Jump to content

The End Zone - Week 11


Alan
 Share

Recommended Posts

The End Zone

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of The End Zone. This week I’ll be bringing you the details of the intense game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a position profile on Tight Ends, a detailed round up of all the week 11 action and a preview of the week 12 matches. Jets Talkin’ also appears, but lets get this issue under way with the game feature.

 

Game Feature

The Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an intense rivalry in the NFC South, as do all the teams in that division. They all hate each other with a passion, and the stumbling block today is that Atlanta always seem to have trouble beating Tampa Bay, they did it once last year, but are losing overall by a fair margin. Tampa had a great start to the season, but have struggled slightly in recent weeks, whilst Atlanta didn’t start too well and have returned to form, looking unstoppable at times.

 

Tampa had the opening drive of the game, and to start Cadillac Williams burned the Falcons for a 30-yard run up the middle. Williams helped move the Bucs to the Atlanta 13, but the Falcon defence then clamped up, restricted Tampa to just a 31 yard field goal. Of course this was not the best start for Atlanta, so they looked to retaliate immediately. However Warwick Dunn couldn’t move the ball on the ground and they were forced to a three and out, punting the ball from there own 25. The same fate befell the Buccs, so the Falcons got the ball back with 8 minutes remaining in the quarter. Tragedy struck though as Vick was sacked for a loss of 7 yards, taking him out of the game for a moment, and the team were hit with 5 yards of penalties, putting them at their own 1. Backup quarterback Matt Schaub came in and was sacked in his own end zone, fumbling the ball in the process. Tampa were quick to jump on the loose ball and pick up a touchdown, putting them 10-0 ahead. Atlanta were looking flustered, as they fell to a three and out on their following drive, luckily for them though Tampa did exactly the same shortly after. With a little over 2 minutes remaining in the period Atlanta took over, moving 29 yards, most of which on the ground, to close out the quarter.

 

The Falcons continued to move well as the second quarter got under way, however they were forced into a 4th and 8 situation at the Tampa 33 as the Buccaneers defence tightened up. They decided to go for it on fourth down, but Vick failed to connect with rookie receiver Jenkins and they turned the ball over on downs. Tampa used a fairly balanced offence (27 yards rushing, 19 passing) to move into field goal range, where an incomplete pass forced them to kick a 45 yarder. The field goal gave Tampa a 13-0 lead, and the Falcons needed to wake up and start playing. And that they did, albeit slightly, as Vick threw for 36 yards on the drive, getting Atlanta to the Tampa 12, but his red zone passing wasn’t up to scratch. A 31-yard field goal was kicked, and the Falcons were at last on the scoreboard at 13-3. Tampa couldn’t reply on their following possession, falling to a three and out and giving Atlanta back possession. With 2:53 remaining in the half Vick looked unstoppable as he hit passes for 7, 14 and 54 yards to get within the red zone. From there TJ Duckett powered through the defensive line for a 1-yard touchdown, moving the Falcons to within 3. Tampa kicked off but the half then came to a close.

 

Atlanta were on a roll now, and they continued that run of form as they began the third quarter. The Falcons were able to put together a 69-yard drive in a little under six minutes to move to the Tampa 4. The way they had put together the drive you could see that it would be just a matter of time before another touchdown was scored. And it wasn’t long as Vick found Crumpler in the end zone for a 4 yard score. Atlanta now had a 4-point lead at 17-13, with 9 minutes still remaining in the period. A 27-yard pass from Simms and some determined rushing yards from Williams pushed the Buccs forward on their following drive, getting deep inside Atlanta territory. Alstott ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown shortly after, and the Buccs were back in front at 20-17. Atlanta’s resulting possession saw them move 47 yards in around 6 minutes to close out the third period.

 

