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Week Five: Jean-Paul Bergeaux’s List of Things

By Columnist Jean-Paul Bergeaux

Things I know.

The Dallas Cowboys are falling apart. And there’s no reason to anticipate a change anytime soon.  Wade Phillips and the rest of his coaching staff just aren’t getting the most out of the talent they have.  The Goodship Lollypop (that’s what I call the Cowboys) are 2 and half games back in the NFC East and could easily recover.  But there is no indication or past history that leads to that conclusion.

John Fox will not be the Carolina Panthers head coach next year. It really appears as though John Fox is done in Charlotte.  His contract is up this year, there have been a lot of changes in the front office and they don’t seem to be interested in signing Fox to a new contract.  Fox will fight for another head coaching job somewhere, but at the very least he should have defensive coordinator jobs available to him somewhere if he desires to do that.

The division champions from last year are a combined 18-19. My how the mighty have fallen. The only division winner from last year that is playing well enough to be considered a serious contender at this point is NE.  Most of the problems can be contributed to mistakes all over the place by normally teams that don’t make mistakes (see below).

Things I think I know.

Minnesota will not finish the season with Favre at QB. I’m not putting this in “Don’t know”, but this is just a feeling.  I have a strong feeling that Favre will not finish the season.  Either injury, controversy, or just plain bad play, it doesn’t look good for Favre.  Besides all that, have you seen the pictures he sent that girl?  WHY would he have thought that would be attractive to her?  I mean really.

Randy Moss was traded to keep NE locker room stability. Why else would NE trade Moss away for a 3rd round pick and then trade for Deon Branch for a 4th round pick?  If they felt completely comfortable with the WR corp they had, they wouldn’t have traded for Branch.  The story about the Brady-Moss argument is probably not accurate, but the argument with a coach hasn’t been disputed and his public unhappiness with his contract were enough to send him packing.

Winning seems to be a matter of making less mistakes. With the relative talent parity mentioned last week, it seems that the win-loss factor is mental focus (mentioned above in the division records).  Fumbles, dropped passes, blown coverages, penalties and just plain bad coaching calls seem to be the difference.   If this is true, then coaching and error free football becomes very important.  Yes there are times that players just are better than the other players, but in general, being sharp and making less mistakes seems to be the difference in most games.

Things I know I don’t know.

Maybe Mike Singletary needs more time to develop before becoming a head coach? Who knows if Singletary will ever be a good or great head coach, but he isn’t right now.  He’s got the right attitude, has good pedigree, but needs more time to develop.  If he had been a defensive coordinator and maybe an assistant coach for a while to develop further, it would have helped him.  Maybe he’ll figure it out this season and retain his head coaching job in San Francisco, but it doesn’t look good right now.  It looks like he needs to go back and spend some time under a great head coach before he’ll be able to really be effective.

What’s wrong with Drew Brees and Payton Manning? They are both playing OK, but not like they have been consistently for 4 or 5 years.  What’s wrong?   Them?  Players around them?  There have been fumbles, tips, drops, missed assignments, but they both seem a bit off.   Both the Saints and Colts depend on timing and tempo, so maybe all those other mistakes are affecting them?

Are the Redskins, Texans, Chiefs, and Bears that good and are the Cowboys, Vikings, Chargers, 49ers and Bengals that bad? Teams that were expected to lead their divisions are drifting near the bottom and teams that were expected to be bad or at least not this good are leading their divisions.  How is this going to shake out?  Are the pretenders the ones that are leading now or are the pretenders the ones we thought would be leading and have revealed who they are?

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