Jaguars 24, Giants 10
New York coach Tom Coughlin's underachieving, stacked-with-talent team faced off against his former team, which often was tagged as an underachiever despite being stacked with talent during his stint as head coach. "Um, lack of discipline!" offered Coughlin to explain why neither team ever lived up to expectations. "Being the great coach that I am, I try and I try to instill some discipline to these youngsters, but they always want to do things like 'adjust our strategy to game situations' or 'concentrate on game film instead of arguing about who was three minutes late to a mandatory meeting.' I just can't work like this!"
Exhibit A in Coughlin's case was Giants running back Tiki Barber, who was held to just 27 yards rushing. "Between my poor performance and Eli Manning throwing two interceptions, I guess we really ruined Coach's homecoming," Barber sighed deeply. "I don't know why we didn't play harder considering this game was so important to him and we certainly want to do everything we could possibly do to make such a charming, pleasant guy happy."
Titans 31, Eagles 13
Much like the groundhog seeing his shadow or the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, Donovan McNabb's season-ending injury is an annual event NFL fans look forward to all year.
"Torn ACL?" asked Titans wide receiver Bo Scaife. "Where does the time go? I suppose I'd better start my Christmas shopping." With McNabb missing the end of the season for the third time in the last five years, the Eagles now have to decide whether to hand quarterbacking duties over to Jeff Garcia or A.J. Feeley—the football equivalent of deciding between having sex with the girl with chlamydia or the girl with gonorrhea.
Steelers 24, Browns 20
Pittsburgh celebrated victory over one of the franchise's oldest and greatest rivals, thanks to a come-from-behind touchdown pass with just over thirty seconds left in the game. Lost in the excitement was the fact that the defending Super Bowl champions needed a last-minute rally to snatch a win from an awful Cleveland team they beat 41-0 last year just to keep from falling into the AFC North basement.
The Steelers didn't have much time to celebrate their second straight win, already looking ahead to division-leading Baltimore. "The Ravens are tough, but we have a strategy we haven't tried all season," hinted head coach Bill Cowher. "We're considering not spotting them three touchdowns before we attempt a comeback this time. It's just crazy enough to work
Chargers 35, Broncos 27
LaDainian Tomlinson, who set an NFL record by scoring 15 touchdowns in his previous five games, set another NFL record with 19 touchdowns in his last six games. The San Diego running back also became the fastest player in history to rack up 100 career touchdowns, doing so in four fewer games than Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Emmitt Smith needed.
"Clearly he's a very special player who is bound for Canton, and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the greatest players every to strap on the pads and helmets," mused teammate Antonio Gates. "On a related note, does everyone remember that I'm the greatest tight end in the game? My unique combination of size, strength, speed, agility, and baby-butt-soft hands is redefining the position and makes me virtually impossible to defend... when anyone bothers to actually get me the damn ball,
instead of just giving it to Mr. MVP-to-be."
Panthers 15, Rams 0
Steve Smith got his touchdown, the only one anyone scored all day. Carolina notched one of three shutouts in the NFL this afternoon, each of which helped prove that watching teams not score points really isn't much fun.
"It's a good thing he broke that 62-yarder when he did," a half-asleep Panthers fan in a recliner at home recounted. "Heading into halftime, we'd seen one field goal, St. Louis had 33 yards of offense, and that pillow that Tony Little invented on the other channel was starting to look pretty good. He dropped a ten pound barbell on those eggs and they didn't break, and the feather pillow didn't even slow it down!"