Tag: NFL football

Texans Send Bengals Crying Home To Momma

Texans Earn Historic Playoff Victory, Beat Bengals 31-10 And Advance To Face Ravens Next Sunday – Ultimate Texans

As white rally towels fluttered throughout Reliant Stadium, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt took off his helmet, punched his right fist in the air and incited the sellout crowd further on his way to the locker room at halftime. There was still another half to play, but the party was well under way Saturday afternoon.

It had been 18 years since a Houston team played in the NFL playoffs, and Watt was a major reason the Texans took control shortly before halftime to eventually beat the Cincinnati Bengals 31-10 before a sellout crowd of 71,725.

……………

On a day franchise icon Andre Johnson had a 40-yard touchdown reception and running back Arian Foster had an amazing 42-yard touchdown run in the second half, Watt helped the Texans take the lead for good with a game-changing 29-yard interception return for a touchdown.

In the first playoff match in NFL history between two rookie quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era, T.J. Yates and the Texans dominated the second half. The contest was actually tied at 10 until Watt intercepted Katy High School graduate Andy Dalton and rumbled 29 yards for a touchdown return to take the lead for good with 52 seconds to play until halftime.

For good measure, Watt sacked Dalton to end the first half as the Texans headed into halftime up 17-10.

By winning the wild-card game, the Texans earned the chance to face the Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium next Sunday with a berth in the AFC Championship on the line.

In the first NFL playoff game in the city for a Houston franchise since the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oilers on January 16, 1994, the Texans hardly looked like the team that limped into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak.

In their 10th season, the AFC South champions could hardly have asked for a more dominant performance in their playoff debut.

Dalton, a 2005 graduate of Katy High School who entered with a 3-0 career record at Reliant Stadium after winning a pair of high school games and the Texas Bowl with TCU against UH, threw three interceptions overall and two in the second half.

The Bengals took an early 7-0 lead with the help of a 52-yard pass interference call against Glover Quin on the 74-yard drive. On 2nd and 8 from their own 28, Dalton attempted a deep pass to A.J. Green. Quin made just enough contact on Green to draw the flag, giving the Bengals 1st and 10 at the Texans’ 20 on the 52-yard penalty.

Three plays later, Dalton hit a short pass that Brian Leonard took for 16 yards to the 1. Cedric Benson took care of the rest with a 1-yard touchdown run with 7:34 to play in the first quarter.

The Texans countered right away with an 80-yard drive, which was capped by Foster’s eight–yard touchdown run. After starting the drive with a four-yard run, Foster added a 20-yard scamper down the right side. On the next play, Yates hit tight end Owen Daniels with a 21-yard pass.

The Texans got another 15 yards on the play when Bengals safety Reggie Nelson was penalized for unnecessary roughness, making it 1st and 10 at the 20. Foster took care of the rest with a four-yard run sandwiched between a pair of eight-yard runs to cap the six-play, 2:37 drive that secured the first playoff touchdown in Texans history.

The Bengals were threatening again until Texans linebacker Brooks Reed sacked Dalton, forcing Cincinnati to try a 50-yard field goal on 4th and 17 from the 32. Mike Nugent missed the kick wide right.

Nugent atoned with a 37-yard field goal on Cincinnati’s next drive, giving the Bengals a 10-7 lead with 7:09 to play in the second quarter. The Texans tied it at 10 on Neil Rackers’ 39-yard field with 1:48 to play in the first half.

No long after Yates led the offense on the 13-play, 59-yard drive over 5:21, the defense got on the board to give the Texans a 17-10 lead. Watt jumped up to bat the ball and ended up intercepting it before returning it 29 yards for a touchdown, sending Reliant Stadium into pandemonium.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson, easily the most accomplished player in franchise history, helped the Texans take a 24-10 lead when he caught a 40-yard touchdown pass.

On their next drive, Dalton was overwhelmed as Watt, Reed and Connor Barwin closed in. With the trio of Texans defenders within striking distance, Dalton uncorked a desperate pass that was intercepted by Johnathan Joseph. Foster added his 42-yard touchdown run with 5:15 to play, bullying Bengals defenders as he rushed down the sideline.

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Rodgers, Packers Pick Apart Falcons

Rodgers, Packers Pick Apart Falcons – Washington Post

The Green Bay Packers got a virtuoso passing performance by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and more major contributions on defense by cornerback Tramon Williams. And they, not the Atlanta Falcons, played like a dominant team Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.

