San Diego (EP)
The San Diego Chargers hosted the New England Patriots in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Qualcomm Stadium.
San Diego had a Bye in the first round of the playoffs while New England defeated the Baltimore Ravens to earn a trip to the second round of the playoffs.
The Chargers won the toss but deferred to the Second Half.
Methodically, the Patriots moved the ball on the Charger defense until running back Lawrence Maroney broke into the end zone from 3 yards away to give the visitors the lead. Stephen Gostkowski booted the extra point and New England was ahead right away, 7-0.
San Diego was unable to move the ball very far on their initial drive and when New England had their second possession, they had fine field position. The Charger defense toughened and held the Patriots to a 37-yard field goal attempt. Gostkowski pushed the kick left causing the San Diego home crowd to roar. The score still stood at 7-0 in favor of New England.
The Charger defense again came through on the next Patriot drive when Stephen Cooper recovered a Kevin Faulk fumble gave San Diego prime field position. The First Quarter ended with the score, New England 7 San Diego 0.
Blessed with great field position to begin the Second Quarter, the Chargers quickly evened up the score on a Ladanian Tomlinson 1-yard dive and a Nate Kaeding extra point. The score was now even at 7-7.
San Diego held New England again and once more garnered good field position. Using a ground attack, the Chargers took the lead when Tomlinson scored again, this time from 3 yards out. Kaeding's extra point try was good. The hometown Chargers led, 14-7.
Undaunted, and a bit awoken, the Patriots jetted right down the field on the arm of quarterback Tom Brady. The end of pass-dominated drive ended with a Brady-to-Moss 10-yard touchdown pass to the back of the end zone. New England tied the score on Gostkowski's point after, 14-414.
The final possessions for each team of the Half ended poorly. Patriot Dominic Burgess sacked San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers and Charger Jaques Cesaire pounced on a Maroney fumble. The First Half ended with the score, New England 14 San Diego 14.
San Diego received the Second Half kickoff and blew down the field in a little over three minutes. Rivers connected with wide receiver Kris Wilson on a 27-yard bullet that suddenly put the Chargers back in the lead, 21-14 after a Kaeding extra point.
New England moved the ball a little but failed to score with their first possession of the Half. San Diego had a spark of a drive but was shut down when New England's Paul Oliver recovered Maroney's second fumble of the game.
New England could do nothing with the ball and went three downs and out, before San Diego got the ball in decent field position yet again. This time the Chargers made the field position work for them when Kaeding booted a 49-yard field goal to put San Diego ahead 24-14.
The Patriots returned to their ball-control passing attack and used up what time was left in the Third Quarter before cashing in with a draw play to Faulk who bolted 7 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was good. New England had crept closer to San Diego and made the score 24-21.
The Fourth Quarter began with Rivers and the Chargers at their own 20 yard line. Four minutes later they had moved into Patriot territory. New England's defense held, and Kaeding added his second field goal of the game, a 26-yarder, to make the score 27-21 in favor of the Chargers with a little over ten minutes to go in the game.
San Diego forced New England to punt on their next possession and were looking to put the game out of reach or run the clock down. Forced into a long third down, Rivers was sacked for an 8 yard loss by Patriot Jared Mann. The Chargers punted and pinned the Patriots inside their 15 yard line.
Having found the most success with ball-control drives, the Patriots attempted the same kind of possession to work toward the game-winning score. The Charger defense shoved the Patriots into a third down and short near their 30 yard line. New England attempted to cross up the Charger defense with a surprise run for the first down, but they were ready. Patriot running back Faulk would have none of it and not be denied as he muscled his way through a handful of Charger defenders for the first down.
Sensing new life, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took the very next snap and launched a pass to receiver Randy Moss streaking down the near sideline. Moss made an adjustment to grab the ball in the air over a Charger defensive back, then strode away from the trailing safety to reach the end zone for a 66-yard touchdown catch.
Gostkowski's extra point was automatic.
New England had taken a 28-27 lead in the game's final seconds.
A squib kickoff by the Patriots left the Chargers with one last attempt at a play, but Rivers last-gasp pass fell sadly incomplete as time ran out and give the game to New England and leave the Chargers and their fans stunned.
Final Score: New England 28 San Diego 27
The Indianapolis Colts dominant regular season gave them the best record in the American Football Conference, the Number One Seed in the AFC Playoffs, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and a First Round playoff bye.
Indianapolis rested during the first week of the 2009 AFC playoffs.
New York found themselves in a dogfight with the Cincinnati Bengals during the first week of the AFC playoffs, fell behind the Bengals, came back to tie the game and then won the game in Sudden Death Overtime on a long field goal.
It seemed the advantage in the Divisional Round playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets was tilted in favor of the Colts.
