THE NFL ON CBS 2012

 

2011-12 NFL ON CBS REGULAR SEASON REVIEW

 

Week 1 (September 11) – Week 1 of THE NFL ON CBS saw some surprising routs as Baltimore, Houston and Buffalo all scored big over their opponents.

Pittsburgh 7 – Baltimore 35 (Nantz/Simms): Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw three TDs, RB Ray Rice ran for 107 yards with two TDs, and Haloti Ngata led an inspired defense that forced a team-record seven turnovers as Baltimore manhandled their bitter rivals, Pittsburgh, in a 35-7 romp…Cincinnati 27 – Cleveland 17 (Harlan/Wilcots): Bengals QB Bruce Gradkowski caught Cleveland’s defense napping when he lobbed a 41-yard TD pass to A.J. Green in the fourth quarter to seal the stunning 27-17 win over the Browns…Indianapolis 7 – Houston 34  (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Houston QB Matt Schaub threw for 220 yards and a touchdown, while Brian Tate rushed for 116 yards as the Texans dominated the Peyton Manning-less Colts, 34-7…Tennessee 14 – Jacksonville 16 (Eagle/Fouts): Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew scored on a 21-yard run and K Josh Scobee kicked three FGs of 48, 21 and 45 yards to lead Jax past Tennessee, 16-14…Buffalo 41 – Kansas City 7  (Albert/Gannon): Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick tossed four TD passes, two to TE Scott Chandler, and Fred Jackson rushed for 112 yards as the Bills scored 40 points in an opener for the first time in 19 years (9/6/92) in a 41-7 rout of Kansas City.

 
Week 2 (September 18) – Detroit, Buffalo, Houston, New England and the New York Jets were all impressive in their wins during Week 2 on THE NFL ON CBS.  All upped their records to 2-0.
 

Kansas City 3 – Detroit 48 (Criqui/Cross): Lions QB Matthew Stafford threw four TDs, two to Calvin Johnson, in leading their team to a 48-3 rout of Kansas City.  Detroit upped its record to 2-0, while the Chiefs fell to 0-2…Oakland 35 – Buffalo 38 (Harlan/Wilcots): Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 6-yard TD pass to David Nelson with 14 seconds left in the game to give Buffalo a wild 38-35 win over Oakland.  The Bills overcame a 21-3 deficit at halftime by scoring on all five of their possessions in the second half.  Bills RB Fred Jackson ran scored twice and ran for 117 yards, and Fitzpartick threw for 264 yards and three TDs…Baltimore 13 – Tennessee 26 (Macatee/Tasker): Tennessee WR Kenny Britt caught nine passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, while Nate Washington had seven receptions for 99 yards and K Rob Birone kicked four FGs.  QB Matt Hasselback threw for 358 yards and a TD as his team out-gained Baltimore 432-229 in total offense…Jacksonville 3 – N.Y. Jets 32 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Jets QB Mark Sanchez threw two TD passes and Antonio Cromartie had two of the Jets’ four interceptions to lead New York to a 32-3 rout of Jacksonville…Cleveland 27 – Indianapolis 19 (Albert/Gannon): Cleveland traded touchdowns for field goals with Indianapolis ending a five-game losing streak in the series dating back to 1994.  Browns RB Peyton Hillis carried 27 times for 94 and two touchdowns and QB Colt McCoy threw for 211 yards and one TD…San Diego 21 – New England 35 (Nantz/Simms): After passing for 517 yards and four TDs in Week 1, Pats QB Tom Brady picked up where he left off throwing for 423 yards and three TDs to lead his team past San Diego, 35-21.  WR Deion Branch led the New England receiving corps with eight catches for 129 yards, while Rob Gronkowski had four catches for 86 yards and two TDs…Cincinnati 22 – Denver 24 (Dedes/Beuerlein): The Broncos continued its streak of defeating the Bengals for the ninth consecutive time in Denver as RB Willis McGahee ran for a touchdown and Eric Decker caught two TD passes from QB Kyle Orton to lead Denver over Cincinnati, 24-22…Houston 23 – Miami 13 (Eagle/Fouts): The Dolphins fell to 0-2 for the fifth time in the last six seasons as Houston beat the Fins, 23-13.  Andre Johnson’s 23-yard TD catch highlighted the Texans’ win.

