NFL 2015 Week 2 Recap

NFL 2015 Week 2 Recap

This week belonged to the young Turk quarterbacks drafted in 2014. It also belonged to the maxim of Chris “The Swami” Berman who reminds is that mismatches on paper do not matter. “That’s why they play the games.”

Here is the NFL 2015 Week 2 Recap.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs was the Thursday night game. After a scoreless first quarter, the second quarter turned into a game of big plays. Jamal Charles broke free for a 34 yard touchdown run to open the scoring. Then Peyton Manning was intercepted by Peters, who returned the pick 55 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 Chiefs.

Naturally, Manning brought Denver back as a 10 play, 80 yard drive led to a 16 yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Sanders. Alex Smith was then quickly intercepted by Aqib Talib, setting up Denver at the Chiefs 15. Ronnie Hillman got in from the one to tie the game 14-14.

In the third quarter after a touchback Smith moved the Chiefs into the red zone. However, the dink and dunk game manager on 3rd and 9 from the Denver 20 padded his stats with a 3 yard West Coast Offense pass. Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Alex Smith may be the same person. Carlo Santos hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Chiefs.

After an exchange of punts, Denver took over at their own 42. They only gained one first down, but one week after connecting from 57 and 56, Brad McManus leveled a 54 yarder to tie the game 17-17 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Chiefs looked to be in the driver’s seat when they faced 3rd and 10 at the Denver 17 with 6 1/2 minutes left. Smith was intercepted, but Denver failed to capitalize. The Chiefs got it back at their own 39. Although Smith kept drinking and dunking, Kelce broke one completion for a 29 yard gain. Jamal Charles ripped off gains of 8, 13 and 2 to get the ball down to the Denver 8. Smith fell down as he was handing the ball off, but Kenneth Davis secured the ball and ran it in for the touchdown as the Chiefs led 24-17 with 2 1/2 minutes to play. After a touchback, Manning had plenty of time and one timeout plus the 2 minute warning.

Manning immediately hit Denarius Thomas for a 22 yard game. On 3rd and 8 from the Chiefs 39, Manning hit Thomas for 15. An incompletion that would have meant 3rd and 10 instead meant 1st and 10 at the 19 due to defensive holding. On 3rd and 10 Manning found Sanders for the touchdown. With 36 seconds left the game was tied 24-24.

After a touchback, Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to play it safe rather than come out throwing. Jamal Charles got the carry, got hit, and fumbled. Moby picked it up and raced 21 yards for a Denver touchdown with 27 seconds left in front of a shellshocked Kansas City crowd. 2 scores in 9 seconds was followed by Smith getting sacked. Denver again won with defense. 31-24 Broncos

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills — When the Bills moved 80 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes, the world changed. Williams got in from 2 yards out. The Bills led 7-0. Rex Ryan was on his way to Super Bowl 50. Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick were has beens.

No, not really. Brady hit Julian Edelman for an 8 yard touchdown to tie the game. The Bills then punted on 4th and 19 from their own 1. Danny Amendola returned the punt 28 yards, with a personal foul adding 15 more and giving the Patriots starting field position at the Buffalo 13. Lewis got in from 6 yards out to make it 14-7 Patriots.

The second quarter began with Tyrod Taylor getting intercepted and the Patriots getting another short field at the Bills 30. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski from 2 yards out to make it 21-7 Patriots.

The Patriots were on their way to a blowout when a fumble was returned 30 yards to the New England 48. Buffalo failed to capitalize but a cocky New England decided to then go for it on 4th and 1 from their own 48. Brady went deep incomplete, and this time Buffalo did not waste the short field. Defensive pass interference went for 39 yards and Taylor hit Clay for the 9 yard score. Despite the missed extra point, the Bills were within 21-13. New England kept moving as Stephen Gostkowski hit a 46 yard field goal to put the Patriots up 24-13 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Patriots marched down the field but inside the five yard line finally received resistance. Gostkowski hit the 21 yarder as the Patriots led 27-13. New England got it back and Brady kept torching the Buffalo defense as a 22 yard touchdown to Julian Edelman me it 34-13 Patriots. on the next Patriots series they took over at their own 45 before 3 straight incompletions at the Buffalo 32 ended the drive. Gostkowski hit from 50 as the Patriots were winning a laugher 37-13 after three quarters. By the end of the fourth quarter nobody would be laughing.

