Last Minute Heroics - September 30th, 2008



We're a quarter of the way through the season and there are only three undefeated teams left and the surprise is which two teams aren't anymore as the power has seemingly shifted in both conferences. Unpredictable? Not totally, but the surprises were more than shocking and the NFL's greatest prize looks to be completely up for grabs this year. This week's edition offers; In the Books - Week 4, the Game of the Week, Week 5 - Who's in It and Who's Gonna Win It, The Ten, and the Hero of the Week.

In the Books - Week 4


Sunday, September 28th


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

Atlanta's road struggles continue and Carolina is back on track. Jake Delhomme is playing superbly and his wide receivers aren't letting him down one bit. Again Matt Ryan and the duo of Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood didn't play with the same fire they do at home, although Norwood's numbers (3 rushes for 51 yards) were rather impressive.

Predicted Winner: Carolina Panthers

Actual Winner: Carolina Panthers (3-1)

Final Score: ATL, 9 - CAR, 24


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

Just when the world had given up on Cleveland the Bengals gave the nod to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Cleveland stuck with Derek Anderson through another week of Brady Quinn watch 08 and the Browns found a way to plop upward to 1-3.

Predicted Winner: Cleveland Browns

Actual Winner: Cleveland Browns (1-3)

Final Score: CLE, 20 - CIN, 12


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

Jacksonville looks to be more like the team people expected coming into the season while the Texans seem like the team I expected, the last minute losers, good but not good enough. Matt Schaub played admirably to say the least but it seems to me the Texans are a team with little luck as I wouldn't exactly say the better team won this game just the luckier or more confident team but take nothing away from the Jags they aren't an easy win by any means.

Predicted Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

Actual Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

Final Score: HOU, 27 - JAX, 30


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

A game seemingly in the books before it started, a matchup perhaps plagued by destiny, a history of pain. Perhaps there are things that can't be controlled by will or spirit but are predetermined and unavoidable. This is how many a Bronco fan has to feel watching the Arrowhead curse stop another in stadium winning streak from taking place for the Broncos. Denver didn't get into it's offensive groove and in fact made many mistakes. The Chiefs played a superior game somehow and they broke a 12 game losing streak dating back to last season.

Predicted Winner: Denver Broncos

Actual Winner: Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)

Final Score: DEN, 19 - KC, 33


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

The Saints bounced back in New Orleans against the 49ers. Drew Brees found his targets for scores on three seperate occasions, as he played a very good game. The 49ers proved they couldn't walk the walk in a game against an opponent of quality.

Predicted Winner: New Orleans Saints

Actual Winner: New Orleans Saints (2-2)

Final Score: SF, 17 - NO, 31


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

Don't call them the Jets, the Titans of New York were on the field Sunday and if it were up to Brett Favre I think he'd trade the green and white for the blue and gold in a heart beat. Six touchdowns?! Six touchdowns! Favre played like gold and so did his receivers, the team racked up huge points. Arizona has to be embarrassed, they put up a fight but not many teams that give up 56 points win.

Predicted Winner: Arizona Cardinals

Actual Winner: Titans of New York (2-2)

Final Score: ARI, 35 - NYJ, 56


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

Aaron Rodgers and the Pack are in trouble, Rodgers got injured in his second consecutive loss of the season and he wasn't playing all that great while he was in there. Brian Griese is taking these Bucs on a roll and the next stop is another former team of his that he would like to hand it's second loss, the Broncos.

Predicted Winner: Green Bay Packers

Actual Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)

Final Score: GB, 21 - TB, 30


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

Minnesota may have had the best running back on the field but Chris Johnson didn't let him shine too strong as he matched him with two touchdown rushes. Minnesota looked like they were ready for the better teams but they couldn't handle the real deal in Tennessee.

Predicted Winner: Minnesota Vikings

Actual Winner: Tennessee Titans (4-0)

Final Score: MIN, 17 - TEN, 30


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

San Diego found itself in a struggle with Oakland as I had thought but the final score doesn't even begin to show how close the Raiders were to shocking the Chargers. 18-18 was the score going into the two minute warning and the Raiders went halfway through the 3rd quarter with a 15-0 lead. The Chargers rallied despite a bad performance by Philip Rivers. Oakland still can't find victory but they have obviously started to gel a bit.

Predicted Winner: San Diego Chargers

Actual Winner: San Diego Chargers (2-2)

Final Score: SD, 28 - OAK, 18


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

The Bills went into the game knowing this is one you absolutely win and they never let themselves slow down or let up. Scott Linehan lost his job but these Rams aren't going to benefit from a new coach, they need much improvement. The Bills may be the most impressive team in this league.

Predicted Winner: Buffalo Bills

Actual Winner: Buffalo Bills (4-0)

Final Score: BUF, 31 - STL, 14


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

The Redskins did pull off that upset and the NFC's power structure is now uncertain. The Cowboys and the Redskins looked evenly matched but the Skins seemed to want it more, playing with a lot of heart. Dallas isn't going to be down for long but the damage done by Washington will have the NFC racing for weeks.

