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Giants Playoff Possibilities: NFC East Will Be Won Sunday Against Cowboys

If the Giants beat Dallas, they win the NFC East. (AP photo)
It doesn't get any bigger than the New York Giants hosting the Dallas Cowboys with the NFC East title on the line in primetime Sunday night. The stakes are simple for both teams - the winner goes to the postseason as division champs, while the loser goes home and is eliminated from playoff contention.

Unlike the wild chase for the final playoff spot in the AFC, this battle for the NFC's fourth-seed is simple.

Jets Playoff Possibilities: Breaking Down What Has To Happen Sunday For The Jets To Make Postseason

Prayer will be key for the Jets and their fans Sunday. (AP photo)
In about 24 hours the final chase for the remaining playoff berth in the AFC will be begin. The New York Jets, coming off a devastating loss to the New York Giants last Saturday, put themselves in a dire situation heading into the final week of the season. But, while it is going to take a minor miracle for the team to grab that final wild card spot at the end of the day, it's not an unrealistic dream.

The Jets have a tough road to reach the postseason, make no mistake about it, but it's nowhere near impossible. First, the obvious, the Jets must defeat the Miami Dolphins in their 1 p.m. game Sunday. The Dolphins are not the same team the Jets dominated back in October, as they've won five of their last eight games. Before that they were 0-7. This one won't be easy for the Jets, but Miami will be without running back Reggie Bush, which is a huge loss for them. The Jets also will be playing the scoreboard, as they not only need to beat the Dolphins, but get help from other teams around the league as well.

At the same time the Jets will be playing Sunday, the Tennessee Titans will be on the road against the Houston Texans. Both the Jets and Titans are currently 8-7, but Tennessee owns the tiebreaker. That means the Titans must lose to the Texans for the Jets to stay alive. On paper, this would be a great game for the Jets. But Houston is already locked into the three-seed, so they have little to play for other than pride. The Texans (10-5) could rest a lot of players to get ready for their first-round playoff game, which, interestingly enough, would be against the Jets. Already, running back Arian Foster has been ruled out for the game, but with Ben Tate and the returning Andre Johnson, it's not like the Texans won't have any offense to speak of.

If the Texans beat the Titans and the Jets beat the Dolphins, then it's on to the 4 p.m. games.

The Jets need two of three things to happen in the late games. First, the Cincinnati Bengals must lose at home to the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals hold a one-game lead over the Jets for the final wild card berth, but the Jets would win the tiebreaker if both were tied at the end of the day. While the Bengals have everything to play for, as if they win, they will clinch the final playoff berth, Baltimore has a lot to play for as well. If the Ravens win, they will clinch their first AFC North title since 2006. They also would get a first-round bye in the postseason. If the Ravens lose and the Steelers beat the Browns, they will play in the wild card round. That is great news for the Jets, who will be rooting hard for the Ravens to keep their season alive. (Of course, considering the Jets win and the Titans lose earlier in the day.)

The Jets will also have their eye on two other games during the 4 p.m. window that hold the key to the postseason. The Jets need either the Denver Broncos to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs or the Oakland Raiders to lose to the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs beat the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers two weeks ago but lost to the Raiders in overtime last week. Still, the team is playing hard for interim coach Romeo Crennel and will be motivated to win the game. The Chargers made a run to get themselves back into the AFC West title chase, but a big loss to the Detroit Lions last week knocked them out. If San Diego plays up to its potential, they could easily beat the Raiders. But which San Diego team shows up to play is always a question mark.

Yes, it's going to take a minor miracle for the Jets to make the postseason, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. Beat the Dolphins and have the Bengals, Titans and either the Raiders or Broncos lose, and the Jets will be in the playoffs for the third straight year. Stranger things have happened.

College Football Bowl Picks: Fiesta, Orange, Sugar, Rose, Gator And More

Stanford takes on Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. (AP photo)
Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college bowl games of the week
Bowl Week: 6-3 (spread); 6-3 (overall); 1-2 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 7-2 (spread)
This Season: 64-46-1 (spread); 85-26 (overall); 6-6 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season: 63-47-1 (spread)

Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2
No. 4 Stanford vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: If you’ve read my ramblings at all you know I believe Oklahoma State should be playing for the BCS national championship. But the Cowboys are regulated to the Fiesta Bowl against Stanford in what could be the best bowl game of the season. Oklahoma State and Stanford both have outstanding offenses led by tremendous quarterbacks. Brandon Weeden leads the Cowboys, while Andrew Luck, the likely No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, runs the Cardinal offense. With those two players at the helm both teams could reach 50 points. If the Cowboys are motivated, and it’s a question mark after they were left out of the title game, they will beat the Cardinal. Oklahoma State is set to make another statement. The Pick: Oklahoma State (-3.5) wins it 38-28.

