1. That sound of silence you hear is me not getting extraordinarily worked up over this loss. We knew all week that we were capable of losing to the Lions. It was not as bad a performance as the Rams loss a few weeks ago, and yes, I am calling that a form a progress and improvement. Listen, I am just not going to get nuts over this defeat. The team we saw yesterday wearing burgundy and gold is EXACTLY the team we know we have. The inability to convert third downs continues to be a problem. Donovan McNabb continues to mix in wild inaccuracy with a few good plays. Can you tell me you are at all shocked by the outcome yesterday? We should be as happy to be 4-4 as we were to be 4-3...the same hope I had last week that the coaching staff would figure something out to get us over this hump exists today. Now we have two weeks to find it.
2. So let's get to the shocking event of the day: Sexy Rexy coming in the game. That was a real head-scratcher, right? So McNabb is not your 2-minute drill guy? Wasn't that a version of the 2-minute offense at the end of the first half? And didn't we get into field goal range with McNabb at quarterback? I don't know...the move to put Rex in the game with the game literally on the line was such a ridiculously huge move by Shanahan. Reminds me of the scene in Wedding Crasherswhere Vince Vaughn says, "I'm gonna go see Dr. Finklestein and I'm gonna tell him we have a whole new bag of issues. We can forget about mom for a while." In this case, we can forget about Haynesworth for a while. Because the Shanahan/McNabb thing is going to dominate the next two weeks.
3. Where do they find these announcers? Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan SUCKED OUT LOUD. Good Lord they were bad. They got so many things wrong, I would struggle to list them all. Their constant inaccurate portrayal of the game they were trying to announce was painful to hear. From describing a 4-man rush as a 3-man rush (is there an easier to thing to get right?) to saying a ball that sailed 5 yards over a receiver was hauled in, to straight up mixing up the words "Redskins" and "Lions", this announcing team doesn't deserve to call a pee-wee football game much less another NFL game. For all of you out there hoping to someday work the TV booth, you're in luck because there is less talent in that industry now than ever before.
4. Brandon Banks is the best return man we have had since Brian Mitchell. I don't think I am stating anything people aren't already thinking. I think he is faster than B Mitch, right? Every time he touches the ball, aren't we all thinking there is a chance he could take it the distance? He made the game fun to watch and he was pretty much the difference between us getting killed and us losing what was a closer game than the score indicated.
5. I was watching the late game on NBC and they played a commercial for next week's game between Dallas and Green Bay. Just as I was asking myself if they would try and call the Cowgirls "America's Team", the announcer dropped it in. Unbelievable. If I am the NFL, and in charge of the most popular sports league in the nation, I would be thinking very hard about ditching that phrase. It should be "America's League"...I get that people are still going to use the term for Dallas--especially Dallas folks. But national commercials for a crappy team led by Jon Kitna referring to the Cowgirls as the most embraced team in the country? How 'bout them Cowgirls?
6. We're fine. We're just as mediocre as we thought we were. Just because we talk about the still existing possibility of going to the playoffs this year doesn't mean we don't know that this is not a team that can win the Super Bowl this year. The rest of the season has a lot of promise, even after the losses to the Rams and Lions. We will continue to be a team that exists right on the bubble probably all the way up until January. I think I can best attribute my even emotional state to the fact that my expectations for this team are rather realistic. Is 10-6 still possible? I think so. Is 6-10 possible? I know so. Who wants a boring 14-2 team that everybody knows is Super Bowl-bound? Wait...I would love that. At 4-4 heading into the bye, we could be a lot worse off, and with that firmly in mind, I am dealing with the loss in Detroit surprisingly well.