1. I think this is what I liked about Week 16:
a. Everything about the Lions.
b. Kahlil Bell, and, surprisingly, Josh McCown. How was McCown out of football and coaching high school five weeks ago?
c. Reggie Wayne, in perhaps his last home play as a Colt, caught his 854th professional pass -- the winning touchdown in the stunner over the Texans.
d. Sione Pouha. A vastly underrated interior run defender for the Jets.
e. You're earning a future, Graham Gano, with kicks like that go-ahead 53-yarder for Washington.
f. Great story by the Associated Press, getting 23 of 44 players interviewed to admit they would try to hide the effects of a concussion rather than voluntarily leave a game. Sounds right to me.
g. C.J. Spiller -- maybe for the first time in two seasons -- justifying with 111 rushing yards his high draft standing.
h. Chris Kelsay, for catching and sacking Tim Tebow twice.
i. Leodis McKelvin, for making an 80-yard punt-return TD look so incredibly easy.
j. Glad to see a good player and person, Tennessee tight end Jared Cook, break out with an eight-catch, 169-yard game.
k. Great throw in the clutch, Carson Palmer.
l. Joe Webb looks better every time he plays.
m. Marshall Newhouse, I underrated you. Sorry.
n. David Akers, who broke the NFL mark with his 42nd field goal at Seattle ... with a game left.
2. I think this is what I didn't like about Week 16:
a. Hakeem Nicks, who drops too many balls.
b. Nick Folk, who misses too many field goals average kickers should make.
c. The Houston defense. Don't tell me it's all missing Wade Phillips either.
d. Tim Tebow. Did he use up all his professional football karma in two months?
e. "My confidence is just fine,'' Tebow said after throwing four second-half interceptions, two returned for touchdowns within 18 seconds. His accuracy, well, that's another matter.
f. Fix the field goal team this week, Romeo.
g. Rex Ryan. America's got Ryan fatigue.
h. The Jags, allowing Matt Hasselbeck to throw for 350 in a steamroller game for the Titans.
i. The Bucs. Shameful performance again.
3. I think I've heard some dumb proposals in my life during negotiations, but the one outlined by Charley Casserly on the CBS pregame show Saturday is classic. Casserly, detailing what he said was the NFL Players Association's proposal for HGH testing to Congress, said one of the tenets would be that players could decline the NFL's request to be tested. Two other points of the NFLPA proposal: Only 10 percent of all NFL players would be tested in any year. (Absolutely foolish. That'd mean, on average, that less than half of the NFL players would ever be tested in an average career.) And testing would occur only out of season, not during the season. Ridiculous.
4. I think whoever thought of that proposal, and discussed it with members of Congress, is either a classic enabler, trying to keep HGH in the game -- and, in fact, to tacitly show players a path to use it -- or simply believe HGH is no big deal in a competitive sport. That's wrong. And an insult to any thinking person who believes the league should be making an effort to make football HGH-free.
5. I think my money's on the Rams to win the first-pick lottery, just because the Jags are so bad right now. Final week: Colts at Jags, Niners at Rams. If the Colts win and Rams lose, the first-round order will be Rams one and Colts two, regardless of what the 3-12 Vikings do.
6. I think Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul, in some order, have become the second and third most important players on the Giants. Cruz saved the Giants Saturday and has come from nowhere to be one of the league's top deep threats. Pierre-Paul is one of the most dangerous defensive players in the league right now, and a kick-blocker too.
7. I think Devin Hester looked like a shell of himself last night with his bum ankle. I talked up top about the folly of an 18-game schedule. How about the Bears' offense, minus Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, and the return game with a hobbled Hester, adding two more games.
8. I think the Lions' revival couldn't happen to a nicer guy, and a better kicker, than Jason Hanson.
9. I think the defensive player of the year award is going to come down to Sunday night. Five or six strong candidates. I'll be watching closely this weekend.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Still a sucker for National Lampoon Christmas Vacation. Would you believe I saw Elf for the first time the other night? Loved it.
b. Michael Jordan is neither charismatic or effective in his Hanes commercials.
c. Ditto Jennifer Lopez in the Fiat ones ... because no one believes she's driving a Fiat, alone, in sketchy New York neighborhoods.
d. Mike Tirico, did you really say last night, "World Peace with the bucket'' in the Lakers-Bulls game? I am extremely impressed you can say that without laughing out loud.
e. Metta World Peace, formerly Ron Artest.
f. I know I'm prejudiced, and I get a paycheck from NBC, but that was a heck of a feature last night on the Packer fan who signed an organ-donor card, died, had her liver harvested, and the liver went to a Bears fan who might have been in his last day or two of life. The Bears fan's healthy now and had an emotional on-camera meeting with the family of the woman who died to give him life. Really fine, without being overly sappy.
g. Congrats, Bentley Weiner and your HBO hockey 24/7 crew, for the fun and inside view of the Rangers and Flyers. Highlight for me in the second episode the other night: the focus on concussions, and on the exam of Flyers top scorer Claude Giroux. You see the team doctor asking Giroux if he's having any trouble texting. Cool stuff. That's the kind of stuff that makes these shows must-see TV. On the Rangers' side, John Tortorella seems like the kind of coach all players would want to play for -- he puts his team in the best position to win.
h. Coffeenerdness: You're too homogenized already, Starbucks. And now you make your packaging on the pounds of coffee all the same now, with only the words on the front different. Why? The bags used to be distinctive and recognizable. Now you've done what you do with the boring pastries, making them the same in San Jose as they are in Manhattan.
i. Beernerdness: Can I give a wine shoutout? Had a glass of the Rubicon Captain's Reserve cab with Christmas Eve dinner. And I'll be back for more, Mr. Coppola.
Saints 33, Falcons 23. Love ths rivalry, and one very interesting piece of it will make most of us stay awake late Monday to see history: Drew Brees needs 305 passing yards to break Dan Marino's single-season record of 5,084 ... and this is Brees' 15th game.
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