First let me say, I apologize to all of you guys this week for being late with the write-ups. With work and family, this past week has been very hectic for me and I will try my best to get my write-ups and picks to you A.S.A.P. You guys have been very responsive to the last few posts Ive written and I enjoy writing them. The least I can do is to get them in a decent amount of time so we can have some fun discussing the games. Secondly I wanna apologize to my friends, family, coaches and supporters for standing by me in such a difficult time. I have surrendered myself to the proper authorities for making false statements to federal authorities and will surrender my 5 gold…Oh, my bad, I had a Marion Jones moment. That video cracks me up every time I watch it. Lets talk football.
Location: LP Field, Nashville, TN
The Titans offense was still on their bye this week and it showed. The Titans had 5 turnovers against the Falcons and yet, the Titans still won. While the Titans offense was still on the bye, their defense was in the game mentally and physically. The Falcons were held to 198 total yards of offense. For most of the season, the Falcons problem has been running the ball. In last Sundays game, they also had problems throwing the ball as well. Joey Harrington was 16 for 31 with 87 yards passing and 1 interception. The score was 13-13 with 2:10 left in the 3rd quarter when Harrington threw an interception to Titans Safety Vincent Fuller on the Titans 32-yard line that was returned for a touchdown. That made the score 20-13.
After that interception, Falcons head coach, Bobby Petrino, replaced Harrington with back-up QB Byron Leftwich due to Harringtons poor play, hoping to spark his offense. Leftwich was as hopeless as a penny with a hole in it. Leftwich finished the game 2 for 8 with 28 passing yards and 1 interception and no spark. Titans RB Chris Brown had 10 carries for 28 yards and 1 touchdown. Once again, none of the Falcons RBs tallied 100 yards of rushing. Warrick Dunn finished the day with 10 carries for 27 yards and no touchdowns.
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
You would think Larry Johnson would have had a big game against one of the weakest rushing defenses in the league. Think again. Johnson finished the day with 12 carries for 26 yards and no touchdowns. The Jags held the Chiefs to 10 total yards of rushing. Thats terrible. Not only did the Jags stop L.J., they also knocked the snot out of Chiefs QB Damon Huard in the 4th quarter. A pass intended for WR Jeff Webb was intercepted by Jags Saftey Reggie Nelson. Huard injured his shoulder on that play. He left the game with 8:21 on the clock with his team down 17-0. Huard finished the day 19 for 30 with 196 passing yards, 1 interception and no touchdowns.
The game was all but done, according to the score, when the Chiefs 2nd string QB, Brodie Croyle entered for the injured Huard. With 1:40 left in the game, Crolye started a drive from the Chiefs 30-yard line and drove his team to a touchdown on the Jags 13-yard line. Croyle hit WR Sammy Parker with a 13-yard strike to make the score 17-7 with 0:03 left in the game. Good for them. The Chiefs scored a touchdown at the end of the game. Really? Wow. Croyle was 6 for 13 with 83 passing yards and 1 touchdown.
Location: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
When it rains, it pours and right now its a tsunami for Cards QB Matt Leinart. First, your head coach decided he wants to use a two quarterback system and have you split time with the resurging veteran QB, Kurt Warner. Now, you get sacked in the middle of the 2nd quarter in last Sundays game by Rams LB Will Witherspoon and break your collarbone. How much does your life stink right about now? Oh, by the way, youre a baby daddy.
With QB Marc Bulger and RB Stephen Jackson out with injuries, it was time for the back-ups and rookies to step up for the Rams. Veteran QB Gus Frerotte and rookie RB Brian Leonard did just that. Frerotte finished the game 24 for 43 with 262 passing yards, 3 TDs and 3 INTs. Lenonard had 18 carries for 102 yards and no touchdowns. Not bad for his first start.
For three quarters, the Rams held tight with the Cards. It was a back and forth showdown though a series of touchdowns and field goals in the previous 3 quarters that made the score 20-20 going into the 4th quarter. Gut check time and the battle had just begun.
