NFL 2011 Season – Week Eight Recap
A stunning upset and several blowouts punctuated the action in week eight of the NFL season, meanwhile several games came down to the waning moments. Here’s a recap of all the action:
St. Louis 31 – New Orleans 21
Steven Jackson had 25 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns, as the St. Louis Rams shocked the New Orleans Saints 31-21. St. Louis (1-6) sprinted out to a 24-0 lead more than halfway into the third quarter on the way to its first win of the season. New Orleans (5-3) looked lethargic and never threatened to make a comeback. Saints quarterback Drew Brees passed for 269 yards and a touchdown, but he was intercepted twice and sacked six times by the Rams defense. Defensive lineman Chris Long recorded three of the sacks for St. Louis. The Rams managed just 140 net passing yards, but quarterback A.J. Feeley did not need to throw often with the big lead.
Baltimore 30 – Arizona 27
Billy Cundiff kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired to give the Baltimore Ravens a 30-27 comeback win over the Arizona Cardinals. Ray Rice scored a career-high three touchdowns and ran for 63 yards to lead Baltimore (5-2), which overcame a 21-point second quarter deficit, the largest in team history. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who was booed often in the first half, had an interception and a fumble, but finished with 336 passing yards. Fueled by the Flacco fumble and an 82-yard punt return touchdown by Patrick Peterson, Arizona (1-6) raced to a 24-3 lead with 3:46 remaining in the first half. However, Baltimore rallied and moved ahead 27-24 on Rice’s third score, which opened the fourth quarter. Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb was sacked six times in the game and finished with 153 passing yards, one touchdown and an interception. Beanie Wells had 83 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals. The Ravens’ Anquan Boldin had seven catches for 145 yards against his former team.
N.Y. Giants 20 – Miami 17
Eli Manning tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz with 5:58 to play to lead the New York Giants to a 20-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Manning was 31 of 45 for 345 yards passing and two touchdowns with no interceptions on the game, as he led New York (5-2) back from deficits of 14-3 and 17-10. Cruz led all receivers with seven receptions for 99 yards and the go-ahead score. The Giants rushing attack was awful, netting only 58 yards. Reggie Bush had a season-high 103 yards on 15 carries for Miami (0-7), which once again gave up a lead late in the game and remained winless. Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore had a touchdown run, but was sacked five times and threw an interception.
Houston 24 – Jacksonville 14
Arian Foster ran for 112 yards and a touchdown to lead the Houston Texans to a 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 225 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score for Houston (5-3). The Texans were once again without receiver Andre Johnson, who was sidelined for the fourth straight game with an injured hamstring. Maurice Jones-Drew had 63 yards and a touchdown for Jacksonville (2-6), which was able to do very little offensively. Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert had just 97 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions on the day.
Tennessee 27 – Indianapolis 10
Matt Hasselbeck threw for 224 yards and a touchdown, as the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 27-10. Receiver Nate Washington had a touchdown reception and ran for another score for Tennessee (4-3), who also benefitted from a blocked punt recovered in the end zone by Jason McCourty. Curtis Painter had 250 yards passing for Indianapolis (0-8), which trailed 20-0 at the half. The Titans defense sacked Painter twice and picked off two of his passes en route to the decisive victory. Javon Ringer led Tennessee in rushing with 60 yards on 14 carries, as All-Pro running back Chris Johnson struggled again, gaining just 34 yards. Tight end Dallas Clark had 77 yards receiving for the Colts, who remained one of two winless teams in the NFL.
Minnesota 24 – Carolina 21
Ryan Longwell’s 31-yard field goal with 2:43 left to play gave the Minnesota Vikings a 24-21 win over the Carolina Panthers. Carolina (2-6) had a chance to tie the game, but Olindo Mare missed a 31-yard kick with 26 seconds left. Adrian Peterson had 162 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns for Minnesota (2-6). The Vikings received another solid outing from rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, who completed 18 of 28 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown in his second career start. Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns, and added another 53 yards rushing Steve Smith had seven catches for 100 yards and a touchdown for Carolina.
Buffalo 23 – Washington 0
Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 262 yards and two touchdowns to tight end Scott Chandler, as the Buffalo Bills shut out the Washington Redskins 23-0, in a game played in Toronto. Buffalo (5-2) got an incredible effort from its defense, which sacked Redskins’ quarterback John Beck nine times, intercepted him twice and allowed just 26 net yards rushing. Fred Jackson had 120 yards rushing, and another 74 receiving, to key the Bills offensive attack. Tight end Fred Davis had eight catches for 94 yards for Washington (3-4). Bills rookie Marcell Dareus had two-and-a-half sacks for Buffalo, which became the first team to record a shutout over a squad coached by Washington head coach Mike Shanahan, who has coached 267 NFL games.
