It had the potential to be one of the great games of the NFL season. Tom Brady and the undefeated New England Patriots, renegades on a mission, riding into Dallas to trade shots with Tony Romo.
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When hired as manager, Joe Maddon was considered the ideal kindergarten cop for the Chicago Cubs. Expectations were realistic for his first year. The postseason was only a possibility. But it's October, and already those kids are all grown up.
So far, the postseason has been all about pitching. The aces are dealing. The Los Angeles Dodgers are lucky enough to throw two of baseball's best, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, back to back.
In a complex game, the answer is sometimes simple. Four weeks in a row, Aaron Rodgers has rewarded bettors for backing the Green Bay Packers. An obvious play can pay off. Not every question is a trick.
When the New York Giants are in a funk, it's usually because Eli Manning stunk it up. That's the popular storyline, and the media sticks to it. It's routine to target the quarterback in the blame game.
Being called a nice guy is sometimes a backhanded compliment, and by almost all accounts, Georgia football coach Mark Richt is a nice guy. He's also cunning enough to survive in a cutthroat business. The problem is, he does not thrive in the biggest games. He wins a lot of games and has a pleasant personality, so he still has a job.
While star quarterbacks continue to fall, the power rating on Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals keeps rising. Of course, the NFL is a stock market, with rises and falls, injuries and overreactions.
If only the Buffalo Bills had a quarterback, they would be in business. That statement was true in recent years, but for a team that was bankrupt at the NFL's most important position, a gamble on Tyrod Taylor could be paying off.
A losing quarterback is often heckled and ripped. It seldom happens to Andrew Luck, who usually leads a good life. But when things turned bad this week, Luck was the target, and the angry critic was his coach.
A broken collarbone knocked out Tony Romo, and despite finishing the game with his left arm in a sling, he probably had a better Sunday than the opposing quarterback. It was that much of a fiasco for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Believe it or not, Pete Carroll is the second-oldest head coach in the NFL. It's hard to believe because of his up-tempo approach to life, and he will need all of that energy to lead the Seattle Seahawks through this season.
For decades, betting has driven the popularity of the NFL, a league that has forcefully opposed betting. The new reality is betting has company in the form of the booming fantasy sports industry, which is doing its part to help drive the popularity of the NFL while the league enthusiastically promotes it as a business partner.
A special feeling, a sense of unbridled optimism, sweeps through Las Vegas sports books on the first Sunday of the NFL season. It was especially true in the morning. By mid-afternoon, when the usual suspects were getting routed and Peyton Manning was lobbing lame ducks, some things changed.
Egotistical and innovative, Chip Kelly does things his way. He's an outside-the-box thinker, which means a lot of people initially disagree with the way he does things.
With three minutes on the clock, Ben Roethlisberger held the football and the fates of millions of gamblers in his hands. There was only one reason to keep watching. The point-spread decision was in the air.
One game is only a first date, but that's all it took for most in the media to make a long-term commitment to UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. He is being hyped as the next great one.
Seven months after winning his fourth Super Bowl, Tom Brady prevailed in another big game with the clock winding down. Again, his opponent was second-guessed and properly portrayed as idiotic.
A buzz surrounded Southern California football even before coach Steve Sarkisian slammed too many drinks and embarrassed himself in public. He slurred words, shouted profanities and generally played the part of a college kid at a frat party.
Despite his many mistakes as NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell is a smart man who works for smart men. Eventually, because they are motivated by money, they will figure it out.
Until recently, Jim Tomsula was an unknown defensive line coach, and it's not going to be easy going from the trenches to the spotlight. The team he's coaching is declining, so that makes it tougher.
How was your weekend? No matter how it went, Philip Rivers had a better one. The Chargers agreed to a contract extension with their franchise quarterback, who will get $65 million guaranteed without having to buy a lottery ticket.
If majors continue to slip from his grasp, Dustin Johnson will be stuck with the label of a career underachiever. The critics will say he squandered his immense talent, that he never could win the big one.
Obviously, it's cool to be hip and trending. Most people would prefer that as opposed to being hated and vilified. But there is a danger in becoming too popular, and Bubba Watson is walking that proverbial tightrope this week.
It's OK to bet preseason games. It's not just mindless entertainment for degenerates, lunatics and action junkies. Winning tickets still pay off real money. Handicapping skill can be rewarded.
Being bad and boring is an unenviable combination for any team, the same way that being dumb, drunk and broke is no way to go through life. The UNLV football team is almost always terrible and rarely entertaining, so that's why Tony Sanchez was the right hire.