Frazier should bench Favre
Leslie Frazier is going down the wrong path.
Vince Young is done, forever.
Jim Caldwell and Tom Coughlin are angry.
Mark Sanchez and Phil Rivers are on fire.
And it is (currently) clear who are the best teams in the NFL.
We give you our top takes, SCHEIN 9 style.
1. Forget Favre
On Monday morning, FOX’s Jay Glazer broke the story that Brad Childress was axed as the coach in Minnesota. It had all the makings of the first productive day of the year for the Vikings. Childress had completely lost the locker room. He never got along with Favre, which was ironic after the coach sold his soul and compromised his beliefs about practice and hard work to let the 40-year-old diva skip training camp and team-oriented activities.
Childress’ game management was between goofy and questionable. He never lived down the “12 men on the field” penalty at the end of the championship game against the Saints. It left everyone in that locker room looking sideways. The Randy Moss trade failed. Chilly was foolish enough not to tell his bosses he planned on cutting Moss, weeks after giving up a third-round pick for him. Adrian Peterson didn’t get his appropriate carries. Childress feuded with Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian. And oh yeah, for a team with asinine and unrealistic Super Bowl expectations, Minnesota couldn’t win games this year.
And to truly make this a great day, Leslie Frazier was taking over. I’ve argued for years that Frazier was a great head coaching candidate. And with the locker room in disarray and the Vikings getting smoked at home to the rival Packers (what a difference a year makes!), Zygi Wilf picked the right time to appoint Frazier, who has coaching star written all over him.
That was until the introductory press conference. That was until Frazier uttered this phrase.
“Brett Favre will be our starting quarterback on Sunday,” Frazier said. “Brett Favre is going to get it going, those turnovers are going to come down, and we’re going to get it going as a football team. I really believe that.”
Leslie Frazier — you silly, silly man. I know how this movie ends. So does Eric Mangini. So does Brad Childress. And if you listen closely, that roar of laughter you hear in the distance is Green Bay's Mike McCarthy, Ted Thompson and Mark Murphy, who knew it was smarter to get slaughtered in the court of public opinion than continue to let an aging Favre run the organization and get away with whatever he wanted.
I like you Leslie Frazier. I am here to help. March up to Zygi Wilf’s office. Please explain to him in a sympathetic tone that you know what the club is paying Favre. You realize that the Vikings have an awful stadium situation and are desperate for a new home in Minnesota. You comprehend that Wilf (foolishly) likes Favre for these business reasons, just like Woody Johnson thought Favre would help sell and generate buzz for PSLs at a new stadium in New York.
Forget the name on the back of the jersey. Forget about the great plays in the past. Forget about Brett Favre’s inevitable, well-deserved day in Canton when he goes into the Hall of Fame. Look at right now, Leslie Frazier. Zygi, please let him.
The Minnesota Vikings employ a 41-year-old, broken-down, self-centered, interception-prone quarterback who is currently one of the worst starters in the league. Pick a quarterback, any quarterback. Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Troy Smith, Jason Campbell and Colt McCoy have been more reliable this year than Favre.
Brett Favre leads the league in picks. That’s 16 interceptions against 10 touchdowns. It isn’t worth it, guys. His in-game decisions have been wretched. Favre’s 2010 season has been rocked by scandal. Has it affected his focus? You can answer that yourself.
Is Tarvaris Jackson the answer? I have no idea. And neither do the Vikings. But why don’t you find out? Why don’t you show some guts, show that it is about taking control, and play the backup quarterback? He can’t be worse. The next Vikings game that will be described as “big” is opening day of 2011. See if you need to be in the quarterback business this offseason.
Favre has sucked the life out of the Vikings. He is washed up, a “has been.” It started with the soap opera in the offseason. Favre clearly wasn’t ready for the opener against the Saints, or the Dolphins the week after, and the spiral began. He is clearly injured and hobbled now. He told the NFL Network he is done at the end of the year, once again making it all about himself, thinking about retirement on the tractor.
Do the right thing Leslie Frazier. Start fresh. You deserve better. And so do the Vikings.
Jim Caldwell was chippy and chapped when he joined us on Sirius NFL Radio Monday morning. There was no real hello. There no response to our wish for a Happy Thanksgiving. And if you are a Colts fan, that’s great.
Caldwell called the loss “gut-wrenching” and for a coach who doesn’t show a ton of emotion, that was refreshing. His team will be ready to play the suddenly hot Chargers on Sunday, a team that the Colts struggle with historically.
Another great game featuring the Patriots and the Colts. And another weekend where the Patriots prove they are the team to beat in the wild AFC.
