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September 2019 TYGRRRR EXPRESS Oregon/Washington Speaking Schedule

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

September 2019 TYGRRRR EXPRESS Oregon/Washington Speaking Schedule

While I have spoken in all 50 states, the Pacific Northwest is a part of the country I have spent the least amount of time in. For the first time in 7 or 8 years, I return. I will be in Oregon & Washington for almost all of September. My speaking schedule is below.

Wednesday-Monday, August 28-September 2, 2019 — Packwood Flea Market South of Seattle, Washington. 

Tuesday, September 3 — Emerald  City Rotary Club in Seattle, Washington at 7:15am. 

Tuesday, September 3 — Skagit County Republican Women North of Seattle, Washington at 10am. 

Wednesday, September 4 — Vancouver Rotary Club in Washington near Portland, Oregon at lunch. 

Wednesday, September 4 — Fremont Fun Rotary Club in Seattle, Washington at 5:30pm. 

Thursday, September 5 — Greater Kingston Kiwanis Club North of Seattle at 7am. 

Thursday, September 5 — Redmond Rotary Club near Seattle, Washington at lunch. 

Friday, September 6 — Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club near Seattle, Washington. 

Friday, September 6 — Oak Harbor Rotary Club North of Seattle, Washington  at 11:30am. 

Saturday-Sunday, September 7-8 — Portland Gun Show in Oregon. 

Monday, September 9 — Rotary Club of Portland New Generations in Oregon at 5:30pm. 

Tuesday, September 10 — Portland Pearl Rotary Club in Oregon at 7:15am.   CANCELED

Tuesday, September 10 — Milwaukie Rotary Club in Portland, Oregon at lunch. 

Tuesday, September 10 — Corvallis After 5 Rotary Club South of Portland, Oregon at 5:15pm. 

Wednesday, September 11 — Gresham Rotary Club near Portland, Oregon at lunch. 

Thursday, September 12 — Snohomish County Republican Women near Seattle, Washington at 10:45am. 

Friday, September 13 — Central Oregon Republican Women in Bend. Evening. 

Monday, September 16 — La Conner Rotary Club in Mount Vernon North of Seattle, Washington near Vancouver, Canada. 5:45pm. 

Wednesday, September 18 — La Conner Kiwanis Club in Mount Vernon North of Seattle, Washington near Vancouver, Canada. Breakfast. 

Wednesday, September 18 — Chehalis Rotary Club South of Seattle, Washington. Noon. 

Thursday, September 19 — Magnolia Rotary Club in Seattle, Washington at lunch. 

Friday, September 20 — Maple Valley Rotary Club in Seattle, Washington at 7:15am. 

Friday, September 20 — Redmond Toastmasters near Seattle, Washington at Noon. 

Saturday, September 21 — Emerald Heights Toastmasters & Kiwanis near Seattle, Washington at 7:30am. 

Wednesday, September 25 — Stayton Area Rotary Club near Salem, Oregon at lunch. 

Thursday, September 26 — Cedar Hills Kiwanis Club near Portland, Oregon at lunch. 

Friday, September 27, 2019 — Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club North of Seattle, Washington at 7am. 

eric @ Tygrrrr Express

The Top 120 Political Yummy Bouncies of 2019

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019
Teens

Ilhan Omar’s Shariacrat Party

Monday, April 29th, 2019

January 2019 Tygrrrr Express Hawaii speaking schedule

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Monday January 14 — Flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu to Maui.

MAUI

Monday January 14 — Charleys Restaurant/Saloon Open Mic Night 6pm

Tuesday, January 15 — Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset. 5:30pm.

KAUI

Wednesday, January 16 — Rotary Club of Kapaa at lunch.

OAHU

Wednesday, January 16 — Anna O’Brien’s Comedy U Open Mic Night in Honolulu, Hawaii at 8pm.  

Thursday, January 17 — Rotary Club of Metro Honolulu at 7am.

Thursday, January 17 — Rotary Club of Windward Oahu at lunch.

Thursday, January 17 — Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunset at 5:30pm.

Friday, January 18 — Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu at 7:15am.

BIG ISLAND

Friday, January 18 — Chabad of Kona. Evening.

Saturday January 19 — Chabad of Kona. Lunch. 

Sunday January 20 — AFC & NFC Title Games. A sportsbar somewhere.

Monday January 21 — Hilo Town Tavern Open Mic Night. 7pm.

Tuesday January 22 — Rotary Club of South Hilo at 11:30am.

Wednesday January 23 — Hilo Bay Rotary Club at 6:45am.

Wednesday January 23 — North Hawaii Rotary Club at Noon.

Wednesday January 23 — Hale Hookah Open Mic Night at 8pm.

Thursday January 24 — Rotary Club of Volcano at 7:30am.

Thursday January 24 — Big Island Brewhaus Open Mic Night. 6pm.

Friday January 25 — Something Jewish on the Big Island or Kauai.

KAUAI

Saturday January 26 — Kauai GOP. Evening.

Sunday January 27 — AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. A sportsbar somewhere.

Monday January 28 — Final sightseeing on Kauai and the Big Island. 

Monday January 28 — Redeye Flight from Kona back to Los Angeles. 

Tuesday January 29 — Arriving back in Los Angeles in the morning. 

eric

My birthday: 47 happy memories upon turning 47

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

My birthday: 47 Happy Memories upon turning 47

I entered this world 47 years ago today on January 9, 1972. On my 47th birthday, here are 47 happy memories.

1.) Every moment I ever spent with my grandparents. They are gone now, but I had all four of them when I graduated college and three of them when I turned 30. I am blessed.

2.) January 9, 1977 — The Oakland Raiders won the Super Bowl on my fifth birthday. I saw the logo and became a Raider for life.

3.) August 15, 1980 — Smokey and the Bandit II came out. I saw the original and the sequel and became a lifelong fan of the Bandit and the Snowman.

4.) January 22, 1984 — The Raiders won their third Super Bowl. I still remember telling the kids at school the next day one simple message. “Just win baby!”

5.) January 21, 1985 — I had my Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish passage into manhood. My Orthodox Rabbi grandfather led the ceremony.

6.) July 13, 1990 — I watched Bill Murray in quick change for the first of over 100 times. This movie is true New York, and Murray remains a national hero.

7.) August 26, 1990 — I flew from New York to Los Angeles for college. I immediately fell in love with this city and never left.

8.) September 26, 1990 — I joined the campus radio station and developed my lifelong love of radio.

9.) May 10, 1992 — I wrote my first song. 70 more would follow.

10.) January 9, 1994 — The Raiders won a playoff game over arch rival Denver on my 22nd birthday. We all had a big party to celebrate afterward at 1950s Cafe Ed Debevic’s.

11.) June 14, 1994 — The New York Rangers won the NHL Stanley Cup and ended the 54 year curse.

12.) September 13, 1994 — I passed the Series 7 stockbroker’s exam. At that moment I was now a professional.

13.) June 1, 1997 — I saw my friend doing something on a computer that seemed different. He was in a chat room. It was my first time using the Internet.

14.) July 4, 1999 — My friends and I crashed an Independence Day party on the beach and escaped moments before police busted up the party.

15.) September 23, 1999 — I finally got my driver’s license. I never needed one before.

16.) December 31, 1999 — Ringing in the Millennium in Las Vegas.

17.) March 1, 2000 — I flew from Los Angeles to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2000. I still have my Calvin and Hobbes t-shirt, “Life is short. Party naked. Mardi Gras 2000.”

18.) February 13, 2003 — I watched the movie “Old School.” I will forever thank Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell and “The Godfather” Luke Wilson for inspiring me at age 31 to finally start going to Florida for Spring Break. Years of South Beach, Miami revelry ensued at the Clevelander and Ocean’s 10. 

19.) March 14, 2003 — I flew to Singapore and Thailand and got to experience five days of beauty in each country. I met the Jewish communities of both nations.

20.) November 4, 2003 — NFL Network was born. Finally, a television channel worth watching existed. 

21.) November 2, 2004 — Enjoying the 2004 election with my closest friends.

22.) February 12, 2006 — I flew from Los Angeles to Hawaii. I met the Jewish community of Honolulu and attended my first NFL Pro Bowl. I met ESPN’s Chris Berman.

