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2009 NFL Week 11 Review



Dolphins 24, Panthers 17

  • It's almost as if both teams tried their best to handicap and out-smart themselves in this game. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if John Fox and Tony Sparano met before kickoff and decided, "Hey, we run the ball really well, right? Let's fool everyone and pass the ball in key situations! Ha! We'll show em!"

    Early in the game, both teams dialed up long passes on 3rd-and-1 plays. Six of Miami's first nine plays were passes, while Jake Delhomme finished with 42 attempts. Under no circumstances should Delhomme ever attempt 42 throws. I don't care if it's a five-overtime contest and his son is safe at home. The Panthers need to run the ball.

    Unfortunately, Fox didn't get the memo. Delhomme finished 19-of-42 for 227 yards, one touchdown and a pick. He also nearly tossed two more interceptions.

    On one sequence in the third quarter, Delhomme put on a clinic on how to be a horrific quarterback. On a 3rd-and-short, the Dolphins were caught substituting. Delhomme could have snapped it to give the Panthers a first down. When he didn't, Matt Millen had an aneurysm. Delhomme then scanned the field, pointed out the mike linebacker, but underthrew his intended target for an interception. It's been a long time since I've seen so much fail on one sequence.

  • DeAngelo Williams carried the ball only 13 times, though he managed to gain 122 yards. Jonathan Stewart was much less effective on his 12 rushes, compiling just 43 yards.

  • Steve Smith came up with seven grabs for 87 yards and a score.

  • Aside from Delhomme's ineptness, the story for the Panthers was their awful tackling and their inability to stop the Dolphins on third downs. Miami was 7-of-15 on third downs, while Carolina was just 3-of-13. One of the Dolphins' conversions was an 18-yard Lex Hilliard draw on 3rd-and-16.

  • The Panthers couldn't bring down Ricky Williams. He rushed for 119 yards on 22 carries, caught two passes for 19 more yards and scored three touchdowns.

  • Chad Henne was 17-of-29 for 172 yards and a score. Those stats don't say much, but he did a great job converting those third downs.

  • Henne targeted Davone Bess the most, finding his trusted target six times for 63 yards. Ted Ginn actually caught four balls for 32 yards. He came up with some amazing grabs, which had me yelling at the TV, "Why the f*** couldn't you do that against the Saints!?"

  • The Dolphins suffered a barrage of injuries. Center Jake Grove limped off with an ankle. Jason Ferguson was carted off with a knee injury. Backup center Joe Berger also hurt his ankle. Reserve lineman Nate Garner damaged his knee, forcing Berger back into the contest. And despite all of this, the Panthers still couldn't come up with a victory.


    Colts 17, Ravens 15

  • Matt Stover had been Baltimore's most consistent weapon (and often times, only consistent weapon) for years. The Ravens decided to let him go this offseason in favor of Steven Hauschka, who was just cut. Last week, they replaced Hauschka with Billy Cundiff, who actually nailed five field goals in this contest, including a 46-yarder. However, Cundiff whiffed badly on a crucial attempt from just 30 yards. Stover, meanwhile, nailed the decisive kick for the Colts to send the Ravens to 5-5. Talk about insult to injury.

  • It was a wasted performance by Joe Flacco, who was 23-of-35 for 256 yards and a pick where he misread a sly linebacker. Flacco played pretty well, but failed to throw a touchdown for the third game in a row after compiling 12 in his first seven games.

  • Most of Flacco's targets went to Derrick Mason (9 catches, 142 yards) and Ray Rice (7 catches, 64 yards). Rice also had 20 carries for 71 rushing yards.

  • Peyton Manning was a pretty solid 22-of-31 for 299 yards and a touchdown, but tossed two uncharacteristic interceptions. Manning had a chance to throw another score, but tight end Tom Santi Claus fumbled inside Baltimore's 5-yard line.

  • Speaking of Santi Claus, he oddly caught six balls for 80 yards, giving out coal to Dallas Clark owners everywhere. Clark had an impressive one-handed touchdown from three yards out, but that was the only reception he made all game.

  • Pierre Garcon led the team with 108 receiving yards off six receptions. Reggie Wayne had seven grabs for 89 yards. Austin Collie made just one catch (12 yards).

  • Joseph Addai received most of the work, rushing for 74 yards and a score on 19 carries. Donald Brown had only four attempts, as he was still hampered by a shoulder injury.


    Cowboys 7, Redskins 6

  • The Cowboys were chastised by many, including myself, for not running the ball nearly enough at Green Bay last week.

