November 28, 2005
Ryan Fitzpatrick:
Rams' 2005 7th-round pick from Harvard throws for 310 yards and 3 TDs, leading St. Louis from a 21-point 2nd-half deficit for an OT W over the Texans.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
PROVE.  WHAT?

Wins on Sunday were supposed to serve as "Prove It" moments for the Seahawks and the Bears.

But only one proved they have the stuff actually to win the NFC.

Seattle got lucky: Three straight shanked game-winning field goals by the Giants? Seahawks fans who consider that proof of anything but Jay Feely choking are fooling themselves.

For now, Seattle's inside track to home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs signals only that this will be its most painful playoff implosion yet.

Chicago is more intriguing: For the second straight week, it stifled a playoff-caliber NFC opponent, all while riding a "just enough" O.

The Bears are the closest thing to the 2000 Ravens that NFL fans have seen since. The O might come and go, but the D is overwhelming (10.9 ppg); that's a proven foundation for a conference playoff winner.

For those fans who demand the Bears continue to prove it, December has the answers: Sandwiched between two games vs. Green Bay, the Bears play at Pittsburgh and then home vs. Atlanta.

Yet for both high-profile wins, neither team proved that the top contenders of the AFC still have anything to worry about in the Super Bowl.

NFL Week 12 Wrap
MVP watch: LaDainian. Tomlinson rushed for 184 yards and 3 TDs, including that game-winning 41-yard scamper in OT.

Dud of Week: Pats. Brady's 4 INTs in the L to KC were glaring, but how about some jeers for that sorry run game (42 yards from RBs).

Key injury: Byron Leftwich. Jags QB out 4-6 weeks with broken ankle. (Maybe not: Backup David Garrard leads Jax to a W anyway.)

Milestone I: Jeff Feagles. Most consecutive games played in NFL history? Couldn't be more overrated. Come on: He's a *punter.*

Milestone II: Curtis Martin. The ESPN Era's most underrated NFL player becomes only the 4th RB to break the 14K career rushing mark.

T.O. Tampering?
If the Eagles are so ready to be rid of T.O., why are they filing a whiny grievance with the NFL about the Cowboys "tampering?"

They can't have it both ways.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Shaun Alexander: 4th player with back-to-back 20-TD years
Kobe: NBA '05-high 46 pts after shoving Vince, but Nets win
Rutgers: In its 1st bowl since '78 (Insight vs. Arizona St.)
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
LenDale White: USC's *other* stud RB hurts shoulder Sunday
Clippers: Lose 2nd straight, this time to East beast Indy
Florida St: Out of CFB Top 25 for first time since 11/01
 
Either the Eagles want nothing to do with T.O. (and shouldn't care that other teams' execs might mention him offhandedly) or they shouldn't have been so aggressive in giving him the boot.

This particular strategy makes the team look petty.

BCS Watch
The BCS' biggest imminent threat isn't runaway PCs, biased human pollsters or even more (or less) than two unbeaten teams.

It's the agreement that forces the four BCS bowls to potentially choke down multi-loss duds like Colorado, Florida State or Georgia if they win their conference "title" games over worthier Texas, VA Tech and LSU.

Speaking of duds: Forget any mo' for Fresno State to be a Cinderella pick as a BCS "at-large" team. How do you nearly beat USC one week, then lose to Nevada the next? Enjoy that long slide back to obscurity.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame is a lock for the BCS, and despite being only the 6th- or 7th-best team, it's a lock to be the first overall "pick" by the Fiesta Bowl after the Rose automatically gets USC and Texas.

Fred Funk Rules
If more athletes had a sense of humor like Fred Funk, sports would be a much better place. A sense of style doesn't hurt, either.

After losing a Skins Game bet to Annika, Funk wore that dress on Saturday, even winning the hole. Then, as if to prove that good guys DO finish first, he walked away with a cool $925K and permanent "Quickie Hero" status.

(Don't snicker: You'd probably put on that dress for free after a couple of drinks and as little as a dare.)

MNF: Colts/Steelers
Herman Edwards got it wrong: You don't play to win the game; you play to win the championship. So I'm confused:

With virtually no chance of beating the Colts in Indy with an "almost-healthy" Big Ben, why would the Steelers risk hurting their long-term chances of beating the Colts when it counts (in January) by playing him before he's completely healthy? (9, ABC)

Quickie Obits
Pat Morita, 73: "Mr. Miyagi" will be remembered by sports fans as one of the most memorable "coach" characters in movie history. Here's a Quickie top 5:

Best Sports-Movie "Coaches":
1. "Mr. Miyagi"
Who else got an Oscar nom?
2. "Morris Buttermaker"
Matthau version (not Thornton)
3. "Mickey"
Rocky's mentor died in III
4. "Norman Dale"
How many passes, Hoosiers?
5. "Reggie Dunlop"
Slap Shot's "player/coach"

Honorable mention:
Herman Boone ("Titans")
Jimmy Dugan ("League/Own")
Larry Hockett ("Bull Durham")
Pops Fisher ("The Natural")
Ken Carter ("Coach Carter")

Jay Feely:
Giants kicker misses three straight would-be game-winning FGs (from 40 at the end of the 4th and twice during OT, from 54 and 45).
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 Index
NFL: End of the Day
 
NFL Power Rankings
Colts
Schedule gets tougher
 
Bengals
Colts loss was a blip
 
Broncos
Give thanks for big W
 
Chargers
Really: Who can stop LT?
 
Seahawks
Edge out Bears, Panthers
 

College hoops' No. 1? Give me Maui champ UConn (KO'ing 'Zaga and 'Zona en route) over Duke (which barely beat Memphis for the NIT title).

MLB Hot Stove: B.J. Ryan to Jays, who gave him the richest contract ever for a closer ($47M). (Over/under on when Jays regret that 5-year deal: Year 2.)

MLB Hot Stove II: Speaking of closers and large contracts, rumor has it that Boston may be making a play for Billy Wagner. Whither Keith Foulke?

MLB Hot Stove III: Thome to the ChiSox. Bye-bye, Konerko? (Bigger question: How good must Ryan Howard be to boot future HOF'er Thome outta town?)

MLB Hot Stove IV: Dodgers to interview Grady Little? (Wait: I thought they wanted to be a championship team?)

More Quickie obits: George Best, 59, the archetype of the hard-playing, hard-drinking United Kingdom soccer megastar.



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