This best sums up “Black Monday” as four head coaches were released. The NFL is about winning, and coaches are usually given three or four years to turn a program around.
Rex Ryan, Mike Smith and Marc Trestman were fired for failing to produce enough wins. Jim Harbaugh, who had a lot of success in San Francisco the last three years, couldn’t work with the GM and owner, so he took the University of Michigan’s head coaching job.
The Raiders’ job is open and Doug Marrone stepped aside in Buffalo on Wednesday, which means almost 20 per cent of the teams are looking for a new coach.
The best scenario for coaches has to be where team expectations are not immediately too high, you have a good young nucleus and a good young quarterback.
With that being said, either the Atlanta job with quarterback Matt Ryan, or even the Raiders’ job with Derek Carr, would be the most enticing for The Freak.
Expectations are high in San Fran, the Bears are a mess with too many personalities and Buffalo has no quarterback. The phone isn’t ringing off the hook at The Freak’s house, but one can always wait!
Are you kidding me?
Only one NFL quarterback had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 this season. No, it was not Brady, Rodgers, Peyton or Brees. Get this: Geno Smith earned the perfect rating last week versus Miami.
Stat of the week
Since the merger in 1970, only eight teams have gone 8-0 (won-lost) on the road, and six have gone onto win the Super Bowl. Dallas went undefeated on the road this season, and it looks like the Cowboys have as good of a shot at a ring as anyone.
Next to the NFL’s opening week, wild-card weekend is the most exciting weekend of the season. These win-or-go-home games tend to have one or two upsets, lots of excitement and tension.
The Freak predicted in Week 1 it will be the Packers and Ravens in the Super Bowl, and both teams are in the tournament.
Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh to take on their arch-rivals in a very physical matchup, and both teams have a strong dislike for each other.
The Steelers could be without running back Le’Veon Bell, who’s a dual threat running and catching the ball out of the back field. If he’s out, the Ravens can focus on shutting down the game’s best receiver, Antonio Brown, and getting pressure on Big Ben.
The stage isn’t too big for Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco. The Ravens seem to go under the radar every season, and make noise in the playoffs. This year is no different; Baltimore upsets Pittsburgh.
The under-.500-Panthers made the playoffs in the weak NFC South and host the Cardinals, who have been struggling of late with Ryan Lindley directing the offence.
Also, the Cards’ run defence has been shredded lately, and this could spell trouble as the Panthers are run-first offence.
Normally, you would never take an under-.500 team in the playoffs, but Carolina is hot and Phoenix is not. Great job by Coach Arians this season, but his season will end on Saturday.
Who do you trust more: Andrew Luck or Andy Dalton? Both quarterbacks look brilliant at times, but both turn the ball over at an alarming rate. The game is indoors in Indy, which really helps the pass-heavy Colts.
Cincy has AJ Green, who is also banged up, but the Colts can counter him with Vontae Davis. Indy will contain the Bengals’ running game, and everyone knows if you shut down Green you win. Indy advances.
The weekend’s final game is very interesting as the Lions bring a great run defence to Arlington, and Dallas runs the ball well. However, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Jason Whitten are weapons, and the Lions probably can’t match points with Dallas.
Detroit’s defence will keep them in the game, but Romo will make a few more plays than Matt Stafford. Take the Cowboys.
Last week: 10-for-16.
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.