5. Interesting strategy by Lovie Smith: preparing for the playoffs by letting the Bears' QB get pummeled again and again and again in a meaningless game. Maybe he was thinking that if Jay Cutler gets smacked upside the head often enough, he'll stop throwing the football to the other team.
4. Several other coaches whose teams previously had clinched playoff positions didn't play their QBs the whole way and gave numerous starters the week off. Every year, there is a debate about which strategy is the best, and the evidence is pretty inconclusive. Still, were I in this situation, I would minimize the risk to my QB and other important players. But hey, I'd also make my players stop carrying guns into nightclubs, so what do I know?
3. How would you like to be a Panthers season-ticket holder? The owner, Jerry Richardson, threw away the season by employing a lame-duck coach and letting some of the team's best players leave last offseason without getting any compensation in return. A contrite Richardson thanked fans for their loyalty and said he'd make it up to them by building a team they can be proud of again, but I'm guessing he won't reduce ticket prices. He's also one of the hard-line owners in the fight against the union that could cancel the 2011 season. Yep, a real man of the people. Makes me proud to be a Carolinan.
2. Eagles-Packers is going to be a great first-round playoff game. Mikie Vick is fun to watch and the Eagles have a lot of offensive talent, but I wouldn't want to be playing the Packers right now. They bring it on D, and have a pretty good QB themselves.
1. Given that Brett Favre looked 41 going on 65 this season, I finally believe him when he says he is retiring for good. In many ways, it's a shame he didn't leave after last season, when he was sensational, but it's hard to blame him for returning to try for an encore. Although Favre came out of 2010 looking like a scumbag for some off-the-field shenanigans, nothing that happened on the field diminished his legacy as one of the great QBs and competitors of all time. I'll miss watching him play.