NFL 2008–Week 4 Recap

The Tygrrrr Express arrived in the Holy Land, aka Brooklyn, New York, this morning. After a redeye from Los Angeles that arrived at 6am, followed by several hours of sleep, I thank the lord almighty that football on the East Coast does not start until 1pm.

On a sad note, we all mourn the passing of legendary actor Paul Newman. My favorite movie of all time was “The Color of Money.” In 1986 he finally won the Oscar that he should have been given for the prequel, “The Hustler,” back in 1961. The Soundtrack featured the Eric Clapton song, “It’s in the way that you use it.” Paul Newman made the most of life, and used it well.

In his honor, I will try to have one of his salad dressings with my meal, since a portion of the proceeds go to charity.

Lurching back to football, from Coney Island, home of the original Nathan’s Hot Dogs, within walking distance to the Boardwalk, I present you the recap of the fourth week of the NFL season.

These recaps are pathetic because I was traveling throughout the day. They will be updated in the next 24 hours. Until then, go to

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers–Carolina took their first possession down the field for a 7-0 lead, but a pair of Jason Elam field goals had the game at 7-6 in the second quarter. Carolina is a good team because they have a great defense and solid coaching, but they can be an elite team now that Steve Smith is back from suspension. Jake Delhomme found SMith for a 56 yard touchdown pass to put the Panthers up 14-6, and they led 14-9 at the half.

In the second half the Carolina defense clamped down. Matt Ryan threw 41 passes, but was harassed all game. After a field goal had Carolina up 17-9, Delhomme went deep again, this time to Muhsin Muhammad for 36 yards and the game’s final score. 24-9 Panthers

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals–For 3 quarters, this was a war of attrition, with the Bengals leading 6-3. In the 4th quarter, the Browns finally got going. A 13 play, 6 1/2 minute drive culminated ina  17 yard toss from Derek Anderson to Braylon Edwards for a 10-6 Browns lead with 13 minutes remaining. After a touchback, Chris Perry fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, and the Browns recovered at the Cincinnati 24. Anderson found Kellen Winslow for a 20 yard gain down to the 4, setting up a short touchdown to make it 17-6, effectively putting the game out of reach. Cincinnati did reach the end zone, but Cleveland ate up large amounts of clock to send the Bengals to another tough loss. 20-12 Browns

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars–This game was deadlocked at the half, after 3, and at the end of regulation. It was a well played offensive game, with neither team turning the ball over, and only a pair of penalties by each team. Matt Schaub threw 3 touchdown passes for the Texans.

Four minutes into the game Jacksonville faced a 4th and 4 at the Houston 41. A fake punt direct snap to Owens went all the way for the 41 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Jaguars lead. Houston had a pair of 12 play drives. The first one lasted 5 1/2 minutes and set upa  field goal. The second one ate up over 7 minutes, and culminated in a 30 yard touchdown pass from Schaub to Slaton to put the Texans up 10-7. The teams were tied 10-10 at the half.

The Jaguars took the second half kickoff, and 4 minutes later, David Garrard found Jones for an 18 yard touchdown and a 17-10 Jacksonville lead. Houston had another long drive, 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes, with Schaub throwing a 5 yard touchdown pass to tie the game 17-17.

Jacksonville responded with a 13 play 6 1/2 minute drive resulting in a field goal early in the 4th quarter. Houston mounted another 11 play, 6 1/2 minute drive that ended in Schaub finding Walters for 8 yards and a 24-20 Houston lead with 7 minutes remaining. The Jaguars came right back, and 13 plays and 5 1/2 minutes later, David Garrard scored on a 5 yard quarterback draw from the shotgun. Jacksonville led 27-24 with 1:48 remaining.

Schaub went right to work from his own 18, and quickly moved the Texans in position for a 47 yard field goal attempt. Kris Brown nailed it just before the gun, to send the game into overtime tied 27-27.

