The NFL lost another battle in a war that, in the long run, it always wins. But oh, those losses. Over and over and over again. And bigger chunks of its credibility knocked away each time.
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Keep joking about the AFC South at your own risk 鈥?it’s no longer the NFL’s worst division. The Texans have a promising rookie passer and what could become the league’s best defense. The Titans have real pieces around their young star quarterback. The Jaguars (on paper, at least) improved significantly on defense. The Colts have Andrew Luck.
The underdog Raiders never trailed and prevailed in an evenly played game. Oakland outgained Tennessee by nine yards and had one more first down than the Titans. Neither team committed a turnover. New kicker Giorgio Tavecchio was 4-for-4 on field goals, including two 52-yarders. The Raiders improved to 9-2 straight-up and 10-1 ATS in their past 11 road games with Derek Carr starting at quarterback.
The Bengals committed five turnovers (including four interceptions by Andy Dalton) and failed to get on the board in three trips to the red zone, leading to the lowest-scoring game of the early kickoffs. Joe Flacco was only 9-for-17 for 121 yards, as Baltimore relied on its defense to win this one. The Ravens rushed 42 times for 157 yards to chew clock in the second half.
Cleveland rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer led an eight-play, 73-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter and hooked up with receiver Corey Coleman with 3:36 left in the game for a touchdown to cover the spread. Pittsburgh led 14-7 at half and the game was within the spread for most of the contest.
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