High on Upsets
From Merriam-webster.com, the definition of “upset”.
Main Entry: up-set
Inflected Form(s): up-set; up-set-ting
Transitive verb 1 : to thicken and shorten (as a heated bar of iron) by hammering on the end : swage
2 : to force out of the usual upright, level, or proper position : overturn
3 a : to trouble mentally or emotionally : disturb the poise of
4 : to cause a physical disorder in; specifically : to make somewhat ill
This word brings sadness, frustration, and anger to millions of sports fans on a weekly basis. However, after a holiday of giving thanks, I feel we need to cherish that which makes us heated. Let’s celebrate the art of the upset as we look back through this season’s biggest upsets.
Week 1: Broncos, 49ers
Week One brought us excitement and drama right-off the bat. We witnessed Brandon Stokley make a dramatic catch off a deflected pass, and take it 87 yards to pay dirt - Bronco's win over the Bengals with a last second, miracle touchdown catch, 12-7.
The 49ers also struck gold beating the Cardinals. Last years Super Bowl team, the Cardinals, had opportunities to rally, but San Fran held on for the win.
Week 2: Jets, Bears
The Jets, and rookie Mark Sanchez were flying high after Week Two's win over the Patriots, 16-9. Rookie D. Revis held Wideout R.Moss to less than 25 yards receiving, and the Jets also didn't allow an offensive touchdown all game.
The Bears and Jay Cutler looked grizzly throwing 2 TD's after his dreadful season debut the week before against the Packers. Cutler also lead the game-winning drive, resulting in a 17-14 win over the defending Super Bowl Champions, Pittsburgh.
Week 3: LIONS
Lions Win! The Detroit Lions went into Week Three riding a 19-game losing streak. The Washington Redskins played peace-maker and handed the lions their first win of the season. Kevin Smith ran for over 100 yards and the rookie quaterback, Stafford threw almost 250 yards and one touchdown in the Lions first win since December 23rd, 2007.
Week 5: Broncos
The New England Patriots are accustomed to dramatic finishes, but this OT finally goes to the Denver Broncos in Week Five. Kyle Orton threw over 300 yards and had two touchdowns, while Randy Moss had only one catch. The new-comer in Denver, Josh McDaniels, takes down the legend in the 20-17 overtime victory for the Broncos.
Tom Cable and the Blackhole swallowed up Donovan McNabb and the Eagles in the 13-9 victory. Richard Seymour, who is familiar to winning after leaving new England, sparked the Defense with 2 sacks and a Forced Fumble.
Week 8: Titans
The then 0-6 Titans were hosting the Jacksonville jaguars in Week 8 and were starting the roller coaster we know as Vince Young. Chris Johnson tore up the field with over 220 yards and two touchdowns, and the Titans went on for the win 30-13 over the Jags and Maurice Jone-Drews 177 yard, two touchdown day.
Week 9: Tampa Bay
Upsets are something I enjoy, but they are something enjoyed - when it's not happening to your team. I found this out first hand when the Green Bay Packers went to Tampa Bay where rookie, Josh Freeman, was making his first NFL start. Freeman threw for three touchdowns in the Buc's 38-28 win over Green Bay.
Week 10: Bengals
The Bengals sacked Ben Roethlisberger four times, and swept the Steelers in the season series for the first time since 1998, after the 18-12 win in Week Ten.
Week 11: Chiefs, Raiders
The Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders brought us big upsets over Pittsburgh and The Bengals. The Chiefs battled their way into overtime with the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and kicked a 22 yard field goal to seal the deal. Newly acquired wideout Chris Chambers was a handful for the Steelers secondary finishing with 119 receiving yards.
The Raiders did it again in week 11, upsetting the red-hot Bengals, 20-17. With less than a minute left Brad Gradkowski found rookie, Louis Murphy for the touchdown tying the ball game with 41 seconds left. With the game tied, it looked like the Bengals would have one last go, before a coin-flip in OT would potentially decide the game. However, on the ensuing kickoff Andre Caldwell fumbled the return - Raiders recover - Sebastian Janikowski kicks 33 yard game-winning field goal - Raiders win.
What We're Left With.
With Week 12 coming to a close in the NFL we have a chance to see yet another upset, when the New England Patriots take on the New Orleans Saints tonight on Monday Night Football.
We still have two undefeated teams in the Colts and Saints, but other teams have got their wins also. The Raiders have beaten both the Bengals (8-3, AFC North leader) and Eagles (7-4, 2nd in NFC East). While the Lions have 2 wins in 11 games this season (after their 19 game losing streak was broken this season). The Buc's and Ram's have even found a way to win a game each. This season has had some great upsets, and the thing about upsets are - they will always happen.