Coaching changes in Dallas and talk about the Playoffs

Well I can’t resist talking about the playoffs, but before I do, I wanted to provide a few thoughts on the coaching shifts that are happening in the Cowboys camp.

In a less-than-surprising move, Jerry Jones picked Jason Garrett as the new head coach for the Cowboys.  That move was well understood and predicted, even with the Rooney Rule and some high profile coaches possibly in the mix.  Then we find out that Paul Pasqualoni (Defensive Coordinator) is leaving to coach UConn and Ray Sherman (WR Coach) is leaving as well.  So while I can’t give Garrett a free pass given he was Offensive Coordinator during the “free fall” part of this season, I also can’t fault the choice because when given the task of turning the Cowboy around, he did a good (not great) job.  Making other coaching changes makes sense to cement his style for next season, and also is a way to show the players that things will be different next year.  Here’s to hoping diferent eqautes to better.

And then there are the playoffs.  Seattle, really?  Who knew?  As a person from Seattle I’ve become so leery of hoping that the Seahawks might put together a solid season, that even winning against the Saints seem more of a fluke than anything.  That said, I’d love to see them come in and take down the Bears.  I’m not betting on it, but I’d love to see it.

My predictions for the games this week:

  • Pittsburgh v Baltimore – I have to give the edge to the Steelers, they have shown a solid dominance of this series when Big Ben is playing and they are healthy, both of which will be true this weekend as far as I know.  The Ravens CAN beat the Steelers, I just don’t think they will, but this will be a great game.
  • Green Bay v Atlanta – I’ll admit to knowing the least about Atlanta of any of the playoff teams.  For some reason I’ve just not read, watched, or followed much about them.  Green Bay is on a roll, but I’ll tip my hat to Atlanta on this one, based on rest and record. 
  • Chicago v Seattle – As I said above, I’d love to see the Seahawks pull off another surprise, and I love a good underdog story, but I do believe that the Bears will really just out play Seattle and win.  IF Seattle has another game like last week from the offense and the defense finds a way to capitalize on the Bears mistakes, they could do it, but I think this game is the Bears to win or lose, and Seattle will depend on mistakes made if they are going to win.
  • New England v New York – Sorry Jets, but you aren’t making it out of this one alive.  Talk is cheap, and so far the Pats have the wind at their backs and have for a while this season.  Off field antics and talk are not going to shift things enough to buy you a win. 

To be certain, I’m not a person who has ever claimed I am good at predictions, nor do I follow the  stats and injuries etc closely.  Heck I don’t even play fantasy football.  So if you are considering these predictions when thinking who to bet on, I’d recommend coin flips will be just as accurate.  We’ll have to wait and see, but in the mean time it’ll be a great weekend of football.

Update from the weekend’s play:

Well I suspected a coin toss would be as accurate and I was about right.  The winners this weekend were Steelers, Packers, Bears, and Jets.  That puts me at even for wins to losses.  Of the teams I didn’t pick, I’ll tip my hat to the Jets who played a great game against the Patriots and deserved that win.  Green Bay also played a great game, but I’ll have to say that the Falcons played like a team that shouldn’t have been sitting on that record.  So here comes a good rivalry in the Bears and Green Bay at Soldier Field and the Jets Steelers game at Heinz Field will be a great one too.  I love great games and these both promise to be great.