NFL 2014 Week 3 Recap
While the rest of the anti-football world focuses on unfortunate incidents where nobody died, this week the NFL mourns the untimely death of Titans kicker Rob Bironas. With his family in mind, football fans everywhere should hug their loved ones.
On a much lighter note, 6 year old Daniel Goldberg defeated his “Unca Eric” 33-27 in the first inaugural end of Summer football classic. Unca Eric trailed 3324 before kicking a field goal late. The onside kick failed and young Daniel got the win.
With that, here is the NFL 2014 Week 3 Recap.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons was the Thursday night game. Some games are thrillers. This was not that game as the Bucs channeled the ghosts of John McKay and the 1976 orange creamsicle Yuccaneers. The Falcons are a good team, especially at home. The Buccaneers will improve under Lovie Smith, but they have a long way to go. As for their performance on this night, to quote McKay, we should be in favor of their execution.
Ryan threw touchdown passes of 3 yards to Douglas and 8 yards to Julio Jones early on. Josh McCown was the intercepted by Ishmael, who returned it 23 yards for another score to make it 21-0 Falcons after the opening quarter. The second quarter was the Devon Hester show, as the greatest return man of all time added to his legacy. First Hester scored on a 20 yard run. Then he did what he does, as teams still think they can kick to him without paying the price. Hester’s 62 yard punt return for another touchdown had the Falcons up 35-0 at halftime and put Hester in the record books as the all time leader in return touchdowns. Hester hugged Deion Sanders, the man he surpassed.
In the third quarter Ryan threw a 40 yard touchdown to Jones to make it 42-0. The Buccaneers fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Falcons the ball at the Tampa 2. This is not the defense made famous by Tony Dungy with help from Lovie Smith. This was the Tampa Bay 2 yard line, and Stephen Jackson ran it in as the Falcons led 49-0. Matty Ice finished a ridiculous 21 of 24 for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. TJ Yates apparently is the backup quarterback for the Falcons, and even he got into the act. He threw a 40 yard pass to Eric Weems and Smith took an end around for a 38 yard touchdown to make it 56-0 Falcons after three quarters. The Buccaneers mounted a furious rally but fell six touchdowns short of the eight they needed. 56-14 Falcons
Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots — This was the game that was expected to challenge the 1940 record for one-sided mismatches as the Raiders had the ability to lose to New England by more than 73-0. Yet early in the game Oakland shocked the football world by picking up one first down before punting. Even more surprising was the Patriots going 3 and out. Then Derek Carr began leading the Dink and Dunk with Dennis Allen West Coast Offense on an actual drive. Dinking and dunking means death, and after 13 plays and 6 minutes, the Raiders had only moved 50 yards. Sebastian Janikowski did nail a 49 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Raiders.
The Raiders had to score points before the Patriots woke up and took an interest in the game. In the second quarter, with the Raiders dining and dunking to a 3rd and 10 at the New England 45, Dennis Allen had Carr throw a 3 yard pass so the Raiders could give their punter some more work. This is the Dennis Allen era, where throwing past the first down marker is illegal. At some point Tom Brady was expected to throw a 60 yard bomb, or the equivalent of 20 Carr passes under the Dennis Allen era. Brady would lead the Patriots on a 15 play, 84 yard, 7 minute drive as a 6 yard touchdown to Rob Gronkowski made it 7-3 Patriots. Brady converted four third downs as the Patriots after 26 minutes decided to finally play football. Oakland was expected to keep dinking, dunking and punting themselves to death.
The Raiders went 3 and out and a 22 yard punt had the Patriots starting at midfield with 2:45 left in the half. The Patriots had 1st and goal at the 3 but could not get in. On 3rd and goal at the 2 Brady fumbled but recovered it himself and threw incomplete. No Tuck Rule situation occurred this time, but the Patriots kept the ball anyway. Stephen Gostkowski hit the 21 yard field goal. While the Patriots only led 10-3 at halftime, they were to receive the ball to start the second half and end any semblance of a competitive game.
The third quarter saw the Patriots bog down early due to a penalty and a sack of Brady. After a punt the Raiders had a short field at the Patriots 48. That could be 16 plays of 3 yard West Coast Offense passes. On 3rd and 5 from the Patriots 19, Carr threw incomplete. Seabass hit the 37 yarder as the Raiders only trailed 10-6. The Patriots punted after Brady threw incomplete on 3rd and 4 from midfield. Carr moved the Raiders from their 14 to a 4th and 2 at the Patriots 29. Seabass leveled a 47 yarder as the Raiders only trailed 10-9 after three quarters.
