Out you go!

It's been a bad weekend for a lot of people and not just Yankees fans. Folks who root for the Redskins, Vikings, Lions, Cowboys, Panthers, Bills, Bengals, Browns, and Broncos are crying in their beer, too.

Those nine teams have been eliminated from playoff contention as the NFL heads into Week 15.

On the verge of elimination are Houston (5-8), Tennessee (5-8), and Arizona (4-9). The Texans are at the Titans on Sunday, so at least one will go. The Cardinals are at Carolina and may live another week.

San Francisco, also 5-8, is in embarrassing contention since the 49ers trail first-place St. Louis and Seattle by only one game in the hideous NFC West with three remaining.

Only New England (11-2) has secured a playoff berth.

Weird statistic

After Monday night's 34-28 overtime win against Houston, the Baltimore Ravens are 16-1 against teams with sub-.500 records under coach John Harbaugh.

He's baaaaack

The Minnesota Vikings, newly eliminated from playoff contention, will cast their lot for the rest of the season with - are you ready for this? - Brett Favre.

So thin are the Vikes at quarterback, interim coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday that the team hopes to have Favre back this season - and possibly this week.

Favre's NFL-record streak of starting 297 consecutive games ended when a sprained throwing shoulder and numb right hand kept him out of Monday's game against the New York Giants.

Favre was upbeat Tuesday.

"I've had several people say, 'I'd hate for the streak to end like this,' " he said. "End like what? It's been a great run."

Frazier said Tuesday that an ultrasound on Favre's neck and shoulder showed no nerve damage. He said that the 41-year-old quarterback's pain was subsiding and that his recovery was "headed in the right direction."

Backup Tarvaris Jackson has a turf-toe injury, and his availability for Monday night's game against Chicago is in doubt. He also was 12 for 22 with an interception in the Vikes' punchless 21-3 loss to the Giants on Monday night.

For the record

Baltimore's Derrick Mason has 53 catches this year and on Monday became the seventh player in NFL history to have at least 50 in 11 consecutive seasons.

West Chester East grad Matt Schaub became Houston's all-time passing leader on Monday night. He has 13,535 yards and surpassed David Carr (13,391 yards).


James Hall, defensive end for the St. Louis Rams, on the possibility of concussions from knocking heads all day:

"It's not a tickling contest. I'm not looking for any protection."