By: Bob George/BosSports.net
November 23, 2005

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How in the world do you replace a legend like Jan Stenerud? Head to Foxborough and get your answer. From 1967 to 1993 the Kansas City Chiefs relied on just two kickers. The second of those began his career in 1978 with a two-game stint with the Patriots, forming a bridge between regular kicker John Smith and future December hero David Posey. Nick Lowery kicked 18 seasons in the NFL, most of them in Kansas City. He spent his last three seasons as a Jet. He was 383 for 479 on field goals (80 percent) and hit on all but six of 568 conversion attempts. He booms one into the end zone at Arrowhead Stadium, and Bethel Johnson has to take a knee.

More reason not to worry about the Patriots: All their division foes lost Sunday.

Two lost by shutout.

Kurt Warner did well to come back to St. Louis and help beat his former mates.

No such luck for Antowain Smith.

Tommy Maddox is to Pittsburgh what Mark Bellhorn was to Boston when he was still with the Red Sox.

The poor Jets had to go with old friend Kliff Kingsbury on Sunday. That goose egg stayed on the scoreboard.

Indianapolis versus Cincinnati looked like Saturday night's classic between USC and Fresno State.

Including the fact that the top dog managed to come out ahead in the end anyway.

Throw Benjamin Watson the damn ball.

Terrell Owens will leave Philadelphia. So should Donovan McNabb. Those crummy Philly fans don't deserve someone so classy.

Geek of the week: Renowned Miami Herald columnist Edwin Pope pleaded for the Dolphins to use Sage Rosenfels on Sunday. They did. Fish lose to Cleveland, 22-0.

Oh, it's Pope who gets the award, not Rosenfels.

All of Patriot Nation will pause and think of their beloved head coach this week, as Steve Belichick was felled Saturday night by a heart attack at age 86. In the movie Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi has this bit of wisdom: "Is no bad student. Only bad teacher." The opposite applies to Bill's dad. What football smarts Steve imparted to Bill ranks amongst the best such father and son combination in pro football history.

And his leading his troops on Sunday with such a heavy heart goes down as one of the most compelling examples of "team first" you will ever see. There is simply no better coach or manager anywhere than Bill Belichick.

13-3 is called a "typical Bears win".

Thanks to the UNLV hoop star, everyone for eternity named Larry Johnson will be called "Grandma".

Death of another Giant: P. Robert Tisch passed away just weeks after Wellington Mara. Here's hoping Tom Coughlin gets a nice slice of perspective when he gets so angry.

The Jaguars are 7-3, but they just don't scare you.

Sooner or later, San Francisco will win a game like Sunday. Just not yet.

The Patriots still need to try and get Troy Brown back. In the secondary.

Keep Thanksgiving in Detroit. But could Dallas yield its other slot on Thursday for a bit? They just don't mark the time like Motown does.

Nobody is complaining about Drew Bledsoe now.

Just sitting around and waiting for Jamal Lewis to become Jamal Lewis once again.

Back to school: I fell asleep last night, and dreamed that the Harvard-Yale game had BCS implications.

Face it, it gets more buildup than games that do.

Ty Law. Damien Woody. Joe Andruzzi. Miss 'em?

How come Peyton Manning is perceived as cerebral when he sounds like he has an IQ less than his jersey number?

San Diego is the Notre Dame of the NFL. Those retro uniforms come out like the green jerseys do in South Bend.

Betcha Joe Gibbs is more upset over this week than last week.

To say nothing of Daniel Snyder, watching an old Redskin coach come into his crib and win.

Mike McKenzie and Will Smith belong in the Patriot Hall of Shame after their thug-like acts on Sunday.

Someone tell Steve Mariucci that things could be worse. He could be back in San Francisco.

Let's add Muhsin Muhammad to the "let's stick it to your old team" parade.

Newest nighttime fantasy: Patriots have to play AFC Championship Game at Indianapolis. And then the old way finally clicks. Colt undefeated season goes down the tubes. Belichick back in Manning's head again.

By the way, if the Patriots get that far, they've never lost an AFC title game.

Look who's got the best record in the NFC: the Seattle Seahawks.

Remember him: You're lying if you knew that Jerrel Wilson was a former Patriot. For 15 of his 16 seasons, Wilson was the punter for the Chiefs and distinguished himself as the premier punter of his day until Ray Guy came along. Known for his spectacular kicking style by jumping in the air while kicking and getting almost perfectly vertical leg extension, Wilson led the AFL in punting twice and the NFL in punting twice. He was brilliant at pinning the opposition deep in its own end. For his final season, 1978, he found his way to Foxborough, taking over for the injured Mike Patrick. He averaged only 35.6 gross yards per punt, the lowest average of his career. But Wilson did enjoy being part of a division winner that year, the first AFC East title in Patriot history. In the playoff loss to Houston, he punted four times for a 43.3 yard average, with a long of 55 yards.

The Patriots are 6-4. Lousy record for the two-time champs, huh?

Well, let's see. The 2001 Patriots were at one time 5-5.

Then they ran the table. Finished 11-5. Got a two seed.

And kept running the table all the way to New Orleans.

Moral: This season ain't over yet.


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