In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes the Dolphins' 34-3 loss to the Titans did not "just end a season," as it also ended a "three-year Ponzi scheme of a plan, too." Conclusions are in, and they "aren’t pretty." The Dolphins, at 8-8, spent three years "re-constructing the same average team they so gleefully tore down." This latest Dolphins’ rebuilding plan sits "down there with the Titanic wreck, down with the New Coke formula." Hyde: "What even was the plan in retrospect? Tanking? Hitting on draft picks? Did they really follow either well?" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 1/4).
BACKED INTO A CORNER: On Long Island, Bob Glauber writes Giants President & CEO John Mara "desperately wants to avoid firing a third straight coach after just two seasons," but Joe Judge has "painted Mara into a corner from which there is no easy escape." Mara knows that is not a "workable plan for an NFL team," that simply "firing coaches willy-nilly is not a sustainable way of doing business." Glauber: "There is simply no spinning his way out of the reality: This is a brutally bad football team, and the Giants are in one of their darkest periods in the nearly 100-year history of the franchise" (NEWSDAY, 1/4).
HIT THE RESET BUTTON: In Minneapolis, Jim Souhan writes if the Vikings fire coach Mike Zimmer later this month, GM Rick Spielman "should leave with him." The job of the next GM, if that person arrives in the next month or so, will be to "fix the Vikings' fatal flaw: Their inability to draft, develop and win with their own franchise quarterback." Souhan: "Make Spielman, Zimmer and [QB Kirk] Cousins a package deal. Send them all packing, then begin the hard yet promising work of starting over" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/4).