Bro- Picks: NFL Week 5 Predictions

1 quarter down, 3 to go.

We’re a quarter of the way through the NFL season, and to say there have been surprises would be an understatement. Such shocking developments include:

The New England Patriots are 2-2, and their defense is on pace to be one of the worst defenses in NFL history. QB Tom Brady may be somewhat of an ageless wonder at 40 years old (stats), but even he cant overcome a historically bad defense. There’s not enough crow to go around for all the dopey experts who predicted this team would go 19-0.

The Oakland soon to be Las Vegas Raiders looked like a force to be reckoned with the first two weeks of the season, and even held a dance party because of it. Since then they’ve looked like the Jamarcus Russell era Raiders, getting punk’d on Sunday Night Football against the Redskins, and looking impotent against the Broncos. To make matters worse, QB Derek Carr is out 2-6 weeks with a transverse fracture in his back. Should Carr come back quickly there’s a good chance the Raiders could recover. If Carr is out for an extended period of time, the Raiders’ season is sunk.

The Jets are 2-2. So much for tanking.

The Dallas Cowboys are 2-2, and everyone seems to be panicking. Prior to last seasons 13-3 outing, the Cowboys went 40-40 from 2011-2015. If anything, the Cowboys have been their typical selves so far this season. Factor in a defense that can’t stop a nose bleed, and it’ll be tough for QB Dak Prescott and company to match last year’s success.

Last Week: 10-6

Overall: 36-27

Upset of the Week: New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thursday Night Football)

The New England Patriots are lucky to be in the AFC East, because nobody is buying the Buffalo Bills as the best team in that division. The Patriots defense has allowed every opponent’s QB to throw for over 300 yards this year, and Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston will fest upon New England’s poor pass defense.

Upset of the Week Winner: Buccaneers

San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts

Colts QB Andrew Luck is finally practicing, but there is no timetable for his return. This is the last winnable game for the 49ers until December 3rd against the Chicago Bears, but it will be Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who will show flashes of being a franchise QB, perhaps even one the 49ers should look into next off season.

Winner: Colts

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns

I like Browns coach Hue Jackson a lot. He deserves better than the dumpster fire known as the Cleveland Browns. And aren’t the Jets supposed to be tanking?

Winner: Jets

Lock of the Week: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers

The soap opera known as the Pittsburgh Steelers never seems to end. First WR Antonio Brown throws a temper tantrum on Sunday after not receiving the ball when he was wide open. QB Ben Roethlisberger then chides Antonio Brown publicly after saying he wished Brown had voiced his frustrations privately. All of this would spell disaster for most teams, but none of it matters, as the Steelers play the perpetually schizophrenic Jaguars on this week’s episode.

Winner: Steelers

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants

A battle of 0-4 teams. One team feels as if they are playing road games every week since opposing teams’ fans take over their tarp covered, 27,00 seat soccer stadium. The other team is the worst New York football team right now, and that was supposed to be the Jets. It’s getting tiresome picking the Giants every week, but they’re playing a Chargers team that has got to be the biggest joke other than the Browns right now. This has got to be the Giants’ week, right?

Winner: Giants

Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals

The Bills, whom many thought were tanking, are 3-1 and in first place in the AFC East. That may not last much longer, but for one more week, the good times will roll in Buffalo.

Winner: Bills

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions

Cam Newton seems to have gotten his swagger back after scoring 4 touchdowns against the Patriots last week. That swagger carried over in the wrong way during a press conference Wednesday, where he said “It’s funny” when a female reporter asked him a question regarding the routes his wide receivers ran in week 4. There’s nothing funny about the Lions, who lead the NFL with 11 takeaways this season. While Newton’s remarks were reprehensible at best, Cam has his groove back, and that’s all the Panthers need.

Winner: Panthers

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins

The Titans may be without QB Marcus Mariota this weekend, and instead of signing a QB who could actually run their offense (*cough* Colin Kaepernick *cough*), they signed Brandon Weeden. They’re lucky they get to face smokin’ Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins this week, whose offense looks like it’s being ran by a man enjoying his retirement.

