Cowboys 27, Eagles 20— Home side has now lost nine of last 11 series games; Dallas won five of last six visits here. With seven weeks left in the season, Redskins have a 2-game lead in the NFC East. Cowboys are 4-0 when they score 20+ points, 0-5 when they don’t; they ran ball for 171 yards in first game with their new OL coach. Eagles are 0-4 as home favorites this year.
Rams 36, Seahawks 31— About 20 Rams players/coaches had to evacuate their homes this week because of the wild fires; the team didn’t practice on Friday, but did enough here to move to 9-1. Seattle ran the ball for 273 yards; they’re only NFL team that runs the ball more than they throw it. Costly win for the Rams; looks like WR Cooper Kupp tore his ACL.
I wasn’t going to mention this if the Rams lost, but since they won, hopefully the NFL will grade referee John Hussey very poorly for this game- he gave Seattle their third TD by throwing a flag on Rams’ DE Fowler when Fowler complained about being held after a 3rd-and-11 pass that fell incomplete. Fowler was walking away but the referee wouldn’t walk away and threw a flag that amounted to a turnover in Rams’ territory at a key point in the second half.
Titans 34, Patriots 10— When your division rivals are three of the worst organizations in the NFL, you can afford to lay an egg now and then. Tennessee DC Dean Pees spent six years with New England— his defense was brilliant, holding Patriots to one TD and only 284 yards. New England ran ball for only 40 yards, was just 3-15 on third down.
Right now, looks like the Patriots might be battling Pittsburgh for the #2 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Tennessee is a game behind Houston in the AFC South.
Browns 28, Falcons 16— Rookie QB Mayfield completed his first 13 passes, finished 17 of 20 for 216 yards, as Cleveland played their best game in a long time, ending Atlanta winning streak at three. Rookie RB Chubb ran 92 yards for a Cleveland TD; Browns ran ball for 211 yards, had three TD drives of 80+ yards.
Bills 41, Jets 10— Matt Barkley started his first NFL game in two years, got his 2nd career win (2-5) as a starter, as Buffalo crushed the Jets, outgaining them 163-1 in the first quarter. Jets now have two TD’s on their last 35 drives.
Friends of mine who are Jets fans were clamoring for Todd Bowles to be fired during the Jets’ bye week (this week). Buffalo outgained them here 451-199, playing with a QB they signed off the street a few weeks ago.
Saints 51, Bengals 14— New Orleans won its last eight games and they scored 40 points in the game they lost; this was a total ass-kicking, as New Orleans ran for 244 yards, threw for 265 more and led 35-7 at halftime.
Bengals/Titans are tied for the second Wild Card spot in the AFC, but this was a discouraging game, a total no-show; Cincinnati has lost three of its last four games- good teams don’t lose this badly at home. New Orleans covered its last seven games.
Redskins 16, Buccaneers 3— A very unusual boxscore:
— Tampa Bay outgained the Redskins 501-286
— Fitzpatrick threw for 406 yards, but Tampa Bay scored 3 points.
— Bucs had ball in red zone on five different drives; they turned ball over twice, missed two FG’s and kicked a FG.
— Tampa Bay was -4 (0-4) in turnovers, usually a recipe for disaster.
— Washington has allowed 17 or fewer points in all six of its wins; they’re 0-3 allowing more than 20 points, but have a 2-game lead in the NFC East.
When Dirk Koetter is applying for his next coaching job this winter, he’ll have to explain how his offense gained 501 yards but scored only three points. In their last seven games, Buccaneers are an incredibly bad minus-21 in turnovers- thats only seven games!!!
Steelers 52, Panthers 21— Home teams are 8-2 on Thursday night games; think it is a big advantage to be at home with the short week.
Steelers won/covered their last five games; they scored on a 75-yard pass with their first play of the game, after Carolina had taken a 7-0 lead. Panthers are two games behind New Orleans in the NFC South, but they play the Saints twice in the last seven weeks. Carolina +11 in TO’s in their wins, -5 in losses- they were -2 in this game.
Packers 31, Dolphins 12— Miami was in red zone three times, kicked two FG’s; they didn’t score an offensive TD for second week in a row (20 drives). Dolphins lost their last four road games, by 31-10-19-19 points- they’re 3-9 vs spread in last 12 games as road underdogs. Green Bay was in red zone four times, scored four TD’s. Packers are now 19-12-2 in their last 32 games as HF.
Colts 29, Jaguars 26— Indy scored 37-42-29 points in winning last three games, after a 1-5 start; Colts didn’t score in second half here, holding on for dear life after leading 29-13 a minute before halftime. Vinatieri missed a 52-yard FG that would’ve covered the spread with 2:53 left. Over is 5-1 in the Colts’ last six games.
Jacksonville’s offense showed some life, but they’ve lost five games in a row, and were outscored 97-23 in the first half of those games.
Bears 34, Lions 22— Chicago threw for 348 yards, was +3 (3-0) in turnovers; they’re 4-1 at home this year, 4-0 as HF. Bears averaged 11.2 yards per pass attempt- their defense sacked Stafford six times. Chicago kicker Parkey missed two FG’s, two PAT’s; last guy to do that (Cleveland’s K in Week 2) got cut after that game.
Lions fired their special teams coach Monday, so they’ve got issues in their building; Detroit ran ball for only 76-66-34 yards in their last three games; they allowed 16 sacks in their last two games- maybe the OL coach should’ve been canned instead of the special teams guy.
Chiefs 28, Cardinals 16— Since 2000, Chiefs were 23rd NFL team to be favored by 17+ points; those teams went 8-13-2 vs spread (they all won SU). KC was +2 in turnovers, won field position by 12 yards; Arizona holding them to 26 points seemed like a win for Arizona.
Chargers 20, Raiders 6— Chargers won their last six games; they’re 5-0 outside LA, holding Oakland without a TD here. Raiders had ball on 2-yard line on their first drive after faking a punt for a first down, but they went for it on 4th down and got stuffed.
Under Lynn, LA is 4-1-1 as road favorites, 3-0 this year- they held last five opponents under 20 points. Raiders lost last four games; they’re 3-7-1 vs spread in last 11 games as home underdogs.
When you get to the red zone three times and score only three points, that not good.