Posted by: mdegeorge | December 30, 2010

Wednesday Morning Diagnosis: 16 points from Week 16

We’re getting down to that time of the season where covering one issues seems woefully inadequate. With all the moving, shaking, floundering, and failing on display on the gridiron, just a few comments simply won’t do.

So to celebrate the elongated five-day Week 16 (Thursday through Tuesday), I’ll give you a point per game the league over.

Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning changes the play against the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on December 26, 2010. The Colts defeated the Raiders 31-26.   UPI/Terry Schmitt Photo via Newscom

Steelers-Panthers: Call in the wrecking ball for Carolina. It’s tough to see many valuable assets to keep here. If the Panthers pursue Stanford’s Andrew Luck with the first pick in the Draft (provided the junior signal-caller doesn’t pull a Peyton Manning and stay for his senior year to avoid this mess), what value could they possibly redeem from Jimmy Clausen? What team is interested in a quarterback with a 1-11 record discarded a year after being drafted?

Cowboys-Cardinals: Is John Skelton the quarterback of the future in the desert? Can a quarterback from Fordham be any pro team’s qb of the future? At least was question was settled by this game: What’s more meaningless to the average viewer than NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football? NFL Network’s Saturday Night Football on Christmas!

Patriots-Bills: There’s nothing else to be said about Tom Brady. He’s on an ethereal roll. I can’t see any team beating them in the playoffs. I think I vaguely remembers saying something similar in the not-too-distant past…

Bears-Jets: I didn’t have the two teams combining for 34 points much less each surpassing that benchmark. Poor Rex Ryan froze his toes on the sidelines; hope his wife’s tootsies were kept warm in the luxury box for both their sakes. Plus, I think I hear that Mark Brunell train chugging ’round the bend.

Ravens-Browns: Joe Flacco has weapons. He shows flashes of brilliance in utilizing them fully. I’m not sure if it’s him or the coaching reins that prevent this on a weekly basis, but when they rectify whatever it is, watch out.

Titans-Chiefs: There’s not enough good to be said about the Chiefs. They heartily deserve their playoff spot. My coach of the year Todd Haley and magician exec Scott Pioli have formed an impressive nucleus of young talent along with steady vets like the ultra-gutsy Matt Cassel. This won’t be the last time this core will be playing in the postseason.

Rams-49ers: Mike Singletary got a raw deal with the Niners. He inherited two quarterbacks that combined barely make an NFL-caliber starter. Telling him in the manner the organization did–he got on the plan back from St. Louis as the Niners’ coach, and then wasn’t by the time they deplaned–isn’t too flattering for the organization. Though I guess failing to contend in a division in which 6-9 keeps you in contention in Week 17 doesn’t reflect well on your performance.

Lions-Dolphins: Man, Detroit is screwing itself out of draft position. They’ve escaped Florida with wins in back to back weeks. They’ve kissing a top 5 pick goodbye.

Redskins-Jaguars: Graham Gano has an NFL single-season record three overtime kicks this season. Too bad the ’Skins are just 3-8 in regulation games. It’s a shame that the Jags’ injuries are catching up to them and will probably keep them out of the postseason. They’ve got a decent foundation to build on though, even without Tim Tebow.

Chargers-Bengals: Real gutless performance by those Chargers with a playoff berth on the line. Oh those laid back Californians! Meanwhile, I guess taking the T.Ocho Show off the field (and off the air please!) was just what Carson Palmer needed. Cut ’em both, draft one of those Boise State kids at the top of the second round, and move on with your lives!

Texans-Broncos: Tim Tebow may be a real NFL quarterback after all. If Alex Smith deserves six chances at being a starter, surely Tebow deserves one. Also, that sounded a lot like the death knell in Gary Kubiak’s stint in Houston.

Colts-Raiders: Did anyone think the Colts weren’t going to somehow rally and put themselves in the position to make the playoffs? Peyton Manning, as that last-minute bootleg showed, will do anything to get this team where it needs to be. They also may have found their running, which makes them much more dangerous in the postseason. When it comes to Oakland, am I alone in wondering how the heck Al Davis is going to screw up this latest patch of improvement?

Giants-Packers: A banged up Giants offense having an out-of-sync day, I can see. But when their defense, their bread and butter, gets embarrassed to the tune of 500 yards in essentially a playoff play-in game, it tells me they’ve given up. Time to change the coaches!

Seahawks-Buccaneers: Yup, Seattle not only has a playoff pulse at 6-9, but also has a date in primetime television. Only in America.

Saints-Falcons: If I hear “Matty Ice” one more time, I’ll punch Jon Gruden, who apparently gets paid by the word and makes Ron Jaworski look downright mild-mannered. Didn’t expect that much offensive stagnation, but at least the Saint reminded everyone that they are the Super Bowl champs until someone tells them otherwise.

Vikings-Eagles: Joe Webb looked more like Michael Vick than Michael Vick did. I blame the snow, and the Asians doing calculus for this, right Slick Eddie! Seriously though, you have to be concerned about the fatigue factor and mounting injuries for the Iggles.

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