Late game heroics
It was a memorable weekend in the NFL with a string of brilliant matches and storylines.
Week five produced several exciting games for NFL fans, beginning on Sunday with the first London game of the year between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets.
The Atlanta Falcons got off to an early lead thanks in part to rookie tight end (TE) Kyle Pitts’ first NFL touchdown and they led 20-3 at half-time, seemingly in full control.
However, a strong second-half response from the Jets saw them reduce the deficit to just three points after Michael Carter’s touchdown was followed by a two-point conversion.
Mike Davis then scored a touchdown for the Falcons to settle their nerves and prevent a remarkable comeback as they won 27-20 to move to 2-3 for the season.
Pitts was named the game’s star man after finishing with nine catches for 119 receiving yards.
Elsewhere, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals defeated the 49ers to remain unbeaten while the Detroit Lions lost in dramatic fashion as Greg Joseph made a 54-yard field goal to give the Minnesota Vikings victory as time expired.
The Lions, who are now 0-5 for the season, thought they had completed a stunning comeback when they went ahead with 37 seconds remaining after trailing 16-6 with three minutes left.
But Joseph spared the Vikings’ blushes to give them their second victory of the season.
In another sensational comeback, Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles battled back from 12 points down to beat the Carolina Panthers 21-18 and end a three-game losing streak.
Hurts was instrumental in the comeback, running for two touchdowns.
The Panthers have now lost two in a row after starting 3-0 and will continue to hope for All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey to return soon from injury.
The NFL saved the best comeback for last as the Baltimore Ravens overturned a 19-point deficit to beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-25 in overtime on Monday night.
Former MVP Lamar Jackson struggled early with turnovers, but came alive in the fourth quarter to lead his side to victory.
Jackson finished the night with four touchdown passes and a career high 442 yards passing, including the game winning touchdown to wide receiver (WR) Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in overtime.
The Ravens missed out on a record-tying 43 game streak of rushing for at least 100 yards, but came away with their fourth straight win of the year.
AFC heavyweight matches
The rematch between last year’s AFC Championship finalists between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills sparked a reversal of fortunes as the Bills topped the Chiefs 38-20 in Kansas City to win their fourth game of the season.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) October 11, 2021
The Chiefs (2-3) and Patrick Mahomes continue to struggle as the KC quarterback (QB) had just two interceptions (INTs) and was the team’s leading rusher with only 61 yards.
Bills QB Josh Allen built on his MVP campaign passing for three touchdowns and rushing for another with zero turnovers.
The other potential AFC Championship game match-up occurred earlier in the day with the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Cleveland Browns.
The Chargers improved to 4-1 with a 47-42 win over the Browns.
Both defenses struggled late in the game that had six touchdowns in the fourth quarter and five total lead changes.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert continues his impressive sophomore year throwing for 398 yards and four touchdowns, adding one more on the ground, with no turnovers.
Best moment of the week
The Sunday afternoon matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers turned out to be a lot more exciting than anticipated, though there were mistakes aplenty.
Green Bay won 25-22 in overtime in a game that saw five total missed field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby hit the game winner from 49 yards out in overtime to seal the win after missing the previous three and following Bengal’s rookie kicker Evan McPherson’s misses of his own.