NFL 2017 Week 2 Recap

NFL 2017 Week 2 Recap

Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals was the Thursday night game. Sometimes a pair of bad teams can combine for a great game. This was not that game. Despite a punt return giving the Bengals a short field, a Cincinnati fumble was returned 49 yards by Jadaveon Clowney to the Cincinnati 20. The inept Texans converted that into a 26 yard Fairbirn field goal lead 3-0. Red Rifle Andy Dalton went bombs away to AJ Green for a 50 yard gain to the Houston 14. That was enough for the inept Bengals to put up a 39 yard second quarter Bullock field goal for a 3-3 game.

With 4 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Texans took over at their own 6. On 3r and 5, DeShaun Watson hit Ervin for 7 yards. From the Cincy 44, Watson got belted for an 11 yard loss. After 29 minutes of hideous football by both teams, the Texans faced 3rd and 15 just past midfield. Watson scrambled all the way for the touchdown. This was not Steve Young, but it was exciting. Watson left the Bengals defense without a clue as the Texans led 10-3 in a game where 10 points could win it all. Yet the Houston defense got soft at the end of the half. From the Cinco 30, Dalton hit Tyler Effect for 22 yards and Erickson for 37 more down to the Houston 11 with 16 seconds left. After a pair of incompletions left only 6 seconds, Marvin Lewis decided not to gamble on one more play. Bullock hit from 29 as the Bengals trailed 10-6 in this ugly game.

The Bengals began the third quarter with a mind-numbing 16 play, 63 yard drive that consumed 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. Along the way the Bengals committed a fumble that was ruled down by contact. For some reason Bill O’Brien did not challenge the call. On 4th and 2 from the Houston 19, Marvin Lewis decided to go for it. Hill gained 3 yards. Yet on 2nd and 6 from the 12, an apparent touchdown pass was ruled incomplete due to an illegal touch. Marvin Lewis did not challenge the call in a game neither offense wanted to win. After all of that, Bullock hit from 30 as the Bengals still trailed 10-9.

With 8:20 to play, the Texans took over at their own 10. After gaining one first down, a holding penalty had them facing 2nd and 20 at their own 11, Watson threw incomplete but defensive pass interference gave the Texans new life. They soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 28. Watson hit Deandre Hopkins for 9 yards and a key first down. Watson looked like a poised veteran rather than a guy starting his first NFL game. However, a key offensive pass interference penalty moved the Texans out of field goal range with 1st and 20 at the Cincy 39. On 3rd and 16, Watson eluded tacklers and scrambled for 11 yards to get the Texans back into range. At the 2 minute warning, Fairbairn hit the critical 42 yard field goal to give the Texans the 4 point lead. The 13 play, 66 yard drive took 6 1/2 minutes off the clock. However, the Bengals still had a chance to win.

The Bengals took over at their own 31 with 1:50 to play. With 1:13 left, the Bengals faced 4th and 4 just shy of midfield. A false start made it 4th and 9. Dalton threw deep incomplete. A game dominated by both defenses had to end with defense. The Bengals still had timeouts and with 57 seconds left the Texans had 3rd and 4 at the Cincinnati 38. A run lost 2 yards but the clock ticked down. The Texans had to punt with 12 seconds left. In a mind-numbingly boneheaded move, the return man instead of going out of bounds appeared to run out the clock. However, officials blew the whistle with 2 seconds left. The Bengals had one shot from their own 20. The hook and laterals saw a big man with football get belted. That is why offensive linemen do not carry the football.

