Yesterday was a pretty eventful day in the NFL, Mark Sanchez grew up in front of our eyes as the Jets put it on Brady and the Pats. Josh Freeman continues his steady progression. Michael Vick made his first start in almost four years and looked good enough to make Andy Reid’s nights a little less comfortable Meanwhile in Chocolate City Donovan McNabb had a banner day but ended up on the short end of a 30-27 shootout with Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans. Despite these goings on, I still have some questions and maybe some answers going into Week 3.
1. How many games does Wade Phillips have to right the ship in Dallas? Not many. The Cowboys go into Houston next week to play the Texans and if the Boys put up a poor effort, Phillips could be gone going into the upcoming bye week. Following games at home against the Titans and on the road in Minnesota. If the Cowboys are 1-4 in mid-October, Phillips won’t be coaching this team.
2. Will Jeff Fisher ever trust Vince Young? Maybe I should be asking can Vince Young trust Jeff Fisher? For the better part of Young’s career he’s been on this invisible leash. I say invisible because he never knows when the Fisher’s going to pull on it. Young was pulled at the end of the third quarter of yesterday’s 19-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Young was replaced by Kerry Collins after throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble (7 Titans turnovers). Young talked about his struggles with the Steelers complex defense earlier in the week and it showed as things unraveled quickly for VY and the Titans. Less encouraging was Fisher’s excuse for pulling Young, “We needed to throw it to catch up and win,” Fisher said. “Kerry has had a lot more experience with this defense. In time, Vince will be able to do those things. It was kind of a one-time thing; it’s an issue we’ve put behind us.” Collins only became effective after the Steelers went into a prevent defense. How can Young believe anything Fisher says? He was pulled on opening day two seasons ago and it took and 0-6 start last season in order for Young to get his job back. Before yesterday the Titans were 9-2 since Young returned as the starter.
3. Who gets traded first, if at all – Vincent Jackson, Albert Haynesworth or Brandon Jacobs? Things seem to quieting down on the Vincent Jackson trade talks, if Jackson isn’t traded by the NFL mandated deadline on Wednesday it would be hard to imagine Jackson playing at all this season. Compensations as well as a new deal seem to be roadblocks for the Rams and Vikings who are frontrunners for Jackson. No one has really stepped up to offer much if anything for Haynesworth, it’s clear that it’s 4-3 defense or bust for Haynesworth, who may just spend the season in Mike Shanahan’s dog house. Brandon Jacobs is frustrated and hurt for losing his starting job to backup Ahmad Bradshaw in the preseason. The Giants would need to be blown away in a deal for Jacobs who have no depth in the backfield.
4. The Bears, Bucs, Chiefs, and Texans are a suprising 2-0. Who makes the playoffs? Other than the Bucs each team has beaten a playoff team. Of these four the Chiefs stand the best chance of winning their division, the Texans could win the AFC South but barring a major injury the Colts are going to be there at the end for the division but I think the Texans make it to the postseason. The Bucs have a manageable schedule and could make a run to the postseason 9-7 isn’t out of the question at the same time this is one of the younger teams in the NFL so expect some growing pains. The Bears are neck and neck with the Packers and two up on the Vikings looking at their schedule they can finish with either 10 wins or 10 losses, give me a few weeks before I have a clear read on the Bears.
5. Andy Reid does realize that the Eagles have scored 52 points with Michael Vick under center this season? Michael Vick has proven over the last game and a half that he isn’t some trick pony for the Wildcat offense. The Eagles offense has been explosive and the addition of Vick just adds another headache for opposing defenses. The NFC East is wide open and I hope Reid doesn’t blow a shot at winning this division in exchange for justifying the $12 million the Eagles are paying Kevin Kolb. Vick is playing well and winning. Why should fans suffer through Kolb’s growing pains when option #2 is getting it done. Deep down I think Reid is hellbent on making Kevin Kolb work in Philadelphia, everything else be damned – even the two Pro Bowl quarterbacks he’s put on the back burner for him.