With 1st and 10 on the Cards 37 yard line, Frerotte threw an interception to Cards CB Roderick Hood that was returned for 68 yards and the touchdown. That made the score 27-20, Cards take the lead. With 8:48 left on the clock, Rams kicker, Jeff Wilkens, hit a 31-yard field goal to make the score 27-23. Kurt Warner answered back with a 1-yard touchdown run to extend the Cards lead to 34-23 with 3:14 left to play. With 0:20 left on the clock, Frerotte hit TE Randy McMichael with a 29 yard touchdown pass to bring the Rams within 34-29. The Rams went for the 2-point conversion and mad it with a pass from Frerotte to Torry Holt to make the score 34-31. Jeff Wilkens went for the onsides kick and the Cards recovered, ending the game.
Warner was 14 for 28 with 190 yards passing, 1 touch down and 1 interception. Cards WR Larry Fitzgerald led all receivers with 9 catches for 136 yards and 1 touchdown. Despite the loss, Frerotte got big contributions from Rams WR TorryBig GameHolt and McMichael. Holt finished the day with 5 catches for 89 yards and 1 touchdown while McMichael had 3 catches for 45 yards and 1 touchdown.
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Im going to be honest with you guys. Right now, I dont what else to say about the Pats except that they are good. Thats it. I can run down all of the stats and the numbers and it wouldnt matter. As boring as Bill Belichick may be, he wins. Thats all that matters.
The Browns did score some points; a 42-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter by Phil Dawson got the Browns within 17 of the Pats. Whoopee. Browns QB Derek Anderson hit WR Tim Carter with a 21-yard pass to get within 10 to make the score 20-10 with 14:26 left to play in the game. Then Tom Brady had enough with the Browns shenanigans and on the next drive hit TE Ben Watson with a 25-yard pass to make the score 27-10. With that pass, Brady tied HOFer Steve Young as the only 2 QBs to have 5 consecutive games with 3 TD passes or more. Put Brady in the Hall right now.
The score was 17-27 with 0:52 left to play when Kellen Winslow, Jr. a.k.a. Evel Knievel, fumbled a 15-yard pass that was recovered by the Pats CB Randall Gay for a touchdown which pretty much drove the nail in the coffin for the Browns. Brady finished the day 22 for 38 with 265 passing yards and 3 TDs. Randy Moss finished the day with 3 catches for 46 yards and no touchdowns. This is the first game this year when Moss had under 100-yards receiving and no touchdowns. That didnt matter as Ben Watson and WR Donté Stallworth made up for Moss absence. Watson had 6 catches for 107 yards and 2 TDs while Stallworth had 4 catches for 65 yards and 1 touchdown in the win.
Location: Superdome, New Orleans, LA
The Saints are a mess. The offense looks totally discombobulated and the defense is playing well below their potential. Here is a team in a weak NFC South division, with the players and intelligence to take over the division, yet, they havent found a way to make it click this season. With RB Deuce McAllister out for the season, its now time for Reggie Bush to step up. That was put on hold last Sunday when the Saints met the Panthers.
Jake Delhomme sat out last Sunday with an injury and White Gloves got the start again. David Carr was 10 for 17 with 119 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. What was really impressive was the fact that Carr was drilled by Saints DE Will Smith in the 1st quarter, sat out of the game for a couple of series, came back into the game, and led the Panthers down the field to the Saints 35 yard line in the 4th quarters with 2:14 left to play. The drive helped set up a John Kasey 52-yard field goal that won the game for the Panthers as time expired on the clock. Saints QB Drew Brees has been awful as of late. Brees finished the game 29 for 47 with 252 yards and 2 INTs. Bush had 27 carries for 67 yards and no touchdowns.
Location: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
What happens when you bench a player for the first half of a game for violating team rules? You get 2 INTs from that player and the win. Thats what happened in Giants Stadium last Sunday with the G-men and the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets. Jets met. A home game for both teams, Giants rookie CB, Aaron Ross, tallied 2 of the 3 turnovers the Jets made in last Sundays Hudson River Shootout. Im beginning to hear the cries for Jets back-up QB, Kellen Clemens getting a little louder. Chad Pennington is struggling really badly and it doesnt look like its going to get any better. Pennington finished the day 21 for 36 with 229 passing yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Despite his performance, it was still a good game.
