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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 your concern.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.