NFL 2014 Week 7 Recap
In this quarterback-driven league, Aaron Rodgers kept rolling, Drew Brees had an uncharacteristic meltdown, Tom Brady survived despite being out=played, and Kyle Orton gritted out another ugly win that has defined his career. The start to the World Series would get trounced in the ratings by football fans looking to see Peyton Manning try and surpass Brett Favre for the all time touchdown passes record. With that, here is the NFL 2014 Week 7 Recap.
New York Jets @ New England Patriots was the Thursday night game. The woeful Jets went on the road and were expected to be roadkill against the New England Patriots. As ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman reminds us, “That’s why they play the games.”
Tom Brady threw a 49 yard touchdown pass to Shane Vereen less than 90 seconds into the game, but the quick 7-0 Patirots lead did not lead to the expected blowout. The Jets would repeatedly drive the field, but would settle for far too many field goals. Nick Folk hit from 22 and 47 in the first quarter and from 46 in the second quarter to make it 9-7 Jets. Meanwhile, the Patriots scored touchdowns as a 3 yard toss from Brady to Vereen Made it 14-9 Patriots. Folk’s fourth field goal of the first half from 27 got the Jets within 14-12. With only one minute left in the half, Brady moved the Patriots into position for Stephen Gostkowski to hit a 39 yard field goal. As the half expired, the kick was good and the Patriots took a 17-12 lead into the locker rooms. Nevertheless, New England was in a streetlight.
An 11 play, 6 minute drive moved the Jets 80 yards and this time Richardson got in from the one as the Jets led 19-17. The Patriots moved to a 4th and 1 at the Jets 18 where Bill Bellichick played it safe. Gostkowski hit from 36 as the Patriots regained the lead 20-19. A field position game in the fourth quarter had the Patriots starting at the Jets 46. Midway through the fourth quarter, Brady’s third touchdown pass to Danny Amendola for 19 yards put the Patriots up by 8 points.
Geno Smith moved the Jets down the field, as a 10 yard touchdown pass to Cumberland had the Jets within 2 points with 2 1/2 minutes to play. The 2 point conversion try to tie the game failed. The onside kick failed, giving the Patriots the ball at the Jets 46. Yet the Patriots could not put the game away, failing to gain a first down. The Jets got it back at their own 12 with 1:06 to play. Geno Smith became a warrior, moving the Jets into position. With 5 seconds to play, Folk’s fifth field goal try would come from 58 yards out. Would this be the upset of the year?
No. The kick was blocked. Despite the Jets gashing the Patriots for over 200 rushing yards and Smith not turning the ball over, the Patriots improved to 5-2 and the Jets fell to 1-6. The Jets fight hard for Rex Ryan, but as Hall of Famer Bill Parcells says, your record is what it is. Parcells was the coach of the injury-riddled 1999 Jets who began 1-6 but finished 8-8. Rex Ryan will show what he is made of down the stretch. 27-25 Patriots
Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens — Joe Flacco threw a bomb that led to defensive pass interference at the Atlanta 5 yard line. Flacco then threw the touchdown pass to Owen Daniels to make it 7-0 Ravens. In the second quarter Pierce ran it in from one yard out to make it 14-0 Ravens. Justin Tucker hit from 38 yards out to put the Ravens up 17-0 at halftime. Tucker hit from 38 in the third quarter to make it 20-0 Ravens. Matt Ryan would lead Atlanta 90 yards and throw a 10 yard fourth quarter touchdown to Roddy White, but a sack of Ryan for a safety turned out the lights. Baltimore added one more score when Flacco hit Troy Smith for a 39 yard touchdown. 29-7 Ravens
Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills — The Bills saw a promising drive fumbled away in the red zone. Then they got it back and fumbled in their own territory, setting up Minnesota at the Buffalo 27. Blair Walsh hit a 40 yard field goal for the 3-0 Vikings lead. Teddy Bridgewater’s second interception set up the Bills at the Minnesota 26. One play was enough for Kyle Orton to go deep to Sammy Watkins for a 7-3 Bills lead. Bridgewater brought the Vikings back, as a 4 yard touchdown pass to Cordarelle Patterson put the Vikings up 10-7. Buffalo came back again as Dan Carpenter hit a 31 yard field goal to tie the game 10-10. Walsh drilled a 55 yard field goal to make it 13-10 Vikings at halftime.
