It was a sensational series of events that gave the Patriots a 27-24 victory over the Steelers at Heinz Field, culminating in a replay that feels so wrong even if it was correct by the letter of the current law, and by a colossally clutch play by the Patriots defense that was reminiscent of the Malcolm Butler interception against the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
Two plays later, Roethlisberger’s pass to Eli Rogers was tipped by Eric Rowe and intercepted in the end zone by Duron Harmon to win it for New England. Some, including Patriots defenders, thought Roethlisberger was trying to fool them with a fake spike, but he said he saw the coaches telling him to run a play while he was yelling clock it.
The Saints, who play at the Rams on Sunday, are in the lead at 8-2 after an 0-2 start, followed by the 7-3 Panthers, who have won three in a row, and then the reigning Super Bowl runner-up Falcons, who are 6-4 and trending up.
The Saints and Panthers, who play the Jets on Sunday, play each other on Dec. 3 in New Orleans in a division Authentic Joel Bitonio Jersey showdown game.
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If the playoffs began now, the NFC South would be the only division represented by three teams 锟斤拷 with the Saints the No. 3 seed in the NFC, Carolina No. 5 and Atlanta No. 6. Never since the current division format began in 2002 has a division had three teams qualify for the playoffs.
The players likely will only be able to wear them during warmups, as the NFL has strict rules regarding dress code.
Shazier’s teammates have found a way to remember him on the field as he continues to recover from an injury suffered Monday against the Bengals while making a tackle. He underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Wednesday.