Brady moved the Patriots again as New England began the fourth quarter facing 1st and goal at the 2. Again in a shocking turn of events the Raiders held on defense. Gostkowski hit the 20 yarder but the Patriots clung to a 13-9 lead. If the Raiders were capable of scoring one touchdown, they actually had a chance.
Instead the Raiders went 3 and out when 2 running plays failed to gain the one yard the Raiders needed. Meanwhile, the Patriots after a penalty faced 3rd and 15 from their own 29. Unlike Dennis Allen, Bill Bellichick allows his quarterback to throw past the marker. Brady found Gronkowski for a 22 yard gain. Again the Patriots reached the red zone and again failed to put the game away. Gostkowski hit from 36 to make it 16-9 Patriots with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation. One touchdown may be a lot to ask of a Dennis Allen offense, but there was not enough time for Seabass to kick 3 more field goals.
Derek Carr was ordered to keep dining and dunking as 3 more passes yielded a total of one yard and a punt. A sack of Brady forced a 3rd and 17, and this time Brady’s completion came up 2 yards short. The Raiders got it back at their own 38 with 3 1/2 minutes left as the Raider Nation prayed that for once in his life Dennis Allen would allow Carr to throw the ball past the first down marker. After McFadden gained 10, Carr was allowed to thrown an 18 yard completion to James Jones, which in Oakland now qualifies as a deep ball. The Raiders had 1st and 10 at the New England 33 at the 2 minute warning.
On 3rd and 7 Carr was allowed to go deep, resulting in a defensive pass interference penalty. With one minute left on 1st and goal from the 6, Darren McFadden ran for the tying touchdown. The score stood until the penalty flag for offensive holding nullified it. On the next play Carr through what seemed like his billionth routine dink and dunk pass. It bounced right off of the receiver’s chest and then off a defender’s arm. This dink and dunk double-doink pass was no immaculate reception, but it was intercepted by Vince Wilfork to send the Raiders to another loss. An angry Carr showed that he can be a leader once he gets the slights amount of help. Dennis Allen is expected to talk about how the Raiders are improving. Until he is fired, he will keep saying that. 16-9 Raiders
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals — Before the game it was announced that longtime Titans kicker Rob Bironas died in a single car crash that did not involve drugs or alcohol. Although Bironas was released before the 2014 season, he holds the NFL record for 8 field goals in one game, including the last one at the gun to win it. Now at 36 the son-in-law of Terry Bradshaw is in heaven with Steve McNair.
The game itself was one-sided at the start. Mike Nugent kicked a 29 yard field goal and Red Rifle Andy Dalton actually caught a pass from receiver Mohammed Sanu for an 18 yard gadget play touchdown to make it 10-0 Bengals. In the second quarter an offensive penalty in the end zone meant a safety against the Titans. Later on the Titans faced 3rd and 9 from their own 7. Jack Locker was intercepted at the 17. After defensive pass interference, Bernard got in from the one to make it 19-0 Bengals. In the third quarter Dalton led a 14 play, 80 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. A one yard touchdown run by Bernard made it 26-0 Bengals. Cincinnati cruised from there. 33-7 Bengals
San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills — Philip Rivers quickly moved the Chargers 75 yards as a 3 yard touchdown to Eddie Royal had the Chargers up 7-0 early. Rivers would lead a staggering 17 play, 89 yard drive that took 8 minutes off the clock. The Chargers got down to the one but had to settle for a 19 yard Nick Novak field goal and a 10-0 lead. A 45 yard Dan Carpenter field goal with 3 minutes left in the half got the Bills within 10-3. Novak hit a 37 yarder to make it 13-3 Chargers at the break.
In the third quarter Rivers led a 14 play, 80 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. A five yard touchdown pass to Royal made it 20-3 Chargers. EJ Manuel brought the Bills back with an 11 play, 67 yard, 6 minute drive. An 11 yard touchdown run by Fred Jackson got Buffalo within 20-10. San Diego clamped down on defense by sacking Manuel for a safety and withstanding a late goal line charge. 22-10 Chargers
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns — Justin Tucker hit a 38 yard field goal to put the Ravens on the board first but Bryan Hoyer brought the Browns back 80 yards in 11 plays in 6 minutes. West got in from the one as the Browns led 7-3. In the second quarter Joe Flacco moved the Ravens 80 yards in 10 plays over 6 minutes as a 9 yard touchdown to Juszczyk made it 10-7 Ravens.
