Tag Archives: Najeh Davenport

AFC Wildcard Game 2008: the Jaguars desiccate the Steelers

The Jacksonville Jaguars pounced northwards to Pittsburgh to stand against the Steelers for a chance to go to the AFC divisional championship game and ultimately the Super Bowl.

The top of the first quarter offered each team seven points: Steelers running back Najeh Davenport and Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. The second quarter gave Jacksonville the lead 14 to 7 with a touchdown that resulted from Rashean Mathis intercepting a pass that was meant for Steelers split end Santonio Holmes. Jaguars running back/kick returner Maurice Jones-Drew increased the point lead with a touchdown soon thereafter. Jacksonville 21. Pittsburgh 7. Such are the scores going into halftime.

The third quarter started with a spirit-booster for the Steelers as linebacker James Farrior intercepted a Jaguars pass. That series ended with a field goal. Steelers down by eleven points rather than fourteen. But, towards the bottom of the third quarter, Maurice-Jones Drew made another touchdown. Jaguars 28 and Steelers 10.

The fourth quarter started with an even greater dose of confidence with a TD by Santonio Holmes. Back to an eleven point game. Steelers tight end Heath Miller made a touchdown not long after Holmes’s. A two-point conversion was attempted and successful (wide receiver Hines Ward caught the ball), but a holding penalty was put on Steelers center Sean Mahan and they had to try again. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ran towards the end zone but didn’t make it. On the next Jaguars possession, Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor intercepted the ball. That series ended with a Steelers TD by Najeh Davenport. A two-point conversion was not successful, but Pittsburgh took a one-point lead with 29 on the scoreboard. With fewer than two minutes left to play, Jaguars quarterback David Garrard ran down to the ten-yard line! Sweet potato fries! Jaguars reclaimed the lead with a field goal, which gave them 31 points. Thirty-one seconds left to play. Upon Pittsburgh’s next and final possession, Jaguars defensive end Bobby McCray sacked Ben Roethlisberger. Defensive tackle Derek Landri recovered the fumbled ball. Final score: Jacksonville 31 and Pittsburgh 29.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Tonight’s game, on NBC, began with the Faith Hill song number and then went to a close-up of Al Michaels and then a zoom/track back to include John Madden. Did the camera always start on Al Michaels’s face and I just never noticed it before the first time I noticed it (pretty late in the season)?

2. Fred Taylor’s TD in the first quarter was preceded by a 96-yard kick-off return by Maurice Jones-Drew, who ran the ball to the Pittsburgh one-yard line.

3. Everyone who is going to watch the 21st Century production of American Gladiators please raise your hand. Anyone watch the original version from the 80s and 90s? I saw it out of sheer boredom.

4. Bob Costas asked Cris Collinsworth a few questions about the Seahawks-Redskins game during halftime. Collinsworth was sweeping the press box ground at the start of the exchange. What an odd choice of a prop. Attempting to do a tap dance number with the broom a la Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire would’ve been more random but way cooler (in that silly sort of way).

5. After Ike Taylor intercepted the Jaguars pass near the middle of the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh fans started chanting “lets go Steelers, lets go!” Then Ben Roethlisberger gestured for the crowd the quiet down a bit so his players could hear his play call.

6. Najeh Davenport’s touchdown in the fourth quarter occurred after Pittsburgh had tried to get the ball in the end zone five times–I believe–but failed. On that fifth attempt, Roethlisberger threw incomplete to Hines Ward. Jaguars wide receiver Brian Williams was charged with defensive pass interference, which gave Pittsburgh another chance to get a TD.

7. David Garrad’s uniform was muddier than his offensive players. Maurice Jones-Drew didn’t look as dirty.
8. By the time Roethlisberger was sacked–the sixth time tonight–at the very, very, very bottom of the fourth quarter, my heart was pounding.

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

‘Tis the Season: Patriots melt down the Steelers

How many New England Patriots does it take to screw in a light bulb?

No idea.  They did beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34 to 13 (game broadcast by CBS).

The Steelers got three points from a field goal in the first quarter.   The Patriots haven’t allowed any points on a first drive this season, so the Steelers field goal had to be counter-matched with a touchdown by wide receiver Randy Moss.  In the top of the second quarter, Moss made a 63-yard touchdown.  New England 14.  Pittsburgh 3.   Steelers halfback Najeh Davenport gave his team some hope in the second quarter after catching a 32 yard pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown.   In the bottom of the second quarter, Pittsburgh got a field goal, giving them a total of 13 points so far, one point behind the Patriots.  Of course, the Patriots weren’t going to accept such a narrow lead.  They put up a field goal of their own with fewer than sixty seconds left in the second quarter.  Patriots 17.  Steelers 13.

Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney made a TD in the top of the third quarter (the result of Randy Moss recovering the ball, throwing it back to Brady, who then launched a 56-yard pass).   Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker’s TD later in the fourth quarter was quickly followed by a brief scuffle between a few of the players from both teams. New England 31.  Pittsburgh 13.  The fourth quarter gave the Patriots a field goal.  The Steelers’ efforts were ultimately unharvested.

Observations & Miscellania: 

1.  CBS cut to a commercial (or two) after Moss made his second TD of the day.  Upon returning to the game, the camera was on Moss and Tom Brady sitting on the bench (filmed in a medium close-up from behind).  The commentators made some remarks about how happy Moss and Brady appeared.   I can’t imagine a closer partnership between two co-workers than wide receiver and quarterback.  I think one would have to look in law enforcement and the military to find a similar dynamic.   Arguably, pair skaters and pas de deux partners also develop the same kind of relationship.   Quarterbacks and receivers practice and build the ability to move in unison without verbal communication.  Trust is important for successfully executed plays.  Likewise, a ballerina and her partner must practice and build a sense of trust and harmonic balance such that she knows she won’t be dropped, and he knows how to lift her so that she doesn’t fall.

2. Furthermore, dancers have their own perception of what is and is not a good or great performance.  To the audience, if the dancers don’t fall or look like they’ve messed up, and exhibit a modicum amount of emotion, then the audience is happy. For dancers, however, it’s not enough to hit all the moves with the necessary degree of emotion.  They’ll think they did a lousy job even if the audience couldn’t disagree more.  For football players, the element of scoring points is a more concrete factor in determining whether or not a team feels it performed well.  Moreover, maintaining performance statistics is apparently a priority too.  For the fans, if their team wins, then they’re happy.  For the team, winning by a certain score or a certain numerical gap and not making mistakes potentially dampens an overall victory.

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

FYI.  The Monday Night Football game (December 10) between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints will be broadcast by CBS for viewers in Atlanta.