Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Following the excitement of the early scheduled games on Sunday, the NFL saw some great finishes to the later scheduled games as well.
The best finish of the day saw the Minnesota Vikings win on the arm of Brett Favre and the hands of wide receiver Greg Lewis, who made an outstanding grab of Favre's pass in the back of the end zone with two seconds remaining to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 27-24 in Minneapolis. Included in the Vikings win was a 101-yard kickoff return for touchdown by Vikes' rookie Percy Harvin.
Another exciting finish saw the Pittsburgh Steelers defense collapse late for the second consecutive week as the resurgent Cincinnati Bengals stormed back from a 13-point deficit to knock off the defending Super Bowl champions, 23-20 in Cincinnati.
Quarterback Carson Palmer threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell with 14 seconds left to win the game, Cincinnati's first home win over Pittsburgh since 2001.
The Chicago Bears rallied behind Jay Cutler, who threw two TD passes, including the game-winner to Devin Hester as the Bears overcame an early deficit to beat the Seattle Seahawks, 25-19 in Seattle.
The New York teams both continued to roll as the Giants rolled past Tampa Bay, 24-0 behind a great defensive effort that saw Tampa Bay gain just 86 yards in total offense. The Jets, behind rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez (rushing TD and one passing TD) stormed ahead 14-0 against Tennessee, fell behind by three points in the third quarter, then rallied to win the game 24-17 to run their record to 3-0 for the season.
The Baltimore Ravens dominated the Cleveland Browns, 34-3 behind quarterback Joe Flacco, who had 342 yards passing and running back Willis McGahee, who scored two touchdowns and has six in the first three games to lead the league... The Denver Broncos ran their early season record to 3-0 by beating the Oakland Raiders, 23-3 as their defense continued to dominate the opponents. Denver has allowed just 16 points through the first three games this season.
But it won't get easy for Denver, as they face a killer schedule over the next 12 weeks (check it out) so their early success is crucial as they battle San Diego in the AFC West.
Speaking of San Diego, the Chargers knocked off the Miami Dolphins (0-3) without LaDainian Tomlinson (ankle) and Shawne Merriman (groin), 23-13 as Philip Rivers scored a rushing touchdown and safety Eric Weddle returned an interception 31 yards for another score to lead the way.
The Dolphins lost quarterback Chad Pennington to a shoulder injury in the third quarter, and early reports are that Pennington may be out for the remainder of the season with the injury, which may require surgery.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees came back to earth in Week Three as he did not throw a TD pass, but the Saints won anyway at Buffalo, 27-7 behind Pierre Thomas' two scoring runs and 126 yards rushing for the day... In the loss, the Bills' wide receiver Terrell Owens failed to catch a pass for the first time in 185 games... The Eagles and Packers both rolled to easy wins against two of the worst teams in the NFL. Green Bay beat St. Louis 36-17 as Aaron Rodgers threw two TD passes while Eagles' backup quarterback Kevin Kolb passed for 327 yards and two TDs, including a 64-yard strike to DeSean Jackson in a 34-14 pounding of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Detroit Lions finally put it together and won a game as they held off the Washington Redskins, 19-14 at Ford Field in Detroit for their first win since December 23, 2007... and finally the Indianapolis Colts are 3-0 after dismantling the defending NFC champion Arizona Cardinals, 31-10 in the Sunday night game in the desert. Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes and the Colts defense forced two turnovers in the red zone to ensure the victory.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Say what you will football fans about Brett Favre and his waffling about retirement but the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings made an incredible play that led the Vikings to a thrilling 27-24 comeback win over the upstart San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Minneapolis.
The veteran quarterback threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Greg Lewis with two seconds remaining to win the game. Lewis made a great catch at the back of the end zone and stayed inbounds for the winning grab.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions finally won a game for the first time since the end of the 2007 season, ending a 19-game losing streak against the Washington Redskins.
The Lions won 19-14 at Ford Field in Detroit as rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford, the top draft pick, earned his first win as an NFL quarterback.
In other early game action, the New York Jets held off the Tennessee Titans 24-17 to go to 3-0 in the young season. The Jets defense came up big in the fourth quarter, intercepting Titans QB Kerry Collins and then completing the deal by not allowing a pass completion in the final 13 attempts by Collins.
The New York Giants steamrolled Tampa Bay 24-0 as their defense dominated in the rain in Florida... Tom Brady and the New England Patriots methodically beat the visiting Atlanta Falcons, 26-10 behind a stellar defense that limited the high-flying Falcons offense to nothing in the second half.
The Green Bay Packers struggled for a while, but eventually pulled away from the St. Louis Rams (probably the worst team in the NFL now that Detroit has won a game) on the road to win 36-17... The Baltimore Ravens continue to live up to their early season billing as Super Bowl contenders by crushing the hapless Cleveland Browns 34-3 in Baltimore... Kevin Kolb led the Philadelphia Eagles at quarterback as they rolled 34-14 at home against Kansas City. The game featured Michael Vick in action for the first time in three years ... Houston dropped another game at home as they fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-24. The win was the first of the season for the Jags as QB David Garrard led the way along with Maurice Jones-Drew, who rushed for three TDs, including a 61-yard romp to get Jacksonville rolling.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
The third week of the NFL season will feature some key games, including the Atlanta Falcons playing at New England while the Tennessee Titans travel to New York to face the undefeated Jets, fresh off their victory over the Patriots last Sunday in the Meadowlands.
The Minnesota Vikings (2-0) host the San Francisco 49ers (2-0) in a battle of unbeatens and the Chicago Bears, who surprised the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-14 last weekend in Chicago, face the Seattle Seahawks, who may be without starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who suffered a rib injury in last week's loss to San Francisco.
