|Posted by TheBEEZER 23 Hours Ago
Alright...We've done 2B, 3B, SS, C, P, and HR hitter...Today we ask, who do you think is the all-time best MLB 1B?
On the seventh day, God rested...
And on the eighth day...
He created the Super Bowl...
There was absolutely no life prior to the Super Bowl...
That’s what the NFL would like you believe...
The Patriots and Giants meet Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI...
There were no prior championships prior to the Super Bowl...
This is all we have, isn’t it???
There was football before the Super Bowl...
But no championships, right???
Just the regular season, right???
Then they just stopped playing, right???
Until next year, right???
Nothing mattered back then, did it???
Did they even keep stats back then, did they???
I heard they had some pretty swell players...
But they really don’t count, do they???
It was just a rehearsal, right???
Even if they did have championship games back then...
Since they weren’t SUPER BOWL titles...
They don’t count in the overall total...
At least that is what the NFL would like you to believe...
And what the media would like you to believe...
I never hear them talk about the good ole days...
The only things that are count are...
Super Bowl titles...
And Super Bowl appearances...
So and so has the most Super Bowl titles...
Such and such has the most Super Bowl appearances...
Detroit has never been to a Super Bowl...
And I guess that means they have zero titles, right???
Those games in ‘35, ‘52, ‘53, and ‘57...
They were just post season scrimmages, right???
Practice games, right???
We talkin’ ‘bout practice...
Not a game...
Not a game...
Not a game...
We talkin’ ‘bout practice...
And in one of those practices...
Way back before Pearl Harbor...
The Chicago Bears bombed the Washington Redskins, 73-0...
But that didn’t count...
‘Cus it wasn’t in the Super Bowl...
And they were just messin’ around, weren’t they???
They even had a scrimmage go into overtime...
That was back in ‘57...
I think it was some actor named Don Ameche...
He scored the “so-called” winning touchdown...
And they stopped playing just like that...
But it didn’t matter, did it???
Because the game wasn’t named the Super Bowl...
Nobody cares about that stuff back then any more...
‘Cus sacking the quarterback was legal back then...
Now you can only pull the flag attached to his belt...
So just like the old AAFC and AFL...
Those games are pigments of our imaginations...
Yes, I said pigments...
As in pigskin...
But I guess if you count those scrimmages...
Or practice games...
The Packers have...
But nobody really counts that high, do they???
And da Bears have nine...
But the first eight were insignifcant...
I guess we can’t give credit where credit is due...
Cus’ they weren’t in “The Big Game”...
I don’t think I can legally say...
Cus I didn’t pay the NFL to say it...
I guess I don’t count either...
The muckerism known as the Roger Goodell Era began in the National Football League when he barely won the job as commissioner by two votes in 2006. Though he tried to push this image of being a strict disciplinarian since then, but he has mostly shown to be a watered down version of his mentor and predecessor Paul Tagliabue.
Goodell began working with the NFL as an intern thanks to the fact his dad was a Senator in the same state that NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle lived in. When Tagliabue replaced a retired Rozelle in 1989, Goodell was taken under the wing of a former college basketball player who knew very little about the game of football.
His role increased as the rules began to heavily favor the offenses and the quarterback position especially. Goodell has even taken this many steps further to sickening proportions since 2006 to the point even touching a quarterback results in a penalty and fine.
The 2011 season has been his worse, yet it may be a blessing for the NFL. It is quite evident Goodell is the wrong man for the job more than ever and replacing him would benefit the league. The league has made mistakes here before, so admitting they made the wrong hire would be nothing new for the NFL.
Jim Thorpe was the first NFL Commissioner ever from 1920 to 1921. He was an obvious figurehead much like Goodell is. Thorpe was a Hall of Fame football player who won two Gold Medals in the 1921 Olympics, played Major League Baseball, and basically excelled in any athletic endeavor.
