NFL 2016 Week 7 Recap

NFL 2016 Week 7 Recap

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers was the Thursday night game. George Halas and Vince Lombardi would have loved this old-school Black and Blue football game between the NFL’s oldest rivals. Mason Crosby hit a 32 yard first quarter field goal for the Packers. In the second quarter Connor Barth hit from 39 and Crosby answered from 40 as the Packers took a 6-3 lead into the locker rooms. Ray Nitschke and Dick Butkus would have loved the defense. The Packers had fourth and goal at the one in the first half and ran into a Chicago brick wall. In the third quarter Aaron Rodgers was sacked in the end zone, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Chicago in the end zone for a 10-6 Bears lead. Bryan Hoyer was knocked out of the game with a broken arm. His replacement Matt Barkley threw 2 interceptions.

In the end, Chicago is a bad team now down to their third string quarterback. Green Bay is not playing as well as in past years, but is still far better than Chicago. In the third quarter, Rodgers finally got the offense going. A 13 play, 85 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive ended with Rodgers hitting Devonta Adams for a 5 yard touchdown and a 13-10 Packers lead after three quarters. Rodgers put the game away in the fourth quarter. An 88 yard drive ended with a 4 yard touchdown pass to Adams and a 13 play, 74 yard drive ate up 8 1/2 minutes and saw Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for a 2 yard touchdown. Even pass-happy Mike McCarthy had to be uneasy with Rodgers throwing 56 times. Yet he was pleased with 39 completions for 326 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. 26-10 Packers

New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams in London was the Sunday early morning game from London. Early on, Jeff Fisher’s defense got it done. On the second play of the game, the Giants fumbled and the Rams recovered at the Giants 35. on 3rd and 6 from the 10, Case Keenum hit Tavon Austin for the touchdown to get the Rams on the board first.Los Angeles got it back and Greg Zuerlein tacked on a 36 yard field goal for a 10-0 Rams lead after the first quarter. in the second quarter the game changed. The Giants moved 71 yards in 14 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. They settled for a 29 yard Robbie Gould field goal to get within 10-3. Gould was brought in to replace the suspended Josh Brown. 2 plays later Keenum was intercepted by Landel Collins, who returned it 44 yards for a touchdown as the teams took a 10-10 tie to the locker rooms.

With 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Keenum had a pass batted in the air and intercepted again by Collins, giving the Giants the ball at the Rams 35. on 3rd and 3, Eli Manning threw a wounded duck into double coverage that was caught by O’Dell Beckham for a 22 yard gain.  On 3rd and goal at the one, Rashad Jennings banged in to make it 17-10 Giants with 9 1/2 minutes left. The Rams moved from their 22 to the Giants 37. Keenum went to the end zone and threw his third interception to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with 4 minutes left. The Rams got it back at their 25 with 3 minutes left and 2 timeouts. On 4th and 10 from the Rams 36, Keenum fired a laser between 2 defenders to Brandon Quick for 15 yards at the 2 minute warning. Keenum under heavy pressure went back to Quick for 23 yards to the Giants 26. With 50 seconds left, on 3rd and 10 from the 15, Keenum lobbed a softball high to the corner of the end zone. The only player within a country mile of it was Rodgers-Cromartie. His second pick was Keenum’s fourth interception, closing the door. 17-10 Giants

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles — Mike Zimmer has the NFL’s lone unbeaten team that is winning with defense and special teams. After a scoreless first quarter, the Vikings finally got on the board as a 48 yard Blair Walsh field goal made it 3-0 Vikings with 9 minutes left in the half. Philadelphia also had no offense, but they struck back 13 seconds later when Huff returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Carson Wentz ran for the 2 point conversion to make it 8-3 Eagles. Caleb surges hit a 35 yard field goal as the Eagles led 11-3 at break time. In the third quarter the Eagles moved 77 yards. Carson Wentz hit Dorial Green-Beckham for a 5 yard touchdown as the Eagles led 18-3. Sturgis hit a 21 yard field goal in the fourth quarter to make it 21-3 Eagles. A garbage touchdown with 30 seconds left made the score look respectable. The 1972 Dolphins popped the champagne corks early this year. One year after a bunch of teams went 5-0 and 6-0, nobody will be 6-0 this year. 21-10 Eagles

New Orleans Saints at Kansas City Chiefs — Drew Brees led the Saints 80 yards in 10 plays and hit Brandon Cooks for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints. Alex Smith is the King of the Dink and Dunk West Coast Offense. He threw another one of his typical 4 yard passes, but terrible tackling allowed Spencer Ware to take it for a 46 yard touchdown and a 7-7 game. Brees was then intercepted by Sorensen, who returned it 48 yards for another touchdown and a 14-7 Chiefs lead. In the second quarter the Chiefs moved 85 yards as Smith connected with Terrence Hill on a 38 yard touchdown for a 21-7 Chiefs lead.

In the third quarter the Saints moved 75 yards in 14 plays, taking 8 minutes off the clock. Brees hit Mark Ingram for the 3 yard touchdown to get the Saints within 21-14. The Chiefs came back and moved to the red zone as Cairo santos hit a 39 yard field goal for a 24-14 Chiefs advantage. In the fourth quarter Brees capped off an 80 yard, 10 play drive by hitting Coleman for a 10 yard touchdown as the Saints only trailed 24-21 with 2:40 to play. The onside kick failed, and an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Saints quickly moved the Chiefs into field goal range. Santos hit from 41 to put the Chiefs up by 6. The Saints got it back at their own 25 with 28 seconds left. With 11 seconds left from their 31, Brees hit Thomas for 19 to midfield but the clock ran out. Brees was 37 of 48 for 367 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception. Alex Smith dinked and dunked for 214 yards on 17 of 24 passing. Yet he had 2 touchdowns without an interception. When you have a defense, you can be a game manager. 27-21 Chiefs

Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions — A defensive slugfest saw Matt Prater hit a 43 yard field goal in the second quarter for the Lions and Dustin Hopkins respond from 38 for a 3-3 halftime game. In the third quarter the Lions moved 86 yards. Zenner got in from the one as the game’s first touchdown and the Lions up 10-3. The Lions began the fourth quarter with 1st and 10 at the Washington 11. Offensive holding killed the drive and Prater hit from 27 to make it 13-3 Lions. The lions defense collapsed in the fourth quarter. Cousins led them 75 yards. From the Detroit 28, Cousins went deep to Vernon Davis for 27 yards. Cousins hit Kelley for the one yard touchdown as the Redskins were within 13-10 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation.

Washington got it back at their own 24 with 5 1/2 minutes left. On 3rd and 4, Cousins hit Crowder for 19 yards near midfield. With 1:51 to play the Redskins faced 3rd and 1 at the Detroit 22, well within tying field goal range. Thompson gained 3 yards. On the next play Cousins got around the end and ran for a 19 yard touchdown. Another fourth quarter meltdown meant another Detroit loss. After a touchback, the Lions had 1:05 left to go 75 yards.  Stafford hit Marvin Jones for 23 yards and scrambled for 14 more himself. Stafford then hit Roberts for 20. With 22 seconds left, the Lions faced 3rd and 10 from the 18. Stafford hit Anquon Boldin, who raced into the end zone. A hideous three quarters was followed by a fantastic fourth quarter. Jim Caldwell was so pleased that he almost made a facial expression. 20-17 Lions

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals — Hue Jackson faced off against his former team. The Bengals moved 75 yards and Greg Bernard got in from the 5 to put the Bengals up 7-0 over the winless Browns. In the second quarter the Browns moved 60 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. They settled for a 28 yard Cody Parkey field goal to get within 7-3. The Browns got it back and moved 70 yards, taking another 5 1/2 minutes. Isaiah Crowell got in from the one as the Browns led 10-7. The Bengals came back 80 yards quickly. Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Brandon LaFell for a 44 yard touchdown and a 14-10 Bengals lead. Cincinnati got it back at their own 15 with one minute left in the half. With 7 seconds left, the Bengals faced 3rd and 9 from the Cleveland 48. Dalton’s Hail Mary was

caught by AJ Green for the touchdown and a 21-10 Bengals lead.

