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Week 10 Monday 10-pack

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Through 10 Sundays, the two conferences couldn’t be any more different.  The best teams in the NFC are obvious; in the AFC, the proposition changes on a weekly basis.

So let’s take the current temperature of the entire league by looking at the 10 story lines that caught our attention on Sunday.

Or at least the ones that caught my attention.

1.  Jim Harbaugh needs to teach John a thing or two.

It’s impossible to know whether the 49ers would have won their third through ninth games if they hadn’t lost to the Cowboys in Week Two.  Safety Donte Whitner recently pointed to the blown lead against Dallas as the biggest moment of the year for the Niners, propelling them to their string of seven straight wins, and counting.

Along the way, the 49ers have had plenty of chances to lay something other than a golden egg.  But stubbornly obsessive head coach Jim Harbaugh won’t let his team have a letdown.

And John Harbaugh would be smart to ask his brother how in the heck he does it.

John’s Ravens follow big wins with flat performances, losing winnable games after signature victories.  Beat the Steelers?  Lose in Nashville.  Beat the Texans?  Lose in Jacksonville.  Beat the Steelers again?  Lose in Seattle, um, ville.

Though I’ve previously blamed the inability to avoid playing down to the level of the competition on linebacker Ray Lewis, given that he’s the guy who has assumed the responsibility for ensuring that the dogs are indeed in the house, the head coach is responsible for finding ways to get grown men to take care of their business.

Yes, the Seahawks are hard to beat at home.  But when Jim Harbaugh goes there on Christmas Eve, a week after facing (and perhaps beating) the Steelers, he’ll likely make the locals feel like the unsuspecting residents of Whoville.

2.  Despite down year, DeSean’s absence hurt the Eagles.

Some Philly fans likely shrugged at the decision to deactivate receiver DeSean Jackson.  Since he’s having a down year and given that he primarily runs one route (i.e., deep), the Eagles had the weapons to win without him.

They didn’t.

After the game, running back LeSean McCoy confirmed that the Eagles missed DeSean.  “With the type of player he is, he plays a big role for this offense,” McCoy said, via comments distributed by the team.  “Any player that says we didn’t miss him is not being honest.”

Quarterback Mike Vick agreed.  “Anytime you [don't] have one of your premier players, one of your go-to guys, it does, yeah it does,” Vick said, via comments distributed by the team.  “But we have to respect the decisions that are made.  We wish it never had to come to that, but it is what it is and you still have to go out and win the football game.”

Per a league source, Vick privately expressed after the game that his 128-yard passing effort resulted from an inability to find a rhythm early.  So can any of that be blamed on the absence of Jackson, given that he wasn’t exactly having a Pro Bowl season?

To quote one of the most famous residents of Philadelphia, “Absolutely.”

In the West Coast offense, a receiver who can run fast in a straight line and pull both a corner and a safety deep helps open up the various underneath routes for guys like Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, Jason Avant, and Riley Cooper.  Even if Jackson doesn’t catch a single pass, his presence helps fuel the overall passing game by creating passing lanes for his teammate, and for his quarterback.

What else can explain the curious career of Todd Stinkston?

For DeSean and the Eagles, the long-term relationship took a major hit on Sunday based not on what he would have done with the ball in his hand, but based on what his presence would have meant for the ability of his teammates to get the ball into theirs.

3.  Schedule makers stick it to the Jets.

This year’s Thursday night schedule omits a quirk that had worked to the disadvantage of past teams operating on a short week.  In the past, road teams in a Thursday nighter sometimes played a road game the preceding Sunday, requiring them to travel home and then travel to another city between the end of the Sunday game and the start of the Thursday contest.

This year, every Thursday road team will have played at home the prior Sunday.  (Ideally, every home team on a Thursday would play on the road the prior Sunday, balancing out the time lost to travel on a short week.  But we’ll fight our windmills one at a time.)  The Jets, for example, played at home in Week 10 before going to Denver on Thursday night to kick off Week 11.

But the Jets still got shafted by the league office.

By playing a Sunday night game that ended close to midnight in New York, the Jets have eight hours less to recover and refocus than they would have had if the game had begun at 1:00 p.m. ET.  Though it may not seem like much, every minute counts when there are only 92 hours between the end of one game and the start of another.

Though the flexing dynamic can’t completely erase this possibility, Sunday night games should be scheduled with sensitivity to the Thursday night schedule, and decisions to slide games to Sunday night should take into account whether either of the teams in the late Sunday game will have to hit the road for another one only four days later.

4.  Deja vu for Kolb.

Last year, a concussion for Kevin Kolb in Week One opened the door for Mike Vick in Philly.  Though Kolb was assured by coach Andy Reid that Vick wouldn’t keep the job, Reid thereafter decided to stick with the hot hand — which eventually resulted in the Eagles giving Kolb the cold shoulder.

Now that he’s the quarterback of the present and future (supposedly) in Arizona, another injury has allowed another quarterback to go on another hot streak, and it could be another long year on the bench for Kolb.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated said during Sunday’s edition of Football Night in America that John Skelton will get at least another start, as the Cardinals try to topple the 8-1 49ers.  While it may be difficult if not impossible for Skelton’s redbirds to beat San Fran at Candlestick Park, the fact that Skelton has led the Cards to a 2-0 record after a 1-6 start under Kolb can’t be disregarded.

The key figure in all of this could be receiver Larry Fitzgerald.  Though the trade for Kolb surely helped Fitz decide to sign a long-term deal in lieu of hitting the market in 2012 (the Cardinals had no ability under his prior contract to use any tags to hold him in place), it hadn’t been clicking for Kolb and Fitzgerald, prompting Fitzgerald to recently complain about the absence of a high-end receiver who could absorb some of the attention.

On Sunday, operating against a defense that features Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Fitzgerald had seven catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns.  (He arguably had a third score late in the game, but coach Ken Whisenhunt opted not to challenge the ruling that Fitzgerald was touched before sliding across the goal line.)

Though it’s not Fitz’s style to make power plays, the powers-that-be in Arizona are smart enough to know that keeping their key player happy is one of the team’s top priorities.  And if Skelton, despite throwing more than a few ugly passes that looked more like volleyball serves, can deliver victory and energize Fitzgerald, Kolb will get extra time to recover from a stubborn case of turf toe.

In fact, team doctors may give the front of the foot an extra twist or two every time they examine it.

5.  Mike Smith makes a contract extension decision.

Some agree with the decision by Falcons coach Mike Smith to roll the dice on fourth and short from his own 29 in overtime.  Some don’t.  Regardless of whether Smith is compared to the genius Bill Belichick circa 2009 or the jester Barry Switzer circa 1995, the move took a lot of guts.  (Actually, Switzer had the last laugh in 1995; the Cowboys rebounded from that blown game against the Eagles to win the Super Bowl.)

It took the kind of guts that become much easier to muster when a guy has received a contract extension.

And that’s likely one of the reasons why Smith felt sufficiently comfortable to do it.  Signed to a new three-year extension in February, Smith has the kind of security that lets him take the kind of chances that would be hard for a lame duck to take.

Maybe Smith would have done the same thing if he was seven games from becoming a coaching free agent.  The point for now is that a guy who believes the front office believes in him will be more likely to take a big risk.

That said, Smith now has to persuade the locker room that he opted not to punt not because he lacks belief in his defense, especially since Smith explained after the game that the move was motivated by a fear that the Saints would put together a game-winning drive on its next possession.  Though that can be regarded as respect for the New Orleans offense, it also could be viewed as a diss of the Dirty Birds’ D.

6.  Glimmer of hope for Tebow.

Lost in the laughable stat line for the Broncos (55 runs, eight passes) is the significance of the 56-yard, on-the-money touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Tebow to receiver Eric Decker.

Apart from Tebow showing uncharacteristic, based on past performances, accuracy on the throw, Tebow delivered the ball without his characteristic catapult-style throwing motion.  The ball come out high and tight and it showed that the thousands of reps spent trying to reverse his muscle memory could be starting to work.  Though it doesn’t mean he’ll never revert to that looping Leftwich launcher, it’s a sign that, in time, Tebow has the potential to become a better passer.

And if he can become a better passer, he’ll become an unprecedented run-pass threat.