The Bengals fell to 0-2. The Texans at 1-1 gave the victims of Hurricane Harvey something to feel good about, if only for the briefest of respites. Particular praise goes out to JJ Watt, who in addition to raising 40 million dollars for Hurricane relief also came back from an injury to help anchor a standout defense. This game may have been uglier than a Jello wrestling match between Hillary Clinton and Liz Warren, but the Texans got the job done on the road the hard way. 13-9 Texans

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens — Midway through the opening quarter the Browns faced 3r and 13 at their own 37. DeShaun Kizer was sacked and fumbled and the Ravens took over at the Cleveland 33. West ran it in for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Ravens. The Browns moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 4 at the Baltimore 26 when Kizer was intercepted. Joe Flacco returned the interception back. In the second quarter on 2nd and 14 from the Baltimore 44, Flacco found watson for gains of 20 and 23 and Allen for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Ravens.

From their own 17, the Browns fought back. However, they would be doing it without Kizer, who left the game with migraines. Getting hit in the NFL can do that to a rookie quarterback. Hogan went deep to DeValve for a 49 yard gain and the Njoku for a 23 yard touchdown to get the Browns within 14-7. With 30 seconds left in the half and the Browns facing 1st and 15 at the Baltimore 45, Hogan was intercepted by Bowser, who went Sha Na Na all the way to the Cleveland 40 with 19 seconds left. just trying to set up a field goal, Allen broke free for a 37 yard gain down to the 2 with 5 seconds left on the clock. Jim Harbaugh decided to gamble on one more play. Flacco hit Jeremy Maclin for the touchdown to make it 21-7 Browns at the half.

The second half was all defense. Cleveland would get a 38 yard field goal from Gonzalez to get within 21-10, but in the fourth quarter an 11 play 53 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive led to a 28 yard Justin Tucker field goal to put the game out of reach. 24-10 Ravens

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sometimes a bad team can go on the road and shock a good team for a major upset. This was not that game. Jameis Winston led a 13 play, 51 yard, 6 minute drive that led to a 42 yard Nick Folk field goal to start the blowout for the Buccaneers. Mike Glennon led the Bears after a touchback to a 1st and 10 at the Tampa Bay 22. Glennon was then intercepted, giving the Bucs the ball at their own 38. Tampa failed to convert on 3rd and 1 and decided to punt. The bears fumbled the punt and the Buccaneers recovered at the Chicago 13. One play later Winston hit mike Evans for the touchdown and the 10-0 Buccaneers lead. In the second quarter the Buccaneers just poured it on.

On 3rd and 8 from the Chicago 46, Glennong was sacked and fumbled. The Buccaneers recovered at the Chicago 35. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Winston only got half but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the one. Jacquez Rodgers got in for a 17-0 Buccaneers lead. The Bears then faced 3rd and 9 at their own 41, and Glennong was intercepted again. Rolando McClain returned the interception 47 yards for another touchdown and a 23-0 Buccaneers lead. Tampa got it back at their own 20 and Winston led them to the Chicago 27 with 7 seconds left in the half. After a 45 yard field goal try by Folk was nullified by a false start, Folk hit from 50 as the Buccaneers led 26-0 at intermission and John Fox asked why he wanted to coach such terrible players. An utterly pointless second half saw the Bucs add one more late field goal from 23 yards before finally surrendering a garbage touchdown.  29-7 Buccaneers

Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers — This game was a mismatch from the start. Ben Roethlisberger moved the Steelers 78 yards and hit Martavius Bryant for a 27 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Steelers lead. In the second quarter a 60 yard drive had Big Ben hitting Smith-Shuster for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Steelers. Kai Forbath did get the Vikings on the board before the half with a 42 yard field goal, but Chris Boswell answered in the third quarter from 46 yards out to make 17-3 Steelers. The Vikings moved 82 yards and Ham got in from one yard out to get the Vikings within 17-9 after the failed extra point. However, a pair of long drives by the Steelers ate up the clock. Boswell hit from 29 in the third quarter and from 37 and 43 in the fourth quarter. The Pittsburgh defense did the rest as the battle of hard-nosed Mikes saw Tomlin over Zimmer. 26-9 Steelers

New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints — Both Tom Brady and Drew Brees will be going to the Hall of Fame on their first ballot. Both of them had a miserable start to the 2017 season. One of them quickly silenced the doubters. Brady led the Patriots 75 yards in 10 plays and hit Burkhead for a 19 yard touchdown to start the scoring. The extra point was no good. Will Lutz hit a 46 yard field goal to get the Saints within 6-3, but after that it was all Patriots. 75 yards came quickly as Brady went to rob Gronkowski for a 53 yard touchdown. New England got it back and moved 67 yards and Brady hit Chris Hogan for a 13 yard touchdown as the Patriots led 20-3 after the first quarter and never let up.

