2010 NFL Week 12 Game Recaps
Patriots 45, Lions 24
But as the Lions have a habit of doing, they self-destructed in the fourth quarter, thanks to numerous penalties and a Shaun Hill interception.
Detroit does deserve credit though for making this an entertaining game for about 50 minutes despite the fact that mediocre Maurice Morris (9-55, 2 TDs) received six of the team's first seven touches. Hill went 27-of-46 for 285 yards, one touchdown and two picks. The score went to Calvin Johnson (4-81).
Saints 30, Cowboys 27
Bush didn't seem ready for live game action. On his first play, the football hit him right on the helmet on an attempted throw. Bush later dropped an easy pass on third down that would have set the Saints up on a first-and-goal. Afterward, Bush fumbled a punt return, setting up the Cowboys with a short field and a subsequent touchdown.
Williams, meanwhile, dropped a pass, but was ultimately responsible for the loss. He took a long completion deep into New Orleans territory, but fumbled the ball away. The Saints scored the winning touchdown on the next possession. One has to wonder why Williams continues to see so many snaps.
Jets 26, Bengals 10
Sanchez went 16-of-28 for 166 yards, one touchdown and an interception. However, the Bengals dropped two potential picks, one of which could have been returned for six. Sanchez nearly took a sack for a safety, and later would miss a wide-open Braylon Edwards for a 60-yard touchdown.
It's really difficult to explain this. Sanchez was so brilliant the past couple of weeks, particularly in the final stages of the Houston and Cleveland games. He looked like a crappy rookie against a Bengals skeleton-crew defense.
Falcons 20, Packers 17
On the first occasion, running back Dimitri Nance was stuffed in the red zone on a 3rd-and-1, forcing the Packers into a field goal. Later, Aaron Rodgers fumbled on the 1-yard line, negating a possible touchdown or chip-shot field goal. And in the fourth quarter, Green Bay failed on a 4th-and-1 on its own territory.
The Packers outgained Atlanta, 418-295. But the short-yardage screw-ups were the deciding factor.
Steelers 19, Bills 16
Did the Bills even play this game? From what I saw, the Steelers held a scrimmage against a local high school team.
Buffalo really embarrassed itself. Consider the following numbers in the first half: Four first downs, six rushing yards, 51 total yards and 6:02 time of possession (23:55 for the Steelers).
The Bills, however, came out as a completely different team in the second half. They completely clamped down on the Steelers, sacking Ben Roethlisberger five times. Ryan Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, finished very well (23-45, 265, 1 TD, 1 INT) after beginning just 4-of-11. He threw the game-winning touchdown to Steve Johnson in overtime, but the ball bounced right out of Johnson's hands.
Johnson really was responsible for this loss. Though he caught seven passes for 68 yards, he dropped five balls, including the would-be decisive score.
Browns 24, Panthers 23
Delhomme finished 24-of-35 for 245 yards and those two picks, so it's a good thing the Browns had Peyton Hillis at their disposal. Hillis was a freaking monster, rushing for 131 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. He also caught six balls for 63 more yards. The Panthers looked like helpless children trying to tackle him. Delhomme was undoubtedly reminded of his own kidnapped son while he watched his old teammates attempting to tackle the massive runner.
Later on, Clawesome led the Panthers all the way down to the Cleveland 24-yard line in just 59 seconds after starting from his own 5. Unfortunately, John Kasay doinked the ball off the left up-right on what would have been a game-winning 42-yard field goal.
As mentioned, however, there was some Clawful. He made some really poor throws (his interception was horrible), displayed shoddy pocket presence and should have thrown a couple of more picks. His receivers bailed him out with some great catches, but to be fair, his offensive line didn't give him much time.
Texans 20, Titans 0
Tennessee could not do a single thing on offense in this game. Smith was absolutely horrible, going 17-of-31 for 138 yards and three interceptions (all to Glover Quin) on some of the ugliest throws I've ever seen. The Titans had just two first downs and 54 total yards at halftime.
Chris Johnson finished with five yards on seven carries, while Randy Moss caught only three passes for 23 yards. Remember, it's not like Houston has a great defense that just clamped down on the Titans; this is what we're going to see out of Tennessee's offense until Kerry Collins comes back.
Giants 24, Jaguars 20
Things completely changed in the second half. Jacksonville had just 62 rushing yards after intermission, causing David Garrard to struggle. Garrard finished 20-of-35 for 162 yards, a rushing touchdown and a tipped interception. However, he could have easily thrown a couple more picks that were dropped by the Giants. He also fumbled thrice.
