, in his very first NFL game, hit the 33 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Titans. After a touchback, the Bengals moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Tennessee 28. Burrow threw incomplete twice. Evan Mcpherson hit a 47 yard field goal to make it 3-3.

One play and 15 seconds after a touchback, the Titans had the lead again on a wild play. A perfectly executed screen pass from Tannehill to Derrick Henry saw Henry rumble 69 yards. Yet Taylor-Britt tracked Henry from behind and forced a fumble. A scramble ensued and Burks recovered for a Titans touchdown the hard way and a 10-3 lead. Midway through the second quarter the Bengals took over at their own 8. Burrow went to Samaje Perine for 32. On 3rd and 4 from their own 46, Burrow went to Hurst for 12. Burrow then ran for 13. On 3rd and 12 from the Tennessee 31, Burrow went to Williams for 24. Perine ran for a 7 yard touchdown and a 10-10 game with 1:55 left in the half. The Titans after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Cincinnati 17 with 17 seconds left. Tannehill threw incomplete twice. With Randy Bullock out injured, Shudak came in for the 35 yard field goal try to give the Titans the lead. Shudak was wide no good.

Midway through the third quarter the Titans moved from their own 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Cincinnati 16. An intention grounding penalty on Burrow killed the drive. McPherson hit from 38 to make it 13-10 Bengals. After a touchback, Tannehill went deep to Burks for a 51 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Cincy 6, Tannehill threw incomplete. Shudak hit from 24 for a 13-13 game after three quarters. After a touchback, the Bengals began the fourth quarter at their own 35. Burrow went deep to Higgins for 24. On 3rd and 12 from the Tennessee 43, Burrow went to Irwin for 16. Burrow then went to Higgins for a 27 yard touchdown. The Bengals led 20-13 one minute into the fourth quarter. The Titans after a touchback moved 55 yards in 12 plays and 7 1/2 minutes to a 4th and 5 at the Cincy 20. With 6 minutes left in regulation, Mike Vrabel decided not to gamble. Shudak hit from 38 to get the Titans within 4 points. After a touchback, the Bengals moved to a 4th and 11 at the Tennessee 13 with 1:53 to play. McPherson came in for a 31 yard field goal. Even if he was good, the Titans would still have a chance to tie or win the game. McPherson was good, but a mindless unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense meant an automatic first down. The Titans ere out of timeouts, so Burrow just took 3 knees. Both teams are 7-4. Twice in the last 12 months, the Bengals have gone into Tennessee and gutted out a brutally tough road win. 20-16 Bengals.

 

Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders — After an opening touchback, the Falcons moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Washington 29. Cordarelle Patterson got stopped for no gain and Marcus Mariota then threw incomplete. Younghoe Koo hit from 47 to make it 3-0 Falcons. The Commanders took over at their own 26. Taylor heineken hit Antonio Gibson for 26. On 3rd and 3 from the Atlanta 41, Heinecke went to Brown for 17. Heinecke went to Terry McLaurin for 6 and to Robinson for the 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Commanders. The Falcons began the second quarter at their own 23. Huntley gained 12. Mariota ran for gains of 7 and 11. Tyler alleger gained 15. Patterson added 13. Mariota went to London for 22. Patterson gained 15 more with a defensive facemask adding another 5. Mariota went to Pruitt for a 4 yard touchdown to cap the 11 play, 77 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive and make it 10-7 Falcons. The Commanders moved from their own 29 to a 3rd and 8 at the Atlanta 12. Heinecke threw incomplete. Joey Slye hit from 30 for a 10-10 game with 1:50 left in the half. An ugly final 30 seconds of the half saw the Falcons fail to convert on 4th and 1 from their own 47. Heinecke was then quickly intercepted. Koo then missed a 58 yard field goal try.

A field position game in the third quarter set up the Commanders at their own 40. On 4th and 1 from the Washington 40, Arthur Smith went for it. Robinson gained 3. McLaurin gained 5, Robinson added 6, and Williams tacked on 9 and one. Heinecke went to Bates for a 16 yard touchdown. The extra point was wide no good but the Commanders led 16-10. After a touchback, the Falcons moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Washington 30. Mariota threw incomplete twice. Koo hit from 48 to get the Falcons within 16-13. After a touchback, the Commanders in the fourth quarter moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Atlanta 27. Heinecke hit Logan Thomas for 7, but offensive pass interference nullified the gain and killed the drive. Slye hit from 45 to put the Commanders up by 6 with 9 minutes left in regulation. With 5 minutes left the Falcons took over at their own 16 and moved to a 1st and goal at the 2 with 1:10 left. Mariota lost 2 yards as the Commanders took their last timeout on defense. Mariota then had his pass batted up high in the air and intercepted in the end zone by Kyle Fuller for a touchback. The Falcons took their timeouts on defense. The Commanders punted on 4th and 2 from their own 28 with 44 seconds left. A killer running into the kicker penalty gave the Commanders the first down as they won for the 6th time in their last 7 games. 19-13 Commanders

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals — Whoever lost this battle of underachieving teams would have shot at getting Sean Payton as coach next year. The Cardinals in the first quarter faced 1st and 19 from their own 9. Murray ran for 11 and then hit Robbie Anderson for 17. James Conner ran for 8 and 6. On 3rd and 4 from the Chargers 43, Murray hit Conner for 5. On 3rd and 5 from the Chargers 33, Murray went to Deandre Hopkins for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Cardinals. A 15 yard punt return gave the Cardinals the ball at their own 44. They moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Chargers 25. Murray threw incomplete twice. Matt Prater hit a 43 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Cardinals one minute into the second quarter.

The Chargers soon faced 3rd and 2 from their own 33. Justin Herbert went to Palmer for 4. Herbert went to Austin Ekeler for 7, Palmer for 18, and Ekeler for 9. On 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 29, Herbert got the yard. Herbert went to Kelley for 11. Herbert ran for 15. Herbert hit Keenan Allen for a 2 yard touchdown to cap the 11 play, 75 yard, 5 minute drive and get the Chargers within 10-7. An interception of Murray set the Chargers up at their own 44. Herbert hit Allen for 10, Ekeler for 12, Spiller for 2, and Carter for a 33 yard touchdown to put the Chargers up 14-10 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Cardinals soon faced 3rd and 5 from their own 30. Murray went to Baccellia for 7. On 3rd and 5 from their own 42, the defense was penalized for 12 men on the field. Murray hit Hopkins for 21. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 28, Murray gained just enough. Murray ran for 9 more. With 12 seconds left in the half, Murray capped the 14 play, 75 yard drive by running in the 5 yard touchdown for a 17-14 Cardinals lead at the break. The Cardinals missed a chance in the third quarter to extend the lead when Prater missed a 49 yard field goal try. The Chargers took over at their own 39 and moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Arizona 8. Herbert threw incomplete twice. Dicker hit from 26 to cap the 14 play, 75 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive and make it 17-17.

After a touchback, Murray hit Hopkins for 29 and Malcolm Hollywood Brown for 13. On 3rd and 7 from the Chargers 29, Murray hit Clement for 8. The fourth quarter began with the Cardinals facing 3rd and 1 at the Chargers 12. Conner gained 4. Murray went to Conner for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 24-17 Cardinals 90 seconds into the fourth quarter. The Cardinals tried to run out the clock from their own 10 with 2:19 left. Yet a decision to pass on 2nd and 10 saw Murray get sacked. At the 2 minute warning the Cardinals had to punt on 4th and 7 from their own 13. Carter returned the punt 20 yards and a penalty on the kicking team gave the Chargers gift field position at the Arizona 38. Herbert went to Everett for 10, Ekeler for 8 and 13, and Allen for 16. With 25 seconds left on 3rd and 7 from the Arizona 11, Herbert hit Ekeler for 10 down to the one as the Chargers took their last timeout with 18 seconds left. Herbert hit Ekeler for the touchdown. Because Brandon Staley is crazy, he opted to go for the 2 point conversion and the win rather than the tie and overtime. Herbert successfully hit Everett as the Chargers got the road win. 25-24 Chargers

 

Las Vegas Raiders at Seattle Seahawks — 35 years ago a terrible Raiders team went on the road against a far superior Seattle team and throttled the Seahawks thanks to Bo Jackson flattening Brian Bosworth. 35 years later, this Raiders team had the same awful 3-7 record and were expected to get blasted by a Seahawks team leading their division. The biggest problem facing the Raiders is the stubborn refusal of coach Josh McDaniels to run the ball, keep running the ball, and stick to the running game. The Raiders took over at their own 20. On the first play from scrimmage, rather than establish the run, Derek Carr went deep over the middle and was intercepted by Quentin Diggs. Diggs returned the interception 24 yards to the Raiders 12 yard line. Two plays later, Kenneth Walker ran for the 12 yard touchdown. Less than 30 seconds into the game, the Seahawks led 7-0.
The Raiders got it back and soon faced 3rd and 7 from their own 28. Yet rather than get blown out, the Raiders fought hard. Carr hit Ameer Abdullah for 12. Carr then went to Foster Moreau for 11. On 3rd and 4 from the Seattle 43, Carr went to Mack Hollins for 20. On 3rd and 5 from the Seattle 18, Carr went to Abdullah for the touchdown. The 11 play, 75 yard, 5 minute drive tied the game 7-7.

The defense even got an early stop and the Raiders got the ball back at their own 24. Yet 2 plays later on 2nd and 8, again rather than establish the run, Carr went deep. The ball bounced off of Moreau’s hands and was again intercepted by Diggs. This time Diggs returned the interception 15 yards to the Raiders 35. Smith went to Fant for 24. On 3rd and 5 from the Raiders 6, Smith went to the back of the end zone and Harmon made a leaping interception for a touchback. Yet after a lengthy review, officials ruled Harmon did not come down inbounds. The blown call meant an incompletion. That allowed Jason Myers to hit a 24 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Seahawks. The Raiders went 3 and out and the Seahawks got it back at their own 37. On 3rd and 4, Smith went to DK Metcalf for big gains of 24 and 13. On 4th and 1 from the Raiders 11, Pete Carroll decided to go for it. It looked the Seahawks were about to break the game wide open. Geno Smith hit Tyler Lockett for 7 yards, but an ineligible man downfield instead made it 4th and 6. 90 seconds into the second quarter, Myers hit from 34 as the Seahawks led 13-7.

A 33 yard kickoff return by Abdullah had the Raiders taking over at their own 9. Carr went to Davante Adams for 9. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 44, Carr went to Adams for 8. Carr then went to Hollins for a 36 yard touchdown as the Raiders had the surprising 14-13 lead. 3 plays later Smith went deep and was intercepted by Denzel Perryman, who returned the pick 24 yards to the Seattle 30. One play and 7 seconds later, Josh Jacobs raced for the touchdown to make it 21-13 Raiders.

After a touchback, Smith hit Metcalf for 6 and 4 and Will Dissly for 12. Smith went to Walker for 13. Smith then went deep to Lockett for a 35 yard touchdown to get the Seahawks within 21-20. After a touchback, Jacobs ran for 5 and Carr scrambled for 7. On 3rd and 2 from their own 45, Carr hit Adams for 4. On 4th and 2 from the Seattle 43 with 42 seconds left in the half, Josh McDaniels made the first of several crazy decisions by going for it. Rather than punt and get to the half with the lead, he risked giving Seattle spectacular field position. Yet if you are going to go for it, you give the ball to your battering ram. Jacobs got around the end for an 8 yard gain. Carr then hit Moreau for 17. With 14 seconds left in the half, the Raiders had 2nd and 7 at the Seattle 13. The Raiders were out of timeouts, but there was enough to throw a pass or even two passes to the sidelines. This time McDaniels went ultra-conservative and immediately opted for the field goal. This may or may not have been the right call, but it was not a terrible decision. A sack or other mistake would end the half. Daniel Carlson nailed the 36 yard field goal as the Raiders had the 24-20 halftime lead.

In the third quarter the Seahawks faced 3rd and 1 from their own 34. Smith gained 3. Smith then went to Lockett for 28 and Goodwin for 21. Walker rushed for another 14 yard touchdown as the Seahawks led 27-24. The Raiders responded with an 11 play, 68 yard drive that ate up nearly 7 minutes. The running game was wearing out the Seattle defense. Yet on 3rd and 4 from the Seattle 10, Abdullah only gained 3. With 5 minutes left in the third quarter and the Seattle defense on their heels, Josh McDaniels again made the very questionable decision to go conservative. On 4th and 1 from the Seattle 7, rather than use his battering ram, Carlson was brought in for the 25 yard field goal try. Carlson was good and the game was tied 27-27.

The Raiders defense forced a 3 and out and the Raiders got the ball back at their own 18. On 3rd and 6 from their own 45, Carr found Moreau over the middle. Moreau dropped the pass. He struggled in several key spots in the game. The Seahawks took over at their own 9 yard line and moved the ball easily as the clock clicked into the fourth quarter. On 2nd and 4 from the Raiders 23 on the verge of taking the lead, the Raiders got a giant break. Out of the shotgun, Smith failed to execute the handoff and fumbled the ball. Chandler Jones recovered for the Raiders at their own 27. They had dodged a bullet. The Raiders then faced 3rd and 1 at their own 48. Jacobs had run well all game, but this time he got stopped for no gain. With 9 1/2 minutes left, this was not the time to gamble. A good punt could pin the Seahawks deep. Yet this time Josh McDaniels made his worst decision by going for it. Then the terrible play call had Jacobs running laterally rather than plow straight ahead. Jacobs lost a yard and the Seahawks had a short field at the Raiders 47.

A sack had the Seahawks facing 2nd and 17. Yet on the next play Smiths scrambled for 18. On 3rd and 6 from the Raiders 32, Smith threw incomplete but defensive holding meant a new set of downs. On 3rd and 1 from the Raiders 18, Smith went to Travis Homer for the touchdown. The Seahawks led 34-27 with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation. After a touchback, Carr went deep to Adams for 28 and to Jacobs for 14. Carr went back Adams for 11 and to Abdullah for 9. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Carr went to Moreau and this time Moreau made the big time catch for the touchdown. With 1:54 to play, the biggest fear would be that the Raiders would go for a 2 point conversion. Thankfully, Josh McDaniels opted for sanity and the extra point. He got this big decision right and Carlson tied the game 34-34. The only problem was that 1:54 was a lot of time for Smith against a Raiders secondary that had not really stopped anyone all season.

After a touchback, the Seahawks were at their own 35 when Smith went to Metcalf at the sideline for a 12 yard gain with one minute left. Yet after a very lengthy review, the play was reversed to an incompletion. The ball may have hit the ground, but the officials seemed to focus on Metcalf not having full control when he rolled out of bounds. After decades of watching football, nobody associated with professional football seems to know exactly how to define a catch. The enraged home crowd saw the brink of field goal range instead become 3rd and 10. This time the Raiders defense came up big as Crosby sacked Smith. The entire Raider Nation had a lump in their throats when Keelan Cole fumbled the punt inside his own 10, but he fell on it to avert total disaster. With 40 seconds left and 91 yards to go, the only sensible thing to do would be to run out the clock and head to overtime. This time Josh McDaniels got a big decision right. There would be no interceptions over the middle and no more short fields. A pair of safe runs ended regulation. The Raiders won the overtime coin toss.

