NFL 2012 Week 2 Recap

Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season is now in the books. Now Week 2 is upon us.

NFL 2012 Week 2 Recap

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Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers was the Thursday night game. The Bears won their opener while the Packers lost at home. Yet until proven otherwise, the Packers are the better team and also at home. An angry Green Bay team seeking to reassert itself would be expected to easily dispatch a hated division rival that occasionally overachieves but never matches up with the Packers.

Defenses ruled early on as the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie. From the Green Bay 21, Aaron Rodgers finally got going and hit former Bear Cedric Benson for 17 yards and again for 8 yards. Benson then ran for 5 and 7 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 42, a defensive penalty gave the Packers a gift first down. With 13 minutes left in the half, Mason Crosby would hit a 48 yard field goal to have the Packers up 3-0.

With 8 minutes left in the half Rodgers moved the Packers from their 20 to a 3rd and 3 at the Chicago 39. Randall Cobb took an end around 28 yards, and 1st and 10 at the 11 was followed by consecutive sacks of Rodgers. At the 2 minute warning, the Packers faced 4th and 26 at the Chicago 27. Crosby came on for the field goal, and calamity ensued. Mike McCarthy called a fake field goal. On 4th and 5 this is one thing but on 4th and 26, that may be a new one. Holder Masthay hit Crabtree, who took it all the way for the 27 yard touchdown. In stunning fashion, The Packers led 10-0 after the 12 play, 6 minute drive.

With 1:13 left in the half, facing 2nd and 10 at their 37, Jay Cutler was intercepted by Williams. Green Bay took over at the Chicago 48. On 3rd and 1, Kuhn got the tough yard. Rodgers then hit Kuhn for 16 yards and Crosby hit a 35 yard field goal to send the Packers to the locker rooms leading 13-0.

Chicago began the third quarter and soon faced 3rd and 5 from their 25. Cutler hit Matt Forte for 15 yards. On 3rd and 9 from their 41, Cutler found Forte again for 14 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 37, Cutler found Spaeth for 4. After 13 plays and 6 minutes, Robbie Gould would hit a 45 yard field goal to finally get the Bears on the board down 13-3.

When Benson got stuffed on 3rd and 1, Chicago got it back again. However on 3rd and 11 from their 36, Cutler was intercepted again by Charles Woodson. The Packers took over at their own 47. Yet on 3rd and 6 from the Chicago 23, Charles Tillman recovered a Jermaine Finley fumble. Chicago went 3 and out, and Green Bay got it back at their own 43. Kuhn was stopped again on 3rd and 1, but Crosby hit a 54 yard field goal to have the Packers up 16-3 with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

One play later, Cutler was intercepted again. Williams returned it 38 yards to the Chicago 26. Aaron Rodgers went straight for the kill, and one play was enough to throw a touchdown pass to Donald Driver. The Packers led 23-3, and there would be no comeback.

An interception of Rodgers would lead to a 21 yard touchdown pass to Davis on 4th and 7. Yet with 3 minutes to go, Cutler was picked off again to kill the Bears last hope. Rodgers finished 22 of 32 for 219 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The Packers vaunted offense has not gelled yet, but on this night the defense was suffocating. Cutler was a miserable 11 for 27 for 126 yards, one touchdown, and four interception. Lovie Smith also saw his quarterback sacked 7 times. Both teams are 1-1 as the Packers rebounded from last week and the Bears realized they were not as good as Green Bay yet. 23-10 Packers

Kansas City Chiefs @ Buffalo Bills–Both of these teams got blasted last week, which means that the loser of this game will be derided as possibly winning the top pick in the 2013 Draft. 0-2 is not a death sentence by any stretch, but these teams looked so awful on defense to start the season that a pinball machine track meet is reasonable.

So naturally the defenses took over early on as Kansas City punted twice and Buffalo once. Buffalo too kover at their 16. From the 28, Ryan Fitzpatrick hit CJ Spiller for 19 yards and Tashard Choice gained 8 and 2. After a holding call, Fitzpatrick hit Brad Smith for 16 and on 3rd and 4 from the Chiefs 37, Fitzpatrick ran for 20. Spiller did the rest, running 17 yards for the score to put the Bills up 7-0.

Early in the second quarter the Bills moved from their 37 to a 2nd and 5 at midfield. Spiller ran for 38 yards, and on 3rd and 3 from the 5, Spiller took it in to have the Bills up 14-0. With 7 minutes left in the half the Chiefs fumbled at their own 41 and Buffalo took over at the Chiefs 43. On 3rd and 3 Fitzpatrick hit Stevie St Johnson for 7. A short pass to Spiller went for 27 yards. After an end around lost 8 yards, Fitzpatrick found Chandler for the 10 yard touchdown to have the Bills up 21-0. With one minute left in the half the Chiefs faced 3rd and 7 at the Buffalo 22. Matt Cassel scrambled for 21 yards down to the one. Yet Peyton Hills fumbled, Buffalo recovered for a touchback, and the Bills still led 21-0 at the break.

Midway through the third quarter, Ryan Succop would hit a 33 yard field goal to have the Chiefs within 21-3, concluding the Chiefs highlights from a competitive standpoint. On 1st and 20 from their own 10, Fitzpatrick hit Chandler on a short pass that went for a 43 yard gain. On 3rd and 12 just past midfield, another short pass to St Johnson went for another touchdown and a 28-3 Bills lead. With 4 minutes left in the third quarter, the Chiefs punted and Leodis McKelvin returned it 88 yards for an exclamation point as the Bills were romping 35-3.

Cassel would connect with Dwayne Bowe on a pair of touchdown passes of 33 and 1 yard long after the outcome was in doubt as Buffalo got to 1-1 and the Chiefs at 0-2 look even worse than the two blowouts they have suffered. 35-17 Bills

New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers–Both of these teams lost last week, but it will be a few weeks before we know who the Saints are. Either they really are worse than previous years, or perhaps the Washington team that beat them is so much more improved. Carolina could be worse than last year, or perhaps the Tampa team they lost to is vastly improved.

The Saints quickly faced 3rd and 3 from their 27 and Drew Brees calmly hit Darren Sproles for an 18 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Carolina 48, Brees went back to Sproles for a 25 yard gain. Mark Ingram ran for 5 and 12, and on 3rd and goal at the 1, Brees found Graham for the 7-0 Saints lead. Cam Newton came out after a touchback and immediately hit Brad LaFell for a 27 yard gain. The Panthers would punt though, and the Saints had it back at their 7. Brees was quickly intercepted by Godfrey, who returned it 9 yards for a touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

Brees came right back throwing and hit Moore for 17 yards. Pierre Thomas ran for 23 and Brees hit Graham for 11 and 14. Yet Brees threw incomplete on 3rd and goal at the 4. Garrett Hartley hit the 22 yarder as the Saints led 10-7.

After a touchback Cam Newton did what he does, running around the end for a 40 yard gain. The secomnd quarter began with 3rd and 3 at the Saints 33, where Newton ran for 7. The drive would reach a critical 3rd and 2 from the 5. Newton only got half. Ron Rivera decided to go for it, and on 4th and 1 from the 4, Newton fumbled and the Saints recovered.

On 3rd and 6 from their 12, Brees hit Graham for 13 and Thomas for 9. Brees threw incomplete on 3rd and 4 from the Panthers 35, and Hartley would hit the 53 yard field goal to have the Saints up 13-7.

