On Sunday night, Oct. 25, 2015 the Carolina Panthers improved to a record of 6-0 when they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 27-16. The Carolina defense were able to make up for an evening which saw Carolina quarterback Cam Newton throw three interceptions. In front of their home crowd, the Panthers defense sacked Philly quarterback Sam Bradford five times; three of the sacks came from defensive lineman Kawann Short.
Earlier in the day, there was another major injury to a star player. Houston Texans running back Arian Foster is now done for the season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in his team’s loss to the Miami Dolphins. There have now been seven Sundays of NFL football played. Here is a look at the rest of the games of the day.
Jaguars (2-5) 34, Bills (3-4) 31: @ Wembley Stadium, UK – Perhaps it is best this game was played in the wee hours of the morning, in front of a lot of fans whom lack a lot of knowledge about American Football. The game was streamed live on Yahoo.com and apparently there were some buffering issues which mirrored the problems the Buffalo Bills had on offense. Jacksonville jumped out to a comfortable 27-3 before the Bills stormed back. Buffalo took a 31-27 lead late in the 4th quarter when Corey Graham returned an interception 44 yards for a touchdown with less than six minutes to play, but it was all for naught. On the Jags ensuing possession, quarterback Blake Bortles was able to lead his team on an 84-yard game-winning touchdown drive.
Dolphins (3-3) 44, Texans (2-4) 26: @ Miami – Playing in front of his home crowd, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a breakthrough game. In the 1st quarter, the often inconsistent Miami signal caller completed 10 of 10 passes for three touchdowns, two of them to Jarvis Landry. The home team went on to slash and shred the Houston Texans defense and built a 41-0 halftime lead. Dolphins running back Lamar Miller also had a big day; he had 14 carries for 175 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Miami defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh registered his first two sacks of the season. The outcome of the game was never in doubt. Tannehill finished the day having completed 18 of 19 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns.
Redskins (3-4) 31, Buccaneers (2-4) 30: @ Washington – This was an emotional win for the Washington Redskins. Amidst a swirling quarterback controversy, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins secured his position, but it wasn’t easy. A series of miscues led to the Redskins falling into a 24-0 1st half deficit in front of their home fans. They trailed 24-7 at halftime. In the 2nd half, Washington kicked into another gear and steadily came back. It all ended in dramatic fashion. The Redskins were trailing 30-24 late in the game, but drove 80 yards on 11 plays for the game-winning touchdown with just 24 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Cousins had three touchdown passes in the game.
Vikings (4-2) 28, Lions (1-6) 19: @ Detroit – The Detroit Lions’ nightmarish season continues. In front of their home fans, the Lions let another game slip away. The motor city franchise led 14-3 at the end of the 1st quarter, but then slowly and steadily faded away. Minnesota trailed 17-15 by halftime and then outscored Detroit 13-2 in the 2nd half. Detroit’s only points of the 2nd half, came on a meaningless safety late in the game. Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford finished with a respectable 126.4 quarterback rating, but was sacked seven times. Minnesota finished with a big 425-274 edge in total offensive yardage.
Rams (3-3) 24, Browns (2-5) 6: @ St. Louis – There may soon be a run on St. Louis Rams jerseys bearing the number ’30’. Simply put, Rams running back Todd Gurley is becoming a star. This week, he rushed for well over 100 yards for the third straight game, and also scored the first two touchdowns of his NFL career. The rookie ball-carrier out of Georgia has a running style which resembles a blend of iconic Rams running backs Lawrence McCutcheon and Eric Dickerson. The Rams are already a strong defensive team. If Rams quarterback Nick Foles can find some consistency, this squad just might be in business.
Raiders (3-3) 35, Chargers (2-5) 29: @ San Diego – With all the talk of a possible move to a shiny new stadium in Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers are not giving their current fans much of a reason to cheer. On Sunday, they fell behind early and never were in the game. The division rival Oakland Raiders came into San Diego and jumped out to a 30-6 halftime lead. The Raiders led 37-6 going into the 4th quarter. The Chargers scored 23 4th quarter points to make the final score look much more respectable. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers who threw for 503 yards in a loss last week, this week threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns but also threw two costly interceptions.
Chiefs (2-5) 23, Steelers (4-3) 13: @ Kansas City – In this battle of teams missing key personnel, the home team prevailed. In the process, the Chiefs snapped a five-game losing streak. The Chiefs were without star running back Jamaal Charles who is done for the year with a torn ACL, and also were missing wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, due to concussion. The Pittsburgh Steelers were playing their fourth straight game without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who was injured in a win over St. Louis. Big Ben is expected to play next in next week’s showdown with Cincinnati.
Patriots (6-0) 30, Jets (4-2) 23: @ New England – Playing on the road, the New York Jets fought their division rival, tooth and nail. In the end, the Patriots’ championship mettle was the difference in the game. The Pats defense were able to keep Jets running back Chris Ivory in check for most of the game, as the limited the beefy runner to just 41 yards on 17 carries. The New England run game was also amost nonexistent as the reigning Super Bowl champions were held to just 16 net rushing yards. In the end, it was Pats quarterback Tom Brady who was the difference. He was able to find his favorite tight end Rob Gronkowski at several crucial moments.
Falcons (6-1) 10, Titans (1-5) 7: @ Tennessee – Not all wins are pretty, but at the end of the day they all count. Despite starting backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger, the Tennessee Titans almost pulled off a big upset. It has been said that in the big moments, your best players have to be your best players. Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones is one of the top five receivers in the entire NFL and definitely the best wide receiver playing in this game. Though Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a forgettable day, Jones had nine catches for 92 yards and in the 3rd quarter, caught the game-winning touchdown pass.
Giants (4-3) 27, Cowboys (2-4) 20: @ NY Giants – Last week, the Giants blew a golden opportunity to take control of the NFC East division, when they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. This week, facing the Dallas Cowboys, they took care of business and now stand alone atop their division. This was also the fourth straight loss for the Cowboys. They are winless since starting quaterback Tony Romo went down with a broken collarbone. Despite making a quarterback change from Brandon Weeden to Matt Cassel, the Cowboys’ fortunes did not change. Dallas running back Darren McFadden ran for 152 yards and one touchdown, but Cassel threw three interceptions. The Cowboys kept the game close, but when Cole Beasley fumbled away a punt late in the game, their fate was sealed.
Saints (3-4) 27, Colts (3-4) 21: @ Indianapolis – This was a battle of two teams headed in opposite directions. This was also a battle of two head coaches who might be on rather shaky ground. Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints came out on top. As for Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano who is in the final year of his contract, things just got a bit murkier. Last week, Pagano called a bizarre fake punt in a loss to New England. This week, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck made bad decisions in crucial situations and his team paid the price. It all starts at the top, and it is quite possible Colts management will blame it all on Pagano for not having his team mentally ready to play ball. Evidence is mounting. Luck was sacked four times and threw two interceptions. The Saints scored the first four touchdowns of the game and led 27-0 less than five minutes into the 3rd quarter.