Last Minute Heroics - September 23rd, 2008



Another wild weekend, another set of heart stopping wins and that was just the third week. The coming week brings a close to the first quarter of the season and if you leave it 4-0 as a few teams very well may then you must feel good about how your season is going but let's not get ahead of ourselves as we approach Week 4. This week's edition offers; In the Books - Week 3, the Game of the Week, Week 4 - Who's in It and Who's Gonna Win It, The Ten, and the Hero of the Week.

In the Books - Week 3


Sunday, September 21st


Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (1-1)

The Falcons are definitely flying in the Georgia Dome, Ryan, Turner and Norwood seem like different players in there, of course playing the Chiefs doesn't hurt your odds of success. The Chiefs got the ground game going but it's going to take far more than Larry Johnson to carry this team to a win.

Predicted Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Actual Winner: Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

Final Score: KC, 14 - ATL, 38


Oakland Raiders (1-1) @ Buffalo Bills (2-0)

This actually was quite a game with the Bills going into the fourth quarter down 16-7 and the ensuing uphill struggle to make a comeback. The Raiders may have shocked some people on Sunday if it weren't for the heart of this Bills team.

Predicted Winner: Buffalo Bills

Actual Winner: Buffalo Bills (3-0)

Final Score: OAK, 23 - BUF, 24


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) @ Chicago Bears (1-1)

I've always liked Brian Griese but have never understood how a guy who has such trouble keeping a starting job always gets the opportunity to madly air it out. 67 attempts by Griese in this game, 38 of which were completed, and over 400 yards helped keep Tampa Bay in the game. The Bears may have still won the game but in overtime it was their former backup, Griese, who drove the Bucs from their own 7 to Chicago's 3 for a chip-shot field goal in overtime to win it.

Predicted Winner: Chicago Bears

Actual Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)

Final Score: TB, 27 - CHI, 24


Carolina Panthers (2-0) @ Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

Good old Gus Frerotte made his return to starting with the Vikings to try and right the ship, no easy task when going up against the red hot Carolina Panthers. Still the Vikings were supposed to be ready to contend this year and the Panthers are viewed by some, myself included, as a surprise. In the end a strong defensive showing and some solid play by Frerotte ended the Panthers' undefeated streak.

Predicted Winner: Carolina Panthers

Actual Winner: Minnesota Vikings (1-2)

Final Score: CAR, 10 - MIN, 20


Miami Dolphins (0-2) @ New England Patriots (2-0)

Now there are the Patriots we have been waiting to see ever since Tom Brady went down in Week 1. The Dolphins were ready to take advantage of the wounded Pats and Ronnie Brown was ready to do all the damage himself scoring four rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown. The Dolphins brought Patriots fans back down to earth.

Predicted Winner: New England Patriots

Actual Winner: Miami Dolphins (1-2)

Final Score: MIA, 38 - NE, 13


Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) @ New York Giants (2-0)

The Bengals came out hoping to make their first win count and beat the champs. The Giants attempted to keep their winning streak alive. No one would budge and the game went into overtime where both teams would get a chance with the ball but only one made it count and the Giants keep the streak alive.

Predicted Winner: New York Giants

Actual Winner: New York Giants (3-0)

Final Score: CIN, 23 - NYG, 26


Houston Texans (0-1) @ Tennessee Titans (2-0)

Houston look like they have lost any luster they may have had coming into the season. The Texans couldn't get moving against a very tenacious Tennessee defense and their defense just couldn't handle the Titans rushing attack. The Titans continue to win no matter how pretty or ugly they look while doing it.

Predicted Winner: Houston Texans

Actual Winner: Tennessee Titans (3-0)

Final Score: HOU, 12 - TEN, 31


Arizona Cardinals (2-0) @ Washington Redskins (1-1)

Washington continues to keep pace with their NFC East rivals and Arizona is getting caught up with in the NFC West. The game was pretty close but the Skins are better prepared to outlast tough competition, Arizona doesn't see competition like they do, and they need to win close games like these to contend.

