Extra points

Gameday

Monday Morning Qb

January 01, 2007|By KEN MURRAY

THE RIGHT CALL

Like Brian Billick with the Ravens earlier in the season, the Giants' Tom Coughlin got an immediate boost by dumping his offensive coordinator, John Hufnagel, for a must-win date against Washington on Saturday. New play-caller Kevin Gilbride put the ball in Tiki Barber's hands early and often. Barber had 23 carries for a franchise-record 234 rushing yards in a 34-28 win. Maybe Coughlin should have made that suggestion to Hufnagel.

'Skins dilemma

NFL Network analyst Cris Collinsworth gave a primer on why the Redskins can't win even with all of Daniel Snyder's money. Collinsworth pointed to the free-agent signing of Adam Archuleta - to a record contract - when the team already had Sean Taylor. Both, he said, are in-the-box safeties, and neither is a cover safety. Somehow, the similarity eluded the Redskins.

Raiders on the clock

The Raiders' ninth straight loss - coupled with Detroit's win in Dallas - earned them the first pick in the 2007 draft. It will be shocking if the Raiders don't take Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. The question is whether Art Shell will still be the coach.

Vikings run over

So much for the notion that the Vikings played run defense better than the 2000 Ravens. The Rams committed to the running game yesterday, and Steven Jackson hammered out 142 yards with three touchdowns. Jackson also had a scoring catch to total four touchdowns in the game. The Vikings had good rush defense statistics because their pass defense was so feeble that teams opted to pass.

Carried away

Larry Johnson's 33 carries against the Jaguars (for 138 yards) gave the Chiefs back 416 for the season, breaking Jamal Anderson's league record of 410 in 1998. Anderson, playing for the Falcons, was never the same and lasted just three more injury-marred years. What will help Johnson is that he is in just his second year as the Chiefs' regular back.

Taking the plunge

Division champions at 11-5 a year ago, the Buccaneers took the NFL's biggest fall this season. Their 4-12 mark represented a seven-game drop. The Redskins took the second-biggest plunge, going from 10-6 to 5-11.

Bad behavior

It will be interesting to see how the Bengals treat the offseason after seeing eight of their players get arrested in 2006. They won the division a year ago, but fell to 8-8 this season. Unless Marvin Lewis cracks down on aberrant behavior, the Bengals won't bounce back.

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