Who's Hot | Who's Not

November 21, 2005

WHO'S HOT

J.P. Losman
Has Bills' QB of the future (above) already arrived? Sophomore came off the bench versus Kansas City, threw two TDs and impressed his mates with his poise in a 14-3 win. The force may be with him. Losman says he abides by Yoda's philosophy: "Do or do not. There is no try."

Indianapolis
Colts beat the champs (Pats on MNF), then beat the chumps (Texans by two TDs), and if Indy beats Cincy (Peyton Manning's 3-0 against them), they'll aim for a perfect season with four of last six at home. Joy for hoops fans: Pacers were 4-2.

Darren Sharper
Vikings safety, a terrific 2005 free-agent signee, had three interceptions, one of which he returned for a TD, raising his total to an NFL-high 36 in this millennium. All that picking helped the Vikes beat the Giants and stay alive in the NFC North.

Americans on Ice
Speed skater Chad Hedrick, a Texan, tore through the 5,000 meters in Calgary in a world-record six minutes, 9.68 seconds. And, oh, yes! He's back. Short-track Olympic star Apolo Anton Ohno (right) won the 3,000 meters and 1,500 meters in Italy.

WHO'S NOT

Kerry Collins
Autumn's lease hath all too short a date in Oakland. Raiders QB's solid season unraveled under deafening boos against Denver at the Coliseum as he threw three interceptions, took four sacks and kept Oakland winless (0-4) in their division. Said Collins (above) of the angry crowd, "I was playing lousy. I understand their frustration."

Atlanta
Falcons fell behind early (14-0), slipped up often (three lost fumbles) and dropped a home game to the heretofore helpless Packers. After hosting Bucs, they'll play four of last six on the road. Bummer for hoops fans: Hawks were 0-6.

Reggie Howard
Dolphins cornerback (far left), a disappointing 2004 free-agent signee, has struggled to earn playing time. Now this: Late in Sunday's game, Pats receiver Tim Dwight snatched the ball out of Howard's hands for a 59-yard gain. It set up the winning TD that dropped the Fins to two games out in AFC East.

Ballplayers under Fire
Orioles announced they won't re-sign two stars of last March's steroid hearings: Rafael Palmeiro (right), 41, and Sammy Sosa, 37. For the record the O's are knowingly and intentionally "heading in a different direction," according to club's new executive VP Mike Flanagan.

SI PLAYERS POLL

Who is the NFL's most overrated running back?

Shaun Alexander, Seahawks 12%
Clinton Portis, Redskins 10%
Jerome Bettis, Steelers 9%
Tiki Barber, Giants 7%

Who is the NFL's most underrated running back?

Curtis Martin, Jets 12%
LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers 11%
Fred Taylor, Jaguars 7%
Travis Henry, Titans 6%

FAST FACTS Poll was taken at start of season.... Alexander leads the NFL with 1,114 yards and 17 rushing TDs. He was seventh (5%) in the "underrated" vote.... Martin, the NFL's fourth alltime leading rusher, had averaged 4.1 yards a carry before this year but this season is gaining just 3.4 yards per rush.

[Based on a survey of 357 NFL players]

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

PHOTOROBERT SKEOCH/WIREIMAGE.COM (LOSMAN) PHOTO20TH CENTURY/THE KOBAL COLLECTION (YODA) PHOTOJIM TURNER/WIREIMAGE.COM (SHARPER) PHOTOMAX ROSSI/REUTERS (OHNO) PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (COLLINS) PHOTOMARC SEROTA/REUTERS (HOWARD AND DWIGHT) PHOTO; AL TIELEMANS (PALMIERO) PHOTOLARRY MAUER/WIREIMAGE.COM (ALEXANDER) PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (MARTIN)

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