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Autumn of discontent for Fox, leaf blowers

Now I know how John Fox feels.


I was in the yard, stuffing 20 bags full of leaves, and as I did it, more of them were falling. No matter how many leaves I raked up, they just kept piling up like Panthers losses and L.L. Bean catalogs in the mailbox.

I looked at the trees and they were still full of leaves waiting to fall, which I'm guessing is how Fox and the Panthers feel looking at a 1-9 record and a schedule that still includes two games against the Falcons and another at Pittsburgh.

There's only so much a leaf blower can do.

You can't beat Mother Nature.

Or the Saints or Ravens or Bucs or...

As for Week 12:

CAROLINA at CLEVELAND: Remember when some people thought the Browns might be the worst team in the NFL this season? Well, uh, wonder which team that might be now... And don't forget to say hello to Jake (Delhomme) for us. Browns 27, Panthers 13.

GREEN BAY at ATLANTA: Could be a prelude to the NFC Championship Game. Falcons 26, Packers 23.

PITTSBURGH at BUFFALO: Another chapter in the storied Ben Roethlisberger vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick rivalry. Steelers 20, Bills 10.

TENNESSEE at HOUSTON: Titans coach Jeff Fisher and quarterback Vince Young are doing an interesting version of the Tennessee waltz. Texans 28, Titans 20.

JACKSONVILLE at NEW YORK GIANTS: The weirdest thing happened this week. I was looking at the NFL standings and thought I saw the Jaguars tied with Indianapolis for the lead in their division. Strange. Giants 27, Jaguars 20.

MINNESOTA at WASHINGTON: And you think the Panthers' season has been a mess. Even Lindsay Lohan shakes her head at the Vikings' crash. Redskins 31, Vikings 21.

KANSAS CITY at SEATTLE: These teams are like leftover turkey - not as good as you expected. Seahawks 29, Chiefs 24.

MIAMI at OAKLAND: The Dolphins are traveling light these days. They don't have an offense to take with them. Raiders 32, Dolphins 17.

PHILADELPHIA at CHICAGO: Have you considered this: What if Michael Vick and the Eagles win the Super Bowl this season? Bears 24, Eagles 20.

TAMPA BAY at BALTIMORE: In an effort to stay contemporary, allow me a Black Eyed Peas musical reference - I've got a feeling... Bucs 24, Ravens 21.

ST. LOUIS at DENVER: The who cares game of the week. Broncos 30, Rams 20.

SAN DIEGO at INDIANAPOLIS: For what it's worth, maybe it's time for the Panthers to go with an offense-first philosophy with the next regime. I'm just saying... Chargers 44, Colts 41.

SAN FRANCISCO at ARIZONA: Gotta love a Monday night showcase for the NFC Worst. Last weekend, the division went 0-4 and was outscored 120-49. First team to seven wins might make the playoffs. 49ers 31, Cardinals 21.

Last week: 14-1

Season: 88-55