Cincinnati 24 (3-1), Jacksonville 21 (0-4): The host Bengals did everything they could to keep the Jaguars in the game by giving them a 14-0 lead. But despite only playing well for half the game, Cincinnati took their record at 3-1 with a solid second half. The Bengals were led by QB Joe Burrow, who rallied his team back to equalize and eventually win with an FG just as time ran out. Trevor Lawrence continues to impress the likes of the Jacksonville QB; however, with only RB James Robinson backing him on the offensive, it’s no wonder the Jags can’t hold onto leads and beat teams despite having a franchise player like Lawrence.
Dallas 36 (3-1), Carolina 28 (3-1): The Cowboys defense had no answer to the running QB named Sam Darold as the former Jet hit the end zone twice with his feet to give the Panthers a one-point lead. Dallas then went on a 20-0 run in the third quarter to break open the close game, with Carolina doing what they could in the fourth, but not enough to make a meaningful comeback on the road. The duo of QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliot combined five touchdowns, with the QB throwing 188 yards and the RB 143 to secure the win. Dallas maintains their spot atop the NFC East as the Panthers suffer their first loss.
Cleveland 14 (3-1), Minnesota 7 (1-3): In a game that even NFL Films will struggle to find highlights, it was the traveling Browns who countered the Vikings’ lone points of the game with 11 points of their own in the second quarter, holding their defense the entire time. afternoon before the win. Running back Nick Chubb defeated his Vikings counterpart Dalvin Cook by running for 100 yards on 21 carries for Cleveland as neither quarterback posted impressive numbers in this lackluster game.
Chicago 24 (2-2), Detroit 17 (0-4): The “highly anticipated” battle between Jared Goff and Justin Fields lived up to the little bit of hype this NFC North battle drew this week. Fields was not much in demand with his arm with Bears RB David Robinson posting two TDs for the home side and Damien Williams adding up Chicago’s third score. Goff did post two TDs in the second half, but once the Lions were 24-0 on the road, the clock became the bigger opponent for Detroit and the Detroit QB put his distance in waste time. Hopes and dreams of the Detroit Lions winning a game this season are quickly fading as the Chicago Bears climb back to .500 in the season.
Buffalo 40 (3-1), Houston 0 (1-3): What could have been an AFC showdown between Deshawn Watson and Josh Allen turned into an ugly loss for the traveling Texans and another dominating performance for the Bills Mafia. Houston struggled from start to finish and Buffalo was in cruise control all afternoon with a 21-point fourth quarter giving the game the final score. Three quarters of the bettors on this game were happy with the outcome, as they spread a huge point to be on Buffalo, and the AFC East leaders rewarded them with a sweat-free shutout.
Indianapolis 27 (1-3), Miami 17 (1-3): Colts’ QB Carson Wentz battled Dolphins’ QB Jacoby Brissett to a draw on the stat sheet as every TD thrown on South Beach passes. The difference in this game was Indy RB Jonathan Taylor, who scored 103 yards on just 16 carries and the TD that helped Indy stay ahead of the Dolphins when it mattered most. Indy managed to come back from their loss to Tennessee last week as Miami tries to find themselves, and without their starter Tua Tagovailoa at QB, the Dolpins are lost on offense. Both teams are equal but lack the talent to do a lot this season, so their 1-3 points on the season.
Kansas City 42 (2-2), Philadelphia 30 (1-3): When Patrick Mahomes needs wins, he turns to his right arm, which the Kansas City QB did in Philly Sunday, when he threw five TD scores in this offensive shootout. Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts was a worthy shooter in this matchup with 387 yards and two throwing TDs in a game where KC won by having more talented players on offense and needed almost all of them to take home the win and return to .500. One such player was RB Clyde-Edwards Helaire, who added 102 rushing yards on just 14 carries to provide a balanced offense and set up WB Tyreek Hill, who had 11 catches for 186 yards and three touchdowns.
NY Giants 27 (1-3), New Orleans 21 (2-2) OT: The on-again, off-again Saints were way off on Sunday, especially in their defense when they gave up 400 yards to QB Daniel Jones of the Giants. The game was part of a surprise double play overtime in New York, New York, with Big Blue taking the opening kick of the extra session 81 yards into the end zone to hold off the offense of Jameis Winston and the Saints in this embarrassing loss . In their first home games of the season after Hurricane Ida, New Orleans was outplayed enough to give the Giants a win and prove they aren’t real contenders this season.
