What We Learned from Week 8…
5) Surprise Surprise
The thing that makes the NFL great is the unpredictability. At the start of the season most of the “experts” had the Cowboys in the playoffs and being the first team to play a home Superbowl. The Cowboys are 1-6. The same lofty expectations were set for the Vikings. They are sitting at 2-5 and are drenched in controversy. Nobody had the Rams, with a rookie quarterback, and the Seahawks, with a new head coach, battling it out for the division title. Nobody thought Atlanta versus Tampa Bay and Kansas City versus Oakland would be critical division match ups in week nine. The NFL has figured out how to keep people interested and the answer is simply parity. If you honestly believe your team has a chance every year you will stay locked in. This year the NFL has proven that almost every team will have a chance at the postseason probably up until December which is the last month of their regular season. NBA, MLB, NHL all need to take notes.
4) Big City of Dreams
The Jets were the toast of the NFL. They put their bravado on display for the show “Hard Knocks” and haven’t looked back since. They went into their bye week at 5-1 and couldn’t help but smell themselves. Coming off their bye week their best defensive player was supposed to be 100 percent healthy so Rex Ryan said there were “no excuses.” They must have thought Green Bay was going to come to New York and lay down. Wrong! The Jets lost 9-0 in a very ugly game. The defense played good but there is no excuse for any offense to post a goose egg coming off a bye week, especially not the vaunted New York Jets. Sanchez fell on the sword for his teammates but in reality they were the ones that failed him. Hopefully that was the wakeup call that they needed. They do have a favorable schedule coming down the stretch but they better realize with all that talking they did every team is looking to punch them in the mouth.
3) Randy just step away from the mic
Nine times out of ten when Randy Moss gets in front of a microphone he delivers some kind of quotable that gets him in trouble. Last time Randy Moss spoke in front of the Boston media he found himself on the next train to Minnesota. Sunday night after the Vikings lost to the Pats in Foxboro, Randy delivered yet another classic. He stepped to the mic and informed reporters that he would no longer yield questions from them but will ask and answer questions only from himself. This was supposed to be some kind of punishment for the league fining him, wrongfully in my opinion, twenty five thousand dollars for not talking to the media. Apparently that was the last straw for Brad Childress because he cut Randy on Monday. Randy just needs to stay away from the microphones in Bean town. I’m pretty sure one of next week topics will be about how well Randy fits on his new team.
2) Shanahan needs to learn from Chilly
Everybody applauded Mike Shanahan for not catering to Albert Hanyesworth during the summer. Then you heard mumbles of players thinking Shanahan took things too far during training camp. Well when Shanahan decided to bench Donovan Mcnabb because he thought “Rex Grossman was more well prepared to run the two-minute offense,” I am sure he lost some more of his locker room. With the game on the line there isn’t a player on that roster that would rather have Grossman over Mcnabb. Hell it’s not like Shanahan inherited Mcnabb; he went and traded for him. Then for him to make Donovan appear too stupid and/or physically unable to do something he has done numerous times over his career during the press conference was another bad move not to mention disrespectful. Players take note of those things. I understand Shanahan wanting to let it be known things will be his way or no way but there are certain ways you handle certain players and this Mcnabb situation could have been handled differently. Once a coach loses the locker room his job will surely follow. This brings me to my next point…
1) It’s time for heads to roll
Things have become way too dire in Minnesota and Dallas for the two head coaches to be there any longer. Brad Childress is on some my way or the highway crusade but he must have forgotten his way damn near had him out the door two years ago before Favre came and saved his job. Calling out Favre last week publicly and cutting Moss on a whim after giving up a 3rd round pick for him this week, clearly shows that there is no stability in that organization. Reports keep coming out about how players disagree with the things he does and losing does not help his position at all. The Cowboys seem to be drunk off their own kool-aid. Every week they use some form of the the excuse “we beat ourselves,” after a while the fingers should be pointing at the head coach. The head coach is also the D coordinator and they give up 27 points a game. The head coach in waiting is the O coordinator and they are underachieving at 22 points a game with all that “talent.” Both franchises have hot shot coordinators in Leslie Frasier and Jason Garrett respectively. I think it’s time we find out what those guys can do.