Sunday, October 28, 2007

Colts, Pats Make a Date...

On a day when I won all seven of my ESPN fantasy football league games, the two most dominant teams in the NFL certainly made it very clear that they are head and shoulders above the rest.

In the early morning games, the Indianapolis Colts got down early as the Carolina Panthers took over 11 minutes of the first quarter in driving the ball 80 yards in 18 plays. The time-consuming drive culminated in a 3-yard touchdown run by former UCLA Bruin DeShaun Foster. The Colts quickly drove down to the Panther two yard line on their first possession of the game, but had to settle for a 20-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal. The first quarter ended with the Panthers leading 7-3.

The Colts offense sputtered early, going three-and-out and then fumbling the ball away deep inside their own territory on their next two possessions. Vinny Testaverde drove the Panthers inside the Colts 10 yard line, but couldn't convert the opportunity as Antoine Bethea intercepted a poor pass from Testaverde in the end zone on a third down play with 6:37 to play.

Late in the first half, Peyton Manning and the vaunted Colts offense began to come to life. The Colts engineered an eight play, 86 yard drive in just under two minutes, culminating in a two yard Joseph Addai run. The Colts took a 10-7 lead into halftime.

The second half started the same way the first half ended - with the Colts in complete control of the momentum. Manning drove the Colts 60 yards in just eight plays, finishing things with a four yard pass to Addai to make it 17-7. Two possessions later, the Colts struck again, as Manning hit wide receiver Reggie Wayne pefectly in stride with a 59 yard pass to make it a 24-7 Colt lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In that final frame, the Colts would score again, as Addai would finish off a 12 play, 55 yard drive with a 12 yard run. At 31-7, this one was over. With the win, the Colts moved their unblemihsed record to 7-0...

The only question left was whether the New England Patriots would be able to take care of business this afternoon against the Washington Redskins so that next week's battle between the Patriots and Colts in Indianapolis would pit two undefeated teams. Unfortunately, the answer to that one was a resounding YES! :(

In the interest of time, space, and wanting to put this one out of my mind as quickly as possible, I will make this a short (and not so sweet) summary... I'll just say it was a massacre! Pats 52, Skins 7. Tom Brady had his standard 29-for-38 day with 306 yards and three more touchdown passes to give him an even 30 for the year. Brady also scored twice on rushing plays for five more total TD's. That would be 42 fantasy points in your standard Yahoo league and 36 in the ESPN one. Thankfully, I didn't face Brady in any of my leagues this week!

On the bright side, the Redskins are still 4-3, and are still looking like a team that could make the NFC playoffs... of course since the Colts and Patriots are so much better than all of the NFC teams, it seems that whomever happens to get to the Super Bowl out of the NFC this year is going to have their work cut out for them BIG TIME!!! The New York Giants did happen to win their sixth straight game today 13-10 (in Wembley, England against the hapless Dolphins), so maybe they will emerge as good competition for the two AFC juggernauts over the season's final two months.

While the Colts and Patriots continued to show why they're incredible teams, the San Diego Chargers were just happy to be safe and sound and playing at their home field today. Just two days after Quallcomm Stadium stopped being used as an evacuation facility for those affected by the California wildfires, the Chargers took on the Houston Texans in an afternoon game... and much like New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, the game provided a sense of calm, relief, and normalcy to the community. The Chargers struck early and often as the Chargers dismantled the visitors 35-10. Tight end Antonio Gates only caught three balls on the day, but two of them went for scores, making his fantasy owners like me very happy! Although the Chargers were outgained on offense by a 367-237 yard margin, the key to them winning was simply holding onto the ball. The Texans had five turnovers, while the Chargers had none. At 4-3, the Chargers moved into a tie with the idle Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC Western division lead.


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