In the AFC, some key battles include the Pittsburgh Steelers going to Cincinnati to face the resurgent Bengals. The San Diego Chargers host the Miami Dolphins, who lost a bizarre battle last week against Indianapolis, 27-23 in Miami on Monday Night Football.
Just three weeks into the 2009 NFL season and the Power Rankings are being touted by ESPN and the many other sports blogs around the country.
College football ranks their top teams, not the professional teams. That is why they have eight divisions and a playoff system and of course, the Super Bowl, to determine the true championship team at season's end.
All this silliness that is called "power rankings" is just ego on the part of the sportswriters and broadcasters to fill space and air times.
With that being stated, here goes for the third week of the NFL season.
By the way, we went 7-9 last week in what was definitely an "upset" Sunday around the league.
Home teams are listed in BOLD letters...
Chicago over Seattle
Tennessee over NY Jets
Green Bay over St. Louis
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Oakland over Denver
San Diego over Miami
Minnesota over San Francisco
Detroit over Washington
Philadelphia over Kansas City
New England over Atlanta
Baltimore over Cleveland
New Orleans over Buffalo
Houston over Jacksonville
NY Giants over Tampa Bay
Arizona over Indianapolis
Dallas over Carolina
Last week's record: 7-9
Season Record: 19-13
Notable Injuries- LaDainian Tomlinson (RB, San Diego Chargers); Donovan McNabb (QB, Philadelphia Eagles); Matt Hasselbeck (QB, Seattle Seahawks); Marion Barber III (RB, Dallas Cowboys); Troy Polamalu (S, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Just two games into the 2009 NFL Football season and we now already know that the New England Patriots, despite the presence of quarterback Tom Brady, will not go undefeated during this regular season as they did in 2007.
The New York Jets, complete with a bandwagon getting heavier by the second, knocked off "Tom Terrific" and the Pats, 16-9 on Sunday to go to 2-0 and first place in the AFC East. The Jets held New England out of the end zone (first time Brady & Co. didn't score a touchdown since 2006) and erased any doubts as to whether or not the Brady-led Patriots are beatable.
How about the Chicago Bears knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 17-14 at Soldier Field?
Bears' QB Jay Cutler led two fourth quarter drives that allowed the Bears to tie the game 14-14 and then the winning drive in the final minutes that set up kicker Robby Gould's game-winning 44-yard field goal.
Speaking of great finishes, how about the Baltimore Ravens holding the San Diego Chargers furious comeback in the final three minutes as All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis stuffed Chargers' running back Darren Sproles on fourth-and-two from the Ravens 15-yard line in the final 30 seconds of the game to save the day.
San Diego QB Philip Rivers had a career day against the vaunted Ravens' defense, throwing for 436 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 31-26 loss to Baltimore, which had a pair of scoring runs from Willis McGahee and two touchdown passes from Joe Flacco.
The key to the Ravens win was the fact that the Chargers kicked four field goals, including two when they were inside the Ravens two-yard line.
Can anyone stop the New Orleans Saints high powered offense?
The Saints went into Philadelphia and absolutely pasted the highly-touted Eagles defense Sunday afternoon while winning 48-22. The Saints have scored 93 points in the first two games, which is the most in professional football since the Oakland Raiders scored 95 in the first two games of the 1968 AFL season.
Other games saw Cincinnati surprise the Green Bay Packers 31-24 at Lambeau Field that included a "Lambeau leap" by Chad Ochocinco after he caught a touchdown pass from QB Carson Palmer.
The New York Giants rallied past the Dallas Cowboys 33-31 as Dallas QB Tony Romo was intercepted three times by the Giants defense. New York kicker Lawrence Tynes kicked the game-winning 37-yard field goal as time expired. Giants QB Eli Manning passed for 330 yards and threw two TD passes in the win.
The following night, Eli's older brother Peyton led the Indianapolis Colts from behind in the closing minutes at Miami as the Colts beat the Dolphins 27-23 on Monday Night Football.
A strange game indeed as Miami had the ball for over 44 minutes and ran for 250 yards in the loss to the Colts.
Notes & Stats ... The Manning brothers (Eli and Peyton) staged comeback wins for their teams in the closing minutes in consecutive nights... The Lions lost their 19th consecutive regular season game against Minnesota 27-13 Sunday after jumping ahead 10-0 in the first quarter... New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (pictured upper right) passed for 311 yards and three touchdowns against Philadelphia, giving him nine TD passes in the first two weeks... The Oakland Raiders were outgained 409-166 in total yardage by Kansas City, yet still managed to beat the host Chiefs, 13-10... The Denver Broncos lead the AFC West with a 2-0 mark after beating Cleveland 27-6... Tennessee, the team with the NFL's best record in 2008, is 0-2 after blowing an early 21-7 lead at home against the Houston Texans before eventually losing the game 34-31... Chargers' running back LaDainian Tomlinson missed his first regular season game start in Sunday's loss to Baltimore as backup Darren Sproles had 270 all-purpose yards, including an 81-yard TD pass from QB Philip Rivers... San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore had 207 yards on 16 carries, including TD runs of 79 and 80 yards in the win... Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (pictured upper left) rushed for 197 yards on 16 carries and scored on long runs of 57 and 91 yards and also caught a 69-yard TD pass from QB Kerry Collins... and Vikings quarterback Brett Favre started his 271st consecutive game, eclipsing former Viking and Hall-of-Famer Jim Marshall's long standing record of 270 consecutive NFL starts.