Archive for December, 2012

Hello 2013 from Lil John: Get ready for (Brian) Schatz!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

New Years Eve starring Rapper Lil John and Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz

In New York, 2013 begins with the dropping of the ball. In a small North Carolina town, the dropping of the possum is the ritual. Yet nothing says New Years Eve like a rap star and an unknown politico.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/tygrrrr-express/2012/dec/31/new-years-eve-starring-rapper-lil-john-and-hawaii-/

eric

NFL 2012 Week 17 Recap

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

NFL 2012 Week 17 Recap This is what football is all about. The last week of the regular season is do or die. Break out the John Randall megaphone. This…is…when…the…big…dogs…come…out.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/narcotics-leatherheads-nfl-and-other-sports-storie/2012/dec/30/rest-vs-rust-nfl-2012-week-17-wrap-/

Here is the NFL 2012 Week 17 Recap.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons–The 13-2 Falcons have locked up home field throughout the playoffs and may  rest everybody. The Buccaneers started 6-4 but lost 5 straight. When the game started, Mike Smith had his starters playing. The Bucs took over after a punt and moved from their 10 the Atlanta 30 before Josh Freeman threw incomplete on 3rd and 2. Connor Barth hit from 48 to make it 3-0 Buccaneers on the road. Matt Ryan moved the Falcons from their 28 to a 1st and 10 at the Bucs 16, but a 3rd and 10 scramble came up 4 yards short. Matt Bryant hit from 28 to make it 3-3.

The second quarter still had the Atlanta starters in, and the Bucs began their first drive of the second quarter with 2nd and 12 from their 34. Freeman hit Stocker for gains of 17 and 23 and Lorig for 12. On 3rd and 7 from the 8, Freeman fired to the end line of the end zone and Mike Williams got his feet down for the touchdown to make it 10-3 Buccaneers with 9 minutes left in the half. Atlanta punted from their 37 with 6 minutes left in the half, and it was blocked by Watson. The Bucs took over at the Atlanta 26, although the drive got no further than the 4 yard line. Barth hit from 22 to make it 13-3 Buccaneers with 3 minutes left in the half.

In the third quarter Tampa Bay moved from their 20 when Freeman hit Mike Williams for 23 yards. On 3rd and 6 from their 47, Freeman hit Doug Martin for 12. On 3rd and 9 from the Atlanta 40, Freeman hit Vincent Jackson for 16. Yet 3 straigh incompletions meant a 42 yard Barth field goal and a 16-3 lead for the Buccaneers.  Despite losing defender Dunta Robinson in the first quarter to injury, Mike Smith kept his starters in the game that did not matter. They played the whole game. On 3rd and 7 from their 28, Freeman was intercepted, giving Atlanta the ball at the Tampa 21. Michael Turner raced for a 17 yard touchdown and the Falcons only trailed 16-10 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.

Tampa made it look easy after a touchdown. Doug Martin ran for 10 and 3. Freeman found Jackson for 27 yards. Martin broke free for a 40 yard touchdown. The 2 point conversion failed but the Buccaneers led 22-10 with fourth quarter to go. A field position game had the Falcons taking over at their own 48 with 11 1/2 minutes left. Ryan hit Jaquez Rodgers for 5, Jones for 18, Gonzalez for 8, Rodgers for 13, and Douglas for the 7 yard touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Falcons were within 5 points.

Atlanta got it back at their own 19 with 3:44 to play and a chance to win it. On 1st and 10 from their 33 with 2:24 left, Ryan threw 4 straight incompletions to end it. Greg Schiano likes to attack on teams kneeling on the ball, and also does not seem like kneeling himself. He called several runs to end things, apparently not familiar with the Miracle at the Meadowlands. His lack of class at the end of games does not change the fact that the Buccaneers ended 7-9 and are improving.

As for the Falcons, their critics will call this a disaster. Yes they are 13-3. Yet they lost at home to an inferior team when their starters played the whole game. In addition to Robinson, pass rusher John Abraham left the game with injuries. Had they lost with backups, this would not be a big deal. Yet now the entire NFC sees them as paper tigers, a very soft top seed. Until the Falcons win a game, Mike Smith and Matt Ryan will not silence the critics. Respect is earned, and a great regular season record does not earn that. 22-17 Buccaneers

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills–Neither team is going to the playoffs, although Mark Sanchez got his job back when the third stronger suffered a concussion. Sanchez moved the Jets from their 24 to the Buffalo 29, but 3 plays netted 0 yards after that. Nick Folk hit a 47 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Jets. The Jets got it back and soon faced 3rd and 5 from their 15. Sanchez threw a perfect pass to Scott, who plays defense for Buffalo. Scott took it back 20 yards for the interception touchdown return to make it 7-3 Bills. Rex Ryan asked if any Jets fans in the stands could play quarterback while Eva Longoria wondered who her next boyfriend would be.

Sanchez may have been allowed to start, but he was not allowed to throw. Rex Ryan called 5 straight runs. An incomplete pass came when the defense had 12 men on the field. 4 more runs had the Ground and Pound with 2nd and 10 at the Buffalo 29. Sanchez threw incomplete twice as the Jets settled for a 47 yard Nick Folk field goal to lead 3-0. On the next Jets series Sanchez actually completed a pass for a 3 yard gain to set up 3rd and 5 from their 15. Sanchez was then intercepted by Scott, who returned it 20 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-3 Bills. New Yorkers demanded that Sanchez stay in the game, but those were Buffalo fans.

From their 34, the Jets moved 14 plays in over 7 1/2 minutes with a heavy dose of Shon Greene. With 11 minutes left in the half the Jets had 3rd and goal at the 5. Sanchez threw incomplete. Folk hit the 23 yarder as the Jets trailed 7-6 with 11 minutes left in the half. Buffalo went 3 and out and the Jets faced 3rd and 16 from their 29. Sanchez threw a short pass to Kerley, who took it for a 40 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the 16, a completion came up 2 yards short. Rex Ryan opted for the field goal and Folk from 28 put the Jets up 9-7 with 4 minutes left in the half.

The lead lasted less than 30 seconds. On 3rd and 10 from their 34, Ryan Fitzpatrick  hit CJ Spiller with a short pass that went for a 66 yard touchdown to put the Bills up 14-9. The second half saw the Bills from their 27 fumble on the first play from scrimmage and the Jets recover at the Buffalo 15. On 3rd and 12, Rex Ryan did not trust Sanchez to throw. Powell only got 6 yards and a 30 yard field goal try was blocked. A 6 minute drive in the third quarter saw Ryan Lindell miss a 50 yard field goal in a game of who wanted it least. From the Jets 40, Sanchez was sacked and fumbled. Buffalo took over at the Jets 34, gained only 6 yards, and Lindell from 46 missed again.

The Jest went 3 and out and from the Buffalo 20, Fitzpatrick went deep to Stevie St Johnson for a 37 yard gain with a roughing the passer penalty adding 15 more. On 3rd and 1 from the 19, Fitzpatrick hit Spiller for 6. Brad Smith used to play for the Jets, but on 3rd and 1 from the 4, he took a wildcat snap against his former team and got in the end zone to make it 21-9 Bills with 11 minutes left in the season.

With 1:14 left in a game that was not in doubt, the Bills faced 4th and 4 at the Jets 13. With Lindell having missed twice, Chan Gailey just decided to run the ball. The Jets were playing for pride, and they had none. Tashard Choice ran for the 13 yard touchdown as the JETS acronym of Just End The Season mercifully happened soon after. Both coaches may be fired and may not. As for the Jets, they may get rid of all 3 of their quarterbacks. 28-9 Bills

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals–The Ravens stop their 3 game slide to get to 10-5 and lock up the division. The Bengals clinched a wildcard and are locked into their six seed. Marvin Lewis says he is playing to win rather than resting people, while the Ravens still have a slim chance at moving up from the 4 to the 3 seed, which usually means nothing.

John Harbaugh concluded early on that New England was not going to lose at home given they had everything to play for. Therefore, he decided late in the first quarter to rest his starters and give Tarod Taylor the quarterbacking reins from Joe Flacco. Marvin Lewis left his starters in for the first half, but the second half was a game of backups as the Ravens settled into the 4 seed and the Bengals the 6 seed.

With Ray Rice from Rutgers getting rest, a drive late in the first quarter from the 20 saw Pierce gain 7 and 14, Taylor scramble for 28, Pierce gain 9 more, and Allen run for 20 and then the 2 yard touchdown. The Ravens led 7-0 without Taylor throwing a pass. A field position game with 2:07 left in the half had the Bengals taking over at the Baltimore 42. On 3rd and 5 Andy Dalton hit AJ Green for 17 and 9 and Jones for the 11 yard touchdown to make it 7-7.

Bruce Gradkowski began the second half for Dalton and midway through the third quarter took over for the Bengals at their 48. Roughing the passer was just enough to set up Josh brown from 47 yards out as the Bengals led 10-7. Cincy got it back at the Baltimore 40 after a 30 yard shanked punt. On 3rd and 6 defensive pass interference meant 21 yards, again enough for another field goal and a 13-7 Bengals lead with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.

Baltimore faced 3rd and 7 from their 22  when a deep ball and defensive pass interference moved Baltimore 25 yards. The fourth quarter began with the Ravens facing 3rd and 11 from the Cincy 40. Taylor hit Dickson for 15, Allen ran for 7, and Taylor gained 15 more. Taylor got in from one yard out to make it 14-13 Ravens with 13 minutes left in regulation. Cincy went 3 and out and Baltimore took over just past midfield. Rookie Justin Tucker came in for a 45 yard field goal to extend the lead. Tucker has had a good year, but this one was no good with 10 minutes left.

From their own 35, Gradkowski went deep to Tate for a 44 yard gain. Josh Brown would hit a 38 yard field goal to put the Bengals back up 16-14 midway through the fourth quarter. The play of the game happened 2 plays later with the Ravens facing 3rd and 7 from their own 23. Taylor was intercepted by Dunlap, who returned it 14 yards for the score to make it 23-14 Bengals with 6 minutes left to play.

Needing 2 scores, Baltimore actually decided to punt on 4th and 1 from their 32. Yet it was a fake that succeeded. Taylor moved the Ravens in position for a 49 yard field goal try. Tucker was good, and the Ravens were within 6. Yet only 1:21 remained, and a failed onsides kick ended things as the Bengals in successive weeks beat Pittsburgh and Baltimore, although again this game featured backups. Both teams are 10-6, but the Ravens had clinched the division the week earlier.

The Bengals had consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 30 years, although 1982 was a strike year. The way the Bengals can quiet the critics is by winning a playoff game, which they have not done in the decade Marvin Lewis has coached them. They will be at collapsing Houston, while Baltimore will host Indianapolis. 23-17 Bengals

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions–The once 7-1 Bears briefly stopped their slide and won last week to get to 9-6. They need a win and a Minnesota loss to make the playoffs while Detroit has lost 7 straight to fall to 4-11. Megatron Calvin Johnson has a chance to be the first receiver to reach 2,000 yards in a season.

After an exchange of punts, the Lions moved from their own 9 to a 3rd and 1 at the Chicago 26. Matthew Stafford was hit and fumbled, but it was ruled on further review an incomplete pass Old Reliable Jason Hanson hit from 44 yards to make it 3-0 Lions. Chicago struck back quickly. on 2nd and 8 from their 22, Jay Cutler hit Matt Forte for 18 and then found Bennett, who outraced everybody down the sideline for a 60 yard touchdown to make it 10-3 Bears.

With 4 minutes left in the half, the Lions took over at their 33. Stafford was sacked by Israel Idonije, and Julius Peppers recovered as the Bears took over at the Lions 10. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Cutler threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal form the one. Forte got in to make it 17-3 Bears. 2 plays later Stafford was intercepted, and the Lions took over at the Detroit 23. The defense held, and Olindo Mare hit from 40 to make it 20-3 Bears with 1:54 left in the half.

Stafford rallied the Lions. On 3rd and 1 from their 29, Matt Leshoure got the yard. Stafford hit Bell for 10, Brandon Pettigrew for 6, and Bell for 9. On 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 38, Stafford hit Leshoure for 13. With 17 seconds left in the half, the Lions faced 3rd and 10 from the Chicago 25. Stafford went deep to Durham for the touchdown as the Lions only trailed 20-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter after a Bears punt and a touchback, Stafford ran for 5 and Leshoure gained 9 and 13. Stafford found Johnson for 18  and again for 24. On 3rd and goal from the 10, Stafford hit Will Heller for the touchdown to get the Lion within 20-17 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Lions got it back and soon faced 2nd and 6 from their own 12. Leshoure fumbled the ball, and the Bears took over at the Detroit 13. On 3rd and 8 from the 11, Cutler fired to Brandon Marshall in the end zone but Marshall was out of bounds. Chicago settled for the 29 yard Mare field goal and a 23-17 lead with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Chicago got it back to start the fourth quarter at their own 39 and on 2nd and 5 from the Detroit 44, Cutler hit Bennett for a 28 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the 14, Cutler hit Marshall for 10. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 2 Cutler threw incomplete. Another field goal had the Bears up 26-17 with 11 minutes left.

Detroit soon faced 3rd and 5 from their 25 when Stafford hit Scheffler for 7. On 3rd and 10 from the 32, a very questionable unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense kept the drive going just past midfield. Stafford hit Brian Robiskie for 21, Heller for 19, and Robiskie for the 9 yard touchdown as the Lions only trailed by 2 points with 7 minutes left.

Detroit got it back at their 9 and faced 3rd and 6 from the 13 with 4 minutes left when Stafford threw incomplete. Jim Schwartz punted and the Bears took over at their 40 with 3:40 left. The Lions had all their timeouts. It came down to 3rd and 3 from the Chicago 47. Cutler scrambled for 19 yards and stayed in bounds. The Lions took their last timeout but Forte gained 13 at the 2 minute warning and that was it.

The Lions saw Matthew Stafford break the all time NFL record for pass attempts in a season, breaking the 1994 mark held by Drew Bledsoe. Calvin Johnson did break the all time receiving yards record in a season held by Jerry Rice since 1987, but Megatron fell short of 2,000 yards. Who cares? The Lions, one year removed from the playoffs, lost their last 8 games to fall to 4-12. Jim Schwartz is probably safe, but some changes are coming. As for the Bears, they went 10-6 and watched the Minnesota game against Green Bay. If Minnesota lost, Chicago is in the playoffs. A Minnesota win eliminates the Bears. Lovie Smith is on the hot seat, which is insane for a 10-6 team. 26-24 Bears

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts–Houston can lock up the top seed and home field throughout the playoffs with a win, but they could fall as low as the 3 seed and lose the first round bye altogether. Indianapolis is locked in as the 5 seed wildcard, giving them nothing to play for. Yet the return of Chuck Pagano could fire up the team at home. Pagano played his starters, and the Colts began at their 25.

Andrew Luck hit Reggie Wayne for 17 and Ballard for 9. Ballard ran for 7 and Luck hit TY Hilton for 12. On 3rd and 3 from the Houston 24, Luck hit Allen for 20. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Luck threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a new set of downs. Luck hit Fleener for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Colts. Houston moved from their 20 to a 2nd and 4 and the Indy 24. Yet a false start and a sack ended the drive. Shane Graham did hit a 51 yard field goal to get the Texans within 7-3 as the first quarter ended. In the second quarter Houston got it back at their 37 and Matt Schaub found Andre Johnson for 39 yards. On 3rd and 2 form the 16, Arriun Foster lost 3 yards. Graham hit from 37 to get the Texans within 7-6.

Houston got it back at their own 3 yard line and moved to a 1st and 10 from their 30 Schaub was intercepted by Vonte Davis, who returned it 26 yards to the Houston 39. Ballard gained 20 and on 3rd and 9 from the 18, Luck hit TY Hilton for 17. Ballard got the one yard touchdown at the 2 minute warning to make it 14-6 Colts.

