1. Brett Favre's success and Jay Cutler's struggles are two of the top stories of the year. What if you put Cutler in Minnesota and Favre in Chicago? The Vikings have so much talent across the board, they could hide Cutler's flaws and would probably still be atop the NFC North. And Favre wouldn't have a chance with the Bears' terrible defense, disappointing running game and not-ready-for-the-NFL receiving corps. Both teams have had way too much focus on the quarterback.
2. A few thoughts on Hines Ward saying the Steelers locker room was divided on whether quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should have played against Baltimore despite concussion symptoms on NBC's Football Night in America:
a. The Steelers locker room doesn't like Roethlisberger and probably never did. No player would ever call out a well-liked, respected QB like Tom Brady or Drew Brees.
b. If you left the concussion issues to active players, a guy would have to be actually unconscious at the time to take a play off.
c. The media is playing a huge role in the NFL's stance on concussions. They're pounding players and coaches with concussion questions every week.
d. Hines Ward is crazy. Why would you risk a quarterback like Roethlisberger against the Ravens? Maybe against the Browns, but not Ray Lewis and Co.
3. Is there any more overrated play in sports than a 1-yard touchdown run in a blowout? Nevertheless, LaDainian Tomlinson is all over the highlights for two meaningless short touchdowns against the Chiefs. Don't write the L.T. is back story yet. After next week's cupcake against the Browns, the Chargers face some tough defenses to finish up the regular season.
4. It took Rex Ryan a month too long to get involved in the Jets' offense and keep Brian Schottenheimer from putting Mark Sanchez in bad positions for an inexperienced quarterback. The Jets have a top-3 defense, and a top-3 running game. They shouldn't have less than 10 pass plays in their whole playbook. Ryan should have known that after coaching in Baltimore for so long. Sanchez' 13-of-17, 154-yard, one-interception performance is just fine for Gang Green.
5. If the Bill Parcells-leaving-Miami rumor mill has any truth to it, Dolphins fans should start preparing a class-action suit. Unlike Dallas, where Parcells left some great players, Miami doesn't have much to look forward to if Parcells doesn't keep reshaping this team in Tuna-like fashion. Running backs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are great, but how many more carries do they have in their legs? Other than that, they have a good, but overpriced offensive line, and a lot of holes.
6. This season's biggest coaching success stories are former coordinators who have been head coaches only with their current team (Brad Childress, Sean Payton, Jim Caldwell, Marvin Lewis). So what's the rush for teams to attract former Super Bowl winners? Are teams lining up to win press conferences instead of Lombardi trophies?
7. I'm getting lonely on the Vince Young-is-overhyped train, but just a quick reminder ... Young beat Arizona's Matt Leinart today, not USC's Matt Leinart on Sunday. Is that some great accomplishment? What is Young's signature win?
8. I am, however, realistic about Young and the Titans. Even if they lose at Indy next week, three of their last four are at home, and then they visit Seattle in Week 17. Although it's a a bit of a long shot, 9-7 could be enough to sneak into an AFC wild-card spot if Denver or Pittsburgh falls off.
9. This seems like a very bad time for the 6-5 New York Giants, coming off a 26-6 loss to the Broncos and now possibly losing Eli Manning for significant time because of a foot injury. But it's not over yet. If Manning can continue to play on a foot that's been sore all season, the Giants aren't done. They basically have a late-season bye after playing on the short week, and they host 8-3 Dallas, who doesn't play well in the Northeast in December. If New York beats Dallas, it's one game back and the division is back in play. The Cowboys have a tough late season schedule (S.D., at N.O., at Washington, Philadelphia).
10. Now that T.O. is a hit in Buffalo, it's time to for the Bills to go all out with the controversial signings to make up for free agents' lack of interest in playing up there. If you were a prospective head coach, wouldn't you want to take over a team with Michael Vick at QB, T.O. at WR and Larry Johnson at RB? Let Jimmy Johnson come back and coach 'em up. Tell me you wouldn't buy a ticket to see that team.
You can argue NFL with Perloff every day at DanPatrick.com.