The Packers beat the Falcons with relative ease, 48-21, in a conference semifinal here to advance to next weekend’s NFC championship game.

Rodgers completed 31 of 36 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns in a breathtaking showing that further justified the Packers’ decision to make him their starter and oust legendary quarterback Brett Favre, against Favre’s wishes, in the summer of 2008. Rodgers didn’t throw an interception and also ran for a touchdown, then gave way in the final minutes to backup Matt Flynn.

The sixth-seeded Packers, who needed a win on the final Sunday of the regular season to secure the NFC’s last wild-card playoff spot, scored 35 consecutive points after the Falcons grabbed a 14-7 lead on Eric Weems’s second-quarter touchdown on a kickoff return.

Williams, who had a late interception to seal the Packers’ first-round playoff triumph at Philadelphia, added two more interceptions Saturday of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, the second of which he returned for a touchdown as time expired in the first half. Fullback John Kuhn had one touchdown run and one touchdown catch for the Packers. Rodgers also had touchdown passes to wide receivers Jordy Nelson and James Jones.

Place kicker Mason Crosby provided a pair of fourth-quarter field goals in what was, by then, a rapidly emptying stadium. The Packers will play at either Chicago or Seattle in the NFC title game, depending on the outcome of Sunday’s Bears-Seahawks game at Soldier Field.

The Falcons were the NFC’s top playoff seed after going 13-3 during the regular season. But they unraveled Saturday after starting the game solidly, crafting an early lead on a touchdown run by tailback Michael Turner and Weems’s kickoff return. Ryan threw a six-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roddy White in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. But it was far too little, far too late.

The Packers were coming off a road triumph over the third-seeded Eagles. That win meant there wouldn’t be a return to Atlanta this postseason by Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to face his original NFL team. It also established the Packers as an extremely dangerous team in these playoffs, given that they’d gotten some effective running by rookie tailback James Starks to complement the passing of Rodgers.

The Falcons went 7-1 at home during the regular season, with the only loss coming to the New Orleans Saints in their next-to-last game of the season. That forced the Falcons to beat the Carolina Panthers in the regular season finale to wrap up the conference’s top seed. They defeated the Packers at the Georgia Dome during the regular season, but were short-handed in the secondary Saturday against Rodgers because cornerback Brian Williams was on the inactive list due to a knee injury.

It didn’t take the offenses long to get going. The Falcons took the lead on their second possession of the night. Coach Mike Smith left his offense on the field for a fourth-and-one gamble from the Green Bay 13-yard line, perhaps sensing this wasn’t the sort of game in which field goals would be sufficient to win. The Falcons got the first down on a one-yard run by fullback Ovie Mughelli, and on the next play Turner weaved his way around defenders for a 12-yard touchdown dash.

But Rodgers was on target from the outset, and the Packers had a swift reply. Rodgers’s passing took the Packers down the field, and he zipped a six-yard throw to Nelson for the touchdown.

Weems caught the ensuing kickoff in his end zone, sprinted straight up the middle of the field, eluded Crosby with a fake to the left and a sharp cut to the right and outraced everyone else in pursuit for a 102-yard touchdown. But Rodgers and the Packers were just getting started. Rodgers took the Packers 92 yards for a touchdown, ending with Kuhn’s one-yard run.

The Falcons squandered a scoring chance when Ryan threw an end-zone interception to Tramon Williams, and Jones outjumped Atlanta cornerback Brent Grimes to catch Rodgers’s 20-yard touchdown lob 42 seconds before halftime. That capped Rodgers’s 18-for-21, 234-yard, two-touchdown passing show in the first half.

The Packers weren’t finished, however. Ryan, trying to get the Falcons down the field in a hurry, rolled to his left and threw a pass toward his favorite receiving target, White, along the sideline. But Williams cut in front of White and grabbed the pass, then raced 70 yards to the opposite end zone with no time on the clock. That quickly, the Packers had a two-touchdown lead at the intermission.

They made it 28 straight points – and a 21-point advantage – in the third quarter when Rodgers improvised for a touchdown on a seven-yard scramble. The Packers got the ball back and made it a 42-14 game on Rodgers’s seven-yard touchdown pass to Kuhn.

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Steelers Rally To Beat Ravens, 31-24

Steelers Rally To Beat Ravens, 31-24 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mike Tomlin did not pull a Knute Rockne at halftime, no fiery speech or uplifting words. Little occurred out of the ordinary as the Steelers left the field trailing by two touchdowns at the half Saturday against Baltimore in their playoff game at Heinz Field.

The instructions from a few veterans came quickly and decisively after an error-filled first half. “Get your heads up,” defensive end Brett Keisel said. “There’s a lot of football left to play.”

“We had to execute better and not beat ourselves,” tight end Heath Miller said. The Steelers turned everything around when they scored three times off three third-quarter Baltimore turnovers to reclaim the lead and then snapped a tie when Rashard Mendenhall scored his second touchdown, a 2-yard run with 1:33 left. The final was 31-24 and not secured until T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropped a pass that would have given the Ravens a first down at the Steelers 36 with 1:03 left.

The winning touchdown came after a 58-yard catch on third down by rookie Antonio Brown put the ball on the Ravens 4.

“Styles make fights,” said Tomlin. “Those two teams are Hagler-Hearns right there. It was great for the game of football.”

Especially for the Steelers, who move on to their fifth AFC championship game in the past decade next Sunday. The New York Jets will play at New England today to determine their opponent. If the Jets win, the game will be played at Heinz Field. If it is the Patriots, they will play at New England.

Both teams beat the Steelers in Heinz Field this season.

“We’re not afraid of anybody,” said linebacker James Farrior, but indicated he would like to play at home, so “I’m rooting for the Jets.”

The Steelers pulled out a game that was atypical of the past seven close games with the Ravens, mostly low-scoring affairs decided by 3 or 4 points.

Turnovers changed all that with Baltimore jumping to a 21-7 lead after scoring on two short touchdown drives, then the Steelers scoring 17 points off three Ravens turnovers in the second half.

Hines Ward, whose 8-yard touchdown reception from Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter tied the score, 21-21, said: “When you turn the ball over the way we did, a lot of teams usually give up, and it ends up being a blowout. But we stayed the course and we found a way to win.

“And what a better way to win and put Baltimore out of the tournament. They asked for us and they kept asking for us. Sometimes, like my momma always said, be careful what you ask for.”

Safety Ryan Clark, who had two tackles for losses in the first half, pulled off two Troy Polamalu-like plays in the third quarter to help put his team back in it.

Clark stripped Ray Rice of the ball, and LaMarr Woodley recovered at the Ravens 23. Two plays later, Roethlisberger found Heath Miller wide open in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to cut the lead to 21-14.

Clark intercepted a Joe Flacco pass on Baltimore’s next series and returned it 17 yards to the 25. Three plays later, Roethlisberger rifled a pass to Ward for an 8-yard touchdown.

The two kickers traded field goals with Shaun Suisham’s 35-yarder giving the Steelers a 24-21 lead with 12:15 to go and then Billy Cundiff knotting it back up for the Ravens with a 24-yarder and 3:54 left.

That set up the final dramatics. The Steelers had a third down and 19 to go at their 38 with 2:07 left with a punt looming to give the Ravens one last shot. Roethlisberger, however, uncorked a deep pass that Brown caught and maintained control of by holding it against his helmet before his momentum took him out of bounds at the Baltimore 4 with 1:58 to go.

“Let’s just chuck it deep,” Roethlisberger said of that play. “If they pick it, it will be a pick way down there, just as good as a punt. … [Brown] usually gets short routes, and he’s only in for a handful of them. He stepped up big when his number was called and he made a play.”

It took four plays and a penalty, but Mendenhall finally scored from the 2 for a 7-point Steelers lead. It did not end, however, until Houshmandzadeh — who famously stomped on a Terrible Towel in a 2005 Cincinnati Bengals victory at Heinz Field and who beat the Steelers with a touchdown catch in October — dropped the final pass.

“It’s unbelievable,” a distraught Houshmandzadeh said. “I can’t believe that happened. I can’t recall ever dropping the ball when the team needed the play.”

The turnovers led to the high score because otherwise it was typical Steelers-Ravens defense. The Ravens managed just 126 total yards, the second fewest in Pittsburgh postseason history only to the 123 Minnesota managed in Super Bowl IX. The Steelers more than doubled that with 263.

