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It was a game that had it all: scoring, long touchdowns, hard hitting, a fight that spilled onto the sidelines, a player getting ejected (for throwing a punch!), a dominant fantasy performance, Gus Johnson, and a rather awesome hair design displayed by Jacoby Jones:
It was one of those games in which the last team to score would win, and indeed, Houston was the last team to score, with Kris Brown splitting the uprights with a 23-yard field goal with 2:55 remaining in the game. Tennessee got the ball back with plenty of time, but on 1st-and-10 from their own 38, with 1:32 still to play, Kerry Collins fumbled the ball while scrambling, despite the fact no one was within at least 3 yards of him, and the Texans fell on the loose pigskin, all but securing the win.
Matt Schaub led the way for the Texans, going 25-for-29 with 357 yards and 4 TDs, but the story of the game for those who play fantasy football (read: everyone) was Titans' RB Chris Johnson. The speedy back touched the ball a total of 25 times, racked up 284 total yards and scored three times.
Here are the final scores from the NFL’s early slate:
Falcons 28, Panthers 20
Texans 34, Titans 31
Saints 48, Eagles 22
Vikings 27, Lions 13
Bengals 31, Packers 24
Raiders 13, Chiefs 10
Jets 16, Patriots 9
Redskins 9, Rams 7
Cardinals 31, Jaguars 17
As if it were necessary, New Orleans’ Darren Sharper ran back a 97-yard interception return with 1:10 left in the game, finalizing the score at 48-22.
Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb, starting in the stead of the injured Donovan McNabb, threw for an impressive 391 yards but was intercepted three times. The Saints’ Drew Brees turned in another great performance, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns. Brees has now thrown for nine — nine — TDs in two games this season.
Cincy tried really hard to let a game slip away in the final seconds for the second consecutive week, but the football gods took mercy on their souls, and let them escape Lambeau with a win.
Up 10 with under a minute left, the Bengals’ lead was cut to seven after a Packers field goal. Green Bay then recovered the onside kick with 43 seconds left and no timeouts. Aaron Rodgers completed a pass down to the Cincy 35 and spiked the ball with 16 seconds left. The next play was a completed pass over the middle, but the receiver was unable to get out of bounds, thus allowing the clock to run out.
Bengals emerge with a 31-24 victory.
The Patriots couldn't manage a single touchdown against the Jets' defense. Mark Sanchez's touchdown to start the second half proved to be the winning score, as the Jets won 16-9. Sanchez went 14-for-22, throwing for 163 yards and a touchdown, while Tom Brady was 22-for-42 for 216 yards and a pick.Rookie Josh Edleman replaced receiver Wes Welker and led the Patriots with 99 receiving yards.
Down by three, and with less than a minute to work, Matt Cassel’s offensive line couldn’t protect him long enough to mount a comeback.
This is the Chiefs’ 25th loss of their last 27 regular-season games. Ouch.
With less than three minutes left in the game, receiver Dwayne Bowe extended in the end zone to make a 29-yard touchdown pass. This is Cassel’s first-ever touchdown as a Chief.
The Vikings have officially taken control of a pesky Lions team, sealed by a screen pass to Percy Harvin for a three-yard touchdown score. That’s why you draft Percy Harvin, right?
Entering the fourth quarter, the score remains Raiders 6, Chiefs 3. Kansas City’s Matt Cassel just suffered his second interception of the game, this one in the red zone. Both picks were made by Oakland’s Michael Huff, who also recovered two turnovers last week.
And there it is: Ochocinco's infamous Lambeau Leap. Chad surveyed the scene briefly before wisely choosing to jump into a small cadre of Bengals fans, which, how did they get those seats, anyway? Also please note the Packers fan's reaction. He seemed sort of confused about what to do, and hey, when in doubt, flick off a camera man! That's my motto.
Ochocinco's touchdown puts the Bengals up 28-21. Banner day for the man with the insane name.
Update: Via FanHouse, here's video:
The Jets almost scored their second touchdown in two drives during the second half but it was reversed when at second look, Chancey Stuckey did not get two feet in bounds. They then settled for a 24 yard field goal to increase their lead to 13-9
And just like that, the Saints are up 31-13. A mere 3:21 into the second half, and New Orleans has already scored twice. First it was yet another Drew Brees passing touchdown, and then just two minutes later, a 7-yard rush by Mike Bell following a Kevin Kolb interception. In 6+ quarters of action this season, Brees already has 9 touchdowns.
