AFC South: David Buehler

AFC South Week 13 decisive moment

December, 7, 2010
NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

The Colts had driven to a tying touchdown and won the overtime coin toss.

They looked primed to drive to a score, overcome a rough day and sneak out a win over Dallas. But on third-and-4 from the Colts’ 37-yard line, Peyton Manning dropped back and threw to the left to Reggie Wayne, who was plenty open in front of Mike Jenkins and Gerald Sensabaugh.

Wayne, who had a spectacular 200-yard receiving day, moved back to the ball and was going to his knees and it went through his arms, bounced off his chest and fell incomplete.

The Colts’ stretch of momentum ended as they punted it away. While they got the ball back once more, Manning threw his fourth interception, and it set up Dallas’ David Buehler’s game-winning 38-yard field goal.

There are two dozen plays that could have changed the outcome of this game, starting with Manning’s four interceptions.

But the Colts could have washed it all away with a big drive to open overtime and didn’t get the play they needed from a star who had a huge performance.

AFC South Week 5 decisive moment

October, 12, 2010
NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Following a 15-yard celebration penalty after a Cowboys touchdown had knotted the score at 27-27, the Titans' Marc Mariani lined up well forward of his usual spot to field the impending kickoff.

Looking into the sun, he fielded the ball at the Tennessee 16-yard line and bolted through the Cowboys' kick coverage unit.

When he got to the right sideline, he bought some extra yards with a nice stiff-arm of kicker David Buehler and didn’t go down until he’d gained 73 yards and put the Titans at the Dallas 11.

A face-mask penalty on Buehler put the Titans at the 5, and Tennessee moved ahead for good three plays later on a Chris Johnson touchdown run with 3:28 remaining in the game.

Mariani showed good speed as he cut diagonally across the field. The play was blocked up in a way that created a nice lane. Craig Stevens had a key block early that kept Kevin Ogletree from getting involved.

A week earlier, Mariani made a big mistake in the Denver game that killed a chance for the Titans to drive at the end. But he has been pretty solid and effective in a season in which coach Jeff Fisher absolutely had to find a reliable return man.

At Cowboys Stadium, his return late in a back-and-forth game was critical.