NFL Nation: 2010 Week 2 Decisive Moment AFC

AFC West Week 2 decisive moment

September, 21, 2010
9/21/10
1:01
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NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

It was the type of decision that gets a coach a raise. It was also the type of call that gets coaches fired.

Todd Haley won’t have to worry about being fired after his gutsy call in the Chiefs’ 16-14 win at Cleveland on Sunday.

At the two-minute warning, the Chiefs were facing a fourth-and-inches situation at the Cleveland 36. The Chiefs were hanging on to a two-point lead. A first-down conversion would allow Kansas City to eat the clock and win the game. A failed conversion would give the Browns the ball with enough time to move into position to try a game-winning field goal. A Kansas City punt also would give the Browns enough time to try to win the game.

During the timeout, Haley decided to try to take control of the situation and go for the kill.

The call was for running back Thomas Jones to dive for the first down. Jones executed the play beautifully, getting just enough real estate to give Kansas City the first down and the victory. It was a high-risk, high-reward decision by Haley, who is clearly coming into his own in his second season as a head coach.

The Chiefs improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2005.

AFC South Week 2 decisive moment

September, 21, 2010
9/21/10
1:01
PM ET
NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

If this season is what the Houston Texans expect it to be, they may look back at fourth-and-10 with 2:11 left in regulation in Washington as a decisive moment for the year, not just the game.

Down 27-20 at the Redskins’ 34-yard line, Matt Schaub lined up in shotgun with running back Arian Foster on his left, tight end Owen Daniels on his right and receiver Andre Johnson to his left.

Schaub took the snap just as the play clock was expiring, got flushed to his right by Andre Carter and threw deep to the left side of the end zone while still on the move and just before he got decked by Lorenzo Alexander.

Johnson had run to the left side of the end zone, with cornerback Phillip Buchanon dropping off and free safety Reed Doughty winding up alone with him. It turned out to be a jump ball and while Doughty was with Johnson, he didn’t have a chance. Johnson went up high over Doughty and grabbed it, showing off the physicality and athleticism that make him one of the scariest receivers in the league.

The Texans won 30-27 in overtime to move to 2-0.

AFC North Week 2 decisive moment

September, 21, 2010
9/21/10
1:00
PM ET
NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

In a defensive struggle in which yards and points were hard to come by, a relative unknown made a huge special-teams play late in the fourth quarter to set up the Cincinnati Bengals' go-ahead field goal in Sunday's 15-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Trailing 10-9, Bengals second-year running back Bernard Scott returned a kickoff 60 yards to get the ball into Ravens' territory. A 6-yard run by teammate Cedric Benson and a controversial roughing-the-passer penalty two plays later set up Mike Nugent's 38-yard field goal to give Cincinnati a lead it never relinquished.

Most of the talk after the game focused on Terrell Suggs' costly penalty. But none of it would have been possible without the exciting kick return from Scott, a former sixth-round pick.

"I'm just trying to go out there and make plays when my number is called," Scott said after the game. "I feel like the more times I get the ball in my hands, the more times I can make plays."

As Benson's backup, Scott didn't receive many touches last week. He rushed for 17 yards on five carries against Baltimore. Scott's 60-yard dash was his only kick return of the game, but he stayed prepared despite limited opportunities.

The Bengals received a lot of key contributions from backups Sunday, such as linebacker Brandon Johnson, who filled in for injured starter Keith Rivers (foot), and cornerback Morgan Trent, who played well in the second half when Adam Jones hurt his shoulder.

"We're deep all around the board; we've got a lot of players," Scott said. "That's a good thing in case anybody goes down. The next man's got to be ready."

AFC East Week 2 decisive moment

September, 21, 2010
9/21/10
1:00
PM ET
NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

On the scoreboard, the New York Jets were ahead by two touchdowns with 4:15 to play. In the minds of their jaded fans, however, the lead was evaporating.

Tom Brady was doing what he does, marching the New England Patriots down the field too easily. The Patriots had a first down at the Jets' 16-yard line and all three timeouts.

In a shotgun snap and a three-man rush, Jets outside linebacker Jason Taylor pulled a spin move on Patriots left tackle Matt Light and nailed Brady from the blindside. The ball popped out. Jets inside linebacker David Harris recovered.

The Patriots never got the ball back.

"That was huge for us, real huge," Jets right tackle Damien Woody told me Monday. "That allowed us to go out and finish the game.

"In the past, that's usually what New England does to us. They finish us out. This time, we were able to finish them out. That's the most satisfying part."

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