November 24, 2014

Men Separated from ‘Boys

logoby Scott Benson
[email protected]

The Dallas Cowboys thought they had the New England Patriots for a minute there yesterday, as they rallied for a 24-21 third-quarter lead after having trailed by two touchdowns.

No dice.

The Patriots exploded for 27 points over the game’s final 25 minutes – to just 3 from the overwhemled Cowboys – to close out a 48-27 win as the ‘Boys were separated from the NFL’s real men in Dallas.

Tom Brady continued his stratospheric play with a franchise-best 5 touchdown passes, and Wel Welker and Donte Stallworth combined for 250 yards and 3 scores as the Patriots ran their record to 6-0 for only the second time in team history.

The Patriots defense teetered on the edge for a good bit of the day but gathered themselves to hold the Cowboys to just three first downs after Dallas briefly (for about 5 minutes) took their three-point third-quarter lead.

The Cowboys – one and done playoff losers in 06 – thought their 5-0 record to start this season entitled them to join the legion of knuckleheads casting aspersions on the Patriots as they prepared to face the team that had won 3 world championships since Dallas’s last playoff win.

New England did their talking on the field, getting off to an increasingly typical 14-0 lead on the strength of Brady throws to Randy Moss and Welker, while Dallas’s vaunted offense struggled to gain even a first down against the Patriots defense.

But a second-quarter breakdown between Brady and Stallworth left the MVP candidate holding the ball too long as Greg Ellis rushed from the edge, and the resulting fumble took a bunny hop to Ellis’s linemate Jason Hatcher, who raced 29 yards untouched for Dallas’s first touchdown. New England’s lead was suddenly tightened to 14-10.

Even a 7 minute New England drive that ended with Welker’s second score and a 21-10 lead was not enough to dissuade Dallas and quarterback Tony Romo, as America’s Next Top Mimbo began to shred the center of the New England secondary with repeated open throws to Jason Witten, Patrick Crayton and Terrell Owens.

Romo rolled over the Pats’ suddenly porous pass defense to lead Dallas on a 3 minute, 84 yard touchdown drive that brought them within four and forced Brady to finish the first half on his right knee.

Brady started the second half hardly better, as an invigorated Dallas defense opened the third-quarter by forcing a quick three-and-out, and after a Chris Hanson punt, Dallas again tore upfield (behind Julius Jones, who had two consecutive carries that totaled 43 yards) with a 74 yard touchdown drive in just over 3 1/2 minutes. Crayton’s 6 yard scoring pass from Romo left the Patriots trailing in the second half for the first time this season.

And it was then that New England took over and showed the rest of the league just how far the Patriots rivals have yet to come.

The Patriots scored on every one of their remaining 5 possessions. First, Brady regained the lead with a short scoring toss to Kyle Brady (in relief of Benjamin Watson, who was lost early to an ankle injury) that closed out a 5+ minute drive that did much to cool off the boiling Dallas offense. A short field goal drive followed (after a spectacular Moss near-touchdown in the right corner was disallowed on a replay challenge), and then Brady slammed the door with a perfectly thrown 4th quarter pass down the middle that Stallworth gathered in before breaking a tackle and racing for a 69 yard touchdown that gave the Pats a 14 point lead with just 12 minutes left.

When Dallas could muster only a field goal in response, the game was over. But just in case the Cowboys hadn’t yet gotten the picture, the Patriots poured it on.

New England held the ball for 12 of the final 15 minutes, and only let up after Kyle Eckel’s short touchdown run with just 19 seconds left finished a drive that began with a Junior Seau interception at the Dallas 20.

Wade Phillips, who would do well to lose Peter King’s cell phone number, may have expected the Pats to take a knee to avoid running up the score (as they had done in previous weeks), but if he did, he was dead wrong. The Pats pounded away, much as Phillips had done during the week, as he openly questioned (even mocked) the legitimacy of New England’s success this decade. His after-the-fact denials did little to dissuade Bill Belichick from pushing the ball across the goal line a final, emphatic time.

When it was over, Phillips could barely look at Belichick as the two exchanged a terse post-game handshake. He wouldn’t have the balls to be pissed at Belichick for running up the score after Phillips has spent the week having a few Spy-gate laughs at Belichick and his team’s expense, would he? He couldn’t be that stupid, could he?

Evidently, he could. Which may explain why his cocky 5-0 team just took a 21 point loss in their own ballpark, thanks in large part to their coach’s big mouth.

Any more Spy-Gate questions, fellas?

Comments

  1. Question: is Wes Welker ever stopped at first contact? Gees. When he doesn’t break free, he has that patented squirm/fall forward for three yards move. And Phillips reacts on the sideline like he’s watching the game on some barstool in Waco. You either get the pissed off “now, what’d you go and do that fer? Aw, hell” look or the “that’s the way to lasso that steer” fist pump. Congratulations on being the best the NFC has to offer.

  2. What got me was the little shit-eating grin he tried in vain to suppress whenever things started to go his way.

  3. Yes! I forgot about that one…the smirk.

  4. He quickly joined the pantheon of Coaches You Hate Because Of The Expressions On Their Faces. For me, it all started with Billy Cunningham.

    Greg Ellis, who got that strip sack of Brady, was the guy Jerry Jones took instead of Moss in ’98.

    Was Rodney playing linebacker in the second half?

  5. oops

    “They are that good,” Phillips said of the Patriots. “We wanted to be one of the elite teams. Obviously, we’re not. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I think it’s a wake-up call for us.”

  6. coming close to ‘the better team didn’t win territory’

    “Hopefully, we’ll see them down the road,” receiver Terrell Owens said. “We’ve just got to regroup. There’s no confidence lost in the locker room.”

    Said quarterback Tony Romo: “They are a good football team. We are 5-1. That’s a pretty darn good football team. We didn’t win today. But there have been plenty of cases over the course time where a team didn’t win every game and still came out pretty good.”

  7. Schadenfreude says:

    1. Interesting, isn’t it, that the same media that spent billions of bytes and thousands of trees lacerating BB for giving Mangidiot a limp fish handshake said nary a word about Wade Phillips giving BB the limp fish.

    2. So, when does the Mangidiot job watch begin? Herm Edwards did a better job with the J-E-T-S when Pennington was out for the season.

  8. I think Patriots Daily should take a page from Peter King and start a “Book Corner” feature. That Deanna Favre book looks like a real gripper.

  9. A weekly Patriots Daily Book Club Roundtable breaking down a chapter of Deanna’s book would be quite nice.

  10. So much to be said about the game… but I am taking two things mostly:
    – The injuries to Watson and Morris. Hope that they are ok for 11/4.
    – The story about ‘running up the score’ is gaining a litte steam (and yes, it’s utter nonsense and the ‘Boys own fault for using timeouts) and that should be just the perfect motivating tool to be laid on the table next. I love it! I hope Peter King writes an expose’ on the subject this week, with more quotes from Bum’s kid.

  11. …..in addition to the “Book Club” maybe the Roundtable could also discuss their favorite coffees and lattes…..

  12. Has it ever occurred to anyone that Wade Phillips looks just like The Skipper and Romo looks like Gilligan?

  13. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    Gilligan … drop those coconuts!

    Apparently the Pats should have just run back and forth, zig-zagging from sideline to sideline, to kill the clock rather than playing the full 60 minutes. Damn, I wish Hobbs had “disrespected the star” or something.

    Well, if everything is bigger in Texas, then I guess the Cowboys are simply the biggest babies.

  14. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    And, if the Pats see the Cowboys in February, it will only be because Dallas will be carrying the Packers’ bags for them.

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