Every dog has his day. And on Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars finally had theirs. The previously winless Jags went into Tennessee and were able to upset the Titans for a 29-27 win. While the Titans were the favorite in this one, and could’ve used a win to gain on the Colts in the AFC South, the Jags had an all around team effort to get the monkey off their back. Despite Chad Henne giving up two interceptions and being sacked three times for 20 yards, Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman were able to both score on the ground for the Jags. And although the Titans scored twice in the final five minutes, the Jacksonville was able to recover an onside kick attempt by the Titans to end the game. Not only was the loss itself a major heartbreaker for the Titans, as they would later see the Colts lose and make the loss sting even more, but Jake Locker also left the game and was seen with crutches and in a boot for the remainder of the game. Next up for the Titans will be those Colts, although the game has fewer implications than it did had Tennessee won. As for Jacksonville, they’ll look to make it two in a row against Arizona.
While Nick Foles followed up his record-tying performance from last week with three more touchdowns this weekend, things went from bad to worse for the Packers. The Packers, now on a two-game losing streak and quickly falling far behind in the NFC North, came in without Aaron Rodgers, and would lose Seneca Wallace just a few snaps into the game. Insert third-stringer and relatively unknown Scott Tolzien, and the Eagles knew they had their chance to pull themselves to .500. Although Tolzien went for 280 yards and threw his first career touchdown, his two interceptions were instrumental in the defeat. To go with Nick Foles three touchdowns, he had 228 yards and didn’t turn the ball over at all. Two of those touchdowns went to Riley Cooper and another went to DeSean Jackson. Now, the Egales find themselves surprisingly at .500 and right back in the thick of things in the NFC East. Next weekend they’ll play Washington to try and continue their winning streak and make even more noise in that division. As for the Packers, we’ll have to keep an eye out for what they do now that they are down to their third string quarterback. It’s unlikely that Rodgers will be back anytime soon, and the injury to Wallace shows how important it may be to go out and pickup an available free agent. Next weekend they’ll play the Giants, who have now won three in a row of their own.
While the Bills may have been happy to get EJ Manuel back and also sport some really sweetlooking jerseys on Sunday, they would’ve liked to cap it off with a win against the Steelers. Instead, Pittsburgh, who was coming off a two game losing streak, was able to notch their third win of the year with a relatively easy 23-10 win. While Ben Roethlisberger went 18-30 with 204 yards and a touchdown, it was the defense that showed up on Sunday. After an embarrassing blowout loss last weekend, the Steelers only allowed 10 points on total 227 yards. Even though EJ Manuel made a comeback and went 22-39, much of it was for short yardage and simple screens, amounting for only 155 yards. Both teams now have three wins and are both so far back in their respective divisions, that they’ll probably want to start cleaning off their golf clubs and preparing for April’s draft. Either way, good win for the Steelers and they’ll play the Lions next weekend. The Bills will welcome the Jets to town.
One of the more exciting games on the weekend was AFC North showdown between the Bengals and the Ravens. The Ravens come out early and jumped to a 17-0 nothing lead before halftime. While the Cincinnati defense stepped up in the second half and the offense put up 17 of their own, we went into overtime at 17 apiece. However a 46-yard field goal by Justin Tucker sealed the game for the Ravens, and made the AFC North an even more interesting division to keep your eyes on. The Bengals could’ve used this win to secure a few game lead over the Browns this weekend. Instead, the loss not only doesn’t give them any more breathing room than they had at the start of the day, but the loss also hurts in terms of where the Bengals sit in the entire AFC. Andy Dalton had 274 yards and two touchdowns, but his three interceptions will be what’s talked about when looking to point fingers. As for the Ravens, Joe Flacco did just enough in the first half, before disappearing in the second. The frustration also continues for Ray Rice, who didn’t see the end zone and only had 30 yards on 18 attempts. The Bengals will play divisional foe Cleveland next week, in a game that could have some serious implications. The Ravens will face the Bears hoping to continue their own streak and keep things interesting for their own right.
Can you feel it? Ever so quietly and patiently, the New York Giants are making that comeback that we’ve been talking about for the last month. With their 24-20 win over the Raiders, the Giants have now won 3 in a row, and stay in the conversation in the NFC East. Despite Eli Manning only throwing for 140 yards, Andre Brown had 115 yards on the ground on 30 carries. Both player accounted for one touchdown, while a fourth quarter field goal by Josh Brown would put it just out of reach for the Raiders. This was a huge return for Andre Brown, who had returned for his first game since breaking his leg in the preseason. Now, the Giants have another integral part of the offense back and Brown will likely only add to rounding out the offense. We mentioned last week that Terrelle Pryor might’ve shown up big on the bright lights on Broadway. Bust instead, he didn’t handle it nearly as well as expected. Going 11-26, Pryor only had 122 yards and threw for an interception. He did have a one-yard run for a touchdown, but that obviously wasn’t enough on Sunday. Neither team played particularly well, but what’s more important is the Giants got the win nonetheless. They’ll look to make it four in a row next weekend against a shorthanded Packers squad. The Raiders will look to stop their skid against Houston.
