As a result of the recession, the NFL last week announced it was eliminating 150 jobs at its New York headquarters, as well as at NFL Films in Mount Laurel, Burlington County, and Internet production facilities in Los Angeles.

That's more than 10 percent of the league's staff.

In the interest of helping the league come up with less painful cost-cutting measures, here are three unsolicited recommendations:

Save on energy expenses by using Bill Belichick's smile to light up stadiums around the league for future night games.

Sell the Detroit Lions and use some of the $89.95 to buy Plaxico Burress a membership to the National Skeet Shooting Club so he can take aim at clay pigeons instead of himself. Use the rest to buy Deion Sanders a complete sentence.

Fine every head coach who exhibits signs of paranoia. Example: holding a play chart to cover your mouth while sending in plays. That should provide enough funding to hire back those 150 people.

Here is a look at Week 15:

Questions, questions

Do the Cowboys have any heart left after last week's devastating loss to Pittsburgh?

Were all those dropped passes and missed assignments by the Giants against the Eagles the result of the Burress distraction?

Answers may come tonight when this heated rivalry resumes in Dallas.

The Cowboys are a mess. Terrell Owens, who ranks 28th in the NFL in receptions, is whining again; Jerry Jones has questioned Marion Barber's toughness; and Tony Romo is still capable of going awry at crunch time. After the Giants, the Cowboys have the Ravens and Eagles as their odds of making the postseason grow longer.

The Giants are in, but they're looking to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.


Rather than play in Baltimore, the Ravens-Pittsburgh game should probably take place in a steel cage.

The field is likely to feel cramped as the NFL's best defensive teams go at it with first place in the AFC North at stake. Pittsburgh is No. 1 in run defense, pass defense and total defense; the Ravens are third, second and second in those categories. The Steelers have yet to allow 300 yards in a game, and no runner has gained 100 yards against the Ravens. Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs stirred the rivalry before the first meeting this season when he said the Ravens had a bounty on Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward. The Ravens won that game in overtime, 23-20.

The Steelers have lost five straight in Baltimore.

Test for Ryan

There is much local sentiment for Atlanta's quarterback Matt Ryan, who is from Exton, starred at Penn Charter and Boston College, and appears to have a hold on rookie-of-the-year honors.

But Ryan won't have many supporters in the Eagles' locker room when he leads the Falcons against Tampa Bay in a big game at Atlanta. The Falcons are a half-game ahead of the Birds in the race for the second wild-card spot, and they might be getting the Bucs at a good time. Tampa Bay had a short week after getting run over by Carolina on Monday night in a game for first place in the NFC South, which looks like the strongest division in the NFL.

Ryan ranks ninth in the NFL in passer rating and has thrown for 14 touchdowns against seven interceptions.

These are leaders?

Typically, there's a fair amount of anticipation when division leaders from the same conference meet this late in the season.

Somehow, it's probably difficult for NFL fans to get too worked up about today's Vikings-Cardinals game at Arizona.

Last week, the Cards clinched their first division title since they were in the NFC East in 1975, and they will host their first playoff game since they were the Chicago Cardinals in 1947 and beat the Eagles in the NFL title game. They are the best of a bad lot in the NFC West, in which they are 5-0. They are 3-5 against the rest of the league.

The Vikings are trying to hold off the Bears in the unimpressive NFC North with banged-up Gus Frerotte at quarterback. But they do have Adrian Peterson, the game's leading running back with 1,413 yards.

Free falling

Devastated by injuries and a lame offense that has managed only 33 points in their last four losses, the Redskins have nose-dived into last place in the NFC East. They are 1-4 in their last five games, and their latest casualty is five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels, who is out for the season with a torn right triceps.

The Redskins should have enough left to handle the 1-11-1 Bengals in Cincinnati. Shouldn't they?

Pack-ing it in

It looks as if the Packers did Brett Favre a favor by not taking him back. What quarterback would want to play on a team with a defense that's allowed an average of 36.7 points and 421 yards the last three games, all losses that killed Green Bay's playoff hopes?

The Packers are 3-4 at Lambeau Field, so it's just as well that they're playing the Jaguars at Jacksonville.