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Week 12 Monday 10-pack

Matt Leinart AP

Almost 12 weeks of the 2011 season are in the books, and there are only so many things we know.

The Packers are good.  The Colts are bad.  And Ndamukong Suh is in trouble.

For the 30 other teams and 1,700 other players, who knows what’s going on?  Let’s try to make sense of some of it via 10 of the story lines coming out of Sunday’s (and one of Thursday’s) games.

1.  Texans need a proven veteran.

It’s pretty clear that the Texans have decided not to flirt with Brett Favre for the stretch run.  But that doesn’t mean it makes sense to go with T.J. Yates, Kellen Clemens, and possibly Brodie Croyle at quarterback.

While that three-headed monster could be enough to fend off the pesky Titans for the AFC South crown, it won’t be enough to advance in a playoff field featuring the likes of the Patriots, Ravens, and Steelers.

And so the Texans need a proven veteran with playoff experience.  Whether that’s Favre or Jeff Garcia or even Jeff George, the playoff-bound Texans will be a bunch of wide-eyed kids on their first trip to the amusement park, and they’d benefit from someone who has ridden a roller coaster once or twice.

Even Daunte Culpepper would be a better option than Yates, Clemens, and Croyle.  After all, Culpepper has played in four playoff games, winning two and losing two.

Texans fans defended the decision to give the keys to Leinart by pointing out the low-risk passing game, the chains-moving running game, and the brick-wall defense.  But that same reasoning applies to a veteran quarterback, too.

In the Texans offense, no quarterback will be expected to do all that much.  A veteran with playoff experience will be far better suited to do what needs to be done, when it counts the most.

2.  McNabb should pull an Orton.

After the Bears lost quarterback Jay Cutler to a broken thumb, Kyle Orton asked for, and received, his walking papers from the Broncos.  So with the Texans needing a quarterback, why isn’t Vikings backup Donovan McNabb doing the same thing?

He claims he still can play, and he believes he shouldn’t have been benched.  McNabb therefore should request his release and hope that he slides down to the Texans on the waiver priority list.

Even if he doesn’t, any chance to play is better than holding a clipboard for a 2-9 team.  If McNabb is holding out any hope of getting a starting job in 2012, he’d benefit from being on the field in the 2011 postseason.

Until then, his failure to even make a play to get out of Minnesota should prompt legitimate speculation about his actual desire to compete.

3.  High praise for A.J. Green.

Receivers taken in the first round of the draft often underwhelm at the NFL level.  Bengals rookie receiver A.J. Green provides the latest exception to that rule.

He’s Randy Moss without the attitude, making great catches via a long body and uncanny ball skills that leave players like 2010 first-round pick Joe Haden helpless when trying to stop him.

Green’s three-catch, 110-yard performance against Cleveland included a 51-yard play that set up the game-winning field goal.  After the 7-4 Bengals reversed a two-game losing streak by beating the Browns, Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis gave Green the ultimate endorsement.

“He’s the best first-round draft pick I’ve ever been around,” Marvin Lewis said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He continues to amaze me, every day.”

How big of a deal is that?  In 1996, Marvin Lewis worked in Baltimore, where the Ravens picked up tackle Jonathan Ogden and linebacker Ray Lewis in the first round of the draft.

Both are headed for Canton.  In Marvin’s assessment, Green already is on the trajectory.

And Marvin is right.

4.  Chris Johnson saves his job.

The bad news for Titans tailback Chris Johnson after a 23-carry, 190-yard performance against the Bucs?  He still doesn’t have the explosiveness he displayed during the first three years of his career.

The good news?  He’ll get the chance to find it in 2012.

Although the Titans retain the ability to avoid most of the supposedly guaranteed money contained in Johnson’s new contract by cutting him after the season, Johnson has done enough to persuade the Titans to stick with him.  With the benefit of a full offseason program and training camp and preseason, Johnson could rediscover the quality that puts him a step ahead of all running backs not named Adrian Peterson.

It may not happen, but the Titans surely won’t risk that it will happen with another team.

5.  The Tebowmania effect.

Lost in the impact that Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has on his teammates is the impact he possibly has on his opponents.  (And, no, I’m not referring to the entirely different kind of Tebowing in which Chargers kicker Nick Novak engaged on Sunday.)

Despite the obsession that some have with statistics, football remains the unique product of 22 moving parts, fueled more by intangibles than metrics, especially where the metrics tend to balance each other out.  If 11 of the players possess genuine confidence in their skills, they can perform better than the sum of their parts.  And if they lack confidence, the opposite can occur.

That’s the other side of the Tebowmania effect.  The Broncos now believe that they can keep games close and find a way to win — and teams like the Chargers believe that the Broncos will keep games close and find a way to win.

With each passing week, the team that Tebow plays will have to overcome his uncanny ability to overcome.  And that factor is far more dangerous than a rocket arm or a sub-4.4 40-yard dash or the ability to bench press 225 pounds up to 225 times.

Objectively, there was no reason that the Broncos should have beaten the Chargers in San Diego on Sunday.  The home team had lost five games in a row, the head coach occupies one of the hottest seats in all of football, and the Chargers on paper seem to be the better team.

But the Tebowmania effect allowed Denver to keep it close — and to find a way to win.  Unless and until someone breaks that spell, the Broncos will remain a serious threat not only to make the playoffs but also to do some serious damage once they get there.

6.  “Fire Andy,” and then what?

The pitchforks and torches, which have been taken out and then put away and then taken out again and then put away again, are once again out.  And this time they’re likely staying out for the rest of the season.

With the 4-7 Eagles needing to run the table and hope for plenty of help, what happens if (when) they fail to qualify for the postseason?  The home crowd has begun chanting “Fire Andy!,” an indignity that hasn’t been loudly foisted upon anyone in the NFL since Matt Millen left Detroit for good.  Given that the Eagles went “all in” for 2011, with president Joe Banner telling PFT Live that the line between success and failure resides at winning the Super Bowl, common sense suggests that failing to succeed means walking away from the table, not getting another stack of chips with which to go “all in” again.

So what happens if Reid gets fired?  Does owner Jeffrey Lurie believe he can find someone as good, and hopefully better, than Reid?

Then there’s the issue of the front office.  With Reid supposedly still in charge, Banner and G.M. Howie Roseman could be vulnerable if Lurie tries to hire someone like Bill Cowher, who would want to have the same power that Reid has enjoyed, along with the ability to hire a new set of lieutenants.

It becomes a complex and risky exercise for Lurie, making the status quo safer, and thus more likely.  Even though things haven’t gotten better under Reid lately, they could get a lot worse.

7.  Lame-duck reluctance could result in plenty of vacancies.

Through nearly 12 full weeks of the 2011 season, no teams have fired their head coaches.  Once the 2011 season ends, at least six coaches will slide into the spotlight, for one very important reason.

For coaches whose contracts expire after the 2012 season, teams must decide whether to extend the contracts, to allow them to coach as lame ducks next year, or to move on and/or move out.

That dynamic applies to at least a half-dozen men:  Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris, Chiefs coach Todd Haley, Colts coach Jim Caldwell, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, and Giants coach Tom Coughlin.  Five of the six lost on Sunday, and the last one could lose on Monday night at New Orleans.

Over the past four weeks, those teams have generated a combined record of 5-20.  Apart from the Giants, none are in serious contention for the postseason.

So when Black Monday (not to be confused with Black Friday) arrives the morning after New Year’s Day, pay close attention to those six teams.  Assuming that none of them decide before then to make a change.

8.  Niners are still in great shape.

It would be easy to assume that the 49ers’ bubble has burst, via a 10-point loss in Baltimore on Thanksgiving night.

It would be easy.  But it also would be incorrect.

Look at the schedule and the standings.  The 9-2 Niners still play four games — four games — against NFC West teams.  And they play the hapless Rams not once, but twice.

Even if the 49ers lose to the visiting Steelers in San Fran on Monday, December 19, the 49ers easily should get to 13-3, which would be enough to secure the second seed in the NFC.

Yes, at some point they may face another defense that could chase Alex Smith all over the field.  But that may not happen unless they face the Bears in the postseason — or until the 49ers take on the the Ravens again, not in Baltimore but at a neutral site in February.

Either way, the 49ers will continue to be a significant factor down the stretch.  If anything, that loss knocks them toward the edge of the radar screen in the short term, which is probably where coach Jim Harbaugh would prefer to be anyway.