Saint Louis has been giving teams fits in the last few weeks, even without Sam Bradford. But even with that, it’s hard to say that anyone would’ve expected them to come out and trounce the Colts by 30-points on Sunday. With a final score of 38-8, the Rams were able to keep things rolling all game long, including a 21-point second quarter. While Kellen Clemens only threw the ball 16 times and only completed 9 of those passes, two of them were for touchdowns, both of which went to Tavon Austin. Austin had a huge game, racking up those two scores and 138 additional yards. As for the Colts, they just had a hard time finding the end zone, despite 353 yards passing by Andrew Luck. Most of those yards went to TY Hilton, who is quickly looking to become Luck’s new favorite target. The Colts are still 6-3 and a loss by the Titans adds to the breathing room for losses like this. But you haven’t to think the Colts would’ve preferred to get a win over a beat up Rams squad, especially with their game against Tennessee next week. However, the Rams are showing that they are going to be a headache for anyone, even without Bradford. Next week they’ll play the Bears and look to make it difficult for Jay Cutler and company.
Speaking of Cutler and Co., the Bears and Lions game was one of the best on the day in week 10. Unfortunately for the Bears, close games make for heartbreaking losses. After Brandon Marshall scored on an 11-yard pass from Josh McCown, who was inserted into the game only on the last game as Cutlers ankle was showing obvious issues, the Bears would attempt, and fail, to score a 2-point conversion to tie up the game. Instead, the 21-19 win for the Lions now gives them sole position of firs place in the NFC North. As mentioned, Cutler would play majority of the game, going 21-40 and throwing for 250 yards. But after what appeared to be an injured ankle in the second quarter, Cutler showed obvious wear throughout the remainder of the game. The decision to go to McCown would pay off on the final drive, but Calvin Johnson’s 2 touchdowns was still too much of a lead for the Lions. The two touchdown catches by Megatron were his 62nd and 63rd in a Lions jersey, putting him atop anyone else in that franchise. What might be more amazing than the stats, are the fact that defenses game plan around Johnson, double teaming and throwing zone coverage at him throughout the game, and he still puts up ridiculous numbers. The Lions now have a one game lead over both Chicago and Green Bay, and will face Pittsburgh next weekend. The Bears will hope to not lose too much more ground as they welcome Baltimore to town. We’ll have to keep an eye out to see whether or not Jay Cutler will be ready to start next weekend.
The Seahawks needed a huge win on Sunday, and they got it against the Flacons. The final score of 33-10 doesn’t show how one-sided this game was, as Seattle dominated nearly every aspect of this game. Sounds pretty good for a team that has struggled a bit in previous weeks, and has shown definite signs of weakness. However, with Russell Wilson going for 287 yards on 19-26 passing, including two touchdowns, and Marshawn Lynch getting 145 yards and a touchdown of his own, this is the type of Seahawks team that scares any other opponent in the league. As for the Flacons, the woes only continue. Matt Ryan had a great game statistically, completing 23 of 36 passes. But most of those were for short yardage that only accumulated to be 172 yards. Steven Jackson continued to lack any success, getting only 11 yards on 9 carries. And Roddy White, who returned to the lineup after missing the last month, would only get a 20-yard reception on the day. The 9-1 Seahawks will look to keep up their momentum and come out with this type of effort again next weekend against the Vikings. The Falcons will head to Tampa, where either the Bucs will get their first win of the season, or the Falcons will get their third.