The Saints tried to make a game of it. In the second quarter the Saints moved 8 0yards and Brees hit Coleman for a 5 yard score. They got it back and Lutz hit from 35 as the Saints were only down 20-13. After that reality set in. 75 yards came easily as the Saints defense had no answers for the last several years. mike Gillislee got in from 2 yards out to make it 27-13 Patriots. Stephen Gostkowski did the rest, hitting from 28 in the second quarter, from 24 in the third quarter, and from 27 in the fourth quarter to make it 36-13 Patriots.

The Saints got a garbage touchdown but Sean Payton will continue to be on the hot seat as the Saints are 0-2. Meanwhile, 3 years ago the Patriots got blasted by the Chiefs before destroying everyone else. 2017 could be a repeat of that for Evil hoodie Bill Belichick. Brees finished 27 of 45 for 356 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brady was a ridiculous 30 of 39 for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns. neither quarterback was intercepted. 36-20 Patriots.

Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs — The Walrus Lite Andy Reid Bowl saw him desperate for a win against the team that fired him. The first half was an ugly defensive slog. Both Cairo Santos and Elliott hit from 34 for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter Santos hit from 39 as the Chiefs took a 6-3 lead to the locker rooms. The offenses finally got going after halftime. The Eagles moved 81 yards and Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for a 16 yard touchdown to make it 10-6 Eagles. Hunt then capped an 83 yard drive with a 53 yard touchdown run to make it 13-10 Chiefs after thee quarters. In the fourth quarter Elliott hit from 40 for a 13-13 tie with 12 minutes left in regulation. Then the defensive game turned crazy.

The Chiefs went 3 and out and the Eagles took over after a touchback and soon faced 3rd and 12 at their own 31. Wentz had a pass over the middle bounce off a defender’s helmet straight up into the air, where it was intercepted at the line of scrimmage. Alex Smith hit Travis Kelce for a 20-13 Chiefs lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Eagles quickly went 3 and out and the Chiefs got it back at their own 44 one minute later. Dink and Dunk West Coast Offense Game Manager Alex smith turned into a bomb thrower last week, and this week he went deep to Conley for 23 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Philly 14, Hunt got around the end for a 12 yard gain and then went up the middle for the 2 yard touchdown. With only 2:15 left, the Eagles were down 27-13.

The Eagles needed a touchdown, an onside kick recovery, and a Hail Mary for another touchdown. Wentz led a furious rally. By the time he moved the Eagles 75 yards and hit Nelson Agholor for a 9 yard touchdown, only 8 seconds remained in the game. Elliott’s onside kick was perfect, and the Eagles took over with 5 seconds left at their own 46. Wentz threw his Hail Mary to the end zone, but it was well defended and batted out the back of the end zone incomplete. Reid got his vindication, making him one happy Walrus Lite. 27-20 Chiefs

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars — Tennessee was overpowered and outmuscled at home last week by Oakland, while the Jaguars won a big blowout win against woeful Indy. The Jaguars were finally turning a corner. This was the reality check. Jared Myers did hit a 43 yard field goal for a 3-0 Jaguars lead, but after that the Titans just gradually pounded the Jaguars into Cheeto dust. Ryan Succop hit field goals of 40 yards in the first quarter, 41 yards in the second quarter, and 26 yards in the third quarter. Although the Titans only led 9-3, the Jacksonville defense eventually broke.