The Jaguars took the kickoff in overtime and quickly ended things. On 3rd and 5 from their own 35, Garrard found Jones for 18 yards. A 22 yard toss to Jones set up a 37 yard Josh Scobee field goal. He drilled it 3 1/2 minutes into overtime, and the Jaguars had another heartstopping win. The Texans had another heartbreaking loss. 30-27 Jaguars, OT

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs–To quote uber-announcer Chris Berman, “THAT’S why they play the games. Denver may not have been as good as their 3-0 record, but Kansas City was every bit as bad as their 0-3 record. The first 3 quarters were quiet. Jay Cutler had a short touchdown pass to put Denver up 7-6. Kansas City returned a fumble 37 yards to the Denver 2, setting up a Larry Johnson plunge to go back up 13-7. Denver matched Kansas City with a couple of field goals before the Chiefs added their 3rd one to lead 16-13 after 3 quarters.

The Chiefs broke the game open n the 4th quarter. Damon Huard found Tony Gonzalez for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 23-13 with 12:40 remaining. With 8 minutes left Denver reached the Kansas City 3 yard line but had to settle for a field goal to make it 23-16. With just over 4 minutes left the Chiefs added their 4th field goal, but the Broncos added their 4th field goal with 2:06 left.

Kansas City recovered the onsides kick at the Denver 43. Johnson broke free for a 34 yard gain, and after a holding penalty, added a 16 yard tochdown run with 30 seconds remaining to ice the game. Denver lost their first, the Chiefs won their first, and the NFL proved again that on any given Sunday, anything can happen. 33-19 Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints–Drew Brees continued his aerial assault. He went 23 of 35 for 363 yards and 3 touchdown passes, as the Saints rolled. Although the 49ers led 3-0 after the 1st quarter, Brees had all of his touchdown passes in the 2nd quarter. He went 5 yards and 33 yards to Moore, and 47 yards to Meachem, as the Saints led 21-6 at the half.

After the 49ers cut the gap to 21-9, the Saints began at their own 9. Brees found Meachem for a 52 yard gain, and 91 yards and 6 minutes of clock later, the Saints had reached the end zone again and put the game out of reach. 31-17 Saints

Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets–This game was ridiculous. Every quarter was a different game. The first quarter was scoreless. The second quarter turned into the Brett Favre show. 10 seconds into the quarter he found Laverneus Coles for 12 yards and a 7-0 Jets lead. Kurt Warner also threw his first touchdown pass to the Jets, as Revis returned the interception 32 yards for a 14-0 Jets advantage. Favre then found Coles again, this time for 34 yards to put New York up 21-0. The Jets were just getting started. Warner was intercepted again, allowing the Jets to start at the Arizona 19. This led to a field goal and a 24-0 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the half. Warner then fumbled, and the Jets recovered at the Arizona 40. With 10 seconds left in the half, Favre found Coles again, this time for 2 yards. At 31-0, all the Cardinals had to do was kneel on the ball. Instead, Warner went back to pass, was sacked for a 12 yard loss, and fumbled again. The Jets recovered and added a field goal. In the second quarter Favre had 3 touchdown passes, Warner had 4 turnovers, and the Jets scored 34 points.

The game should have ended, but the 3rd quarter was all Arizona. Warner turned back into the greatest show in the desert. A pair of Edgerrin James runs followed by a run by Hightower had the Cardinals shockingly within 34-21after three quarters. A blowout was now a game. The insanity was just getting started as the teams combined for 36 points in the final quarter.

A 12 play 6 minute drive led to Favre finding Jerricho Cotchery for 17 yards and some breathing room for the Jets at 41-21. Warner responded by finding Anquon Boldin for 8 yards, making it 41-28. Favre and Warner kept airing it out. Favre found Cotcherry again, this time for 40 yards. The Jets were up 48-28. Warner found Urban for 14 yards, and the Cardinals were within 48-35. The Cardinals caught a break when Jay Feeley missed a field goal, but Arizona then turned it over again.

Favre then found Keller for a 24 yard touchdown pass. It was Favre’s 6th…yes, 6th…touchdown pass on the day. As for Warner, he passed for a mind boggling 472 yards, but on the final play, from the New York 9, he was intercepted at the goal line.

