Archives for category: Tom Brady

And there was one.

The Los Angeles Rams remain the NFL’s lone unbeaten team after Kansas City fell to the New England Patriots in Foxboro last Sunday night.

Like the cheese in the nursery rhyme, “The Farmer In The Dell,” the Rams stand alone as the last unbeaten team for the 2018 season and look to stay that way when they travel up the coast to face off against their NFC West rivals from San Francisco. Close contests have been the order of the day in 2018 and we can expect more.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK SEVEN

MILESTONE WATCH: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 363 yards and three touchdowns in the Saints’ Week 5 win. Brees has 72,103 career passing yards and surpassed Peyton Manning (71,940) in Week 5 to become the league’s all-time leading passer.

With a touchdown pass on Sunday at Baltimore, Brees can join Manning (539), Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (508) and Tom Brady (501) as the only players in NFL history to throw 500 career touchdown passes.

The players with the most touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (508)^
Tom Brady – New England (501)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (499)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri has scored 2,535 total points during his 23-year NFL career. With 10 points on Sunday against Buffalo, Vinatieri would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen (2,544 points) as the league’s all-time leading scorer.

The players with the most points scored in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOTAL POINTS SCORED
Morten Andersen – New Orleans, Atlanta, New York Giants, Kansas City and Minnesota (2,544)^
Adam Vinatieri – New England and Indianapolis (2,535)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PACE SETTER: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 870 scrimmage yards and nine rushing touchdowns through the first six weeks of the 2018 season.

With 130 scrimmage yards and a touchdown on Sunday at San Francisco, Gurley can become the fifth different player in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his team’s first seven games of a season.

The players with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – SCIRMMAGE YARDS/RUSHING TDS)
Priest Holmes – Kansas City (2004 – 1,017/13)
Priest Holmes – Kansas City (2002 – 1,113/12)
Terrell Davis – Denver (1998 – 1,099/12)^
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 1,045/17)^
Jim Brown – Cleveland (1958 – 1,060/14)^
Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams (2018 – 870/9)*
*Through first six games of season
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PROLIFIC PAT: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 18 touchdown passes through the first six weeks of the season.

Mahomes, who has 18 touchdown passes in his first seven career games, needs two touchdown passes against Cincinnati Sunday night to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (21) and Deshaun Watson (20) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 20 touchdown passes in their first eight career games.

The players with the most passing touchdowns in their first eight career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS, PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)_
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams (1998-99, 21)^
Deshaun Watson – Houston (2017-18, 20)
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2017-18, 18)*
*In seven career games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BIG PLAY TYREEK: Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill had seven receptions for 142 yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yarder, in Week 6 and ties for the league-lead with six touchdown receptions in 2018.

Hill, who turns 25 in March of 2019, has 14 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards. With his next touchdown of at least 50 yards, he would become the third player in NFL history with at least 15 touchdowns of 50+ yards before turning 25 years old.

The players with the most 50+ yard touchdowns before turning 25 years old in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (50+ YARD TOUCHDOWNS)
Gale Sayers – Chicago (16)^
Randy Moss – Minnesota (15)^
Tyreek Hill – Kansas City (14)*
*24 years old
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

AMAZING ADAM: Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had 11 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ Week 6 win and leads the league with 58 receptions and 712 receiving yards this season. His 58 catches are the most by a player in his team’s first six games of a season in league annals.

Thielen has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in each of Minnesota’s first six games this season and joined Charley Hennigan (seven consecutive games in 1961) as the only players in NFL history with 100 or more receiving yards in each of his team’s first six games to start a season.

With 100 receiving yards on Sunday at the New York Jets, Thielen would become the fifth player to record seven consecutive games at any point in a season with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 100+ RECIEVING YARDS)
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (2012 – 8)
Demaryius Thomas – Denver (2014 – 7)
Michael Irvin – Dallas (1995 – 7)^
Charley Hennigan – Houston Oilers (1961 – 7)
Adam Thielen – Minnesota (2018 – 6)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

KEEP IT 100: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley had a career-high 229 scrimmage yards (130 rushing, 99 receiving) in Week 6. Barkley has totaled at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first six career games.

With 100 scrimmage yards on Monday night at Atlanta, Barkley would join Kareem Hunt (2017) as the only players in league annals with at least 100 scrimmage yards in seven consecutive games to begin their career.

Additionally, with 100 scrimmage yards in Week 7, Barkley would become the seventh rookie in NFL history to record seven consecutive games at any point in a season with at least 100 scrimmage yards.

The rookies with the most consecutive games of at least 100 scrimmage yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams (1983, 10)^
Edgerrin James – Indianapolis (1999, 9)
Kareem Hunt – Kansas City (2017, 7)
Kevin Jones – Detroit (2004, 7)
Jamal Lewis – Baltimore (2000, 7)
Clark Gaines – New York Jets (1976, 7)
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants (2018, 6)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

CAPTAIN’S ORDERS: Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 301 yards with four touchdown passes in Week 6.

Luck, who has passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his past three games, can become the third quarterback in NFL history with four consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns within a single season on Sunday against Buffalo.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns within a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Steve Young – San Francisco (1998, 5)^
Peyton Manning – Denver (2012, 4)
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (2018, 3)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK SIX:

•Miami defeated Chicago, 31-28, in overtime this week. Dolphins rookie kicker Jason Sanders converted the game-winning, 47-yard field goal as time expired in overtime, marking the second-longest game-winning field goal in overtime by a rookie since 1974. The record is held by Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein, who kicked a game-winning 54-yarder as a rookie on December 2, 2012.

At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first six weeks of the 2018 season, marking the first time that a season has featured at least one overtime game in each of its first six weeks.

•Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards and had two touchdown runs in the Rams’ 23-20 victory at Denver.

Gurley leads the NFL with 11 scrimmage touchdowns this season and is the fifth different player since 1970 with at least 11 offensive touchdowns in his team’s first six games of a season. Gurley puts himself in some pretty good company as he joins Shaun Alexander (12 in 2005), Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (11 in 1995) and La Dainian Tomlinson (11 in 2005) and Priest Holmes (11 in 2002 and 11 in 2004) as the only players to accomplish the feat.

•Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had 11 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 27-17 victory over Arizona.

Thielen has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in each of Minnesota’s first six games this season and joined Charley Hennigan (seven consecutive games in 1961) as the only players in NFL history with 100 or more receiving yards in each of his team’s first six games to start a season. Thielen’s 58 catches, which lead the NFL this season, are the most by a player in his team’s first six games of a season in league annals.

•Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown, who had five catches for 105 yards, caught the game-winning, 31-yard touchdown with 10 seconds remaining in regulation in the Steelers’ 28-21 win at Cincinnati. The play marked the longest go-ahead touchdown by a Steeler in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter since 1970.

Steelers running back James Conner rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, his third game this season with at least 100 rushing yards and two touchdown runs. Conner became the fifth player since 1970 to record 100 or more rushing yards and at least 2 rushing touchdowns in three of his team’s first six games of a season.

•Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson completed 17 of 23 passes (73.9 percent) for 222 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 125.4 rating in the Seahawks’ 27-3 victory over Oakland before a crowd of 84,922 at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Wilson joined Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles (September 24, 2017), Dallas’ Tony Romo (November 9, 2014) and New England’s Tom Brady (October 28, 2012) as the only players to throw for at least three touchdowns and record a passer rating of 125 or higher in the 22 NFL games played in London since 2007. By the end of the 2018 season, the NFL will have played 24 regular-season games in London, with 29 of 32 teams (91 percent) having participated.

•Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for 183 yards, rushed for 82 yards and had three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in the Cowboys’ 40-7 win against Jacksonville at AT&T Stadium.

Prescott, who is in his third NFL season, has nine career games with at least one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown, tied with Jack Kemp for the fourth-most such games by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history. Only Carolina’s Cam Newton (20), New England’s Steve Grogan (11) and the New York Jets’ Mark Sanchez (10) had more games with at least one passing and one rushing touchdown in their first three seasons.

•New York Jets kicker Jason Myers converted all seven of his field goal attempts and made three-of-three extra points in the Jets’ 42-34 win against Indianapolis in the Meadowlands.

Myers’ 24 total points are the second-highest single-game total by a player who did not score a touchdown in NFL history. Only the Titans’ Rob Bironas (26 on October 21, 2007) scored more points in a single game without scoring a touchdown.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK SEVEN:

The NFL heads into Week 7 following another exciting weekend of action. In Week 6, nine of 15 games (60 percent) were decided by one score (eight points or fewer), including three games – Miami’s overtime win against Chicago, New England’s last second win against Kansas City on Sunday Night Football and Green Bay’s victory over San Francisco on Monday Night Football ­­– on game-winning field goals as time expired in the fourth quarter or overtime. Twelve contests this season have been won on the final play of the game, tied for the third-most through the first six weeks of a season since 2003.

Through the first six weeks of the season, 54 games have been decided by one score, tied with the 1999 season for the most in NFL history through Week 6. Twenty-eight of those games have been decided by three or fewer points, the second-most in NFL history through Week 6 (35 games in 1999), including four such games last week.

At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first six weeks of the 2018 season, marking the first time since the regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974 that there has been an overtime game in each of a season’s first six weeks.

As the season approaches the halfway point, there are currently 21 teams with a .500 or better record. The Los Angeles Rams (6-0) top the NFC and are the NFL’s only remaining unbeaten team, while Kansas City (5-1) own the AFC’s best mark. Twenty-one teams are currently in or within one game of first place in their respective divisions.

Scoring continues to trend at a record pace in 2018. Through Week 6, there have been 504 total touchdowns and 4,489 total points scored, both the most in NFL history through the first six weeks of a season.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST SIX WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 504
2015 – 481
2014 – 479
2016 – 470

MOST TOTAL POINTS IN FIRST SIX WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2018 – 4,489
2014 – 4,250
2015 – 4,243
2012 – 4,233

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 11 scrimmage touchdowns this season and is the fifth different player since 1970 with at least 11 offensive touchdowns in his team’s first six games of a season. Gurley joins Shaun Alexander (12 in 2005), Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smiht (11 in 1995) and La Danian Tomlinson (11 in 2005) and Priest Holmes (11 in 2002 and 11 in 2004) as the only players to accomplish the feat.

Highlights of the Week 7 schedule includes the second of three 2018 London Series games kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at Wembley Stadium on Sunday as the Los Angeles Chargers hosts Tennessee. The Titans are making their first appearance in London, while the Chargers play in the UK for the second time. Los Angeles running back Melvin Gordon leads the AFC with 745 scrimmage yards and ranks second in the NFL with nine touchdowns (six rushing, three receiving). Titans safety Kevin Byard, who had an interception in Week 6, has nine interceptions since 2017, tied with Detroit’s Darius Slay for the most in the league over the span. The 2018 London Series concludes in Week 8 with Philadelphia taking on Jacksonville on the other side of the pond.

New England, who sits at 4-2 and are tied with Miami atop the AFC East, visits Chicago, as Da Bears lead the NFC North with a 3-2 record, at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon in the Windy City. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passed for 340 yards with one touchdown and rushed for a touchdown in New England’s 43-40 victory last week, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to record 200 regular-season wins. New England running back Sony Michel ranks second among rookies with 400 rushing yards and aims for his fourth game in a row with a rushing touchdown. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has nine touchdown passes in his past two games, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman (nine in 1943) for the most by a quarterback in franchise history over any two-game span.

On Sunday afternoon, Baltimore welcomes New Orleans to M&T Bank Stadium in an interconference late-afternoon showdown in Charm city. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who became the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (72,103) in Week 5, enters the contest needing one touchdown pass to become the fourth player in league history to record 500 career touchdown passes. The Ravens’ defense, led by linebacker Za’Darius Smith’s three sacks, recorded a franchise-record 11 sacks in Week 6, becoming the third team since 2002 to record at least 11 sacks in a single game.

The 117th meeting between Washington and Dallas (including the postseason) takes place at FedExField, as both teams look to win consecutive games for the first time this season. Washington (3-2) enters Week 7 in first place in the NFC East. Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, who leads the team with 339 rushing yards, aims for his fourth consecutive game against Dallas with a rushing score. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a touchdown in Dallas’ win last week and has nine career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown, tied for the fourth-most in league history by a player in his first three seasons.

In Sunday’s nightcap, Cincinnati travels to Arrowhead Stadium to take on Kansas City of AFC contenders. Since entering the league in 2011, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green ranks third in the NFL with 8,707 receiving yards and fifth with 589 receptions. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who leads the NFL with 18 touchdown passes, has won six of his first seven career starts and is the only quarterback in league history to throw for at least 250 yards in each of his first seven games. Week seven play concludes in Atlanta at Matt Ryan and the Falcons host Eli Manning and the NeW York Giants in the Big Peach.

Byes this week? Green Bay, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Seattle. Lions and Saints fans can rejoice and Detroit and New Orleans return to action this week. As for last week? Much better, as we went 11-4 for the week and 53-35 for the season. There’s still a lot of football left to play in the 2018 season. Week seven began in the desert with the Broncos taking Arizona to task in Glendale and ends with Eli Manning and the New York Giants traveling to the Big Peach for a meeting with Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week seven.

Tennessee (3-3) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-2), 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. in London) on CBS. RULE BRITAINIA! Set those DVR’s early! It’s an early Sunday morning start in the United States as the Los Angeles Chargers host Tennessee on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the second contest in London in the 2018 campaign.

The Titans were taken to task by Baltimore last Sunday in Nashville as they were shut down and shut out by the Ravens 21-0 at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee trailed 14-0 at the intermission in the Music City and could never really get on track in their home loss. Tennessee was held to 55 yards rushing, while the Ravens ran roughshod over the Titans for 123 yards of their own and sacked Marcus Mariota (117 yards) 11 times. Baltimore’s Alex Collins accounted for his team’s last two scoring plays, while Michael Crabtree and Joe Flacco (238 yards) connected on the game’s first score. The Titans were a rather dismal 1 of 10 on third down last Sunday and held on to the ball for 22:26, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:34, while going 12 of 17 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Los Angeles brought Cleveland back to Earth last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie, as the Chargers were 38-14 winners at First Energy Field. Leading 21-6 at the intermission, the Chargers pulled away from Cleveland in the second half to take the win on the road. The Chargers outrushed Cleveland 246-103, with Los Angeles RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 132 yards and three rushing TDs. Philip Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs to Tyrell Williams, while Baker Mayfield threw for 238 yards with five sacks, a TD and a pair of interceptions. The Chargers went 1 of 9 on third down conversions at FirstEnergy Stadium and kept the ball for 31:37, while the Browns were 6 of 16 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 28:23.

The Chargers lead the series 26-14-1, which includes contests that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Chargers were in San Diego and they have outscored Tennessee 1,068-902. The Chargers were 43-35 winners in San Diego in their last meeting, which took place in 2016, while Tennessee’s last win came in 2013 in the Music City by a final of 20-17. The Chargers are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers are reasonable. The Chargers are in the midst of a 41-day stretch where they will not be in Los Angeles unil November 18, when they host Denver at Stub Hub Centre (after their bye next week, they travel to Seattle and Oakland). Tennessee makes things closer than 6 1/2 but the Chargers prevail in Music City.

New England (4-2) at Chicago (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. New England makes its way to the Windy City for a showdown with the improved Chicago Bears at Solider Field.

The Patriots knocked Kansas City out of the ranks of the unbeatens Sunday night in Foxboro, coming away 43-40 last second winners over the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady and New England led 24-13 at the intermission in the Sunday night contest before the Chiefs would rally in the second half, outscoring New England 31-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Kansas City took a 33-30 lead with 8:38 left when Tyreek Hill and QB Pat Mahomes (352 yards, four TDs, two interceptions) connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That lead would not last long as Brady took matters into his own hands and feet, scoring from 4 yards out and the Pats would add to that lead when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 52-yarder to lead 40-33. The Chiefs were not going away quietly as Hill and Mahomes hooked up again with 3:03 left to re-tie the contest. New England went into a surgeon-like mode in the final 3:03, using a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used all the available time left in regulation when Gostkowski booted a 28-yard field goal as time expired. Brady threw for 340 yards with a TD toss to Josh Edelman as New England outrushed Kansas City 173-94 (New England rookie RB Sony Michel led everyone with 106 yards on the ground with a pair of TDs). New England was 7 of 13 on third down (the Pats were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09 (including the final drive), while the Chiefs were 4 of 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:51.

Chicago fans suffered heartbreak as they watch Da Bears lose in overtime 31-28 last Sunday in Miami. Chicago watched Miami lead 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and take that lead with them to the locker room at the intermission, before roaring back to take a 21-13 lead at the end of three quarters. Miami tied things back up in the fourth, scoring 15 points in the final quarter to tie things up when Brock Osweiler and WR Albert Wilson hooked up on a 28-yard TD toss with 9:08 left in regulation. Chicago would reclaim the lead with 3:17 left when QB Mitchell Trubisky and WR Anthony Miller connected on a 29-yard toss. That lead would last all of 16 seconds as Osweiler and Wilson connected on a 75-yard toss as part of a 1-play drive that used only 16 seconds of clock to re-tie the contest at 28-all. Miami would win the toss in overtime and get as close as Chicago’s 1-yard line when RB Kenyan Drake fumbled on the goal line, giving Chicago the ball back. Da Bears would get as far as the Dolphins’ 35-yard yard line when Cody Parkey’s 53-yard field goal try sailed wide right. Miami got the ball back and made their move, using a 6-play, 28-yard drive that took 1:55 and sent their fans home happy campers when Jason Sanders connected on a 47-yard field goal as time ran out. Chicago outrushed Miami 164-161 (Miami’s Frank Gore led all rushers with 101 yards) and Osweiler threw for 380 yards, while Trubisky threw for 316 yards (each threw three TD passes). Miami was 8 for 17 on third down and held on to the ball for 36:35 (including the final drive in overtime), while Da Bears kept the ball for 33:25, going 8 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

New England leads the series 9-3, they have outscored Da Bears 288-173 and have won the last four meetings, including taking a 51-23 win in Foxboro in 2014, while Chicago’s last win came in 2000 in the Windy City by afinal of 24-17. The oddsmakers like New England as a 3 1/2-point favorite with a 49 1/2 over/under. Both teams can put up points and last week’s contests were proof of that. Da Bears are 2-0 in the Windy City this year and the Pats would love nothing more than to change that. New England covers Da 3 in Da Windy City and beats Da Bears.

Buffalo (2-4) at Indianapolis (1-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Hoosier State as Buffalo travels to Indianapolis to face off against Andrew Luck and the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Both teams would wind up in the loss column in last week’s action.

The Bills dropped a 20-13 decisions to Houston at NRG Stadium last Sunday. Although the Texans led 10-0 at the half, the Bills would eventually manage to tie things up with 94 seconds left with a a 27-yard field goal from Kai Fairbairn before the Texans would take the lead back for keeps when CB Jonathan Joseph picked off Nate Peterman (who came in for Josh Allen after he was knocked out of the contest with an arm injury) and retured the ball 23 yards for a TD with 82 seconds left in regulation. Buffalo did outrush Houston 100-74 but Peterman threw a pair of interceptions and 61 yards (Allen threw for 84 yards with a pair of sacks before leaving the contest), while DeShaun Watson threw for 177 yards and a TD to WR DeAndre Hopkins (Watson was sacked seven times and picked off twice). Buffalo was 6 of 15 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 33 minutes, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 27 minutes, going 3 for 13 on third down tries.

Luck and the Colts fell to the New York J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 42-34 in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon. New York led 23-13 at the intermission at Met Life Stadium before the Colts would outscore GangGreen 21-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Indy did outrush the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 127-107 and Luck threw for 301 yards with four touchdowns and no sacks, outpacing Jets QB Sam Darnold, who threw for 280 yards with a pair of TDs for the winners. The one thing that did the Colts in was four turnovers (three Luck interceptions, one fumble), while GangGreen turned the ball over twice. The Colts were 5 of 12 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 22:58, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 6 of 15 on third down and had a ground stop on the ball, as they would keep it for 37:02.

The Bills lead the series 37-31-1 (including games that were played in Baltimore), Buffalo has outscored the Colts ,430-1,319 and the Bills have won the last two meetings, including taking a 13-7 overtime win last year in upstate New York (Indy’s last win in the series came in the Hoosier State in 2012 by a final of 20-13).

They met in snowy Orchard Park in week 14 in a contest that was played in a constant blizzard. A wind chill of 16 with blowing snow throughout the contest made this one a good one to watch either in person or on TV. After a scoreless first quarter, the Bills took a 7-0 lead with them to the intermission when Buffalo QB Nathan Peterman and WR Kelvin Benjamin connected on an 8-yard TD pass with 27 seconds left before the break. Buffalo would carry that lead late into the fourth quarter when the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett and TE Jack Doyle connected on a pass play of their own with 76 seconds left in regulation to tie things up.

Each team got the ball in overtime but could not produce a score that would have either given them the lead or won the contest outright. The Bills got the ball back again and this time they made the possession pay off, using a 6-play, 65-yard drive that would last all of 52 seocnds as Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy would send the fans that were in the chilly air of New Era Field home happy, scoring from 21 yards out with 1:33  left to play in the extra period. McCoy ran for 156 yards in the contest as the Bills outrushed the Colts 227-163 (Indy’s Frank Gore ran for 130), while Peterman threw for 57 yards with no interceptions or sacks and Brissett threw for 69 yards with an interception. The Bills were 10 of 18 on third down (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:25, while the Colts kept the pigskin for 36:02, going 4 of 16 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

In the week 14 contest in upstate New York, the Bills were favored by 3 and Buffalo covered with the 6-point overtime win. As for the 46 over/under? It was safe and warm, as both clubs combined for only 20 points. Indy’s a 6 1/2 point favorite in the Hoosier State and the over/under is 42 1/2. Buffalo would like to repeat what they did last year in upstate New York, while the Colts would like some revenge. Indy gets the revenge and the win, although the Bills make this closer than the 6 1/2.

Houston (3-30 at Jacksonville (3-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC South rivals, separated by 872 miles along I-10 meet in the Sunshine State as Jacksonville hosts J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans.

Houston held off Buffalo 20-13 at NRG Stadium last Sunday in Houston. Although they led 10-0 at the half, the Bills would eventually manage to tie things up with 94 seconds left with a a 27-yard field goal from Kai Fairbairn before the Texans would take the lead back for keeps when CB Jonathan Joseph picked off Nate Peterman (who came in for Josh Allen after he was knocked out of the contest with an arm injury) and retured the ball 23 yards for a TD with 82 seconds left in regulation. Buffalo did outrush Houston 100-74 but Peterman threw a pair of interceptions and 61 yards (Allen threw for 84 yards with a pair of sacks before leaving the contest), while DeShaun Watson threw for 177 yards and a TD to WR DeAndre Hopkins (Watson was sacked seven times and picked off twice). Buffalo was 6 of 15 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 33 minutes, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 27 minutes, going 3 for 13 on third down tries.

Jacksonville was held in check last Sunday at AT&T Stadium by Dallas last Sunday as the Cowboys took down the Jaguars 40-7. Jacksonville trailed throughout the contest, trailing 24-0 at the break before the Jaguars ended their bid for a shut out as Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (149 yards, three sacks and an interception) and WR Dede Westbrook connected on a 34-yard TD toss with 7:31 left in the third quarter. Dak Prescott (three sacks) threw for 183 yards and a pair of TD passes to WR Cole Beasley, while rushing for a TD, with RB Ezekiel Elliott running for 106 yards and a TD. Dallas outrushed the Jaguars 206-65, going 7 of 17 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:50, while Jacksonvile held the pigskin for 21:10, going 4 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

While the Texans hold a 19-13 lead in the series and have outscored Jacksonville 707-668, the Jaguars have won the last two meetings in the series, including sweeping last year’s contests (Houston’s last win in the series came in the Lone Star State in 2016 by a final of 21-20).

The two teams opened the 2017 campaign in the Lone Star State and the Jaguars prevailed 29-7 at NRG Stadium. Jacksonville led 19-0 at the half and held the Texans to a 4-yard TD pass from Watson to WR DeAndre Hopkins in the third quarter. The Jaguars outrushed Houston 155-93, with Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette leading the way with 100 and a rushing TD, while Blake Bortles threw for 125 yards with a TD and no interceptions or sacks (Watson threw for 102 yards with four interceptions and a sack). Jacksonville was 3 of 12 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:05, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 29:55, going 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Jacksonville made the sweep of the series official as they manhandled the Texans 45-7 at Everbank Field in week 15. Once again, Jacksonville jumped out to a huge lead and was never really challenged in the contest (they led 31-0 at the break). Houston found themselves outrushed by Jacksonville 138-87, with Bortles throwing for 326 yards and three TDs in the lopsided win in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville was 3 of 10 on third down and kept the ball for 33:18, while the Texans were 4 of 16 on third down, holding the ball for 26:42.

Houston was favored by 5 in the season opener and the Jaguars covered with the 19-point win but neither club reached the 39 1/2 over/under, as they scored 36 points. Jacksonville was favored by 10 1/2 in the week 15 rematch in north Florida and they would easily cover, winning by 36. As for the over/under of 39? This time, both clubs covered the over/under with 52 points. Jacksonville’s favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Both clubs are in the middle of the pack in the AFC South, chasing Tennessee and would like nothing better than to catch up to the Titans. Jacksonville takes this one at home and covers the 4 1/2.

Detroit (2-3) at Miami (4-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of interconference rivals square off in the Sunshine Stae as Miami hosts the Detroit Lions at Hard Rock Stadium Sunday afternoon.

Detroit is coming off their bye after they took down Green Bay 31-23 at Ford Field two Sundays ago. The Lions shut out the Packers in the first half, taking a 24-0 lead at the intermission in the Motor City before Green Bay would outscore the Lions 23-7 in the second half. The one bright spot for Green Bay was that they outrushed Detroit 98-94 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three TDs, while Lions signal caller Matthew Stafford threw for 183 yards and three TDs (neither threw an interception, Rodgers was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked three times). Green Bay, who fumbled the ball three times at Ford Field, went 3 of 10 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 33:20, while the Lions were 5 of 13 on third down conversions, holding the ball for 26:40.

Miami needed overtime to take care of Chicago 31-28 last Sunday. Miami led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, took that lead with them to the locker room at the intermission, then saw Da Bears take a 21-13 lead at the end of three quarters before rallying to tie things up, sending the contest into overtime. Miami would score 15 points in the final quarter to tie things up when Brock Osweiler and WR Albert Wilson hooked up on a 28-yard TD toss with 9:08 left in regulation. Chicago would reclaim the lead with 3:17 left when QB Mitchell Trubisky and WR Anthony Miller connected on a 29-yard toss. That lead would last all of 16 seconds as Osweiler and Wilson connected on a 75-yard toss as part of a 1-play drive that used only 16 seconds of clock to re-tie the contest at 28-all. Miami would win the toss in overtime and get as close as Chicago’s 1-yard line when RB Kenyan Drake fumbled on the goal line, giving Chicago the ball back. Da Bears would get as far as the Dolphins’ 35-yard yard line when Cody Parkey’s 53-yard field goal try sailed wide right. Miami got the ball back and made their move, using a 6-play, 28-yard drive that took 1:55 and sent their fans home happy campers when Jason Sanders connected on a 47-yard field goal as time ran out. Chicago outrushed Miami 164-161 (Miami’s Frank Gore led all rushers with 101 yards) and Osweiler threw for 380 yards, while Trubisky threw for 316 yards (each threw three TD passes). Miami was 8 for 17 on third down and held on to the ball for 36:35 (including the final drive in overtime), while Da Bears kept the ball for 33:25, going 8 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 7-4 and they have outscored Detroit 298-208. Detroit has won the last two meetings with Miami, including taking a 20-16 win in the Motor City in 2014, while Miami’s last win over the Lions came in the Motor City in 2006 by a final 27-10. Miami is a 3 1/2 point underdog at home and the over/under is 46 1/2. America likes underdogs and we like the Dolphins to take the win at home in the Sunshine State and cover the 3 1/2.

Minnesota (3-2-1) at New York Jets (3-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of teams coming off huge home wins last Sunday meet in upstate New Jersey as the Vikings leave the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a meeting with the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium.

Minnesota took Arizona to task 27-17 at US Bank Stadium last Sunday in the Twin Cities. The Purple Gang led 13-10 at the half, then pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Desert Angry Birds 14-7 in the final 30 minutes. Minnesota outrushed Arizona 195-61, with Vikings RB Latavius runnig for 155 yards and a TD, while Kirk Cousins threw for 233 yards and a TD to wR Adam Thielen. Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 240 and four sacks in the loss (both Rosen and Cousins threw an interception in the contest). Arizona, who turned the ball over twice and got a fumble recovery by S Budda Baker, went 0 of 10 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 25:45, while the Vikings held the ball for 34:15, gonig 5 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! came away 42-34 in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. New York led 23-13 at the intermission at Met Life Stadium before the Colts would outscore GangGreen 21-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Indy did outrush the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 127-107 and Luck threw for 301 yards with four touchdowns and no sacks, outpacing Jets QB Sam Darnold, who threw for 280 yards with a pair of TDs for the winners. The one thing that did the Colts in was four turnovers (three Luck interceptions, one fumble), while GangGreen turned the ball over twice. The Colts were 5 of 12 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 22:58, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 6 of 15 on third down and had a ground stop on the ball, as they would keep it for 37:02.

GangGreen leads the series 8-2 and they have outscored the Vikings 250-172. Minnesota’s last win in the series (which includes contests that were played at Shea Stadium, Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome) came in 2014 in the Twin Cities by a final 30-24 in overtime, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!’ last win came in the Meadowlands by a final of 29-20 in 2010. Minnesota’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47. Both numbers are reasonable. GangGreen could make this one close but Minnesota prevails in the Meadowlands.

Carolina (3-2) at Philadelphia (3-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecV 711. Carolina BBQ vs. Philly Cheese Steak. The defending Super Bowl champions host the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton at Lincoln Financial Field in the City of Brotherly Love.

Washington held off Newton and the Carolina Panthers 23-17 at Fed Ex Field last Sunday. The Redskins led 17-6 at the break before they were out score by Carolina 11-6 in the final 30 minutes of action to make things closer than Washington fans would have liked. Washington got a pair of Alex Smith TD tosses to take the win, while Newton also threw a pair of TDs passes in the 6-point road loss, tallying 275 yards with an interception (Smtih had 163 yards with three sacks). Washington, who outrushed the Panthers 132-81, was 7 of 16 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:24, while the Panthers were 24:36 in time of possession, going 3 of 9 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The defending Super Bowl champs righted their ship last Thursday night in the Meadowlands as they took Eli Manning and the New York Giants to task, taking a 34-13 NFC East road win. Philadelphia and Carson Wentz took a 24-6 lead at the intermission, then proceeded to take control of things in the second half against their NFC East rival. Although the Giants did outrush Philadelphia 147-108 (rookie RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 130 yards and a TD), the Giants could never get on track in front of their home crowd. Wentz threw for 278 yards and three TDs in the Thursday night affair, while Manning threw for 281 yards with four sacks and an interception (Wentz had one sack with no interceptions). The Eagles were 9 of 16 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Giants were 4 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:30.

Philadelphia leads the series 7-3 and have outscored the Panthers 258-201. The Eagles won the last meeting which took place in Charlotte by a final of 28-23 at Bank of America Stadium (Carolina’s last win over the Eagles came in 2015 in Charlotte by a 27-16 count).

They met in week six in the Tar Heel State and the Eagles broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission by outscoring Carolina 18-13 in the final 30 minuts to take the 5-point win on the road. TE Zach Ertz would give the Eagles the lead for good when he and Carson Wentz connected on a 17-yard TD toss early in the third quarter. Carolina, who would be outrushed 101-80, pulled to within five with 8:04 left in the contest when Newton and WR Collin McCaffery connected on a 1-yard TD toss but could come no closer. Wentz threw for 222 yards with three TDs and three sacks, while Newton threw for 239 yards with a pair of sacks and three interceptions. Philadelphia went 5 of 14 on third down (the Eagles were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:34, while the Panthers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:26, going 4 of 16 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

In the week six Thursday night contest in Charlotte, Carolina was a 3 1/2-point favorite and the Eagles covered with the 5-point road win. The 46 over/under was covered as both combined for 53 points. The odds makers in Vegas like the Eagles as 4 1/2 point favorites in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under is 45 1/2. History has a way of repeating itself and such will be the case Sunday. Eagles cover the 4 1/2 and wins in the City of Brotherly Love.

Cleveland (2-3-1) at Tampa Bay (2-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of sub .500 teams meet in the Sunshine State as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host Cleveland at Raymond James Stadium as a pair of former Heisman winners take each other on.

Cleveland was brought back to Earth last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie by the Los Angeles Chargers, as they took a 38-14 loss at First Energy Field. The Browns trailed 21-6 at the intermission, then watched the Chargers pull away from them in the second half to take the win on the road. The Chargers outrushed Cleveland 246-103, with Los Angeles RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 132 yards and three rushing TDs. Philip Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs to Tyrell Williams, while Baker Mayfield threw for 238 yards with five sacks, a TD and a pair of interceptions. The Chargers went 1 of 9 on third down conversions at FirstEnergy Stadium and kept the ball for 31:37, while the Browns were 6 of 16 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 28:23.

The Buccaneers fell short in their attempt to take down NFC South rival Atlanta, as the Falcons prevailed 34-29 in the Big Peach. Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers trailed 24-13 at the half before managing to outscore the Falcons 16-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Tampa Bay would pull themselves to within two with 3:47 left when Winston (395 yards, four TDs, two sacks, two interceptions) and RB Peyton Barber connected on a 5-yard TD toss before the Falcons’ Matt Bryant connected on a 57-yard field goal with 70 seconds left in the contest. Tampa Bay would then make their way downfield afte the kickoff and got as close as Atlanta’s 21-yard line when they tried several lateral passes with seven seconds left but came up short. Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 123-70, while Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw for 354 yards with three TDs (TE Austin Hooper, WR Mohamed Sanu and RB Tevin Coleman caught the TD passes, WR Julio Jones led all recievers with 143 yards) and no interceptions. Both clubs did well on third down tries (Atlanta was 8 of 13, Tampa Bay was 5 of 8) and the Falcons ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39 to Tampa Bay’s 28:21.

Cleveland holds a 6-3 lead in the series and the Browns have outscored Tampa Bay 188-144. Cleveland won the last meeting with Tampa Bay, taking a 22-17 win along the shores of Lake Erie in 2014, while Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2010 by a final of 17-14. Tampa Bay’s favored by 3 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 49 1/2. Both numbers make sense and both teams are actually better than their records. Tampa Bay will take this one but expect the Browns to make this closer than 3.

New Orleans (4-1) at Baltimore (4-2), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Gumbo meets crab cakes as New Orleans makes their way to Charm City for a late-afternoon meeting with the Baltimore Ravens.

Washington saw Drew Brees pass Brett Farve and Peyton Manning as the all-time passing leader as the Saints took Washington to task 43-19 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the Big Easy two weeks ago. Washington trailed 26-13 at the half and was outscored by the Saints 17-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. New Orleans held Washington to 39 rushing yards as the Saints would tally 98 yards of their own. Brees threw for 363 yards and three TDs in the lopside Monday night affair, while Washington’s Alex Smith threw for 275 yards with an interception and three sacks (Brees was sacked twice). The Redskins were 4 of 13 on third down (2 0f 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:43, while the Saints ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:17, going 5 of 9 on third down conversions.

The Ravens pitched a shutout at Tennessee, coming away 21-0 winners in Nashville last Sunday at Nissan Stadium. Baltimore led 14-0 at the intermission in the Music City and made sure that the Titans could never really get on track in their home loss. Baltimore held the Tennessee rushing game in check, holding the Titans to 55 yards rushing, while the Ravens ran roughshod over the Titans for 123 yards of their own, sacking Marcus Mariota (117 yards) 11 times. Baltimore’s Alex Collins accounted for his team’s last two scoring plays, while Michael Crabtree and Joe Flacco (238 yards) connected on the game’s first score. The Titans were a rather dismal 1 of 10 on third down last Sunday and held on to the ball for 22:26, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:34, while going 12 of 17 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 5-1, the Ravens have outscored the Saints 172-128 and they have won the last two contests, including taking a 34-27 win in the Big Easy in 2014, while New Orleans’ lone win came in Charm City in 2002 by a final of 37-25. Baltimore’s favored by 2 1/2 in Charm City and the over/under’s 49 1/2. This one is worth your time watching with these two QBs on Sunday afternoon. Baltimore wins this one but expect the Saints to make it closer than the 2 1/2.

Dallas at Washington, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Forget the records. They’re in the same division. They don’t exactly like each other. In fact… they LOATHE each other.

Capulets vs. Montagues.

Hatfields vs. McCoys.

Dogs vs. Cats.

Get the picture?

A pair of NFC East rivals meet in Landover in a late-afternoon contest at Fed Ex Field. Washington, sitting in first place in the division, hosts Dallas, nipping at their heels in the second spot in the division. Both teams took wins at home in last week’s action.

Dallas held Jacksonville in check last Sunday at AT&T Stadium last Sunday as the Cowboys took down the Jaguars 40-7. The Cowboys led 24-0 at the break before seeing their bid for a shut out come to an end as Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (149 yards, three sacks and an interception) and WR Dede Westbrook connected on a 34-yard TD toss with 7:31 left in the third quarter. Dak Prescott (three sacks) threw for 183 yards and a pair of TD passes to WR Cole Beasley, while rushing for a TD, with RB Ezekiel Elliott running for 106 yards and a TD. Dallas outrushed the Jaguars 206-65, going 7 of 17 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:50, while Jacksonvile held the pigskin for 21:10, going 4 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Washington held off Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 23-17 at Fed Ex Field last Sunday. Despite being outscored by the Panthers 11-6 in the final 30 minutes of action, the Redskins managed to lead 17-6 at the break, thanks to a pair of Alex Smith TD tosses. Newton also threw a pair of TDs passes in the 6-point road loss, tallying 275 yards with an interception, while Smtih had 163 yards with three sacks. Washington, who outrushed the Panthers 132-81, was 7 of 16 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:24, while the Panthers were 24:36 in time of possession, going 3 of 9 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series 70-42-2, they’ve outscored the Redskins 2,661-2,195 (including games played at the Cotton Bowl, Cowboys Stadium and RFK Stadium and have won the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Washington’s last win over Dallas came in 2015, when they left Jerry World with a 34-23 victory).

Round 1… week eight in Landover. Washington trailed 14-13 at the intermission at Fed Ex Field before Dallas pulled away to leave the DC area 33-19 winners. The Cowboys used four Matt Nugent field goals in the second half along with a 21-yard interception return by S Byron Jones to seal the win and take control of things on the road. Dallas outrushed Washington 169-49 with Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 150 yards and a pair of rushing TDs, while Prescott threw for 143 yards with no interceptions and a pair of sacks, while Kirk Cousins threw for 263 yards with a TD, four sacks and a interception. Dallas was 5 of 14 on third down (the Cowboys were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 33:19, while Washington kept the pigskin for 26:41, going 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In round 2, Dallas completed the sweep in the Lone Star State in week 13, taking Washington to task at AT&T Stadium with a 38-14 win. After a scoreless first quarter, the Cowboys led 17-7 at the half, then went into cruise control in the final 30 minutes of action, outscoring the Redskins 21-7. Prescott threw for 102 yards with a sack, connecting with TE Jason Witten and WR Dez Bryant, while Alfred Morris (taking over for the suspended Elliott) ran for 127 yards with a TD as Dallas outrushed Washington 182-56. Dallas was 7 of 14 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:28, while the Redskins were 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions, keeping the ball for 27:32.

In the week eight contest in Landover, Dallas was favored by 2 1/2 and covered thanks to their 14-point win and both teams took care of covering the 50 1/2 over/under with 52 points. Dallas was once agains favored by the oddsmakers in Vegas as 2=point favorites and once again the Cowboys covered, winning by 18 and the two teams covered the over/under of 44 1/2, tallying 52 points in the Thursday night contest. The Redksins are favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Washington’s sitting on top of the NFC East mountain, while the Cowboys are looking to knock them off the top. Hail to the Redskins! Washington covers the 1 1/2 and takes the win in Landover.

