It's bad times for BadNFL. Three losses in a row, and the luster is all off. This loss was particularly brutal to watch because it involved both my favorite team losing and a pick backfiring. I felt particularly good about this pick heading into Sunday (unlike some of the previous weeks), but not only did the Cowboys fail to cover the 3 points, they lost in an ugly game.
The story of the game was the Cowboys' inability to protect Romo. I wrote before this game that the Packers' pass rush had struggled, and it had. But not on Sunday; the Packers looked like they had totally confused the Cowboys' offensive line, and they generated incessant pressure on Romo. Sure, the injury on the 2nd drive to RT Marc Colombo didn't help--as that injury may spell trouble for the Cowboys heading forward--but the real key was Jason Garrett's inexplicably decision to abandon the run. The Cowboys became one-dimensional, which allowed the Packers to unleash every blitz in their playbook. Coming on the heels of two games that I thought Garrett called extremely well, I thought he put together a miserable gameplan against the Packers, and it showed.
I was right that the Packers didn't protect Rodgers very well; the Cowboys got 4 sacks, 19 pressures, and several hits on plays that were negated by penalties. But Green Bay played their best defensive game of the year, and that was enough to lead them to victory.
I stand by the logic of this bet. I'm really not sure what to take away from this game, other than the Cowboys had an inexplicable letdown and a poorly called game. Maybe I should have been wary of betting the Cowboys given that they were riding high and were due for a poor performance. But as I wrote in the pick, the Cowboys have put together huge winning streaks in November before, and Romo had won 13 games in a row in this month. Yet he played quite poorly in Lambeau.
Green Bay was coming off a terrible loss to Tampa Bay. The chance of the Green Bay bounceback was what worried me more than anything before the game, and maybe that argument was borne out. But I still think the bet was sound, and I think that this game more evidenced the unpredictability of the NFL than any major problem with the reasoning.