On Sundays, I watch a bunch of football. On Mondays, I try to clear my head of the randomness that's in there.
• In 2007, Tom Brady(notes) could get away with forcing jump balls to a covered Randy Moss(notes). In 2009, it's a bad play. And would it kill Moss to fight for an underthrown ball once in a while? He didn't do much to stop the game-changing Vontae Davis(notes) pick in the end zone Sunday.
The Patriots have to figure out why they play so poorly after intermission. Brady's had some role in this (8.6 YPA drops down to 7.2) but he's not the biggest problem. The sluggish New England defense, of course, tends to struggle in every quarter. I'll be stunned if the Patriots win more than one playoff game.
• The longer we go forward with replay, the more I realize that "irrefutable evidence" means different things to different people.
• On a good day, Bruce Gradkowski(notes) does a pretty solid Jeff Garcia(notes) imitation. And on a bad day, the Gradkowski-Garcia comparison still works. Hey, anything's better than forcing us to watch JaMarcus Russell(notes).
• There's no reason to be discouraged by Josh Freeman's(notes) day at Carolina (321 yards, 7.3 YPA, 5 interceptions). You can coach the picks out of his game. The important thing is that he's learning and he's got enough ability to compete at this level. And it's fun to watch a team push the ball with intermediate and deeper routes, at least some of the time.
• Nothing gets you beat in the NFL quite like the hero complex. Call an option pass and most of the would-be quarterbacks insist on throwing the ball, no matter if the receiver is open or not. Give a defender a chance for a spotlight runback and most of them turn into Steve Lyons – keep running until someone tags you out. Gotta play smart out there, men.
• What happened to all the dominant outside pass rushers? It's starting to look like a dying breed.
• Say you had a Connect Four tournament with all of the NFC East coaches. Who wins, who comes in last, and why?
• If I ran a playoff-bound NFL club, there's no way I'd consider sitting anyone out before Week 17; beware the rust factor. That said, I'd also bench any star player in the fourth quarter of a throwaway game; I don't leave a Brett Favre(notes) type, say, on the field when there's two minutes left and we're trailing by 20.
• So we had 10 early games on Sunday, three afternoon games. How about a little balance, schedule maker?
• You build your team personnel-to-scheme, not the other way around, which is why the Niners should accept that Alex Smith forces them to be a shotgun spread offense. Let him do what he's equipped to do.
• We've had 10 overtime games in the NFL this year and the flip-losing side is 6-4. I grant you it's a small sample, but the rules are more fair than so many think. You get 60 minutes to win a game any way you choose – if that fails and you don't win the toss, go out and get a stop.
• The Dolphins didn't run a Wildcat snap against New England and that's a smart move. The Wildcat basically died when Ronnie Brown(notes) got hurt. It's time to keep Chad Henne(notes) on the field, let him develop.
• Make it 12 touchdowns in 12 weeks for Joseph Addai(notes), who's otherwise having the most forgettable of seasons (3.7 YPC). You gotta love this numbers racket we play. And yes, LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) is basically having the same year in San Diego (nine scores, 3.3 a pop).
• The rules of celebration: You don't dance after a first down … you don't celebrate when your team is behind … when in doubt, wait for a touchdown or a game-clinching play … Chad Ochocinco(notes) should never be fined. Loved the sombrero bit.
• Peyton Manning(notes) isn't just the star quarterback of the Colts, he's essentially the offensive coordinator as well. Heck, he's like an associate head coach. You can't make a bad pick with any of the top four or five MVP candidates (beware the charging Philip Rivers(notes)), but I haven't seen a good reason not to pick Manning. I welcome your angles in the comments.
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