23.) April 28, 2006 — I flew from Los Angeles to New York and went to Radio City Music Hall. For the first time, I got to attend the NFL Draft and meet a bunch of great football heroes. 

24.) August 4, 2006 — I flew from Los Angeles to Ohio and drove to Canton. I visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, saw the induction ceremony featuring John Madden, and attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

25.) March 11, 2007 — I Started a blog called the Tygrrrr Express. That column somehow turned into five books and a national speaking career.

26.) September 11, 2007 — On the sixth anniversary of the attacks, I flew from Los Angeles to New York and then drove to Great Adventure in New Jersey. I attended Sean Hannity’s Feedom Concert and saw New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani light up the crowd.

27.) October 17, 2007 — I joined Facebook. Between that and Twitter, I have met many good people, increased book sales, and built my business.

28.) February 2, 2008 — I flew from Los Angeles to Phoenix and attended my first Super Bowl. The New York Giants shocked the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.

29.) March 30, 2008 — My friend adopted a child from Guatemala. On this day “the boy” turned one. Being “Unca Eric” is the best job in the world.

30.) May 13, 2008 — I flew from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. I attended the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership Conference and met Dr. Charles Krauthammer.

31.) August 6, 2008 — I flew from Los Angeles to Israel and spent a week in the Holy Land.

32.) August 30, 2008 — I flew from Los Angeles to Minneapolis for my first Republican Convention. For a week, friends and I slept in a sports bar. It was like being Norm Peterson from “Cheers.”

33.) April 5, 2009 — My first book “Ideological Bigotry” was published.

34.) September 1, 2009 — I left Wall Street after 15 years and began my career as a full-time professional speaker.

35.) November 11, 2009 — I flew from Los Angeles to Galveston and spoke at the Texas Federation of Republican Women Convention. I made TFRW and other lifelong friends in the Lone Star State.

36.) March 11, 2010 — I flew from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City to speak at the National Federation of Republican Women Spring Conference. That launched me nationally since the NFRW run the world.

37.) May 1, 2011 — In Aiken, South Carolina, I saw the news that Osama bin Laden was killed. That night I told my very best political joke. “Osama bin Laden is now burning underground with 72 Helen Thomases.” It was the bookend to my very first political joke. “Never rely on a Palestinian GPS tracker. I took one wrong turn, ended up at a cemetery, and a sinister voice said, ‘You have reached your final destination!’ I got so angry I threw the thing out the window, which was good because 5 seconds later it exploded.”

38.) February 9, 2013 — I met Vice President Dick Cheney and spoke in front of him at a dinner.

39.) September 25, 2013 — I spoke to a Tea Party group in Hays, Kansas. At that moment, I had officially spoken in all 50 states.

40.) November 4, 2014 — I spoke at an election night party in New Jersey.

41.) March 20, 2015 — After writing four political comedy books, I finished my first religious comedy book “Jewish Lunacy.” This allowed me to move beyond political speaking into religious speaking.

42.) May 12, 2015 — I met President George W. Bush and shook his hand.

43.) November 8, 2016 — Enjoyed a raucous election night party in Raleigh, North Carolina.

44.) December 31, 2016 — New Year’s Eve with the friends who matter most to me.

45.) Any woman whoever let me play with her yummy bouncies or at least was nice enough to send me pictures of them.

46.) January 9, 2018 — On my 46th birthday, the return of Chucky as Jon Gruden returns to the Black Hole to rejoin the Raiders. Like me, Gruden has unfinished business.

47.) November 9, 2018 — I met Angela Lansbury in Beverly Hills and got my picture taken with her. She remains one of the most talented people in the history of entertainment.

I would like to thank my parents for raising me right and Angela Lansbury’s JB Fletcher of “Murder, She Wrote” for catching murderers and making the world safer.

Anything I could possibly wish for has already been granted.

eric @ Tygrrrr Express

2019: We…can…do…this

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

2019: We…can…do…this

What the heck is that beeping sound?

(Knocks the phone off the hook, keeps banging the snooze alarm)

A voice tells me it’s my pager. My pager is black, so finding it in the dark is the needle in the haystack equivalent. A lucky smack knocks it against the wall, where it may or may not have shattered. The beeping continues. Why does anyone need a pager anymore anyway?

Who the heck is texting me at this ungodly hour of…(either 7 a.m., 1 p.m., or 1 a.m. …it looks blurry)?

Oh, no. It is 5 a.m., and my first radio interview of the New Year is with the morning man of an East Coast station. Time to pretend to sound coherent and go back to sleep. Oh no, wait, that radio interview was five years ago.

Great, happy wishes for the new year. Thanks. Whoever you are, it is too early to talk to you.

One year the person on the telephone insisted it was 1 p.m. After explaining to them that they were on the East Coast, and that 1 p.m. EST is 10 a.m. in Los Angeles, they grew impatient. They knew how to tell time, and that it was 4 p.m. EST, hence 1 p.m. my time.

Sure, getting up and writing my column is an option. It’s a new year, and starting the year off with a flurry of brilliance might be helpful. Forget it. This column is recycled from years ago. It’s also hours late. That is what happens when people get no sleep because of stressful December 30 football games followed by New Year’s Eve revelry.

Election 2020? The first person to talk politics gets blistered in my column … tomorrow.

Bowl games? There is DVR. Besides, does anybody care who wins the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl, the Lack of Insight.com Bowl, the Fishbowl, the RU486 Morning After Bowl, The California Metrosexual Pride Bowl, or any other game that may or may not be made up?

Speaking of the morning after, does anybody remember the David Byrne Talking Heads song from the movie “Less than Zero? (which the temperature feels like right now in some parts of the country. No wonder I live in this insane city of LA)” The song is called “Once In A Lifetime.”

“This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. What have I done? How did I get here?”

It then occurs to me that the beeping sounds are the voices in my head telling me I am too old, even at 46, to stay out this late. Even without alcohol, exhaustion has set in. 

Get out of bed? Work calls in (whenever) hours. Better rest up before my tyrant of a boss complains. Such is the life of the self-employed.

Get up now? Somehow stagger to the shower, get dressed, make it out of my condo to go … where?

The stores are closed. Maybe they are open. Too tired to find out.

My birthday is in just over a week. Time to pace myself.

Work on my website? All that takes is staggering to my couch. Oh, no. My IT guy has not finished it yet. Oh, wait, he did years ago. I clicked on the wrong site.

Go on Jdate and search for women? Not a bad idea, except it is too tiring to check their Adams Apples. This is not the year for a boyfriend, and am not sure that my eyes can tell the difference right now. Besides, Jdate is so 2014. Now it is Tinder, JSwipe and JCrush.

Shop on Ebay? No. bad idea. Buying stuff when not at full capacity is problematic. Who needs another mountain goat? Dang creature gets his horns in my hide. Not a comfy way to wake up. Calm down boy, you’ll get some straw to graze on upon my waking up.

Work on my record album? Although again, world, just because my hair is long, that does not mean my band exists. The best instrument is the triangle, because that tells me lunch is ready. Oh wait, my hair is not even that long anymore. I could work on that, although I didn’t do much. I sat. It grew.

Ahh, yes, lunch. Get up and eat something. My microwave is slow, and a five minute microwave dinner takes almost 15 minutes. Read the paper? It is cold outside my building where the stand is, and it only takes coins. Reading the paper online is tiring, and my printer is not working. At least the lifestyle section makes a great placemat for eating. Oh, wait. That stand does not exist anymore. Reading the paper online it is. 

Staying in bed for only a couple more hours until (whatever the big and little hands say) would allow me to stay up all night and be totally exhausted for work tomorrow. Again, my boss is a tyrant.

Running errands … not gonna happen.

Every morning, a four word prayer starts my day. My elbows are used to try and leverage them against my bed to prop me up. Placing my alarm clock on the other side of the room failed, since ripping the cord out of the wall solved that problem.

As for the Jewish brunette who stole the covers, her voice was not a problem last night, although if she opens her trap today she will receive a more caustic reception than usual.

Oh wait, she already left. Here is a note. “Tried to wake you, but that was a losing battle. By the way, you have nothing but soda in your fridge. Talk to you soon.” oh, wait, I think that happened over a decade ago. This is 2019, not 2005.

She is a liar. There are potato chips in my fridge as well. Why they are there remains a mystery, but it saves having to remember which cabinet they are in. One-stop shopping  is the way to go.

