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January 10, 2006
NFL News And Notes: Wild Card
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net

Oh, those guys who could do more than one thing. The Boston Patriots had one of the very best such players in The Duke. Back then, the Broncos had someone named Gene Mingo, who placekicked in nine of his eleven seasons in both the AFL and the NFL. He was the first kicker in Bronco history, and he led the AFL in made field goals in two of the first three seasons of the franchise. Mingo also played a little running back, with 777 career rushing yards and a 4.2 yards per carry average. Mingo was one of those players who did lots of things but wasn’t great at any of them. He steps into one and it carries all the way to the ten-yard line in that thin Colorado air.

Kimo von Oelhoffen, meet Lee Flowers.

And stop being magnanimous, Marvin Lewis. You too, Carson Palmer. Your quarterback was a target. It took only two plays. The positive spins being put on this by the particulars are a little hard to believe.

Only one home team won this weekend. Turns out that it was the good guys that did it.

Chris Simms needs more than his daddy’s genes. For starters, his receivers need to make those big catches.

Trading Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis may go down as the best trade in NFL history. Talk about a baseball-esque deal (which rarely happens in the NFL), a trade which helps both teams so well.

But it looks like it’s helping the Redskins just a bit better.

What a mess in Gotham. And we don’t mean the Giants.

The situation involving Herman Edwards is sweet payback for a team which literally stole Bill Parcells from your faves.

Now, Jets, keep your meathooks off Eric Mangini.

Geek of the week: You are darned lucky your team won, Sean Taylor. You need to be taken out to the woodshed by your head coach and have the living tar beaten out of you.

If the Jags trade David Garrard, they will be trading the wrong guy.

Okay, so Jon Gruden got his team back to prominence. But how can an offensive coach be happy with just ten points at home?

Pray for snow Saturday night. It will slow Denver down and put the teams on more equal footing, no pun intended.

Zero catches for Plaxico Burress? Laugh away, Steeler Nation.

Oh, by the way, Eli Manning, don’t ask for advice within the family. Dad never made it to a playoff game, and big brother is better known for losing big games rather than winning them.

Vince Young or Matt Leinart? Wow. It was Leinart all the way until that Rose Bowl last Wednesday night.

The Patriots outclassed the Jaguars in every way. That includes how to play the disrespect card.

In other words, that was one awesome display of telling a team you wanted to play them, then actually going out and showing them why.

The Steelers showed you why also.

Tom Donahoe had to go in Buffalo. But replacing him with an 80-year-old? Wow. Was Donahoe that bad?

No disrespect to Marv Levy, of course. But 80 is really getting long in the tooth, no matter what the job is.

Back to school: The Rose Bowl actually lived up to the hype, which is the most remarkable element of that classic game.

Back to school II: That Orange Bowl game was pretty good also, but it would have been better if the reason it went to so many overtimes weren’t because of so many missed field goals.

Steve Smith’s big mouth prevents you from really enjoying his awesome talent.

Only against Tampa Bay could Washington get away with only 124 total yards gained (a new NFL record low for a playoff game winner) and still win.

Sorry, Coach Belichick, but the intentional safety won’t do it this time.

The Vikings have to be careful and not put “restoring dignity” above “winning the Super Bowl” on the priority list.

But you have to wonder what the Bud Grant Vikings think of the sex boat crowd, and what image their former team projects.

You have to wonder if Tom Coughlin’s “herr kommandant” approach makes his players too tired come playoff time.

Someone tell Chad Johnson to shut up and stop predicting. He now comes off as a silly bigmouth.

That long touchdown catch by Benjamin Watson is merely the tip of the iceberg on this guy’s talent.

Penny for Tim Fox’s thoughts. Bill Cowher’s game plan to beat Cincinnati? Cheap shot on the quarterback? Makes you wonder if the term “bounty” applies here.

Again, positive spin doctors noted, just not believed.

All these years, and the best quarterback Tampa Bay ever had was Doug Williams.

Who was their first? Did you say Steve Spurrier?

Remember him: Backflips in the end zone? That was Gerald Willhite, the former Bronco backup running back who added a new twist to the White Shoes Johnson act. He scored 23 touchdowns in his seven-year NFL career, all with Denver, and celebrated each touchdown by doing a back flip in the end zone. He was known for his punt returns as well as his rushing skills, but he never topped 400 rushing yards in any one season. He did get to play in two Super Bowls (XXI, XXII), but lost them both. If not for those cute backflips, you’d never remember this guy. Think about that when someone asks you if you remember Elmo Wright.

And now, our rhyming predictions for the Divisional Playoffs.

Carolina blows into the Windy City, as confident as can be.

They’ll hold the Bears to six, but the home towners hold them to only three.

Clinton Portis and Shawn Alexander, quite a duel, you must admit.

Top seed Seattle moves on, though Washington will never quit.

Once again Pittsburgh heads for the Brickyard, Colt receivers will look like Indy cars.

It will be close, but Manning and his gang will be the ones looking like stars.

Rocky Mountain High, sings John Denver, which team will really be so high?

The Patriots? Maybe, maybe not, but they will surely go out there and try.


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