NFL 2015 Week 5 Prequel
NFL 2015 Week 5 Prequel
Today in Los Angeles is SlutWalk 2015, the only leftist movement with any redeeming value.
Slutwalk was supposed to be about female empowerment. The scantily clad women were dancing to gangsta rap, which calls women sluts, bizzatches and hos. Conclusion: Liberal women are idiots.
To promote gender equality, I’m organizing the Million Frat Boy March. #FratBoyLivesMatter.
Male reproductive needs must be paid for by government: Scented candles, Marvin Gaye and Barry White records, and hard alcohol. If they look like Sandra Fluke, paper bags will be provided. She’s a 3-bagger.
If you disagree with me, you’re an anti-male, anti-heteronormative, anti-heterosexist bigot who should shut the Sandra Fluke up.
This concludes Slutwalk Saturday.
Now to watch “Old School.”
NFL 2015 Week 4 Recap
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Thursday night game. One of the NFL’s great rivalries has been minimized this year as the Ravens lost Terrell Suggs for the year and the Steelers had Michael Vick starting in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger. Josh Scobee got the Steelers on the board first with a 45 yard field goal. Joe Flacco then led a 12 play, 75 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. A 9 yard touchdown to Campanaro had the Ravens up 7-3. In the second quarter LeVeon Bell ran it in from 11 yards out to make it 10-7 Steelers. A Baltimore turnover late in the half allowed Scobee to hit from 36 yards out to have the Steelers up 13-7 at halftime.
In the third quarter Flacco was hit and fumbled, setting up the Steelers at the Baltimore 26. On 3rd and 5 from the 9, Vick hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for the touchdown. The Steelers had the 20-7 lead, but Steelers-Ravens games are usually decided very late. This game was no exception. Flacco brought the Ravens right back, and a 15 year touchdown pass to Aiken had Baltimore within 20-14.
Consecutive sacks of Vick had the Steelers punting on 4th and 23 from their own 7. A 14 yard punt return with a defensive penalty tacked on had the Ravens starting at the Pittsburgh 28. On 4th and 2 from the 20, John Harbaugh decided to try a fake field goal. It was blown up in the backfield for a 3 yard loss.
The Ravens got it back and on the last play of the third quarter, John Harbaugh decided to go for it on 4th and 1 just shy of midfield. A pass to Noble appeared to go nowhere, but Noble broke a tackle and gained 7 yards. Baltimore reached the Pittsburgh 20 when a fumbled snap out of the shotgun turned into a 12 yard loss. Justin Tucker hit a 40 yard field goal but the Ravens still trailed 20-17 with 10 minutes left in regulation.
The Ravens got it back at their own 12 and moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Pittsburgh 43. A run came up short and with 4:20 to play Harbaugh decided to go for it. Flacco took the quarterback sneak and hit a brick wall. The Steelers took their first timeout with 2 1/2 minutes left when they faced a critical 3rd and 5 at the Baltimore 31. A well thrown ball was also well defended incomplete. Mike Tomlin opted for the 49 yard field goal try. Scobee was no good, and the Ravens had 2:24, one timeout and the 2 minute warning to try and tie or win the game.
While neither of these teams have the defenses of years past, they still have heart. The Pittsburgh defense pressured Flacco into three straight incompletions. On 4th and 10 Flacco was sacked with 2:04 to play. The Steelers played it very safe, running into the line three straight times. With the Ravens out of timeouts, the Steelers took their last timeout with just over one minute to play. Scobee came in for a 41 yarder and he missed again.
Flacco fired one completion to the Baltimore 48. On 3rd and 10, Flacco fired to the sideline complete at the Pittsburgh 32 with 23 seconds left. A gutsy Harbaugh called a running play, and Forsett gained 8 yards as Flacco quickly but calmly led everyone to the line to spike the ball. From 42 yards out, Tucker was good and the Ravens and Steelers were going to overtime tied 20-20.
The Steelers got the ball first and moved in overtime to a 4th and 2 at the Baltimore 39. After taking a timeout, Tomlin decided to go for it. Vick ran on a designed carry and got belted nowhere near the first down marker. On 3rd and 8 Flacco went deep but Pittsburgh was ready with double coverage to break up the play incomplete. Antonio Brown fumbled the kickoff at the Pittsburgh 10 but picked it up and quickly raced to the Pittsburgh 41. Vick then hit Brown for a 17 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 at the Baltimore 32, A completion under pressure came up one yard short.
On 4th and 1 Mike Tomlin was not going to give his kicker a chance for redemption. He called another timeout. Scobee had missed from 49 and 41, and this one was from 50. The offense stayed on the field and Vick threw high and incomplete. Eventually the Ravens after failing to convert on 3rd and 1 had to make a field goal decision of their own. From 52 yards out with 5 minutes left in overtime, John Harbaugh did trust his kicker. Tucker delivered, and the Ravens had another tough win. Baltimore got their first win of the year. The Ravens have never lost four straight games under Harbaugh. Joe Flacco called it the “typically ugly game you play in Pittsburgh.” For the fans, it was beautiful. For Scobee, it was the unemployment line as Tomlin cut him the next day. 23-20 Ravens, OT
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins in London was the Sunday super early morning game. Miami Dolphins coach is so Caucasian and boring that he could be mistaken for an Englishman. His team was as inspired as British food. 3 plays and less than 90 seconds into the game Chris Ivory was in the end zone as the Jets took the 7-0 lead. Nick Folk added a 22 yard first quarter field goal and a 48 yard second quarter field goal to make it 13-0 Jets and the route was on. The Dolphins looked like they had a ray of hope when they needed only 3 plays to move 88 yards. Ryan Tannehill hit Stoneburner for an 8 yard touchdown to get the Dolphins within 13-7.
Gang Green then clamped down on defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker for a 10 yard touchdown to put the Jets up 20-7 at halftime. Zac Stacy got in from 2 yards out to have the Jets cruising 27-7 in the third quarter. The Dolphins scored once more in the fourth quarter as their third straight loss had the Joe Philbin death watch reaching a fever pitch. Jets fans then went to the local British pub to feast on Dolphins and chips. 27-14 Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts — Andrew Luck was out injured for the first time in his career. Matt Hasselbeck was told that he could play while simultaneously collecting social security, so he started against the lowly Jaguars. Adam Vinatieri kicked a 54 yard field goal for the Colts and Myers responded with a 20 yarder for a 3-3 snoozefest after the opening quarter.
In the second quarter the Colts fumbled to give the Jaguars a short field at the Indy 44. Blake Bortles hit Hurns for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 10-3 Jaguars. Hasselbeck led a 13 play, 80 yard drive and threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to Coby Fleener to tie the game 10-10 with 6 minutes left in the half. Myers would kick a 32 yard field goal to make it 13-10 Jaguars. A hideous second half saw Adam Vinatieri tie the game on a 32 yarder with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation.
With 8 1/2 minutes left and the Colts driving for the lead, Frank Gore fumbled at the one. With 6 seconds left, Myers came in for a 53 yard field goal try to give the Jaguars the win. The kick was no good wide right. midway through overtime, Myers had a chance to redeem himself from 48 yards out. Again, he was no good. With 4 1/2 minutes left in overtime, Vinatieri had his chance from 27 yards out. He was good and the Colts had the ugly win to get to 2-2. Paul Maguire once said, “I hate kickers. They should be paid $50 a game.” If Gus Bradley is interested, Josh Scobee is available after missing two kicks Thursday night and getting cut Friday. 16-13 Colts, OT
Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons — The unbeaten Atlanta Falcons are back to where they were when their pinball offense had them on top of the NFC. Devonta Freeman had a 16 yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 23 yard touchdown run in the second quarter for a 14-0 Falcons lead. Truant then returned a fumble 24 yards for another touchdown as the Falcons were cruising 21-0. Matt Ryan then led an 11 play, 82 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive and threw a 3 yard touchdown to Hankers for a 28-0 Falcons lead.
The Falcons poured it on early in the third quarter as 68 yards came rapidly and Freeman got in again from 6 yards out for a 35-0 Falcons lead. Ward would get in from 8 yards out to make it 42-0 Falcons. The Texan dominated the fourth quarter by scoring three touchdowns. In politics, egomaniacs spike the football after closing a 42 point deficit. In football, it’s the overall result that counts. On the last play of the game after a fourth Texans touchdown was reversed, Houston faced 4th and goal at the 17. Bryan Hoyer threw a 1 yard pass. The ball was fumbled and returned 84 yards for one more Atlanta touchdown. 48-21 Falcons
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — The 2014 and 2015 Buccaneers are not as bad as the squads from 1976 and 1977, but they are a few losses away from returning to the orange creamsicle days. They began by fumbling in the red zone, leading to a 24 yard Graham Gano field goal. Then Jameis Winston was intercepted by Norman, who returned it 46 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 Panthers lead. The Bucs finally got on the board with a 42 yard Brindza field goal to trail 10-3 after the first quarter.
