Wyche: If an owner or a G.M. thought I would be a good fit, I would be a better coach than I have ever been. I have perspective now, you see. However, 1-800-CALL-SAM is not ringing off the hook.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Relatively Speaking: Cleveland at Cincinnati
The Browns, once coached by the late Paul Brown, play the team founded by the same Paul Brown at Paul Brown Stadium, which is managed by Eric Brown (no relation). The Bengals are run mostly by descendants of Paul Brown—son Mike Brown, the club president; son Pete Brown, a senior VP; granddaughter Katie Brown Blackburn, the executive VP; and grandson Paul Brown, a scout. The outcome of this game is not likely to be decided by Browns pass rusher Courtney Brown. Rather, the biggest factor will be whether the Browns can wear down the Bengals with running backs Jamel White and William Green.
The hiring of coach Jon Gruden hasn't ignited the Bucs' offense as expected. Here's how Gruden's numbers stack up versus those of the men who called the plays in Tampa over the previous three seasons.
MY TWO CENTS
1. Game of the Year: Falcons 34, Steelers 34. This was better than Miami's battle with Denver on Oct. 13 because it went a quarter longer. Unsung hero; Atlanta wideout Brian Finneran, who blocked a field goal attempt in OT and later, with corner Ray Buchanan, stopped Plaxico Burress inside the one as time expired.
2. Memo to Drew Bledsoe: Don't let gimmick defenses take your focus off your targets. New England walked away from its Nov. 3 game against the Bills convinced that its ever-changing front-seven looks flustered Bledsoe.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]