NFL Week 16 Winners And Losers: Winners (Brees, Lions, Newton) And Losers (Rams, Vikings, Morris, More)

In this installment of Thoughts & Observations from Week 16 of the NFL season, we break down the top four winners and the top four losers from the week that was. Have your own thoughts? Let everyone know in the comments section below. But, for now, it's time for some winners and losers.

Drew Brees passed Dan Marino Monday. (AP photo)
* Drew Brees: With a 9-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles with 2:51 left against the Falcons Monday night, Brees broke a record that stood for almost 30 years. Brees set the all-time high for passing yards in a season with the completion, breaking former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino's record that was set in 1984. The Saints quarterback has 5,087 passing yards with still one game to play, if coach Sean Payton doesn't hold him out of the season finale. Marino threw for 5,084 yards during the '84 season. "Honestly, I was really trying not to think about the record or anything," Brees said. "I knew we were close. A couple guys mentioned stuff to me on the sideline. I didn't want to hear it. It's like a pitcher with a no-hitter, I guess." Everyone knows Brees is one of the game's elite quarterbacks, but his numbers are reaching all-time highs. In addition to the passing record he now holds, he also moved past Joe Montana and Vinny Testaverde for ninth place in career touchdown passes, with 276. And, apparently, everyone loves Brees, making it a record held by a guy nobody would complain about. "If I could have put him on my shoulders and paraded him around the whole stadium I would have done that. He deserves it," offensive lineman Carl Nicks said. "It's like a movie, man. Just a movie ending. It's beautiful. You could tell by everyone's reaction after he did it how much people care about that guy. We all love him." The Saints, oh yeah, won the NFC South with the victory.

College Football Bowl Picks: We Pick Holiday, Champs Sports, Alamo, Pinstripe, Insight, Sun, And More

Oklahoma got GameDay a victory against Iowa. (AP photo)
Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college bowl games of the week
Heisman Week: 1-1 (spread); 2-0 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 1-1 (spread)
This Season: 58-43-1 (spread); 79-23 (overall); 5-4 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season: 56-45-1 (spread)

Meineke Car Care Bowl, Dec. 31
Texas A&M vs. Northwestern, 12 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: Texas A&M has lost four of their last five games and has already fired head coach Mike Sherman in a disappointing season. Northwestern has gone 4-1 over its last five, but hasn’t won a bowl game since the 1949 Rose Bowl, going 0-for-8 since. So, what gives? Northwestern lives and dies by the run, but Texas A&M is 13th in the nation at stopping the ground attack. That doesn’t bode well for the Wildcats. If the Aggies, who are not only changing coaches next season but conferences as well, play up to their potential, they win easily. But if the motivation is gone after seeing their coach fired, then Northwestern has a shot. The Pick: Texas A&M (-10) wins it 31-20.

Giants Analysis: NFC East Showdown Between Cowboys And Giants Is On, But Will Big Blue Show Up?

It's winner-take-all for Giants-Cowboys Sunday. (AP photo)
   By Steve Morton  
You couldn’t ask for a more exciting finish to a season: two divisional foes duking it out in the final game of the season — winner takes all while the loser pulls up some sofa and watches the playoffs at home like the rest of us.

NFC East rivals, New York Giants (8-7) and Dallas Cowboys (8-7), face-off in a prime time game on Sunday Night Football this weekend rekindling the sparks of a long-time, storied Giants-Cowboys rivalry.

Sure the NFC East was down in 2011 — had an off year. Philadelphia laid eggs everywhere it played just about, failing to live up to huge expectations by analysts. And Washington…well Washington was its usually sloppy self. Both the Giants and Cowboys were inconsistent and frustrating for fans to watch and each gave away a division lead twice to one another.

Giants Defeat Jets: We Hand Out Game Falls (Jets Entire Organization, Sanchez, Holmes, More) And Game Balls (Revis Is The One)

We're handing out game balls and game falls after the Jets were dealt a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Giants, 29-14, Saturday night. The Jets fell to 8-7 with the loss and have fallen out of playoff position.