Another interception of Winston in the second quarter had the Panthers with a short field at the Tampa 45. On 3rd and goal from the 7, Cam Newton threw incomplete, but the call was reversed for a touchdown to Ted Ginn and a 17-3 Panthers lead. Winston responded with a 13 play, 80 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive. Doug Martin got in from 5 yards out as the Buccaneers were within 17-10.
On the first play of the third quarter after a touchback, Cam Newton fumbled. The Buccaneers responded by gaining 0 yards and missing a field goal. Then on the next Carolina play from scrimmage from their own 33, they fumbled again. This time the ball bounced forward in the air straight to Carolina player Ed Dickson, who grabbed it mid-air and raced for a 57 yard offensive touchdown just like Ron Rivera drew it up in the sandlot to make it 24-10 Panthers.
With the Bucs facing 3rd and 8 just past midfield, Winston was interested again by Norman, who raced 34 yards to the Tampa 33. on 3rd and 3 from the 12, Newton found Ginn for another touchdown to make it 31-10 Panthers. Winston would lead an 80 yard drive and hit Sims for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Buccaneers within 31-17. It was too little, too late. Gano hit a pair of 27 yard field goals in the fourth quarter to make it 37-17 Panthers. Tampa added another garbage touchdown as Carolina remained unbeaten at the quarter mark. 37-23 Panthers
New York Giants at Buffalo Bills — 25 years after Bill Parcells, Marv Levy and Scott Norwood, the Bills and Giants played in a less meaningful game. Then again, when Rex Ryan plays Tom Coughlin, the blood feud is out. Josh Brown hit a 47 yard field goal for the Giants and Dan Carpenter answered with a 51 yarder for a 3-3 game. After an interception of Tyrod Taylor, Eli Manning hit Harris for a 21 yard touchdown. The extra point dunked off the upright no good as the Giants led 9-3.
In the second quarter the Giants faced 4th and 2 from the Buffalo 25. Coughlin played it safe with the field goal, which was good. However, a defensive penalty gave the Giants an automatic first down. Coughlin took the points on the board and Manning threw an 11 yard touchdown pass to Reuben Randle for a 16-3 Giants lead. In the third quarter the Bills drove 80 yards from their 10 to the Giants 10 only to use up 6 minutes and miss a 38 yard field goal. Buffalo got it back at their own 47 and moved to a 3rd and goal at the 2 early in the fourth quarter. Taylor only got half, and Rex Ryan decided to go for it. On 4th and goal at the one, A pass from Taylor lost a yard as the goal line stand by Big Blue kept Buffalo out of the end zone.
America then saw the best play that did not count. From his own end zone, Manning fired deep to O’Dell Beckham. Just like last year, Beckham made it a ridiculous one-handed catch. Last year it meant a touchdown and celebrity fame. This one was an incompletion since Beckham was way out of bounds. Nevertheless, Beckham remains a superstar. The Bills got it back at the Giants 43 and Taylor found Williams for a 23 yard touchdown. With 10 minutes left in regulation, the Bills were only down 16-10. The Giants have had a double digit fourth quarter lead every game this season only to collapse in two of those games.
Midway through the fourth quarter, on 3rd and 3 just shy of midfield, Manning hit Rashad Jennings on a swing pass that appeared to be short of the first down. Yet Jennings broke the tackle, raced down the sideline, stiff-armed another defender to the ground, and ended up with a 51 yard touchdown to put the game on ice. The game would continue to drag on as Buffalo had a sure reception turn into an interception. Manning would throw an interception on 3rd and goal at the 8. Buffalo would have a touchdown nullified by a chop block penalty. Eventually the game ended with both teams at 2-2 and Coughlin again besting Ryan. 24-10 Giants
Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears — The Raiders finally got a road win last week and were starting to believe their own press clippings at 2-1. However, Jimmy Clausen was sent back to the bench as Jay Cutler returned from injury. Cutler carved up the Raiders defense on the opening drive. A 24 yard pass to Michael Bennett led to 3rd and 2 at the Oakland 45. Cutler hit Wilson for 35 yards. On 3rd and goal from the 7, Cutler hit Eddie Royal for the touchdown. The extra point was blocked as the Bears led 6-0. The Raiders began at their own 40 when Robbie Gould sent the kickoff out of bounds. 3 plays netted 0 yards and the Raiders punted. The Bears were backed up to their own 6 yard line, and the Oakland defense stiffened.
A field position game had the Raiders beginning the second quarter just shy of midfield after a 22 yard punt return. On 3rd and 3, Derek Carr found Smith for 5 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Chicago 37, Carr hit Latavius Murray for 11. Carr then went deep to Amari Cooper. Initially ruled an incomplete pass, the call was reversed for a 26 yard touchdown and a 7-6 Raiders lead.
In the second quarter the Bears fumbled in their own territory, setting up the Raiders at the Chicago 25. Carr found Amari Cooper for 16 yards and Roy Helu for a 4 yard touchdown as the Raiders led 14-6 midway through the second quarter. The Bears quickly came back 80 yards as a 5 yard touchdown from Cutler to Bennett had the Bears within 14-13 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.
A pass by Carr in his direction was quickly intercepted by Patrick McPhee, who returned it 13 yards to the Oakland 15. On 3rd and goal from the one, Matt Forte got the carry and found a Silver and Black brick wall. On 4th and goal, John Fox angered the home crowd by going for the field goal. Gould hit the 19 yarder for a 16-14 Bears lead with 90 seconds left in the half. After a touchback, Carr was sacked for a 15 yard loss as the Raiders ended the half with frustration.
The Raiders began the third quarter the way they ended the second quarter, with a sack of Carr and lost yardage. Chicago took over on their own 46, but on their first play from scrimmage Forte fumbled and the Raiders recovered. On 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 39, Carr threw incomplete but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. On 2nd and 4 from the Chicago 11, Carr threw incomplete twice. Sebastian Janikowski hit the 29 yarder to make it 17-16 Raiders.
The Raiders on defense could not get off the field, as they have struggled on third down all year. With the Bears backed up to 3rd and 12 from their own 18, Cutler found Bennett for 14. On 3rd and 10 from the Chicago 32, Cutler found Bennett again for 11. On 3rd and 10 from the Chicago 43, the Raiders finally held on defense and got it back at their own 25. On 3rd and 7 from the Oakland 39, Carr found Helu for 9 yards. The drive would stall when Carr threw incomplete on 3rd and 6 from the Chicago 48. A good punt backed the Bears up to their own 10.
On 3rd and 2 from the Chicago 28, Cutler went deep incomplete, but defensive pass interference gave Chicago the ball at midfield as the third quarter ended. On 3rd and 14 from the Oakland 36, john Fox decided to play it safe with a run to set up a field goal. Forte got nothing. It didn’t matter. Gould leveled a 54 yarder as the Bears reclaimed the 19-17 lead. The Raiders moved after a touchback to a 2nd and 4 just past midfield. Murray gained 5 yards but fumbled, and the Bears took over at the Oakland 42.
On 3rd and 8, Cutler found Eddie Royal for just enough. On 3rd and 1 from the 23, Cutler went deep and was intercepted by last week’s hero Charles Woodson. Oakland took over at their own 9 with 6:50 to play. Carr found Michael Crabtree for gains of 25 and 13 and Helu picked up 12 more on the ground to the Chicago 41. On 3rd and 2 from the Chicago 33, Helu gained 3. On 3rd and 2 from the Chicago 22, Jack Del Rio played it very safe. Helu got the carry for the fourth straight time, but this time he lost a yard. Seabass came in for the 41 yarder to give Oakland the lead, and he hit it. The Raiders led 20-19, the Bears still would have just over 2 minutes left against a suspect Oakland defense. The Raiders scored too early.
After a touchback, Forte gained 6 yards on first down as the clock reached the 2 minute warning. A sack of Cutler led to 4th and 5 at the Chicago 25 with 90 seconds left. Again the Oakland defense could not make a stop as Cutler found Bennett for 7. With one minute left on 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 39, Cutler found Wilson for 6. A 12 yard completion to Royal put the Bears at the Oakland 43 as the Bears took their 2nd timeout with 40 seconds left and the Raiders in full meltdown mode. with 7 seconds left, Gould came in to try a 49 yarder to win it. Gould was good and the Bears had their first win of the year. As for the Raiders at 2-2, they still have not figured out how to close out games.