From their 26, Newton hit LaFell for 12. A penalty meant 3rd and 15 from their 33. At this point knows to go to his best player. The deep ball to Steve Smith went for 35 yards to the Saints 32. On 2nd and 6 from the 28, Newton found LaFell for 11. Newton then tossed a 17 yard touchdown to Stewart to put the Panthers up 14-13 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Saints went 3 and out as the Panthers got it back at their own 42. LaFell took an end around 25 yards at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 10 Newton hit LaFell for 19. On 3rd and 2 from the 6 with 22 seconds left in the half, Newton gained 4. Mike Tolbert got the 2 yard touchdown as the Panthers led 21-13 going into the locker rooms.

After an exchange of punts, Cam Newton got to work from the 20. He hit LaFell for 20. Stewart then ran for 16 and Williams ran around the end for 27 more. After defensive pass interference, Williams took it in from 3 yards out to have the Panthers up 28-13. Brees moved the Saints into scoring position, but on 3rd and 5 from the Carolina 28, an intentional grounding penalty resulted in a punt.

The Saints began the fourth quarter with 3rd and 6 from their 48. Brees went deep to Coltson for 29 yards and Thomas for 12. Thomas then ran for 11 and Ingram got the last yard to have the Saints within 28-20 with 13 minutes left in regulation.

Yet the Saints defense had no answer for Cam Newton. One play from scrimmage was enough to see Newton go deep to Steve Smith for a 66 yard gain. Newton took it in himself from 5 yards out to put the Panthers up 35-20 with 10 minutes left.

With 7 minutes left and facing 4th and 4 at the Carolina 24, the Saints fumbled the ball away. They got it back with 5 minutes left at their own 19. On 3rd and 5 Brees hit Graham for 6 and 17 and then Sproles for 24. By the time Brees snuck it in fom one yard out, just under 2 minutes remained.

Carolina failed to run out out the clock, and the Saints got it back dow by 8 with 48 seconds left and one timeout. Brees was then intercepted. Carolina improved to 1-1 while New Orleans dropped to 0-2. Is it time to panic in the French Quarter? Yes. 35-27 Panthers

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals–This is the first of two contests to decide who finishes in the cellar in the AFC North with two contenders who are not these teams. Cleveland had a gut-wrenching loss at home last week while Cincinnati got blasted on the road.

The Browns needed only 90 seconds to make Mike Holmgren an unhappy Walrus who probably would rather retire than stay in the Mistake by the Lake. Cleveland punted, and Pacman Jones returned it 81 yards for a touchdown to put the Bengals up 7-0. Marvin Lewis decided not to give his first tring offense the night off even though 7-0 was probably enough to secure the win.

A strong kickoff return had the Browns at their own 36, and Brandon Weeden hit Massaquoi for 19 yards. On 3rd and 5 Weeden hit Little for 11. A holding penalty moved the Browns back, but Phil Dawson hit a 50 yard field goal to have the Browns down 7-3.

In the second quarter the Bengals took over at their own 26. From the 35, Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Binns for 20 and AJ Green for 12. Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis ran for 19 to set up 1st and goal at the 10. Dalton hit Green for the touchdown as the Bengals led 14-3.

Cleveland soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 32. Weeden hit Ogbonnaya for 9, with a pesonal foul adding 15 more. Weeden found Smith for 17, and rookie Trent Richardon ran for a 32 yard touchdown to have the Browns only down 14-10.

From the Cincy 23, Dalton hit Binns for 18. On 3rd and 5, Cleveland lined up in the neutral zone to keep the drive alive. These are the Browns. A 31 yard defensive pass interference penalty was enough to set up a 39 yard Mike Nugent field goal as the Bengals led 17-10 with 5 minutes left in the half.

In the third quarter with 2nd and 7 from their 23, Dalton hit Green for 10. On 2nd and 13 from the 30, Dalton went to tate for 22. On 3rd and 6 from the Cleveland 44, Dalton went deep to Tate for the touchdown as the Bengals had some breathing room up 24-10. Late in the third quarter the Bengals faced rd and 9 at their own 35. Dalton was intercepted, giving the Browns the ball at thier own 47. Richardson gained 9 and 3. Weeden hit Massaquoi for 18 and Richardson for the 23 yard touchdown as the Browns were back in it down 24-17.

The Bengals began the fourth quarter at their own 23. Dalton hit Green for 3 and Binns for 8. On 3rd and 1 from the 43, Gren-Ellis gained 7. A sack of Dalton set up 2nd and 20 from the Cincy 40. Dalton hit Green-Ellis for 10, and on 3rd and 10 from midfield a short pass to Hawkins went all the way for a 50 yard touchdown to have the Bengals up 31-17.

The Browns kept coming back, and on 3rd and 1 from their 29, Weeden got 2. Weeden then hit Massaquoi for 22 and Richardson for 8. On 3rd and 3 from the Cincy 40, Weeden found Ogbonnaya for 16 and Little for a 24 yard touchdown to get the Browns within 31-24 midway through the fourth quarter.

From the Cincinnati 23, Dalton led a time consuming drive. On 3rd and 1, the Browns jumped offsides. These are the Browns. On 3rd and 7 from the Cleveland 46 with 4 minutes left, Dalton hit Gresham for 22. Cleveland challenged the completion and lost a challenge and a timeout. The defense finally got a stop, but a 37 yard Nugent field goal had the Bengals up 34-24. Cleveland got it back with only 2:03 to play and 0 timeouts needing 2 scores.

Cleveland runs the West Coast Offense, which means dink and dunk passes when big gains are needed. Weeden dinked and dunked the Browns to a 3rd and 6 at the Cincy 7 before throwing incomplete. The field goal got the Browns within 7 with 20 seconds left. All the Browns needed was a successful onsides kick and a hail Mary.

Yet this Was Rosh Hashanah and not Easter or Christmas, and the Browns kicker is not Jewish. The Bengals recovered the onsides kick as the Bengals got to 1-1 and the Browns took their customary spot at 0-2 in the cellar of the AFC North. Mike Holmgren has seen his team compete hard, but close losses are still losses. He remains an unhappy Walrus. 34-27 Bengals

Minnesota Vikings @ Indianapolis Colts–Neither of these teams are any good, but the ikings showed a lot of heart in winning a miracle finish last week. With the Colts, it is only a matter of time before Andrew Luck gets his first win. This may be one of his best shots.

Minnesota took over at their own 23 and Christian Ponder led a 7 minute drive. An 11 yarder to Percy Harvin was followed by another 8 yarder to Harvin on 3rd and 6. The drive would stall at the Indy 33, and Walsh nailed a 51 yard field goal to have the Vikings up 3-0.

Indy soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 26, and Andrew Luck scrambled 7 yards for the 1st down. On 3rd and 9 from their 45, Luck found Avery for 12. An offensive personal foul had the Colts with 1st and 23 from their 45. Luck hit Avery for 11 and then went deep to Avery for a 41 yard gain. On 3rd and goal from the 3 Luck hit Allen for the touchdown as the Colts led 7-3.

Percy Harvin is a gamebreaker, and he returned the ensuing kickoff 7 yards deep in the end zone and brought it back 50 yards to the Minnesota 43. Harvin then took and end around 20 yards to the Indy 34 as the first quarter ended. On 3rd and 1 Adrian Peterson gained 6 ards, but again Minnesota would stall. Walsh hit a 29 yarder as the Vikings still trailed 7-6.

With 6 minutes left in the half the Vikings faced 3rd and 8 at the Indy 42. Ponder was sacked and fumbled, and the Colts took over at the Minnesota 48. Ballard ran for 9 and on 3rd and 3 from the Minnesota 27, Luck went back to Avery for 10 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 8, Allen got stuffed. Rather than go for it, a field goal put the Colts up 10-6 as Adam Vinatieri did the job from 26. Less than 2 minutes remained in the half, but Minnesota went 3 and out. Indy got it back at their own 36 with 1:11 left. Luck put on a clinic, hitting Fleener for 7, Moore for 8, and Reggie Wayne for 9. On 3rd and 1 from the Minnesota 40, Brown gained 3. On 3rd and 3 from the Minnesota 30 with 14 seconds left, Luck went deep to Reggie Wayne for the touchdown as the Colts led 17-6 at halftime.

