The Buccaneers survived a wild game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, emerging with a 26-23 overtime victory. Chandler Catanzaro made up for two missed kicks by drilling a 59-yard game-winning field goal in overtime. Tampa Bay is now 3-3, but due to what else unfolded around the division this week, Dirk Koetter and his team are still in third place. Let’s check in on what the rest of the NFC South did in week seven.
New Orleans Saints (5-1)
The Saints won their fifth straight game on Sunday, knocking off a tough Ravens team on the road by a score of 24-23. New Orleans trailed 17-7 after three quarters before storming back. A one-yard touchdown run by Alvin Kamara with 12:32 left brought the Saints within 17-14. Drew Brees, who picked up his 500th career touchdown pass earlier in the game, then connected with Michael Thomas for a five-yard score to put the visiting team on top. A 39-yard field goal by Will Lutz turned out to be key insurance as Baltimore marched down the field and scored to make it 24-23 with 24 seconds left. Justin Tucker, who was 222-for-222 on extra points in his career, then missed the game-tying conversion to send the Saints home with a win.
Brees finished the afternoon 22-of-30 for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while Kamara ran for 64 yards and a touchdown. Baltimore’s offense put up 351 yards to New Orleans’ 339, but it didn’t translate to a win for the home team.
Up Next: at Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1)
Carolina Panthers (4-2)
The Panthers took down the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday, erasing a 17-0 fourth-quarter deficit to win 21-17. Curtis Samuel got Carolina on the board for the first time with 10:41 to go, scoring on a 14-yard run. With 4:08 left, Cam Newton found Devin Funchess for an 18-yard touchdown before converting the two-point try to Jarius Wright to get the deficit to three. Philadelphia couldn’t hold on for the win as Newton took the offense 69 yards in 10 plays, ending the drive on a go-ahead touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 1:22 left. After that, the Eagles didn’t get much of a drive going before Julius Peppers came up with a sack-fumble to seal the game.
Newton was pretty efficient throughout the game, despite not scoring until late. He completed 25 of his 39 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Funchess six times for 62 yards and a score. The Panthers once again struggled to run the ball, with Newton finishing as their leading rusher with 49 yards on seven carries. Christian McCaffrey ran just seven times for 29 yards, but did catch six passes for 51 yards. Peppers’ sack of Carson Wentz to end the game was Carolina’s third of the day, with the other two coming from Luke Kuechly and Mario Addison.
Up Next: vs. Baltimore Ravens (4-3)
Atlanta Falcons (3-4)
The Falcons beat the Giants, 23-20, on Monday Night Football behind a strong first three quarters from their defense. Atlanta held a 20-6 lead until the 4:47 mark of the fourth quarter. New York tried to make things interesting, scoring on a two-yard touchdown run by Saquon Barkley. Odell Beckham Jr. dropped the two-point conversion, so the game stayed at 20-12. After the Falcons added a 56-yard field goal by Giorgio Tavecchio, the Giants scored again, this time on a pass from Eli Manning to Beckham. The two-point conversion was good, but there were only five seconds to go. The Falcons hung on, getting one step closer to a .500 record.
Matt Ryan threw for 379 yards and a touchdown on 31-of-39 passing, finding Julio Jones nine times for 104 yards. Jones now has 812 yards this season, but still hasn’t found the end zone. In Monday’s game, Marvin Hall was the lone Falcon to catch a touchdown. Tevin Coleman ran 11 times for 50 yards and a touchdown in the absence of Devonta Freeman. The Atlanta defense still wasn’t all that great, allowing 433 yards.
Up Next: at Washington Redskins (4-2)— Week Nine