After a touchback, the Raiders moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Seattle 37. Jacobs got the carry but got stopped for a one yard loss. Now Josh McDaniels had another major decision to make. He could punt the ball and try to pin the Seahawks, but his defense had already given up 34 points. Gambling on 4th and 2 was very high risk, and giving the Seahawks great field position was not an optimal choice. A field goal try by Calrson would be 56 yards. A miss would give the Seahawks even better field position. Yet McDaniels is one of the best kickers in the game. McDaniels made the right call. He trusted Carlson, who has come through so many times. This time Carlson did not. His kick started way wide and stayed that way. No good. The Seahawks had gift field position at their own 46 needing only a field goal to win it. Yet on 3rd and 5, under heavy pressure from Crosby, Smith threw wildly incomplete.

The much maligned Raiders defense had come through. They did their jobs. The Raiders took over at their own 14. They had 4:39 left in overtime to work with, plenty of time. The Seattle defense had to be exhausted. Jacobs had already scorched them for about 200 all purpose yards. Inside their own 20, passes were way too risky. The right thing to do was run the ball. Josh Mcdaniels made the right call and was rewarded in the biggest possible way. Jacobs took the handoff up the gut, smashed through the line, and outraced everybody for an 86 yard touchdown in front of a shellshocked 12th man home crowd in Seattle. For the first time all season, the Raiders won consecutive games, both on the road and both in overtime. They finally beat a team with a winning record. The Raiders racked up 576 yards of offense. The Raiders pounded the rock 40 times for 283 yards. Jacobs was a monster, with 229 yards on 33 carries. Jacobs also had 74 yards receiving on 6 receptions for an epic 303 all purpose yards. The Raiders defense held the Seahawks to 65 rushing yards on 23 carries. Walker had 2 touchdowns, but only gained 26 yards on 14 carries. Although no receiver had more than 74 yards receiving, the Raiders had 295 yards receiving as Carr went 25 of 36 with 3 touchdowns and the 2 early interceptions. The Raiders are only 4-7, but this was their best win of the season in a game that is now an instant classic. 35 years after Bo Jackson had a 91 yard touchdown run, Jacobs won the game with an 86 yard run of his own. 40-34 Seahawks

 

Los Angeles Rams at Kansas City Chiefs — In 2018 the Rams beat the Chiefs 54-51 in an epic shootout for the ages. This time the Chiefs are just as good but the Rams are a mess. Matthew Stafford was again out injured. Bryce Perkins started his first NFL game. The Chiefs took over at their own 10. Patrick Mahomes hit Moore for 18, ran for 6, hit Travis Kelce for 9, ran for 10, hit McKinnon for 11, hit Moore for 24, and hit Kelce for a 39 yard touchdown. The 90 yard drive made it 7-0 Chiefs. The Rams moved after a touchback to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 25. Runs lost yards. On the first play of the second quarter, Matt Gay hit a 47 yard field goal to get the Chiefs within 7-3. The Chiefs after a touchback moved to the 1st and goal at the 9. Mahomes threw 3 straight incompletions. Harrison Butker hit from 27 to make it 10-3 Chiefs. The Chiefs got it back at their own 4 and moved all the way to a 2nd and 1 at the Rams 13 yard line. Mahomes threw incomplete twice. Butker hit from 32 to make it 13-3 Chiefs with 16 seconds left in the half.

In the third quarter the Chiefs took over at their own 29. Mahomes hit Moore for 16. On 3rd and 3 from their own 47, Mahomes hit McKinnon for 8. Mahomes hit Pacheco for 17. Pacheco ran for a 3 yard touchdown to culminate the 12 play, 71 yard, 7 minute drive and make it 20-3 Chiefs. After a touchback, Perkins went to Jefferson for 16. On 3rd and 1 from midfield, Perkins hit Williams for 6. On 4th and 2 from the Chiefs 40, Perkins went to Atwell for 8. Perkins went back to Atwell for 15. The fourth quarter began with the Rams facing 4th and 2 at the Chiefs 7. Perkins went to Jefferson for the touchdown. The Rams were within 20-10. They would get no closer. The Chiefs defense intercepted Perkins twice on the next 2 drives, with both interceptions leading to 22 yard Butker field goals. The Chiefs at 9-2 still lead the AFC, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus indeed. 26-10 Chiefs

 

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers — This game was all defense. An early Saints fumble gave the 49ers a short field at the Saints 43. They moved to a 2nd and goal at the 5 but Jimmy Garoppolo threw incomplete twice. Robbie Gould hit a 24 yard field goal to make it 3-0 49ers. With 1:47 left in the half the 49ers took over at their own 43. On 3rd and 10, Garoppolo went to Jennings for gains of 13 and 12. On 3rd and 1 from the Saints 23, Garoppolo went to Jennings for 12 with unnecessary roughness adding 6 more yards. Garoppolo hit Jennings for the 5 yard touchdown with 13 seconds left in the half to make it 10-0 49ers. The second half was even more suffocating defense. Gould hit a 46 yard field goal and the final 25 minutes were scoreless. The Saints final 3 possessions were a missed field goal, a fumble, and turning it over on downs. The 49ers grinder out the final 6:18 off the clock. Ugly wins count. The 7-4 49ers lead their division. 13-0 49ers

 

Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles was the Sunday night game. The 9-1 Eagles have struggled the past couple of weeks. The Packers came in losers of 6 of their last 7 but gave the Eagles all the could handle in an entertaining shootout. The Eagles began facing 3rd and 10 at their own 25. Jalen Hurts scrambled for 24. Miles Sanders gained 5 and 8. Hurts ran for 28 more. Kenneth Gainwell ran for a 4 yard touchdown to cap the 10 play, 75 yard drive and make it 7-0 Eagles. Aaron Rodgers was quickly intercepted to set up the eagles at the Green Bay 29. Sanders ran for 6, Hurts added 8, and Sanders ran for a 15 yard touchdown. Jake Elliott missed the extra point but the Eagles led 13-0. Yet this was no blowout.

A 38 yard kickoff return by Nixon had the Packers at their own 41 Aaron Jones ran for 10. Rodgers then went to Jones for 30. AJ Dillon ran for a 20 yard touchdown to get the Packers within 13-7. Kevin Sirianni then made the very curious decision to gamble on 4th and 1 from his own 37 after Hurts got stopped on 3rd and 1. Hurts fumbled the snap and the Eagles turned it over on downs. On 4th and 5 from the Philadelphia 32, now it was Matt LaFleur passing up a 50 yard field goal try and going for it. Rodgers went to Watson for 21. Rodgers then went to Randall Cobb for an 11 yard touchdown. With 3 minutes still left in the first quarter, the Packers led 14-13.

After a touchback, Hurts went to Brown for 23. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 45, Hurts ran for a 42 yard gain. On the first play of the second quarter, Sanders ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 20-14 Eagles. After a touchback, the Packers moved to a 1st and 10 at the Philly 28. Rodgers was then intercepted. The Eagles moved from their own 22 to a 2nd and 8 at the Green Bay 22. After an incompletion, a completion for no gain was fumbled and picked up by Walker, who returned the fumble 63 yards for the defense down to the Philly 13. After moving backward on successive plays, Rodgers went to Jones for a 23 yard touchdown. Mason Crosby missed the extra point. The game was tied 20-20 and it was only midway through the second quarter.

With 2:16 left in the half, the Eagles took over at their own 29. On 3rd and 6, Hurts went to AJ Brown for 19 and Gainwell for 7. Hurts was sacked for an 11 yard loss. With 1:10 left in the half, the Eagles faced 3rd and 14 at their own 48. Hurts went to Smith for 13. A field goal try would be 57 yards, and with 54 seconds still remaining, a miss would give the Packers excellent field position. Kevin Sirianni went for it and Hurts gained 4. With 13 seconds left in the half, the Eagles faced 2nd and 10 at the Green Bay 30. A field goal try would be 48 yards. Sirianni went big and bold as Hurts went deep to Sammy Watkins for the touchdown and the 27-20 Eagles lead at the intermission. The Eagles began the third quarter at their own 14. Sanders gashed the defense for gains of 21, 8, 28, and 8. On 3rd and 12 from the Green Bay 19, Hurts went to Smith for 14. On 2nd and goal at the 6, Hurts hit Brown for the touchdown. The 11 play, 86 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive gave the Eagles breathing room up 34-20.

After a touchback, the Packers moved 64 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from the Philadelphia 7, Jones only gained one yard. Matt LaFleur had the Packers line up to go for it, but a false start killed the chance. A disgusted Rodgers saw the Packers settle for a 29 yard Crosby field goal to trail 34-23. The Eagles from their own 26 moved 61 yards in 14 plays and 6 minutes. Despite 1st and 10 from the Green Bay 14, a pair of Hurts incompletions were sandwiched around a run that gained only one yard. Elliott hit the 31 yard field goal to put the Eagles up 37-23 with exactly 11:11 left in regulation.

This time after a touchback, Rodgers was not in the game. He had suffered a rib injury on the previous drive. Jordan Love played the rest of the way. On 3rd and 5 from their own 30, Love hit Allen Lazard for 7. On the next play Love went to Watson for a 63 yard touchdown. With 9 minutes left, the Packers were within 37-30. The Eagles embarked on a 10 play drive that bled nearly 7 minutes off the clock. With 2:16 to play, the Eagles faced 4th and 3 from the Green Bay 36. Kevin Sirianni trusted Elliott with a 54 yard field goal try knowing a miss would gift the Packers fantastic field position. Elliott buried the kick to give the Eagles breathing room up 40-30.

In desperation mode, the Packers got a jolt when Nixon took the kickoff 6 yards deep in his own end zone and returned it 53 yards to his own 47. Love hit Watson for 15 and Lazard for 17. On 3rd and 4 from the Philly 15, Love threw incomplete. With only 1:13 to play and needing 2 scores, the field goal was the easy decision. Crosby hit from 33 to get the Packers within 7. The onside kick failed as the Eagles took over at the Green Bay 44. The Packers had all 3 timeouts and needed a defensive stop to get the ball back. Yet this game had little to no defense. Sanders gained 2 and 5 to set up the critical 3rd and 3 from the Green Bay 37. With everything on the line, Sanders gained 4. Hurts took a knee as the Eagles escaped to get to 10-1 and maintain the best record in the NFL. 40-33 Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts was the Monday night game. A pair of bad teams played. The Steelers after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 2 from the Indianapolis 27. Kenny Pickett threw incomplete. Wright hit a 45 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Steelers. The second quarter began with Wright hitting from 52 to make it 6-0 Steelers. The Steelers got it back at their own 21. Pickett went to Pickens for 35. On 3rd and 2 from the Indianapolis 36, Benny Snell gained the deuce. Pickett hit Pat Freiermuth for 12. On 3rd and 2 from the Indianapolis 9, McFarland gained 3. Najee Harris ran for a 6 yard touchdown to have the Steelers up 13-0. After a touchback, the Colts moved to a 3rd and 4 at the Pittsburgh 33. Matt Ryan threw incomplete. Chase McLaughlin hit a 51 yard field goal to get the Colts on the board. The Steelers after a touchback moved to a 3rd and goal at the 7. Pickett threw incomplete. Wright hit a 25 yard field goal to make it 16-3 Steelers with 56 seconds left in the half. McLaughlin had a chance from 59 to end the half but his attempt was blocked.

Things changed immediately in the third quarter when Flowers returned the second half kickoff 89 yards to the Pittsburgh 19. On 3rd and 1 from the 10, Ryan hit Campbell for 2. Jonathan Taylor ran for the 2 yard touchdown to get the Colts within 16-10. A field position game had the Colts getting the ball back late in the third quarter at their own 45. Ryan went to Woods for 16. On 3rd and 6 from the Pittsburgh 35, Ryan went to Woods for 28. Ryan hit Michael Pittman for a 6 yard touchdown as the Colts led 17-16 after three quarters. The Steelers began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 9 from their own 26. Pickett hit Pickens for 13 with roughing the passer adding 15. Olszewski gained 9 and Snell added 13. On 3rd and 6 from the Indy 20, Pickett hit Freiermuth for 20. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Snell got in. With 10 minutes left in regulation, Mike Tomlin went for 2. Pickett hit Pickens for the successful conversion to put the Steelers up by 7. The defenses dug in. The Colts began their last drive at their own 7 yard line with 4 minutes left. With 30 seconds left after an incompletion, the Colts faced 4th and 3 from the Pittsburgh 26. Ryan threw incomplete as the Steelers hung on. 24-17 Steelers

Thanksgiving 2022 — My Gratitude

November 24th, 2022
On February 14, 2022, at age 50, I bought a condo in Miami, Florida. I had never owned a home before. I finally achieved the American dream. I bought before the rate hikes.
On August 14, 2022, for the first and hopefully last time in my life, I got married. I wondered if marriage was in my future after a lifetime of being single.
I still thank God I have my parents.
I have the best friends a guy could possibly ask for.
I live in the greatest nation on earth. I live in a beautiful city with perfect weather.
I have a roof over my head, clothing on my body, food in my belly, a big feast upcoming this evening, and the full use of my eyes, ears, arms and legs.
I have so much to be thankful for. On this Thanksgiving, I am filled with gratitude.
May your Thanksgiving be rewarding and the beginning of the best days of all of our lives.
eric

NFL 2022 Week 12 Thanksgiving Prequel

November 24th, 2022

NFL 2022 Week 12 Thanksgiving Prequel

Thanksgiving Thursday, November 24, 2022, 12:30pm

Buffalo Bills (-9) at Detroit Lions — The Lions have quietly won three games in a row. The Lions also have no defense. The Bills have too many weapons on offense and defense. The Bills are playing in Detroit for the second straight week after beating Cleveland there when a snowstorm moved their game. A garbage touchdown to beat the spread is highly possible. Bills win but fail to cover

4:30pm

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-9) — The Cowboys obliterated a good Minnesota team by 37 points. The Giants have lost two straight, including an embarrassing home loss to Detroit. The Giants may have overachieved, and they are injured. Cowboys cover

8pm

New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (-3) — The Vikings were humiliated at home by 37 points while the Patriots needed a punt return touchdown in the final five seconds to break a 3-3 tie over the Jets. Look for the Vikings to overcome last week’s humiliation. The Patriots defense is good, but the Vikings have plenty of offensive firepower. Vikings cover

Sunday, November 27, 1pm

Denver Broncos (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers — Both of these teams are a mess. The Broncos gave away the game last week against the hated Raiders with miserable play-calling down the stretch. The Panthers keep playing musical chairs at quarterback. Last week Baker Mayfield replaced an injured PJ Walker. This week Sam Darnold returns from injury and gets the start. The Broncos have a very good defense and no offense. Even the slightest offense will beat the Panthers. A loss could get Nathaniel Hackett fired. This is the rematch of Super Bowl 50. It’s hard to take the Broncos on the road, but the Panthers are also a mess. Broncos cover

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) at Cleveland Browns — The Buccaneers appear to have righted their ship. The Browns are sinking. This is just a case of a talent mismatch. Tom Brady seems to have corrected his issues from a few weeks ago and the team has string together consecutive win. Buccaneers cover

Baltimore Ravens (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars — This is another mismatch on paper. Lamar Jackson leads a Ravens team rounding into playoff form. The Jaguars are improving but a year away from being competitive consistently. The Jaguars will not be able to stop Jackson. Ravens cover

Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (-12) — The Texans are the worst team in the league. The Dolphins have a very good defense and a quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa who is playing lights out. This could get ugly early. Dolphins cover

