In this unpredictably wild season, nothing is certain.
Craziness has become the theme of 2012, and week six exemplified that.
Up 24-0 at home, Norv Turner and the San Diego Chargers had the Monday Night game in the bag. That was until Peyton Manning and the Broncos stormed back to make history, becoming the first team to be down 24 points and still win by double digits.
The 35-24 Broncos win was indeed miraculous, but the Chargers’ collapse was self-inflicted. Quarterback Philip Rivers turned the ball over six times, costing his team the game.
Denver wasn’t the only team to make a furious comeback; the Detroit Lions also beat the odds in their dramatic comeback win over Philadelphia. Down 23-13 with less than five minutes to play, Matthew Stafford caught fire and brought the Lions back to tie in regulation. From there, the defense took over, sacking Michael Vick on the first two plays of overtime before forcing an Eagles’ punt from their own end zone.
Detroit got the ball near midfield, and was just one Calvin Johnson circus catch from the game-winning field goal. Naturally, Jason Hanson drained it to give Detroit the 26-23 win.
Then, there is Atlanta, who never should have had to come back to win in the first place. At home against the lowly Raiders, the Falcons were a 10-point favorite. Somehow, they found themselves down 13-7 at the half. Then, with time running out in the fourth quarter, Oakland’s Darren McFadden tied the game with a 2-yard touchdown run. With just 40 seconds remaining, it looked like Oakland would force overtime with momentum on their side.
But Matt Ryan had something to say about that.
Matty Ice rallied the troops in the final seconds yet again, moving the Falcons into field goal range so the other Matty Ice (Matt Bryant) could boot a 55-yarder to win the game 23-20.
How about those Seahawks! Ever since they were given the win against Green Bay, they have looked good, and this weekend was no different. QB Russell Wilson out-dueled Tom Brady in a great game out west. Wilson’s 46-yard bomb to Sindey Rice completed a 13-point fourth-quarter comeback, giving Seattle the 24-23 victory.
I’m just plain confused about the 49ers. One week, they look like a truly elite team, and the next they manage only three points in a 26-3 loss to the Giants.
Injuries, unlike last-second comebacks, are not unexpected in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Ravens’ faithful, their All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis will miss the remainder of the 2012 campaign with a torn triceps. The injury to Lewis devastates Baltimore, and even more devastating is that the Ravens also lost CB Lardarius Webb for the season, putting Baltimore in a world of trouble. Missing their veteran leader as well as their best cover corner decimates the team’s chances of making a Super Bowl run.
Arizona continued their fall from the top, and it seems that their 16-19 home loss to Buffalo officially makes them this year’s Bills. Last year the Bills started 5-0 before plummeting back to earth and missing the playoffs. Unfortunately for Cardinals fans, it appears they face the same fate unless John “Helter” Skelton can lead them to the Promised Land.
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