The Game Falls
Mark Sanchez played terrible against Giants. (AP photo)
* New York Jets: This one is pretty obvious. The Jets came into this game talking big, mostly from head coach Rex Ryan, and not only were knocked out of the sixth and final wild card spot after losing big to the Giants, but dropped the most important game in the history of the Battle for New York rivalry. Make no mistake, this was a monumentally huge game for the Jets, but they couldn't get the job done. Ryan and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer were simply terrible, not only on game day, but leading up to the game as well. Ryan talked way too much before the game, turning a Giants team that probably could care less about the Jets coming in, into a team filled with hate. It was pretty obvious judging by the shouting match Ryan and Brandon Jacobs had after the game. Schottenheimer showed again what a pathetic play-caller he is by sending in garbage play after garbage play for quarterback Mark Sanchez to run. Sanchez didn't do himself any favors either, playing horrible in his latest biggest moment as this team's franchise quarterback. The only thing Sanchez proved was he isn't a franchise quarterback. I'm not even sure you can add the word "yet" to that statement anymore. Sanchez has been that bad this season, to the point where the team might actually have to look for another quarterback this offseason. Of course, good quarterbacks almost never become available. The Jets defense played great overall, but a 99-yard touchdown from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz changed the game and outcome forever. Up to that point, the Jets were dominating the game. After that, there was no spark. There was no heart on offense for sure. I questioned the Jets' moves this offseason, saying the team was worse this year than they were the previous two seasons. It's come into focus now. The Jets have a long way to go if they want to be a championship contender. Start by firing Schottenheimer. At least everyone would believe the team is taking a step in the right direction.

Jets Analysis: Road To The Postseason Got A Lot Harder For Jets After Loss To Giants, But It's Not A Lost Cause

Mark Sanchez scores a TD, one of the rare highlights. (AP photo)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Jets took a near fatal blow to their playoff chances with a devastating loss to the Giants Saturday afternoon, and while the postseason future may appear bleak, it's not completely out of the realm of possibility. In fact, each scenario could easily end in the Jets' favor.

First, the Jets must beat the Dolphins to have any shot at making the playoffs. Miami is 5-10 and is coming off a 27-24 loss to the Patriots that may have ruined their will. They led 17-0 at the half before losing the game. A victory by the Jets would put them at 9-7 for the season.

Giants Defeat Jets: Battle For New York Proves Jets Aren't Ready To Take Over City's Football Landscape

It was a bad day for Shonn Greene and the Jets. (AP photo)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Make no mistake, this was a monumentally huge game for the New York Jets. As much as the Jets could have taken a huge step toward the postseason, and that is the ultimate goal, this game was all about breaking free from the other New York team once and for all.

Beat the Giants. Own New York. Then - then - it's on to the playoffs.

The atmosphere in the stadium Saturday afternoon was electric. While that statement is typically thrown out at pretty much every event in the world, it was the case for Jets-Giants. Jets fans were ready. Jets fans were loud. Giants fans were there. A lot of Giants fans were there. But they were quiet; and a lot of them undercover, deciding not to show off their blue jerseys as the home team had the home crowd behind them.

Giants At Jets: We Break Down And Debate The Biggest Game In The History Of This Growing Rivalry

  Giants at Jets Preview Special  
GameDay's Brad Carroll and Steve Morton go back-and-forth in anticipation of the biggest Jets-Giants game in history Saturday night, where the winner will take a big step toward qualifying for the playoffs, while the loser most likely will not make the postseason at all. Got a response or comment of your own on the rivalry? We want to read it in the comments section below.

Brad Carroll
The question is does this game finally take the rivalry to the next level, seeing as both teams need to win to keep their realistic postseason dreams alive?

Steve Morton
I'd say so. It's hard to get excited about it because the Giants are going down in flames rather than "up and coming." Still, the playoffs are involved and both teams need the win. I guess the attention/focus will be less on the winner and more on the loser of the game, because it will cap off a "collapse" for either.

NFL Week 15 Winners And Losers: We Name Winners (Crennel, Grossman, Colts, More) And Losers (Ravens, Steelers, More)

In this installment of Thoughts & Observations from Week 15 of the NFL season, we break down the top four winners and the top four losers from the week that was. Have your own thoughts? Let everyone know in the comments section below. But, for now, it's time for some winners and losers.

