News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 21, 2008

Hughes News and Views: You never know what will happen in NFL

By David Hughes

TERRE HAUTE — The last few days have been fun, maybe even slightly strange, for those of us who follow the NFL closely.

For example, I can’t believe that one of the league’s best quarterbacks, Donovan McNabb, did not know that a game could end in a tie until Sunday. That’s when his underachieving Philadelphia Eagles finished overtime in a 13-13 deadlock with the Cincinnati Bengals.

I’ve always like McNabb. I took his side during the Terrell Owens soap-opera drama a few years ago. But I’m still scratching my head over this latest controversy.

Meanwhile, our Indianapolis Colts posted their third straight victory by holding off the Houston Texans 33-27 that same day.

Since then, they’ve signed Terre Haute native/former Indiana State standout Jamie Petrowski as a tight end from the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad. I must admit, I didn’t see that coming.

How cool would it be if Jamie gets to play in and win a Super Bowl at the end of this season?

Now if we could just find a team for recently released Steve Weatherford, this season would be even more enjoyable.

Speaking of Weatherford, back in early September when the former Terre Haute North High School standout still punted for the New Orleans Saints, he and I made preseason predictions for winners in all eight divisions. I figured this week was a good time to see where we went right and where we went wrong.

AFC West — Both of us chose the San Diego Chargers. At 4-6 (two games behind Denver) and getting ready to face the Colts this Sunday night, I don’t like their chances. I’m changing my pick to Denver, which should make my Broncos-loving wife happy.

AFC North — I almost “accidentally” skipped this division today. Steve tabbed the Baltimore Ravens, while I went with … do I have to remind you? OK, OK, the Bengals. We all make mistakes in life, some dumber than others. Yes, this one was pretty dumb.

AFC South — Not surprisingly, Steve and I agreed on the Colts here. It’s taken them a while to find their groove, but I think they’ll be a solid wild-card team come playoff time. I guess we have to grudgingly concede that the Titans will win the division.

AFC East — The New England Patriots were our obvious selection prior to Tom Brady’s opening-game injury. Even though Matt Cassel has improved weekly as the Patriots’ quarterback, I’m thinking the 7-3 New York Jets will take the crown.

NFC West — Hey, can we print this paragraph in extra-large type? Steve liked the Seattle Seahawks (currently 2-8) and I liked the ARIZONA CARDINALS (currently 7-3 and leading second-place San Francisco by four games). In case anyone hasn’t noticed, Kurt Warner is amazing. I just wish Edgerrin James were playing a more prominent role in the Cardinals’ success.

NFC North — I’m not sure where this tight division is heading. Our selections of the Green Bay Packers (Steve) and Minnesota Vikings (me) still look possible, especially since the Chicago Bears have struggled recently. All three teams are 5-5.

NFC South — I haven’t talked to Steve lately, but I wonder if he wants to change his pick (mine too) from the Saints to a team that didn’t cut him on short notice. New Orleans is 5-5 and taking on a tough Green Bay squad Monday night, so I’ll make a short-notice switch to the 8-2 Carolina Panthers.

NFC East — Steve (Dallas) and I (Philadelphia) both messed up here. With six games remaining, Eli Manning and the 9-1 New York Giants appear to be running away with the title. At least the other three teams still have a chance at a wild card, but don’t be surprised if that tie comes back to haunt the Eagles.

You know, if the Colts can keep playing like the Colts (with help from new addition Jamie Petrowski), I certainly would not object to seeing a Manning vs. Manning Super Bowl.

Warner making one more big-game appearance would be fun too, as long as it’s against the Colts.

David Hughes can be reached by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.