Halloween Costume Idea: Jerry Jones' Exploding Head
By Jonathan Comey
Cold, Hard Football Facts Spooky Dude
1. Rob Ryan 1, Jerry Jones 0.
Yes, the sound you just heard was Jerry Jones’ head exploding.
Monte Kiffin, last seen failing miserably at the University of Tennessee and USC, now has two of the most horrific defensive efforts of the year to his credit.
The same team that just wasted a 48-point effort by the offense three weeks ago now managed to lose a game in which it:
- led by six with under a minute left
- held a 4-0 turnover advantage
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan got the boot by Jones last year and was pissed about it, and the Cowboys have now allowed 433 or more yards four of the last five weeks. Sunday, it was 623 yards, including 80 in the final 50 seconds.
Meanwhile, Ryan has turned around the Saints’ defense, which forced three turnovers in the 35-17 win over Buffalo Sunday, another easy win to start 6-1.
Oh, and remember how Jerry Jones said he was more worried about Reggie Bush than Calvin Johnson? Yep. Johnson had 329 yards receiving.
2. In the battle of Not-Quite-Elites, Matthew Stafford took a step forward.
It’ll take a few playoff wins for Stafford to fully get the credit he deserves, but holy crap, what a gutsy kid. Everyone wants to build their franchise around Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson (for good reason), but Stafford is only a year older than either of them and has just as much talent.
He’s now on pace for 5,234 yards, 32 touchdowns to 12 picks, and most important, 10 wins.
His leap over the pile to win it was the type of thing that playoff runs are built upon (and begs the question, what took replay 5 minutes to verify it? Even after he came back on his feet after crossing the plane, he never went down and sprinted into the end zone as the Cowboy defenders exchanged recipes).
As for Tony Romo, he was Tony So-So against the Lions’ impressive pass defense. The Lions didn’t get any turnovers, and his receivers made a few plays, but Romo was 14-of-30 and under seven yards an attempt, and when he had a chance to put a dagger in Detroit’s heart late he failed. In a game where he could have had the Cowboys way ahead in the NFC East, they fell to the pack instead.
The sight of Bryant screaming at him on the sidelines is more on Bryant than Romo, but it’s another thing you just don’t see on teams with the likes of Brees, Manning or Brady. Or Stafford, for that matter.
3. Yes, the New York Giants can still win the Super Bowl.
Sure, it’s a longshot, but “getting hot at the right time” is trademarked by the Giants’ money guys.
Not only are the Giants a mere two games out of first place, they’re now playing championship defense. A week after the G-Men made Minnesota look like college kids (3.3 yards a play), they held Philly to 4.4 yards a play and no offensive touchdowns.
Sure, they did it against not-ready-for-prime-time QBs (Josh Freeman and Matt Barkley), but they also shut down Adrian Peterson (13-for-28) and LeSean McCoy (15-for-48).
Their next three games are at home, against the Raiders, Packers and Cowboys. Beat Oakland and Dallas, lose to Green Bay, and you’re 4-7 and probably only a game back.
Their final five are tough (two vs. the Redskins, Seattle at home, trips to San Diego and Detroit, but this is the Giants we’re talking about.
Can you still get them at 1,000-1 to win it all?
4. Joe Philbin’s name can officially be added to the Hot Seat List.
When winner teams like the Patriots play loser teams like the Dolphins, you better hope it’s not close.
And for awhile, it wasn’t – in a good way, for Miami, which led 17-3 at the half and started the second half strong. But the second the tide turned on a missed field goal, the Patriot remembered who they were.
So did the Dolphins.
Miami has had a succession of guys who never got over the hump during the Bill Belichick era in New England – Dave Wannstedt, Nick Saban and Tony Sparano all showed flashes, but in the end couldn’t get it done.
The second-half possessions for Miami: missed FG, fumble, punt, punt, interception, missed FG, interception.
Meanwhile, the Patriots – who looked so bad in the first half that you were mentally wondering if they’d even win the AFC East – are now at 6-2, and a Jets loss to Cincy away from practically having the East salted away. When you’ve won at least a share of the AFC East 12 years in a row, this isn’t a shock.
New England has yet to see a great start-to-finish game from Tom Brady, they’ve lost key guys at every position, but they’re still ticking. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are healthy and talented, and they’re 3-4.
And the cycle begins again.
5. And, in other news.
The Chiefs are still playing the smartest football out there. On Sunday, they ran 71 plays and committed no turnovers, were 52 percent on third-down conversions (while holding Cleveland to 25 percent), and won despite allowing 6.5 yards a play to their own 4.7. …
Andy Reid has Coach of the Year more or less in the bag, but how much better than Sean Payton or Bill Belichick is he? The Saints and Patriots are probably .500 teams without them …
The Jaguars. Discuss …
As for the Jags’ London masters, the 49ers, few NFL teams put together the type of five-game runs like San Fran has: five straight games with 30+ points, five with 20 or fewer allowed. Total score: Niners 183, Opponents 61. …
New England’s tailbacks saved the day with Brady far from sharp, going a combined 33 carries for 147 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots’ struggles on third down continued as they were 2 for 10.
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