Dallas’ incompetence in the postseason has turned into a comedic joke. Against the Packers, the joke remained the same. It’s always essential to watch the Dallas Cowboys during the playoffs, generally for all the wrong reasons. The Cowboys’ dominant run of the 1990s is firmly in the past, and the majority of their 21st-century history is postseason disappointment. It seemed like these Cowboys should have easily handled a visiting Green Bay Packers club that many believed was just thrilled to be here after securing the NFC’s second seed in the regular season.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, haven’t advanced to the NFC Championship Game since 1995. By now, their supporters are used to humiliation regardless of how strongly the deck appears to be in their favor.
Nevertheless, not even the most pessimistic supporters could have predicted that Dallas would give up 27 consecutive points to the Packers in the first half of Sunday’s game, their worst deficit in the postseason since 1969. To make it 27-7 at halftime, Dallas had to score a touchdown before the half ended thanks to a defensive penalty.
Early in the third quarter, MVP of the Week contender Aaron Jones responded with his third running touchdown of the game, ensuring that the momentum did not continue into the second half. That very well put an end to Dallas’s dreams of a comeback, but a couple of touchdowns in garbage time for Dallas made the final score appear a little less epic than it was—48–32. Ultimately, the Cowboys had previously allowed 38 points in a postseason game, a record that was surpassed by the Packers in the third quarter of Sunday’s game.
Even though Green Bay’s defense should have done better in the second half, they still won well on the road. The team has successfully managed a quarterback transition once more, having gone from Aaron Rodgers to backup Jordan Love in the same way that Rodgers had replaced Brett Favre years before. Love led his offense to three touchdown passes over the air. The Packers’ rebuilding project is ahead of schedule, regardless of what transpires against the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers the following week.
Head coach Mike McCarthy was the one who, in a lot of ways, had the most to lose on Sunday. He most likely wanted to exact revenge on the Packers, who let him go in 2018. Rather, the Cowboys produced what may have been their most embarrassing first-round departure ever. McCarthy may have lost another job as a result of the Packers, considering the Cowboys’ 28-year Super Bowl drought. At the time of writing on Sunday night, he was still employed; however, by the time you read this on Monday morning, things may have changed. Jones stated following the game that he was “not sure” when he would see McCarthy.
In addition, there are reports that Bill Belichick, who must become the most successful head coach in NFL history with a new team after “mutually parting ways” with the New England Patriots, may be of interest to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones if he leaves. Given that Belichick won a record six Super Bowls while coaching the New England Patriots and two more while serving as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, the idea seems promising on paper.
However, there are worries that Jones would be making the classic sports sin of selecting elite players based only on their prior success and neglecting warning indications of decline. The Patriots played just one postseason game after Tom Brady left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a landslide loss to the Buffalo Bills. Belichick has failed to win in his final four seasons in New England.
The obvious personality conflicts between Jones and Belichick—two men used to having complete control over their teams—would make this a very combustible situation, even if Belichick is more successful with a more talented group. Regardless of the head coach moving ahead, it will be a contentious environment. Given the team’s extremely high expectations, Jones’s insistence on serving as his general manager, and the Cowboys’ track record of underachieving under his direction, the position may not be as alluring as it first appears.
Ultimately, the identity of Dallas’s head coach or starting quarterback in the twenty-first century hasn’t mattered. Despite being the most valued team in sports, the Cowboys’ postseason misbehavior has become as foreseeable as a comedy running joke. Jones has been an absolute success when it comes to making money. Despite having unlimited resources, Jones is still a huge failure when it comes to assembling a winning club. The same as it has always been.
MVP of the week
Houston Texans quarterback CJ Stroud. Normally, much more consideration goes into choosing this winner, but when you become the youngest quarterback in postseason history, you’re pretty much guaranteed a spot in our eyes. With some help from his offensive line, the rookie quarterback led the Texans to a resounding 45-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns, throwing for three touchdowns without committing an interception or being sacked once.
He completed 16 of 21 passes for a total of 274 yards along the route. He was unquestionably the greatest player on the field on Saturday, but the Texans’ next opponent will be much tougher as they travel to face the Baltimore Ravens and probable MVP Lamar Jackson. Keep checking back!
57 years old. Before Joe Flacco hit Steven Nelson of the Houston Texans with a pick-six in the playoffs, it had been that long since a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns had given up one. The last time it occurred was in 1967 when Cornell Green of the Dallas Cowboys picked off Frank Ryan.
Sadly, Browns supporters wouldn’t have to wait nearly as long for their next one since Flacco scored on the very next drive with another pick-six, this time to Christian Harris. The Texans were able to rest their starters in the fourth quarter, which effectively put a stop to the contest. This will probably be the last of Flacco’s incredible NFL career, given that he was all but retired a few months ago. While it lasted, it was a charming Cinderella tale; nevertheless, ultimately, even her carriage had to turn back into a pumpkin.
Week’s Top Video
It was the coldest game in Arrowhead Stadium history at kickoff, with a temperature of -4F (-20C). Beer cans popped in the stands like sodas that had been in the freezer for too long. Then, following a strong collision, Mahomes’ helmet snapped in the second half.