Besides, combing my hair for her was enough. Not doing it this morning, proud “retrosexual” that is me.

At least having the decency to say some morning prayers would be appropriate.

“Hey God…those people I pray for every night…yeah those people, the same ones…look after them again.”

Back to sleep, despite every attempt to wake up. The home phone is turned off, the cell is off as well, and the pager is still shattered, in addition to being disconnected years ago.

There may have been a car crash outside my building followed by 911 calls and sirens, but telling everybody to “keep it down,” solved that problem. A brief nightmare of me being late for work was averted when I realized my location to me was known if necessary.

Four televisions in the living room, and none in the bedroom. Who thought that up? Oh yeah, a television in the bedroom would promote laziness. Besides, trying to figure out which remote to use would cause me to break them all as if they were my pager.

Ok, here it is. Come on, elbows, do your stuff. Rise, young lad, rise! Awaken thy exhausted tired eyes!

Why is God shouting? Oh wait, that is my over-dramatization of God.

Time to set the alarm now to avoid missing work tomorrow. Where was it thrown? Threw it? Oh, screw it.

Ok, time for my four word prayer. It has gotten me this incredibly terribly far. Time to contemplate getting out of bed.

“We…can…do…this.”

Happy 2019 all. Except for the person who woke me up earlier. Whoever you are, I still can’t stand you, even though you are doing me a favor.

Ten hours and 16 bowl games later, there is only one thing left to do.

Time for a nap. Happy 2019.

Zzzzz.

eric

New Year’s Eve 2018 With Lil Jon and Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz

Monday, December 31st, 2018

Top 10 PBWGs of 2018

Monday, December 31st, 2018

Top 10 PBWGs of 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 8: NFL 2018 Week 14 Recap

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 8: NFL 2018 Week 14 Recap

The Festival of Lights was beautiful. Now let’s get down to football. This is when the big dogs come out.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans was the Thursday night game. After snapping their 7 game losing streak with a 6-0 victory, Jacksonville reverted back to form in a game that was over from the start. Tennessee from their own 27 moved easily. From the Jacksonville 48, Marcus Mariota hit Lewis for a 29 yard gain. Derrick Henry ran for 14, 2, and then the 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Titans. The Jaguars managed a safety to trail 7-2.

In the second quarter the Jaguars faced 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 5. Kessler gained 2 yards. On 4th and goal at the one, Doug Marrone again decided to go for it. A touchdown would give the Jaguars the lead. Leonard Fournette got the carry and got stopped. Then came the play of the game and perhaps the season. From their own one, the Titans took over. Henry got the carry and went the full Tony Dorsett with a 99 yard touchdown run. This was not speed. It was power, as Henry stiff-armed more than one Jacksonville defender out of the way. The extra point failed but the Titans led 13-2. 

The game was pretty much over. Ryan Succop added a 33 yard field goal to end the half. In the third quarter the Titans moved 68 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 11 from the Jacksonville 28, Mariota ran for 12 yards and Henry ran for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 23-2 Titans. The Jaguars fumbled and Tennessee took over at their own 46. Again they needed only one play as Henry ran for a 54 yard touchdown to make it 30-2 Titans. Henry was a one man wrecking crew, finishing with 238 yards on 17 carries with 4 touchdowns. Jacksonville did get a touchdown in the third quarter and the fourth quarter was scoreless. 30-9 Titans

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs — The number one defense traveled to face the number one offense. After a touchback to start the game, the Chiefs faced 3rd and 8 at their own 38. Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for 17 yards, Conley for 7, Ware for 9, and Kelce for 15 down to the Baltimore 13. Defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Williams got the yard to make it 7-0 Chiefs.

After a touchback, Edwards ran for 8 yards, Lamar Jackson added 21 more, Edwards ran for 7, Dixon added 14 more, Edwards added 11, Jackson gained 9, Edwards added 2, and Dixon ran for the 3 yard touchdown. Baltimore tied the game 7-7 in the second quarter without throwing a single pass. The Chiefs missed a chance to take the lead when Harrison Butker missed a 51 yard field goal try. The Ravens took the good field position and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 11. The drive died at that point but a 28 yard Justin Tucker field goal made it 10-7 Ravens.

A touchback followed by an 18 yard completion from Mahomes to Tyreeq Hill plus a roughing the passer penalty had the Chiefs at the Baltimore 42. On 3rd and 6 from the Baltimore 15, Mahomes hit Kelce for the touchdown to make it 14-10 Chiefs with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Chiefs got it back at their own 19 with 1:36 left. Mahomes hit Robinson for gains of 9 and 17 and Ware for a 31 yard gain. With 10 seconds left in the half, the Chiefs had 3rd and 4 at the Baltimore 6. Mahomes threw incomplete but Butker hit from 24 to make it 17-10 Chiefs at halftime.

In the third quarter the Ravens moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Chiefs 39. John Harbaugh went for it. Edwards got the carry and got stopped cold. Yet on 3rd and 8 from the Chiefs 41, Mahomes was intercepted. From the Baltimore 27, the Ravens kept running the ball smash mouth style. Even on 3rd and 6 from the Chiefs 14, John Harbaugh kept running it. Jackson gained 4 yards, and Harbaugh gambled again on 4th and 2 from the 10. This time Jackson hit Maxx Williams for the touchdown to make it a 17-17 game with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. 

The defenses dominated,, and Mahomes was getting harassed by the blitzing Baltimore defense. With 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation, a 55 yard punt return by Jones had the Ravens at the Chiefs 14 yard line. On 3rd and 5, Jackson hit John Brown for the touchdown. With 4 minutes to play, the Ravens led 24-17 and were smelling upset.  

In a surprising turn of events, pass happy Andy Reid had Ware run three straight times for 6, 3, and 5 yards on 3rd and 1. With 90 seconds left, the Chiefs were down to their last gasp, facing 4th and 9 at their own 40. This time the Ravens did not blitz but they brought pressure with their front four anyway. Mahomes rolled all the way to his right, and just before going out of bounds, twisted his body and threw back across his body to the middle of the field where only bad things happen. Somehow, Hill came down with it, broke some tackles, and got to the sideline for a 48 yard gain. With 53 seconds left the Chiefs were again down to their final chance, facing 4th and 3 at the Chicago 5 yard line.

This time Baltimore brought the house, and Mahomes hit a wide open Williams in the flat for the touchdown and a 24-24 game. Baltimore took over after a touchback. With 44 seconds left from their own 36, disaster struck the Ravens. This time it was Kansas city sending a blindside blitz. Jackson never felt the pressure as he got hit and fumbled. The Chiefs recovered t the Baltimore 23. All they had to do was run down the clock and kick a field goal. With 3 seconds left, Butker came in for the 43 yard try to win it. The kick was no good. Butker’s second miss on the day sent this fine football game into overtime.

The Chiefs won the toss and after a touchback, Mahomes went right to work. He hit Harris for 15 and Hill for gains of 18 and 15. The Chiefs reached 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 12. Then Mahomes got nailed and fumbled. The Chiefs were lucky that Eric Fisher fell on the ball. the Chiefs retained possession but lost 13 yards. With 4:42 left in overtime, Butler came in for a 35 yard try. This time his kick was good. The Ravens would get one chance to tie or win the game.   

On 3rd and 7 from their own 28, Jackson hit Willie Snead for 14 yards. At the 2 minute warning, the Ravens had 2nd and 8 at the Chiefs 45. Then it all unraveled. Offensive holding moved them back. On the next play Jackson was sacked. He was injured on the play. On 3rd and 22, Robert Griffin III had to enter the game under the most impossible of conditions. RGIII threw incomplete twice, including a deep ball where defensive pass interference could have been called. The Ravens fell to 7-6 but still have the tie-breaker wild card advantage. The Chiefs at 11-2 still hold the top seed in the AFC, but they are only one game up in the AFC West with a major division showdown on Thursday. Ugly wins count, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 27-24 Chiefs, OT

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans — The Colts saw their 5 game winning streak snapped with a head-scratching 6-0 loss at Jacksonville. Houston came in winning 9 in a row. The Texans took over at their own 18. DeShaun Watson hit Akins for 13 yards and again for 27 more with another 15 tacked on for unnecessary roughness. On 3rd and 13 from the indy 30, Watson scrambled for just enough. Frank Reich challenged the spot, and it was reversed to 4th and 1. Bill O’Brien decided to go for it, and Watson hit Thomas for 6 yards. Alfred Blue ran for a 3 yard touchdown late in the first quarter for a 7-0 Texans lead. Then in the second quarter, the Colts took over.