Third string quarterback Cody Kessler was out and Hogan was in. In the third quarter the Browns moved 75 yards as Hogan ran for a 28 yard touchdown to get the Browns within 21-17. 2 plays later Jeremy Hill ran for a 74 yard touchdown as the Bengals were back up 28-17. Mike Nugent added a 36 yard field goal for Cincy as the fourth quarter was scoreless. The Browns remained winless, but at least Cleveland has the Cavaliers and the Indians. 31-17 Bengals

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins — Rex Ryan came in with a 4 game win streak and wanting to play ground and pound. Yet early on it was the Dolphins who began with a 15 play, 64 yard drive that ate up 7 1/2 minutes. The Dolphins settled for a 36 yard Franks field goal. A field position game saw Buffalo return a punt 30 yards to the Miami 30. On 2nd and 8 from the 10, Tyrod Taylor threw incomplete twice. Dan Carpenter hit from 29 for a 3-3 game. The second quarter began with the Dolphins shaking a 12 yard punt, giving Buffalo the ball at the Miami 40. On 3rd and 7 from the 20, Taylor hit Hunter for 10 and ran the last 10 himself for a 10-3 Bills lead. Franks hit a 33 yarder as the Dolphins trailed 10-6 at the intermission. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter, the Bills took over at their own 33. A short pass from Taylor to Goodwin went for a 67 yard touchdown. The Bills led 17-6 and seemed in total control.

The Dolphins finally began moving the ball, using most of the rest of the third quarter to go 75 yards. Ajayi ran for a 4 yard touchdown. Ryan Tannehill hit Landry for the 2 point conversion as the Dolphins only trailed 17-14 after three quarters. A field position game that saw the Dolphins pinned at their own one eventually saw Miami take over at their own 36 midway through the fourth quarter. A defensive facemark penalty had Miami just past midfield. On 3rd and 7 from the Buffalo 46, Tannehill hit Landry for 18. Williams ran for a 12 yard touchdown as the Dolphins led 21-17 with 4 minutes left. The Bills went 3 and out and Rex Ryan decided to punt and trust his defense. On 3rd and 6 from the Miami 34 with 2 1/2 minutes left, the Bills defense needed one stop. Rather than play it safe, Adam Game went for all the marbles. Tannehill went deep to Kenny Stills for a 66 yard touchdown to make it 28-17 Dolphins to lock up the game. Buffalo scored with 14 seconds left but the onsides kick failed. 28-25 Dolphins

Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars — Jack Del Rio returned to face his former team. After an exchange of punts, the Raiders moved 63 yards. On 2nd and 5 from the 7, Carr threw incomplete twice. Sebastian Janikowski hit from 26 to make it 3-0 Raiders. The Jaguars moved from their 33 to a 3rd and 7 at the Oakland 18. Blake Borles went to the end zone and was intercepted by David Amerson for a touchback. Late in the first quarter, the Jaguars fumbled a punt and the Raiders recovered at the Jacksonville 17. The Raiders again failed to capitalize. On the first play of the second quarter on 3rd and 7, Carr overthrew an open Seth Roberts in the end zone. Seabass hit from 32 as the Raiders led 6-0.

The inability of the Raiders to finish drives quickly became a problem. After a touchback, Bortles went deep and drew a 25 yard defensive pass interference penalty. From midfield, Chris Ivory ran for a 42 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 10, Bortles through a West Coast Offense dink and dunk pass that meant a field goal. Casey Myers hit the 23 yard field goal to get the Jaguars within 6-3.

After a touchback, the Raiders went straight to the run game. Holton took an end around 29 yards to the Jacksonville 46. On 3rd and 3 from the Jaguars 24, a delayed handoff out of the shotgun to Olawale gained 6. On 3rd and 2 from the 11, Carr fired to Michael Crabtree for 1st and goal at the 5. Latavius Murray got in from 3 yards out to cap the 11 play, 75 yard, 7 minute drive as the Raiders led 13-3 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

After a touchback on 3rd and 3 from the Jacksonville 47, a quick strike from Bortles to Marquis Lee went for a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the 9, offensive holding pushed the Jaguars back at the 2 minute warning. Myers hit from 37 to get the Jaguars within 13-6. After a touchback, the Raiders faced 3rd and 5 at their own 42. Carr Rolled to his right and went bombs away to Crabtree for a 40 yard gain. With 14 seconds left, on 3rd and goal at the 2, Carr fired to Crabtree for the touchdown as the Raiders led 20-6 at the half.

