The government may be shutdown but the NFL's 2013 season continues on.
Five teams remain undefeated. Denver hummed along like they always do in their win over the Eagles. The Chiefs thumped the Giants at home, 31-7. Got to give the Giants credit, they lost and unlike Congressional Republicans took it quite well by not demanding the Chiefs give them 25 more points or demand a shutdown of the entire NFL.
The Patriots survived a late surge by the Falcons to hold on to a 7-point victory. On Monday Night, the Dolphins were competitive through 1-1/2 quarters but then the Saints shut it down. Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 413 yards while the Saints defense forced 4 turnovers in 38-17 win.
Seattle is still undefeated and I bet Monica doesn't want to talk about it. Going into the 4th quarter, Houston led 20-6 and it was looking like they were going to give the Seahawks their first loss of the season. Russell Wilson engineered a 14-play, 98-yard drive that included a Wilson 4th down run and was capped by a Marshawn Lynch touchdown to cut the Houston lead in half. With 2:51 to play, Matt Schaub threw an interception to Richard Sherman that was returned for a tying score. In overtime the Seahawks kicked a field goal for the win.
The Lions dropped the Bears from the unbeaten ranks by putting 40 points on their defense.
The winless ranks thinned out. Tampa, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, and the Giants are the last 4 winless teams. Minnesota got their first win over the Steelers in London. Washington beat the Raiders for their first win. The Jaguars... it might be a while before they win a game.
As for Dallas... well.... not good.
Dallas jumped out to a 21-10 lead over the Chargers in the 2nd quarter due to an interception return by linebacker Sean Lee. Dallas didn't score any points the rest of the game in part due to the offense did not complete any drives the rest of the game and quarterback Phillip Rivers tore up the Cowboys' secondary. Rivers threw for his 200th career touchdown pass that day. His 100th? Was against Dallas 4 years ago.
A late fumble by wide receiver Terrance Williams as he was trying to stretch the ball into the end zone secured the Chargers victory.
Well... Dallas is 2-2 and surprisingly still in first place in the NFC East.
Up next for the Cowboys is the Denver Broncos. This is where the NFL schedule makers screwed up. I think this should have been the Thanksgiving Day game instead of the Raiders as it was four years ago.
It's true. I can't find the YouTube clip because I think Jerry Jones ordered the NFL to have footage of that game destroyed or else. Anyways, here is the box score of that game courtesy of the good folks at Pro Football Reference.
Some folks might be inclined to pick the Broncos to beat Dallas because of Peyton Manning and you wouldn't be wrong to do so, but Manning is only 2-2 vs. Dallas including losing the last two matchups in 2006 and 2010 when he was the quarterback of the Colts. This game has a lot of star power attached to it and could serve to be one of the more memorable games of the weekend.
The following teams have a bye week in Week 5: Buccaneers, Redskins, Steelers, and Vikings. Fantasy owners, adjust your rosters accordingly.
Week 5 starts with the Bills traveling to the shores of Lake Erie to take on the Browns. This could be an interesting game. Both teams are coming off of wins over AFC North teams at home. The Bills upset the Ravens and since trading Trent Richardson the Browns have won two in row in part due to the play of quarterback Brian Hoyer.
Other Sunday Games features the Giants hosting the Eagles. Both teams are in the NFC East cellar and looking to crawl out. Kansas City is looking to continue their winning ways when they go to Nashville to face the Titans. The Dolphins are looking to rebound from their first lost by hosting the Ravens who are coming off a loss to the Bills. The Saints are looking to continue their undefeated season when travel to Chicago. Packers-Lions go at it in Wisconsin in a battle of NFC North rivals.
The 49ers and Texans face off on Sunday Night. Houston is making their second appearance in primetime so far this season while the 49ers are making their third prime time appearance. Houston's last appearance in primetime was shaping up to be like their trip to New England last year, but they pulled off a come from behind win over the Chargers. The 49ers lost in Week 2 at Seattle on Sunday Night, but destroyed the Rams on Thursday Night last week.
Due to the Oakland Athletics winning the American League West (at the expense of the Texas Rangers) and hosting the first two games of their playoff series, the Raiders had to move their game against the Chargers to 10:30 PM (CT). I might find out the results of the game the next morning. And boy, does baseball have the NFL by the balls.... literally and figuratively.
On Monday the Falcons return to primetime hosting another AFC East opponent, this time the New York Jets who are coming off an embarrassing loss at Tennessee.
For those of you wondering, I broke Eli's streak. I came out with the best record for the weekend while Monica and Eli tied at 8-7. The good news is that no one finished under .500. The bad news, Eli still holds a five game lead over me. Even worse, Monica is in third.
Picks are in BOLD
Times are Central Time Zone
Games airing in DFW are noted by (DFW)
BYE WEEK: Buccaneers, Redskins, Steelers, Vikings
THURSDAY NIGHT, 7:20 PM (CT) NFL NETWORK
Bills at Browns
Patriots at Bengals (DFW)
Chiefs at Titans
Jaguars at Rams
Ravens at Dolphins
Saints at Bears (DFW)
Eagles at Giants
Lions at Packers
Seahawks at Colts
Broncos at Cowboys (DFW)
Panthers at Cardinals
Texans at 49ers, 7:20 PM (CT) NBC
Chargers at Raiders, 10:30 PM (CT) NFL
MONDAY NIGHT, ESPN 7:30 PM (CT)
Jets at Falcons