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NFL news and notes, Week 10

Power rankings

1. Giants

2. Steelers

3. Patriots

4. Ravens

5. Jets

6. Falcons

Upset alert

Browns (3-5) over Jets (6-2)

All the Browns have done is blown out the defending Super Bowl champion Saints and the Patriots in back-to-back weeks. The Jets will become victim No. 3.

Milestone watch

Eagles QB Michael Vick, left, needs just 25 rushing yards against the Redskins on Monday night to pass Hall of Fame QB Steve Young (4,239) for the second-most rushing yards by a quarterback in league history. Vick has 4,215, behind only Young and Randall Cunningham (4,928).

Debut of the week

New Dallas coach Jason Garrett, left, gets his first crack at cleaning up the Cowboys' 1-7 mess today at New York. Not to mention, it'll be his first audition for keeping the full-time job after this season.

But Garrett, the former offensive coordinator who took over when Wade Phillips was fired, has already made quite an impression in Valley Ranch with his all-business mentality, providing much-needed structure and accountability. From practicing in pads for the first time since training camp to making players run to drills and closing the door for an 8:15 a.m. meeting at 8:13, Garrett has the players' attention.

Said LB Keith Brooking: "There is zero gray area there. It is black and white. Very direct and to the point. No misunderstanding."

Bad-luck Bills

Can it get any worse for the winless Bills (0-8)?

Although they've been competitive, they seem to find new ways to lose. And the tough luck continued last week when LB Shawne Merriman, recently claimed off waivers, got hurt in his first practice with the team.

Sal Maiorana of the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle put it best, writing the first reaction Bills fans must have had upon hearing the news was likely: "This has to be the most cursed team in the NFL."

Times wires, the NFL and contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at

Family 'feud' of the week

The friendly — and funny — banter was aplenty last week between Jets coach Rex Ryan, left, and his twin brother, Rob, Browns defensive coordinator. With the teams set to face each other today, Rex spiced up his weekly news conference by dressing like Rob — wearing a wig and putting extra padding in his already sizable stomach — and saying he put a bounty on his brother, but he was afraid some players might bounce off Rob's belly.

Rex even joked he wanted to put a bounty on Browns coach Eric Mangini, whom Ryan replaced in New York, but "he's small right now. It would be hard to hit that kind of target."

"I think everyone in New York is happy about that," Mangini said, "except maybe Macy's losing one of their floats."

Catching on

Today's Colts-Bengals game will feature three of the top five receiving yardage leaders of the past 10 years; Cincinnati WR Terrell Owens leads all players with 10,963 receiving yards from 2001 to today, with Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco (10,425) and Colts WR Reggie Wayne (10,117) fourth and fifth, respectively.

Line of the week

Turns out, trading QB Jay Cutler to the Bears hasn't been such a bad thing for the Broncos. Though Denver is struggling this season, Cutler hasn't exactly torn it up in the Windy City, throwing 33 interceptions (to 36 touchdowns) in 23 games for the Bears.

Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla pointed out there would be two NFL quarterbacks throwing passes in Denver for the Broncos-Chiefs game today (Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton).

Wrote Kiszla: "While there are angry Broncomaniacs who swear Denver coach Josh McDaniels doesn't know his hoodie from a hole in the ground, this much we know is true. With each passing NFL season, Cutler looks more like Jeff George than John Elway."

Of all the impressive quarterback matchups this week — which started with Thursday's Joe Flacco-Matt Ryan showdown in Atlanta — tonight's Steelers-Patriots game not only pits two of the best teams in the NFL but two Super Bowl champions under center.

There's no question Patriots QB Tom Brady is the perfect package for a face of the NFL, a GQ coverboy with the on-field resume to match (three Super Bowl titles, one NFL MVP). And while Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's off-field problems make it unlikely he'll be sportsman of the year any time soon, he's certainly on pace to match Brady's career numbers. Brady (103-32, .763) and Roethlisberger (63-27, .700) rank 1-2 among active quarterbacks in winning percentage. That doesn't include the playoffs, where Roethlisberger, 28, has just one less Super Bowl ring than Brady, 33. And with the Steelers defense — and one of the league's best owners — he'll likely get a chance to play in a few more.

Problem is, the Steelers must go through New England to get there, and Brady is 5-1 in his career against Pittsburgh. To Roethlisberger, Brady is still the gold standard.

"Tom Brady, who I think is probably the greatest in the game right now, is on the other side," Roethlisberger told the Canadian Press. "You just sit there and watch him; I love watching whether it's on TV or live. Hopefully, he doesn't get to do too much this week, because that means our defense is doing great things."

Ben Roethlisberger

Age: 28

Drafted: 1st round (11th overall), 2004; Miami (Ohio)

Pro Bowls: 1

Super Bowl rings: 2

Playoff record: 8-2

Passing yards: 20,219

TD-INT: 133-84

Passer rating: 92.0

Tom Brady

Age: 33

Drafted: 6th round (199 overall), 2000; Michigan

Pro Bowls: 5

Super Bowl rings: 3 (two MVPs)

Playoff record: 14-4

Passing yards: 32,670

TD-INT: 239-103

Passer rating: 93.5

NFL news and notes, Week 10 11/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 13, 2010 4:03pm]
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