Monday, November 27, 2006

NFL Roundup: Week 12

Some observations, comments and opinions about last weeks NFL games.

Baltimore 27, Pittsburgh 0
The Ravens yielded only 36 yards in the decisive first half Sunday and coasted to their fifth straight victory that left the Steelers (4-7) with only a mathematical chance of reaching the playoffs. Baltimore (9-2) recorded nine sacks and forced Ben Roethlisberger to throw two interceptions. It was Pittsburgh's most lopsided defeat since a 37-7 loss to Dallas in the 1997 opener.

Buffalo 27, Jacksonville 24
Bills quarterback J.P. Losman connected with Roscoe Parrish for a 30-yard completion to set up Rian Lindell's 42-yard field goal as time ran out to give Buffalo the victory. The Bills (5-6), who never trailed, scored 28 seconds after the Jaguars tied the score when David Garrard connected with Matt Jones for a three-yard touchdown. Jacksonville fell to 6-5.

Cincinnati 30, Cleveland 0
Picking off Cleveland quarterback Charlie Frye four times, Cincinnati got its first shutout since 1989 and Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes as the Bengals embarrassed the Browns at Cleveland. Palmer completed 25 of 32 passes for 275 yards and connected with Chris Henry for two touchdown passes as the Bengals (6-5) stayed in the AFC playoff race by beating Cleveland (3-8) for the fifth consecutive time.

New York Jets 26, Houston 11
Chad Pennington threw for 286 yards and a TD to lead the Jets (6-5) to the win on Sunday. Laveranues Coles caught nine passes for 111 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and Jerricho Cotchery had seven catches for 110 yards. Houston, who rushed for only 25 yards, fell to 3-8 on the season.

New Orleans 31, Atlanta 13
Drew Brees completed 21 of 30 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns — his fifth straight game eclipsing 300 yards - to lead the Saints (7-4) over the struggling Falcons (5-6), who have lost four straight. Not even 166 yards rushing by Michael Vick could bail out Atlanta, who dropped at least five passes. As he walked off the field, getting booed, Vick made an obscene gesture.

Minnesota 31, Arizona 26
Brad Johnson threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns, Chester Taylor rushed for 136 yards and a score and the Vikings (5-6) ended a four-game losing streak with a victory over the Cardinals (2-9) in Arizona Coach Dennis Green's return to Minneapolis. Cardinals rookie Matt Leinart threw for a career-high 405 yards and two interceptions, but managed only one touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald had 11 catches for 172 yards and Boldin had nine catches for 140 yards for the Cardinals.

St. Louis 20, San Francisco 17
The Rams (5-6) broke another team's heart for a change on Marc Bulger's five-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Curtis with 27 seconds to go for a victory over the 49ers (5-6) at St. Louis to end a five-game losing streak. Twice during the skid they lost in the final minute. San Francisco, which had a three-game winning streak ended, lost Frank Gore to an ankle injury in the fourth after he had gained 134 yards in 21 carries.

Washington 17, Carolina 13
Jason Campbell hit Chris Cooley for a 66-yard touchdown strike with 4:26 left in the game to lift the Redskins over the Panthers. The victory broke a two-game losing streak for Washington (4-7) and gave Campbell his first win in his second start. Campbell had only 52 yards passing when he hit Cooley on a third and eight. Carolina fell to 6-5.

San Diego 21, Oakland 14
LaDainian Tomlinson can beat you running the ball, catching the ball and yes, even throwing the ball. Tomlinson rushed for two touchdowns and broke out a favorite San Diego trick by throwing for another to give the Chargers (9-2) the victory over the Raiders(2-9) and their fifth straight win.

Tennessee 24, New York Giants 21
Rob Bironas kicked a 49-yard field goal with six seconds to play at Nashville to cap a rally in which rookie quarterback Vince Young ran for a touchdown and passed for two in the last 9 minutes 35 seconds to overcome a 21-point deficit. Young finished with a season-high 249 yards passing as the Titans improved to 4-7 on the season. The Giants (6-5) lost their third game in a row and fell a game behind the Dallas Cowboys (7-4) in the NFC East.

New England 17, Chicago 13
Tom Brady hit Ben Watson with a three-yard touchdown pass with 8:22 to go to give the Patriots (8-3), who persevered despite five turnovers against the Bears (9-2), who had allowed the fewest points in the NFL going into the game with 120. New England was the second stingiest with 131. Chicago played just as bad during the mistake filled game with four turnovers of their own.

Indianapolis 45, Philadelphia 21
Joseph Addai tied a franchise record with four touchdowns to lead the Colts (10-1) to the victory over the Eagles (5-6) on Sunday night. Addai finished with 171 yards and tied an NFL rookie record for rushing scores with a late four-yard run. He also broke a franchise record for points scored by a rookie in a game — the previous high was 18. Addai joined Lenny Moore, Lydell Mitchell and Eric Dickerson as the only Colts with four touchdowns in a game. Peyton Manning finished 14 for 20 for 183 yards with one interception, and reached 3,000 completions in his 139th game, the fastest in NFL history. Philadelphia has now lost five of its last six games.

This is fast becoming a very dismal season for fans of the NFC. The conference is teetering on the edge of mediocrity with only three teams - Chicago, Dallas and New Orleans - more than two games above .500. Seattle has a chance to join them if it beats Green Bay. The NFC has six teams over the .500 mark

Compare that to the AFC that has six teams more than two games above .500 - New England, Baltimore, Indianapolis, San Diego, Kansas City and Denver. The AFC also has nine teams over .500.

The Bears are the only 9-2 team in the NFC, the Cowboys and Saints are 7-4. The Colts (10-1), Ravens (9-2), Chargers (9-2) are equal or better in record than Chicago, who just lost to the 8-3 Patriots. Even more convincing, the AFC owns a 32-20 record over the NFC in head-to-head play. Dallas (3-1) and Carolina (2-1) are the only NFC clubs that hold a winning record over the AFC this season.

The AFC is clearly the better conference this year and the favorites to hold on to the Lombardi Trophy for the fourth year in a row and the sixth time in seven years. Sad but true for NFC fans.

The Seattle Seahawks hope to have Matt Hasselbeck back for the Monday night game with Green Bay (4-6). Favre is banged up but will play, as always. The Seahawks (6-4) have a chance to take a two-game lead over the Rams and 49ers in the NFC West with a victory.

Shawn Alexander will make his second start back from a broken foot that kept him out for most of the season.

Check out the most complete guide to coaching youth football ever created!

Do you love football? Then tune it to the Football Fanatics Show!

No comments: