Wednesday Apple Pie

This week the NFL will showcase two future HOF running backs that have rejuvenated their careers. Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis will line up opposite one another for possibly the last meeting between the two backs in their current uniforms.

The amazing thing about this meeting is that Curtis Martin will officially overtake Jerome Bettis for good on the all-time rushing leader board. In honor of these two incredible athletes, and the fact that I'm in finals week, WAP has compiled a small stat list comparing the two players.

Jerome BettisCurtis Martin
Alma MaterNotre Dame (1993)University of Pittsburgh (1995)
2004 Rushing Average 3.5 4.6
2004 Attempts 177 282
Career Attempts 3296 3209
Career Yearly Attempt Average 274.7 320.9
Career Rushing Yards 12980 12974
Average Yearly Rushing 1081.66 1297.4
Avg. Yards Per Rush 3.9 4.0
Career Rush Touchdowns80 83
Career Average Rush TDs 6.7 8.3
Career 20+ yd Runs 47 65
Career Avg. 20+ yd Runs 3.9 6.5
Longest Run from scrimmage71 yds 70 yds
Drafted by St. Louis (Rd 1, 10) New England (Rd 3, 74)
2004 Rushing Yards 672 1305

Some Stats compiled through NFL.com

Apple Six-Pack Recap

1. Philadelphia 47 Green Bay 17 – I really have only one question. With the Eagles leading 35 – 0 at halftime against the Cheeseheads, what business did Andy Reid have in letting Donovan McNabb onto the field in the second half? I lost a tad of respect for Reid, but I have a feeling he would have changed his tactics looking back.

2. San Diego 20 Denver 17 – Jake Plummer continues to tease the Rocky Mountain fans with brilliance that quickly turns to utter stupidity. Ever since Elway retired, the Broncos have started strong only to falter because of inconsistent quarterback play and a light defensive unit. Do you get the feeling the Broncos will follow this same routine every year? Doesn't this also sound like the Miami Dolphins the past 10 years?

3. Cincinnati 27 Baltimore 26 – The Bengals, who lost by five at home to the Steelers a few weeks ago, have come on strong. Not only have they forced Baltimore to concede the AFC North division title to the Steelers, but this loss also may have knocked the Ravens out of the playoff picture. Granted, Baltimore is still in the playoffs as of today, but with visits to Indianapolis and Pittsburgh still on the schedule, the Ravens have to believe that they must split that series to have a chance. The Bengals, on the other hand, have an even harder road for they must go 4 – 0 to really have a shot at the playoffs, and to do that they must beat Buffalo, New England and Philadelphia.

4. Washington 31 NY Giants 7 – I blame the Giants' woes on the NY media machine which attributed all of the early season problems to Kurt Warner. Looks like those idiots were all wrong. The problem was never Kurt Warner but an underachieving offense with a terrible line. The sad thing was that Tom Coughlin bit into this fish, hook, line and sinker.

5. Indianapolis 51 Tennessee 24 – The Colts were threatened in this game for about a quarter and half. The Titans without Steve McNair put on a good show early and showed the rest of the league how poor the Colts defense really is by turning on the points in the first quarter. However, the Colts, facing a banged up Titan squad, picked apart the secondary in the second half. The key though in this game was that Edge James scored a few touchdowns and that kept the Titans from selling out against the pass.

6. Chicago 24 Minnesota 14 – I don't get this Viking squad. You send them outdoors anywhere in December and they falter. Another problem with this squad has been head coach Mike Tice's decision to keep a revolving running back door.


Power Core Post Season Monitor

AFC - Current Seeding
1. Pittsburgh
2. New England
3. San Diego
4. Indianapolis
WC1: NY Jets
WC2: Baltimore

Holding their own destiny: Denver, Buffalo
Need help: Jacksonville, Cincinnati

NFC - Current Seeding
1. Philadelphia
2. Atlanta
3. Green Bay
4. St. Louis
5. Minnesota
6. Seattle

Holding their own destiny: Carolina, Dallas, Detroit
Need help: NY Giants, Arizona, Chicago, New Orleans, Tampa Bay


Apple Six-Pack

1. Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots: The GOTW lives in Heinz Field this week, but there are six quality, playoff-influencing games this week. The first is in Foxboro, MA. The Bengals are riding high and if their offense should continue to put up the yardage, they may be able to steal a win. It should be noted that two of the last three quarterbacks to beat the Patriots were rookies: Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. Carson Palmer isn't a rookie, but sometimes it's a fact that quarterbacks over-analyze the Patriot scheme and end up mind-screwing themselves.

2. St. Louis Rams at Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have set themselves up pretty well these last few weeks. If they can go 3 – 1 the rest of the way they could pretty much insure themselves a playoff berth at 8 – 8. The Rams have an easier schedule down the stretch than the Seahawks do, but a win in Carolina this week would really put the pressure on the Hawks.

3. Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars: Due to Dallas' upset at Seattle this past Monday night, the Bears must go 3 – 1 the rest of the way to have a shot at the playoffs. The Jaguars played their second-best game of the year Sunday night and still lost by a few feet to the right. They must rebound from the emotional night and take care of business. They have no margin for error right now.

4. Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings: And yet another huge NFC game this week. Neither team can afford a loss, but the Vikings, holding tiebreakers over the Cowboys, could afford to lose. The Seahawks, currently the last wild card team, must win this game because they still must travel to New York to meet the Jets and host the Atlanta Falcons. A 9 – 7 record gets the Seahawks in, but 8 – 8 would knock them out.

5. NY Giants at Baltimore Ravens: Barely holding on to the final spot in the AFC playoff race, the Ravens get a slight breather with a visit from the quickly fading Giants. After blowing a huge lead late against the Bengals, the Ravens defense can't be considered elite any longer.

6. Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills: The Bills may sneak into the playoffs at 9 – 7, but a 10 – 6 record would secure the playoffs for the Bills. This would include wins against the Bengals and Steelers. Not an easy task.


Seeds Of Wisdom From the Girl Apple

Apple: I didn't mean to wake you up with my Sunday night celebration.

Girl Apple: Well, I guess it was well deserved. You won the Super Bowl right?

Apple: All right, smart-alec, I get the point.

Girl Apple: Doesn't the Super Bowl take place in Jacksonville?

Apple: Yes it does.

Girl Apple: Well, good, then at least your team knows how to win in Jacksonville or at least win on the road while trailing with no timeouts left.

Apple: Yes, at least they do. Is there wisdom in your point this week?

Girl Apple: My point is that just like the last few weeks, a win is a win. You can't assume that just because they won this game it means more than last week's win against Washington.

Apple: But it did mean more. They played a playoff caliber team on the road and came back to win.

Girl Apple: But didn't they already do that against Cincinnati and Dallas? My point is that it doesn't matter when or where you beat a team, only that you BEAT them in the first place.

Apple: Touche.

Apple's Fantasy Football Results

TheDallasCowboysSuck 153 (7 - 6) IPeeOnSteelers 120: Next Week vs. Los Locos Leprechauns (6 – 7)
Granted this league only has four teams and all four make the playoffs, but it still is really, really nice to beat up on my buddy Cowboy Matt. Two weeks until the playoffs begin.

The Woodside Geminis 60 (11 - 2) The Chaos Theory 18: Next Week: Playoff Bye Week
After dispatching the Tony Danza's 48 – 41 to split the season series, the Gemini sweep The Chaos Theory with a thumping by scoring the second highest point total in league history. The playoffs start this week and the Gemini will watch during their bye week to get ready for its next opponent.

DCFB 104 (5 - 8) Spider's Spiders 139: Next Week vs. McEwan's Export (4 - 9)
With the playoffs firmly out of reach, the DCFB will end the season a quiet note, having at least doubled their total win output from the previous season.


Bites

  • Boy that Jaguar defense looked very confused on the Steelers' final drive.
  • I also understand Bill Cowher's point of giving the Steelers two opportunities to get a good snap for a field goal. But, one more run up the gut for first down would have been really nice.
  • I know it was within 40 yards, but you had to be really pleased with the way Jeff Reed nailed that final kick. There was no doubt from the minute it left his foot.
  • I hate squib kicks too.
  • There is something wrong with Jeff Fisher's philosophy of having three on-side kicks and a fake punt. It sort of said, "We have no chance on defense." And you know what? The players played like that was the case.
  • Someone needs to just smack Peyton Manning in the mouth even if costs them a 15-yard penalty. He is way too comfortable in the pocket.
  • Mark my words, Indy will not win a Super Bowl this season and the Eagles will represent the NFC by default at the least.

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