Just a few short weeks ago, all the talk was that there were two teams who could go undefeated in the regular season and possibly all the way to Super Bowl XLIV. First the New Orleans Saints fell victim and now the 14-1 Indianapolis Colts, too, will not threaten the ’72 Miami Dolphins. Mercury Morris and the boys can enjoy their champagne once again courtesy of the New York Jets 29-15 upset win on the road.
Speaking of the Saints (13-2), they have now lost two in a row in the dome after the hapless Tampa Bay Bucs (3-12) came back from a 17-0 hole to win 20-17 in overtime. Also in the NFC, the New York Giants – after coming out of the gate 5-0 – all but put their postseason hopes to rest with a putrid 41-9 pasting at the hands of the carolina Panthers. This occurred in their final game at Giants Stadium, with the grand opening of the still yet-unnamed new Meadowlands stadium opening up in 2010. The Panthers (7-8) have been out of the playoff picture for quite some time while the Giants dropped to 8-7 and left their rabid fanbase wondering what happened.
In Indianapolis, possible MVP candidate Peyton Manning was pulled from the game in the third quarter with the Colts nursing a five-point advantage. Back-up Curtis Painter was not effective and allowed the Jets to get right back into the game.
Not only did Gang Green do the unthinkable after dropping a heartbreaker last week to the Atlanta Falcons, but actually control their own destiny if they can defeat the Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) at home next Sunday night. The Jets (8-7) needed a lot of help heading onto the day and by the time they kicked off at 4:15, much had broke their way.
Miami (7-8) dropped a 27-20 decision at home to the Houston Texans (8-7) while the Steelers (8-7) took care of the Baltimore Ravens (8-7), 23-20, in the Steel City. All of this activity coupled with Jacksonville losing and falling to 7-8, the Jets slid up into one of the wild card spots in the AFC. Denver (8-7) lost by a late field goal in Philadelphia after a big comeback, but still can get in at 8-7 with tiebreakers.