Tag:Dallas Cowboys
Posted on: October 3, 2011 4:25 pm

In The Trenches: Week 4 Thoughts

Time to hit the panic button?!?

Eagles Not Soaring-Nobody was expecting a 1-3 start from the Philadelphia Eagles after the first month of the season.  A loss to the San Francisco 49ers is troubling enough, but blowing a 23-3 second-half lead is even more eye-opening.  Alex Henery missing two field goals inside 40 yards didn’t help matters, but the game shouldn’t have even come to that.  This alleged Dream Team has proven unable to battle in the trenches, a must for any team to be considered a contender, let alone a Dream Team.  This team can score in bunches, and those in defense of Philadelphia will find excuses, namely Ronnie Brown turning the clock back to his Wildcat days in Miami, but let’s be real.  A 20-point lead against San Francisco in the third quarter should be in no danger.  If it’s not clear, I’m not quite sold on the 3-1 49ers.

Romo Solidifies Role For Two-Face-There may not be a better man to play the role in the Batman series.  One week, Tony Romo shows flashes, reminding everyone that he is a Pro-Bowl caliber quarterback.  Romo lead two late-game comebacks against the Redskins and 49ers.  Then there was the opening game against the Jets where Romo flipped the switch in the fourth quarter.  Sunday against the Lions was a tale of two halfs to say the least.  Romo’s Cowboys lead 27-3 early in the third quarter, only to lose 34-30 with Romo’s three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, playing a pivotal role in Detroit’s charge.  It probably didn’t help either that Rob Ryan claimed that Calvin Johnson would be the Cowboy’s third-best receiver.  Maybe stick to assessing talent on the defensive end Rob.

Bills Stumble-After flexing their muscles and taking down Tom Brady a week ago, Andy Dalton and the Cincinatti Bengals didn’t seem like much of a challenge.  Too bad Buffalo felt that way as well, falling apart in the fourth quarter, losing 23-20.  The fireworks that Ryan Fitzpatrick had been lighting all season fizzled out against an unlikely opponent. Up 20-13 midway through the fourth, it’s a game they likely should’ve held on to win, but inexperienced teams will let games get away as we saw here. 

The Early MVP Favorite-Aaron Rodgers hasn’t missed a beat and the Broncos will vie to that after he threw for over 400 yards to go with 6 total touchdowns, two rushing.  Rodgers has more toys to play with than he needs, from Greg Jennings to Donald Driver to Jordy Nelson to Jermichael Finley.  The two-headed monster in the backfield in Ryan Grant and James Starks gives Green Bay the perfect compliment, allowing Rodgers to torch defenses time and time again.  As for the Broncos, well, Tim Tebow made an appearance, rushing once for -1 yards.  Good times for Denver these days.

G-Men Escape-The Giants are breathing a sigh of relief after Victor Cruz nearly gave the game away, literally.  The officiating ruled that Cruz gave himself up, rendering the play over.  However replays show him simply getting up, dropping the ball in the process before anyone touched him.  It’s certainly not a black and white ruling, but one that the Giants were fortunate to have.  Victor Cruz will likely never let go of the ball again.

Dirty Sanchez Needs A Cleaning-Or at least a few more seconds in the pocket.  I know what you’re thinking, “a few more seconds to allow a different defender to make a play on him.”  While Mark Sanchez has been downright awful, inducing projectile vomit from Jet fans amany, this does not fall entirely on him.  Once a very efficient ground and pound, New York has not brought its running game out on to the field, only amassing 284 yards in 4 games. It’s very difficult to be a one-dimensional offense when you’re an elite quarterback like Tom Brady, but expecting Sanchez to lead an aerial assault may be asking too much.  There are receivers to work with, but when the defense is sitting back, expecting a throw since the ground game is disregarded, turnovers become not if, but when.  It also doesn’t help that Sanchez’s offensive line too has been missing with the running game.  I don’t care who you are, Brady couldn’t do much either with only a few seconds to throw the ball.

Patriots Back On Track-All is right in the world, Brady shows off his brilliance, Wes Welker racks up a bunch of yards, Chad Ochocinco remains irrelevant, and the defense is still not reliable.  But wait, spotted at the Patriots 31-19 victory over the Raiders was, in fact, a running game.  Rookie Steven Ridley led the ground game with 97 yards as New England totaled 183 for the game.  Brady had to only throw 30 passes, after games of 48, 40, and 45 attempts. 

Falcons Experience Turbulance-This game looked to be over when the Falcons were leading 27-7 in the third quarter, but nearly collapsed like the others  as Steven Hauschka missed a 61-yard field goal as time expired.  Atlanta showed flashes of brilliance in building that lead, but it’s not a comforting win if you’re Head Coach Mike Smith.  The defense was the downfall last season, and despite the offseason improvements, you can’t handle the Seattle Seahawks?  If Tarvaris Jackson was giving them trouble, I can only imagine what Aaron Rodgers will do to them next Sunday night. 

Texans Roll, Johnson Trips-If not for Andre Johnson’s injury, the Houston Texans would be Chevy Riding High right now at 3-1 after a 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers; albeit a victory over the Steelers doesn’t seem to hold as much weight as it used to.  With the division in shambles as previously discussed (Indianapolis Mannings sans Manning, Jaguars are the Jaguars, and we are not ready to take the Titans seriously yet), Houston has to be feeling good about its prospects.  The only concern is the severity of Johnson’s injury. 

Vikings Remain Winless-Technically the season is not over, but sitting at 0-4 after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs is as close to a nail in the coffin as one can get after four weeks.  Donovan McNabb has not worked out as hoped, and one has to wonder when the rookie first-round pick Christian Ponder will be thrown into the fire.
<span style="color: #6e8dcf;">
Primetime Thoughts

Follow <span style="color: #3b5998;">David S. London on Twitter

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com