Quote of the Week I
"I think we did a great job of being the hunters and imposing our will today.''
Quote of the Week II
"We really gave those guys the game. It's eating me up inside.''
Quote of the Week III
"It's like being young and in love. You know the feeling -- like you're in an elevated state of bliss. That's how everyone in this town feels about the Saints.''
Quote of the Week IV
"The other thing that you need to know about me ... is that my parents raised me correctly. I am a cheesehead. From a very young age, I was a kid that grew up in the country. My dad put me to work on Saturdays. I didn't go into town and necessarily do the things I always wanted to do as a kid, but when I got to this point professionally, I really look back and I just want him to know, and my mother, how important that is to me.''
The Fine Fifteen
1. Indianapolis (16-2). The Colts ran the ball better than the Jets did Sunday, which is something no one figured would happen. In the Super Bowl, the better running team probably will be the winner.
2. New Orleans (15-3). The game was Creed-Balboa I, or at least Pryor-Arguello I. There will be a lot of players waking up from that game ridiculously sore this morning, and the sorest will be a 40-year-old quarterback in the Twin Cities, courtesy of the Saints.
3. Minnesota (13-5). The Vikings outgained New Orleans by more than 200 yards ... in the Superdome. At one point 10 minutes after the game, Adrian Peterson walked out of the locker room, in full uniform, and just stared at the celebration of Saints on the field. Like he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
4. New York Jets (11-8). They've got a pretty good base to build on. For their sake, it would be best if the offensive line came back intact -- and if Shonn Greene wins the starting running back job next fall. That big horse could be a 1,600-yard back.
5. San Diego (13-4). Not saying LaDainian Tomlinson can't come back in some role, but the Chargers need to find a running back with some burst this offseason. Priority one.
6. Dallas (12-6). Seems right, Wade Phillips extended through the end of the 2011 season. If there is one.
7. Arizona (11-7). As I said last week, my guess is Kurt Warner's retiring. Sure sounded like it in that Rick Reilly column the other day.
8. Baltimore (10-8). John Harbaugh's brother is not going anywhere -- at least not this year.
9. Green Bay (11-6). Pack lost a good young scout, John Schneider, a disciple of the Ron Wolf School of Scouting, to the Seahawks as GM. He deserved the promotion.
10. Philadelphia (11-6). Lot of buzz about whether the Eagles will go with Kevin Kolb or Donovan McNabb as the QB of the future. Only one man knows for sure. The Big Man. Andy Reid. He says McNabb, but why do I think that's a tepid endorsement?
11. New England (10-7). I don't think Pepper Johnson's going to be a happy man if he doesn't get the defensive coordinator gig.
12. Pittsburgh (9-7). The start of a quiet offseason is upon Steeler Nation ... just the way the Rooneys like it.
13. Carolina (8-8). Is there really someone out there willing to pay Julius Peppers $18 million a year -- and pay compensation to the Panthers, most likely? I doubt it.
14. Cincinnati (10-7). Every time I think of the Bengals, I think, "What in the world happened to Carson Palmer?''
15. Houston (9-7). Playoffs or bust in 2010, obviously. This could be one of the landing spots for one of the good coaches-in-waiting, like Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden or John Fox.
NFL Truth & Rumors