New England Patriots
Autumn is well under way, which means pumpkins, pullovers and the persistent
Pats, now 5--1 and atop the AFC East with hardly anyone among the league
leaders. How do Belichick's boys swing it? Tight end Ben Watson (above)
explains, "Just do your job and we'll win."
In Michigan: Underappreciated running back Mike Hart (right) topped 1,000 yards
and is a spark plug for the unbeaten Wolverines. (Teammate Lamarr Woodley
advises opponents, "You better make sure the full team tackles him.")
In San Jose: Last season's Hart Trophy winner, Joe Thornton, had a team-best
nine assists for the Sharks, 6-2 through Sunday.
It's only preseason, but Toronto (27-55 last year) was 5-0 after winning on
Sunday with Samuel L. Jackson courtside. The Raptors also rolled to a 118-84
win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv--the team that, embarrassingly, beat them before last
Michael's big day (four TDs) was complemented by Marcus's big gain: He made
Miami's 53-man roster, and he could stick as a multipurpose threat.
What's worse: squandering a huge second-half lead to an unbeaten team ( Bears)
or getting rolled over by a winless one ( Raiders)? Ask any Cardinal, including
Matt Leinart (above) or coach Denny Green, who a week after a post-Bears tirade
was in a post- Oakland funk. Said Green, "I've been soul-searching."
On the gridiron: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (below) was knocked cold
against Atlanta. En route to the gridiron: Colts tackle Montae Reagor suffered
a head wound in a car accident and missed Sunday's game. In the city: Kenya's
Robert Cheruiyot won the Chicago Marathon but slipped and bonked his noggin at
the finish line.
It's only preseason, but Cleveland (50--32 last year) was 1--5 with four losses
to nonplayoff teams. The Cavs--and Eric Snow, left--got a scare when center
Zydrunas Ilgauskas left Sunday's game with a bruised knee.
The Chargers lost, and two of their stars fell: Linebacker Shaun Phillips is
out with a calf injury; linebacker Shawne (Lights Out) Merriman got a four-game
ban for steroid use.