Oct 6, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is sacked in the fourth quarter by Denver Broncos defensive end Shaun Phillips (90) at AT

NFL Takeaways from Week Five: Tony Romo At It Again


There was a lot to take in from the NFL action during week five.  Some teams looked good, others looked bad.  One thing is clear.  There are plenty of story lines to watch.  Which ones stood out?

Sean Payton and Drew Brees have one more good crack at a title

There is no question the best team in the league at present is the 5-0 New Orleans Saints.  They have Sean Payton back and Drew Brees still under center but now a top ten defense under Rob Ryan.  It is the most balanced team the duo has had since 2009, which means they have as good a shot at a second championship as they’ll probably have ever again what with Brees turning 35 in January.

Russell Wilson may be the Seattle Seahawks Achilles heel

His rookie year was a marvel to behold and he’s still very dangerous when he runs but it’s clear Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson struggles with inconsistency.  He takes too many sacks and is careless with the football at times, having a fumble in every games this season.  His latest effort against Indianapolis showed how inefficient a passer he is, completing just 48%.  If the Seahawks have grand plans to win the Super Bowl, they better hope Wilson improves otherwise will just load the box to stop Marshawn Lynch and wait for him to make a mistake.

Alshon Jeffery is becoming a monster for the Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears offense is still trying to find itself through the first third of the season but it’s clear they’re making progress.  A huge sign is the exploding production of second-year receiver Alshon Jeffery.  After a quiet first three games to the season, he collected 107 yards in Detroit and torched the Saints #5 pass defense for 218 a week later.  If Chicago can get him and Brandon Marshall going at the same time, which hasn’t happened yet, the Bears could become a serious problem for NFL defenses to handle the rest of the season.

Matthew Stafford is useless without Calvin Johnson

Does the quarterback make the receiver or does the receiver make the quarterback?  The simplest answer is it can go both ways.  Detroit Lions fans got their answer on Matthew Stafford in week five.  Playing without stud receiver Calvin Johnson who nursed a knee injury, Stafford looked lost at time and though his numbers say he had an okay game, the reality is the Lions offense was terrible.  Stafford was sacked five times by Green Bay, this after going down just three times in the first four games.  Losing Nate Burleson was one thing, but it’s clear the quarterback can’t function without Johnson.

Tony Romo keeps failing Dallas Cowboys when it matters

Jerry Jones continues to passionately defend Tony Romo despite the growing pile of evidence stating that he is a big reason why the Dallas Cowboys can’t win.  The latest loss to the Denver Broncos was the whole story in a nutshell.  Romo goes crazy on the stat line for over 500 yards passing and five touchdown passes.  Yet when the game was tied with plenty of time left and Dallas needed a drive, Romo throws a bad interception on a forced pass despite having an easy check down wide open.  Such passes have become the cornerstone of the Romo biography, the Cowboys will never stop seeing it until he’s gone.

Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning could meet in the playoffs

The Denver Broncos are the obvious favorite in the AFC thanks to Peyton Manning and his record-setting pace but they may have a serious contender rising to the challenge.  How perfect that it’s the Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck, the young quarterback who replaced Manning when he left Indy two years ago.  The Colts are riding a winning streak that culminated in a huge win over the Seattle Seahawks.  They are strong on offense and defense.  If any team can challenge Denver in the playoffs, it seems like it’s them.  Start writing those story lines.

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Tags: Alshon Jeffery Andrew Luck Dallas Cowboys NFL Tony Romo

  • Norman K

    Another clueless idiot. ROMO was not the issue he is a gun slinger. If not for his plays they would not even be close. He has no running attack, and the D can not stop Denver at all. He gets sacked on the first play, so what does need to do. If he does not try something then dallas gives the ball back to denver with good field position and the Dallas D can most likely not stop them. True the Int came at a bad time, but who can fault Romo. Only someone that does not understand football. Look for a new JOB….

