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2008 NFL Week 11 Review





Jets 34, Patriots 31

  • I was expecting it in the first quarter. When it didn't happen, I thought, "OK, if this gets tight in the second half, it'll come." It didn't. But when the game went into overtime, I would have bet the farm that it would come to fruition in the extra session. To my disdain, not a chance.

    What am I referring to? The perennial "Brett Favre chokes in a big game" moment. Last year at Dallas, Favre lobbed up passes for grabs. In the subsequent NFC Championship, he tossed a near pick-six. I was expecting something similar in a fight for first place. Kudos to Favre (26-of-33, 258 yards, 2 TDs) for playing smart football. That said, don't think he won't choke on a larger stage.

    Though it may not sound like it, I love Favre. He's one of my favorite players. I'd like to see him win another Super Bowl. But the fact remains that since he claimed his first Lombardi Trophy, he's come up small in big moments. And I doubt that has changed simply because he's playing in a different city.

  • So, because my premise was incorrect and Favre didn't make a single error, I lost yet another pick. However, I do feel a bit vindicated because something I've been saying all year finally came to fruition tonight:

    The Patriots couldn't stop the pass. At all. Their disgraceful secondary allowed Brett Favre to fire just seven incompletions and convert 9-of-16 third downs, including a painful third-and-15 in overtime. As a comparison, New England was just 4-of-14 on third downs.

  • And speaking of choking, I found it very odd that the Patriots were the ones who gagged instead of Favre. New England dominated most of the second half, but managed a mere 11 points in the final two quarters until the last few seconds of the game.

    The Patriots simply killed themselves once they crossed into Jets territory. On the first drive of the third quarter, Ben Watson lost the ball on an unforced fumble. On the next possession, center Dan Koppen snapped the ball before Matt Cassel was ready, resulting in a 20-yard loss. When the Patriots retained possession for the third time in the second half, Jabar Gaffney dropped an easy 20-yard catch on third down. And later on, Cassel overthrew a wide-open Randy Moss, who was streaking toward the end zone.

  • Despite that overthrow, Cassel had an incredible game. By going 30-of-51, 400 yards and three touchdowns, and also running for 62 yards, he became the first player since 1970 to match 400 passing yards and 60 rushing yards in a single game.

  • Cassel, perhaps unwisely, looked toward Ben Watson most often, connecting eight times for 88 yards and a score with the perennially overrated tight end. Meanwhile, Wes Welker (108 yards) and Jabar Gaffney (86 yards and a touchdown) each caught seven balls. Randy Moss had just three receptions for 26 yards, but caught an amazing, game-tying touchdown with one second remaining, where he somehow tapped both feet inbounds before falling out of the field of play.

  • Rookie Jerod Mayo had a great game for the Patriots. He recorded 20 tackles despite leaving the game temporarily with a slight injury. Mayo has all but sealed up Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

  • However, Mayo's efforts weren't enough, as Thomas Jones (30 carries, 104 yards, one touchdown) became the first running back to eclipse the century barrier against New England since Ronnie Brown did so out of the Wildcat formation in Week 3.

  • Another rookie, Dustin Keller, led the Jets with eight receptions for 87 yards. Jerricho Cotchery had five grabs (one of which looked like the David Tyree helmet catch in the Super Bowl) for 87 yards and a score.

  • To wrap things up, I want to talk about the NFL overtime system. While it's much better than the ridiculous crap in college football, I think it sucks that a team can win on a simple field goal. I think they should play an unlimited amount of time, where the game ends when either squad scores at least five points. That can be two field goals. That can be a safety and a field goal. And that can obviously be a touchdown.

    This isn't sour grapes because the Jets probably would have reach the end zone anyway, but I firmly believe that the NFL should repair its overtime system.




    Giants 30, Ravens 10

  • I took a touchdown with the Ravens because I thought the Giants would be unfocused coming off a tough victory at Philadelphia. I guess I was right because they committed three defensive penalties on Baltimore's second drive. However, the Ravens gave the game away. First, a shaky defense surrendered a 21-yard pass on third-and-15 on New York's opening possession. Next, a Matt Stover field goal was blocked.

