Week Six Edition
Grounded Eagles Can Still Fly
Oct. 15, 2011
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick struggled through the air during last Sunday's 31-24 loss to the Buffalo Bills as he completed 26 of 40 passes for 315 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he also threw four interceptions.
He did, however, run for 90 yards on just five carries which gives him a career total of 4,948 yards rushing to make him the all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. He supplanted former Eagles QB Randall Cunningham who had gained 4,928 yards on the ground during his career that also included stops with the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, and Baltimore Ravens. Aside from holding the career mark, Vick also is the owner of most yards rushing by a quarterback in a game (173) and season (1,039).
Do you remember when? Cunningham scorched the New England Patriots in an Eagles 48-20 victory at home on Nov. 4, 1990. The win evened the Eagles' record at 4-4 en route to a 10-6 final record and their third straight playoff appearance.
"Rockin' Randall" did it all that afternoon as he put together one of the best all-around games in NFL history. The day started well for Cunningham and the Eagles as they methodically moved down the field on their opening possession. The drive was highlighted by a 26-yard pass completion to running back Heath Sherman on second-and-22 from the Patriots' 43-yard line and capped by a field goal that put the Eagles in front.
Things only got better from there and after New England tied the game at 3-3, Randall converted a crucial third-and-two when he scrambled wide right for 15 yards. On the very next play Cunningham connected with receiver Fred Barnett for a 37-yard touchdown pass which put the Eagles back on top 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The first five possessions of the second quarter ended without big plays or points from either team. But as the half inched closer to the end Philadelphia mustered a field goal. The Patriots then took advantage of a great punt return as they strung together two big plays from scrimmage to score their first touchdown of the game and cut Philly's lead to three, 13-10.
Then with just less than two minutes remaining in the half Randall went back to work converting on a third-and-10 with a 13-yard run, before he fired a 37-yard strike to tight end Keith Jackson for his second TD pass of the game and 20-10 halftime lead.
The Eagles began the second half with the ball and Cunningham capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to receiver Calvin Williams. The Patriots answered with a field goal to cut the lead to 27-13, but on the very next possession Philadelphia shut the door as Randall threw his fourth TD pass of the game, a 3-yarder to Jackson, that gave the Eagles a comfortable 34-13 lead. New England continued to fight and scored another touchdown, but Cunningham put the icing on his career day when he busted through the Patriots' line and cruised to the end zone on a 52-yard TD run.
Philly added one more touchdown late in the game, but the final score didn't matter. Cunningham had already stolen the show. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 240 yards and 4 touchdowns while also rushing the ball eight times for 124 yards and a touchdown. By the end of that season, Cunningham had accounted for 69.8% of the Eagles' total net offense. He threw for 3,466 yards and 30 TDs and rushed for 942 yards (second most by a quarterback at that time) and 5 scores.
Week Five Edition
Oct. 8, 2011
Last week the Detroit Lions
overcame a 27-3 second-half deficit to defeat the Dallas Cowboys
34-30. Detroit became the first team in NFL history to win consecutive games after they trailed by at least 20 points in each contest.
A huge reason for Detroit's comeback victories was wide receiver Calvin Johnson. The fifth-year veteran is the first player in league history to have at least two receiving touchdowns in each of his team's first four games of a season. Johnson also joined Cris Carter as the only players in NFL history to record at least two touchdown receptions in four consecutive games giving him a total of eight TDs through the first quarter of the 2011 season.
Johnson has performed amazingly throughout the first four weeks of this season. And although his stats are impressive, it may not quite stack up against a performance in 1990 by a future Hall of Famer.
Do you remember when? Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice
put together single game statistics that most receivers would be hard pressed to compile in three or four weeks, some in an entire season.
One such performance took place on Oct. 14, 1990 in a game that pitted the 4-0 San Francisco 49ers
against the 2-2 Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers were without one of their key playmakers on offense when running back Roger Craig was deactivated for the game due to a knee injury. Craig's absence turned out not to be an obstacle for the 49ers thanks to an incredible day by Rice. The dynamic receiver picked up the slack and terrorized the Falcons' secondary, led by second-year cornerback Deion Sanders
, all game long.
Atlanta began the game with the football, but on the first play from scrimmage running back Steve Broussard fumbled and gave the ball to San Francisco just outside the 26-yard line. After a quick handoff up the middle, Joe Montana
connected with Rice on a 24-yard touchdown pass for the first score of the game. That was just the beginning.
In all, Rice finished the matchup with 5 touchdowns (24, 25, 19, 13, and 15 yards) and 225 yards on 13 receptions as the 49ers pulled out a 45-35 victory over the Falcons to remain undefeated at 5-0.
The five receiving touchdowns Rice scored that day tied an NFL record held by Bob Shaw of the Chicago Cardinals
who established the record on Oct. 2, 1950 and Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow
of the San Diego Chargers
who tied it on Nov. 22, 1981. To this day those three are the only players in NFL history to record 5 touchdown receptions in a single game.
View all of Jerry Rice's 208 TDs
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