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NFL 2011 Season – Week Six Recap

Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz fight
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Two head coaches fought, while another was injured during a game, as week six of the 2011 NFL season left just the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers as the lone unbeaten team in the league. Here’s a rundown of all of Sunday’s games:

San Francisco 25– Detroit 19

The San Francisco 49ers scored 10 points in the final two minutes of the game to defeat the previously-unbeaten Detroit Lions, 25-19. Quarterback Alex Smith threw a six-yard pass to Delanie Walker to give San Francisco (5-1) the go-ahead touchdown with 1:51 remaining, and David Akers added a 37-yard field goal with 1:02 left to extend the lead. Detroit (5-1) could not muster a final drive. Lions coach Jim Schwartz charged after Niners coach Jim Harbaugh several times after the two men shook hands following the game. Schwartz claimed he heard an obscenity come from Harbaugh. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was sacked five times and harassed all game by a tenacious Niners defense, finished with 293 passing yards and two touchdowns. Niners running back Frank Gore ran through the Detroit defense for 141 yards and a touchdown. Calvin Johnson had 102 receiving yards for the Lions.

Green Bay 24 – St. Louis 3

Aaron Rodgers passed for three touchdowns and 310 yards, as the Green Bay Packers remained unbeaten by rolling to a 24-3 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Rodgers’ scoring passes were highlighted by a career-best 93-yard toss to Jordy Nelson in the second quarter that put Green Bay (6-0) up 17-0.  The Rams got 321 yards passing from quarterback Sam Bradford, who was sacked three times and pressured often by the Packers defense. Running back Steven Jackson had 18 carries for 96 yards for St. Louis (0-5).  Green Bay was led in receiving by Nelson, who had a game-high 104 yards.

N.Y. Giants 27 – Buffalo 24

Lawrence Tynes’ 23-yard field goal with 1:32 remaining lifted the New York Giants to a 27-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns for the Giants (4-2), whose defense held the Bills (4-2) to just seven points in the second half. Buffalo was led by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who completed 21 of 30 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Giants defender Corey Webster intercepted Fitzpatrick twice, with the second pick helping set up the winning kick by Tynes. New York quarterback Eli Manning passed for 292 yards and no interceptions against a Bills defense that had thrived on turnovers this season. Fred Jackson had 121 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Bills.

Cincinnati 27 – Indianapolis 17

Carlos Dunlap returned a Pierre Garcon fumble 35 yards for a touchdown with under three minutes left to play to ensure the Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Bengals cornerback Nate Clements blocked Adam Vinatieri’s 52-yard field goal attempt earlier in the fourth quarter, which would have tied the game at 20. Cincinnati (4-2) led 20-7 at the end of the third quarter, but quarterback Curtis Painter rallied Indianapolis (0-6) to within 20-17 after he threw a touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. Receiver Jerome Simpson had six catches for 101 yards, and quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 264 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals. Cincinnati’s defense forced the Colts into three turnovers, while the Bengals committed none.

Pittsburgh 17 – Jacksonville 13

Rashard Mendenhall ran for 146 yards and a touchdown to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 17-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. After racing to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, Pittsburgh (4-2) held on in the second half as Jacksonville attempted to rally. Down four points, the Jaguars got the ball back with over a minute remaining in the game, but Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who had just 109 yards passing on the day, could not mount a drive. The Steelers sacked Gabbert five times during the game. Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 96 yards for the Jaguars (1-5), who have lost five straight games.

Philadelphia 20 – Washington 13

LeSean McCoy ran for 126 yards and a touchdown, and the Philadelphia Eagles took advantage of four interceptions thrown by Washington quarterback Rex Grossman to defeat the Redskins, 20-13. Philadelphia (2-4) snapped its four-game losing streak with the victory. Eagles safety Kurt Coleman had three interceptions off Grossman, who was replaced by John Beck late in the third quarter. Beck was able to rally the Redskins, but Washington (3-2) could not overcome its big, early deficit. The Eagles defense, which came into the game yielding an average of more than 140 yards rushing per game, made a slight adjustment to its “wide-nine” defense and held the Redskins to just 42 rushing yards. Fred Davis had 95 receiving yards to lead Washington. Philadelphia wideout Jeremy Maclin had five catches for 101 yards.

Atlanta 31 – Carolina 17

Michael Turner ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Atlanta Falcons to a 31-17 win over the Carolina Panthers. Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton threw for 237 passing yards and scored on a 14-yard run, but he was intercepted by the Falcons (3-3) three times. Newton’s last interception, by defensive lineman Corey Peters, set up Turner’s last touchdown with 1:56 left. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan scored the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard run with seven minutes remaining, but he threw for only 163 yards on the day. The Panthers (1-5) were led in rushing by Newton’s 50 yards on six carries. His touchdown gave Carolina a 17-14 lead in the third quarter, but the Panthers defense could not preserve it.

Oakland 24 – Cleveland 17

Punter Shane Lechler threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kevin Boss on a fake field goal to help give the Oakland Raiders a 24-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns. The trick play gave Oakland (4-2) a 24-7 lead going into the fourth quarter. Oakland’s Jacoby Ford returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown, and Darren McFadden ran for 91 yards and a score. The Raiders withstood a Browns rally led by quarterback Colt McCoy, who finished with 215 yards and two touchdowns. Cleveland (2-3) was only able to gain 65 yards rushing for the game. The Raiders played the entire second half without starting quarterback Jason Campbell, who left with an injured collarbone late in the second quarter. The win came during the Raiders’ first home game since the death of owner Al Davis last week. Many former Raiders attended the game to honor Davis, with Super Bowl-winning coach John Madden lighting a torch atop the plaza level of the stadium, which will remain burning in tribute to Oakland’s late owner.

Baltimore 29 – Houston 14

Billy Cundiff kicked five field goals to help the Baltimore Ravens to a 29-14 victory over the Houston Texans. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco passed for 305 yards and ran for a touchdown to key the Ravens (4-1), whose defense sacked Texans quarterback Matt Schaub four times and held Houston (3-3) scoreless over the final 21 minutes of the game. Receiver Anquan Boldin had eight catches for 132 yards for Baltimore, while Ravens running back Ray Rice ran for 101 yards. Schaub finished with 220 yards and a touchdown for the Texans, who played without wide receiver Andre Johnson and linebacker Mario Williams. The Texans led 14-13 midway through the third quarter after a Jacoby Jones touchdown reception, but the Ravens defense held, while their offense methodically put up 16 unanswered points.

Tampa Bay 26 – New Orleans 20

Josh Freeman threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 26-20 win over the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans lost head coach Sean Payton, who sustained a leg fracture and a torn knee ligament when an on-field play rolled into him on the sideline in the first quarter. Earnest Graham, subbing in place of injured starting running back LeGarrette Blount, ran for 109 yards to help Tampa Bay (4-2) get the win. The Saints nearly avoided the loss, but quarterback Drew Brees’ fourth-down pass was picked off in the end zone to seal the win for the Buccaneers. Brees had three interceptions to go along with 383 yards passing and a touchdown. Tight end Jimmy Graham, who inadvertently rolled into Payton to cause the coach’s injuries, had 124 receiving yards for New Orleans (4-2), which also got 118 yards from receiver Marques Colston. Four turnovers doomed the Saints, who fell behind 20-7 before halftime.

New England 20 – Dallas 16

Tom Brady threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds left to lead the New England Patriots to a 20-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots’ top-ranked offense turned the ball over four times, including two interceptions by Brady. However, the Cowboys’ defense could not stop New England in the final minute, as Brady completed eight of nine passes on the final drive. Brady finished the game 27 of 41 for 289 passing yards with two touchdowns. New England (5-1) led 13-3 late in the first half, but kicker Dan Bailey’s 26-yard field goal gave Dallas (2-3) a 16-13 lead with 5:13 remaining in the game. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had 317 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Dallas defense sacked Brady three times and snapped the Patriots’ 13-game streak of scoring at least 30 points, but New England still came away with the win.

Chicago 39 – Minnesota 10

Devin Hester scored two touchdowns, including a 98-yard kickoff return, as the Chicago Bears dominated the Minnesota Vikings, 39-10. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns, and the Bears (3-3) defense created problems for the Vikings all night. Chicago registered five sacks, including two by Julius Peppers, and held Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson to 39 rushing yards. Minnesota (1-5) quarterback Donovan McNabb was the victim of all five sacks, before he was lifted for rookie Christian Ponder. Hester finished with five catches for 91 yards for the Bears, before leaving with a chest injury.

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