NFL 2010–Week 10 Recap

I could care less about a certain NFL scandal. Why is a guy sending a hot girl x-rated text messages a crime?

When a hot girl sends a guy x-rated text messages the response is for the guy to thank his lucky stars. I hate double standards.

Anyway, I don’t care. All I know is Jenn Sterger looks hot topless.

Sadly enough, despite the misleading last name, she is not Jewish.

Now back to football.

The 2010 NFL Season has reached the midpoint, and there are plenty of shockers.

For starters, every team has at least 2 losses. Last year 2 teams started 13-0. This year nobody was 4-0. Pete Rozelle is smiling in football heaven. This is what he wanted.

For those who hate parity, it is not parity. It is competitive balance. The quality of the games are as great as ever, and this is the most wide open year in some time. I love it.

While the 1972 Dolphins popped the champagne corks with zero sweating (they sweat profusely in 2007 and 2009), the 1976 Buccaneers and 2008 Detroit Lions still have hope for company as the Buffalo Bills are 0-8. The 2010 Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys will never reach immortality, since at 1-7 they are just very bad. Wade Phillips was fired, and again I did not get the job.

The Minnesota Vikings were 12-4 last year, and needed a miracle Favre-led comeback last week to get to 3-5. The Cincinnati Bengals loaded up on head cases and went from 10-6 last year to 2-6 this year.

On the flip side (wherever that is, the 2-14 Rams of last year are tied for first place at 4-4. The Oakland Raiders have won 3 straight for the first time since their 2002 Super Bowl run, and at 5-4 are in the hunt after going 5-11 last year.

The New York Jets, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons all entered this week 6-2. The Falcons defeated the Ravens on Thursday while Sunday brings the Patriots at the Steelers. Last week the Steelers barely survived the Bengals, the Patriots got blow out by the Browns, and the Jets needed a miracle and awful clock management to beat the Lions.

The Giants really look fantastic, and the Falcons are solid. Yet Pete Rozelle is maybe the only one who knows how this season will play out.

As uber-announcer Chris Berman keeps reminding us, “That’s…why they play the games.”

That is why we watch the games.

Time for some football.

The Canadian Football League played some games. That concludes the CFL recap.

My coed touch football team came into this week at 5-0. I did not recap the games these past couple weeks because I had to miss them due to other commitments. My teammates told me that we won, but they were too drunk to remember the scores. They also won at flip cup and beer pong. This week an actual score has been recorded for posterity. For the first time in 2 years, I wish we didn’t. We are Team Awesome, wearing light green. We were not awesome on this day.

Light Green Team Awesome vs Pink Sacks–We have won 7 straight championships. Along the way we have defeated the Pink Sacks several times. We have not lost a game in 2 years. A couple of years ago the Pink Sacks took us to overtime in the championship game, which we won 36-30. On this day, we did not have our stars Ryan and Andrew, who were in DC for the Eagles-Redskins game. Scottie is retired and in Virginia with his fiancee. Femme Fatale Footballers Tiffiny and Brittany were not there.

No excuses. We fielded the team we had, and fought hard. We just had no answers on defense. Steck provided the emotional leadership, and Marshall and Kevin (neither named Faulk) played solid at quarterback. Yet we were playing catchup much of the game. A great 2 minute drive had us tie the game 20-20 with seconds left in the half. Yet somehow the Pink Sacks got the Hail Mary and led 26-20 at halftime.

The Pink Sacks took the ball first in the second half, and soon had a 32-20 lead. We managed to get within 32-28, and forced the other team into a 4th down situation. One stop, and we could drive for the lead. That stop never came, as again we gave up another touchdown. Before we knew it, the Pinkos were ahead 46-28.

We showed a ton of pride. I personally had 4 receptions, none of them easy. Coed touch football is a lot rougher than it sounds, and almost every catch I had was a collision. Very late in the game I caught my first touchdown pass in awhile, a perfect strike from Marshall to the corner of the end zone. Unlike athletes desperate to get on ESPN regardless of how the team is doing, there would be no celebrating from me. It was too little, too late.

Again, no excuses. They ripped our defense apart. They were also classy after the game, as we all knew we would meet again in the playoffs. We will have our full team at that time, and we are ready for the rematch. As Woody Hayes used to say, “The sun does not shine on the same hound dog’s rump every day.” We gave it our best shot, but 5-0 became 5-1 because they beat the hell out of us. I have the bloody knees to prove it. Like Brett Favre, I could have retired last year. Despite this game, I just love football. 54-40 Pink Sacks

Now on to the National Football League. Here is the NFL 2010 Week 10 Recap.

Baltimore Ravens @ Atlanta Falcons–was the Thursday night game. A pair of 6-2 teams with Super Bowl credentials met in Atlanta. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco re both smart quarterbacks who make few mistakes. Mike Smith may be your average non-descript white guy who looks like a guy named Mike Smith, but he and John Harbaugh both took over struggling franchises and quickly built winners. Both teams have first ballot Hall of Famers in Ray Lewis and Anthony Gonzalez.

After a scoreless first quarter, Matt Ryan led a 14 play, 91 yard second quarter drive that consumed 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 6 from the Atlanta 13, Ryan hit Jenkins for 10. On 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 44, Mughelli picked up 2. On 3rd and 5 from the Atlanta 38, Ryan connected with Gonzalez for 14. On 2nd and 14 from the 28, Ryan hit Snelling for the touchdown to have the Falcons up 7-0. Atlanta punted on their next drive, and the Ravens fumbled it away. The drive stalled at the Baltimore 10, but a 28 yard Matt Bryant field goal had the Falcons up 10-0 at halftime.

Disaster began the second half for the Ravens as Flacco was quickly intercepted, setting up the Falcons at the Baltimore 39. Atlanta failed to move, but Bryant nailed a 51 yard field goal to have the Falcons up 13-0.

The Ravens finally got going, as Flacco led a 65 yard drive in 10 plays and 6 minutes. Ray Rice ran hard, and on 3rd and 9 from the Atlanta 48, Flacco scrambled for 13 and then hit Donte Stallworth for 19 more. Flacco hit Todd Heap to set up 3rd and 1 from the 7. McClain picked up 2, and Flacco hit Anquon Boldin for the touchdown as the Ravens got within 13-7.

As the clock clicked into the fourth quarter, Ryan appeared to put the game out of reach with a 75 yard drive consuming 11 plays and over 5 minutes. On 3rd and 4 from the Atlanta 41, Ryan hit Finneran for 9 to midfield and Roddy White for 17 more. On 3rd and 10 from the 33, a short pass was short of the first down, but a defensive facemask penalty moved the Falcons down to the 13. On 3rd and 1 from the 4, Ryan hit White for the score as the Falcons led comfortably 20-7 with 11 1/2 minutes in regulation.

