My Two Cents

Unless the Saints up and die, it will be tough for me not to vote
for Jim Haslett as coach of the year. With all the terrific
defenses in the NFL, the Saints' D ranks first, and I bet you
can't name three of their starters.... The Vikings' Dennis Green
is an excellent coach, but would you rather have Jeff George at
quarterback and Jevon Kearse at defensive end, or Daunte
Culpepper and not much of a pass rush?.... O.K., Charlie Batch
(below). You've lost your favorite target, wideout Germane
Crowell, for six weeks with a broken left foot. It's time to
reintegrate the forgotten Herman Moore into the offense for the
Lions' playoff run.... The Steelers are afraid to play Kordell
Stewart at Three Rivers. Two incompletions and he'll get booed
halfway down the Monongahela.... If I were Bills coach Wade
Phillips, I'd put my feeble running game in the hands of rookie
fullback Sammy Morris (5.5 yards per carry).

The Buzz

Headache. The Cowboys' Troy Aikman ranks dead last in the league
in passer rating, with a 38.5 mark. After a five-interception
disaster against the Giants, it's worth asking if Aikman, a month
shy of turning 34 and playing with a herniated disk, is finished.
An even more pressing question: Why isn't Randall Cunningham

Ricky Arrives. He might not be worth the seven draft picks New
Orleans used to get him, but Ricky Williams is on pace to run for
1,642 yards and catch 72 passes this season. And with their next
four games against the Falcons, Cardinals, 49ers and Panthers,
the 3-3 Saints have a chance to make a wild-card run.

Move Over, George. "Nobody thought that record would ever be
broken," Vikings kicker Gary Anderson said last week about George
Blanda's alltime NFL scoring mark of 2,002 points, which Anderson
could break on Sunday. He has 1,993--in seven fewer seasons than

Match Game

A tattoo on which NFL player?

"As a cornerback it's all about strategy," the player says. "You
talk about cards, you're talking about strategy. You talk about
dice, you're talking about trying your luck. You've got the 8
ball, you have to have the right angles. And dominoes is about

A. Dolphins corner Sam Madison
B. Patriots corner Ty Law
C. Vikings corner Keith Thibodeaux

Answer below

Answer: Thibodeaux

The Book

An AFC pro personnel director sizes up New England's unsung Troy
Brown, who is the NFL's leading punt returner and has 33
receptions for 388 yards and two touchdowns.

"Every time I watch the Patriots, I see this guy out working two
hours before the game, which tells me he loves football. He's a
hard worker with great quickness and a feel for the game. Not the
best receiver, but he's a good route runner who knows how to
separate from cornerbacks when he comes out of his cuts. As a
return man he's a reliable catcher with quickness, vision and
instincts. Troy Brown is not a premier player, but he's an effort
player I would love to have on my team."


The Last Word

"I'm not sure anybody wants any of our guys."
--CARDINALS COACH VINCE TOBIN, on his team's lack of activity at
the Oct. 10 trade deadline