9.  The DeSean dilemma.

Regardless of whether Andy Reid stays or goes, the Eagles have a significant personnel issue on the horizon:  What should they do with receiver DeSean Jackson?

He’ll be a free agent after the season.  In recent weeks, Jackson has been deactivated after missing a meeting, flagged for a taunting penalty that wiped out a 50-yard gain (thanks to a bizarre quirk in the rules), and benched in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s latest loss, following another key drop.

Once presumed the Eagles would use the franchise tag in the hopes of signing Jackson to a long-term deal, the team may now opt to make a change.  But that doesn’t mean they’ll let him walk away.  Instead, look for the Eagles to apply the franchise tag (which will cost $9.5 million in cap space), to make him available in trade, to search for a replacement via free agency or the draft, and possibly to rescind the franchise tender if they can’t move him — and if they can find another guy to return punts and run “go” routes.

The risk of that approach comes from Jackson signing the franchise tender, which would guarantee him a base salary of $9.5 million in 2012; it equates to more than 15.8 times his $600,000 base salary in 2011.  And that would be Jackson’s smartest move, if he’s tagged.  Otherwise, the Eagles could end up removing the franchise tender later in the offseason (like they previously did to Jeremiah Trotter and Corey Simon), making Jackson an unrestricted free agent well after the vast majority of the unrestricted free agency money has flowed.

For that reason alone, the Eagles possibly could decide not to apply the franchise tag at all, something that would be more likely to happen if owner Jeffrey Lurie decides to clean house.

10.  “Bowe doesn’t know football.”

Last night’s far-closer-than-expected game between the Steelers and Chiefs included a late effort by the Chiefs to drive for the winning touchdown.  Unthinkable given Kansas City’s recent inability to score offensive touchdowns but not impossible given Pittsburgh’s recent history of giving up big drives late, the Chiefs made it interesting.

Until receiver Dwayne Bowe blew it.

With the Chiefs facing first and 15 from the Pittsburgh 37, Bowe shot down the field, throwing his hand in the air — the universal football gesture that means, “I’m going deep.”

But then, right after Bowe called for a long throw, he broke to the post.  Tyler Palko already had launched toward where Bowe would have been.  And it landed where a Steelers defender was.

Making things worse for the Chiefs, and for Bowe, was a half-hearted (hoof-hearted) effort to catch the ball.  Bowe jumped but he didn’t extend, possibly wary of a rib-breaking blow to the midsection.

Bowe’s effort, or lack thereof, drew harsh criticism from NBC’s Cris Collinsworth, a former receiver who has the experience and the knowledge to justify criticism of a current player at the position.  And for a guy like Bowe, who’ll be heading to free agency after the season, a better try needs to be made in those situations.

It’s not as if a victory last night would have propelled the Chiefs back into the race for the AFC West crown or a wild-card berth, but it could have.  The loss instead dropped Kansas City to 4-7, making it difficult if not impossible for the Chiefs to qualify for the postseason and/or for coach Todd Haley to keep his job.

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45 Responses to “Week 12 Monday 10-pack”
  1. xstaticonradio says: Nov 28, 2011 9:10 AM

    What’s with you always trying to push Culpepper? I knew you would the second I read the title for #1. He’s terrible and he hasn’t done anything since he played with Moss.

  2. bamasleeper13 says: Nov 28, 2011 9:15 AM

    Hey Mike, answer a question for me. Do players go into the HOF as a member of the last team you played on? For example will Farve go in as a Viking?

  3. southpaw2k says: Nov 28, 2011 9:16 AM

    11. The Patriots are overrated yet again.

    They may have beaten down on the Eagles and eliminated them from contending for the playoffs, but this is the same team who, not even a month ago, was being called out for having finished their dynasty run. They are no different from their baseball counterparts in the Red Sox in being able to put together solid regular season performances, but collapse in the playoffs (though the Red Sox managed to collapse during the final month of the baseball season this year). Their weaknesses on defense will be exposed yet again this postseason when they face the likes of Pittsburgh or Baltimore.

  4. howley1 says: Nov 28, 2011 9:17 AM

    To get to the top you have to sometimes flirt with the bottom. If Lurie fails to shake things up it’s proof that he’s playing with scared money. He’ll never win a Super Bowl no matter who is the coach. Better… MUCH better coaches than Andy Reid have been fired. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse but at least it shows that you’re not sitting on your hands.

