NFL 2012 Week 8 Recap

NFL 2012 Week 8 Recap

The only way to recover from a Saturday night of South Beach, Miami revelry is to spend the entire Sunday relaxing and watching football. So let’s do this America. Time for some football.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings was the Thursday night game. The Vikings came in a very strong 5-2 while the Buccaneers were an up and down team. So naturally at home Minnesota would show that they were ready for the big time and take back the NFC North crown. As ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman says, “That’s why they play the games.”

A field position game early on had Minnesota punting twice and the Buccaneers once, with Tampa taking over at their own 42. Doug Martin, who would gash the Minnesota defense all game, got started with a 41 yard run up the middle. Despite 2nd and 3 from the 10, Josh Freeman threw incomplete twice and the Bucs would settle for a 28 yard Connor Barth field goal and a 3-0 lead. Tampa got it back and soon faced 3rd and 10 from the Minnesota 48. Freeman went deep to speedster Vincent Jackson for a 26 yard gain. Freeman then hit Martin for 9 and Dallas Clark for 10 before capping off the drive with a one yard touchdown pass to Lorig to make it 10-0 Buccaneers.

Minnesota fumbled the ball away on their next series, and Tampa took over at their own 46. Martin quickly gained 12 and 8. On 3rd and 2 from the Minnesota 34, Martin got the deuce as the second quarter began. The drive stalled at the 20, but Barth hit from 40 to make it 13-0 Buccaneers in front of a stunned home crowd.

The Vikings finally got a jolt of life when Percy Harvin took a pass from Christian Ponder after a touchback 32 yards. Adrian Peterson gained 11 yards, and a roughing the passer penalty added 15 more. On 3rd and 6 from the 18, Ponder went to Harvin for the touchdown as the Vikings were only down 13-7.

Yet on Minnesota’s next possession, they fumbled the ball away again as the Bucs took over at the Minnesota 37. Martin gained 16 and Freeman hit Clark for 13. On 3rd and goal from the 3 Freeman hit mike Williams for the touchdown as the Bucs led 20-7.

After a touchback, on 3rd and 10 from their 20, Ponder hit Rudolph for 12. On 3rd and 12 from their 30, Ponder went to Simpson for a 33 yard gain. Walsh would hit a 51 yard field goal as the Vikings still trailed 20-10 at the half.

The third quarter had the Buccaneers putting the dagger in very quickly. After a touchback, Freeman hit Clark for 17 yards. Then a short pass to Martin became a 64 yard touchdown as the Bucs immediately led 27-10. Minnesota again went 3 and out as the Buccaneers took o er at their own 42. Martin gained 6, 9, and 4. Barth would hit a 38 yarder as the Bucs were cruising 30-10.

Minnesota had another spark of life when immediately after the ensuing kickoff, Peterson took a handoff and raced 64 yards for a score to get Minnesota within 30-17.

Yet there would be no comeback. Tampa Bay took over after an exchange of punts at their own 13 and entered the fourth quarter with Freeman leading a staggering 16 play, 9 minute, 87 yard drive that just ground Minnesota into dust. On 3rd and 6 from their 23, Freeman hit Jackson for 14. On 3rd and 10 from their 37, Freeman hit Tyquon Underwood for 12. On 3rd and 10 just shy of midfield, Freeman went deep to Williams for a 34 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the 16, Freeman hit Williams for 11 and the Vikings defense could not get off the field. On 3rd and goal at the one, Martin got in. The 2 point conversion failed, but it did not matter.

Leslie Frazier has seen calls despite the 5-2 start to replace Christian Ponder. This game did not do anything to silence the critics, as Minnesota looked like pretenders on their home field. Freeman threw for 3 touchdown passes, but the big story was Doug Martin. He ran wild and finished with 214 all purpose yards in a game that was never competitive. 36-17 Buccaneers

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles–Michael Vick faced off against his former team, but the real story is that Atlanta is 6-0 under average non-descript white guy Mike Smith while Walrus Lite Andy Reid sees his Eagles underachieving for the second consecutive season. Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who was converted from an offensive line position to begin with. It is not always sunny in Philadelphia, and Jeffrey Lurie has everyone on a short leash after not firing anyone last year.

Atlanta dominated at the start. On 3rd and 8 from their 22, Matt Ryan hit Davis for 15 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the 37 an incompletion was offset by defensive holding. On 3rd and 2 from midfield Ryan hit Roddy White for 10. On 3rd and 1 from the Philly 31, Turner got the yard. Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for 11, and on 3rd and 7 from the 15 Matty Ice hit Davis for the touchdown to complete the 16 play, 80 yard, 9 minute drive to make it 7-0 Falcons.

Philly went 3 and out and Atlanta took over just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 4 Ryan found Julio Jones for 7 yards. A 22 yard defensive pass interference penalty meant 1st and goal at the 10. On 3rd and goal, an incomplete was offset by another defensive pass interference penalty. Ryan hit Jason Snelling for a 3 yard score as the Falcons led 14-0.

Philly finally got going and the second quarter began with them facing 3rd and 2 at their own 42. Michael Vick hit Desean Jackson for a 3 yard gain. Vick hit Jeremy Maclin for 9 yards and Captain Morgan Brent Celek for a couple more. A 12 yarder to Maclin and a pair of 7 yard McCoy runs meant 2nd and 3 from the Atlanta 7. Brown gained 5, fumbled the ball, and was lucky that the Eagles retained possession. McCoy got the final couple yards as the 14 play, 7 minute drive had the Eagles within 14-7. After that with rain coming down, the Eagles got washed away as well.

Atlanta took over at their own 27 and struck quickly. Ryan hit White for 14 yards. On 2nd and 14, a short pass from Ryan to Jones went for a 63 yard touchdown as the Falcons were back up 21-7. Philly moved from their 20 to a 2nd and 2 just past midfield. They got nothing else and on 4th and 2 Andy Reid decided to punt. With 2:48 left in the half the Falcons took over at their own 9. They were at their own 20 at the 2 minute warning. Ryan ran for 10 and Rodgers added 10 more. Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for 11. On 3rd and 4 from the Philly 48, Ryan hit Jones for 6 and White for 14. matt Bryant hit a 43 yard field to end the half as the Falcons led 24-7 in front of a disgusted and wet home crowd. The second half would provide no relief from the weather or the Falcons.

