Remember when John Fox was one of the best coaches in football? Seems like so long ago. I hate to say this but I’m glad that the full slate of Falcons games are broadcast here on HHI, and not the Panthers — this season has been painful enough to follow with ESPN ScoreCenter push notifications.
The NFL regular season has concluded, so that means a fairly unhappy New Years’ Eve for a few underperformers. The shakeup begins — where else? — in Miami: general manager Randy Mueller is Bill Parcells’ first casualty in what promises to be a tumultuous offseason for the 1-15 Dolphins. Brian Billick, the coach of the Ravens who lost to the Dolphins, found out what happens when you lose to a 1-15 team enroute to a nine-game losing streak: you lose your job. Billick didn’t have a chance; the Ravens were undisciplined and sloppy the last few weeks of the season. Meanwhile, many believe coach John Fox and GM Marty Hurney are on the hot seat in Carolina. Fox expects to be back, but owner Jerry Richardson hasn’t decided yet. I say give Fox another run at it with Jake Delhomme or Matt Moore at quarterback, but by all means, fire Hurney. The Panthers have had a few substandard drafts (no more USC receivers, please!) and the David Carr signing turned out to be an atrocious $6 million disaster.
This is one of those Lousy Football Days that I will just care to forget…
- David Carr is not the answer for the Panthers. Period. He may be a warm body at the quarterback position, but there’s nothing that tells me he knows how to win. This is his second start where a touchdown in garbage time avoided the shutout. I hope Vinny gets better soon, and if not, then it’s time to call it a season and put Matt Moore in. Carr was, fairly, given a second chance outside of Houston, but he’s just rattled, porous line or otherwise.
- It’s too bad the Titans are in the Colts’ division. They’ve played all-out gritty football this year. I have to give kudos to a team that keeps its head coach around longer than three years, too. Jeff Fisher is one of the good ones.
- John Fox embodies the definition of insanity: Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. More David Carr starts will result in more near-shutouts. He is not directing that offense. Fox needs to put away his blind loyalty to his starters and put Carr on the bench.
- Whatever comes of Jake Delhomme’s recovery from Tommy John surgery, it’s time for the Panthers to think very hard about drafting a quarterback next April, just in case.
- Something’s wrong with John Kasay. I don’t know what it is, but he is not as automatic as he used to be.
- And here I thought the Chargers were making progress. Instead, they lose to a 2-5 team and give up 296 yards to one player, Antonio Cromartie’s NFL-record 109-yard short field goal return notwithstanding.
- Brad Childress had better be awful careful not to burn out Adrian Peterson now. That’s a weapon he’ll want around for years to come. There are so many great running backs that have had their careers cut far too short because of being worked too hard (Terrell Davis, Jamal Anderson, and soon, Cadillac Williams, for starters)
- The Packers are 7-1. The Lions are 6-2. No, I can’t believe it either.
- The Saints will still win the NFC South. They are most definitely back on track.
- …and yes. The Game. It was a good one, too — one the Patriots should have probably lost — but they kept plugging away. Make no mistake, they beat a good team that largely outplayed them most of the day, and yet they found a way to win. The Patriots proved today they can win ugly. This team has the best chance I’ve seen at going 16-0.
- The disgusted look on Peyton Manning’s face as Brady was kneeling to finish the game really said it all. I can’t say I blame him.