The Patriots moved to 6-0 on the season with a 48-27 win over Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium.
Check out Patriots Daily for a complete wrap-up of the game, and your thoughts are welcome in the comments section.
If you missed the press corps clown who managed to ask questions of both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady yesterday following the game, David Scott has the audio of the attention grabbing questioning.
In Morning Rush, Michael Silver examines the transformation of Tom Brady into Peyton Manning. (but not in a bad way.) Tom Curran says that Brady deserves all the praise he gets, and more. John Clayton has Randy Moss gushing over Brady. Pete Prisco says Brady has never looked better. Don Banks says that Brady has already won the 2007 NFL MVP award. Rich Cimini says that Brady has been great, but the Patriots don’t have a running game, and “one-dimensional teams don’t win titles.”
Right. While the Patriots are first in passing yards in the NFL, they’re also 7th in rushing yards. They’ve had 412 offensive plays and ran on 202 of them for 4.2 yards per carry. They’ve had three games with a 100 yard rusher. One-dimensional, indeed.
Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback opens with a look at 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde’s whirlwind week, which culminated in the QB leading the Panthers to victory yesterday. King feeds his Brett Favre obsession this week by plugging a self-help book by Favre’s wife.
He also attempts to defend himself against Wade Phillips’ charges that King made up his quote about SpyGate being a “black mark” against the Patriots success. King uses the “you are going to have to decide who you trust — Phillips or me” line to defend himself.
I think this allegation taints King’s entire body of work as a reporter. The public deserves more of an explanation! They need to know whether King has been making up quotes for 20 years, and that all those great MMQB anecdotes really happened or not! The integrity of MMQB is at question here, and all he can offer is “you are going to have to decide who you trust?” The public deserves a full explanation of this! This isn’t going away anytime soon. – satire
Actually, I have no freakin’ clue WHO to believe in that situation. A larger point is, that even if Phillips did use the term “black mark,: King cherry-picked the quote for sensationalistic purposes for the HBO show, and didn’t give the rest of the spirit of Phillips’ remarks. Classy Mr King, Classy.
John Czarnecki wonders why Bill Belichick and the Patriots were “piling it on poor Wade Phillips and the Cowboys” yesterday at the end of the game.
“Poor Wade Phillips?” Please.
Here are the thoughts from the ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown crew yesterday, which included former Cowboys and Patriots coach Bill Parcells:
Patriots at Dallas – Who needs the game more?
Tom Jackson: “I think that Dallas Cowboys, because of the recent history of the Patriots, need it more. But let’s set the emotional tone for this football game. The New England Patriots are not coming to beat the Dallas Cowboys, they are coming to beat them up. They are coming to make a statement that they couldn’t make against the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills. They are looking at this 5-0 team and thinking about blowing them out in Dallas, and making a statement about a lot of things that concern the New England Patriots.”
Keyshawn Johnson: “The Patriots need this victory. They obviously want to go 16-0. They want to send a message to the rest of the league that ‘we don’t need to cheat to win despite what coaches are saying across the league about our tainted three Super Bowls.’”
Emmitt Smith: “The Pats are walking around with this air of invincibility. And everybody is talking about how great, how focused and how prepared they are. This team is playing great football. They are setting an emotional tone today for the rest of the season. That tone is: If they lose, they lose that air of invincibility. If they win, they send a message to the entire National Football League that they are for real and that the AFC will continue to have dominance over the NFC.”
Mike Ditka: “The Cowboys really need this game. If you look at these two divisions, there are only two teams that have one win-a-piece in the Patriots division. There are seven wins in there and New England has five of them. It is not a very good division. They are gong to win that division. Dallas, they’ve got a tough division. You’ve got the Redskins, you’ve got the Giants and I think the Eagles are going to come on. They have to win the game.”
Bill Parcells: “The Cowboys need it more. The competition in the divisions is much stronger in the NFC East … Every win that Dallas can put up right now will serve them well. I don’t see anybody, currently, that looks like they can compete with the Patriots.”