The fourth quarter began and the Falcons continued their drive, although it didn’t last that long. From the Tampa 4 they were unable to punch through into the end zone, being limited to a 20-yard field goal to tie the game at 20. Tampa wanted that lead back, so much so that they made a costly mistake on their second play of their following drive. Simms threw the ball right into the hands of Atlanta defender Brooks, who returned the ball 5 yards and gave the Falcons good field position at the Tampa 49. From there Vick and company put together a well-balanced drive to move deep into the Tampa red zone. From there Vick was able to find Jenkins in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown, putting the Falcons back into the lead at 27-20. The rivalry between these two teams is so intense that neither will ever give up, and Tampa showed that as they came right back at Atlanta. Williams continued to gain important yards, whilst Simms continued to complete vital passes as Tampa Bay reached the Atlanta 9. Cadillac couldn’t be stopped as he ran straight in for the touchdown, tying the game at 27 with 2 minutes remaining. Atlanta needed to put together a quick and well-organised 2-minute drill, however Vick was sacked for a loss of 7 yards, and he made a huge mistake as he fumbled the ball. Tampa recovered the ball at the Atlanta 34, giving them a great opportunity to take the lead and the game. Bryant converted a 47-yard field goal, and the Buccaneers had a 3-point lead with just 30 seconds left on the clock. Atlanta needed to get moving quickly, and they did with the help of a 15-yard penalty against Tampa. However they couldn’t move much further and had to attempt a 55-yard field goal to tie the game. The distance was too much, as was the accuracy as the ball fell wide right. That was the last play of the game as Tampa came away with a hard fought 30-27 victory.

 

A close game really, but mistakes essentially cost Atlanta the game with the fumbles playing a big factor. Tampa should be boosted by this victory, as they go into next week’s game against Chicago and one of the league’s best defences. Atlanta hasn’t got a long rest as they go into action on Thanksgiving Thursday against the Detroit Lions.

 

Week 11 Round Up

Kansas City (6-4) showed their dominance on offence this past Sunday as they outplayed the Houston Texans (1-9) at every corner. With 28 first downs and nearly 450 yards of offence the Chiefs were able to come away with a resounding 45-17 victory, scoring 6 touchdowns in the process. Although the Texans deserve a mention as their first touchdown came from a 99-yard kick return by Jerome Mathis! Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts (10-0) were going to have a tough game this week as they took on the Cincinnati Bengals (7-3) who have been doing extremely well all year behind QB Carson Palmer and WR Chad Johnson. It was always going to be a high scoring game, and that’s exactly what we got as both teams recorded nearly 500 yards of offence, and both quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards. In the end though it was the Colts who were the superior team, scoring 6 touchdowns and coming away with a 45-37 victory. San Francisco (2-8) have not fared too well this year, although they are doing slightly better than last season. They were in for a big game against the Seattle Seahawks (8-2) and their outstanding running back Shaun Alexander. Seattle had taken a commanding 27-12 lead going into the fourth quarter thanks to 2 Alexander touchdowns, but in the final period the Niners attempted a comeback. It was close, as they scored 13 points to bring it within 2. The final touchdown for the Niners prompted a two-point conversion attempt to tie the game, however it failed and Seattle earned a 27-25 victory.

 

San Diego (6-4) are doing ok this season, largely thanks to their running back LaDainian Tomlinson, and he put on another showcase against the Buffalo Bills (4-6) this past weekend. Contributing to the 141 rushing yards the Chargers gained in the game, he also ran in for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Buffalo were never in the game though, gaining just 202 offensive yards as they fell to a 48-10 loss. Pittsburgh (7-3) had been on a bit of winning streak as of late, and they looked for it to continue as they took on struggling Baltimore (3-7) this past weekend. The Steelers were again with Big Ben, so they relied on their back up quarterbacks, and they didn’t fare too well. But to be honest neither team put in spectacular performances, as they failed to gain 300 yards of offense and was limited to a touchdown each. Baltimore had a 13-6 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Tommy Maddox was able to find Willie Parker in the end zone to tie the score and send the game into overtime. Pittsburgh couldn’t match the Ravens in the extra period, and Baltimore converted a 44-yard field goal for a 16-13 victory. Philadelphia (4-6) was still without Owens, but they also lost McNabb this week due to injury. Things were not going well for them, and the New York Giants (7-3) looked to exploit that. Eli and the Giants took a 10-0 first half lead, but the Eagles fought back in the second half and got to within 3 points at 20-17. The Giants were able to hold on though, as Eli hooked up with his favourite receiver Plaxico Burress for a 61 yard score, giving them a 27-17 victory.