Midway through the second quarter, the Colts took over at their own 36. Andrew Luck went bombs away ton TY Hilton for a 60 yard gain. On the next play Marlin Mack ran for the 4 yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie. The Colts got it back at their own 34. Luck went to Eric Ebron for 23 yards, Pascal for 28 more, and back to Ebron for a 14 yard touchdown. The Colts led 14-7 with 3 minutes left in the half. The Colts got it back at their own 11 with 1:15 left. With 26 seconds left the Colts faced 3rd and 10 at their own 38. Luck hit Ebron for 15 and Carlos Rogers for 11 more. Adam Vinatieri drilled a 54 yard field goal to end the half with the Colts up 17-7.

The Texans began the third quarter with a staggering 16 play, 75 yard drive that consumed nearly half the period. On 3rd and 1 from the Colts 44, Watson hit Thomas for 14 yards. On 3rd and 8 at the Indy 28, Watson hit Hopkins for 10. On 4th and goal at the one, Bill O’Brien decided to go for it. Lamar Miller got in and the Texans were within 17-14. The Colts soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Luck hit Grant for 15 yards and Hilton for 8 more. On 2nd and 18 from the Houston 46, Luck went deep to Hilton for a 34 yard gain and then to Zach Pascal for the 12 yard touchdown. After three quarters the Colts led 24-14.

With minutes left in regulation and still needing 2 scores, the Texans faced 3rd and 8 at their own 32. Watson hit Thomas for 9 yards and went deep to Griffin for a 47 yard gain. Watson hit Hopkins for a 7 yard touchdown. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Texans were within a field goal and needed to get the ball back. Bill O’Brien opted against an onside kick and the Colts took over at their own 22. Everything came down to the 2 minute warning. The Texans were out of timeout. It was 3rd and 1 for the Colts at their own 48. Luck barked the hard count, and Jadavean clowned jumped offsides. The 9-4 Texans still lead the 7-6 Colts, as each team won on the other’s home field. Watson was 27 of 38 for 267 yards, one touchdown and 0 interceptions. Luck was a sensational 27 of 41 for 399 yards and 2 touchdowns with one interception. 24-21 Colts

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers  — McCarthy is out and the even blander nondescript Joe Philbin is in. In the first 83 seconds, Matt Ryan went to Julio Jones for gains of 28 and 19 yards. Philbin unsuccessfully used both challenges on those catches. On 3rd and 8 at the Green Bay 26, Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for 10 yards and Jones for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons.

After a touchback Aaron Rodgers came out firing. He hit Brown for gains of 8 and 4 and Randall Cobb for 8 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 45, Rodgers hit Devonta Adams for 21 yards and Valdes-Scantling for 14 more. Rodgers hit Adams for a 7 yard touchdown to make it a 7-7 game. The Falcons missed a chance to take the lead. On 3rd and 7 from the Green Bay 19, Ryan was sacked and fumbled. The Falcons retained possession but the 16 yard loss turned a 37 yard field goal try into a 53 yard attempt. Matt Bryant missed it. After the first quarter, a close game between a pair of underachieving teams turned into a blowout.

The Packers after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Atlanta 23. Rodgers threw incomplete and then was sacked for a 9 yard loss. Mason Crosby hit the 50 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Packers. With 6 minutes left in the half, the Falcons faced 3rd and 4 at their own 14. Ryan was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland, who returned it 22 yards for a touchdown and a 17-7 Packers lead. The Packers got the ball at their own 7 yard line with 2:45 left in the half. A mind-numbing unnecessary roughness penalty gave the Packers some breathing room. On 3rd and 6 from their own 31, Rodgers ran for 16 yards and then again for 21 more. With 26 seconds left in the half on 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 27, Rodgers was sacked. Crosby hit the 48 yard field goal to end the half with the Packers up 20-7.

In the third quarter from their own 28, the Packers quickly moved to put the game away. Another pair of defensive penalties gave the Packers 20 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Atlanta 24, Rodgers hit Cobb for the touchdown to make it 27-7 Packers. Green Bay got it back and faced 3rd and 14 at their own 20. Rodgers hit Adams for 16 yards and Jones for 15 more. Jones then ran for 14 yards and again for a 29 yard touchdown to make it a 34-7 Packers mauling. Atlanta scored twice during the garbage time fourth quarter as the Falcons fell to 4-9. The Packers at 5-7 are still clinging to life. Aaron Rodgers set an NFL record in this game. He has now thrown 368 straight passes without an interception. 34-20 Packers 

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills — Rex Ryan coaches neither of these teams, reducing this to a game between bad teams. On 1st and 20 from their own 17, Josh Allen hit Foster for 18 yards and ran for 8 yards on 3rd and 1. Allen scrambled for a 31 yard gain and then for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills. On their next series the Bills fumbled and the Jets took over at the Buffalo 32. Sam Darnold went to the locker room injured and Josh McCown came in. Jason Myers hit a 47 yard field goal to get the Jets within 7-3. The Bills after a touchback soon faced a 3rd and 4 at the Jets 48. Allen went deep and drew a 33 yard defensive pass interference call. On the next play Isaiah McKenzie ran for a 15 yard touchdown. The Bills led 14-3 after the first quarter, but the game would tighten. 

A 51 yard kickoff return had the Jets taking over at the Buffalo 46. On 3rd and 9 from the Buffalo 45 to start the second quarter, Sam Darnold went deep to Anderson for 25 yards. Yet on 2nd and goal at the one, McGuire lost 2 yard and Darnold threw incomplete. Jason Myers hit the 21 yard field goal to get the Jets within 14-6. The Bills from their own 29 moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Jets 13. A halfback reverse option was incomplete. Steve Hauschka hit the 31 yard field goal to make it 17-6 Bills. After burning the Bills for a 51 yard kickoff return, Roberts returned this one 86 yards to the Buffalo 8 yard line. Trenton Cannon ran for a 4 yard touchdown to get the Jets within 17-13.

Buffalo saw Josh Allen get intercepted. Buffalo got it back and Hauschka came in for a 49 yard field goal try to end the half. The kick was blocked. Despite earlier heroics, this time Roberts fumbled the second half kickoff. The Bills recovered at the Jets 13 but could not get in the end zone. Hauschka hit the 29 yard field goal ago make it 20-13 Bills. The Jets moved from their 35 to a 3rd and 9 at the Buffalo 33. Darnold was intercepted. Yet the Bills did not capitalize. Despite every chance to put the game away, Buffalo didn’t do it.

The Jets faced 3rd and 10 at their own 15. Darnold hit Enunwa for 11 yards. McGuire then ripped off a 34 yard gain. Darbold hit Leggett for 13 yards as the Jets began the fourth quarter at the Buffalo 27. Darnold hit Herndon for 14 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Buffalo 7, Darnold hit Robby Anderson for the touchdown. With 12 minutes left in regulation the Jets had tied the game 20-20. The Bills moved from their 16 to a 1st and 10 at the Jets 38. Offensive holding was costly. Midway through the fourth quarter, Sean McDermott gambled on Hauschka trying a 54 yard field goal for the lead. The kick was no good.

Buffalo got it back with 6:15 to play. From their own 39, Allen went deep to Foster for a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Jets 18, Allen threw incomplete. This time Hauschka’s attempt for the lead was only 36 yards. Despite 2 earlier misses, this kick was good. With 2 1/2 minutes to play in a game they led from the beginning, the Bills led again 23-20. Allen had his chance. Now Darnold would have his.

