Welcome to the rest of your 2016, and here's hoping it's as fabulous as the first three days. (Or, way better than the first three days). Now that it's January and the NFL regular season is finally behind us, here are a few questions as we move forward into the playoffs and, beyond, Super Bowl 50 -- which promises to be the usual orgy of self-congratulation and grotesque puffery it always is, if not more so:
Q: The Cleveland Browns have cleaned house, firing both their head coach and GM. What does this mean?
A: It means you have to clear out the old trash before you can start bringing in the new trash.
Q: If, as anticipated, the Colts turn loose Chuck Pagano today, how long will he remain unemployed?
A: Is this a trick question?
A: OK, then about, I don't know, five minutes. The man took a garbage dump of a team to an 8-8 season even though he didn't have his A-list quarterback for the last seven weeks. He won a game with Josh Freeman and that other guy, Something Lindley, who hadn't played in the NFL since the BeeGees were a thing. Only four current NFL head coaches have won more games. Yeah, five minutes sounds about right.
Q: So are the Seahawks the team to beat now because they whipped the Cardinals yesterday?
A: No. Yesterday is meaningless. I'm sure if they meet again, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians' message will be something along the lines of: "OK, last time they sent us a message when it didn't count. Whatever. Now it counts, and now it's our turn."
Q: What will the 49ers be thinking if they respond favorably to Chip Kelly, who's reportedly reaching out to them?
A: They'll be thinking he's not Jim Tomsula. And that just because he failed so abysmally to relate to NFL players in the Eastern time zone doesn't mean he won't be able to relate wonderfully to them in the Pacific time zone. Hey, he's a West coast guy!
And, finally ...
Q: Four of the quarterbacks who could play a significant role in the playoffs are named Brian Hoyer, Brock Osweiler, Kirk Cousins and AJ McCarron. Who saw that coming back in September?
A: Brian Hoyer, Brock Osweiler, Kirk Cousins and AJ McCarron. Maybe. OK, probably not.