Romeo Crennel and the happy Chiefs. (AP photo)
* Romeo Crennel: If there was a bigger winner this past Sunday than the Kansas City Chiefs interim head coach I'd love to hear about it. Not only did Crennel lead the Chiefs to a huge upset over the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers, but he may have clinched the head coaching job for himself next season. The Chiefs had lost five of their last six games, including a humiliating loss to the Jets that cost coach Todd Haley his job. Crennel, who would have been hard-pressed to have become an NFL head coach again, got to show the Chiefs organization how much the players want him to take over next season with a dominating defensive performance in a 19-14 win over Green Bay. "Everybody had marked it off as a win for the Packers, but those guys in the locker room, they're football players," Crennel said. "They decided they were not going to lay down, they were not going to give up, so they went out and played a tremendous game." The defense held Aaron Rodgers to just 17-for-35 passing for 235 yards and a touchdown. It was just the third time Rodgers had completed less than 50 percent of his passes in his career. Crennel may just have gotten himself another head coaching job because of that performance.

Giants Analysis: Will It Be A Giant Finish, Or Are They Simply Finished?

Tom Coughlin could be out of a job at year's end. (AP photo).
   By Steve Morton  
Giants fans expecting a big finish from Big Blue may be in for a giant disappointment. In fact, we may have already seen the end to the New York Giants' season.

With the season on the line, the Giants turned in a gutless, uninspired and heartless performance in front of their home crowd Sunday, losing to Washington 23-10. I just have to ask, “how does a team lose to Rex Grossman twice in one season?”

Are the Giants unaware that they are in the NFC East? That’s the third time this season the Giants have lost to a division team with a sub-.500 win percentage — Washington (5-9) twice and Philadelphia (6-8). Twice those losses unfolded in MetLife Stadium, each time leaving the Giants looking lost, perplexed, unmotivated. Do the Giants care about the 12th man at all?

Jets Lose To Eagles: We Hand Out Game Falls (Holmes, Hunter, Ryan, Jets Safeties) And Game Balls (?)

We're handing out game balls and game falls after the Jets were destroyed by the Philadelphia Eagles, 45-19, Sunday night. The Jets fell to 8-6 with the loss, but thanks to help from the Lions and Colts, they still currently own the sixth and final wild card playoff spot.

The Game Falls
Santonio Holmes had a rough game. (AP photo)
* Santonio Holmes: The game was more or less lost in the first quarter, as two huge blunders by Holmes cost the Jets 14 quick points, something the Jets couldn't recover from. First, Holmes caught a pass near midfield with the Jets driving but fumbled after getting hit. The Eagles picked up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown. Just minutes later, the Jets caused a turnover on special teams and were in scoring position. Mark Sanchez found an open Holmes over the middle, which could have stemmed Philadelphia's momentum and set up at least a field goal. But the ball went right through his hands and Asante Samuel intercepted the pass. The Eagles were soon up 14-0, turning the pick into a touchdown. Holmes was directly responsible for the early hole. Even when Holmes did something right, scoring on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez to cut the Eagles' lead to 28-10, he finished with another embarrassing moment. Holmes was called for a 15-yard penalty after celebrating his score by imitating an eagle flying with his arms flailing. The move was even more stupid as just a couple weeks ago Bills receiver Stevie Johnson played a role in costing his team a win against the Jets for imitating Holmes' celebration in the end zone. It was a terrible performance by a player who has been a complete disappointment since signing his mega deal this offseason.

Jets Analysis: Jets Destroyed By Eagles, But Thanks To Lions & Colts, It's Still Win And In For Wild Card

Plaxico Burress had one highlight for the Jets Sunday. (AP photo)
Never can I remember a time being so happy as a Jets fan with the team getting destroyed on the football field. In the fourth quarter the Jets were getting ripped by the Eagles 45-13. But here I was, with every Jets fan on the planet in the know, in pure elation. Why? Because the Detroit Lions came to the rescue.

With the Jets playoff hopes dangling by a thread and almost zero hope existing after the Lions fell behind the Oakland Raiders by 13 in the fourth quarter, things were about as depressing as they could be. The Jets, with the eminent loss to the Eagles, were poised to fall behind the Raiders for the sixth and final wild card spot. The Raiders, who would have had the same record, own a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Jets.

NFL Week 14 Winners And Losers: Winners (Tebow, Yates, JPP, More) & Losers (Cowboys, Harrison, More)

In this installment of Thoughts & Observations from Week 14 of the NFL season, we break down the top four winners and the top four losers from the week that was. Have your own thoughts? Let everyone know in the comments section below. But, for now, it's time for some winners and losers.

Tebow Time struck the Bears Sunday. (AP photo)
* Tim Tebow: The whole Tebow Time phenomenon reached the unbelievable stage against the Chicago Bears Sunday. Down 10-0 with 2:08 to go in the game, Tebow led another amazing comeback, tying the game in regulation after a touchdown and long field goal and then winning it in overtime. "If you believe," Tebow said, "then unbelievable things can sometimes be possible." This comeback, which included field goals by Matt Prater of 59 and 51 yards, has the Broncos all alone in first place in the AFC West, one game in front of the Raiders. When you realize how the Broncos even got the opportunity to tie the game and win it, divine intervention will jump right to the forefront. With Tebow under center, it always will. Of course, it was simple stupidity by a veteran player that cost Chicago the victory. Running back Marion Barber first ran out of bounds when the Bears were running out the clock at the end of the game, which gave Tebow enough time to tie the game. Then, in overtime, Barber fumbled with the Bears in field goal range, setting up the game-winning drive by Tebow. The Broncos quarterback, however, took advantage of the opportunities and completed the sixth comeback of his career in just 11 starts. With Tebow the Broncos are thinking big, especially having won six of their last seven games. "It's not Tebow Time," he said. "It's Broncos Time."

College GameDay Rewind Week 15: Don't Let Braun Off The Hook, Maybe Jets Can Finally Get Rid Of Schottenheimer And The Heisman

Ryan Braun should be stripped of the MVP award. (AP photo)
Like almost everyone else who follows the game of baseball, I was shocked when news broke Saturday night that reigning Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The National League’s best player had suddenly gone from a poster boy for doing everything right to someone who will forever be tainted with the stigma of being a cheat.

Equally shocking, however, are those in the media that have come to Braun’s defense, not saying he isn’t guilty, but saying let due process take care of the problem before we rush to judgment. And, oh yeah, don’t even think about taking away his MVP award.

Are you kidding me? I don’t care if the guy is the greatest person in the world, unless proven innocent, and no test has been challenged successfully since baseball started the process, he should be put in the same sentence with Jose Canseco and Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez and Mark McGwire.

Jets Analysis: Near Perfect Sunday Puts Jets All By Themselves In Wild Card Position, Control Their Destiny

LaDainian Tomlinson scores a touchdown. (AP photo)
Thanks to Bears running back Marion Barber, it wasn't a perfect Sunday for the New York Jets and their fans, but it was about as close as it can get. With the Jets victory over the Chiefs, and three other outcomes going their way, Gang Green now controls their own playoff destiny.

If the Jets win their final three games this season (at Philadelphia, vs. Giants, at Miami) they will qualify for the postseason as the sixth wild card team. They won't have to follow the scoreboard; they won't have to hope for another team to lose; it's simply win and in for the Jets.

Jets Defeat Chiefs: We Hand Out Game Balls (Sanchez, Greene, D-Line, More) As Jets Take Wild Card Lead

We're handing out game balls and game falls after the Jets played their best game of the season, at the perfect time, in beating the Kansas City Chiefs 37-10. The Jets improved to 8-5 and currently own the sixth and final wild card playoff spot, pending the Raiders and Broncos games later.

The Game Balls
Mark Sanchez scores. (AP photo)
* Mark Sanchez: The Jets quarterback had one of the best games of his career, passing for two touchdowns and rushing for two more scores - the only passer in team history to accomplish that feat. He threw for 181 yards in the game, all of it during a great first half, where the Jets put the game away with a 28-3 lead. Sanchez didn't have to do much in the second half as the game was all but over at the break. It was an interesting week for Sanchez, as coach Rex Ryan said the fans should cheer him during pregame introductions and not boo him as they did during the last home game. Obviously, having that in Sanchez's head leading into a game is not at all a good thing. But Sanchez get did cheered and, more importantly, he was motivated on the opening drive. For the second straight week, the Jets took the ball on offense and set the tone, scoring on a Sanchez one-yard run after an 11-play, 77-yard drive. The biggest play of the drive happened right before the touchdown, as Sanchez bought time in the face of pressure from the Chiefs, scrambled out of the pocket and threw an incomplete pass in the end zone. Kansas City was called for a hold on Santonio Holmes at the goal line, something that was aided by Sanchez buying extra time. That turned a field goal attempt into an eventual touchdown. The Sanchez-led Jets would score four touchdowns in seven total possessions in the first half. It was the big performance the Jets needed from Sanchez, at the perfect time.

Robert Griffin III Wins Heisman

Robert Griffin III wins the Heisman Trophy. (AP photo)
Robert Griffin III became the first player from Baylor to win the Heisman Trophy Saturday night, beating out a talented group of players. The Bears quarterback had 405 first-place votes and 1,687 total points. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck finished second with 1,407 points. Alabama running back Trent Richardson was third, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was fourth and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu finished fifth.

On our college football web show this week, all three of us went with Griffin III to win the Heisman Trophy.