The Texans began the third quarter with 3rd and 1 from their 25. Schaub hit Johnson for 2 an again for 20. On 3rd and 5 from the Indy 43, Schaub hit Kevin Walter for 14. On 3rd and 7 from the 26, Schaub threw incomplete but defensive holsing saved the drive. Schaub hit Casey for 8 and Foster ran for the 13 yard touchdown. Gary Kubiak decided against the 2 point conversion with plenty of time left as the Texans trailed 14-13.

Indy went 3 and out and the Texans took over at their own 26. Schaub hit Johnson for 10 and Foster broke free for a 39 yard gain. On 2nd and 7 from the Indy 19, Schaub threw incomplete twice. Graham did hit the 37 yard field goal as the Texans led 16-14. The lead lasted for 12 seconds as Karim returned the ensuing kickoff 101 yards for a score to make it 21-16 Colts. Early in the fourth quarter the Texans faced 3rd and 4 at the Indy 27. Schaub was sacked for an 8 yard loss. Graham came in for a 52 yard field goal but it was no good with 13 minutes left in regulation.

With 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation the Colts after a penalty faced 3rd and 23 from their own 30. The starters were still in for a game that did not matter. Try telling that to Chuck Pagano. Gary Kubiak needed one score to get the Texans back on top, and Michelin Man Wade Phillips is known for defense. Yet somehow Luck went deep to Hilton, resulting in a shocking 70 yard touchdown that gave the Colts a 28-16 lead. Houston needed only 90 seconds to move from their 29 to the Indy 30. Schaub went for it all and was intercepted in the end zone by Vonte Davis as the Houston situation got more desperate.

Andrew Luck is a rookie, but this was veteran leadership down the stretch as he led a time consuming drive that killed the clock. On 3rd and 1 from their 29, Allen gained 2. Defensive pass interference added 24 yards. Offsides added 5 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Houston 40, Luck gained 2. Ballard gained 3, 7 and 8. On 3rd and 2 from the 20, Pagano called a pass. Luck hit the short pass as the 2 minute warning came with the Colts firmly in command. Nearly 10 minutes remained when the Colts got the football, and the Texans never saw it again.

Luck took 3 knees and the Colts had the emotional win to get to 10-6. The Texans have never beaten the Colts in Indy. Even worse, the once 11-1 Texans are in free fall, losing 3 of 4 to finish 12-4. That happened to Philadelphia in 1980 but they had home field anyway. Houston does not. Barring a miracle, the top seed is gone and the second seed is as well. Instead of home field advantage, the Texans will tumble to the 3 seed and lose the first round bye. They will host Cincinnati in the opening round while Indianapolis will travel to Baltimore. 28-16 Colts

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints–Neither team is going to the playoffs, although both teams have rebounded from miserable starts. Each team may have a new coach next year. Saints fans got a break before the game started when Sean Payton agreed to a 5 year contract extension. Joe Vitt was coaching his last game as the interim coach once Payton returns from his suspension.

After an exchange of punts, Cam Newton moved Carolina from their 22 to a 1st and goal at the Saints 2. Yet Tolbert got stopped and Newton threw incomplete twice. Ron Rivera went for the field goal, and Graham Gano hit the 20 yarder to make it 3-0 Panthers. Graham Gano would miss a 54 yard field goal in the second quarter. Carolina got it back at their 18 and Newton hit LaFell for 16. Deangelo Williams then broke free for a 65 yard gain down to the one, and Tolbert took it in on the next play to make it 10-0 Panthers with 8 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Saints took over at their 24 and Mark Ingram gained 17 and 4. Drew Brees went deep to Lance Moore for a 39 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the 11 Brees hit Darren Sproles to set up 4th and 1 from the 7. The Saints went for it and Brees hit Marquis Colston for the touchdown to get the Saints within 10-7. Carolina quickly faced 2nd and 6 from their 24, and Newton was intercepted by Jonathan Vilma. Vilma was supposed to be suspended this year, but Paul Tagliabue reversed Roger Goodell. Vilma reversed Newton’s laws of motion with an 18 yard touchdown return to make it 14-10 Saints with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half. From their 27, Williams ran for 22 and Newton hit Louis Murphy for 17. Yet 1st and 10 from the 15 saw the drive stall. Gano hit from 31 to have the Panthers trailing 14-13 just before the half.

The Saints had only 34 seconds to work with from their own 18. They had all 3 timeouts. Brees hit Moore for 14, Graham for 17, and Sproles for 14. Garrett Hartley drilled a 53 yard field goal to make it 17-13 Saints at halftime. The second half was a pinball machine as a meaningless game became a thriller.

The Saints began the third quarter facing 3rd and 12 from their 18. Brees went deep to Moore for a 51 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the 26, Brees hit Graham for 6 and again for the 19 yard touchdown to make it 24-13 Saints. Yet to describe what followed defies belief. Facing 3rd and 18 from their own 12, Cam Newton went deep to Lousi Murphy for a 34 yard gain. Deangelo Williams then got free again for a 54 yard touchdown to get the Saints within 24-20.

After an exchange of punts, the Saints had it at their 22. Brees was intercepted by Patrick at the Saints 36. Newton hit Steve Smith for a 31 a yard gain and Tolbert got the last yard to put the Panthers up 27-24 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Carolina began the fourth quarter at their 20 and Newton hit Tolbert for 22 yards with a personal foul adding 15 more. Newton came out for a few plays. On 3rd and 2 from the Saints 35, backup Derek Anderson threw incomplete but a penalty on the defense kept the drive going. On 3rd and 4 from the 24, Anderson hit LaFell for 12 and 11. Tolbert got the last yard as the Panthers now led 34-24. The Saints went 3 and out and punted. Edwards took the punt and raced 69 yards all the way to the Saints 12 yard line. One play was enough for Williams to run it in as 28 unanswered pointed had the Panthers up 41-24 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Yet now the Saints had their turn.

From the Saints 19, Brees moved the Saints to the Carolina 30 before throwing 3 straight incompletions. On 4th and 10 Brees hit Moore for 17 and Colston for 4 and then the 9 yard touchdown to get the Saints within 41-31 with 5:15 to play. The onsides kick failed, and a personal foul on the Saints had the Panthers at the Saints 29. The Saints took their timeouts and held the Panthers to a 42 yard Gano field goal and a 44-31 lead with 4 minutes left.

After a touchback, brees hit Graham for gains of 9, 14, and 9. Defensive pass interference added 15 more and Brees found Sproles for a 33 yard touchdown as the Saints cut the 17 point deficit to 6 points. With 3 minutes left, the onsides kick again failed and Williams gained 3 and 11. With 1:16 to play the Panthers had the 3rd and 2 at the 6. Tolbert got the 2 yards as Carolina ran out the clock.

Both teams finished 7-9, but Carolina went 5-1 down the stretch, possibly giving Ron Rivera another year. Brees finished with 396 yards and 5,177 for the season, the only quarterback to ever top 5,000 yards twice. He finished with 4 touchdown passes on the day and 43 for the season, the only quarterback to top 40 in consecutive seasons. Yet the Saints gave up 7,042 yards on defense, breaking the record held by the 1981 Baltimore Colts by about 250 yards. 44-38 Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants–This could be the last game every for Walrus Lite Andy Reid as coach of the Eagles. The Giants saw their 6-2 start collapse as they are now 8-7 and clinging to playoff life. They need to win and get tons of help to have a shot at winning it all again.

Andy Reid is a proud guy, and he sparked the Eagles by calling a successful onsides kick to start the game. Yet Michael Vick is back, and he may also be playing his last game for the Eagles. On 3rd and 13 from the Giants 43, Vick was intercepted by Brown, who returned it 48 yards to the Eagles 26. Wilson did much of the rest, running for 10, 13 and 3. Eli Manning threw a 3 yard touchdown to Randle to make it 7-0 Giants.

Philly went nowhere and the Giants took over at their 26. Manning hit Rnnadle for 10 and Victor Cruz for 9. on 3rd and 1 from the Giants 45, Ahmad Bradshaw gained 17 yards. On the next play Manning went deep to Randle, who outjumped Nahmdi Asomugha, made the catch, and fell into the end zone for a 38 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Giants.

Philly went 3 and out and the Giants soon faced 3rd and 4 from their 31. Manning hit Bradshaw deep for a 41 yard gain. Wilson then ran for 13 and caught the 15 yard touchdown from Manning as the Giants led 21-0 after the first quarter. The Eagles finally got something from their 20 when Vick hit McCoy for a 36 yard gain. Brown gained 13, and the second quarter began with the Eagles facing 4th and 10 at the Giants 31. Vick hit Avant for 15. On 4th and 1 from the 7, Vick hit Jeremy Maclin for the touchdown as the Eagles were on the board down 21-7.

The Giants got it back at their 27 looking to bury the Eagles. From their 33, Bradshaw ran for 10 and 12 and Manning hit Cruz for 12 and 7 and to Randle for 7 more. Bradshaw ran for 10 and on 3rd and goal from the 7, Manning threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference on Asomugha set up bradshaw from one yard out to make it 28-7 Giants with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half.

With 34 seconds left in the half the Eagles had 2nd and 5 at midfield. Vick threw incomplete twice and Reid went for it. Vick hit Maclin for only 4 yards as the Giants took over at their 46 with 17 seconds left. Manning hit Dominic Hixon for a 30 yard gain and then went deep to Cruz for the 24 yard touchdown as the Giants led 35-7 at halftime. The second half was a snoozefest. Manning led a 14 play, 78 yard drive that took 9 1/2 minutes off the clock and culminated in a one yard touchdown pass from Manning to Hynoski to complete the scoring. Manning finished with a career high 5 touchdown passes.

Walrus Lite Andy Reid saw his once proud team fall to 4-12, the worst season during his tenure. After 14 seasons, he will most likely be fired by Jeffrey Lurie. This would be a tremendous mistake, but it is Lurie’s team. A very warm greeting after the game came between the always classy Reid and the equally classy Tom Coughlin. Until last year, Coughlin spent every waking minute on the verge of being fired despite winning games. This year the Giants had the exact same season as last year. They started 6-2, and stumbled down the stretch to fall to 8-7, and won their last game to finish 9-7. Last year it was just enough to make the playoffs. This year it was not as the Giants were eliminated a few minutes after their game ended when Chicago hung on to knock them out. The defending champions are now out of the playoffs. 42-7 Giants

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers–Neither team is going to the playoffs. The Steelers lost at home last week to Cincinnati, so a home loss to Cleveland one week later would be unthinkable. The Browns organization will be blown up next year due to new ownership, but the team will most likely still perpetually suck. The Browns did not start Brandon Weeden or Colt McCoy, as Pat Shurmur began his final game with 3rd stringer Lewis. Early in the second quarter Phil Dawson missed a 39 yard field goal as the league wondered how this game could be canceled.

Midway through the second quarter Shawn Suisham made a 41 yarder to make it 3-0 Steelers. Phil Dawson would make a 51 yarder to make it 3-3 with 4 minutes left in the half. After 28 minutes of awful football, Cleveland fumbled in their own territory and Pittsburgh took over at the Browns 24. Defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Ben Roethlisberger hit Leonard Pope for the touchdown to make it 10-3 Steelers at halftime.

The third quarter had the Browns punting on 4th and 5 from their 25. Pat Shurmur knows it is his last game, and he coached like it, gambling on a fake punt. Ventrone gained 35 yards. Defensive pass interference on the next play meant 1st and goal at the 5. Lewis threw a 7 yard touchdown to little and the game was tied 10-10. Pittsburgh took over at their 20 and Jonathan Dwyer gained 12 and 4 and the Steelers moved to a critical 3rd and goal at the Cleveland 9. Big Ben scrambled around and fired to Antonio Brown in the middle of the end zone for the score to make it 17-10 Steelers.

With 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation Cleveland fumbled at their own 35 and the Steelers took over at the Cleveland 27. on 3rd and 1 Redman gained 6 and Roethlisberger hit former and now current teammate Plaxico Burress for the 12 yard touchdown to put the game out of reach. Pittsburgh got to 8-8 while Cleveland finished another miserable season, with the changes to come again on Black Monday. 24-10 Steelers

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans–Both of these teams are awful, but the Jaguars have a shot at the top pick in the draft. Tennessee fell behind by 55 points last week but led a furious rally to lose by 48. Both teams may make coaching changes after the season.

Tennessee quickly faced 3rd and 5 from their 26 when Jake Locker hit Nate Washington for 21 yards and Antrell Hawkins for a 42 yard gain. Chris Johnson ran for 9, and on 3rd and 1 from the 2, got the touchdown to make it 7-0 Titans. Chad Henne borught the Jaguars back. On 3rd and 10 from their 24, Henne hit Justin Blackmon for 17. Boston ran for 11 and 14 and Murphy ran for 9 and 14 against an awful Titans defense. On 3rd and 4 from the 5, Henne hit Jeremy Shipley for the score to make it 7-7. Jackonville got it back at their 39, and the second quarter began with them facing 3rd and 10 from the Titans 30. Henne hit Blackmon, who took it for the touchdown to make it 14-7 Jaguars.

After that the Jaguars showed why they are 2-13 and why Shad Khan may fire everyone. Bud Adams is on the verge of firing his staff as well, but the Titans did not even need an offense the rest of the way. Defense and special teams turned a deficit into a blowout. Brown intercepted Henne and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. Then Darius Reynaud returned a punt 69 yards for a score to make it 21-1 Titans at halftime. In the third quarter Reynaud did it again, returning a punt 81 yards for another touchdown to make it 28-14 Titans. Then Brown struck again, intercepting Henne for a 30 yard touchdown return and a 35-14 Titans route. The Titans scored 28 unanswered points without running an offensive play from scrimmage. Then Henne was intercepted again and the offense had to take the field.

In the fourth quarter the Titans tacked on a field goal. The Jaguars did get a special teams touchdown of their own with a blocked punt that was returned 19 yards to complete the scoring. The Jaguars at 2-14 will have the second pick in the draft at worst, and even get the top pick if somehow a miracle occurs and Kansas City goes on the road and beats Denver. The Titans are bad, just not as bad. 38-20 Titans

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos–The Chiefs have a sot at the top pick in the draft, while Denver is currently the 2 seed with a first round bye. If they win and Houston loses, Denver is the top seed. Yet if Denver loses and New England wins, Denver falls to the 3 seed. Peyton Manning may win his 5th NFL MVP, and no other player has won more than 3 of them.

For those wanting suspense and the mother of all upsets, this was not why they play the games.

After a punt, Denver took over at their 31. Peyton Manning hit Brandon Stokley for a 29 yard gain and Eric Decker for 9 and 14 more. On 3rd and 6 from the 10, Manning hit Jacob Hester for 7 and Knowshon Moreno got the 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Broncos. For some reason, the rest of the game was played.

Denver got it back at their own 9 and moved to the Chiefs 31. Yet a fumble was picked up by Brandon Flowers and returned 64 yards to the Denver 12. On 3rd and 3 from the 5 to start the second quarter, Brady Quinn did what he does, which is throw incomplete. Ryan Succop hit the 23 yard field goal as the Chiefs got within 7-3, concluding Chiefs highlights for the day. Kansas City got it back at their 35 and moved to the Denver 15. On 3rd and 6 Quinn threw incomplete, and Succop missed the 33 yarder. After that Denver put it away.

On 2nd and 8 from the Denver 26, Manning hit Green for 11, Thomas for 9, Decker for 10 and Joel Dreesen for 12. Moreno gained 17 and Manning hit Decker for the 11 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Broncos. With 1:37 left in the half Denver got it back at their 41. Maning hit Stokley for 11, Jacob Tamme for 13 and Stokley for 9. Hester ran for 8 and Manning spiked the ball with 15 seconds left in the half. He then threw a 16 yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker to make it 21-3 Broncos at halftime.

