The Cardinals came through Sunday with one of their biggest victories since the Rod Tidwell-fueled triumph over the Cowboys in "Jerry Maguire," defeating the previously undefeated Steelers, 21-14, in front of 64,844 titillated fans at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Yet on Monday, all anyone in the Valley of the Sun wanted to talk about was Matt Leinart and his loose lips.
Leinart, frustrated by coach Ken Whisenhunt's quarterback-swapping sensibilities, expressed his unhappiness to me late Sunday in a Scottsdale, Ariz., steakhouse. He has since said that he doesn't remember "ever saying any of those things to anyone."
How is this possible? The explanation, I believe, lies in these comments from backup quarterback Kurt Warner, who rooms with Leinart at the team hotel the night before games.
"Matt talks in his sleep," Warner said Sunday as he mingled at the post-game barbecue in the players' parking lot. "Last night he was talking about plays, saying, 'I don't like that one; you should run this.' From what he tells me, he's always been that way. Supposedly you can talk back to him while he's sleeping and he'll have a conversation with you."
Now, before we go top to bottom with this week's questions, let's give a wake-up call to the aghast Cardinals fans who can't believe Leinart had the gall to exercise his free-speech rights:
Listen up, desert-dwellers: This musical-quarterbacks thing is unconventional, and if you think the guy who starts the game and gets yanked is going to be gung-ho about it, you've had too many cactus coolers. Because, trust me, the last thing you want is a future franchise quarterback who'd take this in stride.
Leinart is going to be a great player for a long, long time. He'll get through this, but in the meantime, stop playing quote police and start appreciating the fact that your team, for once, enters October with a pulse, not to mention an unlikely spot in the top 10.
2. Indianapolis Colts: Even after winning it all, would Tony Dungy still like to stick it to the Glazers this Sunday or is he too nice a guy to think that way?
3. Dallas Cowboys: With the possible exception of the Packers, is any NFL team having more fun?
6. Pittsburgh Steelers: He lost his first game as a head coach, but how cool did Mike Tomlin look wearing those shades indoors on Sunday?
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Why do I get the counterintuitive feeling that this team will keep rolling without its Cadillac?
15. Detroit Lions: You've been planning this all along, haven't you, Matt Millen?
17. Oakland Raiders: Don't you think Huggy Bear's son earned himself a mink coat on Sunday?
21. Cincinnati Bengals: If these guys aren't scared of the cops, will they really be intimidated by a Marvin Lewis tantrum?
22. New York Jets: How long until a season-ticket holder files a class-action suit against the Jets' secondary?
24. San Francisco 49ers: Would you believe there are some Californians who wish Norv Turner would get the hell back to town?
30. Miami Dolphins: When a South Florida resident with car trouble hears the word "camshaft," does he or she immediately start thinking of owner Wayne Huizenga?
31. St. Louis Rams: In Gus we trust?
32. San Diego Chargers: Hey, Mr. Spanos – is there any way you can get that Pete Carroll deal done before Nov. 10?