29 Nov 2005, 11:21am by P. Ryan Wilson
This is the conversation at the exact opposite end of the spectrum from the "If the Colts have to play their starters all 16 games to go undefeated -- even if they've clinched homefield advantage after Week 14 -- then so be it ..." but it's a reality for a handful of teams with not much else to play for. (free registration/bugmenot required)
6 comments, Last at 30 Nov 2005, 6:38am by lafcadio
28 Nov 2005, 06:06pm by Aaron Schatz
Len Pasquarelli is a much better reporter than he is an analyst, but he's got some good analysis today. Minnesota's four-game win streak is much less about Brad Johnson and much more about the defense finally getting its act together. (DVOA agrees, and the Vikings defense is now 15th in weighted DVOA.) As Pasquarelli points out, coordinator Ted Cottrell did the same thing with the Jets three years ago -- his defense, packed with new players, struggled early but improved at mid-season as the Jets went on a second-half run.
12 comments, Last at 29 Nov 2005, 2:43pm by Rob
28 Nov 2005, 02:51pm by Russell Levine
Not really shocking news here after the Thanksgiving Day debacle, but the real question is, how does Matt Millen still have a job? Didn't he hire Mooch? Didn't he draft three straight first-round receivers and a QB who still looks like a confused rookie in year four?
67 comments, Last at 01 Dec 2005, 5:20am by ammek
28 Nov 2005, 12:09pm by Michael David Smith
Peter King writes that Tony Dungy told him he'll rest his starters if the Colts clinch home-field advantage, playing for a healthy Super Bowl run rather than an undefeated season. I'm torn. On the one hand, I think it's the right move from a strategic standpoint. On the other hand, I'd love to see a team take a real run at 16-0. Of course, it's entirely possible that the Colts will lose tonight and suddenly become more concerned with falling behind Denver than with keeping up with the '72 Dolphins.
68 comments, Last at 29 Nov 2005, 1:39pm by dryheat
28 Nov 2005, 10:32am by P. Ryan Wilson
Two reasons Byron Leftwich's injury may not be as bad as it could've been: (1) the Jaguars' schedule (of the five teams left to play, only the Colts have a winning record), and (2) David Garrard. And hey, if Garrard has a few Tommy Maddox moments, there's always Matt Jones.
9 comments, Last at 10 Dec 2005, 11:52am by Chris
27 Nov 2005, 10:34pm by Michael David Smith
Michael Irvin's odds of making the Hall of Fame just got a lot longer. Technically, off-field activities, especially after a player's career is over, aren't supposed to affect his Hall of Fame status. But some voters went on the record when Lawrence Taylor was up for enshrinement as saying they wouldn't vote for him because of his previous illegal drug use. Presumably the same voters will vote against Irvin, who was narrowly defeated in Hall of Fame voting last year.
I would guess that Irvin has some kind of morals clause in his ESPN contract, and this could cost him that job, too.
71 comments, Last at 30 Nov 2005, 1:14pm by zach
27 Nov 2005, 05:59am by Michael David Smith
Until I started researching this, I had always just assumed that the Lions and Cowboys get some kind of edge by playing on Thanksgiving. Turns out that both teams have worse records on Thanksgiving than they do in home games as a whole, and there doesn't seem to be any advantage to having three extra days of rest before the next game. Free registration required.
20 comments, Last at 28 Nov 2005, 7:55pm by Jerry
27 Nov 2005, 02:39am by Aaron Schatz
The NFL's record for consecutive games played is going to be broken today and you probably had no idea. I had no idea until I read this. Giants punter Jeff Feagles will play his 283rd consecutive game against Seattle, passing Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall for the all-time record. Yes, he's a punter, so people will think of his record with an asterisk, but those guys do occasionally get hurt. Just ask Dirk Johnson.
17 comments, Last at 28 Nov 2005, 12:14pm by Nuk
27 Nov 2005, 02:34am by Aaron Schatz
One of about two billion "the Hasselbecks are playing each other" articles written this weekend, but this one contains the best tidbit: Apparently, Nathanael Hasselbeck's co-workers call him "Cooper." (Free registration required)
5 comments, Last at 28 Nov 2005, 10:34am by Koy Detmer
25 Nov 2005, 06:40pm by Aaron Schatz
"Los Angeles is a perfect football city," said Gene Washington, the NFL's director of football operations. "I'm sure the die-hard followers of the Glendale Steelers and the Orange County Packers won't abandon their teams over a little thing like geography."
7 comments, Last at 27 Nov 2005, 10:44am by Sophandros
Mike and Tom take a (belated) look at the candidacies of first-time semifinalists Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison and Walter Jones, and wonder what the Dallas coaches were thinking on Monday night.