Tuesday Morning Quaterback: It Doesn't Pay To Punt

Left unresolved by X III is whether Mystique, played by the scrumptious Rebecca Romijn, was nude. In her blue mutant form, Mystique seemed to be wearing a blue thong bikini. But when Romijn lost her powers, her blue skin turned the Caucasian shade and she collapsed to the ground naked. Did her bikini lose its powers too? In another scene, Wolverine's shirt was torn by projectiles that ripped his flesh. His miraculous powers healed the flesh  and when we saw Logan an instant later, his shirt looked brand new. Was he wearing a jerkin of self-healing wool made from mutant sheep?

Shaun Alexander Untouched Touchdown Run of the Week : Last season, Alexander had 15 untouched touchdown runs. On Sunday, Alexander went up the middle for a touchdown and was not touched until after he scored.

This Fulfills My Obligation to Say Something About the Dolphins-Titans Game: Miami trailing the Flaming Thumbtacks 7-3 in the third quarter, the Dolphins reached first-and-goal. Miami coaches sent Jason Taylor in as a tight end. Taylor never got the ball, but his presence seemed to discombobulate the Tennessee defense; Daunte Culpepper scrambled for a touchdown.

Hidden Plays: Hidden plays are ones that never make highlight reels, but stop or sustain drives. With Cincinnati and Pittsburgh tied at 7, the Steelers faced third-and-8 on the Bengals' 23. Robert Geathers sacked Ben Roethlisberger back to the 30, making the field-goal attempt a dicey proposition in gusting winds. Kick no good, and the missed three points would come back to haunt Pittsburgh in the second half of its loss.

We're Up by 21? Let's Pass! From the point at which it was Philadelphia 24, San Francisco 3, through the remainder of the game, Eagles' coaches called 10 passes and eight rushes. The game ran long, three hours and 22 minutes, in part because the Squared Sevens, way behind, kept throwing incomplete passes in the fourth quarter and stopping the clock while the Eagles, way ahead, kept throwing incomplete passes in the fourth quarter and stopping the clock.

This Fulfills My Obligation to Say Something About the Bills-Jets Game: Buffalo compiled 200 yards more offense than Jersey/B but committed three turnovers and missed three fourth-down conversions, a missed fourth-down being equivalent to a blocked kick; the Jets committed no turnovers and converted their only fourth-down try. The Bills had drives that reached the opponent's 1, 18, 19, 28 and 35, yet netted just two field goals.

Cheerleader Professionalism Watch: In the cheer context, "professionalism" means skin or at least skin tight: cheerleaders who are scantily attired increase their team's odds of victory. Robert Betlinski of New Haven, Conn., was among many readers to note that although kickoff temperature for the Broncos-at-Patriots date was a cozy 68 degrees F (20.16 C), the New England cheer-babes came out dressed in COATS. Needless to say, New England was defeated. Phil Kerlee of Los Gatos, Calif., notes that for the first half of the Giants-at-Seahawks contest, the Sea Gals sported their pleasingly revealing new "hello, sailor" outfits. Seattle led 35-3 at intermission. For the second half, Seattle cheerleaders switched to "the kind of jogging sweats your grandmother wears," Kerlee reports. In that half, the Giants outscored Seattle 27-7.

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