Happy Hanukkah Night 6. Now let’s get down to football. Here is the NFL 2014 Week 16 Recap.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars was the Thursday night game. A pair of 2-12 teams battling to see who could anger their fans by winning and blowing a shot at the top pick in the 2015 Draft. Charlie Whitehurst led a 12 play, 84 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive as an 8 yard touchdown pass to Leon Washington made it 7-0 Titans. with 4 minutes left in the half Ryan Succop hit a 50 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Titans.
The Jaguars finally woke up. Blake Bortles moved Jacksonville after a touchback to a 3rd and 1 at the Tennessee 4 with 36 seconds left in the half. Bottles hit Mercedes Lewis for the touchdown as the Jaguars trailed 10-7. Jacksonville took the second half kickoff and marched 72 yards. On 3rd and goal from the 14, Blake Bortles only gained 12 but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the one. Toby Gerhart got the last yard to make it 14-10 Jaguars after three quarters.
With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation Jordan Todman broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run to make it 21-10 Jaguars. With 6 minutes left the Titans faced 3rd and goal at the 5. Whitehorse threw incomplete and Ken Whisenhunt opted for the field goal. With 1:14 to play and the Jaguars facing 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 37, Gus Bradley played it ultraconservative and decided to punt. Nothing inspires the fans of a 2-12 team like a punt in that situation. After a touchback, Whitehurst got the Titans to a chance to tie the game. With 17 seconds left and the Titans at the Jacksonville 35, Whitehurst was sacked to end the worst game in the history of prime time football. 21-13 Jaguars
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins was the Saturday afternoon game. On 3rd and 14 from the Washington 47, Mark Sanchez was sacked and fumbled to give the Redskins a short field. Kai Forbath hit a 25 yard field goal to get Washington on the board first. Sanchez came back and moved the Eagles 79 yards as an 11 yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy had the Eagles up 7-3. The Redskins came right back as Robert Griffin III threw a 51 yard pass to DeSean Jackson. On the next play Alfred Morris raced for a 28 yard touchdown for a 10-7 Redskins lead. In the second quarter Sanchez moved the Eagles 93 yards in 15 plays and 7 minutes. On 3rd and goal from the 3 Sanchez hit Riley Cooper for the score as the Eagles led 14-10 at the half.
The Redskins fumbled away the second half kickoff, but from the Washington 16 the Eagles went nowhere. Cody Parkey missed the 34 yard field goal try. RGIII moved the Redskins 76 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. Young got the final yard as the fourth lead change had the Redskins up 17-14. The Eagles then moved from their 20 to 3rd and 1 at the Washington 28. McCoy got the carry and got nothing. Chip Kelly decided not to gamble on fourth and one. Playing it safe backfired as Parkey missed again, this time from 46 yards out.
Late in the third quarter RGIII went deep to Jackson again for a 55 yard gain to the Philly 13. RGIII then went to the end zone and benefitted from a very questionable defensive pass interference call. There was absolutely contact, but the ball was thrown out of the end zone. Young got in again from the one as the Redskins led 24-14 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter Sanchez moved the Eagles 69 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Washington 16, Sanchez went to Cooper for the touchdown as the Eagles got within 24-21 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. RGIII went deep again and this time was intercepted at the Philadelphia 46. Sanchez got the Eagles to 3rd and goal at the 4 before firing over the middle in a crowd incomplete. This time Parkey hit from 22 as the game was tied 24–24 with 6 1/2 minutes left. The Eagles got it back at their own 15 with 2 1/2 minutes left. With 90 seconds left on a critical 3rd and 4 at the Washington 48, Sanchez was intercepted by Breeland at the Washington 42.
One play later, and the Eagles were in deep trouble. A short pass to Pierre Garcon saw Garcon spin out out of a tackle and sprint down the field. A roughing the passer tacked on 15 more yards as the Redskins were now at the Philly 20. A pair of Alfred Morris runs meant 1st and goal at the 8 with 1:10 to play. On 3rd and goal from the 5, a false start did not change anything. From the 10, the Eagles took their last timeout with one minute left. One strategy would be to let the Redskins score to save time. Chip Kelly instead allowed a run up the middle to take the clock down as Forbath came in with only 10 seconds left.
