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Looking Back: Another Strange NFL Weekend

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
November 13, 2017 at 9:49 am ET

Looking Back: Another Strange NFL Weekend(PHOTO: Aug 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-180624 ORIG FILE ID: 20140816_jla_ss1_289.jpg)

🕑 Read Time: 6 minutes

With the Patriots playing on Sunday night, it offered up another opportunity to keep an eye on what was certainly another interesting day around the NFL.

Fortunately, a couple of those games helped the Patriots’ cause in terms of the AFC East, while a couple of others were surprising in terms of how they unfolded and their endings were even more astonishing.  Here’s a quick rundown of all of the games from Sunday’s action:

Saints at Bills
Outcome: Saints win 47-10 – The Bills continued their slide on Sunday after losing a home game to the surging New Orleans Saints 47-10.  The Saints led 17-3 at the half,  and then came out and put up 20 points in the 3rd quarter as they began a 30-7 second-half run to put this one away.  Tyrod Taylor was pulled after a 1-for-5 second-half performance where the Saints offense took control, largely thanks to a rushing attack that piled up 298 yards on the afternoon.  For the Saints, it was their 7th straight victory, while the Bills dropped to 5-4.

Jets at Buccaneers
Outcome: Buccaneers win 15-10 – In what was an ugly game, the Jets fell to 4-6 after former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 17-of-34 for 187 yards including a touchdown.  Meanwhile, Jets QB Josh McCown made it interesting after driving the Jets down the field on New York’s final possession, which ended in a touchdown pass to Robby Anderson to pull New York to within five.  The highlight of that possession was the fact the Jets caught a huge break after the Buccaneers committed a roughing-the-passer penalty on a 3rd-and-17, giving New York new life after the penalty moved them out to midfield, which set up a 38-yard scoring play to Anderson.  Unfortunately for the Jets, the Buccaneers recovered the onside kick and Tampa Bay escaped with the win.

Steelers at Colts
Outcome: Steelers win 20-17 – 
The Colts looked like they might actually upset the Steelers after Jacoby Brissett had a strong first half, which saw him misfire on just four passes as the Colts took a 10-3 lead into the locker room at halftime.  But it was the Steelers who came out in the second half and outscored the Colts 17-7, including 11-0 during the final quarter.  Their final points came after Ben Roethlisberger put together a strong drive in the closing minutes to set up a game-winning field goal, improving Pittsburgh to 7-2 and keeping them in the running as one of the teams to beat for the top seed in the Conference.

Browns at Lions
Outcome: Lions win 38-24 – Cleveland actually looked like they might get their first win on Sunday, having battled the Lions in front of the Detroit faithful to the tune of 24-24 through three quarters of play.  Unfortunately, the Lions put together a shutout in the final 15 minutes while scoring two touchdowns to improve to 5-4 on the season.  The Browns had one of their best showings of the year offensively, piling up 201 yards on the ground, which was part of what helped them finish with 10 more first downs than the Lions.  Unfortunately, the Lions were able to score on two of their first three drives in the fourth quarter, which ultimately was the difference in the game.

Chargers at Jaguars
Outcome: Jaguars win 20-17 OT
– To show you how bizarre this season has been, the Jaguars find themselves sitting at 6-3 and in the postseason hunt after beating the Chargers in overtime on Sunday.  The win ties them at 6-3 with the Titans in the AFC South, who beat the Bengals 24-20 on Sunday.  Jacksonville’s defense made Phillip Rivers miserable on Sunday, finishing with five quarterback hits and they made a huge play in overtime when A.J. Bouye picked off Rivers on a deep pass play, returning the football to the Chargers 17-yard line.  Four plays later, it was kicker Josh Lambo, who was cut by Los Angeles in the preseason, who kicked the game-winner.  It’s the second-straight loss for the Chargers, who were coming off a bye following their 21-13 loss to New England back on October 29th.