    For all the crap that is said about Jerry Jones at least he doesn’t sit on his hands and accept the status quo out of FEAR. “Things could be worse” is a loser’s mantra.

  5. rmc1995 says: Nov 28, 2011 9:21 AM

    If Reid gets fired look for Jeff Fischer to be called. San Diego and Jacksonville
    may be fighting for him though.

  6. joetoronto says: Nov 28, 2011 9:22 AM

    “Until then, his failure to even make a play to get out of Minnesota should prompt legitimate speculation about his actual desire to compete.”

    McNabb does NOT want to play anymore, he’s merely stealing his pay and he’s just fine with that.

    I don’t understand how you can’t see it.

  7. jimmysee says: Nov 28, 2011 9:30 AM

    Dwayne Bowe might have played himself out of the league with that one. He looked like the Mummy with his arms to his sides.

  8. smoothjimmyapollo says: Nov 28, 2011 9:42 AM

    “Do players go into the HOF as a member of the last team you played on? For example will Farve go in as a Viking?”

    He’ll go in as Brett Favre. Unlike baseball, players don’t pick a team when going into the NFL HOF.

  9. picksix401 says: Nov 28, 2011 9:44 AM

    @southpaw2k -

    Are you serious? Brady traditionally owns the Steelers, who scored 0 points in the second half against the CHIEFS last night, with their ONLY touchdown coming off a horribly underthrown Palko interception that set them up inside the 10. New England WILL have home field throughout. The Ravens have an inept offense (sorry Flacco, you’re strictly average), and no one else in the AFC can really contend unless you’re talking about the Schaubless Texans. Wait until the injuries are straightened out, and you’ll watch New England’s defense fix itself on the fly. This is a quality team, my friend. Not Detroit-overrated, and CERTAINLY not Philly-overrated.

    P.S. I’d love to hear what your favorite team is…

  10. Stiller43 says: Nov 28, 2011 9:46 AM

    I thought a receiver throwing his hand up was the universal sign for “im open, throw to me,” not “i’m going deep”… No?

  11. huejackson says: Nov 28, 2011 9:47 AM

    Loks like Rex Ryans Brother will be the a head coach next year… He will coach the Eagles….
    And by the way notice how PFT and the media ignores that The Raiders are one of the best teams in the NFL this year….

  12. BuccaneerBloodline23 says: Nov 28, 2011 9:50 AM

    As a Bucs fan I say this, Coach Ra should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY and his ENTIRE coach staff. Free should be bench until he realizes that he is not in kindergarten anymore because his decision making is infantile. And our defense is absolutely atrocious across the board.

  13. nesuperfan says: Nov 28, 2011 9:54 AM

    “Johnson has done enough to persuade the Titans to stick with him.”

    If so…C-H-U-M-P-S.

  14. watermelon1 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:21 AM

    If the 49ers met the Ravens again… It would not be a neutral site. The fans took over Indianapolis when the Ravens went there for the playoffs two seasons ago. It would be even bigger for the Super Bowl. Fans would love to see Baltimore win the Super Bowl in Jim Irsay’s own stadium. Then they can drive back home on Mayflower trucks.

  15. dgstan says: Nov 28, 2011 10:37 AM

    Your fawning over the Texans is getting old and it really doesn’t make sense. The Raiders spanked them early in the season when they had a QB. Why you think they will still roll with a Trent Dilfer behind center is beyond me.

    You drooled over the Chargers in much the same manner and look where that got you. Please try to be objective and looks at scores, stats, and level of opponents. Don’t get distracted by the pretty uniforms.

  16. trigzter says: Nov 28, 2011 10:41 AM

    release desean. sign bowe. done.

  17. mannyicey says: Nov 28, 2011 10:41 AM

    First up, McNabb’s done. Expect him at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in the off-season and ESPN come August. He has nothing left.

    Secondly, Tebowmania, while being fun, is actually a solid running game, strong defense, and the ability o win it in the end. It’s actually pretty solid.

    Third- The Eagles may get rid of Andy Reid, but I think that would be a mistake. I think that the top brass will make Reid find better coaches, but I think they will keep him. From what I see, the offense isn’t the problem. Philly’s defense stinks.

