The sixth Sunday of the 2019 NFL season is in the books so here are the different thoughts and opinions I have on various things I witnessed this past weekend. It was a weekend to forget. Maybe not for your favorite team, but for mine. And since I write this post my opinion is the only that counts. Uh oh, a few sentences in and I'm already getting mean. It was that kind of Sunday. I'll try to cheer up as I write. Beer would help.
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.
The Jets? The @#&^$$* Jets!
Last week I said I'd throw in the towel on this season if the Cowboys didn't wallop the Jets. Jets 24 Cowboys 22. Well folks, try to enjoy the rest of the year. I'll be back in 2020!
No, wait. I survived the 1-15 season. I'll survive this. Maybe.
The Cowboys performance last week was terrible, but at least they were defeated by a good team in the Packers. But the Jets? C'mon! Just showing up should have been good enough to beat the Jets.
LT Tyron Smith missed the game due to injury. To say he is the lynch pin of the Cowboys offense is an understatement. Dallas simply does not win when he sits. RT La'el Collins also was hurt and didn't play. The Jets took advantage and blitzed Dak Prescott repeatedly. They only recorded one sack, but managed to lay a beating on Prescott and disrupt the offense. WR Amari Cooper caught one ball for 3 yards before he suffered a deep thigh bruise and left the game. Remember how bad this offense was before Cooper came to Dallas last year? I do, it sucked. Hard.
The Cowboys needed to lean on Zeke to score points. Yet in the first half they didn't. Why? I'll get to that later. In the second half they finally did and managed to score 2 TDs while a third was called back on a horseshit interference call. That's not sour grapes, the CBS and NBC crews agreed that call was awful. Never mind, they still could have won if K Brett Maher wouldn't have missed a 40 yard field goal. It was a brutal miss since he had already hit a 50 and a 62 yarder.
But as much as the offense struggled, it was the defense who really let the team down. What has happened to the unit that shut down other teams last season? It's the same group of guys and unlike the offense they are healthy. To get lit up by Jets QB Sam Darnold (23/32 338 yards 2 TDs 1 INT) who was coming back after missing 3 games due to mono is inexcusable. The Cowboys pass rush was piss poor and their coverage wasn't much better.
The Cowboys are 3-3 after the first six games for the third season in a row. It starts at the top. Head coach Jason Garrett is on the last year of his contract and it better be the end of his tenure in Dallas. The game plan was garbage. It doesn't take a genius to figure out the Jets would be blitzing hard since the Cowboys were missing two offensive tackles. A run heavy game script was the best option. Yet Dallas didn't go that way, even after Amari Cooper left the game after the first series. The result was 6 first half points. The light finally came on at half time and Dallas turned the offense over to Zeke. Low and behold they started scoring in the second half.
The Cowboys are poorly coached and they don't play with fire. That's the truth. They have too much talent on both sides of the ball to play that bad. Luckily for them they place in the NFC East, which is a division of ineptitude this year. Somebody from this group has to make the playoffs. But I doubt whoever does goes very far.
Dallas isn't the only team to start 3-0 and fall to 3-3, even though they're the team everybody is talking about. Sometimes it isn't easy being the most hated team in the league. The Rams have done the same thing after falling to the 49ers 20-7 on Sunday.
The 49ers defense shut the Rams down cold. L.A. was missing RB Todd Gurley and San Fran decided QB Jared Goff was not going to beat them. His stat line is brutal: 13/24 78 yards. Yup, that was it.
The Rams used a RB committee and some WRs to move the ball on the ground (21 carries 109 yards) but they couldn't get the passing game going at all. Their longest pass completion of the day went for 12 yards. Goff is catching a lot of heat as the Rams offense is sputtering, but this team always rode the coattails of Todd Gurley. Now that Gurley can't shoulder the same load they better come up with some new offense quick. Luckily for them they get three cupcakes on the schedule next to figure it out: Falcons, Bengals, Steelers.
The Niners on the other hand have now improved to 5-0. The offense isn't exactly lighting the world on fire, but is playing well enough behind their very stout defense. They have held 4 out of 5 teams under 20 points so far and the Steelers only scored 20 points because they were aided by 5 Niners turnovers. It's been a while since San Fran has been relevant but they are headed to 6-0 with a game against Washington next week.
Meanwhile the other L.A. team, you know the San Diego Chargers (I refuse to accept their relocation), is actually fairing worse than the Rams.
One week after suffering a home loss to the previously winless Broncos, the Chargers hosted the 1-4 Steelers. A Steelers team whose only victory came over the hapless Bengals and was starting 3rd string QB Devlin Hodges. No matter, the Chargers lost anyway 24-17 to drop their record to 2-4.
And the game wasn't as close the score looks, the Chargers scored 17 points in 4th quarter garbage time as the Steelers bled the clock. What the hell has happened to the Chargers? They went 12-4 last season and won a playoff game. It's pretty much the same roster and their schedule has not been difficult. In fact it's going to get a lot tougher as the weeks roll on. Rivers isn't getting any younger, the Chargers window of opportunity is slamming shut right in their face.
Battle for the #1 2020 Draft Pick
The fight for the top pick in next year's draft heated up this week as the 0-5 Redskins traveled to Miami to face the 0-4 Dolphins. What excitement! Oh, who am I kidding. Nobody really gives a shit. We are all losers here because this game just had to be played.
