NFL 2007–Week 9 Recap

Before getting to the Week 9 NFL Recap, I am sad to announce that after some brief glory in my coed touch football league, my performance yesterday was not up to my standards, which are admittedly low. I did catch a couple passes, but after putting on a gorgeous move on a deep pattern, I dropped a perfectly thrown bomb that would have been a touchdown. Also, on a short pattern, the ball bounced before getting to me, but that one was not on me.

Nevertheless, those missed opportunities proved key. My team fell behind 33-0, and a furious rally fell short 39-21. On more than one occasion we got in goal line situations and fell short. As crushed as I am by the loss, I did not let it affect the many games today that I did not play in. Below is the recap.

Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–A badly thrown Jeff Garcia pass into double coverage was somehow stolen from the land of interceptions by Joey Galloway, whose gorgeous touchdown reception had the Buccaneers up 10-3 at the half. The second half was equally uneventful, as a Buccaneers touchdown was enough to hold on. Arizona added a touchdown as well. Buc Ball lives, and those who believe there are no ugly wins loved this beauty. The Bucs had a 19 play, 12 minute drive into the 4th quarter that produced a missed field goal. This game could not end fast enough. 17-10 Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers @ Tennessee Titans–Vince Young ran for one touchdown, Rob Bironas added a couple field goals, and the Tennessee defense throttled te Carolina offense, putting The Titans up 13-0 at the half. The Titans clamped down in the second half for a solid win. 20-7 Titans

Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills–This game meant something in 1981 and 1988. With J.P. Losman returning and replacing the promising Trent Edwards, the game was low scoring in the first half. Particularly frustrating for Bills fans was a first and goal at the one yard line becoming a four yard loss followed by a field goal. This put the Bills up 10-7, a lead they held for about 15 seconds. Glenn Holt returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to give the Bengals a 14-10 lead. Buffalo again got down to the goal line as the first half was expiring, and again they had to settle for a field goal and a one point halftime deficit. Cincinnati added another touchdown, but all Buffalo did was kick field goals, as the Bengals led 21-19 early in the fourth quarter. A halfback option pass by Marshawn Lynch fooled the Bengals, as the 15 yard touchdown pass put Buffalo up 26-21 with six minutes left. Marshawn Lynch iced the game by breaking through three pathetic attempts at tackling to turn a stuffed play into a 60 yard run. 33-21 Bills

Denver Broncos @ Detroit Lions–The first half had reliable Jason Hanson kicking three field goals and Jon Kitna throwing a touchdown pass to an adorable critter named Mike Furrey. Detroit scored on their first four possessions. Of concern to Denver was Jay Cutler being injured after taking an accidental blow to his leg. Already down 16-0 in the third quarter, backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey was sacked near his own goal line. He fumbled, and Dwayne White staggered two yards for a touchdown and a 23-0 Lion lead. To compound the misery, Matt Lepsis was injured on the play. The Broncos did managed to get to the Detroit four yard line, but a fourth and goal at the four went nowhere, and Denver turned it over on downs.

While it is way too early to proclaim the Lions a good team, even at 6-2, this is not your father’s pathetic Lions team. Rod Marinelli has the defense playing solid, and Mike Martz is an offensive wizard. Martz’z “go for thr throat” mentality was on display in this game. After the goal line stand, two deep passes covered 96 yards and a 30-0 Detroit lead. Denver did manage to score, but fell short. There should be big concerns in Denver given that this the second time this year they have blown out. 44-7 Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans Saints–The last time these teams played four years ago, it was one of the most exciting finishes in NFL history. Down 20-13, with one play left, the Saints did the Cal-Stanford impersonation minus the marching band. Several laterals later the Saints were in the end zone in front of a shocked Jacksonville crowd. As the teams prepared for overtime, an even bigger shocker prevented that when John Carney missed the extra point. There was no pressure, he just pushed it wide, and the Jaguars won a thriller 20-19. This game may not have been as legendary, but it was exciting.

