Mandatory Credit: Photo by Adrian Kraus/AP/Shutterstock (13452311x) Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, right, celebrates a touchdown with wide receiver Gabe Davis (13) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Orchard Park, N.Y Steelers Bills Football, Orchard Park, United States – 09 Oct 2022
Giants 27, Packers 22
Week 5’s NFL Sunday got started across the pond in London, where the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants clashed at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Packers, previously the only team in the NFL not to have played in London, made themselves at home in a hurry on offense. Aaron Rodgers would connect on touchdown throws to both Allen Lazard and Marcedes Lewis in the first half, while the Giants scored on a carry by tight end Daniel Bellinger before the intermission. The game went into halftime with the Giants ahead 20-10, but Graham Gano’s second field goal of the game brought New York within a touchdown by the end of the third quarter. After several consecutive stops by the Giants’ defense, New York would engineer the longest drive of the NFL season for a tying touchdown when Gary Brightwell punched in his first career rushing touchdown after 15 plays and 91 yards. After forcing – and nearly failing to receive – another Green Bay punt, the Giants would quickly push the ball back deep into Packers territory with a long pass play to Saquon Barkley. Barkley would take a direct snap for a score moments later, and suddenly the Giants led 27-20 with just over six minutes to play. Green Bay would steadily move the ball downfield in the final minutes, but a massive fourth down stop at the Giants’ seven yard line would allow New York to run most of the final minute off the clock. New York would purposely take a safety to avoid getting burned by a last-ditch Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary, and leave London with a massive upset win.
Next Week: New York: vs Baltimore, Green Bay: vs NY Jets
Bills 38, Steelers 3
The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Buffalo for Sunday’s matchup with the Bills as massive underdogs, and got off to a rather frustrating start. Buffalo would immediately hit a big play, as Josh Allen found Gabriel Davis deep downfield for a 98-yard touchdown to put the Bills ahead. After Pittsburgh fumbled the ensuing kickoff return, Buffalo looked destined to extend their lead almost immediately – but Pittsburgh would block the Bills’ field goal attempt to keep themselves within a score in the early going. It wouldn’t matter for long though, as Josh Allen picked apart the Steelers for 348 yards and four touchdowns to put Buffalo ahead 31-3 at halftime. Buffalo went vanilla with their gameplan in the second half, scoring only once more on a James Cook run en route to a 38-3 win. The fourth quarter was full of extra-curricular activity though, as multiple skirmishes broke out and Bills’ defensive end AJ Epenesa was ejected. Josh Allen finished the day with a career-high 424 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Next Week: Buffalo: at Kansas City, Pittsburgh: vs Tampa Bay
Chargers 30, Browns 28
Cleveland played host to the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, a rematch of a game that saw Los Angeles come away with a wild 47-42 win at Sofi Stadium in 2021. Nick Chubb rushed for 161 yards in that one, and picked up where he left off in this year’s contest with a 56 yards and a touchdown on the Browns’ opening drive. The first half would go back and forth, as 14 straight points by Cleveland were countered by 17 straight for Los Angeles. Nick Chubb would ultimately secure a halftime lead for the Browns, scoring his second first half touchdown to make it 21-17. The lead would change hands twice more in the third quarter, with Los Angeles scoring 10 unanswered only for Kareem Hunt to punch in a score and give the Browns back a 28-27 lead. Chargers’ kicker Taylor Bertolet would convert a 27-yarder with 9:29 to play, and a massive interception of Jacoby Brissett would set the Chargers up with an opportunity to run the clock out. Not only did Los Angeles fail to do so on the following drive, but a questionable decision by Brandon Staley to go for it on fourth down set up Cleveland with the ball in good field position in the game’s final minute. The Browns would in fact attempt a potential game winner with 11 seconds to play, but Cade York’s missed 52-yarder gave Los Angeles the road win in a wild one. Austin Ekeler had an incredible game, finishing with 199 total yards of offense and two touchdowns.
Next Week: Cleveland: vs New England, Los Angeles: vs Denver
Vikings 29, Bears 22
The Vikings and Bears rekindled their divisional rivalry Sunday afternoon in Minnesota, a matchup the Vikes dominated last season. Minnesota would move downfield with ease on their first drive, taking a 7-0 lead after a short Dalvin Cook touchdown run. Kirk Cousins got off to an absurd start, completing a career high 13 consecutive passes before his first incompletion. Chicago would respond with a field goal, but Minnesota’s offensive onslaught would continue as they extended their lead to 21-3 by the middle of the second quarter. Chicago would finally put a drive together late in the half, pulling within 11 on a touchdown run by David Montgomery with a minute to play. Chicago continued to flip momentum aggressively in the second half, scoring 12 unanswered points capped off by a Cairo Santos 51-yard field goal to take the lead 22-21. The Vikings would respond well, stringing together a 17-play, 70 yard drive to take the lead back 27-22 following a two point conversion. Cam Dantzler would make the play of the game for the Vikings defense on the Bears’ final drive, stripping the ball from Ihmir Smith-Marsette and recovering it himself to complete the victory. Minnesota moves to 4-1 with the win, and now hold sole possession of first place in the NFC North after Green Bay’s London loss.
