NFL / dallas cowboys
Chops316 Monday Morning Quarterback: Thoughts on NFL Week Fifteen
The fifteenth Sunday of the NFL season is in the books so here are the different thoughts and opinions I have on various things I witnessed this past weekend. So many upsets this week again. Parity is alive and well in the NFL this season. Just remember I am a Dallas Cowboys fan and I'm extremely biased. Feel free to agree or disagree about anything mentioned here. All comments are welcome.Blanked It was that kind of day for Dallas Source I had a bad feeling about this game. Dallas hasn't played very well on the road this year and outside of the Jacksonville game, the Colts have been hot. Then as I watched the FOX pre-game show and saw everybody pick the Cowboys to win, I knew they were doomed. Those guys can't pick winners. Despite my trepidations, I didn't expect Dallas to get shut out 23-0. How embarrassing. First time the Cowboys were shut out since 2003, when Quincy Carter was the QB. I prefer not to remember those dark days. The Colts defensive staff obviously paid close attention to what the Eagles did defensively last week and decided to do the opposite. Smart move. They prevented big plays down the field, forcing the Cowboys to try to piece together drives with short passes and runs. Dinking and dunking is not a strength of the Cowboys. Pro Bowl offensive lineman Zack Martin missed his first game ever on any level and it hurt the running game. Especially in short yardage situations. Dallas held Andrew Luck in check (16/27 192 yards 0 TD), but let RB Marlon Mack have a big day with 139 yards and 2 TDs. The Cowboys played like a team coasting into the playoffs. Poor execution, sloppy tackling and a general lack of intensity. It is painful watching your favorite team play with no fire in their bellies. The Colts on the other hand played like a team fighting for their playoff lives. Kudos to them. They took the Cowboys usual game script, controlling the clock by rushing the ball and defense, and used it against them. Dallas better get their shit together fast or they are going to ruin my Christmas.The Best of the West Perfect example of KC defense Source Remember when we thought the Chiefs were the best team in football? Turns out they might not even be the best team in their own division after the Chargers snuck out of KC with 29-28 win. The Chargers were missing their top two RBs, lost #1 WR Keenan Allen very early in the game and still managed to put up 29 points on the road. That Kansas City defense is bad with a capital B. San Diego Los Angeles head coach Anthony Lynn was smart enough to go for two and the win instead of relying on a coin flip for overtime. I've seen this decision made a lot more this season and I love it. Why play for a tie when you might not even touch the ball in overtime? Play to win the game. The Chiefs are still in the drivers seat to win the division and secure the #1 seed in the AFC, but if they don't start playing better defense it may be moot. Plus head coach Andy Reid still has the stank of Philadelphia all over him. That crap doesn't wash away. I was looking forward to watching this game and it did not disappoint, but I never want to see the Walt Anderson led officiating crew again. For christ's sake somebody from the league's office needs to tell those guys they don't have to throw a frickin' flag on every single play. The worst part is they call every single little ticky tack penalty yet somehow still miss the big ones. For the second week in a row they missed a major helmet to helmet penalty that everyone else on the planet saw that could have affected the outcome of the game. They make me want to throw a shoe at the TV. Don't laugh, I was pissed off enough to do that once. Or twice.The 2nd best team in Los Angeles He Goffed this play bad Source Speaking of teams that were considered Super Bowl favorites, what the hell has happened to the Rams? Losing to the Bears in the cold weather at Chicago is one thing, losing at home 30-23 against a depleted Eagles team that has underachieved most of the season is brutal. The game plan to stop the Rams offense is becoming well known: contain RB Todd Gurley and force QB Jared Goff to make plays. Goff coughed up the ball three more times this week and just doesn't seem like the same QB without WR Cooper Kupp in the lineup. Despite their lousy performance, the Rams had a shot to score a game tying (or winning if they would be smart enough to go for two) TD in the game's waning minutes, but terrible clock management killed the opportunity. They took too long to set up the plays and failed to get out of bounds to stop the clock. The Rams failed to record a single sack and their defense relies on pressuring QBs. The Eagles hit 30 points for only the second time all year. The Rams have a couple of cupcakes left on the schedule (Cardinals and 49ers) and they need to sort themselves out if they don't want to be one and done in the playoffs again. Hmmm. Did Philadelphia start the right