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NFL Delivers Stunning Early Games With Multiple Upsets

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The NFL delivered a crazy bunch of games in the 1 o’clock hour on Sunday.

Let’s begin in Dallas where the Cowboys were celebrating the return of quarterback Dak Prescott to an offense that was leading the NFL with 454.9 yards per game.

The Denver Broncos, meanwhile, were visiting days after trading away cornerstone pass rusher Von Miller and even taking calls from the New Orleans Saints about trading starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

But rather than a coronation for the Cowboys against the white flag waving Broncos, coach Vic Fangio’s team brought a different narrative: Upset. And butt whipping. In Dallas.

Broncos 30.

Cowboys 16.

“This was the first time our energy didn’t exceed our opponent’s,” Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said, “and that’s disappointing.”

Bridgewater passed for 249 yards. Prescott, meanwhile, seemed uncomfortable in compleing only 48.7 percent of his passes and throwing an interception.

“I thought they had a good plan against Dak and executed it well,” Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones lamented. “

Another huge upset happened at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey where the New York Giants upended the Las Vegas Raiders, 23-16.

The Giants got a 30-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Daniel Jones to tight end Evan Engram and a 41-yard pick six from Xavier McKinney to set the Giants up for the big upset.

Raiders quarterback David Carr threw two interceptions while Jones avoided any turnovers.

The Raiders have generally responded well to adversity this season, winning multiple games after coach Jon Gruden resigned. But last week receiver Henry Ruggs III was cut after he was arrested for driving under the influence and being charged for an accident in which a Las Vegas woman was killed when Ruggs smashed into her car from behind.

A team apparently can handled only so much.

Another upset?

The New Orleans Saints had a chance to improve their standing in the NFL South at home against the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons.

Nope.

The Falcons got a 29-yard field goal from Younghoe Koo as time ran out to deliver a stunning 27-25 victory over the Saints in New Orleans.

Perhaps the biggest upset of the day was the Jacksonville Jaguars beating the Buffalo Bills, 9-6.

The Jaguars, you must understand, had lost 21 of their last 22 games. They had not won a game in the United States since September of 2020.

So the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills expected to visit Jacksonville and similarly dispatch the hapless Jaguars.

And then quarterback Josh Allen threw two interceptions — one of those to Jacksonville linebacker Josh Allen.

And Josh Allen also sacked Josh Allen — marking the first time in NFL history a player sacked another player with the same name.

And in the fourth quarter when the Bills were driving, Josh Allen recovered a Josh Allen fumble. And later in the fourth quarter, Allen fumbled again.

Absolutely unexpected. The Bills are now 5-3 and lead New England (5-4) by only 1/2-game in their division.

The Jaguars, who defeated the Miami Dolphins earlier this season in London, improved to 2-6.

Suddenly the Bills, who were supposed to be a Super Bowl contender, have lost two of their last three games — both of those on the road.

Afterward, Buffalo coach Sean McDermott spoke of the need to address the offensive line which allowed four sacks and offered Allen little time to throw most of the day. And about a running game that managed only 72 yards, McDermott said, “That’s a huge issue.”

Finally, the Miami Dolphins beat the Houston Texans, 17-9 on Sunday. It was the first win for Miami since the season-opener. And why is this notable?

Because this game marked the first time two 1-7 teams played each other in NFL history. And the fact one of these two struggling franchises won a game is notable.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

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