By Shaun Morash
The “Legend of Brock,” was born on Sunday Night. Training by 14, in the snow, Brock Osweiler had his 1st great pro moment leading the Broncos back to take a lead in the 4th quarter and then win in overtime vs the unbeaten Patriots. The hope was that the rest right now would do Peyton Manning good come the playoffs. The truth is Denver is a more well-oiled offense with Osweiler leading it.
He has the size with a true huddle presence, and his arm strength and accuracy was never more evident than his strike down the sideline to Emmanuel Sanders late in the 4th quarter. How could the Broncos sell to their fan base going back to Manning and his deteriorating skill set now?
Ten Yard Gain
1- Jerry Jones rushed Tony Romo back. His two interceptions vs the Dolphins should have been a sign. However, that was covered up by victory. Then Romo came out vs Carolina and totally disgraced the quarterback position. He is a competitor, he is a warrior, but he was toast for this season even before he re-fractured his collarbone. Jerry Jones needs to think long and hard about the position in the offseason.
2- The perfect marriage for Jerry Jones to get a quality backup and potential successor to Tony Romo this offseason may just be Johnny Manziel. With Austin Davis now named the starter in Cleveland, it is clear Manziel may need a Cris Carter like change of scenery. Jerry Jones had to have the draft card of Johnny Manziel ripped out of his hand 2 years ago. In 2016, he may get him after all.
3-The New York Giants had the most inexcusable performance of the weekend. With a chance to all but ice the NFC East, off of a Bye week, they came out and were dreadful until the 4th quarter. They will now find themselves in a dog fight with the Redskins for the final 5 weeks. This loss could ultimately cost Coughlin and Jerry Reese their jobs with Big Blue.
4- At 1-4 I had buried the Kansas City Chiefs. Talk about premature. The Chiefs are scorching hot, amazingly doing so without Jamaal Charles. I still will doubt the Andy Reid/Alex Smith combo in the post season, but the fact that they have a real shot of being there is amazing in itself.
5-Speaking of surprising rebounds of AFC teams, don’t look now but the Houston Texans currently occupy a playoff spot. Defenses begin to win at this time of year. Right now, no defense is playing better than Houston’s. JJ Watt is taking over games, that may be bad news to the Colts, or any AFC Wild Card hopeful.
6- Ben Roethlisberger deserves a ton of credit for becoming the 1st premium star to come out and admit he thought about his family and past NFL stars with CTE when self-reporting a potential concussion. If more players take Big Ben’s lead maybe the long term future of the game will be saved from the gloom and doom after all.
7- Byron Maxwell stinks as a number one, premier corner. It is time we all agree on it. Let him be the cautionary tale of why it is imperative to build your team with key players from the draft and not rely on free agency. His salary under the cap for the Eagles is a problem, and one of many reasons why the Eagles stink.
8- The Colts improved to 4-0 in games quarterbacked by Matt Hasselbeck. In a 2015 season in which it seems we are seeing more backup quarterbacks have to play than ever before, Hasselbeck has possibly set the mold that franchises are better off with over the hill past starters on the bench, as opposed to never was failures like Brandon Weeden and Mark Sanchez.
9- Jimmy Graham is lost for the year, and possibly a good portion of 2016. This may be a blessing in disguise for the Seahawks. Graham never really seemed to fit in, and much like the departure of Percy Harvin from the offensive huddle in 2014; Russell Wilson may get hot with this Seahawks team at the right time for another deep run.
10- Good for the Bengals once again taking care of business at home to prove they are still dominant. I still don’t know what to make of this team until they win a playoff game, but they are not screwing around and seem like they are out to prove the world wrong.
Five Games to Chew On
5 Chilled Oysters Game of the Week- Chiefs @ Raiders: The Raiders clung to life on their playoff hopes with a huge win vs the Titans. Now, Oakland will need to handle business at home vs the surging Chiefs if they want us to really believe. On the flip side, this is the most difficult game on paper that the Chiefs have left all season. If Kansas City continues to roll here, 11-5 seems not only possible but realistic.
4 Slices of Pizza Game of The Week- Jets @ Giants: The Giants blew their big chance Sunday, but will need to quickly get up for this rare home game where the road team isn’t exactly traveling. The Jets find themselves in the thick of the AFC Wild Card picture and need every win they can just like the Giants. This is essentially an All-NY playoff game Sunday. Similar to the 2011, now famous, matchup.
3 Anchor Bar Wings Game of The Week- Texans @ Bills: The Bills come home for his must win game to save their fading playoff hopes. The problem is they will now face another red hot AFC contender for the 2nd straight week. Houston’s defense is engulfing and this can be a very tricky spot for Tyrod Taylor. This game is enormous for both Head Coaches with their fan bases. A Texans win and they become a favorite to land a playoff spot.
2 Bundt Cake’s Game of the Week- Seahawks @ Vikings: I wrote on this blog two weeks ago how the Vikings 2nd half of the year schedule would be insanely difficult. They have responded with back to back huge wins. They are once again in the driver’s seat in the AFC North. In come the suddenly hot Seattle Seahawks. The Vikings rush defense has been tremendous, and Thomas Rawls may have a hard time getting going in a monster game for the Seahawks to get back to the playoffs.
1 Primanti Brothers Game of the Week- Colts @ Steelers: The question three weeks ago was whether NBC would flex out of this Sunday Night showdown. Thankfully they didn’t, as the Colts have played better with each and every week. If the Texans and Bengals stay the course in their respective divisions, this game may decide the final Wild Card berth in the AFC. Either one of these teams could get hot in January, but there is a good chance the loser of this showdown won’t have the chance.
I went back to my losing ways with a 1-2 weekend. I am 21-16 on the year, still positive, but my margin has closed.
Bears -7 vs 49ers: The Bears are playing well and are on the fringe of surprise NFC Wild Card territory. The 49’ers have also improved and are coming off an emotional tight division loss to the Cardinals. Chicago is coming off long rest from playing on Thanksgiving, and the 49’ers are traveling from the west coast to Chicago for an early start. The Bears keep the good times rolling with a 10 point win and cover.
Broncos – 4 @ Chargers: I am all aboard the Brock Osweiler train. The Chargers have stunk all year up until last week’s upset win over the Jaguars. I cannot buy that they will show that kind of effort in back to back weeks. Osweiler is playing to prove himself, and now Denver is again live for a BYE. 4 points is nothing for me to lay here with clearly the better team.
Cowboys +4 @ Redskins: The Redskins are the flavor of the week in the media as they now control their own destiny in the NFC East. Washington has played well at home in a no pressure season. Suddenly the pressure is on them, and the lights will be bright on Monday Night. The Cowboys come off a long break from their devastating loss on Thanksgiving. This is more of a “this makes no sense but I feel it,” kind of pick. Dallas upsets the Redskins Monday night to set fire to this entire garbage division.
Football Food of The Week
Sweet and Sour Meatballs. December is time for experimenting with foods you may put out at a holiday get together. There is no better time to experiment than a football Sunday when you stuff your face on a couch.
One of these fan favorites will be Sweet and Sour Meatballs. It doesn’t take an Italian grandmother to make meatballs this style. They also won’t sit heavily like red sauce Meatballs would in your belly all night. They are prepared small so frequent visits from meatballs to mouth can occur all Sunday afternoon long. They are sweet, delicate, and damn right tasty. I have attached an easy to make recipe here. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-and-sour-meatballs
Thanks for reading as always. Enjoy a tremendous Football weekend. As always you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS