By Shaun Morash
Okay, I’ll be the 1st and only one to say it: The Dolphins firing Joe Philbin this week made no sense. This doesn’t mean Philbin deserved to keep his job, it means the timing is awful. If Miami thought a 1-3 start would be enough to do him in, then he should have been fired after last season. Firing him now, and not giving the job to one of your coordinators only sets back the team this year.
Dan Campbell may inject some life into this team, and maybe that is good for a win or two. However, that win or two extra he may get you won’t be good enough for the post season at this point but will be good enough to potentially derail you out of a franchise changing Top 5 draft pick.
If you kept Philbin heading into this season and see you stink a month in, bite the bullet and keep stinking so it helps your team with a premium pick for 2016. This move now may actually set the franchise back because of timing.
Ten Yard Gain
1- The Cowboys looked at their schedule when Romo went down and saw their trip to New Orleans as one of the very few they would win. Well that chance was officially blown because they can’t stop a nosebleed on defense. There is a realistic chance the Cowboys will be dead and buried in the NFC East by the time Romo is able to return now.
2-The Jaguars should be added to the list of teams in Week 4 who blew golden opportunities. The Colts are obviously not as good as they have been in past seasons and are primed to be taken down in the NFC South. The upstart Jags had a chance to make themselves the prime candidate to do so by beating Indy sans Andrew Luck. Instead they choked, and playoffs won’t be in their cards.
3-The Raiders, much like the Jaguars, blew a chance to make us believe they were 2015 contenders. The raiders are more talented than the Bears, had they won, they would be 3-1 heading into a monster showdown with the Broncos. Instead, they are now playing for their lives this weekend.
4-Peyton Manning has almost sadly become nothing more than a game manager. The Broncos defense is for real. Oddly this makes the Broncos feel like the most legitimate Super Bowl contender that they have been since acquiring Manning. Let’s hope this is the farewell tour for Peyton, because seeing him play another season throwing awful ducks will make some of us forget the darts he threw earlier in his career when playing back memories in our head.
5-The Kansas City Chiefs don’t belong with the big boys. They have lost three straight games. The excuse we have heard? Well, that all three of those teams are still unbeaten. If you want us to consider you a playoff contender you need to beat the teams that are playoff contenders. They aren’t doing that. They simply aren’t good enough.
6-Don’t look know but the NY Giants are in command of the NFC East. While Tony Romo is out you cannot even debate who has the best quarterback in the division. Their next five games they should be favored in all of them. In the meantime the Cowboys may not win a single game in those same weeks. The Eagles, well, the nails are starting to drive hard in that coffin.
7- Chip is starting to lose the supporters close to him. Demarco Murray was the 1st to speak out in support of Kelly when former Eagles were throwing around racial accusations. Now Murray has had it with Chip and not giving him the ball enough. Starting to think Chip Kelly and the Texas Longhorns makes too much sense after the season.
8-For as mediocre as the Rams are every season they certainly do own the team teams within their own division. For as hot as Arizona was, the Rams going in there and ramming Todd Gurley down their throat was the biggest surprise of Week 4.
9- The idea that we as fans, or even the players, don’t know every rule, in particular the ball being punched out of the end zone on a fumble rule is fine. The idea a paid official doesn’t know the rule is unacceptable. Teams hold players accountable for egregious mistakes; officials need to be equally accountable.
10-The San Diego Chargers were the most fortunate team of Week 4. They could not and should not have been in a close game at home vs the Browns in that spot. If not for Cleveland being Cleveland with a terrible penalty on a field goal attempt, the Chargers season may have unofficially come to an end late Sunday afternoon.
Five Games to Chew On
5 Bags of Granny Goose Potato Chips Game of the Week-Broncos @ Raiders: The Broncos will look to feast on Derek Carr with their ferocious pass rush. The Raiders come home for this one after a semi-productive 2 game road trip. A win for Oakland would wash away the awful loss in Chicago in Week 4 and make us all realize the Raiders are coming and the upswing is for real. Another dominant performance by Denver however, will have us questioning whether the Patriots are the best team in the AFC, or the Broncos deserve some of that claim.
