It was another interesting Sunday for the first set of NFL games. The Atlanta Falcons rolled over the Philadelphia Eagles 30-17 for win No. 7. The Chicago Bears dodged a loss against the struggling Carolina Panthers in a 23-22 win and the Detroit Lions avoided another loss with a last-minute 28-24 win.
Falcons (7-0) defeat Eagles (3-4), 30-17
With both teams returning from their bye weeks, the Falcons appeared more rested with their 30-17 win on Sunday. Quarterback Matt Ryan came out and hit the ground running by throwing touchdown passes on the team’s first three possessions.
For the day, Ryan was 22 for 29 for 262 yards with three touchdowns. The win represented his first victory against his hometown team after three attempts.
The win places the Falcons as the only undefeated team in the league and for a change, the team led the entire game.
For the Eagles, this loss represented the first one after a bye week in 14 games since 1999 when coach Andy Reid took over the team.
Quarterback Michael Vick’s play has been an area of concern and on Sunday, he avoided turnovers for a change but still had very mediocre play. Vick was 21 for 35, 191 yards, one touchdown and three sacks.
Bears (6-1) beat Panthers (1-6) 23-22
Quarterback Jay Cutler showed up in bad form on Sunday (six sacks, one interception) but his defense brought its A-game and the team rallied in the fourth quarter for the win.
The Bears have won five in a row and the Panthers have now lost five consecutive games.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Bears were down 19-7 but grabbed two touchdowns with one coming on a pick-6 by diminutive cornerback Tim Jennings.
With the defensive touchdown, it represented No. 6 in interceptions this season returned for a touchdown–a franchise record and three shy of a league single-season record.
Within the last minute of play, the Bears were able to march down field and its clutch kicker Robbie Gould (who missed an earlier field-goal attempt) nailed a 41-yard field goal as the clock ran out.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had an o.k. game, looking confident and going 20 for 39, 314 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and two sacks.
Lions (3-4) defeat Seahawks (4-4) 28-24
Sophomore Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young, who is pinch hitting for an injured Nate Burleson, had a career-high day with his nine receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
His quarterback Matt Stafford also had a great day going 34 for 49, 352 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Fellow quarterback Seahawks Russell Wilson was 25 for 35, 236 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. His running back Marshawn Lynch had 12 carries for 105 yards and one touchdown; this included a career-high 77-yard run in the second quarter.
It was a game of lead changes but in the end with :20 remaining, Stafford threw a one-yard pass to Young for the win.