Cover 3, Week 14: Rob GronkOW!ski’s Injury May Flatline Brady’s Fourth Super Bowl Dreams


1. Is Rob Gronkowski’s torn ACL the most devastating injury loss any team has been forced to overcome this season?  

JAMES CARR: It's hard to measure the impact of a given injury off the jump, but it was one of the weakest tackles I've seen in the NFL all season long. Are you kidding me? That dude went straight at his knees…hell, he went below the knees. I suppose there might not be a choice against a beast like Gronk, but TJ Ward should be ashamed of himself whether the hit was legal or not.

RICHARD BOADU: No, because it happened in Week 14, and because he already missed the first six games of the season. Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler have been tougher injuries for the Packers and Bears to overcome more than Gronk's. Hell, RGIII's injury has been harder for the Redskins to overcome, because although he's healthy…he's not RGIII.

DJ DUNSON: It might not seem that way right now, but I believe Gronk’s will be perceived as the most devastating for any contender's Super Bowl odds in the long run. Josh McCown has destroyed the notion that Jay Cutler is irreplaceable and the Bears aren't even viable Super Bowl contenders, in my opinion. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers returning next week and still have their heads above playoff waters. Unfortunately, Gronk was the only reason Tom Brady stopped exploding like Jack Nicholson in The Shining after every drop or poorly run route. This team appeared to have Super Bowl aspirations, now they've just got to hope Brady doesn't try to injure his own receivers up with gurney balls across the middle.  They're going to miss him dearly in the postseason.

2. Who is the best possible hire off the short list of candidates for Houston’s head coaching vacancy?

CARR: I don't really understand why the Texans let go of Kubiak, unless they were just looking out for his health. At this point in the season, why not just ride the terrible train all the way to the first pick? I really want to say Lovie Smith here, but that's mostly because I just believe he should be a head coach in the NFL. I'm not sure he fits the Texans. With that being said, I bet Kevin Sumlin is kicking himself for re-upping with A&M last week.

BOADU: That's a tough one. The easy answer is Mike Shanahan, because we know he's on his way out. The offense at Houston that Kubiak ran was the version of the offense that Shanahan ran in Denver and now uses in Washington. The best fit will be a QB friendly coach. RGIII needs his very own Sean Payton, and that person is probably an assistant in the NFL right now.

DUNSON: You want to give Mike Shanahan another young quarterback? No thanks! He needs to be coaching a mature, veteran team somewhere. Ken Whisenhunt is the man for that job. It shouldn't be too difficult to keep Wade Phillips in the fold as defensive coordinator, which makes Lovie a redundancy. Ken Whisenhunt is an offensive savant who will be beneficial for a young quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater or (gulp) Johnny Manziel. Case Keenum's college coach Art Briles has been mentioned as a possibility, but I'm not sure a coach without NFL experience is what the grizzled Texans locker room needs. By the way Rich, that same Briles recruited RGIII to Houston and Baylor, and since RGIII left WACO, he has burnished his resume as the football Tesla to Chip Kelly’s Edison.


3. Who is your MVP for Week 14?

CARR: Is it too lame to name Matt Prater? [Ed Note: Yes] A 64 yard field goal….that's legit.

BOADU: Lesean McCoy. The quick and agile running back looked to be out of his element in the elements. Would he be able to break ankles in the snow, would it change his game? Nope, it did not. He just ran for 217 yards like it was nothing.

DUNSON: Nick Foles took the day off. Call it a snow day. Reggie Bush and Adrian Peterson were hurt early. Lesean McCoy is A.I. in a football uniform. His jump cuts are off an And1 mixtape and his Gregory Hines-level tap dancing skill freezes linebackers worried that if they approach him, he'll put them on a poster or immortalize them in .gif form. The snow had cats looking silly. McCoy ran like he was Bode Miller skiing downhill. The Browns lost, so I couldn't say Josh Gordon was the MVP of this week, but once the Browns find a franchise quarterback, that guy is going to tear things up in this league. Against Aqib Talib, he gained 151 yards en route to setting a new NFL record for yards gained in a four week span.