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Chargers coach Brandon Staley says he never felt his job was in jeopardy as his team was whizzing away a 27-0 lead in that Wild Card game against the Jaguars. I would describe that as a stunning lack of self-awareness.

The Cowboys are taking a humane but rational approach in dealing with placekicker Brett Maher’s struggles. There has been no knee-jerk. Maher is still the kicker and has received support from Mike McCarthy, special teams coach John Fassell and teammates. But Dallas Wednesday signed journeyman kicker Tristan Vizcaino to the practice squad. Vizcaino bumped around a little with the Chiefs and Cardinals this year, and spent the part of 2020 offseason with the Cowboys. Here’s the plan. Vizcaino is available if Maher struggles in practice Thursday and Friday. Yeah. Maher needs to knock ‘em through today and tomorrow. “Trust but verify.”

The biggest single reason (there were many) the Cowboys dominated the Bucs is that Dallas completely eliminated the Tampa Bay running game. That is an unrealistic expectation heading into Sunday’s game against the ‘Niners. SF can run the ball on Star Wars Stormtroopers. This is a whole ‘nuther deal.

Key player for Dallas? Pollard. He’s going to have to pop some big plays. Because I guarantee you that Deebo and McCaffrey will.

One more reason to love Joe Burrow. You know how players and teams are always trying to portray themselves as the underdogs, even when they’re not? You know, the whole lame, eye-roll inducing, “Nobody respects us” song and dance? Burrow is taking a complete opposite approach as his Bengals get ready to go to Buffalo. “We’re not underdogs.” Even though they are in the eyes of national sports books.  The Baby Faced Assassin is a hoot, in an always calculating way.

Like pretty much all eight billion people on Earth, I have sometimes been critical of Kirk Cousins. But he’s taking WAY too much crap following the Vikings loss to the Giants. Yeah, I know, he checked it down short of the sticks on that late fourth down. But I also know that Cousins was the best thing the Vikes had going for them in that game. Go back and look.  He made phenomenal throws, many of them looking right down the gun barrel. He took a horrendous beating and never flinched. Cousins did not get Minnesota beat. That unit on the other side of the ball they loosely call a “defense” did.

How good was Cousins? He was almost as good as Daniel Jones, who turned in one of the greatest single-game quarterbacking performances in recent league history. I wish I had the stones to pick the G-men to upset the Eagles. I don’t. But Philly has to be more than a little nervous.

Think about this. Eight teams are left standing. Three of them are from the NFC East. Then think about this. If the Commanders can get their QB situation settled, they absolutely can make the postseason in 2023. That roster is otherwise impressive.

I have no issue with those who maintain the Chiefs are the best team in the league. And there’s no doubt Mahomes will be the NFL MVP. But they’re not invulnerable. They are surprisingly shaky in the red zone, both offensively and defensively.

As wonderful as Super Wild Card weekend was, the divisional round is my favorite Saturday and Sunday on the NFL calendar. Eight teams, each of which either earned a first-round bye or has already won a playoff game. All eight think they’re gonna grab the Lombardi. Seven of them will be wrong.

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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.