TAMPA, November 19, 2013 — Some would consider the big story of the week to be Peyton Manning and the Broncos easily dispatching the Chiefs and exposing Kansas City as one-dimensional pretenders. That was expected by everyone not living in Missouri or Kansas. Yet, another story took place in the AFC West involving a team that may finally be on the verge of relevance after a decade in the wilderness.
The Oakland Raiders have not had a quarterback since Rich Gannon went down and Kerry Collins lacked an offensive line. Bruce Gradkowski was never given a chance. Terrelle Pryor has flashes of brilliance, but running quarterbacks get killed.
Enter Matt McGloin, who looked very impressive in the preseason, and this week saw his first NFL start as Pryor recovered from a knee injury. McGloin was magnificent. He is a pure pocket passer who looked comfortable and throws a gorgeous deep ball. McGloin ended his first game with a road win and zero mistakes. He has been given a chance to compete for the starting job next week. If McGloin is what many think he is, the Silver and Black in 2014 will finally be back. In an eerie note, the win Sunday was virtually identical to the Raiders miracle win over the Texans two years ago on the day after Al Davis died.
With that and the Packers still searching Walmart for a quarterback of their own, here is the NFL 2013 Week 11 wrap-up.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans was the Thursday night game. Chris Johnson touchdown runs of 30 and seven yards put the Titans up, 14-0, after the first quarter as Tennessee led 17-6 at halftime. The Titans self-destructed in the third quarter. Donald Brown ran it in from six yards out to get the Colts within 17-13. The Titans fumbled the ensuing kickoff to set up an 11-yard Andrew Luck touchdown as the Colts led, 20-17. Adam Vinatieri tacked on a 50-yard field goal to make it 23-17 Colts after three quarters. Trailing 23-20 late, the Titans defense could not get a stop as Brown ran it in from 11 yards out to make it 30-20 Colts with three minutes left. Tennessee came back within a field goal at the two minute warning but the onside kick failed as consecutive home losses have all but eliminated the Titans from playoff contention. 30-27 Colts
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills — After a scoreless first quarter, the Bills blasted the Jets. E.J. Manuel threw a 34-yard touchdown to Graham and a fumble by Geno Smith with the Jets at their own four led to a three-yard touchdown by Summers as the Bills led 20-0 at halftime. In the third quarter E.J. Manuel went deep to Goodwin for a 43-yard touchdown and Geno Smith had an interception returned 32 yards for a score by Searcy as the Bills romped. 37-14 Bills
Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears — A lightning storm caused a delay of nearly two hours after the Ravens got off to an early10-0 lead. When play resumed, Joe Flacco was intercepted by Bass, who returned it 24 yards to tie the game 10-10. The Ravens led 17-13 after three quarters and a 14-yard touchdown from Josh McCown to Matt Forte put the Bears back in front 20-17 with 10 minutes left in regulation. Flacco led the Ravens to third and goal from the three with 11 seconds to play. Flacco fired high and incomplete, Justin Tucker hit the field goal, and the teams went to overtime tied 20-20. In overtime McCown hit Jeffery for 14 yards and on the next play went deep to Bennett for a 43-yard gain. Robbie Gould nailed the 38-yarder to win it. With players covered in blood, mud and grass, and with hard rain coming down, the Bears finally won five hours and 15 minutes after the game began. 23-20 Bears, OT
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals — Andy Dalton threw an interception for a touchdown as Cleveland led 13-0 after one quarter, but then reality set in. The second quarter saw Dalton throw touchdown passes of 25 yards to Gresham and six yards to Sanu. Dye returned a blocked punt 24 yards for a touchdown and Burfict returned a fumble 13 yards for another score as the Bengals scored in all three phases of the game to lead 31-13 at halftime. The Bengals coasted through anti-climactic second half to stay atop the AFC North. 41-20 Bengals
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans — Oakland quarterback Matt McGloin had his first NFL start in place of the injured Terrelle Pryor while Case Keenum played for the benched Schaub. McGloin was solid, throwing three touchdown passes with zero interceptions. The Raiders blew a 14-0 lead and ended up trailing Houston 17-14 at halftime. The Raiders took the lead for good in the third quarter on a McGloin 26-yard touchdown pass to Rivera. 28-23 Raiders
Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars — Chad Henne threw a 62-yard touchdown to Noble for a 7-0 Jaguars lead. Carson Palmer came back with a 14-yard touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald. Tied, 14-14 at halftime, the key play of the game came with Arizona clinging to a 17-14 lead and facing third and ten from their own nine. Palmer threw a short pass to Malcolm Floyd, who outraced all of Jacksonville for a 91-yard touchdown as the Jaguars moved back to the bottom of the barrel. 27-14 Cardinals
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles — Three short touchdown runs, one by Nick Foles and two by LeSean McCoy, had the Eagles cruising 24-0 after three quarters. Robert Griffin III led a furious fourth quarter rally. A 62-yard touchdown pass to Young and a 41-yarder to Robinson with a pair of successful 2-point conversions had Washington only down eight. Washington got it back at their own four with 3 1/2 minutes to play. RGIII led them all the way to a critical third and one at the Philly 18 with 40 seconds to play. RGIII threw to the end zone and was intercepted by Boykin as Chip Kelly and the Eagles escaped to get to 6-5 atop the NFC least. Last year’s division champs saw themselves all but eliminated. 24-16 Eagles
Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers — Ben Roethlisberger threw a 34 and 47-yard touchdowns to Antonio Brown for a 14-0 Steelers lead after one quarter. The Lions exploded in the second quarter as Matthew Stafford hit Calvin Megatron Johnson for touchdowns of 79 and 19 yards. Bell ran it in from two yards out as the Lions led 27-20 at halftime. Matthew Stafford had 327 yards passing in the first half, but only 35 yards after halftime. Down 27-23 in the fourth quarter, Big Ben led a 97-yard drive that consumed eight minutes, hitting Johnson for the one-yard score to put the Steelers in front with 4:46 to play. On third and ten from the Detroit 20, Stafford was intercepted by Will Allen, who returned it 34 yards to the Detroit 27. Roethlisberger went to Jerricho Cotchery for a 20-yard clinching touchdown. Roethlisberger finished with 367 yards passing and four touchdown passes. 37-27 Steelers
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — A 3-3 game in the second quarter was broken open when Rainey ran in a couple of short-yardage touchdowns and Mason Foster intercepted Matt Ryan for a 37-yard score as the Bucs led 24-6 at halftime. The Bucs just blasted Atlanta as the third quarter saw Mike Glennon hit Rainey for a four-yard touchdown. Tampa then blocked a punt to set up a three-yard touchdown from Glennon to Vincent Jackson to make it 38-6 Buccaneers. Tampa slept through the rest of the game because they could. So did the viewers for the same reason. 41-28 Buccaneers
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins — Nearly three decades after Dan Fouts and Don Strock played a game for the ages, these teams met in a forgettable affair. Tied at 10-10 in the third quarter, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill went deep to Charles Clay for a 39 yard touchdown. The Chargers began their final drive at their own 17 down by four with 1:54 left. Philip Rivers led the Chargers down the field, but burned over 20 seconds by trying to run an extra play rather than spike the ball. With seven seconds to play, it came down to one final chance from the Miami 25. Rivers’ pass was knocked away as Miami survived their recent turmoil to get a tough win and all but eliminate San Diego from playoff contention. 20-16 Dolphins
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints — Drew Brees led a first quarter 97-yard drive, capped by a three-yard touchdown pass to Hill that put the Saints up 7-0. In the second quarter, the Saints fumbled a punt and the 49ers recovered at the New Orleans 11, which led to an Anquon Boldin touchdown catch. The 49ers led 20-14 in the fourth quarter and kept Brees from the winning touchdown. A Garrett Hartley 42-yard kick tied the game with 2:06 left. Frisco went three and out. The Saints ball got the ball back at their own 40 with 1:41 left, which was enough time to get in position for Hartley to kick the game winner from 31 yards out as time expired. 23-20 Saints
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants — The Giants led 10-6 at halftime. A one-yard touchdown in the third quarter by battering ram Brandon Jacobs put the Giants up 20-6. A fourth quarter 83-yard Packer drive culminated when Eddie Lacy ran it in from four yards to get Green Bay within a touchdown. Green Bay’s Scott Tolzien, who got the nod over newly acquired Matt Flynn, completed a perfect pass to the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul. The pick was returned 24 yards for a touchdown. 27-13 Giants
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks — A 10-10 tie in the second quarter was broken open by a pair of short touchdown runs by Marshawn Lynch. This was followed by former Vikings game-breaker Percy Harvin’s 58-yard kickoff return, which set up a 19-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin. Seattle led 24-13 at halftime and the third quarter was scoreless. In the fourth quarter, Wilson threw a shovel pass to Lynch for a five-yard touchdown and Walter Thurmond returned an interception of Christian Ponder 29 yards for another score to get Seattle to 10-1 atop the NFC. 41-20 Seahawks
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos was the Sunday night game. Matt Prater nailed a 54-yard field goal and Peyton Manning went to Denarius Thomas for a 70-yard gain to set up a nine-yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Broncos. The Chiefs tried to hang around and slow Manning, but Denver can also run the ball. A pair of short touchdown runs by Monte Ball had the Broncos leading 24-10 after three quarters. The dink and dunk West Coast Offense used by KC cannot overcome two-touchdown fourth quarter deficits. Prater hit a 36-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to ice it. Both teams are now 9-1, and the rematch is in Kansas City. 27-17 Broncos
New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers was the Monday night game. Cam Newton led a 90-yard drive that saw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell start the scoring. Carolina took a 10-3 lead into the locker room at the half. In the third quarter, Brady threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski to tie the game. Newton came back and hit Greg Olsen for a 15-yard touchdown as the Panthers led 17-10 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Shawn Ridley banged in from two yards out to tie the game and Stephen Gostkowski hit a 25 yarder to put the Patriots up 20-17 with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Newton calmly led the Panthers 83 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr. put Carolina back in front by four points with one minute to play. On fourth and ten from his own 20, Brady fired over the middle to Gronkowski for 23 yards as the Patriots called timeout with 40 seconds to play. A controversial defensive pass interference penalty left Brady one chance with three seconds left from the Carolina 18. Brady fired to the end zone and was intercepted. Flags came down, but officials picked it up. 24-20 Panthers
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.