The Jaguars moved well in the third quarter, but on 3rd and 4 from the Oakland 26, a short pass was dropped. Myers hit from 44 to get the Jaguars within 20-9. Now it was time to see if the Raiders could put away a game without late game drama. The Raiders did punt, and a terrible decision to field the punt at the one yard line had the Jaguars taking over at their own 6. Bortles was sacked on third down and the Raiders got it back at their own 42. On 3rd and 9, Carr fired a laser to Amari Cooper between 2 defenders for 11 yards. Yet offensive holding nullified the play and killed the drive as the Raiders wasted the great field position. Again Jacksonville took over at their 6, and again Bortles was sacked on third down. Last time it was DJ Hayden, this time Khalil Mack. A relatively short punt gave the Raiders gift field position at the Jacksonville 37. Again, the Raiders had a chance to put a game away.

On 1st and 10 from the Jacksonville 26, another end around this time was blown up in the backfield for a 4 yard loss. On 2nd and 14 a screen pass was just dropped. After a short completion Seabass came on for a 44 yarder. Seabass was good. The Raiders led 23-9 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, but they had not shut the door. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the offense after a play had ended took a 3rd and 5 for Jacksonville and turned it into a 3rd and 20 from their own 15. The crowd booed loudly after a short completion meant another punt.

The Raiders appeared to have a stranglehold on the game when Jalen Richard returned the punt all the way to the Jacksonville 20. However, holding on the return instead had the Raiders starting at their own 28 as the third quarter ended. The offense did nothing in the third quarter, and still needed one score to ice the game. On 3rd and 10, Carr completed a pass that was right near the sticks. However, a personal foul for roughing the passer meant 15 more yards. Jackson yelled at the official and drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for 15 more yards. Now the Raiders had 1st and 10 at the Jacksonville 42. On 3rd and 8, under heavy pressure, Carr lobbed a floater to Crabtree that came up 2 yards short of the marker. That was just enough for Seabass to hit a 52 yarder. The Raiders now had a 3 score lead, up 26-9 with 11 1/2 minutes left. Now the secondary had to withstand the inevitable Bortles comeback.

After the field goal, Malik Jackson was still white hot with anger. He drew a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and was ejected from the game. The Jaguars took over again with bad field position at their own 13 yard line. Both defenses held and the Jaguars got it back at their own 16. Bortles then made another bad decision. The Raiders jumped offsides, meaning Bortles had a free play. With Khalil Mack bearing down on him, normally the whistle would blow the play dead for an unabated to the quarterback call. The whistle did not blow and Bortles just spiked the ball into the ground. His free play turned into intentional grounding and offsetting penalties.

On 3rd and 10 from the Jacksonville 46, Bortles got belted as soon as he threw the ball but hit Lee for a 21 yard gain. On 2nd and 25 from the Oakland 48, Bortles went deep to Benn, who broke through several awful tackles for a 39 yard gain. From the 9, Bortles fired to the end zone into triple coverage. Malcolm Smith had the interception, but julius Thomas ripped it out of his hands for an improbable touchdown. The Jaguars were within 26-16, but only 4:12 remained. The onsides kick failed and the Raiders had yet another chance to put a game away without giving the Raider Nation heartburn.

Jacksonville held on defense as Marquette King prepared to punt on 4th and 24. The snap was terrible and King made a heads up play. Rather than have his punt blocked, he took off running and gained 27 yards for another first down. More fighting broke out as each team had one player ejected. Jalen Ramsey for the Jaguars and Johnny Holton of the Raiders were tossed. Meanwhile, instead of having time to mount a comeback, Bortles watched helplessly as the Raiders offense stayed on the field. Despite only 31 yards of total offense in the second half at this point, the Raiders were in control. On 3rd and 2 from the Jags 27, Carr threw to Cooper for an 18 yard gain. Murray ran for the 9 yard touchdown With 2 1/2 minutes left the Raiders had finally put the game away. Bortles had another pass deflected and interception to snuff out any final hopes of a rally.

