• Week 15 was not good for the reputations of some coaches. Some teams, in my mind, looked like they packed it in. They were the Bills, the Bucs, the Chargers, the Jaguars, the Chiefs and the Lions. All six looked horrible in losing. They were all blown out. Bucs coach Greg Schiano is a first-year coach, so he's safe. The others? Not so much, even though Jacksonville's Mike Mularkey is also in his first year. The players there have complained about his physical practices, which is not a good sign. There will be change in the front office, which also won't help his cause. Lions coach Jim Schwartz made the playoffs last year, so he gets a one-year reprieve. If he doesn't win next year, he's out. The Bills have to make a change with Chan Gailey. This season has been a major flop. And we know Norv Turner is gone. Games like we saw from their teams are a reflection of the coaches. Kansas City's Romeo Crennel is gone, too. His team didn't even get a first down in the first half against the Raiders. Don't tell me players don't know when their coaches are lame ducks. One more note: Has Schiano worked his team so hard that they have nothing left? That was the theory of some in the league on Sunday.
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Jason La Canfora
Monday Observations: Looking for next big thing when it comes to GMs
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• Kirk Cousins looked good for the Redskins against the Browns. But let's slow down on the franchise-quarterback talk for now. He has a chance to be that, but it takes more than one start. The Redskins did a smart thing drafting him in the fourth round. Robert Griffin III is a mobile quarterback who takes shots. He is going to get hurt. Having a capable backup is smart. Cousins has the look of a future starter. But let's slow down on the franchise-quarterback talk.
• Colin Kaepernick had four touchdown passes to lead the 49ers past the Patriots. That has the world saying Jim Harbaugh was right to pick him over Alex Smith. Maybe so, but it won't be the right move if the 49ers don't at least make it to the title game of the NFC. That's where Smith went last year. If we're being fair, that's where Kaepernick has to go this season -- at least.
• It's time to give Broncos corner Chris Harris some Pro Bowl consideration. He has been playing at that level all season. His big pick-six against the Ravens at the end of the half was huge as Denver beat Baltimore. When Tracy Porter had his illness issues, Harris went from nickel corner to starter. And he has continued to play at a high level. Champ Bailey is the best corner on the team, but Harris has played at a level that isn't far behind. Not bad for a guy who wasn't drafted.
• Is it time to get off Tony Romo's back? He has 13 touchdown passes and three interceptions in his last seven games. He threw for 341 yards and two scores in the Cowboys' victory over the Steelers on Sunday. Romo is quietly having a heck of a season. Maybe that's why we don't hear much about him.
• Is there anything better than a coach saying a fake punt or field goal late is because of a look that his team was given? Seattle faked a punt up 47-17 against the Bills. Really? And then Pete Carroll said it was an automatic call. Come on, Pete. You know better.
• Detroit's Matt Stafford was horrible against the Cardinals. Three picks and two retuned for touchdowns is not the way you win games. What a lost season for the Lions.
• Shocking to see Bryan Cox in a coach-player confrontation. He would be a candidate for that in any pool, right? Cox got into it with Bucs linebacker Adam Hayward during the Tampa Bay-New Orleans game. Cox is a coach on the Bucs' staff, which makes that so disturbing. But it was probably Hayward who was at fault.
• If I am the Packers and 49ers, I sure wouldn't be feeling good about my kickers heading into the playoffs. Mason Crosby has been so bad that the Packers passed on a field goal leading by seven to go for it on fourth down. And David Akers has been shaky at best for the 49ers. I would be shocked if one of those teams doesn't take a look at kickers this week. Let me throw in Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes, too. He has missed three field goals in the past three weeks.
• Boy, that money spent on Mario Williams really paid off for the Bills. Wow. How bad can a defense be?
• That move to fire Cam Cameron really paid off for the Ravens. What changed? Nothing. Joe Flacco still can't show he's an elite passer, no matter the coordinator.
• It could be Russell Wilson vs. Robert Griffin III in the first round of the playoffs. Some will say that's a dream matchup. Here's what I say to that: The teams waiting in the next week would rather player either one of those teams than, say, the Packers or the 49ers in the third spot. Or even the Giants in the sixth spot. There, I said it.
• Adrian Peterson: Amazing. He has 212 yards against the Rams and is closing in on the single-season rushing record. Even so, no MVP talk. That has to be Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. It has to be.
• The 49ers were not the same defense when Justin Smith went down with an injury in the second half against the Patriots. Aldon Smith truly missed his defensive holds that help free Aldon Smith for sacks on stunts. They are illegal, but Justin Smith is the best at it.
• Why do I think the AFC will come down to Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady? I just do.