NY Jets 27 (1-3), Tennessee 24 (2-2) OT: In obvious disappointment to the Titans, a visit to New York amounted to an FG kick to settle for a draw, or, as it turned out, a missed kick that resulted in a loss. Jets’ QB Zach Wilson found big plays early in this game, leading traffic and throwing long for yards and points to take on his Tennessee counterpart Ryan Tannehill. Titans most disappointed player would have to be RB Derrick Henry, who had 33 rushes for 157 yards and a score, but it wasn’t enough and didn’t come when it mattered in overtime as the Jets defense kept Tennessee on the outside edges of the FG range and watched the final kick of the game sail wide for their first win of the 2021 season.
Washington 34 (2-2), Atlanta 30 (1-3): There was another early shootout on Sunday, this one was in Atlanta, where Washington QB Taylor Heinicke was beaten by Matt Ryan on the stats, but when it counted most, Heinicke posted two scores in the fourth quarter to come back from a deficit of 30-22. These teams will be pinball machines all season as their defense struggles to hold anyone back and their offense is just good enough to keep everything close but normally falls short. This time, however, it was Washington that went the extra mile to take the road win.
Arizona 37 (4-0), LA Rams 20 (3-1): Have the Rams overlooked their desert division rivals after knocking out the Buccaneers last week? Well, after he outplayed Tom Brady, in the Hollywood story of Matthew Stafford’s season, he was outplayed by Kyler Murray and the Cardinals attack. To be fair, Stafford and Murray were tied, at least on paper, but it was the Arizona running game that set them apart in this game. Cards’ RB Chase Edmonds put in 120 yards and 12 carries and James Conner added 50 yards and two touchdowns to match the pair Murry threw for. That, along with the Arizona defense allowing only ten points after the first quarter, at least this week the Cardinals were the better team on the field and are now leaders of the NFC West.
Seattle 28 (2-2), San Francisco 21 (2-2): The NFC West round-robin was also not very competitive in Northern California on Sunday afternoon, and things took a turn for the worse when 49ers QB Trey Lance was forced into action following an injury to starter Jimmy Garoppolo. It seems San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan was more concerned about working on trick plays with this year’s first-round draft pick than actually working on the offense. This mistake showed when Seattle had its way both offensively and defensively to cut their record and drop the 49ers to .500 in their highest contested division race.
Baltimore 23 (3-1), Denver 7 (3-1): The Denver Broncos’ glass slipper broke on Sunday when the above-average Ravens came to town and did what they did all season… Baltimore had a good quarter, the second, where they scored 17 points and let their defense win the game and bear the offense. Yes, Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson had over 300 passing yards; but to get just 20 points with those yards means they used the pass to set up the run, something Baltimore fans are used to seeing and the only way the Ravens can win games. To say that these teams are the same type of 3-1 franchises in 2021 would be far from true as both teams will have a hard time winning matches against teams of the same talent.
Green Bay 27 (3-1), Pittsburgh 17 (1-3): What a difference a month has made for these two legendary franchises. The Packers were mistreated by the Saints in week one and the Cheeseheads were confused and ready to hit the panic button… as the Steelers fan dreamed of a return to the Super Bowl. This week, thanks to a points double dive just before and right after halftime, the Packers now have a three-game winning streak as the Steelers head in the opposite direction while sitting at the bottom of the AFC North. What makes Green Bay so dangerous this year is their balance, which gives QB Aaron Rodgers all sorts of time in the sack and options in the scrimmage. All while Pittsburgh proves to be too much of a pass-only team, allowing defenses to focus on shutting down their receivers and not worrying about their running backs. Therefore, the Packers are 3-1 and the Steelers 1-3 after this weekend and their game Sunday afternoon.
Tampa Bay 19 (3-1), New England 17 (1-3): The Game of the Century probably wasn’t even the best game of the day, but Tom Brady’s “The Return” to New England had a lot of hype and a lot of game ending drama. Brady and his replacement, Patriots’ QB Mac Jones, found several ways to get things done in the New England rain. The Bucs’ offense ran the ball to score their only touchdown of the evening in the third quarter, with Jones using a short pass, completing 19 straight passes to put his team ahead. However, at the 2:00 a.m. warning, it was Tampa Bay that kicked what turned out to be a game-winning FG, with New England unable to respond with a 56-yarder on their last possession to steal the win. With the win, the Buccaneers move to first place in the NFC South with the Patriots now in a three-way tie for second (or last) in the AFC East, level with the victorious Jets and hapless Dolphins.
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