A 46 yard punt return had the Titans starting at the Jacksonville 34. Marcus Mariota hit Melanie Walker for half of it and Derrick Henry got the remaining 17 yards on the ground for a 16-3 Titans lead. Last time the Jaguars punted on 4th and 14 form their own 21. This time they punted on 4th and 24 from their own 6. Tennessee took over just past midfield. Mariota immediately went deep to Talor for a 42 yard gain. Walker got in from one yard out to make it 23-3 Titans. Jacksonville had another backward drive, punting on 4th and 22 from their own 37. Tennessee easily moved 86 yards. Mariota connected with Smith for a 32 yard touchdown to make it 30-3 Jaguars with 10 minutes left in regulation. Blake bottles is the King of garbage yards, and he got the Jaguars in the end zone twice long after the outcome had been decided. Tennessee added one more touchdown between those scores for good measure. In the past the Jaguars only had to deal with the wrath of owner Shad Khan. Now Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin will be lighting into his band of underachievers. 37-16 Titans.

Arizona Cardinals at Indianapolis Colts — Arizona was supposed to be an elite team while the Colts were expected to be a miserable team without Andrew Luck. Jacoby Brissett got the start after watching Scott Tolzien fail miserably last week. As ESPN user-announcer Chris Berman so often said, “That’s why they play the games.” Early on a 14 play, 53 yard, 6 minute drive led to a 5 yard Frank Gore touchdown run for the Colts. Indy got it back and Adam Vinatieri hit a 46 yard field goal for a 10-0 Colts advantage after the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Cardinals had a 15 play, 54 yard drive that took 6 minutes, but settled for a 27 yard Phil Dawson field goal to trail 10-3 at the break. In the fourth quarter, a staggering 16 play, 76 yard drive consumed almost 9 1/2 minutes for the Colts. Vinatieri hit from 29 to make it 13-3 Colts with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 8:15 to play and their offense getting killed all day, the Cardinals appeared stifled again when they aced 3rd and 20 at their own 18. Carson Palmer went deep to Brown for a 22 yard gain with 15 more tacked on for roughing the passer. On the next play, Palmer went deep to Nelson for a 45 yard touchdown. Just like that, midway through the fourth quarter, the Cardinals were right back in it down 13-10.

The Cardinals got it back with 5 1/2 minutes left at their own 38. From their 41, Palmer went deep to Nelson again for a 31 yard gain. Dawson hit a 40 yard field goal as the game was tied 13-13 with 3 1/2 minutes left. The Colts were in full meltdown mode and the Cardinals got it back just shy of midfield with 25 seconds left. Palmer hit Brown for 18 yards and old reliable veteran Phil Dawson came in with 3 seconds left for a 42 yard try to win it. He was no good, wide right as the Colts had life.

It took one play in overtime for that life to be extinguished. From the Indy 26, Brissett was quickly intercepted by Matheiu, setting the Cardinals up at the Indy 21. Dawson came in for a 30 yarder and redeemed himself. Arizona may have saved their season for Bruce Arians and his geriatric stars, while Chuck Pagano at 0-2 prepared to walk the plank at the end of the season after the Colts blew a 13-3 fourth quarter lead. 16-13 Cardinals, OT

Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers — This game was all defense as the Panthers led long drives that fell short of the end zone and the Bills did even less. A 13 play, 59 yard, 6 minute drive had Graham Gano hit a 34 yard first quarter field goal to make it 3-0 Panthers. In the second quarter a 7 minute drive led to Gano hitting from 28 for a 6-0 Panthers lead at halftime. In the fourth quarter Steve Hauschka finally got the Bills on the board from 45 yards out, but a 15 play, 73 yard drive consumed 8 1/2 minutes for Carolina. Gano hit from 20 to make it 9-3 Panthers with 2 1/2 minutes left. Buffalo moved form their own 25 to a 1st and 10 at the Carolina 32 with one minute left. Offensive pass interference had the Bills in desperation mode. On 4th and 11form the Carolina 33 with 14 seconds left, Tyrod Taylor’s desperation pass fell incomplete. It was ugly, but Ron Rivera will take it. 9-3 Panthers


