Is it just me, or are there a lot more truly terrible teams in the NFL this season than usual?

Detroit (0-13) seems locked into the first 0-16 record in NFL history, which has camouflaged the fact that Cincinnati is 1-11-1.

Kansas City, Seattle and St. Louis all are 2-11 and Oakland is a comparatively giddy 3-10.

Arizona, Denver, Minnesota, New England and the New York Jets all are in first place or tied for first with 8-5 records.

Parity? Blech.

Line of the week. Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press on why his favorite Ryder Cup name is Boo Weekley: "It sounds like a Lions fan."

Run to win. Traditionally one of the NFL's most-committed rushing teams, Pittsburgh is just 23d in the league with 1,350 yards on 373 carries. The Steelers are 10-3, lead the AFC North and can secure a first-round playoff bye with a win Sunday at Baltimore, yet are on pace for their second-worst rushing season since the 1970 merger.

With the playoffs approaching, running back Willie Parker is convinced the Steelers - who rank only 20th in passing and 26th in total offense - must regain their personality by being multidimensional.

"This is when you've got to pound it out," Parker told the Associated Press. "When you go into the playoffs, the team that can run the ball is going to win."

Coach Mike Tomlin had a team-oriented response.

"When I come to work each morning, I walk past five Lombardis," he said, referring to the Super Bowl trophy, "not five rushing titles."

This article contains information from the Associated Press.
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