1) Cowboys dominated to the core
35-10, that how much the Cowboys got outscored after the Broncos scored before the delay and Dak Prescott came back and hit Dez with a back-shoulder fade. At the time, I thought the young-duo was poised to display another round of unexplainable maturity. That was obviously anything but the case going forward.
The hilarious part about this is Cowboy fans will blame this on the lightning, injuries, or any other excuse they can get their hands on. The reality is the Broncos aren’t the better team; certainly not 25 points better. This loss goes on every part of this Dallas team. Their defense made Trevor Siemian look like the second coming of Tom Brady on several plays because of a lack of effort, not talent. The usual strength of the team, the offensive line, was flat out dominated by the Broncos’ D line that is good, but certainly not anything special like the Cowboys made them look. This also goes on Dez Bryant who was targeted 16 times and only caught seven. Were some of them on Dak and his poor passes? Yes, but more were on Dez.
Don’t get me wrong, Dak was far from perfect, but the rest of the team failed him today.
2) Does this mean the Patriots are back?
NO. No, this game does not mean the Patriots are back. Great, they scored 36 points against one of, if not the, worst defenses in the league. In the mean time, Tom Brady had not one, but two terrible interceptions taken of the board because of penalties.
To make matters worse, after losing Danny Amendola to a head injury last week, Rob Gronkowski (groin), Rex Burkhead (ribs), and Phillip Dorset (knee) all left the game today; leaving the Patriots extremely thin at the receiver position. To such an extent that Brady was throwing to a fullback outside the numbers by the end of the game. Reminder: They already lost Julien Edelman.
This team will beat up on bad teams still — even with Brady in decline and the injuries — but my serious doubts about how they will match up against better competition remains.
3) The predictable NFC Championship game
I said on my preview show today that the Falcons would easily win, something everyone should have seen coming. The Packers have gotten worse and the Falcons are the same if not better since last season.
Atlanta’s fast and furious defense was just too much for Aaron Rodgers with the hole-filled roster he is left to work with. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan and company dominated Green Bay’s lackluster defense in their sleep.
Are the Falcons a playoff team this year? Yes, but the Packers made them look good. Green Bay just won’t beat teams of the Falcons caliber this season with that roster.
4) Are the Chiefs for real?
At this point I sound like a broken record, but every single year Kansas City does something like this. Last year it was a five game winning streak and the year before that it was a ten game stretch to end the season. Yet again, the Chiefs have any easy schedule ahead (AT Chargers, VS Redskins, AT Texans) and could easily start 5-0 or 4-1 which will undoublty have people hoping on the bandwagon. Eventaully, in the least surprising occurrence ever, the Chiefs will let you down. Sure, they will probably make the playoffs, hell, they might even win a game, but at some point they will collapse because that’s what they do.
Plus, what kind of winning organization allows it to be leaked that they are thinking of trading their starting quarterback after this season?
5) Over confidence ahead of week 2
Every single year there is a team or two that doesn’t win, but performs better than people expected they would and everyone gets too high on them. Exhibit A and B of that today was the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns. Yes, they looked better than anyone thought in week one which earned them so much as embarrassing losses in week two. Let’s realize what these teams still are: two of the worst in the NFL.
6) Titans and Bucs live up to the hype…or did they?
Coming into the season many people picked Tennessee and Tampa Bay to win their respective divisions. Today they both looked good, but they get little to no credit from me.
The Titans struggled in the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars who still have Blake Bortles at quarterback while the Buccaneers dominated a pathetic Bears team who still have Mike Glennon at quarterback. Sorry, but if you want praise, you are going to have to do better than beating up on Bortles and Glennon.
7) Seahawks fail to impress…again
The team they many people have making a deep postseason run again crawled to a 1-1 record against a team that still hasn’t scored a touchdown. The 49ers’ defensive line (nothing special at all) manhandled Seattle’s front all night long to the tune of three sacks, six tackles for loss, and ten QB hits. It was clear from the very first drive that the Seahawks’ offensive line issues aren’t going anywhere any time soon. This is the first time since October 2014 that Russell Wilson has thrown under 200 yards in back-to-back games and that isn’t a coincidence.
I said last week that the Seahawks will struggle to get to double-digit wins and I only feel stronger about that today.
8) AFC North becomes clear
The Ravens and Steelers let it be known today that they are atop the division and aren’t going anywhere…for now. Pittsburgh will probably get close or go over the ten win mark, but they don’t look built for the postseason to me. The in-division rival Ravens have the type of defense that will control the NFL for the foreseeable future: fast, young, and athletic.
Yes, I will admit that I though the Ravens were going to be plagued by the preseason injuries, and while I am not completely sold that they still won’t be, they are really starting to gain my confidence. If only they had a better quarterback.
9) Patience is necessary, but not being used at the quarterback position
What ever happened to developing a quarterback? DeShone Kizer looked overwhelmed against the Ravens increasingly impressive defense and wasn’t as good as you thought last week.
After Mike Glennon looked awful today, it is only a matter off time until the orginzatoin falls to the fan pressure in Chicago and puts in Mitchell Trubisky which will mess with his development too. The first two years of playing time are so pivotal for a young QB so why put them in to early? To sell tickets and jerseys? Great.
If your response to this is about Glennon or any other QB option in Cleveland, you are missing the point.
10) The second most underrated position in football
For those of you who have listened to my podcast or watched my shows, you know how often I mention the offensive line as the most underrated position in the NFL. I have now officially decided on the second most underrated position: kicker.
Just ask Chargers’ fans, they will tell you who they feel about their kicker Younghoe Koo. Or just ask Tampa Bay and Arizona how they felt about their kicking situations last year. Just like the offensive line, when they do their job we are in the kitchen grabbing some snacks, when they don’t we rip them on Twitter. Why? Because they matter. Ask your team to actually draft or spend the money on a really good kicker. It’s not sexy, but it will win and lose you games
Tomorrow: The SWN Show and podcast with more reaction
-Article by Nick Friend