On Sunday night, Nov. 15, 2015 the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Seattle Seahawks by a final score of 39-32. In winning this game against their division rival, Arizona improved to a record of 7-2 while dropping the Seahawks to 4-5 and putting the playoff hopes of the latter in serious jeopardy. This capped off the tenth weekend of NFL football in the 2015 season.
Earlier in the day, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning became the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yardage though his team lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Also, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson eclipsed the 200 yard mark for the sixth time in his NFL career. Here is a look at all of the games of the day.
Chiefs (4-5) 29, Broncos (7-2) 13: @ Denver – The wait is over. After throwing interception on his first series, and recovering his own fumble on his second series, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning finally completed a four-yard pass to Ronnie Hillman. That gave Manning 71, 840 career passing yards which breaks Brett Favre’s all-time record for career passing yardage. That was the only bright spot for Manning and the Broncos. The future hall-of-famer eventually was benched after completing just five of 20 passes for 35 yards, while throwing four interceptions. Perhaps this is the beginning of the Brock Osweiler era in Denver. Those in attendance were witness to history but that was about the only worthwhile memory Broncos fans will take away from this game. Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos kicked five field goals in the game, the longest of which was 50-yards. Total offensive yards: KC 303, DEN 221. Total net rushing yards: KC 106, DEN 69. Turnovers: DEN 5, KC 0.
Lions (2-7) 18, Packers (6-3) 16: @ Green Bay – It is no secret that the Green Bay Packers have been struggling as of late. On paper, it looked like the Lions would be a perfect team against which the Packers could regain form. After all, not only were the Lions coming into the game with just one win on the season, but also had lost the last 24 meetings with the Packers, in games played in Wisconsin. There were surprises all around. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers never did get comfortable and wound up getting sacked three times. This was not a particularly well-played game but the closeness of the contest and the looming upset made it very watchable. In typical Lions fashion, the Motor city squad did try to lose the game as time wound down. Calvin Johnson botched a sure catch of a Green Bay onside kick attempt late in the game. Fortunately for the visiting team, on the ensuing possession the Packers offense was still just as ineffective as it had been throughout the game. Total offensive yards: GB 372, DET 287. Total net rushing yards: GB 47, DET 45. Turnovers: DET 1, GB 0.
Panthers (9-0) 27, Titans (2-7) 10: @ Tennessee – Though it took a little while to get warmed up, the Carolina Panthers maintained their unblemished record. After a close first half energized the home crowd, the Tennessee faithful were then gradually silenced by a dominant second half of football played by the visiting team. The Panthers held a 14-10 lead after 30 minutes of play, but then came out and pitched a shutout in the final 30 minutes. Next week, Carolina will put their undefeated record on the line against the Washington Redskins. Total offensive yards: CAR 303, TEN 242. Total net rushing yards: CAR 119, TEN 64. Turnovers: TEN 2, CAR 0.
Bears (4-5) 37, Rams (4-5) 13: @ St Louis – Having hibernated for much of the first half of the season, it appears as though the Chicago Bears may have finally awakened. In their first truly dominant performance of the season, the Bears broke a 10-10 tie when quarterback Jay Cutler found tight end Zach Miller for a touchdown with seven minutes left in the first half. For the hometown Rams, this was the beginning of the end. Chicago systematically wore down one of the league’s best defenses as they chewed up the Rams defense for 153 yards on the ground while Cutler had a near-perfect day throwing the ball. The oft-maligned Chicago signal caller threw three touchdiwn passes, zero interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 151.0. Total offensive yards: CHI 397, StL 285. Total net rushing yards: CHI 153, StL 94. Turnovers: CHI 2, StL 2.
Dolphins (4-5) 20, Eagles (4-5) 19: @ Philadelphia – For the third straight week, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill was the victim of a safety. This time, it came on the heels of a touchdown by the Eagles. From there, the hometown Eagles went on to build a 16-3 lead by the end of the first quarter. Unlike the previous two games in which the safety turned out to be an ominous precursor of what was to come, the Dolphins turned in a gutsy performance and outscored Philly 17-3 the rest of the way. The Miami defense, and in particular, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, were dominant when it mattered most. Rams starting quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a shoulder injury in the second half and did not return. Mark Sanchez finished the game in place of the injured Bradford. The severity of Bradford’s injury is not yet known. Total offensive yards: PHI 436, MIA 289. Total net rushing yards: MIA 99, PHI 83. Turnovers: PHI 1, MIA 0.