    Later, a Ravens interception was nullified by an offsides penalty. At the beginning of the second quarter, Flacco overthrew Ray Rice by about 10 feet on an easy third-and-two. The following play, the Ravens pinned the Giants inside the 5-yard line, but had to re-kick because of a tripping penalty.

    These are just some of the examples of how the Ravens screwed up.

  • That said, give the Giants a lot of credit for showing up in a pretty meaningless game. Earth, Wind and Fire were amazing; the three backs totaled 210 rushing yards on 31 carries on the league's top-ranked rush defense. Ahmad Bradshaw paced the team with 96 yards; Jacobs, who totaled 73 himself, found the end zone twice; Ward had only 41 rushing yards, but he led the squad with 54 receiving yards.

  • With Earth, Wind and Fire debacling Baltimore's suddenly pathetic stop unit, Eli Manning didn't really have to do much. He was 13-of-23 for 153 yards, one touchdown and a pick. Plaxico Burress led all wideouts with three receptions and 47 yards. For the first time in four weeks, Kevin Boss didn't score.

  • Coming into this game, Flacco was doing a great job of playing error-free football since getting blown out at Indianapolis. However, his inner rookie quarterback manifested itself, as he tossed two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and maintained a disturbing YPA of 4.9. It should be noted that one of the picks wasn't Flacco's fault, as the ball bounced out of his receiver's hands.

  • Though Flacco led the team in rushing (57 yards), that's not a good thing. Ray Rice and Willis McGahee combined for just 37 rushing yards on 17 carries. Meanwhile, Derrick Mason was the only receiver of note; he caught seven balls for 82 yards.




    Buccaneers 19, Vikings 13

  • Brad Childress lived up to his nickname (Brad Clueless) on Sunday. In a tie game, Childress went for it on fourth-and-one at midfield in the third quarter. If that wasn't dumb enough, Childress didn't even run the ball with the league's best back; he called for a Gus Frerotte pass, which predictably fell incomplete. Luckily, Tampa Bay subsequently fumbled on Minnesota's 28.

  • One can only wonder why Clueless called just 19 running plays for Adrian Peterson. It's not like the Buccaneers had much luck stopping him; he gained 85 yards on 19 carries. Peterson didn't even register a single carry in the fourth quarter despite the fact that Minnesota trailed by just one score.

  • As a comparison, Gus Frerotte threw the ball 20 times. He completed 14 passes, totaling 138 yards and a score. No one on the Vikings caught more than three passes (Bernard Berrian, 46 yards).

  • The Buccaneers won this game, 19-13, but they should have been victorious by a larger margin. They advanced deep into Minnesota territory six times, but had to settle for five field goals. Their sole touchdown was a 1-yard B.J. Askew run.

    Tampa Bay also advanced to the Vikings' 37-yard line in the first quarter. Unfortunately, they failed on a fourth-and-one, as Warrick Dunn lost a yard. If only they had a quality power back... instead they have the small Dunn and some guy nicknamed Top 10 NFL Running Back (I kid, I kid).

  • Speaking of Dunn and Earnest Graham, the former managed only 53 yards on 20 rushes, though it should be noted that he was playing the NFC's top run defense. An injured Graham only touched the ball once.

  • Jeff Garcia was a very economical 23-of-30 for 255 yards. Unlike an overrated West Coast quarterback who struggled on Sunday (I will get to that later), Garcia didn't turn the ball over.

  • Garcia found All-Star third-string tight end Jerramy Stevens six times for 84 yards. PPR stud Antonio Bryant had five catches for 59 yards.

  • The Buccaneers are now 5-0 at home for the first time in franchise history. They've covered all five contests.






    Dolphins 17, Raiders 15

  • Same old Raiders. They come close, but they just can't get over the hump.

    Oakland definitely had a chance to win this game; in fact, it led 15-14 until the final minutes. Given how many mistakes the team made throughout the game, it's a miracle it wasn't blown out (and I guess a Johnnie Lee Higgins kick return was that miracle).

