Complain about teams laying down in the closing weeks all you want – and apparently commissioner Roger Goodell is angry about it as well – but there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Anyone who wants to complain about need only see what happened to New England's Wes Welker Sunday in a game the Patriots really didn't need.
Welker apparently blew his knee out and will miss the playoffs, likely making New England a long shot to win the Super Bowl. The Pats were something of a long shot to begin with, but without Welker, they have no chance.
Goodell has good reason to be ticked off about teams tanking. Fans around the league – especially those in Pittsburgh and Houston – are angry about the Colts tanking a game against the Jets and costing their teams a shot at the playoffs.
Ticked off fans could mean fewer fannies in the seats. And with Goodell pushing for the league to expand to an 18-game schedule, how's it going to sell when you've got a quarter of the league taking the final week - or more in the case of Indianapolis - off?
Reportedly, Goodell would like to offer teams draft picks as a reward for playing their regulars in meaningless games, but all they'll have to do is think about Welker and weigh the loss of a top player against picking up an extra draft pick.
© Now, let's get on to the thoughts from Sunday's game.
Willie Parker closed out his career with the Steelers in style, hammering the Dolphins down the stretch and eating up the clock.
Parker likely won't be back in 2010. He wants to be a starter somewhere or at least be given a chance to start.
But he kept his cool about it all season long and performed when the team asked him to. That's what professionals do.
© Finally, not one but two interceptions by the cornerbacks. Than again, that ruined what would have been a great statistical footnote.
© That was a nasty, but clean, hit that Ike Taylor put on Pat White, knocking the former WVU quarterback out of the game.
White was falling to the ground after being tripped from behind by Lawrence Timmons and Taylor just happened to hit him helmet to helmet.
It was still a scary play, though.
© I think you might have to get used to the shootout-style victories.
Something tells me they'll be more of the norm rather than the exception in 2010.