Archive for November, 2010

Hanukkah 2010 Prequel–Back to Miami

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah come light the Menorah…

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, we’ll all dance the Horah…

Gather ’round the table, we’ll give you a treat…

Lots of tasty chocolates and Latkes to eat…

It is that time of year again. The Tygrrrr Express is Miami bound.

Tomorrow night starts my favorite holiday of Hanukkah, or as a friend of mine calls it, “Chaka Khan.”

Those reading this blog know that I am not into warm fuzzy stories about miracles and oil lasting for 8 days. Christians have the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, and Jews have our fables as well.

Yet beneath these sweet characters and tales are serious holidays. Regarding Christmas, I shall defer to Christian America to tell that story.

I am a Hebrew, and I love Hanukkah.

This is a celebration of of a military victory. Long before Jews emigrated to America and became leftist atheist pacifists, there was a strong bond between Jews and the military. This was because everybody was trying to kill us. Some traditions never change.

The word Maccabee means hammer, which is why the second coming of Judah Maccabee is Sir Charles of Krauthammer.

So as we light candles, I pray that Israelis take rocket launcher-sized candles and shove them up Armageddonijad’s hide until he goes to the toilet blue and white.

Meanwhile, Hanukkah is also great from a Jewish partying standpoint. It is the 8 day equivalent of homecoming, our celebration of winning the big game. The only difference is that back then the Greeks were too old to be pledges in sororities and fraternities.

Normally I spend Hanukkah in 4 different cities, doing a coast to coast celebration.

This year I will be in South Florida the whole time.

After all, every Jew has their own ways of honoring the holiday.

Judah Maccabee stormed through Gorgios and Nicanor in an attempt to liberate the entire Jewish people.

I will be storming South Beach, since Miami Beach has a high concentration of Republican Jewish brunettes.

(Thank heavens Marco Rubio is not Jewish. He is ridiculously handsome, and competition for those ladies is fierce.)

The plane is in the air, the candles are ready to be lit, and hopefully I will light a fire with one specific as of yet unknown Republican Jewish brunette.

Oh yeah, and my parents also live there and I have speaking engagements as well.

8 nights of blue and white fun await.

I love me some Hanukkah, and I love me some Miami.

On to the next adventure, whoever and wherever she is.

Happy Hanukkah all!

eric

Barack Obama–An Inconvenient Truth

Monday, November 29th, 2010

While Al Gore was the driving force behind the fraudulent and since discredited movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” another inconvenient truth is slowly and very quietly ever-so-slightly starting to be considered about Barack Obama.

People are unhappy with Barack Obama. A majority of Americans like him personally, but disapprove of his job performance. The 2010 election was a stunning rebuke of his governance, which he either cannot or will not accept.

This has led many liberals to ask a simple question in a variety of ways.

How can a man so incredibly bright…so exceptionally brilliant…not get it?

How can an intellectual sophisticate like Barack Obama fail to connect with the common man?

How can such an erudite post-modern colossus of knowledge be unable to fix problems?

Liberals conclude with the notion that maybe America is simply too large, too complex, and too tough for one person to govern.

This fits in with the Obama narrative of him as perfection. There is no possible way anything can be his fault. If he cannot govern effectively, then nobody can. America is ungovernable.

I have to categorically reject this train of thought. Barack Obama has not had to deal with anything remotely as difficult as some presidents. Yes, the 2008 financial crisis was bad, but the FDR Great Depression was worse. George Washington had to motivate the American soldiers at Valley Forge. Abraham Lincoln had to prevent the Union from being ripped asunder, as American brothers killed each other.

John F. Kennedy had to deal with a possible nuclear war that could have ended everything. George W. Bush faced the worst attack on mainland American soil ever.

All of these men governed. People can say that times were different “then,” but George W. Bush governed through very tough times very recently. Barack Obama is quietly continuing some of his policies, while publicly refusing to concede that as an admission that those specific policies work.

I am not willing to put Barack Obama above the entire history of this country. America is governable. We don’t need to improve. He does.

Yet even Republicans fall into the trap of saying that they don’t understand why such a bright guy doesn’t get it.

This leads me to state an inconvenient truth that most people dare not utter.

Maybe Barack Obama is not that bright.

At this point liberal heads are exploding. When they reattach them, I will state why I feel this way.

Liberal snobs who wake up in the morning thinking of new ways to sneer at Sarah Palin should be happy to know that she has belted them in the chops in the best way possible, going after their “intelligence.”

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=463364218434

As for Barack Obama, I have zero interest in attacking the man personally. Just think about something. Barack Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism. Every nation in his world is exceptional. He said so himself, that every nation believes in their own exceptionalism. If this is true, and everyone is exceptional, then nobody is exceptional.

Yet many liberals including Mr. Obama himself believe in Obama exceptionalism. He is a once in a lifetime leader.

(He was the one who said “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”)

Yet what has this man ever done that makes him so exceptional?

Remove the emotion and passion, and answer the simple question. What makes him worthy of being seen as exceptional?

One can make the argument that he became President of the United States, which only 44 men have ever done. That is impressive, but so did George W. Bush. Liberals would never consider Bush exceptional.

Some will say that Barack Obama did go to Harvard, and you don’t graduate from Harvard without being exceptional.

This does not work for several reasons. George W. Bush graduated from Yale. They are both Ivy League graduates.

Also, and liberals be prepared to have your heads explode again…maybe Harvard itself is not that special.

Now I have crossed the line. Nobody criticizes Harvard. Harvard is proof of brilliance.

Not really. No. It is not.

Harvard may have been special at one point, but nowadays there is rampant grade inflation in universities. When 80% of students are getting As and Bs, As and Bs become meaningless. This fits in perfectly with the narrative of defining down exceptionalism.

William Buckley once said that he would rather be governed by the first 300 names in the telephone book then the Ivy League faculty he encountered. Say what you want, but Mr. Buckley was exceptional. He was an entire movement. Mr. Obama has not gotten to that level yet, and may never get there.

My MBA should give everybody some perspective. I received my MBA from USC. USC was in the top 20 MBA program when I was there, but not in the top of the top like the Ivy Leagues.

(I graduated in the top 95% of my class. Read that euphemism carefully before praising me. Then tell me about what “jobs saved or created” means. It means lowering the bar.)

Yet what were we studying in my classes? What were the reading assignments?

Harvard case studies from decades ago.

Some will say this proves Harvard’s greatness. Actually the reverse is true. If the same case studies are being taught anywhere and everywhere, attending Harvard is not necessary. Professors nationwide are basically teaching the same material.

If offered a chance 20 years ago to attend Harvard, I would absolutely go because I know it would impress potential employers. They would believe the hype. Inside, I would not believe it at all. I would be playing the phony game.

Some would point out that even getting into Harvard makes one special.

No. There is affirmative action, which comes in many forms. It has benefited black liberals in the form of allowing for diversity. It has also benefited white conservatives in the form of “legacy” admissions. Barack Obama may have benefited from his color. George W. Bush may have benefited from his family name. Liberals will absolutely embrace the latter part while discounting the former.

Some will say that Barack Obama did more than attend Harvard. He became the head of the Harvard Law Review. This proves his brilliance.

Not at all. There is still the affirmative action issue. Like any other organization, the Harvard Law Review is political. Diversity and multiculturalism are important.

I am not saying Barack Obama is a dummy. I am just claiming that there is no evidence that he is at the very right corner of the parabola of the normal distribution of intelligence. He might not be past three standard deviations of average.

This is not about race. Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter Williams are absolutely brilliant. They are two of the finest economic minds in history, although they would both defer to Milton Friedman.

Condoleeza Rice is in the stratosphere of intelligence. In addition to having been the Provost at Stanford, she speaks fluent Russian, is a classically trained pianist, and can break down complicated football concepts. The woman is impressive in terms of breadth and depth of knowledge.

I cannot think of anything Barack Obama has ever done that makes him exceptional. He is not Charles Krauthammer in terms of explaining complex concepts in a simple manner. No liberal in their right mind would challenge Mr. Krauthammer to a debate. They know he is exceptional.

As a young man, Bill Clinton not only went to Oxford, but he excelled, often being “first in his class.” I do not have to agree with him on issues to see that he is very bright. He communicates very effectively.

What was Barack Obama doing as a young man?

He was getting stoned. He was Barry O, a stoner and a slacker. I am amazed at how many liberals blasted Bush for being a cocaine user (never proven but not denied), while totally giving Obama a pass. Bush’s brain was somehow limited due to drugs, but for Barack Obama, cocaine is no big deal.

(Liberals reconcile this by saying that alcohol is worse, and Bush was a drunk while Obama only did drugs. Anything that fits the narrative of Bush as dumb and Obama as smart has to fit, no matter how square the peg and round the hole. Obama smoked pot, which in large enough doses can diminish capacity. The scars are permanent, while quitting alcohol can lead to complete recovery.)

So what else makes Barack Obama special?

He is considered “worldly.”

Worldly is an elitist term used by Americans who fawn over foreign culture, especially Europe. Think about how Hollywood and academics fawn over British people at parties, not knowing that back in England these people with the “sophisticated” accents are not the least bit special.

Being from Europe or overseas anywhere does not automatically make somebody bright. The Chinese by and large are bright people, but they have millions of people possessing below average intelligence due to the large opium problem. In America we see the best and brightest of other nations because that is what those nations want us to see. Every nation has imbeciles. The fact that Barack Obama was raised partly in Indonesia does not make him any more or less intelligent than anybody raised in America. Americans are not low class slobs who sit around all day eating Big Macs and playing video games. Virtually every major benefit to society in every field came from Americans born and raised here.

The reason the leftist intellocrats find him so intelligent is because he is one of them. He is an academic. If he is not special, then maybe they are not that special either.

I had these professors in college. They were not special. They were boring and pretentious. They talked to each other and reinforced their own superiority.

What it comes down to is that Barack Obama has some level of book smarts. He does not have street smarts.

(Spending time on the South Side of Chicago does not automatically make one streetwise. Again, he was not literally on the street. His wife was making six figures. They were comfortable.)

George W. Bush is seen by leftists as intellectually uncurious, but he is great at reading people. He is street smart. He can tell when somebody is full of garbaggio.

Barack Obama does not read people. He cannot analyze and process basic human reactions. In terms of dealing with the public, he has been tone deaf. Bill Clinton was the master at faking contrition. He knew how to read the tea leaves and tell people what they wanted to hear. He felt the heat and saw the light. Barack Obama sees nothing. His remarks since the election contained zero self-reflection or inward analysis.

Dennis Miller was the first person to say that the political correctness with Mr. Obama leads to every sentence critical of him being prefaced with an inability to understand how somebody so great could be this fallible. Miller finally said, “maybe he is just mediocre.”

Yes. Maybe he is just mediocre.

For the millionth time, this does not make him a bad guy.

If everybody was great, nobody would be.

Yet when trying to figure out why Barack Obama is only doing an average job at best, and reacting in a manner that is substandard, it is because maybe…just maybe…he is pretty ordinary himself.

As for his leftist critics, they are actually far below average because while everybody else can see that the emperor has no clothes, they still insist that we are just blind.

We can see just fine.

We see a man who talks a great game and delivers average results at best.

Maybe that is his maximum capability.

eric

NFL 2010–Week 12 Recap.

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

My coed touch football team “Team Awesome” had a bye week due to the Thanksgiving holidays. That meant football fans were again stuck with Dallas and Detroit. Some say tradition should not be changed, but new traditions start all the time. Just ask the Jews. Christian America became a tradition. Things change. Like decent gladiators everywhere know, the Christians are better than the Lions.

In even less important news to some, the Canadian Football League Grey Cup saw the Montreal Allouettes defeat the Saskatchewan Something-or-Others 21-18 to win consecutive championships.

In happy news, the United Football League saw the Las Vegas Locomotives win their second straight UFL Championship for head coach and all around good guy Jim Fassel. He absolutely deserves another shot in the NFL.

Also, a quick note about “parity.” Parity has a negative connotation. The late Pete Rozelle understood that the NFL is not about parity. It is “competitive balance,” the “any given Sunday” mentality. Their are still some very good and very bad teams. Not everybody is on pace for 8-8. Yet the graphic below is a fascinating chart. Enjoy it.

http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/2010/11/this-graphic-about-the-nfl-in-2010-will-blow-your-mind/

That is competitive balance.

Now on to the NFL 2010 Week 12 Recap.

New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions was the morning Thanksgiving game. There was a time when going against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day was a risky proposition. Yet after Bobby Ross and Barry Sanders quit in disgust, it has been safe to bet against the Lions virtually always. Bobbie Layne continues to roll over in his grave as Jim Schwartz continues channeling his inner Rod Marinelli.

The Patriots have been the model of excellence in the last decade while the Lions have been the model of ineptitude. New England peaked at 16-0 in 2007 while Detroit bottomed out at 0-16 in 2008. In 2010, the 8-2 Patriots were facing off against the 2-8 Lions. So when the best traveled to play the worst, the expectation was a blowout.

Both teams punted to start the game, and a second Lions punt had the Patriots starting at the Detroit 43. On 3rd and 6, Brady hit Wes Welker for gains of 9 and 19. On 3rd and 7 from the 8, Brady hit Welker again, but was half a yard short. On 4th and 1 from the 2, the normally gambling Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick went conservative on the road and decided to take the points. Shane Graham was good from 19 and the Patriots led 3-0. Would that be enough to end the game?

Not yet. From the Detroit 29, Shawn Hill led a surprising 11 play, 5 minute drive. On 3rd and 8, he hit Nate Burleson for 9. On 3rd and 6 from the Patriots 41, he scrambled for 8. Hill then tossed a 19 yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson, and the Lions shocked the football world by leading 7-3.

In the second quarter, the Patriots punted and the Lions took over at their own 37. Hill did it again, leading the Lions 13 plays in 6 1/2 minutes. A combination of runs and short passes set up 3rd and 2 at the New England 31. Hill hit Burleson for 6, and then Morrison ran for 14. On 3rd and 8 from the 9, Hill hit Williams for 7. On 4th and 1 from the 2, Schwartz decided to go for it. Hill picked up the yard, Morris ran it in on the next play, and the Lions were leading in a stunner 14-3. It’s a Thanksgiving Day Miracle Charlie Brown.

Not so fast. New England finally woke up and got over their boredom. They took over at their own 17. On 3rd and 6 from the Patriots 33, an incomplete pass was nullified due to defensive pass interference. On 3rd and 1 from the Detroit 48, Tom Brady hit Hernandez for 18 and Welker for 13 more. From the Detroit 21, Green-Ellis ran for 6, and then barreled for the final 15 on the next carry as the Patriots were within 14-10.

The Lions took over at their 33 with only 39 seconds left in the half. On 3rd and 1, Brown carried for the yard as the Lions took their first timeout with 18 seconds left in the half. Hill hit Brandon Pettigrew for 11 and Burleson for 20 with 2 seconds left. The field goal was 44 yards, and for the first time on Thanksgiving since 1991 when Eddie Murray was kicking, Jason Hanson was not playing due to injury. Rayner came in and gave the crowd a big lift when he made it as the Lions led 17-10 at halftime.

New England punted on their first drive of the second half, and the Lions took over at their own 11. Morris ran for 17 yards, and the Lions had all the momentum. The upset was happening. No. Hill was intercepted, and the Patriots took over at the Detroit 26. On 2nd and 7 Brady hit Deion Branch for 12. Green Ellis ran for 6 and then the final 5 to have the game tied 17-17.

So naturally the Lions would fold. Well, not yet. Stephan Logan returned the ensuing kickoff to the Detroit 42. On 3rd and 8 Hill hit Pettigrew for 24 and Johnson for 21 more. The Lions failed to convert on 3rd and goal at the 1. On 4th and goal Schwartz decided to go for it again, and again he was rewarded. Morris banged it in as the Lions again led 24-17.

The Patriots took over at their own 13. On 3rd and 2 Brady went deep to Branch for  79 yard touchdown bomb. The defender has position all the way down the field, but Branch faked him out three times, inside, outside, and inside again before reaching the pileon. The game was tied 24-24.

Hill continued to move the Lions, getting them from the Detroit 30 to a 4th and 5 at the New England 28. With a chance to retake the lead again, Rayner missed the 46 yard field goal attempt. With one minute left in the third quarter, would the Lions finally collapse?

Yes. New England took over at their own 36, and on 2nd and 2, Brady ended the quarter with a 26 yard completion to Gronkowski. From the Detroit 33, Brady hit Welker for 11 and then hit Branch for the 22 yard touchdown to have the Patriots up 31-24 only one minute into the fourth quarter.

The Lions took over at their own 26. On 3rd and 5 from the Detroit 45, a completed pass for the first down was nullified by offensive pass interference, and the Lions punted. The Patriots took over at their own 16. On 3rd and 2, a wildcat snap to Woodhead as Brady pretended that it went over his head went for 9. From the New England 38, Brandon Tate picked up 17 From the Detroit 42, Brady found Gronkowski for 26 yards, and then connected with Welker for the 16 yard touchdown to have the Patriots up 38-24 with 7 minutes left in regulation. While the Detroit collapse was inevitable, at least it was not a blowout. Oh wait, it would be.

On 2nd and 1 from the Detroit 40, Hill was intercepted by McCourty at the New England 38. McCourty returned it 50 yards to the Detroit 12. Green-Ellis ran it in from 1 yard out with 3 minutes to play to officially make it a 21 point game. Hill tried to at least get the Lions a garbage touchdown, moving them from their 20 to a 4th and 3 at the the New England 6. Hill fired incomplete and Detroit became the second team this year to officially have a losing record while the Patriots became the first team to officially have a winning record. So much for parity.

Some will praise the Lions for hanging in there and fighting hard. They led in the third quarter and were tied after three quarters. This is nonsense. They were outscored 42-10 after having a brief lead. I have a couple friends in the military who wanted to see the Lions win on Thanksgiving. When it counted, as usual, they were not even competitive. Short of William Clay Ford getting a government bailout, there is no optimism for a failed team in a failed city. The only thing left is for the Lions to secede and join the Canadian Football League. Calvin Johnson deserves better, and maybe if Matthew Stafford can be healthy next year, there will be a ray of hope. Hill did finish 27 of 46 for 285 yards and one touchdown with 2 interceptions. As for Brady, he finished 21 of 27 for 341 yards and 4 touchdowns with 0 interceptions, as the possible letdown after last week’s emotional win over Indy was dispelled in the second quarter.  45-24 Patriots

New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys was the afternoon Thanksgiving game. Dallas began with Super Bowl aspirations and then went 1-7, resulting in the firing of Wade Phillips. Jason Garrett has fired up the Cowboys, who have won 2 straight.  As for the defending champion Saints, Sean Payton has them back on track at 7-3, with Reggie Buh set to return after missing much of the season. Last year the Saints were 13-0 when Dallas came into New Orleans and beat the daylights out of them, going up 24-3 and hanging on for a 24-17 win. Wade Phillips coached that game. Jason Garrett had a heroic Thanksgiving game of his own in 1994 filling in for Troy Aikman, but today Garrett was coaching and Aikman was with Joe Buck in the broadcast booth. Wade’s father Bum Phillips used to coach the Saints, which means people were desperate for a storyline. TMZ fans could point out that both teams had a player who slept with some Kardashian, as if that is worth bragging about. As for the game, it went as expected at the start.

The Saints took over at their own 20 and Drew Brees went right to work. He hit Graham for 14 and Devry Henderson for 12 more. After offensive holding, Brees went deep to Henderson, who made an acrobatic catch for 57 yards at the Dallas 7.  After an offsides penalty, Ivory ran it in from the 3 to quickly have the Saints up 7-0.

With Tony Romo out for the season, Jon Kitna began by throwing an interception, setting the Saints up at the Dallas 31. The defense held, but Garret Hartley drilled a 50 yard field goal to have the Saints up 10-0. Dallas responded by moving backward and punting on 4th and 23 from their own 7 as the Saints took over at their own 42.

On 3rd and 2 from midfield, former Dallas running back Julius Jones picked up 6. Brees then hit Marquis Colston for 16 and fired to the end zone to Henderson for a 28 yard touchdown as the Saints led 17-0 only midway through the opening quarter. Dallas would fumble the ensuing kickoff, but the callw as reversed and the Cowboys retained possession. While the Saints were on pace to win 136-0, Dallas was not Cumberland. The game would slowly settle down.

Kitna would convert a couple of 3rd downs, and the second quarter began with Dallas facing 4th and 1 at the Saint 21. Garrett decided to go for it and Marion Barber got blown up in the backfield. The Saints would punt, and Dallas took over again at their own 18. On 3rd and 6 from the Saints 47, Kitna hit Miles Austin for 7 and then got a screen pass to Felix Jones, who took it for 28 yards. For the third time in the half, Dallas would fumble the ball but be lucky enough to recover their own fumble. With 5 minutes left in the half, the Cowboys faced 4th and 1 at the Saints 3. Garrett decided that Dallas needed points on the board, and David Buehler did not take the day off as he made the 21 yarder to have the Cowboys down 17-3.

The Saints took over on their own 19. On 3rd and 3, Brees hit Moore for 6. On 3rd and 10 Brees hit Jones for 12. On 3rd and 1 from the Sallas 47, offensive holding only temporarily slowed the Saints as a 28 yard pass to Colston kept the drive going. The Saints got no further, and with 47 seconds left in the half, Hartley came in for a 45 yard field goal. He made it and the Saints led 20-3.

Dallas took over at their own 24 with 37 seconds left in the half. A pair of 12 yard completions to Austin and Jason Witten still had Dallas out of range, but a critical illegal use of hands penalty on the defense was just enough to allow Buehler to try a 53 yard field goal on the last play of the half. It was not pretty, but it snuck through as the Cowboys trailed 20-6 at the break. Despite the one interception, Kitna was playing well, completing 17 of 21. Yet Dallas had no answer for Brees, who was 12 of 17 for 188 yards in the first half.

Dallas exploded out of the gate to start the second half. From the Dallas 32, Kitna hit Jones for 8 and then executed a reverse to Austin. Kardashian boyfriend 2 ran around the end and followed a blocker all the way for a 60 yard touchdown as the Cowboys were immediately within 20-13. Unfortunately for Dallas, Drew Brees and the Saints got the ball back, this time from their own 20.

Brees connected with Moore for 12, and Ivory then ran for 17. On 3rd and 3 from the Dallas 32, Brees hit Colston for 19. Yet Dallas then held, as the Saints settled for a 28 Hartley field goal to lead 23-13.

The Saints had scored on 6 of 7 possessions and were looking for more when Dallas had to punt. Yet Kardashian boyfriend 1 Reggie Bush, perhaps more rusty from the broken leg and missing games than his absence from her, fumbled the punt. The Cowboys recovered the gift at the Saints 15. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Barber was stacked up just short of the goal line. This time Garrett decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the 1, and after the collision, Marion the Barbarian was the winner. It was tough, but the Cowboys were only down 23-20 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.

Brees brought the Saints back again, and on 4th and 5 from the Dallas 35, Sean Payton decided against the 53 yard field goal attempt. This time Brees fired high and incomplete, and Dallas took over. Kitna completed a pass to Felix Jones just shy of midfield. Yet for the 4th time in the game, Dallas would fumble the ball. Luckily again, for the 4th time they retained possession as the third quarter ended. In an unbelievable turn of events, the fourth quarter began exactly the same way, with Kitna getting hit and causing the 5th Dallas fumble, and for the 5th time Dallas somehow retaining possession, The play actually gained 5 yards.

With 11 minutes left in regulation and the Cowboys facing 3rd and 4 at the Saints 35, Dallas took  a timeout, leaving each team with 2 left. Dez Bryant was complaining on the sidelines a couple plays earlier for not having a single pass thrown his way the whole game. So Kitna finally threw to Bryant, missed him badly, and Dallas had 4th and 4. Garrett surprisingly decided not to go for it or try the 53 yard field goal, instead opting to punt. Chaos then ensued as the 6th Dallas fumble on the day came when punter McBriar dropped the snap. In a bizarre sequence as the ball bounced and rolled around, McBriar just kicked it. Penalty flags flew. While a “drop-kick” is still legal, it requires possession, which McBriar had lost. Yet New Orleans declined the penalty anyway and took over at their own 16. The last successful drop-kick came a couple years ago from Doug Flutie, and before that happened in 1941.

On 3rd and 7, Brees fired a perfect deep strike to Jimmie Brown. It bounced off his fingers and was intercepted by Sensebaugh, who returned it 14 yards to the Dallas 39. Kitna hit Roy Williams for 24 yards. On 1st and goal Marion Barber was ruled to have a touchdown, but before payton could challenge the call, the officials overruled it and called him down short of the goal. On 2nd and goal Barber again came up short. On 3rd and goal Tashard Choice got the carry. Initially it appeared that a seventh Dallas fumble was in the cards, but it was a Dallas helmet then went bouncing around. As for Choice, he broke the plane a the Cowboys had come all the way back to lead 27-23 with 6 minutes left in regulation.

Brees got sacked on 3rd down on the next series as the Saints were forced to punt and the Cowboys smelled the upset. The Cowboys took over at their own 38 with 4:10 to play. On 3rd and 6, Kitna hit Roy Williams over the middle. Williams split the seams and was outracing 3 defenders for what appeared to be the icing on the cake. Instead, he was caught from behind at the Saints 11 by Malcolm Jenkins. In one of the best defensive plays of the season, Jenkins simply ripped it out of his hands. The 7th Dallas fumble of the game was the first one lost by Dallas, and the Saints had life with 3 minutes left.

Brees hit Colston for 22 yards. On 3rd and 10 Brees went deep to Robert Meachem. It was Meachem’s first catch of the day, although he was not complaining on the sidelines. It went for 55 yards to the Dallas 12 at the 2 minute warning. The Saints still had one timeout left. Brees then hit Lance Moore for the score. It was a perfect pass just pass the outstretched hands of a diving Terrence Newman.  In the first quarter the Saints had the game all but won. Late in the fourth quarter the Cowboys had the game all but won. Now Dallas needed a field goal to tie the game, and they would start at their own 24 with 1:50 to play and 2 timeouts.

Short passes had the Cowboys at their own 48 with 56 seconds left. A second consecutive sideline pass to Jason Witten went for 9 more yards. Another short pass to Austin bounced off him like a Kardashian, setting up 3rd and 1. Another pass to Roy Williams looked like a loss, but somehow Williams stretched just enough for the first down and got out of bounds. With 42 seconds left, a kick would have been 59 yards.  Three incomplete passes set up 4th and 10 with 31 seconds left.

In another stunning decision, Garrett decided to have Buehler try a 59 yard field goal as Payton did not call timeout in time. Buehler drilled it long enough, but it was just wide left. Jason Garrett has done a lot right since taking over, but this decision will be some water cooler talk for a few days. Jerry Jones saw his team lose their 8th game in 12 tries while the Saints survived to go to 8-3, a 1/2 game out of the division lead. 30-27 Saints

Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets was the nighttime Thanksgiving game, and the third game of the day that looked like  major mismatch on paper with the Jets at 8-2 and the Bengals at 2-8. Last year the Jets only went 9-7, while the Bengals were 11-5 and hosting their playoff game. The Jets beat the daylights out of them in consecutive weeks. The Bengals thought they had upgraded with Terrell Owens, as if that ever happens when he is added to a roster. He and Chad Johnson make up a trashtalking offense. Yes, Rex Ryan is king of the trashtalkers, but unlike the Cincy offense the Jets defense actually backs it up. Last year Darrell Revis called Terrell Owens a slouch. This week Owens said that Revis is only an average corner. Revis has been battling an injury, and again, his team is 8-2 while Owens plays for a 2-8 team while letting the world know that he loves him some him.

An ugly scoreless first quarter could have been skipped entirely, which is what I will do out of respect for the game. In the second quarter the Bengals ran their version of a punt, which is when Carson Palmer throws the bomb and gets intercepted.

The Jets took over at their own 23, and a pair of Ladanian Tomlinson runs had them at the 34. Mark Sanchez hit Dustin Keller for 21, with 15 more tacked on for a facemask. A couple more Tomlinson runs picked up 17, but on 4th and 3 from the 8, Rex Ryan decided on the field goal. Nick Folk hit the 27 yarder to put the Jets up 3-0.

Scott returned the kickoff 33 yards to the Cincy 47. On 3rd and 2, Palmer hit Leonard for 3. Cedric Benson then picked up 14. Palmer then showed how to punt for a touchback, as his deep pass was intercepted in the end zone. Yet Cromartie returned it to the 21, with an illegal block showing why interception returns deep in the end zone should be treated as punts and kickoffs. The Jets took over at their own 3.

The Bengals got the ball back at their own 37,  and Palmer hit Gresham for 25 yards just before the 2 minute warning.  Palmer hit Chad Johnson to the Jets 21. Encroachment tacked on 5 more. From the 11, a pair of incompletions was followed by a terrible defensive personal foul for a hit on a defenseless receiver. It was clearly a shoulder to the chest and the ball was right there, but nevertheless it was 1st and goal at the 5. A pass to Johnson was initially ruled out of bounds in the end zone. On the next play Palmer hit Jordan Shipley for the score as the Bengals took the lead 7-3 with 43 seconds left in the half.

With all 3 timeouts, Sanchez worked the clock brilliantly, hitting Santonio Holmes for 11, Brad Smith for 23. Nick Folk made the 44 yard field goal but Marvin Lewis had used the despised Shanahan tactic to force Folk to kick again.  It worked, Folk missed, and the Bengals led 7-3 at the half of this hideous game that only a son of Buddy Ryan could love.

Brad Smith returned the second half kickoff 18 yards to the Jets 31. Sanchez quickly hit Holmes for 16, and then Smith took an end around all the way for a 53 yard touchdown as the Jets were up 10-7 only seconds into the half.

The Bengals punted, and the Jets took over at their own 10. Sanchez then scrambled, escaped a sack, and channeled his inner Carson Palmer by getting intercepted as the Bengals took over at the Jets 37. Marvin Lewis went to the bag of tricks as Palmer pitched to Chad Johnson, who threw the deep option pass to Terrell Owens. It was incomplete. On 4th and 3, Lewis decided to gamble rather than kick a 48 yard field goal. Palmer called timeout. Palmer then fired incomplete, but a roughing the passer penalty instead moved the Bengals to the 15.  This set up a much shorter field goal from 27, which was no good. Speaking of no good, this game was…well, you know.

Things got weird when the Jets punted, and the Jets dove after it as the Bengals did not even bother to give chase. Nobody on the Bengals realized that it touched them. Yet the replays did not show it touched anyone, and the Bengals did not act as if it did. The Jets ran a play without Lewis challenging the decision. One play later, the Jets had a 17-7 lead with a 13 yard touchdown to Holmes.

The fourth quarter began with the Jest facing 4th and 16 at their own 1. A poor punt had the Bengals at the Jets 24. Palmer hit Shipley for 12, but nothing more. This time a 28 yard field goal was good as the Bengals trailed 17-10 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Yet the Bengals had no answer for Brad Smith, who started on one side, followed a perfect miniwedge to the other side of the field, lost one shoe, and got through perfect blocks for a 90 yard one-shoed kickoff return. Nick Folk doinked the extra point off the upright, but somehow it still went through as the Jets led 24-10.

With 7 minute left in regulation, the Bengals were backed up after a fair catch on the 6 yard line. Palmer was about to be sacked when he intentionally grounded the ball in the end zone. The safety had the Bengals down 26-10, while average corner back Revis had limited his loudmouth Cincy critic at that point to 17 yards.

For those who have been criticizing the Jets for being lucky, the Jets are simply good…very good. They deserve to be 9-2. They are in a tie for their division lead and the best record in the NFL. Rex Ryan makes loud comments and puts all the pressure on himself so that the players can relax. As for Marvin Lewis, he is still too good a man to be trapped in such a bad situation. Bengals defender Dhani Jones stars in the commercial where he claims that nothing smells. He should smell his own team. They reek of loserdom, and no amount of reality tv shows will change that. 26-10 Jets

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Giants–A pair of 6-4 teams faced off in an interconference game in which Jack Del Rio saw is team win on a Hail Mary a couple weeks ago and shares their division lead. Tom Coughlin has seen his squad lose 2 straight to fall one game back in their division. He and Jack Del Rio are the only 2 coaches Wayne Weaver has ever had, as Coughlin sought to defeat his old boss.

Eli Manning led the Giants right down the field on their opening drive, but they have been plagued by turnovers with an NFL leading 30. This time they coughed it up inside the Jacksonville 11, but on further review retained possession. On 3rd and 2 from the 3, a draw play blew up in the backfield as Big Blue settled for a 22 yard Lawrence Tynes field goal to complete the 11 play, 75 yard, 6 minute drive and have the Giants up 3-0.

David Garrard brought the Jaguars right back, as two teams known for defense under Tom Coughlin and Jack Del Rio did not see much of it early on. From the Giants 24, Jennings ran for 19, and then the final 5 on the next play to have Jacksonville up 7-3.

in the second quarter Garrard led the Jaguars on a 15 play, 85 yard drive that consumed 9 minutes. Yet the Jaguars got no further than the 4 yard line, as a 22 yard Josh Scobee field goal had Jacksonville up 10-3. The Giants came right back as Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 27 yards and Manning hit Beckum for 29 more to the Jacksonville 16. A touchdown pass was nullified by offensive holding, as the Giants settled for a 29 yard field goal to get within 10-6.

Garrard led the Jaguars down the field again, this time moving the Jaguars 71 yards in 13 plays over 5 minutes. On 3rd and 7 from the Jaguars 46, Garrard hit Hill for 15. On 3rd and 5 from the 21, Garrard picked up 6. The Giants could not contain him as he scrambled again on 3rd and goal from the 5 for another touchdown to have the Jaguars up 17-6 at the break.

Tom Coughlin did not fire everyone at halftime, as the Giants took the field. Jack Del Rio may wish he had, since the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter was David Garrard getting intercepted as the Giants took over at the Jaguars 34. The Giants would stall at the 9 yard line, but a 28 yard Tynes field goal had the Giants within 17-9.

With the third quarter ending, the Giants took over at their own 12. Manning hit Kevin Boss for 17 and Brandon Jacobs rumbled for 17 more. The fourth quarter began with Manning hitting Boss for 25 and Mario Manningham for the 26 yard touchdown. Ahmad Bradshaw ran for the 2 point conversion to tie the game 17-17.

Jacksonville took over at their own 34. On 3rd and 2 from the Giants 47, Maurice Jones-Drew picked up 10. Garrard then scrambled for 11. The drive stalled, but Josh Scobee nailed the 42 yard field to have the Jaguars leading 20-17 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation. After an exchange of punts, the Giants took over at their own 31 with 6 minutes left.

Manning hit Manningham for 18, and Jacobs ran for 18 more. 18 is a lucky number in Jewish culture, so this was a way of letting people know Hanukkah in New York was happening soon. On 3rd and 10 from the Jacksonville 32, Manning hit Boss, who took it all the way for the score as the Giants took the lead by 4 points with 3:24 to play. The Jaguars took over at their own 27 with 3 minutes left.

Garrard hit  Mike Sims-Walker for 21 yards. On 3rd and 5, Garrard found Thomas for 13 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Giants 34, an incomplete pass was nullified by defensive holding. Garrard was sacked for an 11 yard loss with 1:43 to play. On 2nd and 21 Garrard was sacked and fumbled, but the Jaguars kept it. On 3rd and 25 Garrard was sacked and fumbled again, this time with the Giants recovering. The Giants ran out the clock to give Coughlin the win in the Wayne Weaver Bowl. The Giants improved to 7-4 while the Jaguars fell to 6-5, with both of these teams still in contention for their division crowns. 24-20 Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills–Pittsburgh keeps rolling, while Buffalo has shown a ton of heart in winning consecutive games after starting 0-8.

Ben Roethlisberger, who despite Hanukkah approaching is still not Jewish, led a 13 play 78 yard, 8 minute drive. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 45, Big Ben hit Hines Ward for 21. On 3rd and 1 from the Buffalo 15, Redman picked up 9. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Rashaard Mendenhall got the job done to have the Steelers up 7-0. In the second quarter, a 14 play drive would lead to a 45 yard Sean Suisham field goal as the Steelers led 10-0.

With 1:42 left in the half the Steelers took over at their own 18. An 18 yard completion to Ward had Pittsburgh at midfield with 45 seconds left in the half. Offesnive holding set up 1st and 20, but completions to Sanders of 16 and 11 followed by illegal contact on the defense gave Suisham enough time for a 46 yard field goal at the gun to have the Steelers up 13-0.

The Steelers were dominating the game everywhere but the scoreboard, and a 65  yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Fred Johnson in the third quarter quickly had the Bills within 13-7. Buffalo got the ball back, and the fourth quarter began with them just shy of midfield. Fitzpatrick hit Nelson for 17, and a couple plays later defensive pass interference had the Bills at the Pittsburgh 11. They got nothing more and settled for a 29 yard Ryan Lindell field goal to trail 13-10.

Pittsburgh immediately gave the ball back when Mendenhall fumbled, as the Bills took over at the Steelers 23. On 3rd and 1 Fitzpatrick snuck and got nothing. On 4th and 1, Chan Gailey decided on the field goal. Lindell connected form 32 and the game was tied 13-13 with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Pittsburgh faced 1st and 20 at their own 10 after a holding penalty. Big Ben hit Heath Miller for 26. After a sack left 3rd and 17 at the 29, Roethlisberger scrambled for 18. Mendenhall then picked up 22. The drive stalled, but with 6:19 to play Suisham nailed his 3rd field goal of the game, a 48 yarder to have the Steelers up 16-13.

A strong kickoff return by Leodis McKelvin with a facemask tacked on had the Bills at the Steelers 44. On 4th and 2, Fitzpatrick hit St. Johnson for 10. With 3 minutes to play and the Bills at the Pittsburgh 12 needing only a field goal to tie it, Fitzpatrick was intercepted by Troy Paomalu. The Steelers took over at their own 6 and the game seemed over.

On 3rd and 2 Big Ben Ben hit Mewelde Moore for 8 yards at the 2 minute warning. With 1:53 to play, the Steelers faced 3rd and 7 at their own 25 and Buffalo out of timeouts. Roethlisberger hit Sanders for the clinching 1st down, but before the STeelers could celebrate, offensive holding nullified the play. After a false start, Mike Tomlin took no chances. He ran the ball to bleed the clock and punted. The Bills took over at their own 46 with 46 seconds to play.

Fitzpatrick hit Nelson for gains of 14 and 9. On 4th and 1 from the 31 with 7 seconds left, Lindell came in for a 49 yard field goal try. He nailed it, and the teams went to overtime 16-16.

The Bills had a golden opportunity to start overtime when McKelvin returned the kickoff to the Pittsburgh 48. Yet 3 plays netted only 7 yards. Gailey decided to punt. It was smart, as the Steelers began at their own 4, and punted on 4th and 13 from their own 1. A booming punt had the Bills at their own 34.

Fitzpatrick hit Fred Jackson for 13, and Jackson ran for 13 more to the Pittsburgh 40. Fitzpatrick went deep and found a wide open St. Johnson in the end zone. An offensive lineman jumped into Fitzpatrick’s arms to celebrate the win. Yet the celebration stopped when they realized that St. Johnson dropped it. There was nobody around him and it was perfectly thrown. He simply choked and dropped it. On 3rd and 6 from the 36, Fitzpatrick was sacked for a 3 yard loss. This was just enough to end thoughts of a field goal try as the Bills punted again. This time it was a touchback.

On 3rd and 8 from the 22, Roethlisberger hit Mike Wallace for 17. Mendenhall and Redman alternated carries on 4 straight runs to get to the Buffalo 37. After an incomplete pass, i was back to ground with Mendenhal picking up 8 and Redman another 7. With 2:19 left in overtime, Mike Tomlin brought in Suisham on 3rd and 10 for the 41 yarder. The 7 minute drive and the game ended when Suisham made it. The Bills came close to their 3rd straight win but were a dropped pass short of a shocker. The Steelers got to 8-3. with the hard fought win and the Bills became the first team this season to officially have a losing record and be eliminated from playoff contention. 19-16 Steelers, OT

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans–The original storyline when the season started was Vince Young coming home in the division rivalry game. Then the storyline turned into the war between Young and coach Jeff Fisher. Young tried to apologize by text, and Fisher was right to explain that a real man looks another man in the eye.

Yet all of that seems trivial, as the real storyline for the entire league this week is that Titans Offensive Coordinator Mike Heimerdinger his cancer. Dinger is a very respected coordinator around the league, and the news has rocked the league.  Tough guy that he is, he will be on the sidelines today calling the plays, and then starting aggressive chemotherapy tomorrow.  NFL fans everywhere should keep Dinger in their prayers.

With everything surrounding this game, these division rivals are still in the playoff hunt but hanging on by a thread. The Titans have lost 3 straight and are one game out of the division lead. Houston has fallen apart but are only 2 back. Bob McNair gave Gary Kubiak a reprieve after a strong finish last year, but it may take a Laxarus Act to save Kubiak this time.

With Kerry Collins injured and Vince Young in another ozone, the Titans started the aptly named Rusty Smith. Smith played for Howard Schnellenberger at FAU, making him the coolest Owl in the league. Yet Rusty did not have Owl Eyes early on as an interception set up Houston at the Titans 25 to start the second quarter. On 3rd and 2,  short pass to Foster took it down to the one, where Matt Schaub hit Joel Dreesen for the score to have the Texans up 7-0. In the second quarter Schaub led a 71 yard drive that ate up 5 minutes. Schaub tossed a 2 yard touchdown to Andre Johnson as the Texans led 14-0.

The second half was ugly on so many levels. The Texans would add a field goal to lead 17-0. Midway through the fourth quarter Cortland Finneran and Andre Johnson got into a fistfight as both helmets came off with punches being thrown. Both players were ejected as the fight continued with players on both sides getting flagged. The Texans tacked on another field goal. Near the end of the game, the Titans drove deep to try and avoid the shutout. Quinn Glover, who was victimized on the miracle Hail Mary loss a couple weeks ago, redeemed himself bigtime in this game with 3 interceptions of Rusty Smith.

The Texans had their first home shutout in franchise history and snapped their 4 game losing streak. The Titans now have a 4 game losing streak of their own as both of these teams are 5-6 and still in contention for the division. 20-0 Texans

Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins–Brad Childress is still bald and Catholic, but he is no longer the coach of the Vikings. Despite going 8-8, 10-6, and 12-4, this year the team collapsed and he took the fall. With Mike Holmgren as the Walrus and Andy Reid as Walrus Lite, Brad Childress looked like the next generation, Walrus III. Instead he became a punching bag, getting none of the credit for last year and all of the blame this year. Childress is a good man, and his visit to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan was very poignant when he got to see his own son. He deserved better than what he got this year, and hopefully he will be continuing the Walrus tradition on the sidelines again soon. For now, Leslie Frazier finally has his first NFL start.

Donovan McNabb passed the Redskins silly on the opening drive, converting three 3rd down conversions and leading an 83 yard drive that took 13 plays and 8 minutes. It culminated in a short touchdown pass to Davis to have the Redskin up 7-0 as McNabb completed all 8 passes on the drive.

Brett Favre began for the Vikings at the Minnesota 30. On 3rd and 1, Dugan picked up 2. From the 40, a short screen pass to Adrian Peterson went for 34 yards to the Washington 26. Another pass to Vincent Shiancoe went for 13 yards, and Peterson ran for 9 more down to the 4, and then barreled over people on the next run to tie the game 7-7.

After a scoreless second quarter, Minnesota took the third quarter kickoff and went 74 yards in 5 minutes. On 3rd and 1 from the Washington 43, Favre hit Shiancoe for 29 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 5, Toby Gerhardt got the touchdown as the Vikings led 14-7.

With 2 minutes left in the third quarter, McNabb went back to pass from his own 5 and was intercepted. The return actually lost 4 yards as Minnesota had 1st and goal at the 9. Favre was sacked and the Vikings wasted the gift, settling for a 31 yard Ryan Longwell field goal to lead 17-7. Banks returned the ensung kickoff 65 yards to the Minnesota 28 as the third quarter ended. It led to a 40 yard Graham Gano field goal as the Redskins trailed 17-10

Minnesota failed to convert on a 3rd and 1 run, so the Redskins got the ball back at their own 31. McNabb quickly went deep to Armstrong for 45 yards. They got nothing more as a Gano field goal from 42 yards out had the Redskins within 17-13.

With 7 minutes left in regulation, Minnesota punted, and again Banks burned them, taking it back 77 yards for a touchdown. Yet an illegal block nullified the score and had the Redskins starting at their own 11. They would punt, as Favre turned to the running game to try and grind down the clock. With 4 minutes left, the Vikings faced 3rd and 5 at the Washington 44. Favre hit Greg Lewis for 8 yards. With 2:25 to play and Adrian Peterson on the sidelines due to an earlier injury, it came down to Favre. The old man scrambled, dove head first, and picked up 10 yards at the 2 minute warning. Washington was out of timeouts as Favre pumped his fists and Peterson slapped Leslie Frazier on the hide in celebration. It was not pretty, but it was a desperately needed gutty win. 17-13 Vikings

Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons–This could be a preview of the NFC Title Game. Mike Smith may look like an average non-descript white guy who looks like a guy named Mike Smith, but he has Atlanta with the best record in the NFC. Yet the Falcons are only one game ahead in their division, while Green Bay is tied for their division lead. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan have been lighting it up.

The Falcons used to be doormats. Now they are have a pair of Matts, quarterback Matty Ice Ryan and kicker Bryant. Ryan led Atlanta down the field to a 38 yard field goal by Bryant to put the Falcons up 3-0.

From the Green Bay 15, Aaron Rodgers hit Greg Jennings for a 30 yard gain. A facemask penalty added 15 more yards on the next play. Rodgers then hit Donald Driver for 17 and scrambled for 11 more. Yet on 3rd and 1 from the 4, Nance got stoned up the middle. On 4th and 1, Mike McCarthy decided to play it safe on the road, as Mason Crosby connected from 22 to tie the game 3-3 and complete the 81 yard drive.

In the second quarter the Packers took over again at their own 15, and Rodgers coolly led them down the field. On 1st and goal at the 2, Rodgers threw incomplete. A run got them closer, and on 3rd and goal from the 1, Rodgers fumbled, and the Falcons recovered for a touchback to keep the game tied.

Ryan made the Packers as he led a 14 play, 80 yard drive that took 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 19, Ryan threw to Mughelli to set up 4th and 3 at the Green Bay 36. Mike Smith decided to go for it, and Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for 6. From the 26, Ryan hit Gonzalez for 21 more. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Ryan hit…you guessed it…Gonzalez. Only 12 seconds remained in the half as the end zone was finally cracked as the Falcons led 10-3.

The Packers began the third quarter at their own 20. On 3rd and 2, Rodgers hit Jennings for 34 yards. On 3rd and 1, Rodgers found Nelson for 28 yards down to the one. Rodgers took it up the middle on the next play to tie the game 10-10.

The Falcons took over at their own 20. On 3rd and 9, Ryan hit Snelling for 10. On 3rd and 6 from the Atlanta 35, Ryan hit Roddy White for 12 and Gonzalez for 15 more. Turner then ran for 26 yards to the 12, and the fourth quarter began with the Falcons facing 3rd and goal at the 1. A pass completion still left them short, and Smith decided to go for it on 4th and goal. Michael Turner took a handoff off-tackle and went in standing up to have the Falcons back up 17-10.

Green Bay was backed up at their own 7 yard line to start their next drive. Rodgers led them to 3rd and 1 at the Atlanta 41. Rodgers fired incomplete, and with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Mike McCarthy decided to go for it. Rodgers fired incomplete again, and Atlanta took over. On 3rd and 4 from the Gren Bay 38, A completed pass for no gain was fumbled out of bounds. On 4th and 4 Smith decided against the field goal and going for it, as Atlanta punted with 6 minutes to play. Green Bay took over on their own 10.

On 2nd and 15 from the 21, Rodgers hit Quarless for 19. From the Atlanta 45, Rodgers hit Jennings for 15. On 3rd and 1, Rodgers fired incomplete, setting up 4th and 1 at the 21 with 2:11 to play. Rodgers hit Jones at the 3 yard line. Rodgers was sacked and fumbled on the net play, but the Packers fell on it at the 6. Everything came down to 4th and goal at the 10 with 1:06 to play. Rodgers scrambled, had all the time in the world, and fired a laser to Nelson for the touchdown. With the game tied 17-17, Rodgers did his job. Yet a facemask penalty against the Pacers had the Falcons starting at midfield with 49 seconds left in the game.

Ryan hit White for 9 and Jenkins for 4 to the Atlanta 36. On 4th and 3 with 13 seconds to play, Bryant came in for the 47 yard field goal to win it. The kick was good, and the Falcons had the win to be the only 9-2 team in the NFC. Green Bay fell to 7-4. This was a fine football game, and a rematch in he playoffs would be well worth watching. 20-17 Falcons

Carolina Panthers @ Cleveland Browns–With Colt McCoy injured, Jake Delhomme gets the start against his former team. 2 years ago Delhomme had the Panthers at 12-4 and looking like a Super Bowl contender. Then one horrible game at home resulted in a playoff shocker, which carried over into a nightmarish season that saw Delhomme run out of town on a rail. Some say Delhomme is washed up, but he has had too many great games not to be given a chance at redemption. Either way, Jon Fox will most likely be fired in Carolina while Walrus Mike Holmgren is the second most desperate man to fire the coach and take over himself besides Pat Riley. Eric Mangini has the Browns competing, but a loss at home against woeful Carolina would be a killer.

A 26 yard touchdown run by Woodson had the Panthers up 7-0 early on. Yet Delhomme brought the Browns back the other way 77 yards. On 2nd and goal from the 8 Delhomme was called for intentional grounding, but on 3rd and goal from the 19 an incomplete was offset by a defensive personal foul. Peyton Hillis ran it in from 9 yards to tie the game 7-7.

Later in the first quarter Delhomme led a 6 minute drive that covered 64 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Cleveland 40, an incompelte pass was nullified by defensive holding. On 3rd and 3 from the Carolina 48, another incomplete pass was nullified by roughing the passer as Jon Fox could only watch his defense implode. Delhomme would hit Massaquoi for 19 yards. From the 14, Hillis ran for 9 and then the final 5 to have the Browns up 14-7 to end the opening quarter.

After a Carolina punt, Cleveland took over just past midfield. Delhomme hit Hillis for 21 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Carolina 19, Delhomme snuck for 2. On 3rd and 1 from the 8, Delhomme completed a pass to Moore, who fumbled it away at the 2 yard line to kill the drive. Yet Carolina punted again and the Browns took over at the Cleveland 40. On 3rd and 4, Delhomme hit Robiskie for 15 and Massaquoi for 15 more. Hillis picked up 18, and then 6 more for the score as the Browns led 21-7.

Jimmy Clausen would lead Carolina on a couple respectable drives late in the half,    but would have to settle for field goals. John Kasay connected from 43 and 42 as the Panthers only trailed 21-13 at halftime.

If ever there was a game where Delhomme was desperate for redemption, this was it. Yet it was not happening in the third quarter as Delhomme was intercepted by Munnerlyn, who returned it 37 yards for a score. Jon Fox decided against the 2 point conversion as the Panthers trailed 21-20. It was the right decision, but would loom large later on.

The fourth quarter began with the Browns at the Carolina 47. On 3rd and 15 from the Carolina 39, Delhomme hit Hillis for 14. Eric Mangini decided to go for it on 4th and 1 rather than try a 43 yard field goal. Hillis got nothing and the Panthers took over with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

On 3rd and 12, Clausen hit Donte Rosario for 14. JImmy Stewart picked up 7, and on the next play broke free for a 31 yard gain to the Cleveland 25. The drive stalled, but Jon Kasay nailed the 43 yard field goal to have the Panthers up 23-21 with 7 minutes left.

The Browns took over at their own 30, and Delhomme quickly hit Hillis for 12. On 3rd and 10 Delhomme again found Hillis for 12 more. Delhomme hit Massaquoi for 13 and Robiskie for 9 to the Carolina 24. The Panthers jumped offsides, but the Browns declined it, preferring 2nd and 1 to 1st and 5. It was not an awful decision, but 2 straight runs left 4th and 1. With 2:42 to play, Mangini opted for the field goal. Phil Dawson aimed it right at the Dawg pound, and the Browns led by a point again. The Panthers took over at their own 31.

On 3rd and 5 at the 36, Clausen hit Rosario for 10 at the 2 minute warning. Clausen was then intercepted by Haden. The Browns had the ball at the Carolina 44 with 1:28 to play. Yet the Panthers had all 3 timeouts and Mangini went unltra-conservative. On 4th and 2 from the Carolina 36, Mangini opted to punt. One minute remained, but the Panthers were backed up at their own 5 yard line.

Clausen hit Goodsen for 11, and on 3rd and 10 found Goodsen again for 32 yards. Clausen spiked the ball to stop the clock with 12 seconds left.  Clausen hit LaFell for 28 yards to the Cleveland 24. LaFell was at the sideline, and had to roll over to get out of bounds with 4 seconds left. The play was reviewed to see if LaFell was touched down before getting out of bounds, which would have ended the game. The call stood firm, and the last remaining original Panthers player from the 1995 expansion team came in as Delhomme could only watch helplessly.

The kick started just inside the upright, veered just outside, came back inside, and finally doinked off the upright no good. Jon Fox knows that Jerry Richardson will be making a change at the end of this season. The Panthers are fighting hard, but coming up short. Every time Walrus Mike Holmgren is about to fire Mangini, he wins one. By the length of an upright, the Browns survived again. 24-23 Browns

Kansas City Chiefs @ Seattle Seahawks–Todd Haley has the Chiefs one game ahead in the race for the awful AFC Worst, while former division rival Seattle under Pete Carroll is only 5-5 yet leads by one game in the even more pathetic NFC Worst.

The Chiefs began at their own 28, and Matt Cassel found Dwayne Bowe for gains of 14 and 19. From the Seattle 31, Massel found Tucker for 24 yards and then hit Bowe for the score to quickly have the Chiefs up 7-0. A long kickoff return had the Seahawks starting at the Kansas City 48. Yet a 3rd and 1 run went nowhere and a 4th and 1 decision by Pete Carroll to go for it resulted in an incomplete pass. Cassel moved the Chiefs from their own 38 to 3rd and 6 at the Seattle 20. A swing pass to Thomas Jones lost 5 yards, and Ryan Succop came in for a 43 yard field goal. The kick was blocked.

Seattle punted, and Cassel again moved Kansas City From their own 24 to a 3rd and 1 just before midfield. A critical holding penalty ended things, and Kansas City punted. The punt was blocked by Cox and recovered by Thomas, who returned it 10 yards for a touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

The Chiefs took over at their own 26 as the second quarter began. On 3rd and 2 Cassel hit Bowe for 5. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 44, Cassell hit Bowe for 22. On 3rd and 5 from the Seahawks 29, Jamal Charles picked up 8. On 3rd and 10, Cassel hit Bowe for 11. Finally, on 3rd and goal at the 1, Smith took it up the middle for the score to have the Chiefs up 14-7. Seattle punted, and the Chiefs again took over at their own 20.

Cassel hit Jones for 11 and then scrambled for 23. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 42, Cassel hit Bowe for just enough, and then found Bowe on the next play for the 36 yard touchdown to have the Chiefs up 21-7.

Only one minute remained in the half. Matt Hasselbeck was intercepted, but the Chiefs would fumble it back. The Seahawks had the ball at the Chiefs 43 with 28 seconds left in the half. Hasselbeck hit Brandon Stokely for 12 yards, and Olindo Mare would connect from 43 as the half ended to have the Seahawks within 21-10.

In the third quarter Seattle took over at their own 29, and Hasselbeck quickly went for the bomb. 52 yards later, Seattle was at the Chiefs 19. Hasselbeck hit Baker for the 13 yard touchdown to have the Seahawks down 21-17. Each team the punted twice, and the Chiefs took over at their own 29 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.

On 3rd and 6 from the Chiefs 44, Cassel found Bowe for 8. On 3rd and 3 from the Seattle 41, Charles ran for 29 yards. The fourth quarter began with the Chiefs facing 3rd and 1 at the 3. Charles ran it in to lead 28-17. On the next series Hasselbeck was hit and fumbled, and the Chiefs took over at the Seattle 22. Cassel hit Bowe from 9 yards out to have the Chiefs up 35-17.

Hasselbeck was the intercepted, but the Chiefs went 3 and out and punted. Seattle took over at their own 13. Hasselbeck went deep to Ben Obomanu for an 87 yard touchdown bomb as Seattle was back within 35-24 with a full 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

The Chiefs began at their own 20, and 4 straight runs had the ball at the Chiefs 45. On 3rd and 1, Cassel hit Bowe for 17. Thomas Jones picked up 16 and 7 down to the 6 yard line. Cassel hit Moeaki on the next play for the last touchdown of the game with 3 1/2 minutes left. Pete Carroll may wonder why he left the Southern California sunshine for the Seattle rain, but he can seek solace knowing that USC lost to Notre Dame at home in the rain when the winning touchdown pass was dropped by a wide open receiver. Lame Kiffin wonders why he left the NFL, but actually he was fired. Seattle is still tied for the NFC Worst division lead despite being 5-6. Kansas City leads the AFC Worst with a respectable 7-4 record. 42-24 Chiefs

Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Raiders–For more on the game of the day, go to http://www.justblogbaby.com

Both of these teams are 5-5 and desperately fighting for a playoff spot. The Raiders are only one game back of the division leader. When the Raiders were winning 3 straight I cautioned that while much improved, they were not that good. Yet despite getting blown out last week on the road against Pittsburgh, I am going to say that they are not that bad.

Today is about the quarterbacks. With Chad Pennington out for the year and Chad Henne injured, Tyler Thigpen might get the start. Tony Sparano might go with an injured Henne anyway. As for the Raiders, Tom Cable and Hue Jackson both know that the team won despite Jason Campbell, not because of him. Bruce Gradkowki is healthy, and is getting the start. This clearly shows the Raiders are serious. The Raiders keep looking ready to take the next step, and to do that they have to win at home against a comparable and desperate team. Miami has a tough defense, and the difference between 6-5 and 5-6 is a ton.

Both of these teams are 5-5 and desperately fighting for a playoff spot. The Raiders are only one game back of the division leader. When the Raiders were winning 3 straight I cautioned that while much improved, they were not that good. Yet despite getting blown out last week on the road against Pittsburgh, I am going to say that they are not that bad.

Today is about the quarterbacks. With Chad Pennington out for the year and Chad Henne injured, Tyler Thigpen might get the start. Tony Sparano might go with an injured Henne anyway. As for the Raiders, Tom Cable and Hue Jackson both know that the team won despite Jason Campbell, not because of him. Bruce Gradkowki is healthy, and is getting the start. This clearly shows the Raiders are serious. The Raiders keep looking ready to take the next step, and to do that they have to win at home against a comparable and desperate team. Miami has a tough defense, and the difference between 6-5 and 5-6 is a ton.

In the half a century history of the Raiders, they had never returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. In the memorable Sea of Hands playoff thriller against the Dolphins in 1974, it was Miami who returned the opening kickoff for a score. Yet this time the Raiders had the newest NFL superstar Jacoby Ford. He took the kickoff 101 yards up the middle as the Raiders led 7-0 only seconds into the game. Yet Sebastian Janikowski’s first kickoff was not much better, as it just missed the end zone and went out of bounds at the one, giving Miami the ball at their own 40.

Chad Henne came in the game, not Tyler Thigpen. Henne immediately hit Hartline for 26 yards. Nahmdi Asomugha was playing after missing 2 games with a bad ankle, but he was not at full strength. As for Henne, he played injured, and the Dolphins compensated with many wildcat plays with snaps to Ricky Williams and Ronny Brown. On this drive the Dolphins got a 49 yard field goal from Dan Carpenter to get within 7-3.

The Raiders did nothing on their first actual drive, as the Dolphins took over at their own 35. 3 of the 1st 4 snaps were wildcats, as the Dolphins reached the Oakland 40. On 4th and 1 from the 31, Tony Sparano decided to go for it. Polite appeared to be stopped initially, but ona  2nd effort picked up 2 yards. It proved fatal to the Raiders as Henne went deep to Patrick Cobbs on the next play for a 29 yard touchdown to put the Dolphins up 10-7.

The Raiders again did nothing on their next drive, and the Dolphins took over at their own 13. Henne led an 8 minute drive. Throughout the game, Henne would destroy the Raiders on 3rd down, especially on 3rd and long. On 3rd and 10 to start, Henne hit Duane Bess for 23. On 3rd and 3 from the Miami 44, Ronnie Brown gained 8 as the opening quarter ended. Brown then ran twice more for gains of 6 and 7. On 3rd and 6 from the Oakland 31, Henne found Hartline for 19.  Despite only leading 10-7, the Dolphins were in total control of the game. Then Henne was intercepted by Rolando McClain at the goal line. McClain returned it to the 11.

On 3rd and 2 at the 19, rather than just get a first down, Bruce Gradkowski went for the bomb and was intercepted. The Dolphins took over at their own 46 and the Raiders defense was back on the field before even really sitting down. The defense continued to come up big as a sack of Henne ended that drive. The Raiders took over at their own 26.

The Raiders tried a wildcat snap of their own, and it blew up spectacularly when McFadden handed off to Reese, who got leveled and fumbled. The Dolphins took over at the Oakland 26. On 3rd and 8, Henne was sacked again. Carpenter came in for a 51 yard field goal, but it was no good. Again, the Raiders had dodged a bullet.

The Raiders took over at their own 42, and speedster Ford ran for 13 yards. On 3rd and 9, Gradkowki threw a high pass that was caught by a leaping Ford. Ford somehow came down, kept his balance, and raced 4 yards for a touchdown. Despite being completely dominated on both sides of the ball, the Raiders somehow led 14-10 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Dolphins took over at their own 20. On 2nd and 15, Asomugha was called for defensive holding. On 3rd and 7 from the 23, Henne his Bess for 17 and Hartline for 23 more. With 1:48 left in the half, the Dolphins faced 3rd and 10 at the Oakland 37. Henne hit Bess for 18. On 3rd and 10 again, Henne found Bess again, this time for 11. With 13 seconds left in the half, the Dolphins faced 3rd and goal at the 5. Henne finally missed a pass, as a 23 yard Carpenter field goal had the Dolphins trailing 14-13 at the break.  The Raiders led on the scoreboard but it was an illusion. The Dolphins had dominated the trenches, and the Silver and Black were going to break dow if their defense could not get some rest.

There was zero rest for the weary. The Dolphins began the third quarter at their own 28. On 3rd and 7 from the Miami 43, Henne hit Moore, who raced 57 yards for a score to rapidly have the Dolphins up 20-14. Sparano wisely decided not to try the 2 point conversion. The Raiders went 3 and out, and the Dolphins began their next possession at the Oakland 44. Ricky Williams picked up 12 before the defense tightened. Dan Carpenter came in and made his third field goal to gave the Dolphins up 23-14. The Raiders again went 3 and out, and a 47 yard punt return by Bess had the Dolphins starting at the Oakland 30. On 3rd and 11, defensive holding kept the drive going. The defense again stopped Miami, and Carpenter missed a 49 yard field goal. His 2 misses from long range were the only thing keeping the Raiders in the game at all.

The Raiders took over at their own 40, and Gradkowki hit Darren McFadden for 15 yards. McFadden carried on consecutive plays for 10 more yards. With 2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Raiders were at the Miami 35, easily in range for Seabass. On the next play Ford got wide open deep. There was nobody near him. Yet Gradkowski was late releasing the ball, allowing defender Clemons to make up ground. Clemons intercepted the ball in the end zone for a touchback.

On the last play of the third quarter, the Dolphins faced 3rd and 8 at their own 22. Henne hit Wallace for 19 yards. One minute into the fourth quarter the Dolphins faced 3rd and 4. This time Henne was sacked and the Dolphins punted. The Raiders took over at their own 20.

Again Gradkowki went to Ford with the bomb, and this time Clemons had good position. Yet this time the results were reversed. It looked like an easy interception, but somehow Ford ripped it out of his hands for a 52 yard completion. A tripping penalty on Miami on the next play had the Raiders at the Miami 14. The drive stalled, and Seabass nailed the 30 yard field goal. The Raiders were getting beaten just as badly as their 35-3 drubbing a week earlier, but somehow in this game only trailed 23-17 with 11 minutes left in regulation.

At this point the defense was exhausted from being on the field the whole game. From the Miami 20, 3 straight runs by Brown got them to the 39. On 2nd and 11 from the Miami 45, Henne hit Bess for 29 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the 18, Brown picked up 3. On 3rd and 3 from the 8, Ricky Williams only gained one yard. On 4th and 2 from the 7, Sparano sent in the field goal team. Carpenter hit the 25 yarder, his 4th field goal in 6 tries. With 4 minutes left, the Raiders were down 26-17.

There would be no miracles. From the Oakland 23, Gradkowski hit Louis Murphy for 17, but on 4th and 4 from the Oakland 46, Gradkowski found nobody. With 3 1/2 minutes to play, from the Oakland 45, Ricky Willims took a handoff and broke free all the way for the final exclamation point touchdown. Gradkowski would get the Raiders to the Miami 39, but incomplete passe would end that final drive as well.

Miami got to 6-5, still in the wildcard hunt. This was a bad loss for the Raiders. 2 weeks ago they were tied for the division lead. Now they are one game behind San Diego and 2 games behind division leader Kansas City. The Raiders beat both of these teams at home, but now have to face them both on the road. Next week they are at San Diego.

Chad Henne was supposed to be injured, but he finished 17 of 30 for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Gradkowski was 17 of 32 for 252 yards and 1 touchdown with 2 killer interceptions. For the second straight week the Raiders could not run the ball at all. The defense was gashed by Brown and Williams for  a combined 180 yards on the ground. Miami piled up nearly 500 yards of total offense in controlling the ball for over 41 1/2 minutes to only 18 1/2 minutes for the Raiders. Tom Cable and Hue Jackson have to keep the Raiders fighting hard to avoid an 8th straight losing season. For 2 straight weeks they got their brains beaten in. 33-17 Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears–Walrus Lite Andy Reid is a good coach, but a lucky one as well. He thought Kevin Kolb was the future, but Michael Vick has electrified the league. As for Lovie Smith, he is always about to be fired, yet has the Bears at 7-3, same record as the Eagles. Yet the Eagles look for real while the Bears are seen as waiting to fold down the stretch. Brian Urlacher might have something to say about that at home, and it starts with corraling Vick.

Walrus Lite Andy Reid is a good coach, but a lucky one as well. He thought Kevin Kolb was the future, but Michael Vick has electrified the league. As for Lovie Smith, he is always about to be fired, yet has the Bears at 7-3, same record as the Eagles. Yet the Eagles look for real while the Bears are seen as waiting to fold down the stretch. Brian Urlacher might have something to say about that at home, and it starts with corraling Vick.

Deshean Jackson ran a punt 35 yards to midfield, and Vick Hit McCoy for 11 to set up a 45 yard David Akers field goal and a 3-0 Eagles lead.  Jay Cutler started at the Chicago 21, ran for 9, and then handed off to Matt Forte, who rambled 61 yards to the 9. Cutler hit Bennett from the 10 to have the Bears up 7-3. Philly punted, and the Bears took over at their own 41. Cutler rapidly hit Devon Hester for 39 yards and Johnny Knox for the 20 yard touchdown as the Bears led 14-3.

The Eagles took over at their own 35 and Vick hit Calvin for 27 yards. On 3rd and 3 Vick hit Avant for 15 as the Eagles began at the Chicago 19 to start the second quarter. On 3rd and 2, Jackson picked up 3. Vick hit Jeremy Maclin for the 8 yard touchdown to have the Eagles within 14-10.

The Bears punted, and the Eagles took over at their own 41. McCoy picked up 18, Vick hit Jackson for 21 and Maclin for 10 to set up 1st and goal at the 10. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Vick went back to pass, was sacked, fumbled, picked it up, fumbled again, picked it up again, and eventually lost 15 yards. David Akers kicked the 36 yard field goal to have the Eagles within 14-13.

The Bears punted, and the Eagles took over at their own 46. At the 2 minute warning, the Eagles had 2nd and goal at the Chicago 4 looking to take the lead. THen the play of the game changed everything as Vick was intercepted by Harris, who returned it to the Chicago 37. Hester then picked up 13 and Cutler found Bennett for 30. Cutler then hit Knox for 14 and Bennett for the 6 yard touchdown as the Bears led 21-13.

The 14 point swing loomed even larger when the Bears exploded to start the third quarter. Hester returned the kickoff to the Chicago 46. A completion to Hester went for 34 yards, with a horse collar tackle moving the ball to the 9 yard line. Cutler found Olsen for the score as the Eagles now led 28-13.

After a punt, Chicago took over at their own 12, and a holding penalty moved them back to the 6. All Cutler did was lead a ridiculous 17 play drive that devoured 10 minutes off the clock. Matt Forte got things going with a 28 yard run, and Cutler ran for 12 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Philly 49, Cutler found Forte for 6. On 3rd and 8 from the 41, Cutler hit Bennett for 10. A 16 yarder to Forte would lead to 3rd and 2 at the 10. Cutler hit Manumaleuna for 6. The drive would finally bog down, but Robbie Gould hit the 23 yard chip shot to have the Bears safely up 31-13 after three quarters.

The Eagles took over at their own 31, and on 2nd and 5 Vick hit Maclin for 24 yards. The fourth quarter began as the Eagles faced 4th and 1 at the Chicago 31. Vick picked up 2 yards. Vick then hit McCoy for 21. The drive stalled at the 4, and Andy Reid ordered the field goal needing 3 scores. Akers hit from 22, and the Eagles trailed 31-16 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

The Bears punted, and the Eagles took over at their own 24. Vick hit Avant for 22, scrambled for 10, and got 5 more through a defensive penalty. Vick hit Cooper for 29 to set up 1st and goal at the 10. Yet a short pas to McCoy was blown up for a 9 yard loss. The Eagles settled for another field goal to trail 31-19 with 5 minutes left.

Chicago again punted, and the Eagles took over at their own 32 with 4:18 to play. With 1:54 left, the Eagles had 4th and 9 at the Chicago 30. Vick went deep to Captain Morgan Brent Celek for the touchdown. They were within 5 points with the onsides kick to come.

It failed, and the Bears survived. The much criticized Bears got to 8-3 to lead their division by a game while the Eagles fell into a first place tie in their division. These teams may meet again in the playoffs, and it would be well worth witnessing. Vick finished 29 of 44 for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception while Jay Cutler was only 14 of 21, but that was enough for 247 yards and 4 touchdowns. Mike Martz and Lovie Smith have been under fire, but are winning big games. 31-26 Bears

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Baltimore Ravens–This is another game with a pair of 7-3 teams where one seems for real and the other one, while improved, has padded their record against weaker teams. The Buccaneers would silence a ton of critics by winning this, while the Ravens are very bit as good as the team a decade ago that won it all. A pair of defensive touchdowns last week involving…who else…Ed Reed and Ray Lewis…made a statement. Josh Freeman needed Cadillac Williams to remove what would be intense pressure from the Ravens defense.

This is another game with a pair of 7-3 teams where one seems for real and the other one, while improved, has padded their record against weaker teams. The Buccaneers would silence a ton of critics by winning this, while the Ravens are very bit as good as the team a decade ago that won it all. A pair of defensive touchdowns last week involving…who else…Ed Reed and Ray Lewis…made a statement. Josh Freeman will need Cadillac Williams to remove what will be intense pressure from the Ravens defense.

Defense was the word of the day as this game went exactly according to the script. The opening quarter was scoreless, but the Ravens were winning the field position battle, starting a drive at the Tampa Bay 41. Billy Cundiff would nail a 45 yard field goal early in the second quarter to have the Ravens up 3-0. Later in the quarter Joe Flacco was intercepted, setting up the Buccaneers at the Ravens 36. Josh Freeman completed a pair of 3rd downs but the drive died at the 4 yard line as Connor Barth tied the game 3-3 with a 22 yard field goal in a game that was even less thrilling than advertised.

After 27 minutes of lifeless football, Flacco went deep to Todd Heap for a 65 yard touchdown as the Ravens led 10-3. After a punt, the Ravens took over at their own 45 just past the 2 minute warning. A deep pass led to a defensive pass interference penalty at the 10 yard line. Flacco hit Derrick Mason just before the half to have the Ravens leading 17-3. The final 30 minutes were less watchable than the first 27 as John Harbaugh turned the defense loose.

A series of punts gave the Buccaneers the ball at their own 23 with 8 minutes left in regulation. Freeman hit WIlliams and Winslow for a pair of 11 yard gains, and Freeman ran for 2 on 3rd and 1 from the Ravens 40. On 3rd and 1 from the Baltimore 29, Freeman picked up 4. On 3rd and 1 from the 16, Cadillac Williams picked up 11, and Freeman hit Kellen WInslow for the touchdown on the next play as the Buccaneers only trailed b 7 with 3 minutes to go.

The Buccaneers would not get the ball back as Ray Rice ran for the 2 first downs necessary to end things. It was hideously ugly, but the Ravens improved to 8-3 and a share of their division lead while the 7-4 Buccaneers under Raheem Morris remained one game back in theirs. 17-10 Ravens

St. Louis Rams @ Denver Broncos–This interconference games features the 4-6 Rams, who are only one game out of first place, while the 3-7 Broncos are cellar dwellars and determined to turn Josh McDaniels into Wade Phillips and Brad Childress without the playoff appearances or winning records. To make matters worse, McDaniels has now been embroiled in a cheating scandal involving recording opponent practices in the great tradition of his former boss, the Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick. Pat Bowlen has not said anything, but his once proud franchise has embarrassed him now on and off the field.

The game featured wild swings of momentum. Kyle Orton hit Larson for 11, Brandon Lloyd for 14, and Knowshon Moreno for 18. Moreno then ran for 16. Ball ran for 17 and Moreno picked up the final 4 to easily have the Broncos up 7-0. The Rams went 3 and out and Denver took over at their own 20. Eddie Royal picked up 20, and eventually Matt Prater would nail a 49 yard field goal to have Denver up 10-0.

The Rams finally got going from their 20 as Bradford took them 80 yards in 12 plays over 6 minutes. Amendola picked up 13, and Bradford hit Fells for 10. On 3rd and 7 from the Rams 48, Bradford found Gibson for 8. On 4th and 1 from the Denver 35, Steve Spagnuolo decided to go for it. Stephen Jackson picked up 2. Bradford then found Hoomanawanui for a 36 yard touchdown as the Rams trailed 10-7 after the opening quarter.

Denver took over at their own 20 and Orton found Lloyd for 16 and Jaba Gaffney for 28 to set up Prater from 40 yards out. Prater connected to have the Broncos up 13-7, but then all heck broke loose in the Rocky Mountains.

Bradford led another 80 yard drive, this time going 13 plays in over 6 1/2 minutes. From the 20, Amendola picked up 30 to midfield. On 3rd and 3, Bradford hit Robinson for 11. On 3rd and 9 from the Denver 31, Bradford hit Alexander for 12. On 3rd and 6 from the 15, Bradford again found Alexander, this time down to the one. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Bradford fired for the score to Bajema to put the Rams up 14-13 with 5:45 left in the half

Denver punted, and the Rams took over at their own 29 with 4 minutes left in the half. Bradford went deep to Alexander for 45 yards and then deep again to Bajema for the 26 yard touchdown as the Rams out of nowhere led 20-13. The extra point hit the upright, which would matter later. Denver punted again, and the Rams took over at their own 40 with 2 1/2 minutes until the half.

Bradford hit Robinson for 18 and Amendola for 16 more. Defensive pass interference had the Rams at the Denver 16. The drive stopped at the 10, but Josh Brown nailed the 28 yard field goal to have the Rams up 23-13 with 54 seconds left in the half. Denver then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Rams the ball at the Denver 23. Josh Brown connected from 37 as the Rams turned their 10-0 deficit into a 26-13 lead going into the locker rooms.

Early in the third quarter Moreno fumbled, and the Rams began at the Denver 31. Jackson picked up 20, and Darby ran it in from one yard out to have the Rams winning in a blowout 33-13 on the road with 9 minutes still to play in the third quarter. Denver would punt again, and the Rams took over at their own 20. Bradford calmly led them to a 4th and 1 at the Denver 27. The Rams were in total control of the game, but Spagnuolo decided to take his foot off the gas pedal. A potential 40-13 laugher instead was a 45 yard field goal attempt. It was no good. The fourth quarter began with the Broncos down by 20, yet at this point the game changed again.

From the Broncos 35, Orton hit Gaffney for 19. On the opening play of the fourth quarter, Orton went deep to Lloyd for a 41 yard touchdown. The Broncos were still in it down 33-20.

The Rams took over at their own 25. From the 30, a 14 yard pass to Gibson with a roughing the passer penalty tacked on had the Rams at the Broncos 41. Jackson ran for 7 and Bradford hit Amednola for 24. The drive stalled, but this time Brown was good from 26 as the Rams led 36-20 with 11 minutes left in regulation.

The teams exchanged punts, and the Broncos took over at midfield with 8 minutes to play. On 3rd and 17 Orton hit Eddie Royal for 24, 17, and 16 for the touchdown. The 2 point conversion attempt failed, but Denver was within 36-26 with 5 minutes left.  The Rams would take over at their own 20, run a couple plays and throw an incomplete pass as Denver used 2 timeouts. Denver took over at their own 41 with 4 1/2 minutes left as the Rams used less than 30 seconds of clock.

On 4th and 8 from the Denver 43, Orton found Royal for 17. Orton then went deep to Decker for a 38 yard gain to the 2 yard line. A run lost 3 yards, but Orton hit Lloyd for the 5 yard touchdown as Denver had turned a 33-13 deficit into a 3 point game with 2:35 still to play.

The Rams got the onsides kick at their own 41. Spagnuolo continued to play it very safe, and a pair of runs set up 3rd and 4 at the 2 minute warning. With Denver out of timeouts, every football coach on Earth knows that you do not even consider throwing the football in this situation. You do not even consider anything but running the ball. The Rams handed it off, bled over 40 seconds off of the clock, and punted. Denver took over at their own 34 with 1:06 to play.

Needing only a field goal to tie it, Prater never got the chance. Orton was sacked by Chris Long, the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long. Long harassed Orton throughout the final series as a 4th and 16 pass fell incomplete. Orton finished 24 of 41 for 347 yards, while Bradford was a comparable 22 of 37 for 308. it was Bradford’s first 300 yard passing game. Both quarterbacks had 3 touchdown pass without an interception. The 3-8 Broncos are all but done, and McDaniels may be as well. The 5-6 Rams under Sapgnuolo are actually tied for 1st place in the NFC Worst. 36-33 Rams

San Diego Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts is the Sunday night game. These teams have played some memorable games the last few years, as Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning are once again passing up a storm worthy of being NFL MVP. The Chargers under Norvelous Norv Turner again started badly, but have won 3 straight to get to 5-5, only one game out of their division lead. The Colts at 6-4 are tied for their division lead. San Diego has gone into Indianapolis and upset them more than once, as today was expected to be such an exciting game that even Jim Caldwell might make a facial expression.

Almost every time these teams play, the Colts have the better record. Yet somehow the Chargers just seem to vex to the Colts.

The game started like clockwork for the Colts from their own 22. Short passes and a  16 yard completion from Manning to Brown had the Colts at the San Diego 39. On 3rd and 9 Manning hit Pierre Garcon for 10. From the 23, Manning hit Reggie Wayne for 14. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Manning hit Jacob Tamme for the touchdown to have the Colts up 7-0 after the 12 play, 78 yard drive.

Darren Sproles returned the kickoff from the goal line to the 30, with a facemask putting the Chargers at their own 45. A mixture of runs and short passes led to a 4th and 2 at the Indy 10. Norv Turner opted for the field goal. Nate Kaeding connected from 28 to have the Chargers within 7-3.

The Colts took over at their own 20, and Manning threw a perfect pass to Burnett. Unfortunately for Manning, Burnett plays defense for the Chargers. Burnett took it 29 yards to paydirt to have the Chargers up 10-7.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Colts faced 3rd and 4 at midfield. Manning completed a pass to Cooper. Cooper also plays defense for the Chargers, as the Chargers took over at their own 40. Rivers hit Naanee for gains of 20 ad 13. The Chargers reached the 11, but penalties moved them backward. Kaeding connected from 33 to have the Chargers up 13-7. The Colts punted on their next drive, and the Charegrs took over at their own 42. Mike Tolbert picked up 21, and Kaeding kiked his 3rd field goal of the half. The 50 yarder had the Chargers up 16-7.

The teams exchanged punts, and the Colts took over at their own 35 with 1:36 left in the half. Manning hit Tamme and Garcon on a pair of 30 yard strikes as 60 yards in a heartbeat made it 1st and goal at the 5 with a full 32 seconds to work with.   Manning hit White for the 6 yard touchdown as the Colts were only down 16-14 at halftime. They had all the momentum, and perhaps this time they would pour it on and handle business in the second half.

Not even close. Darren Sproles returned the second half kickoff to the Chargers 33. Rivers quickly hit Hester for 10, and Gates for another 13. Rivers found Ajirotutu for 16 to the Indy 21 and Antonio Gates for 18 more down to the 3. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 1, Rivers went back to pass and was sacked for an 11 yard loss. Kaeding nailed his 4th field goal, a 30 yarder, as the Chargers led 19-14.

The Colts took over at their own 27. Manning fired complete to Eric Weddle. Unfortunately for Manning, Weddle is another one of those players on defense for San Diego. At this point Manning had 4 touchdown passes, 2 to each team as Weddle took it 41 yards to have the Chargers up 26-14.

The teams exchanged punts, and late in the third quarter Manning moved the Colts from their own 19 to the San Diego 39. Yet on 4th and 4, Manning fired incomplete and the Chargers took over. The fourth quarter began with the Chargers at the Indy 34. Rivers hit McMichael for 12 and Gates for 9, with Mike Tolbert taking it in from 3 yards out to make it a blowout at 33-14.

The Colts took over at their own 34 and fumbled the ball away. Rivers led the Chargers to a 4th and 1 at the Indy 2. Turner decided on the field goal, and the 20 yarder was Kaeding’s 5th of the night to complete the scoring.   During garbage time, Manning completed a pass in the end zone to Cason. Cason also plays defense for the Chargers.

This was the worst home loss for the Colts since 2002. After 7 straight years of going at least 12-4, back to back losses have the Colts at 6-5. They still are tied for their division lead, but this is not the same team. They have injuries on both sides of the ball, including Bob Sanders and Joseph Addai. Manning has to throw on every play, and this has led to 7 interceptions the last 2 games. As for the Chargers, they have won 4 straight and are at home next week against the reeling Raiders with revenge in mind. San Diego is home for the next 3 games, and only one game out of the division lead. This may have been Manning’s worst game since he threw 6 interceptions in one game, also against San Diego. Unlike that game, this was an uncharacteristic home blowout loss. 36-14 Colts

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals was the Monday night game. Both of these 3-7 teams are pathetic, as the Cardinals still wish Kurt Warner would come back and Mike Singletary continues to channel his inner Ray Rhodes by yelling and scowling without results. The worst football game is still better than the best baseball game, which is why this game was not canceled.

eric

The NRA and Chef Boyardee

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Before getting to football, one of the things that gun control advocates use to attack the National Rifle Association is the tragic scenario of a child picking up a loaded gun and accidentally killing themselves.

This literally and figuratively misses the mark by trying to blame inanimate objects for incorrect human behavior. As with any other product, gun owners need to be responsible. It is impossible to legislate intelligence and logic. If it was, most people would be conservatives anyway.

(Yeah, that was gratuitous. Let it go.)

Yet a recent experience has me thinking that we must “do something” to save people from themselves.

It happened in my home the other day.

One minute it was a normal day. Moments later, a simple misfire shot me right in my eye. There was what appeared to be blood everywhere. I was not in tremendous pain because it was only a ricochet, but I realized that unless government got involved and regulated these things, somebody was going to get killed.

That’s right. I am talking about the “Killer Pop Top.”

It turned out after careful inspection that it was not blood. It was tomato sauce. Either way, the shirt would require extra heavy laundry detergent.

I don’t know who the people at Chef Boyardee are trying to market to, but their product is deadly.

Can one of these d@ng spaghetti and meatballs containers not be a deadly weapon? It is like a Jack-in-the-Box mated with a coiled snake and produced a dinner made by Chucky, and I don’t mean the mouse behind Chuck E. Cheese either.

Can liberals in Congress mandate warning labels stating that opening this product may result in an unclean kitchen counter?

Also, how did it get past my glasses? I was not wearing safety goggles, but still. One minute I was getting ready to attack lunch, and the next minute lunch was attacking me.

I am not saying we should mandate a public safety course before opening a Chef Boyardee Killer Pop Top. However, perhaps there are some voluntary training videos we can all watch before operating these things.

Also, Chef Boyardee may wish to lower its prices by 1% to take into account that we do not get to eat every single ounce of the product. A couple of droplets cannot be reached, no matter how deep one maneuvers their mouth around the inside of the lid.

You may not be concerned about this, but if it was your child with a tomato stain in the eye you would feel differently.

I would write my Congressman, but he is an imbecile. However, such touchy-feely stuff may allow him to actually be of use.

To make matters worse, this happened during halftime. By the time I reacted to getting struck in the eye, the second half kickoff had already happened. Sure, I could have gone back and seen it anyway on Tivo, but the moment was gone forever. In fact, my entire existence was pushed back a couple of minutes. My choices were to either oversleep by a couple minutes the next day or sacrificing those two minutes of slumber forever.

So thank you Chef Boyardee, for getting around FDA regulations and allowing me to be shot with the force of a tomato-coated bullet from a pasta machine gun.

I will not be suing because when their products are not trying to injure me, they are mighty tasty. I especially like the Canneloni derivative that consists of…well, not sure exactly. It is yummy though.

I survived the episode, but I am warning these Chef Boyardee cans themselves…I have my eye on you. If you even try to shoot at me again, I will wear the safety goggles and a smock. You will be powerless. Then I will burn you to death in my microwave and eat you until you are gone forever.

eric

New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions

(Patriots by 7, they cover)

New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys

(Saints by 3.5, they win but fail to cover)

Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets

(Jets by 9, they cover)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Giants

(Giants by 9, they win but fail to cover)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills

(Steelers by 6, they win but fail to cover)

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans

(Texans by 6.5, they win but fail to cover)

Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins

(Redskins by 2.5, Vikings win outright)

Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons

(Falcons by 2, they cover)

Carolina Panthers @ Cleveland Browns

(Browns by 10, they win but fail to cover)

Kansas City Chiefs @ Seattle Seahawks

(Chiefs by 1, they cover)

Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Raiders

(Raiders by 3, they cover)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears

(Eagles by 3.5, they cover)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Baltimore Ravens

(Ravens by 7.5, they cover)

St. Louis Rams @ Denver Broncos

(Broncos by 4, they win but fail to cover)

San Diego Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts

(Colts by 3, they cover)

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals

(49ers by 1, Cardinals win outright)

eric

African-American Friday

Friday, November 26th, 2010

I have decided that Black Friday should be renamed African-American Friday.

If you disagree with me, you are a racist, culturally insensitive, imperialist, Fascist Nazi war-monger who would not know the difference between Selma, Alabama and Selma Diamond.

(She played Selma on “Night Court” with Harry Anderson and John Larroquette.)

Ok, that should cover everything.

In honor of African-American Friday, I think the malls should be turned into one giant redistribution social program.

Any black person buying anything today should be exempt from taxes. The lost revenue shall be tacked onto the bills of any Caucasian buying anything.

For those like our current president who are multi-racial, you must present evidence of your family tree. 50% black does not cut it. Also, Cablinasians like Tiger Woods…forget it.

Since everything in life that any conservative ever utters somehow is related to being a white, male, slave-owning oppressor, I say we just handle it today.

Also, to show solidarity with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, I will be replacing all vanilla extract in my home with chocolate extract. They are both brown, but then again I have neither of them in my home.

For those who think that what I am saying is crazy, think about this.

I am not trying to spend an hour in traffic to get to a shopping place that is only a few blocks away. I will not be fighting with housewives (many of them not even attractive or desperate, which would make the wrestling palatable) to obtain toys for children I do not even have (according to the milk cartons they are not mine).

Have any of you heard of Ebay and Craigslist? Do you really need to get into the holiday spirit by committing bloody murder over parking spaces?

My refrigerator is stocked with enough sundries to last a few days.

So if I had to choose between spending time with black men and white women on a day like today, who would I choose?

Well let’s see. I plan to watch football this whole weekend. You tell me.

(The only color I care about is the color of the uniforms, which tells me which team I am rooting for and against. Silver and Black is the preferred combination.)

I would say more, but like you sloth has taken over. That is what several Swanson Turkey Dinners and 9 hours of football will do to a guy.

Also, I am so sick and tired of great American traditions being destroyed by those with no respect for tradition.

Of course I am talking about the fact that the Friday after Thanksgiving was always the Oklahoma vs Nebraska game. What the heck in the name of Tom Osborne has happened to this holiday?

I will deal (or not) with that later.

Time to roll myself from the couch back to the bed until the next game is on.

Happy African-American Friday all.

eric

Happy Swanson Dinner Thursday

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

On Wednesday I decided not to fight with thousands of people at an airport for the right to fly somewhere.

On Friday I have decided not to fight with thousand of people at a mall or electronics store for the right to buy something I can buy online.

I have friends and family, but this Thanksgiving Thursday is a day of calm and quiet.

I am not spending it with my family because they live 3000 miles away. I will see them next week for Hanukkah, which is a much bigger deal for me.

Most of my life is spent around people, so what is necessary from time to time is the ability to decompress. I am Type A, and have to learn how to mellow out.

So with nobody telling me I “can’t,” I shall watch 9 hours of football and pound out a Swanson (turkey, of course, with stuffing) Dinner.

Chances are food coma will force me to sleep in on Friday, which I will somehow force myself to do.

Then it is back to work.

This day off will be well spent. It is not how everybody would do it, but others do not lead my life, and I would not know how to lead theirs.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and may it be whatever works best for you.

eric

Thanksgiving Prayers

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

I wanted to keep it light today, but real life just does not want to allow that.

It is so easy to lose perspective, and while I have a lot to be thankful for, I also see so many things to pray about.

The world is on fire.

North Korea and South Korea could get us into World War III. The recent incident of North Korea firing stuff at South Korea was an act of war, although perhaps it will come to that. I want to say that cooler heads will prevail, but their is nothing rational or reasonable about Kim Jong Il.

Greece went broke, and now Ireland is bankrupt. Portugal and Spain are on the brink. It was one thing went companies went bankrupt. That was bad enough. Now entire nations are collapsing.

I the 1930s we had bread lines. Men sold apples on the street to try and feed their families. My grandparents spent their lives worrying it would happen again. I still believe in the American Dream and the American people, but of course I am concerned.

Radical Islamists are trying to blow up America and Israel so they can spread a global Caliphate. We are letting our political correctness cause us to turn inward. We have people at the airport choosing between getting a full body scan or being subjected to an aggressive pat-down. These are both humiliating choices. The left does not want to profile people because then the terrorists would supposedly change their profile. That is simplistic, but it has me staying home.

Then on Friday, as the world burns, ladies will kill each other over holiday toys. Maybe this is a good thing, because the economy could use some stimulation.

JP Morgan announced that the dollar is going to be the weakest global currency in 2011. This is frightening. No nation has ever devalued itself to prosperity.

America is broke, and nobody wants to make the necessary sacrifices. Politicians do not want to make the tough decisions.

The tired leftist solutions of raising taxes and cutting defense are not going to get the job done. We need to make drastic changes to entitlement programs. Social Security and Medicare are strangling our economy.

Some people worry that America could become Greece.

We are already there. Student protesters took to the streets to protest fee hikes.

I am really not in the mood today to bash students, but don’t they understand that we have to do this? Also, can we please produce more people out of colleges that know how to actually do stuff? Where are the plumbers, carpenters, and welders? Do we need experts in Transgendered Chicano-Vegan Studies?

I am not saying they are bad people, but the hiring market for these people is not large right now. They could become teachers, churning out more people with specializations affecting virtually nobody.

We need our colleges to get back to teaching people how to do actual things that are skills. We do not make stuff anymore, and we will cease to have Thanksgiving 100 years from now if the Chinese buy us, enslave us, and turn our holiday season into celebrations of dragons or rats.

I respect the Chinese people. They are doing what nations are supposed to do. They are unleashing their people to be the best and brightest. We need to get back to that.

So yes, I pray that somehow, some way, we find a way to dig down deep and solve the problems that could destroy us quicker than we realize.

I know, this is a very depressing Thanksgiving Day message. Yet ignoring the truth will not suppress.

To avoid despair, I thought of the things that I am thankful for. I take so much for granted.

I have two eyes. I am not blind. I can see.

I have a roof over my head, and a nice one at that. I can see the main street from my window. It is right outside. The cars going by at night are like fake ocean waves. It is very peaceful. The weather is warm. I can go poolside and relax whenever I want.

I have two ears, and hear the sounds around me. I have solace when I need it, and plenty of interaction when that is preferred.

When I watch a television program, I am able to see and hear everything. That is no small thing for somebody who cannot do this.

I have two legs and two arms that work fine. So many people are quadriplegics and paraplegics. Some lost limbs serving America in war. Others were just born with debilitating conditions. Others were healthy one day, and then the next day lost the use of their motor skills for a variety of reasons.

I can run across the street without a cane. I can climb stairs. I even play touch football.

Both of my hands work. Simple things such as typing my columns or sending my emails requires this.

I have both of my parents alive. Many people do not have this. Some people never knew their parents. One day I will not have mine. For now I do, and I thank God for this.

My grandparents are gone, but I had all four of them alive when I graduated college. On one side, I was the first grandchild to do this, and it meant a ton to them. At age 30, I still had three of them. The last one departed Earth in 2008, but I was with her the night before she died, and we had a lovely time. She knew how much I loved her.

I lost love recently, but some people never experience it at all. There were plenty of bad times, but the good times will stay with me long after the bad times have faded away. I was truly lucky to have a good human being love me, even if we did not gt married and have children.

I have the best friends a guy could ask for. I am truly blessed. Some people do not know what it is like to sustain friendships. All of my friendships are long-term ones. If something bad happened at 4am, there are a few people in this world I could call. That is a blessing.

I do not have children of my own, but my close friend has an adorable son. I am his de facto “Uncle Eric.” The boy has lit up my heart, ad I am so glad that at age three he is too young to know what his father and his Uncle Eric worry about. We worry so he does not have to. He has no idea how awesome it is to just block out the world and watch him play with his toys. He also gives the best high-fives on the planet.

I am thankful for being able to frequently travel. With me, business is pleasure. I have the best job in the world, and I get to see America. This is an amazing nation, and if I could go everywhere and shake every single hand, I would. My story is so ordinary, which is what makes America extraordinary.

So as I dive into a Swanson Dinner and gorge on football, my favorite hobby, I thank God that even in the toughest of times, there are moments of tranquility and peace.

Peace…maybe it is possible. I wish that for all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

eric

My animal rights heroism

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

I will not be covering the North Korea skirmish with South Korea because we do not have all the facts. It could be anything from World War III to a mistake (yeah right). Nothing should be ruled in or out.

I will also not be spending any more time on the Thanksgiving Day airport situation because my attempt to have the ladies on Desperate Housewives turned into honorary airport security for the week has failed. Without Teri Hatcher or Eva Longoria doing the frisking, I think I will stay home.

So today is a day for me to be lighthearted and thankful that I do not have to observe Gloria Allred groaning in pleasure as some sweaty behemoth plays with her granny panties.

The one man who has had the good fortune to be me is quite lucky and blessed indeed.

Those living vicariously through me have witnessed or observed my greatness.

There was the time I gave up my seat to a black woman on a bus, making me the second coming of Rosa Parks. The fact that I was getting off at that stop anyway is irrelevant.

There was also the time when I spoke to a woman without staring at her cleavage.

Yes, she was hideous, but that is immaterial. I did not look at her at all, champion of feminism that I am.

I became a hero of the gay rights movement by offering a brilliant compromise of allowing gay rights for homosexual men but condemning the behavior for lesbians. I even compromised further, allowing ugly lesbians to do as they pleased. Critics accused me of just trying to get more hot women for myself. Those critics have no idea the burden I bare being a bra burning feminist.

(I wonder who’s bra that was anyway. I hope she does not want it back.)

So it is in this vein (or vain perhaps) that I reveal my animal rights heroism.

Yes, you read that correctly. I am a hero to the animal rights movement.

Some of you may point out that I am to the right of Ted Nugent when it comes to the philosophy of beef, which is kill it and grill it.

(On Thanksgiving Thursday, stabbing a turkey with a fork is a guilty pleasure, although the turkey is already dad and quite flavorful thanks to the good makers of Swanson dinners.)

I also agree with Nugent on his philosophy of “Wang, dang, sweet (redacted),” but that is for another day.

Anyway, back to me being a hero and animal lover.

The year was 2006. I was in Honolulu. The country bar was “Nashville Waikiki.”

For those confused, I was not in Tennessee. I was in Oahu, Hawaii. It was a country music bar on Kuhio Avenue.

I saw “her.” I will not elaborate about her, because she was your standard hot raven-haired Goddess…no biggie.

Yet I know that nothing warms the hearts of most women like trees and animals. I have no idea why, but flora, fauna, and furry fuzzies make them want to visit the island of fornicatia.

As for me, if one thing gets my hackles up, it is abuse of animals. It is one thing to eat beef, but barbecuing dogs and cats is totally unacceptable!

(This is how liberals operate. They make a statement nobody could possibly disagree with, and then accuse you of being insensitive for not saying it first, meaning you do support the evil action. I am against using goat horns to violate women, which means that everybody else I dislike supports doing this and are misogynists for not taking up the cause without me “prodding” them.)

Some barbarians actually eat horse meat, which is illegal. According to my Dennis Leary handbook on animals, we are only supposed to care about the cute ones. Otters and seals get to live. Cows are steaks and baseball gloves.

Well horsies are adorable, and it is high time somebody stepped in and saved them all.

So in the spirit of protecting these noble creatures, I needed to let this brunette Goddess know how I felt about combating the evil and brutality involved with hurting these animals.

I walked toward her, and with inspiration from animal lovers Big and Rich, showed my compassion.

“Sweetness,” I said to her…

“Save a horse, ride a cowboy.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt0_oPPK6eA

With that, she understood my message. I was a lustful humanitarian.

“I saddle up my horse, and I ride into the city…

I make a lot of noise, ’cause the girls they are so pretty…

Riding up and down Broadway, on my old stud Leroy…

All the girls say ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.’”

So to that cowgirl who was part Nashville, part Waikiki, and 100% brunette Goddess, I would like to thank you for helping me spread my…cause.

Even a guy who is 5 ft 5 can be tall in the (side) saddle.

I will not rest until every animal is saved or I am exhausted, whichever comes first.

No need to thank me. I was just doing what I (lusted) loved.

To all of those horses (and horses’ hides also known as animal rights activist zealots) who are alive today because she decided to save a horse and ride a cowboy, there is only one thing to say.

You’re welcome. I would do it again…and again…and again.

eric

Pelosinomics–It happened on her watch

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

For the last two years, President Barack Obama has behaved like a toddler regarding his predecessor. He inherited a mess, everything was his predecessor’s fault, and it will take him forever to clean up the mess that was left for him.

Actually, that is more accurate if one is describing Congressman Ed Royce of California, who takes the Financial Services Committee Chairmanship from Barney Frank.

Congressman Royce recently missed a function because it was his wedding anniversary. The audience was glad that he was with his wife, and celebrated this. As for where Barney Frank sleeps at night, I have zero interest. My problem with him is that he was sleeping on the job. His Fannie was in a hammock when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were collapsing.

As for having to clean up a mess, John Boehner has a gigantic job to do fixing the reign of error that was the Pelosiraptor.

So when liberals complain that the economy collapsed on President George W. Bush’s watch, correct them. The economy was fine when Republicans controlled everything from 2002 to 2006. Voters kicked them out in 2006 because of sex scandals and the War on Iraq. No revisionist history will undo the fabulous economy under the Bush Republicans from 2002 to 2006.

Then the Pelosiraptor and Barney Frankenstein took over, and to use their own metaphor, “drove the economy into the ditch.”

It happened on their watch.

I pointed this out a few weeks ago, and several pointed out that it was unfair (like liberals are ever fair toward conservatives) to say that the collapse should be blamed on Congressional liberals just because they controlled things. After all, If liberals take over on January 4th, 2007, and hypothetically things collapse on January 5th (not the timeline, just an example), it would be unfair to blame them just because they happened to be there at that moment.

Fine. All I ask is that liberals for once in their sniveling liberal, ideologically-bigoted lives adopt a consistent set of standards. Stop changing the rules to make the outcome always read that liberals are virtuous angels and conservatives are the evils of this world. It is boring already.

Here are some examples of liberals trying to rewrite history because things happened on “”somebody’s watch.”

9/11 happened on George W. Bush’s watch, so it is all his fault. The complete and utter neglect of foreign policy during the Clinton years is totally whitewashed.  Can one liberal out there place any of the blame for 9/11 on Clinton?

How about Waco, Ruby Ridge, Oklahoma City, the bombings of the Tanzania and Kenya embassies, and the U.S.S. Cole? Does anybody associated with Bill Clinton get an ounce of blame?

George W. Bush dealt with a terror problem that had been not dealt with properly for 30 years.

Let’s talk domestic policy. The recession of 1990-1991 happened on the watch of President George Herbert Walker Bush, so it was his fault. The economy improved under Bill Clinton, so naturally he saved us all.

This is totally false. The economy was already recovering when he took office. GDP was a spectacular 7% in the fourth quarter of 1992, before one single Clinton policy ever became law. So shouldn’t HW Bush get the credit? The improvement happened on his watch.

The economy improved under Newt Gingrich’s watch, since he had much more to do with domestic policy than Bill Clinton after 1994. Also, the internet revolution, which had nothing whatsoever to do with Bill Clinton, created an economy that benefited people.

In 1991 the Berlin Wall came down. It happened on the watch of HW Bush. Yet Ronald Reagan gets more credit than his successor because Reagan was seen as setting things in motion.

(Ever the gentleman, HW Bush cost himself poll points down the line by refusing to take a victory lap. This notion of sharing credit is lost on liberals.)

Both Bush Sr. and Clinton raised taxes. Shouldn’t they both be treated the same?

(They are by conservatives on this issue.)

Why are Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts criticized? Why is JFK treated by liberals like a God? JFK was the original tax-cutting supply-sider (after Calvin Coolidge of course).

Why was cutting the capital gains tax proper under Bill Clinton but improper under George W. Bush? How can the exact same policy be laudable when a Democrat does it but terrible when a Republican does?

(I was consistent. They were both right to cut it, and Clinton actually cut it deeper.)

LBJ brought the military in to integrate the schools, and passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Yet despite LBJ doing the work, JFK gets all the credit. It happened on LBJ’s watch, and JFK sold minorities down the river to get his foreign policy implemented.

(RFK was passionate about civil rights, but Jack did not share Bobby’s passion.)

So why does LBJ not get credit? Because he escalated the Vietnam war. Despite being the poster child for liberalism, being a foreign policy hawk makes him Dick Cheney, earning the hatred of liberals. They really are that nuts.

How about Barack Obama and Joe Biden taking a victory lap (unlike HW Bush, they love taking credit for everything) over Iraq? The situation was fixed due to the surge that George W. Bush backed and they opposed. Biden wanted to partition Iraq into three separate nations.

So on the economy, Obama is able to say that he inherited a mess. Yet in Iraq, he inherited exactly the opposite. Bush handled it so Obama would not have to do so.

How about President George W. Bush getting blame for Katrina in 2005? We all know the biggest screwups were a pair of liberal Democrats, Louisiana Governor Kathleen “I’m so overwhelmed” Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray “Chocolate City” Nagin. Tragedy and incompetence happened on their watch. Haley Barbour handled things, proving that one should never send a liberal to do an adult’s job.

There are plenty more examples.

I am just trying to explain to liberals that not everything is black and white.

Is it fair to blame every single aspect of the financial collapse on the Pelosiraptor and Barney Frankenstein?

No. Yet shouldn’t they get some of the blame? Perhaps more than zero?

This was an unprecedented situation. No human saw it coming. George W. Bush is human (despite liberal protesting). So maybe isn’t it unfair to blame him just because it happened on his watch?

Or do we blame Barack Obama for the oil explosion since that happened on his watch?

(Liberals blame George W. Bush for that because he used to work in the oil industry.)

Liberals are normally so obsessed with nuance, yet when dealing with Republicans they prefer the black and white approach of unilateral carpet-bombing.

(It would be nice if they supported that against real enemies and not political opponents, but the left gets these two groups backward).

George W. Bush acted presidential. He faced problems far worse than anything Barack Obama has had to deal with. He kept his mouth shut and his head down. He didn’t whine every five minutes about the financial collapse Bill Clinton left him in 2000.

I do not blame Clinton for the bursting of the dot com bubble. Yet he takes credit for the booming economy caused by the internet revolution while taking zero blame for the eventual collapse. Conversely, liberals blame George W. Bush for the housing collapse, even accusing him of racism since a disproportionate share of the defaulters were black. Yet he gets zero credit when black home ownership was at an all time high in 2007. It is logical that if one group of people takes part in a speculative boom, that they are hurt most by the bust. The people who avoided tech stocks on the way up did not lose money in them on the way down.

So from now on when Barack Obama insists that everything on God’s green (without environmental wacko assistance) Earth is George W. Bush’s fault because it happened on his watch, I will respond with Pelosinomics.

The Republicans had the car at the top of the shining city on a hill. Liberal Democrats in 2006 drove it straight into the ground. Barack Obama is less interested in fixing the car than making sure that conservatives get crushed under it.

We want to fix problems. He wants to assign blame.

The blame is with him and the liberal Democrats.

Now John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell need to drag the First Crybaby in Chief kicking and screaming into sensible policies as Newt Gingrich and Haley Barbour did in 1994 with Bubba.

Mr. Obama will try and take credit if those policies succeed, and blame the GOP if his obstructionism causes failure and paralysis.

History will vindicate Republicans as it always does (Ronald Reagan), with my modest help of course.

Time to rip the gavel out of the Pelosiraptor and Barney Frankenstein’s hands and actually accomplish something positive. Actually by firing them, something positive has already happened.

Happy morning in America. The adults are back in charge.

Of course, Barack Obama could and should take credit for the Republican victories. They happened on his watch.

eric

NFL 2010–Week 11 Recap

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

The leaves are turning, the weather is getting colder, and the second half of the NFL 2010 season is underway. While every game is special, the Colts and the Patriots have another matchup in what has become one of the epic rivalries of all time. The Packers travel to face the Vikings in what could be the last stand for Brett Favre. Before getting to the NFL, my coed touch football team came out enraged after losing our first game in 2 years last week.

Back to back losses were not going to happen. Original leader Scotty Tecate moved to Virginia, and I was wondering why his brother Ryan was not around. Apparently Ryan moved to Arizona. Yet Andrew, Brittany, and Tiffiny were back, and our light green team, known as Team Awesome, was up against the yellow team.

Light Green Team Awesome vs. Yellow Team: We came out firing, and with a 6-0 lead, got an interception, and marched down the field again. Marshall found me in the corner of the end zone with a perfect strike, same as last week. This is my first time with touchdowns in consecutive weeks. We led 14-0. The yellow team did get to within 14-6, but we just obliterated the after that. Marshall would go deep to Steck and to Andrew. Not having him last week hurt bad. By the time Marshall and Andrew were done playing pitch and catch, we led 34-6 at the half. In the second half, our defense just pinned our ears back and turned out the lights. I even had one sack resulting in a fumble. We are now 6-1, and closing in on the playoffs. 42-12, Light Green Team Awesome

Now on to the NFL.

Chicago Bears @ Miami Dolphins was the Thursday night game. 25 years ago this was a phenomenal Monday Night Football game as Dan Marino led the Dolphins to a won over the 13-0 Bears to preserve the 1972 Dolphins as the lone unbeaten season. The teams were expected to meet in the Superbowl, but Miami was shocked at home in the AFC Title Game by New England, who would get crushed by William the Refrigerator Perry, headband wearing mooner Jim McMahon, and the rest of the Super Bowl Shuffle Crowd.

Yet this is not 1985, Mike Ditka, Buddy Ryan and Don Shula are retired, and this was just a game between a pair of incredibly overrated teams. The Bears are one of the weakest 6-3 teams in recent memory, as Lovie Smith keeps his job. The 5-4 Dolphins cannot win at home, and Tony Sparano is saddled with 3rd string quarterback Tyler Thigpen, as Chad Henne and Chad Pennington are both our for the season with injuries. Things were so bad that rumors had the Dolphins contacting JaMarcus Russell. Either way, these teams came together to produce a terrible football game. Thigpen and Jay Cutler both threw for under 200 yards, were intercepted once, and threw 0 touchdowns.

Midway through the opening quarter the Bears took over at their own 39. Matt Forte ran for 21 yards to set up a 46 yard field goal by Robbie Gould to make it 3-0 Bears. Thigpen was then intercepted, setting the Bears up at the Miami 46. Cutler led a 13 play, 55 yard drive that took 7 minutes. That set up a 24 yard second quarter field goal by Gould to have the Bears up 6-0. Later in the half Cutler led the Bears from their own 6 to the Miami 35. Yet a penalty was followed by an interception of Cutler to waste the 5 1/2 minute drive.

The second half was even uglier. Cutler led the Bears from their own 30 to the Miami 32, and Gould connected from 50 for his 3rd field goal and a 9-0 Bears lead. Miami punted, and Cutler led a 13 play, 7 1/2 minute drive that covered 60 yards. Heavy doses of Forte and Chester Taylor led to 3rd and 7 at the Miami 18. Cutler hit Greg Olsen for 10 yards, and Forte took it the final 2 yards for the only touchdown of the game.

The fourth quarter was all defense, as Brian Urlacher and company channeled the ghosts of Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, and Dan Hampton to close the door. Lovie Smith has the Bears at 7-3, while Tony Sparano saw his team lose another home game to drop to 5-5 going into the bye week. It was hideously ugly, but the Bears got the win. 16-0 Bears

Baltimore Ravens @ Carolina Panthers–A very good team is on the road for an interconference game against a bad team. The goal for the Ravens was to not treat this as a donut game, despite the terrible record of the Panthers.

Joe Flacco found TJ Houshmanzadeh for a 56 yard touchdown to have the Ravens up 7-0. The Ravens got the ball back, and Flacco led a 13 play, 84 yard drive that took nearly 7 1/2 minutes. It bogged down at the 5 yard line, and a 22 yard Billy Cundiff chip shot had the Ravens up 10-0.

With Matt Moore injured, Jon Fox was down to an unknown quarterback named St. Pierre. Despite the French surname, the Panthers did not surrender. St. Pierre led the Panthers to a 45 yard John Kasay field goal.

Flacco led the Ravens on a long drive, but on 3rd and 2 from the Carolina 11, a fumble was recovered by the Panthers. The Ravens got the ball back just shy of midfield, and Flacco hit Todd Heap for 26 yards. On 3rd and 16, Flacco hit Ray Rice for 18. Rice took it in after the 2 minute warning from one yard out to have the Ravens up 17-3.

Reed returned the second half kickoff 84 yards to the Carolina 18. The defense held, but a 33 yard Cundiff field goal had the Ravens up 20-3.  Kasay added another field goal for the Panthers to get them within 20-6. Seconds into the fourth quarter, St. Pierre threw a bomb to Gettis for an 88 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 20-13. The miracle comeback was on.

No, not really. Flacco led the Ravens into position for Cundiff to drill a 49 yard field goal to have the Ravens up 23-13 St. Pierre may not have officially surrendered or collaborated with the enemy, but he began completing passes to the Baltimore defense. In all fairness, may quarterbacks have done that over the years, especially  newbies. Ed Reed had his 50th interception of his career. Reed then lateraled to Landry, who took it the final 23 yards for a touchdown. St. Pierre then was intercepted by Ray Lewis, who took it 24 yards for the final nail in the coffin. John Harbaugh has the 7-3 Ravens marching toward the playoffs, while Jon Fox is just trying to keep a very bad team together. 37-13 Ravens

Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals–League regulations required that this game be played. In 1981 and 1988 these teams would be good, and eventually face off against each other in the AFC Title Game. In 2010 these teams are a combined 3-17, with the Bills finally winning last week.

Carson Palmer hit Chad Johnson with a 2 yard touchdown pass as Ochocinco decided to blog about it with the Bengals lead 7-0 over a team actually worse than his. Ryan Fitzpatrick brought the Bills back with a 12 play, 89 yard drive that consumed 6 minutes. Fred Jackson took it the final 7 yards out to tie the game 7-7.

In the second quarter Palmer quickly took the Bengals 78 yards, with a 4 yard touchdown to Terrell Owens having the Bills back in front 14-7. Owens loves him some him, and tweeted that the Bengals were leading this week’s Stupor Bowl.

Fitzpatrick was then intercepted, setting up the Bengals at the Buffalo 34. Cedric Benson picked up 26 yards, and on 3rd and goal from the 1, Benson took it in to have the Bengals up 21-7. Fitzpatrick was intercepted again, and this time Joseph took it 21 yards for the score as the Bengals led big 28-7. The game was a laugher, but it would not be for long.

Fitzpatrick quickly moved the Bills back, and a 28 yard touchdown pass to Jones had the Bills within 28-14. From the Buffalo 42, Palmer hit Jeremy Shipley for 37 yards. Defensive pass interference set up 1st and goal at the 1 with 15 seconds left in the half. 3 plays yielded nothing, as the Bengals settled for a 19 yard field goal at the gun. They led 31-14, but the goal line stand had the Bills fired up.

The Bills took the second half kickoff, and when Fitzpatrick hit St Johnson for a 28 yard touchdown, the Bills were only down 31-21. Cedric Benson then fumbled, and Florence returned it 27 yards for a score. Out of nowhere, the Bills were within 31-28 with plenty of time left.

Palmer brought the Bengals back. A 31 yard touchdown pass to Owens was nullified by a penalty. Yet a 17 yard pass to Johnson and a 17 yard run by Benson led to a 3rd and goal at the 5. Palmer was then intercepted in the end zone by Wilson, who returned it 56 yards just past midfield.

In the fourth quarter Fitzpatrick put on a clinic with the short field. An 11 yard touchdown pass to St. Johnson had the Bills in front 35-31. The Bengal went 3 and out, and a shanked punt had the Bills again just past midfield. Fitzpatrick hit Lee Evans for 18 and St. Johnson for the 32 yard touchdown as the Bills turned a 21 point deficit into an 11 point lead at 42-31 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

Palmer led the Bengals to the Buffalo 25, where incomplete passes led to a 43 yard field goal attempt with 5 1/2 minutes to play. It was no good. The Bengals got the ball back with 3 minutes left, and Palmer was intercepted again as Marvin Lewis wondered why he bothered coaching these loser malcontents. Fred Jackson iced things with a 30 yard touchdown run with just under 2 minutes left. 35 unanswered points had both teams at 2-8, with Chan Gailey seeing consecutive wins. Fitzpatrick finished with 316 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. The Bills may have begun 0-8, but they do have what the Bengals totally lack…heart. 49-31 Bills

Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys–These teams both play on Thanksgiving, which means the games this year on Thanksgiving will be awful. Both starting quarterbacks are out for the season, although Jason Garrett did win his debut last week in a road stunner.

Jon Kitna led a 13 play, 98 yard drive that culminated when he hit Dez Bryant on a 3 yard touchdown to have the Cowboys up 7-0.   A 47 yard field goal by a backup kicker in place of injured Jason Hanson had the Lions within 7-3.

With 48 seconds left in the half, the Cowboys were pinned at their own 4 yard line. Just trying to run out the half, Felix Jones fumbled and the Lions took over at the Dallas 14. On 3rd and 5 from the 9, Shawn Hill hit Burleson for the touchdown as the Lions led 10-7 at the half in the battle of the bads.

Early in the third quarter the Cowboys were again backed up to their own 4 yard line. This time, offensive holding in the end zone had the Lions up 12-7. The Lions took the free kick with a chance to take control of the game. They would end up punting at their own 44, when chaos ensued. A Detroit player tried to down the ball before going into the end zone. The issue would be a touchback or Dallas being pinned. Except the ball was batted to the 3 yard line, and no other Detroit players were around to down it. This would not be a big deal except it was still a live ball, and Brian McCann alertly picked it up and raced 97 yards for a touchdown These are the Lions. The 2 point conversion failed, but the Cowboys led 14-12.

The Lions needed 2 plays from scrimmage to fumble the ball back, giving the Cowboys the ball at the Detroit 19. Kitna found Miles Austin, who despite dating a Kardashian has enough substance to catch a football. The 3 yard score had the Cowboys up 21-12. This time Shawn Hill brought the Lions back. On 3rd and 11, a bomb to Nate Burleson went for a 58 yards.  A 14 yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson had the Lions within 21-19.

Kitna moved the Cowboys methodically from their own 29 to the Detroit 24 as the clock clicked into the fourth quarter. On 3rd and 15 from the 29, Marion Barber ran for 24. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Miles Austin caught another touchdown pass to have the Cowboys up 28-19.

With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Hill had the Lions on the move with a 3rd and 7 at the Dallas 35. Hill was then sacked for a 9 yard loss to kill the drive. From the Dallas 20, Kitna led the Cowboys to a 4th and 1 at the Detroit 29 with 3 1/2 minutes left. Kitna ran a bootleg all the way for the score to turn out the lights. Dallas has won 2 straight for Jason Garrett, while Jim Schwartz is stll channeling his inner Rod Marinelli while hoping that next year Matthew Stafford can finally stay healthy. 35-19 Cowboys

Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars–These teams are in the playoff hunt, with the Browns losing a heartbreaker at the end of overtime last week and the Jaguars winning on a miracle Hail Mary in what may have been the play of the year.

A 47 yard field goal by Josh Scobee had the Jaguars up 3-0. Colt McCoy gave the Browns the 7-3 lead with a short touchdown pass to Peyton Hillis.  That completed a staggering 16 play, 92 yard drive that consumed 10 minutes, stretching into the second quarter. McCoy showed veteran poise with 4 conversions on 3rd down.

Cleveland got the ball back and missed a chance to extend the lead when Phil Dawson missed a 51 yard field goal. Jack Del Rio went to the bag of tricks with a halfback option pass, but Maurice Jones-Drew was intercepted.

With 5 12 minutes left in the half, the Jaguars got the ball back at their own 32. A pair of 3rd down conversions led to the completion of the 13 play drive with Garrard hitting Thomas for a 5 yard score to have the Jaguars up 10-7 with 30 seconds left in the half.

Early in the third quarter, Jones-Drew followed up his interception with a more traditional turnover that was worse. His fumble was returned 18 yards for a score, and just like that the Browns were back on top 14-10 in this see-saw game. On the next series the Browns faced 4th and 1 at their own 36. Del Rio decided to go for broke, and Jones-Drew picked up 3 yards. Yet on the next play Garrard was intercepted. On the next series, Garrard was intercepted a 2nd time.

Cleveland took over at the Jacksonville 19, lost a yard, and had Phil Dawson kick a 38 yard field goal to have the Browns up 17-10. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Garrard had his fourth turnover when he fumbled. Yet with the Browns at their own 43, they could not take advantage. Garrard then threw his 3rd interception. It was his 4th turnover, and the 5th overall for the Jaguars. Yet they were only down by 7. Del Rio decided not to bench Garrard, leaving him in to fight through the mistakes. This loyalty was rewarded. With 10 minutes left in regulation, Dawson missed another 51 yarder, as the Browns could not put the game away.

From the Jacksonville 41, the Jaguars finally got going. On 3rd and 3, Jones-Drew gained 6. On 4th and 1 from the Cleveland 39 with 6:17 to play, Jones-Drew gained 5. Jones-Drew picked up 7 more, and then burst free for 22 yards to the 5. Garrard was sacked for a 9 yard loss, but then redeemed himself with a 14 yard touchdown pass to Lewis. The 12 play, 6 minute drive tied the game 17-17 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the game.

From the Cleveland 20, Colt McCoy hit Moore for a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Jacksonville 36, McCoy scrambled for 18 yards. Despite over 3 minutes to play, the Browns then took their final timeout. Eric Mangini decided to go conservative, and Jack Del Rio had the Jaguars take their timeouts to preserve time. A sack of McCoy brought in Dawson again, Yet this kick was from 41, not 51. Dawson nailed it, and the Browns led 20-17 on the road with 2:46 to play and both teams out of timeouts.

The Jaguars took over at their own 13 after fumbling the punt. From the 24, A short pass to Jones-Drew resulted in several mistackles, as Jones-Drew raced 75 yards inside the one yard line. Jones-Drew banged it in, and the Jaguars had fourth quarter heroics for the same straight week while the Browns had their second consecutive meltdown with everything on the line. Yet 1:16 still remained, and the Browns needed 80 yards.

McCoy connected with Massaquoi for gains of 17 and 12. With 18 seconds left, facing 3rd and 10, McCoy hit Moore for 22 yards. From the Jacksonville 29, with 13 seconds left, McCoy went deep and was intercepted at the  yard line to end a game of multiple lead changes.

The Browns are fighting hard for Mangini, but at 3-7 Mike Holmgren cannot be a happy Walrus. Colt McCoy is playing very well, which could mean Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace both leave Cleveland despite Holmgren bringing them both in. Del Rio has seen his Jaguars survive another cardiac win to get to 6-4 and in the thick of the playoff hunt. 24-20 Jaguars.

Arizona Cardinals @ Kansas City Chiefs–Both of these teams got blown out last week, and Kansas City has lost 2 straight. Yet both teams are in the playoff hunt because they play in awful divisions where 8-8 could be enough for the crown.

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings–Either # 4 Brett Favre has another miracle in his bag, or the Vikings are done. At 3-6 they are hanging by a thread, and Aaron Rodgers got the monkey off his back by winning earlier this year in a thriller where Favre’s winning touchdown pass was ruled out of bounds.

Both teams punted on their first drive. On Minnesota’s second drive, Adrian peterson ran for 24 yards, and Favre threw a completion of 19 yards on 3rd and 10, and then hit Greg Lewis for 29 yards down to the Green Bay 11. The drive stalled, but a 24 yard Ryan Longwell kick had it 3-0 Vikings

Rodgers was getting harassed by the Minnesota defense, as a  sack by Jared Allen killed one drive. Yet early in the second quarter, Favre had the Vikings on the move  when a completed pass at the Green Bay 40 was fumbled away. Eventually Rodgers hit Jennings to set up the tying field goal in the second quarter as the expected shootout was instead a 3-3 slugfest.

With 6 minutes left in the half Rodgers went deep to James Jones for 39 yards down to the Minnesota 11. Rodgers avoided a sack and hit Jennings for the touchdown to have the Packers up 10-3 on the road. With one minute left in the half, and the Vikings on the move, Favre was intercepted for the 17th time this season. Brad Childress, who is bald and Catholic, was so mad you could fry an egg on his head. A personal foul on Minnesota added 15 more yards after the run.

Rodgers scrambled for another first down, and then hit Brandon Jackson at the three yard line with 9 seconds left in the half. Rodgers fired to Jones for the score as the Packers led 17-3 at intermission.

The Packers took over at their own 27 to start the second half. On 3rd and 8, Rodgers scrambled for 15 yards. From the Minnesota 46, Rodgers hit Greg Jennings on a short swing pass that Jennings took all the way for a touchdown. Only 3 minutes into the half, and the Packers led 24-3 on the road.

Favre led the Vikings to the Green Bay 33, and Longwell drilled a 51 yard field goal. Yet offensive holding nullified the kick, and the Vikings punted. Early in the fourth quarter the Vikings faced 4th and 2 at their own 43. Favre threw incomplete. On 3rd and 7 from the 39, Rodgers hit Donald Driver for 8. On 3rd and 1 from the Minnesota 22, Rodgers went deep to Jennings for the final score of the game.

There is no way to sugarcoat this. The Packers are 7-3 and have swept the Vikings this year. Minnesota is 3-7. They did have Sidney Rice back for the first time all year, which meant nothing. Rodgers finished 22 of 31 for 301 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Favre was 17 of 38 for 208 yards and an interception. Childress may have wanted to bench Favre for good, while owner Zygi Wolf instead did the same with Childress. The Vikings are a mess, and getting blown out at home had the look of the team quitting on Childress. Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier is the interim coach, and he made it clear Favre is his starter. 31-3 Packers

Houston Texans @ New York Jets–The Texans lost on the cruel Hail Mary last week, while the Jets won after nearly 5 quarters on a minor miracle of their own. Nick Folk got the Jets on the board first with a field goal to have the Jets up 3-0 at home. Yet in the second quarter Matt Schaub led the Texans 67 yards in 11 plays. Arriun Foster took it in from 2 yards to have the Texans up 7-3.

Mark Sanchez answered Schaub’s 11 play, 5 1/2 minute drive with a 10 play, 5 minute counter response. On 3rd and 5 from the Jets 27, Sanche hit Santonio Holmes for 26 yards. On 2nd and 23 from the Jets 40, Sanchez hit Turner for 21. Richardson took the wildcat snap for the necessary 2 yards. Sanchez then went deep to Braylon Edwards for 27, and to Edwards again for the 4 yard score to have the Jets up 10-7.

Houston went 3 and out and the Jets took over at the Texans 48 with 4 minutes left in the half. Nick Folk would hit a 33 yard field goal to have the Jets leading 13-7 with one minute left in the half. Schaub got the Texans to the Jets 39, but Gary Kubiak decided against the 57 yard field goal try. Gang Green sacked Schaub to still lead at breaktime.

Sanchez moved the Jets early in the third quarter into position for a 53 yard field goal, but Nick Folk missed it. Houston punted, and the Jets took over at their own 8. Sanche hit Edwards for 13 and Greene ran for 12 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Jets 37, Sanchez hit Ladanian Tomlinson for 21. Sanchez hit Holmes again, and he raced 41 yards for a touchdown to have the Jets up 20-7.

Late in the third quarter, Foter fumbled and the Jets took over at the Houston 22. The Jets went nowhere, and seconds into the fourth quarter Nick Folk nailed the 30 yarder to appear to close things out with the Jets up 23-7. Yet these are the Re Ryan Jets, which means everything is going to be dramatic.

Schaub quickly led the Texans from their own 22 to the Jets 19. The drive stopped, and Kubiak decided not to go for it since a full 12 1/2 minutes remained in regulation. Neil Rackers hit the 38 yarder to get the Texans within 23-10.

Sanchez led the Jets from their own 21 to the Houston 41. With 9 1/2 minutes left, the plan was to grind down the clock and go home. Yet Green fumbled, and the Texans took over at the Jets 43. One play was all Schaub needed to go deep to Dreesen for the score as the Jets now only led 23-17. The Jets went nowhere and the Texans took over t their own 27 with 6 minutes to play.

Schaub went deep to Anderson for 35 yards, and then to Andre Johnson for another 20 to the Jets 15. Arriun Foster did the rest, banging in from one yard out. In what had turned into a shocker, the Texans led 24-23 with 2:18 to play. Sanchez was then intercepted, setting the Texans up at the Jets 10 with 1:52 to play. They had their miracle comeback in front of a stunned Jets crowd.

Kubiak played it ultra-conservatively, even by Texas standards. Foster ran ahead 3 times, the Jets used their timeouts, and a 22 yard field goal had the Texans up 27-23. The Jets took over at their own 28, but with 49 seconds and 0 timeouts. Finally, the Texans had won a close one.

No, they hadn’t. Sanchez hit Tomlinson for gains of 5 and 19 to the Houston 48 with 24 seconds to play. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Sanchez went deep to Edwards for a 42 yard gain. With 16 seconds to play the Jets had 1st and goal at the 6. On the next play Sanchez hit Holmes for the score, and it was the Jets who had the shocking victory.

The Texans have lost consecutive stunners in the waning seconds, but losses are losses. The Texans are 4-7. They did run the table last year to get to 9-7, but barring that this year owner Bob McNair may finally can Kubiak. The Texans always look just about to get to the next step, when they instead regress. As for the Jets, Rex Ryan will not offer any apologies for the way in which the Jets are winning. At 7-3, He will swagger and take all of the heat, removing it from his players. Sanchez went from goat to hero, and the Jets keep winning in cardiac fashion. 30-27 Jets

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers–Yes the Raiders have won 3 straight and had 2 weeks to prepare for this one. Yes the Steelers got blasted at home last week. Yes the Raiders won last year in Pittsburgh. It doesn’t matter, as the Raiders were in position to get blasted by an angry Pittsburgh team. This is not the 1970s, and the Steelers have far superior talent. The Raiders have shown a ton of heart this year, but last year Bruce Gradkowski was the starter in this game. With Gradkowski still injured, Jason Campbell would have to improve if the Raiders were going to have a chance to win. For more on the game of the day, go to http://www.justblogbaby.com

Pittsburgh got the ball first and went 3 and out as Ben Roethlisberger was caught from behind on 3rd and 3. The Raiders took over at their own 28. A roughing the passer penalty on Pittsburgh followed by a 17 yard pass from Jason Campbell to Johnny Lee Higgins with another defensive penalty for holding had the Raiders at the Steelers 28. An illegal touching penalty moved the Raiders back 5 yards. On 3rd and 10 Campbell called timeout. A short completion set up Sebastian Janikowski from 41 yards out. Seabass connected, and the Raiders led 3-0 on the road.

Mike Tomlin went for the gadget play, but Antwon Randle-El and Hines Ward did not connect. Roethlisberger went deep again to Emanuel Sanders, and again it was incomplete by a hair. The Raiders took over at their own 11. On 3rd and 9 from the 12, Campbell found new phenom Jacoby Ford for the first down on a 15 yard gain. Another 15 yards was tacked on for unnecessary roughness as Mike Tomlin saw his normally disciplined Steelers getting hit with a rash of early penalties. Yet the Steelers knocked the Raiders back a few yards, forcing a punt as the Steelers took over at their own 14.

A pair of runs should have meant 3rd and short, but another personal foul got Pittsburgh, this time clipping on the offense. Yet on 2nd and 14 Big Ben went deep again, and this time connected with Mike Wallace for 27 yards. On 3rd and 7, Roethlisberger hit Emanuel Sanders for 13 yards. A pair of Rashaard Mendenhall runs picked up 9 and 6 yards, just outside the Oakland 30. A completion to Hines Ward went for 14 more. The second quarter had Pittsburgh facing 3rd and 6 from the 12. Big Ben fired complete to set up 1st and goal at the 5. With Rolando McClain on the bench due to a temporary injury, Mendenhall ran it up the middle for the touchdown to complete the 86 yard, 15 play, 9 minute drive.

The Raiders quickly went 3 and out as Campbell was sacked. The punt was returned for a 67 yard touchdown, but holding on the Steeleres nullified the play. Roethlisberger continued to pick the Raiders apart with passes to Ward for 10 and Heath Miller for 18 more to midfield. The Raiders clamped down on defense at that point and the Steelers punted. The Raiders took over at their own 10, went 3 and out, and gave it back to the Steelers at the Pittsburgh 44.

A reverse play to Mike Wallace picked up 19 yards. Encroachment added 5 more yards to the Oakland 32. On 3rd and 5 from the Oakland 17, Roethlisberger scrambled all the way for the touchdown, just getting the ball over the pileon. With 4 minutes left in the half, the Steelers led 14-3.

The Raiders were in dire straits, facing 3rd and 14 at their own 4. Campbell went deep and benefitted from defensive pass interference at the Oakland 33. Yet on the next play a completion to Louis Murphy was fumbled away. Pittsburgh took over at the Oakland 35.  At the 2 minute warning, Roethlisberger hit Ward for 5 at the Oakland 22. Big Ben then fired to Sanders, who made a diving catch for the touchdown as the Steelers led 21-3 with 1:26 left in the half. After the score, Roethlisberger mouthed off to Richard Seymour, who shoved him in the face and knocked him to the ground. Seymour was ejected. Some would say this was a typical Raiders-Steelers game, but those games in the 1970s were competitive. This game was lopsided.

Campbell was sacked again, and fumbled the ball for the second time. Yet both times the Raiders retained possession. Tom Cable had seen enough, and had Campbell run out the clock rather than suffer any more damage.

The Raiders got the ball to start the second half, picked up one first down to reach their own 40, and then saw Jason Campbell stumble without being touched on 3rd and 10 for a 14 yard loss to kill the drive.

The Steelers went backward on their next drive, and on 3rd and 26 a play that went nowhere became another Pittsburgh penalty. After a punt, the Raiders took over at their own 28. Campbell then threw a terrible awkward pass that was deflected and intercepted as the Steelers took over at the same spot.

A penalty and a sack followed by a dropped pass led to a punt that for some reason was fair caught at the Oakland 4 yard line.

On 3rd and 6 from the 8, Campbell was intercepted by Ike Taylor, who coasted into the end zone. Yet a personal foul on James Harrison for driving Campbell into the ground instead meant 15 more yards for the Raiders. O the next play Campbell was sacked, but a false start nullified that. Bruce Gradkowski was ready on the sidelines, but for some reason Campbell stayed in the game. On the next play Campbell was sacked again, but again that was nullified by the defense jumping offsides in an attempt to guess the snap count. Campbell scrambled for a few yards, but this time offensive holding nullified that. As ugly as this was, there was time for ugliness. The Raiders punted, and the Steelers took over at the Raiders 33.

An 8 yard run was offset by another Pittsburgh personal foul. On 3rd and 16 from the Oakland 40, Big Ben went deep. Michael Huff intercepted it in the end zone, but he was ruled out of bounds. Nevertheless, the Steelers punted and the Raiders would eventually field it after wasting a timeout because nobody was back deep to field it. The Raiders took over at their own 20 with a ray of hope, as Campbell was benched in favor of Gradkowski with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.

His first play resulted in him somehow avoiding a sack and completing a 6 yard pass. On 3rd and 3, Gradkowski hit Zach Miller for just enough as the drive continued. After a false start, Gradkowski fired to Myers for another first down as offsides was declined. From the Oakland 41, Gradkowski fired complete to Jacoby Ford for another first down just past midfield. With Gradkowski 5 for 5 on the drive, a draw play by Michael Bush went for 24 yards.

Yet disaster then struck. On 3rd and 10, Gradkowski was intercepted at the 9 yard line by Troy Paomalu, who returned it to the Pittsburgh 46 as the third quarter ended. One play into the fourth quarter, the game itself pretty much ended as Roethlisberger found Mike Wallace, who outraced everyone for  54 yard touchdown as the Steelers led 28-3.

A couple minutes later with the Raiders facing 4th and 3 at their own 43, Cable decided to punt. With 7 minutes left the Steelers faced 2nd and 6 at their own 36. For some reason Big Ben was not only still in the game, but still throwing. He hit Wallace for 37 yards. Yet on the next play Mendenhall fumbled, and the Raiders recovered. The Raiders faced 4th and 3 at their own 41. This time the Raiders went for it, and Gradkowski threw incomplete. Redman ran for gains of 17, 6, and 2, and then caught the 16 yard touchdown pass to end the scoring.

The Raiders may have started to believe their own press clippings after 3 straight wins. Yet while they are not a bad team, they are not a good one yet. They are 5-5, the epitome of average. They fell one game out of first place. While Nahmdi Asomugha was out with an injured ankle and Gradkowski coming in way too late after Campbell’s ineptitude, those are excuses. Pittsburgh is a far better team, and it showed.

A very classy Mike Tomlin after the game praised Richard Seymour, and said that both teams “let it get away from them” in terms of emotion. This was hardly Chuck Noll calling the Raiders a “criminal element.” Then again, most of the penalties were on the Steelers. As for the Raiders Cable and Hue Jackson have a quarterback controversy on their hands, and must return Gradkowski as the starter down the stretch. The Raiders are improved, but proved today they still have a long way to go. 35-3 Steelers

Washington Redskins @ Tennessee Titans–The Redskins gave up 59 points a few days ago at home, while the Titans are coming together and in the playoff hunt. An 87 yard punt return by Marion had the Titans up 7-0. The Redskins came back as Donovan McNabb hit Santana Moss on a 5 yard touchdown pass to tie the game 7-7.

In the second quarter McNabb led a 15 play, 78 yard drive that took almost 7 1/2 minutes of clock. On 3rd and 16 from the Washington 40, McNabb hit Joey Galloway for 20. On 3rd and 4 from the Tennessee 34, McNabb hit Santana Moss for 18. On 3rd and 6 from the 12, McNabb hit Moss for 7. Yet on 4th and goal at the 2, Mike Shanahan opted or the field goal. Encroachment made it 4th and goal from the 1. Shanahan did not budge, and went for the points on the road anyway. Graham Gano connected from 19 to have the Redskins up 10-7.

With Kerry Collins out for several weeks with a calf injury sustained the previous week, Vince Young got his job back by default. He matched McNabb early on with a 13 play, 7 minute drive that went from the Titans 20 to the Washington 7. The Titans had to settle for a 25 yard Rob Bironas field goal that tied the game 10-10.

The Redskins saw 2 more chances in the half go to waste when McNabb was intercepted deep in Tennessee territory, and Gano missed a 51 yard field goal as the half expired.

The Titans began the second half at their own 20, and Young led an 11 play, 6 minute drive. On 3rd and 5 from the Washington 9, Young was sacked. Bironas connected from 32 yards as the Titans led 13-10.

McNabb continued the tradition in this game of long time consuming drives without touchdowns, as neither team would crack the end zone in the second half. McNabb led the Redskins from their own 24 to the Tennessee 19 before going backward. 10 plays and 5 minutes led to a 40 yard Gano field goal to tie the game for the 3rd time at 13-13.

With 4 minutes left in the third quarter, the Titans took over at their own 20. Young went deep to Nate Washington for a 43 yard gain. Unfortunately for the Titans, Young injured his wrist on the play. Jeff Fisher was forced to go to his 3rd string quarterback, the appropriately named Rusty Smith. On 4th and 3 from the 36, Fisher decided to pass up the 54 yard field goal despite Bironas having the leg. So what did the 3rd string Rusty do? All he did was go deep to newly acquired Randy Moss for a touchdown. The NFL recordbooks were under assault under the very first Rusty Smith to Randy Moss connection. Except it was all for naught as Moss was called for offensive pass interference. The Titans punted.

McNabb moved the Redskins from their own 19 to the Tennessee 33 early in the fourth quarter. Yet Mike Shanahan and Jeff Fisher were playing a mirror image field position game, and Shanahan passed up a 53 yard field goal attempt in favor of a punt with 12 minutes left in the game.

The Titans took over at their own 6 yard line, and the Rusty quarterback wisely handed off to Chris Johnson. From the Titans 21, Rusty Smith showed no rust whatsoever in hurling a 52 yard bomb to Nate Washington at the Redskins 27. Do not be fooled by the last name, Washington does not play for the Redskins. With 8 1/2 minutes left, Bironas nailed a 40 yard field goal to have the Redskins up 16-13.

From the Washington 26, McNabb came out firing, hitting Davis for 21 and Armstrong for 19. Yet the trend of big yardage without tuchdowns continued for both teams. With 5 1/2 minutes left in the game, Gano connected from 42 as each kicker had 3 field goals and each team had 16 points.

Rusty Smith finally did look rusty, and at the worst possible time. His deep ball was intercepted by Philip Buchanon, who returned it 4 yards to the Titans 41. Yet on 3rd and 4 from the 35, McNabb was sacked. With 4 minutes to play, Shanahan was not trying a 57 yard field goal as the Redskins punted. Again the Titans were facing miserable field position, this time at their own 9.

After losing 3 yards, Chris Johnson exploded for gains of 20 and 29. Yet Smith would fire incomplete on 3rd and 8. With 1:49 still to play, a 61 yard field goal was not in the cards as Fisher had the Titans punting. The Redskins took over at their own 22 with 1:37 left. From the 33, McNabb hit Banks for 15 and Cooley for 12 more. With 3 seconds left, Gano came in for the winning 47 yard field goal attempt. It was dead center…and just short. Mike Shanahan, who saw his team give up 59 points at home the previous week, for the second week in a row blamed Al Davis.

The Titans got the ball to start overtime at their own 33. Chris Johnson picked up 15, but the Titans got nothing more and punted. The Redskins took over at their own 13. McNabb went deep to Chris Cooley for 26. On 2nd and 22 McNabb was intercepted, but on replay the call was ruled incomplete. Unnecessary roughness had the Redskins at their own 42. Another penalty for roughing the passer had the Redskins at the Titans 43. McNabb hit Moss for 10 down to the 31. After 10 plays and 5 minutes, Gano came in again for a 48 yarder.

Gano became Ga-Yes and the game was over. After the game Fisher refused to say that Young would be his quarterback of the future. Both of these teams are in the playoff hunt, but in the middle of the pack as the Titans have lost 3 straight after starting 5-2.

An angry Young threw his shirt into the stands after the game, and stormed out of a post-game meeting. When Fisher told him not to walk out on his teammates, Young allegedly replied to Fisher, “I am not walking out on them. I am walking out on you.” Young may have gone rogue for the last time, as Fisher made it clear in his post-game press conference that healthy or not, Young was not starting. If Fisher will start the Rusty 3rd stringer over Young in the middle of a playoff run, that means the 16 year coach Fisher has had it with Young. Young was put on injured reserve, ending his season. Yet Bud Adams intervened by letting coach and player know that he wanted them both back next year, and to work out their problems.

Most importantly, Rusty Smith played for Howard Schnellenberger at Florida Atlantic University. I am an self-titled honorary FAU Owl because that is the closest university to where my parents live. Hanging out in the commons at “Wackadoos” is fun, and I like their Hillel Friday night services. 19-16 Redskins, OT

Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints–When an average team that has been playing badly travels on the road to face a good team that has gelled after a tough start, the expected result is a blowout for the home team. Upsets lead to the phrase “that’s why they play the games.” This game was not why they play them.

The teams exchanged punts, and Seattle took over at their own 18. On 2nd and 18 from the 22, Matt Hasselbeck went deep to Mike Williams for a 68 yard gain. Yet on 4th and goal at the 2, Pete Carroll opted to take the points on the road. Olindo Mare hit the 20 yard chipper as the Seahawks led 3-0. Carroll jumped up and down and hugged his players, although 52 minutes still remained.

The Saints took over at their own 20, and Reggie Bush was still sitting out with his bad leg. Brees led a 12 play, 80 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. On 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 29, Ivory broke through for 24 yards, picked up 4 more, and then took it the final yard to have the Saints up 7-3.

From the Seattle 30, Hasselbeck went deep to Obomanu for a 42 yard gain. The second quarter began with Mare kicking a 43 yard field goal to hve the Seahawks within 7-6. The Saints again took over at their own 20, and Brees again moved the Saints 80 yards with ease over 10 plays. On 3rd and 3, Ivory picked up 9. On 3rd and 13 from the Saints 33, Brees hit Marquis Colston for 14, Thomas for another 14,  and Robert Meachem for 15 more. Brees then fired the 23 yard touchdown to Colston to have the Saints up 14-6.

Seattle went 3 and out and the Saints took over at the Seattle 42. On 3rd and 10 from the Seattle 28, Brees hit Colston for 16. On 2nd and 15 from the 17, Brees hit Colston again to set up 3rd and 1 at the 3. Brees hit Meachem for the score as the Saints led 21-6. With 6 minutes left in the half, the Seahawks took over at their own 31.

From the 35, Hasselbeck hit Williams for 10 and Obomanu for 11 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Saints 41, Hasselbeck hit Williams for 15. On 3rd and 7 from the Saints 23, Hasselbeck got it to Brandon Stokely for a gain of 12. Just past the 2 minute warning with Seattle facing 3rd and 1 at the 2, Hasselbeck hit Obomanu for the touchdown to get the Seahawks within 21-13. The Saints took over at their own 25 with 1:49 left in the half.

On 3rd and 3, an incomplete pass was nullified by defensive pass interference at the Saints 48. Giving Brees another chance in the 2 minute drill is suicide, and Brees quickly hit Ladell Betts for 25 yards. With one minute left in the half, from the Seattle 22, Brees went deep to Colston for the score. A bad snap ruined the extra point attempt, but the Saints were putting on an offensive clinic worthy of defending champions as they led 27-13.

Yet the ensuing kickoff was kicked out of bounds as Seattle took over at their own 40. Hasselbeck hit Obomanu for 23 yards and Stokely for 14 more. As the half ended, Mare kicked his 3rd field goal, a 43 yarder to have Seattle within 27-16.

