Posted: Monday February 4, 2008 7:36AM; Updated: Thursday February 7, 2008 12:53PM
The Fine Fifteen
1. New York Giants (14-6). "The greatest victory in the history of the New York Giants,'' co-owner John Mara called it, which is saying something.
2. New England (18-1). All four Patriot Super Bowls of this era were three-point games. We just never thought they'd lose one.
The Patriots will replay lots of plays in their heads over the next few weeks, but none more than the sack Manning slipped out of to throw the miracle pass to Tyree on the winning drive. "I'm sure it'll be tough to swallow over the coming months,'' Tom Brady said.
Might be tough to swallow for years.
3. Green Bay (14-4). No white smoke coming out of the Hattiesburg, Miss., chimney of Brett Favre this year, but it's 70-30 he's coming back.
4. San Diego (13-6). Their bothersome AFC Championship Game rush on Brady was a harbinger of things to come.
5. Indianapolis (13-4). True story: While Peyton Manning was taking a final men's room pit stop before taking the field for Super Bowl XLI, the team dentist said to him, "Remember, you've got to come in for your checkup this month.''
6. Dallas (13-4). Anyone seen Tony Romo? I mean, except in the tabloids?
7. Jacksonville (12-6). I'm surprised the Jags haven't hired Gregg Williams yet. He might be slipping away.
8. Pittsburgh (10-7). How about the similarities between the 2005 Steelers and the 2007 Giants? The Steelers won playoff games at Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver, then won the Super Bowl at Detroit. The Giants won playoff games at Tampa Bay, Dallas and Green Bay, then won the Super Bowl at Phoenix.
9. Seattle (11-7). Gary Wright, one of the best PR men in NFL history, is retiring from the Seahawks, and I think this should not pass without me -- and about 900 of my peers -- saying, "Thanks. You have no idea how much you helped us do our jobs.'' I have not met a better man in this business.
10. Tennessee (10-7). Now here's a stunning newsflash. The Titans want to trade Pacman Jones. If I'm Jeff Fisher, I'd take a lukewarm latte for him.
11. Tampa Bay (9-8). Last NFC team to win a Super Bowl, before last night: the Bucs.
12. Washington (9-8). Jim Fassel's nightmare was that Spagnuolo would have the kind of day he had Sunday. Now Dan Snyder really has to listen to Spagnuolo to see if he'd be a good fit as the Redskins head coach.
13. Cleveland (10-6). More surgery for Kellen Winslow.
14. Philadelphia (8-8). The Eagles had to be watching last night and saying, "We're not that far away from the Giants.''
15. Minnesota (8-8). Don't get hurt in the Pro Bowl, Adrian Peterson.