Tyron Taylor has 15 years fewer experience than Tom Brady, but this game forced him to grow up in a hurry. A 32 yard touchdown to Woods had the Bills within 37-19 after a failed 2 point conversion try. Midway through the fourth quarter the Patriots decided to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Buffalo 41. Bellichick’s gamble failed when Brady threw incomplete.

Given life, Taylor again moved the Bills down the field and ran the final 7 yards himself. After another failed 2 point try the Bills were within 37-25. The onside kick failed, but the Patriots with a short field could not wrap up the game. Brady was sacked and fumbled, giving the Bills the ball at midfield. Taylor quickly hit Woods for 26 and Sammy Watkins for the 24 yard touchdown. With only 4:15 to play the Bills had stormed back to within 37-32.

After a touchback, New England was aided by a 22 yard defensive pass interference penalty. Running out the clock was not going to happen. Brady kept firing. A 29 yard completion to Danny Amendola put the ball in the red zone. with 1:18 to go, the Patriots faced 4th and 1 at the Buffalo 8. This time Bellichick did not gamble. Gostkowski hit the 25 yarder as the Patriots led by 8.

After a touchback, Taylor quickly went deep and came up snake eyes. Ryan intercepted the ball at midfield to finally lock up the win for the Patriots. Taylor finished 23 of 30 for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns, but also 3 costly interceptions. Brady was simply ridiculous, throwing 59 times and completing 38 for 466 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Brady is playing like a man out for revenge. The memo about the AFC East being competitive has been destroyed. 40-32 Patriots

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers — After one game Bryan Hoyer has been benched and Ryan Mallett is starting. Ryan bullock hit a 43-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Texans. In the second quarter the Panthers got going as Cam Newton hit Ted Ginn for a 25 yard touchdown. Graham Gano tacked on a 28 yard field goal to make it 10-3 Panthers.

In the third quarter Mallett finally generated some offense as a 13 play, 80 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive was capped off with Mallett hitting Graham for a 7 yard score to tie the game 10-10. Newton came back with a 14 play, 80 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive. Newton got the final deuce himself as the Panthers led 17-10 after three quarters.

With 9 minutes left in regulation, Mallett as intercepted to set up Carolina at the Houston 36. One play later Newton went deep to brown for the touchdown and a 24-10 Panthers lead. Mallett quickly moved Houston 80 yards. On 4th and 3 from the Carolina 6 with 6 1/2 minutes left, Mallett scrambled in himself to get it back to a 7 point game. Carolina had a chance to lock up the game but Graham Gano’s 53 yard field goal with 2:45 to play was blocked.

From the Houston 43, Mallett moved the Texans to the Carolina 14 with 22 seconds left to play. Intentional grounding moved the Texans back as everything came down to 4th and 16 from the Carolina 20 with 13 seconds left. Mallett went deep incomplete as Carolina survived. Mallett threw 58 passes but completed only 27 of them. 24-17 Panthers

Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears — A game of big plays began with the opening play as Johnson returned the kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown as Arizona led 7-0 only 13 seconds in. Jay Cutler quickly moved the Bears 89 yards as a 48 yard touchdown to Bellamy tied the game 7-7. Carson Palmer kept the pace quick as a 6 yard touchdown to Brown made it 14-7 Cardinals after the first quarter.

In the second quarter Cutler led an 11 play,80 yard, 6 minute drive. Langford got in from the one to tie the game 14-14. Back came the Cardinals 80 yards as a 6 minute drive ended with Palmer hitting Larry Fitzgerald for the 8 yard score to make it 21-14 Arizona.

Then came Jay Cutler doing what he does, completing touchdown passes to the opposing team’s defense. For the second week in a row Cutler threw a pick 6. This time it was Jefferson returning the gift 26 yards for a 28-14 Cardinals lead.

The Cardinals tried to give the game away in a way that would make Dennis Green melt down, but the Bears refused to let them. The Cardinals fumbled a punt and Palmer threw an interception as the Bears started at the Arizona 22 and 12 on 2 straight drives. Both times they settled for Robbie Gould field goals from 40 and 23 as the Bears still trail 28-20 at intermission.

Jay Cutler was injured late in the first half but backup Jimmy Clausen knew exactly how to fill Cutler’s shoes. Cutler completed all 9 of his passes, but only 8 of them to players on his own team. Clausen played for Notre Dame, which meant he played for an overrated school that the Pope really does not care about. Clausen was quickly intercepted by Patrick Peterson and 2 plays later Palmer threw a 28 yard touchdown to Fitzgerald to make it 35-20 Cardinals.

