Green Bay; In one moment, the season changed for Vikings ace running back Adrian Peterson. A tackle from Green Bay cornerback Al Harris that caught him down low left Peterson writhing on the ground with a torn ligament in his right knee. â€œThat pain was horrible. I donâ€™t know if youâ€™ve ever experienced pain where you donâ€™t want anybody to touch you. Just be still for a few minutes until it calms down. Thatâ€™s the kind of pain it was.â€ Peterson said. â€œNot really knowing what to expect because it was my knee. I was just praying, God please, donâ€™t let it be anything serious.â€ The injury is a devastating one for Minnesota who depend on Peterson largely for their entire offense. Their quarterback situation has been very unstable with erratic performance by starting QB Tarvaris Jackson and Peterson has accounted for more than two thirds of the teams rushing yardage. The positive news is that the knee injury does not require surgery and is not season ending, but the Vikings will have to look for other avenues to score in the near future, including the upcoming game against the Raiders.
Cincinnati; In a QB quandary that we have seen a few times this past week, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer wins the battle of the throwing arms by passing for 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns but is intercepted four times as the lowly Arizona Cardinals put the Bengals playoff hopes on a shelf that’s probably way too high for them to reach this season. Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle picked off Palmer three times and ran two of those back for touchdowns thus singlehandedly accounting for almost half of Arizona’s points. “It feels terrible, horrible,” Palmer said. “I felt like I let the team and the coaches and the organization and the fans down. When you give up four interceptions and 14 points, it makes it almost impossible to win.” The Cardinals pull to .500 and prepare to take a run at the division leading Seahawks who at 6-4 are really kind of…well, bad.
Buffalo; I don’t like to compliment Tom Brady too much in this era of Patriots domination especially because if you look really closely on the NFL highlight films you can actually see Brady’s head getting bigger. In a season where New England has rampaged across the countryside like a colony of soldier ants laying waste to everything in their path, you watch in numb disbelief wondering if someone, anyone can stop these fiends. Could the Bills possibly be the ones to break the magic spell? Uh…no. If one has any illusions about the chances the NFC will have in this years Super Bowl, now is the time to chuck them out the window like a moldy grapefruit. Tony Romo and the Cowboys were picked off six times by this Buffalo team that just barely lost a gut wrenching game on a last minute field goal. By comparison the Patriots were completely in sync against the Bills, with Randy Moss breaking records left and right. And middle. Now granted, Dallas is the team to beat in their own conference, but in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. Of course, Brett Favre also has one eye on that crown as he leads the Packers to their best record since Vince Lombardi was more than just the name of a trophy. Lets see what happens when those two dogs tussle.
Miami; Dolphins running back Ricky Wilson has been officially reinstated by the NFL after a suspension that’s lasted almost a year and a half for violating the leagues substance abuse policy four times, most recently testing positive for marijuana this past April. Williams, who makes no secret of the fact that he just loves to smoke pot should make an appearance against the Steelers when the Dolphins travel to the rust belt this week, although Miami head coach Cam Cameron hasn’t said for sure that Williams will be part of the new backfield. Yeah, that’s right, the one without any running backs in it. Well I think it’s just great that Williams is coming home. Sure it’s true that the Dolphins conspicuous absence from the playoffs started the moment Williams got traded to Miami from New Orleans, but hey, the situation has changed dramatically â€“ these days you need a team with at least eight losses at mid-season if you want to have any chance at beating the Steelers, especially playing in Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football.
Atlanta; In the dumbest move since boxing promoter Don King played matchmaker between a fork and an electrical socket, Falcons rookie coach Bobby Petrino pulled quarterback Joey Harrington out of the lineup for this weeks game against Tampa Bay and inserted ex-Jaguar Byron Leftwich who is coming off an injury and barely threw 30 passes all year. Harrington, who has led Atlanta to the only two consecutive wins they have had all season heard about the decision after practice one day from the media; seems like Petrino couldn’t even tell his young quarterback to his face about his plans. Well, like the classic B-52 flying fortress, Leftwich bombed in spectacular fashion. Taking snaps behind an offensive line that has been hobbled with it’s own injuries, Leftwich had one of the worst games in his career going 15 of 28 for 106 yards with two interceptions and two fumbles. “To be honest with you, I’ve never been involved with something like this,” Leftwich said. “It’s difficult to deal with. It should bother everybody. I know it bothers me.â€ That’s just great, Byron, at least it shows that your injuries were only sustained from the neck down. Harrington took over late in the game but the wheels were already falling off by then and there wasn’t much he could do except avoid the shutout with a touchdown pass to WR Adam Jennings. Well Booby, if you don’t make it as an NFL coach you could always try running for Fire Marshal â€“ you certainly have a talent for getting any crowd to head for the exits.