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Week 4 in the NFL


October 01, 2006|Sam Farmer

Owens in Eagles'

Thoughts, Again

Philadelphia fans might loathe Terrell Owens, but his former Eagles teammates were a bit more charitable this week in the wake of speculation that he either tried to kill himself, or accidentally overdosed on prescription pain medication.

"When I heard about it, I stopped what I was doing and started praying for him," said linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, one of Owens' few friends on his old team. "All I can do is hope for the best for everybody down there."

Said quarterback Donovan McNabb, who famously had a public falling out with Owens: "I pray for his friends and his family that this will pass over."

But Trotter had a hard time believing that Owens -- who is scheduled to make his return to Philadelphia on Oct. 8 when the Cowboys play there -- would ever attempt suicide.

"It doesn't seem like him at all," Trotter said. "He loves himself too much."

Smarter Than Your

Average Bear

Chicago is off to its first 3-0 start since 1991, and quarterback Rex Grossman was named NFC offensive player of the month Thursday after throwing for 820 yards and six touchdowns.

Empty-Handed, but

He's Still Happy

The New York Giants have this weekend off, and there are some people who might argue that defensive end Michael Strahan has yet to have a week on. OK, that might be a little unfair, but he has been shut out on sacks so far this season, after collecting 22 1/2 in 2001, 18 1/2 in 2003 and 11 1/2 last season.

Strahan doesn't seem to be concerned.

"You would love to have more sacks," he said. "But when I look at the tape, it's not like I'm not being productive, I'm not being accounted for, I'm not making plays. If I saw those things I would worry, but that's not the case."

Handle, Handle, Who's

Got the Handle?

Dallas running back Julius Jones has fumbled in three of his last five games, but, as STATS LLC points out, his rate since 2004 of one fumble for every 68 touches isn't close to the worst in the league.

That dubious distinction belongs to Tennessee's Chris Brown, who has fumbled 10 times in 513 touches for a league-worst rate of one per 51.3.

Beneath him on the list are Cleveland's Reuben Droughns, one per 63.8; Baltimore's Jamal Lewis, one per 67.1; and Seattle's Shaun Alexander, one per 69.3.

Shouldering the Load

The Redskins got some reassuring news this week when running back Clinton Portis said he suffered no setbacks to his recovering shoulder in last Sunday's two-touchdown performance against Houston. "I feel good," Portis said.

Looking for Their Edge

Arizona's Edgerrin James said he wants the ball more, and the Cardinals say he might get his wish.

"We have a guy we brought in here to rush for 1,500 yards, and you can't do that if you don't have the football," Coach Dennis Green said. "We want to get 25 carries a game [for James] and we haven't got to 25 yet."

In three games, James has averaged 22.7 carries. This week, James defended his thinking.

"It's not saying, 'Call my number,' " James said. "If [defenses] are loading up and there is no opportunity, don't force it. But if the situation calls for it, you expect your number to be called."

The Pack is Sacked

For the last four years, Green Bay was the most popular team in the country, according to Harris Interactive. But the Packers have been dethroned, replaced at the top by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The poll was conducted in early September and involved 2,747 respondents, 1,306 of whom said they followed pro football. The Steelers won 16% of the vote, followed by 15% for Dallas, 13% for Indianapolis, 11% for Green Bay, and 9% each for New England and Chicago.

The Packers shouldn't feel too bad. They could be Jacksonville, which finished with 1%.


-- Sam Farmer

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