    On Miami's opening drive, the Raiders committed two offsides penalties, helping the Dolphins eventually score a touchdown. Later, on a sequence that began on a first-and-goal on Miami's 5-yard line in the second quarter, bust offensive tackle Kwame Harris false started twice, forcing the Raiders into a field goal.

    In total, Oakland converted only 2-of-11 third downs. Last week, the team was 2-of-17 on third downs, so I guess 2-of-11 is a major improvement.

  • Of course, it helped that JaMarcus Russell was under center instead of Andrew Walter. Well, just a bit. Russell was an unspectacular 15-of-22 for 156 yards. The good news is that he didn't turn the ball over.

  • Darren McFadden, also making his return, ran the ball for 13 yards and caught two passes. Justin Fargas had 17 carries for just 57 yards.

  • Meanwhile, Miami's ground attack predictably trampled Oakland's pathetic defense. Ronnie Brown gained 101 yards on 16 rushes, while Ricky Williams managed 49 yards on 13 attempts.

  • With a strong running game, Chad Pennington didn't have to do much. He was an efficient 16-of-22 for 174 yards. He went to Ted Ginn four times for 51 yards. Ginn also scored on a 40-yard end-around.




    Saints 30, Chiefs 20

  • Mixed reviews of the NFL's next great quarterback. Thigpen threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns. He led the Chiefs to 20 points and commanded them on many long drives - something Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard probably would have struggled to do. However, he launched an interception on a late drive, and tossed a number of incompletions when it mattered most - the Chiefs stalled twice inside New Orleans' 10 and had to settle for a pair of field goals.

  • Still, I think we have to remember that Thigpen, playing in his second year, made just his fourth career start on Sunday. He'll likely continue to improve.

  • Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley and Tony Gonzalez continued to benefit from having a legitimate NFL quarterback under center. Bowe caught seven passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns. Gonzalez had five grabs for 39 yards. Bradley led the squad in receiving yards with 54.

  • Making his return from spitting in the faces of women across the country, Larry Johnson had a lackluster performance, totaling just 67 yards on 19 carries. You have to wonder if the over-the-hill Johnson's presence screwed up Kansas City's offensive momentum.

  • Speaking of running backs, Reggie Bush was out. Deuce McAllister didn't get all of the carries, however. In fact, McAllister had just eight carries, which paled in comparison to Pierre Thomas' 16. Thomas out-rushed McAllister, 88-18. Each scored a touchdown, but Thomas also had four receptions and 56 receiving yards.

  • As for the prominent Saints fantasy players, Drew Brees was a very solid, but somewhat disappointing 25-of-36 for 266 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Oddly enough, Brees connected with Marques Colston only three times for 30 yards.

  • Lance Moore paced all Saints wideouts with eight catches, 102 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Shockey finally did something for a change, grabbing six balls for 39 yards.






    Colts 33, Texans 27

  • It wasn't a matter of if; more like a matter of how. We knew that Sage Rosenfels (a.k.a. Sage Rosenchoker) would commit numerous errors against the Colts. But would it be enough to cost Houston an all-important cover?

    Thankfully, no. Rosenchoker predictably tossed a pick, down 33-27 late in the fourth quarter. Luckily, the Colts didn't return the ball for a touchdown this time. Amusingly, the man who came up with the interception was Bob Sanders' replacement, Melvin Bullitt.

  • Surprisingly, Rosenchoker's interception was his only error, though it should be noted that the Texans limited those opportunities. Rosenchoker was just 13-of-18 for 192 yards. His leading receivers were Kevin Walter (3 catches, 79 yards) and Andre Johnson (4 catches, 55 yards). For the second consecutive week, Owen Daniels did nothing (1 catch, 14 yards).

  • Rosenchoker didn't throw that much for a number of reasons. First, Steve Slaton easily gashed Indianapolis' pathetic defense for 156 yards on 14 carries, including a 71-yard touchdown. Ahman Green also scored twice. Second, Houston couldn't get the Colts off the field. The Texans failed to notch a single sack, while Indianapolis was an amazing 10-of-15 on third down!

