Today's Names to Know: Patriots, Sean Taylor, AJ Feeley, Chad Johnson, Eli Manning, Kolby Smith, Kurt Warner, Missouri, West Virginia, Mike Sherman, Darren McFadden, Turner Gill, Ricky Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Johan Santana, Chase Budinger, Jamario Moon and More!
Pats nearly lose, still 11-0: What does it say when a close win (but still a win) is the NFL's lead story about the Patriots. "Hey: Someone only lost by 3!"
Does it signal the Pats can be beaten? It will allow for the discussion; that if a team like the Eagles can keep it dangerously close, that any of the AFC's eclipsed contenders (Colts, Steelers, Jags) or even the best of the NFC (Packers) could give them a go.
Don't believe the talk. It's 11 games into the greatest season in NFL history, so the Pats are forgiven if they have a lull defensively. (If "lull" means "winning again.") They can't win every game by blowout.
UPDATE: A heavy meme this morning is that the Eagles have somehow exposed a blueprint for beating them -- or at least created the glimmer of hope (for the rest of us) that the Pats can be beaten... if not during the regular season, then when it counts, in the playoffs. I'm just not buying it. Sure, they woulda/coulda/shoulda lost, but they didn't. Off night, bad matchup, looking ahead, mentally unprepared, Thanksgiving hangover...whatever. I see it as a mere blip.
(Does it count as a moral victory for the Eagles? As
UPDATE: Per a report in PFT, Sean Taylor was reportedly shot by home-robbers and is apparently "fighting for his life." Tracking...
If Mizzou beats
If either stumble, idle
(It's worth noting: If BOTH Mizzou and WVU do lose -- I have known to be wrong about things like this...cough...LSU...cough -- the scrum over "Who's No. 2?" will be insane. Georgia is next in line, but isn't even playing for its conference title. Same with Kansas. How about the rest of the 2-Loss Crew: Oklahoma? LSU? USC? Virginia Tech? They all have fatal flaws. It would be ugly.)
More NFL: NFL Stud? Devin Hester (what a huge win for the Bears)...
NFL Dud: Eli Manning was awful (Pick-6... THREE times?!)...
Cards blow it: You don't know whether to laugh at or cry for Cardinals fans (where was Whisenhunt with a TO before that non-FG)...
Fantasy Stud: Chiefs RB Kolby Smith (don't bother looking for him on your waiver wire, because he's going to be gone)...
Tomlinson 10K: If the AFC wasn't a done-deal, you might just believe the Chargers had a run in them (meanwhile, congrats to LaDainian Tomlinson on reaching the 10,000-yard plateau)...
MNF: All I want to see tonight is Ricky Williams have some sort of breakout game, either meaningful carries near the goal-line or some sort of unexpected long run. Meanwhile, all fans can hope for is to see the Dolphins continue their march for 0-16 "imperfection" as a bookend to the team's 1972 perfect season in the same season that the 1972 perfect season is eclipsed by another franchise.
More CFB: If you like to see non-BCS teams in the BCS bowls (I do, even if those teams aren't BCS-bowl-worthy), Hawaii is in, as long as they beat Washington; if they lose, they are unlikely to stay in the Top 12 to generate the automatic BCS invite.
(Wow, I wish the BCS would allow for more than 2 reps from any given league. I know it's about money distribution, but still. If
In this week's BlogPoll, I've got Mizzou, WVU and
Heisman Watch: Tim Tebow played most of the second half against FSU with a broken non-throwing hand; as it was the last game of the season, why not? Still: It might not matter if voters were swayed by Darren McFadden's performance against LSU. (I certainly was, and as big of a Tebow fan as I am, I can't possibly be upset if the award goes to McFadden.) Chase Daniel remains in the mix, particularly if he has a huge game in beating
CFB Coaching: Mike Sherman to coach Texas A&M. I know he has Aggie coaching roots, but I'm not a fan of NFL coaches with no college head-coaching experience trying to run a major program in this day and age (see Bill Callahan and the newly open head-coaching job at
MLB: A-Rod can earn up to $30 million (or more) in "historic moment" incentives as he passes major milestones in the career home run chase. It's an unprecedented deal, which MLB has approved, and will allow his deal to escalate to up to $305M as he passes Mays, Ruth, Aaron and eventually Bonds.
Hot Stove: Johan Mania. Santana will be THE story of the Winter Meetings that start next weekend. Presuming the Twins will trade him and that they can only trade him to the "big-money" clubs, the question is: Who will be willing to give up the most to get him? I predict he ends up with the Mets.
CBB: USC obliterated
NBA: LeBron had a triple-double... I don't know who Jamario Moon is, but I like his box-score line (15 points, 7/12 FG, 9 rebounds, 6 blocks, 3 steals)... The Bulls are awful... It's weird to say, but I think Carlos Boozer is one of the Top 3 post players in the West, right there behind Duncan and
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