It's hard to believe that Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison could be home for the holidays. But barring an unlikely three-game winning streak (at Jets, Bills, at Dolphins), that's where the 7-5 Colts will be.
Tennessee has lost two of three and can't seem to get its offense untracked. "We need to find our edge, and find it quickly," cornerback Samari Rolle said after a 16-13 loss to the Jaguars. Quarterback Steve McNair has been banged up, and the Titans are struggling to grasp first-year offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger's system.
Late Out of the Gate
Used sparingly as Baltimore got off to a 5-4 start, rookie first-round draft pick Jamal Lewis (below) was finally unleashed. He has run for 565 yards in his last four games, all Ravens' wins.
My Two Cents
If I'm Patriots owner Bob Kraft, this is what I'm thinking: I didn't hire Bill Belichick to lose at Cleveland, to need a field goal at home with three seconds left to beat the Bengals and to get my clock cleaned against a slightly-better-than-average Lions team....
Whispers in Washington are that the big money has dulled running back Stephen Davis's desire. Davis is averaging 4.1 yards a carry, down from his 4.5-yard mark of a year ago....
The Marty Schottenheimer-to-coach-the-Giants rumors have started. New York (8-4) probably has to win II games, or a playoff game, to save Jim Fassel's job.
An AFC pro scout sizes up Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, whose stock continues to rise.
"Only one middle linebacker is having a better year, and that's Ray Lewis in Baltimore. When Trotter was coming out of college [ Stephen F. Austin] in 1998, a lot of teams shied away from him because of a bad knee, but it looks like we were all wrong. For a big man [261 pounds], it's amazing how many plays he makes on each sideline, which shows what speed he has. On short-yardage downs he throws himself into the line like a bowling ball hitting pins. He is everything you want in a middle backer-strong and gutty, with the speed to chase down plays."