So what if Pro Bowl back Clinton Portis has gone to D.C.? Sophomore Quentin Griffin opened the year with 156 rushing yards. Now unheralded Reuben Droughns (left)--of whom an opponent said, "I'd seen him on PlayStation ... that's really all I know"--has back-to-back games of more than 175 yards. Think other teams are eyeing Mike Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme?
He may act childishly--teasing opponents, doing end zone situps, arriving late--but after three-straight 100yard performances, oh, baby, is he the Man. Now TO (yep, that's him, right) leads 5-0 Eagles to Cleveland to face ex-49ers teammate Jeff Garcia, of whom he says, "He didn't have a strong enough arm."
Jets and Sharks
While the team, off to a best-ever 5-0 start, spins its own West Side Story about why a new stadium would finally put Manhattan on the map, Shark Tale is whupping Friday Night Lights at the box office.
Jacksonville had lost two straight, and coach Jack Del Rio was fielding advice calls from Jags fan Gene Hackman. Then despite an injured ankle and shoulder, QB Byron Leftwich ("My brothers beat me up as a kid," he says. "That's where my pain tolerance comes from") tossed a TD pass with 45 seconds left to beat the Chiefs and give the Jaguars (4-2) their third last-gasp win.
Everyone loves a winner, and supermodel Heidi Klum visited the Pats' sideline as they ran their winning streak to 20 games. Even before the thumbs up, New England looked good--Victoria's Secret named Boston one of U.S.'s sexiest cities.
After a loss to the intrastate rival Browns, Palmer's Bengals are now 1-4, and the QB is rated last in the NFL. People are pestering coach Marvin Lewis to go back to Jon Kitna, last year's savior. In other Carson news, McCullers's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter got beaten by One Hundred Years of Solitude on USA Today's list of best-selling classics.
A U.S. city that actually misses the locked-out NHL is finding little solace in the Lions (3-2), who've lost two straight at home. Players are wearing ask steve Tshirts to direct reporters to coach Mariucci, who has been groping for Motor City metaphors. "We hit a big bump in the road, a pothole," he said after Sunday's loss.
With Penn State 2-4 going into homecoming, Joe Paterno says he's "tired of not being good enough." Meanwhile, school has renewed silly ban on scouts attending practice, and prized alum Kerry Collins (right, in '94) is 1-3 and getting booed in Oakland.
It was nice that the team wives hosted a pre-Halloween party for kids last week. Now, if they want to scare Kansas City fans, they'd dress up as the Chiefs' secondary: K.C. (1-4) has allowed an average of 27 points in its four losses and on Sunday gave up a 67-yard game-winning drive to Last-minute Leftwich.
Was Cinderella's Super run just eight months ago? Suddenly an ugly stepsister in the NFC South at 1-4 and on a three-game losing streak, Carolina was trounced by the Eagles in a rematch of last year's conference championship. The loss included four interceptions by Jake Delhomme, who noted, "Things aren't happening right now."