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12-18-2009, 09:38 AM #137
Colts : 14 - 0; perfetto
14-0: Colts stay unbeaten with 35-31 win over Jags
- AP – Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) greets Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard …
By MARK LONG, AP Sports Writer Mark Long, Ap Sports Writer – Fri Dec 18, 7:29 am ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Peyton Manning completed every pass early and one big one late, exactly what the Indianapolis Colts needed to stay unbeaten.
Manning threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns, including a 65-yarder to Reggie Wayne to go ahead for good, and the Colts beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 35-31 Thursday night to improve to 14-0 for the first time in franchise history.
The wild game on a cool night included 714 yards, 43 first downs, 10 lead changes, six punts, several big plays and just two turnovers.
"I thought today was a great test against a good team," Manning said. "Feel real good about the win."
The Jaguars (7-7) had a chance to win it in the closing minutes, but David Garrard overthrew Mike Thomas on a third-and-10 play with about a minute to play. Jacob Lacey intercepted the ball, and the Colts ran out the clock.
Indianapolis extended its NFL-record winning streak in the regular season to 23 and became the third 14-0 team in league history, joining the 1972 Miami Dolphins and 2007 New England Patriots. New Orleans can join the list with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night.
Jacksonville lost for the third time in the four games and no longer controls its fate in the AFC wild-card race.
They have Manning to thank for this one.
He completed his first 13 passes and was nearly as efficient as he was in last year's game in Jacksonville, when he completed 17 in a row.
Manning finished 23 of 30, picking apart Jacksonville's secondary early and often. Wayne caught five passes for 132 yards. Dallas Clark had seven receptions for 95 yards and two scores.
The Jaguars, who have lost eight of 10 in the series, got in a shootout with Manning & Co., which turned out to be a huge mistake.
Garrard was 23 of 40 for 223 yards with three touchdowns. Maurice Jones-Drew ran 27 times for 110 yards and a score. But once the Jaguars got behind and abandoned the running game, they had trouble sustaining drives.
All that talk about Indy resting some of its key players turned out to be pretty just speculation. Sure, defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis played sparingly, but Manning, Wayne, Clark and the other stars played the entire game.
And did most of the damage.
The dagger came with 5:23 remaining, when Manning found Wayne streaking down the sideline for the 65-yarder. Safety Reggie Nelson seemed to bite on a pump fake, allowing Wayne to get behind the coverage. It was the biggest play in a second half that didn't quite live up to the opening 30 minutes.
"Reggie just used his speed," Manning said. "What a great job once he caught the ball to get into the end zone."
The first half was a back-and-forth affair that included 336 yards, 57 plays, 38 points, 23 first downs, one penalty, no turnovers and not a single punt. The half took a little more than an hour to play, so fast that the league's broadcast representative spent the final few minutes scrambling to plug in all the TV timeouts.
Manning was perfect, completing 12 of 12 passes for 116 yards and had touchdown passes to Clark and Austin Collie. Clark made a sliding grab in the back of the end zone for a 6-yard score and a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter. Collie's catch, a 23-yarder on a seam route that he briefly bobbled at the goal line, put Indy ahead 21-17 with 35 seconds remaining.
The Jaguars got in field-goal range just before halftime, but Josh Scobee came up well short on a 57-yard attempt.
Jacksonville played a near perfect half on offense. Garrard completed 12 of 16 passes for 97 yards, and one of his best plays of the season resulted in a touchdown.
He faked a handoff, rolled left on a bootleg, then spun around and headed across the field. Maurice Jones-Drew, who had been blocking on the play, released toward the end zone and Garrard lofted a perfect pass for the score.
Jones-Drew, who averaged 69 yards rushing the last four games, ran 14 times for 73 yards in the first half. There had been rumors that 5-foot-7 dynamo was slowed by a sore knee. He looked fully healthy against Indy.
12-21-2009, 09:25 AM #138
steel niptuck packs
Steelers beat Packers 37-36 on final play
- AP – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles 14-yards for a second-quarter touchdown against …
By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer Alan Robinson, Ap Sports Writer – Sun Dec 20, 10:04 pm ET
PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger throws to the corner of the end zone, the receiver barely gets his feet down inbounds for a remarkable touchdown. Ten months after winning the Super Bowl with just such an improbable play, the Pittsburgh Steelers possibly saved their season with a nearly identical one.
Roethlisberger ended the game the way he started it by throwing a touchdown pass to Mike Wallace, a desperation 19-yarder on the final play that rallied Pittsburgh to a 37-36 victory over Green Bay on Sunday that ended the Packers' five-game winning streak and the Steelers' five-game losing streak.