Los Angeles Rams (6-0) at San Francisco (1-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. They’re separated by 364 miles up I-5 on the West Coast. One team’s on top the NFL and NFC West mountain, while the other sits in the NFC West cellar. The Rams and 49ers meet in wine country for a divisonal showdown at Levis’ Stadium.

The unbeaten Rams held off a late Denver rally last Sunday in the Mile High City, coming away 23-20 winners at chilly Broncos Stadium at Mile High last Sunday. Los Angeles took a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission, then watched Denver pull themselves to within 7 with 8:54 left in the third when K Brian McManus connected on a 24yard field goal. Los Angeles would then respond with a 21-yard field goal from Chris Santos to pull themselve back to a 10-point cushion. Denver would make it a 3-point contest with 82 seconds left when WR Demaryius Thomas and QB Case Keenum connected on a 1-yard TD toss. The Rams burned Denver for 270 yards on the ground with Los Angeles RB Todd Gurley running for 208 yards and a pair of TDs (Denver rushed for 60 yards, with Keenum throwing for 322 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Emmanuel Sanders on the other toss), while Jarred Goff threw for 201 yards with five sacks and an interception (Keenum was sacked twice and threw an interception). Denver on third down tries in the home loss went 3 of 10 (the Broncos were 0 of 1 on fourth down conversions and held the ball for 24:50, while the Rams ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 35:10, going 8 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The 49ers let a 30-23 lead at Green Bay get away from them as the Packers would score twice late in the final quarter to take a 33-30 win at Lambeau Field last Monday night. San Francisco led 24-20 at the break in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst thanks to a Robbie Gould field goal (Gould would kick three in the contest) before seeing that lead and the win vanish as Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams connected on a 16-yard TD toss with 1:55 left to tie the contest and then Mason Crosby boot a 27-yarder as time expired. San Francisco outrushed the Packers 174-116, as 49ers QB C.J. Beathard threw for 245 yards and a pair of TD tosses to WR Marquise Goodwin (49ers RB Raheem Mostert led all rushers with 87 yards on the ground), while Rodgers threw for 425 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Davante Adams (Rodgers had three sacks, Beathard had two). San Francisco was 2 of 9 on third down tries in the Monday night contest and held the ball for 28:52, while the Packers were 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:08, including the final 67 seconds of regulation.

Including contests that took place at Keezar Stadium, Candlestick Park, Anaheim and St. Louis, the 49ers lead the series 68-65-3, while the Rams have outscored San Francisco 3.046-2,891 in the series. The two teams split last year’s contests, with each winning in the other team’s facility.

First meeting was week three in Santa Clara on a Thursday night and the Rams held off a late San Francisco rally to take a 41-39 win at Levis’ Stadium. Leading 24-13 at the half, Los Angeles would see the 49ers rally in the second half of the contest outscore them 26-17. San Francisco would pull to within 2 with 2:13 left in the contest when Curtis Hyde (84 yards) scored from a yard away for his second TD of the evening. The 49ers missed the try for two that would have evened things, tried the onside kick and failed when the Rams recovered. Los Angeles outrushed the 49ers 126-113 with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading the way with 113 yards and a pair of TDs. Goff threw for 292 yards and three TDs with no interceptions or sacks, while Blaine Hoyer threw for 332 yards, with a pair of TDs, four sacks and a pick. The Rams, victims of three fumbles, went 8 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 29:43, while the 49ers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:17, going 9  of 18 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The 49ers would get their revenge in the second meeting in Los Angeles in week 17, as the Rams rested some of their starters after clinching the NFC West, taking a 34-13 win at the Coliseum. San Francisco led throughout the contest, taking a 20-6 lead with the to the intermission and never looked back. San Francisco outrushed the Rams 171-102 and 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 292 yards and a pair of TDs, while Rams signal called Sean Mannion racked up 169 yards with three sacks and no interceptions. San Francisco went 6 of 12 on third down in the season finale and kept the ball for 29:09, while the Rams, resting most of their stars, were 5 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:51.

In the week three Thursday night contest in Santa Clara, the 49ers were favored by 3 but the Rams won by 2. The good news in that first meeting? Both clubs almost doubled the 40 1/2 over/under with 80 points. As for the week 17 contest in Los Angeles? The Rams were 4 1/2 point favorites and the 49ers did cover the spread, winning by 21 and both teams covered the 45 1/2 over/under with 47 points. The oddsmakers like the Rams as a 10 1/2 point road favorite with the over/under at 53. The 53 is reaasonable. The 10 1/2? That’s a bit steep. The 49ers aren’t that bad and they’ve been competitive in their contests this year. Still, the Rams will take this one on the road but given the rivalry, expect the 49ers to make things closer than 10 1/2.

Cincinnati (4-2) at Kansas City (5-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of teams that suffered last-minute losses last Sunday meet in the Show-Me State on Sunday night as the Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium.

Cincinnati saw a 21-20 lead late in their contest with AFC North rival Pittsburgh evaporate as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown hooked up on a 31-yard TD pass to take a 28-21 win out of the Queen City last Sunday afternoon. Tied 14-14 at the intermission, then trailing 17-14 after three quarters of football. the Bengals and Andy Dalton (229 yards, two TDs, no interceptions) would take a 21-20 lead with 78 seconds left when HB Joe Mixon (64 yards) scored from a yard away. That lead and hopes of a win over their hated AFC North rivals would not last long as the Steelers used a 7-play, 77-yard drive that took 68 seconds of clock to reclaim the lead with the Brown catch and run (Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuester would connect on the two point conversion). Cincinnati would have one last chance to reclaim the lead and restore order but Dalton’s pass attempt with five seconds left fell short of its intended mark. Pittsburgh outrushed the Bengals 112-62 and Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Steelers RB James Conner led the way with 111 yards and a pair of TDs. Cincinnati went 6 of 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 25:04, while the Steelers were 8 of 14 on third down, holding the ball for 34:56.

Kansas City fell out of the ranks of the unbeatens Sunday night in Foxboro, as the Chiefs would come away on the short end of a 43-40 loss over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Brady and New England led 24-13 at the intermission in the Sunday night contest before the Chiefs would rally in the second half, outscoring New England 31-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Kansas City then took a 33-30 lead with 8:38 left when Tyreek Hill and QB Pat Mahomes (352 yards, four TDs, two interceptions) connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That lead would not last long as Brady took matters into his own hands and feet, scoring from 4 yards out and the Pats would add to that lead when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 52-yarder to lead 40-33. The Chiefs were not going away quietly into the good New England night as Hill and Mahomes hooked up again with 3:03 left to re-tie the contest. New England went into a surgeon-like mode in the final 3:03, using a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used all the available time left in regulation when Gostkowski booted a 28-yard field goal as time expired. Brady threw for 340 yards with a TD toss to Josh Edelman as New England outrushed Kansas City 173-94 (New England rookie RB Sony Michel led everyone with 106 yards on the ground with a pair of TDs). New England was 7 of 13 on third down (the Pats were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09 (including the final drive), while the Chiefs were 4 of 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:51.

The Bengals hold a 15-13 lead in the series (which includes contests that were played at Riverfront Stadium and Swope Field), have outscored the Chiefs 563-515 and Cincinnati has won the last four meetings, including taking a 36-21 win in Cincinnati in 2015, while Kansas City’s last win in the series came at Arrowhead by a final of 27-20 in 2007. The Chiefs are favored by 6 with a 58 1/2 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense.

On Sunday night, the lights have not been kind to the Bengals, who carry a 3-15 record, while the Chiefs are 13-8 (Kansas City won its only Sunday night contest in 2017, while Cincy’s last appearance on SNF was in 2015, taking a loss n that contest). We’re going to go ahead and make this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (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! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), 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 items in question) 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 just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-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?”)

Both clubs are hoping to recover from bad losses last Sunday. Kansas City prevails in this one at home on Sunday night, although the Bengals could make this one closer than 6.

New York Giants (1-5) at ATLANTA (2-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Eli Manning vs. Matt Ryan. Big Apple vs. Big Peach. Week seven closes out in the Deep South in prime time as the Falcons host the New York Giants at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Manning and the Giants saw the defending Super Bowl champs right their ship last Thursday night in the Meadowlands as they Giants to task, taking a 34-13 NFC East road win at Met Life Stadium. Philadelphia and Carson Wentz took a 24-6 lead at the intermission, then proceeded to take control of things in the second half against their NFC East rival. Although the Giants did outrush Philadelphia 147-108 (rookie RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 130 yards and a TD), the Giants could never get on track in front of their home crowd. Wentz threw for 278 yards and three TDs in the Thursday night affair, while Manning threw for 281 yards with four sacks and an interception (Wentz had one sack with no interceptions). The Eagles were 9 of 16 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Giants were 4 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:30.

The Falcons held off a late Tampa Bay rally at home last Sunday, as they prevailed 34-29 over their NFC South rivals in the Big Peach. Atlanta led 24-13 at the half before Tampa Bay hung on and managed to outscore the Falcons 16-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within two with 3:47 left when Jameis Winston (395 yards, four TDs, two sacks, two interceptions) and RB Peyton Barber connected on a 5-yard TD toss before the Falcons’ Matt Bryant connected on a 57-yard field goal with 70 seconds left in the contest. Tampa Bay would then make their way downfield afte the kickoff and got as close as Atlanta’s 21-yard line when they tried several lateral passes with seven seconds left but came up short. Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 123-70, while Ryan threw for 354 yards with three TDs (TE Austin Hooper, WR Mohamed Sanu and RB Tevin Coleman caught the TD passes, WR Julio Jones led all recievers with 143 yards) and no interceptions. Both clubs did well on third down tries (Atlanta was 8 of 13, Tampa Bay was 5 of 8) and the Falcons ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39 to Tampa Bay’s 28:21.

Atlanta leads the series by a slim 12-11 margin and have outscored the Giants 432-413 (which includes contests that were played at Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl, Giants Stadium and the old Georgia Dome). Atlanta won the last meeting, coming away 24-20 winners in the Meadowlands in 2015, while the Giants’ last win over the Falcons also came in upstate New Jersey by a final of 30-20 in 2014.

Atlanta is 14-27 on Monday night but the Falcons picked up wins in their two prime time contests last year (wins at Seattle and Tampa Bay), while the Giants are 24-38-1. with the G-men dropping their one Monday night meeting last year. Atlanta’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 54 1/2. Atlanta closes out week seven with the home win and covers the 6 in the Big Peach.

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And then there were two.

Two undefeated teams remain – Kansas City (5-0) and the Los Angeles Rams (5-0) – as the NFL enters Week 6. Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 45 of the previous 51 teams (88.2 percent) to start a season 5-0 advanced to the postseason. The Chiefs began the 2017 with a 5-0 record and won the AFC West.

Hope still remains for teams across the league. For the first time since 1990, every team in the NFL has won at least one game through Week 5 and 19 teams are currently in or within one game of first place in their respective divisions.

Week 5 featured close contests across the board, as seven games were decided by eight points or fewer, including four decided by game-winning field goals in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime. At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first five weeks of the 2018 season, marking the first time that a season has featured at least one overtime game in each of its first five weeks. Cleveland has played in overtime three times this season, tied with the 2002 Buffalo Bills, 1995 Indianapolis Colts and 1987 Green Bay Packers for the most such games in a team’s first five games of a season since the regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974.

Scoring continues to trend at a record pace at the onset of the 2018 season. Through Week 5, there have been 424 total touchdowns and 3,739 total points scored, both the most in NFL history through the first five weeks of a season. Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the league with nine touchdowns (seven rushing, two receiving), while Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes paces the NFL with 14 touchdown passes.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST FIVE WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 424
2015 – 404
2011 – 396
2014 – 395

MOST TOTAL POINTS IN FIRST FIVE WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2018 – 3,739
2013 – 3,566
2011 – 3,566
2015 – 3,562

Veterans and rookies combined to make Week 5 one for the record books. Last week, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who has 72,103 career passing yards, became the NFL’s all-time leading passer and New England quarterback Tom Brady, who threw his 500th career touchdown pass on Thursday, became the third quarterback in NFL history to reach 500 career touchdown passes. Four rookie quarterbacks – Arizona’s Josh Rosen, Buffalo’s Josh Allen, Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and the New York Jets’ Sam Darnold – were victorious in Week 5, marking the first time in the Super Bowl era that rookie quarterbacks went 4-0 or better in a single week.

Quarterbacks combined for 8,126 net passing yards last week, marking the third time the league has eclipsed 8,000 net passing yards in a single week this season. In NFL history, only eight weeks have featured at least 8,000 net passing yards and no other season in league annals has had more than two such weeks.

As the schedule turns to Week 6, the NFL returns to London for the 12th consecutive season as Seattle and Oakland met at Wembley Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. London time). The Raiders, the home team in London for a second time, welcome the Seahawks to Wembley for their first game in London.

The following two weeks, October 21 and 28, two additional teams – Tennessee and Philadelphia –  will make their London debuts as visiting teams. In Week 7, the Titans will face the Los Angeles Chargers and in Week 8, the Eagles will face Jacksonville  in a matchup of 2017 playoff teams.

The NFL kicked off its series of regular-season games in London in 2007, when the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on their way to winning Super Bowl XLII. By the end of the 2018 season, the NFL will have played 24 regular-season games in London, with 29 of 32 teams having participated.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Cleveland defeated Baltimore, 12-9, in overtime this week. The Browns have played in overtime three times this season, tied with the 2002 Buffalo Bills, 1995 Indianapolis Colts and 1987 Green Bay Packers for the most such games in a team’s first five games of a season since the regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974.

At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first five weeks of the 2018 season, marking the first time that a season has featured at least one overtime game in each of its first five weeks.

Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield passed for 342 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the win. Mayfield, who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, became the sixth quarterback selected with the first overall pick to win his first-career home start in the common draft era. The other five to accomplish the feat are New England’s Jim Plunkett (September 19, 1971), Atlanta’s Michael Vick (November 11, 2001), Houston’s David Carr (September 8, 2002), Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer (September 19, 2004) and Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (September 16, 2002).

Cleveland wide receiver Jarvis Landry had five catches for 69 yards in the victory. Landry has 429 career receptions in five seasons and surpassed Larry Fitzgerald (426 from 2004-08) for the most receptions by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history.

•The Los Angeles Rams defeated Seattle Seahawks 33-31 at Century Link Field, to improve to 5-0 this season. The Rams are the fifth team to score at least 30 points in each of their first five games to start a season in NFL history, joining the 2013 Denver Broncos (eight consecutive games), 2011 New England Patriots (five), 2007 Patriots (eight) and 2000 St. Louis Rams (eight). The 2013 Broncos, 2011 Patriots and 2007 Patriots all advanced to the Super Bowl.

•Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 30 of 37 passes (81.1 percent) for 301 yards with one touchdown for a 109.6 passer rating and wide receiver Adam Thielen had 116 receiving yards and one touchdown in the Vikings’ 23-21 win at Philadelphia.

Cousins, who completed 35 passes in Week 2, 40 passes in Week 3 and 36 passes in Week 4, is the first player in NFL history to complete at least 30 passes in four consecutive games.

Thielen is the third player in NFL history with at least 100 receiving yards in each of his team’s first five games to start a season, joining Charkey Hennigan of the Houston Oilers (seven games in 1961) and BOB BOYD of the Los Angeles Rams (five in 1954).

•Pittsburgh running back James Conner rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns and had four catches for 75 yards in the Steelers’ 41-17 victory over Atlanta.

Conner, who had 135 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards and two rushing touchdowns against Cleveland in Week 1, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963) as the only players with multiple games with at least 100 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards and two rushing touchdowns in their team’s first five games of a season.

Conner, who is in his second professional season, joined Chris Johnson (2009) as the only first or second-year players in NFL history with multiple games of 100+ rushing yards, 50+ receiving yards and two or more rushing touchdowns in a single season.

•Carolina kicker Graham Gano converted the game-winning 63-yard field goal with one second remaining in the fourth quarter in the Panthers’ 33-31 victory over the New York Giants.

Gano’s 63-yarder is tied for the longest game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter or overtime in NFL history. New Orleans kicker TOM DEMPSEY converted a 63-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of the Saints’ 19-17 victory over Detroit on November 8, 1970. Gano’s 63-yard field goal is tied for the second-longest in NFL history, trailing only Denver’s Matt Prater, who converted a 64-yarder vs. Tennessee on December 8, 2013.

•New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell had 15 carries for a franchise-record 219 rushing yards, including a 77-yard touchdown run, in the Jets’ 34-16 win over Denver.

Crowell, who averaged 14.6 yards per carry on Sunday, became the fourth player in NFL history with at least 200 rushing yards on 15 or fewer carries, joining the New York Giants’ DERRICK WARD (December 21, 2008 vs. Carolina), Pro Football Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell (November 15, 1959 at Washington) of the Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Rams’ Dan Towler (November 22, 1953 at the Baltimore Colts).

Jets rookie quarterback Samn Darnold threw three touchdown passes, including a 76-yarder to wide receiver Robby Anderson, in the victory. The Jets became the sixth team since the 1970 merger to score on both a 75+ yard touchdown pass and a 75+ yard touchdown run in the same contest, and the first since Seattle did it on December 21, 2014.

•New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had eight catches for 131 yards with a touchdown and threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Saquan Barkley in the Giants’ Week 5 loss to Carolina.

Beckham became the fourth player in NFL history with at least 100 receiving yards and a 50+ yard touchdown pass in the same game, joining New England’s David Patten (October 21, 2001 at Indianapolis), Pittsburgh’s Tom Tracy (December 13, 1958 vs. the Chicago Cardinals) and Philadelphia’s Bill Ray Barnes (November 16, 1958 vs. the Chicago Cardinals). Beckham and Patten are the only two players in league history to accomplish the feat with a touchdown catch.

Barkley had 129 scrimmage yards (81 receiving, 48 rushing) and two touchdown catches on Sunday. Barkley is the third player in NFL history to record at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first five games to begin a career. Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt (seven games in 2017) and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (five in 2007) are the only other players to accomplish the feat.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 6

SUNDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN: New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 341 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for a 102.6 rating in the Patriots’ win last week and became the third player in NFL history to throw at least 500 career touchdown passes.

With a win against Kansas City Sunday night, Brady can become the first quarterback in league annals to record 200 career regular-season wins.

The quarterbacks with the most regular-season wins in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (REGULAR-SEASON WINS)
Tom Brady – New England (199)*
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (186)^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (186)
John Elway – Denver (148)^
Dan Marino – Miami (147)^
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 14 touchdown passes through Week 5 and has won each of his first six NFL starts.

With a win on Sunday night at New England, Mahomes would become the sixth quarterback since 1970 to win each of his first seven career starts.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive wins to begin their career since 1970:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS, MOST CONSECUTIVE WINS TO BEGIN CAREER)
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (2004-05, 15)
Mike Tomczak – Chicago (1986-87, 10)
Dieter Brock – Los Angeles Rams (1985, 7)
Daunte Culpepper – Minnesota (2000. 7)
Jimmy Garoppolo – New England and San Francisco (2016-17, 7)
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2017-18, 6)*
*Active streak

HOME COOKING: Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield passed for 342 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the Browns’ Week 5 overtime win against Baltimore, his first career start at home.

Mayfield, who plays at home against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday afternoon, can become the first quarterback selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era (1967) to win his first two career home starts.

AIR OF SUCCESS: Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson passed for 375 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the Texans’ Week 5 overtime win against Dallas. Watson has thrown for at least 375 yards in each of his past three games.

Watson, who plays against Buffalo Sunday, can become the first player in NFL history with 375 passing yards in four consecutive games.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 375 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 375+ PASSING YARDS)
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Tampa Bay (2018, 3)
Deshaun Watson – Houston (2018, 3)*
Tom Brady – New England (2011 – 3)
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams (2000 – 3)^
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles, who passed for 388 yards in Week 4 and 430 yards in Week 5, can become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 375 passing yards in three consecutive games.

PRIDE OF DELAWARE: Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco ranks fifth in the NFL with 139 completions and has completed at least 25 passes in each of his past eight games, dating back to Week 15 of the 2017 season.

With at least 25 completions at Tennessee on Sunday, Flacco would become the third different quarterback in NFL history to complete at least 25 passes in nine consecutive games. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees accomplished the feat twice.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 25 completions in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 25+ COMPLETIONS)

Drew Brees, New Orleans (2012-13, 11)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2011, 10)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013, 9)
Joe Flacco, Baltimore (2017-18, 8)*
*Active streak

TODD CAN DO IT ALL: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley has 5,244 scrimmage yards (3,711 rushing, 1,533 receiving) and 44 touchdowns (36 rushing, eight receiving) in 49 career games.

With a touchdown on Sunday at Denver, Gurley can become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 3,500 rushing yards, 1,500 receiving yards and 45 offensive touchdowns through his first 50 career games.

The players with at least 3,500 rushing yards, 1,500 receiving yards and 45 scrimmage touchdowns in their first 50 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS/RECEIVING YARDS, TOUCHDOWNS)
Chuck Foreman, Minnesota (3,590/2,167, 55)^
Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders (3,688/2,078, 51)^
Arian Foster, Houston (4,425/1,508, 49)
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (3,711/1,533, 44)*
*In 49 career games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

GRONK SMASH: New England tight end ROB Gronkowksi has 497 receptions for 7,487 yards and 77 touchdowns in 107 career games.

With three receptions on Sunday Night, Gronkowksi would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow (101 games), Jimmy Graham (106) and Jason Witten (107) as the only tight ends in NFL history reach 500 career catches in fewer than 110 games.

The tight ends to reach 500 career receptions in the fewest games NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (GAMES TO REACH 500 CATCHES)
Kellen Winslow, San Diego (101)^
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans and Seattle (106)
Jason Witten, Dallas (107)
Antonio Gates, San Diego (113)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (107)*
*Has 497 career receptions
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

POWERS OF 10: Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz recorded 10 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ Week 5 loss to Minnesota.

Ertz, who had 10 catches for 112 yards in Week 4, can become the fifth player in NFL history to record at least 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards in three consecutive games on Thursday at the New York Giants.

The players with the longest streaks with at least 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 10+ CATCHES & 100+ RECEIVING YARDS)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (2012, 4)
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (2017, 3)
Andre Johnson, Houston (2008, 3)
Brett Perriman, Detroit (1995, 3)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (2018, 2)*
*Active streak

ELITE COMPANY: Denver linebacker Von Miller has 87.5 sacks in 109 career games. Miller, who will appear in his 110th career game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, needs 2.5 sacks to become the fourth player to have at least 90 sacks in his first 110 career games since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players to record 90 sacks in their first 110 career games since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SACKS)
Reggie White, Philadelphia (114)^
DeMarcus Ware, Dallas (96)
Bruce Smith, Buffalo (94)^
Von Miller, Denver (87.5)*
*In 109 career games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FAMILY AFFAIR: Houston defensive end J.J. Watt has 82 career sacks during his eight-year NFL career while his brother, Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt, has 13 sacks in his first two NFL seasons.

With five combined sacks, the Watts would become the fifth pair of brothers or father-son duos to record at least 100 combined sacks since 1982, where each player recorded at least one sack.

The pairs of brothers or father-son duos with at least 100 combined sacks since 1982, where each player recorded at least one sack:

PLAYERS – COMBINED SACKS
Clay/Clay Matthews – 150
Howie/Chris Long – 148.5^
John/Ervin Randle – 145.5^
Jackson/Jim Jeffcoat – 103.5
J.J./T.J. Watt – 95*
*Both active
^Howie Long and John Randle are Pro Football Hall of Famers

Week 6 kicked off with the 171st meeting (including the postseason) as the defending Super Bowl champs held the New York Giants in check in the Meadowlands Thursday night. Other key games this week features an AFC North showdown between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium that highlights Sunday’s early slate of games and Sunday’s schedule concludes with undefeated Kansas City traveling to Foxboro and Gillette Stadium to face the New England at 8:20 p.m. on NBC and week six ends in Green Bay as the Packers host San Francisco on Monday night at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN.

Detroit and New Orleans have byes this week, while Chicago and Tampa Bay return from their week-long vacations. As for last week, While 8-7 wasn’t great, it kept us above .500 for another week, which makes us 42-31 for the season. There’s still a lot of football left and anything can happen… and we mean ANYTHING. Here are Sunday and Monday’s picks for Week 6.

Tampa Bay (2-2) at ATLANTA (1-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of NFC South rivals fighting to stay out of the cellar in that division meet in the Big Peach as Tampa Bay and Atlanta square off. Both teams took losses in their last meeting.

Tampa Bay, who will have Jameis Winston under center Sunday, returns from their bye after their 48-10 loss at Chicago two weeks ago in the Windy City. The Bucs trailed 38-3 at the intermission at Soldier Field and could never really get on track after that. Da Bears held Tampa Bay to 60 yards rushing, while tallying 139 yards of their own and made life miserable for QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick (126 yards, two sacks, interception) and Winston (145 yards, TD, two sacks, two interceptions) in the lopside win, while Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 354 yards with six TDs and no interceptions. Chicago went 4 of 8 on third down conversions in the Windy City and the Monsters of the Midway held the ball for 28:06, while Tampa Bay kept the pigskin for 31:54, going 3 of 12 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Atlanta struggled at Pittsburgh last Sunday, taking a 41-17 loss against the Steelers at Heinz Field. Atlanta trailed 13-10 at the intermission before the Steelers took control of the action in the second half, outscoring the Falcons 28-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. The Faclons saw RB James Connor rush for 110 yards and a pair of TDs and Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown connect for a pair of passing TDs, as Pittsburgh outrushed Atlanta 131-62. Roethlisberger threw for 250 yards and three TDs (WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster caught the other TD pass), while Atlanta’s Matt Ryan threw for 285 yards and a TD to WR Mohamed Sanu but was sacked six times in the Steel City. Atlanta was 6 of 14 on third down (the Falcons were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and held the ball for 30:52, while the Steelers kept the ball for 29:08 and went 9 of 12 on third down tries.

Atlanta leads the series 25-24, while Tampa Bay has outscored Atlanta 1,052-1,027. Atlanta swept the series last year and has won the last three meetings with the Bucs (Tampa Bay’s last win over Atlanta came in 2016, when they took a 31-24 win in Atlanta)

Atlanta erased a 3-3 first quarter tie against Tampa Bay, took a 20-6 lead with them to the break and came away 34-20 winners in the week 12 contest in the Big Peach. Falcons WR Julio Jones burned Tampa Bay for 253 yards with a pair of TD catches, one from Ryan, the other from fellow WR Mohamed Sanu, as the Falcons outrushed Tampa Bay 148-94, with Ryan throwing for 317 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Fitzpatrick, subbing for Winston, threw for 283 yards with a sack. The Falcons were 11 for 14 on third down tries at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and kept the ball for 30:06, while Tampa Bay was 4 for 11 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:54.

The Falcons made it a clean sweep of the series as the two teams met in the Sunshine State on a Monday night and it was the Falcons coming away 24-21 at Raymond James Stadium in week 15. Although they trailed 10-7 at the intermission, Tampa Bay would eventually pull themselves to within 3 with 4:07 left in regulation when Winston and WR Adam Humphries connected on a 16-yard TD toss and could have sent the contest into overtime but Patrick Murray’s 54-yard field goal try as time expired sailed wide right. Atlanta outrushed Tampa Bay 201-84, with Falcons RB DeVonta Freeman leading everyone with 126 yards and a TD. Ryan threw for 212 yards and a TD, while Winston paced Tampa Bay with 299 yards and three TDS (neither threw an interception, Ryan was sacked once, Winston twice). Atlanta was 9 of 16 on third down tries in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 33:15, while the Buccaneers were 4 of 8 on third down and held the ball for 26:45.

In the week 12 contest in the Big Peach, the Falcons covered the 8 1/2-point spread with their 14-point win and both clubs covered the 48 over/under with 54 points. In the Monday night contest in Tampa Bay in week 15, while Atlanta won the contest, they did not cover the 6 1/2-point spread, winning by 3 and the 48 over/under was safe and sound, as both clubs combined for 45 points. Atlanta’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 58. Both teams would love nothing more than to get out of the NFC South cellar and overtake New Orleans. Atlanta covers the 3 1/2 and wins in the Big Peach.

Pittsburgh (2-2-1) at Cincinnati (4-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. They still don’t like each other. Don’t expect any Facebook friend requests or Christmas Cards exchanged.

Bengals.

Steelers.

A pair of AFC North rivals meet along the shores of the Ohio River as Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers make their way to Cincinnati to face off against Andy Dalton and the first-place Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Pittsburgh took Atlanta to the woodshed last Sunday at Heinz Field, coming away 41-17 winners over the Falcons in the Steel City. Pittsburgh held a slim 13-10 lead at the intermission before taking control of the action in the second half, outscoring the Falcons 28-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Steelers RB James Connor rushed for 110 yards and a pair of TDs and Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown connect for a pair of passing TDs, as Pittsburgh outrushed Atlanta 131-62. Roethlisberger threw for 250 yards and three TDs (WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster caught the other TD pass), while Atlanta’s Matt Ryan threw for 285 yards and a TD to WR Mohamed Sanu but was sacked six times in the Steel City. Atlanta was 6 of 14 on third down (the Falcons were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and held the ball for 30:52, while the Steelers kept the ball for 29:08 and went 9 of 12 on third down tries.

Cincinnati erased a 14-0 deficit at the half against Miami at Paul Brown Stadium last Sunday and came away 27-17 winners. The Benglas scored all 27 of their second half points unchallenged to take the win over the Dolphins, who actually outrushed the Bengals 128-103. Dalton threw for 248 yards and a TD to HB Joe Mixon for the winners, while Miami was paced by Ryan Tannehill’s 185 yards and a TD (Tannehill was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Dalton threw an interception with a pair of sacks). The Bengals were 2 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:35, while the Dolphins were 4 of 13, 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 29:25.

The Steelers lead the series 60-35 (which includes games played at Riverfront Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium), they’ve outscored the Bengals 2,100-1,673 and have won the last five regular season contests, including a sweep of the 2017 series (the Bengals’ last win over Pittsburgh came in 2015, when they were 16-10 winners in Pittsburgh).

Week seven… the Steel City. Pittsburgh came away with the 29-14 win at Heinz Field. The Steelers led 20-14 at the break before they would separate themselves from the Bengals in the second half. Roethlisberg and Dalton each threw a pair of TD passes but it was the Chris Boswell show as he connected on five field goals in the contest (Boswell’s longest was 49 yards with 5:28 left in the third). LeVeon Bell rushed for 134 yards as the Steelers outrushed Cincy 152-71, while Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards (Dalton threw for 140 yards with four sacks and two interceptions). The Steelers were 2 of 11 on third down (1 of 3 on fourth down conversions) and held the ball for 35:15, while the Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:45, going 3 of 11 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down tries.

Week 13 saw the Steelers complete the series sweep, taking a 23-20 win at Paul Brown Stadium in week 13. After trailing 17-3 at the half, Pittsburgh erased that deficit in the second half by outscoring the Bengals 20-3, holding Cincy to a 41-yard field from Randy Bullock in the third quarter. The lone bright spot for the Bengals was that they did outrush Pittsburgh 130-92 but Roethlisberger torched the Bengals for 290 yards, while Dalton threw for 234 yards. Steelers WR Antonio Brown let all recievers with 101 yards on eight catches (Brown was targeted 15 times), while Bengals WR A.J. Green caught seven balls for 77 yards with a pair of TDs. The Bengals were 50 percent on third down tries, going 7 of 14 and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 30:11, while the Steelers kept the pigskin for 29:49, going 4 of 12 on third down tries, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh’s 15-point win in the week seven contest allowed them to cover the 5 1/2 point spread and both teams covered the 40 over/under with 43 points. The Steelers were favored by 5 1/2 in the week 13 contest at Paul Brown Stadium and while they took the win, they did not cover the spread and the 43 1/2 barely stayed intact as both teams missed it by 1/2 points. Cincinnati’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 53. Both numbers make sense and both teams can score points when they want or need to. Right now, the Bengals are the kings of the AFC North mountain, while the Steelers would like to take that spot back. Steelers prevail on the road and covers the 2 1/2.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland (2-2-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and 706. Contenders meet along the shores of Lake Erie as the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Cleveland for a showdown with the much-improved Browns at First Energy Field. Both clubs took wins at home in last week’s action.

The Chargers used a pair of Philip Rivers TD passes to take care of Oakland 26-10 at Stub Hub Center. Los Angeles led 17-3 at the intermission in southern California and never looked back, outscoring the Silver and Black 9-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. San Diego outrushed Oakland 79-41 and Rivers threw for 339 yards and the two TDs without an interception, while Derek Carr threw for 268 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Chargers were 7 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 34:40, while the Silver and Black held the ball for 25:20, going 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Once again, the Browns went into an overtime contest at home but this time, Cleveland prevailed as they escaped with a 12-9 win over Baltimore last Sunday at home. Cleveland led 6-3 at the break before the Ravens would rally in the third and fourth quarters to even things up, thanks to a pair of Jeff Tucker field goals in the second half. Cleveland’s Rashard Higgins would score the game’s only TD when he and rookie QB Baker Mayfield connected on a 19-yard TD pass with 40 seconds left before the intermission. Greg Joseph would miss the extra point but would kick two more field goals, including the game-winner with two seconds left in overtime to take the win. While Baltimore outrushed Cleveland 116-112, Mayfield threw for 342 yards, with Baltimore’s Joe Flacco throwing for 298 yards (Flacco was sacked twice, Mayfield was sacked five times and each man threw an interception) in the overtime contest. The Ravens were 4 of 16 on third down (Baltimore was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:42, while the Browns, who picked up their first win on a Sunday since December of 2015, kept the ball for 36:16 (including the overtime) and went 6 of 19 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions. The Browsns’ three overtime games in 2018 ties them for most by team in 1st 5 games of season since regular season overtime rule was adopted in 1974.

The Chargers lead the series 16-9-1 (which includes games that were played in San Diego) and have outscored the Browns 612-  498. The Chargers were 19-10 victors in their last meeting, which took place last year on the West Coast (Cleveland’s last win over the Chargers came on Christmas Eve of 2016, when tney won 20-17). After a scoreless first quarter in the week 13 contest, the Chargers led 9-7 at the intermission and took a 19-7 lead into the third quarter, holding the Browns to a Zane Gonzalez field goal in the fourth quarter. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing mark but the Chargers did outrush Cleveland 94-89 and Rivers threw for 344, while DeShone Kizer threw for 215 yards (each threw a TD pass, Kizer was sacked three times and threw an interception, Rivers was sacked once) on the West Coast. Los Angeles went 8 of 15 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) in the 9-point win at Stub Hub and kept the ball for 34:57, while Cleveland held the ball for 25:03, gokng 5 for 11 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The West Coast week 13 contest saw the Chargers as 14-point favorites. While they did win the game, they did not cover the spread, winning by 9 and the 43 over/under stayed safe, as both teams combined for only 29 points. Cleveland’s favored by 1 with a 44 over/under. The Cleveland Browns right now are “Must See TV” this season and they’re already better than most expected. Browns cover the 1 in Cleveland and take the win at home.

Buffalo (2-3) at Houston (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Buffalo and Houston meet in the Lone Star State for an AFC showdown at NRG Stadium. Both teams are coming off home wins in last Sunday’s action.

Buffalo rallied from a 12-10 deficit in the final seconds of the contest to take a 13-12 win over Tennessee, thanks to a 46-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka as time expired. The Bills led 7-6 at the half and led 10-9 before the Titans’ Ryan Succop connected on a 50-yard field goal with 4:43 left to lead 12-10. The Bills then proceeded to use all of the 4:43 that was left, using an 11-play, 47-yard drivet to set up Hauschka’s game winner. Rookie QB Josh Allen threw for 82 yards and scored the game’s lone TD from 14 yards out to open the scoring in the game. After that, the kickers took over all the scoring in the game in upstate New York as Succop accounted for all four of Tennesee’s field goals, while Hauschka tallied two, including the game-winner. Buffalo outrushed Tennessee 144-100 and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota threw for 129 yards in the loss (both Mariota and Allen threw an interception, Mariota was sacked twice, Allen was sacked once). The Bills were 4 of 13 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 33:49 (including the final 4:43 of the contest), while the Titans were 6 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:11.

Houston needed overtime at NRG Stadium Sunday evening to take instate rival Dallas 19-16. Houston led 10-6 at the break before the Cowboys took control and took a 13-10 lead with 11:52 left in the third quarter on a 3-yard TD toss from Dak Prescott to WR Allen Hurns. Houston’s Ka’imi Fairbairn would then give his team the lead back with a pair of field goals for a 16-13 lead. Dallas would tie the contest with 5:39 left in regulation when Brett Maher connected on a 48-yard field goal. The teams then went into the overtime and Dallas got the ball first but could only get to the Texans’ 42-yard line before punting and that would be the last time Dallas would see the ball as Houston would engineer an 8-play, 72 yard drive that took 3:43 of clock and ended with Fairbairn booting the game-winner with 1:50 left in the overtime. While Dallas outrushed Houston 98-88, DeShaun Watson outpaced Prescott, throwing for 375 yards with a TD toss to WR Keke Coutee (Prescott threw for 208 yards; Watson was picked off once and sacked once, while Prescott was sacked twice and threw two interceptions). Hpuston went 5 of 15 on third down tries (the Texans were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:38, while Dallas held on to the ball for 31:32, going 4 of 14 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Buffalo and Houston have met 8 times and each team has won four games, with the Texans outscoring the Bills 160-153. The Bills were 30-21 winners in 2015 along the shores of Lake Erie, while Houston’s last win came in the Lone Star State in 2014 by a final of 23-17. The odds makers like Houston as 10 point favorites at home with aa 41 over/under. The Bills may not be the second coming of the 67 Packers and they’re not 10 points bad. They’ll make it close for the Texans, who take this one at home in the Lone Star State.

Indianapolis (1-4) at New York Jets (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Meadowlands as the Colts and Andrew Luck face off against the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium.

Indy watched Tom Brady throw three TDs and rush for one as they were taken to task by New England 38-24 at Gillette Stadium last Thursday night. Although they trailed 7-0 after the first 15 minutes of action, the Colts would trail 24-3 at the intermission, even though they would outscore New England in the final 30 minutes by a 21-14 margin. New England outrushed Indy 97-84 and Luck threw for 365 yards, while Brady threw for 341 yards in the Thursday night contest (both men threw three TD passes, each threw a pair of interceptions). New England was 5 of 10 on third down tries at Foxboro and kept the ball for 27:34, while the Colts ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:26, going 7 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down conversions.

GangGreen erased a 7-0 deficit against Denver last Sunday at Met Life Stadium and took a 34-16 win over the Broncos last Sunday. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! took a 21-10 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then proceeded to outpace Denver 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. Rookie QB Sam Darnold threw three TD passes in the win, as the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! outrushed Denver 323-92, with New York RB Isiah Crowell ran amok for 219 yards with Darnold throwing for 198 yards and an interception (Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 377 yards with four sacks and a pair of TDs with four interceptions, Darnold threw a pick and had a sack). New York went 6 of 13 on third down and held the ball for 28:54, while the Broncos were 4 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 31:06.

Including games that were played in Baltimore, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium, the Colts lead the series 41-28 and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have outscored the Colts 1,413-1,407. Their last meeting was in the Meadowlands in 2016 and the Colts would leave 41-10 winners, while GangGreen’s last win came in the Hoosier State in 2015 by a final of 20-7. GangGreen’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. You might want to take a pass on this one and watch that “Law & Order: SVU” marathon on USA (there’s nothing sexier than seeing Olivia Benson deal with a criminal!). Jets cover the 2 1/2 and win in the Meadowlands.

