ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 5

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson previewed today’s NFL action. Some excerpts:

On the trade of wide receiver Randy Moss from the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings…

Carter: “Today (the Vikings), they are a better football team than they were yesterday. They added a weapon they didn’t have, which is the long ball…I look for him to play well and they don’t have anyone like him on the field.”

Johnson: “If Sidney Rice was actually there, then we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation about a wide receiver. But, Moss replaces Sidney Rice and he’s better. It’s on Brad Childress, to be able to get the play calling into Brett Favre in enough time. It’s a new team and a new system.”

Jackson: “I think he’s the best straight-line receiver to ever play in this league…But, I don’t see this as a savior for the Minnesota Vikings because Randy Moss is coming in. He’s not out of New England because he couldn’t play football. He’s out of New England because he mentioned money twice, publicly.”

Ditka: “Minnesota becomes a better team talent wise, but did they become a better team teammate wise? Let me know in six weeks. If this big trade doesn’t work out, if he’s not getting all the passes, if they’re not winning football, let me see how he acts in that locker room…I know why he got out of New England. You can’t spit in the wind, you can’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you can’t mess around with Bill Belichick.”

Berman: “The Vikings made a huge investment with Brett Favre…and unlike baseball when you can affect your roster a month before the playoffs, this is it. You’ve got about a week to do it. That investment, all the money and time that they’ve spent, looked like it might not pay off, to put all their chips on the table, we’ve got to get him. I applaud them for the effort.”

On the best off-season acquisition…

Jackson: “LT., LaDainian Tomlinson is playing like LaDainian Tomlinson from five years ago and I don’t if the Jets knew they were getting that.”

On the Indianapolis Colts season…

Carter: “This is a small defense and if they don’t have the lead, they don’t do well. They’ve fallen into a false sense of security during the regular season. Seven straight years with at least twelve wins.”

Berman: “What is the year that Peyton can’t pull all the rabbits out of the hat?…How many times can they rely on that in the last two minutes?”

On the New York Giants season…

Johnson: “When you look at a Tom Coughlin football team, they’re up and down; they’re hot and cold, week to week. You really get no real consistency at the beginning of the year…In the seven years he’s been there, every other year he’s fired.”

Offense more in need of identity change: Redskins or Packers…

Carter: “Better take advantage of the good weather. I believe it’s the Green Bay Packers that have to change. Their identity is throwing the football. In the month of December and January… they play three games at home in Lambeau Field. If you’re going to throw the ball 40 times in those conditions…it’s going to be too cold. Wide receivers like us don’t like the football when it’s that cold.”

Johnson: “I think it’s the Redskins. They’re going to have to come up with some creative ways to get some play makers on that football team.”

On the Kansas City Chiefs season…

Johnson: “They’re as real as a slice of bread. When you look at this football team, they’re out there having fun. They’re young and playing the way they should. And they’re being coached by a guys with a lot of experience…The guys that Herm Edwards drafted are playing better for this staff.”

Carter: “They got it right because of the head coach…When they hired a young offensive minded coach in Kansas City in Todd Haley, they got it right.”

Jackson: “How did they win? Special teams, smoking mirrors and defense, and I believe at some point that harms them. You have to have a quarterback that plays well in this league to get to the playoffs and go deep into the playoffs…At some point the QB has to play better.”

Ditka: “Kansas City, they didn’t make the schedule. They’re not a mirage. They haven’t used mirrors. They’re 3-0. If they lose today, they’re still up by one in their division. You better take them serious.”