NFL Week 14 Best Highlights of the Games 2009
A Texan Cheer
Welcome to Footballs Best Highlights of the NFL's game. It is week 14 and the NFC and AFC are getting tighter and closer as the weeks march on. With only four games remain to decide who advances to the playoffs. And who goes is anyone's guess as 26 teams remain in contention for a postseason berth.
Two 12-0 teams have already clinched a playoff spot, the AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts and the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints. It is the first time in NFL history there have been two 12-0 teams in the same season. And so as we come down to the final stretch with the playoffs just a few weeks away , the 2009 wildcards are up for grabs, and so the race to Superbowl 44 is on!
Thanks to the NFL for their statistics and great photos.
Cleveland Browns Do It Again
Pittsburgh Steelers 6
Cleveland Browns 13
The Browns shocked the football world on this Thursday night game at Cleveland Browns Stadium and beat the defending Super Bowl Champs.
The Browns snapped a 7 game losing streak and the fans were treated to a win after the Browns had lost 10 straight at home games dating back to last season. Pittsburgh have now lost 5 in a row.
In the Steelers locker room, Coach Mike Tomlin called it the low point of the season and wide receiver Hines Ward said it was “embarrassing.”
One Happy Brown
Its A Brees
New Orleans Saints 24
Atlanta Falcons 23
A 23-9 lead melted into a 23-23 tie before the Saints claimed a late three-point edge on a Garrett Hartley field goal.
Then, with 2:11 to play, coach Sean Payton did his best Bill Belichick impersonation, eschewing a 32-yard field goal attempt and letting holder Mark Brunell throw for it.
And it didn't work.
The Falcons tried to drive for an overtime-forcing or game-winning score, but the drive stalled a yard short of the sticks at the Saints' 46.
Even with Chris Redman at quarterback, the Falcons outgained the Saints, 392-391.
Still, Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 31 of 40 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Reggie Bush
RAVENS DOMINATE LIONS, STAY IN WILDCARD RACE
Detroit Lions 3
Baltimore Ravens 48
The Ravens destroyed the Lions today in Baltimore, winning by the lopsided score of 48-3 and keeping pace in the AFC wild card race.
The win improved the Ravens' record to 7-6 and left them tied with the Jets, Dolphins and Jaguars for the sixth and final AFC playoff spot.
Although it took some time for the Ravens' offense to get going, Baltimore took a 20-3 lead into halftime, powered by 155 first-half rushing yards from Ray Rice, and the game was pretty much over by then. In the second half the Ravens put in their backups and kept the ball on the ground, but even then the Lions' defense couldn't stop them, and Baltimore scored four rushing touchdowns in the second half.
The Ravens' final touchdown was a 15-yard scamper by backup quarterback Troy Smith, who then proceeded to do a dance in the end zone and generally act like he had just done something a lot more significant than score a garbage-time touchdown against a bad team.
For the Lions, nothing went right. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper, starting in place of the injured Matthew Stafford, completed 16 of 34 passes for 135 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions, for a passer rating of 33.3. Worst of all, Lions running back Kevin Smith was carted off the field with what appeared to be a serious knee injury late in the game.
The Lions have nothing but pride to play for, but the Ravens are likely three wins away from the playoffs. With the Bears, the Steelers and the Raiders remaining on the schedule, Baltimore has a good chance of making the postseason.
RYAN GRANT LEADS PACKERS OVER BEARS
Green Bay Packers 21
Chicago Bears 14
The Green Bay Packers cruised to an early lead and looked set to dominate the Chicago Bears today at Soldier Field.
As it turned out, the Packers actually trailed heading into the fourth quarter and had to come from behind to earn a hard-fought 21-14 win.
Packers running back Ryan Grant ran for a 62-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the first quarter, and he also scored a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that gave the Packers the lead for good. Overall, Grant carried 20 times for 137 yards and was the Packers' best offensive player on a day when their passing attack was held largely in check.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had two touchdown passes and at times looked like he was poised to lead Chicago to an upset over its division rival. But he also threw two interceptions, giving him a league-leading 22 on the year, and the second one set up the Packers' winning touchdown. The Bears, at 5-8, are now mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
The Packers, on the other hand, improved to 9-4 and are leading the pack in the NFC wild card hunt. Green Bay can't expect to catch Minnesota in the NFC North, but the Packers are likely to be a playoff team -- and they'll be a tough team to beat in January.
Seattle Seahawks 7
Houston Texans 34
The Texans refused to fold as they have so many times this season,
dominating throughout the 34-7 win. They received a spark from
undrafted rookie tailback Arian Foster, who came off the bench to rack
up 88 total yards. Starting running back Chris Brown had only three
carries for seven yards and didn't catch any passes.
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw for 247 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. Hasselbeck aggravated the right shoulder injury that caused him to miss practice on Wednesday, but only missed one play. He was pressured relentlessly and fumbled three times.
Seattle falls to 5-8 on the season, while Houston is now 6-7.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak is believed to have a chance at keeping his job if his team can finish strong. Houston wraps up the schedule at St. Louis, at Miami, and hosts New England in Week 17.
SEATTLE SEASON ENDS
TIN JENNINGS UP IN THE AIR
QB TO QB
Denver Broncos 16
Indianapolis Colts 28
Peyton Manning completed less than half his passes and threw three interceptions, while Marshall set a new NFL record by catching 21 passes. And yet in crunch time Manning led the Colts on a seven-minute fourth-quarter drive that forced the Broncos to burn all their timeouts and culminated in the game's final touchdown and the Indianapolis Colts remain undefeated.
Here is a quote from Terrel Ownes on Twitter :CONGRATS 2 BRANDON MARSHALL 4 BREAKING THE RECORD OF 20 RECEPTIONS N A GM W/21 THT WS HELD BY ME!! U'RE A BEAST!! KEEP BALLIN!! TO
The Colts have now clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, and the biggest question remaining is whether they'll rest their top players for the final three weeks, or whether they'll try to keep their momentum going and perhaps finish the regular season a perfect 16-0.
DOLPHINS DO IN THE JAGUARS
Miami Dolphins 14
Jacksonville Jaguars 10
For the first time all season, the Dolphins have a winning record.
Three Dolphins turnovers and a missed field goal kept the Jaguars alive until the final gun.
David Garrard and the Jacksonville offense got the ball six times in the final 18 minutes with a chance to take the lead, but never got close to a score. Randy Starks and the Miami defensive line wreaked havoc all game, constantly pressuring Garrard.
No matter what happens with Miami the rest of the way, they have found
a quality starting quarterback in Chad Henne. While he threw another
fourth quarter pick, Henne was outstanding for the first three
quarters. He completed 21-of-29 passes for 220 yards, including 14
straight at one point.
Buffalo Bills 16
Kansas City Chiefs 10
When he was acquired during the off-season, Matt Cassel was advertised
as the new franchise quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cassel hasn't played like a franchise quarterback, and the fans in Kansas City are getting fed up.
Cassel threw four interceptions in today's 16-10 loss to the Bills, and he heard it from the fans at Arrowhead Stadium. He said afterward that he understood their frustration.
"Hey, they're allowed to do whatever they want," Cassel said after the game, when asked by a reporter if he felt the fans had turned on him. "They pay the money to come here and we have to perform."
Cassel's lousy day wasted a great day from running back Jamaal Charles, who carried 20 times for 143 yards and added seven catches for 38 yards.
For the Bills, Terrell Owens caught a first-quarter touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to give Buffalo a 7-0 lead, and after that Fitzpatrick's job was simply to play it safe and not throw the lead away.
Fitzpatrick went just 12-of-20 for 86 yards passing, but that was enough, and the Bills improved to 5-8 in a game that was notable less for the Bills' win than for the major step backward that Cassel took.
Cincinnati Bengals 10
Minnesota Vikings 30
A week after an ugly 30-17 loss in Arizona raised doubts about the
previously one-loss Vikings, the team from Minnesota returned home and
served up a 30-10 thumping of the previously 9-3 Bengals.
After the Bengals cut the score to 10-7 late in the first half, the Vikings drove quickly for a field goal and then recovered a fumble inside the Cincinnati 30 with five ticks before intermission.
By halftime, a three-point lead had become nine.
Then, when the Bengals kicker Shayne Graham knocked the third-quarter kickoff out of bounds, the Vikings covered 60 yards in 10 plays, with running back Adrian Peterson literally flying into the end zone on third and goal from the one.
The Bengals had a chance to make it interesting, driving inside the Minnesota 10. But when the Vikings defense stiffened, coach Marvin Lewis played it safe, taking the three points instead of attempting to cut the lead in half.
After a trade of punts, Minnesota drove 67 yards in 11 plays to lock the game up, with another Peterson touchdown run.
For the game, Brett Favre completed 17 of 30 passes for 192 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. In the third quarter, he took a crunching hit from Bengals defensive tackle Tank Johnson, who drove Favre into the plastic grass -- and jammed his helmet into Favre's jaw. Though Favre was motionless for a second or two -- during which the hearts of Vikings' fans stopped beating -- he got up and kept playing.
The victory sealed a playoff berth for the Vikings. They need one win or a Green Bay loss to secure a second straight NFC North title.
The Bengals blew a shot at winning the AFC North. And given the manner in which the Ravens and Steelers have disintegrated this season, it's hard to get a solid feel for this Cincinnati team, whose best win came against a Packers team at a time when that team was a shell of the team it is now.
BRADY PULLS ONE OUT BEATS PANTHERS
Carolina Panthers 10
New England Patriots 20
The Patriots after losing their last three of their previous four games, their worst stretch since 2002, snapped a two-game losing streak and maintained their one-game lead in the AFC East. The Panthers lost for the third time in four games.
Patriots rally in 2nd half, Wes Welker
makes 10-catch games look nearly routine as he recorded the feat for
the fifth time in 11 games this season. Welker joins Marvin Harrison (4), Jerry Rice (3), and Herman Moore (3)
as the fourth player in NFL history with three consecutive 100-catch
"It seems like whenever we've got to make a critical play in a game, he's the guy that's making the play," Tom Brady said. "Wes was the key ingredient as he always seems to be."
WES WALKER WALKING IT IN
NEW JETS BEAT TAMPA BAY BUCS
#20 THOMAS JONES
New York Jets 26
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3
With Thomas Jones and Jay Feely on their games, plus the NFL’s second-ranked defense shutting down the sputtering Bucs, Clemens didn’t have to give the Jets more in his ninth career start.
“I feel good about it, but I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t come in with a little bit higher expectations,” Clemens said after completing 12 of 23 passes for 111 yards and no interceptions.
“I did what was necessary — no turnovers and made good decisions in the run game, got us in and out of a couple of plays that we didn’t want to be in. So, I did my job. I don’t think I blew the top off of anything, but I did what was required.”
Jones rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns, Feely kicked four field goals, and the Jets intercepted rookie Josh Freeman three times while holding the Bucs to 124 yards, including just 43 on the ground.
Receiver Brad Smith had the Jets’ longest completion of the day — 27 yards — when he threw to Eric Smith on a fake punt play.
“I thought Kellen did a great job in the huddle. I thought he did a great job of making the plays when he needed to make them,” Jones said. “It’s his first game in a long time, so I thought he played well. Hopefully, he can continue to get better each week.”
Ideally, he won’t have to.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said there’s a chance Sanchez may be able to return from a knee sprain next week against Atlanta.
“We’ll see how it goes. I’ve got confidence in Kellen, obviously, but we’ll see how Mark is when we get back,” Ryan said. “I think he’ll be ready to go, but I’m not sure.”
The Jets (7-6) climbed over .500 for the first time since beating Oakland to improve to 4-3 on Oct. 25. The Bucs (1-12) lost for the third straight week to a backup quarterback, with Freeman continuing to experience the growing pains of a young passer.
Freeman was intercepted five times during a 16-6 loss to Carolina last week. He was 14 of 33 for 93 yards and sacked three times by the Jets, who got interceptions from David Harris, Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes.
Revis returned his fourth-quarter pick 54 yards to the Bucs 7, setting up Jones’ second TD on the next play. Jones also scored on a 33-yard run that put New York up 16-0 in the second
DARRELLE REVIS RUNS IN AN INTERCEPTION
TITANS RIP RAMS
St. Louis Rams 7
Tennesee Titans 47
Keith Null is a rookie quarterback out of West Texas A&M whom the St. Louis Rams took in the sixth round of this year's draft. His first NFL start went about as well as you'd expect for a rookie sixth-round pick out of West Texas A&M playing for a bad team.
Null had a forgettable first start, throwing five interceptions as the Rams lost to the Tennessee Titans 47-7.
Titans running back Chris Johnson was his usual spectacular self, carrying 28 times for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and catching three passes for 69 yards and another touchdown.
For Tennessee, it was the sixth win in seven games since Vince Young took over for Kerry Collins as the starting quarterback, although this time Collins played most of the way after Young suffered a leg injury and left the field. Collins played well in his first significant game action since losing his starting job.
At 6-7, the Titans probably can't make the playoffs even if they run the table, but they're playing some of the best football in the league. The Rams, who fell to 1-12 with the loss, are playing some of the worst football in the league.
REDSKINS KNOCK GRADKOWSKI ROUT RAIDERS
A Little Dance
Washington Redskins 34
Oakland Raiders 13
The "totally different" JaMarcus Russell looked a lot like the old version.
Russell entered Sunday's game at halftime for an injured Bruce Gradkowski with the score 17-10, and only led the Raiders to three points. The Redskins demolished Oakland with 17 fourth quarter points to win 34-13 in the Black Hole.
Russell completed 10-of-16 passes for only 74 yards and an interception as Washington's defense continued to play excellent football.
The Redskins improved to 4-9, the same record Oakland owns, with the help of another solid game from Jason Campbell. We made light of the move to Sherman Lewis as playcaller earlier this season, but Campbell's play has undeniably improved late in the season.
Campbell has five touchdowns to only one interception the last two weeks, and Washingon's offense is going vertical again. Campbell completed four passes over 25 yards Sunday.
Campbell is putting together some nice tape for interested teams if the Redskins don't want to keep him in 2010. In the meantime, he could go a long way towards deciding the NFC East title.
BOLTS CONTINUE TO ROLL WIN 8TH STRAIGHT
San Diego Chargers 20
Dallas Cowboys 17
Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers remain perfect in Decembers. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys remain perfectly miserable in the most important month of the regular season.
Romo was 19 of 30 for 249 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. He also fell to 5-10 in Decembers. Miles Austin caught six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, and went over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.
Rivers was 21 of 32 for 272 yards with a touchdown — the 100th of his career — and an interception, his first in five games. Jackson caught seven passes for 120 yards, and Gates had 44 yards receiving to go over 1,000 for the second time in his career.
Tomlinson’s touchdown was his 10th this season, his NFL-record-extending ninth straight year he’s hit that plateau. This one was special because it came in only the second game played in Dallas; he grew up in nearby Waco and went to college at TCU in Fort Worth.
Dallas had won five straight at its new $1.2 billion stadium since losing the first-ever game here.
The game also featured the NFL debut of a 3D, in-house video, with fans given 3D glasses as they entered. It was supposed to be for the entire second half, but such few people bothered with it that the humongous video boards went back to plain ol’ 2D, HD just 6:50 after the experiment began. The change drew one of the largest cheers of the game.
VINCENT JACKSON JUMPS
EAGLES SURVIVE TO TAKE CONTROL OF NFC EAST
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 45
NEW YORK GIANTS 38
The Eagles continued their dominance in the year’s last month by gaining control of the NFC East race by outlasting the Giants in a thrilling back-and-forth Sunday Night Football game.The Giants put up a lot of yardage (512 yards) and points, but in the end, the Eagles led by big play receiver DeSean Jackson ran past the Giants in a huge road win. Probably the most explosive NFL player on the roster, Eagles WR DeSean Jackson finished with 178 yards receiving, including a 60-yard touchdown grab. He also returned a punt 72 yards for a score. Jackson tied Crazy Legs Hirsch (1951) and Devin Hester (2007) for the most TDs of at least 50 yards in one season with eight. And what the New York Giants learned during this game is that you should never get involved in a shootout against a team that features DeSean Jackson. Yes a painful lesson was learned Sunday night in the Meadowlands.
The Giants kept answering the Eagles for most of the game and they even took the lead midway through the third quarter on Domenik Hixon's 61-yard touchdown catch and run. But even with a 31-30 lead, you never got the feeling that the Giants' defense could slow down the Eagles' high-octane offense.
The Giants lost despite outgaining the Eagles 512-374 and holding the advantage in time of possession by nearly 10 minutes. And so the Giants fall to 7-6 and they'll probably have to win their final three games to have any chance at a wild-card spot