Steelers 39, Ravens 38— Roethlisberger is now first NFL QB with three 500+-yard passing games; Steelers converted 12-18 on 3rd down, overcame 31-20 deficit in 4th quarter, kicking GW FG with 0:42 left. Pitt won its last eight games; five of their last six wins were by 5 or less points. Ravens are +20 in turnovers in their wins, -7 in losses. Antonio Brown caught 11 balls for 213 yards for the Steelers, who host New England next week.
Steelers led this game 14-0 early; in their history, Pittsburgh is 216-0-2 at home when they lead by 14+ points in the first half.
Eagles 43, Rams 35— Both teams lost here; Rams lost the game, Eagles fear they lost QB Wentz with a torn ACL. Backup QB Foles led three drives for Eagles; two of them ended in FG’s, but he is no Wentz. Philly led 21-7 early, but LA blocked a punt for a TD to take a 28-24 lead. Rams are only 11 of last 43 on 3rd down; they lost both starting CB’s to injury.
Pet Peeve Department: This was a really good game between two really good teams; there were 130 plays in this game, plus 15 kickoffs— can you imagine the amount of trash talking going on, in a game with over 67,000 fans, many of whom were Eagle fans?
Yet only one taunting penalty was called the whole game, a huge penalty on Rams’ CB Trumaine Johnson after an incomplete pass on a 3rd-and-10 with 5:56 left in third quarter, that turned an Eagles’ FG attempt into an Eagles’ TD. You call a taunting penalty in that spot, you’re determining who wins the game.
Panthers 31, Vikings 24— Cam Newton threw an INT on a tipped ball with 4:36 left that gave Minnesota great field position for tying FG, but then he led Carolina 75 yards on five plays for the game-winning TD with 1:47 left, snapping Minnesota’s 8-game win streak. In their last five games, Minnesota is 34-66 (51.5%) on 3rd down, their opponents 17-61 (27.9%). Panthers won five of last six games, are tied with Saints for first place in NFC South.
Jaguars 30, Seahawks 24— Game was 3-0 at the half; if you bet the under, yikes. Seattle scored three TD’s in this game, on drives of 2-1-2 plays, on plays of 26-61-74 yards, but Wilson threw three INTs and Jaguars had TD drives of 42-1-75 yards, and averaged 9.9 yards/pass attempt.
With three games left, Jacksonville leads AFC South by a game; Seattle trails the Rams by a game in NFC West, but they host LA this coming week.
Bills 13, Colts 7 OT— Game was played during a blizzard; as much as a foot of snow fell during the game. Carts couldn’t come on the field to take injured players off the field, because they’d get stuck in the snow. Colts tied game with 1:16 left, but then Buffalo scored on a 21-yard run by McCoy to improve to 7-6. Buffalo somehow converted 10-18 on 3rd down, with 3rd-string QB Webb playing second half after rookie starter Peterman got hurt.
Cardinals 12, Titans 7— Arizona won without scoring a TD; NFL teams are 5-26 this season when they don’t score an offensive TD- in three of other four wins, the losing team didn’t score an offensive TD either, making that stat effectively 2-23.
Tennessee was -2 in turnovers; this week, teams that were -2 or worse in turnovers are 2-9. Titans are game behind Jacksonville in AFC South but are still in Wild Card race too.
Lions 24, Buccaneers 21— Matthew Stafford is making around $28M a year now, so when you make $28M and you hurt your hand, you play anyway, and you go 36-44/381 passing, and lead the team to the game-winning FG with 0:20 left.
This was an ugly game; Bucs turned ball over five times. Detroit three, but there are no ugly wins and the Lions are now 7-6 and have life in the Wild Card chase.
Packers 27, Browns 21 OT— Cleveland led 21-7 after three quarters; Packers tied game with 0:17 left, then won it in OT and are now 7-6, with Rodgers expected at QB in next week or two. Last three weeks, Green Bay opponents converted 24 of 42 third down plays.
Browns are now 3-10 vs spread; if you bet Cleveland +3, this was a brutal beat, but if you bet on the Browns +3, you deserve a brutal beat or two. Don’t wager on terrible teams.
Chiefs 26, Raiders 15— KC and Chargers are now tied atop AFC West after this surprisingly easy win by the Chiefs over their longtime rivals, just their second win in last eight games overall.
Dismal effort by the Raiders, who ran the ball only 11 times, threw it 41- they were outgained 408-268.
Chargers 30, Redskins 13— Washington went 3/out on five of 11 drives; they were outgunned 488-201. This is a small point, but with 2:34 left in game, Jay Gruden committed coaching malpractice- here’s how:
Chargers led 30-6 in last 3:00, but Redskins scored on a pick-6 to make it 30-12 with 2:34 left. This is a about a 1,000-1 shot, but if Washington gets a 2-point conversion, then it is 30-14 and a two-score game. You try the onside kick and who knows?
To me it is inexcusable not to at least TRY the 2-point conversion; it is called giving up.
Bears 33, Bengals 7— Cincy had a hangover from blowing a 17-0 lead to their rival Steelers Monday night; Chicago outgained them 482-234 with a rookie QB playing on the road. Since 2005, Cincy is 5-10-1 vs spread in game the week following a loss to Pittsburgh.
Cowboys 30, Giants 10— Game was tied 10-10 with 8:00 left, but then Dallas scored three TD’s in a 4:41 span to win going away. Giants scored TD/FG on their first three drives, but for rest of the game, they ran 48 plays for 176 yards, as they dropped to 1-5 at home.
49ers 26, Texans 16— Houston QB Savage got knocked goofy, 3rd-stringer TJ Yates finished up for Texan squad that lost six of its last seven games. 49ers won three of last four games after a 0-9 start; Garoppolo is now 4-0 as an NFL starter.
Broncos 23, Jets 0— Denver snaps an 8-game skid by blanking Jets squad that lost QB McCown to injury; Gang Green didn’t any plays longer than 14 yards, was held to 100 total yards for the game. Jets are 1-5 on the road and the only win was in Cleveland.