NFL Week 14 Runaround: What's the Rush?
Adrian Peterson has undoubtedly set the NFL on fire this year.
Peterson led the league in rushing going into Week 14, despite having missed two games with an injured knee. Sunday, he was kind enough to give the rest of the league’s rushers a reprieve—by gaining only three yards in the Vikings’ win.
But where is everybody else?
LaDainian Tomlinson and Willie Parker are closing in, but they’ve had several extra games to play catch-up. Willis McGahee, Brian Westbrook, and Clinton Portis are set to breeze by 1,000 yards too.
The list of rushers gets much thinner, with the likes of little-known Justin Fargas and rundown Edgerrin James in the mix.
A big problem has been injuries. Steven Jackson and Larry Johnson were expected to have big seasons, but they've had a hard time staying on the field. Other running games have struggled to get going because of turnover in the backfield.
Tomlinson led the NFL with over 1,800 yards last year, and three other runners topped 1,600. With only three games left in the 2007 season, it'll be interesting to see who emerges as the league’s rushing king—and how far the bar continues to drop.
Team of the Week: Texans
Riding a four-game winning streak, the Buccaneers looked like a good bet to make Houston their fifth straight victim this weekend.
Sage Rosenfels had other ideas.
The backup quarterback threw for three touchdowns, and the Texans took advantage of Tampa’s ineffectiveness and carelessness. The win was a pleasant surprise in a season of progress—but the Texans' faint playoff hopes aren't helped by the dates with the Colts and Jaguars still looming on the schedule.
At least Houston has something to celebrate in the meantime.
Bad Team of the Week: Dolphins
Miami’s best chance to not finish winless came Sunday at Buffalo—and the Dolphins couldn't have blown it more spectacularly.
Buffalo jumped out to a 21-0 lead courtesy of bad defense and bad turnovers. And things didn’t get much better from there.
Cleo Lemon replaced starter John Beck in the first quarter, to no avail. The Dolphins trailed 31-7 at halftime. And two Buffalo running backs ran for over 100 yards.
With games against Baltimore and New England in the next two weeks, Miami’s last hope may lie with Cincinnati in Week 17.
If hope is what you want to call it.
Kevan Lee’s Beverage of the Week: Dr. Pepper
If someone were to ask me what Dr. Pepper tastes like, I would have no idea what to tell them.
Spices? Ginger? Pharmaceuticals?
Whatever it tastes like, it is good. And whoever thought it up is a genius.
Nap of the Week
The Steelers-Patriots game kept me awake all afternoon...which is more than I can say about Anthony Smith’s pass defense.
Playoff Contender: Bills
It seems to silly to call the Bills contenders—but they suddenly find themselves just one game out of the AFC Wild Card hunt.
Buffalo's chasing the Browns, and just happens to travel to Cleveland next week for an incredibly important game. If the Bills find a way to win, they still face two tough NFC East foes to finish the season.
Things look difficult, in other words, but that seems to be the modus operandi for this Buffalo team in 2007.
Playoff Pretender: Titans
Sunday’s collapse against the Chargers was hard to watch, but it will be even harder to stomach if it costs Tennessee a playoff spot.
Chances are good that the Titans can finish 9-7, but it may take a 10-6 record to make the postseason in the tough AFC.
Premature MVP Ballot
1. Tom Brady: Maybe he’s just more comfortable on Sunday afternoons (note: Super Bowl played on Sunday afternoon).
2. Tony Romo: A last-second win against the Lions would mean a lot more if it hadn’t come against the Lions.
3. Brett Favre: SI’s Sportsman of the Year award was just what Peter King asked Santa for Christmas.
Weekly Super Bowl Prediction: Colts vs. Vikings
Peyton Manning versus Tarvaris Jackson—now there’s a matchup for the ages.
For more, visit www.kevanlee.com.
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