of pigskin strategy.
Jets 17, Patriots 14
With the last three AFC East titles already on their shelf, the Patriots pretty much expected to cruise to a fourth unchallenged. With their upset win, the Jets, however, are just a game behind New England in the standings, a fact that caught many off guard.
"Wha—someone's within a game of us?" asked linebacker Tedy Bruschi. "You'll have to forgive us for being on cruise control, but if you had the Dolphins and Bills and a team led by Chad Pennington and Kevan Barlow as your division opponents, you'd sleep through to January too."
Browns 17, Falcons 13
NFL public relations officers would like you to remember that the Atlanta Falcons are one of the league's best teams, due largely to the masterful play of quarterback Michael Vick. To this end, please ignore the fact no team can be considered "good," much less "one of the league's best," if it loses back to back games to Detroit and Cleveland, two teams that will never be described as "good" or even "average."
Please also note that Vick's awful two interceptions and unfortunately timed game-losing fumble were not the result of mindless "panic-running," but "brave, noble, strategically sound, MVP-caliber panic-running."
Dolphins 13, Chiefs 10
The return to Miami was a bittersweet one for Kansas City quarterback Damon Huard. The former Dolphin back up would have liked to leave town with a win, but even after being tagged with a loss, no one will be able to take away his memories.
"It seems like only yesterday I was over there holding a field goal attempt for Olindo Mare," Huard sniffled. "Then I'd walk over there and sit on that bench just hoping Jay Fiedler might get injured and get me some friggin' playing time, maybe catch a nap. Man, those were some wild times."
"You mean Huard used to be on this team?" asked former teammate Zach Thomas. "If you count his wife, kids, and parents, that means there were at least seven people who gave a rat's ass about this game."
Colts 17, Bills 16
Indianapolis proved it can win low scoring, tough minded football games as well as the high-flying air shows. "Hooray," sighed one Bills fan, "not only did I get to see my guys lose, but I didn't even get to see Peyton Manning play a particularly exciting game in defeating them. I should have given the money I spent on this ticket to charity."
To their credit, Buffalo played a smart game, double teaming the outside receivers and taking away the deep passing game in which Manning thrives. It's unclear whether the Bill thought this really gave them a snowball's chance in hell of winning this game. "Seriously, those are the Colts... and you guys are the Bills... so that's... I don't know how better to explain this," babbled a sideline reporter. "I mean... they're the Colts
, y'know? You're not going to beat them if you're the Bills. I think there's a math equation I could use to show it, but I'd need some chalk."
Packers 23, Vikings 17
With its third win in its last four games, Green Bay showed it wasn't ready to just concede second place in the NFC North to Minnesota without a fight. "Being 4-5 at this point and tied for second place," smiled Packers receiver Donald Driver, "is like a dream come true." Unfortunately, Driver tends not to dream very big as he proved by sharing a longtime fantasy of being the assistant to the undersecretary of an educational oversight committee.
exciting about being in second place," sighed back up Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers, "is that we can continue to milk outlandish hope of making the postseason, thus justifying our starting a relic under center instead of looking toward next year, securing a good draft position, and giving our quarterback of the future a couple of snaps in a live game."
Cowboys 27, Cardinals 10
Arizona continued to squander the goodwill and positive publicity of its new stadium and subsequent season ticket sales bump by losing its eighth straight game and beginning the second half of the season as the clearcut favorites to have the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
"I'm really looking forward to screwing that up," grinned head coach Dennis Green. "I haven't decided yet whether we should take a flier on an unproven underclassman who will never amount to anything or if we should draft a receiver or quarterback, creating tension in the only two positions where we don't need help. I guess we won't really know what to do wrong until after the combine."
____Jake Bell is a former NBC sportscaster and head writer for Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge.
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