7.  Reid still needs to fear getting fired.

Three years ago, with his back pressed firmly against the wall following a dreadful performance in Baltimore that included the benching of Donovan McNabb, Eagles coach Andy Reid got it together on a short week, blasting the Cardinals on Thanksgiving night, 48-20.

With the Cardinals back in town after another sluggish, postseason-jeopardizing performance by the Eagles, the table was set for Reid to lead another late climb out of an unexpected hole.  Indeed, as the Giants faced the prospect of losing in San Fran (and the Giants did), a win would have given the Eagles a chance next Sunday night to close the NFC East gap down to one game.

In the days before what became a deflating defeat, a report surfaced that Reid basically will remain the head coach of the Eagles for as long as he wants to remain the head coach of the Eagles.

But is that really the smart approach?  Though it’s always wise to consider whether a new coach would make the situation better or worse, every football coach needs to fear the ultimate accountability that comes from chronic failure.

Without any real danger of being fired, Reid can continue to repeat the same old sound bites after every loss.

“[T]he way this team played is my responsibility,” Reid said Sunday.  “We have to make sure we get it corrected.”

But what if it doesn’t?  There’s no “or else” if owner Jeffrey Lurie isn’t willing to hold Reid responsible for failing to ever “get it corrected.”

And since there’s no way to hold Lurie responsible for failing to address the fact that his head coach is failing to correct the team’s problems, Eagles fans simply have to deal with it.

Unless Eagles fans are willing to cast their vote of no-confidence by closing their wallets and turning off their televisions.

8.  Niners may not want the top seed.

With the 49ers knocking down every opponent placed in front of them, but for Week Two against the Cowboys, a slip-up by the 8-0 Packers could open the door for Jim Harbaugh’s team to twist the road to the Super Bowl through San Francisco.

But do the 49ers really want to be the top seed?

Though Harbaugh will never entertain the possibility that anything good could come from aiming for anything less than the best possible outcome to the regular season, the 49ers match up better with the Packers in the elements.  With Green Bay relying on a finesse passing game and with the 49ers cobbling together the championship formula of running the ball and stopping the run, facing the defending champs on frozen tundra makes more sense than playing them on the relatively pristine playing surface in the home stadium where Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers dreamed of playing as a boy.

Plus, it’ll be easier for Harbaugh to weld a chip to his players’ shoulders if they enter Lambeau Field as the clear underdogs, and it’ll be far more memorable if the renewal of the playoff rivalry features an “Owens!  Owens!  He caught it!  He caught it!” moment on Green Bay’s home turf.

9.  It doesn’t take many dots to connect Jon Gruden to D.C.

It’s impossible to know whether Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is in trouble without having access to the thought processes of owner Daniel Snyder.  But we’ve seen the manifestations of his mind in the past, with no coach other than Joe Gibbs lasting more than two seasons during Snyder’s time as owner — and with Snyder pursuing Shanahan for nearly a year behind the back of former head coach Jim Zorn.

So it’s more than fair to wonder what Snyder may be doing behind Shanahan’s back as Shanahan approaches the non-Gibbs witching hour for Redskins head coaches with a 3-6 record and five straight losses.

If Snyder has fallen out of love with Shanahan, Snyder could be turning his attention to Jon Gruden.  With G.M. Bruce Allen having worked directly with Gruden both in Oakland and in Tampa, Snyder has direct access to a guy who knows what makes Gruden tick.

Given that Gruden won a Super Bowl with a quarterback that the Redskins discarded, Snyder easily could talk himself into thinking that Gruden’s single Lombardi with Brad Johnson carries greater weight than Shanahan’s back-to-back rides on the coattails of John Elway.

Throw in the fact that Philly fans will be clamoring for the Eagles to bring Gruden back to town for an assignment one level higher than offensive coordinator, and Snyder may decide that if he’s ever going to get Gruden, the time to move is now.

Either way, Shanahan has to be wondering if Snyder is currently doing what Snyder was doing when wooing Shanahan.

10.  Pay the man, Houston edition.

We’ve heard plenty this year about guys who want new contracts.  In Houston, we’re not hearing much about a guy who’ll be a restricted free agent after the season.

A year after leading the league in rushing only a year after joining the Texans as an undrafted free agent, and only two months after it appeared that a hamstring injury would relegate him to one-hit wonder status, Arian Foster looks every bit as good as he was last season.  Despite missing two games, he has 740 yards rushing, and 445 yards receiving.

