Week 9: Games at a glance

Originally Published: November 7, 2004
ESPN.com

Steelers 27, Eagles 3

Recap | Boxscore

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Donovan McNabb was picked off by James Farrior in the third quarter. With the score 21-3 the Eagles had a chance to get back in the game, but Farrior's INT stopped that. Jerome Bettis. With Duce Staley out, Bettis took over the lead role, pounding the Eagles for 149 yards rushing on 33 carries.

ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: There's no doubt the Steelers are a legitimate Super Bowl contender after these two impressive victories. They've proven they can beat an intelligent team and an athletically physical team. This win was more impressive because they faced the Eagles at their best and destroyed them.

UP NEXT: Eagles (7-1) at Cowboys (3-5) | Steelers (7-1) at Browns

Cardinals 24, Dolphins 23

Recap | Boxscore

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Larry Fitzgerald caught a 19-yard TD pass from Josh McCown with just 19 seconds left to put the Cardinals ahead. Fitzgerald. The rookie receiver caught five passes for 92 yards and the game-winning TD.
ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: Right now coach Dennis Green believes in Josh McCown and Green has had success with numerous different quarterbacks. McCown has his strengths, but he isn't the type of quarterback who can win without a running game.

UP NEXT: Cardinals (3-5) vs. Giants (5-3) | Dolphins (1-8) -- bye week

Bills 22, Jets 17

Recap | Boxscore

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Drew Bledsoe hit Lee Evans on a 27-yard pass on third-and-eight with just over two minutes left in the game. With one more first down the Bills were able to run out the clock. Willis McGahee. The second-year back went over 100 yards for the second straight week, carrying the ball 37 times for 132 yards and one TD.
ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: Chad Pennington is extremely important to the success of this team. It's impossible to quantify what his intelligence brings to this team. He makes the proper reads, doesn't make mistakes and puts his receivers in excellent position. RB Curtis Martin will see a lot more stacked defenses without Pennington back there to keep the pressure off him.

UP NEXT: Jets (6-2) vs. Ravens | Bills (3-5) at Patriots (7-1)

Raiders 27, Panthers 24

Recap | Boxscore

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Sebastian Janikowski booted a 19-yard field goal with just six seconds left to put the Raiders ahead. Tyrone Wheatley. He only had 54 yards on 19 carries, but Wheatley found the end zone twice as the Raiders got their third win of the season.

ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: The Raiders can try to rebuild their respect and character after this win and that's about it. This game was about respect and character after the blowup last week by several members of the Raiders. They have to build on each game.

UP NEXT: Raiders (3-6) -- bye week | Panthers (1-7) at 49ers (1-7)

Bucs 34, Chiefs 31

Recap | Boxscore

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Trent Green was sacked on fourth down with just over one minute left in the game. The Bucs took over and ran out the clock. Michael Pittman. Had a huge game for the Bucs, rushing for 128 yards and three TDs on just 15 carries.
ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: The Bucs focused on making it back to .500. They have three wins and are three games behind the division leader in the NFC South. It'll be very difficult for this team to make the playoffs, but they can salvage respectability.

UP NEXT: Chiefs (3-5) at Saints (3-5) | Bucs (3-5) at Falcons (6-2)

Bengals 26, Cowboys 3

Recap | Boxscore

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Vinny Testaverde's pass was picked off by Madieau Williams with just under 11 minutes left in the game and the Bengals leading 19-3. Cincinnati took the ball and drove down the field for a TD to put them up 26-3. Carson Palmer. The embattled Bengals QB got things done against the Cowboys, completing 21 of 32 passes for 212 yards and one TD and rushing for a TD.
ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: It's amazing how different this team can look from one week to another. One week they can look like they've turned the corner to respectability and the next week look like a Pop Warner team. Today, the key stat for the Cowboys was the fact they were 3-for-11 on third downs.

UP NEXT: Cowboys (3-5) vs. Eagles (7-1) | Bengals (3-5) at Redskins (3-5)

Redskins 17, Lions 10

Recap | Boxscore

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When the clock ran out with the Lions at the Redskins 20-yard line following a 37-yard pass from Joey Harrington to Az-Zahir Hakim. Clinton Portis. He did it with his legs and his arm. Portis rushed for 148 yards on 32 carries and threw a 15-yard TD pass to Laveranues Coles.
ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: Before this game I thought Joey Harrington's poor play was due to the absence of super rookie wide receiver Roy Williams. But after watching this game I'm not sure why Harrington is so erratic at times. He doesn't seem to know where to put the ball and struggles with making the correct decisions.

