Week 10 NFL is complete, as is the first Thursday night game of the season, which was a snoozefest between the Bears and 49ers. Josh McDaniels looks smarter every time Jay Cutler takes the field.
49ers defeat Bears 10-6:
In the first Thursday night game of the season, Chicago’s Jay Cutler threw 5 interceptions and San Francisco needed every one of them. That includes the final interception, as Cutler was driving his team down into the red zone with only seconds remaining, but another errant pass sealed the Bears’ fate. In the win, the 49ers got 104 rushing yards and a touchdown from Frank Gore. Matt Forte caught 8 balls for 120 yards in the loss.
Panthers defeat Falcons 28-19:
Michael Turner went out with an injury after rushing 9 times for 111 yards for the Falcons, and from there it was all Carolina. The Panthers got 195 passing yards and 2 touchdowns from Jake Delhomme as he continued his solid play, while DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined to rush for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns, both from Stewart.
Dolphins defeat Buccaneers 25-23:
Miami led 19-6 at halftime, but Tampa Bay simply would not go away. The Bucs actually came back to take a 23-22 lead with only 1:14 remaining on a Cadillac Williams 1-yard touchdown, but the Dolphins weren’t finished. After throwing an interception on their previous drive, QB Chad Henne marched his team into field goal range, and Dan Carpenter nailed a 25-yarder with only 10 seconds remaining to give the Dolphins a wild victory.
Vikings defeat Lions 27-10:
Minnesota overcame 3 turnovers inside the Detroit red zone in this game, prevailing behind 344 passing yards and 1 touchdown from Brett Favre. Adrian Peterson rushed for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 18 carries, and fortunately his 2 fumbles lost in this one didn’t cost Minnesota. The Vikings outgained the Lions 492-297 for the game.
Jaguars defeat Jets 24-22:
Jacksonville blew a 21-10 lead in the second half, and fell behind 21-22 on a 1-yard touchdown from Thomas Jones with just 5:04 remaining. But the Jaguars went on a long drive to win the game, and Maurice Jones-Drew actually passed up on a touchdown to set up the game-winning field goal by Josh Scobee as time expired from 21 yards out. Jones-Drew finished with 123 rushing yards and 1 touchdown, while David Garrard threw for 221 yards and 1 touchdown, also rushing for another score.
Bengals defeat Steelers 18-12:
Cincinnati proved once again that their defense is vastly underrated. The Bengals kept the Steelers out of the end zone for 4 quarters, and limited Big Ben and company to just 226 yards of total offense. The game-changer in this one was a 96-yard kickoff return by Bernard Scott after a field goal by Jeff Reed in the first quarter. Shayne Graham kicked his fourth field goal of the day with 1:56 remaining, and the Cincinnati defense stopped the Pitt offense on 4 downs on their ensuing drive to cap off a season sweep of the Steelers.
Saints defeat Rams 28-23:
It wasn’t pretty, but New Orleans improved to 9-0 after a hail mary out of the right hand of Marc Bulger fell to the ground in the end zone on the game’s final play. The Rams would not go away, and Steven Jackson was a handful as he rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort. The Saints overcame 2 interceptions from Drew Brees, and a lost fumble by Marques Colston that went through the end zone for a touchback as he went leaping for a score at the 1-yard line. Reggie Bush came up big for New Orleans, totaling 98 yards from scrimmage with 1 touchdown on the ground and 1 receiving TD.
Titans defeat Bills 41-17:
It was another fourth quarter collapse for Buffalo as Tennessee outscored them 24-0 in the final period. It was also another huge game from the NFL’s leading rusher, Chris Johnson, who ran for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns, also catching 9 balls for 100 receiving yards in the win. Vince Young improved to 3-0 as a starter this season for the Titans, throwing for 210 yards and a touchdown with one interception.
