Playoffs Around the Corner: Who's Hot, Who's Not

Let’s take a global look at the NFL for a change, just because the regular season is now coming down to the wire. I have no idea how this thing is going to shake out this weekend, but we do know it will shake out.

I’m going to start with Washington, because the blizzard of ’09 that hit on Saturday kicked up again Monday night at FedEx, with the snow changing over to poop! Washington is still the same team that lost to Detroit and K.C. earlier in the season. The little boy, who was holding his finger in the dike finally had to let it go, either that or they ran out of emotional viagra.

With the fake field goal attempt before the half it pleased me to see; Jim Zorn, the trickster, is alive and well and running the show a la Andrew Dice Clay. He had to have his arm around his head, while he looked up at the owners box and said, ”OH! Did I tell you, oh yeah, did I tell you. I’ve got your play calling right here.” (Indicating an area consistent with his groin.) Best figurative Christmas present I’ve had in quite a while.

Let’s move on to the Vikings, Brett Favre vs Brad Childress. I think everyone knows, what I think of Favre, and his raging ego. As someone once said about a lion, “If you make a pet out of the lion, and it eats one of your children, are you really going to blame the lion?” Favre is who we all know him to be, a Hall of Fame quarterback that has turned into the neediest guy out there since Jeff George. What the Vikings overlooked, when they made their play for him was the extremely thin sliver of favorable odds to hit the lotto.

As the stakes get higher now week in and week out, I believe Favre will continue to make the same mistakes that have become a normal part of his resume. When the game is on the line, he’ll fold. Not because he’s a choker per se, but because his ego’s appetite is so enormous, whenever he thinks there’s a chance to make a play, regardless of the soundness of the decision, he’s pulling the trigger. This is a player with wanton disregard for the team.

New Orleans defeat on Saturday night was a little disappointing, not because I wanted to see them go undefeated, but they now seem to be vulnerable. Something I did not attach to them, especially after the New England game. But Drew Brees is still their QB and they have playmakers on offense; however, this time of year your defense had better stiffen and I think Greg Williams is shy a few hands on deck.

Andy Reid and the Eagles are putting it together right now,and as is typical of Andy his timing is impeccable. They need a strong game this weekend against the Broncos. Another plus for the Eagles is Vick seems to look like he’s finally getting a fit for his role with this team, and DeSean Jackson is lethal. Defensively, Asante Samuel is getting a nose for the ball like an English Pointer has for birds.

The Cowboys’ future along with Wade Phillips’s will unfold before a national television audience on Sunday night. They need to have the same kind of results the Giants had on Monday night, come out and stomp a mud hole in Washington’s posterior. I think they are capable, but they just don’t seem to be as committed as other teams are.

Arizona is perhaps maneuvering themselves into the dark horse role, Bold and Fitz (sounds like a Bill O’Reilly book title) haven’t taken it to the level they are capable. Whizenhunt and Grimm are deep on playoff experience and combine this fact with work undone last year they just might make a run at it again.

The AFC is so murky; it’s impossible for me to capsulize all the permutations. But, there are a couple of teams that need no introductions as it is.

First, the Colts with their perfect season so far, are worthy of admiration. I now think Tony Dungy was holding them back, Jim Caldwell has made his transition flawlessly.

They also have enough veterans from the Super Bowl team to have the leadership and resolve to know exactly where they’re going, and the best route to take, as well.

I love the fact; they will rest players to get ready for the playoffs. If they win out so be it, but they are staying focused on the goal they had back in August like a lot of other teams --- win the Super Bowl. By adding another goal to the list, they would unwisely (as the Patriots did two years ago) dilute their attention from job number one.

Norv Turner and his Chargers are laying in the wood for the playoff hardships of January. Phillip Rivers along with Turner have defied my characterization of them, and I congratulate them, especially Norval. Turner, I have always seen as a feckless non leader of men, but I’ve never challenged his grip on offensive philosophy. Maybe one can be a drip and still be a champion. As for Rivers, his throwing motion has always seemed so unorthodox, (he appears to push the ball); it’s hard for me to see him as successful as he has become.

A.J Smith also should be commended, he has handed Turner a pretty talented team. They have to get it done this year or I think all these positive experiences will become moot and all the naysayers and second guessers (like myself) shall swarm down upon them as if it were scripture.


Is This Change You Can Believe In?

Before we welcome in the Bruce Allen era, let’s take one last look at the dung Vinny left, that’s being swept under the rug. I have some questions.

Is Vinny getting paid? They wanted Zorn to resign so badly, they hired Sherm Lewis to humiliate him so they wouldn’t have to pay Zorn. Now here comes Vinny with three games left in the season, and resigns. Why would he do that before the season’s out? Does that mean it was voluntary on his part? Which means he left a bunch of money sitting on the table? Why would he do that when he’s saying this team is in great shape? Why do you walk away from a job that’s not completed yet and according to you, not your fault it’s in a no-play-off situation? Is Vinny a quitter? Then you find out that supposedly VC is sticking around as an advisor, and he’s still a friend. Does that mean he still gets to sit in the owner’s box? Or has he been booted out of there? Is this effective immediately, pack your bags, get out of here?

Bruce Allen. I’ve been around him a couple of times. He’s a good guy and has a great sense of humor. As far as the power structure between him and his boss, I have no idea what that’s going to be. But that’s the key element here. I would caution folks, that if the addition of GM to his title is somehow to make us think, this is a new and improved Washington football team, there is no proof of this and only time will tell. It’s just two words. There’s been a change in personnel.

As long as Snyder is still in the mix, nothing’s changed. But if Snyder has recused himself of “being in chambers” then there’s reason to celebrate. We have no answers to that question yet. You’ll know soon enough when Bruce Allen hops on Redskin One to “scout that next guy.” If Bruce Allen is the guy with the hammer, then he says, “Mr. Snyder, what are you doing on the plane? I think you’re on the wrong flight sir. Your flight leaves in an hour. This plane is going to South Bend. Your plane is going to Dubai. As in Goodbye.” If instead, he says, “Mr. Snyder, you’re ten minutes early.” Then we know, “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.” “The more it changes the more it stays the same.”

As far as the “heart” of the matter goes regarding the owner. It’s like this: Is he guilty until proven innocent? Or is he innocent until proven guilty? Five will get you ten, it’s the former.