Predicted Winner: Washington Redskins

Actual Winner: Washington Redskins (2-1)

Final Score: ARI, 17 - WAS, 24


New Orleans Saints (1-1) @ Denver Broncos (2-0)

New Orleans almost made a great comeback in this nail-biter that started out looking like a disaster for them. Denver came out hot and then got flustered but they shocked the doubters by holding up under pressure. In the long run this game will help both teams. The Broncos got the win but realize they aren't invincible and the Saints learned they have clutch time ability even though they came up short.

Predicted Winner: Denver Broncos

Actual Winner: Denver Broncos (3-0)

Final Score: NO, 32 - DEN, 34


Detroit Lions (0-2) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

Detroit fell apart and this game is a spirit breaker to say the least. The Niners got their second win and have to feel pretty good about being tied with Arizona for the division lead. These teams should have a tough road ahead of them and I'm still not sure either of them is up for it.

Predicted Winner: Detroit Lions

Actual Winner: San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

Final Score: DET, 13 - SF, 31


St. Louis Rams (0-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (0-2)

St. Louis officially is the worst team in the NFL, and the Seahawks should count themselves lucky they get another free win later this season. Both teams can't be happy with their current standings in their division and I don't think either is capable of doing anything about it.

Predicted Winner: St. Louis Rams

Actual Winner: Seattle Seahawks (1-2)

Final Score: STL, 13 - SEA, 37


Cleveland Browns (0-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

The Browns that were advertised may officially be dead and the Ravens may officially be for real. For now though I am not convinced on the latter, the Ravens beat two teams who seem to be floundering but they are undefeated and with that they get the benefit of the doubt, for now.

Predicted Winner: Cleveland Browns

Actual Winner: Baltimore Ravens (2-0)

Final Score: CLE, 10 - BAL, 28


Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-1)

This year's Jacksonville team finally pulled out some fight and the Colts strangely seem very human for the first time in years. You have to love a win like this if you're anyone but a Colts fan, very exciting and of course it doesn't hurt to beat the perennial division champs the year the division finally seems open. Peyton Manning won't see a 17th game this season if he doesn't get his team going.

Predicted Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Actual Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Final Score: JAX, 23 - IND, 21


Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

Big Ben going out didn't make things any better for the Steelers but lets face facts, two weeks in a row with low offensive numbers is never a good sign. The Eagles didn't put up huge numbers thanks to a solid Steelers defense but they had more than enough to be convincing over Pittsburgh.

Predicted Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

Actual Winner: Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)

Final Score: PIT, 6 - PHI, 15


Dallas Cowboys (2-0) @ Green Bay Packers (2-0)

Dueling Quarterbacks faced off in a wild match up on Sunday night. Rodgers and his Pack just couldn't keep up in the end with Romo and the Cowboys. The rushing combo of Marion Barber and Felix Jones was outstanding as they each contributed not only with their scores but by wearing down the Packers.

Predicted Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Actual Winner: Dallas Cowboys (3-0)

Final Score: DAL, 27 - GB, 16


Monday, September 22nd


New York Jets (1-1) @ San Diego Chargers (0-2)

The Chargers defense needs some work, this game almost slipped through their fingers early. The Jets offense needs a lot of work, they couldn't take advantage of the many opportunities they were given. The Chargers overcame themselves and got the win but the score doesn't show the mistakes that plagued them and if they don't make changes better teams will take advantage.

Predicted Winner: San Diego Chargers

Actual Winner: San Diego Chargers (1-2)

Final Score: NYJ, 29 - SD, 48


Game of the Week


Ryan Lindell and the Bills celebrate their comeback victory.
Photo by Rick Stewart / Getty Images

Oakland and Buffalo came into this game on different levels, one team looked like they were floundering in a division divided by the best and and the rest, the other looked like a team flourishing in a division busted open by one huge injury. Then the game started and nothing was what it seemed to be as the Raiders jumped to a 6-0 lead and the Bills struggled. In the second quarter the Bills took a 7-6 lead early but before the end of the half the Raiders put up another field goal making it a close 9-7.

