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NFL Game Capsules - Week 7
Matt Ryan threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns to lead the injury-plagued Atlanta Falcons to a 31-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ryan was without the services of his two favorite targets, wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White. Jones went on injured reserve after undergoing foot surgery on Monday and White, who had been battling a hamstring issue all season, was held out of the lineup. Harry Douglas was the big benefactor, compiling a career-best 149 yards and a touchdown on seven catches for Atlanta (2-4), which had lost three straight to AFC East opponents. Jacquizz Rodgers also had a big day with eight catches for 46 yards and a pair of scores out of the backfield. Mike Glennon went 26- of-44 passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns for Tampa Bay (0-6) in his third career start. Doug Martin gained 47 yards on the ground before leaving with an apparent shoulder injury, and Vincent Jackson caught 10 passes for 138 yards and two scores.
Final Score: Carolina 30, St. Louis 15
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Cam Newton passed for 204 yards and a touchdown to lead the Carolina Panthers to a 30-15 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Newton completed 15 of his 17 passes and ran for 26 yards on 10 carries. The Panthers (3-3) have won three of their last four. Steve Smith caught the lone touchdown pass from Newton and had five receptions for 69 yards. Mike Tolbert added a touchdown run on 13 carries for 36 yards. Before leaving the game with a leg injury, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford completed 21 of his 30 pass attempts for 255 yards and a touchdown pass to Zac Stacy. Stacy had four catches for 34 yards and also gained 53 yards on 17 carries for the Rams (3-4). Captain Munnerlyn added a touchdown for Carolina on a 45-yard interception return.
Final Score: Cincinnati 27, Detroit 24
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Nugent's 54-yard field goal as time expired gave the Cincinnati Bengals a 27-24 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. A 28-yard punt from Sam Martin gave the Bengals the ball back near midfield and the first play saw Andy Dalton hit Dane Sanzenbacher for seven yards. The next snap went for eight yards on a catch by Giovani Bernard to get the ball at the Detroit 36. Cincinnati then called timeout with four seconds remaining and, after Detroit called a timeout, Nugent calmly drilled the ball down the middle for the win. Dalton passed for 372 yards and three scores on 24-of-34 attempts with A.J. Green catching six passes for 155 yards and a score for the Bengals (5-2), who have won three straight and sit atop the AFC North. Matthew Stafford went 28-for-51 for 357 yards and three touchdowns for the Lions (4-3), who were coming off a win in Cleveland. Calvin Johnson had his best game of the season as he caught nine passes for 155 yards and two scores.
Final Score: San Diego 24, Jacksonville 6
Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Philip Rivers completed 22-of-26 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown to lead the San Diego Chargers to a 24-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ryan Mathews carried the ball 21 times for 110 yards and a touchdown and Eddie Royal caught four passes for 69 yards and a score for the Chargers (4-3), winners in two straight and three of their last four overall. San Diego dominated the time of possession 37:30-22:30. In their four wins this season, the Chargers hold a 150:21-89:39 advantage in time of possession. Chad Henne completed 23-of-36 passes for 318 yards and an interception and Mike Brown caught five passes for 120 yards for the Jaguars (0-7), who failed to score a touchdown for the fourth time this season.
Final Score: Buffalo 23, Miami 21
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Dan Carpenter kicked a 31-yard field goal with 33 seconds left after Mario Williams sacked Ryan Tannehill to force a fumble, lifting the Buffalo Bills to a 23-21 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Miami-area native Thad Lewis, making his second start while EJ Manuel recovers from a knee sprain, passed for just 202 yards with an interception but the Bills (3-4) snapped a two-game losing streak and got their first win against an AFC East opponent this season. Jackson went down holding his left leg after a run in the first quarter but returned shortly after that and had a 3-yard touchdown run that gave Buffalo an early 14-0 lead. Bills rookie cornerback Nickell Robey had a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown just 93 seconds into the game. Tannehill passed for 194 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Brandon Gibson, but threw two interceptions -- the pick-six to Robey and one in the end zone. Coming off a bye, the Dolphins (3-3) suffered their third straight loss after starting 3-0. Sunday was their first division game of the season.