Philly would begin the third quarter moving from their 17 to a 2nd and 6 at the Atlanta 15. Yet Vick fired incomplete twice, and the Eagles settled for a 33 yard Henery field goal and a 24-10 deficit. Atlanta matched the Ealges with a 12 play drive that took 5 minutes off the clock, going from their 20 to 1st and goal at the 5. An illegal touch on the offense ended the drive, but Bryant hit from 29 to make it 27-10 Falcons. This was the exact score the Eagles won by in the NFC Title Game after the 2004 season, and Vick again was on the losing end of this game. Atlanta got it back at their own 10 and took 5 more minutes off of the clock. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Bryant hit from 30 as the Falcons led 30-10.

Vick would lead a 16 play, 80 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive, but ball control is not good when down by 20 and needing 3 scores. On 3rd and goal at the 7 Vick would hit McCoy for the score, but that would be it. Philly would turn it over on downs two more times. A disgusted Andy Reid saw his team fall to 3-4, while Mike Smith has the Falcons a perfect 7-0. They are silencing critics with solid wins on the road. 30-17 Falcons

Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears–Carolina began the season 1-5 and General Managaer Marty Hurley was fired. Owner Jerry Richardson wants quarterback Cam Newton to be happy, and losing does not help. Lovie Smith has the Bears playing well this season, but time will tell if they are contenders or pretenders. The Bears have fooled us in recent years. A home win against a team having a miserable year would be expected.

Jay Cutler was intercepted early on, but on the next series Chicago took over just past midfield. Matt Forte ran for 16 yards and Cutler hit Brandon Marshall for 18 more. Forte ran for a 13 yard touchdown. The Bears made it look easy going up 7-0, but nothing came easy for them the rest of the half.

On the first play from scrimmage after a touchback, Newton went deep to Brad LaFell for a 62 yard gain to the Chicago 18. The Panthers settled for a 34 yard Medlock field goal to trail 7-3. A sack of Cutler would have the Bears facing 3rd and 21 at their own 32. Cutler was then sacked again, and he fumbled. Carolina took over at the Chicago 16, and Deangelo Williams ran for 7 yards to end the opening quarter. On 3rd and 3 from the 9, Newton fumbled, but Murphy recovered in the end zone for Carolina as the touchdown just the way they drew it up at sandlot practice had the Panthers up 10-7.

Carolina got it back and soon faced 3rd and 3 from their 36. Newton hit Steve smith for 8 yards. On 3rd and 9 from their 45, Newton threw incomplete but illegal contact meant 1st and 10 at midfield. On 3rd and 1 Stewart got nothing, and Ron Rivera gambled on 4th and 1 from the Chicago 41. Newton gained 2 to keep the drive going. Newton would hit Stewart for 15 more, but the drive died at the 10. Medlock hit from 31 to make it 13-7 Panthers. Newton threw for nearly 200 yards in the first half with Cutler throwing for 40, yet the Bears were still in it. With less than one minute in the half, Newton was intercepted. with seconds left in the half Cutler was sacked again and fumbled again.

Carolina dominated the third quarter but critical breakdowns kept them from putting the game out of reach. A long drive from their own 6 to a 2nd and goal at the hicago 4 took 8 minutes off the clock. Yet 90 yards was not enough, and a pair of Newton incompletions meant a 22 yard Medlock field goal. The Panthers led 16-7. Carolina got it back at their 12 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chicago 25. Yet they got nothing more and despite Medlock hitting his fourth field goal from 43 yards, the Panthers only led 19-7 after three quarters.

Facing 2nd and 12 from their own 32, Cutler hit Bennett for gains of 24 and 11 yards to the Carolina 33 as the third quarter ended. Cutler hit Marshall for 13, but got no further than the 15. Robbie Gould missed a 33 yarder as the Bears misery continued and they still trailed 19-7 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

Carolina got stopped on 3rd and 1, and a 6…yes 6…yard punt had the Bears starting out at the Carolina 38. On 3rd and 8, Cutler hit Marshall for 11, Forte for 9, and Davis for the 12 yard touchdown as the Bears were only down 19-14 midway through the fourth quarter. After a touchback, Newton was intercepted by Jennings, who returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers were giving the game away as 2 touchdowns in 18 seconds had the Bears up 20-19 after the failed 2 point conversion.

After a touchback, a roughing the passer penalty had Carolina moving. On 3rd and 1 from their 45, Newton took an end around 16 yards. With 2 1/2 minutes left, Medlock came in for a 45 yarder. His fifth field goal was good, and 5 for 5 had the Panthers up 22-20. Now it was up to their defense.

Chicago took over at their 22, and at the 2 minute warning Cutler hit Marshall for 8 to the 34. Cutler then hit Bennett for 12. With one minute left the Bears faced 3rd and 3 from the Carolina 47. Cutler hit Marshall for 11 and again for 10. With 4 seconds left, Gould came in for the 41 yarder to win it. Despite his earlier miss, this time he was good. Lovie Smith will keep hearing that his team is not that good. Their offense in particular looked dreadful. Yet they are 6-1. Carolina is 1-6 and they are that bad. They found a way to lose this game, which bad teams do. 23-22 Bears

San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns–With Walrus Mike Holmgren on the way out, the Browns continue their commitment to futility that has define much of the last five decades. Unlike in politics, if you inherit a mess in sports and fail to turn it around in three or four years, you get fired anyway. There are no excuses in football. The Chargers, unlike the Browns, actually have plenty of talent. Yet Norvelous Norv Turner, who somehow cannot be fired in San Diego, has even oversaw his team blow a 24 point halftime lead. Perhaps he has pictures of the Spanos family engaging in illegal activities. A loss to the woeful Browns would really have the San Diego fans calling for Turner’s scalp. While this was not the worst football game ever played, it certainly was fairly awful.

San Diego moved from their 19 to a 4th and 1 at the Cleveland 30. Turner went for it, and Battle got stopped cold. On 3rd and 6 from their 34, Brandon Weeden got just enough. On 3rd and 1 from the Chargers 48, Trent Richardson got the yard and then 11 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Chargers 37, Weeden hit Ogbonnaya for 9. Pat Shurmur decided to go for it, and Weeden gained 2 on 4th and 1. Richardson then broke free for a 26 yard touchdown run. The Browns led 7-0, concluding offensive highlights for both teams for much of the rest of this dreadful excuse of a football game.

With 1:54 left in the half the Browns faced 4th and 8 at the Chargers 38. Shurmur decided to punt, yet a touchback gave San Diego plenty of time. Philip RIvers hit Ronnie Brown for a 25 yard gain, Rosario for 6 more, Brown for another 5, and Rosario for 5 more. With 14 seconds left in the half facing 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 17, Rivers was sacked. Nick Novak would hit the 43 yard field goal but the Chargers trailed 7-3 at intermission in the Dawg Pound.