Flacco brought the Ravens back with an 11 play, 6 minute drive covering 75 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Baltimore 31, Flacco hit Boldin for 11 and Heap for 17 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Atlanta 39, Flacco hit Rice for 13 and Boldin for another 9. From the 6, Flacco hit Derrick Mason for the touchdown to have the Ravens within 20-14 with 5:42 to play.

Ryan failed to move the Falcons, and with 3 minutes left the Ravens took over at their own 28. Flacco hit Mason for 22 yards to midfield. At the 2 minute warning, the Ravens faced 3rd and 4 at the Atlanta 44. Flacco hit Boldin for 9, and on the next play hit Rice for 24 yards down to the Atlanta 11 with 1:18 to play. From the 9, Flacco hit Heap for the score. After trailing the whole game, 2x by 13 points, the Ravens led 21-20 on the road with 1:05 left. Atlanta took over at their own 20.

On 3rd and 10, Ryan hit Jenkins for 24 yards with 50 seconds left. Ryan hit White for 15 more to the Baltimore 41 and then spiked the clock with 35 seconds left. On 3rd and 10 Ryan fired incomplete, but before Mike SMith could decide whether to go for it or try a 59 yard field goal, defensive pass interference instead led to 1st and 10 from the Baltimore 33.

Needing only a field goal, Mike Smith decided to have Ryan go for it all, and the Ravens were caught of guard. Ryan went deep to White for the touchdown. The 2 point conversion failed, but with only 20 seconds to play, the Falcons had the 5 point lead.

The ensuing kickoff was taken 5 yards deep in the end zone, and for some reason run out. The Ravens lost a few seconds, and took over at their own 9 instead of their own 20. Flacco hit Heap for 18 yards, but was then sacked to end any hopes of a comeback. Flacco was gallant, but Matty Ice did it again. Atlanta became the first team to get 7 wins on the year. If these teams meet again in the Super Bowl, it will be well worth watching. 26-21 Falcons

Detroit Lions @ Buffalo Bills–Every time the Lions look ready to escape their losing culture, disaster strikes. Matthew Stafford reinjured his shoulder and is out for the rest of the season. As for the Bills, they are the only team this year halfway to the ignominy of the 2008 Lions.

Shockingly enough, this dreadful game was scoreless going into the second quarter. Ryan Fitzpatrick then went deep to Lee Evans, setting up Fred Jackson from one yard out as the Bills led the Stupor Bowl 7-0. Shawn Hill led the Lions deep near the end of the half, as a field goal had the Lions trailing 7-3 at breaktime of this awful game.

Early in the third quarter, Fitzpatrick executed a perfect shovel pass to Jackson, who took it 16 yards for the score as the Bills led 14-3.

The Lions kicked a field goal with 6 minutes left in regulation to trail 14-6. Yet even the worst of games can have exciting finishes, and the Stupor Bowl was no exception. With 3rd and 4 at the Detroit 42, Fitzpatrick threw incomplete, and with 4 minutes to play the Lions had one last chance from their own 12.

On 3rd and 2 from the 20, Hill hit Burleson for 6. On 4th and 5 from the 31, Hill it Pettigrew for 14. On 4th and 6 just shy of midfield, Hill hit Burleson for 23 yards. With 19 seconds to play, the Lions faced 4th and 2 at the Buffalo 20. Hll found a wide open Calvin Johnson over the middle for the touchdown, and the Lions were within a deuce. On the 2 point conversion attempt, Hill had all kinds of time before firing so far out the back of the end zone that it almost reached the fans. The onsides kick failed.

The 2010 Bills saw their nightmare end after 8 losses as Chan Gailey got his first win of the year. As for the Lions, they set a new NFL record with 25 consecutive road losses, breaking the old mark set by…who else? The Lions from earlier this century. Matt Millen can no longer be blamed. Ralph Wilson finally got his 92nd birthday present a month late. Jim Schwartz insisted he was not Rod Marinelli. It was hideous, but it is over. 14-12 Bills

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears–The Vikings are not as bad as their record and the Bears are not as good as theirs, and Brad Childress and Lovie Smith may both be canned at the end of the year. Jay Cutler and Brett Favre can throw the ball, but Jared Allen and Brian Urlacher provide defense for both teams. Early on it was Ryan Longwell who connected from 36 yards out to have the Vikings up 3-0.

Favre and Cutler also frequently throw the ball to the opposing defenses, and Cutler was intercepted by Husain Abdullah to have the Vikings in business at their own 43. Yet Longwell doinked a 39 yard field goal attempt off the upright. Cutler then led the Bears 71 yards in 11 plays over 5 minutes, with a 17 yard bullet to Greg Olsen putting the Bears up 7-3.

The lead did not last long as Favre went for the bomb and connected with speedster Percy Harvin for a 53 yard touchdown to put the Vikings back on top 10-7. Cutler then worked the 2 minute drill to perfection, hitting Devon Hester from 17 yards out to have the Bears in the lead again 14-10. With seconds left in the half, Favre was hit and fumbled, setting the Bears up at the Minnesota 40. Robbie Gould missed the field goal.

Favre began the second half throwing, which would have been good except for a deflected pass that was intercepted at the Minnesota 10. Brad Childress, who is bald and Catholic, was so mad you could fry an egg on his head. Yet Lovie Smith could only watch the Bears move backward and kick a 34 yard field goal to lead 17-10.

Minnesota came back, and reached inside the Chicago 10. Yet on 3rd and goal, a Favre pass bounced off the receiver’s hands and was almost intercepted. Longwell hit the field goal to get the Vikings within 17-13.

Chicago was immediately in scoring position when Devon Hester returned the ensuing kickoff 7 yards to the Minnesota 35. Chicago mustered a field goal as the Bears led 20-13. Minnesota punted again, and Hester killed them again, as a 42 yard return had the Bears at the Minnesota 37. Yet with seconds left in the third quarter and the Bears inside the 10, Cutler fired to the end zone and was again intercepted by Abdullah for a touchback.

Yet the Vikings could not capitalize, and Cutler led the Bears down the field again. A 19 yard touchdown pass to Kenneth Davis had the Bears up 27-13. For the second consecutive week, Favre was being asked to overcome a 14 point deficit for a miracle comeback.  9 minutes remained in the game. Favre was intercepted again, and their would be no heroics this week.

