1. Sour Rice
Entering Sunday's action, Jerry Rice had a league-high 58 catches; he finished his night, a 31-20 win over the Saints, with three more receptions, one for a touchdown. Fellow wideouts J.J. Stokes and Ten-ell Owens had six and four catches, respectively. That's the way the game plan goes sometimes. But for the second time this year after a San Francisco win, Rice reacted selfishly to how he was used. "Is this something that might make me want to retire?" he said. "Hell, yes."
2. Quiet, Please
On the first play of Sunday's game in the Metrodome against the Vikings, Packers center Frank Winters couldn't hear Brett Favre's signals, leading to a fumbled snap. In the fourth quarter the Pack had five presnap penalties that were at least partially attributable to crowd noise. Favre appealed to referee Phil Luckett to quiet the fans. Luckett, who could have warned the crowd and subsequently charged Minnesota with timeouts or assessed a five-yard penalty, directed Favre to play on. The NFL has a month to get its decibel meters in gear.
3. Here Come the Cards
By default, 6-5 Arizona is looking more and more like the NFC's sixth and final playoff team. On Sunday the Cardinals squandered almost all of a 31-point lead before holding off the Redskins 45-42. NFC powers must be salivating at the thought of getting Arizona in a wild-card game. "Whether people like it or not," Cardinals center Aaron Graham says, "we're a contender."