On Sunday night, Oct. 18, 2015 the New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 34-27 to cap off the sixth Sunday of NFL Football. By virtue of the victory, the New England Patriots improved their record to 5-0 and remained one of five undefeated NFL teams, while the Colts fell to a record of 3-3. The other undefeated teams are the Cincinnati Bengals (6-0), Denver Broncos (6-0), Carolina Panthers (5-0) and Green Bay Packers (6-0). Here is a look at all the other games of the day.
Broncos (6-0) 26, Browns (2-4) 23 (OT): @ Cleveland – Coming into this game, the Browns had not defeated the Broncos since 1990. That was a day on which a curly-haired Browns quarterback named Bernie Kosar threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns. Kosar has long since retired, but on this day it looked like it might finally happen again. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who came into the game with a total quarterback rating lower than that of Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, gave the home team every opportunity to steal the win. For the third time this season, the future hall of famer had an interception returned for touchdown. He also threw two other interceptions including one in overtime. In the end, the song remained the same. The Denver offense was mediocre, but the Denver defense was magnificent. As a result, Denver remains undefeated and Cleveland missed a golden opportunity to get to the .500 mark.
Steelers (4-2) 25, Cardinals (4-2) 13: @ Pittsburgh – In front of their home crowd, the Steelers won for the second straight week, despite quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sitting out his third straight game due to a lingering knee injury. Particularly impressive is that they played most of the second half with Landry Jones at quarterback after starting quarterback Mike Vick went down with a hamstring injury early in the third quarter. A third-year quarterback, this was Landry’s first time playing in a regular season NFL game. Jones wound up completing eight of 12 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with a quarterback rating of 149.3; both TD passes were to wide receiver Martavis Bryant. Arizona finished with a 469-310 advantage in total yardage, but the Pittsburgh defense were able to play big in key moments.
Dolphins (2-4) 38, Titans (1-5) 10: @ Tennessee – New head coach means a new attitude. Ever since Dan Campbell took over for deposed former head coach Joe Philbin, he has promised he will be leading a tougher Miami Dolphins team. Playing on the road, the Miami defense which had been disappointing, came up big. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked five times; four of those sacks were registered by defensive lineman Cameron Wake. Miami led 10-3 after one quarter and never looked back. The Miami ground game also came alive, as they were able to rush for 180 yards. Dolphins running back Lamar Miller led all rushers, with 19 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown.
Bengals (6-0) 34, Bills (3-3) 21: @ Buffalo – Playing in front of their home crowd, the Bills vaunted defense got a taste of one of the NFL’s best offenses. This round went to the Bengals. As for the Bills offense, with E.J. Manuel starting at quarterback in lieu of injured Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo did score the first and last touchdown of the first half and only trailed 17-14 at halftime. There may have been hope as the third quarter began, but the Bengals scored 17 straight points and put the game out of reach. The two teams had nearly identical stats as far as time of possession and total yardage, but the big-play element of the Bengals was the difference in the game.
Lions (1-5) 37, Bears (2-4) 34 (OT): @ Detroit – It wasn’t easy, but much to the delight of the hometown crowd, the Lions finally got their first win of the season. After trailing 31-27 late in the game, Lions quarterback Matt Stafford threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson with just 25 seconds left on the game clock. After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Chicago went from their own 20-yard line, to the Detroit 31-yard line in three plays and tied the game by kicking a 29-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in regulation time. The overtime was a struggle which finally ended the Lions kicked a 27-yard field goal with 2:33 remaining. When all was said and done, the teams had combined for 990 yards of total offense. Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford threw four touchdowns passes.
Vikings (3-2) 16, Chiefs (1-5) 10: @ Minnesota – This was not the prettiest game of the day, but the Vikings got it done in front of their home fans. On the other side, the visiting Kansas City Chiefs were playing their first game without star running back Jamaal Charles who last week suffered a torn ACL. The Chiefs nightmarish season continued as they dropped their fifth straight game. Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was held in check most of the day but still led all rushers, with 60 yards on 26 carries. As a team, Kansas City only had 57 total rushing yards.
Texans (2-4) 31, Jaguars (1-5) 20: @ Jacksonville – This was a close game until suddenly, it wasn’t. Playing at home, the Jags led 14-10 going into the fourth quarter, but then the roof caved in. Within a span of 3:25, Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer threw two touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins, and Texans defensive back Andre Hal intercepted a pass by Jags quarterback Blake Bortles and returned it 31 yards for another touchdown to stretch the newfound lead to 31-14. Jacksonville finished with a 394-382 edge in total yardage, but also had three turnovers. Houston played a turnover-free game.
Jets (4-1) 34, Redskins (2-4) 20: @ New York – It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The New York Jets had trouble getting the engine going, but after trailing 13-10 at halftime they proceeded to bury the visiting Washington Redskins. In all, they scored the first 24 points in the second half, en route to building an insurmountable 34-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. By game’s end, the devastating Jets ground game had rolled up 253 yards. New York running back Chris Ivory racked up 146 yards on 20 carries and also scored a touchdown. In tital yardage, the Jets finished with a 474-225 edge in total offensive yardage.
Packers (6-0) 27, Chargers (2-4) 20: @ Green Bay – The San Diego Chargers went to Green Bay, in desperate need of a victory. In the first half, Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen had 11 catches for 129 yards. The man throwing him the ball, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, would go on to throw for a whopping 503 yards. In total offense, the Chargers rolled up 548 yards to the 370 yards of the Packers. In the end, all the stats were meaningless except for one; the final score. For San Diego, this game will fall under “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”For the Packers, it is just another total team effort which resulted in a victory; they are beginning to make a habit of this. This could be the Packers’ year.
Panthers (5-0) 27, Seahawks (2-4) 23: @ Seattle – It may be time to for fans of the Seattle Seahawks, to push the panic button. Yet again, the vaunted Seattle defense could not hold a lead in the fourth quarter. Last week they blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead, this week they blew a nine-point fourth quarter lead. Particularly disturbing, was the game-winning touchdown pass from Carolina quarterback Cam Newton to his favorite target Greg Olsen. Olsen ran through Seattle’s defense virtually untouched and was alone in the end zone as Newton’s throw arced downward into his waiting arms. With that pass, Newton made amends for his having thrown two interceptions earlier in the game, and the Panthers got some measure of revenge for their loss to the Seahawks in the divisional round of last season’s playoffs.
49ers (2-4) 25, Ravens (1-5) 20: @ San Francisco – It seems hard to believe that these two teams met in Super Bowl XLVII just three seasons ago. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Near the end of the third quarter of this game, with his team trailing 19-6, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. This pulled the visiting team to within six points of the lead and created the best highlight of the game. In the wake of the scoring play, Smith did a long lost little dance called the “Pee Wee Herman.” This was a dance first performed by actor Paul Reubens in the 1985 hit movie ‘Pee-Wee’s big adventure’. Smith was six years old when that movie was in theatres.