There are a few plays every
season that are destined to become "coaches favorites". They're not
one-handed catches, bone-crushing hits or ankle-breaking open field moves. Most
of the time, they don't even get mentioned in the post-game coverage. For the
Seattle Seahawks, one such play occurred during their 35-28 loss last week in
Kansas City. Here's the scenario: the Seahawks trail by 7 with just over 2 minutes
remaining in the game and they have the ball on their own 28. Seneca Wallace
has a pass attempt batted up in the air and it's intercepted by Jared Allen
who proceeds to rumble towards the sidelines.
Game over, right? Not for Deion Branch. In a demonstration of the spirit and drive that made him a Super Bowl MVP, Branch runs back to the play, strips the ball away from Allen who's fighting for extra yardage, and single handedly gives the Seattle offense another chance at victory, albeit a chance that the offense will eventually squander. This play isn't mentioned in the Associated Press coverage of the game. This play isn't mentioned in the ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sportsline or CNNSi coverage of the game. In fact, outside of the people who watched the game, or read Seattle press, nobody will know about it.
But it was a great play by a player who refused to give up on the game or his teammates. It's a play that gives fans of the team hope that all is not lost despite injuries to their Pro-Bowl QB and RB. It's a play that coaches across the country will show to players to demonstrate why you never ever give up on play, even after disaster strikes. Hats off to you, Mr. Branch.
The Bears absolutely dismantled the 49ers last week. They'll repeat the performance this week against Miami.
Peyton Manning was almost perfect last week in Denver. He'll need to keep it rolling next Sunday night against the Patriots.
Tom Brady was almost perfect last week in Minnesota. He'll need to keep it rolling next Sunday night against the Colts.
Memo to Mike Shanahan: soft zone only works against mediocre quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is NOT a mediocre quarterback.
Shawne Merriman had a great going-away party, amassing 3 sacks against St. Louis.
The Giants injury plagued defense was aided by 40 mph winds and a rookie quarterback last Sunday. Still, they are in control of the NFC East with victories over all three of their divisional foes.
The Jaguars demonstrated to Andy Reid the benefits of a functional ground game.
Carson Palmer had a chance to lead his team to a last second victory, but fumbled it away.
Seattle had better figure out how to play defense or they'll be playing golf in January.
Drew Brees had a rough day, having two interceptions returned for TDs, which was the difference on the scoreboard last Sunday.
Looks like Tony Romo is here to stay. The young gun didn't panic and lead his team from a 14 point deficit to a convincing win.
Oh-oh. Could the hype actually be for real? Vick has put together two excellent passing performances back-to-back weeks for the first time. Could he have turned the corner?
The Ravens played aggressively on offense, something that had been missing in past weeks.
Would the real Vikings please stand up? Are you the team that destroyed the Seahawks or the team that got crushed by the Patriots?
I always say there's no such thing as an ugly win, but there is such a thing as an ugly loss. The Eagles have posted three in a row.
The Panthers had a 14 point lead and then totally collapsed last Sunday Night.
The Chiefs have officially returned to form, great offense, poor defense.
The Rams went into last week's game knowing they could take over first place in the division and failed to capitalize on the opportunity. These are games that haunt you in December.
The Titans have won two in a row, but will be tested this Sunday in Jacksonville.
The Jets lost the game on a HORRENDOUS call at the end of the game. Not that they've ever won a game that way or anything.
The Packers have separated themselves from the really bad teams with 3 wins, but they are still not good enough to be considered January contenders.
How do you lose to a team you hold to 17 yards passing? Answer, hand them 2 touchdowns on returns.
Tampa Bay hung tight with the Giants all game, but couldn't manage any offensive production all game. You cant win if you can't score.
Washington's season is on the line as they host the Cowboys this Sunday.
Detroit will have their hands full this weekend when a rejuvenated Michael Vick comes calling.
Sage Rosenfels threw three touchdown passes in relief of a benched David Carr and will be rewarded by being shown the bench this week.
The Browns were given a win gift-wrapped by the referees last week. Still, the only thing that goes in the books is the "w".
The Bills have had a week off to try and right the ship. This week's match up against the Packers should be a bell weather game.
The Raiders have won two in row. I can't believe I just typed that sentence.
I know Miami was the only team to beat the Bears in 1985, but Joey Harrington ain't no Dan Marino, and the 2006 Dolphins flat out stink.
At the least the 49ers get to play the Rams once more this season
How many pundits out there are going to admit at the end of the season that Arizona was their sleeper pick?