Chicago (3-1) at Miami (3-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710, A pair of contenders meet in the Sunshine State as Chicago makes their way to South Beach for an afternoon contest with the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Da Bears come back from their bye week with a 48-10 win over Tampa Bay at Chicago two weeks ago in the Windy City. Chicago took control of things, leading 38-3 at the intermission at Soldier Field and never allowing the Buccaneers to really get on track after that. Da Bears held Tampa Bay to 60 yards rushing, while tallying 139 yards of their own and made life miserable for QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick (126 yards, two sacks, interception) and Jameis Winston (145 yards, TD, two sacks, two interceptions) in the lopside win, while Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 354 yards with six TDs and no interceptions. Chicago went 4 of 8 on third down conversions in the Windy City and the Monsters of the Midway held the ball for 28:06, while Tampa Bay kept the pigskin for 31:54, going 3 of 12 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Miami saw a 14-0 halftime lead against Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium last Sunday get away from them as the Bengals roared their way to a 27-17 win. The Benglas scored all 27 of their second half points unchallenged to take the win over the Dolphins, who actually outrushed the Bengals 128-103. Dalton threw for 248 yards and a TD to HB Joe Mixon for the winners, while Miami was paced by Ryan Tannehill’s 185 yards and a TD (Tannehill was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Dalton threw an interception with a pair of sacks). The Bengals were 2 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:35, while the Dolphins were 4 of 13, 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 29:25.

Miami holds an 8-4 lead in the series and they have outscored Da Bears 304-208. Miami came to the Windy City in their last meeting and came away 27-14 winners in 2014, while Chicago’s last win over the Dolphins came in the Sunshine State in 2010 by a 16-0 final. Chicago’s favored by 3 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Da Bears are the kings of the NFC North mountain, while the Dolphins are chasing Brady and the Pats in the AFC East. Dolphins send Da Bears back into hibernation and takes the win and covers the 3.

Arizona (1-4) at Minnesota (2-2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of dome teams meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Arizona travels to the Twin Cities to meet the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium.

The Desert Angry Birds broke their four-game losing streak, picking up their first win of the 2018 campaign with a 28-18 win over the San Francisco 49ers at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara. Arizona led 14-6 at the break, then proceeded to outpace the 49ers 14-12 in the final 30 minutes of action. Although they were outrushed by the 49ers 147-56 and C.J. Beathard threw for  349 yards and a pair of TDs, they saw Josh Rosen throw for 170 yards with a TD and forced five San Francisco turnovers (Beathard threw a pair of interceptions and San Francisco fumbled three times) to take the win. Arizona went 2 of 12 on third down tries in wine country and kept the ball for 19:48, while the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball to themselves for 40:12, going 10 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Holding off a late Philadelhia rally, Minnesota came away 23-21 winners in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game in the City of Brotherly Love. The Purple Gang led 17-3 at the half before the defending Super Bowl champrs would go on to outscore the Vikings 18-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. The Vikings broke a 3-3 tie with 4:12 left before the intermission when Vikings DL Linval Joseph lived a lineman’s dream as he picked up a Carson Wentz fumble and returned it 64 yards for a TD to take the lead. WR Adam Thielen and QB Kirk Cousins would then tack on a 3-yard TD pass before the intermission to give the Vikings a 17-3 at that point. Philadelphia would chip away at Minnesota’s lead, pulling to within two with 69 seconds left when TE Zach Ertz and Wentz connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Philadelphia’s onside kick faled as the Vikings recovered and ran out the clock. Philadelphia outrushed Minnesota 81-77 and Wentz threw for 311 yards with a pair of TDs, while Cousins threw for 301 yards with a TD (neither man threw an interception, Wentz was sacked three times, Cousins sacked once). Philadelphia was 2 of 9 on third down but found success on their only fourth down try and kept the ball for 27:13, while the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 32:47, going 4 of 11 on third down to take the 2-point win.
Including games played in St. Louis, Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington and the Metrodome, the Vikings lead the series 14-11 and the Vikings have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 595-559. The Vikings won the last meeting with the Cardinals, coming away 30-24 in the Twin Cities in 2016, while Arizona’s last win over Minnesota came in the desert in 2015 by a final of 23-20. Minnesota’s favored by 10 1/2 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 42 1/2. While the 42 1/2 makes sense, the 10 1/2 is a bit steep. The Cardinals aren’t that bad and they’ll make it closer than that but the Vikings prevail in the Twin Cities.

Seattle (2-3) at Oakland (1-4), 1 p.m. (5 p.m. in London) on FOX and DirecTV 712. The two furthest teams in the NFL make their way across the Atlantic as Seattle and Oakland meet at Tottenham Stadium in London in the first international game of the 2018 season. Both teams were on the wrong end of the score board last Sunday and both are looking for redemption.

Seattle and the Los Angeles Rams exchanged the lead in their NFC West contest five times in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks before the Rams kept their unbeaten streak intact, falling to the Rams 33-31 at Century Link Field. The Rams and Seahawks entered the intermission even at 17-17 and Seattle had the Rams on the ropes, leading 31-30 with 14:54 before Rams RB Todd Gurley pulled them back to within one with 14:54 left in regulation on a 5-yard run. Los Angeles would take the lead back for keeps with 6:05 left when Greg Santos (who had replaced the injured Greg Zuerlein) kicked a 39-yard field goal to take a 33-31 lead. Los Angeles would then go on to hold off the Seahawks to take the two-point road win. Seattle RB Chris Carson picked up his third consecutive 100-yard game, rushing for 116 yards (Gurley hadd 77 yards rushing to lead the Rams) as Seattle outrushed Los Angeles 190-155 in the contest. Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 321 yards with a TD, while Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 198 yards with three TDs and no interceptions (Goff was picked off once and threw a pair of interceptions, Wilson was sacked twice). Seattle was 7 of 12 on third down in the Pacific Northwest and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Rams held the ball for 29:30 and went 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Oakland saw their AFC West rivals from Los Angeles use a pair of Philip Rivers TD passes to take a 26-10 win at Stub Hub Center last Sunday. Los Angeles led 17-3 at the intermission in southern California and never looked back, outscoring the Silver and Black 9-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. San Diego outrushed Oakland 79-41 and Rivers threw for 339 yards and the two TDs without an interception, while Derek Carr threw for 268 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Chargers were 7 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 34:40, while the Silver and Black held the ball for 25:20, going 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Oakland leads the series 28-24 (which includes contests that were played in Los Angeles and in the Kingdome) and the Silver and Black have outscored the Seahawks 1,174-1,108. Seattle did win the last meeting, taking a 30-24 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2014, while Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2010 on the East side of San Francisco Bay by a final of 33-3. Seattle’s favored by 3 on the other side of the Atlantic and the over’under’s 47 1/2. While this one’s not exactly “DRILL WORTHY,” it might be worth your time watching. Oakland makes this one interesting but Seattle prevails on the other side of the Big Pond.

Carolina (3-1) at Washington (2-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. The Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton make a 6-hour, 45-mintue trip up I-95 to face off against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

Eli Manning and the Giants saw Carolina and Graham Gano take victory from their hands last Sunday in Charlotte, falling on the short end of a 33-31 loss at Bank of America Stadium. Trailing 20-10 at the intermission, the Giants would later pull their way into the lead when Manning and WR Odell Beckham caught a 33-yard TD pass with 8:08 left in regulation (Beckham, who had eight catches for 131 yards, threw a 57-yard TD pass to rookie RB Sequan Barkley earlier in the game, became the first player to have a TD pass and catch in the same contest since Mark Clayton did it for Baltimore in week eight in 2008). Gano would give the Panthers the lead back with 2:16 left, booting a 39-yard try before Manning and Barkley connected on a 15-yard TD toss with 65 seconds left. Carolina would then drive almost the length of the field with no time outs, using an 8-play, 30-yard drive that used 67 seconds of clock, allowing Gano to kick the game winner with one second left on the clock. Carolina outrushed Big Blue 118-50 and Manning threw for 326 yards and a pair of TDs, while Cam Newton threw for 237 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Collin McCaffery, the other to Curtis Samuel; both Manning and Newton threw a pair of interceptions and both were sacked once). The Giants found themselves going 0 of 7 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 24:33, while Carolina ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 35:27, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth down tries.

Washington saw Drew Brees pass Brett Farve and Peyton Manning as the all-time passing leader as the Saints took Washington to task 43-19 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the Big Easy. Washington trailed 26-13 at the half and was outscored by the Saints 17-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. New Orleans held Washington to 39 rushing yards as the Saints would tally 98 yards of their own. Brees threw for 363 yards and three TDs in the lopside Monday night affair, while Washington’s Alex Smith threw for 275 yards with an interception and three sacks (Brees was sacked twice). The Redskins were 4 of 13 on third down (2 0f 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:43, while the Saints ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:17, going 5 of 9 on third down conversions.

While the Redskins lead the series 7-6, Carolina has outscored the ‘Skins 296-262 and have won the last five contests in the series, the last coming in Landover in 2016 by a final of 26-15. Washington’s last win? 2006, also in Landover 17-13. Washington’s favored by 1 1/2 points and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers make some sense. Carolina’s trying to keep pace with the Saints in the NFC South, while the Redskins are trying to stay on top of the NFC East mountain. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! Washington covers the 1 1/2 and wins in Landover.

Los Angeles Rams (5-0) at Denver (2-3), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. The unbeaten Rams travel to Denver for a showdown with the struggling Broncos in the Mile High City. Both clubs enter the late afternoon contest in opposite directions.

The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks had a slugfest in their NFC West meeting at Century Link Field and Los Angeles managed to prevail, coming away 33-31 winners in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, The Rams and Seahawks entered the intermission even at 17-17 and Seattle had the Rams on the ropes, leading 31-30 with 14:54 before Rams RB Todd Gurley pulled them back to within one with 14:54 left in regulation on a 5-yard run. Los Angeles would take the lead back for keeps with 6:05 left when Greg Santos (who had replaced the injured Greg Zuerlein) kicked a 39-yard field goal to take a 33-31 lead. Los Angeles would then go on to hold off the Seahawks to take the two-point road win. Seattle RB Chris Carson picked up his third consecutive 100-yard game, rushing for 116 yards (Gurley hadd 77 yards rushing to lead the Rams) as Seattle outrushed Los Angeles 190-155 in the contest. Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 321 yards with a TD, while Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 198 yards with three TDs and no interceptions (Goff was picked off once and threw a pair of interceptions, Wilson was sacked twice). Seattle was 7 of 12 on third down in the Pacific Northwest and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Rams held the ball for 29:30 and went 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Denver saw a 7-0 lead against the New York Jets last Sunday at Met Life Stadium get away from them as the Jets took a 34-16 win over the Broncos last Sunday. Denver trailed 21-10 at the half, then the Jets proceeded to outpace Denver 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. Rookie QB Sam Darnold threw three TD passes in the win, as the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! outrushed Denver 323-92, with New York RB Isiah Crowell ran amok for 219 yards with Darnold throwing for 198 yards and an interception (Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 377 yards with four sacks and a pair of TDs with four interceptions, Darnold threw a pick and had a sack). New York went 6 of 13 on third down and held the ball for 28:54, while the Broncos were 4 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 31:06.

Including games played first at the Coliseum, then St. Louis at Mile High Stadium, the Rams lead the series 8-5, have outscored the Broncos 282-278 and have won the last three contests in the series, including a 22-7 win in St. Louis in 2014, while Denver’s last win came in the Mile High City in 2002 by a final of 23-16. The Rams are favored by 7 with a 53 over/under. Will the Broncos stay unbeatend or will the Broncos be the one to knock the kings off the mountain? The Rams stay on top and take the win, although Denver will make things closer than the 7.

Jacksonville (3-2) at Dallas (2-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Jacksonville and Dallas meet in a late-afternoon contest at AT&T Stadium as a pair of interconference teams meet in the Lone Star State. Both clubs lost road games last week and look to right their respective ships.

Jacksonvile saw Kansas City take a 20-0 at the break at Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday, then pulled away to a 30-14 win over the Jaguars. The Chiefs outrushed Jacksonville 126-101 but Blake Bortles threw for 430 yards, while Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes threw for 313 for the winners (Bortles threw for one TD to T.Y. Yeldon, picked off four times and sacked five, while Mahomes threw a pair of interceptions with a sack). Kansas City was 4-12 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 32:43, while the Jaguars were 7 of 16 on third down, 3 of 5 on fourth down tries and kept the ball for 27:17.

Dallas took instate rival Houston to overtime at NRG Stadium Sunday evening and eventually fell to the Texans 19-16 in the extra period. The Cowboys led 13-10 with 11:52 left in the third quarter (Houston led 10-6 at the half) on a 3-yard TD toss from Dak Prescott to WR Allen Hurns. Houston’s Ka’imi Fairbairn would then give his team the lead back with a pair of field goals for a 16-13 lead. Dallas would tie the contest with 5:39 left in regulation when Brett Maher connected on a 48-yard field goal. The teams then went into the overtime and Dallas got the ball first but could only get to the Texans’ 42-yard line before punting and that would be the last time Dallas would see the ball as Houston would engineer an 8-play, 72 yard drive that took 3:43 of clock and ended with Fairbairn booting the game-winner with 1:50 left in the overtime. While Dallas outrushed Houston 98-88, DeShaun Watson outpaced Prescott, throwing for 375 yards with a TD toss to WR Keke Coutee (Prescott threw for 208 yards; Watson was picked off once and sacked once, while Prescott was sacked twice and threw two interceptions). Hpuston went 5 of 15 on third down tries (the Texans were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:38, while Dallas held on to the ball for 31:32, going 4 of 14 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

They’ve met six times and each club has three wins to their credit, with the Jaguars outscoring Dallas 140-129. Dallas needed to go across the Atlantic to pick up their last win in the series, with the Cowboys coming out on top 31-17 in 2014, while Jacksonville’s last win came in Dallas in 2010 by a final of 35-17. Jacksonville’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 40. Both numbers make sense. Jacksonville covers the 3 in the Lone Star State and wins on the road.

Baltimore (3-2) at Tennessee (3-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. A pair of teams that took last second losses on the road meet in Music City as the Titans host the Baltimore Ravens at Nissan Stadium in a late-afternoon AFC contest.

Raven fans experienced heartbreak last Sunday in Cleveland as the Browns would take a 12-9 win last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie. Baltimore trailed 6-3 at the break before the Ravens would rally in the third and fourth quarters to even things up, thanks to a pair of Jeff Tucker field goals in the second half. Cleveland’s Rashard Higgins would score the game’s only TD when he and rookie QB Baker Mayfield connected on a 19-yard TD pass with 40 seconds left before the intermission. Greg Joseph would miss the extra point but would kick two more field goals, including the game-winner with two seconds left in overtime to take the win. While Baltimore outrushed Cleveland 116-112, Mayfield threw for 342 yards, with Baltimore’s Joe Flacco throwing for 298 yards (Flacco was sacked twice, Mayfield was sacked five times and each man threw an interception) in the overtime contest. The Ravens were 4 of 16 on third down (Baltimore was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:42, while the Browns kept the ball for 36:16 (including the overtime) and went 6 of 19 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions.

The Titans saw victory taken away from them in Buffalo last Sunday as the Bills ralled to take a 13-12 win in upstate New York. Tennessee led 12-10 in the final seconds of the contest before Bills K Stephen Hauschka booted a 46-yard field goal as time expired. Buffalo led 7-6 at the half and led 10-9 before the Titans’ Ryan Succop connected on a 50-yard field goal with 4:43 left to lead 12-10. The Bills then proceeded to use all of the 4:43 that was left, using an 11-play, 47-yard drivet to set up Hauschka’s game winner. Rookie QB Josh Allen threw for 82 yards and scored the game’s lone TD from 14 yards out to open the scoring in the game. After that, the kickers took over all the scoring in the game in upstate New York as Succop accounted for all four of Tennesee’s field goals, while Hauschka tallied two, including the game-winner. Buffalo outrushed Tennessee 144-100 and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota threw for 129 yards in the loss (both Mariota and Allen threw an interception, Mariota was sacked twice, Allen was sacked once). The Bills were 4 of 13 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 33:49 (including the final 4:43 of the contest), while the Titans were 6 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:11.

Including games that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers, Tennessee leads the series 10-9, while the Ravens have outscored the Titans 351-324. Tennesse would win the last meeting, coming away 23-20 winners in the Music City last year, while Baltimore’s last win over the Titans came in 2014 in Charm City by a final of 21-7.

The week nine contest in the Music City saw Tennessee pull out to a 16-6 lead after 30 minutes of action before they would need to hold off a Baltimore second half rally at Nissan Stadium. While the Ravens did outrush Tennessee 73-71 and Flacco threw for 261 yards, Tennessee’s defense did force a pair of Flacco interceptions in the game, with Mariota throwing for 218 yards. (Both men threw a pair of TDs, Mariota was sacked three times and picked off once, Flacco was sacked twice). Baltimore’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 41. It’s a slight possibilty that these two clubs could very well meet in the post-season but we have to pick a winner. Tennessee takes the win at home but expect the Ravens to make this one closer than 3 points.

Kansas City (5-0) at New England (3-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Week six action ends in Foxboro as a pair of division leaders meet at Gillette Stadium. The unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs travel to western Massachusetts for a Sunday evening meeting with Tom Brady and the New England Patiots in what could be an AFC playoff matchup.

Kansas City led Jacksonvile 20-0 at the break at Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday, then pulled away to a 30-14 win over the Jaguars. The Chiefs outrushed Jacksonville 126-101 but Blake Bortles threw for 430 yards, while Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes threw for 313 for the winners (Bortles threw for one TD to T.Y. Yeldon, picked off four times and sacked five, while Mahomes threw a pair of interceptions with a sack). Kansas City was 4-12 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 32:43, while the Jaguars were 7 of 16 on third down, 3 of 5 on fourth down tries and kept the ball for 27:17.

Brady throw three TDs and rush for one as they took Indianapolis and Andrew Luck to task with their 38-24 win at Gillette Stadium last Thursday night. New England led 7-0 after the first 15 minutes of action, then take a 24-3 lead at the intermission, even though the Colts would outscore New England in the final 30 minutes by a 21-14 margin. New England outrushed Indy 97-84 and Luck threw for 365 yards, while Brady threw for 341 yards in the Thursday night contest (both men threw three TD passes, each threw a pair of interceptions). New England was 5 of 10 on third down tries at Foxboro and kept the ball for 27:34, while the Colts ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:26, going 7 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down conversions.

Including contests played in Dallas when the Chiefs were known as the Texas, as well as contests at Fenway Park, Swope Field and Schafer Stadium, Kansas City leads the series 18-13-3 and have outscored New England 838-694. They met last year in Foxboro as the two teams opened the 2017 season with the Patriots raising their Super Bowl banner at Gillette Stadium (New England’s last win over the Chiefs came in Foxboro in 2011, when they were 34-3 winners). New England led 17-14 at the half before Kansas City roared back in the final 30 minutes of action to come away 42-27 winners. The Chiefs got a pair of fourth quarter TDs from RB Kareem Hunt and teammate Charcandrick West added a 21-yard run late in the game to seal the deal. Hunt rushed for 148 yards and had one rushing TD, while the Chiefs outrushed New England 185-124. Chiefs QB Alex Smith threw for 368 and four TDs in the come-from-behind win, while Brady threw for 267 yards in the season opener (both men were sacked three times and did not throw an interception). The Chiefs were 4 of 11 on third down conversions and ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 30:14, while the Patriots were 29:46 in time of possession, going 5 of 15 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Kansas City won by 15 in the 2017 season opener, whici allowed them to cover the 9-point spread (New England was favored) and the 48 over/under was easily taken care of, as the two teams would combine for 69 points. New England’s favored by 3 1/2 in Foxboro and the over/under’s 60. Just the fact that these two teams were in the post-season last year and the Chiefs are one of two unbeaten teams makes this contest “DRILL WORTHY!” (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! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), 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 items in question) 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 just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-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 Chiefs are trying to stay unbeaten, while the Pats want revenge from last year’s loss at home. Sorry, New England fans… the revenge plot will have to take a week off. Kansas City may not cover the 3 1/2 but they pull off the upset in Foxboro.

San Francisco (1-4) at Green Bay (2-2-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week six action concludes in the land of beer, cheese and BRatwurst as the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers meet at Lambeau Field, with both teams coming off losses in last week”s action.

San Francisco saw Arizona pick up their first win of the 2018 campaign as the Cardinals broke their four-game losing streak with a 28-18 win at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara. Arizona led 14-6 at the break, then proceeded to outpace the 49ers 14-12 in the final 30 minutes of action. Although they were outrushed by the 49ers 147-56 and C.J. Beathard threw for  349 yards and a pair of TDs, they saw Josh Rosen throw for 170 yards with a TD and forced five San Francisco turnovers (Beathard threw a pair of interceptions and San Francisco fumbled three times) to take the win. Arizona went 2 of 12 on third down tries in wine country and kept the ball for 19:48, while the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball to themselves for 40:12, going 10 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Green Bay dropped a 31-23 decision at Detroit last Sunday. The Packers trailed 24-0 at the intermission in the Motor City but would outscore the Lions 23-7 in the second half. Green Bay outrushed Detroit 98-94 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three TDs, while Lions signal caller Matthew Stafford threw for 183 yards and three TDs (neither threw an interception, Rodgers was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked three times). Green Bay, who fumbled the ball three times at Ford Field, went 3 of 10 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 33:20, while the Lions were 5 of 13 on third down conversions, holding the ball for 26:40.

Green Bay leads the series 31-27-1 (which includes contests that took place in Milwaukee, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park) and have outscored the 49ers 1,210-1,203. Green Bay won the last meeting with San Francisco, taking a 17-3 win at Levis’ Stadium in 2015, while San Francisco’s last win in the series came in 2013 in San Francisco by a final of 34-28.

Prime time has been kind to both clubs and the Packers and 49ers doing quite well on Monday night. San Francisco is 48-25 and is making their first MNF appearance since 2016, while Green Bay is 31-32-1, losing their only prime time appearance last year. Green Bay’s favored by 8 1/2 in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Depending on your point of view, this one might be one worth watching or not. Packers may not cover the 8 1/2 but they take the win at Lambeau.

Four weeks gone.

13 to go.

The NFL heads into the second quarter of the regular season after an exciting Week 4 which saw seven games decided by three points or fewer, including three games in overtime. At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first four weeks of the 2018 season, joining the 1979, 1983 and 2002 seasons as the only campaigns to feature at least one overtime game in each of its first four weeks since the regular-season overtime rule was adopted in 1974.

Five teams – Dallas, Houston, Oakland, Seattle at Tennessee – all pulled rabbits out of their hats and scored game-winning points on the final play of their respective contests last week. Additionally, Cincinnati scored a go-ahead touchdown with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Bengals a 37-36 win over Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last week. This is the first time since Week 3 of the 2012 season (six) that at least six games had the game-winning points scored in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.

Close games and high-powered offenses have highlighted a thrilling first four weeks. Week 5 promises more of the same.

Two of the NFL’s all-time greats at the quarterback position – New England’s TOM BRADY and New Orleans’ Drew Brees – enter Week 5 with their eyes on history.

With 201 passing yards on Monday night against Washington, Brees (71,740 passing yards) can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (71,838) and Peyton Manning (71,940) to become the NFL’s all-time leading passer. In Week 3, Brees (6,344 completions) passed Favre (6,300) for the most completions in league annals.

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (71,740)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brady, who ranks third in NFL history with 500 career touchdown passes and Brees, whose 496 touchdown passes are the fourth-most in league history, can become the third and fourth quarterbacks to throw for at least 500 career touchdown passes, joining Manning (539) and Favre (508). Brady reached the milestone Thursday night in their win over Indianapolis at Gillette Stadium.

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (508)^
Tom Brady – New England (500)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (496)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Through Week 4, passing figures league-wide continue to trend at historic rates, as the marks for completions (2,999), completion percentage (65.4 percent), net passing yards (32,215), touchdown passes (228) and passer rating (94.5) are all the highest in NFL history through the first four weeks of a season.

SEASON – COMPLETIONS
2018 – 2,999
2016 – 2,903

SEASON – COMPLETION PCT.
2018 – 65.4
2014 – 64.3

SEASON – TD PASSES
2018 – 228
2013 – 205

SEASON – NET PASSING YARDS
2018 – 32,215
2016 – 31,616

SEASON – RATING
2018 – 94.5
2014 – 91.5

Veteran signal callers and young quarterbacks on the rise have been performing at a high level from the onset this season.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisbergers, in his 15th season, leads the NFL with 1,414 passing yards, while Rams quarterback JARED GOFF, who is in his third season, ranks second with 1,406 yards. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, who has made five career starts, leads the NFL with 14 touchdown passes through Week 4 with Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatick, Goff and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers tied for second with 11 touchdown passes apiece. Goff (127.3) and Mahomes (126.5) rank first and second, respectively, in passer rating this season with Brees (115.3) following closely behind.

Collectively, 11 quarterbacks have thrown for at least 1,200 yards through Week 4, the most in league history through the first four weeks of a season, surpassing the previous high of seven in 2011. Five quarterbacks – Goff (465 passing yards), Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (464), Oakland’s Derek Carr (437), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins (422) and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan (419) – passed for at least 400 yards last week. There have been 12 individual performances with at least 400 passing yards this season, the most in NFL history through the first four weeks of a sea­son. The five individual 400-yard passing performances in Week 4 were the most in a single week in league annals.

Seven quarterbacks have thrown at least 10 touchdown passes in the first four weeks of the 2018 season, the most in league annals through Week 4. No other season has featured more than four such QBs through Week 4. Ten quarterbacks have a passer rating of at least 100 (minimum 80 attempts), tied with the 2015 season for the most through the first four weeks of a season in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK FIVE

RECORD-SETTING SCORING & CLOSE GAMES: Through Week 4, league-wide scoring continues to trend at a historic rate, as the totals for points scored (3,030), touchdowns (344) and touchdown passes (228) are all the highest in NFL history through the first four weeks of a season.

SEASON – POINTS SCORED
2018 – 3,030
2012 – 2,986

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 344
2015 – 332

SEASON – TOUCHDOWN PASSES
2018 – 228
2013 – 205

While scoring has been up across the league, the games have remained as competitive as ever.

The average margin of victory has been 9.90 points per game, a mark that would be the lowest in a full season in 86 years, since the NFL record was set in 1932 (9.13).

38 games have been decided by eight points or fewer, the most in league history through Week 4.

45 games have been within one score (eight points or fewer) in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-most in league annals through Week 4. In other words, DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has thrown for 71,740 yards during his 18-year NFL career.

With 201 passing yards against the Redskins Monday evening, Brees will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (71,838) and Peyton Manning (71,940) for the most passing yards in league annals.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (71,740
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

New England quarterback Tom Brady ranks third in NFL history with 500 career touchdown passes and defeated Indianapolis Thursday night in Foxobor. Brady and Brees, who ranks fourth with 500 career touchdown passes, joined Manning (539) and Favre (508) as the only players in NFL history to throw 500 career touchdown passes.

The players with the most touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (508)^
Tom Brady – New England (500)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (496)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

GREATEST SHOW ON SURF: The Los Angeles are 4-0 for the first time since 2001 and have scored at least 30 points in each of their first four games of the 2018 season.

With at least 30 points at Seattle Sunday, the Rams would become the fifth team to score at least 30 points in each of their first five games to start a season in NFL history. Three of the previous four teams to accomplish the feat advanced to the Super Bowl.

The teams with the most consecutive games of at least 30 points to start a season in NFL history:

TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 30+ POINTS TO START SEASON)
Denver (2013, 8)#
New England (2007 – 8)#
St. Louis Rams (2000 – 8)
New England (2011 -5)#
Los Angeles Rams (2018 – 4)*
*Active streak
#Advanced to Super Bowl

The Rams, who have at least 500 net yards of offense in each of their past two games, can join the San Diego Chargers (1982) and San Francisco (1998) as the only teams in NFL history with three consecutive games with at least 500 net yards of offense within a single season.

The teams with at least 500 net yards of offense in three consecutive games within a single season in NFL history:

TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 500+ NET YARDS OF OFFENSE)
San Diego Chargers (1982 – 3)
San Francisco (1998 – 3)
Los Angeles Rams (2018 – 2)*
*Active streak

ON TARGET: Kansas City quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes passed for 304 yards and one touchdown in the Chiefs’ Week 4 victory over Denver.

Mahomes, who has a league-leading 14 touchdown passes and zero interceptions this season, needs two touchdown passes without an interception against Jacksonville at Arrowhead to become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 16 touchdown passes without an interception to begin a season.

The players with the most touchdown passes without an interception to start a
season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, TD PASSES WITHOUT INT TO START SEASON)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013, 20)
Nick Foles, Philadelphia (2013, 19)
Alex Smith, Kansas City (2017, 18)
Milt Plum, Cleveland (1960, 16)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018, 14)*
*Active streak

MORE THAN A THIELEN: Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen recorded eight catches for 135 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 and has at least 100 receiving yards in each of the Vikings’ first four games of the season.

Thielen needs 100 receiving yards at Philadelphia on Sunday to become the third player in NFL history with at least 100 receiving yards in each of his team’s first five games to start a season.

The players with the most consecutive team games of at least 100 receiving yards to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE TEAM GAMES WITH 100+ RECIEVING YARDS TO BEGIN SEASON)
Charley Hennigan, Houston Oilers (1961, 7)
Bob Boyd, Los Angeles Rams (1954, 5)
Adam Thielen, Minnesota (2018, 4)*
*Active streak

CATCHING UP WITH JULIO: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones has 614 receptions for 9,556 yards and 43 touchdowns in 99 career games.

Jones, who already holds the record for the most receiving yards by a player in his first 100 career games, needs nine catches on Sunday at Pittsburgh at Heinz Field to surpass Antonio Brown (622) for the most receptions by a player in first 100 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first 100 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (RECEPTIONS IN FIRST 100 CAREER GAMES)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (622)
Anquan Boldin – Arizona and Baltimore (614)
Julio Jones – Atlanta (614)*
*In 99 career games

The players with the most receiving yards in their first 100 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEIVING YARDS IN FIRST 100 CAREER GAMES)
Julio Jones, Atlanta (9,556)*
Lance Alworth, San Diego (9,019)^
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (8,740)
*In 99 career games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

NUMBERS GAME: Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott has 3,040 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns in 29 career games.

Elliott, who leads the NFL with 426 rushing yards in 2018, needs one rushing touchdown on Sunday night at Houston to become the sixth player in league annals with at least 3,000 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns in their first 30 career games.

The players with at least 3,000 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns in their first 30 career games in league annals:

PLAYER – TEAM (RUSHING YARDS/RUSHING TDS)
Jim Brown – Cleveland (3,206/34)^
Earl Campbell – Houston Oilers (3,013/31)^
Clinton Portis – Denver and Washington (3,247/30)
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams (3,600/29)^
Edgerrin James – Indianapolis (3,022/26)
Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas (3,040/24)*
*In 29 career games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Three games – Houston’s 37-34 win at Indianapolis, Tennessee’s 26-23 win against Philadelphia and Oakland’s 45-42 victory over Cleveland – were decided in overtime this week.

At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first four weeks of the 2018 season, joining the 1979, 1983 and 2002 seasons as the only campaigns to feature at least one overtime game in each of its first four weeks.

•Five quarterbacks – the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (465 passing yards), Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (464), Oakland’s Derek Carr (437), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins (422) and Atlanta’s Matt RyanN (419) – passed for at least 400 yards this week.

With two games remaining in Week 4, there have been 12 individual performances with at least 400 passing yards this season, the most in NFL history through the first four weeks of a season. The five individual 400-yard passing performances in Week 4 are the most in a single week in league annals.

•Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed 19 of 26 passes (73.1 percent) for 354 yards and six touchdown passes with no interceptions for a 154.6 passer rating in the Bears’ 48-10 win over Tampa Bay.

Trubisky threw five first-half touchdown passes to five different receivers – Josh Bellamy, Trey Burton, Tarik Cohen, Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson – and became the second quarterback in league history to throw at least five touchdown passes to five different receivers in the first half of a single game. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes to five different receivers in the first half against the Bears on November 9, 2014.

Trubisky, who threw for 289 yards and rushed for 53 yards in the first half, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (December 23, 1991) and Michael Vick (November 15, 2010) as the only players since 1991 with at least 250 passing yards and 50 rushing yards in the first half of a single game.​

•Houston defensive end J.J. Watt recorded two sacks and two forced fumbles in the Texans’ 37-34 overtime victory at Indianapolis.

Watt, who played his 92nd career game Sunday, has 23 games with at least two sacks, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent (23) for the second-most games with at least two sacks by a player in his first 100 career games since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White (29) has more such games in his first 100 career games.

Texans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn converted three field goals, including both a game-tying 29-yard field goal and game-winning 37-yarder in overtime. Fairbairn is the third kicker to convert both a game-tying and game-winning field goal in overtime since the overtime-rule modification in 2012, joining Graham Gano (November 2, 2015 vs. Indianapolis) and Cairo Santos  (November 27, 2016 vs. Denver).

Houston rookie wide receiver Keke Coutee had 11 catches in his NFL debut today, the second-most in league history by a player in his first-career game. Only the Houston Oilers’ Sid Blanks (13 catches on September 12, 1964) had more catches in an NFL debut.

•New England quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 274 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for a 94.2 passer rating in the Patriots’ 38-7 victory over Miami.

With his 55-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Corradelle Patterson in the second quarter, Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass to 70 different receivers in his career, tied with Vinny Testaverde (70) for the most by a player NFL history.

•Colts quarterback Andrew Luck passed for a career-high 464 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 108.5 passer rating and kicker Adam Vinatieri converted two field goals in the Colts’ overtime loss to Houston.

Luck became the 11th quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 450 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in a single game – and the second quarterback to accomplish the feat this week, joining Rams’ quarterback JARED GOFF, who passed for 465 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions against Minnesota on Thursday. Goff and Luck are the first pair of quarterbacks in league history to accomplish the feat in the same week.

Vinatieri, who has 567 career field goals, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen (565) for the most converted field goals in NFL history.

•Other notable highlights from Sunday’s action include:

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton connected on a go-ahead 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver A.J. Green with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Bengals a 37-36 victory at Atlanta.

This is the second time in franchise history that the Bengals recorded a game-winning touchdown pass with under 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the first since October 10, 1999.

◦Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott totaled a career-high 240 scrimmage yards (152 rushing, 88 receiving) and had a touchdown catch in the Cowboys’ 26-24 win over Detroit.

Elliott is the third player in franchise history to record at least 150 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (January 2, 1994) and Herschel Walker (November 15, 1987).

Elliott is the sixth player in league history to record at least 150 rushing yards, 85 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in a winning effort and the first since the Rams’ Steven Jackson (December 24, 2006 vs. Washington).

◦Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had nine catches for 173 yards and rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley had two touchdown receptions in the Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati.

Jones, who appeared in his 99th career game Sunday, has 41 games with at least 100 receiving yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (40) for the most 100-yard receiving games in a player’s first 100 career games in NFL history.

Ridley has six touchdown catches in the Falcons’ first four games of 2018, the most by a rookie in his team’s first four games of a season. Prior to Ridley, only Green Bay’s Billy Howton (1952) had at least five touchdown catches in his team’s first four games of a season.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass in the Giants’ loss to New Orleans.

Manning has 343 career touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (342) for the seventh-most touchdown passes in league history.

◦Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 250 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 97.2 passer rating in the Chargers’ 29-27 win over San Francisco.

Rivers has 51,504 career passing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for the eighth-most passing yards in NFL history.

Week 5 kicked off Thursday night as New England held off Indianapolis and concludes in the Big Easy as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints host Washington on Monday night in prime time. This week’s action also features the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs hosting Jacksonville, the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams traveling to Seattle for an NFC West contest in the Pacific Northwest, a rematch of the 2017 NFC Championship game as the defending Super Bowl champs host the Minnesota Vikings in the City of Brotherly Love and the Sunday night contest is a Lone Star State battle as the Houston Texans host Dallas at NRG Stadium on Sunday night.

As for last week? 10-6. For the season? 34-24, not bad at all. Carolina and Washington return to action from their byes last week, while Tampa Bay and Da Bears are off this week. Here are week five’s Sunday and Monday picks.

ATLANTA (1-3) at Pittsburgh (1-2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Sunday action in week five opens in the Steel City as the Atlanta Falcons travel to the Steel City for a showdown with Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both team enter the Sunday intraconference contest at Heinz Field with losses at home from last week under their respective belts.

The Falcons found themselves in a shootuout with Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday afternoon and came out on the short end of a 37-36 final. Atlanta trailed 28-24 at the break, then chipped away at the Bengals, using a pair of Matt Bryant field goals before taking the lead when Matt Ryan and WR Calvin Ridley connected on their second TD toss of the day to take a 33-28 lead with 14:25 left in regulation. Cincinnati would pull to within two when Randy Bullock connected on a 36-yard field goal and Bryant would respond with a 32-yard try of his own, giving the Falcons a 36-31 lead with 4:15 left in regulation. The Bengals would get the ball back and aided by a pair of Atlanta penalties, used a 16-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:08 and ended with Andy Dalton throwing a 13-yard TD pass to WR A.J. Green to seal Atlanta’s fate. The Bengals outrushed Atlanta 99-92, with Ryan throwing for 419 yards, while Dalton threw for 337 (each man threw three TDs and each was sacked three times with no interceptions). The Bengals were 7 of 12 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:38, while the Falcons were 11 of 15 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs in the Big Peach and kept the ball for 29:22.

Pittsburgh saw Baltimore K Jeff Tucker connect on four second half field goals to break a 14-14 tie at Heinz Field last Sunday night and drop a 26-14 decision to the Ravens. The Steelers were held to a dismal season-low 19 yards of rushing, while the Ravens tallied 96, with Roethlisberger throwing for 274 yards and a TD to WR Antonio Brown, while Joe Flacco threw for 363 yards and a pair of TDs (Flacco was sacked twice, Roethlisberger was sacked once and threw an interception). Pittsburgh was a somewhat dismal 2 of 12 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:57, while the Ravens were ball hawks, holding the pigskin for 35:03, going 8 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Steelers lead the series 13-2-1, have outscored the Falcons 479-303 and have won the last two meetings, including taking a 27-20 win in the Big Peach in 2014, while Atlanta’s last win in the series also came in Atlanta by a final of 41-38 in overtime in 2006. Pittsburgh’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 57 1/2. Both numbers sound reasonable and both teams would like to hit the reset button from last week. Atlanta pulls the road upset and covers the 3.

Tennessee (3-1) at Buffalo (1-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Fresh off an overtime win against the defending Super Bowl champs, the Tennessee Titans head to the shores of Lake Erie for a meeting with the Buffalo Bills in upstate New York.

The Bills were on the outside looking in against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers as they were shut out 22-0 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. Green Bay led 16-0 at the break and then used a pair of Mason Crosby field goals in the second half to seal Buffalo’s fate. While the Packers ran for 141 yards, they held the Bills to 58 yards and sacked QB Josh Allen (151 yards, two interceptions) seven times. Rodgers threw for 298 yards with a TD pass to Jimmy Graham to take the shutout win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. The Packers were 11 of 19 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:37, while the Bills, who kept the ball for 25:23, went 3 of 16 on third down conversions.

Tennessee broke the hearts of Eagles fans last Sunday in Nashville as the defending Super Bowl champs led 23-20 in overtime, only to see Tennessee score on a 10-yard TD pass from Marcus Mariota to WR Corey Davis to take a 26-23 win at Nissan Stadium. Philadelphia led 10-3 at the intermission and 17-10 at the end of three quarters before the Titans rallied in the fourth to take a 20-17 lead with 5:01 left in regulation before Philly’s Jake Elliott connected on a 30-yard field goal with 16 seconds left. Elliott would open the scoring in the overtime, booting a 37-yarder with 6:19 left in the extra period. Tennessee then used all but five seconds of available clock left, mounting a 16-play, 75-yard drive that took 6:14, ending with the Mariota to Davis connection for the game-winner. Philadelphia outrushed Tennessee 117-70 and Carson Wentz threw for 348 yards, while Mariota tallied 344 (both men threw a pair of TDs, Wentz was sacked four times and Mariota sacked three times with an interception). Tennessee was 5 of 15 on third down (they were 3 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:30, while the Eagles were 5 of 15 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 34:25.

