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Week 11 Judgements: Convinced Vince has to go in Tennessee

by | Senior Writer

1. Memo to Jeff Fisher: Start looking for another quarterback. I don't mean this season. I mean for next week. Vince Young's behavior Sunday convinced me the Titans ... and maybe anyone, for that matter ... can't win with the guy. I mean, it seems as if every time he gets booed at home he goes into a funk, and, I'm sorry, either you grow up or you move out. "I don't think you run," Jeff Fisher said. Correction: He knows you don't. More than anything, coaches and players respect tough guys, and Young is anything but. So how can you respect that? You can't. Time to look elsewhere, guys.

2. Don't let people tell you the NFC West is one of the worst divisions in the NFL because it's not. It's the worst. Not only did the division go 0-4 Sunday; it was outscored 120-49, with one club -- the 49ers -- getting blanked while surrendering six sacks to an opponent that had eight all year.

3. Houston fans will blame the league's 32nd-ranked pass defense for that last-second loss, and they should. There is no way you allow a receiver to get behind the secondary for a 42-yard catch there. But I prefer to see it as another defining moment for Mark Sanchez. Yeah, Eugene Wilson should've have responded more quickly to the ball, but, c'mon, people, the pass had to be perfect -- and it was. That's four times in the last five games where Sanchez rescued the Jets with last-minute heroics, and maybe it's time to start looking at him as a reason the Jets can make it to the top instead of a reason they can't.

4. "We're a terrible team," Cincinnati's Terrell Owens says. When Buffalo outscores you 35-0 in the second half, I'd say that about sums it up, T.O.

5. Here's a suggestion and a solution to the Brett Favre ... um, problem. Call a news conference this week and announce your retirement, Brett. I'm serious. The thrill is gone, and so is the season. So get out before it gets really ugly in ZygiWorld.

6. And while I'm on the subject, let's not put all of this on Favre. I watched Sunday's game, and, yeah, he stunk. But the defensive line couldn't pressure the pocket, the pass coverage was dreadful and guys were barking at each other on the sidelines. Heck, the Vikings couldn't even get five-time Pro Bowler Kevin Williams' name right, with "Willaims" spelled out on the back of his jersey. Tell me these guys couldn't pass for Dallas three weeks ago. Funny, it was the Packers who pushed Wade Phillips out the door, and now it's the Packers who have Brad Childress on the brink.

7. What did Pete Carroll ever do to Sean Payton? I ask because it was Payton who had Drew Brees throwing on fourth-and-6 at the Seattle 8 with 30 seconds to go, which is OK if he were behind. But he wasn't. He was up by 15. Someone has some 'splaining to do.

8. Yep, the Raiders are back, and here's how I know: In their last two games there have been 48 penalties, 22 of them against The Greatness -- including an ejection of Richard Seymour in Pittsburgh.

9. Memo to Carl Johnson, the league's head of officiating. Next time you see referee Tony Corrente, please explain what roughing the quarterback is. He missed it twice Sunday, calls that cost Pittsburgh 10 points. If there's an upside it's only this: Maybe, just maybe, the Raiders will realize there is no such thing as an NFL "conspiracy" against them. Either that, or officials forgot that the team in black Sunday wasn't Oakland.

10. Cleveland absolutely, positively must draft offensive playmakers to give itself a chance next season. Eric Mangini is doing the best with what he has, but he has almost no playmakers on offense other than Colt McCoy, Peyton Hillis and Josh Cribbs, who was missing Sunday when the Browns were plus-5 in the takeaway/turnover ratio yet lost. And they lost because they converted six takeaways into only 10 points. That won't cut it.

11. Let me repeat: The Jets are living dangerously with Nick Folk. He missed field goals in five of 10 games this season, and there's a reason Dallas didn't want the guy, people.

12. I have a nephew who keeps telling me I'm wrong about the Chicago Bears, and I'll give him this: There is no way I saw the Bears winning seven of their first 10. But I tell him to let the season play itself out, and here's why: Four of the Bears' remaining six opponents are division leaders, with the two others at Detroit and at Minnesota. Plus, look what Chicago has done: Beaten opponents with a combined record of 23-47.

13. Beware New Orleans. It won its last three by a score of 88-32, including a 20-10 defeat of Pittsburgh, and has its next three against, in order, Dallas, Cincinnati and St. Louis. Uh-oh.

