January 19, 2010 |
The other three NFL teams in this weekend's conference championship games have the Canton-bound quarterbacks, gaudy passing numbers, and seedings that secured them first-round byes. But the New York Jets have the clear edge in one category. Disrespect. They are the slighted, the snubbed, the underdog team so forgotten that, a few weeks ago, even their coach thought they had been mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture. All that doesn't matter now; it only serves as more motivation, because the Jets -- with their rookie coach, quarterback and running back -- are headed to the AFC championship game for the first time since 1998.
January 14, 2010 |
Breaking down the Dallas-Minnesota matchup in the NFC divisional playoffs: Who's seeded higher? Brett Favre participated in a conference call with Dallas reporters Wednesday, and his theme was clear: The Cowboys are the most dangerous team in the NFL this postseason. Although it's not uncommon for someone to butter up his opponent, reporters who took part in the call say Favre was very convincing. And he should be; the Cowboys have been scorching. "For the outside looking in, if you had to look at both teams, us and the Cowboys, you'd go, OK, aside from the fact the Cowboys are playing at the Vikings, who is the hottest team right now?
December 20, 2009 |
What seemed written in the stars was rewritten by the guys wearing them. The perfect-season bid of the New Orleans Saints was derailed Saturday by the Dallas Cowboys, a franchise that wasn't supposed to be able to win in December and certainly not against the team-of-destiny Saints and their No. 1-ranked offense. But the Cowboys did win, picking up a huge 24-17 victory at the Superdome that tightened their grip on a playoff berth and might have been the best performance by Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.
December 23, 2009 |
With two weeks remaining in the NFL's regular season, there are still dozens of scenarios that will put teams in or out of the playoffs. But New England and Cincinnati can find comfort in those four little words: Win and we're in. The Patriots play host to Jacksonville on Sunday and can clinch the AFC East with a win or tie. The same goes for the Bengals, who play host to Kansas City with the AFC North within reach. "We still have the opportunity to obtain our first and No. 1 goal, and that's to win this division," Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis said.
February 6, 2010 |
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday that the league is working hard to reach a new labor agreement, and called "absolutely false" the suggestion by the players' union that team owners stand to benefit from a work stoppage. "You don't make money by shutting down your business," Goodell said at his annual state-of-the-league news conference. "It's a bad scenario for everybody. I can assure you the ownership and I believe the players -- in talking to individual players -- want to get an agreement and want to work to do that.
November 17, 2009
Three calls that worked Dec. 31, 1967, "The Ice Bowl," NFL championship. Trailing the Dallas Cowboys, 17-14, with third and goal on the one-yard line and 16 seconds left, Packers quarterback Bart Starr calls Green Bay's final timeout and talks to coach Vince Lombardi. Instead of the expected pass, Starr runs a quarterback sneak and scores a touchdown for a 21-17 win and their third straight NFL title. Nov. 3, 2003, New England vs. Denver. With the Patriots trailing the Broncos by a point and facing fourth down from their one late in the fourth quarter, Coach Bill Belichick tells Lonie Paxton to snap the ball out of the end zone for an intentional safety.
January 3, 2010
Al Michaels serves as the play-by-play announcer and Cris Collinsworth provides the color commentary for tonight's game (Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets, 5:15 p.m., Channel 4): Michaels says ... "I would hope that the Bengals would play their first-line guys for an extended period of time. I think the league has an issue here with games like this, and it was exacerbated by what took place in Indianapolis last week. You can't have too many of these games before fans start to say, 'This is ridiculous.
November 26, 2009 |
After his team's 38-37 loss to Detroit, Cleveland Coach Eric Mangini accused the Lions of faking injuries to slow down the Browns' no-huddle offense. "Perhaps Eric Mangini is faking being a head coach," a reader wrote to the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. You'd think the reader wasn't proud that the Browns were No. 1 in the Bottom Ten. As for Mangini's charges, an analysis of the game film found that Lions defensive players were granted injury timeouts six times -- and each time the injured player later returned to the game.
December 18, 2009 |
Ben Roethlisberger's numbers are up across the board, and he's completing a career-best 68.3% of his passes . . . but the Pittsburgh Steelers have lost five in a row and essentially have bumbled their way out of playoff contention. Tom Brady directs the AFC's top-ranked offense, and he ranks near the top in most positive statistical categories . . . but the New England Patriots have lost three of their last five games. Eli Manning is on pace for his first 4,000-yard passing season, and is coming off a career-best 391-yard game . . . but the New York Giants have lost six of eight and no longer control their postseason destiny.