NFL Recap Week 14

Week 14 of the NFL Season is in the books, and the games on Sunday were some good ones. A new NFL record was set; did the Colts & Saints continue their unbeaten run? And which conference playoff picture got tighter in one day? To the recap we go…

New Orleans 26, Atlanta 23- Drew Brees went 31-40 for 296 yards with three touchdowns (two to Reggie Bush), and Jonathan Vilma made a game-saving tackle on fourth down, and the New Orleans Saints survived another close call and keep their perfect season alive with a 26-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints were up 23-9, but Chris Redman, starting for the injured Matt Ryan and Jason Snelling, starting for the injured Michael Turner, threw a touchdown pass and scored a touchdown on a one yard run respectively. Garrett Hartley’s field goal with 4:42 left in the game put the Saints up for good after a Redman interception. The Saints have clinched a first round bye with the victory, and are set on going for 16-0, the Falcons are a loss away from not having consecutive winning seasons, which has never happened in their 44 year history. Saints (13-0), Falcons (6-7)

Detroit 3, Baltimore 48- Ray Rice ran for 166 yards and a touchdown, Willis McGahee ran for two touchdowns, and the Baltimore Ravens steamrolled the Detroit Lions into ther 19th straight road loss. Rice also reached 1000 yards for the first time in his career, and the Ravens 548 total yards were a team record along with its five rushing touchdowns (Rice, Le’Ron McClain, McGahee, McGahee, and Troy Smith). Joe Flacco threw for 230 yards and a 62 yard TD pass to Derrick Mason. Kevin Smith led the way for the Lions with 69 yards on 21 carries in the loss. Lions (2-11), Ravens (7-6)

Green Bay 21, Chicago 14- Ryan Grant ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns, including a 62 yard run to open up the game, and the game-winning TD in the fourth quarter, and the Green Bay Packers had to come from behind and get their fifth straight victory by beating the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The Bears blew the game and lost any chance to make the playoffs and put Lovie Smith’s job security in even more doubt after missing the playoffs three straight years after the Bears made the Super Bowl in the 2006 season. Jay Cutler went 23-36 for 209 yards and threw two touchdowns, but also threw a couple of costly interceptions to raise his league high number to 22. Green Bay is now in control of the top Wild Card spot in the NFC, and are still on Minnesota’s heels for the NFC North crown. Packers (9-4), Bears (5-8)

Seattle 7, Houston 34- Matt Schaub threw for 365 yards (336 in the first half) on 29-39 passing, with two touchdowns to Andre Johnson, who finished with 193 yards on 11 catches, and the Texans steamrolled the Seahawks to keep their playoff hopes alive in the AFC and snap their four game losing streak. Schaub opened up the game with a 64 yard pass to Johnson, and then they hooked up again on a 17 yard connection. Ryan Moats also ran for a touchdown for the Texans and Bernard Pollard took a interception from Matt Hasselbeck 70 yards to seal the victory. Hasselbeck went 24-35 for 247 yards with a touchdown and INT. The Seahawks are out of the playoff picture completely with the loss. Seahawks (5-8), Texans (6-7)

Denver 16, Indianapolis 28- It’s hard to go against Peyton Manning, even when he’s doing bad. Manning went 20-42 for 240 yards with four touchdowns, and three interceptions, but the Colts defense held strong and the three TD passes by Manning proved to be the difference and the Colts remained undefeated at 13-0 and set new records with their 22nd consecutive regular season victory, and their 114th win in this decade. Peyton hooked up with Austin Collie and Dallas Clark three times. Although the three interceptions were costly, the Colts defense held strong early, but had no answer for Brandon Marshall. Marshall set a NFL record for receptions in a single game with 21, topping Terrell Owens’ mark of 20 in 2000. He finished with 200 yards and two touchdowns, but the loss for the Broncos tightens the AFC Wild Card race, they still have the top spot, but not by much. The win seals home-field advantage throughout the playoffs for the Colts in the AFC playoffs. Broncos (8-5), Colts (13-0)