Roethlisberger came under heavy pressure all day — he was sacked six times (three by linebacker Terrell Suggs) and he ran six more, most of them scrambles. Yet he completed 19 of 32 passes for 226 yards, two touchdowns — again, no interceptions — and a 101.8 passer rating.

His counterpart, Flacco, did not play as well. He was 16 of 30 for 125 yards and one 4-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap and Clark’s interception. The Steelers sacked him five times, three by James Harrison.

“To be honest, he must have gotten a little shook up,” Harrison said. “He had guys hitting him.”

After the Steelers scored twice to tie it, Flacco fumbled the second snap from scrimmage on the next series, and Keisel recovered for the Steelers at the Ravens’ 23. That set up Suisham’s field goal to put the Steelers ahead, 24-21.

“We got after him good,” Keisel said of Flacco.

It was a turnaround from what happened in the first half.

Baltimore scored two touchdowns on two short drives after Steelers turnovers in the first half — a fumble by Roethlisberger that all but one player thought was an incomplete pass, and a Mendenhall fumble.

The half ended, appropriately enough, with a missed 43-yard field goal by Suisham. It also ended without coach Tomlin having a challenge left via instant replay and with cornerback Bryant McFadden out of the game with an injury to his hip.

The Steelers saw their 7-0 lead — a 1-yard Mendenhall run to cap their first series — quickly wiped out.

The Steelers fell behind, 14-7, by the end of the first quarter as Rice ran 14 yards to cap one drive and Baltimore scored on a strange play and mental lapse by the Steelers.

On second down from his 10, Roethlisberger dropped back with no one else in the backfield and, as he set to throw, he was hit from behind by Suggs and the ball popped forward.

The players reacted as if it were an incomplete pass, even though no official blew a whistle. Defensive end Cory Redding scooped up the ball at the 13 and ran into the end zone for a touchdown and a 14-7 Baltimore lead.

But it did not stop there. Mendenhall fumbled at his 16 and, six plays later, Flacco threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Heap, who was wide open in the right corner.

With 5:43 left in the first half, Baltimore had more points than they had in any full game against the Steelers since 2007 and a 21-7 lead.

A little later, the Steelers got their chins off the ground.

“Guys were kind of hanging their head,” Keisel said. “You never want to go down at the half by 14 points.”

The Ravens did not hang their heads. Instead, they spent the third quarter dropping the ball, and the Steelers are heading to another title game because of it.

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Ed Picks The Top Ten Super Bowls So Far

1. Super Bowl XLIII – Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zFhsE8EEvM

Notes: Most important aspects of this game.
* Steelers’ record-breaking, sixth Super Bowl win.
* Cardinals’ first championship game appearance since 1947.
* Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner’s pass-completion percentages of 70 and 72 respectively.
* Linebacker James Harrison’s record-breaking, 100-yard interception return for a touchdown as time expired at the half.
* Larry Fitzgerald’s dramatic, 64-yard, catch-and-run touchdown to give the Cardinals their first lead of the game with only 2:37 left in the 4th quarter.
* Steelers’ eight-play, 78-yard drive, culminating in the most remarkable, game-winning, tightrope catch in Super Bowl history by Santonio Holmes.

2. Super Bowl XLII – New York Giants 17, New England 14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xem-xQ8MEzU

3. Super Bowl XXXVIII – New England 32, Carolina 29

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GeyUNuf-VI

4. Super Bowl XXXII – Denver 31, Green Bay 24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i00r6dDZ7Q

5. Super Bowl XIII – Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Ckc8OHbgU

6. Super Bowl XXIII – San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaeAwcT4CPA

7. Super Bowl XXXVI – New England 20, St. Louis 17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFCH6A3UsMg

8. Super Bowl XXV – New York Giants 20, Buffalo 19

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLEFFoXT4Q0

9. Super Bowl X – Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i48K4zrGbwM

10. Super Bowl XXXIV – St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnqOKrzPtus

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

A. Super Bowl III – New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBe3_2HG0pE

B. Superbowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ySHkpuBohw

Rodgers Leads Packers To Wildcard Victory Over Vick’s Eagles 21-16

Rodgers Leads Packers To Wildcard Victory Over Vick’s Eagles 21-16 – CMR

Sunday’s playoff game in Philadelphia had the visiting Green Bay Packers taking on the Philadelphia Eagles in the second game played on wild card Sunday. In the second NFC game played this weekend, the 10-6 Packers came to repeat the first game win on the Eagles home field this season. The 3rd seed, 10-6 Eagles had expectations with a healthy Vick to see that the results would be different in the second match-up this season.

