Dear NFL. Sorry for making fun of the crappy games every week. I guess you heard my complaints, because every single game today was within a score at the start of the fourth quarter.
•Bengals 18, Steelers 12. We're living in a bizarro world where Pittsburgh has a world-class offense and Cincy has a stellar defense. And just as in every Super Bowl not involving the Rams, the defense won out. The only TD in this one was a 96-yard kickoff return from Bernard Scott. Troy Polamalu went down injured, but so did Cedric Benson so we'll call it even.
•Jaguars 24, Jets 22. Maurice Jones-Drew made the single smartest play this year. With two minutes remaining and the Jets out of time outs, New York tried to let the Jaguars score to get the ball back. But Jones-Drew, with a clear path to the end zone, slid at the one yard line. Two kneeldowns and a field goal later, and the Jaguars are over .500 and the Jets are below.
•Redskins 27, Broncos 17. Kyle Orton aired it out in the first half, but went down with an injury before halftime. A fake field goal for a touchdown gave Washington all the momentum, and Ladell Betts pounded his way to many suicide pool entries going down in flames.
•Saints 28, Rams 23. Are the cracks in the Saints showing? They let Stephen Jackson run wild, turned it over three times, and only a failed two-minute drill kept them undefeated.
•Panthers 28, Falcons 19. Michael Turner left with a sprained ankle, and it showed. Jake Delhomme outplayed Matt Ryan, making us questions everything we hold to be self-evident, and the "other" Steve Smith hauled in a pair of TDs.
•Dolphins 25, Buccaneers 23. Miami did everything they could to blow this one, tossing an interception with two minutes left that led to a go-ahead Tampa Bay drive. But the prevent defense once again prevented nothing, and the Fins went 77 yards in a minute to kick a game winning FG.
•Vikings 27, Lions 10. Too much Adrian Peterson, too much Brett Favre, and too much of the Lions being the Lions. Sidney Rice had 201 yards, AP 133, and that alone was more yards than Detroit had all afternoon.
•Titans 41, Bills 17. We could have told them this after week 2, but Tennessee's coaches finally figured out the key to success: Chris Johnson, Chris Johnson, and more Chris Johnson. He had 132 yards on the ground, and 100 receiving, scored twice and made a winner out of Vince Young for the third game in a row.