Close Calls – Week 9

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NCAAFB - 4th Quarter Covers - Week 10

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread and total in the fourth quarter in Week 9 of the NFL regular season to open up November.

Minnesota Vikings (-5) 24, Detroit Lions 9 (47): The Vikings scored 10 points in the final 3:20 of the first half to turn a 7-6 game into a 17-6 game. Punts filled the third quarter and it when it looked like the Vikings would seal the game, Kirk Cousins fumbled just at the edge of the red zone with about 10 minutes remaining. Under duress all day with Minnesota winding up with 10 sacks, Matthew Stafford escaped the pocket on the next possession and had Kerryon Johnson flanking him on the sideline. Stafford made a foolish decision to ad-lib an option toss that bounced off Johnson and was recovered by the Vikings and run back for a touchdown to seal the win and cover for the Vikings in a game Minnesota was held to just 283 yards.

Miami Dolphins (-3) 13, New York Jets 6 (43): Through three quarters, these AFC East rivals managed only field goals with a 6-3 edge for Miami despite very little offensive production from the Dolphins. In the fourth quarter, the Jets missed a 50-yard field goal and then on the next possession, a Sam Darnold pass was intercepted for a touchdown by Jerome Baker to put the Dolphins up by 10. The Jets did manage a field goal a few minutes later, but Darnold would throw two more interceptions late as Miami won and covered despite making only seven first downs.

Houston Texans (+1) 19, Denver Broncos 17 (46½): A big swing in this game occurred just before halftime as Denver opted to try a 62-yard field goal even though more than 20 seconds remained and Houston had two timeouts. The kick was missed and instead of tying the game, the Broncos wound up down 16-10 as the break as Houston was able to get into field goal range. Denver took a 17-16 lead late in the third quarter sitting as a one-point favorite most of the week but early in the fourth quarter, the Texans went ahead by two with another field goal. Four punts followed before the Broncos got the ball back with more than three minutes remaining. The Broncos converted a 4th-and-8 to cross midfield in the final minute but opted not to hurry to get a few more yards and instead let the clock wind down. Brandon McManus wound eventually miss wide right from 51 yards after a pair of timeouts as Houston escaped with the win.

Los Angeles Chargers (PK) 25, Seattle Seahawks 17 (48½): The Chargers led 19-10 through three quarters and extended the lead to 25-10 with a pick-six with just over six minutes remaining in the game. Seattle would make things interesting late adding a 4th-and-goal touchdown just past the two-minute-warning to climb within one score down eight. The Chargers had to punt with three Seattle timeouts only allowing 26 seconds to run off the clock. Two big penalties on the Chargers including one to convert a 4th down kept hope alive for those on Seattle or the ‘over’ as the Seahawks were granted an untimed down at the 1-yard-line. A false start pushed the Seahawks back five yards and Russell Wilson’s throw to the end zone dropped incomplete.

New Orleans Saints (+2½) 45, Los Angeles Rams 35 (57): The Saints led 35-14 early but with about 10 minutes remaining, the Rams had completed a comeback to tie the game looking to maintain their perfect record. Will Lutz put the home underdog Saints in front with a 54-yard field goal and the Rams had to punt the ball back to New Orleans. With about four minutes remaining, Drew Brees found Michael Thomas for a 72-yard touchdown to put the game away and for the moment claim supremacy in the NFC.

New England Patriots (-5) 31, Green Bay Packers 17 (56): The Packers and Patriots were tied at 17-17 early in the third quarter but the scoring stalled from there. New England opted to go for it on 4th-and-1 midway through the third quarter and came up with an incomplete pass to keep points off the board. The Packers were driving when Aaron Jones fumbled on 1st down on the first play of the fourth quarter. New England would reach the Green Bay 1-yard-line again but this time got in to go up by seven with 10 minutes to go. Aaron Rodgers took a 3rd down sack and the Packers had to give the ball right back. In just three plays, the Patriots added another touchdown and shut down the Packers on downs on the final possession for Green Bay.

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