 
Week 3 (September 25) – Close games were the rule instead of the exception in Week 3 on THE NFL ON CBS as six-of-eight games were decided by a touchdown-or-less, highlighted by the Bills’ first win against the Patriots after 15 consecutive losses.
 

Jacksonville 10 – Carolina 16 (Dedes/Beuerlein): Carolina rookie QB Cam Newton found Greg Olsen over the middle for a 16-yard TD with 4:20 left to help the Panthers beat Jacksonville, 16-10…Houston 33 – New Orleans 40 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Saints QB Drew Brees passed for 370 yards and three TDs in a 40-33 shootout against Houston.  Saints rookie RB Mark Ingram scored his first TD on a 13-yard run that gave the Saints the lead for good with under three minutes left in the game…New England 31 – Buffalo 34 (Albert/Gannon): Buffalo K Rian Lindell kicked a 28-yard FG as time expired to give the Bills a 34-31 win, its first win over the Patriots in 2,940 days and 15 consecutive games dating back to 2003.  Pats QB Tom Brady threw for 386 yards, four scores and four interceptions.  The Bills came back from being down 21-0 …Miami 16 – Cleveland 17 (Criqui/Cross): Browns QB Colt McCoy threw a 14-yard TD pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 43 seconds left in the game capping an 80-yard drive to rally Cleveland past Miami, 17-16… Denver 14 – Tennessee 17 (Macatee/Tasker): Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck threw a four-yard TD pass to Daniel Graham with 4:24 left in the game to rally his team past Denver, 17-14…N.Y. Jets 24 – Oakland 34 (Nantz/Simms): Oakland RB Darren McFadden rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders overpowered the Jets like no other team has in two years in beating them 34-24…Kansas City 17 – San Diego 20 (Eagle/Fouts): Chargers RB Ryan Mathews scored twice to lead the lethargic Bolts over the Kansas City Chiefs, 20-17…Baltimore 37 – St. Louis 7 (Harlan/Wilcots): Ravens rookie WR Torrey Smith caught his first three career passes for touchdowns totaling 133 yards in leading his team to a 37-7 rout of St. Louis.  Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw for 389 yards (27-for-48) for the winners.

 
Week 4 (October 2) – The Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers flexed their muscles with a rout of Denver, while the upstart Buffalo Bills lost their first game of the season, and New England and San Diego upped their records to 3-1 with impressive wins in Week 4 of THE NFL ON CBS.
 

Buffalo 20 – Cincinnati 23 (Catalon/Tasker): Cincinnati K Mike Nugent kicks a 43-yard FG as time ran out to give the Bengals a 23-20 win over Buffalo.  Bengals QB Andy Dalton rallied his team from a 17-3 deficit…Tennessee 31 – Cleveland 13 (Albert/Gannon): Titans QB Matt Hasselback threw three TDs in the first half and S Jordan Babineaux returned an interception 97 yards for a TD to lead Tennessee to a 31-13 win over Cleveland…Pittsburgh 10 – Houston 17 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Houston RB Arian Foster rushed for 155 yards and scored the go-ahead TD to lead the Texans to a 17-10 win over Pittsburgh…Denver 23 – Green Bay 49 (Nantz/Simms): Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers threw for a career-high 408 yards and tied a career-best with four touchdown passes, as well as rushed for two TDs in leading the Packers to a 49-23 drubbing of the Denver Broncos…New England 31 – Oakland 19 (Harlan/Wilcots): Patriots WR Wes Welker caught nine passes for 158 yards and a score, while QB Tom Brady threw two TD passes, which moved him past Joe Montana on the career list, in New England’s 31-19 win over Oakland…Miami 16 – San Diego 26 (Eagle/Fouts): Bolts QB Philip Rivers was 21-of-31 for 307 yards and one TD, and Mike Tolbert ran for another score in the Chargers’ 26-16 win over Miami.

