Anybody else sitting home during this quarantine and instead of doing anything productive, just watching old NFL games? Ya, me neither, so now I’m going to be productive by writing about an old NFL game.
Anyways, when I watch football, I enjoy watching teams score points. Lots of points. So I took a deep dive and re-lived one of the greatest point scoring exhibitions of all time. Little did I know, I would have to listen to Phil Simms spout nonsense for about 75% of the broadcast. You’ll read my reaction to realizing this in the “Pre-Game Observation” section.
Denver vs Dallas – Week 5 – 2013
In the 2012 season, the Denver Broncos were 13-3 and the favorites to go to the super bowl … until they met the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round and gave away the game on one of the most famously misplayed Hail Mary throws of all time. Good work on that one Rahim Moore and Tony Carter. You’ll see Tony Carter attempt to repeat this mistake TWICE in this game. But I’ll admit it, it must be hard to defend when the other team has 60+ yards to go with little or no time left. Really keeps you guessing.
The Dallas Cowboys on the other hand, missed the playoffs in 2012. So at least they didn’t have to suffer the same kind of heartbreak as the Broncos did? Not sure which is worse.
By week 5 of 2013, both teams had shown they could put up points in bunches. Denver was averaging 45 points a game and obviously leaned on the great (but aging) Manning who was more of a distributor to the awesome talent in Denver (Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas) than a playmaker while the Cowboys had their own trio of playmakers in Dez Bryant, Demarco Murray, and Jason Witten (Terrance Williams helped out too).
Denver was the favorite in this game at 4-0 having just beaten the living shit out of the Eagles (52-21) while Dallas came in having just lost to the Chargers 30-21. Dallas could put up points but Denver could embarrass you.
Simms and Nantz are announcing, fuck. Nantz isn’t bad but Simms is such a fucking idiot. Not sure what this guy did in his career to A) get this job and B) think he is so much fucking smarter than everyone else.
Notable injuries – Von Miller is out this game because he had broken his hand earlier in the season. He would come back eventually before getting hurt again before Super Bowl. You’ll notice the Broncos have a hard time getting to Romo. Champ Bailey also hurt, sprained foot so maybe why god-damned Tony Carter is getting more time.
Jason Garrett won the toss and took the ball … and on cue, the announcers question him on it. Umm how about you’re facing the best offense in the league at that point and you want as many possessions as possible? Garrett could look really smart if he has an onside kick or a fake punt or something in the second half to steal a possession.
The crew highlights first round pick Travis Frederick’s rookie year. Crazy he retired, he was a beast. Dude was a stud from day one. Terrance Williams starts the game of with a big gain of about 25. He was quietly really good for about a 2-4 year stretch as Dez’s second fiddle. Demarco Murray came into the game 3rd in the NFL in rushing. Maybe Dallas will try to shorten the game here??? Hahaha don’t bring logic into this.
Duke Ihenacho starting for the Broncos at safety. Great name. He could play the run but man he struggled against the pass.
First drive of the game, Dallas already picking up chunks at a time. This is gonna be fun
Romo 5-5 on the opening drive and just picked the Denver D apart up the middle. Opening drive TD goes to Dez on a crossing route on the goal line … Well Dallas took the ball and scored, I guess those announcers are fuckin idiots. Strike 1 Simms
Dallas 7 Denver 0
Apparently, Peyton is completing 75% of passes 16-0 TD to INT ratio. Jesus . Most TDs in first 4 games ever. I guess that’s an ok start to the season. Damn, Knowshon Moreno breaks off a run for 18 like he’s at Georgia. Never forget the SAUCED license plate he had when he got pulled over for… I think you got it.
Eric Decker fumbles on opening drive for Broncos. After a catch and run of about 20. Hold on to the fuckin football
Dallas going empty formation, 5 wide, I guess this is a good game plan? I mean, fuck Demarco Murray right? Tony Romo escaping the rush like Lamar Jackson and pick up a 3rd and 10.
Chris Harris comes back the next play with a tackle for loss. Dude was getting noticed now, already had 2 INTs on the year.
Demarco Murray gets 2nd TD of the day for Cowboys as they jump out 14-0 in the first quarter.
Dallas 14 Denver 0
Peyton hits Decker on the start of the next drive for a big play. Phil Simms comes in with a gem, he says the first thing he would look for against Eric Decker is a double move. I’m thiking the Cowboys might have a little more in-depth plan on how to defend Eric Decker than just take away the double move deep shots. Fucking idiot
Slick play design, shovel pass to Julius Thomas for TD … Julius Thomas has got to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of Peyton Manning. That dude was terrible without Peyton … like a poor man’s Jimmy Graham. Speaking of Jimmy Graham, how does that guy keep getting contracts??
Romo is just completing everything, left and right. (I guess that’s what you have to do to throw for 500 yards, i think to myself. I’m pretty smart)
Robert Ayers with a sack, this dude was a bust. First round pick for the Broncos and best he ever did was have two sacks in a regular season game. Thanks a lot McDaniels. Still the first quarter but Romo looks like the greatest QB of all time. Escaping pressure. Throwing dimes. How does this guy ever lose?
End of 1 – DAL 14 DEN 7
So, Romo had 167 yards in first quarter. Literally, his best quarter ever. Nice job Bronco defense. Murray lowering his shoulder down to the 3 yard line, such a physical runner. Now I want to go back and watch Murray just beating kids while at Oklahoma. Broncos playing with 3 safeties and 3 corners … inside the 10 yard line, this is fine.
Andddddddd Shaun Phillips sacks Romo for -17 … makes it 4th and goal from the 25 after 1st and goal on the 3!! Classic Romo, this is the guy I recognize.
Dan Bailey connects on field goal.
DAL 17 DEN 7
Peyton has been going quick count to start the game. Interesting when he normally likes to take all the play clock. Makes me wonder if for some reason Peyton doesn’t want to make checks at the line because of somebody he used to play with/under being over there?
Just noticed that the Refs are throwing pink flags for breast cancer awareness and of course, our buddy, Simms just has to make a comment to take away from the charity, “Not making excuses, but I am making excuses, (yes he actually said that, look it up) there’s a lot of towels on the field and you can’t tell if the ref has thrown a flag or not” shut the fuck up Simms, jesus christ. (ok the flags are a little more difficult to see)
Hurry up offense for the Broncos and quick count all drive for Peyton. Makes it tough for defense to adjust and Peyton showing here he doesn’t mind calling checks at the line. I’m dumb.
Decker scores to make up for his fumble, Cowboys defense just wasn’t prepared for all his double move routes right Phil? (no, it wasn’t a double move)
DAL 17 DEN 14 – 9:05 left in 2nd quarter
Broncos pass the Greatest Show on Turf, the 2000 Rams team for most points through 5 games. Remember playing with them in that year’s Madden game? You could run whatever the hell you wanted with Marshall Faulk and Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Not quite as broken as Vick was but still.
Dez fumbles after he catches a slant, there you go Decker, totally off the hook for your fumble now.
Sean Lee is a monster. 16 tackles this game, he just made a play in the backfield against Moreno. Too bad Lee couldn’t ever stay healthy in his career, his face just looks to friendly to ever be such a good linebacker. Nice guys finish last Sean.
Julius Thomas with two catches in a row, and then two plays later a touchdown catch on a slant He really was a mismatch nightmare. Long, athletic and good hands. I just don’t think he was physical enough to have a long career. He was basically a receiver with the Broncos anyways, made his best catches on the outside.
DEN 21 DAL 17 – 5 mins left in the half
Empty formation for cowboys again, but Broncos get the sack to set up a 3rd and 15 and force a punt after a Romo scramble. Demarco Murray alive still?
3 minutes left for the Broncos to try and get a score before the end of the half
Broncos run the ball a couple times with Moreno, trying to make sure they have the last possession of the half. Smart football there. I’m sure that was Manning not HC John Fox. Cowboys calling timeouts to try and save some time on the other side
Moreno jumps over a guy, if you ever saw his Georgia highlight film you’d know that’s a Moreno classic. 12th overall pick, was he a bust? I’d say ya probably.
Announcers talking about how Manning gets the ball out quick for the millionth time. Ya no shit, guy had multiple neck surgeries, I would too.
Peyton bootleg TD is great, ballsy. Nobody within ten yards. Last rushing TD in 5 years lol and left only 45 seconds on the clock and they get the ball back at half… all of a sudden this looks like it could turn into a blowout for Denver…
Anddddddd Romo hits Terrance Williams for a 40 yard bomb (guess who was covering him at the end of the half? TONY FUCKIN CARTER) and the Cowboys are able to hit a FG as the half ends.
DEN 28 DAL 20 – Halftime
Phil Simms suggestion to stop the Broncos is to jam the receivers at the line … the cowboys got torn up by the tight end in the first half… and the broncos receivers are both over 6’2 and at least 215… hard to jam that at the line but ok Simms you go bigguy.
Simms wants the Cowboys to literally press every eligible receiver. Julius Thomas has a big catch and the safety is playing 8 yards off… Simms loses his mind saying the tight end can go anywhere with that coverage. Um ya where was the bump off the line of scrimmage to help the safety out? What I do wrong in order for Simms to get this game? I want to turn off the sound, but it’s part of my story now and I have to keep going. Fuck.
Broncos score on opening drive, welker with a nice route (fake the arrow, come back to the slant from the slot) to score. Manning with 4 TD passes with 8 mins left in 3rd quarter
DEN 35 DAL 20 – 8 minutes left in the 3rd
Cowboys answer immediately with an 80 yard post route by Terrance Williams against (1:04)… you fuckin know who it’s against. Don’t make me say his fuckin name. Chris Harris left the game with an injury so now the Broncos are stuck with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named at corner.
Julius Thomas with another big catch. He’s the focal point of this game. His catch sets up a field goal by Prater for the Broncos.
Prater was so good but Broncos had to release him after a DUI or some shit. Wow just realized Knowshon had the same thing… where the hell is Denver’s personnel exec who is in charge of this shit? (Oh he got a DUI too? nice)
DEN 38 DAL 27 – 3 mins left in 3rd
Dallas going 5 wide again. Dez shows up with a catch. Somehow a middle linebacker in coverage against Dez. That’s probably not a match up Denver went into the week planning on.
It’s actually pretty amazing how much the Cowboys have committed to empty. Here they go again. Maybe Demarco Murray hooked up with Jason Garrett’s wife after the loss to the Chargers last week? The Broncos would never have something like that happen. Wait what happened between Peyton Hillis and Josh McDaniel’s wife?
Dez with another TD (1:21) … he pushes off and no call. Whatever, he’s fun to watch. He’s such a physical receiver.
Ok so here’s the situation … 38 to 33 Denver leads with 14 seconds left in 3rd. Dallas decides to go for 2 to make it a 3 point game instead of a 4 point game. Makes sense right? Not to Phil fuckin Simms!!! He says, “I disagree, I would definitely go for 1 here” … then CBS pulls up a graphic called “The Book” (which is like, what every sane person should do after every touchdown, go for 1 or go for 2) and The Book says you should definitely go for 2 here! Hahahah Simms is like, “oh well, I still wouldn’t”. God, I hate this guy. How has he been in the booth for so long? Who is sitting on their couch and thinking, “oh nice, Simms is doing the color for this game” What am I missing here?? I’ve decided I’m not giving Sims the extra “m” in his name. He hasn’t earned it.
Of course, Romo doesn’t pick up the 2 points, and we have to suffer through a smug Phil Sims but still, that’s 1000% the right call to go for 2 there.
Last play of the 3rd quarter is Manning throwing an interception to Morris Claiborne. Man that guy was a bust too. Claiborn, not Manning.
DEN 38 DAL 33 – End of 3rd Quarter
Fourth quarter opens up with two straight catches by the ageless wonder, and most boring commentator I’ve ever heard, Jason Witten.
I just realized that both of these teams are just, like, immediately in their opponents territory. Like, the drive starts on the 20, blink, and they’re on the opposite 40.
Touchdown Witten (1:53) and the Cowboys to take the lead. Romo had roughly 3.5 hours to throw on that play. Missing Von Miller.
Sims now openly mocking the “book” for saying you should go for two. “Obviously nowwww go for it” Sims says. Romo hits Williams to convert the 2 point on a back shoulder.
DAL 41 DEN 38 – 14 mins left in 4th quarter
Moreno has been super consistent this game except the one fumble. Picks up a first down after a catch makes it 2nd and 3, and then next play a run to make it 1st down again.
Sims says this is the loudest he’s heard a Dallas crowd … in week 5. I’m sure it’s never been loud in the playoffs, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assumes he means at Jerry World which has only been open for about 5 years at that point. No fuck that, I’m not giving Sims shit.
Jim Nantz just said Moreno has been a unsung hero, and at least one of the announcers has his head on.
Denver on the Dallas 43 … all of a sudden which sets up a field goal by Prater
DEN 41 DAL 41 – 9:30 left in 4 quarter
Dez with a HUGE catch (2:09), 79 yards and gets caught at the five yard line! Pass puts Romo at 502 passing yards. What a game by Romo, sure Denver is missing their best pass rusher and their two best corners, but still.
Cole Beasley with a quick bubble screen TD. Dallas runs an RPO and Sims can’t believe it “I think there were two plays called there!” Get this guy outta there.
Romo with 5 TD passes now.
DAL 48 DEN 41 – 7:14 left in the game
Welker has a first down catch, and the Broncos are on the Dallas side of the field. Welker has had a couple clutch catches in this one.
Demaryius Thomas catches a nice back shoulder pass to move the broncos to first and goal from the 10. Where has he been all game? Hanging out with Demarco probably.
Sims thinks that 3 mins left in the 4th quarter is 4 down territory… brilliant analysis man.
Holding call backs up the Broncos but then Welker makes a catch taking the ball down to the 1 yard line. 3rd and goal and Moreno runs it in. Prater ties it up.
DEN 48 DAL 48 – 2:39 left in 4th
Romo sacked on the first play of his game winning 2 minute drive which also probably would’ve given him the single game record for passing yards.
Anddddddddddd Romo is intercepted (2:45) on the second play of the drive. Trying to get the ball to Witten and Danny Trevathan makes a spectacular diving interception. Classic Romo man. That’s basically game over, they’re already in field goal range
Romo played so well all game and here he gets some pressure in his face and just forced the ball. I mean, he had been completing EVERYTHING all game, I would be confident if I were him too.
Broncos now just have run out the clock, they hit Demaryius Thomas again on a jump ball to move it down to the 10 yard line. Boy, he really woke up at the end.
Back to Romo – I’ve been watching a lot of old games, and man, Romo has been pretty darn good. He could never get it done in the playoffs but having Jason Garrett as your head coach can’t help. I mean, this is his career game and he loses because they ran into one of the best offensive seasons EVER with the 2013 Broncos. Microcosm of Romo’s career.
The Broncos run out the clock, Prater kicks the field goal and wins the game.
DEN 51 DAL 48
99 combined points, 4th highest ever combined total ever in a game.
Peyton threw for 400 and 4 TDs
Romo for 500 and 5 TDs
Just like I think this game is a perfect example of Romo’s whole career, it’s also an example of the Broncos season. Defensive injuries abound and they rely on a huge offensive performance to win… obviously that couldn’t hold up in one of the most lopsided Super Bowls in history against the Seahawks.
Let’s end the game by pointing out Phil Simms realizing how dumb he is … Nantz says pregame they talked about how this game could see both teams scoring in the 30s and Simms said no way that could happen. I rest my case.