A field position game had the Chargers taking over at the Cleveland 43 midway through the third quarter. Ryan Mathews gained 8, McClain added 3, and Matthews had a pair of 3 yard gains and 8 more on 3rd and 4. Yet on 1st and 10 from the 18, an end around got blown up in the backfield. The Chargers settled for a 31 yard Novak field goal as they still trailed 7-6 after three quarters in a game that should see the film destroyed.

The fourth quarter was every bit as heinous as the first three quarters. Both teams began drives at their own 3 yard line, got to about midfield, and punted. With 2 1/2 minutes left and needing only a field goal, San Diego took over at their own 12. With 1:41 to play the Chargers had 1st and 10 at the Cleveland 44. One more first down meant long field goal range and another typical Cleveland loss, another San Diego win, and a repreive for Norvelous Norv Turner. 3 straight Rivers incompletions meant 4th and 10. Turner decided to go for it rather than have Novak try a 62 yard field goal. Rivers threw another incompletion and the Browns had the greatest win in team history except for many of them. The Chargers had one of the worst losses except for many of them. 7-6 Browns

Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions–Pete Carroll has Seattle competitive in the NFC West with a ferocious defense while Jim Schwartz saw his high powered Lions offense run into an NFC North black and blue Chicago wall last week. After a Detroit punt Seattle took over at their own 23. Russell Wilson hit Golden Tate for 18 yards. On 4th and 5 just past midfield, Seattle punted but Detroit was called for an illegal formation on defense. Given second life, Seattle moved to a 3rd and 7 at the 10 where a pass from Wilson to Tate came up 2 yards short. Pete Carroll played it safe and Stephen Hauschka hit the 23 yarded to make it 3-0 Seahawks.

Detroit soon faced 3rd and 2 from their own 26, and Matthew Stafford hit Leshoure for 4 yards. Leshoure gained 12 and Stafford hit Broyles for 19 yards and Tony Scheffler for 20 more. On the last play of the first quarter, Stafford hit Broyles for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Lions. The first play of the second quarter was the first play from scrimmage after the kickoff. Marshawn Lynch took a handoff around the end and raced 77 yards for a score to put the Seahawks back on top 10-7.

Detroit immediately saw a 12 yard sack of Stafford and on 3rd and 24 from their own 6, were lucky to get to punt formation. Seattle took over at their own 44. A defensive pass interference penalty meant a 41 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the 9, Wilson hit Sidney Rice for the touchdown to make it 17-7 Seahawks.

After a touchback Stafford found Scheffler for 14 and Brandon Pettigrew for 18. On 3rd and 11 from the Seattle 46, Stafford went deep to Young for the touchdown as the Lions were back in it down 17-14.

A scoreless third quarter saw Detroit miss an opportunity facing 2nd and 3 from the Seattle 29 when Stafford was intercepted. Wilson throw an interception back several plays later as the Lions took over at their own 44. Stafford hit Megatron Calvin Johnson for 25, and Bell ran for 5 and caught a pass for 9 more. Detroit began the fourth quarter from the Seattle 17, and on 3rd and 4 from the 11 Stafford hit Pettigrew for 9. On 3rd and goal at the one, Stafford got in as the Lions led 21-17 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

Facing 3rd and 10 from their 13, Wilson hit Rice for 18. Lynch ran for 9 and Wilson hit Rice for 18 more. On 3rd and 2 from the Detroit 32, Wilson threw incomplete. A 50 yarder is makeable, but down by 4 with 6:40 to play, Pete Carroll decided to go for it. Wilson hit Tate for 6. Lynch then gained 10 and Wilson hit Miller for the 16 yard touchdown as Seattle retook the lead by a field goal with 5 1/2 minutes left.

After a touchback Stafford moved the offense beautifully. A 15 yarder to Johnson got the Lions going, and on 3rd and 5 from their 40 Stafford hit Johnson for 6, Young for 6, Young for 7, and Bell for 5 to the Seattle 36 at the two minute warning. Stafford hit Pettigrew for 11. Bell gained 5 and caught a reception for 8 more as the Lions took their second timeout with 51 seconds left and Detroit at the 12 yard line. On 3rd and 10 Stafford hit Bell for 11 as the Lions had 1st and goal at the one with 42 seconds left.

With 20 seconds left, it came down to 3rd and goal at the one. Stafford fired to Titus Young for the touchdown as the home crowd erupted. The stout Seattle defense were as game as they have been all year, but this time they were beaten. Matthew Stafford added to his already successful young professional career with another thrilling comeback win. 28-24 Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Green Bay Packers–The Jaguars are perhaps the worst team in football and Blaine Gabbert is having a tough year. After a very sluggish start, Mike McCarthy now has the Packes playing like they did during the regular season last year. This was supposed to be an easy win for the Packers. Again, “that’s why they play the games.”

After an exchange of punts, a 3rd and 4 from their own 40 had Gabbert going to Justin Blackmon for a 36 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the 22, offensive holding killed the drive. Josh Scobee hit from 38 yards out to make it 3–0 Jaguars.

From their own 31, Aaron Rodgers hit Jones for 12. On 3rd and 2 just past midfield, Rodgers gained 4. and hit Green for 12. From the Jacksonville 25, Rodgers hit Finley for 20 and Randall Cobb for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Packers.

Early in the second quarter Jacksonville had 1st and 10 from the Green Bay 22. Jet Jacksonville fumbled the ball away to waste the opportunity. Things got worse for the Jaguars on the next series. Punting from their own 37, the kick was blocked by House and recovered by Moses for a touchdown to make it 14-3 Packers.

With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Jaguars took over at their own 31. Gabbert hit Jennings for 14 and Shorts for a 35 yard gain to the 10. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 4, Gabbert threw incomplete. With one minute left in the half, Scobee hit a 22 yarder to get Jacksonville within 14-6.

After a touchback, rather than run out the clock, Mike McCarthy went looking for more. Rodgers was sacked and fumbled, and the Jaguars took over at the Green Bay 13. On 3rd and 5 at the 8, Gabbert hit Michael Spurlock for 7 down to the one with 21 seconds left. Gabbert hit Whimper for the touchdown. While the 2 point conversion failed, the easy game was gone as the Jaguars only trailed 14-12 at halftime.

Green Bay had chances to extend the lead but shot themselves in the foot. On 4th and 6 from the Jacksonville 37, Rodgers threw incomplete. Late in the third quarter on 3rd and 1 from the Jacksonville 14, a run went nowhere. Mike McCarthy decided not to gamble, but Mason Crosby doinked a 32 yard field goal try off the upright. Green Bay began the fourth quarter with 3rd and 1 at the Jacksonville 43. Green this time got the yard, and on the next play Rodgers went deep to Jones for a 31 yard gain. ROdgers hit Donald Driver for a 4 yard touchdown as the Packers finally had some breathing room up 21-12 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Gabbert moved the Jaguars from their 20 to a 2nd and 5 at the Packers 12. Yet Gabbert twice threw incomplete, and needing 2 scores, the field goal made sense. Scobee hit from 32 as the Jaguars were back within 21-15.

