With the National Football League – Unpredictable is the Toss

 coach Jeff FisherBryan Mongeau-Eastmond

Trying to Make Sense of the Unpredictable

New York (RushPRnews)11/26/08-Because anything can happen on any given Sunday, the NFL is unpredictable to say the least. With week 12 in the books, RushPRnews is going to try to make sense of it all and keep you up-to-date on the latest news and scores from around the league with this weekly column.

Jets 34, Titans 13
Sooner or later the Titans were going to drop one.
The battle of the gray beard quarterbacks went to Brett Favre and his New York Jets putting an end to the Titans’ dream of a perfect season. Tennessee (10-1) looked nothing like their former selves. But don’t blame Kerry Collins for this one. The Titans’ receivers could not “catch” a break literary. And the defense which allowed a league-low 13.1 points a game surrendered 34 in this one.
New York had 10 days to prepare for Tennessee and it showed scoring on their opening drive. Favre is playing his best football in years. He finished 25-of-32 for 224 yards with two touchdown passes. That gave Favre his 14th consecutive season with at least 20 scoring passes, breaking the record previously held by Dan Marino.
The Jets, who entered with the fourth-ranked rush defense (81.3), limited the Titans to 45 rushing yards. The surging Jets (8-3) have won five straight, putting them atop the AFC East.

Ravens 36, Eagles 7
Will the real Donovan McNabb please stand up?
Donovan McNabb will start when the Eagles host the Cardinals Thursday night. But it’s too early to tell if that’s a good thing for Eagles fans. The face of the franchise has hit a cold streak.
McNabb was 8-for-18 for 59 yards with two interceptions and a fumble in the first half against the Ravens. Not exactly the way you want to respond coming off of a tie in which he had four turnovers last week against Cincinnati. So the decision was made to bench him. Up to Kevin Kolb to restore order in Philadelphia (as if playing a Raven’s defense who was embarrassed last week was not enough.) No he did not fair much better with two interceptions.
The Eagle’s (5-5-1) lone touchdown came on a 100-yard kickoff return by Quintin Demps in the first half. But that wasn’t the longest play of the game. Ed Reed returned an interception 108 yards, the longest in NFL history.

Cowboys 35, 49ers 22
Ask and you shall receive.
It’s no secret that Terrell Owens was unhappy with his lack of involvement in the offensive scheme. After given those around him an earful and leaking his frustrations to the media, T.O. finally got his wish. Owens caught seven passes for 213 yards, including a 75 yard strike for the major. This was his first 100-yard game of the season. Tony Romo made his second start since fracturing his right pinkie finger. The Cowboys are (6-2) this season with Romo behind centre.
Patriots 48, Dolphins 28
Randy Moss is back
Playing the Dolphins seems to reenergize Randy Moss. Sunday’s victory was no different. But some of that magic rubbed off on Patriots’ quarterback Matt Cassel who threw for 415 yards and three touchdown passes-all to Randy Moss. Cassel became the first quarterback since 2004 to o register back-to-back 400 yard games. Miami, who unveiled their wildcat formation against New England in week 3, did not help them in this one. The Dolphins were trying to become the first AFC East team to sweep the Patriots since 2000 and break a second-place tie with the Patriots in the division, but fell short and dropped to 6-5 on the season, ending a four-game winning streak in the process.

Raiders 31, Broncos 10
Installing cable in Denver
Just when you thought that the Broncos were back on the saddle, they lose to the Oakland Raiders. This was Raiders’ head coach Tom Cable and QB JaMarcus Russell’s biggest win in the professional rankings. Russell who went 10-11 for 152 yards with 1 TD had his best game as a pro. This is an important win for Oakland (3-8), who have been embarrassed the past four games and might give a much needed boost of confidence to the 2007 No. 1 overall pick.