From 26 yards out, Forbath was good. Kelly’s decision backfired since being down by 7 with one minute left is better than being down by 3 with 5 seconds left. The Redskins never make anything easy, as the ensuing kickoff meant to be a low line drive was covered by the Eagles at midfield. Sanchez threw the Hail Mary to the end zone where it was well defended and knocked down. Washington snapped a 6 game losing streak, got to 4-11 and now has no shot at the top pick in the 2015 Draft. The Eagles lost their third straight to fall to 9-6 and elimination from the playoff race. 27-24 Redskins
San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers was the Saturday night game. This thriller will be talked about for quite some time. The Chargers gave up an astonishing 355 yards rushing. Colin Kaepernick only threw for 114 yards, but he ran for 151 more and Frank Gore added 158 more. Gore broke off a 52 yard touchdown run to put the 49ers up 7-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter Kaepernick hit Ellington for an 8 yard touchdown. Then Philip Rivers had an interception returned 49 yards for a score by Antoine Bethea to make it 21-0 49ers. Rivers did hit Eddie Royal for a 15 yard touchdown pass, but Ellington ran it in from one yard out just before the half ended. The 49ers were leading 28-7 in a laugher. They would not be laughing in the second half.
Early in the third quarter the 49ers faced 4th and 2 at the San Diego 39. Jim Harbaugh decided to go for it and put the game away. Kaepernick was sacked for a 2 yard loss. Rivers hit Gates for a one yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 28-14 in the third quarter. Then came the key play of the game. The 49ers faced 3rd and 5 from their own 37. Kaepernick went deep to Vernon Davis for a 63 yard touchdown and what appeared to be a 35-14 49ers lead. Yet an illegal chop block on Gore nullified the score. On the very next play the 49ers faced 3rd and 20 from their own 22. Kaepernick was sacked and fumbled. A mad scramble in the end zone led to the Chargers recovering the football for a touchdown. The wild 14 point swing turned a blowout into a game where the Chargers only trailed 28-21.
A blunder on the ensuing kickoff had the 49ers backed up to their own 6. From the 10, Kaepernick scrambled and raced all the way for a 90 yard touchdown as the 49ers were back up 35-21. Rivers then went deep and was intercepted as the 49ers took their 14 point lead into the fourth quarter. Despite a short field at the San Diego 47, the 49ers wasted the opportunity. With 9 minutes left the game the 49ers again reached the San Diego 47 but no further. One more first down would have meant a long field goal to put the game out of reach. The Chargers were down but not out.
Rivers moved the Chargers 85 yards as a 21 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates had the Chargers only down 35-28 with 5 minutes left. Cox returned the ensuing kickoff 57 yards to the San Diego 45. Again the 49ers failed to turn out the lights. The Chargers got it back after a touchback with 3 1/2 minutes left. The 49ers had every chance to ice the game on offense. They did not. The 49ers had every chance to get a stop on defense. They did not.
On 3rd and 2 from the San Francisco 37, Rivers was sacked and fumbled. The Chargers were saved by retaining possession. With 1:35 to play, the Chargers faced 4th and 8 at the San Francisco 43. Rivers found Eddie Royal for a 17 yard gain. With 54 seconds left the Chargers faced 4th and 10 at the San Francisco 26. Rivers found Inman for 17 more yards. Rivers hit Malcolm Floyd for an 11 yard touchdown with 30 seconds left to tie the game 35-35.
The 49ers took over at their own 28 with 26 seconds left. On 3rd and 4, Kaepernick scrambled for 20 yards. With 2 seconds left Phil Dawson came in for a 60 yard field goal try. It was no good. On the second play of overtime, with the 49ers at their own 35, Patton took an end around for a 20 yard gain but had the ball chopped out of his hand. The Chargers recovered the fumble at their own 38. A steady dose of Ronnie Brown set up Nick Novak for the 40 yard field goal try to win it.
Novak was good and the Chargers had the biggest comeback win in franchise history. The 49ers were eliminated one week earlier and are now 7-8. The Chargers snapped a two game losing streak and got to 9-6 as Rivers finished 33 of 54 for 356 yards, four touchdown passes and three interceptions. 38-35 Chargers, OT
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers — Graham gang hit from 23 in the first quarter for the Panthers and Garrett Hartley answered from 43 in the second quarter for a 3-3 tie. Late in the half from the Carolina 43, Cam Newton led a 12 play, 6 1/2 minute, 57 yard drive. At the 2 minute warning Carolina faced 3rd and goal at the 2. Newton got in himself for the 10-3 Panthers lead. Johnny Manziel went from Johnny Football to Johnny Locker Room after getting belted. Bryan Hoyer played the second half.