 

Week 5 (October 9) – Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers each made statements for their teams with impressive performances in their teams’ wins, while Tim Tebow made a statement of another kind as the “Tim Tebow Era” may have officially been ushered into Denver in Week 5 on THE NFL ON CBS.

Tennessee 17 – Pittsburgh 38 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Despite playing with a sprained left foot, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger threw five TD passes to regenerate his team in a 38-17 win over surging Tennessee…Oakland 25 – Houston 20 (Eagle/Fouts): A day after team owner Al Davis passed away, the Oakland Raiders “Just Won Baby!” for their deceased leader in dramatic fashion over Houston, 25-20.  The Raiders were statistically dominated out-gained in yards, 473 to 278; and held to 94 yards rushing but QB Jason Campbell threw two touchdowns in leading his team to the win…Kansas City 28 – Indianapolis 24 (Harlan/Wilcots):  KC QB Matt Cassel threw for TD passes, two each to Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston, while RB Jackie Battle rushed for 119 yards on 19 carries to lead the Chiefs to a 28-24 comeback win over Indianapolis.  Entering this season Battle was a special teams player with 41 career carries.  The Colts fell to 0-5 as Peyton Manning remained on the sidelines with a neck injury…Cincinnati 30 – Jacksonville 20 (Macatee/Tasker): Cincy QB Andy Dalton threw two TD passes and Bernard Scott scored with 1:56 remaining in the game that proved to be the winning score for Cincinnati.  Cincy DT Geno Atkins scored on a fumble recovery on the final play of the game to seal the 30-20 win over Jacksonville…N.Y. Jets 21 – New England 30 (Nantz/Simms): A balanced attack of running with RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushing for a career-best 136 yards and two touchdowns; and passing, as QB Tom Brady kept up his torrid pace with another 300-yard passing day, led the way for the Pats’ 30-21 win over the N.Y. Jets…San Diego 29 – Denver 24 (Albert/Gannon): Denver QB Tim Tebow did his best in rallying the Broncos from a 16-point deficit throwing for a TD and running for another, but K Nick Novak kicked five FGs and Ryan Mathews rushed for a career-best 125 yards in leading the Chargers to a 29-24 victory.

 

Week 6 (October 16) – The Giants took down its surprising Upstate New York opponent, Buffalo, in a nail-biter, while Pittsburgh, Oakland and Cincinnati also won close games in Week 6 of THE NFL ON CBS.

Buffalo 24 – N.Y. Giants 27 (Nantz/Simms): Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 104 yards and a career-best three TDs, but the game came down to a 23-yard game-winning field goal from K Lawrence Tynes with 1:23 remaining that gave the Giants a 27-24 win over the upstart Buffalo Bills…Indianapolis 17 – Cincinnati 27 (Harlan/Wilcots): Cincy cornerback Nate Clements blocked a late field goal attempt that would have tied the game, and Carlos Dunlap returned a Colts fumble 35 yards for the clinching score as the Bengals beat Indianapolis, 27-17…Jacksonville 13 – Pittsburgh 17 (Eagle/Fouts): Steelers RB Rashad Mendenhall ran for a season-high 146 yards and a touchdown as his team narrowly avoided a second-half collapse in a 17-13 win over Jacksonville…Cleveland 17 – Oakland 24 (Albert/Gannon): The Raiders overcame QB Jason Campbell’s broken collarbone by getting a 101-yard kickoff return from Jacoby Ford and Kevin Boss’s 35-yard TD reception from punter Shane Lechler on a fake field goal in a 24-17 win over Cleveland…Houston 14 – Baltimore 29 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): The Ravens remained atop the AFC North with their third straight win as QB Joe Flacco threw for 305 yards and a rushing touchdown, while K Billy Cundiff kicked five field goals to lead Baltimore past Houston, 29-14.

 

Week 7 (October 23) – Week 7 of THE NFL ON CBS was rife with quarterback news as Tim Tebow made his first start of the season in Denver’s comeback win over the winless Miami Dolphins, and in Oakland Carson Palmer came into his team’s game in the second half against Kansas City and threw three interceptions.  While in New York Mark Sanchez threw three TD passes in their win, and Ben Roethlisberger also threw three TD passes against Arizona.

Denver 18 – Miami 15 (OT) (Harlan/Wilcots): In his first start of the season, Denver QB Tim Tebow rallied his team from 15-0 by engineering two touchdowns in the final 2:44 to force overtime, and K Matt Prater kicked a 52-yard FG to give the Broncos a 18-15 overtime win…San Diego 21 – N.Y. Jets 27 (Nantz/Simms): N.Y. Jets WR Plaxico Burress had a break-out game catching three TDs in leading his team to a 27-21 comeback win over San Diego…Houston 41 – Tennessee 7 (Albert/Gannon): The Houston Texans made a statement with a 41-7 thrashing over the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans.  Houston RB Arian Foster ran for 115 yards and two TDs, as well as 119 receiving yards including a 78-yard TD reception to lead the rout…Pittsburgh 32 – Arizona 20 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Steelers WR Mike Wallace scored on a 95-yard reception from QB Ben Roethlisberger for the longest pass reception in team history.  Roethlisberger led the way passing for 361 yards and three TDs in the 32-20 win over Arizona…

Kansas City 28 – Oakland 0 (Eagle/Fouts): Oakland QB Kyle Boller threw three interceptions, including one that was returned by KC’s Kendrick Lewis for a touchdown, before being replaced in the second half by newly-acquired Carson Palmer.  Palmer then threw three more INTs as Kansas City rocked the Raiders, 28-0.

 

Week 8 (October 30) – Pittsburgh and San Francisco both made “statements” with wins in Week 8, while the Giants and Tennessee survived becoming Miami’s and Indianapolis’s first wins, respectively, of the 2011 season on THE NFL ON CBS.

Miami 17 – N.Y. Giants 20 (Gumber/Dierdorf): Giants QB Eli Manning threw a 25-yard TD pass to Victor Cruz with 5:58 to play that proved to be the difference as New York held off the winless Miami Dolphins, 20-17…Jacksonville 14 – Houston 24 (Albert/Gannon): Houston RB Arian Foster ran for 112 yards and a touchdown, while QB Matt Schaub threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score in the Texans’ 24-17 win over Jacksonville…Indianapolis 10 – Tennessee 27 (Harlan/Wilcots): Tennessee avoided being the first team to lose to the winless Colts as Titans QB Matt Hasselback threw for 224 yards and a touchdown, and Nate Washington scored twice in leading his team to a 27-10 win over Indianapolis.  K Rob Birona kicked FGs of 50 and 51 yards, and Jason McCourty recovered a blocked punt in the endzone to help the Titans snap a two-game skid…New England 17 – Pittsburgh 25 (Nantz/Simms): Pats QB Tom Brady came into the game with a 6-1 record against the Steelers but Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger picked apart New England’s NFL-worst defense completing 36-of-50 passes for 365 yards and two TDs to lead his team to a 25-17 win...Cleveland 10 – San Francisco 20 (Eagle/Fouts): SF RB Frank Gore rushed for 134 yards and one touchdown to lead the 49ers to its fifth straight win…Cincinnati 34 – Seattle 12 (Macatee/Tasker): Cincy QB Andy Dalton threw a pair of first-half touchdowns and Brandon Tate returned a punt 56 yards for a TD in leading the Bengals to their fourth straight win.

