Monday Musings – Week 14

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In what was perhaps the wackiest weekend of the NFL season, the Vikings and Giants were postponed due to the collapsed roof of the Metrodome, several playoff contenders came out flat, and a strength and conditioning coach got involved in the on-field action with an indefensible act.  Without further ado, here are my Monday Musings.

1. The Eagles are now 7-1 in games that Michael Vick starts and finishes.  They picked up yet another come from behind win.  The Eagles have trailed in four of their last five victories, with the blowout in Washington being the only exception.  They’ve trailed at one point or another in five of the seven games they’ve won with Vick starting and finishing.  If Philadelphia wins out, its chances at a bye are much improved after today’s results, thanks largely to a loss by the Bears.

2. It’s that time of year when the teams in the mix for the playoffs start to crumble and come back to the pack.  Remember last year? The Broncos went from 8-4 to 8-8, while the Dolphins lost three straight games to go from 7-6 to 7-9.  In the NFC, the Giants wound up finishing 8-8 after a 7-5 start. In 2008, The Buccaneers lost four in a row to finish 9-7 after a 9-3 start while the Cowboys lost their last two to land at 9-7 after a 9-5 start.  The Redskins lost four of their last five to finish 8-8 despite a 7-4 start, and in the AFC the Jets went 9-7 despite starting 8-3 while the Broncos lost their last three to finish 8-8.This year, the Packers are a possibility to fall onto a similar list.  They started 8-4, but lost today to the Lions of all teams and lost Aaron Rodgers to a concussion.  That’s particularly bad news with a trip to Foxboro and home tilts with the Giants and Bears left on the schedule. The Bears fit the bill too though, after laying a huge egg against the Patriots to fall to 9-4 with trips to Minnesota and Green Bay and a home game against the Jets still left. Both teams tied atop the NFC West (Seattle and St. Louis) also lost today, falling in unison to 6-7.

In the AFC, the 9-4 (formerly 9-2) Jets are a possibility after an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Dolphins. A trip to Pittsburgh is certainly not what the doctor ordered for Rex Ryan’s bunch.  The Chiefs didn’t help their cause, either, by losing to the Chargers today. Now Kansas City is just a game ahead of San Diego.  It could have been a two-game lead with a tiebreaker in hand, which would have eliminated the Chargers from AFC West contention.

3. While some teams were faltering over the weekend, others handled their business.  Philadelphia, a benefactor of the Bears and Packers losses, came from behind to beat Dallas 30-27.  New England smoked Chicago 36-7 (more on that game in a bit).  New Orleans blew out St. Louis 31-13 while Atlanta handled Carolina 31-10.  Pittsburgh crushed Cincinnati 23-7, and Jacksonville picked up a 38-31 win over Oakland.  The jury is still out on the Giants, who “visit” the Vikings in Detroit tomorrow in what will be one of the stranger scenes of this NFL season.

4. Thank God nobody was injured in the collapse of the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.  The game will now be played on Monday night at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.  Lions fans aren’t too fond of the Vikings, and with free tickets being given out it’s hard to predict how the crowd will be split or how the new venue will impact the outcome.  For what it’s worth, the Giants were 3-point favorites before the scheduling change and Las Vegas took the line off the board and re-opened it with New York a 4-point favorite.  There’s also the big question of whether or not Brett Favre will play, with the extra day of rest perhaps saving his consecutive games played streak, which sits at an NFL record 297 games.