In the third quarter Hartley hit from 31 to get the Browns within 10-6. In the fourth quarter Hoyer connected with Cameron on an 81 yard touchdown connection to put the Browns up 13-10. Newton came back with a 9 yard touchdown to Stewart to make it 17-13 Panthers. Midway through the fourth quarter Hoyer was intercepted but the Panthers fumbled the ball back to Cleveland on the return. The Browns punted anyway and the Panthers took over at their 20 with 3 1/2 minutes left. With 1:47 left and both teams out of timeouts, the Panthers faced 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 40. Stewart gained 30 as the Panthers ran out the clock. The Browns lost their fourth straight to fall to 7-8 while the 6-8-1 Panthers have a division showdown next week at Atlanta. 17-13 Panthers
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears — Jay Cutler was benched before the game started in favor of Jimmy Clausen in what appeared to be a suicide strategy by Marc Trestman. Meanwhile Reggie Bush ran for a 13 yard touchdown in the first quarter for a 7-0 Lions lead. Early in the second quarter the Lions had 2nd and goal at the one. Clausen threw incomplete. On 3rd and goal, Matt Forte got stopped. Trestman decided to go for it on 4th and goal. Clausen threw incomplete. Stafford moved the Lions from their one to the Chicago 17. Then Stafford was intercepted in the end zone for a touchback. The Lions got it back and moved the Chicago 18. Again Stafford was intercepted for a touchback. With the Lions defense playing lights out, special teams killed them when Detroit fumbled a punt with 45 seconds left in the half. The Bears took over at the Detroit 11 and one play was enough for Clausen to hit Forte for the 7-7 halftime tie.
Matt Prater hit a 39 yard field goal in the third quarter for a 10-7 Lions lead. Clausen then moved the Bears 80 yards in 14 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. A 20 yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery put the Bears up 14-10. With 11 minutes left in regulation Prater had a 37 yard field goal try blocked. The Lions got it back and a 46 yard defensive pass interference call was followed by Bell running for a 17 yard touchdown to put the Lions up 17-14 midway through the fourth quarter.
With 2 1/2 minutes left Prater hit from 30 to put the Lions up by 6. At the 2 minute warning facing 4th and 10 at their own 45, Clausen went deep and was intercepted. with Chicago out of timeouts, Stafford took 3 knees to end the game. At 11-4 the Lions are in the playoffs and have a showdown for the NFC North division title next week. The Bears are one game away from ending the Trestman era. Jim Caldwell was so pleased over the Lions win that he almost made a facial expression. 20-14 Lions
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans — Randy Bullock hit field goals of 35 yards in the first quarter and 25 and 30 yards in the second quarter for a 9-0 Texans lead. The last kick came after an interception of Joe Flacco set the Texans up at the Baltimore 16 but the Texans failed to capitalize. Flacco was intercepted again, giving the Texans the ball at the Houston 19. From the 5 yard line, Arian Foster threw a halfback option pass to Fiedorowicz for the touchdown and the 16-0 Texans lead.
The Ravens finally got on the board in the third quarter when Flacco hit Troy Smith for an 8 yard touchdown to get Baltimore within 16-7. After that Bullock took over, hitting from 20 in the third quarter and 39 and 33 in the fourth quarter to put the Texans up 25-7. Flacoo did connect with Smith again for a 20 yard touchdown but after that the Houston defense clamped down. The loss dropped Baltimore to 9-6 while the Texans are at 8-7. Both teams will need help to make the playoffs. 25-13 Texans
Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins — In the first quarter Asiata got in from the one for the Vikings. In the second quarter Ryan Tannehill was intercepted, setting up the Vikings at the Dolphins 23. Teddy Bridgewater hit Greg Jennings for a 21 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Vikings lead. Tannehill then led a 12 play, 92 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive that culminated in his hitting Sims for a 14 yard touchdown to get the Dolphins within 14-7. With one minute left in the half, Bridgewater rapidly moved the Vikings 86 yards to 1st and goal at the one with 14 seconds left in the half. After a run and an incomplete pass, the Vikings faced 3rd and goal at the one with 6 seconds left and no timeouts. In a curious decision, Mike Zimmer decided not to try and run one more quick pass play. Blair Walsh hit the 18 yard field goal as the Vikings took a 17-7 lead into the locker rooms. In the third quarter Tannehill hit Mike Wallace for a 16 yard touchdown t cap an 80 yard drive and get the Dolphins within 17-14. Three quarters of defense was followed by a fourth quarter shootout.
