New England vs. Dallas
This was supposed to be an old fashioned, All-American shootout. Tom Brady and Tony Romo. The porous Patriots defense against a frustrating, yet talented Cowboys attack. Brady was going to set up and dissect Dallas.
But none of that ended up happening. It took a miraculous comeback in the final minutes by Brady and company to make this game even somewhat memorable. Both teams were largely stagnant on the attack, and neither was able to benefit from the oppositions mistakes.
With the running attack struggling on both ends, the passing attack was pressed into action. But neither came up big and the game fell flat of living up to its lofty expectations.
Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans
After falling to the 49ers by 45 points last week, the Bucs were going to either put up or shut up. The two teams play in the always competitive NFC South, and this game was pivotal towards determining who would prevail this season.
Drew Brees is one of the best late game pivots in the league, but he came up short this time. After leading the Saints down the field with the team trailing 26-20, he scrambled to the right and tried to force a pass into coverage. This time it got picked off and the Bucs sealed the victory to bring the Bucs to 4-2, tied with the Saints atop the division.
Josh Freeman had his best game of the season, picking apart a usually stringent New Orleans defense. He hooked up with sophomore Arrelious Benn on a 65-yard touchdown early in the second quarter that put them up for good.
Baltimore vs. Houston
The Texans were poised to seize the AFC South after the Colts were exposed for being nothing more than Peyton. But after losing stars Andre Johnson and Mario Williams to injury in back-to-back weeks, Houston is reeling after losing two straight, this time to a determined Ravens attack.
While Baltimore usually relies on their running attack, Joe Flacco decided to get in on the action today, as he went for 305, including 132 to Anquan Boldin. Ray Rice did his usual thing on the ground, scampering for 101 from scrimmage, and then adding another 60 on 5 catches out of the backfield.
Matt Schaub was again incapable of getting anything going without his favorite wide out, Mr. Johnson, catching the ball. Arian Foster and Ben Tate split the carries, with neither able to get past Ngata, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
Oakland vs. Cleveland
The Al Davis tour continues. After having their beloved owner pass away last Saturday, the Raiders won their second straight game, this time in a convincing victory over the Browns.
Despite losing Jason Campbell to a suspected broken collarbone in the first half, the Raiders were able to hold on and get past a Browns team that refused to go away quietly. The Colt McCoy aerial attack continued, as he threw the ball 45 times, after throwing 61 times last week. That would be a good thing if the Browns weren’t built off the run.
But the Raiders were able to move to an improbable 4-2 on the season, despite Kyle Boller taking over under center in the second quarter. It will be interesting to see if Terrelle Pryor takes over for him next week.