Week seven was one for the record books, whether your name was Manning, Murray or your team was mounting a comeback.

It was also a week for celebration on Florida’s east coast as Jacksonville broke into the win column with a 24-6 win over Cleveland at home. That leaves the Raiders as the only team without a win in the 2014 campaign.

PASSING FANCY: Quarterbacks have been historically efficient through Week 7 of the 2014 season, combining for a league-wide passer rating of 91.3 and a completion percentage of 63.3. Both are on pace to be the highest of any season in NFL history and would surpass records set in 2013 (86.0 passer rating; 61.2 completion percentage).

The league-wide yards-per-pass attempt average, currently at 7.27, is also on pace to be the highest of any season in the Super Bowl era.

The seasons with the highest league-wide yards-per-pass attempt average in the Super Bowl era (since 1966):
SEASON-YARDS/PASS ATTEMPT
2011-7.20
1983-7.18
1989-7.15
1984-7.14
2013-7.12
2014-7.27*

* Through Week 7; One game remaining

HISTORIC MANNING: In Denver’s 42-17 win against San Francisco on Sunday Night Football, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw four touchdowns, bringing his career total to 510, surpassing Brett Farve (508) for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players with the most career touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER-TEAM(S) (MOST CAREER TD PASSES)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis, Denver (510)*
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota (508)
Dan Marino – Miami (420)
Drew Brees – San Diego, New Orleans (374)*
Tom Brady – New England (372)*
* Active

COMEBACKS GALORE: The 2014 season has featured many close games and great comeback victories. Last week, comebacks were the order of the day, so don’t count anyone out.

There have been 10 comeback victories of 14+ points, tied for the second-most such comebacks through Week 7 since 1970.

The most comeback wins of 14+ points through Week 7 since 1970:
SEASON-14+ POINT COMEBACK WINS
2011-12
2014-10
1987-10
2012-9
1979-8

Pittsburgh overcame a 13-point deficit on Monday Night Football to win 30-23 over Houston at home at Heinz Field. There have been 20 comeback victories of 10+ points, the third-most such comebacks through Week 7 since 1970 (1987, 23; 2011, 21).

PASSING FANCY: Quarterbacks have been historically efficient through Week 7 of the 2014 season, combining for a league-wide passer rating of 91.5 and a completion percentage of 63.3. Both are on pace to be the highest of any season in NFL history and would surpass records set in 2013 (86.0 passer rating; 61.2 completion percentage).

The league-wide yards-per-pass attempt average, currently at 7.28, is also on pace to be the highest of any season in the Super Bowl era.

The seasons with the highest league-wide yards-per-pass attempt average in the Super Bowl era (since 1966):
SEASON-YARDS/PASS ATTEMPT
2011-7.20
1983-7.18
1989-7.15
1984-7.14
2013-7.12
2014-7.28*

* Through Week 7

QB MILESTONES: Below is a sampling of the quarterback milestones that were reached in Week 7:

•In Denver’s 42-17 win against San Francisco on Sunday Night Football, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes, bringing his career total to 510, surpassing Brett Farve (508) for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history.

Manning (33) extended his NFL record for the most career games with four or more touchdown passes. •Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a five-yard touchdown pass with 1:48 remaining to give the Lions a 24-23 come-from-behind victory over New Orleans. It marked Stafford’s sixth career game-winning touchdown pass inside the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter, the most in NFL history through a player’s first six seasons.

•Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 255 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 154.5 passer rating in the Packers’ 38-17 win against Carolina. The performance marked Rodgers’ fourth consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions, tied for the longest such streak in a single season in NFL history (Tom Brady, 2007).

Rodgers is the only player in NFL history with at least 18 touchdown passes and one or zero interceptions through his team’s first seven games to begin a season.

•Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill became the third player in NFL history with at least 275 passing yards (277), a completion percentage of 78.0 or better (78.1) and 45+ rushing yards (48) in a single game, joining Ken Anderson (November 3, 1974) and Jeff Garcia (December 14, 2003) as the only players to accomplish the feat.

•Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 313 yards and rushed for 106 yards in a losing cause against St. Louis on Sunday to become the first player in NFL history to have 300+ passing yards and 100+ rushing yards in a single game.

•Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdowns in the Steelers’ 30-23 win against Houston on Monday Night Football. Roethlisberger has 10 touchdown passes this season and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly (11) for the fourth-most consecutive seasons with 10 or more touchdown passes to start a career in NFL history.

The most consecutive seasons with 10+ touchdown passes to start a career:
PLAYER-TEAMS (YEARS OF STREAK, NO. OF CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 10+ TDs)
Fran Tarkenton-Minnesota, New York Giants (1961-76, 16)
Peyton Manning-Indianapolis (1998-2010, 13)
Warren Moon-Houston, Minnesota (1984-95, 12)
Ben Roethlisberger-Pittsburgh (2004-13, 11)*
Jim Kelly-Buffalo (1986-96, 11)
Dan Marino-Miami (1983-92, 10)
* Active Streak

WAYNE’S WORLD IS EXCELLENT: Indianapolis wide receiver Reggie Wayne had four catches for 15 yards in the Colts’ 27-0 win over Cincinnati. Wayne (14,000) became the ninth player in NFL history to reach 14,000 receiving yards and only the fifth to do so with one franchise.

AWESOME ANTONIO: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 90 yards in the Steelers’ 30-23 win over Houston on Monday Night Football. It marked Brown’s seventh consecutive game with at least five catches and 80 receiving yards, tying Dwight Clark (1982) for the second-most consecutive such games to start a season in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin had nine consecutive such games to start the 1995 season.

Brown also threw a touchdown pass and became only the third player in NFL history to have at least nine catches and throw a TD pass in a single game (James Wilder, 1984; Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, 1995).

CHARLES IN CHARGE: Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown in the Chiefs’ 23-20 win at San Diego. Charles now has 6,113 career rushing yards, surpassing Priest Holmes (6,070) for the most in franchise history.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Be it ever so humble…

The New England Patroits have won 16 consecutive home games against division opponents after defeating the New York Jets 27-25 on Thursday Night Football. The Patriots are now tied with Dallas (1991-95) and Miami (1971-75) for the third-longest such streak since 1970.

The teams with the most consecutive home wins against division opponents since 1970:
TEAM (YEARS, MOST CONSECUTIVE HOME WINS AGAINST DIVISION OPPONENTS)
Green Bay (1994-98, 18)
Buffalo (1988-92, 17)
New England (2009-present, 16)
Dallas (1991-95, 16)
Miami (1971-75, 16)

RUNNING COWBOY: Dallas running back De Marco Murray rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 31-21 win against the New York Giants. Murray has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his first seven games, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown for the longest such streak in NFL history to begin a season.

