This is an article from the Oct. 6, 2008 issue
They're one of two—4--0 NFL teams, that is. In knocking off the Rams (and theircoach, Scott Linehan), Buffalo polished an attractive defensive line: It'sallowed an average of less than 16 points a game. Of the team's best startsince 1992, linebacker Kawika Mitchell (above), told The Buffalo News,"It's a beautiful thing."
That's Mike Mussina, the Yankees righty and comeback player of the year. Sixshutout innings gave him 20 wins on the season—at 39 he's the oldest 20-gamewinner ever—and 270 in his career. Will he retire? Or take a run at 300?Mussina's not sure yet, but in the meantime he says, "I'm proud ofmyself."
The Spartans are 4--1 largely because they're using a Ringer. The runningback's gone for 681 yards over the past three games, and he carried—braceyourself now—44 times in Saturday's win over Indiana. No wonder he's bulled hisway into Heisman contention.
Closing in. The driver's 13th win puts him a few quick turns from his fifthstraight NHRA title. Said Schumacher, who won seven straight, lost a tight onethen won again last week, "I guess we're out of our slump."
And now there are four—winless teams that is. Cincy fell to 0--4, continuingits woeful play behind a verifiably offensive line. After throwing three picksand losing a fumble on Sunday, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (above), playing for woundedCarson Palmer, lamented his "silly mistakes." What's in store thisweek? A visit to (yikes!) Dallas.
They're from Wisconsin and had a 19--0 halftime lead over Michigan. Then this:They gave up 27 straight points, blew a chance to tie by drawing an"ineligible man" penalty and wound up losers. That's one way to slipfrom nine to 18 in the AP poll. Coach Bret Bielema: "We need to quicklyforget what just happened."
Forget that 2--0 start. The Packers' QB tossed three picks in Sunday's loss tothe Bucs, and that's not what really hurt: A late-game shoulder injury leftRodgers in "intense pain" and could limit him this week. Oh, and theguy he replaced—a Brett somebody—had himself a day for New York.
Falling out. The fiery driver just doesn't win these days (he's 0 for 2008),and a 40th-place finish on Sunday dropped him to 11th in NASCAR's Sprint Cupstandings. With seven races to go, Stewart can start gearing up for nextyear.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
Who is the best base runner in baseball?
Jose Reyes, Mets SS 22%
Juan Pierre, Dodgers CF 15%
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners CF 10%
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox OF 8%
Chone Figgins, Angels 3B 7%
Players couldn't vote for a teammate.... Rockies outfielder Willy Taveras, whofinished with a big-league-high 68 steals, was eighth in the poll (3.4%)....Reyes was second in the majors with 56 steals; he was caught 15 times.... Amongthe top 15 vote getters, all were outfielders or middle infielders, exceptFiggins.... Ichiro has been caught stealing just 70 times in 385 careerattempts.
[Based on a survey of 449 MLB players] • For more onthe poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.