Well - things certainly did not start out that way…
New York won the toss and deferred to the Second Half.
Indianapolis took first possession of the ball in front of a raucous crowd who had waited all year for the Colts to make it to the playoffs as expected, and promptly punted.
The Jets had the ball on their first possession and quickly began to turn momentum in their favor with an efficient drive that ended with a Marc Sanchez to Braylon Edwards 9-yard TD pass. The extra point was good inside the quieting dome in Indianapolis, and New York was ahead, 7-0.
The vaunted Indianapolis offense whimpered and punted the next two times it had the ball.
New York took advantage of the increasingly better field position and Jay Feely booted 36-yard field goal to put the Jets up, 10-0.
With most of the First Quarter gone and not many yards and no points yet, the Colts drove the ball but only close enough to allow playoff-relaible kicker, Adam Vinaterri a chance at a 48-yard try. To the dismay of the Colts and their fans, the kick sailed easily wide right. The Jets still led in the game, 10-0.
A patient drive by New York, probably assisted more by Indianapolis dismay than Jet momentum, paid off again just as the quarter ended when Shonn Green gashed into the end zone from 2 yards out, putting New York up by a surprising 17-0 margin, with the extra point.
The start of the Second Quarter began with Indianapolis pinned inside their own 10-yard line after the ensuing New York kickoff. In what seemed like a routine out pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne just beyond the First Down Marker, ended in disaster for the Colts when All-Pro Jet cornerback Darrelle Revis darted inside Wayne, snatched the ball in flight and was in the end zone before the Colts or their fans could blink. With the extra point, New York was ahead of the Number One-Seeded Colts, 24-0 and there were still nearly three quarters of football left to play.
Woozy and wobbled and stifled and shut down by the stingy and opportunistic Jet defense, the Colts mustered up a drive that only worked to a sputtering end and a disappointing Third Down and long. Settling for any opportunity for points, and looking for any way to spark the team, the Colts kicker Vinaterri this time found the mark with a 41-yard field goal that put Indianapolis on the scoreboard and hopefully could spur them on to more. The Jets lead was cut to 24-3.
The Colts kicked off the Jets, with a bit of a renewed sense of purpose. New York kick returner, Brad Smith made short work of Indianapolis’ purpose as he dashed it nearly completely when he blazed a trail through the middle of the Colts kick coverage team and took the kickoff back 93 yards for another Jet score. They only cheering in Indianapolis was then the from the pile of New York Jet players that mobbed Smith after he ran completely through the end zone with the ball. New York led the stunned Colts, 31-3.
Try as they might to strike quickly, the Jets wore down the Colts into a possession game that ate up the clock and began to devour Indianapolis hopes. The Colts wanted a quick drive resulting in a touchdown, but what they got instead was a long, grinding drive that ended with only another Vinaterri field goal, this one of 30 yards. The Colts could only climb back to within twenty-five points - New York led, 31-6.
Sanchez and crew again fed off the Colt shock and desperation. Another ball-control drive kept the Indianapolis defenders off balance and all of a sudden Sanchez found wide receiver Jericho Cotchery alone in the middle of the Colts zone defense in the end zone for a touchdown. Feely punctuated the score with the extra point. The Jets led 38-6 with the First Half nearly mercifully over for the Colts.
Colts All-Pro quarterback, Peyton Manning, heaved a last-second pass toward the end zone as the clock expired, but Revis was there at the other end of the throw and took a knee to end the lopsided half. New York was ahead of the favored Colts, 38-6.
The Third Quarter began and ended as a grind for both teams. New York wanted the game this way and Indianapolis was caving in under the weight of it.
A fumble by New York gave Indy a spark, but that was hope was snuffed out with a Shaun Ellis sack of Manning that again kept the Colts off the score board. Indianapolis fumbled also, but New York was content to play small ball and keep the Colts frustrated. The Third Quarter ended with the Jets still way ahead of the Colts, 38-6.
By the beginning of the Fourth Quarter, it seemed like the game was long over. Indianapolis had no life in them at all and their fans had no wind left in their lungs to use to urge their team forward with. Each tackle by the stout New York defense took more toll from the Colt players. Punts were traded back and forth and the New York defense swayed field position again so the Jets final score of the day looked so easy it appeared to be an after-thought: Sanchez and Cotchery again connected on a pass inside the red zone for a score, and their was only a small celebration from the Jets players and fans who also seemed to know the game had been long over. The Jets then led the Colts, 45-6.
A turnover on downs and a fumble was all that was left of the season for Indianapolis.
The Colts went home for the year while the Jets would go on and play in the AFC Championship Game next weekend.
Final Score: New York: 45 Indianapolis: 6
The New England Patriots hosted the Baltimore Ravens for a First Round game of the 2009 AFC Playoffs.
