Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Nov 2006

Week 13 Rundown: Romo Keeping Good Company

Tony Romo's success allows us to make some Jessica Simpson jokes. Lots and lots of Jessica Simpson jokes. And yet, they won't let Jessica Simpson do one of those ridiculous "Simpsons character makes NFL picks" columns. Plus: Mike Shanahan steals the wrong Belichick playbook, Vince Young messes up his travel plans, and Dr. House takes on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 30 Nov 2006

32 comments, Last at 03 Dec 2006, 3:59pm by Dan Riley


by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:28am

"Of course, we know why baby bro can't attract a starlet. His passes keep flying over their heads."

Why's FOX doing those Simpson's predictions? The couple I've looked at have been horrible.

by Murr (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:32am

We're waiting ringside for LaVar vs. Amani or Osi vs. Mathias.

Man, Letterman could have made a heckuva Oscars monologue with this collection of names.

by Doug Farrar :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:37am

"There goes the Raiders nativity scene. Now they don't have a wise man or an innkeeper."

Well done.

by JasonK (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:40am

I normally read through columns like this in a professional manner, smiling and nodding to acknowledge the comments I find particularly clever. But this time, the M*A*S*H joke got me. Well played. "Who let that guy in" indeed.

by Murr (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:45am

Yep, and someday we'll raise cows and chickens, and alfalfa for the rabbits. Just keep looking over the river at those mountains, Romeo, and take your hat off.

I absolutely *heart* Tanier's stuff (even though I'm still not sure how to pronounce his last name), but this is the first reference that flew right over my head. Somebody please explain?

by Vince (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 1:25am

#5: I don't know why it says Romeo instead of Lemmy, but it's from "Of Mice And Men."

by David (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 1:36am

"But Shanahan may have gone to the well too many times, and Mike Bell isn't up to the standards set by Broncos runners of the past decade."

Isn't Tatum Bell supposed to start again this week?

by asg (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 1:55am

#6: Romeo Crennel is the Browns' head coach. He is apparently taking the Lenny role.

by Richard (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 2:05am

I'm not sure which was better, the Of Mice & Men reference or the shot at the Lesser Manning. I'm leaning toward the latter because I hate that guy.

by Vince (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 2:28am

#8. Oh yeah. Duh.

by RecoveringPackerFan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 3:03am

I hate to mention the name, but the TO joke got me.

by Bug (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 11:33am

Did anyone else notice that in the headlines section to the right of the article it mentioned that Ron Mexico's fine would partially go to single mom's?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:03pm

If Shanahan really wanted to copy Belichick, he'd need to go through a few extra steps. First, he needed to identify Plummer's biggest strengths, then have a big press conference announcing that he was no longer allowed to do that. Then, he'd have to throw a game by devising a gameplan that is absolutely guaranteed to fail, something like run up the middle on first, run up the middle on second, nine-step drop pass on third with no receivers going past the sticks, punt. Then make the switch at halftime, switch to a competent gameplan, and when the offense incredibly enough improves slightly, throw all blame on the old QB. There's no way that could backfire!

by Jim (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:18pm

"The Cowboys are still a team full of weaknesses..."

Disclaimer: big Cowboys homer here.

The Cowboys are 4th in team DVOA and the only team in the top 5 in both offensive and defensive DVOA. For that matter, they're in the top 7 in rushing offense, passing offense, rushing defense and passing defense. Yes, their special teams are ordinary, I'll give you that. But if they're full of weaknesses, what's every other team in the league full of? Gaping holes?

by Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:20pm

"Steve McNair has a private jet? Yep. He also has a lasso that makes you tell the truth."

So the jet is invisible too??

by PackMan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 12:29pm

On a McNair sidenote, how has he started everygame this year? 12 straignt starts for McNair is simply astounding.

by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 1:53pm


I don't understand the reference you're making at all. When did Belichick do all that? You're certainly not referring to Bledsoe-Brady...

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 2:25pm

MJK, since Trogdor's a Cleveland fan, I'm guessing that's a Kosar-Testaverde reference.

by Not saying (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 2:49pm

It was in reference to this from the article: "it was Belichick's Browns playbook from the 1990s:"

by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 2:55pm

Man, this may be Mr Tanny-er's, Taneer's, Tanyer's (pick one) best work yet.

A M*A*S*H reference, Mice and Men, whatever that Jessica Simpson TV show was where she couldn't figure out how they got tuna into cans... what a tour de force.

Not sure about Dal being a team full of weaknesses, but otherwise I didn't have many problems with the football aspects either. (Well, with 20/20 hindsight, maybe the Ravens call was not the best...)

