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Another week rounds up in the NFL and we're now one week away from the halfway mark. It was easily one of the most exciting weeks in the NFL, from the magic of the St. Louis special teams, the game winner from Kyle Orton, or a last minute field goal to seal up a victory against one of the early contenders. Not to mention, the Jacksonville Jaguars were finally able to attain their first win of the year against the Browns, who were perfroming well coming into the week. Last but not least, Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre's incredible record of most career touchdowns at 508. Sunday night, Peyton also passed for No. 509 and No. 510.
Blowout of the Week
Indianapolis Colts 27, Cincinnati Bengals 0
The blowout pick was not an easy one, as there were quite a few to chose from including the Broncos 42-17 win over the 49ers, or the Packers 38-17 win over the Panthers, but overall the Colts win made the biggest statement.
The Bengals started each of their first eight drives with a three and out, it wasn't until the final minutes of the first half they were able to get a first down, on a penalty. For a team that isn't supposed to be that impressive on the defensive side of the ball, that is an incredible feat, especailly against an offense like the Bengals. After starting the season at 3-0 and absolutley dismantling their opponents, the Bengals appear to be a force to be reckoned with. However, in their last three games, they are 0-2-1 and really haven't been able to get going.
A lot of the blame for the lack of offense can be attributed to injured star receiver A.J. Green, who missed Sunday's game with injury. The remaining receiving corps struggled against the Colts secondary, Bengal receivers combined for only six receptions. Tight end Jermaine Gresham was able to grab 10 balls, though he averaged only 4.8 yards per reception. Breakout running back Giovanni Bernard was unable to generate much on the ground, running the ball seven times for only 17 yards. The Bengals were one-of-13 on third downs downs, averaging a despicable 2.5 yards per play.
On the otherside of the field, it was just another day on the job for Andrew Luck. He tossed for 344 yards including two touchdowns. Now that Bradshaw has been able to get going on the ground, Luck's job has gotten easier. The Colts offense has been sharp ever since Luck arrived to Indianapolis, but a shutout against one of the top-tier offensive teams is saying something for an average Colts defense. Maybe they're finally turning into a solid defense that can help Luck win games. The last time the Colts had a solid defense, Manning won the Super Bowl.
After starting the season 0-2, the Colts may be the hottest team in the league right now. Not only have they won five straight but they've also done so in dominant fashion with their average margin of victory at 18 points. With a fairly easy schedule remaining, the Colts should be able to easily rap up the AFC South, and have a real shot at the Super Bowl this year.
Comeback of the Week
Detroit Lions 24, New Orleans Saints 23
Man, what has happened to the New Orleans Saints? A team that was consistenly good for years under quarterback Drew Brees, who came into the season as one of the Super Bowl favorites, is now 2-4 with their wins coming against unimpressive teams (Tampa Bay and Minnesota) with a combined record of 3-10.
Down 13 points and facing third-and-14 with less than five minutes remaining, things were looking awfully bleak for Matthew Stafford and company. With the absence of star receiver Calvin Johnson, somebody had to step up. That somebody was Golden Tate, who took a 73-yard catch to the end zone giving all of Detroit hope for a win.
Brees, a future Hall of Famer, made a mistake someone of his stature only makes once in a thousand snaps. He threw an interception on their first drive back, giving the Lions offense a gift at the 14-yard line trailing by six with three minutes remaining.
On fourth-and-5, a questionable interference call on Rafael Bush gave the Lions a first down after an incomplete pass. This time Stafford would cash in, tossing a five-yard touchdown to Cory Fuller.
Brees got the ball back with 1:48 still on the clock. He needed only a field goal, something very attainable for a potent offense. Scrambling for a first down on fourth-and-10 was ultimately the last first down the Saints achieved, as the game ended in another loss for the lackluster Saints. However, not everything is bad in NOLA, the NFC South is wide open with the Panthers leading it at 3-3-1.
Unfortunately, the Lions aren't as lucky as they're currently tied with the Green Bay Packers (5-2) in the NFC North. You can't count out the Chicago Bears (3-4), either. They're still a very good team, and could right the ship sooner than you think.
Upset of the Week
St. Louis Rams 28, Seattle Seahawks 26
Have the Seattle Seahawks finally been exposed? The defending Super Bowl champions have dropped two straight for only the second time since Russell Wilson has been at the helm. This was easily the most exciting game of the week, especially if your somebody that likes to root for the underdog.
The Rams won off their special teams. They needed a 75-yard kick return to setup a touchdown, a trick punt return that turned into a 90-yard touchdown, and a fake punt on fourth down to seal the victory.
Somehow, the Seahawks stormed back from a 21-3 deficit and eventually had a chance to tie it up in the fourth quarter after a touchdown from Wilson to receiver Doug Baldwin from nine yards out. However, they were unable to convert the two-point conversion which would've tied the game.
After bringing the Rams to fourth down with still time to work with, it looked as if the Hawks' would have a real shot at nailing a game winning-field goal. The Rams had other plans. A perfectly executed fake punt resulted in an 18-yard pass to running back Benny Cunningham for the first down.
The Seahawks are now 3-3 and have dropped two straight, so you've got to wonder if this is the dominant team that everybody thought they were?