It's been a while since I've done this, so let's go.
- Scanning the whole NFL landscape, it's hard to find that one team that really stands out from the rest. At the top of most people's lists are two teams, the Colts and the Chargers, who have traditionally had strong regular seasons just to fizzle out during the playoffs. Right under them are the Ravens, the Bears, and the Patriots, all of whom have great defenses but are very questionable in certain areas on offense. There really isn't a frontrunner as we head down the stretch.
- Dallas is looking pretty scary right now with Tony Romo at the helm. If you would have told me a year ago that Romo would be the key piece to making Dallas a Super Bowl threat, I would have said you were on crack. But Romo is athletic, and his footwork and quick thinking gives Dallas the poise they need in the pocket.
Romo couldn't ask for a better receiving corp in Terry Glenn, Terrell Owens, and Patrick Crayton. And Romo's quick release opens up the intermediate passing game to the button hook passes to your WRs and screen passes out to running backs Julius Jones and Marion Barber. Thus, defenses now have to worry about giving up the big play as well as losing YAC (yards after catch) on the flats. That's giving defensive coordinators fits, because they have no clue on how to adequately challenge the Cowboy offense.
Can Romo keep this up? Time will tell. He threw 5 touchdowns on a relatively easy Thanksgiving night against the Bucs. Yeah; the Bucs are 3-8, but they do have a relatively decent defense, and Romo made it look easy. If they beat the Giants on Sunday they have to be considered the top team in the NFC.
- I might as well mention this now, but my "You Idiot!!" decision of the year goes to me for benching Tony Romo this week for Phillip Rivers on my fantasy football squad. Doh. I lost this week, too.
- I'm conflicted with the situation with Atlanta, as the Falcons are on a 4-game skid after losing to the Saints on Sunday. Falcons owner Authur Blank has pretty much put guys on notice: if they don't make the playoffs, there will be major changes. That could mean either Vick or Mora could be gone.
Vick does deserve a good amount of the blame for the Falcons' offensive struggles, but is he the primary problem? On Sunday, Vick only managed 90 passing yards, but he did run for 166, and his receivers dropped a five key passes in that game. One of the drops by Roddy White was absolutely horrible.
But the bottom line is, Michael Vick has never scared anyone with his passing skills throughout his NFL career. Everyone's worried about how well the Falcons run, but never how well they pass. And it showed in New Orleans's defense, too. New Orleans mainly sat in a Cover 1 defense; puting it plainly, the Saints only had one safety playing deep in the middle of the field. THIS IS THE NFL, folks. If a team is playing a cover 1, then somebody seriously sucks; either it's the defense, or the offense. And considering the 31-13 score, it's pretty obvious which one that is.
- After benching Brian Leftwich, the Jaguars are getting their just desserts. Don't get me wrong; I like David Gerrard. But when you start listening to ESPN on who to start and when you should change quarterbacks, you get what you deserve.
- You know, Tom Coughlin isn't my favorite coach, but when you choke a three-touchdown lead with 10:00 remaining in the 4th quarter, the last person you can blame for the Giants' woes is him. Instead, someone needs to find those players' hearts, because they surely lost them in that game. Regardless, the players need to stop wining.
- The Panthers? I didn't watch the game Sunday (I had to work on my car), so I don't know what happened. But there are serious problems with the consistency of the offense, as well as a defense continuously giving up big plays (that means you, Mike Minter). Carolina will play well for a couple of games, and then stink for the next couple of games. With wins over Baltimore and New Orleans, it's obviously that they are underachieving. However, wins only count, not potential.
- Vince Young is looking REALLY good right now. The problem is Jeff Fisher is sure to be gone next year, and Fisher is probably the coach that Young needs. Fisher was there during Steve McNair's run, and he knows how to work an offense around a talented quarterback.
- Do you need any more of a reason to fire Lions' President Matt Millen than looking at what Joey Harrington is doing in Miami? Miami's won four in a row with Harrington putting up decent numbers.
- If any other quarterback was putting up numbers like Brett Farve has in the last three years, they would have been out of the NFL at this point. However, he's Brett Farve, so he gets a pass. But the longer he's playing, the more he's going to kill off that Packers franchise.
- If you don't have NFL Network, then it sucks to be you. On top of the Thursday night games being broadcast on the network, the NFL Cheerleader Playoffs is the best show on television. Seriously. Trust me on this.
- Key games this week: Baltimore/Cincinnati on NFL Network Thursday, Seattle/Denver, Dallas/Giants (for the NFC East lead), Minnesota/Chicago (Chicago clinches NFC North with a win).