Predicted Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Actual Winner: Washington Redskins (3-1)

Final Score: WAS, 26 - DAL, 24


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

The Bears showed up prepared to send a message to the East and they did it by defeating the Eagles and showing a massive defensive front that should keep them hot for a while. The Eagles came in without key players but the bottomline was the defense being too much for them.

Predicted Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

Actual Winner: Chicago Bears (2-2)

Final Score: PHI, 20 - CHI, 24


Monday, September 29th


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

These teams weren't going to give up the top spot without a fight giving plenty of reasons to believe they should each be the best in the AFC North. But there can be only one and Pittsburgh overcame the Ravens in overtime took control of the North for the time being.

Predicted Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Actual Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)

Final Score: BAL, 20 - PIT, 23


Game of the Week


James Thrash celebrates his touchdown.
Photo by Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Dallas entered the game widely thought to be the best the NFL had to offer and the Redskins came in to Dallas hoping to make a statement, the NFC East is the best the NFL has to offer and they are it, the game was to be the forum of a discussion of action and not words. The game started off slow but before the first quarter would end the Cowboys would make their first trip into the endzone with a Tony Romo pass connecting with Jason Witten for 21 yards. The quarter ends 7-0 business as usual,Dallas is in control.

The second quarter begins and ten plays and 79 yards later Washington would even the score at 7-7 after a 3 yard pass from Jason Campbell to James Thrash. The Cowboys put the ball back in Redsin hands soon after only to allow them to go down the field again and let Campbell send another short touchdown pass, this time to Antwaan Randle El, giving Washington a 14-7 lead. The Cowboys know they are in for quite a game by now as they give the ball back to Washington who have a decent drive before stalling and taking the field goal thanks to a 20 yard Shaun Suisham kick setting the score to 17-7 for the Redskins. Dallas knew they needed to do something before the end of the half and had an impressive drive that led to an end of the half field goal of 36 yards by Nick Folk to bring the Cowboys back to within 7 at 10-17.

The Cowboys came out for the second half on a mission driving down the field fast and drawing even at 17-17 after a Romo toss hit Terrell Owens for 10 yards. The Redskins responded by working the clock and getting Suisham into position to hammer a 33 yarder between the posts, 20-17 for Washington. Carrying into the fourth and final quarter the Redskins would strike twice more with field goals of 33 and 29 yards by Suisham to make the score 26-17. In the final two minutes Dallas was able to draw within two points thanks to Miles Austin reeling in a Romo pass for 11 yards, 24-26. Dallas tried for an onside kick and failed, with less than two minutes and having no timeouts left Washington was able to run the clock down and defeat the Cowboys.

This game shouldn't have a negative impact on Dallas, if anything it should drive them, they will have an opportunity to even the score and they can learn from this loss and keep their feet on the ground. Washington should gain a bit of swagger to their step and they need it, they are a very good team that has seemed a bit low on confidence at times and this kind of win is like confidence in a bottle. They will both face their share of hardships in the future but both of these teams have the ability to overcome anything standing in their ways.


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


Sunday, October 5th


Tennessee Titans (4-0) @ Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

The Titans are rolling and they are showing little sign of stopping while the Ravens are coming off their first defeat of the season after falling to Pittsburgh in overtime. This could be a rough game for the Titans but they have beat teams that posed bigger threats than the Ravens and I don't see them being derailed just yet.

Predicted Winner: Tennessee Titans


Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) @ Carolina Panthers (3-1)

Kansas City is coming off of a huge upset over Denver and should come in with a newfound confidence and the Panthers are a team they will need it against as they have been superb in most instances this year. The Chiefs shouldn't roll over but Carolina should prove more prepared than Denver was.

Predicted Winner: Carolina Panthers


Chicago Bears (2-2) @ Detroit Lions (0-3)

Chicago bounced back against a tough Eagles team and this week they take on the less than stellar Lions who are coming off their bye week. The Bears defense should be solid enough to make it impossible for the struggling Lions to make the plays needed to compete.

Predicted Winner: Chicago Bears


Atlanta Falcons (2-2) @ Green Bay Packers (2-2)

Atlanta obviously struggles on the road and if there is one place you need to bring your "A" game on the road it's Lambeau Field. The Packers have struggled as of late but they should be able to get a win over the Falcons at home.

Predicted Winner: Green Bay Packers


Indianapolis Colts (1-2) @ Houston Texans (0-3)

Both Indianapolis and Houston have found themselves scratching their heads. With Indianapolis it's, how can we fix this mess? For Houston it's, why is it we can't get a win when the division isn't being haunted by Peyton Manning? The game could go either way but the Texans problem has been simply no mattter what they do they have lost so I'll believe in that occuring again.

Predicted Winner: Indianapolis Colts


San Diego Chargers (2-2) @ Miami Dolphins (1-2)

San Diego squeeked out of a tough game in Oakland and will face Miami who is coming off a bye week after beating the Brady-less Patriots and breaking their huge regular season win streak. San Diego seems to find trouble with every team they face so this could be a close one but I don't see Miami pulling off the upset.

