Chops316 Monday Morning Quarterback: Thanksgiving Edition
For all those who celebrated, I hope you were able to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. Football and a feast, what could be better? I normally consider Thanksgiving my favorite holiday since the Cowboys always play. I'm having second thoughts now. It's been that kind of season. At least the feast was awesome.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time to celebrate a homecoming and on Thursday all three home teams lost. Oh well, it wasn't surprising because all three home teams stink this year.
Just remember I am a Dallas Cowboys fan and I'm extremely biased. And disgusted. Feel free to agree or disagree about anything mentioned here. All comments are welcome.
Buffalo Bill was a Cowboy too
Josh Allen outplayed Dak Prescott in Dallas and the Bills beat up the Cowboys 26-15. Ok I summed this one up pretty good, on to the next game.
Wait a minute, just because the Cowboys are garbage right now I can't let myself fall into the same hole. I have some pride you know.
I had a bad feeling heading into this game. If you watched Dallas play at all the past few weeks you understand why. They are reeling and Buffalo is playing some damn good football. I tried to be positive. I replayed Super Bowls XXVII and XXIII in my mind, remembering the good ole days when Buffalo was our bitch. Then I ate a mountain of food. It was awesome.
Despite my efforts to maintain positivity, I sat my bloated ass down to watch the game resigned to the fate the the Cowboys were going to lose. Then Dallas took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards for a TD. What? Was I suffering from some sort of turkey induced dream where the Cowboys would actually win? If there is one thing I can count on it is Dallas having a slow start. Maybe that terrible game in New England lit a fire under their ass.
Nope. I should have turned the TV off after the first ten minutes and took a nap. The Cowboys started to sputter after that. They weren't helped by Dak's generosity, he threw an awful INT and fumbled the ball on back-to-back drives. The turnovers helped Buffalo take the lead and they never looked back winning 26-15. A garbage time TD by the Cowboys made the final score look closer than the game actually was.
Let me give credit here to Buffalo. They had the slow start until the Dallas turnovers kick started their offense in the second quarter. They took the momentum and ran with it. Josh Allen looked like a real QB (19/24, 231 yards, 1 TD) and did some damage with his legs as well: 10 carries, 43 yards, 1 TD. He made a tremendous play to scoop the ball from the pile and run after his center screwed up a snap on fourth down to convert and later made a beautiful 17 yard run for a TD.
Allen's main area of concern is INTs, yet in his last eight games he has thrown only two, while either rushing or throwing for 18 TDs in that span. If he can keep it up the Bills are going to be a dangerous team come January.
WR Cole Beasley had his "revenge" game against Dallas: 6 catches, 110 yards, 1 TD. Dammit Beasley, where were those kind of performances when you had a star on your helmet? The Bills are 9-3 and could probably make the playoffs even if they lost the rest of their games.
I don't even want to talk about the Cowboys. It was the same crap all over again. They turned the ball over and didn't get any turnovers. Their unreliable kicker missed both his field goal attempts. The running game was successful and abandoned too early. They don't play with the fire in their belly.
The Cowboy are now 6-6 yet still lead the worst division in the NFL, the NFC East. This whole division is a joke. Somebody has to win it, either Philly or Dallas. Doesn't matter which one, neither is going to go very far.
I would have rather watched a bear fight a lion
For the second season in a row the NFL decided to kick off the Turkey day action with a Lions/Bears matchup. Thanks NFL! I watched for the same reason everybody outside of Chicago and Detroit watched, to kill time before the turkey was ready.
I didn't expect much from the Lions because A) they stink, they did lose to Dallas you know and B) they were forced to start their 3rd string QB David Blough. What were they going to do against the vaunted Bears defense?
Well Blough had other ideas. He came out firing, hitting WR Kenny Golladay with a 75 yard TD pass on the Lions first possession and WR Marvin Jones with a 8 yard TD pass on the second possession. Holy crap, the Lions were going to blow out the Bears!
Except no, they are still the Lions. The offense was bottled up after the first quarter and Chicago came back to win 24-20.
