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 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
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.