2009 NFL Week 15 Game Recaps
Colts 35, Jaguars 31
Unfortunately for Jacksonville, the team lost and Del Rio looked completely defeated during his post-game press conference. I don't know how the Jags will bounce back from this.
The Colts amazingly had just two possessions in the first half. This contest was eerily similar to the Indianapolis-Miami Monday night tilt back in Week 2. The Jaguars won the time-of-possession battle by nearly 11 minutes, yet Manning still found a way to triumph in the end, as he always does.
Cowboys 24, Saints 17
Yeah, OK. Last year, coincidentally in Week 15, the Cowboys triumphed in a game they weren't expected to win. They beat New York, 20-8, dominating both sides of the line of scrimmage, as Tony Romo was 20-of-30 for 244 yards and two touchdowns.
Back then, everyone said the Cowboys had finally gotten over the hump. Even I was fooled. Dallas went on to lose their last two games by a combined score of 77-30.
We all have a short memory. Anyone who thinks that the Cowboys have gotten over their annual December swoon is mistaken, or at least very premature in that judgment. I still say Dallas loses to Washington and Philadelphia to close out the year. Call me a hater or whatever, but I'm just calling it like I see it.
- They had just one third-down conversion the entire game. They were 1-of-7 on third downs (compared to Dallas' 8-of-15).
- They ran the ball just 11 times. The team's leading rusher was Reggie Bush, whose only carry went for 29 yards.
- The first catch by a New Orleans wideout came at the 9:43 mark of the second quarter.
- The Cowboys won the time-of-possession battle by 13 minutes.
Patriots 17, Bills 10
I love how the media overreacts to this stuff. There was never denying Moss' talent. He's still one of the best receivers in the game. But last week's effort was still really disgusting. He jogged down the field on routes. He short-armed some potential catches. He fumbled away his only reception. There's absolutely no doubt that Moss dogged last week's game. He "rebounded" by trying hard here. Whoop dee freaking doo.
Nine of Brady's completions went to Moss and Wes Welker. Welker uncharacteristically had just four receptions for 40 yards. Brady forcing the ball into Moss really screwed Welker's fantasy owners.
Speaking of Reed, he led the team in receptions (4) and receiving yards (63). Terrell Owens caught just two balls for 20 yards, so you can probably guess that he was upset afterward.
Cardinals 31, Lions 24
Well, give major credit to Detroit for not giving up. It all started when Louis Delmas picked Kurt Warner off in the end zone and took it 100 yards to the house. On the next offensive drive, Maurice Morris scored on a 64-yard run. Later on, Cardinals defensive lineman Bryan Robinson helped the Lions score again with back-to-back 15-yard personal fouls as he appeared to shower expletives at the official.
The Lions eventually lost, but given the fact that they played half this game with their third-string quarterback, I'd say they did a pretty good job.
Texans 16, Rams 13
"houston paid big money not to win by 14,,,NFL MADE BIG MONRY FROM VEGAS"
This guy may have issues differentiating commas from periods, but he has a point. The Texans should have never been favored by 14 on the road. I know I picked them to cover, but it was for only half of a unit. Once I saw that this spread swelled from -9.5 to -14, I didn't like Houston anymore, but I didn't want to change my selection on Sunday morning for everyone who used my pick in their pool.
Titans 27, Dolphins 24
Chad Henne was 29-of-46 for 349 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw three picks, all of which were costly. Henne's first two interceptions were deep in Tennessee territory. One of them was one of the dumbest decisions I've ever seen; Henne was being dragged down and just launched it without even looking. The third pick was the game-clinching duck in overtime.
Ricky Williams was also to blame; though he ran for 80 yards and a touchdown on just 19 carries, he had a fumble just outside the red zone. Williams also had a big drop.
Ted Ginn also screwed up with a muffed punt. Of course, he was a non-factor on offense. Instead, Brian Hartline led the team with 96 yards on two receptions. Davone Bess (4-58) and Greg Camarillo (5-46) didn't offer nearly as much as an impact as they have in recent games.
Browns 41, Chiefs 34
- Joshua Cribbs took two kickoff returns to the house. His first, the seventh of his career, set the NFL record for most kickoff touchdowns.
