2009 NFL Week 10 Review
49ers 10, Bears 6
Davis didn't do much in this contest (3 catches, 16 yards), but he definitely backed up his trash-talking by crashing into linebacker Nick Roach on his first reception. Roach was hurt on the attempted tackle and had to leave the game temporarily.
1. This interception was horrible. The Bears were at San Francisco's 1-yard line. Cutler had nothing there, so instead of throwing the ball away or taking a sack, he tossed it into a sea of red jerseys. Cutler's lucky that nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin picked it off; a quicker defender would have gone 99 yards for a touchdown.
2. Hester fell down, allowing Tarell Brown to come away with a long interception return. Frank Gore scored the game's only touchdown on the next play.
3. Hester ran into an official and didn't finish his route. Cutler tossed the ball to the right spot, but Hester wasn't there.
4. This could have been whistled pass interference, but it was still a poor throw by Cutler.
5. With eight seconds to go, Cutler forced this ball into the end zone. Greg Olsen was not open and Cutler was just trying to make a play. As Matt Millen pointed out, however, Cutler could have scrambled and gotten close to the goal line.
I can't fault Cutler entirely for the last interception because he was just trying to make something happen. What I will fault him for though is the lethargic 2-minute drive he put together leading up to that pick. Cutler had a timeout in his back pocket, but never used it. Instead, he lazily moved his team downfield without any sort of urgency. Had Cutler used the timeout earlier, he wouldn't have been forced into his final interception.
Matt Forte, the recipient of those screens, caught eight balls for 120 yards. He struggled on the ground (20 carries, 41 rush yards) because his offensive line couldn't open up anything for him. Seriously, Jim Brown wouldn't be able to muster anything with those horrific blockers.
Panthers 28, Falcons 19
Let's go over each of those:
- Michael Turner injury: Turner left the game in the second quarter with a high ankle sprain. It's a shame because Turner had 111 yards on nine carries. Jason Snelling got the rest of the work, gaining 61 yards and a touchdown on 18 rushes.
- Horrible Falcons play-calling: Early on, Atlanta wasn't running the ball enough. Nine of their first 14 plays were passes - this without left tackle Sam Baker. If Carolina is strong versus the pass and weak against the run, why would you throw non-stop? Mike Mularkey's game plan was full of mularkey.
Atlanta also had major problems converting third-and-short situations. Turner was out, but it was more than that; the play-calling was ridiculously predictable. Most of the calls were ineffective runs up the middle with Snelling.
- Atlanta can't tackle: Whether it was defending Steve Smith, or trying to tackle DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the Falcons whiffed on numerous opportunities to bring down the Panthers.
Williams rushed for 92 yards on 19 carries. Stewart managed 82 yards and two touchdowns on 11 attempts.
Smith scored twice, catching four balls for 34 yards. Muhsin Muhammad, meanwhile, somehow came up with six grabs for 91 yards.
- Matt Ryan sucked: Ryan was 22-of-41 for 224 yards, one touchdown and two picks. He was off on a number of his throws. He tossed a really ugly interception at midfield down 21-19 in the fourth quarter. He overthrew his receiver by a mile. Roddy White (7 catches, 98 yards) and Tony Gonzalez (6-67) still finished with decent performances.
- Jake Delhomme's son isn't kidnapped anymore: Delhomme was 15-of-24 for 195 yards and two touchdowns, as he completely abused Atlanta's secondary all afternoon. It's now quite apparent that Delhomme's son has been returned safely. Delhomme no longer has to throw games anymore.
Dolphins 25, Buccaneers 23
The Buccaneers fumbled in Dolphins territory early in the contest, blowing an opportunity for at least three points. At the end of the first half, they fumbled on their own 15, setting up Miami with a short touchdown.
In the third quarter, Tampa advanced to Miami's 35. I posted the following on the forum: "Bucs to the Miami 35. Time for a fumble!"
Sure enough via NFL Game Center: "(5:33) (Shotgun) J.Freeman FUMBLES (Aborted) at MIA 40, and recovers at MIA 48. J.Freeman to MIA 48 for no gain (C.Anderson)."
In total, Josh Freeman fumbled four times. He finished 16-of-28 for 196 yards, one touchdown and a pick otherwise. Freeman played a solid game for a rookie quarterback starting his first road tilt, but he needs to cut down on the mistakes and improve his ball security.
Henne redeemed himself by putting together a game-winning drive with 1:14 remaining on the clock. Henne was 17-of-31 for 175 yards, one touchdown and that pick.
Vikings 27, Lions 10
The Vikings may have won by 17, but they played a really sloppy game. Early on, they attempted a double end-around and fumbled. Against the Lions, you'd think that a standard offense would suffice. On a later 4th-and-1, they ran up the middle with Jeff Dugan - not Adrian Peterson - and failed. Peterson also lost two fumbles, including one in the end zone that resulted in a touchback.
Jaguars 24, Jets 22
Once the Jets made it 22-21, Jacksonville had the ball on its own 17 with 4:56 remaining in regulation. New York never got the ball back. The Jaguars went 82 yards. Maurice Jones-Drew had the opportunity to score a touchdown, but wisely took a knee at the 1. Jacksonville bled the clock down and kicked an extra point-type field goal to secure the victory as time expired.
Bengals 18, Steelers 12
- Limited the Steelers to 226 yards.
- Held Rashard Mendenhall to just 36 yards on 13 carries.
- Forced Ben Roethlisberger into just 20-of-40 for 174 yards and a pick.
- Sacked Roethlisberger four times.
- Allowed no touchdowns and four field goals in four red-zone trips to the Steelers.