In useless statistics news, this was the third time these teams came down to the final play decided by a Chicago kicker in Chicago. In 1994 Kevin Butler missed a 30 yard field goal as the Raiders hung on 17-16. In 1996, Jeff Jaeger, who had been cut by the Raiders before the season started, kicked four field goals including the game winner for a 19-17 Bears victory. This year, it was Robbie Gould. 22-20 Bears
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins — The battle for the lead in the NFC Least saw Hopkins hit first quarter field goals of 20 and 38 yards for a 6-0 Redskins lead. While Republicans and Democrats both agreed that the government should shut this game down and impeach Jay Gruden and Chip Kelly, some action finally occurred in the second quarter. Kirk Cousins led a 10 play, 68 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive, getting the final yard himself for a 13-0 Redskins lead.
The game completely changed in the third quarter. Sam Bradford found Riley Cooper for a 62 yard touchdown. The extra point failed but the Eagles got it back and Bradford found Captain Morgan Brent Celek for a 10 yard score to tie the game 13-13. Hopkins responded with his third field goal from 33 yards out for a 16-13 Redskins lead. As the fourth quarter began, Bradford came back with a 39 yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin. Despite having dated a Kardashian, Austin caught the ball for the 20-16 Eagles lead.
With 6 minutes left the Redskins took over at their own 10. Cousins bled the clock and moved the Redskins. With 30 seconds to play, Washington faced 2nd and goal at the 4. Cousins hit Pierre Garcon, who caught it between two defenders. Despite getting blasted, Garcon hung on and the Redskins had the win. 23-20 Redskins
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals — The Bengals offense with Red Rifle Andy Dalton are clicking on all cylinders. The Chiefs with Alex Smith are dinking and dunking. Once again the West Coast Offense traveled to an East Coast time zone and quickly got steamrolled. Hill ran it in from 8 yards out for a 7-0 Bengals lead. The Chiefs responded with a 22 yard Carlo Santos field goal. The Bengals again moved 80 yards as Bernard ran it in from 13 yards out for a 14-3 Bengals lead. In the second quarter Santos hit from 40, 51, 34 as the Chiefs trailed 14-12.
In the third quarter dalton nullified virtually all of the chiefs sinking, dunking and field goal kicking with one big play. A 55 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Tate made it 21-12 Bengals. Once again the Chiefs would have to wait until a fourth quarter deficit before Alex Smith was allowed to throw past the first down marker. Santos would kick his fifth field goal from 40 to get the Chiefs within 21-15.
The Chiefs got it back and faced 3rd and 30 at their own 17. A short completion resulted in a fumble that was returned to the Chiefs 5 yard line. Jeremy Hill ran it in and the 2 point conversion had the Bengals up 29-15 after three quarters. The Chiefs moved to the Bengals 11 where Smith threw 3 straight incompletions. Santos hit his sixth field goal from 29 to get the Chiefs within 29-18. Santos kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, and Hill would cap off a 60 yard drive with a one yard touchdown to make it 36-18 with 5 minutes left. Santos would kick a 51 yard field goal, his seventh on the day. The record in one game is eight. The onside kick failed, the Chiefs got it back at their own one, and never got to try an eight field goal as the Bengals remained unbeaten. 36-21 Bengals
Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers — Despite the loss last week, Josh McCown again got the start and fumbled the ball away in the first quarter. McCown stayed in and Mike Pettine decided to go for it on 4th and 2 at the San Diego 32. Despite an incompletion, defensive pass interference kept the drive going. Coons hit a 36 yarder and the Browns led 3-0. Philip Rivers came back and hit Keenan Allen for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Chargers. In the second quarter McCown would throw a 34 yard touchdown pass to Johnson for a 10-7 Browns lead.
Josh Lambo hit 46 and 45 yard field goals to make it 13-10 Chargers. Then Coons had his turn as he hit from 28 and then from 33 in the third quarter to make it 16-13 Browns. This time the Chargers came right back as Rivers found Danny Woodhead for a 61 yard gain and on the next play hit Green for a 19 yard touchdown and a 20-16 Chargers lead. With 10 minutes left in regulation Coons hit his fourth field goal as the Browns only trailed 20-19.
Within moments the Chargers had struck right back as Rivers hit Dontrell Inman on a short pass that went for a 68 yard gain down to the one. Rivers hit Phillips for the touchdown as the Chargers led 27-19 midway through the fourth quarter. McCown brought the Browns back and led a 10 play, 67 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. A deep pass to Barnidge was ruled incomplete but Mike Pettine challenged the call. Barnidge did make the juggling catch and get his knee down inbounds. Pettine won the challenge and McCown fired to Barnidge again for the touchdown. Mccowen through another laser to Taylor Gabriel for the 2 point conversion as the game was tied 27-27. The Chargers got it back at their own 27 with 2:03 to play.
Rivers led the Chargers down the field. With less than ten second left, rookie Lambo came in for a 39 yarder to win it. Lambo was no good, but there would be no overtime. Cleveland jumped offsides. Given another chance from 34, Lambo was good. These are the Browns. 30-27 Chargers
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers — The Packers dominated this series in the 1990s while the 49ers had the advantage in the 21st century. Yet now the 49ers are just a bad team. The Packers started out facing 3rd and 11 at their own 19 when Aaron Rodgers was sacked. Yet illegal contact on the defense kept the drive going and Rodgers eventually hit his non-relative Richard
Rodgers for a 9 yard touchdown. The 12 play, 80 yard, 6 minute drive made it 7-0 Packers.
The game settled into a defensive slugfest as Phil Dawson hit a 33 yard field goal in the second quarter to have the 49ers only down 7-3 at halftime. In the third quarter John Kuhn got in from one yard out as the Packers led 14-3. Green Bay got it back and Mason Crosby hit a 31 yard field goal to complete the scoring. 17-3 Packers
Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos — Brad McManus hit a 33 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Broncos early on. In the second quarter Blair Walsh missed a 38 yard field goal. One play later. Ronnie Hillman broke free for a 72 yard touchdown run. Rather than 3-3, it was 10-0 Broncos. When McManus tacked on a 47 yard field goal to make it 13-0, it looked like the rout was on.
With 1:43 left in the half Walsh hit from 38 to get the Vikings within 13-3. With 30 seconds left in the half the Broncos were driving at the Minnesota 45. Manning was intercepted by Caldwell, who returned it 32 yards to the Denver 27. Teddy Bridgewater hit Wallace for a 4 yard touchdown just before the half ended as the Vikings were only down 13-10.
In the third quarter Manning led an 80 yard drive and hit Owen Daniels for a one yard touchdown to make it 20-10 Broncos. Again the game looked over and again it was not. The Vikings were pinned at their own 3 yard line but they still had Adrian Peterson. With 10 minutes left in regulation, Mike Zimmer decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from the Denver 48. Peterson raced for the touchdown to get the Vikings within 20-17. Minnesota got it back with an interception of Manning at their own 47. On 4th and 2 from the Denver 15, Mike Zimmer was taking no chances. Walsh hit from 33 as the game was tied 20-20 with 5 minutes left.
Gary Kubiak has installed a new offense that is mean to emphasize the run. Yet with the game on the line, this team still relies on Peyton Manning. The field general led the Broncos down the field and McManus hit a 39 yard field goal with 1:51 to play for the lead. After a touchback, Bridgewater led the Vikings to their 47 with 35 seconds left. Bridgewater was then sacked and fumbled as the Broncos recovered. Denver has been winning ugly, but they are 4-0 and in command of the AFC West. 23-20 Broncos
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals — The Cardinals fumbled the opening kickoff, setting up the Rams at the Arizona 17. On 3rd and 5, Nick Foles found Tavon Austin for the 12 yard touchdown and the 7-0 Rams lead. Catanzaro hit a 21 yard field goal and then in the second quarter connected from 51 to get the Cardinals within 7-6. Greg Zuerlein connected from 30 for the Rams and Catanzaro answered from 42 as the Cardinals trailed 10-9 at intermission.
In the third quarter the Cardinals faced 3rd and 2 at their own 38. Carson Palmer found Larry Fitzgerald for a 22 yard gain, but Fitzgerald fumbled and the Rams recovered at their own 42. Todd Gurley ripped off gains of 23, 12 and 5 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Arizona 18, Nick Foles found Bailey in the end zone for a touchdown and a 17-9 Rams lead. The Cardinals came back and Catanzaro hit his fourth field goal from 38 yards out and his fifth field goal with 12 minutes left in regulation as Arizona trailed 17-15.
The Rams came back and Todd Gurley ran for a 52 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Arizona 12, Foles found Austin for the touchdown as the Rams led 24-15 with 8 1/2 minutes to play. After a touchback Palmer quickly moved the Cardinals 80 yards as a 23 yard touchdown pass to Johnson had Arizona within 24-22 with exactly 4:44 to play.
