Posted: Monday December 18, 2006 2:40AM; Updated: Monday December 18, 2006 9:47AM
Ten Things I Think I Think
The Jags' Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 98 yards and a score in a loss to the Titans.
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 15:
a. How much of a nut would you have thought I was if I'd told you in September that the biggest TV story down the stretch in the New York metropolitan area would be whether the cable giants in the area would carry the Rutgers bowl game? Weird, very weird, but true, with 70 percent of New Jersey not having the NFL Network on their home cable systems, and the new network telecasting the Rutgers-Kansas State Texas Bowl from Houston on Dec. 28.
b. If you somehow get a chance, read a transcript of Carl Banks' searing Q&A on Sirius NFL Radio with Mora about his death-wish comments regarding the University of Washington job. Ted Koppel might have done better, but I'm not sure.
c. Just wondering: Is John Abraham made of paper mache?
d. You need to read South Florida Sun-Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde's superb piece, a couple of weeks old now, on the seriously reclusive former Super Bowl MVP, Dolphin safety Jake Scott, now living in Hawaii. One of the best newspaper stories I've read in a long time.
e. The more I see of Maurice Jones-Drew, the more I think he's one of the best 10 backs in football.
f. The more I see of Cedric Houston, the more I think he's one of the top 30 backs in football. He's the best back the Jets employ.
g. Congratulations, Chad Pennington: 29 of 39 for 339 yards against the Vikes. That was one heck of a job against a good front seven in the Metrodome.
h. Sometimes patience is the best trait a man can have. "I bet 25 coaches would have thrown Pacman Jones off their team for the stuff he pulled in the last couple of years, and I'm not sure I wouldn't have,'' I said to Jeff Fisher on Sunday. Said Fisher: "I know. I understand. But he's maturing. And let me tell you, Pacman is going to be a force in this game.'' What a tour de force game he played to beat the Jags: an 83-yard interception return for touchdown, a 70-yard kickoff return, half a sack, three passes defended.
i. The Bears have horseshoes in their shoes.
j. Sunday in the desert, Jay Cutler finally looked like the Jay Cutler Denver drafted.
k. Whenever we talk about the really good NFL tight ends, why don't we talk about Desmond Clark? He's big, he has good hands, and he's got a knack for getting open.
2. I think the Texans need to think seriously about Carr as their quarterback of the future. Two Carr interceptions in the first quarter led to 10 New England points. "I wanna see David Carr throw his helmet, or something like that,'' CBS analyst Rich Gannon said over the satellite between series, after the second pick led to a Pat TD. Either that, or stop throwing balls into multiple-defender coverage.
3. I think I have never seen a team that needs a quarterback more than the Raiders. It's still incredible to me that they passed on Leinart and Cutler to draft the great Michael Huff. (Note to every scout who ever filled out an expense account: when you need a quarterback desperately, you never, ever, ever take a safety instead). And, for the future, let's hope they've learned their lesson. If Brady Quinn's off the board when the Raiders pick very high in the first round next April, they absolutely have to take JaMarcus Russell (if the LSU junior comes out), Ohio State's Troy Smith or Michigan State's Drew Stanton.
4. I think this is what I liked about Week 15:
a. Rod Coleman is a really good football player. I'm not sure I'd take any three-down defensive tackle in football over him.
b. The Tony Romo-to-Terrell Owens touchdown bomb in the second quarter in Atlanta was one of the prettiest throws of the year ... 52 yards in the air, hitting Owens perfectly in stride.
c. Punt coverage by Miles Austin and Sam Hurd, the fourth and fifth Dallas wideouts, was superb. Austin has got some guts.
d. Trent Cole is going to be a good player for the Eagles for a long time. He's feisty, a little cheap-shotty, and the kind of guy every defensive coordinator would love to have.
e. The Baltimore defensive front is so multiple. I pity the offensive minds that will have to solve the Ravens in the postseason. Bart Scott and Kelly Gregg get lost there, but they're vital to everything defensive Rex Ryan does.
f. You know what I liked about the Redskins in the win at New Orleans? Everything.
g. Way to go, Morten Andersen. Take a bow for becoming the NFL's all-time leading scorer. It's a tribute to someone who wouldn't listen when everyone told you to go golfing for the rest of your life.
h. Ladell Betts, we have to give you the MVRP (Most Valuable Relief Pitcher). What a closer you've been in place of Clinton Portis, with four straight 100-yard games.