The Cleveland Browns went on the road to face off with the division leading Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens defense came up huge in this one as they would come up with four sacks and three turnovers. Despite the final score, the Browns once again led at halftime. Joe Flacco even told his team during the half, “Not only do we know we will comeback and win, but they know it too”. At this point you have to wonder if they will ever be able to win this season. With the Steelers, Giants, Bengals, Bills, and Chargers left on the schedule, it does not seem like they will. On the bright side, or just less shady side, the Browns trade for Jamie Collins looks like it is paying off as Collins had 7 tackles and a sack in Thursday’s games.
The wounded Green Bay Packers got beat up even more in Tennessee. The Titans first play from scrimmage resulted in DeMarco Murray going 75 yards for a touchdown without a single Green Bay defender ever touching him. Murray would not stop the scoring there as later in the quarter he himself threw for a ten yard touchdown to put this game out of hand after just the first quarter. The Packers started to claw their way back in the second quarter, but every time Green Bay scored, Tennessee then scored. This led to a halftime score of a whopping 35-16. Things got a little heated in the third quarter after a brawl broke out after a late hit on an Aaron Rodgers touchdown run. In the fourth quarter, the Packers offense was held in check as the Titans big up the big 47-25 win. Do not overlook these Tennessee Titans as now they have full control of second place in the AFC South and are looking to make a playoff push.
The Kansas City went on the road to take on the Carolina Panthers in inter-conference play. The Panthers were all over the Chiefs early as they were able to take a 17-3 lead into the half. After a scoreless third quarter, both the Carolina offense and defense seemed to disappear. The Chiefs dominated Carolina in the fourth quarter as they were able to score 17 unanswered points thanks to a few key defensive plays, including Marcus Peters stripping Kelvin Benjamin to set up the game winning field goal. With the 20-17 win, Kansas city now sits atop the AFC West tied with the Oakland Raiders, a team they have previously beaten in week 6.
The Houston Texans looked to get stay ahead of the AFC South division as they played the worst team in the division, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans started the day off in the best way possible as they started the day’s scoring with a pick 6. Houston was able to tame the Jaguar as they had a 14-10 halftime lead. The Texans scored just enough in the second half to outlast the Jacksonville comeback bid. After beating the Jaguars, Houston got their first road win of the season.
Down in New Orleans, the Saints hosted the Denver Broncos. Another inter-conference game that provided an exciting ending. The first half of this game was a slow starting one as the only notable play was a questionable touchdown pass to Jordan Taylor. Being down 10-3, Drew Brees and Willie Snead took over the third quarter as they connected twice for touchdowns to take the lead. Denver then made their own comeback to take a 23-17 lead. After Drew Brees found Brandin Cooks for a touchdown, the Saints had the game won. All New Orleans had to do was convert the extra point attempt. Denver had other ideas as they were able to block the kick. Will Parks then recovered the ball and ran it all the way back for the two point conversion to win the Broncos the game. There is a lot of controversy over whether or not Parks stepped out of bounds on the return. Nonetheless the Broncos are now just half a game behind the division leading Chiefs and Raiders.
Bryce Petty got his first career NFL start against the Los Angeles Rams in New York. It was not quite the start he was looking for as he would lead the Jets to only six points. Despite having the only touchdown in the game, the Jets found a way to lose to the Rams. Greg Zuerlein was the hero yet again for the Rams as he went 3-3 on field goals. With Case Keenum’s play still underwhelming, how much longer must we wait to see the drafts number one overall pick, Jared Goff finally get to play. Sitting at 4-5, it would not hurt to give the kid a shot. Who knows, maybe he gets the Rams to 8-8 so they can break their 7-9 curse.
The Atlanta Falcons took their number one scoring offense into Philly to take on the suddenly cold Eagles. Finally getting to play back at home after two division game losses, the Eagles came out looking as hot as they ever have this season. Philly rode its defense and Ryan Mathews to win this NFC showdown. The shutdown of the Falcons is the biggest thing the Eagles defense has done this year. If the defense would play like this every week, the Eagles would be legitimate playoff contenders. For Ryan Mathews, who had just gotten benched a mere week ago, he had a huge bounce back game as he exploded for 10 yards and two touchdowns. Mathews success might be short lived as Philly travels to Seattle next week to take on the Seahawks. This will be their second game in a row against a team leading their respective division.