Getting Inside The Mind Of A Great Coach:
Bill Parcells on his and Bill Belichick’s approach to facing a quarterback for the first time:
“Find out what the guy is doing best and who is he doing it with? Who are their main guys? Another thing will be – Does he have a security blanket? Does he go to a certain guy when the pressure gets on? Another thing you have to decide is: Do you want him in the pocket throwing and is he accurate enough to beat you when he’s in the pocket? Or, do you want him out of the pocket? Sometimes, when a quarterback is out of the pocket, that’s when all the trouble starts for the defense. These are all decisions that Bill Belichick has to make about Tony Romo.”
Parcells on what Belichick has to do against Romo:
“What Bill will try to do is disrupt the rhythm of the timing. I don’t think he’ll want him to get a whole lot of time. I think he’ll want him to pull the ball down and have to go to a second and third receiver.”
Randy Moss vs. Terrell Owens: Who do you want?
Johnson: “Randy Moss. I say this because you have to do too many things in your scheme to get Terrell Owens open. He’s dropping way too many footballs. His natural athletic ability does not take over games at the end of games. If you look, Randy Moss makes big catches at the end of the football game. I need that from my wide receiver. Third down, I need that. In the red zone at the end of the game, I need that. In all of Terrell Owens career, I’ve seen him make one big catch against the Green Bay Packers at the end of the game.”
Jackson: “If you look at it by the numbers, it is Randy Moss. If you look at it any other way, it is Randy Moss. Whether it is route running – intermediate, red zone. I’ve always said this: ‘Questionable hands, if you sell dictionary, that’s not an issue. But if you’re a professional wide receiver and you have questionable hands, then I can’t deal with you.’ That’s what T.O. is. He’s got great natural talent but he doesn’t catch the ball well.”
Smith: “Tom (Jackson), I’m with Keyshawn (Johnson) on Randy Moss. T.O. does not draw the double team. Teams do not fear T.O. as much as they fear Randy Moss. Last Monday night against the Bills, I saw the Bills playing man-to-man against T.O. and you will not see that today. Unless the Cowboys plan on bringing a young, 25-year-old Deion Sanders back to play man-to-man against Randy Moss today, you will not see that happen at all.”
Ditka: “This is the case of the lesser of two evils and that will be Moss. I tell you why, T.O. has proven it. He’s an expert in killing coaches and quarterbacks and he’s got the corpses to prove it. He’ll go off soon. I don’t know when, but he’ll go off.”
Reacting to the impact of Terrell Owen’s note to media in his locker room:
Johnson: “When you look at this and you go into the clubhouse, coach Ditka said it best – ‘Terrell is a fool when it comes to that.’ He loves the attention. He’s starving for the attention. Everything is about him. I’ve never once seen Randy Moss say – ‘Oh, it’s about me. I want to go to the Pro Bowl. I want to do this here.’ He’s (Moss) talking about winning championships. He went to the New England Patriots to try to win a championship. Terrell didn’t go to the Dallas Cowboys to win a championship. He went there to get money. It is all about him. You cannot do that.”
Jackson: “I call this the headache factor. I thought we came very close on Monday night to seeing it – a guy who can turn on you depending on how the game is going. Terrell Owen believes he is in charge of Tony Romo, he’s bringing him along and that he’s going to make him the kind of quarterback that he needs to be. I don’t believe they have that problem in the locker room in New England. I don’t believe that Randy Moss walks around thinking he’s in charge of Tom Brady.”
Smith: “There are two differences in these locker rooms. Randy Moss has a bunch of leaders around him and he’s doing a very good job of fitting in with the system that New England Patriots have in that locker room. They have a lot of veterans that can police themselves. Down in Dallas, it is a different story. You’ve got a lot of young players who look at T.O. as a legend because he’s been in the league for a while. They are looking at him as an experienced guy to lead them. They are looking at the wrong guy. The leadership definitely has to come from guys like Roy Williams and others like Greg Ellis who’ve been in that locker room for a long time. The Cowboys do not have enough leadership.”