The longest start-of-season streaks in NFL history with at least 100 rushing yards:
PLAYER-TEAM (YEAR-STREAK)
DeMarco Murray-Dallas (2014-7)*
Jim Brown-Cleveland (1958-6)
O.J. Simpson-Buffalo (1973-5)
O.J. Simpson-Buffalo (1975-5)
* Active streak

Murray’s 913 rushing yards lead the league this season and are the third-most rushing yards in a team’s first seven games since 1980 (Jamal Lewis, 977; Terrell Davis, 1,001).

The most rushing yards through a team’s first seven games since 1980:
PLAYER, TEAM (YEAR-STREAK)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998-1,001)
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (2003-977)
DeMarco Murray, Dallas (2014-913)
Barry Sanders, Detroit (1994-889)
Walter Payton, Chicago (1984-875)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1997-861)

YOUNG KICKER: Arizona rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro made his only field goal attempt (41 yards) in the Cardinals’ 24-13 win at Oakland. Catanzaro has converted all 15 field-goal attempts this season, tying St. Louis’ Greg Zuerlein (15 in 2012) for the longest streak of consecutive field goals made to start a rookie season in NFL history.

(BYE)ING A WIN: The Kansas City Chiefs and head coach Andy Reid defeated San Diego 23-20 on Sunday following their bye week. Reid (14-2, .875) is tied with Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy (7-1, .875) for the second-best winning percentage among head coaches coming off a bye week (minimum eight games), trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Marv Levy (8-1, .889). Reid’s 14 career wins following a bye week are the most of any NFL head coach in games following a bye week.

The head coaches with the best records following a bye week (minimum eight games):

COACH-TEAM(S) (RECORD-WINNING PERCENTAGE)
Marv Levy-Kansas City, Buffalo (8-1, .889)
Andy Reid-Philadelphia, Kansas City (14-2, .875)*
Mike McCarthy-Green Bay (7-1, .875)*
Dennis Green-Minnesota, Arizona (11-3, .786)
John Fox-Carolina, Denver (10-3, .769)*
* Active

In addition to Manning passing Farve last week…

•Detroit overcame a 14-point deficit en route to a 24-23 come-from-behind win against New Orleans. It marked the 10th time an NFL team has come back from a deficit of at least 14 points to win in 2014, already tied for the second-most such comebacks through Week 7 of any season since at least 1970.

Wide receiver Corey Fuller caught the game-winning five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford with 1:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, marking his first career touchdown catch.

•Dallas running back De Marco Murray rushed for 128 yards and one touchdown in the Cowboys’ 31-21 win against the New York Giants and became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of his team’s first seven games to start a season, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (six games in 1958).

•Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 255 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 154.5 passer rating in the Packers’ 38-17 win against Carolina. The performance marked Rodgers’ fourth consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions, tied for the longest such streak in a single season in NFL history (Tom Brady, 2007).

Rodgers is the only player in NFL history with at least 18 touchdown passes and one or zero interceptions through his team’s first seven games to begin a season.

•Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck passed for 344 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 105.7 passer rating in the Colts’ 27-0 win against Cincinnati. Luck has passed for at least 300 yards in five consecutive games, tying Peyton Manning (2009) for the longest such streak in franchise history.

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne had four catches for 15 yards and became the ninth player in NFL history with 14,000 career receiving yards.

Ahmad Bradshaw, who had three catches for 36 yards and one touchdown against the Bengals, leads all NFL running backs with six TD catches this season. He is the first running back with six touchdown catches in his team’s first seven games of a season since San Diego’s Gary Anderson did it in 1986. The win improved the Colts improved to 5-2, earning the 500th total victory in franchise history. Indianapolis’ all-time record is 500-444-7.

•Buffalo rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins had career-highs in catches (nine) and receiving yards (122) with two touchdowns, including the game-winning two-yarder with one second remaining in the fourth quarter of the Bills’ 17-16 win against Minnesota.

Watkins is the first rookie with at least 100 receiving yards and a game-winning touchdown catch with one second or less remaining in the fourth quarter of a game since 2009 (Tennessee wide receiver Kenny Britt did it vs. Arizona on November 29, 2009).

Buffalo cornerback Leodis McKelvin recorded interceptions on consecutive defensive plays, becoming the first Bills player to do so since Kirby Jackson on October 29, 1989 against Miami.

•Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 25 of 32 passes (78.1 percent) for 277 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a career-high 123.6 passer rating in the Dolphins’ 27-14 win at Chicago.

Tannehill, who also rushed for 48 yards, is the third player in NFL history with at least 275 passing yards, a completion percentage of 78.0 or better and 45+ rushing yards in a single game. He joins Ken Anderson (November 3, 1974) and Jeff Garcia (December 14, 2003) and as the only players to accomplish the feat.

•Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown in the Chiefs’ 23-20 win at San Diego. Charles now has 6,113 career rushing yards, surpassing Priest Holmes (6,070) for the most in franchise history.

Chief head coach Andy Reid improved his career record in games following a bye week to 14-2 (.875), the most victories of any NFL head coach in games following a bye week.

Week eight began with San Diego traveling to Denver to take on the Broncos and Peyton. Yes, THAT Peyton. Week eight ends in Arlington as a pair of NFC East rivals that would just as soon kill each other as look at each other meet when Washington hosts the Dallas Cowboys in prime time on Monday night.

As the NFL approaches the midpoint of the season, the games – and standings – have been close. So there’s a lot to look forward to in the weeks ahead.

Five games in Week 7 were decided by two points or fewer, the most such games of any NFL weekend since 1982 (Week 7). In two of those contests, the game-winning points were scored in the final seconds.

Dallas owns the best record in the NFL at 6-1 and three other clubs are right behind the Cowboys at 5-1 (Arizona, Denver and Philadelphia). But let’s not count out teams that are struggling as they can still turn things around this season. Since 1990, 33 teams had a losing record after seven games and advanced to the playoffs. The Eagles accomplished the feat last year.

And this week, as the NFL returns to the United Kingdom for the second of three sold-out 2014 International Series Games, fans in the United States will experience a fourth game broadcast window on Sunday morning for the first time as the Atlanta Falcons host the Detroit Lions at London’s Wembley Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. local time in the United Kingdom).

“We are excited about playing three regular-season games in the UK for the first time and debuting a new game time that we expect to be a hit with fans on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world,” says Mark Waller, the NFL’s executive vice president of international.

Miami beat Oakland 38-14 in London in Week 4 before a crowd of 83,436 to kick off this year’s International Series. The Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10 at Wembley in the final installment of the UK tripleheader.

