November 15, 2010

Just When You Think You’ve Seen it All

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It’s already Week 10 in the NFL and we’ve seen a lot of the usual and not so usual. The Cowboys have unbelievably underperformed, the Chargers have started slow but are somehow still in it and many strange names have emerged as consistent performers each week such as Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis and Denver wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. But this past weekend of football has opened our eyes and slapped us across the face as the sports world manages to surprise again.Let’s first go to Miami where the Tennessee Titans with their newly acquired star receiver Randy Moss failed to win against the Dolphins. If someone told me Moss and Brandon Marshall would combine for only four catches and 60 yards, I would have immediately bet against that. Those two receivers did end up finishing the day with those disappointing stats, but the surprise didn’t stop there. Miami starting quarterback Chad Pennington had just worked back from an injury, only to suffer another one on the second play of the game. In came Chad Henne, who had just been replaced by Pennington and was able to lead the team again. However, it wasn’t very long until Henne also went down. This then allowed the third string quarterback Tyler Thigpen to come into the game and not only fill in, but win the game for Miami with a crucial touchdown pass. Thigpen, who used to start for the Kansas City Chiefs, did not even take any snaps during practice that week, but had to fill in because of this emergency. The strangest thing about all this was that the Titans also lost their quarterback with Kerry Collins injuring his leg. The Titans brought in the half-recovered Vince Young to lead the team. In a game featuring five different quarterbacks and six different players attempting passes (Marshall attempted one for an incompletion), the third stringer Thigpen led Miami to a victory.Let’s now go to the Meadowlands where the Giants hosted the 1-7 Cowboys. The red-hot Giants were on a five game winning streak and had just demolished the Seahawks. The Cowboys were the exact opposite as their season started with lofty expectations, but crashed down to reality due to a miserable start that also led to the recent firing of head coach Wade Philips. The Giants looked destined for a win yet ended up losing, 33-20. People watching the game might have even confused the two teams as the Giants looked lost at times, while the Cowboys took a dominating lead and maintained it. Sure, maybe the firing of coach Philips woke the Cowboys up or maybe the Giants really underestimated the Cowboys, but no one expected the game to end as it did. Only time will tell if this was a fluke, but it definitely counted as a major upset.Finally, the most unexpected play of the day happened at Jacksonville. The Texans had the ball with the score tied at 24 and were marching down the field to kick a field goal. Joel Dressen fumbled to give the ball back to Jacksonville with only eight seconds on the clock. The game looked like it would surely go into overtime. However, David Garrard threw a pass to gain eleven yards and cut the clock down to 3 seconds to set up the last play of the game. Garrard lofted a high Hail Mary pass as three Jaguars receivers sprinted towards the end zone. The pass looked incomplete as Texans cornerback Glover Quin knocked the ball down. The ball traveled right into Mike Thomas’s arms and with the catch and walk in, resulted in a touchdown and Jaguars win. With one desperation heave, the Jaguars untied the game and stunned the Texans.All three of these moments summarize what a truly strange day it was on Sunday. If anyone was getting bored of football, Week 10 had enough reason to get people interested again. In a day where even more strange things probably happened, the excitement and emotions that these events caused reminds us of how great the sports world is. Thigpen’s unlikely rally, the Cowboys’ major upset and Garrard’s late-game heroics show how nothing is a given and everything is up in the air. It just shows that sometimes, the impossible is actually possible.

Original Author: Wankyu Lee