The second half was a formality. Manning led an 11 play, 6 minute drive to start the third quarter from the Denver 20. On 3rd and 7 from the Chiefs 13, Manning found Denarius Thomas, who made a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone to make it 28-3 Broncos. Manning would lead another 74 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive that saw Ball take his namesake into the end zone on 3rd and goal fromt he one to make it 35-3 Broncos. Denver would tack on a field goal to complete the scoring.

Kansas City dropped to 2-14 and assure themselves the top pick in the April 2013 Draft. Romeo Crennel may not be around to see it, since tomorrow is Black Monday for coaches. He is a good man that had a terrible season. As for John Fox, his Broncos won 11 straight to end the season and go 13-3. With Houston stumbling, Denver locked up home field throughout the playoffs. John Elway brought Peyton Manning to town, and John Fox came one play away from a Super Bowl win of his own. Now he has a team that is in a strong position to get them all another ring. 38-3 Broncos

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings–Green Bay right now is the 2 seed, but if they lose and San Francisco win, they could fall to the 3 seed and lose the first round bye. Minnesota is the 6 seed wildcard now, but if they lose they are out of the playoffs altogether. Surrounding this doe or die matchup is Adrian Peterson, who is 108 rushing yards short of 2,000 and 214 yards away from topping Eric Dickerson.

Minnesota moved from their 23 to a 4th and 2 at the Green Bay 36. Leslie Frazier brought in his hot kicker and Walsh leveled a 54 yarder to make it 3-0 Vikings. Green Bay went 3 and out and Minnesota soon faced 3rd and 11 from their 39. Christian Ponder went to Toby Gerhart for a 21 yard gain. Adrian Peterson took over, gaining 6, 22, 5, and the 7 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Vikings. Green Bay went 3 and out again and Minnesota took over at their 47. On 4th and 1 from the Green Bay 44, Leslie Frazier went for it and Peterson gained 6. The second quarter began with Ponder throwing incomplete on 3rd and 4 from the Packers 19. Walsh hit from 37 to make it 13-0 Vikings.

Green Bay finally got a spark with 9 minutes left in the half when a 32 yard punt return by Ross had the Packer starting at the Minnesota 42. harris ran for 12 and 2. On 3rd and 8 from the 28, Aaron Rodgers hit Jones for 11. On 3rd and 7 from the 14, Rodgers went t Greg Jennings for 8. On 3rd and goal at the 5, a completion only gained one yard, but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 3. On 3rd and goal Rodgers hit Jennings for the score to get the Packers within 13-7.

Sherels returned the ensuing kickoff to the Minnesota 40, and Ponder hit Wright for 17. At the 2 minute warning on 3rd and 4 from the Green Bay 36, Ponder hit Simpson for 10. Peterson gained 18 and Ponder hit Wright for the 8 yard touchdown as the Vikings led 20-7 with one minute left in the half. After a touchback, Rodgers hit Jennings for 14, Jermaine Finley for 16, and Jordy Nelson for 12. With one second left in the half Mason Crosby came in for  51 yard field goal. He has had a terrible year, but nailed this one as the Packers trailed 20-10 at halftime. Yet this game was just getting warmed up, and so was Peterson.

After a touchback to start the second half, Harris gained 5 and Rodgers hit Jones for 30. On 2nd 18 from their 47, Rodgers hit Jennings on a short pass that went for a 45 yard gain. Rodgers hit Jennings for the 5 yard touchdown to get the Packers within 20-17. Minnesota punted and the Packers faced 3rd and 7 from midfield. Rodgers was sacked and fumbled and Jared Allen recovered at midfield for the Vikings.

Ponder hit Simpson for 21. On 2nd and 16 from the 35, Ponder hit Felton for 17. A penalty pushed Minnesota back to a 2nd and 27 from the Green Bay 35. Peterson did what he does, gaining 28. He broke 2,000 yards, and now the record was in sight. on 3rd and goal at the 5, Ponder threw incomplete but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 2. Ponder threw to Peterson for the score to make it 27-17 Vikings. The lead barely lasted as Green Bay quickly faced 3rd and 4 from their 19. Rodgers went deep to Nelson for a 73 yard gain. On the next play, Rodgers hit Jones, who fumbled at the goal line with Minnesota recovering in the end zone for a touchback. Yet on further review, it was ruled the ball broke the plane of the goal and was reversed to a touchdown as the Packers trailed only 27-24.

Minnesota punted, and a facemask on the Vikings had the Packers beginning the fourth quarter at midfield. On 3rd and 4, Rodgers hit Jones for 5 and Jennings for 11. On 3rd and 4 from the 22, Rodgrs threw incomplete. Crosby hit from 40 as the game was tied 27-27 with 12 1/2 minutes left in a game that had plenty of action remaining.

From the Minnesota 21 and everyone expecting Peterson, Ponder went deep and connected with Wright for a 65 yard gain. From the 14, Peterson gained 12. On 3rd and goal from the 12 after an offensive penalty, an illegal use of hands on the defense meant 1st and goal at the 7. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Ponder hit Jenkins for the score. With 8 minutes left the Vikings led again 34-27.

From the 22, Rodgers hit Jones for 12. On 3rd and 21 from their 23, Rodgers hit Finley for 20. With 5:45 to play facing 4th and 1 from their 43, Mike McCarthy decided to go for it. Rodgers hit Boykin for 7. On 3rd and 4 from the Minnesota 44, Rodgers hit Jennings for 14. Harris gained 11, and defensive pass interference moved the Vikings 16 more yards down to the two. Rodgers hit Nelson for the score and with 3 minutes left the game was tied 34-34.

At the 2 minute warning the Vikings faced 3rd and 11 from their own 27. Handing off to Peterson was not an option. The game was in Christian Ponder’s hands. He went deep to Jenkins for a 25 yard gain. Now it was time for Peterson, who was only 45 yards away from the record. Peterson gained 7, 4, and then 0. The Vikings took their second timeout with 24 seconds left at the Green Bay 37. Walsh certainly had the leg for a 55 yarder, but there was still for more offense. Peterson got another carry, and gained 26 yards. The Vikings let the clock run down to 3 seconds. Peterson was 9 yards short of the record, but the purpose of football is to win games. Statistics were for the division rivals in Detroit who went 4-12. Peterson was carried off the field as Walsh came in for the 29 yarder to win it. If Walsh missed, Peterson could break the record in overtime. That is not what football is about.

Walsh nailed it, the home crowd went crazy, and Peterson celebrated making the playoffs along the rest of the stadium. Classy Green Bay players hugged Peterson after the game. Minnesota at 10-6 clinched the 6 seed and knocked Chicago out of the playoffs.  They also knocked Green Bay out of the 2 seed at 11-5, down to the 3 seed, costing the Packers the 1st round bye. Peterson came up 9 yards short, but won where it counted. This was a fine football game, and a rematch cannot come soon enough. Luckily for fans everywhere, the rematch will be next week in the wildcard round. This time the game moves from the Metrodome to the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field. 37-34 Vikings

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots–Miami is out of the playoffs and the 11-4 Patriots are currently the 3 seed. New England could fall to the 4 seed but if they win and Denver loses, they are the 2 seed. If Houston also loses, the Patriots could even snare the top seed. Before the game started, Baltimore had lost, meaning the Patriots were at worst the 3 seed.

New England moved from their 20 to a 4th and 6 at the Miami 24. There were swirling winds, and Stephen Gostkowski struggled with it in practice. So Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick went for it and Tom Brady threw incomplete. Midway through the first quarter Miami faced 3rd and 8 from their 25. Ryan Tannehill was intercepted and Gregory returned it 13 yards to the Miami 28. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 19 and Wes Welker for the 9 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Patriots.

New England got it back and on 2nd and 8 from their 10 Brady hit Wes Welker for 10, Danny Woodhead for 25, and Welker for 23. Vereen gained 9 and the Patriots began the second quarter with 2nd and 1 at the Miami 28. Vereen gained 5. On 3rd and 13 from the 26, Brady hit Branch for 16. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Woodhead only got half. Bellichick gambled on 4th and goal at the one and  Shawn Ridley got in to make it 14-0 Patriots. Miami moved from their 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Patriots 24 when 3 plays netted 0 yards. Nate Kaeding missed the 41 yard field goal.

New England faced 3rd and 1 from their 40 and Ridley gained 3. Woodhead gained 11 and caught a pass for 14. On 3rd and 4 from the Miami 24, Brady hit Welker for 9. On 3rd and 3 from the 8 Woodhead gained 6. Ridley got the 2 yard touchdown to make it 21-0 Patriots at halftime with a second half that offered nothing in terms of suspense. Miami missed one chance to score by fumbling at the goal line and saw a fumble return called back on review. Brady would throw a 23 yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski to end things.

Miami did have a losing season, but Joe Philbin seems to have the team playing hard despite the road loss today against a team on a mission. One year after a failed Hail Mary resulted in a Super Bowl loss, the Patriots had a 12-4 season. With Houston losing, New England snagged the 2 seed and a 1st round bye in the playoffs. They did not get home field throughout, but that has not stopped them before. The Evil Empire of Football is alive and well. 28-0 Patriots

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

Both of these teams are terrible, and both of them have fans who want their own coaches fired and the opposing coach to stay forever. Dennis Allen may be gone, while Norvelous Norv Turner, who saved his job by beating the Raiders in the finale last year, may be out of luck this time.

Before the game there was a hail storm. Buckets of the stuff came down and pelted people. The hail stopped before the game, but the field was a mess. By the end of the game it was raining hard. Yet the Raiders had one ray of hope. Captain Checkdown Matt Leinart would not be playing in place of injured Carson Palmer. After 2 years on the roster but very little playing tme, Terrell Pryor would finally get his chance.

Yet only 12 seconds into the game, the Chargers were on the board. Michael Spurlock took the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-0 Chargers. Oakland went 3 and out twice and the Chargers once, giving the Chargers the ball at their 29. Philip Rivers hit Eddie Royal for 11. On 3rd and 7 from the San Diego 44, Rivers went deep to Royal for a 31 yard gain with 15 more tacked on for roughing the passer. The Chargers got nothing more but Nick Novak hit from 30 to make it 10-0 Chargers.

After a touchback and a defensive penalty the Raiders faced 3rd and 2 from their 33. Pryor found Rod Streater for 10 and Brandon Myers for 17. Mike Goodson ran for 9 and Pryor hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for 4 as the Raiders began the second quarter at the Chargers 27. McFadden gained 8 and on 3rd and 2 Pryor gained 6. Then on 2nd and 14 from the 17, all hell broke loose. Pryor went to the end zone for Rod Streater and defensive pass interference should have meant 1st and goal at the one. Yet there was a scuffle after the play involving Mike Goodson and Take Spikes. Both men were twisting each other’s facemasks. Terrell Pryor actually showed smart leadership by pulling Goodson away. Yet the damage was done. Offsetting personal fouls meant the original defensive pass interference would be offset as well even though it was after the play and there were 2 penalties on the Chargers to only one for the Raiders. It got worse.

The officials ejected both Goodson and Spikes from the game. This was a severe overreaction by the refs. Neither man threw a punch or bumped an official. It was a scuffle, one that never gets players ejected. Both players were shocked and had to be restrained. The ejections were surprising and wrong, especially in the last game of the season, and even more especially with Spikes maybe on the verge of retirement. The game resumed. On 3rd and 6 from the 9, Pryor found Heyward-Bey for the touchdown as the Raiders were within 10-7 after the 12 play, 7 minute, 80 yard drive.

The Chargers got it back, went 3 and out, and set out to punt on 4th and 1 from their own 28. Norv Turner was coaching like it was his very last game because it was. A fake punt went to Eric Weddle, who gained 6. Rivers then hit Royal for 8 more. and consecutive offsides penalties led to 3rd and 3 at the Oakland 36. Rivers hit Antonio Gates for 4. Rivers hit Battle for 11 and 8 and Gates for the 11 yard touchdown. San Diego moved 14 plays and 81 yards, consuming 9 1/2 minutes off the clock to lead 17-7 with 3 minutes left in the half.

Both teams went 3 and out, but a 19 yard punt return by Denarius Moore with 15 more penalty yards tacked on gave the Raider 1st and 10 at their own 48 with 47 seconds left in the half and 0 timeouts. With 12 seconds left, the Raiders had 3rd and 1 at the Chargers 43. Sebastian Janikowski is the Polish Cannon, and 61 yards for him is doable. The Raiders ran one more play, and Pryor showed his inexperience. He rolled around the end for a 6 yard gain, but did not get out of bounds as the clock ran out and Seabass never got his chance. That mistake would loom large later on.

The Raiders began the third quarter and faced 3rd and 14 from their own 16. Pryor hit Streater for 15, but Streater fumbled and the Chargers recoverd. Yet roughing the passer gave the Raiders the ball where they would have had it anyway. On 3rd and 10 from their 31, Pryor went to myers for 22 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Chargers 41, Pryor gained 8. On 2nd and 5 from the 28, Pryor went to the end zone and was intercepted by Quentin Jammer for a touchback. Again the Raiders came away without points.

Both teams went 3 and out, and the perennial Pro Bowler Shane Lechler had a bad punt under miserable conditions. Lechler did not make the Pro Bowl this year. Nobody on the Raiders did. The 33 yard punt gave the Chargers a short field at the Oakland 47. Rivers hit Battle for 10 and then went deep to Alexander for a 34 yard touchdown as the Chargers led 24-7 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.

On the next series the Raiders went 3 and out, punted on 4th and 4, benefited from a running into the kicker penalty, and with their second chance went 3 and out again. The Raiders got it back with 13 minutes left in regulation and quickly faced 1st and 20 from their 14. On 3rd and 7 from their 27, Pryor found Streater for 14 and 15 and then ran for 9. On 3rd and 7 from the Chargers 41, Pryor went deep to Streater for a 38 yard gain. Pryor ran it in from 3 yards out as the Raiders were within 24-14 midway through the fourth quarter.

The Raiders went 3 and out and punted. San Diego took over with 3:16 left at their own 34 and it looked over. The Raiders had all their timeouts, and used them as the defense held. With 2:55 left the Chargers set up to punt, but the Raidersneeded 2 scores. Yet Mike Scifres has had this poblem in recent years, and the Raiders got to him again. He is also a Pro Bowl punter but this was not his day. The punt was blocked, and the Raiders took over at the Chargers 11. Pryor hit Moore for a 5 yard touchdown as the Raiders were only down 3 with 1:52 to play. It came down to the onsides kick. Despite the miserable weather, it was fielded cleanly by the Chargers to end it.

A lot of fun has been had with Norvelous Norv Turner, and with good reason. He is is great offensive coordinator and not a good head coach. Yet he is a good human being, so let’s thank him for the entertainment value. As for Dennis Allen, he will not be fired, which is a mistake. 24-21 Chargers

St Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks–Jeff Fisher has turned around the Rams, who are 7-7-1 and can get a winning record with a win. Pete Carroll has Seattle at 10-5 with 3 straight wins averaging 50 points, outscoring opponents 150-30. Seattle now is the 5 seed wildcard, but if they win and the 49ers lose, Seattle wins the division and gets the 3 seed. If Green Bay also loses, Seattle could vault to the 2 seed and a 1st round bye.

Both teams have very good defenses, and after a scoreless first quarter Seattle took over at the Rams 42 after a punt early in the second quarter. Marshawn Lynch gained 24 yards, which was enough for Steven Hauschka to hit a 43 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Seahawks. From their 24, Sam Bradford hit Kendricks for 8 and Stephen Jackson gained 14. On 3rd and 5 from the Seattle 41, a short pass from Bradford to Givens meant a 37 yard gain. Bradford hit Pettis for a 2 yard touchdown as the Rams led 7-3 with 6 minutes left in the half. On the last play of the half Greg Zuerlein would miss from 51 as the Rams failed to extend the lead.

