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NFL Week 9 recap

Published: November 11, 2005
Section: Sports


After seven unsuccessful attempts, Peyton Manning won his first game against the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick in New England this Monday night. Peyton was aided in the still undefeated Colts 40-21 victory over the Patriots by wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, and All-pro running back Edgerin James who each gained more than 100 yards for the predatory Colts offense.

The Colts used both their running and passing game to take advantage of a weakened Patriots defense which is missing 3 of 4 of last years starters in the secondary. This win moves the Colts to 8-0, and gives them a commanding 1.5 game lead over AFC rivals Cincinnati Bengals.. The Patriots dropped to 4-4, which allows them to maintain their division lead in the AFC East, which looks okay, considering that only two of the Pats next 8 opponents, have winning records.

However, another 4-4 team, the Philadelphia Eagles didnt have quite the same luck, as they lost 17-10 to the Washington Redskins this week, dropping them to last place in the NFC East. The Giants (6-2) retain their division lead after winning their third straight game this Sunday against the 49ers, bringing them to 6-2 overall.

The crushing loss to the Redskins wasnt the biggest loss that the Eagles suffered this week, as Terrell Owens was suspended indefinitely due to comments that he made off the field regarding the Eagles organization and Donovan McNabb. Owens has since apologized to his teammates and to the organization and claims to want to return to the team as soon as possible.

15-22 for 136 yards arent usually considered life-saving numbers for a teams quarterback, but they were for Minnesotas Brad Johnson. He threw for two touchdowns in relief of injured Daunte Culpepper as the Vikings knocked off the Detroit Lions, 27-14.

In Tampa Bay this weekend, the Buccaneers continued their slide from their 5-1 record in week 6, to their current record of 5-3. The Carolina Panthers defeated the Bucs 34-14 for their fifth straight win.. The Buccaneers have struggled especially since the loss of rookie Carnell Cadillac Williams earlier in the season.
Next week looks to be more of the same for Indianapolis as they take on the Houston Texans at home, basically assuring them a record of 9-0 by the end of the week. A crucial game for the NFC East will be played on Monday night as the 4-4 Eagles host division rivals the 5-3 division rivals Dallas Cowboys. It is a game that could potentially put the Eagles further away from the playoffs, especially considering the success of Bledsoe and the Cowboys against the Eagles earlier in the season.

Meanwhile, the Patriots get what should be a reasonable break, and hopefully confidence booster as they play the Miami Dolphins for the first time this season. Although one never knows what might happen the way they have been playing recently. Things are getting close in the NFL, as talks of playoff berths will start soon, and there are a few teams (the Patriots and Eagles included) who will really have to step up their play if they hope to be able to contend with the best of the NFL.