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Armchair QB: Coaching carousel starts with Jaguars

December 1, 2011
By STEVE BROWNLEE - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

The season of musical chairs has officially begun in the NFL with Tuesday's firing of Jacksonville's Jack Del Rio.

A number of other coaches are on the hot - or at least lukewarm - seat, such as Norv Turner of San Diego, Tony Sparano of Miami, Steve Spagnuolo of St. Louis, Jim Caldwell of Indianapolis, Andy Reid of Philadelphia, Raheem Morris of Tampa Bay, Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants, Todd Haley of Kansas City and Leslie Frazier of Minnesota.

I found a statement online from Chicago Tribune columnist Dan Pompei saying that league insiders quote the over-under on coaching changes for this season is eight.

I hope people don't really go to Las Vegas and bet on something like that, but then again nothing would really surprise me anymore in big-time sports.

Apparently, once one coach gets fired, other teams get itchy trigger fingers thinking they can get a jump-start on hiring a legend like Bill Cowher.

It's too bad teams don't learn what a desperate move it is to change the head guy every two or three years. Coaching stability pays - just look at Pittsburgh. Cowher is among three coaches there since 1969 along with current coach Mike Tomlin and the legendary Chuck Noll.

And guess which franchise has won the most Super Bowls? The Steelers, of course.

Now for this week's picks:

Tonight, 8:20 p.m.

Philadelphia at Seattle - The Eagles rolled the dice in the free-agent market and lost all team chemistry. Every once in awhile, though, their talent shines. But after a cross-country trip against another struggling team? Nah. Seahawks, 21-17.

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Tennessee at Buffalo - The Bills' freefall continues. Titans, 20-12.

Kansas City at Chicago - The Bears can play with an inexperienced quarterback about as well as any team. And if new quarterback Kyle Orton plays for KC, Chicago coaches know his tendencies better than anyone. Bears, 23-16.

Atlanta at Houston - Not a good situation for the Texans, who are down to their third-string QB. Falcons, 17-13.

Oakland at Miami - I know the Dolphins have won three of their last four to get out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, but Oakland has won three straight and against a better slate of teams. Raiders, 27-17.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh - Familiarity breeds contempt for these rivals, who met just three weeks ago with the Steelers winning by a touchdown. With both teams healthier than the first meeting, it's just a hunch, but Bengals, 27-20.

Carolina at Tampa Bay - The Panthers beat last year's win total on Sunday, but an eight-point win against Indianapolis is like a loss this season. Buccaneers, 34-24.

Indianapolis at New England - This game got moved out of the nighttime lineup since it's not an actual matchup of two NFL teams. Patriots, 50-24.

N.Y. Jets at Washington - The Jets are in win-or-go-home mode. Washington's just lounging around at home. Jets, 22-16.

Denver at Minnesota - If this game tape makes the NFL archive, people will think the forward pass hasn't progressed at all since the 1930s. Broncos, 17-13.

Sunday, 4 p.m.

Green Bay at N.Y. Giants - Giants fans are saying their team desperately needs this win. Yeah, well a lot of teams have been desperate to beat Green Bay, and look at all the good that's done them. Packers, 31-23.

Baltimore at Cleveland - One of four games with times switched since the original schedule came out. This one just delays the inevitable for the Browns. Ravens, 17-10.

Dallas at Arizona - Dallas usually has as many fans at this game as the home team. Cowboys, 23-17.

St. Louis at San Francisco - San Fran coach Jim Harbaugh has 10 days to stew about the Thanksgiving night loss to his brother John in Baltimore. 49ers, 27-7.

Sunday night

Detroit at New Orleans - This is an excellent game for Ndamukong Suh to sit out, because if the Lions thought the Packers were tough to play at Ford Field, New Orleans will be unbeatable in the Superdome. Saints, 33-17.

Monday night

San Diego at Jacksonville - Since the Chargers can lose to anybody at any time in any place, why not take Jacksonville with a new coach? Jaguars, 17-10.

Last week - 14-2, 88 percent. Season - 118-58, 67 percent.



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