— ‘Scuse me, but uhhh, didn’t you used to be the Jets?
No, seriously. I saw you two weeks ago. You beat the Titans, remember? In Tennessee?
Nope, I don’t think it was somebody else. Because I watched that game and I said — guys, back me up on this — I said, “That right there, that’s the team to beat in the AFC.”
Maybe I'm mistaken, but it looked like you. Same old, flip-flopper at quarterback playing smart and within himself. Chubby coach.
I know there’s a lot of chubby coaches, but it was your guy, I swear it. And you beat the Titans and then, last week another team that looked just like you lost to Denver. And I said — guys, back me up on this — I said, “That right there, that’s a fluke. A wake-up call.”
But then, same team. Or at least it looked like the same team — you guys — went out on Sunday and lost to the 49ers.
Yes, yes you did. You lost to the 49ers in San Francisco. And now you’re 8-5. I couldn’t make that up. Why would I make that up?
But you say it wasn't you? No joke?
Well then where are the Jets? Because we had an AFC East all sewn up tight right here, and ready to give to them and now they can’t have it.
Why not? Because they’re not the best team in the AFC anymore. And they’re not the best team in the AFC East anymore. Because they – you! – went out and lost to the 49ers while the Patriots, who spent the week hauling people out of nursing homes to play linebacker, beat the Seahawks. And they’re 8-5. What the ... !?
And that’s not all. The Dolphins are 8-5 too. Yeah. They beat the Bills by playing spectacular defence north of the border.
Why am I lying? Because I spelled defense with a “C”? They played the game in Canada, man. Yeah, they beat the Bills at SkyDome, which is now the Rogers Centre.
Whatever. You’re 8-5 and so is the rest of the AFC East, except for the Bills who are 6-8. I know the Bills started 4-0. They’re 6-7. Yes they are. And they are out of it.
Who’s in charge now? The Titans. Yup. Sewed up the AFC South. Them and the Colts are running things, along with the Steelers. Yeah, the Colts are fine. They keep whacking everybody. I know they were 3-4 but they’re now 9-4. Yeah, six straight.
Is there anybody else, you want to know? Yeah, the Ravens are fine. They’re 8-4. Yes, with the Flacco kid, the rookie from Delaware. What do you mean, Favre has shoes older than that kid? I thought you said you weren’t the Jets?
Anyway, you — or whoever and wherever the Jets are — they have bigger things to worry about right now than Joe Flacco’s birth date. The Jets have to play the Bills, then go across the country to play Seattle, then deal with Chad Pennington and the Dolphins in season finale.
Yes it would be a good idea to win those two AFC East games. Because if you — the Jets, I mean — lose to Miami the last week then all three teams atop the AFC East will split with each other.
And you could all be tied for first.
Miami? They have San Francisco, then they’re at K.C., and that finale with the Jets. New England plays the Raiders, then they host the Cardinals. (Yeah, the Cardinals might score 80 on New England.) And then the Patriots play Buffalo (in the United States).
Yeah, well, good talking to you too. And if you see the Jets, do me a favor. Tell them my buddy from New York has some choice words for 'em.
No, that ain’t me talking.
What is with this season?
Consider that the Arizona Cardinals are being fitted with NFC West Champion hats and t-shirts before most of the country has its Christmas lights up. That's just strange.
On a Sunday when opportunities were blown by some teams and others had the paddles put to the chest of their playoff hopes, a quick whiparound of key developments is in order.
After the Falcons lost early in the day, Dallas had a crack at getting some breathing room in the NFC wild-card race. Then the roof fell in.
Blowing a 13-3 lead in the final seven minutes with big-game pick machine Tony Romo whipping a game-sealing pick-six, Dallas is now 8-5 and has games with the Giants, Ravens and at the Eagles to close their season. On a day when there was plenty of blame to be administered, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones settled on a guy who didn’t play, Marion Barber.
According to the Dallas Morning News’ website, Jones said of his injured and — on Sunday — inactive running back, “He surprised me that he's not here playing, He can play with that injured toe. He can play with the soreness, combination of those things. I see nothing that would have led us to believe that he couldn't.”
After what should have been a come-to-Jesus loss to the Broncos at home last week, the Jets followed up that stinkeroo with a 24-14 loss to San Francisco. So now the team that was 8-3 and in full command of the AFC East has reentered the quagmire.
Said Favre to the Newark Star-Ledger after a game in which the Jets were without the ball for two-thirds of the game, “We’ve got to execute, it’s as simple as that. I wish I could give you a secret formula, but I can’t. When we left Tennessee, when we left New England, everyone was like, ‘Hey, you guys are rolling, what is it?’ It’s the same stuff. It's just going the other way.”
Detroit needs a bailout
0-13. And counting. At Indianapolis. At Green Bay. Against New Orleans. Those are the three games remaining between Detroit and the first-ever 0-16 season. Two of those three opponents are out of the playoff hunt themselves. Indy is still fighting to maintain position.
The question facing Detroit after its 20-16 loss to the Vikings is whether they will fight harder to get that lone win and save face than the Packers and Saints will fight from having the dubious distinction of losing to one of the worst teams in NFL history.
Long time coming
The Cardinals franchise had gone 33 years since winning a division title. Back then, Cards QB Jim Hart might have been humming “Tush” by ZZ Top and the folks at home were watching “Rhoda” and “Get Smart.” Now, after a 34-10 win over the Rams, the wait is over and — wait for it — the Cards can rest the starters for the playoffs. Talk about foreign concepts.
Giant step back
Did the Plax mess finally get to them? Or was it just inevitable that they’d at some point come out flat after playing lights-out for every game except one this year? Either way, the 20-14 loss to the Eagles in which the offense managed just a garbage-time touchdown should be a minor deal.
The Jints still clinched the East and now sharpens their focus for next Sunday night's showdown with the aforementioned Cowboys.