Vikings 17, Redskins 13
Toby Gerhart replaced Peterson, and gained 76 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. He must be added in all leagues.
Dolphins 33, Raiders 17
Miami outgained the Raiders, 473-263. They had way more first downs (24-11) and held the Raiders to just 16 rushing yards. Fourteen of Oakland's 17 points came on two big plays - an opening kickoff return for a touchdown and a 52-yard Bruce Gradkowski to Jacoby Ford score.
Of course, Gradkowski didn't have much of a chance because of an anemic ground attack. Darren McFadden shockingly had just two rushing yards on eight carries, though he chipped in as a pass-catcher out of the backfield (7 catches, 63 yards).
Chiefs 42, Seahawks 24
Kansas City outgained Seattle, 503-288, and won the time of possession, 41:03 to 18:57. The Seahawks weren't able to achieve a first down until 10 minutes into the second quarter. Matt Hasselbeck (20-37, 282 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) was completely helpless without Mike Williams; most of Hasselbeck's yardage came in junk time.
Hasselbeck forced poor passes all afternoon. It's hard to blame him though, seeing as how his top targets were John Carlson, Ben Obomanu, Brandon Stokley and Deon Butler.
Of course, Todd Haley had to pull his trademark douche-bag move, giving defensive lineman Shaun Smith a goal-line carry in the second quarter. Smith scored in a Refrigerator Perry-type fashion, screwing all Jones fantasy owners.
Ravens 17, Buccaneers 10
The Ravens led 17-3, outgained Tampa Bay by 120 yards and held Josh Freeman to 8-of-19 for 64 yards. As the teams went into the locker room, Raheem Morris ran with the officials and spent about five minutes arguing a bogus 24-yard pass interference penalty on Myron Lewis that led to a Ravens touchdown.
But Tampa Bay held Baltimore scoreless in the second half. Freeman (17-37, 162, TD) had his trademark backdoor touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Freeman could have thrown another score, but Michael Spurlock dropped an easy pass.
I don't think it's a coincidence that Flacco couldn't get anything going after left tackle Michael Oher suffered a game-ending injury. Oher limped off the field and was later diagnosed with a knee sprain. Flacco was consequently sacked four times (twice by Gerald McCoy).
The good news is that Oher tweeted that he'll be good to go next week.
Bears 31, Eagles 26
No, I don't. This win was impressive - major credit needs to be given to Chicago's defense for slowing down Philadelphia's offense - but I will never trust the combination of Jay Cutler, Mike Martz and their offensive line.
Cutler was masterful in this contest, going 14-of-21 for 247 yards and four touchdowns. But there's always a good chance that he'll relapse and have another horrendous performance one of these weeks. The offensive line still isn't very good, and the maniacal side of Mike Martz could always show up.
DeSean Jackson also screwed up, dropping two passes - one in the red zone, and one in the end zone.
I also have to criticize Andy Reid for game mismanagement in the fourth quarter. Down 18, Reid had a 4th-and-goal at the 4-yard line. Reid opted to kick a field goal to bring the deficit to within 15, which I don't have a big problem with. However, on the next drive, the Eagles had a 4th-and-goal at the 18. Reid called for another field goal despite the fact that there was 4:52 remaining in regulation.
Now, converting a 4th-and-goal from the 18 is pretty improbable, but what the hell was the point of that field goal? Whether the deficit is 15 or 12, the Eagles still needed two touchdowns. There simply wasn't enough time for a meaningless kick like that.
Rams 36, Broncos 33
This was a big step for Bradford, who was nearly flawless, going 22-of-37 for 308 yards and three touchdowns. Bradford's only bad play was breaking a FOX sound machine when he crashed into it while running out of bounds on a scramble.
Chargers 36, Colts 14
Peyton Manning, who once tossed six interceptions against the Chargers in a Sunday night game, went 31-of-48 for 285 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions (two pick-sixes) in what was his largest home loss in his career.
Manning had numerous things go against him - namely some drops by Reggie Wayne (5-42) and a blown non-call on what should have been a pass interference on one of his picks - but it still doesn't change the fact that he struggles against San Diego. Why is this? I may have the answer - and it'll blow your mind. Check back tomorrow in the NFL Power Rankings.
Rivers' performance is especially spectacular because Antonio Gates (4-46) was hobbling around and Vincent Jackson left the game early with a calf injury. As I tweeted (@walterfootball) during the game, "I really have to wonder if Vincent Jackson is faking his calf injury."
For thoughts on 49ers-Cardinals, check out my updated 2010 NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.
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