  • As you can imagine, Peyton Manning torched the Texans' beleaguered secondary, finishing 30-of-46 for 320 yards and a pair of scores. While Reggie Wayne led the squad with 90 yards on seven catches, the great news for the Colts is that Marvin Harrison registered nine receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.

  • Manning's other touchdown went to Joseph Addai. Addai had 105 rushing yards (on 22 carries), 48 receiving yards and two scores.




    Packers 37, Bears 3

  • What the... 37-3? How does that happen? It's not like Rex Grossman played for the Bears and launched four pick-sixes. Kyle Orton took every snap until the game was out of hand.

  • As the score would indicate, Orton was ineffective and probably should have rested an additional week. Orton finished 13-of-26 for 133 yards. No one on the Bears had more than 45 receiving yards (Greg Olsen).

  • The only productive Bear in terms of fantasy value was Matt Forte, who rushed for 64 yards and chipped in with an additional 40 receiving yards. However, Forte's fantasy owners were expecting more from him, given that the Packers were ranked 27th against the run entering this weekend, and were missing middle linebacker Nick Barnett, who was placed on the IR.

  • I'm not going to dwell on this blowout, but I'll mention that both Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Grant were brilliant. Rodgers, who began the game 7-of-7 for 71 yards and a touchdown, finished 23-of-30 for 227 yards, two scores and a pick. Rodgers went to Greg Jennings five times (64 yards, TD) and Donald Driver four times (60 yards).

    Meanwhile, Grant had his best game of the year. He tallied 145 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Grant ran well against two stellar run defenses (Tennessee and Minnesota) the past two weeks, so I noted that he was due for a huge performance soon. I just didn't expect him to finally cross the 100-yard barrier against the league's fifth-ranked run defense! Bears fans have to be really disgusted with the performance of their defense.








    Bengals 13, Eagles 13

  • How ridiculous is a tie? There shouldn't be ties in the NFL. I don't understand why the players just can't keep going until there's a winner. I don't care if they have to play eight overtimes and are just falling apart by then. No more ties!

  • This is the first tie in the NFL since 2002, when Michael Vick went into Pittsburgh and tied Tommy Maddox and the Steelers, who came up just one yard short of reaching the end zone on a Maddox Hail Mary to Plaxico Burress, as time expired in overtime.

  • But enough about that - Philadelphia's ineptitude must be discussed. This has to be the final year for Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb. They're never going to win a Super Bowl, and I have to wonder if that combination will ever make the playoffs again.

    McNabb began the game 1-of-5 for zero yards, as the Eagles mustered just a single yard in the first quarter. McNabb finished with 339 yards and a score, but tossed three interceptions, including two in the red zone at the end of the first half, one of which led to a Bengals touchdown.

    McNabb's afternoon could have been a lot worse. He nearly launched three other picks, including one in his own territory in overtime, which would have given the Bengals a sure-fire field goal for the victory.

    McNabb has to go. The Eagles need to start Kevin Kolb. McNabb isn't a bad quarterback, by any means, but he's never been able to reach his potential because Andy Reid stuck him in the wrong system. McNabb is not a West Coast quarterback.

    Reid, meanwhile, is extremely clueless and overwhelmed in close games, which would explain why he's just 1-8-1 in contests decided by four points or less dating back to the 2006 playoffs. Reid never makes the right choices - he went for it on fourth-and-one, converted, and then decided to kick on fourth-and-one just 10 yards closer, even though he had an easy field goal in both instances - and he's indecisive, which leads to unwarranted timeouts and delay-of-game penalties.

    To top it off, many of the Eagles players said after the game that they weren't aware that the contest could end in a tie. How could they not know!? This is just a microcosm of how stupid the Eagles are most of the time.

    Reid has to go. The only reason he hasn't been fired yet is because owner Jeffrey Lurie is friends with him, and is content with staying competitive. Winning a Super Bowl apparently is a secondary concern for Lurie. Selling tickets and merchandise always seems to come first.

  • At any rate, Brian Westbrook surprisingly couldn't do much against the Bengals defense, gaining just 71 total yards. DeSean Jackson caught four passes for 66 yards; Kevin Curtis registered seven catches for 64 yards; while Reggie Brown notched only one reception, though he also had a key drop.

  • While the Bengals couldn't run the ball either - Cedric Benson rushed for 42 yards on 23 attempts - T.J. Houshmandzadeh absolutely torched Philadelphia's anemic safeties. Houshmandzadeh had 12 receptions, 149 yards and a touchdown. Chad Ocho Cinco managed just four catches.

  • At any rate, neither team really wanted to win this game, so maybe both squads deserve a tie. In overtime, the Bengals ran on a third-and-six at midfield, while the Eagles took a delay-of-game penalty on second-and-11. See what I mean about Reid?




    Panthers 31, Lions 22

  • The Panthers won their second ugly game in a row, but a win is a win. With the victory, Carolina is now 8-2. The last time the Panthers were 8-2 was the year they made it to the Super Bowl. Something tells me that going through the NFC is going to be much more challenging this time around.

  • Jake Delhomme played, but he didn't really have to. Seriously, the Panthers could have stuck Rosie O'Donnell under center and still won. That's because Delhomme completed only 10 passes (98 yards and a touchdown), as Carolina simply ran all over the Lions.

    Both Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams eclipsed the 100-yard barrier. Stewart had 130 yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries, while Williams tallied 120 yards and a pair of scores on 14 rushes.

  • Despite the fact that the Panthers kept things on the ground, Steve Smith caught six of Delhomme's 10 completions for 59 yards.

  • Carolina had more than double the rushing yards that Detroit mustered as a whole, but Kevin Smith still had a pretty good game, totaling 112 yards on 24 carries.

  • Meanwhile, Calvin Johnson's fantasy owners weren't disappointed; he had six grabs, 65 yards and a touchdown. One can only imagine what he'll be able to do once he has a legitimate NFL quarterback.

  • And speaking of Detroit's quarterback situation, let me reiterate what I've been saying for about a month now, capitalizing the following for emphasis:

    YO, IDIOT LIONS, START DREW STANTON! YOU NEED TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT YOU NEED TO TAKE A QUARTERBACK IN THE 2009 NFL DRAFT. CULPEPPER SUCKS!!!!!

    Can I make that any more clear?




    Broncos 24, Falcons 20

  • With so many players out, the Broncos had to be resourceful. But starting the same player on offense and defense? Come on... Rookie Spencer Larsen was in the starting lineup as a fullback and the middle linebacker. Larsen also played special teams.

  • Give credit to the banged-up Broncos for winning this game. They were coming off a come-from-behind road victory at Cleveland, and it would have been understandable if they came up short against a hot Falcons squad. Even more amazing is that Denver was victorious despite being out-gained, 364-332, and losing the time of possession battle, 33:42 to 26:18.

  • When it came down to it, neither defense could stop the opposing offense. The difference was the interception Matt Ryan threw late in the fourth quarter. Ryan, who was 20-of-33 for 250 yards and a pick, still played well, but uncharacteristically came up short when it mattered most. Oh wait, he's just a rookie... That's supposed to happen. I forgot that fact, given how well he has played since the end of September.

  • Michael Turner scored twice, but managed just 81 yards on 25 carries. Roddy White, meanwhile, caught five balls for 102 yards. However, it should be noted that White dropped a long touchdown in the fourth quarter that would have given Atlanta the lead.

  • Glancing at the numbers, it looks like Denver couldn't run the ball. After all, the team's leading rusher, Peyton Hillis, totaled only 44 yards (though he had two touchdowns as well). However, Hillis, P.J. Pope and Tatum Bell all averaged more than four yards per carry.

  • Jay Cutler continued to be sharp. He threw for just 216 yards, but didn't turn the ball over. He also tossed a touchdown to Daniel Graham, angering Tony Scheffler owners everywhere.

  • In the Live In-Games Thread in the forums, JimmyP said, "[Jason] Elam's first ever points against Denver. I feel sick." Elam hit two kicks, including a 46-yarder. JimmyP was feeling even worse in the second quarter, when Matt Prater missed a 49-yard attempt.







