By Brian Willwerth
49ERS 25, LIONS 19 – This is my Game of the Day. Everyone’s talking about what happened after this one was over. First let’s talk about the game, featuring two of the top teams in the NFL. On 4th and goal with less than 2:00 remaining, Alex Smith threw a game-winning six-yard pass to Delanie Walker as the ‘Niners knocked off the previously undefeated Lions. San Francisco added a late field goal to account for the final margin, but the drama didn’t end there. Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz appeared to be ticked off by 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh’s celebration. The two bumped each other and exchanged words. The players got involved. There was a lot of shouting going on as the teams headed to the locker rooms. Nothing like a little bad blood, eh?
FALCONS 31, PANTHERS 17 – In Atlanta, quarterback Matt Ryan scored the go-ahead touchdown with seven minutes remaining. Michael Turner rushed for 139 yards and two scores for the home team. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was intercepted three times.
BENGALS 27, COLTS 17 – Shhhh… don’t tell anyone, but Cincinnati is [4-2]. The Bengals did it with defense and special teams. They blocked an Adam Vinatieri field goal that would’ve tied the game late in the fourth quarter. Then Cincinnati iced it when defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap picked up a fumble and rumbled 35 yards for the score. The Bengals have already matched their win total from last year, while Indianapolis is [0-6].
PACKERS 24, RAMS 3 – This was blowout city. Aaron Rodgers threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns at Lambeau Field. Green Bay is now the only unbeaten left in the league. St. Louis is still winless.
GIANTS 27, BILLS 24 – This was one the better games of the day. Lawrence Tynes kicked the game-winning field goal with 1:32 remaining as the home team cooled off Buffalo. Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for three touchdowns and Fred Jackson ran for 121 yards for a touchdown in a losing effort for the Bills.
STEELERS 17, JAGUARS 13 – In Pittsburgh, Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers scored all of their points in the first half, then hung on to win. Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s hail-mary pass fell incomplete as time expired.
EAGLES 20, REDSKINS 13 – This should quiet Andy Reid’s critics, at least for the short term. Philadelphia intercepted Redskins’ quarterback Rex Grossman four times – three of them by Kurt Coleman. Grossman was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of John Beck.
PATRIOTS 20, COWBOYS 16 – Tom Brady did it again. He led his team from behind in the fourth quarter. His eight-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez with 22-seconds left in the fourth quarter gave the Pats their third victory of the season in Foxboro. Brady finished with 289 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Tony Romo threw for 317 yards for Dallas. New England is [5-1] and alone atop the AFC East.
BUCCANEERS 26, SAINTS 20 – One week after getting shellacked in San Francisco, Tampa Bay bounced back to move into a tie for first place in the NFC South. Josh Freeman threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns. The Bucs’ defense intercepted Drew Brees three times, including one in the end zone with just over two minutes left. Saints head coach Sean Payton tore the MCL in his left leg following a collision on the sidelines in the first quarter.
RAIDERS 24, BROWNS 17 – Oakland is [2-0] since the passing of longtime owner Al Davis. Against Cleveland, the Raiders lost starting quarterback Jason Campbell to an injury, but got a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and punter Shane Lechler threw a touchdown pass on a fake field goal. At halftime, the team lit an eternal flame in Davis’ memory.
RAVENS 29, TEXANS 14 – In Baltimore, Joe Flacco threw for over 300 yards and ran for a touchdown. Billy Cundiff kicked five field goals as the Ravens improved to [4-2]. Houston has dropped two straight after a [3-1] start.