Carl Stork, a co-founder of the NFL, was commissioner for two years until stepping down due to illness. Austin Gunsel stepped in when Bert Bell died in 1959, but was replaced by Rozelle four months later. Elmer Layden, one of the famous "Four Horsemen" from Notre Dame University, held the job for five year before being replaced by Bell because owners thought him too much a gentleman and not forceful enough for the job.
While Goodell has tried to pretend his was forceful regime, it has been severely tainted with hypocrisy. He reduced a suspension of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger by two games this year, but then proceeded to tell people, right before the quarterback was to play Super Bowl XLV, that at least two dozen Steelers did not support Roethlisberger.
The reporter, Peter King, tried to back peddle soon after, but most likely because he was ordered to by Goodell. Still, the damage was done and the timing could not have been more inappropriate. The Super Bowl is the biggest game the league has, one where billions of dollars are involved and where more viewers from other parts of the world tune in.
Not only was the big game marred by Goodell's boorish behavior, but perhaps the worst pre-game and halftime entertainment shows in Super Bowl history followed in a game where hundreds of fans were displaced because Goodell's people did a poor job preparing Cowboys Stadium for the event. These fans are now suing the league.
These debacles took place on the eve of a players strike that is almost certainly going to occur. Players strikes are nothing new in the NFL, having occurred in 1968, 1970, 1982, and 1987. Yet each strike dealt with different issues.
When the players threatened a strike in 1968, the owners countered by declaring a lockout. Since players salaries were low in that era, which caused them to hold second hobs, this strike was brief. There was another brief strike during training camp in 1970.
Just nine regular season games were played in 1982 because of the strike. When the 1987 strike went down, players missed a month of the regular season but the games were still played.
Owners hired replacement players, which was largely a group of players who had been cut in training camps. Many unionized players, including Hall of Famers like Joe Montana, Steve Largent, and Randy White, crossed the picket lines to play.
This strike may be different because NFL players see how Major League Baseball players get paid. The NFL is the king of professional sports right now and players want a bigger piece of the pie. Considering an average career lasts less than two years, their request doesn't seem ridiculous.
The players today are afforded luxuries like never before. Though the game still contains hard hitting at times, the rules today make it a much less violent game. Goodell is now saying the league cares about players suffering concussions, an issue they ignored since their beginnings.
Past players suffer today, ignored by their own brethren who are enjoying the path paved for them. Yet the players see how the legends are doing today and are trying to prevent repeating that in their own future. Goodell's recent claims of caring are generally considered just lip service by most so he can resolve the impending strike sooner.
Besides continuing Tagliabue's mission to pamper quarterbacks and offenses while castrating defenses, there are many other things about Goodell that anger players. Many feel he is out of touch, sitting in an ivory tower with a blind eye as his wallet fills up at a rapid pace.
Many players lately have been echoing the same sentiment in regards to their commissioner. They feel he has too much power and control over the game while maintaining a constant predilection of making wrong decisions ultimately. He once was referred to as an obtuse fascist who has ruined the integrity of the game in favor of money.
Though it is unknown if things would be much better or worse now if Goodell did not retain those two votes in 2006, the question if he is the right man for the job gets louder each day. Whether the owners are listening or even caring is the question.
Bell and Rozelle, generally considered the best commissioners in NFL history, never uttered such ramblings like Goodell has while holding the office over 30 years combined. Neither besmirched their players like Goodell has. Though it is doubtful a person as good as Bell or Rozelle is out there right now, it would behoove the NFL to try and find out while firing Goodell.
If the league stays complacent behind his questionable leadership, the United Football League could very well find success the the American Football League did in the 1960's, forcing the NFL to allow all 10 of their teams to merge. Before that, the All-American Football Conference had the NFL take in three teams in 1950.
Though the game of football needs the upstart UFL, now entering their third season, to compete with the NFL to make their product better, the NFL learned 41 years ago from the AFL that it can take a long time to get back on top after being the only game in town several years. A game that has been eroding under the direction of Roger Goodell.
