Week after week, it's the same thing. Some awfully crappy teams show up for just long enough to make the games surprisingly thrilling. Mediocrity is competition if everyone's mediocre!
•Patriots 17, Bills 10. I'm no doctor, but I do like to throw around groundless assertations: Tom Brady is not healthy. He was only 11 of 23, and New England did most of their damage on the ground; a very un-Belichick like playbook. Buffalo actually recovered an onside kick with three minutes left, only to see it overturned on a pointless offside call.
•Titans 37, Dolphins 34. Tennessee looked like they had this one in hand, up 18 late in the third. But two scores and a clutch 2-point conversion sent this one to overtime, where Chad Henne promptly tossed his third pick of the game. Rob Bironas hit one from 46 yards for the win. Chris Johnson "only" had 104 yards.
•Falcons 10, Jets 7. Hey, Matt Ryan's back! And hey, the Jets' playoff hopes are all but dead! Ryan found Tony Gonzalez on 4th and goal from the six, but that's not the story. The story was three failed field goals for the Jets: one fumbled snap, one block, and one plain old miss. Three Mark Sanchez interceptions didn't help, either.
•Browns 41, Chiefs 34. How many times have the Browns played amazingly exciting games against equally crappy teams? This one was a doozy, with Jerome Harrison nearly matching his season total — and topping Jim Brown's franchise single game record — with 286 yards rushing. Joshua Cribbs had two kickoff returns for touchdowns, of 100 and 103 yards. Meanwhile, Brady Quinn's QB rating was actually worse than that of Cribbs, who had one incomplete attempt.
•Texans 16, Rams 13. Is Keith Null the QB of the future in St. Louis? With a name like that, not likely. But he at least kept the Rams in the game, though he couldn't do anything about Andre Johnson, who lit up the secondary for nine catches and 196 yards. The Texans were able to force a three-and-out after the go-ahead field goal, and never gave up the ball again.
•Cardinals 31, Lions 24. You know what would be a Christmas miracle? If the Lions could finish the game with the same QB that started. Drew Stanton started the second half in place of Daunte Culpepper. (if you had money on injury, you are...incorrect. It was plain old ineffectiveness.) Still, this one was close until Kurt Warner found Anquan Boldin with two minutes remaining.