The race to the postseason has been one of fascinating speculation this year, as new faces and old veterans in virtually every division are in some form of a tight race. From the pathetic NFC West and the exciting NFC South, to the surprising AFC West, all the way to the neck-and-neck horse race in the AFC East, teams that are either leading their division, or are just right behind, are making their case as to why they should be in this year's playoff face. But which teams that won made a bigger statement? What was Raiders DE Richard Seymore thinking when he blasted Big Ben's chicklets? Is the Vince Young-Jeff Fisher relationship reached its breaking point? Here are my thoughts on the week was in the NFL.
* The Brett Farve era has finally come to a close. How fitting that its disappointing and scandal-filled end came at the hands of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers as they trounced Minnesota 31-3? Brett had a legendary 20+ season in the NFL, including a Super Bowl ring and keeper of numerous records. Unfortunately, the image that Brett was this saint-like athlete on and off the field have been unmasked and standing before us is a pain-in-the-ass primadona who likes to send pictures of his junk to female reporters. Now that the spineless Brad Childriss has been the second head coach to get shitcanned in the middle of the regular season, the new intrem HC Leslie Fraizer needs to do the right thing and tell the Ol' Gunslinger that he's thrown his last pass: both a Viking and a quarterback in this league. We've had great times with Farve, but you're obviously done. Time to hand up the jersey, help give Minnesota's backup, Tavaris Jackson to become the team's new leader, and call it a career. To paraphrase farmer Hodgett in Babe: "That'll do, Brett. That'll do." I'll allow the Count to say a few words about the end of Brett's long and distinguished career, as he was a huge admirer of Farve as an athlete and as a person, as his love for #4 has been well documented on this blog time and time again.
EDIT From The Count: so #4 got a coach fired. Honestly since Childress sold his soul to #4 in the first place I have a hard time feeling sorry for the guy. Favre fails so often now that I don't even take much pleasure in it anymore. It's gotten to be Oh Favre failed...again. YAWN! I said this before I should thank the guy instead of ripping him. His presence in a Viking uniform kicked me off of that on coming train wreck before it completely crashed.
People debate whether or not Kurt Warner is HOF QB but say Favre is a shoe in. Let me ask you this. How good were the Rams after Warner left? How good is Arizona? Now after he left the Pakers are they worse than they were with Favre? The Jets? Now back to Jonathan's regularly scheduled post...
* Three teams made statements this week, and all of them were big:
New England spoke the loudest, as "the Rivarly" between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady came down to one play. Just as it looked like the Colts were about to come back after being down 31-14 at the beginning of the 4th quarter, Manning heaves a 4th down play....into the arms of New England Saftey Brandon Meriweather, sealing a 31-28 thriller at Foxbrough. Weeks ago, the Pats got blown out by the Cleveland Browns, many assuming that this wasn't the same team as year's past, and they're right. Defensively, its all a bunch of young guys who make key stops when they need to. Offensively, Brady doesn't have a Randy Moss to kill a team with the deep pass. It doesn't matter to Brady, because he has new, exciting players like TE rob Gronkowski and RB Danny Woodhead making plays. And Wes Welker is still the most explosive member of the Patriots offense, still making it happen, using his small size and fast feet to make defenders miss. If anything New England spoke with that win on Sunday, that they're still top dog in the AFC.
The Chargers also make a big statement on Monday Night Football vs. the Denver Broncos: they're back. Yes, it's time for more of that second-half magic the Bolts and Norv Turner are best-known for, and this time, Rivers is beating teams with guys like...Patrick Crayton and Seyi Ajirotutu and Mike Tolbert? Much like Brady, it doesn't matter if Legdu Naanee and Antonino Gates are on the field, anyone who's open for Rivers is a threat. the 29-23 win vs the Texans proved it, and yesterdays 35-4 beatdown on division rival Denver Broncs certifies it. Once 2-5, and looking up at Oakland and Kansas City weeks ago, now are tied with the Raiders for 2nd place, and within striking distance of the Chiefs. Can the Chargers turn the tables yet again and land their 5th consecutive AFC West title? Sure, why not? I've been dead wrong before about them being screwed when they've dug themselves a hole.
Speaking of the Raiders: I'll admit, they've got great pieces in this year's draft, and Darren McFadden is finally playing like he should be, but Sunday's 35-3 loss to the Steelers proved that they're not ready for prime time. They reason why they're not ready is because they're young D couldn't get pressure on Ben Roethlisberger and let him throw the ball up and down the field all day practically, and the QB switch between Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell is only hiding a big problem with Oakland: they still don't have a very good QB that can lead this team.
* Vince Young is done for the season, and probably done as a Titan. After Young dislocated his thumb and was taken out by Fisher, he storms off the field after a 19-16 loss to the Redskins, throwing off his shoulder pads to the booing fans. Fisher tried to calm him down, but Young storms off on his Head Coach. Hours later, he's no longer the starting QB, he's been placed on injured-reserve, ending his season, and he's probably pissed off Jeff for the last time. After 5 five years, if you can't mature and grow as a player, then you have no business being in the NFL in the first place, which is a shame because Young was a dynamic player at Texas, and he led his team to a National Championship vs. Reggie Bush and the Trojans, and flashes of his excellent play have been seen while he had the starting gig. Immaturity and ego killed what could have been a very good athlete and QB for Tennessee.