Next Week: Minnesota: at Miami, Chicago: vs Washington
Patriots 29, Lions 0
The last time a Jared Goff-led offense faced Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, he would struggle mightily in a 13-3 Super Bowl loss back in 2019. Goff was a member of the Los Angeles Rams back then, but things would get off to a similar start today for his Detroit Lions offense. New England’s defense dominated the first half, scoring a fumble return touchdown and making three field goals en route to a 16-0 lead at the break. Detroit would drive into New England territory on four different occasions in the second half, but had nothing to show for it after Bill Belichick’s defense repeatedly stood tall when it needed to. The Patriots would only score one offensive touchdown on the day, but got all they needed from five Nick Folk field goals and the first half defensive score. Detroit, who entered the day averaging 35 points per game, was shut out for the first time this season in their first game played outdoors.
Next Week: New England: at Cleveland, Detroit: Bye Week
Saints 39, Seahawks 32
The Seattle Seahawks entered the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans looking for their second straight road win, and were greeted by a beaten up Saints team led by Andy Dalton. After New Orleans kicked off the scoring with a field goal, Geno Smith connected with DK Metcalf on a 50-yard touchdown pass that immediately showcased his freakish athleticism and gave Seattle an early 7-3 lead. New Orleans would eventually get going offensively, as two Taysom Hill rushing touchdowns gave the Saints a 17-10 with three minutes to play in the first half. Seattle’s offense would stay hot though, exploding for nine more points in the final minutes to take a 19-17 lead into the break. New Orleans grabbed control in the second half, scoring 14 unanswered points on touchdowns by Chris Olave and Adam Trautman – one of which came on a Taysom Hill throw. Seattle wouldn’t back down in the fourth quarter though, scoring touchdowns on a 40-yard pass to Tyler Lockett and a 69 yard sprint by Kenneth Walker to take a 32-31 lead with 6:54 to play. Incredibly, Taysom Hill would strike again less than 90 seconds later – this time scampering 60 yards down the sideline to put New Orleans ahead 39-32. The Saints’ defense finally came up with the stop they needed on the following Seahawks drive, and ran out the clock to finish the win from there. Taysom Hill had an incredible game for New Orleans, finishing the day with 112 yards rushing and four total touchdowns including one through the air.
Next Week: Seattle: vs Arizona, New Orleans: vs Cincinnati
Jets 40, Dolphins 17
The Miami Dolphins’ trip to Metlife Stadium to take on the divisional rival Jets got off to an awful start, as they lost backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to injury while surrendering a safety on an intentional grounding call in the end zone early in the first quarter. Seventh round rookie Skylar Thompson would take over at quarterback for the Dolphins, and the Jets would extend their lead to 12-0 before Miami ever entered the red zone. The Dolphins finally did see some success pushing the ball downfield early in the second quarter, and Raheem Mostert scored on an end around run to pull Miami back within five. Both teams would add another score in the final minutes of the half, keeping the Jets lead at five heading into the locker room 19-14. The Dolphins’ hobbled offense would try to chip away in the second half, making one field goal and missing another as the game moved into the final period. After a Michael Carter touchdown put the Jets ahead 26-17, New York would recover a Skylar Thompson fumble and punch it in moments later with Breece Hall to all but end it. Breece Hall finished the game with 97 rush yards, and four different Jets would combine for five rushing touchdowns in what became a blowout win late.
Next Week: Miami: vs Minnesota, New York: at Green Bay
Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15
Tampa Bay has dominated the Falcons consistently since Tom Brady arrived, a trend that continued Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers outgained Atlanta 297 to 89 in the first half, and led 13-0 at the halftime break despite settling for two field goals and turning the ball over on downs on possessions in Falcons’ territory. Tampa would continue pouring it on in the third quarter with Leonard Fournette’s second score of the day, making it 21-0 following a successful 2 point conversion. Avery Williams would score his first career rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter for Atlanta, but the Falcons would really make things interesting when Marcus Mariota connected with Olamide Zaccheaus with just under five minutes to play. The Falcons thought they’d made the defensive stop they needed on the following Buccaneers’ drive, but an incredibly questionable roughing the passer call on Grady Jarrett cost them and allowed Tampa to run out the clock. The win was Tampa Bay’s fifth in a row over Atlanta, and snapped a two game losing streak to keep the Bucs at the top of the NFC South standings.
