Man on a mission

Forget about it, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco. Chill out, Brett Favre and Jeff Garcia. Take a number, Gus Frerotte, Kurt Warner and Kerry Collins.

The king of QB mojo these days is Chad Pennington. Sure, those other QBs are playing great and have overcome plenty. But none of them not only lost his job (curse you, Favre!) but had to resurrect himself with a Dolphins team that went 1-15 last season. And few predicted the 2008 Fins to be better.

But Pennington - kicked out of NYC when No. 4 signed with the Jets - has dominated both on the field with his play and off the field with his fire.

On the field, Penny has 11 TD passes and just six interceptions, and his 92.8 passer rating is fifth in the NFL. Off the field, he's become such a leader his teammates call him Coach Pennington, and coach Tony Sparano calls him the pied piper because the other players follow his lead.

And why not? The 7-5 Dolphins, who play the Bills on Sunday, have won five of their last six games, and the word


is making the rounds on South Beach.

One player even compared Pennington to the player's father because Pennington is so inspirational.

"I don't care if you scored three touchdowns against the Pats, take out the trash and quit sassing your mother."

Enjoy it while you can, Chad. But remember, Trent Edwards and the 6-6 Bills were 5-1 on Oct. 19. The road to NFL success, like fatherhood, can be a tad rocky.

Yeah, right

The Giants say Plaxico Burress could return next season if he "plays by Giants rules." That's a good one.