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What's Up in the NFL?

With only four weeks left in the regular season, many NFL teams are still vying for postseason spots while another team is still vying for its first win of the season. Two dominant teams, the New York Giants (11-1) and the Tennessee Titans (11-1), hope to extend their winning seasons while preparing for the playoffs.

The 0-12 Detroit Lions will host the 7-5 Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, desperately seeking something to cast a little light on this otherwise abysmal season. This year’s ‘Comeback Kid,’ the Atlanta Falcons, are 8-4 and head this week to New Orleans to face off with a division rival, the 6-6 Saints. With a new quarterback and a new coach leading the way, the Falcons are hoping Atlanta and the rest of the country have forgotten about… what’s his name?... or what’s their names?...

The mighty Tennessee Titans finally fell to Brett Favre and the New York Jets the weekend before Thanksgiving. Kerry Collins and the Titans rebounded with an easy win against Detroit last week, however, and will play at home Sunday against a 4-8 Cleveland team.

The biggest stories of the NFL week, however, have been the from off-field drama. The NFL handed down suspensions in the continuing saga regarding violations of the banned substances policy. Most of the suspended players were busted for the use of a diuretic they maintain they were not aware was on the banned list. A Minnesota judge has gone so far as to grant an injunction that, at least temporarily, prevents the league from carrying out suspensions against two Vikings defensive tackles, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.

While the reigning Super Bowl champion Giants continue rolling at 11-1, the drama involving wide receiver Plaxico Burress takes center stage in the media. After accidentally shooting himself at a nightclub last week, Burress has been accused of covering up the incident and charged with illegal possession of a concealed firearm.

While the Giants have already taken action with a 4-game suspension and fine, the league and the law have yet to rule themselves. The state of New York has a minimum incarceration penalty for illegal possession which means, if convicted, Burress is going to spend a minimum of 3½ years in prison.

Former NFL star running-back OJ Simpson is also set for sentencing this week for his part in a kidnapping and armed robbery plot in 2007. Simpson will spend no less than 6 years in prison.

While this week’s biggest stories happened off the gridiron, fans are still hoping the excitement turns back to the field where it belongs. The playoffs begin in just 5 weeks.

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