Perhaps it’s a little too early for the cliché “The playoffs start now for this team” because the truth is, it doesn’t. The Dallas Cowboys are 7-5 and in first place in a division that they have a perfect record against and could theoretically lose one game and still beat the Eagles (assuming the Eagles win out) in week 17 to clinch the division.
So no, the playoffs don’t start now, but hell, I’d still like to win this game! Headed to Chicago the Cowboys have an opportunity to stack a three-game win streak together at the right time to really gain momentum and advantage headed into December.
Here is what we know for sure about this team: The Cowboys have a defense that allows a lot of yards and the pressure is really on the offense to deliver. Luckily for us, this Chicago Bears defense isn’t what it used to be. No longer are we facing the Brian Urlacher led defense that was consistently ranked amongst the best in the league. We won’t be seeing Lance Briggs (out) and Henry Melton, the leagues best defensive tackle, is on injured reserve.
This game will be on Tony Romo to manage and direct an efficient and effective offensive game that will keep the Cowboys from mistakes and ahead on a cold day.
The Bears rank dead last against the run and aren’t much better against the pass. Lets take a look at how things stack up inside the numbers:
- Tony Romo is a career 1-2 against the Bears with his lone win coming at Chicago.
- Career numbers for Romo against Chicago are 87/129 1010 yards 4 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
- Chicago currently ranks 28th in points allowed per game (27.7), 28th in yards allowed per game (386.0), 14th in pass yards allowed (232.4), and 32nd in rush yards allowed per game (153.6)
- Against middle tier pass defenses similar to Chicago (New York Giants twice – ranked 13 and Kansas City ranked 21) Tony Romo is 89/129 795 yards 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
- The Chicago Bears have not played a top 10 rated QB in terms of quarterack rating. QB’s Sam Bradford and Aaron Rodgers were injured when the Bears faced those teams. Tony Romo currently ranks 8th overall in Quarterback Rating.
- Against top-ranked Wide Receivers Chicago has allowed big games. A.J. Green accrued 162 yards, Antonio Brown 196 yards and Calvin Johnson has totaled 126 yards and three touchdowns in two meetings
- Against top-tier tight ends (who are focal points of their teams passing attack) the Bears have also struggled. They’ve allowed Brandon Pettigrew to go for 124 yards in two meetings, Jimmy Graham to amass 10 receptions for 135 yards and Jordan Reed 9 receptions 134 yards and one touchdown.
Every game and situation is different I understand that. However, if trending statistics are any indication Tony Romo should have his opportunity to exploit mismatches, especially the one created by tight end Jason Witten.
Expect a big game for Tony Romo to start off a crucial December.