Final Score: NY Jets 30, New England 27 (OT)
East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Folk made the most of a second chance at a game-winning field goal, drilling a 42-yarder with 5:07 remaining in overtime to give the New York Jets a 30-27 victory over the New England Patriots in a thriller from MetLife Stadium. Folk at first pulled a 56-yard try wide to the left, but was given a reprieve when Patriots defensive lineman Chris Jones was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing a teammate into a Jets' blocker on the attempt. The penalty moved the ball inside the New England 25, and Folk was true on the re-do to complete New York's comeback from a 21-10 halftime deficit. Antonio Allen ignited the Jets' second-half rally with a 23-yard interception return touchdown of Tom Brady on the second play of the third quarter, while Geno Smith threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help New York (4-3) close within a game of the AFC-East leading Patriots (5-2) in the division race. Smith shook off a first-quarter interception that Logan Ryan ran back 79 yards for a touchdown to complete 17-of-33 passes for 233 yards. Chris Ivory contributed 104 yards on a heavy 34-carry workload to the win, with Jeremy Kerley amassing 97 yards on eight catches and hauling in Smith's TD strike. The Jets' defense did its part as well, limiting New England to just two Stephen Gostkowski field goals after halftime and continually frustrating Brady throughout the afternoon. Brady ended an off-target 22-of-46 for 228 yards without a touchdown despite the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski to the offense. Gronkowski did make a large impact in his first game back from offseason back and forearm surgeries, compiling 114 yards on eight receptions in the loss.
Final Score: Dallas 17, Philadelphia 3
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Despite missing All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware, the Dallas Cowboys shut down the Philadelphia Eagles' offense in a 17-3 victory. Many people expected a high-scoring game when the two teams took the field Sunday in a battle for first place in the NFC East. Coming into the contest, Dallas was second in the NFL with an average of 30.5 points per game and Philadelphia was fourth with 27.2 ppg. But the Dallas defense, which came into the contest allowing 25.3 ppg, recorded three sacks, intercepted rookie quarterback Matt Barkley three times and limited LeSean McCoy to 55 yards on 18 carries. On the offensive side of the ball for the Cowboys (4-3), Tony Romo completed 28-of-47 passes for 317 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. A fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Terrance Williams extended Romo's streak to 20 consecutive games with a TD pass. Joseph Randle, filling in for an injured DeMarco Murray, carried the ball 19 times for 65 yards. Dez Bryant caught eight passes for 110 yards. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, making his second straight start for an injured Michael Vick, connected on just 11-of-29 passes for 80 yards before leaving after three quarters with a head injury. Barkley completed 11-of-20 passes for 129 yards in relief. Vick announced Thursday during a joint press conference with Foles that his injured hamstring is still not 100 percent. Vick suffered the injury during a Week 5 win over the New York Giants. Philadelphia (3-4) had a two-game winning streak snapped and set a new, dubious franchise record with its ninth straight home defeat. The Eagles' last win at home came on Sept. 30, 2012 against the New York Giants.
Final Score: Washington 45, Chicago 41
Landover, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Roy Helu's third rushing touchdown of the contest, a three-yard score coming with 45 seconds left in regulation, lifted the Washington Redskins to a 45-41 victory over the Chicago Bears in an offensive showcase on Sunday. Helu finished with 41 yards on 11 carries, with Alfred Morris totaling 95 yards on 19 totes. Jordan Reed ended with a game-best 134 yards with one score on nine receptions and Aldrick Robinson added a 45-yard TD catch. Robert Griffin III completed 18-of-29 passes for 298 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Redskins (2-4), who won their second in the last three outings thanks to a season-high in points. Griffin added 84 yards on 11 carries for the victors. Matt Forte also rushed for three scores, part of a 91-yard, 16-carry effort for the Bears (4-3), who have dropped three of four and gave up 40-plus points for the second time in the last four contests. Jay Cutler departed in the second quarter with a groin injury and did not return, operating at 3-of-8 efficiency for 28 yards and an interception. Josh McCown finished 14-of-20 for 204 yards and a TD pass to Martellus Bennett which put Chicago ahead inside of four minutes to play. Alshon Jeffery totaled 105 yards on four grabs, Brandon Marshall added 75 yards on six receptions in defeat.
