Ness Notes (Jan 15)
All good things come to an end and so it did Saturday night for the Patriots and Tom Brady. After 10 consecutive playoff wins, the Pats lost in Denver, 27-13. New England had made just six turnovers in its 10 postseason wins, posting a ratio of plus-21. However, in Saturday’s loss, the Pats made FIVE turnovers leading to 24 Denver points. Over in the NFC, Seattle, despite losing Shaun Alexander to a concussion in the first quarter, beat the Redskins 20-10. The win ended Seattle’s 21-year drought between playoff wins, the longest of any team in NFL history.
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The Washington/Seattle game was hardly a classic as for the second straight weekend, the Redskins failed to do much on offense. Washington had ‘lived’ off forcing turnovers it its six-game winning streak (had forced 20!) but although the team did get THREE takeaways against Seattle, it wasn’t enough to overcome another pathetic offensive performance.
Seattle became the second playoff team to lose a star player early in a game (Cincy lost Carson Palmer on its second offensive play of the game LW), when Alexander left with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter. Earlier in the quarter, Alexander (untouched!) had lost a fumble at the Washington 11-yard line.
Seattle seemingly had the game wrapped up after a FG made it 17-3, early in the 4th quarter. However, Washington went 76 yards in just 48 seconds to cut it to 17-10. When Seattle fumbled the ensuing KO, Washington was back in it. Hall missed a 36-yard FG though and Seattle capped a long drive with a FG. At 20-10, Brunell’s long 4th-down heave into the end zone was batted down with about 45 seconds left.
Seattle won as it expired with just 46 seconds left. Naturally, Brunell’s long 4th-down heave into the end zone was batted down too. Washington’s chances of catching Seattle with the X punter in trouble were probably as good as its chances of beating the spread.
Fourth-down punting was Washington’s forte, and it was its KO (kers,lers, AME) that gave the Redskins the 20-10 lead late in the 3rd quarter. Earlier in the quarter, Washington had lost 27-7 to San Diego as ‘Buck’ punted hard on second-and-15, failing to get any traction. On third down, Washington punted again, this time on the numbers and Bobbay punted it again. Both punters went 6-for-6.
Wash and Jones hooked up again, this time for the 28-27 final. Jones tied the game in the 3rd quarter by returning a fumble for a TD and later scored on a seven-yard run. However, Seahawks QB, who had entered the game with a 38-of-53 63.6 QB rating, threw a ‘sure’ TD pass and Seattle assured the 28-27 final by returning a KO for a TD.
ues and adds to a season that already included four playoff wins (at Chicago, at Denver, at New England and at Philadelphia), three playoff losses (1-2 at Jacksonville and at New Orleans) and one win (4-15 at Kansas City).
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