Snap Judgments: Zorn's security, the other 'Wildcat' guy in Philly
MINNEAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we try to fathom the latest comeback miracle, and undoubtedly one of the greatest, in
• In today's NFL, it's never too early for the topic. Not in a league in which three offensive coordinators were canned before the regular season opened, and the six out-of-work Super Bowl-winning head coaches out-number the currently employed Super Bowl-winning head coaches by a 2-to-1 margin (6 to 3).
So don't ask whether the debate about
You can't say we didn't see this coming. After a promising 6-2 start to his rookie season in Washington last year, Zorn is 3-8 and his Redskins (1-2) look like the clear-cut last place team in the hyper-competitive NFC East for the second year in a row. Losing to Detroit just gives Redskins owner
We're not predicting that Snyder would entice anyone with a Super Bowl ring on their finger to town to take over his team in an interim situation, but you can't like Zorn's chances to last much longer after a game in which his Redskins were at one point getting dominated by the NFL's lovable losers. The Lions led 13-0 at the half, and held advantages of 274-94 in total yards and 16-6 in first downs. Washington played better in the second half, but not well enough to pin a 20th consecutive loss on Detroit.
When you throw in
The Rams and Raiders both canned their head coaches after four games last season, with St. Louis at 0-4 under
Will those results perhaps encourage other teams to go the early dismissal route this year in an effort to salvage their seasons? Maybe, maybe not. But Zorn certainly moved to the front of the firing line with Sunday's result. Despite offense being his specialty, Zorn hasn't fixed the Redskins lack of production, or come anywhere near developing
Sins of that nature usually end up costing head coaches their jobs. Zorn, who Snyder hired last year despite him not even having experience as an NFL coordinator, looks like he's in position to be the first one to go this season. Whether it happens this week, next week or sometime after that, the outcome no longer appears in doubt in Washington.
• Oh, so
It figures Vick would be so low-profile against Kansas City. He got so much of the pre-game attention last week, but wound up with just that one carry for seven yards, two incompletions, and was involved in eight other snaps where he either handed off or played the role of a decoy.
Wouldn't it be the height of irony if the real story in Philly this season wound up being the Eagles discovering for the first time what they really have in Kolb, a second-round pick in 2007? His 24-of-34, 327-yard, two-touchdown day in the Eagles' 34-14 blowout of Kansas City has to give
For all the fanfare, Vick at this point seems like something of an afterthought in the Eagles offense.
• Well, that just confirms what everyone already knew.
In losing 34-3 at Baltimore, the Browns were completely manhandled. Cleveland has now been outscored 55-10 in the second half this season, and the Ravens basically called off the dogs in the fourth quarter or things could have been even uglier for the Browns.
Good thing you jumped on Mangini so quickly last January,
• Not to ruin anything for anyone, but I don't forsee Baltimore slipping from the top spot in our SI.com NFL Power Rankings this week. Just saying.
• What must it be like to be a fan of the Bucs, Browns or Chiefs this season? Not only are they all 0-3, but also as a group they were completely out-classed on Sunday, with the Giants, Ravens and Eagles beating them by a combined score of 92-17.
Here are just a few of the ugly numbers:
--Through three quarters, the Giants led Tampa Bay in first downs 21-1, and 326-25 in total yardage. If it were a fight, they would have stopped it.
--The Browns were out-gained by Baltimore 479-186, and threw four interceptions to the Ravens -- who clearly didn't need the help with quarterback
--The Chiefs were 0-of-11 on third downs, with
• The Falcons are a very good football team, and might well make their way to the NFC playoffs. But Atlanta's 26-10 loss at New England showed us that for now
New England is still getting frustrated in the red zone and having to settle for field goals -- four of them in five red-zone trips against Atlanta -- but the Patriots wisely used an effective
• So it's back to square one when it comes to figuring out the enigma that is the Houston Texans. They win at Tennessee last week, and lose at home this week against winless Jacksonville.
And what exactly is going on with the Texans' run defense? Led by
• At 0-3, the Titans have as many losses as they had all last regular season, and since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990, only three teams have dug out of an 0-3 hole to make the playoffs. That's the grim news that
Tennessee's game against the Jets on Sunday went about like its season so far -- the Titans were down 14-0 before they knew what hit them. But I wouldn't bury the Titans just yet. They can play a whole lot better than this, and I actually believe the playoffs are still possible. But they now face a must-win next week at Jacksonville, and they've got to at least split the following two games, which are home against Indianapolis and at New England.
• I can't really remember the last time Tennessee imploded on special teams, but rookie return man
I wouldn't want to be Mouton on the flight home to Nashville tonight.
• Having just watched
• The Packers will take their 36-17 ugly-at-times win at St. Louis and be happy about it, but the best news for Green Bay was that it protected quarterback
Now comes a game the Packers have been aiming for since Favre signed with the Vikings: Green Bay at Minnesota on Monday night, Oct. 5, in Week 4. Though the players in their locker room aren't likely to admit it publicly, the Packers are incredibly eager to play against Favre and do their part to make sure his return to the NFC North isn't a season-long success story.
• I know one team that feels better about itself today: The Green Bay Packers. Because now they know losing last week to the Bengals was no disgrace. That became readily apparent once Cincinnati upset the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers 23-20 late Sunday, giving the Bengals their second consecutive eye-opening win.
The Bengals are clearly better than we thought, and to think they'd likely be 3-0 if they hadn't lost to Denver in Week 1 on that fluke pass deflection. As for the Steelers, their overtime win at home against the Titans on Sept. 10 already feels like a very long time ago. Pittsburgh has lost a fourth-quarter lead two straight weeks in a row, and that's the kind of stuff that convinces me there will be a post-Super Bowl letdown in Steel City this year.
• Not only did backup
Tampa Bay might be tempted to make a quick move away from
As for Russell, I'm guessing Oakland coach
• It may not feel great if you're a Saints fan, but it's a great sign to see New Orleans win on the strength of its running game and defense, not just its high-octane offense. New Orleans is going to have to win games where the offense isn't clicking, and the Saints' hang-with-'em 27-7 victory at Buffalo was an excellent blueprint for the future.
New Orleans headed home 3-0 and eager to start preparing for one of Week 4's glamour matchups: A visit to the Superdome by the 3-0 Jets.