Week 9 of the NFL brought us a perfect game. We also saw two perfect teams continue to be perfect. One of them is perfect in wins and the other is perfect in losses.
Miami 22 Cincinnati 20 (OT) – Imagine betting the over of 42.5 points for this game and it go to overtime tied at 20. You’d feel pretty good knowing you’re going to win only to find out that for the 3rd time ever, the game would be ended by a safety and your bet was a big loser. Andy Dalton played a very ugly game for the Bengals going 32-53 for 338 yards with a fumble lost and 3 interceptions. One of those interceptions was returned 94 yards by Brent Grimes for a touchdown. Ryan Tannehill didn’t fare much better, but went 20-28 for 208 yards and no turnovers. Giovani Bernard kept Cincinnati in the game by running 9 times for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns while Lamar Miller ran 16 times for 105 yards with no scores and a fumble lost. What seemed like a game winning kick by Mike Nugent with 84 seconds left was nixed when Miami came back and Caleb Sturgis kicked a 44 yarder with 11 seconds left.
Philadelphia 49 Oakland 20 – It is rare to see a quarterback throw for a perfect 158.3 rating, but we got to see it from Nick Foles as he went off on the Oakland Raiders. Foles went 22-28 for 406 yards and 7, yes 7, touchdowns. That ties an NFL record with 6 other quarterbacks, including Peyton Manning earlier this season. Terrelle Pryor was not as lucky as he led the Raiders with the unimpressive numbers of 22-41 for 288 yards and 2 interceptions. Philadelphia did not have to really rely on the running game with the passing game working so well. Oakland’s running game did well with Rashad Jennings leading the way 15 carries for 102 yards and a score. Pryor added 10 for 94 yards. The Eagles bounced back after a pair of ugly divisional losses to get to 4-5 and 2nd place in the NFC North.
New England 55 Pittsburgh 31 – It was a great quarterback duel, but Tom Brady got the upper hand in this one as Ben Roethlisberger made a few too many mistakes. Brady went 23-33 for 432 yards and 4 touchdowns for a whopping 151.8 rating while Roethlisberger went 28-48 for 400 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Big Ben also lost a fumble and was sacked 5 times to Brady’s 3. The Patriots also won the running battle as Stevan Ridley ran 26 times for 115 yards with 2 touchdowns, despite turning the ball over once. LeGarrette Blount also added 5 carries for 47 yards, including a highlight reel worthy 5 yard touchdown run to close the game out. Le’Veon Bell went 16 times for 74 yards for the Steelers, who fall to 2-6 and continue to be the basement of the AFC North.
Kansas City 23 Buffalo 13 – Despite being outgained 470-219, the Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of 2 defensive touchdowns to remain perfect with a win over Buffalo. Sean Smith had a 100 yard interception return off Jeff Tuel and Tamba Hali had an 11 yard fumble return for a score as well. Jamaal Charles still went 17 for 90 yards on the ground, but the offense failed to score a touchdown. Buffalo’s running game was on point as C.J. Spiller went 12 for 116 yards and Fred Jackson went 16 for 77 yards, but neither scored. Kansas City now has a bye week before the big Sunday night showdown at Denver.
Seattle 27 Tampa Bay 24 (OT) – In what has been deemed the toughest place to play in the NFL, the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers were very close to pulling off the upset. Tampa Bay ran to a 21-0 lead in the first half after 2 Mike Glennon touchdown passes and one from running back Mike James to Tim Crabtree. Seattle was able to claw back by scoring the tying score with under 2 minutes to go. Seattle finished the job with the OT winner. Russell Wilson led Seattle with 2 touchdowns and 217 yards on 19-26 passing, but had 2 interceptions. Marshawn Lynch had 125 yards on 21 carries. Tampa Bay had Mike Glennon going 17-23 for 168 yards and 2 scores while Mike James went 28 for 158 on the ground along with his touchdown pass. Tampa Bay’s quest for imperfection continues.
Cleveland 24 Baltimore 18 – It wasn’t pretty, but Cleveland finally snapped their losing streak against Baltimore and now own sole possession of 2nd place in the AFC North. Jason Campbell went 23-35 for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Browns despite having another game with no real reliable running game. Joe Flacco went 24-41 for 250 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception and like Campbell, had no running game to help out. Cleveland totaled 73 rushing yards and Baltimore only had 55 as both defenses were stout. This win was Cleveland’s first against Baltimore in 11 tries and puts Baltimore in a very tough spot to defend their Super Bowl title. Once again, the question needs to be asked about whether Flacco was worth the big contract or not?
Indianapolis 27 Houston 24 – Despite spotting Houston with a 21-3 lead, Indianapolis stormed back and won the game. Andrew Luck went 18-40 for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Colts while Case Keenum continues to wow us with another great game by going 20-34 for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns as well. In the battle of receivers, Andre Johnson had the better numbers, despite not winning the game. Johnson had 9 catches for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns while T.Y. Hilton had 7 catches for 121 yards and 3 scores. The big difference in this game was 3 missed field goals by Houston kicker Randy Bullock, including the would-be game tying 55 yard kick. The game took a scary turn as Houston coach Gary Kubiak collapsed during the game and was taken away in a stretcher. Wade Phillips coached the rest of the game, which added to Houston’s nightmare season, but there is a glimmer of hope in Keenum as he has yet to throw an interception in his first 2 games.
Host of the OT with Andrew G for the Sports Chronicles Radio Network
Host of The College Cram, NFL and NCAA writer on the National Gridiron Network
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