On the first play of the fourth quarter with the Dolphins facing 3rd and goal at the one, Miller got in to make it 21-17 Dolphins. Walsh then hit a 33 yard field goal to get the Vikings within 21-20. Tannehill hit Wallace for a 7 yard touchdown on 3rd and 5 to make it 28-20 Dolphins with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game. A very short kick had the Vikings taking over at their own 40. Bridgewater hit Wright for an 8 yard score and Asiata ran in the two point conversion to tie the game 28-28 with 4:45 to play. This game was only beginning to get ridiculous.
The Dolphins fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Vikings the ball at the Dolphins 5. One play later Asiata was in the end zone as 2 scores in 15 seconds had the Vikings up 35-28. Tannehill after a touchback moved the Dolphins to a critical 3rd and 14 at the Minnesota 18 with 1:21 to play. Tannehill threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 3. Tannehill hit Williams on the next play and the game was tied 35-35.
This time Minnesota took over at their own 13 with one minute left. After a short gain the Vikings called timeout rather than let the clock wind down to overtime. On 3rd and 8 Bridgewater was sacked and the Dolphins called their last timeout. With 45 seconds left, they wanted one last shot in regulation. The offense did not need it. In a game of wild plays, the Dolphins blocked the punt for a safety. The free kick was treated like an onside kick, which went out of bounds as the Dolphins hung on for the crazy win. Tannehill finished 35 of 47 for 396 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Neither the 8-7 Dolphins or 6-9 Vikings are playoff bound, but this was the game of the day. 31 points in 3 quarters was followed by a 41 point fourth quarter. A supposedly boring coach sure has a team with some exciting finishes. After the game owner Stephen Ross announced that Philbin is not being fired. He will coach the team next year. 37-35 Dolphins
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints — With the hideous NFC South division title on the line, Saunders took the opening kickoff for the Saints and raced 99 yards for what looked like a touchdown. He was ruled down at the Atlanta one, and Mark Ingram plunged in to make it 7-0 Saints. Matt Bryant hit a 44 yard field goal and then added a 50 yarder in the second quarter to get the Falcons within 7-6. Matt Ryan then led a 15 play, 89 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. A 3 yard touchdown pass to Eric Weems as the half ended to give the Falcons a 13-7 lead.
In the third quarter the Falcons quickly moved 86 yards as Freeman raced for a 31 yard touchdown to put Atlanta up 20-7. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter after a touchback Brees moved the Saints down the field. Controversy ensued on the first play of the fourth quarter with the Saints at the Atlanta 14. Bree threw complete to Jimmy Graham at the goal line as Graham was met by three defenders. Graham struggled to get the ball past the goal line. The ball was ripped out of his hands and the fumble was returned to the Atlanta 20. Sean Payton challenged the call but the replay showed Graham was an inch or two short of breaking the plane of the goal.
The Saints got it back at their own 13 and quickly moved down the field again. On 3rd and goal at the 4 Brees went to Graham, and this time the result was a touchdown as the Saints got within 20-14 with 6 minutes left in regulation. With 2 1/2 minutes left Brees was intercepted by Rolando McClain, setting up the Falcons at the Saints 13. Bryant hit from 32 at the 2 minute warning to make it 23-14 Falcons. With 13 seconds left in the game the Saints faced 3rd and 6 from the Atlanta 8. Brees was sacked and fumbled as Osi Umenyiora strolled 86 yards the other way for the final touchdown.
While the game was a lot closer than the score indicated, turnovers in the fourth quarter killed the Saints. Both teams are 6-9 but the Saints are eliminated from playoff contention due to an inferior division record. The Falcons host Carolina next week for the division title and a playoff berth. 30-14 Falcons
New England Patriots at New York Jets — The Jets wanted nothing better than to send Rex Ryan out a winner over their most hated rival and deny the Patriots home field throughout the playoffs. As expected, the Jets played tough early on. After a scoreless first quarter, the second quarter began with Danny Amendola returning a punt 39 yards to the Jets 36. Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for a 3 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Patriots lead. Geno Smith came back and moved the Jets 87 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. Smith hit Cumberland for a 20 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. Nick Folk added a 26 yard field goal for a 10-7 Jets lead.