New York Jets at Oakland Raiders — The Silver and Black had an impressive road win at Tennessee where they closed out a game with hard-nosed running. The Jets are supposed to be a mess, but the Raiders never win games easy. Early on the Raiders offense was clicking. Derek Carr led an 11 play, 81 yard, 6 minute drive. A perfectly thrown jump ball to Michael Crabtree went for a 2 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Raiders lead. In the second quarter the Raiders got it back and moved 85 yards. Carr went to Crabtree for a 26 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Raiders lead. However, the Raiders do not tend to win games easy.

Momentum shifted after a controversial spot where the Jets were awarded a first down that seemed short of the sticks. Jack Del Rio was right to challenge the spot, but did not get the call. Josh McCown went deep to Jermaine Kearse for a 34 yard touchdown to get the Jets within 14-7. The Jets got it back and drove 62 yards in 11 plays. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 28, rather than play power football, Todd Bowles went with the pass. McCown threw incomplete and the Jets settled for a 46 yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal but only trailed 14-10. The Jets had all the momentum and the Oakland offense had slowed down. However, bad teams find a way to lose, and just before the half the Jets gave the Raiders a gift.

At the 2 minute warning, the Raiders punted from their 31 as the Jets had a chance to take the lead. The punt was fumbled and Johnny Holton recovered for the Raiders at the Jets 4 yard line. In the past the Raiders have squandered these opportunities because they lacked a true power back. Now they have Marshawn Lynch and can play smash mouth. Carr handed it to Lynch, who got nothing. so Carr handed it to lynch again. He was trapped in the backfield before bulling his way out of tackles for a couple yards to set up the critical 3rd and goal at the 2 with 23 seconds left in the half. Out of the shotgun, Carr handed it to Lynch again, and he barreled his way in for the touchdown. This was power football, and the Raiders led 21-10 at the half.

In the third quarter the Jets held the ball for 8 minutes, but moved only 45 yards in 12 plays. Catanzaro hit from 40 yards out as the Jets again made it a one score game with them down 21-13. Yet the Raiders had too much offensive firepower. 84 yards came easily as Cordarelle Patterson broke free for a 43 yard touchdown run to make it 28-13 Raiders. In the fourth quarter the deluge turned into an avalanche. 79 yards came rapidly as Jalen Richard raced for a 52 yard touchdown to make it 35-13 Raiders. On the first play after a touchback, McCown was sacked and fumbled. The Raiders took over at the Jets 18. Defensive pass interference put the ball on the one, and Carr found Crabtree for the score. With 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders led 42-13. They gave up a garbage touchdown but tacked on a field goal to wrap up a very impressive complete team win. The Raiders got to 2-0 by beating a bad team, but they won big. 45-20 Raiders.

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers — The Dolphins played their first game of the year after being rained out last week from Hurricane Irma. The Chargers played their first home game in Los Angeles in over 55 years. In the first quarter a 13 play, 70 yard, 6 minute drive led to a 30 yard Cody Parkey field goal and a 3-0 Dolphins lead. In the second quarter Too countered from 41 for a 3-3 game. The Chargers got it back and moved 70 yards as a one yard run by Melvin Gordon had the Chargers up 10-3 at intermission. The Dolphins came back 75 yards in the third quarter as Jay Cutler hit Kenny Stills for a 29 yard touchdown and a 10-10 game. The Chargers answered back with a 77 yard drive and a 7 yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates for a 17-10 Chargers lead.

The Dolphins then moved 67 yards in 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes but again bogged down in the red zone. Parkey hit from 28 as the Dolphins trailed 17-13 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Dolphins drove 64 yards in 14 plays and took 7 minutes off the clock. However they again fell apart inside the 10 due to an offensive holding call. Parkey hit from 35 as the Dolphins trailed 17-16 with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Chargers bungled the ensuing kickoff, starting at their own 6. They punted it back and the Dolphins took over just shy of midfield with 3 minutes left. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 37, Jay Cutler completed a one yard pass. With 1:10 left, Parkey came in for a 54 yard field goal try. He drilled it and the Dolphins by a deuce. Yet they may have scored too early.

