1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay. His MVP to lose with seven games to play.
2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans. No quarterback through 10 games of an NFL season has thrown for more yards than Brees' 3,326 this year.
3. Tom Brady, QB, New England. Pats haven't lost three straight since the first year Brady was a full-time starter. Doubt it's a coincidence.
4. Justin Smith, DL, San Francisco. In Week 4, he sprinted, caught Jeremy Maclin from behind as the Eagles were going in for the winning score, stripped the ball and ended the game. On Sunday, with the Niners clinging to a 27-20 lead and the Giants at the Niner 10 threatening for overtime, Smith stopped running back D.J. Ware on third-and-two for no gain, then forced an incompletion from Eli Manning to Jake Ballard on the last New York snap of the night. If any defender in the league deserves to be on this list after 10 weeks, it's either he or Darrelle Revis, and today, with the Niners 8-1, I'm picking Smith.
5. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants. Almost brought the Giants back from way down for the second weekend in a row against a good team on the road.
"I think that's as good a game as we've played against a team that's credible. I think overall ... I haven't felt like that since Jason has been head coach.''
-- Dallas owner Jerry Jones, after the Cowboys beat Buffalo 44-7, their most decisive win in 11 years. He referred to Jason Garrett, his coach.
"I was supposed to be studying, but I went rioting instead."
-- A female Penn State student, overheard at the State College Starbucks by NFL.com's Jeff Darlington on the morning after the campus upheaval last week.
"No, I would not go. And no, I would not want my child to go ... The black eye of this alleged cover up certainly would play a major part in my decision or that of my child.''
-- LaVar Arrington, one of the most celebrated Penn State football players in recent history, writing on his blog -- "Hard Hits,'' on washingtonpost.com -- about whether he would choose to attend Penn State if he had to make that choice today, and whether he would want his child to attend the school.
The Patriots have made 13 transactions involving safety Ross Ventrone in the last three months. They are:
Aug. 10: Waived from roster.
Aug. 29: Signed to roster.
Sept. 3: Waived from roster.
Sept. 5: Signed to eight-man practice squad.
Sept. 23: Signed to active roster. Played Sept. 25 at Buffalo.
Oct. 1: Waived from roster.
Oct. 4: Signed to practice squad.
Oct. 8: Signed to active roster. Played Oct. 9 (Jets) and Oct. 16 (Dallas).
Oct. 17: Waived from roster.
Oct. 19: Signed to active roster. Played Oct. 20 (Pittsburgh).
Nov. 4: Waived from roster.
Nov. 9: Signed to practice squad.
Nov. 12: Signed to active roster. Played Nov. 13 (Jets).
Totals: Ventrone has been signed to the roster five times, waived five times, and signed to practice squad three times.
For his troubles, Ventrone, an undrafted free agent out of Villanova, has one career tackle -- a third-quarter stop of Jeremy Kerley of the Jets after a seven-yard punt return in Week 5.
In April 2005, Centre County (Pa.) district attorney Ray Gricar, who decided not to bring child-assault charges against Jerry Sandusky after an incident with a young boy in 1998, disappeared without a trace in Pennsylvania and has never been heard from since. His car was found in Lewisburg, Pa., near the Susquehanna River, and his laptop computer was found in the river.
In May 1996, Gricar's brother Roy, who lived in southwest Ohio, disappeared not long after being fired from his job in Dayton. His body was found days later in the Great Miami River. His car was found parked near the Great Miami River, and authorities ruled his death a suicide.
I don't know what that means. I just find it a horribly bizarre coincidence -- I think.
Walking down Second Avenue in Manhattan about 11:30 Sunday morning, I noticed three 25ish people walked toward me. A woman was flanked by a man in a black Maurkice Pouncey Steelers jersey and a man in a black Hines Ward Steelers jersey. They seemed to be in search of a Steelers bar to watch the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game. The guy in the Ward jersey was singing, "Here we go, here we go, Pittsburgh's goin' to the Super Bowl.''
If you've been in Pittsburgh to see the Steelers, you know exactly what that song is.
Only in New York, kids. Only in New York.
(In the immortal words of Cindy Adams.)
"Team coverage of Eagles' collapse on local NBC affiliate is hilarious ... News reporters at different locations, covering it like a murder.''
-- @AlbertBreer, the NFL Network reporter, apparently in his hotel room in Philly this morning.
"Shame on PSU riotters. The only message they are sending is we are becoming a morally bankrupt society.''
-- @daryljohnston, the former Dallas running back and current FOX analyst.
"FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!!!!"
-- @RealRClark25, upon learning he was fined $40,000 for a hit the NFL deemed excessive in the Baltimore-Pittsburgh game.