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Week 6 in the NFL

Palmer Suddenly Has Become an Easy Target

October 15, 2006|Sam Farmer

Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer chuckled this week after learning of a cartoon posted on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' website showing him being sacked and emerging with black eyes.

"I think those things are fun and funny, and that's about it," he said of the spoof. "It's a fun thing. It's not meant to be anything other than something that makes people laugh."

The Bengals aren't laughing, though, about the beating Palmer is taking this season.

Last season, he was the league's toughest player to sack. This season, he has already been sacked 15 times -- matching the total for his first 11 starts of 2005.

Maybe the deteriorating protection of Palmer, who's coming off major knee surgery, is one of the reasons the Bengals have had far fewer pass plays for big gains this season.

Porter Suspended for Four Games by Raiders

Raiders receiver Jerry Porter talked to reporters last week for the first time since training camp, but he offered no explanation for why Coach Art Shell has deactivated him for every game.

On Saturday, Porter was suspended for four games by the Raiders for conduct detrimental to the team.

Porter led the team with 76 receptions last season. Asked last week if he expects to be shipped to another team before Tuesday's trade deadline, Porter ignored the question and said he was "just going out to practice."

Call Him Mr. Defense

San Diego defensive tackle Jamal Williams was chosen the AFC's defensive player of the week for his performance last Sunday in a victory over Pittsburgh.

Williams made six tackles, including a sack, and had a quarterback hurry. Plus, even though statistics don't always account for this, he disrupted the Steelers all night.

"From now on we should all refer to Jamal as Mr. Williams," Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Because he's definitely a man among boys out there."

Sounds Familiar

The New York Jets signed defensive back Hank Poteat this week after he was released Monday by New England.

Now the strange part: Poteat played in last Sunday's New England-Miami game, and this week was preparing for ... another game against Miami.

"You're hearing the same thing over and over that you heard over and over the week before," he said.

The Defense Rests

The Colts might be the AFC's only undefeated team, but their record won't be unblemished for long unless they can start filling their defensive holes. They're ranked 31st in rushing yards given up at 166.8 a game.

"Our run defense, we're just a little bit soft right now," Coach Tony Dungy said last week in an uncharacteristically pointed critique. "We had some guys [Sunday against Tennessee] who were free that either couldn't make tackles, or made tackles for six-yard gains instead of two-yard gains."

Young and Restless

For the second consecutive week, Tennessee quarterback Vince Young declined to speak with reporters last Sunday after an oh-so-close loss to Indianapolis.

He later implied that he and LenDale White, the former USC running back, aren't used to losing, so they might take all these defeats a little harder.

"I'm getting adjusted like anybody else," said Young, who won a national championship at Texas last season. "Like LenDale, he's aggravated. We're all getting used to this whole situation."

Starting Over

Their record might read 1-3 in the standings, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are actually 0-0.

At least that's what Coach Bill Cowher told his players last week. It was a similar speech to the one he delivered last season, when the eventual Super Bowl champions were 7-5 and needed to win their final four games to lock up a playoff berth.

"We just have to go out there and win a football game,"

Cowher told reporters last week. "I don't want to get paralysis by analysis."

-- Sam Farmer

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