In the fourth quarter Walsh hit from 33 to make it 16-10 Vikings. Buffalo’s last drive began at their own 20 with 3 minutes left in the game. With 1:18 to play the Bills faced fourth and 20 from their own 40. Orton found Chandler for 24 yards. With 25 seconds left, on 2nd and 20 from the 30, Orton found Hogan for 29 yards. Orton spiked the ball and stopped the clock with 5 seconds left. With time for one play from the 2 yard line, Orton fired to Sammy Watkins for the winning touchdown as the home crowd erupted. 17-16 Bills.
Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears — Ryan Tannehill threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to Clay for a 7-0 Dolphins lead. In the second quarter a Jay Cutler interception was returned deep into the Chicago red zone. Tannehill then found Mike Wallace for a 10 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Dolphins lead at the half. Cutler would lead the Bears on a 12 play, 80 yard, 7 minute drive as a 10 yard touchdown pass to Matt Forte got Chicago within 14-7 in the third quarter. Miami responded with a 13 play, 83 yard drive that took up 7 1/2 minutes as a 2 yard Miller run made it 21-7 Dolphins. In the fourth quarter Cutler was sacked and fumbled, giving Miami the ball in the red zone. Caleb Sturgis hit a 33 yard field goal to make it 24-7 Dolphins.
Forte would score again from one yard out, but a 12 play, 65 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive bled the clock for Miami. The could not get past the one yard line, but by then it did not matter. Sturgis tacked on the 19 yarder to end the scoring. 27-14 Dolphins
New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions — A scoreless opening quarter ended with Matthew Stafford being intercepted, setting up the Saints at the Detroit 29. Drew Brees hit Johnson for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints. Late in the half both teams drove deep into the red zone but and to settle for field goals. Matt Prater hit from 21 and Shane Graham responded from 27 as the Saints took a 10-3 lead into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter Brees hit Stills for a 46 yard touchdown and a 17-3 Saints lead. The Lions responded with a 12 play, 80 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive as Bell got in from the one to get the Lions within 17-10. In the fourth quarter Graham nailed field goals of 48 and 36 yards to have the Saints up 23-10. Yet the Lions got right back within 23-17 when Natthew Stafford found Golden Tate for a 73 yard touchdown combination.
Even Hall of Fame quarterbacks make mistakes. Brees finished 28 of 45 for 342 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but with 3:20 to play Brees gave the game away. An interception set up Detroit at the Saints 14 yard line. On 3rd and goal at the 5 Stafford hit Bell for the winning touchdown with 1:48 to play. With 27 seconds left and the Saints facing 4th and 3 at their 40 needing only a field goal to win it, Brees threw incomplete. Jim Caldwell was so pleased he almost made a facial expression. 24-23 Lions
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers — Aaron Rodgers threw a 59 yard touchdown bomb to Jordy Nelson as the Packers took a 7-0 lead. The Packers got it back and Eddie Lacy ran it in from 5 yards out to make it 14-0 Packers. Green Bay stayed perfect as Starks scored from 13 yards out on their next drive to have the Packers cruising 21-0. In the second quarter Rodgers moved the Packers 94 yards as a 3 yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb made it 28-0 Packers. After a Graham Gano field goal to get Carolina on the board before the half, Rodgers in the third quarter continued the blowout with a 21 yard touchdown pass to Adams to make it 35-3 Packers. Green Bay cruised from there. 38-17 Packers
Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts — A 23 yard field goal had the Colts up 3-0. In the second quarter Ahmad Bradhsaw ran it in from the one to make it 10-0 Colts. In the third quarter Andrew Luck hit Allen for a 32 yard touchdown to make it 17-0 Colts. In the fourth quarter Luck hit Bradshaw for a 10 yard touchdown and Adam Vinatieri hit from 50 to complete the scoring. 27-0 Colts
Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars — An interception of Blake Bortles by Gipson was returned 31 yards to the Jacksonville 17. The Browns lost 5 yards but Billy Cundiff hit from 40 to make it 3-0 Browns. In the second quarter Bryan Hoyer led a 14 play, 76 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive but again the Browns settled for a 22 yard Cundiff field goal to lead 6-0. An interception of Blake Bortles with 3 minutes left in the half gave the Browns a golden chance to expand the lead with a short field. Yet on 4th and 1 from the Jacksonville 24, Mike Pettine decided to go for it and Hoyer threw incomplete. With 90 seconds left, Bortles went wild, as a 31 yard touchdown pass to Robinson put the Jaguars in front. Despite being outplayed for 28 minutes, the Jaguars led 7-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter a sack of Hoyer meant a fumble and Jacksonville’s ball at the Cleveland 25. Josh Scobee hit a 30 yard field goal to make it 10-6 Jaguars. With 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter the Browns fumbled a punt and Jacksonville took over at the Browns 8 yard line. Robinson ran it in on the next play to make it 17-6 Jaguars. Hoyer then threw an interception that set the Jaguars up at the Browns 7. Johnson got in from 3 yards out to finally get the Jaguars their first win of the year. 24-6 Jaguars.
