In CBCSports.ca's weekly chatter, the boys debate the conservative ways of Dallas coach Jason Garrett, the wild melee between Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz, the relevance of the NFC East and the up and down Bucs.
The Cowboys played an outstanding game against the Patriots but in the end, and in predictable fashion, Tom Brady led his team down the field for the winning touchdown. How much heat should Dallas coach Jason Garrett take for being too conservative late in the game?
Jason Davidson: Maybe Jason Garrett didn't want Tony Romo throwing the football, even with New England's porous secondary. Hindsight is 20/20 though isn't it? Many times, we'll see a team elect to go three and out and punt the football away with the hope that their defence holds the fort. Garrett shouldn't take too much heat here. The New England Patriots didn't have much to show on offence and Garrett banked on that with his conservative offensive approach in the late stages. Unfortunately, it backfired on him. These things happen.
Jesse Campigotto: How much heat? Garrett should be forced to consume pure capsaicin... in a sauna... while riding an exercise bike... wearing a rubber sweat suit... in Qatar... in the middle of July. I mean, Rick Perry thought Garrett was too conservative on the Cowboys' final possession! A couple off-tackle runs and a draw play? You've got to at least try for a first down in that situation against a porous Pats' defence. Instead, Garrett's attempt to "milk" the clock left Tom Brady with 2:31 to work with and only a three-point deficit. C'mon, Jay, how'd you think that was going to end?
Tony Care: This is a clear indication, in my view, that Garrett simply doesn't trust Romo. Heck, even the owner said his coach was too conservative. Honestly I saw this coming the previous drive when Dallas had to settle for a field goal. Sitting inside the Pats' 10, receiver Dez Bryant has one-on-one coverage on second down, and I don't even think Romo looked at him. Then a ridiculous shuffle pass is called on third down, forcing the Cowboys to take three points and making Dallas's ensuing drive oh, so predictable. Jason you simply have to do everything in your power to NEVER give Tom Brady the ball in his hand with a chance to win the game. Jesse, you took my political line of the week. I was going to go George Bush, but Perry is more relevant these days. Well, for a little while longer, anyway.
A wild scene occurred after the 49ers-Lions'game that created a melee. In his excitement for his team's win, San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh gave Lions counterpart Jim Schwartz a hard hand shake followed by a slap in the back. Incensed, Schwartz charged at Harbaugh and the two coaches had to be separated. Did Schwartz overreact?
Jesse Campigotto: Well, we're living in a world where a bunch of ex-NHL goons can threaten a hockey commentator with the possibility of a dubious lawsuit until he says he's sorry on TV, so I guess people are a little more touchy these days. Maybe Harbaugh was too animated, but he just beat one of the two remaining undefeated teams to move the San Franciso friggin' 49ers to 5-1. Wouldn't you be fired up?
Tony Care: I've got no problem with the way Schwartz reacted. Look, both coaches are fiery competitors - and I love the way they go about their business - but I can see where Schwartz was coming from. He just lost a heartbreaking game that was there for the taking, now he's watching Harbaugh hopping across the field and slapping him in the back like he's just won the Super Bowl. I'd be pissed off too.
Jason Davidson: This was just an embarrassing display on all accounts. Jim Harbaugh's hard handshake and slap on Jim Schwartz's back was a little bit much, especially with Schwartz, who also wears his heart on his sleeve. Furthermore, Harbaugh slapped hands with Schwartz as if it was one of his own players or a fellow member of his coaching staff. Oh and let's not forget that Harbaugh lifted his shirt and exposed his belly moments before. Excessive. Schwartz could have just let it go but he didn't and let Harbaugh know that he didn't appreciate the gesture. I'll chalk this one up under 'slight overreaction' as far as Schwartz is concerned. But hey as a result, we now have two 5-1 teams and can only hope that Detroit and San Francisco hook up in the NFC playoffs at some point. A potential Wild Card weekend showdown without a doubt! 'Jim vs. Jim.' How's that for a billing?
We're six games into the NFL season and every team in the NFC East has its share of issues. Yet this division still gets props in some circles as one of the league's best. Is it time to call the NFC East overrated?
Jason Davidson: This division is overrated, plain and simple. I mean come on, it has four teams who haven't impressed much and each squad still has a chance to make the playoffs. It's almost starting to look like the NFC West. The Giants, Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles have each shown moments of ineptitude on the field and that trend will more than likely continue in the coming weeks. But I will say this much, all is not lost in Philly. They can still win the NFC East, despite having a mediocre 2-4 record. Beating Washington in D.C. can be just the confidence boost this team so desperately needs. But If I had to pick a winner right now, I'm hitching my wagon to the G-Men.
Jesse Campigotto: The NFC East is always going to be overrated because it contains a team from America's biggest media market, another from a city that takes sports too seriously, and two of the NFL's "classic" franchises, one of which calls itself "America's Team." I've watched the Eagles and Giants in back-to-back weeks (both against the Bills) and those teams are seriously flawed. Washington's quarterback is Rex Grossman. Dallas is... well, see topic No. 1. If I were to bet, though, my money would go on the Cowboys to take this division.
Tony Care: It's overrated if people - especially Michael Irvin - still think this division is one of the best. The Eagles can't tackle, the Giants have injury issues, Washington is without a franchise quarterback, and Dallas owner Jerry Jones believes in Tony Romo. Really, he does. The NFC East has the cache teams, but the division has come back to the pack. In the end, I have a funny feeling Philly's going to pull this out.
The most confusing team thus far has to be the Tamp Bay Buccaneers. Last week they get humiliated by the 49ers, then comeback to beat a very good New Orleans' side. This highlights how uneven the Bucs have been. What's going on in Tampa?
Tony Care: It's been the inconsistent start of quarterback Josh Freeman that's been somewhat of a problem for the Bucs. I say somewhat because more than half the teams in the league would kill for a 4-2 start. After five games last season, Freeman tossed six touchdowns against only three interceptions. Those numbers were completely reversed after five weeks this season. Still, I'm pretty confident Freeman will get things corrected, and a great effort in Week 6's victory against the Saints is a good indication he'll keep it together.
Jesse Campigotto: Well, the Saints were playing their third straight game on the road and their head coach got Paterno-ed during the game, so don't read too much into this result. The Bucs probably aren't this good, just like they're not as bad as they looked last week. That blowout loss to the 49ers said more about San Fran. Last week, I wrote that this week's game against Detroit would be the Niners' "first chance to prove themselves against a top-flight opponent playing at the top of its game." Well, consider them proved. San Fran's turnaround is a testament to how much a team can improve when it ditches a glorified preacher for a real head football coach.
Jason Davidson: Only in the NFL I suppose can you get worked 48-3 one week and come up huge the next with a big win against a division rival. I think what's going on here is that the Bucs are a solid team at Raymond James Stadium and a very ordinary one on the road. Furthermore, with four of their first six games having been played at home, this could be their undoing as the season progresses. Even with their Week 6 win against the Saints, six of their last 10 games are on the road. Oh and let's not forget, their Week 7 tilt with the Chicago Bears at Wembley Stadium in London this upcoming Sunday counts as a home game. They need a win considering they'll only have three of their final nine games at Raymond James. A tough road to hoe, that's for sure.
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