Hutchinson: Larry Walker.
SI: Best advice you've received from Troy Aikman?
Hutchinson: Be patient.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Cris Carter goes home: Miami at Minnesota
Maybe this trip will jump-start Carter's comeback. He caught 1,004 passes in 12 seasons with the Vikings before he and the organization parted ways in the off-season, but Carter has only seven catches since ending his retirement and signing with the Dolphins on Oct. 21. (He missed four games with a kidney ailment.) "I'll have goose bumps," says Carter, who adds that he'll give former prot�g� Randy Moss a hug before the game. "I'll tell him, let's go out there and put on a show today.' "
What's most amazing about the Colts' Peyton Manning hitting the 20,000-yard passing mark on Sunday is that he reached it in his fifth season. Alltime leader Dan Marino averaged 3,884 yards in his first five years, but Manning is averaging 4,000-plus. Using yardage as a barometer, here's how Manning, 26, compares with the most prolific passers at the time they turned 27.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
MY TWO CENTS
1. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner has more than an injured throwing hand to worry about—he has to repair his relationship with coach Mike Martz. The coach has always been a Warner loyalist, but circumstances surrounding the injury have been damaging: Warner did not tell the coach how badly his hand was hurt (it was, in fact, fractured), and then Warner's wife, Brenda, called a radio show in early December to say it was she, not Martz, who insisted Kurt get his hand X-rayed.
2. Hats off to Vikings coach Mike Tice for going for two points and the win against the Saints. Playing with a poor defense on the road against a playoff contender, Tice was wise to go for broke instead of putting himself at the mercy of an overtime coin flip. Even if Daunte Culpepper hadn't run for the conversion, I'd be applauding.