 

Week 9 (November 6) – All of a sudden the AFC East, North and West tightened up as the Jets, New England and Buffalo sit atop the East at 5-3; Baltimore and Cincinnati at 6-2 and Pittsburgh at 6-3 lead the North; and Kansas City, Oakland and San Diego are tied atop the West at 4-4.  Wins by the Jets, Bengals and Broncos during THE NFL ON CBS’s Week 9 coverage, added to the mix.

N.Y. Jets 27 – Buffalo 11 (Nantz/Simms): The Jets made a statement with a 27-11 win over Buffalo to force a three-way tie atop the AFC East with the Bills and Patriots, all at 5-3…Cleveland 12 – Houston 30 (Eagle/Fouts): Texans RB Arian Foster rushed for 124 yards and Ben Tate ran for 115 yards in leading to establish a franchise record for rushing yardage, 261 yards, as Houston defeated Cleveland, 30-12…Miami 31 – Kansas City 3 (Harlan/Wilcots): Miami QB Matt Moore threw for 244 yards and three TDs, while Reggie Bush rushed for 92 yards and a score to lead the Dolphins to its first win of the season…Denver 38 – Oakland 24 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Eddie Royal returned a punt 85 yards for the tie-breaking score, Willie McGahee ran for 163 yards and Tim Tebow threw two TD passes to highlight Denver’s 38-24 win over Oakland.  The Broncos’ win put them right back in the thick of the AFC West race just a game behind Oakland, Kansas City and San Diego, who are 4-4…Cincinnati 24 – Tennessee 17 (Albert/Gannon): The Bengals have a five-game winning streak for the first time in 23 years as QB Andy Dalton led his team to a 24-17 comeback win over Tennessee.  Dalton passed for three TDs to bring his team back from a 10-point halftime deficit.

 
Week 10 (November 13) – Winning ugly took on two meanings in Week 10 of THE NFL ON CBS as Dallas, Tennessee and Houston beat down their opponents in ugly routs, while Denver’s Tim Tebow completed just two passes but his team won ugly to stay within a game out of first in the AFC West. 
 

Buffalo 7 – Dallas 44 (Nantz/Simms): Dallas QB Tony Romo guided touchdown drives on his first four possessions, throwing for the score on three of them, and overall for 270 yards in leading the Cowboys to a 44-7 thrashing over the Buffalo Bills…Tennessee 30 – Carolina 3 (Harlan/Wilcots): Tennessee RB Chris Johnson combined for 174 yards of total offense and a touchdown in leading the Titans to a 30-3 victory over the Carolina Panthers…Houston 37 – Tampa Bay 9 (Albert/Gannon): Texans QB Matt Schaub threw two long TD passes and RB Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Derrick Ward each ran for a score to lead the AFC South-leading Houston to a 37-9 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…Pittsburgh 24 – Cincinnati 17 (Eagle/Fouts): Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall ran for a pair of touchdowns, and the Steelers intercepted Cincy rookie QB Andy Dalton twice in the fourth quarter, to hold on for a 24-17 victory over the Bengals…Jacksonville 17 – Indianapolis 3 (Dedes/Beuerlein): Jax QB Blaine Gabbert threw for a touchdown and RB Maurice Jones-Drew ran for another score to highlight Jacksonville’s 17-3 victory over winless Indianapolis…Denver 17 – Kansas City 10 (Macatee/Tasker): Denver QB Tim Tebow hit Eric Decker on a 56-yard touchdown pass, one of his only two completions in the game, to help the Broncos to a 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs…Baltimore 17 – Seattle 22 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Seahawks K Steve Hauschka matched a franchise record with five field goals and RB Marshawn Lynch scored on a one-yard plunge to lead Seattle over the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens.

 

Week 11 (November 20) – The Ravens won a key AFC North battle against Cincinnati, while shifts in the AFC West were created with an Oakland win and a fifth straight San Diego loss during Week 11’s action on THE NFL ON CBS.

Oakland 27 – Minnesota 21 (Harlan/Wilcots): Oakland Raiders QB Carson Palmer completed 17 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown in a 27-21 victory over the Minnesota Vikings…Buffalo 8 – Miami 35 (Albert/Gannon): Miami QB Matt Moore threw for 160 yards with three touchdowns that led the Dolphins to a dominant 35-8 victory over the Buffalo Bills…Jacksonville 10 – Cleveland 14 (Macatee/Tasker): Browns RB Chris Ogbonnaya rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown, and QB Colt McCoy threw for 199 yards (17-for-24) and a touchdown to lead Cleveland to a 14-10 win over Jacksonville…Cincinnati 24 – Baltimore 31 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Baltimore QB Joe Flacco threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ravens squeezed by the Cincinnati Bengals, 31-24, to move into first place and control in the AFC North…San Diego 20 – Chicago 31 (Nantz/Simms): The Chargers ran only four plays in the fourth quarter and two were interceptions, as the Bears’ defense went on lockdown against Philip Rivers and the Chargers.  Chicago QB Jay Cutler threw for 286 yards and two TDs to lead the Bears to their fifth win in a row, while the Chargers lost their fifth straight.  Cutler ended up breaking his thumb in the fourth quarter and could be lost for 6-8 weeks…Tennessee17 – Atlanta 23 (Eagle/Fouts): Atlanta WR Roddy White had seven receptions for 147 yards to lead the Falcons to a 23-17 win over Tennessee.

 
Week 12 (Thanksgiving Day, November 24* & November 27) – THE NFL ON CBS’s Week 12 Thanksgiving Day and weekend games saw some saving wins for Dallas, the Jets and Cincinnati, while the Patriots dominated Philly and Denver and Tim Tebow beat San Diego in a key AFC West match-up.
 

*Miami 19 – Dallas 20 (Nantz/Simms): Dallas K Dan Bailey kicked a 28-yard FG as time expired to give the Cowboys a 20-19 win over Miami.  The win was Dallas’s fourth straight, while the loss for Miami snapped a three-game win streak…Buffalo 24 – N.Y. Jets 28 (Albert/Gannon): New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes, including the winning score to Santonio Holmes, as the Jets kept pace in the AFC playoff race with a 28-24 comeback victory over the Buffalo Bills…Cleveland 20 – Cincinnati 23 (Macatee/Tasker): Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton completed 21 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown in a 23-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns…Houston 20 – Jacksonville 13 (Harlan/Wilcots): Texans QB Matt Leinart, subbing for injured Matt Schaub, broke his collarbone after passing for a touchdown and giving way to third-string QB T.J. Yates who completed 8-of-15 passes for 70 yards to lead the Texans to a 20-13 win over the Jags…New England 38 – Philadelphia 13 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): New England QB Tom Brady threw for 361 yards with three touchdowns as the Patriots dominated the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-13…Denver 16 – San Diego 13 (OT) (Eagle/Fouts): San Diego K Matt Prater kicked a 37-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in overtime to lift the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos to a 16-13 victory over the San Diego Chargers. The win was Tebow’s and the Broncos’ fourth straight since he became starting quarterback in Week 6.  The Chargers lost their sixth straight.

 
Week 13 (December 4) – Pittsburgh won a big AFC North game, and the Ravens kept pace, while the Jets kept hope alive in the AFC East and the Raiders’ loss put them in a tie in the AFC West with Denver during Week 13 of THE NFL ON CBS.
 

N.Y. Jets 34 – Washington 19 (Eagle/Fouts): N.Y. Jets QB Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 4:49 to play, and RB Shonn Greene added a pair of insurance scores to give the Jets a 34-19 win over the Redskins…Kansas City 10 – Chicago 3 (Harlan/Wilcots): Kansas City Chiefs QB Tyler Palko completed 17 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown in a 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears…Tennessee 23 – Buffalo 17 (Dedes/Beuerlein): Tennessee RB Chris Johnson rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns, as the Titans remained in the playoff hunt with a 23-17 win over the Buffalo Bills…Oakland 14 – Miami 34 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Miami RB Reggie Bush rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown and the once-woeful Miami Dolphins won for the fourth time in the past five games by beating Oakland 34-14…Cincinnati 7 – Pittsburgh 35 (Nantz/Simms): Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for 176 yards with two touchdowns as the Steelers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 35-7…Indianapolis 24 – New England 31 (Albert/Gannon): New England TE Rob Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes then scored on a lateral and the Patriots withstood a fourth-quarter rally to keep the Colts winless with a 31-24 victory…Baltimore 24 – Cleveland 10 (Macatee/Tasker): Baltimore RB Ray Rice rushed for a career-high 204 yards including a game-breaking 67-yard run in the third quarter and a touchdown, and Ricky Williams also ran for a TD to lead the Ravens to a 24-10 win over Cleveland to keep pace with the AFC North rival Pittsburgh.

 
Week 14 (December 11) – Though there are four weeks left in the season, clinch was a key word during Week 14 of THE NFL ON CBS as the Packers upped their record to 13-0 to clinch a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs, and the Houston Texans clinched the AFC South division.
  

New England 34 – Washington 27 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): New England QB Tom Brady threw for 357 yards and three touchdowns, and Rob Gronkowski set a single-season record for most TD catches by a tight end as the Patriots won their fifth straight, beating the Redskins, 34-27…Kansas City 10 – N.Y. Jets 37 (Eagle/Fouts): Jets QB Mark Sanchez threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as the Jets kept pace in the AFC playoff race by cruising to a 37-10 victory over the Chiefs…Houston 20 – Cincinnati 19 (Albert/Gannon): Houston QB T.J. Yates completed 26 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns in a last-second, 20-19, comeback victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.  With the win, the Texans clinched the AFC South Division…Indianapolis 10 – Baltimore 24 (Macatee/Tasker): Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs had three sacks and forced three fumbles and Ray Rice rushed for 103 yards including a six-yard touchdown as the Ravens kept Indianapolis winless with a 24-10 victory...Buffalo 10 – San Diego 37 (Harlan/Wilscots): Chargers QB Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes, two to TE Antonio Gates, and San Diego beat the Buffalo Bills 37-10 to keep their playoff hopes alive in the AFC West…Oakland 16 – Green Bay 46 (Nantz/Simms): The Green Bay Packers upped their record to 13-0 as QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 281 yards with two touchdowns to highlight a dominating, 46-16 win over the Oakland Raiders.  The win clinched a first round bye for Packers in NFC playoffs.

 

Week 15 (December 18) – Week 15 of THE NFL ON CBS saw New England clinch the AFC East with a resounding win over Denver and the Tim Tebow phenomenon, while Indianapolis won its first game of the season, and the Jets were crushed by Philadelphia making each team’s chances for the playoffs still precarious.

Cincinnati 20 – St. Louis 13 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Cincy WR A.J. Green had six catches and topped 1,000 yards for the season in leading the Bengals pas St. Louis to help keep pace in the AFC playoff race with a 20-13 victory…Miami 30 – Buffalo 23 (Harlan/Wilcots): Dolphins RB Reggie Bush had a career-best 203 yards rushing in a 30-23 win over the Buffalo Bills that made interim head coach Todd Bowles' debut a success…Tennessee 13 – Indianapolis 27 (Eagle/Fouts): Indianapolis Colts RB Donald Brown carried the ball 16 times for 161 yards and a touchdown in a 27-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans.  The win is the first for the Colts this season…N.Y. Jets 19 – Philadelphia 45 (Albert/Gannon): Philly’s LeSean McCoy ran for three touchdowns to set two team records as Eagles routed the New York Jets, 45-19, to stay in the NFC East race…Cleveland 17 – Arizona 20   (OT) (Macatee/Tasker): Arizona K Jay Feely kicked a 22-yard FG in overtime to give the Cards a 20-17 win over Cleveland…New England 41 – Denver 23 (Nantz/Simms): Denver’s and QB Tim Tebow’s streak of six consecutive wins was brought to an abrupt end by New England QB Tom Brady and the Patriots as they shut down Tebow with a 41-23 victory over the Broncos.  The win clinched a playoff berth and the AFC East Division for the Pats.  

 
Week 16 (December 24) – Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the League, not a game was not playing, not even in Tennessee.  Buffalo romped, and New England came back, while Baltimore won and Oakland stayed pat.  It all comes down to Week 17 - who will win the AFC North, AFC West and be the No. 1 seed?  New Year’s Day will usher in the answers to all;  for some a Happy New Year, for others a dropped ball.
 

Denver 14 – Buffalo 40 (Nantz/Simms): Buffalo’s Jairus Byrd and Spencer Johnson returned Tim Tebow interceptions for touchdowns to help the Bills snap a seven-game skid and seal a 40-14 win over the Broncos…Miami 24 – New England 27 (Eagle/Fouts): New England QB Tom Brady ran for two touchdowns and threw for another and the Patriots rallied to clinch a playoff bye with a 27-24 win over the Miami Dolphins…Cleveland 14 – Baltimore 20 (Dedes/Gannon): Baltimore QB Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes, and the Ravens beat Cleveland, 20-14, to move one step closer to winning the AFC North…Jacksonville 17 – Tennessee 23 (Macatee/Tasker): Tennessee QB, Matt Hasselbeck completed 24 passes for 350 yards and a touchdown in a 23-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars…Oakland 16 – Kansas City 13 (OT) (Harlan/Wilcots): Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime giving Oakland a 16-13 victory over Kansas City that kept their own AFC West hopes alive…San Diego 10 – Detroit 38 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Lions QB Matthew Stafford led his team to a playoff clinching, 38-10, win over San Diego passing for 373 yards and three touchdowns.  Detroit secured a wild card playoff spot for the first time since 1999.

 

Week 17 (January 1, 2012) – Week 17 answered all the playoff questions as New England sewed up the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs; Baltimore secured No. 2 with an AFC North title; Pittsburgh fell to a No. 5 seed by virtue of a tiebreaker with the Ravens; and Denver and Cincinnati backed into the playoffs despite regular-season ending losses.

N.Y. Jets 17 – Miami 19 (Gumbel/Dierdorf): Jets QB Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions and the Jets were eliminated from the AFC wild-card playoff race when they lost 19-17 to the Miami Dolphins…Buffalo 21 – New England 49 (Criqui/Cross): New England QB Tom Brady led the Patriots back from a three-touchdown deficit as they scored 49 straight points and clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a 49-21 win over the Buffalo Bills…Tennessee 23 – Houston 22 (Macatee/Tasker): Tennessee Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck completed 22 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown in a 23-22 victory over the Houston Texans…Indianapolis 13 – Jacksonville 19 (Dedes/Beuerlein): Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew ran for a season-high 169 yards, clinching the NFL rushing title and Jacksonville beat the Colts 19-13…Kansas City 7 – Denver 3 (Nantz/Simms): Kansas City QB Kyle Orton threw for 180 yards against his former team and the Chiefs took down Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, 7-3.  Despite the loss, the Broncos won the AFC West division…San Diego 38 – Oakland 26 (Albert/Gannon): San Diego QB Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes and Richard Goodman returned a kick-off 105 yards as the Chargers ended Oakland’s playoff hopes by beating them, 38-26…Baltimore 24 – Cincinnati 16 (Eagle/Fouts): Baltimore RB Ray Rice had a pair of long touchdown runs to highlight the Ravens’ 24-16 win over Cincinnati.  The win gave the Ravens the AFC North title and No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs, and despite the loss, the Bengals made it into the playoffs as the No. 6 seed…Pittsburgh 13 – Cleveland 9 (Harlan/Wilcots): Pittsburgh RB Isaac Redman rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown to lead the Steelers over Cleveland, 13-9.