Vikings 30, Jaguars 12
Worst start to a game
If you want a lesson in how not to start a game, look no further then the way Jacksonville started last Sunday’s game. The Jags (4-7) turned the ball over twice in the first minute of play. The mistakes started on the first play when quarterback David Garrard lined up in the shotgun but Brad Meester thought he was under center. A short snap was picked up by the Vikings’ Napoleon Harris, who ran it in for a 28-yard touchdown. Then, on the ensuing kickoff the Jaguars fumbled leading to a Chester Taylor TD run.
It was over before it even began for Jack Del Rio’s men. Viking’s Andrian Peterson ended up with 80 yards on 17 carries, including a 16-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to help his team improve to (6-5)

Falcons 45, Panthers 28
No longer in the shadows
The Falcons rookie quarterback did not throw a touchdown pass against the panthers in week 4 and he did not throw one on Sunday either. But he didn’t have too. Michael Turner rushed for four TDs against the Panthers. Turner went over 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career, proving that he has what it takes to be a starter in the league. Maybe, the Chargers, his former team, should have kept him because things are not looking all that great in San Diego. But then again, it’s always nice to hav ea fresh start. The Falcons (7-4) have done a tremendous job rebounding from last season’s disappointing record of 4-12.

Bills 54, Chiefs 31
Bills put a 50 burger on Chiefs
The Chiefs have been competive in each of their last four games. But Chief’s head coach Herm Edwards is the first to say that “you play to win the game.” Kansas City did neither of the two. Trent Edwards threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more to help Buffalo (6-5) snap a four game losing streak. Edwards finished 24-of-32 for 273 yards. The Bills came within four points of matching their 42-year-old record for most points in a single game.

Buccaneers 38, Lions 20
Winless in Detroit
Jeff Garcia and the Tampa Bay Bucs overcame a 17 point deficit to defeat the winless Lions. Calvin Johnson made a leaping catch of a 41-yard pass from Daunte Culpepper in the first quarter. Then three plays later, Johnson skied over the Ronde Barber again for a 15-yard touchdown. But the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback would have the last laugh. Barber had 2 interceptions snapping his 13-game drought without an Int. Tampa Bay improves to (8-3) and are looking at a second consecutive playoff berth.

Bears 27, Rams 3
Chicago looking like grizzles against Rams
Matt Forte ran for a season-high 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Chicago Bears (6-5) picked up a rather easy win in St. Louis. As if things could not get better for the Rams, Mark Bulger left the game in the second quarter with a possible concussion.

Giants 37, Cardinals 29
No Brandon Jacobs, no problem
The last time the Giants played in Arizona they were crowned Super Bowl champs. Hard to beat that feeling, but a big victory against the Cardinals is always a good feeling. Eli Manning threw three touchdowns as the G-men improve to (10-1). With Brandon Jacobs on the sideline, Domenik Hixon steeped up big and finished with 248 total yards.

Colts 23, Chargers 20
Mr. Clutch kicker
Winning against the Chargers has not come easy for Peyton Manning and his Colts. Manning who threw a franchise record six interceptions in a 23-21 loss last season, completed 32-44 passes for 255 yards and two touchdown passes. The Colts (7-4), who won their fourth straight game to remain in wild-card contention. Vinatieri, who makes a living off winning games made a 51-yard field goal as time expired to beat San Diego (4-7).

Redskins 20, Seahawks 17
Portis is the man in Washington
Clinton Portis gained 143 yards on 29 carries, including key runs late in the game to secure a much needed victory for the Redskins (7-4). Their were speculations Shawn Alexander, would take over in the second half for Portis, but it never happened. It would have been Alexander’s first game against his former team. They did not need him with Portis posting up monster numbers like he did.

The final five weeks of the 2008 NFL season are quickly approaching. There is still a lot at stake for teams in the playoff hunt and plenty more football to be played. Key matchup next week: New York vs. Washington and New England vs. Pittsburgh.  Look for our update right here, at RushPRnews.com .

photo: coach Jeff Fisher

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