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Morning Report: Off the field, an awful NFL week

Since it's Friday, I think we'll recap the fabulous week the NFL has just enjoyed.

Since it's Friday, I think we'll recap the fabulous week the NFL has just enjoyed.

Plaxico Burress shot himself on Saturday and has spent the ensuing days trying to explain why he had an unregistered gun in his pants, why he wound up in a hospital under an assumed name, why the police had to learn about the shooting from the media, whether Antonio Pierce secretly drove the gun across state lines and into the wilds of Jersey to return it to Burress' wife, and why he's been such a cluck in general.

Then six players were suspended for using a banned substance, only to go to court to get a stay of the suspensions. The players claim the NFL and its medical advisers knew the diet pills they were taking included the banned substance but never told players or the union.

The league's response was something like, "well, you know, it's not us who are putting that junk in our bodies and besides, we've been distracted by Plaxico."

On Monday, Pacman Jones returned to America's Team to provide yet another reason not to read about the Cowboys' on-field efforts.

As the week wore down, the league learned that New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis had been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, speeding and driving without insurance after being pulled over by police last weekend in Morristown, N.J.

And former Detroit Lions receiver Charles Rogers has been jailed for violating his probation stemming from a trespassing incident in September.

Who's the commissioner of this league? Matt Millen?

Harsh arithmetic. The feds have dropped four charges against Barry Bonds, who is scheduled to go on trial in federal court in San Francisco next year on charges of, among other things, lying to a federal grand jury.

But the four dropped charges left the former slugger still facing 11 more.

PhilaTrivia. Last week, Brian Westbrook became the fourth player in NFL history to have at least 100 yards rushing, two TDs rushing and two more receiving in a game. Who was the last to do it. (Hint: it was in 1975).

Giants-Birds. I've never liked Eli Manning and never thought he would amount to a anything in the NFL.

Shows what I know. The "little brother" Manning now is 25-5 in his last 30 starts, including 6-1 against the Eagles.

Which makes Sunday's game at the Meadowlands very, very interesting. The Eagles need to stop the Giants' freight-train rushing game and force them to pass, then hope Manning makes critical mistakes.

His track record says he is past that. So does the Giants' record - the defending Super Bowl champions (11-1) have won six in a row against teams with winning records, going back to the playoffs last season.

By the way: The Eagles have beaten three of four teams with winning records this year, topping Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Arizona, along with the earlier loss to the Giants.

Trivia answer. Lydell Mitchell, the pride of Salem High School and Penn State, did it for the Baltimore Colts.