Snap Judgments: For Kiffin, no shame in getting fired by Raiders
I mean, think about it. There are worse things to be known as. Even better for Kiffin, who's only 33, he's the youngest member of that particular club, giving him years and years to enjoy the distinction and, potentially, profit from it.
Consider the happy fates of so many others who have been fortunate enough to leave the employment of
-- Even Davis himself is an ex-Raiders head coach who has fared pretty well after his three-year stint (1963-65) on the sideline. He does own the team after all, as Raiders fans might have been prone to recall a time or two during the course of the franchise's disastrous past five years. For a guy who first showed up in Oakland in January 1963 -- during the Kennedy administration -- that's 45 years of staying power.
So the last thing Kiffin should do is despair that his Raiders days are done and over with. He got his 20 games, it didn't go well, but that's that. Who knows? Maybe some day in the decades to come, he'll have a popular video game named in his honor, and football fans will rush out en masse to buy
• The other thing that struck me this week was that the Rams and Raiders -- those old relocation-loving NFL twins -- were linked once again when they both fired their coaches within a day of each other.
The Rams asked
It brought back memories of the Rams and Raiders packing up and leaving Los Angeles together in the spring of 1995, with
The irony of all ironies, of course, is that if you believe what you hear, the Rams and Raiders could have their eye on a move back to Los Angeles at some point in the coming three years.
The Rams and Raiders are among the very few NFL teams that have hired the same head coach twice, a feat the Rams have, remarkably enough, repeated more than once.
Everybody remembers that the Rams had two
• Due to Hurricane Ike, the 0-3 Texans were the only team that didn't get to play at home in September. But boy are they going to make up for it in October. I hope the good folks of Houston are ready for some football, because their team is about to have something I can never remember seeing in all my years of watching and covering the league: a four-game, month-long homestand.
Houston's three-week delayed home opener is Sunday against the Colts, and it's followed by home games against Miami on Oct. 12, Detroit on Oct. 19 and Cincinnati on Oct. 26. After a trip to Minnesota on Nov. 2, the Texans are back at Reliant Stadium on Nov. 9 against Baltimore, the team that was originally scheduled to visit in Week 2.
• Through the first four weeks of last season, four teams remained unbeaten: New England and Indianapolis were 4-0 in the AFC; Dallas and Green Bay were 4-0 in the NFC. All four made the playoffs, and the Patriots and Packers played in the conference title round.
This year, just three unbeatens remains after four weeks: Tennessee and Buffalo at 4-0 in the AFC, and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants at 3-0 in the NFC.
The bottom line? I think we have a great chance this year of not having to suffer through any more stories involving the thoughts or reactions of
• From what I hear, Bucs coach
Griese beat one of his other former teams, Chicago, two weeks ago on the road, so Tampa Bay is hoping to repeat that trick. The trouble is, with 11 games still remaining after this week, the Bucs' schedule is all out of teams Griese once played for.
• Atlanta visits Green Bay this week, and if Packers quarterback
Wait a minute. Even if Rodgers does play, both he and Ryan will be making their fifth career starts, so the experience factor will be largely moot no matter what.
• Speaking of experience, why did
Experience doesn't count for much when you don't know your team as well as you should, and you fail to mix in a healthy dose of common sense.
• Buffalo at Arizona matches the AFC team with the longest playoff drought (the Bills last made it in 1999) against the NFC team with the longest playoff drought (the Cardinals last went to the postseason in 1998).
After watching Arizona fold up at the Jets last week, and the Bills fight back to trounce the Rams in St. Louis, I'm convinced that Buffalo's streak will end, but I'm not so sure about the Cardinals'. And for me it comes down to this:
• All I know is that without much health at running back, the Steelers figure to have to pass the ball a lot this week against Jacksonville. And when Pittsburgh throws the ball these days,