The game most touched was in Philadelphia where the Eagles were able to run all over the Detroit Lions as multiple inches of snow laid on the field. The first half looked like the Lions 8-0 lead would hold up as both team struggled to move the ball. The over/under in Vegas dropped from like 53 to 30 when the amount of snow was predicted to be huge. But Chip Kelly’s guys got it going in the second half and exploded for a 34-20 win.
This was an impressive win for Kelly as once again he adapted his offense to what was going to help him win. Philly now keeps pace with Dallas in the NFC East race and are in good shape to force a week 17 battle for the title. Even with the division down Kelly’s first season has to be looked at as successful after a few bumps early on. Winning the division and hosting a playoff game would just be a capper.
2. The two hottest teams in the NFL finally got beaten on Sunday but it took going on the road versus tough opponents to do it.
The Carolina Panthers winning streak was halted in New Orleans by the Saints as they were able to bottle up Cam Newton for sixty minutes. The Saints are always going to be tough to beat at home and now that they come to play defense it is even tougher. It is hard to name a coordinator who has done a better job than Rob Ryan this season based on the Saints D turnaround. Add to that the addition of Kenny Vaccaro and the Saints will be tough to keep out of the NFC Championship game. The Panthers get another shot at the Saints in a couple weeks at home and it will be big to see what Cam can do.
As for the Seahawks losing in San Francisco, it was a tough battle as expected between two teams who don’t like each other. The Niners were able to kick just enough field goals to get past the Hawks late. But does this work as a confidence boast for the Niners after two ass-whoppings at the hands of Seattle? I am not sure. It is a win but it took a lot just to get by with a late kick. Hopefully these two will meet in round two of the playoffs in Seattle and the 49ers will need to bring no less than an A game.
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3. The day started with the news that Mike Shanahan almost quit the Redskins a year ago due to his quarterback and team owner’s relationship when Washington was in the midst of a seven game win streak.
Every other day a story like this seems to come out in Washington as they once again have become the laughing stock of the NFL. I don’t have much to say about Shanahan on this since it is thought he is the source of the story, but would rather go into the state of the Redskins.
For fifteen years we have seen this since Dan Snyder took over. Other than Joe Gibbs retiring again every time a coach is on his way out it is a circus that the organization has caused. Then Snyder just goes and hires the hot college coach, the hot former Super Bowl winner or Jim Zorn and pays them. Probably not this time. In the past the millions of dollars he has offered have enabled him to get a big name successful coach, but I think that has run out now. Snyder has tainted the once proud job to be coach of the Redskins. I can’t see anyone like Gruden, Cowher, Dungy or even top college coaches wanting to deal with what is and has played out in Washington. Right now this organization is a joke and I don’t see it changing.
4. Quick tidbits I need to mention:
The Ravens win over the Vikings was unreal. I should have mentioned it in my weather part but a crazy last few minutes finally ended by a Joe Flacco touchdown pass. No need to watch the first 57 minutes of this one, just the last 3.
Mike Shanahan should not be the first one to be fired today. Jeff Triplette has to go and go now. Another awful mistake in the Cincy / Indy game on a replay review. Two weeks in a row and a career of horrible mistakes.
Almost as bad as Triplette was the PI call on Cleveland which led to the Patriots go ahead score. Just horrible call in a horrible situation. Cleveland got jobbed on a day when Jason Campbell was great and Josh Gordon continued a record receiving yard pace.
It’s over in Pittsburgh also by the slight touch of Antonio Brown’s foot on the sideline. The Steelers are out and it will be interesting to see if back to back playoff misses bring changes with the coaching staff or even Big Ben.
As for tonight. I have no trust in the Dallas Cowboys beating a good team. And the Chicago Bears seem to like to show up on primetime games. But without Lance Briggs on the defense I don’t feel the Bears are a good team. The loss of Briggs and others have made them average no matter how good Marshall and especially Jeffrey can be.