Tough sledding for Giants
Getting to the playoffs for the 6-5 Giants will be no small task. Of all the NFC teams vying for playoff spots, the Giants have by far the toughest schedule. Their opponents have a .636 winning percentage. The five remaining opponents for the Cowboys, who lead the Giants by a game in the NFC East, have a .429 winning percentage.
Even the Giants' potential wild-card competitors have it easy compared to them. The Lions (.582), Bears (.500), Falcons (.473) and Saints (.455) all have more favorable schedules down the stretch.
Looking to invest some money in an NFL franchise? The Packers invite you to do just that; they will have a stock offering beginning Tuesday. It's just the fifth time in the club's 92-year history that the publicly owned team will have a stock sale.
"We appreciate the interest that fans have expressed in our fifth stock offering," Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said. "We look forward to formally launching the offering."
All details will be available on the team's website -- www.packers.com -- on Tuesday. Among the details:
The price per share will be $250, plus a handling charge.
Shares can be purchased with credit or debit cards and via mail.
The initial offering will be 250,000 shares, and no one can buy more than 200 shares (including any shares purchased in the 1997-98 offering).
The offering will continue until Feb. 29, 2012.
What rookie wall?
This is the time of year when many NFL rookies "hit the wall," a phrase used to describe the time when they would be finished with their college regular season. But Jets rookie defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson doesn't buy it.
"I'm not concerned about a rookie wall," said Wilkerson, the Jets' first-round pick out of Temple. "I love coming in, just trying to work hard to be better. I'm just focused week-in and week-out on getting better."
Wilkerson's play actually has picked up in recent weeks, and he has been cited by the coaching staff for his improvements. Not bad for a guy who had some big shoes to fill in replacing Shaun Ellis, a first-round pick in 2000 who wasn't re-signed this year.
The Orton reunion tour
Kyle Orton has played for two NFL teams -- the Bears and Broncos -- and he might be facing both by the end of the season. Orton, originally drafted by the Bears, was traded to the Broncos in 2009 as part of the Jay Cutler deal. He was released by Denver nearly two weeks ago and was claimed by the Chiefs.
Kansas City is in Chicago for today's game, and though coach Todd Haley was non-committal about starting Orton or Tyler Palko, chances are Orton will see some action. "Kyle might have to play and he might not, but we've got to do it by whatever means possible," Haley said.
After the Bears, the Chiefs face the Jets on the road, host Green Bay and Oakland, and then play at Denver.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is dominating just about every statistical category, including this one: According to STATS Inc., Rodgers has an NFL-high 145.3 rating on play-action passes, nearly 15 points better than Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (130.7).
Former Cardinals guard Conrad Dobler was known as one of the league's dirtiest players in the 1970s, but he thinks Ndamukong Suh stepping on a Packers player during a Thanksgiving Day game was way out of line even by Dobler's standards. "I never did anything like that," Dobler told the Kansas City Star. "It's a pretty violent game . . . People are going to lose their temper. But doing something like that, it's totally ridiculous." Suh was suspended two games, and an appeal of the suspension was denied. He'll miss games against New Orleans and Minnesota.
Since taking over for the injured Michael Vick, Vince Young has only four touchdown passes and nine interceptions in three starts. Not a great audition for a starting job in 2012. Vick is expected back next week against Miami, but coach Andy Reid hinted that Mike Kafka might get the start if Vick isn't ready. Not that it really matters for a 4-8 team now playing out the string.
In his last seven games against the Bengals, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 6-1 with 14 touchdown passes and five interceptions. Pittsburgh hosts the Bengals in a big AFC North matchup today.
Ravens-Browns in Cleveland this week. Ravens QB Joe Flacco has never lost to the Browns (6-0).
Cowboys rookie DeMarco Murray leads all rookie running backs with 834 rushing yards, 761 of which have come in the last six games.
Shahid Khan, who has agreed to purchase the Jaguars from Wayne Weaver, declined an invitation to tomorrow night's Jacksonville-San Diego game. He'll be in New York preparing for a Tuesday morning meeting with the league's finance committee. Barring any unexpected snags, Khan soon will be approved as the team's new owner.