Arizona got it back and kept rolling along as Johnson ran the final 13 yards of a 75 yard drive to make it 42-20 Cardinals. Chicago would tack on a field goal, but the Bruce Arians Express could not be stopped. In the fourth quarter Palmer found Fitzgerald for a 9 yard score to complete the scoring. Palmer only threw the ball 24 of times, completing 17 of them for a pedestrian 185 yards. Yet he also had 4 touchdown passes along with one interception. If Palmer stays healthy, the Cardinals could be quite super. 48-23 Cardinals

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals — A fumbled punt early on had the Bengals at the Chargers 19. Red Rifle Andy Dalton fired to AJ Green for the 16 yard 7-0 Bengals lead. After a touchback the Chargers moved to a 2nd and 5 at the Cincy 22, but got no further. Lambo hit the 40 yarder to get the Chargers within 7-3.

In the second quarter San Diego moved into the red zone but Mike McCoy decided not to gamble on 4th and 1 from the Cincy 14. Lambo hit from 32 to get the Chargers within 7-6. Meanwhile, the Bengals were airing it out. Dalton went deep to Jones for a 45 yard touchdown as the Bengals led 14-6.

In the third quarter Philip Rivers moved the Chargers 78 yards and hit Stevie Johnson for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 14-13. The Bengals moved the ball easily again but this time it was Cincinnati failing to get the last few yards. Mike Nugent hit from 21 to make it 17-13 Bengals.

A field position game eventually had the Bengals taking over at the San Diego 38. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Dalton hit Eifert for the touchdown and the 24-13 Bengals lead with 9 minutes left in regulation.

Rivers came right back as a 40 yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Floyd with 4:20 to play had the Chargers down 5 after the failed 2 point conversion try. San Diego got it back at their 20 with 1:09 to play. Rivers went deep again but this time he was intercepted as the Bengals hung on for the tough win. 24-19 Bengals

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns — Marcus Mariota threw 4 first half touchdowns in his first game while johnny Manziel had a tough outing. This time the Titans were on the road and the Dawg Pound was rocking. Manuel threw a 60 yard touchdown to Benjamin to get the Browns on the board. Ian Crowell added an 11 yard touchdown run. In the second quarter Benjamin returned a punt 78 yards for another score as the Browns built a 21-0 lead.

Late in the third quarter the Titans tried to make a game of it as Mariota found Anthony Fasano for a 19 yard touchdown to get the Titans on the board. In the fourth quarter Mariota led a 15 play, 77 yard drive that took 8 minutes off the clock. A 13 yard touchdown to Green-Beckham had the Titans only down 21-14 with 6 1/2 minutes to play.

With 3 minutes to go the Borwns had 3rd and 6 from midfield. Rather than play it safe, Mike Pettine trusted Manziel. Johnny football is starting to earn his moniker. A 50 yard touchdown pass to Benjamin put the game on ice. Marietta did lead the Titans back to the red zone, but was sacked and fumbled with 46 seconds left. Marietta was 21 of 37 for 257 yards. Manziel only threw 15 passes, completing 8 of them for 172 yards, over 21 yards per completion. Both quarterbacks threw a pair of touchdowns and neither one was picked off. Welcome to the future, NFL. These guys can play. 28-14 Browns

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings — Last week the Lions collapsed while the Vikings just looked flat. This week both teams moved the ball as Teddy Bridgewater threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph to make it 7-0 Vikings. In the second quarter Bridgewater snuck in from one yard out to make it 14-0 Vikings.

Each team moved into the red zone but settled for field goals as Matt prater hit from 26 for the Lions and Blair Walsh hit from 28 for Minnesota. Trailing 17-3, Matthew Stafford found Megatron Calvin Johnson for an 11 yard touchdown as the Lions only trailed 17-10.

The third quarter began ugly as the Stafford fumbled the ball and Sender returned it 28 yards to the Detroit 6. Adrian Peterson got the carry and quickly fumbled it back. Detroit had to punt and Sherels returned it 31 yards to the Minnesota 34. Peterson got stopped short at the goal line but Line got in. The extra point was no good but the Vikings led 23-10. Minnesota eventually added a 23 yard field goal from Walsh to lead 26-10 with 6 1/2 minutes left to play.

