Beautiful Losers

Throw out team records when looking for players who can help get you into the postseason
November 24, 2008

TYLER THIGPEN
Chiefs, QB
K.C. hasn't won since Thigpen (above) assumed the reins in Week 8, but at least the passing game has been more productive. Over the last four games Thigpen's 96.9 passer rating was second-best in the NFL to Kurt Warner's 108.9, and only Peyton Manning had more touchdown passes than Thigpen's eight.

JASON HILL
49ers, WR
He has a team-leading nine catches for 115 yards since Shaun Hill replaced J.T. O'Sullivan as the starting quarterback two games ago. With the Niners playing from behind most weeks, the Hills should continue to connect.

KEVIN SMITH
Lions, RB
In the two games after reclaiming the lead back role, the rookie has 258 yards from scrimmage and a TD, making him a bright spot for the NFL's only winless team. His 112 rushing yards against the Panthers on Sunday were the second-most allowed by Carolina this year.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER
Steelers, QB
True, he passed for 308 yards in a win against the Chargers on Sunday, but what's alarming is that Big Ben (above) hasn't thrown for a TD since Oct. 26. He was also the league's lowest-rated passer (56.3) during that period. Roethlisberger still has big-game capability, but you need more consistency in the playoff drive.

IKE HILLIARD
Buccaneers, WR
A popular early pickup after catching TD passes in three of the first five games, the 12-year vet has since been slowed by injuries; in the last five games he didn't reach the end zone and gained a total of 87 yards.

TATUM BELL
Broncos, RB
Many raced to grab Bell, a 1,000-yard rusher for Denver in 2006, after he was re-signed by the injury-ravaged club last week. But rookie fullback Peyton Hillis held on to his spot ahead of Bell on the depth chart by scoring two touchdowns against the Falcons on Sunday.

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PHOTOJULIE SCHEIDEGGER/US PRESSWIRE (THIGPEN) PHOTOBILL FRAKES (ROETHLISBERGER)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)