The Lions pass defense is atrocious and if you didn't believe that before the game you should now since they let Mitch Trubisky light them up for 338 yards and 3 TDs. Ouch. I thought Matt Patricia was supposed to be some kind of defensive genius? The Lions defense has steadily declined since he took over. Maybe, just maybe, the Lions front office should have realized Bill Belichick is the real brains behind the Patriots defense. New England sure hasn't suffered since Patrica left.
The Lions are now 3-8-1 and officially eliminated from playoff contention. That was a mere formality since QB Matthew Stafford went down.
The Bears are now 6-6 and technically still alive in the Wild Card race but in reality they aren't going anywhere. Next Thursday they play the Cowboys. Oh boy! Let's preview this exciting contest. The Cowboys can't beat anybody good. Hmm, the Bears aren't good. Then again Dallas struggles against bad teams too, they did lose to the Jets. However the Bears needed two missed field goals and a fumble recovery on the 3 yard line to slip past the Giants. And they had to come from behind to beat a Lions squad starting their 3rd string QB. I see a Thursday night shit show in our future.
One last very non-interesting matchup
For the Turkey Day finale the NFL gave us another Thanksgiving rematch from last season, the Saints vs. the Falcons. Apparently the NFL realizes we only have the TVs on for background noise on Thanksgiving night and felt they could throw any crap out there. They were right! The Saints won 26-18.
The Falcons shocked the Saints a couple of weeks ago 26-9. New Orleans was determined to get off to a better start this time and they did. The Falcons took the opening kickoff and went backwards in a three and out series. Then the Saints blocked their punt and scored a TD three plays later. I smelled a rout coming on.
However my olfactory senses let me down as the Falcons hung in there. The Saints only led 17-9 at the half. The New Orleans offense never got rolling the whole night, moving the ball here and there but not building any real momentum. Drew Brees finished with an unspectacular night: 18/30, 184 yards, 1 TD.
The Falcons entered the game without WR Julio Jones and that hurt them. Atlanta's running game wasn't very good so QB Matt Ryan had to air it out to stay close behind New Orleans: 35/50, 312 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs. Those INTs were game changers, but I can't be too hard on Ryan. He was sacked 9 (!) times and was running for his life all night.
The best part about this game was the crazy ending. The Falcons cut the lead to 11 with a field goal and had to make an onside kick with only a few minutes left. Ever since the NFL changed the onside kick rules they are rarely recovered by the kicking team.
But dammit the Falcons recovered! Oh no, a penalty flag! The shitty officiating of the NFL reared its ugly head once again as the Falcons were flagged for being offsides even though replay showed they weren't. Damn the officiating is bad.
So the Falcons had to make a second onside kick attempt. What the hell, they recovered it again! They moved the ball a little and kicked a field goal to cut the lead to eight. Now they had to make another onside kick attempt. Now way they could recover a third one right? I have no idea what the math is but my guess the odds of recovering three onside kicks in row these days is somewhere around 0.0001%.
For christ's sake they recovered the third one too! WTF! Seriously, the Saints should be ashamed. Their hands team acted like that ball was covered in herpes. Could the Falcons pull off a last second TD and send the game to overtime? Of course not, they are still the Falcons. At least they made the final few minutes interesting. I would suggest New Orleans to dedicate a little more practice time to special teams this week.
The Falcons fall to 3-9 and their season was dead over a month ago. The Saints move to 10-2 and have clinched the NFC South. Wow, clinching a division by Thanksgiving. The Saints should give thanks to the Panthers, Falcons and Bucs for being so terrible.
The Saints have not been playing their best football the past few weeks, but they keep winning. Their next game is against the Niners and it is of the utmost importance. The Niners are currently 10-1 and in the lead for the #1 seed in the NFC. A win by New Orleans will put them in the number one spot. They already have a win over the next closet competitor, 9-2 Seattle. Those tiebreakers can come in handy.
The Saints really need the #1 seed, under Sean Payton they are 6-1 in home playoff games. The lone loss was last year's NFC title game and we know how they got screwed by the refs in that game. Payton's road playoff record is 1-5. Sheesh. This team absolutely need home field advantage to make the Super Bowl.
Let me know your thoughts on this year's slate of Turkey Day games. Feel free to crap all over the Cowboys, they have earned the abuse.