Oakland Raiders 28 @ San Diego Chargers 13
The Chargers were poised for another second half playoff run and were deemed the hottest team in the NFL by everyone, including myself. But this week the lost a crucial game to the Raiders which puts San Diego in third place at 6-6. The Cheifs are first at 8-4 and Oakland second at 6-6 (owns the tiebreaker beating San Diego twice). The numbers explain the Charger's lackluster performance; 3/10 on third downs and only 7 rushing attempts for 16 yards. The Chargers clearly attempted to solely rely on their passing game but River's got sacked four times. He had very little time in the pocket Kaeding hit 2 of his 3 field goal attempts and the Chargers sole touch down was a four yard pass to Antonio Gates. The Raiders won this game on the ground and had 250 rushing yards. Mcfadden and Bush each had a touchdown and almost had 100 yards a piece (97 and 95 yards respectively). Jason Campbell only threw 16 passes but had no turnovers and did a good job controlling the game. The Chargers have a huge must-win game at home against Kansas City this week and need finish the season 4-0 and hope for help. If they won this game versus Oakland then they could've been tied for the division lead with a win against the Cheifs. It looks like the Chargers are going to have to step up their game to pull another late season miracle.
Dallas Cowboys 38 @ Indianapolis Colts 35
The Colts made a fourth quarter comeback against Dallas but lost on a Peyton Manning interception in over time. Peyton Manning just hasn't been the same and hasn't looked like the same 3 time MVP QB that we are accustomed to. He had to do a lot of throwing in this game, 48 passes, and had a disastrous 4 interceptions. Interceptions have been a frequent occurrence of late for Peyton Manning. The Colts are 6-6 through 12 games, normally through 12 games we expect the Colts to be cruising at around 10 or 11 wins. Like the Chargers, the Colts had under 30 yards rushing for their 3 running backs. Javarris James did have 2 goal line touchdowns (1 and 2 yards) after Manning and Wayne marched down the field. The sole bright spot was Reggie Wayne who had 200 receiving yards and was targeted 20 times, clearly the focal point of the offense playbook. But without any threat of a running game defenses are going to take advantage of Manning and the lack of healthy receivers. The offense has always been centered on Manning to Wayne, but with no other viable threat the connection is not enough to result in wins. The Cowboys played well enough to win this game and have been impressive under Jason Garrett. The Colts were in the super bowl last season but are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time this decade. They have three divisional games coming up and it would be hard to imagine having the Colts and Peyton Manning sitting home in the NFL post season.