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I would like to take a moment to retract something I wrote earlier this season -- well, a lot of things, probably, but this one in particular: Deltha O'Neal is not the second coming of Terrell Buckley. In fact, I believe I would rather see Buckley, age 37 and long since retired, starting Sunday against the Seahawks if the only alternative is O'Neal, a grown-up version of Chris Canty. Hell, where's Duane Starks when you need him? Antonio Langham? Earthwind Moreland? Jimmy Hitchcock? Anyone?
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If you needed more proof that tackles are possibly the most misleading statistic in sports -- it's probably right there alongside saves in baseball in my mind -- let it be noted that Tedy Bruschi led the Pats with 10 tackles last night, seven unassisted. I'm not going to say he didn't make any plays, but I'd be willing to bet the majority of his takedowns occured well beyond the first-down marker. Sadly, he just can't get to where he knows he needs to be anymore.
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The top five teams at the moment, as seen through my beady eyes:
1) NY Giants. As long as Plaxico Burress doesn't accidentally shoot any of his teammates, they should cruise to the NFC title game.
2) Tennessee Titans. Although I still suspect Kerry Collins's prominent involvement might leave them ripe for an upset in the playoffs.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers. Man, I wish the Patriots had linebackers who moved like theirs. How did James Harrison go undrafted?
4) Indianapolis Colts. I don't know if they're more lucky than good, but they've won at least three games this season they could have -- and perhaps even should have -- lost.
5) Tampa Bay Bucs. I wonder if Al Davis ever regrets running Jon Gruden out of Oakland. Probably not -- the undead regret nothing.
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As for today's Completely Random Football Card:
I liked him much better as a quarterback than an analyst. Take that as you will.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.