The League

Brandon Benson
Packers Blogger

Brandon Benson

Brandon Benson is the lead blogger at Acme Packing Company.

Inevitable in Minnesota, not so in Big 'D'

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My team, the Green Bay Packers, has drawn the distinction of seeing their opponent's head coach fired within one day of a blow-out loss in two consecutive weeks. It wasn't just that one loss that led to their dismissals. It was a culmination of events. But the timing both announcements surprised me. If they made it this far, then why not wait until the end of the season?

As soon as Brad Childress was seen driving Brett Favre to camp from the airport, I knew he'd eventually be fired. The Packers were worried about giving into Favre, and facing their players after they promised the starting job to Aaron Rodgers during the summer of 2008. And here was Brad Childress, yanking it away from Tarvaris Jackson in 2009. After watching Jackson struggle in their January 2009 playoff loss, it was obvious that he still wasn't ready to be a starting quarterback. He was holding back a team that was built to win now. But by pandering to Favre, Childress had created a two-tiered player structure that was doomed to collapse.

An unknown Vikings player was quoted in the Chicago Sun Times recently saying that he knew Childress didn't have his back. He didn't specifically mention the switch from Jackson to Favre, but it seemed like a prime example. Even if that unknown player knew somewhere deep down inside him that it was the right call to replace him with someone else, it makes for a bad work environment when you're always looking over your shoulder.

That dysfunctional situation worked in 2009 because the Vikings won, but I knew it would only last as long as they kept winning. Once the losing started, the hierarchy Childress had created would become a major problem. The only thing that's surprised me about the Vikings is that I didn't think the losing would start in 2010, and I expected they'd milk one more winning season out of that fractured locker room.

While Wade Phillips has dealt with rumors about his job security almost since the day he was hired, a few months ago it seemed impossible that he'd have been fired during the season. The Cowboys were coming off an 11-5 season, an NFC East division title and their first playoff win in over a decade. I had some questions about their offensive line and secondary, but they were the same questions I had about their team for the past few seasons and they hadn't had a losing season since 2004. As the season wore on, and the losses piled up, Phillips began to look desperate and it wasn't a surprise that he was fired after a 45-7 blowout loss to the Packers on national television.

The Vikings and the Cowboys have been the biggest disappointments of the 2010 NFL season, but in hindsight, one firing has been inevitable, while it didn't have to end this way for the other head coach. That's why the Cowboys disappointment (just like everything else in Texas) has been bigger one.

By Brandon Benson  |  November 23, 2010; 10:07 AM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre , Coaching , Dallas Cowboys , Minnesota Vikings , NFC Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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