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NFL 2011 Season – Week Seven Recap

DeMarco Murray
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The Green Bay Packers survived a mild scare to stay unbeaten, while the Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams remained winless thanks to two potential new stars in Denver and Dallas. Here is the recap of the week seven action in the NFL:

Denver 18 – Miami 15 (OT)

After Tim Tebow led the Broncos to 15 points in the final 2:44 of regulation to tie the game, Denver beat the Miami Dolphins 18-15 on Matt Prater’s 52-yard field goal in overtime. Ineffective in the pocket most of the game, Tebow led the Broncos on fourth quarter drives of 80 and 56 yards, each culminating with a touchdown pass. A two-point conversion run from Tebow tied the game and set up the overtime period. Tebow, who was sacked seven times by the Dolphins, finished with 161 passing yards and two touchdowns, while running for 65 yards. Quarterback Matt Moore, whose fumble in overtime helped set up the game-winning kick, finished with 197 passing yards and a touchdown for Miami (0-6). Willis McGahee had 76 yards on 18 carries for Denver (2-4).

N.Y. Jets 27 – San Diego 21

Plaxico Burress had three touchdown receptions to help rally the Jets from an 11-point halftime deficit, as New York defeated the San Diego Chargers 27-21. Running back Shonn Greene rushed for a season-high 112 yards for New York (4-3), which shut out San Diego’s offense in the second half. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 179 yards and a touchdown, while he threw two interceptions, including one to the Jets’ Darrelle Revis that helped the New York comeback. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez passed for 173 yards and the three touchdowns to Burress.  Donald Butler had a 37-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown early in the first quarter that gave the Chargers (4-2) a 7-0 lead with less than two minutes elapsed in the game.

Atlanta 23 – Detroit 16

Matt Ryan threw for one touchdown and ran for another, as the Atlanta Falcons beat the Detroit Lions 23-16. Running back Michael Turner ran for 122 yards on 27 carries for the Falcons (4-3), who were able to stave off a second-half comeback attempt by Detroit (5-2). Ryan passed for 218 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown to Roddy White which gave the Falcons a 17-6 lead at the half. The Atlanta quarterback also threw two interceptions. The Lions trailed just 20-16, after quarterback Matthew Stafford hit Calvin Johnson with a 57-yard touchdown pass with 1:57 left in the third quarter. Johnson finished with five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown for Detroit, which could not complete the rally.

Carolina 33 – Washington 20

Rookie quarterback Cam Newton passed for 256 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, as the Carolina Panthers beat the Washington Redskins 33-20. Steve Smith had seven catches for 143 yards for the Panthers (2-5), who dominated after leading just 9-6 at halftime. Newton and running back Jonathan Stewart, who finished with 68 yards, each had rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to help build a 23-13 lead for Carolina. Quarterback John Beck, making his first start of the season for Washington (3-3), had 279 passing yards, one touchdown pass and a touchdown run. Running back Tim Hightower ran for 88 yards, and Fred Davis had 80 yards receiving and a touchdown for the Redskins.

Cleveland 6 – Seattle 3

Phil Dawson’s two field goals were greater than Steven Hauschka’s one, as the Cleveland Browns beat the Seattle Seahawks 6-3. The Browns (3-3) dominated the time of possession battle by controlling the ball for 42:56 to the Seahawks 17:04. In a game in which both offenses struggled, Cleveland’s Montario Hardesty led all players with 95 rushing yards. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, starting for the injured Tarvaris Jackson, finished with a meager 97 passing yards for Seattle (2-4). The Seahawks were able to gain only 137 total yards on the game. Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was sacked five times and managed only 178 yards passing.

Chicago 24 – Tampa Bay 18

Matt Forte ran for 145 yards and a touchdown, as the Chicago Bears topped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-18, in a game played at Wembley Stadium in London. Forte’s effective running and an opportunistic defense allowed the Bears (4-3) to build a 21-5 lead after three quarters. Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman attempted to mount one of his trademark rallies by throwing for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but the Buccaneers’ (4-3) fate was sealed when Freeman was intercepted by D.J. Moore at the Bears’ 35 yard-line with 27 seconds left. Freeman passed for 264 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw four interceptions. Jay Cutler had 226 yards passing and a touchdown for Chicago. Mike Williams led the Buccaneers with 75 receiving yards. Tampa Bay had only 30 yards rushing on the day; it  lost starting running back Earnest Graham in the first quarter with a right ankle injury.

