Lions Defense Dominates Vikings
The Detroit Lions bounced back from a tough week-five loss with a dominant 17-3 victory over the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings. The Lions are now 4-2 on the season including 2-0 in divisional play.
The Lions defense harassed Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater all game, recording eight sacks and forcing three interceptions in the contest. Defensive end Ezekial Ansah recorded a career-best 2.5 sacks and earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for week six. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh also had two sacks while linebacker Tahir Whitehead recorded his first two NFL interceptions.
The offense struggled after storming out to a 7-0 lead after the first drive, partly due to being without offensive leaders in Calvin Johnson or Reggie Bush, who missed the game due to injury. Bush is expected to play Sunday versus New Orleans while Johnson remains doubtful until the bye week in three weeks.
Green Bay Packers 27, Miami Dolphins 24
Aaron Rodgers completed a four-yard touchdown pass with three seconds remaining in the game to complete the 27-24 comeback victory on the road. Miami scored 14 straight points in the fourth quarter to take a 24-17 lead with 9:13 remaining, but Green Bay scored the final 10 points in the final four minutes to steal the victory. The Packers raise their record to 4-2 and remain in a first place tie with Detroit while the Dolphins fall to 2-3 and fall to third place in the AFC East.
Dallas Cowboys 30, Seattle Seahawks 23
The Dallas Cowboys shocked the NFL by traveling to Seattle and defeating the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks Sunday. Seattle opened up with a 10-0 lead following a few mistakes on special teams from the Cowboys, but Dallas then outscored the defending champs 30-13 the rest of the game.
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray became the second running back in NFL history to have over 100 yards rushing in each of the first six games of the season, including 115 yards and the game-winning touchdown on Sunday. The Cowboys are a surprising 5-1 and tied for first place in the NFC East with Philadelphia while the Seahawks are also surprisingly 3-2 and in third place in the NFC West behind Arizona and San Francisco.
San Diego Chargers 31, Oakland Raiders 28
Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr threw for 282 yards with four touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough as Phillip Rivers led the Chargers to a late touchdown for a San Diego win. Rivers threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns and became the first quarterback in NFL history to record five straight quarterback ratings of over 120. Chargers undrafted rookie running back Brandon Oliver rushed for 101 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:56 left in the game. The Chargers are another surprise early on, now 5-1 and leading the AFC West division while the Raiders remain winless at 0-5.
Games to Watch:
Carolina Panthers (3-2-1) at Green Bay (4-2) 1:00 on Fox
The Panthers travel to Green Bay a week after recording the first tie in team history in week six at Cincinnati. One of the strongest defenses in the NFL during the 2013 season has taken a few steps back in 2014, ranking 20 in run defense and 27 in pass defense. The Packers are coming off a last second win in Miami and are looking to stay at the top in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers makes the Packers offense roll and will look to take advantage of the Panthers defense, with the struggles the Carolina defense has shown early on this year.
Pick: Packers 24 – Panthers 21
Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-2) 1:00 on CBS
Cincinnati is coming off the tie with the Panthers looking to leave the winless streak at two games. Traveling to Indianapolis is not any easy task, as the Colts have won four games in a row and looks to continue the strong play in a game that pits two division winners from a year ago. Bengals all-pro wide receiver AJ Green is questionable to play this week, but Mohamed Sanu had 10 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown in Green’s absence last week. This game has major importance in the standings of the AFC and for potential playoff seeding in January.
Pick: Bengals 30 – Colts 28
San Francisco 49ers (4-2) at Denver Broncos (4-1) 8:30 on NBC
This week’s Sunday Night Football matchup involves a potential Super Bowl matchup between the 49ers and Broncos. The 49ers have won three in a row since their 1-2 start and looks to take control in the NFC West standings with a win. The Broncos are a half game behind San Diego in the AFC West standings and are looking to overtake first place there. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is three touchdown passes away from passing Brett Favre for the all-time record and will be facing the notoriously tough 49er defense in attempt to break it this week.
Pick: Broncos 34 – 49ers 24
Other Games to Watch:
Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) at San Diego (5-1)
Miami (2-3) at Chicago Bears (3-3)
Minnesota (2-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-3)
Bye Weeks: Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers