1. The New York Giants just drew the short straw. Had Minnesota won, Big Blue would've drawn the Arizona Cardinals ... and pulverized them. But Philadelphia? The Eagles are a problem. Not only did they play the Giants tough twice this season, they beat them once ... and it was at Giants Stadium. What's more, they won two of their last three there. And to think ... if Tampa Bay had just beaten Oakland we wouldn't be having this conversation.
|Cam Cameron gets the last laugh on the Dolphins. (US Presswire)|
3. I guess those four interceptions probably have people in Florida talking about hanging Chads again. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
4. And that, people, is why Philadelphia hired Asante Samuel. The Eagles had 19 takeaways last year; they had 29 this season. Sure, the Eagles spent a fortune on Samuel, but he makes a difference.
5. Nope, I don't think Arizona wins at Carolina, either, but this is why the Cards could make it interesting: The second half of last weekend's Panthers-Saints game. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees gashed the Panthers over and over with big pass plays, and if I'm Kurt Warner I stay up nights studying that tape. I might watch Antonio Bryant shred them in early December for 200 yards, too.
6. Any chance we can re-vote for Defensive Player of the Year? Sorry, DeMarcus Ware, but Ed Reed would win in a landslide.
7. Rex Ryan just moved up the interview list.
8. I don't know why Tony Dungy returns. He wanted to stick around to open the Colts' new stadium, and he did. There are no more football worlds for him to conquer. So, yes, I expect him to step down.
9. Please tell me referee Scott Green is not working the Pittsburgh-San Diego game. No, better yet, tell Las Vegas.
10. Say what you want about Norv Turner, but he's 4-2 in the playoffs. His problem isn't winning in the playoffs; it's getting there. In short, he's the anti-Marty.
11. Here's another reason you shouldn't count out San Diego in Pittsburgh. Although the Chargers are 0-13 there in the regular season, they're 2-0 in the playoffs.
12. I love people who criticize punters, saying they're really not, well ... football players. Yeah, sure. Tell that to Mike Scifres and the Chargers.
13. So Brett Favre sounds ready to retire. Big deal. He sounded ready a year ago. No, wait a minute, he did retire.
14. Matt Millen says he would've fired himself after this year, but here's what I want to know: Would he have given himself a five-year extension in 2005 after four losing seasons?
15. Think about this for a minute: If Kansas City fires Herm Edwards, Norv Turner becomes the senior coach in AFC West. Wow.
Five guys I wouldn't want to be
1. Chad Pennington. He doesn't turn the ball over all season, then throws four interceptions against Baltimore. He hadn't thrown that many in five years.
2. Peyton Manning. For the second year in a row Lil' Brother is the Last QB Left Standing.
3. The next head coach of the Oakland Raiders/Detroit Lions, take your pick.
4. Ken Whisenhunt. Somehow, he must convince his team it can win east of the Mississippi.
5. Tarvaris Jackson. Rewind the videotape of the fourth quarter, and you'll know what I mean.
Just asking but ...
Anyone seen Vincent Jackson?
How does Baltimore score against Tennessee?
When did Pennington turn into Favre?
What's going on with Edgerrin James?
Who quarterbacks Minnesota next season?
Five things I like
1. Twilight Zone marathons on the Sci-Fi channel. Just another reason to welcome another new year.
2. The under for Baltimore-Tennessee.
3. Whisenhunt running along the edge of the stands, high-fiving fans after Saturday's victory.
4. Haloti Ngata's block on Ed Reed's touchdown return. I haven't seen hits this bad since Tie Domi retired from the NHL.
5. Former USC and Rams head coach John Robinson interrupting Turner's news conference to congratulate his friend. "There are a couple of guys who still like me," Turner in jest said.
Five things I don't
1. The Chargers on opening possessions. They haven't scored a touchdown all season.
2. Brad Childress declining a holding penalty on third down when it could've pushed the Eagles out of field-goal position.
3. The AFC playoffs without Indianapolis, New England, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Sorry, it just feels wrong.
4. The Colts' running game. It needs to be fixed.
5. DeSean Jackson barking at Childress. This is the same guy who earlier this season spiked the ball before reaching the end zone. Earth to DeSean: Grow up.
0: Vincent Jackson catches
1: Points separating Pittsburgh and San Diego in November
5: Miami turnovers
8: Consecutive victories for San Diego in their powder blues
60: Atlanta yards rushing, fewer than Edgerrin James' total
0-5: Arizona on the East Coast
5-0: Donovan McNabb vs. Minnesota
12-1: Norv Turner in December and January with the Chargers
Next weekend's two best games
Baltimore at Tennessee -- Paint it black ... and blue.
Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants -- Big Blue's worst nightmare.