"The way the game ended was incredible, especially that last play," center Justin Hartwig said, comparing the play to Roethlisberger's 6-yard pass to Santonio Holmes that beat Arizona for the NFL title last season. "It was obviously pretty reminiscent of the Super Bowl."
The Packers (9-5) stalled in their playoff run as they couldn't hold leads of 28-27 and 36-30 in a frantic fourth quarter that was much like Oakland's 27-23 win in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, when the lead changed hand five times in the final nine minutes. Green Bay could have secured a playoff spot with its first win in Pittsburgh since 1970 and a Giants loss or tie on Monday night but, instead, Minnesota clinched the NFC North with the Packers' loss.
Roethlisberger went 29 of 46 with three TDs and 503 yards passing while becoming the first Steelers quarterback to throw for 500 yards in a game. He kept the Steelers' decisive 86-yard drive going by finding Santonio Holmes for 32 yards on a fourth-and-7 play and Heath Miller for 30 on third-and-15.
Down to his last play, Roethlisberger found Wallace open in the left front corner of the end zone with Josh Bell in coverage. Wallace managed to keep both feet in on a play upheld by replay, and Jeff Reed — who also kicked three field goals — added the extra point.
Roethlisberger broke the team record of 473 yards by Tommy Maddox during a 34-all tie against Atlanta in 2002. His yardage is a league season high; Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb threw for 450 against San Diego on Nov. 15.
"The guys were coming back to the huddle worn out, linemen, receivers, everybody," Roethlisberger said. "We didn't quit. Everybody believed we could do it."
Including Wallace, who made no other catches except for his touchdowns. Shortly before making his decisive catch, Wallace quickly went to the locker room to get stitches to close a gash on his knee.
"It was kind of hard to run," Wallace said. "But that's just Ben. That's all I can say. That's just Ben."
Asked if he had good coverage on the play, Bell said, "Not good enough."
"You lose on a last-second play, with a spectacular throw and catch, it's tough," the Packers' Clay Matthews said. "Hindsight's always 20-20 but we knew what we were getting ourselves into. It was a dogfight."
Wallace also caught a 60-yard scoring pass on Pittsburgh's first play of the game as Steelers (7-7) joined five other AFC teams tied at 7-7 in the chase for the AFC's last playoff spot — and just in time. One more play, and their season probably would have been over.
"Not dead yet," coach Mike Tomlin said. "We've got a little pulse here."
The Steelers have lost five times when ahead or tied in the fourth quarter, but they rallied this time during a final quarter that featured four lead changes and a failed Pittsburgh onside kick attempt with the Steelers ahead.
Aaron Rodgers, who finished 26 of 48 for 383 yards and three touchdown passes and ran for another, threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to James Jones on third-and-14 with 2:06 remaining to put Green Bay up 36-30 after Pittsburgh gambled and failed on an onside kick.
But the Steelers came back while outgaining the Packers 537-436 in a game that matched two of the NFL's top four defenses but turned into a passing duel almost from the start. Pittsburgh avoided becoming the first Super Bowl champion to lose six in a row the following season.
It was a tense and discouraging finish for Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, a Pittsburgh native who couldn't deliver the Packers' first victory in his hometown since shortly after the Vince Lombardi era ended. The Packers are 0-4 since winning there in 1970.
"This is classic December football," McCarthy said. "It came down to the last play and we didn't get it done."
The Packers trailed 7-0, 14-7, 21-14 and 27-21 as Roethlisberger also threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Mewelde Moore late in the second quarter that made it 21-14. Green Bay went ahead for the first time at 28-27 on Ryan Grant's 24-yard touchdown run halfway through the fourth quarter. Before that, Rodgers hit Greg Jennings on an 83-yard TD pass that tied it at 7 and scooted through the Steelers' surprised defense on a 14-yard TD run that made it 14-all.
Pittsburgh later retook the lead on Reed's 43-yard field goal, his third of the game, with 3:58 remaining, but Tomlin — aggressively trying to shake his team out of a slide that was ruining their season — called for a surprise onside kick.
"To be honest, we hadn't stopped them and they hadn't stopped us," Tomlin said.
Ike Taylor fielded the ball before the kick bounced the required 10 yards, giving the Packers a huge break and the ball at Pittsburgh's 39-yard line. The Packers went on to score but, at the end, simply left their exhausted defense on the field one play too many.
"Unfortunately, the last team with the ball would win," Rodgers said.