With one minute left the Chargers took over at their 20. Rivers hit Keenan Allen for 13 yards and Henry for 17 more to midfield. A 10 yard completion to Gordon followed by defensive illegal use of hands had the Chargers in long field goal range at the Miami 35. Rivers hit Keenan Allen for a 9 yard gain with 19 seconds left. The Chargers faced 2nd and 1 at the Miami 26, and Rivers took a knee. With 10 seconds left the Dolphins took a timeout to leave a few seconds in case the field goal try was good. South Korean kicker Koo made the tying kick last week, but it was nullified and his retry was blocked. This week, from 44 yards out with the game on the line, again he was no good. It was wide by a hair. Say it with me everyone. New city. New kicker. New coach. Same Chargers. 19-17 Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks — The Seahawks appear to have a great defense again while the 49ers seem to be awful at everything. Again, that’s why they play the games. With division games, anything can happen. Seattle drove deep twice in the first quarter but had to settle for Blair Walsh field goals of 25 and 27 yards for a 6-0 lead. In the second quarter Robbie Gould hit field goals of 40 and 37 yards for a stunning 6-6 halftime tie. An even uglier second half had Gould hit from 34 with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The 49ers led 9-6 and were looking for the upset of the year. Meanwhile, Seattle did not have a single touchdown in nearly two games.

Seattle took over at their own 18 and finally moved the ball. On 3rd and 1, Russell Wilson scrambled for 7 yards. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Seahawks faced a 3rd and 7 at the San Francisco 9 yard line. Wilson found Richardson as the Seahawks finally had a touchdown. Walsh doinked the extra point off the upright no good but the Seahawks led by a field goal. The 49ers decided not to gamble on 4th and 3 from their own 27 with 5 minutes left. Their defense had played well all game. Yet this time they could not get a stop. Carson had gains of 9 and 16 as the 49ers never got the ball back. The Seahawks avoided an embarrassing loss, but questions about the offense will remain. 12-9 Seahawks

Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Rams — A pair of inconsistent teams met. The Redskins held the ball for 7 1/2 minutes and 14 plays to move 57 yards. They settled for a 41 yard Dustin Hopkins field goal but set the tone early with a 3-0 road lead. The Redskins got it back and moved 65 yards as Thompson ran for a 7 yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to make it 10-0 Redskins. Two plays later the Rams fumbled and the Redskins had a short field at the Rams 30. Despite 2nd and goal at the 4, a pair of incompletions by Kirk Cousins had the Redskins up 13-0.

The Rams finally wok up and quickly moved 75 yards. Jared Goff hit Kupp for a 69 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the one, Todd Gurley got in to get the Rams within 13-7. The Rams got it back and moved from their 32 to a 1st and 10 at the Washington 12. On 3rd and 8 Goff was sacked. greg Zuerlein hit from 32 yards out as the Rams only trailed 13-10 with 3 minutes left in the half. After a touchback, Thompson took a handoff and raced 61 yards for a touchdown as the redskins led 20-10 at the break.

In the third quarter the Rams kept things competitive by moving 93 yards without much resistance. An 18 yard touchdown pass from Goff to Gurley had the Rams within 20-17. In the fourth quarter the Rams held the ball for 7 1/2 minutes and 14 plays, moving 53 yards. On 4th and 6 from the Washington 45, a perfectly executed fake punt saw Johnny Hekker hit Reynolds for 28 yards. On 2nd and 7 from the 14, offensive pass interference killed the drive. Zuerlein hit a 40 yarder for a 20-20 tie midway through the fourth quarter.