Final Score: San Francisco 31, Tennessee 17
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Frank Gore rushed for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 31-17 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick completed 13-of-21 passes for 199 yards and also rushed for 64 yards and a score and Anquan Boldin caught five passes for 74 yards for the 49ers (5-2), who have won their last four games. Jake Locker, who missed the last two games with a hip injury, completed 25-of-41 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and Chris Johnson finished with 110 total yards and a receiving touchdown for the Titans (3-4), who have dropped three straight. Delanie Walker, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with San Francisco, caught a touchdown in the setback.
Final Score: Green Bay 31, Cleveland 13
Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Rodgers refused to let a diminished receiving corps hamper his performance, as the Green Bay quarterback threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Packers to a 31-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Lambeau Field. After losing star receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones to injuries in last week's win, Rodgers was forced to rely heavily on second-year wideout Jarrett Boykin, who entered the tilt with just six career catches for 70 yards. Boykin rose to the occasion, racking up a game-high eight receptions for 103 yards and a score, while Rodgers finished an efficient 25-of-36 passing for the Packers (4-2), who notched their 10th consecutive home victory. Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley each added a touchdown grab, while Eddie Lacy rushed for 82 yards and a score on 22 carries in the win. Brandon Weeden struggled under center for Cleveland (3-4), completing just 17-of-42 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Jordan Cameron caught Weeden's lone touchdown pass and finished with seven catches for 55 yards for the Browns, who have lost two straight.
Final Score: Kansas City 17, Houston 16
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Smith threw for 240 yards while rushing for a touchdown, and the Kansas City defense stood tall once again to keep the Chiefs unbeaten with Sunday's 17-16 victory over a game Houston Texans squad. The Chiefs limited an injury-plagued Houston offense to a pair of Randy Bullock field goals while sacking fill-in quarterback Case Keenum five times over the final two quarters to make a 14-10 halftime lead stand up and improve the NFL's first-half surprise to 7-0 on the season. Smith finished an efficient 23-of-34 with an interception, while Jamaal Charles churned out 86 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in the win. Keenum, elevated from the third string to a starter's role with Matt Schaub sidelined by a sprained ankle, did perform fairly well in his first NFL action, and Houston (2-5) gave the Chiefs all they could handle despite losing running back Arian Foster and linebacker Brian Cushing to injuries during the game. Keenum fired a 29-yard touchdown pass to rookie DeAndre Hopkins in the second quarter and accumulated 271 yards on 15-of-25 passing with no interceptions, but lost a fumble on a sack by Tamba Hali with under two minutes to play that ultimately dealt the disappointing Texans a fifth consecutive defeat.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 19, Baltimore 16
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Shaun Suisham's fourth field goal of the game ended another close battle between AFC North rivals and gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a 19-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field. Eight of the previous 10 meetings between these teams have been decided by three points, and Sunday proved no different. Joe Flacco hit Dallas Clark in the back of the end zone to tie the game, 16-16, with 1:58 remaining, but Emmanuel Sanders returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards -- barely stepping out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 37-yard line -- to jump-start the game- deciding drive. Consecutive receptions by Antonio Brown moved the Steelers into field-goal range, and Suisham remained perfect on the season and gave Pittsburgh (2-4) its second straight win after an 0-4 start. Baltimore (3-4) heads into its bye week having lost three of its last four. Ben Roethlisberger was limited to 160 yards with a touchdown on 17-of-23 attempts, while Le'Veon Bell rejuvenated Pittsburgh's running attack with 93 yards on 19 carries. Flacco threw for 215 yards, 64 coming on the game-tying drive when he completed 9-of-10 passes -- with four completions coming on short third-down plays, including his toss to Clark on 3rd-and-goal from the 1.
Final Score: Indianapolis 39, Denver 33
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Indianapolis Colts paid homage to the king, but it was the prince who stole the show. Andrew Luck threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score in the Colts' 39-33 win over the Denver Broncos in Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis, snapping the Broncos' 17-game regular season winning streak. The Colts remain the lone NFL team Manning has never beaten. The Indy faithful cheered Manning as a tribute video was played when Denver came out of the tunnel prior to the game. Manning waved and thanked the crowd following the conclusion of the video. Luck and Indianapolis' overlooked stingy defense, though, spoiled Manning's night. The Colts sacked him four times and forced him into uncharacteristic miscues. Manning was 29-of-49 for 386 yards with three touchdowns, an interception and a fumble. After 14 seasons, two Super Bowl appearances, 11 trips to the playoffs and a plethora of records, the Colts released Manning on March 7, 2012. The divorce was hardly acrimonious and understood by both sides. Manning was attempting to recover from four different surgical procedures on his neck, and the Colts were focused on their future and Luck. And that future is now. Luck completed 21-of-38 passes for 228 yards, while Robert Mathis had a strip-sack among his two tackles of Manning behind the line scrimmage for the Colts (5-2), who were coming off a 19-9 setback in San Diego this past Monday night.
