- David Haugh at the Chicago Tribune mentions that Virginia McCaskey was at the game in Minnesota and was apparently quite lively. Kudos to her. My grandfather is 89 and let me tell you, there’s no way I’d be able to get him out in that kind of weather to watch a football game.
- I’m not one to criticize referees but I thought the officiating was uneven to say the least in the Vikings game. It didn’t cause anyone to win or lose the game but the guess here is that the film won’t look good on review at the league office.
- After Brett Favre came back to start on Monday, most people attributed it to his miraculous healing powers. I doubt that his shoulder got better quite as fast as his desire to try to play through it did. With the Bears getting ready to take the field I’m guessing that the old blood got flowing and Favre decided to try one more time to prove to himself that he could or couldn’t play. In the end, he couldn’t survive it.
I wouldn’t have a problem with this is it weren’t for the fact that it sets a dangerous precedent. “Out” really should mean “out”. I couldn’t prove that Favre was better physically than he appeared Saturday. But given his history, I think its safe to say that he got the benefit of the doubt because he is who he is.
- Mark Potash makes a good point for the Chicago Sun-Times:
“The Bears won’t acknowledge it, but there is a direct correllation between Devin Hester’s reemergence as a lethal kick returner and his diminished role on offense.”
“Take it for what it’s worth that ESPN analyst Matt Millen enthusiastically endorsed the Bears as Super Bowl contenders, saying they could beat the Saints or the Falcons on the road in a playoff game. Millen was one of the best analysts in the game in his first stint on TV, but his credibility took a hit with the disastrous run as president of the Lions.”
Say what you want about Millen but his credibility can’t possibly be any worse than Bill Cowher‘s. Last week Cowher not only predicted that the Bears would miss the playoffs but said that they wouldn’t win another game all season.
- The Bears attracted the usual large TV audience (via the Chicago Tribune) we’ve come to expect for their national games. I always take pride in this but at the same time it does nothing to help the cause of keeping Bear games on Sunday afternoon and out of prime time.
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune makes the following observation:
“Not much in the way of a Bernard Berrian sighting, was there? Look for the ex-Bear to potentially become an ex-Viking in the offseason. He has fallen way out of favor there.”
I’m not sure what Berrian’s problem has been. Its possible he could become a Bear again if he came at the right price. But if he does he’s going to have to be more physical. Ask Devin Aromashodu.
- Biggs also mentions some of the political talk that went on this week as the Vikings seek a new stadium:
“Certainly NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was on hand trying to get support lined up.
“‘I think there’s a recognition that we need to find a long-term solution for the Vikings here to get a new stadium built,’ Goodell said. ‘We met with the business community. We met with the legislators. And we met with the governor-elect. So we’re all going to be working hard to try to find the best solution to keep the Vikings here in Minnesota.’
“Keeping the Vikings in Minnesota would be good for the rivalries in the division, that is for certain.”
I would agree. But I’m not holding my breath that a deal will be made unless the Vikings and the NFL kick in a substantial portion of the money needed to build a stadium. It’s a bad time to be asking for money at any level of government, let alone from the Minnesota legislature with their impending $6 billion deficit. The state isn’t going to put money in unless they are absolutely convinced that they will break even in terms of job creation and tax revenue. Its a tough sell.
- Though it hasn’t gotten much play in Chicago, I find it interesting that according to Sid Hartmen at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (via bennmaller.com) Vikings owner Zygi Wilf does not want another dome:
“‘Football should be played outdoors,’ Wilf said before the 40-14 loss to the Bears, ‘and for the Vikings in the past, the weather has given the Vikings a big advantage.'”
- Aaron Rogers has passed all of th necessary test and will be back for the Giants game according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com via Greg Rosenthal at profootballtalk.com. They’re going to need him. They need to win their last two game sot make the playoffs, starting with the Giants this week. The Giants will certainly have sufficient motivation themselves. They are in the playoffs with a win.
- Kevin Goheen at the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (via benmaller.com) head coach Marvin Lewis‘ response to a profootballtalk.com report that the Bengals were considering making Terrell Owens inactive for the last three games because of his attitude and performance:
“Lewis denied the report, which was attributed to an anonymous league source.
“‘Pro Football Talk? Enough said. I don’t need to address it,’ said Lewis. ‘Have I ever addressed anything in here from Pro Football Talk? No. I don’t even know where it is.'”
Lewis has apparently been taking lessons from Lovie Smith on how to answer reporter’s questions. This could have easily come from him.
In any case, even though the reporter called it one (twice), those of you who are paying attention might note that failing to address the report is not a denial. Just sayin’.
- Donovan McNabb feels “disrespected”. But presumably not enough to quit and give up any money he might have coming to him. Mike Shanahan waited until Thursday evening to tell him he wouldn’t be starting last weekend. Maybe McNabb should get on board and do what the offensive coordinator asks him to do.
- The Lions won a road game last weekend and, though the significance of it went by most of us, Jamie Samuelson at the Detroit Free Press points out that they did it with their third string quarterback. With three quarterbacks who can play ball, the Lions enjoy a luxury most teams would love to have.
The Lions are a team worth keeping an eye on the last two games. If they finish strong it could be taken as an indication that they will be ready to turn the corner next year.
One Final Thought
Its Potash day here. He got this interesting comment from Rashied Davis regarding Devin Hester after he set the record for career returns for a touch down:
“Asked the best thing he could say about Hester, Rashied Davis had an interesting answer:
‘‘’He’s a good dude,’ Davis said. ‘He respects what we do, which makes us play harder, because he doesn’t think it’s all him. He knows we have a huge part of it and gives us credit. So we definitely. appreciate his attutude toward what he does.'”