Well, it's been an eventful four weeks, not only for the NFL but also for me. I've been on vacation in Texas, which means I've had to take a break from blogging. So I'll be analyzing more than usual with this post.
Stud of the Week: Dallas Cowboys
Last Sunday, I witnessed one of the best games of the season. It was a neck-and-neck battle between the Eagles and the 'Boys for the first half. Then, Carson Wentz's Eagles broke away with 17 unanswered points. Things weren't looking good for Dallas, but Dak Prescott rallied his team to tie the game.
A tense 5 minutes followed, with the two teams trading the ball back and forth. Finally, regulation ran out and overtime began.
Once again, Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott marched down the field to score. The Cowboys' rookie QB threw a touchdown to Jason Witten to end the game.
Dallas is now the number one seed in the NFC playoff picture, thanks in no small part to Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. These two players will be the face of the Cowboys for years to come. Romo vs. Dak isn't really a QB controversy; which quarterback has led the team to a 6-1 start?
Of course, none of this is to diminish what Carson Wentz is doing with the Eagles. Philadelphia now has a new hope in the form of this North Dakota State product. Wentz vs. Prescott is the new Manning vs. Brady, and given that the teams involved are divisional rivals, the next QB rivalry should have even more great games, great stories, and great football than the first.
Dud of the Week: Cleveland Browns
That franchise is an absolute train wreck. I highly doubt that they will win a single game this year. They have had three different starting QBs in 8 games. They blew a huge lead over the New York Jets, who are having a totally FitzTragic year. In short, the owner's best course of action is to cut all his players, fire the whole staff, and sell the team. In honor of this historically terrible team, please click here for my gallery of Browns memes.
Stud: Tom Brady
Just for the record: I HATED HAVING TO PUT HIM HERE!
But, his impressive performance on Sunday and his utter demolition of the Zach Brown Band (my new nickname for the Bills defense) is worthy of no ranking but Stud.
That doesn't mean I'm not totally sick of headlines like:
The Fountain Of Youth Is Tom Brady's Kitchen Sink
Patriots Accused Of Deflating Buffalo's Playoff Hopes
New England Clinches Division In Preseason
Well, as my private revenge, I chose a photo of Tom Brady with a particularly stupid expression. And remember: today's studs are tomorrow's duds. Just ask the Minnesota Vikings.
For some weird reason, there seem to be more ties than usual these past couple years. They can be exciting, but for some reason they really tick me off. The fan side of me yells, NO! Someone has to WIN! And then the analyst side yells, What the heck does a tie even MEAN? I need something to make INFERENCES from! So I basically hate ties with both football sides, which is rare, as my readers can attest. Besides, it's so hard to evaluate success at the end of the season when there's a tie. Everyone knows what 10-6 means, and what 11-5 means. But 10-5-1? What kind of season is that?
Well, if you actually read that rant about ties, thank you.
Stud: Bradley Roby
Bradley Roby is the future of the No-Fly Zone.
One of the many stars to come from the famed OSU, he was a first-round pick who developed into a quality Broncos corner. He's one of the great "heads-up" defenders in the league, as proven by his turnover record. He was listed by NFL.com as a top-ten cornerback (along with teammates Aqib Talib and Chris Harris). I think he's headed to follow in the footsteps of Talib, Goose Gonsoulin, and Champ Bailey as a Ring Of Fame Broncos corner.
Against the Chargers, he made the play that changed the game-a first-half interception of Philip Rivers, one of the best first-half players in the league. It reminded me of the "Are-You-Kidding-Me" play against Kansas City last year, which was shoved in my face all season and still never got old. Enjoy.
We play the Raiders on Sunday night. Anybody else psyched?
Dud: The Curse
108th time's the charm for Chicago, who finally won it all last night. I just hope the Rockies are not destined for a similar fate.
Stud: Tennessee Titans O-Line
The Titans, or, as I prefer to call them, "the team formerly known as the Oilers," are the number 7 seed in the AFC. 7 doesn't cut it, of course, but they're only one win behind Kansas City, the number 6 seed.
Part of this is because of the Mariota-Delanie Walker tandem. (And I still think Mariota is on his way to Canton.) Part of this is because of DeMarco Murray.
And part of this is because of their offensive line.
Their OL is, in my opinion, second only to the Cowboys. It's opened countless holes for Murray, who has rushed for 756 yards this season, and protected Mariota, who has thrown for 1,874 yards. I think this team will claim the last WC spot, and are possibly on their way to a Super Bowl in the not-so-distant future.
Dud: Thursday Night Football
This is so I can see how many people are visiting my blog and send them updates!