It’s easy to tell that the real officials are back. It was proven quite clearly yesterday. There were no stupid upsets. There were no last-play freakouts. There was no standing around wondering what was going to happen next.
For the most part, the good teams won and the bad teams lost.
Of course, it didn’t happen in every game, but it happened in most of them. The only legitimate upset might not have been an upset at all. Minnesota beat the favorite in Detroit, but Minnesota beat San Francisco last week while the Lions lost to Tennessee. Maybe the Lions shouldn’t have been favored.
Other than that, the teams that most pundits thought would win, did win. That means there were no phantom interceptions and no coach got an extra timeout or an extra challenge. The best teams were the best teams and the games that were supposed to be close were, for the most part, close: Atlanta at Carolina, Seattle at St. Louis, Ariozona at Miami and Washington at Tampa Bay.
What happened on Sunday was proof that if the games are called as well as the games are played, the best teams should win. And there will be no riots in the sports books in Las Vegas.
There were 13 games in the National Football League on Sunday. The Colts and Steelers had the byes this week. Let’s take a close look:
Minnesota 20 Detroit 13
The brilliant Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff for a franchise record 105 yard touchdown, and Marcus Sherels scored on a punt return early in the third quarter as the Vikings didn’t score an offensive touchdown but did score two special teams TDs. Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson carried 21 times for 102 yards. The Lions have lost three straight while the Vikings won their second straight. The 3-1 Vikings now lead the North Division. This Vikings outfit is much better that anyone thought and how lomng will it be before the Lions fire their special teams’ coach.
New England 52 Buffalo 28
The Patriots and Bills were tied 21-21 after three quarters, but New England outscored Buffalo 31-14 in the fourth quarter. At one point, Buffalo led 21-7 but New England scored the final 31 points and finished with 581 total yards. The Pats Tom Brady finished 22-of-36 passing for 340 yards and three touchdowns and also ran four yards for a TD. The Pats defense forced six turnovers and sacked Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick three times. New England had six consecutive touchdown drives in the second half and scored 45 points in the final 30 minutes. With 45 points late in the second half, it’s obvious the Patriots offence has awakened.
Atlanta 30 Carolina 28
Matt Bryant kicked a 40-yard field goal with five second left to win it. Matt Ryan went 25-for-40 for 369 yards and three touchdowns while Michael Turner carried 13 times for 103 yards. Cam Newton went 15-for-24 for 215 yards and two touchdowns and carried nine times for 86 yards.
San Diego 37 Kansas City 20
Philip Rivers went 18-for-23 for 209 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while Kansas City turned the ball over six times. K.C. QB Matt Cassel went 24-for-42 for 251 yards and two touchdowns, along with three interceptions. The Chargers are 3-1 while K.C. falls to 1-3.
Houston 38 Tennessee 14
Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Matt Schaub wenr 20-for-28 for 202 yards and two TDs. Arian Foster rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown as the Texans are off to a 4-0 start, the best in franchise history. Chris Johnson carried 25 times for 141 yards for Tennessee.
San Francisco 34 New York Jets 0
Man, the Jets were horrendous. Mark Sanchez went 13-for-29 for 103 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. The 49ers combined for more than 200 rushing yards, Frank Gore led the way with 62. The Niners’ Carlos Rogers returned a fumble 51 yards for a TD. Jets coach Rex Ryan says it wont happen, but at some point Tim Tebow is going to start.
St. Louis 19 Seattle 13
Greg Zuerian kicked four field goals including a 58-yarder and a franchise record 60-yarder. Sam Bradford went 16-for-30 for 221 yards for the Rams but punter/holder Johnny Hekker threw the only TD pass, a two-yarder to Danny Amendola on a faked field goal.
Denver 37 Oakland 6
The Broncos were terrific and Peyton Manning was magnificent: 30-for-38 for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Willis McGahee carried 19 times for 112 yards and a touchdown. Demaryius Thomas caught five passes for 103 yards while Eric Decker had seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona 24 Miami 21 (OT)
Jay Feely kicked a 46-yard field goal at the 6:31 mark of overtime to win it. Kevin Kolb went 29-of-48 for 324 yards and three touchdowns while Andre Roberts caught six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Miami’s Ryan Tannehill completed 26-of-41 passes for 431 yards and one touchdown. Brian Hartline caught 12 of those passes for 253 yards and a TD.
Green Bay 28 New Orleans 27
Aaron Rodgers went 31-for-41 for 319 yards and four touchdowns, including a late TD to Jordy Nelson to win it. Garrett Hartley missed a 48-yard field goal with just under three minutes to go that would have won it. The Saints are now 0-4 while Green Bay improves to 2-2.
Washington 24 Tampa Bay 22
Robert Griffin III completed 26-of-35 passes for 323 yards and carried seven times for 43 more. Alfred Morris carried 21 times for 113 yards and a TD. Tampa’s Mike Williams caught four Josh Freeman passes for 115 yards. Billy Cundiff kicked a 41-yard field goal to win it with just three seconds left to play.
Cincinnati 27 Jacksonville 10
Andy Dalton went 20-for-31 for 244 yards and two touchdowns while A.J. Green caught six passes for 117 yards and a TD. Jacksonville is horrible while the Bengals are now 3-1.
Philadelphia 19 New York Giants 17
The Giants’ Lawrence Tynes missed a 54-yard field goal with 16 seconds left that could have won it. Michael Vick went 19-for-30 for 241 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions while Eli Manning went 24-for-42 for 309 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Eagles end zone. Vick also rushed six times for 49 yards. DeSean Jackson caught six passes for 99 yards and a TD.
Tonight, on Monday Night Football, the Chicago Bears play at the Dallas Cowboys at 7:30 on TSN.