This past Sunday I started off watching the Dallas versus Buffalo game while flipping over during commercials to catch the New Orleans versus Atlanta game, one ended up a blowout, while the other ended up in overtime, ah, the diversity of the NFL.
Almost every game for Dallas this year has been a tale of two halves and this one was no exception. But with the writing of this tale, Dallas finally ended up continuing through the second half of the game what they started in the first half . . . a blowout. Too many times this year Dallas has started their games blowing opponents off of the field only to hand it back to them during the second half. (Thanks Tony!) But with this game, Tony didn’t evolve into his ‘rookie alter ego’ and start giving the ball away via interceptions from passes that never should have been thrown, instead Dallas just turned to their young running back from Oklahoma, DeMarco Murray, more often.
Dallas pulled to a 21 – 0 lead by the end of the first quarter with Tony Romo starting his day with 13 for 13 and 3 touchdowns, one to Dez Bryant and two to Laurent Robinson (2). By the end of the first half Dallas was leading 28 – 7 and Tony had three-fourths of his passes and yards for the day; 18 for 19, 237 yards and the same 3 touchdowns (2).
The second half started out with runs, screens, and short passes, the DeMarco Murray show was in full swing. But alas this was not a show I would get to finish watching. After Dallas had kicked a couple of field goals and move to a 34 – 7 lead, CBS switched to a more fan friendly game; Pittsburgh versus Cincinnati (2). DeMarco ended the day with 20 rushes for 135 yards and 1 touchdown while Tony Romo ended up with 23 for 26, 270 yards and 3 touchdowns and Dallas pulled off a 44 – 7 victory over the Buffalo Bills (1).
I wish to also comment on a couple of the other games that filled the day as well, starting with what was in my opinion, the stupidest play called during the day’s games that I saw. Atlanta had won the toss in O.T. and chose of course to receive the ball, but that decision would be short lived as they would get bogged down during their drive and end up with 4th and inches with 14+ minutes to go. Now, first off don’t get me wrong I understand the decision and why the call was made. But if you do not have faith enough to punt it away and let your defense stop Drew Brees after staying in the game all day long, what makes you think you can stop them from your own 29 yard line if you do not get the inches needed to make the first down? Secondly and most importantly if everyone is hugging the line of scrimmage (including the defensive safeties), why on earth do you think a run up the middle is going to be successful? Why would you not try a fake up the middle and a short pass to the outside with Tony Gonzalez sneaking out into the flat? Now I will say, Atlanta is a good team and Coach Smith is a good coach and both he and the team prove this week in and week out, not my favorite team but definitely one of my top 5. But with that said, “What were you thinking coach?”
Sunday Night Football usually brings a very good game and this week was no different. New England came limping into the game with injuries abound in the defensive unit looking at possibly losing a third straight game, while the New York Jets came in hoping they could get the first place seed to themselves and possibly end up with a home field game in the playoffs, but as usual first looks can be deceiving.
New England came into the Meadowlands looking like the Patriots of a few years ago and controlled the game from start to finish, while the Jets seemed to look flustered at the awe inspiring ‘throw back’ talent show the Patriots put on. To understand how this game got out of control, one has to look to only one player, Rob Gronkowski; 8 receptions for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns (1). He is a future Tony Gonzalez/Shannon Sharpe. He has awesome size, terrific hands, mad blocking skills; he is a complete package. Can you say Hall of Fame?
(1) – NFL.COM gamecenter.
(2) – CBS Television via the game.