The third quarter saw a see-saw game as an 80 yard drive was capped off with a 14 yard Crowell run to make it 14-10 Browns. Then the Ravens went 80 yards as a one yard touchdown run by Taliaferro made it 17-14 Ravens. Then it was 80 yards the other way as Hoyer hit Miles Austin from 4 yards out. Despite having once dated a Kardashian, Austin caught the ball to put the Browns up 21-17.
Midway through the fourth quarter on 3rd and goal from the 16, Hoyer’s touchdown pass to Austin was nullified by a penalty. Billy Cundiff’s 36 yard field goal was blocked. The Ravens moved to a 1st and goal at the 2 but then ran into the defense of the Dawg Pound. On 4th and goal from the 3 with 5 minutes left, John Harbaugh opted for the field goal. Tucker’s 21 yarder got the Ravens within 21-20.
At the 2 minute warning, a field position game tilted toward the Ravens as they took over after a punt at midfield. On 2nd and 5 Flacco went deep to Steve Smith for a 32 yard gain to the Cleveland 13. With 4 seconds left, Tucker came in for the winning kick. As the clock struck double zeroes, it was good. The Ravens had the win. Despite calls for Johnny Clipboard, the Bryan Hoyer Browns at 1-2 are a much improved football team. 23-21 Ravens
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles — Kirk Cousins moved the Redskins 82 yards in 11 plays over 6 minutes, with a 4 yard pass to young making it 7-0 Redskins. 13 seconds later the game was tired as Polk returned the ensuing kickoff 102 yards for a score. Cousins brought the Redskins back 87 yards in 12 plays in 6 1/2 minutes as a 4 yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon put Washington up 14-7. In the second quarter Kai Forbath hit a 49 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Redskins.
Nick Foles moved the Eagles 8- yards and hit Jordan Matthews from 11 yards out to get the Eagles within 17-14. A Philadelphia fumble led to a 49 yard Forbath field goal and a 20-14 Redskins lead. Foles came back as 80 yards for the Eagles came easily enough. The 11 yard touchdown to Matthews had the Eagles up 21-20 at intermission.
The second half was just as thrilling as Foles and Cousins continued putting on a passing clinic. Parkey hit 38 and 33 yard field goals to put the Eagles up 27-20. Cousins then went deep to former Eagles star DeSean Jackson for an 81 yard touchdown to tie the game 27-27.
With 10 minutes left in regulation Forbath had a 33 yard field goal to give the Redskins the lead. Instead, it do inked off the upright no good. After having an interception overturned and ruled incomplete, Foles threw a 27 yard touchdown to Jeremy Maclin to put the Eagles up 34-27 midway through the fourth quarter. Cousins was then intercepted, and Parkey leveled a 51 yard field goal to make it 37-27 with only 6 minutes left.
Washington was not done as a pass from Cousins to Helu went for 55 yards. Helu got the last yard as the Redskins were within a field goal with over 4 minutes to play. Washington held on defense and got the ball back with gift field position at the Philly 41 with 2 1/2 minutes left. A run went nowhere, and after the 2 minute warning, Cousins threw incomplete twice. On 4th and 10, Jay Gruden went with his quarterback rather than have Forbath try a 59 yard field goal. Cousins threw incomplete again and the Eagles held on. Cousins was 30 of 48 for 427 yards and 3 touchdowns with one interception while Foles was 28 of 42 for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns without an interception. 37-34 Eagles
Houston Texans at New York Giants — The first 27 minutes of unwatchable football featured a 30 yard Giants field goal try messed up due to a fumbled snap. Eli Manning would eventually throw a 26 yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz to make it 7-0 Giants. At the 2 minute warning the Texansf aced 3rd and 19 from their own 9. Ryan Fitzpatrick was intercepted by Antrel Rolle, who returned it 25 yards to the Houston 2 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the one, Rashad Jennings got in to make it 14-0 Giants at halftime.
In the third quarter Bill O’Brien decided to gamble with the Texans facing 4th and 1 at their own 46. Alfred Blue was left black and blue when he ran into a Big Blue wall. The short field led to a 39 yard Josh Brown field goal and a 17-0 Giants lead.