Seattle began the third quarter facing 3rd and 2 from their 23. Russell Wilson went deep to McCoy for a 49 yard gain. Yet on 3r and 2 from the Rams 20, Wilson was sacked. Hauschka hit from 49 to get Seattle within 7-6. After a touchback, Jackson gained 3, 15, 5, and caught a pass for 4. On 3rd and 7 just past midfield, Bradford hit Pettis for just enough and Givens for 17. Zuerlein hit from 39 to make it 10-6 Rams. From the Seattle 35 Wilson hit Danny Baldwin for 12. On 3rd and 6 from just past midfield, Wilson hit Golden Tate for a 31 yard gain, Lynch for 8 more, and Robinson for the 10 yard touchdown to make it 13-10 Seahawks after three quarters.

A penalty on the Rams had Seattle kicking of from midfield. Pete Carroll tried an onsides kick that failed, giving the Rams the ball at their own 41. Pead gained 7, 7, and 1 and Bradford hit Gibson for 12 as the Rams began the fourth quarter at the Seattle 32. Bradford hit Gibson for 12 more and Pead gained 5. Bradford hit Kendricks for 10. On 3rd and goal from the 4, a critical false start killed the drive. Zuerlein hit the field goal to tie the game 13-13.

Seattle took over at their 10 with 5 minutes left in regulation. Lynch gained 8 and then fumbled, but Seattle was lucky to retain possession and gain 4 more yards. On 3rd and 5 from their 27, Wilson went deep to Tate for 44 yards. From the Rams 19, Wilson ran for 15 more. Wilson got the one yard touchdown as the Seahawks had the 7 point lead with 1:45 to play.

After a touchback, Bradford went deep and defensive pass interference meant 25 yards. On 4th and 5 from the Seattle 35 with one minute left, Bradford gained 6 and got out of bounds. 3 straight incompletions meant 4th and 10 from the 29 with 40 seconds to play. Bradofrd went to the end zone and was intercepted by Pettis. The loss dropped the Rams to 7-8-1, but Jeff Fisher clearly has the team improved. As for Pete Carroll, while this was not a blowout, it was a gutty win that go Seattle to 11-5. They fell short of the division by half a game, so they will not have a 1st round bye or even a home game. Yet they are in the playoffs, and as dangerous as anyone with the 5 seed. They will travel to either Dallas or Washington depending on the night game. 20-13 Seahawks


Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers–Arizona began 4-0 and then lost 9 of 10 while San Francisco got blasted last week in Seattle. Ken Whisenhunt may be fired, while Jim Harbaugh has his team now clinging to the 2 seed and a 1st round bye. If the 49ers lose and Green Bay wins, the 49ers drop to the 3 seed. If they lose and Seattle wins, the 49ers lose the division and tumble to the 5 seed.

Arizona took over at their 47 midway through the quarter and the quarterback for this game was not Kolb, Skelton, or Lindley. It was Hoyer, who hit Larry Fitzgerald for 15, Floyd for 7, and Roberts for 12. The drive died at the 16 but Jay Feely hit a 35 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cardinals. Arizona got it abck and moved from their 13 to 1st and 10 at the Frisco 15 as the first quarter ended. Yet the drive also ended and a 31 yard Feely field goal made it 6-0 Cardinals. Yet like the entire Arizona season, a promising start to this game washed away.

David Akers missed a 44 yard field goal, but midway through the second quarter the 49ers got it back at their 20. Colin Kaepernick shool off the tough start and rapidly hit Michael Crabtree for a 31 yard gain and again for a 49 yard touchdown to make it 7-6 49ers. The 49ers got it back and moved from their 22 to a 3rd and 2 at the Arizona 17. Yet a false start was followed by a 40 yard Akers field goal attempt with 30 seconds left in the half. Again, Akers was no good.

In the third quarter the 49ers moved from their 20 to a 4th and 7 at the Arizona 26. This time from 43, Akers was good and the 49ers led 10-6. Ted Ginn returned an Arizona punt 28 yards to the Cardinals 38. Kaepernick went deep to Walker for a 27 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 7 Kaepernick hit Crabtree for the score to make it 17-6 49ers.

The 49ers got it back at their 28 and Kaepernick moved them over 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 6 from the Arizona 36, Jim Harbaugh decided to go for it. Kaepernick hit Crabtree for 14 as the third quarter ended. Kaepernick began the fourth quarter hitting Frank Gore for 14. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Gore got in to make it 24-6 49ers. Arizona fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the 49ers took over at the Arizona 34. On 3rd and goal at the 3 Kaepernick lost 5 yards, but Akers hit from 26 as 27 unanswered points made it 27-6 49ers.

Arizona would face 4th and 24 from the Frisco 37, and somehow Hoyer was able to go deep to Floyd for the only Arizona touchdown at the 2 minute warning. Despite the defensive lapse, the 49ers finished 11-4-1 to win the NFC West. With Green Bay losing, the 49ers moved back up to the 2 seed they lost a week earlier. The 49ers get the 1st round bye while the Cardinals get a 7 month rest. They may also get a new coach, although everything is uncertain there. 27-13 49ers

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins is the Sunday night game. Last year in Week 17 with everything on the line, Dallas got belted by the Giants. This year the Cowboys can eliminate the Giants and Redskins with a win. The winner of this game wins the division and is in the playoffs with the 4 seed. If Dallas loses they are out. Washington can lose but still eke in as the 6 seed but several other teams would have to lose. This is pretty much do or die for both teams.

A strong punt return had Dallas facing 3rd and 8 at the Washington 25. Tony Romo was then intercepted. Washington moved from their 29 to a 3rd and 2 at the Dallas 19. Alfred Morris got nothing, and mike Shanahan went for the field goal. Kai Forbath doinked a 37 yard field goal off the upright no good. On 2nd and 5 from just past midfield, Romo was intercepted again.

Dallas began at their 11 and started the second quarter and quickly faced 3rd and 6 from their 26. Romo hit Harris for 25 yards. Felix Jones gained 9 and 4 and Romo found Dez Bryant for 20 yards. DeMarco Murray gained 5, 5, and 3 before losing 2. On 3rd and goal from the 9, Romo found Jason Witten for the score to make it 7-0 Cowboys with 8 minutes left in the half.

Washington soon faced 3rd and 7 at their 35. RGIII hot Paulsen for 8 and Morris gained 13 and 12. RGIII ran for 9, Royster added 6 more, and Morris raced around the end for the 17 yard touchdown to make it 7-7 at halftime. Dallas did have 4th and 9 at the Washington 34 with 45 seconds left in the half, but Jason Garrett opted to punt rather than go for it or try the 52 yard field goal.

Washington took over at their 18 with 8 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, Alfred Morris went crazy, gaining 1, 10, 5, 6, and 22 to the Dallas 38.RGIII hit Pierre Garcon for 18 and 13. RGIII ran it in from 10 yards out as the Redskins took a 14-7 lead with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. Dallas took over at their 26 and the fourth quarter began with the Cowboys facing 1st and 10 at the Washington 35. Murray ran for 5 but Romo threw incomplete twice. Bailey hit from 48 to get the Cowboys within 14-10 only 45 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Washington got it back at their 26 and RGIII ran for 17. On 2nd and 12 from their 42, RGIII hit Moss for 11. On 3rd and 1 from the Dallas 47, RGIII hit Garcon for 15. On the next play Morris broke free for a 32 yard touchdown as the Redskins had some breathing room up 21-10 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Dallas punted and Washington punted back. Harris returned the punt 39 yards, with a facemask tacked on. Dallas had gift field position at the Washington 16. On 3rd and 4 Romo hit Kevin Ogletree for the touchdown. Romo hit Harris for the 2 point conversion as Dallas trailed only 21-18  with 6 minutes left.

Dallas got it back at their own 15 with a chance to tie or win it. Romo hit Witten for 14. On the next play, with 3 minutes left, a screen pass was lobbed into the air and intercepted by Jackson. Washington took over at the Dallas 25 but the Cowboys still had all of their timeouts. Morris gained 10. The Cowboys took their last timeout as everything came down to 3rd and 7 from the Dallas 12 with 2:40 to play. Rather than run the clock down to the 2 minute warning, Mike Shanahan decided to be crazy and risk it all with a pass. RGIII threw incomplete and Dallas celebrated the clock stoppage and one more chance. They celebrated too early. A defensive penalty for roughing the passer killed the Cowboys. It was not that bad, but Hatcher did hit RGIII in the helmet. On 3rd and goal at the one with 1:15 left, Dallas desperately needed a stop. Morris got in for his 200th rushing yard and it was game, set, match, division crown, and playoffs.

Mike Shanahan saw his 3-6 Redskins win 7 straight to capture the NFC East for the first time since 1999. For the second year in a row, the Cowboys lost with everything on the line in the last week of the season on the road against a hated division rival. Jason Garrett will most likely keep his job, but with Jerry Jones, only he knows. The Redskins host a very tough Seattle team next week. 28-18 Redskins

eric

The Top 10 News Stories of 2012

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Top 10 News Stories of 2012

As 2013 approaches, let’s look back at the Top Ten News Stories of 2012.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/list-ten-those-top-ten-things-we-enjoy/2012/dec/29/top-10-news-stories-2012/

eric

NFL 2012 Week 17 Prequel

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

NFL 2012 Awards

Here are the NFL 2012 Awards and the Week 17 Prequel.


http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/narcotics-leatherheads-nfl-and-other-sports-storie/2012/dec/29/nfl-2012-awards-and-week-17-preview/

eric

More vapid than Barack Obama–The Top 10 Bimbos of 2012

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Top 10 Bimbos of 2012

Some people are more hollow than Barack Obama. Anybody with less substance than him deserves recognition. This brings the Top Ten Bimbos of 2012.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/list-ten-those-top-ten-things-we-enjoy/2012/dec/27/top-10-bimbos-2012/

eric

The Top 10 PBWGs of 2012

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

The Top 10 PBWGs of 2012

Powerful Bald White Guys run the world, bringing the list of the Top 10 PBWGs of 2012.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/list-ten-those-top-ten-things-we-enjoy/2012/dec/27/top-10-powerful-bald-white-guys-2012/

eric

NFL 2012-2013 Playoff Permutations and Combinations

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Here are the NFL 2012-2013 Playoff Permutations and Combinations


AFC:

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/narcotics-leatherheads-nfl-and-other-sports-storie/2012/dec/26/nfl-2012-afc-playoff-picture/

NFC:

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/narcotics-leatherheads-nfl-and-other-sports-storie/2012/dec/26/nfl-2012-nfc-playoff-picture/

eric

Christmas and Festivus 2012

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Festivus is like Kwaanzaa, only real. Happy Festivus to the rest of us!

To my Christian friends, while I do not know much about your faith, any religion centered around “love thy neighbor” is good with me. Christians tomorrow will not be flying planes into towers, but they will be spreading peace and love throughout the globe. Christians saved my family during the Holocaust. So to Christians globally, God bless you always and Merry Christmas!

A belated Happy Hanukkah to the Jews.

For the atheists, to quote comedian Anthony Clark, “I hope you win the lottery dude.”

eric

More Holiday Hate Mail

Monday, December 24th, 2012

In the spirit of Christmas, here is a special batch of my holiday hate mail.

“RICHARD NIX
WHIPKNIFE1@YAHOO.COM
ARE YOU GAY?”

Analysis: We all are. It’s Christmas. Don we now, our gay apparel! Get with the spirit!

“Robert Smith
smithrj1960@gmail.com
Are you for real? Thank the Constitution for freedom of speech eh?  Lets you freely spout such utter nonsense but if your side has their way that won't last long either.”

Analysis: A former Minnesota Vikings running back and the lead singer of the Spin Doctors are both named Robert Smith. whichever one this is, they have fallen on hard times. Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, indeed.

“Susan Buckner
slbuckner1@gmail.com
Did you go to school?”


Analysis: Yes, public school. That it explains why my lack of knowledge. Actually, you probably went to public school as well.

“Steve Kramer
Sakramer@yahoo.com
Such a short sighted view of history. Amazing from someone education in a Jewish school. You'd think you'd be more keen to protecting people from abuses by the wealthy elite. As long as its not you I guess. Why do unions for some work and not others, because lives are not at risk? What a flawed concept. Weren't lives lost in factories? Sad to see the defense of corporate America on the backs of the middle class. You should teach for two years in an inner city and then write on the subject.”

Analysis: My parents taught in the inner cities for thirty years. I know from what I speak, despite attending public school myself. Hebrew School provided some value.

“larry mcclemons
lrm826@yahoo.com
You wrote "firefighters and police officers are vital to society. Teachers are not."

It is commendable that you learned to read and write without help from any teachers.  But it is not surprising that you would denigrate the importance of education to a functioning democracy since conservatives more and more operate in a fact-free environment.

Not sure what you're so angry about, but I'm sure help is available to you.”

Analysis: I said public school teachers were not essential, and I stand by that. Privatize the schools and save lives. Better yet, home-school the kids.

“larry mcclemons
lrm826@yahoo.com
Do you still think teachers are over-valued and not "vital to society?"”
Analysis: This fellow seems to think that because of a tragic school shooting I should join the group of people praising public schoolteachers as mini-gods themselves. Wrong. Fire some schoolteachers and use that money to hire armed guards at the schools. The teachers will say no, proving it was never about the kids.

“Rick
rg7@hotmail.com

I understand that you have no basic education but your article concerning gun control shows how truly stupid you are.  Gun regulation is needed very badly in the US and if this event doesn't prove that to you, then you obviously do not care about the kids who died in Conneticut.   People like you are the reason these sort of mass shootings occur so often in America.  You have no legal understanding of the constitution or the law in general yet you believe that everyone deserves the absolute freedom of owning a gun and that is why we have so many crazy people with guns.  It is obvious to me that if your parents had not gotten you this job your uneducated fat ass would be shining my shoes for a living. PS the kid forced his way into the school and the principle died trying to push the kid out.  Might want to learn the true story before giving your uneducated opinion.


Analysis: All liberals wanting gun control should voluntarily turn in their guns. That way any political conflict in the future that cannot be resolved peaceably will be won by conservatives, who will have all the guns. Mentally unstable people should not have guns, which eliminates union members and most liberal commenters about gun control.”

“speechless
christian.antolik@gmail.com
so your precious football game is more important that 20 dead kids? you are the most pathetic person in the universe. i'm so sorry you had to change the channel for a few minutes and your mommy didn't tell you the specific number on the dial you had to turn to. pathetic. you are a child.”

Analysis: I love people who call themselves Christian yet act very un-Christian.They are almost always liberals. This fellow probably never got the memo about loving thy neighbor or civility. Also, people who use a screen name of speechless should by definition just stay that way.

“Peggy Harrington
PeggyHarrington@mac.com
I just read your piece regarding President Obama speaking at the same time as the NFL game last night.  My question is this: Did your mother drop you on your head when you were a child?”

Analysis: No Peggy, but do not ever pretend you contribute anything positive to anyone, anywhere in this world. Good people do not act like you. Merry Christmas.

“ron
rl2382790@gmail.com
Keep your racist comments to yourself you are a dick weed and u look like one to this was a tragedy and you is talking about George bush he is dead rite if the president was white u wouldn't have said shit just shut and be quite no one care about u or what u have to say dick weed”

Analysis: Bush is Christian, so I blame him for all the peace-loving Christians everywhere. When you see people feeding the poor, clothing the unclothed, sheltering the homeless, and other evil acts, blame Dubya and other Christian zealots.

Merry Christmas. These are liberals, even around the holidays. This is how they behave.

Lumps of coal for them all.

eric

NFL 2012 Week 16 Recap

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

NFL 2012 Week 16 Recap

The games that have zero playoff implications will be given short shrift so the world can focus on the games that matter. Fans of those teams getting shortened recaps should demand their teams play better. As John Randall says, “This is when the big dogs come out.”

Forty years ago today came a day that will live in football infamy. Steelers call it the “Immaculate Reception.” Raiders call it the “Immaculate Deception.”

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/narcotics-leatherheads-nfl-and-other-sports-storie/2012/dec/23/immaculate-reception-turns-40-nfl-2012-week-16-wra/

Now on to forty years later and the NFL 2012 Week 16 Recap

Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions is the Saturday night game. Because of Christmas Eve, this game is being played on Saturday night rather than Monday night. The Falcons at 12-2 are looking to lock up home field throughout the playoffs while the 4-10 Lions are just playing out the string. Yet Atlanta lost a couple weeks ago on the road to lowly Carolina, and Detroit does have some talent. This could be a stunning upset, especially with an angry Jim Schwartz seeing his team lose by 28 to lowly Arizona. Atlanta may have to guard against a letdown after blasting the defending New York Champions 41-0. Mike Smith keeps his guys focused.

Detroit showed right from the start why a promising season washed away with 6 straight losses. On the first play from scrimmage, Detroit burned a timeout 23 seconds in. On Detroit’s 2nd possession they faced 3rd and 2 from their own 18. Matthew Stafford went to Megatron Calvin Johnson, who has a serious chance to break the all time single season receiving yards record held by Jerry Rice. This time the pass to Johnson went for a 49 yard gain. He just does that. Yet on the next play from the Atlanta 33, Matt Leshoure fumbled and Atlanta took over. From their 31, Matt Ryan made it look easy, hitting Roddy White for 16 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Detroit 44, Ryan went deep to White for the touchdown and the 7-0 Falcons lead.

Detroit took over at their 20 with 6 minutes left in the first quarter, and Stafford moved the Lions to a 1st and 10 at the Atlanta 20. An 18 yard completion to Johnson moved them along, but the drive died at the red zone. Old Reliable Jason Hanson hit a 34 yard field goal as the Lions trailed 7-3 after the first quarter.

Atlanta began the second quarter with 2nd and 1 at their 29. A few plays later they faced 2nd and 19 from their 37. Ryan hit Jason Snelling for 12 and White for 7 on 3rd and 7. On 2nd and 5 from the Detroit 39, Ryan found White again, and White evaded all tacklers for another long touchdown to make it 14-3 Falcons. After an exchange of punts, Detroit faced 3rd and 3 from their 48. A short pass to Johnson was fumbled, and the Falcons took over at the Detroit 40 with 4 minutes left in the half.

Michael Turner gained 8 and 4, and on 3rd and 10 from the Detroit 28, Ryan hit Jaquez Rodgers for 11 at the 2 minute warning. Ryan went to the corner of the end zone for Julio Jones, and somehow Jones got one foot down and drug the other one with no margin for error. The electric 16 yard touchdown was the third of the game for Matty Ice as the Falcons were cruising 21-3.

Detroit took over at their 15 with 1:10 left in the half. Just before the half a completion to Johnson gave him the NFL record for most consecutive 100 yard receiving games with 8 and tied Michael Irvin for most in a season with 11. That record could be broken next week. The Lions did just enough for Hanson to hit a 38 yard field goal as the Lions trailed 21-6 at halftime.

Rather than break the game wide open in the second half, Atlanta went 3 and out, lost a yard, and punted. Detroit took over at their 40. Stafford hit Matthew Heller for 12 and Leshoure tacked on 9 and 3. On 3rd and 2 from the Atlanta 25, Stafford hit Johnson for 14. On 3rd and 4 from the 5, Stafford found Stephan Logan for just enough. Leshoure got the last yard as the Lions got to within 21-13 midway through the third quarter. Atlanta punted again and the Lions took over at their 15.

Stafford found Leshoure for 7 and Leshoure gained 5 more. On 3rd and 4 from their 33, Stafford found Johnson for 26 and again for 21 more, bringing within 5 yards of breaking the receiving record. The Lions began the fourth quarter with 1st and goal at the 6. On 3rd and goal at the 4, a designed quarterback draw only got half. On 4th and goal at the 2 only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, Jim Schwartz angered the crowd by opting for the field goal. Hanson hit the 20 yarder as the Lions trailed 21-16.

Atlanta took over and soon faced 3rd and 4 from their 28. One stop on defense would give Detroit a chance for the lead. Instead Ryan went to White for 15 and Jones for gains of 12 and 14. On 2nd and 17 from the Detroit 38, Ryan scrambled for 16. On 3rd and 1 Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for 9. On 2nd and 12 from the 15, Ryan found White for 14 and Palmer for the one yard touchdown as the Falcons got some breathing room up 28-16 midway through the fourth quarter.

On the first play from scrimmage after a touchback, Stafford went deep to Johnson. Perhaps it was an attempt to get the record out of the way, but Asante Samuel intercepted Stafford and the Falcons had a short field at the Detroit 42 looking to close out the game. Turner gained 22 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the 16, Detroit had no answers as Ryan hit Jones for 10. With 3:14 left left the Lions took their 1st timeout with the Falcons facing 3rd and goal at the 2. Ryan threw incomplete, stopping the clock. Mike Smith went for the field goal and Matt Bryant hit from 20. The Lions still clung to life as they took over at their own 20 with 3 minutes left.

On the first play from scrimmage Stafford hit Johnson for a 26 yard gain, and Megatron was in the record books. Stafford then threw 3 straight incompletions, although one of them was a perfect throw uncharacteristically dropped by Johnson. On 4th and 10 with 2:40 to play, Stafford found Tony Scheffler for 14 and Bell for 10 to the Atlanta 29 at the 2 minute warning. Stafford hit Scheffler for 18 and Bell for 9. Detroit took their 2nd timeout. Yet on 2nd and 1 from the 2, Stafford threw incomplete twice. On 4th and 1 from the 2, Stafford threw incomplete again and their would be no onsides kick try.

Yet in  very surprising turn of events, a handoff deep in the end zone never got out of the end zone as the Lions defense created a safety. Atlanta could have just ended the game, but instead the Lions would have life still needing a miracle. Down by 13, the final Lions blunder on the free kick killed them. Stephan Logan fielded it and must have thought he was in the end zone because he immediately went to one knee with nobody within 30 yards of him. He was actually at his own 4 yard line, where the Lions would begin with 80 seconds to play and only one timeout.

On 4th and 9 from their own 19, Stafford went deep to Johnson for another 21 yards as the Lions took their last timeout with 42 seconds left. In a game earlier this year down by 2 touchdowns with 20 seconds left, the Lions scored, got the onsides kick, and got the Hail Mary to score again. On 4th and 10 from midfield, Stafford hit Heller for 16 but the clock ran out. There would be no comeback.

Megatron got the record and now has a shot an unheard of 2,000 receiving yards next week. He only needs 108 yards, and the Lions will be at home against reeling Chicago. Stafford needs only 6 passes to break all the time mark for attempts in a season held by Drew Bledsoe. Stafford finished 37 for 56 for 443 yards, but with 0 touchdowns and one interception. Johnson caught 11 passes for a ridiculous 225 yards. Matt Ryan was lights out 25 of 32 for 279 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Detroit has now lost 7 straight to fall to 4-11. Atlanta at 13-2 locked up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. This Atlanta crew had the top NFC seed 2 years ago at 13-3 and lost at home. This current Falcons team has not won a playoff game, but the skeptics will be silenced if and when they do. 31-18 Falcons

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

This game has zero playoff implications. Carolina has won 2 straight to get to 5-9 while Oakland is 4-10. Both coaches may be fired at the end of the year. The Raiders lose most games by double digits and barely beat teams even worse than them. League rules require this game not be canceled.

Carolina punted, and the Raiders went to the bag of tricks at the outset. On 2nd and 9 from their 22, Terrell Pryor took the snap, and threw it across the field as a lateral to Carson Palmer, who then fired back across the field to Pryor, who gained 22 yards. Darren McFadden gained 2 and 7, but on 3rd and 1 from the Carolina 47, McFadden lost 5 yards and the Raiders punted.

Carolina faced 2nd and 13 from their own 9 when Cam Newton Hit LaFell for 12. On 3rd and 1 Mike Tolbert gained 7. Newton then scrambled for 29 yards. O 2nd and 22 from the Oakland 39, Newton hit Steve Smith for 16. On 3rd and 6 Newton went deep to Smith for the touchdown and the Panthers led 7-0.

After a touchback, Palmer hit Brandon Myers for 2 yards and Denarius Moore for 7 yards. Palmer was 3 for 3 for 31 yards. Yet on the next play the game was over. On 3rd and 1 from the 29, Palmer rolled out, and belted on a blind side hit. 2 guys got him in a high-low quarterback combo sandwich. The pass was incomplete. There was a personal foul for roughing the passer, and the Raiders had 1st and 10 at their 44. It did not matter. Palmer was out for the game, which meant the only thing that could make a 4-10 team worse was about to happen. Enter backup quarterback Captain Checkdown Matt Leinart.

The hope was he would not even raise his arm. Mike Goodson gained 7 and 1. So naturally on 3rd and 2 Dennis Allen called not just a pass play, but a Captain Checkdown West Coast Offense pass play. Leinart completed it Marcel Reece for a 2 yard loss. Carolina went 3 and out and the Raiders got it back at their 25, with unnecessary roughness moving the Raiders to their own 40. On 3rd and 12 Leinart hit Derrick Hagan for 19 and McFadden for 11. Yet on 3rd and 6 from the 7, another dink and dunk pass to Rod Streater meant a 4 yard gain. On 4th and 2 from the 3, Dennis Allen sent out Sebastian Janikowski. The 21 yarder had the Raiders down 7-3, but there was no hope even with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Newton moved Carolina from the 20 to the Oakland 30, but Graham Gano missed a  48 yarder. With 1:40 left in the half the Raiders were still down only 7-3 with 1st and 10 at their 38. Taking a knee might have been a good idea Leinart is so awful. He threw incomplete twice and then was intercepted by Keuchly, who returned it 25 yards to the Oakland 29. Newton hit Denagelo Williams for 22 and on 3rd and goal from the 3, Newton took it in himself just before the half as the Panthers now led 14-3. The second half was unwatchable and unnecessary.

The Raiders went 3 and out to start the third quarter when on 3rd and 9 from their 21 Leinart completed a pass for 0 yards. The Raiders got a break when Carolina fumbled a punt, giving Oakland the ball at the Carolina 32. Leinart completed a pass to Reece for a loss of 4 yards. This is Matt Leinart. Consecutive offensive penalties meant another Raiders punt that was not fumbled.

On the last play of the third quarter the Panthers faced 3rd and 12 from their own 7. Newton was intercepted by Burress, who returned it 7 yards as the Raiders began the fourth quarter at the Carolina 18. Could Matt Leinart do anything ever in his entire bust of a career? No. After McFadden gained 6, a false start and an incompletion meant 3rd and 9. Leinart threw incomplete again but was bailed out by unnecessary roughness. Now it was 1st and goal at the 8. Dennis Allen tried to do without Leinart. Terrell Pryor took a snap and completed a 5 yard pass to Reece. McFadden scored the 3 yard touchdown, but offensive holding meant 2nd and goal from the 13. Leinart threw incomplete twice although had he completed them it would have lost yards given his history. Seabass hit the 31 yarder and the Raiders were down 14-6 with much of the entire fourth quarter to play.

Oakland got it back at their own 26 and McFadden gained 13. Leinart then threw what may have been the deepest bomb of his career, a 19 yard completion to Reece. On 3rd and 9 from the Carolina 41, Leinart hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for 11. Yet on 3rd and 4 from the 24, Leinart threw incomplete. 5 1/2 minutes remained, and Dennis Allen decided to trust Leinart rather than Seabass and his defense. Leinart threw incomplete again.

Carolina took over at their 24 and Newton ran for 4 and 19 and hit Olsen for 20. The Raiders took all of their timeouts as Gano came in for a 51 yard field goal try. A miss would keep the Raiders alive. The kick was good and Oakland was done. Leinart finished a miserable 16 for 32 for 115 yards and one interception. The Panthers began 2-8 but have gone 4-1 since, fighting hard for Ron Rivera. The Raiders lost their umpteenth double digit game as Dennis Allen saw any semblance fall apart when Palmer went down. At 4-11, the Raiders need to be blown up and made from scratch. 17-6 Panthers

New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys–The Saints at 6-8 are virtually eliminated from contention but Drew Brees will not let his team just play out the string. They will give Dallas a hard time. The Cowboys have fought back to 8-6 and a 3 way tie for first place in the NFC Least. They could win the division or miss the playoffs altogether, and with Tony Romo one never knows. Jerry Jones may blow up his 1.2 billion dollar metropolis stadium if the Cowboys lose this one, and Jason Garrett never has job security because no Dallas coach does.

The Saints began facing 3rd and 7 from their 23 when Drew Brees hit Marquis COlston for 15 and Darren Sproles for 12 to midfield. On 3rd and 3 from the Dallas 43, Brees hit pierre Thomas for 13 and Colston for 12. A facemask on the defense was followed by a 9 yard Mark Ingram touchdown run to make it 7-0 Saints. The Saints got it back at their 9 and Brees led a 15 play, 8 minute drive that had the Saints beginning the second quarter with 3rd and 1 at the Dallas 18. Ingram got the carry and got nothing. The Saints played it safe on 4th and 1 but Garrett Hartley missed the 36 yard field goal.

It was a huge momentum swing as the Cowboys took over at their 26. From the 32, Tony Romo went to Dez Bryant for 10 and then went bombs away back to Bryant for a 58 yard touchdown. Rather than down 10-0, Dallas had tied it 7-7. Dallas got it back and faced 3rd and 9 from their 26. Romo hit Jason Witten for 12 and then a short pass to Bryant went for another 58 yard touchdown. This was not instant replay, as Dallas led 14-7 with 6 minutes left in the half.

With 5 1/2 minutes left in the half the Saints took over at their 10. Brees found Colston for 21 and Sproles gained 11. Brees hit Ingram for 7, Colston for 4, Thomas for 7, Colston for 8 at the 2 minute warning, and Ingram for 9. Brees threw incomplete on 3rd and 1 from the Dallas 23, but they went for it on 4th and 1. Brees hit Colston for 15, but further review the ball was ruled incomplete. Yet Dallas had jumped offsides anyway. Brees then went to Thomas for 16 and Lance Moore for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 14-14 with 1:16 left in the half.

Dallas went 3 and out and used only 15 seconds to do it. With 47 seconds left the Saints took over at their 30 with 2 timeouts. Brees found Sproles, who raced 44 yards. Shots to the end zone were incomplete, but Hartley hit from 37 to make it 17-14 Saints at halftime.

Dallas began the third quarter at their 24. From the 29 Romo hit Miles Austin for 16 and Kevin Ogletree for 12. Murray gained 9 but the drive stalled. Dan Bailey hit from 47 to tie the game 17-17.

A key play of the game happened with 4 1/2 minutes left and the Cowboy getting the ball back at their own 3 yard line. DeMarco Murray got the carry, and had it ripped out of his hands. His knee may have been down, but the officials ruled it a fumble. The Saints recovered at the Dallas 5 yard line. On 3rd and goal Brees fired to Thomas for the score as the Saints led 24-17.

The Saints got it back at their own 2 yard line and began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 2 from the 10. Thomas gained 6. On 3rd and 7 from the 19, Brees hit Graham for 16. On 3rd and 8 from their 37, Brees found Colston over the middle on a short pass and Colston raced for a 60 yard gain down to the Dallas 3. Brees hit Thomas for the score as the Saints had a 31-17 lead with 11 minutes left in the game.

After an exchange of punts, the Cowboys took over at their 20 with 4:45 to play. Romo hit Bryant for 8 and then went deep to Bryant again for a 41 yard gain. Romo then found Murray for 15 and Harris for the 16 yard touchdown as the Cowboys were only down 31-24 with 3 1/2 minutes to play. The Saints took over at their 15 and faced 2nd and 11 from their 26 at the 2 minute warning. Another short run meant Dallas taking their second timeout. Everything came down to 3rd and 10. Brees faded back with defenders in his face and found Colston right near the sticks.  A perfect tackle by Jenkins meant 4th and 1. Not only did Jenkins stop Colston, but he got him out of bounds to preserve the last timeout with 1:45 left. Joe Vitt decided to channel his inner Barry Switzer by going for it on 4th and 1 from his own 35. It was just an attempt to draw Dallas offsides.

