In the AFC North, no lead is safe.
Last week, the Steelers won by six points and the game was up for grabs almost until the end. The Raven and Bengals traded the lead seven times in the fourth quarter. The Browns could patent the method for blowing late leads. And this week, the Ravens came from 13 points down to win in overtime, 23-20, over the Steelers. No matter who takes this division, each team will have the chance to play spoiler.
Joe Philbin got fired -- and he may have been the winner.
He's a nice guy and knows football. But he had clearly lost the locker room. No one wanted seemed to want to put in much effort anymore. Yes, you can pin that on the coach to a great degree. But the bottom line is these are professional football players. They should be able to be motivated to go the extra mile by a good coach. They should never need motivation to go out and at least earn their pay. In the end, Philbin will take a job this off-season as a coordinator or position coach, lay low for a few years, and will probably re-emerge as a head coach somewhere -- with a few key lessons under his belt.
I need a new whipping boy this week.
Jay Cutler, consider yourself redeemed. For a week. Given your history, I expect you to revert back to the bonehead-o-matic you've been since you entered the league. Maybe that's harsh. but given how much natural talent you have, you should be a lot better above the shoulders. One win over a young quarterback on a rising-but-still-not-there team does not get you a clean bill of health. It gets you halfway out of a very hostile doghouse called Chicago.
For the Chiefs, week one was a long, long time ago.
Based on things like the Law of Averages, Kansas City should have broken their string of games without a wide receiver catching a touchdown pass many moons ago. So let's not get all excited. Heck, the streak has restarted as I predicted last week. The bottom line is this is a bad, bad team that got its lone win against a doubly bad Texans team. Take away their outside linebackers and this team has pretty much no redeeming qualities at this point.
Barring injuries, the NFC South will be decided in weeks 14 and 16.
Atlanta and Carolina are both head, shoulders and knees above the other half of the division. Cam Newton's Panthers are a scrappy bunch with an attitude, and Matt Ryan is leading the Falcons to some dominating wins and great, gutty comebacks. The last few weeks of the season will be fun to watch for these teams.
Coach Chip Kelly should go on strike until GM Chip Kelly is fired.
Boy, the Philly general manager didn't leave the coach a whole lot to work with. Too bad they are the same guy, because the coach is pretty good at what he does. He just hasn't done a great job of evaluating talent when wearing the GM hat. I'd sure love to be in on that meeting though, when Jeffrey Lurie sits down with both Chip Kellys and tells them that one needs to go. It's a psychiatric nightmare waiting to happen.
Do't be fooled: Drew Brees and the Saints are pussycats.
Yeah, they beat the Cowboys. It's not like he beat Tony Romo. He just beat Brandon Weeden, who crapped the bed so bad in Cleveland tat he didn't make it to the end of his rookie contract. Cleveland, folks. He washed out of Cleveland. If I was a Saints fan, I might consider moving, because having to go to overtime to beat a team missing its Pro Bowl quarterback, Pro Bowl receiver, Pro Bowl middle linebacker and a starting defensive back is not something I would be putting on my career highlights reel. In fact, I might be trying to bribe NFL Films into burning any trace of the footage.