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Inside the Boxscores

   by Matt Fargo - 09/10/2008

The NFL is pretty true to form most of the time when looking at final scores and how they came about. However, it never hurts to look further and a lot of times, you can get some great information by taking a look at the boxscores. Matt Fargo is now not only providing this information for college football but for the NFL as well. Fargo takes you inside the action.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New York Giants 16 Washington Redskins 7

The Giants started the game by driving 84 yards for a touchdown and then scored on their next three possessions although those all resulted in field goals. New York was unable to generate any offense in the second half as it could not get past the Washington 47-yard line in any of its five possessions. The Giants defense held Washington to just 209 total yards and 11 first downs. The Redskins lone touchdown came on a short 45-yard drive.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Orleans Saints 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20

This was a back and forth game throughout as the Saints scored first and last to pull out the win. New Orleans outgained the Buccaneers 438-352 but needed a fourth quarter touchdown to reclaim the lead. Tampa Bay was driving on its final possession but tossed an interception at the Saints 21-yard line with just 38 seconds remaining. Tampa Bay rushed for 146 yards on 20 carries (7.3 ypc) but finished a mere 2-12 on third down.

Philadelphia Eagles 38 St. Louis Rams 3

The Eagles completely dominated St. Louis as they outgained the Rams 522-166 and held a 28-8 advantage in first downs. Philadelphia drove 80 and 82 yards on its first two possessions and never looked back. The Rams drove 52 yards to kick a field goal on their final possession to avoid the shutout. St. Louis finished 0-11 on third down and punted on its first 10 possessions, seven of which were three and outs.

New York Jets 20 Miami Dolphins 14

The Jets took a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter but Miami was almost able to stage the big comeback. The Dolphins were stopped at the New York two-yard line with nine minutes remaining but forced a three and out and scored a touchdown eight plays later. They got the ball back but an interception with five seconds left ended the game. The Jets held Miami to 49 yards rushing on 17 carries (2.7 ypc).

New England Patriots 17 Kansas City Chiefs 10

The big story here was the loss of Tom Brady but New England put forth a solid team effort for the win. The Patriots defense held the Chiefs to 284 total yards including a huge stand to end the game. Kansas City had a first and goal from the five-yard line but failed to crack the endzone. The Patriots fumbled on their first two possessions, both in Kansas City territory, but drove 98 yards in the next possession to start the scoring.

Pittsburgh Steelers 38 Houston Texans 17

The Steelers scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and built a 35-3 lead before the Texans made the score more respectable. Pittsburgh finished with just 305 total yards but the game was decided early and it gained just two total yards in the fourth quarter. The defense had three takeaways and held Houston to just 79 total yards through the first three quarters before the garbage yards came in the final period.

Baltimore Ravens 17 Cincinnati Bengals 10

The Ravens defense held Cincinnati to just 154 total yards and eight first downs. The lone Bengals touchdown came early in the fourth quarter on a 65-yard fumble return for a score. Cincinnati drove down to the Baltimore 25-yard line on its next possession but failed on a fourth down conversion and the Ravens were able to run out the final 7:15 of the game to preserve the win. Baltimore rushed for 229 yards on 46 carries (5.0 ypc).

Atlanta Falcons 34 Detroit Lions 21

The Falcons outgained the Lions 474-308 with most of that variance coming in the running game. Atlanta finished with 318 yards rushing on 42 carries (7.6 ypc) while Detroit had 62 yards rushing on 21 carries (3.0 ypc). The Falcons needed just 13 plays to score their first three touchdowns to build a big lead. The Lions cut that lead to seven points and were driving for the tie but an interception killed the drive.

Buffalo Bills 34 Seattle Seahawks 10

Buffalo outgained the Seahawks 338-252 but it was the special teams that made the difference. The Bills scored on a punt return in the first half and also scored a touchdown on a fake field goal in the third quarter to put the game away. Buffalo forced Seattle to punt in each of its first seven possessions. Neither team was efficient on third down as Seattle went 3-16 and Buffalo went 4-16.

Tennessee Titans 17 Jacksonville Jaguars 10

Jacksonville finished with only 189 total yards but trailed by just three points late in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars were forced to punt with 5:57 remaining and the Titans drove 80 yards in just over two minutes to ice the game. Jacksonville was hurt by a missed field goal as well as a fumble at the Tennessee 15-yard line near the end of the first half. The Titans held the Jaguars to just 33 yards rushing on 17 carries (1.9 ypc).

Dallas Cowboys 28 Cleveland Browns 10

Dallas struck first by scoring on its opening possession before the Browns were able to tie it early in the second quarter. From there it was all Cowboys as Dallas tacked on the next three touchdowns while holding Cleveland to 17 total yards in its next five possessions. The Browns tacked on a late field goal after a Dallas interception. The Cowboys outgained the Browns 487-205 and had a 30-11 first down advantage.

Carolina Panthers 26 San Diego Chargers 24

Carolina’s first five scoring plays were four field goals and a fumble return for a touchdown but it still had a nine-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. San Diego then drove 80 yards for a touchdown, recovered a fumble three plays later and scored the go ahead touchdown six plays after that. The Panthers won on the final play of the game on a 14-yard touchdown pass as time expired after going 68 yards in 11 plays.

Arizona Cardinals 23 San Francisco 49ers 13

The 49ers actually outgained Arizona 291-285 but they were doomed by five turnovers including three fumbles and a muffed kickoff. The Cardinals took control of the game in the second half as they held the ball for 22 minutes and limited San Francisco to just three possessions. Arizona scored just two touchdowns in seven trips in the redzone as it settled for three field goals and also had a missed field goal.

Chicago Bears 29 Indianapolis Colts 13

The Bears only won the total yardage battle by 26 yards but they played much more efficient than the usually much more efficient Colts. Chicago finished with 319 total yards and was a solid 10-16 on third down. Defensively, the Bears recorded a safety, returned a fumble 21 yards for a touchdown and held Indianapolis on two critical fourth down attempts in the final quarter. The Colts rushed for 53 yards on 15 carries (3.5 ypc).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Green Bay Packers 24 Minnesota Vikings 19

Green Bay held off a late Vikings rally thanks to a key interception with just 54 seconds remaining. Minnesota actually outgained the Packers 355-317 but had to settle for two field goals in its first two trips inside the redzone. Green Bay had a four-point lead midway through the fourth quarter and returned a punt 76 yards for the ultimate winning score. The Packers were sloppy with 12 penalties totaling 118 yards.

Denver Broncos 41 Oakland Raiders 14

Denver outgained the Raiders 441-317 but a good number of the Oakland yards came when the game was well decided. The Broncos jumped ahead 27-0 heading into the fourth quarter and that is when the Raiders put together both touchdown drives, totaling 149 yards. Not counting running out the clock to end the game, Denver scored on seven of its nine possessions and finished 5-10 on third down.

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