Chapter Nine – Season’s End

Anderson was playing poorly, so was Smith. Jamal was playing respectably, but he wasn’t getting the touchdowns I needed him to. The wide receivers were getting tons of yards, but we couldn’t get it into gear when it counted. The O Line was letting up all sorts of sacks, 47 on the year. Our defense was standing up to the pressure, with all sorts of turnovers and scoring. They had six TD’s on the year. And Cribbs was the man with two touchdowns of his own on returns. Defense and Special Teams were the only thing keeping us in this playoff chase. We beat the 5-6 Jets, and we pulled a stunner over the 9-4 Ravens (although they had Flacco, Gooden, Lewis and their rookie lineman Carter to season enders), but got stunned by the 3-11 Chiefs. We had clinched a playoff spot but lost the division at 10-6 to the Steelers’s 11-5.

This season had been remarkable. Ups and downs throughout the season were earmarked by big injuries and unknown heroes. I couldn’t believe we were still in the hunt with Anderson at the helm, and we lost Smith for the season. We went out and signed Moore, Anderson’s old backup at Oregon State. We had three pro-bowlers this year,

Kamerion Wimbley: 77 tkl (9 TFL) 5 sck 1 INT 2 FF
Brodney Pool: 64 tkl (1 TFL) 3 INT 3 FF 2 FR
Josh Cribbs: 51 KR 1,356 yds 2 TD 97 long, 35 PR 555 yds 56 long

The pro bowl selections summed up our year. Lots of defense and special teams. I had to hope our special teams would keep up the work, because we had a tough playoff game ahead of us against some familiar foes, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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