While the lazy journalist takes the easy way out by huddling in front of the lockers of Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, defense is the real story of Super Bowl XLV. This may be the best defensive match up a Super Bowl has seen since the Steelers took on the Dallas Cowboys in 1978.
While Pittsburgh had the top defense in the NFL that year, Dallas ranked third. Yet it didn't matter that Sunday, as Pittsburgh won in a 35-31 explosion. It was the highest scoring Super Bowl until 1993, and still ranks as the fourth highest.
Statistically, this is the best run defense the Steelers has ever had. Even better than the legendary "Steel Curtain", which says a lot. Pittsburgh led the NFL in scoring and rushing defense this year. The Packers ranked second in scoring defense while raking fifth in pass defense.
While the Packers were mediocre at stopping the run in 2010, they showed a slight improvement in that area during their playoff run. Part of the reason is the successes of their offense, which caused opponents to run the ball just 39 times total over three games. If Pittsburgh is effective on the ground, it will create major issues for Green Bay.
Pittsburgh was very average in pass defense in 2010 despite a fierce pass rush. Their cornerbacks are good at supporting the run, but have been well below average at defending the pass. There is also a question if they have enough defenders for all of the Packers receivers.
Roethlisberger began 2010 watching football from home as he served a four game suspension for conduct off the field. He was rusty upon his return, tossing 15 interceptions against 17 touchdowns. He is very hard to tackle and is tough. He broke his nose against the rival Baltimore Ravens, yet led his team to a come from behind victory.
Rodgers has been an emerging star since being named the starter in 2008. Though he threw for nearly 4,000 yards this year, his presence gives the media an excuse to frequently mention Brett Favre, their friend and hero. Favre was the quarterback Rodgers replaced, and it has obviously shown itself to be the right decision.
Roethlisberger has the experience, having won two Super Bowls already. Rodgers has been hot all season, despite suffering a pair of concussions. Pittsburgh has the better backup quarterback in Charlie Batch, so Green Bay is hoping they won't be forced to play Matt Flynn.
ADVANTAGE : Steelers
Rashard Mendenhall ran for over 1,200 yards this year. He is the cowbell of the team. Pittsburgh wants to get him going fast and often, keeping the vaunted Packers offense on the bench. His effectiveness could hold the key for Pittsburgh.
Green Bay lost their star halfback, Ryan Grant, in the first game of the year. They have been using reserves since, mainly Brandon Jackson. He was replaced by rookie James Starks in the playoffs. Starks has 263 yards and a score on 70 carries so far on the postseason.
While the Packers hope Starks and company can have some impact, every opponent the Steelers have faced in 2010 have hoped for the same thing and generally failed. Any semblance of a ground attack might have to spawn from the effectiveness of the Packers passing attack by forcing Pittsburgh to replace linebackers with defensive backs.
ADVANTAGE : Steelers
Hines Ward is the moral leader of the Pittsburgh receivers. While a fine possession receiver, he has the ability to pancake opponents while blocking. Mike Wallace is their game changer. He scored 10 times this year and averaged an impressive 21 yards per catch. His speed is expected to create huge problems for Green Bay.
While Heath Miller didn't nearly have as good a season as his 2009 Pro Bowl year, he can still stretch the seam. He holds an advantage over Green Bay's Andrew Quarless, a rookie forced into action when starter Jermichael Finley was injured for the year in the fifth week.
Greg Jennings is Rodgers favorite target and a Pro Bowler. Yet Green Bay had three other receivers catch 45 or more passes in 2010. They all bring different talents to the table, which usually creates huge problems for opponents. Most teams do not have enough defensive backs that can stay with the quartet.
After playing the first four years of his career in Pittsburgh, Antwaan Randle El joined the Washington Redskins for four seasons. He returned to Pittsburgh in 2010 and caught a career low 22 balls. He is a former star college quarterback Green Bay must keep an eye on in case of a wide receiver option play. He has just five incompletions in 27 career attempts, with six going for touchdown.
ADVANTAGE : Green Bay
The Steelers suffered a huge blow when Pro Bowl rookie center Maurkice Pouncey was declared out of the Super Bowl due to a high ankle sprain. Doug Legursky will play instead, given the unenviable task if trying to stop Green Bay nose tackle B.J. Raji.
Pittsburgh had already lost tackles Max Starks and Willie Colon for the season, but veterans Jonathan Scott and Flozell Adams had performed better than expected so far. Reserve tight end Matt Spaeth, a blocking specialist, might play often to try to help slow down the Packers blitz.
Green Bay is led by Pro Bowl left tackle Chad Clifton. His bookend, Mark Tauscher, was lost early in the season but 2010 first-round choice Brian Bulaga had done a fine job so far. The Packers have a mostly veteran line, and it is considered a strength of their team this season.
ADVANTAGE : Green Bay
On paper, the Steelers defensive line has not put up big statistics. They also lost veteran defensive end Aaron Smith early in the year because of injury. But they know their roles. The Steelers scheme has them occupying blockers so their excellent linebackers can pile up the tackles.
Raji, Cullen Jenkins, and Ryan Pickett have been solid all season for the packers. There is little quality depth behind them, thanks to losing several players to injury or suspension this year. But this trio has 14.5 sacks combined, and Raji is now expected to be very effective with Pouncey gone.
ADVANTAGE : Green Bay
Since Jerry Shipkey became the first Steelers linebacker to go to a Pro Bowl in 1950, this position has been a strength of the team. There have been 20 linebackers to go to the Pro Bowl since. James Harrison went this year, and Lemarr Woodley, James Farrior, and Lawrence Timmons are also excellent players. If the unit has one weakness, it is in pass defense.
Green Bay was hit especially hard at this position by injury. Fortunately for them, Clay Matthews III was not one. He played well enough to almost win Defensive Player of the Year. Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk did solid jobs in the middle, and rookie Frank Zombo has chipped in four sacks.
ADVANTAGE : Pittsburgh
Troy Polamalu is the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He and Ryan Clark are a veteran safety duo seldom fooled and generally where the ball is. Bryan McFadden had an impressive 74 tackles this year and in generally considered the teams best cornerback. Ike Taylor and William Gay are average at best. Most expect Rodgers to pick on them and whomever the dime back will be, if Pittsburgh is forced to use that package.
Nick Collins and Charles Woodson, the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, both went to the Pro Bowl this year. Tramon Williams, who is having an excellent playoffs, also played well enough to make it. Nickel back Sam Shield Shields became the first rookie to ever get two interceptions, a sack, and force a fumble in a playoff game in the victory over the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship
ADVANTAGE : Green Bay
Shaun Suisham is a journeyman who joined the team in the eleventh week after Jeff Reed's game went awry. He has missed just two kicks since joining the team. Losing stay punter Daniel Sepulveda to his second ACL injury in three years hurt. Former Packers punter Jeremy Kapinos has been average at best in his place.
Mason Crosby has been excellent since Green Bay drafted him in 2007. He missed six kicks all year while making a career long field goal of 56 yards. Rookie free agent punter Tom Masthay has been quite a find. He averaged nearly 43 yards per attempt and was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week once this year.
Neither team is very good in the return game, though Pittsburgh did have some success at returning kickoffs. A big play in this area could have a tremendous impact on the final outcome of the game.
ADVANTAGE : Green Bay
Mike Tomlin is not only the youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl, he is the youngest coach ever to take a team to two Super Bowls. He teams with Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau to keep the Steelers defense strong, since defense is Tomlin's strong suit.
LeBeau is called "Coach Dad" by his players. He has been in the NFL since 1959 and is the creator of the zone blitz. He once served as defensive backs coach under Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers when Capers was the Steelers defensive coordinator in 1992 to 1994. Both men are very familiar with each other.
Capers has done a masterful job in Green Bay this year despite losing 10 key players to injuries or suspension. His success has helped Mike McCarthy keep the team competitive. It also speaks highly on general manager Ted Thompson, who loaded the team deep with talent.
McCarthy, who deserved the Coach of the Year Award this season, is very good at adjusting his plan of attack as the game progresses. If Pittsburgh gets off to a fast start, it will be interesting to see how the Packers come out in the second half.
ADVANTAGE : Steelers
Pittsburgh needs a good ground game, which is now a more difficult task with Pouncey out. Green Bay has the defenders to stay with the Steelers receivers other than Wallace. The blazing speed of Wallace has presented a problem for opponents all year.
Rodgers has been sharp all year, and he has a very good chance of maintaining that pace. It will be interesting to see how LeBeau plans to stop all of the Packers receivers, but it appears on paper that Pittsburgh does not have enough defensive backs to stop Green Bay from chucking it all over the field.
With Pouncey gone, Raji should collapse the Steelers point of attack often. This will open more lanes for Capers to probe with blitzes. Both defensive coordinators are known for their complex blitz packages, which will crash down on the offensive lines from all angles.
The team whose offensive line performs best should win, but Pittsburgh may end up having to help Legursky too much in their attempt to slow down Raji. He is a rising star in the NFL, and the Super Bowl is the brightest stage for his talents to shine.
Packers 19 Steelers 13
Nose tackle is the most difficult position to play in the National Football League. Every snap a player takes at the position encounters multiple opponents crashing down on the player from all angles. Fans typically take no notice of the nose tackle unless they incur and infraction and draw a penalty.
When the Green Bay Packers hired defensive coordinator Dom Capers before the 2009, the team switched from a 4-3 base defense to the 3-4. Since the team began playing football since 1921, this would begin just the second era that the team would attempt to play this style of defense. The Packers had used the defense from 1980 to 1993 and posted mostly mediocre results, making the playoffs just twice.
The very first draft choice the Packers made after hiring Capers was B.J. Raji out of Boston College. Raji had starred in college next to Ron Brace, who would be the 40th player chosen overall later by the New England Patriots. After selecting Raji with the ninth pick, they tabbed outside linebacker Clay Matthews III with the 26th pick of the 2009 draft.
Capers, who was named the 1996 Coach of the Year while at the helm of the Carolina Panthers, had been coaching defenders since 1975 and in the NFL since 1986. He has gone to two Super Bowls previously, but has yet to win. He fully realized the only way the 3-4 defense could truly work was to have an effective nose tackle. Raji, the best prospect at the position in several years, being there was a combination of good luck and timing.
Matthews has received most of the press since the 2009 draft. Not only because three members of his family had legendary careers in professional football before him, but Matthews has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his two years and just missed out on being named the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year by two votes.
Raji spent most of his rookie year coming off the bench and rotating all all positions along the defensive line. Though the casual fan might say he had an underwhelming rookie year, Raji had only 14 less tackles than he did this year. In retrospect, Capers having the rookie play all over the defensive line was a smart move so that the youngster could grasp the defensive schemes better.
The nose tackle is the quarterback of the defensive line. How he performs has a huge ripple of effect on how the defense does. It is a selfless position where personal glory is seldom attained and giving up the body for the team is a play by play grind as normal in the NFL as buckling up the chinstrap of a helmet.
Raji is quickly showing he is different than most who play this position. Most nose tackles are wide and squatty. They anchor the trenches but movement is generally confined to a small area. Green Bay is allowing their athletic nose tackle do more than this, as shown by his 18-yard interception return for a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game that helped seal victory over the Chicago Bears a few weeks ago.
He is also athletic enough to play fullback when the Packers decide to run their jumbo package. At 6'2" 334, Raji delivers an impact most defenders would rather avoid. It helps clear a wider path for the ball carrier and achieve the successes sought by Green Bay. He has jokingly called himself "The Freezer" as an homage to former Bears defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry. Perry also was used as a fullback and was the heaviest man in NFL history to score a touchdown until Raji surpassed him.
The 2010 season did not see Raji named to the Pro Bowl, but he was certainly one of the best at his position. The fans chose to vote in Jay Ratliff of the Dallas Cowboys even though Raji easily out performed him with more tackles, sacks, and passes defended. In fact, Raji has superior stats to the 2009 season when Ratliff was named First Team All-Pro. 2010 Pro Bowler Kyle Williams, of the Buffalo Bills, is the only nose tackle this year than can claim he was more effective than Raji this year.
Raji's athleticism is what sets him apart from most. It is the kind of ability not seen since Curley Culp retired after the 1981 season. Culp, widely considered the greatest nose tackle ever, basically innovated the position in 1975 at 29-years old. He went to four of his six Pro Bowls as a nose tackle, yet mysteriously is still awaiting induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Most of the media is attempting to hype up Super Bowl XLV as a quarterbacks showdown between Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rogers, but defense is the real king of this game. Pittsburgh and Green Bay rank first and second respectively in points allowed this season. While the Packers rank second in points differential, Pittsburgh is right behind them in third place.
The Steelers ranked second in 2010 in yards allowed while Green Bay ranked fifth. Yet the defenses are different in effectiveness in key areas. Pittsburgh lead the league in run defense, giving up a paltry 62.8 yards per game. The Packers are less effective in that area, giving up 114.9 yards per game, but their pass defense has been better by twenty yards. The sack totals of both teams are nearly identical.
The 6.5 sacks Raji got this season, an excellent total for a nose tackle, ranked third best on the team. What makes the total even more special is the fact Green Bay lost ten players due to injury or suspension this year. While the team was really hit hard in this area, losing 15 players they planned to rely heavily on this season, losing four linebackers especially was crushing. It put more pressure on the defensive line, and Raji responded by leading all Packers defensive linemen with 39 tackles.
Pittsburgh is coming into the Super Bowl with possible a major issue that could befall them. Their center is rookie Maurkice Pouncey, a first-round draft pick this year. He was so good in 2010 that he was named to the Pro Bowl, a rare feat by an NFL rookie center since 1955 by Dick Szymanski of the Baltimore Colts, and has drawn comparisons to Steelers Hall of Fame center Mike Webster.
Pouncey suffered a high ankle sprain in the AFC Championship victory over the New York Jets. Though the Steelers have been quiet over the severity of the injury, but it is the type of malady that takes almost two months to heal. Pouncey has been seen hobbling around on crutches lately, so it appears highly unlikely that he will even suit up for the big game even though Pouncey is adamant that he will play.
Pittsburgh may be forced to plug in Doug Legursky at center for the Super Bowl. The second-year undrafted player has started at guard in in four of his 24 career games so far, but the Steelers would prefer Pouncey snapping the ball to Roethlisberger. Legursky not only will need the constant help of guards Ramon Foster and Chris Kemoeatu, along with fullback David Johnson, but he will need to play the game of his life to give Pittsburgh a much better chance at victory.
If Raji, as now expected if Pouncey cannot play or is ineffective trying to, constantly collapses the Steelers offensive line, it will open up holes for the blitz, a scheme Capers frequently loves to employ. Packers inside linebackers Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk combined for 3.5 sacks, four interceptions, and 18 passes defended this season. They most likely will be given huge lanes to run into after the Steelers guards vacate their areas to help secure Raji.
Matthews frequently crashes off the edges to get at the opposing quarterback, something he did 13.5 times in 2010. It is possible Capers might stunt him over the middle on passing downs while having rookie nickel back Sam Shields come in from the outside.
Shields became the first rookie to ever get two interceptions, a sack, and force a fumble in a playoff game in the victory over the Bears. Packer cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams, who chipped in three sacks this season, also must be watched.
Besides the interception, Raji has gotten a sack and helped solidify the Packers run defense in their three playoff wins this season. Green Bay limited 1,000-yard running backs Matt Forte, Michael Turner, and LeSean McCoy to 155 yards on 39 attempts.
Steelers 1,000-yard running back Rashard Mendenhall, having a fabulous playoffs run himself, will need to have a great Super Bowl to help offset the loss of Pouncey. Mendenhall ran for 167 yards and three scores against the tough defenses of the Jets and Baltimore Ravens in the Steelers two playoff wins this season.
Many of the Pittsburgh players have Super Bowl experience, due to winning Super Bowl XLIII, while the Packers have none. But this Green Bay team has a resilience not seen in a long time, somehow reaching the title game despite massive influx to their roster caused by a plethora of injuries. Many of the people watching this game will know little of football, relying on televisions talking heads and their incessant babble of the quarterbacks.
Yet it will be the match up of B.J. Raji versus the Steelers center that holds the key. Green Bay frequently lines up just two defensive linemen so the defense can move around, putting the onus of the effectiveness of their young nose tackle even more. He has responded with excellence all year, but the Packers desperately need him to be this and more just one more time as "TitleTown, USA" tries to procure their 13th title and first since 1996 against a franchise that has never lost a Super Bowl game in six previous games.
It all could very well be up to a man who, as Hall of Fame defensive tackle Merlin Olsen described it while accepting his Bert Bell Award as NFL MVP in 1974, "toils in the NFL trenches".
When Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones poured billions of dollars into his roster and a brand new stadium, he envisioned his team making history by becoming the first to host a Super Bowl on their home turf. Instead, he has a team that could be on the brink of not making the playoffs already in just the third week of the 2010 NFL season.
While it is easy to point at an inept offense that is ranked 26th in scoring, the defense hasn't been much better and is the 19th best by allowing 40 points already. They are minus 13 in scoring differential, also ranked 26th. Not a formula a team with postseason aspirations needs to start out the season.
One major part of the criticism is directed at offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who pundits feel is castrating the team by throwing too much. Quarterback Tony Romo, whose 51 pass attempts last week in a loss to Chicago was the second most attempts of his career, went before the media recently lamenting the lack of rushing attempts so far.
Romo, who threw 47 balls in their first week loss to Washington, career high of 55 attempts last year against the New York Giants was also met with a loss. The three-time Pro Bowler is at his best, as are the Cowboys, when there is better offensive balance.
The media keeps piling up on Garrett. Darren Woodson, a former five-time Pro Bowl safety with Dallas, was heard on television telling Garrett to know his teams identity and to run the ball more before he finds himself run out of town.
Perhaps Jones waited too long to make this move, despite their 2009 success, because Garrett has a history of what is best described as "brain farts" in the most crucial moments. With more experienced and accoladed offensive minds out there after 2009, like Mike Martz of the Bears team that just beat Dallas, Jones probably should have pulled the trigiger to further teach the 30-year old Romo more on how to play quarterback.
Now the face a Houston team brimming with confidence and undefeated. Despite missing Preo Bowl and 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year Brian Cushing at linebacker, they have given up only 102 total rushing yards so far. Their defensive weakness has been in the pass, allowing a whopping 822 yards so far.
It is very tempting to eschew the running game one more week and attempt to get into a shoot out with Houston before hosting the Tennessee Titans the following week. However, this strategy could backfire on them.
Not only is the red hot Matt Schaub the top rated quarterback in the NFL right now, he is near or at the top in most passing categories. The Dallas defense has just two sacks and fumble recoveries thus far, with no interceptions, so they have a huge task in front of them against the top scoring team in the league.
Though it is not inconceivable Dallas could make the playoffs after losing their first three games, it is highly unlikely with 2009 playoff teams like Philadelphia, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Green Bay, and the defending champion New Orleans Saints still ahead on their schedule.
One may not have enough eyes this Sunday in Houston if Dallas goes late into the fourth quarter behind. From Jones to the team to the coaches, the range of expressions ranging from worried, dismayed, and angry could certainly destroy all dreams that the Cowboys will be on their own field during Super Bowl XLV.
Tennessee Titans @ New York Giants
The Giants can't seem to get their running game going. To make things worse, their defense can't seem to stop opponents from running. Not a good formula with Chris Johnson coming into town hungry after a subpar game last week.
Titans 23 Giants 21
Cincinnati Bengals @ Carolina Panthers
The Bengals show they have enough weapons on offense to be unpredictable. Rookie tight end Jermaine Greshem might explode this week.
Bengals 31 Carolina 13
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No one saw the Bucs at 2-0. In fact, many thought they would only win two games all season. It was a nice run by a young team who may arrive ahead of schedule.
Steelers 24 Buccaneers 10
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Patriots fans are so relaxed about this game, they are talking about Tom Brady's hair.
Patriots 34 Bills 10
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore has played well defensively, but the offense has been a huge disappointment. Quarterback Joe Flacco is coming off perhaps the worst game of his young career.
Ravens 17 Browns 13
San Francisco 49ers @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Niners played much better the second week than the first. They are due for a win, but it may not be easy against the pesky Chiefs who are surprisingly undefeated right now.
49ers 27 Chiefs 17
Dallas Cowboys @ Houston Texans
Game of the Week
Dallas is about to hit panic mode. Houston used to be a gimme in the past, but this Texans team is tougher. Houston needs to run the ball, but the passing game is good enough to carry them to victory.
Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett needs to get back to running the ball if he wants his team to win.
Texans 30 Cowboys 28
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
The good news here is that one of these teams will finally win a game this season. The Vikings season is pretty much on the line right here.
Vikings 31 Lions 23
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Atlanta played a lot better last week, and they know this is a very important divisional confrontation. The Saints are looking like the best team to have a chance of repeating since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004.
Saints 38 Falcons 31
Washington Redskins @ Saint Louis Rams
Washington is one overtime field goal away from being unbeaten with virtually no running game, an erratic offensive line, and basically two pass catchers. If they cannot improve the offense this week against the lowly Rams, it will be a long season in the tough NFC East.
Redskins 28 Rams 24
Philadelphia Eagles @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Eagles head coach Andy Reid is a bit lucky the teams schedule is the way it is. He was forced to plug in Michael Vick at quarterback after an injury to starter Kevin Kolb on opening day. He then gave Vick his first start since 2006 against the lowly Lions. Now Philly faces an average Jaguars defense to build on that success.
Jacksonville will look to run the ball down the throats of the Eagles tiny defense, so it will be close if Maurice Jones-Drew runs wild.
Eagles 24 Jaguars 21
Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos
The Colts go as Peyton Manning goes. Their defense was tough against the Giants last week after being run over by the Texans the week before. Denver is unpredictable on offense, but their defense will have a tough time stopping Indianapolis if Manning is on his game.
Colts 34 Denver 24
Oakland Raiders @ Arizona Cardinals
Two teams looking for an indentity beyond mediocrity. Oakland slithered by the Rams last week for their first win, while the Cardinals, who beat the Rams in their first game, are near the bottom on both scoring offense and defense. The Raiders aren't much better in those categories.
Raiders 17 Cardinals 15
San Diego Chargers @ Seattle Seahawks
While San Diego exploded last week after a bad start to the season, Seattle came crashing back to Earth with a solid beating by Denver after blowing out San Francisco the week before.
Chargers 31 Seahawks 16
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
While the Jets last week looked like the team Rex Ryan had been spouting off about incessantly, they then get hit with the drama of top receiver Braylon Edwards arrest for DUI. Miami might be facing them at the right time.
Though the Dolphins offense scares nobody, their defense has allowed a league best 20 points so far. The Jets basically mirror them with a mediocre offense and good defense. The term "defensive struggle" appears likely in this battle.
Jets 13 Dolphins 10
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Chicago's new offensive coordinator Mike Martz has quarterback Jay Cutler playing the way the Bears envisioned wen they traded away so much to attain his services. The fact Cutler does well without much of a running game speaks highly of his abilities.
Green Bay has shown why so many picked them to win the NFC North. This is the longest running rivalry in NFL history between two teams that have won 21 championships and inducted 47 people into the Hall of Fame between them. Greatness is expected.
Packers 27 Bears 24
Record 19 - 12