On Sunday night, Nov. 8, 2015 the Philadelphia Eagles needed overtime, but finally were able to defeat the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 33-27. The visiting Eagles won in dramatic fashion as quarterback Sam Bradford was able to find wide receiver Jordan Matthews for a 41-yard touchdown pass on the ninth play of the first possession of the extra session.
This was the sixth straight loss for the Cowboys and was the final game played on this ninth Sunday of the 2015 NFL season. Earlier in the day, the Indianapolis Colts knocked the Denver Broncos from the ranks of the unbeaten. In a big game against the Oakland Raiders, wide receiver Antonio Brown set new Pittsburgh Steelers team records for both the number of catches and receiving yards in a single game. Here is a look at all the other games of the day.
Bills (4-4) 33, Dolphins (3-5) 17: @ Buffalo – This game was about momentum. The first play of the game, was a high snap which went over the head and off the hands of Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill and through the end zone for a safety. As the half ended, the Dolphins had the ball near the opposing goal line, and trailed 19-7. The visiting Miami Dolphins opted to forego an almost automatic field goal. On the ensuing play, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s short would-be touchdown pass fell incomplete; ugly bookends for the first 30 minutes of play. The Dolphins did score the first touchdown of the 3rd quarter, but never could take control of the flow of the game. The other determining factor was Buffalo’s punishing run game which chewed up the Miami defense for 266 yards. Total offensive yards: Buffalo 420, Miami 397. Total net rushing yards: BUF 266, MIA 106. Turnovers: Miami 1, Buffalo 0.
Vikings (6-2) 21, Rams (4-4) 18 (OT): @ Minnesota – In this matchup of premier NFL running backs, St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley came up short in his duel with Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson not only outrushed Gurley 125-89 in net rushing yardage, but also got the ultimate satisfaction of seeing his team put another tally mark in the win column. This was a close, highly competitive game which saw the Rams earn a 15-10 halftime lead, but then go cold. In the 2nd half, the Rams first five possessions ended with a punt. The only 2nd half points the Rams put up, came courtesy of a 53-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal in the early moments of the 4th quarter. The game was marred by an ugly cheapshot by Rams defensive back Lamarcus Joyner. In the 4th quarter, Joyner knocked Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater unconscious by was of a needless blow to the head. Bridgewater left the game and did not return. Total offensive yards: StL 320, MIN 293. Total net rushing yards: StL 160, MIN 145. Turnovers: MIN 1, StL 0.
Patriots (8-0) 27, Redskins (3-5) 10: @ New England – In front of an appreciative home crowd, the Patriots maintained their undefeated season. Quarterback Tom Brady led his team to a 17-0 lead before the visiting team kicked a 23-yard field goal at the end of the 1st half. The outcome was never in doubt, as the reigning Super Bowl champs rolled to a relatively easy win. The only downside was that Patriots running back Dion Lewis suffered a non-contact knee injury; the fear is that it may be a torn ACL. This sets up an interesting contest with the New York Giants in Week 10. It can be said that Giants quarterback Eli Manning is the only reason Brady does not have six Super Bowl rings. It should be an entertaining game. Total offensive yards: NE 460, WSH 250. Total net rushing yards: NE 161, WSH 37. Turnovers: NE 2, WSH 2.
Titans (2-6) 34, Saints (4-5) 28 (OT): @ New Orleans – After three straight wins, the Saints fell back to earth and lost a very winnable game after building an early lead in front of their home fans. The Tennessee Titans playing in their first game since head coach Ken Whisenhunt was relieved of duty, played a spirited game. The Titans fell behind 21-10 early in the 2nd quarter, but steadily worked their way back. By the time it was over, Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota had thrown for 371 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. Total offensive yards: TEN 483, N.O. 416. Total net rushing yards: TEN 112, N.O. 61. Turnovers: N.O. 2, TEN 1.