Next Week: Tampa Bay: at Pittsburgh, Atlanta: vs San Francisco
Titans 21, Commanders 17
The Washington Commanders entered Sunday’s game with the Titans in desperate need of a win, already close to falling out of NFC East contention completely with the Giants and Eagles playing well. Tennessee would open the scoring though, as Ryan Tannehill found Dontrell Hilliard for a touchdown in the first quarter to put his team ahead 7-0 looking for their third straight win. Washington would wake up with ten consecutive points on their next two drives, taking the lead on a touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to Dyami Brown. Tennessee regained the lead before halftime as Derrick Henry powered into the end zone to make it 14-10. The back and forth action continued that way in the second half, as Henry and Dyami Brown each scored their second touchdown of the day. The game went to the fourth quarter with Tennessee ahead 21-17, and would stay there into the game’s final moments as Washington threatened to score. Facing a third and goal with seconds to go trying to take the lead, Carson Wentz would throw a critical interception that sealed the Commanders’ fate – their fourth consecutive loss.
Next Week: Washington: at Chicago, Tennessee: Bye
49ers 37, Panthers 15
The 2022 season has been a nightmare through the first month for the Carolina Panthers, and their bad dream continued Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco moved downfield with ease on their scripted drive to start the game, scoring a touchdown on a reception by Tevin Coleman for an early lead. Each team would add a field goal as the first half went along, but a critical mistake by Baker Mayfield led to a 49ers’ pick six before half and extended San Francisco’s lead to 14 at the intermission. Christian McCaffrey would score for the Panthers in the third, briefly bringing them within one possession at 17-9 before San Francisco began to run away with it. Deebo Samuel and Jeff Wilson Jr. would both score for the 49ers, and they’d extend their lead to 30-12 in the fourth quarter. Carolina finally put together a strong drive midway through the final period, as Baker Mayfield connected with DJ Moore multiple times before they’d once again stall out, settling for an Eddy Piniero field goal to cut the deficit to 30-15. After another failed attempt to move the ball by the Panthers, San Francisco would take over deep in Carolina territory and quickly convert another touchdown, extending their lead to 37-15 in the final minutes. The Panthers fell to 1-4 with the loss, likely putting Head Coach Matt Rhule’s job in jeopardy while San Francisco claimed sole possession of first place in the NFC West.
Next Week: San Francisco: at Atlanta, Carolina: at LA Rams
Eagles 20, Cardinals 17
The best first half team in the NFL took on the worst first half team in the NFL as the Philadelphia Eagles headed to State Farm Stadium in Arizona Sunday afternoon, and it showed in the early going. Jalen Hurts rushed for two scores in the first half as the Eagles took a 14-0 lead, controlling the line of scrimmage as they have often this season. The Cardinals would finally strike back in the second quarter, as Kyler Murray found his former college teammate Marquise Brown for a 25-yard catch and run to pull Arizona back within a touchdown. Cardinals’ kicker Matt Ammendola would make a short field goal as time expired in the first half, making it 14-10 Eagles. The Eagles would add three in an otherwise quiet third quarter, as both defenses came up with several stops. Arizona put a strong drive together early in the fourth, finally scoring on an Eno Benjamin touchdown run with 9:43 to go that tied the game at 17. The following Philadelphia drive was a clinic, as they’d call eight consecutive run plays to push the ball into Arizona territory before converting a huge first down on a Jalen Hurts pass to Dallas Goedert. The Cardinals’ defense would eventually come up with a huge stop at their own five yard line, but Cameron Dicker converted the short field goal to give Philly the lead with less than two minutes to play. Arizona drove downfield to set up kicker Matt Ammendola with a tying chance in the final seconds, but he would miss wide right to seal Philadelphia’s 5-0 start to the year.
Next Week: Philadelphia: vs Dallas, Arizona: at Seattle
Ravens , Bengals
The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals renewed their divisional rivalry on Sunday Night Football, one year after Cincinnati dominated both matchups en route to an AFC Championship. The Ravens’ quest for revenge in front of a raucous home crowd got off to a strong start, jumping out to a 10-0 lead behind a Justin Tucker field goal and Mark Andrews touchdown reception. Cincinnati responded in the second quarter after starting the night with four empty drives, as Joe Burrow finally completed a throw to former Raven Hayden Hurst for a touchdown. Evan McPherson would make a 40-yard field goal as the first half expired to tie it, setting up an exciting second half between divisional rivals. Ravens’ linebacker Patrick Queen would intercept Joe Burrow on the first offensive play of the third quarter, shifting momentum back in Baltimore’s direction and setting up a booming 58-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. After a 15-play, 90 yard drive would lead Baltimore even deeper into Bengals’ territory as the fourth quarter began, they’d settle for yet another much shorter Justin Tucker field goal to extend their lead to 16-10. The decision to kick instead of going for fourth and short by John Harbaugh left the window open for the Bengals, who would drive 75 yards in 13 plays to score, taking the lead 17-16 on a Joe Burrow sneak with 1:58 to go. Baltimore would take full advantage of the time they were left, driving at a casual pace into Bengals’ territory for a 43-yard field goal as time expired – and to nobody in the building’s surprise, all-time great Justin Tucker drilled it for the win.
Next Week: Baltimore: at NY Giants, Cincinnati: at New Orleans