Saints 28, Rams 23
- Out-gained the Saints, 434-420.
- Had more first downs (23) than New Orleans (19).
- Won the time-of-possession battle.
- Forced Drew Brees into two interceptions (Brees was 18-of-26, 223 yards otherwise).
- Stopped the run completely; aside from a 55-yard Reggie Bush scamper, Bush (6 carries, 83 yards), Pierre Thomas (11-37) and Mike Bell (8-30) were very ineffective.
- Limited Marques Colston to just two catches for 17 yards.
Titans 41, Bills 17
Johnson completely carried this team once again, gaining 132 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 26 attempts. He also caught nine balls for 100 more yards.
Crazy, right? Yeah, Owens is such a great teammate that it's pretty difficult to imagine him yelling at anyone. What's even more strange is that Owens responded with two long receptions of 46 and 37 yards. I don't know who knocked Trent Edwards out and put on his uniform, but those passes sure were impressive.
Redskins 27, Broncos 17
Orton was 11-of-18 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. His scores were deep bombs to a wide-open Brandon Marshall. Both tosses were ugly (especially the first one), but Orton easily connected with his No. 1 wideout because there was no Redskin within 10 yards of Marshall. Orton also somehow overthrew Eddie Royal for what would have been a 70-yard score.
Chris Simms stepped in for Orton and was just 3-of-13 for 13 yards and a pick in the second half. If Simms isn't cut in the next few days, we'll know that Simms has naked photos of Josh McDaniels.
Chiefs 16, Raiders 10
- JaMarcus Russell (2007) was 9-of-24 for 67 yards. He was benched in the second half in favor of Bruce Gradkowski (4-of-8 for 46 yards, 2 INTs), who nearly led a comeback (more on this later). Russell was robbed of a touchdown and a long completion. I'll discuss the touchdown later as well (hint, hint). The completion, a 52-yard connection to Louis Murphy, was wiped out by a Robert Gallery tripping penalty.
- Darren McFadden (2008) had just four carries for 11 yards coming off injury. Both Michael Bush (14 rushes, 119 yards) and Justin Fargas (10-41) were far more impressive than McFadden.
- Darrius Heyward-Bey (2009) was the worst of them all. He dropped a touchdown pass. Late in the fourth quarter as the Raiders ventured inside Kansas City's 30, a Gradkowski pass bounced out of Heyward-Bey's hands and into the arms of a Kansas City defender. Heyward-Bey finished with one reception for 22 yards.
Cardinals 31, Seahawks 20
Seattle simply couldn't stop Arizona in the second half. The Cardinals scored touchdowns on drives of 82, 80 and 85 yards. The Seahawks, meanwhile, had two interceptions in the red zone.
Justin Forsett took over and was very impressive; he gained 123 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts. He also caught five balls for 23 more yards.
Packers 17, Cowboys 7
The Cowboys, meanwhile, didn't convert a third down until there were only nine minutes remaining in regulation. Tony Romo was sacked five times and turned the ball over twice. Roy Williams also fumbled in Green Bay territory. A big problem was the season-ending injury to right tackle Marc Colombo, though one of Romo's sack-turnovers was the result of his failure to read a corner blitz by the Packers.
Chargers 31, Eagles 23
- Red-zone woes: Prior to the fourth quarter, the Eagles ventured inside San Diego's 10-yard line three times. All three sequences resulted in field goals. The third time, Andy Reid idiotically elected to attempt a short kick on 4th-and-1 at the Chargers 7 down 21-6 in the middle of the third quarter. The three points still kept the Eagles down two scores. Reid is officially the King of Kicking Meaningless Field Goals. All hail the king!
- Short-yardage woes: Philadelphia had 1st-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the second quarter, but couldn't get in. Later, the Eagles had a 3rd-and-1 on San Diego's 7-yard line, but couldn't do anything. That's four plays in which the Eagles couldn't obtain a single yard. Reid's play-calling was once again atrocious.
- Penalties: The Eagles were called for nine penalties compared to San Diego's three. Crooked official Jerome Boger was up to his old antics again (more on this later).
- Wasted Timeouts: Surprise, surprise. The Eagles wasted two timeouts early in the second half. Philadelphia could have used one of them on the final drive where they advanced the ball inside San Diego' 40, but ran out of time.
Congratulations to Tomlinson, by the way, who passed Marcus Allen for third all-time in career touchdowns with 146. Tomlinson is only behind Jerry Rice (208) and our pal Emmitt Smith (175).
One example: DeSean Jackson caught a pass along the sidelines with 21 seconds remaining. As the play ended, the clock ticked away to 20 and 19 seconds. I was hoping Boger would see this and ask for the time to be reset to 20 or 21 seconds. Instead, Boger asked for the game clock to be reset to 18 seconds! Again, this happened three times!
Boger's children better receive some great Christmas gifts because their father clearly made tons of money on this game.
For thoughts on Patriots-Colts and Ravens-Browns, check out my updated 2009 NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.
2009 NFL Power Rankings
2016 NFL Mock Draft - March 26
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Super Bowl XLVI Live Blog - Feb. 6
2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
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Super Bowl XLV Live Blog - Feb. 6
2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
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Super Bowl XLIV Live Blog - Feb. 7
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Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog
2007: NFL Draft: Day 1 Review Blog - April 28
Quarterback Rankings - June 25
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Chief Carl Has Lost a Step - Sept. 9
The NFL Cheated the Patriots - Sept. 16
NFL Week 3 Wrap-Up - Sept. 23
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2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
Super Bowl XLII Live Blog - Feb. 3
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