----I like Cortland Finnegan. But after closely watching what led to his fight with Andre Johnson Sunday, I think he was wrong. He put his hands into Johnson's helmet and hit him in the face. Johnson is one of the most mild-mannered players I've ever interviewed. I imagine it takes a lot to get him riled up. Finnegan did that -- and more. Finnegan is a self-made player who probably thinks he has to do anything and everything to get by, but he pushed too far on this one. Both players were fined $25,000, which is a little light. I think one or both should have been suspended. What if Johnson's punch caught Finnegan in a spot where it killed him? Then what? What if that was Terrell Owens beating on Finnegan? I bet there would have been a suspension. It was an ugly scene that warranted a suspension, maybe two.
---Why was Peyton Manning in at the end of Sunday night's disaster against the San Diego Chargers? That makes no sense. The game was decided. I heard Cris Collinsworth applauding the fact he was in the game. I think it was dumb. What if a player rolls on his knee? The Colts were down 19. They weren't coming back. I didn't like that move at all.
By the way, too much was made of his grimace while throwing just before he was getting hit. That's his face on almost all of his passes. Watch.
---Falcons coach Mike Smith was little more low-key following his team's victory over the Green Bay Packers Sunday. He had reason. Smith was battling a nasty virus that had him in severe pain in his sinus area. When I saw him after the game, he looked bad. I did shake his hand. If I get sick, I'm billing the Falcons for my prescriptions.
---I've been a critic of Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel in the past. But I have to give him his props now. He's playing well. Cassel has 22 touchdown passes and four interceptions. He has a passer rating 99.7, which is fifth best in the league. It's hard to argue with his results so far. It helps that he has Dwayne Bowe at receiver. Bowe had had 13 catches for 170 yards and three touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 42-24 win at Seattle. Bowe is the third receiver since 1990 to have 13 catches, 170 receiving yards and three touchdown catches in a game. The others are Jerry Rice and Jimmy Smith. I saw Smith do it. That was truly special. It came against the Ravens defense that led Baltimore to the Super Bowl in 2000.
---If you're looking for a Pro Bowl right tackle, take a look at Atlanta's Tyson Clabo. He's playing good football. He's a smart player who knows all the tricks. He's also feisty and doesn't back down. He held Clay Matthews to three tackles and no sacks in Sunday's game. Clabo should get some Pro Bowl consideration.
---How does Chris Johnson get only seven carries for five yards with a rookie quarterback making his first start on the road? That is mystifying.
---Best wishes to Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger as he begins his fight against cancer. Heimerdinger is a tough coach. He will need to be. I watched my mother go through cancer treatments. It's brutal. Mike, here's hoping we see you back on the sidelines soon.