Atlanta jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half only to watch the Vikings the lead to 3 early in the fourth quarter. Reciever Harry Douglas started things off for the Falcons. The 180 pound receiver had a 27 yard catch and run for a touchdown. To get to the endzone, Douglas had to throw 245 pound linebacker E.J. Henderson to the turf. Roddy White made his presence known catching 10 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. White slipped between two Vikings defenders to make the easy catch in the back of the endzone. The field goal from Matt Bosher at the end of the first half was the last points the Falcons would score until late in the fourth quarter.
Minnesota went to the air in the second half. Eight of the Vikings 13 plays in the third quarter were pass plays. "That was part of our strategy coming out of the half we gotta stretch the field if we can," said Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier. On 4th and long the strategy paid off. Christian Ponder found Percy Harvin twice for plays of 13 and 20 yards. The second pass to Harvin set up a 1 yard touchdown run by RB Toby Gerhart who started in place of the injured Adrian Peterson. Ponder and Harvin made magic again in the fourth quarter. On fourth and thirteen, Ponder took a shot at making the highlight reel delivering a 39 yard strike to Harvin in the back of the endzone. Harvin's catch gave the Vikings new hope.
That hope started to fade as Matt Ryan orchestrated a 9-play, 83-yard scoring drive. Ryan threw the ball an uncharacteristic 7 times on the drive that ended with a 3 yard touchdown pass to TE Michael Palmer.
Harvin re-ignited the flame with an 104 yard kick return to the Falcons 3. Atlanta DB Chris Owens made an outstanding play running down the speedy return man. Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith called the touchdown saving tackle "the most pivotal play in the ball game". "It allowed us to put our defense out there and have the opportunity to live another play". Minnesota took four shots at the endzone and came up short each time. Defenders Curtis Lofton, Thomas DeCoud, Chris Owens and Sean Weatherspoon made four consecutive big time plays to keep the Vikings out of the endzone. Atlanta ran the remaining 4 minutes off the clock to preserve the victory.
Atlanta heads to Houston in Week 13 to face on the Texans without Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart. Minnesota heads home to face the Denver Broncos.
Tim Tebow keeps winning and the comments keep coming. The latest athlete to add their two copper boys..former Arizona Cardinals/Denver Broncos quarterback Jason Steven 'Jake' Plummer. Really Jake? Does March 23, 1997 ring a bell? What, do you suggest that he follow your path? Somebody call Ed Lover… C'Mon Son!!!
Denver got a huge game from Willis McGahee. The nine year veteran rushed for 117 yards on 23 carries including a 24 yard jaunt that set up the game winning field goal.
After a slow start the Dallas Cowboys continue to roll along improving their record to 7-4 with a Thanksgiving Day win over the Fins. Dallas takes control of the NFC East after the Giants debacle Monday night.
Injuries to both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart have the AFC South Division leading Houston Texans (8-3) outside of their comfort zone. Tennessee is two games behind and has a much tougher -relatively speaking- schedule than the Texans. Look for the Titans-Texans January 1 season finale to decide which team gets the playoff bid.
Cincinnati, yes - Cincinnati at 7-4 is the front runner for the second wild card spot in the AFC. A 3-2 finish over the last 5 games and the Bengals could make some noise in January.
Chicago's quarterback woes could allow the Lions to sneak into post-season for the first time since -wait getting dizzy counting that high- 1999. The Lions have a tougher schedule with Green Bay, San Diego and New Orleans yet to play. Atlanta can still win the NFC South and is the front runner for the top wild card spot. Atlanta has the favorable schedule with three of the five remaining teams sporting records below .500 and a Houston team without an experienced quarterback under center.
For the second time this season the New Orleans Saints have hung another embarrassing score on an opponent during prime time. The most telling play of the game was made by Drew Brees. First Brees shook off Giants DL Justin Tuck to escape the sack and then mushed a second d-lineman- Linval Joseph to the turf before completing the pass to RB Pierre Thomas for a first down. Oh and the touchdown run wasn't bad either.
Jack Del Rio fired as Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Team Owner Wayne Weaver didn't stop there. Weaver announced he was selling the team.
The Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams contest is the first game in NFL history in which each team had an 80+ yard punt-return touchdown. St. Louis' Nick Miller had an 88-yard punt-return touchdown in the first quarter and Arizona's Patrick Peterson recorded an 80-yard PR-TD in the third quarter.
Arizona's Beanie Wells rushed for a franchise-record 228 yards and averaged 8.4 yards per carry and Tennessee's Chris Johnson had 190 rushing yards with an 8.3-yard average. It marked the fifth time in NFL history in which two players rushed for at least 190 yards and averaged 8.0+ yards per carry on the same day.
The other four instances: December 16, 1956 (Tom Wilson and Rick Casares), November 15, 1959 (Bobby Mitchell and Johnny Olszewski), October 14, 2007 (Adrian Peterson and La Dainian Tomlinson) and September 20, 2009 (Frank Gore and Johnson).
The Cincinnati Bengals erased a 17-7 halftime deficit to defeat Cleveland 23-20. It marked Cincinnati's third win this season in which the Bengals trailed by at least 10 points at halftime, tied for the most in a season in NFL history. The other teams to accomplish the feat are the 1980 Kansas City Chiefs, 1984 New England Patriots, 1986 Indianapolis Colts and the 2011 Detroit Lions.
New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 361 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots' 38-20 win at Philadelphia. It marked Brady's 119th regular-season victory as a starting quarterback, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for the sixth most in NFL history.
Arizona rookie Patrick Peterson had an 80-yard punt-return touchdown in the Cardinals' 23-20 win at St. Louis. Peterson is the first player in NFL history with four punt-return touchdowns of at least 80 yards in a single season.
His four punt-return touchdowns are tied for the most in a single season with Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen (1951), Rick Upchurch (1976) and Devin Hester (2007). Peterson and Christiansen are the only rookies to accomplish the feat and the only players in NFL history to score four punt-return touchdowns in their first 11 career games.
Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson reached 700 career receptions in the Texans' 20-13 win at Jacksonville. Johnson recorded his 700th catch in his 120th career game, the second-fewest to reach the milestone in NFL history (MARVIN HARRISON, 114 games).
Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton had a 14-yard touchdown run in the Panthers' 27-19 win at Indianapolis. Newton has rushed for 10 touchdowns and is the fourth quarterback - and only rookie QB - in the Super Bowl era to rush for at least 10 TDs in a single season. He joins Steve Grogan 1976, 12), Kordell Stewart (1997, 11) and Daunte Culpepper (2002, 10) as the only quarterbacks to accomplish the feat.
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