Swipe is play of the day

If there’s an en vogue play this NFL season, it’s the direct snap to the running back — basically a glorified sweep.

The big play Sunday was the swipe.

The Kansas City Chiefs intercepted three Brett Favre passes … and the New York Jets came back to steal a four-point victory at the Meadowlands.

Carolina careened toward a home loss to Arizona … before the Panthers morphed into the steal curtain, forcing two pivotal turnovers in the second half.

And the upstart Atlanta Falcons saw their last hopes in Philadelphia heisted when, trailing by six in the fourth quarter, they fell victim to a botched call that set up an Eagles touchdown.

The goof came with slightly more than two minutes to play, when officials ruled Atlanta’s Adam Jennings muffed a punt. The Eagles recovered. Although TV replays showed that Jennings never touched the ball, the Falcons were out of timeouts, so they couldn’t challenge. Philadelphia scored the knockout touchdown on the next play.

While that bad call helped the Eagles, one of their hated NFC East rivals got some very good calls. Specifically, the Dallas Cowboys were on the receiving end of the outstanding defensive playcalling of coach Wade Phillips.

In his first game after relieving defensive coordinator Brian Stewart of those duties, Phillips radioed in a masterful plan against Tampa Bay, holding the Buccaneers without a touchdown for the first time since Week 1 of 2006. The Cowboys halted their two-game losing streak.

Add Phillips to the list of head coaches who are better suited to be coordinators, a list that should be named in honor of San Diego’s Norv Turner. His Chargers lost Sunday for the third time in four games, falling to New Orleans in London.

The good news for the Saints: They have a high-flying offense. The bad news for the Saints: They could be losing altitude soon.

Three key New Orleans players — running back Deuce McAllister and defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant — are reportedly among several NFL players who have tested positive under the league’s steroid policy. A player’s first violation of that policy automatically results in a four-game suspension.

The substance in question is Bumetanide, which isn’t a steroid but a diuretic that can act as a masking agent.

Fox reported Sunday that the latest roundup also snared a pair of Pro Bowl players from the Minnesota Vikings, defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams.

Suspensions would likely be devastating to the Vikings and Saints, teams in the thick of the tightly knotted NFC North and South.

As for north-south runners, it was hard to beat Philadelphia’s Brian Westbrook, who returned from a rib injury to rush for a career-best 167 yards and score a pair of touchdowns.

That’s nearly five times as many yards as the 35 that Oakland generated in the first half at Baltimore. In a game that pitted brother against brother — twin defensive coordinators Rex and Rob Ryan of the Ravens and Raiders — the men in silver and black once again lost on the road. How appropriate that, in games away from home since 2003, the grounded Raiders are 7-37.

The New York Giants are unquestionably a can-do team. They sacked Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger five times and thoroughly protected Eli Manning against defense that led the league in sacks. The Giants trailed in the fourth quarter but tied the game when linebacker James Harrison, doubling as backup long snapper, fired the ball over the head of the punter and out of the end zone for a safety.

Shortly after, New York scored the winning touchdown.

So — unlike in Carolina, Philadelphia and at the Meadowlands — there was no last-gasp, game-saving twist by the home team.

That figures. In this upside-down NFL season of sweeps and swipes, the Week 8 stealers were from everywhere but Pittsburgh.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville Pilchuck girls wrestler Alivia White, who his committed to wrestle at the University of Iowa next year. Iowa is set to become the first NCAA D-I school at the Power Five level to offer a varsity women’s wrestling team allowing White a unique opportunity of being a part of a historic moment for the sport. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
MP star Alivia White helps blaze trail in women’s wrestling

The 2-time state champ signed with Iowa, which is set to roll out the first varsity women’s wrestling team at a Power 5 school.

Lake Stevens’ Koen Mattern and Glacier Peak’s Dane Chapman wrestle during the 220 pound weight class match at Lake Stevens High School on Thursday Jan. 26, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lake Stevens tops GP, claims another Wesco 4A wrestling title

The Vikings found success all evening, racing to a 60-19 win over the Grizzlies in the de facto league-title dual.

Prep roundup for Saturday, Jan. 28

Prep roundup for Saturday, Jan. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Silvertips gamers with no art.
Hemmerling’s OT goal pushes Silvertips past Broncos

Everett goaltender Tyler Palmer makes 37 saves in the win.

Prep roundup for Friday, Jan. 27

Prep roundup for Friday, Jan. 27: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Silvertips gamers with no art.
Silvertips fall on road to Americans

Tyler Palmer makes 37 saves, but Everett loses 2-1 to Tri-City.

EC’s Damajio Merritt (20) fights for the ball during a men’s game between the Everett Community College Trojans and Edmonds College Tritons at Seaview Gymnasium at Edmonds College in Lynnwood, Washington on Wednesday Jan. 25, 2023. The Tritons won, 91-84. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Tritons top Trojans in heavyweight NWAC hoops battle

Edmonds uses a 14-0 run to start the second half to take control of a game between top men’s teams.

Arlington’s Samara Morrow looks to cut to the basket against Stanwood on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington girls rally past rival Stanwood in key league showdown

Standout senior Jenna Villa pours in 29 points and the Eagles ride a third-quarter surge to victory.

People gather in front of the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame display case during the 2022 Hall of Fame banquet Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022, at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Community roundup: Nominations open for county Hall of Fame

Plus, Jacob Eason signs a futures deal with Carolina, UW’s Sami Reynolds gets a preseason honor and more.

Most Read