My Two Cents
No AFC contender has suffered a bigger loss to injury this
season than the Jets, who will be without rookie pass-rushing
linebacker John Abraham (below) for two months. Abraham, who
preserved wins over Tampa Bay and New England with last-minute
sacks, had hernia surgery last week. Why was Broncos quarterback
Brian Griese able to complete 13 passes in 16 third-down
attempts on Sunday? No pass rush.... In last April's draft the
Steelers passed on a player who could have been their
quarterback of the future, Chad Pennington, and took wideout
Plaxico Burress, who has been a tremendous disappointment. He
doesn't run precise routes, and Pittsburgh quarterbacks have
more trust in third-year man Hines Ward.... The pathetic state
of the Eagles' running game since Duce Staley went down for the
season, against the Falcons on Oct. 1, makes it clear that the
front office blew it by not dealing a draft pick for a proven
back at the trading deadline. That will cost Philly a shot at a
A pro personnel director sizes up Giants defensive tackle Keith
"Something's gotten into him. He's 20-percent better than he was
last year, and now he's as much a concern for an offense as the
Giants' star end, Michael Strahan. Hamilton's lighter than he was
last year, and he never stops. He put on a clinic against the
Eagles [on Oct. 29]: On one play Hamilton pushed [guard] John
Welbourn three yards deep in the backfield, threw him aside and
stopped the ballcarrier. He's a good run-stopper and an excellent
pass rusher, one of the best all-around tackles in the game."
Broncos running back Terrell Davis, slowed by relatively minor
injuries in his comeback season following reconstructive knee
surgery, exploded for 115 yards on 33 carries in a win over the
Jets that resuscitated Denver's playoff run. "It's the
difference between a healthy Davis and an unhealthy Davis," said
Davis, who had his first 100-yard game since Denver's Super Bowl
win over Atlanta in January 1999.
Two losses in less than a week, the latter to woeful Arizona. A
succession of bad kickers (three, so far). A rusty Jeff George.
A coach, Norv Turner, quite probably on his last legs in
Washington. "What are we, 6-4?" said George, who was playing for
an injured Brad Johnson. "That stinks. Really, that stinks."
No Place Like Home?
Home teams won almost 60% of the games in the '90s, but through
Sunday they were just 73-69 (51%) this season. One theory for
the turnaround: Many of the teams with the best road marks
(including the Raiders, Titans, Giants and Saints) thrive on
low-risk, ball-control attacks that wear down defenses and
deflate the home crowd.
Which team dropped the following quote in the locker of each of
its players last week?
"Great men rejoice in adversity, just as brave men triumph in
COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER
The Last Word
"We're not taking anybody lightly."
JIM HARBAUGH, QUARTERBACK OF THE WINLESS CHARGERS, ON FACING THE