Each team had exactly 344 yards. Each quarterback completed exactly 23 passes. Each team had over 10 penalties for over 100 penalty yards, with the Raiders having 11 for 117 and the Jaguars 13 penalties for 122 penalty yards. Yet the Raiders are 5-2 for the first time since 2001, and 4-0 on the road. Since they play in Tampa next week, they will stay in Florida rather than travel coast to coast. 33-16 Raiders

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans — The Titans moved 78 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes. Marcus Mariota hit Lewan for the 10 yard touchdown. The snap was fumbled on the extra point as the Titans led 6-0. Andrew Luck brought the Colts back 72 yards in 10 plays and threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Frank Gore for a 7-6 Colts lead. In the seance quarter the Colts quickly moved 93 yards. A 37 yard touchdown pass from Luck to TY Hilton made it 14-6 Colts. The Colts added a 28 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal to lead 17-6. With 2:12 left in the half, the Titans took over at their own 20 and Mariota worked the 2 minute drill to perfection. From the Indy 29 a deep ball drew defensive pass interference. DeMarco Murray got the one yard touchdown as the Titans only trailed 17-13 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Colts moved 73 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Vinatieri hit from 33 as the Colts led 20-13. Mariota led the Titans 75 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. A 7 yard touchdown pass to Melanie Walker had the game deadlocked 20-20 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Titans got it back and moved from their 20 to the Indy 30. Ryan Succop hit a 48 yard field goal as the Titans led 23-20 with only 6 minutes left in regulation. Yet the Colts have Andrew Luck, and he did it again.

On 3rd and 13 from the Tennessee 28, Luck found Street for a 20 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 7, Luck found Doyle for the touchdown. At the 2 minute warning, the Colts led 27-23. After a touchback, Mariota was sacked and fumbled. Robert Mathis picked up the fumble and rumbled 14 yards for a touchdown. 2 touchdowns in 13 seconds had the Colts up 34-23. Mariota quickly led the Titans after a touchback to the Colts 26 and spiked the ball. Yet 2 incompletions had the Titans needing 2 scores. On 4th and 10, Succop hit the 44 yard field goal. The onsides kick failed. The Colts have so many deficiencies but may still win the NFL’s worst division because of Luck. 34-26 Colts

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets — Geno Smith got the start over the Benched Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets tried to punt on 4th and 4 from their own 29. Disaster struck as the snap resulted in a fumble. The Ravens recovered at the Jets 2 yard line and ran it in for a gift touchdown and a 7-0 Ravens lead. Justin Tucker tacked on a 50 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Ravens. Geno Smith then threw a 69 yard touchdown pass to Enunwa to get the Jets within 10-7. Smith would leave the game with an injury in the second quarter, as Fitzpatrick took over again. Tucker hit a 49 yard field goal for a 13-7 Ravens lead. Fitzpatrick then led the Jets 85 yards in 13 plays. A 13 yard touchdown pass to Matt Forte put the Jets up 14-13 with 1:45 left in the half. That was enough time for Tucker to hit a 44 yarder to close out the half with the Ravens on top 16-14.

In the third quarter an interception of Joe Flacco gave the Jets a golden opportunity with 1st and goal at the 3. The jets wasted the opportunity as Fitzpatrick threw incomplete on 3rd and goal. Nick Folk hit the 22 yarder to put the Jets up 17-16. 3 plays later on 3rd and 10 from the Baltimore 25, Flacco was intercepted again. Things then got bizarre. On 3rd and goal from the 6, Forte got the carry and fumbled and Jernigan recovered for Baltimore. Yet Jernigan was then stripped of the ball, and the Jets recovered at the 5 for a new set of downs. On 3rd and goal at the one, Forte again got the carry and this time got in for the touchdown and an 8 point Jets lead. An ugly fourth quarter saw neither team do anything. The Jets clinching field goal try with 3 minutes left was blocked. With 1:10 left the Ravens had 2nd and 8 at the Jets 44. Flacco threw 3 straight incompletions as the Ravens lost their fourth straight after a 3-0 start. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick played better in relief than as a backup as Geno Smith wondered if he would ever get a break. 24-16 Jets

San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons — San Diego had a big home win last week to stop their losing streak, but Philip Rivers was not able to match Matt Ryan and the high octane offense Atlanta blow for blow. Early on the Chargers moved 75 yards and Melvin Gordon got in from 2 yards out to make it 7-0 Chargers. Matt Bryant kicked a 42 yard field goal to get the Falcons on the board. From the San Diego 46, Rivers was intercepted by Jones, who returned it 42 yards to the San Diego 10. Atlanta failed to capitalize and settled for a Bryant field goal from 27 yards out to get the Falcons within 7-6. Josh Lambo hit a 40 yard field goal in the second quarter to make it 10-6 Chargers, but after that the Falcons exploded.