A win for Michael Vick would undoubtedly define his season and launch the Eagles in to the semi-finals match up against the 4th seeded upstart Seattle Seahawks next week. The Green Bay Packers took advantage of a key offside’s penalty on a third and 7 in the first quarter by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Packers capitalized the drive extension and scored the games first score with a touchdown following a missed field goal try of 41 yards in a strong wind that went right by Eagles place kicker David Akers.

An opportunistic Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers to a 2 touchdown lead on two touchdown passes in the first half. The Eagles fans in the stands were rather quiet and reserved.

Deshawn Jackson, one of Michael Vick’s favorite and explosive targets was injured in the first half, returned after a trip to the locker room and a bike ride on the sidelines. The Eagles had to settle for an David Akers field goal from the 27 yard line at the end of the first half as the Packers defense stiffened when the Eagles got into the red zone. Packers lead 14-3 at the half.

The third quarter put the Packers on the field with the wind at their backs, and the Eagles with the wind in their face. The Eagles special teams made a great play to hold the Packers short of the 20 yard line. The Eagles came up with a key fumble by Rodgers and Michael Vick said thank you very much with a touchdown strike Jason Avant for 27 yards to narrow the Packers lead to 4 points.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Packers off a shaky start drove into the Eagles end of the field and from the 11 yard line, Rodgers flipped it out to Brandon Jackson who weaved his way through the Eagles defense for a touchdown. The momentum quickly shifted from the Eagles back to the Packers. The Eagles put a good drive together, but the Packers defense stiffened on their side of the field and the Eagles punt left the Packers on a 1st and 10 from their own 2 yard line.

The Eagles held the Packers to a three and out and received good field position off the Packers punt close to mid-field. Vick and running back McCoy mounted a drive which resulted in a missed David Akers field goal from 38 yards out. The Eagles stopped the Packers next possession and drove down the field to the 1 yard line. On a 4th and 1, Vick keeps it and scores 6. The 2 point conversion failed because the receiver went out of bounds and came back in. The Packers were up by 5 points with 4:02 remaining. The retry failed after the penalty and Vick rolled his ankle.

The Eagles kicked off to the Packers and the Eagles held strong. The Eagles marched down the field into Packers territory and Michel Vick threw an interception with 37 seconds on the clock. Final score: Packers 21-16 .

The Packer move on in the playoffs and play the 1st seeded Atlanta Falcons next week.

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Ravens’ Defense Batters Chiefs In 30-7 Wildcard Win

Ravens’ Defense Batters Chiefs In 30-7 Wildcard Win – Baltimore Sun-Sentinel

The Ravens rode the emotions of a determined defense and the strong arm of Joe Flacco to a 30-7 win over the overmatched Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game Sunday.

In a playoff weekend that began with upsets, the Ravens slammed the young Chiefs by forcing five turnovers and getting two touchdown passes from Flacco.

The Ravens’ fourth road playoff win in three seasons advances the AFC’s No. 5 seed to the divisional round against their AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens play the second-seeded Steelers on Saturday at Heinz Field, where the Ravens beat them earlier this season.

It was an emotionally charged game for the Ravens and safety Ed Reed, whose brother went missing in Louisiana last week. The Ravens took control of the game by intercepting Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel three times and forcing two fumbles.

The momentum from the Ravens’ defense started to snowball in the third quarter, when Dawan Landry picked off Matt Cassel. The Ravens’ third forced turnover of the quarter led to a devastating blow by Flacco.

In a season when the Ravens have struggled to finish off teams, Flacco did exactly that when he threw a 4-yard touchdown to a leaping Boldin in the back of the end zone for a 23-7 lead. Flacco’s second touchdown pass of the game arched over two jumping Chiefs linebackers and into the hands of Boldin, who scored for the first time in five games.

Willis McGahee finished off the game with 25-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

It was an interesting start for the more playoff-experienced Ravens, who scored on their first and last possessions of the first half. Everything else was a little shaky.

The Ravens took the opening kickoff right down the field with Flacco exposing the middle of the Chiefs’ coverage. He hit Anquan Boldin for a 27-yard connection and found Todd Heap for a 12-yard gain to the goal line.

But the Ravens were unable to punch the ball in despite having three shots from the Kansas City 1-yard line. Flacco fumbled the snap on first down, and Willis McGahee got stuffed on second down. The Ravens had to settle for a short field goal after Chiefs safety Eric Berry deflected a third-down pass to Heap in the end zone.

The first half began to shift when Flacco had the ball stripped from behind by Tamba Hali, who beat left tackle Michael Oher off the edge. Two plays after Flacco’s fifth fumble lost this season, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles sprinted past the entire Ravens defense for a 41-yard touchdown.

The longest touchdown run allowed by the Ravens in their playoff history put them behind 7-3 late in the first quarter.

The Ravens’ best drive of the first half came at the end of it, thanks to Flacco’s arm and feet. Flacco rank three times for 24 yards (a season high in any one game for him, much less one drive) and completed three passes to Heap for 46 yards to get the Ravens in the red zone.

An offensive line, which had allowed three sacks in the first half, gave Flacco enough time to look to his right and left before finding an uncovered Ray Rice over the middle. Rice caught the ball at the 5-yard line, used a head fake and went into the end zone untouched.

Rice’s 9-yard touchdown catch – the first touchdown reception by a running back in Ravens postseason history — finished off the 11-play, 80-yard drive and moved them back ahead, 13-7, with 19 seconds before halftime.

On the first drive of the second half, the Ravens defense stopped Kansas City on fourth-and-1, when nose tackle Kelly Gregg hit Charles in the backfield before the rest of the Ravens swarmed on top of him. The Ravens then capitalized to extend their lead to 13-7 in the third quarter on a Billy Cundiff 29-yard field goal. The scoring drive was helped by a 15-yard personal foul on Hali, who took a shot at Flacco’s knees.

The Ravens defense stepped up again on the next series when Ray Lewis forced wide receiver Dexter McCluster to fumble. Taking over at the Chiefs’ 17, the Ravens couldn’t convert in the red zone for the second time in the third quarter. Cundiff’s 29-yard field goal increased the Ravens’ advantage to 16-7.

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Jets Defeat Colts, 17-16, Advance In AFC Playoffs

Jets Defeat Colts, 17-16, Advance In AFC Playoffs – Poughkeepsie Journal

The New York Jets defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 17-16, on a Nick Folk field goal as time expired in their AFC wild card round playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday night.

The Jets advance to visit the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional playoff round on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Folk completed a last-minute Jets’ drive by nailing a 32-yard field goal, igniting the New York celebration and ending a back-and-forth battle.

After the Colts received the ball on the opening kickoff, which happened at 8:15 p.m., neither team was able to move the ball very far against the opposing defenses in the first quarter, punting three times each before the second period.

Finally with 5:25 left in the half, Peyton Manning unleashed a 57-yard strike to a streaking Pierre Garcon, who beat the Jets’ defense to the end zone.

The Jets drove downfield on their final possession of the half, but Mark Sanchez threw the ball away to Justin Tryon at the goal line, and New York went into halftime without scoring.

The Jets took the opening possession in the second half and drove the length of the field for the tying touchdown. Ladainian Tomlinson scored on a 1-yard run.

The Colts responded with a scoring drive of its own as Vinatieri booted a 47-yard field goal to give Indy a 10-7 lead.

The Jets answered with a 17-play, 87-yard drive that lasted 10 minutes, taking a 14-10 lead. Tomlinson scored his second touchdown of the game from a yard out.

Vinatieri kicked his second field goal of the game to cut his team’s deficit to 14-13 with under five minutes remaining.

The Colts received the ball back with 2:36 left on the clock and moved into Jets’ territory at the two-minute warning on a 6-yard Joseph Addai first-down run. Manning completed five straight passes on the drive before tossing an incompletion on third down. Still, Vinatieri nailed a kick from 50-yards to give the Colts the 16-14 advantage.

Antonio Cromartie returned the ensuing kickoff 47 yards back to the Jets’ own 46-yard line, where the Jets starting their drive with less than a minute to play. With 29 seconds left, Sanchez connected with Braylon Edwards, who caught the ball at the Colts’ 14-yard line on the right sideline, setting the stage for Folk’s game-winner.

The Jets entered the game as a wild card entry at 11-5 overall, while the Colts were 10-6 but earned home field advantage by winning the AFC South division.

The game was a rematch of the 2010 AFC Championship game, which the Colts won, 30-17.

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