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Giant leap

New York closes in on top: Broncos are back

Posted: Wednesday October 24, 2007 12:16PM; Updated: Wednesday October 24, 2007 3:14PM
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The top three teams didn't change from last week. Neither did the bottom four. Like creeping sludge, lethargy has invaded this venerable column. But look! A rocket flashes over the Jersey meadowland. The Giants have come shooting up from nowhere. Wait 'til you see what honors can be reaped from such a bountiful harvest of sacks. (As always, send comments to siwriters@simail.com. And be sure to check out Dr. Z's weekly picks video She Says, Z Says.)

NFL Power Rankings
Rank LW Team
1 1 I wouldn't like to be wearing a New England uniform these days. Nope, I sure wouldn't. Plenty of people in Miami are madder than hell because Tom Brady came back into the contest to run the count up to 48. They meet again on Dec. 23, just two days before Christmas, a time traditionally devoted to exacting revenge.
2 2 Reggie Wayne was my player of the game on Monday night. I mean I've seen him put up bigger numbers, but I've never seen him make such consistently tough catches. See, that's the thing with this team. Marvin Harrison still was nursing the bad knee, Joseph Addai played but he didn't look like his usual self. But there always seems to be someone on this club ready to raise the level of the whole operation.
3 3 Doesn't there seem to be a rash of great punters this year? Mat McBriar averaged 53.5 on his four kicks against the Vikings. He hit a 50-yarder that went out of bounds on the one, and a 60-yarder that was downed on the nine. The 49ers' Andy Lee has looked terrific, and Sunday, the Raiders-Chiefs game was enlivened by the duel between Shane Lechler and Dustin Colquitt. Brings back memories of Horace Gillom and Glenn Dobbs (anyone remember him?).
4 10 Here's what I heard. The sack pack has a pool going. Everyone puts in cash and the top sacker collects. Buddy Ryan, when he was the Jets' defensive line coach a long time ago, had a thing like that going with his guys, and the AFL made him stop. "Absolutely no bounty arrangements," was the league's edict. Wonder if that rule still applies.
5 6 I can hear the angry cries now. "Homer! New York homer!" I'm very sorry, but I just think the Giants deserve it. And if I were you guys I wouldn't complain. I mean how many times do you get a raise, especially this high up on the tree, after a bye week?
6 4 They had a week off to rest up for the Broncos and they got outhit from the opening bell. When their defense took the field with 1:10 left, their offense had eaten up 22 of the 25 plays run in the fourth quarter, so they should have been fed, watered and ready to go, right? Well, they got no pressure on Jay Cutler and he brought his guys down the field to kick the winning three points. And all my fellow handicappers who had them, minus 3-1/2, shook their fists in anger and swore, "Never again!"
7 9 Kerry Collins sure looks different, doesn't he? I mean once upon a time he kind of had that pretty boy, playboy look, but all the sideline shots I saw of him on Sunday showed a weathered veteran, almost grizzled looking. I kind of like this look better. Wonder how his family feels about it.
8 5 Well, when I picked Jacksonville to beat the Bucs at Tampa Bay, I didn't know David Garrard was out, you see, and Quinn Gray would be the man. Maybe they'll listen to the astute analysis provided by Tony K. on Monday night ... "Why don't they just run on every play?" OK, so when the Bucs cram eight or nine or whatever into the box, the Jags counter with two or three tight ends, a fullback, a couple of burly cops and a bouncer or two. Mass meets mass, and pretty soon it'll look like the I-275 at 8 a.m. But it's a good way of taking the crowd out of the game. Right out of the stadium, actually. Who would want to watch something like this?
9 7 Listen to this bit of information provided by Detroit Mike, our correspondent who worked the Lions game: Jeff Garcia is the only QB in recorded history to start at least five games for five teams in five years. Niners, Browns, Lions, Eagles, Bucs. And only one of them, Cleveland, improved the next season, after he left.
10 12 What in insult! A 4-2 team listed as a 17-point underdog (to New England, of course). What a motivator for Joe Gibbs. I remember my senior year at Columbia, a 1-8 team playing Navy, the famous Team Named Desire that beat Ole Miss, 21-0, in the Sugar Bowl. They were favored by 38, which became a huge motivational spur for our coach, Lou Little. The players' reaction was mixed. "I think they'll cover," said my Buddy, Al. He was right. The Team Named Desire beat us as they desired, which was 51-6.