Mandatory Credit: Photo by Joshua Bessex/AP/Shutterstock (13621771be) Buffalo Bills cornerback Christian Benford (47) brings down Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) in the first half of an NFL football game, in Orchard Park, N.Y Vikings Bills Football, Orchard Park, United States – 13 Nov 2022
Buccaneers 21, Seahawks 16
The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers came into Sunday’s showdown in Munich as two of the NFC’s divisional leaders, despite Tampa Bay’s disappointing results compared to expectations so far this season. Each offense struggled in the first quarter, combining for three punts and a missed field goal. Tampa Bay’s 13-play, 88-yard drive hit paydirt to break the seal early in the second quarter, as Tom Brady found Julio Jones for 31 yards and a 7-0 lead. The Bucs extended their lead later in the second quarter once again, finding an offensive rhythm as yet another 13-play drive finished with Leonard Fournette’s one-yard touchdown run. Tampa Bay carried their two-touchdown lead into the half, thoroughly dominating Seattle through 30 minutes. Seattle’s offense finally got them on the board to open the third quarter, moving into Bucs’ territory for a 55-yard Jason Myers field goal. Tampa Bay’s offense continued to sizzle on their next drive, but a trick play went off the rails when Leonard Fournette’s pass to Tom Brady was intercepted to end the threat. The Seahawks moved the ball deep into Tampa territory from there, entering the red zone for the first time in the game – but Geno Smith’s fumble in the backfield gave the ball back to the Bucs with two minutes to play in the third quarter. Tampa Bay took full advantage, extending their lead to 21-3 on Tom Brady’s second touchdown pass of the day, this time to Chris Godwin, early in the fourth quarter. Suddenly facing a three-score deficit with time working against them, the Seahawks put together their best drive of the day, capped off by Geno Smith’s 21-yard touchdown to Tyler Lockett. Linebacker Cody Barton made a huge play for the Seattle defense on the ensuing possession, intercepting Tom Brady and setting up an immediate opportunity for the Seahawks in Tampa Bay territory. Geno Smith would make an unbelievable 19-yard touchdown throw to Marquise Goodwin on fourth down a few plays later, and suddenly the Seahawks trailed just 21-16 with four minutes to play. Ultimately, Seattle’s defense couldn’t get the stop it needed in the final minutes though – and Tampa Bay improved to 5-5 with a huge win heading into the bye.
Next Week: Seattle: Bye, Tampa Bay: Bye
Vikings 33, Bills 30 (OT)
The big question mark in Buffalo before the hometown Bills hosted the Minnesota Vikings was around the status of quarterback Josh Allen, who would eventually start despite pain in his right elbow. After the Bills punted on their first drive, it was Minnesota who struck first as Justin Jefferson made two huge catches, the latter of which pushed the Vikings in front 7-0. The BIlls quickly tied the game on the following possession, setting the stage for an exciting ballgame with Devin Singletary’s touchdown run. Singletary found the end zone again on the Bills’ next drive, putting Buffalo ahead 14-7 as the first quarter wound down. Kirk Cousins’ interception set up the Bills in the red zone again mere moments later, and a Tyler Bass field goal extended Buffalo’s lead to 17-7 early in the second quarter. Minnesota tacked on a field goal to make it 17-10 late in the half, but Buffalo continued to extend their advantage in the final seconds before the break with a Josh Allen touchdown pass to Gabe Davis. Buffalo extended their lead again with two minutes to play in the third, as Tyler Bass’ second field goal made it 27-10 Bills. Dalvin Cook responded in a big way for the Vikings when they really needed it, breaking free for an 81-yard touchdown run to pull Minnesota back within 10 just moments later. Buffalo looked primed to extend their lead early in the fourth quarter, but Josh Allen’s interception in the end zone and subsequent possible injury making a tackle left Bills’ fans holding their breath. Josh Allen remained in the game, but Minnesota’s offense continued their fierce effort with a gutsy drive that saw them convert two different fourth downs en route to a C.J. Ham touchdown. Greg Joseph would miss the extra point, though, leaving Buffalo’s lead at 27-23 heading into the final four and a half minutes.