Matt Ryan led the Falcons 75 yards. On 3rd and 13 from the San Diego 17, Ryan hit Jacob Tamme for the touchdown to put the Falcons up 13-10. The Falcons got it back at midfield and Coleman ran for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 20-10 Falcons. Rivers then went back to pass on 3rd and 18 from his own 17 yard line. Rivers was sacked by Vic beasley and fumbled. Clayborn picked up the ball at the 5, rolled over, and stumbled into the end zone for another score and a 27-10 Falcons lead. The Chargers came back 75 yards and Gordon scored again from 3 yards out to get the Chargers within 27-17 at the half.

In the third quarter the defenses settled in. On 2nd and 2 from the Atlanta 19, Rivers fired to the end zone but the officials properly ruled the catch out of bounds. On 3rd and 2 Rivers threw incomplete. Lambo hit from 37 to get the Chargers within 27-20 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. The Falcons then moved 62 yards in 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Despite 1st and 10 at the San Diego 11, Joey Boca sacked Ryan. On 3rd and 12 at the 13, Ryan hit Devonta Freeman at the 2 yard line. However, Freeman got blasted for an incomplete pass. Bryant hit the 31 yard field goal to give the Falcons some breathing room up 30-20 only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Breathing room evaporated. Rivers led a 15 play, 75 yard drive that consumed 7 1/2 minutes. Rivers hit Gordon for a 5 yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 30-27 with 6 minutes left in regulation. in several losses this year, the Chargers self-destructed late. This time they were on the receiving end of a break. With 3 1/2 minutes left in regulation and the Falcons at the San Diego 40, consecutive false start penalties were followed by Ryan throwing a deep ball that was intercepted.

From the San Diego 44, Melvin Gordon got blasted on 2nd and 1 and 3rd and 1. At the 2 minute warning, everything came down to 4th and 2 from the San Diego 43. Rivers fired to Antonio Gates over the middle 3 yards and a life saving first down. With 46 seconds left, facing 3rd and 1 at the Atlanta 28, Gordon again appeared stopped cold int eh backfield. Somehow, he bounced outside, and gained 13 yards. Yet from the Atlanta 15, Rivers threw 3 straight incompletions. Lambo hit the 33 yard field goal to tie the game 30-30 with only 18 seconds left.

After a touchback, Matty Ice tried to create another miracle. He fired over the middle to Julio Jones, who out-jumped 4 defenders to come down with a 25 yard reception at midfield. With 11 seconds left. After an incompletion, Ryan hit Jones for 10 more as the entire Atlanta team called timeout with one second left. Matt Bryant came in for a 58 yard field goal try to win it. The kick was long enough, and at the last second hooked just enough to doink off the upright no good. This fine football game was expected to be a shootout, and it was. Overtime would decide things.

Atlanta won the toss. After a touchback, the Falcons soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 45. Ryan took the quarterback sneak and got stopped cold. On 4th and 1, Dan Quinn made the most controversial 4th down gamble since Bill Bellichick and maybe Barry Switzer. Devonta Freeman got the carry and got blown up in the backfield.

Jubilant San Diego took over at the Atlanta 43, needing only a few yards to be in long field goal range. After a run lost a couple yards, Rivers hit Gates for 11 to set up 3rd and 1 at the Atlanta 34. Gordon plowed straight ahead for 2 and got the critical first down. Defensive holding tacked on 5 more yards. From the Atlanta 22, Rivers took a knee to center the ball. Lambo came in for the 42 yarder to win it. The kick was good. In the season opener San Diego blew a 21 point lead. This time they overcome a 17 point deficit. Dan Quinn will face a ton of heat for his gamble, but he knew that when he made the decision. 33-30 Chargers, OT

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers — A pair of bad teams again saw the Mod Squad anti-national anthem protester show he was capable of playing football. A 75 yard drive was capped by Davis running it in from 4 yards out for a 7-0 49ers lead. The Buccaneers soon faced 4th and 1 at midfield. Dirk Koetter decided to go for it, and a run gained nothing. With 25 seconds left in the first quarter, the Buccaneers faced 3rd and 5 at their own 28. Jameis Winston was intercepted. One play later, Colin Kaepernick threw a 17 yard touchdown to Draughn for a 14-0 49ers lead.

