Can the Vikings (3-7) make the playoffs? No, but everybody has incentive to play hard and prove their worth over the final six games, under a clean slate and in an environment more conducive to success. Frazier will energize this team much like Jason Garrett has sparked the Cowboys. Unlike Garrett, Frazier faces a quandary at quarterback.
Brett Favre looked finished during and after Sunday's 31-3 loss to the Packers. He said after the game that he needed to "re-evaluate" his situation. I'll re-evaluate it for him. Favre needs to play. Not for his legacy or his streak, but for Frazier, who's operating under an interim tag. Favre definitely isn't the quarterback of the future in Minnesota, but he's a better option than Tarvaris Jackson right now, and Frazier needs to win quickly to secure the full-time job going into 2011.
Favre's in a tough situation. You see it all the time in sports when aging stars hang on a little too long. I was an exception, so sure I was going to retire after Super Bowl XL that I told Art Rooney before the game it would be my finale, win or lose. I haven't had the hunger to suit up again. But consider that Favre has been playing football for the majority of his life. It can be scary to leave the sport when it's one thing you've known for decades. The day football is no longer in your life is a traumatic experience.
Maybe this shakeup is just what Favre needs, for the team to come together under a common goal. The key term in Minnesota right now is "self-preservation." For Frazier and for every man in that locker room, their jobs are now on the line.
Kubiak has to take responsibility for the Texans' inability to close out games. When you're losing games like the Texans are, the head coach is held accountable either for a lack of preparation or attention to detail. Clearly, this team owns playoff-caliber talent and is capable of beating anybody in the NFL. Yet they've fallen into last place in the AFC South with four straight losses.
That change should be simple: Fisher parts ways with Young and finds a new quarterback. It won't be that easy. Owner Bud Adams has been very vocal in support of Young, and he reiterated that point to Nashville media Monday. So Fisher's hands may be tied to a certain degree, but while Young is in a precarious position, I think Fisher's job is safe.
Singletary isn't as safe in San Francisco, but I don't think his seventh loss was the last straw. The 49ers will evaluate him on the merits of a 16-game season and not on a game-by-game basis. Singletary has six games left to get his team to respond and prove to management that he deserves to keep his job.
--Richard Seymour needs to be suspended for his
--If I had the chance to play football in a baseball park, I would have preferred the old Yankee Stadium or Tiger Stadium.
--Week 12 features an interesting slate of games, including Packers (7-3) at Falcons (8-2) and Bucs (7-3) at Ravens (-7-4), but I'm most intrigued by a battle between a 4-5 team and a 6-4 team on Sunday Night Football. Two MVP contenders will go at it when the Chargers face the Colts in what's sure to be a high-scoring affair. I'll take Peyton Manning to beat Philip Rivers at home and bounce back from Sunday's loss in New England.