Including games played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and at old War Memorial Stadium, the Titans lead the series 27-15 and have outscored the Bills 924-815. Buffalo won the last meeting with Tennessee, taking a 14-13 win in the Music City in 2015, while the Titans’ last win came along the shores of Lake Erie in 2012 by a final of 35-34. Tennessee’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense. Tennessee makes it two in a row and covers the 3 with the win.

Miami (3-1) at Cincinnati (3-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of 3-1 teams meet along the shores of the Ohio River as Miami comes to Cincinnati for a meeting with Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Miami fell from the ranks of the unbeatens after their 38-7 loss to Tom Brady and New England at Foxboro last Sunday. The Patroits scored the first 38 points of the contest unchallenged and the Dolphins trailed 24-0 at thee intermission before finally tallying their lone score in the contest when Frank Gore and Brock Osweiler connected on a 6-yard TD toss with 2:42 left to play. Miami found themselves held to 56 yards rushing, while the Patroits would tally 175 of their own (with Sony Michel leading all rushers with 112 yards and a TD) and Brady throwing for 274 yards and a pair of TD passes. New England was 10 of 16 on third down and held on the ball for 36:22, while the Dolphins were 23:38 in time of possession, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Dalton and the Bengals found themselves in a slugfest last Sunday with Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday afternoon and they would have the final say, coming away 37-36 winners. Cincinnati led 28-24 at the break, then saw the Falcons chip away at the Bengals, using a pair of Matt Bryant field goals before taking the lead when Matt Ryan and WR Calvin Ridley connected on their second TD toss of the day to take a 33-28 lead with 14:25 left in regulation. Cincinnati would pull to within two when Randy Bullock connected on a 36-yard field goal and Bryant would respond with a 32-yard try of his own, giving the Falcons a 36-31 lead with 4:15 left in regulation. Cincinnati then got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff and aided by a pair of Atlanta penalties, used a 16-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:08 and ended with Andy Dalton throwing a 13-yard TD pass to WR A.J. Green to seal Atlanta’s fate. The Bengals outrushed Atlanta 99-92, with Ryan throwing for 419 yards, while Dalton threw for 337 (each man threw three TDs and each was sacked three times with no interceptions). The Bengals were 7 of 12 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:38, while the Falcons were 11 of 15 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs in the Big Peach and kept the ball for 29:22.

Miami leads the series 15-6 (including games played at the old Orange Bowl and Riverfront Stadium) and the ‘Fins have outscored the Bengals 469-365. Cincy won the last meeting with Miami, taking a 22-7 win in Cincinnati in 2016, while Miami took matters into their own fins and came away 22-20 overtime winners in the Sunshine State in 2013. Cincinnati’s favored by 6 at home and the over/under’s 50. Both numbers sound reasonable and both could see action in the post-season. Bengals win at home in Cincy but expect the Dolphins to make things closer than the 6.

Baltimore (3-1) at Cleveland (1-2-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC North rivals meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Baltimore travels to Cleveland for a contest with the Browns and rookie QB Baker Mayfield.

Baltimore got four second half field goals from K Jeff Tucker a 14-14 tie at Heinz Field last Sunday night to come away 26-14 winners against Pittburgh in an AFC North contest in the Steel City. Baltimore held the Steelers to 19 yards of rushing, while the Ravens tallied 96, with Roethlisberger throwing for 274 yards and a TD to WR Antonio Brown, while Joe Flacco threw for 363 yards and a pair of TDs (Flacco was sacked twice, Roethlisberger was sacked once and threw an interception). Pittsburgh was a somewhat dismal 2 of 12 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:57, while the Ravens were ball hawks, holding the pigskin for 35:03, going 8 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Cleveland and Oakland went to a 42-42 tie with 30 seconds left in regulation when Derek Carr and TE Jared Cook connect on a 7-yard TD toss, then saw the Raiders take a 45-42 win in overtime on a 29-yard field goal by Mike McCrane. Cleveland led 17- 14 at the intermission in Mayfield’s first career NFL start, then had its biggest lead at 28-14 with 7:26 left in the 3rd before Oakland would take their first lead of the game with a 19-yard TD toss from Carr (437 yards, 3 sacks) to Jordy Nelson and McCrane would add a field goal for a six point lead with 10:46 left in regulation. Cleveland would not be denied, scoring twice on TD runs from Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb to reclaim the lead and give Browns fans hope of a second win in a row. Those hopes would be shattered thanks to the Carr-Cook combo and the McCrane game-winning field goal. Cleveland outrushed the Raiders 208-139, with Chubb rushing for 105 yards and a pair of TDs, while Raiders RB Mashawn Lynch ran for 130. (Both Mayfield and Carr threw a pair of interceptions; Mayfield accounted for a pair of TDs, Carr threw four; Mayfield was sacked twice, while Carr was sacked three times)

Baltimore leads the series 29-9, the Ravens have outscored Cleveland 892-562 and they have won the last five meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Cleveland’s last win over the Ravens came in 2015 in Charm City, when the Browns needed overtime to come away 33-30 winners).

Week two… first meeting… Charm City. Baltimore pulled out to a 21-7 lead at the break and came away with the 24-10 win. Baltimore outrushed Cleveland 136-93 and Flacco threw for 217 yards and a pair of TDs, while DeShone Kizer (who left the contest with an injury) threw for 182 yards with three interceptions and a pair of sacks (Kevin Hogan, who replaced Kizer, threw for 118 yards and a TD to TE David Njoku with an interception). Baltimore, who took advantage of five Cleveland turnovers (the Browns lost a fumble) went 4 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:24, while the Browns were 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:36.

Baltimore made it a clean sweep of the series and traveled to the shores of Lake Erie, taking a 27-10 win out of Cleveland. Leading 17-10 at the break in the week 15 contest at First Energy Field, Baltimore would go on to add 10 more second half points unchallenged for the win. Cleveland did outrush Baltimore 130-97 but Flacco burned Cleveland for 288 yards in the air with a TD, while Kizer threw for 146 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Browns, victimized by four turnovers, went 5 for 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 23:12, while the Ravens were 7 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:48.

The Ravens covered the 7 1/2-point spread in the week two contest, winning by 14 but the 40 1/2 over/under was intact, as both clubs merged for 34 points. In the week 15 contest, the Ravens’ 17-point win allowed them to cover the 7-point spread but neither team covered the 40 over/under, missing by 3. Baltimore may be on the road but the odds makers like them as 3 point favorites and the over/under’s 47. The Browns have played some pretty decent football of late and they have made some noise in the AFC North, however… Baltimore covers the 3 on the road and takes the win.

Jacksonville (3-1) at Kansas City (4-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of playoff teams from 2017 meet in the Show Me State as Jacksonville takes on the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead.

Jacksonville bounced back from their first loss of the season as they manhandled the New York Jets 31-12 last Sunday at TIAA Bank Field. Leading the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 16-0 at the intermission, the Jaguars would take control of the second half, keeping GangGreen at bay by outscoring them 15-12 in the final 30 minutes of action. Jacksonville outrushed New York 126-34 and Blake Bortles burned the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! for 388 yards and a pair of TDs and an interception, while New York rookie QB Sam Darnold threw for 167 yards and a TD (Darnold was sacked three times, while Bortles was sacked twice). Jacksonville was 6 of 15 on third down (the Jaguars were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:35, while GangGreen was 3 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 22:25.

Kansas City stayed in the ranks of the unbeatens as they rallied at Denver to beat the Broncos 27-23 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Chiefs trailed 13-10 at the break, then proceeded to outscore the Broncos 17-10, with the game-winning score coming with RB Kareem Hunt scoring from a yard out with 1:39 left to play. The winning score was part of an 8-play, 60-yard drive that used 2:56 of clock and saw Pat Mahomes throw a pass with his left hand. Although the Broncos outrushed Kansas City 159-142, Hunt led all rushers with 121 yards and the game-winning TD. As for Mahomes, he threw for 304 yards and a TD to TE Travis Kelce, while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 245 yards and an interception (Keenum was sacked four times, while Mahomes was sacked once.) While the Chiefs were 7 of 15 on third down tries, they were 2 of 2 on fourth down conversions and held the ball for 35:02, while Denver kept the pigskin for 24:58, going 2 of 11 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

While Jacksonville leads the series 6-5, the Chiefs have outscored the Jaguars 240-223 and have taken wins in the last three contests, including a 19-14 win at Arrowhead in 2016, while Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in 2009 in the Sunshine State by a final of 24-21. Kansas City’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 48. Jacksonville’s pretty good but the Chiefs are better. Kansas City covers the 3 and wins in the Show Me State.

Denver (2-2) at New York Jets (1-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of old AFC rivals meet in upstate New Jersey as Denver comes east to take on the New York Jets in the Meadowlands with both clubs taking losses in last week’s action.

Denver to beat the Broncos 27-23 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Chiefs trailed 13-10 at the break, then proceeded to outscore the Broncos 17-10, with the game-winning score coming with RB Kareem Hunt scoring from a yard out with 1:39 left to play. The winning score was part of an 8-play, 60-yard drive that used 2:56 of clock and saw Pat Mahomes throw a pass with his left hand. Although the Broncos outrushed Kansas City 159-142, Hunt led all rushers with 121 yards and the game-winning TD. As for Mahomes, he threw for 304 yards and a TD to TE Travis Kelce, while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 245 yards and an interception (Keenum was sacked four times, while Mahomes was sacked once.) While the Chiefs were 7 of 15 on third down tries, they were 2 of 2 on fourth down conversions and held the ball for 35:02, while Denver kept the pigskin for 24:58, going 2 of 11 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Jets were taken to task by Jacksonville last Sunday in the Sunshine State, as the Jagaurs took a 31-12 win last Sunday at TIAA Bank Field. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! trailed 16-0 at the intermission and the Jaguars would take control of the second half, keeping GangGreen at bay by outscoring them 15-12 in the final 30 minutes of action. Jacksonville outrushed New York 126-34 and Blake Bortles burned the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! for 388 yards and a pair of TDs and an interception, while New York rookie QB Sam Darnold threw for 167 yards and a TD (Darnold was sacked three times, while Bortles was sacked twice). Jacksonville was 6 of 15 on third down (the Jaguars were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:35, while GangGreen was 3 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 22:25.

The Broncos lead the series 19-15-1 (including contests that were played when the Jets were known as the Titans and the Jets played their home games at Shea Stadium), they have outscored the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 854-731 and have won the last three meetings, including a 23-0 win last year in the Mile High City (GangGreen’s last win over the Broncos came in 2010 in Denver by a final of 24-20)

Denver pulled out to a 13-0 lead at the break, then scored their final 10 points of the contest unchallenged to take the win in the Rocky Mountains in week 14. Trevor Siemian threw for 200 yards and a TD to WR Demaryius Thomas, while the Broncos outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 84-59 in the shutout win (the Jets’ Josh McCown threw for 46 yards with four sacks and an interception). Denver was 7 of 17 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 37:35, while the Jets were 3 of 13, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 22:25.

While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were favored by 1 1/2, Denver easily covered with the 23-point win but neither club touched the 41 over/under, as Denver scored all 23 points in the contest. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are favored by a mere two points with the over/under at 43 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams have either been hot or cold. We wouldn’t blame you if you took a pass on this one and did that pre-Christmas shopping done. GangGreen covers the 2 and wins in the Meadowlands.

New York Giants (1-3) at Carolina (3-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Eli Manning vs. Cam Newton. A pair of superstar QBs square off in the Tar Heel State at the Giants square off against the Carolina Panthers.

The Giants enter Sunday’s contest at Bank of America Stadium with a 33-18 loss to New Orleans under their belts. Leading 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Giants saw that lead get away from them as Saints K Will Lutz kicked four field goals in the second to take a 12-7 lead at the intermission. Big Blue would eventually pull themselves to within eight with 3:44 left to play when rookie RB Sequan Barkley scored from a yard out. New Orleans, who outrushed the Giants 170-65, would seal the deal for themselves and seal New York’s fate when Alvin Kamara (134 yards to lead all rushers) scored his third TD of the contest with 2:06 left. Manning threw for 255 yards and a TD to Sterling Shepherd, while Saints signal called Drew Brees threw for 217 yards (Manning was sacked three times, Brees sacked once). The Saints were 5 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31 minutes, while the Giants kept the ball for 29 minutes, going 5 of 10 on third down tries in the Meadowlands.

Carolina comes back to action after their bye week. Before they went on their week-long break, the Panthers manhandled Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals 31-21 at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina and Newton led 21-14 at the intermission, then went on to outscore the Bengals 10-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Newton threw for 150 yards and a pair of TDs, while teammate Collin McCafferty ran for 184 yards (Carolina outrushed the Bengals 230-66) for the win (Dalton threw for 352 yards with a pair of TDs, four interceptions and a pair of sacks). Carolina was 6 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:55, while the Bengals kept the pigskin for 26:05, going 4 of 10 on third down conversions.

Carolina leads the series 5-4 and have outscored Big Blue 247-213, winning their last meeting, taking a 38-35 win in the Meadowlands in 2015, while the Giants’ last win over the Panthers came in 2012 in the Tar Heel State by a final of 36-7. Carolina’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Panthers are finer in Carolina and win this one but Giants make it closer than 7.

Green Bay (2-1-1) at Detroit (1-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. An NFC North rivalry almost as old as football itself draws life in the Motor City as the Matthew Stafford-led Lions host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.

Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers shut down and shut out Buffalo 22-0 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. The Packers scored all of their points in the contest without a challenge and led 16-0 at the break before using a pair of Mason Crosby field goals in the second half to seal Buffalo’s fate. The Packers outrushed Buffalo 141-58 yards, sacked QB Josh Allen (151 yards, two interceptions) seven times, while Rodgers threw for 298 yards with a TD pass to Jimmy Graham to take the shutout win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. The Packers were 11 of 19 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:37, while the Bills, who kept the ball for 25:23, went 3 of 16 on third down conversions.

Detroit dropped a 26-24 heartbreaker at Dallas last Sunday in the final seconds at AT&T Stadium. Dallas led 13-10 at the intermisson before Stafford and the Lions chipped away at the lead, eventually leading 24-23 with 2:17 left when Stafford and WR Golden Tate connected on a 38-yard TD pass. Dallas would then use all of the 2:17 that was available to them, driving 55 yards in nine plays and using a pass play from Dak Prescott (255 yards, two TDs) to RB Ezekiel Elliott to set up a 38-yard field goal by Brett Maher as time expired. Elliott rushed for 152 yards in the thriller at Jerry World as Dallas outrushed the Lions 183-96, while Stafford threw for 307 yards and a pair of TDs (both to Tate). Detroit was 6 of 11 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 29:55, while the Cowboys were 5 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 30:05, including the final 2:17 of the contest.

Including games played at Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and Milwaukee County Stadium, the Packers lead the series 98-70-7 and have outscored the Lions 3,714-3,230. However… the Lions swept the series last year, taking wins in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and in the Motor City (Green Bay’s last win in the series came in 2016, when they took a 31-24 win in the Motor City).

Round one… week nine at Lambeau. The Rodgers-less Packers trailed Detroit 14-3 at the intermisson and took a 30-17 in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. Although Green Bay outrushed Detroit 78-64, Stafford burned the Packers for 361 yards and a pair of TDs, while Brock Hundley threw for 245 yards with three sacks. The Lions were 8 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 36:55, while the Packers were 2 of 9 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the pigskin for 23:05.

That was round one.

Round two?

Week 17 in the Motor City and the Lions made it a sweep of the series and took the 35-11 win at Ford Field in the season finale for both clubs. Detroit led 20-3 at the break and never looked back to take the series. As was the case in the first game, Green Bay outrushed Detroit 103-51 but Stafford burned the Packers for 323 yards and three TDs, while Hundley threw for 172 with a TD, four sacks and a pair of interceptions. Third down tries? Green Bay was 4 of 14 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down), while the Lions were 4 of 12 and the clock was on the side of Green Bay, who held the ball for 31:47 to Detroit’s 28:13.

Detroit’s 13-point win at Lambeau Field allowed them to cover the 2 1/2-point spread and both clubs covered the 43 1/2 over/under in the Monday night affair, tallying 47 points. Detroit also covered the spread in the week 17 contest, winning by 24 (they were favored by 7) and as was the case in the first meeting, the Lions and Packers covered the over/under (43) with 46 points. The oddsmakers in Vegas like the Packers as 1 1/2 point favorites in the Motor City with a 51 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Green Bay gets revenge on their NFC North rivals and covers the 1 1/2 with the win on the road.

Oakland (1-3) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-2), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. It’s another round of an AFC West rivalry that has seen action in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego. The Raiders make the 372-mile trip to southern California for a meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers at Stub Hub Center.

Oakland went to a 42-42 tie with 30 seconds left in regulation with Cleveland last Sunday when Derek Carr and TE Jared Cook connect on a 7-yard TD toss, then take a 45-42 win in overtime on a 29-yard field goal by Mike McCrane. The visiting Browns led 17-14 at the intermission in Mayfield’s first career NFL start, then had its biggest lead at 28-14 with 7:26 left in the 3rd before Oakland, who would give head coach Jon Gruden his first win as a head coach since 2001, would take their first lead of the game with a 19-yard TD toss from Carr (437 yards, 3 sacks) to Jordy Nelson and McCrane would add a field goal for a six point lead with 10:46 left in regulation. Cleveland would not be denied, scoring twice on TD runs from Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb to reclaim the lead and give Browns fans hope of a second win in a row. Those hopes would be shattered thanks to the Carr-Cook combo and the McCrane game-winning field goal. Cleveland outrushed the Raiders 208-139, with Chubb rushing for 105 yards and a pair of TDs, while Raiders RB Mashawn Lynch ran for 130. (Both Mayfield and Carr threw a pair of interceptions; Mayfield accounted for a pair of TDs, Carr threw four; Mayfield was sacked twice, while Carr was sacked three times)

Los Angeles’ Caleb Sturgis was the man of the moment for the Chargers as he connected on a 21-yard field goal late in their contest with San Francisco to give the Chargers a 29-27 win at Stub Hub Center. The 49ers and Chargers took a 17-17 tie with them to the intermission before the Bolts would claim the lead for the first time with 10:35 left in the third quarter on a 6-yard TD toss from Philip Rivers to Melvin Gordon. San Francisco would take the lead back at 26-24 with 12:39 left in regulatoin on a Robbie Gould field goal from 33 yards before Sturgis would give his team the back on a 21-yard try. The Chargers, who would hold off a late 49ers rally in the contest, outrushed San Francisco 126-76, with Rivers throwing for 250 yards and three TDs (TE Antonio Gates had one of them), while C.J. Bethard threw for 298 yards and a pair of TDs (Bethard was sacked once and picked off twice) for San Francisco. The 49ers were 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 27:34, while the Chargers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:26, going 4 of 14 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Including contests that were played in San Diego when the Chargers called Qualcomm Stadium home and Los Angeles when the Silver and Black played at the Coliseum, the Raiders lead the series 62-52-2 and have outscored the Bolts 2,547-2,509. The Chargers swept last year’s contests, winning in Oakland and Los Angeles (Oakland’s last win over the Chargers came in San Diego in 2016 by a final of 19-16).

Nick Novak gave the Chargers a 17-16 win in Oakland in week six to open the series. The Silver and Black led 10-6 at the break and through the end of the third quarter before the Bolts would take control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring Oakland 10-6 in that frame. Oakland would lead 16-14 with 4:09 left in regulation when the Chargers would burn all of the 4:09 that was left as Novak connected on a 32-yard field goal as time expired. The Silver and Black outrushed the Bolts 109-80, with Rivers throwing for 268 yards, while Carr had 171 yards (each man threw a TD pass, Rivers connected with Gordon, Carr with Michael Crabtree; both men were sacked once and Rivers threw an interception) in the first meeting. The Chargers were 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 32:03, while the Raiders were 6 of 12 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down tries, keeping the ball for 27:57.

If one win was good for the Chargers, then another win was better and they swept the series in front of the home folks in week 17. Despite having their playoff hopes dashed, they managed to take control of things at Stub Hub Center, winning 30-10 in Los Angeles. After a scoreless first quarter, the Chargers took a 20-10 lead with them to the intermission, then scored 10 more points in the third quarter without a challenge. The Chargers outrushed the Silver and Black 115-105 with Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch leading the way with 101 in the win and Rivers threw for 387 yards with three TDs and no interceptions, while Carr threw for 243 yards and a TD to Amari Cooper (Carr was sacked twice and picked off once, while Rivers was sacked once). The Chargers were 7 of 13 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:20, while the Raiders held the pigskin for 26:40, going 4 of 11 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down.

While the Raiders were favored by 3 1/2, the Chargers won by a single point in the week six contest and the 53 1/2 over/under was intact as both clubs could tally only 33 points. However… in the week 17 contest in Los Angeles, the Chargers easily covered the 7 1/2-point spread with their 10 win and both clubs barely missed the 43 1/2 over/under by 3 points. The oddsmakers like the Chargers as 5 1/2 point favorites with a 53 1/2 over/under. Granted, these two teams don’t particularly like each other given their history and while the Raiders picked up their first win of the 2018 campaign, the Chargers have flexed some muscle of late. If history has a way of repeating itself, it will favor the Chargers. Oakland will make it closer than the 5 1/2 but the Chargers win at home.

Minnesota (1-2) at Philadelphia (2-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. It’s a rematch in the City of Brotherly Love as the defending Super Bowl champs host the Minnesota Vikings in an NFC Championship rematch at Lincoln Financial Field.

Minnesota went to the West Coast last Thursday against the Los Angeles Rams and came away on the short end of a 38-31 loss at the Coliseum. The Purple Gang trailed 28-17 at the half, then made the contest close with a 45-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins to WR Adam Thielen and a 40-yard field goal from Dan Bailey with 3:46 left in regulation. Los Angeles outrushed Minnesota 100-54 and Rams QB Jarred Goff threw for 465 yards and five TDs, connecting with WR Cooper Kupp on two of the passes, while Cousins threw for 422 yards and three TDs (Adrian Robinson caught two of those tosses) and the Rams’ Todd Gurley led all rushers with 83 yards. The Rams were 1 of 6 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:46, while the Vikings kept the ball for 32:14, going 8 of 16 and 2 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Eagles fans had their hearts broken last Sunday in Nashville as they led 23-20 in overtime, only to see Tennessee score on a 10-yard TD pass from Marcus Mariota to WR Corey Davis to take a 26-23 win at Nissan Stadium. Philadelphia led 10-3 at the intermission and 17-10 at the end of three quarters before the Titans rallied in the fourth to take a 20-17 lead with 5:01 left in regulation before Philly’s Jake Elliott connected on a 30-yard field goal with 16 seconds left. Elliott would open the scoring in the overtime, booting a 37-yarder with 6:19 left in the extra period. Tennessee then used all but five seconds of available clock left, mounting a 16-play, 75-yard drive that took 6:14, ending with the Mariota to Davis connection for the game-winner. Philadelphia outrushed Tennessee 117-70 and Carson Wentz threw for 348 yards, while Mariota tallied 344 (both men threw a pair of TDs, Wentz was sacked four times and Mariota sacked three times with an interception). Tennessee was 5 of 15 on third down (they were 3 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:30, while the Eagles were 5 of 15 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 34:25.

The Vikings lead the regular season series 13-10 and have outscored Philadelphia 543-528. Their last regular season meeting was in 2016 in the City of Brotherly Love and the Eagles were 21-10 winners, while Minnesota’s last win in regular season action took place in the Twin Cities in 2013 by a final of 48-30.

They met in the NFC Championship game last season and the Vikings scored the first seven points of the contest when Case Keenum and Kyle Rudolph connected on a 25-yard TD pass to open the scoring. Philadelphia went on to score their 38 points of their contest unchallenged as they would march on to a 38-7 win to advance to Super Bowl 52. Philadelphia led 24-7 at the intermission and never looked back, taking the win in front of the home crowd at Lincoln Financial Field. Minnesota was outrushed by the Eagles 110-70 and while Keenum did throw for 271 yards and a TD, he would be sacked once and picked off twice. As for Nick Foles, who took over for Wentz, he threw for 352 yards and three TDs with no picks (Philadelphia’s Joseph Ajayi led all rushers with 73 yards). The Eagles, who would go on to win Super Bowl 52 two Sundays later, went 10 of 14 on third down tries and held the ball for 34:04, while the Vikings were 6 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:56.

In the NFC Championship Game in the City of Brotherly Love, the Eagles covered the 3-point spread, winning by 31 and both clubs covered the 38 over/under with 45 points. The oddsmakers like the defending champs as 3-point favorites in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The fact that this is a rematch from last season makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (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! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), 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 items in question) 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 just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-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?”)

Could this be a preview of a playoff rematch? Anything’s possible… but as ESPN’s Chris Berman once said, “that’s why they play the games.” Eagles win this one at home in the City of Brotherly Love but expect the Vikings to make things close.

Arizona (0-4) at San Francisco (1-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in wine country as the 49ers host Arizona at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara. Both clubs took close losses in last week’s action and look to rebound.

Seattle took the Desert Angry Birds to the final seconds of their contest in Glendale with Seattle coming away 20-17 winners, thanks to a 52-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as time expired. Arizona led 10-7 at the break before Seattle would rally to take a 17-10 lead with 60 seconds left in the third quarter. That lead would not last long as Arizona would tie things back up with 8:59 left in regulation when WR Chad Williams and QB Josh Rosen connected on a 22-yard TD strike. That would keep things even until Seattle got the ball back with 1:50 left to play and used all of that 1:50 to go on a 7-play, 31-yard drive which allowed the veteran Janikowski to boot the game winner as time expired. Seattle outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 171-92, with Seahawks RB Mike Davis leading the way with 101 yards and a pair of TDs in the win. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 172 yards and no interceptions (two sacks), while Rosen threw for 180 yards and the lone TD. The Seahawks on third down were 0 for 10 on third down but were 1 of 2 on fourth down tries and held the ball for 31:46 (which included the final 1:50 of the game), while the Cardinals were 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 28:14.

A late San Francsico rally against the Los Angeles Chargers fell short as Chargers K Caleb Sturgis was the man of the moment, connecting on a 21-yard field goal to give the Chargers a 29-27 win at Stub Hub Center. Tied 17-17 tie at the half, the Bolts would claim the lead for the first time with 10:35 left in the third quarter on a 6-yard TD toss from Philip Rivers to Melvin Gordon. San Francisco would take the lead back at 26-24 with 12:39 left in regulatoin on a Robbie Gould field goal from 33 yards before Sturgis would give his team the back on a 21-yard try. The Chargers, who would hold off a late 49ers rally in the contest, outrushed San Francisco 126-76, with Rivers throwing for 250 yards and three TDs (TE Antonio Gates had one of them), while C.J. Bethard threw for 298 yards and a pair of TDs (Bethard was sacked once and picked off twice) for San Francisco. The 49ers were 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 27:34, while the Chargers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:26, going 4 of 14 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

San Francisco leads the series 29-24 (including contests that were played in St. Louis, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park) and have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,204-1,077. On the other side of the coin, the Cardinals have won the last six contests, including sweeping last year’s NFC West contests (San Francisco’s last win over the Desert Angry Birds came in 2014, when they were 20-17 winner in San Francisco).

The first meeting? Week four in Glendale. The Desert Angry Birds would need overtime to take the 18-15 win. The endzone had the day off until 32 seconds left in overtime when WR Larry Fitzgerald scored the contest’s only TD with 32 seconds left in the overtime as San Francisco’s Robbie Gould and Arizona’s Pat Lawson exchanged field goals in the contest that was tied 6-6 at the intermission and 12-12 at the end of regulation as Gould would give the 49ers a 15-12 lead with a 23-yard field goal with 2:24 left before Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer connected on the game-winner. San Francisco outrushed Arizona 95-51 and Palmer threw for 357 yards and the lone TD toss (Palmer was sacked six times, Blaine Hoyer was sacked three times; both threw an interception), while Hoyer threw for 234 yards. Arizona was 5 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 36:15, while the 49ers were 33:13 in time of possession, going 5 of 19 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

For the Cardinals, it was second verse, same as the first. Arizona completed the sweep in week nine, holding off the 49ers to take a 20-10 win in Santa Clara. The Cardinals led 14-3 at the intermission, then kept San Francisco in check in the second half to take the win and the series. Drew Stanton (201 yards) threw a pair of TD passes and Gould chipped in with a pair of field goals for Arizona, while Beathard threw for 294 yards with five sacks and an interception. Arizona easily outrushed the 49ers 167-63, with Cardinals RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 159 yards. The Cardinals were 7 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 36:22, while the 49ers held the pigskin for 23:38, going 6 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week four contest in Glendale, Arizona was favored by 7 but the Cardinals would win up winning by 3. The 44 over/under was untouched as both clubs scored 33 points. In the week nine contest at Santa Clara, the Cardinals covered the 2 1/2-point spread with the 10-point win but the 39 1/2 over/under was intact as both clubs scored 30 points. San Francisco’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 41. If you can take a pass on this one, by all means do so and go to your cousin’s birthday party. 49ers cover the 4 and takes the win in Santa Clara.

Los Angeles Rams (4-0) at Seattle (2-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. The unbeaten Rams travel up the West Coast along I-5, making the 1,137-mile trip north to face off against the Seattle Seahawks in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks with both teams taking close wins last week.

Los Angeles held off a late Minnesota and came away 38-31 winners over Minnesota at the Coliseum. The defending NFC West champs led 28-17 at the half before Minnesota made the contest closer than Rams fans would have liked with a 45-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins to WR Adam Thielen and a 40-yard field goal from Dan Bailey with 3:46 left in regulation. Los Angeles outrushed Minnesota 100-54 and Rams QB Jarred Goff threw for 465 yards and five TDs, connecting with WR Cooper Kupp on two of the passes, while Cousins threw for 422 yards and three TDs (Adrian Robinson caught two of those tosses) and the Rams’ Todd Gurley led all rushers with 83 yards. The Rams were 1 of 6 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:46, while the Vikings kept the ball for 32:14, going 8 of 16 and 2 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Seattle went down to the wire in Glendale against the Desert Angry Birds before leaving the desert 20-17 winners, thanks to a 52-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as time expired. Arizona led 10-7 at the break before Seattle would rally to take a 17-10 lead with 60 seconds left in the third quarter. That lead would not last long as Arizona would tie things back up with 8:59 left in regulation when WR Chad Williams and QB Josh Rosen connected on a 22-yard TD strike. That would keep things even until Seattle got the ball back with 1:50 left to play and used all of that 1:50 to go on a 7-play, 31-yard drive which allowed the veteran Janikowski to boot the game winner as time expired. Seattle outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 171-92, with Seahawks RB Mike Davis leading the way with 101 yards and a pair of TDs in the win. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 172 yards and no interceptions (two sacks), while Rosen threw for 180 yards and the lone TD. The Seahawks on third down were 0 for 10 on third down but were 1 of 2 on fourth down tries and held the ball for 31:46 (which included the final 1:50 of the game), while the Cardinals were 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 28:14.

Seattle leads the series with the Rams 23-16, including contests that were played in St. Louis and have outscored the Rams 834-766. The NFC West foes met twice last season, with each team taking a win in the other team’s stadium.

Their first meeting took place in Los Angeles in week five and the Seahawks broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission, using a pair of Blair Walsh field goals to take the 16-10 win at the Coliseum. Seattle outrushed the Rams 100-62 and wilson threw for 198 yards and a TD to Jimmy Graham, while Goff threw for 288 yards with three interceptions (Wilson was sacked three times, Goff was sacked twice). Seattle was 8 of 17 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 31:16, while the Rams were 8 of 15 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:44.

Los Angeles would get their revenge in week 15 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as they would blow the doors off Seattle’s hopes of winning the NFC West, taking a 42-7 win at Century Link Field. Los Angeles led 34-0 at the intermission and took control of things throughout the game. Los Angeles outrushed Seattle 244-78 and Todd Gurley did damage, rushing for 152 yards and three TDs with Goff throwing for 120 yards and a pair of TDs, while Wilson was sacked seven times, throwing for 142. Los Angeles was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:46, while the Seahawks were 23:14 in time of possession, going 4 of 14 on third down.

In the week five contest in Los Angeles, the Rams were favored by 2 1/2 and the Seahawks covered with the 6-point win. The 46 1/2 over/under was in tact, as both clubs combined for 26 points. The week 15 contest in Seattle saw the Rams cover the 1 1/2 point spread (Seattle was favored) both clubs barely covered the 48 over/under by 1 point. In the late afternoon affair on the West Coast, the Rams are favored by 7 and the over/under’s 51. Seattle would love nothing more than to ruin the Rams’ hope of running the table in the NFC, while the Rams want to stay kings of the NFC West mountain. Long live the king. Los Angeles may not cover the 7 but they take the win in the Pacific Northwest.

Dallas (2-2) at Houston (1-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of Lone Star State foes square off in Houston as the Dallas Cowboys make the 239-mile trip south to face off against the Texans at NRG Stadium.

Dallas got a last-second field goal from K Brett Maher as they edged Detroit 26-24 heartbreaker last Sunday at AT&T Stadium. Dallas led 13-10 at the intermisson before Stafford and the Lions chipped away at the lead, eventually leading 24-23 with 2:17 left when Stafford and WR Golden Tate connected on a 38-yard TD pass. Dallas would then use all of the 2:17 that was available to them, driving 55 yards in nine plays and using a pass play from Dak Prescott (255 yards, two TDs) to RB Ezekiel Elliott to set up a 38-yard field goal by Maher as time expired. Elliott led all rushers as he ran for 152 yards in the thriller at Jerry World, while as Dallas outrushed the Lions 183-96. Detroit’s Matthew Stafford threw for 307 yards and a pair of TDs (both to Tate). Detroit was 6 of 11 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 29:55, while the Cowboys were 5 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 30:05, including the final 2:17 of the contest.

Houston used a pair of Ka’imi Fairbairn field goals in overtime to take a 38-34 win over Indianpolis and Andrew Luck in the Hoosier State last Sunday. Houston took a 21-10 lead with them to the half, before Indianapolis would rally to pull even with 45 seconds left in regulation when Luck and rookie RB Nyheim Hines connected on a 9-yard TD toss. The Colts, who were outrushed by the Texans 119-41, scored first in the overtime on a 44 yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri to take a 3-point lead. That lead would not last very long as Fairbairn connected on a 29-yard field goal with 1:50 left in the period. Houston then got the ball back after a Colts punt and the Texans used all 24 seconds left and took the win when Fairbairn connected on a 37-yard field goal as time expired to pick up their first win of the season. Houston’s DeShaun Watson threw for 375 yards with a pair of TD but was sacked seven times, while Luck was sacked four times. Indy was 10 of 17 on third down (the Colts were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:56, while the Texans kept the ball for 40:04, going 8 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series with their Lone Star rivals 3-1 and they have outscored Houston 91-55. Houston’s lone win in the series came in their first meeting, a 19-10 home victory at then-Reliant Stadium in 2002, while Dallas has won the last three contests, taking a 20-17 win in Arlington in 2014. Houston’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it might be a good one to watch. Texans win this one but expect Dallas to make it closer than the 3 1/2.

Washington (2-1) at New Orleans (3-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week five closes out in the Big Easy as the Saints and Redskins meet in the great indoors.

Washington returns to action after their bye week and a 31-17 win over Green Bay in Landover. The Redskins led 28-10 at the break and held off a late Green Bay rally to take the win. Redskins RB Adrian Peterson ran for 120 yards and a pair of TDs as Washington outrushed Green Bay 166-100 but Aaron Rodgers outpaced Alex Smith, as Rodgers threw for 265 yards, while Smtih threw for 220 yards for the win (Rodgers was sacked four times and both men threw a pair of TDs, with Smith throwing an interception). Green Bay was 6 of 12, 0 of 2 on third and fourth down conversions and actually ruled the clock as kept the ball for 30:55, while Washington was 5 of 11 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 29:05.

The Saints survived a scare from the New York Giants in the Meadowlands last Sunday and came away from Met Life Stadium with the 33-18 win under their belts. Erasing a 7-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter, New Orleans took the lead for keeps as Saints K Will Lutz kicked four field goals in the second to take a 12-7 lead at the intermission. The Giants would pull themselves to within eight with 3:44 left to play when rookie RB Sequan Barkley scored from a yard out. New Orleans, who outrushed the Giants 170-65, restored order and would seal the deal for themselves and seal New York’s fate when Alvin Kamara (134 yards to lead all rushers) scored his third TD of the contest with 2:06 left. Manning threw for 255 yards and a TD to Sterling Shepherd, while Saints signal called Drew Brees threw for 217 yards (Manning was sacked three times, Brees sacked once). The Saints were 5 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31 minutes, while the Giants kept the ball for 29 minutes, going 5 of 10 on third down tries in the Meadowlands.

Washington leads the series 17-9 and the Redskins have outscored the Saints 640-514. They met last year in the Big Easy and the Saints needed overtime to take the 34-31 win (Washington’s last win over New Orleans came in 2015 in Lanover, with the Redskins prevailing 47-14). In the week 11 contest in the Big Easy, Washington led  17-13 at the half, then took a 24-13 lead with them to the end of the 3rd quarter before the Saints would get a pair of TD passes from Brees (one to TE Josh Hill, the other to RB Alvin Karama) to tie things up. After the Kamara score that came with 65 seconds left, Washington got the ball back and came close to setting up a game-winning field goal, when QB Kirk Cousins completed his first three passes for a total of 41 yards to advance Washington to the New Orleans 34-yard line. However, Cousins and the Redskins were then assessed an intentional grounding penalty along with a ten second runoff that backed them up to the 44 on the next play. On the final play of regulation, S Vonn Bell sacked Cousins for a nine-yard loss, which burned the time that was left in regulation, sending the contest into overtime.  Washington won the coin toss in overtime and took the ball first but New Orleans forced a quick three-and-out and after a Washington punt, the Saints would use a 3-play, 51-yard drive that used 1:29 of clock to give K Will Lutz a chance to win the game for the home team. Lutz did not disappoint, connecting on a 28-yard field goal to send Saints fans home happy.

NeW Orleans outrushed Washington 160-156, with Mark Ingram leading all rushers with 134 yards, while Washington’s Samaje Perine rushed for 117 yards in the contest (both men scored a TD) in the overtime affair. Brees threw for 385 yards with a pair of sacks, while Smith threw for 322 yards in the game (Smith threw three TDs to Brees’ two, both men were sacked twice and Brees threw an interception). Both clubs were 4 for 12 on third down tries and on fourth down conversions, Washington was 2 of 2, while the Saints were 1 for 1. Washington did rule the clock and kept the ball for 32:11, while New Orleans kept it for 30:24.

Prime time has not exactly been kind to either team; the Saints are 18-22 (New Orleans was 0-1 in their only MNF contest last year), while Washington is 28-42, going 0-2 in their two Monday night affairs last year.

The Saints in their week 11 contest in the Big Easy were favored by 7 1/2 but won by three. That was the bad news. The good news? Both teams covered the 51 over/under by tallying 65 points. In the Monday night affair in the Big Easy, the Saints are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 52 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. You might want to consider taping “Magnum PI” and “Bull” this week. Hail to the Redskins! Washington pulls the upset on the road and takes the win but won’t cover the 6 1/2.

Indianapolis (1-3) at New England (2-2), 8:20 p.m. on FOX, Amazon and NFL Network. Luck vs. Brady. Week five gets underway in Foxboro as New England hosts the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium. The AFC teams open play coming into Thursday’s contests from opposite directions.

