For the last two seasons, Chip Kelly has made drastic and sometimes unpopular decision in regards to the Eagles roster in an effort to mold the team into what he needs for success. Each step was greeted with gritted teeth by the fans as they slowly muttered the mantra “in Chip we trust.” After yet another dismal season, the trust in Philadelphia was forever broken. After the team’s recent loss to the rival Redskins that made them the NFC East champs, Kelly had to face the media and face the music in an attempt to explain away his team’s poor play.
Chip professed that the team he built was good, they just didn’t play that way. While fans tried to make sense of that statement, Kelly quickly began passing the buck, suggesting that he is not all at fault for the state of the team. “I’m not the General Manager. I don’t run our personnel department. I’m not in charge of scouting,” Kelly said. “I don’t tell our scouts where to go. … The only difference is I was in control of the 53-man roster and now I’m in control of the 90-man roster. … My job has never changed.” After attempting to pass the buck, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie made the call and Chip’s job has changed, to a new location.
Perhaps Peyton Manning should have retired last year. Nothing seems to be going right this offseason, from his early season interception woes, to his very timely injury that more-or-less doubled as a benching. While the Broncos begin to look toward the future, an Al Jazeera report looked towards the past and suggested they found a curious connection between Peyton and an HGH supplier during the lockout season. Manning obviously didn’t take the chargers lying down and opted to fire back in a passionate denial that unfortunately raised the profile of the story to an even higher level. While the Broncos and Brock Osweiler look to keep the Broncos on the playoff path, Peyton is left to defend his past and his legacy which is not at all how he imagined his potential final season would go.
In the offseason, after All-Pro safety Eric Weddle and the San Diego Chargers failed to engage in serious contract extension talks, it was very obvious that both the team and the player had decided to move on. Weddle was set to make a very fair salary in his final year and the Chargers were more than upfront with the player and its fans that this would be Weddle’s last season with the team. While Weddle hasn’t enjoyed a stellar year patrolling the back end of the Chargers defense, his play has still been above average has he has dealt with nagging injuries throughout the season.
As the season winds down, Weddle has decided to air the Chargers dirty laundry and reveal that he was fined $10,000 for watching his daughter perform at halftime and feels he was wrongly placed on IR which prevents him from flying on the team plane for the Chargers last game of the season. Weddle claims he was considering a return to the team until these alleged accusations of mistreatment. Who knows how true that claim is, but the fans should want a player who wants to be with his team at halftime, looking over film and working with coaches instead of a player that is finding a way to get out of work.
The Panthers and Falcons began the year at 5-0 and seemed destined for a collision course that would determine the NFC South champion. Unfortunately for the Falcons, after their hot start, they immediately nose-dived and the Panthers easily wrapped up the division way ahead of schedule. The perfect Panthers were steamrolling their way through their schedule, celebrating each touchdown and each win with so much gusto and fanfare that it was only a matter of time before opponents began taking issue.
When the Panthers strolled into their Week 16 matchup with the Falcons, the downtrodden rivals were ready to make a statement. As is the case when two teams meet toward the end of the season on completely different paths, the lesser of the two franchises will always be ready to teach the better team a lesson in class. Falcons linebacker O’Brien Schofield was more than happy to be the Panthers teacher. “There’s a better way to win. There’s a better way to show class if you get a victory…they didn’t handle themselves with class the first time we played so I didn’t care about how they were feeling after this game. I was ‘dabbing’ in all their faces.” I guess winning with class means dabbing in all your opponents faces. Something the Panthers have done the previous 14 weeks and will attempt to do in the playoffs.
Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur
There’s a serious war going on in the Rams’ locker room, one that threatens to divide the team. “No, I don’t believe dinosaurs existed,” Rams defensive end William Hayes dropped this bombshell last month. “Not even a little bit. With these bones, it’s crazy because man has never seen a dinosaur, we can agree on that, right? But we know exactly how to put these bones together? I believe there is more of a chance you will find a mermaid than you will a dinosaur.” Fellow defensive lineman Chris Long takes the counter viewpoint and I remain equally befuddled at Hayes’ assertion. Although if you think about it, Hayes does seem to have a point. “We have never seen a dinosaur before but we know exactly where every single rib [was] and which rib goes where. That’s crazy to me.” Perhaps it’s time to throw childish things aside.
1. Carolina Panthers (14-1), last week 1: The ‘dab’ is dead and so is the Panthers undefeated season
2. Arizona Cardinals (13-2), last week 3: There appears to be no stopping the Cardinals now
3. New England Patriots (12-3), last week 2: Brady finally got the offense on a roll and then their coach decided to kick the ball away in over time.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4), last week 4: McCarron is not even playing all that bad but this team needs Dalton to return
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6), last week 5: The playoffs seemed like a certainty just a week ago but now they need some help
6. Kansas City Chiefs (10-5), last week 8: KC looks like they’ll fall just short of the AFC West crown but they might be the better team.
7. Seattle Seahawks (9-6), last week 6: It’s hard to penalize teams after losing tough division games
8. Denver Broncos (11-4), last week 7: That Monday night win could be the beginning of a deep playoff run
9. New York Jets (10-5), last week 10: The Jets won a game they usually lose and now have to win another game they usually lose
10. Green Bay Packers (10-5), last week 9: If the Pack can beat the Vikings, the last two months of problems will disappear
11. Minnesota Vikings (10-5), last week 11: It’s now or never
12. Houston Texans (8-7), last week 12: Unless everything goes wrong, the Texans will be AFC South champs
13. Washington (8-7), last week 14: It’s time to start believing in Captain Kirk
14. New York Giants (6-9), last week 13: Without Beckham, the Giants had little chance to get a victory
15. Atlanta Falcons (8-7), last week 17: Ruining the Panthers perfect season was their Super bowl which is kind of sad
16. Philadelphia Eagles (6-9), last week 15: It’s time to start pointing fingers in Philly
17. Buffalo Bills (7-8), last week 16: Preseason bravado can only get you so far
18. Indianapolis Colts (7-8), last week 18: The Colts will be left to wonder what if
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9), last week 20: Despite a late season fade, Tampa is finding some building blocks
20. Oakland Raiders (7-8), last week 21: The Raiders send Woodson out with a win
21. Chicago Bears (6-9), last week 19: There’s a lot of work to do in Chicago this offseason
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10), last week 22: They say the hardest part is finding a quarterback and the Jags have that
23. St. Louis Rams (7-8), last week 23: The Rams gave the home fans an unlikely win one more time
24. Miami Dolphins (5-10), last week 24: Things somehow got worse in Miami
25. Dallas Cowboys (4-11), last week 25: after a season with no Romo, Garrett’s job security appears to be in jeopardy, such as life in Dallas
25. New Orleans Saints (6-9), last week 26: Brees kept fighting and found a way to will his team to a win
27. San Diego Chargers (4-11), last week 27: Only one more game left to this miserable season
28. Detroit Lions (5-10), last week 28: The question of Calvin’s future can commence
29. Baltimore Ravens (5-10), last week 29: The Ravens swept the Steelers in a drastic turn of events that shakes up the playoff race
30. Tennessee Titans (3-12), last week 30: There’s no need to risk Mariota next week
31. San Francisco 49ers (4-11), last week 31: We’ll always have that one shining Gabbert moment
32. Cleveland Browns (4-11), last week 32: Of course the Browns failed to get the ball snapped with a chance to win the game