Chicago at 6-3 is still not very special, but at 3-6 Minnesota is all but done. I will let everybody else opine about Chilly, Favre and the entire team, but it seems owner Zygi Wolf will clean house at some point. 27-13 Bears

New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns–Buddy Ryan  was hoping for a 0-0 tie as his sons Rob and Rex traded good-natured barbs in the media and prepared for hard hits in the game. Early on it was Rob who was smiling as Phil Dawson nailed a 35 yard field goal to have the Browns up 3-0. They then gambled on an onsides kick that did not work, giving the Jets a short field.  That led to Nick Folk tying the game 3-3. Peyton Hillis then fumbled, again giving the Jets a short field. That led to a missed field goal.

Peyton Hillis redeemed himself, moving the Browns in position, and racing the final 12 yards himself to the corner for a touchdown and a 10-3 Browns lead. Mark Sanchez led the Jets back in the second quarter, going 76 yards. A 25 yard strike to Jerricho Cotcherry tied the game 10-10. The lead did not last long as Joshua Cribbs took a swing pass form Colt McCoy 37 yards inside the 10. Dawson made a sort field goal as Cleveland was back on top 13–10.

Sanchez had the Jets ram it down Cleveland throats on a 12 play, 82 yard drive. With hard running, a 3rd and goal from the 3 led to Sanchez executing the draw play and diving into the end zone to have the Jets up 17-13 with 25 seconds left in the half.

The Jets took the second half kickoff, and Sanchez led a ridiculous 18 play drive that consumed 10 minutes of clock. Yet the Jets got no further than the 5 yard line. A 23 yard field goal attempt by Nick Folk shockingly bounced off the upright, as the entire possession was wasted. Cleveland could not move the ball, and the Jets began another time consuming drive. 13 plays and 56 yards took almost 8 minutes, and this time Folk did hit the 25 yarder. The Jets only led 20-13, but the Cleveland defense was fighting exhaustion with 2:42 to play.

That was plenty of time for rookie Colt McCoy, who led a veteran comeback. It started with Hayden returning the kickoff 32 yards to the Cleveland 41. On 3rd and 1 from midfield McCoy snuck for the first down. McCoy caught a pass for 11, and on 3rd and 10 from the Jets 38, McCoy hit Watson for 17, Moore for 18, and Massaquoi for the 3 yard touchdown as the game was now tied 20-20 with 44 seconds left in regulation. The Ryan Bowl went to overtime.

The Browns had the first chance to win the game, as a Colt McCoy pass to Chancey Stuckey had the Browns in long field goal range. Yet Stuckey fought for extra yardage rather than go out of bounds, which led to him fumbling and the Jets recovering. Sanchez led the Jets to a long field goal attempt, but form 47 yards out, Nick Folk missed his third kick of the day.

The Browns would end up punting, but the Jets began at their own 9 with only 5 minutes left in overtime. Rather than play conservative, Sanchez opened it up near his own end zone. The Jets moved the ball, and from around midfield, Sanchez went for the Hail Mary as one receiver and one defender jockeyed for position. The ball was intercepted, as the Browns took over at their own 4 with 90 seconds left in overtime.

Eric Mangini also decided to get aggressive rather than play for the tie. Yet it did not work, and the Browns punted from near their own end zone. With 24 seconds left in overtime, the Jets took over at the Cleveland 37. With Folk beyond shaky, anything could be expected.

Yet an exciting game worthy of a tie did end with a winner. Sanchez threw a simple 6 yard pass to Santonio Holmes. Yet 3 missed tackles led to a stunning 37 yard touchdown in front of a shocked home crowd. After nearly 5 quarters, Gang Green had the win. Walrus Mike Holmgren cannot blame this one on Eric Mangini. Yet one mental lapse by the players made the difference and ruined a fine effort. The Jets are 7-2 as the Browns fail to take a giant step forward. 26-20 Jets, OT

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts–The Colts under Jim Caldwell are disciplined and focused. They shut up and play. The Bengals have 2 wide receivers with reality tv shows without the wins to back up the babbling. So a bad team went on the road to face a good team. Peyton Manning early on led an 82 yard, 7 minute drive that led to a 28 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal to have the Colts up 3-0.

Carson Palmer then completed a perfect sideline pass to Hayden, who plays defense for the Colts. Kelvin Hayden took it 31 yards to paydirt to have Indy up 10-0. Cedric Benson then fumbled it away as the Colts began their next drive at the Cincy 25. Everybody across America thought, “these are the Bengals.” James took it in from 3 yards out as the Colts led 17-0 early in the second quarter. Palmer led the Bengals to a field goal as both wide receivers tweeted their greatness down 17-3.

Yet later in the half the receivers would back it up as Palmer found Chad Johnson from 7 yards out. Johnson made a phenomenal ballet toe tap to get the feet down in the back of the end zone to get the Bengals within 17-10. Manning worked the 2 minute drill, and Vinatieri tacked on his second field goal as the half expired to have the Colts up 20-10.

The second half was surprisingly uneventful, as a scoreless third quarter saw the Colts seemingly salt it away in the fourth only to have a touchdown called back. Vinatieri tacked on his third field goal, and Palmer was intercepted with 6 minutes to play to seemingly end things. Yet the Colts punted again, and the Bengals had life with 4:45 to play at their own 27.

From the Cincy 43, Palmer it Johnson for 16. From the Indy 30 on 3rd and 10, Palmer hit Gresham for 11. Palmer then hit Gresham for the 19 yard touchdown. Gresham is the receiver without the reality tv show and the ego. With 2 1/2 minutes to play, the Bengals were within 6 points.

All of Indiana held their collective breath when Chad Johnson recovered the onsides kick. Unsportsmanlike conduct on Pierre Garcon had the Bengals starting at the Indy 40 with 2:30 to play as Manning helplessly watched a big lead practically evaporate.

Yet again, these are the Bengals. Last week they nearly overcame a 20 point deficit only to see the potential winning catch become a drop when the receiver got blasted. This week a 17 point deficit and comeback saw Palmer hit Gresham for 6 yards, only to have Gresham fumble the ball away.
The Bengals got the ball back at their own 21 with 46 seconds left, and with one second left, faced 3rd and 26 at their own 5. They did not get the touchdown, falling 95 yards short after an incompletion. Jim Caldwell again did not make a facial expression, although he did see the Colts get  to 6-3 and leave the 2-7 Bungles to send more tweets from Bengwad twits. Marvn Lewis does not deserve this, and Mike Brown may put him out of his misery. As for the fans, their is no elixir since Paul Brown is not being resurrected. Neither is his franchise any time soon. 23-17 Bengals

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars–Gary Kubiak and Jack Del Rio are both on the hot seat. Josh Scobee helped the Jaguars early on with a 38 yard field goal to have them up 3-0.  Houston responded in kind as Kris Brown tied the game 3-3.