The Ravens came into the game boasting one of the league’s top defenses. Right from the opening kickoff it became clear just which team and it’s defense had brought it’s “A” game.
Immediately, the Patriot defense stopped the Raven running attack and forced a punt. A precision ball-control drive led by New England quarterback, Tom Brady, into the mouth of the Baltimore defense ate up nearly ten minutes of the First Quarter. On 2nd down and seven, running back Fred Taylor gashed the Baltimore defense on an inside slant and took the ball nearly untouched 43 yards for the touchdown. New England had ground-down the clock and punched Baltimore in the mouth, and they were far from through.
A key third down holding penalty on the next Raven possession forced another punt. The next Ravens drive ended miserably when linebacker, Junior Seau recovered a fumble. Even after a Chris Carr interception of a Brady crossing pass ended the First Quarter, the Ravens were kept out of field goal range on their ensuing drive when Derrick Burgess sacked quarterback Joe Flacco for a seven yard loss. Patriot kicker Stephen Gostroski then booted a 33-yard field goal to give New England a 10-0 lead with six minutes gone in the Second Quarter.
Baltimore was unable to move the ball at all and Gostroski launched a 52-yard field goal that just cleared the crossbar and gave New England a 13-0 advantage in front of their home fans. Flacco again hit the turf hard the next time the Ravens had the ball, sacked for an eleven yard loss by Myron Guyton. Brady took the helm as the half wound down, not settling for another field goal, and arced a pass over the outside shoulder of wide receiver Randy Moss for a 21-yard touchdown. The extra-point was good and New England went into the Halftime break with a 20-0 lead.
The Patriots received the ball first as the Third Quarter began and wasted no time getting into paydirt again on a Brady to Kevin Faulk swing pass that went 26 yards for the score. New England led by a commanding 27-0.
Baltimore sparked on offense and slowly gained field position, then rumbled into New England territory before running back Willis McGahee turned a short Flacco pass into a 7-yard touchdown to finally get the Ravens on the board. The score was then 27-7, Patriots.
Jarrett Johnson the sacked Brady for a 5-yard loss and the Ravens turned their next possession into another touchdown, a Flacco pass to Demetrius Williams of 7 yards. The score then became, New England 27 Baltimore 14.
As the Third Quarter ran out, Baltimore’s defensive pride continued to show. Dominique Foxworth stepped in front of a Brady pass and intercepted it, keeping the Patriots from a field goal try. The Ravens mixed up their offense the next offensive series, with Troy Smith behind center. Smith, adding a more mobile aspect to Baltimore’s pounding attack and Smith eventually skirted around left end for a touchdown that brought the visiting Ravens to within six points at, 27-21 at the start of the Fourth Quarter.
Brady moved the ball and the Patriots down the field again on a long, exhausting drive. Lawrence Maroney capped the struggle with a leap over left guard from a yard away that moved New England further out front, 34-21.
Momentum had shifted to the Ravens late in the game, and the tireless Patriot defense that had been a brick wall to the Baltimore running attack, suddenly crumbled during a drive when Flacco only attempted a single pass. The Ravens used interchangeable running backs to hammer the Patriot defenders. L’Ron McClain thumped into the endzone for a score to claw back to within six points of the tired Patriots, 34-28.
Brady again directed the competent New England offense, and on third and long instead of opting to let the game rest on their worn defense, the Patriots took to the air with disastrous results. Brady’s throw of an out pattern headed toward wide receiver Wes Welker was picked off by Baltimore All-Pro safety, Ed Reed.
The Ravens took the field once more with an opportunity to win the game when they were at one point down 27 points. Flacco and the Ravens gave up on the running game and relied on the quarterback’s big arm. The New England defense rose up and the clock wore down nearing the end of regulation. Baltimore was warring both the Patriots and the game clock and was forced to go to their Hurry-Up offense. With under 40 seconds to go in the game, Flacco threw a pass for wide receiver Derrick Mason. Patriot cornerback Darius Butler leapt with Mason in front of the right endzone pylon and came down on his back with the ball in his hands, sealing the New England win.
Final Score: New England 34 Baltimore: 28
The Cincinnati Bengals played host to the upstart New York Jets in First Round action of the AFC Playoffs.
The Bengals spent little time getting on the scoreboard and energizing their fans even further when wide receiver Chad Ochocinco out-battled All-Pro cornerback Darnelle Revis on a fade pattern in the back corner of the endzone to give Cincinnati a ultra-quick 7-0 lead.
Marc Sanchez, the Jets rookie signal caller tried to shake off playoff nerves on the next New York possession but tossed an ill-advised pass late across the middle of the field where it was intercepted by the Bengals' Johnathan Joseph.
