From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
The New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers both got off to bad starts this season, but, strangely enough, still have a chance to make the NFL playoffs. Both the Giants and Steelers, with a combined four Super Bowl titles in the past eight years, would have to win their respective divisions to qualify.
The Giants (3-6), who started a dreadful 0-6 and now have a three-game winning streak, have the better chance, playing in the NFL Least. They found a defense, allowing a combined 34 points in the win streak, after yielding an average of 34.8 points per game in the skid.
The Giants, only a game behind in the loss column to division co-leaders Dallas and Philadelphia (5-5), have a reasonable chance to finish 8-8 and win the division. Their final seven games include Green Bay (without injured QB Aaron Rodgers), two with Washington, Dallas, San Diego, Detroit and Seattle. The last two opponents are difficult, and while Philadelphia is my choice to win the division as long as QB Nick Foles stays healthy, the Giants still have hope.
The Steelers (3-6), meanwhile, face a harder task, trailing AFC North leader Cincinnati (6-4) by 2 1/2 games.
Pittsburgh, which started 0-4, has won three of its past five games to have a heartbeat. They would have to win six of their final seven games, including all four divisional contests, to have a chance, and take two of three non-divisional games against Detroit, Green Bay and Miami. Its challenging but not hopeless for Pittsburgh.
Channel surfing: 7News Sports did a commendable job this past weekend covering all the championship-level high school and college games with highlights and interviews scattered throughout central New York, but there were a couple of oversights on the inside.
One, there was no mention in either Saturdays two sports broadcasts of Syracuses football victory over Maryland that moved the Orange within a win of being bowl eligible. Two, viewers got a tape-delayed, second-quarter score between Dallas and New Orleans on Sunday Night Football, when the game had already been over for at least 20 minutes prior.
Richie Richs Top 10 in college football: 1. Alabama; 2. Florida State; 3. Ohio State; 4. Stanford; 5. Baylor; 6. Oregon; 7. Auburn; 8. Missouri; 9. Clemson; 10. Texas A&M.
Richie Richs Top 10 in the NFL: 1. Broncos; 2. Seahawks; 3. Chiefs; 4. Saints; 5. Patriots; 6. 49ers; 7. Lions; 8. Panthers; 9. Colts; 10. Bengals.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org