After the half and an adjusted evaluation of teams that were seemingly very evenly matched the Raiders came out with the first punch again scoring a touchdown to put them up 16-7. The final quarter was winding down smoothly for the raiders until the Bills scored a timely touchdown making it 16-14 with about half a quarter left in regulation. The Raiders wouldn't back down quickly scoring another touchdown to pad their lead at 23-14 with 6:23 left in the game. Buffalo came back with a touchdown of their own with 4:03 left on the clock. Buffalo got the ball back with 2:29 left and drove the field before hammering a 38 yard nail in the coffin field goal as time expired and the Bills stay undefeated while the Raiders valiant effort leads to their second loss of the season.

This is the kind of game, like New Orleans at Denver, while obviously having a winner and a loser could help each team during the rest of the season. The Bills are still showing that heart they have been wearing on their sleeves all season and they proved that when the pressure is on they will refuse to crumble. The Raiders have looked more impressive as the season wears on and though this loss is a tough one to swallow they should take from it the fact that they more than held their own against a team that has the swagger of the Bills. They should also take note that despite their questionable pickups at wide receiver they have quite a catch in Johnnie Lee Higgins who has been showing some playmaking abilities thus far in the season as a return man but should definitely get more looks at receiver after his spectacular touchdown catch. I think the Bills will have an amazing season but I wouldn't be surprised if the Raiders turn a few head along the way.


Week 4 - Who's in It and Who's Gonna Win It


Sunday, September 28th


Atlanta Falcons (2-1) @ Carolina Panthers (2-1)

Atlanta will face their toughest test thus far in the season in Carolina. The Panthers are coming off their first loss of the season and should be hungry to turn it back around and take control of the NFC South. The Falcons need to come out playing like they do at home or they don't have a chance.

Predicted Winner: Carolina Panthers


Cleveland Browns (0-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)

The Browns aren't living up to expectations and they must be stunned at this point that they are 0-3 but in life sometimes you are dealt the Bengals. Cleveland should be cautious as they are going to Cincinnati a team that despite it's lackluster play in the first two weeks almost found a way to end the Giants winning streak last week. If Cleveland comes to play they should be able to find a way to get the win.

Predicted Winner: Cleveland Browns


Houston Texans (0-2) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Houston is another team that isn't playing the way many thought they would and Jacksonville while also falling into that category did impress in their late victory over the Colts. Jacksonville should have more confidence playing at home against the tumbling Texans.

Predicted Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars


Denver Broncos (3-0) @ Kansas City Chiefs (0-3)

Denver overcame the first big hurdle of their schedule in the past two weeks and are still undefeated. Kansas City isn't ready to beat anyone, let alone Denver. This one is practically in the books.

Predicted Winner: Denver Broncos


San Francisco 49ers (2-1) @ New Orleans Saints (1-2)

The Saints got beat in a tough one and the Niners were dominant in a not so tough one. Still, New Orleans is a good football team and they should rebound against the Niners in a big way.

Predicted Winner: New Orleans Saints


Arizona Cardinals (2-1) @ New York Jets (1-2)

Arizona put up a fight against the Redskins and they almost pulled off a win. The Jets put up a fight against the Chargers but they really would have needed more luck to win. Arizona should rebound while the Jets continue to plummet.

Predicted Winner: Arizona Cardinals


Green Bay Packers (2-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)

The Packers couldn't find a way past the Cowboys and the Bucs just squeeked by the Bears. This week the Pack should find a groove in Tampa Bay and a way back to winning. Tampa coud surprise but only if Griese limits his mistakes.

Predicted Winner: Green Bay Packers


Minnesota Vikings (1-2) @ Tennessee Titans (3-0)

Minnesota is coming off a big win over Carolina and Tennessee is still undefeated. Tennessee might get their first loss if they can't stop Adrian Peterson but Minnesota had better score often if they want to beat these Titans.

Predicted Winner: Minnesota Vikings


San Diego Chargers (1-2) @ Oakland Raiders (1-2)

San Diego found their first win against Favre and the Jets but don't be surprised if it is tougher going against Oakland. Oakland came close to beating the Bills but that type of game won't be enough if they can't stop the pass.