He’s doing it all while getting paid the minimum salary for a third-year player.

Likely motivated by a keen awareness of the fungible nature of running backs, Foster didn’t hold out despite being an exclusive-rights free agent, which means that even though he couldn’t have signed with another team, he could have stayed away without being subject to fines or other penalties for violating his contract.

Unlike Chris Johnson, Foster showed up.  Unlike Peyton Hillis and DeSean Jackson, Foster isn’t pouting or moping or missing meetings or disappearing on a treatment day to get married.  Foster is simply lining up and doing his job, and if the Texans don’t take care of him soon, teammates will begin to wonder whether the organization is unwilling to reward the men who truly deserve it.

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42 Responses to “Week 10 Monday 10-pack”
  1. dalfanforever says: Nov 14, 2011 9:51 AM

    I don’t even think Gruden can fix this hot mess here in DC. He’s got ZERO to work with outside of Orakpo, Kerrigan and Fletcher.

  2. kleppnasty says: Nov 14, 2011 9:57 AM

    In response to #8. Two issues with this statement. First is that “Owens! Owens!” moment was in San Fran, as was “the Catch” so why would something this year be more memorable in Green Bay than in San Fran? Second, the wind in San Fran could equal the cold in Green Bay as far as curbing Aaron Rodgers pass attack. So I think all 9ers fans would rather have their team play in front of a home crowd rather than have the team travel to a hostile crowd in January.

  3. joetoronto says: Nov 14, 2011 10:01 AM

    Quarterback Mike Vick agreed. “Anytime you [don't] have one of your premier players, one of your go-to guys, it does, yeah it does,” Vick said, via comments distributed by the team. “But we have to respect the decisions that are made. We wish it never had to come to that, but it is what it is and you still have to go out and win the football game.”

    What the sociopath means is that he’s not at fault for that brutal display yet again yesterday.

    Mike: You stink, period.

  4. revrondog says: Nov 14, 2011 10:01 AM

    OH MY GOD!! Mike F didn’t write anything bad about Tebow, infact there was a compliment in there. My head just exploded…

  5. dukemarc says: Nov 14, 2011 10:02 AM

    Can we please stop calling DeSean Jackson an elite receiver/player? The guy stretches the field nicely and is good in the return game – that’s it. This year he has 29 catches for 503 yards and 2 TDs which isn’t even close to elite. For his career, he’s averaging less than 4 catches, less than 100 total yards(receiving, rushing and returns) and a half of TD per game – is any part of that elite?

  6. mogogo1 says: Nov 14, 2011 10:05 AM

    The one thing going for Gruden is I don’t believe he has a kid old enough to make a coordinator. I’m still not convinced the Redskins wouldn’t be fine with Shanny if he just fired Kyle. But he probably won’t do that.

    Gruden is essentially the same guy as Shanahan. His years after winning the SB in Tampa looked almost identical to Shanny’s years following the Denver SBs. Trouble finding a QB? Check. Lots of draft picks that didn’t really work? Check. Diminishing results as the years went by? Check. Huge ego that eventually turned off even his staunchest supporters? Check. The only difference is Tampa lived off their defense–isn’t Gruden supposedly an offensive coach?–while the Broncos strength was on offense.

  7. eaglesandravens says: Nov 14, 2011 10:06 AM

    I wonder if the eagles can get matt barkley.

  8. derekjetersmansion says: Nov 14, 2011 10:15 AM

    Why does Andy Reid never get the benefit of the doubt?

  9. jcw0646 says: Nov 14, 2011 10:16 AM

    “49ers cobbling together the championship formula of running the ball and stopping the run”

    Do people actually still believe this garbage? Look at all the past Super Bowl winners. They haven’t had this outdated “championship formula”.

  10. KIR says: Nov 14, 2011 10:19 AM

    Still could turn out really, really bad (injury) for Arian Foster. I hope not. But Chris Johnson did what was best FOR HIM AND HIS FAMILY. Football Teams have no concern about those things especially is you get injured or underperform.