Packers at Bears
Outcome: Packers win 23-16 – Not even the absence of Aaron Rodgers and home field was enough for the Bears to beat their NFC rival, with the Packers putting together a pretty good game.  Green Bay’s ground game piled up 160 yards and kept the Bears off balance as Brett Hundley misfired on just seven passes, completing 18-of-25 for 212 yards and a touchdown.  Meanwhile, Mitchell Trubisky played well for the Bears, completing 21-of-35 for 297 yards and a touchdown.  Unfortunately, the Packers went on a 10-3 run after the first quarter, which ended up being the difference in the contest after both teams put up 10-points over the final quarter of play.  The win improved Green Bay to 5-4 on the season, keeping them in the mix for a little while longer as Rodgers continues recovering from his fractured collarbone.

Bengals at Titans
Outcome: Titans win 24-20 – The Bengals continued what has just been a miserable year for them, but they should have a hard time not admitting that most of their problems have been self-inflicted.  They saw another player make a critical error Sunday, with linebacker Vontaze Burfict getting ejected for making contact with an official, weakening a defense that squandered a decent performance from Andy Dalton.  Dalton finished 20-of-35 for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Titans put up 180-yards on the ground and kept the ball out of Cincinnati’s hands after finishing with a massive time-of-possession advantage after holding the ball 40:09 compared to just 19:51 for the Bengals.  Marcus Mariotta marched them down the field late in the game for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown, improving Tennessee to 6-3 on the season.  The victory keeps them in the running with Jacksonville for the AFC South, while the loss drops the Bengals to 3-6 and now makes any shot of a postseason berth an even bigger long-shot.

Vikings at Redskins
Outcome: Vikings win 38-30 – This game was won largely thanks to a 21-point second quarter by the Vikings that put them in just enough control to hold off a 10-3 fourth quarter run by Washington that simply came up short.  Vikings QB Case Keenum played well, completing 21-of-29 for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns, but he made two critical turnovers in his own end after throwing two interceptions, one of which Washington converted into a touchdown.  Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins finished 26-of-45 for 327 yards along with a touchdown but it just wasn’t enough as his team fell to 4-5 on the year.

Cowboys at Falcons
Outcome: Falcons Win 27-7
– The Falcons put together a terrific performance defensively after holding Dallas to just seven points in one of their most important wins of the year.  Matt Ryan had a strong afternoon, missing just seven passes after guiding his team to their fifth win of the season and putting them over .500 at 5-4.  Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott never really had a chance, with Atlanta sacking him eight times on the afternoon.  This was a game that the Falcons really needed as a loss would have potentially knocked them out of contention in the NFC South.

Texans at Rams
Outcome: Rams win 33-7
– At 7-2 this Los Angeles team is starting to look like a contender after putting up 33-points against one of the better defenses in the league.  Obviously losing their quarterback hurts the Texans, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Rams Jared Goff put together another terrific performance after throwing for 355 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday.  It’s been a tough run for Texans coach Bill O’Brien, who may have some of the worst luck a head coach has ever seen given the injuries he’s been forced to deal with in recent years, including losing his promising rookie quarterback in Deshaun Watson for the year this season.  After the game he took responsibility for the loss, but it definitely feels like he just hasn’t been able to catch a break personnel-wise given what’s transpired recently.  Either way, at 3-6, Houston’s season now looks like it’s certainly headed in the wrong direction.

Giants at 49ers
Outcome: 49ers win 31-21 – Raise your hands if you’ve enjoyed watching the Giants’ misery this season.  San Francisco put another beating on Eli Manning’s club on Sunday, dopping the Giants to 1-8 on the year while giving the 49ers their first victory of 2017.  But one of the best moments of the afternoon was seeing 49ers’ receiver Marquise Goodwin’s 83-yard touchdown, which came just hours after he and his wife lost their newborn baby due to complications.  You’ll see in the video below that Goodwin just breaks down after reaching the end zone, which makes it a little tough not to get emotional knowing what they’ve been through.

For now, all eyes here in New England will likely be on Monday night’s game, which will see the Dolphins visit the Panthers.  New England will play Miami for the first time this season at home at Gillette Stadium in two weeks.

Bennett on Belichick: “He knows how to talk to me”

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.

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