(Monday) Morning After: Plight of the Bumblebee

NEED TO KNOW
  • Steelers fall to Ravens in bitter AFC North showdown
  • Patriots win, but lose Gronk to injury in the process
  • Elsewhere: Broncos, Redskins, Packers prevail
The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-10.

Every week, the women at HerGameLife.com bring you the highlights, lowlights, and good fights from the weekend in pro football. HerGameLife is the premiere online destination for ladies who love sports, featuring football news from a female perspective, game day fashion and recipe ideas.

(Pictured above: The Steelers, with back-up QB Byron Leftwich, fail to hypnotize despite the best efforts of their garish throwback unis.)

Ravens 13, Steelers 10: In a game with huge implications in the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens moved two games ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers with a win on Sunday night. With both teams' marquee players — Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger and Ravens' LB Ray Lewis — cheering from the sidelines, the Ravens held Steelers back-up QB Byron Leftwich, making his first start in three years, to 201 yards and one interception. Needing little more than a punt return for a touchdown by Jacoby Jones to stave off the limping Steelers, who came into the game with the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense, the Ravens did just enough in this defensive struggle between division rivals to come away with their 12th straight AFC North victory. -- Emily Cohen @emilygcohen

Redskins 31, Eagles 6: Thanksgiving came early at FedEx Field as the Redskins carved up the Birds. Philadelphia was rife with offensive penalties and backup QB Nick Foles passed everything but the stuffing, completing 21 of 46. The outcome of the game was no surprise as two of Foles’ first 10 attempts were intercepted — a stark contrast to RG3’s picture-perfect delivery of four touchdowns. Brent Celek continued to have a case of the drops, while the Redskins exploited gaping holes in the Eagles’ defense. As if losing the game wasn’t enough, the Birds also lost LeSean McCoy to a concussion during the final two minutes of play. Washington has another opportunity to feast this week when they square off against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. -- Adrienne Simpson @ladyofthelinc

Saints 38, Raiders 17: After last week’s shellacking in Baltimore, the Oakland Raiders were hoping for a happier homecoming when they hosted Drew Brees and the Saints Sunday afternoon. For a second straight week the Raiders outgained their opponent in total yards and time of possession with the same result – a resounding loss. Brees was 70% accurate and spread the love throughout his offense, with scores from Jimmy Graham, Mark Ingram, Lance Moore and Malcolm Jenkins. Third-quarter woes continue to plague Carson Palmer and his 1970s-style 'stache. The Raiders have been outscored 123-31 in that quarter so far this season, including a goose egg against New Orleans. -- George Atkins @girlgeorge84

Bengals 28, Chiefs 6: Suddenly the Bengals look like playoff contenders after a commanding victory. Then again their opponents were the lowly Chiefs, who couldn't win a family pickup game this year. No matter which Chiefs quarterback, Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn, was in the game, the Chiefs looked utterly inept and injuries took out the only promising receivers. Andy Dalton, meanwhile, threw two touchdowns and even ran one in himself, leading the Bengals to another visiting team victory at the once-feared Arrowhead Stadium. While the Bengals are contenders in the AFC North, the Chiefs are the worst team in the NFL at 1-9. --Caroline Knecht, @o_line

Packers 24, Lions 20: Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a thrilling comeback win over the Lions, executing a six-play 82-yard drive in the fourth quarter. The game remained close throughout, with the lead changing hands five times. Rodgers' second touchdown put Green Bay up 21-20 on Detroit, but Mason Crosby missed a final chance to save his job with a 39-yard field goal attempt to clinch the victory. He had missed seven of his last 13 attempts, including two on Sunday. The biggest scapegoat of the day was the Lions' offense, which was only 6-of-15 on third downs and struggled in the red zone. The loss leaves the Lions to lick their wounds at the bottom of the NFC North, while the Packers rise to only half-a-game behind the Bears. -- Michelle Noyer-Granacki, @michellewthonel
 

Jets 27, Rams 13: The three-ring circus that has become the New York Jets traveled to St. Louis desperate to prove to fans and themselves that they are still a contender. Like many Jets games this season, Mark Sanchez looked ugly early, fumbling the ball on a sack. The Rams went up 7-0 quickly, but eventually the Jets scored their first offensive touchdown in what seems like ages. Mark Sanchez (15-for-20 passing for 178 yards and no turnovers) and the Jets would go on to score 2 more TDs and defeat the Rams, landing Gang Green with their first victory in a MONTH! En route to the win, the Darrelle Revis-less Jets defense played fundamentally smart and good zone defense, disrupting the Rams wide receivers off their routes.  -- Alyssa @_alyssa_regina 