    Oh, and Raheem Morris shouldn’t go anywhere, either. Yes, he’s had a bad year. But I think he will bounce back next year. Remember, he had this team playing better than their talent for the past few years. And they are all still really young. Let them overcome adversity.

    As far as Jeff Fisher is concerned, I can see him going to the Colts. I would. See, you would have Peyton Manning, and upgrades in the draft (I wouldn’t choose Luck, though. I would try to upgrade elsewhere and get a qb later on.) So you will have a younger team with an offensive coordinator on the field. That’s a good job, once Manning comes back.

  18. Land Snark says: Nov 28, 2011 10:44 AM

    “So what happens if Reid gets fired? Does owner Jeffrey Lurie believe he can find someone as good, and hopefully better, than Reid?”

    Reid has run his course. It’s the same bumbling, stumbling, “It’s on me. We’ll get better.” routine but with diminishing panache each time.

    It’s time to find a young coach who shows the same type of drive and organization that Reid did 13 years ago.

    Sometimes a fresh start is exactly what’s needed.

  19. The Prophet says: Nov 28, 2011 10:45 AM

    I don’t know if you’re just mugging for comments, but Donovan McNabb for the Texans? Seriously? did u watch him play? Texans would be better off with a one legged Schaub or a mushy collarboned Matt Leinart than that waste of space McNabb.

    McNabb is the anti-Tebow, he will always find a way to lose the game.

  20. dgstan says: Nov 28, 2011 10:47 AM

    No mention of the Raiders big win against the toughest defense in the league? Something tells me they won’t be cracking your Top Ten this week yet again.

    Four-day-old Niner stories and AJ Green helping beat the hapless Browns are much more interesting, no?

  21. ravc82 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:49 AM

    picksix401 says:
    Nov 28, 2011 9:44 AM
    @southpaw2k -

    Are you serious? Brady traditionally owns the Steelers, who scored 0 points in the second half against the CHIEFS last night, with their ONLY touchdown coming off a horribly underthrown Palko interception that set them up inside the 10. New England WILL have home field throughout. The Ravens have an inept offense (sorry Flacco, you’re strictly average), and no one else in the AFC can really contend unless you’re talking about the Schaubless Texans. Wait until the injuries are straightened out, and you’ll watch New England’s defense fix itself on the fly. This is a quality team, my friend. Not Detroit-overrated, and CERTAINLY not Philly-overrated.

    P.S. I’d love to hear what your favorite team is…
    ————————————————–

    Do you even remember the last time the Patriots played the Ravens (and even Steelers for that matter)?

    If you don’t- maybe you should watch ESPN’s A Football Life again on your boy Belichick. It was in your home, with a better Pats team, against who? Flacco and co.

  22. southpaw2k says: Nov 28, 2011 11:02 AM

    picksix401 says:
    Nov 28, 2011 9:44 AM
    @southpaw2k -

    Are you serious? Brady traditionally owns the Steelers, who scored 0 points in the second half against the CHIEFS last night, with their ONLY touchdown coming off a horribly underthrown Palko interception that set them up inside the 10. New England WILL have home field throughout. The Ravens have an inept offense (sorry Flacco, you’re strictly average), and no one else in the AFC can really contend unless you’re talking about the Schaubless Texans. Wait until the injuries are straightened out, and you’ll watch New England’s defense fix itself on the fly. This is a quality team, my friend. Not Detroit-overrated, and CERTAINLY not Philly-overrated.

    P.S. I’d love to hear what your favorite team is…

    ————————————————

    Whole lotta good home field advantage did for the Patriots in the playoffs the last two years.

    And I’m a Ravens fan.

  23. bearsrulepackdrool says: Nov 28, 2011 11:08 AM

    “Bowe doesn’t know football” huh? I take it you missed that fourth down catch he made and had the sense to roll for the first down when he wasn’t touched. Then again one bad play trumps a players entire catalog of knowledge, right?

  24. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Nov 28, 2011 11:40 AM

    Couple of self-evident truths: Any team with playoff hopes needs to spend on a “usable” backup QB. What is the sense of paying a guy all season and as soon as the starter goes down start looking outside for a fix that includes names like, Jeff George, Culpepper, Favre etc. Hard to believe smart teams leave themselves so exposed.

