There are times when a season can seem a bit blasé, and others when we are blessed to be witness to history. This past Monday Night, we witnessed a game for the ages ...
• DeSean Jackson might just wish his part could be edited out.
By now we've all seen a hundred replays of "Duh-Sean's" flippant mistake just shy of the Dallas goal line. Jackson's fantasy owners experienced a ride on that rare emotional rollercoaster of joy, followed by shock, which was likely topped off with some choice expletives for the rookie. I'm thinking his lame excuse about being a young guy is representative of his cocky California attitude, which led to Monday Night's faux pas.
So my first question going into this weekend is, how are the Eagles veterans going to handle Jackson in the aftermath of his play at the goal line? Veterans are responsible for "learnin' da rooks" properly, and no situation screams for hazing louder than this one. Maybe a day washing jock straps, singing the Cal-Berkeley fight song, and serving tea to the team during meetings would be a good place to start. Either way, Jackson needs a heapin' helpin' of humble pie, and he needs it now.
• How will Dallas and Philadelphia fare a week removed from their epic encounter? Make no mistake, this was no ordinary skirmish, more a battle between two of the NFC's titans, and as such makes me wonder if they will come out flat in their respective games. My guess? Dallas loses to Green Bay, but Philadelphia handles the Steelers.
In the highly competitive NFC East, the Cowboys won a brutal clash, and with it, gained the inside track for the division crown. Philadelphia is now at a disadvantage, but I expect they'll have more leverage to motivate their players. I'm thinking they punt on Brotherly Love in exchange for a heavy dose of vengeance. The Steelers look soft, managing only 10 points against a weak Cleveland defense, and will likely struggle in the rushing game against a stout Eagles front seven. Green Bay, on the other hand, is no slouch and sports one of the best young defenses in the game. After a relative cakewalk against the St Louis Lambs, the Lambeau Field faithful are likely to embrace Dallas with open arms, if only to smother them in a braut-fueled frenzy with heavy doses of Aaron Rodgers' Packers. Yes, this team now belongs to Rodgers, and the fantasy gods are smiling.
• Is Seattle really so desperate that they are giving Koren Robinson another shot? Apparently so. In fact, the Seahawks are so desperate for warm bodies at the wide receiver position that both Robinson and recently acquired former Bronco Keary Colbert will see time this weekend in a critical division matchup against the Rams as split end and flanker, respectively. Robinson might also be called upon for kick return duties, a role that got him to the Pro Bowl in 2005 with the Minnesota Vikings. Part of me thinks he could easily reprise his role as football's version of Roberto Duran, nicknamed Hands of Stone. The other thinks that Robinson is a gifted athlete who might have been blessed with a golden opportunity. Either way, I am giving him a roster spot on most of my teams this week, just in case. Like most fantasy owners, I always have two revolving door slots for situations just like this. If he burns me, he does it from the bench, and, poof, he's gone.
• Which coach will be fired first this season? Continuing a theme I introduced last week, I'd say it's time to officially launch the Hot Seat Derby. You know it's going to happen. Lane Kiffin almost won the derby last week, thanks to the raging lunacies that have marred Al Davis' once-illustrious reign as the Raiders head honcho, but apparently was spared the executioner's blade for one more week. That also makes this week's game in Buffalo an intriguing one. If Darren McFadden starts and plays anything like he did last week, the Raiders could surprise the surprising Bills this weekend. I, for one, am not buying Buffalo yet. The offense hasn't really shown me much, and the Raiders pass defense is better than they've indicated to date.
Scott Linehan is still the front-runner in my book, and a loss to Seattle would likely get him a date with a blindfold and a podium. I'm starting to think that the NFC North might soon have two vacancies. Brad Childress made the desperation move of naming Gus Frerotte his starter for the coming week and likely beyond. You know the heat is building rapidly for a team widely regarded as a contender in the NFC. Detroit's Matt Millen has done more foolish things in his tenure with the Lions, which could spell trouble for Rod Marinelli.
• How bad is it going to get for Brett's Jets this weekend? After coming down from the clouds last week against the Patriots, New York's AFC representative heads to sunny San Diego. There they face a team still bristling at Ed Hochuli's unfortunate, inadvertent whistle, which cost the Chargers a hotly-contested win in Denver against their bitter rival, the Broncos. I know the Chargers' faithful are calling for Hochuli's head, but I give him props for his immediate mea culpa. Hochuli is still one of the best white hats in the NFL and just proved that he, like seven billion-plus others on this planet, is human. To forgive is divine, but to go into San Diego this weekend is certain carnage for the Jets. Lock this one up and throw away the key, as I expect San Diego to destroy the Jets Monday.
• How bad is Kansas City? They might have just replaced St Louis as my favorite team to pick against in my survivor pools. They haven't won a regular season game since Oct. 21 of last year, when they escaped the Oakland Coliseum with a 12-10 squeaker against the Raiders. That is 11 straight losses if you are counting, and I don't see that streak changing this weekend. Larry Johnson is back to being Diaper Boy, crying about his role on the team. Tyler Thigpen, who played football at college powerhouse Coastal Carolina, isn't exactly striking fear in the hearts of the Falcons defense. The Chiefs have been turnstiles on defense for opposing rushers, to the tune of 427 yards in two games. Michael Turner should have a field day, as the best the Chiefs will be able to accomplish is a pat on the rear as he blows past them on his way to the end zone.
• Finally, as we Rays loyalists bask in the glow of another series win against the Red Sox, I've got a message for Mike Greenberg, who blasted the Tampa fans about not showing up for Tuesday's game against Boston. When you can say that you've played the game like your co-host, then we'll care about your opinion. For more on the reactions from some of the 36,048 Rays fans in attendance Wednesday night, including Rays broadcaster Rich Herrera, check out this video on Babelation.