Football weekend roundup: College season approaches home stretch, NFL reaches midway point

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


Football fans were treated to another busy weekend of gridiron action, both at the collegiate and professional levels.

On Saturday, the college football season marched towards the playoffs as the #1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs had their way with Missouri, continuing their perfect season with a 43-6 blowout. The #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide edged out their SEC rival LSU 20-14, in a game much closer than analysts had predicted. The #3 ranked Michigan State Spartans were not so fortunate, as they were upset by the Purdue Boilermakers 40-29. The #4 ranked Oregon Ducks also kept their playoff hopes alive by defeating Wisconsin 26-16.

In the pro ranks, the NFL hit its midway point on Sunday in its first-ever 17-game regular season. The Denver Broncos improved to 5-4 after shocking the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) 30-16, in a game that was much more of a blowout than the score indicated. The Atlanta Falcons (4-4) kept their playoff hopes alive with a thrilling 27-25 win over their division rivals, the New Orleans Saints (5-3), thanks to a walk-off field goal from Atlanta kicker Younghoe Koo.

In other action, the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens clashed in Maryland in a thrilling game. After the Vikings took an early lead, the Ravens clawed their way back into the game, which ended in regulation locked at a 31-31 tie. Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson drove the Ravens deep into Minnesota territory, setting up the game winning kick for perennial Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker with 20 seconds left in overtime:

The Ravens improved to 6-2 on the season and jumped back into first place in the AFC South, while the Vikings fell to 3-5 on the year after yet another close loss.

The upset of the weekend came in Jacksonville, where the trendy Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills could not find the end zone against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars outlasted the Bills by a final score of 9-6 for a huge win, improving them to 2-6 on the year in Urban Meyer’s first year as head coach. The Bills find themselves in trouble in the AFC East, still at the top of the division at 5-3 but now only a half-game ahead of the New England Patriots (5-4).

Week 9 concludes on Monday night as the 3-5 Chicago Bears take on the 4-3 Pittsburgh Steelers.