With that in mind, we begin with his favorite football team the Super Bowl Champion New York Football Giants, who were coming off a tough loss against the Washington Redskins. They bounced back in a big way, scoring 52 points in their rout (52-27) against the New Orleans Saints.
It was rookie running back David Wilson’s coming out party, as he set a team record with 327 all purpose yards. Wilson scored twice, gained 100 yards including a 97 yard kick-off return for a touchdown. Defensively, Big Blue picked off Saints QB Drew Brees twice as Stevie Brown returned one interception 70 yards for the score, which set a team season record with 259 interception yards returned. The Giants travel to Atlanta while the Saints host Tampa…The Falcons were stunned in Carolina, 30-20, as QB Cam Newton dashed 70 yards (116 total) for a touchdown while throwing two touchdowns.
Atlanta found themselves down 23-0 before QB Matt (Matty Ice) Ryan threw for 342 yards and 2 scores. Carolina visits San Diego…The Chargers found themselves facing Pittsburgh’s QB Ben Roethlisberger (his first game in a month) on the road and came away with a surprising 34-24 win as the enigmatic Phillip Rivers threw 3 TDs.
Roethlisberger did throw for 3 scores himself but was picked off once and had a screen pass returned by the Chargers for a score. The Steelers go to Dallas in a game that may determine both of their playoff lives…The Cowboys just got by the Bengals 20-19 as for the second week in a row a team had to deal with the death of a player as linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in car accident driven by teammate and his best friend, Josh Brent. Field goal kicker Dan Bailey kicked the game winner as time expired.
Cincinnati had kicked off week #14 in Philadelphia against the Eagles, who are playing for nothing but pride at this point; they set the Bucs’ playoff hopes back 23-21 ending a eight-game losing streak. QB Nick Foles led the come-from-behind win throwing 2 TDs (381 total yards) in the last four minutes…Vikings running back Adrian Peterson kept his MVP type season going by rushing for 154 and two trips to the end zone in the 21-14 win over the Bears.
Chicago hosts Green Bay as the Packers dropped the Lions to 4-9 with their 27-20 win. QB Aaron Rodgers ran for the longest touchdown of his career (27 yards) as Green Bay needs one more win to clinch their division…The Redskins needed backup rookie QB Kirk Cousins to get them past Baltimore in their 31-28 overtime victory. Washington’s QB sensation Robert Griffin III was leveled by Haloti Ngata, buckling his right knee at the end of a 13 yard run. Cousins threw a TD to bring them within two. He then called a QB sneak, sending the game into overtime before they won their fourth game in a row. The Redskins visit Cleveland while the Ravens host Denver, who defeated the lowly Oakland Raiders 26-13 to kick off week No. 13, as Broncos QB Peyton Manning threw his 30 touchdown pass of the year.
The Raiders welcome the Chiefs, who were destroyed by Cleveland 30-7.
After Kansas City scored on an 80 yard run by Jamaal Charles, the Browns scored the next 30 points putting the Chiefs to sleep…With 48 seconds left, Rams QB Sam Bradford threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson, giving them a 15-12 win over the Bills on the road.
Bradford threw for 209 yards. Buffalo hosts Seattle in Toronto as the Seahawks are coming off their 58-0 trouncing over the Cardinals.
Arizona managed only 10 first downs and 154 total yards while Seattle’s running back, Marshawn Lynch, ran for three TDs…The Cards go home to face the Lions…The Colts QB Andrew Luck needed two fourth quarter field goals from veteran Adam Vinatieri, helping the team to its sixth come-from-behind win in their 27-23 win over the Titans.
The Colts go to Houston, who failed to show up against New England in the last game of week #13, losing 42-14.
Pats QB Tom (Pretty Boy) Brady throws four scores and 296 yards, completing 21 of 35 passes. New England hosts the 49ers in a possible Super Bowl preview. San Fran drubbed the Dolphins 27-13 as running back Frank Gore reached 1,000 yards rushing for the sixth time in his career.
Miami hosts Jacksonville, who saw their record fall to 2-11 after losing to the Jets, 17-10, as the Jets kept their playoff hopes mathematically alive. Gang Green found their running game as they gained 166 yards (Bilal Powell 78 and Shonn Green 77 yards each) as QB Mark Sanchez threw for only 11 yards. The Jets travel to Tennessee to play the last game of week #14.
Finally, Poncho who had lived in Tampa for more than the last 20 years was a Bronx Boy to the max. Aside from loving his Giants, he was a crazy Yankees, Knicks and Rangers fan. When I would go to spring training, we would meet as he would take his dad along with him. Last year, right before the Giants would go to the Super Bowl, I asked Victor Cruz (who never met Poncho) to send a video tribute to him.
After explaining the situation to Cruz without hesitating, Cruz sent the message doing it in one take. The day of the Super Bowl, we visited Poncho where I showed him and his family the video. Tears came to all of our eyes. The plan was to go to Tampa this year and spend another Super Bowl weekend with him. It was not to be. Poncho, your great smile and infectious laugh will never be forgotten. Although you were with us a short time, the impression you left is indelible. With much love, RIP!!!