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The Fine Fifteen

1. Indianapolis (14-2). Now we'll find out if Peyton Manning playing just three series since Dec. 19 really will affect the Colts offense. I doubt it will.

2. New England (11-6). So I'm leaving Gillette Stadium early Sunday morning, thinking, God, Tom Brady was pretty blah tonight. I get back to my hotel, open up the stat sheet and see: 15-of-27, 201 yards, three touchdowns, no picks, 116.4 rating. Then I think: That's when you know a guy's going to Canton -- he plays blah (for him) and his numbers are Player of the Week worthy.

3. Pittsburgh (12-5). Cincinnati's a pretty good team, but the Steelers won by 14 in both trips to the Bengals' house this year.

4. Denver (13-3). I can't wait to hear some Bronco complaining this week about how Denver's getting no respect. Why should the Broncos be any different from any other team? Everyone from Tom Brady on down is using that as a mantra.

5. Chicago (12-4). Get ready for a 10-7 type game Sunday in the Chicago-Carolina divisional playoff. When the Bears and Panthers met in Week 11, there were 25 offensive possessions and one touchdown -- on a three-play, eight-yard drive after Jake Delhomme was intercepted.

6. Seattle (13-3). I'll tell you a matchup I'm looking forward to Saturday afternoon: Washington's mashing, run-stuffing linebacker, Marcus Washington, versus Mr. Touchdown, Shaun Alexander.

7. Carolina (12-5). DeShaun Foster/Nick Goings: 39 carries, 214 yards. Tiki Barber: 13 carries, 41 yards.

8. Washington (11-6). Wear the heavy armor, Seattle. Headbangers Ball coming to Qwest.

9. Tampa Bay (11-6). This was Mark Brunell's stat line: 7-of-16, 41 yards, no touchdowns, one interception. That was one heck of a defensive show by the Bucs in a losing cause.

10. Jacksonville (12-5). One of the Jags coaches, Alfredo Roberts, told me the other day how Jacksonville players felt they were being overlooked by everyone, getting no respect nationally. I loved his response. He told them to win the game and they'd get respect.

See, that's how this game works. The media makes heroes out of people who win big games in January. The media won't be making any heroes out of the Jaguars this month.

11. New York Giants (11-6). You can't say enough bad things about how the Giants played. The last team that looked so bad in a playoff game was Minnesota, in the 41-0 NFC title game loss to the Giants five years ago.

12. Cincinnati (11-6). No Carson Palmer. No hope.

13. Dallas (9-7). Bill Parcells, 64, is not ready to live in Saratoga six months a year yet.

14. San Diego (9-7). Drew Brees is going to be just fine. Phil Simms had the same labrum surgery and was back throwing the ball within three months. This should not derail the Philip Rivers trade negotiations.

15. Minnesota (9-7). That certainly was a nice purple tie, Brad Childress.

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Wait a minute... aren't there 8 teams left in the playoffs? And Skins are ranked dead last?

Wait a minute again... aren't there 4 AFC teams and 4 NFC teams left in the playoffs? Aren't the AFC teams all ranked higher than all the NFC teams?

Kinda seems like we should just concede defeat right now and save everyone all the trouble of watching us get our butts kicked by those other 7 teams and highest ranked AFC teams. Boy, I sure hope Gibbs doesn't see this... he'll probably just get all depondant and quit.

Funny how they STILL don't get it!

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I have no problem with us being ranked 8th out of the top 8 teams.

We have had to prove ourselves every game this year. If we had really spanked Philly and Tampa the way we did Dallas and NY -- I might be complaining about being 8th of 8.

We certainly have the potential to be a lot higher. We've got to show it on the field this weekend, just like any other.

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I hate that pumpkin headed freek. He is the biggest Giant loving homer ever...puts us last out of reamaining teams...Typical King. If all works out, This will be the sweetest SB ever....no team has been under estimated more than our 05 skins..

Also take note of his obvious disapproval of the luxury box thrown into Greg's contract. What an azzole

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