Pick a hero.
James Sanders picked off Peyton Manning to clinch the 31-28 win with Indy already in field goal range.
Tom Brady was majestic, surging to the current top spot on my MVP ballot. Brady has now won 25 straight regular-season home games.
And how about little Danny Woodhead, breaking ankles on a 36-yard touchdown run and then coming back on the ensuing kickoff to make a tackle? That's beautiful.
4. More sizzle
The Patriots are 8-2 and so are the New York Jets. I cannot wait for this showdown in 13 days in New England on Monday Night Football.
Once again, Mark Sanchez saved the Jets after a fourth-quarter meltdown on defense. And once again, you need to recognize that the Jets have a franchise quarterback.
Sanchez brilliantly led the Jets down the field from their own 28-yard line with 48 seconds left and no timeouts. Sanchez hit LaDainian Tomlinson twice and then got to the line of scrimmage to stop the clock. Sanchez hit Braylon Edwards streaking down the field before tossing a perfectly thrown ball to Santonio Holmes for the game-winning touchdown.
That’s the third straight week Sanchez has pulled out a great, dramatic win. It’s time for the haters to recognize.
5. Pop and Sizzle
The Atlanta Falcons are currently the best team in the NFC. They are so good, so smart. Atlanta doesn’t beat itself. They remind me of the early Brady/Belichick Patriots with Matt Ryan and Mike Smith, which is no surprise since they were built by former Patriots’ executive Thomas Dimitroff. The defense is opportunistic and vastly improved. Curtis Lofton is underrated. The run game with Michael Turner and the offensive line is great. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are stars.
That was a great win in St. Louis.
If the Falcons get the No. 1 seed, and Ryan and Smith don’t lose in Atlanta, they are going to the Super Bowl.
6. Can't Make it Up
The Giants are currently on the outside looking in for the playoff picture. And the main reason, the issue that drove Tom Coughlin batty in his postgame news conference, is ball security.
On a night where the Giants defense did a strong job on Mike Vick, Eli Manning didn't slide on a first down run on a fourth-and-6 and fumbled with ball late in the fourth quarter. Philly recovered and kicked the dagger field goal to put the Giants away.
Ahmad Bradshaw had a key fumble leading to Philly points and the running back was lucky replay reversed a call on another fumble.
7. My guys
Phil Rivers — Pretty awesome display of football on Monday night in a big spot.
Raheem Morris — Morris and the Bucs are 7-3! He told us Monday on Sirius NFL Radio, “We are not a finished product but we are impossible to ignore.”
Aaron Rodgers — You got the feeling during the week that this game was rightly personal for him after getting sacked in Minnesota eight times last year. He played like it. Rodgers was sensational.
Dwayne Bowe — He’s finally focused, listening to Todd Haley, and catching touchdowns for the first-place Chiefs.
Chan Gailey — The overmatched Bills play hard every week. And the coach has the stones to deactivate former first-round busts, like Aaron Maybin, from the prior regime.
8. My goats
Richard Seymour — I don't care that Ben Roethlisberger got in your face. You cannot lose your composure and get thrown out of that game by knocking Ben upside the head.
Vince Young — As we've been saying for a while, his act is pathetic. He has failed as a leader. Vince Young should never start another game for the Titans. He’s on IR now, done for the year. If Jeff Fisher has his way, he’s done forever.
Marvin Lewis — It could've been Carson Palmer. Or it could’ve been the sideshow clowns T.O. and Chad Johnson. Or Mike Brown for bringing together this combustible mix. The Bengals got outscored 35-0 by the Bills in the second half. Lewis takes responsibility. And Marvin, Carson and the clowns should all be ex-Bengals.
Gary Kubiak — Only Gary Kubiak could waste time at the end of the first half, not get his team into field goal range, and take unused timeouts into halftime. Give him credit. This is the rare trifecta for coaching futility!
Jason Pierre-Paul — How do you jump offsides on a third-and-6 with the Giants leading 17-16 in the fourth quarter! It allowed Andy Reid for go for it on a fourth-and-1 and LeSean McCoy galloped into the end zone to give the Eagles the lead. It was an awful, ill-timed, inexplicable penalty.
9. Three nuggets of wisdom
The roughing the passer call on James Harrison was a disgrace.
When asked how the Packers would deal with the Falcons' unbelievable quarterback, running back, tight end and receiver, defensive player of the year favorite Clay Matthews told us on Sirius NFL Radio, “With our unbelievable line, linebackers, secondary and coaching.” Unbelievable answer.
How can Pat Bowlen justify keeping Josh McDaniels next year? He is totally overmatched.