Houston 41 – Tennessee 7

Arian Foster had 234 combined yards and three touchdowns, as the Houston Texans thumped the Tennessee Titans 41-7. Foster had 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while he had five catches for 119 yards and a score through the air. Matt Schaub passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns for the Texans (4-3). Ben Tate chipped in 104 rushing yards for Houston, which finished with 518 total yards to 148 for Tennessee (3-3). Matt Hasselbeck threw for just 104 yards and a touchdown, while he had an interception returned 38 yards for a score by Brice McCain. Star running back Chris Johnson ran for just 27 yards for the Titans. He was booed often by the team’s home crowd.

Green Bay 33 – Minnesota 27

Aaron Rodgers threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns, as the Green Bay Packers rallied to beat the Minnesota Vikings 33-27. With Green Bay trailing 17-13 at the half, Rodgers 79-yard scoring pass to Greg Jennings early in the third quarter gave the Packers (7-0) their first lead of the day. Green Bay led 33-17 after Mason Crosby’s 58-yard field goal provided the last of the Packers’ 20 points in the third quarter.  With the Vikings trailing 33-20, rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, making his first career NFL start, led Minnesota on a fourth quarter scoring drive that culminated with his 24-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins with 7:49 remaining. However, the Vikings (1-6) did not threaten again. Running back Adrian Peterson paced Minnesota with 175 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Jenkins had 111 receiving yards and the TD catch. Ponder finished with 219 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jennings caught seven passes for 147 yards and a score for Green Bay.

Pittsburgh 32 – Arizona 20

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 361 yards and three touchdowns, including a 95-yard strike to Mike Wallace, as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 32-20. The touchdown pass to Wallace was the longest pass reception in Steelers history. Wallace finished with three catches for 118 yards, and Antonio Brown had 102 yards on seven catches for the Steelers (5-2). Quarterback Kevin Kolb, who threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns, led the Cardinals (1-5). His 73-yard touchdown pass to LaRod Stephens-Howling brought Arizona to within 17-14 with 9:26 left in the third quarter. However, Pittsburgh reeled off 15 straight points to ensure the win. Larry Fitzgerald had 78 yards receiving for the Cardinals. Pittsburgh’s LaMarr Woodley recorded two sacks of Kolb on the game.

Dallas 34 – St. Louis 7

Rookie DeMarco Murray ran for a franchise-record 253 yards, the ninth-highest single-game total in NFL history, as the Dallas Cowboys beat the St. Louis Rams 34-7. Murray had a 91-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and served as the spearhead of the offense for the Cowboys (3-3). Dallas quarterback Tony Romo passed for 166 yards and two touchdowns, including a 20-yard toss to Dez Bryant, who finished with 90 receiving yards. A.J. Feeley, subbing in for the injured Sam Bradford, passed for 196 yards for the Rams (0-6). Steven Jackson ran for 70 yards and a touchdown for St. Louis, which also got 74 receiving yards from Brandon Lloyd.

Kansas City 28 – Oakland 0

Kendrick Lewis and Brandon Flowers scored touchdowns off interceptions – two of Kansas City’s six on the game – as the Chiefs shut out the Oakland Raiders 28-0. Quarterbacks Kyle Boller and newly acquired Carson Palmer were each picked-off three times for the Raiders (4-3), who trailed 14-0 at the half and never seriously threatened the Chiefs (3-3). Boller, who started in place of injured Jason Campbell, threw his first interception to Lewis, who returned it 59 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Boller finished with just 61 passing yards and the three interceptions. All of his action came in the first half, before he was pulled in favor of Palmer. Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel threw for 161 yards and two interceptions of his own. Running back Jackie Battle led the Chiefs with 76 yards rushing. Oakland’s Michael Bush ran for 99 yards after NFL rushing leader Darren McFadden left the game early with a foot injury. Darrius Heyward-Bey had  five catches for 89 yards for the Raiders.

New Orleans 62 – Indianapolis 7

Drew Brees passed for 325 yards and five touchdowns, as the New Orleans Saints routed the Indianapolis Colts 62-7. Brees passed for three of his scores in the first quarter, while New Orleans raced to a 34-7 halftime lead. The Saints quarterback added two touchdown passes to tight end Jimmy Graham in the third quarter. New Orleans (5-2) finished with 557 yards of total offense for the day. Marques Colston had seven catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints. New Orleans got 88 rushing yards and a touchdown from Darren Sproles, while rookie Mark Ingram ran for 91 yards. Delone Carter had 89 rushing yards for Indianapolis (0-7), which had just 97 net yards of passing on the game.

Bye Week Teams: Buffalo, Cincinnati, New England, NY Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco

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