Extra points

Gameday

December 25, 2006|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Reporter

Butterfingers

You have to wonder about the level of play in the NFL these days, parity notwithstanding. Dropped passes are epidemic and missed tackles are routine this season. Teams might not allow tackling in practice to prevent injuries, but they certainly practice throwing - and catching. There's no acceptable reason for the high number of drops in games.

Raiders keep sinking

Al Davis once touted the Raiders' commitment to excellence, but his team has gone just 15-48 the past four years and not escaped the basement in the AFC West. Saturday night's loss to Kansas City was the Raiders' eighth in a row and dropped them to 2-13 this season. They are in competition with the wretched Lions for the first pick in the draft and worst franchise in the league. There's no turnaround in sight.

Griese gets a look

Bears coach Lovie Smith has stood behind QB Rex Grossman through his rash of turnovers this season. But with home-field advantage in the NFC locked up, Smith gave some playing time to backup Brian Griese in Detroit just in case, and he performed well despite the rust. Griese directed two field-goal drives in the fourth quarter that helped the uninspired Bears outlast the Lions, 26-21.

Weinke wins, finally

It's unlikely he would have gotten the chance to break the record, but Carolina's 10-3 win over Atlanta spared Chris Weinke the ignominy of chasing Dan Pastorini's NFL record of 21 consecutive losses for a starting quarterback. Weinke had lost 17 straight starts for the Panthers after winning his NFL debut. Pastorini's record spanned 1972 to 1974.

Giant letdown

Tiki Barber wanted a nice send-off in his final game at Giants Stadium, but the Giants were so pathetic in a 30-7 loss to the Saints that he won't be the only person leaving the franchise in the offseason. It seems likely the housecleaning will include coach Tom Coughlin, whose team has lost six of its past seven games. With 71 rushing yards, Barber was the only consistent contributor in the loss.

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