The Cardinals got it back at their own 37 and at the 2 minute warning had 2nd and 2 at the Rams 43. Palmer threw incomplete three straight times as the Rams got it back with 1:50 left. The Cardinals had all of their timeouts, and took their last one with 1:17 to play and the Rams facing 3rd and 12 from the Arizona 38. Gurley is only a rookie, but he made a big veteran play. He broke through, got the first down, and was on his way to the end zone. Instead of scoring, he unselfishly laid down at the eight yard line. A touchdown with a missed extra point could have given the Cardinals a chance to tie it. By not scoring, the Rams took a knee and ran out the clock to knock the Cardinals from the ranks of the unbeaten. 24-22 Rams
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints was the Sunday night game. Dan Bailey hit a 30 yard field goal to get the Cowboys on the board first. Drew Brees then led an 11 play, 80 yard, 6 minute drive capped off by a 3 yard touchdown pass to Hill for a 7-3 Saints lead. In the second quarter Brandon Weeden led a 10 play, 80 yard, 5 minutes drive that was finished with Randle getting in from one yard out to make it 10-7 Cowboys at halftime. At first it looked like Randle fumbled at the goal line for a turnover but on review it showed that Randle just barely broke the plane of the goal before the ball got knocked out. A 20 yard punt return had the Saints starting their first drive of the third quarter at the Dallas 38. They gained 5 yards and settled for a 51 yard Zack Hocker field goal and a 10-10 tie.
After a touchback, Weeded through incomplete on 3rd and 10. However, defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. Weeded then went deep to Brice Butler for a 67 yard gain down to the Saints 9. On 3rd and goal Weeded was sacked as the Cowboys settled for a 38 yard Bailey field goal and a 13-10 lead. After a touchback Brees led the Saints to a 3rd and 1 at the Dallas 39. Mark Ingram got the first down but fumbled the ball away. on further review the call was reversed and the drive continued. Hocker hit a 29 yard field goal to tie the game 13-13 with 90 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Saints got it back at their own 33 early in the fourth quarter and moved to a 4th and 1 at the Dallas 45. Sean Payton decided to go for it and Brees hit Robinson for 9 yards. From the Dallas 24, Mark Ingram ran for 15 and then 9 more inches short of the goal line. Kyree Robinson got in to make it 20-13 Saints midway through the fourth quarter.
After an exchange of punts, the Cowboys were pinned back at their own 9 yard line with 4 minutes left. Weeded calmly found Terrence Williams for 24 yards, Jason Witten for 28 more, and Cole Beasley for another 19 down to the Saints 20. At the 2 minute warning, the Cowboys faced 3rd and 7 at the Saints 17. An incompletion set up the fourth down last chance. Before Jerry Jones could get Tony Romo out of his wheelchair and into the game, Weeden lobbed a pass to the end zone and Williams made a diving catch. Payton then tried a new kick of trying to ice the kicker on the extra point. Even with the new 33 yard extra point, this did not work. The game was tied 20-20 as 91 yards came against the forever beleaguered defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
The Saints were out of timeouts and got the ball back after a touchback with 1:51 left. On 3rd and inches, Ingram was caught in the backfield but broke a tackle and gained 7 yards. Trees then found Snead for a 17 yard gain and went deep to Coleman for a 30 yard gain to the Dallas 17 with 30 seconds left. With 16 seconds left, Hocker came in for the 30 yard field goal to win it. Hocker doinked it off the upright no good as the stunned Superdome crowd braced themselves for overtime. The Saints won the overtime coin toss and got the ball after a touchback. On the second play from scrimmage, Brees went deep to CJ Spiller, who broke one tackle and raced for an 80 yard touchdown. Only 13 seconds into overtime, Brees’s 400th career touchdown pass got the Saints their first win of the year. 26-20 Saints, OT
Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks was the Monday night game. The demonstrative Pete Carroll saw his team get a win last week while the stoic Jim Caldwell’s Lions keep struggling. This game was a defensive slog. After a scoreless first quarter, Russell Wilson threw a 24 yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin for a 7-0 Seahawks lead. Matt Prater hit a 41 yard field goal for the Lions and Steve Hauschka answered with a 51 yarder to make it 10-3 Seahawks with one minute left in the half.
Hauschka hit from 52 in the third quarter for a 13-3 Seahawks lead. The Lions got a break when Tyler Lockett fumbled a punt and the Detroit recovered at the Seattle 46. They got another one when a sack of Wilson gave Detroit the ball at their own 44. It didn’t matter. Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and the rest of the Legion of Boom clamped down.
The Lions could not move on offense but the defense got them back in the game. A third Seattle turnover in the half proved lethal when Wilson got belted. The resulting fumble was returned 27 yards for a touchdown as the Lions were only down 13-10n with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Seattle went 3 and out but a booming punt pinned Detroit at their own 9 yard line with 6 1/2 minutes left.
Matthew Stafford had been stopped all game, but this time on 3rd and 6 from the Detroit 13, he found Golden Tate for 22 yards. The Lions moved all the way to a 3rd and 1 at the Seattle 11 with 1:51 to play. In easy field goal range to tie it, Detroit went for the win. Stafford found Megatron Calvin Johnson, who got the first down and was on his way in for the touchdown. Near the goal line, Johnson got hit by Earl Thomas. As Johnson lunged for the end zone, Kam Chancellor punched the ball out. The resulting fumble went through the back of the end zone. The Lions thought they had a touchdown, but it was a touchback. The Seattle defense had done it again.
The Lions used their timeouts on defense as everything came down to Seattle facing 3rd and 2 at their own 28. A run would have taken the clock down to well under one minute, but the Seahawks Darrel Bevell made the same type of high risk call that blew up in the Super Bowl. Wilson rolled to his right and found a wide open Jermaine Kearse for a 50 yard gain. Seattle then ran out the clock to get to 2-2 and keep Detroit winless. 13-10 Seahawks
Why President Obama keeps crushing the GOP
NFL 2015 Week 4 Prequel
The Pontiff’s Yom Kippur Football and other stuff Part Deux
NFL 2015 Week 3 Recap
Washington Redskins at New York Giants was the Thursday night game. Pope Francis quickly fled DC for NYC after firing a Papal assistant for erroneously telling the Pontiff that the game was in Washington. The Pope landed in JFK & is was transported to the Meadowlands in time for kickoff.
Football Encyclical: When you block a punt, you have a moral obligation to deck the punter. Rashad Jennings got threw with the block for a safety and an early 2-0 Giants lead. Father Tom Coughlin was so pleased that he almost smiled.
Football Encyclical: Avoid traffic around the Pope. Do not throw into traffic near a Prince. Kirk Cousins threw it right to Prince Amukamura for a red zone interception. Taking over at the Washington 14, Williams got in from one yard out to make it 9-0 Giants. The Giants got the ball back and moved to the red zone but incompletions by Eli Manning hand the Giants settling for a 34 yard Josh Brown field goal and a 12-0 lead.
In the second quarter the Redskins finally got on the board with a 44 yard field goal to trail 12-3. The Giants moved the ball with ease back into the red zone. However, a perfectly thrown pass on 3rd and 7 to a wide open receiver in the middle of the field was dropped inside the Washington 10. The Giants settled for another field goal to lead 15-3. With 2 minutes left in the half the Redskins again reached the red zone. Facing an unimpeded blitz, Cousins under threw a wide open receiver. The Redskins again settled for a 37 yard Dustin Hopkins field goal to trail 15-6.
The Giants got the ball to start the third quarter and held it for 7 1/2 minutes. After converting a 4th and 1, a 3rd down pass was dropped. Josh Brown hit his third field goal from 48. The Giants led 18-6 but still had not put the game away.
A promising Redskins drive ended when a ball was batted and hung in the air forever, allowing for an interception. The Giants soon faced 3rd and 9 from midfield. Manning threw incomplete, but illegal contact on the defense kept the drive going. For the third straight week, the Giants took a double digit lead into the fourth quarter. This time they needed to finish a game. This time early in the fourth quarter they went for the kill shot and got it as Manning went deep to Odell Beckham Jr. for a 30 yard touchdown and a 25-6 Giants lead.
The Redskins moved to a critical 4th and 1 at the Giants 7 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Jones got the carry and went around the end for what seemed like a sure touchdown. At the very least, he had the first down. Yet Jones got hit and fumbled the ball. The Redskins thought they had a touchdown, but instead it was a touchback.
The Redskins got it back at their own 26, their best starting field position of the night. Cousins was quickly dropped for an 11 yard loss. Not only was it the first sack of the game, but the first sack for the Giants all season. Twice the Redskins faced fourth and long from their own side of the field and twice they just barely converted. After having a fumble overturned and ruled an incomplete pass, the Redskins finally cracked the end zone with 3:40 to play. The 2 point conversion succeeded as the Redskins were within 25-14. Adding fuel to the fire was that the receiver may have been down short of the goal but the refs did not review the score.
The onside kick bounced off a Giants player but somehow ended up straight in the arms of another member of Big Blue. The Giants soon faced 3rd and 10 from the Washington 41 with 3 1/2 minutes left and the Redskins out of timeouts. Rather than play it safe and kill more clock, Tom Coughlin decided to go for it all. Manning went deep to Reuben Randle, who outleaped a defender, juggled the ball, and hauled it in for the clinching touchdown.
Nevertheless, the 2015 Giants do not seem to make anything easy. The ensuing kickoff was returned 100 yards for a Redskins touchdown. With 3:08 left the Redskins were again within 11. Another well done onside kick again saw the Redskins not get to it in time as it went out of bounds. Again on 3rd and long at the 2 minute warning the Giants threw the ball rather than take 45 seconds off the clock. Manning threw incomplete.
In the game that would never end, Cousins threw incomplete on 4th and 4 from the Washington 26. yet defensive pass interference kept Washington alive with 49 seconds left. 49 was also the number of passes Cousins had thrown with 4 seconds left. From the Giants 40, rather than try another Hail Mary, Jay Gruden called a running play that gained 25 yards. The Redskins went out with a whimper as both teams are 1-2 in the very winnable NFC Least. 32-21 Giants
Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys — The Cowboys struck only one minute into the game as Randle broke free for a 37 yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Cowboys lead. With Tony Romo and Dez Bryant out injured, Brandon Weeden got the job done early by handing the ball off to Randle. He got in from one yard out as Dallas built a quick 14-0 lead. Matt Ryan came back and led the Falcons 80 yards, as a 3 yard touchdown run by Freeman got the Falcons within 14-7.
In the second quarter Darren McFadden ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Cowboys. The Cowboys got it back but Weeden was quickly intercepted, setting up the Falcons at the Dallas 23. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Freeman got in to get the Falcons within 21-14. The Cowboys came right back with 80 yards of their own and again it was Randle getting the last yard to make it 28-14 Cowboys just before the half.
Yet after a touchback the Falcons still had 40 seconds to work with. Matty Ice led the Falcons to 2nd and 1 at the Dallas 14 with 11 seconds left. Ryan threw incomplete, and with 5 seconds left on third down, Dan Quinn opted for the field goal. Matt Bryant hit the 32 yarder as the Falcons trailed 28-17 at the break.
In the third quarter Ryan went to Julio Jones for a 45 yard touchdown as the successful 2 point conversion capped the 87 yard drive and got the Falcons within 28-25. In the fourth quarter the Falcons moved 89 yards in 11 plays in 7 minutes. Freeman got in from the 7 as 18 straight unanswered points had the Falcons up 32-28.
Atlanta got it back at their own 38 and Ryan moved them 62 yards in 11 plays in 6 minutes. A 2 yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Jones on 3rd and goal meant 25 unanswered Atlanta points and an 11 point Falcons lead with only 3 minutes left to play. The Falcons at 3-0 are still a question mark but the Cowboys losing their first game know that without their playmakers they are in deep trouble. 39-28 Falcons
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans — With the 0-2 colts drowning in controversy, a loss could lead to the team imploding. Frank Gore got in from the one to make it 7-0 Colts. In the second quarter Marcus Mariota was intercepted by Lowery, who returned the pick 69 yards the other way for a 14-0 Colts lead.
Mariota is only in his third NFL game, and he remains very poised. After his mistake he settled down, leading the Titans to a 38 yard Ryan Succop field goal to get on the board. Mariota then led a 13 play, 83 yard, 6 minute drive that ended with a 7 yard touchdown pass to Wright as the Titans only trailed 14-10 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Titans got the ball after a punt at their own 34 and Mariota moved the Titans easily. Andrews ran around the end for an 8 yard touchdown as the Titans led 17-14. After a touchback, Luck’s struggles continued as he was quickly intercepted. Patrick Cox returned the pick 27 yards to the Indy 3. One play later Mariota hit Green-Beckham for the 24-14 Titans lead.
Midway through the third quarter Luck was intercepted again by Zac Brown, who returned it 45 yards to the Indy 13. On 4th and 1 from the 4, Ken Whisenhunt decided to go for it, and Fowler gained 3 down to the one. Yet after an incompletion, 2 runs each lost a yard. Succop hit the 21 yarder as the Titans led 27-14 but did not close the door.
With 13 minutes left in regulation the Titans were on the move again, facing 3rd and 9 at the Indy 34. Mariota then made a rookie mistake. He took a sack, moving the Titans out of field goal range. A great punt punned the Colts back to their own 2 yard line.
Luck methodically moved the Colts, but midway through the third quarter, a sack of Luck meant 3rd and 20 at the Titans 35. Luck went deep to Dorsett for a touchdown as the Colts snapped 27 unanswered points to get within 27-21. Two plays later Mariota was quickly intercepted and Lowery returned in 26 yards to the Titans 11. One play later Luck hit Donte Moncrief for the touchdown as the Colts led 28-27 with 6 minutes left in regulation.
Tennessee went 3 and out and the Colts took over at their own 31. From midfield, Gore broke off a 25 yard run with 10 more tacked on for a penalty. On 3rd and 1 from the 6 with 3 minutes left, Gore got in to put the Titans up 35–27.
Now it was the Titans trying to deal with 21 unanswered points in this game of wild swings. Aided by a critical roughing the passer penalty and other defensive penalties, Fowler ran it in from one yard out to get the Titans within 2 points. The tying 2 point conversion try saw Mariota throw incomplete, but yet another defensive penalty gave the Titans another shot. From the one, Fowler got the carry. This time he got nothing as the Colts saved their season from the brink with a tough comeback win. 35-33 Colts
Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns — The Browns surprised the NFL by sending Johnny Manziel back to the bench in favor of Josh McCown, who passed the concussion tests. Meanwhile, Derek Carr came out throwing. Despite having no success running on the opening drive, Carr passed the Raiders to a first and goal. Unfortunately a couple runs were followed by an incomplete pass as the Raiders settled for a 23 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal.
The Raiders have no running game, as Latavius Murray’s first 7 carries went for a total of one yard. Meanwhile, a 3rd and 3 pass by Carr was just dropped. In the second quarter Jack Del Rio went to the bag of tricks after a touchback. Yet rather than a long gain, offensive pass interference followed by a false start backed the inept Raiders back to their own 5 yard line.
Luckily for the Raiders, the Browns were equally inept. A running into the kicker penalty had the Raiders at midfield. Despite penalties galore on both sides, Carr found Amari Cooper in the seam for a 40 yard gain down to the Cleveland 15. On 3rd and 3 from the 8, this time a run up the middle got the first down. Carr fired to Andre Holmes for a 3 yard touchdown and a 10-0 Raiders lead with 6:45 left in the half. The 11 play, 80 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive gave the Oakland defense some needed rest.
With the Browns facing 3rd and 14 at their own 16, McCown found Barnidge for a 40 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 44, McCown again fired complete to Barnidge for a 15 yard gain. After a run lost 6 yards, McCown fired complete again for another first down at the Oakland 18. Another run had the Raiders in full retreat and the ball at the one. Jack Del Rio could have challenged that the runner fumbled the ball for a touchback but decided not to at the 2 minute warning.
On 3rd and goal from the one the Browns ran into a Silver and Black brick wall. On 4th and goal Mike Pettine decided to go for it. Macon fumbled the snap out of the shotgun but a false start negated the play anyway and moved the Browns back to the 6. The Raiders had again dodged a bullet in holding the Browns to a 24 yard field goal.
The defense bent but did not break. now it was up to the offense to get to the half without giving away points. These are not the same Raiders. From the Oakland 30, Murray ripped off a 20 yard run to midfield. Carr found last week’s hero Seth Roberts for a 36 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the 13, Carr threw a fade to the corner of the end zone and Roberts came down with it. With only 18 seconds left in the half, the Raiders had a 17-3 lead.
In the third quarter the Browns went 3 and out as this time the Raiders did not give up a 3rd and long conversion on defense. Yet standout rookie receiver Cooper had a mental meltdown on special teams. After fumbling the punt at the 15, Cooper tried to make something happen. He ended up losing 7 yards back to the Oakland 8.
From the 13, Murray broke off a 54 yard run to the Cleveland 33. Give Jack Del Rio credit for sticking with the run despite miserable early results. On 3rd and 1 from the 24, Murray gained 4. The Raiders settled for a 35 yard Seabass field goal, but they led 20-3 with 9 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Now this young team had to see if it could finish a game.