Bang, bang: Lions’ tailback Kevin Smith fumbles the ball, the Vikings recover, the Vikings hand the ball to Adrian Peterson, Adrian Peterson runs the ball into the end zone on the very next play. Pretty simple, huh? Vikes 17, Lions 10.
Sebastian Janikowski, who kicked a 48-yarder in the first half, put another through from 54 yards out, putting the Raiders up by 3. He’s also kicked three touchbacks.
The Chiefs are trailing despite vastly out-gaining Oakland in offensive yardage, 219-74.
The Vikings did just about everything wrong in the last few plays of their field goal scoring drive; they failed to block for Adrian Peterson, who somehow ran for 10 yards anyway; Chester Taylor fumbled the ball and managed to get it back; and Brett Favre nearly threw a pick on a slant to Visanthe Shiancoe. And yet they escaped with three points, which is probably a blessing, considering the circumstances.
The Jets have broken the touchdown drought in the Jets/Patriots game with a nine yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez to Dustin Keller. Sanchez was 3 for 5 with 15 yards passing in the first half and goes 2 for 2 for 54 yards and the touchdown on the first drive of the second half.
Some big stories thus far: The Lions lead the Vikings, the Bengals attempted a flea flicker, the Chiefs attempted an onside kick early in the first quarter, and the Titans’ Chris Johnson is responsible for 175 of the team’s 283 total yards. Here are your halftime scores:
Chiefs 3, Raiders 3
Patriots 9, Jets 3
Saints 17, Eagles 13
Rams 7, Redskins 6
Lions 10, Vikings 7
Falcons 21, Panthers 13
Bengals 21, Packers 21
Cardinals 24, Jaguars 3
Texans 24, Titans 24
Here’s a quick summary of everything that happened on Cincinnati’s last drive:
• The Bengals offensive line played its first series horribly, leading to a third and 34 situation.
• The Bengals converted for a first down on a screen play, in which a fumble was recovered, barely, before the first down mark.
• The Bengals ran a flea flicker to Chad Ochocinco, who was eventually tackled in the red zone.
• Carson Palmer threw a touchdown to Bengals wideout Chris Henry.
Phew. OK. Deep breaths.
For the first 18 minutes of today’s game, Houston managed just 7 points. Then in a short 51 seconds, the Texans scored two touchdowns. First, Matt Schaub connected with Andre Jonson on a 72-yard score. A Kerry Collins interception just two plays later gave the Texans the ball back on the Titans’ 29, and they wasted little time, scoring on another Schaub touchdown pass, his third of the day, this time to Jacoby Jones.
Kris Brown just added a 38-yard FG to give Houston a 24-21 lead just before the 2-minute warning in Tennessee.
The Panthers’ top offensive threat thus far is Steve Smith, who has caught five Jake Delhomme passes for 88 yards.
The Patriots and Jets just cannot seem to find the endzone in this game but are making their field goal kickers earn their salary. Gostkowski kicked a 29 yard field goal after the Patriots drove 72 yards down the field. Gostkowski is 3 for 3 while Jay Feely is 1 for 1.
After yielding the inaugural Stafford touchdown, the Vikings used Adrian Peterson for much of a successful scoring drive before taking him out (don’t get me started on the fantasy implications here, but let’s just say I’m not pleased) and running play action with Favre. Simple enough. Lions 10, Vikings 7.
Wow, is Carson Palmer bad right now: Charles Woodson just notched his second pick of the day on a horrendous Palmer pass to the flat — there had to be some sort of miscommunication there — which Woodson promptly ran back for a quick six points. 21-14 Packers.
St. Louis is now beating the Redskins, 7-6, thanks to Stephen Jackson’s man-childishness and the vaunted WR corps of that one guy you may have heard of (Donny Avery) and that other guy (Laurent Robinson). The latter caught a TD pass from Marc Bulger on a third down fade route inside the five.
So, congrats, Rams:
You have to hand it to the Lions: They’re playing awfully well right now. Matt Stafford looks impressive; Calvin Johnson looks good as ever; and the defense is holding, for now at least, Adrian Peterson and the Vikings offense to minimal productivity.
Speaking of Stafford, the rookie just threw his first career touchdown pass to giant target Calvin Johnson. Then Stafford fist-pumped a bunch. He seemed pretty excited. Lions: 10-0.