Minnesota’s defense did its job giving the offense a chance to complete the incredible comeback, and against all odds, the Vikings continued to work their way downfield. Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson converted a ridiculous fourth and 18 to keep the drive alive, and Jefferson’s seventh catch of the afternoon put Minnesota within five yards of taking an unlikely lead. Buffalo’s defense found a way to stop Kirk Cousins’ sneak with 44 seconds left, though, holding him a fingernail short to preserve the lead on fourth and goal. Nevertheless, Josh Allen fumbled on a quarterback sneak attempt that could have run out the clock, and somehow Minnesota recovered the football in the end zone to take a miraculous 30-27 lead with 48 seconds left. Allen and the Bills didn’t fold in the final seconds, hitting several sideline throws into Minnesota territory and eventually forcing overtime with Tyler Bass’ field goal to end regulation. The Vikings would get the first opportunity to break the 30-30 tie after winning the coin toss, and Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson continued to make massive plays to move the football into Bills’ territory. Minnesota would settle for a field goal after Kirk Cousins was sacked on third down, taking a 33-30 lead as Buffalo took back over on offense. The Bills easily drove deep into Vikings’ territory, but Josh Allen’s fourth red zone interception of the last two weeks sealed Minnesota’s upset win on the road.
Next Week: Minnesota: vs. Dallas, Buffalo: vs. Cleveland
Lions 31, Bears 30
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions have each shown flashes of elite offensive football at times this season, but both struggled to finish drives in the early going. The divisional showdown moved into the second quarter tied at three, but the Detroit Lions eventually broke into the end zone first with a short touchdown pass to Brock Wright for a 10-3 lead. Chicago responded with a touchdown of their own before halftime, as Justin Fields powered through two Lions’ defenders to tie the game at 10. Chicago’s opening second-half drive was successful as well, as Justin Fields continued to impress with a five-yard strike to Cole Kmet to make it 17-10. Justin Fields continued his impressive performance with a 50-yard bomb to Cole Kmet on the next drive, their second scoring connection to put Chicago ahead 24-10. Detroit cut the lead in half early in the fourth quarter on D’Andre Swift’s second rushing touchdown of the season from nine yards out. Justin Fields’ former Ohio State teammate Jeff Okudah made a huge play for Detroit just moments later, an interception return for a touchdown that tied the game at 24. Fields responded with a vengeance moments later, taking off on an incredible 67-yard run to give Chicago a 30-24 lead – but Cairo Santos’ missed extra point ensured that’s where the score would stay with nine minutes to play. Jared Goff and the Lions continued to fight fire with fire on offense, driving deep into Chicago territory and handing it to Jamaal Williams for the go-ahead score with 2:21 to play. Detroit’s much-maligned defense picked up a huge stop in the final moments when they needed one desperately, and the Lions would escape Soldier Field with their first road win of the year.
Next Week: Detroit: at NY Giants, Chicago: at Atlanta
Titans 17, Broncos 10
The Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans have in common that both offenses have looked inept for much of the season, while both defenses have looked completely dominant more often than not. It was no surprise that the Broncos and Titans combined for nine consecutive punts to begin the game. Denver eventually found the scoreboard first, with a Russell Wilson’s 66-yard touchdown strike to Jalen Virgil to make it 7-0 in the second quarter. A Denver field goal extended the lead to 10-0 late in the second quarter, but the Titans’ offense awakened before halftime for a touchdown drive capped off by Nick Westbook-Ikhine’s impressive grab. Tennessee suddenly trailed just 10-7 at the half, potentially building confidence heading into the final 30 minutes. The Titans parlayed that confidence into another touchdown in the third quarter, a 63-yard touchdown bomb from Ryan Tannehill to Westbrook-Ikhine for a 14-10 lead. Both defenses otherwise dominated the second half, pushing the game deep into the fourth quarter with the score unchanged. Randy Bullock eventually extended Tennessee’s lead with a field goal with three minutes to play, making it 17-10 and necessitating a touchdown drive from the Broncos if they were to tie the game or take a lead. Tennessee’s defense picked off Russell Wilson in the final seconds to preserve the win, moving them to 6-3 in an otherwise hapless division.
Next Week: Denver: vs. Las Vegas, Tennessee: at Green Bay
Chiefs 27, Jaguars 17
The upset-minded Jacksonville Jaguars started their afternoon in Kansas City with a bang, attempting an onside kick on the opening kickoff and recovering it to steal a possession immediately. Still, Jacksonville would come up empty on their opening drive – but they’d get the ball back moments later when Isiah Pacheco fumbled the ball away. The Chiefs would eventually break through first late in the first quarter, as Patrick Mahomes found Kadarius Toney along the sideline for a 7-0 lead. Jacksonville’s first real scoring opportunity came up short, as Riley Patterson missed a 51-yard field goal to keep the Chiefs in front by a touchdown. Kansas City made the Jaguars pay, extending their lead to 14-0 on a touchdown catch by Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Injuries began to stack up for Chiefs’ wide receivers in the first half, though, as JuJu Smith-Schuster was ruled out for the game, with Valdes-Scantling heading into the medical tent not much later. Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs’ offense downfield for a third touchdown drive anyway, this time finishing the job with a 13-yard pass to Noah Gray for a 20-0 lead in the final minute of the half. Trevor Lawrence led a massive touchdown drive for Jacksonville with just seconds to play, finding Christian Kirk in the end zone to make it 20-7 at the half. Jacksonville continued to cut into the Chiefs’ lead in the third quarter with Riley Patterson’s field goal, his first make in three attempts on the afternoon. Patrick Mahomes’ fourth touchdown pass of the afternoon would go to Travis Kelce late in the third quarter, once again giving the Chiefs a three-possession lead at 27-10. Desperately needing points in the final quarter, Jacksonville pulled back within 10 on Trevor Lawrence’s 19-yard touchdown throw to Christian Kirk – but it was too little too late as Kansas City ran the clock out from there. The Chiefs move to 7-2, maintaining at least a tie for the AFC’s top seed.
