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Around the NFL

Fab five

1. Texans 2. Falcons

3. Cardinals 4. Ravens

5. 49ers

Best bet

49ers (2-1) over Jets (2-1)

San Francisco will rebound from last week's upset loss to the Vikings, taking advantage of not dealing with Revis Island.

Number of the week

8 Sacks by the Seahawks during the first half against the Packers on Monday, more than 23 teams have currently

Perspective, please

Though Cowboys Tony Romo boasts the third-best career passer rating in NFL history (96.6), he is not revered as much as the likes of the Giants' Eli Manning, Patriots' Tom Brady and Packers' Aaron Rodgers. But Romo doesn't feel slighted or overlooked, pointing out he's missing one big thing those other guys have: a Super Bowl ring.

"I think the reason we play sports is to win a championship and to get to that ultimate goal," Romo said. "And until you do that, you're never going to take the step that is needed to becoming one of the all-time greats.

"I think the Mannings, the Bradys have done that and put themselves in that position, and that's why they're there. That's just exactly the way it's supposed to go. I'm glad it's that way. It's hard to get into that company because you have to do it consistently for a long time and you've got to win a championship."

High praise

At 2-1, the Vikings are one of the league's surprise teams. One reason is ex-Gator star Percy Harvin, who has 277 yards on a league-high 27 catches. He also is fourth in the league at 30 yards per kickoff return and has 42 rushing yards on just eight carries.

"Percy's the best player in the NFL right now," Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said. "I'd like to see anybody challenge that with the way he's carrying the football and the way he's really driving our team along."

Times wires contributed to this report.

Three games doesn't a season make, but as the NFL hits the end of its first quarter this week, several premier teams find themselves in a hole. The Saints are 0-3 and heading to Lambeau Field. The Patriots are under .500 for the first time in seemingly a decade. The Lions are so out of synch, they can't even figure out which game-deciding play they're calling. We break down how high the panic meter should be for last seasons's playoff teams that are struggling on a scale of 1 to 10.

Saints (0-3)

The Saints miss suspended coach Sean Payton more than anyone envisioned. But while quarterback Drew Brees vows they will bounce back, they need more from a defense that appears out of whack. Panic meter: 8

Patriots (1-2)

Quarterback Tom Brady & Co. aren't finishing games like we're used to seeing. Both losses came on last-second field goals (one missed, one made). Odds are coach Bill Belichick will rally the troops. Panic meter: 3

Steelers (1-2)

The Steelers look old. Having to play without their best defensive players, linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu, hasn't helped, but there's only so many fourth-quarter comebacks quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can conjure up. Panic meter: 6

Lions (1-2)

The way the Lions lost (gave away) last week's game to the Titans was fitting for how their season has gone. And in a division with the Packers, Bears and upstart Vikings, there could be trouble in Motown. Panic meter: 6

Packers (1-2)

Everyone knows the Packers should be 2-1 after the replacement officials blew the final call in Monday's loss at Seattle. They're still the class of the NFC North, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers will bring them back. Panic meter: 2

Not so Golden

Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, below, found himself part of the hottest topic around the league after being credited with catching the controversial winning touchdown Monday against the Packers. But Tate, who admitted he committed pass interference by shoving cornerback Sam Shields on the play, also was on the receiving end of a lot of negativity."I've been called a cheater, I don't have any dignity, I'm not a Christian," Tate said; "a lot of hurtful things."

Bush's boast

The fact Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis tore his left ACL last week was devastating to his team, which built its defense around the All-Pro. But he got no pity from Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, left, who believed the injury was karma for how New York attacked the running back. Bush hurt his left knee during the game but is expected to be back today.

"It's like the old saying: What goes around comes around," Bush told a radio station, according to the Palm Beach Post. "They talked all week about putting hot sauce and this and that, and they ended up losing their best player for the rest of the season. So it's sad that it happened because of that, but I'm going to be back."

Jets coach Rex Ryan said Bush "misinterpreted" his comment about hot sauce.

"But the next time we play him," Ryan says, "he's going to get attention from us."

The teams play again Oct. 28.



Overblown officials

There's no question having the regular game officials back in action is a big boost to the NFL— and its fans. But come on. People are acting as if it's the best thing to hit the league since the forward pass. Don't forget the regular officials have (and will continue to) make mistakes, too. Coaches, players and fans have complained about them over the years. That won't change. SI.com's Don Banks put it best: "After the full-on debacle of the replacement ref experiment — which blew up in the NFL's collective face many times over — any mistake made by the regular refs will be magnified like never before. In short, the pressure is on, and there won't be much margin for error."

Overblown officials

There's no question having the regular game officials back in action is a big boost to the NFL— and its fans. But come on. People are acting as if it's the best thing to hit the league since the forward pass. Don't forget the regular officials have (and will continue to) make mistakes, too. Coaches, players and fans have complained about them over the years. That won't change. SI.com's Don Banks put it best: "After the full-on debacle of the replacement ref experiment — which blew up in the NFL's collective face many times over — any mistake made by the regular refs will be magnified like never before. In short, the pressure is on, and there won't be much margin for error."

Around the NFL 09/29/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 29, 2012 5:55pm]
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