    • Erik Lambert

      Then punt the ball and force Manning to drive the length of the field. Don’t force the ball into triple coverage when the game is tied. Would you rather have your defense working with 70-80 yards of cushion or less than 50 like they ended up with? I fully understand football, Norman. Romo had absolutely no reason to force that ball. It was second down. If you get sacked or throw it incomplete, it’s third and long against a defense you’ve been torching for big plays all day. Like it or not, Romo kept them in it and Romo killed them. That is what he does.

      • Norman K

        Romo should not have been in the position to have to do everything. Improvise every other play because of poor pass protection, Dallas D unable to stop Denver. If your QB has to throw the ball every play he is going to get a int. Manning Threw a int also if you remember. Then on top of that after they should have let Denver run it in when they were near the goal line. Then ROMO could have had another chance with plenty of time. Cant fault a guy for throwing 500+ yards and trying to make a play. Just like last week with Williams trying to make a play.

      • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

        Eric, how many times did the Patriots fail to score and instead had to punt the ball away? Absolutely none. Giving the ball back to Denver would have been the worst possible decision Did you watch the game? Sorry, I doubt if any fan, Dallas or otherwise would agree punting the ball away would have been a good decision. If Romo had not thrown for 500+ yards, the game would not have been close and you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to slam him. By the way, I am a New York Giants fan.

        • Erik Lambert

          I assume you mean the Broncos instead of the Patriots. Yes, I did watch the game and I continue to profess a punt was a far better alternative than a pick. This isn’t about whether the Cowboys would’ve been in the game without Romo, it’s about Romo continuing to hamper that amazing play of his with horrific decisions down the stretch. Did he check down? No. Did he throw it away? No. He threw it into triple coverage on second down. I understand it was 2nd and 16, but the game was tied with just over two minutes to go. If you throw incomplete, run a play to get it to the two minute warning, punt the ball as far as you can and force Manning to drive the field in under two minutes. Would they have stopped him? The odds say no but the chances are better than giving them ball at the 24-yard line. That gave Prater a chip shot. At least make him earn it on what would’ve been a longer try.

          • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

            Thanks for the reply. You have great hindsight. With the game tied the
            Broncos did not have to drive the length of the field in order to kick a
            game winning field goal. If they didn’t get a first down a punt would
            have put Denver on about their own 35 or 45 yard line and assuming no return having only to drive about 30 to 35 yards to kick a winning field
            goal. I respect your opinion but I think the majority of readers strongly disagree with you.
            And if there had been any other quarterback playing for the Cowboys a
            pick in the last two minutes of the game would have made no difference
            as to who would win the game.Yes, on hindsight a punt was better than a pick but unless you had a crystal ball you didn’t know the pick was going to happen. The way the Broncos were moving the ball, the chances of them scoring following a punt was far more likely than a pick.

          • Erik Lambert

            That’s exactly my point. You claim you couldn’t see the pick coming but in reality you could. It was 2nd and 16. The Cowboys have the ball and are hoping to get down field the way they have all night. Romo has been eating them up in chunks but history proves time and again he starts to get antsy when a game is teetering either way. If the pick had come on a bad route by the receiver or simply a deep pass that was outwrestled for by a corner, that’s one thing. But Romo threw the ball into triple coverage. I reiterate the TRIPLE in that statement. I understand he may not have seen his check down receiver who was wide open but you can’t tell me he didn’t see where he was throwing on that play. That is not a great play by the Broncos. That’s a terrible decision by Romo. It never should’ve been thrown and should’ve been intercepted like it was.

            So let me pose you this. Romo instead throws an incomplete pass on the play. On 3rd and 16 he hits Bryant for 12 yards, pushing the ball to the 36-yard line. It’s 4th and 2 with just under two minutes to play. Their punter Chris Jones has averaged 46 yards per punt this season. So sticking to that he puts the ball at the Denver 18-yard line. That means Manning would need to go at least 42 yards in under two minutes to give Matt Prater a shot at a 50+ yard field goal. If you’re Jason Garrett, as bad as your defense has played, wouldn’t you rather take a chance with that than Romo completing a pass in triple coverage?

          • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

            To answer your last question. NO.

          • Erik Lambert

            Well, clearly we have a difference of opinion.