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams — Seattle drove deep but had to settle for a 24 yard Steve Hauschka field goal for a 3-0 Seahawks lead. Cunningham returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to the Seattle 31. Tre Mason ran up the middle for a 6 yard touchdown for a 7-3 Rams lead. The Rams got it back and Austin Davis moved them 74 yards in the second quarter as a 5 yard touchdown pass to Cunningham made it 14-3 Rams. Davis completed his first 8 passes for only 35 yards, but it was enough. When Stedman Bailey returned a punt 88 yards for another Rams touchdown, the jubilant crowd exploded as St. Louis led 21-3.
Hauchka hit a 35 yard field goal late in the half. In the third quarter Russell Wilson led Seattle 82 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes as a 19 yard touchdown run by Wilson got the Seahawks within 21-13. Seattle got it back and Wilson moved them 91 yards, as a 19 yard touchdown pass to Helfet got the Seahawks within 21-19.
The Rams moved 80 yards as Davis hit Kendricks for a 4 yard touchdown. The Rams got breathing room up 28-19 with 5 1/2 minutes to play. Breathing room rapidly disappeared as Wilson mode Seattle 80 yards and found Doug Baldwin for a 9 yard touchdown. With 3 1/2 minutes left Seattle trailed by 2 and needed the ball back to give the Rams another collapse at home against a division rival.
With three minutes left and the Rams clinging to a two-point lead, Jeff Fisher showed that he had cojones of steel. Fisher called a fake punt with the Rams facing fourth and three at their own 18. The gamble worked as the Rams got the first down and ran out the clock. With 1:15 left and the Seahawks out of timeouts, the Rams faced 3rd and 1 at their own 45. Mason got the first down and the game looked over until Mason fumbled. A Seattle recovery and winning field goal would ruin Fisher’s heroism, but after a wild scramble somehow the Rams retained possession. Pete Carroll insisted the Seahawks recovered the ball and replay showed he may have been right. A lot happens at the bottom of a pile, and this time the cursed Rams got a lucky break. 28-26 Rams
Tennessee Titans at Washington Redskins — A battle of terrible football teams saw Kai Forbath hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Redskins. Washington got it back and Kirk Cousins was sacked and fumbled, giving the Titans the ball at the Washington 15. The Titans lost 3 yards and Ryan Succop hit from 36 to tie the Stpur Bowl 3-3. In the second quarter Forbath hit again from 31 to make it 6-3 Redskins. After an interception of Kirk Cousins gave the Titans a short field, Charlie Whitehurst hit Wright for a 14 yard touchdown and a 10-6 Tennessee lead.
With RGIII injured and Cousins playing badly, Jay Gruden benched Cousins at halftime and brought in third stringer Colt McCoy. On the second play of the third quarter, McCoy hit Pierre Garcon on a short pass that went for a 70 yard touchdown and a 13-10 Redskins lead. A fumbled punt to end the third quarter had the Redskins at the Titans 24. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, Forbath’s third field goal from 27 made it 16-10 Redskins.
Charlie Whitehurst then led an 86 yard drive as a 38 yard touchdown pass to Hagan midway through the fourth quarter made it 17-16 Titans. After an exchange of punts Washington took over at their own 20 with 3:15 to play. With 43 seconds left the Redskins faced 3rd and 2 at the Titans 29. McCoy went deep and defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 7. With 3 seconds left Forbath came in for the 22 yarder to win it. The kick was good and the Redskins, with McCoy completing 11 of 12 passes, won the Stupor Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers — Philip Rivers threw a one yard touchdown pass to Phillips for a 7-0 Chargers lead. In the second quarter Jamal Charles ran for a 16 yard touchdown to tie the game. The Chifs got it back and moved 56 yards in 14 plays, taking 9 1/2 minutes off the clock and Rovers cooling his heels on the sideline. Santos hit from 28 to make it 10-7 Chiefs with 3 minutes left in the half. With 55 seconds left in the half the Chargers were at their own 20. With 19 seconds left in the half the Chargers were already at the Chiefs 27. Rivers went deep into double coverage and the ball bounced off a defender before being caught by Antonio Gates for the touchdown. The Chargers took the 14-10 halftime lead.
In the third quarter the Chiefs moved 63 yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes but again settled for a 40 yard Santos field goal to trail 14-13. The Chiefs got it back t their 30 and moved to a critical 3rd and 5 at the Chargers 15. Alex Smith was sacked, but defensive holding meant an automatic first down. On the first play of the fourth quarter Smith completed the 11 play, 70 yard, 8 minute drive by hitting Sherman for the 11 yard touchdown to make it 20-14 Chiefs. Rivers moved the Chargers 77 yards in 12 plays and 5 minutes, but from the Chiefs 6 yard line threw incomplete twice. Nick Novak hit the 24 yard field goal to get the Chargers within 20-17 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. San Diego got it back at their own 12 and moved to the Chiefs 30. Novak hit the 48 yard field goal to tie the game 20-20 at the 2 minute warning.
The Chiefs took over at their own 8 and game manager Alex Smith showed that he is capable of winning games. He moved the Chiefs to the San Diego 30. With 26 seconds left Carlo Santos came in to break the tie. He barely snuck it over the crossbar and inside the right upright, which was more than good enough. Walrus Lite Andy Reid saw his team get another quality road win. 23-20 Chiefs.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys — In the first quarter Tony Romo led a 15 play, 76 yard, 6 minute drive that culminated with Romo hitting Gavin Escobar for a 15 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Cowboys lead. In the second quarter the Giants moved from their own 29 to a 4th and at the Cowboys 38. Tom Coughlin decided to go for it. Eli Manning threw incomplete but defensive pass interference kept the drive going. Manning hit Odell Beckham for a 9 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
Romo then went deep and the receiver fell down, allowing Prince Amukamara a gift interception that he returned 38 yards to the Dallas 27. Manning went straight for the jugular as he found Fells for the touchdown and the 14-7 Giants lead. Tom Coughlin was so please he almost smiled. Romo then led a 10 play, 80 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. A 19 yard touchdown pass to Terrence Williams tied the game 14-14.
In the third quarter Romo moved the Cowboys 93 yards as a 26 yard touchdown pass to Escobar made it 21-14 Cowboys. In the fourth quarter a Dallas defender ripped the ball out of the receiver’s hands for a first down at the Giants 27. A deep pass from Romo to Dez Bryant went for 24 yards down to the one. DeMarco Murray got the last yard to make it 28-14 Cowboys with 9 minutes left in regulation. Manning moved the ball 80 yards in 11 plays, and on 4th and goal at the 5 hit Beckham for the score. With 5 1/2 minutes left the Giants were within 7 and now needed a stop from the defense.
It never came. DeMarco Murray had over 100 yards rushing for the seventh straight game to start a season, an NFL record. Dan Baley hit the 49-yard field goal with one minute left to lock up the win. 31-21 Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals at Oakland Raiders — In 2006 the Oakland Raiders were 0-5 when they faced the Cardinals at home. The Raiders won 22-9. Would history repeat itself? Early on, no. Arizona moved the ball from their own 12 to a 3rd and goal at the 2. Carson Palmer threw a pass in the flat to Taylor, who was hit well short of the goal line. Taylor somehow kept his balance, and lunged forward. The ball broke the plane of the goal just before his knee came down for a 7-0 Cardinals lead. In the second quarter Palmer threw a 33 yard touchdown to Michael Floyd for a 14-0 Cardinals lead.
The Raiders in the first half had a long punt return to the red zone nullified by a penalty and a long bomb completion ruled incomplete. Yet from the Oakland 42 Derek Carr went deep again for a 55 yard bomb to Brice Butler to the Arizona 3 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 2 at the 2 minute warning, Darren McFadden got in the end zone to get the Raiders within 14-7. Oakland
Oakland got it right back when a Palmer pass was thrown high, deflected, and intercepted by Charles Woodson. With 1:40 left the Raiders tok over at the Arizona 13. The offense went nowhere and the Raiders settled for a 29 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal to trail 14-10. In the third quarter Carr moved the Raiders from their 16 to a 3rd and 2 at the Arizona 35. Under heavy pressure Carr threw incomplete. Seabass drilled a 53 yard field goal dead center as the Raiders trailed 14-13.
The Silver and Black momentum quickly evaporated as 80 yards came easily for the Cardinals. A 4 yard touchdown run by Taylor meant a 21-13 Cardinals lead. The Oakland defense needed stops and never got them as Palmer kept killing the Raiders on third down. Carson Palmer torched his old team as a late field goal sealed the win for the 5-1 NFC West leading Cardinals. The Tony Sparano Raiders have produced as many wins as the Dennis Allen Raiders as Oakland at 0-6 remained the last winless team. 24-13 Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos was the Sunday night game. Peyton Manning needed two touchdown passes to tie Brett Favre for the all-time NFL record and three to break the record. Manning tied the record before the first quarter ended with a 3 yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Sanders and a 39 yard touchdown to Wes Welker. Welker stretched and got just to the pylon for the 14-0 Broncos lead.
In the second quarter the 49ers moved from their 13 to the Denver 4, but Colin Kaepernick threw incomplete twice when his third down pass was just dropped. Phil Dawson hit the 22 yarder to get the 49ers on the board. Denver moved from their 20 to 2nd and goal at the one. History was delayed when Manning tripped over his own offensive lineman’s foot. Manning considered trying to throw it while sitting down on the field but took the sack. On 3rd and goal from the 8, history was made. With 3:15 left in the half, Manning fired to the corner of the end zone and Denarius Thomas just barely got his feet down. Touchdown number 509 gave the Broncos a 21-3 lead as a white horse emblazoned with 509 on it ran across the field. It was the most exciting NFL moment involving a white Bronco since OJ Simpson.
Kaepernick led an 80 yard drive that ended with a 4 yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson to get the 49ers within 21-10 at halftime. In the third quarter Kaepernick was intercepted by Aqib Tali, setting up the Broncos at the San Francisco 40. Manning immediately went deep to Thomas for his fourth touchdown on the night, his 510th overall, and a 28-10 Broncos lead. Manning then turned to the ground game as Ronnie Hillman broke off a 37 yard rushing touchdown and then barreled in from one yard out to make it 42-10 Broncos. Brock Osweiler finished the game, and is currently only 510 touchdowns behind Manning, who finished 22 of 26 for 318 yards, 0 interceptions, and those four touchdowns. 42-17 Broncos
Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Monday night game. This game should have been dedicated to Jeremy Irons as Klaus Von Bulow since it was a total reversal of fortune. The Texans began with a 94 yard drive, going 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes before Ryan Fitzpatric hit Alfred Blue ran the final 11 yards to make it 7-0 Texans. Ryan Bullock added second quarter field goals of 39 and 38 yards, the first set up by sack of Ben Roethlisberger that caused a fumble. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Texans were up 13-0. They then simply self-destructed.
Shawn Suisham hit a 44 yard field goal to get the Steelers on the board. Houston went 3 and out and with 1:46 left The Steelers were at their own 37. Big Ben hit Leveon Bell for 28 yards and then went deep to bryant for the 35 yard touchdown to get the Steelers within 13-10. Houston fumbled the ensuing kickoff, retaining possession at their own 5. From the 6, they fumbled again, giving Pittsburgh the ball at the 3. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for the touchdown. After a touchback, Fitzpatrick was quickly intercepted, giving Pittsburgh the ball at the Houston 8. Big Ben hit Bell for the 2 yard touchdown as4 score and 24 unanswered points in 3 minutes made it 24-13 Steelers at halftime.
The second half was a slog. After a scoreless third quarter, Bullock hit a 31 yard field goal to get the Texans within 24-16. Suisham answered with field goals of 30 and 40 yards to put the game away. Down 30-16, the Texans quickly moved 86 yards late. Fitzpatrick hit Arian Foster for a one yard score with 90 seconds to play. A well executed onside kick saw a mad scramble for the ball that was eventually recovered by Pittsburgh to secure the win. Mike Tomlin teams are resilient, but this was a Texas-sized case of self-destruction by Houston. 30-23 Steelers