Houston finally got going ad moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Giants 9. After Fitzpatrick threw incomplete, this time O’Brien decided not to gamble. Ryan Bullock hit the 27 yarder to get the Texans on the board. The Giants would punt on 4th and 2 from the Houston 44, pinning the Texans back at their own 7. This time Blue ripped off a 46 yard run and Fitzpatrick found Johnson for a 44 yard touchdown to get the Texans within 17-10.
The Giants got some breathing room with 12 minutes left in regulation when Brown hit from 29 to make it 20-10 Giants. Shane Lechler then had his punt blocked, giving the Giants the ball at the Houston 29. Manning hit Fells for a 9 yard touchdown to put the Giants up 27-10 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Fitzpatrick was then quickly intercepted, giving the Giants another short field. This led to another field goal. Houston added one more touchdown but the storyline in this game was that Tom Coughlin teams never give up. 30-17 Giants
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars — The Colts rebounded from a stunning home loss last week to beat up on the hapless Jaguars early on. Adam Vinatieri hit a 48 yard field goal and Andrew Luck threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Bradshaw to make it 10-0 Colts. In the second quarter Luck led the Colts 76 more yards as a one yard touchdown pass to Allen made it 17-0 Indianapolis. Vinatieri added field goals of 43 and 25 yards to make it 23-0 Colts. With only one minute left in the half, the Jaguars fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, giving the Colts the ball at the Jacksonville 29. Luck hit Cory Fleener for a 7 yard touchdown as the Colts led 30-0 at halftime. Coach Gus Bradley had seen enough. Chad Henne was benched and the Balke Bortles era began earlier than the team wanted. Bortles threw a gorgeous 63 yard touchdown pass. The Jaguars lost badly, but Borltes has been named the starter for next week. 44-17 Colts
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions — The Packers have been suffering fumbleitis this season. This week it as Eddie Lacy coughing it up and Carey returning it 40 yards for a 7-0 Lions lead. Aaron Rodgers brought the Packers back with a 10 yard touchdown pass to Quarless to tie the game. In the second quarter Eddie Lacy was tackled in the end zone for a safety as pass-happy Mike McCarthy vowed never to call another running play ever again. The Lions took the free kick and needed 7 minutes and 13 plays to move only 43 yards. The 30 yard Freese field goal made it 12-7 Lions at halftime. Despite having dated a Kardashian, Reggie Bush broke off a 26 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to lock up the game. 19-7 Lions
Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams — Nobody knows who Austin Davis is, but apparently he is the Rams starting quarterback. Perhaps Jeff Fisher found him at a grocery store, since that worked or Kurt Warner. Davis led a staggering 15 play, 80 yard drive that consumed nearly 9 minutes off the clock. A one yard touchdown pass to Kendricks had the Rams up 7-0. Davis found Quick for a 51 yard touchdown in the second quarter to make it 14-0 Rams. Tony Romo threw a 25 yard touchdown pass to Janoris Jenkins, who plays defense for the Rams. With the Rams up 21-0 Jerry Jones threatened to blow up the stadium until it was pointed out that the Cowboys were on the road and he did not own this stadium.
Dallas eventually closed the gap as Donald Murray scored from one yard out and Dan Bailey hit a 29 yard field goal to have the Cowboys within 21-10 at halftime. In the third quarter Romo went to Dez Bryant for a 68 yard touchdown as the Cowboys only trailed 21-17. Bailey hit a 40 yarder as the Cowboys only trailed 21-20 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter Greg Zuerlein hit a 28 yarder to put the Rams up 24-20. Romo then led Dallas on an 84 yard, 12 play drive that took over 7 minutes off the clock. A 12 yard touchdown pass to Williams on 3rd and 2 gave the Cowboys their first lead of the day up 27-24 with 6:21 left in regulation. 20 seconds later Austin threw a 25 yard touchdown pass to Carter, who plays defense for the Cowboys. He equaled Tony Romo by throwing touchdowns to both teams, but now it was the Cowboys up 34-24.
