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Dallas Cowboys

Expert Picks Against the Spread: Week 12

Gamblers rejoice, here are our Week 12 Sports Debater expert picks against the spread.  (We are NOT responsible for any money lost)         odds courtesy of 5Dimes.eu

Game Time Teams NYBobby MatthewToddErich Scher Thing
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) @ Chicago Bears (-6.5) Bears Bears Bears
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Oakland Raiders (+8) @

Cincinnati Bengals (-8)

Bengals Bengals Raiders
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) @ Cleveland Browns (+2) Steelers Steelers Browns
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Buffalo Bills (+2.5) @ Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) Colts Colts Colts
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Denver Broncos (-10) @ Kansas City Chiefs (+10) Broncos Broncos Chiefs
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Seattle Seahawks (-3) @ Miami Dolphins (+3) Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Atlanta Falcons (-1.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5) Buccaneers Falcons Falcons
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Tennessee Titans  (-3.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) Titans Titans Titans
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Baltimore Ravens (0) @ San Diego Chargers (0) Ravens Ravens Ravens
Sunday, November 25, 2012: San Francisco 49ers (-2) @ New Orleans Saints (+2) Saints Saints 49ers
Sunday, November 25, 2012: St. Louis Rams  (+1.5) @ Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) Cardinals Cardinals Rams
Sunday, November 25, 2012: Green Bay Packers (+2.5) @ New York Giants (-2.5) Giants Packers Giants
Monday, November 26, 2012: Carolina Panthers (-2.5) @

Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5)

Panthers Eagles Panthers
Overall Records:

 

NYBobby:

51-56

MatthewToddErich:

53-54

Scher Thing:

9-3

 
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5 Lessons I Learned during Week 4

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Will Tom be Manning up for this game, or will Peyton end up cele-Bradying?

1.  Everybody is looking for the next best QB in the NFL.  In the past few years, the media has gone crazy for youngsters like Cam Newton, Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton and others.  However, there are two veterans who have been slaying NFL Defenses for over a decade, who proved this week that they are still two of the best in the NFL.  Peyton Manning and Tom Brady each lead their respective teams to blowout victories against division rivals.  Manning went 30 for 38, amassing 338 yards and 3 scores.  The “Golden Boy” Tom Brady matched him with 340 yards and 3 TDs as well. Both the Broncos and Patriots were coming off two game losing streaks and their QBs weren’t going to let that get to three.  This week, the two legends square off in another classic Brady-Manning matchup that NFL fans have enjoyed for years.  In the famous words of Bart Scott…”Can’t Wait!”

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Green Bay seems to be Packering it in this year.

2.  The Green Bay Packers are just not that good.  I know they got royally screwed last week by the replacement referees, but what was lost in that game was that they were even position at the end of that game for Seattle to beat them.  If the Pack were as good as we expected, they would have blown the doors off the Seahawks under the Monday Night lights.  This weekend, the New Orleans Saints came to town, a team pronounced dead after they dropped to 0-3 by losing to the Kansas City Chiefs at home.  We assumed that Aaron Rodgers and the angry Packers would take all their anger out on New Orleans, avenging for the Monday Night Debacle.  Though Green Bay did manage to outlast the Saints, it was a struggle and it came down to a missed FG by New Orleans.  Not exactly the massacre we would have expected from a “Super Bowl Contender.”  After watching true contenders over the past few weeks (49ers, Giants, Falcons), I don’t think the Packers have the goods this year.

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Sorry – picture captions itself.

3.  The Detroit Lions have been the laughing-stock of the NFL since I started watching football.  However, over the past couple years, something weird has happened…the Lions actually got pretty good!  This year, many analysts expected them to make a jump to the next level.  With franchise QB Matthew Stafford leading the charge, Calvin Johnson making highlight reel catches look easy, and a Defense lead by Ndamukong Suh that looked pretty intimidating, we thought this team was an NFC North contender ready to challenge the Packers and Bears.  Well, their one good season had us all fooled!  This Sunday the Vikings went into Detroit and manhandled them, only a week after the Lions allowed the “vaunted” Tennessee Titans to score 44.  They are sitting at 1-3 in the division and considering they barely won their first game of the year against the Rams, they are lucky not to be 0-4.  One quarter into the season the Lions find themselves in a position they are very familiar with…the NFC North basement!

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Jets with no engines have a tendency to crash.

4.  Jets management has no idea what they are doing.  The Jets are really, really awful and all the blame is being directed to Mark Sanchez.  Recapping their 34-0 game would be a waste of time, but there is one thing that all Jets fans need to know…Tim Tebow would not do any better!  What do the Jets expect Sanchez to do?  Thanks to GM Mike Tannenbaum, Mark has exactly ZERO Offensive Weapons to work with.  Their running game is non-existent,, their WRs don’t get open and they literally have the worst run defense I have ever seen.  Their star receiver caught a pass, hurt his foot and his reaction was to just give the ball to the other team…makes a lot of sense!  Don’t get me wrong, Sanchez had a bad game.  He threw an awful pick, fumbled the ball a couple of times and didn’t generate any offense at all.  However, if the Jets wanted to make Sanchez the franchise QB they have been selling us for 4 years now, it would have been nice if they surrounded him with a little help.  The Jets play perhaps the best team in the NFL this week, and I guarantee the Jets will struggle.  For Sanchez’s sake, I hope Tebow gets more snaps so Jets fans can maybe get a dose of reality that the blame for the Jets failure needs to be laid at the feet of Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum, not Mark Sanchez.

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You suck! You suck! You suck!
[3 games with replacement refs]
You suck less! You suck less! You suck less!

5.  Real NFL Referees make a big difference.  I felt like I was watching the NFL that I have known for my entire life this weekend.  When there was a tough call, the officials got together, discussed the play and made the call.  They weren’t rushing in and changing games arbitrarily without any real knowledge of the rules.  The games moved by at a normal speed, which was my biggest complaint of the first three weeks.  Although my team didn’t really get screwed by any bad officiating from the replacements, I was falling asleep watching NFL games last 4-5 hours.  Even though NFL refs will always make calls the players, coaches and fans don’t agree on, all parties involved are relieved as hell to have them back in the fold.  When the referees came out of the tunnel in the Baltimore-Cleveland, the fans stood up and gave them a warm greeting.  It was probably the first time referees have ever received a standing ovation in professional sports history.  It will most likely also be the last!


NFL Season Opener

Football season has started! Let our mindless obsession with minutiae take control of our beer-soaked brains once more!

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this is Tony Romo’s and the Dallas Cowboys year to win the NFC East and make some moves for that coveted Lombardi trophy.  Last night kicked off the much-anticipated 2012-2013 NFL season with a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl Champ New York Giants.  This rivalry has provided NFL fans with many fun and entertaining games and this years season opener kept up with that tradition.  One half of the game featured premiere defensive play while the second half showed off the two explosive offenses that we all knew were in this game.  Dallas ended up winning 24-17 in a back and forth battle throughout the game.  In the first game of any NFL season there are always some jitters, but both teams seemed to gain their composure towards the end of the first half and provided the fans with any extremely competitive opener.

“For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Eli and his Romo.”

Coming into this game, Tony Romo had much more to prove than his counterpart Eli Manning.  Eli was coming off of his second Super Bowl Championship and second Super Bowl MVP while Romo was trying to recover from yet another disappointing early exit from the season.  The game started with both teams unsuccessful on the offensive end with each team going 3 and out on their first drives.  It looked as if we had a defensive matchup on our hands.  Neither team could develop a running game and both offensive lines were forcing their Quarterbacks to endure constant pressure while trying to make a throw.

D Giants D fence D bacle

We all know that the Giants have the best D-Line in the NFL with names like JPP, Tuck, Osi and many more, but the Dallas defense is the one who had the big question mark on their head coming into this season.  Outside of DeMarcus Ware, their really isn’t a household name on the Cowboys defense.  While the Giants D-Line represented the way we all knew they would, the Dallas D-Line, in my opinion, out played them.  They sacked Eli 3 times and had him under consistent pressure.  Dallas also clogged up the middle and made life extremely tough on Ahmad Bradshaw and the rest of the Giants rushing attack.  DeMarcus Ware, who became the second youngest player to record 100 sacks by recording 2 last night, said, “We let them know where we are as a defense, and that we’ll play that way every week.”