Last week, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck passed for a career-high 464 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 108.5 passer rating in the team’s 37-34 overtime loss to Houston. Luck became the 11th quarterback in league history to pass for at least 450 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in a single game. Indianapolis rookie linebacker Darius Leonard leads the NFL with 54 tackles and is the only player since at least 2000 with at least 50 tackles (54) and four sacks (four) in his team’s first four games of a season. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, who has 567 career field goals, converted two field goals in Week 4 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen (565) for the most field goals in league history. Trailing the Texans 21-10 at the half, Indianapolis would rally to pull even with 45 seconds left in regulation when Luck and rookie RB Nyheim Hines connected on a 9-yard TD toss. The Colts, who were outrushed by the Texans 119-41, scored first in the overtime on a 44 yard field goal by Vinatieri to take a 3-point lead. That lead would not last very long as K Ka’imi Fairbairn connected on a 29-yard field goal with 1:50 left in the period. Houston then got the ball back after a Colts punt and the Texans used all 24 seconds left and took the win when Fairbairn connected on a 37-yard field goal as time expired. Houston’s DeShaun Watson threw for 375 yards with a pair of TD but was sacked seven times, while Luck was sacked four times. Indy was 10 of 17 on third down (the Colts were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:56, while the Texans kept the ball for 40:04, going 8 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Tom Brady passed for 274 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for a 94.2 passer rating and Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel rushed for 112 yards and his first-career touchdown in New England’s 38-7 victory over AFC East foe Miami in Week four, knocking them out of the ranks of the unbeatens. With his 55-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the second quarter last week, Brady connected on a touchdown pass with the 70th different receiver of his career, tied with Vinny Testaverde (70) for the most in NFL history. Brady, who ranks third in NFL history with 497 career touchdown passes, can join Peyton Manning (539) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (508) as the only quarterbacks in league history with at least 500 touchdown passes. Running back James White, who rushed for a touchdown and had one touchdown catch in Week 4, leads all NFL running backs with 15 touchdown catches and ranks third with 1,583 receiving yards since 2015. New England, who scored the first 38 points of their contest in Foxboro unchallenged, held Miami to 56 yards rushing, while tallying 175 of their own (with Michel leading all rushers). New England was 10 of 16 on third down and held on the ball for 36:22, while the Dolphins were 23:38 in time of possession, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New England leads the series 47-28 (which includes contest that were played at Fenway Park and Memorial Stadium when the Colts were in Baltimore), the Patriots have outscored Indy 1,835-1,429 and have won the last five meetings, including a 34-27 win in Indy in 2015, while the Colts’ last win in the series came in 2009 in the Hoosier State by a final of 35-34. The Pats are favored by 10 1/2 in the Thursday night opener and the over/under’s 51 1/2. The Colts are trying to get out of the AFC South cellar, while the Pats are looking to knock the Dolphins off the top of the AFC East mountain. Pats win this one but the Colts make this closer than the 10 1/2.

Broadcast Information – 8:20 p.m. on FOX/NFLN/Amazon: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field Reporter), Kristina Pink (Field reporter); National Radio: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli; Sirius: 81 (Indianapolis), 83 (New England); XM: 226 (Indianapolis), 225 (New England)

Referee: Shawn Hochuli

Injury Report

Indianapolis
OUT: TE John Doyle (Hip), T Denzelle Good (Not Injury Related), WR Eugene Hilton (Chest), CB Kenny Moore (Concussion), DT Hassan Ridgeway (Calf), CB Quincy Wilson (Concussion), RB Marlon Mack (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Darius Leonard (Ankle), K Adam Vinatieri (Right Groin), T Anthony Castonzo (Hamstring), S Clayton Geathers (Knee), CB Nathan Hairston (Ankle), C Ryan Kelly (Hand)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: TE Rob Gronkowski (Ankle), CB Nelson Rowe (Groin), DT Adam Butler (Knee), WR Josh Gordon (Hamstring), DE Geneo Grissom (Ankle), TE Jacob Hollister (Chest), LB Elandon Roberts (Calf), DT Danny Shelton (Elbow)

Weather – Mostly cloudy and 65 degrees

Broadcast Information and Injury Report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel. (Note: Weather information is based on kickoff local time) 

As the NFL wraps up the first quarter of the 2018 season, three undefeated teams remain – Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams and Miami – all stand at 3-0. But as they say, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish and while a fast start helps, it does not guarantee you a trip to the postseason. Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 102 of the 138 teams (73.9 percent) to start 3-0 have qualified for the postseason. Last season, the Falcons and Chiefs both qualified for the postseason after starting 3-0.

Fourteen teams enter Week 4 with a sub-.500 record but hope still remains. Since 1990, 74 teams with a losing record after the first three games made the playoffs, including the 2017 New Orleans Saints, who became the first team in the Super Bowl era to win its next eight games immediately following an 0-2 start.

As the league enters the quarter turn, quarterbacks across the NFL continue to shine. Entering Week 4, league-wide passing numbers continue to trend at a record pace, as the marks for completions (2,248), completion percentage (65.5 percent), touchdown passes (168) and passer rating (93.2) are all the highest in NFL history through the first three weeks of a season.

SEASON – COMPLETIONS
2018 – 2,248
2016 – 2,202

SEASON – COMPLETION PCT.
2018 – 65.5
2015 – 64.6

SEASON – TD PASSES
2018 – 168
2015 – 157

SEASON RATING
2018 – 93.2
2015 – 91.1

Through Week 3, nine quarterbacks have a passer rating of at least 100 (min. 60 attempts), tied with the 2015 and 2008 seasons for the most in NFL history through three weeks of a season. There have been 42 individual performances, including 15 last week, with a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimunm of 15 attempts) through Week 3, the most in league annals through the first three weeks of a season. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes has a 137.4 passer rating through Week 3, the third-highest mark in NFL history by a quarterback through the first three weeks of a season, trailing only Tom Brady (141.8 in 2007) and Randall Cunningham (141.2 in 1992).

Six quarterbacks have completed at least 70 percent of their passes (min. 60 attempts) through the first three weeks of the season, the second-most in league history through Week 3, trailing only the 2015 season (seven). New Orleans’ quarterback Drew Drees leads the NFL with an 80.6 completion percentage, the highest ever by a quarterback through Week 3. Oakland’s Derek Carr (76.6 percent) has the fourth-highest completion percentage through the first three weeks of a season in league history.

As familiar faces continue to excel across the league, a new wave of quarterbacks is set to take the stage. Four rookie QBs are expected to start in Week 4 – Arizona’s Josh Rosen (first-career start), Buffalo’s Josh Allen, Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield (first-career start) and the New York Jets’ Sam Darnold. This marks the fourth time in the Super Bowl era (excluding the 1987 season) that at least four rookie quarterbacks will have started a game in the first four weeks of a season, joining the 2016 (four), 2012 (five) and 1971 (five) seasons.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 4

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Six active quarterbacks – New Orleans’ Drew Brees, New England’s Tom Brady, the Los Angeles Chargers’ PHILIP RIVERS, the New York Giants’ Eli  Manning, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers – rank in the top 10 in NFL history in passing touchdowns.

Brees needs four touchdown passes to become the third player in league annals with 500 career touchdown passes, joining PEYTON MANNING (539) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (508).

Manning, who faces off against Brees and the Saints on Sunday, needs one touchdown pass to break a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (342 touchdowns) and move into sole possession of seventh place on the league’s all-time touchdown passes list.

The players with the most touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (508)^
Drew Brees – San Diego amd New Orleans – (496)*
Tom Brady – New England (494)*
Dan Marino – Miami (420)^
Philip Rivers – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (350)*
Eli Manning – New York Giants (342)*
Fran Tarkenton – Minnesota amd New York Giants (342)^
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (336)*
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (319)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Five active quarterbacks – Brees, Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger and Rivers – rank in the top 10 in league history in passing yards.

With 316 passing yards against the Giants, Brees will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (71,838) for the second-most passing yards in league annals.

With 222 passing yards on Sunday against San Francisco on Sunday, Rivers will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for the eighth-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (71,523)*
Tom Brady – New England (66,803)*
Dan Marino – Miami (61,361)^
Eli Manning – New York Giants (52,482)*
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (52,205)*
John Elway – Denver (51,475)^
Philip Rivers – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (51,254)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

LIKE A FINE WINE: Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri has made 565 career field goals during his 23-year career. With his next converted field goal, Vinatieri will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen (565) for the most made field goals in NFL history.

The players with the most career made field goals in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER FIELD GOALS
Morten Andersen – New Orleans, Atlanta, New York Giants, Kansas City and Minnesota (565)^
Adam Vinatieri – New England and Indianapolis (565)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Vinatieri is the only player in NFL history to make at least 250 field goals with two different teams, converting 263 with New England (1996-2005) and 302 with Indianapolis (2006-present).

THREE’S COMPANY: Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 411 yards and three touchdowns Week 3, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for at least 400 yards in three consecutive games.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 24 of 38 attempts (63.2 percent) for 314 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 115.5 passer rating in the Chiefs’ Week 3 victory over San Francisco. Mahomes has 13 touchdowns passes through the Chiefs first three games this season, the most by a player in his team’s first three games to start a season in NFL history.

Fitzpatrick and Mahomes, who have both thrown at least three touchdown passes in each of their team’s first three games of the season, can join TOM BRADY (2007) and Pro Football Hall of Famers STEVE YOUNG (1998) and KURT WARNER (1999) as the only players in NFL history to throw at least three touchdown passes in each of their team’s first four games to begin a season.

The players with the most consecutive games of at least three touchdown passes to begin their team’s season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 3+ TD PASSES TO BEGIN SEASON)
Tom Brady, New England (2017, 10)#
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998, 5)^
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (1999, 4)^#
Many tied with 3
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay (2018, 3)*
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018, 3)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named MVP

BETTER TOGETHER: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisbergerwere both named Offensive Player of the Week in their respective conferences after leading their teams to victory in Week 3.

Among active head coach and quarterback tandems, the Saints duo of Sean Payton and Brees and the Steelers combination of Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger have each recorded 107 regular-season wins together.

With their next respective victories, the duos would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw (107) for the third-most wins by a head coach and quarterback tandem in NFL history.

The head coach and quarterback tandems with the most wins in NFL history:

TEAM – HEAD COACH AND QUARTERBACK (REGULAR SEASON WINS)
New England – Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (197)*
Miami – Don Shula and Dan Marino (116)^
Pittsburgh – Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw (107)^
New Orleans – Sean Payton and Drew Brees (107)*
Pittsburgh – Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger (107)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SHAKE AND BAKER: Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, the number 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, completed 17 of 23 attempts (73.9 percent) for 201 yards and caught a two-point conversion while leading Cleveland to their first win of the season in his NFL debut last week.

Mayfield is slated to make his first-career start on Sunday at Oakland and can join David Carr (2002), Michael Vick (2001), Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY (1983) and Jim Plunkett (1971) as quarterbacks selected number 1 overall in the Super Bowl era to win their first-career start. Of the four quarterbacks taken number 1 overall to win their first career start, Elway was the only QB to accomplish the feat on the road.

The quarterbacks selected number 1 overall in the Super Bowl era with the highest passer ratings in their first-career start:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – PASSER RATING)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011 – 110.4)
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati (2003 – 105.2)
JaMarcus Russell, Oakland (2007 – 91.3)
Jeff George, Indianapolis (1990 – 88.9)
Jim Plunkett, New England (1971 – 82.5)

The quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall in the Super Bowl era with the most passing yards in their first-career start:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – PASSING YARDS)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011 – 422)
Vinny Testaverde, Tampa Bay (1987 – 369)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (2012 – 309)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (1998 – 302)
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (2010 – 253)

LIKE MIKE: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded 10 receptions for 129 yards in the Saints’ Week 3 overtime win at Atlanta. Thomas has 38 receptions in the Saints’ first three games of the season, the most by a player in his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history and has recorded at least 10 receptions in every game this season.

With 10 receptions at the New York Giants on Sunday, Thomas can join Calvin Johnson (four games in 2012) as the only players in NFL history to record at least 10 receptions in four consecutive games.

The players with the most consecutive games of at least 10 receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 10+ RECEPTIONS)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (2012 – 4)
Many tied with 3
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2018 – 3)*
*Active streak

KEEP IT 100: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley had 117 scrimmage yards (82 rushing, 35 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the Giants’ Week 3 victory at Houston. Barkley has totaled at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first three career games.

With 100 scrimmage yards on Sunday against New Orleans, Barkley can become the fifth player in NFL history to record at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first four career games.

The players with the most consecutive games of at least 100 scrimmage yards to begin their career in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS TO BEGIN CAREER)

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (2017 – 7)
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (2007 – 5)
Billy Sims, Detroit (1980 – 4)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (2001 -4)^
Many tied with 3
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018 – 3)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY

•New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees completed 39 of 49 passes (79.6 percent) for 396 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 120.7 passer rating and rushed for two touchdowns in the Saints’ 43-37 overtime victory at Atlanta.

Brees, who has 6,326 completions in his 18-year NFL career, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (6,300) for the most completions in NFL history.

Brees became the first player in NFL history with at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns without an interception in a single game.

Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas had 10 catches for 129 yards in the win. Thomas has 38 catches through three games in 2018, the most by a player in his team’s first three games of a season in league history. Thomas is the first player in NFL history to record at least 10 catches in each of his team’s first three games to start a season.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara had a career-high 15 catches for 124 yards and rushed for 66 yards in the win. Kamara’s 15 receptions tied William Andrews (November 15, 1981) and Rickey Young (December 16, 1979) for the second-most catches by a running back in a single game in NFL history. Only Clark Gaines (17 on September 21, 1980) recorded more catches as a running back in a single game in league annals.

•Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 314 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 115.5 passer rating in the Chiefs’ 38-27 win against San Francisco.

Mahomes has 13 touchdown passes in the Chiefs’ first three games of the season and surpassed Peyton Manning (12 in 2013) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history.

The Chiefs, who scored 38 points in Week 1 and 42 points in Week 2, are the third team in league history to score at least 38 points in each of their first three games of a season. The 2007 New England Patriots and 1967 Baltimore Colts are the only other teams to accomplish the feat.

•Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff completed 29 of 36 (80.6 percent) for 354 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 123.8 passer rating in the Rams’ 35-23 win against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Goff, who threw for 354 yards and completed 75 percent of his passes (24 of 32) in Week 2, is the third quarterback in league history with at least 350 passing yards and a completion percentage of 75 or higher in consecutive games. Kansas City’s Trent Green accomplished the feat in consecutive games in Weeks 8-9 of the 2004 season and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, who plays Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football in Week 3, has thrown for at least 350 yards with a completion percentage of at least 75 in each of the Buccaneers’ first two games of the 2018 season.

•Miami wide receiver Albert Wilson threw a 52-yard touchdown pass and caught a 74-yard touchdown pass in the Dolphins’ 28-20 win against Oakland.

Wilson is the fourth player in league history to throw a touchdown pass of at least 50 yards and have a touchdown reception of at least 50 yards in the same game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jimmy Conzelman (December 9, 1923), Tom Tracy  (September 24, 1960) and David Patten (October 21, 2001).

•Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins’ 31-17 victory over Green Bay.

Peterson has 102 career rushing touchdowns and moved into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time rushing touchdown leaderboard.

Peterson, who has 25 career games with at least two rushing touchdowns, tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, Shaun Alexander and Priest Holmes for the fourth-most games in NFL history with at least two rushing touchdowns. The three players with more such games are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: La Danaian Tomlinson (38 games), Emmitt Smith (36) and Jim Brown (27).

•Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had two touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns in the Panthers’ 31-21 win against Cincinnati.

Newton has 57 career rushing touchdowns – the most by a quarterback in NFL history – and has three career games with at least two touchdown passes and at least two rushing touchdowns, the second-most in league annals. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (four) has more such games in NFL history.

•Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs recorded 1.5 sacks and kicker Justin Tucker connected on two 52-yard field goals in the Ravens’ 27-14 win over Denver.

Suggs, who has 128 sacks in his 16-year career with the Ravens, has the fifth-most sacks by a player with a single team since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. The four players to record more sacks with a single franchise are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Bruce Smith (171 sacks with Buffalo), Michael Strahan (141.5 with the New York Giants), Lawrence Taylor (132.5 with the New York Giants) and Jason Taylor (131 with Miami).

Tucker has six-career games with multiple converted field goals of at least 50 yards, the most such games by a player in NFL history.

Last week, we went 9-7 (for the season, 34-18) and while that’s not great, it means that we’ve gone .500 or better for the 30th consecutive week in a row. Carolina and Washington have byes this week and return to action next week. Week 4 kicked off on Thursday night as Los Angeles Rams remained unbeaten, defeating Minnesota on the West Coast and concludes in Denver as a pair of AFC West foes square off as Denver hosts the Kansas City Chiefs in prime time.

Cincinnati (2-1) at ATLANTA (1-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Week four Sunday afternoon action gets underway in the Big Peach as Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals travel to Atlanta to meet Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon affair with losses under their belts.

The Bengals fell out of the ranks of the unbeatens after their 31-21 loss to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte last Sunday afternoon. Although they trailed 21-14 in the Tar Heel State at the break, Newton and the Panthers would pull away in the second half as they would outscore the Bengals 10-7. Newton, sacked once, threw for 150 yards with a pair of passing TDs and a pair of rushing TDs, while RB Christian McCaffrey ran for 184 yards (the Panthers outrushed Cincinnati 230-66) in the win. Dalton threw for 352 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked twice and picked off four times. Carolina was 6 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:55, while the Bengals kept the ball for 26:05, going 4 of 10 on third down conversions.

Atlanta went through a back and forth battle with NFC South foe New Orleans last Sunday in the Big Peach and came out on the short of a 43-37 overtime loss to the Saints.  Atlanta trailed 16-14 at the intermission and actually rallied to take a 37-30 lead with 6:58 left in regulation thanks to Ryan tossing a 5-yard TD strike to WR Mohammaed Sanu. That lead would not last long as Saints QB Drew Brees tied things up at 37-37 with 75 seconds left on a 5-yard scamper into the endzone. The Saints then won the toss to start the overtime and made sure that Ryan and the Falcons would not get the ball back, going on a 15- play, 80 yard drive that used 7:05 of clock and ended with Brees scoring from a yard out. New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 143-48 and Brees threw for 396 yards and three TDs, while Ryan (sacked three times) threw for 374 yards and five TDs, connecting with rookie WR Calvin Ridley on three of those tosses (Ridley finished with seven catches for 146). Atlanta was 4 of 11 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:20, while the Saints went 7 of 14 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, holding on to the ball for 37:45, including the overtime.

The Bengals hold an 8-5 lead in the series and have outscored Atlanta 310-276. Cincinnati won the last meeting, taking a 24-10 win along the shores of the Ohio River in 2014, while Atlanta’s last win came in the Big Peach by a final of 39-32 in 2010 at the old Georgia Dome. Atlanta’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Both teams would like to bounce back from their losses from last week. Atlanta will bounce a little higher Sunday in the Big Peach. Falcons may not cover the 6 but they take the win at home.

Buffalo (1-2) at Green Bay (1-1-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. It’s wings vs. Bratwurst as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers host Buffalo at Lambeau Field in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst.

Buffalo comes to Green Bay with a 27-6 win over Minnesota at US Bank Stadium under their belts. The Bills outrushed Minnesota 128-14 and led 27-0 at the intermission before the Vikings tallied their only points of the contest with 2:59 left to play when Kirk Cousins and KYle Rudolph connected on a 4-yard TD pass (Minnesota missed the extra point). Buffalo on third down tries in the Land of 10,000 Lakes went 4 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 35:45, while the Vikings kept the ball for 24:15, going 5 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down in the loss.

Rodgers and the Packers struggled against Washington last Sunday in Landover, falling to the Redskins 31-17 at FedEx Field. Green Bay trailed 28-10 at the intermission, although they would outscore Washington in the second half by a 7-3 margin. Washington outrushed Green Bay 166-100, with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 120 yards and a pair of TDs. Rodgers, despite being sacked four times, threw for 265, while Alex Smtih threw for 220 (both men threw a pair of TDs, with Smtih throwing the lone interception in the contest). Green Bay went 6 of 14 on third down in Landover (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:55, while Washington kept the ball for 29:05, going 5 of 11 on third down conversions.

Buffalo leads the series 8-4 and the Bills have outscored Green Bay 258-212. The Bills won the last meeting, which took place in upstate New York in 2014, as they would circle the wagons and come away 21-13, while Green Bay’s last win in the series took place in 2010 at Lambeau by a final of 34-7.  Green Bay’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 45. The 45 is reasonable. The 10? A bit steep. Buffalo will give Green Bay problems at Lambeau and while the Packers won’t cover, they will take the win at home.

Houston (0-3) at Indianapolis (1-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC South rivals square off in the Hoosier State as Houston travels to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts.

Trailing the New York Giants throughout their contest at NRG Stadium last Sunday, the Texans fell to Eli Manning and Big Blue 27-22 in the Lone Star State. Trailing 20-6 at halftime, the Texans eventually did manage to pull to within five on a 4-yard TD toss from DeShaun Watson (385 yards) to RB Lamar Miller with :01 second left. Houston was outrushed by the Giants 114-59 (Saquon Barkley led all rushers with 82 yards and a TD), while Manning threw for 297 yards in the contest (both men threw a pair of TDs, Watson was sacked three times and picked off once, Manning was sacked four times). The Giants were 7 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 35:30, while the Texans, who kept the ball for 24:30, went 5 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts are coming back to Indiana after they were taken to task by Philadelphia 20-16 at Lincoln Financial Field. Trailing 10-3 at the half, the Colts would eventually take the lead with 14:20 left in regulation when K Adam Vinatieri nailed a 28-yard field for a 16-13. Luck and the Colts then watched the Eagles burn as much time as they could off the clock, using an 17-play, 75-yard drive that took 11:18 of clock to give the defending Super Bowl champs the lead back for keeps when Wendell Smallwood scored with 3:02 left from a yard out. The Colts had one final chance to come away with the road win but their final drive was stalled at their 46-yard line. Philadelphia outrushed Indianapolis 152-68 and Carson Wentz, making his first start in over a year, threw for 255 yards, while Luck threw for 164 yards (both threw a TD pass in the contest, Wentz was sacked five times, Luck was sacked twice). The Colts were 2 of 12 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down tries) and held the ball for 19:40, while the Eagles were stingy with the clock and the ball, keeping it for 40:20, while going 6 of 14 on third down.

Indy leads the series 25-7 and the Colts have outscored the Texans 833-619. The Colts swept the series last year, taking wins in the Hoosier State and the Lone Star State (Houston’s last win over the Colts came in 2016, when they swept the series that year).

The first meeting took place in Houston in week nine and the Colts came away 20-14 winners at NRG Stadium. The Colts led 10-7 and the half and Jacoby Brissett threw for 308 yards and a pair of TDs, while Tom Savage threw for 219 yards and a TD (Brissett was sacked three times, Savage sacked twice). The Texans outrushed Indy 94-92 and each team fumbled the ball once. Both clubs were 4 of 14 on third down (the Texans were 0 of 1 on fourth) and the Colts kept the ball for 30:59 to Houston’s 29:01.

Indy made it a clean sweep of the series in the season finale at Lucas Oil Stadium, coming away 22-13 winners. Erasing a 13-7 deficit at the half, the Colts scored the final 15 points of the contest without a challenge. Indy outrushed Houston 146-85, with Colts RB Frank Gore leading the way with 100 yards on the ground. The Colts were 6 of 13 on third down in the Hoosier State and held on to the ball for 31:13, while the Texans kept the ball for 28:47, going 5 of 11 on third down conversions.

In the week nine contest, the Texans were favored by 7 but the Colts won by only 6. The 45 1/2 over/under was safe, as both teams could only muster 34 points. Indy covered the 3 1/2-point spread, winning by 9 but both teams missed the 41 over/under by 6 points. The oddsmakers like the Colts as a 2-point favorite in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Houston’s trying to win their first game, while the Colts are looking to pull even. Houston gets win number one and pulls the upset n the Hoosier state, covering the 2 on the road.

Miami (3-0) at New England (1-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in Foxboro as the unbeaten Dolphins and New England meet at Gillette Stadium,

The unbeaten Dolphins rallied in the final seconds in the Sunshine State against Oakland, scoring twice in the final quarter against the Raiders to take a 28-20 win at Hard Rock Stadium. The Raiders led 17-14 with 55 seconds left in the third quarter when Miami went on their scoring rampage in the third when WR Jakeem Grant caught TD passes from QB Ryan Tannehill and WR Albert Wilson to take an eight-point lead. Oakland would eventually make it an 8-point contest with 20 seconds left when K Matt Nugent connected on a 52-yard field goal to pull themselves closer than Dolphin fans would have wanted. Although the Raiders outrushed Miami 109-41 and Derek Carr threw for 345 yards with a TD, Tannehill threw for 289 yards and three TDs to take the win. Miami, taking advantage of three Oakland turnovers (two Carr interceptions and a fumble), went 2 of 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 21:29, while the Raiders kept the ball for 38:31, going 7 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Pats and Tom Brady struggled against Detroit in the Motor City last Sunday night as they faced off against their former defensive co-ordinator Matt Patrica, falling to the Lions 26-10 at Ford Field. Brady and New England trailed 13-3 at the break and could never get on track as the Lions would get their first 100-yard rusher in six years as rookie RB Kerryon Johnson ran for 101 yards, while Matthew Stafford threw for 262 yards and a pair of TDs (Brady threw for 133 yards with a TD but was sacked twice, both Brady and Stafford threw an interception). New England was 2 of 9 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 20:45, while the Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:15, going 7 of 14 on third down conversions in the Sunday night contest.

Miami leads the series 53-49 and the Dolphins have outscored New England 2,198-2,197. Taking wins last year at their home fields, the two clubs split the season series.

Week 12… Foxboro. Brady was good for four TDs and 227 yards as they took Miami to task 35-15 at Gillette Stadium. New England led 21-10 at the break, then proceeded to outscore Miami 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of action in western Massachusetts. New England outrushed Miami 196-67, with Patriots RB Dion Lewis leading the way with 112. The Patriots, who forced three Miami turnovers, went 5 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 32:41. As for the Dolphins? They were 2 of 11 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 27:19.

Miami would get their revenge two weeks later in the Sunshine State at Hard Rock Stadium in week 14. Leading 13-10 at the intermisson, the Dolphins held off a late New England rally and came away 27-20 winners at home. Miami held New England to 25 yards rushing, while tallying 120, with Kenyan Drake leading the way with 114 yards. Jay Cutler threw for 263 yards and three TDs, while Brady threw for 233 yards with a TD (Brady and Cutler were sacked twice, with Brady throwing a pair of interceptions). Miami was 4 of 14 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 36:09, while the Patriots were a dismal 0 for 11 on third down and held the pigskin for 23:51.

In the week 12 contest, the Pats covered the 16-point spread with the 18-point win and both clubs covered the 47 1/2 over/under with 52 points. New England was favored by 11 in the week 14 contest on a Monday night in the Sunshine State; while Miami did win the contest, they did not cover the 11-point spread, winnning by only 7 but both clubs matched the 47 over/under with the 47 combined points. Even though they’re one game below .500, the oddsmakers like the Patroits as 7-point favorites and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Can the Dolphins remain unbeaten? Can Brady and the Pats right their ship? It’ll be closer than the 7 but Miami prevails on the road against their AFC East rivals.

Tampa Bay (2-1) at Chicago (2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of 2-1 teams meet in the Windy City when Tampa Bay travels to Chicago to face the Monsters of the Midway at Soldier Field.

Tampa Bay trailed Pittsburgh 30-10 at the intermission last Monday night at Raymond James Stadium, then scored their last 17 points in the second half unchallegened but still lost to the Steelers 30-27. The Bucs, dropping their first contest of the season, was paced by Ryan Fitzpatrick (who took over for the suspended Jameis Winston), who threw for 411 yards, while Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger threw for 353 yards (each man threw three TDs and was sacked three times, Roethlisberger threw an interception, while Fitzpatrick threw three picks). Tampa Bay, outrushed by Pittsburgh 78-63, went 3 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 29:39, while the Steelers held the pigskin for 30:21, going 3 for 11 on third down.

Da Bears erased a 14-3 deficit against Arizona in the desert and they did manage to come away 16-14 winners in Glendale. The Monsters of the Midway used a 1-yard TD run from Jordan Howard (who led all rushers with 61 yards), a pair of Cody Parkey field goals and a last-second stop of an Arizona drive to take the lead and the road win at State Farm Stadium. Chicago outrushed Arizona 122-53 and Mitch Trubisky threw for 220 yards, with an interception, while Sam Bradford threw for 157 yards and a pair of TDs (both Bradford and Trubisky were sacked three times, while Bradford threw a pair of interceptions). Chicago was 5 of 14 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:21, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 23:39, going 3 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Chicago leads the series 38-20 and they have outscored Tampa Bay 1,231-952. Tampa Bay has won the last two meetings, including taking a 29-7 decision last year in the Sunshine State (Chicago’s last win over Tampa Bay came in 2015 in Tampa by a final of 26-21.

The week two contest last year at Raymond James Stadium saw Tampa Bay score their 29 points unchallenged before Da Bears got on the scoreboard with 1:43 left to play when WR Deonte Thompson and QB Mike Glennon connected on a 14-yard TD toss as the Buccaneers had the game in hand. Leading 26-0 at the intermission, Tampa Bay outrushed Chicago 117-20 and Glennon threw for 301 yards with the TD and a pair of interceptions, while Jameis Winston threw for 204 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks.
Chicago was 7 of 14 on third down (Da Bears were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:49, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 33:11, going 8 for 15 on third down conversions.

Tampa Bay covered the 7-point spread with the 22-point win but the 45 over/under stayed intact as both clubs combined for only 36 points. Chicago’s favored by 2 1/2 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams look pretty decent so far in the 2018 campaign. Da Bears prevail at home in the Windy City and cover the 2 1/2.

Detroit (1-2) at Dallas (1-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of sub-.500 teams meet in the Lone Star State as Dallas hosts the Detroit Lions at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium).

Detroit pulled off a major upset in the Motor City last Sunday night as head coach Matt Patrica faced off against his former team and beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 26-10 at Ford Field. Brady and New England trailed 13-3 at the break and could never get on track as the Lions would get their first 100-yard rusher in six years as rookie RB Kerryon Johnson ran for 101 yards, while Matthew Stafford threw for 262 yards and a pair of TDs (Brady threw for 133 yards with a TD but was sacked twice, both Brady and Stafford threw an interception). New England was 2 of 9 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 20:45, while the Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:15, going 7 of 14 on third down conversions in the Sunday night contest.

Dallas was held in check by Russell Wilson and Seattle in the Pacific Northwest as the Seahawks took a 24-13 win at Century Link Field last Sunday. The Cowboys trailed 17-3 at the half and could never really get on track, even though they did outscore Seattle 10-3 in the second half. Dallas did outrush Seattle 166-113, with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 127 yards, while Seattle was paced by Chris Carson, who ran for 102 yards and a rushing TD. wilson threw for 192 yards and a pair of TDs, while Dak Prescott threw for 168 yards with five sacks and picked off twice by CB Earl Thomas. Seattle was 7 of 16 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:44, while the Cowboys kept the ball for 27:16, going 3 of 13 on third down conversions, 1 of 2 on fourth down tries.

Including contests that took place at Tiger Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, Texas Stadium and the Silverdome, the Cowboys lead the series 13-11 and they have outscored Detroit 650-458. Dallas’ last win in the series came in 2016 in Arlington by a final of 42-21, while Detroit’s last win came in 2013 in the Motor City by a slim 31-30 final. Dallas is favored by 3 at Jerry World and the over/under is 43 1/2. Are either of these teams playoff bound? Hard to say. The Cowboys are coming off a tough loss on the Pacific Coast, while the Lions are coming off a huge win last Sunday night. Dallas prevails at Jerry World and covers the 3.

New York Jets (1-2) at Jacksonville (2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of East coast teams with losses under their belts meet in the Sunshine State as the New York Jets make the 947-mile trip down I-95 to face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

GangGreen let a 14-3 halftime lead against the Cleveland Browns get away from them as the home team would rally to pick up a 21-17 come-from-behind win over the New York Jets along the shores of Lake Erie on a Thursday night. The Browns rallied in the second half, outscoring GangGreen 18-3 in the final 30 minutes of action, with RB Carlos Hyde scoring with 2:04 left to play from a yard away to take the lead for good. Tyrod Taylor struggled under center for the Browns and left the contest of rookie QB Baker Mayfield, who threw for 201 yards without an interception in the win (Mayfield also caught a two-point conversion in the contest as well, Taylor threw for 19 yards and was sacked three times). Hyde rushed for 98 yards and a pair of TDs as Cleveland outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 133-107 in the win at home, while Jets QB Sam Darnold threw for 169 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions (Isiah Crowell had a pair of TDs for the Jets, while teammate Bial Powell led his team with 73 yards on 14 carries). The Browns were 7 of 18 on third down and kept the ball for 30:52, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:08.

Jacksonville saw their hopes of an unbeaten season come to an end in the Sunshine State as they fell to AFC South foe Tennessee 9-6 at TIAA Bank Field. Going into the intermission tied at 3-3, thanks to field goals from Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo and Tennessee’s Ryan Succop. The two men would late exchange field goal to tie things back up at 6-6 before Succop would give the Titans the lead back for good with a 28-yard field goal with 4:09 left in regulation. Tennessee outrushed Jacksonville 150-87 and Marcus Mariota threw for 100 yards in the win, while Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 155 yards with three sacks (Mariota was sacked once and neither man threw an interception). Jacksonville was 5 of 14 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:13, while the Titens ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:47, going 5 of 15 on third down tries.

They’ve met 12 times and each team has six wins in their ledger and the Jaguars have outscored GangGreen 232-208. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have won the last four contests, including taking a 23-20 win in overtime last year (Jacksonville’s last win came in 2009 in the Meadowlands by a final of 24-22). Tied 10-10 at the intermission at Met Life Stadium in week four, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! took a 20-10 lead going into the fourth quarter before Jacksonville would tie things up with 10 points of their own in the fourth quarter to re-tie things up and send the contest into overtime. Each team kept the ball twice in the extra period and could not dent the scoreboard and after Jacksonville had the ball once more, they punted it back to the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!, who used a 4-play, 2-yard drive that used 70 seconds of clock, sending their fans home happy when Chris Catanzaro connected on a 41-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in the overtime. GangGreen outrushed Jacksonville 256-175 with Bilal Powell leading the way with 163 yards and a rushing TD, while Josh McCown threw for 224 yards with five sacks and an interception (Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 140 yards and a TD toss to Leonard Fournette). GangGreen was 6 of 17 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 34:24 (including the overtime), while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 35:08, going 4 of 15 on third down tries.

Jacksonville was favored by 3 1/2 and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! won by 3, missing the spread. Both teams did manage to cover the 39 1/2 over/under by merging to score 43 points in the overtime affair in upstate New Jersey. Jacksonville’s favored by 7 1/2 at home and the over/under’s 38. This one might be an entertaining game to watch. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! and the Jaguars are coming off heartbreaking losses from last week’s action and in the end, someone will check into the Heartbreak Hotel. It won’t be the Jaguars. Jacksonville recovers and wins at home, covering the 7 1/2.

Philadelphia (2-1) at Tennessee (2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of 2-1 teams square off in the Music City as the defending World Champs travel to Nashville for an afternoon showdown with the Tennessee Titans.

Philadelphia used a long fourth quarter drive against the Indianapolis Colts and took a 20-16 win at Lincoln Financial Field. Although they took a 10-3 at the half, the Colts would eventually take the lead with 14:20 left in regulation when K Adam Vinatieri nailed a 28-yard field for a 16-13. Luck and the Colts then watched the Eagles burn as much time as they could off the clock, using an 17-play, 75-yard drive that took 11:18 of clock to give the defending Super Bowl champs the lead back for keeps when Wendell Smallwood scored with 3:02 left from a yard out. The Colts had one final chance to come away with the road win but their final drive was stalled at their 46-yard line. Philadelphia outrushed Indianapolis 152-68 and Carson Wentz, making his first start in over a year, threw for 255 yards, while Luck threw for 164 yards (both threw a TD pass in the contest, Wentz was sacked five times, Luck was sacked twice). The Colts were 2 of 12 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down tries) and held the ball for 19:40, while the Eagles were stingy with the clock and the ball, keeping it for 40:20, while going 6 of 14 on third down.

The Titans dashed Jacksonville’s hopes of an unbeaten season as they would leave the Sunshine State with a 9-6 win over their AFC South rivals at TIAA Bank Field. Going into the intermission tied at 3-3, thanks to field goals from Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo and Tennessee’s Ryan Succop. The two men would late exchange field goal to tie things back up at 6-6 before Succop would give the Titans the lead back for good with a 28-yard field goal with 4:09 left in regulation. Tennessee outrushed Jacksonville 150-87 and Marcus Mariota threw for 100 yards in the win, while Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 155 yards with three sacks (Mariota was sacked once and neither man threw an interception). Jacksonville was 5 of 14 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:13, while the Titens ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:47, going 5 of 15 on third down tries.

Philadelphia leads the series 7-4 and the Eagles have outscored the Titans 257-220, which includes games that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers. Philly won the last meeting, taking a 43-24 win in the City of Brotherly Love in 2014, while Tennessee’s last win over the Eagles came in 2010 in the Music City by a final of 37-19. Philadelphia’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Eagles may not cover the 3 1/2 but they do win in the Music City.

Seattle (1-2) at Arizona (0-3), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in the desert as Seattle heads to Glendale for a late-afternoon meeting with the Arizona Cardinals.

Seattle held Dallas and Dak Prescott in check last Sunday in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, as they took the Cowboys to task by a 24-13 final at Century Link Field.. Seattle led 17-3 at the half and kept the Cowboys in check in the second half, although Dallas did outscore Seattle 10-3 in the second half. Dallas did outrush Seattle 166-113, with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 127 yards, while Seattle was paced by Chris Carson, who ran for 102 yards and a rushing TD. wilson threw for 192 yards and a pair of TDs, while Dak Prescott threw for 168 yards with five sacks and picked off twice by CB Earl Thomas. Seattle was 7 of 16 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:44, while the Cowboys kept the ball for 27:16, going 3 of 13 on third down conversions, 1 of 2 on fourth down tries.

Arizona let a 14-3 lead against Chicago get away from them in the desert, allowing Da Bears to rally to come away 16-14 winners in Glendale. Chicago used a 1-yard TD run from Jordan Howard (who led all rushers with 61 yards), a pair of Cody Parkey field goals and a last-second stop of an Arizona drive to take the road win. Chicago outrushed Arizona 122-53 and Mitch Trubisky threw for 220 yards, with an interception, while Sam Bradford threw for 157 yards and a pair of TDs (both Bradford and Trubisky were sacked three times, while Bradford threw a pair of interceptions). Chicago was 5 of 14 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:21, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 23:39, going 3 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Desert Angry Birds lead the series 19-18-1 (including games that took place in St. Louis and in the old Kingdome) and the Seahawks have outscored Arizona 949-733. The NFC West foes met twice last year and each took wins in the other team’s ballpark.

They met in the desert in week 10 and Seattle led 15-7 at the half, coming away 22-16 winners at University of Phoenix Stadium. Seattle outrushed Arizona 75-34 and Wilson threw for 238 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Jimmy Graham, despite being sacked five times, while Darren Dalton threw for 273 yards and a TD. The Seahawks on third down conversions in Glendale went 3 of 13 and kept the ball for 30:53, while Arizona was 29:07 in time of possession, going 6 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Arizona would get revenge in their second meeting, a week 17 affair in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 26-24 winners at Century Link Field in the closing moments. Arizona led 20-3 at the intermission in the season finale for both clubs, then trailed 24-23 with 10:24 left in regulation when Wilson and WR Doug Baldwin connected on a 29-yard TD toss to give Seattle the lead briefly. Arizona would eventually take the lead back for good, using a 10-play, 62-yard drive that used  4:50 of clock and ending when Pat Dawson connected on a 42-yard field goal with 2:21 left. Seattle could have won the contest in the final seconds at home in the Pacific Northwest but Blair Walsh’s 48-yard field goal try sailed wide to the right. Arizona then got the ball back and ran out the clock to win the contest. Arizona outrushed Seattle 116-101 and Wilson  threw for 221 yards and the two TD passes (both to Graham), while Stanton threw for 145 yards and a TD (Wilson was sacked three times, Stanton was sacked once). While Seattle was a dismal 1 of 12 on third down, they were perfect on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 27:44. The Desert Angry Birds? They ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:16, while going 4 of 14 on third down.