Luck finished as runner-up for the second straight year, only the fourth player in history to do that. Darren McFadden also accomplished the feat for Arkansas in 2006 and 2007.

Richardson had 138 first-place votes and 978 points, Ball had 348 points and Mathieu finished with 327 points.

Ryan Braun Tests Positive For Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Ryan Braun could be facing a 50-game suspension. (AP photo)
Ryan Braun, the just-named National League Most Valuable Player, has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, according to a report on ESPN. Braun is appealing the test, which if proven correct, would result in a 50-game suspension for the Milwaukee Brewers star.

A spokesman for Braun issued this statement, which confirms the positive test: "There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated."

Braun told USA Today, "It's B.S."

According to the ESPN report, the positive result was triggered by elevated levels of testosterone in Braun's system. A subsequent, more comprehensive test revealed the testosterone was synthetic - not produced by Braun's body.

Jets Analysis: The Games To Follow In Week 14 As Jets Continue Quest For Final AFC Wild Card Spot

Mark Sanchez and the Jets need to beat the Chiefs. (AP photo)
We're just hours away from the true start of Week 14 in the NFL and with the AFC's sixth and final wild card still up for grabs, here are the games the Jets and their fans need to keep an eye on.

Chiefs at Jets, 1 p.m.: The biggest game is obviously their own. The Jets must push their win streak to three games or their season is effectively over. At 7-5 the Jets are jumbled with a host of teams (that we'll break down next), so there is no room for error, especially against a team that isn't on their level. The Chiefs haven't scored more than 10 points in their last five games, so the Jets defense needs to keep that trend going. Kansas City is 5-7 and out of the playoff race.

Picking The Heisman Trophy Winner (RG3 It Is) And The Rest Of The Top Five, Plus The Army-Navy Game

Brad Carroll picks the Heisman Trophy winner and Army-Navy
Last Week:
5-2 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week:
3-4 (spread)
This Season:
57-42-1 (spread); 77-23 (overall); 5-4 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season:
55-44-1 (spread)

My ballot for the Heisman Trophy
1. Robert Griffin III ...... QB ...... Baylor
The Skinny: Robert Griffin III should run away with the Heisman Trophy this season. No other player has been as dynamic as the Baylor quarterback. He’s passed for 3,998 yards and has 36 TD passes to just six interceptions. He also has another 644 rushing yards and nine TD. Hopefully the voters take notice and give the award to the clear favorite — RGIII.

2. Tyrann Mathieu ...... CB ...... LSU
The Skinny: I realize this is a bit of an eye-opener, having Mathieu second, but if you take into account he is the best player on the best defense on the best team in the country, how could he not get recognition? Now, the one huge negative, and it’s the reason he has no shot to win, including on my ballot, is his suspension earlier this season for reportedly failing a drug test.

NFL Week 13 Winners And Losers: We Name Winners (Johnson, Rodgers, More) And Losers (Raiders, NFC Contenders, More)

In this installment of Thoughts & Observations from Week 13 of the NFL season, we break down the top four winners and the top four losers from the week that was. Have your own thoughts? Let everyone know in the comments section below. But, for now, it's time for some winners and losers.

Chris Johnson has become a star again. (AP photo)
* Chris Johnson: Not only did the Tennessee running back finally break through with a huge performance last Sunday, something his fans and fantasy owners have been waiting for, but he has the Titans in the thick of the playoff hunt in the AFC. Johnson rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over the Bills. After rushing for over 100 yards in just one of his first eight games this season, Johnson has now topped the century mark in three of his last four. "In the beginning of the season, the passing game carried us, and now it's time for the running game to step it up," Johnson said. "The offensive line and everything is hitting on all cylinders right now, and hopefully we can continue to keep this momentum going." Johnson now has 486 of his 852 rushing yards in the past four games. He also doubled his touchdown total from two to four against the Bills. Johnson appears to be hitting his stride this season, which is bad news for the teams fighting the Titans for the sixth and final wild card spot in the AFC.

Aaron Rodgers. (AP)
* Aaron Rodgers: I haven't bought into Rodgers or the Packers being the unstoppable force that everyone has turned them into. But after watching him take Green Bay downfield in the final seconds to beat the Giants when momentum was completely against them, I'm a believer. Rodgers completed passes of 24, 27 and 18 yards to set up the game-winning field goal right after the Giants tied the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion. The Packers improved to 12-0 and won their 18 consecutive game. "We've had a number of games we won by a couple scores," Rodgers said. "You get the ball on the 20, under a minute, and we get it down there for a chip-shot field goal, it's very rewarding. It probably (ranks) right at the top." Rodgers threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 32 yards. It would be a shock if the Packers didn't finish the regular season undefeated, especially after this clutch performance.

College GameDay Rewind Week 14: Baseball Misses Mark On Free Agency Buzz, Yankees Not Giving Up Farm For Quick Fix, And Harris Poll Fraud

Baseball needs to create a buzz with its free agency. (AP photo)
Major League Baseball is by far the worst among professional sports at creating excitement for its free agency period. It’s long. It’s drawn-out. It’s flat-out boring. So it was a great treat today when I woke up to news that the Yankees may be trading A.J. Burnett, the Cardinals may be raising their offer to Albert Pujols and Marlins for-now shortstop Hanley Ramirez isn’t exactly thrilled about the team adding Jose Reyes.

It has nothing to do with the fact Burnett may be a goner, or that the Reyes signing might haven’t been well thought out, but by the fact baseball has finally achieved some buzz this offseason.

Baseball is as much about building a team as it is watching the team on the field. Signing free agents, making trades and deciding whether or not to keep players currently on the roster is what makes the sport so great. But with the excruciatingly slow pace the offseason, that excitement is ruined.

Mets Analysis: Mets Lose Jose Reyes To Marlins In Big Blow, But There's No Time To Rest As Mets Rebuild

Jose Reyes is headed to the Miami Marlins. (AP photo)
  By Jenni Mennella  
Just as elite athletes can buckle under the pressure of playing in New York, being a NY sports fan is not for the weak either. It can go from blissful to downright brutal with no warning at all, similar to a peaceful cab ride suddenly becoming a giant slalom down Fifth Avenue. Sunday was one of those roller coaster rides for me.

It started off great when my Jets crushed the Redskins, 34-19, and their MetLife Stadium siblings narrowly lost to the 12-0 Packers, 38-35, later in the day. My first-place LongIslandChicksRule would also like to thank Aaron Rodgers for the 50 fantasy football points by completing 28 for 369 yards and 4 TDs.

I was having a terrific day until five little words changed it all. Five little words every Mets fan was dreading to hear: Sources: Jose Reyes, Marlins Agree.

College Football Bowl Game Breakdown: BCS Title Game, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, More

Here is a rundown of the biggest bowl games this season, including the BCS national championship, the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and more.

BCS National Championship, January 9
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
It's not the game we wanted to see, but like it or not, it's the national championship. If Alabama wins, do we find an empty field to play a third game to crown a true national champion or just pretend LSU didn't already beat the Tide on their home field?

Cotton Bowl, January 6
No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 6 Arkansas, 8 p.m., ESPN
The bowl on the outside looking in of the BCS features what should be a great matchup. Kansas State is one of the season's great stories, while Arkansas has lost just twice this season, to LSU and Alabama. Either of these should have been chosen for a BCS game over Virginia Tech, which we'll get to in a bit.

Orange Bowl, January 4
No. 23 West Virginia vs. No. 15 Clemson, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Every year there is a big-name bowl game that features a total dud of a matchup. This is that game. A terrible team from the Big East and a terrible team from the ACC equals a ratings disaster.

Jets Analysis: Breaking Down Playoff Chase With Jets, Titans, Bengals, Raiders, Broncos In Wild Card Hunt

Santonio Holmes and the Jets got a big win Sunday. (AP photo)
The Jets took care of the most important part in their chase for the final wild card slot in the AFC playoffs, defeating the Washington Redskins to improve to 7-5 on the season. But there was a ton of other matchups where the Jets and their fans had a watchful eye on this Sunday.

The biggest game other than their own was the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Cincinnati Bengals. The Jets, not to mention the Broncos and Titans, needed the Steelers to win to take the stranglehold of the fifth-seed and, more importantly, knock the Bengals back a game to join a jumbled group of teams alive for the final wild card spot. The Steelers did their job in a big way, winning 35-7.

BCS National Championship: LSU Vs Alabama For Title, Even Though Pick Should Have Been Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State won't get its shot at LSU. (AP photo)
It wasn't surprising, but it was definitely disappointing. The final BCS standings were revealed a short while ago and it will be LSU and Alabama playing in the national championship game. Oklahoma State, the people's choice to play in the game outside of SEC country and its fawning talking-heads, finished third.

The Cowboys made it interesting Saturday night, destroying the rival Oklahoma Sooners 44-10 in Bedlam to make the choice that much harder for everyone involved in the BCS process. Of course, that whole process, featuring computer rankings and a poll that is made up of former players, coaches and administrators, is a complete joke. It's anybody's guess what the computers' formula is, and it's anyone's guess as to exactly what the knowledge is of the Harris voters (although I think it's safe to say it's not very impressive).