9 years ago, It was Warner igniting the Rams to a Superbowl, beating the Packers in a playoff game where Favre had 6 interceptions. This game had Favre with the 6 touchdown passes and Warner with most of the team’s 7 turnovers.  They might still be throwing the ball, but officials insist that the game did finally end. 56-35 Jets

Green Bay Packers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–With Brett Favre in New York and Warren Sapp retired, this game still had some sparks. Both Aaron Rodgers and Brian Griese were intercepted 3 times. Green Bay began at their own 42, and Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a 25 yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 Packers lead. The second quarter was all Tampa Bay as Derrick Brooks intercepted Rodgers at the Green Bay 33 to set up the tying touchdown. A pair of field goals, the second one set up by another Rodgers interception, had the Buccaners up 13-7 at the break.

In the 3rd quarter Brooks forced a fumble that Phillips returned 38 yards for a score to put Tampa Bay up 20-7 with 6:14 left in the 3rd quarter. Yet Green Bay fought back. Rodgers found Jennings for 48 yards to pull the Packers within 20-14. Griese was then intercepted by Charles Woodson, who raced 62 yards for the score that put the Packers up 21-20 a minute into the 4th quarter.

Yet Tampa Bay showed character as well. With 8 1/2 minutes remaining, a shanked punt had he Buccaneers starting at the Green Bay 36. They then bled 6 minutes of clock, and a 24 yard field goal by Matt Bryant put Tampa Bay up 23-21 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Rodgers was intercepted again, alowing Tampa Bay to take over at  the Green Bay 48. Graham broke free for a 47 yard run down to the 1 yard line, setting up the touchdown that iced the game. 30-21 Buccaneers

Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans–Jeff Fisher knows defense, and 4 Vikings turnovers were the difference in this game. After a field goal on the opening drive, a Minnesota fumble had the Titans starting at the Vikings 33, setting up a touchdown and a 10-0 lead. Kerry Collins had less than 200 yards passing but made no mistakes. Minnesota pulled to within 13-7, but Adrian Peterson then fumbled at his own 11, setting up a short plunge by Lendale White to put the Titans safely in front 20-7.

With the Titans leading 23-10, Minnsota did close the gap with 10 minutes remaining when Peterson finished a 79 yard drive with a 3 yard run. Yet Chris Carr returned the ensuing kickoff to the Minnesota 47. The Titans did not score on the drive, but veteran punter Chris Hentrich nailed a punt that was downed at the Minnesota 2. Gus Frerotte was then intercepted inside the red zone, and a 6 yard run by Johnson with under 4 minutes remaining ended the scoring. The Titans are a very quiet 4-0 team. Collins is managing games, and the defense is as aggressive as in past years. 30-17 Titans

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders–28-18 Chargers

For further information on the debacle of the day, go to:

As sickening as the last loss for the Raiders was, this game was worse. The Raiders went right down the field, reached the 5 yard line, and as always, settled for a field goal. This team just cannot score touchdowns. They then added a safety. Yet Al Davis must have been smiling in the 2nd quarter. For a brief moment, the long ball had returned. The Raiders cannot finish drives, but they can score on one play. JaMarcus Russell went 63 yards to Zach Miller in 10 seconds to put the Raiders up 12-0. After a Philip Rivers interception had the Raiders at their own 48, Russell again went to work. On 4th and goal from the 1, the Raiders scored, but a holding penalty negated the touchdown. Another field goal, and the Raiders led 15-0 at the half. In a coaching decision mainly to entertain the fans, Sebastian Jnaikowski was borught on for a 76 yard…yes, 76 yard..field goal. The kick was no good, but Seabass will shatter the NFL record at some point. Also, the Raiders were dominating, but they cannot finish drives. Nevertheless, after 3 quarters, Oakland led 15-3. Was a shocking upset in the works? Were the Silver and Black finally getting better?

No. Rivers found Antonio gates for 9 yards, cutting the gap to 15-10 only 48 seconds into the final quarter. The Raiders then self destructed. Russell fumbled at his own 13, setting up the go ahead San Diego touchdown. A 2 point conversion had the Chargers up 18-15. The Raiders just give games away. San Diego failed to exyend the lead when Nate Kaeding missed a field goal. He had an earlier kick blocked as well. The Raiders mounted an 11 play drive, but for the 3rd time in the game bogged down in the red zone, settling for a 31 yard field goal. They tied the game 18-18 with 2:47 left.

