Shanny-RG III saga is new yardstick

RON RIVERA-CAM NEWTON: Everyone's all smiles these days in Charlotte as the Panthers inch toward the playoffs for the first time since 2008. But I agree with ESPN Insider KC Joyner, who says this team isn't a real championship contender (yet), and it wouldn't shock me at all to see the Panthers lose again to the Saints and back into the postseason. In other words: Here comes the towel. But Newton is the franchise down here and even Riverboat Ron wouldn't be crazy enough to rock that boat. SHANNYs: 2

MARC TRESMAN-JAY CUTLER: Maybe the most impressive thing about the Bears' big win on Monday night was the fact that Trestman somehow convinced the normally distant, pouty Cutler to be fully engaged and enthusiastic while supporting backup Josh McCown from the sideline. (And, please, that's what he is, a backup, a really good backup.) Trestman is one of the best things that has ever happened to Cutler. Which will only make it sadder when Cutler ends up sabotaging him just as he has done with all the others. SHANNYs: 3

MARVIN LEWIS-ANDY DALTON: You might think everything is perfect in Cincinnati with the first-place Bengals and their extraordinary defense. But if the Bengals suffer a quick exit from the playoffs for the third year in a row, who do you think the blame will land on? Will it be Dalton and the Bengals' one-dimensional offense, or Lewis, the guy who has survived 11 seasons in Cincinnati without a single significant win? SHANNYs: 2

ROB CHUDZINSKI-JASON CAMPBELL: When Chudzinski was asked if Campbell could be a successful long-term starter in the NFL, he said it would come down to consistency and continuity. In other words: no. Good thing, because if the journeyman Campbell keeps playing well (meaning: throwing the ball to Josh Gordon), the Browns could play themselves right out of contention for a draft pick high enough to find a passer worthy of Chudzinski's genius. Where's Caleb Hanie when you really need him? SHANNYs: 1

JASON GARRETT-TONY ROMO: Thanks to what seems like a relentless, well-organized campaign by the media, we get it: None of the Cowboys' problems are Romo's fault. Unless you count the way he presses under pressure, the poor throws and decisions at crunch time or the fact that it's December and at times he still doesn't seem to be on the same page as his receivers. You think Garrett is going to call out Romo? Please. That dude won't even call out Monte Kiffin. SHANNYs: 2

JOHN FOX-PEYTON MANNING: I know that Denver's Manning is on his way to completing the greatest season by a quarterback in NFL history, but sources tell me in 2014 he plans to replace Fox with Ron Burgundy. And by sources, I mean Ron Burgundy. SHANNYs: 0

JIM SCHWARTZ-MATTHEW STAFFORD: In July, Stafford got a $53 million extension, and he has repaid the Lions with one of the worst completion percentages (58.3) in the NFL. Stafford has also been awful in the fourth quarter since the Lions' bye week. If the undisciplined, underachieving Lions don't make the playoffs, guess who Schwartz (a college linebacker, the sworn enemy of quarterbacks) will try to blame to save his job? SHANNYs: 3

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