Monday, October 15, 2007

Week 6: Patriots 48, Cowboys 27

Reality check time in Dallas yesterday. The Champs came, saw, and conquered. They did what they do. The Cowboys could do nothing about it. If we called it a measuring stick, we must surmise that the Boys did not measure up very well.

But, let’s remember a few things. 1) The Patriots are awesome. Tom Brady is amazing, as I must have said “great throw” 10 times yesterday. He realizes mismatches and continues to exploit them all day long (Nate Jones). 2) It is just October. 3) The Cowboys remain a resident of the goofy NFC.

The following are notes from yesterday’s big loss to the team of the decade:

• The Cowboys, who are slow starters notoriously, took it to an all new level yesterday. 1st drive, start at Dal 17, 3 plays, 4 yards, punt. 2nd drive, start at Dal 20, 3 plays, -12 yards, punt. 3rd drive, start at Dal 13, 3 plays, 4 yards, punt. And, by the time you get the ball a 4th time, you are down 14-0 to the best team of this decade. Good luck with all of that.

• The Field position battle was dominated by New England. This goes to smart football, good coverage on kicks, bad decisions by Tyson Thompson, and the Cowboys start their first 8 drives at the 17, 20, 13, 16, 16, 26, 20, and 21. It is just demoralizing to continue to start drives 80 yards away. The only time the Cowboys got reasonable field position was when Thompson had a monster return when the Boys were down 38-24 early in the 4th Quarter.

• Marion Barber is awesome. Boy, does he run hard. Julius had some moments, too. But not nearly enough from those two.

• Penalties will get you beat, too. Kosier’s hold halted a drive early, and nullified a 4th down late. Witten and Owens were flagged which brought back a big play to Owens, Flozell put the offense in a huge 1st and 20 hole, and Hatcher roughed Brady with an idiotic helmet to helmet hit. We wondered when the payment would come due on all of these penalties, and the collector arrived yesterday.

• Wes Welker is the man. I have been touting his excellence since early in his Red Raider career, and I think I have been vindicated. He is a great player, who has found the perfect home to showcase his skills. The slot in New England, when a safety is always rolling to Moss, is a place where he can make a huge living against 3rd best corners. Nate Jones will have nightmares about yesterday, as Tom Brady just knew where #33 Dallas was, and he picked on him constantly, to the tune of a Welker stat line of 11 catches, 124 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Taking candy from a baby it seemed.

• I think it was clear the Patriots were trying to make another statement to the NFL yesterday. The very first play that their offense had the ball, they tried to throw a bomb to Moss that just missed. They tried several bombs to Moss all day long, and of course they punched the final touchdown in, when they might have kicked the FG. Some people were crying that Belichick was running up the score, but in the NFL, where the professionals are all paid big dollars, there is no crying in football. You take your medicine, and if you don’t like what they are doing to you, try mixing in a stop. Also, one can only wonder if Belichick heard Wade’s alleged comments about the New England legacy.

• New England had the ball 12 times. 6 Touchdowns, 2 Field goals, 2 Punts, 1 Fumble, and 1 knee at the half.

• One interesting occurrence yesterday were during the sacks from Nate Jones and DeMarcus Ware. In both cases, the Cowboys looked like they thought Brady had already thrown the ball, and had basically touched him with 2 hands for fear of getting roughing penalties. Instead, they almost had “Kiwanuka” moments, named after the play last season when the Giants linebacker did the same thing with Vince Young, but on that play, Vince Young went on to make a huge play which led to a very unlikely win for the Titans last season.

• Why did the Cowboys kick the Field Goal down 38-24 with no indication that they could stop the Patriots all day long? Go for it and maybe lose, or kick it, and lose for sure. Wade made a Campo-type decision there.

• When the Patriots put Vrabel and Seau in as goal-line Tight Ends, they essentially have 4 TE’s in the game. There, you don’t know if they are blocking or running routes, so you can understand the confusion by the Cowboys defense. If Moss or Welker are in, you know it is a pass. But with those types of players, I don’t know how anyone defends that. It is a very nice strategy.

• I don’t know how to summarize Romo’s game. He was victimized by drops for sure, but he certainly didn’t have a chance to take over the game much. He is in a bit of a slump, and most QB’s don’t get well against the Vikings defense. He certainly was unable to rise to the occasion. Welcome to the “what have you done for me lately” world of being a big time QB.

• I used to think that anyone who argued Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning was on crack. Now, I am not so sure. Brady is amazing on so many levels. And this year he is demonstrating that he can put up huge numbers if that is what you require from your QB.

• Jacques Reeves fights his tail off every week. I know he still gets beat, but I like him for what he is: a 3rd Corner. If Henry was healthy, and they could have kept Nate Jones off the field, they may have had a bit more of an answer. But, of course, they didn’t come close to having an answer yesterday.

• I needed much, much more out of Terrell Owens yesterday. And I have little patience for his treatment of those media that wanted some accountability after his sign stunt of last week when he indicated that he would take all questions regarding 81 vs 81 after the game. Then, they brought those questions, and he did not want anything to do with them. Ridiculous. Advantage Moss.

• I thought Texas Stadium did pretty well early for noise, but as the lead got to 14-0, you could tell that it didn’t take long to demoralize the crowd. It was just a tough day all around for the organization.

