Our recap of the day in NFL action.
Atlanta 23, Arizona 19: Matt Ryan had what can only be described as a bad day, as he threw three first quarter interceptions en route to five for the game and a 13-0 lead for the Cardinals after the first stanza. The Falcons came back to put 16 on the board in the second as well as a Michael Turner touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. This is the first time a quarterback's thrown five interceptions and no touchdowns in a victory since Bart Starr in 1967 against the Bears.
Dallas 23, Cleveland 20, OT: It took 17 fourth quarter points for the Cowboys to make it to overtime in the first place and even lead at one point before falling behind to a Benjamin Watson touchdown reception with 1:07 remaining, but really, it's however you can get there, as Dan Bailey kicked the tying field goal through the uprights at the end of regulation and the finisher in overtime. Dependable Phil Dawson added a pair of field goals in the second quarter to move to 19-for-19 on the year.
Green Bay 24, Detroit 20: The one most of us watched in the game thread, the Lions lead 17-14 before kicking a field goal on fourth and goal from the 8, keeping it a one-score game. The Packers scored a touchdown on the next drive and added a field goal when the Lions didn't make a first down on their next possession. Neither quarterback was particularly good (Stafford's TD had to sail through a defender's hands first) but the Packers got things together enough at the end. Mason Crosby missed a pair of field goals and could have potentially missed an extra point.
Cincinnati 28, Kansas City 6: The Bengals aren't going to be the division champs this year in a stacked AFC North, but that didn't stop them from curbstomping the Chiefs, who are Glass Joe staggering around to the point a stiff breeze could knock them out. The Bengals snatched the momentum on a 32-yard fake punt for a first down and a touchdown toss to AJ Green. Andy Dalton threw two touchdowns and ran for another. And if Romeo Crennel's not looking over his shoulder, perhaps he should be.
New York Jets 27, St. Louis 13: Tim Tebow threw a pass. It was complete for -1 yard. Oh, and Mark Sanchez threw for 178 yards and a TD (no interceptions or fumbles). Bilal Powell added a pair of rushing touchdowns in returning from a concussion. Neither team really contributed on offense, but St. Louis' three turnovers to the Jets' none should be an indication of what contributed to the game's outcome.
Washington 31, Philadelphia 6: Eyyyeeeesh. What I said about Nick Foles? I take that back. Andy Reid can probably expect a ticket out of town in his Christmas stocking after the team's sixth consecutive loss. Robert Griffin III threw four touchdown passes on his 15 attempts (14 completions) and ran for another 84 yards. LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion in the final two minutes.
Tampa Bay 27, Carolina 21, OT: The Buccaneers needed a touchdown and two-point conversion with twelve seconds left in the game to force overtime, but Vincent Jackson was the target on both, and he made good on both of them as Tampa continued to drive the stake deeper into the hearts of the Panthers, who at 2-8 have completely fallen short of every expectation and are closer to the #1 pick than the playoffs. Captain Munnerlyn ran an interception for a score and Doug Martin lost a fumble on fourth and goal from the one. With the GM change looming large in Carolina, Ron Rivera's seat keeps getting warmer, but I don't know if they fire him.
Houston 43, Jacksonville 37, OT: You read that right. Matt Schaub threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns, 273 yards and the game-winning touchdown to Andre Johnson. Blaine Gabbert was pulled thanks to a right elbow contusion (they misspelled "BAD") and Chad Henne only threw for four touchdowns and 354 yards in relief. Oh, and Justin Blackmon may still be pretty good, as he caught 7 balls for 236 yards and a touchdown. Gabbert may not be done in the NFL, but at this point, he's probably not the starter for Jacksonville any longer. If they Clausen him next year, I wouldn't be stunned about it.
New Orleans 38, Oakland 17: The Saints are marching on, as they finally hit the .500 mark this season. Drew Brees threw for 229 yards and three touchdowns, and the New Orleans rushing attack chipped in an uncharacteristic 153 yards. Marcel Reece, the Oakland fullback, put in 103 rushing yards and 90 receiving yards as he took over for Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. Lance Moore caught two of Brees' touchdowns, and Brandon Myers had one for Oakland, and would have had another, but the ball went off Myers' hands as Roman Harper grabbed it in the end zone. Another Myers-targeted pass was returned 55 yards for a touchdown by Malcolm Jenkins.
Denver 30, San Diego 23: The Broncos won their fifth in a row and the Chargers are probably done yet again. Von Miller notched three sacks and two forced fumbles and Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns and one pick. Reportedly, Miller's first sack dance was inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog, but I won't believe it until he starts running in red shoes and jumping on the FOX robot to release a squirrel or something. Dr. Eggman, beware.
New England 59, Indianapolis 24: Boy, that escalated quickly. The Patriots never took the foot off the gas, and they may have paid for it at the end, with Rob Gronkowski having to leave with a broken forearm on the final extra point the Patriots scored. See, this is why you let up after scoring 52 points. Andrew Luck threw for 334 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, but Tom Brady threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns to show the rookie a thing or two. Aqib Talib returned an interception for a touchdown in his debut and Julian Edelman ran back a punt return for a touchdown. At halftime, this one was actually 21-17. Donnie Avery left with a concussion.
Baltimore 13, Pittsburgh 10: Byron Leftwich ran in the game's first touchdown from 31 yards out. Let that sink in for a second. That aside, neither side could be proud of their offensive showing. Leftwich threw for 201 yards and an interception and the Steelers ran for 134 yards total, but the Ravens' lone touchdown of a Jacoby Jones punt return in the second quarter and two field goals would prove enough. Pittsburgh would have had a chance in the two minute drill, but a crucial defensive encroachment penalty killed the Steelers, as a third down stop to head into the two-minute warning was called off and the next Ravens' play on the other side ran down 40 seconds more.