And then there was one. The Broncos and Eagles both lost yesterday, leaving the Minnesota Vikings as the only undefeated team in the league. While yesterday didn’t have too many surprises, the Eagles falling to the Lions was certainly one of them. Tom Brady lighting the Cleveland Browns on fire wasn’t one, however.
New England Patriots 33 Cleveland Browns 13
Brady returned as if he hadn’t skipped a beat. Even though he mentioned being rusty in the post game press conference, his performance on the field and in Bill Belichick’s system was nearly flawless as he threw for 406 yards, three touchdowns and no picks.
Washington Redskins 16 Baltimore Ravens 10
Redskins’ fans get the bragging rights for the DC/Baltimore metropolitan area for the next four years now as Kirk Cousins did just enough on offense to help the Washington defense overcome Joe Flacco’s Ravens in front of the their inner harbor home crowd.
Chicago Bears 23 Indianapolis Colts 29
Chicago traveled to Indianapolis, where they’d never lost before, and let Andrew Luck run them over in the 4th quarter. Luck looked crisp running Indy’s hurry-up offense and the Bears didn’t seem to have any answers for slowing them down.
Tennessee Titans 30 Miami Dolphins 17
Someone had to win this one and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota figured it might as well be him as he tossed three touchdowns and ran for another, single-handledly outscoring the Dolphins who continue to look for answers in their post Dan Marino rebuilding phase that’s now on year 17.
Houston Texans 13 Minnesota Vikings 31
It was hard to tell whether the Vikings defense is as good as they say or Houston’s offense is as bad as they say based on yesterday’s game. Either way, the Texans were behind the eight-ball on this one almost front the start and their revamped offense never seemed to settle in behind a patchwork offensive line.
While Mike Zimmer is being hailed as the Purple Savior in his third season as Vikings head coach, Bill O’Brien, also in his third year, has the Houston fan base losing faith in him more and more each week.
New York Jets 13 Pittsburgh Steelers 31
Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, there’s no questioning how good the Steeler offense is as they nailed six points on the opening play from scrimmage and never looked back. Big Ben threw four touchdowns, including the one to open the game, racked up 380 yards and no interceptions.
While Ryan Fitzpatrick finally managed a game with no picks of his own, but looked like a boy among boys playing against men among men.
Atlanta Falcons 23 Denver Broncos 16
The Denver defense managed to keep the high flying Atlanta offense way under their season average 38 points, but simply couldn’t slow them down enough to win.
The Falcon defense on the other hand was able to hold the Denver offense to just 267 total yards.
This game marks a period of eight days in which Atlanta has beaten the previous year’s Super Bowl participants by a combined score of 71-49,
Cincinnati Bengals 14 Dallas Cowboys 28
The Cowboys used to be known for their triplets in Aikman, Smith and Irving, now it’s their twins in Ezekiel Elliot and Das Prescott.
The Bengals had no answers for the Dallas twins or their defensive peers until late in the game. Sitting at 4-1, for the first time in a long time, Dallas may just be built for a long franchise run once again.
Buffalo Bills 30 Los Angeles Rams 19
In the “How did firing the offensive coordinator make Buffalo’s defense better” file, we find exhibit A: yesterday’s game in the City of Angels where they held LA’s newest NFL team to one single touchdown and four field goals to rise to within one game of the AFC East division lead.
San Diego Chargers 31 Oakland Raiders 34
In a game that included six passing touchdowns, three interceptions and three forced fumbles, the teams that brought you such plays as the Holy Roller went at it again with their ever present “Anything Can Happen When We Meet” style that’s seemed to hang over this rivalry since it’s inception.
With Denver’s loss to the Falcons yesterday, Oakland sits atop the division, seemingly poised to win it and push the reigning champions into the Wild Card round at best.
New York Giants 16 Green Bay Packers 23
New York Giants fans have to be happy the two consecutive nationally televised night games agains the NFC Norse are over now. Even more to their liking, Odell Beckham Jr didn’t throw a temper tantrum at any point during the game.