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A fumble. A blown call. A clutch touchdown. Every week the action in the NFL forces the headlines around the league to change. To evolve. A cold team becomes a hot team. A hot team slips up. Someone one is one game closer to the playoffs and someone is one game closer to their season being over. These are the weekly notes on the trends and other happenings from around the league after every weekend.

About Last Night: Cowboys and Indians

My goodness, there’s so much to talk about this week, but we HAVE to start with last night’s epic battle for the NFC East crown.

A lot of people will want to make light of Washington’s astounding seven-game win streak, and we’ll get to that, but first, let’s talk about Dallas.

Big D imploded. Again. Being the most valuable franchise  in the NFL is kind of like being the biggest planet in the solar system. And, once again, that planet created a black hole right in its center and absorbed itself before realizing its true potential.

Andy Reid was fired by the Eagles yesterday in what I’m assuming¬† will be the first in a series of moves that will tear that franchise apart. And watching Dallas last night, it dawned on me: how long will this regime go before they realize they need to do just that.

The current foundation for this program clearly isn’t getting it done. They haven’t gotten over that proverbial hump. In fact, they really haven’t even gotten close to it. If only making it to one Super Bowl was enough to get rid of Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid, how much patience should America’s team have with Romo and Garrett?

Now to Washington. Eight weeks ago, as they sat at 3-6, a friend of mine asked me what chance I gave the Redskins of making the playoffs. My answer? Zero. As in: the Mayan apocalypse is more likely to happen. As in: hell will have to freeze over. Well, that apocalypse never did come AND the Redskins are into the postseason. Oh, and for what it’s worth, it was right around freezing in D.C. last night on the thermometer.

There’s so much you can say about this team, but we won’t usher a word of it here. Because it’s all being heavily overplayed on the airwaves. No, instead, we’ll say this: get ready for a wild Wild Card weekend. The regular season JUST ended and we’re already guaranteed a rookie quarterback-led team in the divisional round. Will it be Russell Wilson or RG3? I, for one, can’t wait to find out.

 

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Bye, Bye Birdie

In news everyone saw coming, the Eagles cut ties with Andy Reid.

I actually feel bad for the man. Yes, he lost control of this team. But make no mistake: the Reid regime is the closest this franchise has EVER come to becoming a dynasty. No, he didn’t win a Super Bowl. But I know the next Eagles coach won’t, either. And probably not even the one after that.

I understand the move by Philadelphia, but again, Andy Reid doesn’t deserve to be unemployed. He took that team from the depths of obscurity and turned them into a regular contender. And he should do the exact same thing wherever he lands next.

And, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, this whole fiasco should not be put squarely on the shoulders of Reid. This whole franchise became infected with the concept of building an overnight fantasy team. Success in the NFL very rarely comes by that route and these Eagles were no exception.

It’s funny, too, because so much of Philadelphia’s roster is home grown. But as the budding rookie evolved into superstars, the Eagles forgot one dirty detail: chemistry.

Football isn’t a game played on paper and Philly, for the last two seasons, made their franchise decisions as though it were. And while they’ve been trying to buy wins with sheer statistics, their arch rivals, the Giants, have accrued two Lombardi trophies almost purely on resiliency and determination.

Nine

Nine yards. What an ironic number for Adrian Peterson and the number of yards he fell short of Eric Dickerson’s season rushing record.

Nine yards. Just shy of a first down. Of that next plateau. THAT is how close the man so lovingly referred to as ‘AP’ came to breaking an astronomical record. Over 2,000 yards in 16 games. And the amount he was missing was in the single digits.

It’s maddening even for someone who can’t even begin to dream playing running back. With the season Peterson has had, he almost had the right to go up to that podium after the game and throw as many people under the bus as humanly possible.

Coach Frazier knew the score, he didn’t WANT me to get the record. My O-line just gave up on me. Ponder audibled out of too many runs.

Well, AP didn’t do ANY of that. Instead, he talked about Minnesota’s playoff berth. Even with a good excuse to be selfish, Peterson shooed away all temptation. And THAT is why this is a guy worth rooting for the January.

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to follow him @bclienesch for NFL updates and other shenanigans!