Miami 14, Jacksonville 10- In a game with a lot of playoff implications, Ricky Williams ran for 108 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown, and Chad Henne threw for 220 yards, and ran for a touchdown, and the Miami Dolphins overcame three turnovers and knocked off the Jacksonville Jaguars to move into the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. The Dolphins have won seven of 10 since starting the season 0-3 and are 6-0 in the month of December under head coach Tony Sparano. Jacksonville could not get anything going as David Garrard was sacked three times and limited Maurice Jones-Drew to 59 yards and a touchdown. Jacksonville has a short week, and has to deal with the undefeated Colts on Thursday night. Tough road ahead to get to the playoffs. Dolphins (7-6), Jaguars (7-6)

Buffalo 16, Kansas City 10- Rian Lindell kicked three field goals, and the Bills’ defense intercepted Matt Cassel twice in the final 2:11 to give Buffalo a 16-10 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, and keeping them mathematically alive in the AFC Wild Card picture, putting them two games behind for the final spot. The Bills are now 2-2 under interim head coach Perry Fewell. Ryan Fitzpatrick went 12-20 for 86 yards and a nine yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, who only had 15 yards receiving. The Chiefs were led by Jamaal Charles, who ran for 143 yards on 20 carries, and the tough times and struggles in Kansas City continue. Bills (5-8), Chiefs (3-10)

Cincinnati 10, Minnesota 30- Adrian Peterson ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns, and Brett Favre threw for 192 yards and a touchdown, and the Minnesota Vikings made short work and took advantage of the Cincinnati Bengals’ mistakes to reestablish themselves as one of the teams to beat in the NFC. AP also had 40 yard receiving, and set a new franchise records for touchdowns in a single season with 14, helping Minnesota keep pace with the Saints and ahead of the Eagles and Cardinals for a first round bye in the NFC Playoffs. The Bengals did not look like an elite team that has prided themselves on defense, as they allowed 30 points, despite an interception from Favre. Their offense was stagnant as well as Carson Palmer threw for only 94 yards and a 15 yard TD pass to Chad Ochocinco. The only bright spot for them today was Cedric Benson, who ran for 96 yards on 16 carries and got himself his first 1,000 yard season of his career. The Bengals have a showdown with San Diego on the road for the #2 spot in the AFC and a first round bye in the playoffs. If they want to establish themselves as an elite team, they need to beat the elite on the road. Bengals (9-4), Vikings (11-2)

Carolina 10, New England 20- Wes Welker had 10 catches for 105 yards, including five on the tie-breaking drive, and the New England Patriots overcame in-house issues and sloppy first half play to beat the Carolina Panthers, who have eliminated themselves from playoff contention. Welker’s five receptions set up a Tom Brady touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson for five yards. Kevin Faulk also scored on a three yard run in the first half and two field goals by Stephen Gostkowski sealed the deal for the Patriots, who are now 7-0 at home and maintain a one game lead on the AFC East over the Dolphins and New York Jets. Steve Smith had two catches for 83 yards, including a 41 yard touchdown reception from Matt Moore, who started for Jake Delhomme again after Delhomme had not healed from his broken finger. The Panthers will miss the playoffs again after making it a year before, and the inconsistency could mean the end for head coach John Fox in Carolina. Panthers (5-8), Patriots (8-5)

NY Jets 26, Tampa Bay 3- Thomas Jones ran for two touchdowns and 99 yards, and Jay Feely kicked four field goals (40, 24, 49, 49) and the Jets defense allowed only 124 yards (43 rushing) and picked off rookie QB Josh Freeman three times, and Gang Green sailed to an easy victory and put themselves in good position for playoff contention. Kellen Clemens, starting for the injured Mark Sanchez, managed the game well, and went 12-23 for 111 yards, and allowed the team to do their thing: run the ball and play good defense against one of the NFL’s worst teams. The win was the third in a row for New York, and are above .500 for the first time since their win at Oakland five weeks ago. Tampa Bay’s growing pains continue, as Freeman has thrown eight interceptions in the last two quarters and being held to 15 first half yards won’t get the job done against anybody. Kellen Winslow led the way with four catches for 26 yards. Jets (7-6), Buccaneers (1-12)