    It looked like offensive coordinator Jason Garrett listened to his critics; seven of the first nine plays in this contest went to his running backs. Dallas moved down the field impressively on the second drive, but Marion Barber fumbled in the red zone.

    This is notable because the Cowboys didn't reach the red zone again until there were just four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Dallas simply couldn't put drives together, going 3-of-11 on third downs. Tony Romo was just 8-of-19 for 98 yards and a pick prior to the game-winning possession late in the contest. Fortunately for Jerry Jones' sanity, Romo was sharp on that sequence (7-of-8, 60 yards).

  • Aside from Barber (20 carries, 99 yards), no one on the Cowboys put up solid numbers. Miles Austin-Jones led the squad with 47 receiving yards on four catches. Jason Witten had five grabs for 43 yards. Roy Williams, meanwhile, didn't have a single reception, though he had two drops.

  • The Redskins seemed like they were in full control of this game. In fact, they would have won if Shaun Suisham didn't miss two field goals from 39 and 50. Suisham was a perfect 12-of-12 on the year heading into this contest, but just one of those kicks would have given Washington its fourth victory of the year.

  • Jason Campbell was a solid 24-of-37 for 256 yards and an interception. Not a great game by any means, but the good news is that he once again kept his turnovers down. This has been a solid trend ever since Daniel Snyder hired Bingo announcer Sherm Smith about a month ago.

  • Ladell Betts got the start for the Redskins, but tore his MCL after just four carries for five yards. Rock Cartwright took over and finished with 140 total yards (67 rushing, 73 receiving). Get him in your fantasy league.

  • Santana Moss had just five grabs for 38 yards. He won't do anything of note as long as this Campbell-Jim Zorn combination resides in Washington.


    Lions 38, Browns 37

  • Congratulations to the officials Lions for winning their second game of the year. Down 24-3, Detroit battled back twice. They had just eight seconds remaining in regulation when Matthew Stafford launched a Hail Mary toward the end zone as he got decked. The pass was picked off, and the game should have been a Cleveland victory.

    However, that's when the officials took over. The refs called the Browns for a very questionable pass interference on the Hail Mary, which I've never seen before. Stafford, meanwhile, was down with a left shoulder injury. Daunte Culpepper ran onto the field to take the snap, but Eric Mangina foolishly called a timeout.

    With the stoppage in play, Stafford was allowed to take the field again. On the final play of the game, he rolled out and found Brandon Pettigrew in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. Good job, officials and Mangina Lions!!

  • It'll be a shame if Stafford is out for a while because he just had a great performance, going 26-of-43 for 422 yards, five touchdowns and two picks. After that five-interception debaclation at Seattle, Stafford has turned it around the past two weeks. The good news is that the injury was to his non-throwing shoulder.

  • Stafford's five scores all went to different targets: Calvin Johnson (7 catches, 161 yards), Brandon Pettigrew (6 catches, 72 yards), Aaron Brown, Will Heller and Kevin Smith. And speaking of Smith, he had just 45 rushing yards on 12 carries, but managed 104 receiving yards off four receptions.

  • Though they lost, I have to congratulate the Browns, who discovered the forward pass on Sunday. Despite scoring just five offensive touchdowns in the past 15 games, the Browns posted 24 points in the first quarter alone. That output was a franchise record for Cleveland (including the old Browns) for most points in a first quarter. Brian Sipe and Jim Brown have nothing on Brady Quinn!

  • Quinn was really impressive, going 21-of-33 for 304 yards and four touchdowns, two of which were long bombs to Mohamed Massaquoi (5 catches, 115 yards, TD) and Chansi Stuckey (5-76, TD). I'd say this gives hope for Browns fans that Quinn can actually develop into something, but he did this against the Lions. He'll need to put together a few decent performances against teams that aren't devoid of talent.

  • Jamal Lewis' numbers were pretty mediocre, as he gained 75 yards on 24 attempts. However, against the Lions, that's downright horrible. Rookie Chris Jennings took 10 carries for 36 yards. Jennings also caught five balls for 38 more yards, but he dropped an easy touchdown.





    Packers 30, 49ers 24

  • You really have to feel for everyone who had the Packers in this game (especially for -6.5). Green Bay led 23-3 at halftime and 30-10 in the fourth quarter, but allowed two backdoor touchdowns to Alex Smith. The team simply stopped blitzing and started playing prevent defense. As they say, sometimes you can have the right side but end up with the wrong result.