Anyone who was claiming that the Panthers four game winning streak was against weak opponents can now mind their words as the Panthers defeated the 49ers for their fifth straight win. In what was a defensive stalemate, the Panthers would be able to score a field goal in the final quarter that would seal the 10-9 win. Carolina really showed how well their defense has improved in this game, holding Colin Kapernick to only 91 yards on 11-22 passing. He would also throw an interception and didn’t find the end zone. Other 49er players who are typically solid, Frank Gore and Vernon Davis also didn’t get much done on Sunday either. As for the Panthers, they got just enough out of Cam Newton, who threw for 169 yards while completing 50% of his passes. While he wouldn’t find the end zone at all, he was able to manage the clock for over 32 minutes inthis game. With the Seahawks win, the 49ers now find themselves two games back in the NFC West. As for the Panthers, they still remain a few games back from the Saints, but the win keeps them in the conversation. The 49ers will face the aforementioned Saints next weekend, while the Panthers will look to continue showing they are legit as they face the Patriots in what could be a huge Monday night showdown
For a team like that many thought would make a run at the Super Bowl, this is a season that the Houston Texans can’t wait to be over. For some players, like Arian Foster, they’ll even take it on their own to bow out the rest of the way. Foster opted to undergo season-ending back surgery this past week and will miss the remainder of the season. After a six game losing streak, the Cardinals made it seven for the Texans on Sunday. Unlike some other games this season, the Texans were in it for majority of the game on Sunday. Case Keenum threw for three touchdowns, two of which went to Andre Johnson. However, their defense was unable to stop a Cardinals team that hasn’t been impressive at all in recent games either. Carson Palmer was able to put up 241 yards and two touchdowns, all on 20-32 passing. Things don’t look good for the Texans, as you can assume they will now begin the rebuilding process without Matt Schaub in the picture. They’ll hope to get head coach Gary Kubiak back within the next few weeks. But as to what elements will be around next year, we’ll have to wait and see what the offseason has in store.
The Broncos broke script this weekend against the Chargers, but the end result was the same. Known for needing late pushes, the Broncos sprinted out of the gate against the Chargers and put up 21 points before halftime. However the Chargers were able to stick around the entire game and the final score was 28-20. Peyton Manning had 330 yards and four touchdowns. Seven receptions went to Demaryius Thomas, who had 108 yards and three touchdowns. However, much of the talk after the game was with what looked to be like Manning limping noticeably. Although he assured everyone after the game that he was fine, games against the Chiefs and Patriots in the next two weeks will determine that. As for the Chargers, they tried their hardest to make it interesting in the end. Phillip Rivers was 19-29 for 218 yards. But in the end it was just too little too late. Now all eyes will shift to the showdown between the Broncos and the Chiefs next week, with first place in the AFC West up for grabs, as well is the undefeated record of the Chiefs.
The Cowboys and Saints game on Sunday night wasn’t even close from the time the ball was kicked off. When the final whistle blew, the Saints racked up 49 points and held the Cowboys to 17. Apparently the Saints were still angry about their loss last weekend to the Jets, and they wanted to show up the Cowboys on national television on Sunday night. In the win, Drew Brees hit 34-41 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns. At halftime, Brees had as many touchdowns as Tony Romo did completions. And at the end of the day, Romo’s 10-24 effort was an embarrassing end to a tough game. With the Cowboys loss and the Eagles win, we now have a tie in first place in the NFC East. And the Cowboys are hoping to keep putting pressure on both. Next week the Giants will get a chance at the Cowboys, and a win for the G-Men would make things more interesting than they already are in that division. The Saints will play the 49ers, in a battle of NFC powerhouses.
In a weekend where the NFL started with two winless teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both added their first W’s of the season. On Monday night, apparently feeling left out as the only winless team left in the league, the Bucs took advantage of the media circus that’s going on in Miami and toughed out a 22-19 win.
The Bucs looked like a completely new team in the first quarter, putting up 10 in the first quarter behind a touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to Donald Penn and a Rian Lindell field goal. Then, the Bucs opened up the second quarter with a safety and another field goal for a huge 15-0 point lead. While it looked like we’d be going into halftime with a huge point difference on our hands, Ryan Tannehill was able to put up a touchdown in the closing seconds of the quarter. And while the Dolphins would come out of the locker room hot and put up 12 in the third, the Bucs were able to score a final touchdown in the fourth to notch their first win of the season. You could see the pure jubilation in Coach Greg Schiano after the win, which was only his second in the last 15 regular season games for the Bucs. Schiano has an 8-17 record with Tampa since taking over the job two and a half seasons ago. And while this win may not mean much, it will certainly help from a moral standpoint.
As for the Dolphins, this win was the culmination of a week that teams would like to avoid. Although they were able to get a win on Halloween against Cincinnati, this team has had internal issues and external annoyances since Jonathon Martin and Richie Incognito left the team in the wake of a bullying scandal. For a team that started 3-0 and looked to have a promising future behind the arm of Tannehill, things have all but crumbled to pieces for the Dolphins, who are ever so slowly falling further and further behind the Patriots and Jets in the AFC East race.
The Bucs will have a chance to win yet again next weekend as they face Atlanta. The Falcons are only a two-win team and with the momentum Tampa will have after this game, they have to be considered a at least in the picture to win that game.
As for the Dolphins, they’ll welcome San Diego to South Beach. But with everything that is going on in their locker room, it’s unlikely that things will be resolved by then. This could be a long remainder of the season for the Dolphins, which will be remembered as giving up the first win to one of the worst teams in the league this year.