Week 5’s game of the week takes place on Sunday night.
Aside from reviving one of the greatest rivalries in NFL history, Cowboys-49ers pits two of the finest teams in the league against one other. The outcome might determine the NFC’s top seed.
On Monday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was asked to explain why the Cowboys are such a difficult opponent.
“Just their pass rush — how fast they play,” Shanahan said to reporters. “[Defense coordinator] Dan Quinn is as good as any on the defensive line.” In general, I believe one of the most important measures for every NFL team is how much better they get each game because the lack of preparation [that offensive linemen] get in the offseason compared to what it takes to be ready is simply insufficient. Nobody ever shows up in Week 1, especially at the start. Run blocking and pass blocking require a lot more repetitions to improve as a unit. That is why it is critical in these games that the more games you can stay fit and play together, the better you normally get during the year.”
Shanahan understands the magnitude of the game. He accepts it.
“I’m a fan of football first, growing up and everything and still am now,” stated Shanahan. “So whenever there are big matchups and stuff, especially for the night games, that’s great for our league, and there’s nothing more fun than being a part of it as a player or a coach.” “These are the kinds of games you live for and enjoy.”But getting there takes a week of planning. It will still be the same type of game as before, but starting a little later and lasting the same amount of time. But I’m sure folks will be pumped. I enjoy it when the rest of the league gets to see you play. It’s fantastic for all the fans and stuff when it’s on national TV, but it’s really cool that generally by the end of the day, the players and everything and coaches are home and get to see that game as well. I know that’s what we like best.”
Shanahan was questioned if he got a head start on preparing for the Cowboys because he had additional time to prepare for the Week 4 game against the Cardinals after beating the Giants.
“You get to see a little crossover, so some of that goes, but you never prepare,” said Shanahan. “I rarely prepare the week before. It takes time away from your current week, and there is always time to get it done. We just finished working with our players in Arizona, and once I’m done with you guys, I’ll be completely committed to that until the game is over.”
The Cowboys-49ers game should not be the sole focus of NFL fans this week, but it should garner more interest and attention than any other game.
The 4-0 Philadelphia Eagles have become recognized for their spectacular “tush push” play, a nearly indestructible quarterback sneak that has irritated many opposing teams. In fact, at least nine teams were allegedly in favor of modifying the rule that enables runners to be assisted from behind this summer, but the league did not change it.
Jalen Hurts converted a fourth-and-1 on the 50-yard line in overtime to help set up the game-winning field goal in the Eagles’ 34-31 overtime victory over the Washington Commanders on Sunday. Is this a fair game? Or are the Eagles simply superior than everyone else? On “The Edge with Micah Parsons,” the Dallas Cowboys great defender referred to it as a “cheat code.”
“The Eagles have the best offensive line in the league, so it is a cheat code.” “They’re unstoppable,” Parsons told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “They’ve got a quarterback who can squat 600 pounds and knows how to move his legs and push forward.” Yes, that is OD.”
Because the play closely resembles a rugby scrum, some argue it should not be permitted in football. However, it is not as simple as the Eagles make it appear. This weekend, the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, and New York Giants all attempted the “tush push.” All three were unsuccessful.
This is accompanied with a technique. The interior offensive linemen’s ability to get off the ball, the quarterback’s ability to push forward and the gap he chooses, and the pushers on the back end all play a role. For example, in the Giants’ loss on Monday night, it appeared like their three pushers were too far behind quarterback Daniel Jones, as Peyton Manning remarked on ESPN’s “ManningCast” broadcast.
The Giants’ head coach, Brian Daboll, told reporters on Tuesday that center John Michael Schmitz (shoulder) and tight end Daniel Bellinger (knee) were injured on the botched “tush push,” according to The Athletic. Daboll also told reporters that his offense runs through this play, but it isn’t a live practice rep that the squad works on. That could be one of the reasons it failed.
When it comes to “tush push” domination, the Eagles have three things going for them: For starters, they have one of the strongest offensive lines in the league. Two, they have a true running back at quarterback who can squat 600 pounds and is more difficult to take down than someone like Mac Jones in that situation. Three, the Eagles have more history with this play, which Nick Sirianni, his coaching staff, and his players are likely to have worked on more than anybody else behind the scenes.
So, Parsons is right. It is a cheat code. Not because Philly has figured out some loophole in the rules, but because the Eagles offense is well-constructed for these short-yardage situations.
After the previous week’s no-show in the desert, the Cowboys and their fans found solace in Sunday’s 38-3 thrashing of the Patriots. The defense was back in top form, the offense showed promising glimpses of what was to come, and the special teams added their own punctuation marks at precisely the perfect times.
Things got off to a shaky start with an opening drive that fizzled out in the red zone, forcing Dallas to settle for a short field goal.
But the Cowboys were able to rebound and overcome that stumbling block, as well as several others, such as penalties and touchdown throws to wide receivers, en route to handing Bill Belichick his worst loss as a coach.
There were lots more game-changing plays to select from, but these are the four that the grumpy guy in the hoodie may be seeing in his dreams for the foreseeable future.