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Saturday, October 03, 2009

FRO's FAVORITE FIVE Top Five NFL Moments - Week 3 by Jon Wagner, Sr. Writer-At Large, Football Reporters Online

Top Five NFL Moments - Week 3
by Jon Wagner, Sr. Writer-At Large, Football Reporters Online


That New Orleans Saints’ running back Pierre Thomas had a career high 126 yards? Good. That he ran for that much on just 14 carries for a 9.0 yards per carry average? Even better. That he put up those numbers without touching the ball on offense for the game’s first 32 minutes? Outstanding. All of Thomas’ carries came over the final 28 minutes in the Saints’ 27-7 victory in Buffalo, including a 34-yard touchdown run that gave the Saints some separation with 9:45 left in the game, and a 19-yard score to ice the victory with 2:03 remaining.


It was supposed to a wild west shootout between Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner, but it was Manning who fired all of the early shots for the Indianapolis Colts in the desert, and neither Warner nor the Arizona Cardinals could keep up in a 31-10 Colts’ rout. Manning threw three touchdown passes on three straight possessions in a span of 7:12 in the second quarter to give the Colts a 21-3 halftime lead. Manning finished 24 of 35 for 379 yards, four touchdowns (to four different receivers), and just one interception.


The score was 24-0, but it might as well have been 84-0. The Giants’ performance, particularly defensively, of the Buccaneers on Tampa Bay’s own home field, was that dominant. On the game’s opening drive, the Giants had as many first downs (5) and almost as many yards (80) as Tampa Bay had all game. The Giants, who had 27 first downs for the game, outgained the Bucs 397-86, including 226-28 on the ground, possessing the ball for 43:38 to the Bucs’ 16:22. New York also converted 10 of 16 third downs while the Bucs were 0-for-9 on such opportunities. The Giants also held Tampa Bay QB’s Brian Leftwich and Josh Johnson to a combined 11 of 26 for just 58 yards passing.


Tampa Bay losing that badly? Perfect segue… Lions’ owner William Clay Ford said, “We not only got the monkey off our back, we got King Kong off our back.” That’s how it feels when you finally win after losing 19 straight and avoid joining the 1970’s Bucs in losing at least 20 in a row. Beating the Redskins so far this year is nothing special, but beating ANYONE when you’re coming off the NFL’s only 0-16 season in history and you follow that up with an 0-2 start the following year, is worth the number two spot on this week’s list. The Lions used a 13-0 halftime lead and then held on to finally break the string.


As he’s done so many times in his career, the Favre-elous one pulled another game out of the fire in the final moments. Only, it wasn’t just Brett Favre scrambling and tossing a great ball into the back of the end zone on a 32-yard pass just as he was hit. It took a fantastic catch and incredible concentration and awareness by Minnesota wide receiver Greg Lewis to leap and very difficultly, get both feet just barely inside the back of the end zone with just two seconds left in Minnesota’s 27-24 miracle victory that the Vikings stole from the San Francisco 49ers. A sensational play by Lewis, and a great way for Favre, in his first game that counted in his new home, to endear himself to the fans who used to root against Favre and his Packers each year.


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