The International Series has seen some very close contests. In the first nine games, five have been decided by one score.

The nine regular-season games played at Wembley Stadium:

DATE (WEEK) FINAL SCORE
September 28, 2014 (4) Miami 38, Oakland 14
October 27, 2013 (8) San Francisco 42, Jacksonville 10
September 29, 2013 (4) Minnesota 34, Pittsburgh 27
October 28, 2012 (8) New England 45, St. Louis 7
October 23, 2011 (7) Chicago 24, Tampa Bay 18
October 31, 2010 (8) San Francisco 24, Denver 16
October 25, 2009 (7) New England 25, Tampa Bay 7
October 26, 2008 (8) New Orleans 37, San Diego 32
October 28, 2007 (8) New York Giants 13, Miami 10

As for week 7, it was a pretty decent week for picks, as we went 10-5 (not bad) and for the year, 68-39. There’s still a lot of football left and we haven’t even gotten to Thanksgiving yet.

Week 8 byes are New York Giants and San Francisco. Philly and Tampa Bay return to action after their byes and the Giants and 49ers play next week after coming off losses in week seven on the road. San Diego and Denver are sitting at home watching games on the tube after their contest last Thursday night in the Mile High City. Here are the picks for Sunday and Monday’s games for week 8.

Detroit (5-2) at Atlanta (2-5), 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. London) (FOX and DirecTV 705) Wembley Stadium. It’s the second game in the NFL’s International Series as Atlanta and Detorit meet in merry old London in an early-morning contest that kicks off early Sunday morning (Eastern time), while most of America is at church. For the Falcons, it’s fish and chips and grits.

“It’s an opportunity for us to play a game in a different part of the world and have them experience some of the things that our fans have an opportunity to experience,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told the Detroit Free Press. “But for us, it’s a business trip, it’s not a vacation. Our business is to go over there and get ready to play a hungry Atlanta team in a game that means a lot to us. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

The Lions, without WR Calvin Johnson, rallied from a 17-10 third-quarter deficit at Ford Field against New Orleans by outscoring the Saints 14-6 in the final quarter to come away with a 24-23 win. Lions QB Matthew Stafford threw a pair of TDs in the final 30 minutes of play, including a 5-yard TD pass to WR Corey Fuller with 1:48 left to play. Neither team breached the 100-yard barrier (New Orleans had 73, Detroit 59) and Stafford (299 yards), despite throwing a pair of TDs, was sacked twice and picked off twice in the contest, while Drew Brees threw for 342 yards and two TDs. Detroit went 7-15 on third down tries, while the Saints were 3-12 and 1-2 on fourth down. Time of possession… the clock was the ally of the Lions at 32:18 to New Orleans’ 27:42.

Since their blowout win over Tampa Bay in the Big Peach in week three, the Atlanta offense has failed to take flight, losing their last three contests and coming off another loss away from the Big Peach. The Falcons struggled on the road yet again, losing their third contest in a row to Baltimore 29-7 in Charm City. The loss was also the 33rd straight game that Atlanta did not have a rusher with 100+ yards and were held to 68 yards rushing (Baltimore wound up with 123), while Matt Ryan was sacked five times, once for a safety that all but sealed their fate. Ryan and WR Roddy White did manage to hook up for the Falcons’ only score in the contest, a 4-yard pass with just under seven minutes left that ended the Ravens’ bid for a shutout. Atlanta was 4-15 on third down (1-3 on fourth down) and held the ball for 26:47, while the Ravens were 4-11 (1-1 on fourth) on third down and kept the ball for 33:13. “We need to worry about this coming week,” says quarterback Matt Ryan. “We need to prepare better, practice better and play better. We know what to do.”

The Falcons will serve as the home team in London and will approach the week as they would as if they were at their own facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

“What we’re trying to do is try to make this like a home game,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB-TV, WXIA-TV, WAGA-TV and WGCL-TV. “This is one of our eight home games that we have, so our schedule of the week will be the same.”

Detroit may lead the series 23-12 and may have outscored the Falcons 781-723 but Atlanta has won the last three meetings, including a 31-18 win in the Motor City in 2012. Detroit’s last win came in the Motor City in 2006 by a final of 30-14. Even though both teams are on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Detroit is favored by 4 and the over/under is 47. Both numbers make a lot of sense and this is the first game on the docket, because of the early start time in the Eastern part of the United States, when most of America is going to or already in church. Both teams want to do well on the other side of the Big Pond and this one might be a pretty good game to watch or record if you’re at the 9:30 mass. Falcons bounce back from their losses to Chicago and Baltimore in consecutive weeks and tame the Lions in jolly old England, covering the 4.

St. Louis (2-4) at Kansas City (3-3), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 707) Arrowhead Stadium. They’re separated by a 3:38 drive on I-70 and 251 miles and they’ve only met 10 times. They meet in Kansas City and not for jazz or BBQ and both the Rams and Chiefs had impressive wins last week.

Although they allowed Seattle QB Russell Wilson to rush for 106 yards and pass for 313 and a pair of TDs, St. Louis managed to hold off a late Seahawk rally and use trickery to their advantage to take a 28-26 win over the defending Super Bowl champs. The Rams ran for 102 yards in the win in the Gateway City but needed luck and daring to keep the ball out of Wilson’s hands when they successfully pulled off a fake punt that went for 18 yards as P Johnny Hekker and TE Justice Cunningham connected to seal Seattle’s fate late in the NFC West contest. St. Louis was outrushed by Seattle 171-102 and outpassed 313-170 in the contest and led 21-6 at halftime before the Seahawks outscored them in the final 30 minutes of play 20-7 to make things close. St. Louis was 4-9 on third down conversions in the great indoors (1-1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 27:36, while the Seahawks, who lost their second contest in as many weeks, went 6-12 on third down and kept the ball for 32:24.

The Chiefs clawed their way back from a 14-13 deficit after three quarters at San Diego and proceeded to outscore the Chargers in the final 15 minutes of play to win 23-20. San Diego eventually tied the contest up at 20-20 on a pair of Nick Novak field goals before the Chiefs marched down the field with 1:58 left to play. Using a 9-play, 62-yard drive that lasted 1:36, rookie K Carlos Santos connected on a 48-yard field goal with 21 seconds left to take the win on the road. Kansas City outrushed the Bolts 154-69 and Alex Smith outpassed Philip Rivers 221-205 and the Chiefs defense sacked Rivers twice and picked him off once. The Chiefs were 7-14 on third down tries and possessed the ball for 39 minutes, while the Chargers were 3-10 and kept the pigskin for 21 minutes.

