BILLS 26, COWBOYS 15

Cowboys vs. Bills: Good, bad and ugly

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Turkey wasn't the only thing that got carved on Thanksgiving Day. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills cut up the Cowboys defense Thursday for a 26-15 victory. I hope everyone ate before this game, because defeat surely left a bad taste in Cowboy's fans mouth.

The Good

Stop the presses, Amari Cooper had a catch! In all seriousness, Cooper was the lone bright spot for an otherwise abysmal Cowboys offense. He had eight catches for 85 yards on 11 targets. Good but not great numbers, but a huge upgrade over the performance he put on last week against Stehpon Gilmore and the New England Patriots.

For once the Cowboys offense did not get off to a slow start. On their opening drive, Dak Prescott played with confidence and had connections to Cooper and Ezekiel Elliot for big gains. On second and goal, Prescott was able to find a wide open Jason Witten for the first touchdown of the game. It seemed as though that was all the Cowboys could achieve on offense until garbage time in the 4th quarter.

Another good thing about this game…. The halftime show wasn't bad. Most NFL games on Thanksgiving have halftime shows that are forgettable at best. But the Cowboys brought on pop star Ellie Goulding to entertain the crowd while Jason Garrett tries to figure out how to salvage this game and his career (More on Garrett Later). Let's be honest, she put on a better show that the Cowboys offense.

The Bad

Do not let Prescott's numbers fool you. Most of his completions came in the fourth quarter with the Bills playing prevent defense. Prescott looked great in the opening drive, but afterwards looked as though he couldn't quarterback to save his life. He had one interception and one fumble before halftime. Luckily, the inception lead to a missed field goal by Steven Hauschka, but the fumble lead to a Buffalo special in which Allen handed the ball off to Andre Roberts, who gave the ball to John Brown to throw to a wide open Devin Singletary for their second touchdown of the game. Hauschka later missed the extra point, but Prescott and the offense had no answer for the Bills scores until garbage time when it was too little too late.

Speaking of bad kickers, Brett Maher was absolutely terrible. He missed both his field goal attempts and made one extra point. He missed one field goal from beyond 30 yards and one field goal from beyond 40 yards. How is it possible to play better in a bad weather game on the road than at home with perfect conditions? Maher has looked wildly inconsistent which is a common theme for the Cowboys.

Let's face it; the Cowboys don't even look like a playoff contending team. If it wasn't for the fact that they play in a bad division, the Cowboys could have been written off after their loss to the Jets. Time and time again they constantly fall under pressure, and when their games become must win games, they fold like a house of cards. Despite all of the talent this roster has, they have continued to underperform and shot themselves in the foot time and time again.

The Ugly

Coming off of a short week, players were expected to miss some time due to injuries. Leighton Vander Esh and Jeff Heath both missed this game and the absence shows. Allen and the Bill's offense essentially could do whatever they wanted to against the Cowboys. Stopping the run proved most difficult, for Singletary, Allen, and Veteran Frank Gore combined to rush for 117 yards and one touchdown by Allen.

The moment you all have been waiting for Jason Garrett has to go, period. Jerry Jones after the game said now is not the time for a coaching change, focused on getting to the Super Bowl, according to ESPN. All this does is assure Jason Garrett will at maximum last until the end of the regular season. The writing is on the wall. The Cowboys need to move on, and Jerry's clear frustrations at the game were evident that change is coming. It's only a matter of when not if anymore.

The ugliest part of the game took place after the final score. Multiple reports claimed that screaming could be heard from the Cowboys' locker room. And who was behind all of the screaming? Allegedly it was Michael Bennett trying to encourage his team, but it must have been canceled out with all of the other noise going on in the room. Jerry Jones even came down to speak to his team, but supposedly left mid speech with tears in his eyes. Seems as if things are intensifying emotionally for the Cowboys, and it can only get worse form here on out.

The Cowboys play the equally underachieving Bears next Thursday night. Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives at this point of the season so it will be interesting to see what happens when two desperate teams square off under the bright lights of Thursday Night Football.




NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship good, bad and ugly

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The NFL Conference Championship Weekend is their Final Four. You don't get the games played in the same place, but there is a buzz in both stadiums because each team knows theyarethisclose to a Super Bowl. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the real deal. We gawk at his arm strength and ability to make throws in spaces and from angles that'll challenge physics. But his athleticism and escapability are underrated. Prime example was his 27-yard touchdown run right before halftime. Not only did he evade the rush and scramble to the outside, but he tightroped along the sideline, cut back inside, then carried a couple defenders across the goalline. He led the Chiefs in rushing yards with 56.

-49ers running back Raheem Mostert has played on five different teams in his five year career. In his second stint with the 49ers, he's turned himself into an valuable piece of that offense. Although they use a stable of backs, it was Mostert who set a new team postseason rushing record with 196 yards and there was still almost 20 minutes of football left to play!

-We will have a great matchup of coaches in the Super Bowl. Head Coaches/Playcallers: Chiefs' Andy Reid vs 49er's Kyle Shanahan; defensive coordinators: Chiefs' Steve Spagnuolo vs 49er's Robert Saleh. The meeting of the minds with two weeks to prepare should give us a good game. Key word: should. Please guys, no blowouts.

The Bad

-Derrick Henry was dubbed "King Henry" after his recent rushing performances. He was unceremoniously removed from his throne by the Chiefs' defense. 69 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown with a long run of 13 backed up the tough talk from Chiefs' defensive end Frank Clark who said earlier in the week leading up to the game that Henry wasn't hard to tackle.

-Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked a little off. He missed a few key throws, including an interception that ended any hope they had of coming back because it led to the 49ers having a short field and going up by four scores instead of the Packers being down by two scores. It was a minute before halftime, but the way the 49ers were running the ball, that pick was a backbreaker.

-The NFL fined Chiefs' offensive lineman Eric Fisher $14,037 for an unsportsmanlike conduct for his double-fist beer touchdown celebration during last week's win over the Texans. I thought they turned the corner when they started allowing more touchdown celebrations. So let me get this straight: you can choreograph a dance routine with the whole team, but can't pretend to chug beer from a league sponsor? Talk about hypocrisy.

The Ugly

-With the score 28-17 Chiefs with 7:44 left in the game, 3rd&6 on the Chiefs' 40-yard line. Titans' corner Tramaine Brock Sr. fell down and was called for a holding penalty on Sammy Watkins as he was falling. The worst part of that play: Watkins broke open and Mahomes found him for a 60-yard touchdown. Later when they were down by 11 with 3:59 left, Brock was called for a 41-yard pass interference on 3rd&10 with the Chiefs on their own 19-yard line. Those plays sealed the deal for the Titans.

-49ers running back Tevin Coleman was carted off the field in the 2nd quarter with an injury to his right elbow. An arm injury must be pretty damn bad if you're carted off. Thoughts and prayers to the running back I thought the Texans should've signed. Major props to him wanting to come back to the sidelines to be with his teammates wearing a sling.

-The 49ers outrushed the Packers 185 to 51...IN THE FIRST HALF! They were up 27-0 and had "only" passed for 40 yards. That's all they needed since the Packers couldn't stop the run. Mind you, they ran the ball 22 times to get the 185 yards. Packers defense looked like wet brown grocery bags trying to hold two gallons of milk.

And then there were two. Through all the strife and struggle, we have our Super Bowl 54 will be a matchup of arguably the best on their respective sides of the ball: 49ers and their defense vs the Chiefs high octane offense. However, don't sleep on the 49ers' ability to score, or how well the Chiefs' defense has been playing as of late. Ultimately, I have the sads. We only have one meaningful football game left. Hopefully the 49ers and Chiefs give us something to talk about. I won't mind seeing a 24-21 or 31-27 game. As long as we don't get a multiple score blowout, I'm good. Props to the Titans and Packers for putting up a good fight. It just wasn't good enough. From 32 to two. And there will only be one.

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