The teams then traded punts before Cincinnati put together a steady drive into New York territory. On third down, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer ducked the Jet pass rush, moved to his left and threw off-balance to a crossing Lavernues Coles who carried the ball in from 19 yards out for a touchdown, surprisingly untouched. Cincinnati led 14-0 and the New York sideline looked a bit tense.
Sanchez then rallied behind his team and its strong running game, pounding out a drive that culminated with a second-effort quarterback sneak for a touchdown. The Jets had clawed back into the game at the end of the First Quarter, down 14-7.
The two teams forced back-to-back turnovers, a Revis interception at midfield and a Robert Geathers fumble recovery on the very next Jet offensive play. The Bengals took full advantage of the turnover with a short drive for a touchdown that culminated with a Palmer to J.P. Foshi pass. Cincinnati was now ahead 21-7. The Bengals could have stretched their lead on their next possession, but Shayne Graham missed a 50-yard field goal attempt very wide to the right.
The Jets ground out a competent drive into the Bengal side of the field but a untimely holding call on a completed pass from Sanchez that would have given New York the ball at the Cincinnati 12 yard line, pushed New York out of even field goal range. The Bengals took a few snaps and knelt down to end the First Half still up comfortably on the Jets, 21-7.
New York could do nothing on their initial drive of the Second Half. A punt to the Bengals led to a quiet, but effective ball-control possession. Cedric Benson took a soft Palmer pass in the right flat and dashed it in for another Cincinnati touchdown. The Bengals were pulling away, 28-7 and the Jets had only showed a flash of offensive production.
Summoning up something that they needed to forestall an end to their season, the Jets turned to their offensive staple, the running game. New York pushed the ball right at and through the Cincinnati defense until a first-down-and-goal play at the Bengal 5-yard line produced a sharp timing route from Chancey Stockey and a Jet touchdown. New York showed some life, down 28-14.
The Bengals failed to move the ball anywhere on their ensuing possession and punted away to the Jets. Methodically, the New Yorkers bashed the ball again down the field. Once inside the Bengal 5-yard line, they tried no finesse but gave the ball to running back Thomas Jones who bounced off an initial hit and ran through an arm tackle for a 4-yard touchdown run. The lead the Bengals had held all day had dwindled down to seven points, 28-21.
Fear shot through the Bengals and their fans when Cedric Benson mishandled a Palmer pitch and the Jets' Mike Devito recovered. Momentum seemed to have swung to the New York team, but the Cincinnati defense held serve and forced a punt. The Bengals fizzled out on their next drive at their own 35-yard line and gave the ball back to Jets at the beginning of the Fourth Quarter.
Rumbling down the field again, the Jets kept the ball on the ground, chewing up yards and the game clock. Hoping to hold the approaching Jets to a field goal, the Bengals defense dug in for a second down play from their own 7-yard line. As the Cinicinnat defenders crashed the line of scrimmage expected a bashing run play, Sanchez took the snap from center, faked to Jones and bootlegged out to his right. Chancey Stockey was completely in the clear when the football hit him in the hands and he loped in for the tying touchdown. Sanchez met Stockey with the rest of his teammates in the endzone for a leaping celebration. The score was suddenly tied 28-28 and the home fans in Cincinnati were standing, but silent.
The Bengals gained two first-downs on their next possession, but had to punt the ball away to the momentum-filled Jets offense. New York took over in fair field position and commenced to moving the ball into Cincinnati territory. Bengal defensive tackle, Tank Johnson, buried Sanchez at the Cincinnati 49-yard line with a third-down sack that forced the Jets to give the ball up as the Fourth Quarter wound down.
Carson Palmer and Cedric Benson managed the clock and the ball carefully, moving the Bengals down the field but could not advance beyond mid-field before the clock ran out for the Fourth Quarter and Regulation Time. Cincinnati and New York found themselves deadlocked at 28-28 and were headed into playoff overtime.
The crucial coin-toss was held at the 50-yard in front of the Cincinnati faithful in the fading sunlight. New York won the toss and immediately wanted to take possession of the ball first in the Overtime period.
Cincinnati fans stood the entire drive, urging on their obviously tired defense. Withering under the New York rushing attack, the Bengals gave ground and yards. Soon, the Jets were into Bengals territory and then into scoring position. Eleven methodical and ground-pounding plays later, New York was in position to attempt a 30-yard field goal for the win.
Now under the bright stadium lights that blared against the darkness of night, after a straight snap from center and a sure set of the ball on the ground, Jay Feely kicked the ball straight through the middle of the uprights giving the New York Jets a fantastic 31-28 victory.
Final Score: New York Jets 31 Cincinnati 28
2009 NFL Playoff Replay
Played using Downey Games' Momentum Football.
What This Is
A play through of the 2009 NFL playoffs. Write-ups are all original content.