THE VILLAGES, FLORIDA, November 5, 2013 — While football is a game, incidents off the field have overshadowed some fine performances. On the field, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles entered the NFL record books. Minnesota and Dallas played a thriller. Fans saw two Buddy Ryan Bowls this weekend. His 46 defense disciple starred in the Jeff Fisher Bowl, and his sons Rex and Rob faced off in Metlife Stadium.
Yet this week saw real life intervene. Broncos coach John Fox developed heart trouble, and is taking a bit of time off from the team. His heart troubles were discovered during Denver’s bye week. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will guide the Broncos during the interim. Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed at halftime on the sideline on Sunday Night Football. Wade Phillips will lead the Texans as Kubiak recovers. Coaching is a stressful job, and football fans everywhere pray for Fox and Kubiak to recover quickly.
On top of all of that is the bullying incident involving the Miami Dolphins that has one player leaving the team for personal reasons and another one being suspended by coach Joe Philbin. The NFL and NFLPA are both investigating.
Real life matters most, but this was a good week of football on the field. Here is the NFL 2013 Week 9 Wrapup.
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins was the Thursday night game. The Bengals rolled to a 6-2 record while the Dolphins are reeling with four straight losses after starting 3-0. In this game it was Andy Dalton throwing three interceptions, including one that was returned 94 yards for a touchdown by Grimes to put the Dolphins up 17-3. Yet for the second straight week Miami saw a 17-3 lead evaporate into a 20-17 deficit when Mike Nugent drilled a 54-yard field goal with 90 seconds left in regulation.
Yet Ryan Tannehill played mistake-free, leading the Dolphins to a 44-yard field goal with 12 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Midway through the extra session, a good punt pinned the Bengals back to their own eight yardline. On third and ten, with 6:42 left in the overtime, Dalton went back to pass in the end zone and was sacked for a safety to end it. 22-20 Dolphins
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills — The Chiefs have been winning with dink and dunk West Coast Offense bailed out by a stifling defense. Sean Smith returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown to tie the game and Tamba Hali returned a fumble 11 yards for another score to give the Chiefs the lead. With 2:18 to play Ryan Succop hit his third field goal to put the game out of reach. The Chiefs at 9-0 are the NFL’s lone unbeaten, rendering Andy Reid a happy Walrus Lite. 23-13 Chiefs
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers — Atlanta only trailed 17-10 after three quarters, but then Carolina put the clamps down. Cam Newton ran for an eight-yard score and Matt Ryan was intercepted by Drayton Florence, who returned it 38 yards for a touchdown to put the game away. After five straight winning seasons under Mike Smith including two 13-3 top-seeded years, the 2-6 Falcons are done. Last year they were ten yards from the Super Bowl. Yet first ballot Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez will not get his Super Bowl trip. Meanwhile, Ron Rivera quietly has the Panthers moving in the right direction. 34-10 Panthers
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys—Christian Ponder was sacked in his own end zone and fumbled, to give Dallas a gift touchdown and a 20-10 third quarter lead. Minnesota came back, and Adrian Peterson dragged tacklers into the end zone in what will be one of the greatest short yardage rushing touchdowns in NFL history 100 years from now. Trailing 23-20 with 2:45 to play, Tony Romo led the Cowboys 92 yards. A seven-yard-touchdown pass to Harris gave Dallas the lead with 35 seconds left. Ponder’s final Hail Mary fell several yards short of the goal line incomplete as Dallas survived to get to 5-4 atop the NFC Least. 27-23 Cowboys
New Orleans Saints at New York Jets—Trailing 14-6 in the second quarter, the Jets came back with Chris Ivory and Geno Smith both running it in from three yards out as the Jets led 20-14 at halftime. Each team kicked a pair of field goals in the second half, and Gang Green’s defense harassed Drew Brees all game. On fourth and 19 from their own 9, Brees was harassed into another incompletion with 90 seconds left as the Jets got to 5-4 with another tough win. Rex Ryan is now 5-0 against brother Rob Ryan. 26-20 Saints.
Tennessee Titans at St. Louis Rams—The Jeff Fisher Bowl saw his old team take it to his new team in a game that was tied three times on the day. At 21-21 With three minutes left in regulation, Kellen Clemens was sacked and fumbled, giving the Titans the ball at the Rams 19. One play was all Chris Johnson needed to run into the end zone and put the Titans in front. Clemens had two Hail Mary chances from the Titans 26. Both tries were incomplete as the Rams lost a heartbreaker at home for the second time in six days and Mike Munchak saw the Titans take another step forward. 28-21 Titans
San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins—Trailing by ten, Philip Rivers got the Chargers within 24-21 with 4:16 to play with a 16 yard touchdown to Keenan Allen. San Diego got it back at their own eight just before the two-minute warning. Rivers put on a clinic, and with 20 seconds left the Chargers thought they had the go-ahead score. On further review officials correctly ruled that Danny Woodhead hit the pylon with his knee and not the ball. The Chargers still had first and goal at the one.