The Saints punted, and Dwayne Harris returned the punt from his own 7 for a 28 yard gain to the Dallas 36 with 90 seconds to play. Romo found Murray for 22 yards at the sideline, hit Bryant for 4, and Witten for 19. Romo spiked the ball to stop the clock with 32 seconds left. On 2nd and 10 from the 19, Romo threw out of bounds incomplete. On 3rd down Romo overthrew Witten in the end zone. 4th and 10 came with 23 second left. Romo sent everyone to the end zone, and fired to the corner to Miles Austin. Yes Austin has been blamed for having previously dated a Kardashian, but this was redemption. He caught the touchdown as the Cowboys stormed back to tie the game 31-31. For the second straight week, Dallas was headed to overtime.

Both quarterbacks were magnificent in this game. Drew Brees was 37 of 53 for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns. Romo was 26 of 43 for 416 yards and 4 touchdowns. Neither quarterback was intercepted. Regardless of the outcome, it would not be blamed on either offense. Dallas began at their 20, but on 3rd and 5 from their 36, Romo threw incomplete. The Saints got it back at their 26 in a game that was now sudden death. Brees hit Graham for 22. On 3rd and 3 from the Dallas 41, Brees hit Graham for 7. Then on 2nd and 9 from the Dallas 33, things got bizarre. This was not the Immaculate Reception or the Holy Roller, but it was something.

Brees hit Colston over the middle for a 9 yard gain, but Colston fumbled the ball forward with one player on each team scrambling for it. Although it appeared Jimmy Graham recovered it at the 2 yard line for the Saints, Dallas was given the ball. Also, it was not clear whether Colston ever fully secured the ball. After a lengthy review, it was ruled a catch, a fumble, and a recovery by the Saints. The refs may not have gotten the catch right but they certainly got the recovery part right. Garret Hartley was immediately brought in for a 20 yarder to win it. He did. The Saints at 7-8 were eliminated from playoff contention due to other games. The Cowboys at 8-7 are in real danger. They are one game back of Washington, and these teams have a showdown next week in Washington. 34-31 Saints, OT

Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers–Sometimes a bad team goes on the road and shocks a good team. That will not be the case here. Tennessee is done while Green Bay at 10-4 has a shot at a first round bye but not home field throughout the playoffs. Mike McCarthy has made 2 very curious decisions this week. One is keeping kicker Mason Crosby. Crosby was part of their 2010 Super Bowl run, but he has been awful this year. Yet changing kickers this late in the season could be even riskier, and we will see if he is rewarded for his loyalty. Think Al Del Greco in Tennessee a decade ago. The other curious decision was benching center Jeff Saturday, who may retire after this season. Saturday should make the Hall of Fame, and a couple fumbled exchanges could put him back in the lineup in a heartbeat.

Tennessee went 3 and out twice and Green Bay began their second possession at their 44. Aaron Rodgers hit Williams for 8 and Greg Jennings for 9. Ryan Grant ran for 18 and 9, and Rodgers finished the drive with a 6 yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 Packers. Tennessee went 3 and out again and a short 31 yard punt had the Packers with a short field at the Titans 43. Rodgers hit Jones for 15, Jennings for 8, and Randall Cobb for the 20 yard touchdown as the Packers led easily 14-0.

Jake Locker was intercepted after that, but the Packers did not capitalize. Yet on 2nd and 20 from their 30, Locker was intercepted again, and Walden returned it 20 yards to the Tennessee 14. Yet despite beginning the second quarter with 2nd and 4 from the 8, Rodgers threw incomplete twice. Mason Crosby hit from 26 to make it 17-0 Packers. Tennessee moved from their 36 to a 3rd and 1 at the Packers 31. Johnson got nothing, Mike Munchak gambled on 4th and 1, and Locker threw incomplete. Green Bay moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Titans 37. Rodgers thew incomplete, Mike McCarthy gambled on 4th and 1, and Grant gained 2. That was enough for Crosby to hit a 48 yarder as the beleaguered kicker made it 20-0 Packers.

Green Bay held the ball for much of the second quarter, and despite a long drive from their own 3 to the Titans 38 not resulting in points, Green Bay began the third quarter at their 40 when the kickoff went out of bounds. An exhausted and overmatched Titans defense saw Rodgers hit Cobb for 31 and Finley for 13. Harris ran it in from 7 yards out to make it 27-0 Packers. The rest of the game was a Green Bay carpet-bombing by a team that looks every bit as good as last year’s 15-1 squad.

From their own 29, Rodgers hit Jones for 15 and 10 and Grant for a 34 yard gain to set up a one yard touchdown toss to Greg Jennings to put Green Bay up 34-0. The Packers took over at their 20 and Rodgers hit Jones for 27, Finley for 18, and Taylor for 11. The fourth quarter began with the Packers at the Titans 20. Rodgers hit Jennings for 8 and Jones for the 12 yard touchdown to make it 41-0 Packers. Tennessee punted again, and Ross returned it 58 yards to the Titans 7. One play was enough for Grant to run it in to make it 48-0 Packers.

After the Titans turned it over on downs in their own territory, Green Bay took over at the Tennessee 32. Rodgers was done for the day with 11 minutes left, and we now know his backup is Harrell. Harrell even completed a pass for 9 yards. Grant converted on 4th and 2 with a 3 yard run and then ran it in from 9 yards out to make it 55-0 Packers. Tennessee would finally avoid the shutout when Locker hit Kenny Britt for a 2 yard touchdown with 1:39 to play.

The Packers are 11-4 and clicking. They still have a shot at a first round bye but not home field throughout. Yet Mike McCarthy and the Packers 2 years ago went on the road and throttled top seed Atlanta on the way to winning it all. Atlanta does not want to hear this, but nobody wants to play Green Bay right now. They are still angry about last year’s collapse. This team has the potential to be a dynasty, and we will know very soon. 55-7 Packers

Minnesota Vikings @ Houston Texans–The overachieving Vikings at 8-6 have playoff hopes and Adrian Peterson is one of the feel-good stories of the year. Less than one year removed from a devastating knee injury, he has 1812 yards rushing. 2000 seems highly possible, but he is shooting to break Eric Dickerson’s 2105 yards. It is doable, but he is facing a buzzsaw defense run by Michelin Man Wade Phillips. Gary Kubiak has a 12-2 football team looking to lock up home field throughout the playoffs, and even Peterson should not be enough to stop them.

Houston began at their 21 and Matt Schaub immediately began firing, hitting Arriun Foster for 11 and Andre Johnson for 5 and 19. On 3rd and 11 from the Minnesota 45, Schaub threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 12 yards. Shane Graham hit a 51 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Texans. Minnestoa soon faced 1st and 15 from their 17 when Adrian Peterson began is quest with a 20 yard run. Christian Ponder hit Rudolph just before Christmas for a 27 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Houston 34, Ponder went to Jenkins for a 32 yard gain. The Christma spirit continued as Ponder and Rudolph delivered a touchdown connection of 3 yards for a 7-3 Vikings lead.

Houston has a stout defense, but on this day it was the Minnesota defense clamping down for much of the game. Early in the second quarter the Texans faced 2nd and 7 from the Minnesota 28. Foster gained 5 but fumbled, and the VIkings took over at their 21. On 3rd and 8 from the Houston 44, Ponder hit Simpson for just enough. Leslie Frazier brought out Walsh for a 56 yard field goal try midway through the second quarter. Given the nature of this game, it was highly risky. Walsh drilled it and the Vikings led 10-3.

With less than 2 minutes left in the half a 20 yard punt return by Sherels had the Vikings at the Houston 44. Ponder hit Wright for 21 yards. They got nothing else but Walsh hit from 41 as the Vikings led 13-3 at the half. Minnesota began the third quarter at their 27 and Peterson gained 21 yards. On 3rd and 10 Ponder hit Wright for 15 with unnecessary roughness adding 15 more. The drive again stalled but Walsh hit from 39 to make it 16-3 Vikings.

Minnesota got it back at their own 48 but Ponder was sacked and fumbled. Despite taking over at the Minnesota 45, Houston failed to capitalize. Yet Houston would get it back at their own 39 on the next series and Schaub hit Johnson for 19. Tate gained 13 and Schaub hit Johnson for 14 and Walter for 12 to set up 1st and goal at the one. Yet on 3rd and goal from the one, Schaub was sacked for a 14 yard loss. A disgusted Kubiak sent out Graham, who hit from 33 to get the Texans within 16-6 after three quarters.

The Minnesota defense just clamped down in the fourth quarter. A punt pinned the Texans at their own 1, and Minnesota got it back at their own 36. On 3rd and 2 Ponder scrambled for a 29 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Houston 21, Toby Gerhart got just enough. On 3rd and 6 from the 13, a defensive facemask was the final nail in the Houston coffin as Gerhart ran it in for a 3 yard touchdown to ice the game.

Houston is 12-3, but they have lost 2 of 3 and may have thrown away home field advantage throughout the playoffs as well. They can still get home field but they may miss out on a 1st round bye altogether. The Vikings have gutted their way to 9-6. They are still alive for a wildcard spot. Adrian Peterson only ran for 86 yards on 25 carries to put him at 1,898 yards on the year. 102 yards next week gets him to 2,000 but he will need 208 yards next week to break the all time 2,105 mark held by Eric Dickerson. Those who truly understand sports should know that winning the game is more important. 23-6 Vikings

New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars–The Patriots are among the best teams and the Jaguars are among the worst. Could this be an upset? No. The Patriots are angry from a loss last week and at 10-4 see their chances of a 1st round bye slipping away. Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick and Tom Brady may win this 100-0.

Jacksonville took over at their 22 to start the game and Chad Henne hit Justin Blackmon for 18 yards. On 3rd and 3 from their 47 Henne hit Christ Shorts for 10. Owens gained 14 and caught a pass for 12. Henne then found Mercedes Lewis for 9 and Blackmon for the 3 yard touchdown as it was the Jaguars that took the 7-0 lead. Yet Tom Brady was then intercepted, giving the Jaguars the ball at their own 47. Owens gained 5 and 11 and the Jaguars kicked a 41 yard Josh Scobee field goal as they led 10-0. Maybe they would win 100-0. No.

Tom Brady quickly led the Patriots with a 32 yard completion to Hoomanawanui as New England reached 2nd and goal at the Jacksonville 7. Yet Brady then threw incomplete twice and the Patriots settled for a 25 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to trail 10-3. Jacksonville took over at their 34 and Henne hit Shipley for a 36 yard gain. Yet Scobee missed a 43 yard field goal. On the next series from their 45, Brady was intercepted and Jacksonville took over at their 26. On the last play of the first quarter, Henne found Owens for a 53 yard gain. They got little else and this time Scobee hit from 35 to make it 13-3 Jaguars.

After an exchange of punts New England finally got going again. On 3rd and 4 from their 24, Brady found Hernandez for 13, Deon Branch for a pair of 6 yard gains, and Danny Woodhead for 24 yards. The drive stalled at that point but Gostkowski kicked a 49 yarder to have the Patriots within 13-6.

New England got it back at their 34 with 4 minutes left in the half and faced 3rd and 1 at their 43 with 3 minutes left. Ridley gained 2 and New England was at midfield at the 2 minute warning. Brady hit Wes Welker for gains of 8, 11, and 8, Brandon Lloyd for 8, and Woodhead for the 14 yard touchdown only seconds before the half to tie the game 13-13. Brady had 162 yards passing and Henne 210, and that was only in the first half.

New England began the third quarter at their 20 and Brady hit Lloyd for 9, 16 and 14 to the Jags 35. Ridley gained 12, but on 3rd and 7 from the Jags 20, Brady threw incomplete. Gostkowski hit from 38 to make it 16-13 Patriots. After an exchange of punts the Jaguars faced 2nd and 12 from midfield. Henne was intercepted by Cole, and the Patriots took over at their 40. They did not capitalize, but began the next series at their 41. Ridley gained 5 and Walker took an end around for 9 more. Brady found Welker for a 25 yard gain and Lloyd for 8 more. The fourth quarter began with 3rd and goal at the 2. Brady found Welker open in the flat for the score and 20 unanswered points had New England up 23-13.

After a touchback Henne scrambled for 15. On 3rd and 5 from their 40, Henne hit Blackmon for 18. On 3rd and 2 from the Patriots 34, Henne hit Owens for 3. Yet on 3rd and 3 from the 24 Henne threw incomplete. Scobee hit from 42 and the pesky Jaguars were only down 23-16 with 8 1/2 minutes to play.

New England went 3 and out and Jacksonville took over at their 34 midway through the fourth quarter.

Henne hit Blackmon for 9 and 17, Shipley for 5, Shorts for 18, and Owens for 9. A 5 yard completion to Blackmon set up 2nd and goal from the one with 4:45 left. One yard meant a tie game. Yet 2-12 teams are 2-12 for a reason. Jones got the carry and got nothing. On 3rd and goal, a false start was followed by a sack of Henne. On 4th and goal from the 10, Henne was intercepted by Patrick Chung with 3:15 to play.

The Patriots took over at their 14, and on 3rd and 4 Brady hit Hoomanawanui for a critical 14 yard gain and a first down at the 2 minute warning. The Jaguars took their last timeout with 1:43 to play and the Patriots facing 3rd and 7 from their 37. Brady was sacked, and the Jaguars had one last chance from their own 38 with 54 seconds left. Unnecessary roughness on the defense meant 1st and 10 at the Patriots 47. 3 straight incompletions set up 4th and 10 with 39 seconds to go. Henne hit Clemons for 17, spiked the ball, hit Shipley for 18, and spiked the ball with 8 seconds left to stop the clock. After an incompletion, it all came down to 3rd and 10 from the 12 with 5 seconds to play. Henne went to the end zone and was again intercepted by Patrick Chung.

It was ugly, but the Patriots got the win to get to 11-4. They are still on the outside looking in for the 1st round bye, and their fans will complain about barely beating the worst team one week after a humiliating home loss. Yet at 2-13 Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is looking to bring Tim Tebow home. Either that, or they can move the entire team to where Tebow lives now. They have to do something, although they still have a 50/50 chance at the top pick in the draft. 23-16 Patriots

Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs–Last year it was the Colts at 2-14 and now Bruce Arians has them at 9-5 and all but in the playoffs as Andrew Luck and company rally around Chuck Pagano. The Chiefs have fallen to 2-12 and tied for the worst record in the league. Romeo Crennel might be out the door, but getting him a quarterback would help this team. It sure helped Indy.

Indy began going 3 and out and the Chiefs soon faced 3rd and 11 from their 28. Brady Quinn aimed in the direction of Dexter McCluster, but it was a McClusterf*ck as Butler stepped in and intercepted it. Butler raced 32 yards the other way for a touchdown and a 7-0 Colts lead. After a touchback, Quinn rebounded by going deep to Jonathan Baldwin for a 57 yard gain. That was enough for Ryan Succop to hit a 47 yard field goal to get the Chiefs within 7-3.

The Colts began the second quarter facing 3rd and 4 from their 39. Luck went deep to Avery for a 28 yard gain. That was just enough for Adam Vinatieri to hit a 48 yarder as the Colts led 10-3. Each team reached the opponents 42 before punting, and the Chiefs moved from their 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Indy 16 with 1:10 left in the half. Jamal Charles got the carry and fumbled, giving the Colts the ball at their 22. Andrew Luck went to TY Hilton for 23 yards and Moore for 32 more. The drive stalled but Vinatieri hit from 36 to make it 13-3 Colts at halftime.

The game changed in the second half on the first play from scrimmage. From the Chiefs 14, Jamal Charles got around the end and raced for an 86 yard touchdown as a fired up home crowd saw the Chiefs only down 13-10. The Colts then went 3 and out and the Chiefs took over at their 13. Quinn hit McCluster for 9, Charles gained 33, and McCluster added 10 more. Yet on 1st and 10 from the Indy 14, Quinn was intercepted in the end zone. The Chiefs got it back at their 19 and soon faced 3rd and 3 from their 46. Quinn was intercepted again, but defensive pass interference meant a 24 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Indy 22, Quinn was sacked. Succop hit from 47 to tie it 13-13.