Kanass City leads the series 6-4 and including games played when the Rams were in Los Angeles, the Chiefs have outscored St. Louis/Los Angeles 243-189. Kansas City has won the last five meetings in the series, which includes a 27-13 win in the Gateway City in 2010. The Rams’ last win in the series came in 1997, when they shut out Kansas City 16-0 at Arrowhead. Kansas City’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. The Rams are actually better than their record and they did give Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle fits this season at home. The Chiefs look to catch Denver in the AFC West. Chiefs make everything up to date in Kansas City and wins at home in Arrowhead, even though they might not cover the 6 1/2.

Chicago (3-4) at New England (5-2), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 708) Gillette Stadium. Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears travel to Foxboro to face off against Tom Brady and the Patriots in an intercoference matchup in western Massachusetts.

Chicago could never really get on track against Miami at Soldier Field last Sunday, losing to the Dolphins 27-14 in the Windy City. Da Bears were held to 52 yards rushing and Jay Cutler was sacked three times in the loss, while the home team turned the ball over three times, much to the chagrin of Chicago fans. Chicago was 5-12 and 2-3 on third and fourth down tries and held the ball for 22:38, while Miami was 4-11 on third down tries and perfect on their only fourth down tries and held the ball for 37:22.

New England led the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 17-12 at the half in Foxboro last Thursday night and then held off GangGreen by blocking a 58-yard field goal try by Nick Folk to take a 27-25 win over their AFC East rivals. Even though the Pats were held to 63 yards on the ground (New York had 218, with RB Curtis Ivory accounting for 107), Brady did manage to throw for 261 yards and three TDs, while the Pats defense sacked Geno Smith three times. New England was 6-13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 19:06, while GangGreen kept the ball for 40:54 and went 9-16 on third down tries.

New England leads the regular seaosn series 8-3,have outscored Da Bears 237-150 and have won three of the last four contests. New England’s last win over the Monsters of the Midway came in 2010 by a 36—7 final in Chicago. Da Bears’ last win over the PatS? It also came in the Windy City in 2000 by a 24-17 count. Brady and the Pats are favored by 6 1/2 in western Massachusetts and the game’s over/under is 50 1/2. Chicago’s not that bad but they have been known to struggle, while some think that the Pats have hit their stride. Pats cover the 6 1/2 in Foxboro with the win.

Buffalo (4-3) at New York Jets (1-6), 1 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 712) MetLife Stadium. The Buffalo Bills travel across the
Empire State to face off a big AFC/AFL rival in upstate New Jersey when they face off against the struggling New York Jets in the Jersey Meadowlands. Both clubs are entering the AFC East contest from different directions.

The Bills trailed Minnesota 13-10 at the half in upstate New York before rallying late in the contest with the Vikings, coming away with a 17-16 win over the Purple Gang. Buffalo’s winning score literally came in the final seconds of the game (as in 1 second left) when Kyle Orton and rookie WR Sammy Watkins connected on a 2-yard TD pass to win the contest. Buffalo was outrushed by the Vikings 158-118 and Orton was sacked six times and turned the ball over five times in the contest, while the Bills sacked Teddy Bridgewater five times. The winning Bills were 4-12 on third down tries (1-1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 27:37, while Minnesota was 5-16, while they held the ball for 32:23.

GangGreen lost to a second future Hall of Fame QB in as many weeks as they make their way back to the Meadowlands, having lost to Peyton Manning two weeks ago and then to Tom Brady in Foxboro last Thursday night. In their 27-25 loss to the Pats last week, GangGreen held New England to 63 yards rushing, while they tallied 218, with RB Curtis Ivory leading all rushers in the contest with 107. That was some good news for Jets fans. Now for the bad. The Pats managed to sack QB Geno Smith three times, while Brady threw for 261 yards and three TDs and had a 58-yard field goal try by Nick Folk that would have given them the win blocked late in the contest. New York hoarded the ball in Foxboro for 40:54, while going 9-16 on third down tries, while the Pats held it for only 19:06 and went 6-13 on third down conversions.

Buffalo leads the series 55-51, which includes games played when the Jets were known as the Titans and then changed over to the Jets and played their home games at Shea Stadium. However… GangGreen has outscored the Bills 2,169-2,164. The two teams split the series in 2013, with each winning at home.

In week three in the Meadowlands, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! escaped with their lives and a 27-20 win. GangGreen led 17-6 at the half and then held off a late Bills rally in the second half. Bilal Powell ran for 149 of New York’s 182 yards, while the Bills had 120. GangGreen sacked E.J. Manuel eight times in the contest, while Geno Smtih threw for 331 yards and a pair of TDs. Neither ballclub did anything stellar on third or fourth downs in the first meeting at MetLife Stadium (Buffalo was 4-18, 0-2; New York was 5-14, 0-1) and the clock was on the side of GangGreen at 34:13 to Buffalo’s 25:47.

The Bills would get some revenge in upstate New York in the second meeting in week 11 as they shot down the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 37-14 in Orchard Park. Buffalo led 34-7 after 45 minutes of play and never let up on GangGreen, despite being held to 68 yards (New York ran for 134). The Buffalo defense caused problems for Smith as he would be sacked four times in the contest and forced four turnovers in the win. The Bills were 8-19 on third down tries (1-1 on fourth) and held the ball for 33:42, while GangGreen went 2-11 and 1-2 on third and fourth down, keeping the ball for a mere 26:18.

GangGreen in the week three contest in the Meadowlands won by 7 and were favored by 2 and the over/under of 39 was surpassed by 8 with both teams scoring 47 points. The Bills were favored by 1 and won by 23 and both teams covered the 41 over/under with 51 points combined. This time, GangGreen’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 41. The Bills are beginning to be a pretty good team but not quite a great team. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!? Chaos at best and they need to step things up if they want to catch New England in the AFC East and Rex Ryan wants to keep his job. GangGreen ends their skid and wins in the Meadowlands, covering the 3.

Miami (3-3) at Jacksonville (1-6), 1 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 711) EverBank Field. Separated by 351 miles and a 5:10 minute drive down the Florida coast on I-95, the Dolphins travel north to the state’s second-largest city to face a Jacksonville Jaguar team that finally broke into the win column last week.

The Dolphins took Chicago to task at Solider Field last week, beating Da Bears 27-14 in the Windy City. Miami led 14-0 at the half, even though they were outscored in the final 30 minutes of play 14-13 and held Chicago to 52 yards rushing, while sacking Jay Cutler three times (Miami rushed for 137 in the win). Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill threw for 277 yards and a pair of TDs with no interceptions in the contest that saw Da Bears turn the ball over three times. Miami was 4-11 on third down (1-1 on fourth) and kept the ball for 37:22, while Da Bears were 5-12 and 2-3 on third and fourth downs, holding the ball for 22:38.

Jacksonville finally cracked the win column in 2014 as they scored 17 second-half points without challenge by Cleveland to take a 24-6 win at home. Jacksonville led the Browns 7-6 at the half before going on their scoring rampage in the final 30 minutes of play. The winning Jaguars held Cleveland to 69 yards rushing, while the Jaguars ran for 185, with RB Denard Robinson leading all rushers with 127 and a TD. Cleveland on third down tries was 4-17 and 0-3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:27, while Jacksonville held the ball for 31:33 and went 5-16 on third down conversions.

Miami leads the series with their instate neighbors to the north 3-2, the Dolphins have outscored Jacksonville 93-75 and they have won the last two contests with Jacksonville, including a 24-3 win in Miami in 2012. Jacksonville’s last win against Miami came in 2006 in Miami by a final of 24-10. The ‘Fins in north Florida are favored by 6 with a 43 over/under. Jacksonville will make this one interesting but Miami prevails over their instate neighbor with the win and could cover the 6.

Seattle (3-3) at Carolina (3-3-1), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 706) Bank of America Stadium. Wilson vs. Newton. Russell vs. Cam. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Tar Heel State as the defending Super Bowl champs travel to Charlotte to face the Carolina Panthers.

Seattle trailed St. Louis 21-6 and then made things interesting in the Gateway City before coming up short against the Rams 28-26. Seattle managed to outscore St. Louis 20-14 in the second half and could have had come away with a win on the road were it not for some trickeration on the part of the Rams, who used a fake punt late in the contest to seal their fate. St. Louis would go on to run the clock out and win the contest.

The Seahawks outrushed St. Louis 171-102, with Wilson rushing for 106 yards and a TD, while throwing for 313 yards and a pair of TDs, despite getting sacked three times in the contest in the great indoors of the Edward Jones Dome. Seattle was 6-12 on third down and kept the ball for 32:24, while the Rams held the pigskin for 27:36, while going 4-9 on third down and 1-1 on fourth down.

Carolina trailed throughout their contest in Green Bay and fell to the Packers 38-17. Newton was sacked three times and picked off twice in the 21-point loss away from the Tar Heel State and Aaron Rodgers outpaced Newton 255-248 in passing yardage. As far as running the ball was concerned, Green Bay led Carolina 122-108 and the Panthers struggled on third down tries, going 4-12 and 0-1 on fourth downs, while the were 4-11. In a twist of irony, the clock favored Carolina, who held the ball for 30:11 to Green Bay’s 29:49.

The defending Super Bowl champs lead the series 4-2 and have outscored Carolina by a 95-89 margin. The two teams met last year in Charlotte and the Seahawks left the Tar Heel State with a 12-7 win to open the season for both teams. Carolina led 7-3 at the half after a scoreless first quarter before Seattle outscored the Panthers 9-0 in the final 30 minutes of play for the win. Carolina, who turned the ball over twice, outrushed Seattle 134-70 and Wilson was sacked twice in the contest. Both clubs struggled on third down conversions (Seattle 6-13, Carolina 5-11) and time favored the Seahawks at 30:14 to Carolina’s 29:46. Seattle covered the 3 1/2-point spread, winning by 5 but both clubs came nowhere close to the 44 1/2 over/under, as they combined for only 19 points.

The oddsmakers like the Seahawks on the road as a 5 1/2 point favorite and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both teams are coming off losses on the road and both would like nothing better than to right their ships. Seattle goes “Angry Bird” on Newton and the Panthers in the Tar Heel State and takes the win, even though they might not cover the 5 1/2.

Minnesota (2-5) at Tampa Bay (1-5), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 709) Raymond James Stadium. A pair of former NFC North rivals meet in the Sunshine State when Minnesota leaves the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on a struggling Tampa Bay team on Florida’s west coast.

Minnesota let a 16-10 lead late in the fourth quarter slip away from them in upstate New York as Buffalo’s Kyle Orton and rookie WR Sammy Watkins connected on a 2-yard TD pass with one tick left on the clock to lose 17-16. Minnesota managed to outrush Buffalo 158-118 but Teddy Bridgewater was sacked five times and threw a pair of interceptions last Sunday afternoon, while the Purple Gang sacked Orton six times but Orton did manage to outpass Bridgewater 283-157 in the contest. Minnesota was 5-16 on third down tries, holding the ball for 32:23, while the Bills, despite turning the ball over four times, was 4-12 and 1-1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 27:37.

Tampa Bay was idle last week and returns to the Sunshine State after their 48-18 thumping at the hands of Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens at home. Tampa Bay trailed 38-0 after 30 minutes of play and could never recover from the deficit, although they did outscore the Ravens in the second half 17-10. Tampa Bay was held to 87 yards rushing, while Ravens RB Justin Forsett ran for 111 of Baltimore’s 169 yards, with Flacco throwing for 306 yards, five TDs and no interceptions. As if their day wasn’t bad enough, Bucs QB Mike Glennon was sacked five times in the 30-point loss. Tampa Bay was 2-17 on third down and 0-2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:46, while the Ravens kept the pigskin for 32:14 and went 7-13 on third down conversions.

The Vikings lead the series with their former divisonal rivals 31-22 and have outscored the Bucs 1,130-970. Tampa Bay has won the last six meetings with the Purple Gang, including a 36-17 win in the Twin Cities in 2012, while the Vikings’ last win came in 2001 in the Metrodome by a 20-16 count.

Surprisingly, the odds makers like Tampa Bay as a 3 point favorite. The over/under? 42. If you’re a fan of either of these teams, by all means watch. Otherwise, you’d be better off watching that “Manhattan” marathon on WGN America Sunday. Purple Gang covers the 3 and wins on the road in the Sunshine State.

Baltimore (5-2) at Cincinnati (3-2-1), 1 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 710) Paul Brown Stadium. Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens travel to the Buckeye State to take on Andy Dalton and the Bengals, who have a chip on their shoulder after their loss last week in Indy.

Baltimore held Atlanta to 68 yards rushing in their 29-7 win over the Falcons last Sunday in Charm City, while they rushed for 123. Joe Flacco did manage to throw a pair of TDs but was also picked off twice. The Ravens made life miserable for Matt Ryan and sacked him five times in the contest, including a sack that gave the home team a safety that all but sealed the win. Baltimore was 4-11 and 1-1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball in their nest for 33:13, while Atlanta went 4-15 and 1-1 on third and fourth down, keeping the ball for a dismal 26:47.

Cincinnati returns home after their lackluster 27-0 shutout loss in Indianapolis last Sunday. The Bengals were outrushed 171-32 and Andy Dalton was sacked three times in the contest in the Hoosier State. The Bengals were a less-than-impressive 1-13 on third down conversions and 0-1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for dismal 20:17, while Indy was 5-13 on third down conversions, holding on to the ball for 39:43.

