NFL Recap Week 9

Week 9 of the NFL Recap is here, and we have officially reached the halfway point of the regular season. Did the Colts and Saints stay unbeaten? Who would take control of the NFC East? And which favorite at the start of the season showed up, and which one is on the verge of shipping out?

Let the Recap Begin:

Washington 17, Atlanta 31- Michael Turner ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns, and the Falcons defense sacked Redskins QB Jason Campbell five times in the first half alone, giving Clinton Portis a concussion that had him sidelined for the rest of the game, and giving Jim Zorn another rough day as head coach. DeAngelo Hall created quite the stir when he was in the middle of a near melee on the sidelines of his former team after a late hit was made from LaRon Landry on Falcons QB Matt Ryan. Hall even made sure he was not trying to do anything, and accused the Falcons of trying to create more trouble, including head coach Mike Smith. It will be interesting to see what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has to say about the matter this week. Redskins (2-6), Falcons (5-3)

Arizona 41, Chicago 21- Kurt Warner defined the art of bouncing back. After five interceptions were thrown last week against the Carolina Panthers, he threw five touchdowns, tying a career-high, and the Cardinals shredded the Bears in the first half alone, taking a 31-7 lead. Jay Cutler did his best to keep up with Warner, throwing three touchdown passes to Greg Olsen, but even without one of their top receivers in Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald (9 receptions for 123 yards and 2 TDs) and company kept the passing game intact. Boldin was unhappy about being sidelined to let his nagging ankle injury heal, and said Ken Whisenhunt (Cardinals head coach) is “not a man” after the game. Could there be trouble brewing in the desert? Cardinals (5-3), Bears (4-4)

Baltimore 7, Cincinnati 17- The Bengals are in complete control of the AFC North right now, beating the Ravens for a second time with timely offensive plays, and stout defense. Carson Palmer threw for 224 yards and a TD, and Cedric Benson ran for 117 yards and a TD, part of three scoring drives in the first three possessions, and the Bengals defense did the rest. They held the Ravens to 250 yards of total offense, including only 55 on the ground, and forced QB Joe Flacco into throwing a pair of interceptions. The Ravens need a strong second half of the season if they want to make the playoffs. Ravens (4-4), Bengals (6-2)

Houston 17, Indianapolis 20- The Colts keep finding ways to win the close games, but it is good enough to keep them unbeaten, and it is good enough to become the fourth team to win 17 regular season games in a row, joining the New England Patriots (21 in 2006-08 and 18 in 2003-04), and the Chicago Bears (17 in 1933-34). Peyton Manning threw for 318 yards, and became the first person in NFL history to throw for 40,000 yards in a single decade and a touchdown, which with four more, he will become the first player in NFL history to throw for 300 touchdowns in a decade, and Joseph Addai had two touchdowns (1 rush, 1 receiving), which made the difference in the game. The Texans got production from both of their running backs; Ryan Moats, who started for Steve Slaton, caught a two yard TD pass from QB Matt Schaub, and Slaton ran for a 1 yd TD, but it was a missed field goal by Kris Brown that gave Indy the victory. Texans (5-4), Colts (8-0)

Kansas City 21, Jacksonville 24- The Jaguars got a decent effort and a well-played effort from their last game against the Titans in Nashville. David Garrard threw for 264 yards and Mike Sims-Walker had 147 yards receiving, and the two connected on a 61 yard TD pass and Maurice-Jones Drew ran for another touchdown, and the Jags held off a furious rally by Kansas City to get back to .500 and remain hopeful of a playoff spot. Matt Cassel threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns to newly-acquired Chief Chris Chambers. In a milestone of the game, Jaguars WR Torry Holt became the 10th player in NFL history to reach the 900 reception mark. Chiefs (1-7), Jaguars (4-4)

Miami 17, New England 27- No wildcat victories in Foxborough this year. Despite the Dolphins putting up a 10-minute scoring drive that took a lot of plays and was capped off with a touchdown by Ricky Williams from 15 yards in the wildcat formation, Tom Brady hit Randy Moss on a 71 yard TD pass and the Patriots exercised the demons of last year’s upset. Brady went 25-35 for 332 yards, and Moss had six catches for 147 yards. They also hooked up on a two point conversion that put the Patriots up 24-17, and the defense held the Dolphins off from the touchdown in the 3rd quarter on. New England now has a two-game lead on the idle New York Jets and a three game lead on Miami, which has matched its loss count from all of last season with five. Dolphins (3-5), Patriots (6-2)

