Let the Chip Fall Where He May
After an embarrassing loss at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers things are at an all-time low in the Chip Kelly era in Philadelphia. Patience has never been a virtue held by the city of Brotherly Love so when Kelly arrived and systematically started shipping off their favorite star players over the first two seasons, fans were right to be a little nervous. “In Chip We Trust” they muttered to themselves after Kelly made questionable move after questionable move. The benefit of the doubt that Chip Kelly had enjoyed up to this point has finally dwindled away. The vultures are circling and everyone seems to know besides the head coach. Previously, when a high profile college job was loosely linked to Kelly, the rumors were dismissed by Eagles fans with a groan and a shrug. Now when those rumors come calling, they are met with hope. Reports of anonymous sources questioning the effort of DeMarco Murray after he slid to avoid contact are just the tip of the iceberg of the drama unfolding in Philly. “I feel confident in the guys we have right now,” Kelly said. “I think we have a really good football team. I’m very confident in our football players.” The boo birds in the stands strongly disagree.
It seems like the future of Johnny Football in Cleveland is in dire straits. After Josh McCown suffered an injury to open the door for Manziel to start, it only took one bye week for Johnny to throw it all away. After a video surfaced of Manziel partying in Texas, head coach Mike Pettine decided that enough was enough. The head coach hasn’t exactly been Johnny’s number one fan since his arrival, so Manziel’s cavalier attitude over the bye week was all Pettine needed to send Johnny packing. Johnny Manziel, of course, has been predictably aloof addressing the situation as he poorly attempted to explain away the video claiming “Videos can be old. Videos can be all kinds of different things. So like I said, I’m not in a state to be able to speak on it because my focus has been on this today and what really matters is this game on Monday. So that’s where my focus has been. I did get a chance to relax. So I haven’t seen anything like that, and I’m not going to be able to speculate on it right now.” Speculation will now begin as to where Manziel will play next season. The countdown to the Cowboys has begun.
Firing Up the Fan Base
When the Lions named long time real estate CEO Rod Wood as team President, the news was met with the mantra “the same old Lions.” Wood didn’t do himself any favors when he proclaimed “I would probably say that I’m not qualified to run any other NFL team but I think I’m qualified to run this one.” Not an exactly inspiring statement to say the least. While Wood is ultimately calling the shots, the team is wisely still utilizing a search firm to identify possible general manager candidates. Ones that presumably have a ton more football experience than Mr. Wood. The power structure in Detroit has the makings of a huge mess, but to the players and current head coach Jim Caldwell’s credit, the Lions are in the midst of a two game winning streak.
It has to be extremely frustrating that after all of the attention that has been given to concussions in football that a quarterback could be nearly knocked out cold yet still be allowed to remain in the game. Each sideline is now provided with an independent concussion spotter who’s sole job is to take a player out of the game if that player appears to have suffered a concussion. After Case Keenum is hit, the back of his helmet smacks the ground immediately making him woozy on the field. It was so apparent that backup quarterback Nick Foles almost simultaneously began to warm up on the field. Perhaps the spotter was just caught up in the game in the waning minutes as the Rams were attempting to march down the field for a game-winning attempt. Head coach Jeff Fisher claimed to have not seen the hit or the aftermath of Keenum struggling to gain his balance on the field. This is frankly a bit unbelievable. For it’s part, the NFL has begun an investigation into the complete failure to manage the players’ safety in that game. This cannot happen.
The somewhat forgotten team name controversy in Washington DC took a rather interesting twist when defensive end Jason Hatcher claimed that his team was being penalized more often because they play for the Redskins. “It’s been every game: call after call that should’ve been made in our favor, but it goes to them,” he told reporters. “It’s just not right. We’ve got feelings too, and we want to win too.” I suppose when you aren’t playing well you will grasp at anything to find an excuse as to why. To make matters worse, the Washington football club is in reality the 9th LEAST penalized team in the league. Unfortunately for the Redskins, a few less penalties would not have made that big of a difference in the 44-16 walloping they got at the hands of the undefeated Panthers.
1. New England Patriots (10-0), last week 1: The skill players are dropping like flies but the Pats keep winning but for how long.
2. Carolina Panthers (10-0), last week 2: Installed as 1-point underdogs in Dallas, expect the Panthers to pounce.
3. Arizona Cardinals (8-2), last week 3: The Cardinals have dispatched their division foe and the AFC North’s best team in back to back weeks.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (8-2), last week 4: Cincy can’t wait to play a day game.
5. Denver Broncos (8-2), last week 5: It’s up to the Broncos to end the Patriots perfect season.
6. Green Bay Packers (7-3), last week 6: The Packers offense isn’t back but it was still good enough to beat the Vikings.
7. Minnesota Vikings (7-3), last week 7: The Vikings defense faces another previously struggling offense in the Falcons this week.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4), last week 8: Coming off a bye, the Steelers face a tough road test in the Pacific Northwest.
9. Buffalo Bills (5-5), last week 9: The Bills had a great game plan on defensive but failed to execute on offense in typical Rex fashion.
10. Atlanta Falcons (6-4), last week 10: The Falcons continue to sputter after last week’s Colts loss and now welcome the Vikings to Altanta.
11. Seattle Seahawks (5-5), last week 12: This team was barely tested last week but now gets a big test in Big Ben.
12. New York Giants (5-5), last week 13: The next three games are very winnable for the Giants as they look to get some distance in the NFC East race.
13. Indianapolis Colts (5-5), last week 15: Unlike the Cowboys, the Colts have a competent backup quarterback that can win games.
14. Kansas City Chiefs (5-5), last week 20: And now the Chiefs begin their descent up the power rankings as they win their 4th straight since losing Charles.
15. New York Jets (5-5), last week 11: The Fitzpatrick revenge tour ended badly in Houston.
16. St. Louis Rams (4-6), last week 14: The Rams knocked out the opposing starting .running back, then ended the season of the opposing quarterback and still lost.
17. Oakland Raiders (4-6), last week 16: The Raiders stopped to drink the Kool-Aid and now have lost three straight.
18. Houston Texans (5-5), last week 23: Back to back huge wins, with last week’s led by TJ Yates no less, are keeping the Texans alive in the AFC South race.
19. Chicago Bears (4-6), last week 17: Forte and Jeffery are set to return this week which should help out the offense immensely.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5), last week 24: You don’t have to be good to be lucky.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6), last week 18: So Sanchez was worse after all. Now we know.
22. Miami Dolphins (4-6), last week 19: Miami gets a big win over the Eagles and now welcomes Romo back this week.
23. Dallas Cowboys (3-7), last week 21: With Romo back, the Cowboys are ready to roll again.
24. Washington (4-6), last week 22: Carolina demolished them as expected and now they face a must win game against their NFC East rivals.
25. New Orleans Saints (4-6), last week 25: It’s probably going to take more than a bye week to fix that defense.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6), last week 27: Sometimes you just have to win ugly.
27. San Diego Chargers (2-8), last week 26: Sometimes you lose ugly.
28. Baltimore Ravens (3-7), last week 28: Baltimore nabs it’s third win of the season but it was a costly one.
29. Tennessee Titans (2-8), last week 29: One step forward, two steps back is the Titans season.
30. San Francisco 49ers (3-7), last week 30: Gabbert isn’t imploding like we thought he would but he’s still not very good.
31. Detroit Lions (3-7), last week 32: I guess all the Lions had to do was fire everyone who ever made a decision.
32. Cleveland Browns (2-8), last week 31: McCown vs Schaub on Monday Night is the matchup nobody asked for.