Bengals’ OT win pushes road teams to 7-1 in early Week 6 action
So much for home-field advantage. Aside from the Kansas City Chiefs, who moved to 6-0 with a 24-7 win over Oakland, home teams tossed up a goose egg during Sunday’s early action.
A rundown of what went wrong for host squads en route to a 1-7 start this weekend:
• Cincinnati 27, Buffalo 24 (OT): The Bills had the best chance of any team outside of Kansas City to hold serve. They needed a thrilling, Thaddeus Lewis-led rally to give themselves a shot. Lewis, starting over Jeff Tuel and in place of EJ Manuel, fired a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes to erase a 14-point deficit — one to Scott Chandler and another to Marquise Goodwin.
But the Bengals got the one and only stop they needed in overtime (after Buffalo had forced a Cincinnati punt to start the extra session). Brandon Tate returned Brian Moorman’s punt to the Buffalo 33, then Mike Nugent ended the Bills’ hopes with a 43-yard field goal.
• Philadelphia 31, Tampa Bay 20: Who needs Michael Vick? Not the Eagles, apparently — at least not against winless opponents. One week after subbing for Vick in a come-from-behind victory over the Giants, Nick Foles torched the hapless Buccaneers for 296 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Tampa Bay fell to 0-2 with rookie Mike Glennon as its starting quarterback, though it was the defense that really struggled to get the job done on Sunday, allowing Foles to connect on several long passes.
• Detroit 31, Cleveland 17: World, meet Joseph Fauria. The Lions’ undrafted rookie tight end, in the lineup for an injured Tony Scheffler, caught three touchdown passes — two in the second half, as Detroit scored 24 unanswered points. The Browns led 17-7 at the break, only to finish the second half with four punts, one interception and a turnover on downs.
• Carolina 35, Minnesota 10: Is there a more unpredictable team in the NFL than Carolina? Sitting at 1-3 and coming off an ugly 22-6 loss in Arizona, the Panthers shredded the Vikings, 35-10, in a game that wasn’t even really that close. (Minnesota scored a garbage-time touchdown with one minute left.) Cam Newton threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns, while the Carolina defense held Matt Cassel’s Vikings under 300 total yards of offense. Adrian Peterson, playing with a heavy heart following the death of his son, had just 13 touches.
• St. Louis 38, Houston 13: The situation in Houston may have reached the point of no return. Not only were the Texans humiliated in front of their rightfully furious fans, but they continued to watch the implosion of starting QB Matt Schaub. He left the game with an injury — one some Texans fans cheered — and backup T.J. Yates promptly fired a pick-six. St. Louis had only 216 yards of total offense in the game, yet nearly hit 40 points.
• Green Bay 19, Baltimore 17: Shorthanded at wide receiver after losing both Randall Cobb and James Jones to injury, the Packers turned to Jordy Nelson. He and Rodgers connected on a 63-yard TD pass to put the Packers up 16-3 in the second half, and rookie RB Eddie Lacy (120 yards) helped cement the victory.
Baltimore made it interesting late, converting on a 4th-and-21 with a 63-yard Tandon Doss reception. But Baltimore could not come up with a stop late to get the ball back.
• Pittsburgh 19, New York Jets 6: The Steelers took advantage of a Jets team coming off an emotional Monday night win in Atlanta to nab their first win of the season. Pittsburgh’s D forced Geno Smith into a pair of turnovers, while Antonio Brown and Heath Miller teamed up for 170 yards receiving. Neither team found the end zone in this one until a 55-yard strike from Ben Roethlisberger to Emmanuel Sanders in the third quarter.