Sport

Bears bash 'Boys as Patriots put Bills in their place

By Tony Scott

Friday, October 05, 2012    

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The only time I have ever been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys was when they had a running back named Tony Dorsett and a quarterback named Roger Staubach.

When those two left "America's Team" I turned my attention to the team that became my main squeeze in a manner of speaking. The guys in Silver and Black: the then awesome Oakland Raiders. But that's ancient history and just another story.

Today's story is about the mauling the Bears gave the Cowboys on Monday Night, whipping them 34-18. It was a particularly rough night for Cowboys QB Tony Romo, who was intercepted five times with two of those being returned for touchdowns. This was a career high for Romo — or low, depending on how you look at it. Speaking of looking, at times it appeared that Romo wasn't looking where he was throwing the ball. It also didn't help that he and his favourite receiver, Dez Bryant, were never on the same page. But the loss cannot only be attributed to the performance of Romo and his inept receivers.

The Bears defence was very active and their constant pressure precipitated many of those turnovers. Their offence, led by QB Jay Cutler, played pretty well too. I like that Jay Cutler. I like his determination and his feistiness. He's not afraid of getting in his own linemen's faces to tell them when they are messing up, and he is not above giving the cold shoulder to his offensive co-ordinator if he disagrees with the way the game is being called.

He had a reasonably good outing on Monday Night passing for 275 yards and two touchdowns and the best stat of all, no interceptions. Inasmuch as it wasn't Romo's night, it was Cutler's.

There were some close contests in Week Four with four games being decided by less than a field goal (three points). That made for some exciting finishes and for some heartbreakers too. Carolina got beaten by Atlanta 30-28, as the Falcons maintained their unbeaten record. The Eagles won ugly again, edging the Giants 19-17. Michael Vick took his usual quota of licks that must have tested the hi-tech body armour he wears. I hear they use the same material for the armed forces in war zones. Sometimes the NFL can be a war zone. Robert Griffin III (fondly referred to as RG3), a name you should keep in mind, led the Washington Redskins to a 24-22 win over Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Bucs.

And lastly, in the realm of close contests, the Green Bay Packers edged the New Orleans Saints 28-27 to keep the Boys from the Bayou at 0-4 for the season. The Packers were the victims of a farcical blown call by the replacement referees in their game last week against the Seahawks, which doomed them to a 14-12 defeat, when they should have won the game. And funnily enough, Green Bay almost got robbed again in Week Five, this time by the regular referees now back in the mix, who failed to spot what should have been ruled a late Saints fumble, by Saints' return man Darren Sproles.

I guess even the full-time refs will make a few mistakes. But then again, nobody's perfect. Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, has tied former Indianapolis Colts QB, the great Johnny Unitas' record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games. He stands to break this record this week as the Saints go up against the San Diego Chargers with Brees at the helm trying to win his first game for the season. I hope he does. I've liked the Saints ever since Hurricane Katrina and its dreadful aftermath for the city of New Orleans. Now they have this bounty issue hanging over them and a head coach that's suspended for the season. Little wonder that they are not playing up to their full potential.

The first half of the Patriots/Bills game looked encouraging for the home team in the Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Then things fell apart for the Bills in the second half as Patriots QB and NFL poster boy Tom Brady and his bunch got into high gear. Here are some stats that just might blow your mind. The Patriots scored 45 points in the second half, 31 of those in the fourth quarter. They tied a team record with four rushing touchdowns. As if that wasn't enough they had two 100-yard rushers and two 100-yard receivers. This is only the second time this has been accomplished in the history of the NFL. The final score was Patriots 52, Bills 28. You might say that the Bills got the shellacking of their life.

Last week was a mediocre week for my colleagues and I in making our picks against the spread. Andrei Roper again led the way with an 8-7 record, while Peter Lindo, Andre Hutchinson and I were all 7-8.

On a sidenote, our thoughts go out the Indianapolis Colts fraternity, as their head coach Chuck Pagano will be out indefinitely after being recently diagnosed with leukemia. Hopefully he beats that thing and is able to return to the sidelines soon.

