* The 2012 NFL regular season came to an end yesterday with 12 teams moving on to the playoffs. It’s crazy to think about where the Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings were at this time last year. They combined for a total of 10 wins in 2011, but have each at least matched that total alone in 2012.
While it’s hard to imagine any of them being viable Super Bowl contenders, we still have to take a step back to realize what they’ve done. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III became the first set of top two picks form the quarterback position to earn playoff spots in the common draft era. At least, since the early 1930′s.
* Tony Romo threw three interceptions in the Dallas Cowboys elimination game loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday Night Football. His performance brought out the skeptics in the social media world. Trends on Twitter during the game included “quarterbacks better than Romo.”
It is still important to note that Dallas was nothing more than a five-win team without Romo. In fact, the only reason it was in position to win the NFC East in Week 17 was due to Romo’s presence on the field.
It will be interesting to see whether Jason Garrett’s job security comes up in the next couple days. While he didn’t have a whole lot to work with, you have to wonder if owner Jerry Jones wants to go in a new direction.
* Andy Reid’s tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles has come to an end following a disastrous 4-12 season. Most people figured his firing was imminent over the course of the last couple months, but it is noteworthy nonetheless.
Philadelphia turns its attention to finding a new head coach and attempting to rebuild a roster that is stricken with veterans not performing up to par. Meanwhile, Reid is said to be “interested” in the San Diego Chargers head coaching situation.
* Speaking of the Chargers, head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will get the boot today. San Diego finished at or under .500 for the second consecutive season and will be making widespread changes in the offseason. Personally, I believe it should go the young coordinator or college route for a replacement.
* The biggest winners from Sunday’s slate of action has to be the San Francisco 49ers, who acquired the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs after the Minnesota Vikings knocked off the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco handled the Arizona Cardinals.
Not only does San Francisco get a week off to deal with some of the issues we have seen over the last three games, it has time to get Justin Smith back on the defensive side of the ball. Anyone that knows a damn about football fully understands that Smith is one of the most valuable defensive players in the league. His presence on a unit that boasts six Pro Bowl starters could make the 49ers a favorite to come out of the NFC.
* Six of the 12 starting quarterbacks heading into the playoffs are either first or second year players with Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco being the least experienced (seven starts). Overall, those six quarterbacks have combined for 123 less starts than Peyton Manning alone.
* Adrian Peterson pretty much locked up my vote for the NFL MVP Award with his performance for the Minnesota Vikings in their playoff-clinching win over the Green Bay Packers. He went for 199 yards on the ground, one year to the day of his ACL surgery. What he has done this season is nothing less than ridiculous.
* Multiple New York Jets players came out in support of head coach Rex Ryan following their embarrassing season-ending loss to the Buffalo Bills. Speaking to sources, these players indicated that they would rather follow Ryan to his new gig rather than returning to the Jets. Take that for what it is worth.
* There is some talk that Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is contemplating parting ways with recently-extended head coach Jim Schwartz. While this seems to make little sense on the surface, Detroit completely fell apart to the tune of a 4-12 record in a season that they initially had Super Bowl expectations. That type of free fall will lead to questions about a coach’s job security. This will be interesting.
* With all the talk about the performance of rookie quarterbacks this season, a couple first-year running backs finished the season with ridiculous numbers. Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rookie Doug Martin finished with over 1,900 total yards and 12 touchdowns.
Meanwhile, sixth-round pick Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins had a whale of a game against Dallas last night and has now compiled a franchise record 1,600 rushing yards and 13 overall touchdowns. Both finished in the top five among running backs in fantasy points.