CBS’ The NFL Today quotes:
Jim Nantz talked with Tony Romo about facing Bill Belichick:
Nantz: I’ve got some Hall of Fame quarterbacks for you: Montana, Marino, Manning and Elway. Those four, the first time they went against a Bill Belichick team, sometimes Belichick as a coordinator, 0-4, no touchdown passes, seven interceptions.
Romo: You’re obviously not making me feel any better going into the game.
Nantz: Did you prepare for this by reading some of his (Belichick) books?
Romo: I didn’t go out and get them this week or anything. But just in the past, I wanted to read about great coaches. I think he tries to think like the quarterback thinks. I think he wants to say, what does this quarterback do to allow himself to have success? If this quarterback has tendencies to do this or this, he’ll try to take those away.
FOX NFL Sunday Notes on the Patriots/Cowboys game:
Jimmy Johnson: “This is a bad matchup for Dallas. And as far as T.O. and the popcorn, he’ll have popcorn all over the field because he’ll be dropping it. New England is going to go into the shotgun and they’ll spread them out. Dallas cannot cover Benjamin Watson, Wes Welker, and Randy Moss and so it is a mis-match.”
Terry Bradshaw: “Even though all we hear about are the stars, most times it comes down to the guys who aren’t the stars. The teams that have beaten New England in the last two years have run the football and created turnovers and that’s how Dallas has to create a win today.”
There’s a little baseball game tonight as well. The Red Sox turn to Daisuke Matsuzaka in Cleveland tonight to try and bounce back from Saturday night/Sunday morning’s extra innings debacle. Seriously, how many TV sets turned off as soon as Gagne entered the game? Mine did, with 100% certainly that the game was over. Easiest sports call I’ve made all season.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:00 on FOX, which hopefully means it will be over before midnight. One note about FOX…did anyone keep track of how many times they cut out in the middle of a commercial to just barely get back to the action before the first pitch of the next half-inning. They did it constantly. The advertisers can’t be pleased with the
Sample coverage from the local papers and blogs at RedSoxLinks.com
Howard Bryant says that the Indians plan to show the Red Sox how Cleveland rocks in game three. John Donovan says that the heat is on Dice-K tonight in Cleveland. Scott Miller says that Matsuzaka’s first season with the Red Sox wasn’t as bad as some would have you believe. Bob Nightengale looks at Manny Ramirez returning to his Cleveland roots tonight.
FOX broadcaster Joe Buck weighs in on the series thus far:
“Cleveland simply had to win Game 2,” said Buck, who at age 38 is working his 12th MLB postseason on FOX. “By doing so they proved what many people thought coming in—that this is anyone’s series. The Indians had very good at-bats against one of the best ‘big game’ pitchers of all-time in Curt Schilling.”
The Red Sox roster may feature more household names, but as Buck pointed out, “The country is seeing how great some of the young Indians are. Grady Sizemore is off to a great start in this series, Jhonny Peralta has had some big at-bats, especially last night, and Victor Martinez clearly has Boston’s attention with his two intentional walks. And for Trot Nixon to get the game-winning RBI against his old team, it tells me that this one could have that special feeling of a dramatic series that goes a full seven games.”
The Boston College Eagles football team is now ranked #3 in the country and BCS standings this week. Mark Blaudschun asks how long this can continue. Steve Conroy looks at the Eagles in elite company.
The Bruins will finally make their home debut this week (Thursday night) after a 3-2 road trip to start the season. Stephen Harris has the Bruins calling the trip a success. Fluto Shinzawa also has the Bruins pleased with being able to come home with 6 points in the standings. Get more Bruins coverage at BruinsLinks.com.
Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics did some valuable bonding on their recent trip to Europe. Julian Benbow checks in on second year forward Leon Powe. Mark Murphy says that this season Brian Scalabrine might actually get to play the role he was signed for. Jessica Camerato has a training camp update and also checks in with Eddie House. Check in at CelticsLinks.com for more.