Luck led the Colts from their 20 on an 8 minute drive to start the third quarter. Yet on 2nd and 8 from the Minnesota 13, penalties moved the Colts backward. Vinatieri hit a 45 yard field goal to have the Colts up 20-6.

With 10 minutes left in regulation, a field position game had the Vikings at their own 46. Ponder hit Rudolph for 14 and on 3rd and 6 from the 36 hit Harvin for 13 and 7. On 4th and 4 from the 7 with 5 minutes left and forced to go for it, Ponder hit Burton for the touchdown to have the Vikings within 20-13. With 3 minutes left the Colts faced 3rd and 5 at their own 38. A disastrous play had Luck sacked for a 22…yes 22…yard loss. Minnesota got it back at the Indy 47. On 3rd and 2 Ponder hit Jenkins for 8 yards at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 9 from the Indy 30 with 90 seconds left, Ponder hit Adrian Peterson for 20 yards. Ponder found Rudolph for the 6 yard touchdown. With only 30 seconds left, the game was tied 20-20.

After a touchback, Luck hit Avery for 20 yards and Reggie Wayne for 20 more as the Colts called timeout with 18 seconds left. Defensive offsides at the worst possible time put Vinatieri in position from 53 yards out with 12 seconds left. Vinatieri nailed it and Andrew Luck had his first win as a pro. Last week the Vikings won in miracle fashion and this week they lost the same way. 23-20 Colts.

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars–The Texans are the better team but the Jaguars are at home. Jacksonville gave it everything they had before losing an overtime heartbreaker last week. Matt Schaub came out throwing from the Houston 21, hitting Casey for 9, Walter for 12, and Tate for 11. Then Gary Kubiak shifted to the ground game, with Tate getting 5 and Arriun Foster running for a pair of 4 yard gains. The drive would stall, but Shane Graham hit a 31 yard field goal to put the Texans up 3-0 on the road. A field position game and a 36 yard punt return by Holliday had the Texans starting at the Jacksonville 41. On 3rd and 4 Schaub hit Owen Daniels for 9. Tate then ran it all the way got the 26 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Texans after the opening quarter.

In the second quarter the Texans took over at their own 42. On 3rd and 3, Schaub hit Foster for 18 yards. Foster ran for 9 and 3 and Schaub hit Walter for 13 more. Tate scored the8 yard touchdown as the Texans led 17-0 at halftime. For some reason involving league rules, the second half was played.

In the third quarter, the Jaguars took over a the Houston 37. Gabbert went deep to Robinson for 32 yards and then to Maurice Jones-Drew for the 5 yard touchdown to get the Jaguars within 17-7.

Schaub then turned out the lights by leading a staggering 18 play drive that took 9 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 2 from their 28, Foster gained 3. Schaub hit Tate for 7 and Johnson for 11. On 3rd and 1 from the Jacksonville 36, Schaub hit Tate for 3 and Graham for 15. Forster gained 8, 1, and 3 on 3rd and 1 from the 7. Tate took it in from the 2 to put the Texans up 24-7 and put the game out of reach.

In the fourth quarter Schaub matched the 80 yard drive with an 82 yard drive that went 10 plays and 6 minutes. From the Houston 9, Schaub led the Texans to a 3rd and 1 at the Jacksonville 17. Foster lost a yard, but the field goal ended the scoring. Jacksonville is 1-1 and Gary Kubiak has a 2-0 Texans team that is winning games they should win easily with that ease. 27-7 Texans


Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins
–The Dolphins look like a terrible football team, while with the Raiders it is impossible to guess what team will show up. One thing is for sure, the Raiders will not use the same backup long snapper. The run defense was fantastic last week but the offense looked like a dink and dunk game that would have Al Davis rolling over in his grave.

Miami took over at their own 20 and the Raider defense that was stout last week looked awful early on. Reggie Bush, who no longer dates a Kardashian and now seems to care about football, gained 11 yards. Ryan Tannehill in his second cdareer start gained 13 yards. Bush then gained 6, 3, and 5 on 3rd and 1. Tannehill hit Hartline for 15 and again for 21 to set up 1st and goal at the 5. On 3rd and goal at the 2 Tannehill took a naked bootleg in for the score as the Dolphins led 7-0.

From the Oakland 16, Carson Palmer came out throwing and hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for 19 yards. Yet on 3rd and 8 Palmer avoided a sack and scrambled, appearing to have the first down. However, it was marked a yard short and the Raiders punted. Miami soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 24 and Tannehill went back to Hartline for 11 yards. Tannehill then found Bess for 21 yards. The defense finally stiffened, and on 4th and 5 from the Oakland 37, Dan Carpenter came in for a 56 yard field goal try. Instead it was a ruse, and from the field goal position Miami punted.

Oakland sooned faced 1st and 14 from their own 4. Palmer hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for 13. Darren McFadden gained 3 and 2. Palmer hit Marcel Reece for 14. On 2nd and 10 from the Oakland 36, a short swing pass to Mike Goodson ended up being a 64 yard touchdown as the Raiders tied the game 7-7. The defenses owned much of the rst of the half. Palmer hit Denarius Moore for a 31 yard gain but 3 sincompletions later and it was just another punt.

With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Raiders took over at their own 12. Palmer hit Brandon Myers for 12, and the 2 minute warning had the Raiders facing 3rd and 5 from their 29. Palmer hit Moore for 10 and a short pass to David Ausberry went for a 31 yard gain. A 10 yard pass to Derek Hagan with roughing the passer tacked on gave the Raiders 1st and goal at the 7 with one minute left in the half. Palmer found McFadden wide open in the flat, and McFadden dropped it. 2 more incomplete passes later, and the Raiders had to settle for a 25 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal. Carson Palmer had a ridiculous 239 yards passing in the first half alone yet the Raiders only led 10-7 at halftime.

An exchange of punts to start the third quarter saw the Raiders make a big special teams blunder. No, it was not the long snapper, although Shane Lechler was lucky not to have any punts blocked in this game. Several high snaps were hauled in by Lechler, which is why he is one of the very best. Yet when Adams fielded a punt at his own one yard line rather than let it be a touchback, only bad things were going to happen. Adams returned it 25 yards, but an illegal block borught it back to the one. Oakland would punt again, and Miami took over at the Oakland 44. Ryan Tannehill hit Brad Hartline for 12. On 3rd and 1 from the 23, Reggie Bush broke through several pathetic attempts at tackling for an easy touchdown that put the Dolphins up 14-10. Palmer moved the Raiders from their 20 to 3rd and 3 at the Miami 45, but an incompletion ended the drive. Miami took over at their 20 and Tannehill hit Hartline for 13. Bush took an end around and somehow ended up 65 yards away in the end zone again. The Raiders gave up only 32 rushing yards last week, but Reggie Bush alone gashed the Raiders for 173 yards on the ground. The Dolphins now led 21-10 and it would get uglier for the Silver and Black.

Palmer would Moore for a 26 yard gain, but 3 more incompletions meant another punt. Miami went 3 and out and Adams returned the punt 47 yards to the Miami 25. A defensive penalty moved the ball to the 16, and Palmer hit McFadden for 6 yards. Yet 2 more plays netted 0 yards and 4th and 4 from the 10 meant another Seabass field goal to start the fourth quarter. The Raiders trailed 21-13, but there would be no complete team effort. Last week the defense fought hard while offense and special teams melted. This week the offense and special teams were much better but the defense was a sieve.