As we enter Week Five, here are some things to keep in mind. Firstly it is a bye week for Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay. A time to rest, heal and regroup. Secondly, there are three undefeated teams to date. The AFC South's Houston Texans, the NFC West's Arizona Cardinals and the NFC South's Atlanta Falcons. The Texans face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football and could possibly be 5-0 after that encounter. The Jets are in disarray after the 34-0 hammering they received from the San Francisco 49ers. The Falcons face the toughest test of all to maintain their unbeaten record because they go up against an unrelenting Pittsburgh Steelers team in their own yard. Arizona played the Rams last night and they too could well be 5-0. At the very least I expect them to be.

Come Sunday the game that most people will be watching will be the contest between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. Why? Because two of the league's best quarterbacks will face off against each other as Tom Brady faces Peyton Manning. Both have capable supporting casts, both are seasoned veterans and both are destined for the NFL Hall of Fame. I give Brady the edge in this contest primarily because of home field advantage and his comfort level with the guys around him. Manning is still getting to know his guys seeing that this is his first year with the Broncos. But if you really want to know why I'm throwing my full support behind the Patriots it's simply this: John Elway, former Broncos great and now the main man in the Broncos' organisation, is a Republican and an avid supporter of a guy named Mitt Romney. Losers!

Enjoy the games this weekend, and remember to place your bets on the NFL, with JustBet!!!

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NFL WEEK 5 SCHEDULE

NFL Week 5 odds (with changes):

Thur, Oct 4

StL Rams +2.5 v Ari Cardinals, U/O 38.5

Sun, Oct 7

Ind Colts +7.5 v GB Packers, U/O 48.5

KC Chiefs +6.5 v Bal Ravens, U/O 45.5

NY Giants v Cle Browns +9.5, U/O 44.5

Was Redskins +3.5 v Atl Falcons, U/O 50.5

Pit Steelers v Phi Eagles +3.5, U/O 44.5

Cin Bengals v Mia Dolphins +3.5, U/O 44.5

Car Panthers v Sea Seahawks +2.5, U/O 44.5

Jac Jaguars +6.5 v Chi Bears, U/O 40.5

Min Vikings v Ten Titans +6.5, U/O 43.5

NE Patriots v Den Broncos +7.5, U/O 52.5

SF 49ers v Buf Bills +9.5, U/O 44.5

NO Saints v SD Chargers +3.5, U/O 53.5

Mon, Oct 8

NY Jets +8.5 v Hou Texans, U/O 40.5

(Handicaps in bracket, Under/Over included)

*Teams on a bye: Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

*Handicaps and Under/Over subject to change without notice, prior to kick-off

EXPERTS' PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

Andrei Roper's

Week 5 Picks (in bold)

Rams v Cardinals

Colts v Packers

Chiefs v Ravens

Giants v Browns

Redskins v Falcons

Steelers v Eagles

Bengals v Dolphins

Panthers v Seahawks

Jaguars v Bears

Vikings v Titans

Patriots v Broncos

49ers v Bills

Saints v Chargers

Jets v Texans

Last week: 8-7

Season to date: 34-29

Tony Scott's

Week 5 Picks (in bold)

Rams v Cardinals

Colts v Packers

Chiefs v Ravens

Giants v Browns

Redskins v Falcons

Steelers v Eagles

Bengals v Dolphins

Panthers v Seahawks

Jaguars v Bears

Vikings v Titans

Patriots v Broncos

49ers v Bills

Saints v Chargers

Jets v Texans

Last week: 7-8

Season to date: 31-32

Andre Hutchinson's

Week 5 Picks (in bold)

Rams v Cardinals

Colts v Packers

Chiefs v Ravens

Giants v Browns

Redskins v Falcons

Steelers v Eagles

Bengals v Dolphins

Panthers v Seahawks

Jaguars v Bears

Vikings v Titans

Patriots v Broncos

49ers v Bills

Saints v Chargers

Jets v Texans

Last week: 7-8

Season to date: 31-32

Peter Lindo's

Week 5 Picks (in bold)

Rams v Cardinals

Colts v Packers

Chiefs v Ravens

Giants v Browns

Redskins v Falcons

Steelers v Eagles

Bengals v Dolphins

Panthers v Seahawks

Jaguars v Bears

Vikings v Titans

Patriots v Broncos

49ers v Bills

Saints v Chargers

Jets v Texans

Last week: 7-8

Season to date: 25-38

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