In the 10 years or so I’ve been following the game of football, I’ve seen some wacky Sundays, but this was perhaps the wackiest of all Sundays. I’m not even talking about the highly anticipated matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers, either.
We’ll start with the biggest upset. I haven’t really touched on the New Orleans Saints this year, mainly because they’re just not as exciting as they were a year ago. After losing to Cleveland today 30-17, you can now say they are just mediocre. Drew Brees made 56 passing attempts, and was picked off 4 times by the Browns intimidating defence. After a fairly impressive debut, Browns rookie QB Colt McCoy only threw for 74 yards, but this one was over by the second quarter. Despite the loss, the Saints are still comfortable at 4-3.
In the game everyone was talking about last year, the Packers topped the Vikings 28-24. After going a few days without damaging his legacy, Brett Favre was up to his old tricks and was pretty terrible in his second Lambeau return, just as he’s been all season long. Either Favre was having a bad game, or he thought he was still playing for the Pack, since he threw it to them 3 times for interceptions. With the loss, the Vikings are now at 2-4 and may want to seriously consider giving Tarvaris Jackson some playing time next game.
One of the weekend’s most relevant games was also one of the most unwatchable until the 4th quarter. The Chargers were terrible for three quarters, and would have been blown out in most cases if the Patriots were not playing awful themselves. When you hold Tom Brady to just 159 yards and shut down the running game, you should have a good shot at beating the Pats, right? Well, the Chargers managed to screw it up with turnovers and more poor special teams play. The Pats gave the Chargers a shot to send it to OT with 30 seconds left, but Kris Brown paid tribute to Mike Vanderjagt by missing the potential game tying field goal and losing 23-20. At 2-5, the Chargers are probably done, unless they have one of their usual 20 game winning streaks to close out the season.
Speaking of tributes, the Oakland Raiders looked like the ’07 Patriots today by completely running up the score against the poor Broncos, with a final score of 59-14. The Raiders were up 38-0 early in the second quarter, thanks to some stellar play by running back Darren McFadden. McFadden had a career day, with 3 TD’s on the ground and one in the air.
What the hell happened to the Buffalo Bills today? Sure, they lost, but they played took a good Baltimore team to Overtime. Ryan Fitzpatrick was excellent for the Bills, throwing for 374 yards and 4 touchdowns, but Billy Cundiff just cleared a 38 yard field goal to win it OT for the Ravens, 37-34. The Bills are still winless at 0-6, but things are finally looking up.
Here’s some headlines from other games around the league:
I’m assuming Jay Cutler was still concussed today, because he threw four interceptions, all to DeAngelo Hall. This ties the NFL record for most in a game, and Hall returned one 92 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, which won the game for Washington, 17-14 over Chicago.
The Kansas City Chiefs are trying to prove they are for real, and a 42-20 win against the Jaguars will help. Kansas City dominated on the ground, running for 236 yards thanks to Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles.
Speaking of surprise teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won once again, this time against the St. Louis Rams 18-17. Josh Freeman led the Bucs down the field on a nice scoring drive late in the game to win it. The Bucs are now at 4-2.
The Steelers beat the Dolphins 23-22 after a controversial running play by Ben Roethlisberger set up the game winning field goal. Roethlisberger fumbled the ball, but it was unclear who recovered it, giving the ball back to Pittsburgh.
The Titans blew out the Eagles 37-19 after being behind most of the game. Tennessee put up 27 points in the fourth quarter, with Kenny Britt terrorizing Eagles corner Ellis Hobbs for 225 yards and 3 TD’s. Remember when Philip Rivers said Hobbs was the sorriest corner in the league?
And lastly (I’m just not going to bother with the Panthers-49ers game), the Seahawks took control of the competitive NFC West division with a 22-10 win against the Cardinals. Helping the Seahawks was the inept play of both Arizona Quarterbacks, Max Hall and Derek Anderson.