The Chiefs began the fourth quarter at their 27 and moved to a 3rd and 1 at the Clts 27. Peyton Hillis got stopped, and with the game tied Romeo Crennel decided to go for it rather than try a 45 yard field goal with a solid kicker. Quinn took the quarterback sneak and got nothing as the game stayed tied with 10 minutes left in regulation.

On 3rd and 4, Luck hit Hilton for 11 and Reggie Wayne for 18. Ballard ran for 11 and Luck went back to Wayne for 12 more. On 3rd and goal from the 7, Luck found Wayne for the touchdown as the Colts had the 7 point lead with 4 minutes left after the 13 play, 6 minute, 73 yard drive. The Chiefs would have one last chance from their own 10 yard line. On 4th and 10 with 2:40 to play, Romeo Crennel decided to punt and trust his defense, rather than give the game away like his old boss Bellichick. With 2:20 left, it all came down to the Colts facing 3rd and 10 at their 37 and the Chiefs out of timeouts. 2-12 teams are 2-12 for a reason. Ballard took an end around 13 yards . He stayed inbounds down to the 2 minute warning and that was it.

The Chiefs at 2-12 have a 50/50 shot at the top pick in the draft while the Colts, only one year removed from 2-14 themselves, are now 10-5 and in the playoffs. Chuck Pagano is back, and Bruce Arians may be the coach of the year despite not being the head coach. Luck has already topped 4,000 yards and set the rookie passing record. Peyton Manning only had about 3,900 yards. Luck could lead a 9 game turnaround. Manning engineered a 10 win turnaround, but that was in his second season after starting 3-13. That is the past. The Colts have locked up a wildcard spot. 20-13 Colts

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins–Neither of these teams are going to the playoffs, and Jim Kelly and Dan Marino are not coming out of retirement. It could be a close game, but not a meaningful one. Chan Gailey and his sinister looking beard may be fired after the season, while Joe Philbin is only in his first season.

Miami moved from their 20 to a 1st and 10 t the Buffalo 28. 3 more plays gained 0 yards and a 46 yard Nate Kaeding field goal try was blocked. Buffalo moved from their 37 to Miami 25 when Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Stevie St Johnson for 8. St Johnson fumble the ball away. The Dolphins got it back at their 38, Despite having dated a Kardashian, Reggie Bush was determined to prove he could play football. He ran for 9 and Miller added 10. On 3rd and 6 from the Buffalo 39, Ryan Tannehill hit Brad Hartline for 10. On 3rd and 1 from the 20 Bush ran for 3 and caught a short pass from Tannehill that turned into a 17 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Dolphins lead.
Buffalo took over at their 11 in the second quarter. CJ Spiller ran for 4 and then broke off a 62 yard run. Yet Buffalo got nothing else and settled for a 42 yard Ryan Lindell field goal and a 7-3 deficit.

This game was as hideous as expected, and with 2:22 left in the half the Dolphins were at their 37. Tannehill hit Ryan Matthews for a 30 yard gain and then ran for 31 more yards. Bush ran it in from the one to make it 14-3 Dolphin at halftime. League ruled required the second half be played. In the third quarter from their 31 Buffalo fumbled and the Dolphins took over at their 36. Miller raced for 28 yards and Bush gained 8 and 3 on 3rd and 2. On 3rd and 5 from the 20, Tannehill hit Binns for 6. On 3rd and 8 from the 12 Tannehill hit Bush, who again made it to the end zone for another score as the Dolphins led 21-3. On 3rd and 7 from their own 35, Buffalo fumbled again, and Miami recovered at the Bills 29. They went nowhere but Kaeding hit from 45 to make it 24-3 Dolphins after three quarters.

Fitzpatrick would throw a 2 yard touchdown pass to brad Smith with 9 minutes left, but that was it for both teams. Buffalo got it back with 6 minutes left and moved from their own 15 to a 1st and goal at the one with 1:20 to play. Fitzpatrick was intercepted and the Bills at 5-10 long ago extended their NFL leading streak of seasons out of the playoffs at 13. Their last playoff game in 1999 was the home run throwback Adelphia Music City Miracle loss. Joe Philbin has quietly gotten the Dolphins to 7-8 with the win, giving them something to build on for next year. 24-10 Dolphins

San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets–Norvelous Norv Turner is definitely gone, while Rex Ryan finally benched butt-fumbling quarterback Mark Sanchez. Ryan may be back next year, although the bravado from a couple years ago is gone. Both of these rosters will be blown up at the end of the season. Even the Jets mascot Fireman Ed gave up, and the San Diego Chicken is tired of seeing his team play like Christmas turkeys. Tim Tebow is single again, and Eva Longoria may show interest in Sanchez does not play better or hold the clipboard without fumbling it.

Third string quarterback Greg McElroy got his first NFL start rather than Sanchez or Tebow. The Jets went 3 and out and Michael Spurolck returned the punt 63 yards for a touchdown as the Chargers led 7-0 less than 2 minutes into the game. Gang Green got it back at their 17 and McElroy hit Shone Greene for 30. A wildcat snap went to Justin Kerley, who went deep to Gates for a 42 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the 8, McElroy gained just enough and Greene got the last yard to tie it 7-7.

The Jets got it back at their 42 and Greene gained 12. McKnight gained 7 and McElroy hit Braylon Edwards for 13. On 3rd and 7 from the 23, defensive pass interference set up Greene for the one yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Jets. In the second quarter the Chargers moved from their 17 to a 3rd and 1 at the Jets 33. Battle lost a yard, but Norv Turner gambled on 4th and 2 and Philip Rivers hit Alexander for 18 yards. At that point San Diego went backward as 1st and 30 became 4th and 22. A field goal was good, nullified again, and on 4th and 27 Nick Novak from 51 hit it good again to get the Chargers within 14-10.

The Chargers began the third quarter at their 19 and Rivers hit Eddie Royal for 13 and Alexander for 14. On 3rd and 6 from midfield Rivers hit Gates for 10. On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 37, Rivers went deep to Alexander for the touchdown as the Chargers led 17-14. With 3 minutes left in the third quarter Spurlock burned the Jets again, returning a punt 21 yards to the Jets 38. On 3rd and 17 Rivers threw incomplete, but defensive holding killed the Jets. Rivers threw a 34 yard touchdown to Antonio Gates as the Chargers led 24-14.

3 plays later, on 3rd and 10 from their 33, McElroy was intercepted, as the Chargers began the fourth quarter at the Jets 19. The defense held, but Novak hit a 37 yarder to make it 27-14 Chargers. McKnight returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards to the Jets 40. McElroy hit Edwards for 10 and Chaz Schilens for 24. The drive stalled, and on 4th and 8 Rex Ryan opted for the field goal. Nick Folk was good from 40 and the Jets were down 10 with 11 minutes to play.

The Jets got it back at their 15 with 6 1/2 minutes left. 90 seconds later, on 2nd and 10 from their 42, McElroy was sacked and fumbled. The last Jets drive ended in their own territory with another sack of McElroy. Both of these teams are underachieving losers, but the Chargers play hard for Norv Turner once it is way too late. That is still more than the Jets did at home for Rex Ryan. 27-17 Chargers

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles–Walrus Lite Andy Reid will be gone after 14 years, proving once again the Eagles want to perpetually suck rather than give a good coach time to turn things around. Washington has been revitalized with RGIII and Kirk Cousins backing him up, as 5 straight wins have the Redskins at 8-6 in 3 way tie for the division lead.

The Eagles began at their own 24 and soon faced 3rd and 1 from their own 46. Pass-Happy Andy Reid actually called a run, and Brown got stopped. With nothing to play for but pride, Reid gambled on 4th and 1 in his own territory. Nick Foles hit Captain Morgan brent Celek for a 15 yard gain. On 4th and 1 from the Washington 30, Reid went for it again. Foles got 3 yards himself and then went deep to Jeremy Maclin for a 27 yard touchdown as the Eagles led 7-0. Washington moved from their 9 to a 4th and 2 at the Philly 35. Mike Shanahan decided to go for it but RGIII threw incomplete. Philly moved to a 1st and 10 at the Washington 23, but on 3rd and 15 Foles was sacked and fumbled. Washington took over at their 41 as the second quarter began. RGIII quickly hit Morris for 17 yards and on 3rd and 2 Eddie Royster gained 7. That was enough for Kai Forbath to hit a 45 yard field goal to get Washington within 7-3.

Philly went 3 and out and Washington took over at their own 47. RGIII went deep to Pierre Garcon for a 27 yard gain. That was enough for Forbath to hit from 42 to get Washington within 7-6. Only 2 plays later Philly faced 3rd and 12 from their 20. Foles was intercepted by London Fletcher, and the Redskins took over at the Eagles 25. On 3rd and 2, Morris gained 4. RGIII hit Morgan for the 11 yard touchdown as the Redskins led 13-7 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.

After a touchback, Foles hit Avant for 16, McCoy for 15 more, and Johnson and Maclin for 12 yard gains apiece. On 3rd and 5 from the Washington 20, Foles hit Alexander for 8. Yet offensive holding then killed the drive and the Eagles settled for a 38 yard Alex Henery field goal and a 13-10 halftime deficit.

RGIII went right to work in the third quarter from the Washington 28, going deep to Garcon for 29 yards. Morros gained 9 and 3, RGIII hit Paul for 21, and Morris finished with a 10 yard touchdown run to make it 20-10 Redskins. After a touchback, Foles went deep to Maclin for a 38 yard gain and Riley Cooper for 18 more. Yet on 2nd and 9 from the 12, Foles was sacked. Henery hit from 30 as the Eagles trailed 20-13.

Washington punted, and the Eagles faced a critical 4th and 2 at the the Washington 47 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Andy Reid decided to go for it and Foles was sacked. From midfield, Morris ran for 5, 10, and 6, with Royster tacking on 7. On 3rd and 10 from the Philly 22, Griffin went deep to Santana Moss for the touchdown. The Eagles were kicking field goals while the Redskins were scoring touchdowns, which is why Washington led 27-13 after three quarters.

The Redskins faced a 2nd and 9 at their 42 looking to put the game away when RGIII was intercepted by Anderson. The Eagles took over at their 39 with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. On 3rd and 7 Foles hit Johnson for 10, Avant for 10 more, and McCoy for 21 yards. Lewis raced for the 17 yard touchdown as the Eagles were only down by 7 with 9 minutes left. Washington moved from their 20 to a 4th and 1 at the Philly 43 with 4 1/2 minutes left. Mike Shanahan decided to go for it, but a critical delay of game penalty forced a punt. The Eagles began their last gasp at their own 15.

Foles hit Maclin for 18, and on 3rd and 1 from their 45, McCoy gained 6 at the 2 minute warning. Foles dinked and dunked, hitting Maclin for 6, and McCoy for 7 and 3. With 43 seconds left, on 3rd and 4 from the Washington 30, Foles gained 5 as the Eagles took their second timeout with 37 seconds left. Foles hit McCoy for 8 and the Eagles took their last timeout with 28 seconds left. On 2nd and 2, Maclin threw incomplete twice. On 4th and 2 from the 17 with 23 seconds left, Foles scrambled all around for his life before just heaving it nowhere as he got belted. Intentional grounding was the last insult to injury.

The Redskins won their 6th straight game to get to 9-6. They led Dallas by one game with the Giants playing later that night. Washington could win the division or miss the playoffs altogether. Andy Reid may have coached his last Eagles home game after 14 years. His players fought literally to the final play, but as they have so many times this season, come up just short. 27-20 Redskins

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers–Despite being 8-6, nobody should respect the Bengals. They are 0-6 against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Pittsburgh is only 7-7, and the Steelers are saying all the right things. We all know better. The only way to calm the doubters is for the Bengals to win this game with everything on the line. They rode a soft schedule, and despite talent on offense, will most likely again lose to Pittsburgh.

Each team punted twice and the Steelers began their 3rd possession facing 3rd and 4 from their 13. It was definitely not an immaculate moment when Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to Leon Hall, who play defense for the Bengals. Hall trotted 17 yards the other way for the interception touchdown and the 7-0 Bengals lead.

Pittsburgh got it back after a touchback and Big Ben led an 8 minute drive that came to a critical 3rd and 1 from the Cincinnati 6. Roethlisberger threw incomplete and Mike Tomlin decided not to gamble on 4th and 1. The crowd was upset, and even more angry when Shawn Suisham somehow missed a 24 yard field goal.

A field possession game had the Bengals taking over at the Steelers 42 with 4 minutes left in the half. On 2nd and 15 Red Rifle Andy Dalton Brandon Tate for 23 yards. That was enough for Josh Brown to hit a 41 yard field goal as the Bengals had the stunning 10-0 lead just past the 2 minute warning. Yet at that point the Bengals relaxed a bit. From the Pittsburgh 27, Big Ben hit Brown for 13 and then went deep to Brown for a 60 yard touchdown as the Steelers only trailed 10-7 at the half.

The second half was a slugfest, yet this was not a Pittsburgh-Baltimore game. Cincinnati brought the lumber, determined to finally get respect. Although COncy was 8-6 and Pittsburgh 7-7, everybody expected Pittsburgh to just thrash Cincinnati like they always do. After a punt in the third quarter, the Bengals took over at their own 20. On 3rd and 1 Pittsburgh jumped offsides. On 3rd and 14 from the Pittsburgh 46, Dalton hit Gresham for 25. Yet on 2nd and 7 from the 18, a critical intentional grounding on Dalton set up 4th and 22 from the 33. Marvin Lewis decided against the 51 yard field goal, and Dalton threw a Hail Mary incomplete. Pittsburgh moved to a 1st and 10 at the Cincy 11. Yet Dwyer lost 3 and Big Ben was sacked for another 8 yards in the wrong direction. Suisham did hit the 40 yard field goal as the game was deadlocked 10-10 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter began with a 28 yard defensive pass interference penalty giving the Bengals 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 42. Dalton then hit AJ Green for 12, but he fumbled the ball away. On their next series facing 3rd and 17 from their 47, Dalton was intercepted. Cincinnati got it back and faced 3rd and 9 from their 11 with 6:45 to play when Dalton hit Gresham for 12 and Green for 15 and 21. On 4th and 11 from the Pittsburgh 38 with 3 1/2 minutes left in regulation, both coaches made bold, and some would say, insane decisions.

The entire season was on the line for both teams. Yet in a defensive slobberknocker, Marvin Lewis opted to try a 56 yard field goal rather than punt and play defense. Josh Brown was no good, and Pittsburgh took over at their 42. At the 2 minute warning, the Steelers faced 3rd and 8 at the Cincy 40. Big Ben only got 4 yards, and the Bengals took their second timeout with 1:51 to play. Now it was Mike Tomlin deciding on a 53 yard field goal. He rolled the dice on the season as well, and Suisham also missed with a kick that was just short. Now the Bengals had it at their 43 with 1:47 left. Yet on 2nd and 1, a pair of attempts failed to get the yard. On 4th and 1 from the Pittsburgh 48 with 52 seconds left, this time Marvin Lewis took no chances.

Pittsburgh took over at their own 11 with 44 seconds left. Overtime made sense. Yet Tomlin again got aggressive, and Roethlisberger hit Ian Redman for 13 with 5 more penalty yards tacked on. With 24 seconds left, on 2nd and 5 from their 29, disaster struck. For the second straight week, Big Ben was intercepted when it mattered most. Nelson returned it 10 yards to the Pittsburgh 46 with 14 seconds left. Dalton found Green for a 25 yard gain. With 8 seconds left, Brown came in for a 43 yarder with a hostile crowd in his face. Cincinnati never beats Pittsburgh or Baltimore, especially not on the road. That is why nobody respects them. They are a fraud.