When the wind chill was taken into account, the temperature by the conclusion of the evening had dropped to as low as -27F (-32C), making it one of the coldest NFL games ever. For the Chiefs, especially for Mahomes who had to play the second half wearing a substitute helmet, it couldn’t have been a pleasurable experience. Nevertheless, the destitute Chiefs supporters gathered in the bleachers witnessed Kansas City handily defeat the Miami Dolphins 26-7.
In other parts of the league
The intriguing case of the quarterback carousel was the central plot point of Sunday night’s big game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions. Up until 2020, when the Rams transferred quarterback Jared Goff to Detroit in exchange for Matthew Stafford, the Lions quarterback was the team’s signal caller. Given that Stafford helped the Rams win a Super Bowl in 2021, it was a decision the team would gladly make again.
Given that Stafford had been trapped in a scenario that seemed hopeless in Detroit, Lions supporters were initially thrilled for Stafford. They also needed a reason to rejoice, as they hadn’t participated in or won a postseason game since 1996. They were more than happy to support Stafford on Sunday for at least a night because he was now putting a stop to their losing run.
The match included a lot of back-and-forth and controversy. At the end of the first half, the officials called a false start on what was very definitely a neutral zone penalty, ending a potential Detroit drive. Afterward, Stafford came back into the match, seemingly knocked out by Lions defenders.
The Rams rallied late to tie the game at 23, but the Lions held them off to win by the narrowest of margins. It’s difficult to determine who was happier at Ford Field following the game—Goff or the enduring supporters.
The victors of Monday’s Divisional Round matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Lions for yet another home game this season. Who would have thought?
A rare Wild Card Extended Weekend is coming up; be ready! Given that the struggling Philadelphia Eagles were set to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, that was already going to be the case. The Buffalo Bills’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was rescheduled to 4.30 pm EST on Monday due to a heavy blizzard that made playing on Sunday afternoon impossible. However, the weather circumstances converted it into an impromptu doubleheader.
Although there have been requests to move the kickoff even further back—snow was falling in certain regions near Buffalo on Sunday at a pace of up to six inches per hour—New York Governor Kathy Hochul has stated that the game will still go place. “It won’t be pleasant, but the conditions won’t be dangerous either,” she remarked.
The league had a harsh Black Monday as usual, but the greatest announcement wasn’t made official for a few days. The New England Patriots, as previously stated, let go of head coach Bill Belichick even though it was clear after the team’s Sunday defeat to the New York Jets what was ahead. Without a doubt, the Patriots would have found a way to keep Belichick if they had wanted him back.
To ensure that there would be some connection to their heyday, they hired linebackers coach Jerod Mayo on Saturday. Mayo spent his entire eight-year NFL playing career with New England. Finding a solution for the disaster that has been their quarterback position since Brady left will be his first significant challenge.
The NFL is reportedly looking to purchase a sizeable portion of ESPN, the network that largely controls how the league is covered in the US, according to claims that surfaced over the weekend. From a journalistic standpoint, it’s a little concerning since the NFL would have even more power to stifle critical coverage of the league. However, detractors also brought out ESPN’s recent foray into sports betting, which raised questions about conflicts of interest. Pay attention.
If you were able to see the live Dolphins-Chiefs game on Saturday night in the United States, congratulations (except, I guess. If you were a devoted Dolphins supporter, then please accept our sympathies. The NFL took a sizable payment from NBC in exchange for giving the streaming service Peacock the exclusive broadcasting rights, as part of its financial grab for more money. It’s the type of blatant cash grab that a company can pull off in a fragmented media market when they have a product that promises massive viewing figures.
Speaking of the Miami Dolphins, whose defeat against the Buffalo Bills just before the start of the postseason may have officially terminated the season. As one might expect, the squad used to playing in warm weather did not do well in the subfreezing temps at Arrowhead.
One of the top offenses in the regular season, the Dolphins, scored just one touchdown in the harsh weather. It’s difficult to deny that things may have turned out differently if they had defeated the Bills and taken the AFC East, guaranteeing home-field advantage in their opening-round playoff match. It turned out to be Miami’s final one of the season instead.
After the wild ride of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, our prime minister here in the UK, Rishi Sunak, promised us a government of stability and competence, not to mention professionalism, honesty, and accountability. Do you recall Liz? She appears to be a long-gone comic act these days. Rather, Sunak descended even more into the Conservative psychodrama through the looking glass.
There have been no better pictures anywhere. Donald Trump is currently a lot of people’s favorite to win the US presidency once more. The conflict in Ukraine has continued with little sign of resolution. It’s all too easy to see how the rest of the world may become weary of the fight and lose interest. In addition, there is the Middle East conflict and the climatic catastrophe.
But optimism is renewed with a new year. Numerous nations, including the US and the UK, are holding elections. We must have hope for change. that a better solution is achievable. The Guardian will keep reporting on happenings worldwide because it feels particularly vital right now. However, maintaining a news-collecting organization is not inexpensive.
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