  11. ravensfan4life52 says: Nov 14, 2011 10:20 AM

    Not worried about my Ravens. the road to the Super Bowl will go through Baltimore this year. We only beat good teams? Ok that’s fine because last time I checked the majority of the teams in the playoffs were good. We’re about to go on a 7 game win streak and blow out the rest of our opponents. 6 of our last 7 games of the season are against good teams or division rivals. We’ll have enough emotion to win those games. And even if Flacco throws 5 picks against the Colts I still don’t see us losing to that team.

  12. packattackisback says: Nov 14, 2011 10:28 AM

    Pretty sure that “finesse passing game” lead by Aaron Rodgers of the Packers was the main reason they earned their way into the playoffs last year in the final few games and went on to win the Super Bowl, so how the hell is that suddenly a less viable formula to winning a championship than what the “throwback” 49ers are doing?

    Even if the opposition’s fantasy-scenario of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense finally struggling because of the elements comes true (the next time that happens will also be the first), Green Bay could still rely on James Starks to carry them through a game. He has that ability, they just haven’t needed it from him yet. A potential low-scoring game against San Francisco would be the ideal time for him to get a load of carries. Again, that’s in the event that Aaron Rodgers has an “inevitable” off-game, which would also be a first.

  13. ticalcaldwell says: Nov 14, 2011 10:28 AM

    and nothing about how his precious Steelers almost lost to a Bengals team…minus all of its top players….and how Green went up over all of the Steelers top defenders and beat em…………….hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm nothing

  14. rugdaniels says: Nov 14, 2011 10:29 AM

    @dukemarc – I wouldn’t call Jackson an elite receiver either but the Eagles sure looked like they missed him yesterday

    @eaglesandravens – Makes no sense for the Eagles to draft a QB. They’re paying Vick way too much to be a backup and I don’t think they’ll release him either

  15. lucky5934 says: Nov 14, 2011 10:34 AM

    I have a few thoughts on the 10-Pack.

    - In regards to Tebow: “And if he can become a better passer, he’ll become an unprecedented run-pass threat.” Yes except Cam Newton has already showed more this year in that department than Tebow has. Vick has been doing it for a while. Randall Cunningham before that. So is it really “unprecendented”??

    - The Texans are stupid if they don’t lock Foster up before the end of the season. Yes, it is that simple!

    - Jackson or not, not even Manute Bowl could have caught some of those passes. Vick has no excuse for a 32.5 rating. If he can’t play better than that because Jackson is not in the offense, then the Eagles better pay Jackson immediately and let him skip all of the special teams meetings he wants. Because OBVIOUSLY (sarcasm alert) Vick can not be a successful QB against a poor defense without Jackson.

    - I don’t really understand the 49ers not wanting the first seed post. I mean I get the fact they are playing well with a chip on their shoulder. But I would dare say they would rather bring Green Bay out of their comfort zone of the cold Wisconsin weather, then head into a zero degree weather comfort zone.

  16. moochzilla says: Nov 14, 2011 10:34 AM

    Andy Reid actively pursues diva WR’s, and then proceeds to mismanage the relationship.

    You don’t change these guys, you coddle them. And if you aren’t prepared to do that, then stay as far away from them as humanly possible.

    That’s not right, everyone should be a professional, but we’re dealing with the reality of a diva WR.

    And Reid is wholly unfit to manage that relationship. And it costs us a SB a few years back with T.O., and it’s costing us games now with Jackson.

    At the NFL level, 90% a coach’s job is to manage the personalities of over-paid diva athletes (it’s 100% of an NBA coach’s job). Anyone can do X’s and O’s. The guys that win are the ones that get the most out of the personnel.

  17. canjura says: Nov 14, 2011 10:39 AM

    “The ball come out high and tight and it showed that the thousands of reps spent trying to reverse his muscle memory could be starting to work.”

    shouldn’t it be CAME out high?

  18. pflynn20 says: Nov 14, 2011 10:50 AM

    Seriously, their can’t be any more Andy Reid defenders out there…Is there anyone out there who still can’t see the arrogance of Andy Reid? Not using McCoy more in this game is a perfect example of arrogance, and an I know better attitude. I’ll do what I planned to do, regardless of whether it’s the right thing or not. Giving the DC position to Castillo who has zero defensive coaching experience is another example along with giving Vick $100 million to lead the league in interceptions. It’s becoming more and more clear that Andy Reid is not a quality coach as most thought he was, and was making a living off the coat tails of a young and athletic McNabb and the expertise of Jim Johnson. McNabb grew older and unfortunately JJ passed away and we are witnessing Andy Reid on his own now, with no one to cover up his ineptitude. What good coach doesn’t value LB’s? Green Bay does, San Fran does, Pitt does, Chicago does, what a surprise that the better teams in the league all have good to very good linebackers. Juan Castillo has taken three, count em THREE, All-Pro Cornerbacks at some point in their careers and turned them into the worse secondary in the NFL.

  19. trollhammer20 says: Nov 14, 2011 10:58 AM

    You actually referred to Candlestick…or whatever corporate name it’s going by these days…as being “relatively pristine”?

    When the tide is high, that place is a swamp.

  20. jrmbadger says: Nov 14, 2011 11:05 AM

    Don’t sleep on the Packers running game. They don’t run a lot because they have Aaron Rodgers. Would you run the ball a lot with Rodgers and those receivers?

    But just because they don’t, doesn’t mean they cant. If anything they demonstrated they can with a game clinching 5 run 55 yard steamrolling against the top 5 in run defense Vikings.

  21. citnetter says: Nov 14, 2011 11:13 AM

    Where are the “Foster is a one-hit wonder” idiots now? The dude is the most dangerous RB in the league with his running and receiving skills combined with his speed and elusiveness. On top of that, he’s a team guy. He had every right to hold out, but came in to prove last year wasn’t a fluke.

  22. bobbyhoying says: Nov 14, 2011 11:14 AM

    As to the point about Andy Reid… Do you really believe anything the Eagles’ F.O. says? They say Reid is safe, just like Reid says one thing and does the opposite.

  23. Stiller43 says: Nov 14, 2011 11:15 AM

    Ticalcaldwell,

    Seriously? A rival came into the bengals house and beat them by a td…bengals never had a lead, and yet the bengals should get praise for almost winning at home? Seriously?

  24. ramofsteel says: Nov 14, 2011 11:15 AM

    So the Jets get a pass b/c of being “sticked by the schedule makers.” But not the Rams when they faced the Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Redskins, Packers, Cowboys, and Saints…all in a row???

    Not b/c the “Sanchize” has been ineffective more times than not, on a pretty healthy team?

  25. nesportsfan0428 says: Nov 14, 2011 11:16 AM

    Maybe Daniel Snyder should fire himself. He’s a joke of an owner, who’s done nothing but hinder his team for the past decade.

    He’s an overgrown man-child who breaks his toys, then blames everyone else that the toy doesn’t work.

  26. mondzy805 says: Nov 14, 2011 11:17 AM

    For all you 49ers haters out their. On Sunday, it will be our 2nd division game this year. That’s right, and were 4-0 on the road this year. These are call facts, like the 49ers are back. 49ers Faithful Stand Up.

  27. vambomarble says: Nov 14, 2011 11:29 AM

    Texans have never had this problem before…

    a) they have had to pay free agents to come here because winning/playoffs was not in the near future

    b) had talent… but not as a team on both sides of the ball.

    c) Rookie’s drove up salaries before this year’s collective barganing agreement is going to make it HARD to sign Mario Williams next year when Reed is a cheaper/younger replacement.

    d) Paid a guy like Dominick Davis (Williams) after leading the NFL in rushing/pass receiptions for RB and he was done the next year…

    e) Tate is in the backfield as a 2nd rd draft choice…

    Foster is a strange bird… worthy of keeping happy. I think he is durable too, so might be the exception in this system to last longer than Terrel Davis from Superbowl Bronco’s fame.

  28. anhdazman says: Nov 14, 2011 11:47 AM

    To say the 49ers don’t want the top seed is one of the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. So SF rather fly to GB for a Championship game in January? Snow, cold, ect, rather than in the confines of their own home stadium with their own crowd cheering them on?

    One of two completions and you think Tebow is going to improve on that. Right.

  29. trollhammer20 says: Nov 14, 2011 12:30 PM

    Regarding the Harbaughs, one of them is with a team that’s been in the playoffs for a few years now, and has been widely regarded as a Super Bowl favorite for the past few seasons.