Baltimore holds a 20-16 lead in the series and the Ravens have outscored Cincy 786-640. Baltimore and Cincinnati spilt the series in 2013 with each team taking wins in their home ballparks. In the first meeting in Charm City, the Ravens let a 17-0 lead slip out of their wings as the Bengals tied things up by scoring 17 points unchallenged before Baltimore’s Jeff Tucker connected on a 46-yard field goal with 5:27 left in the extra period to win 20-17. Dalton and Flacco were each sacked five times and threw two TD passes each, while Dalton threw three interceptions and Flacco tossed two. Baltimore was held to 85 yards on the ground, while the Bengals tallied 120 of their own. Third down tries… not much to talk about in the first meeting in Charm City, as the Bengals were 5-19 (3-5 on fourth down), while the Ravens were 3-16, with the Bengals winning the time of possession battle, keeping the ball for 37:58 to Baltimore’s 31:35, which included the overtime period.

Cincy got their revenge in the Buckeye State in week 17 as they took the Ravens to task 34-17, killing Baltimore’s playoffs hopes. The Bengals led 17-6 at the half and never looked back as they outscored Baltimore 17-11 in the second half, scoring those 17 points in the fourth quarter unchallenged. The Ravens were again held under 100 yards rushing in the second meeting, rushing only for 47, while the Bengals again breached the 100-yard barrier with 111. Turnovers were the order of the day in the second meeting, as Flacco threw three interceptions, while Dalton had four to go with his two TD passes in the contest. Cincy did much better on third down tries at home, going 7-13 in the contest and kept the ball for 33:57, while the Ravens were 4-15 and 0-2 on third and fourth down tries, keeping the ball for 26:03.

Cincinnati was a 1 1/2-point favorite in Charm City with a 44 over/under. The Ravens won by 3, covering the spread but the teams missed the over/under by a touchdown, scoring only 37. In the regular-season finale in Cincy, the Bengals won by 14 (they were favored by 6) and the over/under was 44 1/2. Both teams scored 51 points, which passed the assigned over/under with ease.

The Bengals are the home team and favored by 1 and the over/under comes in at 46. This one could very well go into overtime and that would drive some Cincy fans to drink and they all know what happened the last time they went overtime. However, Bengals come through at home and take the win, covering the 1.

Houston (3-4) at Tennessee (2-5), 1 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 713) LP Field. The current Houston team travels to Music City to take on the team that was known as the Oilers before they moved to Nashville and both teams blew leads on the road last week and came away on the short end of the scoreboard.

Houston let a 13-0 lead slip away from them in Pittsburgh last Monday night and turned the ball over three times in their 30-23 loss to the Steelers in primetime at Heinz Field. The Texans took the early lead thanks to a 11-yard TD pass to rookie RB Alfred Blue from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in their opening drive of the contest. They would then add a pair of Randy Bullock field goals for the lead before the wheels came off. Pittsburgh would go on to erase Houston’s lead by scoring 24 points in a span of almost five minutes, thanks in part to several miscues on offense and special teams. Houston held the Steelers to 76 yards on the ground, while the Texans’ Adrian Foster accounted for 102 of their 132 in the contest. Along with three turnovers, the Texans were 4-12 and 2-2 on third and fourth downs and held the ball for 27:54, while the Steelers were 5-14 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 32:06.

Tennnesee also let a lead slip out of their grasp and like the Texans, they fell to Washington 19-17. In the loss to the Redskins in Landover, Tennessee lost the lead when Kai Forbath connected on a 22-yard field goal by Kai Forbath on the final play of the game. Washington outrushed Tennessee 100-76 in the win in Landover and outpassed the Titans 267-160 to take their second win of the season. Both Tennessee and Washington went 3-11 on third down conversions, with the Titans going 1-1 on fourth dowh, while time was on Tennessee’s side, as they had the ball for 30:56 to Washington’s 29:04.

Tennessee leads the Texans 15-9 in the series and have outscored Houston by a slim 512-511 margin. Tennessee and Houston split the two meetings last season and each club won at home. The first meeting in week two in the Lone Star State saw the Texans rally to score the last 13 points of the contest in regulation and overtime as they would come away with a 30-24 win at Reliant Stadium. Houston trailed 10-7 at the half and led 14-13 after three quarters of play before losing the lead and then rallying to tie things up before sending the home crowd happy. Houston outrushed Tennessee 172-119 and sacked Titans QB Jake Locker four times, while Texans QB Matt Schaub threw for 298 yards, three TDs and a pair of interceptions. Houston’s winning score came courtesy of Schaub, who connected with WR DeAndre Hopkins, on a 3-yard TD pass with 10:32 in the extra period. Houston was 6-17 on third down tries, while Tennessee was 4-16 and 0-1 on fourth down tries. The time of possession battle was won by Houston at 33:14 (which includes the overtime), while Tennessee held it for 31:14.

Tennessee got revenge on the struggling Texans in week 17 in the Music City, coming away with a 16-10 win. The Titans trailed 7-6 after 30 minutes of play before they rallied in the second half in the season finale for both clubs, outscoring the Texans 10-3 in the second half. Titans RB Chris Johnson ran for 127 of his team’s 151, while Houston was held to 65 yards and Matt Schaub was picked off twice. Tennessee was 4-14 on third down tries, while Houston was 4-10 and the Titans won the time of possession battle as well as the game, holding the pigskin for 32:15 to Houston’s 27:45.

In the week two contest, Houston was favored by 9 1/2 with a 43 over/under. While the Texans did win the game, they did not cover the spread, winning by 6. Both clubs did manage to cover the over/under by scoring 54 points. In the week 17 affair in Music City that closed out the 2013 campaign for both clubs (since neither team made the post-season), Tennessee missed the spread by one, winning by 6 (they were favored by 7) and the 44 over/under was safe, as both teams only mustered 26 points. Houston’s favored by 1 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Tennessee will make it close but Houston breaks out of its slump on the road with the win in Music City and covers the 1.

Philadelphia (5-1) at Arizona (5-1), 4:05 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 714) University of Phoenix Stadium. Two of the four remaining one-loss teams will meet Sunday afternoon when Arizona hosts Philadelphia.

Fresh off their bye week, the Eagles are averaging an NFC-best 30.5 points per game this season and put forth a dominant defensive performance in Week 6 with a 27-0 shutout victory against the New York Giants. This week, Philadelphia will be looking to keep pace with first-place Dallas (6-1) by 1/2 a game in the NFC East.

