Archive for September, 2015

NFL 2015 Week 4 Prequel

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

NFL 2015 Week 4 Prequel


The Pontiff’s Yom Kippur Football and other stuff Part Deux

Monday, September 28th, 2015

The Pontiff’s Yom Kippur Football and other stuff Part Deux


NFL 2015 Week 3 Recap

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

NFL 2015 Week 3 Recap

Washington Redskins at New York Giants was the Thursday night game. Pope Francis quickly fled DC for NYC after firing a Papal assistant for erroneously telling the Pontiff that the game was in Washington. The Pope landed in JFK & is was transported to the Meadowlands in time for kickoff.

Everyone knew Pope Francis would finish mass by 8pm. He knows Thursday Night Football kicks off a bit after 8:30pm. Football: Our other religion.

While Pope Francis pleaded for peace, some conflicts can only be solved through violence. As soon as Thursday Night Football kicked off, the Giants and Redskins were ready to hit each other.

Football Encyclical: When you block a punt, you have a moral obligation to deck the punter. Rashad Jennings got threw with the block for a safety and an early 2-0 Giants lead. Father Tom Coughlin was so pleased that he almost smiled.

Football Encyclical: Avoid traffic around the Pope. Do not throw into traffic near a Prince. Kirk Cousins threw it right to Prince Amukamura for a red zone interception. Taking over at the Washington 14, Williams got in from one yard out to make it 9-0 Giants. The Giants got the ball back and moved to the red zone but incompletions by Eli Manning hand the Giants settling for a 34 yard Josh Brown field goal and a 12-0 lead.

In the second quarter the Redskins finally got on the board with a 44 yard field goal to trail 12-3. The Giants moved the ball with ease back into the red zone. However, a perfectly thrown pass on 3rd and 7 to a wide open receiver in the middle of the field was dropped inside the Washington 10. The Giants settled for another field goal to lead 15-3. With 2 minutes left in the half the Redskins again reached the red zone. Facing an unimpeded blitz, Cousins under threw a wide open receiver. The Redskins again settled for a 37 yard Dustin Hopkins field goal to trail 15-6.

The Giants got the ball to start the third quarter and held it for 7 1/2 minutes. After converting a 4th and 1, a 3rd down pass was dropped. Josh Brown hit his third field goal from 48. The Giants led 18-6 but still had not put the game away.

A promising Redskins drive ended when a ball was batted and hung in the air forever, allowing for an interception. The Giants soon faced 3rd and 9 from midfield. Manning threw incomplete, but illegal contact on the defense kept the drive going. For the third straight week, the Giants took a double digit lead into the fourth quarter. This time they needed to finish a game. This time early in the fourth quarter they went for the kill shot and got it as Manning went deep to Odell Beckham Jr. for a 30 yard touchdown and a 25-6 Giants lead.

The Redskins moved to a critical 4th and 1 at the Giants 7 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Jones got the carry and went around the end for what seemed like a sure touchdown. At the very least, he had the first down. Yet Jones got hit and fumbled the ball. The Redskins thought they had a touchdown, but instead it was a touchback.

The Redskins got it back at their own 26, their best starting field position of the night. Cousins was quickly dropped for an 11 yard loss. Not only was it the first sack of the game, but the first sack for the Giants all season. Twice the Redskins faced fourth and long from their own side of the field and twice they just barely converted. After having a fumble overturned and ruled an incomplete pass, the Redskins finally cracked the end zone with 3:40 to play. The 2 point conversion succeeded as the Redskins were within 25-14. Adding fuel to the fire was that the receiver may have been down short of the goal but the refs did not review the score.

The onside kick bounced off a Giants player but somehow ended up straight in the arms of another member of Big Blue. The Giants soon faced 3rd and 10 from the Washington 41 with 3 1/2 minutes left and the Redskins out of timeouts. Rather than play it safe and kill more clock, Tom Coughlin decided to go for it all. Manning went deep to Reuben Randle, who outleaped a defender, juggled the ball, and hauled it in for the clinching touchdown.

Nevertheless, the 2015 Giants do not seem to make anything easy. The ensuing kickoff was returned 100 yards for a Redskins touchdown. With 3:08 left the Redskins were again within 11. Another well done onside kick again saw the Redskins not get to it in time as it went out of bounds. Again on 3rd and long at the 2 minute warning the Giants threw the ball rather than take 45 seconds off the clock. Manning threw incomplete.

In the game that would never end, Cousins threw incomplete on 4th and 4 from the Washington 26. yet defensive pass interference kept Washington alive with 49 seconds left. 49 was also the number of passes Cousins had thrown with 4 seconds left. From the Giants 40, rather than try another Hail Mary, Jay Gruden called a running play that gained 25 yards. The Redskins went out with a whimper as both teams are 1-2 in the very winnable NFC Least. 32-21 Giants

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys — The Cowboys struck only one minute into the game as Randle broke free for a 37 yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Cowboys lead. With Tony Romo and Dez Bryant out injured, Brandon Weeden got the job done early by handing the ball off to Randle. He got in from one yard out as Dallas built a quick 14-0 lead. Matt Ryan came back and led the Falcons 80 yards, as a 3 yard touchdown run by Freeman got the Falcons within 14-7.

In the second quarter Darren McFadden ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Cowboys. The Cowboys got it back but Weeden was quickly intercepted, setting up the Falcons at the Dallas 23. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Freeman got in to get the Falcons within 21-14. The Cowboys came right back with 80 yards of their own and again it was Randle getting the last yard to make it 28-14 Cowboys just before the half.

Yet after a touchback the Falcons still had 40 seconds to work with. Matty Ice led the Falcons to 2nd and 1 at the Dallas 14 with 11 seconds left. Ryan threw incomplete, and with 5 seconds left on third down, Dan Quinn opted for the field goal. Matt Bryant hit the 32 yarder as the Falcons trailed 28-17 at the break.

In the third quarter Ryan went to Julio Jones for a 45 yard touchdown as the successful 2 point conversion capped the 87 yard drive and got the Falcons within 28-25. In the fourth quarter the Falcons moved 89 yards in 11 plays in 7 minutes. Freeman got in from the 7 as 18 straight unanswered points had the Falcons up 32-28.

Atlanta got it back at their own 38 and Ryan moved them 62 yards in 11 plays in 6 minutes. A 2 yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Jones on 3rd and goal meant 25 unanswered Atlanta points and an 11 point Falcons lead with only 3 minutes left to play. The Falcons at 3-0 are still a question mark but the Cowboys losing their first game know that without their playmakers they are in deep trouble. 39-28 Falcons

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans — With the 0-2 colts drowning in controversy, a loss could lead to the team imploding. Frank Gore got in from the one to make it 7-0 Colts. In the second quarter Marcus Mariota was intercepted by Lowery, who returned the pick 69 yards the other way for a 14-0 Colts lead.

Mariota is only in his third NFL game, and he remains very poised. After his mistake he settled down, leading the Titans to a 38 yard Ryan Succop field goal to get on the board. Mariota then led a 13 play, 83 yard, 6 minute drive that ended with a 7 yard touchdown pass to Wright as the Titans only trailed 14-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Titans got the ball after a punt at their own 34 and Mariota moved the Titans easily. Andrews ran around the end for an 8 yard touchdown as the Titans led 17-14. After a touchback, Luck’s struggles continued as he was quickly intercepted. Patrick Cox returned the pick 27 yards to the Indy 3. One play later Mariota hit Green-Beckham for the 24-14 Titans lead.

Midway through the third quarter Luck was intercepted again by Zac Brown, who returned it 45 yards to the Indy 13. On 4th and 1 from the 4, Ken Whisenhunt decided to go for it, and Fowler gained 3 down to the one. Yet after an incompletion, 2 runs each lost a yard. Succop hit the 21 yarder as the Titans led 27-14 but did not close the door.

With 13 minutes left in regulation the Titans were on the move again, facing 3rd and 9 at the Indy 34. Mariota then made a rookie mistake. He took a sack, moving the Titans out of field goal range. A great punt punned the Colts back to their own 2 yard line.

Luck methodically moved the Colts, but midway through the third quarter, a sack of Luck meant 3rd and 20 at the Titans 35. Luck went deep to Dorsett for a touchdown as the Colts snapped 27 unanswered points to get within 27-21. Two plays later Mariota was quickly intercepted and Lowery returned in 26 yards to the Titans 11. One play later Luck hit Donte Moncrief for the touchdown as the Colts led 28-27 with 6 minutes left in regulation.

Tennessee went 3 and out and the Colts took over at their own 31. From midfield, Gore broke off a 25 yard run with 10 more tacked on for a penalty. On 3rd and 1 from the 6 with 3 minutes left, Gore got in to put the Titans up 35–27.

Now it was the Titans trying to deal with 21 unanswered points in this game of wild swings. Aided by a critical roughing the passer penalty and other defensive penalties, Fowler ran it in from one yard out to get the Titans within 2 points. The tying 2 point conversion try saw Mariota throw incomplete, but yet another defensive penalty gave the Titans another shot. From the one, Fowler got the carry. This time he got nothing as the Colts saved their season from the brink with a tough comeback win. 35-33 Colts


Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns — The Browns surprised the NFL by sending Johnny Manziel back to the bench in favor of Josh McCown, who passed the concussion tests. Meanwhile, Derek Carr came out throwing. Despite having no success running on the opening drive, Carr passed the Raiders to a first and goal. Unfortunately a couple runs were followed by an incomplete pass as the Raiders settled for a 23 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal.

