Monday, December 27, 2010
Week 16 Sunday action recap
New England Patriots 34 @ Buffalo Bills 3: Someone needs to tell Ryan Fitzpatrick that the one thing you don't do against the Patriots is throw 3 interceptions. Especially when Brady is in a 3 touchdown mood. Those turnovers were truly costly though, as the Patriots didn't exactly pour on the yardage. They just poured on the touchdowns is all. With this win the Patriots have now secured home advantage all the way through the playoffs. New York Jets 34 @ Chicago Bears 38: Considering these are two teams who are supposed to make a living off their defense, I'm surprised just how high the scoring was. Cutler threw 3 touchdowns and ran one in himself, with another rushing TD put in by Forte. The gauntlet handed down, the Bears offense came up with just 3 touchdowns of it's own. A Dwight Lowery pick 6 and a few field goals made up the difference for New York, but once again their extravagant spending in recent years on offense is still failing to reap dividends. Watching Thomas Jones rip things up on the ground for the Chiefs must hurt as well. The Jets should look on the bright side though. At least they're guaranteed a playoff spot now. Baltimore Ravens 20 @ Cleveland Browns 10: Flacco hardly did anything special (12/19, 102 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), and nor did Ray Rice (25 carries, 92 yards). That has to be a worry going into the playoffs, as the Ravens are now assured to do. How long they will stay there is a matter of conjecture. Putting 20 points up on the Browns isn't the worst thing in the world, but it doesn't bode particularly well either. The Ravens defense at least continues to hold up their end of the bargain. They held Colt McCoy (watch list) to 15/29 for 149 yards with 3 interceptions. Poor Colt. Washington Redskins 20 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 17: It's hard to remember that the Jaguars are challenging the Colts for the AFC South title when you see results like this. It will now come down to the final game for the Jags, with them needing a bit of help from the Titans. So forget that already. Back to the game and with Maurice Jones-Drew out, it left David Garrard leading the Jaguars in rushing with 6 carries for 39 yards and a TD. That really sums the Jaguars day up. Garrard threw for 299 yards and a TD as well, but the two interceptions hurt. Rex Grossman was much more pedestrian for the Redskins, with just 19/39 for 182 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT, but it turned out to be enough as the Redskins snatched the win in overtime. Tennessee Titans 14 @ Kansas City Chiefs 34: The Titans could potentially have a big role in shaping the AFC playoff picture. Today they lost to the Chiefs, who are now the AFC West champions thanks to results elsewhere. Next week the Titans will have the honor of being beaten by the Colts to decide the AFC South. So that's two loses that lead to division winners being decided. And lets be honest, the result next week at Lucas Oil Stadium is hardly in doubt, with Kerry Collins finishing today 14/37 for 235 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Compare to Matt Cassel; 24/34, 314 yards, 3 touchdowns. The Chiefs also piled on another 150+ yards on the ground. Even the defense pitched in with Eric Berry (watch list) taking back an interception for a touchdown. Detroit Lions 34 @ Miami Dolphins 27: Going into the 4th quarter the Dolphins were looking good. After booting a field goal all they had to do was avoid making any big mistakes and giving up 17 points in the remaining time and..... oops. No sympathy, at all for the Dolphins. Teams bring this kind of thing on themselves and having run the ball quite well through the game, it almost seems ludicrous that they would suddenly get pass happy, despite leading relatively comfortably. Like I said, no sympathy for them. San Francisco 49ers 17 @ St. Louis Rams 25: With this defeat the 49ers are mathematically done for the year. And Mike Singletary is mathematically done as the 49ers Head Coach. No, literally, if you haven't already heard, Singletary has been fired. His interim replacement for the the final game will be Defensive Line coach Jim Tomsula. The writing was on the wall before the game even started though. His flip flopping between quarterbacks, an obvious lack of control at times over the players, and a lack of strategic and tactical direction all doomed Singletary. He even switched quarterbacks mid way through this one. Troy Smith was 7/19 for 153 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Then came Alex Smith to lead a rally from behind.... and who finished 10/15 for 120 yards. Brian Westbrook had just 10 carries. Anthony Dixon another 6. Compare to the Rams who fed Sam Bradford 37 passes, of which he completed 28 for 292 yards and a touchdown. RB Steven Jackson had 24 carries for 48 yards and a TD. The Rams defense pitched in, putting up a safety, 4 sacks, an interception and 3 forced fumbles collectively. The Rams now head into a week 17 clash with the Seahawks to decide whether the NFC West winner will have an 8-8 record or a 7-9 