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Week 14 Judgements: Jets are coming apart at the seams

by | Senior Writer

1. One week after burying a game ball, the New York Jets may be ready to bury themselves -- and if you don't understand what I'm talking about I suggest you look at their schedule. They play at Pittsburgh next weekend. They play at Chicago Dec. 26. Then they finish against Buffalo at home. Look out below.

2. Not sure if the Jets were worse on or off the field, and I think you know what I'm talking about -- the team's strength and conditioning coach, Sal Alosi, tripping Miami's Nolan Carroll as Carroll was trying to cover a punt. I know Alosi apologized, but he must be punished. They can pardon Jim Morrison in Florida, but no one should excuse this guy.

3. Once upon a time, I expected LaDainian Tomlinson to hit the wall in November and December. Well, he has. In his past eight starts he averages 2.8 yards a carry and hasn't run for more than 57 yards in any game. Hey, it happens, especially when you're a 31-year-old running back with over 3,075 carries.

4. I think we all agree Tom Brady's a slam dunk for MVP, but who's the runner-up? Let me suggest Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew. I mean it. He just produced his sixth straight game with 100 yards rushing, and that goes a long way toward explaining why Jacksonville is on top of the AFC South.

5. This is what you like most about New England: Three of its past five victories were against division leaders, and the Patriots not only won; they won by a combined 120-36. Plus, two of those three were road games. This just in: We have ourselves a Super Bowl favorite.

6. Just a hunch, but next time Aaron Rodgers slides.

7. Sunday's biggest winner was Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. He wants a new stadium that, frankly, was on the slow track. But now he has a compelling argument: The Metrodome not only is outdated; it's unsafe, and Wilf has the video to prove it.

8. We can put a man on the moon, yet we can't keep track of first downs in Washington? Please.

9. If Cleveland president Mike Holmgren was looking for a reason to fire his head coach he just got it. Eric Mangini has done a marvelous job with virtually no offensive playmakers, but nobody can survive error-prone quarterback Jake Delhomme. Delhomme cost Mangini another game -- and this one to a 2-10 opponent. That won't go over well with the boss, and to save himself -- if he can save himself -- Mangini must have a finish similar to last season when he won his last four.

10. Forget Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Free the Denver Broncos. Man, oh, man, do they stink.

11. Oh, and in case you missed it, Denver fans, Peyton Hillis ran for 108 yards Sunday and Ryan Torain had 172. Nope, I don't think they could have helped the Broncos, either. This is precisely the reason the next head coach won't have the GM responsibility that Josh McDaniels did.

12. The more I hear out of Jeff Fisher and Tennessee owner Bud Adams the more it looks as if the two are on a collision course. If Adams fires Fisher, he's making a mistake. Then again, he may have no choice if neither compromises on Vince Young.

13. That does it. Cincinnati must draft a quarterback to develop. You can't win with Carson Palmer. Not the way he's playing now you can't.

Browns head coach Eric Mangini's future looks grim, thanks to a quarterback who continues to falter. (Getty Images)  
Browns head coach Eric Mangini's future looks grim, thanks to a quarterback who continues to falter. (Getty Images)  
14. Yeah, sure, Philadelphia can't run. Rewind the videotape to Sunday night's defeat of Dallas, and tell me the Eagles are too one-dimensional. I have 171 yards and a game-ending drive that say they aren't.

15. Now we find out what New Orleans is all about. The rest of the Saints' games not only are against opponents with winning records; they're against opponents with a combined record of 27-11, including a Dec. 26 showdown in Atlanta.

Five things I like

1. Tom Brady's accuracy. Over his past eight games he has 19 touchdown passes and no interceptions -- plus a streak of 268 consecutive passes without a pick. There is no better quarterback anywhere.

2. Steve Gregory's hit on Kansas City's Javier Arenas on a third-quarter punt return. Gregory didn't knock down Arenas as much as he blew him up, lifting him off his feet with a crushing blow.

3. Josh Freeman in the fourth quarter. For the record, that's his seventh career fourth-quarter comeback and fifth this season.

4. Everything about Jay Feely. He kicks. He runs. And he scores more points by himself than the Denver Broncos.

5. San Diego with Ryan Mathews and Vincent Jackson in the lineup. It's been a long time, but finally the two got together ... and made significant plays. This is what the Chargers were supposed to look like, and this is why they should win the rest of their games.

Five things I don't

1. Jason Campbell's last pass. There were 11 seconds left, and the Raiders had no timeouts. So throw to the end zone. Campbell didn't. Instead, he threw to the Jacksonville 23, ending the game. Sorry, I don't get it.

2. Oakland outside the AFC West. The Raiders are 4-0 within the division. They're 2-7 outside.

3. The pounding that Michael Vick is taking. He got hammered into the bench by the Cowboys' Anthony Spencer, and officials called nothing. You gotta be kidding me. Vick can't survive if he doesn't stop getting clobbered -- and the Eagles have no chance if he doesn't hold up.

4. Carolina in the beginning and end of games. The Panthers have been outscored 97-29 in the first quarter and 100-32 in the fourth. Start here when looking for answers why they're the worst team in the game.

5. Anything about Kansas City without Matt Cassel. They couldn't run. They couldn't pass. They couldn't catch. And they couldn't produce first downs. You can look it up. They had five. Worse, they were 0-for-11 on third downs.

Just asking but ...

 Whatever happened to "Ground and Pound?"

 Time to put an APB out on Dwayne Bowe?

 Did the Metrodome save Brett Favre's streak?

 Colts or Jaguars next week?

 What's wrong with Mark Sanchez?

Significant numbers

0 -- Times Cleveland's offense crossed mid-field in the second half
4 -- Career games for Michael Turner with at least three TDs
6 -- Consecutive seasons for Steven Jackson with 1,000 yards rushing, a Rams' franchise record
10 -- Straight Cincinnati losses, a franchise record
14 -- Straight games with a Ryan Fitzpatrick touchdown pass
158 -- Ryan Torain yards rushing in first half
210 -- DeSean Jackson yards on four catches
0-10 -- Brodie Croyle's record as a starter

My top five

1. New England
2. Atlanta
3. Pittsburgh
4. New Orleans
5. Philadelphia

My bottom five

32. Carolina
31. Cincinnati
30. Denver
29. Detroit
28. Arizona

Next weekend's three best games

Jacksonville at Indianapolis ... First place in AFC South at stake
Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants ... First place in the NFC East at stake
New Orleans at Baltimore ... Litmus test for both teams


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