The Fall That Was

Sneaking into the last weekend of regular season games, I am looking back on the fall that was for the NFL and can think of no other like it. The Browns went from being the second-worst team in all the land, to the most exciting. Sadly, Sean Taylor was shot to death in his own home, the Bills Kevin Everett made an amazing recovery from what was sure to be a life altering injury, and the Patriots have yet to lose. When looking back on the fall of 2007, here are a few thoughts and observations.

I’m Stunned by Dallas
With Wade Phillips at the helm, I’m not shocked America’s Team is doing well, as Phillips had solid years as the top dog in both Buffalo and Denver. However, I am shocked the wide receiver Terrell Owens has kept his mouth shut and allowed quarterback Tony Romo to strive.

Mario Williams Looks Good
What I am about to write could get my sorry butt lynched in the city of Austin, but Williams in his second year has dominated at defensive end, looking like the top pick of a draft that featured Reggie Bush and, yes, UT hero Vince Young. (Note: The thoughts and opinions of Timothy Braun do not reflect the management of The Austin Chronicle.)

Atlanta Is Hopeless
The team is cursed. It seems as if each step owner Arthur Blank takes he gets smacked in the mouth. With setbacks to the quarterback position, and coaching, this team will struggle for years to come. It is no surprise Bill Parcells dumped this team for The Fish.

Which Leads Me To …
It’s no surprise Bill Parcells has taken the helm of the Miami Dolphins. The Fish are in a much better position than the Falcons to recover and recover quickly with the top pick in the draft, two second-round picks, and a good salary cap situation. More importantly, the Tuna now controls a team in the same division with old student/current rival Bill Belichick. Remodeling the house that Shula built is not just another job for the Tuna, going up against the Pats twice a year, it’s personal.

Now, I think Cam Cameron will remain as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. The Tuna is close friends with Texas Tech basketball fable, Bobby Knight, and Bobby has spoken highly of Cam Cameron for years now (Cameron was the head coach of the Hoosier football team in Knight’s twilight at Indiana University). In fact, I have seen interviews with Knight and the Tuna and it is clear Knight is the alpha wolf, the Batman to Parcells Robin. You know what, let us ride this example for awhile. If the Tuna is truly the Boy Wonder for Miami, he will listen to his overbearing amigo, the Dark Knight.

A Few Timmy Awards for This Season

Rookie of the Year
Joe Thomas, offensive tackle, Cleveland Browns. He’s allowed one sack and provides Derek Anderson the time to throw deep. Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr. should buy this guy a boat.

MVP
Tom Brady … I’m certain you know which team he plays for.
More and more I think he might be the best quarterback in the NFL. Ever. (Sorry to Otto Graham and my dude Joe Montana.)

Coach of the Year
Tony Dungy, Indianapolis Colts, tied with Cam Cameron.

At 13-2 (and those two loses where very close) Dungy’s squad has been ravaged by injury. I can’t recall the last time a winning coach has exploit his depth chart to this extent to win so many games.

Now, Cameron has had a unique season. Before November, the Fish traded star wide receiver Chris Chambers, effectively giving up on the season. As the Dolphins got their first win of the seasons against Baltimore and that teams legendary defense, Cameron started an undrafted quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. I usually pencil in Jeff Fischer as the coach that does more with less, but this fall Cameron gets the vote.

Five Easy Pieces (a quintet of other football matters on my mind)
1) Going into the playoffs I have yet to figure out why teams are “scared” of Jacksonville. This team is grand at beating up on lesser opposition, but they can never seem to win the big game. I won’t be surprised if Houston beats them this Sunday.
2) Going into the playoffs, I think “teams” should be very scared of the Indianapolis Colts. And when I mean “teams” I mean the one residing around Boston. Indy is quietly killing foes with backups.
3) What the hell happened to Pittsburgh? If you can honestly answer this question, I will buy you a puppy.
4) I think Dallas should be watching Tampa’s game very carefully this weekend. I won’t be surprised if Tampa goes deep into these playoffs.
5) I think Vince Young is about to play in his first playoff game.

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