We'll be putting all our GIFs for the day here, from the double-bird field goal salute, Rex Ryan digesting a delicious meal and Lee Smith being eaten by Bills fans. We'll update the post as the later games conclude, so stay tuned.
St. Louis 15, Buffalo 12: How's that sound? Pretty spot on, yeah? The Bills held a seemingly insurmountable 6-0 lead well into the third quarter and then the Rams came out of the locker room. Stephen Jackson had a touchdown and 64 yards on 19 carries. Brandon Gibson added 100 yards receiving and a touchdown of his own to help the Rams vanquish the terrible Bills.
None of it matters, though, because the game gave us this beautiful moment. Please enjoy the disappearing/reappearing Lee Smith.
Dallas 20, Cincinnati 19: Dallas won on a last second 40-yard field goal at the end of regulation. Romo and Dalton, true to their past performance, had fairly even-matched games. Both threw a touchdown and interception each. Dalton, though, had more help from his running game—Benjarvus Green-Ellis had 89 yards on 12 carries.
Romo threw for 268 yards, but here he takes a particularly gruesome-looking sack as his body contorts in six or seven different ways.
Cleveland 30, Kansas City 7: Jamaal Charles scored on an 80-yard run on the Chiefs first play from scrimmage. That's it. That's pretty much all that happened for the Chiefs.
Charles added 85 more rushing yards on 17 more carries, but he was held out of the endzone for the rest of the day and Brady Quinn's 159 yards weren't getting anyone anywhere.
The Browns on the other hand got two touchdowns out of Trent Richardson and had a special teams contribution from Travis Benjamin. Two minutes into the third quarter Benjamin took the Chiefs punt 93 yards back to the endzone to make the score 10-7. The Browns would then add an unnecessary 20 additional points.
Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 23: The Colts won a game they needed to win and now sit at 9-4 and basically assured of a playoff spot. Andrew Luck did not have a great game, statistically speaking, though. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes for only 196 yards. He did have help from his defense and Adam Vinatieri, though, so the fairy tale season continues.
Not everything went the Colts way, however. This was a questionable call that went against the Colts. Luck was being tackled and tried to get rid of the ball and deposited it right in the belly of a Titans defender who promptly returned it all the way for the touchdown. It could be argued that Luck's knee was down before releasing the ball, but the play was reviewed and the call stood. It made the score 17-7, Tennessee.
Minnesota 21, Chicago 14: Christian Ponder threw for 91 yards on 11-17 passing. 91 yards. Fortunately for Ponder, he has teammates. Adrian Peterson continued his dominant return with another monster performance. He finished with 157 yards and two touchdowns rushing. This run typifies the scary-great athleticism and we pause here once again to note that he is less than a year removed from a vicious knee injury. The Bears defender is a full five yards away from Peterson and he still manages to shake him out of his shoes and beat him to the outside. He also had the strength to then stiff-arm him down to the ground.
Jay Cutler had a rough day. He threw for 260 yards, but had two interceptions, including this one that was almost returned for a touchdown and another that actually was returned for a touchdown.
Philadelphia 23, Tampa Bay 21: Nick Foles threw for 382 yards on 32-51 passing. That is a lot of attempts, but a majority of them were successful, so...solid strategy! Foles had two touchdowns in the final four minutes. On the final drive, he found Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant for 20+ plays to get into scoring position, including a 22-yarder to Avant to the Tampa Bay 1-yard line. Maclin then caught the game-winning touchdown as time expired.
Here is another wonderful, one-handed grab from Jason Avant around the midpoint of the second quarter. The Eagles ended their losing street at eight games. Yeesh.
Washington 31, Baltimore 28: Make that two heartbreaking losses in two weeks for the Ravens. The Skins won in overtime, but also have to worry about Robert Griffin III who sprained his knee. He was in and out of the lineup for a time, but eventually had to come out late. He was replaced by Kirk Cousins who found Pierre Garcon in the endzone with 29 seconds left in regulation and then tied the game on the ensuing two-point conversion. In overtime, Richard Crawford returned a punt 64 yards setting up the game-winning, 34-yard field goal.
To the Redskins fans out there looking for ways to cope with the possibility of an RG3-less existence, here is Joe Flacco looking silly.
Carolina 30, Atlanta 20: This was the Cam Newton show. Matt Ryan put up more passing yards, but Cam was the team leader in both passing and rushing yards. He had 116 yards and a touchdown rushing and 287 yards and two touchdowns passing. The Panthers as a team put up 475 yards on the Falcons.
The Falcons problems probably started right here. If you can't escape your opponent by normal methods, try making him as dizzy as possible.
Once your opponent is physically dizzy, make him metaphorically dizzy.
New York Jets 17, Jacksonville 10: It was not pretty and Sanchez is still dinking and dunking—except for a big 37-yard completion to his tight end down the seam to get out from the shadow of their own goal post on 3rd and 8—and fumbling seemingly every time he is touched. Other than that, though, the Jets are in great shape for a surprise playoff run.
Rex Ryan, still in the hunt, hungry like the wolf.
San Diego 34, Pittsburgh 24: After a wonderful finish against the Ravens, the Steelers turned around and shit the bed against an awful Chargers team. Roethlisberger had a solid game in his return from a potentially deadly rib injury, throwing for 285 yards and three touchdowns, but also "fumbled" late in the third quarter that was recovered in the endzone. The play was eventually reviewed and upheld. Take a look for yourself. It's unclear why Antonio Brown did not just fall on it but...hindsight and all that business.
Phillip Rivers had himself a decent game, passing for 200 yards and three touchdowns of his own. What's more: no interceptions or fumbles. Good times. Here's a wide open Danario Alexander catching a 39-yard touchdown from Rivers at the end of the second quarter.
Seattle 58, Arizona 0: The weather in Glendale today was 69° and partly cloudy. Not too shabby, huh? Let's hope it was enough to get everyone in Arizona way the hell outside and not watching this football game, which was a complete and utter disaster from start to finish. Some of the grimmer details (trigger warning): it was 38-0 by the half, 51-0 by the end of the third, and the Cardinals turned it over eight (eight) times. John Skelton racked up a remarkably awful 18.2 passer rating (and an 11:4 completion to interception ratio) before being benched for Ryan Lindley, which is sort of like pushing away a plate of moldy cheese and then eating the paper placemat it was sitting on. This part, though, where they started playing Australian rules football, that was fun:
And because we wouldn't be doing justice to this game if we didn't include a Skelton interception, here's the weirdest one:
San Francisco 27, Miami 13: The Colin Kaepernick experiment—can a quarterback with markings of inke on his bodie playe football?! verily—had a good another good day, as Kaepernick threw accurately and ran in the score that would seal the game, a fifty-yard jaunt down the field that put any Dolphins comeback hopes on ice.
Here's 'Phins rookie Jonathan Freeney, carrying a ball he thought he'd downed at the three-yard line into the endzone, leading, of course, to a touchback. The resulting field position gave the 49ers all they'd need to get a field goal, a three-point lead in the first quarter, and the mental edge:
Giants 52, Saints 27: Maybe don't kickoff to David Wilson four times, when the first time he did this?
Eli Manning threw four touchdowns and Stevie Brown picked off Drew Brees twice, but David Wilson was the star, returning four kicks for 227 yards and a touchdown. He also scored two more as a back and racked up 100 yards on the ground, giving him the Giants franchise record for all-purpose yards with 327. Also, good stuff on that block in the back by Justin Tyron up there. The Giants played better in the muck, and gave themselves a little breathing room against the resurgent Redskins.