Brees and Saints win historic shootout vs. Manning and the Giants
Drew Brees tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes and Eli Manning threw six TDs. But it was Saints kicker Kai Forbath who delivered the dagger, kicking a 50-yard field goal on the final play of New Orleans’ 52-49 victory. The Giants tied an NFL record as the highest-scoring losing team in NFL history. That mark has stood for 52 years, since a Houston Oilers team quarterbacked by George Blanda lost its 1963 season finale to a Raiders team coached by Al Davis. More on those touchdown passes by Brees and Manning:
It was the second NFL game in which opposing players threw at least six TDs each. Billy Kilmer of the Saints and Charley Johnson of the St. Louis Cardinals had six touchdown passes each in a New Orleans victory at Busch Stadium in 1969.
It was the 10th game in which Brees threw at least five TDs, breaking a tie with Peyton Manning to set a new NFL record.
Brees passed for 511 yards joining Ben Roethlisberger as the only NFL players with two games of at least 500 passing yards.
Brees was the eighth player to throw seven touchdown passes in one game, and it was the 18th game in which a QB reached the 500-yard mark. But the only other player to do both in the same game was Y.A Tittle of the Giants in 1962 (505 yards).
Eli Manning was the 15th player to throw six or more touchdown passes in a game with no interceptions, and he was the first of those players to lose the game.
For those awaiting the NFL’s next game-changing running back, your man has arrived. Todd Gurley gained 133 yards on 20 carries, including a 71-yard touchdown run, in the Rams’ 27-6 win over the 49ers. Despite an unproductive debut in which he was limited to 9 yards on six carries, Gurley has gained more rushing yards in his first five NFL games (576) than anyone except Eric Dickerson (645) and Adrian Peterson (607).
Only Gurley and Peterson reached the 100-yard mark in four of their first five games. And Gurley is only the third player in league history with a run of at least 40 yards in each of four consecutive games. The others were Tiki Barber in 2002 and Steven Jackson in 2007.
Broncos now 7-0
The Broncos improved their record to 7-0 and knocked the Packers from the ranks of the undefeated with a 29-10 victory at Denver. It was only the fourth game in NFL history between unbeaten and untied teams with at least six wins. The three previous instances:
1921 – Akron Pros 0, Buffalo All-Americans 0. Akron was 7-0-0; Buffalo, 6-0-0. The final score reflected the era and the teams: Akron shut out its first seven opponents while Buffalo allowed just six points prior to this game. The All-Americans missed four field goals.
1973 – Minnesota 10, L.A. Rams 9. Both teams were 6-0-0 prior to this game. Fran Tarkenton connected with Chuck Foreman on a 9-yard pass for the game’s only touchdown.
2007 – New England 24, Indianapolis 20. The Patriots were 8-0-0; the Colts, 7-0-0. The Pats rallied from a 20-10 deficit with eight minutes to play in a rematch of the previous season’s AFC title game. Randy Moss caught nine passes for 145 yards and a TD.
Manning & Rodgers fail to find the end zone
Whoever would have imagined that neither Peyton Manning nor Aaron Rodgers would throw a touchdown pass in Sunday’s game? It was the first game in NFL history in which each starting quarterback entered with a career average of more than two touchdown passes per game. Sunday was the 65th day on which both Manning and Rodgers started a regular-season game. It was the first of those days on which neither threw a TD pass.
Philip Rivers passed for 301 yards and three TDs but it wasn’t enough as the Chargers lost to the Ravens, 29-26. That was Rivers’ fifth consecutive 300-yard performance, but San Diego won only the first of those games. He is the third player in NFL history with at least 300 passing yards in four consecutive games, all of them losses. The others were Bill Kenney of the Chiefs in 1983 and Matt Schaub of the Texans in 2010.
Bengals remain perfect after a brief respite
Cincinnati survived its treacherous post-bye game and improved to 7-0, the longest undefeated start in team history, with a 16-10 victory at Pittsburgh. The game following a bye has tripped up many undefeated teams in recent seasons. From 2009 through 2014, teams with a perfect record of 3-0-0 or better lost more post-bye games than they won (4-5). That hasn’t been the case in 2015, as the Panthers, Patriots, and Bengals all avoided a post-bye defeat.
