Maybe winning is contagious. Philadelphia's footballers haven't lost since the Phillies won the NLDS. When you get a TD from a lineman (fella named Todd Herremans) and 131 receiving yards from tight end Brent Celek (who?), times are good. Now the 5--3 Eagles eye Sunday's showdown with the Giants, and QB Donovan McNabb (above) likes the timing. "We've got things rolling," he said.
Signs its ship has come in: overcoming a 27--7 deficit, returning a last-minute fumble for a TD, scoring in OT to sink Temple. Now the Midshipmen, with QB Ricky Dobbs (left), are bound for their sixth straight bowl. Oh, and they closed a perfect sprint football season—that's for guys 150 pounds and under—by trouncing Army 24--0.
Alliteration jubilation. The rookie running back from Rutgers roused the resurgent Ravens by romping for 154 yards in a win on Sunday. The 5'8", 205-pound Rice had been backing up Willis McGahee, but, "When it's my turn," he says, "I'm always ready."
¬°Dame un beso, hombre! For one day Chad Ocho Cinco (right) and the Bengals were numero uno, getting a win. Chad was so happy about his two touchdown passes that he kissed coach Marvin Lewis and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on the sideline.
"You play to win the game!" Eh? Coach Herm Edwards's strategy hasn't been working out so well for 1--7 Kansas City. Sunday's blown 24--3 lead is just part of the gloomy news: K.C. gives up 407 yards a game and scores fewer than 16 points. One running back (Larry Johnson, above) got an NFL ban for his ugly nightclub incidents while another (Kolby Smith, knee) may be out for the year.
The Black Knights are playing tough D, but that's not quite enough. An all-but-offenseless 16--7 loss to Air Force—it was the Falcons' sixth straight win at West Point—dropped Army to 3--6. "It's sad," said senior linebacker Frank Scappaticci (right) of losing his last home game. Next month's game at Navy could get ugly.
Street clothes make the man. The Knicks' talented but often cantankerous point guard (left) played zero minutes in New York's first three games and, though healthy, was put on the inactive list. At least his $21 million salary can buy a comfy seat cushion.
Oh and Six
That's Washington State's Pac-10 record after getting pasted, and we mean pasted, 58--0 by Stanford. That makes 10 straight pointless quarters in this pointless Cougars season. Coach Paul Wulff: "There's going to be brighter days ahead of us."
SI PLAYERS NFL POLL
Which current NFL coach would you least like to play for?
Tom Coughlin, Giants 16%
Bill Belichick, Patriots 11%
Eric Mangini, Jets 9%
Tony Sparano, Dolphins 7%
Bill Parcells, Dolphins G.M. 6%
Belichick was third (6%) in last week's poll asking players which coach they would most like to play for.... Coughlin and Belichick have a combined record of 242--174 and have won four of the last seven Super Bowls.... Parcells has coached four teams, most recently Dallas for four seasons ending in 2006; each of the other four coaches on this list has been an assistant under Parcells.
[Based on a survey of 320 NFL players] • For more on the poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.
DAVID E. KLUTHO (JOHNSON)
DUNCAN WILLIAMS/ICON SMI (SCAPPATICCI)
STEPHEN CHERNIN/AP (MARBURY)
NELSON CHENAULT/US PRESSWIRE (OCHO CINCO)
JOY R. ABSALON/CAL SPORT MEDIA (DOBBS)
DAVID BERGMAN (MCNABB)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (COUGHLIN)
JOHN IACONO (BELICHICK)