Winner: Titans

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles

The Cardinals two wins have come against the the Colts and the 49ers. The Eagles have proven to be the beasts of the NFC East through 4 games, and it’s games like these against vulnerable teams at home you must win in order to be considered true contenders.

Winner: Eagles

Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders

As stated earlier, the Raiders will be without QB Derek Carr for sometime. Their backup is former 16th overall pick and only the QB taken in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft EJ Manuel (*seriously, nobody wants to call Colin Kaepernick?*). The Ravens defense may be stout with 11 takeaways this season, but the Raiders will find a way to eek out a victory against a Ravens team whose QB Joe Flacco can no longer be considered elite.

Winner: Raiders

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are the surprise team at the top of the NFC West with a 3-1 record, including a stunning win over the Cowboys at Jerry World last week. This will be the biggest indicator of whether they are a true contender or not, as it has been QB Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom Seattle Seahawks who have owned this Division since 2013. The Rams aren’t ready for the spotlight.

Winner: Seahawks

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

A rematch of last year’s Divisional Playoff game (*quite possibly one of the best ever*), the Packers have injuries upon injuries stacking up. The Cowboys look vulnerable after looking invincible last season. The Cowboys need this game more to prove they are still a force to be reckoned with, and anticipating they will play with that urgency is enough to prevail over Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

Winner: Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (Sunday Night Football)

The Chiefs are the only undefeated team left in the NFL at 4-0. Chiefs coach Andy Reid wins 61% of his regular season games, so we should’ve seen this success coming. However, they’ll be facing a dynamic young QB in Deshaun Watson this week. After his 5 touchdown performance against the Titans last week, maybe Watson’s former college coach Dabo Swinney wasn’t far off when he said any team that passes up on him in the NFL draft is passing up on the next Michael Jordan.

Winner: Texans

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (Monday Night Football)

The Bears have mercilessly ended the Mike Glennon era (*or error*) and will start rookie QB Mitch Trubisky this week. Seriously? The Bears want to trot out their prized possession against a defense that is only allowing offenses to score 19 points a game? Hardly a confidence booster for a QB making his NFL debut in prime time.

USP NFL: CHICAGO BEARS-MITCHELL TRUBISKY PRESS CON S FBN USA IL

Winner: Vikings

 

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Bro- Commentary: The Legacy of Tony Romo

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo appears to have called it a career, leaving behind a successful career and a complex legacy.

Somewhere Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Dak Prescott are breathing a sigh of relief. Dallas Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones, on the other hand, is more than likely weeping whilst uttering “I wish I knew how to quit you.”

When news today broke from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has chosen to retire and more than likely replace Phil Simms as the top analyst for CBS (*somewhere, NFL fans are praising the lord with hallelujas*), many people began to ask this question: what is Tony Romo’s legacy?

Tony Romo fans and apologists will say he had quite the career considering his humble beginnings as an undrafted quarterback from Eastern Illinois. He signed a contract with the Dallas Cowboys and three years later was thrust into the fray of the NFL in a Monday Night Football showdown with the New York Giants after then Cowboys starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe struggled. Once Romo entered the game, he never looked back, as he remained the starting quarterback from 2006 through 2015. He went on to throw for 34,183 yards, 248 Touchdowns, 117 Interceptions, and a passer rating of 97.1. He is the Cowboys all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns over Cowboys hall of fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. His career passer rating is fourth highest in NFL history, and has one of the highest fourth quarter passer ratings in NFL history. Considering the evidence, Tony Romo not only over-achieved during his career, one could say he dominated. His legacy should be he was best in the world at what he does. But what these stats don’t show you, however, is the truth. Tony Romo is a choker.

Flashback to 2006, where the Cowboys faced the Seattle Seahawks in the wildcard round. Down 21-20, the Cowboys were in position to kick the go-ahead field goal with just over a minute left in the game. Tony Romo was the place holder for the kick. When the ball was snapped, Romo couldn’t handle the snap, attempted to run into the end-zone, but was tackled before scoring. The Romo apologists would say as a starting quarterback, Romo shouldn’t had been in that position. It was his job at the start of the season, it was his job to that point. Romo literally dropped the ball.

