By: Bob George/
January 04, 2006

Free agent WR Eric Decker says he would be 'good fit' with Patriots
Man charged with robbing Gronkowski's home arraigned
Buckley: What will Tom Brady do when he retires from football?
Tom Brady teases with Instagram comment
Devin McCourty not disappointed in Tom Brady

Jon Kasay is still with Carolina, their one and only kicker. Mike Hollis, the original Jaguar kicker, lasted through the 2001 season before moving on for one final year at Buffalo. In the 1996 AFC Championship Game at Foxborough Stadium, he kicked two field goals; in the 1998 Wild Card game, he kicked four. He made 80 percent of his field goals in his career, and his career long, 54 yards, came in his final season with Buffalo. Hollis booms one, no wind this time, and it sails five yards deep into the end zone.

Mike Tice was canned as Vikings head coach Sunday night. What took Zygi Wilf so long?

Dick Vermeil can cry all he wants, and you can take it any way you like. But he was never fired in any of his coaching stops, and his players buy his act one hundred percent.

A lot of guys would do well to allow their emotions to come through like Vermeil does. And the ladies might not mind, either.

The only thing missing from the Patriots game on Sunday was for Doug Flutie to complete a jumping pass for a touchdown.

If Flutie comes back next year, his media guide picture should be a throwback pose which John Madden once referred to as a "huck ‘n' buck”.

And Flutie should never wear a faceguard on his helmet any more.

You knew Cincinnati wanted to lose. But you have to wonder what would have happened if they needed to win that game.

Nice job by Detroit, giving Pittsburgh a good game before surrendering to the inevitable.

San Diego's season went from disappointing to disgraceful on Saturday.

Geek of the week: CBS's Randy Cross. What a lousy job of calling a game on Sunday. Five times he called Bill Belichick "Cowher”. He is a closet Dolphin fan as he was two years ago in the snow game against Miami. He never fully understood that the Patriots were resting regulars and not really wanting to win the game, and kept extolling Miami as the next up and coming NFL power.

Come on, WCVB. Come August, smarten up and get rid of this guy.

Suffice it to say Matt Cassel passed his first big test.

Denver will be the toughest AFC home test, not Indianapolis or New England.

Goodbye, Deion Sanders. Stay retired this time. And never forget that tongue-lashing you got from Carlton Fisk when you were a Yankee.

Did Tony Dungy come back too early? Perhaps not. The coach needed to get back to his working element, a good source of therapy. But the coach cannot get enough well wishes from everyone who loves football.

Patriots play this weekend on Saturday night. With a Florida team coming in. Bring on the Big Chill, maybe with a little of the white stuff mixed in.

Houston loses, but wins. Reggie Bush, meet Charles Casserly.

Don't let Jacksonville fool you. They blew out a pretty bad Tennessee team at home. They won't break 40 up at Foxborough.

That Carolina-Giants game might be the best one of the Wild Card games this weekend.

Did you think in August that the Jets-Bills finale would be a garbage game with implications only in the Jets and a high draft pick?

Tom Brady will never win season MVP. But he'll likely win one or more Super Bowl MVPs before he's done, and he'll not mind that one bit.

Back to school: That Alamo Bowl between Michigan and Nebraska was one of the worst officiated games in recent memory. If nothing else, it should call the college football replay system into question and perhaps engender a unification of replay challenges.

That said, the fact that the replay booth initiates all challenges is something the NFL ought to look into. But beep that referee quicker, guys.

Here's to not having to apply the "strength of victory” tiebreaker.

So, Bam Childress, who taught you how to play both ways? Maybe ten years from now, he'll be known as the "Troy Brown of the 2010s”.

Okay, Joe Gibbs, how did you do it this time?

Miami still needs a quarterback. Period.

ESPN has earned the right to take on Monday Night Football. Too bad Mike Patrick couldn't be retained.

The first ESPN game? 1987. Giants 17, Patriots 10.

Jamie Martin (Rams) has been in the league how many years? Eleven? That's got to be the longest backup quarterback career since Don Strock.

Certainly longer than Scott Zolak.

The last question I would ever ask Bill Parcells: "So, is this it for you this year, coach?”

You have to wonder if Brett Favre would like a "grand tour” rather than a sudden goodbye.

The Rams still have a lot of the same offensive weapons from Super Bowl XXXVI. It's still hard to believe what an awesome team the Rams had that year, yet still lost to your Patriots in the Big Show.

Remember him: It was his fumble which Otis Smith returned for the clinching 47-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the 1996 AFC title game. James Stewart, who did not co-star with Donna Reed in It's A Wonderful Life, was the backup to Natrone Means in that great second season for the Jaguars. He was an original Jaguar, but his best season down south was his last one, 1999. He rushed for 937 yards on a team which was supposed to be featuring Fred Taylor at setback. The Jags let him go, and still have Taylor to this day. But Stewart had three nice years in Detroit, with two of them seeing Stewart eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark for the season. His final season, 2002, saw him gain 1,021 yards in only 14 games.

It's playoff time again, and time once again to present our rhyming playoff predictions. And the historic quest for three in a row continues.

Mark Brunell came here in '96;

Against Tampa, the Skins run out of tricks.

Tiki Barber could get MVP;

But Carolina wins on the road, you'll see.

A grudge match at PBS, each road team won this year;

Wishful thinking, we admit, but the Bengals squeak by here.

The Jaguars return to the northeast, on a cold winter's night;

The champions await them, and the home fans feel warm and bright.