The Stack is here on this Black Monday much later than usual due in part to travel and because I didn't want to have to pay for internet at the hotel (very nice hotel except for the internet situation) I was at. Will get to all of the head coach firings from today tomorrow, but right now, it's time to get some reaction from Sunday's NFL action in "the stack" for today, Monday, December 30:
Pittsburgh 20 Cleveland 7
Pittsburgh gave it their best shot, but ultimately came up short for the playoffs. La'Veon Bell looks like a really special back and the future of the Steelers backfield for years to come. Steelers started the year off poor, but gave a valient effort, but no miracles here. The Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinksi and are a mess. What else is new in Cleveland?
New York Giants 20 Washington 6
That Jerrel Jernigan is really making quite the name for himself. The Giants may be able to let Hakeem Nicks go if Jernigan can keep the strong momentum he built from the final few games of the 2013 campaign. Why weren't they using him earlier? A nightmare season comes to an end in Washington. 3-13? Ouch! Mike Shanahan gets canned, but the situation in Washington is still a mess.
Cincinnati 34 Baltimore 17
There will be a new Super Bowl champion this year. Not very often you can throw four picks and get a win, but Andy Dalton was able to do it. If the Bengals want to get past wild card weekend, Dalton needs to be smarter with the football, something he has done inconsistently all year. The Ravens won't make the playoffs which shouldn't be all that surprising given what they lost in the offseason. Still though, for what they paid Joe Flacco in the offseason, you would expect better.
Tennessee 16 Houston 10
Old Houston versus new Houston. Old Houston won and now Tennessee head coach Mike Munchak may be able to keep his job. A new regime will come to Houston. They lost fourteen straight games. Had it not been for a couple of other miraculous finishes, they could have been 0-16.
Indianapolis 30 Jacksonville 10
The Colts are starting to play better and at just the right time. Yes they won't have Reggie Wayne in the playoffs, but they are certainly getting on a roll at a critical time. The Jaguars I'm guessing will have a new quarterback when the season kicks off next year.
New York Jets 20 Miami 7
Perhaps the most shocking outocme of the day. The Dolphins had everything to play for. The Jets didn't. A win and Miami was in the playoffs. To play that bad against the Jets is inexcusable and could cost people some jobs. Rex Ryan deserves some votes for coach of the year. How he got the Jets to 8-8 is pretty remarkable. Geno Smith played better the final few games.
Minnesota 14 Detroit 13
The Metrodome closed out with a good one (more on the Metrodome later this week complete with pictures and video). Cordarrelle Patterson is truly special and will be a tremendous receiver for years to come for the Vikings. Trivia question down the road..."Who scored the final touchdown in the Metrodome?" Cordarrelle Patterson. The Lions flopped miserably down the stretch. Jim Schwartz deserved to get fired. Not sure Leslie Frazier did.
Carolina 21 Atlanta 20
It wasn't easy against an Atlanta team that refused to quit this season, but Cam Newton and the Panthers got it done and now have a first round bye. This Panthers team is dangerous.
New Orleans 42 Tampa Bay 17
Yeah, Drew Brees is pretty good inside the Merceds-Benz Superdome. The real test comes outside. Tampa Bay never stood a chance.
New England 34 Buffalo 20
In a driving rainstorm, LaGarrette Blunt was the catalyst for the Patriots offense. He had a tremendous day running the football. The Patriots are the two seed, but this is a different Patriots team. They can be beat in January. Just what Bill Belichick wants to hear.
Seattle 27 St. Louis 9
The Rams were walking right into a buzzsaw after the Seahawks lost at home to the Cardinals last weekend. They never stood a chance. The Seahawks offense is a little concerning though. That could hold them back of a Super Bowl run...maybe.
Green Bay 33 Chicago 28
Aaron Rodgers was the difference maker in this one. He played pretty good having been out the previous seven games with a collarbone injury. Randall Cobbs was pretty good too catching both of Rodgers' touchdowns. What exactly were the Bears doing on that all-out blitz? Terrible job. And what about the play in which no one knew that the ball was still in play and the Packers recovered the fumble and ran it in for a touchdown. PLAY UNTIL YOU HEAR THE WHISTLE!!! That's why the Packers are in the playoffs and the Bears are watching.
San Francisco 23 Arizona 20
The 49ers are playing really good football right now. They can go up to Lambeau and beat the Packers next weekend. Their running game is in synch and their defense is starting to flex its muscles. Arizona will make a big run at the division and the playoffs next year. They have a tremendous foundation.
Denver 34 Oakland 14
Thanks for showing up and playing hard against your biggest division rival Raiders. Peyton Manning had more touchdows (4) than he did incompletions (3). Wow!
San Diego 27 Kansas City 24
The Chargers are in the playoffs!...and they shouldn't be. Once again Bill Leavy's crew (he's the guy that gave the Steelers their last Super Bowl against Seattle if you remember), missed a penalty on the Chargers that would have given the Chiefs another chance at a game-winning field in regulation. Instead, Ryan Succop's missed 41-yard field goal remained and the Chargers won in overtime. If it took overtime to beat a team starting its second-string quarterback, maybe you don't deserve to be in the playoffs in the first place San Diego.
Philadelphia 24 Dallas 22
The Eagles barely got out of Dallas with the NFC East title last night. Kyle Orton is a good quarterback, but there is no reason the Eagles shouldn't have blown the Cowboys out last night, especially with that terrible defense. The Eagles have some work to do if they want to go on a big playoff run.
Coming up Tuesday: Black Monday reaction, final NFL power rankings and more