-The no-huddle offense should be the New York Giants’ base attack. Notice how almost every time they run the no-huddle near the end of a half, they put points on the board? Let Eli Manning call the plays. Also, there’s only so much criticizing I can do of the Giants, with their two Super Bowls in the last five years and all, but at some point they have to figure out how to not be the Washington Generals to the Philadelphia Eagles’ Harlem Globetrotters.
-Speaking of the Eagles, how do you beat the Birds when they don’t commit any turnovers? You don’t. Their defense is too stingy and they have too many playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Even when they led the NFL in turnovers over the first three weeks, they still had a 2-1 record, so what does that tell you?
–Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz says he’s not considering firing special teams coach Danny Crossman, but when you’re the first team in NFL history to give up a kickoff return and punt return for touchdowns in consecutive weeks, your own usually mild-mannered kicker (Jason Hanson), the other team’s kick returner (the Minnesota Vikings’ Percy Harvin), and the other team’s special teams coach (the Vikings’ Mike Priefer) essentially intimate that poor coaching is the source of Detroit’s special teams woes, it’s time to give that a second thought. Every year in the NFL, an otherwise-good team misses the playoffs because of poor special teams. Right now, the Lions look like that team.
-Sunday’s thrilling overtime win over the Miami Dolphins encapsulated everything I love and don’t trust about the Arizona Cardinals. They have a tough-minded, resilient approach and fight for 60 minutes (and more, in the case of Sunday), with a top-flight defense and play very good special teams overall. But they still can’t count on Kevin Kolb to avoid the big mistake and their running game isn’t good enough to keep Kolb from putting the ball in harm’s way.
-I am astounded at the poise and command with which Robert Griffin III led the Washington Redskins’ offense in their game-winning drive in Tampa Bay. The difference between being 2-2 and 1-3, especially with the standings in the NFC East being what they are, is huge. Griffin knew this, had a malfunctioning headset, and still got Billy Cundiff in position for the game-winning kick. For Redskin fans unfamiliar with this concept, this is what you call “clutch quarterbacking”.
-The San Francisco 49ers have been too successful in the Jim Harbaugh era with Alex Smith at quarterback to consider making a switch to Colin Kaepernick. But if Kaepernick keeps being productive for the Niners out of the Wildcat, I could see Harbaugh and co. trading him to some quarterback-desperate team in the offseason for a decent draft pick or two.
-The New England Patriots committing to the running game with Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden and continuing to foster the growth and development of their young defense is what will make them more like the championship teams of the early to mid-2000’s than the teams of the past few years that have underachieved in the playoffs.
-I have been a big supporter of Mark Sanchez from early in his career, believe that he doesn’t get enough credit for the role he played in the New York Jets reaching consecutive AFC Championship Games, and like most quarterbacks on struggling teams, gets too much blame for the Jets’ problems. However, if we see more performances like those of the past three weeks, head coach Rex Ryan will have no choice but to start the clock on Tebow Time. The biggest downfall of starting Tim Tebow stems from his sub-50 % career completion percentage, but given that Sanchez has completed less than half his throws since his sensational Opening Day performance against the Buffalo Bills, Gang Green will have nothing to lose if this lack of efficiency continues.
-My thoughts and prayers go out to Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and the Pagano family after he was recently diagnosed with leukemia. We’re all rooting for you, Coach.