  • Aaron Rodgers was an impressive 32-of-45 for 344 yards and two touchdowns. The big news here is that Rodgers took just two sacks. The 49ers don't have much of a pass rush though, so we'll find out if Green Bay has really solved its pass protection issues in a few weeks (we won't learn anything on Thanksgiving either).

  • With time in the pocket, Rodgers was able to get the ball to Greg Jennings, who came up with five grabs for 126 yards and an impressive 64-yard touchdown in which he broke three 49er tackles. Donald Driver had just five receptions for 40 yards.

  • Ryan Grant ran well, compiling 129 yards and a score on 21 carries. Grant had just two catches, as he relinquished all third-down duties to Brandon Jackson (6 catches, 65 yards).

  • The loser of the 2005 Quarterback Class Bowl, Alex Smith went 16-of-33 for 227 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. All three of those scores came when the game was out of hand, so don't think that Smith had a good performance or anything.

  • Someone who did have a good game was Vernon Davis, who managed six grabs for 108 yards and a score. Michael Crabtree, meanwhile, had four receptions for 77 yards and his first NFL touchdown.

  • Stuck in a huge deficit, the 49ers had to abandon their running game. Frank Gore finished with 59 yards on seven carries, most of which came on a 42-yard scamper.


    Jaguars 18, Bills 15

  • Jack Del Rio really put on a clinic in this game. For the next few decades, people will watch this game to learn how to be a crappy NFL head coach.

    With stud defensive tackle Marcus Stroud out for Buffalo's dead-last run defense, you figured that the Jaguars would try to pound the rock with Maurice Jones-Drew as much as possible. Well, Jones-Drew didn't receive a single carry early on when the team had 1st-and-goal. The Jaguars predictably stalled.

    Right before the Bills went up 15-10, Jacksonville called 22 pass plays to just 10 runs!

    The Jaguars as a whole were disoriented. They surrendered multiple first downs on long-yardage situations, including a 3rd-and-15; they had careless penalties, including one instance where they had 12 men on the field when Buffalo was in the red zone; and they fumbled it three times on top of an interception. If I didn't know any better, I would have said that Jacksonville fired its head coach this week; not Buffalo.

  • Jones-Drew actually finished with 25 carries because Del Rio finally realized that he had to run the ball when Buffalo went up 15-10. Drew-Jones gained just 66 yards and a touchdown. Not sure why Jacksonville couldn't get him going; it's as if this team was asleep the entire afternoon.

  • David Garrard had a careless pick and fumble, but was otherwise pretty solid, going 21-of-30 for 215 yards and a touchdown to Mike Sims-Walker (8 catches, 91 yards).

  • As for the Bills, Marshawn Lynch left the game early on with a shoulder. He was pretty ineffective (8 carries, 18 yards, 2 fumbles), so the injury actually helped new head coach Perry Fewell. Fred Jackson, a much more talented player, gained 35 yards on nine rushes and also had four catches for 20 more yards.

  • Forum member Leelee pointed out that Fewell's game plan was to have Ryan Fitzpatrick throw the ball to Terrell Owens as much as possible. It definitely worked; Owens caught nine balls for 197 yards and a score, which was a 98-yard bomb. The Bills may have lost, but you know that Owens is thrilled with the result.

  • Fitzpatrick was pretty solid; he was 18-of-31 for 297 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions (one was late in the contest on a desperation fourth down). Unlike Trent Edwards, Fitzpatrick didn't check it down every play. Still, we've seen that Fitzpatrick isn't the answer, so the Bills will be looking for a quarterback this offseason, no matter what happens the rest of the year.


    Chiefs 27, Steelers 24

  • This loss doesn't matter at all for the Steelers, and I'm not referring to the fact that every team in the AFC North lost Sunday. The only significant thing to come out of this contest was Ben Roethlisberger's injury. Roethlisberger took a knee to the helmet in overtime and left the game. Bill Cowher reported that Roethlisberger's injury was "concussion oriented."

    With all the talk of concussions festering throughout the NFL, there's a chance Big Ben could miss a few games. That'll be huge with a matchup against the Ravens next week.

  • Roethlisberger played very well in this contest, going 32-of-42 for 398 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions that weren't his fault. On his second score, Roethlisberger did an incredible job eluding a Kansas City sack. I know he does this all the time, but that particular broken tackle was really impressive.

    Most of Roethlisberger's targets predictably went to Hines Ward (10 catches, 128 yards, TD), Heath Miller (7-95, TD) and Santonio Holmes (7-86). Rashard Mendenhall, meanwhile, gained 80 yards on 21 attempts.

  • The Steelers dominated the majority of this game. It was 17-7 at halftime, as the Chiefs' only score came on a kickoff return. At intermission, Kansas City had just 47 total yards and three first downs. I'll give them credit for assembling 91- and 80-yard drives toward the end of the contest. It was clear that Pittsburgh really missed Troy Polamalu though.

  • Matt Cassel went 15-of-30 for 248 yards and two touchdowns without Dwayne Bowe. Cassel did a great job moving the chains in the second half. He took only four sacks, which is a low number for him.

  • Chris Chambers led the Chiefs with four receptions and 119 yards. Chambers caught a pass along the sideline and ran 61 yards in overtime to set up Ryan Succop's decisive field goal.

  • Major dap to Todd Haley for involving Jamaal Charles in the offense. Charles rushed for 58 yards on 17 carries, and caught two passes for eight more yards and a touchdown. Best of all, no other Chiefs running back had more than a single carry. Now, if only Haley had realized Charles' talent earlier in the year...




    Vikings 35, Seahawks 9

  • This game ended 35-9, and it wasn't even as close as that score indicates, which is saying a lot. The Vikings led 28-0 and benched Brett Favre at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Seahawks had just two first downs in the first half. They finished 1-of-10 on third down. It was a disgraceful performance on so many levels.

  • Perhaps the one thing Seattle did well was contain Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 82 yards on 24 carries. However, they couldn't stop Chester Taylor (11 rushes, 73 yards), so it's not like the contained the run at all.

  • Brett Favre was nearly flawless, going 22-of-25 for 213 yards and four touchdowns. As far as I'm concerned, Favre and Peyton Manning are the leading candidates for MVP.

  • Sidney Rice didn't top 200 yards this week, but he made up for it with two scores. He finished with six receptions for 89 yards. The other three touchdowns (one by Tarvaris Jackson) went to Percy Harvin (5 catches, 79 yards), Visanthe Shiancoe (8-78) and Bernard Berrian (2-11).

  • While the Seahawks struggled to contain the run, the Vikings eliminated it. Justin Forsett managed just nine yards on eight carries. He saved his fantasy owners with eight receptions, 80 yards and a touchdown.

  • Matt Hasselbeck went 19-of-26 for 231 yards and a pick. Hasselbeck had just 63 yards at halftime, so most of his production came when the game was out of hand.

  • Nate Burleson led the team with 100 yards on six catches. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who was daydreaming about playing for the Vikings, was limited to just four grabs for 36 yards.


    Giants 34, Falcons 31

  • There's a huge difference between winning and losing as far as teams' psyches are concerned, so even though this game came down to a coin flip, this victory was huge for the Giants. Having lost four in a row, New York really needed a victory. The Falcons, on the other hand, now have to somehow get a win; they've dropped four of five.

    This game game down to coin toss because either squad would have scored on its first possession in overtime. The Giants allowed Matt Ryan (26-of-46, 268 yards, 2 TDs) to put together 65- and 76-yard scoring drives in the fourth quarter. Ryan was 7-of-11 for 73 yards and a touchdown to Tony Gonzalez on his final possession, which eerily resembled Philip Rivers' game-winning touchdown drive two weeks ago. Fortunately for the Giants, Atlanta's defense is even worse than theirs. Eli Manning easily shredded the Falcons in overtime.

  • Manning was great throughout this contest, going 25-of-39 for 384 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He heavily utilized Mario Manningham (6 catches, 126 yards), Steve Smith (4-79), Kevin Boss (5-76, 2 TDs) and Hakeem Nicks (5-65).

  • I was a bit surprised that the Giants couldn't run the ball effectively. Both Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball 12 times, gaining 39 and 34 yards, respectively. Jacobs found the end zone in the third quarter.

  • Jason Snelling's production pretty much mimicked what Jacobs and Bradshaw did collectively. He compiled 76 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.

  • As mentioned, Gonzalez (8 catches, 82 yards) caught one of Ryan's scores. Roddy White didn't get into the end zone and was limited to four grabs for 45 yards.




    Saints 38, Buccaneers 7

  • Believe it or not, this game was close for a while. The Buccaneers led 7-0, and it was 17-7 at halftime.

    The problem for the Buccaneers, once again, was Josh Freeman's ball security:

    - At 7-7, Freeman launched a pick in his own territory that set the Saints up with a field goal.

