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Who's Hot Who's Not

Sept. 19, 2005
Sept. 19, 2005

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Sept. 19, 2005

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Who's Hot Who's Not

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

WHO'S HOT

This is an article from the Sept. 19, 2005 issue

Mannings

Peyton won big over Baltimore, Eli (left) helped pound the Cardinals and the family's hometown team, the Saints--for whom Papa Archie starred for 11 seasons--delivered Week 1's most spirited victory (page 94).

Nick Saban

Check out this welcome-to-the-NFL moment: underdog Dolphins 34, Broncos 10. The ex-LSU coach succeeded Dave Wannstedt by remaking Miami's roster (26 new players) and being more aggressive on offense. "I think we should do a lot of stuff," said Saban before Sunday's game. And they did.

Florida

The pennant race may be warming up for the Marlins, who'd won four out of six and moved within a half game of the wild-card lead. Nice weekend for the state's NCAA namesakes too: Florida, sizzling under Urban Meyer, and FSU won by a combined 103-13, and both are unbeaten.

Matt Jones

Try keeping up with this guy: In a win over Seattle, the Jags rookie caught two passes and also lined up at option quarterback, whence he completed his lone pass attempt and ran twice for 28 yards. Offensive coordinator Carl Smith: "We're going to find out everything he can do ... then we're going to let him do it."

WHO'S NOT

Traveling Rams

St. Louis footballers, 2-6 away from home last year, fell to shoulda-been-pushovers in San Francisco. This week they pack for should-be-easy Arizona. How to improve your road record, Rams coach Mike Martz was asked. "Get better players," he said.

Dave Wannstedt

What's worse than getting spanked by Notre Dame in your debut as a big-time college coach? Getting beaten by a 14-point underdog to fall to 0-2. Pittsburgh Panthers' loss to Ohio gave them their worst start in 21 years, and Wannstedt isn't being missed in Miami, where he went 1-8 last year before resigning as Dolphins coach.

Minnesota

Cold September: The Twins lost three to the Indians, dropping 8 1/2 games back in the wild-card chase. "We got down by a football score," said manager Ron Gardenhire after Sunday's 12-4 loss. So did the Vikings, beaten soundly at home by Tampa Bay to begin life without Moss.

David Carr

Can the real David Carr stand up? Talented but erratic Texans QB was sacked five times in loss to Buffalo. (He was dropped a league-high 49 times last year.) In the opener of what is being touted as the fourth-year pro's breakout season, he passed for just 70 yards, got picked off three times and later said, "That's as helpless as I've felt playing quarterback since ... the third grade."

SI PLAYERS POLL

Which opposing hitter do you most fear with the game on the line? [Based on a survey of 450 MLB players ]

Barry Bonds 35%

Giants leftfielder

Albert Pujols 16%

Cardinals first baseman

Manny Ramirez 8%

Red Sox leftfielder

Todd Helton 5%

Rockies first baseman

For an expanded version of the poll go to SI.com/scorecard.

FAST FACTS: Bonds (page 20) was expected to play his first game of the season on Monday night.... Pujols hit .414 in last year's postseason.... The Angels' Vladimir Guerrero, the Yankees' Gary Sheffield and the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki were the only other players to get more than 4% of the vote.

PHOTOGREG TROTT/WIREIMAGE.COM (CURTIS)PHOTOHARRY HOW/GETTY IMAGES (WANNSTEDT)TWO PHOTOSJOHN IACONO (BONDS AND MANNING)PHOTOBILL FRAKES (JONES)PHOTOSTEVEN MURPHY/WIREIMAGE.COM (FAN WITH SIGN)