Chicago Bears at New York Jets (-6) — Both of these teams find creative ways to lose games. Robert Saleh has benched Zach Wilson and is giving Mike White the start. Justin Fields shows flashes, but does not put a complete game together. The Jets have a very good defense. The spread is too high given the Jets dysfunction on offense. Jets win but fail to cover

Cincinnati Bengals (-1 1/2) at Tennessee Titans — This is a rematch of last year’s playoff slobberknocker where the Bengals gutted out a 19-16 road win. The Titans are burning for revenge. Expect another street fight. Mike Vrabel is going to keep it stone age by pounding the rock and playing defense. As good as Joe Burrow is, the Tennessee defense sacked him nine times in their playoff game. The Titans get their revenge. Upset special, Titans win outright

Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders (-3 1/2) — The Commanders have quietly won five of their last six games. The Falcons won a thriller over Chicago last week but are too inconsistent. Marcus Mariota is not playing badly, but Taylor Heinecke has been playing very well. As expected under Ron Rivera, the Commanders are improving on defense. Commanders win but fail to cover

4pm

Los Angeles Chargers (-3 1/2) at Arizona Cardinals — Both of these teams find ways to lose games. These are underachieving teams. Justin Herbert has more weapons than Kyler Murray. Both of these coaches seem to be overrated. Until the Cardinals fix their problems, they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Chargers cover

Las Vegas Raiders at Seattle Seahawks (-4) — The Raiders finally won a game against a Denver team as bad or worse than they are. Now back to reality. The Seahawks are well-coached and have talented playmakers on offense. The Raiders have no defense. This will be a blowout. Seahawks cover

Los Angeles Rams at Kansas City Chiefs (-15 1/2) — The Rams won a 54-51 pinball game in 2018. Yet the Chiefs are as good as ever and the Rams are flailing. Yet the spread is ridiculous, especially since the chiefs have been winning close games. Chiefs win but fail to cover

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers (-8 1/2) — The Saints are struggling, but the 49ers are inconsistent from week to week. Jimmy Garoppolo has plenty of weapons in George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, but the spread is too high given the quality of the Saints defense. 49ers win but fail to cover

8pm

Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (-7) — The Eagles are 9-1 but have struggled the last two weeks. The Packers are 1-6 in their last seven games. Aaron Rodgers is yelling at everyone but they are still losing. Given the problems the Eagles are having on offense, expect a closer game than the high spread predicts. Eagles win but fail to cover

Monday, November 28, 8pm

Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts (-2 1/2) — Both of these teams are having a tough year. Jeff Saturday has lit a fire under the Colts the last two weeks, taking Philadelphia to the limit. Jacoby Brissett is competent and Kenny Pickett is still learning. In the dome, the bolts offense should have enough efficiency for a win. Colts cover

NFL 2022 Week 11 Recap

November 20th, 2022

NFL 2022 Week 11 Recap

Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers was the Thursday night game. The Packers snapped their five game losing streak last week but the Titans are winning games with pure smash mouth football. The Titans started out facing 3rd and 7 at their own 20, Ryan Tannehill went deep to Burks for 43 yards. Derrick Henry ran for 9 and 3. Tannehill went to Austin Hooper for 8 and to Dontrell Hilliard for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Titans. The Packers took over at their own 22, Aaron Jones gained 9 and 4. Aaron Rodgers went to Randal Cobb for 24. On 3rd and 2 from the Tennessee 32, Jones gained 4, fumbled, and recovered his own fumble for 3 more. Rodgers went to Robert Tonyan for 10. On 3rd and 9 from the Tennessee 14, Rodgers went to Christian Watson for the touchdown to cap the 11 play, 87 yard, 7 minute drive. Mason Crosby’s extra point was blocked as the Packers trailed 7-6.

The Titans began the second quarter at their own 33 and embarked on a mind-numbing drive. 18 plays. 61 yards. 10 minutes off the clock. Mike Vrabel went for it on 4th and 1 from the Green Bay 4. Henry got the carry and got tackled for a 2 yard loss as the Titans came up empty. Despite the goal line stand, the Packers went 3 and out and gave the ball back to the Titans for a short field at the Green Bay 41. On 3rd and 7 from the Green Bay 26, Tannehill hit Robert Woods for 9. On 3rd and 3 from the Green Bay 10, Tannehill hit Burks for 6. Henry ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Titans.

In the third quarter the Packers took over at their own 28. They moved 51 yards in 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 2nd and 7 from the Tennessee 17, Jones lost 4 yards. Rodgers threw incomplete. Crosby hit from 39 to get the Packers within 14-9. The Titans took over at their own 9. Tannehill went deep to Okonkwo for 31 and to Henry for 42 more. On 2nd and goal at the 3, Mike Vrabel went to the bag of tricks. Derrick Henry took the handoff and threw the halfback option pass to Hooper for the touchdown. Josh Lambo’s extra point try doinked off the upright no good but the Titans led 20-9.

The Packers took over at their own 31. Rodgers went to Cobb for 28. On 3rd and 3 from the Tennessee 31, Rodgers went to Allen Lazard for 23. Rodgers went to Watson for an 8 yard touchdown. Rodgers went to Jones for the 2 point conversion as the Packers only trailed 20-17 late in the third quarter. The Titans took over at their own 37. Tannehill went to Woods for 32 and Westbrook-Ikhine for 9. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Tannehill went to Hooper for a 16 yard touchdown to give the Titans breathing room up 10. Midway through the fourth quarter the Packers had 4th and 3 at the Titans 37. Needing 2 scores, Matt LaFleur opted to go for it rather than try a 55 yard field goal. Rodgers threw incomplete. With 2:12 to play, the Packers faced 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 44. Jones got the carry and got stopped cold by the Tennessee defense. The Titans are 7-3 on the year and winning with pure power football. 27-17 Titans

 

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons — The Falcons began facing 3rd and 1 at their own 34. The Bears jumped into the neutral zone. Marcus Mariota then went to Pitts for 16. Tyler Allgeier gained 13. Mariota hit Hodge for 13. Mariota threw a 2 yard touchdown to London to cap the 10 play, 75 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive and make it 7-0 Falcons. A 55 yard kickoff return had the Bears starting at the Atlanta 44. Justin Fields hit David Montgomery for 9. Montgomery then ran for a pair of 4 yard gains. Fields ran for 9. Fields went to Darnell Mooney, who made a leaping catch in the end zone corner for a 16 yard touchdown and a 7-7 game.

In the second quarter the Bears moved from their own 30 to a 3rd and 5 at the Atlanta 22. Fields lost a yard. Cairo Santos hit a 41 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Bears. A Cordarelle Patterson fumble set the Bears up at the Atlanta 29. On 3rd and 6, Fields went to St. Brown for 10. On 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 6, Fields gained 2 and then ran for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Bears. 13 seconds later, the game was close again as Patterson atoned in the biggest way possible. He took the ensuing kickoff straight up the middle and outraced everyone for a 103 yard return touchdown to get the Falcons within 17-14. With 1:14 left in the half, Santos, who had been perfect all year, missed a 56 yard field goal try. The ensuing great field position allowed Younghoe Koo to hit a 40 yard field goal for a 17-17 tie at the half.

With 5 minutes left in the third quarter, the Falcons took over at their own 39. Mariota went to Pruitt for 17. Zaccheaus gained 13. On 3rd and 8 from the Chicago 29, Mariota threw incomplete but roughing the passer meant 15 more yards. Mariota ran for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 24-17 Falcons. The Bears soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Fields hit Chase Claypool for 6. The Bears began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 3 at their own 45. Fields hit Cole Kmet for 5. Fields went deep to Montgomery for 32. On 3rd and 12 from the Atlanta 20, Fields went to St. Brown for 14. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Fields threw incomplete but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 2. David Montgomery got in to culminate the 13 play, 75 yard, 8 1/2 minute drive and tie the game 24-24 midway through the fourth quarter. After a touchback, the Falcons moved 40 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 2 from the Chicago 44 with 3 1/2 minutes left, Arthur Smith went big and bold and went for it. Patterson gained 6. With 1:47 left, Koo came in for a 53 yard field goal try to give the Falcons the lead. Koo was good. 3 plays later on 3rd and 5 from his own 30, Fields was intercepted. 27-24 Falcons

 

Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens — a boring game with wind conditions saw Justin Tucker hit a 32 yard field goal on the last play of the half for the Ravens. Eddie Pineiro hit from 32 in the third quarter for a 3-3 game. The fourth quarter began with the Ravens at their own 14. The moved 67 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. Tucker hit from 37 to make it 6-3 Ravens with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Two plays after a touchback, the key play was a fumble by the Panthers that the Ravens recovered at the Carolina 31. Kenyan Drake ran for 29. Lamar Jackson got the last yard to lock up the win and get the Ravens to 7-3 on the year. Baker Mayfield threw 2 late interceptions for good measure. 13-3 Ravens

 

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills — A snowstorm in Buffalo used to make for winter wonderland football conditions and magical games. Now the sissies in charge of the NFL decided to earn their No Fun League reputation by moving the game to Detroit inside a dome. After an oping touchback Jacoby Brissett went to Nick Chubb for 17. On 3rd and 11 from their own 41, Brissett scrambled for a 22 yard gain. On 3rd and 11 from the Buffalo 38, Brissett went to Amari cooper for 16. Brissett went to the corner of the end zone for Cooper, who made the catch for the 25 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Browns. A 28 yard punt return had the Bills eventually taking over at the Cleveland 32. On 2nd and 2, a run went nowhere and Josh Allen then threw incomplete. Tyler Bass hit a 42 yard field goal to get the Bills within 7-3. The Browns moved from their own 35 to a 1st and goal at the 8 to start the second quarter. Chubb took the direct snap and was tackled for a 6 yard loss. Brissett threw incomplete twice. Cade York hit a 32 yard field goal to make it 10-3 Browns.
The Browns got it back at their own 10 and moved to a 2nd and 3 at the Buffalo 47. Brissett fumbled the snap and the Bills recovered as momentum changed.

The Bills moved from their own 48 to a 1st and 10 at the Cleveland 14. Devin Singletary gained 13 down to the one, but offensive holding killed the drive. Bass hit from 36 to get the Bills within 10-6. The Bills got it back at their own 22 with 1:54 left in the half. Allen hit Knox for 9 and 7 and Greg Davis for 28. On 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 7, Singletary gained 2. With 14 seconds left in the half, Allen hit Stefan Diggs for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 13-10 Bills. In the third quarter the Bills moved from their own 26 to a 2nd and 4 at the Cleveland 26. An end around was blown up for an 8 yard loss. Bass nailed a 56 yarder to make it 16-10 Bills After a touchback, the Browns moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Buffalo 27. Brissett kept it up the middle and got stopped for no gain. Kevin Stefanski gambled on 4th and 1. Brissett kept it again and ran into a Buffalo brick wall again for no gain. Allen went to Davis for 17 and Knox for 23. Singletary gained 13 and then ran for the 5 yard touchdown The 2 point try failed but the Bills led 22-10. After the Browns missed a field goal, Bass hit fourth quarter field goals of 49 and 28 as 25 unanswered points put the Bills up 28-10 with 6:45 to play. The Browns managed another touchdown with 4 minutes left. The Bills tacked on a field goal. By the time the Browns got their last garbage touchdown with only 19 seconds left to make the score look far more respectable than it was. The onside kick failed. The Bills got to 7-3 on the year. 31-23 Bills

 

Washington Commanders at Houston Texans — The Commanders started 1-4 but are now 5-5 after going on the road and shocking previously unbeaten Philadelphia. After beating the best team in the league, now they had to avoid a hangover at the worst team in the league. 2 minutes into the game, Davis Mills completed a pass to Kyle Fuller, who plays defense for the Commanders. Fuller returned the interception 37 yards to the house for a 7-0 Commanders lead. The Commanders got it back at their own 15 and Robinson ran for 14 and 5. Taylor Heinecke hit Dotson for 13. The second quarter began with Antonio Gibson running for 9, Curtis Samuel adding 8, and Gibson getting 5 more. Heinecke went to Logan Thomas for 16. Samuel ran for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Commanders. Joey Slye tacked on field goals of 25 and 24 as the Commanders took a 20-0 lead to the locker rooms. For some reason, the second half was played. Kaimi Fairbairn hit a 29 yard third quarter field goal for the Texans. Slye answered from 44 in the fourth quarter to make it 23-3 Commanders. The Texans managed a garbage touchdown with 3 minutes left as the Commanders have gone 5-1 in their last 6 games. 23-10 Texans

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts — The Eagles lost their first game last week. Now they had to face off against Jeff Saturday, who has never lost an NFL game as a coach. The Colts began facing 3rd and 6 at their own 29. Matt Ryan went to Pittman for 24. Jonathan Taylor gashed the defense for gains of 28 and 9. On 3rd and 1 from the Philadelphia 10, Ryan got the yard. Taylor did the rest, gaining 6, 2, and on 3rd and goal at the one, the last yard to cap the 10 play, 75 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive and make it 7-0 Colts. In the second quarter a field position game had the Eagles taking over at their own 42. They moved to a 1st and goal at the 2. After an incompletion, Hurts fumbled the shotgun snap for an 8 yard loss. the 15 play, 54 yard, 7 minute drive had the Eagles settling for a 22 yard Jake Elliott field goal to get within 7-3. With 1:43 left in the half, a 17 yard punt return by Coutee led to a 51 yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin to make it 10-3 Colts. On the first play of the third quarter, Hurts was sacked and fumbled. The Colts took over at the Philadelphia 22, but the defense held them to a 36 yard Chase McLaughlin field goal and a 13-3 Colts lead.

Trying to spark his team, Kevin Sirianni went for it on 4th and 10 at the Indianapolis 47. Hurts was sacked. The Colts missed a chance to extend the lead when McLaughlin missed a 50 yard field goal try. The Eagles began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 1 just shy of midfield when the defense jumped offsides. Hurts then ran for 23 and threw a 22 yard touchdown pass to Quez Watkins. The Eagles were now only down 13-10. The Colts fumbled the ball away but the Eagles fumbled it back to set the Colts up at their own 34. They moved to a 1st and goal at the 5 with a chance to ice the game. Taylor got stopped and Ryan threw incomplete. Ryan was then sacked. McLaughlin hit from 37. The Colts led 16-10 with 4 1/2 minutes left, but they did not slam the door shut.