In the week 10 contest in the desert, the Seahawks covered the 6-point spread, winning by 6 and the two clubs barely missed the 41 1/2 over/under, tallying 38 points. As for the week 17 contest in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, Seattle was favored by 8 but Arizona won by 2 but both clubs easily covered the 38 1/2 over/under by scoring 50 points. Seattle’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 39. Both clubs are trying to keep pace with the Los Angeles Rams, who picked up their third win of the season last Thursday night. The Seahawks look to make it two in a row, while the Desert Angry Birds look to right their ship. Seahawks prevail in the desert and cover the 3.

Cleveland (1-1-1) at Oakland (0-3), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. One’s coming off their first win since Christmas Eve 2016, while the other looks for their first win. The Browns and Raiders meet on the Eastern Side of San Francisco Bay for a early afternoon Pacific time contest.

Cleveland fans finally had something to celebrate after their 21-17 come-from-behind win over the New York Jets along the shores of Lake Erie on a Thursday night. The Browns trailed 14-3 at the intermission, then rallied in the second half, outscoring GangGreen 18-3 in the final 30 minutes of action, with RB Carlos Hyde scoring with 2:04 left to play from a yard away to take the lead for good. Tyrod Taylor struggled under center for the Browns and left the contest of rookie QB Baker Mayfield, who threw for 201 yards without an interception in the win (Mayfield also caught a two-point conversion in the contest as well, Taylor threw for 19 yards and was sacked three times). Hyde rushed for 98 yards and a pair of TDs as Cleveland outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 133-107 in the win at home, while Jets QB Sam Darnold threw for 169 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions (Isiah Crowell had a pair of TDs for the Jets, while teammate Bial Powell led his team with 73 yards on 14 carries). The Browns were 7 of 18 on third down and kept the ball for 30:52, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:08.

Oakland watched Miami rally in the final seconds in the Sunshine State against, as they would score twice in the final quarter against the Raiders to take a 28-20 win at Hard Rock Stadium. The Raiders led 17-14 with 55 seconds left in the third quarter when Miami went on their scoring rampage in the third when WR Jakeem Grant caught TD passes from QB Ryan Tannehill and WR Albert Wilson to take an eight-point lead. Oakland would eventually make it an 8-point contest with 20 seconds left when K Matt Nugent connected on a 52-yard field goal to pull themselves closer than Dolphin fans would have wanted. Although the Raiders outrushed Miami 109-41 and Derek Carr threw for 345 yards with a TD, Tannehill threw for 289 yards and three TDs to take the win. Miami, taking advantage of three Oakland turnovers (two Carr interceptions and a fumble), went 2 of 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 21:29, while the Raiders kept the ball for 38:31, going 7 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Silver and Black leads the series 12-10 (which includes games that were played in Los Angeles) and the Raiders have outscored Cleveland 467-400. Oakland won the last meeting, coming away 27-20 winners in Cleveland in 2015, while Cleveland’s last win took place in 2014 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 23-13. Oakland’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Feel free to take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of either team) and get that Halloween shopping done. Oakland wins this one but it could be closer than the 2.

San Francisco (1-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. A pair of California teams meet in Los Angeles as San Francisco and the Los Angeles Chargers look to even their records.

San Francisco, who is making the 393-mile trip down I-5, suffered two losses last Sunday. First, they lost 38-27 at Arrowhead to the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, then they lost the services of QB Jimmy Garoppolo to a season-ending knee injury. The Chiefs led 28-10 at the half before watching the 49ers outscore them in the final 30 minutes of play by a 17-3 margin. San Francisco did manage to outrush the Chiefs 178-77 but Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes threw for 314 yards and three TDs, while Garoppolo threw for 251 yards with a pair of TDs and four sacks before he left the contest with a knee injury. The Chiefs were 7 of 11 on third down tries (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down conversions) at Arrowhead and kept the ball for 30:01, while the 49ers were 2 of 9 and 2 of 2 on third and fourth down tries and they would keep the ball for 29:59.

The Chargers lost the Battle of Los Angeles to the crosstown Rams 35-23 at the Coliseum. The defending NFC West champs led 21-13 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second half, outscoring the Bolts 14-10 to take the win. The Rams outrushed the Chargers 171-141, with RB Todd Gurley leading the way with 105 yards and a TD, while Jarred Goff threw for 354 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Robert Woods on two of the tosses (Philip Rivers threw for 226 and a pair of TDs for the Chargers). The Rams were 8 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 34:16, while the Chargers were 7 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down, keeping the ball for 25:44.

The Chargers lead the series 7-6, which includes contests that were played in San Diego and Candlestick Park, while the 49ers have ourscored the Bolts 347-294. The Chargers have come away winners in the last four contests, including a 38-35 overtime win in San Francisco in 2014, while the 49ers’ last win over the Chargers came in 2000, when they were 45-17 winners in San Diego. The Chargers are favored by 10 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. The 47 1/2 is reasonable, it’s the 10 1/2 that has us worried. The 49ers are not that bad and while the Chargers may not cover the 10 1/2, they will take the win at home.

New Orleans (2-1) at New York Giants (1-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. The Big Easy meets the Big Apple as the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants meet in upstate New Jersey in a late afternoon NFC contest.

Brees and the Saints prevailed a back and forth battle with NFC South foe Atlanta last Sunday in the Big Peach and took a 43-37 overtime win to the Saints. The Saints led 16-14 at the intermission and saw the Falcons rally to take a 37-30 lead with 6:58 left in regulation thanks to Matt Ryan tossing a 5-yard TD strike to WR Mohammaed Sanu. That lead would not last long as Brees tied things up at 37-37 with 75 seconds left on a 5-yard scamper into the endzone. The Saints then won the toss to start the overtime and made sure that Ryan and the Falcons would not get the ball back, going on a 15- play, 80 yard drive that used 7:05 of clock and ended with Brees scoring from a yard out. New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 143-48 and Brees threw for 396 yards and three TDs, while Ryan (sacked three times) threw for 374 yards and five TDs, connecting with rookie WR Calvin Ridley on three of those tosses (Ridley finished with seven catches for 146). Atlanta was 4 of 11 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:20, while the Saints went 7 of 14 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, holding on to the ball for 37:45, including the overtime.

The Giants led throughout their contest against Houston at NRG Stadium last Sunday, taking the Texans to a 27-22 in the Lone Star State. While the Giants led 20-6 at halftime, the Texans eventually did manage to pull to within five on a 4-yard TD toss from DeShaun Watson (385 yards) to RB Lamar Miller with :01 second left. Houston was outrushed by the Giants 114-59 (Saquon Barkley led all rushers with 82 yards and a TD), while Manning threw for 297 yards in the contest (both men threw a pair of TDs, Watson was sacked three times and picked off once, Manning was sacked four times). The Giants were 7 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 35:30, while the Texans, who kept the ball for 24:30, went 5 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests played in New Haven, Connecticut, Yankee Stadium, Tulane Stadium and the Meadowlands, the Giants lead the series 16-13 and they have outscored the Saints 663-636. The Giants were 16-13 winners in the last meeting in 2016 in the Meadowlands, while the Saints’ last win in the series came in 2015 in the Big Easy by a final of 52-49. The Saints are favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 50. Both numbers are reasonable and make a lot of sense. Both QBs can put up points if need be. The Saints may march into the Meadowlands on Sunday but the Giants pulled the upset and march out with the win, covering the 3 1/2.

Baltimore (2-1) at Pittsburgh (1-1-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of AFC North rivals that don’t like each other meet in prime time in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts Baltimore at Heinz Field.

Baltimore erased a 14-10 first quarter deficit against Denver last Sunday in Charm City and came away 27-14 winners at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens then took a 20-14 lead with them to the break, then scored their final seven points of the contest unchallenged. The good news for Denver? They did outrush Baltimore 120-77. The bad news? Joe Flacco burned the Broncos for 277 yards with a TD toss to RB Javorius Allen, while Case Keenum threw for 192 yards (Keenum was sacked three times and picked off once, while Flacco was sacked twice). Baltimore was 8 of 16 on third down tries and held the ball for 30:14, while the Broncos were 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 29:46.

Pittsburgh led Tampa Bay 30-10 at the intermission last Monday night at Raymond James Stadium, then watched the Buccaneers score their last 17 points in the second half unchallegened before hanging on to knock Tampa Bay out of the ranks of the unbeatens 30-27. Tampa Bay was paced by Ryan Fitzpatrick (who took over for the suspended Jameis Winston), who threw for 411 yards, while Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger threw for 353 yards (each man threw three TDs and was sacked three times, Roethlisberger threw an interception, while Fitzpatrick threw three picks). Tampa Bay, outrushed by Pittsburgh 78-63, went 3 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 29:39, while the Steelers held the pigskin for 30:21, going 3 for 11 on third down.

Pittsburgh leads the series 24-20, the Steelers have outscored the Ravens 894-861 and they won the last three game, sweeping the season series last year, taking wins in Charm City and the Steel City (Baltimore’s last win over the Steelers came in 2016, when they were 21-14 winners in Charm City).

They squared off in week four in Baltimore and the Steelers held Baltimore to 9 third quarter points to take a 26-9 win on the road in Charm City. Pittsburgh, outrushing Baltimore 173-82, led 19-0 at the half and never let their foot off the gas as LeVeon Bell rushed for 144 yards and a pair of TDs, while Roethlisberger threw for 216 yards. For Baltimore, Flacco threw for 235 yards with a pair of interceptions and four sacks (both Roethlisbeger and Flacco threw a TD pass, Roethlisberger was sacked once and picked off once). Pittsburgh was 7 of 15 on third down and ruled the clock as held the ball for 35:29, while Baltimore was 5 of 13, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 24:31.

Pittsburgh needed to rally late in the final seconds of their week 14 rematch in the Steel City and prevailed 39-38 at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh led the Ravens 20-14 at the break before they saw the Ravens take the lead back, trailing 38-36 with 3:29 left in regulation before taking the lead back for good, using a 10-play, 55-yard drive that took 1:43 and ended with Chris Boswell connecting on a 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left. This time, it was Baltimore’s turn to outrush the Steelers, tallying 152 yards, while the Steelers had 59 (the Ravens’ Alex Collins led the way with 120. Roethlisberger outpaced Flacco in the rematch, throwing for 506 yards, while Flacco chipped in with 269 yards (each man threw a pair of TDs, Roethilsberger was sacked three times, Flacco was sacked once and threw an interception). The Steelers were much better on third down tries, going 12 of 18 and held on to the ball for 33:50, while the Ravens were 4 of 10 on third down, holding the ball for 26:10.

In the week four contest, Pittsburgh covered the 3-point spread, winning by 17 but the 44 over/under was intact as both teams merged for 35 points. Pittsburgh won the rematch in week 14 but did not cover the 7-point spread, winning by one but both teams easily covered the 41 over/under by tallying 77 combined points. In the prime time Sunday night contest in the Steel City, Pittsburgh’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 48 1/2, which makes this one “DRILL WORRTHY!” (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! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), 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 items in question) 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 just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-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 Steelers would like nothing more than to have a leg up on the Ravens in the AFC North, while the Ravens look to go to 3-1. Steelers cover the 3 in the Steel City on Sunday night and takes the win at home.

Kansas City (3-0) at Denver (2-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Forget the records. It’s a pair of AFC West teams that aren’t exactly crazy about each other as Denver hosts the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs at Broncos Stadium at Mile High to close out week four action.

The Chiefs stayed unbeatend after their 38-27 win at Arrowhead over the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs led 28-10 at the half before watching the 49ers outscore them in the final 30 minutes of play by a 17-3 margin. San Francisco did manage to outrush the Chiefs 178-77 but Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes threw for 314 yards and three TDs, while the 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 251 yards with a pair of TDs and four sacks before he left the contest with a knee injury. The Chiefs were 7 of 11 on third down tries (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down conversions) at Arrowhead and kept the ball for 30:01, while the 49ers were 2 of 9 and 2 of 2 on third and fourth down tries and they would keep the ball for 29:59.

Denver watched a a 14-10 first quarter deficit against Baltimore last Sunday in Charm City and lost to the Ravens 27-14 at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore then proceeded to take a 20-14 lead with them to the break, then scored their final seven points of the contest unchallenged. While Denver did outrush Baltimore 120-77, Ravens QB Joe Flacco burned the Broncos for 277 yards with a TD toss to RB Javorius Allen, while Case Keenum threw for 192 yards (Keenum was sacked three times and picked off once, while Flacco was sacked twice). Baltimore was 8 of 16 on third down tries and held the ball for 30:14, while the Broncos were 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 29:46.

The Chiefs lead the series 61-54 (including games played in Dallas when the team was known as the Texans), Kansas City has outscored Denver 2,663-2,373 and have won the last five meetings, including sweeping last year’s series (Denver’s last win over the Chiefs came in 2015, when the Broncos were 31-24 winners at Arrowhead).

Meeting one… week eight… Arrowhead. Kansas City led 17-3 at the intermission and came away 29-19 winners in the first meeting. Although Denver won the second half 16-12, the Chiefs used five Harrison Butker field goals to take the home win. Although they were outrushed by Denver 177-79, Alex Smtih burned Denver for 202 yards and a TD, while picking off Trevor Siemian (198 yards) three times and sacked him three times. Kansas City went 2 of 12 on third down tries at Arrowhead, keeping the ball for 28:37, while the Broncos ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 31:23, going 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In chilly 17 degree weather (wind chill of 14 with snow flurries), the Chiefs completed the sweep of the series at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on New Years Eve afternoon in week 17, taking the Broncos 27-24 in the final seconds of the contest. Kansas City led 14-10 at the half and took a 24-10 lead with them to the start of the final 15 minutes of action before Denver got a pair of TDs; first, LB Zaire Anderson returning a fumble 38 yards for a TD, then WR Demaryius Thomas scpromg on a 6-yard TD toss from Paxton Lynch that would tie things up with 2:53 left in the contest. The Chiefs would then use all of the 2:53 that was left in the contest, taking 11 plays and 67 yards with Butker connecting on a 30-yard field goal as time expired. Each club rushed for 110 yards in the finale and Mahomes threw for 284 yards, while Lynch threw for 254 yards with a pair of TDs and five sacks (Lynch was picked off twice, Mahomes was picked off once amd sacked twice). The Chiefs were 4 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:03, while the Broncos ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:57, going 5 of 12 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down conversions.

In the week eight contest in the Show Me State on a Monday night, the Chiefs covered the 7 1/2-point spread, winning by 10 and both clubs covered the 43 over/under. As for the New Year’s Eve afternoon finale in the Mile High State in week 17, Kansas City BARELY missed the 3 1/2-point spread with the 3-point win but as was the case in the first meeting, both clubs covered the over/under (which was 38) by scoring 51 points. Denver on Monday night is 32-38-1 (the Broncos lost their only contest in prime time last year), while the Chiefs are 25-18 and swept their two MNF contests in the 2017 campaign. Kansas City’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 56. This might be the best MNF game of the 2018 season, so you may want to tape “Big Bang” this week. Chiefs remain unbeaten and cover the 5.

Week 2 was one for the history books, as high scores, close games and prolific passers around the league highlighted a thrilling week of NFL action.

Offense has been the order of the day in the first 32 games played and through the first two weeks of the season, there have been 174 total touchdowns scored, the most in NFL history through Week 2 and the 1,506 total points are the second-most in league annals (1,556 in 2012) through the first two weeks of a season.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST TWO WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 174
2011 – 172
2015 – 170
2012 – 170

MOST TOTAL POINTS IN FIRST TWO WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2012 – 1,556
2018 – 1,506
2011 – 1,502
2015 – 1,488

Close games continue to be the norm in 2018, as 25 of the season’s 32 games (78.1 percent) through two weeks of the season have been within one score in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-most in NFL history through Week 2.

Twenty-one games have been decided by eight or fewer points through Week 2, the third-most in league history through the first two weeks of a season. Nine teams, including four last week (Denver, Minnesota, New Orleans and Tennessee), have won or tied after trailing in the fourth quarter this season.

Last week, 17 of the league’s 32 starting quarterbacks (53.1 percent) recorded a passer rating of at least 100 and six passers completed at least 80 percent of their attempts (minimum 15 attempts), both the most in a single week in league history.

Three quarterbacks – Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (452 passing yards), Minnesota’s Kikr Cousins (425) and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (402) – threw for at least 400 yards in Week 2. There have been six 400-yard passing performances in the first two weeks of the season, tied with the 2011 and 2013 seasons for the most 400-yard passers through the first two weeks of a season in league history. Fitzpatrick, who has thrown for at least 400 yards in each of the Buccaneers first two games of the season, looks to become the first player in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards in three consecutive games.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw six touchdown passes against Pittsburgh last week and has 10 touchdown passes in two games this season, the most in NFL history by a quarterback in his team’s first two games of a season.

The 65 touchdown passes in Week 2 are tied for the most in a single week in league history (2015, Week 15) and the 8,385 net passing yards are the second-most in a single week in league annals (8,706 in Week 2, 2016).

MOST TD PASSES IN SINGLE WEEK IN NFL HISTORY

SEASON – WEEK (TD PASSES)
2018 – 2 (65)
2015 – 15 (65)
2013 – 14 (64)

MOST NET PASSING YARDS IN SINGLE WEEK IN NFL HISTORY

SEASON – WEEK (NET PASS YARDS)
2016 – 2 (8,706)
2018 – 2 (8,385)
2015 – 12 (8,287)

Entering Week 3, league-wide passing numbers are on a historic pace, as the marks for completions (1,516), completion percentage (65.3 percent), touchdown passes (114) and passer rating (92.6) are all the highest in NFL history through the first two weeks of a season.

SEASON – COMPLETIONS
2018 – 1,516
2013 – 1,489

SEASON – COMPLETION PCT.
2018 – 65.3
2015 – 64.9

SEASON – TD PASSES
2018 – 114
2013 – 111

SEASON – RATING
2018 – 92.6
2015 – 92.4

Seven teams enter Week 3 with a 2-0 record: Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams, Miami and Tampa Bay. Two teams from the NFC North – Green Bay and Minnesota – have a record of 1-0-1 after tying 29-29 at Lambeau Field last week. Five of the nine undefeated teams this season missed the 2017 postseason – Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Miami and Tampa Bay. Since 1990, when the current playoff format was adopted, 142 of the 228 teams (62.3 percent) to start 2-0 have qualified for the postseason.

Below are a few highlights of the Week 3 schedule, which features eight interconference matchups and two divisional contests:

Two first-year head coaches – Detroit’s Matt Patricia and Indianapolis’ Frank Reich – face their former teams as the Lions welcome the New England Patriots to Ford Field on Sunday night and the Colts travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles Sunday afternoon.

The Chargers travel to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to face the Rams at 4:05 p.m. Eastern in the first matchup between two teams from LA since November 13, 1994, when the Raiders defeated the Rams 20-17 at Anaheim Stadium.

Monday night’s Week 3 finale features DeSean Jackson and the Buccaneers hosting Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers at Raymond James Stadium. Jackson, who leads the NFL with 275 receiving yards and had a 75-yard touchdown catch in Week 2, has 23 career touchdowns of at least 60 yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice for the most such touchdowns in league history. Last week, Roethlisberger (51,852 career passing yards) surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for the seventh-most passing yards in NFL history.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 23 of 28 attempts (82.1 percent) for 326 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions for a 154.8 passer rating in the Chiefs’ 42-37 win at Pittsburgh.

Mahomes, who threw four touchdown passes in Week 1, has 10 touchdown passes in two weeks, the most by a quarterback in NFL history through his team’s first two games of a season. The previous record of nine touchdown passes was held by Peyton Manning (2013), Drew Brees (2009) and Charley Johnson (1965). Manning’s 2013 Denver Broncos and Brees’ 2009 New Orleans Saints advanced to the Super Bowl in their respective seasons.

Mahomes, who started the final game of the 2017 season and the first two games of this season for the Chiefs, has 10 touchdown passes in his first three career games. His 10 touchdown passes are the most by a player in his first three career games in NFL history, surpassing Marcus Mariota (eight) and Mark Rypien (eight).

At 22 years, 364 days old, Mahomes is the youngest quarterback in NFL history with at least six touchdown passes in a single game. The previous record was held by Nick Foles (24 years, 287 days), who threw seven touchdown passes on November 3, 2013.

•Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 27 of 33 attempts (81.8 percent) for 402 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 144.4 passer rating in the Buccaneers’ 27-21 victory over Philadelphia.

Fitzpatrick, who threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in Week 1, joins Patrick Mahomes (2018) and Drew Bledsoe (1997) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least four touchdown passes in each of their team’s first two games of a season.

Fitzpatrick connected on 75-yard touchdown passes to wide receiver De Sean Jackson and tight end O.J. Howard in the contest. He has four touchdown passes of at least 50 yards this season, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath (four in 1972) for the most 50+ yard touchdown passes through a team’s first two games of a season in NFL history.

Jackson, who has 23 career touchdowns of at least 60 yards, tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (23) for the most such touchdowns in league annals.

•New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 12 catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns in the Saints’ 21-18 win against Cleveland.

Thomas, who had a franchise-record 16 catches in Week 1, has 28 receptions in the Saints’ first two games of 2018 and surpassed Andre Rison (26 catches in 1994) for the most by a player in his team’s first two games to start a season in NFL history.

•Tennessee safety Kevin Byard threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to rookie defensive back Dane Cruikshank on a fake punt in the first quarter of the Titans’ 20-17 win against Houston.

Byard’s 66-yard touchdown pass was the longest by a defensive player in the Super Bowl era, surpassing the previous long of 18 yards set by Los Angeles Rams defensive back Ed Meador on November 19, 1967.

•Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri converted all three of his extra-point attempts in the Colts’ 21-9 victory at Washington.

Vinatieri, who has 2,501 career points in 23 career seasons, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen (2,544) as the only players in NFL history with at least 2,500 career points.

•NFC North foes Minnesota and Green Bay played to a 29-29 tie at Lambeau Field. Sunday’s game marked the second consecutive week with a tie (Cleveland-Pittsburgh in Week 1). This is the first season to feature a tie in each of the first two weeks since 1971, which saw Miami and Denver tie 10-10 in Week 1 and Atlanta and the Los Angeles Rams tie 20-20 in Week 2.

•Other notable performances from Sunday’s games:

Miami running back Frank Goroe rushed for 25 yards in the Dolphins’ 20-12 win at the New York Jets. Gore, who has 14,112 career rushing yards, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin (14,101) for the fourth-most rushing yards in NFL history.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 39 of 60 attempts (65 percent) for 452 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 104.3 passer rating in the Steelers’ loss to Kansas City. Roethlisberger has 51,852 career passing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for seventh place on the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leaderboard.

Denver rookie running back Phillip Lindsay had 111 scrimmage yards (107 rushing, four receiving) in the Broncos’ 20-19 win against Oakland. Lindsay, who had 102 scrimmage yards (71 rushing, 31 receiving) in his NFL debut last week, became the first undrafted player in NFL history to record at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first two career games.

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr completed 29 of 32 for a 90.6 completion percentage in the Raiders’ loss at Denver. Carr’s 90.6 completion percentage was the fourth-highest in a single game in NFL history among quarterbacks with at least 20 attempts in a game.

Among quarterbacks with at least 20 passing attempts, Carr’s 288 passing yards are the most by a quarterback who completed at least 90 percent of his attempts in a single game in NFL history. He is the only quarterback with at least 30 pass attempts and a 90+ completion percentage in a single game.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 3

FAST START: Through the first two weeks of the season, there have been 174 total touchdowns scored, the most in NFL history through Week 2, and the 1,506 total points are the second-most in league annals (1,556 in 2012) through the first two weeks of a season.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST TWO WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 174
2011 – 172
2015 – 170
2012 – 170

MOST TOTAL POINTS IN FIRST TWO WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2012 – 1,556
2018 – 1,506
2011 – 1,502
2015 – 1,488

Close games continue to be the norm in 2018, as 25 of the 32 games (78.1 percent) through two weeks of the season have been within one score in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-most in NFL history through Week 2. Twenty-one games have been decided by eight or fewer points through Week 2, the third-most in league history through the first two weeks of a season. Nine teams, including four last week (Denver, Minnesota, New Orleans and Tennessee), have won or tied after trailing in the fourth quarter this season.

FITZ-MAGICAL: Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 27 of 33 attempts (81.8 percent) for 402 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 144.4 passer rating in the Buccaneers’ Week 2 win over Philadelphia.

Fitzpatrick, who passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns in Week 1 and plays against Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football, can become the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards and four touchdowns in three consecutive games.

The players with at least 400 passing yards and four touchdown passes in consecutive games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – CONSEC. GAMES WITH 400 PASS YARDS & 4 TDs)
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Tampa Bay (2018 – 2)*
Billy Volek – Tennessee (2004 – 2)
Dan Marino – Miami (1984 – 2)^
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

With another 400-yard performance, Fitzpatrick would become the first quarterback in NFL history to record three consecutive games with at least 400 passing yards.

CHILLING WITH MAHOMES: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 23 of 28 attempts (82.1 percent) for 326 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions for a 154.8 passer rating in the Chiefs’ Week 2 victory at Pittsburgh. At 22 years, 364 days old, Mahomes became the youngest quarterback in NFL history with at least six touchdown passes in a single game.

Mahomes, whose 10 touchdown passes through Week 2 are the most by a quarterback in NFL history through his team’s first two games, needs three touchdown passes on Sunday against San Francisco at Arrowhead to surpass Peyton Manning (12 in 2013) for the most touchdown passes in NFL history by a quarterback through his team’s first three games of a season.

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes through his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – TOUCHDOWN PASSES IN TEAM’S 1ST 3 GAMES)
Peyton Manning – Denver (2013 – 12)
Tom Brady – New England (2011 – 11)
Many tied with 10
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2018 – 10)*
*Through first two games

COMPLETE CONTROL: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has 6,287 career completions during his 18-year NFL career.

With 14 completions on Sunday at Atlanta, Brees would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (6,300) for the most completions in NFL history.

The players with the most career completions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (COMPLETIONS)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (6,300)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (6,287)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brees has at least 30 pass attempts and completed at least 80 percent of his passes in each of his past two games. He can surpass Peyton Manning (2013) as the only quarterback in NFL history with three consecutive games with at least 30 pass attempts and a completion percentage of 80 or higher.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 30 pass attempts and a completion percentage of 80 or higher in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 30+ ATTEMPTS & 80%+ COMPLETION PCT.)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (2018 – 2)*
Peyton Manning – Denver (2013 – 2)
*Active streak

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck has 19,576 career passing yards in 72 career games.

Luck, who will play at Philadelphia on Sunday, needs 424 passing yards to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (74 games) and Matthew Stafford (71 games) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for 20,000 yards in 75 games or fewer.

The players to reach 20,000 career passing yards in the fewest number of games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES TO REACH 20,000 PASSING YARDS)
Matthew Stafford – Detroit (71)
Dan Marino – Miami (74)^
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams, New York Giants and Arizona (76)^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (78)
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (72)*
*Has 19,576 career passing yards
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

DEEP THREAT: Buccaneers wide receiver De Sean Jackson had 129 receiving yards, including a 75-yard touchdown catch, in Tampa Bay’s Week 2 victory over Philadelphia.

Jackson, who had 146 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, can become the fifth player in NFL history to record at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in each of his team’s first three games of a season.

The players with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in each of their team’s first three games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON)
Randy Moss – New England (2007)#^
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1999)^
Jerry Rice – San Francisco (1989)^
Dwight Clark – San Francisco (1982)
DeSean Jackson – Tampa Bay (2018)*
*Through first two games
#Had 100+ rec. yards and TD in team’s first four games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

GREEN IS GOOD: Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green had three touchdown receptions in the Bengals’ Week 2 victory over Baltimore.

Green, who has four touchdown receptions through two games, needs two touchdowns at Carolina to become the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to record six touchdown catches through his team’s first three games of a season.

The players with the most touchdown receptions through his team’s first three games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – TOUCHDOWN CATCHES IN TEAM’S 1ST 3 GAMES)
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (2011 – 6)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1999 – 6)^
Daryl Turner – Seattle (1985 – 6)
A.J. Green – Cincinnati (2018 – 4)*
*Through first two games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

LIKE MIKE: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded 12 receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns in the Saints’ Week 2 win over Cleveland. Thomas has 28 receptions in the Saints’ first two games, the most by a player in his team’s first two games in NFL history.

Thomas needs seven receptions at Atlanta on Sunday to surpass Julio Jones (34 in 2015) for the most catches by a player in his team’s first three games to start a season in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in his team’s first three games of the season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS IN TEAM’S 1ST 3 GAMES)
Julio Jones – ATLANTA (2015 – 34)
Troy Brown – New England (2002 – 31)
Clark Gaines – New York Jets (1980 – 31)
Wes Welker – New England (2011 – 31)
Michael Thomas – New Orleans (2018 – 28)*
*Through first two games

Week three got underway in Cleveland as the Browns ended a 635-day, 19-game losing streak to take down the New York Jets 21-17 along the shores of Lake Erie Thursday night and concludes in the Sunshine State as the Steelers and Buccaneers meet under the lights on Monday. As for last week, we went 10-6 and for the season, we’re 21-11. That’s pretty good. It could be better but it is what is is. With that being said, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week three.

New Orleans (1-1) at ATLANTA (1-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Gumbo vs. Peach Pie. The Big Easy vs. The Big Peach. They meet again and don’t expect any Facebook friend requests from these two teams. A pair of NFC South foes meet in the Big Peach as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Both teams are coming off close wins at home after losses in the opening weekend and both are chasing Tampa Bay for the top spot in the NFC South.

New Orleans erased a 12-3 deficit at the end of the third quarter against Cleveland (the Browns led 9-3 at the half) and prevailed 21-18 in the Big Easy. Saints WR Michael Thomas caught a pair of Brees TD passes, the first to pull them to within two with 8:41 left, then a catch that would give them the lead with 2:40 left before the Browns would tie the contest with 76 seconds left in regulation when WR Anthony Calloway and QB Tyrod Taylor hooked up on a 47-yard toss (Cleveland would miss the PAT). New Orleans went back to work and used a 6-play, 49-yard drive that used only 55 seconds, with K Will Lutz sending Saints fans home happy when he connected on a 44-yard field goal with 21 seconds left. Suprisingly, the Browns outrushed New Orleans 93-62, with Brees throwing for 243, while Taylor threw for 246 and a TD (each was sacked three times and picked off once). Cleveland was 4 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:19, while the Saints ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:41, going 3 of 12 on third down tries.

Atlanta took a 17-10 halftime lead against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in the Big Peach and came away 31-24 winners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Ryan threw a pair of TD passes, the first to rookie WR Calvin Ridley, the second to TE Austin Hooper but Ryan also contributed with a pair of rushing TDs inside the red zone. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 170-121, with Falcons RB Tevin Coleman leading all rushers with 107 yards in the contest. Newton threw for 335 yards and three TDs, while Ryan threw for 272 yards (both Ryan and Newton were picked off once). Atlanta would go on to hold off a late Carolina rally that would have tied things up in the final seconds of the fourth quarter when Newton’s final pass attempt fell short of its mark and went incomplete. Carolina was 5 of 11 on third down (the Panthers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 30:18, while Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 29:42.

Atlanta leads the series 51-46 and the Falcons have outscored New Orleans 2,146-2,025. The NFC South rivals met twice last year, with each team taking wins in their home facility.

Meeting one… Atlanta in week 14 in a Thursday night contest, which Atlanta won 20-17. The two clubs entered the half tied at 10-10 before the Saints would take the lead in the third quarter when Brees and WR Michael Thomas connected on a 1-yard TD toss to lead 17-10. That lead would not last long as Ryan and WR Mohamed Sanu connected on an 8-yard toss to tie things up. Matt Bryant would then give the Falcons the lead for good with a 52-yard field goal with 3:49 left in the contest. Atlanta fans then held their breaths as the Saints would try one last drive to either tie things up or take a win out of the Peach State. New Orleans got the ball back with 3:44 left to play and started their drive from their 20 yard line. The Saints would then march their way downfield and got as far as Atlanta’s 11 yard line when Brees was picked off by Deion Jones with 90 sesconds left. After the Saints burned a pair of timeouts, Atlanta was allowed to run out the clock when Saints head coach Sean Payton was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty and take the Thursday night win in the process.

Atlanta outrushed New Orleans 132-50, with DeVonta Freeman leading all rushers with 91 yards and a TD, while Ryan threw for 221 yards and the TD toss to Sanu. For the Saints, Brees threw for 271 yards with two TDs and the interception. Atlanta was 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 34:41, while the Saints kept the ball for 25:19, gokng 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

They met again, this time in the Big Easy and this time it’s week 16 on Christmas Eve afternoon. This time, the Saints acted in a somewhat Grinch-like manner at home and got revenge, taking a 23-13 win over the Falcons. New Orleans led 13-0 at the intermission, then held off a second half Atlanta rally that saw the Falcons outscore the Saints 13-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. Atlanta was outrushed 86-67 and Ryan threw for 288 yards but was sacked 5 times, while Brees threw for 239 yards (both men threw a TD pass and each threw an interception). Atlanta was 2 of 13 on third down (the Falcons were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:12, while the Saints kept the ball for 33:48, going 3 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Although the Saints were favored by 1, the Falcons covered the spread with the 3-point win in the Big Peach. The 52 1/2 over/under was intact in the week 14 contest, with the two clubs combining for 37 points. The Saints easily covered the 5 1/2 point spread in the week 16 Christmas Eve rematch but the 52 over/under went untouched as New Orleans and Atlanta merged for 36 points.

Atlanta’s favored by 3 in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 53. These two teams won the NFC South in the last two seasons and both made their way deep into postseason action. In the end, Atlanta prevails at home and covers the 3.

Denver (1-1) at Baltimore (1-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of 1-1 teams meet in Charm City as Denver comes to Baltimore for an early afternoon meeting with the Baltimore Ravens.

Denver trailed AFC West rival Oakland late into the third quarter, then went on a scoring binge in the final 15 minutes of play and came away 20-19 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Denver trailed 12-0 at the break and saw the Raiders take a 19-7 lead late into the third quarter before Denver took control of things in the final few minutes of the game. Denver’s winning points came with 6 seconds left when K Brian McMannus connected on a 36-yard field goal to give the home team the lead for the first time and for good. Denver outrushed Oakland 168-92 (Denver’s Patrick Lindsey led all rushers with 107 yards, while Oakland was led by Marshawn Lynch wtih 65 yards and a TD) and Case Keenum threw for 222 yards in the contest, while Derek Carr threw for 288 yards and a TD (each was sacked once). Denver was 8 of 16 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:04, while the Raiders, who had a final rally come to an end in the closing seconds, went 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 32:56.

Baltimore limps back home to Charm City after they were taken to task by Cincinnati 34-23 last Thursday night in the Queen City. Baltimore trailed 28-14 at the half and found themselves being outrushed Baltimore 108-66 and Andy Dalton threw for 265 yards and four TDs, connecting with A.J. Green on three of those tosses, while Joe Flacco threw for 376 yards and a pair of TDs with four sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Bengals outrushed Baltimore 108-66 in the Thursday night win along the shores of the Ohio River, forcing three Baltimore turnovers and went 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 31:50, while Baltimore kept the pigskin for 28:10, going 7 of 16 and 2 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

Denver holds a 6-5 lead in the series and the Ravens have outscored the Broncos 245-238. Denver’s last win in the series came in the Mile High City in 2015 by a final of 19-13, while the Ravens’ last win in the series came in 2010 in Charm City by a final of 31-17. The oddsmakers like the Ravens as 5 point favorites in Charm City and the over/under’s 44. Both numbers make a lot of sense. In the bigger scheme of things, Baltimore prevails at home and covers the 5.

Cincinnati (2-0) at Carolina (1-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Cam Newton vs. Andy Dalton. A pair of top first-round QBs meet in the Tar Heel State as Carolina hosts the Cincinnati Bengals at Bank of America Stadium.

Cincinnati manhandled Baltimore 34-23 last Thursday night in the Queen City. The Bengals, leading 28-14 at the half, outrushed Baltimore 108-66 and Dalton threw for 265 yards and four TDs, connecting with A.J. Green on three of those tosses, while Joe Flacco threw for 376 yards and a pair of TDs with four sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Bengals outrushed Baltimore 108-66 in the Thursday night win along the shores of the Ohio River, forcing three Baltimore turnovers and went 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 31:50, while Baltimore kept the pigskin for 28:10, going 7 of 16 and 2 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

Newton and Carolina trailed Atlanta 17-10 at halftime in the Big Peach and came away on the short end of a 31-24 loss to their NFC South rivals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was Matt Ryan that would do damage with his arm, as he threw a pair of TD passes, the first to rookie WR Calvin Ridley, the second to TE Austin Hooper and then with his feet as he contributed with a pair of rushing TDs inside the red zone. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 170-121, with Falcons RB Tevin Coleman leading all rushers with 107 yards in the contest. Newton threw for 335 yards and three TDs, while Ryan threw for 272 yards (both Ryan and Newton were picked off once). Atlanta would go on to hold off a late Carolina rally that would have tied things up in the final seconds of the fourth quarter when Newton’s final pass attempt fell short of its mark and went incomplete. Carolina was 5 of 11 on third down (the Panthers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 30:18, while Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 29:42.

The “Litter Box Series” is tied at 2-2-1 and Carolina has outscored Cincinnati 137-108. Their last meeting was in Cincinnati and that contest resulted in a 37-37 tie in 2014. Carolina’s last win in the series came in 2002 in the Tar Heel State by a final of 52-31, while Cincy’s last win also came in Charlotte by a final of 20-7 in 2010. Carolina’s favored by 3 in the Tar Heel State and the over/under’s 43 1/2. The Bengals are trying to be 3-0, while the Panthers are looking to bounce back from their loss to Atlanta last Sunday afternoon. Cincinnati may not cover the 3 but they’re finer in Carolina and takes the road win.

Tennessee (1-1) at Jacksonville (2-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC South rivals meet in north Florida as Marcus Maritoa and the Tenneessee Titans travel to the Sunshine State to square off against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tennessee, who may or may not have Marcus Mariota under center, held off a late Houston rally in Nashville and came away 20-17 winners at Nissan Stadium. The Titans led 14-7 at the break before Houston would rally in the second half and outscore Tennessee 10-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. Houston did outrush Tennessee 148-100 with Texans RB Lamar Miller leading the way with 68 yards on the afternoon. Blaine Gabbard, who took over for Mariota, threw for 117 yards and a TD, while Texans QB DeShaun Watson threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times and picked off once. Houston on third down tries went 5 of 11 and held the ball for 29:38, while the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:22, going 5 of 15 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Jacksonville finally got over the hump of losing to New England in regular season play at home last Sunday to take a 31-20 win in the Sunshine State. Blake Bortles threw for 377 yards and four TDs, outpacing New England’s Tom Brady (234 yards, two TDs, two sacks) as the Jaguars led 21-3 at the break, outrushing the defending AFC champs 104-82 in the 11-point win to break their eight-game losing streak to New England. Jacksonville was 10 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:46, while the Patriots were 4 of 12 on third down, holding the ball for 29:14.

Tennessee leads the series 26-20 (including contests that were played when the Titans were based in Houston and were known as the Oilers), the Titans have outscored Jacksonville 956-888 and they have won three of the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Jacksonville’s last win over Tennessee came in 2016 in the Sunshine State by a final of 38-17).