The Buccaneers began the second quarter at their own 6 yard line. 94 yards took 11 plays and 5 minutes. On 1st and 10 from the 49ers 42 yard line, Winston found Smith for 30 yards and then Mike Evans for the 4 yard touchdown to get the Buccaneers within 14-7. After Kaepernick was intercepted, the Buccaneers took over at their own 27. Jacquez Rodgers ran for a 45 yard gain and Barber ran for 14 more. On 3rd and 4 from the 8, Winston hit Brate for 3 yards. Yet rather than 4th and 1 at the 5 and a big decision, a strange unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Winston ended the drive. Roberto Aguayo hit the 38 yard field goal as the Buccaneers were within 14-10 with 5 minutes left in the half. Tampa Bay got it back and moved 77 yards. With 48 seconds left in the half, Winston fired to the end zone to Russell Shepard for a 19 yard touchdown and a 17-14 Buccaneers lead.

In the third quarter the 49ers fumbled a punt, giving the Buccaneers the ball at the San Francisco 36. On 3rd and 4 from the 19, Winston threw incomplete. Aguayo hit the 37 yard field goal to make it 20-14 Buccaneers. The 49ers then faced 3rd and 12 at their own 39. Kaepernick, who is an expert to dropping to one knee, this time had some help by getting belted by the Buccaneers defense. The Bucs took over at the Frisco 27. On 3rd and 9, Winston hit Evans for 14 yards. on 3rd and 3 from the 5, Winston scrambled and fired high and over the middle. Evans leapt and made the catch for the touchdown as the Buccaneers led 27-14. The Buccaneers missed a chance to extend the lead as the fourth quarter began when Aguayo missed a 50 yard field goal try.

The 49ers held the ball for 6 minutes, 14 plays, and 50 yards. Yet on 4th down from the 11 yard line, Chip Kelly had the home crowd booing by deciding on a field goal. Phil Dawson hit from 28 to get the 49ers within 27-17. They would get no closer as the Buccaneers easily moved 77 yards. Peyton Barber broke free for a 44 yard touchdown run to put the game away. The 49ers have lost 6 straight games. 34-17 Buccaneers

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers — With Big Ben Roethlisberger out injured, the Steelers had a daunting task at home with Landry Jones. On New England’s first play from scrimmage, a completion was fumbled and the Steelers took over at the Patriots 45. On 3rd and 6 from the Patriots 16, Jones went to the end zone and was intercepted by Malcolm Butler for a touchback. Tom Brady made the Steelers pay, leading a 13 play, 80 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. On 3rd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 19, Brady found White for the touchdown and the 7-0 Patriots lead. In the second quarter the Patriots moved 84 yards in 11 plays and 5 minutes. Laguerette Blount ran it in from 3 yards out to make it 14-0 Patriots.

This time the Steelers came back quickly 71 yards. From their own 29, Jones went deep to Antonio Brown for a 51 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Patriots 14, Jones fired to the corner of the end zone. Darrius Hayward-Bey got both feet down for the touchdown to get the Steelers within 14-7. A shanked 25 yard punt had the Steelers getting it back at their own 47. Unnecessary roughness on the Patriots had the Steelers at the New England 33. On 3rd and 3 from the 14, Jones hit Heyward-Bey in the end zone. Yet the tying touchdown was nullified by offensive holding. Chris Boswell missed the 42 yard field goal. Pittsburgh got it back at their own 20 with 1:47 left in the half. With 11 seconds left from the Patriots 14, an underthrown ball to the end zone was nearly intercepted. With 6 seconds left Mike Tomlin had seen enough. Boswell hit the 32 yarder to have the Steelers down 14-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter hard running by LeVeon Bell led the Steelers to a 3rd and 4 at the New England 28. Jones’s pass was broken up by Malcolm Butler. Boswell hit from 46 to have the Steelers within 14-13. This time the Patriots quickly came back 75 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Pittsburgh 36, Brady found Rob Gronkowski over the middle for the touchdown. Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point as the Patriots lead 20-13 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Steelers opened the fourth quarter with Boswell hitting a 44 yard field goal to get the Steelers within 20-16.