The second quarter belonged to Maurice Jones-Drew as he ran all over Houston. His touchdown runs of 3 and 9 yards in the second quarter had the Jaguars up 17-3 heading into the locker rooms.

In the third quarter a penalty on Andre Johnson negated a 7 yard play, so Matt Schaub went right back to Johnson on a deep ball that covered 60 yards. Arriun Foster took it in from one yard out to have the Texans within 17-10.  The Texans got the ball back, and Schaub led the Texans 80 yards with little difficulty. A 9 yard touchdown pass to Johnson in the corner of the end zone had the game tied 17-17.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Jaguars faced 4th and 1 at the Houston 16. Del Rio decided to go for it but a false start killed that. Making matters worse, Scobee missed the 39 yard field goal as the game stayed tied.

In the fourth quarter, David Garrard led a 10 play, 6 minute, 87 yard drive. A 52 yard touchdown to Miller had the Jaguars up 24-17. Schaub brought the Texans right back. 80 yards came quickly, and an 18 yard touchdown to Walter had the game tied again. The pass was initially ruled incomplete, but Gary Kubiak successfully challenged the call and on review it was a touchdown and a 24-24 game with 5 minutes left in regulation.

Garrard moved the Jaguars down the field, and with 1:45 left Scobee had a chance to redeem himself with a 43 yard attempt. Again Scobee missed it. Schaub led the Texans back, and a completion had the Texans at he Jacksonville 42 with 8 seconds left in regulation. Yet the ball was fumbled away and both teams missed chances to win.

With 3 seconds to play, David Garrard prepared for the Hail Mary from the Jacksonville 40, with overtime to come next. There would be no overtime. Garrard scrambled, unleashed the bomb, and at the goal line Glover Quinn batted it down. Yet somehow it landed right in the hands of Mike Thomas, who gathered it, clutched it to his body at the one yard line, and made it over the goal line for the miracle reception.

A stunned Houston defense could not believe the game was over as Jacksonville went wild. This game will be talked about for years to come, as a wild, thrilling divisional game ended in a wild thrilling finish in what might have been the play of the year. 31-24 Jaguars

Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins–Jeff Fisher and Tony Sparano both are known for hard-nosed defense, but offensive player Randy Moss was the talk this week as he made his Tennessee debut. Moss would be getting his deep balls from long ball tosser Kerry Collins, in place of the injured Vince Young. As for Miami, Chad Pennington was given the start as Chad Henne was benched. Pennington would throw 2 passes in less than a full quarter of work before getting injured again, as Henne played most of the game anyway. Bo Scaife coughed it up early on to have the Dolphins set up at the Tennessee 32. With a short field, Ronnie Brown took it in from 3 yards out to have the Fins up 7-0.

Chris Johnson ripped off big gains for the Titans, as a 19 yard run set up his touchdown run from 17 yards out to tie the game 7-7. Tony Sparano then decided to gamble on a fake punt that did not work, as the Titans took over at the Miami 29. That led to a 40 yard Rob Bironas field goal as the Titans led 10-7.

Miami came back in the second quarter with a perfectly executed flea flicker, as Chad Henne went deep, setting Miami up at the Titans 26. This led to a field goal and a 10-10 deadlock.

In the third quarter Chad Henne led an 11 play, 75 yard drive that covered 7 minutes. The drive stalled inside the 10, and a 26 yard Dan  Carpenter field goal had the Dolphins up 13-10. Since Kerry Collins appeared to have pulled a muscle without being touched at the end of the half, Vince Young came in and the magic immediately began. Young was hit and fumbled, setting up the Dolphins at the Tennessee 13. Henne hit Cobbs for the touchdown to have Miami up 20-10.

Young redeemed himself, with a perfectly thrown ball to Nate Washington for a 15 yard score as the Titans trailed 20-17.  With seconds left in the third quarter, Henne got injured. Tony Sparano had Tyler Thigpen as the emergency 3rd quarterback, but once he comes in, the other quarterbacks cannot return. Sparano ran a couple wildcat plays, but that would not work the whole rest of the game. As the fourth quarter began, Thigpen came in and was nearly intercepted. Dan Carpenter did nail a 42 yard field goal to have the Dolphins up 23-17 only 90 seconds into the final quarter.

The Dolphins got the ball back at their own 15 with under 10 minutes to play. Rather than try to run down the clock with the 3rd stringer, Sparano stayed aggressive. A 16 yard pass to Brandon Marshall was followed by a 31 yard pass to Anthony Fasano, with a facemask on the defense tacking on 15 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Tennessee 14, Polite ran for 2. On 3rd and 7 from the 9 and Tenessee desperately needing a stop, Thigpen hit Fasano for the touchdown to lock up the game with 5:15 to play. The 2 point conversion failed, but Vince Young had another interception left in him.

Surprisingly enough, Randy Moss was not even on the field for the play, and his only reception came during garbage time as well. The Dolphins won their first home game of the year while both Tony Sparano and Jeff Fisher have their teams in playoff contention. 29-17 Dolphins

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Jon Fox has seen the once proud Panthers collapse after going 12-4 a couple years ago. Raheem Morris has resurrected the Buccaneers after going 3-13 last year. The 1-7 Panthers stayed true to form by turning it over early on. 47 yards came easily, as Josh Freeman hit Benn for an 8 yard touchdown to have the Bucs up 7-0. John Kasay did kick a long field goal to have the Panthers within 7-3.

Freeman quickly moved the Buccaneers 87 yards, as Blount ran it in from 17 yards out, hurdling over a Carolina defender at the goal line for the 14-3 Tampa Bay lead. Carolina got back in it when Vaughan ran it in from 2 yards out to make it 14-10.

Yet Freeman got it done in the hurry up drill, quickly moving the Bucs 65 yards, with a 20 yard touchdown pass to Kellen Winslow just before the half to have Tampa Bay up 21-10.

The Panthers chipped away at the deficit in the third quarter as Kasay nailed a pair of field goals from 28 and 48 yards out to have Carolina within 21-16. Yet Freeman calmly led a 10 play, 66 yard drive that consumed 6 minutes. A 32 yard field goal by Connor Barth with 10 minutes left in regulation had the Buccaneers up 24-16.