Three plays later meant fourth and goal at the one with time for one more play. Mike McCoy had seen enough, and opted for the field goal. Nick Novak sent the game into overtime. The Redskins got the ball first and RGIII led them down the field. Everything came down to third and inches at the San Diego five. Darrelle Young got the carry and blasted into the end zone to end the game as Mike Shanahan pumped his fists. 30-24 Redskins
Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders — The Raiders are still losers. At home with a chance to get to 4-4, Oakland hosted a Philadelphia team without Michael Vick. Backup Nick Foles came in and threw seven touchdown passes. He threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Captain Morgan Brent Celek in the first quarter. In the second quarter he connected with Riley Cooper for touchdowns of 17 and 63 yards and a 15-yarder to Zach Ertz. In the third quarter, Foles threw touchdown passes of 25 yards to Lesean McCoy, 46 yards to Desean Jackson, and then back to Cooper for a 5-yarder as the Eagles led 49-13 after three quarters. Chip Kelly may have a quarterback controversy. 49-20 Eagles
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks—The 16.5 point underdog Buccaneers attempted to shock the football world as they went on the road and built a 21-0 second quarter lead at Seattle. Leading 24-7 in the third quarter, the question would be if they would collapse. Of course they would. Russell Wilson ran for a 10-yard-touchdown and Golden Tate returned a punt 71 yards to set up a field goal. Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for a ten-yard touchdown to tie things with 1:51 to play, and Steve Hauschka hit the 27-yard field goal to win it in overtime. Seattle survived to get to an NFC best 8-1 and drop Tampa to 0-8 in Greg Schiano’s second and final season as an NFL head coach. 27-24 Seahawks, OT
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns—Jason Campbell threw touchdown passes of one and 20 yards to Davone Bess and Barnidge from four yards out as the Browns led 21-10 after three quarters. After Joe Flacco got the Ravens within three points, Campbell led a 15 play drive that ate up almost all of the final seven minutes. Down by six with only 14 seconds left, Flacco got the Browns just past midfield but the clock ran out before the cannon-armed Flacco could try the Hail Mary. One year after winning it all, Baltimore is 3-5 and in trouble. 24-18 Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots—Pittsburgh rallied from a 24-10 halftime deficit to the game 24-24 in the third quarter, but the Patriots then blasted the Steelers into little pieces. Stephen Gostkowski hit the go-ahead field goal, and the Patriots exploded in the fourth quarter. Tom Brady threw touchdown passes of 17 and 81 yards to Aaron Dobson. In addition to Brady’s four touchdown passes, Ridley and Blount both had touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh gave up the most points in team history as they fell to 2-7 and New England got to 7-2 with a bang. 55-31 Patriots
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans was the Sunday night game. On the night Reliant Stadium honored the late Bum Phillips and Bud Adams, a major scare took place at halftime when Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on the sideline. He was taken immediately to the hospital and is in stable condition. Defensive coordinator and son of Bum, Wade Phillips, coached the second half. This was a tale of two games.
In the first half, Case Keenum went bombs away to Andre Johnson for touchdowns of 62, 41 and five yards as Houston led 21-3 at halftime. After an exchange of field goals, the second half was all Indy as Andrew Luck threw three touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton of ten, 58 and nine yards to turn a 24-6 deficit into a stunning Colts lead with four minutes left in regulation. Keenum moved the Texans from their 33 to the Indy 37 in the final 44 seconds, but a 55-yard field goal as time expired was no good. Luck has had ten fourth quarter comebacks in a career only spanning 24 games. 27-24 Colts
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers was the Monday night game. The Bears are already without Jay Cutler, and early in the first quarter Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game. A contest between backups Josh McCown and Seneca Wallace saw McCown get it done for Chicago. With the Bears trailing 20-17 in the third quarter, a 23-yard punt return by Devon Hester gave Chicago a short field at the Green Bay 47. McCown hit Jeffery for a six-yard-touchdown as the Bears retook the lead 24-20. Robbie Gould tacked on a 27-yard field goal to extend the lead to seven with 50 seconds to play in regulation. Green Bay took over at their 25 with 46 seconds to play, but consecutive sacks of Wallace ended things. 27-20 Bears
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