2009 NFL Week 14 Review
Browns 13, Steelers 6
I haven't seen Pittsburgh play a game this poorly in six years. The team opened the contest with pass plays on third-and-short situations amid heavy winds, opting not to run the ball. They later left Ben Roethlisberger (18-of-32, 201 yards) in the shotgun without any blockers to help him. Roethlisberger was sacked a whopping eight times by a defense that had just 24 sacks on the year going into this matchup.
On defense, the Steelers had no answer for Joshua Cribbs. Along with a 32-yard punt return to set up the game's first field goal, Cribbs carried the ball eight times for 87 yards. Cribbs picked up a couple of big first downs in the fourth quarter, which helped the Browns bleed the clock down. It was odd to see Pittsburgh's defense have no answer for something so predictable.
Saints 26, Falcons 23
I guess this reinforces the notion that you can never underestimate a fierce rivalry. This Falcons squad barely beat the Buccaneers and was crushed by the Eagles. With Redman under center, they shouldn't have been within 10 points of the Saints just based on talent. Instead, Atlanta actually out-gained New Orleans, 392-391.
Ravens 48, Lions 3
This performance was pathetic. In a torrential downpour, the Lions showed absolutely no effort on defense. They didn't look like they wanted to be there.
Perhaps the play that epitomized their defensive struggles was when Derrick Mason caught a deep pass over the middle of the field. Two Lions converged on Mason, but instead of hitting the Baltimore wideout, they crashed into each other, allowing Mason to score a 62-yard touchdown.
Packers 21, Bears 14
RODGERS HAD A BAD GAME BCUZ THE O LINE WASNT PLAYING AS GOOD AS THEY WERE IN THE PAST 4 GAMES!
Rodgers (16-of-24, 180 yards) took only two sacks, but was constantly pressured. He consequently fumbled twice. On one play, Rodgers was hit and the ball bounced out of his hands and back into his own arms. Immediately after the self-completion, the ball once again slipped out of Rodgers' hands and into the belly of a Chicago defensive lineman.
Third-year wideout Devin Aromashodu somehow collected eight receptions for 76 yards and a score. Aromashodu had just nine career catches going into the game, so I wouldn't read too much into this.
Texans 34, Seahawks 7
Houston established a 24-0 lead just two minutes into the second quarter. At that point, the Texans had 11 first downs compared to zero for the Seahawks. They also were out-gaining Seattle, 225-12.
At halftime, Matt Schaub was 24-of-28 for 336 yards for two touchdowns. Those scores went to Andre Johnson, who had 10 grabs for 184 yards.
Colts 28, Broncos 16
The difference was costly, self-inflicted errors and blown opportunities that the Broncos continuously committed. They were stuffed on a pair of fourth-and-ones near midfield with unsuccessful Knowshon Moreno runs. They also were guilty of seven penalties (compared to four for the Colts), most of which were really untimely. As an example, the Broncos had a 3rd-and-1 on Indianapolis' 15. A false start made it 3rd-and-6, and on that play, Kyle Orton tossed a pick.
Manning's stat line was otherwise very strange. He was just 20-of-42 for 220 yards, but tossed four touchdowns. Manning's troubles against good 3-4 defenses are well-documented, and will likely be prevalent in the postseason.
Patriots 20, Panthers 10
But I agree with Gamble. Moss didn't look like he was exerting too much effort on the field against the Panthers. He dropped multiple passes and had alligator arms a few times. He caught only one pass (16 yards) and fumbled the ball right away.
Brady approached Moss a couple of times on the sideline. Brady looked like he was trying to encourage his receiver, but Moss didn't even look at his quarterback, sitting silently most of the time. It appears as though the locker-room toad everyone was expecting back in 2007 is finally festering in New England.
Dolphins 14, Jaguars 10
Well, Henne deserves all of the credit now. At halftime, he was 14-of-16 for 146 yards. He finished 21-of-29 for 220 yards. That said, Henne had a really horrible interception at midfield late in the game up four points. That could have really cost the Dolphins. Luckily, Jacksonville's offense couldn't do anything today.
Vikings 30, Bengals 10
Overall, Favre was pretty solid, finishing 17-of-30 for 192 yards, one touchdown and an interception. It was certainly an upgrade over his disastrous performance last week.
Bills 16, Chiefs 10
And speaking of Kansas City's self-destruction, Cassel somehow took a 7-yard sack on 4th-and-goal on Buffalo's 1-yard line in the fourth quarter. I watched that play live and on replay, and I still don't know how something like that happened.
