Monday, November 06, 2006

NFL Roundup: Week 9

Some observations, comments and opinions about Sunday's NFL games.

Indianapolis 27, New England 20
Peyton Manning threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns and the Colts defense picked off Tom Brady three times to remain unbeaten at 8-0. Indy is now the only undefeated team left in the NFL. The Colts became the only team to start consecutive seasons at 8-0 since the Green Bay Packers did it three straight years from 1929-31. The Patriots fell to 6-2.

Denver 31, Pittsburgh 20
A rematch of last seasons AFC championship game had a much different ending this year. Javon Walker scored three touchdowns as the Broncos (6-2) ended any realistic chance the Steelers had of defending their title in the playoffs. Pittsburgh's sixth loss in seven games left them with a 2-6 record, matching their worst in coach Bill Cowher's 15 seasons and by any returning NFL champion in the last 20 seasons. No team has bounced back from a 2-6 record and a loss in its eighth game to make the playoffs.

San Diego 32, Cleveland 25
LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 172 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chargers (6-2) to a win over the Browns (2-6). Tomlinson has scored 14 touchdowns this season.

San Francisco 9, Minnesota 3
Joe Nedney kicked three field goals and the 49ers (3-5) hung on for their eighth straight home victory since 1988 over the Vikings (4-4). San Francisco had only 133 yards of total offense in the game, but still came out the victors.

Miami 31, Chicago 13
What is it about undefeated Chicago teams playing the Dolphins? For the second time in history - the first was in 1985 - the Dolphins (2-6) have knocked the Bears (7-1) from their undefeated perch. Ronnie Brown rushed for a career-high 157 yards and Jason Taylor forced a fumble and returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown. Chicago committed four fumbles and lost three to go with Rex Grossman's three interceptions.

Baltimore 26, Cincinnati 20
Steve McNair passed for 245 yards, Jamal Lewis scored a touchdown and Matt Stover kicked four field goals for the Ravens (6-2), who took a two-game lead over Cincinnati (4-4) in the AFC North. Carson Palmer threw one touchdown pass, but was intercepted twice as the Bengals lost for the fourth time in five games.

Washington 22, Dallas 19
In a finish as crazy as any in the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry, Washington's Nick Novak got two chances for a game-winning field goal. He missed the first, and barely made the second -- with no time left on the clock. Novak's 47-yard kick snapped the Redskins' three-game losing streak. Novak was wide right on a 49-yard field-goal try with 31 seconds left, then Cowboys kicker Mike Vanderjagt's chip shot with 6 seconds to go was blocked by Troy Vincent. Sean Taylor picked up the bouncing ball and made a weaving, tackle-busting return into Dallas territory as time expired. Dallas' Kyle Kosier was flagged for a facemask penalty on the return, tacking on another 15 yards -- and meaning the game would continue for one more play. That wound up being Novak's field goal, when the ball barely sneaked inside the right upright.

New York Giants 14, Houston 10
Tiki Barber rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown as the Giants (6-2) won their fifth straight game by beating the Texans (2-6). Jeremy Shockey capped the go-ahead 67-yard drive with a touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.

Jacksonville 37, Tennessee 7
David Garrard made it 2-0 as a starting quarterback as the Jaguars (5-3) ended the two-game winning streak of the Titans (2-6) in dominating fashion. Vince Young had his worst day as a pro. He was intercepted three times, sacked once and basically roughed up the entire game as Jacksonville improved to 4-0 at home.

New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 14
Marques Colston caught 11 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown, and Drew Brees threw for 314 yards and three TDs. The Saints (6-2) reached the midpoint of the season with twice as many wins as they had all last year. The Bucs fell to 2-6 on the year.

Buffalo 24, Green Bay 14
The Bills defense forced four turnovers and turned two of them into scores to end the three-game losing streak of Buffalo (3-5). Rookie safety Ko Simpson sealed the win when he intercepted a Favre pass on first down from the 1 with the Packers (3-5) down 17-10. Simpson returned it 76 yards to set up Anthony Thomas' 14-yard touchdown run.

Detroit 30, Atlanta 14
The Lions turned Michael Vick's two first-half turnovers into touchdowns and Roy Williams had a 60-yard TD early in the fourth quarter to give Detroit (2-6) the upset victory over Atlanta (5-3), who fell a game behind New Orleans in the NFC South.

Two impressive wins over the Broncos and the Patriots have definitely pushed the Colts to the forefront as Super Bowl favorite. To beat two teams with a combined 12-4 record on the road is pretty special indeed. With the improved play of the defense and the emergence of Joseph Addai at running back, Indianapolis looks to have all the pieces in place for a Super Bowl run.

Despite the loss to Miami, the Bears still appear to be the best in the NFC. It's hard to win when you turn the ball over and that's what did in Chicago on Sunday. With their defense, if they protect the ball on offense, then the Bears will be hard to stop.

The league has the parity it was after for so long and there are no sure shots, but a Colts-Bears Super Bowl is looking more and more likely.

The Seattle Seahawks, playing without Matt Hasselbeck and Shawn Alexander, could take over sole possession of first place in the NFC West with a victory over the suddenly hot Oakland Raiders, winners of two straight.

The Seahawks (4-3) are coming off a loss to Kansas City, while the Raiders (2-5) defeated the Steelers last week. Seattle should have the advantage playing at home.

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: