The early games couldnt have been much kinder to the Ravens. The Steelers went down, the Chiefs might have exposed some major issues with the Broncos offense minus Willis McGahee. not a bad morning. Here’s is how it all went down.
-Minnesota 10 @ Chicago 28- This was a pretty ugly game, neither team had over 300 offensive yards with the Bears coming in just under that mark at 294. Neither QB was particularly great, both had pretty low yards per play numbers and finished with less than 200 yards. Both had 1 TD and 1 pick. The Vikings went up 3-0 to start the game, but then the Bears poured on 24 straight to take a 21 point halftime lead. they never looked back. Adrian Peterson topped 100 yards again in this incredible return from his ACL tear last year. That dude is a monster.
-Oakland 10 @ Cincinnati 34- The Bengals stayed mathematically alive in the division race and very much alive in the playoff race with a win today. They trounced the Raiders in Carson Palmers return to Cincy. Palmer was pretty much his dreadful sefl today passing for less than 150 yards and never having his team in any semblance of contention. The Bengals had a 24-0 lead at halftime thanks in large part to the poor play of Palmer. Mohammed Sanu, who just recently caught his first career TD, had 2 today, AJ green had 111 yards and the Bengals offense was off to the races. Palmer did score late in the third quarter, but it was pretty much meaningless. Palmer continues to look washed up and It would be a surprise if the Raiders didn’t target a QB in the draft this year.
-Pittsburgh 14 @ Cleveland 20- The Steelers are making a case for Ben Roethlisberger as MVP while Ben is on the bench with an injury. The Steelers look completely lost without him and they are now 0-2 in his absence with a monster game in Baltimore looming that could decide their playoff fate. It is looking more and more likely that Ben wont play again this week and if Charlie Batch and The Steelers offense was any indication of how they will play next week, the Ravens should win by about 100 points. But in all seriousness, congrats to the Cleveland Browns for finally winning a division game, the defense played well and the offense did just enough to win the game. The Steelers 8 turnovers were the difference in this game(Duh). for anyone wondering about BRandon Weeden who left the game in the fourth quarter, he seems to be ok and will play next week according to Jason LaCanfora.
- Buffalo 13 @ Indianapolis 20- Indy has notched another win in their incredible season. former Ravens DC Chuck Pagano was inside the stadium to watch the game today(not to coach though), cheerleaders shaved their heads in support of Pagano as part of the pregame warmups and the Colts snagged another win. Andrew Luck, if he continues on the path that he has established, looks like a hall of fame player waiting to happen. He is absolutely incredible and anyone who thinks RGIII is still seriously neck and neck with luck for rookie of the year is kidding themselves. Their stats may be close, but Luck takes an enormous lead based on the eye test. He is just so cool and so calm, thats why I call him the Cucumber. He didnt have a big statistical day, but he made play after play to ice the game. this kid is special.
Tennessee 19 @ Jacksonville 24- Chad Henne had another great game for the Jags, as did rookie WR Justin Blackmon. The two hooked up for a TD in the 4th quarter that proved to be the deciding score. The Jags have no choice but to bench Gabbert from here on out. Gabbert has been an NFL disaster, he can’t take hits, he can’t throw, he won’t run, he has the worst pocket presence i have ever seen. He is just garbage as an NFL player. I normally would give a guy at least three years to prove himself but I actually think it might be time to cut ties with Gabbert because he has clearly stunted the growth of the most talented player on their offense which is Blackmon. The Jags should have a high pick in this draft which they could use on Matt Barkley or Geno Smith, or they could ride with Henne for another season before going after another draft QB. the game itself was very uneventful and both of these teams are out of contention, nothing much to talk about.
Denver 17 @ Kansas City 9- the Broncos needed 10 straight points to pull this one out. they got them. after falling down 7 to 9 in the third quarter, they quickly marched down the field for a TD. the 7 play 80 yard drive was capped by a 30 yard TD from Manning to Thomas and took less than 3 minutes. the Broncos scored a fourth quarter FG to ice the game. The Chiefs just needed to play a tiny bit better offensively and they would have pulled this game out. I still have the feeling that when the Broncos come to Baltimore, both teams will score 30+ in a big time shootout.
Seattle 21 @ Miami 24- The Dolphins pulled out a last second win in what might have been the best game of the day(at least the most entertaining). This one was back and forth all day. The Fins struck first on a 21 yard TD run by Reggie Bush but the Seahawks scored 14 straight to take a 14-7 halftime lead thanks to back to back Russell Wilson TD throws. Miami battled to tie the game on the first possession after halftime. on the ensuing kickoff, Leon Washington tied Josh Cribbs NFL record for career kick returns(8) by taking the kick 98 yards into the endzone. The dolphins struck back to tie it up again at 21-21. after a few swapped punts, the Dolphins finally found some offense and took the ball into FG range and kicked a game winner as the clock expired for the 24-21 win. awesome game.
Atlanta 24 @ Tampa Bay 23- another highly entertaining game. The Falcons scored a TD in the waning minutes of the game to take a one point win home with them. The two QBs had a combined 1 TD(an 80 yard pass from Ryan to Julio Jones) but both defenses played well. no runner had over 50 yards, but multiple guys scored TDs. The Falcons tightened their grip on the NFCs top seed and are now 10-1 on the season with a pretty soft schedule left to play.