- A bizarre play: The Browns were punting. As the personal protector was pointing out all of the protections, the long-snapper released the ball early. The ball deflected off the protector and into the end zone. Instead of kicking the ball out of the end zone for a safety, punter Reggie Hodges ran circled around it. The Chiefs fell on it for six points.
- Jamaal Charles scored on an impressive 47-yard run. Charles rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. He also caught two balls for 16 more yards.
- Jerome Harrison - not Chris Jennings - broke free for rushing scores of 71 and 28. Harrison somehow came within 11 yards of breaking Adrian Peterson's single-game rushing record, gaining 286 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries.
By the way, so much for Jennings being a solid fantasy start. He had just seven attempts in this contest. Harrison started and had a huge game, angering fantasy owners everywhere. It's hard to argue with the results, but it just goes to show that you can never trust the Mangina with anything.
For more detail, forum member JoeyPotter:
Quinn throws the ball into double coverage and gets it intercepted. When he throws the ball long he doesn't look where he is throwing the ball. Quinn actually turns his head as he throws and ends up looking at the ground by the time he lets it go. Does the QB Coach not see this? That is why he is so atrocious with his downfield accuracy; he doesn't look where he's throwing.
Falcons 10, Jets 7
Mark Sanchez may need a new color-coding device because it's clearly broken. He tossed three horrible interceptions, one of which gave Atlanta a score. Sanchez finished 18-of-32 for 226 yards, one touchdown and those three picks. He made some impressive third-down conversions and a great deep throw to Braylon Edwards, but his mistakes really helped the Falcons win this one.
More prominently, the Jets screwed up three field goal attempts. The first, a 19-yard try, was a botched hold by Kellen Clemens. The second was a missed 38-yard kick. The third was blocked from 37.
There's really no reason Turner or Matt Ryan should have played; with the Falcons eliminated from the playoffs after Dallas' Saturday night win, both players should have sat out to heal their injuries. Instead, Smith irresponsibly went with his two starters despite the fact that they clearly weren't 100 percent. This, in my opinion, is a fireable offense. I like what Smith has done in Atlanta thus far, but his decision lacked any sort of intelligence, logic or common sense.
Ryan, by the way, was just 16-of-34 for 152 yards and a score. He suffered some uncharacteristic dropped balls by Tony Gonzalez (3-32, TD). However, Ryan made the mistake of trying to force it to Roddy White often, which wasn't a good plan. White had just four grabs for 33 yards and was guilty of an offensive pass interference penalty.
Raiders 20, Broncos 19
Denver went in front and led 19-13 in the third quarter when Charlie Frye left the game with an injury. I laughed as JaMarcus Russell put down his Skittles packet and donned his helmet. My survivor pick was safe. Or so I thought.
Captain Skittles to the rescue!
JaMarcus Russell did some stupid stuff when he entered the game. He took a sack and fumbled the ball. He even left for a play in which J.P. Losman looked completely helpless. But Russell came back and hit some clutch throws on the final drive, leading the Raiders to an improbable touchdown and victory.
Survivor pick debacled. Well, it was a nice run. If it takes Captain Skittles to beat me, so be it.
Chargers 27, Bengals 24
There's no way the Bengals could have been mentally prepared for this game. At times, they seemed really disoriented. On one drive, they had three consecutive false starts, followed by a wasted timeout.
They eventually fell down by 11, but they showed a ton of heart and made a great comeback. Unfortunately, the Chargers put together a 46-yard drive - with the help of a missed procedure penalty by the officials - to set up Nate Kaeding's game-winning 52-yard field goal.
Eagles 27, 49ers 13
The big thing for San Francisco, however, was the turnovers. Alex Smith (20-37, 177 yards, TD) launched three interceptions in Eagles territory. Delanie Walker, meanwhile, fumbled in the red zone when the score was just 7-3. The Eagles took over and went 94 yards for a touchdown, giving them a sizable lead that they would never relinquish.
Two of McNabb's big gainers (39, 59) went to DeSean Jackson, who finished with six receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown. The other was to Brent Celek (43), who notched four catches for 73 yards.