Fast forward to the 2007 Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, where the Cowboys played at home against the New York Giants. The Cowboys went 13-3 that year and won the NFC East. They had dominated the Giants that season, defeating them in both meetings. The Cowboys had should-be hall of fame wide receiver Terrell Owens, future hall of fame tight end Jason Witten, running back Marion Barber, a team most quarterbacks would win a Super Bowl with. The Cowboys lost 21-17. Romo, however, threw a soul crushing interception in the back of the end-zone on 4th down and 11 with 17 seconds left in the game, finishing the day throwing 18-36 for 201 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Well in that case Romo had to go for it all, right? The game was on the line, and unfortunately Romo just didn’t get it done.

Many, including myself, said 2008 would be the Cowboys year to right the wrongs 2006 and 2007. The team remained in tact, and added new players such as wide receiver Roy Williams and troubled defensive stars Adam “Pacman” Jones and Tank Johnson. However, in the regular season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, a game in which the winner punched their ticket into the postseason and the loser would be watching the playoffs from their couch, Romo once again didn’t bother to show up. Romo went 21-39 for a paltry 183 yards and 1 INT, fumbled twice and both were returned for touchdowns, as the Cowboys were ran out of town with a final score of 44-6. There’s no defending Romo here. His epic collapse didn’t end there, however, as he supposedly collapsed in the shower after the game.

In 2009, Romo appeared to get over the hump, as the Cowboys finished 11-5 and won the NFC East. Romo won his first career playoff game in a 34-14 romp over the same Philadelphia Eagles that rocked them the previous year. Romo threw for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns. Romo finally won his first playoff game, and the Cowboys seemed primed for a deep playoff run. Those sentiments were met with a thunderous thud the next week, as Romo and the Cowboys were dominated by the Brett Favre led Minnesota Vikings 34-3. Romo threw for a meager 198 yards, 1 INT and fumbled. Once again, Romo couldn’t lead his team to win “the big one”.

Skip to 2011, where the Cowboys were once again in a win and in, lose and go home situation against the New York Giants on the road. The Cowboys fell behind 21-0 and didn’t score until the third quarter. While Romo manged to make up for an earlier interception by throwing 2 touchdowns to make the game 21-14, the Giants ultimately prevailed 31-14. Sure, the statisticians will argue Romo went 29-37 for 289 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT, but the Cowboys were never quite in the game, and Romo once again went home failing to deliver.

2012 presented the same stipulation for the Cowboys, this time on the road against the Robert Giffin III led Washington Redskins. Winner wins the NFC East and goes to the playoffs. The loser goes home. Romo once again choked the opportunity away, going 20-37 for an inadequate 218 yards, 2 TDs and 3 INTs in a 28-18 loss.

Six times did Romo have the chance to become a legend in Cowboys lore by leading his team to the Super Bowl. Six times he gagged. The seventh and closest time Romo ever got to winning a Super Bowl was in 2014, when the Dallas Cowboys went 12-4 and lost to the Green Bay Packers in the still hotly debated Dez Bryant catch or no catch game. Romo then went on to become more injury prone, as he played-in just 5 games over the next two seasons due to collar-bone and back injuries.

Romo’s career trajectory defied expectations. Most drafted quarterbacks haven’t accomplished even a fraction of what Romo managed to during his career. In the regular season, Romo was at his best. When it came to clutch situations, however, Romo failed to live up to his so-called elite billing.

Tony Romo leaves behind a complex legacy. In a sport where quarterbacks are measured by the amount of championships they’ve won and how clutch they were, we seem to give Romo a pass. We looks at his statistics and proclaim him great, one of the best and most talented the NFL has ever seen. Upon further review, however, Romo may have been wondrous in the regular season, but when it came to clutch situations, he was anything but. Not only has he never won a Super Bowl, his 2 career playoffs wins are in wild-card playoff games. If that qualifies for elite, then the standard to become an elite quarterback has been significantly lowered. He has more regular season finale win-or- go home losses than playoff wins. He is 2-4 in his playoff career. Romo should be remembered as an imposter. A quarterback that when presented with a situation that could have defined him as a legend, he crumbled under the pressure.