San Diego 42 Tennessee 17
The game was never a contest from the start and the Titans season is now over. Eliminated from the playoffs, Tennessee looks towards other goals. First off was Christmas night, a game versus a Chargers team that had won nine straight games. The Titans needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive but could not deliver. Vince Young has taken this team from 0-6 to 7-7 and back in the playoff talk. The problem was they ran into a San Diego team playing December ball like no other in the league. They have not lost in December since 2006 for a total of 18 straight. Phillip Rivers picked the Titans defense apart going 21-27 for 264 yards and two touchdowns. He is playing just as well as any of the top quarterbacks in the league. On the other side of the ball it was Tennessee playing like they did while they were going 0-6. Young had his worst game since he took over going 8-21 for only 89 yards with two picks. He also had a key fumble when he was sliding for a first down. The one bright spot continues to be Chris Johnson and his ability to get yards. He ran for 142 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown and needs only 128 to get to 2,000. He would have probably gone over 200 on Christmas night if the Chargers didn’t have such a big lead. So next week is the last game of the season and they will play to get Johnson to 2,000 and possibly, if he can get 234 yards, pass Eric Dickerson’s mark of 2,105 yards. They are also playing for a .500 but a good point needs to be mentioned. If the Titans lose to Seattle next week they would get better positioning in next year’s draft and would play a better schedule. Now no one wants to play to lose but just thought I would mention that.
New York Jets 29 Indianapolis 15
See this is why I have a problem with pulling players at years end. If you are going to do it why let your key players play into the third period? I can see playing them a series or two or maybe even a quarter. Not only that they did it in their home finale of the season. Way to treat your fans to a good game. So with the score 15-10 Jim Caldwell decided to pull Peyton Manning in favor of Curtis Painter and it bombed. Painter was greeted rather rudely and was hit often. He even fumbled on his second series that turned into a touchdown for the Jets. So perfection is gone and what is the point to the Colts. Let us remember that the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. It doesn’t matter if you win all your games or go 8-8. Still as a fan you would have wanted to see how it would have panned out next week had they won this game? The loss helped the Jets and hurt the Ravens making the last week of the season one to remember. So the main guys will rest next week in preparation for the playoffs. The media and the fans will second guess the decision for weeks to come but if Indy can win the big one it wont matter. If they don’t win it all it will be questioned into next season. They better hope that the likes of Austin Collie and other young players are not hurting their rhythm by not playing with Manning too much.
Houston 27 Miami 20
This is why they play the game as they say. When the season began the Texans had aspirations of a playoff berth for the first time in franchise history. As the season progressed things began to slowly unravel. They lost key games and kept making the mistake that have hurt them in years past. As the season has come to a close they are playing the brand of football they had hoped to play all year. On this day they looked great jumping out to a 27-0 lead as Matt Schaub had two quick scoring passes and Arian Foster chipped in with a 17-yard run. Kicker Kris Brown also had two field goals in the first half for 27-3 lead. They had to hold off a Dolphin 20-point rally but still looked like a team ready to make its first postseason appearance. Foster looked good running for 97 yards and Andre Johnson had five catches for 71 yards and a score. The defense held Miami to just 60 yards on the ground with Ricky Williams getting just 35. On the other side of the coin they did allow Chad Henne to go 35-55 for 322 yards too. So now they play to win next week and wait for the help they need. They have played hard and coach Gary Kubiak knows what’s at stake and the team is playing like it too. Let’s see if they can accomplish their goal and what they will do if they get there.
New England 34 Jacksonville 7
Another team in search of the postseason with jobs on the line is the Jags. On Sunday things did not go as planned when Tom Brady and Randy Moss put on a show that all but eliminated Jacksonville from playoff contention. They saw Brady go a near perfect 23-26 for 267 yards and four touchdowns. Moss had a huge day with three touchdowns on four catches. Maurice Jones-Drew failed to get 100 yards again getting just 63 on 18 carries. They managed just 275 yards of offense and David Garrard was picked off twice. When they had any kind of drive it was killed, as they were 4-11 on third down efficiency. They made Wes Welker look like one of the best receivers in the league as he caught 13 passes for 138 yards and leads the league with 122 catches. They failed to get to Brady and remain one the worst teams in the league as far as sacking the opposing quarterback is concerned. So they will need to win next week and get a lot of help or its lost season. If they do not make the playoffs changes will be needed and most of the time it starts with the head coach.