The game was nearly devoid of running attempts — Grant ran for a team-high 37 yards for Green Bay, Rashard Mendenhall gained 38 for Pittsburgh — and featured nearly 900 yards passing.
NOTES: A season after the Steelers beat San Diego in the first 11-10 game in NFL history, they won the first 37-36 game, according to STATS, LLC. ... Roethlisberger, Y.A. Tittle and Warren Moon are the only NFL quarterbacks to throw for at least 500 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. ... The Steelers are 5-2 against teams that are .500 or better but 2-4 against losing-record teams. ... Steelers long snapper Greg Warren apparently tore a knee ligament on the final extra point and is likely out for the season.
01-18-2010, 06:11 PM #139
01-18-2010, 06:14 PM #140
..the 'Boys had a chance..Next week's NFC title game is gonna be a barn burner..For the AFC title game, the Colts should advance..
01-18-2010, 06:21 PM #141
"Romo: Strange as it may seem for a team that surrendered six sacks, Dallas' offensive line actually controlled the game for much of the first quarter. The Cowboys gained 118 yards on 22 plays and were averaging 3.9 yards a rush. Still, Romo acted at times as if he were facing unrelenting pressure when he wasn't.
On one play, he stepped up to avoid looping rushes on the edge and had a pocket from which to throw. But rather than go through his reads, he took off for the line of scrimmage. There was an opening to the right for a big gain, but he inexplicably tried an ugly dumpoff that fell incomplete. It was as if he had no interest in sitting in the pocket and looking into the secondary for a big play".
Things just got worse from there, and understandably so. Once the Vikings got up -- and left tackle Flozell Adams went down three minutes into the second quarter with a calf injury -- Romo had little chance. He appeared even more antsy in the pocket. On a third-and-goal from the 15, wideout Roy Williams broke free on a post route. Favre would have made the throw in his sleep. But with a chance to answer Minnesota's first score with a TD of its own, Romo looked the other way and threw short to Miles Austin on a short route. Awful decision.
By the third quarter, it was apparent Romo was a beaten man. His body language reflected as much after he threw an ugly interception to linebacker Ben Leber. Romo dropped his head and appeared to be broken, as if he could not believe he made the throw.
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...#ixzz0d0scmhBG
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Last edited by demolidor; 01-18-2010 at 06:23 PM.
01-19-2010, 01:02 AM #142
^^Before the game..^^
..i based it on their surprising win over the 'Aint's and 2 wins vs. the Eagles..
01-19-2010, 01:20 AM #143
The Chargers choked again. Must suck being a Charger fan.
The Jets... why are they still there? Terrible team.
The Colts. Free pass to the Superbowl
The Ravens. Wrong team came out of the AFC North. A bunch of has beens.
The Cardinals were who we thought they would be
The Cowboys... got ambushed.
The Vikings played possum during the last 3 weeks of the season and brought it.
The Saints makes me wonder if an offence-based team can finally win a
01-19-2010, 01:22 AM #144
^^Which 2 teams..^^
..would you want to see in the Superbowl??..Colts vs. Saints or Colts vs. Vikings??..
01-19-2010, 01:26 AM #145
Both the teams I wanted to see (Cards, Bolts) got eliminated so my interest is waning quickly.
I hate the Jets, so by default, the Colts get my AFC vote.
Don't mind either team from the NFC, as long as they CRUSH the Colts in the Superbowl
If the Steelers can't win it for the AFC, I don't want this conference to hold the Superbowl. Only the Steelers, baby, hehe
01-19-2010, 01:45 AM #146
^^Colts won't have it easy..^^
..as Peyton & his receivers will have to throw against the J-E-T-S' terrific cover man, Darrelle Revis..it's gonna be interesting as it'll be a rematch of the Colt's controversial 1st loss of the season (where the Colts benched most of their starters in the 2nd half of the game)..
01-19-2010, 01:55 AM #147
Still hate the Jets
01-19-2010, 02:27 AM #148
'football'... my peachy bum.
01-19-2010, 02:33 AM #149
01-19-2010, 02:34 AM #150
01-19-2010, 05:31 AM #151
01-19-2010, 05:55 AM #152
^^Are you sure??..^^
..there's no 'world cup' in football (the only 'football' in the whole world??)
01-19-2010, 06:56 AM #153
Revis is good no doubt about it, but it won't be him who wins the match for the Jets, it'll be Ryans voodoo doll of kickers
Or well, if anything is going to stop the Colts from winning it, it will be if they fail at stopping the run, which doesn't seem very likely as they held a Rice to 68 (?) yards in the previous game. And the difference between Baltimores run and Jets run is something like 0.2 yards/carriage.
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