Broncos 30, Chargers 23: The last time the Chargers and Broncos met, Denver mounted such a mighty second-half comeback that the Broncos got their own election season Facebook meme: “I’m Voting for Peyton Manning to Cut the Deficit.” Not so this time. Although San Diego commanded the first quarter, after Denver’s initial touchdown, Phillip Rivers immediately responded … with an interception. The Chargers never threatened again in a game which featured, as its emotional high point, a "Star Wars" Lego commercial. Manning’s running case for MVP was dinged — he suffered a safety and an interception -- but FrankenQB notched his 148th win to tie the record of his boss, John Elway. It’s a safe bet that Elway, flicking his Tebow Jets bobblehead and counting his cash, doesn’t exactly mind. -- Mary Beth Ellis @blondechampagne

Patriots 59, Colts 24: It started with a throw-back, punt-free first quarter, just like old times for one of the NFL’s marquee rivalries. The league darling "ChuckStrong" Colts went into Foxboro with passion and nothing to lose, but once the Pats started scoring on offense, defense, and special teams, we remembered the AFC belongs to them for now. The Patriots methodically treated Indy's defenders to a steady cadence of Gronk and Edelman until New England tied their franchise record for most points ever scored in a game. Andrew Luck learned what a miserable place Foxboro can be to visit – the only thing missing was snow. On the bright side, Peyton won, so Colts fans have that going for them. -- Bethany Robison, @BethanyRobison

Buccaneers 27, Panthers 21:  It was a nail-biter in Charlotte, North Carolina, between NFC South rivals Tampa Bay and Carolina as the game went in overtime. Neither team looked sharp, with the Bucs claiming the lead early but letting the Panthers claw their way back in. Carolina could not hold down the Bucs as they fought their way back to tie the game with just minutes left. Quarterback Josh Freeman was not sharp in the first half but found his rhythm in the second. Freeman could smell the blood of the wounded Panthers in OT and claimed their booty with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark. FIRE THE CANNON! The Bucs will have a real challenge next week as they face the high-flying Falcons.  --Kyra Hallett @KyraHallett

Falcons 23, Cardinals 19:  The Atlanta Falcons took this battle of the birds, handing the Arizona Cardinals their sixth straight loss. Despite the win, the Cardinals defense sure did ruffle Matt Ryan’s feathers. After throwing for a career-best 411 yards last week, Ryan hit a career-worst this week, throwing five interceptions on the day — three in the first quarter alone. The Cardinals offense did little to capitalize on Ryan’s mistakes, only finding the end zone once on a LaRod Stephens-Howling touchdown. Thanks to the leg of Jay Feely, Arizona led the Falcons until Michael Turner’s touchdown with just 6:40 left in the fourth quarter, which turned out to be the game-winner. It was also the Falcons' first — and only — offensive touchdown of the game.  -– Haley Bowers

Cowboys 23, Browns 20: Neither the Cowboys nor the Browns looked like they wanted to win, and each team tried their hardest not to. Down 13-0 at halftime, the Cowboys’ defense wasn’t pressuring Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden and the offense had fewer than 20 yards rushing. Dallas was able to claw its way back with a Dan Bailey field goal and scores from Felix Jones and Dez Bryant. With a minute left, Weeden hit Benjamin Watson for a 17-yard score to go back up 20-17. Next drive, Cleveland’s defensive pass interference put the Cowboys at the Browns 14. Dan Bailey tied it with two seconds left, pushing the game into overtime, where he kicked the game-winner bringing the Cowboys to 5-5. -- Maddie Kuhn @maddiekuhn1

Texans 43, Jaguars 37: Is there such a thing as a feel-good loss? If so, the Jacksonville Jaguars should be patting themselves on the back after this emotional roller coaster of a game. Let the Chad Henne-Justin Blackmon era begin. Quarterback Matt Schaub hooked up all day with his favorite receiver Andre Johnson. A shanked field goal by the Texans took the game into overtime, where the Jaguars had the chance to end it all. But Henne couldn't connect with receiver Cecil Shorts, giving the Texans another chance to win at home. And in true Texan fashion, Schaub found his BFF Johnson for a 48-yard touchdown catch to extend Houston's record to 8-2. -- Claire Atkins @claire_atkins

HGL Crystal Ball:

49ers vs. Bears. The Bears head to Candlestick Park for a fierce Monday night showdown between two elite NFC teams. Bears backup quarterback Jason Campbell will be starting after Jay Cutler sustained a concussion last week. With 49ers quarterback Alex Smith also ruled out, this game could come down to a battle between the two toughest defenses in football. Watch for 49ers running back Frank Gore to continue his success against the Bears. He’s totaled 215 yards and a touchdown on 37 rushes while the teams have split the last two meetings. Gore and his boys may not get very far if Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and his defense slow him down. Tune in Monday night to witness a battle that is the epitome of smash-mouth football.—Taylor Benson @FirstAndTay

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