    Cardinals 26, Seahawks 20

  • Don't look at the score and think this game was close. Arizona was up 26-7 in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks scored two quick touchdowns as the result of Cardinal fumbles. Arizona subsequently went on a clock-killing, near-five-minute drive to eliminate Seattle's chances of winning this contest.

  • While Arizona bettors were happy with the end result, those who started Tim Hightower had to be pretty pissed off. Hightower, who earlier in the year vultured touchdowns from Edgerrin James, had two scores taken away from him by J.J. Arrington. Hightower finished with just 35 yards on 11 carries.

  • Kurt Warner, meanwhile, pleased his owners with a 395-yard performance. Warner completed 32-of-44 attempts. He had a touchdown and a pick.

  • Neither Anquan Boldin nor Larry Fitzgerald scored, but they each had more than 10 receptions. Boldin caught 13 balls for 186 yards, while Fitzgerald grabbed 10 catches for 151 yards. Steve Breaston (2 catches, 15 yards) was a non-factor.

  • As expected, Matt Hasselbeck's first game back from injury was a disappointment. He just hasn't worked with his receivers long enough to get into any sort of groove. Hasselbeck was 17-of-29, 170 yards, one touchdown and three picks. He also fumbled.

  • Deion Branch, who also saw action for the first time in what seems like years, led the team with four receptions and 54 yards. Bobby Engram caught two balls for 30 yards.

  • Hasselbeck never really had a chance. As mentioned, he was rusty. He also was missing any sort of ground attack. Julius Jones led the squad with 19 rushing yards. Maurice Morris had only two yards on three carries. T.J. Duckett vultured two scores.




    49ers 35, Rams 16

  • Do the Rams count as an NFL team? Or are they a Big XII team that got lost and accidentally found themselves in the NFC West? I'm really not sure anymore. Over the past two weeks, the Rams have been out-scored 75-3 in the first half!

    Oh, and can someone explain to Jim Haslett why it's stupid and pointless to kick a pair of field goals down 35-3 and 35-6 in the second quarter? Does he not understand that scoring four touchdowns wouldn't even give him a tie?

  • Big XII quarterback Marc Bulger - who sucks compared to Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Chase Daniel, Josh Freeman, Graham Harrell and Todd Reesing, by the way - somehow managed to throw for 295 yards. However, most of that came during garbage time in the second half. Bulger predictably had three turnovers (two picks, one fumble).

  • Without Steven Jackson, the Rams had to resort to using Antonio Pittman and Kenneth Darby. Both put up solid stats, but like Bulger, most of that came during garbage time. Pittman had 95 yards on 14 carries, while Darby caught eight balls for 83 yards.

  • Donnie Avery caught more passes (9) than Darby. He also paced the team with 93 yards. Torry Holt had five grabs for 60 yards.

  • As for the 49ers, Shaun Hill was very efficient, going 15-of-20 for 213 yards and two scores. More importantly, Hill refrained from committing a turnover and took just two sacks. J.T. O'Sullivan probably would have fumbled five times, or something.

  • Frank Gore also scored two touchdowns. It's a shame the 49ers were up so much; otherwise, Gore could have broken the 200-yard barrier. Gore managed 106 yards on just 18 carries.

  • Before I move away from these crappy NFC West matchups, let's take a moment to congratulate Mike Singletary on his first NFL victory. Under Singletary, the 49ers look infinitely better than they were with Mike Nolan. This can't be a coincidence.




    Titans 24, Jaguars 14

  • I've been listing the Jaguars on my overrated list on the front page of my NFL Picks for a reason. The reason is that they stink. They can't run the ball. They can't stop the run. They can't defend the pass. And unless they're playing a crappy defense, they can't throw the ball.

    And in case you're not sure, Tennessee does not have a crappy defense.

  • Garrard, clearly leering from the absence of an injured Matt "Coke Zero" Jones, went just 13-of-30 for 135 yards, an interception and a fumble.

    Garrard was especially anemic in the fourth quarter; because of his ineptitude and miserable receiving corps, he led the Jaguars to three consecutive three-and-outs. He threw his pick on the subsequent drive.

