My Two Cents
No AFC contender has suffered a bigger loss to injury this season than the Jets, who will be without rookie pass-rushing linebacker John Abraham (below) for two months. Abraham, who preserved wins over Tampa Bay and New England with last-minute sacks, had hernia surgery last week. Why was Broncos quarterback Brian Griese able to complete 13 passes in 16 third-down attempts on Sunday? No pass rush....
In last April's draft the Steelers passed on a player who could have been their quarterback of the future, Chad Pennington, and took wideout Plaxico Burress, who has been a tremendous disappointment. He doesn't run precise routes, and Pittsburgh quarterbacks have more trust in third-year man Hines Ward....
The pathetic state of the Eagles' running game since Duce Staley went down for the season, against the Falcons on Oct. I, makes it clear that the front office blew it by not dealing a draft pick for a proven back at the trading deadline. That will cost Philly a shot at a wild card.
A pro personnel director sizes up Giants defensive tackle Keith Hamilton.
"Something's gotten into him. He's 20-percent better than he was last year, and now he's as much a concern for an offense as the Giants' star end, Michael Strahan. Hamilton's lighter than he was last year, and he never stops. He put on a clinic against the Eagles [on Oct. 29]: On one play Hamilton pushed [guard] John Welbourn three yards deep in the backfield, threw him aside and stopped the ballcarrier. He's a good run-stopper and an excellent pass rusher, one of the best all-around tackles in the game."
Broncos running back Terrell Davis, slowed by relatively minor injuries in his comeback season following reconstructive knee surgery, exploded for 115 yards on 33 carries in a win over the Jets that resuscitated Denver's playoff run. "It's the difference between a healthy Davis and an unhealthy Davis," said Davis, who had his first 100-yard game since Denver's Super Bowl win over Atlanta in January 1999.
Two losses in less than a week, the latter to woeful Arizona. A succession of bad kickers (three, so far). A rusty Jeff George. A coach, Norv Turner, quite probably on his last legs in Washington. "What are we, 6-4?" said George, who was playing for an injured Brad Johnson. "That stinks. Really, that stinks."