The Skins scraped by with a 17-16 victory. Yay I guess. I mean they eked out a one point win over a team that had lost each of their previous four games by at least twenty. The ageless (I'm kidding, he's very old for a RB) Adrian Peterson led the way with 118 yards on 23 carries. The Skins went back to Case Keenum at QB instead of playing rookie Dwayne Haskins because somebody had enough foresight to look at the schedule and realize this could be the only game they win this year.
Earlier last week, after the Skins mercy-fired head coach Jay Gruden, GM Bruce Allen held a press conference and said with a straight face the talent and the culture of the Redskins was "good". I guess I would lie too if I just fired my scapegoat. Does he actually watch the games? Unless Haskins is the second coming of Tom Brady this team is light years away from being competitive.
When Trash Talk Backfires
The Eagles are really banged up and haven't played very well so far this season, but that didn't stop LB Zach Brown from trash talking Kirk Cousins before the birds headed to Minnesota.
Brown, who previously was a teammate of Cousins' in Washington, said the Vikings were a good team outside of their crappy QB. He said the Eagles plan was to keep the ball in Cousins' hand as much as possible.
Good plan. Cousins responded by shredding the Eagles secondary for 333 yards and four TDs as the Vikings crushed the Eagles 38-20. After getting WR Adam Thielen the ball last week, this week Cousins turned to his other top WR Stefon Diggs. Diggs roasted the Eagles secondary: 7 catches, 167 yards, 3 TDs.
Philadelphia's offense has been stagnating since WR Desean Jackson went down, so head coach Doug Pederson mixed it up sending rookie RB Miles Sanders down the field for big plays. Sanders responded (3 catches 86 yards 1 TD) but it wasn't enough.
It's always funny to see somebody get their ass handed to them after trash talking the competition. The Eagles made sure it won't happen again by cutting Brown on Monday. Maybe Brown can get a job at ESPN. They seem to love blowhards who have no clue what they are talking about.
Hype Train Officially De-Railed
Is it safe to finally admit the Browns aren't going to the Super Bowl this year? The preseason hype for this squad was off the charts and I wasn't buying it. But still I thought they would be better than this. The Browns fall to 2-4 after losing to the Seahawks 32-28.
Really the Browns should have won this game. They moved the ball up and down the field all afternoon, but turnovers and a blocked punt did them in. The Seahawks cashed in those miscues for 17 points. The Seahawks only turned the ball over once, and Cleveland failed to use it for points.
Once again QB Baker Mayfield was underwhelming: 22/37 249 yards 1 TD 3 INTs. Mayfield has a big personality and the media is just dying to make him a star. Yet the results on the field say otherwise.
On the other side of the field, Seattle QB Russell Wilson continued to improve his MVP resume. He doesn't blow up the stat sheet like Patrick Mahomes, but he plays well enough to win each week. His 2 TD passes against the Browns give him 14 TDs without throwing a pick on the season.
Seattle's roster has deteriorated around Wilson since their Super Bowl runs, but he seems to elevate them by playing better each year. We have to wait nearly a month for it, but the first Seahawks/49ers game should be a good one. It might determine who wins the division if the Rams can't sort themselves out.
Around the League
The Chiefs raced out to a 17-3 lead, but they couldn't hold on as the Texans stormed back to beat them 31-24. That's two home losses in back-to-back weeks for Kansas City.
Mahomes is amazing, but he doesn't play defense. KC's defense was their achilles' heel last year and they did little to fix it in the offseason. It will be their undoing once again as the playoffs roll around.
Deshaun Watson threw a couple of picks, but also rushed for 2 TDs. If he is on top of his game Houston will be the team to beat in the AFC South. Big test this week as the Texans head to Indy to face Colts.
Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston threw five picks and lost a fumble as Tampa Bay fell to the Panthers 37-26 in England. When he isn't throwing INTs Winston actually moves the ball downfield very well. But those turnovers are brutal. I think the Bucs will be ready to move on after the season.
The Panther improved to 4-2, 4-0 since Cam Newton went down. QB Kyle Allen has played well and since the offense should run through RB Christian McCaffrey anyway I don't see the Panthers giving Newton his job back. Then again he might not be healthy enough to take it back this year anyway.
The Falcons dropped to 1-5 after losing a 34-33 heartbreaker to the Cardinals. They had a chance to tie it with an extra point, but K Matt Bryant missed the kick and the Cardinals ran out the clock. What else could possibly go wrong for the Falcons? And how long until head coach Dan Quinn gets the boot? Atlanta's schedule is tough and I don't see too many possible wins.
The NFL fined Packer RB Aaron Jones $10,527 for waving goodbye to Cowboys CB Byron Jones as he scored one of his 4 TDs last week. Ridiculous. All of these games are miked up pretty well, waving goodbye is fairly tame among all the shit talking that goes on the field. I guess it's a good thing the NFL can't fine me for the hand gestures I've been making at the Cowboys or I'd have to sell my house.
As I've been finishing up this post the Packers beat the Lions 23-22 on a last second field goal. Detroit had numerous opportunities to put this game away, but kept settling for field goals. You can't give Aaron Rodgers even a glimmer of hope because he will always bring the team back if time allows. Some lousy penalties called on the Lions didn't do Detroit any favors either.
Is it just me or is the officiating getting worse and worse each week? I am continuously amazed how many flags are thrown for ticky-tack or non-existent penalties while big penalties are still being missed. And replay officials need to get their eyes checked, for some reason they still can't see what everyone else on the planet sees.
Let me know your thoughts on Week 6. Feel free to make fun of the Cowboys, I'll join right in.