Best doesn't always mean the best
The Titans are 10-0, but don't fit them for Super Bowl rings just yet. The Patriots were 10-0 a year ago, on their way to 16-0. The Colts were 10-0 in 2005. Yet neither last year's Patriots nor the 2005 Colts won the Super Bowl. In fact, since 1980, the team with the best record in the NFL after 10 weeks has won only 12 of the 28 Super Bowls. Since 1994, only six have won the 14 Super Bowls. And in this decade, the team with the best record after 10 weeks has won only three of eight Super Bowls. You might remember one of them. A look back at the past eight seasons and what happened to the teams with the best record after 10 games:
|2007||Patriots||10-0||Lost Super Bowl to Giants.|
|2006||Colts||9-1||Won Super Bowl over Bears.|
|2005||Colts||10-0||Lost division playoff game to Steelers.|
|2004||Patriots||9-1||Won Super Bowl over Eagles.|
|2003||Chiefs||9-1||Lost division playoff game to Colts.|
|2002||Bucs||8-2||Won Super Bowl over Raiders.|
|2001||Five teams||8-2||None won Super Bowl.|
|2000||Five teams||8-2||None won Super Bowl.|
The other Super Bowl
There's another Super Bowl today. Actually, it's called the Grey Cup — the Canadian Football League championship as the Montreal Alouettes host the Calgary Stampeders. And there's sort of a local tie. The Alouettes are coached by Marc Trestman, right, who coached the Bucs quarterbacks in 1987. And Trestman worked as an assistant with the Vikings, 49ers, Lions and Cardinals, and he was the Raiders offensive coordinator when Oakland lost to the Bucs in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Dot … dot … dot
Maybe fired coach Scott Linehan wasn't the problem in St. Louis. Under interim coach Jim Haslett, the Rams have lost their past four by an average of 22.8 points. … During the Colts' three-game win streak, QB Peyton Manning has thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions and has averaged a 105.9 QB rating. But today will be interesting. He faces the Chargers, a team that picked him off six times in a game last season. … The Raiders haven't scored an offensive touchdown since the Sunday before Halloween. That's 13 quarters. … Unless you are a Lions or Jets fan, we all should be rooting for the Bucs to beat the Lions and the Titans to beat the Jets today. That would set up a tasty Thanksgiving Day game between the 11-0 Titans and the 0-11 Lions.
Our picks, as of now, of which two teams will be playing in Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1 in Tampa.
Titans vs. Giants
Nothing changing for now. Although things could change after today. Something says the Titans might stumble at home against the Jets. And the Giants have a test, too, at Arizona to face the hot Cardinals.
Information from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Associated Press and Bergen Record was used in this report.
Turn(er) the page
What's wrong with the Chargers this season? Some had them going to the Super Bowl, and more than a few had them winning the whole thing. Yet they are 4-6 and in danger of not making the playoffs.
One can't help but wonder if it is the head coach. The Chargers are Norv Turner's third NFL team, and his career record is 73-93-1, including 15-11 with a San Diego team that has more talent than that.
Huge game today as the Panthers travel to Atlanta. The Panthers (8-2) lead the NFC South by a game over the Bucs, and a victory over the Falcons (6-4) might end Atlanta's outside shot at a division title.
"It would be a blow to their season," Panthers DE Julius Peppers said. "We understand what this game means to the Falcons. We understand how big this game is for them. So we have to keep that in mind when we come out on the field (today)."
Said Falcons WR Roddy White, "If we want to stay in the playoff picture, we've got to win this game. It's probably going to take 10 wins to get in the playoffs."
Redskins coach Jim Zorn returns to his old stomping grounds today when his team travels to Seattle, where Zorn played quarterback and served as an assistant under coach Mike Holmgren.
That reminded Holmgren of a story. When Zorn was Seattle's quarterback coach, he brought in then-Mariners baseball star John Olerud and a Slip-n-Slide to teach QB Matt Hasselbeck how to slide.
"They had a ball over there. The players had fun doing it," Holmgren said. "I applauded his creativity in trying to think about how to improve the position."
Give me the darn ball
Think everyone around this area was wondering why the Vikings didn't go more to star RB Adrian Peterson, right, in the second half of last week's 19-13 loss to the Bucs? Just imagine what the firestorm has been like in Minnesota.
Peterson leads the NFL in rushing with 1,100 yards on 225 carries and seven touchdowns. Yet, despite being locked in a close game, the Vikings ran 20 offensive plays in the second half, and Peterson only touched the ball six times. They had seven plays in the fourth quarter, and Peterson did not touch the ball once (although one pass intended for him dropped incomplete). Strangest of all, Peterson wasn't even in the game on the Vikings' final drive. Instead, the Vikings went with rookie Chester Taylor.
Even Peterson asked Minnesota writers if they were surprised.
"I don't know if it was just the play call, just a different play that was designed for (Taylor) or whatever it was," Peterson said. "I'm just out there; I'm just playing my game. That's all I can do; that's all I can control."