If you’re a Bears fan, you’ll be angry. Otherwise, you’ll be impressed: Cedric Benson is running the ball very well for the Cincinnati Bengals right now, moving forward, fighting for extra yards on second efforts, making one cut and sprinting through the hole. Basically, he’s doing everything he didn’t do as a Chicago Bear.
Benson’s sudden burst led the Bengals to a game-tying touchdown in the second quarter; Benson’s rushing on the drive set up a one-yard QB sneak by Carson Palmer; it’s 14-14.
The Patriots drove down the field to kick a 25 yard field goal and take a 6-0 lead over the Jets. The Jets extended the Patriots drive by taking a personal foul penalty and an illegal contact penalty that gave the Patriots first downs each time. With Wes Welker out of the lineup, Brady’s top receiver has become rookie Josh Edleman who had a 29 yard reception on the drive and has 41 overall yards in the game.
Washington leads St. Louis by two field goals in a game that could very easily be 14-0 Redskins if they weren’t opposed to catching balls in, or around, the endzone.
Devin Thomas dropped a difficult, yet very catchable, pass from Jason Campbell in the first quarter. Then, minutes ago, FB Mike Sellers batted down a ball that hit him in the hands, in stride, on the two-yardline.
The Rams are now driving and in position to put their first points on the board thanks to a big run from Stephen Jackson.
Normally, West Coast teams struggle when traveling east for a 1:00 start. Apparently that does not count when playing the Jaguars. Arizona — who was 0-5 in the Eastern time zone last season — is already up 17-3 over Jacksonville early in the 2nd quarter, thanks to blocked field goal. Josh Scobee was lining up a 46-yard attempt, but it never made it past the line and Antrel Rolle scooped it up for an 83-yard score.
Matt Cassel’s first-ever drive as a Chief was impressive. Kansas City marched 74 yards down the field, and it’s worth noting that the oft-maligned Larry Johnson accounted for 37 of those yards.
The Chiefs settled for a field goal, and then attempted to catch the Raiders off guard with an onside kick. It didn’t work, but maybe that’s beside the point.
Green Bay literally just scored, and just when I thought it was safe to go grab a Red Bull from the fridge, they score again. Blast! I really need some caffeine!
Carson Palmer had much to do with the Packers’ sudden 14-7 lead; his pick led to a quick and easy four yard Ryan Grant touchdown run. The Bengals and turnovers: Two great tastes that taste great together, especially for Ryan Grant fantasy owners.
Stephen Gostkowski kicks a 45 yard field goal to give the Patriots an early 3-0 lead. The Patriots got good field position after Leon Washington fumbled the ball at the Jets 17 yard line. They then proceeded to back themselves up with two holding penalties on the drive and Brady only went 1 for 3 for ten yards.
In one of today’s strange bedfellows games, the Bengals struck first at the 8 minute mark with a five-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to Laveranues Coles. The Packers wasted no time in responding: Aaron Rodgers scrambled and dodged and eventually found Donald Driver on an extended red zone rollout. As the first quarter winds down, your score is 7-7.
It’s still early in the 1st quarter, but already the Saints and Eagles seem content to air it out and try to simply outscore one another. New Orleans struck first with a Drew Brees touchdown to Marques Colston (that’s 7 TDs for Brees in roughly 4 1/2 quarters this year). Kevin Kolb, making his first career NFL start, wasted little time in recording his first career NFL touchdown pass, hooking up with DeSean Jackson on a 71-yard bomb. Already 165 yards of combined total offense and two scores in just about 8 minutes of play.
The 1:00 block of games features five division rivalries. Everyone is adequately familiar with the anomosity between the Jets and the Patriots, but the Chiefs-Raiders matchup in Kansas City shouldn't be overlooked. Although they're far removed from their glory days, this is a rivalry of teams and not men. Here are the five divisional games from the early schedule.
Panthers at Falcons
(Game thread at The Falcoholic)
Vikings at Lions
(Preview at Daily Norseman)
Texans at Titans
(Game thread at Battle Red Blog)
Raiders at Chiefs
(Game thread at Arrowhead Pride)
Patriots at Jets
(Game thread at Gang Green Nation)
The early slate also features four inter-conference games. None of these teams are even geographical rivals, which arguably adds to the intrigue. It's like...well, did you ever see 'The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones'? The Jetsons and the Flintstones were in the same movie, and even though you were a little kid when you saw it, you did a double-take because it just didn't seem right to see these two elements on the same screen. Enjoy these four direct-to-video Hanna-Barbara cartoons, also starting at 1 PM:
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