In the face of the California fires—24 Chargers had to leave their homes;firefighters led players onto the field for Sunday's game—the team won itsthird straight. They scored 35 points, Antonio Gates (above) went over 4,000yards receiving, and the Vikings' generous defense awaits. Linebacker MattWilhelm: "The confidence is continuing to build."
Texas Tech is limping (6--3, 2--3 in the Big 12 South), but its top receiver issoaring—Crabtree's 12 catches last Saturday gave him an NCAA freshman-record100 on the season.
In his first start of the season, the Jaguars cornerback ran an interceptionback 28 yards for a TD in a win over the Bucs. That's 13 straight years with atleast one pick for Glenn—"That is why he is here," explained coach JackDel Rio—who had four tackles and took an IV to battle dehydration.
Thanks for opting out, A-Rod! How often does a team get a $21 million gift ...let alone by way of ruthless agent Scott Boras?
They're down (five straight losses) and out: linebacker Jonathan Vilma's gonefor the year (knee), QB Chad Pennington is being replaced after another lousyperformance. "There's like a cloud over us," defensive tackle DewayneRobertson (above) told New York's Daily News. No relief in sight. The Jets are1--7 against Washington, this Sunday's foe.
In the misery of the Boston sweep this Rocky has company. In the matter ofhitting .150 without an RBI in the postseason, including 0 for 10 in theSeries, he does not.
Watch his back, Bears fans. The linebacker says he's been getting treatment andsaw a specialist for an arthritic condition—and he sure is getting grumpy,grunting his way through interviews. A meager four tackles in a loss toDetroit, not to mention Chicago's 3--5 record, isn't helping his mood.
Three $7 million-plus-a-year men (Scott Gomez, left, Jaromir Jagr and ChrisDrury) does not add up to a good start. The team is 3--6.
SI PLAYERS NFL POLL
Who is the most underrated running back in theNFL?
Frank Gore, 49ers ....... 11%
Fred Taylor, Jaguars ....... 8%
Rudi Johnson, Bengals ....... 6%
Brian Westbrook, Eagles ....... 6%
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars ....... 6%
Players could not vote for a teammate.... Taylor (96 carries, 420 yards) andJones-Drew (77, 407) share the load for the Jaguars.... Gore's three rushingTDs have accounted for 18 of the 49ers' NFL-low 88 points.... Taylor was theheavy favorite among defensive linemen (15.6%), while the top choice amongfellow running backs was the Falcons' Warrick Dunn (12.5%).
[Based on a survey of 278 NFL players] • For more onthe poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.
MARK J. TERRILL/AP (GATES)
EVAN PINKUS/WIREIMAGE.COM (ROBERTSON)
JERRY LAI/US PRESSWIRE (SPILBORGHS)
LOU CAPOZZOLA (GOMEZ)
DAVID BERGMAN (TAYLOR)
BRAD MANGIN (GORE)
RAMS REYNA/US PRESSWIRE (CRABTREE)