Roberts returned the kickoff 22 yards with 5 more tacked on for a kicking team illegal formation. The Jets took over at their own 39. On 3rd and 1, McGuire gained 4 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. From the Buffalo 42, Darnold went deep to Anderson for a 37 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Darnold only gained 3 yards. The Bills took their final timeout as Todd Bowles decided to go for it all on 4th and goal at the one. Neither team was going to the playoffs, so why not? McGuire got in and the Jets had their first lead of the game with 1:17 to play. Allen would have his chance to be the hero snuffed out with an interception. 27-23 Jets

New York Giants at Washington Redskins — The Giants began 1-7 but came in winners of 3 out of 4. The reeling Redskins saw both their starting at backup quarterbacks go down with leg injuries. Third stringer Mark Sanchez got the start, with fourth stringer Josh Johnson as his backup. The game was a blowout that was over by halftime. A field scoreless field position game saw a perfect punt pin the Redskins at their own 2 yard line with 3 minutes left in the opening quarter. A run lost a yard. A short pass by Sanchez was intercepted by Riley, who bulled his way forward for a 9 yard touchdown. The Giants led 7-0 after one quarter, and had a second quarter for the ages.

A 23 yard punt return had the Giants taking over at their own 40. Despite 1st and goal at the 3, Eli Manning was sacked for a 14 yard loss. Aldrick Rosas hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Giants. The Giants got it back at their own 22. One play was all Saquon Barkley needed to rip off a 78 yard touchdown run to make it 17-0 Giants. Sanchez was then intercepted by Alex Ogletree, who returned it 18 yards to the Redskins 10 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Manning hit Sterling Shepard for the score to make it 24-0 Giants. 

Big Blue got it back at their own 18. Manning hit Penny for 16 yards. Barkley ran for 6 and then ripped off a 52 yard gain. Manning hit Bennie Fowler for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 31-0 Giants. 1:48 still remained in the half. The Giants got it back at their own 42 thanks to a 15 yard punt return. From the Washington 44, Manning went deep to Evan Engram for a 39 yard gain. Despite 1st and goal at the 5 with 13 seconds left, Manning threw incomplete twice. Rosas hit the 23 yard field goal to end the half as the 27 point second quarter explosion had the Giants up 34-0 at halftime.

League rules prevented the second half from being canceled. In the third quarter the Giants moved 81 yards. Manning hit Shepard for the 11 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, but with the Giants up 40-0, Pat Shurmur seemed unconcerned. Manning had 3 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. Sanchez was a miserable 6 of 14 for 38 yards and 2 interceptions in little more than one half of football. Jay Gruden had seen enough and brought Johnson in to replace Sanchez. Johnson went 11 of 16 for 195 yards, although the entire rest of the game was garbage time. Washington scored twice in the fourth quarter as they fell to 6-7 and the Giants got to 5-8 with the big win. 40-16 Giants

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Last week the Saints had their 10 game winning streak snapped. In this game it was the Buccaneers taking the opening kickoff and going 75 yards. Jameis Winston after a touchback went deep to Mike Evans for a 36 yard gain. Peyton Barber ran for 13 yards and Winston scrambled for 14 more. On 3rd and 9 from the Saints 11, Winston hit Cameron Brate in the front corner of the end zone for the 7-0 Buccaneers lead. 

In the second quarter the Buccaneers missed a 46 yard field goal that would have extended the lead. The Saints took over at their own 36 and moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Bucs 12. Drew Brees threw incomplete and the Saints settled for a 30 yard Wil Lutz field goal to trail 7-3. With 2:22 left in the half, an interception of brees set up the Buccaneers at the Saints 39. A defensive penalty for lowering the head to initiate contact moved the Bucs closer. On 3rd and goal at the one, Winston hit Cameron Brate for the score as the Buccaneers had the stunning 14-3 lead at the Big Sombrero. 

Momentum changed in the third quarter when the Buccaneers punted on 4th and 3 from their own 41. It was blocked, and the Saints took over at the Tampa 30. Mark Ingram ran for 11 and 4 and Brees hit Line for the touchdown. Alvin Kamara ran for the 2 point conversion to get the Saints within 14-11. 

A 20 yard punt return had the Saints getting it back just shy of midfield. Brees went to Lewis for 20 yards. Kamara ran for 8 and caught a pass for 4 on 3rd and 2. With 11:45 left in regulation on 4th and goal at the one, sean Payton decided to go for it. Brees got the yard himself as the Saints led 18-14. The Saints got it back again with great field position at their own 47. On 3rd and 5 Brees hit Thomas for 11 and Watson for 9. Kamara ran for 9 and Ingram ran for the 17 yard touchdown to make it 25-14 Saints. Lutz added a 36 yard field goal with 1:15 left as the Saints got to 11-2 and clinched the NFC South. 28-14 Saints

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins — Tom Brady has had some of his worst games at Miami. This one will be relived forever by anyone who loves football. Brady finished 27 of 43 for 358 yards. Tannehill was 14 of 19 for 265 yards. Both quarterbacks threw 3 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions in this instant classic. 

In this game the Patriots soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Brady hit Josh Gordon for 16 yards and Julian Edelman for 17 more. On 3rd and 3 from the Miami 28, Brady hit Edelman for 4 yards and Cordarelle Patterson for 10 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, James Develin got in. The Patriots led 6-0, but Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point. It would loom large throughout the game. On 2nd and 6 from the Miami 29, , Tannehill hit Devonta Parker for 15 yards. Tannehill then ran for 13 and Frank Gore ran for a 36 yard gain. Tannehill hit Kenny Stills for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-6 Dolphins. The second quarter was a pinball machine of action.

Late in the first quarter the Dolphins punted from their own 33 on 4th and 19. The punt was blocked, and the Patriots took over at the Miami 18. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Brady hit Julian Edelman for the touchdown to make it 13-7 Patriots early in the second quarter. After a touchback Miami struck rapidly. Tannehill hit Stills for 21 yards. The Brandon Bolden ran for a 54 yard touchdown and a 14-13 Dolphins lead. 

After a touchback, Brady hit Rob gronkowski for 17 yards. On 3rd and 10 from their own 47, Brady hit Edelman for 16 yards and then went to Patterson for the 37 yard touchdown to make it 20-14 Patriots. Again after a touchback Miami responded. Tannehill went deep to Stills for a 43 yard gain. Brandon Bolden ran for a 6 yard touchdown as the Dolphins led 21-20. 

After another touchback, Brady hit Gordon for 18 yards and Edelman for 20 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Miami 31, Brady hit Gronkowski for 15 and again for the 16 yard touchdown. The Patriots led 27-21 with 4 minutes left in the half. With 30 seconds left in the half, on 4th and 29 from their own 13, Miami had a punt blocked for the second time in the first half. The Patriots took over at the Miami 15. With 21 seconds left the Patriots had 1st and goal at the 2. Brady threw incomplete twice. On 3rd and goal at the 2, the Patriots took their final timeout. It was a major mistake. 14 seconds still remained. Rather than kick an easy field goal, Belichick went for it all. Brady was sacked and the clock ran out. That was a killer mistake. After a 35 point second quarter, the game cooled in the second half.

In the third quarter, the Patriots missed a chance to get some breathing room when Gostkowski missed a 42 yard field goal. From the Miami 32, defensive holding moved the ball to the 37. Gore ran for gains of 16 and 24 yards. Tannehill then hit Brice Butler for a 23 yard touchdown. The 7th lead change of the game had the Dolphins up 28-27 after three quarters.

With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Patriots took over at their own 31. Brady hit Gordon for gains of 21 and 8 with defensive holding adding 5 more. Brady hit White for 9 yards. Despite 1st and 10 at the Miami 15, a run gains done yard and Brady threw incomplete twice. With 6:45 left in the half, Gostkowski came in for a 32 yarder to give the Patriots the lead. The kick was good and the 8th lead change of the game had the Patriots up 30-28. 

Miami took over at their own 22. On 3rd and 4 from their own 40, Tannehill threw incomplete. With 4 1/2 minutes left, Adam Gase decided to punt. The Patriots took over at their own 27. With 3 minutes left, offensive holding had the Patriots facing 1st and 20 at their own 29. White gained 11 and Brady hit gordon for 12  as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Brady went deep and drew a 41 yard pass interference penalty. With 1:50 to play the Patriots had 1st and goal at the 7. White gained a yard and the Dolphins took their final timeout. A touchdown would put the game out of reach, but running the ball would grind down the clock to almost nothing. 

Bill Belichick played it safe and it was absolutely the right thing to do. In that situation you don’t even think of throwing the football. After gaining nothing, on 3rd and goal at the 6, Michel gained 2 yards. Critics will wonder why Belichick did not trust one of the greatest NFL players in all time in Brady to pass. Josh McDaniels calls the plays, and in that situation you must run the ball. By the time Gostkowski made the 22 yard field goal, only 16 seconds remained. The Patriots led 33-28. If not for Gostkowski’s misses and Brady’s blunder at the end of the first half, it would have been 40-28. Nevertheless, surely the Patriots could hang on for 16 seconds.

The short kickoff was returned 16 yards to the Miami 31. Only 7 seconds remained. All that was left was the Hail Mary, and nobody knew if Tannehill even had the arm strength to throw it 69 yards. Bill Belichick took defender Devon McCourty out of the game and brought in tight end Gronkowski to defend the Hail Mary. Adam Gase decided that the Hail Mary was not doable. He decided to go with the hook and laterals made famous by Cal knocking over the Stanford Marching Band.

From the 31, Tannehill fired over the middle to Stills, who caught the ball at midfield. As several defenders converged on Stills, he calmly lateraled the ball to DeVante Parker. Parker lateraled the ball to Kenyan Drake, who was near the sideline. Drake advanced from the sideline to the middle of the field at about the New England 30 yard line. Drake expected to lateral the ball again, but noticed that the New England defense had broken down. Drake kept the ball, veered back to the sideline, and it came down to him against Gronkowski. Gronk had a bad angle and stumbled. Drake made it to the end zone as the entire home crowd erupted in celebration. 

There were no flags on the field. The laterals were all backward and legal. It was a Miami miracle. Although this happened on the last night of Hanukkah, there was no word on whether any of the players involved on the final play were Jewish. New England fell to 9-4 and Miami at 7-6 is still alive in the playoff chase. Although league rules require an extra point attempt, the pandemonium made that impossible. Speaking of impossible, the 9th lead change ending in the play of the year will be watched as long as football and televisions exist. 34-33 Dolphins

Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns — The Panthers took over at their own 35. Runs and short passes led to a 3rd and 9 at the Cleveland 24. Cam Newton hit Christian McCaffrey for 20 yards and McCaffrey ran for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. On the very first play from scrimmage after a touchback, Gregg Williams went for it all. Baker Mayfield went deep and hit Brad Perriman for a 66 yard gain. Jarvis Landry ran for a 3 yard touchdown and a 7-7 game. 

In the second quarter the Browns fumbled and the Panthers took over at the Cleveland 17. McCaffrey ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Panthers. After a touchback, the Browns would face 3rd and 17 just shy of midfield. Mayfield went deep to Landry for a 51 yard touchdown and a 14-14 ballgame. 

The Panthers moved from their 18 to a 4th and 4 at the Cleveland 12. Chandler Catanzaro, filling in for injured Graham Gano, hit the 30 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Panthers. After a touchback the Browns moved to a 1st and 10 at the Carolina 31. They got no further but Greg Joseph nailed the 49 yard field goal. 3 times Carolina took the lead and 3 times Cleveland tied it for a 17-17 game at the half.

Defense dominated the second half. In the third quarter Carolina recovered a fumble at the Cleveland 32. They lost 3 yards, attempted a 53 yard field goal, and suffered a killer delay of game penalty before Catanzaro could kick the ball. Ron Rivera smartly opted to punt. Cleveland had to punt it back on 4th and 16 from their own 5. Carolina took over and soon faced 4th and 1 at the Cleveland 45. Riverboat Ron Rivera went for it and Newton hit Thomas for a 9 yard gain and a first down. Yet Thomas then drew a boneheaded unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to move the ball back 15 yards. It was still 1st and 10. Newton was then intercepted, but it was nullified by defensive holding. 

From the Cleveland 46, Newton hit Thomas for 16 yards, this time without incident. McCaffrey then ran for 25 yards. A 3 yard touchdown run was nullified by offensive holding. On 3rd and goal at the 18, Ron Rivera this time had seen enough. He played it safe, called a run that gained 2 yards, and brought in Catanzaro for a 34 yard try for the lead. It was good and the Panthers led 20-17 after three quarters the hard way.

After a touchback, The Browns began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 2 at their own 45. Landry got the carry and gained 51 yards. On the next play Nick Chubb ran for the 4 yard touchdown. Joseph doinked the extra point off the upright no good. With 13 minutes left in regulation the Browns had their first lead of the game up 23-20. The Browns got it back and moved from their 37 to a 4th and 8 at the Carolina 23. Joseph hit the 41 yard field goal to put the Browns up by 6 with 8:45 to play.

Carolina moved 72 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. With 3 1/2 minutes to go, they had 2nd and goal at the 3. Would this be another Cleveland collapse? Moore gained nothing, Newton threw incomplete, and Riverboat Ron Rivera had a big decision to make. On 4th and goal at the 3 with 2 1/2 minutes left, he could kick a field goal and rely on defense. He went for it, a reasonable decision. Newton threw incomplete. The Panthers got it back at their own 35 with 1:07 left. Newton went deep and was intercepted. The reeling Panthers are 6-7 including 5 straight losses. They are 1-6 on the road. The Browns are 5-7. Under Hue Jackson, the Browns won 3 of 40 games. Under Gregg Williams, they have won 3 of their last 4 games. 26-20 Browns

Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers — The Broncos came in winners of 3 straight to get to 6-6 and still alive for a playoff spot. The 49ers came in leading the chase for the worst record and the top draft pick. Some games are just head-scratchers. The 49ers moved 56 yards in the first quarter and Robbie Gould hit a 40 yard field goal to put the 49ers up 3-0 after the first quarter. They got it back at their own 19. On the last play of the quarter from their own 36, Nick Mullens hooked up with George Kittle for a 52 yard game. The second quarter saw the 49ers face 3rd and 2 at the Denver 4. Mullens was sacked. Gould hit from 29 as the 49ers led 6-0.

The 49ers got it back at their own 15. One play was enough for Mullens to connect with Kittle for an 85 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 49ers. With 55 seconds left in the half, the 49ers took over at their own 28. Mullens hit Bourne for 12. From the Denver 45 with 30 seconds left, Mullens hit Kittle for 13 yards and again for 18 more. With 8 seconds left in the half, Mullens hit Pettis for the one yard touchdown as the 49ers had the surprising 20-0 lead at halftime. 

The 49ers slept through the entire second half as Denver tried to rally. In the third quarter a 20 yard punt return had the Broncos taking over at their own 44. On 4th and 1 from the 49ers 33, Vance Joseph had to go for it. Janovich gained 3 yards. On 4th and 2 from the Frisco 22, Keenum went to Patrick for 19 yards. Philip Lindsay ran for the 3 yard touchdown to get the Broncos on the board down 20-7. Denver got it back at their own 8 yard line and moved to a 4th and 3 at their own 44 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Lindsay got the carry and only gained 2 yards.

Mullens was quickly intercepted, giving the Broncos the ball at their own 41. They moved to a 4th and 3 at the Frisco 22 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Keenum completed a pass to Lindsay, but only for one yard. Denver got it back at their own 31 with 6:40 to play. with 5 1/2 minutes left they faced 4th and 7 at the Frisco 24. Keenum hit Patrick for 9 yards. With 4 1/2 minutes left they faced 4th and 1 at the Frisco 6. Lindsay gained 3 yards. On 1st and goal at the one, Keenum threw 3 straight incompletions. On 4th and goal at the one, Keenum hit DaeSean Hamilton for the score. With 4 minutes left Denver was within 6 points. 

With 3 1/2 minutes left, the 49ers faced 3rd and 7 at their own 23. Mullens hit Pettis for 31 yards. With 2 1/2 minutes left, it all came down to 3rd and 3 at the Denver 39 with the Broncos out of timeouts. In a gutsy move, Kyle Shanahan called a pass knowing an incompletion would stop the clock. when you’re 2-10, why not? Mullens hit Taylor for 6 yards and then took 3 knees. At 6-7, Denver’s playoff hopes took a brutal hit. The 3-10 49ers may still get the top pick, but in the NFL, there is no tanking. Everyone wants to win. 20-14 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers — The Bengals are done for the year while the Chargers still have an outside shot at the AFC West crown. After a touchback, Philip Rivers ran for 5 yards and Austin Ekeler added 18 more. Rivers hit Williams for 19 and Ekeler ran for 14 and 15. Rivers hit Keenan Allen for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chargers. The Bengals moved from their own 20 to a 3rd and 8 at the Chargers 34. A short pass from Driskel to John Ross gained only 5 yards. Marvin Lewis decided not to gamble on 4th and 3. Randy Bullock hit the 47 yard field goal as the Bengals trailed 7-3. 

