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January 4, 2010 6:42 AM

They've fallen! Can they get back up?

fallen.jpgYou remember the ad: The old lady has gone head over walker in her bathroom and hollers into her magic pendant: "I've fallen...and I can't get up!"
Immediately, a reassuring voice comes back to say, "We're sending help immediately, Mrs. Fletcher."


Now to the best of our knowledge, Mrs. Fletcher never intended that fall. It was just an unfortunate accident. So what about these NFL teams that only a week or two ago were the picture of good health, but decided that crumbling into the fetal position was proper form heading into the playoffs.

We're talking about you, New Orleans and Indianapolis. We could have been talking about you, too, Arizona, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, but you have showed the occasional propensity to fall inappropriately over the course of the year, so staging your tumble was no less pathetic, but almost excusable in today's NFL.

But now that you've all fallen just as you hoped, do you have a plan for getting back up?
Understand, most of you  -- maybe even all of you -- will remain flat on your backs. And won't it all hurt that much more given you were the ones that planted yourself in that silly position to begin with? 

Even Mrs. Fletcher will tell you that there are no magic pendants for self-inflicted stupidity.

Now onto a sampling of what the nation's sportswriters and columnists are saying about their football teams across every NFL city, because in the Grill Room we love the newspaper business, even if it hates itself.

(28) Buffalo 30
(1) Indianapolis 7

(12) Carolina 23
(4) New Orleans 10

(24) Cleveland 23
(21) Jacksonville 17

(23) Chicago 37
(31) Detroit 23

(17) Houston 34
(5) New England 27

(11) Pittsburgh 30
(18) Miami 24

(6) Minnesota 44
(20) N.Y. Giants 7

(22) San Francisco 28
(32) St. Louis 6

(19) Atlanta 20
(27) Tampa Bay 10

(7) Green Bay 33
(9) Arizona 7

(29) Kansas City 44
(15) Denver
(13) Baltimore 21
(26) Oakland 13

(2) San Diego 23
(25) Washington 20

(14) Tennessee 17
(30) Seattle 13

(10) Dallas 24
(3) Philadelphia 0

(16) N.Y. Jets 37
(8) Cincinnati 0

(*) denotes NFL 100-proof ranking

(Getty Images photo)

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