I can’t imagine the pain that the Mike Zimmer family has gone through since last Thursday. One day Vikki Zimmer is alive and deciding what to bake for the team; the next day, she’s gone. Being part of a team helps through difficult times, and the bond between the Zimmers and the Bengals will help ease some of their suffering. Football is an emotional game, and those emotions can help carry a team to victory. Clearly, Vikki was watching over her Bengals on Sunday. All of us at the National Football Post send our condolences to the Zimmers. Vikki is gone, but her spirit and will to win are in every Bengal.


1. The longer I watch the Patriots on offense, the more apparent it becomes they need a back. To run the spread, you must have a back who can make tough yards and yards after contact. Right now, they don’t have a back with that kind of consistent skill, which makes their offense struggle.

2. The Bengals can get their run game going now that they play solid defense and not have to worry that every time they punt they get further and further behind. They’re fast and athletic on defense.

3. I think that with Vince Young due to make $7 million in base salary next season, along with a $4.25-million roster bonus, the time to put him in a game is drawing close for the Titans. It’s not a benching of Kerry Collins, it’s more trying to find out if Young has developed.

4. Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno is tough to tackle, and he made more yards after contact Sunday. He was huge running the wildcat and opening up lanes. With the spread attack, it made it much easier for Kyle Orton to make easy throws. Orton had 35 completions, and over half of them were hitches. He was very accurate and precise with the football.

5. Vince Wilfork looks like he’s doing his best Ted Washington impersonation in terms of weight, but he was unblockable against the Broncos.

6. Miles Austin was great for the Cowboys, but the tackling in the Chiefs secondary was really bad. They lack speed and an ability to make plays as a unit.

7. The ‘Skins are playing with some backup linemen on their offensive line, but why does that surprise anyone? When your line is old, injuries will happen. This ‘Skins offense is never going to get better until they fix their offensive line.

8. The next quarterback the Bills draft better have a strong arm and be able to deal with the wind in Buffalo. Trent Edwards doesn’t have the kind of arm to fit the elements. Your starting quarterback’s talent must match the hometown weather. Matt Schaub, for example, can function in Houston, but not in Buffalo. His throws would nosedive.

9. The Bills need to get a grading system in place that can bring bigger defensive players to Buffalo and not have all these little players who get hurt so easily. The Bills were never going to stay healthy all year. Some may view it as bad luck, while others may view it as a bad design for building a team.

10. Derrick Johnson, the former first-rounder of the Chiefs, must be in the dog house. He never seems to find the field for the Chiefs, and last year he was one of their better players. I’m sure he’s available for trade if a team is looking for a fast-flowing backer.

11. I’m sure the Dolphins coaches watched their team’s game against the Ravens more this offseason than any other game tape. They’ve studied the Rex Ryan blitz package and will be prepared. I expect more wildcat than ever tonight.

12. The Jags missed Mike Sims-Walker after he violated team rules and was suspended for one game. As a team, the Jags are too immature right now. They can’t handle success and have yet to realize that to win in the NFL, it takes great effort and attention to detail. The little things are the hardest for a young team to learn.

13. I loved Peyton Manning’s interview with Bob Costas. He was informative and very honest. His comments on Joe Buck were spot on.

14. Older running backs are not able to spring back into shape. Seattle’s Edgerrin James appears to have no burst or acceleration in his lower body.

15. Wide receivers Limas Sweed and Kevin Curtis will be available for trade this week. Do you think anyone takes one? I doubt it.

16. Once Sherman Lewis learns the playbook, it will free ‘Skins owner Dan Snyder to fire coach Jim Zorn. He could make Joe Bugel the head coach and have Lewis call the plays.

17. The return of right offensive tackle Mark Tauscher to the Packers is much needed, assuming he’s healthy. Tauscher knows how to play despite his lack of talent. He finds a way to get things done.

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