    - Right after halftime, Freeman lost a fumble on a sack in his own territory again, giving Drew Brees a short, 15-yard field.

    - A drive and a New Orleans touchdown later, Freeman had another interception at midfield that led to yet another Saints end-zone trip.

    By then, it was 31-7 New Orleans, and three Freeman turnovers were responsible for 17 of those points.

    Freeman finished just 17-of-33 for 126 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and a lost fumble. He made some nice throws at times and had two separate scrambles of 15 yards. However, he really needs to cut down on the turnovers. They really killed the Buccaneers on Sunday.

  • With Freeman struggling, no Tampa skill player did much. It is worth noting, however, that Antonio Bryant caught three balls for 40 yards. He'll be more of a factor soon once he's fully healthy.

  • Other Buccaneers of significance: Cadillac Williams (11 carries, 32 yards), Kellen Winslow Jr. (5 catches, 29 yards).

  • Constantly being handed short fields, Drew Brees didn't get a chance to pad his yardage numbers - he finished with 187 yards - but he had three touchdowns in this contest.

  • Marques Colston caught five balls for 74 yards, but didn't get one of those touchdowns. Instead, Robert Meachem had both, though he finished with only two receptions for 10 yards. Jeremy Shockey did nothing (2 receptions, 17 yards).

  • Pierre Thomas fantasy owners, feel free to toilet paper Sean Payton's house. Thomas had 92 yards on 11 carries, yet relinquished both goal-line touchdowns to Mike Bell, who had 75 yards on 13 attempts. Though Thomas is much more talented than Bell, it looks like the latter will continue to be a nuisance. It Payton didn't have the title locked up already, he has officially become the league's worst fantasy villain, taking that distinction from Mike Shanahan.


    Cardinals 21, Rams 13

  • As I said earlier, "Sometimes you can have the right side but finish with the wrong result." Anyone who took the Cardinals and the points has the right to be pissed.

    Arizona established a quick 21-3 lead. Kurt Warner was on fire, going 15-of-19 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, Warner suffered a minor concussion at the end of the second quarter. Matt Leinart took over and was pretty mediocre (10-14, 74 yards), failing to lead the Cardinals to a single score. The Rams eventually backdoored.

  • Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald fantasy owners weren't hurt by the quarterbacking switch, as they both posted touchdowns early on. Boldin and Fitzgerald each caught eight balls for 103 and 87 yards, respectively. Steve Breaston didn't log a single reception.

  • The Cardinals once again ran the ball well. Tim Hightower and Chris Wells each had 14 carries for 110 and 74 yards, respectively. Wells found his way into the end zone in the second quarter.

  • Another Rams loss, another great Steven Jackson performance. Jackson rumbled for 116 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. He didn't do anything in terms of catching the ball out of the backfield.

  • Marc Bulger was pretty pedestrian. He went 19-of-37 for 215 yards and an interception. He led some scoring drives in the second half, but benefited from some very questionable penalties. Bulger took a wicked shot on the team's final drive and appeared more disoriented than usual on the final three plays.

  • The receivers did a pretty good job. Donnie Avery caught four passes for 65 yards, while Brandon Gibson finished with five grabs for 61 yards. Gibson looked decent at times, but made a few blunders, including some drops and a misread on an end-zone fade.


    Chargers 32, Broncos 3

  • Four weeks ago, when the Broncos lost to the Ravens, I said it was the "beginning of the end for them." Now that they've lost their stranglehold on the division, it's now clear more than ever that their 6-0 start was a mirage.

    Let's forget about the quarterbacking quandary for a second. Denver simply couldn't stop the Chargers. LaDainian Tomlinson gained 73 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. The Broncos surrendered 203 rushing yards as a whole. Philip Rivers, meanwhile, was 17-of-22 for 145 yards and a score.

    The Chargers achieved 21 first downs (compared to Denver's 14) and was 5-of-13 on third downs and 1-of-1 on fourth down. They won the time-of-possession battle by nearly 16 minutes.

    Denver's defense, which was once renowned as being one of the league's best, hasn't been able to stop anyone. The problem is that most of the players are too old and worn-down, and because of a poor draft class, there are no talented young guys who can step in.

  • And now for the quarterbacks. Chris Simms started this game and was abysmal, going 2-of-4 for 10 yards and a lost fumble in the red zone. This forced a panicked Josh McDaniels to make the switch to a hobbled Kyle Orton, who went 15-of-29 for 171 yards and an interception. Orton came out firing, hitting his first three passes for 58 yards. Unfortunately, Knowshon Moreno fumbled at the goal line later on that drive, negating what would have been a touchdown to trim San Diego's lead down to 13-7. Orton's next throw was picked off.