Scobee kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, but the packers went 3 and out. With 6 minutes left, Jacksonville took over at their own 8. Gabbert hit Jennings for 15, Shorts for 9, and Jennings for 18 to midfield. Yt on 4th and 4 from the Packers 44 with 3 minutes left, Gabbert threw incomplete. The Jaguars had their timeouts, and they took their final one with 2:44 to play and the Packers facing a critical 3rd and 7 from their own 47. One stop would give the Jaguars one more chance for the win. Rodgers threw deep incomplete, but defensive pass interference instead meant a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the 9 Green Bay only got half, and Crosby came in for the 25 yarder. Despite his earlier miss, this time he was good and the game was finally out of reach with 30 seconds left. Green Bay is 5-3 and moving in the right direction. Jacksonville is a miserable 1-6 after another tough loss. 24-15 Packers

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets–Anthony Sparano faced off against the team that fired him, but this rivalry is now a battle in the AFC least where nobody is playing well. Miami moved from their own 22 to start the game, and on 3rd and 4 the vaunted Rex Ryan defense jumped offsides. Reggie Bush, despite having dated a Kardashian, ran for 19 yard with 15 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness. Ryan Tannehill hit Brad Hartline for 12 more. Dan Carpenter hit a 33 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Dolphins. Miami even ran a successful onsides kick, but it did not lead to points. Yet with 4 minutes left in the opening quarter, punting from their own 20, the Jets suffered a special teams breakdown. The punt was blocked by Wilson, and bounced straight to Vernon for the touchdown as Miami led 10-0.

The Jets would get it back having failed on defense and special teams. Now the trifecta was complete as the offense failed. From the Jets 37, Mark Sanchez, who probably has lost interest in football now that he is dating Eva Longoria, was sacked and fumbled. Miami took over at the Jets 32. Matt Moore was in for the injured Chad Henne, and he hit Hartline for 11 as the opening quarter ended. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Thomas got in the end zone. The Jets lost a game earlier this year at home 34-0, and they were halfway there already as the Dolphins led 17-0.

Miami would get it back and soon face 3rd and 3 from their own 42. It was the M Moore to M Moore connection as Matt went deep to his teammate for a 37 yard gain. Dan Carpenter would hit from 39 as the Dolphins led 20-0. The Jets got it back with 2:43 left in the half and moved from their 13 to a 2nd and 5 at the Miami 17. Sanchez then threw incomplete twice and Rex Ryan brought in Nick Folk for the 35 yard field goal. The kick was blocked, and Bronx Cheers rained down on the New Meadowlands as Gang Green suffered another reminder that they will never be as beloved as their Big Blue counterparts, especially with performances like this one. League rules required the second half to be played.

Gates returned the second half kickoff to the Jets 46, and on 3rd and 1, Hilliard gained 2. Snachez hit Dustin Keller for 23 to set up 1st and 10 a the 20. 3 more plays meant 0 more yards. This time Folk was good from 38, as the lifeless Jets still trailed 20-3. Thigpen answered by returning the ensuing kickoff 57 yards to the Jets 40. On 3rd and 10 Moore hit Jabar Gaffney for 30 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Moore hit Anthony Fasano for the touchdown as the Dolphins cruised 27-3.

Midway through the third quarter facing 4th and 5 at the Miami 47, Rex Ryan apparently conceded by calling for a punt. The Jets finally created a break when they recovered a Miami fumble and took over at the Dolphins 32. Yet from the 15, Sanchez was intercepted.

In the fourth quarter Sanchez would lead a 94 yard drive that would culminate in a 5 yard touchdown to Chaz Schilens. The 2 point conversion failed, and the Dolphins would tack on one more field goal to complete the blowout. Joe Philbin has his Dolphins hanging around with a 4-3 record while the Jets head into their bye a miserable 3-5. They suck in every phase of team football, and Rex Ryan knows it. Sanchez threw for 283 yards and was 28 of 54, not the ground and pound Rex Ryan wants. With the trading deadline approaching, Ryan may wish to trade all 45 players. 30-9 Dolphins

Washington Redskins @ Pittsburgh Steelers–RGIII came to face off against Big Ben Roethlisberger. In the beginning it was all Pittsburgh as Big Ben led a 12 play, 76 yard drive that took 7 minutes off the clock. A 25 yard completion from Roethlisberger to Heath Miller went to the Washington 46. Roethlisberger also hit Mike Wallace for 8, and on 3rd and 7 from the Washington 31, Big Ben found Emanuel Sanders for 15 and Wallace for 5. On 3rd and goal at the one, Dwyer did not get in. Mike Tomlinson decided to go for it, and on 4th and goal from the one, Roethlisberger hit Pope for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Steelers.

Washington went 3 and out when a 3rd and 1 run meant a 3 yard loss. Pittsburgh took over at their own 28 and Dwyer ripped off a 34 yard run. The drive would stall when a gadget play went awry and Shawn Suisham hit a 48 yarder to make it 10-0 Steelers.

The Redskins finally got moving and by the second quarter beginning, they were at the Pittsburgh 14. On 3rd and 4 from the8 RGIII found Morgan for 5. On 4th and goal at the 2 Mike Shanahan decided to go for it, and Griffin hit Santana Moss for the touchdown. The extra point was blocked as the Redskins trailed 10-6.

From their own 26, Pittsburgh came right back. Roethlisberger hit Sanders for 14, and on 3rd and 2 Rainey gained 3. Roethlisberger from just past midfield hit Brown for 14 and again for 18, and then to Wallace for 10. On 3rd and goal from the 7 Roethlisberger hit Miller for the score to make it 17-6 Steelers.

With 4 minutes left in the half a shanked punt went only 12 yards. The Steelers took over at their own 45 and Roethlisberger quickly hit Sanders for 27 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the 12 a pass to Wallac eonly gained 3, and at the 2 minute warning Suisham came in for a 27 yarder. It was good and the Steelers led 20-6 at halftime.

RGIII moved the Redskins in the third quarter from their 21 as a pass to Paul gained 37 yards. Yet from the Pittsburgh 30, the Redskins went nowhere. Forbath hit a 48 yard field goal to get the Redskins within 20-9.

