Best. QB. Season. Ever? But even more
impressive than his breaking Marino's single-season TD
record was his clutch drive at the end.
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The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
A handy guide to the NFL's hot-button phrases
that get busted out in the standings shake-out
following Week 16:
"Controls destiny": The sweetest phrase
an NFL playoff wannabe can hear heading into the
final week. The formula is
simple: Win and they're in.
For the Jets, Broncos and Panthers, the playoffs begin ... now.
"Clinched": For the Top 4 in the AFC
(and top 3 in the NFC), a playoff spot isn't simply
secured -- the seeding is, too. (Only incentive is
Then there's the phrase that drives normally sane fans
"Needs help": Even if a team wins, other
teams must lose, too. Arrgh!!! Particularly
frustrating if you're aboard the NFL's hottest
Bills: 6 Straight
How can you NOT love the Bills? They started
0-4, yet are a W vs. Pittsburgh next week in Buffalo
(suddenly a reasonable idea) from making the playoffs
(along with a Denver L vs. Indy or Jets L vs. St. Louis).
Biggest impact of Big Ben's injury? The Bills' chances
of winning, which improve if Ben is held out next
weekend. (And why should the Steelers chance it by
playing him? They've already locked up HFA.
Week 16 Notes
Pats deliver in a "statement" W, but
now face the prospects of Peyton at Foxboro in the
Explain again how Brett Favre is not Pro
"If-Not-For-Big-Ben" ROY: How about Bills WR
Lee Evans (7 TDs in last 5 G). As far as young RB-WR
combos go, McGahee-Evans looks sick.
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|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Colts 10x3: Stokely-Harrison-Wayne trio nabs 10 TDs each|
Vince Carter: Will makes Nets debut tonight vs. Pistons
Iowa's Kirk Ferentz: New top college-to-NFL name
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Pacers-Pistons bad blood: Event-free game buries Brawl?|
Ravens: Brutal O returns, effectively ending p'off hopes
Sacto Kings: Lose to Warriors. What happened to this team?
How many Seahawks fans are bummed they
made the playoffs, ensuring another year of Holmgren
You just gotta feel for Eli.
Admit it: You'd be kind of excited to see a
Bills-Panthers Super Bowl of battling
Reggie White, 43
"Minister of Defense" said God "told"
him to go to Green Bay to win a title, and then he
did. Fans can appreciate him as a first-team NFL
"all-timer," yet still disagree with his outspoken
views on social issues.
Kobe vs. Shaq
The NBA's most-watched regular-season
game in six years, but forget Kobe vs. Shaq: the
biggest winner was Dwyane Wade.
"Flash" flashed a well-rounded, team-oriented game
while stealing the show from Kobe, whose own
definition of "well-rounded" was finding a variety of
ways to jack up 30 shots.
$100 Million Man: And worth every penny
(see "NO 26, ATL 13"). Vick may not be the best
QB in the league (or, to some fools, even in the top
10!), but he is the NFL's most exciting
playmaker, and that marketing cachet alone makes him
Saban to Dolphins
The Belichick Protege Effect: He ran
LSU like The Genius runs the Pats -- and Saban won
quickly, then won a national title.
Don't be surprised when Saban's got Miami at .500 as
early as next season; with a few breaks here or there,
the Dolphins could have had 6 or 7 wins this season
(and they did beat the mighty Pats).
More important: How does he feel about the
"Ricky" issue? Is he going to try to convince him to
re-join the team?
playoff fate in their own hands, they got BLANKED by
Houston at home, effectively ending their playoff chances.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|NFL Week 16 Grid|
|Neyer: Best/worst MLB free-agent signings|
|Ranking NFL Top 5|
(w/o Big Ben, TO)
|Reassert their power|
|Wow: At NE in AFC semi?|
|Nearly won at Indy|
|Not favorite w/o Big Ben|
|Still best in NFC|
MNF Watch: PHI/StL. The unlikable Rams can do everyone
a huge favor and lose, clearing the way for a pure
CAR/NO play-in game next Sunday ...|
Forget the Heat and Lakers: the most telegenic show in
the NBA is the Suns, who streaked to their 11th
straight W and now sit at 24-3 ...
MLB Fray Agency: Indians working to land
underrated P Kevin Millwood ...
Explain to me why the Red Sox need a captain
(Varitek), when they seemed to do just fine without
one in 2004 ...
MPC Computers Bowl: Virginia vs. Fresno St from the
blue turf at Boise. UVA could contend in '05 (2, ESPN) ...
Motor City Bowl: Toledo vs. UConn from Detroit. Don't
dis the MAC madness, or UConn QB/NFL prospect Dan
Orlovsky (5:30, ESPN) ...