Cleveland kept drinking and dunking but the Raiders defense could not get off the field. On 3rd and 2 from their own 28, McCown found Brad Hardline for 10 yards. Jack Del Rio challenged the catch and lost. On 3rd and 2 from the Cleveland 46, McCown threw incomplete. Yet Pettine decided to go for it on 4th and 2 and hit Barnidge for 6. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 46, McCown found Barnidge for 9. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 28, McCown rolled out and found Barnidge again, this time for the touchdown. With 4 minutes left in the third quarter the Raiders only led 20-10. The defense did not close the door. Now it was up to the offense to not go into a shell.
On 2nd and 7 from the Oakland 23, a short pass to Marcel Reece turned into a 55 yard gain when Reece bounced off two tacklers and churned forward. he stumbled and lost balance, preventing a touchdown on the play. On 3rd and 1 from the 13, Murray gained 5. The Raiders began the fourth quarter with 1st and goal at the 8. Murray ran it in from 6 yards out to make it 27-10 Raiders.
The Browns soon faced 3rd and 17 at their own 13 but again McCown came up big with a 41 yard completion to Hardline. After a pair of incompletions the Browns faced 3rd and 10 at the Oakland 19. This time Khalil Mack forced a fumble. Needing 3 scores, Pettine opted for the field goal on 4th and 14 as Coons hit from 41 to get the Browns within 27-13 with 11 minutes left in regulation.
Carr came out throwing after a touchback, hitting Cooper for a 17 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 11 from the Oakland 36, a short completion to Cooper resulted in a fumble. With 9 minutes left the Browns had the ball on the Oakland 44. Again, the Raiders had not closed out a game.
The Raiders wilted on defense and McCown found Benjamin for a 4 yard touchdown. A 17 point lead for the Silver and Black was now only 7 points. They were in full meltdown mode. On offense, the Raiders quickly killed their own drive with an offensive holding penalty. On 4th and 7 from their own 23, they had to punt with 4 minutes left. Now the Browns had a chance to tie the game. Maybe these were the same old Raiders who have not been to the playoffs since 2002.
The only thing saving the Raiders was that the Browns are the same old Browns who also have not been to the playoffs since 2002. The Browns fumbled the punt and the Raiders recovered at the Cleveland 43. One first down meant field goal range and a chance to finally put the game away. Then came two very curious decisions, one of them maddeningly awful.
On 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 38 with 2 1/2 minutes to play, another run would have either taken the clock to the 2 minute warning or forced Cleveland to burn another timeout. Instead Del Rio called a pass play. It is one thing to trust your quarterback who clearly deserves it. It is another to just make the wrong call. Carr threw incomplete.
On 4th and 5, Seabass was brought in for a 56 yard field goal. Yes this was high risk, but Seabass has been doing this for 15 years. Then Del Rio changed his mind. One play after getting overly aggressive, this time he decided to play it safe and punt. One play after going for the win, he decided to play not to lose. Del Rio appeared bailed out when Marquette King nailed a perfect punt that was downed at the Cleveland one yard line. Petting challenged that it was a touchback and lost. With 2:26 to play, the Browns were 99 yards away. Yet with 2 timeouts and the 2 minute warning, that was plenty of time for McCown against the collapsing Oakland defense.
At the 2 minute warning the Browns had 3rd and 5 at their own 17. mcCown found Hardline for 19 yards. Macon continued picking the Raiders apart as the Browns faced 2nd and 8 from the Oakland 29 with 49 seconds left. This time McCown was sacked for a 6 yard loss as the Browns took their last timeout. Macon had killed the Raiders on 3rd down, and again he went deep for what could have been the tying score.
Not this time. Old Man Charles Woodson has been doing this for 18 years. He intercepted the ball at the 12 and did a spectacular job of getting his feet down inbounds. It took far longer than necessary, but the Raiders snapped their streak of 11 straight road losses. They are now 2-1.
McCown finished 28 of 49 for 341 yards while Carr was 20 of 32 for 314 yards. both quarterbacks had 2 touchdown passes but the difference was Carr was not intercepted while McCown had his one interception when it mattered most. Latavius Murray shook off a horrendous start to finish with 139 yards on 26 carries. Amari Cooper had 8 catches for 134 yards.
The Raiders have to improve in terms of penalties. They were flagged 12 times for 85 yards. It was an ugly win, but the Raiders have not been anything for quite some time. If ever there was a day to summon up the ghost of Al Davis, this was it. Just win baby. 27-20 Raiders
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens — Red Rifle Andy Dalton quickly led Cincinnati on a 10 play, 67 yard, 5 1 /2 minute drive. Dalton got the final 7 yards himself for the 7-0 Bengals lead. In the second quarter Joe Flacco was intercepted by Adam Pacman Jones, setting up the Bengals at the Baltimore 30. Dalton threw a 16 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Bengals.
In the third quarter the Ravens got to within 14-7 when Joe Flacco hit Steve Smith for a 50 yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter Flacco led a 12 play, 62 yard, 6 minute drive. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 2, Flacco threw incomplete. Only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, John Harbaugh decided against going for the tie game. Justin Tucker hit the 21 yarder as the Ravens trailed 14-10.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bengals faced 3rd and 6 at their own 44. Dalton was sacked and fumbled, and Moseley picked it up and raced 41 yards for a Ravens touchdown. Just like that, the Ravens had the 17-14 lead.
Give Dalton the character award. One play after a touchback, Dalton shrugged off his mistake and fired to AJ Green for an 80 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Bengals were back on top 21-17.
Flake has character himself, and he quickly moved the Ravens 79 yards. A 16 yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith had the Ravens up 24-21 with 4 minutes left. Now it was up to the defense.
This is not the Ravens defense Americans have been accustomed to. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are retired. Terrell Suggs is out for the year injured. Dalton hit Bernard for 23, Sanu for 19 and Green for the 7 yard touchdown as the Bengals retook the lead again by 4 with 2:10 to play.
The Ravens after a pair of Flacco incompletions soon faced 4th and 3 at their own 27. Flake hit Smith for 4, but an offensive face mask penalty instead meant 4th and 17. After an incompletion, the Bengals took over at the Baltimore 13 with 1:35 left. With 6 seconds left and the Bengals facing 4th and 5 at the 8, Marvin Lewis decided not to risk a field goal block. A play that did not use the full 6 seconds would still give the Ravens an improbable try at a win. Bernard got the carry and used up exactly 6 seconds as well as getting the 5 yards. The Bengals really are 3-0 and the Ravens really are 0-3 and in deep trouble. 28-24 Bengals
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots — The biggest paper mismatch of the day had Tom Brady throwing a 43 yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski for a 7-0 Patriots lead. The Patriots got it back and moved down the field again. This time they settled for a 46 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to lead 10-0.
In the second quarter the Jaguars tried to keep the Patriots offense off the field. A 17 play drive consumed almost 8 1/2 minutes but moved only 58 yards as the Jaguars settled for a 40 yard field goal to trail 10-3. The Patriots came back with 14 play, 78 yard, 6 minute drive that could not get past the Jacksonville 2. Gostkowski hit the 20 yarder to make it 13-3 Patriots.
At the 2 minute warning the Jaguars had 1st and 10 at the New England 45. Blake Bortles went deep and was intercepted by McCourty, who returned it 27 yards to the Patriots 43. Brady rapidly moved the Patriots down the field. With 22 seconds left from the one, Brady fired to Danny Amendola for Brady’s 400th career touchdown pass and a 20-3 Patriots lead.
In the third quarter Gostkowski hit from 46 to make it 23-3 Patriots. Things then got uglier. On 1st and 20 form their own 23, Brady went deep and drew a 52 yard defensive pass interference penalty. On the next play Brady went deep and had an interception returned 82 yards. Yet that was waived off by another defensive pass interference call that instead put the ball on the Jacksonville one. LaGuerrette Blount ran it in to make it 30-3 Patriots.
Bortles finally threw a 59 yard touchdown pass but this game was over as Brady found Martin for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 37-10 Patriots. Late in the third quarter facing 4th and 8 from their own 22, Gus Bradley decided to try a fake punt that gained only 2 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter Blount got in from one yard out to make it 44-10 Patriots.
Blount repeated his one yard score later on as Brady led a mind-numbing 17 play drive that consumed nearly 10 minutes off the clock while only moving 58 yards. That was enough to make it 51-10. Jacksonville got a garbage touchdown, but the 3-0 Patriots are determined to be the only Super Bowl champion to still be out for revenge. Brady finished 33 of 42 for 358 yards and 2 touchdowns without an interception. 51-17 Patriots
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers — The 0-2 Saints seemed finished with the news that Drew Brees was injured at least for this week and maybe longer. Yet it was backup Luke McCown who led the saints to a 30 yard Zack Hocker field goal and a 3-0 Saints lead. The Panthers moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Saints 37 when Cam Newton threw incomplete twice. Riverboat Ron Rivera decided not to gamble on the 55 yard field goal, punting instead.
The Saints took over at their own 6, but it was McCown who led the Saints on a staggering 16 play, 94 yard drive that consumed over 9 minutes off the clock. Mark Ingram got in from 5 yards out to make it 10-0 Saints. The Panthers got to within 10-7 when Newton hit Cam Olsen from 11 yards out.
With 2:06 left in the half the Panthers took over at their own 19. Newton quickly went deep to Olsen for a 52 yard gain. on 4th and 1 from the 20, Newton got the yard. Yet with 14 seconds left in the half on 1st and goal from the 2, Newton threw incomplete twice. With 4 seconds left, Rivera took no chances on 3rd down. Gano hit the 20 yard field goal to tie the game 10-10.
In the third quarter the Saints reclaimed the 16-10 lead when Murphy returned a punt 74 yards for a score. The extra point try failed. The Panthers retook the lead after moving 83 yards and having Newton again hit Olsen for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 17-16 Panthers. Gano tacked on a 47 yard field goal to make it 20-16 Panthers.
In the fourth quarter Newton moved Carolina 88 yards and ran for final 13 yards himself to give the Panthers some breathing room up 27-16. McCown brought the Panthers back, and Robinson got in from 2 yards out. The 2 point try failed but the Saints were within 5 with a full 5 minutes left in regulation.
Carolina went 3 and out and the Saints got it back at their 29 with 3:50 to play. McCown moved them down the field. With 1:17 to play the Saints faced 3rd and 6 at the Carolina 23. McCown went for it all and was intercepted in the end zone.
Carolina survived to become a very shaky 3-0 while the Saints showed a ton of heart but fell to 0-3. McCown played very well, going 31 of 38 for 310 yards. He did not have a touchdown pass and threw his one interception at the end. Newton also played well, going 20 of 31 for 315 yards and 2 touchdown passes as well as one touchdown run. Newton was not intercepted. This may be the official end of the Saints mini-dynasty. 27-22 Panthers
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets — The suddenly inept Philly offense needed a Papal miracle against the suddenly revitalized Gang Green Jets defense. DeMarco Murray was out, yet it was Parkey with a 30 yard field goal who got the Eagles on the board first.
In the second quarter Darren Sproles returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0 Eagles. Then Sam Bradford capped a 75 yard drive with a 23 yard touchdown pass to Ryan Mathews to make it 17-0. A Jets fumble had the Eagles at the Jets 36. On 3rd and goal from the one Sproles got in to make it 24-0 Eagles.
The Jets got it back at their own 21 with 2:06 left in the half. Ryan Fitzpatrick finally got the Jets offense moving. with 12 seconds left in the half from the Philly 16, Fitzpatrick hit Brandon Marshall for the touchdown as the Jets trailed 24-7 at intermission.
By the time the game was over, Ryan Fitzpatrick would have thrown 58 passes, completing 35 of them for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns, but also 3 costly interceptions. Sam Bradford was the epitome of a game manager, completing only 14 of 28 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. However, Bradford was not intercepted. The Philly offense went into a shell in the second half while the Jets could not overcome their first half disaster.
After a scoreless third quarter, Fitzpatrick capped off a 16 play, 81 yard drive that took 8 minutes off the clock. Fitzpatrick hit Kerley for a 7 yard touchdown but the Jets still trailed 24-14 with 9 1/2 minutes left.
The Eagles fumbled the ball away to give the Jets the ball at the Philly 41. Yet Fitzpatrick was intercepted as the Jets wasted the chance. The Jets got it back and moved to the Philly 37, but Fitzpatrick was intercepted yet again with 3 1/2 minutes left.
The Eagles again did nothing on offense and a short punt gave the Jets the ball just past midfield. With 2 1/2 minutes left Nick Folk drilled a 53 yard field goal to get the Jets within 7. With the Jets out of timeouts, the eagles tried to give the game away with successive offensive penalties. With 1:14 to play the Eagles faced 3rd and 16 at their own 46. A give up run up the middle should have meant a punt with 30 seconds left. Instead illegal use of hands on the defense meant the Jets were done.
Maybe the Pope saved Chip Kelly from being burned in effigy for one more week. Either way, the Eagles are not 0-3. Meanwhile, the Jets had a golden chance to go 3-0 and calm the doubters. The Jets are improved, but not at the next level just yet. 24-17 Eagles
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans — Ryan Mallett hit Hopkins for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Texans early. The Buccaneers got on the board in the second quarter when Brindza level a 58 yard field goal to get the Buccaneers within 7-3. An interception of Mallett had the Buccaneers at the Houston 26. After moving backward, James Winston hit Sims for a 32 yard touchdown to make it 9-7 Buccaneers with 4 minutes left in the half after a failed extra point.
In the third quarter Ryan Bullock hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 10-9 Buccaneers. An ugly game saw Brindza, who earlier drilled one from Mars, miss from up close. His 33 yard miss with 11 minutes left swung momentum. Houston moved 77 yards as Alfred Blue ran for a 20 yard touchdown. The extra point try failed but with 9 minutes left the Texans led 16-9.
The Buccaneers went 3 and out and the Texans got it back at their own 23 with 8 minutes left to play. On 3rd and 7, Mallett hit Nate Washington for 11. On 3rd and 10 just shy of midfield, Mallett threw incomplete but was bailed out by defensive pass interference. On 3rd and 1 from the Tampa 21, Prosch gained 16. At the 2 minute warning the Texans faced 3rd and goal at the 2. Prosch got one yard as the time ticked off. On 4th and goal at the one with 1:15 to play, Bullock hit the 19 yard field goal to lock up the win. 19-9 Texans
San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings — Early on this was an ugly game. Teddy Bridgewater was intercepted. Then Philip Rivers was sacked and fumbled, giving the Vikings the ball at the san Diego 13. Minnesota did nothing and settled for a 24 yard Blair Walsh field goal to lead 3-0. In the second quarter the Vikings moved 67 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Adrian Peterson got the final deuce on the ground to make it 10-0 Vikings.
In the third quarter a shanked 20 yard punt had the Vikings starting at the San Diego 43. One play from scrimmage was enough for Peterson to get all the way to the end zone for a 17-7 Vikings advantage. The Vikings got it back and had a back-breaking 16 play, 86 yard drive that took almost 7 1/2 minutes. Zack Line got in from the one to make it 24-7 Vikings.
Early in the fourth quarter the Chargers faced 3rd and 10 at the Minnesota 14. Rivers was intercepted by Greenway, who went 91 yards the other way for the icing on the cake as the Vikings led 31-7. San Diego would get a garbage touchdown to close out the scoring. Teddy Bridgewater was only 13 of 24 for 121 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. Yet he had Adrian Peterson running for 126 yards on 20 carries for 2 touchdowns. Peterson is rested and ticked off. 31-14 Vikings
Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams — The Steelers began with a 13 play, 77 yard drive that consumed over half the opening quarter. Yet despite 2nd and goal at the 2, the Steelers lost a yard and settled for a 21 yard Josh Scobee field goal. In the second quarter Big Ben Roethlisberger led a 12 play, 92 yard drive that took 6 minutes. LeVeon Bell got the last yard as the Steelers led 9-0 after the failed 2 point try. Greg Zuerlein hit a 49 yard field goal as the Rams trailed 9-3 at halftime.
Roethlisberger finished 20 of 24 for 192 yards while Foles was 19 of 28 for 197 yards. Neither quarterback had a touchdown pass and both signal callers were intercepted once. The second half was a defensive slog.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Rams moved into the red zone in the fourth quarter. Yet from the Pittsburgh 9, a couple of killer false start penalties kept the Rams from the end zone and the lead. Zuerlein hit from 27 as the Rams were within 9-6 with 5 1/2 minutes to play.
The Rams got it back at their 17 with 3 minutes left with a chance to win or tie things. Instead, Foles was quickly intercepted. The defense held the Steelers to a 41 yard Scobee field goal. The Rams got it back at their own 21 with 1:51 left, still with a shot to win it. On 4th and 5 from the Rams 39, Foles fired to Kenny Britt for a 7 yard gain with 1:15 left. Yet on further review, the call was reversed incomplete and the Rams again went down to a tough defeat. Meanwhile, the Steelers are winning with pure grit. The road will be even tougher since Roethlisberger injured his knee in the game and will be out 4-6 weeks. Michael Vick is the backup. 12-6 Steelers
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals — The Arizona Cardinals really are this good. The San Francisco 49ers really are this bad. In the first quarter Colin Kaepernick completed touchdown passes to Bethel and Mathieu, who both play for the Arizona defense. Bethel returned his 21 yards to the house and Mathieu went 33 yards to pay dirt for a 14-0 Cardinals lead after the first quarter.
