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King's Corner
Peter King
October 21, 2002
TRADING E-MAIL WITH... 49ers guard Derrick Deese
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October 21, 2002

King's Corner

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Deese: Pro, if we're going to get Saddam this time. If not, just leave him alone.

SI: You're the NFL commissioner. What's the first thing you do?

Deese: I'd put the fun back into the game. Let guys celebrate the way they want.

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Buccaneers versus Their Nemesis
The last two years, Tampa Bay's season ended in Philadelphia with defeats in the wild-card round of the playoffs, and it's hard to imagine that Jon Gruden will have better luck than his predecessor, Tony Dungy, did at the Vet. Until Mike Alston gashed the Browns for 126 yards on Sunday, the Bucs hadn't been able to get their running game going. Over the first five games the Eagles' defense allowed seven touchdowns. It's the same old story: For Tampa Bay to win, its defense will have to lead the way.

THE LIST

Even as the Rams wheezed to an 0-5 start, coach Mike Martz was miffed by suggestions that he wasn't giving Marshall Faulk the ball enough. Well, on Sunday, St. Louis beat the Raiders 28-13 as—surprise!—Faulk carried 26 times for 158 yards and caught another four balls for 22 yards. Here's a look at Faulk's touches through five games in each of his four seasons with the Rams.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

MY TWO CENTS

1. In a season of fantastic finishes, no game can top the Dolphins' 24-22 win over the Broncos. The hard hitting, clutch plays and pair of last-minute, long-distance field goals made this one special. I won't soon forget the teeth-rattling shot that Miami's Ricky Williams took from linebacker Al Wilson and the way Williams silenced the crowd moments later with his second touchdown run.

2. There's no better cure for a struggling offense than an afternoon of throwing against the Chiefs. Kansas City is on pace to allow an NFL-record 5,037 passing yards and the alltime highest completion percentage (.695).

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