Here Eli. Take a sip from my flask of whoopass.

Although Rob Ryan had seemed to get the defense in order with some new young players in the secondary, Romo and his offense still had to find ways to put points on the board.  During a drive early in the second quarter, Romo had a flash of a ‘Romoesque’ throw when he placed the ball directly in the hands of the Giants linebacker, Michael Boley.  Boley brought the pick all the way down to the Cowboys 2 yard line when he was ripped down illegally by the Cowboys Offensive lineman, Tyron Smith.  This was without question a prime example of when a penalty is warranted.  Instead of the Giants putting 7 points on the board, the Dallas D was able to make a goal line stand and force a field goal for the games first points.  With the Giants ahead 3-0 and under 9 minutes left in the first half, Romo looked at the clock and decided it was time to take over.

That ball just follows me into the zone! Here ball!

Outside of the one disastrous pick, Romo looked nearly perfect for the entire game, while the Giants one major weakness, their secondary, seemed to be picked apart with ease.  Romo found Dez Bryant and Miles Austin a handful of times but the surprise of the game was the emergence of the relatively unknown Queens native, Kevin Ogletree.  With the departure of Laurent Robinson, one of the big questions entering the season was who would be the Cowboys third receiver.  Ogletree was named the third option for game 1 and he made a strong enough case to keep that position for the rest of the season.  Kevin finished with game highs in receptions (8), receiving yards (114) and touchdowns (2).  As a matter of fact, those were his first two touchdowns of his NFL career.  Romo also connected with Miles Austin on a 34-yard touchdown catch on a first and 30 that just made the Giants defense look stupid.  Tony looked marvelous and finished the game with an impressive 309 yards on 22 of 29 passing and 3 touchdowns with only the one pick.

DeMarco a great runner is DeNumber of DeHoles that he finds.

Once the passing game took off, the playbook for Dallas seemed to expand.  Dallas’ young phenom, DeMarco Murray, started to find holes and showed off some of his power running that the Cowboys coach, Jason Garrett has been boasting about.  Murray didn’t find a way into the end zone but he did eat up a lot of the game clock and rushed for 131 yards on only 20 carries.  His counterpart, Ahmad Bradshaw scored the Giants first touchdown on an impressive 10 yard run to the outside in the waning minutes of the third to bring the G-Men within 4 points, but it always seemed as if they were playing catch-up and they were never able to get there.  Bradshaw finished the game with a respectable 78 yards and a touchdown, but the Giants finished the game with a dismal 82 yards rushing.

Penalties galore, but in the end it was NY on their knees, not the Cowboys.

Both the Cowboys and Giants had struggles throughout the game that can be attributed to fatigue or stupidity.  The Giants won the Super Bowl last year with the worst rushing offense in the NFL.  They did this because Eli had a career year and proved to have some of the most reliable receivers in the game.  Unfortunately for Eli, his usually sure-handed wideouts dropped a multitude of passes that resulted in many undeserved punts and turnovers.  Eli looked great and should have had at least another 100 yards added to his 213 if it wasn’t for Victor Cruz and Martellus Bennett dropping a combined 7 passes.  The troubles for the Cowboys were completely different.  It seemed as if every time that the Cowboys were putting a solid drive together, they would stab themselves in the foot and receive a stupid penalty.  Dallas incurred 13 penalties totaling a ridiculous 86 yards.  The Dallas of old would have usually folded under their own pressures but they found a way to maintain their cool and finish off the game strong.

Hey! I’m 100% in predictions this season!

So what does this game truly mean about the Giants?…Not much.  They are still the Super Bowl champs and one loss won’t change that.  They put up a good fight and could have won this game if a couple of more things went their way.  Giants fans have nothing to worry about right away but I still think that Dallas is the team to beat in the NFC East this year (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/08/14/the-cowboys-will-win-the-nfc-east/).  What does this win mean for the Cowboys?…A lot!  Anyone who remembers how last season started against the other New York team would know that this Cowboys team looks significantly different because of their ability to finish the game error-less.  Romo made a quick week one statement with an amazing game and I expect him to continue that for the seasons entirety.