Next Week: Jacksonville: Bye, Kansas City: at LA Chargers
Dolphins 39, Browns 17
It didn’t take the Cleveland Browns long to find their footing offensively in Miami, driving downfield quickly to start the game with a Harrison Bryant touchdown reception and a 7-0 lead. Miami responded quickly, completing a touchdown pass of their own to Alec Ingold to tie it midway through the first quarter. After a Jason Sanders field goal put the Dolphins ahead, they’d extend their lead to 17-7 before halftime on an incredible touchdown catch by Trent Sherfield. Miami continued their all-around performance in the third quarter, extending their lead to 24-7 on Raheem Mostert’s 24-yard touchdown scamper. After a Cleveland field goal to pull within 14, the Dolphins’ again increased their lead on their next possession, as Tua Tagovailoa completed a touchdown over the middle to Tyreek Hill for a 30-10 lead. Desperately needing points, the Browns found them when Nick Chubb broke free for a 33-yard touchdown run to make it 30-17. Miami’s offense wouldn’t be stopped, though, continuing to gash the Browns’ defense for a field goal and a Jeff Wilson Jr. 20-yard touchdown to extend their lead to 39-17 with seven minutes left. The game would go final at that score as Miami handled business in the final moments.
Next Week: Cleveland: at Buffalo, Miami: Bye
Steelers 20, Saints 10
The New Orleans Saints traveled to Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon needing a win to stay within a game of the NFC South division lead, but the well-rested Steelers got off to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on George Pickens’ short run. Each team managed a field goal as the game moved into the second quarter, making it 10-3. New Orleans eventually found the end zone themselves late in the first half, as Andy Dalton’s pass to Juwon Johnson tied the game at 10 heading into the break. Pittsburgh’s first scoring threat of the second half came up empty, as recently-signed backup kicker Matthew Wright missed a short kick to keep the game tied. Wright would make this next attempt to give Pittsburgh a third-quarter lead, and Kenny Pickett found the end zone himself from one yard out to put the Steelers up 20-10 amid repeated defensive stops. Pittsburgh’s defense was incredibly impressive all afternoon, allowing just 186 yards of offense while turning over the Saints’ offense twice en route to the win.
Next Week: New Orleans: vs. LA Rams, Pittsburgh: vs. Cincinnati
Colts 25, Raiders 20
Both the Indianapolis Colts and Las Vegas Raiders entered Sunday’s late afternoon matchup in Las Vegas looking for answers amid tumultuous seasons. Las Vegas got off to a sluggish start, quickly facing a 10-0 deficit after Matt Ryan’s rushing touchdown in the first quarter and Chase McLaughlin’s 48-yard field goal in the second. The Raiders, ice cold on offense dating back to the first half of Week 9’s loss at Jacksonville, finally found the end zone again with less than a minute to go in the half when Derek Carr hit tight end Foster Moreau to pull within three. Indianapolis kicked a field goal to extend their lead to 13-7 in the third quarter, but Las Vegas hit paydirt again – this time with Josh Jacobs – to finally take the lead at 14-13. Moments later, it was Jonathan Taylor with a 66-yard lightning strike of a run to put the Colts ahead 19-13 after breaking free into the secondary and beyond. The suddenly explosive exchange of plays continued shortly thereafter, as Derek Carr found Davante Adams for a 48-yard touchdown – and after Las Vegas failed the two-point conversion attempt, their lead was 20-19 with eleven minutes to play. The back-and-forth second half of offensive prowess continued on Indianapolis’ next possession, when Matt Ryan’s 35-yard pass to Parris Campbell found the end zone followed by another failed two-point conversion, giving Indianapolis a 25-20 advantage. The clock quickly became an enemy of the Raiders, who found themselves in Colts’ territory with less than a minute to play. But after Derek Carr’s fourth-down throw to Davante Adams in the end zone fell incomplete, Indianapolis took a few knees to run out the clock for an upset win. The Colts improved to 4-5-1 with the win, somehow still lurking on the outskirts of the AFC Playoff race as the season moves to Week 11.
Next Week: Indianapolis: vs. Philadelphia, Las Vegas: at Denver
Cardinals 27, Rams 17
Two frustrated NFC West teams met at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon when the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams met for the second time this season. Insult was added to injury for both teams as they would wind up without their starting quarterbacks available, meaning Arizona would start Colt McCoy, and John Wolford would take the reigns for Los Angeles in a game both teams desperately needed to win. Both offenses looked relatively competent to begin, each moving the football exactly 57 yards on exactly 14 plays to set up dueling field goals and a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter. Arizona’s offense would eventually find a rhythm in the second quarter, but the same could not be said of the Rams. James Conner ran in a touchdown score for the Cardinals with two minutes to play before the half, and a fumble by Rams’ quarterback John Wolford set up a touchdown pass from Colt McCoy to A.J. Green to put Arizona up 17-3 at the half. Los Angeles eventually turned to third-string quarterback Bryce Perkins at times in the third quarter, while Colt McCoy suffered an injury leading to Trace McSorley getting playing time for Arizona. The Rams finally put together a strong offensive drive in the third quarter, going 59 yards in five plays setting up Darrell Henderson Jr.’s four-yard touchdown to pull within seven. Los Angeles, who entered the game missing a litany of offensive players, lost star Cooper Kupp to an ankle injury as well early in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals’ offense scored again in the fourth, seemingly putting the game away with James Conner’s nine-yard touchdown run with eight minutes to go. After Rams’ quarterback John Wolford threw an interception with 5:33 to play, Cardinals’ kicker Tristan Vizcaino extended the lead to 27-10 with a 46-yard field goal at the 3:46 mark. John Wolford found Van Jefferson in the end zone with seven seconds left for a garbage time score to make it 27-17. The 10-point Arizona win moves them to 4-5, keeping them in the thick of the NFC West divisional hunt, while Los Angeles falls all the way to 3-6.
Next Week: Arizona: vs. San Francisco (Mexico City), Los Angeles: at New Orleans
49ers 22, Chargers 16
The Seattle Seahawks’ loss Sunday morning to Tampa Bay opened up an opportunity for the San Francisco 49ers to move within just a game first place in the NFC West, while the Los Angeles Chargers looked to stay in the same position in the AFC West with a win. It was the visiting Chargers who quieted the raucous Levi’s Stadium crowd with their first drive, a seven play sprint downfield to make it 7-0 after Justin Herbert’s 32-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Carter. San Francisco’s first drive looked promising as well, but stalled out near the goal line as the 49ers settled for a chip shot field goal by Robbie Gould. The Chargers’ next opportunity in San Francisco territory came early in the second quarter after 49ers’ wideout Brandon Aiyuk’s fumble, and finished with a 47-yard field goal by Cameron Dicker to make it 10-3. Los Angeles found themselves in 49ers’ territory once again moments later after blocking San Francisco’s punt, but settled once again for a field goal to make it 13-3. The 49ers finally scored their first touchdown just after the first half’s two-minute warning, a quarterback sneak by Jimmy Garoppolo to make it 13-10. Justin Herbert took a hard hit to the head with just 30 seconds to go in the first half on the next Chargers’ drive, and was pulled from the game for the remainder of the drive to be evaluated for a concussion while Dre Greenlaw was ejected for the hit. Los Angeles would kick a field goal at the first half buzzer, taking a 16-10 lead into halftime.
Justin Herbert’s return was confirmed by Chargers’ head coach Brandon Staley for the start of the second half, but San Francisco’s first drive of the second half produced three points before Herbert could return to play. After both defenses held serve for the better part of the second half, it was the 49ers who eventually broke through with a physical drive and a Christian McCaffrey touchdown to take their first lead of the night, 19-16 with 7:54 to play. Both defenses came up with key stops, but 49ers’ punter Mitch Wishnowsky’s excellent kick with just over two minutes to go pinned the Chargers back on their own one yard line needing to find their way into field goal range. Los Angeles would turn it over on downs, setting up San Francisco with a first and goal – but the 49ers were more concerned with running clock than anything else in the final moments. They’d ultimately kick a field goal to extend their lead to six, and an interception on the Chargers’ desperation drive in the final moments sealed the home win for San Francisco.
Next Week: Los Angeles: vs Kansas City, San Francisco: at Arizona (Mexico City)