Archive for January 4th, 2012



In the NFL, all the Wild Card Playoff match-ups are set.  On Saturday, we’ll see the Cincinnati Bengals, hot at the right time, head into Houston to take on a banged up Texans team.  Then, in Saturday prime-time, it’ll be an offensive explosion between the New Orleans Saints and a strange newcomer to the post-season — the Detroit Lions.  Sure, we knew they were getting better, but to see the Lions in the playoffs just FEELS good.  And, on Sunday, the day kicks off as the Atlanta Flacons, a team that is actually starting to look a lot better than they did in the beginning of the year, head in to take on the NY Giants, a team that is quite shaky, but coming off a solid win against the Cowboys IN Dallas.  Finally, to wrap up Wild Card weekend, it’s Tebow-mania, as the Broncos will host the Steelers.  The Broncos have been horrible in their last few games, and they’ll need a healthy dosage of that Tebow magic if they want to beat the Steelers.  Then again, the Steelers will be without running-back Rashard Mendenhall for the post-season, so maybe Denver can force them to pass and actually have a shot at winning.  It’s going to be a great post-season.

In other NFL news, even though the Eagles did everything in their power to prepare for a Super Bowl victory this off-season, it simply didn’t work out.   They even brought in Vince Young from the Titans as a serviceable back-up to Michael Vick, and Young declared the Eagles “A Dream Team”.  In a league as tough as the NFL, it’s not necessarily a good thing to put that big a target on your back from the very beginning.  The Eagles had a bad season, that had spurts of greatness down the home stretch, but just not enough drive to power into the playoffs.  Even though they were bad, the Eagles organization looks like they’re still keeping head coach Andy Reid in the driver’s seat for yet another year.  Reid may not get them to the Super Bowl often, but he is still a proven winner, as basically every year BUT this season, he has kept them competitive and in line for the playoffs.  This is probably a safe move, as the Eagles won’t have to learn an entirely new playbook in the off-season.  They’ll come back next season more cohesive and ready to win.

Finally, in other NFL coaching news, there was a lot of speculation that the Chargers were going to dismiss long-time head coach Norv Turner at the end of the season.  Turner had been successful with the Chargers through most of the latter part of this past decade, but in the last 2 seasons, they have been lackluster.  This year, especially, was unimpressive for San Diego.  However, yesterday, the organization announced that they were actually going to keep Turner at the helm.  This outraged fans wanted a serious change, but the owner said that when you have a marquee quarterback like Philip Rivers (who loves Norv Turner) you have to go with your gut and keep the nucleus in place.  That gives them the best chance to win.  Plus, changing coaches is a big deal in the NFL — it means not only a whole new playbook, but the entire chemistry of the organization changes. That’s hard for a team to adjust to.  And after all, there weren’t many coaches on the market better than Turner.  Why get rid of a proven, experienced winning coach like Turner in favor of some young defensive coordinator who may lead you astray for 2 years and cause you to regroup again.  The Chargers’ owner has faith in Turner, and hopefully that yields strong results for San Diego next season.

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