In the second quarter after a touchback, runs and passes moved the Chargers to the Cincy 42. Rivers hit Jackson for 17 yards. Rivers then went to Ekeler for 21 yards and the Chargers began the second quarter with 1st and goal at the 5. Ekeler ran for the touchdown to make it 14-3 Chargers. A short punt would give the Bengals the ball at the Chargers 46. They moved to a 3rd and goal at the one. Driskel got in, but on further review it was ruled short. Marvin Lewis decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. A false start killed the Bengals as they settled for a 23 yard Bullock field goal. They trailed 14-6, and field goals were not going to get it done.

With 1:35 left in the half, a short punt had the Bengals taking over at the Chargers 35. With 20 seconds left in the half, Driskel hit Ross for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed, but the Bengals were within 14-12, which should have been the halftime score. Yet the Bengals could not get to the half. The Chargers had 10 seconds left from their own 32. With one second left from the Cincy 46, Rivers was sacked. Yet the defense jumped offside to give the Chargers one untimed down. Anthony Lynn went with a 59 yard field goal try. Mike Badgley drilled it as the Chargers took a 17-12 lead to the locker rooms.

The Bengals began the third quarter with Marvin Lewis gambling on 4th and 1 from his own 35. Joe Mixon got stopped. The Chargers capitalized on the short field. On 4th and 1 from the Cincy 26, Anthony Lynn went for it and Ekeler gained 2 yards. The drive died at the 13 yard line but Badgley hit the 31 yarder to make it 20-12 Chargers after three quarters.

With one minute left in the third quarter the Bengals moved from their 39 to a 3rd and 5 at the Chargers 28. Driskel threw incomplete. Bullock hit the 46 yard field goal to get the Bengals within 20-15, but again field goals were not going to get it done. The Chargers moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 3 at the Cincy 14. Rivers threw incomplete, but Badgley hit the 32 yard field goal to make it 23-15 Chargers midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bengals moved 79 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes, taking over at their own 21. On 3rd and 6 from their own 48, Driskel hit Bernard for 9 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 39, Driskel threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 9 yard gain. Mixon then ran for gains of 19, 4, and 5 to set up 3rd and 1 at the 2 at the 2 minute warning. Driskel threw incomplete but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the one. Mixon got in with 1:50 left. now it was time to try the tying 2 point conversion. Driskel was sacked and the Chargers still led 23-21.

The Bengals recovered the onside kick, but it only went 9 yards. Plus, an illegal block made matters worse as the Chargers took over at the Cincy 34. Anthony Lynn played it very safe as the Chargers ran 3 straight times. Badgley hit the 45 yard field goal as the Chargers led by 5. The Bengals took over at their own 23 with 43 seconds left. A sack of Driskel left 3rd and 19 with 18 seconds left. With no shot for a Hail Mary, a 9 yard completion ended the game. The Chargers at 10-3 are in strong playoff position and have a major showdown with 11-2 Kansas City on Thursday. 26-21 Chargers    

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together for a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. Matt Prater hit a 47 yard field goal in the second quarter for the Lions. Zane Gonzalez missed from 54. In the third quarter, Josh Rosen completed a pass to Darius Slay, who plays defense for Detroit. The 67 yard interception return touchdown made it 10-0 Lions. The Cardinals did get a field goal midway through the fourth quarter, but Zach Zenner capped a 75 yard drive with a one yard touchdown run for Detroit that iced a game that deserves no further elaboration. It was not a Happy Hanukkah for Rosen. 17-3 Lions

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys — This NFC Least showdown saw Philly winning 2 straight against a Dallas team that had won 4 straight. Most of this game was a slog. Brett Maher hit field goals of 28 yards in the first quarter, 62 yards on the final play of the half, and 21 in the third quarter to make it 9-0 Cowboys with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Maher also missed a 45 yarder in the second quarter. 

The Cowboys were in total control until Dak Prescott made a very bad decision. From his own 9, a deep ball was intercepted and returned by Graham 29 yards to the Dallas 2 yard line.Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for the score. The extra point was no good but the Cowboys led 9-6. After three quarters of a slog, the fourth quarter was a track meet. The Cowboys after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Philly 44. Prescott was sacked and fumbled. The Eagles took over at their own 45. Early in the fourth quarter they had 1st and goal at the 8. They got no closer as Wentz threw incomplete on 3rd and goal. Elliott hit the 26 yard field goal for a 9-9 game with 12 minutes left in regulation.

Dallas faced 3rd and 12 at their own 23. Prescott went to Amari Cooper for just enough. From the Philly 46, Prescott went to Cooper for 13 yards and again for a 28 yard touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Cowboys led 16–9. Yet the final few minutes were a frenzy. With 5 1/2 minutes left, a field position game had the Eagles taking over at the Dallas 47. Wentz hit Jeffery for 12 and Goedert for 26 yards. Wentz hit Goedert for a 3 yard touchdown. The game was tied 16-16 with 3 minutes left, but it was far from over.

One play and 11 seconds later, the Cowboys had the lead again. Prescott and Cooper connected on a 75 yard touchdown to make it 23-16 Cowboys. After a touchback, the Eagles were at the Dallas 44 at the 2 minute warning. Wentz went deep to Nelson Agholor for a 42 yard gain. Wentz hit Darren Sproles for a 6 yard touchdown. For the third time in a game they never led, the Eagles had tied the game at 23-23. 1:35 still remained. The Cowboys moved from their 18 to a 2nd and 6 at the Philly 41 with 21 seconds left. Out of the shotgun, a fumbled snap meant a 6 yard loss out of field goal range. Prescott was then sacked as these bitter rivals went to overtime.

The Cowboys won the toss and went straight to their best player. Ezekiel Elliott ran for gains of 8 and 10. Prescott then hit Schultz for 16 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Philly 40, Prescott hit Cooper for 12 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Philly 19, Elliott got stopped. Jason Garrett had a big decision to make. A field goal would still give the Eagles one chance with the ball. Garrett went for it and on 4th and 1, Elliott gained 2 yards. With 2 minutes left in overtime, it came down to 3rd and 8 at the Philly 15. 

Prescott fired to Cooper. The ball was deflected in the air. Somehow Cooper caught the deflections and waltzed into the end zone. The Eagles never saw the ball as Doug Pederson saw his defending champions fall to 6-7. The Cowboys are now 8-5. Prescott was a ridiculous 42 of 54 for 455 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Elliott had 113 yards on 28 carries. Cooper had 217 receiving yards on 10 catches, with 3 touchdowns. Jerry Jones has a new set of triplets. 29-23 Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders — Despite losing 2 straight, the AFC North leading Steelers were expected to roll over the 2-10 Raiders. Cue ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman. “THAT’s why they PLAY the games.” This was not as special as their AFC Title Games of the 1970s, but it was a heart-stopping football game. Ben Roethlisberger and Derek Carr both threw 2 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. They both completed 25 passes with Roethlisberger only throwing 29 times and Carr throwing 34 times. Carr threw for 322 yards to 282 for Big Ben. This game came down to a stunning final play. It was far from an Immaculate Reception, but it was a surprise.

The Raiders despite their awful record frequently start fast, and this game was no exception. From their 26, Muscle Hamster Doug Martin gained 9 yards and Carr hit Jared Cook for gains of 30 and 19 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Martin got in to make it 7-0 Raiders. Both defenses dug in for the rest of the first quarter.

With 3 minutes left in the opening quarter the Steelers faced 2nd and 7 at their own 36. Roethlisberger connected with James for a 22 yard gain. The second quarter began with the Steelers facing 3rd and 4 at the Oakland 24. Roethlisberger hit McDonald for 8 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 14, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 12 yards. Stevan Ridley ran for the 2 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

The Raiders took over at their own 28. Carr hit Jordy Nelson for 13 yards and Cook for 12 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 45, Carr found Cook for 12. On 3rd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 26, Carr threw incomplete. Daniel Carlson hit the 44 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Raiders. The Steelers after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 16. On 3rd and 9, Roethlisberger was sacked. Boswell missed a 39 yard field goal try that would have tied the game.

