Fans cheer as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 21-19. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Arizona Cardinals playoff chances are becoming real and a look at the narratives of Tim Tebow/Tony Romo
NFL Week 14 is (mostly) in the books and we take a look at the difference in the fascinating narratives of Tony Romo and Tim Tebow. The Chicago Bears and Houston Texans both lost their starting quarterbacks, but are heading in different directions. Of course, we start off with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals vs. 49ers game started off and I honestly thought I was watching the Hangover 2. The movie was the exact same plot, but they just stuck it in a different place. The Cards and Niners played less than a month ago in San Francisco; the way this one started I thought I was watching the same exact game, but at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The 49ers were dominating time of possession, not letting the Cardinals offense sustain drives, but Arizona's defense was coming up big by forcing San Fran to settle for three instead of touchdowns.
Then the game started to take a different path. John Skelton, who replaced Kevin Kolb after the first series when Kolb went down with a head injury, connected with Early Doucet for a 60-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Unlike the first game when the Cardinals did not make the 49ers pay for not putting the ball in the end zone they were suddenly up 7-6.
The 49ers responded, but once again the Cards defense forced them to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. This is the risk San Fran takes when you play like they do, keeping games close and relying on your defense to win games.
The Cardinals offense made big plays in the second half and they didn't kick field goals, they scored touchdowns. Skelton hooked up with Larry Fitzgerald for another long touchdown, this one 46 yards. They finished the game off with an impressive six play 78 yard drive capped with an Andre Roberts touchdown reception that gave them lead for good.
We mapped out the Cardinals path to the playoffs last week and now Cardinals fans you can really start to think about it a little bit. The last three games of the season for Arizona vs. Cleveland, at Cincinnati, and vs. Seattle are all winnable. Step 1 of what opponents needed to lose took place today with the Bears falling to Denver and the Giants taking down the Cowboys.
Looking ahead you're rooting for the Giants to finish in first place and the Cowboys to lose two of their last three so you don't have to worry about a three way tie breaker. The Lions barely beat the Vikings; I am fully confident they lose to the Packers the final week and drop one to the Chargers or Raiders.
I got to be honest, if the Cardinals win out I think they are going to make the playoffs.
Let's hit a couple notes from around the rest of the NFL....
Tony Romo can't do anything right and Tim Tebow is unbelievable. These are the basic narratives, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but you get the point.
Tony Romo threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns Sunday night against the New York Giants. He put his team up 12 points, 34-22 with less than six minutes left with a TD pass to Dez Bryant. The Cowboys defense and special tams failed Romo by allowing an 80 yard and 58 yard touchdown drive in those final six minutes that gave up the lead. Not to mention Romo marched the Boys down the field in less than one minute for a game tying field goal that was blocked. Yes, Romo missed a huge pass to Miles Austin, but to put all the blame on him is completely asinine.
Meanwhile Tim Tebow's offense scores zero points through three quarters. He leads one touchdown drive, gets them in position for a 59 yard field goal, and benefits from Marion Barber giving the game away on two occasions, but he is lauded for being a winner. Do people really not see the insanity in all of this? If Romo is the quarterback of the Denver Broncos they win that game by three touchdowns!!!!!
The Chicago Bears and Houston Texans both lost their starting quarterbacks, the Texans actually lost their back-up also.I thought both teams would be ok because of their running games and defenses.
The Texans ended up being fine and the Bears did not. With T.J. Yates at the helm, Houston pulled off an impressive comeback victory over the Cincinnati Bengals to give them their first playoff berth in franchise history. Houston has a shot for not only a first round bye, but the #1 seed in the AFC with a 10-3 record. They are currently tied with the Patriots, Ravens, and Steelers.
The Bears aren't going to make it through with Caleb Hanie. The defense is still playing great, but they just can't get it done offensively. I really hope this helps people start to appreciate Jay Cutler as a quarterback a lot more.