Sunday, December 28, 2008

The difference between a dead duck and. . .Mike Shanahan

I'm a Broncos fan from way back when, so I am very saddened at the predictable performance they put up tonight against San Diego. Predictable in that I figured the Broncs would get rocked. The Chargers are a much better team than are the B-men, and when the game matters. . .well, I think we know who isn't "quite" ready for the prime time.

I'm also a current resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so the news coverage tilts heavily towards the Cowboys. I have a hard time digesting it all, since I have hated them as long as I can remember--but at least their locker room does make for some interesting stories.

Anyhow, a quick study of comparisons for these two teams:

Both teams had a chance to get to the playoffs with a road victory against a bitter foe; neither team showed up.

This, after both teams had a chance to clinch a playoff birth AT HOME last week, but failed to deliver (the Cowboys forgot how to tackle in the 4th quarter, the Broncos were killed by the inability to cash in in the red zone--which, not surprisingly, bit them in the but tonight when they had a chance to make a game of it at the end of the first half).

Both teams had some form of "collapse": The Broncos will be the first team ever to squander a 3-game lead in the division with 3 games to play; the Cowboys were widely regarded as one of the best 3 or 4 teams in the league at the start of the season.

And both teams have a coach that will be back next year, if you believe what Jerry Jones said this week AND if you know anything about Mike Shanahan.

But I'm not buying it.

Shanny will be back, for sure--young roster, can score points by the barrelful, revered as a near deity in Denver. He'll be back--hopefully with SOMEBODY who can coordinate a defense this time. Seriously, when was the last time we had a "D" that could stand up to a physical team? Even the success of Plummer's last full season ended up with a D-line that was too easily mauled by the Steelers. And watching our front 7 get abused every game for the last 2 years makes for some unpleasant weekends!

But Wade Phillips has no business being back at Cowboy camp next year, guarantees from ownership be damned. 2 years, no playoff victories (heck, only 1 appearance), and a total loss of control in the locker room. No, the way I see it, he was coaching for his job today.

And he forgot to bring the team along with him.

I think that says just about everything that needs to be said.


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