Yet as they have done so many times this season, the Raiders self-destructed at key moments. A facemask penalty on a punt return had the Steelers taking over with 3 minutes left in the half at their own 47. Roethlisberger went to Juju Smith-Schuster for a 20 yard gain. With one minute left in the half, the Steelers faced 3rd and 9 at the Oakland 12. Roethlisberger hit McDonald for a 10 yard gain. With 10 seconds left in the half, the Steelers faced 3rd and goal at the one. Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster for the touchdown. Despite neither of them being Jewish, their touchdown on the last night of Hanukkah had the Steelers up 14-10. 

The second half started in shocking fashion. The Steelers had the ball but Roethlisberger was not on the field. Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs was in the game. Roethlisberger had gotten belted in the second quarter and badly injured his ribs. He gutted it out for the rest of the half and even led the team to the lead. At halftime, he told Mike Tomlin he couldn’t go. Dobbs played the third quarter, which was a scoreless slugfest. The Raiders have had a weak defense all year, but on this day they were playing tough football. Sadly, they could not get the stop on the last play of the half which is why they were trailing.

Dobbs did move the Steelers from their 37 to a 4th and 1 at the Oakland 42. Mike Tomlin went for it and Dobbs completed a pass to McDonald, but for no gain. The Raiders moved from their 36 to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 12. On 3rd and 9, Carr hit Nelson for 7 yards, but offensive holding instead meant 3rd and 19. Carr was then sacked and fumbled the ball away, killing the drive. Dobbs was then intercepted at the Oakland 44, but the Raiders could not pick up a first down. 

With 13 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders took over at their own 27. On 2nd and 6, Carr hit Atman for 28 yards. On 2nd and 13 from the Pittsburgh 44, Carr hit Nelson for 8 and Ateman for 7. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 27, Carr hit Nelson for only 7. On 4th and 1 from the 20 with over 8 minutes left, Jon Gruden decided to go for it. He had Carr line up in the shotgun, which should make Raiders fans tear their hair out. Nevertheless, Jalen Richard gained 5 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the 12, Carr hit Nelson for 10 yards. On 2nd and goal from the 3, Carr hit Lee Smith for the touchdown. With 5:20 to play, the Raiders led 17-14. Now their defense needed to close out a win against a backup quarterback who had done nothing.

Except after a touchback, Dobbs was not in the game. Ben Roethlisberger willed himself back on the field. Sports history is loaded with injured heroes who get up and gut out wins. The most notable are Michael Jordan, Willis Reed, Joe Montana and Pete Sampras. Now Roethlisberger was going to add his name to that list. He hit Brown and Samuels for a pair of 13 yard gains. He hit Samuels for 23 and Smith-Schuster for 12 more. An 8 yard completion to Smith-Schuster put the ball on the one. Roethlisberger fired to the back of the end zone to Smith-Schuster, who made a jiggling catch. He appeared to be out of the back of the end zone but officials called it a touchdown. The Raiders had collapsed again and trailed 21-17 with 3 minutes left.

Two years ago Carr willed the Raiders to multiple wins. Anyone who thinks he has lost his ability has lost their minds. After a touchback, Carr hit Richard for 5 and Ateman for 10 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Carr hit Cook for 14. Then Carr went deep to Seth Roberts, who beat the double coverage. A perfectly placed ball went for a 39 yard gain and 1st and goal at the 7 with 1:15 to play. For some reason, Mike Tomlin decided not to take any timeouts on defense until 25 seconds remained. It was 4th and goal at the 6 after a pair of incompletions. It all came down to one play.

It was Derek to Derek, Carr to Carrier. Carr hit Derek Carrier for a 6 yard touchdown as the home crowd erupted in celebration. The Raiders led by 3. A 25 yard kickoff return by Ryan Switzer had the Steelers at their own 30. Only 15 seconds remained. Could the Silver and Black finally close out a game? Roethlisberger threw a 5 yard pass to Washington. 2 defenders converged on Washington. He evaded them long enough to lateral the ball to Smith-Schuster, who got to the sideline and appeared to be pulling out the Immaculate Reception Part II. 

Smith-Schuster was finally forced out of bounds after racing 43 yards for a total gain of 48 yards on the play. 5 seconds remained when Franco Harris scored in December of 1972. 5 seconds remained when Smith-Schuster got out of bounds in December of 2018. The ball was on the Oakland 22. Boswell came in for a 40 yard try to tie the game. Surely, the Steelers would win in overtime. There would be no overtime. The miserable Oakland dirt that has hurt Raiders kickers finally helped the home team. Boswell slipped on the dirt and his low kick was blocked. Happy Hanukkah Mark Davis. Derek Carr is not Jewish, but he pulled off the biggest Hanukkah Miracle since Judah Maccabee. Roethlisberger has never won in Oakland, going 0-4. The Raiders have won 2 of their last 3, and are finally showing some fight. Just win baby. 24-21 Raiders  

Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears is the Sunday night game. The 11-1 Rams have already won the NFC West and the 8-4 Bears are atop the NFC North. The Rams have the offense and the Bears have the defense. This game was all defense. Mitchell Trubisky was intercepted 3 times. Jared Goff was picked off 4 times. In the first quarter an interception set up the Rams at the Chicago 15. They settled for a 27 yard Greg Zuerlein field goal. The Bears reached 3rd and 5 at the Rams 11. Trubisky was sacked. Cody Parkey hit the 39 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter an interception of Goff had the bears at the Rams 4 yard line. Trubisky was sacked and Parkey hit from 31. Sean McVay gambled on a fake punt on 4th and 7 from his own 28. Johnny Hekker hit Everett for just enough. Zuerlein hit from 50 as the teams were tied 6-6 at halftime.

The first half was all defense. So was the second half. The Rams began the third quarter at their own 13 yard line. Todd Gurley lost 5 yards. Then came the play of the game. Goff was sacked in the end zone for a safety and the Bears led 8-6. The Bears took the free kick at their own 19 and moved to a 3rd and goal at the 2. Matt Nagy may look like a boring nondescript guy, but he runs an exciting offense. He brought defensive players in to play offense. Trubsisky faked a handoff to a defensive tackle and threw a tackle eligible to 

Sowell. His first ever catch put the game away, as both defenses dominated the rest of the way. This game had Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary approving and Deacon Jones scowling in football heaven. As Singletary said, “This is when the big dogs come out.” 15-6 Bears

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks was the Monday night game. A few years ago the Seahawks survived a road playoff win at Minnesota 10-9. This game was even more brutal and much closer than the final score. Sebastian Janikowski’s 37 yard field goal in the second quarter was the only score for 45 minutes as the Seahawks led 3-0 after three quarters. The Seahawks had 1st and goal at the one with 16 seconds left in the half. Russell Wilson threw a horrendous interception that he was lucky was not returned the other way for a score. In the third quarter Minnesota went for it on 4th and 1 at the Seattle 40. Latavius Murray got stopped. A 31 yard defensive pass interference penalty led to Janikowski hitting a 35 yarder as the Seahawks led 6-0 with 13 1/2 minutes left in regulation. 

Minnesota moved to a 4th and goal at the one with 9 minutes left. Mike Zimmer decided to go for it and Kirk Cousins’s pass was broken up in the end zone incomplete. Minnesota got it back at the Seattle 41. With 5 1/2 minutes left Dan Bailey came in for a 47 yard field goal try. Bobby Wagner leapt over the line and blocked it. From the Seattle 39, Wilson scrambled and gained 40 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, after over 57 minutes of 0 touchdowns, Chris Carson got in. Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for the 2 point conversion to make it 14-0 Seahawks. The exclamation point came when Justin Coleman returned a fumble 29 yards for a score to make it 21-0 Seahawks. Minnesota got a garbage touchdown to drop to 6-6 as Seattle got to 8-5. Wilson finished 10 of 20 for only 72 yards and one interception. Pete Carroll just wants to win. This was not the Purple People Eaters or the Legion of Boom, but it was pretty close. 21-7 Seahawks

Hanukkah 2018 Night 7: Basel Art

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 7: Basel Art

Hanukkah Night 7 took things to the Basel Art display in Wynwood, an off-shoot of Miami. I still believe Art is short for Arthur, but for those who love art, it is one heck of a show. There were plenty of hot pieces. There was also artwork. 

eric