Originally written October 23, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
With six teams on a bye, week seven was three games short of a full complement of games. Where the games lacked in number, they made up for in suspense. During the week, 13 games were played.  Of those 13 games, 11 were decided by one score. Two went into overtime, one was decided by a single point, and another was decided by the white paint that lines the back end of the end zone at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers lost their game to the Saints 35-28, but not without two very close calls.  After quarterback Josh Freeman drove the Bucs down the field to New Orleans’ 9-yard-line, he threw a dart to wideout Vincent Jackson in the back of the end zone.  Jackson hauled it in for an apparent touchdown, but it was waived off by the official, as Jackson’s foot hit the paint just before he was able to touch his other toe down in bounds. Freeman then rolled out of the pocket in desperation on fourth down with just seconds left, looking for a receiver to get open.  One did, and Freeman found him.  Mike Williams made the catch clearly in bounds for the score, but a flag for illegal touching nullified the reception, giving the resurgent Saints the win. Replay showed that Williams did in fact step out, but was aided slightly by the New Orleans defensive back.  The controversial call drops Tampa Bay’s record to 2-4 while New Orleans improves to that same 2-4. Matt Hasselbeck found himself backing up Jake Locker earlier this year, but an injury to Locker has given the veteran a chance to play, and play he did this Sunday.  Hasselbeck was efficient early on, as he watched running back Chris Johnson rack up more than 150 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Then, he came alive late, throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to WR Nate Washington with just 1:03 remaining.  The pass came on fourth-and-ten from Buffalo’s 15-yard-line, and lifted the Titans to a 35-34 win. After seeing what happened in Foxboro this week, I’m off the Patriots’ bandwagon.  After surrendering over 400 total yards to Mark Sanchez and the Jets, I don’t believe that Sanchez’s fumble in OT lost the game for New York New England’s defense is good enough to get them deep into the postseason.  More worrisome than that, the Patriots didn’t run the football as well as I thought they would against a team that had been very generous against the run.  Even worse than that, the Patriots fumbled a kick return with 2 minutes remaining in the game which nearly cost them the game. Not Belichick football. The Jets kicked a field goal to take the 26-23 lead, but luckily for Patriots fans, Tom Brady led a last-minute field goal drive to send it into OT, where the Pats eventually won. This game wasn’t a good grind-it-out win by New England, they just held on long enough so that Sanchez and the Jets could blunder the game away (Sanchez fumbled on 2nd-and-10 in OT). The Baltimore Ravens miss Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb.  Without their two defensive studs, Baltimore was wrecked by Houston 43-13.  It seems all that elite quarterback talk went to Joe Flacco’s head- he posted a QBR of 0.3 on Sunday, the worst by any QB since 2008. Eli Manning may be the best fourth-quarter quarterback of his generation, and he proved it once again on Sunday.  With less than 2:00 on the clock and trailing by three, Manning hit WR Victor Cruz with a beautiful deep ball, then watched Cruz race 77 yards to the house, giving the Giants another come-from-behind win.  A great throw and a great read by Manning, but how the Redskins allow Cruz to get behind them with 1:13 left is beyond me. While Washington lost the game, I believe we will see great things from Robert Griffin III.  He has continued to improve, and just before Manning found Cruz for the game-winning score, RGIII found Santana Moss for what everyone thought would be the game winner. Last but not least, the Indianapolis Colts keep winning.  I know it was only the Browns, but Andrew Luck seems to have found his niche.  In spirit of their head coach Chuck Pagano, the Colts have put together an inspiring 3-3 record after finishing 2-14 last year.  Indy puts that record on the line next week against Tennessee.     Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny  
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