Davis moved the Rams 80 yards again as a touchdown pass to Pettis on 3rd and goal at the 4 got the Rams back within 3 with 2 1/2 minutes to play. The Rams got it back at their own 14 at the 2 minute warning. From their 26, Davis went deep and was intercepted by Claiborne with one minute left. The Rams have rallied around Davis and Jeff Fisher knows how to motivate players, but this time St. Louis came up short. Meanwhile, Romo gave his critics another reason to pipe down. 34-31 Cowboys
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints — After a pair of agonizing road losses, the Saints got right to work at home. Drew Brees moved the Saints 80 yards in 11 plays in 5 1/2 minutes as Pierre Thomas got in from the one to make it 7-0 Saints. Brees then moved New Orleans 82 yards and threw a 34 yard touchdown pass to Hill for a 13-0 Saints lead. The extra point was blocked. Blair Walsh got the Vikings on the board with 25 and 30 yard field goals and a 40 yarder in the third quarter to get Minnesota within 13-9.
In the fourth quarter Brees moved the Saints 90 yards in 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. An 18 yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston gave the Saints some breathing room with 12 1/2 minutes left in the game. The defense did the rest as Vikings fans will soon demand that their star player be returned from a suspension that was caused by politically correct anti-football do-gooders trying to tell a man how to raise his kids. 20-9 Saints
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals — A 51 yard Catanzaro field goal put the Cardinals up 3-0, but Colin Kaepernick led a 12 play, 80 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive that culminated in a 2 yard touchdown to Michael Crabtree to make it 7-3 49ers after the opening quarter. The second quarter began with Arizona wrapping up a mind-numbing 17 play, 6 yard drive that ate up 8 minutes. Yet a false start penalty killed the drive and the Cardinals settled for a 32 yarder from Catanzaro to trail 7-6. The 49ers moved even slower, going 80 yards in 14 plays and needing 8 1/2 minutes. Yet the 49ers were finishing drives as Carlos Hyde ran it in from 6 yards out to make it 14-6 49ers.
In the third quarter Drew Stanton threw a 24 yard touchdown pass to Brown to get the Cardinals within 14-13. It was deja vu all over again as Stanton went to Brown for a 21 yard score and a 20-14 Cardinals lead. The 49ers moved down the field when a critical blunder derailed them. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Anquon Boldin turned what would have been 1st and goal at the 6 to 1st and 10 at the Arizona 21 as the third quarter ended. The fourth quarter began with the 49ers again getting inside the 10 only to have a clipping penalty push them back. In what may have been a first, the 49ers faced 3rd and goal from the 34. A short pass was followed by a long field goal try that was blocked.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Cardinals in red missed a golden opportunity to bury the red and gold. Needing only a field goal to make it a two score game, inside the 10 the Cardinals passed the ball. Larry Fitzgerald fumbled at the 9 and the 49ers recovered. Arizona got it back, and this time played it very conservatively. From the San Francisco 11, the 49ers took their last timeout just past the 2 minute warning. Stanton took a couple of knees and Catanzaro came in for the 35 yarder with 34 seconds left. Catanzaro was good, and the it was the preseason darlings the 49ers who were staring at a 1-2 record. 23-14 Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins — After 23 minutes of boring, scoreless football, Davis burst for a 21 yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 Chiefs and make Andy Reid one happy Walrus Lite. Alex Smith then threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Kelce to make it 14-0 Chiefs. Caleb Sturgis hit a 22 yard field goal to have the Dolphins trailing 14-3 at break time.
In the third quarter a sack of Smith meant a fumble and Miami possession at the Chiefs 19. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Ryan Tannehill hit Brad Hartline for the score to get the Dolphins within 14-10. Unsportsmanlike conduct on Miami gave the Cheifs good field position to start their next drive, and Smith hit McKnight from 11 yards out to make it 21-10 Chiefs. Sturgis would hit a 51 yard field goal to get Miami within 21-13. Smith was then sacked in the end zone for a safety as Miami clawed to within 21-15. A 47 yard punt return by Hammond set up the Chiefs at the Miami 44. Smith hit McKnight for the 4 yard touchdown and the 27-15 Chiefs lead with 4 1/2 minutes to play.