  • Without Jones, Dennis Northcutt led all Jacksonville wideouts with two catches and 28 yards. Told you their receiving corps is miserable...

  • Maurice Jones-Drew scored both of the Jaguars' touchdowns, but he managed only 66 rushing yards. Fred Taylor chipped in with 58 yards, thanks to a 22-yard burst.

  • As for Jacksonville's inability to stop the run, the team yielded 116 combined rushing yards to Chris Johnson and LenDale White. Kerry Collins was able to capitalize on this, throwing for 230 yards on 23 attempts (10.0 YPA). Collins had three touchdowns, including a 56-yard bomb to Justin Gage, who burned Reggie Nelson.

  • The Titans are now 10-0, but this was a shaky victory. The Jaguars, easily one of the worst teams in the league, were up 14-3. If Garrard had some Coke Zero to work with, Jacksonville may have pulled the upset. However, the Jaguars ultimately lost, which means that their season is pretty much over.




    Steelers 11, Chargers 10

  • Thank you, Vegas! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    In case you missed this crazy ending, the Steelers hit a game-winning field goal with about 15 seconds remaining to make the score 11-10. I had the Chargers +5 on this site, so I was pretty happy to finish the afternoon with a 7-7 record, which isn't that good, but considering that the Jaguars blew a 14-3 lead and my struggles the past two weeks, I would have gladly taken.

    After a kickoff return that went nowhere. The Chargers had one more play. They attempted two backward passes on a semi-hook-and-ladder, but the second throw fell incomplete. Because the pass went backward, Troy Polamalu was able to pick the ball up and score a touchdown for perhaps the worst cover in NFL history. The entire forum was freaking out; check the Live In-Games Thread to see this.

    As the players were running off the field, with the score 17-10, someone upstairs called for a review. The official spent what seemed like five minutes in the replay booth. When he finally emerged, he ruled that there was an illegal forward pass. It seemed as though the touchdown would stand, but then he took the touchdown off the board, quelling the anger from San Diego bettors everywhere.

    I'm happy about this, but this was the shadiest turn of events I've ever seen. The official spent hours looking at a play that seemed obvious - seriously, the pass in question was backward by about seven yards - and then mysteriously took the touchdown off the board. I'm willing to bet - and I'm dead serious here - that someone from Vegas (or another outfit that had major interest in San Diego covering) told the official to leave the game as an 11-10 final.

    So, as I was saying earlier, thank you, Vegas! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • The 11-10 final is the first of its kind in NFL history. The Steelers managed three field goals and a safety.

  • Pittsburgh won this game at the last second, which was a miracle if you look at the penalty differential. San Diego was whistled twice for five yards. Pittsburgh had 13 penalties for 115 yards.

  • The Steelers also surrendered their first rushing touchdown since Week 5, though they did a good job bottling up LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson had 57 yards on 18 carries. They picked off Philip Rivers twice and held him to 164 yards, as no Charger had more than three receptions.

  • Meanwhile, Pittsburgh ran the ball extremely well on San Diego's disappointing defensive front. Willie Parker, rumored to be limited in this contest, managed 115 rushing yards on 25 carries.

  • Ben Roethlisberger, also banged up, finished 31-of-41 for 308 yards. Roethlisberger went to Hines Ward 11 times for 124 yards. Santonio Holmes caught five passes (63 yards).

  • For thoughts on Washington-Dallas and Buffalo-Cleveland, check out my 2008 NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted on Tuesday morning.



    2008 NFL Power Rankings


    Week 12 NFL Picks


    2009 NFL Mock Draft


    2010 NFL Mock Draft








    2014: Live 2014 NFL Draft Blog - May 8
    2014 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 5
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    2014 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 19
    2014 NFL Week 4 Recap - Sept. 26
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    2013: Live 2013 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2013 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
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    2013 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 6
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    2013 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 20
    Super Bowl XLVIII Recap - Feb. 3
    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Blog - Feb. 2


    2012: Live 2012 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2012 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
    2012 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 17
    2012 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 24
    2012 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 1
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    2012 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 19
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    2012 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 3
    2012 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 10
    2012 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 17
    2012 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 24
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    2012 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 7
    2012 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 14
    2012 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 21
    Super Bowl XLVII Recap - Feb. 4
    Super Bowl XLVII Live Blog - Feb. 4


