Saints Lose First Game of Season
New Orleans is now 13-1 thanks to a 24-17 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night. The score is deceiving because Dallas dominated this game on both sides of the ball right from the start. It was 17-3 at the half and 24-3 after three quarters. The Saints did score two quick touchdowns in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough as Cowboy defensive end Demarcus Ware sacked QB Drew Brees and caused him to fumble the ball away to seal the victory. This was the second time in the game that Ware sacked Brees and forced a fumble. Dallas QB Tony Romo threw for 312 yards and one score, while RB Marion Barber had 62 rushing yards and two TDs. WR Miles Austin was at it again, catching seven balls for 139 yards and a touchdown. Brees threw for 298 yards with one TD and one INT, but he did lose two fumbles as well.
Bengals Lose Tough One to San Diego
Playing with heavy hearts in the midst of the passing of WR Chris Henry, the Cincinnati Bengals played a hard-fought game at San Diego, but lost 27-24 on a last second 52-yard field goal by K Nate Kaeding. After trailing 24-13 early in the fourth quarter, the Bengals battled back and tied the game with a minute left, but the Chargers drove down the field and got close enough for Kaeding to hit the game winner. Both quarterbacks played solid games as Carson Palmer threw for 314 yards with two scores and one pick, while Philip Rivers threw for 308 yards with three scores and two INTs. WR Chad Ochocinco had three catches for 79 yards and a TD and Vincent Jackson had five receptions for 108 yards and two trips to pay dirt. This was a great game and could be a preview of what’s to come in the AFC playoffs as both these teams are poised to be there. Look for the Bengals to continue to play inspired football the rest of the way.
Cleveland Duo Put on a Show
The Cleveland Browns got past the Kansas City Chiefs 41-34 on Sunday thanks in large part to the play of special teams ace Joshua Cribbs and RB Jerome Harrison. Cribbs returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the game, one for 100 yards and the other 103. That now gives him eight kickoff returns in his career which is an NFL record. Harrison may have even been more impressive than Cribbs though. He carried the ball 34 times for 286 yards and three touchdowns! All three of his scores came in the second half, including a 71-yard scamper early in the third quarter that gave the Browns the lead. This game was filled with fantasy studs as even in a losing effort the Chiefs had QB Matt Cassel throw for 331 yards and two TDs, RB Jamaal Charles rush for 154 yards and a score and WR Chris Chambers catch five balls for 114 yards and a TD. All these great performances by Kansas City didn’t come close to matching the efforts of Harrison and Cribbs though.
Colts Survive Jags to go to 14-0
Indianapolis went back and forth with upset minded Jacksonville Thursday night, but prevailed 35-31 to remain unbeaten at 14-0 in what was an extremely entertaining contest. There was a crazy 10 lead changes and basically boiled down to whoever had the ball last was going to win the game. Trailing 31-28 with just over five minutes remaining in the game, Indy QB Peyton Manning hit WR Reggie Wayne in stride down the sideline for the game-winning 65-yard touchdown. And although neither defense was able to put up many stops, the Colts defense bore down and stopped the Jaguars on their final drive of the game to conserve the victory. Manning finished 23-30 for 308 yards with four touchdowns and just one interception. Wayne snagged five balls for 132 yards and a score, while TE Dallas Clark had seven catches for 95 yards and two TDs of his own. Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew was over 100 yards rushing again as he carried the ball 27 times for 110 yards and one TD and also had five receptions for 30 yards and another score. The Colts finish up home against the Jets and at Buffalo so they have a real good shot at going undefeated as long as Coach Caldwell continues to play his starters.
Jets Lose Late Again as Playoff Hopes Take a Big Hit
The New York Jets defense dominated the Atlanta Falcons offense all game long, until the last drive of the game. Atlanta put together an 11-play, 57 yard drive that resulted in a Tony Gonzalez fourth down touchdown grab that gave the Falcons a 10-7 lead with a minute and a half to play. Jets QB Mark Sanchez threw his third INT of the game a few plays later as New York let yet another game slip away from them. Add this last second loss to the list along with games against Miami, Oakland and Jacksonville. The Jets are now 7-7, but with a little luck could be 11-3. There wasn’t much fantasy relevance in this game although WR Braylon Edwards did have five receptions for 105 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown. New York is going to have to win out these last two weeks and get some help from a few other teams in order to make the playoffs, it’s not looking good.
Pittsburgh Beats Green Bay in a Thriller
In a game where fantasy stars were everywhere, the Pittsburgh Steelers just got past the Green Bay Packers 37-36 on a Ben Roethlisberger touchdown pass to Mike Wallace on the final play of the game. This was perhaps the best game of the 2009 season thus far as Roethlisberger threw for 503 yards with three touchdowns. RB Rashard Mendenhall had over 100 total yards and a touchdown, while Pittsburgh receivers Hines Ward and Health Miller each were over 100 yards. Wallace finished with just catches for 79 yards, but both went for touchdowns. For Green Bay, QB Aaron Rodgers had another impressive start, throwing for 383 yards and three touchdowns and also running for another score. WR Greg Jennings had five receptions for 118 yards and a TD. The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of total offense.