The Dolphins turned it over on downs but Kansas City fumbled the ball right back rather than put the game away. On 3rd and 1 from the Miami 37, Tannehill threw incomplete just before the 2 minute warning. On 4th and 1 a running play went nowhere and the fish were finally fried. Kansas City added one more touchdown from Gray from 6 yards out with 15 seconds left to complete the scoring as Kansas City got the road win in the battle between uninspiring teams going nowhere. 34-15 Chiefs
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks — 7 months after losing the Super Bowl by 35 points, the Broncos got off to an equally disastrous start. On their first offensive play from scrimmage, a fumble gave the ball to Seattle at the Denver 23. Pete Carroll immediately went to the bag of tricks. Russell Wilson lateraled to Jermaine Kearse, who then threw to Wilson. The quarterback turned receiver caught the ball for a 17 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and goal from the one, Marshawn Lynch lost a yard. Steve Hauschka’s 20 yard field goal made it 3-0 Seahawks.
This time Denver settled down. Peyton Manning led a 15 play, 75 yard drive that took over 7 minutes. On 3rd and goal from the 5, Manning threw incomplete. McManus hit the 24 yard field goal to tie the game 3-3. With 3 minutes left in the half, Wilson threw a 39 yard touchdown pass to Lockette for a 10-3 Seahawks advantage. On the first ensuing play from scrimmage, Denver fumbled the ball away again as Seattle took over at the Denver 36. Denver dodged a major bullet when the fumble call was reversed and ruled an incomplete pass. Nevertheless, the Seahawks stopped Denver, moved the ball, and added a dagger with only 12 seconds left in the half. Wilson hit Lynch for a 5 yard touchdown for a 17-3 Seahawks lead.
This time the Broncos trailed by 14 coming out of the locker room and not 22. More importantly, Seattle did not return the second half kickoff for a touchdown. Seattle missed a chance to put a stranglehold on the game when Hauschka missed a 46 yard field goal. Seattle avoided disaster when a sack of Russell caused a fumble that Russell hung on to just outside his own goal line. One play later Lynch was tackled in the end zone for a safety as Denver got within 17-5 with 13 minutes left in regulation.
Seattle stayed aggressive and paid for it when a Wilson pass was tipped by Aqib Talib and intercepted by Chris Harris to set up Denver at the Seattle 19 with 11 minutes left. Manning imitated his boss John Elway with a shovel pass. With 9 1/2 minutes left, the 3 yard touchdown to Julius Thomas had the Broncos only down 17-12. Denver held on defense and got the ball back at their own 19 with 6 minutes to play. At this point the man with the most fourth quarter and overtime comebacks in NFL history did what he does. With 2 1/2 minutes to play, Denver had a 3rd and 11 at the Seattle 25. Yet the Manning with 51 comebacks would not get number 52. The Legion of Boom did it again as Kam Chancellor intercepted Manning at the Seattle 13 and returned it 52 yards to the Denver 35.
Lynch atoned for his earlier miscue by running for exactly 10 yards, with a defensive personal foul moving Seattle near the Denver goal at the 2 minute warning. Denver still had 2 timeouts left. On 3rd and 7 from the Denver 11 with 1:48 left and Denver out of timeouts, Pete Carroll took no chances. Lynch gained one yard, the clock ticked down to one minute, and Hauschka came in for the 28 yarder. Hauschka was good, and the best Manning could hope for after a touchback was a tie in regulation.
Manning went deep and hit Sanders for a 42 yard gain and then spiked the ball with 30 seconds left. On 3rd and 10 Manning hit Sanders for 12 yards at the sideline with 24 seconds left. From the Seattle 26, Manning went deep and found a wide open Jacob Tamme for the touchdown in front of the stunned crowd. Only 18 seconds remained in the game but Denver still needed the 2 point conversion. Manning had time, stayed in the pocket, and fired to the back of the end zone. Inbetween 3 defenders, Denarius Thomas caught the ball and hung on. 80 yards in 41 seconds with 0 timeouts left a stunned crowd wondering how a big lead became a 20-20 game headed to overtime. Network executives wondered why this game could not have been the Super Bowl.
Seattle won the toss for overtime and elected to receive. After a touchback, Wilson ran for a critical first down on 3rd and 3. On 3rd and 4 from the Denver 29, Wilson scrambled and again got the first down. Defensive holding tacked on five more yards, moving the ball to the Denver 19. Wilson ran again, gaining 6 more yards. A perfectly executed screen pass to Percy Harvin meant 1st and goal at the 6. Lynch got the carry, and Beast mode met a Denver defender head on at the one. Lynch won the collision, barreled through into the end zone, and the game was over. 13 plays, 80 yards, and nearly 6 minutes got the job done. A field goal would have given Denver one possession, but a touchdown automatically ends the game as Manning never saw the ball in overtime. While Denver failed to get revenge, the NFL did get an instant classic. 26-20 Seahawks, OT
Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers was the Sunday night game. The first half was a defensive slog. Graham Gano hit a 40 yard field goal to put the Panthers up 3-0. Shawn Suisham hit from 42 to end the first quarter, from 24 in the second quarter, and from 45 to end the half with the Steelers up 9-3. In the second half, the Panthers self-destructed under a hail of turnovers.
