Meditations on Week 13

1. Obviously, the thing to do when you’re facing a defense that has given up two successive 200-yard rushers and you’re playing outside on a cold December day is to throw the ball. Onterrio Smith rushes for over six yard per carry, but only gets 13 carries while Daunte throws 3 interceptions and the Vikings blow the chance to take the lead in the NFC North. If Mike Tice gets fired at the end of the year, this game will be the reason.

2. McNabb has definitely taken it to a new level this year, but I still don’t think this justifies his early anointing as a great quarterback. Sure, having Owens helps, but a defense that shuts down the Packers and holds them to three points until garbage time doesn’t exactly hurt. That steamrolling at Pittsburgh tends to devalue the gaudy record somewhat too.

3. That loud crashing sound you hear is the sound of the Michael Vick: Superstar express crashing into a very large concrete barrier painted pewter. OVERRATED. Meanwhile, the unheralded Drew Brees quarterbacked the unfancied Chargers to a likely AFC West championship even though the Broncos successfully took away the Antonio Gates option.

4. Peyton Manning will probably achieve the unbelievable and break Dan Marino’s record this coming weekend. Of course, as the Sports Guy points out, running up the score in December doesn’t matter much if you don’t win in January. Does anyone else suspect that like Marino, (who admitted as much this week), Manning cares more about the records than he does about winning?

5. Ah yeah, I like the new juice. Mr. Julius Jones, who not only has the best name in football since He Hate Me, has racked up 400 yards and 5 TDs since I picked him up in my fantasy league two weeks ago. I’m riding him, Antonio Bryant and Lee Evens right into the playoffs. Last week, I started precisely two players I drafted, Daunte and Bubba Franks. It’s all about the pickups, boys.

6. Rick Fox of Carolina must be an unbelievable coach. He’s practically playing the cheerleaders now and Panther’s are still in position for the playoffs despite the heavy injuries. Coaches are overrated in most sports, but with the talent parity in the NFL, they may be the definitive factor.

7. The Jets are having the quietest 9-3 season ever. Thankfully, three teams at 10-1 should shut up all the whiners complaining about too much NFL parity. I like Herm Edwards, with the right hat, he’d be the black Tom Landry.

8. I’m not saying that turning the keys over to Eli Manning was the worst coaching decision ever, but it is probably the worst one in the NFL this year. Considering that this required topping Denny “it’s not the QB, it’s my system” Green’s decision to start a rookie QB and a rookie RB last Sunday, that’s saying something.

9. It seems pretty obvious that Mike Holmgren was riding the coattails of Ron Wolf and Brett Favre now, doesn’t it? I’ve never seen a pro receiver drop more balls than Darrell Jackson. No wonder they’re throwing it to Jerry Rice now, he may have lost a step or two, but at least he can hang onto the ball.

10. What was that I said about the window of opportunity closing on the Titans before the season started? Yeah, thought so.