The Saints took the second half kickoff from their own 20 and Brees went right to work.  On 3rd and 3, Brees hit Graham for 19. From just past midfield, Brees hit Devry Henderson for 17 and then went deep to Meachem for the 32 yard score to have the Saints up 34-16. Despite having most of the second half left, a pinball machine of points came to a crawl.

Seattle fumbled the ball away on their next series and the Saints took over at the Seattle 48. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 4 Brees was intercepted in the end zone. Seattle took over at their own 5. Hasselbec led them past midfield, but Marshawn Lynch fumbled for the second straight series. The Saints moved from their own 46 to the Seattle 9, but a much maligned Garrett Hartley clanked a 27 yard field goal off the upright early in the fourth quarter.

From the Seattle 20, Hasselbeck led a 15 play, 7 minute drive that moved 78 yards.  Yet time consuming drives are not wise when a team is down by 3 scores. On 4th and goal at the 2, Pete Carroll decided to kick the field goal. Mare connected from 20 to have the Seahawks within 15. The onsides kick failed, and the Saints took over at the Seattle 42. On 4th and 6 from the 8 with the outcome decided, Sean Payton decided not to risk a field goal block. Brees was intercepted again, but it did not matter as only 21 seconds remained.

Hasselbeck finished 32 of 44 for 366 yards and one touchdown while Brees was 29 of 43 for 382 yards and 4 touchdown passes with 2 interceptions. Yet Seattle kicked too many field goals while the Saints scored touchdowns. The Saints got to 7-3, but all 3 NFC South teams in the hunt won today, leaving the Saints one game back. As for the pathetic NFC Worst, all 4 teams lost by at least 15 points, leaving the 5-5 Seahawks still in first place. 34-19 Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers–In 2002, the Buccaneers throttled the 49ers in the playoffs, getting Steve Mariucci fired. The 49ers have been awful ever since. Raheem Morris has made the Bucs forget about Jon Gruden, who may replace Mike Singletary if he continues scowling like Ray Rhodes without the results to back it up.

A terrible first half saw Josh Freeman lead a 14 play, 80 yard second quarter drive that consumed 7 1/2 minutes. Cadillac Williams ran it in from 6 yards out to have the Buccaneers leading 7-0 at halftime.

The second half was just as ugly. On 4th and 3 from the Tampa Bay 33, Mike Singletary opted against a 51 yard field goal as the 49ers punted. On 4th and 3 from the San Francisco 23, Raheem Morris opted for the 41 yard attempt, which Connor Barth missed. The 49ers punted again, and the Buccaneers took over a their own 34. Freeman hit Mike Williams for a 33 yard gain. Blount picked up 16 more on the ground. On 3rd and 1 from the 8, Freeman hit Williams for the touchdown to have the Buccaneers up 14-0.

With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Troy Smith was intercepted by old man Ronde Barber, who returned it 29 yards to the San Francisco 7. Freeman hit Penn for the score to close out the game. The Buccaneers will now be the least respected 7-3 team, while the 49ers at 3-7 are still laughably only 2 games out of first place.  21-0 Buccaneers

Atlanta Falcons @ St. Louis Rams–Mike Smith is more than an average non-descript white guy who looks like a guy named Mike Smith. He is the head coach of the best team in the conference at 7-2. Steve Spagnuolo has the Rams fighting hard, but an overtime loss last week was a setback.

Mike Smith is more than an average non-descript white guy who looks like a guy named Mike Smith. He is the head coach of the best team in the conference at 7-2. Steve Spagnuolo has the Rams fighting hard, but an overtime loss last week was a setback. The Rams have yet to win a road game, but came in 4-1 at home, while the 7-2 Falcons have struggled on the road.

The Rams started hot, as Sam Bradford hit Hoomanawanui for a 25 yard touchdown pass to have the Rams up 7-0. Matt Ryan then led a 12 play, 6 1/2 minute drive that led to a 42 yard field goal to have the Falcons within 7-3.

Bradford led a 10 play drive that resulted in Josh Brown nailing a 53 yard field goal to have the Rams up 10-3 in the second quarter. A 55 yard kickoff return had the Falcons at the Rams 47. After an unnecessary roughness penalty, Ryan hit Finneran for a 12 yard touchdown to tie the game 10-10.

After a punt, the Falcons took over again at the Rams 46. Ryan hit Gonzalez and Jenkins for a pair of 16 yard gains to set up a 29 yard Bryant field goal to have the Falcons up 13-10. With 5 1/2 minutes left in the half, Ryan led the Falcons from their own 32 on an 11 play drive. With a 19 yard pass to Roddy White moving things along, the Falcons moved to the 6 yard line before stalling. Bryant hit the 24 yarder to have the Falcons up 16-10 at the half.

In the third quarter, a 33 yard punt return had the Rams starting at the Atlanta 37. Stephen Jackson ran for 16, and Bradford hit Gibson for a 13 yard touchdown as the Rams led 17-16.

After an exchange of punts, the Falcons took over at their own 42. Michael Turner picked up 12, and Ryan hot Tony Gonzalez for 16 more. On 3rd and 4 from the Rams 24, Ryan hit White for 9 and Peelle for 12, finally connecting with Peelle for the 2 yard touchdown. With 2 minutes left in the third quarter, Mike Smith decided wisely not to go for the 2 point conversion as the Falcons led 23-17. The Rams punted, and the Falcons took over at their own 24 as the third quarter ended.

Ryan led a 14 play drive that bled over 7 minutes of game time. With 8 minutes to play, the Falcons faced 4th and 1 at the Rams 3. Mike Smith took no chances, preferring to make it a 2 score game on the road. Bryant hit it from 21 as the Falcons led 26-17.

From the Rams 23, Bradford smartly led the Rams down the field. After 11 plays, the Rams had 3rd and goal at the 2 with 3 1/2 minutes to play. Bradford was intercepted, any chance of a comeback. At the 2 minute warning with the outcome not in doubt, Turner burst free for a 39 yard touchdown run. The 2 point conversion completed the scoring to make the game look more lopsided than it really was. The Falcons got  akey road win to lead the conference at 8-2, while the Rams at 4-6 under Steve Sapgnuolo are still only one game out of first place in the wretched NFC Worst. 34-17 Falcons

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots–This is why we watch football. Calling this Super Bowl 44 1/2 might be overstating it, as the Colts are “only” 5-3 and the Patriots are “only” 6-2. A couple years ago they were both 7-0 when they met. Last year the Colts overcame a 24-7 first half deficit to win 35-34 after Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick gambled and lost on 4th and 2 at his own 28 late in the game leading by 6 points. Yet that game was in Indy, and this time it is in New England, where the Patriots have had a decisive advantage. These teams very well could meet again in the AFC Title Game. This game is packed with emotion that Jim Caldwell might come close to almost making a facial expression. Oh, and Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are pretty good. Brady won the first 6 meetings of this series, while the last 6 times these teams faced off, Manning won 5 of them.

The Colts got the ball first at their own 11. On 3rd and 6 from the Indy 46, Manning was intercepted by Brandon Meriweather, who returned it 39 yards to the Indy 32. Brady quickly hit Welker for a 22 yard touchdown to have the Patriots up 7-0.

The Colts punted, and the Patriots took over at their own 18. Brady led a 15 play, 82 yard drive that consumed nearly 8 minutes. 3 conversions on 3rd down set up 3rd and goal at the 8. Brady hit Hernandez for the score early in the second quarter as the Patriots led 14-0.

The Colts took over at their own 31, and on 3rd and 10 Manning hit Austin Collie for 14. On 3rd and 5 from midfield, Manning hit Pierre Garcon for 17 and then Brown for 25 more down to the 8. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Manning hit Robinson for the score as the Colts got within 14-7.

Brady led the Patriots right back from the New England 35. From the 41, Brady hit Gronkowski for 25 yards and Deion Branch for 16 more. Green-Ellis took it in from the 5 to have the Patriots up 21-7. The Colts took over at their own 15 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Manning hit Reggie Wayne for 12, and on 3rd and 1 with Joseph Addai out with an injury, James picked up 2. On 2nd and 15 from the Indy 44, Manning hit Wayne for 17. From the 39, Manning hit Wayne again for  28 yards down to the 11 with 10 seconds left in the half. Manning hit Wayne for the touchdown as the Colts only trailed 21-14 at halftime.

The teas exchanged punts in the third quarter, and the Patriots took over at their own 21 with 6 minutes left in the period. On 3rd and 1, Sammy Morris picked up 4. With just over a minute left in the quarter, New England had 2nd and 3 at the Indy 36. Woodhead broke through all the way to the end zone as the Patriots led 28-14.

Manning was intercepted again as the Patriots took over at their own 39 to end the third quarter. Green Ellis picked up gains of 5 and 16 yards. From the Indy 25, Brady hit Branch for 14. The drive would fall short at the 7 yard line, but a 25 yard Shane Graham field goal had the Patriots up 31-14 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Ironically, the Patriots led 31-14 last year in the fourth quarter before Manning led a stunning comeback.

The Patriots took over at their own 27. Manning hit Wayne for 11. On 3rd and 4, Brown ran for 36 yards. Manning hit White for the 5 yard score to get the Colts within 31-21 with a full 8 minutes left to play. The Patriots went 3 and out, and the Colts again took over at their own 27, with 7 minutes left.

In what appeared to be instant replay, Manning passed for 11 yards, this time to James. On 3rd and 9 from midfield, Manning went deep to Garcon, with a 15 yard personal foul adding to the 17 yard completion for a 32 yard gain down to the New England 18. Manning then hit White for the touchdown as a pair of 73 yard drives had the Colts down by a field goal. The Patriots took over again at their own 15 with 4:40 to play. Green-Ellis ran picked up 14 yards, but after that the Patriots punted as the Colts took over at their own 26 with 2:25 left.

On 2nd and 6, Manning hit Jacobe Tamme for 17 yards at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 2, Brown picked up just enough. With 57 seconds remaining and the Colts facing 3rd and 6 at the New England 39, the Colts took their first timeout. Manning hit Wayne for 15 yards. The clock was moving, but time was not a factor. The Colts were well within Adam Vinatieri’s range, as a field goal would have only been 42 yards. With 2 timeouts, Manning decided to go for the win while Brady could only helplessly watch from the sidelines.

Manning went deep and threw an off balance ball into coverage that was intercepted at the 6 yard line by Sanders. It was a crushing end to another epic game between these rivals. Manning would finish 38 of 52 for a ridiculous 396 yards and 4 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. Brady passed for only 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Yet Brady had the win.

The Patriots remain tied atop the conference at 8-2 while the Colts fell to 6-4. The Colts have never been worse than 12-4 the last 7 years, so they need to run the table to get their again. Also, if these teams do meet again, which football fans everywhere would consider a blessing, the Colts will have to return to New England. The weather was tolerable today, but it will be snowing come January. Both of these teams are tied for their respective division leads. 31-28 Patriots

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles–The Eagles score 59 points on the road a few days ago, while the Giants lost a shocker at home to woeful Dallas. These teams are both 6-3 atop the division, and it was expected be a bare fisted slobberknocker.

Midway through the opening quarter, the Eagles took over at their own 32. On 2nd and 18, Michael Vick hit Deshean Jackson for a 23 yard gain. 10 yard passes to Jeremy Maclin and McCoy led to 3rd and 9 at the Giants 28. Vick hit Jackson for 13,  and Vick scrambled for the 4 yard touchdown himself to have the Eagles up 7-0.

Eli Manning in the second quarter led a 14 play, 74 yard drive that consumed 8 minutes. Yet the Giants got no further than the 6 yard line, and a Lawrence Tynes 24 yard kick had the Giants within 7-3.

With 7 minutes left in the half Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled deep in Giants territory, and the Eagles took over a the Giants 23. The Eagles went nowhere, and David Akers kicked a 38 yard field goal to have the Eagles up 10-3. Manning was then intercepted by Asante Samuels, and the Eagles took over at the Giants 13. Again the Eagles could not capitalize, and a 24 yard Akers kick had the Eagles up 13-3.

The Eagles got the ball back at their own 20 with 1:43 left in the half. Vick hit Maclin for 25 and scrambled for 9 more, and hit Maclin for another 21 to set up 1st and 10 at the 15 with 55 seconds left in the half. Yet a 15 yard offensive tripping penalty forced the Eagles to try a 42 yard Akers field goal at the end of the half. The kick was blocked, and nearly returned the other way. 3 trips to the red zone in the second quarter produced only 6 points as Big Blue kept the offense in the game with a ferocious defense.

Tragedy on a personal level took place when Ellis Hobbs was injured returning the second half kickoff. Hobbs was down for about 15 minutes as players and coaches from both teams prayed. Hobbs was taken off the field on a stretcher after a helmet to helmet hit that appeared legal. The crowd cheered when Hobbs gave the thumbs up sign. In the locker room he was walking off under his own power. He was lost for much of last year with a strained neck, and it was his neck that was injured tonight. Early signs were positive.

The Eagles began the second half at their own 8 yard line. Vick led an 8 minute drive. Vick hit Jackson for 7, Maclin for 18, and McCoy for 17 to have the Eagles at midfield. On 3rd and 3 Vick hit Avant for 15. The Eagles face 3rd and 1 from the Giants 19, and Andy Reid can’t stand 3rd and 1 because he does not have  bruising running back, and has not had one in his entire decade tenure. Vick failed to pick up the first down, and on 4th and 1 Reid decided to go for it anyway. Vick picked up 2 to keep things going. Yet for the 4th time in 15 minutes, the Eagles would stall in the red zone. Akers came in for a 28 yarder, and made his 4th kick in 5 tries to have the Eagles up 16-3. Despite dominating, Philly had not put the game away.

The Giants took over at their own 32 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. On 3rd and 7 Manning hit Mario Manningham for 10. From the Philly 44, Manning hit Kevin Boss for 15. On 3rd and 14 from the 33, Manning went deep incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference set up the ball on the 2 yard line, as Manning hit Beckum for the score. The Eagles took over on their own 33 as they took a 16-10 lead into the fourth quarter.

In the first half the Giants gave the Eagles gifts, and the Eagles refused to take them. Seconds into the fourth quarter the spirit of Thanksgiving led to reciprocity as Vick was sacked by Justin Tuck, resulting in a fumble and Giants recovery at the Philly 27. Manning hit Brandon Jacobs for 22 and then tossed the 5 yard touchdown to Hagan as the Giants now led 17-16 just over one minute into the fourth quarter.

Tynes kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds as the Eagles took over at their own 40. On 3rd and 9, Vick hit Avant for 24 yards to the Giants 35. Yet the Eagles then self-destructed after a chop block penalty and a sack  had them punting on 4th and 36 from their own 39.  The Giants would punt it back, and the Eagles took over at their own 10 with 8 minutes to play in the game.

Vick hit Schmitt for 10 and Maclin for 19. With the Eagls facing 3rd and 1 at midfield, would Andy Reid try and run the ball? Of course not. On 4th and 1 from midfield, with 4 1/2 minutes left, Reid decided to go for it. Would he run up the middle? Of course not. On a dangerous pitchout, Vick bobbled the ball. Yet he recovered, pitched it to McCoy, and everybody watched as McCoy ran all the way for a touchdown in front of an elated home crowd. Vick hit Avant for the 2 point conversion to have the Eagles up by 7.

From the Giants 39, Manning was intercepted again by Samuel, this time off of a deflected pass. Yet until every NFL player not named Ed Reed decides to just go down rather than get greedy, turnovers will be for naught. Trying to run it all the way back, Samuel fumbled it back to the Giants. When all was done, the Giants had gained one yard. On 4th and 6, with all 3 timeouts and 3 minutes left, Coughlin decided to go for it. Manning scrambled up the middle for 16 yards. et rather than slide, Manning went headfirst. When he hit the ground, the ball came out and the Eagles recovered. Coughlin challenged the call, saying Manning was down by contact. The replay never confirmed that Manning was touched, and the fumble stood.

The Eagles took over at their own 40. With the Giants desperately needing a stop with 2:48 to play, McCoy ran for 40 yards to the Giants 20 and stayed in bounds. This forced the Giants to take their timeouts. The Eagles took a timeout of their own with 25 seconds left as Akers lined up for a 30 yarder. Knowing that the first half ended with a blocked kick that was almost returned, the Giants tried to get to Akers again.

Akers got it off and snuck it inside the upright for his 5th field goal in 6 tries, icing the game. Manning completed things with his 3rd interception. Walrus Lite Andy Reid saw his Eagles take sole possession of first place in the NFC East at 7-3, one game ahead of Tom Coughlin and the 6-4 Giants. The Giants have lost 2 straight, but are very much alive for the division. This was another great game between hated division rivals, and the rematch in New York cannot come soon enough. 27-17 Eagles

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers–Denver gave up 59 points a few weeks ago, and last week put up 49 in winning by 20. San Diego appears to have righted the ship in winning consecutive games to get to 4-5 for Norvelous Norv Turner. Josh McDaniels and 3-6 Denver are only 2 games outside of first place in this dreadful division.

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers–Denver gave up 59 points a few weeks ago, and last week put up 49 in winning by 20. San Diego appears to have righted the ship in winning consecutive games to get to 4-5 for Norvelous Norv Turner. Josh McDaniels and 3-6 Denver are only 2 games outside of first place in this dreadful division.

Denver gave up 59 points a few weeks ago, and last week put up 49 in winning by 20. San Diego appears to have righted the ship in winning consecutive games to get to 4-5 for Norvelous Norv Turner. Josh McDaniels and 3-6 Denver are only 2 games outside of first place in this dreadful division.

The Broncos got the ball and Kyle Orton went right to work. From the Denver 31, Orton hit Eddie Royal for 8 and Brandon Lloyd for gains of 21 and 22. From the San Diego 22, Josh McDaniels shifted to the run, and Knowshown Moreno picked up a pair of 9 yard gains and then took it the final 4 yards to have the Broncos up 7-0.

The teams then exchanged punts, which was remarkable in how uneventful they were. San Diego has put excitement into the punting game this year as Mike Scifres has had 5 kicks blocked. His second punt attempt of the game came on 4th and 14 from the San Diego 41. Yet Turner had called a fake. Scifres looked like a quarterback, faking a pass, opting not to run despite the whole field in front of him, and then throwing a perfect pass to Mike Tolbert for a 28 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the 22, Tolbert picked up 13. On 3rd and goal from the 6, Philip Rivers tossed the touchdown to Malcolm Floyd to tie the game 7-7.

In the second quarter Denver missed an opportunity when a 3rd and 3 pass from the San Diego 39 was intercepted and returned to the Denver 40. On 2nd and 4 Turner went to the bag of tricks again, but the halfback option pass was incomplete. Nate Kaeding came in for a 52 yard field goal, but it was just short. Denver moved from their own 42 to the San Diego 37, but a sack of Orton ended the drive. San Diego took over at their own 13.

On 2nd and 9, Rivers hit Patrick Crayton for 16 yards, with a defensive personal foul adding 15 more. Rivers then went deep to Crayton for a 49 yard gain to the Denver 6, with a stiff arm by Crayton the explanation point. Another defensive personal foul moved the ball to the one, and Tolbert banged it in to have the Chargers up 14-7 midway through the second quarter.

Denver tried a flea flicker on their next drive, but it was blown up by a diving sack on Orton. Denver punted, and the Chargers had the ball at their own 48. Rivers was sacked, on 3rd and 18 Rivers threw up a deep jump ball that was safer for this team than punting as it was intercepted by Champ Bailey at the Denver 15. Denver punted, and with 3 minutes left in the half San Diego took over at their own 46.

Rivers hit Tolbert for 14 yards, and on the next play Crayton took a swing pass, split the seams, and raced between the blockers 40 yards for another touchdown as the Chargers led 21-7 just before the 2 minute warning. Orton did lead the Broncos to the San Diego 40, but offensive pass interference and a sack killed their last drive of the half.

Early in the third quarter Rivers hit Darren Sproles over the middle. Sproles followed the blockers all the way for a 57 yard touchdown to have the Chargers up big 28-7. San Diego got the ball back at their own 47, and Rivers led a 6 1/2 minute drive, mostly on the ground. On 3rd and 1, Denver jumped offsides. On 3rd and 8 from the Denver 37, Rivers scrambled for 9. On 3rd and 3 from the Denver 21, Rivers hit Sperry for 8. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Rivers threw to Jacob Hester for the score only 40 seconds into the fourth quarter. The Chargers led 35-7 thanks to Rivers throwing his 4th touchdown pass.

With the outcome not in doubt, the Broncos reached the end zone again with 9 1/2 minutes left. Denver opened and closed the scoring, but San Diego got everything in between. Denver fell to 3-7, and the pressure on Josh McDaniels has intensified. San Diego has overcome another slow start to win 3 straight and get to 5-5, only one game out of first place. This is before Vincent Jackson returns from suspension and Antonio Gates does from injury. 35-14 Chargers

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