The Steelers came back after a touchback to put the game away. Dwyer gained 12 and 10. Roethlisberger hit Johnson for 7, Charlie Batch for 8, and Miller for 12. On 3rd and 3 from the Washington 21, Rainey took a wildcat snap and gained 19 yards. Big Ben hit Johnson for the one yard touchdown to have the Steelers firmly in command up 27-9.

Pittsburgh missed a chance to extend the lead when a punt return for a touchdown was called back, but they didn’t need it. Washington again got in the red zone and again settled for a 45 yard Forbath field goal, but it was far too little far too late. With 4 minutes left in regulation, 4th and 17 from the Pittsburgh 24 saw RGIII throw incomplete.

The Redskins are a much improved team, but this time the Steelers had too much firepower at home. 27-12 Steelers

New England Patriots @ St. Louis Rams–The 2001 season saw a Super Bowl shocker when the Greatest Show on Turf under mad scientist Mike Martz was shocked by Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick and Tom Brady. A dynasty was launched, but not in St. Louis. Now these are a pair of avergae teams, with the Rams overachieving and the Patriots not up to their usual standards.

After a touchback, Sam Bradford hit Stephen Jackson for 14 yards. On 3rd and 2 from their 47, Jackson gained 3. Bradford then went deep to Givens, and the 50 yard touchdown bobm had the Rams on top first 7-0. New England came right back. On 3rd and 2 from their 30, Brady threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 10 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from their 48, Brady hit Danny Woodhead for 24 yards. Ridley gained 9, and on 3rd and 1 Brady went to Lloyd for the 19 yard score to tie the game 7-7.

Reality soon set in for the Rams. From the New England 17, Ridley gained 20, and Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 25 more. Brady found Wes Welker for 9 and then hit Gronkowski again for 25 more to set up 1st and goal at the one to start the second quarter. On 3rd and goal from the 2 Woodhead only got half, and Bill Bellichick decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. Vereen got in and the Patriots led 14-7.

New England got it back at their own 22 and Vereen gained 14 yards. Brady hit Gronkowski for 11 more. On 3rd and 4 from the Rams 41, Brady hit Gronkowski again for a 32 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 7, it was again Brady to Gronkowski for the touchdown and the 21-7 Patriots lead.

With 2 minutes left in the half the Rams faced 4th and 4 at the Patriots 35. Jeff Fisher called a fake field goal that blew up, resulting in a 9 yard loss. The Patriots took over at their own 44 and Brady made the Rams pay. Brady hit Woodhead for 15. On 3rd and 4 from the 35 Brady threw incomplete, but defensive pass interference added 15 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 11 Brady gained 3. On 3rd and goal from the 8 with 17 seconds left in the half, Brady again threw incomplete and again defensive pass interference killed the Rams. From the one yard line, Ridley got in as the Patriots rolled 28-7 at halftime.

New England has not had the killer instinct they have had in past years, but perhaps having to fly all the way to England to play in London’s Wembley stadium and try the disgusting British food made Bellichick crankier than usual. AFter a touchback to start the third quarter, Brady went right to work. He hit Hoomanawanui for 18 yards, and Brady is the only known player to complete a pass to a guy named Hoomanawanui. Ridley then ran for 30 yards. Brady hit Gronkowski for 10, Welker for 9, and Lloyd for the 9 yard touchdown to make it 35-7 Patriots. New England got it back at their own 34 and a 41 yard gain by Ridley led to a 26 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal and a 38-7 Patriots advantage. In the fourth quarter Brady would throw a 14 yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski to complete the scoring.

The British do like professional football, but they only saw it from one team on this day. The last time Jeff Fisher faced Bellichick and the Patriots, Fisher was with Tennessee, the snow came down, and the Patriots won 59-0. The 2 game total of Bellichick over Fisher is now 104-7. At least the teams could leave behind the miserable London weather and get back to America in time for Hurricane Sandy. 45-7 Patriots

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans–The Colts have been playing inspired football since coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with lukemia. Andrew Luck has certainly hepled matters, while the Titans have old man Matt Hasselbeck in for the injured Jake Locker. The Titans began by moving 13 plays and taking half the quarter to do it. Yet after moving from their 20 to the Indy 17, a failed run, a false start, and a sack of Hasselbeck meant the Titans were settling for a 39 yard Rob Bironas field goal and a 3-0 lead. The Colts came back with a long drive of their own from the Indy 15 to the Tennessee 4 yard line. Yet on 3rd and goal Luck was only able to get half of it. On 4th and goal at the 2 the Colts took no chances and Adam Vinatieri hit the 20 yarder to tie the game 3-3.

Midway through the second quarter of a defensive slugfest, the Titans faced 3rd and 5 from their own 33. Indy jumped offsides to keep the drive going. On 3rd and 5 from their 43, Hasselbeck hit Wright for 7 to midfield and then scrambled for 10 more himself. On 3rd and 2 from the Indy 27, Hasselbeck hit Nate Washington for 5. On 3rd and 11 from the 23, Hasselbeck went deep to Wright for the touchdown with one minute left in the half to make it 10-3 Titans. Luck would rapidly move the Colts from their 19 to a 3rd and 1 at the Titans 19 with 10 seconds left in the half. Luck threw incomplete, and on 4th and one with only 4 seconds left, the field goal was the choice. Vinatieri’s kick from 37 yards out was blocked.

Luck moved the Colts more methodically in the third quarter from their 25 to a 1st and 10 at the Tennessee 30. A sack of luck meant Vinatieri was coming in again, this time from 44. The kick was good and the Colts were within 10-6. The Colts got it back and midway through the third quarter Luck went for it all from the Tennessee 32. He was intercepted for a touchback. Tennessee moved to the Indy 27, but from 45 yards out Bironas missed a field goal.

Tennessee got it back at their own 20 and a pair of Chris Johnson 5 yard gains had them starting the fourth quarter at their 30. Hasselbeck went deep to Cook for a 29 yard gain, and Johnson gained 11 more. Hasselbeck hit Hawkins for 7, and Johnson ran for 14 to set up 1st and goal at the 9. Hasselbeck would fumble and although the Titans retained possession, the drive was done. Bironas this time was good from 30 as the Titans led 13-6 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, Luck hit Reggie Wayne for 10 and Allen for 13. On 3rd and 1 from the Titans 48, Luck gained 7. Luck hit Hilton for 14 and Saunders for 11. On 3rd and 10 from the Titans 17, Luck hit Brazill for 9. With 4 minutes to go, it came down to 4th and 1 at the 7. Donald Carter got the carry, and gained 7 yards. Carter gt the last yard on the next play. After 56 1/2 minutes, the Colts reached the end zone. The 80 yard, 7 minute, 14 play drive had the game tied 13-13. Each team had one more chance with the football in regulation but the game went into overtime, where the Colts won the toss and began at their 20.