QB most of the year? Record with Wentz : 5-6. Record with Foles: 2-1. If the Eagles win out with Foles at the helm it will be fun to listen to the Philly sports talk radio in the offseason. Personally I think their biggest issue is head coach Doug Pederson, but since he somehow pulled a Super Bowl out of his ass last year he isn't going anywhere anytime soon. That brings a smile to this Cowboys fan's face. Fading Suns This game was ugly Source In recent times a Pittsburgh-New England game felt like an AFC title game preview. Oh how the mighty have fallen. This game perfectly exemplified the recent play of both teams: ugly. It sure as hell wasn't a joy to watch. Coming off of a demoralizing loss at Oakland, the Steelers made just enough plays on both sides of the ball to win 17-10. Rookie RB Jaylon Samuels, starting in place of injured James Conner, saved the day on offense by rushing for 142 yards on 19 carries. QB Ben Roethlisberger was his usual up and down self, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. Big Ben can't carry this team anymore alone. The Steelers ended their three game skid to remain a half game ahead of the Ravens. If the Patriots end up in the Super Bowl again this year I'll be convinced Bill Belichick is the devil. Brady is showing signs of aging, Gronkowski is a shell of his former self and this team struggles bad on the road. They are 3-5 on the road this season with losses at Detroit and Jacksonville. Ouch. They have two easy home games left on the schedule (Bills and Jets), but if the Texans win out they will have to travel to advance in the playoffs after the first round. Please AFC, send a different damn team to the big game. I think I speak for the entire nation outside of New England when I say we are sick of the Patriots. And if the rest of the nation feels differently, well personally I don't care. I'm sick of the Patriots and that's all I really care about. It's like being stuck in the 80's when Denver went all the time (and lost) or the 90's when Buffalo went all the time (and lost). Give KC or San Diego Los Angeles a chance to lose the big one!Random Thoughts Remember this guy? Source The Browns continued to put the last several season's debacles behind them by winning at Denver 17-16. The last time the Browns beat the Broncos Bernie Kosar was their QB. Let that sink in for a moment. That was all the way back in 1990. The Browns had lost 11 in a row to Denver. Oh well Broncos fans, you still have the "drive" and the "fumble" to reminisce about. Of course you blew the Super Bowl both times, so who really cares. The Vikings fired their offensive coordinator this week and then scored 41 points against the Dolphins. Head coach Mike Zimmer complained they weren't running the ball enough, so new OC Kevin Stefanski dialed up 35 running plays while QB Kirk Cousins only threw 21 passes. Well at least it has worked for one week. My question to Zimmer is this: If you didn't think the previous OC was running the ball enough, why didn't you tell him to call for more runs? Who is in charge of this team? Head coaches seem to delegate everything anymore. Long gone are the days of Shula, Noll and Landry, who ran the teams themselves and delegated squat. Hard to argue with their track record. I guess it's simpler now to delegate and blame the other coaches when things fall apart. The Bears roughed up Aaron Rodgers and beat the Packers 24-17. I don't know how far they can get with Trubisky at QB, but I sure wouldn't want to face them in the playoffs. If they had home field advantage I think they would be the NFC favorites right now. Everybody is else is looking pretty rough. The last time the Bears looked this good Mike Ditka was patrolling the sidelines. And for those that don't know (I'm talking to you Tuck Fheman) Ditka learned just about everything he knew about football in Dallas under Landry. This factoid really has nothing to do with this week's games, I'm just mentioning it in the faint hopes that Tuck actually reads this post since we were arguing about it on discord. He doesn't really care about football, he just hates the Cowboys and likes to try to piss me off since I'm their #1 fan. Stop denying the facts Tuck, the truth will set you free. Since I seem determined to chase my friends away, let me mention the Lions lost to Buffalo, the Buccaneers lost to Baltimore and the Seahawks lost to the 49ers (ha!). Sorry Mikey. Sorry Bull. Not sorry at all Beth. Is it just me or is this post a lot meaner than usual? It's Christmas time, fat bearded guys are supposed to be jolly. I'm letting the holidays down. A Cowboys loss and an Eagles win will make me miserable. This turd of a Monday Night game isn't helping either. I'm in desperate need of some Christmas cookies. Mom better be baking or next week's post could be a bloodbath. Let me know your thoughts on Week 15, whether they are happy or mean I read and appreciate them all. Just remember it is rude to kick a Cowboys fan while they are down. And Santa is watching.