Stealing NFL headlines this week are a few situations involving disgruntled players and questionable coaching decisions. Randy Moss made a shocking early departure from Minnesota, Donovan McNabb was benched for being out of shape, and a couple high profile holdouts returned to duty. Read about these stories and more in Eastbay’s Week 8 NFL Headlines.
Not even a month after they acquired him via trade with the New England Patriots, the Minnesota Vikings parted ways with wide receiver Randy Moss, officially waiving the 7-time Pro-Bowler on Tuesday. After a loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday that all but ended the Vikings chances of making a return to the playoffs, Moss reportedly had some behavioral issues in the locker room that offended some of his Vikings teammates, including quarterback Brett Favre. In addition, Moss used his post-game meeting with the press to inform them that he’d no longer answer their questions, criticize some of Minnesota’s coaching decisions and swing high praise in the direction of his former teammates and coaches in New England.
Once again, head coach Brad Childress finds himself at the center of a controversial discrepancy with a star player. Favre hasn’t exactly hidden the fact that he’s not thrilled with Childress’ play-calling and ability to lead. Reports suggest that there are some players within the Vikings organization that believe that Childress was the cause of some of the problems surrounding Moss. ESPN reporter Adam Schefter has even stated that those who know team owner Zygi Wilf say he’s angry at the team’s decision to waive a player that he “wanted and worked hard to bring back.”
Teams will now have until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to make a claim on Moss. Rumored suitors are the St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins.
You’re down by 6 with less than two minutes left to play in the game. You need a poised quarterback to lead you down the field for touchdown in the two-minute drill. Looking to your bench, you see a 6-time Pro-Bowl quarterback with the third best winning percentage among active QBs on one end. On the other, you see Rex Grossman. Easy decision, right? Wrong. That was the situation in Sunday’s contest between the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions, and coach Mike Shanahan went with Grossman.
Enhancing the hilarity of this decision, Grossman (as you’d expect) gets sacked on his very first play of the game, fumbles and Lions defensive end Ndamukong Suh returns it for a touchdown. So what reason did Shanahan have to bench McNabb for a potential game-winning drive? Apparently, McNabb didn’t have the “cardiovascular endurance” to run the two-minute drill. His words, not mine. Oh yeah – they brought in Mr. Fitness JaMarcus Russell for a “workout” this week.
After this episode, one has to believe that McNabb has precisely 8 games left as a Washington Redskin. You can add the name of Albert Haynesworth into that equation as well.
No Longer Holding Out
After eight week holdouts to start the season, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson and Patriots guard Logan Mankins each reported to their respective teams. While Mankins is available to start playing as soon as Sunday, Jackson must sit another three weeks to serve a three-game suspension imposed by the league for violating the personal conduct policy. Both of these returns may prove to be pivotal in deciding the AFC Championship, with the Patriots holding on to the league’s best record and the Chargers still very much in the playoff mix out west.
Week 8 Scores:
Denver Broncos – 16, San Francisco 49ers – 24
Jacksonville Jaguars – 35, Dallas Cowboys – 17
Miami Dolphins – 22, Cincinnati Bengals – 14
Buffalo Bills – 10, Kansas City Chiefs – 13
Washington Redskins – 25, Detroit Lions 37
Carolina Panthers – 10, St. Louis Rams – 20
Green Bay Packers – 9, New York Jets – 0
Tennessee Titans – 25, San Diego Chargers – 33
Minnesota Vikings – 18, New England Patriots – 28
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 38, Arizona Cardinals – 35
Seattle Seahawks – 3, Oakland Raiders – 33
Pittsburgh Steelers – 10, New Orleans Saints – 20
Houston Texans – 17, Indianapolis Colts – 30
NFL Power Rankings Top 10
1. New England Patriots – Basically, Randy Moss saw his old girlfriend looking happier with a new man and wanted back in.
2. Baltimore Ravens – This team has all the tools needed to hoist up the big trophy at the end.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – They’ve had a tough time putting away other good football teams, and lost to the two best teams they’ve played. Cause for concern?
4. New York Giants – What are the odds Hasselbeck leaves Sunday’s game healthy?
5. New York Jets – That offense will return next week from the ultra rare double Bye Week.
6. Indianapolis Colts – If you have remotely decent hands, Manning will make you look good.
7. New Orleans Saints – That was impressive. They’re getting healthy again – can they start stringing together wins?
8. Atlanta Falcons – Big game against the Buccaneers this weekend. They somehow have the same record.
9. Green Bay Packers – They’re weathering the storm and back in first place. I’m not sure anybody else in that division can take it from them, either.
10. Kansas City Chiefs – They seem to be legit. Of course, the Broncos did too around this time last year.
images via Yahoo