  • Aside from the fumble, Moreno ran really well, gaining 80 yards on just 10 carries. One has to wonder why Moreno received only 10 attempts. Correll Buckhalter was much less effective with his 35 yards on seven rushes.

  • No receiver did anything in this contest, including Brandon Marshall (3 receptions, 26 yards), Eddie Royal (4-29), Vincent Jackson (4-56), Antonio Gates (3-41) and Malcom Floyd (4-38).


    Patriots 31, Jets 14

  • This game wasn't about any sort of Patriot vindication, as Rodney Harrison would lead you to believe. This wasn't about Bill Belichick proving himself either. This was all about Mark Sanchez's futility. The man known as Sanchise was horrific beyond words.

    Sanchez finished 8-of-21 for 136 yards, one touchdown, four interceptions and a fumble. Two of the picks were the result of Sanchez completely misfiring to a wide-open receiver. The third was tossed poorly into double coverage. The last one was a forced late on the sidelines when the rookie should have thrown it away. Sanchez actually had the same amount of completions to the Patriots and Jets in the first half.

  • Sanchez's score went to Jerricho Cotchery, who had three grabs for 84 yards and a touchdown. Braylon Edwards, meanwhile, matched Sanchez's poor play. He caught one 10-yard pass and had two big drops. The Edwards from Cleveland that we all knew and loved is back. I personally would not re-sign him; if he has trouble concentrating in a contract year, how lethargic will he be with a big signing bonus?

  • Other Jets of note: Thomas Jones (21 carries, 103 yards); Dustin Keller (3 catches, 38 yards).

  • On the other side of the spectrum, Tom Brady recorded his fifth consecutive 300-yard passing game, going 28-of-41 for 310 yards and a touchdown.

  • Brady didn't have Wes Welker at his disposal in the first meeting between these teams, and just by looking at the numbers, you can probably speculate that New England would have won that matchup if he was in the lineup. Welker caught a whopping 15 receptions for 192 yards.

  • Darrelle Revis did a great job on Randy Moss, who caught five balls for 34 yards and a touchdown, but couldn't convert a number of other targets. Revis notably forced Moss into an offensive pass interference call as well.

  • Laurence Maroney fumbled in this game, but made up for it with 77 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.


    Raiders 20, Bengals 17

  • What a crazy game. A stat that epitomized it was that the Raiders scored had more points in the final minute (10) than their seasonal per-game average (9.8).

    If you put blank jerseys on both teams and asked people to identify each squad in the final few minutes of the contest, you would have gotten a lot of wrong answers. Bruce Gradkowski did his best Carson Palmer impersonation, torching Cincinnati's secondary on 5-of-9 passing for 79 yards on the game-tying drive. Gradkowski converted a 4th-and-10 to Chaz Schilens for 16 yards, and then found Louis Murphy for a 29-yard score.

    Following the touchdown, the Bengals turned the ball over, setting up Sebastian Janikowski with a short decisive field goal. Oakland somehow won the turnover battle, 4-3.

  • It's amazing what can happen when your quarterback doesn't turn the ball over every other drive. Gradkowski went 17-of-34 for 183 yards, two touchdowns, one pick and a fumble.

  • Oakland's running game was a mixed bag. Justin Fargas had 32 yards on eight carries. Darren McFadden gained 25 yards on six attempts. Michael Bush took his four rushes for 27 yards, but fumbled.

  • Darrius Heyward-Bey was targeted six times, but came up with only one catch for seven yards. He shockingly - and I'll capitalize, SHOCKINGLY - had a few drops.

  • The Raiders had major problems stopping Bernard Scott, who rushed for 119 yards on 21 carries. Scott also had three catches for 32 more yards. You may find it interesting that Larry Johnson had five yards on two attempts, but I don't.

  • Carson Palmer was a pedestrian 14-of-22 for 207 yards, an interception and two fumbles, though he saved his fantasy owners with two short rushing touchdowns. Four of his passes went to Chad Ochocinco, who finished with 67 yards.



    For thoughts on Eagles-Bears and Titans-Texans, check out my updated 2009 NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.



    2009 NFL Power Rankings


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    2014: Live 2014 NFL Draft Blog - May 8


    2013: Live 2013 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
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    2011: Live 2011 NFL Draft Blog - April 28
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    2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
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    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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