Monday, September 24, 2007

De-Charged by Favre!!!

The San Diego Chargers went into yesterday's game against the undefeated Green Bay Packers needing a win and a strong performance out of league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson to restore some of their confidence. After being thrashed 38-14 by the New England Patriots last weekend, a win over Brett Favre and company would go a long way to putting the skip back into the Chargers' step.

The game turned out to be an epic see-saw battle. The Chargers went in front 7-0 on a 27 yard pass from Philip Rivers to Vincent Jackson just about midway through the first quarter. A 28-yard Mason Crosby field goal at the 2:40 mark of the first quarter cut the Charger lead to 7-3. Favre then drove the Packers the length of the field in their next two possessions, tossing scoring passes of five yards to Donald Driver and Bubba Franks to give the Packers a 17-7 lead with 2:48 to go in the first half. Rivers then drove the Chargers, hitting Buster Davis with a nine yard scoring toss to make it a 17-14 Packer margin going to halftime.

For the most part, the second half was a defensive struggle. The Chargers took the lead again 21-17 on a 21 yard screen pass to LaDainian Tomlinson six minutes into the 3rd quarter. For L.T. it was the lone highlight in a very long day as he would only gain 62 yards on 22 carries. Only tight-end Antonio Gates with 113 yards on 11 receptions broke the triple-digit barrier for the Bolts.

The Chargers held their four point lead until very late. The Packers drove the length of the field midway through the fourth quarter and then were stopped at the one yard line with 5:50 to go in the game. The Chargers managed to move the ball 27 yards in six plays, but were forced to give the ball back to Favre and the Packers with 2:18 to go in the game. After an incompletion, Favre found Greg Jennings wide open on the left side of the field and he scampered 57 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. That scoring pass was a very significant one as it was the 420th one of Favre's brilliant career, tying Dan Marino for #1 on the all-time list. With just two minutes to go in the game and trailing by three points, the Chargers desperately needed to put a drive together. That wasn't in the cards though as Rivers was intercepted on the fourth play of their next drive by Nick Barnett. Barnett took the ball all the way to the Chargers two yard line to all but seal the victory for the Packers. Two plays later, Brandon Jackson scored on a one yard run to give the Packers a 31-21 lead. The Chargers did drive the ball into scoring range with their next possession, scoring on a 44 yard field-goal by Nate Kaeding. The ensuing onside kick though was unsucessful and the Packers improbable start to the 2007 season continued.


As for the other early games, the defending Super Bowl Champion Colts cruised to a fairly easy 30-24 victory to go 3-0 as well. In Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb and Kevin Curtis had HUGE days in a 56-21 Eagles rout of the Detroit Lions to secure their first win of 2007. The New England Partiots soundly defeated the Buffalo Bills 38-7 as both Tom Brady and Randy Moss had another big day, while the Pittsburgh Steelers was also very convincing in a 37-16 rout over the San Francisco 49ers.


The afternoon games featured a matchup in the nation's capital between the Redskins and the New York Ginats. The Redskins completely controlled the first half, jumping to a quick 17-3 halftime lead on a Clinton Portis one yard run, and an eight yard pass from Jamie Campbell to Chris Cooley. Shaun Suisham's 47 yard field-goal with four seconds to play ended the first half scoring.

The second half was just horrible if you were rooting for the Redskins like me... The Redskins went three and out with their first three possessions and then fumbled the ball away on the second play of their fourth second half possession. In the meantime, the Giants offense suddenly came to life scoring three touchdowns in a 20 minute span to start the third quarter. Ruben Droughns scored on two one yard touchdown runs to tie the game at 17. With just 5:33 to go in the game, Eli Manning hit Plaxico Burress with a 33-yard pass to give the Giants a 24-17 lead. Campbell proceeded to drive the Redskins down to the Giants 35, but a crucial fumble on third down took them out of field goal range with just 2:33 to play. The Giants quickly went three-and-out with their next possession. Campbell then quickly drove the Redskins down to the one yard line, connecting twice to Santana Moss and on a 20 yard pass to Antawn Randle-El. Unfortunately, the Skins couldn't punch it in, with LaDell Betts getting stopped on fourth down and with that the game was all but over. It was definitely a hard loss for the Redskins faithful to suffer.


In the late game, it was close for a half as the Chicago Bears took on the Dallas Cowboys. The defenses controlled the first 30 minutes, with each team only managing a field goal. The Cowboys defense continued to pester Rex Grossman and the rest of the Bears offense in the second half, while Tony Romo and Marion Barber III ran all over the vaunted Bears defense. Romo connected on scoring passes to Jason Witten and Barber in the third quarter, while Cedric Benson scored on a one yard run for the Bears in between. The Cowboys took complete command in the fourth quarter. After a 44 yard field-goal by Nick Folk, Anthony Henry intercepted the mistake-prone Grossman and returned the ball 28 yards for a touchdown to give the Cowboys a 27-10 lead. Barber scored again late on a one yard run to finish off the Cowboys impressive 34-10 win.


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