    The Niners really have very little reason for overconfidence. Most of the personnel are the same guys that started 0-5 under Singletary only 14 months ago. They are more likely to have a clear understanding of how thin the line can be between success and failure in this league….a lesson the Ravens appear to be learning on a weekly basis this year.

  30. Zachariah Claybaugh says: Nov 14, 2011 12:30 PM

    The Texans definitely need to pay Arian Foster. Check out my article on the Texans by clicking my username at the top of this post.

  31. getyourownname says: Nov 14, 2011 12:45 PM

    “Gruden to DC” is the kind of mindless talking head idiocy that gives you guys a bad name.

    Shanny has a 5-year, $35MM contract. Think he’ll be walking away, or that DS will swallow the balance, any time soon? Nah, neither do iI

  32. andyb053 says: Nov 14, 2011 12:46 PM

    PLEASE fire Andy Reid! I want him on the Skins teaching Barkley the ways of the NFL. Unlike Shanahan, I have confidence that Reid can mold a QB.

  33. snarkzilla says: Nov 14, 2011 1:31 PM

    11. Andrew Luck is a shoo-in to become a Fat Hump.

  34. snarkzilla says: Nov 14, 2011 1:35 PM

    >Unlike Shanahan, I have confidence that Reid can mold a QB

    Hmm. You ditched one of Reid’s brilliant QB successes already. Why not skip the development time and just trade for the other one? I think Arizona might be interested.

  35. topgun1019 says: Nov 14, 2011 1:44 PM

    @moochzilla:

    Respectfully, I disagree. As a 49′ers fan, I can honestly tell you that not “…everyone can do X’s & O’s.”

    See Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary

  36. mangy66 says: Nov 14, 2011 2:26 PM

    Are we forgetting what Gruden also did with another Redskins QB they discarded…

    Rich Gannon

    Didn’t they make it to the Super Bowl with him in Oakland? Didn’t Gruden turn him into a top echelon QB for ~3 seasons?

  37. philrat says: Nov 14, 2011 2:37 PM

    Texans – they will pay Foster…just waiting to prove he can be consistent at a high level for more than 1 season which he is doing.

    Eagles – they need to fire Reid. He is not a Super Bowl winning coach because he relies on the pass too much. He is a better offensive coordinator than head coach. He doesn’t emphasize defense and running the ball enough to win a Super Bowl and is another Mike Martz. Spending all that money on free agents and not making his core players happy was a big mistake!!

  38. melikefootball says: Nov 14, 2011 2:56 PM

    The Raven fan does not comment on how many flags were thrown agains the Seahawks that led to field goals instead of TD’s or the fact the last drive by Ravens the flags kept the drive alive. We all saw on national TV when they beat the Steelers the players acted as if the won the Super Bowl with even dumping the water on the coach. The Ravens have become the talkers of the league but have let down on the big games for years.

  39. stairwayto7 says: Nov 14, 2011 3:56 PM

    Jets have not won a Super Bowl in 40 years and to me seems like they gte Sunday night games at HOME!
    Skelton beats forty whiners next week!

  40. mook1987 says: Nov 14, 2011 6:20 PM

    I sure do hope these thoughts about Reid are true. It certainly seems like valid points about his relationships with players. He seemed to mess around with Mcnabb ALOT. As a Dallas fan this next 3-4 years could be good with Washington looking bad and Philly not coming up as big as most seemed.

  41. fmwarner says: Nov 14, 2011 6:33 PM

    1. The Texans should try to re-sign Foster soon, but they shouldn’t go nuts with the guaranteed money. Ben Tate is sitting there playing very well on his rookie contract. Make Foster the same sort of reasonable offer the Bears made Forte, and don’t budge.

    2. Everyone forgets the way Gruden coached AFTER he won the Super Bowl, which is the bulk of his head coaching career. He won with Dungy’s players and then the Bucs got worse as Gruden’s influence had time to take hold.

  42. r8rh8r says: Nov 14, 2011 6:45 PM

    Schedule makers stick it to the Jets…Awwww, feel so bad for them. How about a Monday night away game, then a Sunday game, followed by a Thursday game? 3 games in 11 days for the DISchargers. Not that it matters, NOrv would find a way to lose all 3 games if they were spread out over 3 months….

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