Cadillac WIlliams burst up the middle for a 45 yard touchdown with under 4 minutes left in the game to salt away the victory and continue to extend the Carolina misery. As for the Bucs, at 6-3 they are contenders, despite beating bad teams and losing to good ones. Jerry Richardson will most likely clean house at some point, while the Glazer family is starting to look less foolish for their change a couple years ago. 31-16 Buccaneers

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos–Josh McDaniels began his coaching career last year leading the Broncos to a 6-0 start. He was proclaimed a genius until the Broncos went 2-8 down the stretch to miss the playoffs. This year the Broncos started 2-6, including a 59-14 humiliation at home to the hated Oakland Raiders. McDaniels is having Pat Bowlen regretting his decision to fire the previous egomaniac. As for Kansas City, Todd Haley has turned around the awful 4-12 team he coached last year, with the Chiefs in first place at 5-3 despite a loss to those same Raiders. This was the Bellichick Bowl, without the proven results or rings. Yet the Chiefs had wins while the Broncos had plenty of losses.

The game was all Denver from the start as they took their beating from the Raiders out on the Chiefs. Kyle Orton quickly led an 80 yard drive, hitting Knowshon Moreno from 17 yards out to have the Broncos up 7-0 less than 3 minutes in. Denver got the ball back, and 82 yards later the Broncos were in the end zone again as Orton hit Brandon Lloyd for the 6 yard score and the 14-0 Denver lead.

The Broncos got the ball back just shy of midfield, and Orton went deep to Jabar Gaffney for a 40 yard touchdown. The first quarter was still underway, and the Broncos led 21-0.

In the second quarter Orton led another drive, and rookie Tim Tebow took a wildcat snap one yard for the score as the Broncos poured it on 28-0. Matt Cassel finally moved the Chiefs, but in Denver territory a fumble was recovered by Hunter and returned 75 yards as the Broncos led 35-0 with 6 minutes still remaining in the half.

At that moment, the formerly 5-2 Chiefs were facing consecutive losses, rendering Scott Pioli and Todd Haley and the entire New England system a failure. Josh McDaniels was now the coach of the decade, proving the success of the New England system. Bill Bellichick had no comment. Thankfully neither did Charlie Weis.

With little time left in the half, Matt Cassel led an 83 yard drive that resulted in a 5 yard touchdown pass to Jamal Charles to have the Chiefs down 35-7. With only seconds left in the half, McDaniels had Josh Prater try a 58 yard field goal. The kick was short, and run back nearly for a touchdown, 82 yards in all. The Broncos thought the half was over but the ref put one second on the clock. So Haley had Ryan Succop try a 40 yard field goal. He connected, as 38-7 was actually 35-10. The fans wanted to fire McDaniels and name Haley coach of the year.

The slightest bit of suspense was gone early in the third quarter when Orton led the Broncos 60 yards in 10 plays with little resistance. Tim Tebow came in and took a wildcat snap, passing 3 yards to Larsen for the touchdown to have the Broncos up 42-10, McDaniels a genius again, and Haley terrible again.

Dwayne Bowe caught a 15 yard touchdown pass from Cassel to have the Chiefs within 42-17. Orton brought the Broncos back, with a 15 yard touchdown to Lloyd. Initially it was ruled out of bounds, but a successful challenge saw Lloyd do incredible footwork on the sideline to somehow keep his feet down with possession as the Broncos led 49-17 early in the fourth quarter.

Kansas City did add a garbage touchdown with 7 minutes left, but that was far from enough. Orton would finish 22 of 34 for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns. Cassel hit Bowe for a touchdown with 10 seconds left.  Yet 33 of 53 for 469 yards was not a win. Neither quarterback was intercepted, but the game was never in doubt. The Broncos at 3-6 are only one game behind the idle 4-5 Chargers and 2 games out of 1st place, as Kansas City fell into a 1st place tie at 5-4 with the idle Oakland Raiders, who have the tiebreaker at this point. 49-29 Broncos

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals–The battle for what should never be described as supremacy in the NFC Worst had the 4-4 Seahawks tied for 1st place with 3-5 Cardinals only a game back. Pete Carroll and Ken Whisenhunt had to see who wanted it least.

The Cardinals had the ball at their own 48 as Derek Anderson quickly moved the Cardinals into scoring position. Tim Hightower ran it in from 2 yards out to have the Cardinals up 7-0 at home. Matt Hasselbeck led a 12 play, 77 yard drive that took 5 minutes. Marshawn Lynch took it in from one yard out to tie the game 7-7.

Both teams moved the ball in the second quarter but could not crack the end zone. Haselbeck led the Seahawks 67 yards to a 41 yard Olindo Mare field goal. Anderson responded with a 72 yard, 5 minute drive that stalled inside the 10. Jay Feely connected from 23 yards out ti again tie the game 10-10.

The difference in the first half came when Hasselbeck went for the bomb, and found Deion Butler. Butler eluded 3 pathetic attempts at tacklers, as the Keystone Cops watched a 63 yard touchdown put the Seahawks back on top 17-10.

The third quarter became the Olindo Mare show as Seattle kept getting the ball deep into Arizona territory without cracking the end zone. On 3rd and goal from the one Seattle went nowhere, and Pete Carroll took no chances. It did not matter as the Cardinals reverted back to the days before the now retired Kurt Warner. Mare connected from 34, 19, and 23 to have the Seahawks cruising 26-10 and Pete Carroll reaching for his pom-poms. As for Derek Anderson, he gets credit for 6 of those points by throwing an interception and fumbling the ball away in the period.

The fourth quarter replicated the third quarter. A punt return had Seattle starting at the Arizona 11. Again on 3rd and goal from the 1, Seattle could not get in. Again on 4th and goal from the 1, Carroll brought in Mare. Mare made his 5th field goal, and his second one from 19 yards out as Seattle led 29-10.

Anderson and Hasselbeck would both pass for more than 300 yards, but much of it came during garbage time for Arizona. Anderson led a 12 play, 79 yard drive that led to a 2 yard touchdown to Doucet to get the Cardinals within 29-18. Yet they got no closer and had to go for it inside their own red zone with 5 minutes left. The Seahawks took over at the Arizona 10, and Forcett ran it in from the 4 to close out the scoring. The Seahawks got to 5-4, which in this pathetic division may be a stranglehold as the Cardinals fell to 3-6, only 2 games out of the lead. Kurt Warner is still retired. 36-18 Seahawks

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants–The Giants started this season 1-2, and Tom Coughlin was under fire. Then the Giants won 5 straight and the talk is about the Super Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys began this year talking about playing in that Super Bowl at home in their own Jerry Jones 1.2 billion dollar metropolis. Then the Cowboys went 1-7, saw Tony Romo go down with a broken clavicle, and watched Wade Phillips get the axe. Jason Garrett had to coach his first game on the road against the division leaders. Surely this game would be a blowout. Again, as Chris Berman says, “That’s…why they play the games.”

Eli Manning did start the game off as expected for Big Blue as the G-Men drove 55 yards in 10 plays over 5 minutes. The drive stalled, but a 43 yard Lawrence Tynes field goal had the Giants up 3-0. Then the game changed.

Jon Kitna has been a backup for many years, but he is no scrub. He had success as a starter earlier in his career. In this game he began by needing only 30 plays to move 71 yards, with a 13 yard touchdown to Dez Bryant putting Dallas in front. David Buehler had his extra point attempt blocked, but the Cowboys led 6-3.

In the second quarter Kitna moved the Cowboys again. While the drive stalled at the 5 yard line, Buehler kicked the field goal equivalent of an extra point, although it was still worth 3 points as Dallas led 9-3.  Eli Manning led the Giants to a 3rd and goal, but with the Giants about to retake the lead, the shocker came next. Manning was intercepted by McCann, who returned it 101 yards for a score. Just like that, the Cowboys led 16-3.

The shellshocked Giants did not have any more success in the first half, as another Kitna drive came up just a few yards short of the end zone. A 3 yard Buehler field goal had Dallas up 19-3. The Giants did add a field goal before the half, but at this point it was time to declare Tom Coughlin a failed coach and declare Jason Garrett coach of the year as he has led at halftime of every game he has coached, that being this one. Tom Coughlin never smiles, but he had reason to be grouchy about this one.

Coughlin most likely blew a fuse at halftime, which reverberated throughout the entire stadium as the power went out. Jerry Jones chuckled that this does not happen at this stadium, even when punters hit the scoreboard. The officials decided there was enough light to play, and the Cowboys faced 3rd and 10 at their own 29. Kitna found Felix Jones, who raced toward the light. Apparently God watches his favorite team on the road as well, and the light of the end zone had the Cowboys up 26-6

The game was briefly suspended due to darkness, but play did resume. The break did the Giants some good, as Manning led them 58 yards in 5 minutes. More than a  quarter and a half remained, and the Giants were within 26-13 after Manning hit Mario Manningham for the 5 yard score.

Dallas was on the move again after a long catch and run by Dez Bryant. Dallas went backward, and he Cowboys faced 3rd and 22. A stop would have the Giants right back in it. Instead, Kitna went deep to Roy Williams for 27 yards and then hit Miles Austin for the 24 yard touchdown. Tom Coughlin had no comments, and thankfully neither did anybody named Kardashian as the Cowboys led 33-13.

Manning brought the Giants right back. Defensive pass interference on a long pass to Hakeem Nicks set up a 30 yard touchdown pass to Kevin Boss as the Giants were within 33-20 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

With 10 1 /2 minutes left in regulation, the Giants faced 3rd and 20. Manning found Boss, who got leveled over the middle but somehow hung on to set up 4th and inches. A Dallas player jumped offsides but got back in time. Brandon Jacobs then barreled into the line and got nailed. A second effort made it close, but Dallas took over.

Kitna immediately went for the jugular from the Dallas 42, and the bomb to Dez Bryant with a roughing the passer penalty tacked on had the Cowboys with 1st and goal looking for the knockout blow. Upon further review, Dez Bryant was out of bounds, making it an incomplete pass. Yet the personal foul stood as the Cowboys were on the Giants 40. Kitna went deep again, this time into double coverage. This time he was intercepted in the end zone for a touchback with 9 minutes left in regulation.

Eli Manning thought he had a touchdown bomb to Nicks, but offensive holding wiped it out. On the next play a bad snap had Manning trying to pick the ball up and make a play instead of falling on it. Dallas recovered at the Giants 20. Again they could not close the game out as a field goal was no good, giving the Giants life with 5 minutes left. With 3 minutes left, that life was extinguished as Manning, on 3rd and 10 in the red zone, was intercepted in the end zone.

The final indignity came with the Cowboys facing 3rd and 10 with 1:15 to play. Marion Barber ran for the first down against the defeated Giants. Jason Garrett is unbeaten at 1-0 as a head coach, and Tom Coughlin has never beaten him. A classy Coughlin told Garrett “well done.” 33-20 Giants

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers–The Rams were the worst team in football last year at 2-14, but Steve Spagnuolo has turned the team around. Sam Bradford is a rookie in name only as the Rams at 4-4 are tied for the NFC Worst division lead. As for the 2-6 team in San Francisco, Mike Singletary every week is looking more and more like Ray Rhodes, all scowl and no results.

In the first quarter Josh Brown kicked a 42 yard field goal to have the Rams on the board first, but Frank Gore ran it in from one yard out to have the 49ers up 7-3.

The 49ers extended the lead when Troy Smith led a 75 yard drive that resulted in a 26 yard Joe Nedney field goal. Yet Bradford calmly led the Rams 67 yards, as a 5 yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola tied the game 10-10 at intermission.

A mostly quiet third quarter saw Bradford calmly lead a 64 yard drive that finished off with Stephen Jackson running it in from 13 yards out to have the Rams back in front 17-10. The 49ers punted, and the Rams blocked it to give them the ball at the San Francisco 35. The Rams failed to capitalize, and both punters kept the game unchanged. WIth 9 minutes left in regulation, a touchdown pass from Troy Smith to Michael Crabtree was wiped out by offensive holding. The 49ers settled for a Joe Nedney field goal and still trailed 17-13.

The Rams failed to convert on a key 3rd and 1 as a running play lost a yard. The 49ers took over after a punt at their own 24 with 4:13 to play. A touchdown bomb was called back when for the third time on the day, offensive holding wiped out a touchdown. Only 2 1/2 minutes remained, and instead of the lead, the 49ers faced 3rd and 32. A pass to Frank Gore set up 4th and 18. Another pass to Gore went for 23 yards. On the next play, Smith hit Crabtree for the touchdown as the 49ers led 20-17, since finally there were no flags. Despite 14 penalties, the 49ers had 2:10 left to preserve the win. Smith was 17 of 28 for 356 yard at that point.

At the 2 minute warning, the Rams were at their own 30. Bradford somehow avoided a sack, bounced around like a pinball, and then scrambled for a first down as the Rams called their first timeout at the San Francisco 49 with 1:09 to play. Bradford hit Daniel Fells at the San Francisco 38. An injured San Franscisco player forced the 49ers to take a timeout with 53 seconds left, a tremendous break for the Rams. Bradford then hit Stephen Jackson at the 18 yard line with 42 second left. Well in field goal range, the Rams could now go for the win.

