32 Questions: Under the radar?
They tell me there's a football game that will take place on Nov. 4 in Indianapolis, and I hear the visiting team will be the Patriots, proud owners of a 7-0 record and, I'm told, the airwaves, the Internet and the infrastructure.
But, for the life of me, I can't remember who the Pats will be playing at the RCA Dome the Sunday after next in the biggest regular season game ever.
Oh, right – the Indianapolis Colts. I'd forgotten all about the defending Super Bowl champs, they of the 6-0 record, because the Colts are, you know, under the radar.
It's weird how overlooked these Colts are, especially given the evidence to the contrary. I mean, the starting quarterback hosted "Saturday Night Live" last spring and has since been on TV every 3.4 seconds. The head coach wrote a book that shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list this summer.
If you go to Yahoo!'s search engine and type the words "Indianapolis Colts 2007," you get 11,700,000 results.
But hey, what do I know? People tell me the Colts are the stealth contenders, and by gum, that's what they're going to be.
Unless, of course, they happen to beat the Patriots on Nov. 4, as they have the last three times the teams have played.
Then we might start learning a thing or two about this plucky band of nobodies. The Colts might even show up – get this – on somebody's radar.
1. New England Patriots: If Bill Belichick ever needs Matt Cassel to come through in a big game, will the eternal backup be spooked by what went down in Miami?
2. Indianapolis Colts: Pound for pound, does any NFL player have as big an impact on his team's fortunes than Bob Sanders?
3. Dallas Cowboys: They look a lot better when they're not playing the Patriots, don't they?
4. Tennessee Titans: How sweet was Kerry Collins' 46-yard pass to Roydell Williams with 31 seconds remaining in Sunday's victory at Houston, and how many teams would love to have the veteran backup on their rosters right now?
5. Pittsburgh Steelers: This is still a good team, but can we all calm down a little about their Super Bowl prospects?
6. New York Giants: Other than Lawrence Taylor, and possibly Sam Huff, is Michael Strahan the greatest defensive player – no, make that player , period – in franchise history?
7. Green Bay Packers: Now that he has apparently turned his life around, will Koren Robinson start doing the same to opposing defensive backs?
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: After that Chevy Chase-like face plant on Monday Night Football, can we dredge up an old nickname and start calling the Jags the Not Ready For Prime-time Players?
9. Washington Redskins: If defensive coordinator Gregg Williams figures out a way to slow down the Patriots on Sunday, will one of the NFL's highest-paid assistants deserve a raise?
10. Baltimore Ravens: To borrow from Arnold in "Diff'rent Strokes" – and Messrs. McGahee and Lewis during Sunday's pivotal sequence in Buffalo – Whatchu talkin' bout, Billick?
11.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Hey, Bruce Allen: After watching him terrorize Jeff Garcia last Sunday in Detroit, do you think perhaps you should've paid Dewayne White?
12. San Diego Chargers: How can they not be affected by the scariness that – again – is sweeping through the region?
13. Seattle Seahawks: Is Darryl Tapp really that awesome, or is the Rams' offensive line just that atrocious?
14. Detroit Lions: When Rod Marinelli compares the Lions' season to being "in a meat grinder," he's not thinking of putting a Jack Del Rio-like prop in the locker room, is he?
15. Chicago Bears: We understood he was a smart guy who could manage a game, but who knew Brian Griese could flat-out sling it?
16. Carolina Panthers: Why isn't DeAngelo Williams DeStarter over DeShaun Foster?
17. Kansas City Chiefs: That 54-yard run against the Raiders by Larry Johnson was his career best? Really?
18. Arizona Cardinals: Is this team a tease or what?
19. Denver Broncos: Was that a season-saving victory, or will the bad Broncos return next Sunday?
20. Cleveland Browns: Yo, Brownies, are you going to let a guy on the Rams talk smack like that?
21. New Orleans Saints: Hey, you people at the Superdome Sunday who booed Joe Horn – what the hell were you thinking?
22. Houston Texans: Where did that come from, Sage Rosenfels?
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Is this just a rough patch, or is the Andy Reid era wheezing to an inglorious end?
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Is it possible that this team's dysfunction goes beyond Chad Johnson's perceived selfishness?
25. Oakland Raiders: Has anyone noticed that Warren Sapp is still really, really good?
26. Buffalo Bills: If Ralph Wilson gets those home games in Toronto he asked for at the league meetings Tuesday, does Willis McGahee get an assist?
27. Minnesota Vikings: Did Tarvaris Jackson fracture that finger during Sunday's game, or was it the work of an angry Vikings fan in the Texas Stadium parking lot?
28. Atlanta Falcons: Can we at least give this team some credit for continuing to battle?
29. New York Jets: Has "Mangenius" officially become an ironic nickname yet?
30. San Francisco 49ers: If first-year offensive coordinator Jim Hostler lacks credibility with some 49ers players, how are the rest of us supposed to feel about him?
31. Miami Dolphins: When Londoners get a load of this team, will there finally be payback for Gary Glitter?
32. St. Louis Rams: With guys like Claude Terrell playing for him, how could Scott Linehan's job not be in jeopardy?