Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 10/24/14

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers high fives fans as he walks off the field following the game against the Green Bay Packers on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
  Well, week 14 just ended in the NFL, and like the weeks preceding it, there was no lack of controversy and excitement.  Let’s take a look at four of the stories that have come out of week 14. 1st Down – Harrison’s Harassing Defense Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison has found his way to a one game suspension thanks to a hit he leveled on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy.  During Thursday night’s matchup between the Steelers and the Browns, McCoy tucked the ball and looked as if he was going to take off and run with it.  Just before he crossed the line of scrimmage and approaching Harrison, he pulled the ball up and attempted a pass.  Just as McCoy threw the ball, Harrison hit him just underneath his chin causing a helmet to helmet hit.  McCoy subsequently would sustain a concussion on the play. Harrison is no stranger to being fined by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for such hits.  In the prior three seasons, Harrison has been fined for five such hits on quarterbacks.  Goodell in trying to maintain player safety decided it was time to levy a suspension on Harrison.  Harrison’s response via twitter on Tuesday:  “lol”.  Because of this suspension, Harrison will be docked a game check of just over $73,000.  I’m not so sure I would be tweeting an “lol” if I were losing that kind of cash.  It seems like Harrison isn’t going to be changing his game plan or tactics anytime soon.

2nd Down – Coaches Seats Burned Out Following loses over the weekend by the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins, both organizations decided it was time for a change.  The Chiefs fired head coach Todd Haley and the Dolphins fired head coach Tony Sparano on Monday following their losses. In the last year, Haley and Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli have had their differences on how things should be done in KC.  With the Chiefs underperforming compared to last season, Pioli thought it was time for a new regime.  On Tuesday, Pioli came out and said it is his responsibility to bring the Chiefs back to prominence. The firing of Sparano in Miami really came as no surprise.  Following the end to last season, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross flirted with bringing aboard Jim Harbaugh as the head coach; all while Tony Sparano was still on the payroll. Following the 0-7 start to the Dolphins season, everyone thought Sparano would have been canned sooner.  Suddenly, the Dolphins got hot winning 4 of 5 games prior to Sunday.  Following a lackluster performance against an underachieving Philadelphia squad, Ross decided it was enough and sent Sparano packing. Rumors are already circulating as to who will follow both coaches in their respective teams.  We should find out over the next coming weeks who will be leading the Chiefs and Dolphins in the 2012 season.
3rd Down – Cardinals Surging Following a season opening win against the Rams, the Cardinals proceeded to lose 6 straight games to fall to 1-6 on the season.  New quarterback Kevin Kolb looked lost on the field, and the defense couldn’t stop anyone they played. Kolb injured his foot and in stepped 2nd year quarterback John Skelton.  Skelton led the Cardinals to wins in 3 of their next 4 games.  Kolb stepped back in and led the Cardinals to victory against the Eagles before falling to a concussion last weekend against the 49ers. One would think this would be a problem, but for the Cardinals it wasn’t.  Skelton came back in and led the Cards to a win against the NFC West division leading 49ers.  Now the Cardinals are sitting at 6-7 with an outside chance of making the NFC playoffs. They do need some help in order to make the playoffs, but for the turnaround the Cardinals have had it is nothing short of amazing.  The defense is coming together, making stops and plays they should have been making all season.  With Skelton playing so well, one would wonder if Coach Ken Whisenhunt has a quarterback controversy on his hands.  I don’t think we will find out this season, but watch out for the Cardinals next year if they can ride this momentum forward.
4th Down – Tim “Flippin” Tebow The legend of Tebow continues to grow.  If you have followed any of my writings this NFL season, you know I have been nothing short of harsh on Mr. Tebow.  Well despite his mechanics and his playing style, I may have to eat my words. Since Tebow entered the starting lineup 8 weeks ago, the Broncos have won 7 of 8.  Not only have they won those 7 games, they have all been in dramatic fashion.  Maybe the old line of Tebow just knows how to win is coming into play. Whatever the case may be, Vice President of Player Operations John Elway and head coach John Fox have a decision to make in the offseason.  Do they stick with Tebow, who now has the Broncos on top of the AFC West with an 8-5 record, or do they go out in the offseason and look for a more traditional quarterback to lead the team? Needless to say, Tebow has made a name for himself in the National Football League.  If he doesn’t get an opportunity in Denver next season, I’m 100% sure someone will give him a chance.   Be sure to catch me on twitter @jeffmoore78.

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