Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards sent the wrong message to his team.
Down 20-13 with just three minutes
remaining, quarterback Tyler Thigpen drove the Chiefs offense 60 yards to pull
the team within one point of San Diego with just 29 seconds remaining. Edwards decided to
go for the win with a two-point conversion rather than tying the game with an
Maybe Edwards wanted to show that he had confidence in his young team.
To me, it looked like a move made out of desperation deciding it was better to
possibly lose with a bold stroke rather than possibly watch victory slip away in
But when you consider the odds of converting a 2-point conversion versus
getting the opportunity to kick a winning field goal in overtime, most coaches
would play for overtime. Not surprisingly, Kansas City failed to convert and dropped their eighth game.
Edwards deprived his club of
the reward they should have enjoyed—taking the game into overtime with a
chance to win on a field goal.
Sure, I realize Kansas City was 1–7 heading into their contest at San
Diego and didn't have much to lose in terms of their playoff hopes. But after
two weeks of playing very competitive football against the Jets and the
Buccaneers, Edwards blew an opportunity for his team to take another step
forward and most likely send a game into overtime with
momentum in his team's favor.
For anyone who thinks that I would be praising Edwards for making that call
had the Chiefs put the two points on the scoreboard, you're wrong. I would have
said that it was a gutsy call, but not the smart one when you consider the state
of his club. And if you saw the face of future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez after
the game, he looked dumbfounded and a bit disgusted by the fact that his team
had found yet another way to lose a game.
I don't think Edwards should have risked leaving that feeling with his team.
He's planted the seed in the minds of his players that even he can be the one to
pull the carpet out from under them when they're in a tight game.
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson on the move against Green Bay.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The Vikings' running backs and defense led the charge as Minnesota
knocked-off the Packers.
While Minnesota quarterback Gus Frerotte completed 15 of 28 passes, tossing a
pair of touchdown passes against Green Bay, he also threw three interceptions.
It was the Vikings' running backs and the defense who really did the most damage
to the Packers during a 28-27 victory.
Adrian Peterson carried the ball 30 times for 192 yards and a score, while
Chester Taylor did most of his damage as a receiver, catching four balls for 84
yards, including a 47-yard effort for a touchdown. Minnesota's defense harassed
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers all day, limiting him to a season-low 142
yards passing and just his second game of the year in which he failed to throw a
touchdown pass. The Vikings earned two safeties during the game at the expense
of Rodgers as well.
The Titans once again showed that they can adapt their offense to what the
defense will give them.
Although the Bears did a masterful job of shutting down Tennessee's rushing
tandem of LenDale White and Chris Johnson, allowing them to gain a net of just
22 yards combined, the Titans adapted and won the game through the air. Veteran
quarterback Kerry Collins completed 75 percent of his throws (30 out of 41
attempts) for 289 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to push Tennessee's
record to 9-0.
Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco isn't flashy, but he's getting the
Check out the stats on the guy who calls the shots inside Baltimore's offensive
huddle and you'll see that he's only passed for 200 yards or more in three
contests this season. But during the Ravens' four-game winning streak, Flacco
has thrown six touchdown passes and hasn't allowed an interception. Compare that
with his first five games as a pro (one touchdown and seven interceptions) and
you can't help but be impressed. Flacco has completed 62.1 percent of his passes
this year while posting an average passer rating of 79.7. But in three of his
last four games, he's earned a rating of 109 or better. The Ravens play the
Giants next Sunday.
The Jets scored 47 points on a day when Brett Favre only threw for 167
yards and one touchdown.
Normally when you see the New York Jets light up the scoreboard, old No. 4 is
usually prominent in the stats with multiple touchdown passes and better than
300 passing yards. But on this day, the Jets didn't need Favre's legendary
heroics as they were able to convert five Rams turnovers into 27 points during a
47-3 win. Running back Thomas Jones rushed for 149 yards and three touchdowns
while rookie tight end Dustin Keller pulled in six balls for 107 receiving yards
and a touchdown. The lopsided affair was the Jets' fifth win out of their last
six games, setting up a huge Thursday night matchup for sole ownership of the
AFC East lead when they face the New England Patriots.
Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams lifted his team to a 17-6 victory
with a career-best 140 rushing yards.
It was a good thing that Williams had a hot hand on Sunday against Oakland,
because quarterback Jake Delhomme had one of his most miserable days ever at the
helm of his offense. Delhomme threw four interceptions during the game, the
first time he had done that since 2004. But Williams picked up the slack with a
big day that included a 69-yard touchdown run.
The Raiders' only scoring was off of a pair of Sebastian Janikowski field
goals, marking their third straight game where they haven't scored more than 10
points in a game. Janikowski's second field goal pushed his all-time points
total to 865, breaking George Blanda's franchise record of 863 points.
Marvin Harrison isn't even the second-best receiver on the Colts roster
Nine games into the 2008 season, the formerly marvelous receiver has just three
touchdown catches and 30 receptions for 357 yards. He's faded into the role of
being the third-best receiver on the team behind Reggie Wayne, who has 49
catches for 700 yards and five touchdowns, and second-year receiver Anthony Gonzalez (38 catches for 438 yards, two touchdowns).
Harrison has clearly lost some of his speed and is struggling to get
separation from his defenders. He isn't even consistently getting open on those
quick slants that he used to execute so well. Just as concerning is that he
appears to be more timid about diving for balls that he used to catch, but now
glance off his fingertips or drop inches ahead of him.
Since he's earning a $9 million salary this year, you would expect to
see better production out of Harrison. But at the age of 36, he just doesn't
appear to have the skills and speed of a top-tier receiver any longer. While he
will hit the Colts for $2 million in prorated contract money in 2010, Harrison
should be prepared to either retire or look for another team next year unless
he's willing to take a big pay cut. Despite the prorated money, the Colts would
actually free up $8 million in cap space for the team in 2010 and $11.4 million
in 2011 if they part ways with the man who produced so many highlight-reel
moments for them over the years. With the way Harrison is playing, that decision
for the Colts and their fans—as gut-wrenching as it may be after watching his
brilliance for so many seasons—is a no-brainer.
The veteran made just three catches for 37 yards against the Steelers on
Sunday. Fortunately for the Colts, the Indy offense was able to capitalize on a
pair of interceptions by their defense that set up a pair of touchdowns during
their 24-20 win over the Steelers. They grabbed a third interception when Ben Roethlisberger attempted a Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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