Stafford found Eric Ebron for a 12 yard touchdown with 1:48 to play. The 2 point try failed as did the onside kick. Stafford was 32 of 53 for 286 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Teddy Bridgewater only threw 18 passes, completing 14 of them for 153 yards and one touchdown. However, he was not intercepted. He had help from a beast named Adrian Peterson, who lugged 29 carries for 134 yards. He was the differences as the Lions fell to 0-2 only one year after an 11-5 season. 26-16 Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints — Last week the Buccaneers looked like the winless 1976 team worthy of execution. They had no chance of going on the road and beating the Saints, even though the 1977 Buccaneers broke their 0-26 straight by knocking off New Orleans. As Chris Berman reminds us, “That’s why they play the games.”

After a touchback the Saints moved to a 4th and 5 at the Bucs 35. Sean Payton decided against the 53 yard field goal try, and a punt pinned the Bucs back at their own 4. Field position changed when the Bucs got past midfield and a punt pinned the saints at their own 7. On 3rd and 4 from the saints 23, Brees was hit and fumbled. The Saints punted on 4th and 25 from their own 2, giving the Buccaneers the ball at the Saints 40. Brindza drilled a 55 yard field goal as the Buccaneers led 3-0.

With 4 1/2 minutes left in the half Brindza missed from 52, and the Saints finally generated some offense. Mark Ingram ran it in from 11 yards out to make it 7-3 Saints with 90 seconds left in the half. On 3rd and 16 from the Tampa 31, Jameil Winston hit Vincent Jackson for 17 yards. A roughing the passer penalty on the Saints kept the drive going and Winston eventually hit Jackson for a 15 yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in the half as the Buccaneers had the surprising 10-7 lead.

Surprise turned to disbelief in the third quarter when Winston needed only 4 plays to move the Bucs 80 yards, getting the final yard himself for a 17-7 Bucs advantage. Brindza added a 35 yard field goal to make it 20-7 Buccaneers. Brees fumbled and the Bucs got another field goal from Brindza from 22 yards out as the Buccaneers led 23-7.

The Saints came back in the fourth quarter as a 14 play, 80 yard, 7 minute drive finished with Johnson getting in from one yard out. The 2 point try failed as the Saints trailed 23-13 with 10 1/2 minutes left to play. The Buccaneers tried to give the game away when Winston was sacked and fumbled. The Saints took over at the Bucs 25, gained only one yard, and then saw a field goal go no good. The Buccaneers fumbled again, setting up the saints at the Tampa 30. Brees hit Snead for the 16 yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked but the Saints were within 23-19 midway through the fourth quarter.

The Saints got it back at their own 24 with 3 minutes left but this time it was their turn to fumble the ball away. Brindza kicked his fourth field goal from 30 yards out as the Buccaneers led by 7. The Saints got it back after a touchback with 1:51 left. With 8 seconds left the Saints were at the Tampa 27. Brees tried the short Hail Mary twice, and both prayers went unanswered incomplete. Jameil Winston was not even born in 1977, but this was another sweet win for the Buccaneers over the Saints, who fell to 0-2 this year. 26-19 Buccaneers


Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants — One week after the Falcons won a thriller and the Giants gave away a game due to a mental meltdown, the teams met for a competitive game. Matt Ryan led an 86 yard drive as Coleman got in from the one to make it 7-0 Falcons.

In the second quarter Josh Brown hit from 38 and Matt Bryant answered for Atlanta from 42 to make it 10-3 Falcons. Manning then found O’Dell Beckham for a 67 yard touchdown to tie the game 10-10. A field position game had the Giants get it back at their own 44 with one minute left in the half. On 3rd and 5 from the Atlanta 39, Eli Manning scrambled for 23 yards. Yes, Eli Manning ran with the ball. Brown hit from 44 as the Giants took a 13-10 lead into the locker rooms.

In the third quarter Manning hit Donnell for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 20-10 Giants. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter the Giants had a chance to put the game away as they faced 3rd and 2 at the Atlanta 8. Manning was sacked and fumbled, and the Falcons took over at their own 9. It took 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes, but Ryan moved the Falcons 91 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the 10, Ryan hit Hankerson for the touchdown as the Falcons trailed 20-17 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, the Giants moved to another 3rd and 2 at the Atlanta 38. Rashid Jennings got the carry and lost a yard as Tom Coughlin opted to punt rather than try a 56 yard field goal. After an exchange of punts, the Falcons took over at their own 30 with 3:12 to play.