In the third quarter the Jets moved 11 plays, 66 yards and took up 6 minutes but got not further than the 5. Folk hit from 23 to make it 13-7 Jets. Next the Patriots moved to a 3rd and 2 at the Jets 6 when Tom Brady threw incomplete. Bill Bellichick went with the field goal as the Patriots trailed 13-10 late in the third quarter. The Jets needed a perfect game to beat the Patriots, and one mistake cost them. Smith was intercepted, setting up the Patriots at the Jets 38. One minute into the fourth quarter, Gray got in from the one to make it 17-13 Patriots. Midway through the fourth quarter Folk hit from 37 to get the Jets within 17-16.
With 5 minutes left Folk came in for a 52 yard field goal try to give the Jets the lead. This time Folk was no good as the Patriots had good field position. On 3rd and 7 at their own 45, Brady found Amendola for just enough. Rex Ryan challenged the spot. The first down was upheld and the Jets lost their second timeout. With 1:55 to play and the Jets out of timeouts, the Patriots faced 3rd and 1 at the Jets 25. Bolden took an end around 17 yards as the Patriots got to 12-3. New England clinched a first round bye and has home field throughout with a win next week. The Jets at 3-12 are one game away from ending the Rex Ryan era. 17-16 Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers — Early on it was the kickers as Shawn Suisham hit from 23 for the Steelers and Carlo Santos hit from 35 to tie the game. In the second quarter Santos hit from 25 to put the Chiefs in front. The Steelers then moved 80 yards in 11 plays and 5 minutes and LeVeon Bell got in from the one to make it 10-6 Steelers. With less than 30 seconds left in the half Andy Reid decided to gamble on 4th and 1 from the Pittsburgh 11. Jamal Charles got nothing. Ben Roethilsberger led a 10 play, 75 yard, 6 minute drive and threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown as the Steelers led 17-6 after three quarters.
Santos hit from 43 to get the Chiefs within 17-9 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Suisham answered from 23 to put the Steelers up 20-9 with only 4 minutes left. With 1:37 to play Santos hit from 23. The onside kick never had a chance. The Steelers at 10-5 clinched a playoff spot and face a division showdown next week while the 8-7 Chiefs are on life support.
Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sometimes statistics tell the absolute truth. Aaron Rodgers began 17 of 22 for 164 yards while Josh McCown was 1 of 8 for 5 yards. Eddie Lacy raced for a 44 yard touchdown and Mason Crosby added a 42 yard second quarter field goal for a 10-0 Packers lead. Murray hit a 43 yard field goal to get the Buccaneers within 10-3 at halftime. Crosby hit from 25 in the fourth quarter to make it 13-3 Packers. Rodgers threw a one yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson as the Packers got to 11-4 and the Buccaneers fell to 2-13 with a chance for the top pick in the 2015 Draft. The Packers clinched a playoff spot and host a division showdown against Detroit next week. 20-3 Packers
New York Giants at St. Louis Rams — Neither of these teams is playoff bound but Tom Coughlin and Jeff Fisher teams always play hard. Josh Brown hit a 29 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Giants. The Rams fumbled the ensuing kickoff at the Giants took over at the Rams 21. Eli Manning found Odell Beckham for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Giants. Greg Zuerlein hit from 51 to get the Rams within 10-3.
Brown hit from 37 in the second quarter to make it 13-3 Giants. Darkwa capped off an 80 yard, 10 play, 5 1/2 minute drive by running in from 12 yards out to make it 20-3 Giants. True Mason answered with a 10 yard run to get the Rams within 20-10. The Rams got it back and moved from their own 40 to 1st and goal at the 2 with 8 seconds left. Shawn Hill threw incomplete, and with 4 seconds left Jeff Fisher took no chances. Zuerlein hit from 20 as the Rams trailed 20-13.
In the third quarter Manning moved the Giants 87 yards and hit Reuben Randle for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 27-13 Giants. Hill brought the Rams back 90 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes as a 23 yard touchdown pass to Kendricks had the Rams within 27-20. Manning then went back to Beckham for an 80 yard touchdown and a 34-20 Giants lead after three quarters. Josh Brown hit a 52 yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Hill did find Chris Givens for a 47 yard touchdown with 4 minutes left but it was not enough.
