The NFL Blog: Saturday Edition

December 30th ... Sunday night could be Favre's finale ... QB rumor mill is hot in Minnesota ... Jerry Jones is disgusted ... more game predictions ... top prospects showcased ... Tiki talks with the Washington media and more in a special Saturday edition of the NFL Blog!

Favre's finale?  You might want to tune in on Sunday night for the Packers-Bears game since it could be Brett Favre's final NFL game. According to this report from our Packer's site, Favre recently told a reporter, "Hey, we've got a long ways to go, and I don't have that much time. We're struggling to score touchdowns. We're struggling to be productive. Thank goodness our defense has pulled us through the last few games. But I expect to be more productive, regardless, and I'm not, for whatever reason. I could point to a lot of those, but the bottom line is, I'm not as productive."

Don't you forget about me:  For AFC playoff teams that are mainly concerned about the Ravens' defense or the way that Steve McNair has provided the Baltimore offense with an aerial attack for the first time in years, they better not forget about one other guy -- running back Jamal Lewis. Aaron Wilson at our Ravens site points out how Lewis' role has changed since three years ago when he gained a career-high 2,066 rushing yards, but how he will be a potent weapon in the mix of the Ravens' attack. subscribers can click here to read the rest of the story.

QB Rumor Mill: While the Vikings hope that rookie Tarvaris Jackson will have a better day against the Rams than he did last week in his first start, they'll likely need to secure a veteran quarterback for next year to compete with the youngster. In this article at our Vikings site, check out who some of the veterans are from around the NFL who could get an offer from Minnesota during this offseason.

Quotable:  "I'm disgusted. I haven't felt this miserable in my 17 years here." Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made that statement this week and Scott Knudsen at our Dallas site joins in. "Reality says the Cowboys aren't playoff ready, nowhere near, and if things remain static, they'll visit Seattle's 12th Man and promptly return home for a long winter's nap," Knudsen says. subscribers can read his commentary on the state of the Cowboys here.

Pick 'em:  Kick up some more debate in your respective team's fan forums by linking to "Mac's Picks" at our Seahawks site. Whether or not you agree with his picks, he has some good zingers in there like this one about the Bengals. "Before everyone starts calling Brad St. Louis and Kyle Larson, the snapper and holder on the infamous botched extra point that will likely keep the Bengals out of the playoffs, the Scott Norwoods of the Queen City, they really should look on the bright side: Neither of them were arrested this week." Click the link above and have some fun.

Virginia Tech OLB Vince Hall (Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Top Prospects Showcased:  You can check out four players that could be selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft by watching the Chick-fil-A Bowl tonight on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. (ET). Tony Pauline from TFY Draft Preview provides his analysis of the 16 Georgia players and 11 Virginia Tech players that pro scouts have been evaluating in this subscribers feature.  Pauline notes that projected first-round DE Quentin Moses is starting to slip on some draft boards. But he says that projected first- or second-round OLB Vince Hall is a "Terrific linebacker who forces the action. Could start at a number of linebacker positions." 

Quotable:  "You better get low, because he can break tackles. He's a big-legged, strong-legged guy. He's like a little bowling ball, with butcher knives on." -- Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards on Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew during his Sirius NFL Radio interview. Check it out at our Kansas City site. subscribers can listen to the full 9-minute interview which also talks about the team's win over the Raiders.

Two different paths:
Last year Oakland and the New York Jets completed disappointing 4-12 seasons. Since then, the two teams have taken distinctly different paths. "Unlike veteran taskmaster Tom Coughlin, who appears to have lost the players in the Giants' locker room, Mangini's firm hand hasn't yet turned off his team, perhaps because he often will throw in a small dash of humanity to make it palatable," says Denis Savage at our Raiders site. subscribers can check out his analysis of why the Raiders have fallen apart while the Jets are likely to qualify for the playoffs.

Thousand-yard drought ends:  RB Edgerrin James' 1,093 rushing yards puts him first in the record books in single-season rushing yards since the team moved to Arizona back in 1988. And he still has a game to play on Sunday to add to that record. He's the first Cardinals running back to break the 1,000-yard threshold in eight years. "At first I didn't look at it as a big deal," he said. "but then you realize what's happened around here and how rare it is -- it's a big accomplishment."

See ya next year...maybe:  Ryan Wilson at our Steelers site takes a look at the Pittsburgh roster and projects who might not be back next year either due to free agency or by management's choice. subscribers can take a peek at which players might be available to join your favorite team next year.

Today's Birthday Bunch:  Titans QB Kerry Collins (34), Cowboys FS Keith Davis (28), Dolphins RB Kyle Eckel (25), Patriots FB Heath Evans (28), Falcons DE Patrick Kerney (30), Ravens SS Dawan Landry (24), Lions C Dominic Raiola (28).

Eagles QB Jeff Garcia on the run (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Sticking around?  Eagles quarterback Jeff Garcia signed a one-year deal before the start of this season, and with the way he's led the Eagles into the playoffs after the loss of Donovan McNabb you would think he could be an attractive draw for some other NFL clubs. But as our Philadelphia site is reporting, Garcia may be content to stay right where he is and re-sign with the Eagles. subscribers can get the scoop here.

Winning despite him:  At our Chargers site, they point out that quarterback Phillip Rivers is a source of concern and could use a big game against the Cardinals to get back to form before the playoffs. According to their report, "In his last two games, he's completed 18-of-53 for 278 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble." Check out the full article here.

Looking over his shoulder:  Our Denver site is reporting that RB Tatum Bell's recent lack of productivity has to do with the footsteps he's hearing from the team's rookie running back, Mike Bell. "I've got to hit the hole, quit thinking too much, quit worrying about the fumbles, quit worrying about Mike coming in and taking over," he said. subscribers can read the full article.

Quotable: "... I've been a huge fan of Joe Gibbs my entire life. I grew up in Roanoke and was an enormous fan of the Redskins and particularly Joe Gibbs. It's ironic and cool that my last [regular-season] game is in my home neck of the woods against my favorite coach growing up.'' -- Giants RB Tiki Barber on playing the Redskins on Saturday. Check out the transcript of his conference call with the Washington media at our Redskins site.

Accomplishing less with more: Keith Idec at our Giants site believes that the Giants will keep head coach Tom Coughlin at the helm of the New York franchise, but he's having a tough time figuring out why they want to hold onto him. "Coughlin's bottom line is that he lost eight straight games and finished 6-10 in his first season, got shut out in a home playoff game after going 11-5 during his second season and blew a 6-2 start this year, leaving a talented team in the precarious position of not reaching the playoffs for the third time in four years," Idec says. subscribers can read his commentary and analysis here.

Noteworthy:  The New Orleans Saints are 7-0 in games where they haven't turned the ball over. They face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, who still have faint playoff hopes.

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