Reggie Brown was. Brown hurled his tape at Weaver to get his attention. He then ran over to his fullback to pull him away. The Eagles stopped the clock, but didn't have enough time for an end-zone shot. They settled for a David Akers 26-yard field goal.
Ravens 31, Bears 7
Steelers 37, Packers 36
Let's begin with the fireworks. Aaron Rodgers was 26-of-48 for 383 yards and four touchdowns (3 pass, 1 rush), but that pales in comparison to what Ben Roethlisberger accomplished. Just 10 days after struggling versus the Browns, Big Ben went 29-of-46 for 503 yards and three scores. His 503 yards were the 10th-highest single-game total in NFL history.
These two teams combined for an amazing 973 total yards. But here's the amazing thing: There were still 10 punts and 17 penalties in this game! If I didn't know any better, I'd say the Steelers and Packers played five quarters. This contest was the last one to end, so I think that's a possibility.
As for the three big names, both Ward and Miller made seven grabs for 126 and 118 yards, respectively. Ward's numbers were shocking, considering he was hobbled with a hamstring injury and appeared to be limping around the field at times. Holmes, meanwhile, made three receptions for 77 yards.
Well, I'm not going to disagree with that, but an onside kick has what, a 20-percent chance of working? Did Tomlin actually think that there was less than a 20-percent chance that his defense could contain Rodgers? If so, will he try an onside kick every single time he plays a good offense? If so, I'd like to see that game.
Buccaneers 24, Seahawks 7
What happened to the Seahawks? Even if they aren't good, they should still be able to beat a terrible team at Qwest Field. Mora has completely ruined this organization and needs to go. Perhaps then he can pursue his dream to coach middle-school football in the state of Washington.
I'd advise Mora to use Forsett over Jones, but the man clearly doesn't understand talent. In fact, I don't think he understands anything at this point. Good riddance, I say.
Panthers 26, Vikings 7
- This contest marked the first time a running back has tallied 100 or more yards against the Vikings since Ryan Grant in November 2007. And it wasn't DeAngelo Williams; Williams left the game early after six carries for 13 yards. Jonathan Stewart came in and mustered 109 yards and a touchdown on 25 attempts. The Vikings haven't been able to stop the rush ever since middle linebacker E.J. Henderson suffered a season-ending injury two weeks ago.
- Matt Moore struggled early, but managed to go 21-of-33 for 299 yards and three touchdowns, hitting numerous big throws to Steve Smith (9 catches, 157 yards, TD). Moore really heated up in the fourth quarter. With the Vikings placing more of a focus on containing Stewart, Moore was able to finish an amazing 6-of-7 for 171 yards on his final three drives.
- Brett Favre just had his third straight pedestrian performance. He was absolutely terrible at Arizona and was fortunate enough that the Bengals dropped multiple interceptions last week. Favre was 17-of-27 for 224 yards and an interception at Carolina. That doesn't seem that bad, and Favre made quite a few nice plays, but overall, he's not even close to the guy we saw dominate in November.
- Perhaps the most confusing aspect of this game was Minnesota's inability to establish the run against a defense that had allowed five consecutive opponents to rush for 139 yards or more. Adrian Peterson compiled just 35 yards and a tough touchdown on 12 carries. He saved his fantasy owners with three receptions for 73 more yards (including a very impressive 63-yard run of the catch), but this is the second time in three weeks that the Vikings haven't been able to get Peterson going.
- Also for the second time in three weeks, Minnesota struggled to protect Favre. After taking three sacks at Arizona, Favre went down four times at Carolina. Favre was getting hit so much that Brad Childress tried to pull him from the game. However, Favre refused to come out.
Moore is the guy Jake Delhomme was supposed to be - a steady, mistake-free quarterback who can make just enough throws to give the defense and running game a chance to win. Barring a massive meltdown the next two weeks, Moore needs to be the starter next year; not Delhomme.
For thoughts on Giants-Redskins, check out my updated 2009 NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.
2009 NFL Power Rankings
2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 16
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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
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
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NFL Week 5 Wrap-Up - Oct. 7
NFL Week 6 Wrap-Up - Oct. 14
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NFL Week 17 Wrap-Up - Dec. 30
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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