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FavoriteSpread (O/U)Underdog
Saturday, September 30, 7:30 pm
PROVIDENCE6 (51)Atlantic City
New York2 (48)PITTSBURGH
Philadelphia1 (45)RICHMOND
Syracuse1½ (43)DELAWARE
ALBANYE (39)Washington
Sunday, October 1, 10:00 am
BALTIMORE3½ (49)Connecticut
home team in CAPS


These injured players will not play in week 8 games:
  • LB James Farrior, ACS — will return week 10
  • WR Ricky Proehl, ACS — will return week 10
  • OT Orlando Pace, BAL — will return week 10
  • LB LaVar Arrington, CON — will return week 9
  • WR Marcus Robinson, CON — will return week 11
  • C Dan Koppen, NYE — will return week 10
  • WR Troy Williamson, NYE — will return week 14
  • DE Anthony Hargrove, PIT — will return week 9
  • OT Tra Thomas, RIC — will return week 9
  • OT Travelle Wharton, RIC — will return week 10
  • TE Chris Baker, SYR — will return week 9
  • DE Luis Castillo, SYR — will return week 9
  • S Sammy Knight, SYR — will return week 10
  • S Troy Vincent, SYR — will return week 9

These skill players were last-second scratches for week 8 games due to “fatigue”:

  • TE Christian Fauria, ALB
  • QB Koy Detmer, NYE
  • WR Cedrick Wilson, CON
  • QB Donovan McNabb, RIC
  • RB Curtis Martin, WAS

Week 8 Results

September 30, 2006
at Providence
Providence 42, Atlantic City 35
Providence (7‑1) intercepted three Kelly Holcomb passes in the fourth quarter and scored three touchdowns in the last 11:06 to rally past Atlantic City (4‑4). Heath Evans got the winning touchdown, a 1‑yard run with 0:37 remaining. The duel between league-leading rushers Larry Johnson and Tiki Barber was as good or better than advertised. Johnson had 193 yards on 26 carries for the winners; Barber had four touchdowns on his way to 201 yards on 20 carries.
Box   Drive Chart

September 30, 2006
at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh 26, New York 20
Ryan Longwell booted four field goals to lead Pittsburgh (2‑6) past New York (3‑5). Donald Driver caught seven Eli Manning passes for 130 yards including a critical insurance touchdown from 27 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter. In the losing cause Willie Parker ran for 119 yards on 17 carries, and Tony Gonzalez had 12 receptions for 168 yards, his second consecutive game with double-digits catches.
Box   Drive Chart

September 30, 2006
at Richmond
Richmond 34, Philadelphia 10
Richmond (2‑6) shut down Philadelphia (3‑5) in the second half to end their losing streak at five and extend the losers’ streak to five. Brooks Bollinger, a surprise starter at quarterback, completed 23 of 35 passes for 264 yards. Steve Smith caught 12 of those for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Bollinger was intercepted three times, however, all by Sheldon Brown. Lawyer Milloy twice picked off passes thrown by losing signal caller Brett Favre.
Box   Drive Chart

September 30, 2006
at Albany
Albany 21, Washington 7
This tight, defensive struggle was broken open by a defensive player, when, with 13:47 left, Dexter Coakley of Albany (4‑4) intercepted a pass by Brad Johnson of Washington (4‑4) and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown. Jermaine Wiggins added an insurance score 10½ minutes later on a 3‑yard pass from Trent Green. Santana Moss caught 10 Green passes for 63 yards despite missing the last five minutes of the first quarter and the entire second quarter due to injury.
Box   Drive Chart

October 1, 2006
at Baltimore
Connecticut 31, Baltimore 21
Willis McGahee ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns, and Tom Brady passed for 179 yards and two scores to lead Connecticut (4‑4) past Baltimore (4‑4). The winners broke the game open early in the third quarter when McGahee recovered a punt muffed by returner Chris Gamble. Three plays later Brady connected with Kris Mangum to increase the lead to 28‑14. Steven Jackson caught seven passes for 122 yards in the losing cause but had just 60 yards on the ground.
Box   Drive Chart


September 30, 2006
at Delaware
Syracuse 38, Delaware 35   Box   Drive Chart
Patrick Pass caught a 5‑yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell with 11:08 to go to put Syracuse (7‑1) ahead to stay, and they held off Delaware (4‑4) despite a subsequent 99‑yard kickoff return by Dante Hall. Brunell outdueled Drew Brees. While each quarterback threw for well over 300 yards, Brunell needed only 19 completions compared to 30 for Brees, and the Crush picked off Brees three times.

Brunell had 154 of his 343 passing yards in the first five minutes of the game. After Terrence McGee returned the opening kickoff to the Syracuse 39, Brunell successfully went long twice to Laveranues Coles, the second a 33‑yard touchdown.

The Cherries got one first down and Ben Graham pinned the Crush at their own 7. Then on 2nd and 9 from the Syracuse 8, Brunell was flushed from the pocket and found his safety valve receiver Koren Robinson. Defenders Carlos Emmons and Michael Lewis collided at the 30, enabling Robinson to squeeze by. He then outraced Brian Dawkins for a crowd-shocking 92‑yard score.

Two plays later Brees was picked off by Brandon Chillar at the Delaware 33. The Cherries defense finally showed up, forcing Syracuse to settle for a 44‑yard Jay Feely field goal and a 17‑0 lead with the game not yet seven minutes old.

The Crush would end up needing nearly every one of those points.

Delaware drove inside the Crush 10 but were stymied again. On 1st and goal Brees forced a pass in the direction of Heath Miller and McGee intercepted in the end zone. Not to be deterred, Brees finally got the Cherries on the scoreboard with a 15‑yard hook-up with Eric Parker on the last play of the first quarter.

The Cherries would get touchdowns on their only two second quarter offensive possessions, but Syracuse also moved effectively. Another Feely field goal, this one from 27 yards out, gave the Crush a 27‑21 halftime lead.

The third quarter was scoreless as the offenses cooled down. Delaware had the best opportunity to score halfway through when Brees found Parker for a 34‑yard gain to the Syracuse 27. John Kasay was wide, though, on a 37‑yard field goal attempt, keeping the margin at six.

The Cherries finally caught up on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 1‑yard run by Michael Turner, concluding an 11‑play, 89‑yard drive, and inched ahead on Kasay’s conversion.

The lead was short-lived.

Another good kickoff return by McGee set up the Crush on their own 36, and Brunell drove them 64 yards for Pass’ touchdown, aided by a personal foul call on Julius Peppers when it seemed Delaware had forced a punting situation. Penalties would plague Delaware throughout — they were whistled 12 times for 91 yards — Syracuse only three times for 25 yards. Brunell followed Pass’ score by hitting Clinton Portis for a two-point conversion, increasing the Syracuse lead to 35‑28.

A holding penalty put the Cherries in a 3rd and 16 hole, but Travis Taylor made a great play, taking a Brees pass in the middle of the field, shaking a tackler, side-stepping another, and diving just far enough to move the chains.

But then Syracuse victimized Brees again: Rookie sensation Shawne Merriman perfectly read a screen pass intended for LaDainian Tomlinson and picked it off at the Delaware 47. It was the 14th interception of the season thrown by Brees compared to only five for all of last season.

The Crush moved quickly inside the Cherries 5, the bulk of the yardage coming on a 30‑yard completion from Brunell to his favorite target of the night, Reggie Brown. The Cherries made a nice goal line stand, though, forcing a 19‑yard Feely field goal and setting the stage for Hall’s heroics.

After Hall took the kickoff the distance, his third this season, Delaware opted, with 3:50 to go, to have Kasay try an onside kick rather than trust their tiring defense to make a stop. The strategy appeared to be successful when Kasay of all people came out of a big pile-up with the ball. The Cherries were offside, though, and Kasay sent his second try too long, enabling first quarter hero Robinson to easily make the catch for Syracuse on the Delaware 45.

The Crush, holding a tenuous 38‑35 lead, were then able to run out the clock by converting a couple of critical third downs:

  • On 3rd and 15 at the 50, Portis picked up 15 yards on a screen pass.
  • On 3rd and 6 at the Cherries 31, Portis got the call on a draw play and rumbled 21 yards.

That gave Portis an even 100 yards on the ground for the night on 24 trips. The Syracuse defense held Tomlinson to 60.