Peyton Manning's 308 yards passing and 4 TDs certainly helped the Colts out tremendously, but it was David Garrard's lone interception on the Jags' late 4th-quarter drive that kept the Colts unbeaten and will keep the insufferable Mercury Morris in the news for another week as the Colts continue to chase perfection. The Colts ended up playing their starters for the entire game because they needed to to win, and fantasy owners across the country, especially those who have Manning a/o Reggie Wayne, were more than grateful.
Dallas 24 New Orleans 17
In a game that appeared to be tailor-made for the Cowboys to get run off the field and complete their yearly December collapse, Dallas stepped up, showed some testicular fortitude, and ended the Saints' bid for a perfect season with a big win that solidified their own playoff standings. Tony Romo outdueled Drew Brees, tossing for 312 yards and a TD to Brees' 298-1, and the Cowboys forcing 3 turnovers (2 on Demarcus Ware strip sacks of Brees) were the deciding factors in the win and Dallas kicked Nick Folk keeping his job for another week...maybe.
New England 17 Buffalo 10
It wasn't pretty, but the Patriots got a win they needed to all but lock up the AFC East as they outlasted the Bills in one of the ugliest games of the weekend. Brady barely threw for 100 yards, Moss and Welker were relatively quiet despite Moss catching a TD pass, and it was the defense playing without Vince Wilfork that was the real reason for the Pats' win. That and the fact that the Buffalo Bills are just awful.
Arizona 31 Detroit 24
After getting out to a 17-0 halftime lead and looking more like the team that thrashed the Vikings 2 weeks ago, the Cardinals decided to change things up in the second half and revert back to the shitty team that got abused by the 49ers last Monday in letting the Lions come back to tie the game before scoring a late TD to hold on for the win and the NFC West Division title. Maurice Morris' carcass came off the scrap heap to rush for 126 yards and a TD for the Lions, but it wasn't enough to overcome Kurt Warner and Co.'s 4th-quarter execution.
Tennessee 27 Miami 24 (OT)
Tennessee did a Cardinals impression, allowing Miami to come back and tie the game in the 4th after being up 24-6 early, before winning the game on a long Rob Bironas FG in overtime. Chad Henne and his 349 yards passing were a big reason why Miami was able to come back in the game, but his 3 picks, especially his brutal one in OT, were a bigger reason why they lost. Chris Johnson fell off the 2,000-yard pace with just 104 yards on 29 carries, but was picked up by Vince Young throwing for 3 TDs for the first time in his career.
Cleveland 41 Kansas City 34
In the game that would have been a much bigger deal if it didn't involve 2 incredibly shitty teams playing, the Browns outlasted the Chiefs yesterday despite giving up 499 yards of offense, 331 of it to Matt Cassel and 154 of it to Jamaal Charles, and despite the fact that their QB threw for just 66 yards. How did they do it, you ask? Well with Josh Cribbs and Jerome Harrison, of course. Cribbs set the new NFL record for kickoff return TDs with a pair in the game, and Harrison came out of nowhere to rush for 286 yards, the 3rd most in NFL history and a total that erases Jim Brown from the Browns' record book, and 3 TDs. I wish I could explain how all of this happened but I'm afraid trying to would give me a brain aneurysm.
Houston 16 St. Louis 13
The Texans continued to build momentum for next season's disappointing underachievement by squeaking by the Rams in St. Louis yesterday. Again, in the interest of my brain's well-being, I'm not going to try to explain how a team can have its QB throw for 367 yards and have its #1 WR catch 9 balls for 196 yards and still only beat the Rams by 3, but I will say that it probably had nothing to do with the expectedly mediocre play by the one and only Keith Null. Seriously, who the fuck is this guy?
Atlanta 10 NY Jets 7
Some people might say that losing a must-have game at home by having your QB throw 3 picks, your special teams fail to execute 3 FGs, your offensive coordinator completely abandon your running game, and your defense give up its only TD of the day on the opponent's last drive is a huge disappointment. I just call that good old fashioned New York Jets football. The Jets squandered enough opportunities for 3 games yesterday and now find themselves 2 games behind New England and back in the 7-7 pack with about half the league. Say it together now: J-E-T-S; SUCK, SUCK, SUCK!!!!!!!
Oakland 20 Denver 19
The Raiders continue to play the spoiler role well, despite having to use every QB on their roster yesterday and ending those shenanigans with the game in Jamarcus Russell's hands. Luckily for them, Russell didn't blow it and the Broncos now find themselves in a much less comfortable position than they were this time yesterday as a result. It is good to see that even without Mike Shanahan, the Broncos still remember how to collapse late in the season when it matters the most.
San Diego 27 Cincinnati 24
In the best game of the day, the Chargers snuck by the grieving Bengals on a late Nate Kaeding FG, clinching the AFC West in the process. Both QBs were at the top of their games as Phillip Rivers threw for 308 yards and 3 TDs and Carson Palmer threw for 314 and 2. Despite the loss, the Bengals still hold a one-game division lead heading into next week and the all important tiebreaker with the Ravens and Steelers by sweeping their divisional games.
Philadelphia 27 San Francisco 13
The Eagles punched their playoff ticket yesterday behind 300+ passing yards from Donovan McNabb, 4 turnovers by the '9ers, and absolutely nothing from Michael Vick. DeSean Jackson had another monster game, catching 6 balls for 140 yards and a TD, although with this TD being the first since about mid-September that wasn't more than 50 yards, it does sort of make it seem cheap. After riding Frank Gore to a surprising MNF win last week, the 49ers inexplicably went back to the Alex Smith well and paid for it as his 3 INTs helped make it that much easier for the Eagles.
Pittsburgh 37 Green Bay 36
In a game that was nothing short of a kick in the balls for every Packer fan, the Steelers rallied after giving up the lead late to win on a TD pass from Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace with no time left on the clock. Roethlisberger threw for 503 yards and 3 TDs on the day; that's not a mis-type by me, he really threw for 503 yards. Even Lynn Swann had over 100 yards receiving for the Steelers yesterday. The loss for Green Bay wasted another sterling performance by Aaron Rodgers (383-3) but still keeps them in the driver's seat for the playoffs at 9-5, even if the Giants win tonight. But still, HOW DO YOU LET MIKE WALLACE GET THAT OPEN?!?!?!?!
Tampa Bay 24 Seattle 7
Josh Freeman finally got over his case of INT Fever yesterday, throwing 2 TD passes and leading the Bucs to a surprise win over the Seahawks. Seattle was done in by their 5 turnovers and the fact that their defense couldn't stop a high school team. I actually did a Scooby Doo-style double take when I checked the box score and saw that the Seahawks have somehow won 5 games this year.
Baltimore 31 Chicago 7
After spending nearly 2 months in the witness protection program, Joe Flacco's swagger has returned as he threw 4 TD passes yesterday, leading the Ravens to a much-needed win that helped solidify their standing in the AFC Playoff picture. Unfortunately for Bear fans and fortunately for sarcastic assholes like me who like to kick people when they're down, Jay Cutler's ineptitude is still alive and well, demonstrated in his sub-100-yard, 3 INT performance. I think I speak for many people when I say: "Hahahaha, Jay Cutler. You fucking suck."
Carolina 26 Minnesota 7
Ahh yes, as if ragging on Jay Cutler wasn't enough, now I get to comment on the fraudulent Minnesota Vikings some more. If last night's performance against a pretty bad Carolina team doesn't convince you that the Vikings and Brett Favre are not for real, then I don't know what will. Favre was pedestrian at best for the third game in a row, getting thoroughly outplayed by Matt Moore (299-3 TDs), then getting in a sideline argument with coach Brad Childress about whether or not he should come out of the game because of the number of hits he was taking, and Adrian Peterson got bottle up by a defense that has done its damndest all year to make opposing offenses look good. And I can't confirm at this time, but my sources do tell me that the league and local police are going to investigate Julius Peppers and what he did to Bryant McKinnie last night to determine if, in fact, it constitutes rape in the state of North Carolina.
NY Giants 26 Washington 23
The Giants aren't a good team, face it. But neither are the Redskins, and with more to play for than Washington, something tells me the Giants will do just enough to pull this one out. By something I mean gain enough yards on a late 4th-quarter drive to set up a game-winning field goal attempt after their defense blew another 4th-quarter lead, but hey, a win's a win, right?