Something smelled fishy along the NFC’s offensive line in the fourth quarter of the Pro Bowl last night. The smell was so rank it raised a troubling question: did Pro Bowl 2010 feature two offensive linemen laying down on the job, giving defenders a free pass to the quarterback?
Tony Romo haters will point out that he is the perfect Favre clone: he makes all those magical plays all season long and then the final pass he throws for the season is to a member of the opposing team. Favre did it against the Vikings in the NFC title game. Romo did it in the Pro Bowl.
How apropos that Romo replaced Favre on the Pro Bowl roster. If you cannot get Favre, then Favre Light will have to do.
Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett detractors (count me in on at least half that equation) will see Phillips and Garrett coaching the losing team while their quarterback throws the deciding pick and say, “Where have we seen this before?”
More astute observers, however, might note that, after three quarters of no one really getting near an NFC quarterback, Romo suddenly found himself under siege. It was all fun and games until the final quarter, and suddenly the quarterback is running for his life…in a Pro Bowl game?!
If it was just a case of the AFC defense sniffing victory and the winner’s $45,000 check, then that’s fine. Watching professionals play pitch and catch against matador defenders gets a little ho-hum anyhow.
Here is a conspiracy theory for you: offensive tackles Jason Peters of the Philadelphia Eagles and David Diehl of the New York Giants found it impossible to block defenders once hated foe and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was depending on their protection. Is it coincidence that the Pro Bowl linemen suddenly looked like automatic doors at the local super market? Is it possible that they didn’t mind giving the AFC defenders some free shots at the man most likely to stand between their team and the NFC East title next year?
The question here is whether they are that sorry as human beings…or that sorry as offensive linemen.
Of course Romo credited the AFC defense for smelling victory and kicking it into high gear. He said, “I think Ray Lewis got them to pick it up.”
What else is he going to say? That Peters and Diehl blocked like third grade girls in plaid skirts and ankle socks? That it was a conspiracy to maybe get a little revenge for their own bitter 2009 seasons…or worse? That they seemed to protect McNabb just fine?
Truthfully, I doubt they are that sorry as human beings. They probably just suck at football (wink, wink). I am sure DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, and company will be glad to see a similar effort from Peters and Diehl when the Cowboys face their respective teams in 2010.
Or it could be that fishy smell means something else entirely. Maybe the problem wasn’t that the Pro Bowl was played in the wrong place (Miami rather than Honolulu), but that it was scheduled for the wrong time of the month for Diehl and Peters.
I hear those fourth quarter cramps are the worst.