The Lions’ pulled off a fantastic comeback victory against the Cowboys on Sunday, and fortunately for us, QB Matt Stafford was mic’d up, so we could hear exactly how all it went down ... including Stafford’s now-infamous fake clock/spike at the goal line, and leap over the line of scrimmage for the game-winning touchdown.
As we learned after the game, Stafford even fooled his own team on the final play, only making the decision to go for the endzone when he lined up under center:
“So I’m on the line, and everyone in the stadium thinks I’m spiking it, and that was the plan,’’ Stafford said. “The other 10 guys [on offense] thought I was too. I thought I was—but then I saw a couple of their guys, almost standing up, and I just had this thought: Maybe I could make it by sneaking, or just putting the ball over the line. Maybe that was our best chance. . . . You just feel it. Hard to explain. You just go to the line and you feel it sometimes, and I just felt: Our best chance is me taking the ball and diving it over. I mean, all we were was three inches from the end zone.”
Watch and listen to the final drive, including Stafford’s genuine jubilation (aka girlish screams) after scoring the touchdown.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In case you missed it, Eli Manning had a rough opener last night in Dallas. Peyton’s younger brother threw two interceptions in the Giants’ first three possessions, setting an ugly tone for the rest of the game, in which New York finished with SIX total turnovers.
Despite all that, the Giants somehow found themselves within one score late in the game, largely due to Manning’s ability to bounce back for 4 touchdown passes (including 3 to Victor Cruz). But with the Giants attempting a game-winning drive with less than two minutes remaining, Manning’s short pass to Da’Rel Scott bounced off the backup RB’s hands and into the awaiting arms of CB Brandon Carr, who took it nearly 50 yards to the house, sealing the win for the Cowboys.
As if right on cue, Manning unleashed his first hangdog Manningface of the season, along with plenty of terrible, whiny body language to go with it:
At this point in his career, it’s just Eli being Eli.
True to his word, following last week’s game-ending controversy against the Giants and with his Buccaneers losing 16-10 to the Cowboys today in the final minutes, Tampa Bay rookie head coach Greg Schiano once again blitzed his opponent’s victory formation as Dallas ran out the clock.
In fact, this time the Bucs went after the snap three consecutive times, with Schiano calling a time out to act like a tough guy and scream at his players before the final attempt.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
Before the mics go silent, you can hear Schiano loudly shouting “I don’t give a f@ck what they think”. And since he knows the cameras (and all of his critics) are watching, Schiano then proceeds to coach harder than he had the entire game, tearing into his players as though it was the biggest play of their lives. He specifically went to extra care to make it seem as though he’s coaching technique to swipe at the snap before it reaches to the quarterback … as though this somehow would justify his “strategy”.
As expected, the Cowboys were fully prepared for Schiano’s tactics, and once again, it didn’t work. Despite the fact that the Cowboys’ center got blasted backward on each attempt (with the Bucs lining up offside on the last try), Tony Romo was able to cleanly field the snap … and Tampa Bay still lost.
Our final thoughts on all this: While Schiano is well within the rules for coaching his team to play this way (and will apparently get a lot of practice at it), no matter how you slice it, it’s still a bush league move. It’s the equivalent of getting your ass kicked in a street fight, and then when your opponent lets up and starts walking away, flailing wildly at his junk. There’s a small chance you’ll hurt the guy, but it’s definitely a cheap shot.
And regardless, you’re still a dick.
If you’ve been listening to the debate over the replacement refs, and wondering exactly how they impact the game negatively or jeopardize player safety, I give you Exhibit A.
During the 2nd quarter of today’s Cowboys-Buccaneers game, Dallas WR Kevin Ogletree seemingly fell down in the end zone on a 3rd down pass attempt from Tony Romo … but upon closer inspection, you can see that Ogletree actually slipped on the replacement referee’s hat, which had inexplicably been thrown into the field of play:
With Ogletree taken out of the play, the pass fell incomplete and the Cowboys kicked a field goal on fourth down. And while referees often use their hats to mark when a receiver goes out of bounds, they generally keep them away from the field to avoid something exactly like this, which could easily have injured Ogletree. And … ya know … they usually only throw it when the receiver actually goes out of bounds. Which Ogletree clearly didn’t do.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
We’ll see if Jerry Jones is still defending the replacements after this one … especially if the Cowboys end up losing the game.
On Sunday, Seahawks WR Golden Tate delivered a knockout blow to Cowboys LB Sean Lee on a blindside block that made all the highlight reels, and has now left Tate $21,000 poorer after being fined by the NFL.
