NFL 2011 Season – Week Nine Recap
Early routs and late thrillers filled the NFL schedule for Week 9. Here’s a recap of all of the NFL action from Sunday:
N.Y. Giants 24 – New England 20
Eli Manning capped a game-winning, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ballard with 15 seconds remaining, and the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, 24-20. The Giants (6-2) rallied after New England quarterback Tom Brady put the Patriots up 20-17 on a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski with 1:36 to play. Brady finished with 340 yards passing and two touchdowns, but he threw two interceptions and fumbled once for New England (5-3). New York running back Brandon Jacobs ran for 72 yards and a 10-yard touchdown that was set up by a Brady fumble in the third quarter. Manning finished with 250 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception for the Giants, who were led in receiving by Victor Cruz’s six catches for 91 yards. Receiver Wes Welker had nine catches for 136 yards for the Patriots.
Miami 31 – Kansas City 3
Matt Moore passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns, as the Miami Dolphins beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-3, to record their first win of the 2011 season. Dolphins running back Reggie Bush ran for 92 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Anthony Fasano caught two touchdown passes for Miami (1-7). Kansas City (4-4) was unable to score after getting a 43-yard field goal from Ryan Succop on its opening drive. Matt Cassel completed just 20 of 39 passes for 253 yards for the Chiefs, and he was sacked five times by the Dolphins. Miami receiver Brandon Marshall had eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown, while Kansas City’s Steve Breaston made seven catches for 115 yards.
Atlanta 31 – Indianapolis 7
Rookie receiver Julio Jones hauled in touchdown passes of 50 and 80 yards to help the Atlanta Falcons to a 31-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Jones, who had missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, finished with three catches for 131 yards, including the two scores. Atlanta (5-3) led 21-7 late in the third quarter when Matt Ryan notched his third touchdown pass of the day, as Tony Gonzalez hauled in a 1-yard toss. Ryan was responsible for the Colts’ only points, too; Jerraud Powers returned an interception 6 yards for score in the second quarter. Ryan finished with 275 passing yards and three touchdowns for the Falcons. Indianapolis (0-9) was able to gain only 186 total yards on offense. Donald Brown rushed for 70 yards to lead the Colts.
New Orleans 27 – Tampa Bay 16
Drew Brees threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns to lead the New Orleans Saints to a 27-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New Orleans (6-3) also gained 195 rushing yards. The Saints led 17-3 at the half and were never threatened. Pierre Thomas had eight carries for 66 yards and a touchdown for New Orleans. Tight end Jimmy Graham had 78 yards receiving for the Saints. Tampa Bay (4-4) was led by Josh Freeman’s 281 yards passing and a touchdown. LeGarrette Blount rushed for 72 yards for the Buccaneers. Brees’ first touchdown pass, a 3-yarder to Lance Moore in the first quarter, gave him 36 straight games with a TD pass. He is now tied with Brett Favre for the second-longest streak in NFL history behind Johnny Unitas’ 47 game record.
N.Y. Jets 27 – Buffalo 11
The Jets’ defense forced three turnovers and didn’t allow a touchdown until late in the game, as New York beat the Buffalo Bills, 27-11. The Jets (5-3) dominated the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 37:53 to 22:08 for the Bills. After leading just 3-0 at the half, New York outscored Buffalo 17-3 in the third quarter, getting a 1-yard touchdown run from LaDainian Tomlinson, an 8-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes and a 50-yard field goal from Nick Folk. The Bills (5-3) trailed 27-3 when Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to David Nelson with 3:14 left to play. Fitzpatrick finished with just 191 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for Buffalo. Sanchez had 230 yards passing, along with an interception and a fumble for the Jets. Shonn Greene rushed for 76 yards for New York. The Bills’ Fred Jackson carried the ball 18 times for 82 yards, while Stevie Johnson had three catches for 84 yards for Buffalo.
Dallas 23 – Seattle 13
The Cowboys overcame a sluggish start with 17 second-half points, as Dallas beat the Seattle Seahawks, 23-13. Quarterback Tony Romo passed for 279 yards and two touchdowns for Dallas (4-4), which was booed by its home crowd after several first-half drives sputtered. Rookie running back DeMarco Murray added 139 rushing yards for the Cowboys, who got 76 receiving yards from Dez Bryant. Seattle (2-6) was hampered by its inept offense, which suffered three interceptions thrown by quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Running back Marshawn Lynch was the lone bright spot for the Seahawks. He ran for 135 yards and a touchdown.
Houston 30 – Cleveland 12
Arian Foster and Ben Tate each rushed for more than 100 yards, as the Houston Texans dominated the Cleveland Browns, 30-12. Foster finished with 124 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Tate had 115 yards and a score for Houston (6-3). The rushing attack allowed the Texans to control the ball more than 10 minutes longer than the Browns (3-5). Cleveland did not make it into the end zone until Colt McCoy’s meaningless touchdown pass to Joshua Cribbs with 4:47 remaining in the game. McCoy finished with 146 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked four times by the Houston defense, which held the Browns to a meager 44 rushing yards and 172 total yards. The Texans have held their last three opponents under 200 total yards of offense.