Kirk Cousins is making 24 million dollars this year and he wants a long-term contract. Last week he fumbled the ball away in a loss. This week he had another chance to try and be a hero. The Redskins took over at their own 30. On 3rd and 6, Cousins hit Crowder for an 8 yard gain. On 2nd and 7 from the Rams 40, Cousins hit Terrelle Pryor for 23 yards. With 1:55 left, the Redskins faced 3rd and 4 from the Rams 11. Too much time remained to bleed the clock and kick a field goal. So Cousins hit Grant for the touchdown to complete the 10 play, 70 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. The Redskins led by 7, but now Goff had a chance to play hero. On the first play from scrimmage from the Rams 28 with 1:44 left, he was intercepted. 27-20 Redskins

Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos — A key early test for both teams saw the Broncos strike first. Denver moved 78 yards and Trevor Siemian hit Emanuel Sanders for a 10 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Broncos lead. With 33 seconds left in the first quarter,  a lightning storm in the Denver area led to a lengthy delay. When play finally resumed to start the second quarter, Denver quickly faced 3rd and 5 at their 25. Siemian was belted for a 16 yard loss and the resulting fumble was recovered by the Cowboys at the Denver 3 yard line. Das Prescott hit Dez Bryant for the touchdown and the 7-7 tie.

After nearly avoiding another lost fumble, the Broncos would move 81 yards in 14 plays and take 6:45 off the clock. Siemian hit CJ Anderson for a 16 yard touchdown and a 14-7 Broncos lead. The Cowboys punted and a 20 yard return had the Broncos starting just shy of the mid stripe. A 14 yard run by Jamal Charles led to a critical 3rd and 3 at the Dallas 12 with 1:51 left in the half. Siemian scrambled for 6 yards and on the next play hit Emanuel Sanders for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Broncos. Dallas did get a spark at the end of the half when Dan Bailey drilled a 56 yard field goal to get the Cowboys within 21-10.

However, the Broncos moved 75 yards in 15 plays in the third quarter, taking 7 minutes off the clock. Siemian’s fourth touchdown pass, a 2 yarder to Green, had the Broncos cruising up 28-10. Prescott was then intercepted, setting the Broncos up at the Dallas 23 CJ Anderson raced all the way for the touchdown as the Broncos were winning a rout 35-10.

Late in the third quarter Siemian’s only interception had the Cowboys with a short field at the Denver 39. The fourth quarter began with Prescott hitting Jason Witten for a 28 yard touchdown. The Cowboys were within 35-17 as Prescott tried to lead a rally that never came. With 4 minutes to play, on 4th and 3 from the Denver 7, Prescott threw incomplete. With 1:12 left, on 4th and goal from the 6, Prescott was intercepted in the end zone by Aqib Talib, who returned it 103 yards for an exclamation point touchdown. Prescott finished 30 of 50 for 238 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Siemian was 22 of 32 for 231 yards, 4 touchdowns, and one interception. Denver is 2-0 and may have more than enough offense to complement their tenacious defense. 42-17 Broncos

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons is the Sunday night game. 8 months ago in the NFC Title Game in Atlanta, the Falcons jumped to a 24-0 lead in a 44-21 win. This time the results were similar. The Falcons moved 86 yards in 5 minutes and Devonta Freeman got the last yard to make it 7-0 Falcons. The Packers came back 75 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Ty Montgomery got the last yard for a 7-7 game after the first quarter. After that, it was all Falcons.

In the second quarter, The Falcons moved 87 yards in 10 plays. Freeman got the last 2 yards for another touchdown to make it 14-7 Falcons. Atlanta got it back and moved 58 yards, with Matt Bryant hitting a 51 yard field goal for a 17-7 Falcons lead. A relatively close game with one minute left in the half was broken wide open. The Packers faced 2nd and 12 from their own 3. Aaron Rodgers went deep and was intercepted, giving the Falcons the ball at the Green Bay 36. Ryan ran for 8 yards and then went deep to Mohammed San for a 21 yard gain. Ryan hit Coleman for the 3 yard touchdown for a 24-7 Falcons halftime lead. On the second play of the third quarter from the Green Bay 30, Rodgers was sacked and fumbled. Vic Beasley returned it 15 yards for another score and a 31-7 Falcons lead.