With 2 minutes left Atlanta faced 3rd and 6 at their own 45. Matty Ice found Hankerson for 17 and Julio jones for 37 more down to the one. Freeman got in and the Falcons had the 4 point lead with 1:14 left after a touchback. Defensive pass interference quickly put the ball at midfield, but Manning then threw 4 straight incompletions.

For 2 straight weeks, the Giants led after 59 minutes but not after 60 minutes. Manning finished 27 of 40 for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ryan was a lights out 30 of 46 for 363 yards and the winning touchdown pass. Neither quarterback was intercepted, which is little consolation to Father Coughlin. 24-20 Falcons

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers — The 49ers were supposed to be a terrible team, but won at home to start 1-0 in the Jim Tomsula era. This week against an angry Pittsburgh team, San Francisco returned to earth. Big Ben Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller for a 2 yard touchdown and Antonio Brown for the 2 point conversion to make it 8-0 Steelers. The 49ers did hold the ball for 9 minutes in the second quarter and got a 47 yard field goal out of Phil Dawson, but after that the levee broke.

Williams ran it in from 2 yards out twice, sandwiched around Roethlisberger hitting Darrius Hayward-Bey for a 35 yard touchdown as the Steelers were demolishing the 49ers by a 29-3 margin.

After a scoreless third quarter, Colin Kaepernick threw a pair of touchdown passes. Both times the Steelers answered with touchdowns of their own. Roethlisberger finished 21 of 27 for 369 yards and 3 touchdowns without an interception. 43-18 Steelers

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins — The Rams shocked Seattle last week in overtime while the Redskins looked like an 0-16 team. Once again, Swami Chris Berman reminds us “That’s why they play the games.” Jones ran for a 39 yard touchdown and Hopkins added a 46 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Redskins. In the second quarter Kirk Cousins led a 12 play, 82 yard, 8 minute drive and hit Pierre Garcon for a 4 yard touchdown as the Redskins led 17-0 at the break.

In the third quarter the Rams finally got on the board when Greg Zuerlein hit a 52 yard field goal to get St. Louis within 17-3. The Redskins then fumbled the ball away as the Rams took over just past midfield. Nick Foles went deep to Kenny Britt for a 40 yard touchdown to get the Rams within 17-10.

This time the Redskins did not fold. Cousins finished 23 of 27 for 203 yards and one touchdown without an interception. Cousins led a 12 play, 77 yard, 7 minute fourth quarter drive. Matt jones got in from 3 yards out with 2 1/2 minutes left to lock up the win. 24-10 Redskins

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars — Blake Bortles led a 10 play, 82 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive that culminated with a 3 yard touchdown toss to Robinson for a 7-0 Jaguars lead. The field goal kickers got into the act, with franks hitting from 48 for Miami, Myers from 27 for the jaguars, and Franks again from 41 in the second quarter as the Dolphins trailed 10-6.

With the Jaguars backed up to their own 9, Bortles moved them the necessary 91 yards. A 46 yard touchdown pass to Robinson had the Jaguars up 17-6. Ryan Tannehill did plenty of throwing on the day as well, and his 10 yard touchdown pass to Williams had Miami within 17-13.

A major momentum shift occurred with 22 seconds left in the half. After Tannehill threw incomplete on 3rd and 2 from the Jacksonville 24, Franks came in for the 42 yarder. It was no good, giving Jacksonville the ball at their own 32 with 18 seconds left. An 11 yard completion followed by a 17 yard defensive pass interference penalty was just enough to bring in Myers for a 58 yard field goal try with 2 seconds left in the half. Myers nailed it as the Jaguars led 20-13 at halftime.

Tannehill began the third quarter by quickly moving the Dolphins. A 5 yard touchdown pass to Stoneburner tied the game 20-20. Both offenses then went to sleep for most of the rest of the game. With 1:48 left in regulation, the Jaguars took over at their own 24.

Bortles hit Lee for 18 and Hurns for 19. An unnecessary roughness penalty on Miami moved the Jaguars to the Miami 19. With 48 seconds left, on 3rd and 1 from the Miami 10, a running play went nowhere. Myers hit the 28 yard field goal to give the Jaguars the 3 point lead, but Miami still had 40 seconds to work with. On 3rd and 1 from their own 29, Tannehill threw incomplete twice and the Jaguars had the tough win.