Cassel finished 26-of-43 for 224 yards. His 5.2 YPA is something to be proud of; considering that he barely has the arm strength to complete 5-yard passes, any YPA greater than 5.0 is outstanding for him.
Jets 26, Buccaneers 3
The Buccaneers didn't have a first down until they got one via a penalty in the third quarter. They had 15 yards of total offense in the first half. And they were an amazing 0-of-14 on third downs.
That was New York's entire drive. They just ran the ball with Jones. I'd say the Buccaneers should just lose the rest of their games on purpose to guarantee them the opportunity to draft Ndamukong Suh, but I don't think they could generate a victory if they tried their hardest.
Titans 47, Rams 7
Well, now I know my answer. Null might be the worst quarterback to EVER play in the NFL.
What's that you say? That title belongs to Ryan Leaf? Well, would you be surprised that Leaf was Null's mentor and coach at West Texas A&M?
Null at times appeared to be colorblind. I don't know whom he was throwing to at times because he constantly fired it to Titans defenders when there were no Rams receivers around. Null was 27-of-43 but for just 157 yards (3.7 YPA), one late touchdown and FIVE interceptions. What an embarrassing performance.
Johnson now has 1,626 rushing yards this season. He's on pace for 2,001 yards.
Redskins 34, Raiders 13
To be fair, if you were to tell me though that Bruce Gradkowski would get hurt at the end of the second quarter and JaMarcus Russell would have to play the duration of the game, there's no way I would have recommended anything more than 0.000000000001 units on Oakland.
Russell was terrible. His stats don't look so bad (10-of-16, 74 yards, 1 INT), but he took multiple sacks because he couldn't read the defense or identify Washington's blitz package (shocker). The team as a whole looked really unmotivated when Russell stepped in. The score at one point was 17-13, but once Russell started taking sacks and doing stupid things, the Raiders looked like they gave up.
Chargers 20, Cowboys 17
Philip Rivers is 14-7 ATS (against the spread) as a starter after Nov. 30.
Tony Romo is 2-12 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30
One guy is awesome in December. The other guy sucks. If only each pick were so easy. My only regret is not placing 50,000 units on the Chargers. Laying $5.5 million to win $5 million would have been awesome.
The Cowboys had 1st-and-goal on San Diego's 4-yard line in the second quarter. Instead of calling a play-action fake or a bootleg, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett gave Marion Barber four consecutive carries. Barber ran for 3, 0, 0 and 0 yards, and Dallas turned it over on downs.
Apparently, Jerry Jones' desire to see Barber receive more carries came to fruition. Barber had a 10-yard gain on a draw and 13 other ineffective runs for 37 yards. As I've been saying, Barber should have gotten a week or two of rest earlier so his quad injury could heal. Instead, the team keeps feeding the ball to a runner who isn't anywhere near 100 percent.
Meanwhile, Felix Jones was much more effective, gaining 51 yards on 10 attempts. Tashard Choice for some reason received only two carries, which he transformed into 11 yards.
First, the officials were terrible in this contest. They screwed up on multiple pass interference calls on both sides, including an obvious infraction where Floyd was blatantly tackled by Dallas defensive backs. The refs "didn't see" it, which really cost the Chargers because Rivers tossed a pick on the next play.
And second, DeMarcus Ware suffered a scary injury in this game where he was down on the field for about five minutes. They took Ware off on a stretcher, but he was able to give the thumbs up to the crowd. Fortunately, Ware suffered just a strained neck, and Jerry Jones said the prognosis for his star rush linebacker is "excellent."
Eagles 45, Giants 38
These NFC East rivals combined for 886 net yards. The Giants actually out-gained the Eagles, 512-374, and won the time of possession by 10 minutes. However, it was DeSean Jackson's punt return for a score and Sheldon Brown's fumble-six that proved to be the difference for the Eagles.
For thoughts on 49ers-Cardinals, check out my updated 2009 NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.
2009 NFL Power Rankings
Fantasy Football Rankings - March 7
2014 NFL Mock Draft - March 5
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Super Bowl XLVI Live Blog - Feb. 6
2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
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2010 NFL Week 8 Review - Nov. 1
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2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
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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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NFL Week 5 Wrap-Up - Oct. 7
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NFL Week 13 Wrap-Up - Dec. 2
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NFL Week 18 Wrap-Up - Jan. 6
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2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
Super Bowl XLII Live Blog - Feb. 3
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