The Raiders have no running game, as Latavius Murray’s first 7 carries went for a total of one yard. Meanwhile, a 3rd and 3 pass by Carr was just dropped. In the second quarter Jack Del Rio went to the bag of tricks after a touchback. Yet rather than a long gain, offensive pass interference followed by a false start backed the inept Raiders back to their own 5 yard line.

Luckily for the Raiders, the Browns were equally inept. A running into the kicker penalty had the Raiders at midfield. Despite penalties galore on both sides, Carr found Amari Cooper in the seam for a 40 yard gain down to the Cleveland 15. On 3rd and 3 from the 8, this time a run up the middle got the first down. Carr fired to Andre Holmes for a 3 yard touchdown and a 10-0 Raiders lead with 6:45 left in the half. The 11 play, 80 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive gave the Oakland defense some needed rest.

With the Browns facing 3rd and 14 at their own 16, McCown found Barnidge for a 40 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 44, McCown again fired complete to Barnidge for a 15 yard gain. After a run lost 6 yards, McCown fired complete again for another first down at the Oakland 18. Another run had the Raiders in full retreat and the ball at the one. Jack Del Rio could have challenged that the runner fumbled the ball for a touchback but decided not to at the 2 minute warning.

On 3rd and goal from the one the Browns ran into a Silver and Black brick wall. On 4th and goal Mike Pettine decided to go for it. Macon fumbled the snap out of the shotgun but a false start negated the play anyway and moved the Browns back to the 6. The Raiders had again dodged a bullet in holding the Browns to a 24 yard field goal.

The defense bent but did not break. now it was up to the offense to get to the half without giving away points. These are not the same Raiders. From the Oakland 30, Murray ripped off a 20 yard run to midfield. Carr found last week’s hero Seth Roberts for a 36 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the 13, Carr threw a fade to the corner of the end zone and Roberts came down with it. With only 18 seconds left in the half, the Raiders had a 17-3 lead.

In the third quarter the Browns went 3 and out as this time the Raiders did not give up a 3rd and long conversion on defense. Yet standout rookie receiver Cooper had a mental meltdown on special teams. After fumbling the punt at the 15, Cooper tried to make something happen. He ended up losing 7 yards back to the Oakland 8.

From the 13, Murray broke off a 54 yard run to the Cleveland 33. Give Jack Del Rio credit for sticking with the run despite miserable early results. On 3rd and 1 from the 24, Murray gained 4. The Raiders settled for a 35 yard Seabass field goal, but they led 20-3 with 9 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Now this young team had to see if it could finish a game.

Cleveland kept drinking and dunking but the Raiders defense could not get off the field. On 3rd and 2 from their own 28, McCown found Brad Hardline for 10 yards. Jack Del Rio challenged the catch and lost. On 3rd and 2 from the Cleveland 46, McCown threw incomplete. Yet Pettine decided to go for it on 4th and 2 and hit Barnidge for 6. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 46, McCown found Barnidge for 9. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 28, McCown rolled out and found Barnidge again, this time for the touchdown. With 4 minutes left in the third quarter the Raiders only led 20-10. The defense did not close the door. Now it was up to the offense to not go into a shell.

On 2nd and 7 from the Oakland 23, a short pass to Marcel Reece turned into a 55 yard gain when Reece bounced off two tacklers and churned forward. he stumbled and lost balance, preventing a touchdown on the play. On 3rd and 1 from the 13, Murray gained 5. The Raiders began the fourth quarter with 1st and goal at the 8. Murray ran it in from 6 yards out to make it 27-10 Raiders.

The Browns soon faced 3rd and 17 at their own 13 but again McCown came up big with a 41 yard completion to Hardline. After a pair of incompletions the Browns faced 3rd and 10 at the Oakland 19. This time Khalil Mack forced a fumble. Needing 3 scores, Pettine opted for the field goal on 4th and 14 as Coons hit from 41 to get the Browns within 27-13 with 11 minutes left in regulation.

Carr came out throwing after a touchback, hitting Cooper for a 17 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 11 from the Oakland 36, a short completion to Cooper resulted in a fumble. With 9 minutes left the Browns had the ball on the Oakland 44. Again, the Raiders had not closed out a game.

The Raiders wilted on defense and McCown found Benjamin for a 4 yard touchdown. A 17 point lead for the Silver and Black was now only 7 points. They were in full meltdown mode. On offense, the Raiders quickly killed their own drive with an offensive holding penalty. On 4th and 7 from their own 23, they had to punt with 4 minutes left. Now the Browns had a chance to tie the game. Maybe these were the same old Raiders who have not been to the playoffs since 2002.

The only thing saving the Raiders was that the Browns are the same old Browns who also have not been to the playoffs since 2002. The Browns fumbled the punt and the Raiders recovered at the Cleveland 43. One first down meant field goal range and a chance to finally put the game away. Then came two very curious decisions, one of them maddeningly awful.

On 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 38 with 2 1/2 minutes to play, another run would have either taken the clock to the 2 minute warning or forced Cleveland to burn another timeout. Instead Del Rio called a pass play. It is one thing to trust your quarterback who clearly deserves it. It is another to just make the wrong call. Carr threw incomplete.

On 4th and 5, Seabass was brought in for a 56 yard field goal. Yes this was high risk, but Seabass has been doing this for 15 years. Then Del Rio changed his mind. One play after getting overly aggressive, this time he decided to play it safe and punt. One play after going for the win, he decided to play not to lose. Del Rio appeared bailed out when Marquette King nailed a perfect punt that was downed at the Cleveland one yard line. Petting challenged that it was a touchback and lost. With 2:26 to play, the Browns were 99 yards away. Yet with 2 timeouts and the 2 minute warning, that was plenty of time for McCown against the collapsing Oakland defense.

At the 2 minute warning the Browns had 3rd and 5 at their own 17. mcCown found Hardline for 19 yards. Macon continued picking the Raiders apart as the Browns faced 2nd and 8 from the Oakland 29 with 49 seconds left. This time McCown was sacked for a 6 yard loss as the Browns took their last timeout. Macon had killed the Raiders on 3rd down, and again he went deep for what could have been the tying score. 

Not this time. Old Man Charles Woodson has been doing this for 18 years. He intercepted the ball at the 12 and did a spectacular job of getting his feet down inbounds. It took far longer than necessary, but the Raiders snapped their streak of 11 straight road losses. They are now 2-1.

McCown finished 28 of 49 for 341 yards while Carr was 20 of 32 for 314 yards. both quarterbacks had 2 touchdown passes but the difference was Carr was not intercepted while McCown had his one interception when it mattered most. Latavius Murray shook off a horrendous start to finish with 139 yards on 26 carries. Amari Cooper had 8 catches for 134 yards.

The Raiders have to improve in terms of penalties. They were flagged 12 times for 85 yards. It was an ugly win, but the Raiders have not been anything for quite some time. If ever there was a day to summon up the ghost of Al Davis, this was it. Just win baby. 27-20 Raiders

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens — Red Rifle Andy Dalton quickly led Cincinnati on a 10 play, 67 yard, 5 1 /2 minute drive. Dalton got the final 7 yards himself for the 7-0 Bengals lead. In the second quarter Joe Flacco was intercepted by Adam Pacman Jones, setting up the Bengals at the Baltimore 30. Dalton threw a 16 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Bengals.

In the third quarter the Ravens got to within 14-7 when Joe Flacco hit Steve Smith for a 50 yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter Flacco led a 12 play, 62 yard, 6 minute drive. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 2, Flacco threw incomplete. Only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, John Harbaugh decided against going for the tie game. Justin Tucker hit the 21 yarder as the Ravens trailed 14-10.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bengals faced 3rd and 6 at their own 44. Dalton was sacked and fumbled, and Moseley picked it up and raced 41 yards for a Ravens touchdown. Just like that, the Ravens had the 17-14 lead.

Give Dalton the character award. One play after a touchback, Dalton shrugged off his mistake and fired to AJ Green for an 80 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Bengals were back on top 21-17.

Flake has character himself, and he quickly moved the Ravens 79 yards. A 16 yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith had the Ravens up 24-21 with 4 minutes left. Now it was up to the defense.

This is not the Ravens defense Americans have been accustomed to. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are retired. Terrell Suggs is out for the year injured. Dalton hit Bernard for 23, Sanu for 19 and Green for the 7 yard touchdown as the Bengals retook the lead again by 4 with 2:10 to play.

The Ravens after a pair of Flacco incompletions soon faced 4th and 3 at their own 27. Flake hit Smith for 4, but an offensive face mask penalty instead meant 4th and 17. After an incompletion, the Bengals took over at the Baltimore 13 with 1:35 left. With 6 seconds left and the Bengals facing 4th and 5 at the 8, Marvin Lewis decided not to risk a field goal block. A play that did not use the full 6 seconds would still give the Ravens an improbable try at a win. Bernard got the carry and used up exactly 6 seconds as well as getting the 5 yards. The Bengals really are 3-0 and the Ravens really are 0-3 and in deep trouble. 28-24 Bengals

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots — The biggest paper mismatch of the day had Tom Brady throwing a 43 yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski for a 7-0 Patriots lead.  The Patriots got it back and moved down the field again. This time they settled for a 46 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to lead 10-0.