After a huge win over the Vikings, many thought the Chicago Bears would just steamroll through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That would not be the case as it was the Bears who got steamrolled. Jameis Winston and Doug Martin led the way as Tampa Bay would generate 360 yards of total offense. For the Bears, Jay Cutler is back to playing like Jay Cutler. He had 4 total turnovers just by himself in this game. If that was not bad enough, Alshon Jeffery has received a four game suspension for use of PEDs. With Jeffery out, Cutler’s play might get even worse.
The faltering Vikings lost their fourth game in a row after traveling to our nation’s capital to take on the Washington Redskins. The Redskins took over early as they found themselves up 14-0. Minnesota would show some hope as they would score 20 unanswered points in the second quarter to lead the Redskins 20-14 at halftime. In the second half, it was all Washington as they would score 4 field goals to give themselves the 26-20 victory. With the Vikings losing, they are now tied for first place in the NFC North. The Redskins win means that they were able to keep pace with the rest of the NFC East as each team in the division won this week.
The Dolphins defense stood tall in San Diego despite giving up 24 points. After intercepting Philip Rivers three times, Kiko Alonso would make it four. Alonso’s interception would turn into the game winning pick 6 as the Dolphins were able to knock off the Chargers, 31-24. For Miami’s offense, Ryan Tannehill threw for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns. While the Dolphins may not be a great team, they have won four games in a row and are creeping their way into the playoff picture. For the Chargers it is the opposite, with the Chiefs, Raiders, and Broncos all three games ahead of them, San Diego is pushing themselves out of playoff contention. It will interesting to see how these two teams progress from here as the end of the season draws nearer and nearer.
The Arizona Cardinals hosted the San Francisco 49ers in a game they were heavily favored in. It certainly started that way as the touchdown machine that is David Johnson went on to score two touchdowns to put the Cardinals up 14-0. Things would turn around as the Cardinals would fumble the ball a couple of times to allow the 49ers to comeback and tie the game in the fourth quarter. With three seconds left, Cardinals kicker, Chandler Catanzaro, nailed a 34-yard field goal to give Arizona the win. With the Cardinals struggling early in the season, they have a lot of ground to make up as they find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.
The Cowboys and Steelers took part in a scoring frenzy. Le’veon Bell would start the scoring with a rushing touchdown early. After the Steelers took a 12-3 lead, Ezekiel Elliott took a screen pass 83-yards for a touchdown to bring Dallas within one score. Before the half, both teams would add a field goal as the Steelers led 15-13. In the second half, both teams took turns scoring touchdowns. With just seconds left on the clock, Ezekiel Elliott put the game in his hands as he ran for a 32 yard touchdown to steal the win away from the Steelers. With Dallas continuing to roll, they now have the best record in football and it looks as though no one will be able to stop them.
In a largely anticipated rematch of Super Bowl XLIX, the verdict of the game once again came down to the one yard line. This time it was the Patriots who needed the touchdown to win as they trailed 31-24. Remembering what happened a few years ago, the Patriots did try to run the ball on first, second, or third down. With one more down left, Tom Brady tried to get the ball to Gronkowski but the pass would fall incomplete. This would be Tom Brady’s first loss on the season as New England now sits at 7-2. For the Seahawks, they now become 6-2-1 as they continue to lead in the NFC West. This win however meant more for the Seahawks than just staying ahead in the West. This win was their chance to have their revenge upon the team that had out lasted them in the Super Bowl. With what other teams around the NFL have done this season, do not be surprised if we see these two teams play each other again in this year’s Super Bowl.
On Monday night football, the Giants needed a win to keep up with the Dallas Cowboys who won the day before. Both teams were able to pick up touchdowns in the first quarter, but it was the Giants who were able to get the edge after Odell Beckham scored a touchdown right before the half. In the third quarter, it was all Bengals as they would pick up a touchdown and field goal 20-14 entering the fourth quarter. The Giants scored early in the quarter to take back the lead. The Giants defense was able to hold strong and stop the Bengals from scoring again as the Giants pick up the 21-20 win. The Giants are another one of those teams this year that are not that great. However, they are a dangerous team in the postseason and if they can hold on and get there, who knows what will happen?