Notes from the North

I thought I had a good week going last week. Heading into the Sunday night games, I had only four wrong and all of them were low pointers. All I needed were wins by San Diego and Atlanta (sure bets, I thought) and I was good to go.

Yeah, right.

But tell me. Weren't you, like me, watching that Denver-Dallas fourth quarter thinking, "Don't worry, Romo will blow it. He always does. No matter how well he plays the rest of the game, he'll find a way to lose in the end"?

Everyone's saying, "We shouldn't let one interception mar the fact that Romo played an amazing game. In fact, no one's questioning Peyton and he threw a fourth-quarter interception too."

A couple of things on that:

1. The knock on Romo has never been that he can't play the position extremely well for the first 58 minutes of a tough game. When it's a walk in the park, Romo can really walk well. The knock on Romo has always been, and will continue to be, that he can't take pressure. That he's at his worst when his team needs him to be at his best. He'll make 10 free throws in a row in the first quarter but he'll miss that one free throw his team needs to win the game in the final seconds. And he lived up to his rep against Denver.

2. Peyton's interception appeared to me to be on a miscommunication with a receiver. Manning threw where he expected the receiver to be but the receiver wasn't there. Romo's interception was on a bad decision by the quarterback and a poor throw. Those are two very different scenarios.

3. Manning's pick came mid-way through the fourth when there was still enough time to make up for it. Romo's? At decision time. The worst possible moment. No chance to repair the damage. But that's Tony Romo, isn't it? Mr. June rather than Mr. October?

On to the World's Worst Football Picks for Week 6:

Bears over Giants: Oh those Giants. I think this one will be closer than expected but the Bears will win at home. (11)

Ravens to beat the Packers: I don't know. There's something vulnerable about Green Bay this year and Baltimore, I think, is getting its mojo back. (5)

Eagles over Tampa Bay: Once you're past all the blur-offence gimmicks, you can't take away the fact that Philly actually has a good team. TB's defence is good but not good enough to make up for an offence that can't put it together, with or without Josh Freeman. (10)

Minnesota over Carolina: No, I don't expect to see Josh Freeman play in this one. But the Vikings still have enough to beat the punchless Panthers, and suddenly human Cam Newton, in this one. (15) 

Kansas City to beat Oakland: I can't figure the Raiders out and was considering picking them here. But KC is at home and continues to be hungry. Should be a good one, though. (4)

Buffalo to beat the Bengals: It's the Bills' defence that has me picking them here, not their O. I like that ball-hawking secondary against a creaky Andy Dalton. (3)

Cleveland to beat the Lions: My poor choice of the week. But I like Cleveland at home. (2)

Houston over St. Louis: A nice chance for Matt Schaub to start to redeem himself and convince fans not to approach him and his family at his home. Is that sick or what? The guy plays football. It's not life or death and his family certainly hasn't done anything to deserve this. Leave him alone and let him play. (12)

Pittsburgh over the Jests: Sure, Smith plays well when he has absolutely no pass rush coming at him. But the Steelers will bring the pressure. (1)

Denver to beat the Jags: Wouldn't it be great if Jacksonville pulled it all together and won this one? Yeah right... (14)

Seattle over Tennessee: Oh this was a tough one. I like the Titans. I really do. But the Seahawks at home are just too much for them, I think. (8)

New Orleans to beat New England: The Patriots were exposed a bit last week and the Saints are a towering power, with a strong O line and run game capable of taking advantage of New England's decimated defensive front. (9)

San Francisco over Arizona: Speaking of getting your mojo back, say hello to the 49ers. (13)

Dallas to beat Washington: Maybe, just maybe, Romo has more pride than I give him credit for above. The question is: do these teams each score 50? Or will someone actually play defence? (6)

Indianapolis over San Diego: Do the Colts have a letdown after last week's exciting win over Seattle? Do the Chargers buck up and win one after a tough outing? My money is on the answer being no to both questions. (7)

October 10, 2013  01:11 PM ET

accurate analysis on romo! well said...


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