Coming off a bye week, Tony Romo leads the Dallas Cowboys into New England looking for a statement win against the Patriots. At 2-2 and third in the NFC East, a win against the powerhouse Pats could turn the Cowboys’ season around.
Romo is fifth in the NFL in passing yards per game, averaging 318.2; he is also in the top five in yards per completion and his 65.1 completion percentage is eighth in the League. With top-flight receiver Austin Miles, talented wide out Dez Bryant and tremendous tight end Jason Witten at his disposal, Romo and the Cowboys are third in the league in passing yards per game.
The knock on Romo since he assumed the role of Dallas’ starting quarterback is he throws interceptions at the most inopportune times. 2011 has been no different. Two of his five interceptions this season have come in the fourth quarter, most notoriously a confounding pick during a tight Week 1 battle with the New York Jets.
After early exits in their last two postseason appearances, the New England Patriots entered the 2011 NFL campaign with something to prove. They play as if they want revenge on the rest of the league for burying the dynasty quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick built in the last decade. The Pats do not want to win every game, they want to dominate. Their bloodthirsty appetite for touchdowns is intimidating and awe-inspiring.
Tom Brady ranks in the top five of every relevant passing statistic. He is first in passing yards per game with 374.8, and first in total yards with 1,874. Drew Brees is over 100 yards behind him in the latter category. He is tied with Aaron Rodgers for first in touchdowns. He is third in completion percentage at 67.9 percent. He ranks first in completions of 20 yards or more with 30. Brady is even tops in the NFL in yards per completion at 9.6.
Brady put the NFL on notice in Week 1 with a four touchdown, 517 yard performance against the Miami Dolphins. He followed that victory with a three touchdown, 423 yard game against the AFC West-leading San Diego Chargers. Even in New England’s lone loss to Buffalo, Brady threw for nearly 400 yards. Defenses cannot stop Tom Brady; they can only hope the offense outscores him.
KEY STAT: Look for this contest to get off to a blazing start as both quarterbacks are at their respective bests in the first quarter. Romo completes just fewer than 69 percent of his passes in the first quarter, while Brady completes a whopping 84.2 percent of his opening quarter passes. Neither QB has thrown a first quarter interception. If you like clean, explosive offense, tune into this game at kickoff and enjoy the show.