The last unbeaten has fallen. The last winless team is winless no more.
Welcome to “Upset Sunday” in the NFL.
With all the hype surrounding the Patriots/Broncos epic matchup in Denver, the first big headline of the day came from Arrowhead Stadium. The Kansas City Chiefs, who fired head coach Todd Haley less than a week ago, pulled off the shocker of the year: a 19-14 victory over the previously undefeated Packers.
Kyle Orton threw for 299 yards – 64 more than Aaron Rodgers. Jackie Battlescored Kansas City’s lone touchdown of the game to seal the deal. Rodgers pulled Green Bay to within five in the closing minutes, but the Chiefs were able to run out the clock. The end result: the Packers’ first loss since Dec. 19, 2010, and a Gatorade bath for interim Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel.
The Packers still have the inside track to the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but Sunday’s result gives other teams hope.
Meanwhile, at Lucas Oil Stadium, another long streak ended. The Indianapolis Colts finally won a game. With a 27-13 victory over the Titans, Indianapolis avoided becoming the second 0-16 team in NFL history, (Detroit is alone in that regard). The Colts’ defense forced three turnovers, and Donald Brown rushed for 161 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that sealed the deal.
Indy’s defense held Chris Johnson to just 55 yards on the ground.
While those were the most notable upsets of the day, they weren’t the only ones.
The Panthers beat the Texans. Houston was one of four teams that came into the day tied for the No.1 seed in the AFC.
The Seahawks beat the Bears at Soldier Field. Chicago hasn’t won since losing quarterback Jay Cutler to an injury.
The Redskins walked into the Meadowlands and put a dent in the Giants’ playoff hopes.
We’re t-minus two hours away from probably one of the most highly anticipated regular season matchups in the NFL, and while we anxiously await kick-off between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, let’s take a stroll down memory lane, and look back at Tom Brady’s last few meetings against the men dressed in blue and orange.
October 11, 2009 – New England at Denver: After spending an entire season sidelined due to an ACL and MCL injury, Brady and the Patriots relinquished a 10-point lead at halftime, which allowed Denver to rally and beat New England in overtime, 20-17. Brady completed 19-of-33 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
January 14, 2006 – New England at Denver (AFC Divisional Playoffs): Brady tossed one touchdown, and two interceptions, as well as finished the game with 341 yards through the air, which wasn’t enough to help the Patriots defeat the Broncos in the second round of the ‘05 playoffs. Plummer tossed one touchdown, while running back Mike Andersonscored twice on the Patriots defense, which helped Denver win, 27-13.
November 3, 2003 – New England at Denver: Trailing 26-23 late in the fourth quarter, Brady engineered a comeback for the ages, as he tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver David Givensduring the closing seconds of the game to secure a 30-26 victory for New England. This particular victory also marked the only time Brady has won a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Let the hype for “Tebow Mania” continue, especially in Boston. The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will face-off against one another on Sunday, and you can certainly bet it’ll be must-watch television.
However, in the meantime, let’s kick-start our countdown to kick-off with our first of many Tim Tebowvideos. Here’s comedian Bill Cosby talking about his trip to Colorado in 2012, as well as why he likes the Broncos gunslinger.
Don’t ask Tony Romo what month it is because he clearly knows. Don’t even consider asking Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones if he is optimistic about his teams chances during the month of December because it is an almost guarantee that they he will state something along the lines of … his team can and will win.
Unfortunately for Dallas and its fans, December has never been the month to get excited about or remember. It is quite possible that in Texas there are only 11 months of the year, not 12, but that is just a guess.
Ever since quarterback Tony Romo took over calling plays, mid-way through the 2006 season, the Cowboys have struggled immensely during the 12th month of year and combine for 5 wins and 10 loses, which is certainly not anything special. Romo’s emotions have gotten the best of him at times, the defense seems to get derailed and nothing seems to go right for this entire organization.
When watching any Cowboy’s game over the past few years during the month of December it just seems as if we are watching constant replays of Charlie Brown attempting to kick the football over and over again.
Last year the Cowboys had a golden opportunity to earn a few “W’s” in the win column and secure a playoff spot, but instead they fell apart. In 2007, the story was more about winning 13 games and in 2006 nothing was going in favor of the Big Tuna, (Bill Parcells), Tony Romo or newly acquired wide-out Terrell Owens. The Cowboys even lost on Christmas Day in 2006, so I am guessing Santa thought coal was what his least favorite team deserved that day.
So then why do they struggle in December? Why is it that the Cowboys seem to lose their first half momentum during this month? Should we blame every loss on Romo? Do the coaches deserve the blame? Who do you think we should point the finger at in this organization? Overall, why do the Cowboys always lose in December?
It is quite possible that they just run out of steam. The motivation is lost completely. No swagger is on display and I could continue to state various thoughts or reasons, but that won’t help with coming up with an answer. The Cowboys seem to have this mental block and always know that after Thanksgiving they are not supposed to win a single game in December. If they do win it is possibly luck, faith or just the fact that they out schemed their opponent, but once again, wins don’t come often for Dallas at this time of the year.
With the 2009 regular season just weeks away from being complete and two of the remaining kickoffs scheduled in December, what should we expect? Should we plan for the worse or possibly bet on the Boys? I say, lets be optimistic! Look at the glass half full rather than half empty. Don’t assume the usual will happen, which some may believe has already begun.
The Cowboys are 8-5 and once again in prime playoff position, but can they hold onto the last wildcard spot this time. All three of their opponents, (New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles) will want to embarrass the Boys and reenact week 17 of the 2008 season when they were humiliated by their biggest and most hated rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, 44-6. Each team will do everything to make Romo uncomfortable, stop the three-headed running attack of Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, as well as rip apart the defense.
All three of these teams are capable of adding more frustration to Dallas’s December resume, but clearly this season all relies now on every single player on this 53-man roster. Romo knows it is time to start playing, quit jabbing and making excuses. Roy Williams has fired up the media with his comments and all the players know the bookies are betting against them. So clearly it all comes down to one thing, which is will Dallas decide to play or pack it in for another season?