The Eagles faced 3rd and 2 from their own 33. Hurts threw deep incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 39 yard gain. Miles Sanders gained 6 and 5. At the 2 minute warning, everything came down to 4th and 2 at the Indy 9. Out of the shotgun, a perfectly executed quarterback draw let Hurts gain 3. On 3rd and goal at the 7, it was the exact same play as Hurts took the draw up the middle for the touchdown. With 1:20 left, the Eagles had the one point lead. After a touchback, the Colts needed only a field goal. Yet a sack of Ryan and a false start meant 4th and 21 for the Colts from their own 28 with 30 seconds left. Ryan completed a 5 yard pass as the Eagles survived to end the Jeff Saturday juggernaut. 17-16 Eagles

 

New York Jets at New England Patriots — A brutal game in cold weather saw a scoreless first quarter. The second quarter began with the Patriots having moved from 20 to a 4th and 1 at the Jets 6. Bill Belichick decided not to gamble. Nick Folk capped the 14 play, 74 yard, 8 minute drive with a 24 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Patriots. Greg Zuerlein answered with a 45 yarder for the Jets and a 3-3 game. Folk then missed a 44 yarder. In a scoreless third quarter, Folk missed again from 43. On the last play of the third quarter the Patriots had 4th and 3 at the Jets 36. A 54 yard field goal try was out of the question in these winds. Bill Belichick went for it and Raimondre Stevenson got stopped for no gain. With 32 seconds left the Jets faced 3rd and 1 from their own 34. A completion lost 2 yards. 26 seconds remained. The Jets would punt, and this slugfest was expected to go to overtime. Instead, Jones took the punt, got to the sideline, weaved back toward the middle, and raced 84 yards for the game’s only touchdown with 5 seconds remaining. These are the Jets. Evil Hoodie Bill Belichick’s deal with the devil lives on as the Patriots defeated the Jets for the 14th straight time. 10-3 Patriots

 

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints — A field position game had the Saints taking over at their own 41. They moved to a 1st and 10 at the Rams 13. Red Rifle Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill were alternating every play at quarterback to start. After an incompletion by Hill, Dalton was sacked and then Hill was sacked. Wil Lutz hit a 46 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Saints. One play and 14 seconds later, the Rams had the lead. Matthew Stafford was back after missing last week with a concussion. He went deep to Atwell for a 62 yard touchdown bomb and a 7-3 Rams lead. A field position game had the Saints beginning the second quarter just past midfield. Alvin Kamara gained 11. Hill ran for 12. Dalton hit Kamara for 15 Dalton went to Johnson for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 10-7 Saints. with 3 minutes left in the half the Rams took over at their own 13. On 3rd and 1 from their own 22, Stafford went to Robinson for 9 and Van Jefferson for gains of 16 and 20. Stafford hit Tyler Higbee for 3, Williams for 8, Powell for 8, Higbee for 18, and Robinson for the 6 yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in the half. 9 straight passes capped the 11 play, 87 yard drive and had the Rams up 14-10 at the break.

After a third quarter touchback, Dennis Allen decided to stop rotating quarterbacks every play. Dalton went to Chris Olave for 18. On 3rd and 2 just past midfield, Dalton hit Kamara for 13 and 15 and to Jarvins Landry for 18 and then the 7 yard touchdown to put the Saints up 17-14. The Saints got it back at their own 32. A sack of Dalton meant 3rd and 23 from their own 34. Dalton went to Johnson for 13. On 3rd and 10 Dalton went bombs away to Olave for a 53 yard touchdown and a 24-14 Saints lead. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter, Stafford left the game and was back in concussion protocol. Perkins came in at quarterback. McVay called 7 straight running plays. The fourth quarter began with the Rams facing 2nd and 6 at the Saints 15. Perkins threw incomplete twice. Matt Gay hit a 33 yard field goal to get the Rams within 24-17. Allen decided to go back rotating quarterbacks to start the fourth quarter. Hill and Dalton after a touchback moved the Saints to a 2nd and goal at the 3. Dalton was sacked to kill the drive. Yet with 9 minutes left, Lutz hit from 25. The Saints defense did the rest. Gay hit a 58 yard field goal with 6 seconds left, but the onside kick failed. The defending Super Bowl champions are a 3-7 mess. 27-20 Saints

 

Detroit Lions at New York Giants — The Giants are a good team and the Lions are a bad team with a defense that cannot stop anyone. The Giants were at home. Giants fans knew that this is the exact type of game their beloved team loses. In a game with heavy wind, the Lions moved from their own 30 to a 2nd and 8 at the Giants 12. After Goff threw incomplete, on 3rd and 8 his completion gained only 6 yards. Dan Campbell decided not to gamble on 4th and 2 from the 6. Mike Badly hit the 24 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Lions. After a touchback, Daniel Jones went to Darrius Slayton for 17. Brian Daboll decided to go for it on 4th and 1 just past midfield. Matt Brieda gained 5. On 3rd and 7 from the Detroit 41, Jones went to Breida for 16 and Robinson for 18. Jones ran for a 3 yard touchdown to culminate the 11 play, 75 yard, 5 minute drive. Graham Gano’s extra point was blocked as the Giants led 6-3.

The turning point are with 6 minutes left in the half when Hutchinson returned an interception of Jones 20 yards to the Giants 18. Jamaal Williams ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 10-6 Lions. The Lions got it back at their own 32 with 2:19 left in the half. Goff went deep to St. Brown for 32. Williams ran for 15. Goff hit St. Browns or 14. On 3rd and 2 from the Giants 5, Goff hit Wright for 4. Williams ran for the one yard touchdown to make it 17-6 Lions. A 36 yard kickoff return to start the third quarter had the Lions at their own 44. On 3rd and 9, Goff went to Kennedy for 13. Jackson ran for 5 and 10. Deandre Swift gained 16. Williams ran for a one yard touchdown as 3 straight touchdown drives turned a slugfest into a blowout and a 24-6 Lions lead. The Giants managed a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but a Giants fumble meant another short field and a 4 yard swift touchdown to make it 31-12 Lions. The Giants got one more garbage touchdown. Again, this is the exact type of game the Giants lose. 31-18 Lions

 

 

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos — Two of the dumbest teams in the league played for the division cellar. The Broncos have a great defense and no offense. The Raiders have no pass defense and a coach in Josh McDaniels who keeps abandoning the run when it is working. The Raiders moved from their own 26 to a 1st and 10 at the Denver 32. Then an offensive holding call pushed the Raiders out of field goal range. All McDaniels had to do was run the ball to get back into field goal range. Instead, he called 3 straight passes. An incompletion was followed by a completion for no gain. On 3rd and 20, a West Coast Offense dink and dunk pass gained 4 yards. Daniel Carlson had made 41 straight field goals, but McDaniels decided to punt rather than let him try from 56.

The Broncos took over at their own 8 yard line and made it look easy. Russell Wilson hit Dulcich for 15. Defensive pass interference added 18. Wilson hit Cortland Sutton for 16. Wilson went to Kendall Hinton for 32 down to the one. Former Raider Latavius Murray got the yard as the 92 yard drive made it 7-0 Broncos. The Raiders moved from their own 15 to the Denver 27 as the second quarter began. Josh Jacobs had been running well. All Josh McDaniels had to do was keep running the ball. Instead, he had Carr line up with an empty backfield on 1st and 10. Consecutive sacks of Carr killed the drive. Carlson came in for a 46 yard field goal try. After 41 straight makes, this time he was no good wide right. The Raiders moved 57 yards in 13 plays and held the ball for 9 minutes only to come up snake eyes. The Broncos moved from their 36 to a 2rd and 8 at the Raiders 30. The Raiders got a break when a pass from Wilson to Sutton that would have been a first down was dropped. Brandon McManus hit from 48 to make it 10-0 Broncos.

The Raiders after another offensive holding penalty faced 2nd and 19 from their own 16. Carr went deep to Davante Adams for 23. Jacobs gained 4 and 7. Carr hit Mack Hollins for 8. Jacobs gained 11. Carr then went deep to Adams for a 31 yard touchdown. The Raiders were within 10-7 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Broncos took over at their own 14 and soon faced 3rd and 12 at from their own 29. Wilson only gained 8 after a give up slide. The play was over. Yet a defensive unnecessary roughness penalty for a hit on Wilson while he was on the ground gifted the Broncos a new set of downs. Maxx Crosby is a smart player and the call was a questionable one. With 34 seconds left in the half the Raiders needed a miracle and got one. The Broncos had 3rd and 1 at the Raiders 3. Melvin Gordon got the carry and got the yard, but Crosby punched the ball out of Gordon’s hands backward. The broncos retained possession, but only after a 4 yard loss. McManus’s 25 yard field goal try was blocked as this time the Broncos came up snake eyes.

In the third quarter the Raiders defense forced a 3 and out and got the ball back at their own 47. Jacobs ran for 15. On the cusp of field goal range, Josh McDaniels again went for a low percentage pass play on 1st and 10 that was incomplete. Jacobs gained 5 but on 3rd and 5 got stopped for no gain. Nevertheless, utilizing Jacobs allowed Carlson to hit a 52 yard field goal for a 10-10 deadlock. The Broncos soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 36. Wilson went deep to Sutton for 23. On the last play of the third quarter with the Broncos facing 3rd and 6 at the Raiders 26, Wilson was sacked. McManus hit from 52 on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 13-10 Broncos. The Raiders went 3 and out when McDaniels again abandoned the run. Yet with the Broncos facing 3rd and 5 from their own 29, Wilson was sacked again as the Broncos also went 3 and out. The Raiders took over at their own 35. Carr hit Hollins for a pair of 5 yard gains. On 3rd and 11 from their own 44, Carr went deep incomplete but defensive holding gave the Raiders a new set of downs. Jacobs ran for 6, 7 and 4. Yet a false start killed the drive. McDaniels again abandoned the run to kill the drive. Midway through the fourth quarter, Carlson came in for a 57 yard field goal try. He nailed it for a 13-13 ballgame.

The Broncos took over at their 18 and moved to a 3rd and 4 at the Raiders 30. Wilson threw incomplete. McManus nailed a 48 yard field goal to make it 16-13 Broncos with 3 1/2 minutes left. There was plenty of time to run the ball but Josh McDaniels immediately went for 3 passes that gained 4 total yards. With 3 minutes left and only 2 timeouts, he opted to punt. There was a doubt the Raiders would get the ball back. The Raiders appeared dead when Murray on 2nd and 8 ripped off a 12 yard gain. The Raiders took their timeouts on defense. Everything came down to the 2 minute warning. The Broncos faced 3rd and 10 from their own 34. Now it was Nathaniel Hackett’s turn to make a terrible coaching decision. When you have the lead at the 2 minute warning or later and the other team has 0 timeouts, you run the ball every single time. Every. Single. Time.

Hackett called a pass play. Wilson rolled out and under heavy pressure threw incomplete. A running play would have taken the clock down to 1:15, with a punt giving the Raiders the ball back with one minute and 0 timeouts. The Raiders after a punt got the ball back at their own 22, but instead of one minute, they had 1:43 to work with. Hackett’s blunder gave the Raiders an extra 43 seconds. Wilson is a great quarterback, and letting your franchise quarterback try to win the game is understandable. It is also wrong. In that situation, again, you run the ball every single time. The Raiders had life.

Now in the 2 minute drill Carr was in command, without McDaniels there to interfere. With Carr calling the plays and leading the offense, Carr hit Hollins for 7, Keelan Cole for 21, and Jacobs deep for a 43 yard gain. The Broncos took a timeout on defense as the Raiders now had 1st and goal at the 7 with 32 seconds left. Yet the Raiders could not get the win in regulation. Carr threw 3 straight incompletions. Carlson nailed the 25 yard field goal to tie the game 16-16. This rivalry was going to overtime.The Raiders won the coin toss and Amir Abdullah returned the kickoff 28 yards to his own 33. On 2nd and 11, Carr fired over the middle to Foster Moreau for a 33 yard gain. On the next play on a perfectly executed play action pass, Carr went bombs away to a wide open Adams for a 35 yard touchdown. Just like that, in front of a shellshocked home crowd at Mile High, the Raiders had won.

Both teams are 3-7 on the year. The Raiders have beaten Denver twice and Houston, the worst team in the league. Time will tell if the Raiders can beat anyone good. Josh McDaniels deserves plenty of criticism for abandoning the run, but this time it was Nathaniel Hackett abandoning the run that proved to be a fatal mistake. Wilson was 24 of 31 but for only 247 yards. He was sacked 3 times and did not have an interception or a touchdown pass. Carr was 23 of 37 for 307 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Neither team turned the ball over on the day. Jacobs was a bulldozer, running for 109 yards on 24 carries. Josh McDaniels beat his former team twice this year as the Raiders got the season sweep. It was far from pretty, but Al Davis would have liked that last bomb. Just win baby. 22-16 Raiders, OT

 

 

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings — After blowing a 14 point fourth quarter lead and losing at Green Bay, the Cowboys had to travel to face the 8-1 Vikings. The Vikings fumbled on the third play of the game and the Cowboys recovered at the Minnesota 27. On 2nd and 3 from the Minnesota 9, Dak Prescott completed a pass for no gain and then threw an incompletion. Brett Maher hit a 27 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. After a touchback the Vikings moved to a 2nd and 2 at the Dallas 6. Cousins threw incomplete twice. Greg Joseph hit from 25 to make it 3-3. The cowboys soon faced 3rd and 3 from their own 32. Prescott went to Michael Gallup for 14. Tony Pollard ran for 18 and 20. Prescott hit Gallup for 8 and CeeDee Lamb for 6. On 3rd and goal at the one, Ezekiel Elliott got the yard to cap the 10 play, 75 yard, 5 minute drive to make it 10-3 Cowboys. The Cowboys took over in the second quarter at their own 17 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 32. The drive died there but Maher hit from 53 to cap the 14 play, 48 yard, 8 minute drive and make it 13-3 Cowboys.

The Cowboys got it back and soon faced 3rd and 2 just shy of midfield. Tony Pollard gained 7. On 3rd and 1 from the Minnesota 35. Elliott gained 2. Prescott then went to Pollard for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 20-3 Cowboys with 1:43 left in the half. The Cowboys got it back at their own 14 with 30 seconds left. With 13 seconds left from their own 31, Prescott went to Lamb for 27. Mike McCarthy brought in Maher for a 60 yard field goal try to end the half. Maher leveled it and the cowboys led 23-3. The second half saw the Cowboys deliver a beating. After a touchback, Prescott went to Pollard for 10. On 3rd and 14 from their own 32, Prescott went deep to Pollard for a 68 yard touchdown to make it 30-3 Cowboys. A 20 yard punt return gave the Cowboys a short field at the Minnesota 41. On 3rd and 5, Prescott went to Brown for 35 down to the one. Elliott got in to make it 37-3 Cowboys. Maher hit from 50 in the fourth quarter to make it 40-3 Cowboys. In an absolute shocker, the Vikings at home were obliterated. 40-3 Cowboys

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers — The Steelers are a bad team, but they stunned the Bengals in Cincinnati early in the season and were looking for the sweep. A field position game early on had the Bengals at their own 43. That allowed Evan McPherson to hit a 45 yard field goal for the Bengals. The Steelers moved from their own 35 to a 2nd and 7 at the Cincinnati 42. Kenny Pickett threw incomplete twice. Wright hit from 42 for a 3-3 game. The Bengals soon faced 3rd and 1 from their own 30. Perine got stopped but a defensive facemask meant 15 yards. Joe Burrow went to Joe Mixon for 24 and to Perine for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 10-3 Steelers. A 37 yard kickoff return had the Steelers starting the second quarter facing 3rd and 7 from their own 47. Pickett went to Pat Freiermuth for 13. On 3rd and 3 from the Cincinnati 33, Pickett ran for 14. Harris ran for a 19 yard touchdown to make it a 10-10 ballgame.

The Bengals took over at their own 8. On 3rd and 4, Burrow hit Higgins for 24, 6 and 13. Mixon caught a pass from Burrow for 7 and ran for 7 more. Burrow hit Perine for 6, Higgins for 12, and Perine for an 11 yard touchdown to cap the 10 play, 92 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive and make it 17-10 Bengals. The Steelers soon faced 3rd and 6 from their own 39. Pickett threw incomplete but defensive holding meant a new set of downs. On 3rd and 1 from the Cincinnati 47, Johnson got the yard. On 3rd and 5 from the Cincinnati 41, Pickett threw incomplete but defensive pass interference added 16 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Cincinnati 24, Pickett went deep to Pickens for the touchdown to cap the 10 play, 65 yard, 5 minute drive and make it 17-17 with 1:47 left in the half.

The Bengals moved from their 24 to the Pittsburgh 47. Burrow was intercepted by Wallace to set up the Steelers at their own 44 with 30 seconds left. The Steelers moved to the Bengals 14 with 9 seconds left. Pickett completed a useless 2 yard pass to leave only 3 seconds. Wright hit from 30 to make it 20-17 Steelers at the half. The Bengal took over in the third quarter and faced 3rd and 5 at their own 46. Burrow went to Hurst for 7. Burrow went to Higgins for 33. Burrow hit Irwin for a one yard touchdown to make it 24-20 Bengals midway through the third quarter. The Bengals got it back at their own 23 and Burrow was quickly intercepted. The Steelers faced 3rd and 4 from the Cincinnati 15 and Pickett threw incomplete. Wright hit from 34 to get the Steelers within 24-23.

Williams took the ensuing kickoff at his own goal line and brought it to his own 42. The Bengals moved to the Pittsburgh 33. On 3rd and 10, Burrow was sacked for a 3 yard loss. McPherson nailed a 54 yard field goal to make it 27-23 Bengals. A field position game had the Bengals taking over at their own 7. Burrow went deep to Tyler Boyd for 27. Burrow went to Irwin for 32. Burrow went to Boyd for 15. Burrow hit Perine for a 6 yard touchdown as the 93 yard touchdown made it 34-23 Bengals with 4 1/2 minutes left. The Steelers turned it over on downs at their own 28. McPherson hit a 44 yard field goal to make it 37-23 with 3:18 left. The Steelers quickly moved 72 yards. Harris ran in a one yard touchdown to get the Steelers within 7 with 45 seconds remaining. The onside kick failed as the Bengals avenged the earlier loss. 37-30 Bengals

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers was the Sunday night game. The 7-2 Chiefs took on the 5-4 Chargers in a key AFC West matchup. After a touchback to start, the Chiefs moved 60 yards in 11 plays. Yet on 2nd and 4 from the chargers 15, Patrick Mahomes threw incomplete twice. Harrison Butker was back from injury and hit a 33 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chiefs. The Chargers after a touchback struck quickly. Justin Herbert went to Keenan Allen for 17, to Carter for 8 to midfield, and deep to Palmer for a 50 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Chargers. After a touchback the Chiefs moved to a 3rd and 7 at the Chargers 34. Mahomes threw incomplete. Butker delivered from 52 to get the Chiefs within 7-6. The Chargers after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 5 at the Chiefs 28. Herbert threw incomplete twice. Cameron Dicker hit a 46 yard field goal to make it 10-6 Chargers. 

After an offensive penalty, the Chiefs faced 2nd and 21 from their own 14. Mahomes went to Watson for 13. On 3rd and 8, , Mahomes went to Travis Kelce for 34. The Chiefs began the second quarter facing 2nd and 15 from the Chargers 44. Mahomes went deep to Fortson for a 40 yard gain. Mahomes then went to Kelce for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 13-10 Chiefs. The Chargers eventually faced 3rd and 4 from their own 36. Herbert went to Smartt for 6 Herbert went to Carter for 20. On 3rd and 1 from the Chiefs 26, Herbert gained 2. Spiller gained 11. On 3rd and 1 from the Chiefs 4, Horvath gained 3. Austin Ekeler appeared stopped but stretched the ball over the plane of the goal for the touchdown. The 13 play, 70 yard, 7 minute drive had the Chargers up 17-13 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. 

A mistake on the kickoff had the Chiefs starting at their own 6 rather than their own 40. The Chiefs went 3 and out and the Chargers got it back at their own 39 with a full 2:41 left. Herbert hit Allen for 11 to midfield. On 3rd and 7 from the Chiefs 47, Herbert gained only 5 but defensive unnecessary roughness added 15 more. Herbert then hit Palmer for 11. Ekeler got around the end for 9. On 2nd and 1 from the 2, a pitchout to Ekeler lost a yard as the Chargers took their last timeout with 23 seconds left. On 3rd and 2 from the Chiefs 3, Herbert as he was being pulled down threw a dangerous pass over the middle of the end zone that fell incomplete. Dicker hit from 21 to make it 20-13 Chargers.

In the third quarter the Chiefs moved from their own 33 to a 3rd and 1 at the Chargers 10. A run lost a yard. Butker hit the 30 yard field goal to get the Chiefs within 20-16. The Chiefs got it back and a sack of Mahomes had the Chiefs facing 3rd and 17 from their own 7. Mahomes went deep to Watson for 25 and to Gray for 12. On 3rd and 7 from their own 47, Mahomes went to Moore for 15. On the first play of the fourth quarter with the Chiefs facing 3rd and 4 at the Chargers 32, Mahomes went to Kelce for the touchdown as the Chiefs took the 23-20 lead.

The Chargers after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 43. Herbert hit Allen for 13 but Allen fumbled and the Chiefs recovered at their own 22. The Chiefs moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Chargers 40 looking to put the game away. A swing pass lost 2 yards and was fumbled. The Chargers took over at their own 36. On 3rd and 1 from their own 45, Herbert barely got the yard. On 3rd and 18 from their own 38, Herbert went bombs away with perfectly thrown ball that Allen hauled in for a 46 yard gain. Ekeler ran for 3 and 9 to set up 1st and goal at the 4 at the 2 minute warning. Herbert went to Palmer for a 6 yard touchdown. The Chargers had the 27-23 lead, but Mahomes still had 1:46 left to work with. The Chargers did everything right but they scored too early.

After a touchback, Mahojmes went to Marques Valdes-Scantling for 18. On 3rd and 4 just shy of midfield, Mahomes threw incomplete but defensive holding gave the Chiefs a new set of downs with 1:05 left. Mahomes went to Moore for 13. Mahomes then ran for 16 and called the Chiefs 2nd timeout with 37 seconds left. Mahomes then went to Kelce on a perfect crossing route over the middle for a 17 yard touchdown. With 30 seconds left, the Chiefs led by a field goal. After a touchback, Herbert was immediately sacked for a 5 yard loss as the Chargers took their 1st timeout with 26 seconds left. Under heavy pressure, Herbert threw a deep ball off his back foot into triple coverage that was batted up in the air and intercepted. The Chiefs sweet the season series and have a 3 game lead plus the ti-breaker. This effectively means the Chiefs have a 4 game lead with 7 weeks to play. The Chiefs are cruising to their 7th straight AFC West title, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus indeed. 30-27 Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals was the Monday night game from Mexico. Colt McCoy started in place of the injured Kyler Murray. The Cardinals moved from their own 20 to a 2nd and 6 at the San Francisco 22. McCoy went deep incomplete twice. Matt Prater hit a 40 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cardinals. The 49ers eventually faced 3rd and 5 at their own 23. Jimmy Garoppolo hit George Kittle for 6. A defensive facemask added 15. Garoppolo hit Deebo Samuel for 19. Christian McCaffrey ran for 20 to start the second quarter. On 3rd and 5 from the Arizona 7, Garoppolo hit Brndon Aiyuk for the touchdown to make it 7-3 49ers. An interception of McCoy gave the 49ers a short field at the Arizona 46. Three plays later on 3rd and 3, Garoppolo went deep to Kittle for a 39 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 49ers. After a touchback, the Cardinals soon faced 3rd and 6 from their own 40. McCoy connected with Dortch for a 47 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the San Francisco 7, McCoy went to Dortch for 5. James Conner ran for a 2 yard touchdown to get the Cardinals within 14-10.

After that the 49ers turned out the lights and turned a close game into a blowout. The 49ers after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Arizona 21. Garoppolo threw incomplete twice. Robbie Gould hit a 39 yard field goal to make it 17-10 49ers with 43 seconds left in the half. The 48ers began the third quarter facing 3rd and 1 from their own 34. Garoppolo gained 3. Mitchell then gained 4, 7 and 9. Samuel got around the end for a 39 yard touchdown to make it 24-10 49ers. The 49ers got it back with a short field at the Arizona 47. Mitchell gained 9 and 19. Garoppolo hit McCaffrey for 12. Garoppolo went to Aiyuk for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 31-10 49ers after three quarters. Early in the fourth quarter the Cardinals went for it on 4th and 4 from midfield and McCoy threw incomplete. Garoppolo went to Kittle for a 32 yard touchdown to complete the scoring. 38-10 49ers

NFL 2022 Week 11 Prequel

November 16th, 2022

NFL 2022 Week 11 Prequel

Thursday, November 17, 2022, 8pm

Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers (-3 1/2) — The Packers mounted a furious home rally against Dallas to snap a five game losing streak, but let’s not jump back on the Green Bay Bandwagon. Aaron Rodgers is better than Ryan Tannehill, but the Titans have a very good defense. Cold weather will not stop Derrick Henry. The Titans are the better team, and cold weather is meant for hard running and defense. Upset special, Titans win outright

Sunday, November 20, 1pm

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons (-3) — These teams have occasional flashes of good football but not often enough to be good teams. Nothing stands out on either side, so just take the home field. Falcons cover

Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens (-12) — This is just a mismatch. Lamar Jackson will run wild and throw whenever he wants. The Panthers do not have the personnel to stop him. With the game at the Big Crabcake, expect Jackson to impose his will. Ravens cover

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills (-8 1/2) — The Bills will be enraged after an overtime home loss against Minnesota. The Bills blew the game. They will take their frustration out on the Browns. Jacoby Brissett is competent, but the Bills defense will be out for blood. So will Josh Allen. Bills cover

Washington Commanders (-3 1/2) at Houston Texans — After an emotional win that knocked Philadelphia from the unbeaten ranks, the Commanders have to guard against a letdown. Luckily for them, the Texans are hapless. Ron Rivera is too disciplined and focused to let his players suffer a hangover. Taylor Heinecke has been playing well. The Commanders tend to play close games. Commanders win but fail to cover

Philadelphia Eagles (-6 1/2) at Indianapolis Colts — Jeff Saturday has never lost a game as head coach. He is undefeated. The Eagles are not. Now for the reality check. The Eagles are the far better team. They have too many weapons. They will be angry after a loss. A garbage touchdown by the Colts is possible. Eagles win but fail to cover

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-3 1/2) — The Jets are an improved team, but Bill Belichick lives to humiliate them. Both teams are playing good defense. Mac Jones vs Zach Wilson is a wash. The Patriots have the better running game with Raimondre Stevenson. Patriots cover

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-4) — The Saints are average at best, but the wheels have fallen off the Rams. The Rams offense is sputtering and the Saints have a solid defense. The Rams have the superstars, but the Saints play team defense. Saints win but fail to cover

Detroit Lions at New York Giants (-3) — The Giants are the far better team. This is the type of game that Giants fans expect their team to lose. The Lions do put points on the board but their defense cannot stop anyone. Saquon Barkley is running well and Daniel Jones is making fewer big mistakes. At home, trust the Giants to take care of business. The Lions won their first road game in two years last week. They will not win consecutive road games. Giants cover

4pm

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-2 1/2) — Both teams are awful. The Raiders have a terrible coach. Josh McDaniels has failed with both of these teams. The Raiders are without the injured Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. The Broncos have a very good defense and no offense. The Raiders have blown multiple fourth quarter leads and last week lost to a coach who had never coached before. Home field has not mattered in this series. If Josh Jacobs can take the pressure off of Derek Carr, the Raiders will be able to win. The Raiders have no secondary, but Russell Wilson has regressed. Upset special, Raiders win outright

Dallas Cowboys (-1) at Minnesota Vikings — After blowing a 14 point fourth quarter lead for the first time in franchise history, somehow the Cowboys are favored against the 8-1 Vikings. Yes, the Vikings needed dumb luck to beat Buffalo. No matter, they won because Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are the real deal. Upset special, Vikings win outright

Cincinnati Bengals (-4 1/2) at Pittsburgh Steelers — Home field has not mattered in this series. The Bengals are the better team, and Joe Burrow is much more seasoned than Kenny Pickett. Burrow has more weapons. The Bengals have the better running game with Joe Mixon. The Bengals have the better defense. Throw out the records with this hated rivalry. Bengals win but fail to cover

8pm

Kansas City Chiefs (-5 1/2) at Los Angeles Chargers — The Chiefs offense is clicking on all cylinders. The Chargers are their typical underachieving selves. Patrick Mahomes has so many more weapons than Justin Herbert. Walrus Andy Reid is a much better coach than Brandon Staley. This could be a close game, but betting against the Chiefs has been a fool’s errand in recent years. Chiefs win but fail to cover

Monday, November 21, 8pm

San Francisco 49ers (-8) at Arizona Cardinals in Mexico — The 49ers had a good comeback win against the Chargers. The Cardinals beat the Rams, but the Cardinals are still a mess. Jimmy Garoppolo has been playing disciplined, while Kyler Murray tends to rely on raw talent. Deandre Hopkins can only do so much. Garoppolo has George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. The 49ers have the better defense. The 49ers win too ugly to trust a high spread for a road team. 49ers win but fail to cover

eric

Donald Trump declares his 2024 presidential campaign

November 16th, 2022
I voted for Donald Trump twice. I thought he did an excellent job as President. I felt he was a liability in the most recent midterms. His chosen candidates were not very good and the votes reflected that. I did not want him to run again. I still do not want him to run again.
However, he has now announced he is running. The decision has been made. I will not be supporting him in the 2024 GOP primary, but I will not be openly opposing him either. I will support whoever the nominee is and most likely let the primaries sort that out without my interference.
I have heard Mr. Trump give good speeches and bad speeches. For the most part, his announcement tonight was a good speech. There were two reasons it was good. For the most part, he stuck to policy. He was on message. He mentioned his policy successes and contrasted that with the failures of the Biden administration.
His tone was calm. When he rages on, he comes across as a lunatic. That is why Hillary Clinton and Liz Warren cannot get elected President. They keep screaming. Trump is at his best when he speaks in the calm, quiet voice Kelly Anne Conway taught him. When he speaks wildly and strays off script, he is a rambling disaster. When he speaks calmly and stays on message, he is very effective. Tonight, for the most part with only one or two tangents, he was calm, focused, and presidential.
His biggest flaw is his inability to stay disciplined and stay on message. His speech tonight was still too long. He could have cut out 15-20 minutes in the second half of his speech that was repetitive. Nevertheless, he went out of his way to make the speech about the people and not about him.
I will most likely stay neutral in the 2024 GOP primary, but I will absolutely support the 2024 GOP nominee. Nancy Pelosi has been fired. Now Joe Biden must also be fired. Any Republican is a better option than what Democrats offer.
Mr. Trump has lost credibility in recent weeks. However, if he can focus his speeches like a laser on policy and only on policy, he can regain that credibility. Helping Herchel Walker get elected to the Senate would help his cause. He must shut up when it comes to insulting fellow Republicans. In this speech, he only went after Democrats. He made it about policy, not personal attacks. He must keep doing that.
Bring down inflation. Bring down crime. Return parental rights to parents and crack down on rogue education bureaucrats. Cut taxes. Defang the administrative state. Crush radical Islam. Return to a pro-Israel foreign policy. Crack down on the Southern border. Save our kids from dying from fentanyl, inner city violence, and general despair. Eliminate government mandates. End economic decline, military decline, and cultural decline. Restore energy dominance, military dominance, and economic dominance. Hire judges committed to strict Constitutionalism and reign in rogue government agencies.
These are policies, and Trump rightly focused on them.
The speech is in the books. Now we see what unfolds.

NFL 2022 Week 10 Recap

November 13th, 2022

NFL 2022 Week 10 Recap

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers was the Thursday night game. Rainy conditions made for a less than exciting game. Eddie Pineiro hit a 46 yard first quarter field goal for the Panthers. A field position game in the second quarter had a short 31 yard punt giving the Panthers the ball at the Atlanta 43. Two plays later Shenault ran for a 41 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Panthers. Two plays later an interception of Marcus Mariota meant another short field for the Panthers at the Atlanta 45. Pineiro hit again from 49 to make it 13-0 Panthers with 1:47 left in the half. 

The Falcons quickly moved to a 2nd and 5 at the Carolina 17 with 21 seconds left. Mariota completed a 2 yard pass and then had to spike the ball with 4 seconds left. That made it 4th down, so the Falcons settled for a 33 yard Younghoe Koo field goal to trail 13-3. A third quarter field position game had the Falcons taking over at the Carolina 42. Defensive pass interference added 11 yards. Tyler Allgeier ran for a pair of 6 yard gains. Huntley added 11 more. Mariota hit London for a 7 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Falcons trailed 13-9. The Panthers took over at their own 16. PJ Walker hit Marshall for a 43 yard gain. Walker went to Smith for 17. Foreman ran for the 12 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good as the Panthers led 19-9 after three quarters. The Panthers got it back at their own 24 to st art the fourth quarter and moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Atlanta 22. Walker threw incomplete. Pineiro hit again from 40 to have the Panthers up 22-9 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. 

With under 5 1/2 minutes left the Falcons took over at their own 3 yard line. On 3rd and 3, Mariota scrambled for 14. On 2nd and 16 from their own 18, Mariota went to Byrd for 21 and 18, to Pitts for 18, and to Hodge for a 25 yard touchdown. The 97 yard drive had the Falcons within 22-15 with 3 minutes left. The extra point was again no good. The Panthers went 3 and out and the Falcons got it back at their own 34 with 2 1/2 minutes left. A pair of sacks of Mariota killed the drive and gave the Panthers the ball at the Atlanta 19 with 1:50 left. The Panthers took the clock down to 10 seconds and brought in Pineiro for a 37 yard field goal try to lock up the win. Despite a tough night for extra points and a rough season for Pineiro in general, this time he was good. 25-15 Panthers

 

Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the Sunday early morning game from Munich. Ryan Succop missed a 52 yard field goal for the Buccaneers as the first quarter was scoreless. The Buccaneers got it back at their own 12. White ran for 3, 10 and 4. On 3rd and 1 from their own 34, White gained 8. On 3rd and 2 from midfield, Leonard Fournette gained 7. The second quarter began with the Buccaneers at the Seattle 42. Tom Brady went to Mike Evans for 11. On 3rd and 10 from the Seattle 31, Brady went to Julio Jones for the touchdown to cap the 13 play, 88 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive and make it 7-0 Buccaneers. The Buccaneers got it back and soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 22. Brady went to Evans for 5. Fournette had gains of 2, 10, 3 and 4. On 3rd and 3 just past midfield, Brady hit Miller for just enough. Brady then went to Chris Godwin for 19 and Miller for 22. Fournette ran for 4 and then got the one yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Buccaneers. The Seahawks could not get anything going on offense. Jason Myers hit a third quarter 55 yard field goal to get the Seahawks on the board. After an exchange of turnovers the Buccaneers took over at their own 13. On 3rd and 7, Brady went to Godwin for 12. White ran for 29. The fourth quarter began with Brady hitting Cade Otton for 25. On 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 7, White gained 3. Brady went to Godwin for a 4 yard touchdown as the Buccaneers led comfortably 21-3 with 11 minutes left.

The Seahawks mounted a furious rally. From their own 23, Geno Smith hit Kenneth Walker for 23, 13 and 7. Smith then went to Fant for 8. Smith hit Tyler Lockett for a 21 yard touchdown. The 2 point conversion try failed but the Seahawks were within 21-9 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Buccaneers took over at there own 23. From their own 36, Brady was intercepted. The Seahawks took over with a short field at the Tampa 45. On 3rd and 3, Smith went to Lockett for 10. With 4 minutes left the Seahawks were down to their last gasp facing 4th and 1 at the Tampa 19. Smith went to Marquise Goodwin for the touchdown. Just like that, the Seahawks were within 21-16. They needed to get the ball back. The Buccaneers took over at their own 17. On 2nd and 9, Brady went to Godwin for 13. White ran for gains of 3 and 12. Brady went to Jones for 17 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. White ripped off an 18 yard gain. Brady then took 3 knees as the Seahawks never got the ball back. Brady became the first quarterback to win games in the United States, Great Britain and Germany. 21-16 Buccaneers

Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills — Both of these teams have lost 4 Super Bowls, but they both entered this game as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The Vikings began at their own 26. On 3rd and 11, Kirk Cousins went deep to Justin Jefferson for 46 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Buffalo 22, Cousins went to Jefferson for the touchdown and the 7-0 Vikings lead. Duke Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 43 yards to set the Bills up at the Minnesota 47. Josh Allen went to Stefan Diggs for 7 with a horse collar tackle adding 15. . Singletary added 21 and then ran for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. 

The Bills got it back at their own 30 and Allen hit Davis for 19. On 3rd and 3 from the Minnesota 44, Allen went to Isaiah McKenzie for 8 and Diggs for 16. On 3rd and 11 from the Minnesota 21, Allen ran for 12. Jared Cook ran for 8 and Singletary got the last yard to cap the 10 play, 70 yard, 5 minute drive and make it 14-7 Bills. Two plays after a touchback, Cousins went deep and was intercepted by Benford, who returned the pick 35 yards to the Minnesota 27. The second quarter had the Bills with 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 14. A run lost a yard and Allen threw incomplete twice. Tyler Bass hit the 34 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Bills.

A 39 yard kickoff return by Nwangwu had the Vikings taking over at their own 45. On 3rd and 7, Cousins went to Jefferson for 14. Mattison gained 9 and 7. On 3rd and 10 from the Buffalo 22, Cousins went to Osborn for 20. Yet 1st and goal at the 2 saw a run lose 5 yards followed by offensive pass interference costing 10 more. Greg Joseph hit a 27 yard field goal to get the Vikings within 17-10. The Bills took over at their own 10 and moved to a 2nd and 1 at the Minnesota 34. Singletary got the carry and gained 7 but then fumbled. Bynum returned the fumble 40 yards to the Buffalo 37. On 3rd and 1 from the Buffalo 28 at the 2 minute warning, Cousins threw incomplete. Kevin O’Connell went for it. On 4th and 1, Cousins threw incomplete. Allen scrambled for 25. Allen went to Diggs for 14 and Gabe Davis for 15. Allen went to Diggs for 6 and Davis for the 11 yard touchdown as the Bills took a 24-10 lead to the locker rooms. In the third quarter the Bills moved from their own 27 to a 3rd and 2 at the Minnesota 22. Johnson got stopped. Bass hit a 45 yard field goal as the Bills led 27-10 late in the third quarter. The rest of this game was insane. 

17 seconds later Dalvin Cook was in the end zone after an 81 yard touchdown run that got the Vikings within 27-17. The Bills took over at their own 26 and moved 67 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. On 2nd and 2 from the Minnesota 7, Allen threw the ball away incomplete. On 3rd and 2, Allen threw incomplete again. Sean McDermott decided to go for it. On 4th and 2, Allen went to the end zone and was intercepted by Patrick Peterson, who returned the interception 39 yards to the Minnesota 34. On 4th and 1 from his own 43 with 9 minutes left in regulation, Kevin O’Connell had to go for it. Osborn  gained 2. On 4th and 6 just shy of midfield, the Vikings again stayed alive as Cousins went to TJ Hockenson for 12. Cousins went to Ada Thielen for 21 and ran for 15 himself. CJ Ham ran for a 3 yard touchdown. The Bills had every chance under the sun to put the game away. Instead the Vikings only trailed 27-23 with 4 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Joseph missed the extra point no good, a key miss.

The Bills went 3 and out and the Vikings got it back at their own 24 with 3 1/2 minutes left. Cousins hit Osborn for 5 and Thielen for 6. At the 2 minute warning after a sack, the Vikings were down to their last gasp facing 4th and 18 at their own 27. Cousins scrambled for his life and threw a deep prayer. Jefferson made a leaping one-handed grab with a defender draped all over him and somehow secured the reception for a 32 yard gain in front of a stunned Buffalo home crowd. Cousins then went to Thielen for 9 with defensive unnecessary roughness adding 15 more. Cousins then went to Jefferson for 14 to set up 1st and goal at the 3 with 1:09 left. The Bills took a timeout on defense. Cousins tried to go up the middle but lost 3 yards as the Bills took another timeout. Cousins then threw incomplete to set up 3rd and goal at the 6 with one minute left. Then things got really crazy. 

Cousins went to Jefferson near the goal line. Jefferson caught the ball, rolled over a defender, and got in the end zone for the touchdown. Yet on further review, Jefferson’s elbow was down short of the goal. The Bills took their last timeout with 57 seconds left. Now it was 4th and goal at the one. Cousins rolled out and had a wide open Cook. Cook dropped it. Yet this time the Bills had jumped offside. Again, it was still 4th and goal. The Vikings were inches short. Cousins took the quarterback sneak as all the bodies converged. At first Cousins appeared stopped, but a second effort got him closer. Yet was denied. The inspired goal line stand had the Buffalo defense celebrating. With 50 seconds remaining, the Bills had won. Normally at this point Allen could take a knee, but he was too close to his own goal line. He had to either sneak the ball or hand it off. Then this insane game went truly psychotic. 

Allen fumbled the quarterback-center exchange. A mad scramble ensued in the Buffalo end zone. The Buffalo defense saved the game and the Buffalo offense gave it away. The Vikings recovered for the gift touchdown. 20 unanswered points had the Vikings up 30-27. Yet because of the missed extra point, the Bills needed only a field goal to force overtime. From their own 20, they had 35 seconds to work with. Allen went to Dawson Knox for 12 and 8, to Davis for 20, and to McKenzie for 15. With 11 seconds left, the Bills had 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 25. The Bills even had a chance to win in regulation. A deep ball was incomplete. Defensive pass interference added 14 yards down to the 11, but only 2 seconds remained. Bass came in for the 29 yard field goal try. The kick was good, and this spectacular game was headed to overtime tied 30-30.

In overtime, the Vikings after a touchback moved 60 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 2nd and 22 from their own 45, Cousins threw deep incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 19 yard gain and a new set of downs. On 3rd and 10 from the Buffalo 26, Cousins went to Jefferson for 24 yards. A touchdown would win the game but a field goal would still give the Bills a chance with the ball. On 1st and goal at the 2, a run lost 3 yards and Cousins was sacked. After another incompletion, Joseph came in to give the Vikings the lead. Joseph hit from 33 as the Vikings led by 3. Yet the Bills took over at their own 28 with a full 3 1/2 minutes left. Allen ran for big gains of 18 and 20. With 1:25 left in overtime, the Bills had 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 20. Time was no longer a factor. After an incompletion came the deciding play of the game. A field goal try would only be 38 yards. Allen wanted it all. He went to the end zone and again was intercepted by Peterson. A Super Bowl rematch of this epic game would be worth it. Meanwhile, the Bills fell to 6-3 and the Vikings are 8-1 on the year and winning big games in the biggest of ways. 33-30 Vikings, OT

 

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears — A pair of bad teams added to their storied but irrelevant rivalry. In the first quarter Cairo Santos hit a 33 yard field goal for the Bears and Mike Badly answered from 25 for a 3-3 game. The Lions began the second quarter facing 3rd and 14 at their own 16. Jared Goff went to Raymond for 21. On 2nd and 13 from their own 34, Goff hit St Brown for big gains of 14, 22 and 20. On 3rd and goal at the one, Deandre Swift lost a yard. Dan Campbell went for it. On 4th and goal at the 2, Goff hit Wright for the touchdown to make it 10-3 Lions. The Bears soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Justin Fields ran for 8. On 3rd and 5 from their own 46, Fields went to Byron Pringle for 12. Khalil Herbert ran for 7. Fields added 6 and Herbert gained 11 more. Fields went to Mooney for 13. With 21 seconds left in the half, the Bears had 3rd and goal at the one. Out of the shotgun, Fields somehow avoided a sack, scrambled for his life, met 2 defenders at the goal line, and banged into them for the touchdown. The 15 play, 75 yard, 7 minute drive had the game deadlocked 10-10 at the intermission.  

The Bears took over at their 24 in the third quarter. Fields went to Mooney for 16. On 3rd and 5 from their own 45, Fields went to Mooney for 22. On 3rd and 1 from the Detroit 24, Pettis ran for 8. Fields hit Ket for a 6 yard touchdown to cap the 10 play, 76 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive and make it 17-10 Bears. The Bears got it back at their own 29. Herbert ran for 12 and 9.  Fields then went deep to Kmet for a 50 yard touchdown to put the Bears up 24-10 after three quarters. 

The Lions got the ball early in the fourth quarter at their own 45. Goff ran for 10 with defensive unnecessary roughness adding 15 more. Goff hit Jackson for 8. On 1st and 10 from the Chicago 14, Goff was intercepted but Johnson was called for his 2nd straight defensive illegal use of hands penalty.  On the next play, Swift ran for a 9 yard touchdown to get the lions within 24-17. The Bears soon faced 2nd and 18 from their own 17. Fields under heavy pressure threw an ill-advised pass into traffic that was intercepted by Okudah. Okudah returned the interception 20 yards for a touchdown and a 24-24 game with 10 1/2 minutes left.

Three plays after seeing the worst of Fields, we saw his best. On 3rd and 2 from his own 33, Fields ran around and took off for a 67 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Bears led 30-24 with 9 minutes left. After an exchange of punts, the Lions took over at their own 9 yard line with 5 1/2 minutes left. Jamaal Williams ran for 11. Goff went to Raymond for 20. On 3rd and 8 from their own 42, Goff hit Kennedy for a 44 yard gain. Goff went to St. Brown for 13 more down to the one. Williams got in. With 2:21 left, the missed extra point loomed large as the Lions led by a point. The Bears took over at their own 20 needing only a field goal to win against a terrible Detroit defense. With one minute left, on 4th and 8 from his own 32, Fields was sacked. For the first time in 2 years, the Lions won a road game. 31-30 Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs — Walrus Andy Reid faced off against Doug “Little Andy” Pederson. Pederson began with a successful surprise onside kick. Yet the Jaguars offense is a work in progress, and they did not take advantage of the good field position. The Chiefs drove deep but fumbled the ball away. The Chiefs got it back at their own 20 and got down to business. Patrick Mahomes went deep to Travis Kelce for a 46 yard gain. Mahoems hit Fortson for 6 and Pacheco ran for 9. Mahomes went to Toney for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. Riley Patterson in the second quarter missed a 51 yard field goal try for the Jaguars. The Chiefs took over at their own 41 and quickly capitalized. Toney ran for a 32 yard gain and Pacheco added 9. Mahomes went to Marques Valdes-Scantling for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Chiefs. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Chiefs took over at their own 14. On 3rd and 1, Mahomes threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. Mahomes went to Toney for 23 and McKinnon for 8. Mahomes ran for 12. Mahomes went to Noah Gray for a 13 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Chiefs led 20-0 with 46 seconds left in the half. 