On 3rd and 7 a swing pass to Jackson went nowhere as a timeout with 29 seconds to play set up the tying field goal attempt from 33 yards out.  Josh Brown connected as the game was tied 20-20. The Rams won the toss to start overtime.

Bradford was sacked and the Rams punted. The 49ers relied on a heavy dose of Frank Gore. The 49ers were 0 for 11 on 3rd down conversions in regulation, and faced 3rd and 2 at the Rams 45. Smith threw a pass as he was going to the ground with a defender draped on him that fell incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference instead meant 1st and 10 at the Rams 23. It was the 12th flag on the Rams in this penalty fest. Gore barreled ahead for a pair of 6 yard runs, and on 1st and 10 Joe Nedney came in for the 29 yard field goal to win it.  Nedney hit it, and the 49ers had the win. The Rams at 4-5 are one game out of 1st place while the 3-6 San Francisco cellar dwellers are only 2 games out of the lead. 23-20 49ers, OT

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers was the Sunday night game. These teams played twice this decade in the AFC Title Game, and have combined for 5 Super Bowl wins. They could meet in the AFC Title Game this year as both teams came into tonight’s game at 6-2. Yet beneath the surface are some deficiencies, as New England got blasted last week in Cleveland while Pittsburgh barely hung on and avoided blowing a big lead against Cincinnati. Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick and Robert Frost quoting Mike Tomlin were ready for a showdown, and so were NFL fans everywhere.

These teams played twice this decade in the AFC Title Game, and have combined for 5 Super Bowl wins. They could meet in the AFC Title Game this year as both teams came into tonight’s game at 6-2. Yet beneath the surface are some deficiencies, as New England got blasted last week in Cleveland while Pittsburgh barely hung on and avoided blowing a big lead against Cincinnati. Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick and Robert Frost quoting Mike Tomlin were ready for a showdown, and so were NFL fans everywhere.

New England has gone on the road at Pittsburgh and won on the biggest of stages, so going on the road again did not pose a threat. Pittsburgh went 3 and out. Tom Brady then led a 70 yard drive. On 3rd and 9 from the Pittsburgh 19, Brady hit Gronkowski over the middle for the touchdown as the Patriots led 7-0 early on.

Pittsburgh went backward and punted on 4th and 37, giving the Patriots the ball at midfield. New England moved the ball again, and again the Patriots faced a 3rd and 19. This time a reception left fourth down, and newly acquired Shane Graham connected from 30 to make it 10-0 Patriots.

Ben Roethlisberger finally got the Steelers going in the second quarter with a 10 play, 74 yard drive. Yet they could not finish it, as a field goal had them within 10-3. Pittsburgh had one chance to get points with 8 seconds left in the half from the New England 44. Yet rather than gain a few yards and try the long field goal, an incomplete deep pass left time for only a Hail Mary, which also fell incomplete.

In the third quarter Brady led a 10 play, 78 yard drive that culminated for the second time in a  pass to Gronkowski for the touchdown. The 8 yard connection had New England up 17-3. Big Ben brought the Steelers back, and a 38 yard defensive pass interference call on the Patriots with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter set up 1st and goal at the 8 yard line. 3 incompletions later, a 26 yard field goal was blocked as the Steelers came up empty.

Brady immediately went for the kill, and found Brandon Tate for a 45 yard gain. After a false start, a completion to Welker went for another first down at the Pittsburgh 24. A couple of runs by Green-Ellis had the Patriots with 1st and goal at the 8 themselves. From the 5 yard line, Brady took a sneak up the middle himself for the touchdown with 22 seconds left in the third quarter to have New England safely ahead. The extra point was no good but the Patriots still led 23-3.

The Steelers began the fourth quarter just shy of midfield. From the New England 26, Big Ben hit Mike Wallace in stride to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Big Ben then lofted a high floater to Sanders, who made a diving catch for the score to get Pittsburgh within 23-10 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

Brady led the Patriots to the Steelers 35, but a holding penalty pushed them out of field goal range and they punted. Pittsburgh took over at their own 10 with 9 minutes left. Roethlisberger had his next pass into traffic deflected and intercepted by Sanders, who raced 35 yards for the score to put the game on ice. The 2 point conversion failed, but with 8 1/2 minutes left the Patriots led 29-10.

Roethlisberger had the Steelers in the hurry up offense, and rapidly got the Steelers down the field. A 14 yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace and a 2 point conversion run by Mewelde Moore out of the wildcat had the Steelers down 11 with 6 1/2 minutes left.

The onsides kick failed, and the Patriots took over at the Steelers 41. On 3rd and 5 from the 25, Brady for the third time found Gronkowski for the score, as the Patriots led 36-18 with 4 1/2 minutes to play.

Big Ben kept firing, hitting Wallace for gains of 20, 19, and finally 33 for the score, as Moore ran in another 2 point conversion. The Steelers trailed 36-26 with 3 minutes remaining.

Another onsides kick failed, as the Patriots took over at the Steelers 33. At the 2 minute warning, Graham kicked a 35 yard field goal to have the Patriots up by 13. Roethlisberger furiously led the Steelers from their own 28 to the Patriots 15, but a final pass to the 7 yard line ended the game as the clock ran out. New England improved to 7-2, Pittsburgh dropped to 6-3, and a rematch between these teams in the playoffs would be well worth the price of admission. Brady finished 30 of 43 for 350 yards, with Big Ben finishing 30 of 49 for 387. Both quarterbacks threw 3 touchdown passes. Big Ben was intercepted once, Brady not at all. 39-26 Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins–Walrus Lite Andy Reid has Michael Vick, and Mike Shanahan has now locked up Donovan McNabb with a 5 year, 87 million contract extension with 40 million guaranteed. The Eagles came in 5-3 with a chance to share the division lead with New York, while Washington at 4-4 is in the hunt. The teams looked evenly matched on paper, but Philadelphia exploded out of the gate in front of a stunned Washington crowd.

The Eagles took over at their own 12. Vick rolled out on a naked bootleg, and fired the bomb on the game’s very first play. Deshean Jackson out-jumped the defender, shook the tackle, and raced to the end zone for an 88 yard touchdown only 18 seconds into the game to have the Eagles up 7-0.

Washington went 3 and out, and the Eagles took over at their own 37. Vick hit Avant for 15 yards. Then Andy Reid went to the bag of tricks and called a double reverse that picked up 11 more. Vick hit McCoy for 27 yards down to the 7. On the next play, Vick scrambled for the touchdown himself to make it 14-0 only 4 1/2 minutes into the game.

