NFL Rewind: A lot of offenses shot duds. - The Buffalo News

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NFL Rewind: A lot of offenses shot duds.

Where did all the offense go all of a sudden?  After a week when losers scored as many as 38 and 33 points, a lot of teams shot blanks Sunday.

Three shutouts. One game -- Tennessee at Cleveland -- when neither side scored a touchdown. Another when the winner (Chicago) scored touchdowns only on defense while the loser (Carolina) did not get to the end zone.

Denver, Indianapolis and Arizona were the teams getting goose eggs. The Cardinals went all the way to London to get blanked. They shoulda  stood in bed.

It seemed more like the days of Bronko Nagurski and Bulldog Turner.

Little changed in the standings. The only division leader to lose was the Carolina Panthers, who fell at Chicago, 17-3. By winning at Green Bay, New Orleans took over first place in the NFC South.

A capsule look at Sunday's Week Seven games:

Game of the day

Steelers 29, Bengals 14

The scoop: The first of five Chris Boswell field goals for Pittsburgh snapped a 14-14 tie in the second quarter. Boswell made from 22, 24, 41, 49 and 25 yards. Ben Roethlisberger passed for both Steelers touchdowns, one to Antonio Brown to open the scoring the other to JuJu Smith-Schuster for 31 yards to make it 14-7 in the second quarter. Andy Dalton passed for both Cincinnati scores.
Why the Steelers won: They shut out the Bengals in the second half and limited them to 179 yards all game while gaining 420. The Steelers allowed no sacks and made no turnovers.

Defensive gems

Chargers 21, Broncos 0

The scoop: Travis Benjamin returned a punt 65 yards for the first Chargers touchdown in the first quarter and caught a 42-yard pass from Philip Rivers in the fourth as the Bolts won their third in a row. Rivers passed to rookie running back Austin Ekeler for the other Chargers touchdown. Denver actually outgained L.A., 251-242, but had three turnovers, one at their own 15 and two others in L.A. territory.

Why the Chargers won: Trevor Siemian of the Broncos completed 25 passes but for only 207 yards and was sacked five times. Denver converted only 3 of 14 third downs.

Jaguars 27, Colts 0

The scoop: It was even more one-sided than the score. Jacksonville outgained Indianapolis, 518-232. The Jaguars scored touchdowns on their first two series to start the game, driving 75 and 70 yards. They had drives of 67, 66 and 60 yards the rest of the half in building a 20-0 lead. And they did it without injured RB Leonard Fournette (ankle) who was inactive. His replacement, T.J. Yeldon, ran for 122 yards including a 58-yard run in the third quarter, and Blake Bortles completed 16 of 28 passes for 330 yards and 124.7 rating. The Colts were shut out for first time since 1993.

Why the Jaguars won: The Colts' defense was overmatched. Jacksonville ran 41 plays in the first half for an average of 8.2 per play.

Rams 33, Cardinals 0

The scoop: Los Angeles had Red Zone problems, settling for four Greg Zuerlein field goals, but rolled up 425 yards against Arizona. The Rams had 197 yards rushing, 106 by Todd Gurley. Ex Bills Robert Woods (5-59 yards, no TDs) and Sammy Watkins (3-42, no TDs) were not huge factors in the Rams' second straight victory. Adrian Peterson of the Cards gained only 21 yards in 11 carries and Larry Fitzgerald had three catches for 29 yards. Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer left the game in the second quarter with a broken left arm. Veteran Drew Stanton replaced him. The Cards were shut out for the first time since 2012. The Rams won by shutout for the first time since 2014.

Why the Rams won: They would't let the Cardinals have the ball in the second half. Arizona had just 10 first downs, two in the second half when they had only three possessions. L.A. dominated second-half time of possession, 23:50 to 6:10.

Bears, 17, Panthers 3

The scoop: All the scoring came in the first half. Chicago scored the only touchdowns in the game on a 75-yard fumble return by Eddie Jackson in the first quarter and a 76-yard interception return by the rookie cornerback from Alabama in the second. The Bears had just five first downs, 153 yards total offense and rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky attempted only seven passes, completing four for 107 yards

Why the Bears won: Carolina did not have a terrible day offensively, rushing for 108 yards and with Cam Newton passing for 211. However, Newton was intercepted twice and lost a fumble.

Seahawks 24, Giants 7

The scoop: The Giants scored first on Eli Manning's 5-yard pass to rookie Evan Engram, but Seattle responded with 24 unanswered poiints as Russell Wilson passed for three touchdowns. Wilson completed 27 of 39 for 334 yards.

Why the Seahawks won: The Giants had only 46 yards rushing and Manning passed for only 134 with only five completions going to wide receivers.

Patriots 23, Falcons 7

The scoop: It took the Patriots a while to get going in fog-bound Gillette Stadium. After a scoreless opening quarter, the Pats broke through on an 11-yard Tom Brady pass to Brandin Cooks. A roughing-the-passer penalty against Atlanta erased an interception on the drive and put the ball at the Falcons' 16. A field goal and Brady's touchdown pass to James White made it 17-0 at the half. Stephen Gostkowski kicked two more field goals in the second half.

Why the Patriots won: They blocked a Matt Bryant field goal and twice held on downs in their territory, once at the 1-yard line.

Titans 12, Browns 9 (OT)

The scoop: All the scoring came on field goals as neither side could find the end zone. Ryan Succop's 47-yarder with 1:55 left in overtime won it for Tennessee. Zane Gonzalez hit from 54 yards with 47 seconds left to tie it and give Cleveland fans hope for a breakthrough win. Tennessee lost the ball on downs at the Cleveland 1 in the third quarter, the closest either team came to a touchdown.

Why the Titans won: They intercepted three Cleveland passes, two of them in Tennessee territory.

Hot shots

Dolphins 31, Jets 28

The scoop: Miami never led until Cody Parkey kicked a 39-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to complete a 17-point fourth quarter rally. Matt Moore, who replaced the injured Jay Cutler (chest injury), threw two TD passes to Kenny Stills in the fourth. Cutler had two first-half TD passes. Josh McCown passed for three of the Jets touchdowns and ran 1 yard for the other.
Why the Dolphins won: They cashed in on the only interception of the game thrown by McCown. Bobby McCain made the pick at the Jets' 27-yard line.

Saints 26, Packers 17

The scoop: The lead changed hands three times in the second half before Drew Brees scored on a 1-yard run with 4:55 to go to give the Saints their nine-point advantage. Both Packers TDs came in the first half when rookie Aaron Jones ran 46 yards and QB Brett Hundley went 15 yards. Filling in for Aaron Rodgers, Hundley completed 12 of 25 passes for only 87 yards and no touchdowns.

Why the Saints won: The Packers had little passing threat.

Vikings 24, Ravens 16

The scoop: If you dig field goals this was the game for you. There were nine, six by Kai Forbath of the Vikings and three by Justin Tucker of the Ravens. Only touchdowns were a 29-yard run in the third quarter by Latavius Murray of Minnesota to make it 18-6 and a 13-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Chris Moore for the Ravens on the last 0lay of the game. Forbath connected from 52, 51, 43, 43, 34 and 32 yards. Tucker hit from 48, 57 and 47 yards.

Why the Vikings won: They scored at least a field goal on seven of their 10 possessions in the game.

Dog of the day
Cowboys 40, 49ers 10

The scoop: Ezekiel Elliott ran for two touchdowns and took a pass from Dak Prescott 72 yards for another score in the Dallas win. Prescott passed for three TDs. The winless 49ers were routed at home after five straight close losses, two in overtime. Elliott had 147 yards rushing in 26 attempts. Prescott completed 16 of 25 passes for 234 yards and a 134.0 rating. Rookie C.J. Beathard started for the Niners and passed for 235 yards with no interceptions but was sacked five times,

Why the Cowboys won: Their first TD came after a San Francisco fumble but they drove 74, 80, 72 and 80 for their next four to dominate the Niners' defense.

News wire services contributed to this report.

 

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