Darren Sproles returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards to the Oakland 35. That set up Kaeding again, and with 1:51 left, the Chargers were back up top 21-18. On 4th and 5 from their own 44, the Raiders turned it over on downs. 2 plays later, Ladanian Tomlinson raced 41 yards with 1:04 left to stick the dagger in again.

For some reason, Lame Kiffin still has not been fired. The Raiders gave up 3 points in 3 quarters, and 25 points in the 4th quarter. They cannot finish games. The Chargers are coached by Norvelous Norv Turner, but the evidence suggests that Kiffin is even worse. Rob Ryan should consider imitating his father Buddy and try to deck Kiffin just to get the team fired up. Actually, Kiffin would trip and the punch would miss by accident. The Raiders have a bye week coming up, and should say bye bye to Kiffin. Denns Green or Jim Fassell, or perhaps Mike Martz, could mold JaMarcus Russell. 28-18 Chargers

Buffalo Bills @ Saint Louis Rams–A coach did get fired after this game, but it was not Lame Kiffin. It as Scott Linehan of the Rams. Marc Bulger was benched in favor of former Rams quarterback Trent Green. His injury in 1999 led to Kurt Warner and the Greatest Show on Turf. Warner was benched for Bulger, and now Green is back. Buffalo has a solid defense, but 2 touchdown runs, AVery for 37 yards and Stephen Jackson for 29 yards, actually had the Rams up 14-6 at intermission.

Yet this is not the day or year for former Los Angeles football teams. The Bills took the second half kickoff and went 76 yards in 5 1/2 minutes to score. The Rams still led 14-13 after 3 quarters, but St. Louis had a 4th quarter meltdown, same as their former Los Angeles counterparts.

On the first play of the 4th quarter, Green was intercepted by Greer, who raced 33 yards for the touchdown that put the Bills ahead. On the next Buffalo series, Trent Edwards led the Bills 81 yards, with the capper being a 39 yard touchdown pass to Evans to complete the lopsided score. This is NOT why they play the games, as Goliath beat up David. The Bills are also a very quiet 4-0, and the Rams are an loud and ugly 0-4. However, unlike their former Los Angeles counterparts, the Rams have a ray of hope. They fired their coach, and replaced him with Jim Haslett, who actually knows how to win football games. 31-14 Bills

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys–The key to this game may have been time of possession. The Redskins held the ball for over 38 minutes. The Cowboys did take the lead late in the first quarter on a 21 yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Jason Witten. However, it is tough to win games when the defense is on the field for so long. The Redskins dominated the second quarter. Jason Campbell found James Thrash for a 3 yard score to tie the game 7-7. Washingto started their next drive just shy of midfield, which ended in a 2 yard toss from Campbell to Antwon Randle-El to put Washington ahead. On the next Washington drive, Campbell went deep to Santana Moss on the first play for 52 yards. This set up a field goal to put Washington up 17-7. Dallas added a field goal before the half ended.

Dallas started the second half at their own 43, and needed only 5 plays to tie the game. Romo found Terrell Owens for 10 yards and the touchdown. After that, the hero of the game may have been the Redskins field goal kicker Suisham. Washington ate up time on the clock, and Suisham nailed 3 field goals in the second half. The last one came after a 7 minute drive that ended with only 3:22 remaining. Romo did rapidly take Dallas 87 yards, with a 19 yard touchdown to Austin getting Dallas within 2 points with 1:42 left. However, the Redskins recovered the onsides kick to lock up the win. Dallas lost its first game of the year, and the Redskins under Jim Zorn are much improved. 26-24 Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears was the Sunday night game. The first half was offense, and the second half was defense. Last year the Bears went 97 yards in 57 seconds with no timeouts to pull a shocker of a win over the Eagles. This year also produced a competitive game.

