Week 10 Results
(TJC851) 19 - 16 (oX EVO Xo)
Unsurprisingly our first game this week is one that has the whole XPress community talking as Evo's Chiefs, unbeaten since God was a boy, playing host to TJ's Raiders who came into this game on a 6 game unbeaten streak of their own.
In a very tightly contested slugfest both defences gave up yards but were able to stifle the opposing offences at the right time and with field goals being exchanged on the first three drives it was the Chiefs D who made the breakthrough. Taking advantage of a wobbly screen pass from Derek Carr who was unfortunate to take a hit at the point of release, Justin Houston was on hand to pluck the ball out the air and return it for the score. A further Chiefs field goal before the half gave them a 13 - 3 lead.
In the 3rd quarter both teams were able to move the ball, but it was always tough going and field goals were exchanged. The Chiefs leaned heavily on star man Jamaal Charles who finished with 95 yards on the day. The fearsome Chiefs front 7 made running the ball very difficult for the Raiders and they took to the air with Derek Carr making some good passes on his way to amassing an impressive 310 yards.
In the 4th quarter the momentum started going the Raiders way as the D started getting stops, hitting Charles before or at the line of scrimmage. A couple of big defensive plays forced a Chiefs punt and with 3 minutes to go the Oakland offence started to tick as they scored the first offensive TD of the game, with Jonathan Dywer bundling in for the score.
Three points up and with the Chiefs trying to run out the clock the Raiders D again managed to force a punt despite the continued efforts of Jamaal Charles. With a little over a minute to go Carr drove the Raiders into Chiefs territory and the Silver and Black's scrub kicker nailed a 53 yarder to take the game to overtime.
The Chiefs received the kick off but the stingy Oakland D again forced another quick stop. Ably assisted by some clutch catches from Rod Streater and a monster run from veteran fullback Marcel Reece, Carr again drove his team into Chiefs' territory and Giorgio Tavecchio chipped over his 4th FG of the game to seal the victory, 19 -16 Oakland.
Barring a Chiefs collapse in their remaining games, this result is unlikely to impact on the overall outcome of the AFC East but it does put the Raiders firmly in the driving seat for an AFC wild card place, 2 games ahead of their closest rivals.
(Sovoth) 6-13 (RamsDan)
From one divisional rivalry to another as we move to the NFC West. The playoff picture is a lot clearer than in the AFC with what looks to be a three horse race for the two wild card spots unless the second placed teams can close the gap on the division leaders.
One such game saw the Rams host the 49ers but the expectation coming into the game sadly didn't translate into action in a somewhat turgid display from both teams with the 49ers taking advantage of an early fumble to open the scoring with a 48yard field goal. Zac Stacey and Jimmy Garropolo drove the Rams up the field to register the games only touchdown with Denario Alexander scooping an outrageous one handed scoop for the score, unfortunately injuring himself in the process.
Kaepernick had a day to forget with a measly 55% completion rate and three picks but the 49ers D did their best to keep their team in the game breaking up play and forcing a fumble to restrict the deficit to 7 at the half.
Garropolo and Stacey again kept moving the chains in the third quarter but were only able to trouble the scorer with a single field goal. The 4th quarter started much better for the 49ers and the offence finally looked to have found some rhythm but with Kapernick scrambling on a 3rd and long the ball was jarred loose but gratefully recovered by the 49ers who registered a 48 yard field goal.The 49ers D forced a Rams punt but another Kaepernick interception effectively put an end to the 49ers hopes of winning and closing the gap in the division.
(RedRhinoceros) 9-17 (McManus)
Our final game takes us to the MetLife with McManus looking to extend his impressive run of form and his lead over divisional rivals the Cowboys. The luckless Seahawks have been involved in some very close games and can consider themselves unfortunate to have only won one game.