Mason Crosby hit a 28 yard field goal for the Packers and Bryant responded from 53 to make it 34-10 Falcons after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Packers moved 75 yards in 13 plays, but took 6 1/2 minutes off the clock. A 33 yard touchdown pass to Devonte Adams got the Packers within 34-16, but the 2 point conversion failed. Green Bay got it back and moved 85 yards. Montgomery got the last yard as the Packers closed to within 34-23 with 6 minutes left in regulation. The Packers needed a stop on defense but a pair of ket third down conversions bled time off the clock. By the time the Packers got the ball back, they were at their own 12 yard line with one minute left. 34-23 Falcons

Detroit Lions at New York Giants was the Monday night game. Last year a stifling defense powered the Giants to a 17-6 victory at home over the Lions in December that sent the Giants to the playoffs with momentum and left the Lions reeling. Again the Giants had the home field advantage, but these teams seem to be going in opposite directions. Early on Eli Manning was sacked and fumbled, with the Lions returning it for a touchdown. That was reversed to down by contact, but the Lions got the ball at their own 46 and moved quickly. On 3rd and 9 from the Giants 38, Matthew Stafford scrambled for 13 yards. On 3rd and 12 from the Giants 27, Stafford went deep to Jones for the touchdown and the 7-0 Lions lead.

After a touchback, the Giants moved to a critical 3rd and 6 at the Detroit 35. Manning found Evan Engram for 17 yards as the first quarter ended. On the first play of the second quarter, Manning went back to Engram for the 17 yard touchdown. The game was tied 7-7, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Engram after the score combined with the ensuing kickoff out of bounds had the Lions taking over with a short field at the Giants 45 yard line. On 3rd and 8 from the Giants 33, Stafford was sacked and fumbled the ball away. Yet on the next play from the Giants 36, Manning was intercepted by Whitehead to set the Lions up at the Giants 29. On 3rd and 6 from the Giants 7, Stafford hit Eric Ebron for the touchdown to make it 14-7 Lions.

With 3 minutes left in the half, the Lions took over at their own 25. Stafford hit Abdullah for 24 yards, but the Lions faced 3rd and 12 at the Giants 48. Stafford hit Golden Tate for 10 yards, and on 4th and 2, Jim Caldwell decided to have Matt Prater try a 56 yard field goal. Prater nailed it and the lions took a 17-7 lead to the locker rooms.

In the third quarter the Giants soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 25. Manning hit O’Dell Beckham for 16 yards and Adams for 38 more. A 17 yard completion to Brandon Marshall meant 1st and goal at the one. Offensive holding pushed the Giants back, and on 3rd and goal at the 9, Manning hit Engram to set up 4th and goal at the 2. Ben McAdoo decided to go for it, but a false start killed the chance. Rosas hit the 25 yard field goal to get the Giants within 17-10, but it was a major lost opportunity.

The Giants were being dominated on offense and defense but were still in the game. Yet it was special teams that put the dagger in. With 13 minutes left in regulation, the Giants punted on 4th and 1 from their own 28. Agnew returned it 88 yards for the clinching Detroit touchdown. With 10 minutes left the Giants faced 4th and 3 at their own 48. A completion from Manning to Shane Vereen was ruled a first down, but Jim Caldwell properly challenged the spot. The call was reversed as the Giants turned it over on downs. The Giants then moved from their own 9 to a 1st and 10 at the Detroit 29. 4 incompletions later, the Giants were done. One ball would have been caught for a score had the receiver not been blasted. The Giants are 0-2 while the Lions have gotten to 2-0 in impressive fashion. Jim Caldwell was so pleased that he almost made a facial expression. 24-10 Lions

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