5. The Browns and the Dolphins are awful in their current forms. I know, because I was stuck watching them. There were a total of 16 punts in the game, nearly double the NFL average of nine or so. Chad Henne and Jake Delhomme were brutal. Henne’s quarterback rating of 37.8 barely did his performance justice, so it was fitting that a deflection-turned-interception sealed his fate. If the Eagles trade Kevin Kolb in the offseason, Miami has to be in the mix. Their draft pick won’t be high enough to land a top prospect, and they certainly need a signal caller. As to why I was stuck watching that spectacle? I usually have a pretty good selection of games to watch, especially during the 1:00 time slot. If the Eagles are playing at home, Sunday Ticket is available in the press box. If they’re on the road and not at 1:00, I live in New York City and have access to a Sling Box in Philadelphia. That generally means no fewer than three games to choose from. Today, I had just two. The Giants/Redskins game was on in both markets and CBS was not allowed to show a game across from the Giants due to NFL restrictions. That left me with the Dolphins and Browns on in the Philadelphia market. Why CBS chose that game, I don’t know. You would think Jacksonville at Tennessee would have made a lot more sense.
6. Don’t look now, but if the Packers found a running back in James Starks (18 carries for 73 yards), look out. Only eight of his carries came prior to the fourth quarter, when they pounded the ball with him. Green Bay hasn’t had much of a rushing attack since Ryan Grant went down with a season ending injury, and it’s the one thing keeping the Packers from being a complete team. Without having seen the game, it’s hard to say whether Starks was impressive or just piled up yardage at the end of a blowout, but it’s worth keeping an eye on if he’s active again next week. This was his first action of the season after coming off of the PUP list on November 10th because of a training camp injury. The rookie out of Buffalo ended his college career with 3,140 yards and 40 touchdowns and uses his size well at 6-foot-2, 218 pounds.
7. I’m still not sold on the Falcons as an elite team (they’re certainly very good), because I still think the Buccaneers are vastly overrated. Don’t get me wrong, I like Josh Freeman a lot, but I don’t quite see his Bucs as a big contender yet. Freeman is actually putting together a sophomore season not unlike Donovan McNabb’s. Freeman is on pace for 3,256 yards, 21 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while completing 58 percent of his passes with 388 rushing yards. McNabb had 3,365 yards, 21 touchdowns, 13 picks and completed 58 percent of his passes while running fro 629 yards. The thing is, Tampa Bay hasn’t beaten anyone yet. Their victories came over teams who are now a combined 22-62 and they haven’t beaten a team over .500 all year.