Donald Brown gained 4, with 5 more tacked on for a penalty. Brown became a workhorse, gaining 19, 9, 5, and 5 more. Yet on the next carry he lost 3 yards to set up 3rd and 8 at the Titans 36.Luck hit Wayne for 20 yards. Under the new overtime rules, a field goal would give the Titans one chance with the ball. So instead Luck threw a 16 yard touchdown to Ballard. The Titans would not see the ball as the game was over. The Colts were 2-14 last year and are now 4-3 as Mike Munchak saw hit Titans lose a tough one at home. 19-13 Colts, OT

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs–For more on the game of the day, go to

The Raiders avoided becoming the worst team in football by eking out a win last week against the worst team. They have won two games this year at home while being down by at least 10 points in both of those games. Meanwhile, they have been blown out in three road games by at least 16 points. Now they face a Kansas City team that is also even worse than they are. If the Raiders are ever going to even be a respectable team, they have to avoid losing these games. 3-4 leaves hope. 2-5 does not. The Dennis Allen era has been rough, but this was a winnable game for the Silver and Black. Brady Quinn was starting instead of a benched Matt Cassell, meaning unless the Raiders benched Carson Palmer and inserted Captain Checkdown Matt Leinart into the game, the Raiders had a golden chance to win. Sometimes bad teams can come together to play a great game. This was not that game.

After a touchback on the very first play of the game, Carson Palmer went for the bomb. He was intercepted by former Raider Stanford Routt, who returned it 17 yards to the Oakland 44. Yet 3 plays netted the Chiefs only 5 yards, and on 4th and 5 from the 39 Romeo Crennel decided to punt. Oakland took over at their own 6, and Darren McFadden lost a yard. Yet Palmer found McFadden for 11 yards and then hit Denarius Moore on a short pass that went for a 58 yard gain to the Chiefs 24. The problem is that the Raiders do not finish drives. Dennis Allen has installed the despised dink and dunk West Coast Offense that confuses yards with points. On 3rd and 8, Palmer threw a dink pass that gained only 4. Sebastian Janikowski hit a 36 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Raiders.

After an exchange of punts, Quinn was sacked and fumbled. The Chiefs retained possession, but on the next play on 2nd and 17 from their 42, Quinn was intercepted by Matt Giordano. Giordano returned it 21 yards to the Chiefs 45. Yet unfortunately for the Raiders, Quinn was injured on the play, meaning Matt Cassel would get to play. He is no star, but he is not Quinn either.

On 3rd and 7 from the Chiefs 42, Palmer threw incomplete, but illegal contact on Stanford Routt kept the drive going. Routt was never that good, drew far too many penalties, and is now despite the earlier interception hurting another team. On 2nd and 6 from the Chiefs 33, Palmer hit Moore for 16 yards as the opening quarter ended. Yet 3 plays yielded 0 yards and Seabass hit from 35. Again the Raiders failed to finish a drive although they led 6-0.

The Chiefs soon faced 3rd and 2 from their 28. Dexter McCluster took a wildcat snap and gained 13 yards. Cassel then went deep to Dwayne Bowe for a 46 yard gain to the Oakland 13. Yet 3 more plays only gained one yard as it was the Chiefs settling for a 30 yard Ryan Succop field goal to trail 6-3.

The Raiders went 3 and out and the Chiefs had excellent field position. A critical 3rd and 6 from midfield saw Cassel find Moeaki for a 20 yard gain. Cassel scrambled for 11. Yet on 3rd and 3 from the 12, Cassel was sacked by Wheeler for a 12 yard loss. Succop hit from 42 as the game was tied 6-6 after 26 minutes. It would all come down to who wanted it least.

That appeared to be the Raiders, who faced 2nd and 21 from their 15 with 3 minutes left. Palmer then found Brandon Myers, who took a short pass for 29 yards. On 3rd and 4 from midfield, Palmer threw incomplete with 1:50 left in the half. Yet the Chiefs wanted it even less than that as they fumbled the punt. The Raiders recovered at the Chiefs 11. Most likely that meant 3 useless offensive plays and another Seabass field goal. Yet this time, on 3rd and 8 from the 9, Palmer found Moore in the end zone. An actual touchdown had the Raiders up 13-6 at halftime. A very curious decision on 3rd and 10 from midfield had Romeo Crennel instrucing Cassel to take a knee rather than try the Hail Mary.

The Chiefs fumbled the second half kickoff, and the Raiders recovered at the Chiefs 18. Palmer hit Moore for 7, but 2 plays for 2nd and 3 were incomplete passes rather than smashmouth runs. Again the Raiders squandered a gift as a 29 yard Seabass field goal was good. Yes the Raiders were up 16-6, but only because the game was being given to them.

The Chiefs would move from their 22 to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 35. Yet offensive holding pushed the Chiefs back, and they had to settle for a 52 yard Succop field goal. Succop was good as the Chiefs were back within one score down 16-9.

After a touchback, McFadden broke free for a 19 yard gain. Palmer then hit Myers for 16 yards and Rod Streater for 9 more. On 2nd and 8 from the 32, a short pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey went for a touchdown as the Raiders now had a 23-9 lead, which they would carry into the fourth quarter.

The problem with the Raiders is they do not finish drives and they do not finish games. In total control, this was their chance from their 24 with 13 minutes left in regulation. Palmer hit Moore for 6 and McFadden gained 5. McFadden then broke free for a 28 yard gain. Mike Goodson ran for 21 more yards to set up 1st and 10 at the 12. Yet again the Raiders did not finish the drive. A pair of runs lost yards. Seabass even missed a 37 yard field goal, but received a break because the Chiefs jumped offsides. Seabass hit from 32 as the Raiders now had a comfortable 3 score lead up 26-9 with 8 1/2 minutes to play.

Cassel quickly moved the Chiefs from their 20 to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 24 with 5 minutes left to play. Yet Cassel was intercepted by Lee at the 2 yard line to kill any comeback hopes. A short punt had the Chiefs getting it back at the Oakland 32 ith 3 minutes left, and Cassel hit McCluster from 10 yards out to get the Chiefs from within 10. Yet despite two tries at the onsides kick, the Raiders recovered and McFadden ripped off another 21 yard gain to help run out the clock.

