The Dallas Cowboys have been involved in two of the best games of the season so far. Unfortunately for them, they’ve lost both because of last second scores.
Calvin Johnson had 329 receiving yards, just seven away from the all-time record in a single game; a number that 16 teams have failed to reach this year. Matt Stafford led the game-winning drive by connecting on two long passes, one to Johnson, and finishing with a fake spike-QB sneak that fooled everybody on the Cowboys.
The Lions stole a win despite coughing the ball up four times. Also, Dez Bryant did a bunch of Dez Bryant things on the sideline and Demarcus Ware was having none of it, and this Lions fan won the sign contest for the entire year.
The Chiefs remain the only undefeated team after improving to 8-0. The overwhelmed victim in Arrowhead this week was Jason Campbell and the Cleveland Browns. Believe it or not, Campbell came to play, and passed for 293 yards, 132 of which went to Josh Gordon who the Browns have made available in trades before this week’s trade deadline.
If you weren’t expecting to see a Campbell-Alex Smith shootout this year, you’re not alone, but that’s what we got as Smith, who failed to throw a touchdown in the Chiefs last three games, threw two against a pretty good Browns defense. As for the Chiefs, I don’t know if they’re for real. Their wins include zero teams over .500, two 3rd string quarterbacks (and next week they get another), the winless Jags, the one Giants win, and five home games. But as Bill Parcells famously said, you are as good as your record.
— The Washington Redskins held Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to a touchdown in the first half. In the third quarter, the Washington defense came up with a pick 6 and a fumble recovery that put them by two scores. So how did they lose 45-21? The answer is the team switched from being a ball-hogging carriage in the first half into a turnover prone pumpkin in the second. They abandoned the running game much too early, committed some key errors in the passing game, and gave the best offense in football too many chances.
— David D. here. I was in the Superdome for the Saints’ throttling of the Bills because I’m better than you. It was my second time in watching the Saints during the Brees/Payton era (the first was the 2011 Playoff game against the Lions) and I have to say that seeing the Saints offense in the dome is quickly reaching the top of the “sports things you have to see before you die” list. Games like these – where Brees threw for 300+ yards and five TDs in a 35-17 beat down – are more like rock concerts than anything else as Brees, Graham and company pump up the crowd for three straight hours. You’ve really got to go out of your way to see it.
— Atlanta, look. Up in the sky. It’s not spaceships on Bankhead up there. It’s the jig. Without the best receiving duo in the league to catch Hail Mary passes in times of need, Matt Ryan looked downright pedestrian in a 27-13 upset loss to the Cardinals. Matty Ice threw four picks in the game. By the way, is Stephen Jackson the most disappointing acquisition of the year?
— Question: if the Jaguars never come back from England, will anyone notice? The 49ers were able to get Colin Kaepernick back on track to the tune of a 42-10 flogging. Kaep also posted the highest QBR since Michael Vick in 2010. But at least the Jags’ mascot had fun.
— Speaking of Michael Vick, he got hurt. Matt Barkley threw passes. That’s all you need to know about this week’s Bria Myles invitational. The NFC East continues to be the worst division in football by a country mile…or the distance between a Matt Barkley thrown ball and a receiver’s hands.
— Andy Dalton, elite quarterback? After a slow start, Dalton has put up some monster numbers and the show didn’t stop against the Jets. He threw five touchdowns in a 49-9 win over the Jets. The Bengals have a firm hold on the AFC North going forward.
— Tom Brady’s pedestrian season continues as the Patriots look more like the team that won its first Super Bowl than the team that went 16-0 and 50 touchdown passes. Brady threw for 116 yards, a TD and a pick, but the defense created enough turnovers to come from behind to beat the suddenly-horrible Dolphins 27-17.
— How in the hell does a quarterback run for a 93-yard touchdown in the NFL? Seriously. Terrelle Pryor and his Raiders shocked the Steelers with a 21-18 win highlighted by Pryor’s record-breaking sprint.