Two more teams are in the playoffs
Just a few weeks ago it seemed as if the Houston Texans were dead in the water. They had lost their starting quarterback Matt Schaub and their backup quarterback Matt Leinart in consecutive weeks. In steps 5th round pick QB T.J. Yates. In his first two starts he's up against the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals. All that's on the line is a playoff berth. The first in franchise history. No problem. Yates threw a TD pass against the Falcons, but the Texans defense stepped up and held the Falcons to only 10 points. In Cincinnati though it was a different story. Houston was down by 9 going into the 4th quarter. The Texans running game was being shutdown all day long. Yates lead the Texans to a come from behind victory throwing for 300 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Amazing to think that Houston will be hosting a playoff game with a rookie QB getting them to that point.
The New Orleans Saints didn't make it easy for themselves in Tennessee. But QB Drew Brees makes it look too easy and lead the Saints to another playoff berth. With their division rival Atlanta Falcons coming from behind to beat the Carolina Panthers, the Saints will have to wait another week to see if they can clinch the division title. Assuming the Saints beat Minnesota at the Metrodome and the Falcons beat Jacksonville in the Georgia Dome. It will set up a fantastic Week 16 Monday Night matchup between Atlanta and New Orleans at the Superdome. I'm really hoping for that outcome.
The reason the Cowboys struggle
It really isn't that obvious, but it was after watching them play this past Sunday against the New York Giants. Dallas' problem is expectations. Owner Jerry Jones has put far too much pressure on this team to win a division title every year. Finish with at least 12 wins. And always play for a championship. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not working with these Cowboys. I believe QB Tony Romo can win in this league, but not with the Cowboys. It won't happen. Why? The players around him don't know how to handle the pressure. You mean to tell me that WR Miles Austin after playing in that new billion dollar stadium for a couple years now can't find the football in the lights? Pretty lame if you ask me. What happened to that spectacular defense we were going to see from the Cowboys new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan? It shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone knowing that Ryan's two previous jobs as defensive coordinator were with the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders. Ryan's defenses have been ranked in the top 10 only one time; 2006 in Oakland. The rest of the time they've been ranked near the bottom. Also head coach Jason Garrett seems to be wilting under the pressure as well. Time after time he has made some boneheaded decisions that have cost his team wins and it could cost him his job as well. Put it to rest once and for all. The Dallas Cowboys shouldn't be counted on to be Super Bowl contenders unless they prove it otherwise.
It's not all about one guy
I know I've talked about Broncos QB Tim Tebow a lot this season. Rightfully so. He's a unique individual and a unique quarterback. And I do know that he isn't doing everything to help the Denver Broncos win. Their defense has done so much this season to put Tebow in position to win the game for them in the 4th quarter. Or to tie it and then win it in overtime. Also the other teams have done their part as well. Case in point this past week when Bears RB Marion Barber runs out of bounds with a minute to go. That gave the Broncos time with no timeouts to drive down the field and tie the game at 10 going into overtime. Then in overtime Barber fumbles the football giving the Broncos another opportunity to win the game, which they did. Get ready to see the Denver Broncos hosting a playoff game this year. Because I don't see the Oakland Raiders waking up anytime soon.