Even at 1-7, “America’s Team” dominated the news wire this week. Namely because former head coach Wade Phillips was served his walking papers after a 45-7 loss at Lambeau Field. In addition to the Phillips firing, injury prone youngsters and surging veterans were all the buzz. Let’s take a look at the hottest stories from around the NFL.
After his Dallas Cowboys suffered an embarrassing 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Wade Phillips received his pink slip on Monday, officially relieving him of his of his head coaching duties. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has been named the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
It was no secret that Phillips was on the hot seat in Dallas. Though he had coached Dallas to an impressive 33-15 regular season record in his previous three seasons, the Cowboys only managed one playoff win in that timeframe. Team owner Jerry Jones had expectations of fielding a team that would make history by playing in the Super Bowl on home turf. Instead, the Cowboys finished the first half of the season with a dismal 1-7 record and are a virtual lock to miss the playoffs.
Speculation is running rampant as to who will be hired for the Dallas job next season. Names like Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher and John Fox are being tossed around. More drama sure to come from Dallas in the coming weeks.
Stafford Hurt Again
When on the field, Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions clearly has the talent to be a starting quarterback in the NFL for a long time. However, Lions fans are starting to question whether or not Stafford can actually stay on the field. In Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, Stafford once again suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder. There is speculation that a MRI revealing a sprained shoulder will prematurely end Stafford’s second NFL campaign.
Stafford scoffs at the “injury prone” label, saying that he didn’t believe in being injury prone. Stafford also added that he never missed a game due to injury throughout high school and college. However, his fourth significant injury in less than two seasons leaves Lions fans concerned. Should they be?
Making His Case
Written off as “washed up” and a team distraction prior to the season, veteran wide receiver Terrell Owens is proving to be one of the lone bright spots on the Cincinnati Bengals roster this season. Owens was brought in to compliment wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, but has outperformed his teammate and best friend through the first half of the season. In a losing effort on Monday night against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, Owens caught two touchdown passes and received a pass interference call that set up another, though the team’s rally eventually fell short. Many experts are wondering if the performance of the 36-year old receiver will land him one more shot on a contending team next season.
Let’s take a look at T.O.’s resume. Fifth all-time in career receptions, third all-time in career touchdown receptions and second all-time in career receiving yards. Clearly one of the most accomplished receivers to ever play the game. Of course there are the self-inflicted incidents that plagued his time in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Owens was then made the scapegoat in Dallas, where bigger problems are obviously holding that franchise back. He wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt for his down season in Buffalo, a team that hasn’t picked up a win or found a decent quarterback since Owens’ departure. Do you think T.O. should get one more shot to play for a Super Bowl that, by the numbers, he deserves? Will a contending team give him a shot?
Week 9 Scores:
Chicago Bears – 22, Buffalo Bills – 19
New Orleans Saints – 34, Carolina Panthers – 3
Arizona Cardinals – 24, Minnesota Vikings – 27
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 21, Atlanta Falcons – 27
San Diego Chargers – 29, Houston Texans – 23
New England Patriots – 14, Cleveland Browns – 34
New York Jets – 23, Detroit Lions – 20
Miami Dolphins – 10, Baltimore Ravens – 26
New York Giants – 41, Seattle Seahawks – 7
Kansas City Chiefs – 20, Oakland Raiders – 23
Indianapolis Colts – 24, Philadelphia Eagles – 26
Dallas Cowboys – 7, Green Bay Packers – 45
Pittsburgh Steelers – 27, Cincinnati Bengals – 21
NFL Power Rankings Top 10
1. Baltimore Ravens – Ranking them any lower would be a spit in the face.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers – When T.O. caught that TD pass and did the “mime” dance in front of Troy, I knew he was going to get rocked before that final whistle blew.
3. New York Giants – I’m literally scared of what’s going to happen to Dallas on Sunday.
4. New England Patriots – Peyton Hillis is a bad bad man. Think Josh McDaniels is regretting that trade?
5. New York Jets – Was thing game a sign of the glass being half full or empty?
6. New Orleans Saints – That was pretty much what we expected to happen to Carolina. They’ll get some players back after the Bye.
7. Indianapolis Colts – Tough loss, but Peyton makes the best out of any situation. Jacob Tamme wasn’t on anybody’s radar two weeks ago.
8. Atlanta Falcons – They’re tough to beat at home, and Baltimore is on the way.
9. Green Bay Packers – What are the odds somebody beats out Clay Matthews for Defensive Player of the Year?
10. Philadelphia Eagles – Vick is honestly playing better than he ever has this season.