The first meeting took place in the Sunshine State in week two and the Titans took control of things at Everbank Field, coming away 37-16 winners. Tennessee led 6-3 at the break, then proceeded to outscore the Jaguars 31-13 in the final 30 minutes of action. The Titans outrushed Jacksonville 179-99 and Mariota threw for 215 yards, while Bortles threw for 223 yards (Bortles was picked off twice and sacked twice, Mariota was picked off once and was sacked once). Each club went 6 of 13 on third down and the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:46 to Jacksonville’s 29:14.

Tennessee made it a clean sweep in the series, taking a 15-10 win in the Music City in week 17. In the season finale, the Titans led 12-3 at the intermission, then held off a late Jacksonville rally in the final 15 minutes of play (Jacksonville had already clinched the AFC South title). Tennessee outrushed the Jaguars 116-83 and Mariota threw for 134 yards and a TD, while Bortles threw for 158 yards with two sacks and two interceptions (Mariota was sacked three times). Tennessee was 3 of 16 on third down (the Titans were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:27, while the Jaguars kept it for 26:33, going 6 for 16 on third down.

In the week two contest, Tennessee covered the 1 1/2-point spread with their 21-point win and both teams covered the 48 1/2 over/under with 53 points. In the week 17 contest, the Titans barely missed the 5 1/2 spread, winning by 5 and neither club breached the 41 over/under, as both clubs tallied only 25 points. The oddsmakers like Jacksonville as a 9-point favorite and the over/under’s 40. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Jacksonville wins in the Sunshine State but won’t cover the 9.

Oakland (0-2) at Miami (2-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of teams going in different directions meet in the Sunshine State as Oakland travels to Miami Gardens for a contest with the resurging Miami Dolphins.

Oakland saw AFC West rival Denver go on a scoring binge in the final 15 minutes of play and watched the Broncons come away 20-19 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Silver and Black, dropping their second in a row, led 12-0 at the break and took a 19-7 lead late into the third quarter before Denver took control of things in the final few minutes of the game. Denver’s winning points came with 6 seconds left when K Brian McMannus connected on a 36-yard field goal to give the home team the lead for the first time and for good. Denver outrushed Oakland 168-92 (Denver’s Patrick Lindsey led all rushers with 107 yards, while Oakland was led by Marshawn Lynch wtih 65 yards and a TD) and Case Keenum threw for 222 yards in the contest, while Derek Carr threw for 288 yards and a TD (each was sacked once). Denver was 8 of 16 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:04, while the Raiders, who had a final rally come to an end in the closing seconds, went 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 32:56.

Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnaold made his first start at home, passing for 334 yards with one touchdown and safety Jamal Adams and linebacker Jordan Jenkins each recorded a sack and forced fumble but it wasn’t enough as the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! took a 20-12 loss to Miami last Sunday. Darnold, who was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, became the youngest player in NFL history (21 years, 103 days old) to throw for at least 300 yards in a single game, surpassing the previous record held by Jacky Lee (21 years, 137 days old), who threw for 331 yards on November 25, 1960. Miami outrushed GangGreen 135-42 and Ryan Tannehill threw for 168 yards and a pair of TDs, despite being sacked four times. Leading 20-0 at the intermission, the Dolphins were 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:25, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:35, going 3 for 10 on third downs.

Including games that were played at the Orange Bowl and in Los Angeles, the Raiders lead the series 17-16-1 and the Dolphins have outscored the Silver and Black 706-686. They met last year in the Sunshine State and Oakland came away with the 27-24 win (Miami’s last win over the Raiders came on the other side of the Atlantic in 2014 by a final of 38-14).

The 2017 meeting took place in week nine at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens and the Raiders held off a late Miami rally after taking a 13-9 lead at the intermission. Miami outrushed Oakland 86-84 and Carr threw for 300 yards with a TD (Carr was picked off once and sacked once), while Jay Cutler, who took over for Tannehill (knee) threw for 311 yards and three TDS with one sack. Miami was 5 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 29:04, while the Silver and Black ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 30:56, going 8 of 15 on third down.

Oakland covered the 3-point spread with the 3-point win and both clubs covered the 44 over/under by tallying 51 points in the Sunshine State. Miami’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Could this be a playoff preview? Hard to say. Miami’s been hot the last two games, while the Raiders let leads get away from them in the first two contests. Miami covers the 3 and wins in the Sunshine State.

Buffalo (0-2) at Minnesota (1-0-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. The winless Buffalo Bills travel to the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a showdown with the Minesota Vikings. Both teams are looking to right their ships after failure in their contests last week.

Buffalo dropped their second contest of the 2018 season against the Los Angeles Chargers, falling to the Bolts 31-20 in upstate New York. Held to 84 yards of rushing, the Bills trailed 28-6 at the intermission and could never get back on track in their home opener. Josh Allen threw for 245 yards but was sacked five times and picked off once, while Chargers QB Philip Rivers threw for 256 yards and three TDs. Buffalo went 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 26:58, while the Chargers ruled the clock and held the ball for 33:02, going 3 of 9 on third down tries.

Minnesota erased a 29-21 deficit at Green Bay and came out of Lambeau Field with a 29-29 tie in overtime. The Packers led 17-7 at the intermission before the Vikings rallied in the second half to outscore Green Bay 22-12. Minnesota then trailed 29-21 with 31 seconds left when QB Kirk Cousins and wR Adam Thielen connected on a 22-yard TD strike to pull to within two. The Vikings then hit paydirt when Cousins and WR Stefon Diggs connected on the 2-point conversion. After the two clubs had the ball twice in the overtime, Minnesota got the ball one more time and marched from their 20-yard line to Green Bay’s 17-yard line. After both clubs burned time outs, Minnesota’s Daniel Carlson attempted a 35-yard field goal try with four seconds left to win the game and send Vikings fans home happy. It was not to be, as the kick sailed wide to the right, allowing Packer fans to breathe a sigh of relief. Green Bay outrushed Minnesota 98-68 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 281 yards and a TD, despite being sacked four times, while Cousins threw for 425 yards and four TDs. Minnesota was 7 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:52 (including the overtime), while the Packers were 38:08 in time of possession, going 4 of 13 on third down conversions at Lambeau.

Including contests that took place in Bloomington, old War Memorial Stadium and the Metrodome, the Vikings lead the series 8-5 and the Purple Gang has outscored Buffalo 314-222. Their last meeting took place in 2014 along the shores of Lake Erie and the Bills would be victorious by a final of 17-16, while Minnesota’s last win came in 2010 in the Twin Cities, taking a 38-14 win in that contest. The Vikings are a huge 16 1/2 point favorite and the over/under’s 41. The 41 points makes sense. The 16 1/2-point spread? That’s a bit much. While the Bills have been struggling the last two games, they’re not 16 1/2 points bad. They will make things interesting and could make it a much closer contest but the Vikings prevailed at home in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

New York Giants (0-2) at Houston (0-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Eli Manning and the Giants continue their trip through the Lone Star State as they travel to Houston to face off against the Texans at NRG Stadium with each searching for their first win after losses on the road.

The Giants would rally and pull themselves to within three but came up on the short end of a 20-13 loss at Dallas last Sunday night in the Lone Star State. Big Blue trailed 10-0 at the intermission, then rallied to make the NFC East contest a 3-point affair when K Aldrick Rosas connected on a 38-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. While rushing for 138 yards, Dallas held the Giants to 35 yards on the ground and sacked Eli Manning six times (Mannning threw for 279 yards), while Dak Prescott threw for 160 yards (both Prescott and Manning threw a TD pass) in the win. Dallas was 3 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:48, while the Giants ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:12, going 8 of 17 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

A late Houston rally in Nashville fell short for the Texans as Tennessee would hold on and came away 20-17 winners at Nissan Stadium. Houston kept the contest close, trailing 14-7 at the break before they rallied rally in the second half and outscore Tennessee 10-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. The Texans did outrush Tennessee 148-100 with Texans RB Lamar Miller leading the way with 68 yards on the afternoon. Blaine Gabbard, who took over for Mariota, threw for 117 yards and a TD, while Texans QB DeShaun Watson threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times and picked off once. Houston on third down tries went 5 of 11 and held the ball for 29:38, while the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:22, going 5 of 15 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

A late Houston rally in Nashville was not enough as the Titans held off the Texans 20-17 at Nissan Stadium. The Titans led 14-7 at the break before Houston would rally in the second half and outscore Tennessee 10-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. Houston did outrush Tennessee 148-100 with Texans RB Lamar Miller leading the way with 68 yards on the afternoon. Blaine Gabbard, who took over for Mariota, threw for 117 yards and a TD, while Texans QB DeShaun Watson threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times and picked off once. Houston on third down tries went 5 of 11 and held the ball for 29:38, while the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:22, going 5 of 15 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Big Blue leads the series 3-1, the Giants have outscored Houston 92-53 and have won the last three meetings, including taking a 24-17 win in the Lone Star State in 2015, while Houston’s lone victory came in their first meeting in Houston in 2002 by a final of 16-14. Houston’s favored by 6 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Both are looking for the first win of the 2018 campaign. Houston covers the 6 and picks up win number one in the Lone Star State.

San Francisco (1-1) at Kansas City (2-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. The 49ers travel to the Midwest for a showdown at Arrowhead against the undefeated Chiefs.

San Francisco held off a late Detroit rally last Sunday on the West Coast and came out on top 30-27 at Levis’ Stadium. San Francisco led the winless Lions 13-10 at the intermission as the two clubs played even football in the final 30 minutes of play. San Francsico outrushed the Lions 190-98 with 49ers RB Matt Breida rushing for 138 yards and a TD, while Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 206 yards and a pair of TDs, despite being sacked six times, while Matt Stafford threw for 347 yards and three TDs with a pair of sacks. Detroit was 7 of 16 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 30:26, while the 49ers went 3 of 11 on third down, holding the ball for 29:34.

Kanas City and Pat Mahomes broke a 21-21 halftime tie at Heinz Field as the Chiefs left the Steel City with a 42-37 win. The Steelers and Chiefs would later pull even at 28-28 with 7:12 left in the third quarter thanks to a 1-yard run by RB James Conner before Kansas City scored twice when WRs Demarcus Robinson and Tyreek Hill caught TD passes from Mahomes to take the lead back for keeps. Pittsburgh would then tally a safety thanks to CB Artie Burns and a 1-yard run by Roethlisberger to make the contest closer. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for 452 yards and the three TD tosses in addition to the TD run, while Mahomes threw for 326 yards and six TDs (each man was sacked once and did not throw an interception). Kansas City outrushed Pittsburgh 127-33, with Chiefs TE Travis Kelce catching seven passes for 109 yards and two TDs, while Steelers WR Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster had 13 catches for 121 yards and a TD. The Chiefs were 2 for 5 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:49, while the Steelers, who ruled the clock by keeping the ball for 32:11, went 3 of 11 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down conversions.

San Francisco leads the series (which includes contests that took place at Swope Field in Kansas City, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park in San Francisco) 7-5, while the Chiefs have outscored the 49ers 236-218. San Francsico won the last meeting on the West Coast in 2014, coming away with a 22-17 win, while the Chiefs’ last win in the series came at Arrowhead by a final of 31-10 in 2010. Kansas City’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 58. The Chiefs look to remain unbeaten, the 49ers look to get over the .500 mark. Kansas City prevails but San Francisco will make this one closer than 6 1/2.

Indianapolis (1-1) at Philadelphia (1-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of 1-1s meet in the City of Brotherly Love as as Andrew Luck leads the Indianapolis Colts into Philadelphia to take on the defending Super Bowl champions at Lincoln Financial Field.

The defending Super Bowl champs rallied from a 20-7 deficit at the intermission at Tampa Bay, only to fall to the Buccaneers 27-21 at Raymond James Stadium. Philadelphia pulled themselves to within seven with 2:46 left in the contest when Nick Foles (334 yards) and WR Nelson Agholor connected on a 2-yard TD toss, giving Bucs fans a scare at home in the Sunshine State. Although the Eagles outrushed Tampa Bay 91-43, Ryan Fitzpatrick (in his second game, taking over for the suspended Jameis Winston) burned Philly for 402 yards and four TDs in the home opener for Tampa Bay. The Bucs were 4 of 10 on third down and kept the ball for 24:21, while the Eagles were 5 of 15 on third down, 3 of 5 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:39.

Luck and the Colts picked up their first win of the season, ruining the home opener for the Washington Redskins and coming away 21-9 winners at FedEx Field. The Colts, who outrushed Washington 104-65 last Sunday, held the Redskins to three Dustin Hopkins field goals, while Luck threw for 179 yards and a pair of TDs (Washington’s Alex Smith threw for 292 yards and three sacks). Indy went 9 of 16 on third down tries, holding the ball for 26:40, while the Redskins were 5 of 16 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs and kept the ball for 33:20.

Including games that were played in Baltimore, the Liberty Bowl and Veterans Stadium, the Colts lead the series 10-8 and have outscored the Eagles 451-387. However, the Eagles have won the last two meetings, including a 30-27 win in the Hoosier State in 2014, while the Colts’ last win in the series came in 2006 by a final of 45-21. The Eagles are favored by 6 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. This contest could be pretty entertaining. Eagles bounce back from their loss in the Sunshine State and covers the 6 with the win in the City of Brotherly Love.

Green Bay (1-0-1) at Washington (1-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. Green Bay makes their way to suburban Washington for an afternoon showdown with the Redskins at FedEx Field.

Packers fans watched a 29-21 fourth quarter lead at Lambeau Field get away from them against Minnesota and got some much needed luck in overtime as they left their NFC North contest with the Vikings tied 29-29. The Packers led 17-7 at the intermission before the Vikings rallied in the second half to outscore Green Bay 22-12. Minnesota then trailed 29-21 with 31 seconds left when QB Kirk Cousins and wR Adam Thielen connected on a 22-yard TD strike to pull to within two. The Vikings then hit paydirt when Cousins and WR Stefon Diggs connected on the 2-point conversion. After the two clubs had the ball twice in the overtime, Minnesota got the ball one more time and marched from their 20-yard line to Green Bay’s 17-yard line. After both clubs burned time outs, Minnesota’s Daniel Carlson attempted a 35-yard field goal try with four seconds left to win the game and send Vikings fans home happy. It was not to be, as the kick sailed wide to the right, allowing Packer fans to breathe a sigh of relief. Green Bay outrushed Minnesota 98-68 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 281 yards and a TD, despite being sacked four times, while Cousins threw for 425 yards and four TDs. Minnesota was 7 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:52 (including the overtime), while the Packers were 38:08 in time of possession, going 4 of 13 on third down conversions at Lambeau.

The Redskins came home to FedEx Field last Sunday and dropped their home opener to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts 21- 9. Held to three Dustin Hopkins field goals, Washington rushed for 65 yards with Alex Smith throwing for 292 yards and three sacks, while Luck threw for 179 yards and a pair of TDs with two interceptions. Indy went 9 of 16 on third down tries, holding the ball for 26:40, while the Redskins were 5 of 16 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs and kept the ball for 33:20.
The Packers lead the series 18-14-1 (including contests played in Milwaukee, in Boston when the Redskins were known as the Braves and at RFK Stadium) and have outscored Washington 646-549. Washington came away 42-24 winners in 2016 at FedEx Field in the last meeting, while Green Bay’s last win came in 2013 at Lambeau by a final of 38-20. The Packers are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Green Bay covers the 3 and delivers the win at FedEx Field.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) at Los Angeles Rams (2-0), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. It’s an all-LA battle as the Chargers and Rams meet in Tinsletown for an inner city showdown.

The Chargers manhandled Buffalo last Sunday in upstate New York, taking the Bills to task 31-20 in their home opener. Los Angeles held Buffalo to 84 yards of rushing and led 28-6 at the intermission, keeping their hosts in check. Buffalo’s Josh Allen threw for 245 yards but was sacked five times and picked off once, while Chargers QB Philip Rivers threw for 256 yards and three TDs. Buffalo went 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 26:58, while the Chargers ruled the clock and held the ball for 33:02, going 3 of 9 on third down tries.

Meanwhile, the other LA team took Arizona to the woodshed last Sunday, scoring 34 points in their contest with the Desert Angry Birds unchalleged and shutting them out 34-0. Todd Gurley was good for three TDs in the contest as the Rams led 19-0 at the break, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, keeping Arizona in check. The Rams outrushed Arizona 90-54 and held Sam Bradford to 90 yards passing, while Jeff Goff threw for 354 yards and a TD for Los Angeles. The Rams on third down 8 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:08, while Arizona kept the pigskin for 25:52, going 3 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Including contests that took place in San Diego and St. Louis, the Rams lead the series 6-5 and the Rams and Chargers each have scored 290 points in the 11 contests. The Chargers won the last meeting, taking a 27-24 win at Qualcomm Stadium that season, while the Rams’ last win in the series came in 2010 in St. Louis by a final of 20-17. The Rams are favored by 7 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams can put up points when they need to. While Charger fans won’t have far to travel, they’ll leave the Coliseum with a loss under their belts. The Rams may not cover the 7 but they’ll take the win in their back yard.

Chicago (1-1) at Arizona (0-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Chicago travels to the desert to face off against the winless Cardinals in Glendale.

Chicago led 10-3 Seattle at the intermission in the Windy City last Monday night, then held off the Seahawks 24-17 at Soldier Field. Da Bears outrushed Seattle 86-74, while Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky threw for 200 yards, with Russell Wilson throwing for 226 for Seattle (each threw a pair of TDs, Wilson was sacked six times and picked off once, while Trubisky was picked off twice). Chicago was 5 of 12 on third down (Da Bears were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:24, while Seattle was 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:36.

Arizona was taken to the woodshed by the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday, watching the defending NFC West champs score 34 points in their contest with the Desert Angry Birds unchalleged and shutting them out 34-0. Todd Gurley was good for three TDs in the contest as the Rams led 19-0 at the break, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, keeping Arizona in check. The Rams outrushed Arizona 90-54 and held Sam Bradford to 90 yards passing, while Jeff Goff threw for 354 yards and a TD for Los Angeles. The Rams on third down 8 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:08, while Arizona kept the pigskin for 25:52, going 3 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs. Chicago’s favored by 6 1/2 in the desert and the over/under’s 37 1/2. Chicago would like to move above the .500 mark, while the Desert Angry Birds want to take their first win of the season in their nest. Da Bears prevail in the desert and takes the win but expect Arizona to make things closer than 6 1/2.

Including games that took place when the Cardinals were in Chicago and Da Bears played their home games at Wrigley Field, Chicago has a 56-28-6 lead in the series (Da Bears also played games at Comiskey Park on the South Side of Chicago) and have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,718-1,175. The Desert Angry Birds won the last meeting, coming away 48-23 winners in 2015 in the Windy City, while Da Bears were 28-13 winners in the desert in 2012. Chicago’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 37 1/2. Da Bears are looking to move above the .500 mark, while the Desert Angry Birds are looking to avoid goinkg 0-3 for the first time since 2005 (Arizona would wind up going 5-11 that year). Da Bears win in the desert and may cover the 6 1/2 in the process.

Dallas (1-1) at Seattle (0-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. Dallas travels to the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks for a late-afternoon contest with Seattle in the Pacific Northwest.

Dallas held off a late New York Giants rally and came away 20-13 winners last Sunday night in the Lone Star State. Dallas led 10-0 at the intermission, then held off a late Giants rally in the second half for the win to even their record in their home opener at Jerry World. While rushing for 138 yards, Dallas held the Giants to 35 yards on the ground and sacked Eli Manning six times (Mannning threw for 279 yards), while Dak Prescott threw for 160 yards (both Prescott and Manning threw a TD pass) in the win. Dallas was 3 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:48, while the Giants ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:12, going 8 of 17 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Seattle trailed Chicago 10-3 at the intermission in the Windy City, then rallied but came away 24-17 losers at Soldier Field last Monday night. Da Bears outrushed Seattle 86-74, while Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky threw for 200 yards, with Russell Wilson throwing for 226 for Seattle (each threw a pair of TDs, Wilson was sacked six times and picked off once, while Trubisky was picked off twice). Chicago was 5 of 12 on third down (Da Bears were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:24, while Seattle was 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:36.

While the Cowboys lead the series 10-7 and have outscored Seattle 411-304, Seattle has won the last two meetings, both wins coming in the Lone Star State and Seattle coming away with a 21-12 week 16 win last year in Jerry World. That contest was a “winner remains in the playoff hunt and the loser is out” contest, as Dallas led 9-7 at the intermission at AT&T Stadium before Seattle and Wilson took control of things in the final 30 minutes of action, outscoring Dallas 14-3 and taking the lead for keeps when Prescott was picked off by Justin Coleman, who returned the ball 30 yards for a touchdown with 11:19 left in the third quarter. After Dallas’ Dan Bailey pulled his club to within 2 with a 39 yard field goal, Wilson and WR Doug Baldwin connected on a 6-yard TD toss to seal Dallas’ fate and knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs, as Bailey would miss a pair of fourth quarter field goal tries.

In the week 16 contest, the Cowboys were favored by 4 1/2 and Seattle won by 9, covering the spread. The 47 over/under was untouched as both clubs scored 33 points. Seattle’s favored in the Pacific Northwest by 1 and the over/under’s 41 1/2 in the Sunday afternoon contest in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle covers the 1 and wins in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

New England (1-1) at Detroit (0-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Teacher meets pupil. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots come to the Motor City to square off against their former defensive co-ordinator Matt Patricia, now the head coach of the Lions. Both clubs enter the Sunday night contest at Ford Field with road losses under their belts.

New England saw their eight-game win streak over Jacksonville come to an end in the Sunshine State as the Jaguars took care of the Patriots and Brady 31-20 in an AFC Championship game rematch. Blake Bortles threw for 377 yards and four TDs, outpacing Brady (234 yards, two TDs, two sacks) as the Jaguars led 21-3 at the break, outrushing the defending AFC champs 104-82 in the 11-point win to break their eight-game losing streak to New England. Jacksonville was 10 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:46, while the Patriots were 4 of 12 on third down, holding the ball for 29:14.

Detroit’s late rally at San Francisco fell short, as the Lions took home a 30-27 loss to the 49ers at Levis’ Stadium. The Lions, who dropped their second game in as many tries, kept the West Coast close and trailed 13-10 at the intermission as the two clubs played even football in the final 30 minutes of play. San Francsico outrushed the Lions 190-98 with 49ers RB Matt Breida rushing for 138 yards and a TD, while Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 206 yards and a pair of TDs, despite being sacked six times, while Matt Stafford threw for 347 yards and three TDs with a pair of sacks. Detroit was 7 of 16 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 30:26, while the 49ers went 3 of 11 on third down, holding the ball for 29:34

New England leads the series 7-4, the Pats have outscored Detroit 239-223 and New England has won the last four meetings, including taking a 34-9 win in Foxboro in 2014, while the Lions last win was in the Motor City by (ironically) a 34-9 final in 2000. New England’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 52. Both numbers make a lot of sense and given that it’s a former coach going up against the team that gave Patricia his start, we can’t help but make this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (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! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), 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 items in question) 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 just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-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?”)

New England looks to right itself after their loss in Jacksonville, while the Lions want to keep pace in the NFC North and get that first win for Patricia. That first win will have to wait. Pats cover the 7 and win in the Motor City.

Pittsburgh (0-1-1) at Tampa Bay (2-0), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week three comes to its conclusion in the Sunshine State as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh saw Kanas City and Pat Mahomes break a 21-21 halftime tie at Heinz Field as the Chiefs left the Steel City with a 42-37 win. The Steelers and Chiefs would later pull even at 28-28 with 7:12 left in the third quarter thanks to a 1-yard run by RB James Conner before Kansas City scored twice when WRs Demarcus Robinson and Tyreek Hill caught TD passes from Mahomes to take the lead back for keeps. Pittsburgh would then tally a safety thanks to CB Artie Burns and a 1-yard run by Roethlisberger to make the contest closer. Roethlisberger threw for 452 yards and the three TD tosses in addition to the TD run, while Mahomes threw for 326 yards and six TDs (each man was sacked once and did not throw an interception). Kansas City outrushed Pittsburgh 127-33, with Chiefs TE Travis Kelce catching seven passes for 109 yards and two TDs, while Steelers WR Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster had 13 catches for 121 yards and a TD. The Chiefs were 2 for 5 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:49, while the Steelers, who ruled the clock by keeping the ball for 32:11, went 3 of 11 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down conversions.

In their home opener, Tampa Bay led the defending Super Bowl champs Philadelphia Eagles 20-7 deficit at the intermission at Tampa Bay, then held off the Eagles 27-21 at Raymond James Stadium. Philadelphia pulled themselves to within seven with 2:46 left in the contest when Nick Foles (334 yards) and WR Nelson Agholor connected on a 2-yard TD toss, giving Bucs fans a scare at home in the Sunshine State. Although the Eagles outrushed Tampa Bay 91-43, Ryan Fitzpatrick (in his second game, taking over for the suspended Jameis Winston) burned Philly for 402 yards and four TDs in the home opener for Tampa Bay. The Bucs were 4 of 10 on third down and kept the ball for 24:21, while the Eagles were 5 of 15 on third down, 3 of 5 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:39.

Pittsburgh holds an 8-2 lead in the series and the Steelers have outscored Tampa Bay 233-131 in the 10 games that have transpired. Tampa Bay won the last meeting, taking a 27-24 win in the Steel City in 2014, while Pittsburgh’s last win came in 2010 in Tampa Bay by a final of 38-13.

The Steelers on MNF are 46-24 and won their two meetings that they played last year, while the Buccaneers are 11-10 and lost their only prime time contest in the 2017 campaign to Atlanta at Raymond James Stadium. Pittsburgh’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 53 1/2. Both numbers make sense. This might be one of the better Monday night games this season, so you might want to tape “Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon” and “Bull” this week. Steelers cover the 1 1/2 and win in the Sunshine State.

Close games, record-setting performances and memorable moments from stars both established and new highlighted an exciting Kickoff Weekend. With eight divisional matchups and a rematch of the 2017 AFC Championship Game on the schedule, Week two promises more of the same. If week one was good, fans can expect week two to be better. Five games were decided by 6 points or less in week one, while threw contests were blowouts.

Every team wants to get off to a fast start as history has shown that teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to advance to the playoffs as teams that lose their opener. But an 0-1 start is not impossible to overcome as nearly 25 percent of teams that lose a season opener advance to the playoffs, including three teams in 2017 –   New England, New Orleans and Tennessee.

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 52.1 percent (306 of 587) of teams that won their season opener advanced to the postseason:

Of the 587 teams which won openers…306 went to the playoffs (185 won division titles)

Of the 586 teams which lost openers…140 went to the playoffs (81 won division titles)

(Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact that the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.)

Ten games in Week 1 were decided by eight points or fewer and eight games were won by teams that did not advance to the 2017 postseason. Twelve of 16 games were within one score in the fourth quarter and five teams – Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Green Bay and Philadelphia – won or tied a game after trailing in the fourth quarter. Green Bay, who defeated NFC North rival Chicago 24-23 at Lambeau Field in Week 1 after trailing 20-0 in the third quarter, became the eighth team in league history to win a season-opening game after trailing by at least 20 points.

Led by the New York Jets (48 points), Tampa Bay (48) and Baltimore (47), there were 765 total points scored across the league on Kickoff Weekend, the third-most in NFL history in Week 1. There were 12 return touchdowns on Kickoff Weekend, the second-most in Week 1 since the 1970 merger (13 in 2011). The Jets, who scored two return touchdowns in their win at Detroit in Week 1, became the third team in NFL history to score a touchdown via pass, rush, interception and punt return in a season-opening game.

Last week saw incredible performances from rookies and veterans alike. New England quarterback Tom Brady became the third player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass in a season-opening game at the age of 41 or older, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers George Blanda and Warren Moon, in the Patriots’ 27-20 win over Houston. New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who became the youngest quarterback (21 years, 97 days old), to start a season-opening game in the Super Bowl era, threw two touchdown passes in the Jets’ Week 1 win over Detroit. With two interceptions against Pittsburgh in his NFL debut, Cleveland cornerback Denzel Ward became the first rookie to record multiple interceptions in a season-opening game since Indianapolis’ Eugene Daniel on September 2, 1984 against the New York Jets.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: There were several notable Kickoff Weekend records set and milestones reached on Sunday.

The 88 combined points by Tampa Bay (48) and New Orleans (40) are the most points scored in a single game on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history. The previous record was held by the Philadelphia Eagles (45) and Washington Redskins (42) who combined for 87 points on September 28, 1947. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for three touchdowns against Tampa Bay and has 37 career touchdown passes in season-opening games, the most in NFL history, surpassing the previous record of 34 held by Peyton Manning. New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded a career-high 16 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown against Tampa Bay. Thomas’ 16 catches are the most by a player on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history, surpassing the previous record of 15 held by Keenan Allen (September 13, 2015 vs. Detroit).

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 76 receiving yards against Washington. Fitzgerald (1,068 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches) is one of five players with at least 1,000 career receiving yards and eight touchdown catches in season-opening games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (1,385 yards, nine touchdowns), Andre Reed (1,225, 10), Randy Moss (1,194, 10) and Don Maynard (1,025, nine).

• Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 417 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions and rushed for a touchdown in the Buccaneers’ 48-40 win at New Orleans. With his performance, Fitzpatrick joined Washington’s Mark Rypien (November 10, 1991 against Atlanta) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions and rush for a touchdown in a single game.

Buccaneers wide receiver De Sean Jackson had 146 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including a 58-yard touchdown catch, in the win. Jackson has 27 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers Lance Alworth and Terrell Owens for the third-most in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (36) and Randy Moss (29) have more in league annals.

New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 277 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 102.2 passer rating in the Patriots’ 27-20 win over Houston. Brady, who is 41 years, 37 days old, became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass in a season-opening game at the age of 41 or older, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers George Blanda (45 years, 0 days) and Warren Moon (41 years, 292 days).

• Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown and had 70 receiving yards in the Redskins’ 24-6 win at Arizona. Peterson, who has 12,372 career rushing yards and 100 career rushing touchdowns, became the seventh player in NFL history to record at least 12,000 rushing yards and 100 rushing touchdowns. The six other players to accomplish the feat – Marcus Allen, Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith and LaDanian Tomlinson – are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Peterson surpassed Faulk (12,279) and Brown (12,312) for the 10th-most rushing yards in NFL history.

Kansas City wide receiver/punt returner Tyreek Hill had seven catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns, including a 58-yard touchdown catch, and a 91-yard punt-return touchdown in the Chiefs’ 38-28 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. Hill joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Hayes (December 8, 1968 vs. Pittsburgh) and Tavon Austin (November 10, 2013 at Indianapolis) as the only players in NFL history to record a 50+ yard touchdown catch and a 90+ yard punt-return touchdown in a single game. Hill has 13 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards (six receiving, four punt-return, two rushing, one kick-return) in 32 career games and is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers and Devin Hester for the most 50+ yard touchdowns in a player’s first 35 career games in NFL history.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald recorded seven catches for 76 yards in the Cardinals’ loss to Washington. Fitzgerald has recorded at least one reception in 212 consecutive games and surpassed Tony Gonzalez (211) for the second-longest streak of consecutive games with a catch in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice holds the record with at least one catch in 274 consecutive games from 1985-2004.

Cleveland and Pittsburgh played to a 21-21 tie at FirstEnergy Stadium along the shores of Lake Erie. Sunday’s game marked the first Kickoff Weekend game to end in a tie since September 19, 1971, when the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos played to a 10-10 tie. Cleveland rookie cornerback Denzel Ward recorded two interceptions in his NFL debut. Ward, who is 21 years, 134 days old, became the fourth-youngest player in NFL history with at least two interceptions in a single game. Only Dicky Moegle (21 years, 39 days on October 23, 1955), Marcus Williams (21 years, 114 days on December 31, 2017) and Champ Bailey (21 years, 117 days on October 17, 1999) accomplished the feat at a younger age. Ward became the first rookie to record multiple interceptions in a season-opening game since Indianapolis’ Eugene Daniel on September 2, 1984 against the New York Jets.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown had nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Brown has 10,003 receiving yards in 116 career games and tied Torry Holt (116) for the second-fewest games to reach 10,000 receiving yards in NFL history. Only Calvin Johnson (115 games) reached the milestone in fewer career games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: NO NEED TO PANIC: Since realignment in 2002, 116 of the 192 playoff teams (60.4 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including eight teams last season and six division champions – Jacksonville (AFC South), the Los Angeles Rams (NFC West), Minnesota (NFC North), New England (AFC East), New Orleans (NFC South) and Philadelphia (NFC East).

Last season, the New Orleans Saints began the season 0-2 and advanced to the playoffs after becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to win eight consecutive games following an 0-2 start.

A look at how playoff clubs in 2016 and 2017 began their seasons:

Team (After 2 games, 2016 Playoff result)
Atlanta (1-1, Advanced to Super Bowl LI)
Dallas (1-1, Advanced to NFC Divisional)
Detroit (1-1, Advanced to NFC Wild Card)
Green Bay (1-1, Advanced to NFC Championship)
Houston (2-0, Advanced to AFC Divisional)
Kansas City (1-1, Advanced to AFC Divisional)
Miami (0-2, Advanced to AFC Wild Card)
New England (2-0, Won Super Bowl LI)
New York Giants (2-0, Advanced to NFC Wild Card)
Pittsburgh (2-0, Advanced to AFC Championship)
Oakland (1-1, Advanced to AFC Wild Card)
Seattle (1-1, Advanced to Divisional)

Team (After 2 games, 2017 Playoff Result)
Atlanta (2-0, Advanced to NFC Divisional)
Buffalo (1-1, Advanced to AFC Wild Card)
Carolina (2-0, Advanced to NFC Wild Card)
Jacksonville (1-1, Advanced to AFC Championship)
Kansas City (2-0, Advanced to AFC Wild Card)
Los Angeles Rams (1-1, Advanced to NFC Wild Card)
Minnesota (1-1, Advanced to NFC Championship)
New England (1-1, Advanced to Super Bowl LII)
New Orleans (0-2, Advanced to NFC Divisional)
Philadelphia (1-1, Won Super Bowl LII)
Pittsburgh (2-0, Advanced to AFC Divisional)
Tennessee (1-1, Advanced to Divisional)

MOVING UP THE RANKS: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has 51,400 career passing yards in his 15-year NFL career.

With 76 passing yards on Sunday against Kansas City at Heinz Field, Roethlisberger will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for the seventh-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (70,884)*
Tom Brady – New England (66,436)*
Dan Marino – Miami (61,361)^
Eli Manning – New York Giants (51,906)*
John Elway – Denver (51,475)^
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (51,400)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Three quarterbacks – New Orleans’ Drew Brees (439 passing yards), Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (424) and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (417) – each threw for at least 400 yards on Kickoff Weekend.

With 400 passing yard performances in Week 2, Brees, Rivers and Fitzpatrick can join TOM BRADY (2011) and Cam Newton (2011) as the only quarterbacks to throw for at least 400 yards in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history.

The players to throw for at least 400 yards in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER (SEASON – TEAM; GAME 1 PASSING YARDS/GAME 2 PASSING YARDS)
Tom Brady (2011 – New England; 517/423)
Cam Newton (2011 – Carolina; 422/432)
Drew Brees (2018 – New Orleans; 439/???)
Philip Rivers ((2018 – Los Angeles Chargers; 424/???)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018 – Tampa Bay; 417/???)

Two quarterbacks – Fitzpatrick and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes – each threw four touchdown passes in Week 1.

With four touchdown passes in Week 2, Fitzpatrick and Mahomes would join Drew Bledsoe (1997) as the only quarterbacks to throw for at least four touchdowns in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history.

The players to throw for at least four touchdowns in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER (SEASON – TEAM; GAME 1 PASSING TDS/GAME 2 PASSING TDS)
Drew Bledsoe (1997 – New England; 4/4)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018 – Tampa Bay; 4/???)
Patrick Mahomes (2018 – Kansas City; 4/???)

BURSTING ONTO THE SCENE: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 106 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, in his NFL debut last week.

With another 100-yard performance in Week 2 against the Cowboys Sunday night in Arlington, Barkley can become the first rookie since 2005 (Cadillac Williams) with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his team’s first two games of the season.

The rookies with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his team’s first two games of the season since 1970:

PLAYER (TEAM – SEASON)
Cadillac Williams (Tampa Bay – 2005)
Edgerrin James (Indianapolis – 1999)
Marshall Faulk (Indianapolis – 1994)^
Billy Sims (Detroit – 1980)
Ottis Anderson (St. Louis Cardinals – 1979)
William Andrews (Atlanta – 1979)
Earl Campbell (Houston Oilers – 1978)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

LIKE MIKE: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded a career-high 16 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, the most by a player on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history.

With 11 receptions on Sunday against Cleveland, Thomas can surpass Andre Rison (26) for the most receptions by a player in his team’s first two games to start a season in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in his team’s first two games of the season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, RECEPTIONS IN TEAM’S 1ST 2 GAMES)
Andre Rison, Atlanta (1994, 26)
Rod Smith, Denver (2001, 23)
Julian Edelman, New England (2015, 22)
Julio Jones, Atlanta (2015, 22)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2018, 16)*
*Through Week 1

Week one was a pretty good week for picks, as we went 11-5 to open the season. One week gone. 16 to go. Week 2 kicked off with an AFC North showdown on Thursday Night Football as Cincinnati took care of Baltimore along the shores of the Ohio River and concludes in the Windy City as Seattle travels to Chicago for a Monday night contest with Da Bears.

Here are the picks for week two’s Sunday and Monday games.

Carolina (0-1) at ATLANTA (0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Matt Ryan. Cam Newton. A pair of NFC South foes, separated by 245 miles, meet in the Big Peach as Atlanta and Carolina square off at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Carolina and Cam Newton took care of Dallas 16-8 last Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. Newtown threw for 161 yards, despite being sacked three times and had a rushing TD in the contest to open the scoring. Scorless at the end of the first quarter, the Panthers took a 10-0 lead into the intermission, although Dallas did manage to outscore Carolina 8-6 in the final period play, with the Cowboys getting their only points on a 4-yard run by RB Ezekiel Elliott and a Dak Prescott two-point conversion. Carolina outrushed Dallas 147-94, with Elliott leading all rushers with 69 yards (Newton tallied 58), while Prescott threw for 170 yards with six sacks. Dallas was 2 of 11 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:24, while Carolina kept the pigskin for 30:36, going 4 of 12 on third down.

Atlanta looks to even their record after their 18-12 loss at Philadelpha in the season opener for both clubs. The Falcons let two leads get away from them in the City of Brotherly Love; first taking a 6-3 lead into the half and then leading 12-10 with 2:19 left in regulation when Eagles RB Joseph Ajayi scored on an 11-yard run and added the two-point conversion.. Atlanta was held to 74 yards rushing, while the Eagles tallied 113 in the NFC Divisonal rematch. Ryan threw for 251 yards with an interception and four sacks, while Eagles QB Nick Foles threw for 117 yards with two sacks and an interception. As was the case in the NFC Divisonal game, Atlanta rallied to take the win out of Philadelphia but once again, the drive fell short and the Eagles took the win. Atlanta was 4 of 15 on third down (the Falcons were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:50, while the defending Super Bowl champs were 8 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 32:10.

The Falcons lead the series 28-18, have outscored Carolina 973-909 and have won four of their last five contests, including spliting last year’s series, each team winning at home.

Meeting number one… Charlotte in week nine. Atlanta let a 10-0 first quarter lead get away from them as the Panthers would lead 14-10 at the intermission and survive a late Atlanta rally, taking a 20-17 win at Bank of America Stadium. Although Ryan threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs, it was the one near TD that could have given the Falcons the lead when WR Julio Jones dropped what was a sure TD. Carolina outrushed Atlanta 201-53, with Newton leading all rushers with 86 yards and a rushing TD, while teammate Collin McCaffery rushed for the other score. Atlanta was 4 of 12 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down) and the Falcons held on to the ball for 27:08, while Carolina was 4 of 13 on third, 1 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 32:52.