Steelers (6-4) 30, Browns (2-8) 9: @ Pittsburgh – The story of this game, could be called “My left foot.” Last week, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was carted off the field after having injured his left foot. This week, backup quarterback Landry Jones started the game, but was carted off the field after injuring his left foot. Roethlisberger was still a bit gimpy but was forced to take the field due to the injury to Jones. Much like the 1989 movie “My left foot” which starred Daniel Day-Lewis, this tough situation worked out quite well and was a triumph of spirit. In the end, the Steelers were victorious over Cleveland, with ‘Big Ben’ throwing three touchdown passes on the day; two of them to wide receiver Antonio Brown. Total offensive yards: PIT 459, CLE 342. Total net rushing yards: PIT 60, CLE 15. Turnovers: CLE 3, PIT 2.
Buccaneers (4-5) 10, Cowboys (2-7) 6: @ Tampa Bay – Playing on the road, the Dallas Cowboys were hoping to avoid a seventh straight loss. In the end, the result was the same as it has been in each game the Texas-based franchise has played since starting quarterback Tony Romo was injured early in this season. Dallas led 6-3 at halftime and made that lead hold up all the way into the fourth quarter. That was when Tampa Bay’s rookie quarterback Jameis Winston took charge and thrilled the home crowd, with a dramatic game-winning drive in the final minutes. In fact, the word dramatic, hardly describes what transpired. Trailing 6-3, on 3rd and goal from the Dallas four-yard line, Winston fumbled the ball while trying to dive into the end zone. Dallas made what would have been a game-saving fumble recovery, but the play was negated by a defensive penalty. On the very next play, Winston scored on a one-yard touchdown run with just 59 seconds remaining in regulation time. Total offensive yards: TB 330, DAL 216. Total net rushing yards: PIT 82, CLE 42. Turnovers: TB 2, DAL 1.
Redskins (4-5) 47, Saints (4-6) 14: @ Washington – After three straight unexpected wins, the New Orleans Saints suffered a second straight unexpected loss. Having dropped a home game to the Tennessee Titans last week, the Saints came into Washington and were shellacked by the upstart Washington Redskins. Seemingly dead and buried just a few weeks ago, the Redskins have new life. With both the Eagles and Giants losing, the Skins are now right in the thick of the NFC East division race. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins had a terrific day, completing 20 of 25 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the day with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Total offensive yards: WSH 514, NO 348. Total net rushing yards: WAS 213, NO 156. Turnovers: WAS 2, NO 0.
Jaguars (3-6) 22, Ravens (2-7) 20: @ Baltimore – Playing in front of their home fans, the Ravens all but ended their season. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes but also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. Baltimore finished with a huge edge in total yardage but were undone by turnovers. In the end, the Jags won the game when Jason Myers kicked a 53-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. Total offensive yards: BAL 397, JAX 258 Total net rushing yards: JAX 90, BAL 89. Turnovers: BAL 4, JAX 1.
Vikings (7-2) 30, Oakland (4-5) 14: @ Oakland – Playing on the road, the Minnesota Vikings put together a dominant performance and now have a five-game win streak. Led by running back Adrian Peterson who exploded for 203 yards and a touchdown, the Vikes decisively won this battle of emerging teams. Minnesota scored the first 13 points of the game but in the second quarter, oakland quarterback Derek Carr threw two ouchdown passes to give the Raiders a brief 14-13 lead. The lead was brief because after the second Carr touchdown, Cordarrelle Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Minnesota went on to score 17 unanswered points. Now leading the NFC North division, next week the Vikings will be at home to face the second-place Green Bay Packers in a big division showdown. Total offensive yards: MIN 385, OAK 371. Total net rushing yards: MIN 263, OAK 84. Turnovers: OAK 2, MIN 0.
Patriots (9-0) 27, Giants (5-5) 26: @ New York – In the best interconference quarterback rivalry in sports, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady narrowed New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s all-time edge to 3-2. Of course, two of Eli’s victories took place in the Super Bowl. This game was a thriller. New York outscored New England 17-9 in the first half, but were then outscored 17-9 in the second half. As he has done many times, Brady was able to drive his team into field goal range late in the game. A 54-yard Stephen Gostowski field goal with six seconds remaining, proved to be the difference. The Patriots won the game, but lost another key player. Last week running back Dion Lewis went down with an ACL injury, and this week they lost wide receiver Julian Edelman to a broken foot. Total offensive yards: NY 422, NE 406. Total net rushing yards: NY 80, NE 77. Turnovers: NE 2, NY 1.