The Chiefs are wretched, and the Raiders won a couple games against the league’s worst. They are 3-4, but have plenty of room for improvement. The offense kicks way too many field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. Yet the defense went on the road and did not give up a touchdown either. Time will tell if these last two games were a mirage or if the Raiders, as we have been told so many times in the last decade, have finally turned a corner. Nevertheless, this was a convincing win. 26-16 Raiders

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys–In the opening Thursday night to stat the 2012 season, Dallas went into New York and shocked the Giants 24-17. Yet since then these teams have taken on what Klaus Von Bulow would call a reversal of fortune, with the Cowboys struggling and the Giants playing like defending champions.

The Giants soon faced 3rd and 9 from their 21, and Eli Manning went deep to Randle for a 56 yard gain. Yet they got nothing more as a 41 yard Lawrence Tynes field goal made it 3-0 Giants. Dallas moved from their 11 to their 45 when Tony Romo was intercepted. Brown returned it 37 yards to the Dallas 27. Yet on 3rd and 2 Ahmad Bradshaw got nothing as Big Blue again settled for a 37 yard Tynes field goal and a 6-0 Giants lead.

Dallas took over at their 14, and it was deja vu all over again as Romo was intercepted again. Webster returned it 38 yards to give the Giants another short field at the Dallas 31. Manning hit Bennett for 12, and Bradshaw ran for 12 and 6. Brown got the last yard as the Giants led 13-0. Dallas punted and the Giants punted it back. Yet that return was fumbled by Dez Bryant. The Giants took over at the Dallas 15. Yet the second quarter began with the Giants again being unable to take full advantage. On 3rd and 3 from the 8 Manning threw incomplete. Tynes hit from 26. The 3 Dallas turnovers in the first quarter had the Giants up 16-0. After a touchback, the fourth turnover was a killer. From their 34, Romo was intercepted for the third time by John Pierre-Paul, who is actually not three different people. All 3 of him ran for the 28 yard interception touchdown return as the Giants led 23-0 less than 2 minutes into the second quarter. Jason Garrett had no answers while Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin was so happy that he almost smiled.

Dallas got it back, went 3 and out, and the Giants took over at their own 40 in total control. Yet football is a game of momentum, and this time it was the Giants fumbling the ball away. The Cowbos took over at their own 48. They did nothing with it, but got it back at their own 28. Romo hit Jason Witten for 9 and Miles Austin for 10 more. Romo then went deep to Austin, who despite having dated a Kardashian, caught the ball for a 24 yard gain. Romo went to Witten for a 20 yard gain, and Felix Jones ran it in from 4 yards out to get the Cowboys on the board down 23-7 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Dallas got it back at their own 12 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. Romo hit Witten for 9 and then found a wide open Bryant deep for a 55 yard gain. The ball was underthrown, preventing a touchdown. That would prove costly as a sack of Romo meant the Cowboys had to settle for a 51 yard Dan Bailey field goal try. He made it, and the Cowboys were within 23-10 at halftime.

Dallas began the second half at their own 14, and defensive pass interference meant a 20 yard gain. Romo then hit Witten for 8 and Bryant for a 30 yard gain. Romo found Witten for 8 more, and on 3rd and 10 from the Giants 16, Romo found Austin for 15. Tanner got the carry twice and ran into a Big Blue brick wall. On 3rd and goal Romo threw incomplete. On 4th and goal at the one, Jason Garrett decided to go for it with 9 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Romo called a naked bootleg, and practically waltzed into the end zone untouched. Dallas was within 23-17, as the early Giants lead had all but evaporated.

The Giants went 3 and out after gaining only one yard, and Dallas got it back at their own 41. Romo hit Philips for 8 and found a wide open Austin over the middle for a 25 yard gain. Romo hit Witten for 6, and on 3rd and 4 from the 20, found Witten for 5 more. Romo went to Witten again for 14 more yards down to the one. Again it was the naked bootleg that fooled the Giants. This time as it looked like Romo was going to run it in, he fired to Phillips for the touchdown. 23-0 was now 24 unanswered Dallas points and a 24-23 Cowboys lead as Jerry Jones held off on plans to blow up his 1.2 billion dollar Metropolis stadium for the insurance money when it looked like they were losing again.

With one minute left in the third quarter, the Giants faced 3rd and 2 at the Dallas 46. Manning found Victor Cruz over the middle for an 11 yard gain, but the salsa dancer got blasted before he could begin dancing. The ball popped in the air, bounced off a defender’s backside and leg, and was caught by McCray for an interception. The Giants finally stopped the bleeding by sacking Romo as the third quarter ended.

The Giants took over at their own 15, and Manning went to Hakeem Nicks for a 29 yard gain and Randle for 12 more. Manning went back to Nicks for 7 yards on 2nd and 6 for another first down at the Dallas 33. Offensive holding pushed the Giants back, and on 3rd and 5 a Manning pass to Dominic Hixon came up 2 yards short. Tom Coughlin sent out Tynes, and the field goal kicker hit from 43 as the Giants went back on top 26-24 with a full 10 1/2 minutes to play.

Dallas took over and quickly faced 3rd and 4 from their 28. Romo hit Witten for just enough. On 3rd and 5 from their 37, Romo found Austin for 15 more. Yet on the next play Felix Jones got hit and fumbled. The Giants took over at the Dallas 45. Ahmad Bradshaw gained 9 and 10, but was stopped on 2 more carries. On 3rd and 8 from the Dallas 24, Manning hit Hixon for only 5 yards. Tynes hit from 37, but the Giants failed to put the game away as they only led 29-24. Dallas took over at their own 22 with 3 1/2 minutes to play.

Illegal contact added 5 yards and Romo hit Witten for gains of 10, 9, and 9 more to the Giants 45 at the 2 minute warning. Romo was then sacked for a 9 yard loss, but instead defensive holding meant 1st and 10 at the Giants 40. Romo found Austin for 12 and Witten for 9. With 2nd and 1 at the Giants 19 with 1:22 to play, the Giants took their first timeout on defense. After an incompletion, major controversy ensued.

On 3rd and 1 Romo went deep, and a penalty flag came down in the end zone. Tom COughlin screamed, but there would be no defensive pass interference. The refs picked up the flag. It was an appropriate non-call. Everything came down to 4th and 1. Romo faded back, was chased by 3 or 4 Giants, retreated over 20 yards backwards, and heaved up a prayer that was intercepted. The 6th Dallas turnover with one minute left finally ended this thriller.

Except it didn’t. The Giants came up inches short of a first down and had to punt. Dallas would have one more chance with 0 timeouts and 44 seconds from their own 30. Romo found Witten for the 16th time, a Cowboys record for receptions in one game. Yet only 25 seconds remained and Dallas was at their own 43. Romo found Bryant for a 16 yard gain at the sideline. With 19 seconds left from the Giants 41, the Cowboys were in Hail Mary range. A useless short pass to Witten was his 17th catch and gained 5 yards as 16 seconds remained. Then it happened.