The Jets took a17-7 led into half time when the returning Brandon Jacobs had a 19-yard run for a touchdown that changed the score 17-14. The Jets answered back on the ensuing kick-off when Leon Washington ran back a 98-yard return for a touchdown to make the score 24-14. With 0:42 left in the 3rd quarter, Eli Manning hit TE Jeremy Shockey with a 19-yard touchdown pass to get the Giants within 3 point with the score 24-21. With 8:07 to play in the 4th quarter, Manning found Plaxico Burress for a 53-yard bomb for the touchdown and the lead with the score 27-21. The icing on the cake for the Giants was a 43-yard interception by Ross with 3:28 left in the game to extend the lead 35-24 which was the final.
Manning was 13 for 25 with 186 passing yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. Brandon Jacobs finished the day with 20 carries for 100 yards and 1 touchdown. Burress had 5 catches for 124 yards and Shockey had 2 catches for 33 yards. The Giants defense was on top of their game once again by holding the Jets to 55 total yards of rushing. If the G-men keep up with their defensive ways, we may have to start calling them the D-men.
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
What do these 2 teams have in common? Both teams embarrassed the Niners in the previous 2 weeks. The Steelers squashed the Niners in Week 3, and the Seahawks beat the Niners in Week 4. Thats about it. In a Super Bowl XL rematch, the Steelers showed football fans why they beat the Seahawk the first time. Good ball management and defense thats ranked #1 in the league would give any team a chance to win. The Steelers total time of possession was 40:45. Compare that to the Seahawks time of possession, 19:15, and you can see why the score was 21-0.
Ben Roethlisberger was 18 for 22 with 206 yards and 1 touchdown. That touchdown came in the 2nd quarter at the 2:00 mark when he hit TE Heath Miller with a 13-yard pass to make the score 7-0 going into the half. 6-year veteran, Najeh Davenport, was the short yard specialist in this game. He ran in 2 TDs, one for a yard and the other for 5 yards that helped the Steelers win the game and improve their record to 4-1. Steelers RB Willie Parker had 28 carried for 102 yards and no touchdowns. The key to they Steelers win was their relentless defense. The Steelers allowed 38 rushing yards and 106 passing yards. Thats why they are the #1 ranked defense in the league.
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
If you read my picks from last week, I said the Redskins would win because they would stop Jon Kitna from throwing the ball all over the place to those good Lions WRs. What I didnt know was that the Skins would put 34 points on Lions and hold them to a field goal. Make a statement, why dont you? That was what the Skins defense did as they held the Lions to 144 total yards of offense. Skins QB Jason Campbell was 23 for 29 with 248 yards and 2 TDs. This young man is progressing to be one of the top guns in this league. His game play this year has shown how much he has matured in his position of quarterback for the Skins. Mike Sellers had 5 carries for 24 yards and 1 touchdown. He also had 3 catches for 36 yards and 1 touchdown. One of his touchdowns came at the 2:00 mark in the 2nd quarter when he ran in a 1 yard touchdown to extend the Skins led 14-0.
The Lions got on the board in the 3rd quarters when Jason Hanson kicked a 39-yard to make the score 14-3. The Skins came back a got a safety on Lions QB Jon Kitna with 1:10 on the clock to extend their lead 16-3. An 8-yard pass from Campbell to Sellers plus a 2-point conversion from Campbell to TE Chris Cooley made the score 24-3. A Shaun Suisham 28-yard field goal gave the Skins a 27-3 led and with 0:57 left on the clock, Kitna was intercepted by the Skins CB Carlos Rogers who returned the interception 61 yards for the touchdown to give the Redskins a 34-3 win. Kitna finished the day 16 for 29 with 106 passing yards, no touchdowns, and 2INTs.
Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
What do Louisvilles Brian Brohm, Kentuckys Andre Woodson, and Boston Colleges Matt Ryan have in common? One of these three college QBs will be the Phins #1 pick in the NFL Draft this year. They have to be. You cant make the same mistake twice. Well you can, but Dolphins head coach, Cam Cameron, would have to be out of his mind if he doesnt take a QB this year. They may even be the #1 pick overall if the Phins keep playing the way they have been playing. The Phins had a chance to win this game, but as fate would have it, it was déjà vu all over again.
With 3:54 left in the 1st quarter, Phins QB Trent Green, fumbled the ball on the Texans 30-yard line. Phins WR Ted Ginn, Jr. recovered the ball and in a scramble to save the play. Green tried to block Texans DT Travis Johnson at his knees and in the process of the block; Green was kneed in the head by Johnson, sustained a concussion and was carried off on a stretcher. The play was an eerie reminder of the hit Green took last year, which ended his season. When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, and that was what the Phins did. 4-year veteran and Phins back-up QB, Cleo Lemon, steeped in for the injured Green. Lemon was 15 for 27 with 151 yards and 1 interception.
The game was a kickers duel. The Phins kicker, Jay Freely, and Texans kicker, Kris Brown, combined for 9 field goals. The score was 19-19 with 0:06 left in the game when Brown kicked the game winning field goal to win the game at 22-19. Brown set a single game record by making 3 field goals over 50 yards. Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown ran for 114 yards on 23 carries and scored 1 touchdown. The Texans QB, Matt Schuab, was 20 for 34 with 294 yards and 1 interception.
Location: RCA Dome, Indianapolis, IN
Colts head coach Tony Dungy believes that when you have a guy who is inured on the team, you just go to the next guy on the depth chart. Well the Colts depth chart is very deep. WR Marvin Harrison, LB Rob Morris, who is out for the year, Safety Bob Sanders, and RB Joseph Addai out for last Sundays game, Peyton Manning had plenty of options to got to with the likes of rookie RB Kenton Keith, WR Reggie Wayne, TE Dallas Clark and rookie WR Anthony Gonzalez. Manning was 29 for 37 with 253 passing yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Wayne, Clark, and Gonzalez each had 7 catches. Both Wayne and Clark scored a touchdown. Keith had 28 carries for 121 yards and 2 TDs.
Indy was on top of their game on both offense and defense. The Colts defense held the Bucs to 17 total rushing yards while the Colts offense had a total of 400 total yards of offense. Thats really good. By the start of the 4th quarter, the Colts had a 23-7 lead when Manning hit Reggie Wayne for 9 yards and the score. The game was way out of hand when Bucs QB, Jeff Garcia, found TE Alex Smith for a 3 yard pass for a touchdown to make the score 30-14. With 2:57 left to mplay, Colts kicker, Adam Viniterihit a 35-yard field goal to seal the deal for the defending champs with the score 33-14. Jeff Garcia finished the day 18 for 23 with143 yards and 2 TDs.
Location: Invesco Field, Denver, CO
The Chargers did it. They finally listened to the people, ran the ball and won the game. Chargers RB MichaelBuner Turner had 10 carries for 147 yards and 1 touchdown. The reason I brought this up is due to the fact that if you can run the ball, it opens up the passing game. The numbers never lie. Philip Rivers was 13 for 18 for 270 yards and 2 TDs. TE Antonio Gates had 7 catches for 113 yards and 1 touchdown while WR Vincent Jackson had 3 catches for 84 yards and 1 touchdown. What also helped the Chargers get their 2nd win of the season was their defense.
The Chargers held the Broncos to 72 total yards of rushing. Broncos RB Travis Henry had 16 carries for 65 yards and no touchdowns. The game was over by the end of the 1st half when Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding hit a 45-yard field goal to make the score 20-3. After the 1st half, River threw 2 TD passes and Turner ran 74 yards for a touchdown. Broncos QB Jay Cutler was 23 for 36 with 232 yards and 1 interception.
Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, CA
The Niners stunk up the joint last week in their 23-3 loss to the Seahawks. The Ravens lost a heartbreaker last week to the Cards. Both teams came into last Sundays game hoping to turn their fortunes around. The Niners have one of the worst run defenses in the league and the Ravens are still the Ravens. That means their defense is always on point.
The Niners hung with the Ravens going into the 2nd half when the ravens were up 6-0. The score was 9-0 when Niners QB Trent Dilfer found WR Arnaz Battle for a 23-yard touchdown pass to get within 2 points of the Ravens with the score 9-7. With 2:44 left in the game, Niners kicker Joe Nedney
missed a 52-yard field goal that would have given the Niners the lead and the win. The Ravens defense held the Niners to 163 total yards of offense. The Niners were held to 49 total rushing yards. Dilfer finished the day 12 for 19 with 126 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Niners RB Frank Gore, whos been really off this year, had 16 carries for 52 yards and no touchdowns. The often-injured Steve McNair was 29 for 43 with 214 yards and no touchdowns.
Sunday Night Game:
Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
The Bears defense made their presence known last Sunday night against their divisional rivals the Packers. Brett Farve and the Packers were riding high on a 4 game win streak and were looking to go 5-0 against an offense weary Chicago Bears team. The Packers had a 17-7 lead going onto the 3rd quarter when Bears kicker, Robbie Gould, hit a 44-yard field goal to get the Bears within 7 points with the score 10-17. Packers kicker, Matt Crosby, hit a 37-yard field goal to extend the Packers lead 20-10 with 9:06 left to play in the 3rd quarter.
With 4:24 left to play in the 3rd, Brian Griese found TE Greg Olson for 19 yards for a touchdown. That put the Bears within 3 points of the Packers with the score 20-17. Gould hit a 36-yard field goal to tie the game 20-20 with 14:18 on the clock in the 4th quarter. With 2:11 left in the game, Griese hit TE Desmond Clark with a 34-yard touchdown to give the Bears a 27-20 lead.
With 1:58 left in the game, Farve lead a charge starting at the Packers 37-yard line. Farve drove the Packers to the Bears 32-yard line when he threw a bomb to the end zone that was intended for WR Donald Driver that was picked off by Bears Safety Brandon McGowan for a touchback and the win. Griese finished the day 15 for 25 with 214 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. Cedric Benson had 27 carries for 64 yards and 1 touchdown. Farve finished the day 29 for 40 for 322 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 INTs in the loss.
Monday Night Game:
Location: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Cowboy fans wonder why the teams owner, Jerry Jones, hasnt given starting QB Tony Romo a contract extension. Maybe the 6 turnovers in last Mondays game might be a clue. And like the Titans, they Boys still won. Yet again, go figure. Romo finished the night 29 for 50 with 309 yards, 2 TDs, 5 INTs and a fumble. Throughout all of that, Romo led the Cowboys to two of the best game winning drives this season.
With 3:45 left in the game, Romo started the drive at the Cowboys 20-yard line. The score was 16-24 in the Bills favor when, working out of the shotgun formation, Romo led the Cowboys to the Bills 4 yard line. With 1st and 4, Romo hit WR Patick Crayton with a pass in the end zone to put the Cowboys within 2 to the Bills with the score 22-24. On the ensuing kick-off, the Cowboys recovered the onside kick on the on the Bills 47 yard line. With 0:18 left on the clock, the Cowboys got to the Bills 35-yard line.
With 0:02 left in the game, Cowboys kicker, Nick Folk hit a 53-yard field goal to win the game. Then the fun begins. Right before he kicked the ball, Bills head coach, Dick Jauron, called a time-out trying to freeze the kicker. The move worked twice this year, once for Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan and Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin and it gave both of their teams the win. The original kick was called off and on the 2nd try, the Cowboys made it again. Aha, take that Dick!! As they say, the Cowboys rode off into the sunset with the victory. The Cowboys also held the Bills to 81 rushing yards and 148 passing yards. Jason Witten had 9 catches for 103 yards and 1 touchdown while Crayton had 6 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. This was a big win and an even bigger confidence builder for the Cowboys going into their Week 6 match-up with the 5-0 New England Patriots.