In the second quarter the Jaguars tried to keep the Patriots offense off the field. A 17 play drive consumed almost 8 1/2 minutes but moved only 58 yards as the Jaguars settled for a 40 yard field goal to trail 10-3. The Patriots came back with  14 play, 78 yard, 6 minute drive that could not get past the Jacksonville 2. Gostkowski hit the 20 yarder to make it 13-3 Patriots.

At the 2 minute warning the Jaguars had 1st and 10 at the New England 45. Blake Bortles went deep and was intercepted by McCourty, who returned it 27 yards to the Patriots 43. Brady rapidly moved the Patriots down the field. With 22 seconds left from the one, Brady fired to Danny Amendola for Brady’s 400th career touchdown pass and a 20-3 Patriots lead.

In the third quarter Gostkowski hit from 46 to make it 23-3 Patriots. Things then got uglier. On 1st and 20 form their own 23, Brady went deep and drew a 52 yard defensive pass interference penalty. On the next play Brady went deep and had an interception returned 82 yards. Yet that was waived off by another defensive pass interference call that instead put the ball on the Jacksonville one. LaGuerrette Blount ran it in to make it 30-3 Patriots.

Bortles finally threw a 59 yard touchdown pass but this game was over as Brady found Martin for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 37-10 Patriots. Late in the third quarter facing 4th and 8 from their own 22, Gus Bradley decided to try a fake punt that gained only 2 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter Blount got in from one yard out to make it 44-10 Patriots.

Blount repeated his one yard score later on as Brady led a mind-numbing 17 play drive that consumed nearly 10 minutes off the clock while only moving 58 yards. That was enough to make it 51-10. Jacksonville got a garbage touchdown, but the 3-0 Patriots are determined to be the only Super Bowl champion to still be out for revenge. Brady finished 33 of 42 for 358 yards and 2 touchdowns without an interception. 51-17 Patriots

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers — The 0-2 Saints seemed finished with the news that Drew Brees was injured at least for this week and maybe longer. Yet it was backup Luke McCown who led the saints to a 30 yard Zack Hocker field goal and a 3-0 Saints lead. The Panthers moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Saints 37 when Cam Newton threw incomplete twice. Riverboat Ron Rivera decided not to gamble on the 55 yard field goal, punting instead.

The Saints took over at their own 6, but it was McCown who led the Saints on a staggering 16 play, 94 yard drive that consumed over 9 minutes off the clock. Mark Ingram got in from 5 yards out to make it 10-0 Saints. The Panthers got to within 10-7 when Newton hit Cam Olsen from 11 yards out.

With 2:06 left in the half the Panthers took over at their own 19. Newton quickly went deep to Olsen for a 52 yard gain. on 4th and 1 from the 20, Newton got the yard. Yet with 14 seconds left in the half on 1st and goal from the 2, Newton threw incomplete twice. With 4 seconds left, Rivera took no chances on 3rd down. Gano hit the 20 yard field goal to tie the game 10-10.

In the third quarter the Saints reclaimed the 16-10 lead when Murphy returned a punt 74 yards for a score. The extra point try failed. The Panthers retook the lead after moving 83 yards and having Newton again hit Olsen for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 17-16 Panthers. Gano tacked on a 47 yard field goal to make it 20-16 Panthers.

In the fourth quarter Newton moved Carolina 88 yards and ran for final 13 yards himself to give the Panthers some breathing room up 27-16. McCown brought the Panthers back, and Robinson got in from 2 yards out. The 2 point try failed but the Saints were within 5 with a full 5 minutes left in regulation.

Carolina went 3 and out and the Saints got it back at their 29 with 3:50 to play. McCown moved them down the field. With 1:17 to play the Saints faced 3rd and 6 at the Carolina 23. McCown went for it all and was intercepted in the end zone.

Carolina survived to become a very shaky 3-0 while the Saints showed a ton of heart but fell to 0-3. McCown played very well, going 31 of 38 for 310 yards. He did not have a touchdown pass and threw his one interception at the end. Newton also played well, going 20 of 31 for 315 yards and 2 touchdown passes as well as one touchdown run. Newton was not intercepted. This may be the official end of the Saints mini-dynasty. 27-22 Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets — The suddenly inept Philly offense needed a Papal miracle against the suddenly revitalized Gang Green Jets defense. DeMarco Murray was out, yet it was Parkey with a 30 yard field goal who got the Eagles on the board first.

In the second quarter Darren Sproles returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0 Eagles. Then Sam Bradford capped a 75 yard drive with a 23 yard touchdown pass to Ryan Mathews to make it 17-0. A Jets fumble had the Eagles at the Jets 36. On 3rd and goal from the one Sproles got in to make it 24-0 Eagles.

The Jets got it back at their own 21 with 2:06 left in the half. Ryan Fitzpatrick finally got the Jets offense moving. with 12 seconds left in the half from the Philly 16, Fitzpatrick hit Brandon Marshall for the touchdown as the Jets trailed 24-7 at intermission.

By the time the game was over, Ryan Fitzpatrick would have thrown 58 passes, completing 35 of them for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns, but also 3 costly interceptions. Sam Bradford was the epitome of a game manager, completing only 14 of 28 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. However, Bradford was not intercepted. The Philly offense went into a shell in the second half while the Jets could not overcome their first half disaster.

After a scoreless third quarter, Fitzpatrick capped off a 16 play, 81 yard drive that took 8 minutes off the clock. Fitzpatrick hit Kerley for a 7 yard touchdown but the Jets still trailed 24-14 with 9 1/2 minutes left.

The Eagles fumbled the ball away to give the Jets the ball at the Philly 41. Yet Fitzpatrick was intercepted as the Jets wasted the chance. The Jets got it back and moved to the Philly 37, but Fitzpatrick was intercepted yet again with 3 1/2 minutes left.

The Eagles again did nothing on offense and a short punt gave the Jets the ball just past midfield. With 2 1/2 minutes left Nick Folk drilled a 53 yard field goal to get the Jets within 7. With the Jets out of timeouts, the eagles tried to give the game away with successive offensive penalties. With 1:14 to play the Eagles faced 3rd and 16 at their own 46. A give up run up the middle should have meant a punt with 30 seconds left. Instead illegal use of hands on the defense meant the Jets were done.

Maybe the Pope saved Chip Kelly from being burned in effigy for one more week. Either way, the Eagles are not 0-3. Meanwhile, the Jets had a golden chance to go 3-0 and calm the doubters. The Jets are improved, but not at the next level just yet. 24-17 Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans — Ryan Mallett hit Hopkins for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Texans early. The Buccaneers got on the board in the second quarter when Brindza level a 58 yard field goal to get the Buccaneers within 7-3. An interception of Mallett had the Buccaneers at the Houston 26. After moving backward, James Winston hit Sims for a 32 yard touchdown to make it 9-7 Buccaneers with 4 minutes left in the half after a failed extra point.

In the third quarter Ryan Bullock hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 10-9 Buccaneers. An ugly game saw Brindza, who earlier drilled one from Mars, miss from up close. His 33 yard miss with 11 minutes left swung momentum. Houston moved 77 yards as Alfred Blue ran for a 20 yard touchdown. The extra point try failed but with 9 minutes left the Texans led 16-9.

The Buccaneers went 3 and out and the Texans got it back at their own 23 with 8 minutes left to play. On 3rd and 7, Mallett hit Nate Washington for 11. On 3rd and 10 just shy of midfield, Mallett threw incomplete but was bailed out by defensive pass interference. On 3rd and 1 from the Tampa 21, Prosch gained 16. At the 2 minute warning the Texans faced 3rd and goal at the 2. Prosch got one yard as the time ticked off. On 4th and goal at the one with 1:15 to play, Bullock hit the 19 yard field goal to lock up the win. 19-9 Texans

San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings — Early on this was an ugly game. Teddy Bridgewater was intercepted. Then Philip Rivers was sacked and fumbled, giving the Vikings the ball at the san Diego 13. Minnesota did nothing and settled for a 24 yard Blair Walsh field goal to lead 3-0. In the second quarter the Vikings moved 67 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Adrian Peterson got the final deuce on the ground to make it 10-0 Vikings.

In the third quarter a shanked 20 yard punt had the Vikings starting at the San Diego 43. One play from scrimmage was enough for Peterson to get all the way to the end zone for a 17-7 Vikings advantage. The Vikings got it back and had a back-breaking 16 play, 86 yard drive that took almost 7 1/2 minutes. Zack Line got in from the one to make it 24-7 Vikings.

Early in the fourth quarter the Chargers faced 3rd and 10 at the Minnesota 14. Rivers was intercepted by Greenway, who went 91 yards the other way for the icing on the cake as the Vikings led 31-7. San Diego would get a garbage touchdown to close out the scoring. Teddy Bridgewater was only 13 of 24 for 121 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. Yet he had Adrian Peterson running for 126 yards on 20 carries for 2 touchdowns. Peterson is rested and ticked off. 31-14 Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams — The Steelers began with a 13 play, 77 yard drive that consumed over half the opening quarter. Yet despite 2nd and goal at the 2, the Steelers lost a yard and settled for a 21 yard Josh Scobee field goal. In the second quarter Big Ben Roethlisberger led a 12 play, 92 yard drive that took 6 minutes. LeVeon Bell got the last yard as the Steelers led 9-0 after the failed 2 point try. Greg Zuerlein hit a 49 yard field goal as the Rams trailed 9-3 at halftime.

Roethlisberger finished 20 of 24 for 192 yards while Foles was 19 of 28 for 197 yards. Neither quarterback had a touchdown pass and both signal callers were intercepted once. The second half was a defensive slog.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Rams moved into the red zone in the fourth quarter. Yet from the Pittsburgh 9, a couple of killer false start penalties kept the Rams from the end zone and the lead. Zuerlein hit from 27 as the Rams were within 9-6 with 5 1/2 minutes to play.

The Rams got it back at their 17 with 3 minutes left with a chance to win or tie things. Instead, Foles was quickly intercepted. The defense held the Steelers to a 41 yard Scobee field goal. The Rams got it back at their own 21 with 1:51 left, still with a shot to win it. On 4th and 5 from the Rams 39, Foles fired to Kenny Britt for a 7 yard gain with 1:15 left. Yet on further review, the call was reversed incomplete and the Rams again went down to a tough defeat. Meanwhile, the Steelers are winning with pure grit. The road will be even tougher since Roethlisberger injured his knee in the game and will be out 4-6 weeks. Michael Vick is the backup. 12-6 Steelers

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals — The Arizona Cardinals really are this good. The San Francisco 49ers really are this bad. In the first quarter Colin Kaepernick completed touchdown passes to Bethel and Mathieu, who both play for the Arizona defense. Bethel returned his 21 yards to the house and Mathieu went 33 yards to pay dirt for a 14-0 Cardinals lead after the first quarter.

The Cardinals also have an offense, and Carson Palmer is still healthy. A pair of 81 yard drives in the second quarter resulted in touchdown runs of 6 and 1 yard by Johnson as the Cardinals led 28-0.

With the Cardinals dominating on offense and defense, the 49ers got a ray of hope on special teams with a 37 yard punt return to the Arizona 19. Kaepernick ran it in from 12 yards out to get the 49ers on the board with just over 2 minutes left in the half. From the San Francisco 44, Palmer went deep and was intercepted with one minute left in the half. Yet Kaepernick threw his third interception as the Cardinals got it back at the San Francisco 25 with 30 seconds left.

That was enough for Catanzaro to hit a 22 yard field goal. Palmer was 14 for 24 for 201 yards and one interception. Kaepernick was 5 of 9 for 33 yards and three interceptions. Neither quarterback threw a touchdown pass, but the Cardinals led 31-7, and it was only halftime.

On the first play of the third quarter, Kaepernick threw his fourth interception. Palmer threw a 4 yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald to make it 38-7 Cardinals. Even when the Cardinals punted, the 49ers were pinned at their own 1. Carlos Hyde was tackled for a safety. The Cardinals led 40-7. In the fourth quarter Palmer led a 13 play, 79 yard drive that consumed almost 8 minutes. Palmer hit Fitzgerald for an 8 yard touchdown as even Jim Tomsula begged the 49ers ownership to bring back Jim Harbaugh. 47-7 Cardinals

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins — After laying an egg at home against New England, Rex Ryan’s defense went on the road and smacked around a soft Miami team that paid Ndamokung Suh 100 million dollars to get tougher. Tyron Taylor easily moved the Bills on drives of 77 and 81 yards in the first quarter. Taylor hit Clay for a 25 yard touchdown and LsSean McCoy for a 10 yard score for a quick 14-0 Bills lead. In the second quarter Dan Carpenter tacked on a 26 yard field goal, the closest thing to Miami resistance.

With 1:53 left in the half and the Dolphins with 3rd and 10 at the Buffalo 47, Rex Ryan sent the house. It was a jailbreak, and Ray Lewis had to be smiling at home. Ryan Tannehill was intercepted by Brown, who raced 43 yards for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead. Less than one minute remained in the half, but that was enough time for Tannehill to be intercepted again. Carpenter hit a 51 yarder to end the half. Joe Philbin was allowed to finish coaching the game as the Bills dominated with a 27-0 lead.

Tannehill did throw a third quarter touchdown pass but Taylor responded on the first play of the fourth quarter. A 38 yard touchdown toss to Hogan capped an 80 yard drive and made it 34-8 Bills. After Miami got in the end zone again, Williams broke off a 41 yard touchdown run for Buffalo to complete the scoring. Taylor finished 21 of 29 for 277 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions as Buffalo got to 2-1 and sent Miami further downhill. 41-14 Bills

Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks — The Legion of Boom got a major lift with the return of Kam Chancellor from his holdout. Even at 0-2, the Seahawks were expected to easily dispatch an awful 0-2 Bears team that had Jimmy clausen in for the injured Jay Cutler. Yet the Seahawks struggled on offense for most of the entire first half.

The only thing preventing a scoreless tie in this hideous game was a 64 yard punt return by Richard Sherman to the Chicago 19 in the first quarter. Seattle only got a 31 yard Steve Hauschka field goal out of it for a 3-0 lead. Seattle finally mounted a drive during the 2 minute drill, reaching 1st and goal at the 3 with 13 seconds left. Russell Wilson kept his throws quick, but all 3 passes fell incomplete. Hauschka hit again from 21 as the Seahawks took a 6-0 lead into the locker rooms in this horribly played game.

A close game was broken open when Lockett returned the second half kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 Seahawks lead. Since defense and special teams did all the work, Seattle even mustered some offense in the third quarter as a 30 yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Jimmy Graham made it 20-0 Seahawks. The Seahawks closed the scoring the way they opened it, with Steve Hauschka tacking on two more field goals. The Bears are 0-3 but looks even worse, while Seattle won the way championship teams are expected to win against bad teams. 26-0 Seahawks

Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions was the Sunday night game. Both of these teams are far different than they were last year. The Broncos went from all Peyton Manning to a run oriented offense and a much more physical defense. Detroit has simply gotten worse. After a scoreless first quarter, Manning led a 12 play, 80 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive. Hillman got in from one yard out to make it 7-0 Broncos. The Lions came back with an 80 yard drive of their own, and Jahvid Bell got in from the one. Yet former Broncos kicker Matt Prater now kicks for the Lions, and his extra point was blocked as Detroit trailed 7-6.

Denver went 80 yards late in the half as Manning threw a 45 yard touchdown to Denarius Thomas to make it 14-6 Broncos at halftime. In the third quarter a Denver fumble set up the Lions at the Denver 29. Matthew Stafford hit Abdullah for a 16 yard touchdown. the 2 point conversion try failed as the Lions still trailed 14-12.

With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation the Lions had the ball at the Denver 44. Matthew Stafford was sacked and fumbled, giving Denver the ball just past midfield. Brad McManus missed a 53 yard field goal try, but an illegal formation penalty on the defense gave McManus another try from 48. He was good, as the Broncos led by 5 midway through the fourth quarter.

After a touchback, the Lions moved to a critical 3rd and 12 at the Denver 48 with 3:44 to play. Stafford threw a high ball and Bruton made a leaping interception. From just past midfield, Manning went deep and it looked like he was also intercepted. Somehow Emanuel Sanders ripped the ball out of the defender’s hands for a 34 yard gain down to the 15. On 3rd and 6 Manning fired to the end zone and Owen Daniels caught the touchdown pass to put the game away with 2 1/2 minutes left. The Broncos are 3-0 and winning the hard way while the Lions just cannot seem to win at all. 24-12 Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers was the Monday night game. Aaron Rodgers is a man on a mission, and he and the Packers dominated this game from the start. A pair of long drives and Rodgers hitting Montgomery for an 8 yard touchdown and Randall Cobb for a 3 yard touchdown as the Packers led 14-0 after the first quarter.

Jamal Charles did score a 9 yard touchdown in the second quarter to get the Chiefs within 14-7, but after that the Packers onslaught continued. Mason crosby hit a 44 yard field goal and Rodgers hit James Jones for a 27 yard touchdown to have the Packers cruising 24-7 at halftime.

Midway through the third quarter an interception of Alex Smith had the Packers starting at the Chiefs 4. One play later, Rodgers hit Cobb for the 31-7 Packers lead. After the Chiefs scored another touchdown, Rodgers refused to be slowed down by a sometimes driving rain. A 52 yard completion to jones led to another 4 yard touchdown to Cobb early in the fourth quarter to make it 38-14 Packers. The Chiefs would get a couple of garbage touchdowns but the outcome was never in doubt.

Aaron Rodgers threw five touchdown passes without an interception. He has ten touchdown passes on the year without an interception. Alex Smith, Steve Bono and Elvis Grbac may be the same person. West Coast Offense game manager Smith waits until the fourth quarter to throw passes longer than four yards, except on third down and four when he throws two-yard passes. Walrus Lite Andy Reid either needs to trust his quarterback or settle for more dinking, dunking and death to the season.


The Pontiff’s Yom Kippur and other stuff Part I

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

The Pontiff’s Yom Kippur and other stuff Part I


NFL 2015 Week 3 Prequel

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

NFL 2015 Week 3 Prequel


Yom Kippur 5776 Epilogue

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Yom Kippur 5776 Epilogue

After a very meaningful Yom Kippur, had honor of speaking to Delaware GOP Railsplitters. National politics can wait until tomorrow.

Although their political meeting begins at 5:30pm, my speech was delayed until about 7:30pm because of Yom Kippur. I had not eaten in over 24 hours so when I showed up, they already had dinner being made for me in the kitchen. I wolfed it down and spoke.

It means so much to me that a non-Jewish group accommodated my religious needs. Otherwise I would not have been able to speak.

It was also nice of the group to roll out the red carpet and shut down the streets for my post Yom Kippur arrival. I thank the people of Philly, Jersey and Delaware for cordoning off the streets in honor of my Yom Kippur visit. It was very humbling. I felt like I was treated like a Pope. I hope he receives as warm a welcome as I did.

Out of respect for the Pontiff, I hope he is feted just as nicely. Do not reopen the streets when I leave this area. Wait until after he comes and leaves as well. After fasting for 24 hours and atoning, I appreciate the City of Brotherly Love coming together and honoring my Catholic non-Jewish friend.

This concludes my Encyclical.


Yom Kippur 5776

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Yom Kippur 5776

I don’t have a bunch of flowery words heading into Yom Kippur. We are all flawed. We all need to be better people. That certainly includes me. I’ll let the theologians handle the scholarly sayings. My solace comes from a man I have little in common with, singer John Cougar Mellencamp. A line from his song “Check it out” is meaningful. It sums up how I feel.

“Forgot to say hello to my neighbors. Sometimes I question my own behavior.”

There are plenty of things I could have done better. There are numerous people that I can ask for forgiveness. However, I will not engage in phony repentance or apologize for what I have done right.

In terms of what I can, should and will apologize for, that is between me and my Hebrew God.

My goal post Yom Kippur is to take the man I am and the man I could and should be and see if I can get them to converge, or at least stop diverging.

For those fasting on Yom Kippur, may you have a meaningful fast.

May almighty God shine his light on all of you.


Joyless Behag: Time for a room without The View

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Joyless Behag: Time for a room without The View


NFL 2015 Week 2 Recap

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

NFL 2015 Week 2 Recap

This week belonged to the young Turk quarterbacks drafted in 2014. It also belonged to the maxim of Chris “The Swami” Berman who reminds is that mismatches on paper do not matter. “That’s why they play the games.”

Here is the NFL 2015 Week 2 Recap.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs was the Thursday night game. After a scoreless first quarter, the second quarter turned into a game of big plays. Jamal Charles broke free for a 34 yard touchdown run to open the scoring. Then Peyton Manning was intercepted by Peters, who returned the pick 55 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 Chiefs.

Naturally, Manning brought Denver back as a 10 play, 80 yard drive led to a 16 yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Sanders. Alex Smith was then quickly intercepted by Aqib Talib, setting up Denver at the Chiefs 15. Ronnie Hillman got in from the one to tie the game 14-14.

In the third quarter after a touchback Smith moved the Chiefs into the red zone. However, the dink and dunk game manager on 3rd and 9 from the Denver 20 padded his stats with a 3 yard West Coast Offense pass. Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Alex Smith may be the same person. Carlo Santos hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Chiefs.

After an exchange of punts, Denver took over at their own 42. They only gained one first down, but one week after connecting from 57 and 56, Brad McManus leveled a 54 yarder to tie the game 17-17 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Chiefs looked to be in the driver’s seat when they faced 3rd and 10 at the Denver 17 with 6 1/2 minutes left. Smith was intercepted, but Denver failed to capitalize. The Chiefs got it back at their own 39. Although Smith kept drinking and dunking, Kelce broke one completion for a 29 yard gain. Jamal Charles ripped off gains of 8, 13 and 2 to get the ball down to the Denver 8. Smith fell down as he was handing the ball off, but Kenneth Davis secured the ball and ran it in for the touchdown as the Chiefs led 24-17 with 2 1/2 minutes to play. After a touchback, Manning had plenty of time and one timeout plus the 2 minute warning.

Manning immediately hit Denarius Thomas for a 22 yard game. On 3rd and 8 from the Chiefs 39, Manning hit Thomas for 15. An incompletion that would have meant 3rd and 10 instead meant 1st and 10 at the 19 due to defensive holding. On 3rd and 10 Manning found Sanders for the touchdown. With 36 seconds left the game was tied 24-24.

After a touchback, Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to play it safe rather than come out throwing. Jamal Charles got the carry, got hit, and fumbled. Moby picked it up and raced 21 yards for a Denver touchdown with 27 seconds left in front of a shellshocked Kansas City crowd. 2 scores in 9 seconds was followed by Smith getting sacked. Denver again won with defense. 31-24 Broncos

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills — When the Bills moved 80 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes, the world changed. Williams got in from 2 yards out. The Bills led 7-0. Rex Ryan was on his way to Super Bowl 50. Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick were has beens.

No, not really. Brady hit Julian Edelman for an 8 yard touchdown to tie the game. The Bills then punted on 4th and 19 from their own 1. Danny Amendola returned the punt 28 yards, with a personal foul adding 15 more and giving the Patriots starting field position at the Buffalo 13. Lewis got in from 6 yards out to make it 14-7 Patriots.

The second quarter began with Tyrod Taylor getting intercepted and the Patriots getting another short field at the Bills 30. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski from 2 yards out to make it 21-7 Patriots.

The Patriots were on their way to a blowout when a fumble was returned 30 yards to the New England 48. Buffalo failed to capitalize but a cocky New England decided to then go for it on 4th and 1 from their own 48. Brady went deep incomplete, and this time Buffalo did not waste the short field. Defensive pass interference went for 39 yards and Taylor hit Clay for the 9 yard score. Despite the missed extra point, the Bills were within 21-13. New England kept moving as Stephen Gostkowski hit a 46 yard field goal to put the Patriots up 24-13 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Patriots marched down the field but inside the five yard line finally received resistance. Gostkowski hit the 21 yarder as the Patriots led 27-13. New England got it back and Brady kept torching the Buffalo defense as a 22 yard touchdown to Julian Edelman me it 34-13 Patriots. on the next Patriots series they took over at their own 45 before 3 straight incompletions at the Buffalo 32 ended the drive. Gostkowski hit from 50 as the Patriots were winning a laugher 37-13 after three quarters. By the end of the fourth quarter nobody would be laughing.

Tyron Taylor has 15 years fewer experience than Tom Brady, but this game forced him to grow up in a hurry. A 32 yard touchdown to Woods had the Bills within 37-19 after a failed 2 point conversion try. Midway through the fourth quarter the Patriots decided to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Buffalo 41. Bellichick’s gamble failed when Brady threw incomplete.

Given life, Taylor again moved the Bills down the field and ran the final 7 yards himself. After another failed 2 point try the Bills were within 37-25. The onside kick failed, but the Patriots with a short field could not wrap up the game. Brady was sacked and fumbled, giving the Bills the ball at midfield. Taylor quickly hit Woods for 26 and Sammy Watkins for the 24 yard touchdown. With only 4:15 to play the Bills had stormed back to within 37-32.

After a touchback, New England was aided by a 22 yard defensive pass interference penalty. Running out the clock was not going to happen. Brady kept firing. A 29 yard completion to Danny Amendola put the ball in the red zone. with 1:18 to go, the Patriots faced 4th and 1 at the Buffalo 8. This time Bellichick did not gamble. Gostkowski hit the 25 yarder as the Patriots led by 8.

After a touchback, Taylor quickly went deep and came up snake eyes. Ryan intercepted the ball at midfield to finally lock up the win for the Patriots. Taylor finished 23 of 30 for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns, but also 3 costly interceptions. Brady was simply ridiculous, throwing 59 times and completing 38 for 466 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Brady is playing like a man out for revenge. The memo about the AFC East being competitive has been destroyed. 40-32 Patriots

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers — After one game Bryan Hoyer has been benched and Ryan Mallett is starting. Ryan bullock hit a 43-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Texans. In the second quarter the Panthers got going as Cam Newton hit Ted Ginn for a 25 yard touchdown. Graham Gano tacked on a 28 yard field goal to make it 10-3 Panthers.

In the third quarter Mallett finally generated some offense as a 13 play, 80 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive was capped off with Mallett hitting Graham for a 7 yard score to tie the game 10-10. Newton came back with a 14 play, 80 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. Newton got the final deuce himself as the Panthers led 17-10 after three quarters.

With 9 minutes left in regulation, Mallett as intercepted to set up Carolina at the Houston 36. One play later Newton went deep to brown for the touchdown and a 24-10 Panthers lead. Mallett quickly moved Houston 80 yards. On 4th and 3 from the Carolina 6 with 6 1/2 minutes left, Mallett scrambled in himself to get it back to a 7 point game. Carolina had a chance to lock up the game but Graham Gano’s 53 yard field goal with 2:45 to play was blocked.

From the Houston 43, Mallett moved the Texans to the Carolina 14 with 22 seconds left to play. Intentional grounding moved the Texans back as everything came down to 4th and 16 from the Carolina 20 with 13 seconds left. Mallett went deep incomplete as Carolina survived. Mallett threw 58 passes but completed only 27 of them. 24-17 Panthers

Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears — A game of big plays began with the opening play as Johnson returned the kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown as Arizona led 7-0 only 13 seconds in. Jay Cutler quickly moved the Bears 89 yards as a 48 yard touchdown to Bellamy tied the game 7-7. Carson Palmer kept the pace quick as a 6 yard touchdown to Brown made it 14-7 Cardinals after the first quarter.

In the second quarter Cutler led an 11 play,80 yard, 6 minute drive. Langford got in from the one to tie the game 14-14. Back came the Cardinals 80 yards as a 6 minute drive ended with Palmer hitting Larry Fitzgerald for the 8 yard score to make it 21-14 Arizona.

Then came Jay Cutler doing what he does, completing touchdown passes to the opposing team’s defense. For the second week in a row Cutler threw a pick 6. This time it was Jefferson returning the gift 26 yards for a 28-14 Cardinals lead.

The Cardinals tried to give the game away in a way that would make Dennis Green melt down, but the Bears refused to let them. The Cardinals fumbled a punt and Palmer threw an interception as the Bears started at the Arizona 22 and 12 on 2 straight drives. Both times they settled for Robbie Gould field goals from 40 and 23 as the Bears still trail 28-20 at intermission.

Jay Cutler was injured late in the first half but backup Jimmy Clausen knew exactly how to fill Cutler’s shoes. Cutler completed all 9 of his passes, but only 8 of them to players on his own team. Clausen played for Notre Dame, which meant he played for an overrated school that the Pope really does not care about. Clausen was quickly intercepted by Patrick Peterson and 2 plays later Palmer threw a 28 yard touchdown to Fitzgerald to make it 35-20 Cardinals.

Arizona got it back and kept rolling along as Johnson ran the final 13 yards of a 75 yard drive to make it 42-20 Cardinals. Chicago would tack on a field goal, but the Bruce Arians Express could not be stopped. In the fourth quarter Palmer found Fitzgerald for a 9 yard score to complete the scoring. Palmer only threw the ball 24 of times, completing 17 of them for a pedestrian 185 yards. Yet he also had 4 touchdown passes along with one interception. If Palmer stays healthy, the Cardinals could be quite super. 48-23 Cardinals

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals — A fumbled punt early on had the Bengals at the Chargers 19. Red Rifle Andy Dalton fired to AJ Green for the 16 yard 7-0 Bengals lead. After a touchback the Chargers moved to a 2nd and 5 at the Cincy 22, but got no further. Lambo hit the 40 yarder to get the Chargers within 7-3.

In the second quarter San Diego moved into the red zone but Mike McCoy decided not to gamble on 4th and 1 from the Cincy 14. Lambo hit from 32 to get the Chargers within 7-6. Meanwhile, the Bengals were airing it out. Dalton went deep to Jones for a 45 yard touchdown as the Bengals led 14-6.

In the third quarter Philip Rivers moved the Chargers 78 yards and hit Stevie Johnson for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 14-13. The Bengals moved the ball easily again but this time it was Cincinnati failing to get the last few yards. Mike Nugent hit from 21 to make it 17-13 Bengals.

A field position game eventually had the Bengals taking over at the San Diego 38. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Dalton hit Eifert for the touchdown and the 24-13 Bengals lead with 9 minutes left in regulation.

Rivers came right back as a 40 yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Floyd with 4:20 to play had the Chargers down 5 after the failed 2 point conversion try. San Diego got it back at their 20 with 1:09 to play. Rivers went deep again but this time he was intercepted as the Bengals hung on for the tough win. 24-19 Bengals

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns — Marcus Mariota threw 4 first half touchdowns in his first game while johnny Manziel had a tough outing. This time the Titans were on the road and the Dawg Pound was rocking. Manuel threw a 60 yard touchdown to Benjamin to get the Browns on the board. Ian Crowell added an 11 yard touchdown run. In the second quarter Benjamin returned a punt 78 yards for another score as the Browns built a 21-0 lead.

Late in the third quarter the Titans tried to make a game of it as Mariota found Anthony Fasano for a 19 yard touchdown to get the Titans on the board. In the fourth quarter Mariota led a 15 play, 77 yard drive that took 8 minutes off the clock. A 13 yard touchdown to Green-Beckham had the Titans only down 21-14 with 6 1/2 minutes to play.

With 3 minutes to go the Borwns had 3rd and 6 from midfield. Rather than play it safe, Mike Pettine trusted Manziel. Johnny football is starting to earn his moniker. A 50 yard touchdown pass to Benjamin put the game on ice. Marietta did lead the Titans back to the red zone, but was sacked and fumbled with 46 seconds left. Marietta was 21 of 37 for 257 yards. Manziel only threw 15 passes, completing 8 of them for 172 yards, over 21 yards per completion. Both quarterbacks threw a pair of touchdowns and neither one was picked off. Welcome to the future, NFL. These guys can play. 28-14 Browns

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings — Last week the Lions collapsed while the Vikings just looked flat. This week both teams moved the ball as Teddy Bridgewater threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph to make it 7-0 Vikings. In the second quarter Bridgewater snuck in from one yard out to make it 14-0 Vikings.

Each team moved into the red zone but settled for field goals as Matt prater hit from 26 for the Lions and Blair Walsh hit from 28 for Minnesota. Trailing 17-3, Matthew Stafford found Megatron Calvin Johnson for an 11 yard touchdown as the Lions only trailed 17-10.

The third quarter began ugly as the Stafford fumbled the ball and Sender returned it 28 yards to the Detroit 6. Adrian Peterson got the carry and quickly fumbled it back. Detroit had to punt and Sherels returned it 31 yards to the Minnesota 34. Peterson got stopped short at the goal line but Line got in. The extra point was no good but the Vikings led 23-10. Minnesota eventually added a 23 yard field goal from Walsh to lead 26-10 with 6 1/2 minutes left to play.

Stafford found Eric Ebron for a 12 yard touchdown with 1:48 to play. The 2 point try failed as did the onside kick. Stafford was 32 of 53 for 286 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Teddy Bridgewater only threw 18 passes, completing 14 of them for 153 yards and one touchdown. However, he was not intercepted. He had help from a beast named Adrian Peterson, who lugged 29 carries for 134 yards. He was the differences as the Lions fell to 0-2 only one year after an 11-5 season. 26-16 Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints — Last week the Buccaneers looked like the winless 1976 team worthy of execution. They had no chance of going on the road and beating the Saints, even though the 1977 Buccaneers broke their 0-26 straight by knocking off New Orleans. As Chris Berman reminds us, “That’s why they play the games.”

After a touchback the Saints moved to a 4th and 5 at the Bucs 35. Sean Payton decided against the 53 yard field goal try, and a punt pinned the Bucs back at their own 4. Field position changed when the Bucs got past midfield and a punt pinned the saints at their own 7. On 3rd and 4 from the saints 23, Brees was hit and fumbled. The Saints punted on 4th and 25 from their own 2, giving the Buccaneers the ball at the Saints 40. Brindza drilled a 55 yard field goal as the Buccaneers led 3-0.

With 4 1/2 minutes left in the half Brindza missed from 52, and the Saints finally generated some offense. Mark Ingram ran it in from 11 yards out to make it 7-3 Saints with 90 seconds left in the half. On 3rd and 16 from the Tampa 31, Jameil Winston hit Vincent Jackson for 17 yards. A roughing the passer penalty on the Saints kept the drive going and Winston eventually hit Jackson for a 15 yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in the half as the Buccaneers had the surprising 10-7 lead.

Surprise turned to disbelief in the third quarter when Winston needed only 4 plays to move the Bucs 80 yards, getting the final yard himself for a 17-7 Bucs advantage. Brindza added a 35 yard field goal to make it 20-7 Buccaneers. Brees fumbled and the Bucs got another field goal from Brindza from 22 yards out as the Buccaneers led 23-7.

The Saints came back in the fourth quarter as a 14 play, 80 yard, 7 minute drive finished with Johnson getting in from one yard out. The 2 point try failed as the Saints trailed 23-13 with 10 1/2 minutes left to play. The Buccaneers tried to give the game away when Winston was sacked and fumbled. The Saints took over at the Bucs 25, gained only one yard, and then saw a field goal go no good. The Buccaneers fumbled again, setting up the saints at the Tampa 30. Brees hit Snead for the 16 yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked but the Saints were within 23-19 midway through the fourth quarter.

The Saints got it back at their own 24 with 3 minutes left but this time it was their turn to fumble the ball away. Brindza kicked his fourth field goal from 30 yards out as the Buccaneers led by 7. The Saints got it back after a touchback with 1:51 left. With 8 seconds left the Saints were at the Tampa 27. Brees tried the short Hail Mary twice, and both prayers went unanswered incomplete. Jameil Winston was not even born in 1977, but this was another sweet win for the Buccaneers over the Saints, who fell to 0-2 this year. 26-19 Buccaneers


Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants — One week after the Falcons won a thriller and the Giants gave away a game due to a mental meltdown, the teams met for a competitive game. Matt Ryan led an 86 yard drive as Coleman got in from the one to make it 7-0 Falcons.

In the second quarter Josh Brown hit from 38 and Matt Bryant answered for Atlanta from 42 to make it 10-3 Falcons. Manning then found O’Dell Beckham for a 67 yard touchdown to tie the game 10-10. A field position game had the Giants get it back at their own 44 with one minute left in the half. On 3rd and 5 from the Atlanta 39, Eli Manning scrambled for 23 yards. Yes, Eli Manning ran with the ball. Brown hit from 44 as the Giants took a 13-10 lead into the locker rooms.

In the third quarter Manning hit Donnell for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 20-10 Giants. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter the Giants had a chance to put the game away as they faced 3rd and 2 at the Atlanta 8. Manning was sacked and fumbled, and the Falcons took over at their own 9. It took 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes, but Ryan moved the Falcons 91 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the 10, Ryan hit Hankerson for the touchdown as the Falcons trailed 20-17 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, the Giants moved to another 3rd and 2 at the Atlanta 38. Rashid Jennings got the carry and lost a yard as Tom Coughlin opted to punt rather than try a 56 yard field goal. After an exchange of punts, the Falcons took over at their own 30 with 3:12 to play.

With 2 minutes left Atlanta faced 3rd and 6 at their own 45. Matty Ice found Hankerson for 17 and Julio jones for 37 more down to the one. Freeman got in and the Falcons had the 4 point lead with 1:14 left after a touchback. Defensive pass interference quickly put the ball at midfield, but Manning then threw 4 straight incompletions.

For 2 straight weeks, the Giants led after 59 minutes but not after 60 minutes. Manning finished 27 of 40 for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ryan was a lights out 30 of 46 for 363 yards and the winning touchdown pass. Neither quarterback was intercepted, which is little consolation to Father Coughlin. 24-20 Falcons

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers — The 49ers were supposed to be a terrible team, but won at home to start 1-0 in the Jim Tomsula era. This week against an angry Pittsburgh team, San Francisco returned to earth. Big Ben Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller for a 2 yard touchdown and Antonio Brown for the 2 point conversion to make it 8-0 Steelers. The 49ers did hold the ball for 9 minutes in the second quarter and got a 47 yard field goal out of Phil Dawson, but after that the levee broke.

Williams ran it in from 2 yards out twice, sandwiched around Roethlisberger hitting Darrius Hayward-Bey for a 35 yard touchdown as the Steelers were demolishing the 49ers by a 29-3 margin.

After a scoreless third quarter, Colin Kaepernick threw a pair of touchdown passes. Both times the Steelers answered with touchdowns of their own. Roethlisberger finished 21 of 27 for 369 yards and 3 touchdowns without an interception. 43-18 Steelers

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins — The Rams shocked Seattle last week in overtime while the Redskins looked like an 0-16 team. Once again, Swami Chris Berman reminds us “That’s why they play the games.” Jones ran for a 39 yard touchdown and Hopkins added a 46 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Redskins. In the second quarter Kirk Cousins led a 12 play, 82 yard, 8 minute drive and hit Pierre Garcon for a 4 yard touchdown as the Redskins led 17-0 at the break.

In the third quarter the Rams finally got on the board when Greg Zuerlein hit a 52 yard field goal to get St. Louis within 17-3. The Redskins then fumbled the ball away as the Rams took over just past midfield. Nick Foles went deep to Kenny Britt for a 40 yard touchdown to get the Rams within 17-10.

This time the Redskins did not fold. Cousins finished 23 of 27 for 203 yards and one touchdown without an interception. Cousins led a 12 play, 77 yard, 7 minute fourth quarter drive. Matt jones got in from 3 yards out with 2 1/2 minutes left to lock up the win. 24-10 Redskins

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars — Blake Bortles led a 10 play, 82 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive that culminated with a 3 yard touchdown toss to Robinson for a 7-0 Jaguars lead. The field goal kickers got into the act, with franks hitting from 48 for Miami, Myers from 27 for the jaguars, and Franks again from 41 in the second quarter as the Dolphins trailed 10-6.

With the Jaguars backed up to their own 9, Bortles moved them the necessary 91 yards. A 46 yard touchdown pass to Robinson had the Jaguars up 17-6. Ryan Tannehill did plenty of throwing on the day as well, and his 10 yard touchdown pass to Williams had Miami within 17-13.

A major momentum shift occurred with 22 seconds left in the half. After Tannehill threw incomplete on 3rd and 2 from the Jacksonville 24, Franks came in for the 42 yarder. It was no good, giving Jacksonville the ball at their own 32 with 18 seconds left. An 11 yard completion followed by a 17 yard defensive pass interference penalty was just enough to bring in Myers for a 58 yard field goal try with 2 seconds left in the half. Myers nailed it as the Jaguars led 20-13 at halftime.

Tannehill began the third quarter by quickly moving the Dolphins. A 5 yard touchdown pass to Stoneburner tied the game 20-20. Both offenses then went to sleep for most of the rest of the game. With 1:48 left in regulation, the Jaguars took over at their own 24.

Bortles hit Lee for 18 and Hurns for 19. An unnecessary roughness penalty on Miami moved the Jaguars to the Miami 19. With 48 seconds left, on 3rd and 1 from the Miami 10, a running play went nowhere. Myers hit the 28 yard field goal to give the Jaguars the 3 point lead, but Miami still had 40 seconds to work with. On 3rd and 1 from their own 29, Tannehill threw incomplete twice and the Jaguars had the tough win.

Tannehill finished 30 of 44 for 359 yards while Bortles was 18 of 33 for 273 yards. Both quarterbacks threw 2 touchdown passes without being intercepted. For the second year Bortles, this was a major step in his development. 23-20 Jaguars

Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders — Last week Baltimore nearly shocked Denver in Denver. Oakland fell behind 33-0 at home and looked like a Division III bunch of rejects. This had all the makings of another blowout loss in a 15 year stretch of Oakland misery. If ever there was a time to cue uber-announcer Chris Berman, “That’s why they play the games.”

The Raiders will succeed or fail depending on whether Derek Carr progresses or regresses. Carr is a thoroughbred, and last week he still had shackles on him. He dinked and dunked as the Raiders experienced West Coast Offense misery. The one thing Jack Del Rio had to do was unleash Carr and let him make as many mistakes as he needs to grow. Del Rio did, and the difference between this week and last week was night and day.

Barely more than 2 minutes into the game, Carr had Al Davis pumping his fist in heaven with a 68 yard touchdown bomb to Amari Cooper for a 7-0 Raiders lead.

Baltimore fumbled on their first play from scrimmage, giving the Raiders the ball at the Baltimore 29. Oakland got to the 5 before Carr threw incomplete twice. Sebastian Janikowski hit from 23 as the Raiders had 10-0. As expected, the lead did not last.

Baltimore moved to their own 30 but got no further than the Oakland 4 as Joe Flacco threw incomplete twice. Justin Tucker hit from 22 to get the Ravens within 10-3. Carr moved the Raiders after a touchback to the Baltimore 48, but was sacked on 3rd and 5. Baltimore got it back after a touchback and Flacco hit Gillmore for a 26 yard touchdown as the game was tied 10-10 after the opening quarter.

Normally the Raiders would be in full collapse mode, but they showed resiliency on this day. After a touchback, Carr found Marcel Reece for 16, Michael Crabtree for 37, Andre Holmes for 18 down to the one. Latavius Murray got in to make it 17-10 Raiders. The game was turning into a shootout as Flacco moved the Ravens 80 yards easily against a porous Oakland defense. On 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 9, Flacco found Gilmore for the touchdown to tie things 17-17.

Carr led the Raiders on a 6 minute drive, and Seabass hit a 46 yard field goal at the 2 minute warning to make it 20-17 Raiders. The defense could not get a stop. With the ravens facing 3rd and 15 at their own 15, John harbaugh played it safe with a run. Justin Forsett got exactly 15 yards to keep the drive going with one minute left in the half. Flake then found Steve Smith for gains of 20 and 23 yards. On 2nd and 20 from the Oakland 32, Forsett gained 11 and defensive holding on 3rd and 9 kept the drive going again. On 3rd and 1 from the 7 with 7 seconds left, Flacco threw incomplete but another defensive penalty meant 1st and goal at the 3. The Raiders were saved by the bell, since only 3 seconds remained. Harbaugh went with the field goal and Tucker’s 21 yarder made it 20-20 at halftime.

The points kept piling up in the second half. After Baltimore punted, Carr moved the Raiders in position for Seabass to hit a 48 yard field goal. The Polish Cannon nailed it as the Raiders led 23-20. Oakland got it back at their own 16. Carr converted a pair of 3rd downs and then went deep to Michael Crabtree for a 29 yard touchdown as the Raiders led 30-20 after three quarters.

The Raiders are a young team, and young teams make dumb mistakes. The Raiders have blown many winnable games, and this game was winnable. Finishing games is tough when you are killing yourself with 16 penalties. The Raiders used to lead the league in penalties, but in recent years were committing far fewer penalties while losing games anyway. With Baltimore facing 3rd and 3 at their own 47, Flacco threw incomplete. Yet illegal contact kept the drive going.

The fourth quarter saw the Ravens facing 2nd and 18 at midfield. Flake found Aiken for 26 yards. one minute into the fourth quarter, Tucker hit from 37 to get the Ravens within 30-23. The Raiders went 3 and out and the Ravens were pinned at their own 7. They would not be pinned for long.

A short pass from Flacco to Aiken went for 38 yards. With 9 minutes left, the Ravens failed to convert on 3rd and 1 at the Oakland 15 when Forsett got stopped. John Harbaugh decided to go for it on 4th and 1, and Flacco snuck up the middle for 2 yards as the Raiders could not get a stop. Taliaferro began the drive with a 7 yard run, and he concluded the drive with a 7 yard touchdown run. The 93 yard drive had the game tied 30-30 midway through the fourth quarter.

The game had been tied at 10, 20 and 30, but at no time had the Ravens led. With 5 minutes left, the Raiders offense blundered. From their own 33, Carr went deep and threw a duck that was intercepted by Hill and returned 25 yards to the Oakland 37. Tucker would hit a 31 yard field goal to give the Ravens the 33-30 lead. Oakland had only one timeout left plus the 2 minute warning. With 2:10 to play, it looked like the Raiders had suffered another meltdown.

10 years from now, football fans will know whether the end of this game was a turning point for the franchise or just a blip. On this day, Carr was unleashed. The defense could not protect the lead. Carr had to go win the game.

After a touchback, he hit Murray for 12. On 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 39, Carr found Murray for 7 more. A roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the Baltimore 35 with 1:07 left. Carr hit Crabtree for 14 down to the 17. Carr fired to the goal line and was intercepted. Despite playing brilliantly all day, once again one bad play meant another Raiders loss. Yet this time, the black clouds hovering over the Silver and Black gave way to a silver lining.

Defensive holding negated the interception and moved the ball to the Baltimore 12 with 30 seconds left. Well within field goal range, Del Rio continued to unleash Carr. Despite two interceptions, one which was nullified, Del Rio did not play it safe. He trusted Carr. Carr fired over the middle again and this time found Seth Roberts for the winning touchdown.

One play after a touchback, Flacco went deep. This time he was intercepted. Last year the Raiders started 0-10 before getting a win. This year they are 1-1. They have a long way to go, and their defense has been awful. However, they finally have a leader at the helm quarterbacking them, and he finally has weapons to throw to. Now he has a coach willing to let him make the throws.

Flacco finished 32 of 45 for 384 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carr was also magnificent, going 30 of 46 for 351 yards and 3 touchdowns. Each quarterback was intercepted once, late in the game. There is plenty to improve with the Raiders overall, but the Raiders now finally have hope. 37-33 Raiders

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles — This was smash mouth old school 1950s style football. In each of the first two quarters Dallas moved 79 yards in 12 and 15 plays, only to settle for Dan Bailey field goals of 20 and 26 yards for a 6-0 halftime lead. In the third quarter the Cowboys blocked a punt and returned it 26 yards for the touchdown and a 13-0 lead.

In the fourth quarter after a Dallas fumble, the Eagles moved to the Dallas 3. Sam Bradford was then intercepted in the end zone for a touchback with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. As the fourth quarter was beginning the Eagles finally got on the board with a 46 yard Chris Parkey field goal to trail 13-3.

Tony Romo was knocked out of the game and Brandon Weeden fumbled the ball to set up the Eagles at the Dallas 30. On the next play Bradford fumbled it back. On the next Philly series Bradford was intercepted. On 3rd and 11 from the Philly 42, Weeden threw a short pass to Williams that went for the game’s first offensive touchdown. Jerry Jones has a 2-0 team, but Dez Bryant is out 10-12 weeks and Tony Romo has his arm in a sling after suffering a broken clavicle. Philadelphia did get a late garbage touchdown, but this was a costly win for Dallas. 20-10 Eagles

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers was the Sunday night game. Between Fail Mary, the 2014 season opener and last year’s heart-stopping NFC Title Game, the Packers have been snake bitten by the Seahawks. All 3 of those games were in Seattle. This time the teams met in Green Bay with a Packers squad hell bent on revenge. The Packers led 19-7 last year with 5 minutes left until the Super Bowl. Russell Wilson overcame 4 interceptions with help from a miracle onside kick as Green Bay suffered a bitter defeat. This time Aaron Rodgers had 80,000 Cheeseheads rooting them on.

The beginning was all Green Bay, as Rodgers finished an 80 yard drive by hitting James Jones for a 29 yard touchdown to open the scoring. The drive almost did not get going as the Packers were stuffed on third and inches from their own 29. However, the Seahawks were called for having 12 men on the defense on the field, keeping the drive going.

Green Bay got it back at the Seattle 44 but could not gain a first down. Mike McCarthy trusted Mason Crosby with a 54 yard field goal try and Crosby delivered for a 10-0 Packers lead. Seattle came back but Wilson threw incomplete on 3rd and 3 from the Green Bay 26. This time it was Pete Carroll letting Steve Hauschka kick a 54 yarder, and Hauschka also got it done to get the Seahawks within 10-3.

The second quarter was all defense. With 51 seconds left in the half the Packers faced 2nd and 17 at their own 13. Rodgers went deep and Richard Sherman was called for a 52 yard defensive pass interference penalty. on the next play Rodgers went to Randall Cobb for 25 more yards and again for 9 yards down to the one with 13 seconds left. Rodgers thought he had a touchdown to James Jones, but on official review the call was reversed incomplete. On 3rd and goal Rodgers fired incomplete. On 4th and goal from the 1 with 2 seconds left, McCarthy took no chances. Crosby hit the 18 yarder to make it 13-3 Seahawks at halftime.

The third quarter belonged to the Seahawks. Wilson marched Seattle 80 yards. On 3rd and goal from the 10, Wilson threw incomplete but the defense jumped offsides. From the 5, Wilson hit Fred Jackson for the score to get the Seahawks within 13-10. A short punt had the Seahawks getting it back at their own 46. Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a 13 yard touchdown as the Seahawks led 17-13 midway through the third quarter. Then the game turned again.

Starks broke free for a 35 yard gain, leading to a 44 yard Crosby field goal. The Packers trailed 17-16 entering the fourth quarter. Rodgers began the fourth quarter moving the Packers from their 15 down the field again. A 5 yard touchdown pass and 2 point conversion toss to Richard Rodgers had the Packers up 24-17 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Wilson was then intercepted, giving the Packers the ball with 6:50 to play at the Seattle 37. Rodgers bled the clock. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 21, Rodgers found Montgomery for 13. From the 8, the Packers kept it on the ground to force the Seahawks to use all their timeouts. On 3rd and goal from the 4, McCarthy was not going to risk a clock stoppage. Rodgers tried the draw play and gained only one yard. It didn’t matter. At the 2 minute warning, Crosby hit from 21 to lock up the win.

Wilson moved the Seahawks to the Green Bay 32, but Fred Jackson fumbled as the Packers got a small measure of revenge and got to 2-0 while dropping the Seahawks to a surprising 0-2. Kam Chancellor is still holding out. 27-17 Packers

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts was the Monday night game. It was one thing for the Colts to lose badly on the road and for the Jets to win big at home. This was supposed to be the game that restored order as the experienced Colts steamrolled over the rebuilding Jets. For the billionth time, “That’s why they play the games.”

This game was all defense. In the first quarter Andrew Luck had a pass intercepted by Pryor and returned 29 yards to the Colts 9. On 3rd and goal Ryan Fitzpatrick threw incomplete but defensive holding gave the Jets another chance. Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker for a 6 yard touchdown. Nick Folk tacked on a 35 yard second quarter field goal as the Jets took a 10-0 halftime lead.

Todd Bowles unleashed his defense. This is not the New York Sack Exchange, but they are very, very good. Darrell Revis intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles. The Colts killed themselves with mistakes, including multiple turnovers and two missed field goals. The Colts began the third quarter with a 10 minute drive down to the Jets one yard line. Frank Gore got the carry and fumbled without being touched, as Revis recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

Even Adam Vinatieri had a bad night for the Colts, missing two field goals including a 29-yarder that dunked off the upright.

A key decision came early in the fourth quarter when Bowles decided to punt rather than try a 56 yard field goal. The strategy seemed correct when the Colts were pinned back to their own 9 yard line. Luck had done nothing all game, but this time he moved the Colts 91 yards. With 10 minutes left in regulation the Colts finally got on the board when Luck found Dante Moncrief for a 26 yard touchdown to get Indy within 10-7.

In a battle of cro-magnon men, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Unabomber beard out-dueled Andrew Luck’s Grizzly Adams beard. 80 yards came in chunks. From the Indy 15, Fitzpatrick found Brandon Marshall in the flat. Marshall bulldozed over 2 defenders into the end zone to put the Jets up 17-7 with 6 1/2 minutes left. 

Luck’s third interception and fourth of five Colts turnovers with 4 1/2 minutes left sealed the game as the Jets tacked on one more field goal. The Jets just hit the Colts in the mouth. This was not Super Bowl III, but the Jets at 2-0 and the Colts at 0-2 is no fluke. 20-7 Jets


NFL 2015 Week 2 Prequel

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

NFL 2015 Week 2 Prequel