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NFL 2011 Season – Week Five Recap

BenJarvus Green-Ellis
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Buffalo and San Francisco won significant victories, and Green Bay’s undefeated Packers kept on rolling after a brief brush with defeat.

Here’s a recap of all the NFL games from week five of the 2011 NFL Season:

New England 30 NY Jets 21

Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis gained a career-high 136 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns to lead the New England Patriots over the New York Jets, 30-21. Despite being sacked four times, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady added 321 passing yards. Wes Welker had 124 yards receiving for New England (4-1). Entering the game ranked last in the NFL in defense, the Patriots held New York’s Mark Sanchez to just 166 yards passing. The Jets (2-3) pulled cut the score to 27-21 with 7:14 left after Sanchez’s second touchdown pass, a 21-yarder to Santonio Holmes, but could not stop Green-Ellis from grinding down the clock for New England. His power runs led the Patriots into position for a Stephen Gostkowski field goal with 1:02 remaining to provide the final margin of victory for New England.

Pittsburgh 38 – Tennessee 17

A sprained left foot did little to limit quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for a team record-tying five touchdowns, as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Tennessee Titans 38-17. Roethlisberger finished with 228 yards passing and threw two of his five scoring tosses to Hines Ward. The Steelers (3-2) held Tennessee’s Chris Johnson to 51 rushing yards and a touchdown. After falling behind 21-3 at halftime, the Titans (3-2) had to pass more often in an attempt to rally, thus limiting their use of the running game. The Steelers defense sacked Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck three times and allowed him 262 passing yards.

Seattle 36 – N.Y. Giants 25

Brandon Browner returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown with 1:08 to play to seal the Seattle Seahawks 36-25 victory over the New York Giants. Seattle (2-3) took the lead for good when backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst connected with Doug Baldwin for a touchdown with just over two minutes to play. Whitehurst stepped in after starter Tarvaris Jackson left with a shoulder injury sustained on a tackle in the third quarter. New York (3-2) had a lead early in the fourth quarter after Eli Manning threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz, who made a spectacular juggling catch. Cruz had 161 yards receiving on the day. Manning finished with 420 yards passing, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He came into the game having not been picked off in 90 pass attempts. Baldwin had 136 yards receiving for Seattle.

Cincinnati 30 – Jacksonville 20

Bernard Scott scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 1:56 remaining to fuel the Cincinnati Bengals to a 30-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bengals secured the win when Geno Atkins returned a Blaine Gabbert fumble 10 yards for a touchdown on the final Jacksonville play from scrimmage. Quarterback Andy Dalton, who led the go-ahead drive with several key completions, threw two touchdown passes for Cincinnati (3-2). Receiver Jason Hill had 105 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (1-4). Jacksonville had four fumbles and allowed the Bengals to sack Gabbert three times.

New Orleans 30 – Carolina 27

Drew Brees tossed a six-yard touchdown to Pierre Thomas with 50 seconds left to lead New Orleans to a 30-27 win over the Carolina Panthers. Brees finished the game with 359 yards and two touchdowns. He competed eight of nine passes on the final drive to help New Orleans (4-1) get the victory. The New Orleans rally was necessitated after Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton passed Carolina (1-4) to their first lead on a five-yard touchdown to tight end Greg Olsen early in the fourth quarter. Newton had 224 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a touchdown run in the game. DeAngelo Williams rolled up 115 yards rushing for the Panthers. Receiver Jimmy Williams led the Saints with 129 yards receiving.

Oakland 25 – Houston 20

The Oakland Raiders paid tribute to their late owner, Al Davis, by defeating the Houston Texans, 25-20, the day after his death. Safety Michael Huff assured the victory by intercepting Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub in the Oakland end zone as time expired. Quarterback Jason Campbell led Oakland (3-2) with two touchdown passes, while Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals. Schaub, who threw for 416 yards and two scores, was without All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson, who did not play due to a hamstring injury. Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had seven caches for 99 yards and a touchdown for Oakland. The Texans (3-2) held Raiders running back and NFL rushing leader Darren McFadden in check, limiting him to just 51 yards on 16 carries. All NFL stadiums observed a moment of silence before the game in honor of Davis, who died Saturday in Oakland at age 82.