Packers 28, Buccaneers 38- One question for the Buccaneers? Where was Josh Freeman at the start of the season? In his first start where the Buccaneers went back to the days of the creamsicles and Buccaneer Bruce on the helmet, the rookie QB made the most of his start and threw for 205 yards on 14-31 passing, with three touchdowns, and the game winning touchdown to Sammie Stroughter. The Packers, down a field goal, had a chance to tie the game or go for the win, but Tanard Jackson returned an interception 35 yards to give Raheem Morris his first win as a NFL head coach. The win also means that there are no more winless teams in the NFL. Packers (4-4) Buccaneers (1-7)

Carolina 20, New Orleans 30- The Saints continue to march on undefeated. Overcoming two early turnovers and a 14-0 deficit, Drew Brees threw for 330 yards and a key 54 yard TD pass to Robert Meachem and New Orleans gets off to its best start in franchise history and remains the class of the NFC. Pierre Thomas added 50 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. The Panthers had a couple of chances down 23-20, but the Saints D came through when DeAngelo Williams fumbled and Anthony Hargrove recovered from one yard out. With the Rams and Buccaneers on their schedule next, the Saints could be 10-0 going into their matchup with the New England Patriots, but one game at a time. Panthers (3-5), Saints (8-0)

Detroit 20, Seattle 32- The Lions got off to a 17-0 lead, and it appeared that it was going to be a rare Detroit rout. Then Matt Hasselbeck, battered, and bruised, led Seattle to a 25 point comeback, throwing a two yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Olindo Mare kicked three field goals, to cap a 25 point comeback for the Seahawks and sent the Lions to a 16th straight road loss. Matthew Stafford went 22-42 for 203 yards with two touchdowns early on, but threw five interceptions including the game-clinching interception from Josh Wilson to seal the game for Seattle. Lions (1-7), Seahawks (3-5)

San Diego 21, NY Giants 20- The San Diego Chargers and NY Giants made a swap five years ago that involved Phillip Rivers and Eli Manning, and it was Rivers winning in a game where both teams’ seasons were on the brink. Rivers threw for 209 yards, but stunned the Giants Stadium crowd with an 18 yard TD pass to Vincent Jackson to give the Chargers a 21-20 win, and put them within a game and a half of the Denver Broncos, who host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night. Manning had a decent day, going 25-33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, but was sacked by Shawne Merriman, one of the draft picks the NY Giants gave away in the Manning deal in 2004, on the last play of the game, sending the Giants to their fourth straight loss after starting off the season 5-0. Chargers (5-3), Giants (5-4)

Tennessee 34, San Francisco 27- In a battle of two young quarterbacks getting their confidence and grooves back, Vince Young rallied the Titans by throwing for 172 yards and scoring on a rushing touchdown, and Chris Johnson scored two touchdowns and had 135 yards rushing, and the Titans earned a second straight victory after their 0-6 start. Alex Smith went 29-45 for 286 yards and through two touchdowns, but had three costly interceptions against a suspect Titans secondary, including a interception return for a touchdown by Cortland Finnegan in the fourth quarter for 39 yards to give the Titans the victory. Titans (2-6), 49ers (3-5)

Dallas 20, Philadelphia 16- In the 100th meeting between the bitter NFC East division rivals with first place on the line with the lights on bright on Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys returned to the scene of the crime at the Linc, and got their 56th win over the Eagles all-time. Tony Romo went 21-34 for 307 yards, and a TD of 49 yards to Miles Austin (his only catch of the game) to give the Cowboys a 20-16 win over the Eagles, and giving them sole possession of first place of the NFC East after their fourth straight victory. Donovan McNabb threw for 227 yards, but has his first two interception game of the season, and had a costly challenge on fourth and inches which led to the Eagles losing a timeout, which could have benefited them towards the end of the game. Well played game by Dallas and they reap the rewards and exercised all the demons of last season in Philadelphia. Cowboys (6-2), Eagles (5-3)

Tune in tomorrow for the MNF Recap and on Tuesday, the first NFL Rankings of the season from TSX will make its debut.

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