The hit also gave us one of the more brutal photos of the football season so far:
The look on Lee’s face – with Tate’s helmet planted squarely in his jaw – is downright scary, and it’s fortunate that Lee wasn’t seriously injured on the play (although, the long-term effects on his brain probably won’t be known for a while).
WATCH THE PLAY HERE (GIFs below). In real time, it most certainly is a blindside block, but it’s looks as though Tate put his helmet in Lee’s chest and wasn’t aiming for his head (despite the result). Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has said that “I don’t think he could have done it any cleaner”.
We love our GIFs here at ReadAndReact, so we’ve started a new weekly feature where we collect the best GIFs from each NFL week, and post them all in one convenient spot for your viewing enjoyment.
Most of these come courtesy of the always-awesome GIFulmination, @SBNation GIF or@CJZero Twitter… so special thanks to those guys. Submit your favorites GIFs to email@example.com, and PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE THIS PAGE LOADS.
The NFL is BACK … and ‘merica!!!
On opening night, Rob Ryan also fired up that football is back:
So this exists.
The ad wizards for the Papa John’s pizza franchise decided to enlist Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for their latest Dallas-area commercial. And not only that, but for some inexplicable reason, they decided to have Jones rap during the spot.
Let’s just say as a rapper, Jones is a very good businessman … watch for yourselves and drink it in:
Ummm … yeah.
Not surprisingly, Jones has an ownership stake in Papa John’s throughout Texas, and this isn’t his first ad for the franchise (check out this one where Jones gets punched in the junk by a little kid). But there’s just something unsettling about watching Jerrah – with all of his plasticized facial features – trying to imitate the moves of a hip-hop artist (:15), let alone trying to make his “rhymes” seem credible.
Thank goodness we don’t live in Texas where we’d be subjected to seeing this on a regular basis.
Here’s a fun little trip down memory lane! Back in 1989, the Buddy Ryan-led Philadelphia Eagles played their rival Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, in a nationally televised game that would forever come to be known as the “Bounty Bowl“.
In it, Ryan was accused by Dallas head coach Jimmy Johnson of placing a $200 bounty on kicker Luis Zendejas, and a $500 bounty on quarterback Troy Aikman. On the Cowboys’ only kickoff of the game, which Philadelphia won 27-0, Eagles linebacker Jesse Small sprinted straight at Zendejas (who had previously played for Ryan and the Eagles) in an obvious attempt to take him out. Zendejas dove to avoid the hit, but took a knee to the head resulting in a concussion, and setting off a firestorm of controversy.
Despite Johnson’s attempts to challenge Ryan to a fight in an alley, it was all fun and games in the media as Johnson made fun of Ryan’s “big, fat rear end”, who in turn deflected the controversy by making light of his own weight. Ryan also claimed that Zendejas was the one trying to injure Smalls, and wondered aloud “Why would we want to knock out that kicker? He wasn’t making any kicks at the time. We wanted him out there.”
On Monday, Mike Golic – who played for the Eagles in both games - said on ESPN that “there were bounties in that game”. But at the time, commissioner Paul Tagliabue turned the other cheek and exonerated Ryan of any wrongdoing - a claim that Ryan still clings to this day - and pretty much everyone got a big kick out the idea of bounties in football. Two weeks later, the league even promoted the re-match for ratings as “Bounty Bowl II”, which was marketed by CBS with wanted signs and became memorable for the snow/ice balls lobbed onto the field (and at announcers) by the Philadelphia fans.
BOUNTY BOWL VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
This past Sunday, on New Year’s Day 2012, we were fortunate enough to attend the much-hyped Giants-Cowboys game at MetLife Stadium.
This was for all the marbles in the NFC East, with the winner taking the division and the loser going home to face a long off-season, watching the playoffs from the outside looking in. A play-in game, if you will, between bitter division rivals. As regular season match-ups go, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. So we battled our hangovers and made the trip to East Rutherford, where we took a lot of pictures along the way to share with you, our loyal readers.
Despite our sterling reputation as an emerging force in new sports media, we didn’t have any press passes or fancy cameras for this one, so these photos are all from the fan’s perpective … and all of them were taken on an iPhone 4s. We hope you enjoy!
(CLICK ANY PHOTO TO EMBIGGEN):
CONTINUE AFTER THE JUMP FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THE GIANTS/COWBOYS GAME
Our old friend Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force is back with his thoughts on the upcoming Christmas Eve showdown between NFC East Rivals, the Cowboys versus the Eagles. And while he’s at it, Carl weighs in on Sam Hurd‘s arrest and Rob Ryan‘s similarity to one of the three wise men, who also might have once played bass for Slayer.
As always, unrivaled analysis here from Carl, but we don’t recommend laying any money down on his picks … ever: