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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
Week 10 Observations
By Matt Horkman

The Eagles missed an opportunity to challenge a 36-yard completion from Green Bay quarterback Scott Tolzien to wide receiver Jarrett Boykin. Boykin was able to get both feet down inbounds, but his left forearm clearly hit out of bounds before the second foot came down. Fortunately, for Philadelphia, the drive ended when Tolzien severely underthrew Jordy Nelson in the end zone, allowing Philadelphia cornerback Brandon Boykin to intercept the pass.

The Packers were more competitive than the final score indicates. In the first half, Green Bay dominated Philadelphia by running 50 plays, gaining 263 yards, and possessing the ball for 20-plus minutes. However, they missed two field goals and threw a costly red zone interception. As a result, they only had three points to show for their first-half production.

Tolzien’s fourth-quarter incomplete pass to Jordy Nelson ended Green Bay’s attempt (or lack thereof) of a comeback. The Packers challenged the play and Nelson was adamant he caught he ball (he didn’t), so the drama took away from a mistake Tolzien made on the play. He made the wrong read. James Jones came up open on an underneath route and would’ve had an easy first down and possibly touchdown, but Tolzien threw to Nelson instead. 

Jay Cutler completed 21 passes on Sunday afternoon and 19 of them were to Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. That’s four players accounting for over 90 percent of Chicago’s passing game.

Chicago didn’t produce much offense in the second half, but they did have an opportunity for a big play in the third quarter. The Bears ran a toss play and rookie offensive tackle Jordan Mills whiffed on his attempt to seal the edge. Nick FairleyHad he made the block, Forte had nothing but green ahead of him.

After scoring a touchdown with 47 second remaining, Chicago attempted a two-point conversation to tie the game. Instead of throwing, the Bears decided to spread the field and run a draw. On the play, Detroit defensive tackle Nick Fairley dominated Chicago guard Matt Slauson with a swim move to stop Forte in his tracks.

It looked like Carolina guard Nate Chandler went to block the wrong defender on a key fourth-quarter play. Chandler, who was making his first start, blocked inside instead of outside, allowing San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks to blow by him for a sack.  

The Panthers’ offensive line redeemed itself two drivers later by giving quarterback Cam Newton a clean pocket to find Steve Smith for a huge third-down conversion. The conversion ensured that if San Francisco were to possess the ball again, they would do so without any timeouts.

The passing discrepancy between Drew Brees and Tony Romo was insane on Sunday night. This was especially the case in the first half with Brees completing 26-of-30 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Romo, meanwhile, completed 3-of-9 passes for 20 yards. Overall, Brees finished with 392 yards and four touchdowns, while completing 83 percent of his passes. In fact, at one point, he completed 19 consecutive passes.

Part of Romo’s problem was his inability to get Dez Bryant the ball. The star receiver didn’t catch his first pass until 1:23 remaining in the third quarter. It was his only catch of the game. In his last three games, Bryant has 10 catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns. You have to wonder whether his back is beginning to hinder his play.

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