 

The Washington Redskins (5-5) had been doing fairly well so far this season, and were looking to get another win under their belts as they took on the Oakland Raiders (4-6). Although the Redskins took a 13-3 half time lead, the Raiders came right back in the second half with two field goals and a 49 yard touchdown reception from Jerry Porter to take the game 16-13. This season has been tough for the New Orleans Saints (2-8), being forced out of New Orleans due to the recent hurricanes and being hit with injuries. This past week they took on the New England Patriots (6-4) who were looking to keep their place atop the AFC East. The Patriots got started early and didn’t look back, taking a 21-7 lead by the fourth quarter. The Saints tried to come back but failed as New England kicked a field goal to make the score 24-17. There were two shutouts this past week in the NFL; the first was in the game between the Miami Dolphins (3-7) and the Cleveland Browns (4-6). Can you guess which team it was yet? Well the Browns took a 9-0 lead in the first period, and by the third they were up 22-0, giving them an easy fourth quarter to take the win. After a scoreless first quarter the Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) and Tennessee Titans (2-8) began to rattle up the points. The Titans went ahead 14-7 before the half, but the Jaguars were too much in the third and fourth quarters, taking the lead and moving to a 31-28 victory.

 

Chicago (7-3) have allowed the least points so far in the league, whilst Carolina (7-3) boasted one of the highest scoring offences. The Bears defence was on fire in this game though, stopping the Panthers on every drive, allowing just a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Chicago’s offence produced just 258 yards, but it was enough to get them a touchdown and two field goals for a 13-3 victory. The Detroit Lions (4-6) were always going to have a tough game against the high flying Dallas Cowboys (7-3), but little did they know it would be this tough. The Cowboys put together a balanced offensive show and were able to come away with a convincing 20-7 victory. Arizona (3-7) has not had the best of seasons so far, but to be honest neither have St Louis (4-6). However on this day the Cardinals had a lot to cheer about as they fought their guts out to earn a 38-28 victory that stunned the Rams. As you read above the Atlanta Falcons fell by a late field goal to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And finally for the second shutout of the day, that came in Denver as the New York Jets (2-8) took on the Broncos (8-2). Denver outplayed the Jets and were the dominant team throughout. The Broncos were able to pound the Jets and capitalise on their mistakes to gain a 27-0 victory. And on Monday night Minnesota (5-5) took on the Green Bay Packers (2-8) in their second meeting of the season. The Vikings were able to get the better of their rivals in this encounter as they edged a 20-17 victory.

 

Position Profile

The Tight End position in the NFL is an underrated yet very powerful and dangerous one. The role of a tight end can change depending on the head coach, but they normally block for the running back or quarterback, or catch passes from the quarterback. They normally line up next to an offensive tackle, adding a man to that side of the offensive line. Once a tight end is on the offensive line, the side he is based is known as the “strong side” whilst the side without is called the “weak side”. Plays are often formulated with running backs going to either the strong or weak sides rather than just right or left.

 

Tight ends are usually larger and slower than wide receivers, and therefore able to block more effectively. Almost all tight ends in the NFL play this role primarily, as there are few tight end-based offensive schemes in use by coaches today. It is the job of the tight end, along with the fullback, to get downfield before the tailback and open up a hole in the defence for them to run through. Tight ends may also be used along with the offensive linemen to protect the quarterback during passing plays.

 

There are plays written to take advantage of a tight end's ability to catch. Tight ends are used to exploit a defence’s coverage of a wide receiver. Specifically, if a team has a star wide receiver that usually gets double-coverage from the secondary, the coach will call plays for the quarterback to throw to the tight end, as he is usually the man left uncovered in a defense. For this reason the tight end is sometimes called the quarterback's safety valve, as he is usually open for a last second throw. On some teams, the tight end may be so highly skilled at catching passes that he is actually becomes their leading receiver, catching more passes and gaining more receiving yards then anyone else. One good example of this is tight end Tony Gonzalez of the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2004 Gonzalez lead his team in receptions and receiving yards with 102 receptions for 1,258 yards. His 102 catches in 2004 are the most receptions ever recorded by a tight end in an NFL season.

 

Jets Talkin’

Coming into this week the Jets were not in a very good position. 2 and 7 with countless injury problems and a starting quarterback who wasn’t the best in the league. This past weekend we travelled to Denver to take on the Broncos, and the team is now beginning to wish they didn’t. Brooks started the game, but was hit with a concussion in the second quarter. Vinny replaced him, but was taken out late in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, prompting Herm to stick in third string QB Kliff Kingsbury. Through all those injury woes, the Jets struggled on offence, turning the ball over 4 times, whilst Miller turned the ball over on a kick return. They were all costly as the Broncos demolished us and managed a 27-0 victory. This was the first time we have been shut out in ten years, and lets just hope it will be another 10 years before we see it happen again! One shining light from the game was second year man Jonathan Vilma. The young defensive back was the defensive rookie of the year last season and has continued to improve with every game this season. This guy will be a star in the years to come, lets just hope Herm and co and keep him a Jet!