Big Ben coughs up a pair of INTs with game on the line
Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter of the Steelers’ loss, the first while protecting a four-point lead and the second as Pittsburgh sought a potential game-tying field goal. Roethlisberger hadn’t been intercepted twice in the fourth quarter of the same game since 2013, and he had not thrown a single INT in the fourth quarter of a one-possession game-that is, with a margin of eight points or less-since 2012.
Carson Palmer threw four touchdown passes in the Cardinals’ 34-20 win at Cleveland, reaching the midpoint of his season with 20 TDs. That’s a team record through the first eight games of their season. The previous high was 16, set by Kurt Warner in 2008 and tied by Warner a year later.
Chiefs big London win extends Lions’ crazy losing streak
The Lions travelled to London for Sunday’s game against Kansas City probably unaware that they had lost their last 14 games played on the first day of a month, the longest such streak in NFL history. The last time that the Lions won a game on the day we flipped the calendar was on Oct. 1, 1973, when they beat the Falcons, 31-6, in a game played at old Tiger Stadium with Don McCafferty the head coach, Greg Landry the starting quarterback, and Howard Cosell in the TV booth.
Following a 45-10 drubbing by the Chiefs, you can make that 15 straight losses on the first of the month for Detroit, for eight different head coaches and 10 different starting quarterbacks in 12 different stadiums.
With that win, the Chiefs matched their largest margin of victory outside Kansas City since the merger. Kansas City’s only other 35-point win since 1970 away from home was also by a 45-10 score, at FedEx Field against the Redskins two years ago. The Chiefs largest road win in the AFL was a 59-7 win over the Broncos at University of Denver Stadium in their opening game of the 1963 season-a suitable NFL debut for two KC players en route to the Hall of Fame: Bobby Bell and Buck Buchanan.
Bucs are taking advantage of opponents’ errors
The Buccaneers made the Falcons pay dearly for their turnovers, scoring after each of Atlanta’s four giveaways in a 23-20 overtime victory. Tampa Bay’s total of 20 points off turnovers was their highest in one game in more than three years, and its total of 64 points off turnovers this season is the Bucs’ highest through seven games since 1987 (when three of those games were played by replacements during the NFL players’ strike).
A big day for yet another Big 3
Derek Carr passed for 333 yards, as Latavius Murray (113) and Michael Crabtree(102) topped the 100-yard mark by rushing and receiving, respectively, in the Raiders’ 34-20 win over the Jets. It was the second 300/100/100 game this season; Carr, Murray, and Amari Cooper were the players who did it in a September victory at Cleveland. This is the first time in Raiders history that they had two such games in the same season.
Bears suffer a late loss in rare fashion (and we do mean rare)
A quick three-and-out by the Bears after the Vikings tied the score with 1:49 to play was the set-up for Blair Walsh’s 36-yard game-winning field goal in Minnesota’s 23-20 victory at Soldier Field. It was only the second time in the 96-season history of the Bears franchise-as old as the NFL itself-that they lost a game in regulation after leading by at least seven points inside the 2-minute warning. The first was also against the Vikings; it was the final game of the 1965 season. Minnesota scored two touchdowns in the final 2 minutes: a 22-yard pass by Fran Tarkenton and a 35-yard interception return by linebacker Rip Hawkins.
A big game for Texans’ pass-rushing duo
Whitney Mercilus was credited with 3.5 sacks and J.J. Watt with 2.5 in Houston’s 20-6 win over Tennessee. It was the first game in Texans history in which two of its players earned more than two sacks each. The only other teammates to do that this season were Chandler Jones (3.0) and Jamie Collins (2.5) of the Patriots in a victory over the Bills in September.
Seahawks stifle the Cowboys
The Cowboys managed only 220 yards of offense in a 13-12 loss to Seattle. That was Dallas’ lowest yardage total in a home loss since Christmas Day 2006, when they gained just 201 yards against the Eagles.