The NFL kicked off this Saturday mourning the unfortunate death of Oakland Raider’s longtime owner Al Davis. The 82 year-old passed away in his Oakland, CA residence. The cause of death has yet to be disclosed.
Davis – beloved for his “Just win, baby” attitude and criticized for his maverick-like tendencies – inspired the Raiders to a 25-20 victory over the Houston Texans Sunday, as the Raiders wore “AL” helmet stickers in tribute.
Jason Campbell threw two touchdowns, and Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals (the first three all from beyond 50 yards) for the Raiders, who improved to 3-2 on the year.
Meanwhile across the country, Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles continue to dominate the headlines for all of the wrong reasons. On the day that Vick’s 90 rushing yards vaulted him past Randall Cunningham for most all-time for a quarterback (4,948 rushing yards), he also threw four interceptions. The last of these interceptions was thrown on the Bills 26 with 1:49 left in the game to help the Bills escape with a 31-24 victory over the now 1-4 Eagles.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings were among the teams to reverse early-season trends. The Chiefs – outscored 89-10 in their first two games – erased a 17-point deficit and beat the Colts 28-24 on Matt Cassel’s game-winning touchdown to Steve Breaston with just over five minutes remaining.
The Vikings reversed their tendency to blow big leads, beating the Arizona Cardinals 34-10 for their first win of the season. The Vikings led 28-0 after Peterson’s third first-quarter touchdown, much like in previous weeks when they led 17-7, 17-0, 20-0 and 7-3. This time, however, the Vikings defense held the Cardinals to 291 total yards, and the Vikings earned their first win of the season.
– Pittsburgh 38, Tennessee 17
Ben Roethlisberger threw five touchdowns to four different receivers as the Steelers rediscovered their groove against the surprising Titans.
– Cincinnati 30, Jacksonville 20
In a game much closer than the score indicates, the Bengals scored the game-winning touchdown on a Bernard Scott plunge with 1:56 left to go and a score of 23-20.
– New Orleans 30, Carolina 27
Drew Brees’ 6-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Thomas with 50 seconds left helped the Saints escape past Carolina and rookie phenom Cam Newton (251 total yards, three total touchdowns).
– Seattle 36, New York Giants 25
The Seahawks overcame Victor Cruz’s amazing, bobbled, 68-yard touchdown catch (YouTube it) as the Seattle defense forced five turnovers, and a balanced offense picked up three touchdowns.
– San Francisco 48, Tampa Bay 3
Alex Smith was efficient, the 49ers’ defense was stingy, and Jim Harbaugh improved to 4-1 as an NFL head coach.
– San Diego 29, Denver 24
Tim Tebow entered the game in the second half and pulled the Broncos within two points, but the Chargers held on the strength of a balanced, 208-yard rushing attack.
– New England 30, New York Jets 21
BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 136 yards and two scores as the Patriots avenged last year’s playoff heartbreak.