1. Give 'em a mettle: The Steelers were manhandled by the Eagles and Giants, so rallying to topple the Cowboys was especially sweet. So was winning despite only 71 yards rushing. They could still gain the conference's best record.

2. Back to Tony Nomo: Everytime Dallas is at a crossroads, the stud QB seems to gag. One TD, three INTs is NOT why Dallas signed him to a 6-year, $67 million deal.

3. Dis-Gusting display: OK, the Vikings are 8-5 and lead the NFC North. But they barely edged the winless Lions and lost QB Gus Frerotte, who hurt his back. They still play three possible playoff teams (Cardinals, Falcons, Giants).

4. An unlikely combo: Arizona clinched its first division title since, oh my, 1975, and its first spot in the playoffs in 10 years. At least they'll get the first game at home, where they have won five of six.

5. Galloping toward playoffs: Dead in the water 2 months ago, the Colts have won six straight and pulled into the No. 5 spot in the AFC. Their next two opponents (Lions, Jaguars) are a combined 4-21.

6. Three for the spot of one: It would seem that only one team will come out of the AFC East, where the Jets, Dolphins and Patriots are tied. Somehow, the Jets are 3-4 against the AFC West and NFC West, both conference's weakest divisions.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE

1. Hidden from view: Playing for a 2-11 team, TE Tony Gonzalez has 78 catches for 879 yards and 7 TDs.

2. Packing up: Green Bay has lost five of its last six. Four of those have been by a combined 11 points.

3. Wes Welker: Patriots WR had 12 catches for 134 yards, a week after taking a vicious blow to the head.

NEXT WEEK'S STORY LINES

1. Giants at Cowboys: Both teams will try to bounce back from losses in this Sunday night classic.

2. Saints at Bears: Another really good one. But, set for Thursday night, it's one you probably won't see.

3. Steelers at Ravens: A Baltimore win ties up the lead in the AFC North.

4. Broncos at Panthers: Denver's Brandon Marshall and Carolina's Steve Smith are as good as it gets at wide receiver.

5. Bills at Jets: New York beat Tennessee, then lost to Denver and Frisco. Go ahead. You explain it.