After a punt, the Bears began their opening drive at their own 41. Kyle Orton went right to work, and a 19  yarder to Olso had Chicago up 7-0. Donovan McNabb then led a 74 yard drive, with a 22 yarder to Jackson to tie the score. In a game with 6 turnovers, 4 by Chicago, it was an Eagles muffed punt that had Chicago at the Philly 24. Orton then found Marty Booker for the touchdown that had the Bears back on top. McNabb came right back. A pair of passes to Brown picked up 47 yards, setting up a one yard run by Correll Buckhalter to tie the game again. David Akers missed a 50 yard field goal, and the Bears capitalized. Orton found Devon Hester for a 20 yard touchdown. It might be the shortest touchdown in young Hester’s career, since he usually runs back kicks the length of the field. He can play receiver as well. The Bears led 21-14 at the intermission.

The second half was a complete reversal of the opening 30 minutes of pinball. 5 touchdowns came in the first half, with none in the second half. The second half was all field goals, but the missed ones loomed large for Philadelphia. Akers hit the upright on a 47 yarder, his second miss of the day. He did connect on a 24 yarder and a 31 yarder to have the Eagles within 21-20 with 13 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.  Only 3 minutes later, Robbie Gould nailed his only attempt from 41 yards to extend the Chicago lead to 4 points.

With 10/2 minutes left, the Eagles began at their own 24, and slowly and methodically worked the clock. They faced first and goal at the Chicago 4 yard line. Buckhalter took the ball down to the one. On second down, Hunt was stopped short. On 3rd and goal, Buckhalter failed to crack through. 3:22 remained, and Andy Reid decided to go for it on 4th and goal from the one. With everything on the line, Buckhalter ran into a Chicago brick wall. The goal line stand by an game Chicago defense proved the difference. The Bears did pick up a first down, and by the time the Eagles got the ball back, only 17 seconds remained. Rather than try a hail mary, McNabb opted for one of those West Coast dink and dunk passes that should cause that obsolete offense to finally be thrown in the garbage forever. The clock ran out, and the Bears had defeated the Eagles again, this time thanks to an inspired goal line stand by Brian Urlacher and the rest of the Chicago defense. 24-20 Bears

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers was the Monday night game. The Steelers wore throwback uniforms, and this game was a good throwback to a typical tough AFC North head knocker. As expected, defense dominated, especially early on. Long drives produced only field goals, as the Ravens led 6-3 late in the second quarter. However, field position proved key as the Ravens began at the Pittsburgh 44 with only 1:52 left in the half.Rookie Joe Flacco found Derrick Mason for 13 yards, and a couple pays later for 25 yards down to the 3 yard line. Flacco then found Wilcox for the touchdown to give the Ravens a 13-3 lead at halftime.

The 3rd quarter was all Pittsburgh. After 9 more minutes of defense, Big Ben Roethlisberger finally broke through. A 38 yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes had the Steelers within 13-10. Neither team moved the ball much, and neither team had 250 yards on offense. Pittsburgh needed only 15 seconds to take the lead. After a touchback, Flacco was sacked, forcing a fumble. Woodley recovered it and ran it in to put the Steelers up 17-13. Early in the 3th, Roethlisberger threw a 49 yard pass to Hines Ward to the 10 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the one, Moore was stuffed. As expected, Ray Lewish helped make the stop.

This is when Coach Mike Tomlin made a critical decision. On 4th and goal from the one, Tomlin decided to kick the field goal. As expected, the crowd booed. Pittsburgh football is about hard nosed running and defense. However. Ray Lewis on 3rd down was the evidence Tomlin needed. The Steelers had a 7 point lead with over 9 minutes to be played. The decision to kick the field goal proved costly. Flacco began at the Baltimore 24, and moved methodically down the field. From the Pittsburgh 40, he found Mason for 35 yards down to the 5. This set up the tying touchdown with 4 minutes remaining. Neither team moved on their final possession of regulation, as the game went into overtime.

Baltimore won the toss and went backwards. Pittsburgh began their first drive at their own 43.Roethlisberger found Moore for 24 yards. Josh Reed did the rest, as his 46 yarder ended this hard fought game. These teams have a rematch, and the defenses are already talking. 23-20 Steelers, OT


One Response to “NFL 2008–Week 4 Recap”

  1. al_davis says:

    Al Davis is a mental midget

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