    Anybody paying big $$$$ to these moronic wide receivers like Desean J. or Steve Johnson gets what they deserve. Throw running backs that bitch and moan and hold out in that pig pile also.

  25. firethewalrus says: Nov 28, 2011 11:54 AM

    Andy Reid may be the best coach in Eagles history, but that doesn’t mean anything to Eagles’ fans anymore. For all his winning and all his records, he will never have a statue built in his likeness. No streets will be named “Andy Reid Way.” The Linc will never be known as “The House That Reid Built.” And that says a lot.

    Fire The Walrus

  26. bigcatdaddy says: Nov 28, 2011 12:10 PM

    Ive been watching the NFL for over 30 years now and I must say this has been one of the most interesting and dramatic season yet. A.J. Green has impressed me every time he has taken the field. Even if your not a Bengals fan watch a game and I guarantee you’ll feel the same. I haven’t seen a pass yet this guy can’t haul in and his speed is deceiving. With those long legs it almost lookes like he’s jogging out there untill you see him blow past or pull away from guys like they’re standing still. The kid has a very bright future ahead.

  27. jrsmits says: Nov 28, 2011 12:14 PM

    Hey Mike, answer a question for me. Do players go into the HOF as a member of the last team you played on? For example will Farve go in as a Viking?

    Brett Farve will be in the HOF as a Packer. He will be remembered as a Packer. All the records he holds, he attained as a Packer.

  28. bradwins says: Nov 28, 2011 12:16 PM

    Did the Patriots play this weekend??

  29. lawboy2000 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:20 PM

    Mess with the Eagles reminds me of the classic confrontation between their former head coach Buddy Ryan and current NYG offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride while both were with the run-and-shoot Houston Oilers: actions speak louder than words.

    Lurie should clean house, dump DeSean Jackson and Vince Young, then bring in former Eagles assistant Jeff Fisher.

  30. CKL says: Nov 28, 2011 12:58 PM

    ravc82 says:
    Nov 28, 2011 10:49 AM

    Do you even remember the last time the Patriots played the Ravens (and even Steelers for that matter)?

    If you don’t- maybe you should watch ESPN’s A Football Life again on your boy Belichick. It was in your home, with a better Pats team, against who? Flacco and co.
    ________________________________
    The last time the Pats played the Ravens, they beat them (2010 season).

    The 09 Pats were BY FAR one of the worst teams BB ever coached. Mentally weak, physically pathetic. Bunch of “ME” guys. How he got 10 wins out of that squad I’ll never know. This year’s Pats, flawed as they are, would DEMOLISH the 09 Pats. They’re MUCH more mentally and physically tough and they execute better in critical spots this year. Who knows if they win a playoff game this year or even get to the playoffs? We’ll see…but I am much happier with this version of the Pats than I have been in a long while .

  31. havok82 says: Nov 28, 2011 1:24 PM

    @southpaw2k

    The media is too up and down on the Pats. When they win, it’s a love-fest. When they lose, it’s the end of the dynasty. The reality is somewhere in the middle.

    What happened versus Baltimore or even versus NY is as likely to happen as not, but not one team in the AFC should be overconfident right now. Even the best team in the NFC has some holes on defense. I am a Pats fan and I think that Baltimore is the most complete team in the AFC right now. It will be hard to truly evaluate the Pats from now until year end because they play a rather pedestrian schedule.

  32. neagle64 says: Nov 28, 2011 1:30 PM

    trigzter says:
    Nov 28, 2011 10:41 AM
    release desean. sign bowe. done.

    How about both the Chiefs and the Eagles franchise their respective WRs then make a trade?

    Not sure which team would come out on top of that transaction but it could be a win/win (or lose/lose) scenario.

  33. racerx1225 says: Nov 28, 2011 1:49 PM

    Culpepper? Are you kidding me? That guy is as washed up as a hyperdermic needle on a beach.

    Jeff Garcia’s phone should be ringing right now.

  34. southpaw2k says: Nov 28, 2011 1:56 PM

    havok82 says:
    Nov 28, 2011 1:24 PM
    @southpaw2k

    The media is too up and down on the Pats. When they win, it’s a love-fest. When they lose, it’s the end of the dynasty. The reality is somewhere in the middle.

