When does a two-game average of 125 passing yards make you hot in these gunslingin' times? When those yards lead to back-to-back wins for a Jets QB who was abruptly released by the Cowboys in August and who rebounded after being knocked ga-ga and missing three series on Sunday. Carter's Jets are 8-3 and have three of their next four at home. Did we mention the Boys are 4-7 without him?
With the Steelers 10-0 under Big Ben, Pittsburgh's Peppi's is selling Tshirts ($11.95) reading, I TACKLED THE ROETHLISBURGER, in honor of its 11/2-pound meat-eggs-and-cheese concoction. More fun-on-a-bun: Bills coach Mike Mularkey had his team eat cheeseburgers last Saturday to change its luck out West. Buffalo then trounced Seattle 38-9.
Marty's the odds-on choice for coach of the year after his Chargers beat his former team, the Chiefs, 34-31 on Sunday. Son Brian (San Diego's QB coach) missed the game but still helped deliver a winner: His wife, Gemmi, had the couple's first child on Saturday. Baby Sutton Schottenheimer got the game ball from Grandpa.
After going 4-1 versus the NFC on Sunday, the Awfully Fine Conference is 32-18 overall in interleague games. A 7-4 record (Broncos, Ravens) puts you on the playoff bubble.
This year's Monday Night towel girl--who in the '80s amazed us on Battle of the Network Stars and Knots Landing--survived after oddsmakers had her at 2 to 1 to get bumped off in Sunday's Desperate Housewives. Hey, Nicolette: TO's back on MNF on Dec. 27.
One month after Election Day, D.C. is in a blue state. Coach Gibbs is fending off talk he'll (re)retire, and stud tailback Clinton Portis (left) is inexplicably being phased out of an offense (12.6 points per game) that could barely outscore D.C. United. After Sunday's 16-7 loss to Pittsburgh dropped the Skins to 3-8, QB Patrick Ramsey sighed, "It's the same old story."
Days after a headline dubbed him ALEXANDER THE GREAT, Seattle's $3.25 million-a-year back Shaun Alexander gained just 39 yards in loss to Bills. Days after a headline dubbed it BARELY EVEN MEDIOCRE, Oliver Stone's $155 million Alexander brought in just $13.4 million over long Thanksgiving weekend.
Cardinals coach says, "When I make a decision, I stay with it until I change my mind," and his indecisiveness on QBs (McCown to King to McCown, etc.) has helped sink Arizona to third place in NFC West. On Sunday, he watched two guys he let go--Jets guard Pete Kendall and CB David Barrett--celebrate on Arizona's turf.
Can't beat the AFC and can't escape mediocrity. In the Nobody's Forgotten Conference, teams like Green's Cards and the once 1-7 Panthers have a shot at the playoffs.
Day after turning 29, he blew three kicks, costing Bucs a game. Worse, loss was to Panthers and archenemy Todd Sauerbrun (SI, Nov. 29). Coach Jon Gruden said he wouldn't "address how I truly feel" about Gramatica's play. Sauerbrun did: "I'd be surprised if he wasn't gone tomorrow."
JAMIE MULLEN/WIREIMAGE.COM (CARTER)
BRIAN KILLIAN/WIREIMAGE.COM (PORTIS)
JAAP BUITENDJIK/WARNER BROS./PHOTOFEST (FARRELL)
WARNER HOME VIDEO (GRAMATICA)
FREDERICK M. BROWN/GETTY IMAGES (SHERIDAN)
JOHN BIEVER (ROETHLISBERGER)