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NFL Week 9: Lions and Bengals and Other Thoughts, Oh My!

The Detroit Lions cannot lose this weekend. A week off and some time to breathe did not stop team ownership from cleaning house this week, firing general manager Martin Mayhew and President Tom Lewand. This is a team in disarray. Moves were made the week before in firing the team’s offensive coordinator, all the while head coach Jim Caldwell is still clinging to his job. How long Caldwell will be in his office once the season ends is anyone’s guess and now, there is talk that quarterback Matthew Stafford may not be part of the team’s future.

Obviously, the circus is still in town in the Motor City.

Yahoo Sports wrote a story about the recent upheaval in Detroit, which sums the situation up best.

Ninety years old and apparently out of patience in the face of pitiful that has defined the NFL franchise she now owns, Martha Firestone Ford dropped the hammer Thursday on the Detroit Lions.

“We are very disappointed with the results of the season thus far and believe a change in leadership was needed,” Martha Firestone Ford said Thursday

No one would be patient with a team that is 1-7 and was embarrassed in London a week ago by the Kansas City Chiefs.

What happens now is anyone’s guess. The problems for the Lions are deep, more so than the ones the team endured when Matt Millen was fired as general manager in 2008.

CINCINNATI RUMBLES ON

I will be the first to say Johnny Manziel deserves the right to finish the season as the starter in Cleveland, but the news in Ohio isn’t about the play of the controversial quarterback. Cincinnati and its quarterback Andy Dalton continue to rumble on, remaining undefeated with the win on Thursday night.

Dalton’s play has moved him into the conversation for league MVP honors, and it’s well deserved.

“The Bengals look much different than the team we have become accustomed to seeing each year as quarterback Andy Dalton seems to have finally made a serious leap in the right direction this season,” writes JB Blanchard of the Sun Times Network.

He isn’t kidding. It seems like in years past the redhead with a rocket arm was allergic to games not played on a Sunday afternoon. This season, all systems are “go” for the Bengals, who remain unbeaten with Denver and New England in the AFC.

With a playoff berth almost all but guaranteed, how will the Bengals, who have looked like a juggernaut in the AFC North, play with intensity and not put it on cruise control the remainder of the season?

Blanchard pointed out that with the impressive start, Bengals head coach Marvin Williams became the first coach in AFC North history to start the season 8-0.

Nothing but good time in Cincinnati these days.

CORPORATE TAKEOVER IN INDIANAPOLIS

No team has been a bigger disappointment this season than the Indianapolis Colts. A 3-5 record, trouble in the front office and the coaching staff and a quarterback who has been injured and a huge question mark.

Weren’t these guys supposed to be Super Bowl contenders?

This week, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was fired and now, in addition to the tension between head coach Chuck Pagano and management, it is rumored that lineup decisions are now being discussed between the guys on the sidelines and the front office.

As Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reported earlier this week, the team held a players-only meeting last week with the purpose of blocking out all the distractions, and trying to focus on football. The concerns were telling.

The report says that players are concerned coach Chuck Pagano is being forced to make lineup decisions by the front office.

When lineups and personnel moves are being questioned by management, it cannot be a good situation for the AFC South team.

Can anyone say implosion?

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