Redskins defeat Broncos 27-17:
Kyle Orton went out with an ankle injury just before Denver’s Matt Prater kicked a field goal to put his team ahead 17-14. Backup QB Chris Simms came in, but he couldn’t hold on to the lead. Simms finished just 3-of-13 passing for 21 yards with no touchdowns and 1 interception. Before he came in, Brandon Marshall already had a 40-yard touchdown catch and a 75-yard touchdown grab from Orton, so clearly their chemistry was thrown off once their starter went down. LaDell Betts filled in nicely for the injured Clinton Portis, rushing 26 times for 114 yards and a touchdown for Washington. The game-changing play in this one was a 36-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Smith to Mike Sellers on a fake punt that tied it at 14-14.
Chiefs defeat Raiders 16-10:
After falling behind 10-3 after the first quarter, it was all Kansas City the rest of the way as this Chiefs’ defense held Oakland scoreless in the final three quarters. The Chiefs overcame an interception from Matt Cassel, and 4 fumbles, only 2 of which were lost. Jamal Charles carried the load with 103 rushing yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. For a second straight game, the Raiders pulled starting QB JaMarcus Russell even though he had not thrown an interception. Bruce Gradkowski took his place, promptly throwing 2 interceptions on just 8 passing attempts that sealed the win for Kansas City.
Cardinals defeat Seahawks 31-20:
Seattle took a 14-0 lead early into the second quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to John Carlson. But the Seahawks couldn’t hold onto the lead, and they fell even further behind in the division as it was all Cardinals the rest of the way. Tied 17-17 entering the fourth quarter, the Cardinals went on to outscore the Seahawks 14-3 in the final period on a 13-yard TD run by Beanie Wells and an 18-yard TD catch by Larry Fitzgerald. Seattle put up 472 yards of total offense and 29 first downs, but 2 interceptions from Hasselbeck proved to be very costly as Arizona did not turn the ball over once.
Packers defeat Cowboys 17-7:
Dallas did not get on the board until there were 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard touchdown catch by Roy Williams. Tony Romo threw 1 interceptions and lost 1 fumble, while Williams also lost a key fumble despite having a big game with 105 yards receiving. The Packers only needed 189 passing yards and 1 touchdown from Aaron Rodgers, because their defense would not break. CB Charles Woodson would not let his team lose, forcing 2 fumbles and picking off Romo on the goal line.
Chargers defeat Eagles 31-23:
The Chargers’ defense certainly lived up to the saying, “bend but don’t break.” Despite a career-day from Donovan McNabb with 450 passing yards, time and time again the Eagles could not punch it in when they entered the red zone. In three trips inside the Chargers’ 10-yard line, the Eagles had to settle for field goals each time. The Eagles did make a big comeback in the final period after trailing 28-9 to enter the fourth quarter, but they could not overcome their red zone struggles form earlier in the game. LaDanian Tomlinson looked like his old self, rushing for a season-high 96 yards and 2 touchdowns. Just before the game he had found out that he was going to become a first-time father, and he had a little extra spark that he had not shown in a long time.
Colts defeat Patriots 35-34:
In an improbable comeback, the Colts rallied to win 35-34 after trailing 31-14 early in the fourth quarter, and 34-21 with just 4:12 remaining after a 36-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski. But Manning promptly led the Colts on a 79-yard drive that ended in a 4-yard touchdown run from Joseph Addai with 2:23 remaining. The Patriots got the ball back, and after coming up short on a 3rd-and-2, they decided to go for it on 4th-and-2 from their own 28-yard line. It’s a decision that has been talked about ever since, but they came up a few inches short and the rest was history. Manning hit Reggie Wayne on a 1-yard touchdown strike with just 13 seconds to go. It was the 5th win in 6 meetings with the Patriots, and Manning and company clearly have their number even though New England outplayed them for 3 quarters.
Ravens defeat Browns 16-0:
It was the first NFL game this season that was tied 0-0 at halftime. But Baltimore made the necessary adjustments at the break, and came out to score 16 unanswered points in the third quarter which would be all they needed to put the Browns away for good. Cleveland was held to just 160 yards of total offense and 11 first downs. Brady Quinn was not the answer, completing just 13-of-31 passes for 99 yards with 2 interceptions. One of those picks was returned 48 yards for a touchdown by Dawan Landry, just 17 seconds after Ray Rice gave the Ravens the lead with a 13-yard touchdown run.