Week 9 Weekend Wrap-Up: Halloween hang-over

While I wish I could write about something super-exciting that happened this past weekend in the NFL, there just wasn’t a whole lot going on worthy of it. The most interesting thing to happen was probably the Chiefs near-victory over the heavily favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so we’ll start there…

  • Tampa Bay 30, Kansas City 27: While the final outcome of this game was pretty predictable (TB beats KC), the score was no where near what we all expected. I’m not sure which stats are more interesting: 1) a non-quarterback for both teams (RB Earnest Graham for the Bucs, WR Mark Bradley for the Chiefs) threw a touchdown pass (with the Chiefs quarterback Tyler Thigpen catching the touchdown from Bradley) or one of the top run defenses in the league let up over 100 yards to a rookie (Jamaal Charles) who plays for the Chiefs. Anyways, in the end it doesn’t matter what the score was, as the Chiefs couldn’t find a way to stop the Jeff Garcia to Antonio Bryant (8 catches for 115 yards and a TD) connection all day long.
  • New York Jets 26, Buffalo 17: I’m surprised that the Jets even won this game, considering the play of Brett Favre (201 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT.) Either way though, as a Patriots fan I can’t complain about how bad either of these teams look these days. Honestly, even though they’re the only team in the division without a winning record, the Dolphins are the team that scares me the most to challenge New England for the division crown.
  • Miami 26, Denver 17: Miami keeps winning while Denver continues to plummet into extreme disappointment. How in the world did Broncos “star” wide receiver Brandon Marshall only catch two balls for 27 yards in this one when Jay Cutler threw for over 300 yards?! (Well, he did have a 77 yard touchdown brought back because of offensive pass interference, but still.) If Cutler can’t limit his turnovers (3 INT), the Broncos are going to have a tough time making the playoffs (even though they’re currently in first place at 4-4!) Big day from some relative unknowns though, including WR Greg Camarillo of the Dolphins, who caught 11 balls for 111 yards, and FB Peyton Hillis, who caught seven balls for 116 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos.
  • Cincinnati 21, Jacksonville 19: The Bengals (1-8) win, while Cedric Benson (104 yards and a TD) and Ocho Cinco (2 TD) has big games…don’t try to tell me you saw that coming! Cincinnati is now half way to living up to T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s guarantee of two victories this season!
  • Baltimore 37, Cleveland 27: Into the third quarter of this game it appeared that my suggestion to start the Brownies defense was genius…but then it all turned to shiz. That was when the Ravens started their run of 24 unanswered points and more than one “Brady! Brady!” chant could be heard from the stands. On the plus side for Browns fans, wide receiver Braylon Edwards (86 yards and a TD) had a solid game for once this season, but it was Ravens rookie running back Ray Rice (176 combined yards) and veteran receiver Derick Mason (9 catches for 136 yards and a TD) who stole the show.
  • Minnesota 28, Houston 21: Texans quarterback Matt Schaub left this game early with an injury, but I don’t think it mattered the way Gus Frerotte was firing the ball! Well, I don’t want to get carried away, but somehow he was able to convert 11 completions into 182 yards and three touchdowns (!) Running back Adrian Peterson did most of the dirty work for the Vikings in this one, rushing 25 times for 139 yards and a score. Houston’s tight end Owen Daniels (11 catches for 133 yards) and Minnesota’s receiver Bernard Berrian (2 catches for 104 yards and a TD) also had solid games.
  • Chicago 27, Detroit 23: Looks like we could be back to the Rex Grossman era in Chicago after Kyle Orton left this game early with an ankle injury. Calvin Johnson (8 catches for 94 yards and a TD) and the Lions did their best to win their first game of the season, but it wasn’t enough to hold off rookie running back extraordinaire Matt Forte (131 combined yards) and the rest of the Bears.
  • Arizona 34, St. Louis 13: The Cardinals are on pace to host a playoff game? What is this world coming to?! I guess when your team is only 5-3, but are three games ahead of second place, it makes it a bit easier. Kurt Warner (342 yards, 2 TD) continues to destroy opposing defenses and rookie running back Tim Hightower (109 yards, TD) has apparently moved into the starting running back slot for the rest of the season (as long as he keeps playing like he did Sunday!)
  • Tennessee 19, Green Bay 16: The Pack gave the Titans a scare in this one, but the vaunted Tennessee defense and the thunder-and-lightning combination of LenDale White and Chris Johnson (166 yards and a score between the two of them) was enough to keep them in the loss-less category. You have to give Packers receiver Donald Driver (7 catches for 136 yards, TD) props for his big performance, even in the loss.
  • New York Giants 35, Dallas 14: Who would have known how much one player (Tony Romo) can mean to a team?! Oh yeah, Patriots fans. The Cowboys look absolutely terrible these days though and if Romo doesn’t get back soon, Dallas and their last-place record will be on the outside looking in when it comes playoff time. Even with Mr. Jessica Simpson back on the field though, they’ll need to learn how to tackle a running back, as Brandon Jacobs (117 yards, TD), Derrick Ward and even Ahmad Bradshaw man-handled them for a combined 200 yards rushing.
  • Philadelphia 26, Seattle 7: A big game from Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (349 yards, 2 TD) was enough to beat the lowly Seahawks. An interesting note about the receivers from this game…Koren Robinson (remember him?) led Seattle in receiving with 105 yards, including a 90 yard TD, while backup tight end Brent Celek (if you’ve heard of him you’re either an Eagles fan…or more of a fantasy football exper than me) led Philly with 131 yards.
  • Atlanta 24, Oakland 0: Without seeing the hightlights from this game, I wouldn’t have been sure that the Raiders even showed up and hadn’t just given up on the season already. Last time I checked, the Falcons weren’t a defensive powerhouse, but apparently that doesn’t matter when you play Oakland…even with the game being played in the Black Hole! Falcons running back Michael Turner (139 yards) continued his trend of big games against bad defenses and Michael Jenkins had two touchdowns on two receptions (plus 64 yards.)
  • Indianapolis 18, New England 15: Wow…what a disappointing game! As a Patriots fan, it hurts to see the team give one away. I’m not sure who decided that an inside draw every other play of the game was the right move for the Pats, considering the health of the Colts secondary, but that’s all it seemed that Matt Cassel was doing! New England tried to mix it up a bit with a wild-cat formation and a pass by running back Kevin Faulk, but it wasn’t enough to counter their secondary’s inability to defend Anthony Gonzalez (55 yards, 2 TD) in the end zone. In a game that could have been the “finishing move” on the Colts playoff hopes, it’s sad to see the Patriots let them live to see another day.