The Jaguars took over at their 39 with 39 seconds left. Trevor Lawrence went to Jones for 33. Lawrence then ran for 18. Lawrence hit Christian kirk for a 3 yard touchdown with 11 seconds left in the half to get the Jaguars within 20-7. The Jaguars then got a tremendous break when the Chiefs fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Yet Patterson missed again from 41 to end the half. His misses are why the Jaguars were not within 20-13. After a third quarter touchback, the Jaguars embarked on a staggering 17 play drive that went 58 yards and took over 9 minutes off the clock. On 2nd and goal at the 4, Lawrence went to Evan Engram for the touchdown. Yet an ineligible man downfield nullified the touchdown. On 3rd and goal at the 9 after an incompletion, Lawrence was sacked. This time Patterson hit from 35 to get the Jaguars within 20-10. The Chiefs soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Mahomes went to McKinnon for 19. On 3rd and 6 from the Jags 44, Mahomes went to Kelce for 10, McKinnon for 8, and Toney for 22. Mahomes went to Kelce for a 7 yard touchdown. The Chiefs led 27-10 after three quarters and were never threatened. The Jaguars reached the end zone again with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation, but the Chiefs moved 61 yards in 11 plays and bled the entire clock. The teacher beat the student, getting the Chiefs to 7-2 and making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus indeed. 27-17 Chiefs

Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins — Ford returned the opening kickoff 48 yards to set up the Browns at their own 47. On the first play from scrimmage, Jacoby Brissett went deep to Donovan Peoples-Jones for 38. On 3rd and 4 from the Miami 9, the Dolphins jumped into the neutral zone. Brissett hit Bryant for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Browns. The Dolphins took over at their own 16. Raheem Mosetert had gained of 7 and 2. The Dolphins soon faced 4th and 1 at their own 36. Mike McDaniel is the young kid coaching the Dolphins who is too inexperienced to know he should punt in that situation and play field position. He went for it and Wilson gained 4 yards. Tua Tagovailoa went deep to Sherfield for 18. Wilson gained 18 and 11. Tagovailoa then went to Alec Ingold for a 13 yard touchdown to culminate the 10 play 84 yard, 6 minute drive and make it a 7-7 game.

The Browns after a touchback moved 44 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 2nd and 10 from the Miami 34, Nick Chubb gained 3 and then fumbled. The Dolphins took over at their own 29 as the second quarter began. On 1st and 10 from the Cleveland 25, a running play was blown up for a 6 yard loss to kill the drive. Jason Sanders hit a 39 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Dolphins. After a touchback. the Browns moved to a 3rd and 2 from the Miami 41. Kareem Hunt lost a yard but Kevin Stefanski gambled on 4th and 3, Kevin Stefanski went for it and on 4th and 3, Brissett threw incomplete. The Dolphins quickly moved from their own 42 to a 2nd and 1 at the Cleveland 14. Mostert got stopped up the middle. Smythe then got stopped up the middle. Mike McDaniel went for it. This time Wilson carried up the middle on 4th and 1 and lost a yard. The Dolphins got it back at their own 47 with 1:22 left in the half. Tagovailoa went to Mike Gesicki for 15. On 3rd and 7 from the Cleveland 30, Tagovailoa went to Jalen Waddle for just enough.Tagovailoa went to Sherfield for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Dolphins at the half. 

The Dolphins began the third quarter at their own 30 and moved quickly to put the game away. Tagovailoa hit Wilson for 14, Ingold for 9, and Gesicki for 16. Mostert ran for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 24-7  Dolphins. The Browns after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 4 at the Miami 19. Brissett threw incomplete. Needing 3 scores, Kevin Stefanski opted for the field goal. York hit from 37 to get the Browns within 24-10. They got no closer. The Dolphins soon faced 3rd and 10 from their own 23. Tagovailoa went to Waddle for 15 and Tyreek Hill for 16. Wilson caught a pass from Tagovailoa for 7 and then ran for 5. Mostert added 10. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Tagovailoa went to Hill for the touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Dolphins led 30-10 after three quarters.

The Browns began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 1 from their own 33. Hunt gained 2. Brissett went to Bell for 13 and Peoples-Jones for 19. Chubb ran for a 33 yard touchdown to get the Browns within 30-17 with 13 minutes left in regulation. Midway through the fourth quarter, Sanders tacked on a 33 yard field goal to make it 33-17 Dolphins. The Browns had to go for it on 4th and 7 at their own 28. Brissett was sacked. One play and 6 seconds later, Wilson had another touchdown. Despite a 2nd missed extra point, the Dolphins won easily to get to 7-3 on the year. 39-17 Dolphins

Houston Texans at New York Giants — Nobody plays down to the level of their competition like the Giants. On their first drive they faced 3rd and 2 from their own 40. Daniel Jones hit Robinson for 9 and Saquon Barkley for 8. On 3rd and 1 from the Houston 42, Barkley gained 2. Jones went to Darrius Slayton for 36. Jones went to Cager for a 9 yard touchdown to finish the 10 play, 68 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive and make it 7-0 Giants. Kaimi Fairbairn hit a 38 yard second quarter field goal as the Texans only trailed 7-3 at the intermission. After a third quarter touchback, Barkley ran for 8 and 12. On 3rd and 9 from their own 46, Jones connected with Darrius Slayton for a 54 yard touchdown and a 14-3 Giants lead. After a touchback and a pair of 5 yard runs, Davis Mills hit Akins for 9, Moore for 23, and Akins for 17. Roughing the passer added 8 more. Mills went to Collins for a 12 yard touchdown to have the Texans right back in it down 14-10 midway through the third quarter.

The Giants soon faced 3rd and 7 from their own 29. Jones hit Robinson for 11. Barkley ran for 2 and 13. On 3rd and 7 from the Houston 42, Jones went to Hodgins for 26. Matt Breida ran for 9 Barkley ran for a 2 yard touchdown. The 12 play, 74 yard, 6 minute drive put the Giants up 21-10 after three quarters. The fourth quarter belonged to the field goal kickers. Fairbairn hit from 34 to get the Texans within 21-13 with 2:22 left in regulation. The onside kick failed. The Texans took their timeouts on defense. Graham Gano hit a 49 yard field goal with 1:55 left to make it 24-13 Giants. After a touchback, Mills hit Moore for 25, Rex Burkhead for 15, and Philip Dorsett for 18 to give the Texans 1st and 10 at the Giants 17. Yet they needed 2 scores and only 44 seconds remained. Mills was then sacked. By the time Fairbairn hit the 46 yard field goal, only 7 seconds remained. The onside kick again failed. The Giants may win ugly, but they are 7-2 on the year. 24-16 Giants

New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers — A pair of bad teams met, although the Saints have a decent defense. A field position game had the Steelers taking over at their own 43. Najee Harris ran for 5 and 7. On 4th and 2 from the Saints 37, Mike Tomlin decided to go for it rather than try a 55 yard field goal. Kenny Pickett hit Warren for 7. Defensive pass interference added 11. On 3rd and goal at the one, George Pickens got in. The 12 play, 57 yard, 6 minute drive made it 7-0 Steelers. The Steelers got it back at their own 20 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Saints 20. A run lost a yard followed by an incompletion meant 3rd and 11. A completion only gained 6. Matt Wright hit a 33 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Steelers in the second quarter. 

The Saints moved from their own 34 to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 26. The drive died there but Wil Lutz hit a 44 yard field goal to get the Saints on the board. The Saints got it back at their own 29 with 1:53 left in the half. Red Rifle Andy Dalton went to Jarvis Landry for 17. On 3rd and 4 from the Pittsburgh 48, Dalton went to Johnson for 10 and 8. Unnecessary roughness added 15. Dalton went to Johnson for a 15 yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in the half for a 10-10 game. In the third quarter Wright missed a 39 yard field goal that would have given the Steelers the lead. The Steelers got it back at their own 2 yard line and moved 83 yards in 11 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. The fourth quarter began with the Steelers facing 3rd and 2 at the Saints 12. Pickett was sacked. Wright hit from 33 to put the Steelers up 13-10 one minute into the fourth quarter. The Saints soon faced 3rd and 5 from their own 30. Dalton was intercepted to set the Steelers up at the New Orleans 44. Pickett went to Warren for 26. On 3rd and 6 from the Saints 12, Pickett went to Warren for 7. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Pickett threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Pickett got in to lock up the win with 8 1/2 minutes left. 20-10 Steelers

 

Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans — Both teams have a great defense. The Titans play stone age football with Derrick Henry while the Broncos have no offense at all. Ryan Tannehill returned from injury. After a scoreless first quarter, the Broncos took over in the second quarter at their own 20. On 3rd and 6 from their 34, Russell Wilson went deep to Virgil for a 66 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Broncos lead.  The Broncos got it back at their own 38 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Tennessee 22. A run gained only one yard and Wilson threw incomplete twice. Brandon McManus hit a 39 yard field goal to put the Broncos up 10-0 with 2:23 left in the half. The Broncos defense was dominating, but the 2 minute drill proved decisive. 

At the 2 minute warning the Titans faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Tannehill went to Robert Woods for 6. Tannehill then went to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Tannehill went to Austin Hooper for 5, to Westbrook-Ikhine for 6, to Burks for 6, and to Woods for 4. Tannehill ran for 11. With 16 seconds left in the half, the Titans faced 3rd and goal at the 9. Tannehill went to Westbrook-Ikhine for the touchdown as the Titans trailed 10-7 at the half. Midway through the third quarter the Titans took over at their own 20. Tannehill went to Burks for 15. Mike Vrabel then went to the bag of tricks. A perfectly executed flea flicker saw Tannehill go deep to a wide open Westbrook-Ikhine for a 63 yard touchdown and a 14-10 Titans lead. Midway through the fourth quarter the Titans had moved from their own 42 to a 3rd and 2 at the Denver 34. Malik Willis came in for one play. Willis lost 4 yards and fumbled the ball away. The Titans got it back at their own 20 and moved 63 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd and 7 from the Denver 17, Tannehill threw incomplete. Randy Bullock hit a 35 yard field goal to put the Titans up by 7 with 3 minutes left. The Broncos after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 4 at the Tennessee 21 with 41 seconds left in the game. An incompletion and a sack of Wilson meant 4th and 13. Then the defense jumped offside to set up a critical 4th and 8 with 20 seconds left. Wilson went deep and was intercepted at the goal line. The Titans bounced back from a brutal overtime loss last week to win for the 6th time in their last 7 games. 17-10 Titans

Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders — The Raiders were a 2-6 mess, but they were at home and facing the one team they should have been able to beat. After last week’s loss, the lifeless Colts fired Frank Reich. In an absolute shocker, owner Jim Irsay plucked former Colts center Jeff Saturday out of the ESPN booth and named him interim coach. Saturday has never coached an NFL or college game. Saturday named Parks Frazier the play-caller, despite the 30 year old Frazier having never called plays before. Saturday also made one other key decision. Reich’s last decision before he was fired was to bench Matt Ryan for the remainder of the season and elevate 2nd year Sam Ehlinger. Saturday named Matty Ice the starter. The Raiders were without the injured Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller, but the Raiders were playing against an organization that still had no idea who did what or why.

The Raiders immediately went 3 and out, as did the Colts. The Raiders under a hail of offensive penalties punted on 4th and 29. AJ Cole delivered a 67 yard punt, but the Colts took over at their own 30. Ryan hit Pittman for 9. On 3rd and 2 from midfield, Ryan hit Pittman for 6. Ryan went to Granson for 32. On 3rd and 4 from the Raiders 5, a swing pass from Ryan to Jonathan Taylor followed by several terrible attempts at tackling turned a loss into a 4 yard gain. Ryan got the last yard himself for a 7-0 Colts lead. The Colts got it back at their own 20 and moved 50 yards in 10 plays and nearly 5 minutes. On 2nd and 3 from the Raiders 30, Taylor got stopped for no gain. On 3rd and 3, Ryan threw incomplete. Chase McLaughlin hit from 48 to make it 10-0 Colts in the second quarter. 

The Raiders after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 2 at the Indianapolis 44. Josh Jacobs got stopped. Josh McDaniels gambled on 4th and 2. He properly called for Jacobs to get the ball, but went with a pitchout rather than bulldoze straight ahead. Jacobs got stopped for a 3 yard loss as the hapless Raiders were doing nothing right. The Colts had all the momentum from their own 47. From the Raiders 42, Ryan went to Coutee for a 20 yard gain. Yet Coutee had the ball chopped out of his hands and Brown recovered for the Raiders at their own 21. 

Carr hit Jacobs for 9 and Foster Moreau for 21. On 4th and 1 from the Indianapolis 37, Josh McDaniels again went for it. This time Jacobs banged ahead for a tough 2 yards. Jacobs then ran for 22. On 3rd and 1 from the Indy 4, Carr went to Moreau for the touchdown. With one minute left in the half, the Raiders were within 10-7. Yet that was more than enough time for the Raiders defense to melt down. After a touchback, Ryan hit Granson for gains of 6, 6 and 13. With 8 seconds left, on 3rd and 4 from the Raiders 39, Taylor gained 9. That turned a 57 yard field goal try into a 48 yard try. McLaughlin delivered and the Colts led 13-7. After a third quarter touchback the Colts had a golden opportunity to double up and put the game away. An 11 play, 45 yard, 6 minute drive had the Colts facing 3rd and 1 from the Raiders 16. This time Ryan was sacked for a 14 yard loss. McLaughlin’s 48 yard field goal try doinked off the upright no good. 

The Raiders took over at their own 38. Jacobs banged out a pair of 6 yard gains. Carr went to Adams for gains of 9 and 11. On 2nd and 12 from the Indianapolis 30, a completion gained only 3 yards but defensive illegal use of hands meant an automatic first down. On 2nd and 20 from the indy 35 after an offensive penalty, Carr went to Moreau for 18. On 3rd and 2 from the Indy 17, Carr went to Amir Abdullah for 14. Jacobs then banged ahead for 2 and then for the one yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Raiders led 14-13. Yet 2 plays later, the Colts had the lead again. On 2nd and 6 from their own 34, Taylor broke through a ginormous hole and easily raced for a 66 yard touchdown run. The 2 point try failed but the Colts were back in front 19-14 after three quarters. With 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders faced 3rd and 10 from the Indy 48. Carr found Adams over the middle, and he outraced everyone for a 48 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the quick strike had the Raiders up 20-19. 

The Raiders even got a stop on defense and got the ball back at their own 25 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation and all the momentum. This is where Josh McDaniels is at his worst. His stubborn refusal to run the ball when it matters is his undoing. Jacobs gained only 2 yards on 1st and 10, but McDaniels should have handed Jacobs the ball again. Instead, McDaniels did what he has done far too often in this miserable season. He abandoned the run. After a Carr incompletion set up 3rd and 8, Carr was sacked. AJ Cole belted out another great punt of 62 yards, but now the Colts needed only a field goal to take the lead. They had over 8 minutes to work with from their own 18.

 On 3rd and 3 from their own 25, the 37 year old Ryan had to pass the ball. He is not a running quarterback. He is a pure pocket passer who runs like a geriatric. His longest career run was 20 yards back in 2009. Yet somehow this AARP candidate Ryan broke through the pathetic Raiders defense for a 39 yard gain. The next play was even more awful for the Raiders defense. Ryan went to Pittman, who then got blasted and fumbled. The Raiders could have just fallen on the ball. Instead they ineptly tried to pick it up, allowing the Colts to maintain possession and turn a disaster into a one yard gain. On the next play, Ryan went to Parris Campbell for a 35 yard touchdown. The 2 point try again failed, but the Colts led by 5 with 5 minutes left. 

That was still plenty of time for Carr, who has over 30 fourth quarter and overtime comebacks. After a touchback, Carr went to Mack Hollins for 12. An offensive penalty meant 1st and 20, but Carr calmly went to Hollins for 6, Adams for 6, and on 3rd and 8, to Adams again for 12. With 1:56 left on 3rd and 4 from the Indy 43, Carr went to Abdullah for 8. Carr then found Adams for 16. With 1:38 left, the Raiders had 1st and 10 at the Indy 19. They had the Colts defense reeling. With time not a factor, it would have been a perfect time for more running. Instead, Josh McDaniels kept passing and Carr threw incomplete. On 3rd and 7, Carr went to the end zone and Moreau dropped it. The defender was in good position to knock the ball away, but only after Moreau juggled it. It was well thrown and should have been the winning touchdown. On 4th and 7, Carr went to the end zone again for Adams. The ball fell incomplete as obvious defensive pass interference was ignored. 16 yards away from victory, the Raiders lost again and fell to 2-7 on the season. McDaniels lost to a coach who had never coached, a play-caller who had never called plays, and an immobile quarterback who had the longest run of his career by double his previous best run. A visibly emotional Carr after the game was not willing to call out McDaniels, but Carr led the Raiders to the playoffs last year. From 10-7 to 2-7, the only difference is the coach. McDaniels will still have a job on Monday, which should not be. 25-20 Colts

 

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers — These teams have played epic games over the years, but this game featured a good Cowboys team and a bad Packers team that had lost 5 straight. In a very classy move, the Packers as an organization welcomed back their former coaches on the jumbotron. Mike McCarthy sought revenge against Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback who got him fired. Matt LaFleur was McCarthy’s replacement. Mason Crosby missed a 54 yard field goal try for the Packers in a scoreless first quarter. The Cowboys late in the first quarter faced 2nd and 13 from their own 14. Tony Pollard gained 14. On 3rd and 1 from their own 37, Dak Prescott gained 2. Prescott went deep to CeeDee Lamb for 21. The Cowboys began the second quarter facing 4th and 1 at the Green Bay 31. Mike McCarthy went for it. Prescott kept it and got the yard. On 3rd and 1 from the Green Bay 21, Prescott gained 2. Prescott went to Lamb for a 3 yard touchdown to cap the staggering 17 play, 83 yard, 8 1/2 minute drive and make it 7-0 Cowboys. 

The Packers soon faced 3rd and 3 from their own 17. Rodgers was sacked and fumbled. Kearse recovered for the Cowboys at the Green Bay 10. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 11, Prescott was intercepted by Ford, who returned the pick 34 yards to the Green Bay 33. On 3rd and 1, Rodgers went to Christian Watson for a 58 yard touchdown. The Cowboys after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at their own 42. After a pair of incompletions, Prescott on 3rd and 10 was again intercepted by Ford. This time Ford returned the interception 34 yards to the Dallas 24. Aaron Jones ran for a 12 yard touchdown to put the Packers up 14-7 with 1:42 left in the half.

The Cowboys took over at their own 34. Prescott went to Lamb for 7 and 9 and Dalton Schultz for 13. On 3rd and 1 from the Green Bay 28, Prescott went to Michael Gallup for 23. With 8 seconds left in the half, Prescott went to Schultz for a 5 yard touchdown and a 14-14 game. In the third quarter, the Packers fumbled a punt and the Cowboys took over at the Green Bay 45. Prescott went to Lamb for 30. Pollard ran for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 21-14 Cowboys.The Cowboys got it back at their own 14. Davis ran for 5 and 17. On 3rd and 9 from his own 37, Prescott went to Lamb for 14. Davis gained 14. Prescott went to Lamb for a 35 yard touchdown. The Cowboys led 28-14 after three quarters. In the entire 62 year history of their franchise, the Cowboys had never lost a game where they led by 14 points in the fourth quarter.

The Packers soon faced 3rd and 3 from their own 31. Rodgers gained 7. Rodgers hit Sammy Watkins for 15. Only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Packers faced 4th and 7 at the Dallas 39. Needing to go for it, Rodgers went deep to Christian Watson for the touchdown. The Cowboys could have turned out the lights, but instead the Packers were very much alive down 28-21. The Packers got it back at their own 11 with 9 minutes left. On 3rd and 2, Rodgers went to Watson for 3. Rodgers hit Allen Lazard for 9. AJ Dillon ran for 17. Jones ran for 23, fumbled the ball, and yet the Packers retained possession and gained another 7 yards. Rodgers hit Watkins for 9. Rodgers went to Watson again for the touchdown. When the Packers needed a prayer, they found a Christian. Watson’s 2 touchdowns tied the game up 28-28 with 2 1/2 minutes left. 

The Packers got it back at their own 33 with 1:38 left. Jones gained 2 and 7 but Rodgers threw incomplete on 3rd and 1. With 22 seconds left on 4th and 1, an angry Rodgers screamed at Matt LaFleur on the sideline when LaFleur opted to punt. After a touchback to start overtime, the Cowboys marched down the field. On 3rd and 3 from the Green Bay 35, Prescott threw incomplete. Mike McCarthy decided to go for it rather than have Crosby try a 53 yard field goal. Prescott threw incomplete. Now the Packers had their shot with 6:15 left in overtime. On 3rd and 1, Rodgers fired over the middle to Lazard, who outraced the defense for a 36 yard gain. Jones gained 5 with a defensive facemask adding 8 more. At this point LaFleur was taking no chances. On 1st and goal at the 7, Rodgers took a knee just to center the ball. On 2nd and goal from the 10, Crosby came in. From 28 yard out, Crosby was dead center. McCarthy and Rodgers hugged before and after the game. A very classy LaFleur conveyed his enormous respect for McCarthy to him. 31-28 Packers

 

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams — These teams both won on the opposing team’s field during the regular season but the Rams won the rubber match at home in the playoffs. Meanwhile, both teams have fallen off a cliff this year. Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford were both out injured as Colt McCoy got the start for the Cardinals and John Wolford led the Rams. The Rams began after an opening touchback on a 14 play, 57 yard drive that took nearly 9 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 9 from the Arizona 24, Darrell Henderson gained only 6. Matt Gay hit a 36 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Rams. The Cardinals offered a mirror image after a touchback. They also moved 57 yards in 14 plays, taking 6 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from the Rams 19, James Conner gained only one yard. Vizcaino hit from 36 for a 3-3 game after the first quarter.

A field position game had the Cardinals taking over at their own 34. McCoy went to Deandre Hopkins for 14, 8 and 4. On 3rd and 2 from the Rams 18, McCoy gained 3. On 3rd and 6 from the Rams 11, McCoy hit Conner for 5. Kliff Kingsbury put faith in his backup quarterback and went for it. On 4th and 1 from the Rams 6, McCoy gained 2. Conner ran for a 4 yard touchdown to put the Cardinals up 10-3 with 1:56 left in the half. After a touchback, the Rams soon faced 1st and 10 at their own 44. Wolford was sacked and fumbled. JJ Watt recovered for the Cardinals at the Rams 30. McCoy went to Moore for 13 and 6. McCoy threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to AJ Green with 24 seconds left in the half for a 17-3 Cardinals lead.

A field position game had the Rams taking over at their own 41 midway through the third quarter. Wolford went to Tyler Higbee for 25, to Robinson for 13, and back to Higbee for 11 more. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Henderson got in to get the Rams within 17-10. Field position reversed in the fourth quarter as the Cardinals took over at their own 40. On 3rd and 1, Conner gained 3. On 4th and 3 from the Rams 41 midway through the fourth quarter, Kliff Kingsbury decided to go for it. McCoy went deep to Moore for 26, Conner ran for 6 and then for the 9 yard touchdown to make it 24-10 Cardinals. With 5 1/2 minutes left, Buddha Baker put the dagger in by returning an interception of Wolford 53 yards to the Rams 25. Vizcaino hit from 46 to make it 27-10 Cardinals with 3:45 left. The Rams got a garbage touchdown with 7 seconds left, but both teams have 6 losses on the year as the defending champs are 3-6 and on the ropes. 27-17 Cardinals  

Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers was the Sunday night game. A pair of underachieving teams with legitimate playoff aspirations met. The Chargers began facing 3rd and 4 from their own 31. Justin Herbert hit Austin Ekeler for 14. On 3rd and 4 just past midfield, Herbert went to Everett for 17. Herbert then went deep to Carter for a 32 yard touchdown. The Chargers quickly led 7-0, but spent the next 56 1/2 minutes not reaching the end zone. The 49ers took over at their own 31 and moved 67 yards in 14 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Christian McCaffrey got stopped for no gain. The home crowd did not like the decision, but Kyle Shanahan opted not to gamble. Robbie Gould hit from 20 to get the 49ers within 7-3. A 49ers fumble gave the Chargers a short field at the San Francisco 32. Dicker hit a 47 yard field goal to open the second quarter and put the Chargers up 10-3. The 49ers then punted, and the Chargers partially blocked the punt to take over with a short field at the San Francisco 46. Despite 1st and goal at the 2, an incompletion followed by a false start killed the drive. Dicker hit again from 25. The Chargers led 13-3, but their reliance on field goals would come back to bite them.

The 49ers soon faced 3rd and 12 from their own 23. Jimmy Garoppolo went to George Kittle for 21 and to McCloud for 33. Garoppolo hit McCaffrey for gains of 6 and 12. On 3rd and goal at the one at the 2 minute warning, Garoppolo got in to get the 49ers within 13-10. After a touchback, the Chargers quickly moved 64 yard in 11 plays. On 3rd and 6 from the San Francisco 40, Herbert gained only 5. Yet a defensive personal foul added 15 more. Defender Greenlaw was also ejected from the game on the play. Yet Herbert was injured on the play and would miss the last 30 seconds of the half. Chase Daniel came in with the Chargers facing 1st and 10 at the Frisco 20. He threw incomplete twice and then was sacked. Dicker hit his third field goal of the second quarter from 40 as the Chargers took a 16-10 lead to the locker rooms. The second half belonged to the San Francisco defense.

After a third quarter touchback, the 49ers moved 67 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. Yet on 1st and goal at the 7, a run went nowhere, a short pass lost a yard, and Garoppolo then threw incomplete. Gould hit from 26 to get the 49ers within 16-13. The 49ers began the fourth quarter at their own 23. On 3rd and 5, Garoppolo hit Jennings for 11. On 3rd and 8 from the San Francisco 41, Garoppolo hit Jennings for 10. Mitchell ran for 9, 4, 7 and 3. On 3rd and 10 from the Chargers 26, Garoppolo went to Brandon Aiyuk for 24. McCaffrey ran for the 2 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, but the 49ers led 19-16 midway through the fourth quarter. An exchange of punts pinned the Chargers at their own one yard line with 2:02 left. Forced to go for it on 4th and 3 from their own 8, Herbert threw incomplete. Only 1:17 remained, but the Chargers defense made a major stand.On 3rd and goal at the one, Mitchell lost a yard as the Chargers took their final timeout on defense. After pretending to go for it, Kyle Shanahan gave in to reality. Gould hit from 20. With one minute left the 49ers led by 6, but the missed extra point was looming large. The Chargers still had a chance to win. Yet one play after taking over at their own 23, the chance evaporated. Herbert went deep and was intercepted. 22-16 49ers

Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles was the Monday night game. The up and down Commanders took on the undefeated Eagles. The Commanders fumbled 2 minutes into the game to give the Eagles gift field position at the Washington 18. Jalen Hurts ran for 12 and then for a one yard touchdown to quickly make it 7-0 Eagles. Robinson gained 3 and 6 as the Commanders soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Robinson then gained 4 more. On 3rd and 4 from their own 44, Antonio Gibson gained just enough. On 3rd and 2 from the Philadelphia 44, Taylor Heinecke went to Terry McLaurin for 26 yards. Heinecke hit Dotson for 14. Gibson gained 4 and then ran for the one yard touchdown to cap the 13 play, 75 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive and make it 7-7. The Eagles took over at their own 22. Hurts hit AJ Brown for 7, Stoll for 11, and Zach Pascal for 10. On 3rd and 10 from the Washington 44, Hurts went to Smith for 11. On 2nd and 13 from the Washington 36, defensive pass interference on an incompletion meant a 30 yard gain. Hurts hit Dallas Goedert for a 6 yard touchdown and a 14-7 Eagles lead. 

After a touchback, the Commanders moved in the second quarter to a 3rd and 1 at the Washington 21. Robinson got stopped. Riverboat Ron Rivera was prepared to go for it, but it was gamesmanship. The defense failed to jump. After a delay of game penalty, Joey Slye hit a 44 yard field goal to cap the 12 play, 49 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive and get the Commanders within 14-10. Four plays later, an interception of Hurts set up the Commanders at their own 14. On 3rd and 1, Robinson gained 2. On 3rd and 6 from their own 29, Heinecke hit Samuel for 23. On 3rd and 5 from the Philadelphia 43, Heinecke went to Terry McLaurin for 18. On 3rd and 10 from the Philly 25, Heinecke hit McLaurin for 9. This time Riverboat Ron did gamble on 4th and 1 and Robinson gained 11, 2, and the one yard touchdown. The staggering 16 play, 86 yard, 7 minute drive had the Commanders with the surprising 17-14 lead with 1:39 left in the half. The Commanders got it back at their own 30 with one minute left and moved to the Philly 40 with 2 seconds left. Slye drilled a 58 yard field goal to make it 20-14 Commanders. In the third quarter the Commanders moved 66 yards in 14 plays and 8 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the 3 after an incompletion, Heinecke was sacked. Yet Slye hit from 32 as 16 unanswered points had the Commanders up 23-14 after three quarters. 

The Eagles took over at their own 20. Sanders ran for 6, 4 and 4. On 3rd and 6 from their own 34, Hurts went to Watkins for 16 and Goedert for 15. On 3rd and 1 from the Washington 26, Sanders gained 2, 6 and 7 as the third quarter ended. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Eagles facing 1st and 10 at the Washington 11 saw Hurts hit Smith for the touchdown. The Eagles were within 23-21. The Commanders moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 3 at the Philadelphia 43. Heinecke then went deep and was intercepted. The Eagles moved from their own 7 to their own 31. A field goal would give them the lead and preserve their unbeaten season. Hurts hit Goedert, and he fumbled the ball away. The Commanders took over at the Philadelphia 34. They moved backward but Slye nailed a 55 yard field goal to make it 26-21 Commanders midway through the fourth quarter. With 6 minutes left came the play of the game. The Eagles were facing 1st and 20 from their own 27 after offensive holding. Hurts went deep to Watkins for a 50 yard gain. Yet Watkins then fumbled and the Commanders recovered. The Eagles got it back with 3:20 left at their own 20. A sack of Hurts meant 4th and 18 from their own 12. Kevin Sirianni opted to punt with 1:54 left. The key play of the game came with 1:45 left and the Commanders facing 3rd and 7 from midfield. Heinecke was sacked. The Eagles would get one more chance. Except they would not. Defensive unnecessary roughness on the sack meant a new set of downs for the Commanders and enraged the home crowd. By the times the Eagles got the ball back at their own 10, only 5 seconds remained.The hook and laterals were fumbled and recovered by the Commanders in the Philadelphia end zone. There would be no unbeaten team this year. The 1972 Dolphins popped the champagne corks. 32-21 Commanders