4 Crab Fries Game of the Week- Saints @ Eagles: This matchup seemed sexy preseason, but now looks ugly. None the less it has the feel of a playoff game, or should we say survival game. The Eagles have not made the post season after a 1-4 start since the 1930’s. Jason Kelce thought isn’t buying that the offensive line problems are getting any better, and said so this week. This team is an unmitigated disaster, but could, possibly, change the feel with a huge home win Sunday.
3 Fish Tacos Game of the Week- Steelers @ Chargers: The Chargers are up to their old tricks with early season struggles. Banking on late season success isn’t a great recipe to lean on. The Steelers have already come off one Thursday night loss this season to smack the 49’ers. They will be ready and angry off extra rest again. The Chargers need to protect their home turf and rattle Vick early often and early.
2 Southern Fried Chicken Plates Game of the Games- Redskins @ Falcons: Preseason this looked like a soft preseason matchup. It suddenly is my pick for the 2nd best game of Week 5. The Falcons have to lose at some point don’t they? The Redskins aren’t great, probably not even good, especially when Kirk Cousins is your quarterback. However, they are average in an average division which is breathing life into them heading into this matchup.
1 Cadbury Egg Game of the Week-Seahawks @ Bengals: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are calling a game in Cincinnati Sunday. They are playing a team from Seattle. If this doesn’t speak to how great the NFL’s parity is nothing will. The Seahawks still seem off, and were fortunate to say the least to beat Detroit on Monday Night. Now they fly across the country on a short week to play an early game vs a red hot unbeaten Bengals team. The Jungle should be rocking in what shapes up to be the best game of the weekend.
The Up the Gut picks are as hot as ever. 4-0 in Week 4 and 7-0 in the last two weeks has us at 10-3 heading into week 5. Knock on wood for more perfection:
Patriots -10 @ Cowboys: I’m not going to buy that the return of Greg Hardy will have the Cowboys competitive in this one. The Patriots are coming off a BYE and Bill Belichick is laughing at how great his game plan will be to swarm Brandon Weeden. This is a runaway train the Pats should win in front of Nantz and Simms by at least 20.
Giants -7 vs 49ers: Going back to the well with the Giants for a 2nd straight week. They are now red hot after two straight wins. The 49’ers are anything but red hot. San Francisco is flying across the country to play the team with the best rushing defense in the NFL. Which means the Giants will dare Colin Kaepernick to beat them with his arm. He won’t. Giants cruise in a blowout here.
Cardinals -2.5 @ Lions: The Lions season came to an emotional, crushing end on Monday Night. Golden Tate is openly questioning the play calling and that is no recipe for success in this matchup. The Cardinals are on the road, but under Bruce Arians, with Carson palmer as their quarterback, I have a hard time seeing them losing back to back games vs inferior opponents. All you need is a win by a field goal here to cover. This is my best bet of the week.
Football Food of the Week
Caribbean Jerk Chicken Quesadillas. Quesadillas are fun for the whole family, perhaps the best part is there are good with almost any meat and flavor combination. This week, get some Carribbean Jerk marinade and chicken breasts. Dice the chicken up into the smallest pieces possible and then marinade them in the Caribbean jerk overnight.
Brown the chicken on a frying pan. When it is cooked spread it evenly on flour tortillas. Sprinkle shredded taco cheese on them, closing the other half of the quesadilla over it. Brown each side of the filled tortilla in a frying pan for 2 minutes or so. If you have a Panini maker, then hot press them. You can control how crunchy you want the quesadillas by how long you cook them.
These will be deliciously flavorful with a kick of spicy ness. Serve and enjoy.
Thanks for reading. Let’s hope the picks stay hot and the food stays tasty. Remember you can follow me on Twitter @MrazCBS.