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December 15, 2008
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December 15, 2008

Who's Hot Who's Not

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Matt Schaub
Welcome back. The Texans' QB, out a month with a left knee injury, threw for 414 yards and two touchdowns and led Houston on a game-winning drive in Lambeau Field. The Texans (6--7) won't taste the playoffs this season, but with one fine day Schaub restored hope for 2009. All that despite wearing a brace on his knee.

King James may be bigger-city bound one day, but he's in Cleveland now, folks. His Cavaliers and their shot-contesting defense were 17--3, unbeaten at home and winners of eight straight by 12 points or more. The formula, LeBron (right) told Cleveland's Plain Dealer, is simple: "We're just getting big leads and keeping them."

Brian Westbrook
The Eagles' Mr. Everything carried 33 times for 131 yards, caught six passes and seemed to shrink the Giants (weren't they supposed to be, like, awesome against the run?) all by himself. "One of those days," said Westbrook, and Philadelphia, its playoff hopes still simmering, hope he's got a few more like it.

Arizona Cardinals
They're in. By drubbing the Rams, Arizona clinched its first division title since ... ever! (Well, they won one in St. Louis back when Gerald Ford was president.) Adrian Wilson, a Card since 2001: "It's been a long road."


J.P. Losman
A fine howdy-do. Stepping in for injured Trent Edwards, the Bills' QB got sacked four times, threw a pick, completed just 13 of 27 passes and, in a desultory 16--3 loss to Miami, reminded everyone why he lost the starting job last season. "I didn't think I was that rusty," said Losman, who could hardly have fared worse if he had been.

Here they go again. Randy Wittman's boys started 4--15, consistent with the .266 winning percentage that got the coach fired (and replaced by Kevin McHale) on Monday after nearly two years in Minnesota. "Rock bottom," T-Wolves rookie Kevin Love said after a loss to (jeez) the Thunder last week. The faithful just hope he's right.

Jamal Lewis
He and his 4--9 Browns are going nowhere—witness Sunday's totals of seven yards on seven carries for Lewis in a 28--9 loss to Tennessee. Not that things were zooming along before that. Lewis, without a TD in four weeks, looks like a cinch to fall short of 1,000 yards for just the second time in his career.

Phoenix Coyotes
They're out. Of playoff position, anyway, after a 4-7-2 stretch. And games aren't all coach Gretzky's (right) team is losing: A Globe and Mail report says the franchise could be more than $25 million in the red.