Updated 2010 NFL Playoff Bracket

My original bracket was a hit, so I thought I’d update it after the Wild Card weekend. If you click on the picture, you’ll see a larger version.


Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Redskins reach 5-year deal with Mike Shanahan

ESPN.com is reporting that the Redskins have reached a 5-year contract agreement with Mike Shanahan to become their next head coach.

Under the terms of the new deal, Shanahan will team with Redskins executive vice president and general manager Bruce Allen, but Shanahan will have the ultimate authority on football decisions. Shanahan will be introduced as the Redskins head coach at a 2 p.m. ET news conference Wednesday.

As the contract was being signed at the Redskins’ training complex, Shanahan and owner Dan Snyder posed together for a picture. Then, with the deal signed, Shanahan, his agent Sandy Montag, Allen and Snyder headed out for a celebration dinner in Washington, D.C.

The contract is worth approximately $7 million a year, the Denver Post reported on its Web site. Now that Shanahan has been hired elsewhere, the Denver Broncos, who fired Shanahan one year ago, will recoup $7 million in offset money over the next two seasons under the terms of the agreement they had with the coach.

Finally, Daniel Snyder made a good football decision for his franchise. Shanahan is absolutely the right fit for an organization that is in desperate need for a leader that can give them direction and build a solid foundation.

But the key now is that Snyder needs to get the hell out of the way. He’s meddling has cost his team before, so if he continues to play the role of owner-knows-best, then this will be a wasted hire.

You found the right guy Dan, now sit in the back and let Shanahan drive the ship.

Belichick blames Reliant Stadium for Welker’s injury

Bill Belichick is blaming Wes Welker’s torn MCL and ACL on the poor field conditions at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

From Yahoo! Sports:

Welker, who led the NFL with 123 receptions, suffered a serious left knee injury in a 34-27 loss to the Texans on Sunday on what Belichick called “one of the worst fields I’ve seen.”

He did not elaborate Tuesday on remarks he made a day earlier during his weekly appearance on WEEI radio. Belichick said the field was inconsistent— spongy in parts and hard in others—causing players to get a different feel with each step.
Belichick said a lot of non-contact injuries like Welker’s occur on such surfaces.

Asked several times about the field on Tuesday, Belichick said he is focusing on Sunday’s home playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Come on Bill, you can do better than that. Just say something clichéd like, “Injuries happen in football,” and move on. Don’t blame it on the field to deflect some of the blame off yourself for having Welker playing in a semi-meaningless game in the first place.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Cushing named defensive rookie of the year

Texans’ linebacker Brian Cushing was named the 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

From ESPN.com:

Brian Cushing has become the second Houston Texans linebacker in four seasons to win The Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

The tackling machine from USC, drafted 15th overall last April, is a runaway winner in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league. Cushing received 39 votes, easily beating Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd, who had six.

Cushing was all over the field this year, racking up 134 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. He made an impact the moment he got to Houston and he seemingly has a very bright future ahead of him.

I do wonder though, had Byrd finished the season with a couple more picks (he missed the final two games of the season due to an injury) if the voting would have been closer. He tied Darren Sharper, Charles Woodson and Asante Samuel for the league-lead in interceptions this season with nine; would he have closed the gap between he and Cushing had he led the league in picks?

Either way, both rookies (as well as the Redskins’ Brian Orakpo) had outstanding seasons.

Report: Lovie Smith to return in 2010

Bear fans won’t be receiving a belated Christmas gift this year as the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Lovie Smith is expected to return to the sidelines in 2010.

Smith met with team president Ted Phillips and general manager Jerry Angelo on Monday, and the sweeping changes that many fans have been hoping to see are not expected to happen. There may be changes, and Smith noted in his postgame news conference Sunday at Detroit that change comes every year, but it will be far from a housecleaning.

Smith could be given a win-or-else mandate from management. He is signed through 2011 and with $11 million remaining on his contract, the McCaskeys were thought to be unlikely to part with the coach who took them to Super Bowl XLI three years ago. It will be interesting to see what type of role Phillips has taken in what are football decisions.

This isn’t the news Bear fans were hoping for when black Monday rolled around. Smith is just 23-25 as a head coach since he led the team to the Super Bowl a few years ago and the Bears have missed the playoffs the last three seasons. One would have thought that his Super Bowl credit has been used up by now.

The Bears’ immediate future doesn’t looking promising. They’re without a first round pick in each of the next two drafts after trading for Jay Cutler, and they don’t have a second round pick in 2010 because they traded it to the Bucs for Gaines Adams. The offensive line is a complete mess, the defense is aging and outside of Cutler and Lance Briggs, there isn’t a ton of marquee talent on the roster.

Is Smith a strong enough personality to overcome these disadvantages and lead the Bears back to the playoffs? After what the Bears showed this season, I highly doubt it.

Related Posts