We are likely watching the end. The end of a career. The end of, in many ways, a legend. It would be a major upset at this point if Andy Reid survived this season.
Some of you will applaud this. Some giddily so, not fully understanding just how good Reid once was. And he was good. Really good. His fall, in fact, is one of the most precipitous any NFL coach has ever seen. Sean Payton is probably first but Reid isn't so far behind.
And this is sad. It is really, really sad.
Reid's Philadelphia Eagles appeared in a Super Bowl, losing to Bill Belichick's Patriots, which is no shame. In all, Reid coached in five NFC title games, including four straight from 2001-2004. Since 1999, excluding this season, he has had only two losing seasons. And since that hiring in 1999, no other coach has earned more appearances in the divisional playoff round, at seven.
Yes, really good.
And here is where it all went wrong. Reid made the terrible mistake of pairing himself with Michael Vick. Reid put his career in the hands of a thrower who for most of his professional life refused to study. Vick said he changed and is now a complete player but he's a decade into the sport. He should have been a complete player long ago.
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There are other reasons for Reid's likely demise, some of them his fault. He never fully embraced the running game, and that turned his offenses one-dimensional. Even in a passing league, you need to run.
Reid's performance in restocking talent also became a problem. He has been the team's executive vice president of football operations and had final say on personnel. Look at that awful offensive line. While Vick this season reverted to inaccurate Vick, some of that is because of totally inept blocking. The Eagles have one of the worst offensive lines in football and it has led to Vick taking a massive beating.
There is no bigger Reid problem than putting his total trust in Vick. As a result, Vick became an anchor, and maybe dragged Reid to the unemployment line.
This is likely what will happen. Reid will stick with Vick because he has to, and the Eagles will continue to lose. The season will end. Vick will be a busted, battered wreck. He will go be a backup somewhere.
And Reid will get fired. And it will be sad.
2. After Reid is gone, look for Philadelphia to make a major play for Sean Payton -- if allowed. And if the Saints don't wrap him up to a long-term deal first, the most likely possibility.
3. One last thing on Payton. The Cowboys maintain they aren't interested. That's just simply not accurate. Jerry Jones would crawl over broken glass in his underwear with a rose in his mouth to lure Payton to Dallas.
4. Hearing the Cleveland Browns are prepping to make the kind of monumental run at Alabama's Nick Saban that will be extremely difficult for him to resist. But he still will.
5. They certainly can afford it, and sure some gave because it's good publicity, but players and teams across all of sports contributing millions of dollars to victims of Hurricane Sandy was one of the better moments of the sports year.
6a. Champ of the week: People affected by Hurricane Sandy. In the New Jersey and New York area, particularly, where homes were obliterated and electricity was lost for many days, there were few moments of ugliness. I just saw strength, patience and -- this will sound corny, but it's true -- humanity.
6b. Chump of the week: Vick's brother, Marcus, who ripped the Eagles' offensive line in a tweet (and later apologized). He was right: The line stinks. But dude, shut up.
6c. Tweet of the week, on Mitt Romney taking a little longer to concede to President Obama: "[If] Romney takes much longer to make the call, reporters are gonna start congregating in Hattiesburg." -- Albert Breer. Fantastic Brett Favre reference.
7. My surprise team, the Minnesota Vikings, is starting to surprisingly fall off a cliff.
8. Scout on quarterback Aaron Rodgers: "The record may not show it, but once again, Aaron is playing quarterback on a level few are matching and maybe no one is matching."
9. The franchise that will make the most changes in the offseason, and I mean a complete overhaul, is Jacksonville. The owner has zero patience for losing, and he will be harsh, and he will be a blunt instrument. And that's a good thing.
10. Can the Atlanta Falcons go undefeated? Hell, no. But they are damn good and this has to be the quietest 8-0 start in NFL history. There is crazy respect for what the Falcons have done, but still a modicum of reservation because of Atlanta's recent postseason failures. But it would be equally idiotic to underestimate this team. They look hungrier, fiercer, than last season. This Falcons team should scare people.