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This week: Gregg Easterbrook on ...
• Stats of the week
• Cheerleader of the week
• Sweet 'N' Sour of the week
• Monday Night analysis
• Bikini & topless & what's next?
• I hate Julie!
• NFL Network update
• Cheerleader professionalism watch
• Most fun play
• A miracle of engineering
And in sad, nauseating news, O.J. Simpson has confessed. There is no way on God's green Earth an innocent man, falsely accused, could put his name on a book in which he "imagines" what it "would" have been like to cut a helpless woman's throat. His acquittal might protect Simpson from jail, but it no longer protects his honor; Simpson himself has voided that by doing something that only a guilty man would even contemplate. Maybe at this point Simpson belongs in a treatment facility for the criminally insane -- but he does not belong in the Hall of Fame or on the wall at Ralph Wilson Stadium. His bust must immediately be removed from Canton and his name pulled down from that place of respect. Take a crowbar to them today. The fact that Fox and its publishing subsidiary just canceled the book and associated television show does not create any excuse for the National Football League. Any other course other than the removal of Simpson's bust from the Hall and his name from the stadium wall will put the NFL in a state of disgrace. Once the bust and the name are gone, sandblast the areas to get the filth off. Stat of the Week No. 1: New Orleans gained 595 yards, and lost. Stat of the Week No. 2: Chicago and Indianapolis are a combined 4-0 at the Meadowlands; the Giants and Jets are a combined 5-5 there. Stat of the Week No. 3: Cleveland has lost every home game to Pittsburgh in this century. Stat of the Week No. 4: Trent Green and Rex Grossman combined for seven yards passing in the first half. Both their teams went on to win. Stat of the Week No. 5: Minnesota lost despite holding Miami to minus-three yards rushing. Stat of the Week No. 6: The Cincinnati defense has given up 1,025 yards in its past two outings. Stat of the Week No. 7: In the Seattle-San Francisco game, the ball changed hands three times in 22 seconds. Stat of the Week No. 8: LaDainian Tomlinson has 22 touchdowns in 10 games, putting him on a pace for a record-setting 35 touchdowns on the season. Stat of the Week No. 9: In its past two games, San Diego has fallen behind by a combined 52-14, then outscored its opponents by a combined 70-16. Stat of the Week No. 10: The Jacksonville defense has allowed five points per game on "Monday Night Football" and 16 points per game in all other games.
Sweet Plays of the Week (Sweet Pair for the Trick or Treats): Game tied at 10 early in the fourth quarter at New Orleans, the Bengals faced third-and-2 on their 40. Chad Johnson was supposed to run an "out." Carson Palmer was flushed from the pocket and scrambling. Johnson saw it, cut up the sidelines and waved his hand touchdown and Drew Brees' fantastic passing yardage was on its way to being irrelevant. Later, Cincinnati leading 24-10 and the Saints at midfield, rookie seventh-round draft pick Ethan Kilmer, pressed into duty, cut in front of a Saints receiver, intercepted the pass and returned it for the icing touchdown. After the score, as the hyperventilating Kilmer stood on the sideline in delirium, Johnson ran to get him a water bottle and sprayed water directly into Kilmer's mouth. Say what you will about Ocho Cinco as of that sideline act, I like Chad Johnson. Sweet Defensive Stop of the Week: Dallas led 21-14, but Indianapolis had second-and-3 on the Cowboys' 9 with three minutes remaining. "Let's eat dinner, you know the Colts will pull it out," I said to my boys. Run stuffed for one yard. Third-and-2, a rare Indianapolis total screw up two receivers in the same place in the end zone practically collide as the pass approaches. Fourth-and-2, maybe there was defensive holding, but Dallas' coverage was so tight Peyton Manning couldn't find anyone. And I don't wish to alarm you, but Tony Romo now trails Manning by a half point, 100.5 to 100, for the best passer rating in the league this season. Sour Play of the Week: Baltimore leading 17-10, Atlanta faced third-and-4 on the Nevermores' 19 at the start of the fourth quarter. Michael Vick takes the snap, and never run backward! Vick retreated, spun, ran backward and finally stumbled under a horde of defenders at the Baltimore 36, for loss of 17. The Falcons knocked themselves out of field-goal range in the process, and had to punt. Sometimes the best play a quarterback can make is to throw the ball away! On its possession following the punt, Baltimore scored a touchdown to ice the game. Had Vick simply thrown the ball away, the next snap likely would have made the game 17-13. Sour Sequence of the Week: The St. Louis at Carolina game was scoreless and tense until the Cats kicked a field goal late in the first half and everything then collapsed for Les Mouflons. On its possession after the kickoff, St. Louis surrendered two sacks, punted, then saw Carolina hit a 62-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith shortly before intermission. The rest of the same was filler. Note: Once 4-1, the Rams have quietly lost five straight, despite Marc Bulger having thrown for 10 more touchdowns than interceptions. Sweet 'N' Sour Play No. 1: Game scoreless, Indianapolis faced third-and-10 on the Dallas 23 with 16 seconds remaining in the first half. The Colts lined up with two wide receivers left. At the snap, both faked positioning themselves for screen blocks, while a tailback ran into the left flat. Then Reggie Wayne, the real intended receiver, shot up the left sideline, touchdown. That was a sweet play design. But all the Cowboys' defenders came up on the screen fake, leaving Wayne unguarded even though there were only 16 seconds remaining in the half. When the half is almost over, where, oh where might the pass go? Maybe up the field! Failing to guard the end zone when the play was nearly certain to go to the end zone was sour.