Predicted Winner: San Diego Chargers


Seattle Seahawks (1-2) @ New York Giants (3-0)

Both teams coming off the bye, each going different directions. The Seahawks have been pretty bad and will have to be lucky to have a chance against the NFC's last undefeated team. New York should have this in the bag.

Predicted Winner: New York Giants


Washington Redskins (3-1) @ Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)

Washington already beat one NFC East powerhouse and the Eagles despite their recent loss are another. The Redskins can't overlook a team with the fire power of these Eagles but should be ready for them. The Eagles will need to come out guns-a-blazing to win this one.

Predicted Winner: Washington Redskins


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) @ Denver Broncos (3-1)

Tampa Bay has been quietly making their way past some good teams with Brian Griese at the helm. Denver had been phenomenal until they stepped foot in Kansas City. The former Broncos quarterback will have a chance to show up the man Denver has deemed worthy of succeeding John Elway. It should be another tough one in Denver but a tough one the Denver offense will be ready to handle.

Predicted Winner: Denver Broncos


Buffalo Bills (4-0) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

The Bills have made a name for themselves this year and the Cardinals should know that they have a tough one on their hands. Buffalo isn't going to put up 56 points but they should be able to handle the Cardinals in a much more quiet game.

Predicted Winner: Buffalo Bills


Cincinnati Bengals (0-4) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

The Bengals have been beat by the worst and they won't find a team that is going to sit back in Dallas as the Cowboys should be fired up to get their fourth win. Dallas has this one locked up.

Predicted Winner: Dallas Cowboys


New England Patriots (2-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

The Patriots are coming off their bye week after being embarrassed by Ronnie Brown and the Dolphins. The 49ers are hoping to bounce back after being knocked down by New Orleans. The Brady-less Patriots are still a better team than the O'Sullivan gang and should find the win.

Predicted Winner: New England Patriots


Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

Pittsburgh is coming off a Monday night overtime victory over the Ravens and should be trying to protect their spot on top of the AFC North. The Jaguars need to be focused on staying within shouting distance of the Titans in the South. I think the Jags have more confidence and they should be able to pull off the win.

Predicted Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars


Monday, October 6th


Minnesota Vikings (1-3) @ New Orleans Saints (2-2)

Minnesota can't seem to find any kind of rhythm while the Saints have been staying hot on offense. The Vikings need to get the passing game rolling but have had little consistancy. New Orleans should prove too powerful for the Vikings to keep up with in primetime.

Predicted Winner: New Orleans Saints


The Ten

  1. Buffalo Bills (4-0) [Last week: 4] - Buffalo has scratched and clawed their way to the top.

  2. New York Giants (3-0) [Last week: 3] - Moved up during the bye thanks to Dallas and Denver losing, they also are now the last undefeated NFC team.

  3. Tennessee Titans (4-0) [Last week: 6] - The Titans are for real and they might not be the only Titans but they are the only undefeated Titans.

  4. Dallas Cowboys (3-1) [Last week: 1] - Couldn't stop the Redskins from taking them out and they fall for the first time.

  5. Denver Broncos (3-1) [Last week: 2] - Kansas City pretty much brought the Broncos down to earth, how they bounce back will be what defines them.

  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) [Last week: 7] - The Steelers won the right to stand atop of the AFC North again.

  7. Carolina Panthers (3-1) [Last week: 8] - Jake Delhomme and Co. aren't going to let one bad game get them down.

  8. Washington Redskins (3-1) [Last week: Unranked] - Beating the Cowboys was huge, the NFC East is clearly the top of the food chain.

  9. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) [Last week: 5] - The Bears defense wouldn't let them through, they'll need to break through better to get into the playoffs from the East.

  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) [Last week: Unranked] - They got a big win over Green Bay and will try their luck in Denver next week.

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


He was the most interesting story of offseason, he acted questionably at times he and he may have alienated a good number of his fans in the process, it's a good thing he doesn't play for the fans. Brett Favre loves the fans but he loves the game more and really that is how it should be, he is without a doubt a great competitor and a leader. The New York Jets weren't a team ready to play contender and they still might not be but despite a shaky start Brett has gotten this teams spirits up and he's done it not only with his wisdom, but he has lead by example.

Arizona didn't head into this game looking like an easily beaten team and the Jets didn't look like a powerhouse. Favre took the Jets, or the Titans of New York, on to the field and he proved that the Jets could be as powerful as any team in this league, they can outscore anyone. He did it by tossing 6 touchdowns and the game didn't mean everything but its memory can lift this team for weeks to come.

Brett Favre's spirit, determination and leadership what makes him the player he has been for years, that is why he is a future Hall of Famer and that is why he 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 5

  • Game of the Week

  • Week 6 - Who's in It and Who's Gonna Win It

  • The Ten

  • Hero of the Week

My fiancée ( and I are going to the hospital today for a big ultrasound and should find out whether we are having a son or a daughter, one thing is for sure, we are having a Broncos fan. I'll be sure to come back with that news, anyway 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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