In Week 9, the Giants asserted themselves as the top dog in the NFC, Phillip Rivers beat the Texans without his recievers and star tight end, the Ol' Gunslinger saved the Vikings season (for now), and the Cowboys embarassed the nation on Sunday Night Football. These topics - including the sacking of Wade Phillips - will be discussed as I break down the week that was in the National Football League.
* We all know the Dallas Cowboys season is shot. The talk that Jerry Jones' team would be the first to host the Super Bowl in their own house was just that. At this juncture, all you can ask for is for your boys to go out and play for pride, for their jobs, and for their coach. Somewhere in the 2nd Quarter of the Dallas-Green Bay nightmare, everyone on that 53-man roster just quit on Head Coach Wade Phillips and on the team, which is the worst thing a team could do in the face of a dissapointing season. The Cowboys heart and passion were traded for a team that let Aaron Rodgers decimate the secondary all game long, and let Clay Matthews have his way with the Offensive Line. Truly the most insulting and embarassing 60 minutes of game time that i've ever seen from any NFL team, especially as as storied as the Cowboys.
* Of course, after the Cowboys were humiliated by the Pack, Jerry Jones on Monday fired Wade Phillips and promoted OC Jason Garrett to Interim head coach, after Jones kept stating week after week to the media that Wade would stay with Dallas through 2010-2011 season. Conventional wisdom says that it's never a good idea to change your head coach in midseason, no matter how badly the team is doing. The Cowboys are the exception for various reasons, the biggest three being the following:
1. Dallas would have gone 1-15 had Phillips been coaching one more week. I love Wade and what he did in San Diego as the Defensive Coordinator, and I thought Wade had finally broken through when he beat Philadelphia last year in the NFC Wild Card game at home, and that despite losing to Farve and the Vikings in the next round, that it would only contribute to them coming out next time and making even more noise. I was dead wrong.
2. The players quit on their ex-head coach. The players may have liked Wade, but i'm sure that they didn't believe in him, otherwise, they wouldn't be a 1-7 football team and a bigger letdown than Minnesota and Denver this year.
3. What else could go wrong for Dallas? They're not going anywhere this year, they've been blown out by Jacksonville, the rival Giants, and now Green Bay. Had Jerry let Wade coach this team going into this week's match vs. Eli Manning, that game would be over by the 1st quarter.
* In the 4th quarter of the Vikings-Cardnials match, it looked like Brad Childriss would also join Wade in the unemployment line. Brad swung and missed with Randy Moss, he can't stand the Ol' Gunslinger's diva-like behavior (who can, really?), and, allegedly, Chilly and WR Percy Harvin almost came to blows over Harvin's status days before. But thanks to a late Arizona breakdown, Farve and the team turned the table, beating the Cards in overtime 27-24. The Vikings may have won, thanks to a gutsy performance by the Ol' Gunslinger, but the Vikings still have issues, the biggest two being the primadonna attitude of #4 and the spineless way Chilly is running his team.
* Phillip Rivers went into Sunday's match with the Texans without Tight End Antonio Gates, or his Wide Recievers Legedu Naanee or Malcom Floyd. As the Bolts began to see some balance between the running game and the passing game, Ryan Matthews left with an injury. He's stuck with Patric Crayton, his third WR, a rookie named Seyi Ajirotutu and Randy McMichael playing in the absense of Gates. Oh, and another special teams disaster occured in the first quarter, as Houston blocked another punt, which put the texans on te board early. Did I forget to mention Arian Foster blew past the D-Line and rushed for 127 yards and 2 scores? Despite all this, my Chargers still won the game 29-23. I said this last week and i'm goign to say it again: Rivers is favorite for the MVP award. Forget how Michael Vick has finally matured into a QB, or how how much of a beast Clay Matthews is as an LB, Phillip Rivers is trying to dig his team out of a ditch made by mental mistakes, the occasional bad time management by Norv Turner, and by Steve Crosby, San Diego's Special Teams coach. That's a feat only a select few can be able to do.