NASHVILLE -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we witnessed the rather quiet demise of the NFL's final undefeated team, with Tennessee's 21-point loss to the Jets prompting the popping of champagne corks by those survivors known as the 1972 Dolphins...
• Now that the weather has turned colder and the weeks remaining in the regular season have dwindled down to just a handful, it has already snuck up on us once again. Uh, yeah, sure the holidays are here, but that's not the cherished annual exercise I was thinking of in this case.
In the NFL, this is the time of year when we all gather around and debate
McNabb was a juicy topic all last week, of course, after admitting he didn't even know the NFL had tie games. But I knew all things Philly had gotten kicked up a notch Sunday afternoon when I opened my e-mail in box. There was the NFL Network analyst
And then there was FOX NFL analyst
And that was after I had already watched ESPN NFL analyst
Everybody it seems has an opinion on the situation in Philadelphia, including Reid, who weighed in rather definitively Sunday afternoon by benching the slumping McNabb in favor of backup
For what's it worth, my guess is that this is indeed the beginning of the end for McNabb in Philadelphia, but that Reid survives to coach another year. But I could be wrong. By my count, we've had something of a McNabb/Reid death watch going in Philadelphia at least three of the last four seasons. In fact, almost everything that has occurred since the Eagles lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl in January 2005 seems to have had somehow played into the question of whether it was time for Philadelphia's head coach and quarterback to move on.
All I really know is that the NFL's 10-year rule seems to be playing a factor in all of this. Although there are exceptions, 10 years in the same place is about the extent of an NFL head coach's lifespan these days. After that, people just tire of you, your message and your lack of being able to deliver championships every season. And given that Reid and McNabb are in their 10th season together in Philly, it's only natural that the issue of when their tenure should end seems to be thought of as a package deal.
The Eagles are 5-5-1, mired in last place in the NFC East and looking like the wheels are coming off. If Reid devotes the rest of the season to developing Kolb, McNabb's fate will be sealed, because Philadelphia owes No. 5 a cool $19.2 million over the next two years, and that's not veteran backup money. As for Reid, his future is a little trickier to discern. Quality head coaches are tough to find in the NFL, and he might just out-last the mess that 2008 has turned into, as long as Eagles owner
The next five weeks should tell the Philadelphia story. We'll all be watching and debating what should or shouldn't be done when it comes to McNabb and Reid. 'Tis the season.
• A whopping 48 points and 530 yards of total offense? Three touchdown catches by
• Let's be honest: We all had some level of doubt about
• I can't fake it and act like I'm not disappointed that Thursday's Tennessee at Detroit game lost its luster just four days short of coming to fruition. I was really looking forward to the first 11-0 against 0-11 showdown in NFL history. Who's with me?
The Lions did their part in Week 12, letting Tampa Bay score 38 of the game's final 41 points after Detroit had built a 17-0 first-quarter lead. At least Detroit fans can't bemoan their team falling way behind right away, as has been its pattern for most of the season.
Told you these Lions were serious about running the table in reverse. It's 0-11 today, and 0-16 tomorrow.
I'm not saying it will happen, but I can at least start to believe it could.
• Was anybody else hoping that after that 75-yard T.O. touchdown catch he would race to midfield and stomp on the star at Texas Stadium -- against the 49ers this time?
• That was a nice, cathartic blowout win for the Bills at Kansas City. You knew someone would have to pay for Buffalo's four-game losing streak, and unfortunately the bedraggled, one-win Chiefs happened to be in the way at the wrong time.
But I still get the feeling it'll be too little, too late for
Going back to Anderson full time at this point would only muddle the decision-making process at quarterback in Cleveland, because the Browns haven't definitively found out anything about Quinn just yet. But that's what losing teams do. They bounce back and forth between two bad options at quarterback, making both seem worse than they probably would be alone.
• I still don't even get the
• What are the Browns going to do about
• If you're scoring at home, the Rams have now been out-shone 123-13 in the first half of their past four games -- that's roughly an average of 31-3 at the break.
Looks like that six-wins-you-get-the-job clause that the NFL made the Rams remove from interim head coach
• I'd have to check to be 100 percent sure, but I do believe my eight predicted division winners in the preseason were: New England in the AFC East, Cleveland in the AFC North, Indianapolis in the AFC South, San Diego in the AFC West, Philadelphia in the NFC East, Green Bay in the NFC North, New Orleans in the NFC South, and Seattle in the NFC West.
At the moment, I'm 0-for-8. But don't laugh, because I bet I've got a lot of company in this particular boat.
• All you can say about Jacksonville is that it has been the ugliest season of coach
• I officially give up trying to figure out the Broncos. They win when I expect them to lose and lose when I expect them to win. I do know that
Denver is going to keep San Diego in this AFC West race whether the Chargers want to be in it or not.
• Lest anyone think all Atlanta has on offense is
That three-team NFC South scrum -- I'll put the Saints back in it if they win at home against the Packers Monday night -- could be the NFL's best division race down the stretch.