Atlanta would get revenge in the Big Peach in week 17, using four Matt Bryant field goals to take the 22-10 win. Tied at 7-7 at the half and with both teams headed to the post-season, Atlanta outscored the Panthers 15-3 in the final 30 minutes of action at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Both Ryan and Newton had TD passes in the contest but Newton (180 yards) was picked off three times and sacked twice, while Ryan threw for 317 yards in the win. Carolina outrushed Atlanta 87-60 but Atlanta took advantage of the three interceptions on the afternoon. Atlanta on third down in the Big Peach went 6 of 13 and held on to the ball for 34:42, while Carolina held the ball for 25:18, gonig 5 of 15 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Atlanta was favored by 2 in the week nine contest in Charlotte and Carolina covered the spread, winning by 3. The 42 over/under was safe as both clubs combined for 37 points. In the season finale in the Big Peach, Atlanta covered the 3 1/2 point spread with the 12-point win but the 46 over/under was untouched, as both clubs merged for 32 points. This time around, the Falcons are favored at home by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Both numbers sound reasonable and both teams can put up offense. Carolina’s looking to stay unbeatend, while Atlanta looks for revenge. Revenge wins out. Atlanta may not cover the 5 1/2 but they win in the Big Peach.

Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC rivals that took losses last weekend meet in upstate New York as Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Orchard Park for a showdown with the Buffalo Bills.

The Chargers trailed Kansas City 17-12 at StubHub Center at the intermission and the Chiefs would go on to take a  38-28 AFC West win last Sunday. Los Angeles did manage to outrush Kansas City 123-106 and Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards and three TDs, while the Chiefs’ Pat Mahomes threw for 256 yards with four TDs and no interceptions (Mahomes was sacked once, while Rivers was sacked once and picked off once). The Chargers were 3 of 11 on third down but found success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 34:26, while the Chiefs kept the ball for a mere 25:34, going 4 of 10 on fourth down.

Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens took Buffalo to task last Sunday in Charm City as the Ravens took care of the Bills 47-3. Flacco completed 25 of 34 passes and threw three touchdowns, including scoring passes to John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead. Buffalo was on the short end of a 26-0 deficit at the intermission and saw the Ravens take a 40-3 lead into the fourth quarter as they were manhandled the team they replaced in the 2017 post-season. The Bills were held to 83 yards, Baltimore ran for 117 yards and Flacco threw for 236 yards with the three TDs and no interceptions, while Nate Peterman was sacked three times, throwing for 24 yards. The Ravens in their opener win were 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 35:14, while the Bills kept the ball for 24:46 and went 2 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played at old War Memorial Stadium and San Diego, the Chargers lead the series 23-10-2, the Bolts have outscored the Bills 868-589 and have won the last three meetings, including a 54-24 win in Los Angeles last season (Buffalo’s last win over the Chargers came in 2008 in upstate New York by a final of 23-14).

Buffalo was manhandled in that week 11 contest on the West Coast, trailing 37-10 at the intermission and could never get on track in the lopsided loss. Buffalo did manage to outrush the Chargers 173-146, with Bills RB LeSean McCoy leading the way with 114 yards on the afternoon. Bills QB Normam Peterman threw for 66 yards with five interceptions before being replaced by Tyrod Taylor (158 yards, TD), while Rivers threw for 251 yards and a pair of TDs to Keenan Allen for the win. The Chargers, who went 7 of 14 on third down conversions, held the ball for 36:05 and forced six turnovers on the day and scored twice on defense to keep the Bills in check in the contest at Stub Hub Stadium. As for the Bills? They were 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 23:55.

In the week 11 contest on the West Coast, the Chargers easily covered the 3 1/2-point spread, winning by 30 and both clubs covered the 44 over/under with 78 points. The oddsmakers like the Chargers as 7 1/2 point favorites in upstate New York and the over/under’s 43. You might want to consider taking a pass on this one (unless you just happen to like one or both teams) and get that Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas shopping out of the way. Chargers recover from their loss at home and takes the road win but the Bills may make it closer than 7 1/2.

Miami (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They meet again. A pair of AFC East foes that have been around since the AFC was formed meet in usptate New Jersey unbeaten, with each coming in with wins under their belts.

Miami endured two lightning delays at Hard Rock Stadium that totaled almost three and half hours and came away 27-20 winners over Tennessee last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Leading 7-3 at the half, Miami managed to hold off the Titans 20-17 in the heat and humidity of South Beach to take the win. Tennessee would eventually pull to within three with 11 seconds left when Ryan Succop connected on a 53-yard field goal and the game featured a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns; first, Miami’s Jakeem Grant returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD to take a 17-10 lead with 14:04 left in the contest. Tennessee would not be outdone, as Titans WR Darius Jennings returned a fourth quarter kickoff 94 yards to pull his team to within 7 with 10:11 left in the contest. The two clubs would then trade field goals in the final minutes of the quarter, with Succop’s effort making the contest closer than Dolphins fans would have wanted. Miami outrushed Tennessee 120-116 with Marcus Mariota throwing for 103 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Ryan Tannehill throwing for 230 yards and a pair of TDs to Kenny Stills, who had 106 yards on four catches, to take the win. Miami on third down went 2 of 10 (the Dolphins were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:25, while Tennessee was 6 of 14 and 0f for 2 on fourth down, holding the ball for 29:35.

GangGreen led Detroit 17-10 in the Motor City at halftime Monday night and then went on to outpace the Lions, scoring 31 points in the second half unchallenged to come out on top 48-17. Isaiah Crowell’s 102 yards and two TDs led the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to the come-from-behind win in the Monday night contest, while GangGreen outrushed Detroit 169-39, forcing Matthew Stafford (286 yards, TD) to throw four interceptions. Rookie signal called Sam Darnold made his NFL debut a good one, throwing for 198 yards and a pair of TDs. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 of 14 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs, while holding on to the ball for 33:07; the Lions were 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:53.

Including contests that took place at Shea Stadium, New Haven and the Orange Bowl, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! lead the series 54-49-1, while Miami has outscored GangGreen 2,274-2,247. They met twice last year and the two teams split the series, each winning at home.

Meeting number one… the Meadowlands in week three and GangGreen held the ‘Fins to a 3-yard TD toss as time expired to take a 20-6 win. Leading 20-0 at the end of three quarters, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! held Miami to 30 yards rushing (they tallied 103) and kept them off the scoreboard until the clock struck :00 when Jay Cutler (220 yards) and WR DeVante Parker connected on a 6-yard toss. Josh McCown and Robby Anderson connected on the game’s first TD after Chris Catanzaro connected on a 40 yard field goal to open the scoring in the game, with RB Bilal Powell and Catanzaro accounting for the other two New York scores in the contest. Miami was a somewhat dismal 1 of 12 on third down tries (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:52, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 36:08, going 4 for 13 on third down.

Miami didn’t have to wait very long to get their revenge and they were at home at Hard Rock Stadium for the rematch in week seven. Miami settled the score with their AFC East foes, rallying to take a 31-28 win over GangGreen in the Sunshine State. The Jets led 21-14 at the half and led 28-14 after three quarters of play before Miami would take control of things in the final quarter of play, scoring their final 17 points of the game unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 22 seconds left when Chris Parkey connected on a 39-yard field goal for the win. The ground game was not the order of the day as neither team breached the 100-yard barrier but as was the case in the first meeting, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! managed to outrush Miami 92-53, with McCown throwing for 209 yards and three TDs, while being sacked three times. Third down tries? New York was 4 of 11, Miami was 5 of 13 and the Dolphins ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:58 to New York’s 28:02.

Miami in the week three contest was favored by 6 and GangGreen covered the spread, winning by 13. The 41 1/2 over/under was not touched, as both teams merged for only 27 points. The oddsmakers liked Miami at home in the week seven rematch, making them 3 point favorites and they covered the spread with the 3-point win and both clubs covered the 38 1/2 over/under, tallying 59 points. The Jets are favored by 3 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 44. Both teams are looking to unseat New England as king of the AFC East mountain. The Jets are good but Miami’s better. ‘Fins cover the 3 and win in the Meadowlands.

Kansas City (1-0) at Pittsburgh (0-0-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again, this time in the Steel City. A pair of AFC playoff teams square off at Heinz Field as Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers host the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City took a 17-12 lead at StubHub Center at the intermission against their AFC foes the Los Angeles Chargers and went on to take a 38-28 AFC West win last Sunday. While Los Angeles did manage to outrush Kansas City 123-106 and Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards and three TDs, while the Chiefs’ Pat Mahomes threw for 256 yards with four TDs and no interceptions (Mahomes was sacked once, while Rivers was sacked once and picked off once). The Chargers were 3 of 11 on third down but found success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 34:26, while the Chiefs kept the ball for a mere 25:34, going 4 of 10 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh let a 21-7 lead at the end of the third quarter get away from them as Cleveland would go on to score 14 fourth quarter points unchallenged, then held off Roethlisberger and the Steelers to a 21-21 tie at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium. While the Browns outrushed Pittsburgh 177-159, Pittsburgh’s James Conner led all rushers with 135 yards and a pair of TDs on the ground. Roethlisberge threw for 335 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off three; for the Browns, rookie QB Tyrod Taylor threw for 197 yards and a TD toss to WR Josh Gordon but was sacked seven times and picked off once. Pittsburgh was 7 of 15 on third down and kept the ball for 35:12, while the Browns held the ball for 34:48, going 5 of 18, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Steelers lead the series 22-10 (which includes contests played at Swope Field and Three Rivers Stadium) and have outscored Kansas City 763-576. They met last year at Arrowhead and the Steelers would come away with a 19-13 win at Arrowhead (Kansas City’s last win in the series came in 2015, also at Arrowhead, by a final of 23-13). Pittsburgh led 12-3 at the break in the late afternoon contest and took that lead into the fourth quarter before the Chiefs would rally in the final 15 minutes of action to make the game closer than the Steelers would have wanted it when Chiefs QB Alex Smith connected with WR De’Anthony Thomas for a 57-yard touchdown toss with 6:13 left to play. Pittsburgh would then restore order as Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown connected on a 51-yard touchdown strike.

Pittsburgh easily outrushed Kansas City 194-28, with LeVeon Bell leading the way with 179 yards and a TD, while Roethlisberger threw for 252 yards and a score (Smith threw for 246 yards but was sacked three times). Pittsburgh went 4 of 11 on third down tries at Arrowhead, keeping the ball for 36:39, while the Chiefs, who kept the ball for 23:21, went 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down. In the week six contest, the Steelers covered the 4-point spread (the Chiefs were favored) but the 46 over/under stayed intact, as the two clubs combined for 32 points at Arrowhead. Pittsburgh’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 52 1/2, While this one’s not “Drill Worthy,” it’s worth your time to watch. Chiefs make this one interesting but the Steelers prevail in western Pennsylvania.

Houston (0-1) at Tennessee (0-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of winless AFC South foes meet in the Music City when Houston makes a visit to Nissan Stadium to take on the Tennessee Titans.

A Texans rally in Foxboro fell short for DeShaun Watson and Houston as they would fall to Tom Brady and New England 27-20 last Sunday afternoon. Trailing 21-6 at the half, Houston would rally in the second half, eventually making the contest a 7-point affair with 2:08 left when Watson and WR Bruce Ellington connected on a 5-yard, putting them closer. That would be as close as they would get to Tom Brady and the Patriots, who would hold them off for the win. While the Texans did outrush New England 167-122, Brady burned Houston for 277 yards and three TDs, connecting with TE Rob Gronkowski on one of those tosses. Watson did manage to throw for 176 yards with the TD but was sacked three times and picked off once. Houston was 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:50, while the defending AFC champs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10, going 4 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Although Tennessee endured two lightning delays at Hard Rock Stadium that totaled almost three and half hours, it was Miami that came away 27-20 winners over Tennessee last Sunday in the Sunshine State. The Titans trailed 7-3 at the half, while Miami managed to hold off the Titans 20-17 in the heat and humidity of South Beach to take the win. Tennessee would pull to within three with 11 seconds left when Ryan Succop connected on a 53-yard field goal and the game featured a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns; first, Miami’s Jakeem Grant returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD to take a 17-10 lead with 14:04 left in the contest. Tennessee would not be outdone, as Titans WR Darius Jennings returned a fourth quarter kickoff 94 yards to pull his team to within 7 with 10:11 left in the contest. The two clubs would then trade field goals in the final minutes of the quarter, with Succop’s effort making the contest closer than Dolphins fans would have wanted. Miami outrushed Tennessee 120-116 with Marcus Mariota throwing for 103 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Ryan Tannehill throwing for 230 yards and a pair of TDs to Kenny Stills, who had 106 yards on four catches, to take the win. Miami on third down went 2 of 10 (the Dolphins were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:25, while Tennessee was 6 of 14 and 0f for 2 on fourth down, holding the ball for 29:35.

The Titans lead the series 17-15 (which includes games that were played in Memphis) but the Texans have outscored the former Houston team 754-643. The two AFC South foes split their meetings in 2017, each taking wins at home.

Houston took a 30-14 lead at the intermission in the week four contest at NRG Stadium and came away 57-14 winners. The Texans outscored Mariota and the Titans 27-0 in the final 30 minutes of play in the Lone Star State to seal Tennessee’s fate. Houston outrushed Tennessee 173-86 in the contest, with Watson throwing for 283 yards and four TDs (Mariota threw for 96 yards with two interceptions). Houston was 6 of 12 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down conversions in the Lone Star State, keeping the ball for 39:41, while the Titans kept the ball for 20:19, going 2 of 8 on third downs.

Tennessee got their revenge in the Music City in week 13, taking down the Texans 24-13. The Titans, after erasing a 3-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter, broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission and pulled away from Houston with a pair of second half TDs for the win. Tennessee pounded Houston for 198 yards on the ground, holding the Texans to 53 and sacking QB Tom Savage (365 yards, TD), who took over for DeShaun Watson four times. While both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down, the Texans were 8 of 16 on third down, keeping the ball for 33:49 to Tennessee’s 26:11 (the Titans were 5 of 11 on third down tries).

In the week four contest at NRG Stadium, Tennessee was a 1 1/2-point favorite and the Texans easily covered that spread, winning by 43 points and both teams took care of the 44 over/under, tallying 71 points. Tennessee was again the favorite in the week 13 rematch in the Music City and the Titans covered the 6-point spread, winning by 13. The 43 over/under was in check as the two clubs merged for 37 points. Houston’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under is 44 1/2. There’s a lot of bad blood between Houston and Nashville and that could very well rear its ugly head (the Oilers were taken from Houston to Nashville, where they were called the Tennessee Oilers before the NFL stepped in and basically told the Tennessee team to change their names). Houston covers the 1 1/2 on the road and takes the win in the Music City.

Indianapolis (0-1) at Washington (1-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. The Colts look to pull themselves even as they travel to Landover for a contest with the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

The Colts watched Andy Dalton and the Bengals take a 34-23 victory at Indianapolis in the season opener in the Hoosier State. Dalton threw for 243 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals scored 24 unanswered points in the second half, punctuated by an 83-yard fumble-return touchdown by safety Clayton Fejedelem with 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.  Indy, who were leading 16-10 at the half, found themselves being held to 75 yards on the ground and Andrew Luck threw for 319 yards and a pair of TDs while being sacked twice. Cincinnati, outscoring Indy 24-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, went 4 of 8 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:12, while the Colts had time on their side (apologies to Mick Jagger!) and held the ball for 32:48, going 11 of 17 on third down conversions.

Washington returns to Landover with a 24-6 win at Arizona last Sunday afternoon in the desert. The Redskins led 21-0 at the half, using a pair of Alex Smith (255 yards) TD tosses and adding a 31-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins before Arizona’s David Johnson ended the shutout bid with a 2-yard run with 5:47 left. Washington ran for 182 yards, with RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 96 yards and a TD, while the Redskins held Arizona to 68 yards rushing. Washington was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:08, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 8 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 21:52.

The Colts lead ther series 20-10, which includes contests that were played in Baltimore and at old RFK Stadium, the Colts have outscored Washington 780-602 and won the last three meetings, including a 49-27 win in the Hoosier State in 2014; as for the Redskins, their last win in the series came in 2002 at Fed Ex Field by a final of 26-21. Washington’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Hail To The Redskins! Washington makes their return home a successful one and covers the 5 1/2.

Minnesota (1-0) at Green Bay (1-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. It’s an NFC North (NFC Norris) showdown in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as Minnesota travels to Green Bay to face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field. Both teams enter the contests with wins under their belts.

Minnesota held off a late San Francisco rally last Sunday at US Bank Stadium, coming away 24-16 winners in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Leading 10-3 at the intermission, the Vikings barely outscored Jimmy Graffalo (261 yards, TD, three interceptions) and the 49ers 14-13 in the second half to take the win. Minnesota outrushed San Francisco 116-90, with Kirk Cousins throwing for 244 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Stefon Diggs on one of the tosses. Minnesota, who forced four San Francisco turnovers, went 7 of 17 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth downs) and held the ball for 31:09, while the 49ers were 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 28:51.

Packers fans held their breath as their star QB Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of their Sunday night contest against Chicago at Lambeau, only to see the Packers rally to take a 24-23 NFC North win over Da Bears. Trailing 17-0 at the intermission, Packer fans saw Rodgers come out of the contest with what some thought was a knee injury, only to give Green Bay fans hope, as they outscored Chicago 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Chicago outrushed Green Bay 139-69, Rodgers burned Da Bears for 286 yards with three TDs, with the game-winner going to Randall Cobb to send Green Bay’s fan base home happy. Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky threw for 171 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest but the Green Bay defense made things less than pleasant for him, sacking him four times on the evening. Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 26:38, while Chicago kept the pigskin for 33:22, going 7 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

While Green Bay leads the series 59-52-2 and the Packers have outscored the Purple Gang 2,459-2,189, Minnesota has won three of the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Green Bay’s last win over the Vikings came in the 2016 season, when they came away 38-25 winners at Lambeau).

The first meeting? Week six in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Vikings knocked Rodgers out of the contest (shoulder) and came away 23-10 winners at US Bank Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter, Minnesota took a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission and held Green Bay in check in the second half, shutting the Packers out in the process. Rodgers threw for 18 yards in the contest before his departure and Brett Hundley would take over, throwing for 157 yards and a TD but was sacked four times and picked off three, while Vikings QB Case Keenum threw for 239 yards with a TD and no interceptions. Minnesota, who outrushed Green Bay 112-72, was 4 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:09, while the Packers kept the ball for 27:51, going 4 of 17 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Minnesota made it a clean sweep in the series, shutting out the Packers 16-0 at Lambeau (temperature, you wonder? A somewhat balmy 10 degrees with a 0 wind chill) Field in week 16. Minnesota led 10-0 at the intermission in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and scored the final six points of the game in the second half unchallenged, thanks to a pair of Kyle Forbath field goals. Green Bay barely outrushed Minnesota 113-112 in the rematch and Hundley threw for 130 yards with a pair of interceptions and a sack, while Keenum threw for 139 yards (three sacks) with a TD toss to WR Stefan Diggs to take the win. Both clubs were 4 of 15 on third down (the Packers were 0 of 4 on fourth down) and Minnesota ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:37, while the Packers held the pigskin for 28:23.

Green Bay was favored by 3 in the week six contest and the Vikings covered with the 13-point win. The 46 1/2 over/under? It was untouched, as the two clubs combined for 33 points. In the week 16 contest at Lambeau, Minnesota’s 16-point win easily covered the 9-point spread but neither team came anywhere near the 40 1/2 over/under as Minnesota scored all 16 points. Green Bay’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 46. Both numbers make a lot of sense. These two teams don’t exactly like each other and Packer fans would like some revenge on the team that knocked them out of the post-season. Packers get revenge in the land of beer, Bratwurst and cheese and takes the win, covering the 2.

Cleveland (0-0-1) at New Orleans (0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. One team looks to not go winless. The other looks for their first win. The Cleveland Browns travel to the Big Easy for a showdown with New Orleans.

The Browns avoided their 17th consecutive loss as they erased a 21-7 deficit against Pittsburgh to tie the Steelers.  Cleveland would go on to score 14 fourth quarter points unchallenged, then held off Roethlisberger and the Steelers to a 21-21 tie at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium. Pittsburgh outrushed Cleveland 177-159, with Pittsburgh’s James Conner leading all rushers with 135 yards and a pair of TDs on the ground. Roethlisberge threw for 335 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off three; for the Browns, rookie QB Tyrod Taylor threw for 197 yards and a TD toss to WR Josh Gordon but was sacked seven times and picked off once. Pittsburgh was 7 of 15 on third down and kept the ball for 35:12, while the Browns held the ball for 34:48, going 5 of 18, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Saints came out on the short end of a 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay last Sunday in the Big Easy. Although they trailed 31-24 at the half, the Buccaneers managed to take control of things in the second half, outscoring the Saints 17-16 in the final 30 minutes of action. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43, while Drew Brees threw for 439 yards with three passing TDs and Alvin Kamara chipping in with a pair of rushing TDs. For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for the suspended Jameis Winston, threw for 417 yards and four TDs in the win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tampa Bay went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Saints went 4 of 9 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 27:51.

Cleveland leads series 13-4. the Browns have outscored New Orleans 397-290 and Cleveland has won the last two contest, including taking a 26-24 win in Cleveland in 2016 (New Orleans’ last win in the series came in 2006 in Cleveland by a final of 19-14. New Orleans is favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 50. The 50 makes sense, the 8 1/2 doesn’t. Neither team looked that good last week and both teams would like to get the taste of losing out of their mouths. Cleveland will make this one close but New Orleans prevails, even though they won’t cover the 8 1/2.

Philadelphia (1-0) at Tampa Bay (1-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of unbeatens meet on Florida’s west coast as Philadelphia plays their second NFC South foe in as many weeks when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

The defending Super Bowl champs survived an 18-12 scare from Atlanta in the season opener for both clubs. The Falcons let two leads get away from them in the City of Brotherly Love; first taking a 6-3 lead into the half and then leading 12-10 with 2:19 left in regulation when Joseph Ajayi scored on an 11-yard run and added the two-point conversion. Atlanta was held to 74 yards rushing, while the Eagles tallied 113 in the NFC Divisonal rematch. Ryan threw for 251 yards with an interception and four sacks, while Eagles QB Nick Foles threw for 117 yards with two sacks and an interception. As was the case in the NFC Divisonal game, Atlanta rallied to take the win out of Philadelphia but once again, the drive fell short and the Eagles took the win. Atlanta was 4 of 15 on third down (the Falcons were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:50, while the defending Super Bowl champs were 8 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 32:10.

Tampa Bay held off New Orleans 48-40 last Sunday in the Big Easy. The Buccaneers led 31-24 at the half, then took control of things in the second half, outscoring the Saints 17-16 in the final 30 minutes of action. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43, while Drew Brees threw for 439 yards with three passing TDs and Alvin Kamara chipping in with a pair of rushing TDs. For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for the suspended Jameis Winston, threw for 417 yards and four TDs in the win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tampa Bay went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Saints went 4 of 9 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 27:51.

Philadelphia holds an 8-6 lead in the series and the defending Super Bowl champs have outscored Tampa Bay 260-244. Tampa Bay did pick up a win in their last meeting, coming out on top 45-17 in the City of Brotherly Love in 2015, while the Eagles’ last win came in Tampa Bay in 2013 by a final of 31-20. Although Tampa Bay’s at home, the Eagles are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Philly makes it two in a row and covers the 3 with the win.

Arizona (0-1) at Los Angeles Rams (1-0), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of NFC West rivals meet on the West Coast as Arizona and the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum in the Monday night season opener for both.

Arizona’s offense could never get on track in Glendale last Sunday as they dropped a 24-6 decision to Washington last Sunday in the desert. The Desert Angry Birds trailed the Redskins led 21-0 at the half, as Washington would use a pair of Alex Smith (255 yards) TD tosses and adding a 31-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins before Arizona’s David Johnson ended the shutout bid with a 2-yard run with 5:47 left. Washington ran for 182 yards, with RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 96 yards and a TD, while the Redskins held Arizona to 68 yards rushing. Washington was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:08, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 8 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 21:52.

Los Angeles took a 13-10 deficit at Oakland last Monday and turned it into a 33-13 win on the Eastern side of San Francisco Bay. Los Angeles would go in the second half to score their final 23 points of the game uncontested, holding the Rams to 95 yards rushing and picking David Carr (303 yards) off three times, while the Rams rushed for 140 yards (Todd Gurley led all rushers with 108 yards) and Jared Goff threw for 233 yards and a pair of TDs. The Rams were 4 of 11 on third down and held on to the ball for 28:29, while the Raiders were 5 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 31:31.

Includling games that were played in Chicago and St. Louis when the Cardinals called those cities home and games in Cleveland, Los Angeles and St. Louis, the series is tied at 38-38-2, with the Rams outscoring Arizona  1,522-1,520. The Rams swept the series last year, taking wins on the other side of the Atlantic and in the desert (Arizona’s last win came in 2016, taking a 44-6 win in Los Angeles).

Meeting number one… London in week seven. The Rams imposed their will on the Desert Angry Birds and took Arizona to the woodshed, shutting them out 33-0 at Twickenham Stadium. After taking a 23-0 lead to the intermission, the Rams would score the final 10 points of the contest unchallenged, holding Arizona to a dismal 25 yards. Meanwhile, Todd Gurley ran for 106 of his team’s 197 yards with a TD, while Jared Goff threw for 235 yards with a TD. The Rams were 13 of 19 on third down tries and kept the ball for 39:01, while the Cardinals held on to the pigskin for 20:59, going 3 of 12 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down tries.

The Rams made it a clean sweep of the series in week 13, leaving University of Phoenix Stadium with a  32-16 road win. Arizona made things interesting at the half, trailing 19-13 at the break before the Rams took control of things in the second half and outscored Arizona 13-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Arizona did outrush Los Angeles 118-90, Goff did manage to throw for 220 yards and a pair of TDs, while Blaine Gabbert struggled, throwing for 221 yards with a TD to Larry Fitzgerald with six sacks and a pair of interceptions. While the Rams were 3 of 11 on third down, they were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and didn’t need to keep the ball that long, holding the pigskin for 28:58, while the Cardinals ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:02, going 7 of 15 on third down conversions in the desert.

The Rams easily covered the 3 1/2-point spread with their shutout win but the 47 1/2 over/under stayed intact, as Los Angeles was responsible for all 33 points in the meeting in London. In the week 13 contest in the desert, the Rams covered the 7-point spread, winning by 13 and both teams covered the 45 over/under with 48 points. This meeting has the Rams as 12 1/2 point favorites and the over/under is 46. The 46 makes sense. The 12 1/2 is a little steep. The Cardinals are not 12 1/2 bad. Granted, they’ll give the Rams problems in Los Angeles but the Rams will prevail on the West Coast.

Detroit (0-1) at San Francisco (0-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Two clubs looking for their first win meet in wine country as Detroit travels westward to take on the San Francisco 49ers.

The Matt Patrica era in Detroit started off well for the Lions against the New York Jets, then the wheels came off the bus, they would let a 17-10 halftime lead get away from them in the Motor City at halftime Monday night, allowing the Jets to score 31 points in the second half unchallenged to come out on top 48-17. Isaiah Crowell’s 102 yards and two TDs led the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to the come-from-behind win in the Monday night contest, while GangGreen outrushed Detroit 169-39, forcing Matthew Stafford (286 yards, TD) to throw four interceptions. Rookie signal called Sam Darnold made his NFL debut a good one, throwing for 198 yards and a pair of TDs. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 of 14 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs, while holding on to the ball for 33:07; the Lions were 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:53.

A late San Francisco rally last Sunday at Minnesota’s US Bank Stadium fell short, with the Vikings coming away 24-16 winners in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The 49ers trailed 10-3 at the intermission before the Vikings barely outscored Jimmy Graffalo (261 yards, TD, three interceptions) and the 49ers 14-13 in the second half to take the win. Minnesota outrushed San Francisco 116-90, with Kirk Cousins throwing for 244 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Stefon Diggs on one of the tosses. Minnesota, who forced four San Francisco turnovers, went 7 of 17 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth downs) and held the ball for 31:09, while the 49ers were 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 28:51.

Including games that took place at Keezar Stadium, Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome and Candlestick Park, the 49ers lead the series 36-27-1 and they have outscored Detroit 1,395-1,334. Detroit won the last meeting, taking a 32-17 win in Detroit, while the 49ers picked up a 27-19 win on the West Coast in 2012. San Francisco’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2.

Oakland (0-1) at Denver (1-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. They’re back. They still don’t like each other. Don’t expect any warm fuzzy greetings between these two teams. Oakland makes their way to the Rocky Mountains for an AFC West contest with their rivals from Denver.

Oakland let a 13-10 lead get away from them as the Los Angeles Rams turned that deficit at Oakland last Monday and turned it into a 33-13 win on the Eastern side of San Francisco Bay. The Rams took control in the second half and score their final 23 points of the game uncontested, holding the Rams to 95 yards rushing and picking David Carr (303 yards) off three times, while the Rams rushed for 140 yards (Todd Gurley led all rushers with 108 yards) and Jared Goff threw for 233 yards and a pair of TDs. The Rams were 4 of 11 on third down and held on to the ball for 28:29, while the Raiders were 5 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 31:31.

Denver held off a late Seahawks rally at Broncos Stadium At Mile High to come away 27-24 winners in the season opener for both teams. The Broncos led Russell Wilson and the Seahawks 17-10 at the intermisson before Seattle would outscore Denver in the second half 14-10. Case Keenum threw for 329 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Demariyus Thomas on one toss, while Denver outrushed Seattle 146-64 in the three-point win. Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards with three TDs but was sacked six times in the loss on the road. Denver was 4 of 12 on third down conversions and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 35:08, while Seattle was 24:52 and kept the ball for 24:52.

The Silver and Black lead the series 62-51-2, which includes contests that took place in Los Angeles and at old Mile High Stadium and the Raiders have outscored Denver 2,443-2,360. They split last year’s meetings, each taking wins in their home facility.

Denver held off a late Oakland rally at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, taking a 16-10 win in the week four contest in the Rocky Mountains. The Broncos led 10-7 at the half before the Raiders’ final drive late in the contest fell short. Denver outrushed Oakland 143-24 and Trevor Siemian threw for 179 yards with a TD and no interceptions, while Carr threw for 143 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks (Siemian was sacked four times). Denver was 5 of 16 on third down and the Broncs held the ball for 32:57, while the Raiders were 27:03 in time of possession, going 2 of 17 and 0 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

The Silver and Black would get their revenge at home in week 12, holding off a late Denver rally to come away 21-14 winners at the Coliseum. Oakland led 14-0 at the half and took a 21-0 lead into the final 15 minutes of play before Denver scored their lone points in that quarter unchallenged. Oakland outrushed Denver 104-59 (Marshawn Lynch led all rushers with 67 yards and a TD) and Carr threw for 253 yards with a pair of TDs (two sacks), while Siemian threw for 149 yards and a pair of TDs that came in the final quarter. Denver was 5 of 14 on third down conversions (the Broncos were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 24:06, while the Silver and Black was 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 35:54.

Denver’s 6-point week four win allowed them to cover the 2 1/2-point spread but the 46 1/2 over/under was untouched as both clubs merged for only 26 points. In the week 12 contest, Oakland covered the 5-point spread with their 7-point win but the 35 points that the two teams combined was short of the 43 1/2 over/under. Denver’s favored by 6 and the over/under is 45. The Raiders would like to even their record in this matchup, while the Broncos are hoping to be 2-0. Oakland will make this one close but Denver prevails at home and could cover the 7.

New England (1-0) at Jacksonville (1-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717. It’s the AFC Championshp rematch Jaugar fans have been waiting for since last January and this time, they meet in much warmer weather and in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville hosts Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in northern Florida in a key AFC matchup

Jacksonville took a 13-6 lead against the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium at the half, then held off the Giants to come away with a 20-15 win. Jacksonville outrushed the Giants 137-114, Blake Bortles threw for 176 yards with a Td, while Eli Manning threw for 224 yards (both men threw an interception and Manning was sacked twice). New York’s Odell Beckham Jr. led all recievers with 111 yards with rookie RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 106 yards and his first NFL rushing TD. Both the Jags and the Giants were 4 of 13 on third down conversions (the Giants were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Giants ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:29, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 29:31.

Brady and the Pats held off a late Texans rally in Foxboro, coming away 27-20 winners last Sunday afternoon last Sunday against DeShaun Watson and Houston. The Pats would lead 21-6 at the half before Houston would rally in the second half, eventually making the contest a 7-point affair with 2:08 left when Watson and WR Bruce Ellington connected on a 5-yard, putting them closer. That would be as close as they would get to Tom Brady and the Patriots, who would hold them off for the win. While the Texans did outrush New England 167-122, Brady burned Houston for 277 yards and three TDs, connecting with TE Rob Gronkowski on one of those tosses. Watson did manage to throw for 176 yards with the TD but was sacked three times and picked off once. Houston was 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:50, while the defending AFC champs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10, going 4 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

New England leads the regular season series 7-0 and have outscored the Jaguars 214-119. The Patriots’ last win in the regular season series came in 2015 in Foxboro as New England took a 51-17 win in that contest. They did meet in the post-season in Foxboro in the AFC Championship game and the Pats used a pair of fourth quarter TD passes from Brady (290 yards) to WR Danny Amendola to take a 24-20 win at Gillette Stadium. Jacksonville led 14-10 at the half and took a 20-10 lead in the latter part of the fourth quarter before the Patriots rallied to take the lead for keeps and earn a trip to Super Bowl 52. Jacksonville actually outrushed New England 101-46, with Jaguar RB Leonard Fournette leading the way with 76 yards and a TD. The Jaguars, who had their final drive of the contest stall when QB Blake Bortles’ (293 yards, TD) final two passes fell short of their marks (both Brady and Bortles were sacked three times). Jacksonville was 6 of 15 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as kept the ball for 35:08, while New England was 3 of 12 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth) and held the ball for 24:52.

New England was favored by 9 in the AFC Championship game but only won by 4 and both clubs barely missed the 46 over/under with 44 points. Vegas likes the Pats as 2-point favorites and the over/under’s 45. This one could very well be a post-season preview, which makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (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! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), 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 items in question) 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 just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-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?”)

Jacksonville’s looking for revenge, while the Pats look to maintain their status in the AFC. New England wins this one in the Sunshine State but expect Jacksonville to make things closer than the 2.

New York Giants (0-1) at Dallas (0-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Throw out the records. This rivalry is somewhat of a big deal. Dallas hosts NFC East rival the New York Giants in a Sunday night contest in Jerry World. Both clubs look to bounce back after losses to open the 2018 season.

In their opener in Charlotte against Carolina and Cam Newton, the Panthers kept Dallas in check and the Cowboys were on the short end of a 16-8 loss last Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. Despite the Cowboys sacking him three times, Newtown threw for 161 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest to open the scoring. The contest was a scorless affair at the end of the first quarter, then saw the Panthers take a 10-0 lead into the intermission, although Dallas did manage to outscore Carolina 8-6 in the final period play, with the Cowboys getting their only points on a 4-yard run by RB Ezekiel Elliott and a Dak Prescott two-point conversion. Carolina outrushed Dallas 147-94, with Elliott leading all rushers with 69 yards (Newton tallied 58), while Prescott threw for 170 yards with six sacks. Dallas was 2 of 11 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:24, while Carolina kept the pigskin for 30:36, going 4 of 12 on third down.

The Giants saw Jacksonville take a 13-6 lead at Met Life Stadium at the half, then watched the Jaguars hold them off as Jacksonville left upstate New Jersey with a 20-15 win. Jacksonville outrushed the Giants 137-114, Blake Bortles threw for 176 yards with a Td, while Eli Manning threw for 224 yards (both men threw an interception and Manning was sacked twice). New York’s Odell Beckham Jr. led all recievers with 111 yards with rookie RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 106 yards and his first NFL rushing TD. Both the Jags and the Giants were 4 of 13 on third down conversions (the Giants were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Giants ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:29, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 29:31.

Including games that were played at Yankee Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, Giants Stadium and Cowboys Stadium, Dallas leads the series 64-45-2, have outscored the Giants 2,498-2,132 and swept last year’s series (New York’s last win over the Cowboys came in the Meadowlands in 2016 when they were 10-7 winners; they would sweep the series that year). In the first meeting in Arlington in week one, the Cowboys held Big Blue to a third-quarter field goal, taking a 19-3 win in the Lone Star State. Dallas outrushed NeW York 129-35, with RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 104 yards, while Prescott (268 yards) and TE Jason Whitten connected on a 12-yard TD strike before halftime (Manning threw for 220 yards with three sacks and an interception). Dallas was 8 of 15 on third down in the Sunday night matchup and held the ball for 34:14, while the Giants were 4 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:46.

Dallas made it two for two in the series and pulled off the sweep, coming to the Meadowlands and leaving with a 30-10 win in week 14. The Elliott-less Cowboys broke a 10-10 halftime tie and scored their final 20 points of the contest in the fourth quarter unchallenged, outrushing the Giants 122-102. Prescott threw 332 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Dez Bryant on one of the tosses, while Manning threw for 228 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions. Dallas in the rematch went 7 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:07, while the Giants kept the ball for 32:53, going 6 of 16 on third down.

Dallas covered the 4 1/2-point spread, winning by 16 in the first meeting in Arlington but both clubs could only muster 22 points, missing the 48 over/under. In the week 14 contest in the Meadowlands, the Cowboys won by 10, meaning they did cover the 5-point spread but both clubs missed the 42 over/under by 2 points. There’s nothing that says you can’t have two “DRILL WORTHY” game, so that’s what we have. (for “Drill” instructions, see the New England-Jacksonville game) Dallas is favored by 3 on Sunday night in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 42. Both clubs look to break away from the winless ranks. Dallas covers at home in Jerry World and wins the Sunday night contest in the Lone Star State.

Seattle (0-1) at Chicago (0-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week two concludes in the Windy City as Salmon and Starbucks meets deep-dish pizza at Soldier Field as Seattle and Chicago face off.

Seattle’s late rally against Denver fell short at Broncos Stadium At Mile High as the Broncos came away 27-24 winners in the season opener for both teams. Denver led Russell Wilson and the Seahawks 17-10 at the intermisson before Seattle would outscore Denver in the second half 14-10. For the winning Broncos, Case Keenum threw for 329 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Demariyus Thomas on one toss, while Denver outrushed Seattle 146-64 in the three-point win. Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards with three TDs but was sacked six times in the loss on the road. Denver was 4 of 12 on third down conversions and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 35:08, while Seattle was 24:52 and kept the ball for 24:52.

Da Bears saw their dreams of beating Green Bay at Lambeau Field shattered last Sunday as they would knock QB Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of their Sunday night contest, only to see the Packers rally to take a 24-23 NFC North win over Da Bears. Trailing 17-0 at the intermission, Packer fans saw Rodgers come out of the contest with what some thought was a knee injury, only to give Green Bay fans hope, as they outscored Chicago 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Chicago outrushed Green Bay 139-69, Rodgers burned Da Bears for 286 yards with three TDs, with the game-winner going to Randall Cobb to send Green Bay’s fan base home happy. Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky threw for 171 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest but the Green Bay defense made things less than pleasant for him, sacking him four times on the evening. Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 26:38, while Chicago kept the pigskin for 33:22, going 7 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 11-4, they’ve outscored Chicago 333-290 and Seattle has won the last four meetings, including a 26-0 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, while Chicago’s last win in the series came in 2009 in Seattle by a final of 25-19. Da Bears are 30-38 on Monday night, while the Seahawks are 23-9; both teams played on Monday night last year and both came away with losses. Chicago’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both numbers make sense and both teams are trying to get their first win. Seattle prevails in the Windy City and covers the 3 1/2.