The Red Zone: Week 9, Late Games.

Patriots 24, Colts 20 – I thought the myriad of calls against the Patriots in the first half were just coincidental stupidity.  After Gary Brackett hooked a receiver without a call in the third quarter, I’d say the refs bet on the Colts to cover.  The Pats had to deal with some shit officiating, piped-in crowd noise during the third quarter, and legitimately good play from Joseph Addai and Peyton Manning, but in the fourth quarter, the defense put the screws to Manning, rushing his passes, sacking him, and keeping the Colts out of the end zone at crucial times.  Tom Brady threw touchdowns to Wes Welker, Randy Moss, and Kevin Faulk.  Peyton got two scores — tossing the one Addai made a bunch of tacklers miss on for 70+ yards and sneaking the other in.  By the way, what was the line on the game? Patriots by 6.

Browns 33, Seahawks 30 – It wound up taking overtime because of a last-second field goal by Seattle’s Josh Brown, but Cleveland keeps finding ways to win despite having to deal with bad penalty calls and 300+ yard days from Matt Hasselbeck.  Jamal Lewis ran for four scores, Derek Anderson nailed the two-point conversion to Joe Jurevicius to get a three point lead, and Phil Dawson kicked the winner after the defense stopped Seattle when they won the coin toss.

Texans 24, Raiders 17 –  In the game that no one outside of the Houston area actually watched (unless they had Sunday Ticket), the Texans jumped out to a 17-0 lead at the half only to let a Josh McCown-led Raiders team back into it. Sage Rosenfels then led a fourth quarter touchdown drive to win the game. Oakland fans continue to clamor for the on-field debut of JaMarcus Russell under center.

Cowboys 38, Eagles 17 – It probably wasn’t a good sign for the Eagles when Donovan McNabb fumbled the ball away on the first play from scrimmage. It got worse when Tony Romo threw for three TDs (to T.O., Jason Witten, and Tony Curtis) and Julius Jones rushed for one.  By the middle of the third quarter, this game was done, and Al and John were meandering about Romo’s love life and Andy Reid’s domestic troubles.

Photo: AP/Tom Strattman

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