record. San Diego Chargers 20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 34: Yesterday I said that without Owens and Ochocinco to supposedly hold him back and cause trouble, this was Carson Palmers chance to shine. Which he did. 16/21 for 268 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jerome Simpson was a grateful recipient with 6 catches for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. Andre Caldwell caught 4 for 87 yards. Running backs Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott also combined for 34 carries for 102 yards and a TD. The Chargers meanwhile were left shell shocked. With this loss and the Chiefs win, that ends the Chargers post season hopes for the year. Houston Texans 23 @ Denver Broncos 24: Matt Schaub was 23/33 for 310 yards, a TD and an INT. RB Arian Foster had 19 carries for 91 yards and a TD. But after a great start, the Texans gradually let the game slip away. Enter then, Tim Tebow; the man, the legend. Of all the people on my rookie watch list, Tebow is one of the ones I'm most happy to promote. Given all the flak the guy took coming into the league, He's the one I most want to succeed, just so I can rub it in. 16/29, 308 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, some good play action from under center, good movement in the pocket, good throwing on the run + 10 carries for 27 yards and 1 TD later, and I'm beaming with an incredibly smug smile. All I need now is for the player who I second most want to succeed -- CB Syd'Quan Thompson -- to get a pick and I'll go to bed happy tonight.... boom!! Thank you and goodnight. Indianapolis Colts 31 @ Oakland Raiders 26: Wait, I can't go yet. A few more games to cover. The Raiders did surprisingly well on defense. They spent much of the game in single high man coverage and held Peyton Manning to 16/30 for 179 yards, 3 TD's and 2 INT's. Shame that the Raiders offense just really couldn't compete. Everyone has been praising Jason Campbell this year, but apart from the last drive Campbell looked a little lost to me, like the whole situation had overwhelmed him (29/42 for 231 yards and a TD). Most surprising was the success of the respective run games. The Colts combined for just under 200 yards (with Manning running for 27 of them!!) off of 39 carries. The Raiders? 20 carries combined for 80 yards. But who am I -- a lowly Monday morning quarterback -- to criticize the Raiders for not sticking with the second best rushing attack in the NFL. One day maybe. One thing I do have to bring up here is the officiating. Again I have to ask, why bother bringing in certain rules if you're not going to enforce them? The Raiders were routinely using 3 man wedges on kickoffs, which as far as I'm aware, are now supposed to be banned. So why no flags? Maybe it's because the Raiders managed to draw 10 for 116 yards during regular play? Which was honestly a bit of a joke. The two pass interference flags were pathetic. Occasionally the league takes the time to scoff at claims that they favour teams like the Colts or the Patriots, but penalties like these surely don't help their case. Nor does it help when Blair White runs to the endzone and the official standing near the pylon appears to point with his arm to remind White to cross the plane of the goal. New York Giants 17 @ Green Bay Packers 45: Word of advice to you all; when making picks for NFL games, check the injury report first. Had I done this, I would have realised that Matt Flynn was not starting at QB for the Packers, who promptly came out and routed the Giants. Aaron Rodgers finished the game 25/37 for 404 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wow. Eli Manning didn't fare quite as well; 17/33 for 301 yards, 2 TD's and 4 INT's. The Giants "fifth best rushing attack in the NFL" received just 20 carries split almost evenly between Jacobs and Bradshaw. Again, I'm not saying or suggesting anything, for I am a lowly MMQB. With this result it means the Eagles have bagged the NFC East even before playing their game on Tuesday, which was postponed due to weather. Seattle Seahawks 15 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38: The reason people get annoyed with the NFC West was evident in this game; the Seahawks have a shot at the playoffs if they can just beat the Rams next week. Meanwhile the team that handled them easily in this game could potentially miss out. And it was easy. Josh Freeman was 21/26 for 237 yards and 5 (five!) touchdowns. RB LaGarrette Blount had 18 carries for 164 yards (All: "Didn't you describe him as woeful at the combine Chris?". Yes. Shut up... ). On the opposite side, injured Matt Hasselbeck was 3/4 for 24 yards, while Charlie Whitehurst was 11/18 for 66 yards. It was just an utter waltz for the Buccaneers, who I kind of hope make the playoffs, given how far they've come this year under Raheem Morris. So that's all of Sundays games done. Tomorrow the Falcons and the Saints clash with the NFC South title on the line (sort of) and then Tuesday we see the Vikings and Eagles go at it. As for my picks? So far this week I'm 8-6 with 2 games to go. I'll be back tomorrow to recap the Monday Night game.