CNNSI: Peter King's Fine Fifteen Week 8

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Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2005
The Fine Fifteen

1. Chicago (7-0). At halftime, Rex Grossman was 18 of 22 for 202 touchdowns, three touchdowns and no picks. Chicago led 41-0. I wasn't in the locker room, but I'm guessing the coaches for both teams said, "Guys, let's not get hurt out there in the second half.''

2. Indianapolis (7-0). The Colts are playing two straight Games of the Year, both on the road: the 34-31 wowzer at Denver last Sunday, and the Sunday-nighter coming up at New England.

3. Denver (5-2). America saw Darrent Williams become the most picked-on cornerback of the year against the Colts. We're left wondering if that Denver defense is Super Bowl-legit. Sure didn't look it while being shredded at Invesco.

4. New England (5-1). Is this the quietest team in football this year or what?

5. San Diego (5-2). There is a bylaw in the NFL's steroid policy that says the NFL can take five days after an appeals hearing to make a ruling. Technically, this means that Shawne Merriman, whose appeal is scheduled for Nov. 7, might not have it enforced until after the Nov. 12 game at Cincinnati. If that happens, and the league rules against him, the four games Merriman would be suspended for are: at Denver, Oakland, at Buffalo, Denver. I suggested this on HBO the other day: Why not drop the appeal today and miss Cleveland, at Cincinnati, at Denver, Oakland?

"I guarantee he's not winning the appeal,'' said Jim Miller, the former quarterback who used the same "tainted supplement'' argument Merriman is making and still got bounced seven years ago for steroid use. Unless there is some ridiculously compelling reason different than every excuse the NFL has ever heard about positive steroid tests, Merriman is going down. Why risk missing both games against the team you have to beat to win your division?

6. New York Giants (5-2). Big leg up in the NFC tiebreakers right now, 5-1 in conference games and 3-0 in the division -- with two of three division games remaining at home.

7. Atlanta (5-2). Anyone notice Alge Crumpler going wild the last two weeks? What a great player.

8. Minnesota (4-2). If they gave IQ tests for quarterbacks, two of the highest scorers would be starting tonight. This would be my QBIQ Top 10: 1. Peyton Manning; 2. Tom Brady; 3. Brett Favre; 4. Gus Frerotte; 5. Brad Johnson; 6. Trent Green; 7. Donovan McNabb; 8. Trent Dilfer; 9. Drew Brees; 10. Mark Brunell. Knocking on the door of the top 10: Charlie Batch, Damon Huard, Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Delhomme, Jon Kitna.

9. Baltimore (5-2). The Ravens have so many defensive playmakers that even a guy named Ronnie Prude is scoring touchdowns for them.

10. Dallas (4-3). I have never in my life seen so much airtime and newsprint spent trying to divine a man's mood and state of mind as the sports media are spending trying to figure out Bill Parcells.

11. New Orleans (5-2). Sean Payton: "This is what I learned today: You turn it over five times against a team that plays defense like Baltimore, and you don't do the things you did to get to 5-1, you have no chance.''

12. Carolina (4-4). I still like the Panthers a lot. I can't figure out some of those bizarre throws Delhomme makes, like the pick he threw to Roy Williams late in the fourth quarter.

13. Cincinnati (4-3). "We gotta convert third downs!'' Chad Johnson said over the phone after the 29-27 loss to Atlanta. Bengals were 4 of 10. Not horrible, but Johnson's right -- not very clutch.

14. Jacksonville (4-3). Interesting that Jack Del Rio didn't want to talk about his quarterback situation after the big win over the Eagles. Maybe it's because David Garrard is 5-1 in his last six starts, and the barely mobile Byron Leftwich (79.0 quarterback rating) is not playing well.

15. (tie) Kansas City (4-3). Chiefs have put up 30 and 35 against San Diego and Seattle the last two weeks.

15. (tie) Seattle (4-3). Without three of their five MVPs from the 2005 season (Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander, Steve Hutchinson), the Seahawks came very close to an unlikely win at Kansas City.

15. (tie) Philadelphia (4-4). You figure out the Eagles. I can't.