The Atlanta Falcons didn’t so much win their Sunday Night NFL Football game against the Chicago Bears as much as the Bears lost it. A series of costly mistakes and turnovers in the red zone negated an otherwise solid road effort for the Bears, as Atlanta held on to win 21-14 at the Georgia Dome. Chicago held a decisive edge in most of the statistical categories, but was undone by untimely turnovers. Atlanta improved to 4-1 with the victory while Chicago slipped to 3-2.
When the biggest play of a NFL football game is an extra point, there’s a good chance it was a dull contest. The big play of the game? A point after touchdown by the Bengals backup kicker, none other than wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Ochocinco’s PAT would prove to be the margin of victory as Cincinnati beat New England 7-6.
The retirement and un-retirement of Brett Favre is becoming an annual rite of the NFL preseason, and this year is no different. A few months after retiring from football after playing last season with the New York Jets, The Gunslinger is back in the NFL. This year he’ll be slinging balls for the Minnesota Vikings, who’ll pay Favre $12 million bucks if he’s on the opening day roster.
The NFL preseason got underway on Saturday with the annual Hall of Fame Game, and the Tennessee Titans earned the victory as they built a 21-3 first half lead before holding off a late Buffalo Bills comeback to prevail 21-18.
While its unwise to put too much importance on NFL preseason performances, its hard not to be impressed with the New Orleans Saints offense. In particular, its impossible to not be impressed with the play of starting QB Drew Brees. Brees played only three series against the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night, but that was enough–by the time he left the Saints led 21-0 en route to a 45-7 thrashing on their hosts. New Orleans improved to 3-0 on the NFL preseason, while the Raiders dropped to 1-2.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel missed the first game of the NFL regular season, and his status remains questionable for the teams second game of the year against the Oakland Raiders. Although he appeared to be running more briskly and favoring his knee less in practice this week, Chiefs coach Todd Haley maintains that hes still a game time decision. The Chiefs offense has looked pitiful ever since preseason and their ineptitude cost coordinator Chan Gailey his job.
Most NFL head coaches place a priority on naming a starting QB before the regular season begins. The idea is that it helps the chemistry on the team, as well as helping the quarterback define himself as a team leader. Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini hasn’t named his starting QB yet. Nor will he, at least not publicly. Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson will find out if they’re the starting QB in the next couple of days, but the first public confirmation their coach will give is when they trot out on the field after the NFL regular season begins.
The Carolina Panthers finally got one in the win column on Sunday afternoon, using a furious second half comeback to defeat the slumping Washington Redskins 20-17. Washington led 17-2 early in the third quarter before Carolina scored the final 18 points of the game to earn the victory. Jonathan Stewart’s eight yard fourth quarter run for a touchdown with a successful two point conversion completed the Panthers comeback.
The Arizona Cardinals haven’t looked anything like a Superbowl team in the NFL preseason. They entered their final exhibition contest against the Denver Broncos looking for their first win. The Broncos controlled the contest on both sides of the ball en route to a 19-0 shutout victory over the struggling Cards. Denver managed to improve their preseason record to 1-3, while Arizona ended the exhibition campaign winless at 0-4.
The Dallas Cowboys entered Sundays game with the Kansas City Chiefs with a 2-2 record, and may have expected an easy afternoon. The winless Chiefs, however, hung around throughout the contest and forced overtime before a Tony Romo touchdown pass to Miles Austin secured the victory for Dallas by a final score of 26-20. Austin was the Cowboys offensive star, catching two touchdown passes as part of a 250 yard receiving day. Tony Romo played better than he has all year, finishing with two touchdown passes and 351 yards with no interceptions. The Cowboys improved to 3-2 with the victory, while the Chiefs remain winless at 0-5.