Washington 34, Oakland 13- Jason Campbell went 16-28 for 222 yards and threw two touchdowns to Fred Davis, and Quinton Ganther ran for two touchdowns, and the Washington Redskins easily handled the Oakland Raiders for their first road win of the season. The Skins lost three straight coming in and after Campbell got off to a 1-5 start it appeared to be another long day, but he overcame it and went 15-23 the rest of the way. Ganther, the Redskins fourth running back this season, scored on two fourth quarter touchdown runs, and Brian Orakpo, the rookie defensive end from Texas, had four sacks in the game, tying the franchise record for most in a single game. The Redskins really went off in the sacks department when JaMarcus Russell came in the game for Bruce Gradkowski after Gradkowski had two injured knees. The boos rang out, and Russell was sacked six times and was very ineffective, as he has been since the 2007 NFL Draft. Justin Fargas scored the lone touchdown for Oakland. Redskins (4-9), Raiders (4-9)

St. Louis 7, Tennessee 47- Chris Johnson ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and caught a 66 yard touchdown pass from Vince Young, and the Tennessee Titans improved to 6-1 when Young starts and kept their playoff hopes alive by easily dismantling the Rams. Young left the game in the second quarter with a strained right hamstring, Kerry Collins entered the game and went 11-19 for 154 yards, and a touchdown to Alge Crumpler to finish the victory for Tennesee. Rob Bironas kicked four field goals (27, 36, 44, and 50). The Titans defense made all kinds of trouble for rookie Keith Null, who was making his debut for an injured Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller at game time. Null went 27-43 for 157 yards and a touchdown, but he threw five interceptions: two to Keith Bulluck, two to Cortland Finnegan, and one to Vincent Fuller, who took it back 45 yards for a touchdown. Tennessee needs to win out and get a lot of help along the way. Rams (1-12), Titans (6-7)

San Diego 20, Dallas 17- Phillip Rivers went 21-32 for 272 yards and a touchdown, and the San Diego Chargers held off the Dallas Cowboys for their 16th straight December victory (all of which since Rivers became San Diego’s starting QB), and sending Dallas into another December loss under Wade Phillips and Tony Romo. LaDainian Tomlinson scored a touchdown early to start the game in his home state of Texas, and Nate Kaeding kicked two field goals for San Diego. The Cowboys scored twice in the second half off two Romo touchdown passes: one to Miles Austin at the end of the third quarter to tie the game at 10, and one to Patrick Crayton with two seconds left in the game. He finished with 249 yards on 19-30 passing. The difference had to be in the first quarter when the Chargers stuffed the Cowboys four times on the San Diego 1 yard line. Bigger news was DeMarcus Ware, the star linebacker for Dallas left the game on a stretcher with a sprained neck, and his status for Saturday night’s game against New Orleans in the Superdome is up in the air. The Cowboys lead the Giants by one game in the NFC Wild Card and now trail the Eagles by a game in the NFC East. They must find a way to stop the December bleeding. The Chargers can clinch a first round bye with a win over Cincinnati next Sunday. Chargers (10-3), Cowboys (8-5)

Philadelphia 45, NY Giants 38- DeSean Jackson came back from his concussion and had a 72 yard punt return for a touchdown, and a 60 yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb, giving him eight touchdowns of 50+ yards, tying a NFL record, along with 178 yards receiving, and the Eagles outscored the New York Giants in a shootout on Sunday night, 45-38. Donovan McNabb went 17-26, for 265 yards and two touchdowns (one to Jackson, and one to Brent Celek). Mike Vick scored his second rushing touchdown of the season, and Leonard Weaver and Sheldon Brown had touchdowns for Philadelphia. Eli Manning did all he could to keep his team in the game, going 26-41 for 382 yards and three touchdowns, but it was two touchdowns to Mario Manningham that were out of bounds, and a costly fumble that was confirmed by video review that still have Big Blue on the outside looking in on the playoff picture. the one thing they have going is that they have a tiebreaker on Dallas, and are a game behind the Cowboys for that Final NFC Wild Card. Philadelphia now has sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Eagles (9-4), Giants (7-6)

This concludes the NFL Recap for Week 14. Tune in tomorrow for the Monday Night Recap between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers.

  1. December 14th, 2009

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