(Thursday, October 17th)
Final Score: Seattle 34, Arizona 22
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Russell Wilson threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Seattle Seahawks to a 34-22 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West clash at University of Phoenix Stadium. Wilson completed 18-of-29 passes and added 29 rushing yards on eight carries, while Marshawn Lynch racked up 91 yards and a score on 21 totes for the Seahawks, who are 6-1 to start a season for the first time in franchise history. Carson Palmer struggled to get Arizona's offense going against Seattle's stout defense for much of the night, with the veteran signal-caller throwing a pair of interceptions before finally finding the end zone in the fourth quarter. Palmer finished 30-of-45 passing for 258 yards, while Rashard Mendenhall added a rushing score, but managed just 22 yards on 13 carries for the Cardinals (3-4), who were coming off a 32-20 setback in San Francisco.
NFL 2013: Training camp hot spots this summer
The map we have in mind is not so much geographic or topographic. It's a guide to the hot spots where the story lines are juicy, the position battles intense, the rosters in flux or being retooled.
Here's a Pick 6 of the camp melodramas:
PATRIOTS, Foxborough, Mass.: For most franchises, undergoing so many roster changes while making so much news off the field could set up a distraction-filled buildup to a disappointing season. But these are the Patriots, and coach Bill Belichick doesn't allow such things. He finished (in his mind, at least) addressing the Aaron Hernandez murder arrest on Wednesday, saying, "We'll try to do a good job in bringing people into this organization in the future and try to learn from the mistakes that we've made along the way, of which there have been plenty."
Even if the club won't talk about Hernandez, this is a challenging preseason for New England. The Patriots need to reinvent their passing game Tom Brady's top five receivers from 2012, at least until star TE Rob Gronkowski is healthy, are gone and upgrade their defense.
REDSKINS, Richmond, Va.: This camp is all about one guy: Robert Griffin III. It shouldn't be, but when there are so many health questions about the dynamic Offensive Rookie of the Year and he plays quarterback, well, it will be RG3 24/7.
Coach Mike Shanahan won't make a second mistake of playing RG3 when he isn't up to snuff, and Griffin's every practice move will be well-documented. But with the Redskins favored in the NFC East, keeping an eye on how their secondary and offensive line come together will be just as worthwhile.
EAGLES, Philadelphia: Welcome to the NFL, Chip Kelly. Now let us catch our breath while you run that up-up-up-tempo offense.
Kelly brings with him from Oregon the quintessential fast-paced, spread-'em-out, go-for-the-big-play attack. With the likes of Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, it will be exciting, don't-blink stuff. Watching how it works, or how many kinks the Eagles must work out in the new system, will put Philly on the must-see list.
CHIEFS, St. Joseph, Mo.: No coaching change, not even Kelly to Philly, was as intriguing as Andy Reid immediately landing in Kansas City after his 14-year stint with the Eagles ended. The Chiefs were abysmal last season, going 2-14 yet having six players making the Pro Bowl.
Now they have a quality quarterback in Alex Smith, a perennially successful coach, an aggressive new general manager, and the look of a team that could soar in the standings.
SEAHAWKS, Renton, Wash.: Lots of reasons to journey to the Pacific Northwest, not the least of which is watching the further development of QB Russell Wilson. And Seattle's defense yielded the fewest points in the league in 2012 and could be stronger.
But there also are storm clouds: LB Bruce Irvin's four-game suspension makes five Seahawks players getting suspended for using performance enhancers since 2011. Does coach Pete Carroll have things under control on his supremely talented team?
CARDINALS, Glendale, Ariz.: At age 60, Bruce Arians finally has a head coaching gig. He earned it with a 9-3 record as interim coach for leukemia-stricken Chuck Pagano in Indianapolis last season. He brings an aggressive mindset and actually has a quarterback, Carson Palmer, who can get the ball downfield. He also will find ways to get star WR Larry Fitzgerald the ball. Often.