Wait, this WAS a football column, wasn't it? It's become what TMQ used to be--I read it looking for subtext and jokes and almost forget about what's it's supposed to be.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 3:11pm

Gah! Lousy internet connection just lost a monster comment. Oh well, you're probably all better off not reading it.

Short version: I was referring to the Kosar benching (not letting him audible, then the horrible Colts game setting him up for failure). I thought he handled the Brady/Bledsoe thing a ton better (just be honest about it - we think this guy's better right now, so we're playing him).

With Cutler, the hesitation is the same issue we had with Brady - none of us knew then how good he'd be at the time. And nobody here really knows what to expect from Cutler, if he'll be an improvement over Plummer. Personally, I'm inclined to trust Shanahan (if nothing else, he sees a lot more of these guys than we do), I think he's earned the benefit of the doubt. He has to think Cutler gives them a better chance to make the playoffs, and win once they get there, or else he'd wait until the offseason.

by Charles (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 3:13pm

Why did the Ravens' quarterback use his personal jet to fly the Titans' quarterback to the game?

Furthermore, why did Vince think to call Steve McNair in this situation?

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 4:16pm

Re 22:
This story reminded me of Brodrick Bunkley missing the Eagles' team charter flight to Indy because he was picking up chicken for his teammates and got stuck in traffic (see link under my name). Unfortunately for Bunkley, apparently he doesn't know Steve McNair and so he had to fly commercial.

I'm thinking it could be a new career path for McNair after he retires from the NFL - he can provide air transportation to clueless rookies who miss the team charter flights!

by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/01/2006 - 5:10pm

Apparently McNair has been like a big brother role model for Vince for a few years. Now this is the first I have heard of the jet thing, but I wouldn't be surprised by the call for advice.

by BrockVegas (not verified) :: Sat, 12/02/2006 - 1:14am

I had no idea that Lemmy was in Of Mice and Men. What's next? Philthy Animal in The Grapes of Wrath?

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sat, 12/02/2006 - 2:37am

Apparently, Eli isn't a "quarterback to be feared."

Are you kidding? Every time he drops back to pass, I say a prayer to Wellington Mara.[rimshot]

by Podge (not verified) :: Sat, 12/02/2006 - 11:29am

"Maybe the snowstorm headed to Buffalo can stop L.T. Unfortunately, it could also cause Parrish to curl up in the fetal position."

Nice. Is anyone else now expecting to see the Bills injury report read:

Roscoe Parrish (Snow)

by jebmak (not verified) :: Sat, 12/02/2006 - 1:32pm

Okay, I for one thought that the tuna/chicken joke was clever.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Sun, 12/03/2006 - 5:55am

Hey, this just in: Luck IS sustainable over two seasons: (Indy's FG % against since early 2005). Who knew? See link at my name.

by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Sun, 12/03/2006 - 2:05pm

As I try to work up some personal drama about the Pats v. Lions today, I'm reflecting on "trap games," touched on in an earlier thread and discussed by Felger in the Boston Herald this a.m. Felger does a good job recounting how the Pats hardly ever lose a trap game and why having a coach slurping the opponent no matter how ludicrous it sounds is essential to avoiding trap games. Can we all agree that losing a trap game is 99% mental? Good. So let me get to my TGVA (Trap Game Victim Analysis) Here's my top five:

1. Pittsburgh: No team gets as puffed up with itself faster than the Steelers. I'd bet that if you put a camera in front of Joey Porter this morning he'd tell you how they're just lying in the weeds waiting for everybody to come to them. The only way they win it all last year is by being decided underdogs all the way through the playoffs. Favor them in any one of those games, and they couldn't get out of the way of the smoke blowing out their arses.

2. Washington: Practically in a class of their own for elevating the trap game to trap season.

3. San Diego: Laws of physics are being tested here. How many blue chip stars will it take to offset Tragic Shakespearean Flaw of the Coach, who paradoxically coaches every moment of every game as if it were a trap game?

4. Indianapolis: Can a team that only loses one or two games a year really be accused of losing "trap games?" If a prerequisite for a trap game loss is having superior talent, glowing press clippings, and an inflated opinion of yourself, and believing that's all it takes to win a game, then yes, they can. And I'd say they have this one last year to start winning "trap" games that matter on the field and not in the media before even their fanboys at ESPN turn on them .

5. Jacksonville: Steeler wannabe's. Jaws famously described them as "mentally soft" this year, which is not the same as being physically soft, but try telling that to any of these teams.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Sun, 12/03/2006 - 2:24pm

Re 30:
You know who was famous for puffing up opponents and denigrating a winning effort by his team? Lou Holtz. Now, he had some success, but that schtick isn't why. BB's slurping of opponents isn't why the Pats win.

by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Sun, 12/03/2006 - 3:59pm

Trap Game Alert!