After a touchback, defensive pass interference added 18 more yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Miami 43, Tannehill hit Hartline for 13. On 3rd and 7 from the Oakland 41, Tannehill went back to Hartline for 11, Bess for 16, and Anthony Fasano for 14 yards and another Miami touchdown. With 12 minutes left to play, The Dolphins led 28-13.

Oakland went 3 and out, and from the Miami 25 Bush ran for 4, 15, 5, and 4. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 47, Bush caught a pass and gained 25 yards. Bush went back to the ground and gained 6 and 1. On 3rd and 3 from the 15 and everyone focused on Bush, it was Miller who broke free against a defense that was exhausted and looked like it had quit. The 15 yard touchdown run completed the scoring.

Last year an average Raiders team fighting for the playoffs went into Miami against a bad but improving team and lost 34-14. This year the situation and results were almost identical. Palmer finished with 373 yards, and his only interception came very late in the game when doubt had been removed. Tannehill in only his second start got his first win. Joe Philbin got his first win while Dennis Allen does not have won. The West Coast Offense cannot be blamed for this lost. Palmer threw deep, and had success. He was 24 of 48, but this game was lost on defense. As of now the Raiders are simply a bad team. Next week they host Pittsburgh, and a long start to the season could get longer in a hurry. Dennis Allenw as brought into to instill discipline. The Raiders had “only” 5 penalties for 42 yards, but in the end it comes down to wins and losses. 35-13 Dolphins


Arizona Cardinals @ New England Patriots
–A bad team that won last week against a worse team goes on the road to play a great team. Will this be one of the great upsets in the history of football? No, the Cardinals will get killed. The Patriots may be able to rest their starters by halftime it could get so ugly.

The first half was thrilling for those who love field goals. I don’t, and neither should you. Kevin Kolb got the start over John “Red” Skelton and moved the Cardinals from their 20 to the New England 20. After 6 minutes, Jay Feely hit a 38 yarder to have the Cardinals up 3-0. Tom Brady was then quickly intercepted, giving Arizona the ball on the New England 36. Naturally the Cardinals settled for a 47 yard Jay Feely kick and a 6-0 lead.

Bill Bellichick and Tom Brady surprisingly did not concede the game against the vaunted Cardinals. The Patriots moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 2 at the Arizona 28. Yet Brady threw incomplete and it was a 46 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal that had the Patriots within 6-3. In the second quarter Julian Edelman returned a punt 22 yards to the Arizona 46. a heavy dose of Ridley on the gorund saw him gain 5, 12, 10, and 3. Yet on 3rd and 2 from the 11 Danny Woodhead got nothing. Gostkowski hit the 34 yarder to tie the game 6-6.

This game was supposed to be a laugher, and at some point the Cardinals would wilt against the mighty Patriots. In the third quarter after a touchback Brady began by going deep to Wes Welker for a 36 yard gain. Yet all the Patriots could muster was a 51 yard Gostkowski field goal and a 9-6 lead. A hideous game of field goals saw things turn with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. On 4th and 9 from their own 11, the Patriots punted and the kick was blocked. Arizona took over at the New England 2 yard line, and on 3rd and goal the game’s 6th field goal was avoided when Kevin Kolb hit Roberts for the touchdown. The end zone was finally reached as the Cardinals led 13-9.

The Patriots moved from their own 20 to a 3rd and 6 at the Arizona 30. Woodhead took an end around and lost 9 yards as the Patriots were out of field goal range and punted. Arizona took over at their own 25 and Kolb hit Todd Heap for 11 yards. On 2nd and 18 from their 28, Kolb hit Heap for 28 yards with roughing the passer tacking on 15 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Patriots 25, Kolb found Early Doucet for 9 as the third quarter ended. Kolb found Housler for 7 and then took it 5 yards up the middle himself for the touchdown. One minute into the final quarterhad the Cardinals with a shocking 20-9 lead. The New England blowout was not happening, but there was still time for the Cardinals to lose this game.

New England took over at their 20 and moved to a 2nd and 1 at the Arizona 39. After an incomplete pass, a run was blown up in the backfield for a 4 yard loss as the Patriots punted again. New England got it back at their 36 with 8 minutes left and Brady hit Edelman for 17 yards and Brandon Lloyd for 12 more. Yet again the Patriots went cold. This time they were just in long field goal range, and Gostkowski leveled a 53 yarder with 7 minutes left to get the Patriots within 20-12.

Arizona went 3 and out and the Patriots took over at their own 18. Brady hit Edelman for 9, Welker for 13, Rob Gronkowski for 19, Edelman for 5, Gronkowski, for 12, and on 3rd and 12 from the 18, Edelman for 13. Brady hit Gronkowski for the 5 yard touchdown and a 2 point conversion would tie the game. Yet Brady threw incomplete as the Cardinals had not thrown the game away yet. The Patriots trailed 20-18, but the Cardinals had the ball at their own 20 with 2:06 to play.

Ricky Williams gained 5 and then 13 for a key first down. The Cardinals faced 3rd and 13 at their own 35 with 1:10 to play. Both teams took their final timeout. All the Cardinals had to do was run a play, get the clock down to less than 30 seconds left, and punt it away. Then it happened. Williams fumbled, and Vince Wilfork recovered for the Patriots at the Arizona 30. Say it with me everybody. These are the Cardinals. The only question would be if Ken Whisenhunt would do his Dennis Green imitation and scream that the Patriots are who we thought they were, and that we should crown their @ss. Over 125 years of Cardinals frustration could be summed up by that one play. Good teams like the Patriots find a way to win, but bad teams find a way to lose as well.

On 2nd and 10 from the 30 and needing only a field goal, Woodhead broke free for a 30 yard touchdown. Yet before Arizona fans could despair, offensive holding on the play nullified the touchdown. Brady did hit Welker for 12 yards down to the 18. A false start did not deter New England. Bellichick decided to just have Brady take a knee rather than try and get more yardage. While a 42 yard field goal try is not a gimme, Gostkowski was already 4 for 4. He came on for the kick as the Evil Empire of Football under Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick prepared to win another game through dumb luck by a dumb team.

No good! The kick was no good, in an exact reversal from the “Crown their @ss” Cardinals game of a few years ago. The Cardinals tried to lose, and instead the Patriots saw a disbelieving home crowd that is still rubbing their eyes. New England could go 15-1 and still complain about this one. Gostkowski makes so many, but this one will haunt him. The Patriots are 1-1, but more shockingly the Cardinals…yes the Cardinals…are 2-0. If ever a game deserved Chris Berman saying “That’s why they play the games,” this was it. 20-18 Cardinals


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants
–The Buccaneers had a surprising win to start the season for Greg Schiano while the Giants were stunned at home by hated rival Dallas. The defending champs are 0-1 and Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin will have the Giants ready to play in this one.

From their 30, Eli Manning came out firing and hit Hakeem Nicks for 8 yards and then deep for a 40 yard gain. The drive stopped, but Lawrence Tynes hit a 37 yard field goal to put the Giants up 3-0. From the Tampa 13, it was Josh Freeman who struck back as he hit Williams for 11 and then speedster Vincet Jackson on a deep ball for 41 yards. Connor Barth hit a 45 yarder to tie it 3-3 as neither team could take advantage of the big play.

