NFL Nation: 2010 Week 11 Decisive Moment AFC

AFC South Week 11 decisive moment

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
1:02
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NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

The Jaguars turned the ball over for a sixth time with 11:18 left in the fourth quarter and the defense was in a bad spot yet again.

But Jacksonville’s defense got off the field in four plays, holding up and allowing only a missed 51-yard field goal attempt by Phil Dawson.

After David Garrard's pass for Marcedes Lewis was intercepted by T.J. Ward and returned for 23 yards, Kirk Morrison made two stops of Peyton Hillis, the first for no gain, the second after two yards.

On third down, Colt McCoy threw incomplete for Brian Robiskie, and after Dawson’s miss, the Jaguars took over and marched 59 yards in 12 plays to a Garrard-to-Lewis 14-yard TD that knotted the game at 17-17.

That stop after the Jaguars’ final turnover was symbolic of a tremendous defensive effort from Jacksonville.

Maurice Jones-Drew’s fumble was returned by Abram Elam for an 18-yard touchdown.

But in the five other sudden change situations, the defense was remarkable. Here’s what the Browns managed after each:
  • Three plays, minus-5 yards, no points
  • Three plays, minus-4 yards, no points
  • Four plays, minus-1 yard, 3 points
  • Three plays, minus-1 yard, no points
  • Four plays, 2 yards, no points

AFC East Week 11 decisive moment

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
1:00
PM ET
NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

The Miami Dolphins got rid of cornerback Jason Allen two weeks ago because he was a liability.

He continued to hurt them Sunday even though he was 1,300 miles away and wearing another uniform.

With 24 seconds left and trailing by four points, the New York Jets needed a touchdown against the Houston Texans. The Jets had the ball on the Texans' 48-yard line.

Allen, picked up to help an obviously desperate Texans pass defense, lined up against Braylon Edwards.

Edwards sprinted up the right sideline, drifted farther outside and got behind Allen with no resistance. Mark Sanchez feathered a gorgeous pass in between Allen and converging safety Eugene Wilson for an astonishingly easy 42-yard reception, moving the Jets to the 6-yard line with 16 seconds to go.

The Jets closed out their awesome triumph on the next play, another pretty Sanchez pass to Santonio Holmes in the left corner of the end zone.

But the long completion to Edwards was the backbreaker.

AFC West Week 11 decisive moment

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
1:00
PM ET
NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

It’s no surprise that the San Diego Chargers' special teams were involved in a decisive moment of a game in 2010. But it's a tad shocking that it was involved in a positive way for the Chargers.

But believe it or not, the San Diego special teams, which struggled for the first nine game of the season in many ways, came up large. Looking back, the turning point of San Diego’s eventual easy 35-14 win over Denver on Monday night was a fake punt that the Chargers executed perfectly.

It was the first quarter and Denver was leading 7-0. The Chargers’ high-powered offense was lagging after two series, and punter Mike Scifres was again sent out to punt. But on his second trip onto the field, Scifres wasn’t punting.

Scifres threw a perfect strike to a wide-open Mike Tolbert, who finished the 28-yard gain with nice open-field running. The fake punt gave San Diego the ball at Denver’s 31. Six plays later, San Diego’s energized offense tied the game.

It began a string of 35 unanswered points for the Chargers. And it all goes back to San Diego’s special teams. Go figure.

AFC North Week 11 decisive moment

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
1:00
PM ET
NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Despite lacking Pro Bowl-caliber talent, the Cleveland Browns' defense has played tough, fundamentally sound football most of this season. That is why it was surprising to see everything break down during the worst possible time in Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Cleveland held a three-point lead in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville (six turnovers) was sloppy all game but outplayed the Browns in the final two minutes. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew ignited the Jaguars late with a 75-yard screen pass, which is this week's decisive moment in the AFC North.

Jones-Drew caught the ball on the right side, dodged several would-be tacklers and reversed field to the left for an impressive 75-yard reception. It is, by far, the longest reception of Jones-Drew's career. The only thing that prevented a 76-yard touchdown was Cleveland rookie cornerback Joe Haden's hustle to catch Jones-Drew from behind. The running back would later score on a 1-yard touchdown run that put Jacksonville (6-4) ahead for good.

It would be unfair to say Cleveland (3-7) lost this game on one play, particularly when the defense forced turnover after turnover but the offense failed to capitalize. In a league in which so many games come down to the fourth quarter, Cleveland's defense had a late lapse in execution and Jacksonville took advantage.

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