A Hail Mary into triple-coverage. A 98-yard touchdown run. A roughing the passer call that handed a team a win. It was a week of big plays and last-minute changes in fortune, and it shook up the N.F.L.’s best division, as the N.F.C. West now has a three-way tie for first place.
Here’s what we learned:
Chase Young owes his teammates an apology. There were fewer than 10 seconds remaining in a tie game between the Lions and the Footballers when Detroit’s Matthew Stafford threw an incomplete pass at his own 35-yard line, making overtime seem like a foregone conclusion. But Young, a rookie defensive end for Washington, came in late and tossed Stafford to the ground, earning a flag for roughing the passer. The 15-yard penalty, plus a 6-yard pass from Stafford to Marvin Jones, got Matt Prater just close enough for a 59-yard field goal as time expired. That Washington had fought back from a 24-3 deficit to tie the game, only to have it fall apart because of such a ridiculous mistake, will certainly sting — and will undoubtedly be a focus of Washington’s review of the game this week.
One* Sentence About Sunday’s Games
*Except when it takes more.
Cardinals 32, Bills 30 The photo above this item is of a Cardinals touchdown.
Buccaneers 46, Panthers 23 Tom Brady had more than 300 yards passing for the third time this season — he topped that mark only once in his final 10 games with New England — and he once again split up his touchdown passes, with one each to Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans and Cameron Brate.
Steelers 36, Bengals 10 Pittsburgh’s big day on offense saw Diontae Johnson, a second-year wide receiver, contribute six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown while the rookie sensation Chase Claypool scored two more touchdowns, bringing his total over his last six games to eight.
Rams 23, Seahawks 16 Leonard Floyd got three of the Rams’ six sacks and five of the team’s 12 quarterback hits, helping to make Russell Wilson’s day absolutely miserable.
Giants 27, Eagles 17 It was a throwback game for the Giants, as the team’s defensive front set the tone with three sacks and 13 quarterback hits, and Daniel Jones went a second consecutive game without committing a turnover. After starting the season 0-5, the Giants have improved from historically awful to merely bad, which in their division could lead to a playoff spot.
Packers 24, Jaguars 20 After an impressive N.F.L. debut last week, Jacksonville’s Jake Luton came back to Earth a bit, passing for just 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception against a Green Bay defense that typically makes quite a few mistakes. That won’t work against Aaron Rodgers, even on a day that was a little slow by his lofty standards.
Saints 27, 49ers 13 A huge hit from San Francisco’s Kentavius Street in the second quarter left Saints quarterback Drew Brees wincing on the field — and resulted in a fairly questionable penalty on Street. Brees was able to fight his way through the pain until halftime, but gave way to Jameis Winston for the second half despite never being officially ruled out with what was described as a rib injury.
Dolphins 29, Chargers 21 Justin Herbert has had a remarkable rookie season, but the Chargers quarterback was outplayed by Tua Tagovailoa in this game and his interception early in the fourth quarter helped give Miami the breathing room it needed to stretch its winning streak to five games.
Lions 30, Footballers 27 In his first start in nearly two years following a devastating leg break, Alex Smith threw for 390 yards and rallied his team all the way back from a 24-3 deficit to a 27-27 tie before a mistake by his team’s defense handed Detroit the victory.
Browns 10, Texans 7 In his first action since Week 4, Nick Chubb ran for 126 yards and a touchdown while Kareem Hunt, seeming happy to share the load, had 132 yards from scrimmage.
Raiders 37, Broncos 12 When asked about a game in which his team’s defense forced five turnovers and running backs Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker combined for 193 yards rushing and four touchdowns, quarterback Derek Carr just seemed happy to be there. “It’s kind of awesome,” Carr said in his postgame news conference. “As I get older, I let the young guys do more of the work.”