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Snowman's Six-Pack of Reax from Sunday

Posted: Oct 27, 2008

1) The Titans and Colts will go at it on Monday Night Football in the Music City. Tennessee comes into the game undefeated and looks to deliver the ultimate knockout blow to the usual AFC South Champ. The balance of power in the division is shifting towards Nashville as the Colts try to overcome injuries, mistakes, and soft play. I believe the main reason we are seeing this changing of the guard is because teams like the Titans, Texans and Jaguars have been built to combat the Colts’ style. All have tried to build power running games and talented defensive lines with their top draft picks, and that effort to control the clock against Indy is starting to work. For example, Jacksonville had an amazing 41:35-18:25 advantage in time of possession when they beat the Colts in Indy last month. If the Titans can do the same, they can lock up the AFC South and damage a bitter rival irreparably.

2) Dallas’ 13-9 win over Tampa Bay was huge for the team and Coach Wade Phillips. The offense is still struggling with Brad Johnson at the helm, but for a much maligned defense to steal a win, it leaves this team feeling much better about itself. The ‘Boys’ had to have this one to keep pace in the NFC and getting to the midway point at 5-3 was very important. While the Giants will be favored in next week’s game, Dallas now knows they will go into the bye week with a winning record. That fact and Tony Romo healing should improve the atmosphere around Valley Ranch.

3) Carolina moved to 5-0 at home this season with their 27-23 victory over Arizona. John Fox’ club seems to have found their old identity this season with the improved defense and running game. Of course, having Jake Delhomme healthy has made a ton of difference as well. The veteran quarterback has a great knack for making the big play when needed. While the Panthers look good at 6-2 and in first place in the division, do remember that their schedule is fairly back loaded. They should come off the bye week strong against Detroit and Oakland, but the last six games include trips to Atlanta, Green Bay, New York (Giants), and New Orleans.

4) Jacksonville’s 23-17 home loss to the Browns on Sunday was an absolute head-scratcher. Coming off the bye week at 3-3, many football people believed the Jags had a great chance to go to 6-3 (vs. Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit) before a revenge game with the Titans in mid-November. Instead, Jacksonville couldn’t get the running game going against a Browns defense that was 26th in the NFL against the run. In a year where Indy and San Diego are struggling, a Playoff whiff by the Jags could have huge ramifications on the organization.

5) The Rams tried last week to give Jim Haslett the head coaching job full-time, but the NFL called a penalty, invoking the Rooney Rule requirements. Obviously there was a disconnect with Scott Linehan and the players, and Haslett has rallied the troops in his three games- two wins and a close loss (without Steven Jackson) to the Patriots. I understand the intent of the Rooney Rule, but it seems that the league is wrong on this one. St. Louis should be able to name Haslett the coach after the turnaround- he clearly deserves the job.

6) The Dolphins have been a nice surprise in the first year of the Bill Parcells-Jeff Ireland-Tony Sparano regime. The team provided another surprise-and some promise for the future- on Sunday with Ted Ginn’s huge performance in their 25-16 win over the Bills. The top 10 pick from the 2007 Draft had a 7 catch-175 yard game, and gave hope to an improving Dolphins’ squad that they have a legitimate outside speed threat.

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North Carolina,
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Mercenary Territory,

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