Tannehill finished 30 of 44 for 359 yards while Bortles was 18 of 33 for 273 yards. Both quarterbacks threw 2 touchdown passes without being intercepted. For the second year Bortles, this was a major step in his development. 23-20 Jaguars

Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders — Last week Baltimore nearly shocked Denver in Denver. Oakland fell behind 33-0 at home and looked like a Division III bunch of rejects. This had all the makings of another blowout loss in a 15 year stretch of Oakland misery. If ever there was a time to cue uber-announcer Chris Berman, “That’s why they play the games.”

The Raiders will succeed or fail depending on whether Derek Carr progresses or regresses. Carr is a thoroughbred, and last week he still had shackles on him. He dinked and dunked as the Raiders experienced West Coast Offense misery. The one thing Jack Del Rio had to do was unleash Carr and let him make as many mistakes as he needs to grow. Del Rio did, and the difference between this week and last week was night and day.

Barely more than 2 minutes into the game, Carr had Al Davis pumping his fist in heaven with a 68 yard touchdown bomb to Amari Cooper for a 7-0 Raiders lead.

Baltimore fumbled on their first play from scrimmage, giving the Raiders the ball at the Baltimore 29. Oakland got to the 5 before Carr threw incomplete twice. Sebastian Janikowski hit from 23 as the Raiders had 10-0. As expected, the lead did not last.

Baltimore moved to their own 30 but got no further than the Oakland 4 as Joe Flacco threw incomplete twice. Justin Tucker hit from 22 to get the Ravens within 10-3. Carr moved the Raiders after a touchback to the Baltimore 48, but was sacked on 3rd and 5. Baltimore got it back after a touchback and Flacco hit Gillmore for a 26 yard touchdown as the game was tied 10-10 after the opening quarter.

Normally the Raiders would be in full collapse mode, but they showed resiliency on this day. After a touchback, Carr found Marcel Reece for 16, Michael Crabtree for 37, Andre Holmes for 18 down to the one. Latavius Murray got in to make it 17-10 Raiders. The game was turning into a shootout as Flacco moved the Ravens 80 yards easily against a porous Oakland defense. On 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 9, Flacco found Gilmore for the touchdown to tie things 17-17.

Carr led the Raiders on a 6 minute drive, and Seabass hit a 46 yard field goal at the 2 minute warning to make it 20-17 Raiders. The defense could not get a stop. With the ravens facing 3rd and 15 at their own 15, John harbaugh played it safe with a run. Justin Forsett got exactly 15 yards to keep the drive going with one minute left in the half. Flake then found Steve Smith for gains of 20 and 23 yards. On 2nd and 20 from the Oakland 32, Forsett gained 11 and defensive holding on 3rd and 9 kept the drive going again. On 3rd and 1 from the 7 with 7 seconds left, Flacco threw incomplete but another defensive penalty meant 1st and goal at the 3. The Raiders were saved by the bell, since only 3 seconds remained. Harbaugh went with the field goal and Tucker’s 21 yarder made it 20-20 at halftime.

The points kept piling up in the second half. After Baltimore punted, Carr moved the Raiders in position for Seabass to hit a 48 yard field goal. The Polish Cannon nailed it as the Raiders led 23-20. Oakland got it back at their own 16. Carr converted a pair of 3rd downs and then went deep to Michael Crabtree for a 29 yard touchdown as the Raiders led 30-20 after three quarters.

The Raiders are a young team, and young teams make dumb mistakes. The Raiders have blown many winnable games, and this game was winnable. Finishing games is tough when you are killing yourself with 16 penalties. The Raiders used to lead the league in penalties, but in recent years were committing far fewer penalties while losing games anyway. With Baltimore facing 3rd and 3 at their own 47, Flacco threw incomplete. Yet illegal contact kept the drive going.

The fourth quarter saw the Ravens facing 2nd and 18 at midfield. Flake found Aiken for 26 yards. one minute into the fourth quarter, Tucker hit from 37 to get the Ravens within 30-23. The Raiders went 3 and out and the Ravens were pinned at their own 7. They would not be pinned for long.

