Still Undefeated: Nobody but the ’72 Dolphins.
Still winless: Buffalo, Carolina, San Francisco
Coaches on the hot seat: Mike Singletary (San Francisco), Chan Gailey (Buffalo), John Fox (Carolina), Brad Childress (Minnesota), Norv Turner (San Diego) and Wade Phillips (Dallas). None of the six will be wearing the big boy headset next season.
John Fox has the look of a guy mailing it in. The Panthers are 31st in the league in passing and, unlike Pittsburgh (who happens to be dead last), they don’t have the running game, defense, and testicular fortitude to compete while down in one area. Throwing Jimmy Clausen to the wolves is a hair less transparent than just outright tanking to get the number one pick, but it won’t save his job.
It ain’t braggin’ if you can back it up, and the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets are backing it up, big time. They are now a legitimate 4-1, having exposed Brett Favre (I couldn’t help it, really) and the Vikings, and they look like a team that will be playing deep into January.
All of a sudden, Tampa Bay looks very good. Hats off to the Glazers for letting Raheem Morris remake the team in his image, because everything that looked stupid last season is working this season. Quoth Hannibal Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
My beloved Bears don’t necessarily look great just yet (a bad loss to the Giants, coupled by wins over troubled Dallas and equally-troubled Green Bay), but the rest of teams in the NFC North are falling all over themselves to hand the division to Chicago. Playing the J-V in Carolina didn’t hurt.
The Tennessee Titans will be a serious problem for some AFC contenders down the stretch if they ever get that Vince Young/Chris Johnson thing figured out. The good news is that they had no business losing to the Cowboys, and the better news is that they didn’t.
The Patriots give up Randy Moss and take back Deion Branch. It’s tempting to call them out on this one, except that they won Super Bowls with Branch and lost one with Moss. Sometimes, addition by subtraction works.
Jeopardy category: NFL won-lost records. The answer is: 9-7 or 8-8. Question: What will win either the AFC South or the NFC East?
If there’s no real talent gap in the NFC West (and there isn’t), why are the Arizona Cardinals on top of the division? Ken Whisenhunt is the best coach in the division by a looooong shot.
Kansas City might not be the best team in football by record anymore, but they certainly put up more of a fight against Indianapolis than otherwise expected. Given the fact that the Chargers can’t get out of their own way anymore, the Chefs might just stick around long enough to back into winning the division.
The Atlanta Falcons aren’t overwhelming anyone. They are just winning.
Meanwhile, has any coach in football been low-bridged more than Brad Childress? He basically gambled his career on Brett Favre, only to watch as Favre’s age and creepy character issues have combined to ambush his team’s chances for success. The bigger problem for him won’t be getting fired, but getting anyone to take him seriously as a head coaching candidate in the future, because even casual fans know that he has lost his locker room’s respect.
Speaking of Favre, I understand that the NFL has to “investigate,” but, really, what is there to investigate? The process is fairly simple. If Jenn Sterger is cooperating, and all appearances indicate that she is, get records of the texts, messages, and pictures sent to her. Establish who owned the phone that sent them. Then kick Brett Favre out of football for the rest of his natural life, because if Tiger Woods was too stupid to own a burn phone, then so was Purple Jesus.
The Packers are 3-2 and, better yet (from a Bear fan’s perspective), Aaron Rodgers will be sitting at least the next game out while he gets his eggs unscrambled. They already trail the Bears by a game; if they lose any more ground, their season-ender with Chicago in Wisconsin will be utterly meaningless.
I’m just going to say it: It is becoming glaringly obvious that the Chargers will not win (much less appear in) a Super Bowl as long as Norv Turner is coaching them. Even with A.J. Smith making some questionable personnel decisions, this team should easily be the strongest team in one of the worst divisions in football. The Chargers should be staring down Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New York, or New England for AFC supremacy every year, and yet they find themselves scrambling to beat the likes of Denver and Kansas City just to win their own division. When will enough be enough? It sez so right here that this team, as currently constructed, would be undefeated right now with either Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher calling the shots on the field.
Speaking of Chucky and The Chin, if Jerry Jones wants to hoist another Lombardi trophy in his lifetime, he won’t need to open the checkbook to get either one of them leading his ‘Boys into battle…but he will need to give up final say on anything directly related to football, because not even God has enough money to convince either Cowher or Gruden to coexist with Jones as long as Jones is doing anything more than simply signing checks.
…aaaand I’m OUT like most of the (expletive) Packers (the author pauses to spit)…