 

Before the game the Jets made a couple of roster moves on Friday, signing fullback Luke Lawton to the active roster and running back Terry Butler to the practice squad. Lawton broke into the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Buffalo Bills in 2004, whilst Butler is a rookie who spent preseason with us before being released at the end of September. Next week the Jets will be at home to take on the New Orleans Saints, and its no easy game. The Saints have struggled this season what with their location problems and injuries to key players, but we have more than enough injuries and will be in for a tough game. Hopefully the Jets can come away with a win, but who knows! Brooks is starting once again, whilst Vinny’s status is unknown at the moment for the game.

 

Week 12 Preview

The Week 12 gets under way early this week with two games on Thursday, as is the usual for Thanksgiving week. Those two games will see the Atlanta Falcons take on the Detroit Lions, and the Denver Broncos take on the Dallas Cowboys. Sunday we will see the Baltimore Ravens take on the Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina take on Buffalo, Chicago takes on Tampa Bay and Minnesota host Cleveland. New England will face off against Kansas City, San Francisco will take on Tennessee, Arizona will host Jacksonville and Green Bay will take on Philadelphia. We will also see San Diego against Washington, St Louis against Houston, Miami against Oakland, the Giants against the Seahawks and the Jets against the Saints. Finally on the Monday night we will see the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the undefeated Indianapolis Colts.

 

Wrap Up

To make a change I won’t mention the Colts this week, they have been dominating the Wrap Up nearly as much as their games! Pittsburgh had been on a decent little winning streak, but was unlucky to lose in overtime to the Ravens, however they are still in a strong divisional position. The Patriots may not have the best record in the league, but they are sitting top of the AFC East, which to be honest has been one of the poorer divisions this season, although last year it was one of the best. Remember that the week 12 games get under way tomorrow with two games due to it being Thanksgiving week. Next week I will be moving onto the defence with the Position Profile, plus I will bring you a detailed round up of all the weeks action, Jets Talkin’ and the usual game feature, which will contain one of the Thursday games. The pass has been thrown; will you catch it next week, in The End Zone?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


And for any of you who's interested, the Philadelphia Eagles have placed starting quarterback Donovan McNabb on Injured Reserve, taking him out for the rest of the season. This basically means the team are giving up, as McNabb has been able to play through that injury for most of the season, although it has got worse this past couple of weeks, and now that they have little or no chance of making the playoffs he is going to have surgery.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tommy FREAKIN' Maddox screws it up again. Can't we just find someone else to replace Ben and Batch? Like RANDLE-EL? It just goes to show what a poor training area the XFL was when it produces QBs like Maddox.

 

The Colts just seem unbeatable, and right now, so do the Seahawks. I'm predicting a Superbowl final for those two, you heard it here first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Colts just seem unbeatable' date=' and right now, so do the Seahawks. I'm predicting a Superbowl final for those two, you heard it here first.[/quote']

Well if the Seahawks beat the Giants this weekend they could tie up the NFC West division title, which would go one step closer to seeing your prediction come true. However i think the Giants will be a tough opponent, and New York may just edge this one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tony Gonzalez is yesterday's news. It's all about Antonio Gates now.

 

Why highlight Tomlinson though? Larry Johnson had an incredible week - over 200 yds of rushing alone, 2 TDs and pretty much doing whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.

 

Priest who?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tony Gonzalez is yesterday's news. It's all about Antonio Gates now.

 

Why highlight Tomlinson though? Larry Johnson had an incredible week - over 200 yds of rushing alone, 2 TDs and pretty much doing whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.

 

Priest who?

 

Well it WAS the Texans. I could probably put up over 200 yds against the Texans :P.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why highlight Tomlinson though? Larry Johnson had an incredible week - over 200 yds of rushing alone' date=' 2 TDs and pretty much doing whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.[/quote']

Because Tomlinson is the name that stood out, and i was so late in putting the round up together i just threw in the names that i could see! At least i am honest. Next week i willl pay a bit more attention, but i slacked a bit this week.

And Chris is right, the Texans would give away 200 yards rushing to anyone this season, well except the Dolphins and the Jets!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd welcome him as the Steelers third choice QB. I'd probably welcome John Madden as the Steelers third choice though.

 

I watched the Texans/Chiefs game though, and I was impressed at how strategic Johnson's runs were, he always knew where the lane would be and always got through with some good strength. A Holmes/Johnson combination would probably be lethal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...