Bettis and Roethlisberger will be coming off two weeks' rest. Bettis says the time off has "given me a fresh set of legs." Roethlisberger had two more subpar efforts after the Jets' game, giving him a total of five interceptions for the three outings, and he injured his ribs in a Dec. 26 game against the Baltimore Ravens. No one knows what kind of shape he'll be in on Saturday and, with the stakes so high, how he'll react to a defense that gave him trouble last time.
Over in the NFC, have the Eagles been neutered by the loss of wideout Terrell Owens? Will they revert to the offensive team that went belly-up against the Carolina Panthers in last year's NFC Championship Game? And what should be made of the two lethargic losses that closed out their regular season? Historians point out that it has been 32 years since a team that finished with two losses went to the Super Bowl and 37 since such a team won it. "Well, that's what the media does," says Philly defensive end Hugh Douglas. "Finds these meaningless stats, these blurps of history. That was 60, 70 years ago, whatever. We're worrying about the 'now.'"
Finally, to get a read on the Rams, listen to coach Mike Martz. If he says he's going to open it up against the Falcons and test their secondary, you can bet he'll come out with two tight ends and a fullback and pound away. If he says he has to establish the running game, he'll be in four wides and throw on his first 20 plays. "It's nice that we're playing our best football right now," says Rams quarterback Marc Bulger.
It's just one more reason why we could be in for a special weekend.