Changes in the Air's Lane Adkins looks at some recent changes and their impact as the 2005 season moves into its fifth week. Under the microscope are the Randy Moss trade, the impact of Drew Bledsoe moving to Dallas on both the Cowboys and Bills, and the firing of Texans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer.

Sense that? A little feeling in air? It's change, and it's in the wind.

There are quarterback issues, head coaches on the hot-seat, and team owners having an impatience never quite viewed before. The 2005 season will continue to be an interesting one. Here's a look at some changes, and whether or not they worked:

NO MIRTH IN MOSS-LESS MINNY: While Raider-fan and Oakland head coach Norv Turner love the acquisition of wide receiver Randy Moss this past off-season from the Minnesota Vikings, neither team has shown an immediate benefit in the win column, with the Vikings appearing to get the short end of the deal.

Without a legitimate home-run threat at wide receiver, the Minnesota offense has struggled mightily to find its identity. The Vikings desired to become more of a rushing team but have failed miserably to pull off the switch four games into the season.

While much wasn't made of the defection of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to the Miami Dolphins in the same capacity, the Minnesota offense has been predictable, mistake-ridden, and simply poor in execution. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper appears to have lost confidence, not only in the game-plan, but those surrounding him.

Could trading Moss have caused all of the issues in Minnesota? No - not by a long shot.

One has to look towards the head coach of the team, Mike Tice, and wonder how a team of this talent fails to come and play on Sunday. The game is about preparation and this Minnesota team has the look of a team wavering along waiting for the next bad thing to happen.

RISK WITHOUT REWARD: Step one: Release the quarterback (Drew Bledsoe) who gives you the best chance to win. Step two: hand the reigns over to a relative rookie and expect a playoff-caliber team.

This is what's known as a "risky plan".  

The Buffalo Bills are paying the price early in the 2005 season. Second-year quarterback J.P. Losman has not played well and the results elsewhere on the offense are not striking. Considered a playoff contender coming into the season, Buffalo has become one-dimensional, with running back Willis McGahee being the only significant threat on the offensive side of the ball.

Unless Losman can become effective under center, or Kelly Holcomb develops the consistency he lacked in Cleveland, this is a team going nowhere fast.

DREW DOES DALLAS: In Dallas, the arrival of quarterback Drew Bledsoe was supposed to bring the Cowboys offense back to life. While the team has been better in the 2005 season, there are issues within the walls in Dallas.

Bledsoe, at this stage of his career, is unable to elude the pass-rush and has displayed a tendency to hold onto the football far too long.

While some will say he is holding on to make that big play to ignite the offense, the film shows he is a quarterback slowing down. Against the Washington Redskins a few weeks ago, Bledsoe and the Dallas offense missed on numerous opportunities to change the complexion of the game.

Much of the blame is focused on the offensive line. However, an experienced quarterback like Bledsoe knows to get rid of the ball to avoid negative yardage situations. Line play has been average for the Cowboys in 2005 - play-calling and play at the quarterback position play a significant role in the Cowboys 2-2 record.

A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER? In Houston, Chris Palmer was the obvious scapegoat for the Texans offensive woes, even though the team was coming off its best offensive season. The problems in 2005 were hard to deny: the team was not moving the ball well, quarterback David Carr was not progressing as expected, and the team was floundering.

But to fire Palmer and replace him with Joe Pendry, the offensive line coach whose unit has been sieve-like, doesn't seem like the right answer.

A week after Palmer's firing, the Texans lost 16-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals. David Carr was sacked seven times and the Houston offense again was stagnant.

Speaking of change, there's a change in the standings in the NFC East. Early-season success in Washington is quietly being noticed around the league. The Redskins are off to a 3-0 start and have been playing hard-nosed football that looks like it should only improve as the season progresses.

Veteran quarterback Mark Brunell has played reasonably well behind an improved offensive line, while the rushing attack has made a powerful impact on the offense.

Defensively, the Redskins have been solid, not as good as the 2004 version, but good.

For those who think the game has passed Joe Gibbs, better look again... it just took a little time for the old coach to get his feet wet.

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