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Caleb Hanie had a complete brain fart at exactly the wrong moment. All he had to do was spike the ball to stop the clock as the Chicago Bears tried to drive for the win in the waning seconds of their matchup with the Oakland Raiders. But he got caught in between spiking the ball and entertaining the idea of firing it out to a wide receiver, creating a hilarious situaiton.
The end result was a 10-second run-off on an intentional grounding call, which ended the game. Hanie took the snap with six seconds to go, and the Bears may not have been set before the ball was put into play anyway. Still, the "oh no, what do I do" look Hanie has as he realizes he needs to do something with the ball is great. And because he triple-clutched a spike, he was called for intentional grounding.
There can't be a more demoralizing moment for a defender than being hurdled. It's just bad all-around. One moment, you've got a ball-carrier all lined up and the next you're grasping at air. And the moment will surely be played over and over on highlight shows.
Roy Lewis was the unlucky man on the receiving end of a hurdle on Sunday as the Seattle Seahawks battled the Washington Redskins. Lewis had Washington running back Roy Helu all lined up, but as he went low and reached out to make the tackle, Helu decided to take matters to the air. The end result was Lewis whiffing completely and Helu trotting into the end zone.
That one's going to leave a pretty big mark on the ego. Heck of a run by Helu, and an even better hurdle.
The Chicago Bears began life without quarterback Jay Cutler with a rough start today. Facing the Oakland Raiders in Oakland backup quarterback Caleb Hanie threw two first quarter interceptions. The Raiders capitalized on both of the turnovers, kicking two field goals to go up by a score of 6-0 in the first quarter. Hanie later redeemed himself with a 24-yard drive-saving scramble before finally connecting with Johnny Knox on a 29-yard touchdown pass.
Check out the video of one of Hanie’s interceptions in this game.
Hanie was the source of controversy earlier this season when Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz spoke poorly in public of Hanie’s ability. The Bears tried to add Kyle Orton last week, who requested his release from the Denver Broncos to fill Cutler’s spot in Chicago. Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs scooped in and claimed Orton off waivers with a higher priority than the Bears.
Chicago signed Josh McCown to backup Hanie once they lost the waiver claim on Orton. McCown played for Mike Martz one season in Detroit as a backup.
Hanie hit Knox for a 29-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give Chicago a lead. That pass accounts for more than half of Hanie's 51 yards of passing so far. He has completed five of 12 passes with four minutes left in the first half.
The Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redkins are battling it out in Seattle right now. Seahawks running back Marshawns Lynch caught a short pass from Tarvaris Jackson and ran it 20 yards for a touchdown. That score answered Washington’s first quarter touchdown and tied the game at 7-7.
Lynch got some nice blocking help on the play. Check out the video his touchdown right here.
That was Lynch’s seventh touchdown of the season and the first time he has scored a receiving touchdown this year. That is his only catch of the game so far. On the ground, Lynch has carried the ball five times for 26 yards.
This is the seventh consecutive start in which Lynch has scored this season. He missed a week 7 game with an injury, but returned to make his presence felt for Seattle down the stretch. Lynch has been a big part of a Seahawks offense that has grown more and more competent as the season progresses.
You might not have guessed it prior to today, but there is a pretty good football game happening in Cincinnati today between the Bengals and their cross-state rivals, the Cleveland Browns. Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton hit tight end Jermaine Gresham for a 22-yard touchdown to close the gap to just three points.
Check out the video of Gresham’s touchdown right here.
The Bengals tied it with a field goal to make it 20-20 at the start of the fourth quarter. That came after they intercepted Colt McCoy at the Bengals 46-yard line. Gresham leads all Bengals receivers today, so far, with five catches and 62 yards to go with his touchdown. Running back Cedric Benson has the Bengals’ only other touchdown so far.
Browns quarterback Colt McCoy has two touchdowns and one interception so far, carrying most of the offensive load despite the return of running back Peyton Hillis this week.
Memo to NFL defensive coordinators: You probably don't want to be covering Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin with a linebacker on third-and-long. Yet, that's exactly the situation that the Atlanta Falcons left Curtis Lofton in with Harvin streaking down the middle of the field. Predictably, Harvin caught the 39-yard touchdown in the back of the endzone to bring the Vikings to within three points.
Looking at the replay, it's hard to tell what, exactly, went wrong on that play. Defensive back Dominique Franks looks to have been covering a zone that had no one in it on the play and maybe was supposed to be picking up the deep man there. But it's at least somewhat plausible that the Falcons were just expecting Lofton to get deep enough to cover the play.
Clearly, he didn't and now the Falcons' once comfortable lead is very much in danger. Early in the fourth quarter, their 17-point lead is down to three.
The Bills and Jets are locked up in a tight NFL Week 12 matchup with big implications in the AFC East and postseason race. With the season on the line, Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick have come to play. And while the Jets QB has been bad at times, each quarterback has thrown for three touchdowns in the first three quarters.
Fitzpatrick has been strong throughout. But in the third quarter, he got some help from wide receiver (and former Jet) Brad Smith, who deflected a would-be interception and turned it into a 36-yard touchdown pass.
Video of that play is here, and it's just kind of ridiculous:
After some rough patches, including a bad interception that led to a Bills TD, Sanchez has found a bit of rhythm with help from his tight end Dustin Keller, who has four catches and two touchdowns.
Here's video of the second touchdown pass to Keller:
For more on this match up -- including this must-see Stevie Johnson td celebration -- visit Bills blog Buffalo Rumblings, and Jets blog Gang Green Nation . For all your professional football needs, visit our NFL hub.
Arizona Cardinals rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson has struggled with coverage at the NFL level, most corners do in their first season. He has not struggled with punt returns. Peterson just scored his fourth punt-return touchdown the season and his second against the St. Louis Rams. Peterson returned the punt 80 yards for a touchdown, giving the Cardinals a 20-10 lead.
Check out the video of Peterson’s punt-return touchdown.
Peterson is now in a four-way tie for the record for punt-return touchdowns in a season. Devin Hester is also on that list; he had four in the 2007 season. Peterson’s last punt-return touchdown came against the Rams in week 9. He returned a punt in overtime for a 99-yard touchdown that gave the Cardinals the win.
As for why the Rams punted directly to Peterson again after that, well, Steve Spagnuolo’s press conference after the game might offer some insight, but don’t bet on it.
The Titans and Bucs are putting a few touchdowns on the board, even if it hasn't always been on offense. Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib gave Tampa Bay a 17-10 lead with this pick six in the second half.
Talib took a Matt Hasselback pass 27-yards the other way for the score. It was the second interception of the day for the Titans quarterback.
Here's video of the interception and the uncontested scamper into the end zone:
The Bucs lead 17-10, despite one offensive touchdown. The Titans have not been better, scoring their lone touchdown on a kickoff return in the first quarter.
But even better than the interception was the bizarre touchdown celebration that followed:
Any guess for what this means? Leave 'em in the comments, please. The SB Nation virtual newsroom is mighty confused.
For more on this match up -- including this sick LaGarrette Blount hurdle animated GIF -- visit Bucs blog Bucs Nation, and Titans blog Music City Miracles . For all your professional football needs, visit our comprehensive NFL Week 12 Scores and Video Highlights StoryStream and NFL hub.
Jared Allen is obviously best known for his defensive abilities. But he was originally drafted as a long-snapper, a skill he got to showcase on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons when there was an injury to the Minnesota Vikings starter.
Just for good measure, Allen even made the tackle on the play. Granted, it was at the end of a 42-yard return, but still.
With Matt Leinart in the midst of having himself a pretty solid day, it only makes sense that he'd go down with an injury. After trying to throw the ball away to avoid a sack, Leinart was driven into the ground and immediately went to the sidelines. After being briefly inspected, he went to the locker room. After halftime, it was announced he would miss the rest of the game.
Prior to getting hurt, Leinart had completed 10 of 13 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. He was far from dominant, but he was looking competent, which was more than many of us expected.
After the injury, 2011 fifth-round draft pick T.J. Yates became the third Texans quarterback to throw a pass in the last two weeks. Yates looked decent, completing 3 of 6 passes for 36 yards. He led the Texans to a field goal that gave them a 20-10 lead heading into halftime.
Whether or not Leinart returns, though, you have to imagine the Texans will be relying heavily on Arian Foster. He has 62 yards and a touchdown so far.
The St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals are putting out two of the worst offensive displays you will see all season. The Rams lead 10-3 at the half, after settling for a field goal after taking a penalty because of a confused snap count and allowing a sack to push them from the three-yard line to the 17-yard line. The Rams ended up at the three-yard line thanks to a highlight worthy catch from wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
That was a 26-yard pass from Sam Bradford, his longest of the game. Lloyd has three catches for 49 yards so far, and as Bradford’s top target, he should pick up some more.
The running backs have handled most of the offensive work in this game. Steven Jackson has 45 yards on 11 carries for the Rams, and Beanie Wells has 118 yards on just nine carries, including a 71-yard breakaway that nearly resulted in a score.
Matt Leinart is roughly one or two lifetimes removed from the days when he was "the next great left-handed NFL quarterback" or whatever people were calling him when he was deciding to party at USC for another year, rather than play in the NFL. On Sunday, though, he showed he's still more likely to throw a touchdown than some random dude on his couch. Leinart connected with tight end Joel Dreessen on a 20-yard touchdown. It was Leinart's first touchdown since December 2008.
To be entirely fair, it was a pretty good pass. Of course, the announcers in this game are making it sound like this is proof that this throw justifies Leinart's NFL employment. Those statements ignore the fact that Leinart had looked pretty humdrum before that, completing eight of his first nine passes, but none of them for more than eight yards.
Leinart still has a long ways to go before anyone forgets what a colossal bust he's been. But this is a place to start, at least.
Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback is continuing his magical debut season today. Newton scored his tenth rushing touchdown in the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts today. That is his tenth rushing touchdown, which ties him for the rookie record, with three quarters left to play against the Colts and five more games in the season.
Check out the video of Newton’s rushing touchdown right here.
Billy Kilmer scored ten rushing touchdowns with San Francisco as a rookie in 1961. Ten rushing touchdowns moves Newton into a tie for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns from a quarterback.
The first-overall pick in the NFL Draft, Newton already looks like a lock for the rookie of the year award.
Not too much later the Colts scored a touchdown of their own, their first offensive touchdown of the month. Running back Donald Brown punched it in from 17 yards out, finishing off an 80-yard drive to make it a 10-7 game. The Colts are still looking for their first win of the season.
Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells had struggled for yardage lately. He has topped the 100-yard mark just once this season. Today he already has 89 yards against the struggling St. Louis Rams, thanks in large part to this 71-yard breakaway run in the first quarter.
Take a look at the video right here.
Wells has five carries so far in today’s game. He is expected to get plenty more opportunities to carry the rock against the Rams today.
LeGarrette Blount could be hurdling defenders for Tennessee, but instead he's jumping over Titans in a Buccaneers uniform. The Tampa Bay running back signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2010, but was waived in September the same year and picked up by the Bucs.
On Sunday, Blount did this vs. his former team:
Many fans know Blount for his physical outbursts, most notably the punch he threw against Boise State while he was playing for the Oregon Ducks. But man, this is a big, athletic back.
The way he's playing this season (he's averaging 67.6 yards per on 4.6 yards per carry) -- and the way Chris Johnson is struggling after receiving a new contract -- the Titans might be wishing they had kept Blount around.
For more on this match up, visit Bucs blog Bucs Nation, and Titans blog Music City Miracles . For all your professional football needs, visit our comprehensive NFL Week 12 Scores and Video Highlights StoryStream and NFL hub.
The St. Louis Rams signed wide receiver and return man Nick Miller this week, his second stint with the team this season. Miller made the most of his opportunity early in the game. He returned an Arizona Cardinals punt for an 88-yard touchdown to give the offensively challenged Rams their first points of the day.
Check out the video of Miller’s return right here.
That was the first touchdown the Rams have scored on a punt return since Dante Hall did it on September 30 against the Dallas Cowboys. Miller’s return is the third-longest in franchise history. Miller took over punting duties from rookie Austin Pettis, who had struggled in the role. Danny Amendola was the Rams return man prior to his week 1 injury that ended his season.
The Rams lost to Arizona in week 9 when Patrick Peterson returned a punt for a 99-yard touchdown in overtime for the win.
Week 12 of the NFL season already has a great story you'll probably be hearing more about. Ashton Youboty, the 2006 third round draft pick out of Ohio State, scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery on just his second play since signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 15.
There are a few things about Youboty that are worth mentioning. First off, he's Liberian. His family settled in Philadelphia when he was a child. He eventually earned a scholarship to Ohio State and left there after his junior year to purse an NFL career.
He spent four relatively nondescript seasons with the Buffalo Bills before getting cut in 2010. He was very briefly with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year, but never appeared in a game. The Jaguars then "signed him off the street," as the saying goes, just about two weeks ago. Rumor has it, he was participating in Occupy Florida movements in the meantime.
OK, that last part is not true. But anytime I hear someone say a player was "signed off the street," I always feel like it sounds like these guys were homeless until signing. Well, it does make for a better story, right?
Colt McCoy and the Cleveland Browns struck first in the Battle of Ohio, flinging a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordan Miller. That was Norwood’s second catch of the Browns’ first possession, and he already has 60 yards to go with his touchdown. Check out the video of the score right here.
Norwood was just promoted from the Browns practice squad prior to this game. He was cut by the Eagles last year. Working out of the slot, he already looks at home in Pat Shurmur’s West Coast Offense. The Browns originally signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2009.
Prior to the touchdown pass, McCoy hit Norwood for a deep, 36-yard strike to move the ball down the field. McCoy has completed three of five passes so far. Peyton Hillis is back this week as well, and has carried the ball three times.
Norwood played his college ball at Penn State.
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