Titans 12, Browns 9 OT— Not a great week for offense; seven teams failed to score an offensive TD, five others scored only one TD on offense. Total yardage in this game: 284-269 Browns, but they threw three INTs and Kizer was benched again, this time for Cody Kessler. At one point, Cleveland declined a face mask penalty on the Titans, leaving Tennessee with a 4th-and-1, but then the Browns jumped offside, which led to a Titan FG, which was the margin of victory.
Memo to the Ivy League nitwit who runs the Browns: Draft a bleeping quarterback!!!!
Jaguars 27, Colts 0— Total yardage was 518-232 Jaguars- they were -2 in turnovers and still jogged to an easy win, running ball for 188 yards. Colts have been outscored 134-44 in second half of game; now that Andrew Luck has had a setback and may not return this year, hard to imagine Chuck Pagano won’t get fired. Jaguars averaged 11.8 yards per pass attempt.
Steelers 29, Bengals 14— Game was 14-14 with 7:12 left in the half; from that point on, Steelers had ball seven times, kicked five FGs and won going away. Pittsburgh ran a really cool fake punt, snapping ball to the up-back, who passed the ball to the gunner on the right sideline— never saw that play before. Steelers scored only 38 points on their last 11 red zone drives, a red flag. Cincy is 1-6 vs spread in last seven games as a road underdog.
Vikings 24, Ravens 16—- Baltimore lost 4 of its last 5 games after a 2-0 start; they scored total of five TDs on 56 drives in those games. Stuff I read on the Internet this week from knowledgeable NFL writers blamed the Raven WR’s, not Flacco— I blame whoever hired Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator— the guy is awful. Vikings are now 15-5 as a home favorite under Zimmer. Will Vikings turn to Teddy Bridgewater or stick with Case Keenum at QB?
Dolphins 31, Jets 28— Second week in row Jets had 14-point lead but lost; second week in a row Dolphins trailed by 14+ points but won. Cutler got hurt; backup QB Matt Moore was 13-21/188 and led Miami to a comeback win. Jets’ QB McCown threw an awful INT with 0:39 left, giving Dolphins the ball on the Jets’ 27- they kicked winning FG with 0:22 left, ending a 6-game skid against their AFC East rivals.
Bills 30, Buccaneers 27— Buffalo blew 17-6 3rd quarter lead, but recovered a fumble on the Bucs’ 33-yard line with 2:20 left- they kicked winning FG with 0:14 left. Winston threw for 378 yards but Tampa Bay turned ball over three times— Buffalo is +10 in turnovers this season and is 4-2. Rookie TE Howard has 6 catches for 98 yards on 6 targets for Tampa Bay
Bears 17, Panthers 3— One of strangest boxscores I’ve ever seen; rookie safety Eddie Jackson became first player ever to score two defensive TDs of 75+ yards in a game, scoring on a fumble return and an INT return off a tipped ball. Chicago then sat on the lead; Trubisky was 2-5/94 yards passing the first half, threw only 7 passes in whole game. Total yardage was 293-153 Carolina; Bears had only five first downs the whole game, but won by two TD’s. Go figure.
Saints 26, Packers 17— Line moved roughly nine points because of Rodgers’ injury; Hundley was 12-25/87 passing in his first NFL start. Brees was picked off on his first two drives, but Saints scored two TD’s, two FG’s on their last four drives. Packers ran 21 play for 65 yards and only 3 points in second half. New Orleans scored 13 TD’s on their last 43 drives.
Rams 33, Cardinals 0— Arizona missed a short FG on first drive, things got much worse from there; Carson Palmer broke his left arm, could be out for year. Stanton/Gabbert are Arizona’s backup QB’s.
One of the unexpected perks of writing in this space every day is the chance to meet some great people. Made couple of new friends from Canada this weekend; they stopped in Albany on their way to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Had a meal and lot of fun conversation— I’ve made new friends in Indiana, New Jersey, Las Vegas and now Canada from this site. Good stuff.
Cowboys 40, 49ers 10— Dallas ran ball for 265 yards, had 14-yard edge in field position, as they pounded the 49ers coming off their bye. Third straight game Cowboys scored 30+ points; they recovered three SF fumbles, are now 8-3 vs spread in last 11 games as a road favorite.
49ers are 0-7, but 5-2 vs spread; they’ve got a rookie QB starting now, were outgained 501-290 in this game- four of their last five games went over the total.
Seahawks 24, Giants 7— Seattle had 11-yard edge in field position, held Giants to 46 yards on ground in game Big Blue led 7-3 at the half. Giants’ only TD drive was 17 yards after a turnover; they missed a 47-yard FG when Seahawks led 10-7.
Seahawks’ offensive players were screaming at each other on sideline in first half; Doug Baldwin pushed an assistant coach who tried to intervene, but all of that was probably forgotten when a trick play resulted in a 38-yard TD pass that put Seattle up 17-7 with 9:34 left to play.
Chargers 21, Broncos 0— Chargers won their third game in a row after an 0-4 start; they ran a punt back for a TD for their first score, then had three takeaways in a game where total yardage was 251-242, Denver. Broncos are 0-2 on road, scoring one TD on 23 drives in games against Bills/Chargers; this was only Bolts’ third win in last 14 games against Denver.
Patriots 23, Falcons 7— Atlanta had ball in red zone four times, scored only once, on a TD that made score 23-7 with 4:09 left- they had a short FG blocked, clanked a shorter FG off upright. Falcons lost their last three games after a 3-0 start; luckily for them, there had been only one divisional game played in NFC South so far, so the division race is still up for grabs.
This turned into a fog game in second half, as if the Falcons playing under the cloud of last year’s Super Bowl wasn’t bad enough.