Manning finished 24 of 29 for 360 yards, 3 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Coughlin says he wants to coach next year and the normally patients Giants ownership would be crazy to force him into retirement. 37-27 Giants
Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys — A pair of 10-4 teams looked to firm up playoff positions but only one team showed up. Tony Romo began with a staggering 15 play, 80 yard drive that took 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. Romo hit Williams for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Cowboys. The Colts ran the ball 3 times and lost one yard. On 4th and 11 from their own 19 Chuck Pagano called a fake punt. Punter McAfee threw a perfect pass and McDonald just dropped it. One play later Romo went to Dez Bryant for the touchdown as the Cowboys led 14-0 before Andrew Luck had thrown a single pass. Less than one minute into the second quarter Romo threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley to make it 21-0 Cowboys. Romo completed 12 of his first 13 passes for 150 yards and 3 touchdown passes. A 10 play, 67 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive was capped off by DeMarco Murray getting in from one yard out to make it 28-0 Cowboys.
In the third quarter Romo found Jason Witten for a 25 yard touchdown to make it 35-0 Cowboys. Evan Brandon Weeden got into the act, throwing a 43 yard touchdown pass to Terrence Williams for a 42-0 Cowboys lead. With the win Dallas got to 11-4 and clinched the NFC East. After three straight 8-8 seasons and missing the playoffs in Week 17, this was sweet vindication for Jason Garrett, Tony Romo and the uncharacteristically patient Jerry Jones. 42-7 Cowboys
Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders — Kyle Orton went deep to Sammy Watkins for a 42 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills. Derek Carr moved the Raiders 64 yards. On 3rd and 13 from the Oakland 46, Carr went deep to Tompkins for a 50 yard gain. On the first play of the second quarter Carr hit James Jones for a 3 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. Midway through the second quarter Sebastian Janikowski hit a 45 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Raiders. Carr moved the Raiders late in the half to a 2nd and 4 at the Buffalo 18. Carr threw incomplete twice but Seabass hit from 36. Buffalo came in with the number one defense but it was the Oakland defense propelling the Raiders to a 13-7 lead. Once again, even average offense would get the Raiders a win. The defense let up at the end of the half and Dan Carpenter drilled a 54 yard field goal to get the Bills within 13-10.
In the third quarter the Raiders moved to the red zone but from the 19 Carr threw incomplete twice. Seabees hit from 38 to make it 16-10 Raiders. The Raiders kept playing ball control as another 6 minute drive led to a fourth Seabass field goal from 49 yards out and a 19-10 Raiders lead late in the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter Horton went deep to Steve Chandler for a 29 yard touchdown as the Bills were within 19-17.
With 12 minutes left the Raiders failed to convert on 3rd and 1 from their own 41 when Latavius Murray got stopped. The Bills took over at their 14 and moved to a 3rd and 1 at their own 46. Orson threw incomplete and it was Buffalo punting. With 8 1/2 minutes left at their own 20, the offense had another chance to try and put the game away.
On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 29, Carr gained 2. With 5 minutes left, on 3rd and 22 from their own 19, Carr went deep to Andre Holmes for a 51 yard gain. McFadden then burst outside for a 25 yard run down to the Buffalo one. With 3 minutes left Carr found Jamize Olawale alone in the flat for the touchdown as the Raiders were back up by 9 points. After earlier being intercepted by Charles Woodson, this time Orton was intercepted by Brandon Ross to supposedly seal Buffalo’s fate.
Yet the Raiders got soft. First Seabass missed a 48 yard field goal at the 2 minute warning. Then Orton threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to Woods as the Bills were within 2 again with one minute left. The onside kick failed and the Raiders finally had the win.The Bills and their number one defense were knocked out of the playoff race. After starting 0-10, the Raiders have won three of five including three straight home games. It may not save Tony Sparano, but it is something to build for next year. 26-17 Raiders
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals was the Sunday night game. Both the 10-4 Seahawks and 11-3 Cardinals clinched playoff spots before this game began. The winner of this clash would be in position to win the NFC West. An Arizona win would lock up home field throughout the playoffs.
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals is the Monday night game.