Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 8

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 whether Vikings coach Brad Childress should start Brett Favre today…

Ditka: “You must play the player that gives you the best chance to win. … There’s a chain of command that starts with the head coach, and, if it doesn’t, get another head coach.”
Jackson: “I don’t think that Brad Childress has the authority to bench Brett Favre. … I think he’s gonna start, he’s gonna play, I don’t think he’s going to finish the game.”

Carter: “The question that Brett is going to have to ask himself right before that football game — ‘Is it about me or is it about my teammates?’. I think he’s going to play. I think it’s going to be about him.”
Johnson: “Brett Favre will probably make the decision for him – which is wrong. Brad needs to stand up and say, ‘I’m (going to) play the best guy who gives me the chance to win. Period.”

On Favre’s consecutive games streak as a factor for whether he starts for the Vikings…

Carter: “Football is a gladiator sport and the last 20 years Brett’s the toughest of the gladiators. He has a lot of pride in the streak but I don’t think it gets in the way today.”

Johnson: “He’s not playing for the streak. He feels that his leg is better than Tavaris’s two.”

Ditka: “My eyeball test tells me you can’t play in that condition. I want the guy with two legs.”

On whether the Dallas Cowboys can salvage their season…

Carter: “They don’t have anything they can really put their hat on as far as a team, so trying to recover, what are they going to do?”

Jackson: “The thing that they can’t do is use Romo’s injury as an excuse for what’s going to happen from here on out. They were 1-4 with Romo in the lineup.”

Johnson: “I say they’re cooked. This team may just win two games.”

Ditka: “If they’re not toast, they’re pretty well charred. … I didn’t know Jon Kitna was still playing football. I really didn’t. … Not that he can’t play, but it’s going to take a big effort to rally around him.”

Berman: “The lack of spirit from the players when Romo was hurt and rolling there in a game that was still up for grabs on Monday night was appalling.”

On the reason for the San Diego Chargers struggles this season…

Johnson: “No players. And when you don’t have players, you can’t win in this league… I put the blame on the general manager. He’s the guy in the offseason that made a decision not to sign certain guys, run certain guys off.”

Jackson: “It looks like the opportunity has passed them by and AJ eventually is to blame.”

Ditka: “The front office is horrible to make the decisions it’s made.”

Berman: “I’m embarrassed for the Chargers.”

Additional comments…

Jackson: “The Patriots are the smartest, most focused football team in the league. Where you’ve got that dysfunction a little bit today for the Vikings at quarterback, none with No. 12, Brady.”

Jackson: “The most toughest-minded team in football, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that’s almost year-in, year-out.”

Carter: “The Saints without a deep ball, I believe they are just an average team.”

Countdown’s Halloween-inspired list of the NFL’s Top 10 Scariest Players:

1.) Ravens LB Ray Lewis 2.) Vikings RB Adrian Peterson 3.) Colts QB Peyton Manning 4.) Titans RB Chris Johnson 5.) Eagles QB Michael Vick 6.) Steelers LB James Harrison 7.) Ravens NT Haloti Ngata 8.) Browns OL Joe Thomas 9.) Bears KR Devin Hester 10.) Patriots QB Tom Brady.