This past Sunday, it appeared as if the Cowboys have finally exorcised all their demons-of-December-past, to finally avoid melting down at the end of the season as the playoffs near. By beating the Eagles down, they have sole grasp of first place in the NFC East and a good chance of maybe even getting a first-round BYE. But, they aren’t out of the woods yet. As messed up as it seems for a team fighting for the best record in the NFC, there’s a very realistic chance that they can win another game – and still MISS the playoffs altogether. 1. The Cowboys potential problem
The 9-5 Eagles own the tiebreaker over the 10-4 Cowboys, so if they finish with an identical record, the Eagles will be crowned the NFC division champions. And that means that the Cowboys would need Detroit to finish with a worse record than them, as the Lions own the tiebreaker against the Cowboys as well. Here’s the problem: The Eagles last two games are against the Redskins and the Giants, both who are pretty terrible and just eyeballing talent for next year, while the Cowboys get to finish their season off against the Redskins – but have the Colts next week. That is the biggest game of their season so far. The 10-4 Colts still can win a first round bye, so they definitely will keep Luck on the field. So if the Eagles go 2-0 in their final games (which is highly likely) and the Cowboys go 1-1 (beating Washington, but losing to Indianapolis), then the Eagles will win the division. Then, if the 10-4 Lions beat Chicago next week (probable) and lose to the Packers the week after that, they will get the 6th seed even though they have the same record as Dallas. Shit ain’t sweet in Big D yet.
2. Johnny Football is bad – but this situation was MESSED UP
Like I said last week, I think Hoyer should have started with a short leash because he did dominate the Bengals when they played earlier this year on Thursday Night Football. I said Manziel should have a package (especially a red zone one) that he could come in and run to give the offence a much needed spark. So after seeing the Browns get beat up 30-0 it’s easy for me to say I told you so, but the truth is that it was a tough situation all around. He was inserted into the middle of an intense playoff race against one of the best teams in the AFC. Recent history doesn’t prove Hoyer would have been far better, but it’s safe to say it’s a wrap for the Browns in 2014.
3. The Buffalo Bills defence is REAL
It’s easy to say that the Bills stunned the Packers in a crushing upset because Aaron Rodgers was off, but, at some point, you must recognize how well the ENTIRE team played. Although Buffalo hasn’t been to the playoffs in a minute, they have an amazing team right now – especially on defence.
4. Jim Harbaugh needs a new team
Now that the 49ers have been officially eliminated from the NFL playoffs, Harbaugh needs to decide where he’s interested in coaching in 2015, because he will NOT be short on job offers. To be honest, I think he should stay in the NFL, but who can blame him if he decides college is the route he wants to go?
5. Kansas City’s one dimensional approach
The fact that Alex Smith hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass to a wide receiver all season long says a lot about his game managing skills – and the one dimensional nature of the Chiefs. If he doesn’t learn how to mix it up NOW, he will find himself the victim of another first round exit.
6. Adrian Peterson WILL be a Cowboy next year
Hearing that AD is considering retirement is truly sad, but understandable considering everything he’s had to deal with lately (although, to be fair, these things are of his own doing). I don’t see him in a Vikings uniform EVER again – but there’s a place where they LOVE to give troubled players second chances.
7. Who Needs a Heisman-winning quarterback?
This year’s 2014 Heisman trophy winner is Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota. Seeing as he will be entering the 2015 draft alongside Florida State’s 2013 Heisman trophy quarterback Jameis Winston, there are two young talents some terrible teams can build around. The real questions are, who will believe that Mariota is TRULY a franchise quarterback and who will take a chance on Winston and his off the field issues? Only time will tell now.
Monday Night Football Prediction: (Current record 10-6)
– As much as I don’t trust EITHER of these teams, I have the Saints beating the Bears tonight in a MUST win
This Is Your Conscience