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Cowboys lay an egg in week 8

tony runs from washington trouble

So, everyone had jumped on the Cowboy bandwagon. They had been ranked near the bottom of the league in week 1. In week 7, everyone was drinking the Kool-Aid. SI had Dallas ranked 1 and had the Cowboys ranked 2. Not in the division or in the conference, but in the league. I said that the Cowboys still had some huge problems. I didn’t understand how the defense was working. McClain was playing out of his mind. The corner backs and safeties were playing way above their pay grade. Then came the lowly Washington Dudes (I’m refusing to use that R-word. I know it is insulting. We need to move beyond it) who didn’t believe the craziness.

To describe the Washington team as having issues would be an understatement. Quite frankly, they have been awful with a capital “A.” They were still awful when they played the Cowboys. They made just about every mistake that you can make. Critical, thoughtless drive-killing penalties. A 3rd string QB who should be coaching some high school team threw a knucklehead interception into double or triple coverage. It wasn’t just a poor decision. It was a terrible moonball throw which any high school corner back could have gotten under.

The Cowboys lost this game for 3 reasons. First, DeMarco Murray put the ball on the ground for the 5th time this year. We had driven deep into Washington territory. We were going to get at least 3 points. He was fighting for a couple of extra yards and 15 or 20 (seemed like the whole team) of the Washington Dudes were holding him up and stripped the ball. There is no excuse. You can’t fumble. Emmitt Smith was great for a number of reasons, one of the primary reasons being that he didn’t fumble the ball. Secondly, the Cowboys defense was awful. They gave up over 400 yards of total offense to a Washington team without Robert Griffin III. That’s just crazy. DeShawn Jackson torched the Cowboys with not one or two, but three big plays. I have to mention Jordan Reid was just about unstopped on short yardage plays. Everyone knew Colt McCoy was going to throw to Reid, but we didn’t stop it. Finally, our much heralded offensive line couldn’t figure out how to block an all out blitz. So, Washington used it time and time again. There was nothing fancy. It was everyone…. At the line of scrimmage…  everyone was coming or everyone was dropping into coverage.  DeMarco Murray missed blitz pick-ups at least twice. Dez Bryant needed to win this one on one match up with a 4th round draft pick rookie, Breeland, who played like a first round draft choice. Bryant had to win that battle but he didn’t.

Many people are getting all caught up in the argument on whether or not to put Tony Romo back in the game or not. I don’t think that it matters. The problem wasn’t Tony. The problem was Dez, the offensive line and our defense.

Look for the Cardinals, who have much better corner backs, to blitz early and often. Until the Cowboys have proven that they can handle the blitz, look for the NFL to blitz on just about every passing down.

By |2019-01-14T19:30:07-04:00October 29th, 2014|NFL|Comments Off on Cowboys lay an egg in week 8

NFL week 12: Thoughts and Predictions

DeShawn Jackson wins the bonehead play of the week award. The Philadelphia Eagles were penned deep in their own territory. Vince Young throws a Moon ball (high arcing pass) to DeShawn Jackson for 50 yard gain. As he runs out of bounds, he tosses the ball to one of the Giants assistant coaches. He gets flagged for taunting and costs his team 50 yards. This is the same guy who was benched because he completely missed the team meeting. Now, I don’t know how much this guy gets paid to play football. I guarantee it’s more than you and I get paid to do our jobs. He makes enough money that he can hire somebody to wake him up, help him get dressed and drive him to team meetings. At the same time, he is whining about not getting a new contract. I feel pretty confident that Andy Reid will let DeShawn Jackson go at the end of the year. No team needs this kind of headache.

On Thanksgiving, I went 3-0 2-1 (thanks for pointing that out, Scott). Not bad.

By the way, many football fans have labeled Tony Romo as someone who can’t deliver in the clutch. In the last two weeks, Tony Romo has performed brilliantly in the fourth quarter and on the final drive. The running game has been stymied the last two weeks. Yet, Tony Romo has managed to get the job done. So, now what do you have to say about Tony Romo? (I know, it’s not December.)

Cam Newton

Minnesota Vikings versus Atlanta Falcons – Adrian Peterson will not play. This game could get ugly fast. Atlanta should win easily.

Cleveland Browns versus Cincinnati Bengals – Cincinnati has something to prove. Cleveland needs a quarterback. Cincinnati should win this one.

Carolina Panthers versus Indianapolis Colts – This may be the Indianapolis Colts’ last chance to win a game this year. Sure, we hear people say that one person doesn’t matter and we point them to the Indianapolis Colts. This team is almost the exact same team as last year. The value of Peyton Manning is almost incalculable. Fortunately for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, Peyton Manning is still on the sidelines. I look for the Carolina Panthers to figure out a way to win.

Houston Texans versus Jacksonville Jaguars – Matt Leinart will be starting for the Houston Texans. All I can do is shake my head and cry just a little bit for the Houston Texans. They’ve really been playing good football. Over the years, they seem to have been snakebitten more than any other team in the NFL. They lost Mario Williams, their All-Pro pass rusher, earlier this year. Matt Schaub was playing some really good football. Now, he’s probably out for the year with a foot fracture. This game is going to be very close. Matt Leinart is going to have to make some plays. They’re playing at Jacksonville. I just don’t think that Blaine Gabbert is ready for the big time. I’m leaning towards the Houston Texans.

Buffalo Bills versus New York Jets – Whatever magic the Buffalo Bills had at the beginning of the year has completely run out. I don’t know how they’ll get their magic wand recharged or reenergized. The New York Jets are playing better football. The Jets should win this game. (I want to know if Mark Sanchez is ready for prime time. It seems that whenever this team really needs him to step up and play a great game, he can’t do it.)

Arizona Cardinals versus St. Louis Rams – Toss-up.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Tennessee Titans – I mentioned some time ago that Josh Freeman hasn’t matured as much as I would’ve liked. I think that is obvious to everyone who follows football. Matt Hasselbeck is a game-time decision. He hurt his elbow last week. Hasselbeck can’t play, so the Titans can’t win. The Buccaneers need to get their running game going. I’m going to lean towards Tennessee since they’re playing at home (with the caveat that Matt Hasselbeck must play and play well).

Afternoon games
Chicago Bears versus Oakland Raiders – This should be a great game. Is Carson Palmer for real? This is the type of game where the Raiders really need their McFadden, who continues to be injured and is out for this game. The Chicago Bears somehow, someway have to tighten up their defense. Unfortunately, Jay Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand last week. He is out for at least five or six weeks. Caleb Hanie is starting at quarterback. Without some incredibly fluke plays, I just don’t see how the Chicago Bears can win with Caleb Hanie. Oakland Raiders. (The Raiders will NOT kick to Devin Hester.)

Washington Redskins versus Seattle Seahawks – Washington played inspired football against the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t think we’ll see that same effort this week. The Seattle Seahawks are playing better. Seattle.

New England Patriots versus Philadelphia Eagles – This quite possibly may be the best game of the day. The Philadelphia Eagles are fighting for their playoff lives. I really don’t think they have the luxury of losing another game. The good news is that they are playing at home. The bad news is that the New England Patriots seem to find a way to win every week. Michael Vick is still injured and on the sidelines for the Eagles. Vince Young will be starting. He will not be able to throw three interceptions and win. Vince Young will have to play perfectly. I just don’t think he can do that. I look for Tom Brady to carve up the Eagles defense. New England Patriots will pull away in the second half.

Denver Broncos versus San Diego Chargers – I think that San Diego will stop the run and force Tim Tebow to throw the ball. The problem with a San Diego Charger offense has been their receivers. The receivers have been unable to get separation. This is a game in which Antonio Gates really needs to step up. He has to win his one-on-one matchups. I think San Diego will win this one at home.

Sunday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers versus Kansas City Chiefs – I don’t think that this will be close. The Steelers – by a mile.

Monday Night Football
New York Giants versus New Orleans Saints – This may be the best Monday night matchup of the year, so far. The New Orleans Saints need to win this to stay ahead in their division. The New York Giants need to win this game in order to keep up with the resurgent Dallas Cowboys. Drew Brees is playing great football right now. He is either the best or the second best quarterback in the NFL, depending upon how you look at the statistics. Their defense brings a ton of pressure. Eli Manning is not as accurate when he’s under pressure, but, as we saw against the San Francisco 49ers, he can still make some great throws under enormous pressure. I think with New Orleans’ running game and or their variety of receivers that New Orleans has, I don’t think that the New York Giants matchup well enough. I think New Orleans will win at home.

By |2011-11-26T23:28:27-04:00November 26th, 2011|NFL|Comments Off on NFL week 12: Thoughts and Predictions

Wild Card weekend

Arizona Cardinals versus Green Bay Packers. Nobody is playing better football than the Green Bay Packers. The defense is outstanding. Somehow, they fixed the problems with their offensive line. Although Peyton Manning won the MVP, Aaron Rodgers is playing as good as any quarterback in the league. Arizona Cardinals, on the other hand, are having problems on offense and on defense. I suspect that Arizona will play better but I think, that they will still lose. If Arizona is able to limit turnovers, they should be able to keep the game close. I look for the Packers to win by seven or more.

Dallas Cowboys versus Philadelphia Eagles. This will not be a replay of last week’s game. The Philadelphia Eagles ran the dullest offense that I’ve ever seen since Andy Reed took over as head coach. I look for the Eagles to open it up. Brian Westbrook only touched the ball five times last Sunday. I expect him to have at least 20 touches today. DeShawn Jackson was either high or sleepwalking last week. If he’s not hurt, I expect him to have a big game. (The Eagles will go his way a lot.) From a defensive standpoint, the Eagles did not blitz much at all. I expect that this will change also. I also suspect that the Cowboys have watched tape of last week’s game just as I have. The offensive line will need to do an excellent job of picking up the blitz if the Cowboys are going to have any opportunity to win this game. Tony Romo is currently playing the best football he has ever played as a pro. He will need to continue to protect the football. If he can limit turnovers, the Dallas Cowboys have an excellent chance of winning. I think that this game will be won in the trenches. Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware will need to dominate the line of scrimmage. The offensive line will not only have to dominate, but they will also have to limit penalties. I look for the Cowboys to win by seven.

New York Jets versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Unless the Cincinnati Bengals are able to generate some big plays through the passing game, the Jets are going to crush them. The Jets have a fantastic defense. The problem is no offense. More specifically, they have a quarterback who’s not getting the job done. Mark Sanchez is still about two or three years away from understanding the NFL. If he’s able to limit turnovers, the Jets will win. I suspect that the Cincinnati Bengals will try to break out of their traditional conservative ways and try and hit a couple of big plays early. If they can get the Jets to play from behind, they will have taken Thomas Jones out of the game and plays the game into Mark Sanchez’s hands. I think this game will be extremely close. I think it’s toss-up.

Baltimore Ravens versus the New England Patriots. I look at this game as a toss-up also. Neither offense is clicking. Neither team has a suffocating defense. This game will come down to turnovers and the play of Joe Flacco. If Baltimore is able to throw the ball down the field, that will open up the running game. Baltimore wins. If Baltimore is not able to get the ball down the field, I look for the Patriots to stack the line of scrimmage and stuff the run. If New England is able to do that, then they win.

My two cents.

By |2010-01-09T16:25:31-04:00January 9th, 2010|Sports|Comments Off on Wild Card weekend
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