UP NEXT: Redskins (3-5) vs. Bengals (3-5) | Lions (4-4) at Jaguars (5-3)

Chargers 42, Saints 17

Recap | Boxscore

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Drew Brees hit Antonio Gates on a two-yard TD (Gates third TD catch of the game) to put the Chargers up 36-7 with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. Brees. The fourth-year QB just continues to increase his offseason value. Brees torched the Saints for 258 yards and four TDs.
ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: There's no doubt Drew Brees is the biggest surprise of the first half. He's become a legitimate MVP contender merely one season removed from sitting the bench and backing up Doug Flutie. Now he's the leader of a team that's 6-3 with serious playoff aspirations.

UP NEXT: Saints (3-5) vs. Chiefs (3-5) | Chargers (6-3) -- bye week

Seahawks 42, 49ers 27

Recap | Boxscore

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Anthony Simmons returned a Tim Rattay interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter for the final tally. Shaun Alexander. Rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries, his second straight game with 160 yards or more rushing.
ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: I do expect this to be Jerry Rice's last season. It's a shame that his last season is going to be one of so much turmoil though. The trade in the middle of the season was an unexpected hurdle for him to face, but it's good he went somewhere he could play meaningful games.

UP NEXT: Seahawks (5-3) at Rams (4-4) | 49ers (1-7) vs. Panthers (1-7)

Bears 28, Giants 21

Recap | Boxscore

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Kurt Warner's pass on fourth-and-20 fell incomplete with just over one minute left. The Giants got the ball back after recovering an onside kick, but they couldn't move the ball. Alex Brown. Led the way on defense with four sacks, one that caused a fumble that was recovered by the Bears. The Bears as a team sacked Kurt Warner seven times.

ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: It's too early for coach Tom Coughlin to even think about yanking QB Kurt Warner. For the most part he's doing what the Giants want him to do. They need him to hold onto the ball and manage the game well and when he's protected well he does a very good job for the Giants.

UP NEXT: Giants (5-3) at Cardinals (3-5) | Bears (3-5) at Titans (3-5)

Broncos 31, Texans 14

Recap | Boxscore

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The Broncos took the opening drive of the second half 80 yards for a touchdown to go up 31-7. Jake Plummer hit Kyle Johnson on a 23-yard TD to end the drive. Rod Smith. Jake Plummer had a big day, but Smith gets the nod. He only caught three passes, but the 10-year veteran set Broncos' records for career receptions and career TD receptions.

ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: Ashley Lelie is beginning to become the player the Broncos thought he'd become when they drafted him in the first round a few years back. He's gotten into a groove and is playing extremely good football. He's running excellent routes and has found his niche in a talented receiving corps.

UP NEXT: Texans (4-4) at Colts (4-3) | Bears (3-5) at Titans (3-5)

Patriots 40, Rams 22

Recap | Boxscore

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Tom Brady connected with Bethel Johnson on a four-yard TD pass with just over five minutes left to put the Patriots up 40-22. Adam Vinatieri. Booted four field goals (45, 42, 36 and 31 yards) and tossed a four-yard TD pass to Troy Brown on a fake field goal.
ERIC ALLEN'S ANALYSIS: The Patriots were able to bounce back against the St. Louis Rams the old-fashioned way. They outplayed them physically. Willie McGinest and Mike Vrabel had great games and this team was extremely aggressive. They got after the Rams on third downs and shut them down in key situations.

UP NEXT: Patriots (7-1) vs. Bills (3-5) | Rams (4-4) vs. Seahawks (5-3)

Ravens 27, Browns 13

Recap | Boxscore

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Ed Reed picked off a Jeff Garcia pass in the end zone and returned it 105 yards for a TD to put the Ravens up 27-13 with under 30 seconds left. Jamal Lewis. Not a great day, but Lewis did enough, carrying the ball 22 times for 81 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

UP NEXT: Browns (3-5) vs. Steelers (7-1) | Ravens (5-3) at Jets (6-2)

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