The Cardinals also have an offense, and Carson Palmer is still healthy. A pair of 81 yard drives in the second quarter resulted in touchdown runs of 6 and 1 yard by Johnson as the Cardinals led 28-0.
With the Cardinals dominating on offense and defense, the 49ers got a ray of hope on special teams with a 37 yard punt return to the Arizona 19. Kaepernick ran it in from 12 yards out to get the 49ers on the board with just over 2 minutes left in the half. From the San Francisco 44, Palmer went deep and was intercepted with one minute left in the half. Yet Kaepernick threw his third interception as the Cardinals got it back at the San Francisco 25 with 30 seconds left.
That was enough for Catanzaro to hit a 22 yard field goal. Palmer was 14 for 24 for 201 yards and one interception. Kaepernick was 5 of 9 for 33 yards and three interceptions. Neither quarterback threw a touchdown pass, but the Cardinals led 31-7, and it was only halftime.
On the first play of the third quarter, Kaepernick threw his fourth interception. Palmer threw a 4 yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald to make it 38-7 Cardinals. Even when the Cardinals punted, the 49ers were pinned at their own 1. Carlos Hyde was tackled for a safety. The Cardinals led 40-7. In the fourth quarter Palmer led a 13 play, 79 yard drive that consumed almost 8 minutes. Palmer hit Fitzgerald for an 8 yard touchdown as even Jim Tomsula begged the 49ers ownership to bring back Jim Harbaugh. 47-7 Cardinals
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins — After laying an egg at home against New England, Rex Ryan’s defense went on the road and smacked around a soft Miami team that paid Ndamokung Suh 100 million dollars to get tougher. Tyron Taylor easily moved the Bills on drives of 77 and 81 yards in the first quarter. Taylor hit Clay for a 25 yard touchdown and LsSean McCoy for a 10 yard score for a quick 14-0 Bills lead. In the second quarter Dan Carpenter tacked on a 26 yard field goal, the closest thing to Miami resistance.
With 1:53 left in the half and the Dolphins with 3rd and 10 at the Buffalo 47, Rex Ryan sent the house. It was a jailbreak, and Ray Lewis had to be smiling at home. Ryan Tannehill was intercepted by Brown, who raced 43 yards for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead. Less than one minute remained in the half, but that was enough time for Tannehill to be intercepted again. Carpenter hit a 51 yarder to end the half. Joe Philbin was allowed to finish coaching the game as the Bills dominated with a 27-0 lead.
Tannehill did throw a third quarter touchdown pass but Taylor responded on the first play of the fourth quarter. A 38 yard touchdown toss to Hogan capped an 80 yard drive and made it 34-8 Bills. After Miami got in the end zone again, Williams broke off a 41 yard touchdown run for Buffalo to complete the scoring. Taylor finished 21 of 29 for 277 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions as Buffalo got to 2-1 and sent Miami further downhill. 41-14 Bills
Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks — The Legion of Boom got a major lift with the return of Kam Chancellor from his holdout. Even at 0-2, the Seahawks were expected to easily dispatch an awful 0-2 Bears team that had Jimmy clausen in for the injured Jay Cutler. Yet the Seahawks struggled on offense for most of the entire first half.
The only thing preventing a scoreless tie in this hideous game was a 64 yard punt return by Richard Sherman to the Chicago 19 in the first quarter. Seattle only got a 31 yard Steve Hauschka field goal out of it for a 3-0 lead. Seattle finally mounted a drive during the 2 minute drill, reaching 1st and goal at the 3 with 13 seconds left. Russell Wilson kept his throws quick, but all 3 passes fell incomplete. Hauschka hit again from 21 as the Seahawks took a 6-0 lead into the locker rooms in this horribly played game.
A close game was broken open when Lockett returned the second half kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 Seahawks lead. Since defense and special teams did all the work, Seattle even mustered some offense in the third quarter as a 30 yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Jimmy Graham made it 20-0 Seahawks. The Seahawks closed the scoring the way they opened it, with Steve Hauschka tacking on two more field goals. The Bears are 0-3 but looks even worse, while Seattle won the way championship teams are expected to win against bad teams. 26-0 Seahawks
Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions was the Sunday night game. Both of these teams are far different than they were last year. The Broncos went from all Peyton Manning to a run oriented offense and a much more physical defense. Detroit has simply gotten worse. After a scoreless first quarter, Manning led a 12 play, 80 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive. Hillman got in from one yard out to make it 7-0 Broncos. The Lions came back with an 80 yard drive of their own, and Jahvid Bell got in from the one. Yet former Broncos kicker Matt Prater now kicks for the Lions, and his extra point was blocked as Detroit trailed 7-6.
Denver went 80 yards late in the half as Manning threw a 45 yard touchdown to Denarius Thomas to make it 14-6 Broncos at halftime. In the third quarter a Denver fumble set up the Lions at the Denver 29. Matthew Stafford hit Abdullah for a 16 yard touchdown. the 2 point conversion try failed as the Lions still trailed 14-12.
With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation the Lions had the ball at the Denver 44. Matthew Stafford was sacked and fumbled, giving Denver the ball just past midfield. Brad McManus missed a 53 yard field goal try, but an illegal formation penalty on the defense gave McManus another try from 48. He was good, as the Broncos led by 5 midway through the fourth quarter.
After a touchback, the Lions moved to a critical 3rd and 12 at the Denver 48 with 3:44 to play. Stafford threw a high ball and Bruton made a leaping interception. From just past midfield, Manning went deep and it looked like he was also intercepted. Somehow Emanuel Sanders ripped the ball out of the defender’s hands for a 34 yard gain down to the 15. On 3rd and 6 Manning fired to the end zone and Owen Daniels caught the touchdown pass to put the game away with 2 1/2 minutes left. The Broncos are 3-0 and winning the hard way while the Lions just cannot seem to win at all. 24-12 Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers was the Monday night game. Aaron Rodgers is a man on a mission, and he and the Packers dominated this game from the start. A pair of long drives and Rodgers hitting Montgomery for an 8 yard touchdown and Randall Cobb for a 3 yard touchdown as the Packers led 14-0 after the first quarter.
Jamal Charles did score a 9 yard touchdown in the second quarter to get the Chiefs within 14-7, but after that the Packers onslaught continued. Mason crosby hit a 44 yard field goal and Rodgers hit James Jones for a 27 yard touchdown to have the Packers cruising 24-7 at halftime.
Midway through the third quarter an interception of Alex Smith had the Packers starting at the Chiefs 4. One play later, Rodgers hit Cobb for the 31-7 Packers lead. After the Chiefs scored another touchdown, Rodgers refused to be slowed down by a sometimes driving rain. A 52 yard completion to jones led to another 4 yard touchdown to Cobb early in the fourth quarter to make it 38-14 Packers. The Chiefs would get a couple of garbage touchdowns but the outcome was never in doubt.
Aaron Rodgers threw five touchdown passes without an interception. He has ten touchdown passes on the year without an interception. Alex Smith, Steve Bono and Elvis Grbac may be the same person. West Coast Offense game manager Smith waits until the fourth quarter to throw passes longer than four yards, except on third down and four when he throws two-yard passes. Walrus Lite Andy Reid either needs to trust his quarterback or settle for more dinking, dunking and death to the season.
The Pontiff’s Yom Kippur and other stuff Part I
NFL 2015 Week 3 Prequel
Yom Kippur 5776 Epilogue
After a very meaningful Yom Kippur, had honor of speaking to Delaware GOP Railsplitters. National politics can wait until tomorrow.
Although their political meeting begins at 5:30pm, my speech was delayed until about 7:30pm because of Yom Kippur. I had not eaten in over 24 hours so when I showed up, they already had dinner being made for me in the kitchen. I wolfed it down and spoke.
It means so much to me that a non-Jewish group accommodated my religious needs. Otherwise I would not have been able to speak.
It was also nice of the group to roll out the red carpet and shut down the streets for my post Yom Kippur arrival. I thank the people of Philly, Jersey and Delaware for cordoning off the streets in honor of my Yom Kippur visit. It was very humbling. I felt like I was treated like a Pope. I hope he receives as warm a welcome as I did.
Out of respect for the Pontiff, I hope he is feted just as nicely. Do not reopen the streets when I leave this area. Wait until after he comes and leaves as well. After fasting for 24 hours and atoning, I appreciate the City of Brotherly Love coming together and honoring my Catholic non-Jewish friend.
This concludes my Encyclical.