Jets Defeat Redskins: We Hand Out Game Balls (Sanchez, Maybin, Greene, More) And Game Falls (Smith, Leonhard, Folk, More)

We're handing out game balls and game falls after the Jets kept their drive to the postseason alive with a huge road victory over the Washington Redskins, 34-19. The Jets improved to 7-5 and are now tied with a host of other teams for the sixth and final wild card spot.

The Game Balls
Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes. (AP photo)
* Mark Sanchez: It wasn't the prettiest performance by the Jets quarterback, but in the end it was yet another beautiful ending for Sanchez. The Jets trailed the Redskins 16-13 with 7:52 when Sanchez went to work on something that has become his staple during his career - pulling off fourth-quarter comebacks. Five plays and just three minutes after taking over, Sanchez had the Jets in the end zone with a 20-16 lead. Sanchez, as usual, came up with a couple of great throws, the first on an escape from the pocked and a toss to Shonn Greene for 10 yards on third-and-four and the second an perfectly lofted pass after a pump-fake to Santonio Holmes for a go-ahead 30-yard touchdown. The Jets added two more touchdowns in the final minutes, both on Greene runs, to end up blowing the Redskins out, 34-19. Of course, the final score nowhere near indicates how close the Jets were to losing to lowly Washington. It might sound crazy, but Sanchez is quickly becoming one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the NFL. In not even three season Sanchez has led 10 fourth-quarter comeback or overtime victory. That is simply awesome for a young passer, especially one who takes as much heat as anyone in the league. The numbers weren't great for Sanchez, 19-for-32 for 165 yards and a touchdown, but he was perfect when it counted. The Jets live to play another week and Sanchez's fourth-quarter heroics is the reason for this latest survival.

Aaron Maybin. (AP)
* Aaron Maybin: After Sanchez and the Jets took the lead on the 30-yard pass to Holmes, there was still 4:49 to go in the game, plenty of time for the Redskins to drive the field and win the game. After two incompletions, it was time for some mayhem. Maybin, who nicknamed himself Mayhem, broke free against the Redskins offensive line on third-and-10 and smashed quarterback Rex Grossman, jarring the ball loose on the hit. Calvin Pace came up with the fumble and the Jets emphatically ended the Redskins' comeback hopes with one huge play by the former Buffalo Bills linebacker. Maybin has been in the "game ball" list nearly every game this season, which is remarkable considering he was a castoff by the Bills and he only plays in pass-rushing situations. But he makes seemingly each one count as he leads the team in sacks this season. His destruction of Grossman in the final minutes might be the biggest play of his career, and kept the Jets alive in the hunt for the postseason. In an offseason full of questionable signings by the Jets, there is no doubt Gang Green made the right call by signing Maybin.

BCS National Championship: Oklahoma State, Not Alabama, Deserves To Play LSU For Title After Dominating Oklahoma In Bedlam

Oklahoma State should play LSU for BCS title. (AP photo)
I wrote last week the only way Oklahoma State could somehow knock Alabama out of the No. 2 spot in the BCS rankings was to rout Oklahoma in their Bedlam matchup Saturday night. Well, the Cowboys did just that, beating the rival Sooners 44-10 in their biggest game of the season. There's no question about it now, the Cowboys should play for the national championship.

If the final BCS rankings spit out anything but an LSU-Oklahoma State matchup it would be a complete travesty.

Week 14 College Football Picks: It's Championship Week: Georgia Vs LSU, Oklahoma At Oklahoma State, Plus The Big 10, ACC, C-USA Title Games

Justin Blackmon and Oklahoma State will beat Oklahoma. (AP photo)
Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
Last Week: 5-4 (spread); 8-1 (overall); 0-1 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 5-4 (spread)
This Season: 52-40-1 (spread); 72-21 (overall); 5-4 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season: 52-40-1 (spread)

No. 14 Georgia vs. No. 1 LSU, 4 p.m., CBS
The Skinny: LSU is without question the best team in the nation, but this SEC championship game features another team that has been just as impressive over its last nine games. Georgia started the year 0-2 but has won nine straight games, all of which left little doubt who would come out on top. This, however, will be the Bulldogs toughest test of the season. The Tigers have been so good this year that even a loss to Georgia might not be enough to knock them out of the BCS title game. Still, LSU should leave no doubt about its place in that game. The Pick: LSU (-14) wins it 35-17.