McNabb had a pass deflected and intercepted, and the Eagles took over at the Washington 37. Vick scrambled for 13, and on 3rd and 5 from the 19, hit Avant for 11. Vick tossed a shovel pass to McCoy, who took it 11 yards for the touchdown as the Eagles now led 21-0. This was the 152nd meeting of these teams, and never before had the Eagles led on the road 21-0 after the first quarter. They did it this time in only 10 minutes.

Washington went 3 and out again, and the Eagles took over at their own 23. Vick hit McCoy for 12, and Harrison for 15 more to midfield. Harrison then took a handoff, broke several attempts at tackles, and made it just past the pileon for the 50 yard touchdown.

The 28-0 lead the Eagles had after the first quarter was the largest lead of any road team in the history of the NFL. This included the 73-0 game between Washington and Chicago in 1940. Also, this touchdown was worse for Washington because it looked like the tacklers quit on the play. That got Wade Phillips fired in Dallas. Shanahan is entrenched, but Albert Haynesworth won’t be the only defender in full pads this upcoming week in practice.

Washington again finished 3 and out, as they had 0 first downs in the opening quarter and less than 25 yards of offense. Philly had nearly 300 offensive yards. Yes, this was only the opening quarter.

The Eagles began the second quarter at the Washington 48. SHock had turned to numbness as the Eagles began the second quarter exactly how they began the first one. Vick went deep, and fired the bomb to Jeremy Maclin. Maclin came down with the ball at the pileon and it was ruled a touchdown. Shanahan challenged the call in vain. After one quarter and 9 seconds of the second quarter, the Eagles led 35-0.   At that point Vick had completed all 9 of his passes for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns. Again, this was in just over one quarter.

At this point perhaps the Eagles could be forgiven for being more than a tad bored. McNabb rolled out on the bootleg as Vick did to start the game, and fired a bomb to Davis that went for 71 yards down to the 3. McNabb hit Young for the touchdown as the Redskins trailed 35-7 only 45 seconds into the second quarter.

The Eagles actually punted on their next drive, and McNabb went deep again with another bomb. The 76 yard connection to Armstrong led to a 6 yard dink to Williams for another touchdown as the Redskins got within 35-14 with 9 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Vick scrambled for 13 yards on the next series, but the Eagles got no more and punted from their own 40 as the Redskins began at their own 13 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half. McNabb was intercepted again, as the Eagles took over at the Washington 28. On 3rd and 9 Vick scrambled for 21 yards down to the 6. Vick then scrambled again for the touchdown as the Eagles led 42-14 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. During this half Vick passed Steve Young for career rushing yards by a quarterback, trailing only all time leader Randall Cunningham.

Washington again went 3 and out, and the Eagles took over at their own 37. Andy Reid kept his foot on the accelerator, and Vick hit Avant for 25 yards. A 3rd and 3 pass lost a yard, but in the rain David Akers snuck a 48 yard field goal inside the upright with 25 seconds left in the half as the Eagles led 45-14. This was actually not their biggest halftime lead, as a playoff game against Detroit after the 1995 season saw Philly complete a Hail Mary at the halftime gun to lead 51-7 (They slept through the second half and won 58-37). As for a Hail Mary in this game, Washington did have the ball at midfield, but McNabb was sacked to end things.

The Redskins began the third quarter at their own 45. From just past midfield, McNabb went deep to Sellers for a 28 yard gain. On 4th and 4 from the 15, McNabb hit Armstrong for 6 yards. Williams took it in from the 4 to get the Redskins within 45-21 only 3 1/2 minutes into the third quarter.

The Eagles fumbled the ensuing kickoff but retained possession. From the Philly 29, Vick hit Avant for 20. On 3rd and 5, Vick hit Maclin for 26 yards down to the 20. On 3rd and 10 Vick scrambled for 13. From the 7, Vick scrambled all over the place, had all the time in the world, and fired a laser to Avant in the back of the end zone. Avant got both feet down as the Eagles led 52-21 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.

40 seconds later, McNabb was intercepted again. It was his 3rd of the game and his 2nd one by Dimitri Patterson. Patterson took it 40 yards for the score as the Eagles led 59-21. The 59 points were the most ever scored on Monday Night Football. A couple of weeks ago the Raiders led Denver 59-14 in the third quarter before pulling everybody in what would be a scoreless fourth quarter. The all time points record was not a consideration. Andy Reid is not one to run up the score, but time would tell. Also, McNabb was still in the game, since apparently Rex Grossman is not the guy to lead a 38 point comeback.

On the next Washington series, McNabb was sacked on 3rd and 10 as the Redskins punted. The Eagles took over at their own 20. For some reason Vick was still in the game, but Andy Reid, who hates running the ball, had Vick just keep handing it off. Harrison picked up 26 yards, and on 3rd and 4, Vick threw a safe pass for a first down at the Washington 42.  The Eagles picked up 3 more yards as the third quarter ended. On 3rd and 8 from the 40, Vick threw incomplete and the Eagles punted.

Washington took over at their own 16 as McNabb stayed in. Keeland Williams ripped off a 32 yard run past some lazy tacklers for his third touchdown run of the game. It is hard to criticize defenders for looking listless when they are up by 38. With 11 minutes left in regulation, the gap was 31 at 59-28.

For some reason Vick and McNabb were still in the game, and still throwing. Apparently the risk of injury in a 31 point game did not matter. Incompletions kept stopping the clock in a game that really needed to end. With 2 1/2 minutes left, facing 4th and 1 at their own 30, Shanahan opted to punt. Philly improved to 6-3 with the win while the Redskins fell to 4-5, a pair of games back.

In an irony noticed in Denver, both their current coach and the man he replaced have given up 59 points at home to a division rival in the same season. That has to be a record. The Eagles piled up nearly 600 yards of offense. They were so good that late in the game Kevin Kolb came in to hand it off. Even more remarkable was that 2x Andy Reid ran the ball on 3rd and 1, which he hates, and both times the Eagles converted. Vick finished 20 of 28 for 333 yards, with 4 touchdowns, 2 of them rushing.Earlier in Philadelphia, Washington shocked them 17-12. After this game, just like after that one, Vick and McNabb shared warm and lengthy words. It was a  classy end to a lopsided game. 59-28 Eagles

Despite having the week off, the Oakland Raiders are now tied for first place in the AFC West with a 5-4 record. They have won 3 straight, and are 3-0 in the division. This is their best season since 2002, but there is a long way to go for the Silver and Black.


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