Hand it to rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, who plays through an ankle injury and almost leads his Browns to victory. (AP)  
Hand it to rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, who plays through an ankle injury and almost leads his Browns to victory. (AP)  
14. Let's hear it for Buffalo's Steve Johnson. He doesn't have the résumé of, say, Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco, but he outplayed both of them Sunday, with three touchdowns in a come-from-behind victory. Afterward, he showed reporters a "Why So Serious?" T-shirt he wore under his jersey, poking fun at the Bengals' "Batman and Robin." "I wanted to come in and be the Joker," he said. Too late. That role goes to anyone in a Bengals jersey.

15. Good weekend for Harvard. First it beats Yale. Then Ryan Fitzpatrick, Class of 2005, rallies Buffalo from a 31-14 deficit to a 49-31 victory -- throwing four touchdown passes in the process. Time to crank up Crimson and Clover.

Five things I like

1. James Harrison and the Pittsburgh pass rush. Harrison had two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception, and the Steelers defense produced six sacks, had six series of three or fewer snaps each and allowed nothing more than a field goal. Did somebody say these guys are in trouble? Hahahahahahahaha!

2. Everything about Cleveland rookie Colt McCoy. He played on an injured ankle, almost got pulled, yet came this close to beating Jacksonville. Whoever made the call on McCoy in this year's draft ... give that guy a raise.

3. The job that former NFL assistant Marc Trestman is doing in Montreal. With a 48-17 defeat of Toronto Sunday, Trestman has the Alouettes in the Grey Cup for the second straight year. If they win, they become the first team to repeat as champions since the 1996-97 Argos. It's time someone in the NFL or the NCAA noticed and granted him a head-coaching interview.

4. Tom Brady at home. I don't care that his defense saved him and his teammates. Brady won his last 25 regular-season starts at home, tying Brett Favre for the best post-merger record in league history.

5. Jason Avant's Jackie Smith impersonation. Watch Avant flub a second-quarter TD pass as he sits down in the end zone, and tell me you didn't flash back to Smith and Super Bowl XIII. I did, and so did most of the Philadelphia press box.

Five things I don't

1. The Tennessee Titans vs. opponents that play the 3-4 defense. They're 0-4.

2. Carolina's starts. The Panthers have been outscored 69-15 in the first quarter this season, and look no further for explanations of why this team stinks.

3. Oakland's Tom Cable's decision to punt on fourth-and-3 at the Oakland 43 with 12½ minutes left and his team down 28-3. Hey, Tom, remember what Herm Edwards told us: YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!! Who cares if you lose by 50? You play to win the game!

4. Richard Seymour's cheap shot on Ben Roethlisberger. Earth to Richard: You hit the quarterback before the pass is thrown, not after -- not unless you want to start people in Pittsburgh talking about "the criminal element" again. Shame on Seymour. I thought he was smarter than that.

5. Sam Bradford's goal-line shovel pass ... to Atlanta safety William Moore. It ended Bradford's streak of 169 passes without an interception, but more than that it ended any St. Louis hope of an upset.

Just asking but ...

  Why, Peyton, why?

  Bruce Gradkowski or Jason Campbell?

  Why didn't Eli slide for the first down?

  What next for Brett Favre and the Vikings?

  What is it about Randy Moss and struggling franchises?

Significant numbers

1 -- Randy Moss catches in two Tennessee games

5 -- Different starting offensive line combos for Pittsburgh this season

7 -- Touchdown catches of 20 or more yards for Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace, an NFL high

10 -- Points separating the Jets and their last three opponents

23 -- Straight games where Cleveland has not given up a TD on an opponent's opening drive

28 -- Carolina turnovers this season

98 -- Yards on Dallas' opening drive, its longest of the season

163 -- Yards in Pittsburgh penalties

My top five

1. New England
2. Atlanta
3. N.Y. Jets
4. Baltimore
5. Pittsburgh

My bottom five

32. Carolina
31. Cincinnati
30. Detroit
29. Buffalo
28. Minnesota

Next weekend's three best games

Green Bay at Atlanta: NFC supremacy on the line.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore: Another measuring stick for Bucs.

Philadelphia at Chicago: Now the road gets steep, Lovie.


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