Pittsburgh 25 – New England 17
Ben Roethlisberger completed 36 of 50 passes for 365 yards to guide the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 25-17 win over the New England Patriots. Using an almost West Coast-style offense, Pittsburgh (6-2) controlled the ball with short passes, winning the time of possession battle 39:22 to 20:38 over New England (5-2). Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was held to a season-low 198 passing yards, but did throw touchdowns to Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez. The score by Hernandez got the Patriots to within 23-17 with just over two minutes to play, but Brady fumbled the ball out of his own end zone for a safety after being sacked by Pittsburgh with eight seconds left. Heath Miller caught seven passes for 85 yards for the Steelers, who had nine different players with a reception. Running back Rashard Mendenhall chipped in 70 yards rushing for Pittsburgh. New England tight end Rob Gronkowski had seven catches for 94 yards. The Patriots sacked Roethlisberger five times, while the Steelers got to Brady three times.
Detroit 45 – Denver 10
Matthew Stafford passed for 267 yards and three touchdowns, and the Lions defense sacked Tim Tebow seven times, as Detroit routed the Denver Broncos 45-10. Detroit (6-2) broke out to a 24-3 halftime lead and extended the blowout, as Cliff Avril returned a Tebow fumble 24 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter. The Lions, who taunted Tebow often in the game, piled on when Chris Houston intercepted the Denver quarterback and returned the ball 100 yards for a touchdown to make it 45-3. Calvin Johnson had six receptions for 145 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown from Stafford. Tebow finished with 172 passing yards, including a meaningless touchdown pass to Eric Decker with 8:19 left to play. Decker had 72 receiving yards to lead Denver (2-5).
San Francisco 20 – Cleveland 10
Frank Gore ran for 134 yards and a touchdown, as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cleveland Browns 20-10. Quarterback Alex Smith completed 15 of 24 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown to Michael Crabtree, to help guide San Francisco (6-1), which led 17-3 at the half. Cleveland (3-4) closed to within 17-10 after quarterback Colt McCoy threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Cribbs with 6:17 remaining, but the Browns could not prevent the Niners from scoring. David Akers’ 26-yard field goal assured San Francisco of the victory. McCoy finished with 241 passing yards, a touchdown and interception for Cleveland. He was sacked four times. The Browns, who played without Peyton Hillis and lost Montario Hardesty to a calf injury in the first half, had only 66 net rushing yards.
Cincinnati 34 – Seattle 12
Quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 168 yards and two touchdown passes, and the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Seattle Seahawks 34-12. Cincinnati (5-2), which recorded its fourth straight win, rolled out to a 17-3 lead when Dalton threw a 43-yard scoring pass to A.J. Green in the second quarter. Seattle (2-5) closed to within 17-12 after a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but the Bengals pulled away on Brandon Tate’s 56-yard punt return for a touchdown and finished off the win when Reggie Nelson returned a Tarvaris Jackson interception 74 yards for a score late in the game. Jackson finished with 323 yards passing for Seattle. Bengals’ running back Bernard Scott led all rushers with 76 yards. Ben Obomanu had 107 receiving yards for the Seahawks, while teammate Sidney Rice caught seven passes for 102 yards. The Cincinnati defense recorded four sacks.
Philadelphia 34 – Dallas 7
LeSean McCoy ran for a career-high 185 yards and had two touchdowns, and the Eagles scored 21 points in the first 20 minutes of play, as Philadelphia drubbed the Dallas Cowboys 34-7. Quarterback Michael Vick threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns for Philadelphia (3-4), which improved to 13-0 after a bye week under coach Andy Reid. The Eagles defense controlled the Cowboys offense, sacking quarterback Tony Romo four times and holding rookie running back DeMarco Murray in check. Murray finished with 74 yards rushing. Vick was sacked four times by Dallas’ defensive lineman DeMarcus Ware, but he was still able to guide the Eagles to scoring drives on each of their first four possessions. Tight end Brent Celek caught seven passes for 94 yards and a touchdown for Philadelphia. Laurent Robinson had five catches for 103 yards and the lone touchdown for Dallas (3-4).
On Bye This Week: Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, Oakland, N.Y. Jets, Tampa Bay