Bills 27, Vikings 6— Three of first five times Buffalo had ball, they started drive in Viking territory; Bills had 22-yard edge in field position in winning Josh Allen’s first career road start- they led 27-0 at the half. Underdogs of 16+ points are now 6-75 SU in their last 81 games; this was biggest upset in NFL since Redskins Dallas on Dec. 3, 1995.
Minnesota ran ball only six times for 14 yards in this game; they turned ball over three times.
Lions 26, Patriots 10— Detroit outgained Patriots 414-209, but they also kicked four FGs while scoring only two TD’s, a red flag for their offense. New England should get Gordon/Edelman back at WR soon; they need ‘em- Patriots averaged only 4.3 yards/pass attempt. Big night for former Patriot assistant coach Matt Patricia- his first win as an NFL head coach.
Saints 43, Falcons 37 OT— Last four times New Orleans had ball, they ran 38 plays 247 yards, four TD’s; they had only one TD on their first eight drives. Game turned when Saints blocked a punt when trailing 21-16- they scored on a 16-yard drive after that, only one of ten TD drives in this game that was shorter than 75 yards. Atlanta gained 9.4 yards/pass attempt, but their defense fell apart down the stretch.
Chiefs 38, 49ers 27— Overshadowing this game is Garoppolo blowing out his knee, a disaster for San Francisco. Chiefs’ offense was perfect in first half; five drives, 41 plays, 295 yards, five TD’s and a 35-10 lead. KC now has 15 TD’s, only two FGA’s this year. Home side has now won last ten games in this series. CJ Beathard takes over at QB; would the Niners take a look at bringing back Colin Kaepernick?
Rams 35, Chargers 23— Rams lost both starting CB’s during this game; they play Minnesota on Thursday, which could be dicey. In this game, Rams blocked punt for a TD, only TD scored all week in NFL by defense/special teams. Teams combined to convert 15-24 on third down in this game; Rams had three TD drives of 75+ yards- they didn’t have one longer than 59 yards in first two games.
Dolphins 28, Raiders 20— Oakland is 0-3 despite leading all three games at halftime; they’ve been outscored 64-17 in second half this season. Miami averaged 13.3 yards/pass attempt, including a 52-yard TD on a trick play that gave Miami the lead for good with 7:18 left. Fish are now +4 in turnovers- over is 12-4 in their last sixteen home games.
Eagles 20, Colts 16— Wentz was 25-37/227 passing in his 2018 debut; Eagles outgained Colts 379-209 for game, overcoming -2 turnover ratio. Indy is obviously much-improved with Luck back at QB; they scored only 16 points on five red zone drives, though and were 2-12 on third down, after going 20-33 in first two games. Philly had a TD drive that lasted over 11:00.
Panthers 31, Bengals 21— Teams with -4 turnover ratios rarely win; Dalton threw four picks, allowed 230 rushing yards (McCaffery had 28 carries for 184 yards, after catching 14 passes for 102 yards LW). Cincy had eight plays of 20+ yards; Carolina has allowed 15 such plays in their last two games. All three Bengal games this year went over the total.
Ravens 27, Broncos 14— More and more I hear that “….the first four games of NFL season are for evaluation”, since starters don’t play much in preseason these days. Home side is 3-0 vs spread in Raven games. Denver is now 1-10 in its last 11 road games; they’re 4-12 vs spread in last 16 games as road underdogs. Ravens scored first TD on 6-yard drive after a blocked punt;
Titans 9, Jaguars 6— First NFL game this season with no TD’s; there was only play of 20+ yards. Gabbert started at QB, got knocked goofy, Mariota threw for only 100 yards. Tennessee has now won five of last six games vs Jacksonville; first downs in this game were 15-12, Titans. Rams had 14 first downs in first quarter alone Sunday.
Redskins 31, Packers 17– In first half, Redskins had ball six times; they ran 33 plays for 323 yards scoring four TD’s- they led 28-10 at the half on a rainy day. Adrian Peterson had 19 carries for 120 yards. Thru three games, Green Bay has only 36 points on nine red zone drives. Over is now 14-3 in Green Bay’s last 17 road games.
Giants 27, Texans 22— Houston’s two running backs ran ball combined 14 times for 23 yards; Watson threw for 385 yards, but they’ve got no balance and now O’Brien is on the hot seat. Manning was 25-29/297 passing as Big Blue silences the back pages of the tabloids for a week. Bekcham had nine catches for 109 yards; his presence is opening up chances for other guys to catch passes.
Bears 16, Cardinals 14— Arizona put rookie QB Josh Rosen in for his NFL debut with 4:31 left and Cardinals down 16-14; I’ve never seen a coach put a young QB on the spot like that before. He threw INT’s on both his drives, though one was on 4th down so he had to force ball in.
Arizona led 14-0 in first quarter; after that, they ran 39 plays for 120 yards and zero points. Redbirds turned the ball over on all four of their second half possessions.
Seahawks 24, Cowboys 13— Seattle won its last ten home openers, and 15 of last 16; they were +3 in turnovers here. In three games, Cowboys have only four plays of 20+ yards; they’ve scored total of 21 points in losing both their road games, are 8-38 on third down. Under is 15-2-1 in Seahawks’ last 18 home openers. Under is 18-7 in Cowboys’ last 25 road games.