Patriots, Cowboys

Behind The Scoreboard

OK football fans – the halfway point of the NFL season is approaching. And after Week 8, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape.

Sunday’s headliner included the rematch between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys versus the Philadelphia Eagles was the big finale.

In their first match-up (October 2), the Bills defeated the New England Patriots 16-0. That was the first time the Patriots were shut out at home since 1993. This loss included the absence of Tom Brady.

New England has always been masterful at getting revenge and that’s exactly what it did. Brady went 22 of 35 for 315 yards and threw four touchdowns in leading the Patriots to a 41-25 win over Buffalo. The Patriots (7-1) have won four straight games since Brady’s return after serving the NFL’s four-game “Deflate­gate” suspension.

New England is poised to win the AFC East. Now, what does this mean for Buffalo after losing to the Patriots? Is it a possibility that Coach Rex Ryan and his Buffalo Bills could be in dire straits? The Bills’ season (4-4) seems to be unraveling quickly. They had very little chance at keeping the Patriots from another division title. More than likely Buffalo will play for a wild-card spot. Their hopes to stay in the hunt in the AFC East are fading.

The grand finale of the night was the rookie quarterback duel between Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) and Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles). Prescott led the Cowboys back from a 10-point deficit and to an overtime win, 29-23, over the Eagles. The Cowboys have won their sixth straight game and they have a two-game lead in the NFC East.

Wentz had Philadelphia (4-3) in position for the win with another efficient performance, but couldn’t move the Eagles late in regulation with the game tied. The Eagles never got the ball in overtime after Prescott led the 75-yard scoring drive.

The question remains – will Tony Romo get another chance to show he can get the job done when fully cleared to play in a game? Romo recently took part in a portion of practice for the first time. He was limited last week after throwing scout-team, 7-on-7 drills. This week he could get more time for practice to be ready to play against the Browns.

Jack Del Rio’s Oakland Raiders set an NFL record after a showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders (6-2) were flagged 23 times in a single game and they still won 30-24 in OT. Raiders QB Derek Carr broke a 52-year-old record set by Cotton Davidson – with 513 yards passing and completing 40 of 59 passes without an interception.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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