A short pass from Flacco to Aiken went for 38 yards. With 9 minutes left, the Ravens failed to convert on 3rd and 1 at the Oakland 15 when Forsett got stopped. John Harbaugh decided to go for it on 4th and 1, and Flacco snuck up the middle for 2 yards as the Raiders could not get a stop. Taliaferro began the drive with a 7 yard run, and he concluded the drive with a 7 yard touchdown run. The 93 yard drive had the game tied 30-30 midway through the fourth quarter.

The game had been tied at 10, 20 and 30, but at no time had the Ravens led. With 5 minutes left, the Raiders offense blundered. From their own 33, Carr went deep and threw a duck that was intercepted by Hill and returned 25 yards to the Oakland 37. Tucker would hit a 31 yard field goal to give the Ravens the 33-30 lead. Oakland had only one timeout left plus the 2 minute warning. With 2:10 to play, it looked like the Raiders had suffered another meltdown.

10 years from now, football fans will know whether the end of this game was a turning point for the franchise or just a blip. On this day, Carr was unleashed. The defense could not protect the lead. Carr had to go win the game.

After a touchback, he hit Murray for 12. On 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 39, Carr found Murray for 7 more. A roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the Baltimore 35 with 1:07 left. Carr hit Crabtree for 14 down to the 17. Carr fired to the goal line and was intercepted. Despite playing brilliantly all day, once again one bad play meant another Raiders loss. Yet this time, the black clouds hovering over the Silver and Black gave way to a silver lining.

Defensive holding negated the interception and moved the ball to the Baltimore 12 with 30 seconds left. Well within field goal range, Del Rio continued to unleash Carr. Despite two interceptions, one which was nullified, Del Rio did not play it safe. He trusted Carr. Carr fired over the middle again and this time found Seth Roberts for the winning touchdown.

One play after a touchback, Flacco went deep. This time he was intercepted. Last year the Raiders started 0-10 before getting a win. This year they are 1-1. They have a long way to go, and their defense has been awful. However, they finally have a leader at the helm quarterbacking them, and he finally has weapons to throw to. Now he has a coach willing to let him make the throws.

Flacco finished 32 of 45 for 384 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carr was also magnificent, going 30 of 46 for 351 yards and 3 touchdowns. Each quarterback was intercepted once, late in the game. There is plenty to improve with the Raiders overall, but the Raiders now finally have hope. 37-33 Raiders

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles — This was smash mouth old school 1950s style football. In each of the first two quarters Dallas moved 79 yards in 12 and 15 plays, only to settle for Dan Bailey field goals of 20 and 26 yards for a 6-0 halftime lead. In the third quarter the Cowboys blocked a punt and returned it 26 yards for the touchdown and a 13-0 lead.

In the fourth quarter after a Dallas fumble, the Eagles moved to the Dallas 3. Sam Bradford was then intercepted in the end zone for a touchback with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. As the fourth quarter was beginning the Eagles finally got on the board with a 46 yard Chris Parkey field goal to trail 13-3.

Tony Romo was knocked out of the game and Brandon Weeden fumbled the ball to set up the Eagles at the Dallas 30. On the next play Bradford fumbled it back. On the next Philly series Bradford was intercepted. On 3rd and 11 from the Philly 42, Weeden threw a short pass to Williams that went for the game’s first offensive touchdown. Jerry Jones has a 2-0 team, but Dez Bryant is out 10-12 weeks and Tony Romo has his arm in a sling after suffering a broken clavicle. Philadelphia did get a late garbage touchdown, but this was a costly win for Dallas. 20-10 Eagles

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers was the Sunday night game. Between Fail Mary, the 2014 season opener and last year’s heart-stopping NFC Title Game, the Packers have been snake bitten by the Seahawks. All 3 of those games were in Seattle. This time the teams met in Green Bay with a Packers squad hell bent on revenge. The Packers led 19-7 last year with 5 minutes left until the Super Bowl. Russell Wilson overcame 4 interceptions with help from a miracle onside kick as Green Bay suffered a bitter defeat. This time Aaron Rodgers had 80,000 Cheeseheads rooting them on.

The beginning was all Green Bay, as Rodgers finished an 80 yard drive by hitting James Jones for a 29 yard touchdown to open the scoring. The drive almost did not get going as the Packers were stuffed on third and inches from their own 29. However, the Seahawks were called for having 12 men on the defense on the field, keeping the drive going.