Not this time. Brown was good, and the only thing quieter than the doubters was the Pittsburgh crowd. With 3 seconds left from their own 28, their would be no Immaculate Reception II. Big Ben hit Redman for 22 to midfield, but the lateral went straight to defender Terrence Newman, who smartly went to the ground. The Bengals are 9-6 and in the playoffs. The Steelers are 7-8 and out of them. Marvin Lewis told his players that he kept gambling because he believed in his players. Mike Tomlin was gracious in defeat as always. Respect is earned. The Bengals earned it. They even have an outside chance at winning the division. 13-10 Bengals

St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Yes this was the NFC Title Game during the 1999 season, but these teams fell on hard times and are now on the upswing. Both Jeff Fisher and Greg Schiano specialize in defense. While these teams are both eliminated from playoff contention, there is plenty to build on for next year.

Tampa Bay is a long way from the hideous “Buc Ball” that won it all a decade ago as they came in having four straight losses. Yet Buc Ball returned on the first drive as the Buccaneers moved from their 20 on a 15 play drive that consumed over 9 1/2 minutes. on 1st and goal from the 7, a false start and a sack of Josh Freeman meant a 29 yard Connor Barth field goal and a 3-0 Bucs lead.

Things got bizarre for the Rams from their 20. Sam Bradford found Danny Amendola for 3 yards. Amendola fumbled it and the Buccaneers had a gift when Johnson recovered it at the Rams 17. Yet Johnson fumbled it back on the return and when all was said and done the Rams had it back 1st and 10 at their 5. They moved to a 1st and 10 at the Tampa 31 to start the second quarter, but Bradford was then intercepted for a touchback. The Buccaneers soon faced 3rd and 15 from their 25 when Freeman was intercepted by Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins returned it 41 yards for a touchdown as the Rams led 7-3. Freeman would lead another long 11 play, 6 minute drive from the Tampa 20 to a 2nd and 3 at the Rams 31. A pair of incompletions meant a 49 yard Barth field goal as the Bucs still trailed 7-6 with 5 minutes left in the half.

With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half from just past midfield, Freeman was intercepted for the second time by Laurinitis, as the Rams took over at their 35. Stephen Jackson ran for 12 and 2 and Bradford hit Kendricks for 19. On 3rd and 10 from the Tampa 32, Bradford found Gibson for 13 and Kendricks for 13 more. Jackson ran it in for the 5 yard touchdown just before the half to make it 14-6 Rams. On the fits play from scrimmage after a touchback to start the second half, Bradford went deep to Kendricks for an 80 yard touchdown as 2 scores in less than one minute broke open a close game and made it 21-6 Rams.

3 plays later the Bucs faced 3rd and 4 from their 26. Freeman was intercepted for the third time, this time by Johnson. The Rams took over at the Tampa 30. Richardson gained 6 and 1 and on 3rd and 3 Bradford found Amendola for 8 and Givens for 11. A 5 yard touchdown to Pettis made it 28-6 Rams only 4 minutes into the second half. After a touchback Tampa faced 3rd and 2 from their 39. A short pass from Freeman to Mike Williams went for a 61 yard touchdown. The Buccaneers were back within 15 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Yet the final 24 minutes would yield nothing except Freeman’s fourth interception.

Tampa Bay would move from their 31 to a 3rd and 1 at the Rams 5 late in the third quarter. Freeman threw incomplete and on 4th and 1 got stopped on the quarterback keeper. The Bucs began the fourth quarter again at their 31 and moved to a 1st and goal at the 7. 3 straight incompletions was followed on 4th and goal but a short pass that only gained 4 yards. West Coast Offense anyone? Freeman threw his last interception on their next series and the one after moved from their 13 to a 2nd and 5 at the Rams 24. A pair of incompletions followed by a sack of Freeman officially ended things. The Bucs have lost 5 straight to fall to 6-9. The Rams are not in the playoffs, but are 7-7-1 with a chance at a winning season. Jeff Fisher clearly has them on the upswing with a tough defense and an improving offense. 28-13 Rams

Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos–The Browns have been fighting hard for Fritz Shurmur, but he may be gone anyway after another losing season. Denver is rolling as Peyton Manning has led them to 9 straight wins. Denver is on pace for a 1st round bye and has an outside shot at home field throughout the playoffs. This could be a blowout.

Denver made it look easy from the start at their 20. Knowshon Moreno gained 8 and Peyton Manning hit Brandon Stokley for 5 and Thomas for 23 and 12. On 3rd and 4 from the Cleveland 22, Manning went to Thomas for the touchdown as Denver led 7-0 in a game that was never in doubt. Brandon Weeden would move the Browns from their 28 to a 1st and goal at the Denver 8. Yet a false start hurt the Browns and they settled for a 27 yard Phil Dawson field goal and a 7-3 deficit.

After a touchback Moreno gained 8 and Manning got Thomas for 6 and Decker for 9. On 3rd and 2 from the Cleveland 45, the Browns were offsides. On 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 31, Moreno gained 2. The second quarter had Denver facing 3rd and 6 at the Cleveland 25, where Manning hit Decker for 14. On 3rd and 9 from the 10, Manning hit Decker for the touchdown to make it 14-3 Broncos. The closest Weeden came to a break was when Weeden threw an interception that was returned for a 62 yard touchdown. Further review reversed it to an incompletion. With 5 minutes left in the half Manning moved from their own 6 to a 3rd and 2 at the Cleveland 5 with 21 seconds left in the half. After a false start, Manning was intercepted.

Cleveland began the third quarter moving from their 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Denver 29. Yet on 3rd and 9 Weeden was sacked. Phil Dawson drilled a 53 yard field goal and the Browns were within 14-6. Manning then turned out the lights, leading a 12 play, 6 1/2 minute, 91 yard drive. Manning found Thomas for 8, Stokley for 3, Decker for 9, , Thomas for 5, and on 3rd and 4 from their 37 found Jacob Tamme for a 33 yard gain. Manning then hit Stokley for 12, Moreno for 11, and Decker for the 8 yard touchdown to make it 21-6 Broncos and remove the slightest suspense.

Denver got it back with a short field and on 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 43, Manning hit Stokley for 7 and Thomas for 21. The fourth quarter saw Manning throw incomplete on 3rd and 4 from the 9, but Matt Prater hit from 27 to make it 24-6 Broncos. After three quarters of bad football. Weeden was benched and Colt McCoy got to see some action. It did not matter. Cleveland would fumble a punt, giving Denver the ball on the Browns 19, with defensive pass interference putting the ball on the one. Jacob Hester got in to make it 31-6 Broncos.

McCoy would throw a 6 yard touchdown to Little with 8 minutes left with a failed 2 point conversion afterward. Denver wound down the clock and Prater tacked on one more field goal to complete the scoring. The Browns will be completely revamped next year while Denver at 12-3 is now tied for the top record in the AFC. They have a shot at home field throughout the playoffs, but if they stumble next week they could be left without a 1st round bye altogether. Manning was 30 of 43 for 339 yards and 3 touchdowns with one interception. John Fox really enjoys his job as the Broncos won their 10th straight. 34-12 Broncos

Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals–It is impossible to see these teams play without reliving 2006. The Cardinals led 23-3 and allowed the Bears 2 defensive touchdowns and a punt return by Devon Hester to lose 24-23 when an Arizona field goal was no good at the gun. Dennis Green thundered “The Bears are who we thought they were!” It was the last good game played by Matt Leinart. Meanwhile, when the Bears were 7-1 we knew they were what we thought they were, and have since gone 1-5 and on the edge of missing the playoffs. Arizona began 4-0, lost 9 straight including one game 58-0, and finally won lat week. Both of these coaches could be gone after the season.

6 minutes into the game the Cardinals faced 2nd and 11 at their own 3. Beanie Wells got the carry, fumbled the ball, and saw Zach Bowman recover it for the Bears at the one and stumble into the end zone for a defensive touchdown and a 7-0 Bears lead. These are the Cardinals. Ryan Lindley did move the Cardinals from their 21 to a 1st and 10 at the Chicago 27. Yet offensive holding stopped the momentum. Jay Feely did hit a 49 yard field goal to get the Cardinal within 7-3.

Chicago took over at their 28 and Matte Forte raced for a 36 yard gain as the first quarter ended. On 3rd and 8 from the Arizona 34, Jay Cutler hit Brandon Marshall for 30 and Forte ran it in from the 4 to make it 14-3 Bears. The Bears fumbled a punt with 5 minutes left in the half, giving the Cardinals the ball at the Chicago 36. That was enough for Feely to hit a 35 yarder to get Arizona within 14-6. From their own 20 with 2:18 left in the half, Cutler hit Marshall for 7, Jeffery for 35, Forte for 7, Bennett for 16, and Marshall for the 11 yard touchdown just before the half to make it 21-6 Bears. The second half was even uglier, with nothing resembling offense.

In the third quarter on 2nd and 15 from their own 5, Lindley was intercepted Peanut Tillman, who returned it 10 yards for another defensive touchdown to make it 28-6 Bears. These are the Cardinals. With 2 minutes left the Bears had 4th and goal at the 2. Lovie Smith went for the field goal, and it was blocked and returned 82 yards for a touchdown to create an actual Arizona highlight. Yet the Cardinals lost for the 10th time in 11 games to fall to 5-10. The Bears at 9-6 are still alive for a wildcard although most teams do not give up 2 defensive touchdowns. 28-13 Bears

New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens–The 2000 Super Bowl was a mismatch, while the 2012 version is just a fight for survival. The Giants last year were 6-2, lost 4 straight, eked in the playoffs at 9-7, and won it all. This year Tom Coughlin saw his team start 6-2, and stumble to 8-6 and a 3 way tie in the division. John Harbaugh had his Ravens cruising at 9-2 but 3 straight losses led to the firing of the offensive coordinator. Baltimore has clinched a playoff spot but leads the division by only one game. This one could be very ugly. Neither coach is going anywhere, but many of the players are under the microscope.

The Giants went 3 and out and the Ravens jumped all over them from the start. On 3rd and 1 from their 36, Ray Rice gained 14. On 3rd and 5 from the Giants 45, Flacco hit Allen for just enough. Pierce gained 5 and 18. On 3rd and 5 from the 12, Flacco hit Jones for 7. There was a fumble the Giants recovered, but on further review that was reversed. On 3rd and goal from the 6 Flacco hit Torry Smith for the score as the Ravens led 7-0. Baltimore got it back at the Giants 47. Flacco went deep to Smith for a 44 yard gain down to the one. Flacco got the yard himself to make it 14-0 Ravens. From the Giants 23, Eli Manning went deep to Randle for a 43 yard gain, Dominic Hoxon for 9, and Bennett for 7. Wilson ran it in from 14 yards out and the Giants were within 14-7.

In the second quarter the Ravens shut the door. From their own 12, Flacco led a 12 play, 6 minute, 83 yard drive. On 3rd and goal at the 5 Ray Rice got stopped, but a 23 yard Justin Tucker field goal made it 17-7 Ravens. Baltimore got it back at their 24 with 3:15 left in the half. Flacco hit Smith for 21. On 3rd and 2 from the Giants 47 at the 2 minute warning, Flacco hit Boldin for 3 and then 12 more. Flacco found Rice for 5 and then again to Rice for a 27 yard touchdown to make it 24-7 Ravens at haftime.

In the third quarter the Ravens moved from their own 15 in a staggering 16 play, 8 minute drive. Flacco would throw incomplete on 3rd and goal from the 3, but the 82 yard drive allowed Tucker from 21 to make it 27-7 Ravens. In the fourth quarter the Ravens followed it up with a 13 play, 7 minute drive from their 26 to  3rd and 3 at the 9. A swing pass lost 3 yards and Tucker hit from 30 to make it 30-7 Ravens.

Later on Pierce would break free for a 78 yard run down to the one yard line but again the Ravens could not get it in. On 3rd and goal Flacco was sacked. Another field goal made it 33-7 Ravens. Manning would finally throw a 13 yard garbage touchdown to Hixon to end things. The Giants are 2-5 the second half of the season and at 8-7 are clinging to playoff life. The Ravens stopped the bleeding and at 10-5 clinched the AFC North. They cannot get a 1st round bye but they have won playoff road games before. Their concern is finishing red zone drives and getting healthy. 33-14 Ravens

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks is the Sunday night game. These teams are mirror images of each other, with Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll teaching hard-nosed physical defense. Earlier this year they played a slugfest in Frisco that the 49ers survived 13-6. Seattle has blasted opponents 108-17 in the last 2 weeks, but this will be a tougher test. Frisco is 10-3-1 while Seattle is 9-5. So if the 49ers win, the division is locked up. The 49ers also have a shot at a 1st round bye although home field throughout is out of reach. A Seattle win has them only 1/2 game back with both teams going into the final week with everything on the line. Seattle has not locked up a playoff birth, and a loss would jeopardize their season.

San Francisco began at their 17 and 3 incompletions meant a punt. Leon Washington returned it 15 yards to midfield with unnecessary roughness having the Seahawks begin at the Frisco 35. Russell Wilson hit Zach Miller for 11 and Marshawn Lynch raced for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Seahawks only one minute into the game.

Seattle got it back at their 14 when Lynch ran for 7 and Wilson went deep to Danny Baldwin for a 43 yard gain. Wilson hit Sideny Rice for 14. On 3rd and 1 from the 12, Wilson gained 3 and found Lynch for the 9 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Seahawks. San Francisco finally got going and moved from their 20 to a 2nd and goal at the Frisco 4 to start the second quarter. On 3rd and goal from the 3 Colin Kaepernick threw incomplete. Jim Harbaugh called on the field goal and then the game truly got broken open. David Akers from 21 yards out had his kick blocked by Bryant. Sherman picked it up for Seattle and raced for a 90 yard touchdown to make it 21-0 Seahawks in front of a cheering and rain-soaked crowd.

The 49ers punted and Seattle took over at their 23. Wilson was quickly intercepted and the 49ers took over at the Seattle 16. On 3rd and 9 Kaepernick threw incomplete. This time Akers was good from 33 and the 49ers were on the board down 21-3.

Washington returned the kickoff 42 yards to the Seattle 40. On 3rd and 6 Wilson hit Tate for just enough to midfield. Unnecessary roughness moved the ball to the 36. On 3rd and 5 at the Frisco 31, Wilson ran for 7 and Lynch gained 8 and 10. On 3rd and goal from the 6, Wilson hit McCoy at the 2 minute warning to make it 28-3 Seahawks. The 49ers moved from their 33 to the Seattle 23 with 43 seconds left in the half. Yet a 13 yard sack of Kaepernick meant Akers would be trying a 54 yard field. Akers made it although the 49ers were still down 28-6 at intermission.

The second half was a formality. Seattle punted and Frisco moved quickly to the Seattle 32 before the 49ers fumbled the ball away. On 3rd and 2 from their 40 Wilson hit Lynch for 10. On 3rd and 1 from the Frisco 41, Robinson got the yard. On 3rd and 8 from the Frisco 38, Wilson hit Kearse for 17. On 3rd and 6 from the 17, Wilson hit Turbin for 11. On 3rd and goal from the 4 Wilson hit Baldwin for the touchdown to make it 35-6 Seahawks.

Frisco moved from their 30 to a 3rd and goal at the 3 to start the fourth quarter. Kaepernick was intercepted for a touchback. Wilson would lead Seattle 80 yards and hit Baldwin for a 6 yard touchdown pass to make it 42-6. With 1:47 to play on 4th and 17 from the Seattle 18 the 49ers got their garbage time touchdown as Kaepernick hit Walker. The 49ers are 10-4-1, only 1/2 a game ahead of the 10-5 Seahawks. Frisco also fell 1/2 game behind 11-4 Green Bay. So next week the 49ers could either win the division and get a first round bye, win the division without the bye, or lose the division to Seattle altogether. Seattle has scored 42 points after scoring 58 and 50, and have outscored opponents 150-30 the last 3 weeks. They are for real. 42-13 Seahawks

eric