Week 15 was the week of the streak buster. The Titans finally won after losing 6 straight, the Panthers finally won after losing 7 straight, the Bengals finally won after losing 10 straight, and the Lions finally won on the road after losing an NFL record 26 straight. Too bad Brett Favre started a new streak of 1 straight.
Brett Favre said last week that he wasn't interested in any last hurrahs. I guess he lied. "This is my last home game in Minnesota," Favre said. "I want to play for these fans. I want them to see me play." Well, they got to see you get knocked out at least. Favre played well, leading the Vikings to any early 7-0 lead, but he had to leave the game in the second quarter after hitting his head hard on the frozen ground. I know Favre has said this will be his last season, but I won't believe it until I see it. Although, if he does call it quits he could always take over the Energizer Bunnies job because he really does "just keep going and going".
Browns 17, Bengals 19
It was the "Battle of Ohio" and no one outside of Ohio really cared. Marvin Lewis read my comments about his team from last week and took my advice to run the ball more as Cedric Benson pounded the Browns for 150 yards and 1 touchdown. The win ended the Bengals painful to watch 10 game losing streak, but unfortunately the far more painful to watch "T.Ocho Show" still remains.
For the rest of week 15 continue after the jump.
With a 20 point lead and Rex Grossman playing poorly, the Cowboys must have felt confident they would win. Then they remembered they aren't that good this year. Grossman led the Redskins on three straight touchdown drives to tie the game up at 30-30 before Jon Kitna, who threw for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns, led the Cowboys on a clock burning drive that led to the winning field goal with 50 seconds remaining. "I didn't have jitters, but it took a while to get into the flow of the game," said Grossman who threw for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. "Maybe we started our run a tad too late." Really? That's a bit like me saying, "Maybe giving my bank account information to that nice gentleman from Nigeria was a bad idea."
Texans 17, Titans 31
Kerry Collins threw for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns and Chris Johnson rushed for 130 yards and 1 touchdown as the Titans finally won a game. Of course, it helped that they were playing a Texans team that's now lost 7 of their last 8. Amazingly, even though they're only 6-8, the Titans still have a chance to make the playoffs. Maybe the win will motivate Randy Moss to actually run his routes. Over the last two games, Moss hasn't had a single pass thrown his way. At least the Titans can feel good knowing they didn't give up a 3rd round draft pick to get him like the Vikings did.
Lions 23, Buccaneers 20
It took a little over 3 years but the Lions finally won a road game. Dave Rayner kicked 3 field goals for the Lions including a 28 yarder to send the game to OT and a 34 yarder that finally put an end to the misery. At least until they start another losing streak. But for one day at least, they got to laugh at the other team. "Are they still in the playoffs," joked Lions center Dominic Raiola. "Are they getting ready, making vacation plans now, like us?" You know things have taken a turn for the worse when a month ago your coach was calling you "the best team in the NFC" and now you are being made fun of by the Lions.
Matt Cassel may have just had an organ removed but they certainly didn't remove his heart. Otherwise he'd be dead. Cassel threw for 184 yards and a touchdown in leading the surprising Chiefs past the Rams. The Rams took an early 6-0 lead but for the 2nd straight week Sam Bradford threw multiple interceptions. It's also the 3rd straight game he hasn't thrown a touchdown. But the real question on everyone's mind is why Todd Haley keeps giving Thomas Jones more carries than Jamaal Charles. Seriously, has he not seen Charles averages 6.4 yards per carry compared to Jones who only averages 3.9 yards per carry. It's not rocket science. Of course, nothing's rocket science except rocket science, but you get the point.
If the Jaguars had won they would have clinched the AFC South. Now they need to win both their remaining games and hope the Colts lose one of theirs. Donald Brown led the Colts newfound running attack with 129 yards as the Colts have finally come to realize Peyton Manning can't do it all by himself. Before this year the most passes Manning had ever thrown in a single season was 591. Through 14 games this years he's already topped that with 608 passes. They also finally did a good job stopping the run as Maurice Jones-Drew was held to only 46 yards. "It's a good win but it's just one game and we've got to be able to do that again next week," Manning said. Lucky for him, next week is against the Raiders.
Here's an idea. With 13 seconds remaining in a tie game, how about choosing to kick away from probably the most dynamic big play maker in the NFL today, DeSean Jackson. But the Giants didn't and Jackson returned the punt 65 yards for the game winning touchdown as time expired. "I was thinking to myself like,'they're not going to kick it to me,'" Jackson said. "I was thinking he was going to kick it out of bounds." Trust me Jackson, that's what everyone else was thinking as well.
Cardinals 12, Panthers 19
If the Panthers could just play against the NFC West every week, they'd finish with an average record. Strangely, the win did nothing to hurt the Panthers draft status with the top overall pick since the Bengals also won. This game also highlighted how even a good team can look bad if they get horrible play from the QB position as both these teams met in the playoffs just 2 seasons ago. Now if only a certain team will pick up on that same message.
All it took for the Ravens to beat the Saints on Sunday was a career day from their RB Ray Rice. Rice rushed for 153 yards, had 80 yards receiving, and scored 2 touchdowns. It was such a big day for Rice he's going to do something special with his game day cleats. "I'm going to give them to my mom for Christmas," Rice said. Good idea. Forget the Lexus, just give her your old stinking shoes.
After playing all month on the road, the Falcons won't have to leave home again until the Super Bowl if they can win one of their last two games. The Falcons didn't put up huge offensive numbers but Matt Hasselbeck turned the ball over 3 times for the Seahawks, something he's now down 13 times over the last 4 games. The Seahawks have now lost 6 of their last 8 games after starting the season 4-2. Too bad for Pete Carroll he can't use pay to play to fix his problems like he could at USC.
Brad Smith took the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and set the tone early for the Jets who desperately needed a win after back-to-back ugly losses. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 264 yards and a touchdown, but his two passes from the Jets 10 in the closing seconds of the game fell incomplete. "This win might surprise a lot of people, but it didn't surprise us," said coach Rex Ryan, who decided not to wear a jacket on the sidelines during a 25 degree day to show how tough he was. Too bad for him he only ended up showing how stupid he was. You don't have to wear an arctic parka like Singletary does but there's nothing wrong with trying to stay comfortable.
Matt Flynn threw for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first career start filling in for the injured Aaron Rodgers, but it wasn't enough to get past the Patriots and Dan Connelly. After taking a 17-7 lead the Packers kicked off short to avoid Brandon Tate, but Connelly, a 313 pound offensive lineman, picked up the ball and returned it 71 yards to set up a touchdown just before the half. "I've never seen anything happen so slow in my life," Joked Tom Brady. I'm guessing he didn't watch the Cardinals/Panthers game.
Broncos 23, Raiders 39
In his highly anticipated NFL start, Tim Tebow threw for 138 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 78 yards and a touchdown, and that's all I have to say about that one.
Luckily, not everyone gets the NFL Network so not everyone got to see just how bad the 49ers can be. Unfortunately, I do get the NFL Network so I did get to see just how bad they can be.