I'm not sure "The Chargers are back!" After all, they WERE playing Brett Favre's Jets, who are hardly world-beaters at this point.
But I'm not above advancing a fairly flimsy theory in today's SN column that between the last-second loss to the Panthers and the last-second screw-job against the Broncos, the Chargers are energized.
More energized than they would be if they entered last night's game at 2-0. Energized enough to ride a Hochuli-sized chip on their shoulder all the way to the AFC title.
Two words: Antonio Cromartie. (I have to relate this, so if you hate hearing about other people's fantasy teams, skip down. I was down 40 points in my fantasy matchup last night, heading into the game. I had Cromartie and my league scoring earned me 36 points from him -- I went from blowout to oh-my-god-I-might-win to damn-losing-close-hurts-worse-than-getting-blown-out. That said: I am more than happy to argue Cromartie as the NFL's best defensive player right now. UPDATE: As one Commenter pointed out, I am blindly biased -- Cromartie was torched by Brandon Marshall -- another of my fantasy players -- in Week 2.)
Meanwhile, the Phillies feel like a lock for the playoffs. The Mets feel like chokers, but the Brewers' own chokery may be just enough for the Mets to back into the Wild Card.
You have to love a head-to-head match-up for the lone remaining contested AL playoff spot in the Central -- White Sox at Twins, with Minnesota in a precarious position: They have to win 2 out of 3 to even make this weekend a small hope. Now: Sweep all 3, and all of a sudden things get interesting. But even if the White Sox win once, Chicago is in a great position.
Bill Ford Jr. should earn a ton of credit from Lions fans for publicly crapping on Matt Millen. But give me a break that he can't influence the decision to actually get rid of him.
Merkle's Boner: There. I said it. Get your giggity-giggles out, then appreciate the magnitude of a screw-up so epic that its footprint lasted 100 years. (Consider: In 2103, will fans still be talking about Steve Bartman? As large as the name looms now, I don't think so.)
Last call to weigh in on this week's BlogPoll ballot, found in the post below. I'll post my final edition around noonish.
Complete SN column here.