    What happened versus Baltimore or even versus NY is as likely to happen as not, but not one team in the AFC should be overconfident right now. Even the best team in the NFC has some holes on defense. I am a Pats fan and I think that Baltimore is the most complete team in the AFC right now. It will be hard to truly evaluate the Pats from now until year end because they play a rather pedestrian schedule.

    ————————————————-

    I agree with nearly everything you said, but I would still say the Pats are well past their dynasty years. They’ll be interesting as long as Brady and Belicheck stick around, but they’re not nearly as dominant as they were between 2001-2004. Talking heads anointing them as potential Super Bowl favorites at the start of every NFL season is overselling them. They are perennial playoff contenders, but I still say they don’t have the balance to carry them over the top anymore.

  35. whyalwaysthehate says: Nov 28, 2011 2:04 PM

    If Trent Dilfer is high on T J Yates, I’m all in.

  36. sportsindustrialcomplex says: Nov 28, 2011 2:13 PM

    So do I have to wait until the Packers lose until anyone in the media starts talking about them? They’re the most ignored 11-0 team in NFL history.

  37. notjcred says: Nov 28, 2011 2:46 PM

    “Secondly, Tebowmania, while being fun, is actually a solid running game, strong defense, and the ability to win it in the end. It’s actually pretty solid.”

    I agree, but I have come to realize that the T-Bone offense is more sophisticated than it appears. It exhausts defenses and draws a lot of secondary attention to the box. It can become a big-play offense if Tebow can improve his progressions and accuracy. I’ve never seen another offense that affords so many receivers to run around unaccounted for. His accuracy looked much better, yesterday and 3 incomplete passes were indisputable drops.

    These are just my observations, but they come from the perspective of a hardcore Tebow-skeptic, prior to the game against the Jets.

  38. bamasleeper13 says: Nov 28, 2011 2:56 PM

    Smoothjimmyapollo
    Thanks, I wasn’t sure!

  39. tatum064 says: Nov 28, 2011 5:38 PM

    Tebow may be a bigger problem for d-coordinators that thought. Loud mouth Warren Sapp was saying “assignment specific” but it is correct, it exhausts defenses because it has never been defensed.

  40. tatum064 says: Nov 28, 2011 5:42 PM

    jimmysee says:
    Nov 28, 2011 9:30 AM
    Dwayne Bowe might have played himself out of the league with that one. He looked like the Mummy with his arms to his sides.

    ———————

    Bowe is one of the best receivers in the game.

    He hasn’t quite hit Randy Moss “play when I want to” status.

  41. patsfiend says: Nov 28, 2011 9:07 PM

    @CKL re the make-up of this year’s Pats team vs. 2009… I could not agree more. And, to boot, they got rid of Haynesworth and Ocho is next. They should have done that in ’09 with Moss and Adalius Thomas.

    They still might be one and done. Who knows. They are a better team, though, you could tell by all the high-fiving by BB after the Jets game. He likes this team. So do I.

    Defense will only get better. Chew on that, haters, Pats are back (they never left.)

  42. southpaw2k says: Nov 29, 2011 8:00 AM

    sportsindustrialcomplex says:
    Nov 28, 2011 2:13 PM
    So do I have to wait until the Packers lose until anyone in the media starts talking about them? They’re the most ignored 11-0 team in NFL history.

    ————————————————

    Not sure what football-related shows you watch on television, but I’d recommend watching anything on NFL Network or any NFL-related show on ESPN. I can’t remember the last time any of those shows *didn’t* mention the Packers in some capacity, especially on whether they can go undefeated this season.

  43. bucthat says: Nov 29, 2011 11:21 AM

    @picksix401

    Must be fun to be a fairweather fan right? im sure u started liking the pats after their win against the rams? i mean of course that was half of the pats fan till they all became packers fan this year. Wanna call me out on the bucs ive been a fan since the Sean King days. And try and tell me how bad the bucs r. im not an idiot ik theyre bad this yr but i stick with my team

  44. franknunley57 says: Nov 29, 2011 1:44 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, i’m enjoying the 9-2 season, but the 9ers Must sign Josh Johnson in the off season.

  45. franknunley57 says: Nov 29, 2011 1:45 PM

    …unless Luck falls in their lap.

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