    2011: Live 2011 NFL Draft Blog - April 28
    2011 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 12
    2011 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 19
    2011 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 26
    2011 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 3
    2011 NFL Week 5 Recap - Oct. 10
    2011 NFL Week 6 Recap - Oct. 17
    2011 NFL Week 7 Recap - Oct. 24
    2011 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 31
    2011 NFL Week 9 Recap - Nov. 7
    2011 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 14
    2011 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 21
    2011 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 28
    2011 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 5
    2011 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 12
    2011 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 19
    2011 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 26
    2011 NFL Week 17 Recap - Jan. 2
    2011 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 9
    2011 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 16
    2011 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 23
    Super Bowl XLVI Live Blog - Feb. 6


    2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
    2010 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 8
    2010 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 9
    2010 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 13
    2010 NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 20
    2010 NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 27
    2010 NFL Week 4 Review - Oct. 4
    2010 NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 11
    2010 NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 18
    2010 NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 25
    2010 NFL Week 8 Review - Nov. 1
    2010 NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 8
    2010 NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 15
    2010 NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 22
    2010 NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 29
    2010 NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 6
    2010 NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 13
    2010 NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 20
    2010 NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 27
    2010 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 3
    2010 NFL Week 18 Review - Jan. 10
    2010 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 17
    2010 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 24
    Super Bowl XLV Live Blog - Feb. 6


    2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
    2009 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 10
    2009 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 10
    2009 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 14
    2009 NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 21
    2009 NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 28
    2009 NFL Week 4 Review - Oct. 5
    2009 NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 12
    2009 NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 19
    2009 NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 26
    2009 NFL Week 8 Review - Nov. 2
    2009 NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 9
    2009 NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 16
    2009 NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 23
    2009 NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 30
    2009 NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 6
    2009 NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 13
    2009 NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 20
    2009 NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 27
    2009 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 4
    2009 NFL Week 18 Review - Jan. 11
    2009 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 18
    2009 NFL Week 20 Review - Jan. 25
    Super Bowl XLIV Live Blog - Feb. 7


    2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2008 NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 4
    NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 8
    NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 15
    NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 22
    NFL Week 4 Review - Sept. 29
    NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 6
    NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 13
    NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 20
    NFL Week 8 Review - Oct. 27
    NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 3
    NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 10
    NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 17
    NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 24
    NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 1
    NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 8
    NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 15
    NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 22
    NFL Week 17 Review - Dec. 29
    NFL Wild Card Playoffs Review - Jan. 4
    NFL Divisional Playoffs Review - Jan. 11
    NFL Championship Sunday Review - Jan. 19
    Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog


    2007: NFL Draft: Day 1 Review Blog - April 28
    Quarterback Rankings - June 25
    NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 6
    Chief Carl Has Lost a Step - Sept. 9
    The NFL Cheated the Patriots - Sept. 16
    NFL Week 3 Wrap-Up - Sept. 23
    NFL Week 4 Wrap-Up - Sept. 30
    NFL Week 5 Wrap-Up - Oct. 7
    NFL Week 6 Wrap-Up - Oct. 14
    NFL Week 7 Wrap-Up - Oct. 21
    NFL Week 8 Wrap-Up - Oct. 28
    NFL Week 9 Wrap-Up - Nov. 4
    NFL Week 10 Wrap-Up - Nov. 11
    NFL Week 11 Wrap-Up - Nov. 18
    NFL Week 12 Wrap-Up - Nov. 25
    NFL Week 13 Wrap-Up - Dec. 2
    NFL Week 14 Wrap-Up - Dec. 9
    NFL Week 15 Wrap-Up - Dec. 16
    NFL Week 16 Wrap-Up - Dec. 23
    NFL Week 17 Wrap-Up - Dec. 30
    NFL Week 18 Wrap-Up - Jan. 6
    NFL Week 19 Wrap-Up - Jan. 13
    2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
    Super Bowl XLII Live Blog - Feb. 3


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