Bus Stops: Eagles' Jackson shames team, NFL with his me-first move
An athlete of his caliber, on a winning team, in a major market playing in nationally televised games represents the direction of where the NFL is going. Hot dogging gives all players a black eye. The perception of superstars percolates throughout the league, and fans can start looking at them in a different light. We've seen it before with Terrell Owens, Randy Moss and others.
It's also not the first time Jackson has come under fire this year. If you remember, Andy Reid reportedly called him out in front of the entire team a couple weeks ago for a lack of mental toughness. I think Jackson has responded well to that incident, as it looked like he played through an ankle injury against the Cowboys. But this is different, and he needs to be called out again (if he hasn't been already).
His antics can lead to retaliation from opponents, which can escalate into more trouble. If I'm his teammate, I'm not happy. If that ever happened on one of my teams, we would pull the player aside and make it clear that can't ever happen again. And if it does, you have to deal with every one of your teammates.
If the Jaguars don't hang on to win, this is a full-blown issue. I fear it will be when it inevitably decides a game. The definition of the rule needs to be softened. If, say, a tackler leads with his shoulder but upon impact his helmet rises and hits the quarterback's helmet, that's accidental and shouldn't be a penalty. The Jaguars-Raiders play was a totally different situation than what this rule was established for -- players leading with their helmets or intentionally hitting a quarterback in the head.
-- Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was reportedly caught wearing a Snuggie at Sunday's game. Would I ever wear a Snuggie? Yes ... but never in public.
-- Week 15 may signal the end of an era in Indianapolis. That's how pivotal Sunday's Jaguars-Colts game is. If the Colts lose, they can't win the division, and I don't see how they can salvage a playoff berth. The Colts' core is aging, so this is a must-win to prove the franchise can still be called a Super Bowl contender.
-- Another game with major playoff implications is Saints at Ravens. Both teams are looking at wild-card berths right now, so neither can afford to lose and still feel comfortable heading into the final two games. The loser of this game may be facing a No. 6 seed, which means games at the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds in January.
-- Predictions: Peyton Manning finds a way to win at home. The Ravens lose because they can't match Drew Brees.