• Is Kate Hudson just a hater of all things Dallas? Wasn’t she Mrs. Golden State Warriors? And now she likes the Patriots? What is her deal?

• The good news again: Just 1 loss. New England plays in the AFC with the Colts. You play in the NFC with no really good teams. It is October, and you are a home win against Minnesota from being 6-1 at the bye week. No real injuries to speak of from yesterday, and Tank Johnson and maybe Terry Glenn could be joining you soon. Things could be much worse around here. I said before the game that provided the Cowboys competed well, I would not have my opinion changed about the Cowboys position in the NFC. They did, and I still feel they are the team to beat in the NFC.


BV said...

No R. Williams notes? I have him officially listed as a dirty player after the way he drug down Ben Watson on the sideline. He did the ole drag 'em down from behind bit (like the horse collar but had him around the waste).

Perhaps the reason it is now so evident that he sucks at tackling is he only knows how to hit hard or horse collar. That's how he made a living at OU and did so well his first few seasons in the NFL.

Dirty, Dirty, Dirty...

Jay, Christi and Andrew said...

I think having Henry would have helped TONS. Maybe not game changing tons, but probably some stops on third downs.

The penalties made me the most angry. But seriously, Fasano runs into a defensive guy and it's offensive pass interference. Moss does it down the field on an overthrown ball and it's defensive. Hmmmm........

But, luckily if you watched any other games and saw how putrid the rest of the NFC was, you have to be excited. We still have done mighty well against the run. Very much needed this week...

Michael said...

The thing I hate most about this loss is that once again, we have to listen to this talk of how much better the AFC is than the NFC. I'm tired of it. Ok, so the best team (arguably) in the AFC beat the best (arguably) in convincing fashion in week 6. Outside of the Colts and Patriots, who else in the AFC really scares anyone? This week it was split 2-2 as the horrible Eagles beat the horrible Jets and the the Bucs beat one of the better AFC teams in the Titans. I don't mind people saying that the top AFC team may be better than the top NFC team, but with just a slim margin of 14-12 this year, to continually say that the AFC is real football and the NFC is JV just kills me. In fact, I'm really hoping this week's loss is a blessing in disguise. I was beginning to worry that the Cowboys were believing all the hype about their greatness and now they have no choice but to put the popcorn away, stop dating Carrie Underwood and just play some freaking football like they should.

The Rice Man said...

Beware of the Redskins. I'm just saying that their team is a whole lot better than most expected. 1st time in about 4 years that they have the talent to compete with Dallas. If you can can win. Hail to the Redskins!

Jay, Christi and Andrew said...

The Redskins?!!! Did you even watch that game yesterday? I will say that maybe the defenses were tough, but it just looked incredibly sloppy. I mean, you don't overlook anyone in the NFL obviously, but I was not impressed with either team in that game. You got to run the ball and Portis looks like...well, I don't know. I've never seen anyone with his talent look so whatever...
Just my humble opinion.

Jay, Christi and Andrew said...

I will quickly say that the 'skins safties worry me. They are studs. But that's about it.

Jay said...

I think it's always tough to get through division opponents and I don't think any of the teams in the NFC East are dogs.

I agree that the AFC is not that great either. What we have are the haves and the have nots. Right now the haves are the Colts, Pats, Steelers and Cowboys and every one else are the have nots at least at this stage.

The AFC is not as good as it's been the last couple years, it's just that the 2 top teams are heads and shoulders above everyone else right now.

Cowboys aren't bad. They got beat by a really good time. I think if we can continue taking care of business we'll still feel good ab this team going into the playoffs.

seanb1223 said...

I agree with the first comment. Roy Williams is a dirty player who is overrated and couldn't cover his ass with a bedspread.

The Rice Man said...

Skins made a lot of mistakes, way too many for an average team to overcome. They are an average team, but they have enough talented athletes on D to keep them in every game. Even one as bad as they played yesterday. They haven't been this athletic in 10 years. Just saying to the Boys fans....don't forget about your long lost rival. November 18. Hail to the Redskins

Poncenomics said...

When talent levels are even moderately close, football is really a game of mistakes. Minimize your own, and exploit those of your opponent.

In all honesty, Brady is not as talented as many QBs in the game today. But he RARELY makes a mistake. And he knows, perhaps better than any QB in history, how to exploit your mistakes, especially when it's a weak matchup in coverage. It's like watching a pitcher who can't throw high-90s heat, but he knows the batters' weaknesses and always puts the ball where he wants. I still think Manning is overall a better QB, but Brady is having an amazing season.

The Cowboys' biggest problem yesterday was that they made way too many mistakes--from the coaches to the skill players to the linemen. This team took the lead to begin the 3rd, and it looked like the game was on. But then they completely came unglued. This was a team that has lived this year on getting stronger as the game goes on, but they folded because A) NE had equal to superior talent, and B) they made stupid plays down the stretch. If Barber's 4th-down run stands, you might have a thrilling finish coming up. Personally, I thought the offside penalty after they had actually held Welker short of the 1st down was bigger.

Bottom line: this team made mistake after mistake against a very good team that's playing great and who wouldn't return the favor. And once that team got rolling, the snowball effect was too much. They weren't beaten like a drum, but they were outplayed when it really mattered.

dingus mcdouchey said...

i guess there's different levels of jedi(s)?