Chargers 20 (5-2, 2nd in AFC West), Titans 19 (3-4, 2nd in AFC South)
After a 4:55 89-yard drive by Marcus Mariota and the Titans, the game appeared to be headed into overtime pending an extra point; however, the Titans failed to convert on two straight two-point conversion attempts, leaving the Chargers victorious at the end of regulation in London. A high-powered offense could lead this team on a deep playoff run, but to secure home field, they’d have to overcome a Chiefs unit which is 9-0 against the Chargers over the past four seasons.
Vikings 37 (4-2-1, 1st in NFC North), Jets 17 (3-4, 3rd in AFC East)
Adam Thielen decimated the Jets’ 3rd-ranked defense with nine receptions for 110 yards and a score. After a slow start, the Vikings are finally able to rest on the arm of Kirk Cousins, who before this season had been slated as a good-but-not-great quarterback. Cousins is currently 2nd in passing, 1st incompletions and 2nd in yards, above players like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers. The last time the Jets won their division was 2002, and haven’t won a playoff game since 2010 when Mark Sanchez led them to back-to-back AFC Championships.
Colts 37 (2-5, 4th in AFC South), Bills 5 (2-5, 4th in AFC East)
Oh, the Bills. Not only did they let up 37 points to a team which entered the game with one win, but they also only managed to put up five points at home. A field goal and a safety. At home. This team managed to upstage the Vikings by 21 points in week 3, but that feels like an eternity ago. The Bills’ only healthy quarterback is Nathan Peterman, and when you’re hosting the Patriots next week in a nationally televised Monday night game, it might be time to bring in a free agent. I heard there’s this Kaepernick guy they might want to check out. I’m still not sure what to make of the Colts, as their losses have been close for the most part, and their wins were both by sizeable margins, reminiscent of last year’s Chargers squad.
Texans 20 (4-3, 1st in AFC South), Jaguars 7 (3-4, 3rd in AFC South)
In a game to determine sole ownership of the AFC South, the Jaguars’ offense sputtered, and Blake Bortles had to be benched for Cody Kessler, the former Browns starter who managed to go 0-8 in games he started. The defense was finally able to live up to its trash talk, but DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson were able to find a way to put up just enough points to exit Duval with a win. Expect both teams to be playing for seeding during their rematch in Houston in Week 17.
Lions 32 (3-3, 3rd in NFC North), Dolphins 21 (4-3, 2nd in AFC East)
TE Michael Roberts caught three passes for just 48 yards but converted two of them into touchdowns. The Dolphins have been competitive for most of the season, but so long as Frank Gore keeps running the ball, Kenyan Drake won’t be able to break out as the RB1 he was slated to be going into the season. Matthew Stafford has broken out of his early-season slump and is connecting with all of his receivers on a high level. The Dolphins are only one game behind the Patriots in the lead for the AFC East.
Saints 24 (5-1, 1st in NFC South), Ravens 23 (4-3, 3rd in AFC North)
Drew Brees scored his 500th touchdown in his 255th NFL game, and that’s outstanding, and he deserves praise. But more shocking is that Justin Tucker missed an extra point. Not just any extra point, the potential game-tying extra point which would have sent the game to overtime. The look of genuine shock on his face was reminiscent of every Ravens fan across the nation as they watched in horror. Tucker did talk at the podium after the game, accepting responsibility in an act of maturity unmatched by most players. Brees has now earned a victory over all 32 NFL teams.
Chiefs 45 (6-1, 1st in AFC West), Bengals 10 (4-3, 2nd in AFC North)
In what should have been a high-scoring affair, Kareem Hunt had 141 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns to push past a faltering Bengals squad. Joe Mixon looks promising with A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd outside to create space for him, but if Andy Dalton can’t connect consistently, it’s going to be another disappointing season in Cincinnati. The Steelers move to first in the AFC North based on percentage points despite having their bye week this week.