Predicted Winner: San Diego Chargers


Buffalo Bills (3-0) @ St. Louis Rams (0-3)

Buffalo should be proud of themselves as they ovrcame the odds last week and put themselves in great position to go 4-0 this week. The Rams have seemingly become the worst team in the league and will find no peace at home against the Bills.

Predicted Winner: Buffalo Bills


Washington Redskins (2-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-0)

Washington has made it clear they are going to fight tooth and nail to stay in NFC East contention but find themselves against a wall in Dallas. The Cowboys are the best in the NFC if not the NFL and this will be another test for them. If the Redskins pull off an upset it will undoubtedly shake up the NFC.

Predicted Winner: Dallas Cowboys


Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) @ Chicago Bears (1-2)

The Eagles will head into Chicago ready to take advantage of the twice beaten Bears. The Bears will look to rebound but may find themselves hard-pressed to beat a hot Philadelphia team. The Eagles should be able to pull out with a win.

Predicted Winner: Philadelphia Eagles


Monday, September 29th


Baltimore Ravens (2-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

Baltimore is coming in undefeated and up half a game over the Steelers who hope to rebound and take back control of the AFC North. If the Ravens are for real they better show it here. The Steelers will be ready for them.

Predicted Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers


The Ten

  1. Dallas Cowboys (3-0) [Last week: 1] - Took it to the Pack and remain undefeated and on top of the NFC.

  2. Denver Broncos (3-0) [Last week: 5] - It wasn't pretty but the defense helped when the offense sputtered and that was a huge concern for Denver which while not silenced should definitely be quieted down.

  3. New York Giants (3-0) [Last week: 2] - Simply outlasting the Bengals wasn't impressive but they are still undefeated.

  4. Buffalo Bills (3-0) [Last week: 6] - Beating Oakland wasn't a huge deal but the way they hung in there was the sign of a great team.

  5. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) [Last week: 7] - Phily bounced back well against the Steelers.

  6. Tennessee Titans (3-0) [Last week: 8] - Collins continues to roll with this team.

  7. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) [Last week: 3] - For the second straight week the Steelers can't get their offense going, I'm starting to think it's them.

  8. Carolina Panthers (2-1) [Last week: 4] - Kind of hard to believe it took good old Gus to stop the cats.

  9. Baltimore Ravens (2-0) [Last week: Unranked] - A statement was made by beating Cleveland and in a big way.

  10. Green Bay Packers (2-1) [Last week: 9] - They couldn't handle the Cowboys but they held their own.

The Ten is based on performance and strength of opponent, positioning on the list is taken into account as teams rise and fall.


Hero of the Week


I honestly couldn't think of a man more important to his team this week than Trent Edwards of the Buffalo Bills. He has played impressively all season but who would have known how he would react to a situation like he faced against Oakland. It's a game the Bills are supposed to win but things just aren't going their way and it didn't look like they would until the Bills scored a mid fourth quarter touchdown to cut the deficit to two points and put the game within reach.

Outside of that Oakland scoring right back should have been the end of this teams spirit but they were unrelenting and drove down the field to bring it back to a two point game. Finally Edwards' defense showed up and gave him a chance to drive for the win and he didn't let them down, with the game on the line Edwards and the Bills flourished. Edwards took them into field goal range and managed the clock admirably to give his team the chance to prove his offense was ready to step up, special teams wouldn't let him down and the game was reeled in.

Edwards courage and poise in the face of certain doom was what this team needed to lift them, that is why Trent Edwards is the Hero of the Week.


What's Next?


Last Minute Heroics returns next week in its weekly Tuesday spot. It will include the following:

  • In the Books - Week 4

  • Game of the Week

  • Week 5 - Who's in It and Who's Gonna Win It

  • The Ten

  • Hero of the Week

I hope everyone enjoyed this week's edition of Last Minute Heroics; I welcome any feedback and/or suggestions to be left as a comment below or sent by email to It's been a pleasure, thank you for reading.


- Love Hope Hero -

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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