The Giants took over at their own 31 and Manning hit Victor Cruz for 16. On 3rd and 6 just past midfield, Manning went back to Cruz for 20 more. A defensive personal foul set up 1st and goal at the 2. On 3rd and goal at the 1, a critical false start meant another field goal. The Giants led 6-3 after the opening quarter.

The second quarter began with the Giants on their own 11. Manning was quickly intercepted, and the Bucs took over at the Giants 28. On 3rd and 11 Freeman went deep to Jackson for the 29 yard touchdown as the Buccaneers led 10-6. Midway through the second quarter, the Giants faced 3rd and 6 at the Tampa 42. Manning was intercpeted again and McDonald brought it back 40 yards. A horsecollar tackle had the Bucs starting at the Giants 13. Martin ran for 5 and then the 8 yard score as the Buccaneers had a 17-6 lead in front of a stunned crowd at the New Meadowlands.

After a touchback Brown ran for 23 and Bennett for 11. On 3rd and 2 from the Tampa 38, Manning found Cruz for 3. Brown ran for 12 and Manning went to Nicks for the 23 yard touchdown to get the Giants within 17-13. Manning moved the Giants down the field during the 2 minute drill, and with 23 seconds left in the half the Giants faced 3rd and 2 at the Tampa 39. Manning’s nightmarish second quarter continued as he was intercepted for the third time by Wright, who returned it 60 yards for another Tampa Bay touchdown. At this point the home crowd was shellshocked as the Buccaneers led 24-13 at the break.

Benn returned the second half kickoff 55 yards to set up the Buccaneers at the Giants 47. Martin gained 12, which was enough for Barth to hit a 52 yard field goal to have the Buccaneers up 27-13. Wilson then returned the next ensuing kickoff 44 yards to the Giants 41. Manning hit Nicks for 11, but then the drive stalled out of field goal range. The Giants punted. At this moment the Giants were on their way to starting o-2 with both losses at home. New coach Greg Schiano was about to see a team that had lost 10 straight last year begin 2-0. Yet these Giants lost 4 straight last year to fall to 6-6, barely made the playoffs at 9-7, belted 15-1 Green Bay, and won it all. With Eli Manning under center and Tom COughlin on the sidelines, the Giants are never out of it.

Manning unleashed a flurry of passes in moving the Giants from their 18 to the Tampa 18 before the drive stalled. Tynes hit the 36 yard field goal but the Giants still trailed 27-16 after three quarters.

An interception of Josh Freeman had the Giants beginning the fourth quarter with 2nd and 2 at the Tampa 28. They would get down to the 5 yard line bu again fail to reach the end zone. Tynes hit another short field goal as the Giants trailed 27-19. The Giants got it back and quickly faced 3rd and 2 at their 20 with 7 minutes left in regulation. Manning went deep to Victor Cruz, who did the Salsa in the end zone after the 80 yard touchdown. Brown rushed in the 2 point conversion. The GIants got their 14 points the hard way, but now the game was a 27-27 dogfight.

Tampa went 3 and out and the Giants took over at their own 33. Manning was simply ridiculous at this point, hitting Bennett for 14, Nicks for 20, and Bennett for the 33 yard touchdown as the Giants had the 34-27 lead. 21 unanswered points left the Bucs trailing with only 4 minues left. Now Freeman had his turn. With 2nd and 7 from their 23, Freeman hit Clark for 10, 6, and 20 and then went deep to Williams for a 41 yard touchdown. The game was tied 34-34 as the Giants took over at their own 20 with 1:58 to play.

Needing only a field goal to win it, Manning went deep to Barden for 24 yards. On 1st and 15 from their 39, Manning went deep to Nicks for 50 yards. Brown then ran for 9 yards. With 34 seconds left and 2nd and 1 at the 2, Brown took it in. The Giants were back up by 7 and the Bucs had 25 seconds left from their own 36. Freeman found Jackson for 19 yards. From the Giants 45, Freeman went deep but was intercepted by Boley. Manning came in for one play to take a knee when controversy ensued. Manning was knocked backward after the snap, perhaps in an attempt to create another Miracle at the Meadowlands. It was dirty, and a cheap way to end the game. An Angry Coughlin got in Schiano’s face about it. They did shake hands but Coughlin was white hot. As for the game itself, Manning threw for a mind-boggling 510 yards, 3 yards shy of the team record. Both teams are 1-1. For Jews in New York preparing for Rosh Hashanah, this was a Giants miracle brought to you by Eli Manning, who is not Jewish. This was one of the all time great Big Blue comebacks, and when the season is over it could be talked about as a turning point. 41-34 Giants

Baltimore Ravens @ Philadelphia Eagles–Phladelphia looked hideous in eking out a win against a far inferior team while Baltimore looked like Super Bowl contenders at home. Philadelphia losing at home always has the crowd calling for Andy Reid’s scalp, but Baltimore should have a much tougher time in this one than last week where the easy win was expected.

Michael Vick led the Eagles from their own 20 to the Baltimore 12, only to throw an interception in the end zone. Vick threw four picks last week and this was not a good start. Yet from the 20, Joe Flacco was sacked and fumbled. The Eagles got it right back at the Baltimore 15. A penalty set up 3rd and 20 from the 25. Vick found Captain Morgan Brent Celek for 19 yard sot set up 4th and 1 from the 6. Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to go for it, and the pass happy coach actually called a traditional running play. McCoy got 2 yards. A roughing the passer penalty on Ed Reed set up 1st and goal at the one, and Reid called another running play. McCoy took it in, the Eagles led 7-0, and Andy Reid saw the beauty of one yard running plays.

Thompson took the ensuing kickoff 7 yards deep in the end zone and took it 49 yards to the Baltimore 42. Flacco went deep to Dickson for a 23 yard gain. Ray Rice gained 5 and 6. Flacco hit Pitta for 8 and Rice got 4 more. Flacco hit Anquon Boldin for 7 and Vonte Leach ran it in from the 5 to tie the game 7-7.

In the second quarter facing 4th and 4 from their own 43, a punt formation resulted in an attempt to get the first down by trickery. Considine came up one yard short as the Eagles had a short field. Philly moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Baltimore 20. Vick Fumbled, and the Ravens took over at their own 30. Ray Rice ran up the middle for a 43 yard gain. On rd and 4 from the Philly 21, Flacco went deep to Jones for the touchdown as the Ravens led 14-7.

With 5 minutes left in the half the Eagles took over at their own 20. McCoy ran for 5 and 20, and Vick hit Deshean Jackson for 18 and Brent Celek for 28 more to set up 1st and goal at the 9. Yet McCoy got the carry and met Ray lewis. In his 17th season, Ray Lewis still has the emotional passion for the game. The resulting fumble was recovered by Lewis as the Eagles missed another opportunity. Andy Reid vowed never to run the ball ever again. Baltimore punted, and the Eagles faced 4th and 6 at their own 10 with 18 seconds left in the half. They punted, but with 9 seconds left the Ravens took over at the Philly 38. Tucker came in for a 56 yard field goal. He nailed it, and in front of a deflated home crowd, the Ravens had an emotional lift and a 17-7 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter the Ravens moved to a 3rd and 2 at their own 47. Flacco was intercepted, giving the Eagles a short field at the Baltimore 42. On 3rd and 6 Vick hit Jackson for 8. On 3rd and 3 from the Baltimore 23, Vick went deep to Jeremy Maclin for the touchdown to get the Eagles within 17-14.

Baltimore went 3 and out and the Eagles soon faced 2nd and 12 from their 33. Vick found Celek for a 24 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the Baltimore 40, Vick hit Johnson for 13. On 3rd and 7 from the Baltimore 11, Vick scrambled and came up one yard short. The home crowd did not like it, but on 4th and 1 from the 5 and not known for battering ram running plays, Reid went with the field goal and the tie. Henery hit the 23 yard chip shot tie make it 17-17. The decision not to go for it would loom large later.

After some punts, late in the thid quarter the Eagles faced 2nd and 12 at their own 7. Vick then went deep to Jackson for a 49 yard gain. Yet on the next play Vick was intercepted by Ed Reed. With Vick it is feast or famine, and we saw both on consecutive plays. From the Baltimore 36, now it was Flacco who went bobms away to Smith for a 40 yard gain down to the Philly 24 as the third quarter ended. 3rd and 9 from the Philly 15 was followed by a delay of game and a 13 yard sack. Tucker hit the 51 yard field goal as the Ravens led 20-17 with 11 1/2 minutes left to play.

With 8 1/2 minutes left the Ravens faced 3rd and 7 at their own 25. Flacco connected with Rice for 13 yards. On 3rd and 8 from their 40, Flacco found Rice again on a short pass that went for a 37 yard gain. With 5 1/2 minutes left, the Ravens faced 3rd and 12 from the Philly 25. The key play of the game saw Flacco go to Jones for the 25 yard touchdown. That would have all but locked up the game, but offensive pass interference nullified the score. Instead the Ravens settled for a 48 yard Tucker field goal. The Ravens led 23-17 with 5 minutes left, and the earlier decision by Andy Reid not to go for it meant Philly would need a touchdown to win it.

From the 20, Vick hit Jackson for 14 and Celek for 24 more. Vick ran for 8, and on 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 34, Vick went back to Celek for 13. Vick found Harbor for 19, with roughing the passer making it 1st and goal at the 3. On 2nd and goal at the 1 at the 2 minute warning, Vick fumbled and the Ravens recovered. Yet on further review the play was reversed and called an incomplete pass. On 3rd and goal at the 1, Vick got the yard. The extra point was good and the Eagles had the lead. The Ravens took over at their own 20 with 1:48 to play.

On 3rd and 10 Flacco found Pitta for 12. With 54 seconds left after an incompletion, the Ravens faced 4th and 1 at their own 46. Flacco threw incomplete again and the Eagles for the second straight week had a brutally tough one point win. Philly got to 2-0, while the Ravens lost a heartbreaker to fall to 1-1. The Ravens are as tough as ever, but Michael Vick, for all his flaws, sure makes for exciting football. 24-23 Eagles


Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks
–Dallas won a big road game last week while Seattle lost a heartbreaker when they could not get in the end zone in the final seconds from close range. Dallas is the better team, but Seattle is at home and they tend to run hot and cold.

Felix Jones fumbled the opening kickoff, giving Seattle the ball at the Dallas 29. On 3rd and 3, Russell Wilson hit Sidney Rice for 6, with unnecessary roughness setting up 1st and goal at the 8. The drive died at the 3 but Stephen Hauschka hit the 21 yarder to put the Seahawks up 3-0. Dallas went 3 and out and things gotworse when the punt was blocked. Smith made the block, and Johnson picked it up and made it 3 yards for the touchdown to have Seattleup 10-0. Tony Romo moved Dallas from their 20 to a 2nd and 10 at the Seattle 24, but he was intercepted to kill the threat in a game where mistakes were killing the Cowboys.

Dallas took over at their own 5. On 3rd and 6 from the 9, Romo hit Miles Austin for 17 yards. On 3rd and 6 from their 30, Romo hit Phillips for 9. On 3rd and 13 from their 36, Romo went back to Austin for 17. On 3rd and 8 from the Seattle 45, Felix Jones redemed himself by catching a 9 yard pass. Romo threw a 22 yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin, who redeemed himself after dating a Kardashian. Dallas was down 10-7 with 12 minutes left in the half after the 15 play, 95 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive.

With 9 minutes left in the half Seattle had it at their own 41. On 3rd and 1 Robinson gained 4. Wilson found Golden Tate for 20. A chop block on the offense meant 2nd and 21 from the Dallas 37. Wilson found Rice for 18 and Zach Miller for 7. Yet more penalties had the Seahawks going no further than the 7 yard line. After 11 plays and 7 minutes, Seattle led 13-7 at halftime. The second half was ugly for Dallas as the Seattle defense clamped down.

In the third quarter Seattle faced 2nd and 8 from their 12 when Wilson hit Tate for 10 and ran for 8. A 36 yard run buy Marshawn Lynch was followed by a 22 yard touchdown pass from Wilson to McCoy as Seattle led 20-7 after three quarters. Another 12 play, 7 1/2 minute drive ended with Lynch running it in from 3 yards out. Both of these teams fell to 1-1. Pete Carroll lifted his pompoms as a surprised Jason Garrett saw his team look totally flat after their big road win last week to start the season. 27-7 Seahawks.

Washington Redskins @ St Louis Rams–Was the unveiling of RGIII the next great new toy or just one lucky beginning? The Rams are a far inferior team to New Orleans, even though the Rams gave Detroit all they could handle before falling in the waning seconds. If Washington begins 2-0 with both being road games, the presidential election may be canceled as Mr. Griffin gets all the votes.

On the opening play from their 20, Sam Bradford hiut Danny Amendola for a 13 yard gain. Yet Amendola fumbled and Wilson returned it for a 30 yard touchdown. 11 seconds was all that was needed to have the Redskins up 7-0. Bradford would then lead the Rams from their 9 to 1st and 10 at the Washington 15 before a penalty moved them back. Greg Zuerlein hit a 39 yarder to have the Rams within 7-3.

After an exchange of punts from their 20, RGIII hit Morgan for 12. On 3rd and 18 from their 24, Griffin only gained 10. Yet a defensive personal foul kept the drive going. Morris ran for 6 and then 27 more. On 3rd and 3 from the Rams 11, Griffin threw incomplete. Yet another defensive penalty gave Washington another chance. Griffin ran it in from 5 yards out to have the Redskins up 14-3 after the opening quarter.

From their 20, Stephen Jackson ran for 12 as the first quarter ended. On 3rd and 11 from their 43, Bradford hit Gibson for 19. Jackson ran for 20, and on 3rd and 2 from the 10, Bradford hit Amendola for 6. On 3rd and goal at the one, Jackson go th carry but not the yard. Even worse, he took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Rather than 4th and goal at the 1, the ball was moved back to the 15. Zuerlein hit the 33 yard field goal to have the Rams within 14-6. Washington struck right back. Facing 3rd and 7 at their 23, Grifin hit Morgan for 9. On the next play RGIII went for it all, and found Hankerson for a 68 yard touchdown bomb. The Redskins were cruising 21-6, but this game was far from done.

After a touchback Bradford threw a bomb of his own, and this time Amendola hauled it in for a 56 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the 22, Bradford found Kendricks for 14. On 3rd and goal at the 1, Bradford hit Amendola for the score to get the Rams within 21-13.

Griffin was then intercepted, giving the Rams one last chance in the half with 45 seconds left from the Washington 40. Bradford hit Smith for 8 and ran for 12. Zuerlein hit a 42 yard field goal as the half expired to have the Rams within 21-16.

In the third quarter after a punt, the Rams got it back at their own 37. Bradford found Smith for 25 and on 2nd and 11 from the Washington 34 hit Gibson deep for the touchdown. Jeff Fisher decided not to go for 2 as 17 unanswered points had the Rams now up 23-21.

From their 20, Griffin hit Robinson for 28. Morris gained 5 and then 29. On 3rd and 1 from the Rams 9, Griffin hit Davis for 8. After  false start, Griffin took it in himself from 7 yards out to have the Redskins back on top 28-23 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Bradford soon saw the Rams facing 3rd and 6 from their 24. He hit Amendola for 17 and then Richardson took an end around 53 yards. Yet on 1st and goal at the 6, Bradford was intercepted in the end zone.

With 2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Redskins punted on 4th and 6 from their 24. It was blocked by Mulligan and the Rams took over at the Washington 24. On 3rd and 5 Bradofrd hit Richardson for 18 yards. The first play of the fourth quarter meant 1st and goal at the 1, and Bradford hit Mulligan for the touchdown. He had the blocked punt and the reception. RIchardson ran in the 2 point conversion and the Rams led by a field goal.

The defenses dug in, and with 2:40 left the Redskins had one alst shot from their 37. With 1:27 to play the Redskins had 3rd and 8 from the Rams 36. Griffin found Morgan for a reception of 7 yards, resulting in 4th and 1. Yet there would be no going for it or a 47 yard field goal try. In a majorly dumb move, Morgan lost his cool at the worst possible time with cornerback Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan is an agitator, and the beating he took from Andre Johnson did not bother many people. Yet this time Finnegan got in a late shove, and Morgan responded by throwing the ball at Finnegan.

The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty meant a field goal try from 62 yards instead of 47. It was no good, and both teams are now 1-1. The most unpopular man in DC right now may be Morgan, although by Monday the politicians will rank below him. RGIII had a strong game, while Bradofrd had another strong outing. 31-28 Rams

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers–Yes the Jets silenced some critics by winning in a blowout while the Steelers lost a tough one as Peyton Manning returned. Yet Pittsburgh is at home, and they are still a better team than the Jets until proven otherwise. If the Jets win this one, then Rex Ryan will be back to his bragging self.

Pittsburgh soon faced 3rd and 9 from their 21 when Brown took an end around for just enough. Ben Roethlisberger found Mike Wallace for 18 and then Johnson for 26 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 22, Big Ben was sacked. Shawn Suisham hit a 45 yard field goal to put the Steelers up 3-0. Now that Mark Sanchez is dating Eva Longoria, questions abound over whether he has any reason to care about football. With 3rd and 9 from the Jets 11, Sanchez found Santonio Holmes for 11. Defensive pass interference tacked on 12 more yards, and on the next play Sanchez went deep to Kerley for a 45 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 14, Sanchez found Holmes for the score. The former Super Bowl hero for the Steelers took delight in scoring against his old team as the Jets led 7-3.

From the Pittsburgh 25, Roethlisberger hit Brown for 10. Redman gained 13, and on 3rd and 13 from midfield, Big Ben hit brown for 18. The last play of the opening quarter had the Steelers with 3rd and 4 at the Jets 26. A run lost a yard and the Steelers began the second qurter with Suisham hitting another 45 yarder to get the Steelers to within 7-6.

On 3rd and 3 from their 27, Sanchez threw incomplete. However, a defensive personal foul kept the drive going. On 3rd and 1 from the Pittsburgh 40, Powell employed the Rex Ryan ground and pound, gaining 2, 4, and 10. The drive would stall after 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes, but Nick Folk hit the 38 yarder to have the Jets up 10-6.

After both teams went 3 and out, Pittsburgh got it back after a touchback midway through the second quarter. Big Ben hit Pope for 7 and Dwyer for 12. On 3rd and 9 from their 40, Roethlisberger found Emanuel Sanders for 10. Roethlisberger hit Sanders for 19 with a personal foul moving the Steelers to the Jets 14. At the 2 minute warning the Steelers faced 3rd and 3 from the 7, as Gang Green tried to get a stop. Roethlisberger hit Jerricho Cotchery for 6 and Heath Miller for the one yard touchdown to have the Steelers up 13-10 at halftime. While it has been a long time since the Steel Curtain defense played, Mike Tomlin had to be pleased at his defense taking the Jets in the second half and just hitting them in the mouth.

The third quarter saw the Steelers take over after a punt at their own 41. An 11 yard toss to Brown with 15 tacked on for a horse collar tackle set up 3rd and 16 for the Steelers from the Jets 37. Big Ben went deep to Wallace, who somehow got both of his feet in bounds for the touchdown and the 20-10 Steelers lead. After that Pittsburgh just released the hounds.

Early in the fourth quarter Roethlisberger calmly led a 14 play, 75 yard drive that took over 10 minutes off of the clock. The Jets defense was out of gas, out of luck, and out of time. They lost a challenge when a fumble was ruled down by contact, and when Dwyer ran it in from 7 yards out, the game was on ice.

Tim Tebow only had 3 plays, and he only gets mentioned when he does something related to football. His one run netted 22 yards. Sanchez had a terrible game, but this was more about the Steelers defense. Despite it being Rosh Hashanah, Ben Roethlisberger is still not Jewish. 27-10 Steelers

Tennessee Titans @ San Diego Chargers–Tennessee lost badly to New England, but so does everybody else except Big Blue in New York. San Diego won an ugly game last week, but they are the better team and are at home. Norvelous Norv Turner will get his team to 2-0 against inferior teams and convince everyone he is a genius until San Diego fades when it counts.

San Diego began and faced 3rd and 7 at their own 32. Philip Rivers hit Brown for just enough and then found Malcolm Floyd for 27 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Tennessee 32, Rivers found Floyd again for 14. On 3rd and goal from the 11 Rivers hit Rosario for the score. San Diego led 7-0, and both men were far from done after the 12 play, 6 minute, 71 yard drive. Jake Locker was quickly intercepted, giving the Chargers the Ball at the Titans 31. On 3rd and 5 Rivers hit Eddie Royal for 20. On 3rd and goal at the 4 Rivers went to Rosario again for another touchdown as the Chargers led 14-0 after the opening quarter.

San Diego got it back and on 3rd and 10 from their 42, an incomplete pass was nullified due to roughing the passer. On 3rd and 6 from the Tennesse 39, Rivers went to Green for 31 yards. Tennessee finally came up with a stop, but the 26 yard Nate Kaeding field goal had the Chargers up 17-0 early in the second quarter. Tennessee faced 3rd and 9 from their 15, when Locker scrambled for 20 and got 15 more due to a prsonal foul. Locker hit Williams for 16, but the drive died at the five. Rob Bironas hit the 23 yard field goal as the Titans trailed 17-3 at the half.

Midway through the third quarter the Chargers faced 1st and 16 at their own 6. McClain gained 17 and Rivers hit Brinkley for 11 and Floyd for 22. Rivers ran for 9, hit Floyd for 16, and connected with Rosario a third time on a 15 yard touchdown to have the Chargers cruising 24-3.

The Titans got a spark when Hawkins returned the ensuing kickoff 71 yards to the San Diego 32. Locker quickly hit Cook for 13 and Wright for the 15 yard touchdown. Down 24-10 after three quarters, two touchdowns would tie it up for the Titans.

Two more touchdowns did come in the fourth qarter, but they both belonged to the Lightning Bolts. From their 39, Rivers hit McMichael for 11 and Floyd for 19. Battle ran for 15 and then for the one yard touchdown to have the Chargers up 31-10. With 9 1/2 minutes left Rivers threw an 18 yard pass to Rosario. From just shy of midfield, all Rivers did was hand it off. Battle and Brinkley battered the Tennessee defense, and by the time Battle got the final yard, 8 1/2 minutes had elapsed. The Chargers got 2-0 because Norv Turner is Norvelous, while Mike Munchak saw his team fall to 0-2 to start the season. 38-10 Chargers

Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers is the Sunday night game. This is the rematch of the “handshake” game when Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh nearly came to blows. Jim Schwartz is not Jewish, so his coaching on Rosh Hashanah is not a problem. Meanwhile, the Lions offense ran into a buzzsaw 49ers defense last year, and this year should be more of the same.

Detroit went 3 and out and the 49ers took over at their own 33. Newly acquired Mario Manningham took an end around 29 yards. Alex Smith hit Michael Crabtree for 17 yards and then Vernon Davis for the 21 yard touchdown as the 49ers made it look easy taking a 7-0 lead. Matthew Stafford and the Lions faced 3rd and 6 from their 36 when Stafford hit Heller for 7. On 2nd and 13 from the Detroit 41, an incomplete pass was irrelevant because of a 33 yard defensive pass interference penalty. The drive stalled, but old reliable Jason Hanson, in his 21st season with the Lions, hit the 38 yarder to get Detroit within 7-3. The 49ers fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving Detroit the ball at the Frisco 25. Yet the stingy defense held the Lions to another 41 yard Hanson field goal as the Lions trailed 7-6. Hanson doinked it off the upright but it caromed inside and through.

The Lions faced 3rd and 6 from their 20. Stafford was intercepted by Goldson, who returned it 20 yards to the Detroit 23. On 4th and 4 from the 17, David Akers hit the 35 yard field goal. Yet a running into the kicker penalty cuased Jim Harbaugh to take the points off the board. After a defensive pass interference penalty, the second quarter opened with Frank Gore running it in from one yard out to put the 49ers up 14-6.

The 49ers reached the Detroit 39 but punted. Detroit drive from their own 14 to 2nd and 3 at the Frisco 21. After Stafford threw incomplete twice, Hanson this time doinked a 40 yarder off the upright and did not get the favorable bounce.

In the third quarterthe 49ers moved from their 20 to the Detroit 18 but no further. Akers connected from 36 as the 49ers led 17-6. Detroit moved from their 39 to the Frisco 22. Hanson connected from 40 as the Lions were within 17-9 again.

The pattern repeated as the 49ers began at their own 15 and the fourth quarter began with the 49ers facing 1st and 10 at the Detroit 30. 3 straigh Alex Smith incompletions meant another field goal. Aakers hit from 48 to make it 20-9 49ers. The pattern repeated yet again as Stafford moved the Lions from their 20 to the Frisco 21. Yet a sack of Staford meant the umpteenth field goal try. Hanson connected from 48 and the Lions were back within 20-12 with 9 minutes in regulations.

The 49ers faced 3rd and 7 from their 24, and Smith hit Crabtree for just enough. On 3rd and 14 from thir 27, Smith hit Crabtree for 16 and Gore for 12. On 3rd and 9 from the Detroit 41, Smith again went to Crabtree for 11. Hunter gained 7, and Smith went to Vernon Davis for a 23 yard touchdown. After endless field goals, the 13 play, 79 yard, 6 minute drive had the 49ers with a commanding 27-12 lead with 3 minutes left.

The Lions faced 3rd and 17 from their 13, when Stafford found Bell for a 50 yard gain. On 4th and 4 from the Frisco 31, Stafford went to Megatron Calvin Johnson for 22 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Stafford hit Pettigrew for the touchdown. After only field goals, Detroit cracked the end zone very late. They had 0 timeouts left, trailed by 8, and needed to recover the onsides kick with 1:35 remaining.

The onsides kick failed, and was recovered by Kyle Williams, who was the goat in last year’s NFC Title Game. As expected the postgame handshake between the coaches was as uneventufl as the pregame handshake. There were no fireworks like last year. However, The 49ers did win this game as well to get to 2-0 while the 1-1 Lions saw their high octane offense contained again by the tough San Francisco defense. 27-19 49ers

Denver Broncos @ Atlanta Falcons is the Monday night game. Peyton Manning is back and as good as ever, while Matt Ryan has more talent around him than he has ever said. This could be a track meet indoors, and if Peyton gets the ball last, he will do what he always does.

Manning had a nightmarish opening quarter, completing passes to the Atlanta defense frequently. Denver started with 3rd and 12 at their own 12, and Manning was intercepted by Moore at the Denver 34. Moore returned it 33 yards down to the one. On 3rd and goal Michael Turner took it in and put the Falcons up 7-0.

On the next Denver series they faced 2nd and 11 from their 37. Manning was intercepted by DeCoud as the Falcons took over at the Denver 43. On 2nd and 14 Matt Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for 15 with a face mask tacking on 15 more. Matt Bryant hit a 37 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Falcons.

Manning then moved the Broncos from their 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Atlanta 40. Manning was then intercepted for the third time by McClain. After this Manning stopped throwing interceptions, but Atlanta kept rolling. In the second quarter facing 3rd and 7 from their 20, Ryan scrambled for just enough with unnecessary roughness adding 15 more. On 2nd and 15 from the Denver 48, Ryan hit Gonzalez for 16. Bryant hit a 42 yard field goal to put the Falcons up 13-0. Atlanta got it back and faced 2nd and 7 from their 30. An 18 yard defensive pass interference penalty was followed by Ryan hitting Douglas for 9, Roddy White for 16, Gonzalez for 15, Douglas for 10, and Gonzalez for the one yard touchdown to have the Falcons rolling 20-0.

There were 4 1/2 minutes left in the half, and Manning kept firing. He hit Eric Decker for 5 and 18. With 2:50 left in the half Denver faced 4th and 1 at the Atlanta 43. John Fox decided to go for it. Manning fired incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant 11 yards and a first down. With 49 seconds left in the half on 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 13, Ball gained 4. A sack of Manning meant 3rd and goal from the 17 with 14 seconds left. Manning went deep to Thomas and the play was ruled incomplete. However on further official review, the call was reversed and called a touchdown as Denver trailed 20-7 at halftime.

After an exchange of punts in the third quarter, Atlanta took over at their own 36. Ryan hit Douglas for 8 and White for 21, 20, and finally for the four yard touchdown pass to put the Falcons up 27-7. On the next series Denver faced 3rd and 1 from their 29 when Willis McGahee got stuffed. Denver punted and the Falcosn held their 20 point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Manning led a furious fourth quarter comeback. On 2nd and 7 from the Denver 15 Manning hit Brandon Stokely for 16 yards. The fourth quarter began with Denver facing 2nd and 3 at the Atlanta 47. Manning hit Ball for 17 yards. On 2nd and 20 from the Atlanta 40, defensive pass interference added 16 yards. Manning then hit Thomas for 12. McGahee got it in from 2 yards out to have Denver within 27-14 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

A field position game with Atlanta punting twice and Denver once had the Broncos taking over at the Atlanta 45 with 6 minutes left to play. Manning hit Decker for 18. On 3rd and 1 from the 18 McGahee gained 3, and Manning hit Knowshon Moreno for 12 to set up 1st nd goal at the 3. The defense tightened, and with 3 1/2 minutes left it came down to 4th and goal at the 2. With everyone expecting a pass, John Fox went real gutsy and called a run. McGahee got in and Denver had life down by 6 points.

Denver had 2 timeouts left, and John Fox decided to kick it deep rather than go onsides. It was a smart call given that his defense had stopped Atlanta in the fourth quarter. Denver took their second timeout with Atlanta facing 3rd and 5 from their 25 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Ryan went to Julio Jones for a 6 yard gain. Denver took their final timeout with 1:54 to play and Atlanta facing 2nd and 8 from their 33. Even a stop would leave Denver almost no time. It did not matter, as Turner gained 15 yards to run out the clock. Denver is now 1-1 while Atlanta is 2-0. Manning did recover from his nightmarish opening quarter and nearly got another win in his storied career. Yet on this night it was the Atlanta Falcons looking very impressive. 27-21 Falcons

eric

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