The Patriots quickly responded. They scored touchdowns while the Steelers settled for field goals. 75 yards came easily and Blount ran it up the middle for a 5 yard touchdown to give the Patriots an 11 point lead with 12 minutes left in regulation. Pittsburgh could not move the ball but they got a break when Julian Edelman fumbled a punt. The Steelers took over at the New England 42 with 10 1/2 minutes left. They failed to capitalize. With 9 minutes left and needing 2 scores, Mike Tomlin had Boswell try a 54 yard field goal. It was wide no good and the Steelers never got closer. 27-16 Patriots

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals was the Sunday night game. As expected, Pete Carroll and Bruce Arians both saw their squads bring the lumber. In the second quarter, an Arizona field goal try was blocked when Bobby Wagner leapt over the center with a perfectly timed jump. After nearly 27 minutes of football. a 46 yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal try was good to make it 3-0 Cardinals. With 17 seconds left in the half and Arizona again in field goal range, Carson Palmer was sacked and fumbled and the clock ran out. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, Bruce Arians went for it on 4th and inches from the Seattle 18. A run got stopped cold for no gain. After three quarters Seattle had only 3 first downs and 14 minutes of possession. After 55 minutes, Seattle still had not reached midfield. Yet with 4 1/2 minutes left, the Seahawks blocked a punt and took over at the Arizona 22. The offense did nothing but Steve Hauschka hit a 40 yard field goal for a 3-3 game with 4 minutes left. The teams were deadlocked after 60 minutes.

In overtime, on 3rd and 10 from midfield, Palmer found Michael Floyd for 18 yards. Yet on 3rd and 5 from the 27, a pass to a wide open Floyd was dropped. Catanzaro hit the 45 yard field goal but Seattle had one chance with the ball. Despite no offense in regulation, in overtime Seattle moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 4 at the Arizona 18. Russell Wilson threw deep incomplete. Hauschka hit the 36 yarder for a 6-6 game with 6 1/2 minutes left in overtime. Arizona soon faced 3rd and 7 at the Seattle 45. Palmer fired high to JJ Nelson, who out jumped Richard Sherman and raced for a 40 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, delay of game led Bruce Arians to bring in Catanzaro for the win. It was only a 24 yarder. This time it was Bobby Wagner who timed the jump perfectly. To avoid having another kick blocked, Catanzaro had to try hooking it rather than hit it straight on. It doinked off the upright no good with only 3 1/2 minutes left in overtime.

Seattle then took over, and Russell Wilson again had a couple big completions. On 3rd and 4 from their own 26, Wilson went deep to Jermaine Kearse for a 31 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Arizona 36, only one minute remained in the extra session. Wilson passed short to Doug Baldwin, who evaded a pair of tackles and gained 27 yards to the Arizona 9. One play to center the ball took the clock down to 11 seconds. Now it was Hauschka from 28 yards out as Catanzaro buried his head in his hands. Hauschka hooked it wide. As Paul Maguire once said, “I hate kickers. They should be paid $50 a game.” From the Arizona 20 with 7 seconds left, Palmer hit Larry Fitzgerald for 19 yards with 2 seconds left. Palmer rolled to his right and unleashed a Hail Mary that just barely made it to the end zone. Everyone jumped for it, but in a game of defense, there was no chance a receiver would come down with it. The incompletion ended one of the great old-school barefisted slobberknockers in NFL history. Somewhere in Heaven, Buddy Ryan was smiling. 6-6 Tie, OT

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos was the Monday night game. Brock Osweiler faced off against his old team. So did Gary Kubiak. Early on a pair of 43 yard Nick Novak field goals had the texans with a surprising 6-0 lead after the first quarter. After that, reality set in. In the second quarter, Denver moved 75 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes. CJ Anderson ran for the 7 yard touchdown to give the Browns the 7-6 lead. Denver got it back and moved 68 yards. Trevor Siemian, back from 2 weeks off due to injury, threw a 4 yard touchdown to Denarius Thomas to make it 14-6 Broncos at halftime. In the third quarter the Texas moved 72 yards but again could not finish the drive. Novak hit from 29 29 to get the Texans within 14-9. Houston got it back at their own 43 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Denver 34 with a chance to take the lead. Alfred Blue gained 7 yards but then fumbled the ball away. From the Denver 28, the Broncos turned out the lights. From the Houston 33, Siemian went deep to Emanuel Sanders for 31 yards. Booker got in from the one. The Texans kicked field goals. The Broncos scored touchdowns and led 21-9 after three quarters. On the first play of the fourth quarter with Houston facing 3rd and 5 at their own 30, Osweiler fumbled and Denver recovered. Brandon McManus tacked on 22 and 32 yard field goals as Denver got to 5-2 atop the AFC West. 27-9 Broncos

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