This was another game dominated by two powerful defences as neither offences found moving the ball easy. Cutler threw 3 picks and Wilson 2 as the Giants D put Wilson to the turf 7 times with Jason Pierre-Paul getting his man 3 times. The running game wasn't effective for either team and it was the Giants passing game that broke the defensive deadlock with halfback Wilson the main beneficiary with 108 receiving yards with rookie Derall Hamptoin also contributing with 5 recpetions for 48 yards and one TD
- DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller had their sack boots on as they harassed, hounded and harried Aaron Rodgers putting him down 7 times between them as the Broncos kept their season alive in Green Bay
- Steve Smith Snr. had a great day against the Cardinals secondary with 7 receptions for 106 yards
- Jake Taylor had a run out for the Cowboys but 4 picks saw him benched for Romo who was unabel to prevent a Cowboys loss in Atlanta
- Andy Dalton outdid the Cowboys' Taylor with 5 picks of his own as the Bengals lost to the Browns
- Darren McFadden held himself together for another 100+ rushing game as the undefeated Jags outgunned the hapless Redskins
- The undefeated Patriots continued riding Marshawn Lynch towards the post season as he logged another 100+ yard game
- Miami continue their winning streak having gone from 1-5 to 55 with 4 straight wins to haul themselves into AFC wild card contention. They win again this week thanks to the Tannehill (336 yards, 5 TD's) and Rodgers (18 carries for 143 yards) combo
- RGIII kep swinging with an impressive 43 attempts but unfortunately hit opposition players three times
- Discontent in Tampa as his woeful Buccs were shut out by the Panthers, With the power hamster a shadow of his former self and Glennon throwing 4 picks, coach Trimmer must be wondering how to reignite his misfiring offence.
- Greg Jennings toasted the Lions secondary with 8 catches for 182 yards as the Vikings win again.
Players Of The Week
AFC Offensive Player Of The Week – HB Marshawn Lynch (Pats) 23 carries, 4 TD's
AFC Defensive Player Of The Week – OLB Terrell Suggs (Ravens) 8 tackles, 4 sacks
,NFC Offensive Player Of The Week – HB Roy Helu (Redskins) 23 carries, 135 yards, 4 TD's
NFC Defensive Player Of The Week – DE Michael Johnson (Buccs) 9 tackles, 5 sacks
1. Rams (10-0) (+1)
2. Patriots (10-0) (+1)
3. Jaguars (10-0) (+1)
4. Chiefs (9-1) (-3)
5. Vikings (8-2) (+1)
6. 49ers (8-2) (-1)
7. Falcons (8-2) (-)
8. Giants (7-3) (-)
9. Raiders (7-3) (-)
10. Bears (7-3) (-)
3 games to watch this week
(Keanooo, 8-2) @ (Joe, 5-5)
An intriguing inter-conference match up with the Vikings pushing for ther finish line with the Bears hot on their heels. The AFC play off picture is becoming a little clearer with just 4 teams now holding 5-5 records in pursuit of the one remaining wild card spot not occupied by the the 7-3 Raiders.
Keanoo has had a great season and while AP has of course been at the spearhead of his offence, Teddy Bridgwater has benefitted from some excellent pocket time provided by the Vikings very capable O line and has used it to hit Jennings and Patterson again and again. On the other side of the ball, a very tough D line has dominated their opponents with man-beast Linval Patterson providing an astonishing 17 sacks from the middle of the line. The Vikes' secondary is perhaps the achilles heel of the team and if Joe can avoid a fearsome pass rush this could be where the game is won for the Broncos as along as Osweiler can keep his radar on his own players.
(RedRhinoceros, 1-9) @ (Riverman , 3-7)
Both teams seasons are over and they will be playing for pride as the 'Hawks visit the Saints. This is a game athat will be decided by which offence can keep hold of the ball with both QB's appearing in the top ten pick throwers on the season. With RGIII leading all QB's for yardage he will facing a testing day against a resolute Seabirds defence with Richard Sherman licking his lips at the prospect of visiting the Saints pass happy offense.
(oX ULTRA Xo 8-2) @ (McManus, 7-3)
Last but not least, two sides at the peak of their divisions but both with teams behind them who could take advantage of a loss to close the gap.
The Giants have done well to open up a 2 game lead over the Cowboys, their nearest rivals who have had a woeful run of form having lost their last 4 consecutive games. The D has led the way for the Giants registering sacks for fun in recent weeks but are facing a potent multi-faceted offense and if the Atlanta O line can give Matt Ryan time to work then it will be a close game as the low scoring Giants offense could struggle if this becomes a shoot out.