A year ago yesterday I wrote the first Tuesday Morning Tailback article in response to the media’s fawning over the Philadelphia Eagles after their big comeback win against the Giants in an important divisional game. “Why even go through with the NFC playoffs?” I sarcastically argued, “We’re told the Eagles are the likely Super Bowl team.” I had long been troubled by many of the trends in the NFL and this media advocacy was the last straw. After that initial article called Fly Eagles Fly, the Eagles lost all their remaining games and I’ve published a Tuesday Morning Tailback article every Tuesday during football season since.
So today we give a little self-congrats and try a different, multi-issue style, which works well after the wacky weekend we’ve just come off. We may be getting mature in age, but we’re still young enough to experiment with new formats to keep things fresh.
1. Streaks Are Made To Be Broken
Sunday was certainly a day for streaks to be broken. The Green Bay Packers lost their perfect season as well as their shot at the all time winning streak as they lost for the first time in a calendar year (that is, they lost for the first time in TMT’s existance!) They were 13-0 with a 19 game overall winning streak (21 is the record) until they were upset in Kansas City. Both the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans also had their winning steaks (of six and seven respectively) broken on Sunday with bad losses at home. It was also the first time in five weeks that Tim Tebow did not lead his team to a come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter. But the most positive streak to be broken was the Colts 14-game winless streak with their win over the Titans. This team had fallen further than any in history since losing Peyton Manning for the season, but it’s good to see them get a win.
2. Kudos to Kyle
I had been as critical as anyone of Kyle Orton and especially the much-chanted media mantra that “Kyle Orton gives the Broncos the best chance to win.” Obviously, that statement was not true and I’ve been proven right, but that’s not to say I don’t respect the talents of Kyle Orton (he’s just no Tim Tebow). After my Broncos released him in November, he was picked up by divisional rivals the Kansas City Chiefs and finally got a chance to start on Sunday aginst the undefeated world champion Green Bay Packers. In a game throughout which the Chiefs maintained a slight lead , Orton played excellent. He was never shaken by the situation and actually preserved the slight, slight chance that Kansas City has at reaching the post season. I am sincerely happy for him, but I hope he doesn’t continue and get revenge against the Broncos in Denver in two weeks.
3. Going to California with an Aching in My Heart
Coming into Sunday night, the Baltimore Ravens controlled their own destiny for everything in the AFC, the most important of which is to actually win the division over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then the Ravens played an absolutely horrible game and were blown out by San Diego, so now Pittsburgh was in the driver’s seat for all the marbles. All the Steelers had to do was get by the San Francisco 49ers and then cruise to home field with two remaining game against the pathetic Rams and Browns. No way. 49ers 20, Steelers 3 – California 2, AFC North 0. Now the New England Patriots hold all the advantages in the AFC and they don’t have to make any more trips to California.
We’ll probably return to our single-subject format next week folks, but please give us your comments below on what we do right, what we do wrong, and what you’d like to see us do in the future.
Tuesday Morning Tailback is a weekly article during football season which take a critical look at the NFL. We do this from the base belief that NFL football is the greatest game in the history of mankind, but some recent policies and the overall direction of the league has chipped away at this greatness. Our primary goal is to spark debate on these subjects, so please leave your own opinion on this article in the comment box below.