Jets (5-3) 28, Jaguars (2-6) 23: @ New York – Playing in front of his home fans, Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to overcome the pain of torn ligaments in his non-throwing hand. The visiting Jacksonville team were a pesky bunch, as they tried to overcome an 14-3 1st half deficit. They got as close as 14-13, but could not get over the hump. In the end, the Jets were able to keep themselves in the thick of the AFC playoff race, while the Jags now have to face the harsh reality that they will be playing for nothing but pride in the last eight games of the season. Jacksonville were able to hold Jets running back Chris Ivory to just 26 yards on 23 carries and did finish with a wide edge in total yardage, but were undone by four turnovers. Total offensive yards: JAX 436, NYJ 290. Total net rushing yards: JAX 98, NYJ 29. Turnovers: JAX 4, NYJ 0.
Steelers (5-4) 38, Raiders (4-4) 35: @ Pittsburgh – Perhaps it was the affect of the terrible towels. Whatever the case, it was a career day for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. By the time Steelers kicker Chris Boswell kicked the game-winning 18-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the game, Brown had erased and rewritten parts of the Steelers record book. The man who seems to move at the speed of light, wound up with 17 catches for 284 yards; both are new Steelers records. There was some bad news for the Steelers. In the 4th quarter, starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down with a sprained foot and is now expected to miss at least a game or two. Total offensive yards: PIT 597, OAK 440. Total net rushing yards: PIT 195, OAK 139. Turnovers: OAK 4, PIT 2.
Panthers (8-0), 37, Packers (6-2) 29: @ Carolina – In front of a raucous home crowd, the Carolina Panthers remained undefeated. All game long, the swarming Carolina defense harrassed and hurried Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, sacking him five times and forcing him into throwing a crucial interception late in the game. On offense, Carolina scored 24 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter and led 27-7 at the half. The Packers were behind 37-14 before scoring two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. In reality, this game was not nearly as close as the final score would indicate. For the first time since 2010, an Aaron Rodgers=led Packers team have lost two games in a row. Total offensive yards: CAR 427, GB 402. Total net rushing yards: CAR 130, GB 71. Turnovers: GB 2, CAR 1.
49ers (3-6) 17, Falcons (6-3) 16: @ San Francisco – After starting the season 5-0, the Atlanta Falcons recent woes continue. Though still leading the NFC South division, they have now lost three of their last four games. The San Francisco 49ers were playing in their first game since quarterback Colin Kaepernick was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert. In front of the home crowd at Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara, California, Gabbert was not spectacular but did just enough to win. A big part of the Falcons recent turn for the worse, has been the nonexistent running game. In this game, the Falcons could only muster 17 net rushing yards. Total offensive yards: SF 318, ATL 302. Total net rush yards: SF 133, ATL 17. Turnovers: SF 2, ATL 0.
Giants (5-4) 32, Buccaneers (3-5) 18: @ Tampa Bay – Experience made the difference. The Bucs played well enough overall, but in key situations, Bucs rookie quarterback Jameis Winston was not able to execute often enough. This was not helped by the fact that one of his main targets, wide receiver Mike Evans had at least three dropped passes. These are just some of the growing pains facing this team right now. As for the Giants, they remained atop the NFC East and can now look forward to a marquee matchup with the New England Patriots in Week 10. For Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, this was his first game of the 2015 season. This past offseason, Pierre-Paul was injured in a much-publicized fireworks accident. In limited action, the 6’5″ 278 lb athletic marvel had two solo tackles. Total offensive yards: TB 385, NYG 327. Total net rush yards: TB 136, NYG 114. Turnovers: TB 3, NYG 2.
Colts (4-5) 27, Broncos (7-1) 24: @ Indianapolis – After a rather head-scratching 7-0 start, the roof caved in. The Denver Broncos defense finally were not able to mask another mediocre performance by quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning threw two more interceptions this week, and with 13 total interecptions this season, leads the league in that category. Manning has thrown at least one pick in every game this season. The Colts were competing in their first game since former offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was fired earlier in the week. Total offensive yards: IND 365, DEN 309. Total net rush yards: IND 120, DEN 35. Turnovers: DEN 2, IND 0.