WhatIfSports Duel to the Death Season: Week 11 (Part 2)

The results from the first eight games of Week 11 can be found here. If you’re all caught up with that, then let’s get cracking on the second half of Week 11’s action…

2007 New England Patriots (9-1) 34, 1964 Cleveland Browns (1-9) 13

Tom Brady threw for 228 yards and a touchdown on 24 attempts and added a rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak as the Patriots took care of business at home against the lowly Browns. Laurence Maroney added 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts for the Patriots and Wes Welker and Randy Moss both had 74 receiving yards as well. Jim Brown was the lone bright spot for Cleveland, rushing for 117 yards and a garbage-time touchdown on 23 attempts.

1992 Dallas Cowboys (7-3) 34, 1960 Philadelphia Eagles (1-9) 7

In what somehow wasn’t even the most impressive rushing performance against the Eagles defense all season, Emmitt Smith rushed for 216 yards and four touchdowns on 24 attempts and the Cowboys bounced back from their road loss at the Giants last week to trounce Philadelphia. All four of Smith’s touchdown runs (from 13, 12, 3 and 62 yards away) came in the first half, staking the Cowboys to a 28-7 halftime advantage and effectively rendering the second half’s action moot. Norm Van Brocklin threw for 219 yards on just 24 attempts but Bobby Walston missed a couple of field goals for the Eagles and, let’s face it, even if he had made those, it’s not like that would have magically turned the Eagles’ run defense into a substance made out of something other than paper mache.

2005 Carolina Panthers (5-5) 31, 2012 Atlanta Falcons (4-6) 28

John Kasay kicked an 18-yard field goal as time expired, capping a ten-point flurry by the Panthers in the last two minutes of the game and handing a tough home loss to the Falcons in the process. Carolina had to overcome three Jake Delhomme interceptions, the last of which set up a game-tying touchdown run by Jacquizz Rodgers with a little over ten minutes remaining. Atlanta then took the lead a few minutes later on a 37-yard Michael Turner touchdown run, but Carolina answered back on Delhomme’s third touchdown pass of the day – a seven-yard strike to Drew Carter that tied the game at 28 with 1:56 remaining. After Atlanta could only pick up one first down before punting, the Panthers then marched 66 yards in seven plays to set up Kasay’s chip shot field goal for the win.

1958 Baltimore Colts (4-6) 21, 2008 Arizona Cardinals (5-5) 16

Alan Ameche caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Johnny Unitas with 1:42 remaining in the game and the Colts came from behind to beat the Cardinals at Memorial Stadium. The game-winning score was set up by Lenny Moore’s 65-yard run two plays before; Moore had been held to 31 yards on nine attempts before that play. Ameche ended up with 76 yards and a rushing touchdown on 16 attempts and Unitas was a solid if unspectacular 12-of-21 for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Kurt Warner was limited to 173 passing yards on 29 attempts and was also sacked four times and picked off once.

1986 New York Giants (4-6) 13, 1952 Detroit Lions (2-8) 6

Joe Morris’s four-yard touchdown run on the opening possession of the game turned out to be all the points the Giants would need, as they held the Lions to 189 yards of offense and won their third game in a row in the process. The Giants didn’t muster much offense of their own – they only managed 204 total yards of offense and appeared to commit their fourth turnover of the game with under two minutes remaining when Morris fumbled at his own 42-yard line and the Lions recovered.  An unnecessary roughness penalty against Detroit nullified the fumble, however, and the Giants were able to run the clock down to 13 seconds before kicking an insurance field goal with Raul Allegre.

2005 Seattle Seahawks (3-6-1) 24, 1989 San Francisco 49ers (3-6-1) 10

Shaun Alexander rushed for 143 yards on 24 carries, including a 61-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and the Seahawks dealt a crushing blow to the 49ers’ fading playoff hopes with a home win at Qwest Field. Andre Dyson got the scoring started with a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown off of Joe Montana, who was a miserable 15-of-31 for 130 yards. Roger Craig ended up with 104 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries for the Niners, but Jerry Rice was held without a catch. Matt Hasselbeck picked up 147 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts for Seattle.

1999 St. Louis Rams (8-2) 16, 1985 Chicago Bears (6-4) 13

Jeff Wilkins kicked his third field goal of the game as time expired and the Rams overcame two Kurt Warner interceptions to beat the Bears at the TransWorld Dome. The Bears tied the game with 1:03 to play on a 33-yard Kevin Butler field goal, but the Rams went 52 yards in five plays on the ensuing possession, including a huge 24-yard completion from Warner to Isaac Bruce to get Wilkins into position to win the game. Walter Payton rushed for 122 yards on only 17 carries for Chicago, but Jim McMahon was a miserable 4-of-18 for 67 yards and Butler’s two field goal misses from 49 and 39 yards would turn out to be very costly.

1969 Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) 31, 2006 Indianapolis Colts (2-8) 20

Broken record alert: the Colts’ run defense was gashed again, this time by the Chiefs to the tune of 269 rushing yards and Kansas City moved into the lead for the AFC wild-card picture with a home victory against Indianapolis. Mike Garrett gained 145 yards on just 13 carries for the Chiefs and Robert Holmes, Warren McVea and Frank Pitts all punched the ball in on the ground, with Pitts also adding a receiving touchdown from Len Dawson. Peyton Manning’s ho-hum season continued, gaining 211 yards through the air on 32 attempts and throwing one touchdown and one interception in the process.

Next week: The ’07 Patriots travel to Texas Stadium to play the ’92 Cowboys (not a bad matchup, I daresay); the ’85 Bears try to halt their two-game skid against the suddenly red-hot ’69 Chiefs; the ’99 Jaguars visit the ’81 Bengals in a key game in the AFC wild-card picture; and the ’72 Dolphins try to win their fifth game in a row when they host the ’91 Redskins.

AFC East

  1. ’07 New England: 9-1
  2. ’90 Buffalo: 5-5
  3. ’72 Miami: 5-5
  4. ’68 NY Jets: 3-7

AFC North

  1. ’75 Pittsburgh: 7-3
  2. ’81 Cincinnati: 5-5
  3. ’58 Baltimore: 4-6
  4. ’64 Cleveland: 1-9

AFC South

  1. ’00 Tennessee: 9-1
  2. ’99 Jacksonville: 6-4
  3. ’91 Houston: 5-5
  4. ’06 Indianapolis: 2-8

AFC West

  1. ’79 San Diego: 9-1
  2. ’69 Kansas City: 6-4
  3. ’98 Denver: 5-5
  4. ’76 Oakland: 2-8

NFC East

  1. ’92 Dallas: 7-3
  2. ’91 Washington: 7-3
  3. ’86 NY Giants: 4-6
  4. ’60 Philadelphia: 1-9

NFC North

  1. ’62 Green Bay: 8-2
  2. ’85 Chicago: 6-4
  3. ’73 Minnesota: 3-7
  4. ’52 Detroit: 2-8

NFC South

  1. ’02 Tampa Bay: 6-4
  2. ’05 Carolina: 5-5
  3. ’09 New Orleans: 4-6
  4. ’12 Atlanta: 4-6

NFC West

  1. ’99 St. Louis: 8-2
  2. ’08 Arizona: 5-5
  3. ’05 Seattle: 3-6-1
  4. ’89 San Francisco: 3-6-1
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