Every once in awhile there is a game so epic that you can’t help but watch it. The game goes down to the wire with both teams fighting desperately for a big win to keep their season alive. Then something amazing happens and the game is remembered for generations to come.
OK, so Cleveland and Detroit wasn’t all that, but it was close.
If these teams were a combined 16-2 instead of 2-16 coming in, this game would be remembered as one of the great games of the decade.
Matthew Stafford throws a last-second Hail Mary, getting almost killed in the process, and draws a pass interference call.
After he is peeled off the turf, Stafford gets up and with triple zeroes on the clock and throws a touchdown with what appears to be a broken arm. He then limps off the field pointing to his arm, unable to even pump his fist because his arm is probably shattered and wProxy-Connection: keep-alive
l require career-ending surgery.
It was one of the most amazing finProxy-Connection: keep-alive
hes ever, even if it was between two of the worst teams of all time.
Here is a short transcript of the entire call from the broadcasters. Keep in mind; they don’t raise their voices in the slightest.
“Throws, touchdown Detroit. They did it; the Lions came back and did it.”
It was like he was reading from a cue card or something. We need to get Gus Johnson into some of these terrible games.
If there’s one way to spruce up a bad game, it’s to have Johnson screaming at the end of it. He has a talent for making boring things interesting, which is why he calls a lot of New York Knicks games.
Still, even without Johnson, this game was amazing. The Browns scored four offensive touchdowns on Sunday. In its past games combined, Cleveland had just five offensive touchdowns.
So in one game, we got an entire season’s worth of offensive production. Could you imagine if that happened to a team like the Colts or Cardinals?
Final score from Tempe, Indianapolis 448, Arizona 384.
The Manning Complex
The Colts have been treading on thin ice in their past four victories, winning by a total of just 10 points. Teams are so scared of Peyton Manning’s two-minute drill, that they do stupid things at the end of all of these close games to give them away.
In Week 10, Bill Belichick went for a fourth down on his own 28 to try to keep Manning off the field. It failed, and even the unflappable Belichick was forced to defend himself to the media all week.
In their game against Baltimore, John Harbaugh decided he didn’t want Manning to see the field with 2:30 to go in what would likely be a one-point game.
Trailing 17-15 with 2:50 to go, Harbaugh called a third-and-7 pass play from the Colts’ 19. The pass was intercepted and any realistic chance of a Ravens win went out the window.
You have to wonder, are teams giving Manning too much respect? As Herm Edwards said, “Hello, you play to win the game.”
That means having faith that your defense can go out there and stop Manning from driving 60-70 yards for the winning score.
The Ravens have always had one of the better defenses in the league. They gave up just 17 points to the Colts. But you mean to tell me that Harbaugh had so little faith in his defense that he thought it would be worth it to throw that ball on third down instead of just running it and kicking a field goal? If I were Ray Lewis, I’d be having some words with my coach about now.
Maybe Oakland finally figured it out. If you bench bums who don’t give a damn about your team, the morale will jump and you’ll get a solid all-around effort.
Bruce Gradkowski did not turn the Raiders into world champs all of a sudden. But he infused them with passion, and they all played like they had something to actually play for.
Gradkowski knows this is probably his last shot at a starting job in this league. I’m sure he probably realizes that the Raiders will likely try to bring in someone better in the offseason.
But that’s not going to stop him from playing like every down means something. Teams pick up on that kind of mentality.
While they beat Cincinnati, which was playing without Cedric Benson, they still played a dangerous Bengals team.
They got a Benson-esque game from rookie running back Bernard Scott and Carson Palmer even ran for two touchdowns.
So this was an impressive win for the Raiders. They could play a major spoiler role coming down the stretch with games against the likes of the Cowboys, Steelers and Broncos.
While Tom Cable probably won’t be keeping his job after this season (and frankly, nor should he), I applaud the move to Gradkowski. It’s hard to give up on a No.1 overall draft pick.
We see that going on across the Bay right now. The 49ers keep going to former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith, despite his many failures. While most San Francisco fans would say Smith is the quarterback only because he’s the best of the worst on that team, there is still a stigma with these players.
People see what “could be” with a former top pick, not usually “what really is.”