Getting back to the reasons we SHOULD be paying attention to sports…
CHEERS for the UNDEFEATED Buffalo Bills, who overcame a 21-0 deficit to beat their nemesis, the New England Patriots, 34-31. Buffalo had lost 15 straight games to New England and looked to be headed toward #16 midway through the 2nd quarter as Tom Brady (386 yards, 4 TDs) and Wes Welker (16 catches, franchise record 217 yards, 2 TDs) had the Patriots up by three scores. But like last week, when down 21-3 to the Oakland Raiders, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick rallied the Bills to victory and in the process Buffalo became the first team in NFL history to win back-to-back games when trailing by 18 or more points.
CHEERS for the Raiders, who bounced back from blowing the lead against Buffalo and beat the NY Jets, 34-24. RB Darren McFadden started the team’s comeback from a 10-point deficit with a 70-yard touchdown gallop late in the 2nd quarter, Denarius Moore put the Raiders ahead with a 23-yard run on a reverse in the 3rd and Michael Bush capped it with a 1-yard plunge in the 4th, Oakland’s 4th rushing touchdown of the afternoon.
CHEERS for the UNDEFEATED Detroit Lions, who roared back from a 20-0 halftime deficit to edge the Minnesota Vikings, 26-23 in overtime. After QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson teamed up for a pair of touchdowns to pull the team close, Jason Hanson nailed a 50-yard FG with 5:20 to play in the 4th quarter to tie the game, a 40-yarder with 2:30 to play to put the Lions ahead, and the game-winning 32-yarder less than two minutes into overtime.
BOOS to the Vikings, who have lost their first three games despite leading 17-7, 17-0 and 20-0 at halftime of the games. Clearly, there is plenty of blame to go around, but one stat jumps out…the Vikings are 1-15 on 3rd down conversions in the 2nd half of the games. OUCH!
BOOS to Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon, who fumbled away a sure touchdown while preparing to showboat on the way to the end zone in a close game against Texas A&M. Unlike Blackmon, the Cowboys managed to hold on and beat the Aggies, 30-29.
DEAFENING BOOS to a Big East officiating that awarded an extra point to Syracuse with 2:07 left in its game against Toledo, despite reviewing the kick and replays showing it didn’t go through the uprights. The point gave the Orange a 30-27 lead, so when the Rockets kicked a field goal as time expired, it merely sent the game to overtime, instead of giving the Rockets the victory.
A SMATTERING OF GOLF CLAPS for the Big East conference, which released a statement admitting the mistake. In it, the Big East essentially calls out its officials for not correcting the mistake. Toledo athletic director Mike O’Brien has asked the Mid-American Conference commissioner to request that the Big East give Toledo the victory. If the conference truly had integrity, it would correct that mistake as well. If O’Brien and Toledo truly think that will happen, I have some beachfront property in Alaska to sell them.
CHEERS for Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury, who is having an MVP-type season (.322 BA, 31 HRs, 103 RBIs and 38 SBs from the leadoff spot) and just may have saved Boston’s season Sunday night. Ellsbury’s three-run homer in the top of the 14th provided the winning margin in the Sox 7-4 win against the Yankees and kept Boston a game ahead of Tampa Bay in the wild card race with just three games left in the season.
THERE IT IS!