NFL Week 9: What we learned
Dolphins 22, Bengals 20
In Miami, a back-and-forth thriller ended when Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton in the end zone. It marked the third walk-off safety in NFL history, and the first since 2004. Giovani Bernard broke out in the tilt with a stunning touchdown run.
Chiefs 23, Bills 13
In Buffalo, the Chiefs defense stymied the Bills and rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel, forcing three turnovers and scoring two touchdowns on their way to the win. The Chiefs became the first team since the 1977 Falcons to hold their first nine opponents under 17 points, and they improved to 9-0, remaining the lone unbeaten NFL team.
Panthers 34, Falcons 10
In Charlotte, the Panthers routed the Falcons behind a strong defensive showing that included an interception for a touchdown by Drayton Florence. Carolina outscored Atlanta 20-0 in the second half of the impressive victory and improved to 5-3 following an 0-2 start.
Cowboys 27, Vikings 23
In Fort Worth, the Cowboys capitalized on late-game heroics from Tony Romo and Dwayne Harris. The 7-yard touchdown pass gave Dallas the lead with 35 seconds remaining in the contest. A polarizing figure, Romo is the highest rated fourth quarter quarterback in the NFL since 2006.
Jets 26, Saints 20
In East Rutherford, Chris Ivory and the Jets defeated the Saints with a sound and steady run game and timely defensive stops. Ivory ripped off 139 yards and a score, averaging 7.7 yards per carry against the team that traded him for a fourth-round pick in April. While he didn't post gaudy stats, Geno Smith's heady play led the Jets to the win, and the young quarterback looked, at times, like a veteran. Jets head coach Rex Ryan remained undefeated in coaching contests against his brother, Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Titans 28, Rams 21
In St. Louis, head coach Jeff Fisher faced his former team in a matchup that was dominated by rushing performances. Zac Stacy emerged as a positive for the Rams, contributing 127 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Chris Johnson finally broke out of his season-long slump, rushing for 150 yards and two scores of his own on some powerful runs that were out of character for Johnson of late.
Redskins 30, Chargers 24
In Landover, a three-play goal line stand by the Redskins just inches away from the end zone forced a field goal and sent the game into overtime. After winning the coin toss, Robert Griffin III orchestrated a textbook drive that culminated in the game-winning touchdown by fullback Darrel Young, who had three scores on the day.
Eagles 49, Raiders 20
In Oakland, Nick Foles tied an NFL record, slinging seven touchdown passes as the Eagles thoroughly embarrassed the Raiders. Chip Kelly's offense completely opened up, and the Eagles imposed their will on nearly every snap. The Raiders, who were eying a Wild Card spot, may have gotten ahead of themselves as they fell to 3-5.
Seahawks 27, Buccaneers 24
In Seattle, the winless Buccaneers jumped out to an early 21-0 lead, but the Seahawks pulled themselves back into the game on the power of three touchdowns from Russell Wilson. Seattle looked shaky, but came together to win their eighth game and remain atop the tough NFC West.
Browns 24, Ravens 18
In Cleveland, a big day from Jason Campbell marked by three touchdowns helped carry the Browns over the Ravens. The Browns quietly moved back into contention for a possible playoff spot, while the Super Bowl Champion Ravens continued to show signs of a championship hangover.
Patriots 55, Steelers 31
In Foxborough, Tom Brady threw for season-highs in yards (432) and touchdowns (four) as the Patriots turned in the NFL's highest-scoring performance of the season with 55 points, thumping the reeling Steelers. Rob Gronkowski added a career-high nine receptions as Josh McDaniels's high-powered offense fired on all cylinders and the Pats remained undefeated at home.
Colts 27, Texans 24
In Houston, Andrew Luck and the Colts overcame a slow first half to rally back for the win. Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed at halftime from apparent chest pain, but reports of his health were optimistic. Case Keenum provided a much needed spark for the Texans offense, effectively waking Andre Johnson from his slumber, but Luck's three touchdowns and all around formidable quarterbacking proved too much for Houston.
Bears 27, Packers 20
In Green Bay, a first-half injury to Aaron Rodgers turned this contest in to a battle of back-up quarterbacks. Josh McCown won it over Seneca Wallace, aided by Matt Forte's 125 rushing yards, as the Bears upset the Packers and gained a rare win at Lambeau Field. Rodgers has a broken collarbone and is expected to miss at least three weeks, causing huge concern for a Packer team that is tied for first in the NFC North.