So, Lil’ Abner is trying to spin Sunday’s Disaster in D.C. as a positive? Of course he is. He’s Lil’ Abner. Here’s reality. The Cowboys’ offensive line is in tatters. That in turn has really affected their offensive game plans. Dak is not playing well. Despite some flashes by T.Y. Hilton, the receiving corps behind CeeDee Lamb is still thin. The defense that was so dominant earlier in the season now appears to be out of gas.
And now the ‘Boys head to Tampa Bay. That’s a problem. Yeah, the Bucs mailed it in yesterday in a loss to Atlanta, and finished with a losing record at 8-9. But don’t get fooled. Tampa Bay is hitting its stride on both sides of the ball. The Bucs’ offensive problem has been an inability to run the ball. The Cowboys’ run defense could end up being the cure for that. The Commanders pushed the Cowboys around like houseplants.
If Fournette gets it going—and I think he very well might—that’s a wrap. And if the Bucs stay ahead of the chains, Evans and Godwin will have a field day off play action.
And I guess I don’t have to remind you that Brady has never—ever—lost to Dallas.
The Texans’ firing of Lovie Smith is unjustified, and even disgraceful in my view. Once again, Houston bags a head coach after only one season, during what is clearly a deep and extensive rebuilding period. And don’t tell me Lovie had lost that team. This is shameful.
Who’s the NFL Coach of the Year? Doug Pederson? Kyle Shanahan? Dan Campbell? All great choices. But it’s gotta be Pete Carroll, in my view. Heading into the season, a lot of people thought the Seahawks would be the very worst team in the league. Worse than the Bears. Worse than the Texans. Instead, Seattle went 9-8 and is playoff bound. The Seahawks had the best corps of rookies in the NFL and are flush with draft picks going forward as a result of the Russell Wilson trade. Color that team’s future Sanguine in Seattle.
Want a feel-good story? Geno Smith. Want another one? Jared Goff. He played at an elite level in the back half of the season. And let’s get this straight. He kicked Aaron Rodgers’ ass Sunday night at Lambeau.
Wasn’t it great to see a team (the Lions) playing to WIN? And that was after they knew they had been eliminated from playoff contention.
And speaking of Rodgers, either do it or don’t, man. I mean right now. Don’t drag your drama into even February.
I ask you to take a moment to consider this. Right now the best thing the United States’ people have going for it is the National Football League. Yeah, all you NFL bashers. The NFL over the past week has been a strong glob of cultural glue for the American people. Football has brought us together, however briefly. Did you see that scene in Buffalo Sunday? Tell me you weren’t moved.
The three best teams in the AFC are the Chiefs, Bills and Bengals. Put them in any order you want. (I would still have the Chiefs ahead by a nose.) But the Chargers are talented enough to wreck the room.
I’m taking nothing away from the Eagles. They earned that top speed. But if Hurts isn’t able to get right, Philly could be outta here in a hurry. As a practical matter, it may be irrelevant. The ‘Niners are—by a huge margin—the best team in the NFC. Yeah, even with a rookie QB.
I’m seeing at least a couple of other young quarterbacks I really like. Sam Howell sure looked the part Sunday in D.C. And I see some really promising things in the Raiders’ Jarrett Stidham.
Allow me to circle back to the Sunday Night Football game. Going into next season, who would you rather be? The Packers? Or the Lions? I know what my answer is.
Hmmm. Looks like Detroit DB Kerby Joseph owns Aaron Rodgers even more than Rodgers owns the Bears. Am I wrong?
All six games in Super Wild Card Weekend are rematches from earlier this season. I love it!
Oh, J.J. Thank you for everything. Everything.
One last cheapie on my way out the door. Kliff Kingsbury reports that Kyler Murray will not be ready for the start of next season following his knee reconstruction. Relax, Kliffy. That will be neither your problem nor concern.