Monday, September 17, 2007

Patriots Crush Chargers

It was billed as a possible Super Bowl XLII matchup, and with all of the press surrounding the New England Patriots and the "cheatergate" scandal, last night's game pitting the Pats against the San Diego Chargers was definitely a game which figured to be worthy of all of the hype. Early on though, it became very clear that the Patriots were out to prove that their success over the past several years was legitimate.

Apparently, the Chargers just decided not to show up as the Patroits moved the ball at will all night long against their defense, while their offense sputtered. The first two possessions of the game were typical of how the night went. A seven play, 69 yard drive which resulted in seven yard Tom Brady pass to Benjamin Watson on the game's first possession gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead. It would be the first of five consecutive possessions which would see the Pats advance the ball to the Chargers 35 or beyond. Charger quarterback was intercepted on his very first pass attempt of the game deep inside of Charger territory. For one of the rare times though, the Patriots were unable to convert as Stephen Gostkowski missed a 41-yard field goal. The Chargers would then go three-and-out with their next possession. The Pats then drove the ball 75 yards in 10 plays, culminating in a 23 yard scoring pass from Brady to Randy Moss. It was 14-0 Patriots after the first quarter and it would only get worse from there for the Chargers.

In the second quarter, the Patriots would again drive the length of the field, but would have to settle for a 24-yard Gostowski field goal. The teams then exchanged three-and-outs... On the game's next possession, Rivers had a pass intercepted by Adalius Thomas, who would take it to the house 65 yards away for a 24-0 Patroit lead with 5:17 to go in the second period.

The game was all but over at that point. Each team put up two touchdowns on offense in the second half to make it a 38-14 Patriot rout. The Patiots had many stars... Brady was an efficient 25-for-31 for 279 yards and three scores, two going to Moss, who finished the night with 105 yards. Given the Chargers' huge early deficit, league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson didn't get to run the ball nearly as often as usual, only producing 43 yards on 18 carries... the lone bright spot for the Chargers was tight-end Antonio Gates who caught seven passes for 77 yards and a score.


As for the rest of the games, the Super Bowl champion Colts eeked out a 22-20 win over the Tennessee Titans, while Houston, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Green Bay and Arizona all scored upset wins... The most exciting game of the day in terms of points and offense was undoubtedly the game pitting the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. Carson Palmer was machine-like, going 33-for-50 with 401 yards and SIX touchdown passes for the Bengals, but incredibly it wasn't enough as the Browns tallied 51 points in a wild and crazy 51-45 contest. "Ocho Cinco" was the recipient of 10 of those receptions for 209 yards and two scores, well "the Housh" also scored twice. Derek Anderson's numbers for the Browns were almost as gaudy as Palmer's, as he was 20-for-33 for 328 yards and five touchdowns. The 11 combined touchdown passes were one short of the NFL record for a game. Braylon Edwards and Joe Jurevicius each caught two Anderson passes for scores, while Jamal Lewis ran all over the Bengal defense, accumulating 215 yards on 28 carries with a score.


Tonight, the Washington Redskins visit Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. It should be an exciting game, especially given that the Redskins' star running back Clinton Portis appears to finally be fully healthy, while Eagles QB Donovan McNabb is not back to 100% yet and their passing game seemed quite out of synch last week in Green Bay. The Eagles may be favored to win this game by almost a touchdown, but don't be surprised if the Redskins pull off the upset.


Lastly, I just wanted to give a big congratulations to the Chicago White Sox' Jim Thome. Yesterday, he hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 9-7 comeback victory. The home run was significant because it was Thome's 500th of his career. Jim has always been a class act and is perhaps the most liked baseball player in the game today... He sets a great example for all of us. Well done, Jim!


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