Buffalo 31 – Philadelphia 24

Running back Fred Jackson had 196 yards from scrimmage as the Buffalo Bills capitalized on a career-worst four interceptions by Michael Vick to defeat the Eagles, 31-24, with Bills linebacker Nick Barnett nabbing two of the picks. He scored a touchdown on a 31-yard interception return in the second quarter and sealed the victory with 1:49 left and the Eagles driving for a potential tying touchdown. Jackson had 111 yards rushing and a touchdown for Buffalo (4-1), but his screen pass receptions, including catches of 49 and 20 yards, allowed the Bills to race to a 28-7 third quarter lead. The Eagles (1-4) wasted a 139-yard receiving day from Jason Avant in losing their fourth straight game. Vick finished with 315 yards passing and two touchdowns. His 90 yards rushing allowed him to pass Randall Cunningham for most career rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history.

Kansas City 28 – Indianapolis  24

After leading 24-7, the Indianapolis Colts allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to score the final 21 points of the game in a 28-24 loss. Matt Cassel led Kansas City with 257 yards passing and four touchdowns, two each to Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston. Indianapolis (0-5) was on track for its first victory of the season with quarterback Curtis Painter’s 237 yards and two touchdowns to Pierre Garcon in the first half. Cassel’s first scoring strike to Breaston just before halftime started the comeback for Kansas City (2-3), which got 119 yards rushing from Jackie Battle to balance the offense. The Chiefs’ 17-point comeback win tied for the largest ever in team history. Garcon led the Colts with 125 yards receiving. Indianapolis played its fifth game without franchise-leading starting quarterback Peyton Manning, whose off-season neck surgery has him sidelined indefinitely.

Minnesota 34 – Arizona 10

Adrian Peterson rushed for 122 yards and three touchdowns as the Minnesota Vikings raced to a 28-0 first quarter lead on the way to an easy 34-10 defeat of the Arizona Cardinals. The Vikings (1-4) sacked Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb four times and forced him into three turnovers. The Vikings defense held on to a fourth quarter lead for the first time this season to secure the victory. Though he was hardly sharp, Minnesota quarterback Donovan McNabb finished with no turnovers, 169 passing yards and a four-yard touchdown run. Receiver Early Doucet had 92 yards receiving for the Cardinals (1-4), but most of it came against a Minnesota defense that was playing soft coverage with a big lead. The early Vikings onslaught neutralized the use of Arizona running back Beanie Wells.

San Francisco 48 Tampa Bay 3

Alex Smith threw for three touchdowns as the San Francisco 49ers routed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 48-3. Two of Smith’s three scoring tosses were to tight end Vernon Davis. Running back Frank Gore chipped in with 125 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Niners (4-1), who have their best record after five games since 2002. The San Francisco defense dominated the Buccaneers offense and recorded three sacks. LaGarrette Blount was held to 34 yards rushing and quarterback Josh Freeman was picked off twice for Tampa Bay (3-2), who trailed 24-3 at the half and never mounted anything close to a rally.

San Diego 29 – Denver 24

The last of Nick Novak’s five field goals helped the San Diego Chargers beat the Denver Broncos, 29-24, despite a rally led by Denver backup quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow entered the game after Broncos starting quarterback Kyle Orton mustered only 34 yards passing in the first half. Tebow’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Knowshon Moreno drew Denver within 26-24 with 3:19 left. A game-tying, two-point conversion attempt failed when Tebow’s pass to Brandon Lloyd fell incomplete. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked five times by the Broncos defense. Rivers also had two turnovers, including an interception returned for a touchdown in the first quarter and a fourth-quarter fumble that set up the Tebow scoring toss. Ryan Mathews led the Chargers (4-1) with 125 yards rushing. Willis McGahee had 125 yards rushing for Denver (1-4). Rivers had 250 yards passing and both a touchdown pass and run on the game.

Green Bay 25 – Atlanta 14

Aaron Rodgers passed for 396 yards and two touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers overcame a 14-point, first-half deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 25-14. Green Bay (5-0) spotted the Falcons an early lead and trailed 14-9 late into the third quarter before rallying to win. Atlanta (2-3) was able to pressure Rodgers, sacking him four times. The Falcons looked to be heading toward an upset win over the unbeaten Packers, when running back Michael Turner scored on a one-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to make the score 14-0. Green Bay chipped away at the lead with three Mason Crosby field goals, before Rodgers hit James Jones for a 70-yard touchdown strike to give his team a 15-14 lead, which they never relinquished. Jones finished with 140 yards receiving for the Packers. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked only once, but was intercepted twice. He passed for just 167 yards and one touchdown.

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