“I like the way we compete,” says Eagles linebacker Trent Cole. “We’re not going to stop believing in each other and we’re not going to quit. We’re going to keep coming, keep coming.” Philly led the Giants and Eli 20-0 at the half and never looked back to take the shutout win in the city of Brotherly Love. The Eagles held New York to 85 yards rushing and sacked Manning six times in the contest in primetime and went 4-13 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 32:26. New York? They held the ball for 27:34 and were 2-14 and 0-1 on third and fourth down tries.

The first-place Cardinals improved to 5-1 with a 24-13 win at Oakland last week. Quarterback Carson Palmer threw first-half touchdown passes to Stepfan Taylor (two yards) and Michael Floyd (33 yards) as Arizona built a 14-0 lead against the Raiders. The Desert Angry Birds held the winless Raiders to 56 on the ground last week, while rushing for 123 in the contest. Arizona was 9-15 on third down conversions (0-1 on fourth) and kept the ball for 36:57, while the Silver and Black went 4-12, holding the pigskin for 23:03.

“Every Sunday gets bigger and bigger,” Cardinals tackle Jared Veldheer told the Arizona Republic. “It’s nothing but a good start. We need to keep the mindset of ‘We need to win every week.’”

The Desert Angry Birds hold a 55-54-5 lead in the series, which includes contests when the Cardinals were first in Chicago before moving to St. Louis and then Arizona and the Eagles have outscored Arizona/St. Louis/Chicago 2,435-2,222 in the 114 games played. Arizona’s last win over Philly came in 2012 in the desert by a final of 27-6. Philly won the meeting between the teams last year in week 13 in the City of Brotherly Love 24-21. The Eagles led 17-7 at halftime and then held off the Desert Angry Birds in the second half as they mounted a rally that fell short. Philly outrushed Arizona 105-90 and both Palmer and Foles were sacked five times and threw three TDs each in the contest. Palmer did manage to outpace Foles 302-257 but threw a pair of interceptions in the contest. Arizona on third down? 4-12 (1-2 on fourth down). Philly? 5-16 (1-1 on fourth). However… Arizona did manage to win the time of possession battle, nesting the ball away for 30:34, while Philly kept it for 29:26.

The Eagles were favored by 3 1/2 in the week 13 contest the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the over/under was 48 1/2. While Philly did win the contest, they barely missed the spread by 1/2 point and both the Eagles and Cards failed to reach the over/under, scoring only 45 points. The oddsmakers like the Cardinals in the desert as 2 1/2 point favorites with a 48 over/under. It’s possible that the 48 1/2 could be reached by halftime. The 2 1/2? Plausible. Both offenses can move the ball when they want to and both are contending for spots in the post-season party. Philly wins on the road in the desert and covers the 2 1/2 but Arizona will put up a fight in their nest.

Indianapolis (5-2) at Pittsburgh (4-3), 4:25 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 716) Heinz Field. Luck. Roethlisberger. It’s an AFC arms race as two of the game’s best QBs meet in the Steel City in a late Sunday afternoon affair at Heinz Field.

Luck and the Colts are coming off a huge 27-0 shutout of Cincinnati last Sunday in the Hoosier State. The Colts held the Bengals to 32 yards rushing and sacked Andy Dalton three times in the contest. Indy led 10-0 at the break and never looked back or were threatened as Luck threw for 344 yards and a pair of TDs, while Indy ran for 171. Third down tries were nothing to write home about for either club (Cincy was 1-13, 0-1 on fourth down; Indy was 5-13) and time was on the side of the Colts, who kept the ball for 39:43, while the Bengals had it for 20:17.

Pittsburgh erased a 13-0 deficit against Houston last Monday night by scoring 24 points in nearly a five-minute span to take a 30-23 win over the Texans. Although the Steelers were held to 76 yards on the ground and gave up 132 (with Adrian Foster leading the way with 102), they took advantange of three Houston turnovers, which led to a pair of TDs in the contest. Roethlisberger threw for 265 yards and a pair of TDs with no picks in the contest inspite of being sacked three times. Pittsburgh was 5-14 on third down tries in the Monday night affair in western Pennsylvania, holding the ball for 32:06, while Houston was 4-12 and 2-2 on third and fourth down, keeping the ball for 27:54.

Pittsburgh leads the series with the Colts 14-6 (which includes contests when the Colts were in Baltimore) and have outscored their opponents 460-342. Pittsburgh won the last meeting between the two clubs in 2011 in the Hoosier State by a final of 23-20, while the Colts won in the Steel City in 2008 (with Peyton Manning under center) 24-20. Indy may be the road team but the oddsmakers like them as a 3 point favorite and a 49 1/2 over/under. The 3 makes sense as does the 49 1/2. Both are fighting for a playoff spot and both could face each other in post-season play. Indy will make it intersting but Pittsburgh wins at home again and covers the 3.

Oakland (0-6) at Cleveland (3-3), 4:25 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 715) FirstEnergy Stadium. The Silver and Black travel eastward again and pay the Browns a visit along the shores of Lake Erie in a late Sunday afternoon contest.

Oakland suffered their sixth loss in as many contests in the 2014 campaign, this time to Arizona in Oakland by a 24-13 final.
The Raiders were held to 56 rushing yards, while allowing the Cardinals to run for 123 and Carson Palmer to toss a pair of TDs in the contest. Oakland trailed only by 4 at 14-10 at the break before Arizona pulled away in the second half to take the win. On third down tries, Arizona was 9-15 (0-1 on fourth) and kept the ball for 36:57, while the Silver and Black went 4-12, holding the pigskin for 23:03.

The Browns return to the shores of Lake Erie after they were ambushed by Jacksonville 24-6. Although Cleveland trailed 7-6 at the half, the Jaguars scored their remaining 17 second half points uncontested to take their first win of the 2014 campaign. Cleveland was held to 69 yards rushing, while the Jaguars ran for 185, with RB Denard Robinson leading all rushers with 127 and a TD. The Browns on third down tries were 4-17 and 0-3 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 28:27, while the Jaguars were 5-16 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 31:33.

Cleveland’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. The Browns aren’t that good and the Raiders aren’t that bad. Cleveland covers the 7 at home. Enough said.

Green Bay (5-2) at New Orleans (2-4), 8:30 p.m. (NBC) Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Rodgers vs. Brees. Bratwurst vs. Gumbo. Packers vs. Saints on Sunday night. Who could ask for anything more? Green Bay leaves the land of cheese and bratwurst to face a struggling New Orleans team in the Big Easy in primetime.

