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by Bryan Leonard - 12/10/2005
It's been an interesting second half of the NFL season, with injuries, suspensions, folds and surges by several teams. The playoff races are in full swing. He's a look at some interesting stats and quotes from this week.
St. Louis Rams interim coach Joe Vitt had this to say about his team's poor tackling: â€œI don't think it's a lack of courage. Maybe it's a lack of confidence. Maybe I should get the air house out and pump these guys up.â€쳌 Where has this guy been all season? And where has the Rams defense been? Certainly not in many games. I recall back in preseason when the Rams played at San Diego and got embarrassed, displaying one of the worst exhibitions of tackling you will ever see. The coaching staff is just noticing it now? The Rams defense doesn't need to be pumped up â€“ it needs a complete overhaul.
Cincy WR Chad â€쳌The Mouthâ€쳌 Johnson said this week on a local radio show that the Bengals would beat the Colts if they met again in the AFC Championship game. No doubt you will see that quote again, perhaps pinned up in the Colts locker room, in January if the two indeed tangle next month.
The NY Jets have one of the most unimaginative, anemic, injury-ridden offenses the NFL has ever seen. Asked if they should throw in more trick plays do try SOMETHING, head coach Herm Edwards snapped, â€œThat gives you the best chance of getting blown out in a game. You can't go out there and run reverses, trick plays and be a circus team. We're trying to win a game the best way we know how.â€쳌 Let's see now: The Jets have lost by 27, 27, 2 and 13 points the last four games. They've scored 3 points or less three times in the last four and single digits 5 times this season. Sorry, Herm, your Jets aren't even competitive this season, so you should be doing something, anything, to spark the offense. At least a few trick plays and points will give Jets fans something to cheer about.
Meltdown in Buffalo? Two week's ago Bills starter Sam Adams wanted to play but was told by head coach Mike Mularkey that he wouldn't play, prompting Adams to go home on game day. This week, star WR Eric Moulds was suspended without pay for Sunday's game against the Patriots. Moulds was in a sideline dispute with an assistant coach during last week's loss to Miami. Sounds like an unhappy clubhouse in Buffalo. Are they ready to abandon ship? Blowing a 23-3 fourth quarter lead at Miami sure didn't help what appears to be a fractured clubhouse.
Dallas QB Drew Bledsoe has thrown 3 TDs, 4 picks and fumbled thrice the last three games. The Atlanta Falcons run defense has been soft of late, giving up 129 rush yards per game in their three losses in the last four games.
Think of all the great quarterbacks and wide receivers the Miami Dolphins have had. Dan Marino. Clayton and Duper. Paul Warfield. On Sunday, Miami WR Chris Chambers set a club record with 15 catches for 238 yards! Amazing.
Who says there is no parity in the NFL? Of the four teams that met in the championship games in January (Eagles, Falcons, Steelers and Patriots), three are in danger of missing the playoffs, and the (7-5) Pats haven't looked like championship timber all season.