Points came often in the first quarter of this game. On the last play of the first quarter Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass to Reggie Bush for a 17-10 Saints lead. The first play of the second quarter had Maurice Jones-Drew return the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and a 17-17 tie. Drew Brees had nearly 350 yards passing in the first half alone, with the Saints up 24-17 at the intermission. Brees continud to fire away in the second half as the Saints broke the game open. Brees finished 35 of 49 for 445 yards and 3 touchdown passes. After an 0-4 start, the Saints are 4-4 at the break. 41-24 Saints

San Diego Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings–The first 29 minutes and 55 seconds were not worth covering, as the teams were tied 7-7. The last play of the first half was a field goal attempt by Minnesota. It was just short, and all Antonio Cromartie did was return it 109 yards for a touchdown. He was inches from the back of the end zone, making it almost 110 yards. A disgusted home crowd booed the Vikings as they slinked to the locker room down 14-7. Dan Dierdorf, not normally one for commentary that adds anything positive to a football game, had a great line. He said, “You could fry an egg on Brad Childress’s head.” Many teams would fold after that, but many teams do not have Adrian Peterson, who broke off a 64 yard run for a touchdown and a 14-14 tie early in the third quarter. San Diego then fumbled deep in their own territory, but Minnesota returned the favor by fumbling it right back near the goal line. On 3rd and 11 from their own 5 yard line, Philip Rivers went back to pass from his own end zone. He did not pick up the first down yardage wise, but a 15 yard face mask penalty kept the drive alive. It led to nothing. A touchdown pass by Brooks Bollinger to Sidney Rice went for 40 yards and put Minnesota up 21-14 after three quarters. One minute into the fourth quarter, San Diego kicked a field goal to cut the gap to four points. Minnesota then drove deep into San Diego territory before fumbling the ball away again. Adrian Peterson then broke off a 50 yard run to put the game out of reach with eight minutes remaining. Philip Rivers threw an interception on the ensuing possession to snuff out any hopes. With Adrian Peterson on the bench and 2 yards shy of the single game rushing record held by Jamal Lewis, he was brought back in the game, ran for three yards, and finished with 296 rushing yards on the day. 35-17 Vikings

Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs–A pair of field goals put Green Bay up 6-0, and Brett Favre continued to add to one of his records. Unfortunately, it was his interceptions records, as he threw two in the first half. With seconds left in the first half, a defensive pass interference penalty allowed Kansas City to score a one yard touchdown run for a 7-6 lead at the break. The third quarter made the first half look exciting, with the action consisting of a missed Green Bay field goal with three minutes left in the quarter. In the fourth quarter the offenses heated up. Granted that did not say much, but it did get very interesting. AFter Green Bay took a 13-7 lead, only to have Larry Johnson break off a 37 yard run for his second touchdown of the day. Green Bay’s third field goal put the Packers up by a deuce. Kansas City scored a touchdown and a two point conversion to take a six point lead with five minutes remaining. Brett Favre needed several seconds to lead a one play drive. His second touchdown pass of the day put the Packers back on top. The Packers added a field goal to lead by four with two minutes remaining. Damon Huard threw a touchdown pass to Charles Woodson with one remaining, but unfortunately for the Chiefs, Woodson plays defense for the Packers. The Cheeseheads are 7-1, and this Favre guy is still pretty good, adding another 360 yards to his passing total. 33-22 Packers

Washington Redskins @ New York Jets–Leon Washington returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and Kelly Clemes threw a touchdown pass as Chad Pennington sat on the bench due to a demotion. The Jets entered the game at 1-7, and Pennington took the fall. The Jets led 17-9 at the half, but in a season where neither team has tried to win much, the Jets tried less, as the Redskins went up 20-17. The Jets tied the game with 10 seconds left, making it fitting that a game nobody wanted to watch went into overtime. The Redskins won on a field goal, the Jets fell to 1-8, and somewhere a tree fell in the forest. 23-20 Redskins, OT

San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons–This game meant a lot in 1998, as the Dirty Birds defeated the 49ers 20-18 in Steve Young’s last playoff game. A decade later, there was less at stake, although the Falcons had twice as many rushing touchdowns in the first half for a 14-7 lead. The rest of the game was field goals, as Atlanta held on. 20-16 Falcons

Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns–The “other” late game started with an exchange of touchdowns, with the difference being Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson missing an extra point. After Seattle added another touchdown, the game began to get one sided when Natue Burleson had a 94 yard return for a touchdown and a 21-6 Seahawks lead. Cleveland added a third field goal before the half. While Jamal Lewis did have his rushing single game touchdown record broken on this day, he ran for three touchdowns, with the third one cutting a 24-9 deficit to 24-22. The missed extra point loomed large as the 2 point conversion attempt failed. A field goal put Seattle up by 5, but with 2:17 left a touchdown pass and successful 2 point conversion put the Browns up by 3 points. The Seahawks drove to the Cleveland 5 yard line, where Kris Brown barely made a 22 yard kick to tie the game at 30-30 at the end of regulation. A Hasselbeck scramble on 3rd and 7 barely made the first down, but on further review was short, setting up 4th and inches. The Cleveland defense stoned Seattle up the middle, and the ball was turned over on downs. Mike Holmgren was an angry Walrus, and Romeo Crennel was a happy Walrus. A black man can be a Walrus, it is weight and mustache based, not race based. The spot was reviewed, unchanged, and Holmgren continued to take the lord’s name in vain. His disgust magnified as the Seattle collapse became complete when Phil Dawson atoned for his missed extra point by nailing a 24 yard field goal for the win. 33-30 Browns, OT

New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts–Super Bowl 41 1/2. Marvin Harrison was out, as was the Colts left tackle. No excuses. This is a man’s game. Joseph Addai broke off a long gain on Indy’s first drive, but Adam Vinatieri missed a field goal, after a controversial noncall of defensive pass interference. The Patriots started out with Tom Brady getting sacked for a 10 yard loss, followed by a punt. The game was officially too boring to watch. Just kidding. On Indy’s second drive Joseph Addai continued to break off large gains on the ground, but a short pass on 3rd and goal was ruled incomplete after initially being seen as a touchdown. Vinatieri was good on his second attempt, and the Colts led 3-0. It was set up by a defensive pass interference call. For some reason, the Patriots did not panic. Tom Brady came back and through a short fade route to Randy Moss, who simply outjumped the defender for a 7-3 New England lead.

Another defensive pass interference call on New England, this time on Ellis Hobbs guarding Reggie Wayne, set up the Colts again. Again, they had to settle for a field goal. It was clear the Colts wanted to grind it out rather than engage in a shootout, and for the most part their long drives kept the Patriots offense off the field. However, their inability to execute in the red zone had them trailing by a point. New England moved the ball well, but at the 2 minute warning from the Indy 23, a leg whip penalty pushed New England back 15 yards. Brady went for the bomb to Randy Moss, usually an automatic otuchdown. However, Antoine Bethea intercepted the ball at the one yard line. The Patriots defense had been stout all half, yet suffered a shocking breakdown just before halftime, as Joseph Addai took a short swing pass, faked out several usually disciplined New England defenders, and raced for a 73 yard touchdown and a 13-7 Colts lead at the break.

Despite the low scoring the two teams combined for only one punt in the first half. The rest was either turnovers or time consuming drives. On the Patriots first drive of the second half, they went three and out after a running play was blown up in the backfield and a third and short pass was beautifully broken up. Peyton Manning then had a pass intercepted by Rodney Harrison, but Robert Mathis then had his second sack of Tom Brady, again for a 10 yard loss. Yet upon gaining possession again, tis time the Colts running game ran backwards, and New England got the ball deep in their own territory after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the punt return.

From his own 8 yard line, Tom Brady threw a high pass to Randy Moss, who made a leaping one handed catch for a 17 yard gain. It is tough to defend against Meadowlark Lemon. On 3rd and 7, Tom Brady scrambled for 19 yards, with 5 yards tacked on for defensive holding. Another long pass to Randy Moss was knocked way. On 3rd and one from the 15 yard line, the Pats ran off tackle, and Bob Sanders blew up the play in the backfield for a two yard loss. A 34 yard field goal cut the Colts lead to 13-10. Manning threw a beutiful deep ball to Reggie Wayne, who dropped it. New England returned the punt to their own 45 yard line. Tom Brady then became the victim of a leaping, juggling, and bobbling interception by Brackett.

Manning faced a 3rd and 15 on the next series, and threw a gorgeous sideline strike into coverage for a first down. So many Patriots-Colts wars had drama at the one yard line, and htis game was no exception. With 10 minutes left, Manning plunged over himself on a quarterback sneak and a 20-10 lead. It was the longest run of Manning’s career. No, not really.

