Daily Archives: October 12, 2008

NFL 08: Chargers grill up the Patriots

The New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers square off on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.  Unfolding on the Chargers’ turf, the first quarter started with a San Diego field goal.  Patriots kicker Stephen Gostowski’s field goal was no good.  On the Chargers’ next possession, wide receiver Malcolm Floyd made a touchdown.  San Diego 10 and New England 0.  Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding attempted but missed his second field goal at the bottom of the first quarter. The second quarter put the Patriots on the board with a field goal.  San Diego 10 and New England 3.  With about two minutes left in the quarter, Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson made a TD.  Going into halftime, San Diego 17 and New England 3.

San Diego defended their goal line very effectively against the Patriots in the top of third quarter (through the nine minute mark).  New England quarterback Matt Cassel got his team down to the red zone but was unable to complete any passes for a touchdown.  He even tried to get into the end zone himself on fourth and goal but to no avail.  On the Chargers’ next possession, tight end Antonio Gates made a TD catch.  San Diego 24 and New England 3.  Chargers corner back Quentin Jammer intercepted Matt Cassel on the Patriots’ next turn
“at bat.”  One play later, the camera went into a close-up of New England head coach Bill Belichick mouthing what looks like “hey Finch!” to an off-screen person.  That Chargers drive ended with a field goal.  San Diego 27 and New England 3.

The fourth quarter took off with a field goal for San Diego and ambled towards the bottom with a Patriots TD by running back Sammy Morris.  San Diego 30 and New England 10.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Tonight’s halftime Toyota Line of Scrimmage spotlight: Maryland School for the Deaf.

2. Towards the bottom of the third quarter, Al Michaels informed John Madden that Matt Cassel, at age twelve, played in the 1994 Little League World Series.  There was a video clip too.  Earlier in the game, Michaels and Madden discussed Cassel’s minimum football experience, getting more time on the sidelines than on the field.  I think Cassel could be the subject of an interesting football film (and or book but only if John Feinstein writes it).

3. Sometime in the third quarter, Al Michaels made a comment about Chargers head coach Norv Turner’s IQ going up 15 to 20 points after running back Michael Turner was traded to Atlanta.

4. Have the Chargers’ colored jerseys always been light blue? No, but they were in th 60s.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

By the way, the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals played quite an exciting overtime game.  Click here to find out how the Cardinals beat the Cowboys 30 to 24.

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the San Francisco 49ers 40 to 26.  Click here for details.

And the Jone-Us Brothers will be performing during halftime of the Thanksgiving game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks.

NFL 08: Falcons swipe the rug from under the Bears

The Chicago Bears go dirty south to see what the Atlanta Falcons can serve up in front of a sell-out crowd at the Georgia Dome. Broadcast on Fox, the first quarter commenced with an Atlanta possession and a field goal. On the first play of their second possession, running back Michael Turner dropped the ball as he was being tackled. Bears defensive end Alex Brown scooped up the ball. Atlanta head coach Mike Smith fired up that red flag to challenge the call that Chicago recovered the fumble. Indeed, the call was reversed. Turner’s knee hit the ground while he was still holding the ball. The first quarter drew to a close with another Falcons field goal. 6 to 0.

The second quarter creeped to the nine minute mark and the Falcons were edging toward the red zone. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw a complete pass to running back Jerious Norwood, who fumbled the ball as he was tackled. The ball was recovered by Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who lost the ball as he was getting up. The ball was recovered by the Falcons. Bears head coach Lovie Smith challenged the call, claiming that Harris was down by contact. The call was not reversed.

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White made a touchdown catch two plays later, but it was nullified on account of an ineligible downfield pass. On the next play, Matt Ryan threw the ball to wide receiver Brian Finneran, who caught then dropped the ball. The Bears’ next possession ended in a field goal. Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes prevented Bears wide receiver Marty Booker from making a TD catch. Going into halftime, Atlanta 9 and Chicago 3.

The third quarter began with an Atlanta field goal. 12 to 3. It continued with the Bears running back Matt Forte touchdown. The fourth quarter started with a touchdown catch by Roddy White. Falcons 19 and Bears 10. On Chicago’s next possession, they made it all the way to the one yard line but was stopped by Atlanta. Rather than go for a field goal, though, they decided to try for the end zone–and they couldn’t do it. The Bears nearly got into the end zone near the end of the fourth quarter, but they had to field goal it. Atlanta 19 and Chicago 13. With just under four minutes left on the game clock, Jerious Norwood returned the kickoff for eighty-five yards. That drive was supposed to lead to a field goal, but Jason Elam missed it. Just when it looked like the Bears would not be winning this game, wide receiver Rashid Davis caught a TD pass. Chicago tied the game 19 to 19. The extra kick was good. Bears 20 and Atlanta 19. With eleven seconds still on the clock, the Falcons had another chance to win the game. Matt Ryan threw a complete pass to wide receiver Michael Jenkins. Jason Elam went on for a forty-eight yard field goal. And IT WAS GOOD!

Atlanta 22. Chicago 20. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman were commentators. The latter remarked that the former and Mike Smith are brothers-in-law.

2. During the instant replay of Matt Ryan’s pass to Brian Finneran in the middle of the second quarter, the camera went to a medium close-up of Ryan walking (in slight slow-motion) towards screen right. His face wore unmistakable frustration.

4. Yes, Jason Elam’s field goal was no good in the bottom of the fourth quarter, but he was the one putting all the Falcons’ numbers on the board until Roddy White made the TD in the top of the fourth quarter. Elam’s first field goal was from the twenty-nine yard line, his second from forty-eight, his third from thirty-two, and his fourth from the forty-one.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

GaTech Yellow Jackets beat Gardner-Webb Bulldogs on Saturday. Click here to read how.

The Elmira Express

As in Ernie Davis the Elmira Express.  Certainly not this Elmyra, the one that will “love you and kiss you and hug you and never use you up.”  I saw and reviewed The Express (Gary Fleder, 200eight) for FilmThreat.  The film is based on Robert C. Gallagher’s book.

Here is an excerpt:

“The Express” sets out to tell the story of Ernie Davis and his history-making accomplishments in football. Ernie wasn’t just the first African-American to receive the Heisman; he was also the first Orangeman to win it. Furthermore, before he was on the team, Syracuse had yet to win a National Championship. In portraying the difficulties that the Orangemen face in keeping their focus on the game while simultaneously remembering that they are battling against something beyond the parameters of the field and the rules of athletic engagement, “The Express” doesn’t resort to the overly sentimental and conventional method of heartstrings’ tugging.

Click here to read the rest.

There are approximately a dozen practice sequences and half a dozen game sequences in the film.  The game-play is dynamically rendered.  Occasionally disorientating editing fuels suspense, particularly for viewers that do not already know the history of Syracuse University (and thus already know outcome of the games depicted on screen).

Rob Brown plays Ernie Davis.  Darrin Dewitt Henson plays Jim BrownDennis Quaid plays Syracuse head coach Ben Schwartzwalder.

Visit the film’s official site for more information and goodies.