Posted: Monday January 2, 2006 1:53AM; Updated: Monday January 2, 2006 12:44PM
Ten Things I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 17:
a. Is any coach more fired than Norv Turner?
b. Other than Mike Tice and Dom Capers, of course. And Mike Martz.
c. Bill Parcells will probably return, with an extension, for his fourth Dallas season.
d. Shannon Sharpe made a point on the CBS studio show Saturday, asking whether it was smart for a banged-up LaDainian Tomlinson to be running the ball in a meaningless contest. Well, he's got 252 days 'til his next game, Shannon. Maybe a busted rib can heal in 252 days.
e. Gorgeous, superb two-feet-in touchdown catch by Doug Gabriel for the Raiders.
f. The Falcons ought to be ashamed of themselves. Either that or the Panthers played the greatest game in franchise history. I tend to believe the former. That's one heck of a tank job, getting outscored by 49 in their last three games.
g. I am going to resist the temptation to tell David Archer: "Now make sure you ask REALLY nice questions from now on.''
h. Brad Johnson can play for my team any time.
i. Tony Banks can't.
2. I think Kansas City president Carl Peterson advocating in USA Today for an expansion of the playoffs in the final week of the regular season -- when his team might win a 10th game, yet miss out on the playoffs -- is ludicrous. The timing is dumb. The idea isn't very good either. Imagine the Red Sox being five behind the Yankees with five games to play and Sox management coming out with a statement that it's unfair the Yankees get to spend $200 million while no other teams can afford to spend that much. They'd be ridiculed, and rightly so, for being foul-crying babies. The time to raise the issue is in the offseason, not during the heat of the race. Would Peterson have made the pronouncement if his team were 6-9 and out of the playoff hunt? Doubt it. Saying it in the final week of the regular season makes him sound like a guy who plays by the rules until the rules don't fit his team. Then he doesn't like the rules.
The idea itself makes little sense. You don't make a rule for a freak year. In fact, adding a seventh team per conference to the playoff pool would far more often help mediocre teams. Let's say you added a seventh team per conference and go back a few years. In the last 10 years, the seventh team in each year would have been 8-8 and 9-7 (2004), 9-7 and 10-6 (2003), 9-7 and 9-7 (2002), 9-7 and 8-8 (2001), 9-7 and 9-7 (2000), 9-7 and 8-8 (1999), 8-8 and 8-8 (1998), 9-7 and 8-7-1 (1997), 9-7 and 9-7 (1996) and 9-7 and 8-8 (1995). Just once in the decade before this year has a team won in double-digits and missed the playoffs. I like Carl Peterson, but if he wants his team to make the playoffs, I'd advise him to tell his defense to tackle better.
3. I think it's a swell idea, and the right idea, that the Saints are back in New Orleans for the 2006 season. But Tom Benson sure didn't sound like an owner who planned to unpack his bags when he got back inside the New Orleans city limits. For everything that town's done for you, Tom, can't you at least fake it a little better?
4. I think this says everything you need to know about NFL parityville, circa 2005:
NFC Playoff Teams
New York Giants
Of the 12 NFL playoffs teams, seven weren't in the postseason in 2004.