At Lambeau, the Packers led Carolina 28-3 at the half and never looked back as they beat the Panthers 38-17. Although Carolina did outscore Green Bay 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of action, Green Bay outrushed them 122-108 and the Packers sacked Cam Newton three times. Aaron Rodgers threw for 255 with three TDs and no interceptions in the contest, connecting with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb on two of the scoring passes, while Eddie Lacy ran for another. Green Bay was 4-11 on third down conversions in the land of bratwurst and cheese, keeping the ball for only 29:49, while Carolina won the time of possession battle, keeping the ball for 30:11 and on third and fourth downs were 4-12 and 0-1.

New Orleans returns to the Big Easy in primetime after they blew a 17-14 lead in Detroit and lost in the final minutes in the Motor City to the Lions 24-23. After a scoreless first quarter, the Saints took a 10-3 lead with them to the locker room at the half before Detroit’s rally in the final 15 minutes of play. New Orleans saw their six-point lead in the fourth quarter evaporate into thin air when Matthew Stafford and WR Corey Fuller connected on a 5-yard TD pass with 1:48 left to play in regulation. New Orleans would eventually get the ball back but could not advance it and gave the ball back to Detroit on downs. As far as rushing the pigskin… let’s just say that fans of both were not exactly happy with the offense as Neither team breached the 100-yard barrier as New Orleans had 73, while Detroit 59. Brees outpaced Stafford 342-299 yards and each threw a pair of TDs in the contest. Detroit went 7-15 on third down tries, while the Saints were 3-12 and 1-2 on fourth down. Detroit ruled the clock, holding the ball for 32:18 to New Orleans’ 27:42.

Green Bay leads the series with the Saints 16-7, have outscored New Orleans 657-518 and have won the last two meetings with the boys from the Big Easy. The Packers’ last win in the series came in 2012 at Lambeau by a final of 28-27, while New Orleans last beat the Packers in the Big Easy in 2008 51-29.

When you have two QBs that can throw the ball at will and two teams that have a history of Super Bowls and it’s a Sunday night, it’s only fitting that this one is DRILL WORTHY. Having said that… (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?)

After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the beverages in question on Sunday) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s 56 and dates a 41-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

The Saints are favored by 1 at home in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 55 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Both can score at will. It’s a matter of who will be up standing last. Packers pull off the upset in the Big Easy and cover the 1 but the Saints will put up a fight in their backyard.

Washington (2-5) at Dallas (6-1), 8:30 p.m. Monday (ESPN) AT&T Stadium. Week 8 concludes with a key NFC East divisional contest as Dallas hosts Washington on Monday night. The game marks the 16th meeting between the Cowboys and Redskins on Monday Night Football, the second-most frequent matchup in the 45-year history of the series (Raiders-Broncos, 17 times).

Even though these two teams haven’t been relevant in a while, they still don’t like each other.

Hatfields vs. McCoys.

Montagues vs. Capulets.

Sharks vs. Jets.

Dogs vs. Cats.

Yankees vs. Red Sox.

North vs. South.

Get the picture?

The Redskins earned a 19-17 win against Tennessee with a 22-yard field goal by Kai Forbath on the final play of the game. In his first action of the season, quarterback Colt McCoy completed 11 of 12 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in the second half. He orchestrated a 10-play, 76-yard drive that culminated with Forbath’s game-winning kick. Washington outrushed Tennessee 100-76 in the win in Landover and outpassed the Titans 267-160 to take their second win of the season. Both Tennessee and Washington went 3-11 on third down conversions (the Titans were 1-1 on fourth down) and the clock was the ally of Tennessee, who held the ball for 30:56 to Washington’s 29:04.

“We needed a win bad,” Forbath told the Washington Post. “Colt stepped in, put me in a great position. I couldn’t ask for better field position to kick the game-winner, so hats off to our offense for getting us there.”

The Cowboys improved to 6-1 – the best record in the NFL – with a 31-21 home win over the New York Giants in Week 7. Running back De Marco Murray (128 rushing yards, one touchdown) has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the Cowboys’ seven games so far, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (six games in 1958) for the longest such streak in NFL history to begin a season.

“I think we did this as a group, so it’s hard for me to accept this individually,” says Murray of his record-breaking streak. “The offensive line is a huge part of this… the tight ends, the receivers, the entire coaching staff. But I definitely give a lot of credit to those guys. But there’s a lot of hard work that needs to be done. It’s a long season.” Dallas broke a 14-14 halftime tie with the Giants in Arlington and outscored Eli and the G-Men 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Cowboys rushed for 156 yards in the contest, while New York tallied 104, with Tony Romo outpassing Manning 279-248 in the contest. Dallas was 9-14 on third down tries, holding the ball for 33:49, while the Giants were 5-13 and 1-1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 26:11.

Including contests that were played when the Cowboys were in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, they lead the series with their hated rivals 64-40-2 and have outscored the Redskins 2,429-2,026. Dallas swept the series with Washington in 2013 (Washington’s last win over Dallas came in 2012 in Landover by a final of 28-18 in a winner-take-all affair in week 17). In week six in Arlington, Dallas led Washington 14-6 at the half and then outscored the Redskins 17-10 for the 31-16 win in the Lone Star STate. Although they were held to 48 yards rushing, alllowing Washington to run for 216, Dallas did manage to sack Robert Griffin III three times in the contest, while forcing a pair of turnovers in the game. Third down tries? Washington was 8-16 (0-1 on fourth down), while Dallas was 5-12 and the clock was on the side of the Redskins at 34:32 to Dallas’ 25:28.

Game two of the series moved to Landover in week 16 and it was a much closer affair but the Cowboys pulled off the sweep over Washington, leaving with a 24-23 win. Leading 14-6 at the half, Dallas held off a late Washington charge as the Redskins outscored the Cowboys in the second half 17-10. Again, the winning Cowboys were held under 100 yards (95), while Washington ran for 100 and Dallas survived turning the ball over twice in the win. Dallas was 4-10 on third down tries (2-2 on fourth down tries, while Washington was 7-16 and 0-1 in the same columns. Once again, the Redskins won the clock battle, keeping the ball for 33:47, while Dallas had it for 26:13.

Dallas was favored in both contests (the Cowboys were favored by 5 1/2 with a 52 over/under in week six, winning by 15 to cover the spread. Both teams failed to match the 52, tallying only 47; in week 16, they were favored by 3 but won by only one and the over/under was 54. Both teams again failed to reach the over/under as they would score 47.) and are favored at home by 9 with a 50 1/2 over/under. Washington has been up and down at best, while the Cowboys may have found their stride at the right time. Still, it is a rivalry game and these two teams don’t like each other very much. Washington may give Romo and Dallas problems in prime time (Dallas is 43-32 on Monday nights, while Washington’s 27-36) but Dallas wins in the Lone Star State and could cover the 9.

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