With Carolina facing 3rd and 15 from their own 25, Newton was sacked, causing a fumble that set up Pittsburgh at the Carolina 17. Ben Roethlisberger hit Aaron Brown for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 16-3 Steelers. Gano hit a 40 yard field goal to get within 16-6. Pittsburgh faced 2nd and 22 from their own 8 when Laveon Bell ripped off an 81 yard run to the Carolina 11. Big Ben threw another 7 yard touchdown to Brown to make it 23-6 Steelers.
Early in the fourth quarter Cam newton hit Greg Olsen for a 37 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 23-13. Carolina forced a punt, but Chris Brown fumbled it twice on the same play. the ball went backward as a mad scramble in the end zone meant another Pittsburgh touchdown and a 30-13 Steelers lead. Later on Leguarrette Blount ripped off a 50 yard gain and then ran it in from 8 yards out to make it 37-13 Steelers. Bell and Blount combined to gash the Carolina defense for 265 yards on the ground. Carolina’s garbage time touchdown did little to change the fact that without their suspended defensive star, the Panthers are vulnerable to being in the mouth in the trenches. 37-19 Steelers
Chicago Bears at New York Jets was the Monday night game. Geno Smith threw a perfect pass to Ryan Mundy for a 45 yard touchdown to start the game. Monday plays defense for the Chicago Bears. Then the Jets fumbled a punt and the Bears recovered at the Jets 40. Jay Cutler immediately went bombs away and defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 7. On 3rd and goal Cutler fired to the back of the end zone and found Marcellus Bennett. In addition to the 14-0 lead, the Bears also benefitted from a roughing the passer call on Cutler.
The Jets would get on the board when Nick Folk hit a 45 yard field goal, but Robbie Gould answered with a 24 yard kick of his own to make it 17-3 Bears. Folk came back again with a 28 yarder, and then Geno Smith moved the Jets 77 yards. A 19 yard pass to Kerley had the Jets only down 17-13.
The Bears took the second half kickoff and went right to work after the touchback. A 42 yard completion from Cutler to Jeffery led to a 3rd and 11 at the Jets 13. After having one touchdown pass called back by a penalty, Cutler hit Bennett for the score to make it 24-13 Jets. Geno Smith moved the Jets down the field but was intercepted in the end zone. Chicago moved backwards and a terrible punt on 4th and 21 from the Chicago 9 followed by a personal foul on the Bears gave the Jets a short field at the Chicago 28. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 2, Smith lost a couple yards. Folk hit the field goal as the Jets trailed 24-16 after three quarters.
The Jets got it back and moved the ball again. On 3rd and 2 from the Bears 24, Smith threw incomplete. Folk’s fourth field goal from 42 yards out cut the Bears lead to 24-19 with 10 minutes left in regulation. Cutler bled the clock, taking nearly 7 minutes of time. Yet on 3rd and 4 from the Jets 27, Cutler was sacked. Gould nailed the 45 yard field goal but the Jets still had life down by 8 with 3:10 to play. The Jets received a gift from the officials when a 4th and 3 pass from the Jets 27 was ruled a first down. Although it appeared Amaro was tackled short of the first down marker, the officials rejected Chicago’s challenge.
Smith blundered on 3rd and 6 from the Jets 34. The Bears jumped offsides, but Smith never snapped the ball. The Jets then had a false start, so instead of 3rd and 1 it became 3rd and 11. Smith then made up for it by calmly finding Greg Salas for a 51 yard gain to the Bears 20 with 1:40 to play. Smith threw incomplete but instead of 3rd and 9 it was 1st and 10 thanks to defensive holding. With one minute to go it came down to 4th and 5 from the 9. Under heavy pressure, Smith threw a prayer to Kerley. Kerley caught it, but he was out of the back of the end zone. For the second week in a row, Chicago win a night game on the road. 27-19 Jets