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News » The Schein Nine: Philly's Reid underappreciated


The Schein Nine: Philly's Reid underappreciated


The Schein Nine: Philly's Reid underappreciated
1. Andy Reid


The Phillies are rightly getting all the headlines in the City of Brotherly Love. So let's take a moment to make sure that Andy Reid is getting his due.

It pains me when Reid gets killed by Eagles fans. It pains me when there are cries for his firing. Reid's a top coach in the NFL. He should be in Philly forever. You cannot and will not do better.

Look, in talking to Reid last week, he admitted mistakes this season. Looking back, would he take back a play call at the goal line against Chicago? Absolutely. Does he regret playing a less than 100 percent Brian Westbrook against the Redskins? I think so. But it is his candid nature and quest for a football championship for the great Eagles fans that pours through during the conversation. Reid is passionate about winning in Philly. And in a results-oriented business, he delivers.

Reid sounded energized about Donovan McNabb finally having all of his weapons healthy. And sure enough, there was Westbrook providing not only balance but game-changing runs in a must-win against the Falcons on Sunday.

Reid raved about the veteran leadership willing the team to a win against the 49ers before the Eagles' bye week.

I'm predicting the Eagles are about to go on a big run. Philly has the Seahawks in Seattle before hosting the Giants. Then the Eagles are in Cincinnati and Baltimore before hosting the Cardinals on Thanksgiving. Philly will win at least four of those game, if not all five.

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2. Giants

The character and big-game experience of the Super Bowl champs was on display in Pittsburgh with New York scoring 12 unanswered points to come from behind and beat the Steelers 21-14.

The Giants' offensive line needs to get recognized as the best in the NFL. It's not a top-five group. It's the elite front five. The fact that Eli Manning wasn't sacked against the "Blitzburgh" defense was flat out amazing. And give Manning a heap of credit for how the offense played when it mattered the most, with huge throws to Steve Smith and Kevin Boss late.

The Giants dominated Pittsburgh in the trenches on both sides. The Giants defensive line pestered Ben Roethlisberger all game, forcing him into four interceptions, sacking him five times.

Though the Cowboys finally looked the part on defense in a win against Tampa Bay (Ken Hamlin credited the week of practice and the energy), color me surprised if the 'Boys muster up enough to beat the Giants in New York in Week 9.

3. Andre Johnson

You can write this one in stone. Houston's Andre Johnson is the best receiver in the NFL. I am not even sure it is close.

Factor in anything you want as the criteria — hands, speed, yards after the catch, football savvy, work ethic, character, age. I'm taking Johnson, who enjoyed yet another dominant game with 11 catches and more than 100 receiving yards against the Bengals.

4. Mike Singletary

Good for the new Niners coach, banishing underachieving tight end Vernon Davis to the locker room after he slapped a Seattle player and earned a personal foul. Davis' act has worn thin. He was a combine wonder who never deserved to be drafted sixth overall. And his sense of entitlement has driven teammates and coaches batty.

You would think, you would hope, that Davis, a complete bust so far, might want to pay attention to the Hall of Famer Singletary.

5. AFC East

I won't kill the Bills for losing in Miami. I thought it was going to be a three point game. The Bills are banged up. The Dolphins are well coached and Chad Pennington was a model of efficiency in the game. Plus, it was a scheduling rarity that Buffalo has to wait until Week 8 to play its first division game.

But Buffalo's stranglehold on the division is gone with the loss. I still believe the Bills and Pats will both make the playoffs, now both at 5-2 after New England got past St. Louis. The Bills have a huge showdown with the Jets on Sunday. Brett Favre was reckless, tossing three picks and nearly a fourth into the hands of Derrick Johnson, in a close shave for the Jets against the lowly Chiefs.

NFL Week 8

Week 8 action

    Cowboys 13, Bucs 9 -- Recap | Box
    Panthers 27, Cardinals 23 -- Recap | Box
    Eagles 27, Falcons 14 -- Recap | Box
    Patriots 23, Rams 16 -- Recap | Box
    Redskins 25, Lions 17 -- Recap | Box
    Saints 37, Chargers 32 -- Recap | Box
    Ravens 29, Raiders 10 -- Recap | Box
    Dolphins 25, Bills 16 -- Recap | Box
    Jets 28, Chiefs 24 -- Recap | Box
    Texans 35, Bengals 6 -- Recap | Box
    Browns 23, Jaguars 17 -- Recap | Box
    Giants 21, Steelers 14 -- Recap | Box
    Seahawks 34, 49ers 13 -- Recap | Box
    Titans 31, Colts 21 -- Recap | Box

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If Favre plays like that Sunday, if the Jets let Trent Edwards sit in a rocking chair like they let Tyler Thigpen, who picked them apart, New York will lose by double digits.

And how about the way Matt Cassel played late in the Pats' win against the Rams? That was a gutty win for Bill Belichick's outfit with all of their injuries. It will be a harbinger of things to come for the game this weekend against Indianapolis.

6. Ravens

Baltimore has four wins already this season. John Harbaugh was the perfect hire for this club to change the culture. And he was smart enough to select the creative Cam Cameron as his offensive coordinator and the great Hue Jackson as his quarterbacks coach.

7. AFC South

Anyone who doubted the Tennessee Titans doesn't understand football. The better team and more physical team won Monday night. At the midway point, the Titans are the best team in football.

The Colts, Texans and Jaguars are all 3-4. Don't be surprised if the Texans shock the Vikings this weekend.

Here's the simple fact about Jacksonville this year. The Jags are too inconsistent to be a playoff team. You cannot lose at home to Cleveland.

8. MVP

It's the midway point of the season. I have a vote for the Associated Press NFL awards. While pouring through my notes, something hit me this weekend — there is no clear cut favorite for the MVP. In fact, the league lacks true candidates.

Clinton Portis is on the short list, but he isn't having a classic MVP year. Drew Brees is the Offensive Player of the Year but the Saints need to keep winning for him to really be entrenched in the mix.

It's wide open as we start the second half.

9. Midway point stars

Here are some other names on very early and fluid lists.

Defensive Player of the Year — Albert Haynesworth, London Fletcher, James Harrison, Joey Porter, LaMarr Woodley

Comeback Player of the Year — Jake Delhomme, Jon Vilma

Offensive Rookie of the Year — Matt Ryan, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Steve Slaton, Joe Flacco

Defensive Rookie of the Year — Jarod Mayo, Chris Horton

Coach of the Year — Jeff Fisher, Jim Zorn



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 28, 2008

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