For a day that didn't involve the Bears, there sure was a lot of action in the NFL. Let's make the rounds and check out the scores and highlights.
Tennessee 35, Buffalo 34 - Chris Johnson finally returned to form - or at least for one game, he did. Johnson pounded out 195 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, and Matt Hasselbeck had a solid game-manager-type game, picking up just over 200 yards and a touchdown (a late fourth-quarter fifteen-yard strike to Nate Washington) with no interceptions. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty good game himself - three touchdowns, one interception and a near-80% completion percentage. And apparently there was a bit of Sugarhill Gang going on.
Indianapolis 17, Cleveland 13 - Andrew Luck followed up his performance last week with another pretty pedestrian performance (16-29, 186 yards) ... if you don't factor in his two rushing touchdowns. Plus, on a high note, Chuck Pagano went home today from the hospital. Josh Gordon added in another touchdown (Brandon Weeden threw another one to Greg Little), but it wasn't enough. Vick Ballard, Donald Brown, take note.
Oh, and here's what a Greg Little touchdown catch looks like.
Green Bay 30, St. Louis 20 - Randall Cobb has come on a bit to become a Percy Harvin-lite. Unlike Harvin, he's not the premier receiver on the team, but he was good enough to haul in two of Aaron Rodgers' three touchdowns on the day. Rodgers' quarterback rating of 132.2 paved the way for the Green Bay offense. Steven Jackson boosted his trade value with 57 yards and a touchdown on twelve carries.
Minnesota 21, Arizona 14 - Minnesota keeps the division 2-0 on the day as the Vikings scored on the ground (Adrian Peterson for 13 yards), in the air (Christian Ponder's 3-yard pass to Percy Harvin), and defensively, as first-round draft pick Harrison Smith ran an interception back 31 yards. Ponder had a bad day, only 58 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 35.5 (yes, outdueled by John Skelton), but Peterson ran for 153 yards and a touchdown.
New York Giants 27, Redskins 23 - Redskins' kicker Kai Forbath knocked in 3 field goals (Okay, I just wanted to say the name Kai Forbath). Robert Griffin III had himself a pretty good day all told, going for 258 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception and a 108.9 quarterback rating, and ran for another 120 yards on 22 carries. But in the fourth quarter, the Giants took the lead on an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown run; Forbath kicked his third field goal with 5:21 left in the quarter; Santana Moss scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:32 left; and Victor Cruz got loose for a 77-yard touchdown reception with 1:13 remaining.
New Orleans 35, Tampa Bay 28 - Drew Brees had himself a game, throwing for four touchdowns... in the first half. And he needed to, because Tampa put the first fourteen points on the board. Then Brees hit Marques Colston, Josh Freeman hit Vincent Jackson early in the second quarter, and Brees delivered touchdowns to Darren Sproles, Joseph Morgan, and David Thomas, the latter with fifteen seconds left in the half. Pierre Thomas added a rushing score in the fourth.
Dallas 19, Carolina 14 - For a team that pays running backs as much as Carolina does, they only ran 21 times - Cam Newton had a 10.7 yards per carry, but Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, and DeAngelo Williams combined for 15 carries and 48 yards - or a 3.2 YPC. Not good. Tony Romo had a 98.5 quarterback rating, throwing for 227 yards and a touchdown, and Miles Austin was a recipient of 97 of those yards (plus the touchdown). Morris Claiborne picked off Newton and Dan Bailey kicked four field goals.
Houston 43, Baltimore 13 - Joe Flacco was sacked for a safety, and then in the second quarter all hell broke loose for Baltimore. Flacco was picked by Jonathan Joseph for a touchdown, Owen Daniels caught a touchdown, Shayne Graham kicked a pair of field goals, and Arian Foster iced the game with a pair of touchdown runs to go with his 98 yards. And while we're at it, ladies and gentlemen, the poster boy for ACL recovery, returning after 5 1/2 months.
Oakland 26, Jacksonville 23, OT - Apparently when two bad teams match up, they go to overtime. But Blaine Gabbert left with an injury and Chad Henne was miserable enough to make people pine for Gabbert, if possible. Which is possible, because Gabbert was having a pretty nice game until his injury. Carson Palmer threw for 298 yards, a touchdown and a pick, but his rushing touchdown with 3:34 left in the fourth sent the game to overtime, where Sebastian Janikowski put the game on ice. Maurice Jones-Drew left with an injury, and in the vein of his views on a certain quarterback getting injured, SBN's GIF guy deemed it appropriate for... this.
New England 29, New York Jets 26, OT - In a kick described as an amazing upset (ha!), Stephen Gostkowski saved the Patriots from losing to a team they've handled in recent memory. Devin McCourty returned a kickoff for a touchdown to immediately answer a Shonn Greene touchdown, Mark Sanchez fumbled a snap through the end zone for a safety, and the Jets scored 13 fourth-quarter points to take a lead until Gostkowski tied the game with no time left.
Speaking of that safety, did you know that Mark tried to score a goal with it?
Oh, and Mark Sanchez did this too:
Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 17 - Ben Roethlisberger was left in on fourth down to kick a short 26-yard punt. But for his day job, he did pretty well, with a touchdown toss, a two-point conversion, and 278 yards with a 92.0 rating. Backup running back Jonathan Dwyer added 122 rushing yards, and the Steelers' defense held the Bengals' offense to 185 total yards. AJ Green only picked up one reception for eight yards.