NFL Scores Week 6: Teams Who Were Lucky to Escape with a Win

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 14: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons is introduced before the game against the Oakland Raiders at the Georgia Dome on October 14, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Winning doesn't have to be pretty, and ugly victories tell you more about a team's resolve and their intestinal fortitude than blowout wins do.

Ugly wins present teams with lessons to be learned, things they need to work on over the next week and the rest of the season.

For these squads on Sunday, there's much to work on after being lucky to be in the lead when the final whistle sounded.


Atlanta Falcons (6-0): Beat Oakland, 23-20

It took a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown by Asante Samuel and a 55-yard game-winning field goal by Matt Bryant—both with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter—for the Falcons to remain undefeated and take down the one-win Oakland Raiders.

Matt Ryan threw three first-half interceptions, doubling his total on the season against a Raiders defense that had no interceptions over the first five weeks of the season.

Atlanta's defense, which ranked seventh in the NFL against the pass, allowing only 203 yards and a touchdown per game, watched Carson Palmer throw for 353 yards and a touchdown, finding the game tied at 13 with three minutes remaining, and at 20 with 40 seconds left on the clock before Bryant pulled off his heroics.

A bye week awaits the Falcons in Week 7, something that couldn't have come at a better time.


Baltimore Ravens (5-1): Beat Dallas (2-3), 31-29

The Ravens lost three key members of their defense during the game and it took a dropped two-point conversion with 32 seconds remaining, and a missed 51-yard field goal on the last play of the game, for the Ravens to hold off the Cowboys' rally.

LB Ray Lewis, the team's unquestioned leader, left the game with a triceps injury, while corners Lardarius Webb (knee) and Jimmy Smith (lower leg strain) also couldn't finish the game. Webb's injury is thought to be the most severe of the three. (h/t ESPN)

Jacoby Jones' NFL-record-tying 108-yard kickoff return gave the Ravens their biggest lead of the day, 24-13 with just over 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, but Dallas kept getting scoring opportunities against the Ravens' decimated defense.

Unlike the other teams on this list, the Ravens don't have a bye week waiting for them in Week 7. Instead, they get to travel to Houston, something that will be incredibly difficult if their injured defenders are seriously injured.


Miami Dolphins (3-3): Beat St. Louis (3-3), 17-14

Three missed field goals by the Rams' rookie sensation, Josh Zuerlein, and a strong red-zone defense are the only reason the Dolphins walked away with the win on Sunday.

St. Louis held the ball for nearly seven minutes more than the Dolphins, allowing them to crush them in total yardage, 462-192, including 162-19 on the ground. 

But it was the Dolphins' ability to keep the Rams out of the end zone for most of the day, coupled with Zuerlein missing wide left from 66 yards out with 30 seconds left on the clock, that allowed the Dolphins to secure the win.

Like the Falcons, Miami has much to work on and have a bye week coming at the perfect time in Week 7.