San Francisco 19 – Washington 11
Frank Gore ran for 107 yards as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Washington Redskins, 19-11. Gore’s fifth straight, 100-yard rushing day gave him a franchise record for the 49ers (7-1). David Akers kicked four field goals, and quarterback Alex Smith had a 30-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Miller to lead San Francisco to the convincing win. The 49ers defense held the Redskins without a touchdown until late in the game and forced three turnovers. Quarterback John Beck threw for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception for Washington (3-5). Running back Roy Helu paced the Redskins with 146 yards from scrimmage, including 14 receptions for 105 yards.
Cincinnati 24 – Tennessee 17
Andy Dalton passed for 217 yards and three touchdowns, and the Cincinnati Bengals rallied to beat the Tennessee Titans, 24-17. Trailing 17-7 at the half, Cincinnati (6-2) was saved by Dalton, who guided the Bengals to 17 unanswered points, including a go-ahead, 5-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell early in the fourth quarter. The win gave Cincinnati its first five-game winning streak since 1988. Tennessee (4-4) was held scoreless in the second half, managing only 95 yards of total offense in the final two quarters. Chris Johnson had 110 yards from scrimmage for the Titans, while quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Cedric Benson chipped in 78 rushing yards for the Bengals, who also got 83 receiving yards from A.J. Green.
Denver 38 – Oakland 24
Eddie Royal’s 85-yard punt return broke a fourth quarter tie, as the Denver Broncos upset the Oakland Raiders, 38-24. Denver (3-5) rushed for 299 yards on the Raiders defense. Willis McGahee paced the Broncos with 163 rushing yards and two second-half touchdowns on runs of 60 and 24 yards. Quarterback Tim Tebow rushed for 118 yards and threw two touchdown passes for Denver. Trailing 17-7 at the half, Denver scored 31points after the break. Quarterback Carson Palmer passed for 332 yards and three touchdown in his first start for the Raiders (4-4), but he also threw three interceptions. Michael Bush had 96 rushing yards and a touchdown reception for Oakland, which had receiver Jacoby Ford haul in five passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona 19 – St. Louis 13 (OT)
Rookie Patrick Peterson’s 99-yard punt return for a touchdown in overtime lifted the Arizona Cardinals to a 19-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. Arizona (2-6) forced the overtime when Calais Campbell blocked a Josh Brown field goal attempt at the end of regulation. The game was a battle of field goals, until St. Louis (1-7) secured safeties on consecutive Arizona offensive plays in the third quarter. Quarterback John Skelton, who started in place of Kevin Kolb for the Cardinals, had 222 passing yards and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald that tied the game at 13-13 with under five minutes left to play. Steven Jackson rushed for 130 yards for the Rams, who saw the return of quarterback Sam Bradford, who had missed two games with an ankle injury. Bradford had 255 passing yards and an interception. He was sacked four times. Brandon Lloyd had five catches for 80 yards for St. Louis. Early Doucet had six receptions for 78 yards for the Cardinals, who won for the first time since the first week of the season.
Green Bay 45 – San Diego 38
Aaron Rodgers passed for 247 yards and four touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers beat the San Diego Chargers, 45-38, to remain undefeated. Green Bay (8-0) jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter, aided by two interceptions thrown by San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers which were each returned for touchdowns. Rivers helped rally the Chargers by throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns to go with his three interceptions. San Diego (4-4) closed to within seven points when Rivers hit Vincent Jackson with a 29-yard scoring pass with 6:25 left to play, but could not complete the comeback. Jackson led the Chargers with 141 receiving yards and three touchdowns, while tight end Antonio Gates added 96 receiving yards and a score. Mike Tolbert ran for 83 yards and a touchdown for San Diego. Jordy Nelson had five receptions for 105 yards and a score for Green Bay.
Baltimore 23 – Pittsburgh 20
Joe Flacco completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith with eight seconds to play to lead the Baltimore Ravens to a thrilling 23-20 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. The Ravens’ game-winning score came just five plays after Smith dropped what may have been a sure touchdown from Flacco. Flacco finished with 300 yards passing and a touchdown. He rallied Baltimore (6-2) after the Steelers forged ahead 20-16 on fourth quarter touchdowns from Rashard Mendenhall and Mike Wallace. Pittsburgh (6-3) was led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for 330 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Receiver Antonio Brown had five receptions for 109 yards for the Steelers. Baltimore receiver Anquan Boldin had seven catches for 88 yards
On Bye Week: Detroit, Minnesota, Carolina, Jacksonville