- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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ATLANTA -- I’ll be traveling back to NFC South Blog headquarters Friday afternoon.
That means we’ll have to skip the NFC South chat this week, but we’ll pick it up next week. Our usual Final Word post will be popping up a bit later and it will be very heavy on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers since they’re the only two teams playing Sunday.
I’ll check in later Friday if there is anything of consequence. But in the meantime, let’s run through a few headlines.
Former Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage says he’s not interested in Carolina’s general manager job. We’ll take his word for it, but I know a number of former general managers and executives that are very interested in this job. But it remains to be seen if the Panthers have any interest in them.
I did a double take when I read this story. The Panthers are letting fans vote on Facebook to decide if the team should call heads or tails before Sunday’s kickoff in Kansas City. What’s next, letting fans call the first play via Twitter? Hey, the way this season has gone, that might not be a bad idea.
Jeff Duncan writes that Drew Brees is responsible for the New Orleans Saints' loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. I’d make a case that the New Orleans defense also contributed heavily by spotting the Falcons an early lead. But Brees did throw a whopping five interceptions and the Saints know going into any game that they’re going to have to score more than 13 points to have any shot at winning.
Mark Bradley writes that the Falcons failed to deliver the dominant type of game that has critics suggesting they’re not as good as their record indicates. Bradley also writes that Atlanta is winning close games because the Falcons play as a team, with one unit picking up when another struggles. Yeah, the Falcons didn’t blow the Saints out of the Georgia Dome, but I think this win was different than all the other close ones. This came against a rival that seemed to have Atlanta’ psychological number in recent years. We might look back at this after the season as the breakthrough game for the Falcons.
Former Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden will take part in a Dec. 9 celebration to honor the team that won Super Bowl XXXVII. There had been some question about whether Gruden would attend because his relationship with ownership was strained after he was fired following the 2008 season. But Gruden needs to be a part of that celebration. He was the coach of that championship team and forever will be part of the Bucs’ history.