1. So how come we don't hear Adrian Peterson name mentioned for league MVP? We should. The Vikings are nowhere without this guy. You can look it up: Not only does he have eight 100-yard games; he's responsible for 36 percent of the Vikings' offense, averages nearly five yards per carry and has four more TDs (9) than the team's runner-ups. Everyone stacks the line against him, yet Peterson somehow manages to find enough holes to lead the league in rushing.
2. Now comes the hard part, Vikings fans. Two of Minnesota's three remaining games are against division champions (Arizona and the New York Giants), and the third is against a wild-card possibility (Atlanta). Combined records: 27-12. That's why you can't discount the Bears in the NFC North.
3. Once, Buffalo fans were afraid they'd lose their beloved Bills to Toronto. Not anymore. In fact, after Sunday's performance, the Bills are lucky they were allowed back in New York. In two weeks, they have six points, two losses and one stranglehold on last in the AFC East. I haven't seen a collapse this bad since ... OK, since the Dow a couple of weeks ago.
4. The more I watch Wes Welker, the more I wonder why in the world Miami thought it was a good idea to deal him within the division. H.L. Mencken was right: Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of last year's Dolphins. Or something like that.
5. The playoff team most likely to suffer a first-round loss at home? Give me Denver. The Broncos, who should lock down the AFC West, won their first game at Invesco Field since Oct. 5, but they struggled to beat ... Kansas City? I'm sorry, but I don't trust them anywhere anymore.
6. The surest sign the New York Jets are in deep kimchi: Brett Favre can't beat the 49ers. Until Sunday he lost to them once in 11 games, and then it was only by a miracle (see Terrell Owens). Now Favre is reduced to this? Pee-you.
7. Eric Mangini has less than two weeks to find a cure for the Western flu. His Jets are in Seattle for a Dec. 21 date, and tell me why they win there when they couldn't in San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego. I'm waiting.
8. Just a hunch, but the 49ers' Mike Singletary has found a home, and so has his quarterback, Shaun Hill.
9. I'm sticking with Miami in the AFC East. The Dolphins have San Francisco (home) and Kansas City (away) before closing the season against the Jets. I smell an "Executive of the Year" award awaiting Bill Parcells.
10. If you thought it was painful watching Ben Roethlisberger getting bludgeoned like a piñata by Dallas, wait until this weekend. He and the Steelers play Baltimore ... in Baltimore. The last time I saw Ray Lewis he was putting on his track suit.
11. So the NFL has gone to 3-D. Any chance of lending one of those Ds to St. Louis?
12. That makes Tony Romo 4-8 in December and January. I don't know what it is, but the colder the weather the colder Romo and the Cowboys.
13. Why do I get the feeling that the tie with Cincinnati will keep Philadelphia out of the playoffs?
14. Memo to the next Detroit GM: Find yourself some defensive linemen. The Lions have allowed a league-high 10 100-yard rushing games.
15. Arizona's Ken Whisenhunt won't win Coach of the Year, but he should be considered for achieving the unimaginable: I'm talking, of course, of raising the Titanic. Not only have the Cardinals won their division, they will host a playoff game for the first time since Columbus discovered the single wing.
Just asking but ....
• Defense you'd least like to face: Pittsburgh or Baltimore?
|Week 14: Keeping up with Brett, Chad and Aaron|
• Whatever happened to
• How does Tampa Bay convince Monte Kiffin not to work with his son at Tennessee?
• Bigger disappointment: San Diego or Jacksonville?
• The chances of Ted Thompson's house getting snowballed this Christmas?
Five things I like
1. Jeff Garcia as the league's most underappreciated quarterback. All he does is win, and if you don't believe me ask the guys in Philadelphia. The Eagles went to the playoffs once in the last three seasons, and it wasn't with Donovan McNabb.
2. Peyton Manning's MVP campaign to gain momentum. The Colts are on a six-game tear and have Detroit next week and Jacksonville after that. The field is wide open, which means Manning could make a strong December push.
3. Philadelphia's Andy Reid spending a timeout with four seconds left in the first quarter. By acting when he did, Reid allowed kicker David Akers a chance to kick a 51-yard field goal with a strong wind. He didn't miss.
4. That third-and-5 call on Baltimore's game-clinching, fourth-quarter drive. The Ravens had run 11 straight times, yet coordinator Cam Cameron put the game in Joe Flacco's hands when it mattered most ... and he delivered with a 28-yard touchdown pass. Game. Set. Match, Ravens.
5. Jay Cutler's release. The closest thing I've seen to Dan Marino since ... well, Dan Marino. No wonder Mike Shanahan couldn't wait to get his hands on this guy.
Five things I don't
1. Antonio Pierce's week. It began when he didn't show up at police headquarters and ended when he didn't show up in Sunday's ballgame.
2. Shaun Suisham's future as Washington's kicker. Another week, another missed field goal. That's at least one in six of the past seven games.
3. Detroit in the Red Zone. The Lions had the ball inside the 10 on three of their first four series, yet produced only six points. And that, Lions fans, is how your team blew a golden opportunity to win a game.
4. The uninspired play of soon-to-be-free-agent J.P. Losman. To quote my buddy Rich Q., "If this were an audition it better be for the Arena Football League." Horrible.
5. Anything about the Oakland Raiders.
Numbers, numbers, numbers
0 -- Times Pittsburgh's defense allowed 300 yards in one game this year.
1 -- Irate Jared Allen. I can't say that I blame him after that shot at his knees.
3 -- Blocks of David Akers' kicks this season. He had one in his career before this year. Now this, with two returned for touchdowns.
5 -- Green Bay losses by four or fewer points.
7 -- Consecutive games with a Thomas Jones touchdown.
12 -- Straight quarters without a Cleveland touchdown.
164 -- Yards receiving by Atlanta's Roddy White, a hot ticket in the Comeback of the Year Dept.
18-1 -- New England's record since 2003 in games following a loss.
2000 -- Last time Kansas City won in Denver.
Next weekend's three best games
N.Y. Giants at Dallas ... One last gasp for the Cowboys.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore ... All that is missing are the body bags.
Minnesota at Arizona ... The road gets steeper for the NFC North leader.
My top five
2. N.Y. Giants
4. Tampa Bay
My bottom five
30. St. Louis