Green Bay got it back at the Seattle 44 but could not gain a first down. Mike McCarthy trusted Mason Crosby with a 54 yard field goal try and Crosby delivered for a 10-0 Packers lead. Seattle came back but Wilson threw incomplete on 3rd and 3 from the Green Bay 26. This time it was Pete Carroll letting Steve Hauschka kick a 54 yarder, and Hauschka also got it done to get the Seahawks within 10-3.

The second quarter was all defense. With 51 seconds left in the half the Packers faced 2nd and 17 at their own 13. Rodgers went deep and Richard Sherman was called for a 52 yard defensive pass interference penalty. on the next play Rodgers went to Randall Cobb for 25 more yards and again for 9 yards down to the one with 13 seconds left. Rodgers thought he had a touchdown to James Jones, but on official review the call was reversed incomplete. On 3rd and goal Rodgers fired incomplete. On 4th and goal from the 1 with 2 seconds left, McCarthy took no chances. Crosby hit the 18 yarder to make it 13-3 Seahawks at halftime.

The third quarter belonged to the Seahawks. Wilson marched Seattle 80 yards. On 3rd and goal from the 10, Wilson threw incomplete but the defense jumped offsides. From the 5, Wilson hit Fred Jackson for the score to get the Seahawks within 13-10. A short punt had the Seahawks getting it back at their own 46. Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a 13 yard touchdown as the Seahawks led 17-13 midway through the third quarter. Then the game turned again.

Starks broke free for a 35 yard gain, leading to a 44 yard Crosby field goal. The Packers trailed 17-16 entering the fourth quarter. Rodgers began the fourth quarter moving the Packers from their 15 down the field again. A 5 yard touchdown pass and 2 point conversion toss to Richard Rodgers had the Packers up 24-17 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Wilson was then intercepted, giving the Packers the ball with 6:50 to play at the Seattle 37. Rodgers bled the clock. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 21, Rodgers found Montgomery for 13. From the 8, the Packers kept it on the ground to force the Seahawks to use all their timeouts. On 3rd and goal from the 4, McCarthy was not going to risk a clock stoppage. Rodgers tried the draw play and gained only one yard. It didn’t matter. At the 2 minute warning, Crosby hit from 21 to lock up the win.

Wilson moved the Seahawks to the Green Bay 32, but Fred Jackson fumbled as the Packers got a small measure of revenge and got to 2-0 while dropping the Seahawks to a surprising 0-2. Kam Chancellor is still holding out. 27-17 Packers

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts was the Monday night game. It was one thing for the Colts to lose badly on the road and for the Jets to win big at home. This was supposed to be the game that restored order as the experienced Colts steamrolled over the rebuilding Jets. For the billionth time, “That’s why they play the games.”

This game was all defense. In the first quarter Andrew Luck had a pass intercepted by Pryor and returned 29 yards to the Colts 9. On 3rd and goal Ryan Fitzpatrick threw incomplete but defensive holding gave the Jets another chance. Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker for a 6 yard touchdown. Nick Folk tacked on a 35 yard second quarter field goal as the Jets took a 10-0 halftime lead.

Todd Bowles unleashed his defense. This is not the New York Sack Exchange, but they are very, very good. Darrell Revis intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles. The Colts killed themselves with mistakes, including multiple turnovers and two missed field goals. The Colts began the third quarter with a 10 minute drive down to the Jets one yard line. Frank Gore got the carry and fumbled without being touched, as Revis recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

Even Adam Vinatieri had a bad night for the Colts, missing two field goals including a 29-yarder that dunked off the upright.

A key decision came early in the fourth quarter when Bowles decided to punt rather than try a 56 yard field goal. The strategy seemed correct when the Colts were pinned back to their own 9 yard line. Luck had done nothing all game, but this time he moved the Colts 91 yards. With 10 minutes left in regulation the Colts finally got on the board when Luck found Dante Moncrief for a 26 yard touchdown to get Indy within 10-7.

In a battle of cro-magnon men, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Unabomber beard out-dueled Andrew Luck’s Grizzly Adams beard. 80 yards came in chunks. From the Indy 15, Fitzpatrick found Brandon Marshall in the flat. Marshall bulldozed over 2 defenders into the end zone to put the Jets up 17-7 with 6 1/2 minutes left. 

Luck’s third interception and fourth of five Colts turnovers with 4 1/2 minutes left sealed the game as the Jets tacked on one more field goal. The Jets just hit the Colts in the mouth. This was not Super Bowl III, but the Jets at 2-0 and the Colts at 0-2 is no fluke. 20-7 Jets


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