Unfortunately for Indy, Randy Moss exists. A bomb from Brady to Moss into double coverage was caught inside the 5 yard line. However, on the next play, Moss was flagged for offensive pass interference. At that point the Patriots had 141 penalty yards, a franchise record. On 3rd and goal from the 5, a confused Colts defense called a timeout. It did not matter, as a quick strike to Wesley Welker cut the gap to 20-17 with 8 minutes left. The Colts next drive stalled, and a good punt return by Welker had the Patriots a yard short of midfield with 4 minutes left. The game had lived up to its billing. A bomb to Dante Stallworth went for 33 yards, and one play later a pass to Kevin Faulk went for a touchdown and a 24-20 Patriots lead with 3:15 left. The drive lasted 43 seconds.

the Colts started from their own 24 yard line, and after an incomplete pass, the Patriots inexplicably called their first timeout. A pass from Manning to Wayne got the ball to the Indy 48. On 3rd and 9, about to be sacked, Manning fumbled, and Roosevelt Colvin plucked it out of the air with 2:25 left. Brady, on 3rd and 6, completed a sideline pass for a first down, and then kneeled on the ball three times to run out the clock. Manning did not get another chance, and the AFC Title Game, barring any surprises, will be in New England. The Patriots now will have their 4th Super Bowl title in 7 years. Who will stop them? Not the Colts.
24-20 Patriots

With Superbowl 41 1/2 in the books, fans of both teams will be salivating for the rematch in Late January.

Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders–The game of the day may have been the last chance this year for the Raiders to get another win. Somehow the Silver and Black, despite coming off a 2-14 season, drew a rock hard schedule, especially the second half of the year. For more coverage,

The Raiders started Josh McCown instead of Daunte Culpepper, indicating they wished to surrender the game. After going three and out, the only bright spot on offense is Shane Lechler punting. The Texans went up 7-0 on their first drive, which seemed too insurmountable at the time for the Raiders to overcome. McCown did his part by then throwing an interception. Thankfully, Sage Rosenfels returned the favor by throwing into double coverage, and being intercepted. The Raiders started on their own 4. While other teams go 96 yards in 2 plays, Mike Martz is not in Oakland. I was hoping the team would not give up a safety and allow Lechler to do his job. Ahh yes, lowered expectations. I remember when “typical Raider fashion” did not mean impending disaster. Nevertheless, after moving the ball, in typical Raider fashion, back to back penalties set up a typical 3rd and 20, where the obvious call was a running play. Lechler did his job, unlike anybody on the Oakland offense.

On Oakland’s next possession, McCown threw his second interception, and the Texans started at the Oakland 15. Ron Dayne, perhaps the slowest running back in NFL history, sped through the Raiders for a touchdown and a 14-0 Texans lead. McCown was still allowed to play, at which point he rewarded his fans for his not being benched by throwing his third interception. The best play by the Raiders came from the refs, who ruled the pass incomplete, reducing McCown back to only two interceptions.

On 4th and 9 from the Texans 46, the Raiders decided to have Sebastian Janikowski attempt a 64 yard field goal. As awful as the season has been, NFL immortality would be nice. However, this call only makes sense on the last play of the half. There was still 1:15 to go, and a miss would be devastating from a field position standpoint. The kick from a distance standpoint would have been good from 70 yards. It hit the upright and bounced away, no good. Ever so close to football history, instead the Raiders trailed 17-0 at the half.

The Raiders continued to play like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, as Ron Dayne turned into Jesse Owens, rumbling for a 39 yard gain on the first Texans drive of the second half. However, the Tin Man did find a heart, at lest temporarily, as the Texans had a field goal attempt blocked. For most teams, this would have provided an emotional lift. For the lifeless offense of the Raiders, it actually did spark a drive. Needing every possible break under the sun, a helmet to helmet unnecessary roughness personal foul gave the Raiders first and goal from the eight yard line. Seabas had his second fileld goal attempt be only 1/3 the length of his first one, and the 22 yarder cut the gap to 17-3.

The Texans continued to run well, but on 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 45, the Texans suffered a delay of game penalty. They had to punt. Josh McCown at this stage had a passer rating of 14.2, so it was with some relief that he started handing the ball off. A short swing to pass Jerry Porter went for a 30 yard gain. A deep pass to Madsen was dropped in the end zone, but a defensive holding penalty set up first down. Another deep pass to the end zone by McCown was overthrown. He was then wrapped up on 3rd and 7, but a defensive facemask penalty created an automatic first down. From the 12 yard line, the Raiders again went nowhere, and again the Texans committed a defensive penalty for a first down. No, this does not make up for 40 years of bad calls against the team, but the refs must have felt sorry for the Raiders. Justin Fargas plunged over from the one foot line. The Raiders played atrociously on offense, yet only trailed 17-10 with 11 1/2 minutes left. A 42 yard bomb from Rosenfels to Andre Davis iced the game. McCown did again try to throw his 3rd interceptiona deflected pass to Lamont Jordan. However, it was ruled incomplete. On 4th and 7, McCown shocked the world, meaning the few people still watching this game, by running 8 yards for a first down. McCown then finally succeeded in throwing his 3rd interception after several near misses.

The few remaining fans hopefully left to beat the traffic and catch the Indy-New England game on tv. The Raiders fell to 2-6, and a second straight 2-14 season is well within reach. A touchdown pass to Tim Dwight was followed by a failed onsides kick. 24-17 Texans

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles was the Sunday night game. McNabb fumbled on Philly’s first possession, and Dallas quickly scored on a Julius Jones run for a 7-0 lead less than 4 minutes into the game. McNabb responded with a long catch and run to Reggie Brown that set up a touchdown run by Westbrook to tie the game 7-7. Several plays to Barber set up a short lob from Tony Romo to Tony Curtis for a 14-7 Dallas lead. The pace of the game slowed down considerably in the second quarter, and a Dallas drive at the 2 minute warning was snuffed out when Romo was intercepted by Lito Shepherd deep in Philly territory. However, McNabb threw an interception right back to Ken Hamlin, allowing Dallas to start at the Philly 14. Marion Barber punched it in from 5 yards out to put the Cowboys up 21-7 at the half. 2 Minutes into the second half, the defensive breakdown by the Eagles somehow left Terrell Owens, and he raced for an easy touchdown. At 28-7, the route was on. 38-17 Cowboys

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers was the Monday night game. A game in 1940 had Chicago defeating Washington 73-0. This game was less lopsided, but not by much. Willis McGahee had a 33 yard touchdown run for the Ravens that would have been cause for celebration had the Ravens not trailed by 35 points at that moment.

Ben Roethlisberger had 5 touchdown passes, the Ravens had 4 turnovers, and James Harrison forced three fumbles and an interception for the Steelers, who raced to a 35-0 lead. This was in the first half alone. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, McGahee’s touchdown sapped their momentum, preventing them from threatening the 1940 points record.

The only thing uglier than the weather, a driving rainstorm, was the play of the Ravens. Outside of Western Pennsylvania, the only positive thing to say about this game is the yellow throwback helmets the Steelers wore looked fabulous on my big screen television in hi-def. 38-7 Steelers


3 Responses to “NFL 2007–Week 9 Recap”

  1. Jersey McJones says:

    There’s a new Axis of Evil brewing in Boston. The witches of Salem have returned and bestowed their magics on the Red Sox, removing the Curse of the Babe, and the Pats, with the employ of the Arch Warlock Belichick. If the Celtics do well this year (especially after last year’s debacle), I’ll be convinced of this magical scheme.


  2. Kowboy says:

    No mention of the Whitten play? Play of the year so far IMO. And him coming back in 2 plays later in the shape he was in was more than you could ask from any player.

  3. Cyber Pastor says:

    Even in a losing cause, I thought I would stop by and say that I was proud of my Colts. You are right, no excuses – someone gets hurt, someone else has to step up. I must admit though, I was in a horrible mood after the game, as I thought when it was 20 – 10 that things were looking good for the Colts, especially the way their defense was playing.

    Take nothing away from the Pats, they won – we lost!

    Ahhh but the beloved line, “I can’t wait until the next time”!

    Love your weekly recap!!!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.