Romo went deep for the Hail Mary. It came down to Dez Bryant and two defenders. Bryant caught it as the Cowboys went wild and the Giants were shellshocked. 6 seconds still remained, but this was going to be a finish for the ages.

Except again it wasn’t. Bryant clearly caught the ball and held on to it. However, in an attempt to soften his fall, his hand hit the ground before any otherpart of his body. His entire body was in bounds…except for his fingers. The fingers were on the chalk. The miracle catch was incomplete. Instead of a win, it was 3rd and 5 from the Giants 37. There would be one more Hail Mary. Bryant was injured on ther play and despite valiantly walking off the field, he was told to get back to the sidelines and was not on the field for the final play.

Yet the officials added 4 seconds on the clock to make it 10 seconds left. If this game would ever end, it would be an instant classic.

Given the extra time, Romo connected with Witten for the 18th time for an 8 yard gain. From the Giants 28, now came the final final final play. Romo threw for Austin but the throw was high and incomplete.

Yet one second still remained. Had Austin caught it he would have been short of the goal. Bryant came back in. Now there would be the final final final final final final final play unless there was a defensive penalty.

Romo was chased, and heaved the ball high and out the back of the end zone. Perhaps the extra yards they gained worked against them. Romo passed for 437 yards and 18 completions to Witten, but 4 interceptions. NOW it was over.

The Giants got to 6-2, which is where they were last year before losing 4 straight. of course we know how they ended the season. As for Dallas, they are spiraling downward. 29-24 Giants

New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos was the Sunday night game. The Saints have won two straight after an 0-4 start and now get Joe Vitt back for the final 10 games. They even get Jonathan Vilma back until his appeal can be heard. Yet the team that beat Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl saw a man with a chip on his shoulder. He led a 24 point comeback last week, and this week the outcome was never in doubt.

The Saints punted twice and Denver once, with the Broncos taking over at their own 2. Willis McGahee ran for 4, 12, 7, and 3. Manning then went deep to Thomas for a 41 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the New Orleans 27, Manning found Jacob Tamme for just enough. McGahee ran for 6, caught a pass for 14 more, and ran for the final yard to make it 7-0 Broncos. It was not “The Drive,” but John Elway had to be pleased at Manning taking the Broncos 98 yards for a score.

On the next Denver series McGahee fumbled, and the Saints took over at their own 45. Drew Brees found Marques Colston for 16 yard, Lance Moore for 7, and on the first play of the second quarter, to Darren Sproles for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 7-7.

With 9 minutes left in the half, the Saints faced 4th and 2 at the Denver 47. Joe Vitt decided to go for it, and Brees was intercepted by Woodyard. Denver took over at their own 44. Manning hit Thomas for a 34 yard gain. From the Denver 24, Hillman ran for 7 and 4, and Manning threw a 13 yard touchdown to Eric Decker to make it 14-7 Denver.

Denver got it back with 4 1/2 minuts left in the half at their own 13. Manning hit McGahee for 19. On 3rd and 6 from their 36, Manning found Decker for 23 more. McGahee ran for 5, 6, and 10. On 3rd and 7 from the 17, a short pass only gained 2 yards. A 33 yard Matt Prater field goal made it 17-7 Broncos as the half expired.

Denver began the second half at their own 7. Since 98 yards came easy enough, a 93 yard drive was a walk in the park. On 3rd and 1 McGahee gained 3. Manning then found Thomas for 26 yards and Hillman ran for 31 more. On 3rd and 2 from the 16, Manning found Thomas for 11 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Manning found Thomas for the touchdown as the Broncos led 24-7 after three quarters.

Denver took over with 2 minutes left in the third quarter just shy of midfield. Manning hit Tamme and Thomas for a pair of 23 yard gains down to the 5. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Manning threw a 2 yard touchdown to Decker to make it a blowout 31-7 Broncos.

Denver took over at their own 43 with 9 minutes left, and McGahee gained 5 and 15. Hillman raced for 24 more. The drive stalled, but Prater hit again from 33 to make it 34-7 Broncos. The Saints would get a garbage touchdown late in the game, but this was a stunner. Denver is now in first place in the AFC Worst, while the Saints at 2-5 are hanging by a thread. 34-14 Broncos.

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals was the Monday night game. The 4-0 start by the Cardinals has been exposed as fools gold while the 49ers came in knowing a win would put them in a strong position to run away with the division for the second straight year. This game was a mismatch from the start.

After an exchange of punts, the 49ers took over at their own 23. Alex Smith hit Mario Manningham for 10 and Frank Gore for 11. Hunter gained 9 and Gore picked up 17 more. A 23 yard completion to Walker meant 1st and goal at the 7. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Smith hit Michael Crabtree for the touchdown as the 49ers led 7-0. In the second quarter a field position game had the 49ers taking over at the Arizona 45. On 3rd and 2, Gore gained 3. A sack of Smith set up 3rd and 23 from the Arizona 47. Smith found Crabrtee for a 22 yard gain, one yard short of the marker. Jim Harbaugh played it safe and went with the field goal. David Akers hit from 43 yards to make it 10-0 49ers.

With 4 1/2 minutes left in the half the 49ers got it back at their own 32. Smith hit Manningham for 6, Walker for 15, Crabtree for 8, and Vernon Davis for 25 yards down to the 10. On 3rd and goal at the 9 with less than 2 minutes in the half, Smith hit Crabtree for another touchdown. The 49ers led 17-0, and in the second half the defense just smothered Arizona.

Arizona did move to a 4th and 7 at the San Francisco 37 early in the third quarter, but Ken Whisenhunt opted against the 55 yard field goal try or going for it. Arizona punted, and a touchback allowed the 49ers to put it away easily. On 3rd and 9 from their 21, Smith hit Crabtree for a 30 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Arizona 47, Smith hit Randy Moss, who still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Moss raced to the end zone. The 49ers led 24-0, and just coasted from there.

Arizona moved from their 20 to a 4th and 2 at the Frisco 10. Down by 24 points, Ken Whisenhunt went with the field goal just to avoid the shutout. Feely hit the 28 yarder, but the crowd was not pleased. The fourth quarter would be scoreless. The 49ers moved to 6-2 while Arizona lost 4 straight to fall to 4-4. John Skelton was 32 of 52 for 290 while Alex Smith was almost perfect. He only threw for 232 yards, but was 18 of 19. The final indignity came when Arizona faced 4th and goal at the 7 with one minute left. Skelton hit Larry Fitzgerald, who came up one yard short. 24-3 49ers


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